Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 1, Episode 17 - French Lessons - full transcript

Mallory has a crush on Jeff, her French tutor, but his shyness prompts him to go to Alex for advice on taking her out with the usual results.

♪ 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

♪ and 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-hoo

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ sha-la-la-la

What do you say, Alex?
Up for a game of chess?

Uh, I-i don't really think
I want to play, dad.


Well, no offense,

but it's just not
much of a challenge for me.

Oh, it doesn't matter who wins.

I just thought it would be nice

to spend a little time together.

I'm gonna beat you this time.

Dad, I'm 138 and 0 against you.

Ah, 138, 0, and 1.

You're forgetting that time
we played to a draw.

Dad, I had my appendix out
that day.

The anesthetic had worn off.

All right, dad. All right.
Where do you want to play?

Anywhere, Alex. You pick.

Let's play in my room, then.

That way, I can nap while
you're thinking of your moves.

Well, see? It's bringing us
closer together already!

Does anybody need anything else
from the kitchen?

It's closing.

I thought the kitchen
stayed open till 10:00.

Jeff's coming over to tutor me,

and we're gonna be studying
in there.

Oh, yeah. How is
the French coming, Mal?

Oh, all right, I guess.

Uh-oh. You don't sound
very enthusiastic.

Well, it's just that
I'm not getting anywhere.

What do you mean?

You've gone from a "c-minus"
to a "b" in French

since Jeff's been tutoring you.

She meant she's not
getting anywhere with Jeff.


Come on, Mal. It's no secret
how you feel about Jeff.

Not anymore.

Mallory, where are
your priorities?

Now, we hired Jeff

to help raise your grade
in French, remember?

We've accomplished that, mom.
It's time to move on.

You can't force it, Mallory.

Either the chemistry's there
or it's not.

It's just a certain...
Je ne sais quoi.

Where'd you learn that?

Last week,
when you were doing your idioms.

Were you eavesdropping?

I always do
when you have a boy over.

I can't figure it out.

I think he likes me.

We laugh.
We have a good time together.

But whenever we talk too long

about anything other
than French, he freezes up.

Well, Jeff's a little shy,

Actually, I think it's cute.

Shouldn't he be here by now?

I'm usually eavesdropping
by this time.

Yeah, you're right. It's not
like him to be so late.


Uh, why are you standing there?

Didn't the doorbell work?

I don't know.
I didn't try it yet.

I heard voices inside,
and I didn't want to interrupt.

You have your work
cut out for you, Mallory.

Uh... Je suis...

Tu es, il est,

nous êtes...

I don't know.

I'm always having trouble
with these irregular verbs.

You just have to
memorize them, Mallory.

It's just like in English.

I am, you are, he or she is.

Well, I know it in English.

See? You've got a knack
for languages.

You've got
a really good sense of humor.

Oh. Oh, sorry.

Getting back to conjugation...

So, how'd you get to be
so good in French?

I lived in Paris
for five years as a kid.

My parents were really mad.

Actually, my dad was in
the foreign service.

Oh, why didn't you ever
tell me that?

You never asked me.

You're right.

When we first met,
I should have said,

"nice to meet you."

Was your dad ever in
the foreign service?

Yes, he was.

What do you do
when you're not tutoring me?

I go to school.

I know.
We go to the same school.

I meant personally.

Do you have any sports you like,
any hobbies...

Any girlfriends?

Yes. What's her name?

No. I-i meant sports.
I play hockey.

Oh, I love hockey.

Maybe we could
play doubles sometime.

Yeah, that'd be great.

How about you? Any hobbies?

Any other sports you like?

Any girlfriends...
I mean, boyfriends?



I mean, I'm surprised.

A girl like you...
No hobbies, no boyfriend?

So neither of us
has any sports or hobbies

or boyfriend... girlfriend.

Except for hockey.


Well, I guess
that's about enough for today.

Oh, it is? I was hoping
we could go further.

I'll just go out the back.

That way,
I won't bother anybody.

So, I guess
I'll see you tomorrow.

I guess you will.

Au revoir.

