The One With the Murder Mystery

[Scene: Central Perk continued from where we left off. Chandler enters.]

PHOE: Hey, Chan. How goes the fightin'? [Chandler looks confused.]

JOEY: Come on, man, what is fighting one letter away from?

CHAN: In your world, writing.

JOEY: Hey, yeah! How's the program coming?

[Phoebe gets up to play. She plays her advertisement.]

PHOE: Thank you. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programs. [She starts into Smelly Cat.]

CHAN: Y'know, Phoebe's music is really indescribable. It would take years to think up something honestly positive about it.

GJOEY: I have something positive to say about it! She's helping Monica get some business!

CHAN: (scoffing) No she's not!

GJOEY: Plus - plus her lyrics are fresh and childish. Frankly, they're appealing to anyone that's willing to listen!

RACH: That actually makes a lot of sense!

JOEY: You are so smart! You know what? We should get going. We're practice-waitering at Monica's Place. Bye! [Everyone bids farewell except Phoebe, who's still singing.]

ROSS: Did you see it?

CHAN: What?

ROSS: The way Joey and.Joey looked at each other!

RACH: Oh yeah! If eyes had hands, they'd be all over each other!

CHAN: The only strange thing about this conversation is that you two agree on something! Come on, what are you talking about?

RACH: Joey's in love!

CHAN: Which one?

ROSS: Both! Joey loves Joey. And vice versa!

[Phoebe steps down from playing.]

PHOE: They're right, y'know Chandler. I gave Joey a massage the other day and her aura was just totally discombobulated. She is so in love! And I can tell they're lobsters, because, like, they're best friends, just like Chandler and Monica.oops. [She stares at Chandler's angry expression.] Have I said too much?

[Everyone's scared by now.]

RACH: Well, I've got to get to work.

ROSS: Me too.

PHOE: And I've got to.powder my nose. [They all disappear. Chandler is as angry as an active volcano!]

[Scene: Monica's restaurant. No one is there except Rachel and Ross. Rachel is on a stepladder hooking a picture of a pumpkin to the ceiling with a piece of string. The rest of the restaurant is decorated from top to bottom. Ross is sitting on a stool. Rachel steps down.]

RACH: Well, we did it. I can't believe we actually finished.

ROSS: I know. It was so much work! And I can't believe Mon didn't lift a finger. That is so unlike her!

RACH: You're right, but that's not what I meant. I meant - I can't believe we actually did this together. We had no disagreements or anything. [pause] Ross? Remember that little bet we had - in Las Vegas?

ROSS: You mean about the day we broke up? Yeah?

RACH: got it right and I never really paid up. [Ross's eyes widen, but they both lean in for a kiss. Suzanne's voice floats in from outside.]

SUZA: Ross? Ross? [Ross and Rachel jump apart as Suzanne walks in. Suzanne walks and twirls around, examining the decorations.] Wow, Ross this looks wonderful! You two did such a great job!

RACH: (sarcastically) Thanks a lot.

ROSS: Uh, thanks Suzanne. (nervously) Oh this is such a coincidence, cos y'know, I was just thinking about you. And we have to.uh, go get ready for tonight.

RACH: Really, what are you dressing up as? Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum? [She glares at Ross.] I think I know whom will be whom, as well.

ROSS: Well actually, we're not wearing costumes.

RACH: Oh, I see. So you'll be coming as paleantology nerds. That's a good idea, actually. I knew this kid who did that one year. But no one would give him candy because they were afraid he'd come at them with a knife.

[Suzanne seems confused. Ross laughs nervously.]

ROSS: That Rachel. Always a kidder. You're always good for a laugh, Rach.

[Rachel's eyes widen with anger. At that moment Monica sails in.]

MNCA: Hi guys. Hm. Ross, you guys forgot to put out coasters. Oh, and who hung that skeleton in the window? That totally ruins the atmosphere of the whole thing. And these candles - they're in the wrong place, totally. We want candles floating in water on each table.not on the counter. [She spots Suzanne.] Oh, hi Suzanne. [Ross is impatient with Monica's complaining and tries to get back at her.]

