Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 1, Episode 10 - Have Gun, Will Unravel - full transcript

A break-in prompts Steven and Elyse to invest in a gun to protect their home.

Well, that was
a waste of two hours.

I can't believe
that your mother and I

are the only ones who enjoyed
"A Hard Day's Night."

No, now, I think there were
some other old people

in the audience
who enjoyed it, too.

Yeah, I hear Beatles are big
in nursing homes.

Next time,
let me pick the movie, okay?

Uh, no, we let you pick the movie
last time, and it was terrible.

I can't help it
if you don't like subtitles.

At least that movie was quiet.
You could sleep.

These guys kept breaking
into song every five minutes.

Elyse, I'm crushed.

How did we raise
three children who don't care

that Eleanor Rigby keeps
her face in a jar by the door?

The same way
our parents raised kids

who don't care
how Stella looked by starlight.

I can't believe you guys
used to listen to that music.

It was so boring.

They didn't even
break any guitars.

Hey, is that how you judge
music today...

By how many guitars get broken?

No, that's how you know
when the song is over.


Steven! Come in here quickly!

- Honey, what?
- What's going on?

My god.

We've been robbed.

I can't believe it!

People we don't even know
came in here.

They tracked mud
all over the floor.

They took things
that belong to us!

Why would they do that?

They're burglars, Elyse.
That's their job.

- I'm gonna check my room.
- Me too.

Steven, check the dining room.

See if the silverware's
still there.

It's in the top drawer
of the breakfront.

Wow, wait until
my class hears about this

during show-and-tell.

Oh, mommy.

Would you mind me tying you
to this chair for a picture?

The kids at school
are hard to impress.

I think the silver's gone,

It's not in the breakfront?

Hard to tell.
They took the breakfront.

They cleaned me out.
T-they took everything.

They took
my calculator collection.

They took my golf clubs.

At least they didn't touch
my Mantovani albums.

That's a relief.

But they really
made a mess up there.

They went through everything,
even the linen closet.

Oh, great!

Now the entire underworld knows

that my sheets and pillowcases
don't match.

It's gone! I can't believe it!

They took
my most prized possession!

So we'll get you another mirror.

No, they took my diary!
I'm freaking out.

I'm gonna have to leave town.

Don't worry, Mallory.
I had it xeroxed last week.

You xeroxed my diary?

Yeah, and I have
a lot of questions.

I'm gonna kill you!

I'm calling the police.

Ma, it's just
a figure of speech.

Now, everybody, stay calm.

The important thing
is that nobody was hurt.

Nothing else matters.

That's easy for you to say.
You didn't read her diary.

♪ I bet we've been together
for a million years ♪

♪ and I'll bet we'll be together
for a million more ♪

♪ oh, it's like
I started breathing ♪

♪ on the night we kissed

♪ when I can't remember
what I ever did before ♪

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ and there ain't no nothin' ♪

♪ we can't love
each other through ♪

♪ ooh

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ sha-la-la-la

Ah! Oh.

I'm all right. I'm all right.

I'm all right. I think
the broom's dead, though.

Just relax, dad, okay?
I'll check the living room.


It's all clear. Nobody there.

- Did you look upstairs?
- Upstairs?

Yeah, you know,
where we keep the bedrooms.

Um, no, no.
I-i didn't make it up there.

- Coward.
- Look who's talking...

The brave soul
who offered me $5

to check behind
the shower curtain last night.

I did not. I offered you $3.

You said you'd do it for $5.

Mallory, if you're scared,
come to me or daddy.

We don't charge.

I would have,
but you were downstairs

frisking the paperboy.

I wasn't frisking him.
I was checking his I.D.

He's new on the route.

All right, look...
This is going to have to stop.

I will not have my family
afraid in our own home.

Can we go to a motel?

No. I-i think it's time
for a family meeting about this.


- Not another family meeting.
- Come on.

Look, can't we just
talk about this

without having a formal meeting?

Just because you two
want to keep up this charade

of a '60s
participatory democracy,

why do we have to be
subjected to it?

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

Because we say so.

- Okay.
- Okay.

- Assigned seats?
- Assigned seats.

All right.

This meeting
will now come to order.

Uh, w-we'll dispense
with the minutes.

Any old business?

At the last meeting,

we decided to boycott
the following products...

Persian rugs, whale blubber...

Hey, can't we just skip
the old business

and get on to the problem
at hand?

It's highly irregular.

Oh, okay. Okay, look.

I know the burglary's
been hard on everyone,

but we've got to put it past us.

We can't let fear take over
and destroy our lives.

Does that mean I have to stop
sleeping with my light on?

No, no, you keep your light on
as long as you need to

if it makes you feel
more comfortable.