Au revoir.

Oh. Jeff's gone already?


So, Mallory, what happened?

There was some stuff
I couldn't hear.

Nothing happened.

Just when he starts

to let down his guard
and break the ice,

he freezes up again.

Why don't you just
throw yourself at him

and get it over with?


Would you stay out
of my personal life?

I'm trying to make sure
you ha one.

Honey, girls
don't have to be afraid

of letting boys know
how they feel now.

These are the 1980s.

What did girls do back then
when you were a kid?

Back in the 1880s?

Actually, it wasn't all that
easy for us when I was a girl.

I mean, if you were
interested in a boy,

sometimes you just had to wait
until they asked you out.

What if he never asked?

Then you called your girlfriend
and you set each other's hair.

You mean, if you liked the boy
and he never asked you out,

there was nothing
you could do about it, right?

Oh, yeah. There were
some silly, scheming things

that some other girls used to do
to attract guys' attention.

Like what?

Oh, you know,
stupid things like, uh,

you could ask a friend
to call his friend

or you could write your name
in his notebook

or maybe put your picture
in his locker.

Or if you really liked the guy,

you'd try to get your parents

to buy the house
next door to his.

Tell me, mom,
did you write your name

on the inside of the notebook
or on the cover?

Well, you know
what I used to do...


Mallory, you... you are...
You're missing the point.

Things are much simpler now.

And if you're
really interested in Jeff,

then you should
just ask him out.

I guess you're right.

Sorry to bother you.
I forgot my book.

I could come back for it
another time

if it's more convenient.

Jeff, come on in.

Mallory has something
to ask you.

Uh... Yeah.

Do you know if the house
next to yours is up for sale?

Are you gonna make a move here,
dad, or what?

Don't rush me, Alex.
These things take time.

It's been a day and a half, dad.

I think you could at least
make your opening move.

The opening move

is perhaps the most important
of the game, Alex.

It... it sets the tone
for the entire contest.

Well, whenever you're ready.

But, uh, remember, I leave
for college in September.



I'll wait here
while you're mulling the...

Bonjour, Jeff.

Bonjour, Mallory.

Hi, Jeff. Hello.


I guess we'd better
leave you two alone to study

and whatever else
comes to your mind.


Well, I hate to kick you
out of your own living room.

Don't worry about it.
We could use it anytime.

Come on, Alex and dad.



So, come on in.

Thank you.

Uh... Can I get you anything?
Something cold to drink?

That'd be nice,
if it's not too much trouble.

Oh, no trouble at all.
Uh, make yourself at home.

My dad forgot his book.

Uh, Alex,
c-can I ask you something?

I was wondering
if your sister Mallory...

She likes you, Jeff.

S-she does?

That's great!

So, what are you waiting for?
Why don't you ask her out?

I'm afraid. What if she says no?

She won't.

What if she says yes?

T-then you go out with her.

That's even scarier.

What if she doesn't like me?

Jeff, I already told you...
She likes you.

She likes me as a tutor,

but what if she doesn't
like me as a date?

How are you gonna know
unless you go out?

Here's some juice, Jeff.

I squeezed the oranges myself.

You know what?

That is a very nice thing
to do for someone, Mallory.

I'm sure he appreciates it.

Yeah, I really do.

May I squeeze something for you?

I mean... Thank you very much.

Well, uh...
My work here is done.

Mallory, before I drink this,
I have to ask you something.

There are no pits in it.

That's great, but that's not
what I wanted to ask.

Wait, there's something
I have to ask you first.

Will you go out with me?

No. Will you go out with me?



There's something else
I have to ask you.


Why did you just say no

when I asked you
to go out with me?

Did I say no? I meant yes.


Mallory, when you said yes...

I meant yes.

Jennifer: It's about time!


Do you mind?

Sorry, dad. I didn't realize.

I was kind of caught up
in this article.

That's another thing.

I may not be Boris Spassky,

but I think
you owe me the courtesy

of at least looking at the board
from time to time,

even though it is my move.

Dad, it's been your move
for an hour and a half.

