Bipolar Express

Written by Nathaniel Johnson & Hank Eder and Mario Lew

Jack Jones lies unconscious on the floor near his bed in an expanding pool of blood. As paramedics staunch the bleeding, he sees a vision of a beautiful woman bathed in light.

A few weeks earlier, Jack, in a bipolar support group, shares his immersion in – and rejection from – a Christian megachurch. Jack states his desire to build his own church where all are welcome.

Working at a Christian bookstore with his best friend, Tim, and Sanko, a brainy computer geek from India, Jack meets Samantha, a beautiful woman, looking to buy a gift for her father, a fundamentalist preacher. Jack sells her a Bible and a lunch date.

Samantha tells Jack that in order to date her, he must first get her father’s approval. Smitten, Jack agrees, and shows up with his friends for a church service. Following irreverent disruption, Jack, Tim, and Sanko are thrown out. Devastated by the likelihood of losing Sam, Jack goes manic and launches a YouTube video about “canned religion.” It goes viral and checks begin pouring in. Jack decides to build a church for Sam.

Jack finds Sam and their relationship flourishes. The Reverend works to keep them apart, first with bribery and increasing in intensity until a confrontation in a pharmacy leaves Jack bruised and bloody. Brewer hits Sam, knocking her down. They call police.

That night, at a local pizza pub, Jack begins baptizing patrons with beer as Brewer and his men enter. Jack sees Brewer as a humanoid lizard and tries to subdue him. Police arrive and arrest Brewer for assault. Jack collapses and is taken to the hospital.

A few days later Brewer informs Jack that Samantha is in his custody and is being brought back into the fold. Jack, Tim, and Sanko launch a doomed comical rescue mission. Tim and Sanko are captured. Jack escapes and sinks into despair, delivers a farewell message on YouTube, and cuts his wrist. In Jack’s inner world, he meets an Angel who looks like Sam. She forbids him passage into the Light. Paramedics begin shocking Jack’s heart as he is grappling with an angry Angel. Jack sees his father in the nether and is resuscitated.

Jack awakens in a psychiatric hospital. Brewer is his doctor, and Sanko, an intern. Tim and Samantha are psychiatric patients. In group, Dr. Brewer tries to find out why Jack tried to take his own life. Jack has a moment of epiphany when Sam shows him the red scar on her wrist and realizes he is not alone.

Reveal: Young people are building storefront Churches of Sam in every major city. The final image is Jack and Sam watching TV in the dayroom, seeing Church of Sam on the news. They are holding hands and full of love for each other. Sanko enters and changes the channel to afternoon sitcoms.