Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 1, Episode 8 - No Nukes Is Good Nukes - full transcript

It's Thanksgiving at the Keatons but the turkey dinner might have to wait when Steven and Elyse head to an anti-nuclear weapons rally and get arrested.

♪ 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

Come on, Alex, I need to
talk to you about this.

Forget it, Jennifer.

I don't want to discuss it
with you.

Alex, you're my older brother.

I look to you for guidance.

All right.
What do you want to know?

Who do you like in today's game,
Notre Dame or USC?

Well, I'd have to go with USC.

I don't know.

USC is favored by 2 1/2.

I think I'd better go
with Notre Dame.

Jennifer, you always ask me
what team I'd pick

and then you go
and bet the other side.

I know. Works every time.

What are you doing here, mom?

Nothing, Mallory.

I knew it. I knew it.

Bean sprouts in the stuffing.

What are you guys,
the vegetable patrol?

Mom, this is Thanksgiving,
not Chinese new year.

I just want to try something

a little different this year.
That's all.

This is a traditional
American holiday.

How is Jennifer supposed to know
what Thanksgiving's all about

if you insist on serving
foreign food?

I know what Thanksgiving's
all about, Alex.

It's when the Indians
and the pilgrims ate together

and the Indians got stuck
with the check.

That's not how it happened
at all, Jennifer.

You have to understand that
civilization marches forward,

and it marches better
on paved roads.

The Indians had
the land first, Alex.

Yeah, but they weren't using it.

They were just roaming around,
cooking outdoors,

wearing beads,
living in tents...

Just like mom and dad used to.

Alex, the fact is, we stole
that land from the Indians.

What do you want us to do now,
mom, give it back?

Yeah, starting with your room.

Ah, look at these, Elyse!

I found them in the attic.

I figure we can use
some of them today.

This is so embarrassing.

I can't believe you two
are gonna go out there

and make fools of yourselves
this afternoon.

We're going out to demonstrate
against nuclear arms.

There's nothing foolish
about that.

I don't think this
is very useful now.

It wasn't that useful then.

Mcgovern, Muskie, McCarthy.

You guys really knew how to
pick the winners, didn't you?

Maybe that's where
you get it from, Alex.

Aren't you going to feel

You're going to be
the oldest ones by 50 years.

That's okay, Mallory.

They can take our pulse
every half hour.

It's a shame you kids
don't realize

the importance of this issue.

Now, we're not talking about
repainting the fire hydrants.

We're talking about
the future of mankind.

The question you kids
should be asking is,

why we continue
to make hydrogen bombs

when we already have enough
to kill the Russians

40 times over!

Don't be so melodramatic, mom.

From the beginning of time
there's been weapons,

and there's always been a fringe
element who've overreacted.

I mean, I'm sure
that even in the early days

there were
bleeding-heart cavemen

running around with signs
that said,

"make love not clubs."

Alex, are you actually
in favor of nuclear weapons?

I'm in favor of us having them,
not using them.

Why do we have them
if we're not gonna use them?

That's a dumb question,

It's called a deterrent force.

Do both sides have
a "detergent" force?

"Deterrent" force, Jennifer.

It means that the more weapons
both sides have,

the less chance that either side
will have to use them.

Why can't both sides
just have no bombs?

It's too late.
We already paid for 'em.

Well, your father and I
don't think it's too late.

Neither do a lot
of other people.

They expect a very big
crowd out there today.

Come on, admit it...
You two are just going out there

because it makes you feel young
and alive again.

Uh, no, uh,
we're going out there

so that someday
you can feel old and alive.


I want you to know that I'm
behind what you and mommy

are doing 100%.

Well, thank you, Jennifer.
I'm very happy to hear that.

If I didn't have to
supervise the cooking,

I'd go with you.

Grandma and grandpa
will be here,

and grandma will do
all the cooking.

That's what I'm talking about.

Grandma is an excellent cook.

An excellent cook?

Mom, I'm using one of last
year's biscuits as a doorstop.

What does "flower power" mean?

