Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 4, Episode 12 - Nothing But a Man - full transcript

Dad Steven postulates for the job of regional PBS manager, interested in programming clout rather then the pay raise - despite his poor performance, he got the job, in fact in advance. The family is disappointed he's home much less, except Alex, who even acts as dad's though appointment book keeper. Alex is terribly worried for his beloved baby-brother Andy's manhood when the kid takes a ferocious fancy to a doll Ellen gave him. Steven starts feeling guilty never to be available for the children's activities, enough to...

♪ 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


Did you get everything
you needed at the mall, Mal?


I got two shirts,
couple of pairs of pants,

a jacket,
and a pair of shoes.

I thought you went there
for school supplies.


Um, well, they were
out of school supplies.

See, the...

The, uh... The school-supply
truck broke down.

it was on the news.

I bought a present for Andrew
while we were there.

I hope he likes it.


Oh, that's so sweet.
Oh, Andy'll love it.

Wh-whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

Hold the phone.
Time out.

What... this is...
This is not a toy for a boy.

This is a doll.



So this better fold out
into a truck.

There's absolutely nothing wrong
with boys playing with dolls.

It's perfectly natural.

It is not
perfectly natural...

Do you know what happens
to boys who play with dolls?

They become men
who play with dolls.

Alex, this is healthy
for Andrew.

It will help him
to enter adulthood

without hang-ups
about sexual roles.

I have those hang-ups.

I'm okay.

No, you're not, Alex.

Come on, let's go
take it up to him.

Hey, hey, he...
He's not gonna like it.

You'll see.

Tell... Tell him
to use it as a bat.

Dad, I am telling you,
the blue tie looks better.

It's not better,

It is.

Jennifer, you don't know.

You've never had
an interview

for the job of Midwest
Regional manager for PBS.

As a matter of fact,
I have, dad.

And I wore this tie,
and I got the job.

Oh. Honey, relax.
You look great.

You'll do great
on the interview, too.

Alex: Yeah, dad.

Want you to know
we're all rooting for you.

We want you to get this job
'cause you deserve it.

You worked hard.
You're the best at what you do.

You're the perfect man
for the job.

Thank you, Alex.

There's more money involved
with this job.

It's not the money
that's important, Alex.

This is the kind of job
I've dreamt about for years.

Your dad's right, honey.

This job could mean
a greater voice

in the creative direction
of public television.


He could make it
more commercial.

I am so proud of you.

I haven't got
the job yet.

Oh, it doesn't matter.

I'm still proud.

You're a man of passion
and conviction,

and I love you
no matter what job you have.

Yeah, dad,
we all love you.

Now, get the job,
or don't come home.

How long can it take them
to make up their minds?

Steve, the interview just ended
two minutes ago.

I guess the tension's
getting to me.

Oh, Steve, come on.
Take it easy.

I mean, you are,
without a doubt,

the most qualified man
in this organization.

You're going to get
the job.

Oh, yeah?
What about Carl Peterson?


Oh, I forgot about him.

He's good.

Maybe I should go

and get friendly
With Petey.


Come on,
I'm just kidding, Steve.


But Ted Broadnax
is good too.


Uh...all right, fine.
T-thank you.

Justin Phillips
is on his way over here.

I don't know about this, Gus.

I mean, I know I'm qualified,

but somehow I don't get
the feeling I'm his kind of guy.

I'm low-key.
Phillips is more high-powered.

I think he's gonna go
with Peterson.

Nah. It'll be Broadnax
before Peterson.

I had no idea
I'd be so nervous.

This job means
a lot to me, Gus.

Look, the whole staff
is pulling for you...

Except for Peterson
and Broadnax.

Good luck.

Now, believe me,
I've, uh...

I've been in situations
like this before.

I know how to handle it.

Am I interrupting

Oh! No.

Not at all.
Please, uh, come in, Justin.

Steve, I know you must be
a little anxious,

so let me
get right to it.

How would you like to be

the new director of programming
for the Midwest?

You're kidding.

Yes, I am.

You're kidding?

Yes, I am.

