A bare foot, clad only with a leather sandal hits the pavement out of the car, then another. The camera pans out to reveal a young man in a white Tshirt, dark jeans and a white cap, staring toward the massive wrought iron gate before pulling his shades down over his stoic face. He quickly opens the gate, and shuts it behind him, moving forward – not a single etch of feeling or emotion on his face.
He walks up to the massive door. He shakes the door knob, then BANGS it loudly.
The door opens hurriedly, and another young man appears; tall, dark, with tattoos appearing slightly out of a dressy-casual outfit. He smiles in his charming manner as he greets the young man.
“Welcome home, Sir. May I take your bags?”
He ignores the young man, except to throw him his bag. He looks around the Front Hall, taking a deep breath, taking the essence of his home in, then he shakes his head in disappointment as he walks further in the hall, offering a single grunt to the butler. The butler attempts to catch the bag as it was thrown on him. He nods at young Mr. Farnese and begins to make his way up the stairs while handling the luggage carefully to place it in Mr. Farnese’s room.
A young woman at the top of the stairs fiddles with her cuff as she makes it to the landing of the stairs. She hears the front door open followed by a familiar voice. She purses her lips as she glares down at her brother as Damian takes his bags. She begins to clap as she descends the steps.
“Well, Hallelujah! The prodigal son returns!” She says sarcastically. She holds on to the railing as she tries to navigate the steps in her new designer heels, her voice raising with with every word.
“Eddie! May I just say; where the hell have you been?” She asked in a clipped fashion. She continues, not giving him the chance to respond. “Why haven’t you been here helping with the day-to-day of this massive estate? You know why? Because I have been doing it as usual!”
She’s now standing in close proximity to her brother. She backs up as her nose twitches.
“And you smell like you’ve slept in the sewers!” She covers her nose with her hand.
Eddie sighs, and rolls his eyes, “Whatever, little Princess. I’ve been doing whatever the hell I want to do … and that’s what I’ll continue to do as soon as I take a shower, grab some new clothes and talk to Mom. Where the hell is she anyway?”
(Click below to read the rest of this episode …)
The young woman regains her composure and points to the back of the house towards the family room all the while staring daggers at the brother that is making her gag as he moves past her, his sweaty essence wafting toward her.
A more mature woman is laying in the lounge chair as they enter the family room. She looks up as her son and daughter, smiling as she recognizes Eddie. She puts her magazine down and sits up.
“My beautiful son! When did you get back” She looks him up and down and frowns slightly at the sight of his clothing.
He looks at his mom laying in the lounger; she was as he always remembered. His face seemed to be involuntarily wanting to smile, so he coughed, using the action as an excuse to pull his facial muscles back to their previous nonchalance.
“Just now. A friend dropped me off … I thought I’d stop by for a few, change, grab a bite, and maybe head back out … there’s a music festival in Montevideo this weekend … but … I’ve kinda ran into a problem. None of my damn cards are working. I … I don’t have any money.”
Liz paces back and forth as Eddie talks. She laughs bitterly at his last comment. “Oh, little brother, how convenient that you decide to come home when your account is bone dry. God forbid you come home to actually help your mother and sister with the running of this place. It’s not an easy job, Eddie. You would know this if you were around more.”
She looks at her mother; desperately. “Tell him! Tell him what a struggle this has been!”
Damian quietly enters the family room while the Farneses are engrossed in their discussion, bearing a tray with a steaming pot of tea and three carefully shined cups as well as some treats. He had guessed the young sir would be hungry after his long trip. He goes about his way minding his own business. He places the tray on the table in front of their mother, giving her a subtle grin. He leaves the room and closes the doors behind him so the Farneses won’t be interrupted.
Eddie’s face turns beet red as he stares at his older sister. “How dare you try to castigate me about my expenses. Who the hell do you think you are? And why in the hell would I want to come back to all of this drama and play your little game of castles and princesses? If I even WANTED to …there’s no way in hell you’d get away with that tone with me! … Or am I NOT your f…*(BLEEP)* Crown Prince?” he screamed, his spittal showering her face as he backed away, fuming.
Rebecca, their mother, raises her eye brows slightly with a formidable smile on her face she looks at both of them. She reaches to pour herself a cup of tea, and as she brought the tea cup up to her lips she pushed her hand out to both of them in a gesture to stop talking. She had had enough. She took a sip of her tea and sighed before speaking.
“Alright you two, Eddie has been back in the house less then half an hour and already you are fighting, for starters Eddie your language is not welcome, there are better ways to go about this and can I just point out” she cleared her throat before continuing. “You might be THE crown Prince but it by birth right only, there will be no Crowned Prince at this rate if there is no money.”
