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The American Dream (episode)/Transcript

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Diem's farm

TOMMY: We were smart to plant when we did, Dad. Look at the size of these things.

TRU: And the price is up, too. You're going to be rich, Diem. We're going to have to learn to bow when you walk by.

DIEM: As soon as you harvest, we'll both be rich. We'll have a bowing contest.

DIEM: Minh, Minh, what are you doing? I thought you left an hour ago.

MINH: There were a few things to do.

TRU: Nonsense. Now, you get yourself back home and get ready. You don't spend the day of your wedding loading trucks.

MINH: Are you sure you want to go alone?

DIEM: Tommy's coming with me. Besides, when the two largest farms stand up to him, he's finished. No extortions. No warlord in America.

MINH: I'm very proud of my future father-in-law.

WOMAN: Nguyen Van Minh, you come home right now. You have to get dressed.

TRU: Old woman, have some respect.

MINH: I'm going. You embarrass me.

WOMAN: Wait till you see how we have decorated the house. It will be a wedding befitting a hero.

On the road to market

MAN ON RADIO.: And today's report from the Imperial Valley. The cabbage harvest has been slowed somewhat by last week's unseasonal rains, however, damage was minimal due to advanced meteorological...

(POP MUSIC PLAYING)

MAN ON RADIO: And in the San Joaquin, it's expected that last year's fruit fly scare will not reoccur due to advanced aerial spray. Good news for artichoke growers...

(CROP DUSTING AIRCRAFT APPROACHES AT LOW LEVEL) DIEM: What's he doing?

MAN ON RADIO: ...but all news can't be good news.

DIEM: That smell!

TOMMY: It's gas!

(EXPLOSION)

Minh's wedding

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

(SLOW JAZZ PLAYING)

TRU: Please, friends. Some people may be late, but let's begin. It is good to see you all. It is good to see so many of the old flags, to honor a hero of his country's war. I am honored to give my daughter Mai's hand to Nguyen Van Minh and to welcome him to my family as a son, partner and an heir.

(PEOPLE CLAPPING)

CAITLIN: Oh, String, a Vietnamese wedding.

HAWKE: You know, I've always found weddings kind of depressing. How about you, Dom?

DOMINIC: Huh? Oh, depressing.

CAITLIN: Bachelors.

CAITLIN: Oh, Hawke, she's so beautiful.

HAWKE: You know, there's an old Vietnamese proverb that says that a crying woman brings seven years of bad luck.

CAITLIN: You just made that up.

(SHUSHING)

DOMINIC: Seven years is a long time.

TRU: You are now starting your own family. You have my love and blessing.

(SIGHS)

Central Valley Air Services

HUA: All the farmers are falling into line except for Tru and his new son-in-law, Minh.

KO: Diem ran into a small problem today. His truck burned up.

HUA: That leaves old Tru.

KO: And the new farmer, Minh, it's his wedding today.

ZUNG: Then it's time to pay a little courtesy call.

Back at the wedding

(SOFT JAZZ PLAYING)

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

DOMINIC: Go on, give it to 'em now, String.

HAWKE: Please accept a small gesture of our deep affection for your children.

TRU: You are very welcome, Mr. Hawke, and friends. But this gift is too precious for my daughter and son-in-law to accept.

HAWKE: Respectfully, Mr. Tru, our gift is very modest.

TRU: It is more than appropriate.

HAWKE: Not compared to your friendship.

MINH: Thank you.

DOMINIC: Hey! Congratulations!

CAITLIN: Good luck.

MAI: Thank you for coming.

MINH: I am so glad you and your friends came. It makes the day perfect.

HAWKE: Couldn't miss this.

MINH: If it hadn't been for you and your friends in high places, I might never have gotten out. Never known this beautiful place.

HAWKE: Well, you've been a long time getting over that war, buddy. But to these people you're a hero, and that's long overdue. And I hear you're still making enemies.

