Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 2, Episode 15 - Ladies' Man - full transcript

Alex pretends to be a feminist to impress a girl he likes.

♪ 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 shall we do today, Steven?

Jennifer: I've got it, Elyse.

Let's have Mallory and Jennifer
clean this house top to bottom.

I love you when you're strict.

Kiss me, you hunk!

I'll get it!

Hi, folks. Enjoying the show?

An unforgettable evening
in the theater.


Yes, this is the Keatons'.

Oh, just one moment, please.

Alex, it's Deena Marx!

Alex: I got it! Thank you!

Hang up.

It's Deena Marx.

I don't care
if it's Karl Marx. Hang up.

No, w-wait a minute, Elyse.

If it's Karl Marx,
I'd like a word with him.

Hang up.

Who's Deena Marx?

She's one of the most
popular girls in school.

She's smart. She's pretty.

A lot more important
than Karl Marx, whoever he is.

If she has all that
going for her,

what could she possibly want
with Alex?

And she was just named leader
for the senior caucus

for passage
of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Maybe she wants him
for target practice.

Alex, what'd Deena Marx want?

Whoa, wait a minute, Mallory.

Uh, the telephone is

an instrument
of private communication.

See, that's why the receiver's
only big enough for one ear.

Then why'd they make extensions?

As usual,
you're too sharp for me.

Well, if you must know, Mallory,

she's co-editor
of the school yearbook with me.

She's coming over
in a few minutes.

You happy?

I know you're
not telling me everything, Alex.

Uh, mom,

do you know where
your "E.R.A. Yes" button is?

I'd like to borrow it.

Sure, it's upstairs in my...

Wait a minute. Since when
did you support the E.R.A.?

Since he got interested
in Deena Marx.

No, no, wait a minute.
That is not true.

Look, I have always been
a supporter of the E.R.A.

Equal rights are as important
for men as they are for women.

We men will not be free
until women are equal.

Ah, I had you going
for a minute, didn't I?

No, seriously, mom, come on.
Can I have the button?


I'm not gonna give it to you
so you can deceive some girl.

Oh, why not? We're family.

Dad. Dad, can I, uh,
borrow yours?

Forget it, Alex.

What you're doing
is unprincipled.

your mother would kill me.

All right. Okay.
Hey, fine, fine.

I'll just... I'll just make do
with these pamphlets.

Let's see here.

"Sexual discrimination
will not be tolerated."

No. "Sexual discrimination
will not be tolerated."

Sexual discrimination
will not be tolerated.

Doesn't just roll off
your tongue, does it, Alex?

"Bring women into the mainstream
of American society

in a truly equal...
partnership with men."

This isn't gonna be easy.

Okay, how 'bout this?

For the dedication
in the front of the book,

a full-page photo
of Mrs. Buchanan,

and in the lower corner,

"in dedication...
Emma Buchanan.

What a teacher. What a woman."

What a body.


W-what I mean is,

what a body of knowledge...

This woman has imparted to us
over the years.

That's not what you meant.

She does have a great body,

but I don't think
we should put that

under her picture
in the yearbook.

For one thing, it has
a slightly sexist ring.

Well, hey, no ring intended.

You know, sexism...

Sexual discrimination
of any kind...

Is entirely intolerable to me.

The mere thought of it
makes me wince.


Well, yes, yes.
Don't you feel that way?

Well, yeah, I do.

I just didn't think you did...
That's all.

Well, I'm... I'm glad you feel
the same way I do

because, frankly,
it would be very hard

to work with someone who didn't.

Yeah, but I've always
thought of you

as kind of... well,
conservative and preppy.



I... no, no.
I just came in from a wedding.

Okay, let me get this straight.

You are pro-E.R.A.?

Deena, you say E.R.A.

I say y-e-s.

Would you, uh...
Would you care for a cup of tea?

I'd love one.

Uh, listen, just, uh...

Just sit yourself down.

Uh, you know,
you're gonna love this tea.

I-it was grown, picked,
and brewed entirely by women.

You know, Alex,
everything we talk about

does not have to involve women.

I-I do have other interests.

I don't.

Well, but I'm, uh...

I'm willing to learn.

Hey, you know,
this is really fun.

Working with you
isn't nearly as dull

as I thought it would be.

Well, thank you.

I think.

Yeah, and it's
really surprising.

What? What is?

Well, all these years in school,

I've never had the least bit
of interest in you.

That doesn't seem possible.


Oh, little things, I guess...

Like the Young Republicans Club.

Pfft, that.

Oh, Deena, Deena,
Deena, Deena, Deena.

See, I-i am something
of a dabbler.

I'm... I'm a seeker
of new experiences.

I-I'm like a young sapling

whose roots are young
and thirsty.

Yeah, see, this is what
I thought it would be like.

You know, Deena,

it... it's good that we can
laugh in these troubled times...

When... when women are
so ruthlessly oppressed

by this sexist society.

Oh, hi. Uh...

Like some tea?

No, thank y...

