Players (2024) | Transcript

New York sportswriter Mack has spent years devising successful hook-up "plays" with her friends, but when she unexpectedly falls for one of her targets, she must learn what it takes to go from simply scoring to playing for keeps
Players 2024 film

Players is a 2024 American romantic comedy film directed by Trish Sie, written by Whit Anderson, and produced by Ross M. Dinerstein, Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, and Ryan Christians. The film stars Gina Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr., and Tom Ellis.

Players was released on Netflix on February 14, 2024.

Plot: Mack, a sportswriter from New York City, spends her time by making hook up schemes alongside Adam, her best friend. When Mack meets Nick, a correspondent, Mack must decide whether to keep hooking up or to maintain a relationship.

Players fails to score with its tale of a sportswriter and her friends orchestrating her relationship with a war reporter. Despite Gina Rodriguez’s charm, the film’s reliance on deception and lackluster character development leaves viewers unengaged. The film’s inability to match the wit and heart of successful rom-coms, pointing out its one-dimensional characters, predictable script, and ineffective direction. The movie’s message on honesty in dating is overshadowed by its uninspired execution and forgettable comedy, making it a missed opportunity for Valentine’s Day viewing.

* * *

[jazz-funk music playing]

[woman] All right, Bran, who’s the target?

[Bran] Blond, bar, martini.

[man 1] Ooh, fancy.


[man 2] What’s the play?

[Bran] Spill and Swoop.

[man 1] Paper airplane?

[Bran] No.

[man 2] We play drunk, spill a beer on her, Bran swoops in with a napkin.

The next round…

[Bran] That could work.

[woman] Uh, this isn’t a hockey game, guys.

[Bran] Okay, then what?

[man 2] Brit Brat?

[Bran] Yes!

[woman] Please no.

[Bran mimicking Brit] I could use my British accent.

[man 2] Women love British accents.

[Bran] My torch is in the boot at the Tottenham match.

[man 2] I take it back.

[man 1] Bran, you gotta be kidding.

[man 2] Yeah.

[woman] This is why I wanna disown you as a friend.

[Bran] Ooh, Lost and Found Scarf?

[man 1] I love that one.

[man 2] We’d need the scarf.

[woman] In my bag.

[Bran] Yes, coach!

[woman] Won’t work.

It’s bright pink.

[man 1] So?

[woman] That’s not a bright pink woman.

[Bran] Seriously?

[woman] We’re trying to win points, not lose them.

She’s on a paid internship at MTV.

[man 2] That is incredibly specific.

I say we run out the clock, box the other dudes out, play Drip Drop till it closes.

[Bran] Absolutely not.

[woman] I don’t have time.

[Bran] I want her now, not in six hours.

[woman] I got it. Fiji Fantasy.

[Bran] No, no. We always have to leave after that.

[man 1] Yeah. We just got our mai tais.

[man 2] Facts.

[woman] That girl’s not from here. Look at her.

She’s just having a weekend in the big city, hoping she gets to go home with some big old story to tell.

[Bran] Wait, how do you know she’s a tourist?

[woman and man 2] Her shoes.

[Bran] Ugh, fine.

[woman] Fiji Fantasy. Okay, here we go.

Ads, Little, you two post up by the door. Brannagan, come with me.

[Bran] Am I mad at you in this one, or are you mad at me?

[woman] Are you kidding me? Seriously?

[man 1] Bran, you gotta be kidding.

[Bran] Jesus.

[“Mas Queso” by Floyd Wonder playing]

♪ Give me that cheddar, we gettin’ rico ♪

♪ Big money rolls like burritos… ♪

[Bran] You don’t need to be triggered.

Vodka soda, please. Thank you.

Can we talk, please?

I need alcohol.

[bartender] Rail okay?


Grey Goose.

Jesus. See?

[Bran] What?

This is the issue. The problem I have.

[Bran] What is the problem?

I’m simple. I don’t need this.

I know you don’t need it, but you deserve the best.

Come on.

Fifteen, please.

Thank you.

Thank you, buddy. Keep it. Thanks.

Thank you.

[bar stool clatters]

I’m… I’m so sorry. I’m sorry.

That’s okay. That’s okay.

I think we’re moving too fast.

Like, physically?

[woman] God, no.

That thing that you do with your tongue is miraculous.

Actually, don’t make me think about it. Stay on track, okay, please?

Montauk, helicopter.

How many times are you gonna spend $1100 at Masa?

That was for two people. Unforgettable life experience.

Women. You’ve been with so many beautiful women.

I just… How?

[Bran] I can’t deny that.

[woman] You could have your pick of the town. Why me?

I’m at a point in my life where I wanna grow up.

[indistinct conversations]

[dramatic whoosh]

This is a master class.

Damn right. Drink up.


Point in your life?

Yes. Poppy…

[mouthing] I don’t know. [voiced] Poppy. I…

[“Mas Queso” continues]

You know what? Let’s just… Let’s cancel Fiji.

Cancel? Wha… That was your dream.

Going together. Your dream trip.

I need space, okay?

Take somebody else.

[Bran] Poppy.

Don’t leave.


[“Mas Queso” continues]

Are you gonna go after her?

♪ Give me that ♪

♪ I want more ♪

Yes. Huh?

I’m confused by something.

What happens when she figures out that Sam’s got, like, no money?

Oh, this play isn’t about money.


Yeah, that play is about flattery and fantasy.

Yeah, we’re not… We’re not winning her over with lies.

We’re… We’re seducing her with the effort of lying.

I don’t know what that means.

Oh, Little. That script was ridiculous.

And she’s a woman on this planet that’s been terrorized by toxic rom-coms.

She’s not a fool. She knows what’s up.

It’s like that time that I was in Milan, you know?

I knew that guy didn’t own a château. He had two roommates.

But for seven hours, I banged a duke.

[alarm beeping]

Oh. Oh shit. That’s my 30.

Oh, you’re running something?

Hook, Line, and Sinker.

Who is it?

My neighbor.

Oh no. No.

No, no.

Terrible idea.

Relax. Relax, dude.

He’s moving out on Sunday. I don’t shit where I eat.

You did with me.

[woman] That was college.

It doesn’t count, all right? And it was a big old pigpen.

[men chuckle]


Yo, shouldn’t you be twiddling an olive by now?

You know what? Up close, she had a really funny smell.

Oh, damn it.

Right between the legs.

Okay, fine, she smelled really good. I Buckner’d it.

You forgot you called me Poppy, didn’t you?

Poppy. I thought I called you Penny. They’re both stupid names.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I’m on to someone new.


Mmm. Well, okay, what is she like?

She’s a he, so don’t make assumptions.

Switch-hitting? Been a while. Like your style.

[Little] Which guy?

Hugo Boss by the white owl.

Oh yeah. He was delicious. Outta your league, though.

Kawhi’s not gonna do a pickup game with freshman redshirt.


Thank you.

I’m just gonna be his ball boy.

[Little] Mmm.

She’s thinking.

Run Time Step.

I can’t run Time Step on my own.

I could go.


Gross. I’m not running a play with my baby brother. Are you kidding me?

Hey, Time Step is my jam.

I do an excellent ball change.

Uh, excuse me?

You never took street jazz. You stick with your left foot every time.

Little’s on his way. He’ll be there in five.

Ugh, fine. Thank you. Love you. Bye.



Five to one they botch it. [chuckles]

Yeah. [chuckles]

[mellow music playing]

Did you, uh… You heard about Raddatz?

No. Oh, shitcanned?

Oh, yeah. Last round of layoffs.

Newspapers are dying, my friend.

Speaking of dying newspapers, how’s that feature you’ve been writing?

[woman laughing]

Oh, I don’t have an angle yet.

Oh, you have an angle. You told me.

It was, um… “locals’ most memorable sports moments.”

Yeah, it’s really bad.

It’s all right.


There’s something in there.

No, I need to focus and find a point of view.

A lot’s riding on this. I mean, my job might depend on it and [sighs]…

I don’t wanna tell Kirk about it until I do, you know?

I am trying to get Bob Farkle to talk to me, though.

Bob Farkle?


Wow. Does he do interviews?

I don’t know. We’re about to… Oh!

No! [yelling]

Go, go, go, go, go!

[woman] Oh my God.

Thanks for walking me. You know I ain’t afraid to Wolverine.

Go! Focus. Jeez Louise.


[Adam] Bye. Go, go, go.

[woman] Bye!


[“Green Light” by Lady Bri playing]

♪ It’s time to go, go, go, whoo! ♪

♪ It’s time to go, go, go ♪

♪ Let’s go! ♪

♪ It’s time to go, go, go, whoo! ♪

♪ Let’s go! ♪

♪ Whatcha waitin’ for? Your prayers are already answered ♪

♪ Do you really want it? Ain’t got no time to waste, let’s go! ♪

♪ Green light, step on the gas ♪

♪ Don’t let no one pass Put some pep in your steps ♪

♪ Follow me this way! ♪

♪ Red light green light Red light green light ♪

♪ Red light green light, go! ♪

♪ Do you wanna go, go, go? ♪

♪ I’mma, I’mma run this show ♪

♪ Do you do you wanna go? ♪

♪ I got the green light ♪

♪ It’s time to go, whoo! ♪


♪ Let’s go! ♪

♪ Red light ♪

♪ It’s time to go, go, go, whoo! ♪

♪ Green light, it’s time to go, go, go ♪

♪ Let’s go ♪

♪ Red light It’s time to go, go, go, whoo! ♪

♪ Green light, do you wanna go? ♪

♪ Let’s go ♪

♪ Red light, do you wanna go? ♪

♪ Green light, do you wanna go? ♪

[knocking on the door]

[stops TV program]

♪ Do you wanna go? Do you wanna go? ♪

♪ Do you wanna go? Do you wanna go? ♪

[woman] Hey.

Oh my… Is my TV on too loud? I’m so sorry.

[chuckling] No. No, I, uh…

This was in my mailbox.

Get out of here. Oh. I thought it was supposed to come today.

Thank you.

Do you tie?

Oh, just your basic midge. I actually fish more than I tie.

Is… Are you watching Low & Clear?

Sure am.

It’s so good. [chuckles]

Um, have you watched it?

[“Show Ya How” by Claire Guerreso playing]

[kissing and moaning]

Can I… You are a big fisherman.

Let me see you.

Yes, neighbor!

[objects clattering]

♪ Let me show you how it’s done ♪

[man] Oh my.

♪ Let me show you how to have some fun La la la la la ♪

[moaning] Move to the bed?

Yeah. Yes.

♪ Let me show you, let me show La la la la la la la ♪

♪ La la la la la la la Let me show you how to have some fun ♪

♪ Let me show you how to have some fun ♪

Well, that was fun.

Yeah, it was.

♪ Let me show you how to have some fun ♪

Good luck with the move.




[car horn honks]

[commentator] Go-ahead run on second base, two outs, bottom of the seventh.


The score is tied.

The stretch and the pitch.

Weak ground ball out towards short.


Come on.

Picks it up, onto first…

[indistinct conversations]

[telephone ringing]

[news music plays]

[telephone ringing]

[whistling, air-kissing]

[clears throat]

What, are you out of pencils?

What am I, 80? Pencils?

No, I’m here for Greenberg’s retirement thingy.

Shit. That’s tonight?



[woman] Hi.

You’re in the office.

How does it feel?

Feels very uncomfortable.

[Bran] Showing your face so you don’t get fired?

So, how was last night?

He’s not a groomer, so I got lost a bit in the weeds.

Got lost…

Just looking for more of an adjective.

Like “decent,” something like that.

