Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 1, Episode 19 - Suzanne Takes You Down - full transcript

Elyse tries to help her friend Suzanne through a rough patch by hiring her on as her assistant but comes to regret it when Suzanne forgets her place and takes over Elyse's business.

♪ 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

Now, remember, girls,

concentration is the single-most
important factor

in an athlete's performance.

Index finger of the left hand

interlocking with pinkie
of the right.

And in your mind's eye,

you should be able to see
the ball going into the cup.

I think your mind's eye
needs glasses, Alex.

Oh, hi, kids.
How was the wedding?

Oh, the wedding was fine.

I think the marriage
is in trouble, though.

Oh, hon, you got to give them
a chance.

They've only been married
for a couple of hours.

Elyse, only one of them's
going on the honeymoon.

Okay, I admit that's a bad sign.

It'll keep the mystery alive,

It was a beautiful ceremony.
Ron caught the bouquet.

Wasn't just a catch, Suzanne.

I had to elbow out
two cousins and a flower girl

to make that catch.

We're all very proud
of you, Ron.

So, Alex, how's the golf?

You ready to, uh,
enter any tournaments yet?

I think the only way
Alex will get into a tournament

is inside someone's golf bag.

Come here, Mallory.

Put your head down
on this little tee.

Alex, the most important thing

is never take a sport
too seriously.

Have a good time. That's
the only way to approach it.

Am I right?

Right, Ron.

Okay, Steve,
best 6 shots out of 10.

Loser pays the other guy's
mortgage for a year.

You're on.

Hey, uh, Suzanne,
you want to keep score?

No, I don't think so, Ron.

The excitement might be
too much for me.

Well, can we come and watch?

Well, it's hard to concentrate
with a lot of noise.

We'll root for you
this time, daddy.

Okay. You can come.

Suzanne, do you want
some coffee?

Oh, no, thank you, Elyse.

It'd just keep me awake tonight.

I'm having enough trouble
falling asleep as it is.

Something bothering you?

Oh, no, not really. You know.

This and that.

Oh. It's so cliché, Elyse,
I'm embarrassed.

What is it?

Woman turns 40.
Her kids go off to college.

She's left with a big void
in her life.

What about Ron?

He's the big void.

Is this...
Is this something recent?

Well, things haven't been
quite right

for the last... 13 years or so.

Could blow over.

Elyse, I've got no identity
of my own.

Ron's busy all day,
and I've got nothing.

Oh, Suzanne, you have...
You have a very full life.

You... you have that, uh...

Well, you know, you do those...

Didn't you once...

What did you major in
in college?

Medieval folk dancing.

Not exactly a growth industry.

Face it. Mothers are like
pro ballplayers.

Once they get a certain age,

all they're good for
is selling beer.

Need any beer, Elyse?

Do you want a job?
I mean, you could work for me.

Work for you?

All I know about architecture

is that the ceiling
should be above the floor.

Well, you'd do office work.

You know, make phone calls
and type.

It would take a lot
of pressure off me

to have someone
take care of those things.

You sure you're not
offering me this job

just to make me feel better?
No. No, not at all.

I've been thinking of hiring
someone for a long time.

I was going to hire
someone qualified,

but I'm sure that...

I don't mean
that you're not qualified.

I mean...

Well, you know what I mean.

What do you say?

What time do I report
for work, boss?

Tomorrow morning at 9:00.

Oh... oh. 9:00 is tough.

Ron and I have breakfast

That's all the time
he can spare to be with me.

9:00 to 9:15. That's sacred.

We make love, and then we talk
for 12 minutes.

Hey, uh, Suzanne,
we lost a golf ball.

It rolled under the car.

So could you crawl under there
and get it for us?

I'll be here at 8:30.

Now, Jennifer,
how many more questions

do I have to answer?

Mallory, it's important.

Our assignment is to interview
every member of the family.

Even the vegetables?

Alex, you stay out of this.
I'll interview you next.

I've gone limp
with breathless anticipation.

Let me check this with you,

Under your ambition, I've got,

"to always be in fashion"?


Aim high, I always say.

Now, Jennifer,
you're not making me out

to look frivolous
in this thing, are you?

It has to be factual.

It is a biographical sketch.

Okay. Go ahead. All right.

If you were to describe yourself
with one word,

the essence of your personality,
what would it be?


I'll think of something,
and I'll put it down.

Are you ready, Alex?

Uh, I don't think
I can follow that, Jennifer.

I can't top "perky."

You guys should hurry up
and finish.

Suzanne will be here any minute.

I can't believe it's my turn
to carpool again.

It seems like only yesterday
I did it.

It was only yesterday.

That explains it.

You're filling in
for Sandy Whistleman.

