Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 3, Episode 12 - Help Wanted - full transcript

Steven gets depressed from interviewing frightfully inept candidates as housekeeper-nanny for the baby, such as a child-hater ad an ex-con. Alex is impressed with Karen Nicholson, regardless of lack of any vaguely domestic experience, even hires her on his own. Even with help from Alex and his sisters, who quickly take to her too, she's a household failure bordering on disaster, yet nobody wants to fire her for 'just' wrecking the house till it just gets too much for dad...

♪ 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

So, uh, basically,
what we're looking for

is one more helping hand
around the house

while my wife
is off her feet.

Then help with the baby
after it's born.

Uh, light housework, uh,

shopping, errands, cooking,
that kind of thing.

I believe the, uh, salary
is listed there in the ad.

I thought
it was a misprint.

Uh, no, that's... That's
the right figure.

But you have three children,
Mr. Keaton.

What you're offering me
is barely enough

if you have two children.

Either you'll have to
pay me more,

or get rid of
one of your children.

Um, I, uh, take it you don't
like children?

Children make messes,

all kinds of messes.

And messes make germs,

nasty little germs.

And germs carry disease,

disease which
erodes the living tissue,

the very fiber of life.

We'll be in touch.

Believe me, this has
been a pleasure.

I liked her.

Dad, there's one more
person left to interview.

All right.

Maybe we'll be
lucky this time, Alex.

Uh, send her in, Jen.

Come on in.

Show him
your tattoo, Max.

My pleasure.

Uh, we really don't
need to see it.

You sure?
No charge.

I'm sure. Uh, girls,
why don't you go upstairs,

keep Mom company?

Oh, okay. Bye, Max.

Bye, doll face.

I'm, uh, Steven Keaton,

and this is, uh,
my son Alex.

Max Schneider. Charmed.

Yeah, uh,
please sit down.

So, um, you want
to be a housekeeper?

That's right.
Housekeeper and nanny.

And can you cook?

Julia Child is my aunt.

Um, how are you
with children?

Great. I got kids
all over the world.

Uh, now, these are just
routine questions.

Uh, let's, uh...

Have you ever
been in prison?

Six years.

Well, we'll be in touch.

Hey, you know,

I got really good vibes
about you people.

This here could
finally be my niche.

Well, uh, thank you very much
for coming, Mr. Schneider.

Did I mention that I know how
to operate a drill press?

Uh, n-no, no.
No, you didn't.

Put it down, kid, huh?

Take care.

I think...

I think I've had about enough
of this for one night.

You can screen anyone else
who comes along.

If you see anyone good, uh,
I'll be upstairs working.

Give me a call.
Okay, Dad.


Coming, coming.

Hello, I'm Karen Nicholson.

I've come to apply for
the housekeeping position.

You have?


Uh, come in, come in.

Uh, here.

Thank you.

Won't you
please sit down?


I, uh, have a few
questions here

I must ask you.


Uh, do you have
any references?


Uh, do you, uh,
have any experience

a- a-as a housekeeper?



Uh, can you cook?

Uh, cook?


So you, uh...
You have no experience,

uh, no references,

and, uh...
And you can't cook.

That's right.

You're hired.


Come on, Dad, have a little
faith in my judgment, okay?

As soon as you
get to know her,

you will realize that I made
the correct decision.

That is not the point, Alex.

You had no right
to hire anyone

consulting me first.

Well, Dad, I knew
you were working,

and I didn't see any point
in bothering you.

Besides, Dad,
in my wildest imaginations,

I couldn't dream
of a better woman...

for the job.

Is that Miss Nicholson
here yet?

Nope, nope, not yet.

I hope you didn't hire some
dumpy-looking old lady, Alex.

Jennifer, you shouldn't
be so concerned

with the way
a person looks.

How can you
be so shallow?

I hired the person

who I thought
was best for the job.

I don't even remember
what she looked like.

Hi, Alex.

Hi, Karen.

Is it coming back
to you, Alex?

Uh, ahem, Dad,
Jennifer, Mallory,

I would like you to meet
our new housekeeper.

It's nice to meet all of you.
I'm Karen Nicholson.

Our pleasure.

Alex didn't mention
he had two sisters.

I forgot.

Oh, that's for us.


It was nice meeting you.
Thank you.

Yeah, um,
see you later.

Okay, bye.

Well, hey, uh,

why don't we all
get better acquainted, huh?

Let's... Let's sit down.
Good idea. Come on, Karen.

Ah, I'll get that, Dad.

There we go.

Mr. Keaton...
Watch the table, Karen.

It's a little wobbly.
Oh, yeah.

Mr. Keaton, I just want to
thank you so much for this job.

You have no idea how much
it means to me.

Well, uh, Alex told me how well
the interview went

and, uh, based on that, I have
complete confidence in you.

I am so relieved
to hear you say that.

You know, in your ad,
you said you were looking

for someone with experience
as a housekeeper.

When I read that
I didn't figure I had a shot.

Uh, you, uh...
You have no experience?

Well, Dad, she means
she has no experience

in the literal sense.