[woman] How was Hugo Boss?




Especially when he used toys.

I don’t think you understand the parts of speech.

Uh, can you finish your doodle so we can get out of here.


What is that?

It’s a graph depicting the correlation of gun violence with access to healthcare.

Looks like a triceratops.

I’m getting that too.

Uh, excuse me. Sorry, guys.

Could you point me in the direction of Karen Kirk’s office, please?

[phone ringing in the background]

[phone continues ringing]

Ashley can help you.



Thanks very much.

Is that Nick Russel? That’s Nick Russel.

Who the fuck is that?

He’s so hot.

[Nick] You must be Ashley.

Hi. Yes, I am. Nick?

[Nick] Yes.

Is he working here?

In this garbage can?

Kirk is ready to see you.

[Nick] Ah, thank you.

Mm-hmm. Can I get you anything? Coffee?

Ooh, lovely, yeah. Do you have any, uh, oat milk?

Yes, we do.

[Nick] Ah, fantastic.

It is creamier than almond.

Where are you…

Hey, Ashley.

[Ashley] Hey, Mack.


Wait, what are you doing here?

Oh, Green…

[Ashley] Run out of something?

[Mack] Hmm?

Pencils? Paper? Paper clips?

Paper cut? Got a paper cut. You have a boo-boo?

I have a Band-Aid and a first-aid kit. I’m a tiny Office Depot. Be right back.

[Mack] Ashley. No. Greenberg’s retirement party.

That’s why I’m here. Doesn’t matter. Um, was that, uh…

Nick Russel?

[Mack] Mm-hmm.

[whispering] I know. Yeah. Apparently him and Kirk are old friends.


[Ashley] Mm-hmm.


I thought he was in Yemen or something.

No, he’s here.

Is he working for us?


No, um, he’s working on his new book.


But, uh, he’ll be at the bar.

You could say hi.

Yeah, maybe… maybe… maybe… maybe I will.

You will.

You should. Mm-hmm.

[Mack] I… Okay.

[“Slinky” by The Dynamites feat. Charles Walker playing]

[crowd] Chug! Chug! Chug!


Can you stop staring?

Who is he again?

How do you not know that?

He worked for WaPo for, like, ever. He speaks seven languages, and he saved an actual orphan from an actual burning building.

Was it burning?



Maybe just like a bad building in Syria.

Mm-mm. No.

He was a finalist for the Pulitzer last year.

Still no.

[Mack] Ugh.

Do you even work in this industry?

I write obituaries. I don’t give a fuck about the living.

Do you know Tennessee Williams died by choking on a bottle cap?

[Mack] Yes. God, yes.

Every time we unscrew something.

So many times.

[Bran] Okay.

Oh, shit, shit. They’re coming this way.

Will you relax? They’re going to the bar.

I was wrong.

Everyone, have you all met…

Nick Russel, big fan.

[Nick laughing]

Um, that piece you wrote about the buildings and the orphans, it was seminal writing.

Really, really great and exquisite, important work.

Thank you.

Thank you. Yeah.

Um, oh, I’m Sam Brannagan, by the way. Obits.

Nice to meet you.

[Bran] Obituaries, what I write.

Oh. This is Adam Miles.

Yup. Visuals.

[Nick] Nice to meet you.

[Bran] Mackenzie Cannon covers sports at the paper.

Hi. Hi.

Very nice to meet you.


Turtle racing mostly.

[Mack chuckling]

Mack is local sports.

Oh, right.

[Kirk] You good on drinks?

[Adam and Mack] Yeah.

Locked and loaded.

‘Cause I’m buying.


Devil’s Breath.

A double Dirty Detroit. Uh, two of those, actually.

Two of those.

Nice to officially meet you.

[Bran] Nice to meet you too.

I covered turtle racing one time.

One time.


Hey, hey, hey. Whoa, whoa, what…

[siren wailing in the distance]

What is going on with you?

You nervous?


Oh, I know what it is.

[Mack] Hmm.

You wanna hit that.

[Bran] Mmm.

You wanna hit that. All right.

Well, let’s run something, baby. Get it done. Get it handled.

What do you want us to do?

You can’t… That…

With… With him, that would be… That… That’s different.

That’s… It’s… It’s diff… It… It would not…

It… It wouldn’t be the s… It’s not the same.

Are you okay?

We’re watching the Great One fall.

Screw you and your Gretzky slam.

Bobby Hull was, and always will be, the greatest hockey player to ever put on skates.

I think she’s back.

She’s back in the game.

Fucking handling the game.

Well, then let’s Bobby Hull it, baby.

End-to-end rush, puck to goal.

His puck in your goal.

You don’t run a play on that. That is a grown-ass man.

Okay, that is a man that… that you get into debt with, that you freeze your eggs for.

That is not someone you just… [softly]…fu… fu…

Yeah. Yeah, I wanna get that. You know, I wanna hit that.

♪ I wanna fu… uh, uh, uh, uh ♪

♪ I wanna ow, ow, ow, ow, ow ♪

I hit it. Fucking happy…

Like… [grunts]

Fresh pepper.

Painful. Oh yeah.

[Mack] Himalayan salts.

Grind him.

Till your eyes are just watery.

[Mack] Mmm, like onions.

Yeah, salty.

Who’s cutting onions? No one. I’m just deep-throating.

[Mack] Parameters, guys.

Wet salt all over your face.

We’re at a work event, so…

Parameters, yes.

Let’s just, uh… Let’s run Drip Drop. At least until Kirk is gone.

Okay. I see that.

[Bran] Mmm.

It’s so tame.

Done. Let’s do it. What next?

I Bobby Hull it like you said.

No, I don’t know what I’m saying.

Yes, you do.

I made that up.

It’s a great idea. He’s a war reporter.

Life and death and all that garbage, so no putzing around.

Straight for the goal.

[“Feelin’ It” by Danger Twins playing]

[crowd talking loudly]

♪ I’mma go ahead and do my thing Like only I can do… ♪

[crowd] Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug! [cheering]

♪ I’m the real deal, I’m the truth ♪

♪ Yeah, I got skills ♪

♪ You know I’m crushing it I’m crushing it ♪

♪ I got skills, no use discussing it ♪

♪ I got skills They rumble like the thunder in my soul ♪

♪ And there ain’t nobody stealing it ♪

[Mack] Oh…

♪ ‘Cause I’m feeling it ♪


[all laughing]

All right, I’m gonna close out.

Yeah, I got a deadline too.

Homicide. Let’s hope I kill it.

[Mack chuckles]

[soul music playing in the background]

[Mack chuckling]


Yeah, he’s terrible.

[Nick chuckling]

So, uh, have you got a deadline or something?

Oh no, no, no. PETA’s against nighttime turtle racing.

So how do you know Kirk?

Oh, well, believe it or not, she used to babysit for me when she was a student at LSE.

That is not the answer I expected.


Well, just that she’s scary.

Oh, she’s fucking terrifying.

[Mack] Thank you. She is.

[laughing] Scariest person I’ve ever met.

[Nick chuckles]

[Mack sighs]

So can… can I, uh, get you another drink?


[soul music continues in the background]

You got any at home?

[“Freak” by Sofi Tukker playing]

♪ Enable the freak ♪

♪ To be in love with the freak To understand the freak ♪

♪ To want to be with the freak To wake up all of the freaks ♪

[Mack chuckles]

♪ Down to the freak ♪

♪ To hurricane the freak ♪

[Nick] Careful!


Oh! Oh my God.

Do not tell me that’s from Syria.

No, no. [panting]

Is it?

Yeah, it’s from Syria.

Oh fuck. Baby Jesus.

I am so sorry.

Wadi al-Nasara.

That was…

It’s fine, it’s fine.

[“Freak” continues]

[Mack moaning]

Actually, no, I have a lot of valuable artifacts.

Okay. All right.

Can we just, um, go to the bedroom?

Sure, sure. Is it…

[“Freak” continues]

[both moaning]

Good God, what are these sheets?

[Nick] Egyptian cotton.

Uh, of course they are.


[Nick kissing]

Sleep is very important to me.

I completely agree.

Oh, so you’re gonna… Yeah, that…

[zipper opening]

[“Freak” continues]

[both moaning]

[Mack moans]

[slow electric guitar music playing]

[Nick] Hey.


Can’t believe I fell asleep.

And that is why I don’t drink beer.


[Nick kisses, exhales heavily]

Do you, um…

Do you want me to call you a Lyft?

Too late. I already did it.

Oh. [chuckling] Right.

[Mack] Yeah.

Nice to meet you, Nick Russel.



[pensive music playing]

[Mack exhales]

[pensive music continues]

[phone dings]

[chuckles lightly]


[elevator clattering]

[elevator dings]

I’ll puke.

Probably, yeah. Yeah. But I bought you the sushi.

You wanted the sushi. It’s rude if you don’t eat…

This does not look right. I can’t eat that.

I completely agree. It’s sushi from a dive bar.

Who’d wanna eat that? But you ordered it.

I’m gonna make sure you stick to your promise.

If I eat that, I will get tummy poop shit worms.

Probably. That’s right.

Okay? I absolutely will.

Like you gave me poop shit worms when I was five. Remember?

[Little] No.

[Bran] I do.

Still on Mom and Dad’s insurance?


[Little] No! Hey!


There’s the Golden Jet.

Nick Russel. Did you see his Pulitzer?

He was only a finalist.

How does he know who Nick Russel is?

I’m a living, breathing human being.

Is he better-read than me?

100% more cultured.


Oh, I love you. Thank you. Yes.

I haven’t eaten since lunch.

[Bran] Chow down fast.

I got some work I need help with.

I just got here.

Brunette, denim, legs for days.

In the onesie?

I saw her first. I get dibs.

It’s not a onesie. It’s a romper, because babies wear onesies.

Uh, babies wear rompers too.

I’ve seen it once.

Don’t you guys ever get tired of this?


What? Babies in rompers?

This. This. This.

[pop-rock music playing in the background]

[chuckling] God, no.



All right.

Well, it’s Adam’s turn, so…

Oh, well, I waive.

You waive?

I waive.

You haven’t… You haven’t ran a play in a long time.

I waive. I… I got a number earlier.

By yourself?

[Adam] Mm-hmm.

We were equally astonished.

And proud.

What’s she like?

It’s nothing.

Enough to not run a play tonight nothing?

I don’t know. Mm-hmm.

[Mack] Hmm.

Okay. Well, let me take a look at this pantsless baby.

[woman 1] Hey! That sounds good.

[woman 2] She’s ready. The girl’s ready.

Damn, she fine.

[Adam] Mm-hmm.

Okay. Well…

I’m gonna need six coasters, three bottle caps, a napkin, and make sure it’s slightly damp.

[Little] Classic.

[Bran] So specific.

[Adam] Mm-hmm.

It’s the slightly damp napkin that makes it authentic.

That definitely should have been me.

[sighs] Bran, you’re so selfish. It was Little’s turn.

Turn-schmurn. Ow.

Go home.

[Bran] Love you. Bye.

Love you. [chuckles]

[car engine revving and horn honking]


[crickets chirping]

Do you wanna go to Darna’s and split a falafel plate?


What? What? I’m hungry still.

What’s wrong with you?

You saved me like five fries.

Yeah, but you only eat falafel when you’re down.

[scoffs] Do not. Falafel’s delicious.

The fact that it doesn’t dominate the burger’s beyond me.

Well, you had it three days in a row during layoffs last year.


When the Giants traded OBJ.

Our best receiver?

[indistinct chatter in the background]

When your mom got sick.

