Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 1, Episode 6 - Give Your Uncle Arthur a Kiss - full transcript

Mallory is scared and confused when "Uncle Arthur", a close friend of the family and her father's co-worker at the television station, makes a pass at her. Meanwhile, Steven prepares a farewell tribute to Arthur to air during the station's telethon.

♪ 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.

Oh, Steven, I got
those lists you wanted.

Steven: Thanks.

This one is
private contributors.

Hmm. This one here is
government grants.

If Reagan cuts back any more,

the white house won't be
eligible to get our magazine.

Hey, this will get us off
to a good start.

Here's a check for $500
from Dennis Ellway.


Why aren't you excited?

He sends us a check
for $500 every week.

They always bounce.

Oh. What do you want me
to do with it?

Deposit it. Maybe this time
we'll get lucky.

Well, I guess this is one part
of public-broadcasting life

you won't miss, huh, Arthur?

Oh, I don't know...
After 14 years,

you get used to begging
and groveling

it becomes a way of life.

Oh. Hi, kids.

Where you been? Down the hall.

Alex stopped off to watch
"wall street week."

Oh, how was it?

Well, I found it
a little simplistic,

but I guess it's okay
for your average broker.

Mallory, look at you!

You're getting cuter every day.

Oh, you're just saying that,
uncle Arthur.

No, I'm not.

Yes, he is. Shut up, Alex.

Steven, congratulate me.

I just talked Wincott Industries

into donating $5,000
to the station.

How did you get that money
out of Wincott?

Arthur's been after him
for years.

I explained the tax
and public relations benefits

to Mr. Wincott,
and he bought it.

I was beautiful. I was gorgeous.
I was sensational.

And modest.

No, I wasn't modest.

I did have to buy him
six Martinis

and promised that you'd give
his wife some airtime

for a Latin club.

Her Latin club?

Yeah. They come out,
they conjugate a few verbs.

Veni, vidi, vici,
e pluribus unum,

and they're gone.

That's crazy, Richard.

You're always talking about
originating local programming.

Here's your opportunity.

Arthur, talk to him.

What can I say, Steven?
That's not my job anymore.

Excuse me, Arthur.

Steven, Mr. Wincott
is waiting in your office.

He wanted to tell you personally
how happy he is

to be involved
with the PBS station.

No problem, Steven. I'll take
care of things down here.

Steven, let me tell you
how persuasive I was.

That's okay.
Please! Please! Please!

That's Alex in 10 years.


Oh, good.
I'll send someone down.

Uh, Alex,
would you mind going over

and picking up these clips
of these shows?

We're doing a retrospective
of the last 15 years.

Sure, I'll handle it.

Those film cans are very heavy.

maybe you should do it.

Okay, we'll all go help.

Hey, you don't all have to go.

Oh, I'll stay here and help
with the phone campaign.

I love to talk on the phone.

Mallory, don't forget.
This is business.

Yeah. Don't start gossiping
with any of the donors.

Well, do you want me to...

To start organizing
some numbers or... or call or...

I'm sorry I'm staring, Mallory.

I just can't get over
how fast time has flown by.

How old are you now?


No. You can't be.

Oh, I'm pretty sure.

Oh, you've become a...
Such a beautiful girl.

Or should I say young woman?

Girl. Girl.

Young girl.

It's wonderful to see you
growing up,

becoming such a beautiful
young lady.

Uh... Thank you.

Now, do you want me
to start calling

or should I handle
incoming calls?

Oh, no, no. That can wait.
I haven't seen you in ages.

Now, before we start working,

why don't you give
your uncle Arthur a hug?



How did we do today, honey?

Not bad.
We got pledges for $7,500.

Is that counting the money
from Dennis Ellway?

Uh, no. Including his money,
we have $87,000.

Alex, I want to talk to you.

I need your advice on something.

It's really serious.

Your hair looks great.
Can I go now?

Alex, I mean it.

It's just...

I've got a problem.

We all know that, Mallory,

but admitting it
is the first step.

Alex, stop it.

Mallory, what is it?

Well, this problem...

Uh, see, it's kind of
in the neighborhood of sex.

"The neighborhood of sex"?

What, are we talking
central-downtown sex

or is this a suburb of sex?

I'm not sure.

Mallory, didn't they show you
that film in hygiene class?

You know, the one
with the baby chickies?

Alex, times have changed.

They show us one
with the baby babies.

You sure that, uh,

I'm the one you want to
talk to about this?

I mean, I'm your brother.

You don't want to reveal
anything too personal to me.

Look, I'll go outside
and get a stranger.

Alex, cut it out!

This is really hard for me.

I'm sorry, Mallory.

What's wrong?

Well, down at the station
after everyone else left,

I was alone with Arthur, and...

Well, I think
he made a pass at me.


