Most episodic television programs begin with a “previously on…” montage of scenes that lead right up into that evening’s episode. Tigh and Starbuck have an argument, Baltar has a conversation with Six, and so on. Maybe it’s Rick and Daryl running through the woods, Carl doing something stupid, and then a closeup of Maggie screaming “RUN!” Whatever. Sons of Anarchy, Burn Notice, The Blacklist. Lots of programs use that storytelling technique.
Other shows just go right into the latest episode, basically telling the viewer “If you don’t know what’s up, we’re not going to slow down and fill you in. Keep up, already.” Breaking Bad was great at that. Before the titles, you’d see Walt up to some sort of nonsense in the desert, or Mike doing something shady, or some seemingly unrelated shot: a pink stuffed toy, charred and water-logged, floating in a swimming pool. The writers and directors on those sort of programs usually do a masterful job of weaving it all together by the end of the episode. (Or by the end of the season, at least.)
The point is, I’m not sure what sort of show this is. (I know it’s not a show. It’s a blog. I get it. I’m not stupid. WHY YOU ALWAYS GOTTA CALL ME STUPID?!) But I do feel like filling you in before I begin the next episode. Because the next episode is a must-see, can’t-miss rollercoaster ride of thrills and excitement! The San Francisco Chronicle raves “Totally engrossing form start to finish” and the Indianapolis Star writes “It’ll have you guessing right up until the very end!” My mom adds “IT’S A BLOG!! SHUT UP AND GET ON WITH IT, ALREADY!”
We OPEN on a dusty western street at dusk. Smoke or some other haze almost totally obscures the sinking, orange blob of sun, distorted and watery through the ripples of heat from the desert below.
IN THE DISTANCE, a vehicle approaches towards us down a twisting dirt track (editor’s note: in the first draft, this was a DURST track, and Limp Bizkit played underneath for the whole scene. You can see it in the DVD bonus features, although you won’t really want to.)
A MAN (We’ll come to know him as TURNER) stands in the street, facing the approaching vehicle. TURNER wears Wayfarer sunglasses and holds a smoldering, half-smoked MARLBORO CIGARETTE with about an inch of ash on the end.
TURNER doesn’t seem to notice, his vision fixed on the approaching car…or beyond it. It’s hard to tell, because, you know…sunglasses.
TURNER takes a drag of cigarette, and exhales slowly.
He tosses the butt to the ground.
CLOSE on the heel of his cowboy boot as he grinds the cigarette into the dusty street.
In the BG we see the car more clearly: it is a tan-and-cream colored late-model sedan, like a Lincoln Mark V. The hood ornament is a mounted longhorn steer’s horns. (editor’s note: in the original shot, the car actually seems to hover about a foot off the ground, while the theme from Twin Peaks plays underneath the scene. Also, for some reason, the bull’s horns are replaced with twirling chains of chocolate-covered cream-filled long johns, but since no one could remember why it was written that way, this portion of the script was written off as simply “drugs” and forgotten.)
CLOSE on TURNER as he smiles.
We PAN DOWN the length of his torso, coming to HOLD on the ridiculously large, chrome revolver on his hip as he UNCLASPS the leather strap holding it in place. (editor’s note: originally, producers wanted the revolver to be two silver-dollar pancakes stapled together. No one knows why. Everyone involved in the creation of this episode was terribly hungry. And tripping balls.)
TO BE CONTINUED!
Well, no. Not really. But damn it, now I have to wrap it up. Guess I’ll have to fill you in next time. It’s a really good story. No, it is!
See you next time on “TURNERWATSON.COM!!”
(That doesn’t make any goddam sense.)