Synopsis of Falling Up
Written by Jennifer W.
Ally is on an airplane which has just taken off. She asks the stewardess how much longer until they land-she is really anxious. The stewardess reminds her the plane just took off. "Hmm. Oh, right. So, can you tell me how long this flight is?" Ally asks. She tells her just over three hours. "Oh, that's great, because I'm going Detroit," Ally says. "Yes, as is the plane," the stewardess assures her. Ally is acting all giddy and smiling. There is a old nun sitting next to her on the flight. "You've got a fella there?" she asks. Ally says she does (with an extra wide smile). The nun wonders how long it has been since she has seen him. Ally tells her six weeks. "I imagine he'll be quite frisky" she says, "Probably picking out his little condoms as we speak. Does he wear a condom, sweetheart or are you on the pill?" Ally is speechless. The nun continues, "They have pills for men now, you know that, honey? Oh, they've got little pills for everything. If he can't get firm they've got a little Viagra pill. Now they have other little tablets to make the little spermy soldiers shoot blanks. Oh, six weeks...He's probably got the whole artillery lined up." Ally doesn't know what to say so she asks the stewardess where the "little ladies room" is. She tells her the first door on the left. "Going to go put your little diaphragm in, I'll bet. A three-hour flight, dear it'll ride up on you," the nun volunteers. Ally, again speechless, walks quickly to the door and turns the handle. The stewardess screams, "Not that door!" Ally goes flying out of the plane! Of course, it is all a dream. Ally wakes up screaming. She gets out of bed, walks to Renée's room, crawls into bed and closes her eyes. "Renée" turns over and opens "her" eyes. Ally opens her eyes, only to see...Jackson!! They both scream. They jump out of bed as Renée comes back into the room. Renée screams. She asks Ally what she is doing. Ally is flustered and says she thought it was Renée in bed. Ally turns to Jackson, who is completely naked, and she starts stuttering. "Oh, my god," she says (Jackson seems to be well-endowed). Renée tells her to get out, as Jackson covers himself up, but Ally protests, "No, no, Renée, I didn't know that you..." "Get out! Get out! Get out, Ally, get out, get out!" Renée protests.
Renée cannot believe she slept with Jackson on the first date. Ally asks Renée what happened. "Okay, well, he dropped me off and he was actually leaving. Then we kissed." "You kissed?" Ally asks. "Ally, we had sex," she reminds her. "Right, right, so you kissed on the first date, fine, then what?" she wonders. "And then it sort of led to a second kiss. And during that second kiss, my hand just, kind of, slid down a little." Ally asks what she means by "slid down a little". "It slid "oops," or it slid "I moved it"?" she asks. Renée says she moved it. "Frontal or backal?" Ally asks. "Backal," Renée says, "And then after mine slid down, his kind of slid down. And then, we started grabbing and next thing..." Ally asks where he is now. "He left, after you rushed in," Renée says, "He didn't even stay the night because he said, you know..." "An early morning," they both say in unison. Renée looks dismayed. Ally tells her these things happen and reminds her of the romp she had with the car wash guy. Renée says she really likes this guy but she doesn't think she is ever going to hear from him again.
At the morning meeting, Richard announces a new case, Bennett v. Clapp. "What's this? Another annulment case? We're becoming a little niche firm on annulments," he says. John explains the case, "Well, our client, Eric Bennett took Mary Clapp to be his wife. One presupposition of the marriage is that they would raise a family. Now she has decided she doesn't want children neither vaginally nor through cesarean nor adoption. Obviously, that's unacceptable to our client. He wants the union dissolved." "Oh, please," Nelle comments. John thanks her for her thoughtful input. "Is he prepared to stay home? Give up his job? Scrape pieces of vomit off the little burpie blanket? Aspirate the mucous out of its little plugged nose? Wipe its bottom clean from lime green poopy?" Nelle asks. "Well, you've certainly hit the big issues," John assures her (sarcastically). Mark asks why they just don't divorce. "Well, divorce is a blemish, Mark. It could also be against God, depending on your religion," John explains. "Is he rich?" Ally asks. "Filthy." "Annulment would be the right result," she agrees. "It would be different if they had a child," Richard says, but when Ally looks up, she sees Larry. She gets up and hugs "him". Richard, obviously delighted (and with Ling giving him a dirty look), says, "Well, we're not quite done here, Ally, but you know I love the eager beaver, uh, vulgarism." "What?" Ally says, realizing it is Richard, and not Larry, she is hugging. Ally is flustered and excuses herself saying she needs some fresh air. She goes to the elevator and when it arrives, she steps in. The floor isn't there! She falls, falls, falls. (Of course, this is another hallucination.)
