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Destination: Funeral (04/10/2007)

released: Apr 10, 2007

description: In the tropical paradise of the Bahamas, there is a small hospital. There, George Wentworth is being examined by Dr. Swan and his nurse after he falls victim to a shark bite. Dr. Swan informs him the prognosis isn't good: Mr. Wentworth's time is short. The doctor advises Mr. Wentworth to gather his family to him in his final days. Confused, Mr. Wentworth calls his oldest son Jimmy and instructs him to gather the family: he is dying.

Jimmy is equally as baffled, but tells his father he will do whatever is needed. He calls each member of his family in turn: his mother, Mr. Wentworth's estranged wife; his superficial twin sisters, Argentina and Barcelona; his loose cannon younger brother, Crazy Eddie; and his father's old war buddy, Fishy Joe. The family is stunned, but flies to the Bahamas as quickly as they can.

The family goes immediately to Mr. Wentworth's hospital room, where he tells them his final wishes: he wants to have a living funeral in two days. He wants to play a game of catch with his two sons, and have his two daughters sing "The Star Spangled Banner." He wants Fishy Joe to tell war stories. And he wants to hold his ex-wife one last time.
He tells the family the living funeral will be in two days; in the meantime, they should enjoy themselves in the Bahamas. Once everyone leaves, Mr. Wentworth dances as best he can but joyously nonetheless for having his family with him once more.

At the hotel, Jimmy attempts to polish up his catch skills, Crazy Eddie works out, and the twins bemoan their lack of husbands after they have polished off a few pina coladas. Alice, sipping a martini, wonders how she raised her children. Meanwhile Fishy Joe lies in wait, at the ready should any Chinese try to attack. There is an incident with a Chinese bellhop, but Fishy Joe fends him away with a single shot and goes to bed, satisfied with his success. The rest of the family turns in as well, although not as satisfied with their own situations.

The next day, Jimmy visits his father in the hospital. He attempts to reach out one last time, and asks his father why he has been so hard on the seemingly most normal child. Mr. Wentworth explains that he had nothing against his son, he just wished Jimmy hadn't become a math teacher. When Jimmy asks further, Mr. Wentworth explains that back in the war, his and Fishy Joe's best friend Tiger was killed by a math teacher in an undercover operation against the Chinese. He has hated math teachers (and also the Chinese) ever since.

Feeling slightly validated, Jimmy leaves as the twins ask to see their father. They present Mr. Wentworth with homemade pies and beg him not to die. They tell him that he has taught them everything they know about men. Mr. Wentworth chastises his daughters for being 32-year-old stereotypes; he tells them they have interests and skills, they should put them to use. When they express an interest in pretty locations, he points them in the direction of being flight attendants.

Finally, Alice enters her ex-husband's room. She tells him she wants to get this holding over with, but he attempts to romance her. They relive the early days of their marriage, up to when Mr. Wentworth confesses to having an affair. In the present, Mr. Wentworth confesses his love and apologizes, and the two fall into an embrace, unaware of Fishy Joe looking on.

That night at dinner, the family recounts their conversations with their father, and Fishy Joe brings to the family's attention the reconnected nature of Mr. Wentworth and Alice's relationship. When the family is appalled, Fishy Joe turns on them, and chastises all of them for wasting their last days with their father. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to all of them, Mr. Wentworth's heart monitor stutters and speeds up. He crawls towards the hallway to find help. He collapses and dies alone, in the middle of the floor.

Dr. Swan informs the family of the sad news. They gather on the beach the next day, which should have been the day of the living funeral to instead hold a Viking funeral. Fishy Joe tells the story of how Mr. Wentworth held off many Chinese with only some mud and his gun. The twins sing "The Star Spangled Banner" as they set fire to the boat and push it into the ocean. Crazy Eddie, once snapped at by Jimmy to act like a brother, tosses a baseball to him, who, to everyone's surprise, catches it. They throw the ball into the boat as Alice says her last good-byes to her husband. The family watches the last remnants of Mr. Wentworth float away. As the family takes each other's hands and walks off the beach, Jimmy gives one last look to his father.

cast & crew:

 
Alice . . . Kristen Studard
Argentina . . . Mel Evans
Barcelona . . . Amy Verdon
Bellhop . . . Kristen Studard
Chinese math teacher . . . Kristen Studard
Chinese soldier #1 . . . Michael Johnson
Chinese soldier #2 . . . Rob White
Chinese soldier #3 . . . Kristen Studard
Chinese soldier #4 . . . Amy Verdon
Chinese soldier #5 . . . Mel Evans
Crazy Eddie . . . Michael Johnson
Dr. Swan . . . Michael Johnson
Fishy Joe . . . Jorin Garguilo
George Wentworth . . . Sean Kelley
Jimmy . . . Rob White
Nurse Anna . . . Amy Verdon
Raoul . . . Jorin Garguilo
Tiger . . . Michael Johnson

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trivia:

  • ''Dr. Swan'' was the name of Christopher Reeves' character on the hit TV show Smallville. The character was named after the comic book artist Curt Swan, whose rendition of the Man of Steel is the most recognized.
  • Shark bites, in reality, are remarkably rare. You are more likely to be killed driving your car than as dinner for a shark or sharks.

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