Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 4, Episode 22 - My Buddy - full transcript

As Jennifer is growing up, Steven is feeling that he is no longer an important part of her life. Meanwhile, Alex attempts to refute a traffic ticket.

♪ 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

How do I look?


You look great.


It's important, mom.

You look fine.
I promise.


You look, uh...

Keep in touch!

Don't take it personally,

Jennifer is turning
into a teenage girl.

You know, an exciting,
wonderful being...

from another planet.

Elyse, this isn't the first time
she's walked into a room

and acted like
I wasn't there.

We just don't seem
to connect anymore.

We used to have
so much in common.

Well, you still have
a lot of things in common.

She's just not interested
in them anymore.

All right, Mallory.

I am never, ever getting
in a car with you again.

All I did was tell
The truth, Alex.

You did not
tell the truth.

I came to a complete stop,
a complete and total stop.

Yeah, you stopped.

What happened?

I'll tell you
what happened.

My so-called sister and I
are driving downtown

on South High Street.

Right in front
of Lazarus, there.

And for some crazy reason,
I don't know why,

a police officer,
one of Columbus' finest

and least sighted,
pulls me over.

He says I did not come
to a complete stop.

"Officer," I said,
"I did come to a complete stop."

And Mallory says,

"Don't lie, Alex."

Can you believe it?

Can you possibly comprehend it?
"Don't lie, Alex"?

I felt it was my duty
as a citizen of Columbus.

You're gonna
be a citizen of Saturn.


I'm gonna fight this.
I don't care.

I'm gonna see
that I am vindicated.

I believe
in our judicial system.

I'll bribe someone
if I have to.

Does this scarf
make it work?

Oh, I like it.


I think it's great.
Very nice.

Uh, say, Jen, I was thinking
maybe you and I could go over

to Darby Creek Park later,
shoot some baskets.

Oh, no,
I can't today, dad.

Chuck's coming over,
and I promised

we'd spend
the afternoon together.

Oh. Chuck.

Well, that's okay.
I understand.

Can I talk to you?
Chuck will be here any minute.

Oh, sure, honey.
Yeah, what is it?


I'm sorry.

Mom, can you...?

Thank you.

Uh, maybe, uh, tonight we'll
shoot some baskets. Or tomorrow!

Hey, you don't have
to let me know now!

Think it over!

Don't feel bad, honey.
She's been looking forward

to being with Chuckie
all week.

I don't feel bad about it.
don't be silly.

If she'd rather be with a boy
her own age

than with her dad,
that's fine.

Seems a little unnatural to me.

Just relax, Steven.

I'm relaxed.

What were you two
whispering about?

Oh, nothing really.

Just, there are some times
a girl feels more comfortable

talking to her mom,
that's all.

What were you whispering
about? Please. Tell me.

I don't want to tell you.

Why not?

Because last time
this happened,

you didn't react

Now I have to know.
Come on, tell me.

I can't stand it.
Please, tell me.


Today, Jennifer is wearing
a bra for the first time.

Why do you tell me
these things?

No, dad, listen to me.
I know policemen.

This guy was not gonna
give me that ticket.

I could feel it.
I could see it in his eyes.

I could see it
through his glasses.

His thick, thick glasses.

Then why did he stop you
in the first place?

He wanted
to get to know me.

I don't know.

I do know
that he believed me

when I said I came
to a complete stop.

He believed me.

Until Mallory said,
"Don't lie, Alex."

Oh, and, dad,
listen to this.

When he took out
his notebook

to write me the ticket,
his pen...

You're not gonna
believe this.

His pen is dry.

He can't write the ticket.

I mean, he's laughing.
He is gonna let me go.

Mallory lent him her pen.

Then I helped him
spell your name right.

What have you
got there?

Oh, some old father's day cards
from Jennifer,

when I was still her father.

I just don't get it, Elyse.

Steven, really,
you know, you're acting like

this is the first time one
of our children has grown up.

Jen and I have always had
something special.

I mean, Mallory -
Mallory was shopping by herself

by the time she was
6 months old.

And Alex...

Well, you can only
get so close to Alex

in a non-financial



used to come to me.

I remember she used
to call you her buddy.

Yeah. I used to
call her my buddy.

I'd say, "Hi, buddy,"
and she'd say, "Hi, buddy.

Sometimes we'd get confused.
We wouldn't know who was who.

I'm being ridiculous,
aren't I?

No, you're not
being ridiculous.

You're being a daddy.

Sometimes the two
are identical twins.

Oh, hey, guys.

How was your walk?
It was very nice, dad.

Sorry we're late. We, uh,
stopped and shot some baskets.

I hardly know this boy.

How about a snack?

Oh, no, thanks, mom.
We're going upstairs.

I want to show Chuckie

Well, there's nothing
you can show him upstairs

that you can't
show him down here.

I want to show him
the upstairs.

Wait, Jen. If going upstairs
makes your dad uptight,

what's the point?
Why put him through it?

What would you like to do,
Mr. Keaton?

Well, I don't know.

We could, uh,
set up the ping-pong table

in the basement,

uh, play a couple of games.
Hey, that sounds good.

Well, listen.

really a two-person game,

so, uh,
catch you later, Chuck.



I'll call you back on
the other phone, okay, Debbie?


Hi, dad.

Uh, Jen, could we, uh,
talk for a minute?

