Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 3, Episode 13 - Karen II, Alex 0 - full transcript

Alex is dead-set to be selected for the Alpha Phi Epsilon fraternity, snobs who fixate on prestige, power and money. He lies his way trough an initial interview with chapter officials Don Caruthers and Craig Duvall, but his trump card, a gorgeous though Mallory-dumb date for the party for preselected candidates, has to cancel. Clumsy housekeeper Karen, Alex's only alternative, says she can't tell him why, would like to help him but just can't. Seeing how badly disappointed he is, she turns up, but clearly knows dean Ian McCall, an alumnus, too well, leaves and explains everything to Steven; her next move...

♪ 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


Uh, Jennifer, you had
the cheese omelet.

Mallory, yours is
eggs Benedict.

Um, thanks.

And, Steven,
you're soft-boiled.

Thank you.

Um, Karen,

these all look the same.

They're all scrambled.

Yeah, well, that's only the way
I know how to make eggs.

I just thought it would
be more exciting

if I called them
by different names.

Yeah, that was exciting.

Morning, morning.

get off the phone.

I'm not on the phone.

Oh, sorry.
Sorry, it was just reflex.

Will you get off the pho...?
I can't stop doing that.

What's your obsession
with the phone this morning?

I'm waiting
for an important phone call

from Susie Farkas.

You see, uh,
yesterday I invited her

to the big
Alpha Phi Epsilon dance,

And, uh, any second now...
she's gonna call me with her answer.

So will you get off
the phone...?

I can't stop doing that.

Alex, you're not
in a fraternity.

Why are you going
to the dance?

Because they invited me, Jen,

along with a few other
select freshmen,

so they can evaluate us
an decide if they like us.

I don't see what you're
so excited about, Alex.

I heard the Alpha guys

are just a bunch
of rich, snobby kids.

All they care about

is status, success
and money.

That's exactly
why I'm excited.

Alex, can I make you
some breakfast?

Karen, I'm sorry.

I... I was so caught up
in myself this morning

that I didn't even notice
how great you look today.

Oh, thank you.

Did I, uh, mention how great
you looked yesterday?

All day.


I- in case I don't
see you tomorrow...

Alex, I hate to cut you off
in mid-drool, uh...

but I've got to go
to work.

You want a lift
to school,

we're gonna have
to leave right now.

Oh, yeah, Dad,
just another minute, okay?

Susie said
she'd call me by 8,

and it's almost 8 now.

What makes you think
Susie can tell time?


There she is,
there she is.


Oh, hi, Susie.

No, no, no.
No, it's 8:00 now.

No, you see,
the big hand is at the 12.

Never mind. Never mind.

I'll explain it
to you on Saturday, okay?

You, uh... You can
make it on Saturday?

Great. Good.

No, uh, I'll see you then.

Okay. Bye-bye.

All right, okay.

When the guys at Alpha house
see her as my date,

I'm as good as in.

Is that how they judge you,
by how good your date looks?

Actually, Dad, the way I see it,
it's just one factor among many.

You know, they're also
interested in, uh, how I dress

and what kind of car
I drive.

Oh, that's
a different story.

Hey, hi.
How you doing?

Hi. I'm Petey Gordon.

Are you Don Caruthers
and Craig Duvall?

No, I'm, uh...
I'm not them.

I'm Alex Keaton.

Hi. I'm Petey Gordon.


I'm supposed to come by

and see Don Caruthers
and Craig Duvall

'cause I'm pledging
the frat.

That's what this letter said,

to come by and see them today

for a very important

Yeah, I, uh...
I got the same letter.

You couldn't have.

Mine says,
"Dear Petey... "

I'm really nervous
about this.

I mean,
they have to take me.

My dad was in this frat,
so I'm in for sure.

So why are you
so nervous?

Well, I'm always nervous.

I mean, what if
my dad wasn't really

in this fraternity,
but he lied to me?

That's a good point.

Hello, guys.

You must be, uh, Petey Gordon
and Alex Keaton.

You have to take me,
you have to take me.

My dad was in this frat,
so you have to take me.

Petey, look,
while we interview Alex here,

why don't you just wait
over here in the chapter room

and watch the big TV?

Oh, that is a big TV.

I don't think I can watch
the whole thing,

but I'll give it a shot.

Sit down, Alex.
Sit down.

Oh, thank you, thank you.

I'm sure you're aware

of the importance
of this interview.

Oh, I sure am, Craig.

So how much do you know
about Alpha Phi Epsilon?

Uh, well, not much.

