2.16 - Isaac's Book

Episode Number: Season 2, Episode 16
Episode Title: Isaac’s Book
Air Date: March 2, 2023
Written By: Josh Malmuth
Directed By: Richie Keen
Regular Cast: Rose McIver, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Brandon Scott Jones, Richie Moriarty, Danielle Pinnock, Asher Grodman, Román Zaragoza, Sheila Carrasco, Rebecca Wisocky, Devan Chandler Long
Guest Cast:  
Episode Images: Episode Stills | Screen Captures

Episode Summary

Isaac, Sass and Alberta are listening intently as Sam is speaking with a publisher on a video call. She’s finished the book about Isaac and now needs someone to publish it. Unfortunately, the publisher she’s chatting with is not impressed. “So, he negotiated the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga?” Isaac proudly tells the other Ghosts, adding, “Allowing us to keep our horses.” Sass reminds him that they ate those horses. Isaac replies, “Thank God we had those horses, it’s what I’m hearing.” The  publisher continues, “And a couple weeks later he got dysentery and died? He just doesn’t seem like a ‘room where it happened kind of guy.’” Sam explains, “Oh, that’s all you hear about. But what about the guys who weren’t in the room where it happened but were in the building? ….Or down the street?” The publisher, Terry, asks, “So you’re proposing a book about a regular guy who was near some things and then crapped himself to death?” Alberta wonders if it’s too late to put that sentence on Isaac‘s tombstone. Sam tries to get the publisher to see that the book really shows that it took all kinds of regular people to build the country. He tells Sam that he will talk to his team and get back to her. Sam knows that’s a bad sign and thanks him but Isaac is thrilled. “Did you all hear that? An entire team is discussing Isaac Higgintoot. That sounds very promising!”

Sam is in the kitchen and is excited to tell Alberta that she got the magazine she wanted to see. There isn’t pictures of the man she wanted but thinks that Alberta will still be pleased. Hetty wants to know what she got that they can smell. Sam holds up two melons and Hetty and Alberta look to Trevor to make some sexual remark, but he is silent. Alberta tells Trevor to go on and say it but Trevor says that he wasn’t going to say anything. Sam thanks him and tells Alberta that she’ll put the magazine in her room, open to the page she wants to look at. Alberta and Sam leave and Hetty confronts Trevor. She doesn’t understand why he didn’t make any disgusting remarks when the opportunity was right there. Trevor explains that he didn’t say anything because of his relationship with her. Since they are hooking up  he thought hitting on Sam would be inappropriate, they are related. Hetty says that it’s imperative that Trevor keep up appearances so they don’t get found out. She just doesn’t want him to to be too vulgar. He thinks that is a really fine line to walk!

Jay is at the front desk attempting to assist a guest and seems to be a little flustered.  Pete calls for Sam to come help him out. Jay explains to the guest that their assistant had recently left, but as Sam comes in she realizes that the guest is Isabel, a woman she met in journalism school. Since she got married, Sam hadn’t recognized the name in their reservations. Isabel is there for a quiet place to work while she finishes a big assignment and her husband will arrive tomorrow. Sam says she knows what it’s like to need the quiet so she can write. Isabel, somewhat dismissive of Sam, asks, “But aren’t you working at this bed and breakfast now?” Pete doesn’t like the tone of her question, but Sam explains that, “Yeah, Jay and I own and operate this bed and breakfast, sure. But I’m very much still in the journalism game. I actually had some pieces published recently in the Ulster County Review.” Isabel replies, “Wait, I think I read about this on Facebook. You, um, got in trouble for making something up about a Native American tree?” “I had an unreliable source.” Sam awkwardly says she’s glad to have her staying there and they should have dinner. Isabel will have to see how much progress she makes on her article.

