(Opening shot: the city skyline in the wee hours of the night.)
Narrator: The city of Townsville. An average city with average suburbs and average neighborhoods with average family homes.
(Dissolve to a sample of each particular milieu as it is named and stay on the house.)
Narrator: Here we start with an average family, the Smiths.
(An alarm clock begins to beep, and the sky lightens into morning. Inside, a fist thumps heavily on top of the clock—a digital model showing 6:00. Pull back; the fist belongs to a bald man, with a long, banana-like nose, squinting groggily and sitting up in bed. This is Mr. Harold Smith. His wife Marianne—darkly tanned, very light blond hair, sharply pointed nose, features bunched up in the middle of her face—is fast asleep next to him. He picks up a pair of square eyeglasses from behind the clock and puts them on; his weary, bleary gaze does not change.)
(Around him, the scene dissolves to the bathroom shower as he washes up, then to the bathroom itself as he brushes his teeth while wrapped in a towel. Next he is in the bedroom, dressed for work and straightening his tie.)
Marianne: (walking across behind him) You’ll never guess what’s for breakfast.
(She carries a basket of laundry as she goes. She sounds insanely perky considering the early hour, and we see that she has a pronounced overbite. Dissolve around him to the kitchen table. To his left sits his daughter, a pudgy girl with a long blond ponytail and features that almost look drawn on. His son—green-dyed hair, braces, his mother’s teeth—sits on his right.)
Marianne: (leaning into view) Pancakes!
(She sets down a plate stacked high with them and ducks away. A pause.)
Bud: This family stinks!
(Around Harold, the scene dissolves to a head-on view of him in the driver’s seat of his car as he pulls out of the driveway. Next we see him at his job, which consists entirely of pressing two buttons to fill and seal jars of food—it might be mustard—as they pass him on a conveyor belt. Now he parks the car in front of the house and steps out. His expression has not changed one whit from when he woke up. Behind him, the Professor is doing a bit of hedge trimming.)
Professor: Hiya, neighbor! Just trimming the hedges and feeling great!
(Harold starts toward his own front door on the end of this line; the two houses are in fact situated right next to each other, and his sports a winding front walk. It takes him some time to reach its other end.)
Professor: My life’s going perfect. Ju-u-ust perfect! Oh, I think I’ll sing the “My Life is Perfect” song. (singing, lounge style) My life is so perfect… (Mr. Smith gets inside and slams the door.)
(Inside, the camera follows him as he trudges through the house. His wife addresses him as he passes her.)
Marianne: Hi, honey. Here’s your paper. (He takes it from her.) Oh, by the way, Julie has a few friends over…the Powerpuff Girls!
(Her last three words prompt the sort of reaction that normally arises when one grabs a live wire. He stops in his tracks for a moment as he seizes up; then his face assumes its previous weary expression and he slogs along again. He passes his daughter, Julie, and the girls. They are playing jacks.)
Julie: Look, Daddy, we’re playing jacks!
(He reaches the couch; his son Bud is hanging lazily off it and watching TV. The camera stops, and he flops down next to the boy, who looks at him with anything but filial respect. A pause.)
Bud: I hate you!
(Harold opens the paper and begins to read, but an announcers voice cuts him off.)
Announcer: (on TV) We interrupt this program to bring you a breaking news update.
(The broadcast shows a reporter with a microphone in hand and an audio receiver plugged into his ear. He has one eye screwed shut, giving him a slightly Popeye-like appearance. Townsville Hall stands across the street behind him; police cars are pulled up in front. The reporter’s voice marks him as a different individual from the one who announced the update; he sounds a bit like Howard Cosell.)
Reporter: This is Stanley Whitfield, live in front of City Hall—
(Pull back; the girls continue their game of jacks.)
Reporter (Whitfield): —where the evil Mojo Jojo has captured the Mayor and is keeping him hostage inside City Hall.
(On the end of this they look up, startled, and take off through the ceiling. Julie is left by herself, surprised by their sudden leave from playing with her because of what they heard on the news just now. Back to the screen.)
Whitfield: We’ve patched into a security camera to get a better view of the situation.
(Black-and-white view of Mojo pointing a weapon at the head of the Mayor, who is cowering on the floor by his desk. Numerical readouts are seen across the bottom edge, as of a surveillance camera tape.)
