Trapped in the Cellar at Ryan's,
Jack and Mary Reunite
(November 1977)


(In the next scene, Jack is frantically looking around the basement for some way out, while Mary sits dejected.)

JACK: (loud and condescending) Pardon the intrusion, but would you happen to know whether or not your father keeps a crowbar down here?

MARY: It's in the shop.

JACK: Shop? You mean shop like in carpenter's tools?

MARY: Very good, Fenelli!

JACK: Yeah, where is it?

MARY: On the other side of that door.

JACK: Of course.

(He lets out a primal scream and kicks the wall.)

MARY: Try dynamite. (as if she has been inspired) You could hold the stick!

JACK: (grins sarcastically) You don't happen to have any practical suggestions, do you?

MARY: Nothing that pertains to getting us out of here.

JACK: (walking up to her) Well think, huh?

MARY: Believe me, Jackson(???), if I could come up with something, I would. The idea of spending the night down here with you is genuinely revolting.

JACK: And they thought if we had the opportunity to talk, we'd get back together again.

MARY: They overlooked the basic premise, which is that you didn't want me or Ryan in the first place. Not all the talk in the world can change that, can it? (furious) I think I'll take a nap.

(She bundles up in a chair with a blanket. In the next scene, Mary is trying to sleep on one side of the room, while Jack is sitting with his head on his hand on the other side. Finally, Jack wraps a blanket around himself too, but then quickly takes it off.)

JACK: Oh, what am I, crazy? I'm not settling in here for the night! I'll be damned if the Ryans are gonna lock me in their basement and get away with it!

(He gets up and starts rummaging through things recklessly.)

MARY: Stop that! You don't have to wreck the place! Just tell me what you're looking for, and I'll tell you if it's here.

JACK: (annoyed) I'm looking for a way out.

MARY: How many times do I have to tell you? (growing louder) There is no way out except that door!

JACK: Okay, okay, you give up? Not me!!!

MARY: You think I don't want to be anywhere in this world but here?

JACK: (shaking his head) I don't know what you want. I don't understand you, or anyone else in your family. All I know is I've got to get back to my apartment, now!!!

MARY: Good luck! (under her breath) Idiot.

JACK: What? Listen, little miss smart mouth, I have got an obligation or two. I've got to have a story in by tomorrow morning. Now, it's not gonna be the beautiful, juicy exclusive that your lying brother invented...

MARY: (still as incensed as ever that someone would question Frank) Frank is not a liar!!!

JACK: You're right. He's a saint! I want my typewriter...

MARY: And I want my baby, and my own room, and my privacy! They planned this dumb stunt, and they won't let us out until they're good and ready.

JACK: What does your family want from me?

MARY: Oh, how the hell do I know? Obviously they're trying to get us back together!

JACK: After a divorce, an annulment, a separation before that, now they decide we should kiss and make up? They're sick.

MARY: Not too sick to lock that door.

JACK: Okay, okay, we tell them we made up.

MARY: (turning away) Forget it!

JACK: Oh, no, no, no, I'm not asking you to make up, I'm telling you that we'll tell them that!

MARY: I didn't think that you were asking me to make up. I was simply referring to the fact that nobody can hear us from this room. Therefore, it would be impossible to communicate any message of any sort. Understand?

(Jack sighs in frustration, then groans, then notices the pipes.)

JACK: I understand that you're about as ingenious as a brick, hmm?

(He grabs a hammer, starts whistling, and then begins banging on the pipes while laughing insanely.)

MARY: (horrified) Jack, those are the water pipes! You'll flood the whole place!

JACK: (screaming at the top of his lungs) Oh, yeah? Well, good, then they'll have to open the damn door, huh? Hey! Hey! You know, I've got a cat that's starving, you fools! If my cat dies, I'll bury him in Ryan's, I promise you that!

MARY: (pleading) It won't do any good! This place was a speakeasy during Prohibition and a lot of people made sure it was soundproofed! Jack, don't be so damn stupid!!!

JACK: (out of control) Stupid? Stupid? Stupid is thinking that those pipes don't go anywhere! You think they're there for decoration, huh, huh? Don't tell me about stupid!

(He continues banging. Upstairs, Johnny hears the banging while toasting to Frank. Maeve, Frank, and Tom try to convince him he is hearing things, but he figures out it is coming from the basement and Maeve is forced to tell him everything. They do everything possible to keep him from intervening - Frank and Tom even stand in the doorway to the stairs at one point - and eventually he agrees to stay out of it for the time being, but says he thinks they have all lost their minds and they will have to answer to Mary. Meanwhile, back in the basement, Jack continues banging desperately while Mary sits there, quietly. Finally he gives up in frustration and puts down the hammer. He paces for a while.)