Can Alex keep his on, too?


You told me to ask.

I explained that to you.

I-I need the light to read by.

You read
by a Donald Duck nightlight?

Ah! All... all...
All I'm saying...

All I'm saying is, we're
going to take some steps

to try and help us
feel safe again.

Yeah, I think we should keep
the house locked at all times.

And don't let any strangers in.

And if you see anybody acting
suspicious, call the police.

We want to know where you are

and who you're with
at all times.

A-at all times?

All times.

Well, as a member
of this Democratic household,

I move we hold a vote
on the last issue.

Motion denied.

Do you remember last winter

when we all came down
with the colds at the same time?

Yeah, dad tried to ration
tissues to save trees.

Yeah, well,
I think getting robbed

is a lot like having a cold.

You don't get over it
all at once. It takes a while.

Well, we've all
been through this together.

I-I think that
we can help each other out.

Well, ever since the robbery,

I can't help feeling real weird.


That's because
you are real weird.

No, now, every time
I go into my bedroom,

I feel like there's
a stranger watching me.

That's probably Marty Obeck
across the street.

- Look, Alex, just because...
- All right, look.

I know you're on edge, but let's
try and stick together here.

What do you think
about organizing

a neighborhood-watch
meeting, Elyse?

Boy, dad, you'll do anything
to hold a meeting.

The police said they would send
someone to speak if we did.

- I think it's a real good idea.
- Should we hold it here?

Or maybe we should call
Phyllis and have it over...

Chrissy's parents had
a neighborhood-watch meeting,

and every house on the block
got robbed that night

except theirs.

We'll have it here.

Just remember,
nothing's foolproof.

If burglars want to get in
badly enough, they will.

The most you can do
is make it hard for them.

And then maybe they'll
go down the block instead,

to your neighbor's house.

Officer. Officer.

Now that you've lost control
of this meeting,

do you mind if I say something?

I have a feeling
you're going to.

Thank you.

My name is Earl Quigley.
I sell insurance.

This should be
real subtle and sensitive.

If anybody knows
how vulnerable a house can be,

it's yours truly.

Believe me, there isn't
an alarm system on this earth

that can't be suckered.

Do you want statistics?
I got statistics.

Pick a crime, any crime.

Okay, um, assault and battery.

One of my favorites.

Up 20% in this neighborhood
over the last year.

I'll tell you folks.

We live in a jungle.

At this very moment,

there's a crime being committed
somewhere in this neighborhood

within a five-mile radius.

You wouldn't happen
to know where, would you?

Let's face it...
The only way

to really protect ourselves
is to get a... G-u-n.

Now, I wouldn't recommend that
for most people.

Accidents happen.

If you've got a gun,
you'd better be careful.

I am.

Well, I got to be moving on.

I hope I haven't made you people

any more frightened
than you already were.

Well, we appreciate
your honesty.

Burglars are a peculiar breed.

They're not usually satisfied

to hit one house on the block
and then move on.

Oh, no.

They'll keep coming back
again and again,

picking on a neighborhood...
Pick, pick, pick...

Till there's nothing left
to pick on...

Leeches sapping our strength,
our blood.

Did I say the wrong thing?

Which time?

Let's remember to keep him out
of the locker room at halftime.

Can I help you clean up here
a little bit, Elyse?

Thanks, Phyllis.

I think I'll just leave
it all out for the burglars.

Well, I can't say
this meeting did a whole lot

for my sense of security.

You want security, Keaton?
Get yourself a g-u-n.

You don't understand.
We don't believe in guns.

Oh, that's fine and dandy

until you come up
against somebody who does.

I got to be going.

Oh, do you have to?

Is that the lock
you're going with, Keaton?

Why can't he understand

that we can't have
a gun in the house?

We've got three children.

I've got four,
and I've got a gun.

You, Phyllis?

Yes, me.

Hey, you'd be surprised

how many people like you and me
have guns these days.

I'd think about it
if I were you.

I'll call you tomorrow, okay?

Yeah, sure.

- Good night, Steven.
- Uh, g-good night, Phyllis.


I can't believe it.
Phyllis Evans has got a gun.

What is going on
in this world, Steven?!



Oh, oh, oh, yeah.


Look... i-i didn't like
the way they put it,

but, uh, well,
I hate to admit it,

but maybe some of what
Earl and Phyllis had to say

made some sense.

Maybe we should at least
consider buying a...

A g-u...

You know.

You can't even say it.

My vocal cords
can be very stubborn.

It took them six months
to say "president n-Nixon."

Us? A gun?
That seems so terribly wrong.

I-I know. I know.

I also know
the world is changing

and we've got to adjust to it.

Last time you said that, you
signed us up for disco lessons.