Eddie looks stunned as the last words left her mouth. “W-what do you mean, if there’s no money? There’s always money! Grandpa left us tons of it … I’ve never had to worry about money a single day in my life!” His face is red, and he turns a bit, his hand against his forehead.
“You guys just paid my tuition at Oxford …which I’m sure you got back … w-why wouldn’t there be any money?” He looked at his sister’s smug expression.
“And … do you .. .do either of you know how humiliated I am? I had to ask …” he hushed his voice to a whisper so that servants wouldn’t hear. “I had to ask Patrick to loan me money for a ticket home. Do either of you KNOW how much a first class ticket from Istanbul costs? Do you know how *BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP* embarrassing that is?” he yelled. “DO YOU?”
Liz’s eyes well up with unshed tears as she feels the sting from her brother’s words and the little droplets of spit. She drops her head and hunches her shoulders as she backs away from her brother. She listens as her mother scolds them both for arguing. She sighs as this is how it always goes. Eddie acts in beastly way and when she responds her mother steps in.
She talks in a quiet tone as if all the fight has left her. “Who the hell do I think I am? Games of castles and princesses? I’ll tell you who the hell I am, Eddie. I’m the one who has been keeping this family together. Preserving what little respect we have left. Trying to make sure things are done the way Grandpa Al and Grandma Reggie would want them done.”
She takes a deep breath as she continues. “Oh, you poor crown prince, you had to borrow money!”
She raises her voice so that the servants will hear. “Well, maybe you’ll appreciate it more if you don’t have it in an abundance. The money is frozen. ALL of it, your serene highness” she says, dripping with sarcasm.
“Believe me, this is no game. If it is when does the fun begin?” She falls into the chair as if she is exhausted.
Rebecca had heard enough; in a very stern tone she looked at her son. “Alright, let this drop right now. I’ve had enough! Eddie, you have been gone for months: not a phone call, not an email, nothing and you walk in here like you own the place!”
She paused, realizing that maybe he did own the place … but that still hated that it made him feel comfortable talking to his sister or herself the way he was ” You have missed a lot of goings on young man and walking back in here like you have is not appreciated, am I making myself clear to you” she stood up from the chair and looked at him very firmly “We will talk about this tomorrow, in the meantime…”
She turned on her heels to face her daughter. “Would you please go and make sure that Damien sets enough places at the table for your uncle and his children? I’m sure the cousins will want to see your brother.”
She faced her son. “You will be staying for dinner, Eddie.”
“Whatever,” he snorted, flopping in a chair.
She let out a long sigh as her chest rose up and slowly back down. “Oh, and Liz please tell Damien to bring me a gin and tonic!”
Liz gives her brother a smug look as her mother scolds him for being rude to them both. She looks at him and wonders where did her sweet little brother go. Her best friend, her confidant. It seems like that was a lifetime ago.
She gives a bitter laugh at her mother’s directions. “Perhaps the Crosses should make their own arrangements for dinner Mother. It’s been four months. Shouldn’t they have already made plans to leave? I think so!” she answers her own question.
She stands and walks to the door her hand resting on the knob. “But, I’ll play the good daughter as usual and go do your bidding … even thought it’s probably too early for a cocktail!”
She looks back at Eddie “Oh, and welcome home, your Highness,” she says with an exaggerated curtsy. She walks out of the room in search of Damian.
DIARY ROOM (Eddie)
“So, welcome to my family, yo! See what I have to go through?” he says, shaking his head. “Didn’t want to have to deal with … I didn’t even originally sign on for this reality *BLEEP* … the damn trucks were just in the yard when I got here.”
He rubs his eyes. “But here we are. Honestly, I don’t know what to say … I don’t know what to tell you guys. I haven’t lived here since I was twelve; I only saw these people on holidays and summers, and although I hated them the first time I had to leave … after a while, I was glad to go back to school.”
“So, I don’t know what they think is going to happen … I know Liz has got her sights on all this castle princess *BLEEP*, but that ain’t my thing. I have friends; I have places to go, and things to do … and as soon as this money situation is settled, I’m outta here!”
Rebecca Townsend Farnese walks into the dining room and gracefully takes a seat at the head of the table. It felt good to finally have her son back and her face was lit with sincerity and happiness. She craned her regal neck, looking down toward the end of the table. Damian entered, carrying her drink on a silver tray as she fixed her eyes firmly on Stephen. She flashed her eyes at him.