MARY: Give up?

JACK: No, I'm thirsty. (takes a bottle of wine) Guess they figured we'd just curl up on the blanket and have a nice, cozy picnic, huh?

MARY: Who figured?

JACK: (while removing the cork with his mouth) Your mother.

MARY: Don't you talk about my mother! She's the best friend you've got!

JACK: Yeah, well, she's the one who dreamed up this torture. (holds out a cup) Want some?

MARY: Oh, uh, what did you say about picnics?

JACK: The bottle is open. Now, you want some or not?


JACK: Good!

(He starts to pour a cup, then throws the cup onto the floor and starts swigging from the bottle.)

MARY: Don't get drunk.

JACK: Why not?

MARY: You might fall asleep, and smother in your blanket.

JACK: I'm not asleep. I'm getting out of here.

(He gets up, looks around, but realizes the situation is still hopeless, so he sits down again.)

MARY: Don't blame Ma for this. Frank was in on it with her. I guess Tom had to be, too.

JACK: Yeah, sure, everybody was in on it, right? Da and Kathleen and Art and the kids and Pat and Delia and Little John and they're all up there now in the kitchen, sitting on the edge of their seats, just waiting for me to get down on my knees and beg for mercy. Huh? (gets on his knees) Hey, hey, hey, look! Here I am! On my knees, begging for mercy! Oh, come on down! Listen, it's quite a sight! See for yourself, huh! Ooooohhhh!!!!

(He goes up to the door and screams into the peephole.)

JACK: (as loud as possible) Johnny Ryan!!!! Open this damn door!!!

(He looks out and sees nothing.)

MARY: Somehow, I doubt Da likes having us here, if he even knows.

JACK: He knows, unless he's deaf.

MARY: Sound doesn't carry through that peephole.

JACK: (throws up his hands) Little Miss Wisdom.

MARY: On matters concerning this basement, I certainly am. You could blow a trumpet through that peephole and the sound would be muffled by the walls beyond it! It doesn't even reach the stairway. As a matter of fact, live music was played in here, a piano, at any rate. Seven nights a week, thirteen years - 1920 to 1933,  the duration of the 18th amendment, which prohibited the sale of alcohol, except for the kind they rubbed you down with. Right down that passageway, (points) you'll find a bathtub, which was not used for bathing. Gin was made in it on a regular basis, and it still has a faint smell of wintergreen around it. (smiles) Faith and I used to think it was apples, but then, what does a ten year-old kid know about wintergreen, or anything else?

(Jack smiles in spite of himself, and hands her a cup of wine, which she takes.)

MARY: All we knew was, this place had a dangerous history. Wicked people once packed in here to drink and carouse and behave like every speakeasy patron in every Edward G. Robinson film ever made. (laughs) Women in headdresses and feathers, gangster, deliveries in the middle of the night, payoffs to the cops, stoolies... Oh, Faith and I had some imaginative times in here!

JACK: Aah, if Faith played speakeasy, it's only cause you made her.

MARY: Oh, you don't know Faith anymore than you know those pipes or this basement or me.

(Mary realizes what she has said, and the lightened mood comes to an end. There is an awkward silence. This time, Mary gets up to look out the peephole.)

JACK: Is Tom out there?

(Mary turns around and glares at him.)

JACK: What did you mean before, when you said that Desmond helped lock us in?

MARY: I think he did, that's all.

JACK: How was your weekend?

MARY: Marvelous!

JACK: I'm glad! Oh, I'm sorry you've got such rotten taste in men, but I mean otherwise I'm glad you had fun.

MARY: Damn right I had fun! And you're a great one to talk about rotten taste, Fenelli!

JACK: Oh, was it indelicate of me to bring up the subject of your amours?

MARY: Ooooh, it was more like revolting! Who I spend my weekends with is none of your business!

JACK: Oh, God knows that's true! Only half the reason I left you was so that you'd get wise and find the kind of husband you need! You know, I've got to be a little disappointed when you glom onto a nothing like Tom Desmond!

MARY: (fuming) How dare you criticize any man I'm seeing after your affair with that McKee woman! Talk about cheap and sleazy...

JACK: Martha's a damn fine woman!!! We did not have an affair!!! You don't know what we had!!!

MARY: (appalled) She was undressed when I walked in the room!!! That ought to tell me something!!!

JACK: What does that prove? You happened to slept with Desmond every time he changed his shirt?