Oh, it was a symbol
of that twisted era.

You know, love, flowers, peace.

Gives me the creeps.

Jennifer, don't listen to him!

Flower power was another way
of telling people

to put down their weapons

and to give each other
flowers and love instead.

For a while, all the girls were
wearing flowers in their hair.

Did you, mommy?

Mm-hmm, until your dad
made me stop.

Didn't he like flower power?

Well, yes, but he had hay fever.

It was a very difficult
period for him.

Mallory: Oh, they're here!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh, let me take it.
Why don't you guys sit down?

I'll put some water on for tea.

Kate, you didn't have
to bring your own dishes.

Those are biscuits.

I think they came out
a little lighter this year.

She baked them last night

so, uh, she could have more time
for the pies today.

Uh, grandma, you're baking pies?


Oh, boy. Um,

I don't know
if our oven's working.

Jennifer, the oven's fine.

Mom, we're really
pleased to see you,

but we didn't expect
you here so soon.

Well, we wanted to spend as much
time with you as possible.

Also, our TV's broken,

and grandpa
wants to see the game.

Who do you pick this game,

Aw, are you kidding?

Uh, notre dame.

Uh, 2 1/2 points...
It's a steal.

All right.

See, Alex?

We would have been here earlier,

but we got held up in traffic.

There's some kind of
dumb demonstration

starting up downtown.

What kind of idiots would
demonstrate on Thanksgiving?

Just your everyday
run-of-the-mill ones.

Actually, dad, Steven and I
are planning on

going to that demonstration.


You almost had me going, there.

Yeah, for a minute
I believed you.

Well, it's true, dad,
we're going.


What's the issue this week?

Uh, the, the Chad-Sudan
border dispute?

Uh, more fluoride in the water.

Uh, more fluoride
in the toothpaste.

Nuclear disarmament.

Oh, here we go again.

Oh, look, Kate, they've even
got the old signs out.

Charlie, don't get yourself
all worked up.

You know, by going out there,

you two are giving aid
and comfort to the enemy.

Yeah, the, uh, kremlin
called us this morning,

and they specifically asked us

to be there on time,
so if you don't mind...

Wait, aren't you two
ever gonna learn?

Uh, we're not the ones who are
escalating the arms race.

It's the Soviets.
We're just trying to keep up.

What it all boils down to,

is that the innocent people
of the world

are being held hostage
by the political disputes

between the superpowers.

Well, it's always
been that way, Steven.

Yes, but we haven't
always had weapons

capable of wiping out
civilization in one fell swoop.

one of these governments

has got to be the first
to start acting rationally.

Well, it's not gonna be us.

Now, listen, Charlie...

Steven, dad, dad, look, look,

this... this is
Thanksgiving day.

Let's not argue.

Look, Steven and I will be gone
for a couple of hours.

Then we'll be back, and we'll
have a nice meal together.

This is a happy occasion, right?

You're right. I'm... I'm sorry.

Ahh. That's more like it.

You two want to go off
and demonstrate,

I guess that's your business.

Kate, we'll see you later.

Kids, I want some
of that cranberry sauce.

Dad, do you want to take any
of grandma's biscuits with you?

No, thank you. We've already
got some sandwiches.

Not to eat...
To play frisbee with.

What's the score of
the football game, grandpa?

He fell asleep
a few minutes ago.

So what's the score of the game?

I don't know.
As soon as he dozed off,

I switched the channel.

A soap opera?
How can you watch that junk?

It's demented. It's depraved.

Who's she?

That's Belinda.

Is that guy her husband?

Which guy?

The guy in the strapless gown.

No, that's the plumber.

Her husband hasn't been around
since he lost his job.

He had a nervous breakdown,
moved to union city,

and now he gives sewing lessons.

Everything's under control
in the kitchen.

I'm keeping grandma
away from the stove.

Good going.

I've got her doing
some busywork.

You know,
organizing the potholders

and folding and unfolding
the paper bags.

That's nice.

Wha... Alex,
I'm surprised at you!

How could you watch this stuff?