Steve, the job is yours.

Thank you, Justin.

Well, you want to go out
for some dinner?

We'll celebrate,
talk about some new projects?

Well, I'd love to,
except, uh, oh,

my family,
they're expecting me.

maybe tomorrow night.

Well, I-I usually try to have
dinners with my family.

Maybe. I-I'll let you know

we'll do it tomorrow.

We'll order in, and we'll
make it a working dinner.

Um, okay.

Well? Well?

I got it.

All right, Steve.


Oh, uh, here.

This is for you.

You were pretty confident
I'd get this promotion.

Hey, I never doubted it
for a minute.

Thanks, Gus.

What does it say
on the back?


No, tell me it isn't true.

Just tell me
it isn't true.

Let's face it, Alex,

the only toy Andrew
will play with is this doll.

I can't believe
this is happening.

I've offered him trains.
I-I've offered him trucks.

I've offered him soldiers.
I've even offered him money.

B-but he has some kind of
obsession with that stupid doll.

Her name is Sassy Susie.

You know what, Alex,
I think it's you

that's got an obsession
with this doll.

Why are you so threatened
by it?

Hey, I'm not threatened.

Isn't she cute?

Oh! Mallory!

I can see why...
Come on, knock it off, will you?

Alex is afraid
of Sassy Susie.

I am... I am not afraid
of this or any other doll.

"I love you, Alex."
Knock it off!

Hey, everybody.
Hey, hey.

that's Sassy Susie!


I used to have one of these
when I was a little kid.

I rest my case.

You used to play
with a Sassy Susie, Skippy?

I think that's great.

Oh, I had the whole set.

Uh, Wonderful Wendy,
Perky Patty...

Easy Edna.

Skippy, uh, here's -
here's 10 bucks.

Why don't you, uh, take,
uh, Sassy Susie out

and show her
a good time?

Uh, no, thanks, Alex.

No, I-I think I'm a little
too old for dolls now.

But I'll take the $10.

I'm gonna take Andrew up
and get him dressed for dinner.

Your dad should be home
any minute.

Where are we going
for dinner, mom?

I reserved
a special table at Guido's.

We are finally going to
celebrate your dad's promotion.

Oh, uh, put him in that cute
pink jumpsuit we got him.

No, look,
mom, mom, mom.

Put him in that, uh...
that suit of armor I bought him.

And don't forget
the sword.

Come on.

Don't you remember
what you learned

at that women's study group
we went to?


Come on.

What did you learn?

Avoid sexual stereotypes.

And what else?

Men and women are equal.


Dolls are for girls.

I'm sorry, Ellen.

This is my brother
we're talking about.

Where's dad, already?

He should have been home
a half-hour ago.

I need to talk to him
about something.

Look, Jennifer,
when are you gonna realize

dad is an important
executive now?

He hasn't got time to waste
on your little preteen drivel.

Well, as long as
you're here for me, Alex.

Dad still isn't here yet?

Well, why should tonight
be different?

He hasn't been home any night
before 10 this past week.

Can't we go without him, mom?
I'm really hungry.

Honey, we can't have a
celebration dinner without him.

Hey, gang.

Hey, dad.
Hi, Ellen.

Elyse, do you remember how
I've always wanted to do

a documentary about the plight
of the Navajo Indians,

but I could never get
the go-ahead?

Now I'm the guy
who gives the go-ahead.

And I had a little meeting
with myself this afternoon,

and I talked me into it.

Oh, that's -
that's wonderful.

Now, how about dinner?
Oh, no, thanks.

I, uh, grabbed something
at work.

I've got a lot
to do here.

It's a dinner
to celebrate your job.


Oh, right. Uh...

You already postponed it
five times.

Okay. Okay.
I'm coming. I'm coming.

All right. Let's go.

Can I bring
this stuff with me?


Okay. All right.
The work can wait. Let's go.

Oh, excuse me.



Oh, hi, Justin.


Oh, just a second.

Listen, it'll just take
about 15 minutes.

I'll meet you at Guido's.

15 minutes.

Yeah, Justin. I'm here.

