The Wonder Years - Transcript

Episode 115: "Independence Day"

Written by Bob Brush
Transcribed by Lambert Luong
Corrected by Peter Reynders


[KEVIN lies on the bed while his colleagues at the resort are talking.]

MICKEY: I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.

HOWIE: It's true, ask Nick.

NICK: The girl did not wash her hair for six months. This big tick buried it's way through her skull into her brain.

KEVIN: Hey, would you guys knock it off? I'm trying to rest here.

MICKEY: What's wrong with him?

KEVIN: Nothing.

HOWIE: Girlfriend trouble. [laughs]

KEVIN: [irritated] Hey, would you mind your own business!

HOWIE: She's hanging out with king Eric.

NICK AND MICKEY: [lauging] Oohh.

[JACK enters the room unexpectedly]

JACK: Kev?

KEVIN: [surprised] Dad?

JACK: at the front desk that I'd find you back here.

NICK: We were just leaving.

MICKEY: Yeah, we were just leaving.

HOWIE: [to JACK] Nice to meet ya.

[HOWIE tripples over some garbage cans as he walks outside]

KEVIN: The guys.

JACK: Aha.

KEVIN: So what are you doing here?

NARRATOR: Of course, it was obvious. The old man had seen the light. About me, about him.

JACK: Your mother asked me to come. To give you these. [hands a paperbag to KEVIN] She was afraid you didn't pack enough underwear.

KEVIN: Underwear?

JACK: Yeah. And, eh, she also packed some cookies.

KEVIN: Well, that's great.

JACK: So, this is where you're living hah?

KEVIN: Why? What's wrong with it? It's comfortable.

[KEVIN taps the bed and dust whirls up]

JACK: What are they paying you?

KEVIN: They're paying me enough. You know with tips...

JACK: Look Kevin, I've been giving this a lot of thought, about what happened to us the other day and eh...

NARRATOR: Okay, here it came. A full and abject apology. The man was gonna crawl.

JACK: I think you made a BIG mistake.

KEVIN: What?

JACK: You flew off the handle. You said some things, that happens. Anyway I want you to know that wanna come back and work for me...

KEVIN: Yeah?

JACK: It'd make your mother happy.

NARRATOR: And that about ripped it.

KEVIN: Look dad, I don't need you, I don't need your job and I DON'T need your stupid underwear. [gives the paperbag back toJACK] Got it? I'm doing fine here on my own okay?

JACK: Suit yourself. [gives the paperbag back to KEVIN] I gotta be going.

KEVIN: Uhh...

[JACK leaves and HOWIE comes back]

HOWIE: So how was that?

KEVIN: Great. I'm going swimming.


NARRATOR: Screw the rules. My life was a shambles and it wasn't just JACK, it was WINNIE. [KEVINlooks at ERIC, who's sitting across the pool] My only hope was, I hadn't seen what I'd seen.

WINNIE: Kevin?

NARRATOR: Even though I knew I had.

KEVIN: Oh, hey.

[WINNIE looks at KEVIN's shirt, which has a big tomato face on it]

KEVIN: Yeah I know. I figured I'd masquerade as one of the guests. [smiles] Think we know...maybe find some place to talk?

WINNIE: About what?

KEVIN: Well, eh...

[ERIC whistles and beckons WINNIE]

WINNIE: Kevin, I can't. I'm on duty.

KEVIN: Yeah, you've been on duty ever since I got here.

WINNIE: I can't help it. It's my job.

KEVIN: I bet.

WINNIE: What was that?

KEVIN: Listen...Winnie, maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I mean coming up here. Even though I know I encouraged it, but...when you get down to it...

WINNIE: Maybe you're right. Maybe it wasn't a good idea.

KEVIN: What do you mean?

WINNIE: Maybe you should go.

NARRATOR: I felt like I'd been shot right through the tomato.

KEVIN: Well...that's, that's not what I meant.

WINNIE: Kevin, you said yourself that it was time to find ourselves, right? You said we should give each other space!

KEVIN: Yeah, but...

ERIC: Winnie! Whatta you say babe?

NARRATOR: And that's when I knew. For sure.