Nice, uh... apron, son.

Wow, thanks, dad.

I hope you don't mind me
borrowing it.

I, uh...

I got quiche on mine.

Steven: No.

No, no, not at all.

Uh, when you're done, uh...

hang it next to my jello molds.

Yeah, I will, dad.

Thank you, thank you.

I'm just wearing it
to, uh, make some tea,

and then I'm gonna clean up.

A woman's work is never done.

A person's work, mom.

Thank you for raising
my consciousness, Alex.

How's the yearbook coming along?

At the rate we're going,
we should have it out

by the time we're
sophomores in college.

Elyse and I were co-editors
of the yearbook in high school.

It was really terrific.

We had some
great times together.

That's how we met.

No, it wasn't.

I-I wasn't on the yearbook staff
in high school.

Oh, uh... t-that...
No, that... that's right.

I was thinking of, uh...

Right, it...
I-it's not important.

Steven? Mr. Editor?

They're a fun couple,
aren't they?

Equally fun.

You know, Deena,
I-i was wondering, uh...

W-would you like to go
out with me Saturday night?

I can't.
I'm hosting an E.R.A. debate

at the community center.


What a coincidence!

You know, that is where
I was gonna take you.

Hey, great.

We can go together.

Great! Uh.

I'll pick you up at 7:00.

Or you could pick me up at 7:00.

Or we could meet halfway...

at, uh, 3:30.

Man: This evening we are pleased
to present a dialogue

between two women,

both presidents
of women's groups

who often approach
the same problem, shall we say,

from different directions.

Will you help me welcome

Sharon Fletcher
and Dorothy Canell?

Now, let's get right to it,
shall we?

Mrs. Fletcher,
tell us, if you would,

what bothers you most
about passage of the E.R.A.

Well, simply stated, I believe
that passage of the E.R.A.

would take away rights
that American women already have

under the Fourteenth Amendment
to the Constitution.

Man: Ms. Canell,
how do you respond?

Ladies and gentlemen,

if the Equal Rights Amendment
is not ratified,

a whole generation of American
girls will grow up unequal,

limited in their options,

penalized for being born female.

Yeah! Yeah.

The E.R.A. is many things,

but basically
it's a bread-and-butter issue.

Women with college degrees
are paid less

than men who haven't finished
high school.

Let's keep it that way!

This... this must stop.

Your behavior
is unacceptable, sir.

Homemakers' labor
is not recognized

as having economic value.

Oh, get back
in the kitchen, lady...

That's where you belong.

Alex: Hey, hey, hey.
Come on. Come on.

Let this woman speak.
Show some common...

What are you doing?
Look, let her speak.

The First Amendment of the
Constitution clearly states,

and I quote...

You swine.

Stop the E.R.A.!

Stop the E.R.A.!

All: * oh, deep in our hearts

♪ we do believe

♪ we shall not be moved today

That's right... sing it.
It's important.

Are you okay?

No, not really.

Look, Deena, I-i cannot go on
with this any longer.

I-I-I'm not really...

Alex, that was a very
courageous thing you did...

Coming to Dorothy's defense
like that.

Well, th-thanks,
but, uh, listen,

a-about this
whole E.R.A. business,

this... this... this button,
this... this shirt.

- It's not...
- Is that a scratch on your ear?

Yeah. It's nothing.

Oh, those animals!

Alex, I don't think I've ever
been as attracted to anybody

as I am to you right now.

So, what is it
you wanted to tell me?

Don't remember.

I think it was
a trivia question.

Isn't this romantic?

The two of us
in prison together.

Alex, I want to thank you
for coming to my defense.

I'm proud of you.

I'm very impressed with
your passion for the movement.

Well, uh, Dorothy, it was
a privilege to come to your aid.

I-I regret I have but one ear
to give to the cause.

Alex, when you talk like that,

I can barely keep
my hands off you.

But, uh... but those
are just idle words.

There is a job to be done here.

Yes, there is! Right on!

You know, and not only by us

but by women everywhere.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

How long must we wait?

How long are we expected
to accept these indignities?

How long, Lord?

You know, I-i feel the way
president Kennedy must have felt

that day at the Berlin Wall,

when he said,
"today I am a berliner."

Well, today, in this hour,
I say to you,

"I am a woman!"

I'd hate to be taken
out of context, though.


Is that better?

Oh, yeah.

That's, uh...
That's much better.



Are you all right?

Life's been rough, mom.

Come on, a-Alex. We've...
We've paid your bail.


No, uh, dad, uh...

I will not leave here...

until the last of my sisters
passes through these bars.

Uh, women, my parents,
Steven and Elyse Keaton.

All right! Whoo!

Bravo! Good for you!

Bravo! Bravo!



Mallory: So, tell me, Alex,

how long have you been
a supporter of women's rights?

Jennifer: Virtually since birth.

Now, how is that possible?

Good question...
coming from a girl.

Alex, leave them alone.
They're just playing.