[pensive piano music playing]

[crickets chirping]

[car horn honks]

Was tonight not…

No. No, tonight was great.

Tonight was great. He was great.



Generous even, you know? Fantastic.

All right. Okay. [chuckles]

Those are all adjectives.

Can you just get to the part where you need sad falafel?

[pensive piano music continues]

I just, um… I might… I might like him.

Like him?

Like “like him” like him?




You already slept with him.

I know.

Look, we ran a play. Like, there’s no real coming back from that.

We didn’t even run a real play. I mean, it was right for the goal.

Plus, you know, we can, um, come up with another play.

You know, we’re smart people.

But you can’t build a relationship from a play.

You know this, Mack. They’re not real. They’re…

Oh, yeah, but Bumble is? And Tinder?

I mean, come on.

You remember that guy I swiped right on, who said he worked for Columbia.

He did.

[chuckles] Yeah.

In a clinical trial for the Psych Department.

A paid clinical trial.

[chuckling] It’s…

It’s misleading is my point.

Nick is an adult, you know?

He… He has a photo of himself with his parents framed in the living room.

Do you know how many guys I date that have a framed photo of themselves with their parents?

[inhales] By your tone, I’m guessing zero?

Nick has dishes that match and soap that smells like lavender and, yeah, sandalwood, and he has books for days. Just thick books.


I like that.

The guys that I hook up with at the bars and the clubs are just children.

Do you know what my grandma said to me?

[bike rattles]

She said that… that she was gonna die before I got married.


[Adam] Oh.

[pensive piano music continues]

She… She might.

I’m 33, and I’m exhausted, and…

And I want an adult.

[pensive piano music continues]



You want this dude, let’s get him.



No take-backs.

We’ll get that dick!

[chuckles] Hold on.


But we need to start planning this because I don’t think it’s gonna be easy.

[Adam] No.

[Mack] No.

He is a fancy fucker, let me tell you.

[Adam] He’s so British.

[Mack] He’s so British.

[Adam] Yeah. [laughing]

[Mack] Oh my God.

[jazz-funk music playing]

They say it can’t be done.

They say we shouldn’t try.

Who’s they?

But this team does not recognize the word… “impossible.”

[Mack] Mmm.

[Adam] We don’t believe in limits.

[Mack] Mm-mm.

We will convert this one-night stand…

Into a romance.

I’m so hard for all of this right now.

Me too.

[Adam] You guys have broners right now?

[Bran] I’m not into that.

Anyway, to do so, we need pregame research.

Tape, data.

We need to work together to get Mack the stats she needs to call the right play for the win.

[Mack] Mmm.

Let’s Moneyball this shit.

Nineties Brad, though.

Oh God.


Yummy on my tummy, right?

Little, you’re unemployed. You’re on day shift.

[Little] Damn straight.

[Adam] Stake out his apartment. Find out where he goes, how he lives.

[jazz-funk music continues]

Brannagan, you’re nights.

What’s he do for fun? Who’s he seeing? Is it serious?

Flag any second dates. Thirds require immediate intervention.

Forty bucks a cocktail?

Uh, just a water.

[bartender] Hmm.

[Adam] Mack, you go dark till we’ve got this, all right?

Internet research only.

Interviews, mutual friends, good old-fashioned online stalking.

I’m on reading duty.

Send me the data as you get it. I’ll work up a visual analysis, and we shall reconvene.

You gonna finish that?

[annoyed] I’m always gonna finish that.

[“Do Ya Thang” by Leo Soul playing]

♪ Whoop ♪

♪ Whoop ♪

♪ Do ya thang, girl ♪

♪ Do ya thang, girl ♪

♪ Do ya thang, girl ♪

♪ Do ya thang, girl ♪

This is what a job is?

Whoa. Hi.


I’m… I’m… I’m Ryan.

[chuckling] Hi, Ryan.


[Little] Nice to meet you. Uh…

I’m Sam’s little brother.

Oh, I’m so sorry.


[Ashley] Yeah.

It’s tough.

Is it a hard life?

[Bran] Little!

They’re saying “Little”?

[Little] Li… Oh, uh…


[Little] That’s what they call me.

I’ll talk to you later.

Nice to meet you.



Hi, Carl.

[Little] Hi, Carl.

[Bran] Carl.

Hey, um, can we use this conference room for a sec?

What about upstairs?

[Adam] Uh, it’s… it’s full.

What about downstairs?

Also full.

What’s all that?

Uh, it’s for, uh, my feature.

Who’s the guy in the headband?

[Mack, Adam, and Bran] Intern.



[Bran] Oh, thanks, Carl.

[Mack] Thanks, Carl.

[Adam] What a guy.

[Bran] Such a good guy, Carl.

Got your ruler.

[Carl] Uh, uh-huh.

All right. Oh.


[Adam] All right.

[Little] Takes a lot of pens.

[footsteps receding]

Okay, what do we got?

We’ve got Nick Russel.

New York’s most eligible bachelor, celebrated foreign correspondent.


Okay, could we just skip ahead a bit?

Right. Okay. So, uh, here’s what we know so far.

Um, we’ve got SNS as the standard one-third of his day.


Uh, sleeping and shitting.

He shits a third of his day?

[Adam] Moving along.

Almost six hours a day, six days a week, he’s either writing or researching his book, which is subdivided thusly, library, Dumbo House, East One Coffee Roasters.

Oat milk flat white.

Dumbo House?

Don’t act like you wouldn’t kill your grandmother to get in Dumbo House.

Yeah, ’cause she’s a dick.


She smells like cheese.

Be glad your grandma smells like cheese.

Mine smells like casket because she’s dead.

We’re talking about Nick here. All right?

Nick spends his Tuesdays at the Met, Sundays with Bloody Marys.

His workout routine is jogging, rowing, and yoga.

Can we skip to my part?

[Adam] Yes. Nights and weekends.

Nights and weekends, we’ve got concerts, we’ve got wine tasting, fine dining,

Bib Gourmand picks.

Socially, we’re in a pretty good place.

[Mack] Hmm.

Uh, he goes on a date every seven to nine days.

A few repeats, but only two have gone on a second date.


Though plenty make it to second base!

[music stops]

[imitates horn blaring]


[Adam] Um…

[jazz-funk music continues]

Goalposts. What’re we aiming for?

Well, Mack wants to land this guy, right?

Yeah, but what constitutes a landing?

[Adam] Mmm.

I want a drawer.

A what?

I want him to empty out a drawer so I can put my stuff in it.

Come again?

I’ve never had a drawer. It’d be nice.

[Adam] A drawer?

A drawer. Yeah.

Okay. Drawer. Weird, but I got it.

Drawer. Right.

Drawer. [chuckles]

Thank you.

How long does it take to get a drawer?

Couple of months.

Months? We’re gonna be playing this dude for a couple months? I have shit to do.

I just need you to get me out of the one-night-stand category and into the formal dating category.

The hardest part.


Deprogramming simple dude-brain is like landing on the moon.

So it can be done.

By astronauts.

And very competent ground crew.

That is so true. Dream work makes the team work.

We need a play, guys. What do we got?



[music becomes quieter]


[Mack] Hmm.

I don’t know. I got nothing.

They’re all just for hooking up.

Yeah. Yeah, so we’re gonna need to make some adjustments.

Let’s just focus on the foundation first.

Crêpes Suzette.

Lactose intolerant.

Wave Running Aqua Plane.

Did you even look at the weakness chart?

Look at the weakness chart.

Weakness chart?

It’s right there.

[Bran] Oh my God.

[Little] There’s the weakness chart.

Whisky a Go Go.

[chuckles] I tossed out those boots.


Chemical Spill.

Have to leave the country.

Betsy Ross’s Mother.

I’d have to fake my own death.

[quietly] I can help you with that.

Do we not have a play?

[jazz flute whistles]

We’ve never played for keeps.

[Mack] Oh! Oh.

[Adam] Okay.

I feel like that shit hurt me.

What if you just ask him out?


Told him you liked him.

Kind of like a… like a “no play” play.

[Mack snorts]

The “no play” play?


No. Are you serious right now?

I was until you made that face.

Which face?

The face you’re making right now. [chuckles]

No, I… I think that’s suicide.

How is that suicide?

Because if you…

Oh God. ‘Cause if the person isn’t on the exact same page at the exact same moment as you are, then you risk coming in too hot and, shit, blowing it forever.

Forever seems a bit lofty…

Ooh! Ooh!

Whoa! Whoa! Hey.

[Mack] Wow.

[Adam] Jeez Louise.


Come on, don’t you agree?

That “no play” play is dangerous. And with him? Oh my God.

[cheers over television]

It’s… I don’t know. Maybe.

Oh. That’s a pretty deep lock.

[Mack] Nope.

No, she’s got one in. She’s fine.

[Adam] Where?

Next round, she gonna come in, flurry of strikes.

Jab, jab, feint, dodge, the guillotine again, reel her in, take her down, and it’s done.

Over. Finito.


Wait for it.

[Adam] Like, literally, her chin was in her ass.

Oh my God.

[Adam] What?

That’s it.

That’s it. That… that… that… that’s the play.

What’s the play?

That is the play.

What’s the play?

Get your ass…

Ow. Come on.

That is the play!

[Adam groans]

[jazz-funk music playing]

[Mack] It’s new. It’s called The Flurry.

We jab, duck, feint, then land a spinning elbow knockout.

First, the jab.

We make brief contact.

Ring his bell a little bit.

Keep it casual and direct.

[jazz-funk music continues]

[Mack] He’s got a reading at McNally Jackson on the 17th.

That gives me eight days to become a regular there.

Excuse me.


Are you the owner?

I am.

I’m Mackenzie.

I just have to say I love this place. It is my home away from home.

Aw. Mary. Thank you so much.

Oh, of course.

Um, I will go with this one.

This is a favorite of mine.

[Mack] Is it?


Anissa Gray.

[jazz-funk music intensifies]

Mary, right?



That’s right.

Could you recommend traveling books to most likely South Asia?

Mackenzie. Have you finished that book already?

Loved it, Mary.

[Mary chuckles]

[Mack] Day of the reading, Little, Bran, you’ll cover the entrance and text me when Nick arrives.

What are you wearing?

We’re on a stakeout.

You look like a cheap leprechaun hooker.

Sorry, sex worker.

I’m incognito.

[Bran] What?


Oh, oh.

Subject spotted 23 degrees south.

Yeah, I see him. I’m not an idiot.

[phone dings]

[jazz-funk music continues]

[doorbell ringing]

[Mack] Mmm.

So good seeing you again.

[Mary] You too.

Mm-hmm. Take care.


Oh. Sorry.

Mackenzie. Hi.


[chuckles] What are you doing in my bookstore?

Uh… well, I have, um… I’ve got a reading tonight.

Oh. Of what?

[chuckles, whispering] Of my book.

Yes, sorry, of course. I didn’t know the new one came out.

No. Well, it’s not my new one. It’s my last one, actually.

New one’s still… [inhales deeply] …very much in the works. But, um…

I will put it on my list.

[Nick chuckles]

[Mack] Good luck tonight.

Yeah, thanks. Thanks.

Bye, Mary.

See you next time, Mackenzie.

[jazz-funk music playing]

Hi, Mary.

Good luck tonight, Mr. Russel.

[Nick] Thank you.

[jazz-funk music intensifies]

[Little growls]

Oh, oh, oh. Hey.

[Bran] Yeah.

Oh, that’s what we do. That’s what we do.

Next, the duck. This one’s easy. He sees me, I pretend not to see him.

Adam, you have his jogging routes mapped and timed, correct?