“Stephen are the rest of the children joining us for dinner tonight?” she asked, looking away as she turned to the butler. “Oh my gin and Tonic!”
Damian smiles at the mistress of the house charmingly as he handed her the cold glass. His fingers lingering subtly but not nearly long enough for young Mr and Miss Farnese to notice.
“As you requested, ma’am.” He remarks glancing back at the kitchen for the maid, while being uncomfortable in his formal clothing. “Megan will serve tonight.”
Stephen gives her a quick look and shakes his head. “No,” he said as he poured a drink. “They are having their dinner in their rooms … homework or something.”
Damian steps closer to the table to mention “Yes, their dinner is in the fridge.”
Liz Farnese had sat rigidly in her chair as she played with the stem of her wine glass as her mother had seemed to float in the room. She had watched as she had given her uncle a dazzling smile, and wondered why she did nothing to discourage the rumors, even if they were true. The conversation begins to swirl around her as she rolls her eyes listening to her mother and uncle Stephen talk about dinner, homework, and kids. Kids, that should be doing homework and eating dinner in their own home somewhere else in Greenwich.
Rebecca looks up at Damien as he hands her the drink, she felt their finger touch slightly as a cold shiver ran down her back, pursing her lips together as not to form a smile on her face she quickly looks over at Stephen and nods at his remarks absentmindedly. She feels a little disappointed that they would not be joining the rest of the family but she showed no expression on her face,
“Damien, if Megan is serving, please join us for dinner this evening! There’s plenty of room; you deserve a night off!” she gestures to the table.
Megan enters the room, carefully balancing the first course and footwork. She places the plates accordingly , ensuring guests are laid first, and makes her way down the table with a fast-but-steady pace.
Damian nods slightly at Mrs. Farnese request “As you wish ma’am. Thank you.” He finishes up placing the rest of the dishes he has on his tray on the table before he pulls out a chair next to Mr. Cross.
Megan smiles and pulls back from the table, allowing everyone to chat amongst themselves and enjoy their meal.
Rebecca looks down at her food as Megan places it in front of her, finally she looks up again at the rest of the family. She coughs and taps her wineglass. “Now, let us join hands and give thanks for the safe return of Eddie and that we are all together for dinner. We are so blessed to be able to experience this once again!”
Liz’s jaw had dropped earlier when Damian had been asked to join them, but she kept her mouth closed. This time, she could not contain herself. She looks at her mother narrowing her eyes “Goodness mother, can you do anything with class?”
She starts gesturing around table, “Are we not a noble family? I doubt the Duchess of Cambridge asks the help to dine with her and baby George. And holding hands and praying as if we’re in a seance? That may be all well and good for Ohio…” the last word said sharply signifying her mother’s origins.
“…but, certainly not for a great and noble family like the House Farnese! A Queen of Spain … a Pope in Rome … not the kind of people who join hands around the table! I swear Grandpa Al is probably rolling over in his grave!” She grabs her wine not noticing she spills a bit before taking a sip.
Eddie laughs when his sister says the word “seance,” and nearly spits out the carrots he was nibbling on. He looks at his sister dead on, and without missing a beat, says, “Last time I was in the attic, I did see an Ouija board … maybe that would help?”
Liz smiles as Megan offers to assist in cleaning her spill.
Damian feels himself becoming uneasy at the exchange. He almost slightly pushes his chair being mentioned as the ‘help’. Damian quietly clears his throat and continues his dinner. He thinks to himself that he should just stay quiet and perhaps become unnoticed.
Rebecca’s body firms up with anger, not only was she hurt by Liz’s unkind words but she was hurt that Eddie should make such a joke of it all. “You know you really are ungrateful spoiled brats! Not only have we just lost nearly half of our family, we have also not been all together for months and all I really wanted tonight was to enjoy the moment … to enjoy the evening and you two have to go and” she stops mid sentence and sighs as her eyes close and she composes herself, finally looking up at Damien first.
“I apologize for my daughters lack of respect and her utter rudeness. Please stay where you are and enjoy dinner.” She turns her attention to Stephen she looks at him with a plea of rescue hoping he will help her defuse the situation.
Stephen, seeing everyone’s emotions starting to take a toll on one another, clears his throat and turns to Liz and Eddie, “Liz, Eddie … when do you plan to go back to your studies?” he asked. “You must not let your grades fall in this day and age.”
Handing the napkin back to Megan, she slowly turns her head down the table to address her uncle’s question. “Why would you like to know, dear Uncle? Is it, perhaps, that you would enjoy some privacy in Farnese Manor? If that’s the case, maybe you should seek it in your OWN house.” She coldly turns back and faces forward in her seat.
