Thomas Veil's small palmtop computer has produced a number of individual names or addresses in the past few weeks. He's been directed to various people and specific locations. This time all he's been given is the name of this town where a banner over the street proclaims "Hubbard for Governor." Lawn signs in front of every home and fliers covering a telephone pole endorse Hubbard. His campaign headquarters bustles with activity. Considering the source of his information, a defector within the Organization, Tom reflects that it's more than likely that not everything in Darby, New York is what it appears to be.
Every person Tom passes as he walks along the sidewalks of Darby has a friendly greeting: "How you doing today? ... Good morning ... Great day." A man in a long dark coat backs out of Hubbard's headquarters and collides with Tom. After they both apologize, Tom starts to continue on his way, but the other man jovially says, "Excuse me. I guess one of us should have signaled, huh?" He introduces himself as Jim Hubbard and shakes Tom's hand. When he comments that he doesn't think he's seen him around here, Tom tells him that he just came in to town. Hubbard asks if he has a job here or if he's visiting friends. Tom says that he was just looking for a place to relocate and he heard it was nice up this way. As Hubbard enthusiastically agrees that it is nice, Tom notices a large, strawberry-colored birthmark at the base of his jaw. Hubbard says he's lived here half his life; it's beautiful country with nice people who take an interest in who their neighbors are--who's coming, who's going, who's up to what. He welcomes Tom to Darby and says that it's nice to have some fresh meat on the hook around here.
The sun-shaped sign over the heads of the co-hosts of a television program has the fanciful outlines of a town hall and the words "Hometown Network." A continuous, soft chiming sound is heard as a smaller version of the sun logo spins in the right-hand corner of the screen. A woman watching from her living room smiles and coos as the lively female host excitedly reports that Ben's daughter Erin has been chosen to represent Darby at the national spelling bee in Minneapolis. Tom raps on the large oval window in the front door, then peers in when no one responds despite the sound from the television. The woman laughs delightedly and claps her hands when Ben tells them that his daughter placed second, bringing home the silver speller award. The woman purses her lips disappointedly when the hostess says they're out of time. She nods in agreement when Ben signs off with the reminder that smoking isn't just bad for you, it's bad for your neighbors. As the theme music plays, an announcer reminds, "You're watching the Hometown Network Community Television. Remember, wherever you live is home." The logo continues to spin in the corner of the screen as a home shopping program begins. Elsie Marlowe is startled from her contemplation of the first item offered for sale when Tom knocks on the door again. He tells her he came about the room and agrees to the $25.00 a week she suggests. She laughs delightedly and takes him upstairs to see the room.
Tom now has a room, a home-cooked breakfast and a car, all courtesy of Elsie. As he drives the streets of Darby, Tom finds it hard to see why he might have been directed here--it looks like any other small, northeastern town, far from the urban cry or even his own problems. He suddenly slams on the brakes, bringing the car to a screeching halt to avoid hitting the teenage boy who has run out in front of it. He hurries from the car, asking if he's all right and exclaiming that he's going to get himself killed. As he starts to lead the blond-haired boy with thick, dark, horn-rimmed glasses towards the curb, the boy pleads, "Please, man, you gotta get me out of here!" The leader of four boys approaching from the other side of the street asks, "Michael, what's going on?" Michael begs Tom again to get him out of here; he doesn't want to be here anymore--there's nobody left. Tom asks the boys if they've had a fight or something. The second boy tells him that they were just fooling around--they're friends. Michael insists that they're not his friends; nobody here is his friend. He says they've gotten to everybody. A woman leans over the railing of a nearby porch and calls Michael's name. Michael begs Tom not make him go home with her. Tom assures Michael that everything's going to be OK and tells the other boys to go home. Michael says that nothing's going to be OK and it's never going to be OK. If Tom doesn't believe him, he can ask Miss Cowen, the new English teacher. Michael's mother puts her arms around Michael's shoulders and asks if he's all right. He jerks away and angrily asks, "What do you care?" Tom tells her that Michael got in a scrape with some other kids, but he's just a little shaken up. She thanks him and apologizes for having caused him so much trouble. Michael continues to stand there, looking pleadingly at Tom, until he finally lets her lead him away with one final "Please." He jerks his arm from his mother's grasp as they walk towards their home.
