Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 3, Episode 15 - Auntie Up - full transcript

Alex likes Mallory's favorite aunt Gertrude 'Trudy' Harris for one reason: the pair of airheads regularly go somewhere together, out of his way. After such trip, Trudy gets a heart attack, Skippy helps rush her to hospital but she doesn't survive. The Keatons hold her wake, but it gets a mixed crowd: Alex never canceled the garage sale. At the funeral, truly mournful Mallory makes a scene because the reverend's speech is fake, every detail wrong as he never met her...

♪ I'll bet
We've been together ♪

♪ For a million years ♪

♪ And I'll bet
We'll be together ♪

♪ For a million more ♪

♪ Ooh, it's like
I started breathin' ♪

♪ 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. Hey, got some great stuff
for the garage sale, Dad.

Oh, that's terrific, Alex.

Nice to see you
pitching in like this.

Well, Dad, it's the least
I could do.

I mean, we gotta get this junk
out of the house.

We all have
to make sacrifices.

And I'm willing to do my part.

Well, what do you have there?

Everything in Mallory's closet.

Hey, Jen, give me a hand
with Mallory's bed.

I hope Aunt Trudy and Mallory
hurry up and get home.

They've been gone
for over three hours.

That's no surprise.
They have a great relationship.

They always have.
You know,

in some ways,
Mallory and Aunt Trudy

are very much alike.

In that case, there's no chance

they'll find their way home.

Hi. Sorry we're late.
We got lost.

We had the most
wonderful time.

What'd you do?
We went to see Swan Lake.

Oh, Swan Lake.

Dad, remember we used
to go fishing

up at Swan Lake.

Got a couple of swans one time.

I remember. I'm still picking
the feathers out of my teeth.

It's a ballet,
you fools.

It's a ballet.

They're hopeless.

I've known that for a long time.

They pretend to be ignorant

and they make the most smashing
success of it.

No, it's great to see you,
Aunt Trudy.

And, uh, we wanna
thank you

for getting Mallory
out of the house

for a few hours
every week.

Hey, uh, how do you feel
about her

moving in with you?

Be my pleasure, Alex.

In fact, all three of you kids
can move in.

No, you see, that would be
defeating the purpose.

I want to get
as much distance as I can

between me and her.


Hey. Hi, everybody.

Oh, hi, Aunt Trudy.

Oh, hi, Skippy.

Ah, Skippy, you bring that over
for the garage sale?

Bring what over?

The moose head.

No. Ssss.

The ties are
for the garage sale.

The moose head was just
to help me carry them over.

I don't know, Aunt Trudy.

I want to do better in school,
but I can't ever seem to.

How much did you study
last night?

Not at all.

Why don't you try
doubling that.


Oh, great.

You know,

I see a lot of myself
in you, Mallory.

I have ever since you were
a little girl.


And don't you worry about

this school stuff.

You're a very bright girl.

And you're gonna be
a late bloomer just like I was.

I hope so.

You know, whenever I try
to concentrate on school,

my mind drifts
to other things.

What other things?


Oh, that'll change.
Soon you'll drift to men.

Did, uh...? Did you used
to date a lot, Aunt Trudy?

I mean,
before you were married.

I had a date or two.

What was it like?

I mean, dating
when you were a girl?

Well, it wasn't
all that different

than it is today.

He picked you up
in his Packard,

took you to see Tyrone Power
at the movies,

then out to
the corner soda fountain,

then you fought him off
in the rumble seat.

I guess some things
never change.

What else have you been doing
with your life,

besides boys?

Um, well, I learnt
a new dance step

in my ballet class.

Why don't you show me.


Oh, hi, Aunt Trudy.

Oh, hi, Skippy.

Where's Mallory?

She just stepped out.

I'll get it.

Oh, Mallory.
Come on in.

Trudy and I were just
talking about you.

Skippy, what are you
doing here?

I was showing Aunt Trudy
some dance steps.

Why were you doing them outside?

Skippy, how can you be
so stupid?


Skippy isn't stupid, Mallory.

I'm not?

No, of course not.

You remind me
of a dance student I had

many years ago.

He also used to march
to his own drummer.

You know what I mean?