Uh, I know that it was
founded in, uh, 1911,

that its, uh,
mascot is a wolf...

in sheep's clothing.

And, uh, its motto is
"Image is everything. "

That's very good.

Why don't you tell us
a little about yourself.

Uh, family roots,
that sort of thing.

Oh, uh...
Uh, well, we, uh...

We Keatons, uh, go way,
way back.

To the Mayflower?

No, actually,
before the Mayflower.

Before the Mayflower?

Uh, yeah.

Uh, you see,
our ancestors came over

about a... About a month
before theMayflower...

on the Aprilflower.

You see, uh, they, uh...

They came over and...
And checked it out

and saw that
everything was okay

and said, uh,
"Send over theMayflower. "


what does your father do
for a living?

Well, he...

Uh, well, uh,
I'm not at liberty

to discuss
my father's occupation.

Uh, suffice to say
that it's, uh,

very impressive.

In fact, I'm thinking
of it right now,

and I'm very impressed.


Well, Alex, look, as you
probably already know,

there are only a few spots open
in this year's pledge class.

Well, I just want
to be one of those spots.

Unfortunately, we've had
a flood of legacies.

Yes, uh, too many.

Well, I hope I'm not
interrupting anything.

Of course not.
Come in.

Come in, Dean McCall.

Dean McCall,
this is Alex Keaton,

one of our new
prospective pledges.

Alex, I'm sure you know
the dean is also an Alpha man.

Oh, I had no idea
you were, uh, an Alphite...

Yeah, an Alphist?

An Alfalfa.

Well, I'm very proud
to be one.

How do you turn
this thing on?

Well, I'm really
looking forward

to the big rush dance
tomorrow night.

I always like to see

if the new pledges
are up to snuff.

Well, don't worry
about Keaton here, sir.

He's one of our most
promising prospects.

Yes, I can see that.

Any word on
what his date looks like?

Oh, she's beautiful, sir.

I mean,
she's really, uh...


I hope not too civilized.

She's an animal, sir.

G... Ah.

Girls, are you sure
you know how to cut hair?

Absolutely, Dad.
Now just relax.

Yeah, you'll look great
with a Mohawk.


Just kidding, Dad.

Hey, what's going on?

Oh, Karen taught us
how to do hairstyling,

and Dad volunteered
to be our first victim.

I mean customer.
Just kidding, Dad.

Yeah, just kidding.

Alex, do you want
to be next?

No, thanks.

I already gave blood
this week.

Anyway, I got to pick out a suit
for the big fraternity dance.

Ah, just relax, Alex.

The dance isn't
until tomorrow night.

Hey, Mallory,
this is important.

You know, the only thing
standing between me

and that fraternity is...
Is the right suit

and the quality of my date.


Hey, Susie.
How's your diet coming?

She's down
to 107 pounds.

When she gets to 100,

What? Your leg?

Uh... are you sure
it's broken?

B- because a lot of times
on those x-rays

it can look broken
but be perfectly all right.

No, no, no.
No, never mind.

Okay, bye.

Oh, no.

Susie Farkas broke
her ankle ice-skating.

Compound fracture.

This is the worst thing
that's ever happened to me.

I hope
she sends you a card.

Whoops. Sorry.


Oh, my...

No, Dad!

We're not done!
We haven't finished.

We haven't finished
the top.

The top! I told you
not to cut the top!

Hi, Alex.

What's wrong?

My date broke her ankle

and had to cancel out on me
for tomorrow night.

I told her to stay indoors
until the dance.

Well, aren't there any
other girls you could ask?

A nice-looking boy like you
should be able to get a date.

Well, heh, of course
I can get a date.

But I... I need more
than a date.

I- I need somebody...




At least Susie was two
out of three.

Gee, Alex, I'm sorry.
I wish I could help.

And I... And I went and bragged
to all the guys about her.

You know, the worst part is
I- I bragged to Dean McCall.

You know,
I'm never gonna be able

to look that man
in the eye again.

Well, you just tell
the truth, Alex.

I got a better idea.

Why don't you come with me?

You know,
pretend to be my date.

Your date?

Yeah, yeah, it'll be...
Be a piece of cake.

We go in, a couple of cha-chas,
a rumba, a bunny hop,

and we're out of there.

Alex, I don't think
I'd be much help

getting you
into that fraternity.

Oh, Karen,
I show up with you,

they'll make me

No, it's just not
a good idea, Alex.

I really can't.
Come on, we won't stay for long.

Alex, I don't want to go,
all right?