Uncle Arthur?

Come on. He's known you
since you were born.

He used to bathe you
when you were a baby.

I think he wants
his old job back.

I can't... I can't believe this.

There has to be
some reasonable explanation.

There might be.

Like I said, I'm not sure
it was a pass, but...

What exactly did he do?

Well, he held my hands,

and, uh...

He gave me a kiss
and then a hug.

He's friendly, Mallory.

He hugged me real tight.

He's a warm person.

And then he patted me
on the behind.

Doesn't mean anything.
Ballplayers do it all the time.

I'd understand
if I'd just hit a home run.

He thinks you're cute,
that's all.

Look, uncle Arthur just wouldn't
do something like that.

Are you sure? I'm positive.


I've never been so happy
to be wrong about something

in my life.

I feel terrible
that I even suspected him.

Don't feel bad about it.

It's easy to misinterpret
other people's actions,

especially in these days
of ambiguous sexual roles.

Yeah, I guess that's what I did.

Well, it happens to all of us.

First time a girl kissed me
good night

I thought
she was in love with me.

Now I realize sometimes
they kiss me good night

to stop me from talking.

Alex, thanks a lot.

You've really been supportive
and understanding.

It's kind of a nice surprise,

since you're usually
such a creep.

Thanks, Mallory.
It means a lot to me.

"Hi. I'm Steven Keaton.

"I'm the general manager

"of your Public
Television Station, WKS.

"We desperately need your help.

"If each one of you could
just look into your hearts

and then reach into your...
Pocketbook, we may..."

hold... hold it...
Hold it right there, dad.

That approach is all wrong.

What's wrong with it?
I wrote it.

Well, you sound desperate.

Nobody's gonna
want to give you money

if you sound like
you really need it.

Well, I thought it sounded okay.

Don't patronize him.

No, I mean it.

Your father is a terrific
spokesman for the station.

He's warm, he's appealing...

Arthur, really, it's getting late.
Give me a break. Come on.

Quiet, kids. Your uncle Arthur
has the floor.

Go on, Arthur. As I recall,
your last words were, uh,

"warm and appealing."

May I be excused?

I have a feeling
this could get sticky.

You can help me get dessert.
If you'd like.

Can I help too? Sure.

Uh, Steven, I'm gonna need
your help to get the tray down.

Ah. Warm and appealing.

Uh, Mallory,
could you wait a second?

Uh, no, I don't think I can.

See, everybody has to carry
their own desserts. House rules.

I just want to talk to you
about yesterday.

Yes. Down at the station?

Uh, the station.

Yeah, that was fun
stuffing those envelopes...

I'm not talking about envelopes.

Well, what else is there?

Let's be honest, Mallory.

When I gave you that big hug,
you thought I was...

Well, making a pass at you,
didn't you?

Well, maybe.

I thought so.
I'm so glad I brought it up.

It's just that I was so happy
to see you,

I gave you a big hug,
that's all.

I mean, I'm sorry if you thought
it was too big.

I didn't, really.

Look, I want you to know that
I think of you only in one way,

and that's as little Mallory.

And all I want is for you

to think of me
as your uncle Arthur.

That's all I want, too. Good.

So if I did anything
to make you think of me

in any other way, I'm sorry.

Well, I apologize
for jumping to any conclusions.

Your apology
is totally unnecessary.

So is yours. No hard feelings?

No hard feelings, no.

"And, uh, so if you, uh,
feel like giving, give.

If you don't, don't."

I think you've gone too far
the other way now.

Now you're too low-pressure.

Kids, what do you think?
You think it's too long?

I don't know.

Are they gonna validate parking
down at the station?

Maybe you're right.
I'll keep working on it.

Oh, by the way,
I thought I'd throw in

a few nice words about Arthur
since he is leaving and all.

Make a speech
about Arthur on TV?

Uh, sure. Kind of
a going-away present.

He'll get a kick out of it,
and I think he deserves

a little attention, don't you?

I know he wants some.

"Arthur Press is a man
we can all be proud of.

A man who works hard
and plays hard."

Uh, dad, I don't know
about that last line.

Oh, what's wrong with it?

Well, I just don't think anybody
cares how hard Arthur plays.

I know I don't. Well, okay.

Maybe you're right.

"Arthur's kindness,
his warmth, and his sincerity

"are an inspiration.

"He's a man who has helped
all of us at the station

"feel like we're not
just co-workers,

"we're one big happy family.

You can always count on Arthur
for a smile or a hug."

That's true.

"So, Arthur, it is with sadness
that I say adieu.

"But I know that
at WGGK they'll say

howdy-do to you."

Well? Well, what do you think?

It's nice.
It... it's a little long.

Oh, well, okay, okay.
This isn't the final draft.

I'll, uh,
make it a little shorter.

