Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 4, Episode 21 - Teacher's Pet - full transcript

While Andy's inability to handle a toy the box recommends from an age two month younger makes worried pa Steven determined the toddler needs to go to preschool, which ma Elyse forbids, Alex enjoys the rare honor to be picked as professor Spanos's teaching assistant for economics. An arrogant professorial air and ruthless strictness come naturally to 'Mr. Keaton, or Sir', but he talks Ellen out of changing to another course to assure impartiality. Once Alex grades her first paper C- their relationship -which is forbidden under college rules too- is in danger...

♪ 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

Come on, son.

Hey, show daddy
how smart you are.

Okay, watch me.

Now you do it.

Come on, Andy.
Where's the old confidence?

Hey, what's going on?

I think we have a major
problem, Elyse.

Read this.

"Ring Toss.
Hours of Fun."

Oh, no.
What are we gonna do?

Keep reading.

"Hours of fun
for ages 9 months and up."


9 months.

And how old is Andy?

He's 11 months.
What's your point, Steven?


He doesn't know
how to do this, Elyse.

S-something for a child
much younger,

and he doesn't know
how to use it.


Well, it isn't that easy,

The boy on the box
can do it!

I think he needs help,

I want him
to start preschool now.

Oh, he's too young now.

I want him to start preschool,

I want him to learn
how to use the Ring Toss

and to use computers.

Elyse: hey.

What's in the bag,

Ah, an amazing little item
that's gonna finally

bring this family up-to-date
and into the '80s.

You bought a calendar?

Even better.

answering machine.

Listen to this.

Alex: you have reached the home
of Alex P. Keaton.

If you leave your name,
number, and message,

the in-house staff
will see to it

to Mr. Keaton...

Returns your call
as soon as possible.

Thank you,
and have a nice day.

You might have mentioned
the rest of us by name, Alex.

Oh, I don't know,
I like being referred to

as the in-house staff.

Tomorrow is my first day
as a teaching assistant.

I want to
sound important.

Probably gonna get a lot
of calls from my students.

Still can't believe

they're letting you
teach a course, Alex.

Come on, Jennifer,
I told you, every year,

professor Spanos picks
three of his top students

to teach the freshman
economics course.

It's, uh,
it's an honor.

And, uh,
I'm even invited

to the faculty
wine-and-cheese party,

although they've asked me
to bring my own cheese.

You're teaching a class?

Alex, if I were going to Leland,
I'd want my money back.

Mallory, if you were
going to Leland,

everybody would want
their money back.

Alex, would you keep an eye
on dinner, honey?

Jen and I are gonna
give Andy a bath.

Oh, let me, uh,
let me come with you, Elyse.

I want to discuss
this preschool thing with him.

Andy is not
going to preschool.

Elyse, it's his life.

I got to
hear this again.

You have reached the home
of Alex P. Keaton.


Hey, Ellen. Hi.

You want to see
something funny?

What? What is it?

Take a look at this.

What's this?

It's my class schedule
for next semester.

Economics 101, Section 2.

Ellen, that's the class
I'm teaching.

I know. I signed up
for the other class,

but I guess the registrar
made a mistake.

I'm gonna transfer
to the other section tomorrow.


Alex, you don't really think
I could be in your class,

do you?

Ellen, why not?

Because you wouldn't
be able

to treat me like
all the other students.

You'd favor me.

Come on.
That's not true.

All right, maybe if you answered
a question correctly,

I'd give you
a little kiss.

That's it.

that's very sweet of you,

but I don't think
it's gonna be a good idea.

Ellen, come on.
Look, we always say

we should support
each other, right?

I mean, that's why I go
to your poetry readings,

I go to dance recitals.

You don't think
I like that stuff.

You said you did.
I know.

Ellen, see, that's how
we support each other.

We lie.

Ellen, I want you
to be a part of my world.

I-i want you
to see me teach.

I want you to be
proud of me.

I want you to call me
Mr. Keaton.

I'm gonna give it a try.

Settle down.
Settle down.


to economics 101.

My name is Mr. Keaton...

...or sir.