I'm simply monitoring what you
kids are watching, Jennifer.

I have no interest
in this trash.

Me neither.

Is that plumber back again?


That's him over there
next to Belinda.

Nice gown.

You know, we'd better
put the game back on.

I mean, if grandpa wakes up
and sees us watching this,

we're gonna be in trouble.

Don't be silly. You can't get
in trouble with grandparents.

All you have to do is kiss them

when they come in the door,

tell 'em you miss 'em,
let 'em buy you stuff...

You're okay.

You're a sentimental guy, Alex.

You know, sometimes I wonder
what it would be like

to have parents like them
instead of mom and dad.

You know,
you can bet they wouldn't be

out at that demonstration today.

Yeah, they wouldn't kiss
in front of us

all the time
like a couple of adolescents.

Yeah, and mom
would give up her career

and all those
silly women's groups.

You're losing me fast, Alex.

I made some sandwiches
to tide you over till dinner.

Who wants one?

Grandma, thank you.

Uh, but, uh, we don't want
to spoil our appetites.

Oh, don't be silly.
We won't be eating for hours.

We know that, but your food
is so, so special,

we don't want to rush into it.

Oh, you're just saying that.

No, I'm not.

Well, didn't take him
long to conk out.

What are you kids watching?

Oh, it's a... A documentary.

Is that plumber back again?

He just never gives up.

Ah, did I miss anything?

What's the, uh,
score of the game?

Uh, Charlie, can I fix you
something to eat?


Uh, I mean, uh, no, thank you.

I-I don't want to
spoil my appetite.

Come on, ref! That's clipping!

Give me a break, here!

Man: And here's a news update
on a fast-breaking story.

Trouble broke out this afternoon

at the Blackstone
nuclear research laboratory...

That's mom and dad!
Clashed with the police.

Nobody knows exactly
who started it,

but it looks like
a lot of people

are gonna spend
this Thanksgiving in jail.

Uh, y-you're not actually
gonna lock the door on us,

are you?

Well, I was seriously
considering it.

L-look, technically,
I know we are prisoners,

and you are the guard,
but is this really necessary?

I mean, it seems
a little excessive.

Humor me.

Uh, when can we get out on bail?

The judge has to set bail.

And if he has to come in
on Thanksgiving to do it,

he ain't gonna be
in a real generous mood.

You mean we might have
to spend the night in jail?

Unless the judge
goes out of town.

Then you'll have to
spend the weekend in jail.

Thanks for being so sensitive.

I can't believe this.

I-I've never been
arrested before.

I don't know what to do,
what to say.

Am I dressed all right?


It's as if when you
put on those clothes,

you knew you'd end up in jail.

Look, look... I think we should
get organized here, huh?

You're right.
We need a spokesperson.

Has anyone here ever been
arrested before?

I have. I have.

We're together.

Did you meet in jail?

Steven: No.

No, no, we were arrested
in Washington, D.C.,

at the big peace rally.

I was arrested
in Washington, too.

Uh, for protesting the war?

No, for armed robbery.

Hey, come on now,
give me a break.

I did my time.
I'm over with that now...

Sort of.

What do you mean, "sort of"?

Well, I got arrested
at the demonstration today.

Well, we all did.

I got arrested
for pickpocketing.

Now, all... all right,
all right, right, look.

No matter what our, uh,
different backgrounds may be,

uh, we are in this together.

Now, um...

I...I think what's obviously
on everybody's mind is,

how do we get out of here?

Uh, anyone have any ideas?

Oh... Yeah, yeah.

I say we tie
all the sheets together,

hang them out the window,
and go over the wall.

We don't have any sheets.

We don't have any windows.

Other than that,
it was a great idea.

Mom, dad, are you okay?!

Alex! Alex!

Alex, how are you? I'm fine.

Hi, dad.

Hello, Charlie.

Well, this sure
brings back memories.

I thought I was through
bailing you guys out.

Nobody here wants to be
bailed out by you, Charlie.

I got a party of two over here.