The kids don't like driving
with him anymore.

Yeah, he's always
in such a hurry.

Last time, he didn't even stop
to let us out.

He just slowed down.
We had to jump.

Is this the employee's entrance?

Steven: Hey, you found it.

Oh, I'm sorry I'm late,

but I couldn't decide
what to wear.

Oh, you look great, Suzanne.
Oh, thank you.

I brought these two backups
just in case.

It really wasn't necessary.

Come, kids, you don't want to be
late for school, do you?

Together: Yes. Come on.

Suzanne, good luck
in your new job.

Suzanne: Thank you. Hope
your boss treats you okay.


Uh... Yeah.

Welcome to your new job.

Thank you. You're welcome.

Thank you.

How am I doing so far?


Okay, now the first thing
I need you to do for me...


Is to type this letter.

Uh-huh. Okay?


Now, do you want this

or single-spaced?

Uh, single spaced, I think.

would be easier to read.

Fine. Double-spaced.

Hi, Elyse. Hi, don.

Hello. Hi.

Don Bradford.
My new assistant, Suzanne Davis.

How do you do?

How long have you been
working here?

Oh, almost 3 minutes. Huh.

About ready to retire, huh?

Don. Ah.


The wife and I had a chance
to look over the plans

for the summer home,

and, uh, we've got
a few questions.

Okay. First question.

I think we were wrong
about the bathroom.

We'd like to have it moved.

You want it indoors, then? Mm.

It's not me. It's Shirley.

Well, okay. That's no problem.

We can bring that indoors,
and you can still have

that rustic feeling you want.

What else?

Oh, you know that fireplace
we talked about?

Oh, yeah.
That's the focal point.

The emotional centerpiece.

I designed the whole room
around it.

Lose it.

We're gonna put
a giant TV screen there.

Good idea. A fireplace is
more trouble than it's worth.

Well, that's gonna change
the whole concept

of the home, though, isn't it?

Oh, look, I don't know anything
about architecture.

That's your job.
I just know what I like.

Do we really need
this utility room here?

I think it'd work much better
on the other side.

Hey, you know,
you may have something there.

Mm-hmm. That would enable us
to lose this wall here,

which is serving no purpose
that I can see.

It's holding up the house,

We're not architects, Elyse.

We're just telling you
what we want.

Look here.

You see this deck? Mm-hmm.

This is redwood.
Do you think that's all right?

You know what would be good
out here?

What? Rubber.

Rubber. Rubber?!

Hey, we're just bouncing
a few ideas around.


Elyse, be a dear

and put some tea up
for us, please.

I don't see why not.

Don, let's talk closets.

Elyse, aren't you ready yet?

Do I look ready?

No, not really. That's why
the question came to mind.

And if you had
any consideration at all,

you would not be taking me out
to a nice dinner tonight.

I'm sorry.
I guess I'm just a heel.

And you certainly
wouldn't have asked

Suzanne and Ron to join us.

Well, you invited them, Elyse.

Oh, sure,
throw that up at me now.

Okay, uh, Mallory,
I'm going to go back upstairs.


When my wife comes in,
would you ask her to call me?

Steven, I'm... I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to snap at you.

Mommy, are you going through
a midlife crisis?


It's just that thanks
to Suzanne's interference,

I've had to totally redesign
the Bradford house.

I thought the Bradfords
loved that design.

The Bradfords loved it.
Suzanne didn't.

Well, try to make
the best of it, Elyse.

She's a good friend,
and it's only one house.

Not anymore. It's a duplex.

And it's not just
the Bradfords' house.

It... these past two weeks
with Suzanne

have just been torture.

If it's made me awfully cranky,
guys, I apologize.

Are you gonna have to
fire her, mom?

I can't fire Suzanne.
She's my friend.

I don't know
if I can hurt her like that.

Mom, this is business.

Y-you can't let feelings
enter into it.

This body comes with feelings.
It's a package deal.

Well, that's exactly why
women will always be second rate

in the business world.

Alex, your credibility
has just sunk

to a new low with this crowd.

N-now... now, maybe he's right.


No, not about women
being second-rate,

but about feelings
not entering into business.

I mean, the fact is,

that ever since Suzanne's
been with me,

I have fallen further
and further behind.

I can't do my best work
when she's taking up my time.

So as a professional,
I should fire her tonight

before I change my mind.

I just changed my mind.

You want me to do it
for you, mom?

I'll do it.

I won't like it, but I'll do it.

Oh, Suzanne, Ron.

Hi. I'm sorry we're late.
We, uh, had some car trouble.

We didn't have
any car trouble, Suzanne.

Don't lie to these people.

The truth is, we had a fight...