(For an instant Mary looks ready to explode, but instead she sits back down and curls up with a blanket and does not respond. Jack slams down the wine bottle, splashing some, and picks up the hammer and resumes banging.)

JACK: (unhinged) Let me out of here!!! Come on, Ryans, let me out of here!!!

(Upstairs, Jill drops by and asks about the banging. Johnny remarks that the neighbors are having their pipes fixed. Back in the basement, Mary and Jack are sitting in opposite corners, facing parallel walls.)

(Mary finally turns around and breaks the silence.)

MARY: Jack, just to keep the facts straight, I should tell you that Tom and I are not lovers.

(Jack turns around, completely stunned.)

MARY: I said, Tom and I are not lovers.

JACK: (not sure how to respond, and feeling guilty about his previous cracks) I heard you.

MARY: Oh. You looked so shocked, I thought you misunderstood.

JACK: You mean, you spent a weekend together, and nothing happened?

MARY: A great deal happened, but we didn't sleep together.

JACK: Oh, you took a vacation away from sleeping together?

MARY: (turning back around in frustration) Never mind.

JACK: (sincere) Alright, I believe you.

MARY: (not turning back to face him) Fine, let's drop it.

JACK: I guess I had the wrong impression. I didn't realize that he that.

MARY: (completely incensed) Like what? There is - how do I say this without crawling around on your level? - an intense physical attraction between Tom and me. If bodies were all that's involved, I'm sure we'd be having a grand old time in bed together, frequently. Are you able to grasp that concept, or shall I use simpler words? Or shall I give up all together?

JACK: You're awful when you do that.

MARY: You're awful, period!

JACK: So what else is involved, your minds? What do you do, read to each other?

MARY: (nods) Yeah.

JACK: How nice! I suppose you could always trace your family histories back to ancient Irish kings, dance jigs, count nephews and nieces and cousins, listen to Da's boxing stories, or gather round the campfire for a good old sing...

MARY: Shut up, Jack! Just shut your vicious mouth!

JACK: (screaming) Well, if you turn each other on so much, what's the problem?

MARY: There's bodies and there's minds and there's feelings! Feelings, you fool! I'm a human being with hopes and fears and joys and sorrows and lots of needs besides sexual ones, and Tom is sensitive to all that! God bless him, he cares enough about me to be patient!

(There is a brief silence and Mary turns around.)

JACK: How long you gonna make him wait?

(She throws down the blanket and gets up and walks around, as if trying to find a channel for her anger aside from killing him.)

MARY: It amazes me that I can even stand to look at you!

JACK: Why did you bother telling me that he's not your lover?

MARY: So that you would understand the difference between my relationship with Tom and the trash you had with Martha McKee!

JACK: At least Martha's honest! She doesn't play innocent little baby girl!

MARY: Oh, I wish to God I had spent that weekend making love to Tom!

JACK: So, you can always make up for it when they let us out of here.

MARY: Right! I could stand being wanted by someone for a change.

(She throws something that is sitting on a table onto the floor. Then, she bundles up in blankets once again.)

JACK: Beautiful. Beautiful performance. Why don't you stack up some furniture between us, huh?

MARY: Any furniture I could move, I would throw at you.

JACK: And I'm the one who didn't want you?

MARY: Oh, don't start turning things around, just because I'm dying to get away from you now. Don't you dare try to change what happened between us in this last year! You wanted to get rid of me!

JACK: A situation which you created.

MARY: (laughing) I created?

JACK: And you still don't see.

MARY: How did I create it? I mean, how did I force you to push me out of your life? Come on, tell me how you've rationalized your total rejection of me into my rejection of you! Please, I can't wait to hear it.

JACK: You didn't want the man that I am - you wanted to change me into the man that you need. The first day that we were married...

MARY: The first day that we were married was spent on a plane, and then a boat, and then in bed. We more or less cruised the entire Mississippi in bed. Now, who was I changing you into then, the captain?

JACK: Oh, come on, knock it off!

MARY: I'm asking you a question! How did I go about altering your personality while I was obsessed by this ridiculous notion that you were the man of my dreams? Was I crazy? Is that the way you've worked it out?

JACK: The honeymoon was good, but it ended rather abruptly, if you recall. You ended it! Your brother was unhappy, and you had to run to hold his hand.

MARY: Two lousy days we gave up, and you have never forgiven me!

JACK: No, that's it right there: We didn't give them up, you did. I didn't want to give them up, brother or no brother. But I had to change. I had to be the guy you wanted - one for all, all for one, right? A rally-round type! A Ryan, for God's sake! And I spent the next year being pushed a pounded and pulled and squeezed into the Ryan mold! I was so damn desperate I had to get away! Yeah, you did that to me, Mary. Now, you can call that reforming me or improving me or helping me, but the fact remains that you rejected the man that I am.