[WINNIE walks away]

KEVIN: Winnie!

[KEVIN grabs onto WINNIE's arm]

WINNIE: What, let go!

KEVIN: I saw you. Last night, at the party. I SAW you. I came looking for you and they told me you were with them again. When I found were kissing him.

NARRATOR: The thing is, I didn't mean to accuse her. I just wanted her back.

WINNIE: You saw me?

KEVIN: So I...

WINNIE: I don't believe that you're spying on me?

KEVIN: What?

WINNIE: How dare you?

[WINNIE pushes KEVIN into the pool and runs away]


KEVIN is playing poker with the band.

NARRATOR: By that evening I'd come up with a plan: win enough money to buy out the resort and fire all the life-guards. After that: suicide.

BAND LEADER: It's your bet, amigo.

[KEVIN looks at his cards: 3 queens]

NARRATOR: Not that I was going down without one last moment of glory.

KEVIN: I'm in for twenty.


BAND MEMBER #3: I'm in.

NARRATOR: Yeah, here they came.

BAND MEMBER #4: See ya.

NARRATOR: The lambs to the slaughter.

BAND LEADER: I'll raise ya fifty.

KEVIN: Fifty? I don't have fifty.

BAND LEADER: No pay, no play. What's it gonna be?

[KEVIN takes out his car keys]

KEVIN: My car. Worth: couple hundreds at least.

NARRATOR: Well, 75 anyway.

[All of the band members are in again]

BAND MEMBER #4: Si Señor.

[KEVIN puts his cards down]

KEVIN: Read them and weep. [Transcribers note: This phrase is common in American poker and also used in episode 112 by Jeff Billings.  When you show a hand that you think will win, you lay it on the table and invite your opponents to "read" them and weep because they have lost money.]

NARRATOR: It felt good. It felt like revenge against the world that had turned against me.

BAND MEMBER #2: Three kings.

BAND MEMBER #3: Straight.

BAND MEMBER #4: Full house.

BAND LEADER: Four jacks.

BAND MEMBER #4: Ooyooyooy.

[All of the band members laugh]

BAND LEADER: Well, whatta you know. The pot is mine, ha?


HOWIE: Kevin, something's wrong?

KEVIN: Beat it!

Mr. DEXTER: Young man, where's your uniform?

KEVIN: Stick it!

[KEVIN walks up to WINNIE and ERIC, who are sitting at a table]

NARRATOR: The next morning I'd made up my mind

KEVIN: Winnie?

[ERIC stands up]


NARRATOR: I had all night to decide what to do.

KEVIN: [to WINNIE] I just want you to know...

[KEVIN punches ERIC and ERIC falls over the table]

NARRATOR: And there you had it.

KEVIN: [to WINNIE] I'll be leaving now.

[KEVIN picks up his bag and leaves]

The following scene was only shown in the original airing and replace in the syndicated version by the line shown below:


<<Note: this scene is shot from the same camera angle as the scene when Kevin is driving up to the resort in Episode 114.>>

[KEVIN is walking away from the front entrance of the resort.]

NARRATOR: And there ya had it...lock, stock, and barrel. I'd set out to find myself and ended up losing everything.

[The BAND drives by in Kevin's car as the following line is yelled out the window at KEVIN.]

BAND LEADER: Well whatta you know, the pot is mine, eh?
<<NOTE: Similar to the line that was said previously when the BAND LEADER won the poker game.>>

NARRATOR: Not that I was down or anything. Hell, tomorrow was the Fourth of call it macaroni.

NARRATOR: I'd set out to find myself and ended up losing everything.


NARRATOR: I walked for a long time. Didn't have a destination, just a lot on my mind: heartbreak, loss, betrayal... Most of all one thought kept coming back to me. Again and again like an old song.

KEVIN: Great, now I get hungry.

[KEVIN throws his bag on the ground]

NARRATOR: I'd forgotten to eat lunch. [KEVIN opens his bag] So I was forced to fall back on the oldest survival technique known to alienated man: mom's cookies.

[A cow moos.]

KEVIN: [to the cow] Beat it!