Stephen furrows his brow for a moment and closes his eyes. Reaching down his pulls the napkin from his laps and places it on the table.
Rebecca looks up very quickly from her food and fixes her eyes firmly on Liz, she thought about standing up and addressing the girl but she manages to remain seated, she takes a deep breath before speaking as if it might calm her down.
“Elizabeth … that is enough from you tonight, young lady! You go on about us being this that and the other but yet you let your mouth run away with you, and I suggest if you have nothing nice to say to anyone tonight you leave this table NOW because I frankly have had enough!”
She turns to Stephen, turning her head. “Do not leave the table. Please carry on with your dinner. My daughter either apologize to you or she will remove herself!”
Liz laughs almost hysterically at her mother’s words. She takes a moment to catch her breath. “Oh, do stop it mother. Send me away without dinner? Someone call Hollywood! Joan Crawford wants her line back!” she said, smiling sardonically as she continued pecking at her food.
Rebecca stands up from the table after that remark, looking around as if to see if the rest of them are done as well. It had been a strained time and she was ready to move on. She picked up her glass and took a sip from it, looking toward her son as she smiles at him.
“Eddie come … let’s go to the garden. You really have not seen the state of the poolhouse and before they come around with the bulldozers, you really should see it. In fact … why don’t we all go to the garden?” She wasn’t sure why she was suggesting this, but she just needed to move away from the dining room Liz had totally spoiled and she needed some fresh air.
Eddie eyes roll in exasperation as he looks at his mother. “Seriously?” he asked, slamming down his fork. “We’re going to go outside because of me? Hows about we just finish eating, then I can go blast music into my brain until I pass out from pure exhaustion?”
Liz exhales dramatically, but gracefully stands to follow her family outside to the site of the tragedy.
Stephen nods in agreement “That sounds like a wonderful idea.” he said, also standing.
The family slowly migrates out of the dining room, but Stephen stays behind, taking Rebecca by the arm so that they have a moment alone before joining the others. He pulls her into his embrace. He holds her tight for a moment before pulling back to look into her eyes, his face full of wonder and lit by a warm smile.
Rebecca feels her heart stop momentarily and looks around to see if they are alone. She knows he isn’t foolish, but she finally she surrenders her face to him, smiling as she brings her middle finger up to his lips and places it lightly against them.
“Soon! Be patient. It will all be worth the wait.”
Diary Room (Liz)
She sits on the arm of the sofa, clearly uncomfortable about pouring out her heart to millions of people. She clears her throat.
“Originally, I thought it was a good idea to do this show … but I’m not so sure now. I thought we could show the world that we’re just average people with a not-so-average life.” She thinks of her mother and shakes her head and shrugs. “I guess I was being naive.”
She lowers her head and sighs. She tries to smile as she looks back into the camera. “Despite all the arguing, it’s nice to have Eddie home. I didn’t realize how much I missed him until I saw him come through that door. I wish I could say the opposite was true.”
She feels herself tearing up again. “It’s ok. I’m used to be unappreciated around here, By my mother, my siblings….. hell, everyone.” She flicks a rear away as it rolls down her cheek and forces herself to smile.
“That’s ok, though. Once I get the Crosses out of this house everything will get better. Mother will have more time for us and the Farnese dynasty. I’m pretty sure I can convince Eddie to join my campaign to get them out. It won’t be as easy as I thought it would be but I’m up for the challenge. GAME ON!!!”
Rebecca stands looking at the burnt remains and suddenly feels a little sad. She thinks back to a time long ago, turning slowly she looks at both her children and smiles. “You know, your father made me the happiest woman in the world. From the moment I met him, I just knew he was the one. He changed my life in so many incredible ways and the best part of it all was he gave me three beautiful children.”
Liz stands behind everyone wanting to put distance between her and the moment that changed her life forever. She can’t help but get caught up in her mother’s fairy tale about how she met her father. By the time her mom is finished her own blue eyes are sparkling with tears. She hugs herself unsure if she is trying to shield herself from the breeze or the pain. She opens her mouth to say something but nothing comes out. She clears her throat and begins again.
“My favorite memory of daddy is when he would be in his office, I would just go in and curl up in my favorite chair and watch him work.” She sniffs as she continues to speak. “…I would promise to be quiet but I could never do it. He would look at me over his glasses with a playful silent warning and I would zip my lips. But finally in the end he would put away whatever work he was doing and we would have ice cream sent up and just talk. I could tell him anything.”