Huh, what? Oh, no.

Well, can't it wait
until tomorrow?

I can't go.

Uh, yeah,
go on, Justin.



Oh, don't tell me
that jacket's on sale.

I still can't afford it.

Yeah, I'm totally
depressed, too.

I'll talk to you later.

I can't believe it.

What's the matter, Mal?
Wardrobe problems?

Yeah, I know how that is.

Come, let me hold you.

Mom, when is dad
supposed to be home?


It's after 8:00 already.

Are you kidding?

He hasn't made it home
on time for weeks.

Does dad still live here?

Well, he's still using it
as a mailing address.

Hi. Any mail for me?

On the desk.


Oh, honey,
you must be starving.

Uh, no.

I-I grabbed something to eat
at work.

Oh. Well, that's okay.

It gives a chance
to have a little time together.

Oh, hi, Justin.


Yes, I was just thinking
the same thing.

That is an excellent way
to approach him.

I'm gonna go up and check Andy.
He was a little...

Shh. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
...a little fussy...

...when I put him down earlier.

I think these problems
are all solvable, Justin.

Good. All right.
I'll see you then.

Dad, are you gonna be able to
make my soccer game next week?

Well, I'll check
my calendar at work.

Jen, I promise I'll get back
to you tomorrow.

Dad, I need to talk to you
when you get a chance.

Oh, sure, Mal,
maybe later.

Ladies, ladies,
ladies, ladies.

Come on, look.
We've been over this before.

Time is money.

Y-you don't just get to
come in and see dad

and get to talk
to him anymore.

Those days are over.

Well, uh, Jennifer, I can give
you an appointment with dad

at, uh...

...2:30 in the morning.

I'll take it.

Okay, have you been
to see dad before?

Dad. Dad, just come upstairs
when you get a chance, okay?

Hey, come on, come on.

Let him work. Let him work.
Let's go. Move it out.

Here we go.
Here we go.


Got a couple of minutes
for an old friend?




Uh, Justin.

Yeah. Um...

That could work.

Oh, good.

Good. Yeah.

Well, um... all right.

Yeah, no problem.

Hon, thank you.

Uh, I have to go
out of town for a few days.



Justin thinks we may be able
to get funding

for this new series
I've been wanting to do,

the interviews
with members of Congress.

Oh, good. Well,
that's great.

That means I'll miss
Jennifer's soccer game.


Well, I'll take her,
or Mallory will.

And Andrew's
doctor's appointment,

that's on Wednesday.

I'll take him.

I miss you.
I already miss you.

I miss you, too.

Oh, mom, come on.

Your appointment
isn't till tomorrow.

Oh, hi.

Good evening.

I see your name
is Andrew.

Very good.

Well, what do you know?

I-I have a-a son
named Andrew.

Me too.

Oh, well, uh,
that's my Andrew.

Hey, yours is cute.

Mine's got purple hair.

Well, you know teenagers.

He's 32.

He's a record producer
in New York.

That's what he says he's doing
this week, anyway.

Last week
he was a carpenter.

Next week, who knows
what he'll be?

A shepherd, maybe.
I don't know.

Uh, it's nice he calls each week
to, uh, keep in touch.

Yeah. He likes to reach out
and nag someone.

Still, they're our kids,

Blue hair, purple hair,
spiked hair.

We love 'em anyway, right?

Love is a strong word.

Thanks, sport.

Oh, Justin. Come in.

Thanks, Steve.
How'd it go today?

Good. I think we're ready
for Kenwell tomorrow.

I know you are.

I just came from a round
of follow-up meetings.

Steve, everything you've done
so far has worked.

Oh, thank you. I'm trying.

Well, this is gonna be

a record-breaking year
for raising funds,

and you've had a lot
to do with that, Steve.

There's something decent and
honest and attractive about you

that makes people want to
give you money.

Here, take 20 bucks.


Listen, Justin,
have you eaten yet?

Because i-I've got
some extra here.

Oh, yeah, I had
a bite in my room.

Oh, nice-looking family,


Yeah. Yeah.

Uh, this is, uh...