MINH: What do you mean?

HAWKE: Well, it's what I heard, that Mai had about a dozen boyfriends that she sent packing.

MINH: True.

HAWKE: Well, you look like you're adjusting to your new life just fine.

MINH: You'd be surprised how little some things change.

(WOMAN SCREAMING)

(PEOPLE CHATTERING IN VIETNAMESE)

MINH: What is it? What happened?

SAMA: They killed them. Diem and Tommy are dead.

TRU: There was an accident.

SAMA: It was no accident!

TRU: The sheriff said their truck overturned and burned.

SAMA: Minh, why pretend? We all know what happened.

HAWKE: How do you know?

SAMA: The warlord, Zung. He's been collecting tributes up and down the valley.

MINH: Sama, we'll talk later. It's our concern.

MINH: Under the circumstances, no one will be offended if you wish to go home.

ZUNG: I hope we have not come too late. A token of respect to those who wish to preserve our ancient way of life.

TRU: Colonel, we are unworthy. Your gift, it is...

MINH: The time for exchange of gifts is over.

ZUNG: I come in friendship, Nguyen Van Minh, and you dishonor me.

SAMA: You lying thief! You kill Tommy and his father and then you steal our money.

MINH: Sama!

SAMA: Then you buy expensive gifts to shame us.

ZUNG: Enough of that, boy.

MINH: Sama!

SAMA: I'm not afraid of him.

(SCUFFLE) ZUNG: Respect which cannot be earned one way must be earned another.

CAITLIN: Hawke, who was that?

HAWKE: Tranh Van Zung. He was a Wing Commander in the Vietnamese Air Force.

HAWKE: If there's anything we can do to help...

MINH: It's not your concern, Hawke.

(DUCKS QUACKING)

At night, Minh's residence

MAI: I have never seen...

MINH: A man?

MAI: So many scars.

MINH: Here, Hawke saved my life. Here, I saved his. Here was Tet. Here...

MAI: Here, you have peace.

Outside, a storytelling session

(BIRD CALLING)

GRANDMOTHER: Hang Nga is the beautiful princess who lived in the moon, pale and without flaw, a perfect goddess. She counted the stars by night and by day watched the lives of the children down on the Earth.

GRANDMOTHER: She thought, "I will send my friend the white spider on Earth to help the children, to be their friend." And so down came the white spider, on long silver spider webs spun of moonlight, all the way from the moon to the Earth.

GRANDMOTHER: But when the white spider came near the evil thoughts of men, a terrible thing happened. Black he became, black as night, an evil thing, to chase and devour the children as he hung from the sky. "Stop! Stop!" cried the princess, but it was too late.

GRANDMOTHER: And so, until the thoughts of men are evil no more, beware the Moon Spider!

(DUCKS QUACKING)

(MOTORCYCLE ENGINES ROARING DISTANTLY)

(MOTORCYCLES APPROACHING)

Morning, on Tru's farm

HAWKE: Mai, have you been out here all night?

CAITLIN: Here, you look frozen. Try not to worry too much. The doctor said Minh's gonna be just fine.

HAWKE: You know, we're here to help. You've got a crop in the field and it's harvest time. We'll do anything we can.

MAI: It is time to harvest. But no one will come to help us now.

CAITLIN: They're your neighbors. Of course they'll come.

MAI: No. What happened to Minh was not an accident. You don't understand what we're up against here. He is the quan cong. The warlord. Generations of our people have paid tribute to him. He is in our culture, in our stories.

HAWKE: The Moon Spider.

MAI: Yes.

CAITLIN: The Moon Spider? That story?

HAWKE: Yeah, it's Zung's trademark, like an insignia. He uses the old myths to keep people in line. Pretty clever.

SAMA: Hey, you guys! Hey! What are we waiting for? This field is just waiting to be picked. Check this out!

(SAMA LAUGHING)

DOMINIC: You see? Nothing to it.