MARY: (holding back her anger) Alright, do you want to know what I really did? Do you want to hear a sane person's view of this?

(At this point, Johnny has snuck down to the basement to eavesdrop at the peephole, after having promised Maeve that he would not when she caught him trying to sneak down once before.)

JACK: An arrogant person's view? No, I can do without that.

MARY: The hell you will! As long as we're locked in here, there's no way you can stop what I've got to say! The first thing I did - (sighs dramatically) the first deadly sin - was to ask you to share, to share a little of your precious space. Not to pull up your roots and leave your bachelor apartment, because I loved that place! I just requested two drawers! And, dear heaven, didn't the roof fall in on me? Now, I did make a mistake at that point...

JACK: You figured to move Grandfather Ryan's dresser into the middle of my living room.

MARY: I figured you'd learn to share! Not turn into a different person, but to make the switch from living alone to living with a friend and a lover and all those things I imagined I was to you. But I was wrong. You couldn't make that switch.

JACK: Yeah, well, you're saying the same things I said, you're just using different words - that I couldn't and wouldn't change myself to suit you!

MARY: You wouldn't grow! If ever there was a sad, mean little boy in a man's body, it's you, Fenelli!!!

(At this point, Johnny smirks, satisfied with himself, and goes back upstairs to gloat to Maeve that his "side" is winning.)

JACK: You through screaming?

MARY: No!!! I want to tell you something about my family! I like being attached to them. I love them and I'm glad. And that's something I have found out for sure since you walked out on me. You used to insist that I was stupid about them - tied to them, like a kid - and, you know, I actually got to wondering if you were right? I felt so guilty so many times when I asked you to come to a family party or to behave decently to my father or invite my brothers over. I mean, my God, you made me feeling like a monster!

JACK: (screaming too) For shoving your brothers down my throat? Yeah, yeah, it was monstrous, yeah!

MARY: It was human and natual and good for you, my friend!!! You're better for having been close to my mother and Frank, and ain't no way around that, baby!!!

JACK: (nods) Yeah, well I did a few things for them too, huh? Yeah, yeah, I helped out once in a while!!!!

MARY: Yeah, sure, you did some kind things, and anybody would think you cut off your right arm and deserved a medal for doing them!!! You've lived alone so much of your life that any small accomodation you make for another human being is earth-shattering!!!! (at the top of her lungs) Well, honey, it just ain't!!!!!! Yeah, that is one way in which I tried to change you. I wanted to break through your selfishness! Accuse me of that, Jack, and I'll agree with you.

JACK: I won't even try to expand your miserable little point of view. Why should I bother knocking my head against that stone wall? Mary Ryan knows everything!!! Huh? Ain't anybody ever gonna talk any sense into her!

MARY: If you are suggesting I know a whole lot more about decency than you do, I'll go along with that.

JACK: You mean, you know a whole lot more about everything than I do! You are so sure of yourself that it terrifies us simple folk!

MARY: You know, you really shouldn't come on like that, Jack. It isn't funny, and it doesn't work.

JACK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, well nothing works with you! Nothing imperfect, anyway! Any man you care for, you've got to canonize him, make him a saint! Saint Frank, Saint Pat, Saint Da, Saint Tom, huh? You love them, they love you, everything's gonna be fine!!! But you couldn't do that with me! No Saint Jack! I wouldn't let you put me up on that pedestal!

MARY: Ha! If there was one thing I never did it was to idealize you!

JACK: Mary, you don't know what the hell you do! You're dealing cards with your right hand from a deck you just stacked with your left hand! And you think the game's fair? Half the time, you don't even know what you're up to!

MARY: (dismissively) For instance?

JACK: For instance, my mind's so flooded with examples, I don't know where to begin.

MARY: Yeah, your mind's flooded alright, with garbage!

JACK: (counting with his fingers) One, you said that you want to grow up and lead your own life, but you remain Daddy's little girl! Two, you said that you want Jack Fenelli, but what you really want is a mirror image of your brother! Three...

MARY: Oh, those cheap little insights!

JACK: Three, you said that you want a baby, but you give your precious kid over to a Nazi!!!

MARY: Nazi?

JACK: Yeah, Miriam, the lady that pushes Ryan around the park and hates her every minute of it!!!

MARY: (flabbergasted) Miriam? Since when are you such an authority on Miriam?

(Jack does not answer, as he realizes he has let Mary know too much and is trying to find a way out of the corner into which he has just backed himself.)


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