First Night (Episode)


Air Date - March 29, 2009 on NBClogo
Transcript - Images

Synopsis Edit

(*from the official NBC write up)

Queen Rose prepares for First Night, her finally realized dream to bring culture to Shiloh. The debut of Shiloh's Royal Ballet, performing in the city's new theatre, is the city's hot ticket. Rose has allotted three rows to the public through a lottery system. Citizens anxiously watch TV hoping to hear their name. King Silas holds court and learns of a growing movement protesting his handover of Port Prosperity to Gath. And, that Reverend Samuels publicly supports it. Next, Michelle offers her revised petition for health care reform and impresses Silas with her fancy talk, graphs and budgeting.

As David receives his tux for First Night, Thomasina tells Rose that Undersecretary Echarren has offered to donate $100,000 to the arts to sit next to David Shepherd at the ballet. Rose isn't happy about this, as she is asking only $10,000 for a seat next to the king. Jack says David's star is shining bright tonight. Rose tells Jack to start polishing his own. Adamant that Silas keep his promise to be by her side from 4:00 on, Rose interrupts court, and her own daughter, to take him away. Michelle will have to continue another time.

At a briefing, David addresses questions about Samuels' public condemnation of Silas. David says everyone's entitled to an opinion, and that tonight, Silas won't be reconsidering because he's promised the Queen that nothing will disrupt First Night. When asked if he's going, David, excited, gives his seat number. Later, he's crushed when Thomasina informs him that Rose gave his seat to a big donor. David tells Jack he's disappointed since he hoped to see Michelle and apologize. Jack says it's political. If Michelle wanted him there he'd be there. Jack decides to take David for a night out and flies in his army pals to join them.

Michelle looks for David inside the theater. She expresses disappointment to her father for denying her petition. He says he can't give her everything, as he's learned with Jack. Backstage, Thomasina tells Rose that Jack won't be attending the ballet to quote, "tend to his star." She's not displeased. Rose takes the stage and speaks to the crowd about how she saw ballet only once as a child, far from here, and how it inspired her. "When we have art, we have inspiration," she says. She credits Silas for making this night possible, and then says for the first time in their lifetimes, let the angels dance in Shiloh.

At Jack's apartment, the party's on. Ronny, Jack's old schoolmate, joins them. A well-connected smooth operator, Ronny schools the boys on the perks and rules of partying with royalty. He passes out condoms and flashes his baggie of happy pills. At the ballet, Silas is surprised David isn't there. Rose says she thought the ballet would bore an uncouth soldier. Silas reminds her that he too was once an uncouth soldier, as Thomasina interrupts with news of an emergency in the countryside. Meaning, with Silas' mistress and sickly illegitimate son. He tells her to send a team, then reassures Rose he's not going anywhere.

Jack, David and entourage part through a crowd outside a hip hotel as paparazzi snap photos. They emerge at a roof party hosted by a starlet. She willingly obliges when Jack asks her to entertain Matthews. David sees that while Jack may be a prince, he's king of the nightlife scene. David tells Jack it must be fun to be him. Jack says people want to get close to him, thinking it will rub off and make them less obscure. He says Rose set up the monarchy so they'd appear otherworldly. Every pleasure is available, and if David wants to go there, he'll soon forget about Michelle.

At the ballet, Thomasina interrupts Silas again. Despite Rose's glare, Silas steps outside to take a phone call from his mistress Helen, who says their son is in grave condition at the hospital. She says he asked for him and needs him. She pleads with him to come, saying even though he's offered it, she's never asked for anything. Until now. Silas agrees to come, just as the performance ends and Rose exits, spotting him. She tells him that's enough business and leads him to the reception. Michelle compliments her mother on making people care about the ballet.

Michelle asks where David is. Rose says he chose a twitty girl's party over the ballet, then tries to steer her toward Paul Lash, a top financier in Shiloh. When Michelle balks, Rose accuses her of pouting because Silas didn't grant her petition. Rose's advice: stop waiting for his permission and get it herself. Michelle agrees she has a point, and approaches Paul at the bar. Paul is surprised Michelle is talking to him since she's avoided him at previous events, and quickly realizes she wants something. He agrees to listen to her proposal in exchange for a behind-the-scenes peek at the palace that no outsider has ever seen.

Silas sees Reverend Samuels, who says he doesn't support Silas giving away their land. Silas accuses him of not wanting peace. Samuels says he wants a nation undivided, as was promised. Silas says those plans weren't vouchsafed by action or treaty. He was the one who did that. Rose interrupts: no politics tonight. Silas accuses Samuels of taking it beyond politics and making things personal. Samuels thanks Rose for a nice evening, then leaves, but not before tilting a portrait of Silas in the hallway. Rose reminds Silas that he promised her no work tonight, and that she's going to make sure he honors that.

Joseph, Jack's secret lover, asks Jack if he'll see him later that night. Jack coldly brushes him off, gathers his friends, and leaves. Meanwhile, Silas and Thomasina find a window where Rose is distracted, and slip out. Directed by guards, they navigate the hallways to avoid Rose when she realizes Silas is gone. She almost heads him off, but sees the off-kilter portrait. She fixes it, unknowingly allowing Silas, Thomasina and guards to get to the car. Minutes later, she's livid to learn from Hanson that Silas left the building on business.