Yes. Page 14, figures 2A and B.

[Mack] Hmm.

Holy shit.

The two of you are on lookout again. Adam, you’re with me.

[jazz-funk music becomes quieter]

You were right about the look.

We look badass.

We do. So fucking baller.


[Bran clears throat]

[jazz-funk music intensifies]

[Bran] Eyes on the prize.

[Little] Here we go.

Act normal. Act normal.

[Mack] Got it.

Boobs okay?

Yep. They’re boobs.

[Nick] Hey. Mackenzie.

Oh fuck. [sighs] Oh, fuck running.

[Bran] Oh my God.

That was perfect.

Next, we have the rope-a-dope, the feint.

This one’s, uh… We have a problem.


We need a woman.

So ask one of your girlfriends.

[indistinct conversations in the bar]

I could.

Oh my God. You don’t have any female friends.

Becca moved to Jersey, and Sapna’s back in rehab, so…

It’s really hard to make new friends at this age.

[Bran] Mmm.

What about Ashley?

From the office?

The secretary Ashley. Ashley with the… the smile.

[Adam] Wow, dude.

She seems competent.

Oh, Carl. My bad. Oh my goodness.

Hey, Ashley.

[Ashley] Hey.

What’s up, Mack? Oh shit. What you need?

[Mack] Hmm?

Did we run out of string cheese?

Oh, I stole some of that last week. We’re good.

You need a tampon, though. I got you.

[Mack] Oh.

Super plus, plus.

I love free tampons. But I’m actually here for you.

We’re all here for you.


[Adam] Uh, Mackenzie’s trying to parlay a one-night stand into a relationship, which, um, has its difficulties.

It’s Nick Russel, right?

You’re very observant. She’s observant. I think this could work.

Yeah, I think so too.

Uh, we were actually hoping that you would play a little game with us.

I’m in.


I’ve always wanted to see how old people date.

[Adam] Mmm.

I just use an app.

[“We Out Here” by Atomic Drum Assembly playing]

[indistinct conversations]

[Mack] This is the feint.

Next Sunday it’s outdoor movie night at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Boys are running a zone defense, dividing the lawn into three sections.

Scan the crowd, find Nick.

[Ashley] And what exactly am I doing?

[Mack] You’re my ringer.

Anyone got eyes?


I got nothing.


[“We Out Here” continues]

Oh, oh. I got him. I got him. He’s on the Furman Street side, and he’s…

Is it the bridge or the river?

Shit. Um…

Bridge is the one… It goes over the water.

The wet one’s the river.

Oh. Uh…

River, bridge. Please, Little.


He’s halfway to the waffle stand thing.

[Mack gasps]

Game time. Yeah. Giddyup.

This play is a go. Get him.

[“We Out Here” continues]

[Mack] Sorry. My bad.

I have eyes. Go. You gotta move fast.

[Adam] You won’t make it.

You’re not gonna make it.

[Mack] Come on, come on, come on!


[man] Whoa, hey!



[song ends]

Do you…

[Ashley belches] Hey.

You remember Ashley from the, uh, office?

Oh, yes. Hello. Nice to see you again.

[Ashley, slurred] Hello.

This is gonna be the best movie ever. [laughing]

We’ve been here for a little while.

Really? [chuckling]

[Mack chuckling] Yeah.

They have Wafels & Dinges.

[Mack] What?

You know they have Wafels & Dinges?

[Mack] No.

I don’t think that’s a good idea. Ash, careful.

[Ashley] It’s really hot. Sir, can I eat your dinges?

[Nick] Does she know those people?

No, and…

Yup. Yes, now she is eating a stranger’s dinges.


[Nick] Oh.

So, who did you come with? You here alone?

No. I’m meant to be meeting friends but having a terrible time finding them.

No reception?

No, I had better service in Baghdad.

[Ashley groans]



How was your reading the other day?

Good. Yes, good, thank you. I think, uh, nine people came.

So that makes me, you know, officially impressive.

Stop. Too impressive. Can’t even handle it.



You know, why don’t you join us? I mean, if you wanted to, you can join us.


[Mack] It’s a small…

[Ashley belches]

…um, blanket, but it is a…

Oh, Ash. Oh no.

[intriguing music playing]

[Ashley] I’m just sick.


[Mack] Oh.

[woman] Shoo.

[Ashley groaning]

Hey, I don’t…

I don’t feel very shiny.

[Mack] I don’t think so.

We can go home. We should.

[Ashley belches]

No, I’m good.

Oh, you’re touching me.

[Ashley] I can ride the train.

[Mack] What is that?

This is frosé.

[Mack] Oh no.

And a little rosé. Is that…

I had a beer.

I’m gonna take her home.

[Ashley belches]

Hope to see you again.

[Nick] Yeah. Feel better, Ashley.

[Ashley belches]

[Mack] Okay, right into the bushes.

[Ashley vomiting]


[jazz-funk music playing]

We clear.

[laughing] Holy shit.

[Adam] Wow.

She is a psychopath.

Oh my God. Thank you.

You’re welcome. Clean yourself off.

You are amazing. You are all of the amazing things.

Thank you.

Okay, I’m gonna leave.

Appreciate you, Ash.

Don’t wanna see that.

[jazz-funk music continues]

You maybe wanna…



Yeah. Right now?



[cheers in the stadium]

[Adam] Alma mater?

[Mack] Oxford.

[Adam] Sun sign?

[Mack] Pisces.

Favorite liquor?


[Adam] Mmm.


Favorite food?

Whole branzino.

Ooh, girl.

[Mack] You ever had one of those?

[Adam] Branzino?

[Mack] Yeah.

No. No. The eyes…

They follow you.


It’s disgusting.

I hate it.

Hey, whatever happened to that, uh, number that you got?

Oh. Uh…

We… we went out a couple times.

More than once?

It’s nothing.

[Mack] Who is she?

[Adam] No one yet.

No one.

Well, I hope she’s great.

[cheers continue]

[PA announcer] That’s a New York double!

[Mack] Hey! I knew he was a good get.

[Adam] Oh!

[chuckles] Do you remember that night game when Brannagan slammed into you trying to get that foul ball?

It was in my hand.


Then that ten-year-old walked away with it with the goddamn Baby Ruth in his mouth.

I prefer Reggie! bars.

I do too.

Do you know about that game?

Um, no, but I’m pretty sure you’re gonna tell me.

So Reggie takes it home for us in ’77, right?

[Adam] Mm-hmm.

Next season, opening game, Reggie! bars debut.

Every fan gets one.

Then, bottom of the first, two on base, Reggie’s up to bat, home run, because of course.

The part that I love so freaking much is that to celebrate, the fans threw their bars into the field, and they had to delay the game just to clean up all the chocolate.

Shut up. Wow.

[Mack] Swear to God.

That’s… that’s the game that my parents met at.

And my mom got pissed at my dad because he ate it instead of throwing it onto the field.

Wait a minute. Wait. So I know your parents met at a game.

I didn’t know they met at that game.

[Mack] Because you’re a terrible friend.

I talk too much. You don’t listen to a third of the things I say.

[Adam] What’s your name again?

Oh, Mackenzie Cannon. I prefer Mack.

[Adam] Nice to meet you. Yeah.

[Mack] Lovely to meet you.

[Adam chuckles]

[sighs] My parents just… They loved this place.

[emotional music playing]

Do you remember how bad the roof leaked?

Oh, flooded.

[Mack] Hmm.

The last game we saw together, we actually sat right over there by the, uh, old stadium wall.

[Adam] Where the benches are?

[Mack] Mm-hmm.

She was in a wheelchair by then.

[shakily] She died three days later.

Mack, come here.

[emotional music continues]

They tore the stadium down the following year.

Just like that, it was all gone.

Oh, I miss her.

[softly] I know.

I miss them together.

You know, the way that my dad would look at her.

Oh, I just… I want a love like that.

You know?

Yeah, me too.

[fans cheering]

[PA announcer] Home run!

[Adam and Mack] Yeah.

[Adam] Yeah, baby.

[Mack] Yankees, we love you! Whoo-whoo!

Oh my God.


Maybe that’s the angle.


I mean, I’m… I’m a fan. I am the OG fan.

What are we talking about?

My feature. My feature.

My parents. Um…

The first game, the last game, me.

I could just frame the whole thing around us, you know?

And I can weave in the interviews, and… and I can center it on Farkle, if he’ll ever talk to me.

But I could just make the whole thing just a lot more personal.

I love that. Yes.

[Mack] Yeah?

Yeah! Yes!

Fucking got it.

[both vocalizing]

[upbeat funky music playing]

[woman] Basically, Jeff Syed was the best-kept secret in the United States.

He’s just…

Legendary player.

Kitchen player.

[phone dings]

He put me in the kitchen three times in Brazil at the world championships.

[phone dings rapidly]

I’d just never seen Jonathan Schnapp make that many errors in a row.

It was just like one after another.

[phone continues dinging]

You know, when you see a tampa, a pilot, put up like that you’ve gotta go down suicide alley.

[man] Are you good? You okay?

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I’m good.

[phone continues dinging]

[woman] He took Jeff Syed’s disc, and he tried to put it in the kitchen…

You know what? If you can give me, um…

We’ll get back to the kitchen when I put the biscuits in.

We’ll grab it later, I guess?

Red card!

[Ashley] Code red!

What the fuck?

It’s bloodred! Red. Red!

What the hell are you doing here?

[Bran] Code red.

You weren’t answering your messages.

I’m at work.

Nick scheduled a third date.

What? Who?

Top Knot.

I knew it. Anyone who can pull off a tan dress…

[Adam] Mm-hmm.




[Adam] Yep.

Classical music.

Ugh. I know nothing about cellos.

Also, it’s totally sold out.

You shut your mouth.

No. No, no, no. Third dates can’t happen. Third dates are make-it-or-break-it.

If it’s a “make it,” that’s a six-month rain delay, at least.

[Bran and Adam] Yeah, we know.

[Mack] Okay. All right.


We’re gonna have to, um… We’re gonna have to force an incomplete.

What if…

[Bran clears throat] Mm-mm.

But is…

She’s thinking.

I just…

No, see, like, we wait. She thinks.

It’s the whole thing.

Well, Top Knot’s a doctor, right?

[“Like Wow” by BAYBE playing]

You are the MVP that I have been waiting for.

Oh, thank you.

[Mack] Mm-hmm.

[softly] I’ll call my guy in the hospital.

[Mack] Mmm.

Got a guy in the hospital?

He’s balls-deep in the hospital.

Oh shit.

I’m confused. What are we doing?

[“Like Wow” continues]

Tell me things.

[Adam] Tell you things. I got things.

All right, the Kronos Quartet out of San Fran.

David Harrington’s the founder.

Two violinists, a viola, and a cello.

[Mack] Mmm.

I hate you, clasp.

Viola, violin, what’s the difference?

Violin’s bigger.

Violin’s smaller. I know my strings.

Look down.

Ninety seconds, folks.

[Little] I cannot believe women do this by themselves.

[Mack] Who’s the conductor?

I got it.

Cue the hospital.

[Bran] Hospital cued.

[Adam] Quartets don’t have conductors.

Oh. How do they prevent the chaos?

Nobody knows.

The hospital just confirmed.

Fun fact?

They performed with David Bowie.

No shit.


[Little] Oh, oh, there she is.


She doesn’t know who we are. Yeah.

She’s never seen us before.

[Adam] Cares about her job.

[Little] Honorable.

[Mack] I think her and I’d be friends.

[Adam] I doubt that.

Intermission is in five, four, three, two, one.

