End of Summer

“The Flash” TV series
proposed episode

“I am Grodd”

by Joel Ellis Rea
(aka COMALite J aka j.rea1@genie.com aka joelrea@shreve.net)

Read the Prologue from last issue if you missed it.

Act I

SCENE 1: (Opening theme fades to black, followed by commercials, followed by another fade to black. Fade in to the S.T.A.R. Labs laboratory room, specifically Dr. Tina McGee's workstation. There is a variety of analysis equipment and a personal computer here. Seated is Dr. Tina McGee, and standing nearby is her new assistant, a student from Central City University on a work-study program, Cory Adams, first seen in the Prologue. See Prologue for his physical description.)

TINA: (gesturing to various devices) This is the gas chromatography unit. Here is the spectroscope. Over there is one of our hypercentrifuges. This microscale is accurate to ±1 microgram. (etc. etc. etc.)

CORY: Impressive! Our school lab doesn’t have anything like this!

TINA: S.T.A.R.has the best-equipped laboratories in the private sector. We're a private research facility, not a government agency, though we often do contract work for the government.

CORY: Is that computer just for real-time data aquisition and analysis, or do you store data in it as well?

TINA: Both. I’ll show you as much about it as you need to know for your work here.

CORY:What, is there a lot of top secret Pentagon dirty laundry in there? (grins)

TINA: No, nothing like that. There is some sensitive information, but you won’t have any reason to access that.

CORY: Got it encrypted with a password?

TINA: Well, actually, yes, I do.

CORY: Not gonna tell it to me, are you? (Cory is smiling, but is also staring very intently at Tina at this point.)

TINA: Well, actually, no, I'm not. (smiles)

CORY: (Pauses briefly, and nods very slightly. The stare relaxes, and the smile changes to a look of satisfaction, which quickly fades.)Okay. So, does this baby use MS-DOS, or what?

TINA: OS/2, actually. We use a custom application that uses multithreading to acquire data from the instruments in real time with one thread, and simultaneously displays analyses in graphical form with other threads, using windowed graphics.
(glances at digital wall clock, which shows 11:42)
Oh! Look at the time! Normally, I just eat a snack here for lunch, but I thought since this was your first day, I’d take you out for a burger and fries at this little “greasy spoon” diner I know. And on the way, we can stop by the police station. I want you to meet a very good friend of mine.


TINA: He’s a police scientist. We help each other out. He’s quite good at it, and is a really interesting fellow once you get to know him. His name is Barry Allen. His partner is Julio Mendez, also a competent scientist.

CORY: Is their equipment as good as this?

TINA: Nowhere near, which is why I often help them out on cases. But they get good results with what they have.

CORY: No offense, but that sounds rather dull.

TINA: Well, you’re going to meet him anyway. You just might enjoy it. I’ll call him now. (Walks over to the phone and begins to dial.)

CORY: (Watches her. As soon as she’s out of earshot, he looks back at the computer, and mutters, under his breath:) “HERMOD.” Appropriate, yet obscure enough to be a good choice, Mom.

(End of Act I, Scene 1. Cross-fade out over ½ sec. to next Scene—)

SCENE 2: (Cross-fade in to the chemistry lab of the Central City Police Dept. Precinct Building. Both Barry Allen and Julio Mendez are present. Barry is talking on the phone. Julio is seated at the lab table.)

BARRY: (into phone) Hold on. I’ll check to see if Julio can come, too. (to Julio) Tina wants to know if you want to come with me to lunch with her and this hotshot new assistant she wants us to meet?

JULIO: I got no other plans, man. Fine with me.

BARRY: (into phone) Okay, Tina. It’s a foursome, then. (pause) Well, I think that would be okay, if Garfield approves, and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’’t. I’d love to show — Cory? — around. We don’t have any big cases going on right now. (pause) Okay, see you in a few minutes, then. ’Bye. (Hangs up)

JULIO: She’s bringing him here?

BARRY: Yeah. Some kid from the U. She says he’s very promising, and she thought he’d be interested in seeing our setup here.

JULIO: Why, if he has access to S.T.A.R.? That’d be like settling for a frozen chicken-fried steak when you can have prime filet mignon.