How are Jennifer and Mallory?

Everybody's okay, mom.
Don't worry.

How'd you know we were here?

You were on the news.

Uh, listen, we have good news.

They're handing
these out to everyone

who was arrested
at the demonstration.

The judge drew it up.

All you have to do is sign it
and you can come home.

"As a condition of bail,
I, the undersigned,

"do hereby pledge
never again to take part

"in any form of protest
against nuclear arms.

Furthermore, I will sign
a public statement..."

That's blackmail!

Uh, could you pass
one of those over here, please?

What do you think?

I don't think
we should sign it, Elyse.

There's a principle
at stake here.

Hey, but wait a minute.

We're not talking about
a weekend in Hawaii, here.

This is jail!

You're surrounded
by hardened criminals,

societal misfits, vermin!

Uh, no offense.

None taken.

Alex, this is illegal.

They're asking us to sign away

a basic constitutional right...
The right to dissent.

Mom, it's just a piece of paper.

They can't change how you feel.


They can change
how I feel about myself.

And if I sign this paper,

I have a hunch
I won't feel very good.

Ah, now, look,
you've got other people

to think about
besides yourselves.

Yeah, and in case you've
forgotten their names,

they're Alex, Mallory,
and Jennifer.

I am thinking of you.

I want you to know your father
is a man who stands up

for what he believes.

Dad, I'll take your word for it.

I'm easy. Just come home.

Well, what do you think...

Should we sign it
or shouldn't we?

Well, I think
it's pretty obvious, don't you?

Yeah.Yeah. Yeah.Yeah.

All right! Good!


I'm with her!

Nice try.

I'm sorry Alex. I can't.


Alex, I want to come home

more than anything in the world,

but... I won't sign this.

Please try to understand.

If you'd rather stay here, fine.

Come on, Alex. Let's go.

Dad, Alex... Alex, come on.

Try to understand
our point here, Alex.

You know what's wrong
with parents today?

They still think
they can change the world.

They're back!

Where's mom and dad?

Why didn't you bring them home?

Let me tell you two
something about your parents.

They're stubborn,
they're childish...

They're making me old
before my time.

They must be okay if they had
time to fight with Alex.

You couldn't bail them out?

Of course
we could bail them out.

They wouldn't let us.

So they're staying in jail.

I don't understand this.

Why would they choose
to stay in jail?

Well, they wouldn't
sign the paper.

What paper?

It was nothing...
Just an apology, that's all.

That's all?

Oh, and something about
never demonstrating again...

Routine stuff.

Routine stuff?
Sounds more like blackmail.

Grandpa, I'm surprised at you.

Can't you control
your own daughter?

Nope. Never could, either.

Our parents can't control
their daughters, either.

I guess you have
a lot in common.

I thought
it's supposed to get easier

as your kids get older.

I thought it was supposed
to get easier

as your parents got older.

Why were they
out there demonstrating

in the first place?

Today's Thanksgiving!

It's a day for tranquility,

for... for harmony, for peace!

Isn't that what they were
demonstrating for?

What about peace and harmony
in the home?

Don't you think they'd rather
be here with us than in jail?

Then why aren't they here?

Because they very firmly believe
that nuclear arms

are threatening
the world's future.

Why don't they let other people
worry about that stuff?

Because they care.

They have to care in public?

They do everything else
in public.

Why go to jail
over something like this?

Nobody is insane enough
to use nuclear weapons,

not when they know the enemy
has them, too.

What if the people
in charge of the bomb

aren't as smart as you, Alex?

I still can't believe
they could do this to us.

I mean, how could they
be so selfish?

Wait a minute.
What are they doing to us?

They're not the ones
who are being selfish.

We're here in a nice house,
surrounded by people we love.

They're in a jail cell

because of something
they believe in.

I think it takes a lot of guts
to do what they're doing.

Well, so do I.

And I'll tell you
something else.

I wish I'd had the guts
to go out there and demonstrate

with them today, instead
of staying here and cooking.

We all do, dear.