ROSS: Oh, and we'll be sure not to put any candles on the floor.

MNCA: Hm. Good. That's dangerous. Now about the tablecloths.

RACH: How come you're feeling so much better?

MNCA: Oh, I don't know. Chandler and I had a little can we get back to the tablecloths, please?

[Scene: the kitchen of Monica's restaurant. Joey Bing is sitting on a counter next to where the assistant chef is preparing food, playing with the fake knife. Joey Tribbiani enters.]

JOEY: Hey, Joey. I've been looking everywhere for you. We have to get ready!

GJOEY: I know. [She sits still.]

JOEY: Well.come on then. Is something wrong?

GJOEY: I guess I'm just a little nervous, that's all.

JOEY: It's okay, Joey. Just because you're acting out being a murderer doesn't mean people think you're really one.

GJOEY: Joey! I'm not the murderer, okay?!

JOEY: (confused) You're not? [He takes a script out of his pocket and ruffles through it.] Oh, you're right. Whoops.

GJOEY: I'm not nervous about tonight. I'm nervous about the whole tv thing. I'm not sure I can go through with it.

JOEY: Well, y'know, I'll be there with you to help you through it! And I'll need you, too. I can't do this myself, either.

GJOEY: But you were the great Dr. Drake Remore! And you did that all by yourself.

JOEY: They killed off my character. What does that go to show? I'm a pathetic loser as Dr. Drake Remore. But hey! I'm a great Hans Remore, Drake's evil twin! [Joey B. gives him a strange look.] Long story. [Joey B. nods.]

GJOEY:'ll be a great Fred.

JOEY: And you'll be a great.who are you playing again?

GJOEY: Jamie.

JOEY: You'll be a fantastic Jamie! I just know it. Now you get out there and be the best murderer you can be!

GJOEY: I'm not the murderer!!!

[Scene: Finally the party. It's at Monica's Place. All of Monica's wanted changes have been made, and there are people in costume milling all around. Enter Phoebe, her friend Abby (not Bonnie!), Rachel, and Rachel's new museum friends all in costume. Monica wanders over to them.]

MNCA: Hi, guys. Thanks a lot for coming. Hope you enjoy yourselves.

PHOE: Uh, hello? We're your friends? You can stop practicing your speech now!

MNCA: Oh, sorry. Hi, Pheebs. Hi Rach. Great costumes!

PHOE: This is Abby.

MNCA: Ah, the break-the-bad-boyfriend-cycle one. Hi. [they shake hands.] We've heard so much about you.

ABBY: And I about you. So is there going to be a sequel to that book?

[Monica glares at Phoebe, who shrugs innocently.]

RACH: Well we're going to go find a place to sit. Bye! Good luck, Mon. [They wander off. Enter Doug, Chandler's boss (BOSS) and his wife (LISA). They're dressed as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. Rachel, who was looking in that direction, turns away, nervously hiding a giggle.]

BOSS: Hi. You must be Miss Geller. Chandler goes on and on about you constantly!

MNCA: Really! Well, you must be Doug, then. Nice to meet you.

BOSS: This is my wife, Lisa.

LISA: Hi. This is such a quaint little place. Such an escape from country club ways.

BOSS: Lisa, honey, why don't you go find a table?

LISA: All right. [She goes off, glancing around with an amused look on her face.]

BOSS: Sorry about her.

MNCA: What? I didn't notice a thing. So, have you happened to see Chandler? He's the one that was writing up the program, and he's not here with the blasted things!

BOSS: No, sorry. I do know he's coming with my sister, Tara. She was telling me about your history with Chandler. She said that on their date the other day, you're all he talked about. Same at work, same everyone where, I guess. [A look crosses Monica's face, and suddenly she doesn't seem so worried.] So what time does the production start?