Well, I'm ready now.

Well, good.



Oh, sorry, dad.

Well, Alex, let's see you
worm your way out of that one.


Didn't see that.



Well, uh...

Listen, I'm, uh...

I'll go study this someplace
where it's a little more quiet!

I don't know how anybody's
supposed to play chess

with all that racket going on!

Come on in.

Hello, Alex.

Hi, Jeff.

You're a little early
for your date, aren't you?

Yeah. Yeah, I am early.

I was hoping
to find you here alone.

You've got to talk to Mallory
for me, Alex.

I can't go through with it.
I can't go on the date.

Jeff, you'll be fine.

I won't be fine!
I'm too nervous.

I've gone over this date
in my mind a hundred times.

There were only four times
when I didn't spill something.

You'll be all right.

Just, uh,
don't order anything to drink.

Alex, the problem
is more pervasive than that.

I should not be going out
with Mallory Keaton.

She's beautiful. She's graceful.

She looks gorgeous in a dress.

All the things I'm not.

Let's be thankful
for some of that, Jeff.

I can't go through
with it, Alex.

Just tell her I'm sorry.

Hey, wait.
I'm not telling her that.

I mean, she's getting ready.

You're here.

You should go out on the date.


Haven't you even been
on a date before?

Sure. I went out
with Betty Bronson last week.

Sounds good.

Betty's my cousin.

Okay, okay, it's not ideal,

but, uh,
the same basic rules apply.

Just follow this advice,

you're guaranteed success
on a date.



You see, luckily,

all women are exactly the same.

They are?


See, I-i know
you read a lot today

in magazines and newspapers
about, uh, "the new woman"

and independence, assertiveness.

Why, I-it's simply not true.

It's not?


Surprised, huh?

A little.

See, all you have to do
to ensure success on a date

is to assume total command

from the minute
the female appears.

See, you are the man.

You're in control.

You make that moment.

Okay, Alex, I'll do it.
On one condition.


You've got to come, too.

A guy, a girl, and her brother

are not what we're shooting for
here, Jeff.

I need you there, Alex.

You don't have to sit with us.

Just be somewhere
in the restaurant.

That way, if I run into trouble,
I can come to you.

I don't know. It's gonna look
pretty silly, isn't it?

I mean, me sitting
at a table by myself?

Bring a date.

You can get a date
on short notice, can't you?


Of course.

Well, okay, then.


Hi, Regina?

Yeah, it's me, your cousin Alex.

Will you hurry up, please?

I'm here, I'm here.
Where are we gonna sit?

I don't know. The, uh, maître d'
will seat us.

Okay, but don't let him
put us near the kitchen,

like last time.

Hey, that wasn't my fault.

Why do we have to fight
every time we go out?!

Good evening, sir.

Table for two?

Something romantic.

She's my sister.


Hey, what are they doing here?

Hey. Look at that.

Small world.

Excuse me for a second.

Alex, what took you so long?

I've been trying to stall
till you got here.

Well, it took me a while to, uh,
convince Jennifer to come.

I'm here for the pizza,
not the company.

How's it going so far?


Well, what's wrong?

Well, we've been talking
about the weather

for the last 20 minutes.

And that's been the highlight.

Okay, okay. I'm here.

Everything is under control.

Uh, have you ordered yet?

Not yet.

This is good. Okay.

First thing you do...
Order for both of you.

Don't even ask her
what she wants.

Just order.

And, uh, when the waiter comes,
insult him.

It'll impress her.

Are you sure?

I'm sure.

That's them, all right.

What are they doing here?

Oh, just out for a good time,
I guess.

Are you ready to order?

Yes, I think I'll have...

Uh, she'll have
the Veal Parmigiana.

In fact, we'll both have
the Veal. Veal for two.

And step on it!

Not the veal.

Something to drink?

Um, a root beer, please.

Ginger ale... two.

Jeff, that was incredibly rude,

not to mention the fact
I wanted a root beer.

You didn't like it?


Excuse me.


We're getting the pizza
with bologna, and that's final!