NARRATOR: I examined my options. I had no car, no money and no place to go. It was clear, what I needed here was a new philosophy. The philosophy of the loner. [KEVIN holds his collar up.] The philisophy of the road.

[A car drives up from the distance.]


[KEVIN packs his stuff and stands up]


NARRATOR: So much for philosophy. What I needed was a ride.

KEVIN: Hey, stop! Hey! Hey!

[The car stops. There's an old couple sitting in front and one person in the back.]

OLD MAN: Need a lift?

KEVIN: Yeah actually. Listen, is there a bus station around here?

WOMAN: Yes, hop in.

KEVIN: Thanks.

[KEVIN gets in the car.]

KEVIN: Oh no!

[The person in the back of the car turns out to be WINNIE.]

WOMAN: You two know each other?



The car starts driving.

NARRATOR: Great. All the Chevies in all the world, she has to walk into mine.

KEVIN: Winnie, would you mind moving your stuff over?

WINNIE: Yes, I'd mind.

KEVIN: Fine. Fine, I don't care.

WOMAN: Lovely afternoon, isn't it? Would anybody like some music?

KEVIN: Sure.

WINNIE: No thank you.

[The WOMAN shrugs her shoulders]

KEVIN: [sarcastic] So, what happened? You ran out of bathing suits?

WINNIE: Can it.

KEVIN: Or did mister Muscles find himself a new squeeze?

WINNIE: I got fired.

KEVIN: What, did they fire you?

WINNIE: Because of you.

KEVIN: Well, congratulations. Who would have ever thought little miss two-time would get a dose of her own...

WINNIE: Oh, you're really something, you know that? You are absolutely contemptible.

KEVIN: Me? What about you?


KEVIN: Tramp.

WINNIE: That's it. Stop the car, I'm getting out.

KEVIN: Oh no. No, I'M getting out.

WINNIE: Fine, then get out!

KEVIN: No. No, YOU get out. I'm staying here.


The car drives away, leaving KEVIN and WINNIEbehind.

NARRATOR: So we both got out. Thrown out.

KEVIN: So, you're happy now?

WINNIE: I'm not speaking to you.

KEVIN: I don't care. No skin off my nose.

[WINNIE starts to cry]

KEVIN: Oh man, do you have to do that?

WINNIE: Do what?

KEVIN: Do you have to cry like that?

WINNIE: I'm not crying. [pause] And I'm not a tramp.

KEVIN: Hey, if the shoe fits, right?

WINNIE: Oh, like you never looked at somebody else?

KEVIN: What are you talking about?

WINNIE: How about that girl last summer? At the lake.

NARRATOR: Wait a minute. Low blow.

KEVIN: Who told you about that?

WINNIE: You are so transparent.

KEVIN: Oh, so this is some kind of a jealousy thing? Is that it?

WINNIE: You're worse than transparent. [walks over toKEVIN] You're a snake!

KEVIN: Oh yeah?

[WINNIE throws KEVIN's bag on the road. ThenKEVIN throws WINNIE's suit case on the road. And then a truck drives up from the distance and runs the bags over.]

NARRATOR: And that about said it all.

[WINNIE walks away.]

WINNIE: Goodbye Kevin Arnold.

KEVIN: Yeah, have a nice life. WINNIE: I hate you.

KEVIN: The feeling is mutual.

[It starts to storm. KEVIN and WINNIE run.]


KEVIN and WINNIE are sheltering in a barn.KEVIN lights an oil-lamp.

NARRATOR: So thanks to thirty billion kilowatts of un-metered electricity and about a ton of rain...we ended up sharing the same barn.

[WINNIE sneezes, KEVIN doesn't say anything.]

WINNIE: Thank you.

KEVIN: Don't mention it. [pause] You know this is really, really great, you know that? It's almost funny.

WINNIE: You think this is funny?

KEVIN: Yeah. [pause] No. [pause] I mean, you grow up next door to someone and you figure you really know him. And then like...overnight, you find out don't know him at all.

WINNIE: Yeah, well looks who's talking.

KEVIN: Me? Hey, I'm not the one who changed.

WINNIE: You really believe that?

KEVIN: You bet. [pause] I mean, changed a little but eh...not really, no.