And I will be your teacher
for the semester.

Uh, let's start with some basic
theories in economics.

Uh, for example, inflation.

Does anyone know
what causes inflation?

Anyone at all?

All right, uh,
young lady in the second row,

wearing the glasses.

Well, I'm not sure,
but I think that...

Uh, excuse me.
Uh, your name, please?


Ellen Reed.

And how do you
spell that?


Okay, go ahead,
miss Reed.

It is Reed, isn't it?


And I'm assuming
it's "miss."

It's not "Mrs."
or "Ms."

"Miss" will be
just fine.

Fine, go ahead,


Miss Reed.

I forgot the question.

The question was,
what causes inflation?

High prices.

Oh, my, my, my,
my, my, my.

No, high prices
are the result,

not the cause of inflation,
miss... What was it?

Reed. Reed.
Reed. Reed.

you won't be so quick

to raise your hand
next time.

Well, since there seems
to be an abundance of ignorance

in this class,
you're all dismissed,

so that you can get to work
on your papers.

Aw. Aw.
Aw. Aw.

That's right,

I want a 5-page essay
from each of you,

analyzing the first chapter
of your textbook,

"Money: Keep It Coming."

That's all.

Well, how'd I do?


Maybe a little rough on me,
but fine otherwise.

I wasn't rough on you.

I just... I just want
to prove to myself

that I can do this
without favoring you.

Tsk. Well, you certainly
proved that to me.

Yeah, uh,
don't worry about it.

Everything is gonna
be fine, Ellen.

In a little while,

you're gonna get used to being
totally subservient to me.

Hey, any calls for me?

I don't know.
We just got in ourselves,

but Sherry has called
Mallory 27 times.

Sherry: Mallory,
this is Sherry again.

We'll just skip
over that.

Alex, what if
it's important?

Come on, Mal.

I mean, the only
thing that could be

less important than a message
from one of your friends

is a live conversation
with one of your friends.

can you stay for dinner?

Oh, I can't.

I've got too much
economics homework.

Skip it.

I would but my teacher's
a little crazed.

Tell me about it.

Mr. Herman: Uh,
this is Mr. Herman

from the Harper Preschool,
returning Mr. Keaton's call.

I'm responding to your request
for information on our program


Wrong number.

Harper Preschool
early-admission plans?

Steven, what is all this?

I thought we decided
against preschool.

We did.

I can't help it if Andy
sent for these brochures.


I'm gonna run.

I can meet you later if you
want to get a cup of coffee.

Uh, I'd love to.

I got to
go over these papers.

I'll call you.

Talk to you later.

Oh, you got
to look at this.

Rich Albert copied
his entire paper

from the latest issue
of High Finance Magazine.

How can you tell?

It's just little things

only an experienced teacher
would pick up on.

The figures he quotes,

writing style,

subscription offer
at the end of the paper.

Guess that's where
he slipped up.

I don't know.
It's a shame, Ellen.

You try to get through
to these kids.

What happens?

did you mark mine yet?

Uh, yours.
Uh, I don't know.

Uh, let me think.

I might have, could have
possibly gotten to yours...

Or not.

Let's get that coffee,

What did I get?
Aw, come on, Ellen.

You got to wait till tomorrow
like the rest of the class.

Come on, Alex.
What did I get?

All right, all right, okay.
Let me see.

Reed, Reed, Reed.

Ah, here it is.

You got a C-minus.

A "C."


Oh, come on, Ellen.
It's the first paper.

I understand that.

I mean, a lot of people
did not do well.

Of course.

Though, the average mark
was a "C."

Ah, so I'm below average.

Come on, Ellen, let's get
that coffee, okay?

My treat.

All right, Alex,
you proved your point.

What point?

You want to show me
how fair you can be

by deliberately giving me
a lower grade than I deserve.

Ellen, are you accusing me
of trying to show you

how fair I can be
by deliberately giving you

a lower grade
than you deserve?

Don't twist my words,

you got what you deserve.

As a matter of fact,

I think it might have been
a little generous.

This is a very
superficial analysis.

I did not deserve a C-minus,
and you know it.