The bell rings and students exit the high school beneath a star-bedecked banner bearing the words Hubbard and Governor. Tom taps on a pane in the door of a classroom where a young woman writes words on a chalkboard. Janet Cowen motions for him to enter, then smiles and says that if he's the new transfer student, she's much too young for this job. Tom laughs and tells her she can rest easy--he was paroled a long time ago. Tom tells her that he's new here and somebody told him a little while ago that she's new here also. A bit of awkwardness ensues when he hastily denies that he was asking her for a date, but she cheerfully assures him that the fact that he's not asking her out makes her feel maudlin. Tom questions, "Maudlin?" She underlines the word from tomorrow's word list on the chalkboard and defines it as cheerfully sentimental. Tom says he knows what it means--he's just never made any one feel it. She playfully tells him not to let it go to his head and asks what she can do for him, since he's obviously here on a significantly less important mission. The boy who had claimed to be MIchael's friend looks around the doorway, then moves out of sight as Tom asks her to tell him what's going on in Darby. The boy walks to the principal's office and closes the door behind him before speaking with the administrator.
As they walk along the hallway, Janet tells Tom that Mrs. Williams, the last English teacher, was pretty much forced to retire because she developed glaucoma and was nearly blind. That's what brought Janet here from the Big Apple. Tom comments that it must be quite a change, and she agrees with feeling, "Oh, yeah. Greeting card picture-perfect 24 hours a day." Tom asks about Michael, remarking that he seems to feel a lot more comfortable being with her than with his own mother. She tells him that Michael's a good kid, one of the more spontaneous around here, but he has had some problems fitting in with the other kids. He had some severe learning problems a few years back. His parents had him tested and they discovered he had some problems with his eyesight. They prescribed him special lenses, but she says that just creates a whole slew of other problems for a 14-year-old boy. She pulls down a Hubbard flier taped to the wall and folds it in half. Tom comments that he takes that she's not one of his loyal constituents. With a sparkle in her eye, she says with mock seriousness, "Far be it from me to criticize. Just ask anyone around here. Jim Hubbard's the best thing to come down the pike in years." She lowers her voice and says that between Tom, her and the walls, she never even heard of this guy before she got here. As she walks back down the hallway with a happy laugh, the principal stops her and tells her that he thinks maybe they need to have a talk.
Tom opens the door to the Marlowe home and hears, "It's 7:00, kids, and what does that mean?" The boy and girl watching supply the answer: "Time to do homework!" The uniformed police officer beneath the Hometown Network sign says, "Homework. That's right, and we want to do our homework because we all want to get--" The boy and girl chorus, "Good grades!" The words "Good grades" appear beneath the policeman's smiling face. The sun-shaped logo spins in the corner of the screen; the soft chiming sound endures. Elsie steps into the room and tells Tom that she didn't hear him come in. She says the kids just love Officer Joe. She turns the television off, telling the children that she's sure they've got plenty of homework to do, making it sound like a special treat. She introduces Tom and tells him that the beautiful one is Abigail and the future grandslammer for the Yankees is Daniel. Abigail asks Tom if he's going to watch their television. Tom tells her that he has some of his own homework to do. As they leave the room, they politely say that it's nice to meet him, Daniel offering his hand and calling him Sir.
Elsie proudly asks, "Aren't they neat?" and inquires whether Tom had dinner. Tom says he was going to get a bite downtown, but Elsie tells him not to be silly; they've got plenty left over. Besides, he can meet her husband Ed, if he'll take a moment away from his work. Ed sits at a table, taking a flier with Hubbard's picture from one pile and a letter from another stack, folding them neatly together so that they'll fit into an envelope. Elsie tells him to tear himself away for a second and say hello to Tom. Ed shakes his hand and welcomes him to Darby. Tom thanks him and says that he sees Ed's a devoted Hubbard man. Paul enthusiastically says, "Oh, you bet, Tom! Jim Hubbard's the best thing to come down the pike in years." He asks if Tom knows anything about him. Elsie says she's afraid that if he's staying with them, Tom will know more about Jim Hubbard than he ever wanted to know. Ed gives him some of the fliers and encourages him to take a look at them in his spare time.
Tom sits on the bed in his room, writing in his notebook. He's surprised to hear the sound of a garbage truck. He checks the clock on the bedside table to see that it's 9:30. He steps out on the porch and sees people all down the block coming out of their houses. They busy themselves with rakes and brooms in the darkness, tidying up the street. The garbage truck emptying a dumpster proclaims, "Keep Darby clean." Michael sits on the steps of the house next door. He asks Tom if he believes him now.