[imitates horn blaring]

[coughing] Oh man.

I like that.

Don’t be so proud of yourself.


♪ Wow! So obsessed like wow! ♪

♪ Yeah, I’m in my own league like wow… ♪




♪ Open the gates and say it like wow! ♪

May I see your ticket?

Oh. Oh, shoot.

I was so desperate for a cigarette that I forgot it inside.

I’m sorry.

Go ahead.

[classical music playing]

[Mack] Two reds, please.

Okay, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were stalking me.

[gasps] Me?

[Nick chuckles]


Um, can I get you another drink?

Oh, no. I’m good. Thank you.


So are you here with someone, or are you just really thirsty?

[chuckling] Oh.

My brother. And he’s just miserable.

I should not have brought him.

[Nick] Why?

Oh, he hates classical music.

These guys are so good.

[Mack] That’s what I said.

[both] They played with Bowie.

[Nick chuckles]

That’s what I said. It didn’t work.

Yeah. So here’s my peace offering to him. How about you? You here with someone?

No, actually, she just, um… she just had to leave for an emergency.

Oh, I hope everything’s okay.

Oh, no, no, she’s a doctor, so these things happen.

Yes. Saving lives. Big-time jobs.

[Nick] Mmm.

[chuckles softly]

Well, um, do you want to…

I mean, if your brother’s having a terrible time, do you wanna maybe spend the second half with me? I’ve got great seats.

Third row back, right in the middle.

Can you see Harrington sweat?

Can you see Harrington sweat? You can smell every pore.


Hold these, I’ll text my brother.

[Nick laughs]

Thank you.

[Nick] You’re welcome.

[“Testimony” by Kronos Quartet playing]

[Ashley chuckles]

Are we gonna stay here the whole time?

Got nowhere else to be.

[bells tolls nearby]

I got somewhere else to be.

Where the fuck you gotta be?

Where I need to be.

[Bran chuckles]

[Bran] You keeping secrets from me?


[Ashley laughs] That was good. That was good.


[Mack] Incredible that they do that without a conductor.

[Nick] I know, it’s like some sort of weird synergy.

They’re so in sync with each other.

[Mack] Wild.

[funky music playing]

[Nick] Uh…

So… I mean, there’s a great mescal bar around the corner.

I can’t.

I… I want to. I just have a deadline.

Of course. Right. [chuckles softly]

[jazz flute whistles]

Well, can I maybe see you again then?

I don’t know, like, Tuesday? Dinner?

Proper date this time?

Tuesday can work.


[Mack] Mm-hmm.

[“Working Woman” by Gizelle Smith & The Mighty Mocambos playing]

All right, drinks are on me, but don’t get crazy because I’m broke.

Yes! [laughing]

Yes! [laughing]

[laughter and indistinct conversations]

♪ She′s a working woman ♪

♪ She ain’t got no time to be misled… ♪

[Bran] Oh! Bam! Bam!

[Adam] Bam!

[Bran] You’re gonna miss it. Miss.

[shouting indistinctly]

[Mack] Yeah!

[Bran] No!

[Little] Damn it.

[Mack] Yes!

All right!

[woman] Yeah!

[all chattering]

[Mack] Oh.

That was a good…

[woman] Good.

You look great.

Thank you.


Guys, this is Claire.


[Mack and Ashley] Hey.

[Little] Hi there.



I’ve heard so much about all of you.

Yes. Yeah, no.

[Mack] Yeah.

And we have also heard things.


Good things.

I’m gonna get a beer.

Oh, we have a pitcher. Grab a mug.

I’ll do that. I’ll be back.

So she’s the one who you said you got her number all by yourself way back when?


Um, why is my head exploding?

Um, because I’m seeing someone?

Like, multiple times?

Yeah, and you just, like, randomly ran into each other?

No, I invited her.

[Little] Oh shit.

Oh, wow, there it is.

[Adam] You see that?

[Mack] There was a part we didn’t hear.

Interesting move by you, isn’t it?

Because that’s not… That’s not allowed normally.

Why the visceral reaction?

You don’t bring someone to the group unless she’s serious.


Don’t make that face. That’s not what happened.

You got grandfathered in.

No. No, no.

Because if we hadn’t brought her in, I would’ve brought her in.

[Bran] Oh, don’t. Stop.

So tell us more, Adam.

She’s cool, so I invited her here.

He never even mentioned this girl.

[Mack] Woman.

[Bran and Ashley] Woman.

He did actually mention her to me once.

But you invited her.

‘Kay, I have got my glass. Ready to drink.

[women cheering]

Do I have something in my teeth?

[Ashley and Bran] No.

God, no. You have a perfect smile.

[Little] Anything in mine?

Thank you. No, you’re good. [chuckles]

Colgate commercial in there.

[Claire] Thank you.

[Bran] All the way to the top.


[Claire] Thank you.

Generous pour. Thank you.

Pretty well.

[Adam clears throat]

[pop-rock music playing in the background]

So, Claire, how are you at pool?

Really bad.

[winces] I suck. Let’s go lose.

Okay. That I can do. I can lose.

[Ashley laughs]

[Little] Yeah.

[Bran] Let’s go get some beer.

Uh, talk to me for a second, friend.

Okay, friend.

Really quickly, uh, she went from nothing to something.

I feel like we missed a few steps.

[chuckles] There were no steps jumped.

Uh, we had plans before the code red.

I didn’t wanna cancel on her, and I wanted to come celebrate with you,

so I invited her. I…

I did exactly right.

You did.

[Adam] Right?


[Adam] Yeah.

Look at you.


Who is she? What… what does she do?

She is a, um, dental hygienist.

Mmm. Yeah. Oh right, thus the teeth.

A lot of teeth conversations.

You like her.

[Adam] Yeah.

Yeah, I do.

I mean, you’re the one who said it’s time to be adults, so I’m adulting.

It looks good on you.

[“Something in the Water” by JONES playing]

Have you ever thrown axes before?

Mmm. No. [chuckles]

Do you wanna do it?

Mmm. No.

Come on, let’s do it.

Do I?

Yes, you do.

♪ I’m running on a feeling I can never get enough ♪

♪ There’s a beaming in my body And I savor every touch ♪

♪ Ah-ah, spinning on vertigo ♪

[Mack] Whoa.

Does it not bounce?

[Mack yells] Hey! This was a bad idea!

[Nick] In cricket, they…

Don’t do cricket!

I’m not gonna…

Out of the cage. Out. Out.

I really appreciate you trying.

[Nick] I wasn’t that bad.

[Mack] Hmm? Uh, really?

[Nick] No.

If I didn’t have this CNN thing on Tuesday,

I would’ve stayed in there, actually.

[Mack] Yeah?

[Nick] Yeah.

What are those headhunters that they have in the baseball?


Scouts. Scouts, yeah.

I think the scouts are gonna be, uh, coming knocking on my door.

Any moment. Any moment.

Mm-hmm. Any moment.

They could be at mine waiting for you.

[Nick chuckling]

Hey, so I, um… I read your book.


I told you I was gonna put it on my list.

[both chuckle]

Right. And, well, what’d you think?

I thought it was enraging, actually, and…

And beautiful and devastating and so important.

[Nick chuckles lightly] Thank you.

Do you know, uh…

Do you know that’s exactly how I feel about turtle races?

[both chuckling]

[calm, happy music playing]


I, um… I have to write tonight.

Oh. Okay.

It’s okay, isn’t it?

Yeah, of course.

I should write too. It is the responsible thing to do.

We are responsible adults.

[laughing] Yeah.

You are…


…just fun.

[calm, happy music continues]

[Nick] Good night.

Good night.

[Adam] How’s the guy?

[Mack] I don’t know. Something feels off.

[man] Loose!

It was so great until it so wasn’t,

and I just think, mmm, I gotta, like, throw a curveball.

It’s a little early for a curveball.

He called me fun, Adam.

Fun is good.

Fun is not good. Fun is bad.

No, nice is bad. Fun is you.

Ouch. Shank me. Hit me while I’m down, Ads.

That wasn’t my intent.

[Mack exhales deeply]

Please, just come.

You and Claire can charm him, and we can run something.

[arrows hit targets]

There it is.

What? Come on.

There it is.

We did that art prep for the original KO, and we didn’t even use it.

Mack, you’re in a relationship, all right? An adult relationship.

You take poops in this man’s bathroom regularly.

They are very small poops.

And I make sure it’s only after greens.

Regardless. There’s an essence.

[Mack] Is there?



Look, what I’m saying is you need to stop fooling this guy.

I’m… I’m not.

Yes, you are.

What? I… [splutters]

[imitating Mack’s splutters] You are.

I did learn about that byzantine Byzantine garbage.

What’s Byzantine?


[man] Loose!

[arrows hit targets]

Fine, I’ll do it.



We can do brunch.

No brunch.

[upbeat violin music playing]

[Mack] Everything looks incredible.

Mmm. Yum. Should we just get a bunch of stuff for us to share?

Yeah. Uh, we should do the lobster roll.

Oh, you know what? Actually, we don’t really do that, so…

We don’t do what?

Wait. No, she’s covering for me.

I… I don’t do that.

Oh, eat shellfish?

Share food.

Because gluten?

The foreign correspondence.

I’m sorry, what?

Well, you know, when you report on a lot of corrupt regimes like I have, then, um, some people try to poison you, so…

Are we a corrupt regime on which you are reporting?

Why don’t the, um, two of you share, and Nick and I will just do our own thing?

[Claire] Yeah.

[Adam] No, that’s smart. I like that.

You can never be too careful.

Yeah, exactly, so…

Well, to be fair, Mack didn’t share the first few years I knew her either.

Yeah, it was like an only-kid thing, I guess. Total brat.

Wow. I’m not a brat. You’re a brat.

[Adam] You little brat. You’re a brat.

[Mack] You know you’re a brat.

What about your brother?

[Mack] Huh?

Your… your brother at the concert.

Oh, yes.

That was, um…

That was Charlie, right?

Charlie, yes.

You brought Charlie with you?

Who else?

She brought Charlie with her. [chuckles] Charlie is her Christian brother.

Yeah, I see the confusion.

So you brought a priest to the concert?

[Adam] Not a priest. He’s not a priest.


Hmm. That’s a father.

He’s a… It’s a brother. You know?



It’s like an old family friend.

[Nick] Oh, right.

From the neighborhood.

Okay. [chuckles lightly]

Remember that Ping-Pong tournament in your dad’s basement?

Where Charlie came, and he had the robes on?

And he looked like Obi-Wan.

[both imitating lightsabers]

Which way are you gonna go?


[both continue imitating lightsabers]

Stop doing it like… You’re putting too much mouth on it.

I don’t think I ever put too much mouth on it.

[Adam chuckling] Girl. Hey!

[chuckles] I wasn’t ever into Star Trek, so I…

[Claire and Adam] Star Wars.

[Nick] Is it?

Yeah. That’s okay.

[Nick chuckles nervously]

[Mack] Oh.

[fancy music playing in the background]

Oh, so, you know what?

Uh, Nick is getting honored at the UNICEF Humanitarian Awards.

Oh, stop.

[Claire] Very exciting.

What for?

For humanitarian work, mainly.

Mmm. Know what? That does add up.

Now that you’re saying that…

I hope I can finish my book by then so I can enjoy the evening.

You will. He’s so close.

Okay, what’s the book about?

It’s about the inevitable genocide of the impending water crisis.

Very… That’s fun.

Very fun.

[Adam] Pretty heavy stuff.

[waitress] Are we ready to order?

Oh yeah.

[Adam] Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary.


