Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 1, Episode 20 - The Fifth Wheel - full transcript

With their parents out for the night, Alex and Mallory argue over who has to stay to watch Jennifer, leading Alex to take her to a poker game with his friends.

♪ 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.

Elyse, it isn't like you
to have such a closed mind.

I think Dale Lewis would make
a good state senator.

He has some
very interesting ideas.

I'm sorry, Steven.

It's just hard
to get excited about someone

whose entire campaign

revolves around changing
the State Bird.

What have you got
against chickens?

I don't think chickens would
look good on the State Flag.

Okay. Okay.

But changing the Bird
is just part of his campaign.

Right. He also wants
a new Ohio State Song.

What's wrong with that?

He wants "Oklahoma."

Okay. It's not a big issue.

It just shows he's willing
to address himself

to even the smallest details.

I think that's
an admirable quality.

It's an admirable quality
in a tailor.

I'd like my representatives
to address themselves

to more important issues.

Look, if you're so dead set
against Lewis,

there's no point in
your hearing him speak tonight.

Why don't you just stay home?

Maybe I will.

Good for you, mom.

This Lewis guy is a real clown.

He wants to cut
defense spending.

He wants to increase
welfare spending.

He supports the ERA.

The man is an admitted liberal.

I think you're right not to go.

Come on, Steven,
we're gonna be late.

Uh, Jennifer says
I have to babysit tonight.

Uh, that's right, Mallory,
it's your turn.

Jeff asked me to go
to the movies with him.

Mallory, you knew
we were going to go out,

and you knew it was your turn.

But I couldn't say no.
You know how insecure Jeff is.

As it was, he called three times
in a phony voice.

It could be weeks
before he asks again.

Why don't you let her go?

To be honest,
I enjoy the solitude.

I might even write a poem.

Actually, honey, you're still
too young to stay alone.

We'd better get going, or we're
gonna be late for the meeting.

That's right.

We don't want to miss the
opening chorus of "Oklahoma."

Bye. Jennifer: Good night.


The answer is no.

Oh, why can't you stay with her?

You're not doing anything

That's not the point.

Mallory, she's your
responsibility tonight.

You got to learn to carry

your share of the burden
around here.

I'll tell you what, Alex.
You stay with her this time.

And I'll do it the next three.

Make it five, you've got a deal.
You got it.

This is doing great things
to my self-esteem.

I just hope you realize,

you are shirking
your responsibility tonight,

not to mention disappointing
your little sister.

I know. I know.
My heart goes out to her.

I'd better find
something decent to wear.

Well, kid.

You lucked out.

You get to spend an evening
with me.

What do you want to do?

I think I'll go to bed early.

Hey, Alex. Do you want
to play All Star Baseball?


Clue? Nah.

Want me to shave your head?


Alex, you're babysitting
me tonight.

You're responsible
for my entertainment.

Oh, all right.

I was saving it for later,
but here you go.

"Your personal guide
to tax-free municipal bonds"?


So, how are you two
getting along?



What's the matter?

Mr. excitement over here

doesn't want to
do anything with me.

Oh, he'll come around, Jennifer.

Mallory, you were supposed to
sit for me tonight.

It's not gonna be fun with him.

Come on, Jen,

you can do
the same things with Alex

that you and I would have done.

Oh, yeah?

We were supposed to put makeup

on each other tonight, remember?

No way.


Oh, hi, Neil. What's going on?

Oh, tonight?

Oh, no, I can't tonight.

I'm babysitting my little...



No, tonight's not good for me.

Whoa, that's tempting.

Uh, maybe I could...

Alex. Alex.

At the moment,
I'd say it's about 50-50.


I'll get back to you.

What was it? Another party?

No. No, not at all.

It was just a group
of fellow young men

getting together
to chat about world events.

A poker game.

You got it.

And Chuck the Fish
is gonna be there.

He never wins.

Come on, Mallory,
what do you say?

How can I get you
to stay home tonight?

You couldn't.

We switched tonight,
and a deal's a deal.

Hello, Mallory.

Hello, Jeff.

Hello, Alex.

So, Jeff.

You're really going out
with Mallory tonight, huh?


Boy, I admire your courage.

What do you mean?

Well, I just wouldn't drive
on a night like tonight.

Why not?

Well, you really want to drive

in this weather, Jeff?

It's a beautiful night.

Those are the most
dangerous times to drive.

All of the people who are afraid

to drive in the rain
are out there.

Forget it, Alex. We're going.

I don't know, Mallory.
Maybe he's right. I mean...



Look, Jen. I'm real sorry
I switched with Alex tonight,

but you understand, don't you?
Not exactly.

But I'm sure I will
right after puberty.

Well, see you later.