Thor, Flower and Alberta are watching a show on television. Thor is unhappy that it ends with a cliff hanger and wants answers now. His anger shorts out the TV, ending their entertainment for the day. Flower is startled by his anger.Thor, we need to talk. If we’re going to date, I think you need to work on your anger. I mean, I’m a hippie, man. I need good vibes.” “So, Thor asks, you’re saying it’s… entire future of relationship dependent on Thor controlling anger?” Flower says that’s one way to look at it but he has to control his anger or she can’t be with him. “But anger… large part of Thor personality.” Flower gets up to leave but Thor says he can change. “Where do we land on brutal acts of violence? Is this also considered part of anger?” “Obviously,” Flower says.

Jay brings the tray with a burger for Isabel to deliver her room service. Sam is annoyed. “Oh, great. I’ll drop it off to her when I’m finished folding the laundry,  which she brought along because she’s ‘so busy with work.’” Jay says he hates when people complain they are busy and it sounds like a complaint but is really just bragging.  Sam gets a phone message and tells Jay, “It’s official, they’re passing on Isaac’s book.” They both feel bad for Isaac. It’s the last publisher they had so she is going to have to tell Isaac it’s over. Jay tells her to just go do it and get it over with quickly.

Sam finds Isaac talking with Nigel. She says she heard back from the publisher. “You did? So-so quickly? That’s a good sign, right? Oh, my God. I’m clearly a nervous wreck right now. So I just need to calm down. It’s just that this is my legacy, Samantha. I’ll either be relegated to the trash heap of history, or see all of my dreams come true. So, which is it?” Sam looks helplessly at Isaac and blurts out, “They want to publish it!” Isaac explodes with excitement, “They do? Oh, my God! Why didn’t you lead with that, woman?” Sam anxiously blurts, “I don’t know!”

The Ghosts are happy and surprised that the book is being published. Isaac says the publisher is making a major investment in his story with an initial run of one million copies. Sam smiles uncomfortably, “Uh-huh. That is what I said.” Alberta fears that Isaac is going to become more difficult than ever to deal with.  Isaac says that Samantha gets the credit for writing down the words and it’s her face that will be on the jacket. Sass asks Sam how her friends are reacting to her publishing her first book but she says she hasn’t told anyone about it yet. Alberta thinks she should post it on Facebook but Sam declines. She says it’s too braggy and she wouldn’t be comfortable. Jay walks in and asks what they are all taking about. Sam looks at Jay and says, “The book… of mine that is being published. The one about Isaac. Remember?” Jay asks if there areGhosts in the room and Sam says yes, they are all celebrating. Jay smiles uncomfortably, “Congrats to you both.”

Thor finds Pete, he needs his help. He explains that Flower wants him to stop being angry so he’s hoping that he can help since Pete hardly ever gets angry. Pete says he has a system from working as a travel agent with angry clients. “I call it my patented ‘Take It’ method.”

Sam and Jay drive out beyond the ghost boundary so they can be sure no ghosts will hear them talking in the car. “What were you thinking, Sam?” Sam says that Isaac was going on about his legacy and she just couldn’t tell him it wasn’t being published. Jay says that Isaac is going to find out but Sam thinks they may be able to hide it since he is a ghost. “At most we’ll have to print some fake copies in a couple years. Maybe write up some bogus reviews. Photoshop me into a book signing at a Barnes & Noble.” Jay thinks this is all crazy.

Pete and Thor are talking to Alberta, Sass and Flower. Pete explains that they are trying to manage Thor’s anger and they need to test it. He knows they are all good at pushing his buttons so he wants them to try to make Thor angry. Thor tells Flower that he has learned the “Take It” plan from Pete, the expert. Pete tells Sass to try first, so Sass tells Thor that he watched the latest episode of Its Getting Hot In Here without him. He then casually adds that he was supposed to watch it with Thor. Thor starts to get angry but Pete is coaching from the side. “You got this big guy, take it.” Thor tells Sass he’s happy he enjoyed the show. Alberta steps up and says “Let’s talk about Cod. It’s a very bland fish. Probably the worst of all the fish.“ Thor chuckles and says that’s reasonable for Alberta to have that opinion. Alberta adds, “And what’s the deal with them little girl braids in your beard? Did your friends do that at a sleepover?” Thor struggles to maintain his composure. “Each braid represent… brother I lose in battle.” Alberta replies, “Well, they look stupid.” Thor forces a laugh. Pete says Thor used to lash out but now he sits there and takes it. Isabel’s husband walks in, his name is Soren and he’s from Copenhagen. He’s Danish. The ghosts look nervously at Thor, knowing how much he hates Danes. Thor chuckles and groans simultaneously. Sass smiles, “Just to be clear, there’s now a giant Danish guy spending the night?” Pete recognizes this will be a challenge.