I've already cut out
half the speech.

You did say some
very nice things though, Steven.

Thanks a lot.

I'll try to think
of some shorter nice things now.

Okay, guys,
you got a kitchen to clean.

We've got a lot of dirty dishes.

you want to wash or dry?

I'll dry.
There's more dignity to drying.

Guys? Uh, mom, Alex and I
will be right with you.

We're going to, uh,
straighten up in here.

What are you talking about?

Everything's okay. It's fine!

We're gonna clean up this mess.

Mallory, what's going on?

It's uncle Arthur.

He kissed me, Alex,
on the lips. Hard.

They don't do that when
you hit a home run, do they?

Not usually, no.

Close game. World series.

All right. All right. I admit
there's a problem here.

Help me, Alex.
I don't know what to do.

All right, Mallory.
Just don't worry.

Let's work this out logically.

Important thing is
you're okay, right?

I guess so, yeah.

Okay, okay. So, what do we know?

We know you're okay,
and uncle Arthur isn't, right?

So it's one-one.

Alex, you're not helping.

I'm trying. I'm... I'm trying.

Can you try harder? Okay.

I think the thing to do is...

I-I mean... I mean,
this is just my opinion,

but I think
it's the right thing to do.

What? Talk to your mother.

Alex, no! Mom! Come here, quick!

What's wrong?

Mallory wants to talk to you.

I'd, uh, stay, Mallory,

but I think you'd be
more comfortable if I left.

I know I would.

What's up?

Mom, don't get mad at me
for saying this,

but uncle Arthur
made a pass at me.

Arthur? Are you sure?

Mom, I'm positive.

when you say a "pass"...

I mean, a pass,
with his hands and his lips.

He did it twice...
Once down at the station,

and then again last night
while you were in the kitchen.

Did he hurt you?

No, but he scared me.

Mom, I'm so embarrassed.

Oh, honey,
you shouldn't be embarrassed.

You didn't do anything wrong.

I just...

I can't understand why he would
do something like this.

No, neither can I.

But you can bet we'll find out
when we talk to him.

Talk to him?

Oh, mom, I couldn't do that.

Can't we just pretend
this never happened?

No, honey, no.
That's one thing we can't do.

These things happen too often

to pretend
that they don't exist.

Did it ever happen to you?

Uh, y-yes, it did.

Uh, a friend of the family,
well, grabbed me one time.

Well, what did you do?

Went upstairs,
put on "American Bandstand,"

and did the twist.

I was confused.
I was embarrassed.

I-I thought maybe
it was my fault.

I thought maybe I'd
misinterpreted what he did.

And even if he really
meant to do it,

what good was telling anybody
gonna do?

That's how I feel.

How can I accuse him
of being so rotten

after all the wonderful things

he's done for me over the years?

Mallory, listen to me.

You don't want him
to do it to you again,

and you don't want him to do it
to any other girls, do you?

Okay, I guess you're right.

But, I mean, he's such
a good friend of dad's.

I-I'm not saying
this is gonna be easy.

Uh, maybe it would be better
if it's me that talks to Arthur

instead of your dad.

But one thing I'm sure of,

This thing is gonna be
taken care of, okay?


I've come up
with a new approach.

Who wants to hear a few
nice words about Arthur?

Okay, I'll shorten it some more.

About three minutes to go,

I thought I had more time. No.

They're just finishing up
on that documentary,

"fertilizer: Your silent
friend in the garden."

It should be a big
ratings-grabber, that one.

You never know.

Yeah, that was Arthur's baby,
his last hurrah.

Gives you a good idea
why he's moving on.

Wait a minute, Richard.

I agree that people with, uh,
less than 60 acres

may find this one a little slow,

but there's something to
remember about Arthur Press...

He was there at the beginning,

when public broadcasting
was just a baby.

And so were you.

He, uh,
deserves a little respect.

Save it for the speech, Steve.

Two minutes.

Hey, dad, I just wanted to come
and wish you luck.

Oh, Alex, thanks.
I appreciate it.

I'll be up here answering phones
if you need me.

Uh, I-i can start off
in one of two ways, Alex,

with a history of the station

or, uh, maybe I should start
with a direct appeal for money.

After the show that's on right now?

I'd start with an alarm clock.

Oh, hi, sweetheart.

Hi. Now, remember, dad.

When you're making your speech,

be humble,
but try to maintain your pride.

I'll do my best.

Here's a kiss for good luck.
Oh, thank you, sweetie.

Oh, how about you two?
A little kiss for luck?

I got a warmer greeting
at my army physical.

I'm sorry, sweetheart.
Turn to the left and cough.

Good luck. Thanks.

You seen Arthur?

No, but he should be out here
any minute.

Well, when you see him, would
tell him I want to talk to him?

It's very important.
Sure. Anything wrong?