Whitfield: (voice over) It seems Mojo Jojo has a raygun to the Mayor's head!
(Close-up of Harold, the paper partially hiding his face.)
Whitfield: (on TV) How can this be happening?
(The paper is lowered, revealing a cunning smile on the man’s face—the first genuine sign of emotion we have seen so far. His eyebrows lower to complete the look. Back to the TV screen; Whitfield is seen outside Townsville Hall, with a white-mustached policeman next to him.)
Whitfield: I’m standing with Police Chief Hiddledee of Townsville Police Department. Chief Hiddledee, what is your assessment of the situation?
Hiddledee: Stanley, when dealin’ with Mojo Jojo, we’re talkin’ pure evil!
(Back to Harold. Bud is now napping on the couch, but he is rubbing his hands in evil glee and savoring every word of coverage.)
Hiddledee: (on TV) We got guns, we got tanks, we got missiles all aimed at the Mayor’s office— (Harold starts to lean closer to the screen.) —but pure evil cannot be stopped by these methods. It seems as though evil will prevail.
(The man snaps glances to both sides of himself as the report continues.)
Whitfield: (on TV) Thank you for your time, Chief Hiddledee.
(Harold tiptoes away from the couch; the camera follows him to an open door, which he ducks behind. He looks one way and the other, then pulls his head in and eases the door shut. Zoom in slowly to the sound of various tools being put through their paces. Fade to black.)
(Snap to the alarm clock, going off at 6:00 again. The previous morning’s routine plays itself out almost exactly, complete with Marianne’s line as she passes behind Harold during his dressing. She is carrying another basket of laundry.)
Marianne: You’ll never guess what’s for breakfast. (In the kitchen, she serves up…) Pancakes!
Bud: No one understands me!
(This line is the one change. Harold drives to work and performs his job, after which the scene dissolves to him on the couch, paper in hand. Another news report begins.)
Announcer: (on TV) We interrupt this program for a breaking news update.
(He lowers his paper to pay attention. The screen shows the same opening tableau as the previous day’s broadcast did.)
Whitfield: Hello. This is Stanley Whitfield, live in front of City Hall, where Mojo Jojo still has our beloved Mayor captive. (Harold’s eyes gleam wickedly.) And if this situation isn’t already horrific, last night it accelerated to new heights.
(A box dissolves into view next to him; inside it is another reporter, with a microphone in one hand and the other cupped to her ear.)
Whitfield: On the phone with us is rescue theorist Maria Santiago. (putting free hand to his receiver) Are you there, Maria?
Maria: Yes. Hello, Stanley.
Whitfield: Maria, as we show the viewers last night’s footage, could you please comment?
Maria: Yes, of course.
(The screen fills with static as she continues. This resolves into the same view as before, but a doughnut-eating policeman stands in Whitfield’s place. Maria takes no notice.)
Maria: At approximately seven forty-five PM last night, when the situation looked its darkest—
(On the end of this, the policeman looks into the sky, his face brightening. The girls are then seen in flight—this is indeed a previously recorded tape. Maria is no longer on screen.)
Maria: (voice over) —the Powerpuff Girls arrived at the scene.
(Harold’s face goes slack at this turn of events, and he begins to twist the paper into a tight bundle. On TV, we now see another surveillance recording. The Mayor is now tied up and blindfolded by his desk; during the next line, Mojo runs past, with the girls in hot pursuit.)
Maria: (voice over) Once inside, it seemed the Powerpuff Girls had Mojo Jojo on the run.
(Harold tears the screwed-up paper in half, his face now registering undiluted fury. Back to the TV.)
Maria: (voice over) But just then the tables turned.
(The peripheral glare of an o.c. explosion is seen, and the image dissolves into static. When it clears, the scene is the same, but Mojo drags the unconscious girls up next to the Mayor as smoke rises from his blaster.)
Maria: (voice over) Mojo Jojo reclaimed his control. Townsville could be in big, big trouble! Stanley?
(As Whitfield picks up the story again, Harold looks positively ecstatic.)
Whitfield: (on TV) Thank you, Maria. This is a grim day for Townsville. Not only is the Mayor being held hostage, but so are the Powerpuff Girls.
