Summary of The CommunityEdit
INT. CLARIBEL’S HOUSE - DAY
97-year-old overweight Claribel waddles around to account for all her dishes -- example of town's anal retention. She gets a phone call from someone [we learn later it's her son]; they converse (character development.) She then looks out the window, eyes widen, shudders, then falls to the ground with a thud. We don't know why she has fallen and died.
INT. COMMUNITY HALL - DAY
Gus McCormick (played by Mike Cavanagh) heads to the meeting hall, tries to make small talk with Farmer Brown (played by Jared Deck) before the meeting starts. Farmer Brown: "So, Gus, what did you say you did again? Mulch work?" Gus: "Well, I do some mulch work. I'm more a dirty work kind of guy... Is that your son?" His son is J.M. (played by ?) "Yeah, this is J.M. Not much of a talker, but he does talk, it's like he makes up for all the silence." "What do you mean?" "That's not important." "Well, I've always been looking to do some camping, you know. It would perfect for the boy." "What do you mean camping?" "You know, pitch a tent? In a forest? Or a mountain? (Chuckles) Do you seriously not know what that means?" "Look, Gus. My job here is food. Livestock. Crops. Your job is mulch and landscaping. The Travelers travel. Don’t even think of living this town on a whim." "(Sarcastically) Right. Sorry." "It's about to start. No talking."
Bailiff: "All rise for the Honorable Robert Harding." "(whispering to FB) Are we on trial or something?" FB signals Gus to shut up.
Mayor Robert Harding (played by Rob Kahrs) approaches his podium.
Mayor: "In accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, Edition xxxxx, I motion that cloture be placed on Mr. McCormick." Gus "Why can't you tell me to shut up?" Mayor: “Does anyone second the motion?” FB "(rushing) I second the motion!" FB glances at Gus a bit angry. Gus "No really! I really wanna know!" Mayor "We will now vote on silencing Mr. McCormick. Gus "I'll shut up if you want me to!" Mayor "All in favor, say aye!" ALL "Aye!" Mayor “We will now count the votes.” Gus “Seriously?” Mayor “17-and-a-half voted yea…” Gus “I’m assuming the cow voted by lowing…” Mayor “and 1 abstained. Mr. McCormick, if you speak without being recognized any further, you will be ejected from this meeting.” Gus “I accept.” The bailiff hustles toward Gus. Gus “I was just kidding!” The sheriff grabs Gus and tussles with him out the door to eject him. The detainment is quite humorous. Sam (played by Nick Moscatello): I motion we give him a nickname.
EXT. COMMUNITY HALL - NIGHT
FB "You know, you have a lot of gall for speaking out of turn. And I even vouched for you!" Gus "How the hell did you vouch for me? You seconded the damn motion!" FB "I did what I had to do, Gus. I don't know how you do it in Menapaw, Krackawacka whatever..." "I'm from Ohio!" "...Look, Gus, I'm looking out for you. We all are." Gus "What?" FB "Ed, I would like you to take me back to the farm." Eddy "Of course, Farmer Brown." Gus "So, you guys carpool?" FB "No, Gus, I already told you. This is Ed, he's a traveler. HE travels for us."
INT. McCORMICK HOUSE - NIGHT
Gus comes home to Jane (played by Gabby) (more character development). She asks how his first day in the community was, and he says that he likes the town, but the people are giving him a rough time over the meetings. When he mentions the word "meeting," he receives a call from UNKNOWN. Gus says it can wait; it's just another stupid meeting. She asks, "Just a meeting." Gus says it's just an "emergency meeting." Gus tries to hit on her, and she says, "Just go to the meeting... Besides, Gus, I'm not your wife. You're just a replacement." Closeup on their hands: she has a ring, but he doesn't.
EXT. EMPLOYMENT LINE - DAY
SUBTITLES: “Six hours ago.” Gus is in line for a job, gets a call from Jane who tells him to meet a man named Eddy (played by Lenny DiBono) who will be parked in Gus's driveway in Ohio. Jane instructs him to pack some of his things; he's going to be moving there to work as a mulcher. / Gus waits in the unemployment line. RING RING RING. Gus is told to move to The Community after he’s been told that his brother died and he needs to replace him. Gus replies, “I don’t have a brother.” (Voting for a replacement indicates the theme of desire for continuity.)
When Eddy Townsend drives Gus to The Community, there’s a conversation and Eddy describes how the whole Travelers system functions. Eddy “Norman goes north, Sam goes south, Wes goes west, and well, I go east.” Gus “What if someone, you know… wants to go southeast?” Eddy simply glances at Gus once, and then looks straight ahead to continue driving. (Time elapses.) [More talking and character development]
As Gus is driven to his new house (being his usual loud self), Claribel sees him through the window, and she makes the same shudder as she does in the first scene. She looks at a piece of paper, and it says, “Don’t get the loud guy.” She falls to the floor, and we now know why she has died.
-Find a way to develop the relationship between Gus and Jane. (They discuss sleeping arrangements, etc.)