Ally goes to see a therapist, Helen Tooth. She asks Ally if she has ever been to therapy before. Of course, Ally says many times but she feels like she has been doing so well lately. Helen asks, "Airplane? (yes) Elevator? (yes) Hallucinations? (yes)" Ally is wondering how she knows about what she has been experiencing. Helen asks how long Larry has been gone. Ally tells her six weeks and they had been together two months before he left. Helen looks skeptical and asks, "Married? (no) Ever been? (no) Him? (yes) Children? (son) The mother? (Detroit). Hmm...and he is coming back when?" Ally reluctantly tells her he hasn't said. "Hmm," Helen says. "Hmm? "Hmm" What does that mean? "Hmm" Now let's see, that's what my dentist says when he sees a cavity. What does "hmm" mean?" Ally asks. "I see a cavity. End the relationship with this man. It's a dead-end. Do it today. Is there anything else I can help you with?" Helen asks. Ally isn't happy with her "solution". She tells Helen that Larry loves her and he went to Detroit to be close to his son. She tells Ally to end the relationship. Ally protests that she doesn't know her and she doesn't know him. Helen explains, "Ally, I have been doing this a very long time. People move in one of two directions, forward or backward. One day, you two are together looking lovingly into one another's eyes-the next he's in Detroit with the mother of his child. This is not forward. End the relationship." Ally looks sad at what the therapist is suggesting.
John is questioning Eric Bennett on the witness stand. "While we were dating we even talked about the names we liked best for our children. We talked about having four children. So, she didn't just want to have kids, she wanted to have a lot. When she changed her position, it changed everything. I won't go so far as to say I was duped but, we got married, in large part, to raise a family. That was the meeting of the minds when we entered into our marriage contract."
Ally and Renée are staring at their phones-waiting for them to ring. Renée tells Ally she doesn't have to stare at hers, she can just call Larry. Ally tells her that she could call Jackson. Renée says she can't and Ally knows why. "I'll tell you this, if he doesn't call after where he's just been, he's a total pig," Renée says about Jackson. Ally asks if she thinks Larry is a pig. Renée says no. "Well, this therapist, as cold as she was, it did sound a little like cold truth. Renée, it's been over a month and he has given me no real indication of when he's coming back. Now, maybe it does make sense for me to see other people, if for no other reason than to protect myself," she says. Renée tells her she doesn't need to protect herself because Larry went to Detroit because he has a child, a family. "Well, I want a family. I mean, not now not tomorrow, but someday. Don't you?" she asks Renée. She says yes. "Well, I could be wrong, but we're both sitting here staring at our cell phones, neither of which are ringing. I don't think we're making any progress," Ally says. The doorbell buzzes. Renée picks up her phone thinking (hoping) it rang. She is disappointed when she realizes it is the door. Renée tells Ally it is Larry, coming back to surprise her. Ally excitedly opens the door and sees Larry standing there. She kisses him and then realizes it is Jackson. "You got issues," he says. Ally shrugs her shoulders and goes to her room, disappointed that it really wasn't Larry.
Jackson tells Renée he is embarrassed because he slept with her on the first date. She doesn't understand why he is embarrassed. "What? Men can't get embarrassed, that's just a woman thing?" he asks. "Yes, because guys don't want girls they can sleep with on a first date. That is a fact," she explains. He asks if girls want guys they have sex with on the first date? Renée says no. "Oh, okay," he says reluctantly, "Well, I guess it's settled. We must not want each other." Renée agrees. Ally, who has been eavesdropping, storm out of her room. "No, no, no, no, no, no! Now, of course you want each other. You just listen to your, um, your sliding hands. Now, you are going to kiss her like a gentleman, and then, you're going to leave like a gentleman, and then, you're going to call tomorrow like a gentleman, and you're going to make dinner plans. Kiss her!" Renée and Jackson look at each other. "I maintain, you got issues," Jackson says to Ally.
Mr. Dune cross examines Mr. Bennett. "Is it your testimony before this court of law, that my client did not intend to have children on the day you were wedded in holy matrimony?" he asks. Mr. Bennett says he never said that-she probably changed her mind. Mr. Dune thanks him. "Mr. Bennett, you have no actual or constructive knowledge-do you, sir in this court of law-that my client, as she took her vows-and by that, sir, I mean at the time she took them contemporaneously at the ceremony itself-do you know, sir, that my client at that particular juncture, did not plan to have children?" he asks. "I already said she may have changed her mind after," he answers. "Thank you. That concludes this portion of my cross-examination," Mr. Dune wraps up.
