Take It to the Limit

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Drama, USA, 2008

Synopsis "Swingtown" - "Take it To the Limit" - September 5, 2008Previously On: Trina announced she was pregnant to Janet; Doug told Laurie he was turning down the teaching job at her school because he loves her; Samantha discovered she was being whisked away to Napierville and away from her unfit mother; Roger got a new Cincinnati. But since he's in love with Susan he wanted to know if she wanted him to stay. She told him to go; Bruce started falling in love with Melinda, and within earshot of Susan made a date to go see her, lying that he forgot his briefcase which she later saw on the floor.At the Decker house Tom is talking to a "sexy little lady." It turns out it's a lobster he's about to boil. Apparently Tom and Trina are having a clambake complete with cherrystones, seaweed, etc. Trina is nauseated by the smell of them wafting from the crates being delivered and is trying to hide it. Tom laments the passing of summer while Trina is looking forward to a change of season.At the Miller house Susan is pulling out the winter clothes, and Bruce thinks it's a little early for that. (It's Labor Day weekend). She wonders if Bruce got any work done the previous evening since he didn't come home until after midnight. (We're guessing he let it all hang out). He says he lost track of time. And in fact, he's late now and could she run him to the train. She throws him the keys saying he should take the car and not to forget his briefcase which is right on the floor, apparently where it always is. Bruce looks troubled and walks out without kissing her.At the Thompson house Janet is rewriting replies to old Dear Trudy letters (we're guessing as a follow-up interview?) and reading them to Henry on the phone. Roger enters and can't believe Janet is still on the phone. Janet tells Roger not to be jealous. He isn't. He was waiting for a phone call from Falstaff Properties, the place where he was offered a job. Janet worries that no news is bad news and wants him to be prepared for that. Roger tells her about the offer. She is thrilled and wonders why he didn't tell her. He says he wanted to sleep on it and drops the bombshell, "there is one thing, we're moving to Cincinnati." Janet, who can just taste the sweet nectar of judging others as Dear Trudy, does not look thrilled.Credits Ladies and gentleman Liz Phair gives it up for love for the final time. If you find yourself missing Ms. Phair's incidental television soundtrack music, may I direct you to "90210" where she will be providing some of just that.At the stock trader bar Bruce is having a prairie oyster and Melinda is grossed out. She wonders if he had any "trouble" with Susan. He says she was asleep he thinks. Melinda thinks this means he didn't have to make up a story. He points out he made one up to leave, and not a very good one and that Susan isn't stupid. Melinda assumes Bruce wouldn't have married Susan if she was. Melinda says she's glad he called and that it was nice "just talking" to him. Next time she wants to go somewhere a little "more private." They head off to work.Janet arrives at work and Henry tells her that the Life and Style editor wants to see Janet. He gave the editor the clips. Janet wishes he hadn't in light of Roger's news. Janet goes to the meeting anyway. Later, she returns to her desk and Henry is rabid for news, assuming that the editor loved it. Apparently, Mr. McCall didn't love it but Mrs. McCall did and he offered her the column on a trial basis. Henry congratulates her. She tells him she turned it down but doesn't say why.Laurie is lying on Doug's bed looking over her potential classes for the fall, which is apparently a formality since she finished her requirements this summer and is already primed for Northwestern. Doug hasn't figured out what his next move is. He could find another teaching job, write a book, make furniture. There's a knock at the door and it's Doug's friend Liz bearing the bad news that there's been a deadly earthquake in Guatemala City, where his roommate from grad school Dave, is in the Peace Corps. No one's heard from him.In the Miller kitchen Susan is helping clean and store some of the clambake fixins' and Trina and Tom are thanking her. Trina apologizes for the smell. Apparently, Tom has been having this clambake since he was a little boy to close out the summer. Tom goes off to dig his fire pit on the beach. Susan says she can't imagine Tom as a little boy since he seems like a big kid now. Trina agrees.Trina asks how things went between