PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
These journal entries take place in the middle of the "Flight From Tirana
" story which resumes on November 11
Sunday, November 7
Had expected Marcella to pick us up since the flight had been paid for by the firm, but was amazed to see Ben du Pre's chauffeur hailing me, the man himself in the back seat of the limo. He greeted Kate warmly, and gave me an approving look, the fact we were together probably giving him encouragement.
But he spent plenty of time on small talk - asking me about the skiing trip, commenting on GB's successes, and throwing in lots of tempting legal gossip, not to mention a string of cultural references directed at Katie.
Then he asked if we were going to the Padres game, and I knew he had more inside information than I could imagine. Well, maybe Marcella said something.
As the limo reached the city streets, his tone changed to business, and he came straight out and said that he wanted me back in the firm. Losing a “front-line” partner of my “profile” had hit everyone hard from the top down.
He handed me a folder, and said I'd find the terms “exceedingly generous,” but realized that I would want to look them over, and with the set speech done, put his hand on my shoulder and said, with a sincerity that was unquestionable, “we miss you, Paul …. I miss you.”
Then before I could say anything, the car stopped, and the chauffeur was letting him out at the Russ Building. When Kate was dropped off at her home, I handed her the folder Ben had given me, telling her to see what they were offering.
Insisting she wasn't up to attending the game, but just wanted to take a bath and a nap, Kate promised to have a look at the terms and report back, and we agreed to talk about it later.
Then I was brought to the Fairmont, and taken up to what must have been the best suite in the house. Just coming out of the shower when Katie rang, saying that I would never believe what was in the folder.
“Sit down first,” she said, and then started rattling off the terms. Even sitting, I needed to be picked up from the floor. Never thought the firm could afford a package like that.
It really was too much to be just turned down flat without some courteous and well-thought-out response, and I was glad I hadn't. They were offering me my share in the practice back at no cost with a colossal bonus for re-joining and salary to match.
Though that could start from now, I wasn't required to return until April - negotiable to a later date if necesary, and then casework as I wished to take it. Plus apartment, car and heap of other fringe benefits.
Considering what they were requiring of me, the whole thing looked like one giant fringe benefit.
After I changed, the chauffeur drove me to Padres stadium for the full VIP treatment. Big hug from Ellen and Jim, and a seat in the owner's box to watch an exciting victory for Jim's club.
His move from the firm seems to have done him good, and Ellen and Jim appeared as happy as ever - until dinner. Katie had begged off on the grounds of fatigue, so I went to the Carlson's on my own, and was horrified to see Ellen drinking like a fish.
Jim says he has no idea why, and the dangerous pattern has been going on for some while. Have to go see her tomorrow morning, and get to the bottom of this. Ellen has been as close a friend as Jim, and I can't let her kill herself this way.
Having been wide awake until a minute ago, I am throwing myself right into bed.
Monday, November 8
Went to the Carlson's penthouse to have breakfast with Ellen, and she was already drinking. I was incensed with the stupidity of it, but lots of questioning finally brought out the reason - which was even more idiotic.
How could my sharp-as-a-tack friend have turned into what Pete and I call a Miss Logicless? Jim is apparently feeding cash sums to some unknown person, and Ellen is sure that it's a woman.
I never saw a man more devoted to his wife, and know she's crazy, but have promised to have a look around, and see what I come up with. The worst is that she's sworn me to secrecy, not allowing me to discuss this with Jim.
After having lunch with Katie I sought out the Carlson accountant, but just missed him, so followed him to a bar, and asked about the cashier's checks.
He seemed to know nothing, but said he'd just got one issued. When Jim and I met for a drink I got lucky, and saw him posting something in the building mail slot. When I nipped into the mail room was able to get the P.O. box number which I'll check out tomorrow.
Kate's making a meal here at her place, and I decided to forsake the suite tonight. She's arguing for me to take the HSD offer up, and I feel that would be unethical.
Knowing how much I want to give Pete the chance to get back into Formula 1 next season, she keeps pointing out that I could use the HSD money for the team.
No doubt, the debating chamber will open immediately after dinner, if not before. I'll certainly have to give Ben some response at the meeting he's set up tomorrow afternoon.
Tuesday, November 9
Waited at the post office to see if anyone would pick up the envelope, and it was good I showed up early, as a girl did at 9:30. Followed her to her apartment, but it turned out that the check was actually destined for a neighbor - a world-wise man named Kowel, about two-and-a-half feet tall.
He knows his way around common law, and I felt that he was not all bad - maybe not the blackmailer he appears to be, so I appealed to him on Ellen's behalf, saying that Jim Carlson's wife was destroying herself in a belief that the money was going to keep a mistress.