Jack, David and the group enter another club, this one decadent and exclusive. Jack sees his friend Claudia and asks her to hit on David. He warns her that David has a thing for Michelle. Claudia isn't daunted and makes her move. Meanwhile, Thomasina makes sure the coast is clear at the hospital, then sneaks Silas in. Helen is there and Silas comforts her. He sees Seth, his son, who is near death on a respirator. Against Thomasina's advice, Silas wants the doctor brought in.

The doctor is confused at the closing off of an entire floor and guard escort until he sees Thomasina's royal pin. He says they've tried everything but nothing is working. He's shocked to see Silas when he approaches. Silas asks if they are at a last resort. When the doctor confirms that, Silas tells him to prepare a radical treatment. He offers his own blood for the transfusion. Meanwhile, Claudia pours it on thick for David, dancing seductively with him. She says she's known Michelle since they were kids, and that no one has ever been good enough for the princess.

Michelle gives Paul an insider's view of the royal home, including a look into her parent's bedroom and Silas' sock drawer. Paul honors his side of the deal and agrees to look at her proposal. He surprises Michelle when he says he didn't expect their setup to have a humanitarian outcome. When she's confused, he says Rose called him right before the ballet and said she didn't have a date. Angered, Michelle confronts her mother about giving away David's ticket. Rose admits doing it because David takes up too much attention. Michelle says their whole existence is attention, and they can spare some.

Rose says the country only works when people look up to them, exclusively. Michelle trivializes Rose's contribution to picking china patterns. Goaded, Rose levels with her. She designed the entire monarchy from the flag to the china, to create a glamorous ideal for the people. She doesn't even care about the ballet, she's just throwing the people a bread crumb. "First Night isn't about the ballet, but the royal family. We are the performance; who everyone is here to see", she says. Michelle says, crushed, "I thought you liked the ballet." Rose gives Michelle a patronizing look and walks off, instantly switching into the role of queen when she enters the party.

At the hospital, Silas and Helen are by their son's bedside when he suddenly crashes. The doctor calls his team as Thomasina rushes Silas out. He demands her keys and drives off. Alone. In the city, the police pick up Samuels and drop him off roadside in the country. Silas pulls up, seeking counsel. Samuels, sensing his desperation, puts politics aside. Silas asks what God wants. He offers anything; to rescind the offer of Port Prosperity, peace. Samuels says God is silent on Silas. He adds that Silas must sacrifice the equivalent of his offense to make amends. Knowing he means Seth, Silas isn't willing. Samuels says, "Then find another lamb."

After rejecting the advice he sought, Silas drives away, fast. In the throes of anger, fear, and grief, he sees the deer in the road too late and hits it, flipping his car. Rattled and cut, Silas steps out and approaches the dying deer. He cradles the deer in his arms and yells at God, "Is this what you want? Something beautiful has to die to make you happy?" He then snaps the deer's neck to put it out of its misery.

At the club, Joseph finds Jack alone. Jack tells him it can't be like it was. Joseph asks why, then makes the cardinal sin of telling Jack he loves him. Horrified, Jack looks to see if anyone heard, then has security throw Joseph to the curb as he callously watches. Savoy accidentally bumps into a big guy who's looking to fight. Jack approaches, orders security to stand back, and fights the guy. He takes a beating, then dishes it back just as hard. The guy's friend jumps in, pummeling Jack until he turns the tables on both. In a rage-fueled fury, Jack beats the friend to a pulp.

Using the fight as an excuse to get David alone, Claudia leads him to the alley where she makes her move and kisses him. Down the alley, a paparazzo captures the whole thing on film. At the hospital, Silas asks Thomasina the code for when he's in the countryside. At first she denies having one, but when he persists, says it's "Serenity." Having decided on an offering to God, Silas says, "Then Serenity must end."

Back at Jack's apartment, the party continues with a slew of girls. David watches one follow Jack up to his room, but not before his security checks her ID and asks if she's there of her own free will. It's a turnoff for David. Claudia tries to lure him to a room but he spurns her advances and leaves. Later, Claudia tells Jack that David declined, saying he couldn't dig anymore. She says David must really be in love, and isn't like Jack at all. Angered, Jack kicks them out of his apartment. Ronny asks Jack if he wants him to leak the pictures.

The next morning, Michelle gets an instant message, "Thought you'd want to see this." She clicks on the link, revealing a sleazy photo of David kissing Claudia. Rose sees it and smugly says, "Not so virtuous after all." Michelle is hurt beyond words. In the hospital, Seth rallies and Silas dotes on him. Thomasina forces a bribe on the doctor to keep quiet. Having no choice, he takes it. Helen moves to kiss Silas goodbye, but he says no. She asks what's wrong. "The cost," he replies and walks off, ignoring her calls after him. God accepted his offering, and he must abide by it.