MNCA: Oh, soon. In about ten minutes. (anxiously) Ten minutes! Oh my God. I've gotta go. [She disappears.]

[Scene: Monica's Place. The lights are dimmed. Monica is standing by the door, while everyone else is seated. A soundtrack begins to play, with spooky wind and music. Joey T. steps out from the shadows with a rose in hand.]

JOEY: Millicent! Millicent? Where are you dear? [Joey B. appears.]

GJOEY: I'm right here, darling. What is it, Darth?

[Camera cuts to Monica. You can still faintly hear the conversatioin between Darth and Millicent. Enter Chandler and Tara, Chandler holding a stack of programs. The three whisper in the corner while the play goes on.]

CHAN: Sorry we're late, Mon. We couldn't find costumes.

MNCA: And I see you still didn't. But that's okay. [She spots the programs and grabs them.] Give me those!

CHAN: Monica, this is Tara. Tara, Monica.

TARA: Nice to meet you, Monica.

MNCA: Ditto.

[Camera cuts back to the Joeys. Now there are two more people (ACTR1 and ACTR2) on stage.]

ACTR1: Millicent, stay away from Darth! He's a dangerous man!

GJOEY: But I can't, Brett! I must stay with him! He's my only true love.

ACTR2: Whatever you say, Milly, darling, but we all know you're just after his money.

JOEY: Now I resent that, Violet! Millicent and I love each other and there is only one person in this room that would disagree! [A gunshot sounds. The crowd jumps and gasps as the lights go off. The lights return. Joey T. lays (supposedly) dead.]

GJOEY: No! Darth! [She runs to his side.] I can't live without you! [Three more actors appear onstage (ACTR3, 4 and 5.)

ACTR3: What's going on? [He gazes down and sees Joey's body.]

ACTR2: Is there a doctor in the house?

ACTR5: I'm a doctor. [He bends beside Joey T. and examines the wound.] Oh dear, oh dear. I'm afraid to say it, but this is a definite case of murder.

ACTR4: Oh no, I'm sure it's a definite case of heart disease. [The crowd laughs nervously.]

ACTR1: There were only four people in this room when it happened. One of them was him.

ACTR3: Which means.

[Cut to later. Monica and her waiter helpers (except Joey T. and the other now dead people which include ACTR3 and ACTR1.) are handing out pieces of paper.]

MNCA: If you will please write down who you believe the murderer is, then we will get on to dessert and the last scene of our play.

[Cut to a  few minutes later. We hear a scream. It's from Joey B.]

GJOEY: Whoever's there, leave me alone! I know nothing about the murder of Darth! I didn't kill him! Please stop blackmailing me. I don't have that kind of money!

[Joey T. steps out of the shadows.]

JOEY: You do now. Because everyone thinks I'm dead. Even you thought you killed me. But you didn't. And now I'm here to get revenge. [He has his little knife.]

GJOEY: But I didn't kill you!

JOEY: (in a regular Joey voice) Obviously! (then in a Darth type voice) I mean - Of course not! I'm right here!

GJOEY: I mean, I didn't try to kill you! Please believe me, Darth!

[Another figure steps out of the shadows. It's Actor 2. She has a gun.]

ACTR2: That's right. Believe her, Darth. I tried to kill you. And now I will succeed in my plans.

GJOEY: Violet!

JOEY: (growling) You. I should have known. Ever since that cruise you've been after me. You've been stalking me haven't you. Well you won't get away with it.

ACTR2: Darth, darling, I already have. See, I'm the one with the revolver. You have your little knife, sweetie, but in the blink of an eye, I will shoot you dead. [She eyes Joey B.'s quivering face.] And you too, darling. Now that you know what's really happening, I'll have to put an end to that knowledge. [Suddenly Joey T. lunges at Violet with the knife. The revolver goes off. Joey T. tries to get Violet with the knife but accidently hits the stage.]

JOEY: (in his regular voice) Oops.

ACTR2: (continuing on) Oh.