Mystik Spiral pilot episode

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The Mystik Spiral pilot episode (titled Pilot Episode) was a script written by Glenn Eichler to pitch a Mystik Spiral spin-off show. By March 2002, it had three drafts, but MTV Animation was closed and the show was never produced. It was, however, mentioned in a contemporary article about "Is It College Yet?".

The script was included in the Daria: The Complete Animated Series boxset. Glenn Eichler introduces it by saying that "my only regret is that I never got to hear 'Incontinent Love' set to music".

Synopsis[edit]

Mystik Spiral are playing their new song, "Incontinent Love", in front of a whopping seven people. This pathetic showing leaves Trent despondent, Max angry, Jesse dimly optimistic that they'll get the "after-dinner crowd" at their 2 AM set, and Nick trying to be positive by pointing out a guy clapped. That guy turns out to be Mark, Max's older brother.

The band have a creative debate backstage with the aid of Nick's girlfriend Charlotte, who opines that the band aren't putting enough of the "raw ending of their pain" into the songs. (Max, trying to fake being a one-armed drummer as a stage gimmick, takes this the wrong way: "What if like each of us was missing a limb? We could call ourselves the Limbos. The Limb-O's, get it?") Trent and Nick consider that "post-alterna-grunge" may be over, and it could be better to just let the band die. They all realise they suck... except Mark, who barges in claiming they were awesome! He offers to buy them coffee; they do have a second set to do but 'luckily' are informed by the staff not to bother, as "there's only one guy left" and he's unconscious.

Mark informs them that it's Lawndale that's the problem, not them: they should go to a cooler town, like Mirage! Where he just bought a house! A house that needs fixing up so he can sell it once the town becomes more commercial and will only cost a dollar a month rent! The band are inspired and decide to move to Mirage instead of breaking up.

Some sad news: Nick and Charlotte will be over because he's moving, but they console each other with the knowledge that they can grow as artists once they're seperated. They do wonder if they're putting music over their relationship, but then Charlotte is distracted by weepy lyrics she just thought of.

The Spiral take their (meagre) possessions and leave Lawndale for Mirage. It turns out Mark's property is a borderline abandoned, utterly decrepid craphole: "this place is nice!" says Jesse, and the band agree. They spread throughout the house, Max claiming the biggest room because it's his brother's house (Nick lets him have it when he sees there's a rat there). Sorting out the gas and the plumbing takes a great deal of effort, as Max realises that the toilet being three feet away from the pipes it should be connected to... means they have to actually pick up and move the toilet! (He and Trent leave the actual connect-up-pipes part to Nick) Jesse, meanwhile, has somehow made his new room as messy and junk-laden as his old room in one hour (and scored with a door-to-door charity collector). Nick, however, is left despondent by his break-up, finding it hasn't helped his creativity at all.

Our heroes start auditioning for gigs, with Nick distracted by his relationship issues, but they can only get deals for fifty bucks for three sets at each club. Trent does the math in his head, working it out at four bucks per member for each set, and suggests they can't perform for that little. "We have to think about, you know. Eating." The club owner, however, points out it's a competitive market and they're just lucky he has a slot and "I don't feel like looking for someone good".

Back at the house, as Nick and Jesse work on the toilet's pipes, Trent muses that they never had to face competition in Lawndale. They need to up their game - Nick promises he's done screwing up, at which point the toilet sprays water out of the bowl in a lovely fountain. Worse, he continues to foul up in practice and gets abuse from Max. Nick cries, admitting he's sucked since the breakup and he can't move on like the relationship never happened (Trent has to explain to Jesse that he means a relationship of "more than one night"). Max slags off Charlotte and says Nick was better off, which almost immediately causes Nick to think that maybe he was spared heartache and this is a new beginning! After he and Max express mutual guy-love, Nick plays a laughably simple beat and announces "I CAN PLAY AGAIN!!".

The band audition next in Cowbane, a slightly classier type of dive, and owner Cubby and his daughter Tulip are impressed. Cubby proclaims them "tapped into the psychic stream of the great ones", while Tulip stares at Trent with lust. (He doesn't notice it) Cubby then offers them... fifty dollars for three sets! He explains that all the clubs pay that, and saying that a band sucks is just a negotiating tool. Max and Trent try to wrangle some extra cash by saying he could be at ground zero of Spiral's imminent success, which gets them a stunning one and a half percent of the door takings.