It'll be a great dance,

It'll be a lot of fun.

You know, a...
A real college crowd.

Hey, I understand.

No, look,
if you can't make it,

you can't make it.


Thanks anyway, Grandma.

No dice?

Nah. Grandma claims
she has a headache.

I can't believe
this is happening to me.

The dance starts
in an hour.

Hi, everybody.
How's it going?

Skippy, are you ready
for your haircut?

My hair can't wait.

You and the lovely Mallory

are gonna transform me
into something wonderful.

it's only a haircut,

it's not a magic trick.

Skippy, why are you gonna
let them cut your hair?

Why not?

I heard what a great job
they did on your dad.

That's a nice hat,
Mr. Keaton.

Th... Oh, uh, thanks.

But I'm only wearing it

because, uh,
Mallory and Jennifer...

Love to see you
in hats.

you look great.


Let's go, Skippy.

I can't wait.

You know...

I wish your dad didn't
love baseball so much,

so I could see his haircut.

So, uh, any luck getting
a date?


No, Dad,
I'm without a date

on what might be
the most important night

of my freshman year.

Grandma use the old
headache excuse?


Did you try Aunt Molly?

It's her bowling night.

Look, Alex, I'm sorry
you don't have a date.

I know
it's disappointing,

but try to make
the best of it.

Go and have
a good time anyway.

Thanks, Dad.

You know, Alex,
if it makes you feel any better,

there is not a guy
in the world

who hasn't found himself
without a date

on a very important night.

Happen to you?

Uh, no. Never.


Alex, I just wanted to tell you
before you go

that I really wish I could go
with you, but I can't.

And there's a very good reason,
but it's a personal reason

which I don't want to tell you.

But I'd tell you if I could,

and I'd go with you
if I could, but I can't,

and that's the reason.

What's the reason?

The reason is that
I can't tell you the reason.

Look, Karen,
I understand.

I mean,
you'd feel uncomfortable

because you're older
than I am.

But I'm just asking you
to do this for me as a favor.

I mean, without you,

I have no chance of getting
into the fraternity.

I mean, it's...
It's very important to me.


Alex, I can't.

All right.
Okay, that's fine.

I just don't see what
the big deal is.

I mean,
it's one or two hours.

All right.

Never mind.

Hi, brothers.
When do I get to move in?

Not so fast, Petey.

They have to take me.

They have to.
I'm a legacy.

You know, Petey,

every new pledge has to be able
to fit in the dumbwaiter.

Uh, have you tried
that yet?

Yes, I have. Perfect fit.

You have to take me.

Hey, Alex.
Uh, hi, guys.

Hey there.
Great to see you.

That's a nice-looking suit.

You're off to a good start.


Listen, I, uh...

So, uh, where's this girl
you were telling us about,

this beautiful date
of yours?

Well, uh...

she's not, uh...

Not here right now.


No, look, guys,

you see, things didn't
turn out quite the way...

What are you saying,

Uh, well, see,
there was a little...

Little problem

t- that I-I didn't expect,

and she, uh...

didn't know...


Hi, Alex.

I'm sorry I'm late.

My plane was delayed.

That happens.

That happens.

Those planes can only go
so fast.

The, uh...

The important thing is
you're here, Karen.

You're... You're here.

Thank God, you're here.

So, um,
this is your date?

Yes. I'm Karen Nicholson. Hi.

Yeah, this is, uh,
Don Caruthers and, uh,

Craig Duvall.

I must say, Keaton,

you were rather modest
the other day, considering.

Yeah, well, Craig,
I, uh, hate to toot

my own horn,
but, uh... beep-beep.

Guys, will you excuse us
for a moment?

Yeah, pardon us
just for a moment, please.

Karen, this is
working out great!

Oh, Alex, no, it's not.
Oh! How come you're here?

I mean, I thought you said
you couldn't come.

Well, I... I thought it over,

I knew how much
it meant to you.

Oh, Karen, thank you.
Thank you, thank you.

Oh, Alex!

Alex, it's okay.
You don't have to thank me.

Can we go now?

Well, what are you
talking about?

Karen, you just got here.

Yeah, I know, but I feel
really uncomfortable here.

Well, all... All right.
Just a few more minutes, okay?


There's, uh...

There's someone
that I want you to meet, okay?

Oh, Alex, no.

Uh, excuse me.
Excuse me, dean?

I'd like you to meet my date.
Oh, hello, Alex.

This is...

Kar... Kar... Good guess.

