"Viola's America" is the second episode of the first season of Viola's Videos and the second episode of the series altogether. It is the final episode to act as a graded project submission for Andrew Shaul's video production class. The episode was released on December 24th, 2013.
Anthony, unable or unwilling to learn, becomes more and more dependent on his mother despite her troubles. At her last resort, Viola packs her prized possessions, leaves a goodbye note for her son, and attempts to flee the country. She doesn't make it past her front porch, however, as a mysterious abductor takes her hostage and locks in her a dingy basement.
Seated on her couch, Viola writes a goodbye letter to her son Anthony. The letter explains her need to flee the country now that the mafia has resumed their search for her in an attempt to collect debts on a Frank Sinatra collection she had purchased. Her Target gift cards, courtesy of her deceased mother, are unable to be traded against the debts, and thus she must escape as quickly as possible - even if it means missing a personal goodbye to her only child.
She leaves the letter, gathers her things (including her trademark leather jacket), and departs her home. On her front porch she is approached by a man in black who asks her to sniff a small white rag to see if it smells like chloroform. Happy to help, Viola inhales the contents of the rag and falls unconscious, but not before warning her abductor that he will have a hard time carrying her hefty weight.
Awaking in a dingy basement with no idea where she is, Viola commends her captor for being strong enough to transport her unconscious body, as well as his act of leaving her luggage and bottle of liquor with her in the basement. Viola investigates her prison, finding a keg tap that reminds her of an instrument Dr. Rahj once inserted in her anus. She calls out the good doctor's name, assuming he is her abductor, but when she receives no answer she continues having a look around. She finds empty bottles of wine, screaming aloud that her captor must be worse than Jeffery Dahmer to tease her in such a way. She then finds a cup of ping pong balls which she spills, remarking that it isn't the first time her balls have dropped.
There is a sound of commotion on the floor above, and Viola crosses to a stairwell. Frightened, she believes the house to be alive before the door to the basement opens and the man in black steps into view wielding a tube of lotion. He commands Viola to rub the lotion on her skin or else she gets the hose again and then chucks the bottle at her. It collides with her face, sending her into a tumble against the wall. Viola smells the lotion, tells her captor she'd prefer the hose, then prays to some unseen force that she would like to see her mother.From behind the furnace, the spirit of Viola's dead mother Yetta appears and greets her ecstatically. Yetta, two cigarettes in her mouth and a glass of chardonnay in her hand, asks her desperate daughter what her predicament is. After explaining the events leading to her capture, Viola accepts a menthol cigarette from her mother and listens as the elder woman regales her in a tale of her escape from the Nazi's that led her to genital deformity. Viola then asks her mother for help.
Lighting up three more cigarettes, Yetta gives her daughter otherworldly advice: 1) Robin Williams shines in dramatic roles. 2) If a sailor says it's a birthmark, don't believe him. 3) A little alcohol will get you through any situation. Realizing her mother is correct, Viola bids goodbye to her departing mother ("I've gotta go bubeleh, someone shot JR!") and finds herself with a new resolve.
Viola digs through one of her bags, finding a massive amount of used and unused condoms which she claims were placed there by her captor. Moving on to the bag she packed earlier, she unearths her loaded pistol and returns to the stairway.
After taking a large swig of Creme de Menthe to help with her marksmanship (which she promptly ejects from her mouth), Viola prepares herself to lure the abductor into the basement. She fires five of her six available bullets into the basement door, effectively gaining her captor's attention.
As Viola ducks behind the furnace, Buffalo Chicken Bill descends the stairs and falls into Viola's trap. The two engage in a brief but vicious battle - Viola pistol-whipping him, slipping the keg tap's hose into his anus and pumping away, beating him in the head with the hefty Michael Jackson biography, and finally pulling her gun on him.With a single word ("BANG!"), Viola fires her last bullet into Bill's head, killing him. Unfazed by the act of murder, she collects her thoughts, takes a heavy swig of Menthe, and ascends the basement stairs with her bottle and her pistol ("Give us us free!!"). She exits through Bill's kitchen, but not before discovering and subsequently stealing a bag of bacon ranch popcorn on his shelf. Outside, finally free, Viola has a brief moment of remorse. She accepts that she has committed at least three horrible acts - murder, stealing bacon ranch popcorn, and abandoning her son for a debt - and drops to her knees wondering what God-forsaken place this world could be. She concludes that it is simply because she is a product of "America".
