Episode #13: "Out of Work"
Scene 1: Malibu Bistro, Malibu, California - Evening
Seated at a romantic, ocean-side table, at the fashionable Malibu Bistro; Grant leans over to Irina and whispers, "Irina...take a look at this", as he pulls a few photographs out of his suit coat pocket. Dr. Grant Lawrence didn't know what else to do. His mission was to convince the busy Dr. Irina Sulemina to drop everything and rush to Nashville, to perform a much-needed surgery on his patient, Joe Foster. Since Irina is the only surgeon capable of performing the specialized Petrofsky Procedure, Grant hopes the photos of Joe Foster's children will evoke the proper sentiments in Irina, to motivate her, to agree to help.
Irina looks at the photos of the Joe and Sara Foster's adorable children and gently sighs. She tries to maintain the expected composure of a doctor, merely gathering case facts. But, her breath is taken away, as she sees innocence and hope in the eyes of the children. Her miserable childhood was filled with quite the contrary, never having parents to love and care for her. Irina remembers her early life in the austere Russian orphanage, when she yearned for the unattainable wish for parents. The compassionate and beautiful Irina, would not want to deny any child a life with parents. For a second, Irina closes her eyes, while she silently thanks God for an influential woman in her life, merely known as "Aunt Natasha". Irina counts her blessings, for without Aunt Natasha and her nephew, Dr. Ivan Petrofsky, (world renowned Russian surgeon), Irina's future would have been bleak. After all, if Dr. Petrofsky had not taken Irina under his wing and pulled strings with the Russian government to allow her to be admitted into a pre-med program; her upbringing in an impoverished Russian orphanage, would have surely been a detriment to her future.
Irina knows how fortunate she is for the pivotal intervention of the Petrofsky family, in her troubled childhood. She now knew what she had to do, for the Foster family. In this moment, the Foster children become real to Irina and so does their need to have a Father who can raise them and who can work and walk. Just then, Irina's body language changes from defenseless and meek, to the strong persona she prefers the world to view, as she rings out. "Guilt, now you try guilt!" Not wanting to show any vulnerability to Grant, she reacts as if she is annoyed with his tactics, when in fact, she is putty in his hands. Clearly, Grant's instinct to relate the surgery back to the Foster children, has successfully tugged on the heartstrings of his former love, Irina. Grant cracks a slight grin, as he is cautiously optimistic about her reaction. Irina pipes up and agrees to go to Nashville to help Grant's patient, Joe Foster. Mission number one - accomplished for Joe Foster's case. Now Grant wonders if he will succeed with the secondary mission of the weekend, which is winning Irina's heart.
Scene 2: Joe and Sara Foster Home Interior, Nashville, Tennessee - Day
There could be no greater contrast to the excessive, lavish lifestyle of Dr. Irina Sulemina in Malibu; to the reality of Joe and Sara Foster, back in Nashville. In their modest, but warm home, the Fosters try to keep the family unit together, despite the major set-back of Joe's accident injuries. The mood in the Foster household is somber, yet no family member dares to openly display their fears. The normally active Foster children, Jeremy and Jackie, stay home with their parents, rather than their usual routine of playing with their friends. Even the Foster family dog, Molly mopes around, sensing the stress of her owners. Sara Foster's normally chipper demeanor is now overshadowed with worry and dismay. With Joe unable to walk, depressed and confined to a wheelchair, the family dynamic seems forever changed. It is as if the entire Foster family is trapped like rats, in a monotonous maze of desperation and financial concerns.
The doorbell rings and Sara's initial reaction, is not positive. Usually, she would run to the door in anticipation of visitors, such as Joe's baseball team members, or a friendly neighbor coming by to borrow a cup of sugar. But, that was before Joe's accident. Behind on all their bills and with debt collectors expected to pounce on them at any moment, Sara cringes at the doorbell's chime or the telephone's ring. She opens the front door with her head held high, hoping for the best, but quietly expecting the worst. The unannounced visitor introduces herself as Diane Hawthorn, Joe's supervisor from the plant, where he is employed. With a wife's intuition, Sara guardedly replies, "I know who you are." Sitting in his wheelchair by the front door, Joe Foster invites Diane Hawthorn into their home and says, "I've been expecting you." Sara Foster had never seen Joe's supervisor so up close and personal. She tries to conceal her astonishment of how gorgeous, sophisticated and successful Ms. Hawthorn appears. Sara admires Diane's expensive business attire and becomes self-conscious as she compares it, to her own tattered clothing. Joe Foster does not seem at all impressed with Diane Hawthorn's appearance or with her personal visit to their home. Certainly, Joe was not expecting her to hand-deliver a get-well card or flowers. Joe hangs his head and waits for Diane Hawthorn to explain the nature of her visit.
Diane Hawthorn proceeds to attend to her supervisory duties, with no time wasted on pleasantries. She clumsily stumbles over her words, as she attempts to show compassion for Joe's condition, while ultimately firing him from his job. Joe's heart sinks, as her perfectly manicured hand slowly passes him the dreaded pink slip, releasing him from employment and the family's only source of income. Diane's disposition suddenly changes, as if a switch is flipped. She completes the task at hand, turns to walk out the door and turns her pretty head to face the family, one final time. The calculating supervisor cheerfully chirps, "Well, good luck!", as if to announce, her hands were washed of the unpleasantness. But Joe and Sara were now forced to face the extremely less than pleasant new reality, of no income.
After firing Joe Foster for being out of work due to his accident injuries, what's your opinion of Joe's boss, Diane Hawthorn, beauty, or beast? What other beastly catastrophes are in store for Joe and Sara Foster and their children? Will the Foster family be able to keep a roof over their heads and have food for their children, or be victimized once again? Will Sara Foster be able to muster the stamina to be the new breadwinner for the family, as well as nurse her husband back to health?
Would you want to have Diane Hawthorn's karma for firing the beloved baseball coach, Joe Foster?