I don't have my own drummer.

See what I mean?

That dance student
I just mentioned?


He turned out
to be my husband.

Don't even joke about that,
Aunt Trudy.

Aunt Trudy, how was Mallory
as a dancer when she was a kid?

Tell me everything.

Well, Mallory was
a great tap dancer,

much better than Alex.

Oh, dear.

Alex took tap dancing?

He made me promise
never to tell.

Huh. Well, what was he like?

He was the worst dancer

in the history
of the human foot.

Wow, this is the greatest news.
I can't wait to use this.

Mallory, you mustn't.

I gave my word.

Oh, was he bad.

All right,
I won't say anything,

but it's breaking my heart.


Oh, uh, I won't
say anything either,

Aunt Trudy.

Oh, Mallory. This is great.

You and I are sharing
a secret.

Think of the knowing looks

we can exchange.

The whispers,

the winks.

Skippy, if I ever wink at you,

it's only because
I got a bug in my eye.


What's the matter,
Aunt Trudy?

Oh, I... I'm all right. I, uh...

Well, you don't look
all right.

Um, why don't I get you
a drink of water or something.

No, no. I'll just sit down here
for a few minutes.


Oh, as a matter of fact,

I think I better sit down
in a hospital.


What's taking 'em so long?

She's been in there
over an hour.

I don't know. I'll find out.

Uh, miss?

I didn't find out everything,

but I think I established
a relationship

that'll be useful to us later.

Skippy, I'm scared.

Don't worry.
Everything's gonna be okay.

I'm scared
about Aunt Trudy.

I know.

She's a very special person.


Remember when I was
a little kid

and I used to come over
to the house

when she was visiting,

and we'd play hide-and-seek?

No one else would look for me.

I remember what
she used to say about you.

"That Skippy
is one of a kind. "

I hear that a lot.

I know, but she meant it
as a compliment.

Excuse me, miss.

My aunt went in there
about an hour ago,

and I wanna know
what's taking so long, okay?

I wanna see a doctor.

Miss, we've got
two gunshot victims,

three pregnant women,

and a guy who swallowed
a can of paint.

No, no, no. No, they won't do.
We wanna see a doctor.

We'll send someone
as soon as we can.

Oh, where is she?
How's she doing?

Mr. Keaton, she's been
in there so long.

And what did the doctor say?

We haven't seen
the doctor yet.

Dad, I'm really worried.
They won't tell us anything.

Oh, I'll see what
I can find out. Oh... Oh, miss?

We had the same conversation.

Oh, how is she? Is she okay?

I'm sorry, miss.

We couldn't save her.

Well, I hope I bought
enough food.

It's hard to know
how many people

are going to pay
condolence calls.

Trudy had so many friends.

There's plenty of food, Dad.

Someone else could die,
we'd still have enough food.

I love this kind
with the pimento in it.

Well, I wish your mother
was in town.

She knows more
about entertaining than I do.

Will you two stop talking
about the food, please.

Whoa. Mallory, sorry.
Take it easy.

Don't tell me to take it easy.

Listen, Mallory, I don't...
Kids. Kids, please.

People are here
to pay condolence calls.

Settle down, please.

Oh, hello.

Hi, how are you?

Come right in.
Oh, thank you.

Oh, thanks.

I'm, uh... I'm Steven Keaton.

And, uh, this is, uh...

This is my son Alex...

... and my daughter Mallory.

Hi. Hi. Hello.

I'm, uh, Larry Cromwell,

and, uh, this is my wife

Uh, would you...?
Would you like something to eat?

Yeah, here, please.
Oh, well, thank you.

There we go.

Oh, this is a lovely display.

Thank you.

Thank you. Heh.

Here, please.

We've been to a lot
of these before,

but nobody's ever gone
to this much trouble.

Well, thanks.


how did you, uh...?

You two know Trudy?

Trudy who?

Trudy Harris.

We're here
for the garage sale.

The garage...


I- I'm sorry, Dad.

It was too late
to cancel the ad.

What's going on here?

The garage sale
is canceled.

I'm very, very sorry.


Who...? Who's Trudy?

Trudy... Trudy is my aunt.

Well, where is she?