Someone finds Wes (played by Ian MacPherson), a traveler, hanging from a rope in a barn. Sheriff Bredon Pfeiffer (played by Brandon Peifer) believes it to be a suicide upon arriving to the scene, but he gets word from his deputy that Sam and Norman have also been found dead with their heads in nooses. The Sheriff now believes that the three Travelers were murdered, but does not act, as the deaths must be reviewed by The Community.
The Mayor gets a visit from his conscience – Rob (played by Dave Kahrs) – which in reality is his less formal personality, after he hears of the three deaths. This causes him to actually question the system of The Community.
The Mayor goes to the Sheriff after the murder of the three Travelers; the Sheriff is hesitant to act without Community approval, but The Mayor says he won’t tell anyone. The Sheriff reluctantly agrees to do so. With the knowledge that Eddy is still alive, the Sheriff rushes toward the east gate of the Community to find Eddy, as he is a possible informant or suspect.
When The Sheriff arrives at Eddy’s house at night, he finds Eddy with his hands around his own neck gasping for air. Eddy “When you opened the door, I think that – I think that scared him” The Sheriff “Scared who? Scared who? What did he look like?” Eddy “He looked like a – like a –“ The Sheriff “Talk to me!” Eddy “Strangler…” The Sheriff “No shit! Eddy, if you can tell me where he went…” Eddy “I don’t know where he went HUH HUH but I can tell you how he went…” The Sheriff’s eyes widen. Eddy “He took my car. Took it and… drove away”
The Sheriff “Harding! Harding!” Mayor “What?” The Sheriff “I found Eddy, he almost got killed” Mayor “Did you see anything?” The Sheriff “No, he got away right before I got there … He said – he said that the guy took his car” Mayor “Dammit! Run a population check!” The Sheriff “I can’t!” Mayor “Why not?” The Sheriff “Because the people who know – the people who guard this community, one of them was almost strangled to death. And the others… well, you know what happened.” Mayor “So now what?” The Sheriff “I could check the gates – see if there’s any damage to them… like from a car… or…” Mayor “Or what?” The Sheriff “Or it might be a good idea to say that he was one of our own. Someone in The Community murdered the Travelers.”
Farmer Brown is not pleased with the murders happening. He wants the Community to select people to replace the Travelers so there are people to ship his crops out of the town so he can make more money, but the Mayor does not allow the process to transpire. He doesn’t call the meetings into session, which is a first in the town’s history.
Gus wakes up after his first night with Jane, and they show some sort of connection to each other. After Gus makes banana pancakes for Jane (who hasn't had food outside of the mess hall), he notices through the window the Sheriff running toward the house. Gus, not being a popular figure, is instantly deemed a suspect by the Sheriff. The Sheriff knocks on Gus’s door and begins to battle Gus as if he actually caused the murder. Gus replies that the Sheriff is caught in the moment and that he should calm down. Gus's statement makes the Sheriff uncomfortable as he is not used to being so passionate. The Sheriff still handcuffs Gus and takes him under custody to see if Gus's image can possibly ring a bell in Eddy's mind.
The murderer fatally shoots Gus and misses the Sheriff after they both find Eddy shot to death. As the murderer is about to shoot the Sheriff, the Mayor aims his gun at the murderer. The murderer, still obscured by shadows, turns toward the Mayor, aiming his gun toward him. Robert, still being consulted by Rob, shoots the murderer just to shut Rob up. As the murderer falls to the ground, we find it is Claribel's son Chris, and as he dies, he ages dramatically, from 20 years old to 70 years old in appearance. This is a symbol that, even if you sell your soul to the devil for eternal youth, you will still die old.
Final scene is The Mayor holding a conference. He walks in as the Sheriff introduces him, but The Mayor waves him off and tells the secretary, who is eagerly awaiting to type the minutes, to take the day off. FB “What about the book?” The Mayor “Forget the damn book!”
The Mayor delivers a speech from the heart: “The system is broken. We’ve seen five people die. Five people. Die. And the first thoughts weren’t about this community, they were about ourselves. I got a visit from a friend of mine. He was my conscience. And you know what he said to me? He said, ‘Robert, be your own man. Rise above. Listen to your mind.’ I can’t say that was easy. It's never easy. Never easy to make a judgment call. I had to choose between saving innocent people from further violence or my career. And if there’s one last thing I’d like to ask is for you to make that choice. I'm not kidding. I’m willing to take the fault for doing what I believed was right. So, I ask you now. What’s it gonna be? Should I stay... or should I go?”
One by one, each man stands up and expresses his support for the mayor. Justin the musician, last in the chain, decides to play his own kind of song in a different style from the propaganda songs he writes for The Community. It’s about coming into your own and listening to your conscience and such. He sings this as The Mayor burns Robert’s Rules of Order, symbolically ending the strict parliamentarian procedure of constant voting.
Gus … Mike
The Mayor … Rob
Rob … Dave
Farmer Brown … Jared
Jane … Gabby
Jack … Jack
Eddy … Lenny
Justin … Himself
Norman … Marty
Wes … Ian
Sam … Nick