"The Many Final Chimes" is the 34th episode of Desperate Schoolboys.
Emma helps Ben place the final pieces of his memory together, but their friendship is perhaps getting too close. Joe and Jacob are taken to hospital, both with uncertain fates. Rena must say a final goodbye to a loved one. And Josh, dealing with the results of the accident, comes across a revelation which will change everything.
We are shown an overview of Wiksteria High, one half new and shining, the other half crumbled, collapsed and deformed. The school bus is on its side amidst rubble as firemen begin searching through the wreckage of the cafeteria, working their way up to the vehicle. We then see Rena and Ben standing behind the police tape, as a car is seen pulling up and Annie runs out, joining Joe's two friends, waiting for news. Brian is not far behind.
Especially since some of those passengers were dear, dear friends.
"I just heard what happened on the news. Joe is under there?!" Annie exclaims, worried. Rena and Ben nod to her, slowly, worried about their friend also. "Where's Josh?" Rena wonders. "He went to the hospital with Dean," Ben explains, "He's pretty banged up, but the paramedics said that he should be okay." "Thank God..." Rena utters, continuing to watch the firemen remove the bits of rubble one-by-one. "Why are they going so slow?" Annie asks, panicking slightly. "I'm sure they just don't want to cause any further damage by searching too quickly, sweetheart," Brian assures her. "'Too quickly'? My son is under there, they can't pull him out 'too quickly'," she states, getting emotional. "Why don't we go and watch from over there? We'll know first when they pull him out, alive and well," Brian assures her as he and Annie move through the crowd, leaving Ben and Rena. "Do you think he's giving her false hope?" Ben wonders. "What? How can you say that?" Rena wonders. "I'm just saying, we know Joe. If he was alive, he'd be yelling his ass off. We'd know," Ben states. "I'm sure he's fine..." Rena says. They then see the firemen climbing up the bottom of the bus and seeing into the window, which they bust open and begin removing the rubble from. It's not long before a yell is heard, "Hey! We got someone!" The entire school premise goes silent as a hand is seen coming up out of the smashed bus window. "Who is that?" Rena wonders, at which Ben shrugs, interested. Soon enough, Katie is pulled out of the wreckage, her face cut and her leg badly injured. She is immediately taken by the paramedics and met by a joyous family. "I... I didn't even know she was on there..." Ben says sadly. The two of them are then met by Mary, who asks them if there's any news. They explain that Katie was pulled out, but there's no word on Joe as of yet. Stirring is seen inside the bus and the firemen dive in once more. The crowd freezes again before a hand is pulled out, one belonging to Joe. But his other hand is wrapped around Jacob, who he, with all his strength, pulls up from out of the wreckage. Rena, Mary and Ben take a sigh of relief, and Annie rushes to her son's aid as Joe and Jacob are carted off the hospital in the ambulance. The firemen continue their search of the devastated school grounds.
Yes, dear friend's lives hung in the balance of one simple school bus. Unfortunately for the students of Wiksteria High, some lives were yet to drop off.
A lot can happen over the course of just a few hours... a boy who was safe when he left his house that morning can soon find himself in the back of an ambulance...
Flash to Joe, who's escaped with fairly superficial injuries, standing in the back of the ambulance van as Jacob lay on a gurney next to him, bloody and barely moving, but his heart monitor still beeping.
...a boy who went to call for his boyfriend on a casual visit can soon find himself praying for his lover's life...
Flash to Josh in the waiting room of a hospital as Dean is put in surgery.
...and a boy who expected a normal day, can soon find a disastrous event with more disasters than one.
Rena and Mary are still at the school wreckage, waiting on further news, when Rena's cell phone rings. "Who is it?" Mary wonders, only half-paying attention. Rena searches his pockets, eventually finding his phone in his back one, taking it out and looking at the caller ID. "It's dad," he tells her, referring to Miguel. He proceeds to answer it, placing the phone to his ear, "Hello?" Rena asks. "Rena, it's me," Miguel says, sounding serious. "What is it? What's wrong?" Rena wonders. "It's your mother... she... she's taken a turn for the worse," Miguel explains. "What does that mean?" Rena asks, his eyes widening. Mary sees this reaction, and wonders what's wrong, but Rena seems entranced in his phone conversation. He soon hangs up and tells his girlfriend, "It's mom... she's back in the hospital... they say death could literally be any moment now." Rena says this fragmentally, tearing up as he does so. Mary's hand rises over her mouth. "Well go, get to the hospital. I'll stay here; I'll alert you of any change. Just hurry," she assures him. "Thank you..." says a crying Rena, before he runs off.
