Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 4, Episode 14 - Where's Poppa? - full transcript

Alex is in charge of this year's Leland parents students day. His girl-friend Ellen is angry because Alex personally invited her father, corporate lawyer Franklin Reed, whom she rejected as 'foul materialist' years ago, he's happy to learn she has a rich family and gets her to agree. When Franklin drops by, the men prove birds of a feather, but will father and daughter make up?

♪ 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, Andy.

Let's go over this again.

This is
a gift catalog.

I'll turn the pages.
That's right.

And you point to the things
you like best.

He doesn't know what you're
talking about, Mallory.

Jennifer, I mastered mail order
by the time I was his age.

I remember. That's how we got
our good china.

What's going on?

we're buying Andy a gift,

and he's pointing out the things
he'd like to wear.

So far, he's picked out
a bath mat and a wrench.

Just make sure he doesn't
wear them together.

Good news, everybody.

You're looking at
the newly elected chairman

of the Leland College Parent/
Student Weekend Committee.

Yes, sir.

I was singled out
for this honor,

Unanimously chosen by my peers,

handpicked from a pool
of over 50 qualified candidates.

They pulled his name
out of a hat.


We really excited for you.

Yeah, we'd like
to hear all about it.

- Well...
- Yeah.

Just what does
the job involve?

Mom, I'm in charge
of the entire event.

I have here a computer printout
with the name and phone number

of every Leland student
and parent.

For this one weekend,

I'm in complete control
of their lives.

Well, that is frightening.

Oh, well, but it's nice.

We'll finally get a chance
to meet Ellen's father.

Actually, I don't know
if he'll be able to make it.

Oh, that's a shame.

Well, it's partially
my fault.

I didn't invite him.

You didn't invite him?

this is parents' weekend.

You're legally obligated
to invite him.

Alex, there wouldn't have been
any point in calling him.

He doesn't like these things,
and he wouldn't have come.

I was just saving us both
the trouble.

Um, Ellen, look,
just let us know

if we can help you
in any way.


- Okay.
- Bye.

Well, I got to go.
I got to get back and study.

Now, wait a minute,
wait a minute, Ellen.

Uh, I can't really say
I'm happy about this.

It's parents' weekend
and your dad's not coming?

Alex, I told you,
it's not his kind of thing.

Even when my mom
was alive,

she always came to these things
by herself.

Yeah, well, how do you know
unless you call him?

Believe me, I know.

Just give him a call, will you?

No, Alex.

All right.
All right.

You can use our phone.

Alex, that's it.

I'm not calling him.
Get off it.

Ellen, I'm just worried
about you being alone

for parent/student weekend.

I'll be okay.

Everybody else
is gonna be having fun.

There's gonna be potato-sack
races, an egg toss.

Who are you gonna
toss your egg to?

It's not a major worry
in my life.

You're gonna be lonely.

I'll be okay.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Well, what do you think?

Well, it's an awfully full
schedule, honey.

10:00, parents' welcome.

10:15, written exam
on that welcome.

That's right.
They don't pass, they go home.

Alex, how come there are
so many pictures of you

on this pamphlet?

The printer insisted.

Alex, all these events you've
planned seem pretty boring.

Boring? Jennifer, look at
the bottom of the page.

"Parent/student rodeo."


wet t-shirt contest."


full-contact kickboxing."

I don't know if we're in good
enough shape for this weekend.

Well, you can start training

by helping me carry
all this stuff out to the car.

All right, all right, you can
carry it as far as the porch.

I'll take it from there.


Alex, I just got this message
from my father.

It says he's coming here
for parents' weekend.

It says that the chairman
of parents' weekend invited him.

It says that the chairman
called him personally

to ensure
that he was coming.

Let me see that.

You had
absolutely no right.

This is a personal matter, and
you shouldn't have interfered.

I-i did not interfere
in a personal matter.

It was... It was
a very official call.

I said the same thing
to your father

that I said to all the other
parents I called.

Oh, really? You said to all
the other parents,

"Ellen really wants
you to come"?

Yes, I did.

And they're all coming

and they're very anxious
to meet you.

Alex, I am very angry
about this.

I don't want
to see my father.

Well, Ellen,
he wants to see you.

He said he was real excited
about coming.

That's really strange.

What's so strange about it?

My father and I
don't get along at all.

We've hardly said a word to each
other in the last five years,

and when we do speak,
it usually turns into a fight

within the first two minutes.

I guess I shouldn't have called
him, then, huh?

The man has no respect
for the way I live my life,

for the things
that are important to me.

All he cares about is business,
profits, making money.

I'm shocked.

He can be so unfeeling.

And the last time we spoke,
he called me from his car phone

and put me on hold
for 15 minutes.

C-car phone?

What, uh... What kind of car
does he have?

It was probably the limo.


He was on his way
to the stables.


Car phone, limo, stables.

I'm starting to get
a warm glow inside.

This guy sounds rich.

This guy's your father.

Ellen, you're rich.

I love you.

Alex, calm down.

Whoa, whoa!
I can't believe this.

I've fallen in love with a girl
who I think has no money,

and she turns out to be rich.

My instincts are incredible.