HAWKE: Yeah, once.

(GUFFAWS)

TRU: You are most unselfish to help an old man.

HAWKE: Well, you've got a crop in the field and Minh's in the hospital, somebody's got to pick it, I guess it's us.

DOMINIC: Yeah, but there's no reason we can't have a little fun, huh? I'll tell you what. The first one down to the.... Down to that ditch down there is the winner.

HAWKE: You're on.

TRU: Okay.

DOMINIC: Let's go!

SAMA: Come on, come on! Faster than that!

CAITLIN: Give me a break, I've never cut cabbage before.

CAITLIN: Come on. Come on.

TRU: You have to move faster than that. Come on, let's go.

(LAUGHING)

SAMA: Slow down, Tru. Come on, we can't catch up with you.

(GROANING)

SAMA: Come on, Dom, let's go, Dom. That's it, that's it.

TRU: Let's go, let's go, move faster.

TRU: I won! I won! Hey, I won! Come on, you slowpokes! I won!

(AIRPLANE ENGINE DRONING)

Central Valley Air Services

HUA: This American, Hawke, and his friends are out there right now, helping Minh's wife bring in her crops.

ZUNG: Mount this on the left wing and run a thorough check on all the other systems.

HUA: If we let this go, the people will say the Spider has lost his bite.

ZUNG: You know, in Vietnam, they always gave us castoff planes. And the Americans always had the best.

HUA: General, I've seen it happen. Sometimes one hero is all they need.

ZUNG: So what are we confronted with? One meddling American? Fortunately, such people have little stomach for the realities of life.

(SCOFFS)

ZUNG: And of history.

(EXCLAIMS)

DOMINIC: The last time I worked this hard was at Anzio Beach. At least we can see the end of it.

SAMA: Tru owns the other side of the road, too.

DOMINIC: What? Who the hell eats all this stuff, anyway?

CAITLIN: Would somebody give me a hand with these?

(RADIO CHATTERING)

HAWKE: Can we help you?

BRYANT: Burgess County Sheriff's office.

Minh's residence

BRYANT: There were no charges filed in connection with your husband's injuries, but I did hear some rumors in town.

HAWKE: Rumors? What kind of rumors?

BRYANT: Someone is trying to shake down these Vietnamese immigrants.

HAWKE: Sergeant, unless these people pay protection, they won't be allowed to go on their own fields to harvest their own crop.

MAI: Do you know what that means to a farmer, not to harvest?

BRYANT: I've been a policeman for 20 years in this county. I know farmers. But this is the first I've heard of protection payoffs.

HAWKE: Where my friends come from, this is a very old game.

BRYANT: But who's behind it?

SAMA: Tranh Van Zung.

BRYANT: The man who owns Central Valley Air Service?

(SIGHING)

BRYANT: When and how did Zung approach you?

SAMA: Well, not me. The farmers.

BRYANT: Mr. Tru?

TRU: He is not direct. It is just expected. The words they use, I do not think I can translate.

HAWKE: The threat is clear enough. Either you pay up, or you try to harvest your crop and they'll kill you. In a couple of days that crop will be rotting in the field.

CAITLIN: And you're the only one who can do something about it.

BRYANT: Look, I want to help, really. I don't want this going on in my county. But until someone is willing to go on the record about extortion or assault, there's not much I can do. Here's my number. Day or night, I'll be there.

BRYANT: Show me where your husband was run down.

DOMINIC: Something tells me we could help the sergeant put together a little evidence, huh?

HAWKE: Maybe.

At the site where Diem's truck was attacked

DOMINIC: That farmer's truck went up, didn't leave very much, did it?

HAWKE: Well, there's always something.

DOMINIC: Peaceful enough now. What did you find? Let's see.

DOMINIC: Looks like some kind of trigger mechanism.

HAWKE: Yeah, off a grenade. Incendiary, probably.

DOMINIC: Oh, come on, String, that's ridiculous.