However, Kowell refused to budge as far as revealing the true destination of the checks. His accommodations certainly don't indicate that he's living on the money, so I still can't be certain he isn't just passing the funds on to another party.
One thing caught my eye that might have been nothing, but a sixth sense said it could be significant. There was a picture of
Mike Ramsey, Jim's star and savior of the team on Kowal's wall. Probably on a lot of San Francisco walls, but just maybe, I thought …. so went to the training grounds to apply a few pin pricks, and may have gotten lucky a second day.
At precisely 4 pm, I walked into Ben du Pre's office, and despite all the wrangling with Kate, still not sure what I was going to say, figuring my best start was with a question - why.
Ben was forthright, and reminded me that HSD had lost three senior partners this year, and this was not good for the firm. It was as simple a matter as appearances, and he had to get one of us back at all costs.
He hoped the fact that I was his first target would be obvious to me, saying that if he had a son who had gone away, the package is what he'd offer to get him to think about coming back.
He talked about my father being a partner in the firm when I was young, and how Ben had looked on me as the son he never had. I was genuinely shocked, almost suspicious of the revelation.
Told him I was overwhelmed with his generosity and sentiments, and begged that I might give him an answer at the end of the year. “Fair enough,” he replied, and I found myself walking out the door.
Had Kate over to the suite for a quick dinner, and then went to the Carlsons. All the important players were assembled - Jim, Ellen and Mike.
I challenged Jim, and found out that he didn't know that the man named Peters he was sending money to was really a dwarf named Kowel.
It turned out that Kowel is Mike Ramsey's father, and has been receiving the monthly “fees” for “verbal approval” of underage Mike's playing contract.
The only important thing - not another woman. And the Carlsons are off to a second honeymoon in Antibes.
Despite their negative start, Jim - who had never met Kowell - showed a definite interest in making the man a part of the club.
Mike, on the other hand, remained embarrassed and confused about this father he never knew, but I hope, just might make the break and like Jim, become acquainted with him.
When I got back to the Fairmont there was a message from the American Embassy in Athens, saying that arrangements had been made on a Swissair flight from Zurich to Albania.
Rang Katie with the news, and we decided to spend the night at Granny's.
Wednesday , November 10
Kate took the morning off, and we spent it as precious time, now at the end of this interlude that's gotten us back to where we ought to be. I can't believe how two people who care so much for one another could cause the amount of pain we're each responsible for.
All the knowledge I thought I'd built up about individuals caught up in extraordinary circumstances, and yet I never realized that Kate or I could behave in such a thoughtless and irrational way when life threw a thunderbolt at us.
Am concerned not to be at the reading of her father's Will on Friday, but have asked Nick Pendleton to represent me. He's the best estate man in the firm.
or Read Next:
Jim tells Paul the extent of Ellen's drinking
Ellen says only the bottle can keep her sane
Paul follows Crof to a bar
Kowel challenges Paul on each issue
Kowel won't help Paul in any way
Mike denies knowing anything about Kowel
Paul tells Jim that Ellen knows about the payments
Jim explains about Mike's contract
Jim tells Ellen she's the only woman in his life
Mike tells Paul about meeting his father
Mike asks Paul about how his father liv
Notes & Comments:
While the episode is interesting enough, there are so many deficiencies that it ends up ranking among the worst.
Padded with lengthy football scenes, it's obvious from the beginning that there isn't enough story or action here to fill the hour, and the ending of Paul finishing a drink alone and leaving the room only compounds the feebleness of the earlier ploy that has the couple leaving the stage going off on a vacation together.
Worst of all is that every foundation the show is based on doesn't hold even a drop of water, and all being interconnected, the convoluted plot is in a constant state of collapse.
The ridiculous questions one has to ask during this episode ….. why doesn't Paul simply ask Jim if there is another woman? Why does Paul follow the accountant through the streets instead of contacting him in a normal manner? ….. Why do the payments Jim is making have to be such a dire secret from his wife? …. Why hasn't he met the father of the football player, and sorted the matter out from the beginning?
These kinds of holes are usually found in the worst sort of television, and the script isn't really salvageable via a few changes, since each ludicrous premise rests on the one before it.
A real shame, as any episode which has Paul returning to San Francisco and contacting old friends contains so many possibilities relevant to the heart of the series.
Paul's old friend and former law partner Jim Carlson is now owner of a football team in San Francisco. On a visit with him it becomes immediately obvious that Jim's wife, Ellen, has a serious drink problem whose source is opaque, Jim having done everything he can to find the reason for her recent behavior.
Paul is unable to watch the self-destruction, and is finally able to pin Ellen down as to why she is drinking heavily - the fear that her husband has another woman in his life.