Hubbard's voice broadcast over the intercom of the high school asks what makes someone a follower and another person a leader. Students walk past a TV set in the cafeteria, intently watching as Hubbard speaks, the ever-present sun logo in the corner of the picture. Those already seated at the tables sit motionless, their eyes fixed on the screen. Tom looks in the door as Hubbard says that there are those among us who would see our basic values banished in the name of intellectual correctness; the time has come for concerned citizens to strike back, to let their feelings be known. As Tom jogs up the stairs, he can hear Hubbard say that our police must once again be given the power and the authority to deal with those who choose to live outside the system and that our legislators must be given back the power to create and enforce the laws and guidelines that once made this a great nation. An intent crowd gathered in front of a storefront television hear Hubbard say that as the good people of the state begin to find themselves living behind walls, inside gated, secured communities, the time will come when they will fight back.
Tom finds Michael sitting at the top of another stairway. He asks what he means when he says that everybody's started to act different. Michael says that you'd think the only things anybody cares about are picking up trash or doing schoolwork or listening to Jim Hubbard blab all day. Tom asks what Michael's mom thinks about all this. Michael says if you ask her, he's the only problem around here. He says that she spends her time cleaning the park and working at campaign headquarters, just like the rest of them. Tom asks, "Them?" Michael responds, "Everybody! They're all the same!" Tom says that's except for Michael and Miss Cowen, and maybe himself. Michael tells him that it doesn't matter, that if they don't like you, they'll just get rid of you like they did Mrs. Williams. Tom asks what happened to Mrs. Williams. Michael doesn't answer, and when Tom asks again, bursts out that he doesn't know--she's gone, Miss Cowen's here now and she's still new like Tom. He says he just wants to leave. Tom reaches into his back pocket and asks Michael if he knows what he uses when he's feeling the way he's feeling right now. He slides a loupe from its case and hands it to Michael, explaining that it's for looking at photos. As Michael looks through the small circle of glass set into a black square, Tom points out how small it makes everything look. Michael says, "So what?" Tom tells him that he uses it to remind himself what's important to him and who he is. When people are really getting to him, he can always remind himself just how small they can be; it just kind of puts things in perspective. Michael starts to hand it back, saying that it's only a piece of glass. Tom replies that it's not that to him, because it's part of his past and it's been a good luck charm. He hands him the case and tells him to keep it, that it's good luck.
Janet comes out of the school carrying an open umbrella. Tom walks up holding a newspaper over his head and tells her he'd like to talk with her if she has a minute. Janet looks around and says, "Not here," motioning towards her car. As she drives, she explains that she was told not to talk to him. After Tom left the day before, Principal Hopper cautioned her about the wisdom of a young, single, female teacher associating herself with a stranger in town. Tom laughs and says maybe he was just watching out for her. Janet tells him firmly that it was a threat; you'd have to have been blind to miss it. Tom says, "Like Mrs. Williams." He asks what Janet knows about Jim Hubbard. She tells him that according to their best and brightest, Jim Hubbard is the knight on the white horse poised to save the nation. Tom asks if she's met him. She asks why he's asking all the questions; he's not thinking of joining the league of envelope stuffers? Tom asks if she would take her by his campaign headquarters. She jauntily says that it will cost him a date.
When Tom sees all the activity at campaign headquarters amidst the long rows of tables where people sit folding fliers, he exclaims, "Holy cow! Don't any of these people work?" Janet tells him they do, for Jim Hubbard. She says it used to be mainly the housewife/mom contingent, but now a lot of people have actually quit their jobs so they can work full time. Tom observes a stairway blocked by a chain, a man dressed in a suit standing in front of it speaking into a walkie- talkie. He asks Janet what's up there and she says she thinks it's Hubbard's office. Ed Marlowe enthusiastically tells Tom that it's great to see him down here; he sees he decided to go for the right man. Tom tells him he's thinking about it. Ed says, "Nothing to think about. You've come to the right place." Tom introduces them to each other and Ed realizes that Janet's the new English teacher. She wryly comments that word travels quickly. Ed tells her that they like to know their neighbors around here. He encourages Tom to take a look around and not to be afraid to ask questions. After he goes back to work, Tom reaches behind him and pulls the fire alarm lever. Janet watches in consternation as Tom moves away from the exiting workers and heads towards the stairway. She asks what he's doing and he replies, "Checking for smoke." As she precedes him up the steps, she asks who he is. He answers that he's her date for tonight and is amused when she says she'll make sure to hide her diary.