Sam and Jay are eating dinner with Soren and Isabel. Isabel tells Sam she got out of journalism at the right time. Everything is about clicks and views. And everyone cares about who is getting the next Peabody, which she was fortunate enough to win two years ago. Sam says that sounds like a nightmare and Isabel says it’s a lot of pressure staying on top. Jay tries to change the subject by asking Soren about Denmark. They’ve never been there but they have been to Norway, where Thor is from. Thor is watching and smiles at the mention of his home. Soren says, “Mm, Norway sucks.” He makes several derogatory remarks ending with, “We Danes  like to say, it’s not Norway, it’s no way.” Pete is trying to keep Thor calm but Soren continues. “Yeah, the Danes are better than the Norse in every way. Norway does excel at one thing though—losing to Denmark!” Thor can’t take another word and starts yelling at Soren to shut up, but he doesn’t see or hear him. “If I was alive,  I’d cut your head off and drink your blood!” Flower, standing next to Thor, is taken aback, Pete is wincing. Thor looks at Flower and leaves. Isabel is scanning through Facebook and sees that Sam has posted about her book being published. The ghosts are all cheering and Alberta explains that Trevor posted it for her because they knew she wouldn’t brag about it herself. Isabel reads the title, The Other Founding Father: The Isaac Higgintoot Story. She says she never heard of him. Isaac comments that soon school children will know about him.  Isabel asks why Sam didn’t tell her about the book but Sam tries to act modest.

Sam and Jay go back to the ghost boundary to talk. She tells Jay that it was the ghosts that published the announcement on Facebook. She thinks it’s sweet that the Ghosts did that for her knowing she wouldn’t brag about it. Jay thinks this has all gone too far. Sam starts getting messages of congratulations on her phone and is touched. Jay thinks Sam is enjoying this ruse but she insists it’s all about Isaac and his feelings. Sam’s phone dings again, it’s a message from her old teacher congratulating her on all her success. Sam types a reply, “This is all thanks to you,  Mrs. N.” Jay just stares at Sam like she’s crazy.

Pete is trying to console Thor after his outburst. He says it took him years to lose his backbone. Flower comes in wanting to speak to Thor. He said he understands if she doesn’t want to date him anymore. He can’t control his anger like she wanted him too. The Dane in the house was too much for him. Flower says, “Yeah, about that… I think you should just be yourself.” She realized it wasn’t fair to ask him not to be. She thinks maybe it’s a good thing they are opposites. “Also, watching you sit there and act like Pete, was a real turn-off.” Pete objects, reminding them that not too long ago they tried to convince him to be their third. Flower admits that when Thor got angry at the Dane, she liked it. She really doesn’t want Thor to be like Pete. Pete says, “I should be mad, but I’m gonna ‘Take It.’”