She's dead.


Thank you.
I guess the garage sale

is definitely off, then.

Yeah, I'm afraid so.

Uh, could we just take
a quick peek?

No, no, no.
Really, I'm sorry.

I'm afraid so.
Under the circumstances...

Alex, why didn't you
take that ad

out of the paper yesterday?

Mallory, I forgot. I didn't
think of it until today.

You're so insensitive sometimes!

And, Jennifer, how could you
just blurt that out then?

Blurt what out?

That Aunt Trudy's dead!

Well, she is, isn't she?

Now, kids, plea...

Look, I'm sorry.
There's been a mistake.

There has?

Then she's not dead?

Oh. Heh. Oh...

No. No. No. She's dead.
She's dead.

Come on in.

I thought you were here
for the garage sale.

You're having a garage sale too?

Well, no.

I'm... I'm Steven Keaton,
Trudy's nephew.

Stu Devin, Trudy's dentist.

I, uh,

saw the obituary
in the paper.

I thought I'd drop by.

Nice to meet you.

She was a fine woman.


Great teeth.

I'll get it.

Uh, Dr. Devin, have a seat.

Darling, give him
something to...

Hi. Hi, Phyllis.
Oh, hello, Alex.

Hi, Steven. How are you?

Oh, Phyllis, thanks.
I'm doing okay.

Excuse me.
Uh, how much for this lamp?


Alex, you let in people
for the garage sale?

How could you?

I'll give you 30 bucks for it.

Uh, excuse me, sir.

I'm... I'm sorry,

but, uh, the garage sale
is canceled.

You'll have to leave.

Oh, yeah, well,
what about everyone else?

They're here
for a condolence call.

You see, our... Our aunt
passed away on Thursday.

A sudden heart attack.

Oh, my God.

How old was she?


Struck down just like that?

That's not fair.

It isn't fair.
Oh, it's a crime.

I'm so, so sorry.

Thank you.

Could I sit down
just for a minute?


Alex, get rid
of these people now.

All right. A-all right.

Uh... excuse me. Excuse me.

Could I have your attention
for a moment, please?

Who is here
for the garage sale?

Show of hands, please.

Okay, good. And who is here
for the condolence call?

Oh, well.

Okay. Uh, garage sale people...

follow me.

Mourners over here
by the cold cuts.


this must be the place.

It's not funny, Alex.

I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.

Um, just nervous,
and it just came out.

Sometimes, uh...

Sometimes a joke,

even, uh, an inadvertent joke,

can help ease the tension
at a time like this.

Did you hear the one
about the nun and the priest?


Mr. Keaton?

I'm Reverend Wilson.

Hello, Reverend.
Nice to meet you.

Please, let me offer
my condolences to all of you.

I'll be conducting
the funeral services

for the dearly departed.

Reverend Wilson, Aunt Trudy
was a very special person

to all of us.


Aunt Trudy,
the dearly departed.

Oh, yes. Please go on.

What I was gonna say is that

Aunt Trudy always loved
singing and dancing.

Um, music was everything to her.

She even tried to teach me
how to play the piano once,

but I was so tone-deaf...

Tone-deaf. Oh, I see.

I remember one day, I...

Uh, excuse me.

I think we'll have to begin
the service shortly.

But I've hardly told you
anything about Aunt Trudy.

Well, I'm sorry.
I'll do the best I can.

we better sit down now.

Dad, it's not fair.
He never even met Aunt Trudy.

Mallory, I'm sure
he'll handle it tactfully.

Yeah, he seems like
a decent guy, Mallory.

Bit of a devil-may-care
attitude about him,

but I'm sure
he'll come through.

We should invite him
to the garage sale.

We are gathered here today

to say farewell
to Gertrude Harris.

While I did not have the honor
to know Gertrude,

it's easy to see that she made
many friends in this world.

She was also dearly loved
by her family,

who referred to her
affectionately as Aunt Gerty.

Did you hear that, Dad?
He called her Gerty.

Nobody called her Gerty.

Aunt Gerty brought joy
to many of us in this room.

She was a very musical person,

despite the handicap
of being tone-deaf.

She wasn't tone-deaf. I was.

