"Nothing to Fear, But Nothing to Fear"
First Aired 11/5/99
In Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, a woman is climbing a tall tower, while rescuers try to save her. Just as a rescuer reaches the woman, she lets go and falls to her death while a crowd looks on.
In a therapists office, Misenbach is in the middle of a session. Misenbach says he wants to "Forget about everything and just run away and start over." The therapists insists that it is all about Lisa. She recommends that he either try to make his marriage work, or end his marriage and go after Lisa. A shocked Misenbach exclaims, "Boy, we sure covered a lot of ground there, huh?"
At Michaels townhouse, Michael is lifting weights, while Dr. Theo is pacing and not really paying attention. Michael stops his own training and tells Dr. Theo that they should do "mental things." Michael starts by giving some brain teasers and when he gets no reply, he answers his own teasers. He tells Dr. Theo, "Now you do one." Starting to shrug Michael off, Dr. Theo them tells Michael about the woman in Coney Island who fell off the tower. Michael wants to know the punchline, to which Dr. Theo replies, "She dies."
While Michael is a little disappointed that Dr. Theo wont play his games, Dr. Theo is wondering what makes a woman, who is admitted afraid of heights, climb a tower and then lets go just as someone is about to save her.
At the Wisemans, Lisa is getting ready for a date, which she is looking forward. Roger and his wife Ruth have set up the date for her. And Lisa feels that Roger had something to do with her getting the insurance money, so she doesn't want to offend him. Meanwhile, Heather tries to talk her mother into calling off the date and maybe calling Michael. Lisa doesnt think she can do that since: (a) she doesnt know Michaels number; (b) she thinks hes a kid; (c) shes too scared (although she doesnt really admit that). As she leaves, she warns Heather not to open the door to anyone.
Meanwhile, at Rogers house, Roger is getting dressed, while Ruth is in the shower. Roger warns Ruth not to order escargot at dinner, since the snails do not agree with her. She retorts by telling him to lay off the booze. Ruth also brings up Rogers preoccupation with their daughter Amandas roommate. Since this is conversation Roger wants to avoid, he quickly leaves the room.
At a singles dance, William Fox enters and sits down. Ward Lomax, who is sitting near Fox, begins a conversation. Lomax notices Foxs interest in a female who is dancing. When he urges Fox to ask her to dance, Fox replies that hes probably not her type. Lomax offers to buy Fox a glass of punch. Lomax tries to guess Foxs weight, saying its something he likes to do. When he finds out Foxs weight, Lomax goes to the punch bowl and pulls out a vial. He pours the contents into the punch bowl.
Later that night, a doorbell rings at the Wiseman house. Heather peeks through the window and sees Gerald Misenbach. He introduces himself to Heather and puts his business card through the mail slot for Heather. He asks to see Lisa. Heather lies and says theyre having a " really big dinner party. Lots of people are toasting her. I really don't want to interrupt." Misenbach, looking at the deserted street, recognizes the lie and says, "Well, just please ask her to call me. And tell her that I heard about the house and the insurance money and Im very excited for her. And you could also tell her that some things have changed in my life and Id really like to talk to her." He waits to get some sort of response from Heather and when he gets nothing, he leaves.
At the restaurant, Lisa and her date Richard are sitting at a table for four, alone. Apparently, Roger and Ruth are indisposed. Richard admits that he feels bad about agreeing to go on the date, since he has recently meet someone that he is interested in. Lisa, feeling a little uncomfortable, asks about this new woman in his life, and he states that she is a student where he teaches.
Roger returns to the table and apologizes for Ruth, who had eaten the snails, even though they make her sick. Sensing the tension, he asks what theyve been discussing. Lisa says that Richard was saying how hed meet someone. Now everyone at the table is uncomfortable. Richard explains that the student is 22. Normally, hes too afraid to ask woman out, but one day he saw this student whos in one of his seminars and decided to just ask her out. And it turned out okay for him. Listening to this, Roger is salivating a little. And continues to order drink after drink.
Meanwhile, at the singles dance, Fox has finished his drink. With Lomax urging him on, Fox goes up to the woman hed been eyeing and starts to dance with her. In the background, with Aerosmiths "Crazy" playing, couples begin to come together, taking their clothes off, and getting familiar with each other. One man steals from the petty cash box. Basically, they all give up their fears and do whatever they want. All the while, Lomax looks on with glee.