(Harold gets up and tiptoes away again; pan to the same door he ducked into the previous day. He peeks out from behind it and tucks himself away again, slamming the door.)
Marianne: (walking past) Dinner’ll be ready in fifteen, honey!
(The tools make themselves heard as the camera zooms in slowly. Fade to black.)
(Snap to the alarm clock, buzzing 6:00 one more time. The same routine unfolds, and once again Marianne carries a load of laundry and says, as Harold gets dressed…)
Marianne: You’ll never guess what’s for breakfast. (In the kitchen, she serves up…) Pancakes!
Bud: Leave me alone!
(Drive to work. Do the job. Sit on the couch, smirking and rubbing hands together. Right on cue, another special report begins. Same initial view on TV.)
Whitfield: Hello, this is Stanley Whitfield, live in front of City Hall. It’s day three of the hostage situation, and we’re still at a standstill. (Townsville Hall rumbles.) What the—?
(Zoom in on the structure, which keeps rumbling and finally explodes. Cut to two policemen covering their ears. Both look up, surprised, and a badly injured Mojo drops into the arms of one of them. Whitfield is heard stammering a bit before regaining his composure.)
Whitfield: (from o.c.) Mojo Jojo is captured! (The Mayor lands in the other cop’s arms.) The Mayor is safe!
(Turn up to the sky as the girls fly over their heads and across the city.)
Whitfield: (from o.c.) Thank you, Powerpuff Girls! Bless your huge little heads.
(Harold doesn’t share Whitfield’s sentiment; the camera zooms in on him, rotating through 360 degrees as it does so. He is ready to blow every gasket in his head. Cut to his perspective of his hideout, approaching it quickly. Just as he is about to reach the door, Marianne pops up in front of him. Her eyes are fully open for the first time since the start of the episode; they are a bright ice-blue.)
Marianne: Sorry, dear. No private time tonight. We’re having dinner guests!
(She giggles, and the doorbell chimes as if on cue.)
Marianne: Oh, good, they’re here!
(She practically floats across the room and stops at the front door, reaching toward the knob with her back to it.)
Marianne: Look who’s here.
(She opens the door and steps aside. The Professor and the girls are on the other side of it.)
Professor: Hiya, neighbors!
Girls: Thank you for inviting us!
(Harold stands frozen in the middle of the front hall; after a moment, nervous sweat starts to bead on his forehead—this is something he never expected, at least not right now. He wipes his brow and finally speaks, in a timid, quivering voice.)
Harold: Yeah, uh…hi. Gosh, it’s, uh—uh, great to see you. (aside) Marianne, I—I don’t think tonight’s going to, uh, be a good, uh, night, uh, you know, for this, uh…tonight.
(Marianne regards him with some concern for a long moment. The neighbors stand at the door, still smiling. Finally, she manages an embarrassed little giggle and turns to the Professor.)
Marianne: Just a moment.
(Now she rounds on her husband, her normally perky tone giving way to shrewish anger. He cowers before her approach.)
Marianne: You listen to me, Harold! That family has lived a nightmare for the past three days— (straightening his tie) —and we’re going to be good neighbors and help them out through these troubled times. (pulling on tie) Do not, Harold, ruin this dinner! (to guests, cheerfully) Come in.
(Dissolve to both families gathered around the coffee table. There is a brief, tense silence.)
Marianne: Now isn’t this nice? (She giggles.)
Professor: (as if reading a cue card) Oh, yes. It’s nice to relax with friends after a long battle against evil.
Bud: (to his father, sarcastically) That’s right! You really took care of Mojo Jojo, huh?
Harold: You know, Buddy, I—I really, uh, think that…maybe we—we—we should talk about something else.
Bud: Okay, Dad, let’s talk about your amazing day. How many mustard jars did you fill?
(The Professor and brood are caught by surprise. Blossom is the first to try to change the tone.)
Blossom: We don’t mind telling the story.
Buttercup: And to start…villains are stupid! (Harold is now on his feet.)
Harold: Hi, excuse me, hi, hi-ho. I’m just going to just quickly use the bathroom. (He walks o.c.)
