Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 2, Episode 20 - The Graduate - full transcript

Alex is upset his girlfriend is class valedictorian instead of him. He thinks the man should be the superior one in the relationship. His attitude affects his relationship. His father helps him realize relationships are not competition.

♪ 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

Okay, the last question.

Nitroglycerin, calcium
carbonate, and aluminum nitrate

are ingredients
commonly found in...


Come on, Alex.
What's the real answer?

Okay, Rache, all right,
I'll answer that question

if you can answer this one...

Name one reason
why I shouldn't kiss you.

We have to study,

your family's in the house.
It's getting late...

Rache, Rache...
One reason.

I can't think of one.


Thank you. I do my best.

Alex, that was the answer.

Excuse us, excuse us!

Yes, just passing through!

You can keep kissing.
We're not looking.

Look, this is the fifth time
you've passed through here

in the last hour. Do you mind?

How else are we supposed
to get to the kitchen?

I can get you to
the kitchen real quick.


Alex, come on.
We have to concentrate.

This is our last final.

You're right, Rache.
You're right.

One more test, we leave
Harding High in our dust.

Why are you so anxious to leave?

We had some great times there.

You're right, Rache...
We had some great times.

And although
it's with eager anticipation

that we cast our lines of hope

into the unchartered waters
of the future,

it is with a heavy heart
that we bid adieu

to the hallowed halls
of Harding High.

You've been working
on your valedictory speech,

haven't you, Alex?

I admit, I have worked on it
a little.

It sounds great.

You are gonna make
a great valedictorian.

Uh, come on, Rache,
it's not official yet.

I mean, there are
a lot of guys up for it.

You're up for it.

Uh, Mark Blittman,
the... the Kowalik sisters.

Face it,
it's anybody's ballgame.

It'll be you.

I know.

I am a shoo-in.

You know, I fed my stats
into the school computer,

and it printed out,
"write that speech, Keaton."

Oh, Alex, these last four weeks

have been the most exciting
in my whole life.

Me too.

Wait a minute, we've been
seeing each other for six weeks.

I know, but the first two
were not that great.

Ah, so how's the studying going?

We are but sponges
in a sea of chemical knowledge.

I hope you'll clean up
after yourselves.

Well, so how do you guys feel?

Soon you'll be
high school graduates.

Feels great, Mrs. Keaton.

And I know Alex is excited, too.

That's right.

And although it's with eager
anticipation that we...

All: Cast our lines of hope

into the unchartered
waters of our future,

it is with a heavy heart
that we bid adieu

to the hallowed halls
of Harding High.

Seniors whose last names

begin with the letters
"A" through "J,"

please step forward.

You know, Rache,
it's too bad our last names

don't begin
with the same letter.

Then we could march
down the aisle together.

That's got a nice ring to it.

How is it possible that
I never even asked you out

until a couple weeks ago?

What could I have been
thinking about?

Jocelyn Clark.

And deena Marx and Carrie Newman
and Diane Edwards and...

Okay, okay, okay, okay, Rache.

I don't know if
I should admit this, Alex,

but you're
my first real boyfriend.

Rache, I only hope
I can live up to it.

I only hope that I am deserving
of such a great honor,

that the flame of our spirit
shall burn eternally.

Is that from your speech, too?

Seniors whose last names

begin with the letters
"K" through "T,"

please step forward.

That's us.

Before we proceed any further
with the graduation rehearsal,

I'd like to make
an announcement.

The faculty has just chosen
the valedictorian.

Oh, I'm so proud of you!

I couldn't have done it
without you, Rache.

As you know,
the faculty makes its selection

on the basis
of academic standing,

extracurricular activities,

and outstanding contributions
to the school community.

So won't you join me
in congratulating

the brightest and best among us,

our most deserving
new valedictorian...

Rachel Miller.

Alex, are you all right?


I'm fine.

Are you sure you're okay?

Oh, don't worry about me, Rache.

This is your big moment.
I-I'm really happy for you.

Come on up here
and take a bow, Rachel.

Yeah, Rachel.

I never even thought
I was in the running.

Yeah, Rachel, all right!

No more pencils,
no more... books.

Hi. Hey.

Last day of school.

Look, I got my final grades.

Oh, Mal. That's wonderful.

Yeah, "A" in French,
"B" in English,

and some other stuff.

We'll talk about
that other stuff later.

No rush!

How'd you do, Alex?

Four "A's".

And "A-minus".

Honey, that is terrific.

Oh, come on, mom.

What does it mean really?

I am not valedictorian.

It's a hollow victory at best.

It's an anticlimax.

Let's face it...

My life has no meaning.

Hey, I'm ready to face it.

How about you guys?


Okay, okay, I'm going.

Alex, now, I know
you're disappointed

about this valedictorian thing,

but you have got to
accept the fact that

you're not gonna get
everything you want in life.

Being valedictorian
was my destiny.

And it was ruthlessly
yanked from my grasp

by the cruelest of fates.

That's the spirit.



Hi. Rachel.

So how you doing, Alex?