You guys have a good time.




What do you want to do?

You want to play Cinderella?

I seriously doubt it.

Hear me out.

One of us gets dressed up
like Cinderella,

and one of us gets dressed up
like the Prince.

And then we go and see
if mom's slippers fit me.

Sounds exciting,
but I think I'll pass.


Let me explain to you

the importance
of poker in a man's life.

Alex, you're not going
to the game.

In this industrialized
society of ours,

there aren't many battles
for a man to fight.

There aren't many opportunities

to go one-on-one
with another man.

There aren't many tests
of one's courage and stamina.

You know what I mean?

Do you want to get
mom's slippers, or should I?

I've got a better idea.
Get your coat.

Alex, you're not throwing me out
in the street, are you?

I saw "Nicholas Nickleby."

I know what can happen
to kids out there.

Look, Jennifer, relax.

You're going to the poker game
with me. It'll be fun.

Alex, I'm not going.

You have no choice.

Then I'm going.

I'm just gonna write a note
to mom and dad

in case they come home early.

I don't want them
to worry about you.

Why would they worry?

I'm obviously in good hands.

Kings bet 20 cents. I'm in.

I'm in.

What are you... nuts?


Jennifer, knock it off.

Then let me play. I'm bored.

And you promised I could.

Uh, listen up, guys.

Uh, is it all right if my sister
plays one hand with us?

I dragged her here.
She's tired. She's cranky.

And I think playing just the one
hand will mean a lot to her.

No. No. No.

I tried, Jennifer.

Doug, it's 45 to you.

I fold.


Jennifer, the guys don't
want you to play.

There's nothing
I can do about it.

Neil, do you have any toys
she could play with?


Yeah, you know, uh...

Model cars, a doll,
some Silly Putty.

I got a toaster.


Neil says you can play
with his toaster.

Wow. If he had some bread,
it'd be really fun.

Don't stick a fork
in there, kid.

You don't own any forks.

Excuse me.
This isn't a restaurant.

This isn't an apartment, either.

45¢ to you, Neil.

Uh, call.

Your bet, Arnie.

I call.

I think he's got
another king under there.

He's bluffing.



Why don't you, uh,
go lie down somewhere?

Yeah. Toledo.

You sure know how to make
a person feel at home.

Just leave us alone, please.

Chuck: I'll go 50 cents.

Neil, are you in or out?

I'm in.
I already put in my money.

Those are my quarters. Jeff:
How do you know they're yours?

How do you know they're not?

I didn't see you put
any quarters in there.

Guys, come on!

I don't think Neil would lie
about 50 cents.

Thank you, Alex.

A buck maybe.

I'm in. I'm in, too.

I've got three Kings. Two pairs.

Not so fast, Arnie.
Full House, sevens over Jacks.

Oh, nice pot. Damn.

Hey, Arnie.

Don't be such a poor loser.

And I'd appreciate it
if you wouldn't swear

in front of my sister.

Sorry, Alex. Sorry, Jennifer.

Jenn... Jennifer?

Where's Jennifer, Alex?

What are you talking about?

She's right over there.

Jennifer. Quit hiding.

I'm sorry I said what I said,



She's not there.

She's not there.
Where did she go?

Search me. We don't know.

She's gone. I don't believe it.

Check and see
if the toaster's still here.

Let's go, Alex. Ante up.

Arnie, my sister is gone!

Are you in, or are you out?

I'm out! I'm out!
Chuck: Come on, Alex.

You're the big winner.
You can't drop out now.

I'm losing a bundle.

Oh, she's back.
She's back. Thank god.

Uh, hi.

Uh, well,
what are you doing here?

Well, we got your note.

We thought we'd come by
and pick up Jennifer.

Would you like to sit down,
Mrs. Keaton?

Oh, if I sit down,
I wouldn't want to get up.

Alex, where is Jennifer?

She's... With Jeff and Mallory.

Oh. Yeah. They, um...

They just came by a few minutes
ago to pick her up.

I'm surprised you didn't
pass them in the hall.

Jennifer was fast asleep.

They had to carry her
down to the car.

It was really cute. Right, guys?

Oh, yeah, adorable.

The most darling thing
I've ever seen.

Really, really precious.

Well, okay, then.
I guess we'll be getting home.

Do you think you'll be
much longer, Alex? No, no.

As a matter of fact, we were
just about to quit, right, guys?

Oh, right, Alex. Yeah. Oh, sure.

Well, I had fun.

Mom, dad, I'll see you at home
in a few minutes.

Okay? See you next week.

Nice to meet you. We'll see you.

Chuck: Same here. Jeff: Bye-bye.

Hey, Alex forgot his money.

Maybe we should try to catch...

Aren't you gonna come in?