Okay, okay, Jennifer.
Don't make a scene.

Alex, it's not working out.

Why? What's wrong?

I insulted the waiter.

I ordered for the two of us,
just like you said.


She didn't like it.

She liked it.

Jeff, believe me...
Underneath, she liked it.

Alex, I can't be like you...
Suave and cool.

That's not me.

That's not Alex either.

Just go back to the table
and start flattering.

Tell her that, uh, her hair
is like fine-spun silk corn,

that, uh, her eyes

are... are like
shimmering pools of beauty.

I'm gonna be sick.

All right. I'll try that.

Jeff, why do you
keep going over to Alex?

Mallory, your eyes are like
shimmering pools of corn.


I wanted a root beer,
not a ginger ale.

Just trust me.
I know what's good...

And I don't want this.
Jeff, I don't want the veal.

You'll like it.

It's okay. Yeah.

Let me get that.

It's still edible.

It didn't hit the floor...




Now I see what he's been doing.

Very clever, really.

You see, Alex has been using
the Nimzowitsch defence, Elyse.

But it's easily countered
with the Sicilian variation

of the King's gambit declined.

Don't you think Alex knows that?

Knows what?

Well, I-i mean,
isn't it possible

that the King's gambit declined

is exactly
what Alex expects you to do?

I mean, after all,
it's his book.

The fiend.

Hi, Mallory. How was your date?

It's fine.

You're home early, aren't you?

Something tells me
she and Jeff didn't get engaged.


Hello, Mrs. Keaton.
Can I come in?

Of course. Come on in.

What happened?

I'm not sure, exactly.

When Mallory left,
she was really upset.

I was hoping
she was feeling better now.

What went wrong?

I don't know.
We were at the restaurant.

We couldn't think
of anything to talk about.

I ordered something for her
that she didn't want.

I insulted the waiter.

I spilled drinks, food.
I ruined her dress.

The next thing I know,
she was gone.

Sounds like you did
all the right things.

I wanted so badly
for this to be a special night.

I even got Alex to come
to the restaurant to help me.

Aha. Now we're getting

Why did you ask Alex to help?

Well, you know,
I'm not real good with women,

and Alex is.

Who told you that?


He said
that Mallory would like me

if I were more like him.

Now I know why she ran out.

Alex, it didn't work.

Everything you told me
was wrong.

Always assume that's the case
with Alex.

All right, maybe I was wrong.

I gave you some advice,
and it didn't work out.

I didn't charge you for it,
did I?

I-it's not like
you're out any money.

That's the important thing.

Oh, hi.


I... Don't suppose
you want to talk, do you?

I want you to explain to me

why you acted like Alex
instead of you.

Why don't we leave
these two alone to talk?

Good idea.

Jeff, if you want my advice...

Whatever you do,
don't apologize!

You're the man!

Mallory, I'm sorry.

For the rudeness
or for the spilling

or for the general
boorish manner?

I don't know.
What offended you the most?

Why were you
acting like that, Jeff?

That's not like you at all.

I thought you wanted me
to be tough

and in control and in command.

I thought you'd like that
in a guy.

I like that in an airline pilot,
not a date.

I don't want you
to be like that.


I'll be however
you want me to be.

You don't like
tough and boorish,

I can be something else.

Jeff, don't you realize?

I went out with you
because I like you.

You're the guy
I wanted to be with.



But, Mallory, I...

I'm clumsy. I'm awkward.

I can't help it. I like you.

Do you think you still might be
able to like me after tonight?

Je ne sais.

But I'm willing
to give it a try.

Je ne sais pas.

You forgot the "pas."

You see, with the negative,
you have to put...

Jeff? What?

Shut up.

Want to give up, dad?

Give up? Are you kidding?

Dad, can't we go to bed?
I'm tired.

I hate to put
a damper on this, honey,

but the kids do have to go
to school tomorrow.

Or is that today?

Come on, dad.
I'm tired of this game.

You're just prolonging
your own agony,

not to mention
the agony of your family.

All right, Alex.
Knight to Queen, Knight 6.



Look for yourself! I won!