Susan and Roger at Janet's birthday. Fine, says Susan, since they're never seeing each other again. And it gets better, Susan thinks Bruce is officially having an affair with Melinda. She admits to Trina she hasn't confronted him yet. Trina says the longer Susan waits the worse it will get.In the house of ill repute next door B.J., Ricky, Lisa, and Samantha are going through the junk in her garage including a pogo stick and an old aquarium. Samantha is leaving tomorrow. They play with a Magic 8 ball. Sam and Lisa's mom's show up. Upon the sight of Samantha's suitcases crazy Gail screams "I hate you Maggie" at what we're guessing is her sister and runs into the house. Maggie says they found a fantastic "facility" to help Samantha's mom. It's so great Maggie spent some time in it herself. Ah, the family that snorts together.Susan goes into the city to the trader bar and spies Melinda. Melinda says Susan just missed Bruce and Susan wonders if it's really Melinda she should be talking to. Melinda goes to get them a drink. Susan surveys the bar and all the traders in their jackets talking animatedly. She says to Melinda "it's a different world down here isn't it?" She observes that not many women get to see men "like this, in their element, away from their families." Susan reminds her of her "one of the good ones" comment from the night they met. Melinda says they haven't slept together. Susan wonders what they're doing then. Melinda says that she and Bruce are two peas in a pod personality wise. Susan points out that she and Bruce have history, children, a life. Melinda says she knows but Susan isn't sure. Melinda admits she doesn't understand fully. Susan says she hopes she does understand someday. "Fully." She asks if Melinda is in love with him. She answers no but says they have a connection and wonders if Susan feels like she does. Susan says that's none of her business. Melinda spills that Bruce confided in her that Bruce feels like Susan doesn't "get him" lately. At that, Susan leaves.Gail is screaming at Maggie that she has no right to take her child and force her into rehab. Maggie is dumping liquor bottles and grabbing Gail's "stash" of what looks like coke and heroin. Maggie tries to reason with Gail, saying she has been there- and so was their dead mother- and she wants to know if she wants Samantha to end up like them. That's all it takes for Gail apparently because a nanosecond after hearing this question she shoves the stash box into Maggie's arms yelling "take everything!" But, she wants to keep Samantha. Maggie points out that someone needs to take care of her while Gail gets with the "program" over the next six weeks. Gail says she just likes to have a good time, just like Maggie did before she became a "righteous bitch." B.J. and Samantha are listening to all this from outside on the roof. They hold hands.At the train station, Roger spies Susan coming off the train. He asks if she got a job too, "lot of that going around." He wonders if Janet was on the train, apparently she left work early. He tells Susan he took the job in Cincy. Susan congratulates him. Roger says it wasn't easy for Janet to wrap her head around during breakfast. Susan says it's all good news and Janet will see that. She hopes to see them at the clambake tomorrow night. Roger says that they'll try to make it but that he's flying out tomorrow night to start house hunting. She tells him she's proud of him and hugs him. They both look sad.Janet shows up at Trina's with a little gift, it's a copy of Dr. Spock's book. She drops the news that she and Roger are moving. She seems sad since her entire life: home, friends are in Chicago. She begins to cry. Trina tells her to tell Roger she doesn't want to go. Janet says she can't, she's his wife and you know, wifely duty. Trina gets up and shows Janet a calendar and asks her what year it is. She points out it's 1976 not 1954 and father doesn't necessarily know best anymore and that Janet has a say.Doug and Laurie are in the Miller kitchen. Doug is flipping through channels and Laurie's trying to get information about Guatemala from the newspaper on the phone. They put her on hold. (Ah, one day CNN). B.J. walks in and spies the lobsters and is freaked out that they're going to kill the lobsters. The paper tells Laurie to call back in an hour. Doug is freaking out. Susan comes home, Laurie and Doug explain. Doug freaks out some more and tells Laurie to stay and watch the news while he goes and does, well, he doesn't know what, but something. Laurie hugs her mom.Bruce walks in complaining about traffic. Susan announces