No! No.

About 30 seconds, Steve.
Okay, thank you.

You know, Steven,

I've seen that fertilizer film
a hundred times.

And every time,
I find something new in it,

some little Pearl of Wisdom.

Yeah, it's hard to watch it
and not cry.

Hello, Arthur. Hello, Elyse.

I want to talk to you.

I want to talk to you
about Mallory.

Thank you, very much.

Great, beautiful.
Mallory told me something.

Thank you. You got it?
Good. Marvelous.

You're on, Steve.

Hello, I'm Steven Keaton,

general manager of WKS.

Welcome to pledge week.

For those of you who
have just finished viewing

"fertilizer: Your silent
friend in the garden,"

what can I say?

I'm sorry.

I-I-i-i mean I'm sorry
that we won't be able to

continue to bring you
that type of quality,

as well as "Sesame Street,"
"Masterpiece Theatre,".

"American Playhouse"
and all the rest,

unless you help us
and help us now with money.

Our courteous, efficient,
and friendly secretaries

are standing by.

I'd like to introduce my wife,
Elyse Keaton.

This is Arthur Press,

a man whose name is
synonymous with WKS. Hi.

You're not gonna get away with
this, buddy! You understand?!

In... in fact, not only is his
name synonymous, it rhymes.

You just can't do this.
Arthur Press. WKS.

What's going on? Nothing.

It's not nothing! Can't it wait?

Steven, Arthur tried to
seduce our daughter!


We'll be right back.

Arthur, I just have
one little question.

What, Steve?

Can you think of one reason
why I shouldn't kill you?

Because it didn't happen
like that, Steven.

Then why don't you tell us
exactly what happened?

I don't remember exactly,
but you know me.

I'm an affectionate guy.

Sometimes when I talk to people,
I touch them.

With your lips?

Look, uh, it might have...

Okay, it did happen.

I don't know what got into me.
I'm sorry. I really am.

You're sorry? Arthur,
do you think that's enough?

I don't know what else
to say, Elyse.

I don't understand
what's happening to me.

Ever since Elizabeth and I
split up,

I've been acting crazy.

Dressing like a teenager,

touching up what's left
of my hair.

Other people get divorced.
Other people get older.

And they don't do what you did.

I don't know what came over me.

It was an uncontrollable

a one-in-a-million thing.

It happened twice.

Okay, twice in a million.

We were like family, Arthur.

I didn't want to hurt her.

Ah, but you did.

I know.

I've been screwing up everything
in my life these days.

I had it once, remember, Steve?

I was the guy who said,

"Sesame Street...
Let's go with it."

First time I saw Big Bird,
I said, "that bird's a star."

I never liked Mr. Rogers,

Why can't he change his shoes
before the show?


Why don't you stop thinking
about yourself for a minute?

Think about what you did
to that little girl.

You're right.

I guess I've got a big problem.

You better get yourself
some professional help, Arthur.

Yeah, I guess I better.

Hey, Steve.
You still work at this station?

What is it, Richard?

We're... we're...
We're busy, here.

Oh, I'm sorry. I-i don't mean
to get nitpicky, Steve,

but we're doing a live
television show out there.

The phones are ringing
off the hook,

and for the past half-hour

we've been featuring a slide
of Woody Hayes' house at dusk.

What about the band?
Can't they play?

The band didn't show up.
The bus broke down.

Well... Hum something, then.

I've been humming
for 20 minutes.

My gums are bleeding.

I've got another 28 hours
to kill out there,

and right now, we've got Jennifer
out there twirling a Baton.

Well, she's good at that!
She can twirl for hours!

Jennifer: Sorry!

Okay, okay, okay, we're coming.
Thank you.

Dad, aren't you going to...

Hello, Mallory.

I thought my father...

I mean, they really
need to, uh...

Mallory, wait.

I'm sorry.

No, it's more than that.

I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed.

How could you do that to me?

I don't know.
I've got a problem.

I have to go get some help.

Look, I-i don't expect you
to forgive me,

and I don't know whether things

will ever be the same
between us,

but I hope someday I can be
your uncle Arthur again.

Well, maybe someday.

Mallory, what...

Dad, we were just talking.

He apologized. I'm okay.

I'm so sorry this thing
happened, Mallory.

Why did he do it, huh?

I don't know.
I don't think he knows.

Hey, Steve, I got you penciled
in for a speech, buddy.

See? "8:00-8:15...
Steve speaks."



Go make your speech.
I'm fine, really.

You could have come to me
right away, Mallory.

Maybe I could have helped.

Arthur's your good friend.

You're my daughter.

Nothing's more important
than my family.

Not my work,
not my friends. Nothing.

It's okay.

You used to tell me everything.

I'm older now. It's not as easy.

I love you, dad.

I love you, too.