Mimosa here, please.

And a coffee, please.

A pot.

Uh, do you have oat milk?


[waitress] Yeah.

[Nick] Flat white with one of those.

[Claire] We’re gonna do the avocado toast, lobster roll, pork belly bacon, and…

[Adam] Mm-hmm.

Wait on it, soufflé pancakes.

She got a tapeworm.

[Claire laughs]

Well, yeah, we’re not sharing, so…

Oh, right.

So I will get the whole branzino, please.

Hmm. Same for me.

[Claire] Sounds good.

So I’m gonna… We should get one of those too, for us.

Yeah. Can’t wait.

[exotic music playing]

[waitress] Got everything you need?

[Mack and Nick] Yes.

[Nick] Looks amazing.

[Mack] Thank you.

So, Claire, I hear you guys are going to the Met later.

Mm-hmm. Yes, Adam’s idea.

[Mack] Sweet.

I love the Met.

[Nick] Oh, me too.


[Nick] Yeah.

There is this section you have to visit. I swear…

Is anyone else uncomfortable with the eyes?


Sorry, it’s… it’s… Yeah, it looks great.

Yeah, I’m good.

[Mack chuckles]

Anyway, like I was saying, um, so the Byzantine art section…


Right? There is this piece that it’s just div…

It’s like the eyes are following me. Like, uh, one of those haunted house…

No, baby. They’re not looking at you. They’re dead.

You looking at them.

[Adam] But they looking back.

No. Okay.

[Mack] Adam.

It’s too much. [exhales] Can they cut the heads off?

Adam, chill out. It’s just a sea bass, mate.

If you can’t handle the eyes, why are you eating fish at all?

Oh, so you’re enjoying it then?

Oh yes.

I love a whole branzino.

Why don’t you have a bite?

After I finish talking about the Byzantine art section.

Uh, Mack, um, Adam says you’re writing a feature.

That’s very cool. How’s it going?

Did you get that, um… that Farber person?

[Adam] Farkle.

Farkle. But wait, about the Byzantine…

You’re writing a feature?

Who exactly is Farkle?

[Adam] Farkle is a Giants fan.


Oh, I love football.

Oh, it’s baseball.

[Nick] What’s the piece?

Why didn’t you tell him?

He writes about genocides.

[Adam] So?

I’d love to hear about it.


[Nick] Yeah.

Mack is writing a piece that’s profiling New York fans’ most memorable sports moments, and, uh, she’s been trying to get Bob Farkle for forever.

I got him.

You got him?

Got him.

[Adam] Shut the hell…

You fucking got him?

I got Bob Farkle.

You got Bob Farkle. [grunts]

He’s never agreed to an interview once, and I got him.

[Adam] You fucking got him. [scatting] You got him.

Do you mind filling us in? [chuckles]

I am so sorry. That is… Apologies.

We’ll do the dance too.

Um, so, Bob Farkle… [chuckles]

Bob Farkle is part of the Giants Nostalgia Society.

And so it’s like…

It’s these old-timers that get together and reminisce about the Polo Grounds.

It’s a stadium in Harlem.

[Mack] Yes.

And, um, Farkle and his buddies would always sneak into the stadium.

Like, they loved baseball, but it’d be anything.

It’d be hockey or football or midget racing.

I don’t know that you can say the “M” word.

You have to say “little people” these days.

It’s a class of vehicle.

No, the cars are the size… the midgets.

The people driving are average size.

My bad.

So, Farkle was there for the Shot Heard ‘Round the World.

Uh, wait, the Revolutionary War?

Franz Ferdinand.

[Mack] Both are true.

Uh, 1951 pennant.

Yes. New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers.

And it is arguably the most, uh, famous moment in baseball history.

So I wanted to see if it was his highlight.

Was it?

[Mack] No.

Actually, this is just the best, it was Ernie Lombardi chasing this kid, Lenny, down the length of the field because he called him fat.

[Adam laughing]

Isn’t that adorable?

[Adam] Oh my God.

[Mack] That’s his most memorable moment.

I cannot believe you got him.

[Mack] Yeah.

Eighty-eight years old, he’s never done an interview. I was like…

When can I read it?

I’d… I’d love to read it.



But you’re so… I…

I mean, I… I know you’re so super busy, but I would love your thoughts on it.

It’d be a pleasure.

I’ll send it tonight.

[Nick] Great.

Have you tried this? It’s delicious.

[Mack] Not yet. I’ll dig in.

I like to start with a salad.

How about you, Adam? Did you wanna try your fish?

Want me to cut the head off for you? [laughing]

[phone dings]

[phone dinging]

[Adam chuckles]

[texting rapidly]

[phone dings]

[gasps] This fool.

[typing rapidly]

[computer dings]

[inhaling and exhaling deeply]

[emotional music playing]

Okay. Here we go.

[key clicks]

[email sending]

[Claire spits]

[microwave dinging]

[Mack] Hey.

[Bran] Hey.

You out of Spindrift?

[Mack] Yeah. Do we have that lemon kind?

[Bran] No, just that weird ginger ale.

[Mack] Yuck.

Yeah, it’s gross.

Hey, how did that double date go?


[Bran] Yeah?

I mean, then it was terrible.

Put down a whole bunch of fish, and Adam freaked out.

But no, it was good. Yeah.


Uh, so, uh, Brannagan…

Yeah, Mackenzie.

I kind of told Nick that we were all gonna go and support him at this UNICEF thing.


Yes, we.

[Bran] Oh.

Please. All of us.

I’ll pay for Ash and Little.

Mmm. How much is this gonna cost we?

Three hundred.

Three hundred pennies? It better be fucking pennies.

It’s for children.

Oh, fuck children.

Do not fuck children.

[Mack] Thank you. UNICEF?

Ah, yeah. Tuxedos, free-flowing booze.

Flowing maybe, not free.

It’s at Custom House.


Ghostbusters II was shot there.

[phone ringing in the background]

[Bran gasps]

[Bran laughs]

I hate you.

Thank you.

I hate you so much.

Thank you so much.

[Bran] Okay.

Oh, I read it.

You did?

[Bran] What?

[Adam] Her feature.



I wanna read it.

What did you think?

It’s really… It’s beautiful. It’s funny.

I mean, all that family stuff.

And your voice is just… I mean…

The voice is just… It’s very you.

Yeah, Kirk’s gonna love it.


[Kirk] What am I gonna love?

Huh? Untamed, Glennon Doyle.


[Kirk] So, Mack, I heard you’ll be at the gala.

Yeah. We’re gonna be at the gala. Are you gonna be at the gala?

Yes. What, is that gonna be kind of awkward?

[Mack] No.

[Bran] Yes, absolutely.

She loves me really.

What the hell was that?


Why didn’t you tell her about the feature?

I haven’t gotten notes from Nick yet.


So, he’s a Pulitzer Prize winner.


[Bran giggles, meows]

I’m gonna wait for his notes, okay?


[Bran] She wants them notes.


[munching loudly]

[slow piano music playing]


Thanks for breakfast.

You’re welcome. Uh, uh, uh.

Where do you think you’re going?



Figure Rollerblading. You jealous?



[Mack laughing]

Then I’m gonna actually hang out with the crew later if you wanted to come.

I would love to, but I promised my editor I would get this to them today.

[Mack] Mmm.


But good news is, once this is done, you are up, young lady.

You’ll read my feature?

I’ll read your feature.

Thank you.

Oh, you’re welcome.

Thank you. Mwah. Bye.


I’ll, uh… I’ll leave a key under the mat again if you wanna stay over.


[slow piano music continues]

[“Bounce” by Kali J playing]

[Bran] Whoo! Mmm.

Mustache with the Natty Light.

We’re gonna run Farmers Only in three, two…

[Mack, Adam, and Little] No.

Wow. Really?

This is how it’s gonna be? You’re all matched up.

Brannagan’s out in the big bad wilderness all by himself, huh?

Third person? Really?

Shakespeare used illeism to indicate heightened emotion.

No, actually, he used it to indicate egomania.

Brannagan disagrees.

[Mack] Yech.

[Adam] Gross.

Which one was Farmers?

The cocktail fork.

No, that’s Little Mermaid.

Goddamn. How many of these plays do y’all have?

A lot. Did it for 12 years.

Huh. I’m sorry, what? 12 years?

Brannagan had cystic acne in college.

Don’t tell the origin story.

It’s long and complicated. It’s not interesting.

His face was jacked.

Did, uh, Nick read your article yet?

He said he’d read it tonight.

Is he, though?

Dude’s been dragging his feet.

What? No.

Mack, it’s like two and a half pages front and back.

When you’re on a deadline, you know… Why am I even saying this to you?

You know what it is to be on a deadline.

I can read five pages taking a shit.

I take two shits a day. That’s at least ten pages easy.

Just like… [imitates defecating] Just shat out ten pages of reading.

How many times do we have to discuss you not bringing up your bowel movements?

Brannagan’s bowel movements are exquisite.

Checkmate. Ooh-whee.

And with that, I’m out.

[Mack] What? Why?


[Adam] I got some things to do.

Actually, we have to head out too.

When did we become a one-round family?

We’re riding the carousel.

[Mack] Again?

Is that a euphemism?

Ew. No, it’s definitely a euphemism.

Gala this weekend, though.

[indistinct conversations in the bar]

[Bran sniffs]



I feel like I just ate that.

[pop music playing in the background]

[Bran inhales deeply]

We don’t have to do this. We could just go home.

[both] Let’s get out of here.

[Mack] Whoo!

Hi… [quietly] Hey.

[calm music playing]

[Mack exhales deeply]

[calm music continues]

[Mack] Oh, good morning, princess.

[chuckles] I didn’t even hear you come in last night.

Oh, that’s because you were, uh, out cold and even drooling on your chin.

Oh, that sounds like me. [chuckles]




I forgot to bring socks.

Oh, I hate that feeling.

I know, stinky feet.

[exhales] So, what is today?

Chess boxing.


Yeah, it’s… it’s a real thing.

It’s 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing, three minutes each, that ends in either a knockout or a checkmate.


[Mack] I’m serious.

It’s a pro sport. International, actually.


[Mack] Mm-hmm.

Oh. I, um… [sighs]

I read your piece.

[Mack] You did?



[Nick] Yeah.

Oh my God. That means you finished your manuscript.

[Nick] It does.

You finished your manuscript!

Congratulations, baby.

Oh, mmm.

Thank you. I’m so relieved.

It… it’s huge.

Yeah. Yeah.

[Mack] I’m so proud of you.

Oh, thank you.

[zipper closing]

[Nick exhales]

So, hey.

What’d you think?

[Nick] Hmm?

Of my piece.


[chuckling] Oh, sorry.


Yeah, I mean, it was… it was good. Really, there’s some great stuff in there.

Yeah? You wouldn’t, um…

I know you’re so busy, but maybe, like, I don’t know, have a few notes?

Sure. Absolutely. I’ll write a few things down and put them in an email for you.

[Mack] Okay. Thank you.


You know, I am so excited about seeing you all dressed up tomorrow night.



And then all undressed up.

[Mack] Mmm.


Don’t tempt me. I gotta get to work.

[Nick chuckles]

Congrats again.

[Nick] Mmm.

Enjoy that nap. You deserve it.

[“Praise” by Lady Bri playing]

♪ Oh oh oh oh oh ♪

♪ Oh oh oh oh oh ♪

♪ Are you ready? ♪

♪ Oh oh oh oh oh oh ♪

♪ Ready to watch ♪

♪ Oh oh oh oh oh oh ♪

♪ Here I go ♪

♪ I got your hands clappin’… ♪

[referee] It’s time! Fight!