Joe is seen in the ambulance which is speeding down the road, as the paramedics focus on keeping Jacob alive, he takes a call on his cell. "Hi, honey... this isn't a good time," Joe tells Silvia. "Why? Where are you? I didn't see you at the site..." Silvia states. "I'm in the ambulance. Don't worry, I-I'm fine, but Jacob... he's... not so fine," Joe says, looking over to his bloody comrade. At the school grounds, Silvia smiles to herself, before responding, "Well, I hope the two of you get there safely, goodbye honey. I'll see you soon," she says before hanging up. Joe slips his cell back into his pocket and feels the ambulance coming to a stop. "What's happening? Why are we stopping?" he asks the paramedic. "The roads are stuffed with traffic, we'll be lucky if we get your friend to the hospital on time," he says. Joe looks panicked.
An unconscious Dean is currently in surgery. Watching through the observation window is a worried looking Adam, standing in horror as he watches the surgeons work on his son. Josh then joins him, "How is he?" "They say he's going to be okay, but..." Adam stutters, beginning to tear. "But what?" Josh asks. Adam forces himself to finish, "...his legs are pretty banged up...he may not be able to walk again." Josh stares in shock at this news. "I haven't been the father I need to be...he's been so stressed...worrying about me," Adam begins to sob. "That's not your fault! We know who's fault that is...but that isn't why this accident happened," Josh tells him. "How did this accident happen?" Adam asks rhetorically. Josh shrugs at a complete loss at what caused the bus crash. "I'm so glad that he has you, Josh," Adam says, "I really am." Josh smiles. Adam then asks, "Would you mind doing something for me, Josh?" "Anything," Josh answers. Adam explains, "I would like him to have a photograph of his mother watching over him through this, and for him to see when he awakes. But I can't leave him..." "I'll get it," Josh assures him. "Thank you, Josh. There's a framed photograph on my desk," Adam answers, handing Josh his house keys. Josh takes the keys and exits the room.
Ben and Emma are walking through the park as Emma asks, "So how are your friends?" "They're all alright, miraculously," Ben replies. "What about your memories? You remember most things yet?" Emma enquires. Ben says, "My friends and parents have been helping me out a lot, but I still feel... incomplete. As if there is something missing." "I'll spend the day helping you," Emma says, "Show you some stuff to see if it triggers anything, and you can ask me anything you're unsure on." Ben smiles, "Are you sure?" Emma replies, "Of course. After being the reason you lost your memory in the first place, this is the least I can do."
Silvia Mayfair knew that the school bus crash looked like a tragic accident. However, she also knew that if the authorities dug deeper, they would easily see that the break lines were cut. So, she did everything she could to stop that being traced back to her.
Silvia is seen approaching the Wiksteria Police Department, walking in and immediately going to the front desk. "Excuse me, officer," she says to the one manning the desk. "Yes? What is it?" he wonders. "It's just... I have something to say about the Wiksteria High School Bus case," she explains. "That's a case?" the cop asks. "Oh, yes..." she states, seriously.
Soon, Silvia is seen in another room with the same policeman, who's taking her statement. "Well, I live in the North segment of town, which isn't far from the bus station. In fact, I pass it on my way to school, I walk, see. Anyway, this morning I saw something rather... disturbing. It was Jacob Smith. I was going in early this morning to hand in some extra credit work for an assignment I'm doing, and there he was, heading into the bus station with something in his hands. I can't be totally sure, but from what I could gather, he was carrying... sheers. I think he cut the breaks of that school bus," she states. "Right... and where is Mr. Smith now?" the cop wonders. "Oh, he's in an ambulance. He was badly hurt in the crash," Silvia explains. "If we was in the crash... then why would he cause it?" the cop wonders. "My thoughts exactly. I predict there was some sort of fatal flaw, or... perhaps an act of terrorism. I'd hate to suggest this, but Jacob's family, when I knew him, dated back to be a bit..." she lowers her voice, "Islamic." The cop's eyes widen, "Right. We'll investigate immediately," he assures her. Silvia smiles before leaving the station.