But as Jean-Paul Sartre said,

isn't the act
of simply being alive,

you know,
suffering through

the existential angst
that is life,

isn't that...?

Isn't that the best kind
of experience...

for being a housekeeper?

You ever see
Sartre's house?

I'm a quick learner,
Mr. Keaton, you'll see,

and I'm very eager
to get started.

Well, there is something
to be said for enthusiasm.


It's the most important
trait in a housekeeper.

That, and a little
button nose.

I do have something
you can do, uh, Karen.

My wife should be
getting up soon

and she's going to
want some breakfast.

I've got to get going here,
so would you mind?

What does she like to eat?

Well, a couple
of eggs, usually.

Eggs. No problem.



In the refrigerator.


How...? How does
she like them?

Uh, a little boiled.

There we go.


That's not right, is it?

No, no, no,
that's... That's okay.

I mean, some people
boil eggs one way,

and some people...

boil them another.

That's what makes
America great.

I could tape it up.

Uh, n...

Uh, no, no, um,

she doesn't
like them taped.

Well, here, I'd better
start over again.


I'll get that tape.

I'm having so much fun.

This is the first load
of laundry I've ever done here.

Come to think of it,
it's the first load

of laundry
I've ever done.

I don't believe it.

You've never
done laundry before?

That's right.

I believe her.

Those were Dad's.

We'll just
give them to Alex.


Alex, I'm glad you're here.

Karen, I'm glad you're here.

I need you to help me
carry the table.

I... I took it outside to even up
the legs a little bit.

Oh, great.
Hey, let's celebrate.

How about, uh,
dinner and a show?

Yeah, I love having
Karen around.

She's like the big
sister I never had.

Yeah, I feel the same way.

I... I mean, uh,

the even bigger sister
I've never had.

Okay, watch your back.

Here we go.

I hope this will
be all right.

I worked on it all day.

Oh, I'm sure
it'll be fine, Karen.

Here we go.

There we go.

Maybe it'll look okay
with the good china on it.

Ah, that'll do it.
Hey, good idea.

Great idea.

Think Dad will notice?

Only if he keeps
his eyes open.

Karen is so nice.

I don't want her
to get into trouble.

Now, now,
she doesn't have to.

Not... Not if the three
of us stick together

and help her through
this little crisis.

I think she's great.

All right.
Okay, then it's settled.

Listen, why don't we go
help her with that china, okay?


Uh, hey, hi, Dad.
Have a good day?

Fine. What happened
to the table?

The, uh... The what?

The table.

That table used
to be a lot higher.

May... May... Maybe you just
shot up at work, Dad.

You wear lifts?
Uh-huh. All right.

Hi, Mr. Keaton.
How was your day?

Uh, not... Not too bad.

Say, Karen,
would you happen to know...?

Oh, Daddy,
we love you so much.

Where did you
get that tailored?

It looks great.
Okay, fine.

Would... Would you
happen to know

what happened
to that table?

Oh, I fixed it.

You fixed it?

Let's, uh,
set the table, girls.

Mr. Keaton,
I just want you to know

this has been
the best day of my life.

I spent three hours
with your wife.

I can tell you
she's a wonderful woman.

Thank you.

And Mallory and...
And Jenny here,

I just feel like I've
known them all day.

Of course, I have.

And this boy here...

Oh, he's like
the brother I never had.

Don't... Don't think of me
as your brother.

Think... Think of me as a guy.

The... The... The guy
you never had.

the guy you could have.

Come on, everybody, let's eat.

Okay. Boy, I'm looking
forward to this, Karen.

This is gonna be good.

I know you're really
gonna love this salad.


Boy, looks good.

Got to admit, Dad.
She's working out, huh?


Hey, Dad.

Hi, Alex.

How...? Uh, how did things go
around the house today?

Oh, great. Great, Dad.

Karen is doing great.

You know, she only
broke the, uh, vacuum,

the blender and the TV.

She's getting better.

Yeah, and she... She fixed
the stuff she broke yesterday.

The, uh, toaster, sink
and washing machine.

So... So we're not
gaining any ground,

but, uh, we're not
losing any.

We're holding steady, Dad.

Hey, hey, can I fix you
a cold drink?

Uh, the ice maker's
not working, Alex.

Karen broke it a week ago.
No, no, no, no.

She told me that she
took care of it today.

I'll get it myself, Alex.

So, uh, how was your day
at school, Alex?

Real good.
Real good, Dad.

No, no. I... I mean specifically
that, uh, that English class.

You, uh... You said you were
having a little trouble with it.

Doing great, Dad.
I'm doing great.

Here, uh, hang on a sec.

Take a look at that.

So, uh... So how are
the rest of your classes?

Good, Dad, good. I am, uh,
really glad I chose Leland.

You know, and
the Economics department's

I hoped it would be.

Who are we kidding, Alex?

She's not working out.

She's totally incompetent.

She has got to go.

Dad, will you quit being
such a perfectionist?

Alex, Alex...

Alex, look around you.

I'm afraid to, Dad.

Alex, this woman cannot do
one thing we need her to do.