A screaming, yelling,
clawing fight.

A fight, car trouble...
What's the difference?

Kids, why don't you go upstairs?

I'll bring the ice cream later.

What ice cream?

The ice cream I'll bring you

if you go upstairs right now.


This is bribery...

But it'll work.

Ron, take me home now, okay?

I'm feeling very uncomfortable
right now.

Suzanne, sweetie pie,

why are you taking this
so personally?

The fact that I want to move
out of the house

has nothing to do with you.

So, what will it be tonight...
Chinese or Italian?

Really doesn't matter to me.

Our treat if we leave right now.

Look, I-i-i need to spread
my wings, that's all.

Look for new horizons.

Italian's good.
Little wine, relax.

Vino, huh?

After all I put up with
all these years,

now he wants to leave me.

Is that fair? Look, Suzanne,

you're not acting very maturely
about this.

I'm willing to go out
and have a good time.

I want us to stay friends.

Do you think I could stay
friends with a snake?

An insect?

A... a diseased crawling maggot?

I guess that's a "no."

Okay. I have tried to be nice.

See you around, Suzanne.

Hey, you're beautiful. Ciao.

Oh, Suzanne, I'm so sorry.

A-are you all right, Suzanne?

Well, 20 years.


Gone pfft.


Well, I-i almost feel
like I have nothing.

Well, I'll tell you one thing.

I just thank god
I've got my job with you.

I'm sorry, Mr. Bradford.
I'm working as quickly as I can.

Those are major changes
you suggested.

No, it's not the elevator
that's hard.

It's the second floor
that goes with it.

I don't care what Suzanne said.
Second floors are hard.

Lo... i-I'll talk to you later
at the meeting.

Yes, Suzanne will be there.



Suzanne strikes again, huh?

You've got it.

Is it as bad as when she ordered

the bumper stickers that said,

"Architects have
flying buttresses"?

I don't know
what I'm gonna do with her.

You were ready to fire her
two weeks ago, mom.

What's holding you up?

Her husband left her.
That's what's holding me up.

Her whole world fell apart.

I don't want to come in
and deliver the final blow.

Business can't come
to a grinding halt

just because
of a broken marriage.

Marriages are falling apart
all the time these days.

Alyson Gerber's mother
brought home a new father,

two brothers
from a club med vacation.

All she wanted
was a grass skirt.

What ever happened
to the good old days

when a husband and wife
stuck together

even if they hated
each other's guts?

Yeah, those were the days.

It sure is hard to be
a kid today.

You never know when your
family unit's gonna fall apart.

Jennifer, you don't have to
worry about that.

This family unit
isn't going to fall apart.

You promise?

We can't promise,

because nobody knows what
the future is going to bring.

But I can tell you
we'll do our best

to keep that from happening.

I'd rather have a promise.

I don't think
you need to worry, Jennifer.

People who kiss
as much as they do

are bound to stay together.

You know, I think she's right.

Aw, you had to remind
them, Mallory.

We're just doing this
for you three,

so you'll know
our marriage is okay.

It's not like we enjoy it
or anything.

Okay, that's enough.
We get the point.

Oh, sure. I remember kissing.

Rub it in.

Can we get going, dad?

What? We...
It's my turn to drive again?

What about Pete Dillman's

Isn't it his turn to drive?

Well, he and Mrs. Dillman
split up.

Well, what about Mrs. Dillman's
new boyfriend?

He's too young to drive.

See ya.

Are you all right, Suzanne?

Oh, it's nothing.

Just seeing you and your kids
and your husband so happy

kind of got me depressed,
that's all.

Do you want to talk about it?

No, now is not the time
or the place

to discuss my personal problems.

No, no.

Now, let's just get down
to work, please.

Okay. Okay.

Did you happen to see
the drawings

for the Edwards' house here?

I thought I left them
on your table.

Uh, desk, Elyse.
You said you'd call it a desk.

The important thing is,
did you see them?

Yes, I saw them,
and I mailed them.

they weren't finished yet.

Oh, I finished them.

I put a little window in here

and a little door in there.

I think you'll like them.

you shouldn't have done that

without asking me first.

Oh, I'm sorry.

My enthusiasm
just got the best of me.

It won't happen again.

It just comes from having
so much time at home alone

with nothing to do,
no one to talk to.

Do you want to talk about it?

No, no, I came here to work,

not to discuss
my personal problems.

I can't believe Ron.

Do you know
what he wants to do now?

Take skydiving lessons.

Well, if you're gonna sky-dive,
I think lessons are important.

He's acting like
such an adolescent, Elyse.

I... oh, I-I'm sorry.

I know I shouldn't be
rambling on like this.