Oh, fine. Fine.

Never better.

Did you get your final grades?


How were they?

Oh, let's not talk about it.

No, no, no.
Come on, come on, come on.

How were they?

Five "A's".

Sure. Rub my nose in it.

So, what's up?

Alex, I hope my being
chosen valedictorian

isn't gonna affect
our relationship.

Oh, no.

No, no, of course not.
Don't be silly.



I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

Come on, give me credit

for... for a little maturity
here, okay?

What's that?

Well, I finished my, uh,
my rough draft of my speech,

and I was wondering if maybe
you would take a look at it

and give me your opinion.


Why not?

Just remember,
it's only a rough draft.

Ha ha!

What? Is something funny?

Yeah. Yeah.
You split your infinitive.


Several places here.

You know, you do that
when you speak.

I noticed that about you.

Alex, what about the speech?

I mean overall.

It's not bad.

It won't offend anybody.

I want to do more
than not offend.

I want to be inspiring.

Did you think it was inspiring?

I'd hate to be sending people
off to war with that.

Well, how do I make it
more inspiring?

Okay. All right, Rache.

Uh, something...
Something like this...

As we, the graduating seniors
here at Harding High,

attempt to go...

Uh, aren't you gonna
write this down?

Well, I don't want you
to dictate a speech to me.

I mean, I want
your general suggestions,

but I want the heart of it
to be my own.

Oh. Well, fine.

Just, uh, go with
what you have there, then.


Is, um, something wrong?

Look, Rache,
what do you want from me?

You're the valedictorian.

You obviously have your own ideas
about what you want to say.

Why are you even
involving me in this?

Well, I was foolish enough
to think

that maybe
you'd want to help me.

If it were me, I would help you.

If it were me,
I wouldn't need your help.

Well, maybe I don't need
your help, either.

You do if you're gonna go
with that speech.

Alex, there is nothing wrong
with this speech!

Okay, you're right, Rache.

There's nothing wrong
with that speech.

Why don't you go
with that speech?

I'll just walk through
the audience and wake people up.

What are you doing?

Oh, just looking at some
old baby pictures of Alex.

Oh! There he is with his combination
slide rule/teething ring.


He was a beautiful baby.

And tomorrow he's graduating.

It all went so fast.

Now, Elyse, don't go
misting up on me.

We've still got two in the nest.

I guess I should face up
to the fact that he's grown up,

but did it have
to happen so quickly?

I mean,
after high-school graduation,

can marriage be far off?

And then children
and... and grandchildren.

Don't put me in a home.

Don't say anything
until you see the place.

Come on. Come on, Elyse.

You're getting a little
carried away with this.

I guess you're right.

Oh, hey, look.

I got the watch
back from the jeweler.

It's working perfectly now.

It'll be a wonderful
gift for Alex.

Mm. I'll never forget the day
my father gave this to me.

He... he... he came home from
that little dry-cleaning shop

where he worked.

He put this in my hand,
and he said to me,

"son, I want you to have this
for your graduation.

One of my customers
left it in his pants."

He was all heart, my old man.





What are you guys doing?

Uh... Listening to music.

I don't hear anything.

Well, of course not.

Uh, the music's in our heads.

Uh, mom, can I talk to dad,
uh, alone for a minute?

Sure, it's okay.

I'll leave you two alone.


When you were a little boy,

you used to come to
both of us for help.

Uh, what is it, Alex?

Dad, I, uh...

I-I don't know
how to say this, but, uh...

Well, this isn't easy for me.

But, uh...

I think the Cleveland Browns are

really gonna miss Brian Sipe
next year, don't you?

Uh... Yes, I do.

It was very sensitive of you
to keep that from your mother.

Well, I figured she's
a big Browns fan and everything.

Dad, I really blew it
with Rachel yesterday.

You mentioned this
Brian sipe thing to her, too?


No. We had a big fight.

This valedictorian thing
really threw me off.

I was a real jerk.

Why don't you apologize to her?

Dad, don't you see? That's
not gonna solve the problem.

This is going to change
our relationship forever.

Well, why, Alex?

Don't you see?
It'll always be with us.

E-every time I kiss her,
she'll be thinking,

"why am I kissing
this nonvaledictorian?"

It's just not fair.

It's not right. It's a gyp.

A gyp?

That's right.

You know, Alex, uh,
when you were little boy

and things didn't go your way,

you used to lie
on the floor and scream,

hold your breath and pout.

Well, now you're an adult,

and you've got to accept
some things that you don't like.

You know, if it...
If it had been anyone else,

I could have handled it.

Mark Blittman.
The Kowalik sisters.

But not Rachel.

My girlfriend.

I just can't feel comfortable
in a relationship

unless I'm number one.

It is not a competition, Alex.

It is a relationship.
Both partners are equal.

Dad, uh...

I know you have to use
that feminist rhetoric

in front of mom...

But, uh, just between
you and me,

why don't you admit
that you are still the man,

that you're number one?

I am the man,
but I'm not number one,

and neither is your mother.