John is upset he is losing the case. Melanie asks why he thinks he is losing. "He made a very good point at the end about state of mind at the time of the wedding. He punctured my momentum on direct. Then, he made a good point to close his cross. He's an objectionable little man who makes good points, damn it. Damn it!" he says. Melanie tries to reassure him, "Listen, she's going to get up there and testify and you're going to work your John Cage magic on her. Maybe I'll come by and watch and get all hot with desire just watching you." She starts kissing his ear and John gets all goofy. "Can you imagine?" John asks, "The woman suddenly decides she doesn't want children? I mean, isn't that the essence of getting married?" "The essence"? Melanie asks. John says no, but it is one of the essences. Melanie tells him she does not want to have children. John laughs, thinking she is kidding. She assures him that she doesn't. John asks her why. "Don't get me wrong-I love kids. That's why I teach. I just don't..." she tries to explain. John's nose whistles. "I've upset you," she says. "No, I just, uh, pokip, pokip, I am due back in court," he stutters.
Ally runs into Richard on the street. He asks her what is wrong. "Nothing. Nothing's wrong. Everything's great," she says unconvincingly. "Ally, we always confide in each other, don't we?" he asks. Ally says no. "Whatever. You need to talk, I'm here," he says, then starts to walk away. Ally pulls him back. "Well, it's just that I feel so lucky to have somebody that it hurts so much to be apart from. I mean, most people." Richard is confused. She continues, "I know, you know, that a love that is so strong, is with you even when he's not and it should keep you strong and it...and it has. I mean, I am stronger than I have ever been, but see, I just, well, I get my weak days." Richard tells her him and John went to see a therapist. She protests, "No more therapists!" He tries her to convince her, "You know, I can't say I like him but he got results. He didn't tell us what was going on. He kind of made us cover the roots by ourselves." Ally says she doesn't want her roots discovered-she just wants Larry. "Look at me. You've been walking around our offices being the source of strength for everybody else, Ally. You have to let yourself cry with somebody and frankly, I don't have the time or the interest. This therapist is good. Give him one try. I'll find a way a way to he cost onto a client," Richard convinces her.
Jackson is in the unisex, looking in the mirror. Ling walks in and compliments him on his tie. He tells her he just got it. She walks into a stall and he says, kind of to himself, "Oh, yeah...big date tonight." Ling comes out and asks him if his date is with Renée. He says yes and wonders how well Ling knows her. She tells him pretty well since "the girls have had a lot of slumber parties at their place". He asks if he is missing something about her. "She's not like an ax murderer or anything? She's a pretty good woman?" Ling confirms that she is. He thanks her. When Ling asks him where they are going on their date, he says dinner and then they will stop by the bar because Renée is singing. "So, maybe we'll see you there," he says. "Maybe," Ling answers. When Jackson leaves, the smile quickly fades from her face.
Mr. Dune asks Mary Clapp why she changed her mind. She answers that first off, the world is overpopulated. "Let's not forget that. Schools are overcrowded. People are starving. I think the automatic mindset that everybody should have children needs to be addressed," she says. "Yes, but I'd like you to focus, if you could, on your specific decision-making. Could you tell the jury as they sit here, performing their civic duty in this court of law, why you, Mary Clapp, did not want offspring?" he asks. "I just didn't feel equipped to raise them. I enjoy my job. As an only child, I admit I was raised rather selfish. I began to question my capacity to make the necessary sacrifices parenting requires and I, quite frankly, didn't think it would be fair to the children," she explains. "So, for the good of the children you decided not to give birth to them?" he asks. John objects and the motion is sustained. John cross-examines. "Now, Ms. Clapp, is it not true that at the time you got engaged to my client, you expressly wanted to have children? And you knew that he wanted them, didn't you?" John asks. "Yes, but..." she tries to say. "And you knew that one of the reasons he, in fact, got married was to, in fact, have children. Isn't that a fact?" he questions. "Objection. Too many facts," Mr. Dune interjects. John continues, "And after you marry this man, who happens to be of considerable wealth, you suddenly decide not to have children. Is that what happened?" She says yes, but she didn't dupe him. John asks what kind of person doesn't want children? Mr. Dune objects but John continues. "Is it the kind that says, uh, they do and then says, "kidding" after they qualify for alimony?" The judge warns John but John looks toward Melanie, who is watching the case, looking increasingly uncomfortable. "This man planned a life for you. You just decided to switch the plan, didn't you?" John asks. She doesn't say anything. "Well, you're right, Ms. Clapp. Any woman who doesn't want children certainly has no business being a mother." "Pip-squeak," Melanie shouts, everyone stares. "Nothing further, your honor, except to say...repugnant," John concludes.