In a post-credits scene, Viola returns home to find her son had only just realized his mother had left. She wonders where Anthony was during her initial abduction ("Well where the FUCK were YOU?"), then tells her son about the day she had. Viola gives Anthony the bag of bacon ranch popcorn as a gift, which her son rejects saying he is allergic to bacon. She then attempts to offer him Creme de Menth but he also rejects that.After a few moments, Viola asks him if he knew about the man on the porch who abducted her, and Anthony reveals the man was just their usual mail carrier. Viola explains what the mailman did to her, leading her into several references to the film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Amused, Anthony brushes off the severity of his mother's kidnapping and asks her why the knees of her slacks are so dirty. Viola explains that she had been thrown down a flight of stairs and upon freeing herself from captivity she visited a doctor for fear she "busted a [knee]cap". But the doctors couldn't take an X-Ray because Viola is, miraculously, pregnant.
- Douglas Harvey as Viola Indigo
- Jackson Bailey as Yetta "Mimsy" Indigo
- Andrew Shaul as Buffalo Chicken Bill
- Jackson Bailey as Anthony Indigo
- Directed by Andrew Shaul
- Cinematography by Andrew Shaul
- Edited by Douglas Harvey
- Produced by Andrew Shaul and Douglas Harvey
- Released by Harvey Studios
The film does not credit any writers because the dialogue and story was heavily improvised by all actors involved - Douglas Harvey, Jackson Bailey, and Andrew Shaul. The basic story (Viola is kidnapped and visited by the spirit of her dead mother) was generated by Director Andrew Shaul.
This episode, as with the rest of the series, was heavily improvised by the actors based on a simple outline created by Andrew Shaul. It was shot over the course of two nights - December 7th, 2013 and December 8th, 2013. The beginning, middle, and end of the film were shot on the 7th and the remaining scenes - the battle between Buffalo Chicken Bill and Viola, as well as the sequence with Mimsy and the post-credits scene with Anthony - was shot on the 8th.
Director Andrew Shaul's cut of the film for his school project was edited down to 13 minutes and included censored language. The official cut of the film edited by Douglas Harvey is 20 minutes long as does not edit out the language.
The cut version that acted as the final project submission for school was met with warm acclaim from the professor and the students in Andrew Shaul's class.
The uncut version that was officially released has yet to be reviewed.
Viola: (upon gaining her freedom) Give us us free!
Viola: I could FUCK HIM to death! (Pulls out three condoms) Oooh, vanilla...maybe just two. (tears off two and puts the third in her pocket)
Yetta: Is there anything I can do?
Viola: You could get me the fuck outta here!
Yetta: The way home's through your heart! Behind all that blockage from the Hickory Farms!
Viola: (warning) It's Hormel...
Viola: (waiting at bottom of stairs with loaded gun) Come down here and face me you motherFUCKER!!
Viola: And then I ended up in a basement.
Anthony: Your usual Thursday night.
Viola: It was like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Anthony: Did he kick a metal dildo up your ass?
Viola: Later in the film.
Viola: I love Stellan Skarsgard. (pause) I *LOVE* Rooney Mara!
Anthony: (dazed) Who's him?
Yetta: Back during the War we all had to escape from Poland from the Nazi's. The only thing I had was a set of wooden shoes and a bicycle. My bike didn't have a seat and all's we had was cobblestone roads! By time I got across the bridge I was a woman!
Viola: (unfazed) Good for you, mother...
Yetta: Well God bless ya' for thinking you could still have kids!
Viola: I have a son...
Yetta: That fag?
Yetta: Well honey, there's gonna be a couple bumps in the road in life. And by the looks of it, a couple ones on your lip.
Yetta: I gotta go, bubelah. Someone shot J.R.!
Viola: Oh no!
Viola: Oh, hello!
Buffalo Chicken Bill: Miss...
Buffalo Chicken Bill: Can you answer me a question?
Viola: haahaa! Of course!
Buffalo Chicken Bill: Does this smell like chloroform to you?
Viola: Ohhh, well let me help you there... (puts down bags and smells rag, is gagged) Oohhhhh noooo! Ohh-ho-ho-ohhh! Ohhh my baby! Ohhhh-ho-ho! Oooh my baby! Oohhh! (removes rag) Good luck carrying all of this! (Passes out)
- This is the last episode of Viola's Videos to be created and submitted as a graded project for Director Andrew Shaul's video production class. The first was the previous pilot episode, Viola's Crossroads. Both episodes received wide acclaim from the professor and students in the class; the popularity of the first episode led to the character's expansion into a full web series.
- As of it's air date, America is the longest-running Viola episode at 20 minutes.
- The character of Viola has changed since her first appearance - now sporting a garish floral print shirt and large thick-rimmed glasses. These additions, along with her original leather jacket, have developed into the character's final look.