On the return home, Nick and Max celebrate how Nick has gotten over Charlotte, and Max merrily slags her off as "[having] you wrapped up in chains like Bob Marley's ghost!" Trent doesn't think she was that bad but Nick finds himself happily agreeing... until they arrive home and see Charlotte waiting! "Oh thank God!" cries Nick, taking her back. A luvvy-duvvy scene breaks out, undermined for the audience when Charlotte admits she came to Mirage for her career, and she decides to write a song about it.

Sadly for Max, this means Nick is now enraged about all the mean things he said about her. With Trent agreeing that he was harsh, Max accuses everyone of ganging up on him... only for Nick to say that Max has always been a jerk to people, and now he's causing tension in the house and "that's not right! We're supposed to be a band, not a family!" This causes a stunned Max to offer to quit the band, which causes Nick to offer to quit since it's only him Max has a problem with, which goes round and round until Trent reminds them of the band. They have a shot now and the Spiral has to stay together to realise it!

Max, however, says only a sign from Heaven will make him stay in the band... only to start getting worried when Trent takes him seriously. Luckily, the toilet - with Jesse on it - crashes through the ceiling and then through the floor. (Nick realises the toilet was moved because the floorboards were rotten) Max cheerfully takes this as his sign from Heaven.

That night, Mystik Spiral play at the Cowbane. Eight people are in the audience - one more than last time! "Alright!" cheers Trent. "We're on our way!"

Mirage[edit]

Mirage is described by Nick as a "cool town", and by Mark as "a big bubbling crock pot of creativity! Artists, writers, theater groups... and a huge music scene... dozens of clubs, and record companies are always checking out the bands there." The opening montage of Mirage describe it as "an artsy-cool little city like Seattle, Austin, the East Village".

Mark also says he'll sell the house in a few years when "the rest of the world discovers the town", so it doesn't seem too famous outside of artistic circles.

The band leaves Lawndale in the daytime but arrives in Mirage at sunrise the next day. But since they were driving the Tank, god knows how far apart they really are...

Recurring gags[edit]

  • Max is now trying to get the band ahead with gimmicks. Throughout the pilot, he'll withdraw one arm into his shirt so he can be a "one armed drummer".
  • Jesse is revealed to be a ladies' man, who can pick up chicks almost immediately.
  • The house in Mirage is a crumbling pigsty and the source of many gags. Similarly, Jesse has the messiest room you ever would have seen.
  • Charlotte and Nick are on such a similar wavelength, they continue each other's sentences.

New characters[edit]

  • Mark Tyler: described in the script as "Max's 30ish brother, alone at a table in "casual" clothes that are way too tightass for this place [a grunge club]". He's a smooth-talking salesman who manouvres the band into fixing up his rathole property.
  • Charlotte: described as "Nick's girlfriend, Cher-haired, weepy-confessional-ballad singer". She can finish Nick's sentences. Any emotional situation she's in, she's likely to turn into song lyrics and start noting them down. Max says that every time the two had a fight, Charlotte would make a song about it, which Nick defends as being how he knew what he was doing wrong.
  • Cubby: "Cowbane's well-worn hippie owner", who can apparently tell if you're genuine or a poseur.
  • Tulip: Cubby's "pretty twentyish daughter". She's very, very interested in Trent.

Songs[edit]

"Incontinent Love" is:

Now you say that maybe/We'd be better off as friends

Our love's become a soggy thing/That needs to wear Depends!

Incontinent love!

Incontinent love!

Draining the dragon of our dreams!

Every time I call you/You don't have time to speak

When I ask you why you say/Our love has sprung a leak!

Incontinent love!

Incontinent love!

Watering the turnip of our dreams!

-

Their auditioning song is:

I should have seen it coming/When Fido humped your leg

You gave him bits 'n' kibbles/Me, I had to beg

Now he's up on the blanket/While I'm down on the floor

I ain't gettin' nothin'

The dog is getting more!

The dog is getting more!/The dog is getting more, more, more!

You brush him and you bathe him/You're trimming back his claws

But you don't even see he's got you/Wrapped around his paws!

He's curled up by the fire/I'm scratching at the door!

(chorus repeat)

In fanfiction[edit]

In the final John Lane story, Trent says he and the guys are moving to Mirage: a nod to the pilot.

In "Ow! My Ears! The Mystik Spiral Story", the events of the pilot are summarised and Mirage is the setting for the band's early-2000s career, with Mark Tyler, Charlotte, and Tulip all making appearances.