they're all having dinner as a family. Bruce kisses Susan's head and she glares at his back. The phone rings and it's Roger who's worried since Janet isn't home. Susan agrees that's not like her. Just then Janet walks in.He's freaked out. She turns and tells him she doesn't want to move. They go back and forth: Her: my life is here, my work is here Him: it's a temp job Her- I was offered the advice column Him: Who Henry? Her: Susan. He says they'll make new friends. She doesn't want to make new friends. She says she knows he wanted the job and that she promised to stand by him but she thinks the move is the wrong decision for the family. He says maybe, but it's his decision. She counters that it is "their" decision. He says she might be the heart of the family but he's the head and they're moving to Cincinnati, end of discussion. And he storms out. (This doesn't seem totally in character, but considering how she nagged him about getting a job and it seems like one he would actually love it makes sense that he would be pissed.)The clambake is on! People are frolicking on the beach and drinking as Tom is cooking up the seafood in his pit. Trina brings him a drink. She's in a hot white bikini. Susan and Bruce arrive. Tom and Trina asks for their house keys. (It's a key party too!) Bruce says "I think we're just here for the seafood."At Doug's Laurie arrives to find Doug packing. Dave is okay but the people of Guatemala need help and Doug is off to save the dia on the eleven o'clock flight. Laurie wants to go too. He says she can't miss school. She says she can take time off from school, a semester even. Doug is resistant. She wonders if there's some other reason he doesn't want her to go. He says no. She says it's a humanitarian crisis and wants to help. (Since she's a minor does he want to be responsible for her?) He's impressed and says okay and tells her to talk to her parents. He gets teary and says he loves her.At the beach people are playing Jarts. Trina asks after Bruce and Melinda. Susan relays her chat with Melinda, saying she's not sure she disagrees about not getting Bruce lately. Trina says she agrees with Susan that Tom is a big kid and that's one of the reasons they decided not to have kids, "children shouldn't raise children." Susan says she thinks Trina would make a great mom. Trina wonders how she knows. Susan realizes Trina is pregnant and goes to congratulate her until Trina says she's not going to keep it since it wouldn't be fair. Susan wonders to who? Trina replies, "the baby." She's super insecure about being a mom. Susan asks what Tom thinks. Trina says he doesn't know and since it's her body it's her decision. Susan freaks saying all summer Trina has been espousing the virtues of openness and honesty in marriage and now she's going to be secretive about something so monumental? Not cool.Janet and Roger arrive. Susan wonders why she didn't call. Janet assumes Trina told Susan about Roger's job. She says she tried to change his mind to no avail. Susan says it's a great opportunity. Janet points out that it is, for Roger. Janet says she just assumed they'd grow old together. Not Roger and Janet, but Janet and Susan. They hug. Janet cries and says if Roger chooses this I'm not sure I'll be able to go with him. Tom and Bruce are congratulating Roger and telling him not to be a stranger. Roger barks at Janet to get a move on and then looks at Susan ruefully.B.J. and Ricky have rescued the lobsters and put them in the aquarium from Samantha's garage. Samantha and Lisa come to the window to announce that they'll be leaving soon. Sam and Ricky say goodbye. Ricky goes off to "French" Lisa goodbye. Sam comes in and sees the lobsters and tells B.J. he can't save everything. He says he knows. Sam reports Gail is in rehab and gives B.J. the necklace she's been wearing all summer which is the ring that belonged to her dad. As B.J. tries to turn it down Samantha kisses him, tears up, and says she wants him to have it. He makes her promise to come back for it. They hug. She thanks him.Night has fallen on the clambake. Tom addresses the gathering and says it's been an unforgettable summer. In keeping with the summer's adventurous nature, Tom holds up the fishbowl of keys and says the husbands will now see who their wives are going home with. Bruce puts his hand on Susan's hand. She pulls it away and head for the fishbowl. Or no, not the fishbowl, she's stalking off down the beach.Bruce chases her and Susan says she knows he lied and that she spoke to Melinda, who had the respect to tell Susan the truth. He says nothing happened, they