NARRATOR: But I guess I knew better. I guess we both knew better.

WINNIE: Kevin?

NARRATOR: It just took Winnie to say it.

WINNIE: Here's what I think: I think this had to day. I mean it's not like we're kids anymore. Everybody grows up. It's not like Peter Pan or something...

KEVIN: No, it's not like Peter Pan. It's just...somehow I'd thought we'd be together, you know.

WINNIE: Yeah. Together forever.

[KEVIN smiles.]

KEVIN: It's not gonna happen, is it?


[Suddenly KEVIN hears something]

KEVIN: What was that? Hello?

[KEVIN crawls over to the fench and stands up. He hears a sound and frightened of it, he jumps over the fench, where WINNIE's sitting]

KEVIN: Did you see that? It's a horse! God, it practically scared me to death. Can you believe that?

[KEVIN looks at WINNIE, who's crying now.]

KEVIN: Winnie?

WINNIE: I don't want it to end.

[KEVIN and WINNIE start kissing each other tenderly.]

NARRATOR: Once upon a time there was a girl I knew, who lived across the street. Brown hair, brown eyes. When she smiled, I smiled. When she cried, I cried. Every single thing that ever happened to me that mattered, in some way had to do with her. That day Winnie and I promised each other that no matter what, that we'd always be together. It was a promise full of passion and truth and wisdom. It was the kind of promiss that can only come from the hearts of the very young.


The town was in a festive mood. People were celebrating Independence Day.

NARRATOR: The next day Winnie and I came home. Back to where we'd started. It was the 4th of July in that little suburban town. Somehow though, things were different. Our past was here, but our future was somewhere else. And we both knew, sooner or later, we had to go. It was the last July I ever spent in that town. The next year, after graduation, I was on my way.

[KEVIN and WINNIE are holding hands and walk over to PAUL.]

KEVIN: Paul! Hey, Paul.


NARRATOR: So was Paul. He went to Harvard, of course. Studied law. [PAUL sneezes] He's still allergic to everything.

JACK: [buys a flag from a salesman] Thanks a lot.

KEVIN: [to PAUL and WINNIE] Listen, I'll be right back. Hang on for one second.

[KEVIN walks to JACK]

NARRATOR: As for my father...well.

JACK: How are you doing?

KEVIN: Good.

JACK: Welcome home.

NARRATOR: We patched things up.

JACK: Norma!

[NORMA, WAYNE and KAREN, who is pregnant now, walk over to KEVIN]

NARRATOR: Hey, we were family. For better or worse.

KEVIN: Hey, sis.

NARRATOR: One for all...and all for one.

KEVIN: [touching KAREN's stomach] Gosh.

WAYNE: [points at KAREN's stomach] Little Kevin.

KEVIN: I'm gonna be uncle?

NARRATOR: Karen's son was born in that September. I gotta say, I think he looks like me. Poor kid. Mom, she did well: business woman, board chairman, grandmother...cooker of mashed potatoes. Wayne stayed on in furniture. Wood seemed to suit him. In fact he took over the factory two years later, when dad past away. Winnie left the next summer to study art history in Paris. Still we never forgot our promiss. We wrote to each other once a week for the next eight years. I was there to meet her, when she came home, with my wife and my first son, eight months old.


KEVIN and JACK sit at the table, drinking.

NARRATOR: Like I said, things never turn out exactly the way you planned.

JACK: It was good. It was a good fourth.

KEVIN: Yeah. So you're gonna be a grandpa huh?

JACK: Not bad.

KEVIN: Grey hair and everything.

JACK: Yeah, soon enough.

[KEVIN and JACK smile.]


Growing up happens in a hartbeat.
One day you're in diapers; next day you're gone.
But the memories of childhood stay with you
For the long haul.


 I remember a place...a town...a house
like a lot of other houses...
A yard like a lot of other yards...
On a street like a lot of other streets.
And the thing is...After all these years,
I still look back...with WONDER.

[Fireworks in the background]

[Fade to closing titles]

YOUNG BOY: [voiceover] Hey dad, wanna play catch?

NARRATOR: [voiceover] I'll be right there.


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