You can be the man

without feeling you're
superior to the woman.

I'd think you'd feel,
uh, happy for Rachel.

Why should I feel happy
to be in her shadow

when she makes
that speech tomorrow?

Because it's her shadow.

You know, every year
when another class graduates,

I feel like I lose
a little part of myself.

And I'm not referring
to my hair.

as you know, means...


Alex! Alex! ...Beginning...

Quiet down.
You're disrupting the ceremony.

Alex! Come here.

Harding High.

And so often
graduates return to tell me

how valuable they've found
their years at... Harding.

Mallory, I don't know if the
caps and gowns were a tip-off,

but there is a graduation
ceremony going on here.

Alex, I just saw Rachel
in the ladies' room.

She's really upset.
You should talk to her.

Wait a minute, he can't
go in the ladies' room.

She's not there anymore.
I think she went backstage.

She looked terrible.

She's probably nervous about her speech,
and that's all. Would you sit down?

I don't think "nervous"
quite describes it, mom.

She couldn't remember
the name of the school.

She kept saying, "I'm very proud"

to be valedictorian
of this here place."

Look, I tried to talk to her.

She wouldn't see me.

Maybe you should try again. Shh!



Yes, yes.

Uh, is there something

you'd care to share
with the rest of us?

Uh, no. No. T-that's fine.

Uh, thank...
Thank you for asking.

Well, in that case,

we'll proceed with
the, uh, awarding of diplomas,

followed by
the valedictory address

by Rachel Miller.

Alex, talk to her! Shh!

Betsy Afferton.

Amanda Agretti.

"And I think Franklin Roosevelt

expressed it best
when he said..."

Oh, I wish I'd worn
my other earrings.

I think it was
Eleanor Roosevelt who said that.


I told you I didn't
want to see you anymore.

Yeah, but I want to see you.

Look, we got to talk.

I-I feel terrible about
what happened the other day.

Alex, in five minutes
I have to do my speech,

and I don't have time to listen
to your rationalizations.

If you really felt this bad,

you would have called me
before this.

Well, I've been busy.

Doing what?

Moping. And whining.

And generally being
a real idiot.

You know, you'd be surprised
how much time that takes

if you want to do it right.

Alex, you hurt me.

When I needed you,
you really let me down.

I know, Rache.

When you were
selected valedictorian,

I-I lost sight of the things
that were most important.

Why does it bother you so much

that I'm valedictorian?

I would have thought
that you'd be happy for me.

I mean,
if we're gonna be a couple,

we should build each other up

and not compete at everything.

I would have been happy for you.

I know.

Ruth Drescher.

Why do you always
have to win at everything?

I have a little problem
in this area.

Alex, I don't want to
compete with you at everything.

Oh, come on, Rache,
we're not always competing.

We are.

Give me an example
of one other situation

where I have been
overly competitive with you.

When we went and played
miniature golf and I beat you.

I thought I handled that
very well.

Alex, you filed a formal protest
with the manager.

It wasn't a formal protest.

I simply asked him
to examine your clubs

to make sure
they were regulation.

Alex, I don't want
to have to feel guilty

for being chosen
valedictorian over you

or being a better golfer
than you.

You're absolutely right.

Cheryl Juliet.

I wouldn't say you're
a better golfer than me.

You had one good game.


I'm gonna work on this problem.

It's gonna get better.

I promise.

Warren Kane.

You'd better go out.

They're gonna call
your name soon.

No, Rache.

Uh, I refuse
to graduate high school

until we have
this matter settled.

Alex P. Keaton.

Keaton, Alex P.

Although I really would
like to graduate.

Go ahead, Alex.

You're not the dropout type.

Last call for Alex P. Keaton.

Thank you.

Marvin Kennedy.

Got it.


Thank you.

Oh, Alex, I don't
want to lose you

because I'm smarter than you.

You know,
I wouldn't say you're sm...

You're not gonna lose me.

You go out there

and you give
the best valedictory speech

this school has ever heard.

And I think Franklin Roosevelt
expressed it best

when he said,
"this generation of Americans

has a rendezvous with destiny."

Once again, I thank
the faculty for this honor.

This will be a day
that I will remember always.

Thank you.

Thank you, Rachel,
thank you very much.

And now I'd like to extend
a hearty congratulations

to the graduating class of 1984.

It's over, kids.

Finally over with.
Yeah, all right! Yay!

All right! All right!

Alex, your mother and I
would like you to have this.

Oh... Dad.

Good boy.

Good boy.

I'm so proud of you.

Oh, mom, look, you promised me

you wouldn't
go getting emotional on me.

I'm not emotional.

My little baby boy!

We're, uh, we're proud of you
for holding it in.

Well, we did it, Alex.
We graduated.

We did.

You were great up there, Rachel.

Maybe you can give me
some pointers

for my vale... dic..tory speech
when I graduate.

Just graduate, Mal.

That's all we ask.

Congratulations to both of you.

Hey, now let's get a picture
of the two graduates.

Hell of a speech, Rache.
Very inspiring.

Thanks, Alex.