At breakfast the next morning at the Wisemans, Lisa sits down at the table and says nothing. Heather asks for details and Lisa tells her it wasnt the best evening. Heather then hands Lisa Misenbachs business card and explains that he came to see her. After Heather relays Misenbachs message, Lisa is impressed that he would do that.
Seizing this as a perfect opening, Heather again encourages Lisa to call and ask Michael out. This time Lisas excuses are: (a) that all of their encounters with him "have been odd"; (b) people her age do not "run around ringing mens doorbells"; and (c) shes too scared (which she still does not admit to). Heather taunts Lisa with a "What are you afraid of, Mom?"
William Fox is out driving a machine that picks up golf balls at a driving range. Possessed by something, he gets out of the enclosed machine and stands there. The golfers continue to hit their golf balls, pelting Fox as he stands in the open field.
At Michaels townhouse, Michael is again lifting weights, with obvious difficulty. This time Dr. Theo is paying attention and is looking on with undisguised joy. Michael pleads with Dr. Theo to let him finish lifting the weights and the Doctor is having some fun with Michael. Dr. Theo has heard about what happened to William Fox. Apparently, Mr. Fox stood on the driving range until the golf balls pounded him into a coma. Why is Dr. Theo so happy? "Because his body contained a vaccine designed specifically to block the mind's natural responses to people and situations that pose a threat. The same vaccine that was found in that woman who fell to her death in Coney Island the other day."
That vaccine was found in all the people who had been at the singles dance the night before. Dr. Theo hypothesizes correctly that this vaccine reduced the fears of people who come in contact with it. Michael chides him for being so happy when one person has died and another is in a coma due to this vaccine. But Dr. Theo sees the ramifications of what a drug like this can do for mankind.
He is in the process of explaining all this to Michael, when the doorbell rings. Theyre both a little stunned, since on one had ever used the doorbell on Michaels apartment before. Dr. Theo turns off the alarm and opens the door. They are both surprised to see Lisa standing there. Michael is more pleased-surprised, while Dr. Theo is very upset-surprised by this visit.
Dr. Theo explains that they cant invite her in because the apartment is getting fumigated. They continue the conversation at the door, with Lisa still standing on the sidewalk. Lisa finds it strange that Dr. Theo would be at Michaels apartment and asks Dr. Theo if he lives there too. Dr. Theo replies to the negative. Michael asks if everything is fine with the house situation and Lisa replies that everything is great. She goes on to say that that is why she came over, to invite Michael to dinner to thank him for his help. She hastily includes Dr. Theo in the invitation. Michael doesnt know how to reply to that, when Dr. Theo rushes in to say, "Well, that sounds lovely."
Michael turns to look at Dr. Theo in surprise and then with a huge grin, seconds it. As they set a time, a phone rings. Dr. Theo searches for it in his pockets, flustered when he cant find it right away. Finally, with the phone in his hand, he excuses himself.
Alone, Michael and Lisa spend a few seconds looking at and complimenting each other. Dr. Theo hurries back to say that he and Michael have work to do. They confirm dinner for the next night and then Lisa leaves. Michael continues to stand there, looking after her until Dr. Theo tells him, "Close the door." Michael reluctantly closes the door.
Later on, in the limo, Dr. Theo is explaining to Michael that William Fox has come out of his coma. They are on their way to the hospital in hopes that Fox can tell them something to help them find the person who created the vaccine.
Michael is having a hard time concentrating. Hes still thinking happy thoughts about Lisas visit. He tells Dr. Theo that he was surprised when Dr. Theo accepted Lisas invitation to dinner. Thats when Dr. Theo drops the bad news: "Tonight tomorrow -- I'll call her, tell her we can't make it. I think it's the nicest way of handling it." Dr. Theo is very upset that Lisa knows of the location of their top-secret project namely Michael Wiseman. He explains that since Lisa has this information he can do one of two things: (a) kill her, or (b) get Lisa angry so that she will stop seeking Michael out. A very upset Michael says nothing.