[bell rings]

[boxers grunting]

♪ Ready to watch I’m lit, don’t mess with me, nah ♪

♪ Keep workin’ it, knowin’ it, yeah ♪

[boxer grunting]

♪ This is how we do it, whoo! ♪

♪ Get ready ♪

[boxer 1 grunting]

♪ ‘Cause here I go Give me that standing O ♪

[referee] That’s all!

♪ Gimme your praise, oh yeah, yeah ♪

[boxer 1 grunting]

♪ Gimme your praise ♪

[computer dings]

♪ Oh yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Gimme your, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh Yeah, yeah, gimme your ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

[audience applauding and cheering]

[referee] One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!

[crowd applauding and cheering]

[sad piano music playing]

[siren wailing in the distance]

[phone dings]

[Bran] I’m so attracted to everybody here.

Red dress at six o’clock, green gown at seven-thirty.

Don’t look. The whole point of the clock’s you don’t look.

That’s right.

My bad.

[Bran shouts indistinctly]


[Little] Hey.

[Bran] Hey, buddy.

Looking sharp.

Where’s Claire?


[Bran] Did you ditch her? I hope so.

I need a wingman tonight. There’s a lot of business here.

She had an emergency.

Oh no, bleeding gums.

Family thing.

Four sets of bleeding gums?


It’s a little funny.

Oh, look at that.

[Bran] Wow. Oh my God.

[emotional music playing]

She looks incredible. Wow!

[Little and Ashley] Whoa!



[Little] Yo.

[Bran] I’m so proud of her dress choice.

[Ashley] It’s Rent the Runway.

[Bran] Wow.

[sighs] I’m wearing four pairs of Spanx. If anybody gets cold, jump on in.

It’s nice and hot and moist in there.

Where’s Nick?

Oh, he came early for interviews.

Great. So I’m thinking play Bait and Switch tonight.

Obviously, he’s the bait. I’m gonna switch him out.

Not happening. Alcohol anyone?

[Little] Yuppers. [chuckles]

[Bran] Yes.


[Ashley] Loads.

Shall we?

Oh, thanks.

You okay?

Yeah. Yeah, I’m great.

[cha-cha music playing]



[cha-cha music continues]

[music stops]

[indistinct chattering, laughing]

[cha-cha music continues]

[Nick] Great.

[Mack mouths] Thank you.

[Nick] There it is.

How are you? Good to see you. Thank you so much for coming.

This one’s for the kids. Ah.

[Mack] Brannagan. Brannagan.

Kirk. Wow, nice to… Weird to see you.

It’s always weird to see you.


Dick Van Dyke’s in the hospital.

You have his tribute ready?

Yeah. I got a great write-up.

Best British accent ever, Mary Poppins.

[Kirk] Stop it. Stop it.

Paper’s light. We need material.

All right. It’s gonna be great.

Mack has something.

[Kirk] What? What do you have?


Yeah, she… she has something.

I have nothing.

She has a feature.

You don’t do long-form.

[Mack] I don’t.

Why didn’t you pitch? What is it?

Excuse me. Sorry. Sweetheart, Lebowitz is by the bar.

Oh, well, you can’t hide now, can you, Fran?

Mack, send me what you have. All right?

Got it?

What the hell?

What are you talking about? We’re light. You have something fantastic.

Nick hated it, so no, I don’t.

[Adam] Mack.

[in British accent] Uh-oh, Mary Poppins, trouble’s brewing tonight.

[Adam] Mack.

[Mack] What, Ads?

[Adam] He said that to you?

No, he… [sighs]

[groans] Here.

[jazz music playing in the background]

What the hell is this?

He rewrote it.

What do you mean, he rewrote it?

I mean, I asked him for notes, so…

No, these are not notes. This is…

This is a butcher job. What the hell is this?

This doesn’t even sound like you anymore.

What the… No.

Do yours. Turn yours in. Screw that one.

I mean, he’s not an amateur, Ads, so…

You’re not seriously considering this version?

Mack, come on.

Are you kidding me right now? Like, he totally missed the point.

He took out all your family stuff, all your memories.

Everything that made it you, he took out. I…

Screw this dude, man.

Yo. Okay, calm down.

That dude is my boyfriend.

Well, screw your boyfriend.

Why are you being shitty to me, Ads?

He rewrote you!

But he doesn’t know you. He…

He doesn’t share food, right?

[Mack groans]

He doesn’t eat dairy.

Your fridge is like 90% cheese.

Somebody’s not a douchebag because they take Lactaid.

He doesn’t even like sports.

We don’t have to like the same things.

But he does have to know what you do like.

I mean, what do you like about him?

[Mack] What?

What do you like about Nick?

I’m… [chuckles nervously]

He wears an eye mask to sleep?

That is not great. That’s not…

He has matched dinnerware.

That’s what you like, right?

It’s not the dinnerware. I can buy my own.

Oh, right, it’s ’cause he’s an adult, right?

An adult who’s been schmoozing for hours and hasn’t checked on you.

[emotional music playing]

An adult who took two weeks to read five fricking pages and didn’t even bother discussing it with you before he just took over.

An adult who you played games like a child to win.

You were so preoccupied with whether you could get him, Mack, you didn’t even stop to think if you should.

He’s a catch, Ads.

Right, he’s a catch.

[emotional music continues]

Well, I hope you get that drawer.

And I hope you enjoy eating branzino eyes for the rest of your life.


You don’t eat the eyes!

You know, that was actually so much more fun than I thought it was gonna be.

Kehinde Wiley is an absolute hoot. [chuckles]

Did you get to talk to him?

[Mack] No.

[Nick] Yeah. God, If he wasn’t a painter, he should be a stand-up comedian.

[Nick chuckles]

Oh, I didn’t see much of Adam. Did he leave early?

I think so.

[Nick] Yeah?

A bit flaky, isn’t he?

Not at all, actually.

Oh, by the way, nearly forgot.

I, uh… Ta-ta-ta-dah.

I thought you’d like somewhere to keep your things.

You know, so you’ll always have socks.

[sad piano music playing]


You rewrote my piece.

[Nick] Yeah. I mean, you asked me for feedback, so it was just easier to do it that way. [chuckles]


Oh, wow, that doesn’t feel good. Um…

I just wish that you had talked to me before making edits, you know?

Like had a conversation.

Okay. All right. Well, don’t freak out about it.

W… wow, no, I am decidedly not freaking out about it.

You know, I… I… I wanna freak out, and I’d be justified in freaking out, but that is not the way I’m behaving…

You’re not gonna have a job if you don’t up your game.


[sighs] They’re doing another round of layoffs next month, and local sports is obviously gonna…

Did Kirk tell you that?

When? When did she tell you?

Three weeks ago.

[Mack] Three weeks ago?

Why didn’t you tell… Oh, that’s the reason why you weren’t reading it.

If you hand in something of quality now, maybe you can move to another beat.

You don’t think that’s what I’m doing? [splutters]

You think I didn’t know my job was on the line?

We’re dying. They’ve been downsizing for years.

I know that my time at the paper is riding on this.

I mean, I didn’t “know” know the way you “knew” knew, but I knew.

What are you so pissed off about?

You didn’t tell me that Kirk told you that I was getting axed.

I didn’t think it was my place to. It was awkward.

Awkward? We’re in a relationship, Nick.

You didn’t tell me you were gonna rewrite me.

Fucking change it back then.

You’ve got the file. Just hand in your thing. Good luck.

Look, I don’t understand why you’re getting so stressed.

You took out everything personal to me.

It was mawkish.


Treacly, saccharine, I dunno, soppy.

No, no, no, I know what the word means. I just… I don’t agree with you.

We could’ve had that debate, talked to each other, if you just told me the things you don’t like.

I didn’t like any of it!

I didn’t like any of it. Sorry.

[sad piano music playing]

[emotionally] I did do this all wrong.

Oh, I wanted this so bad.

I think we’re done.


[chuckles] Are you serious right now?

What? Just because I don’t like your writing?

Oh, no, no, no, no. No, no, that’s not it.

No, no, no. I am used to people not liking my writing.

It’s actually half the job.

This is just… This, um…

This piece was all of me.

It was everything that I am, Nick.

It was the way I view the world.

I mean, it is…

I mean, if you don’t like that, then…


I prefer Mack, actually.

[Nick] What?

It’s Mack.

And I hate branzino.

[Nick chuckles]

[“Breathe” by The Cinematic Orchestra playing]

[cell phone buzzing]

[“Breathe” continues]

♪ Oh, that song you’re singing ♪

♪ Singing into me ♪

[Mack sighs]

♪ Over everything ♪

♪ I used to be ♪

♪ It carries me ♪

[telephone ringing]

[indistinct chatter]

He’s out on assignment.

[Mack] Mm-hmm.

That a peace offering?

I eat falafel when I’m down.

He eats Mike and Ikes.

Both of those things are disgusting.


I’ve not seen you guys fight like that.

It was bad.

He was right, though.

Nick did rewrite me.

I broke up with him.

[softly] Come here.

[indistinct chatter continues]

I didn’t like him anyway.

[chuckles] God, you’re so…

He had a stupid accent.

[Mack sniffling]

I’m sorry.

[Kirk] Mack.

I need to see you.

And I’m gonna get axed.

It’s like people don’t wanna read about Ping-Pong anymore.

That’s so weird.


People are fucking awful.

I love you.

[Mack] Love you.

I’m gonna call you.

[Mack] Okay.

Hey. Hey, hey.

Yes. What?

That was a very long hug with a back rub.

It was very sweet, very unlike you. What’s going on?

She broke up with Nick.

[Ashley] What?

What was that?

[Bran] What are you doing here?

You don’t even work… You don’t even work.

Mack broke up with Nick.



[Ashley gasps]

Is she getting fired right now?

There is no way for you to know what else is in the hopper if you don’t talk to me.

There’s a reason for you to pitch first. Not only so I can help hone your angle, but also because someone else might be working on a story that overlaps.

Yeah, I… I’m sorry.

If you wanna change lanes in this company, Mack, you need to signal first.

Come to me. No shenanigans, just be direct, right?

I don’t have time for any of your games.

You wrote this?

It’s really good.

I haven’t cried since 1987.

But if I were going to, it would be reading this.

I’m putting this in the Sunday paper, print and digital.

Editor’s Pick with a push notification for as much readership as possible.

[“Girls Gotta” by Danger Twins playing]


I also want you to cover Sox-Yanks for the Voices section. See how that goes.

[Mack chuckles] What?

[“Girls Gotta” continues]

Red Sox-Yankees?

Yeah, Red Sox-Yankees.


[whispering] Red Sox-Yankees, Thursday?

Okay. We’re done here. You can get out of here.

Yeah. Yeah.

[Kirk] Yeah.

[“Girls Gotta” continues]


Thank you, Kirk.

Close the door on the way out.

♪ And a girl’s gotta do What a girl’s gotta ♪

Red Sox-Yankees, baby! Yeah!

[Ashley and Little] Yeah!

She’s in the big leagues now.


[Little] Literally.

[Ashley] Mm-hmm.

Ads still hasn’t texted back yet?

[“Girls Gotta” continues]

[Mack] Mm-mm.

[Bran] He’s just out with Claire, no?

Or he choked to death on those Mike and Ikes, and you’re personally responsible for his death.

Uh, guys? I don’t think he’s out with Claire.

[indistinct conversations in the bar]

[Bran] Oh shit.

[Ashley] Oh, what…

[Mack] Oh, hell, no. Uh-uh.