But as it happens to all of us,

Aunt Gerty has passed on
to a better world.

No! Her name wasn't Aunt Gerty.
It was Aunt Trudy.

Mallory, sit down, please.

And she wasn't just
like everyone else,

'cause she was different.

How can you talk about a woman
you never even met?

Mallory, come on, honey.

Sit down.
No, Dad!

Nobody cares
that Aunt Trudy's gone.

I mean, Alex is thinking
about his garage sale,

and the reverend
can't remember her name.

Uh, excuse us, Reverend.

I'm sure we all share

your sense of grief
at this moment.

No, you don't!

I was the closest with her.

I shared secrets with Aunt Trudy

that no one else even knew.

I mean, how many of you
knew she was a dancer?

I knew that.

And that she loved to teach

and spend time
with young people?

I knew that.

And how many of you knew

that she used
to fight off dates

in a rumble seat?

That I didn't know.

All of you are just looking
at your watches,

trying to figure out what time
you're gonna be home,

but I loved Trudy.

She was the nicest person
I'd ever known,

and now she's gone,

and I feel alone.

I mean, don't you understand?

My Aunt Trudy's dead.

Honey, come on.
I'm sorry.

I knew that.


The funeral over?


You know, after, uh,

you ran out,

the minister invited
other people to come up

and say nice things
about Trudy.

The dentist talked
about her teeth

for half an hour.

I'm gonna miss her, Alex.

We're all gonna miss her.

She was really something,
you know.

I mean, she could make you
say things a-and do things

you never thought you would.

You know, nobody in the world
knows this,

but, uh...

she once taught me
how to tap-dance.


And I don't want
to brag, but...

she said I showed
a lot of potential.

It's not gonna be the same.

No, it's not.

You'll be okay.
Come here.

All right.

I'll leave you alone.

Just, um...

Hi, Mallory.

Hi, Jennifer.

Mallory, if it makes you
feel any better,

after you left,

the minister started
calling her Aunt Trudy.

He started calling everyone
Aunt Trudy.

How are you?

Um... I'm okay.

Dad, I'm sorry.

What happened back there?

Okay, I was angry.

I was angry at you

for letting it go on
like that

and for not getting
a better minister...

and for lettin' everyone
tell jokes and stuff.

I mean, it didn't seem
like anybody cared.

People mourn
in very different ways.

Some people have
to distance themselves.

That's how they deal with it.

You shouldn't mistake that
for lack of love.

Mm. Maybe I should have tried to
distance myself a little, huh?

Well, you were upset,
you were angry,

and you were sad.

It's important to get
those feelings out,

rather than keep them inside.

I sure got 'em out.

You sure did.

I... I don't know anybody

who's good at handling
these things.

I don't...
I don't deal that well

with death myself.

Funerals are usually
your mother's area.

What do you mean?

Well, when you've been together
as long as your mom and I have,

you tend to divide the big
emotional responsibilities.

Your mother handles,
uh, funerals,

first dates and plumbing.

I handle, uh,

colds and flus,
open school nights,

and, uh, office supplies.

Dad, where do you think
Aunt Trudy is right now?

She's probably still
at the funeral home.

You see, they...


No, I... I mean,
where do you think she is...

right now?

Someplace nice, someplace...


Someplace with a lot of music.

Do you believe in God, Dad?

I do.

I know I... I don't
talk about it very much,

but I believe in God.

Not in a fire and brimstone,

hell and heaven God,

but I believe
in a higher spirit,

something controlling
the universe.

What do you think
God looks like?

I always pictured him
as looking like Cary Grant.

And... And he'd...

He'd see me and say:

Hello, Stevie, how are you?

Tell me something
about yourself.

But of course, I know
everything about you, don't I?

I hope Aunt Trudy's
with Cary Grant.

She'd like that.

I miss Aunt Trudy, Dad.

We all do.


Um, I don't know how
to let go of her.

You don't...
You don't have to let go.

Hold on to those memories.

Go ahead and cry.

Go ahead.

But when you finish crying,

I want you to do something.

Um, what?


remember all the fun things
about Aunt Trudy.

Remember the happy times.

And then, when you think of her,

maybe you'll be able to smile.