Buttercup: So anyway, we busted in on Mojo, and—
(Snap to black. A light switch clicks, and we see Harold’s silhouette at a lit doorway. A tap is opened, and water gushes from a faucet into a sink. Harold splashes some onto his face; he is standing at the counter in a bathroom decorated entirely in pink—it would fit in better at the residence of “Him” than in a suburban house. Harold regards himself in the mirror, trying to compose himself adequately.)
Harold: All right, Harold, you can…you can do this. Just make it through this one night—just one night. (A pause.) Break! (He claps his hands.)
(Now smiling, he strides out of the bathroom to rejoin the conversation.)
Bubbles: (from o.c., with mounting enthusiasm) Then, I started to smash his face!
(Harold reaches the group, all of whom are enjoying the retelling, and then does an immediate about-face to duck into another room. He slams the door behind him. Back to the others.)
Blossom: Basically, there’s no villain around that could take us.
(The edge of some sort of blue, fuzzy garment moves into view across from the girls.)
Harold: (from “o.c.”) Oh, really? (They and the Professor stare in surprise.)
[Animation goof: The colors of the pupils and eye highlights are reversed in this shot.]
(Cut to a pair of stocking-clad feet on the carpet and turn up slowly to show them attached to a body clad in a pair of red thermal underwear. Yellow rubber gloves cover the hands, a holster is strapped to one hip, and a blue bath mat is tied around the neck for a cape—this is what we just saw. The face is that of Harold, with black-rimmed goggles replacing his square glasses, but his expression looks nothing like his previous bleary, timid countenances. Now he is alive with the fire of purpose, but his mouth is twisted down into a scowl. His outfit has a hood, on top of which a sparkler flashes. The whole makeshift, half-baked effect recalls the title character in the Damon Wayans film Blankman.)
(The Professor and the girls are stunned into silence. Marianne leans in front of them, laughing uneasily.)
Marianne: What a joker Harold is! (to the camera) You’re joking…right, Harold?
Harold: No. I’m finally free, Marianne. I’m the arch-villain I always wanted to be. No more mustard jars and routine days for me! And definitely no more average Harold Smith! I am now supervillain…uh…Harold Smith!
(Everybody stares at him; they are stunned into silence. Buddy is the first to break it and expresses something that actually resembles respect for the first time in this episode.)
Bud: All right, Dad!
Marianne: (disdainfully) So tell me, Harold. What are you going to do with this newfound identity? Hmmm? (Close-up of Harold, the corner of the Professor’s shoulder next to him.)
Harold: I’m glad you asked, Marianne. (drawing his weapon) I’m going to take this raygun... (Pull back; he has it to the Professor’s head.) ...and melt the Professor’s head clear off his shoulders!
(His gun has been built from a hair dryer. On the end of this line, he leans up to his intended target’s face—so close that his nose is folded down over his own mouth—and laughs dementedly. Pull back; now he has the Professor at gunpoint again.)
Harold: And that’s just for starters.
(The two groups—the girls, and Harold holding the Professor—charge at each other, but before they can collide, Marianne inserts herself between them. She is furious.)
Marianne: Stop it! Stop it, stop it! (to Harold) You are not going to ruin this dinner, I’ve worked too hard on it! (to everybody) Everyone to the table…NOW!! (walking o.c., sighing and relaxing) We are going to have a nice evening together.
Harold: Mmm-hmm. But the second that meal is over… (He makes sizzling and choking noises.) …GOODBYE, PROFESSOR HEAD!
(Dissolve to the eight people at the dinner table. Harold still has his weapon trained on the Professor; the girls look angrily toward him.)
Marianne: Bon appetit.
(The camera shifts to the center of the table and rotates slowly to show each person. Harold eats with his free hand, while his captive sits like a statue with a spoonful of food in hand and another in his mouth. The girls wolf down their meal, ready to mix it up with this new foe; the rest of Harold’s family acts more or less normally. Marianne laughs politely.)
Marianne: Isn’t this nice?
Julie: Does anyone want to play jacks after dinner?
Bud: Man, Dad! You’re the coolest!
(Back to Harold, his plate now empty.)
Harold: (dropping his spoon) I’m done. (The Professor’s plate is still full.)
Professor: (drawing out every word) This is sooo good, Mrs. Smith, that I’m going to just take my time with this plate here. (The girls have made their food disappear.)