Suzanne, maybe you'd like
to take some time off

to collect your thoughts.

Like a year or two. No, no.

I'm not gonna sit at home
and feel sorry for myself.

Everybody's treating me like
I'm some kind of war casualty.

Like I might fall to pieces
at any minute.

Well, I'll tell you something.
That's not gonna happen.

I'm gonna make a life for myself
whether Ron's in it or not.

That's the spirit, Suzanne.

Uh-huh. And I'll tell you
another thing.

If one more person
pussyfoots around me

and offers me comfort instead
of respect, I'll scream.

I just want to be treated
like anybody else.

You're absolutely right.

Now, let's get down to work.

I have a great idea
for reorganizing the office.

Suzanne, you're fired.

That wasn't it.

Elyse, you can't let
this thing with Suzanne

upset you so much.

She was driving you crazy.
You had to let her go.

I know, but if you'd seen
her face,

you'd know why I was so upset.

You want to come up to my room

and listen
to some blues records, mom?

They always help me
when I'm feeling down.

Jennifer, the only records
you have are The Muppets.

They don't sing the blues.

They do if you play them
in the wrong speed.

Mom, you did Suzanne a favor.

Now that she's had a little
fling in the business world,

she can go back to the kitchen,
where she belongs.

Alex, you're gonna make
some woman

a wonderful master someday.

I hope so.

Good night, sweetie.

Sleep well.

Good night.

Suzanne, uh... H-hello.

I'd like to talk to Elyse.

Hello, Suzanne.

Hello, Elyse.

I've got something
to say to you.

Where would you like me,

Upstairs or in the kitchen?

It's up to you. It's your house.

The kitchen.
It's quieter in there.

Well, Suzanne, you look good.

It's a beautiful sweater.
When did you get it?


Let's stop beating
around the bush, Elyse.

You know why I'm here.

Look, Suzanne, maybe I was
a little hasty this afternoon.

Maybe we could work things out.

Oh, Elyse, I came here
to apologize to you.

You were the first person
who respected me enough

to hold me responsible
for my actions.

You dealt with me as Suzanne,

not the poor deserted wife.

Only a friend would do that.

We are still friends?

Oh, of course.

But if you had been nicer to me,

I bet we would have wound up

But because you kicked me out

into the cold, brutal world,

because you had no regard

for my personal feelings
or well-being,

you made me see that I better
stand up on my own.

What are friends for?

Because you rubbed salt
into my festering wounds...

Suzanne, please,
you've thanked me enough.

I've done a lot of thinking

I've got a lot more
thinking to do.

But you've put me
on the right track.

I've got to decide
what to do with my life,

what to do about Ron,
about a career.

Hi, Elyse. My wife here?

Oh, yeah.
That's her right over there.

Good memory.

Suzanne, got some good news
for you.

I've decided to come back home.


Oh, uh, I missed you.
I really did, okay?

All better now?

Hey, Steve, get out here!

It's gonna be like
old times, you'll see.

Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of.

Suzanne, this is no time
to play hard to get.

I'm back, and you've got me.

Oh, Steve. Ready for
another putting match?

I got my clubs out in the car.

Ron, I'm not sure
this is the right time for it.

Why? You tired?

Ron, you're incredible.

And if you think
I want you back,

you're not only incredible,
you're stupid.

Suzanne, I had a little lapse.

I'm over it.

It's time for you to forgive me,
like you always do.

Not this time, Ron.

You can't just walk all over me.

I'm not a doormat. I'm a person.

I've got feelings.
I've got my own identity.

I've got a B.A.
In medieval folk dancing.

I'm ready to face the world.

Not true.

You don't have a B.A.
In folk dancing.

You're two credits short.

That's another thing
I'm thinking about...

Changing my major.

Guess there's no point

in my trying to
talk you out of this.

None whatsoever.

Okay. I might as well leave,

Hey, Steve, you want to, uh...


Suzanne, I don't understand
what you're doing,

but, um...
But I'll respect your wishes.

It's kind of nice to see you
so strong, so independent.

Maybe you've really changed.

Thank you, Ron.

Maybe I can, too.

Well, maybe.

I'll bring my laundry by
on Friday.

Hey, there's a card here
from Suzanne.

It's addressed to both of us.

Great. How's she doing?

Uh, "having a wonderful time

Greek is very hard to pick up,
but I'm not."

"I communicate with the natives

"through the universal language
of dance.

"This works out well,
although it is difficult

"to order in a restaurant.

"Have to run now.

"Nik... Nikolas and I

"are going off
to stomp some grapes.

Love, Suzanne."

Let me see the postcard.

It's a picture of the Acropolis.

Oh, look, she penciled in
the second story.