Ellen, when do we get married?

he's rich, not me.

I don't want anything to do
with his money.

Oh, I understand.
I'll handle it.

Stop it!

Look, come on.
You know I'm kidding.

Look, I'm... I'm sorry

that I got you into such
a difficult situation.

Alex, I don't know how

I'm gonna get through
this weekend with him.

Well, look, he...
He's coming all this way, right?

And he did say
he wanted to see you.

Give him a chance.


Hi, Alex.


Hey, what do you two
have there?

Oh, we decided instead
of getting Andy a gift

from a catalog, we're gonna
make him a ski sweater.

I didn't know you two
knew how to knit.

We don't, but Andy doesn't know
how to ski.

Uh, excuse me.
I'm Franklin Reed.

I'm looking for
an Alex Keaton.

Well, I just happen
to be one.

Please come in.

Uh, let me take your coat.

Ellen told me to meet her
at her dorm room,

but, uh, she wasn't there,

so her roommate said
I might find her here.

Yeah, well, I'm sure
she'll be here any minute.

Uh, in the meantime,
please, uh, sit down,

make yourself comfortable.

Thank you.

So, Ellen tells me you're rich.

Uh, that is...
That is, uh,

richly deserving
of many compliments.

So, you're Ellen's boyfriend.

Uh, yes, I am.

What are you?

Poet? Dancer?


Ab-absolutely not, sir.

Uh, no, I'm against
all those things.


Well, that's refreshing.

I assumed you'd be
another one of those


No, sir, no.

I stand before you
as a representative

of all that is good and decent
in this country.

And, I may add,

I'm very sympathetic
to the upper classes.

Well, this is
a pleasant surprise.

Thank you.

Uh, getting back
to your wealth...

Ellen... Ellen, tells me
you're a corporate lawyer.

That's right.
We deal in...

antitrust matters,

statutory mergers.

Are you interested in the law?

Oh, yes, sir,
as it pertains to money.

Alex, I think I like you.

Well, thank you, sir.
I know I like you.

Uh, excuse me.

Alex, I don't know what happened
to my father.

He never showed up.

He's here, Ellen.

Uh, she's here.

Ellen, where were you?

I've been waiting
for you at the airport.

You said meet you
at your dorm room.

Why would I say that?

Well, I don't know, Ellen,
but that's what you said.

I did not say that.

I'm not making this up, Ellen.

You know, you two look alike.

Well, anyway, hello, dad.

It's nice to see you.


Ellen, I have to admit it -
I'm surprised.

Alex here impresses me.

He's a straight thinker,

he's got his priorities in line,

and he's not a communist.

I expected him to be another one
of your modern-art boobs.

Dad, art happens to mean a lot
to me,

although I know you don't
appreciate it.

Alex, what do you think
about this modern-art nonsense?


W-what do I think
about this modern-art nonsense?

I love it.



Can I help you, Alex?

I'm... I'm fine.

Thank you very much.

What happened?

Uh, there was a little mishap

during the parent/student
football game.

A-a little mishap?

I'll tell you what happened.
Ow. I, uh...

I took a hand-off.

20-yard line,
faked out a few parents

uh, drew Bob Lemkowski's mother
into a block.

I had the whole field
ahead of me.

I'm running along.
All of a sudden,

I'm hit from behind
by some crazy parent

with a bone-crunching
illegal tackle.


How many times do I have
to apologize, Alex?

Alex, she didn't hit you
that hard.

Oh, no? The football coach
offered her a scholarship.

Oh, come off it, Alex.
It was a clean hit.

Don't be such a mama's boy.

Let's go give Andy his sweater.

Whoa, whoa.
Wait a minute.

Wait a minute, Mal.

Where'd you get this,
the octopus shack?

It's not for you, Alex.
It's for Andy.

This is not a one-person
sweater, Mal.

I am aware of that.

I made it for him to wear
with a friend.

You should have played, Ellen.

Dad, I told you, I'm not
very good at football.

Yeah, well, maybe
you can get some pointers

from Elyse "Hacksaw" Keaton.

Ellen is a great athlete.

Did you know that, Alex?

Oh, dad, please.

Oh, no, no, no.

Ellen was good at everything.

Swimming, ice skating,

horseback riding.

Do you ride, Alex?

Uh, me?

Uh, no.
Used to. Used to.

Uh, had to give it up.
Had a bit of a mishap.

I, uh, got thrown.

Actually, it was off
a merry-go-round.

But, uh...

But the point is,
I got right back on.

Well, Ellen didn't
fall off much.

If she had kept riding,
she could have been really good.

She could have made it
to the Olympics.

But she stopped.

She didn't have
that killer instinct

like your mother does, Alex.

Dad, all I wanted to do
was ride a horse.

You were the one who wanted me
to come home

with a ribbon
or win a prize.

And what is wrong with winning,

with showing you're the best
at what you do?

Nothing is wrong with it.

I got to go.

I've got some things I got
to get done back on campus.

Uh, do you want a lift
back to your hotel?

All right.

Well, I guess I'll see you
tonight at the big dance.

Uh, yeah.

Uh, looking forward to spending
some more time with you, sir.