Buttercup: I’m done.
Blossom: I’m done.
Bubbles: I’m done.
(The other Smiths have finished their meals as well.)
Marianne: Well…we should do this more often.
Julie: Does anybody want to play jacks after dinner?
Bud: Man, Dad! You’re the coolest!
Harold: Eat your pea, Professor.
[Animation goof: During this sequence, the table and background rotate in opposite directions.]
(The camera stops turning, and the Professor looks worriedly down at his plate. There is nothing left on it but a tiny bit of food. Close-up of him as he lifts his fork, then follow it as he lowers it toward the wayward vegetable. Extreme close-up of the tines descending toward it; the skin is pierced, and a drop of juice spurts out. Pull back. The Professor lifts his fork slowly, trying to spin out the moment as long as possible, and regards the pea for a few sweaty seconds.)
Harold: Eat it!
(The unfortunate man finally puts the pea in his mouth and looks in Harold’s direction. Now he begins to chew very slowly, working the piece of food back and forth between his cheeks and making as if it had the consistency and texture of a three-day-old overcooked steak. This goes on for almost twenty seconds before Harold finally has enough.)
Harold: SWALLOW IT!!
(The Professor does so; camera turns down toward his midsection, and we hear the food splash into his stomach. Pull back to show him looking as if he is about to meet his doom, with the girls looking on and ready to unload on Harold. Pull back again; Marianne is on their other side.)
Marianne: Who wants dessert?
Professor: (frantically, raising hand) I do!
Harold: AW, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, MARIANNE! (She pops up between the two men.)
Marianne: It’s… (setting a pie in front of each) …coconut cream pie.
(Now she makes her way around the table, placing one before ach girl as she continues.)
Marianne: I made one for each of you.
Harold: Well, you do make great coconut cream pies, Marianne.
Blossom: (jumping up, grabbing hers) Then—eat up, Harold!
(He is hit squarely in the face; the dessert explodes all over his carefully chosen outfit. The pie plate and its contents slide down to reveal a truly enraged Harold Smith.)
[Animation goof: In this shot, he is wearing his regular square glasses, not the goggles.]
Harold: Why, you little brat!
(He throws a pie. Blossom ducks; the throw connects o.c., and she looks in that direction and suddenly looks unnerved. Marianne has taken the hit and is not pleased about it.)
(She hurls one the full length of the table; it looks like a good throw, but at the last moment, Harold grabs the Professor and uses him as a shield to block it. Buddy laughs at the maneuver and promptly gets one in the kisser.)
Julie: Does anybody want to play jacks after dinner? (She is answered with a pie in the face.)
Buttercup: Take that, kin of evil!
(She is tapped on the shoulder, then turns around and gets nailed. Pull back to show Bubbles next to her, laughing to herself at the trick she has just pulled.)
(Another pie is thrown into view, connecting with Bubbles, and Buttercup smiles. Now it is an all-out food fight, with pies flying everywhere and seven people laughing and recreating the cafeteria scene in Animal House. The only one who has not taken any hits is Blossom; she is also not enjoying herself a bit.)
Blossom: STOOOOPPP!! Have you all gone mad?! (She is hit with a barrage of pies.)
(The police kick in the front door, guns drawn.)
Policeman: (Irish brogue) What’s going on in here?
Girls, Professor: (pointing at Harold) He’s got a gun!
(Harold hangs his head, and the scene dissolves around him to the back seat of a police car. It rolls away toward Townsville with its lights flashing and siren wailing. Marianne watches it go from the front window, her back to the camera. The Professor and the girls stand at the doorway, with dessert still all over their faces.)
Professor: Thanks for a wonderful time, Mrs. Smith, we should do it again real soon. (The girls leave.) Uh…bye. (He runs after them.)
(Close-up of Marianne; she turns to the camera to reveal pie splattered mostly on one side of her face and her features set in ice-cold fury.)
Marianne: Those Powerpuff Girls ruined my dinner!
Narrator: (uneasily) Uh-oh. Looks like evil runs in the family.
(The standard end shot comes up.)
Narrator: (normal tone) So once again the day is sav—uh, I mean, dinner is ruined—thanks to the Powerpuff Girls!