Sure, if you want me to.

I do.

Because, really,
if you think I shouldn't...

Jeff. I'm in. I'm in.

Alex, we're home!

Jeff, sit.

So, uh, did you enjoy the movie?

I did. I-i really did.
That's great.

Most people don't enjoy
Truffaut the first time.

Well, I did.

And you were able to
follow it in French?

It was in French?

Uh, where's Alex and Jennifer?


Oh, um, I guess
they're upstairs.

What's the note?


"Dear mom and dad,
everything's fine.

"Mallory had a date,
so I'm in charge of Jennifer.

We went to Neil's house."

So, uh, nobody else
is home, then.

Nope, just you and me.

Maybe I should leave.

I don't think so.


I made her do it, Alex!
I'm an animal!

I don't deserve to live!

Where's Jennifer?

I thought she was with you.

I got caught up in the moment!

I couldn't control myself!


I'm not usually like this,

but when I'm around Mallory,
I go crazy.

Jeff, calm down!

We've got other problems here.

I lost Jennifer.

I thought you took her
to the card game with you.

I-I did,
but while I was playing,

she just... Wandered off.

Oh, no.

Mom and dad came
to the card game to get her.

Oh, no.

They're right behind me.

I had to drive on
the sidewalk to beat them home.

Maybe Jennifer came home,
and she's upstairs sleeping.

I hope you're right.

I'll look.

Um, I kind of told my parents

that, uh, Jennifer was with you.

So I'd appreciate it,
if you'd...


That about says it, yeah.

Sure, Alex, if you want me to.

Look, if Jennifer's not home,

maybe you and I
should go look for her.

We've both got cars.

Good idea.

Jeff, thank you
for your support.

I'm glad you're here.

Not at all.

Well, you're certainly
not the two

I expected to see on the couch.

Where's Mallory?

She went upstairs
to check on Jennifer.

Hi. Everything okay with Jen?

Yeah, everything's just fine.

Well, I think I'll go,
uh, tuck her in.

Oh, you don't need to do that.

I just tucked her in.
She's fully tucked.

So, um, how was your meeting?

Are you guys gonna vote
for Dale Lewis?

No way.

Boy, was I wrong about him.

Me too. He is great!

Wait a minute...
I thought when you left,

that dad was for him and you
were against him. What happened?

We heard him speak.
We heard him speak.

You'll have to excuse us.
I'm gonna drive Jeff home.

Good night, Mr. Keaton.
Good night.

Good night, Mrs. Keaton.

Bonsoir, Mallory. Bonsoir, Jeff.

Uh, Jeff, I am waiting. Okay.

Wait a minute.
Why are you driving him, Alex?

Jeff has a car.

Well, his battery
is a little low.

I'm gonna follow behind
in case he gets into trouble.

If you want to go along
for the ride

and come back with Alex,
it's okay.

Oh, no, thanks.
I'm pretty tired.

Well, uh,
I'm kind of tired, too.

I think I'll go up to bed.

Oh, me too. Oh, wait.

What is it?

Uh, nothing.

I-I was just hoping
we... we could talk

before you went upstairs.

I'm awfully tired, honey.

Can it wait till tomorrow?

I guess so.

I just wanted to talk
about boys and sex.

And then, the young
kangaroo suckling

lives... lives in its mother's
pouch for many months,

until it's able to venture
out on its own.

Uh, I think Mallory
knows all that, Steven,

and she wants to talk about
men and women.

Oh, no, mom. It's okay.

I think I'd understand it better

if we start from the beginning.

So daddy kangaroos
don't have pouches?


Alex, where have you been?
You've been gone almost an hour.

Did Jeff have car trouble?

Uh, yes. Yes, he did,
as a matter of fact.

Um, has Jennifer woken up yet?

Not yet.

Why should Jennifer wake up?

Alex, is anything wrong?

Uh, yes. Yes, it is.

Uh, it's kind of a long story.

You see, I didn't want to play
Cinderella all night,

and dress up
in your clothes, mom.

And you know how shy Jeff is.

I got the call
about the card game.

Chuck has not won a pot
in three years.

They offered her the toaster.

Alex, what are you
talking about?

I took Jennifer to
the card game,

and, uh, I lost her.

You lost Jennifer
in a card game?

No. No. I mean, she...

She disappeared
from the apartment.

What?! You don't
know where she is?

We'd figured she came home.
I didn't...

Okay. I'm calling the police.

Elyse, call Chrissy's house,
and see if she went there.

Alex, call Neil's
and see if she came back.

Steven, we've only
got one phone.

Alex, uh, go next door
to Mrs. Obeck's.

Use her phone.

I'll go to the Barton's.


Jennifer, baby, are you okay?