Well, I don't know
about the rest of you,

but I am going to have
Thanksgiving dinner

with my daughter
and my son-in-law.

I'm having dinner
with her daughter

and her son-in-law, too.

Anybody else?

You know, this place could use
some redecorating.

First thing I'd do
is take out those bars.

Yeah, it wouldn't take much...
Just a few green plants.

Maybe a throw rug right there.

Some end tables.

Fall in for grub!

Why do I suspect we'll be
disappointed with this meal?

Come on, honey. Let's go.

Uh, don't we get something
special for Thanksgiving?

Yeah. This is it.

Yellow water, with green stuff
floating in it?

You're lucky. Most days
you don't get the green stuff.

Well, have a happy,
safe Thanksgiving.

That man needs to get
outdoors more often.

Steven, do you think
we did the right thing?

I did until
they brought us this.

The kids are mad at us,
and dad's mad at us.

I'm not mad at you.

That's quite a consolation.

Anybody here interested
in a home-cooked meal?

You don't know how wonderful
it is to see you guys!

What a great surprise!

Without you two at home,

it just didn't seem
like a holiday.

Well, we haven't been exactly
whooping it up in here, either.

I brought you this flower
for your hair, mommy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Oh, thank you, sweetheart.

I missed you.

Not half as much
as we missed you.

Uh, where are the others?

Oh, well, uh, uh, oh, um,

well, it was hard
to get everyone in the car,

what with all the food and all.

They didn't want to come, huh?

If you're still here
at Christmas,

maybe Alex will drop in.

Well, I've got a lot of food
I cooked up here,

so let's get to it. Okay.

Uh, there's plenty for everyone
if you'd like a little taste!

Are you Kate? Yes.

No, thanks.

Well, we can't wait.

I think it's so sweet

that you thought
to bring food down to us.

Oh, I want to give you a hug!

Yeah, come on, sweetheart.

Oh, uh...

Hey, wait a minute.
Let's do this right.

Come on.

I can't believe it!

You two can't even control
yourself in prison!

Hey, you guys!



I thought you weren't coming

until the... Cow
jumped over the moon.

Aw, that's just a figure
of speech, Jennifer.

It just didn't seem right,
that's all.

I mean, a family's
supposed to be together

for Thanksgiving.

Yeah, I know.

We're sorry if we spoiled
your Thanksgiving.

No, no, I think we're the ones
who should do the apologizing.

There's something grandma said
that made us realize

this is something you both
care very deeply about.

What did she say?

This is something you both
feel very deeply about.

You really have
a way with words, grandma.

I just want you to know that

I respect the fact that you're
standing up for your beliefs,

even if I don't agree with them.

Yeah, I think that
goes for all of us.

Yeah... yeah, a-all of us.

I mean, I, uh,

I might not, uh, agree with
everything you have to say,

but what kind of
an American would I be

if I didn't support your right
to say it?

Thank you. It means a lot to us.

One of the happiest days
of my life.

Hey, that's my handkerchief.

Well, come on, let's eat.

Good idea!

Mom, how did you get
all that food in here?

Well, let's just say,
there isn't a guard in the joint

who doesn't have one
of my dumplings.

It's a plot.

They'll all get sick,
and you can escape.

Let's save the sweet talk
for later and eat.

I'm starving.

Hey, do you want me to, uh,

file the bars
or carve the Turkey?

Or I could file the bars
with the Turkey.

This is turning out to be
a great Thanksgiving!

Oh, we've got our health,
we've got each other,

we've got Turkey...
What else do we need?

Mommy, can I say
a Thanksgiving grace this year?

Of course, sweetheart.

Thank you, God,
for all the good things

that you've done this year,

and for keeping us
well and happy.

I'm really sorry
about that incident

with Ron Dorffman's lunchbox
and the turtle,

but we can discuss that later.

Most of all, I want to thank you

for watching over
mommy and daddy today

and not letting them be hurt.

They're the best parents
in the whole world...

Even if they are
a couple of jailbirds.


Amen.Amen. Amen.Amen.

Kate: Well...