A Sleepless Night at the Ryans'
(January 1976)

(Frank and Delia are having a very bad fight in the middle of the night. At one point, Delia tearfully vows that though she cannot make Frank love her again, she can make him sorry that she doesn't. She then flings some champagne and glasses, which she had brought to bed to try to seduce him, across the room. This wakes up Maeve and Johnny in the other room. They mutter half-consciously a bit, then Maeve comes to.)

MAEVE: What was that?

JOHNNY: Hmm? Oh.

FRANK: (in the other room) Delia, please, be quiet! Do you want to wake up the whole house?

DELIA: (in the other room, screaming) I don't care!

MAEVE: Oh, dear.

JOHNNY: Maeve, what is it?

(We continue to hear Frank screaming and Delia alternately screaming and crying. The camera focuses on the door before the scene ends. In the next scene, Maeve and Johnny are sitting up in bed.)

JOHNNY: I think she stopped crying.

MAEVE: For the time being.

JOHNNY: (lying back down) I thought things were going better between them.

MAEVE: Oh, not really, John. Aw, Delia's bright and cheery alright and she's fussing with the baby, but all the time she's got one eye on Frank. And Frank, he's walking around with his chin set, staring holes in the walls.

JOHNNY: Has he...said anything about Jill?


JOHNNY: Frank hasn't seen Jill lately, has he?

MAEVE: He has not. Of course that isn't to say that he wouldn't want to. (lying back down) Aww, it's sad, it's sad, what are they going to do?

JOHNNY: Who, Frank and Jill?

MAEVE: Frank and Jill have done what they had to do. No, I meant Frank and Dee.

JOHNNY: I hope they're gonna work things out.

MAEVE: I'm not sure there's much left to work with.

JOHNNY: Well, they were in love once, they have the baby, and the cold hard fact is that Frank's career makes it that much more important for him to keep his marriage together.


JOHNNY: Delia's trying.

MAEVE: Hmm...she's trying too hard.

JOHNNY: What do you mean?

MAEVE: (sitting up) She trapped him, John. She really did. (waving her finger) And she knew exactly what she was doing all the time. I mean she saved his seat on the council by forgiving him in public and assuring everyone that his love for Jill was over with, and to keep what he had, he had to let her forgive him - and break it off with Jill.

JOHNNY: Well I hope that Frank broke it off with Jill for more reasons than his political career.

MAEVE: Oh, well, Little John was part of it, you and I are part of it. It's true. I mean, our opinion of Frank still matters to him. Maybe it matters too much.


MAEVE: At any rate, it wasn't his love for Delia that was his first concern, and she knows it and she's sad and she's bitter and I don't think that's a way to rebuild a marriage.

DELIA: (in the other room, crying) I don't know what you want me to do! I don't know what else there is to do! I've tried and I've tried and I've tried! I think you want me to hate you!

JOHNNY: (sighs) I feel like we're eavesdropping.

MAEVE: Oh, turn on the radio, John.

(He turns on some instrumental music.)

MAEVE: I keep thinking, we had our fights. Heavens knows, I cried my tears. But when it was over, it was over and done with. We'd be all the better for having said what we had to say, but it wasn't like this.

JOHNNY: No, it wasn't.

MAEVE: Maybe it's a good thing that Frank is taking his seat now. He'll be out of the house and Delia's going to have to let loose of her hold on him and give him a little room to breathe.

JOHNNY: Sure, and the new work and new people are bound to improve his perspective on things.

MAEVE: Oh, I hope so.

JOHNNY: Is there anything we can do that we're not doing?

MAEVE: Darling, I think we just have to stay out of it.

(A door slams, and then Delia's crying becomes so loud the radio doesn't drown it out.)

MAEVE: Oh, dear. Well, that doesn't sound very good, now does it?

JOHNNY: Shouldn't you go to her?

MAEVE: I don't know. Frank may go after her.


JOHNNY: I don't hear a sound.

MAEVE: Think I should?

JOHNNY: Yeah, go ahead.

(She gets up and puts on her robe. In the living room, Delia is sitting on the couch, crying. Maeve comes out and hugs her.)

MAEVE: Oh, I'm so sorry!

DELIA: Oh, everybody heard us!

MAEVE: Oh, it was clear that you were having a rather spirited discussion.

DELIA: Don't make jokes! Please! He hates me. He hates me!

MAEVE: No. That's not so. That's not so.

Maeve puts her arm around Delia

DELIA: He acts like he does. He acts like he hates me. I can't do anything right, Maeve!

MAEVE: No, that's not so.

DELIA: I've tried! I've tried to be loving and patient and forgiving and it doesn't do any good. I spent all kinds of money on this nightgown. I wanted to look sexy and wonderful for him but he doesn't even want to touch me! He hates me!

MAEVE: Stop it, Dee. Frank does not hate you. You know that's not true.

DELIA: Please don't scold me. I couldn't stand that! He does, and he can't bear the sight of me because I'm not Jill! It's true though. He does. I don't know how to make things alright again. I don't know where to begin!

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