Ever since...

Ever since the burglary,

I can't stop myself
from thinking

about what might have happened

if we'd been home
when they broke in.

I know that thought
crossed my mind, too,

three or four hundred times,
but I-is a gun the answer?

I don't know.

Will you sleep down here
with us?

What's the matter?

We're scared.

I mean, um, they're scared.
I'm trying to be supportive.

Sure, sure.

Why don't we all sleep
down here?

It'll be fun...
Just like camping.

Am I gonna have to go
to the bathroom outside?

Not this trip.

You kids wait down here.

Your mother and I

will change into our pajamas
and be right back.


We will be right back down.

Okay, come on.

I don't know.
I think this is a mistake.

Now, we're... we're just here
to look at guns, Elyse.

We don't have to buy one.

And if it feels
like a mistake, we won't.


There's the gun department
over here.

Oh, look, there's a sale
on long underwear.

Maybe we should stock up
for the kids.

Elyse, we are quite possibly
about to take

a major step in our lives
that involves

the security, the safety, and
the well-being of our family.

So does underwear.


It's 25% off.

I'm coming.

Uh, hi.

Well, what can I do
for you folks today?

W-w-w-well... well, let's see.
Um... Oh, we, uh...

Uh, we need
some camping items...

Some, uh, insect repellant,
a compass,

a collapsible drinking cup,

a gun,

a canteen, electric socks...

Okay, suppose
we cut the song and dance.

What kind of gun do you want?

Uh... Well, uh...
What are the different kinds?


You just want to put
a Nick in him,

or do you want to blow him away?

Well, uh, a Nick, I think.

What do you think, honey?

A Nick sounds fine.

Yes, a Nick, then.

You want that to be
a small Nick,

or the Grand Canyon?

Uh, to tell you the truth,

we're not all that sure
that we want to buy a gun.

You see, actually,
we're pacifists.

We've marched for peace seven...
Oh, no, eight times,

if you count that rally in Paris
that we thought was for peace

but really it turned out
to be to legalize prostitution.

Our French wasn't very good
at the time.

When were you robbed?

How did you know we were robbed?

Well, that's what usually
gets folks like you in here.

Now, don't be ashamed.

It's no crime to want
to protect yourselves.

We just never thought
we'd buy a gun.

Well, I think
this might be your style.

Most of the pacifists who
come in here seem to like it.

Well, I-i-i never...

I never h-held a gun before.

This is, uh, uh,
going to take a minute.

Oh! It's you!

They are intimidating,
aren't they?

That's what makes them
so popular.

What do you think?

I don't know.

Part of me wants to,
and part of me doesn't.

Which part has the wallet?

Steven, do you realize

I hold in my hand
the power to take a human life?

What you're holding
is the power to save a life.

Put it down, anyway.

Honey, I-if somebody
broke into the house right now,

we wouldn't be helpless.

That's important.

Yeah, I know that, but it's...
It's like the time

your father sent us that
moose head for our anniversary.

It's just not us.

We're not going to hang the gun
over the fireplace.

We're not hanging
the moose head there, either.

Let's not get into
that argument again.

I was wrong
about the moose head.

Let it stay in Alex's room.


All I'm saying is that

we're going to put the gun
in a drawer and forget about it.

Are you with me on this?

- I'm willing to try.
- All right.

I'll keep the gun in my drawer.

We'll keep the bullets in yours.

Well, here I go.

I'm picking up the gun now.

I've got the gun,

and I'm taking it
to the dresser...

Opening the drawer,

and I'm putting
the gun inside...

Closing the drawer.

Put the bullets away for me.

My god, Elyse!
You could have killed me!

Bullets are only dangerous

when they come
directly out of a gun.

Okay, now I'll tell the kids.

You don't have to tiptoe,

Guns don't go off by themselves.

You'd make
a lousy defense lawyer.

Alex, Mallory, Jen...

- Hi, dad.
- Hi.

Um, we were just coming up
to kiss you both good night.

We haven't even had dinner yet.

We might forget.

We didn't want to take
any chances.

Why don't you come on in?
We wanted to talk to you anyway.

Yeah, we thought
something was up

when you two snuck up here with
that package and shut the door.

Kids, what you are about to see

is strictly off-limits
to all of you.

And if you weren't
mature enough,

I wouldn't let you see it
at all.

When did you start wearing
colored underwear, dad?

Oh. Wrong drawer.

But, uh, don't touch
that stuff, either.

Wow, a gun! Can I take that
to school for show-and-tell?

Absolutely not!
You're never to touch it.

We only showed it to you

because we don't want you
to stumble upon it by accident.

But we trust you enough to know
that you'll leave it alone.