That's right, Karen.
Karen Nicholson.

Karen, this is...
Hello, Ian.

Ian. Dean...
You've met.

Yes. Yes, we have.

Well, it's a small world.

Uh, may I speak with you
privately, Karen?

No, Ian, let's just forget
we saw each other tonight.

Let's pretend this
never happened, okay?

Please? Alex.

Uh, Karen, uh, we have
some things to talk about.

No, Ian, wedidhave
some things to talk about,

but as I recall,
the last words

you spoke to me
three months ago

were "I'll call you
tomorrow. "

It's a very tiny,
tiny world.

Let's go.

Uh, Karen...

can we, uh, uh, talk
about this somewhere else?

No, Ian, I'd rather not talk
about it at all, all right?

Uh, Karen!


Karen, uh, I know this, uh,
may be hard to believe,

after all that's happened,
but, uh...

I still love you.


You see, they've met.

Karen, heh, what did I do
that was so terrible?

You lied to me.
You were never honest with me.

I never wanna see you again.

Uh, Karen...

I have a birthday
coming up.

I'd like to spend it
with you.

All I can tell you is...

it'll grow back.


I promise.

Oh, Mr. Keaton, thank you. Mm-hm.

I- I could never go
through this alone.


Well, I'm... I'm glad
I could be here for you.

I wonder what...



Hi, Karen.

Uh, what are you doing here?

Uh, Mr. Keaton,
have you got a minute?

Uh, I'm sorry
to bother you so late.

Uh... no bother.


You, uh... You could have
dressed more casually.

Uh, Mr. Keaton, this is
very difficult for me to say.

I'm having trouble coming up
with the exact words,

so I-I hope
you'll forgive me

if I kind of stammer
and beat around the bush.

Uh, no... No problem.
Take your time.

I quit.


Mr. Keaton, I know you've been
wondering why a person like me

applied for a housekeeping job
in the first place.

Well, it has crossed
my mind.

You see,
I'm from a rich family,

and we always had servants
to take care of us and clean up.

I never learned
how to do anything like that.

That's why I'm such
a terrible cook.

So you became a... A housekeeper
to learn to do those things.

No, no. There's more.

You see, I never had to do
anything for myself,

and so, in some ways,
I never really grew up.

After I got out
of college,

I had no interest in a...
In a career of any kind.

I was bored.

So, uh, you became
a housekeeper.

No. There's still more.

You see,
I felt like I needed

to cling on to somebody
or something, so...

I met this man,
an older man,

recently separated
from his wife,

and we fell in love.

Are we up to the hou...
Housekeeping part yet?


Anyway, my parents
didn't approve of him,

but I didn't really mind

because this man had
asked me to marry him.

Except he didn't.

And I found out I wasn't
the only girl he was dating

and then he went back
to his wife.

So, all of a sudden,

I found myself very alone
and very scared.

I see.

So, uh, you became
a housekeeper to earn a living.



I lived off
my trust fund for a year,

but then it ran out,
so then...

Then what?

Then I became
your housekeeper.

But not just for the money.
Also for the companionship.

See, I was hoping I'd find
a really nice family

that I could become close to

since I was never
really close to my own,

and I did.

Thank you.

Dad, uh...

can you excuse us
for a minute?

No, Alex, it's all right.

Your father
knows everything.

Karen, I'm sorry.

I mean, I... I feel terrible.

I- I was so caught up in my...
In my own problems

that I didn't pay any attention
to your feelings.

You said
you didn't want to go.

I... should have
respected that.

Go? Go where?

You know, it's ironic.

One of the main reasons
I came to work here

was to avoid seeing him,

and then tonight
I had to see him.

Um, see who?

Dean McCall and... And the rest
of those guys are jerks.

Dad, what would you have done
in this situation?

Uh, what situation
is that?

What's going on?

It's very complicated.

I was just explaining
why I'm quitting.

You're quitting?

I knew that.

Do you have to quit,

Yeah, I do.

For the first time

I really felt in control
of my life.

It's... It's time for me
to move on now.

Well, I'm really gonna
miss you, Karen.

Yeah, so am I.

We were gonna cut
your hair next.

You're leaving
at just the right time, Karen.

I want to thank you for, uh...
For helping me out tonight.

I'm just sorry
for what happened.

Hey, hey, hey,
forget about it.

Man, I don't belong
in that fraternity

any more than, uh...
Than you belong in this kitchen.

You're right, but I'm here
and I'm kinda hungry.

Would you like me
to boil some waffles

to go with the ice cream?