We next see Silvia walking past the bus station, she places a glove onto her hand before lifting a pair of sheers out of her purse. She tosses them into the dumpster beside the bus station and smiles to herself, removing the glove.
Rena is seen rushing through the hospital halls until he eventually finds Miguel, looking sad as he kneels by Christina's bedside. She turns her weak head to Rena and utters his name. "It's me, mom," he says, kneeling down beside her also. She smiles as Rena looks at her through tears, "I'm so happy you're here," she tells him, stroking his face. He smiles at her and hugs his mother as she lay on her deathbed, weeping all the while. Miguel continues to hold her hand and Rena holds her other as he pulls out of the hug. "What's happening here? We were supposed to have at least another month with her," Rena states, sadly. Before Miguel can answer, Christina tells her son weakly, "Cancer's a bully, my boy. It doesn't follow doctors' rules." The two most important men in Christina's life continue to cry at her bedside.
Ben and Emma are standing in a graveyard, over the grave of James Clark. "I...I remember him," Ben says. "Maybe there is memories to be found here that will help make you feel less incomplete," Emma explains. Ben stares into James' gravestone. A flashback begins.
One Year Ago
Ben walks into chess club, followed by his parents: Lydia and Walter. Ben looks around at the people nervously. "You're going to have a great time here, Ben," Walter says. "It will be good for you to meet some people," Lydia adds. Lydia then shoves Ben forward, towards a spare seat and urges him, "Go on then, Benjamin!" Ben goes and takes a seat. Walter looks over at Lydia, "I hope we're not being too forceful." "Nonsense," Lydia argues, "Children need discipline and structure if they are to succeed." A voice then comes from behind, "Hello, Mr and Mrs Ashdale." The two parents turn to see Nick standing. "Hello Nicholas, I didn't realise you attended this club," Lydia remarks, "Nicholas, do you think you would mind playing a game with Ben and helping him feel more comfortable more quickly?" "Sure thing, Mrs Ashdale," Nick says and then walks off. Lydia has a smug face and says to Walter, "Look, do you see what discipline and structure did to that lovely boy?"
Meanwhile, Ben has taken a seat with someone. "It's good to see a familiar face," Ben smiles. The camera pans to reveal James at the other side of the board. "Forced here by your parents?" James asks. Ben nods gloomily, "As usual." "You need something to lift your spirits, you're always so low lately," James comments. But James looks to see Ben isn't listening, but rather his vision is locked elsewhere. James turns to see Liz putting up a poster on the wall as part of the art club. James nods, "Ah, I see what would raise your spirits. Go over and talk to her." Ben merely shakes his head cowardly. Nick then walks over, "Hi, Ben. I call next game with you." The flashback ceases.
"I don't understand what that story really had to do with James," Emma comments, having listened to Ben. "It isn't about James...it's about what makes me complete...Liz," Ben explains, smiling as he thinks of Liz. Emma nods and then looks down a little uncomfortable.
Inside the Hall's house, Josh walks over to Adam's desk. He scans the objects atop the desk, but there is no framed photograph. He then opens some draws and begins raking through the papers and other items. He suddenly freezes. His eyes widen. His skin goes pale. He picks up a receipt for plane tickets and stares at it with terror. The plane tickets were for a return trip to New York. His mind flashes to Dean, shouting outside Captain Marius's door. (See "Strong, Fast and Fresh from the Fight")
All five witnesses who were questioned about the crime have all mysteriously died. One was even killed after leaving Wiksteria and flying to his home in New York.
Josh continues rummaging through the draw, he then finds a new police bade, still in its packaging. As the puzzles fits together, he begins to look sick.
I have my badge.
He stumbles away from the desk, realising the truth.
...You don't know what you're doing. You're making a mistake.
Josh is standing with the evidence in his hands, shaking. Suddenly he jumps, as a voice comes from behind, "What you got Josh?" Josh slowly turns to see Adam. Josh is sweating and shaking, but he looks at Adam looking back at him coldly and with suspicion, so he pulls himself together and answers, "I... um... couldn't find the picture." "I realised that I moved it, so I came to help," Adam answers, however his eyes continue to stare right into Josh. Adam asks again, "What do you have there, Josh? My badge and plane tickets? Why do you have them, Josh?" Josh stands shaking, the evidence in his hands. He stutters for an answer, facing the cold Adam. Suddenly Josh drops the badge and receipt, turning quickly and running out the back door. Adam bolts after him, knocking the chair in his path to the ground.