Dad, I will not be ridiculed
in my own home...

by puppets.

That's what's wrong
with you feminists.

You have no sense of humor.

Mom, I am not a feminist.

I am simply posing as a feminist

out of respect
for the girl I care about.

Yeah, I-i hope
she appreciates it.

Look, why is everybody
picking on me?

Look, last night I defended
a woman's right to speak.

Now, I-is that bad?

Of course not. We're
very proud of you for that.

And I spent a night in jail
for a cause...

I don't even believe in.

Does that make me a bad person?

Alex, that's not
what we're talking about.

You're misleading Deena.

You have a relationship
based on lies.

Dad, that's not true.
We're past the lies.

We're into the good stuff now.

Look, uh, do you think
I'm happy doing this?

I'm not.

You know, I-it started out
as a few innocent little lies.

I wouldn't even
call them "lies."

They were...
They were lie-ettes.

And it just snowballed.

I mean, what can I do now?

Deena believes very deeply
in this cause, Alex.

Your attitude
towards it is, uh...

Well, it's really
insulting to her.

Now, if you care at all
about Deena,

you should tell her
the truth now.


Oh, hi, Deena.

Yeah, listen, I-I'm glad
you called

because I-i have something
to tell you.

What's that?


No kidding.

That... that is
really flattering, but...


Oh, wow! Oh, that is great.

Oh... all right. Okay, Deena.

All right. Okay, bye-bye.


So, did you tell her?

Congratulate me.

I am now the leader

of the Ohio youth movement
for passage of the E.R.A.

We got a rally this Saturday.

Well, you're not gonna go,
are you?

Well, mom, I have to go.

I'm the keynote speaker.

This is indeed
a very special evening for me.

You see, I've always said that
the Equal Rights Amendment

is not a women's issue,
it's a people's issue.

And that thought was
strongly reinforced for me

the other night in
of all places, our city jail.

During our E.R.A. debate here
last Saturday night,

I was shouted down.

But during the ruckus,
a young man leapt to my defense

and demanded that I be heard.

Only later, in jail,

did I get a full sense
of his commitment to E.R.A.

He so fully shares
our frustrations

and our concerns

that he was able to say,
in the most heartfelt manner,

"today, in this cell,
I am a woman."

Alex Keaton
said he was a woman...

and my spirit soared.

His courage, his valor,

his integrity,
his truthfulness...

are beyond measure.

He boycotted, or, as he put it...
Are you all right?


I have to talk to you.
So girls could play, too.

Women's rights...
I lied to you.


I lied. I lied. It's all lies.

I'm not...
I'm not pro-E.R.A.

See, I-i just made-believe
I-i was

so you'd be interested in me.

A man for all seasons...

May I introduce the next
Ohio youth leader of the E.R.A.,

Alex Keaton?

I'm, uh... I'm not, uh...

Worthy of your applause.

No. No, look, uh...

It's... it's time
that you heard the truth.

See, I defended Dorothy Canell's
right to be heard,

and... and I believe in that.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

No, please. See, um...

My... my reasons for doing it
a-are not what you think.

I did it for a girl.

All right!

Cut it out. Cut it out.

See, um... I'm... I'm trying
to apologize here.

See, I, uh...

I-I made-believe
I was something I'm not

so, uh... so this girl
would be interested in me.

It seemed harmless enough
at the time...

But, uh...

The truth is, I-i-I'm not
in favor of the E.R.A.

I-I'm sorry, Deena.

Uh, and I apologize to you,

to my family...

And to all of you.

See, I can't accept this honor

because I-i believe that
the leader of a movement...

Has to, uh, believe
in the movement,

and I honestly don't.

I-I have managed
to gain some new understanding

of the need for E.R.A.

A-and it comes from seeing
intelligent, courageous people

who want it as badly as you do.

I'm not voting for it...

But, uh, I am closer to it
than ever before.

So, you see,
I am not the Alex Keaton

that you thought I was.

I'm not a woman.

I'm sorry.

Could we take a 10-minute break?

This is a mess.

I... uh, uh, Deena?

Yeah, what is it, Alex?

Well, I-i-i was just
wondering if, uh...

This... Was gonna affect
our relationship.

Excuse me, Alex.

Uh, Deena, wait.

Look, I-i am sorry.

What I did was...
was an insult to you.

I-it was childish.
It was... it was unforgivable.

Yeah, well, at least we found
something we really agree on.

Yeah, well, it was. I mean...

It was unforgivable.

Can you forgive me?

You made a mockery of something
that I believe deeply in.

You made a fool of me.

You lied to me.

I can't forgive that.

So, Alex, how are things
working out with Deena?

You did the right thing, Alex.

A wonderful girl...
just walked out of my life.

All I'm left with
is a prison record.

How can that be the right thing?

I know it doesn't feel
like it now, but you did.

Let's go home, son.


What did you mean when
you said you're not a woman?

I'm not.

I'm sorry to have to break it
to you this way, mom.

You're weird, Alex.

Thank you.