I'm fine. I'm fine.

Just a little tired.

Where have you been?
I was worried sick about you.

Yeah, yeah, I'll bet.

Where were you?

I took the bus.

I was with someone lonelier
than me... the bus driver.

By the way, he's coming over
next Thursday night for dinner.

That's okay, Sam.
You can go now.


Jennifer, you cannot
just walk away like that.

We were scared to death.

I know. I'm sorry.

I just got sick
of being in the way.

Honey, honey,
you've never been in the way.

Alex and Mallory
won't get off so easy.

Don't be too hard on them, dad.

I'm just a little sister.

Why should I expect anybody
to want to spend time with me?

Hi. Mom said you'd see us now.
Can we come in?



Guess you want me
to leave, then.

Wait a minute.

Why would we want you to leave?

Well, you never seem
to want me around, lately.

Come on, Jennifer.
That's not true.

It isn't, huh?

Is that why you dumped me
for Jeff?

Jennifer. Hey, Mallory didn't...

At least she dumped me
for a nice guy, Alex.

You dumped me
for a group of winos.

Yeah, Alex.

Wait a minute.
Whose side are you on?

On the other hand, Mallory,
you hurt me even more.

I don't expect anything
from Alex.

Yeah, Mallory...
Wait... wait a minute.

What do you mean you don't
expect anything of me?

Are you saying
that I neglected you?

Alex, the only time
you talk to me

is when you want me
to leave the room,

or you need some money.

Hey, how can you say that?

Remember, this morning,
I talked to you.

I talked to you.

I passed you in the hall.

I said, uh,
"hey, how you doing?"

I'm touched.

Look, Jennifer.

I don't know if it'll
make you feel any better,

but we're grounded.

For how long?

Let's put it this way.

You'll be driving
before we will.

Look, I don't know
why you guys are here.

You don't care about me.

It's always,

"you're too young
for this, Jennifer."

Or, "we can't go
because of you, Jennifer."

I'm not a person.

I'm a little sister.

Jennifer, we don't really
treat you like that.

Yes, you do.

You guys are always so busy.

You never have time for me.

Alex, you're busy with your
work, your clubs, your school.

Mallory, you're busy
with your boys and...

What else do you do?

It's just because
we're older, Jennifer.

When you get to be our age,
you'll be busy, too.

I'll never be your age.

I'll always be younger.

No matter what I do,

you guys will always
get to do it first.

Well, that's true, Jennifer,

but there are
a lot of advantages

to being the youngest.

Like what?

Well, for one thing,
Mallory and I

have worn mom and dad down.

We've broken them in.

We've trained them.

By the time
you get to be our age,

you'll be running this place.

That is something
to look forward to,

but what am I supposed to do
between now and then?

We'll try and make it
more fun for you, Jen.

Will you guys let me get
in trouble with you more often?

Sure we will.

Will you take
all the blame when we do?

We always do.

I know.

That's my favorite part
of being a little sister.

You know, Jennifer,

uh, when we didn't know
where you were,

we were really worried
about you.

You mean it?

There was a moment there

when I realized
what it would be like, uh,

if you weren't around,
and I didn't like the idea.

For one thing, I'd be stuck here
alone with Mallory.

We love you, Jennifer.

Sometimes we forget to say it,
but we do.

You too, Alex?

Me too.

Just want to count heads.

One, two, three.

All present and accounted for.

Next count will be
at 0100 hours.

You don't have to do that
anymore, dad.

I'm not gonna run away again.

Yeah. We'll keep her happy.

We'll make sure she gets out
every now and then.

We'll feed her, keep her clean.

No child could ask for more.

Well, at least now we're aware
of how Jennifer feels.

Maybe something good

has come out of tonight,
after all.

That's true.

Today has been
a very positive experience.

I mean, things we've learned...

Can it, Alex.

You're still in big trouble.

Jennifer, I know you feel

that sometimes you get lost
in the shuffle.

And that's wrong.

We should watch out for that.

But even if that happens,

please remember that
we love you.

We don't mean
to take you for granted.

If I've taken anyone here for
granted in the past six months,

I apologize.

Together: I accept.

And... and, hey,
I'm not totally blameless here.

Don't be so rough
on yourself, Alex.

No. No. I-i mean it.

I mean, sometimes...

I'm not as sensitive
to all of you as I could be.

No! No! No!

And... and sometimes
I'm a little too self-centered.

No! No! No!

Well, I'm glad
I got that off my chest.

It was a real catharsis, Alex.

I'm drained.

Well, come on, Jennifer.
What do you want to do tonight?

You name it. I'm your guy.

Do you want to play
All Star Baseball?




What do you want to do?

You know what I want to play.

I'll go get mommy's slippers.