As they enter Hubbard's office, his voice can be heard saying that the time will come when they will fight back. Janet watches with fascinated amusement as Tom searches the top of the desk, picking up the phone, leafing through the papers attached to an open file folder, sorting through a pile of envelopes. She turns and sits on the edge of the desk, remarking that she doesn't remember the last time she watched TV. She tells Tom to look at this guy--he even watches himself. Tom searches the drawers of a second desk and opens a case he finds on top to discover two vials containing contact lens. Hubbard says on the TV screen that this will happen as the good people of our state begin to find themselves living behind walls, inside gated, secured communities; the time will come when they will fight back. Her expression blank, Janet repeats, "Fight back." Hubbard continues, "The question is, when the time comes for that fight, which side will you be on?" Tom turns with concern when he hears Janet murmur, "Which side will I be on?" She doesn't appear to notice when he steps in front of her speaking her name. After he snaps off the TV, she blinks and says, startled, "Oh, I'm sorry." She asks if he found anything. He tells her he did, but he doesn't know what it is. Hubbard bursts through the door accompanied by two security guards in suits. He asks them to please go along with these gentlemen; he thinks they'd like a word.
The two men drive Tom back to the Marlowe home. After they park at the curb, Tom sees them both put in contact lens. Michael watches from next door as they escort Tom into the house. The family is waiting. Ed greets him, "Evening, Tom. It's important to watch." The guards steer Tom to the chair facing the television and stand behind him after they make him to sit down. Abigail asks her mother if she can turn it on. A cooking show is in progress, overlaid with the chiming logo. Tom tries to look to the side, but his gaze is pulled to the screen. His eyes flicker away once more, but then stare riveted at the picture, the spinning logo reflected around his pupils. The exuberant hostess on the screen gushes that when they are done, they have perfect cinnamon toasty rolls--"Yummy.'" Tom repeats, "Perfect cinnamon toasty rolls" and licks his lips appreciatively.
Two men work as a team placing Hubbard campaign signs on lawns. Everyone who walks by exchanges a cheerful, friendly greeting. At the end of a row of signs leading across the Marlowe's front yard, Tom pushes the next one into place. Michael watches disgustedly as Tom, too, jovially greets each passerby.
Tom and Janet work together at a table in Hubbard's campaign headquarters folding fliers. Two middle-aged women working at another table smile approvingly at them as Tom flirts with her. Janet tells him that people are beginning to notice them. Tom says he can hardly blame them; she's hard not to look at. He looks up at the clatter caused by Michael knocking over a pile of styrofoam campaign hats as he struggles with a security guard. Michael's mother rushes over, along with Ed, who sternly asks, "What's wrong with you, young man? What are you doing?" Michael says he came here to talk to Tom. Tom walks over and asks what's going on. Michael says he just wanted to talk to him, but they wouldn't let him in. Tom says he's not surprised after the mess he made here. He asks what he wants to talk about. Michael says, "Not here. Not in front of them." Tom tells Michael's mother and Ed that maybe it would be better if he talked to him alone.
Out on the sidewalk, Michael asks what Miss Cowen is doing here. Tom tells him that she's working hard on the campaign, just like his mother and the rest of them. He says that Jim Hubbard's a great man; it's important that they get the word out. Michael asks, "Since when do you care?" Tom says he does care, and maybe when Michael's older he'll understand. Participating in a democracy is a serious business; we all share in the responsibility. He adds, "You know, Jim Hubbard's the best thing to come down the pike in years." Michael regretfully says that he liked him, he really did. Tom lays his hand on his shoulder and says, "I like you, Mike." He pokes him in the chest as he tells him that he needs to learn to start behaving himself. The boy snaps that his name is Michael and tells him he can take the loupe back. He says Tom didn't mean any of those things, about knowing what it's like when everybody's after you or looking through that thing and seeing everything as their real size. He says he doesn't want it any more--it's just a stupid piece of glass. Tom turns the loupe over in his hands and winces as a confused look crosses his face.
