McKenna - Episode 2
Splendor in the Grass

Opening Scene:

Jack and Brick are in Bend looking at the white water rafts on display. The salesman tells them all about the particular model they are viewing and it sounds fantastic but Jack asks him to cut to the chase. The raft costs $6,500 and it is more than the business can afford right now. The salesman points to Russell Gibbon who is loading up one of these rafts having just bought one. He is being helped by his sister, Mattie, and we discover that Mattie and Brick were once very close.

Voice over is Brick talking about how Jack likened women to rivers: Dangerous curves and unseen currents.

Brick has created an advertising leaflet called Ride the Monster. He is very proud of it but when he goes into a store he finds an identical leaflet available where McKenna Outfitters has been replaced with Gibbon's Outfitters. The 'friend' he asked to run up a copy for him had stolen the idea and given it to Russell Gibbon. Brick goes out to the Gibbon ranch to confront Russell about it but Gibbon basically tells him - tough. Brick tries to talk to Mattie but she ignores him. She gets into her truck and drives away.

The latest guests want to experience white water rafting but, because of the age of their boat, Jack will only allow Brick to take them through the lower graded rapids.


Brick is working in the field; he is all sweaty and hot as he carries a piece of wood. Mattie stalks up to him and she slaps him across the face.

Mattie: We had plans, Brick.
Brick: Those were your plans, Mattie

Brick tells her he is sorry. He hugs her and they kiss passionately - and then she runs off.

Brick sends her a message asking her to meet up with him in their special place. They lie down in the long grass together and Brick amazes Mattie by quoting lines from her favourite film 'Splendor in the Grass'.Mattie reminds him of how they would lie here talking about Brick's dreams, and she tells him that he never once asked what she wanted.

Mattie: All I ever wanted was you

They kiss passionately and, although the scene fades, it is obvious that they make love inthe long grass.

Next Scene:

Brick has gone into town (Bend) for some supplies. On his way back to the car he meets an old school friend, Warren, who is now an accountant. He tells Brick that is is getting married next month to Mattie.

When Brick sees Mattie again he is angry and confused. He talks about what they did together the other day, and asks when she was planning on telling him that she was engaged to be married to Warren. Mattie says she wanted to tell him, had intended to tell him on the first day as a way of hurting him but now she is confused. She wants Brick as he is all she ever wanted.

One of the guests, the husband, mentions - at supper - seeing Gibbon's taking his guests down the 'Monster' and asks when they will be doing the same. He had seen the leaflet at the store. Later, Brick and Jack argue about the 'Monster' which is a Class J white water rapids. Brick says he has been through it and it was exhilarating but Jack believes it is too dangerous.

Warren arrives at the McKenna ranch and seeks out Brick in the stable. He confronts Brick over Mattie. He tells Brick that he can give her a beautiful home, a holiday once a year, as many kids as she wants and that he would never stray because he already had the most the most wonderful woman in the world. He tells Brick to think about what he would be offering Mattie.

Brick takes the guests out onto the river again - and gives them what they have been asking for. When he returns they are looking wet, bedraggled and angry but Brick seems unrepentant. He goes off to meet Mattie and he asks her to marry him. She says yes. Brick meets up with Dale and tells him the news but Dale is not overjoyed. He tells Brick to slow down and think. He tells him that he cannot just cut and run if it goes wrong this time.

When Brick gets back to the ranch, Jack is waiting for him. Brick sits down and tells Jack that he and Mattie are getting married. Again, he does not get a good reaction; his announcement met with silence and Brick gets annoyed.

Jack: You risked the lives of three people on the river today to beat Russell. Now you're gonna marry his sister to beat Warren.

Next Day:

Mattie contacts Brick. She is distraught. Russell has had an accident while riding the Monster. The raft capsized and, though all the guests were brought safely to shore, Russell is trapped in the middle of the raging water. He is semi-conscious from a blow to the head and is not responding to calls from the bank or trying for the rope they are throwing across to him.

Brick sees the situation for himself and realises there is no time left to wait for a rescue helicopter. He races back for the McKenna raft that he brought with him. He and Jack ride down the monster - and Brick leaps from the raft to Russell's side as they go swiftly past. Brick loses his grip as he tries to grab the rope thrown across, and Russell finally loses his grip and is swept away down the rapids too. Jack can only watch in fear for Brick and Russell. Brick fetches up near the bank. He waits and, at Jack's warning, manages to grab Russell as he is goes past.

Mattie is overjoyed that her brother is safe but she tells Brick that the engagement is off. She has realised that having is not wonderful as wanting. She knows that he is a wild spirit who thrives on adventure and she will not change that, but also, she cannot live with that either. She needs someone safe like Warren.


Voice Over while Brick is in a canoe floating down the river.

Life's a blind punch. You don't know what's hit you 'til it's too late. Guess you just have to close your eyes, stick your chin out and take what comes. Otherwise you might duck at the wrong time and miss everything worth living for.

Secondary Plot:

The daughter of the guests appears all prim and proper. She says all she wants to do is sit and read while her family go out shooting rapids. Jack asks Cass to befriend the girl who is a similar age group. Cass offers to take her into Bend for the day. She agrees and Cass takes Brick's car.

As they are driving along, the girl strips off her 'prim' clothing, lets down her hair and applies make-up. She puts loud music into the tape deck and then turns to Cass with a wicked smile asking Cass where they can go pick up some boys.

The girl is flirting heavily with one boy. They jump up and snatch the keys to Brick's car and drive off. Cass gives chase in another boy's truck. Meanwhile, the girl starts fondling the boy while he is driving and he loses control of the car and hits a fence, damaging the front fender of Brick's car.

Cass gets the car home and out of sight but she is worried about Brick's reaction when he spots the damage. Walter comes by. He has been hired on to help around the ranch doing odd jobs. He says he has a friend who could get it fixed in a couple of hours - for several hundred dollars. Cass doesn't have that kind of money. When she explains this to Walter, and that no one would ever believe that she wasn't responsible for this, he tells her she ought to put more trust in everyone.

When the guests leave, still angry after their frightening ride down the rapids, Jack hugs Cass close. Jack has believed Cass's side of the story and the guests are even more angry when Jack refuses to take back his claim that their precious daughter is responsible for damage to Brick's car.

End of Episode 2 - Splendor in the Grass