Alex, Mallory, Jennifer,
Andrew, Elyse, uh,

and, uh, Skippy,
our neighbor.

He keeps sticking that
back in there.

that's great, Steve.

I've got three at home,

You miss them?

Oh, yeah, sure.

But, you know,
you get used to being away,

long hours.

They get used to
not having you around.

It works out
all right.

The important thing is
we love what we do, right?

Right. Right. Yeah, sure.

Sure. That's the way it is
with guys like us.

The work takes over.

Nothing else
is as satisfying.

Well, the work is satisfying,
yeah, but I...

You'll see, Steve.
You'll see.

That's the way it is.

You're a winner.
You're willing to pay the price.

That's what separates
the guys like us.

Hi, Alex.

What are you doing back?
Everything all right?

Oh, fine. Where's your mother?

What time is it?


I lost track of time.

How you doing?

What're you doing up?

Uh, well, I started reading
this book, uh,

"Vector Calculus:
the Untold Story."

Couldn't put it down.

I feel like
I haven't seen you in a while.

Yeah, well,
you've been busy.

Anything big going on
in your life?

Any big changes?

Well, uh...

I'm married now -
you knew that.

Two kids.

And I'm president
of the United States.

I read that somewhere.

Listen, dad,
you know, uh...

Don't feel guilty

about all the time you have
to spend working these days.

I mean,
we all understand.

Even Andrew.

I'm giving up
my promotion, Alex.

I'm taking my old job back.

Uh, dad,
what are you saying?

You don't want to do that.

I mean, you got... You got
more power on this job.

You got more money.

You got more money.

There's more to life
than power and money, Alex.

Give me an example.

Look, dad...


I don't pretend
to understand you...

you know,
what makes you tick,

why you, uh... you live
your life the way you do.

In fact, I-I stay awake
at night wondering,

you know,
"where did I go wrong?"

But, uh...

I guess you know
what you're doing.

Underneath it all,
i-I believe in you.

Thanks, Alex.

Oh, hi, Elyse.

Is everything all right?

I just came home early.

The trip went well?

Oh, it went great.
Big success.

We made a lot of money.

Uh, they loved my ideas.

It felt good.

So why give it up?

Give it up?
What's he saying?

I'm going back
to my old job, Elyse.

Mom, Andrew's up.
He needs his bottle.



No, Jennifer,
over there.

In our kitchen?

Come on.

Oh, sleepy time.

You guys look great.
All of you.

Jen, I want to hear
all about your soccer game.

Mal, if you want to talk to me,
now's a perfect time.

Will you be here
in the morning?

I'll be here.

Okay. Good.

This is for Andrew.

Is that guy really dad?

I don't know.
It looks like him.

Don't blame yourself,

You did your best
with me.

Glad you're back, dad.

Okay, what really went on
down there?

Well, just like I said,
it went great.

Big success.

So big
that you want to quit?

Elyse, I was sitting in
a motel room in Washington, D.C.

I'd just finished the most
successful meeting of my life,

and I realized something.


Everything I care about,

really, really care about,

is in this house.

There's no such thing
as success for me

if it gets in the way
of my life here.

Honey, you're not always
gonna be traveling so much.

It's not just
the traveling.

It's, uh...

The long hours, the total
absorption in the work.

That's not gonna change.

You know, there are
a lot of things I don't like

about this new job.

But I want you to be
everything that you want to be.

So don't give this up
for us, for me.

I don't want this job now,

It's not the right time
in my life.

What I do want...

Is to be home
to tuck Andrew in at night,

to help Mallory
with her homework,

to fall asleep in your lap,

reading the paper,

have you carry me up
to bed.

I've missed that, too.

There's a price to pay
for everything.

Tonight I realized
the price I've had to pay.

I've had to lose the intimacy
of the people I loved,

the everyday involvement
with my children.

Teaching them,
playing with them,

watching their teeth come in.

And I've had to lose
the pleasure and comfort

of having you at my side.

I don't want to be
number one at work.

I want to be
number one right here.

You are with me.

Come on,
I'll carry you upstairs.