As Tom enters the Marlowe home, he hears "You're watching the Hometown Network Community Television. Remember, wherever you live is home." Ed and the children sit motionless as they watch. Tom starts to look towards the TV, then squeezes his eyes closed as he turns away to go upstairs. Abigail asks, "Aren't you gonna watch TV with us?" Tom stammers, "Uh, no. No." Elsie steps out of the kitchen and tells him that he wants to watch a little TV. Tom again manages to say no. As he climbs the stairs the announcer's voice follows him, instructing the viewers to keep up the good work and to remember, what's good for Darby is good for them. When he opens the door to his room, he sees a portable television wrapped with a red ribbon. His hand hesitates as he reaches for the remote control. He breathes rapidly as he grips the remote, finally switching on the set with a snap of the button. As the host describes the excitement building at city hall, Tom flashes on the plaque that hung beneath his Hidden Agenda photograph. He turns and paces as images from the photo fill his mind: the scaffold with four hanging victims, the Humvee with a man in military fatigues standing in its door with his back to the camera. The sounds of helicopters, gunfire and screaming voices echo and crescendo. His pacing stills as his vision closes in on the man standing on the Humvee, focusing on the birthmark on his neck. He sees Hubbard outside his headquarters with an identical mark. Tom takes the loupe from his case and unfolds it. He reaches out the remote and silences the wailing he remembers from the jungle with a decisive press of the button.
Michael watches from next door as Tom rakes the lawn, joining neighbors all along the street tending their yards and shrubs. Janet drives up, honking her horn. She says she thought they had a date; tomorrow's Jim's big speech and they've got a lot of work to do. Tom suggests that she head on in, because he has a lot of chores to finish and he can get a ride in with Ed. He promises that he wouldn't dream of keeping her waiting. She tosses her head and says "OK. Kiss-kiss." He fondly replies, "Back at ya" and winks. After she leaves, Tom tosses the rake aside and walks next door where Michael sits on the porch railing. He says he needs to speak to him. Michael starts to go into the house, asking why he doesn't leave him alone; he's just like the others. Tom says he isn't and that he's sorry about what he said to him before, but they were listening. He asks if he watches television. Michael answers that he doesn't watch much, but he does sometimes. When Tom asks if he wears his glasses when he does, he says he has to and asks with irritation what difference it makes. Tom says it could make a lot of difference. He asks him to tell him what's wrong with his eyesight. Michael says it's called myopic dysplasia; he can't focus right without his glasses. Tom asks if he watches the Hometown Channel. Mike sarcastically replies, "Yeah, right!" Tom asks if he knows where they broadcast the show from.
The Hometown Network sign is set into a round window on the front of a brick building. Inside the deserted control room, Tom photographs the pages of an open notebook. The pages show the schematics of a Cerebral Stimulation Unit (CSU). Hubbard gets out of a dark limousine which has stopped in front of the building. A figure seated in the shadows, smoking a cigar, tells him to make sure he doesn't forget the negatives. Hubbard anxiously responds, "Yes, sir. Yes, right after the speech tomorrow." Once inside the building, he observes Tom from an observation window a level above the floor of the control room.
Tom bends over the notebook laid open on a desk, his feet planted apart to hold the camera steady as he photographs the schematics. He jumps back at the sound of Hubbard's voice as he levels a pistol and says, "You are a persistent son-of-a-bitch, aren't you?" Tom flips the notebook closed and tries to conceal the camera, but Hubbard instructs him to leave it on the table. He addresses him as Thomas J. Veil and says that from what he's been told, he's quite a renowned photographer or he used to be. Tom says, "News travel quickly." Hubbard tells him that they have an extensive network. Tom looks around him and ironically remarks, "In more ways than one." Hubbard puts the camera in his pocket and says that they had told him Tom was a scrapper, somebody who still believes in the fight; it's a shame that he never learned the art of surrender. Tom tells him that even with all his toys, he still hasn't won the election. He might have convinced Darby, but it's still a long way to the White House. He asks what happened in the jungle. Hubbard responds, "I'm sorry?" Tom says he was there running the whole show. He asks what happened--whose operation was it? Hubbard says he really has no idea what he's talking about. Tom tells him he has it on film--all of it. He asks what he thinks is going to happen to his campaign when he releases those photographs. Hubbard smugly replies, "Nothing at all." He tells Tom that he might have noticed that the good people here are very enthusiastic about him. Tom says they might not feel the same way about him in Albany. Hubbard confidently says, "Well, maybe not right away, but you know how things are. A chicken in every pot. Two or three Sonys in every home." He tells him that they go on-line statewide tomorrow. Tom asks why bother having elections if they've already got control. Hubbard says that people are funny. They tend to fancy notions like democracy, freedom of speech, free elections. He adds, "It's just an illusion, of course. Nobody is really free. You know that." He tells Tom he wants those negatives. Tom laughs and says, "As easy as that?" Hubbard grimly switches the gun to the other hand, freeing him to operate the controls to turn on a TV monitor. He tells Tom that's the beauty of cable--always something on. Tom turns his back and steps away, but Hubbard pulls him back and forces him to stand in front of the monitor. He grabs his chin to compel him to look at the picture with its spinning logo. He speaks in low, hypnotic tones, "Look at the screen ... You see it, don't you? ... You just can't stop looking ... You just must look." As Tom watches Hubbard on the screen with the dancing sun above his shoulder, his gaze becomes fixed, his face motionless.