She suddenly remembered his favorite cocktails, and that would often have two or three during these present, nice moments. “We continued that until he…….” She can’t bring herself to say it so she abruptly stops talking.
Rebecca dabs at her damp eyes after listening to her daughter talk. She takes hold of Eddie’s hand and squeezes it slightly. “Honey, whats your favorite memory of Daddy”
Eddie shrugs and shakes his head. “Whatev. I’m not really buying this whitewash,” he said, smirking sadly. “Was he ever really at home? Especially after Grandpa died? When I would be home on summers, I remember him being drunk – when he was home – how he wasn’t there for anyone … even you, Mom … emotionally. How can you forget that? You want me to remember him being here? I remember him abandoning us … Hell, I felt abandoned by ALL of you … sending me to frigging boarding school … in a foreign country …”
Rebecca lets his hand go, shocked by his outburst. “Well, don’t forget you where born there, Eddie!”
He snorts. “Yeah … right … so the blessed ‘Crown Prince’ in waiting could have a British passport? Jeez! Do you even hear yourself?” he said, moving his arms to accentuate his point. “My only fond memories of this god-awful place … but it wasn’t from him, and it wasn’t from any of you. I remember how it was when Grandpa Al was still around … my God, if I wish for anything, it would be for it to go back the way it was when he ran the place. It was alive … it was magical … especially for Halloween … for Christmas …” He grew silent, and his face stiffed as moisture filled his eyes. He backed up a bit, turning his head to keep his family from seeing the tears falling from his eyes.
Liz’s heart tugs as she hears the emotion in her brother’s voice. She slows down as the rest of the family begins to file into the house. She grabs Eddie’s arm and gently pulls him into an embrace. She holds him for a short moment as he seems to heave a couple of times in despair. She lets him go as she takes a step back. She silently wonders when did their relationship crumble. She felt their closeness for a moment at dinner but it was gone so quickly she wondered if she imagined it. She desperately hating being on opposite sides.
“Eddie, things are really bad. Mom was always good at pretending things aren’t as bad as they seem, but things are literally falling apart. If we don’t work together on this we could lose it all… everything!” She grabs his hand and playfully swings his arm. “So, what do you say little brother? Let by-gones be by-gones?” She closes her eyes briefly hoping she has gotten through to him.
Eddie nearly crumbles at his sister’s offer, but he yanks his arm back stiffly, his face becoming steel. “You …” he spat out. “You and I have nothing in common. You want to keep the family together? You want this? The house … the titles … whatever? You can have it!” he said, flipping his hand under his chin in her direction.
“As for me … all I want is my goddamn money. I don’t give a shit about the rest!”
Diary Room (Rebecca & Stephen)
Stephen shifts on the sofa. “Well first things first, Rebecca, what is wrong with your daughter? I mean, honestly, she is a nightmare. I’m starting to wonder if she is the one who started all these rumors in the first place.”
Rebecca sighs heavily. “I really have no idea what her problem is, but she is definitely well above her station,” she said, turning to look at Stephen and away from the cameras. “I do apologize for the way she spoke to you at dinner. As for the rumors, there are so many of them that I’m not sure if she has had enough time to start them all, but yes just maybe she is the culprit behind a certain rumor.”
Stephen shakes his head and gives her a grin. “Well, lets hope for everyone’s sake that we can put these rumors to bed before they get out of hand,” he said, as he turned to the camera with a settled look on his face, as if to accentuate his point.
Rebecca laughs out loud. “Yes, but that will require some work on both our parts,” she said, turning back towards the camera as a smirk forms on her face. She lights up a cigarette, and blows a line of rings toward the camera. “People have far too much time on their hands in this house; they really need to find something to keep them occupied other then what you or I may or may not be up to.”
EXILED! A Royal Family in Greenwich, Connecticut
“The Prince and the Paupers”
Phantom Republic & Londyn Aviva Lionheart
Bailey Hellerman as Rebecca Townsend Farnese
Londyn Aviva Lionheart as Elizabeth “Liz” Farnese
Phantom Republic as William Edward “Eddie” Farnese
Omen Ceriano as Stephen Cross
Abigale Rexie as Camilla “Kammy” Farnese
Christa Echos as Victoria “Vicky” Cross
and Guest Starring
Gage Bradshaw Firehawk Jr. as Damian
and Era as Megan
Phantom Republic, Londyn Lionheart, Bailey Hellerman, Omen Ceriano, Gage Firehawk, and Era.
Principal Photography & Animations by
Phantom Republic, Londyn Lionheart, and Bailey Hellerman
This episode was live role-played at the Farnese Estate on September 25th and 26th, 2015.