The ambulance finally pulls up in the hospital parking lot. "Well it took us long enough!" Joe exclaims, but the paramedic argues that he cannot control traffic. Joe appears disgruntled as Jacob is prepared to be rushed out, however, his heart monitor flat lines. Quickly, the paramedics and nearby doctors get to work on saving Jacob's life, forcing Joe out of the truck and leaving him only to watch. He does so, watching them try to aid Jacob's breathing and shock him back to life, but to no avail. It's just a mere minute later that they declare Jacob Smith deceased. Joe looks saddened before thinking for a moment, rolling his eyes, and sighing, "Well... that's one kidney down the drain."
Katie is lying in a hospital bed, with her broken leg in a sling. Ben is sitting beside her. "So you spent the whole day with Emma? Wasn't that a little awkward?" Katie asks. "Not at all, she was really helpful. And the two of us can be very good friends," Ben explains. "As long as she can deal with that," Katie replies. "Well, I should be off; there are other casualties to check on. I'm glad you're alright, Katie," Ben smiles. Katie waves him off as Ben exits. Katie then picks up her phone as she gets a call from Liz. On the other side a panicked Liz asks, "Katie, are you alright? I heard about..." "I'm fine," Katie stops her. "I'm coming straight home to see everyone," Liz assures her. "There's something else you should know," Katie says. Liz asks, "What?" "Emma is back in Wiksteria," Katie answers. On the other side, Liz gets a worried face.
Rena and Miguel are still seen at Christina's bedside. "I'm so happy you two could be here for me," she says through tears. "Are you kidding?" Rena asks. "Of course we're here for you," Miguel adds. Christina smiles. "Listen to me, both of you. I don't want my final moments to be like this, rotting away in a hospital bed whilst you two hold back your feelings. So I'll get the ball rolling. Miguel, I love you. I've always loved you. Since the moment we met... it was love at first sight. You have stood by my side during this and you've been my rock... I am so grateful for that," she says, now tearing up herself. Miguel places his hand on Christina's cheek and kisses her lips tenderly. "All those memories, the good ones, the bad ones, the cancer... I wouldn't have traded any of them for the world," he assures her. He and his wife smile at each other. Christina then turns to Rena, who breathes heavily. "Filipe..." she says, "My dear boy. I never got to raise you. I never got to see you grow up. I never got to hold you in my arms for more than a day. I am so sorry for the life that I handed to you, so sorry. You have no idea. I just want you to know, that you are my son. And, I..." she places her hand on Rena's cheek, "I will always lo- love-" Christina's eyes close and her head slides back in her pillow. Her hand falls from Rena's cheek and onto her covers. Rena cries silently but Miguel hopelessly hugs his dead wife's body, absolutely devastated.
Josh is running from the Hall's house, along the dark and empty street. He turns his head but there is no sign of Adam following him. He looks to see his car not that far ahead. He takes his keys from his pocket, shaking and struggling, as he enters the car park and runs towards his car. He struggles to get the key in it the slot, shaking uncontrollably and frantically looking around him, but there is still no sign of Adam. Josh finally gets the door open and he prepares to enter but suddenly he is grabbed from behind. His head if forced forward twice, both times briskly hitting his head against the car roof, the second hit knocking him out. Josh drops to the ground, unconscious, as Adam looks around. There is so sign of anyone so he calmly drags Josh to the back of the car, throwing him into the boot. He then enters the car and casually begins driving away.
So much can change in such a short amount of time... A boy who saw another cling on to his life, can witness him let go...
Flash to Joe outside the ambulance van watching the doctors drape a sheet over Jacob's face as they wheel him out.
...A boy who merely wanted to help can find himself part of something bigger than he could have ever expected...
Flash to Adam driving along to road, with Josh in his trunk.
...A boy who sought his memories may find what he seeks developing into something more than he bargained for...
Flash to Ben and Emma, sitting together.
Yes, so much can change over such a short amount of time...
Flash to Rena, crying beside Christina's empty bed.
...But we must embrace every change that life throws at us. For there will always come a day where there are no changes yet to come.
We see Christina being wheeled down the hospital halls on a gurney with a tag attached to her toe. She is rolled towards the elevator and the sliding doors close.