HAWKE: You imagine some guy out here lobbing grenades? Why, he'd stick out like a...

(AIRCRAFT APPROACHING)

DOMINIC: String, it's gas! Gasoline! Come on!

(EXPLOSION)

DOMINIC: Hey, these guys are playing for keeps. Come on.

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

Minh's residence

(TRUCK APPROACHING)

SAMA: Hey, look, here they come!

TRU: Oh, my boy! Are you all right?

MAI: He's going to be fine, Father.

SAMA: All right, all right, Minh's back. Now things will be different, huh? Hey, we talked to a cop today, Minh. He says all he needs is one man to testify and Zung will be...

MINH: Please, I am tired. All I want to do is say hello to everyone, and then go lie down.

MAI: Let him alone, Sama.

SAMA: No. He's the only one they'll follow. He can talk to them. He has to lead us.

MINH: No! I am not your leader. Let me be.

(MOTORCYCLES APPROACHING)

(PEOPLE SCREAMING)

SAMA: Hey, I know you!

SAMA: I'm going to put you in jail, man! You watch me, hero.

Night, on a country road, then later, dawn

(CAR APPROACHING)

(MOTORCYCLES APPROACHING)

(POLICE RADIO CHATTERING)

HAWKE: Were he and Minh very close?

MAI: Yes. Maybe even a distant relative.

HAWKE: Sure seems to be taking it awful hard.

MAI: You know him longer than I, you know what he's like at times like this. A turtle. Inside himself. Who knows what he's thinking?

HAWKE: Keep an eye on him.

BRYANT: Damn it. I liked that kid.

DOMINIC: So did we.

BRYANT: What's wrong with these people? Don't they know this is going to keep going on until somebody speaks out?

HAWKE: Well, where they come from, the police and the warlords are sometimes the same.

BRYANT: Well, I've got a job to do, don't I? Show them how American cops work.

HAWKE: Maybe this will help.

DOMINIC: We found that by what was left of Diem's truck.

BRYANT: Let's go into town, see what the lab says.

(ENGINE STARTING)

Minh's Residence

MAI: You were told to go back to bed and stay there.

MINH: I have to go out.

MAI: What do they call it in this country? Macho?

MINH: Mai, I am going to bring our crop to market.

MAI: Oh, Minh. Minh, how long has it been since Hawke sponsored you to this country? The day you arrived, you kissed the ground and swore you'd never use a weapon again.

MINH: Sama put his trust in me. I failed him. I let him die just because I was tired of fighting.

MAI: They'll kill you, too.

MINH: If I don't go, I'm already dead.

MAI: I'll go with you. You remind everyone that this is America. Here women have equal rights.

MINH: In all things, except this.

Saigon Bar

(JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING)

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

HAWKE: Mr. Zung, I'd like to have a word with you.

ZUNG: Mr. Hawke. Mr. Santini. Please, join me in a drink.

HAWKE: Why not?

DOMINIC: String! You're not gonna drink with this hood, are you?

ZUNG: Your friend speaks harshly of me.

DOMINIC: I know you, bloodsucker. And so did my father, and his father before him. You got a name in every language. Cosa Nostra. La Mano Nera. And in your country, quan cong.

ZUNG: Explain to your friend that I simply receive voluntary tribute.

HAWKE: And if you don't choose to volunteer?

(MAN ON RADIO TALKING lN VIETNAMESE)

ZUNG: Do you mean, for example, a farmer trying to take a truckload of lettuce to market?

HAWKE: Zung, you slaughtered the Diem family. You murdered Sama. That's for the police. But if you touch Minh, his family, or any of those farmers, I will personally send you straight to hell.

ZUNG: Americans. You understand heroics, but never inevitability.

HAWKE: I understand much more than you think.

(ICE CLINKING)

ZUNG: Deal with Minh.

(OUTSIDE THE BAR) DOMINIC: Hey, what's he mean by "inevitability"?