I'll save the last dance
for you, Alex.

Well, this is a wonderful party.

I'm very impressed.

Alex has fine
organizational qualities.

Oh, yes, yes.

We've been aware of it
ever since he was in diapers

and he organized
that parent/baby weekend.

Mm, it was a cruise.

Well, Alex is a fine boy.

You should be very proud of him.

We are, and you should be proud
of Ellen, too.

She's a wonderful girl.

She's been a great influence
on Alex.

Yeah, Alex is almost
to the point

where he can say, "feminist"
without laughing.


Did somebody say, "feminist"?

Dad, where have you been?
I was waiting downstairs.

Ellen, you said
we were gonna meet up here.

No, I said we'd wait downstairs
in the lobby.

Well, the important thing
is we're all together.

Excuse me.

May I have this dance?
Thought you'd never ask.

Excuse us.

Would you like to dance?

Oh, no, thank you.

I don't really enjoy dancing.

Ellen, it's your major.

Well, you always thought dancing
was a waste of time.

Well, maybe I changed my mind.

People do that, you know.
Even fathers.

Whatever you say.

I don't really enjoy being
treated like a stranger, Ellen.

Well, I'm sorry,
but who are we kidding?

We are strangers.

I am not a stranger.

I am your father,
and I deserve some respect.


Look, dad, do we have
to get into this?

I don't expect anything
from you now.

I don't want you
to try to apologize

or make up for lost time.

Just don't expect me
to suddenly pretend

that everything
is fine between us.

All my life...

You've either been ignoring me
or criticizing me.

My grades
were never good enough.

My friends
weren't good enough.

Nothing I ever did
was good enough for you.

And nothing i ever did
was good enough for you.

You were always rebelling
against everything.

If I said, "yes,"
you said, "no"

just for the hell
of disagreeing with me.

Enjoying yourselves?

- Yes.
- No.


Do you know why I always
disagreed with you?


Do you have any idea

why I argued with you
about everything,

Why I stopped competing
in those horse shows,

Or why I ran away from home?

Because I wanted you
to notice me.

I know I didn't spend
enough time with you,

and I regret that.

But we can't change
the past, Ellen.

I know
I made mistakes with you,

but I want to make
a new start.

But now I can make it
on my own.

I have my artwork
and I have my friends

and I have Alex,
who is just the opposite of you.

He knows that there's more
to life than making money.

I'm sorry, dad.

Some things
just happen too late.

Honey, you can't
blame yourself

for everything
that happened tonight.

Come on, mom.
I brought this all on myself.

I called Mr. Reed
without asking Ellen.

I-I forced them
to spend time together,

and as a result,
I-i helped break up

an already shaky
parent/child relationship.

And I lost a potential

Well, tomorrow's a new day.

If you want to talk, honey,
we're here for you.


Sorry it's been
a rough night.

Yeah, thanks, guys.
I appreciate it.

- Hi.
- Hi.

How you feeling?

Okay, I guess.

Where's your dad?

He's on his way back
to the airport.


Listen, Ellen,
I'm sorry about all this.

I mean, if it wasn't
for my calling your father

and pressuring you
to see him,

none of this
would have happened.

It would have happened

You just kind of sped
the whole thing up.

It's because
I couldn't accept it.

When you said
you didn't want your father

to come up
for parents' weekend,

I mean, it didn't seem
right to me.

I couldn't believe it.

I mean, sure, I-i argue
with my parents.

We have our share of fights,
but that's all they are -

arguments and fights.

We have it out, they see
where they were wrong...

...and it's over.

We never stop caring about
each other.

Alex, what you have with
your family is very special.

If I had lived here,
I never would have run away.

Don't be so sure, Ellen.

I never told you this,

but I had a fight
with my parents one time,

and I ran away.

Why? What happened?

Well, I was, uh...
I was 6 years old.

It was 1972.

They voted for McGovern.

I couldn't stay.

So, I got all
my important papers together,

tied my briefcase
to the end of a stick,

and set out.

Where did you go?

I wanted to go
to Washington,

you know, to, uh,
live with the Nixons.

But I-i got as far
as Skippy's house,

and after 10 minutes there,
I was ready to come home.


I like happy endings.

I'm sorry about
what happened this weekend.

I'm sorry for you.

I'm sorry for your dad.

I mean,
I actually liked the guy.

I guess maybe deep down inside
I like him, too.

I don't know.
I feel like trying to reach out,

but we just don't know how.

Mr. Reed.

Hello, Alex.


I just came to say
a proper goodbye.

We may not be seeing
each other for a while.

I guess not.

And I-I wanted
to give you this.

What is it?

It's a picture from tonight.

Despite the circumstances,
I think it came out all right.

But I'm not smiling.
I'm sort of smirking.

Sometimes you take
what you can get.

Ellen, I know I'm not
the easiest man in the world

to get along with...

But I'm trying.

You have to believe that.
I really am trying.

I know it.


...I love you.

And I don't want
to lose you.

Maybe we can try again.

I'd like that...very much.



...have a good trip back.

I will.

Goodbye, Alex.

Bye, Mr. Reed.


What do you want to do
next weekend?