Ally is in a session with Dr. Madison. He has his eyes closed, letting her words "wash over him". She says she understands about the airplane and the elevator thing, uh, falling-she believe it's about lack of foundation or feeling unsafe. But, she believes the nun was judging her. "I mean, she was very sweet. But when you talk to a nun about birth control, it's, um, well, it's not like dishing." Dr. Madison asks if he can open his eyes. He explains to Ally, "It's likely you view the nun as a symbol of celibacy and on some level, regard sex foremost as a means of procreation. You're going to see the man you love flying on a plane, talking to a nun about birth control. You want to marry Larry Paul and have his children. It's really not complicated." Ally wonders why she fell out the plane. He tells her that is because deep down, she knows it'll never happen. He adds, "Let me salute your insight."
The lawyers give their closing arguments. John says, "The reason many people marry, the reason they got married, was to start a family. Eric Bennett dreamed of it, in fact. Mary Clapp shared that dream, or so she declared. To have and raise a child. Now, what greater joy is there? ("Poop!" Melanie interjects.) "All right. My client got married to Mary Clapp to start a family. After which, she declares she doesn't want children. Well, there's no union here. There was no coming together and this marriage should be rightfully dissolved. Dune counters, "A marriage is about many things-children sometimes being one of them-but Mary Clapp's wedding vows went to Eric Bennett. To love and cherish and be faithful to him. Many men dream of conceiving their own biological offspring. Do we dissolve their marriages if the wife turns out to be infertile? Of course not. Because marriage fundamentally is about two people committing to each other. Mary Clapp stands by that commitment. Do we really mean to suggest here that a woman shouldn't be free to change her mind about whether she wants to have a child? Come on."
The "Wicked Witch" music plays as Ling is walking through the office. John also walks through looking pretty perturbed. He walks into his office where Melanie is waiting. "You interrupted my closing," he says. "Oh, you know, for somebody who reveres marriage, you have a funny place of locating its essence," she shouts back. "And for somebody who doesn't even believe in marriage, you are an odd choice to be..." he says. She asks him not to call her "odd". "Do you really believe that marriage is mainly about children?" she wonders. "No, but the magic of childhood," he says. Melanie asks who says they are all magical. He accuses her of talking about herself, which she denies-saying her childhood was fine. "Why is life about looking backwards?" she asks. He tells her he is not looking backward and he isn't trying to relive his childhood, he is looking forward to a future, and imagining it with somebody who neither believes in marriage, nor in having children, is rather bleak.
Everyone is at the bar. Performers are singing "Since You've Been Gone". Ally doesn't like it. "Yeah, catchy song. I just love the theme." Richard tells her it's Motown night. "Motown night?" she asks. "Yeah, as in Detroit...home of the Tigers, Lions, Larry's," he explains. Ally doesn't think that is funny. Elaine tells everyone Jackson and Renée have a duet coming up. Ling isn't happy about that. "Well, you know what they say. When two people are singing together, they're doing it," Elaine volunteers. "It's their second date, Elaine," Ling says, sounding way too concerned. "Oh, come on. Renée's a bigger tramp than me," Elaine says, as everyone looks at her, especially Mark. "Um, I mean, than I used to be," she corrects herself. John comes into the bar and asks Ally if he could speak to her. He says it is urgent.
Once outside, he asks Ally if he can ask her a personal question. She says yes. "At some point, you want to have children right?" Thinking he is talking about her situation, she gets mad. "Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Why does everybody think that he's not coming back? I've got two therapists telling me to move on, a horny nun, and now I've got you. Well, you know what? You know, what? Thanks a lot, John," she yells, as she turns to go back inside. "Ally, I'm talking about me and Melanie," he says. "Oh," Ally says. "She doesn't ever want to have children. We just had a big fight about it," he sadly tells her. "Well, well, John, couples fight," she tries to console him. He asks, "Well, I mean, if you have a couple and one wants a child and the other doesn't, that can't be good, right?" Ally tells him that she will probably come around. "I mean, many people-and I know some, John-they say that they never want to have kids. Okay, but then they meet the right person and suddenly everything changes. The idea of conceiving another being with somebody you love, is much more powerful than the abstract idea of having children," she says. She tells John not to give up on Melanie. John says he did tell Melanie he would think about it, so he will do that. He thanks Ally for her help. "By the way, I never for a second thought he wouldn't come back. I mean, come on, the man knows what he has," he tells a suddenly uplifted Ally.