BARRY: That’s what I thought, but who knows? The kid may actually wind up interested in this as a career.

(Cut to foyer of the precinct, as Tina and Cory enter. Lieutenant Garfield is present, as are several other officers.)

GARFIELD: Oh, hi, Dr. McGee! Barry and Julio are waiting in the lab. Hey, you must be Cory Adams.

TINA: Thanks, Lieutenant.

CORY: Yes sir.

GARFIELD: I hope you take a liking to police science. We could use someone like you in a few years.

CORY: Maybe, sir. (looks somewhat bored)

(Tina and Cory exit toward the Lab. Cut to Lab as they enter. Barry and Julio are both still there.)

BARRY: Tina! You’re looking good, as usual!

TINA: You, too. Barry, Julio, I’d like you to meet my new lab assistant, Cory Adams. Cory, this is Barry Allen, and this is Julio Mendez.

BARRY: (Shakes Cory’s hand. Brief close-up on Barry’s face) Hello, Cory.

CORY: (Camera flashes to Cory’s face. He now has blond hair and blue eyes! Picture the kid actor from “Who’s the Boss” [Danny Pintauro, I believe his name is] towards the end of that series. Make him much smarter-looking, and more clean-cut, and you've got it. Ricky Schrœder as he was in“Silver Spoons” would also be a good example. His demeanor is still one of barely-disguised boredom.) Glad to meet you, Mr. Allen.

JULIO: (Again, cut to brief close-up on his face) Hey, m’man! Any friend of Tina’s is a friend of mine!

CORY: (Again, camera cuts to Cory’s face. But this time, he’s Black! Now picture the actor who plays Sisko’s son on “Deep Space 9” from early in that series, and you’ve got it.) Sure thing, Mr. Mendez.

(They exchange further small talk, and Barry and Julio point out the various items in the lab to Cory. Whenever someone speaks to Cory, the camera cuts to a shot of that person’s face, followed by a shot to Cory for his response — and his appearance differs based on who spoke to him! He’s brown haired and brown-eyed for Tina, blond and blue-eyed for Barry, and Black for Julio. Yet no one seems to notice anything strange going on, so it should soon become apparent to the viewer that each person sees Cory differently, but that for each person his appearance remains consistent. Soon, they all leave for lunch, and the camera zooms in to a close-up on a digital clock in the lab, which reads “12:17.” End of Act I, Scene 2. 1-second cross-dissolve to next Scene—)

SCENE 3: (Previous closeup on clock dissolves to close-up on same clock, now reading “2:23.” Camera pulls back to reveal Barry and Julio alone in the Lab, lunch apparently being over and Tina and Cory having apparently returned to S.T.A.R. Labs.)

JULIO: Y’know, it’s really cool that S.T.A.R. is helping to give minority kids a break with that work-study program. There are some truly brilliant young brothers out there whose whole lives will just go to waste without opportunities like this.

BARRY: Did Tina or Cory mention any minority kids in the program?

JULIO: (Turns to Barry, with a strange look on his face.) Where were your eyes, man? Cory! Didn’t you notice?

BARRY: Notice what?

JULIO: That he’s Black! I mean, I know you’re just about the most racially color-blind man I ever met, but I never knew it was literal!

BARRY: (shocked, but doesn’t let it show on his face for more than half a second) Oh, well, I just don’t consider skin color that important enough to really notice, I guess. Be right back. I, uh, I need to check with the Lieutenant about something.

(He leaves for the foyer, and the camera cuts to it, showing him entering, and walking over to Lieutenant Garfield.)

BARRY: (to Garfield) Sir, do you have a minute?

GARFIELD: Sure, Allen. What can I do for ya?

BARRY: Uh, just want to, uh, settle a bet with Julio. You met Cory, right?

GARFIELD: Only briefly.

BARRY: Well, he, uh, he seems to have one of those hair colors that’s, uhm — hard to pin down. Julio and I can’t quite agree, and we have a bet going, and we need you to verify which of us is right.

GARFIELD: But you two were with him a lot longer than me.