HAWKE: That radio call said Minh's bringing in his crops.

DOMINIC: Means they'll hit him with gasoline. We'd better get out there, fast.

Country road

TRU: Halfway there. Maybe we're going to make it.

MINH: Of course we are. You haven't lived all these years to be stopped ten miles out of town.

(TRU LAUGHS)

(AIRCRAFT APPROACHING)

MINH: Come! Gas! This way.

(AIRWOLF APPROACHES)

TRU: What's that?

MINH: That's our answer to the Black Spider.

(METAL THUNKING)

HAWKE: This is Stringfellow Hawke on Police Frequency 9 for Sergeant Bryant.

Saigon Bar

DOMINIC: Well, let's just hope this works.

(UPBEAT JAZZ PLAYING)

MINH: This garbage belongs to you.

ZUNG: They just don't make thugs the way they used to.

MINH:You're finished, Zung.

ZUNG: And what brings you to that calculation?

MINH: He's going to tell the police all about your operation.

ZUNG: He'd be very foolish to do so. You know, your friends may think I've lost. But you, Minh, you know better.

ZUNG: You've got one prisoner, I've got all the people. And I have owned them for a thousand years.

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

(OUTSIDE)

MINH: He's right. I've changed nothing.

HAWKE: What's the first thing you learned in combat? You don't do anything all by yourself.

(TRUCK ENGINE STARTING)

Night, outside Minh's residence

MINH: So now we know. There is no mystery anymore. We know how Diem and Tommy were killed. My friend Hawke thinks the police will be able to put this killer in jail.

MINH: But we are behind bars, too. Bars of our own making. Here we are, in America, with farms and cars and mortgages, and our children growing up as Americans, and still, even now, Zung has his way with us. It is not right!

MINH: Zung said to me, "I have owned them for a thousand years." I did not come to this country to be owned by anyone! I do not come here to be your leader. But before I become owned again, I will lead!

MINH: Tomorrow, into the fields to bring in the harvest. And not one cent of tribute. Who will work beside me?

(FIRE CRACKLING)

(CHEERING)

Next morning, in the fields

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

(TALKING lN VIETNAMESE)

(CROPDUSTER AIRCRAFT APPROACHING)

CAITLIN: Come on. Come on!

(AIRWOLF ZOOMS IN - MUSIC) DOMINIC: Hey, String, while we're chasing this one, the other guy's lining up for a gasoline run.

(PEOPLE SCREAMING)

(ROCKET - ONE CROPDUSTER EXPLODES)

(ROCKET - SECOND ONE EXPLODES)

CAITLIN: Hawke.

ZUNG: Nice machine you have there, Mr. Hawke. But it is not the machine that gives you the edge. It's the man.

(MACHINE GUN FIRE)

DOMINIC: He's coming straight at us. Kamikaze run.

(ROCKET - EXPLOSION)

FRIGHTENED CHILD: Grandmother, the Spider, he's coming for us.

ZUNG: You, you, you, gather the chute. Now!

DOMINIC: String, I sure hope they don't knuckle under again.

HAWKE: Well, we can't do any more. They're on their own now.

ZUNG: Right now, I said! Gather the chute! Did you hear me?

MINH: Tranh Van Zung, you are under arrest.

ZUNG: By whose authority?

MINH: My own. This is America! Citizen's arrest!

Hawke's cabin

(SCREECHING)

HAWKE: "...for being true friends, and for giving us the finest gift of all, freedom.

DOMINIC: That's nice.

CAITLIN: Think they're gonna make it, Hawke?

HAWKE: I think they already have.

DOMINIC: Hey, what are we gonna do with all this stuff?

CAITLIN: Eat it. You know it always tastes better when you pick it yourself.

DOMINIC: Look at this. Hey, they sent us a souvenir.

HAWKE: Suitable for framing.

(ALL LAUGH)

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