Renée and Jackson are singing there duet as Ally comes back into the bar. "Wow!," she says, as she notices Renée and Jackson getting awfully cozy while singing together. "They're totally doing it," Elaine says. "Elaine, can you just listen to the song?" Ling says. Richard, who is sitting behind Ling, Nelle, and Ally notice Ling is disturbed by the performance. "Why did they have to decide to sing "Till You Come Back? Yeah, I just love tonight's theme," says Ally. Elaine, sweating from watching Jackson, tells Mark she wants them (her and Mark) do a number together. Mark says he can't sing. She tells him she will teach him. "If you love me, you'll do a number with me," she says, as she wipes off the sweat, "I want to be hot like them." "I totally agree with you, Elaine. They must be biblical," Richard comments. "Can we just be quiet and enjoy the number?" Ling protests. "Sure. Uh, Mark? Could you pass the feminine napkins, please?" Richard says. Ling hits him and tells him to be quiet. Ling can't take watching the two performing together, so she gets up and walks out. Nelle and Ally are shocked. Richard shakes his head at the uncertainty of his relationship with Ling.
Ally is lying about thinking about Larry. She opens the freezer and stares at the snowman with the "I'll be back" note. Feeling down, she goes to Renée's room where she sees Renée and Jackson spooned up together. She stands there for a moment staring at them and smiles. She reaches for the remote, which is on the bed, but before she can grab it, Jackson rolls over on her hand. Her hand just happens to be stuck under his private area. She gently tries to move her hand but Jackson wakes up! "Hey! Hey!" he says. "Hmm-hmm-hmm...It's not what you think," Renée wakes up and asks what is going on. "She's back, that's what's going on," he tells her. "No, no, really, I just came in looking for the remote for the, um, Th-th-the television..." Ally tries to explain. "I felt her hovering. I think she was watching us," Jackson says. "As a matter of fact, yes, I was. It was nice. It just made me feel a little less lonely for a second to just...look at you two," she says. Renée and Jackson just look at her. "I really was going for the remote. It was just, uh, hmm," Ally stutters and then scurries out.
The jury comes back with a verdict. They find in favor of the defendant and rule that the marriage shall not be dissolved. John apologizes to his client. Melanie tells John she didn't sleep much last night-she "could barely tic". They decide to go back to the office and talk. In his bathroom room, John says he doesn't understand her reasoning for not wanting to have children. "My problem is, you love children. (She agrees with him.) I mean, you teach children, you write children's books, you love them and you get them, Melanie. You totally tap their magic, their world. My point is, I don't believe you. Like, when you say you don't want them, I don't believe you. You know, Ally said something that, I mean, she implied that many couples, when they opt to have children, they're motivated to celebrate their union. And to have a baby with the person you love most in life, I mean, what could be richer than that? I think at some point, you're going to meet the man who you do want to have children with. I just don't think you've met him yet. I'm not the one, am I?" he asks her sadly. "You could very well be the one," she says, "You could be the love of my life...and I'd still walk away from you." She is very emotional. "Oh, John, I was married once. Years ago. Happily, happily married, and I walked away." John asks why. "Because that's what I do. Things flatten out, normalcy, uh, contentment. And I walk away. Children...you have to believe in forever before...," she trails off. She tells John she loves him very much. "I don't want to go today or tomorrow but I'm going to go one day," she says. John tells her he doesn't understand. "I mean, you say you love somebody. Then, you know, you...," he shakes his head, unable to understand. "It's just what I do. I told you I would work on it and I did, I do, I will, I am but I know that one day...I'm going to go away," she whispers. "Well, then, maybe, you know before either of us get too hurt...You know, maybe, maybe it should be today," he quietly says. Melanie is stunned and begins to cry. Neither know what to say.
Elaine and Mark rehearse their duet "What I Did For Love". Ally walks down the street thinking about Larry. She goes home and takes her coat off. When she walks in the living room, the snowman is in the middle of the room. She is confused. "You stuck me in a freezer?" Larry says from behind her. She is shocked to see him. "Are you back?" she asks. "I'm back," he assures her. Ally asks for how long. "Forever work for you?" he says, "I was hoping to move in." She is speechless for a moment. Ally tells him she wouldn't be able to take him leaving again. "Which works out well, because I don't plan to. I told you before I'm only at the beginning of loving you," he says, as he kisses her.
Renée and Jackson are having dinner for two, enjoying each other's company. Ling picks up the phone to call Jackson but changes her mind. John sits alone in his "hole," upset over his broken relationship with Melanie. Ally and Larry playfully remove the snowman. Melanie walks down the street alone in a daze...sad and with tears running down her face.
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