Okay, well, Dad,
let's keep thinking

until we think
of something that she can do.


We have to fire her, Alex,

for our own safety.



If this had been
a Pop-Tart,

we'd be dead now.


Dad, look, think of
Mallory and Jennifer.

They... They love Karen.

Th-this is gonna be very
upsetting to them,

not to mention
my fantasy life.

We had a fabulous day.

Yeah, I've never seen so many
fat, naked women in my life.

Where did you go, the Y?

We saw the Rubens Exhibit
at the Art Institute.

It was great.

Yeah, Karen took us out
for ice cream afterwards.

We had so much
junk food today,

we could go without eating
for a week.

Good planning, Karen.

Thank you.

Karen, uh,

I'm glad you had
a nice time with the girls.

Oh, it was fantastic.

But, uh...

Well, you've got
some responsibilities

in the house too.

I know, that's what
I love about this job.

See, I can be indoors
or outdoors.

Well, excuse me,
I'm gonna go tell Mrs. Keaton

about all the fun
we had today.

You make every day fun,


I know, Dad.
She's got to go.

I just wanted to get
one last compliment in.

W- w-we have to fire her.
We have no choice.

All right, Dad, okay,

but let's do it as
humanely as possible, okay?

All right.
I've got an idea.


let's have the two of us
take her out to dinner.

Probably the only way
we'll get something to eat.

You know, we'll... We'll...
We'll show her a good time,

uh, and, uh, kinda
squeeze the firing in

between, "pass the salt"
and "check, please. "

Pass the salt,
please, Alex.

So soon, Dad?

Karen, um, I'd like to talk
to you about your work.

Oh, you know, I'm enjoying
myself so much at my new job,

it doesn't even seem
like work to me.

It doesn't seem like work
to us, either.

Good evening.

Oh, hey.
It's the Keatons.

Dad, it's him.
It's the...

Convict, huh?

Is that what you
were gonna say?

No. I was gonna say,
"Dad, it's him,

the nanny. "

You know each other?

Yeah, I applied
for a job

as their housekeeper,
but they turned me down.

Oh, really?

I feel so guilty.
They hired me.

I wonder why they
took you instead of me.

What did you wear
to the interview?

I wore my blue dress
with black heels.


I knew it, I knew it.

I guess you got a lot
of experience as a housekeeper.

No. I've had no experience.

Well, we all know what
Sartre says about experience.

Karen, uh, we need to talk.

I know. We do.

You're a very nice person.

Nice? Come on, Dad.
You're more than nice.

Excuse me, I have
to interrupt you.

I'm really starting
to feel guilty, here.

What do you mean?

Well, you take me
out to dinner

at a wonderful
medium-priced restaurant.

You treat me
like one of your family

and now you're saying
all these nice things about me,

but I've let you down.

You have?

I know I've probably
kept it hidden from you,

but I'm not
a good housekeeper.


It's been bothering me
ever since I started.

I never should have
taken this job.

I came into your house
and ruined everything.

Well, not everything.

Look, let's face it, okay?

I'm a failure.
I'm not good at anything,

and I never will be.

Karen, stop putting
yourself down like this.

This isn't the first job
that hasn't worked out for me.

Don't feel bad. I... I'll just
move on to something else.

Oh, no, no, no, no,
Karen, please stay.

It's been wonderful,

but I can't do this
any longer.


Boy, having a housekeeper
is hard work.

I know, but it's worth it

to keep Karen
around though.


Uh, hi.


Uh, where's Karen?

Uh, girls, sit down.

Uh, look, um, Karen, uh...

Karen won't be working
for us anymore.

You fired her?


Certainly not.


They think that
we would fire Karen.

We... We tried to fire her.

She quit before
we got around to it.

And you let her quit?

She knew that she
wasn't doing a good job.

So, what does that have
to do with anything?

She was my friend.

She was all
of our friends.

I know, I know,

but we set out
to find a housekeeper,

not a friend.

Well, I'm really gonna
miss seeing her.

That goes triple for me.

Everything in this kitchen
reminds me of her.

Yeah. This is the stove,

she didn't know how to use.

And the sink where she used
to always break our dishes.

And the toaster
where she started a fire.

I think I'm gonna cry.

Well, it's gonna be tough
breaking this to your mom.

She was in the middle
of teaching Karen

how to roll socks.

Well, look who's here.

Good to see you, Karen.

Uh, Mr. Keaton,

I've been doing
a lot of thinking.


Mr. Keaton,

I've been doing
a lot of thinking, and...

Well, see,
I've spent my whole life

running away from things,

and I've decided it's time
for me to stop running.

I really want to make
a success of this job,

and you want me to stay,

so I think it would
be wrong for me to leave.

Nothing could be wronger,
right, Dad?

Let's give it another try.

Hey, Karen.

Oh, thanks, Mr. Keaton.

I want you to know
I'm really gonna try to improve.

I know I wasn't
doing a good job before,

but that's gonna change.
You'll be surprised.

Great. Well,
you can start again tomorrow.

No, no. I wanna start
right now.

I know I ruined
your dinner,

so I'd like to make you all
something to eat.