just talked. She says that's not the point, he lied to her face. He says she's the one who opened the door to their bedroom in the first place. He says he was perfectly happy with the way things were. She points out that he needed a new job and house. He says she wanted those things too. She says none of it mattered to her. He calls BS saying there's no way she preferred the "other side of the tracks." He says she's no Janet and he's certainly no Roger. She answers a little too pointedly "you got that right" and says she's leaving. He says fine, let's go but she says not with him. Now she heads for the fishbowl! And hooks up with some day player we've never seen before. Both Bruce and Trina are alarmed by this angry turn of events.In the Thompson kitchen Janet is looking at a map of Cincinnati. The doorbell rings and it's Henry who has a bottle of champagne and the paper, which has Janet's first Dear Trudy in it. He congratulates her. He shows her the paper and it's been changed to "Dear Janet." Henry says he "un-turned" down the job on her behalf. He wants to know what happened. She says it's a long story. He says she was born to do it. She doesn't know what to say. He says to pour herself some champagne and celebrate with Roger. Since Roger is in Cincy she invites Henry to stay. Alas, he has a date. She wonders if it's anyone she knows, like Jenny from accounting. And as predicted: He says "Mark from shipping," sheepishly. She says, "of course," all flustered and then "good for you." He reminds her to dress nicely on Tuesday since they'll be taking her picture for the column. She's thrilled.The last keys are taken. Tom is surprised that Trina has his keys, since that's messing with tradition. She tells him to sit down. She spills the baby news and says she knows that they said it wasn't what they wanted so she knows what she has to do but admits that something has been changing inside her and she wants this. (She makes it sound like they had an abortion previously). He says no they don't need to make that choice and wonders what she wants to do. She wants to think about it and if they keep it they'll know exactly what it means. He says okay, they'll think about it. But, he adds, "I'm telling you with total certainty I've never loved you more than I do right now in this moment. That has to count for something." She laughs and smiles and they kiss.Laurie is trying to skedaddle and bumps into Susan in the kitchen, home early from the party. Susan wonders where Laurie is going. She explains about Doug going to Guatemala and lies that she's just going to his house to see him off. Susan sends her good thoughts and safe travels and tells Laurie not to be gone too long. Laurie kisses her and says she'll be back before Susan knows it. The phone rings and Susan answers and no one is there. "Roger," she asks? It is him. He couldn't get on the plane. He knows he shouldn't be calling but he had to. He's at a hotel by the airport, and asks if she'll meet him.B.J. is trying to raise Samantha on the CB but she moves out of range. Ricky assures him she'll be back and that it's only six weeks. Just then Gail comes into the frame. She didn't go to rehab after all and she's partying with two guys, snorting coke. Ricky puts his hand on B.J.'s shoulder.Laurie arrives at Doug's. He is gone, says Liz, who meets her at the door. He left a letter for Laurie. Liz says he was ripped up when he left. Laurie asks Liz to leave. Liz says she's one floor up if Laurie needs her.Doug explains -in letter voice-over- that he left her because he didn't want to rush her last year of school and living with her family. He says he loves her and tells her to look under his pillow. He's left a key to his apartment for her to give her a place to escape. She drops the letter and cries and lies on the bed as "Take it To the Limit" plays.Janet is cutting out her "Dear Janet" column for the scrapbook and drinking a lone glass of champagne.Tom is lying on Trina's belly in bed as she reads Dr. Spock.Melinda is at the trader bar laughing with friends when Bruce walks in disheveled and distraught. They totally make out.Roger is lying on half of his hotel bed when there's a knock at the door. He gets up to answer and it's, no surprise, Susan. They smile at each other but look nervous also. She walks into the room and they look at each other.And, cut to black. And unless a cable network picks it up, that's all folks.

Directed by Alan Poul  

Starring Molly Parker, Jack Davenport, Grant Show, Lana Parrilla, Miriam Shor, more...

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