[Bran] Oh, it’s going down.

[Claire laughing]

Uh, this is, I mean, just bold.

Bold move, with your beautiful teeth all up in his mouth.

What is… What is going on?

You need to calm down.

[Little] No. Buddy!

[Ashley and Bran] Oh! No, no, no.

[Bran] We’re calm. You gotta calm down.

No. I need you to calm down.

What are you doing?

What the hell are you talking about?

Just cheating on Adam, like, in the open with this biker?

Um, I’m a librarian.

Yeah, we broke up.

Adam and I aren’t together.


Yeah. Yeah, after that shit brunch.

You were there. It was shit.

[splutters] Why? What are you talking about?

No, the lobster rolls, they were good.

Rest of the bunch, it was shit.

He didn’t tell me you broke up.

This doesn’t make any sense.

Of course he didn’t. Come on.

Why? You guys, you were great. You’re great.

Thank you. You… you… you were always sweet.

But Adam’s in love with you.

[nervously] What?

[Claire] He’s in love with you, Mack.

[Little whispers] Let’s go.

You guys are psycho. Ride or die but psycho.

She sees me.

She’s not wrong.

[indistinct conversations in the bar]

Why would she say that?

[soul music playing in the background]

Why are you all looking at each other?

[Bran] Um… [groans]

Oh, for crying out loud. Mack, ’cause he does.

Adam loves you.




Yeah, yeah. No, I mean, I realized… Was it sophomore year? My sophomore year?

The end of my seventh grade.

You made me pinky promise to never tell Mack.

[Bran] Freshman year.


[Bran] Yeah.

No, no, no, no.

Adam and I tried. No, we tried.

We tried under the shirt, over the bra, sophomore year.

And he wasn’t into it.

He thought you weren’t into it.

I was into it.

Yeah, Mack, that was the year that you lost your mom, though.

You were really sad. He kind of was like…

[Bran] He kind of thought that he… [clears throat]

…had taken advantage of you.

[Little] Yeah. He beat himself up.

[Bran] He was really… He kicked himself…

Two years.

I was in high school. Had to be three.

Right. No, yeah, three years.

Wait, you guys have known about this for over a decade?

That long?

And you knew?

[soul music continues in the background]

I knew three days on the job.

You came in and stole a 24-pack of toilet paper, and, well, I saw the look on his face.

[Bran] He makes that face a lot, Mack.

[Ashley] Yeah.

[Bran] He loves you.

And it seems like maybe…

You love him too.

She does.

You do.

No. No, he’s like my brother. I…

[Little, Ashley, and Bran] Is he?

[sad piano music playing]

[keys jangling]

[Mack sighs]



[chuckles tearfully]

[emotionally] Oh, wow, that’d be great.

[indistinct conversations]

[phone ringing in the background]

Hey, man.

What’s up?

Mack says you’re not returning her calls. You guys… you guys good, or…

Yeah, I’ve just been busy.

Goddamn it.

[Adam] What happened to your face?

[sighs] Oh, I tried to run Sid and Nance on this guy last night.

He was running his own version of Jealous Guy with his ex.

I was the bait, I got punched.

Didn’t matter, though, ’cause I still… [pops mouth]…tapped that.

Wow. You need therapy.

Why does everyone keep saying that to me?

Hi, guys.


I wanna run something.


Okay, so Ryan’s birthday is next month…

Stop. Who’s Ryan?

Your brother?

Oh, that Ryan.

[Adam sighs]

Anyways, I got four tickets to the Sox-Yanks game.

[Adam and Bran] What?

I sold my spleen. I didn’t need it.

[giggles] Oh, for tonight?

Yeah, I wanna surprise him.


You think he’ll like it?

Oh, I think he’ll jizz, like… [blows raspberry]…everywhere.

[laughs] Yes, that’s great. I mean, not really great.

I think that’s pretty good because he’ll just jizz from pure excitement.

[Ashley] As long as some lands…

[Bran] Ain’t it fun?

It’ll be a slip and slide. [laughs]

Yeah. I love a good…



Okay, what do you need from us?

[Ashley] He’s coming at 5.

He thinks we’re doing happy hour. Do you happen to have an unexpected-funeral tie in the office?

I write about dead people.

I have a whole drawer of unexpected-funeral ties in my office.


[Little whistling]


Hi. Hi.

Did you know your elevator smells like mittens?

[jazz-funk music playing]

[groaning] Shit. What’s going on?

[Adam] No. Hey.

[Little groans] Where are you taking me?

[Bran] Shut up.

[Little] What’s happening?

[jazz-funk music continues]

[Carl] What are you doing to the intern?

You saw nothing, Carl. Nothing.

Help me, Carl!

[Bran] Shut up!

[music stops and continues]

[Adam] Left. Left. Left.

[Bran] Okay. Step. Watch your step.

Head down. Back seat. Go.

Back seat. Hurry. Go.

[Adam] Come on.

[Bran] Go.

[driver] Want me to take the Whitestone?

[Ashley] Destination’s classified. Go!

[tires squealing]

[funky music continues]

[Bran] Out, out, out. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go.

[Adam] Out!

Five stars, please.

[Adam] I got him. I got him.

[Bran] All right. That way. Here we go.

Do I hear hot dogs?

Nope. No, you don’t.

Why aren’t we going this way?

Shortcut this way.

A little further.

[music stops]

How is this a shortcut, dude?

[Bran] Trust me.

Look, you’re gonna see in a second. It’s so much shorter this way.

[indistinct shouting in the distance]

[PA announcer] Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to Yankees Stadium.

I think I might take up acting.

[Ashley and Bran] It was her idea.

[calm music playing]

[PA announcer continues indistinctly]

[Mack] Hey.

Shouldn’t you be in the press box? Like, what part of the… What play is this?

We did run Bag the Wrong Man, obviously, just to get you here,

but this isn’t… This is the “no play” play.

The “no play” play? Hmm.

[Mack] Yeah.

This is the “no play” play.

It was a dicey move. The diciest.

[both chuckle]

[Mack] I’m in the danger zone, but, um, I’m laying it on the line here, so…

Aren’t you gonna be late for the game?

I have two minutes and 32 seconds.

So that means I have two minutes to stand here with you in my favorite place.

You know, where, um, Babe Ruth played, and DiMaggio played, and Yogi Berra, and where Lou Gehrig made his farewell speech, and Nelson Mandela spoke, and three popes held mass, and 15,000 people gathered to pray for 9/11.

For the past few months, I’ve been gathering all these memories from fans. None of them said any of that.

It was all about Cracker Jack toys and getting a beer with Dad and…

And being there for the Giants to win their coin toss right after coming back from Iraq, but it was never about the plays.

And for my parents?

[emotionally] It was sitting right here, meeting for the first time and falling in love over Reggie! bars.

And so that’s why I wanted you to come here.

So that I can tell you… [chuckles]

…you’re kind and thoughtful and funny.

I love that you save half of everything you’re eating for me, you walk me to the train, that you know when I need a falafel ’cause I’m down, and you don’t make fun of me because I smell like ’em.

Because you tell me when I’m being an idiot, not to hurt me but to help.

And because with you, I feel safe to be fully and truly myself.

[calm music continues]

Because you know that… that there’s magic in the small things.

That the park next to the stadium could be magic, and that the most important things aren’t the most obvious.

I’m about to cover Sox-Yankees for the first time in my career, and I already know that my favorite moment of today is standing here telling you…

I love you, Adam.

Mack… if you ever talk to me that much again…

Oh, I have a little bit left…

[Adam] No more.

So much talking.

[Mack] So much?

Yeah. Too much.

[Mack] I worked on it. I had a really nice…

No. I’m gonna kiss you now.

[happy, soulful music playing]

[squeals] Oh, wow. Oh, wow.

Wow, they’re going for it.

This is totally gonna fuck the dynamic.

[alarm ringing]

Oh no. No. Oh no.

Oh, I gotta go. [chuckling] I gotta go.

[Bran] Don’t get fired.


[Little and Ashley] Go!

[Bran] You’ll get fired.

[Mack] Will you take him to the seats?

[Bran and Ashley] Yes!

[Mack] First-base line, baby.

Oh, first base. You’re spoiling me.

[Bran] Go! Go!

[Mack] Okay, bye! I love you!

[Little, Ashley, Bran cheering]

I love you.

[happy, soulful music intensifying]

[Bran] Yeah! You better not have kids or something crazy!

[Ashley] Gross. Come on.

[Adam] No one said anything about kids.

[Bran] Look at Little. Don’t need any more of them.

[Little] I’m not a kid.

[Ashley] He’s not.

[Bran] You’re a grown baby.

[Little] You’re a baby with a busted eye.

[Ashley] No, you kind of are a baby.

[Adam] Shut the fuck up.

[bat cracks]

[fans cheering]

[PA announcer] Going, going, gone!

[“Know That I Know” by Lake Street Dive playing]

♪ Yeah, we’re like baseball and hot dogs ♪

♪ You’re Ferris Bueller And I’m your day off ♪

♪ The E Street Band and the Boss ♪

♪ You know you’re my ♪

♪ Happy clouds, and I’m Bob Ross ♪

♪ So let me tell you, boy In no uncertain terms ♪

♪ I finally found the words ♪

♪ Don’t you know that I know That you know that I know ♪

♪ That you want me ♪

♪ And don’t I know that you know That I know that you know ♪

♪ That I want you ♪

♪ So let it be known by letter or phone ♪

♪ All our other lovers Better leave us alone ♪

♪ Get ready to go ‘Cause I’m takin’ you home ♪

♪ Yeah, we’re like sneakers And gym socks ♪

♪ You’re happy hour, and I am 5 o’clock ♪

♪ You’re Captain Kirk to my Spock ♪

♪ You know I’m Dee Dee Ramone And you’re punk rock ♪

♪ So let me tell you, boy ♪

♪ Don’t leave it up to fate ♪

♪ It’s time to set things straight ♪

♪ Don’t you know that I know That you know that I know ♪

♪ That you want me ♪

♪ And don’t I know that you know That I know that you know ♪

♪ That I want you ♪

♪ So let it be known by letter or phone ♪

♪ All our other lovers Better leave us alone ♪

♪ Get ready to go ‘Cause I’m takin’ you home ♪

♪ And when we get home Throw your coat on my bed ♪

♪ But that’s the only thing We’re doin’ here for now ♪

♪ Turn the lights down low And the music of love ♪

♪ You know you dance so good ♪

♪ Won’t you show me how? ♪

♪ It’s like we’ve been together Much longer than is true ♪

♪ We’ve watched the formin’ of the sun ♪

♪ And we’ll be there To colonize the moon ♪

♪ If it’s not too soon ♪

♪ Don’t you know that I know That you know that I know ♪

♪ That you want me ♪

♪ And don’t I know that you know That I know that you know ♪

♪ That I want you ♪

♪ So let it be known by letter or phone ♪

♪ All our other lovers Better leave us alone ♪

♪ Get ready to go ‘Cause I’m takin’ you home ♪

♪ And don’t you know that I know That you know that I know ♪

♪ That you want me ♪

♪ And don’t I know that you know That I know that you know ♪

♪ That I want you ♪

♪ So let it be known by letter or phone ♪

♪ All our other lovers Better leave us alone ♪

♪ Get ready to go ♪

♪ ‘Cause I’m takin’ you home ♪

[“Know That I Know” ends]


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A Sacrifice (2024)

A Sacrifice (2024) | Transcript

American social psychologist Ben Monroe investigates a local cult connected to a disturbing event, while his daughter becomes embroiled with a mysterious local boy.

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