Tom directs the positioning of a flag near a round stage ringed with chairs in the television studio. He walks into the control room and uses a stool to reach up on a shelf above a control panel for an electronic timing device. He enters data into a number pad on the panel and puts the device back out of sight. A cable from the device leads to the CSU concealed behind the equipment. Michael walks through the studio where Hubbard tells a group of reporters, "I think we've been blinded to the faults of the giveaway economics. Let's stop giving to those who do not deserve it." Michael angrily asks Tom why he's here. Tom tries to quiet him, saying that this is a bad time. Michael shouts at Tom that he thought he wasn't like them; why is he hanging out with this creep? Hubbard apologizes and asks the reporters to excuse him for a moment. He asks Tom if he can have a word with him. Once they're alone, he comments that it looks like it's going to be quite a day. Tom tells him that everybody's pulling for him. Hubbard says he knows Tom is. He tells Tom he wants him to get Michael out of here. He says they've put up with him this long because he didn't want to rock the boat, but today is very important and he wouldn't want to take any chances. Tom says he understands and offers to take him home. Tom is puzzled when Hubbard says no. He tells Tom to get rid of him any way he sees fit--he doesn't care how. As Tom starts to shake his head, he tells him it's for the good of the campaign; it's what's good for everyone. He looks straight into Tom's eyes and Tom finally says he can see that. He goes to Michael and tells him they'll talk about it where there's not so many people around.
An engineer in the control room announces, "15 seconds everyone." Young people with beaming faces fill the chairs encircling the stage. Hubbard sits on a stool in the center and begins: "My name is Jim Hubbard. Like most of you, I'm just an ordinary citizen and like most of you, I'm concerned about what happens in our country." Teachers and students sit immobile, intently watching the speech on a TV set in the cafeteria. Tom parks his car near an appliance store, where a crowd watches a TV in the window with the same absorption. Tom removes a pair of contact lenses before leading Michael over to join the group. Hubbard earns a laugh from the studio audience when he says that the first thing that has to be done is that they have to get all these politicians out of office. The timer counts down to zero and with a sizzling sound, the CSU shorts out. As the spinning sun and chimes disappear, the students blink and shake their heads. They become restless and complain as Hubbard continues to speak. The monitor behind the stage fills with static and flickers before switching to a videotape of Hubbard pointing a gun at Tom. Hubbard angrily asks, "What's this?" as he is heard saying that the people here are quite enthusiastic about him. The engineer yells frustratedly, "What the hell is going on?" when he's unable to discover where the tape is coming from. Yells of "Loser!" and "Get out!" are heard as the screen in the cafeteria is pelted with wads of paper. Campaign supporters in the studio toss down their hats and begin to leave. Hubbard desperately tells them it's a hoax, an obvious attempt by somebody to try to confuse the issues and pollute the campaign. He's left standing in the middle of an empty studio, listening to his own voice say, "It's an illusion. Nobody's free." The sidewalk in front of the store is deserted, the empty school cafeteria strewn with litter. The words painted in large letters on the windows of Hubbard's campaign headquarters include Fraud and Loser.
Tom walks with Michael and Janet along the darkened sidewalk. As they pass Hubbard's graffiti-covered headquarters, the former candidate walks out the door. Tom tells him, "Good show, Jim." Hubbard asks if he really thinks he's accomplished something; does he really think he stopped this? Tom says he stopped him. He looks at the man barely glimpsed through the lowered window of the limousine at the curb and tells Hubbard that his friends will see to it. Hubbard tells him he's a fool. He says it doesn't matter what happens to him--Tom can't stop them. They're just getting started. The motor starts as he gets into the limo. As they walk away, Janet asks what that's all about. Tom says, "I guess he thought some people would believe anything."
Tom shifts his weight from one foot to the other, trying to keep warm in the damp chill as he stands beside a highway and tries to thumb a ride. He watches as two trucks pass by, proudly emblazoned with the name Hometown Network. The smaller lettering above proclaims, "Coming soon to your hometown." Below the name is the reminder, "Wherever you live is home."
Synopsis © 1996 Marge Brashier
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Used by permission.
February 26, 1996