Isabel is clearly jealous that Sam is getting a book published. “I mean, I’ve never even had a book published.” Sam tells her to keep at it and maybe it’ll happen one day. The Ghosts are happy to see that the tables have turned for Sam but Jay is uncomfortable. Soren asks Sam who the publisher is and Sam pauses for a answer. Isaac is right there to remind her that it’s Gold Diamond Press, so she has no choice but to answer with that name. Isabel says, “Seriously? We just went to Terry Stoddard’s wedding. You must know him.” Sam’s eyes get large and Jay mumbles softly, “Oh, God.” Sam is trying to pretend she isn’t sure who Terry is but Isaac reminds her that he’s the one she spoke to on the video call. Isabel reaches for her phone to text Terry but Sam says they are trying to keep the project quiet.  Soren reminds her that she just posted it on Facebook. Isabel says she’ll call Terry instead. Jay tries to help Sam by saying it’s a bad time to bother the man, he just had lunch. Sam insists she doesn’t want any fuss made over her but none of their objections are slowing Isabel down. Out of desperation, Jay reaches over and slaps the phone out of her hand. “What the hell, Jay?” Isabel snaps. Jay tries to recover by saying that we all spend too much time on our phones and need to be present in the moment. Sam covers her face in horror and Alberta asks what’s really going on. She blurts out, “They’re not publishing the book. I made it up.” Isabel and the ghosts all yell, “What?” Sam continues, “No one bought the book. It’s not happening.” Isabel wants to know why she posted on Facebook that they were publishing it, and Isaac would like an explanation as well. Sam apologizes but Isaac storms off.  Sam hollers after him but realizes only she can see or hear him, so she continues and pretends to be speaking to the universe. Jay recovers with her and lifts his hand to the heavens asking with her. Isaac will have to wait for another day for his story to be told. She is not giving up. Sass congratulates Sam on the good save and Soren tells Jay he agrees with him about the time on phones.

Sam goes to Isaac’s room where he is sitting alone thinking. She wants to explain to Isaac why she lied but he feels betrayed. She explains at first she lied because she thought he really needed this book to feel important, and she kept lying because she also needed the same thing. While she’s happy with her life, some people bring out the worst. She didn’t want Isabel to win. Isaac says that he can relate because he has a chip on his shoulder about Hamilton. Isabel seems to be her Hamilton. It’s not an excuse, but he does understand. Sam reminds Isaac that he doesn’t need a book to make him feel important. He fought in the Revolutionary War. He invented the sniper rifle.  And he’s a good person. It doesn’t matter if history knows his name, the people that matter do. Isaac says that Sam as well doesn’t need her name on a book jacket to feel important. They agree that they don’t need external validation. Sam’s phone chimes and she gasps. “It’s the publisher. They now actually do want to buy the book.” They had seen the Facebook post and thought that someone else was going to publish the book so they want it. Isaac and Sam celebrate that they are respected again.

Trevor is kissing Hetty on the neck in a clearly seldom used storage room in the basement. She tells him he did well today with making sexual comments to people. Hetty says that while it may seem crazy to him, it’s in both their interests to keep this relationship secret. Trevor agrees, and if that makes it hotter for her he is all for it. But just then Nigel and Nancy walk in, she’s giving Nigel a tour of the basement now that he’s living in the mansion. They both gasp in surprise at Hetty and Trevor making out on the bed. “Oh, my God!” Nigel exclaims. Hetty, startled, claims, “It’s not what you think.”

Episode Quotes

  • “So, you’re proposing a book about a regular guy who was near some things and then crapped himself to death?”Terry
  • “Important white guys, mediocre white guys…”Sasappis
  • “Why they make us wait for answer? Would like to throw TV writer off cliff.”Thorfinn
  • “Fun hang, psychopath.”Alberta
  • “I hate a busy brag. It sounds like a complaint, but you know it’s a brag.”Jay
  • “Oh, yeah, no, that Starbucks is actually built on the site of a former hospital for the criminally insane. I can’t go anywhere near it. It’s a hellscape.”Sam
  • “If I was alive, I’d cut your head off and drink your blood!”Thorfinn
  • “Rome wasn’t built in a day. You know, it took me years to completely lose my backbone.”Pete
  • “Also, watching you sit there and act like Pete, was a real turn-off.”Flower
  • “You did well today. I think you’ve redeemed yourself as a well-known pervert.”Hetty