1x02. "After The Ball Is Over"

written by Daniel Knauf and Ronald D. Moore
directed by Jeremy Podeswa

original airdate: September 21, 2003
running time: 56 minutes



Printable Version 1.0 - September 20, 2003; 29kb
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Brother Justin and Ben Hawkins enter a diner and sit themselves at the counter. "Love Me or Leave Me," sung by Ruth Etting plays. Justin and Ben both silently watch as two more men enter the diner. One man wears a tuxedo and top hat, the other is dressed in a WWI uniform. The two strangers sit at a booth and begin to dine as a waitress makes an enigmatic comment: "Every prophet in his house." Then, the strangers toast their glasses of wine and the window behind them all shatters-- Justin and Ben wake up from their shared dream. Justin is in his bed, in Mintern. Ben is lying outside on the ground, underneath a trailer.

It's morning.

Ben stands shirtless at a water pump. He's wetting a rag to clean himself. Behind him, Libby, the elder Dreifuss daughter and Cootch dancer, leans against a trailer with a cup of coffee. She prattles on about "staying clean" in all the dust, but Ben doesn't reciprocate her come ons. Libby's mother, Rita Sue, watches nearby and gives her daughter encouraging looks. Libby asks Ben if he has any "jills" back home and Ben lies, saying he's got a couple. Libby takes a rag and begins to wash Ben's back for him, but he snatches it away from her. Libby and her mother proceed to tease Ben about his sexual hangups, and Rita Sue accuses him of staring at her breasts during the Gay Paree.

BEN: "Y'all don't know me. You don't know nothin' about me."
RITA SUE: "I know I saw you staring at my titties during the show."
LIBBY: "Practically hypnotized."
RITA SUE: "But that's okay, honey. That's what they're there for."

Rita Sue leans over and shakes her breasts for Ben's benefit. Meanwhile, Sofie is in her trailer, carrying on a "conversation" with her mother, Apollonia. Apollonia insists Sofie bring Ben by later that night, and after much insistence, Sofie relents and says she will. Outside, Jonesy assigns duties to the other roustabouts. While Jonesy speaks, Ben's attention drifts toward Ruthie, who is standing naked in the outdoor shower. Jonesy shouts for Ben to pay attention and gives Ben the job of cleaning out the baggage trailer, "a rundown trailer with a big ole roof rack on her."

Ben finds the dilapidated trailer at the edge of the carnival grounds. Inside, the air is all dust and the ceilings, floors and walls are cluttered with all manner of curiosities and junk. On one shelf, Ben spots a glass jar with a fetus in it... Then, Ben takes a suitcase off another shelf. When he opens the suitcase, "Love Me or Leave Me" plays faintly for an instant. Inside the suitcase are a tuxedo, a top hat, and a photograph of a woman standing in front of a truck marked "Big Sky Farms." On the other side of the photo is writing: "H.S. and FLD." Suddenly, the door to the baggage trailer slams shut and everything goes dark. Ben flicks open a lighter and makes his way outside. He doesn't notice the eyes of the fetus opening....

Samson asks Ben where he's been hiding, and Ben tells him that he's been cleaning out the baggage trailer. Samson explains to Ben that there is no baggage trailer and that Jonesy is just having a bit of fun with him. But when Ben insists that he *was* in the trailer, Samson asks Ben to show him. They walk to the edge of the grounds... but the trailer has vanished. To prove what he said actually happened, Ben shows Samson the photograph he found. Samson returns to his trailer and flips through an album of carnival performers until he comes across an identical photo. Convinced that Ben didn't steal the photograph from him, and that the he's in fact telling the truth, Samson turns around and addresses the curtains behind him. "What in the hell are you up to?" he asks.

Brother Justin shuts the door to his bedroom and begins to walk down the hallway, when he hears humming coming from the bathroom. His sister, Iris, steps out of the shower. Justin watches through the open door as she dries herself off. Later, at church, the congregation is singing the hymn "Old Rugged Cross" but one of the parishioners, Lester, is out of key and is attracting attention. Carroll Templeton, his wife Emma, and their daughter, gawk at the migrants. After the service, Eleanor McGill, the woman who had vomited coins in one of Justin's visions, introduces her sons Lester and Tom to Justin and Iris. As she rattles off the names of her family members, the other parishioners listen and make disgusted faces and comments to each other. Eleanor tells her grandchildren that Justin's put her on the "righteous path." "Bless you sister," Justin replies. At that moment, The Templetons force the migrants out of the way.

CARROLL: "Gettin' a bit crowded in there these days."
JUSTIN: "Yes, it certainly is. Splendid, isn't it?"
CARROLL: "Yes... splendid. I was just thinkin' of stoppin' by this afternoon, havin' a little chat."
JUSTIN: "Always a pleasure. This afternoon, then."

The Templetons get in their car to leave.