In Foxs hospital room, Fox gives them Ward Lomaxs name. Back in the limo, Dr. Theo gets someone on the phone to pull up information on Lomax. After he hangs up, he senses Michaels bad mood. Michael asks, "Don't you have another phone call to make?" When Dr. Theo says no, a slightly hopeful Michael inquires if Dr. Theo had changed his mind.
Dr. Theo explains that if he doesnt call and Lisa ends up waiting for two people who never show, shed really get upset. Also, he points out to Michael that he wants Lisa to get on with her life, and for Michael to get on with his. Dr. Theo gets no response from Michael.
Meanwhile, at Lisas real estate class, she too is preoccupied with thoughts of Michael. Until the instructor announces the name of the guest lecturer Mr. Gerald Misenbach. Misenbach stands up as the students applaud. Lisa, shocked, attempts to sink into her seat.
Later, standing in the hallway, Lisa pretends not to notice Misenbach, until he walks up and stands directly in front of her. He tells her that he thinks its great that shes getting her real estate license. She lets him know that she knew he came by the house the other night, but shed been too busy to call him.
Misenbach states very clear that he knew she wasnt going to call him. He gives his new number to a very chagrined Lisa and than walks away. He turns back and with a smile leaves Lisa with "Oh, by the way, you'd never know it to look at me, but -- I'm separated." Lisa looks on, smiling a little and shaking her head.
The next day, their search for Ward Lomax has lead Dr. Theo and Michael to a pharmacy. To Dr. Theos astonishment, they find the mysterious Lomax working there. When Dr. Theo introduces himself to Lomax, Lomax replies, "Not the Dr. Theodore Morris who pioneered the human construction sciences movement in the late '80s and then dropped completely out of sight?" Dr. Theo looks a little nonplussed, while Michael begins to take some interest.
Outside, they talk to a noncommittal Lomax. Looking around, Dr.Theo spots a cat cozying up with a dog and realizes that Lomax is creating the vaccine right there. With very little input from Lomax, Dr. Theo guesses correctly that Lomax had been trying to test dosages. Thats why Lomax was guessing Foxs weight. When Dr. Theo asks about the woman who died on Coney Island, Lomax is very blase about the death, saying, "Casualties are an inevitable byproduct of experimentation."
Dr. Theo probes, trying to figure out what Lomaxs plan is. Lomax says he wants to be "ubiquitous" and leaves. The Doctor takes out his phone and tells an agent to keep a 24-hour surveillance on Lomax.
Later that day, Heather comes home and walks up the stairs, spotting Lisa in the bathroom painting her toenails. A very amazed Heather learns that her mother asked Michael and Dr. Theo to dinner that night. Lisa is very excited, not only about the date, but also the courage it took her to ask. Heady with this excitement, she continues to get ready. Meanwhile, Michael, in the middle of his training routine, pleads with Dr. Theo to call Lisa and cancel the date, but Dr. Theo stands firm.
At Lomaxs, the agent sees Lomax pumping stuff into a tanker and calls Dr. Theo.
That evening, Lisa arrives at the restaurant 20 minutes early. Meanwhile, Michael and Dr. Theo are in the limo, going to intercept Lomax.
Michael finds Lomax setting up to dump the contents of the tanker (the vaccine) into the city reservoir. Michael holds on to the tanker, so it cant move. He then jumps onto the front of the truck and puts his fist through the glass, to stop Lomax.
At the restaurant, Lisa continues to wait. The waiter tells her to stay, since its raining in the city. Lisa calls Gerald Misenbach, maybe to ask him to join her, but she only gets his machine.
Back in the limo, Dr. Theo is binding Michaels wounds on his hand from when he smashed it through Lomaxs windshield. Michael again pleads with Dr. Theo to call he restaurant, believing Lisa would still be waiting at the restaurant after all this time: "She'd wait forever for me."
This time, Dr. Theo gives in and calls. Michael is puzzled when Dr. Theo hangs up without leaving Lisa a message. He is then very sadden to hear that she had left the restaurant 15 minutes ago. Dr. Theo attempts to console him with, "What you have to remember is that she wasn't waiting for you." They drive home.
Episode Description for "This Girl's Life" »