I don't get it. I thought
you two were against guns.

Come over here and sit down.

We'll try and explain it to you.

Uh, this isn't gonna require
another family meeting, is it?

No, no, no. Look, mommy
and I love you very much.

And we'll do whatever we have to
to make sure you're safe.

We'd be a lot happier

if there were no such things
as guns in the world,

but we can't ignore them.

If a gun will keep someone
from hurting us, then, uh,

we'll have to make
that concession.

We still believe in everything
we've always believed in.

We haven't changed.
It's just the world has changed.

Do you understand?

Is that the biggest gun
they had?

Would you prefer a flamethrower
and some grenades?

Okay, now, look,
I think we should just try

and put the guns
out of our minds.

Hopefully, we'll never have
to take it out of the drawer,

so let's just forget
it's there, okay?

- Okay.
- Yeah.

Okay. What do you say
we go downstairs and eat?

- Mm.
- Yeah.

Great. What are we having?

Hamburgers on sesame-seed guns.


Going hunting?

Thought you were asleep.

Steven, you've been up
four times to check the gun.

I don't think
it's going anywhere.

I'm sorry, honey. It's just
making me a little nervous.

Do you think mothballs
are bad for the gun?

If they are, then we'll
just shoot the moths.

I don't know, Elyse.

Ever since the robbery, I've
been a little extra cautious.

It's affected us all.

I haven't just been worrying
about the gun, either.

I checked the kids
six times tonight.

Checked the car.
One of the tires is low.

The plants are holding.

I'm worried about Alex, too,

sleeping all the way
over at Jimmy Barkham's house.

The Barkhams live next door.

Let's not split hairs, Elyse.
He's not in his bed.

Get some rest, sweetie.

Know what I admire most
about you, Elyse?

My incomparable charm
and beauty?

Your ability to fall asleep
in any situation.

That was my next guess.

What was that?

I don't know.


Somebody's downstairs!

Stay here. I'm going down.

- Stop where you are!
- Aah!

Come on. Get the light.

Dad! Dad, open up.

It's me, Alex, your firstborn.

Alex, what are you doing here?!

I live here, remember?

And you're
supposed to be at Jimmy's!

We had a big fight
over social security.

- He was for it.
- Oh!

I-I-i felt I couldn't
compromise my principles

and stay there.

I dropped some things
in the closet.

I hope I didn't wake you.

Wake us? Yeah, Alex,
you scared us to death.

We thought you were a prowler.

If you hadn't spoken up,
I might have...

Challenged me
to a game of tennis?

Where is the gun, Steven?

I-I-i went to get it.
I opened the drawer.

I even picked it up.

I just couldn't do it.

I guess I was just afraid
somebody would get hurt.

I know, and I love you for it.


So do I.

Listen. Listen.

T-this whole thing
has shaken me up a little bit,

so, uh, if you don't mind,
I-i need a drink.

Yeah. I think the scotch is...
Wait a minute.

Thought I could
slip that one by you.

Is it safe to come down now?

Yeah. Yeah. It's safe.
It was just Alex.

- Did you shoot him, dad?
- No.

No. There's going to be no
shooting in this house. No guns.

We're taking it back
in the morning. Right, Elyse?

Right... when you
believed in something

as long as we have,
you can't change overnight.

I know. I realized that
the minute I picked up the gun.

Guns have no place in our lives.

We've worn out
too many pairs of sneakers

trying to get people
to put guns down.


I have to admit
I haven't felt real comfortable

since we've had it in the house.

Guns aren't the right image
for you guys, anyway.

Don't you guys still believe
that all you need is love?

Careful, Jennifer.
Don't get them started.

Do you remember when we staged
that anti-war sit-in

on the steps
of the Justice Department?

Too late.
They're back in the '60s.

Of course I remember.
That was a great day.

We beat the national guard 6-1
in the frisbee tournament.

I hope you're satisfied,

Hey, look on the bright side.

At least it's not that story

of how they danced naked
in the rain at Woodstock.

Do you remember
what you said to me

just before
they took us all away?

You said, "the day I pick up
a weapon against another man"

is the day I admit defeat
as a human being."

I said that?

I think it was you.

Were you wearing a plaid shirt?

Oh, Elyse.

I-I'm teasing.
I know it was you.

But, you know, I remember
thinking, when you said that,

"this guy is really deep."

Okay, so maybe a gun
isn't the answer for us.

We'll probably still
be scared for a while,

but I'd rather live with that
fear than to live with a gun.

Me too.

We'll just have to keep searching
for the right thing for us.

Would you consider land mines
in the front lawn?


We'll have maps.

How about bodyguards?

The captain of the football team
looks real strong.

Nice try.

I've got it!

Killer bees!