I have never gotten
anything less than a "B"

on any paper.

Maybe if you spent
a little more time studying

and a little less time

you'd get a better grade.

I cannot believe
I was worried

about you treating me
like the other students.

You've had it in for me
since the very beginning.

Come on.
What are you talking about?

If I answer a question wrong,
you really let me have it.

Well, why do you
answer a question wrong?

If I'm a minute late to class,
you yell at me.

Why are you late?

If I lag behind
on a field trip to the bank,

you get angry at me.

Ellen, come on,
let's face it.

You have been a problem
since the first day of class.

Oh, yeah?

You want to see a problem?

I'll show you a problem.

Oh, what's that,
a threat?

Well, you'll just have to wait
till class tomorrow,

Mr. Keaton.

Excellent analysis, Beck.


Mr. Keaton.

Yes, Albert?
What is it?

I can't make out your comments.
What does this say?

"Plagiarism is illegal."


Sometimes it's hard
to read your handwriting.

Hello, miss Reed.

Hey, teach.
How you doing?


I handed out the papers.

Here's yours.

Hey, what do you know?

I got a C-minus.

I'm even dumber
than I thought.

Today we will begin
a discussion

on the formation
of the modern banking system,

with an emphasis...

On the relationship

between savings
and commercial institutions,

the formation
of a national bank...

Miss Reed...

Are you chewing gum?


Not at all.

These bubbles
just form naturally on my lips,

and I can't
figure it out.

All right, that's it.

Get rid of it.
Come on.

Excuse me?

You heard me.
Get rid of it now.



I'm sorry.

It's on your shoe.

Uh, hold on, Mr. Keaton,
while you're here,

I got some junk
to get rid of.

Albert. Albert.

That's enough, Albert.

Now, as I was saying,

New capital was required
to finance...

...the purchase
of livestock...

Miss Reed,
do you have something

you'd like to share
with the rest of the class?

Why not?

A rabbi and a priest
are in a rowboat.

The rabbi is rowing,

the priest
is bailing the water.

Can, I, uh, can I talk to you
privately, please?

Look, Ellen,

I know you're upset
about your grade,

but this is not the best way
to express it.

Why don't you just graciously
accept the fact

that you wrote
a lousy paper?

I did not write
a lousy paper.

Yeah, I know what
you're trying to do,

and I cannot
be intimidated.

Now, take your seat.

Now, many of you
will remember

that speculation
caused the panic of 1837.

This was the first
in a long line of panics,

followed by the panic of 1845,
the panic of 1853,

and the general
nervous tension of 1877.

Each of these incidents

the growing need for...

Ellen: Sorry.

All right,
that ought to do it.

Play it back.

Mallory: Hi, I'm Mallory...

Jennifer: And I'm Jennifer.

If you're calling

for either one of us
or our parents,

please leave a message
after the beep.

Mallory: If you're calling
for Alex,

he doesn't live here anymore,

and we don't know
where he lives.

Thank you.

Well, what do you think?

Well, it's a step
in the right direction.

Hey, dinner's almost ready,

Oh, great.
Any calls for me?

No, just the usual death threats
from your students.

That's it, though, huh?

Ellen didn't call?

Oh, sorry.

Darn. I was kind of hoping
she'd call.

Something the matter
between you and Ellen?

Uh, yeah.

Listen, Mal,
uh, do you mind

if I have a private conversation
with mom and dad?

Come on, Alex.
I know what's going on here.

You and Ellen are fighting
'cause she's in your class.

Ellen probably feels
you expect her

to do twice as well
as everyone else,

and, uh, you probably feel

she's not working
hard enough

she's your girlfriend.

Nice try, Mal.

How did you know?

I just had to

you and Ellen
for nick and me

and imagine
what it would be like

if I was taking a class
and nick was teaching.

Uh, w-where would that class
be given, Mal?

College on the moon?

Alex, is what
Mallory said true?

Aw, mom, I don't know.

Everything was fine
at first,

and then Ellen got upset

when I gave her
a C-minus on her paper.

And now we hardly talk
outside of class,

and inside class,
she is an academic menace.