BARRY: Yes, well, humor me. What color would you call Cory’s hair?

GARFIELD: Kind of an auburn. Not a flaming red, but enough to tell he’s got definite Irish ancestry. I suppose you could call it a strawberry blond, but it looked redder than that to me. And somewhat curly, to boot! Goes quite well with those freckles of his. Kinda reminds me of my son, when he was that age.

BARRY: Uh, thanks! Thanks a lot, sir. (exits, with disturbed expression on his face after he’s turned so that Garfield can’t see it)

(Camera fades out. End of Act I, Scene 3.)

SCENE 4: (S.T.A.R. Labs exterior, at night. It’s obviously quite late at night. Camera zooms in, then dissolves to an interior shot as we see Tina McGee walking towards the entrance to the lab, with a Security Guard sitting at his security station.)

GUARD: Hello, Dr. McGee. Pulling another late nighter?

TINA: Uh, yes. Just need to use the computer for a few minutes. That OK?

GUARD: Of course, ma’am. (Tips his hat as she walks on in.)

(The camera follows Tina’s POV as she walks in. We no longer see her per se but rather see what she sees. She walks to the computer, and sits at it. It is already on, since it often has to process information overnight. She does not type, but the camera pans down to the keyboard. One by one, keys on the keyboard move down and then back up as if being pressed very slowly by invisible fingers. The camera moves its center of view from key to key just before that key is pressed. At times, the camera moves up to the screen, as if to read a prompt, then back down to the keyboard. The “dialogue” between the keyboard and screen goes something like this:
Data Access Command Mode> _
[S] [E] [A] [R] [C] [H] [space] [Shift]+[" '] [T] [H] [E] [space] [F] [L] [A] [S] [H] [Shift]+[" '] [Enter]

Data Access Command Mode> SEARCH "THE FLASH"
0 matches found in public files.
Data Access Command Mode> _

[S] [E] [A] [R] [C] [H] [space] [Shift]+[" '] [T] [H] [E] [space] [F] [L] [A] [S] [H] [Shift]+[" '] [space] [C] [O] [D] [E] [space] [Shift]+[" '] [H] [E] [R] [M] [O] [D] [Shift]+[" '] [Enter]

Data Access Command Mode> SEARCH "THE FLASH" CODE "HERMOD"

Hello, Dr. McGee! Opening private hidden file "VELOCITY.DOC"
Last accessed 12/21/93 at 14:56
Last modified 12/04/93 at 09:32


Private Journal of Dr. Tina McGee re: The Flash.

It was a dark and stormy night. Literally. Barry Allen was in his police laboratory on the night of September 3, 1990, when a lightning bolt came through the open window, striking both Allen and the shelf of chemicals he was standing beside. Nearly all of the bottles, flasks, and vials of chemicals, most of them in the liquid state, were shattered, and much of their contents struck Allen while the chemicals were electrically excited…

… Thus it is by an incredible coincidence that Allen achieved accidentally something my husband spent his entire life trying to do with limited success and ultimately died doing. And in this very city, too! Unfortunately, there's no way to reliably repeat the incident. The precise voltage of the lightning was an important factor, as was the precise mixture of chemicals, excited to very specific energy states by the electricity. I've no way of knowing just what those states were, or which chemicals in which proportions struck him, as he did not come to me for help until some time after the incident. Even if he had, I doubt there would have been any way to determine precisely the formula which so greatly enhanced his speed and endurance….

… I keep thinking that if only this had happened a few years earlier, both David and my "son" Grodd might still be alive. Barry Allen may well have have been the breakthrough we were looking for. They're beyond my help, and it's Barry who needs me now. I may yet learn enough from his new and improved condition that I may yet be able to fulfill David's great dream. He and Grodd need not have died in vain.

(“Tina” [though of course it isn’t really her] continues to stare at the screen for some time. “She” then murmurs [“her” back is still to us], “To think I met him today. Had I thought to scan him, I would’ve known then. Not that it matters, really. An accident! He’s not like me after all. How disappointing.” Camera fades to black. End of Act I, Scene 4.)

(End of ACT I. Break for commercials.)
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