Ellen explains that when Jim's business manager asked her to sign their audit papers, she noted a monthly cashier's check was being issued to her husband. This is the basis of her suspicions, and she prefers drinking to the possibility of finding anything about this other woman - completely unable to confront her husband for fear of learning even one possible fact . She can't even bear Paul asking Jim, and makes him swear that he won't speak with her husband about this, thus leaving the sceptical Paul forced to use alternative resources to determine whether Ellen's suspicions are accurate.
So Paul goes to see the accountant, but finds he's just left, and follows him around San Francisco, eventually into a bar where they meet and talk. Paul tells him that Ellen is on the verge of becoming an alcoholic due to the idea that Crof put in her head. But despite learning this, he is able to provide Paul little additional information, but mentions that he posted this month's cashier's check to Jim the previous day.
Paul gets lucky when he meets Jim for a drink at his office, and sees him drop a letter in the building mail slot. Checking in the mail room reveals the addressee.
Paul waits at a post office for the envelope to be picked up from a box, and follows the woman who gets it, back to her apartment. It turns out that she's been collecting the mail for a neighbor, and in fear there may be something wrong, she hands the envelope to Paul and tells him the recipient lives just down the hall, and his name is not Peters,the one on the envelope, but rather Kowel.
Kowel is a dwarf with a knowledge of law, and challenges Paul this way and that over the regular payment he is receiving from Jim. Paul implies that it might be blackmail, but Kowel says it's his fee.
Paul tries to appeal to Kowel's humanity, and explains how Ellen is being destroyed by her own belief that the money is going to a woman. It does help a little, but he remains an impossible nut to crack, saying his deal with Carlson is private.
Paul leaves, but returns again to ask Kowel about the photo of Mike Ramsey from Jim's team.
However, Kowel just says he's a football fan. When Paul is gone, he makes an intensive effort to get a hold of Jim.
Believing that Mike Ramsey might be a lead, Paul goes to the training ground to interview the player.
Their greeting is friendly, but as soon as Paul asks Mike about the names Kowel and Peters, he becomes edgy, but attributes this to being tired and needing a shower.
Paul says Mike should be straight with him, that a woman's life is at stake, and refers to Ellen, but doesn't explain further. He says that Kowel is a dwarf, but Mike again says he knows nothing about the man.
Jim is about to watch a film with Ellen and Mike when Paul arrives asking to speak to Jim privately. When asked about the checks Jim openly admits that he's paying Peters a fee for services. Paul tells Jim that the man's real name is Kowel, and goes on to ask what he looks like. When Jim replies that he's an ordinary man in his 50s, Paul states that Kowel is two-and-a-half feet tall. Seizing on the fact that Jim obviously hasn't met the man he's paying, Paul asks if it's blackmail. Jim believes this question is straining their friendship until Paul reveals that Ellen knows about the payments, and thinks that they're for a woman Jim's having an affair with.
He categorically denies any such thing, and wonders why Ellen didn't come to him, but Paul explains her fear of making it more real if she knew anything specific.
Jim explains that he almost lost everything when the football team was failing, and that Mike Ramsey turned everything around. Under age when he was first signed, Mike needed a parent's signature, and went north and obtained his father's. But when the player started to make headlines, Jim got a call from a man called Peters who said the elder Ramsey was only a step parent, and he was Mike's real father.
For his part, Mike admitted that Joseph Ramsey was only his step father, and that Peters could prove that, but would say no more, the end result being the thousand a month for “verbal approval” of the contract.
Resolved to clear the air, Jim has his wife and Mike brought back into the room.
He removes the glass from Ellen's hand, and tells her that she doesn't need it any more, that the woman he is keeping is she, and the cashiers checks were going to keep Mike's contract.
He is promising her a second honeymoon when Kowal rings, and Jim puts the call on the speaker phone. Concerned about Ellen, Kowal tells Jim to inform his wife about their arrangement. He says that he doesn't want to disturb anyone's peace of mind, and will sign the proper contract, cancelling the monthly check.
Jim counters that he'd like to meet Kowal, and put him on the team payroll officially. The first offer is accepted, but the second is not. After the call ends, Jim and Ellen go upstairs to plan their trip.
Paul shows clear disappointment that Mike did not tell him all this that afternoon, that he was willing to let Ellen drink herself to death for fear of revealing the truth about his father.
Mike says that he never knew Kowal, that his parents divorced when he was a baby, and he only saw his father once, when he was ten, and was so upset that he ran away from home.
Mike leaves, and then has a change of heart. He returns, and asks Paul to give him his father's address.
Jo Swerling Jr.
Director of Photography
Benjamin H. Kline A.S.C.
Howard E. Johnson
Hilton A. Green
John McCartey &
Robert C. Bradfield
David H. Moriarty
Color by Technicolor
Editorial Dept. Head
Assistant to Executive Producer