Well, you two have
a problem here, you know,

'cause you and Ellen
have a relationship

that's based
on trust and love,

and now you're in a position
of absolute authority over her.

So, what's the problem?

The problem is,
these arguments can grow

into big fights
very quickly.

Well, it's like
this preschool issue.

Your dad wants Andy
to go to preschool,

and I don't.

And this could have
turned into a great big fight.

Instead, we sat down
and we talked about it

and we compromised,

and Andy is not going
to preschool.

So, what's the compromise?

I get to keep
my preschool brochures.

You know, actually,
there is a solution to this.

Ellen and I could take
her paper to professor Spanos,

let him read it,
and give his evaluation.

That sounds reasonable.

Of course, when he finds out
I'm going out with Ellen,

he's gonna be furious.

Teaching assistants
are not supposed to be

romantically involved
with the students.

It's only
for full-time professors.

Oh, and, uh, don't forget,
tomorrow we're gonna discuss

what to do when
the automatic teller machines

run out of money.

Professor Spanos
should be here any minute.

He's read your paper.

I'm sure he'll
decide this fairly

and in my favor.

Mister Keaton?

Class is over. You don't
have to raise your hand.

We can be informal here...

Miss Reed.

I just wanted to say
that I'm sorry

for the way I behaved
in class the other day.

I was completely
out of line.

It was just
an immature response

to your insane, lunatic,
tyrannical behavior.

I accept your apology.

I have another question,
Mr. Keaton.

Go ahead, miss Reed.

I just want to know
how you're doing.

Excuse me?

Well, I mean,

it's just that we haven't spoken
to each other in a while,

and I was just wondering
how you were doing.

I see.

Well, I'm doing nicely,
thank you.


Fine. Thanks.

Uh, miss Reed?

Yes, Mr. Keaton?

I miss you.

You do?

I want things to be the way
they were between us.

Mr. Keaton,
I have a confession to make.

I reread my paper
the other day

and I realized
it wasn't all that good.

I didn't try as hard
as I could have.

Miss Reed,
don't blame yourself.

I was too hard on you.

You know, I-I-I thought
I could handle

having you
as one of my students.

I thought I'd treat you
like the rest of the class.

I couldn't.
I mean, I just... I went crazy.

I'm sorry.

Mr. Keaton.

Oh, miss Reed.

Worked it out yourselves,
did you?

Uh, professor Spanos.

Uh, welcome.

I was just explaining
the, uh, concept of, uh...

Deficit spending.
...deficit spending

To, uh, miss Reed here.

Oh, I see.

Do you understand it
now, miss Reed,

or do you need another hug?

Well, we seem to have
a conflict of interest here,

Mr. Keaton.

You know, a significant
part of teaching

is exercising
good judgment,

and it doesn't appear
as though you have been.

Professor Spanos, please
don't hold this against Alex.

He's a wonderful teacher.

You know,
before I took this class,

I thought economics
was really boring.

All the statistics about
inflation and interest rates

and the devaluation
of the dollar

and trade imbalances.

You know,
it really is boring.

Thanks for helping me
out here, Ellen.

But Alex changed
all that.

He makes economics

He's strict,

but everybody in this class
has learned something.


You don't have any other
students in the class

I should know about,
do you, Mr. Keaton?

Cousins? Children?
Army buddies?

No, sir.


Well, now,
as to this paper,

I think you were a little harsh
on miss Reed, Mr. Keaton.

I agree.
I was much too harsh.

Although it was a very sloppy
effort, miss Reed.

I agree.

He was much too harsh.

Well, um, good luck
to both of you.

You know, I must admit,

this scene is
somewhat familiar to me.

I met my wife when she took
a microeconomics course

I was teaching at Yale.

I gave her an "A"
on her final exam,

and she agreed to marry me.

That's sweet.


Of course, if I knew then
what I know now,

I would have flunked her.

I'm sorry
about all this, Alex.

Me too.

I love you.


My paper wasn't really
a C-minus, was it?


Considering everything that's
been said and done here today,

we've been through,

I think I could bump it up
to a "C."