I've got to call Debbie
right back. It's crucial.

Maybe it could wait
for just a second.

We, uh, we haven't really done
much talking lately.

I miss you.

I miss you, too, dad.

Can I call
Debbie back now?

Come on, let's sit down.
sit down.

Let's talk,
buddy to buddy.


You know, you used to call me
buddy all the time.

You never call me
buddy anymore.

Buddy is so babyish, dad.

You didn't think that
when you were 3.

What are you reading there?

Uh, you're only 13.
You shouldn't be reading that.

You shouldn't be reading that
for another four years, Jen.

Well, let's see.
What have we got here? Ah.

"Twelve ways to shape up
in time for the prom."

Too late for me now, huh?

- Why don't you go and call Debbie back?
- I'll go and call Debbie back.

Hey, dad.

Where are you off to?

Going downtown.

Take some photographs
of the scene of the crime.

Gonna need some visual evidence
so I'll have proof

of my innocence
for my day in court.

I like your thinking.

You know, dad,
did I tell you that, uh,

after that cop
gave me the ticket,

Mallory gave him a donation
for the policeman's ball?

Try to forget
all that, Alex.

Put your faith
in the legal system.

She should be in jail, dad.

Mom, can you go with me

to the Sunflower girls
troop meeting

after school on Thursday?

On Thursday?
Oh, honey, I can't.

I've got a meeting
at the office.

The Kramers want me to go over
the plans for their new house.

Can't you make that
for another day?

Honey, I've already
canceled it twice.

And if I don't get started
on their plans for their home,

they're gonna want
to move in here with us.

All right.

All right,
I'll reschedule it.

Thanks, mom.


"Sunflower girls tea.

"Come one, come all.
Come join the fun.

Tea. Talk. Treats."

No, Steven. It's not for you.
It's for girls.

Not so fast.
It says, "Come one, come all."

Honey, I know how much
you want a shared experience

with Jennifer,
but this is not it.

You won't fit in.

Oh, really?
Well, what do they do there?

What's so special
about the Sunflowers girls tea

that I can't be a part of it?
What goes on there, Elyse.

What do they do?

They sing songs.

Are you implying
that I can't sing songs?

What songs?
What songs do they sing?

"I've got a mule,
and her name is Sal."

♪ I've got a mule,
And her name is Sal ♪

♪ 15 miles
on the Erie Canal ♪

What else do they do?

They talk about things.

What kind of things?

Well, things, Steven.

Uh, hobbies, school,
current events.

Things that go on
in their life.

Girls' talk!

And then they eat cookies.

Are you implying
that I can't...?

Steven, it's a girls' club.
It's not for you.

You'd be putting yourself
in a place

where you have no place.

What place do I have
in her life now, Elyse?

I'm the invisible man!

At least
this gives me a shot.

This gives me an identity.

I'm a Sunflower girl.

I don't want dad to take me.
I just don't want him to.

Come on, Jen.
Keep it down.

You don't want dad to hear,
do you?

Maybe I do.

You've got to let him go, Jen.

It's part of growing up female
in this house.

He came to Sunflower girls
with you, too?

No. He came on a date
with me.

I was, uh, 13 1/2,

and Brian Madigan
took me to the movies.

Brian sat on one side of me
and, well, dad sat on the other.

When Brian put his arm
around me,

dad put his arm
around me, too,

and, uh...
well, they shook hands.

Good morning, everybody.

Except Mallory.

Where are you going?

I'm going down
to traffic court.

Good luck.

Wouldn't need luck
if it weren't for you, Mal.

You would not be
going to court, Alex,

if you had just allowed me
to keep driving.

Is that it, Mallory?

That is it.
That's it isn't it?

That's right.

The reason that I wouldn't
let you drive anymore

is that my life was in sudden
and immediate peril.

I mean, you're driving,

and people are leaping off
the street into the bushes.

You drive like
you're playing tag.

Don't lie, Alex.


No, violence
has no place here.

I put my faith
in our system of jurisprudence,

and it shall vindicate me.

I have photographs
of the intersection,

of the stop sign,
and I have photographs of you.

As well... a report card...

And a recent I.Q. test.

I think the judge
will understand.

No. He won't.

Because I'm gonna call him up
and tell him you're lying.




I'm ready for the meeting,

Great, dad.

And I've been practicing
the Sunflower salute.

Dad, I told you...

Dad, I told you,
we don't do that salute anymore.

It's in the handbook,

We just shake hands now.


Look, I'll be, uh,

back downstairs
in about 15 minutes

to take you
to the meeting.

That's fine, dad,
but just don't do the...

Sunflower goodbye?

I think dad
needs to be watered.

I'm in big trouble here, Alex.
Help me out.

Well, I could tell you
what I'd do if I were you.


Well, dad wants to spend time
with you, right?


And time is money, right?


So, if dad wants to
spend time with you

and time is money,

then he'll spend money
to be with you.


So what you do
is you charge him by the hour.

Like, uh...

...five bucks
for a walk in the park,

eight bucks
for a game of basketball.

Now, be a sport
and give him half off

on father's day.

That's a beautiful thought,

but no, thanks.

Well, you can do
what you want, buddy.

I got to go down
to court.

♪ low bridge, everybody down

♪ low bridge
for we're comin' to a town ♪

♪ and you'll always know
your neighbor ♪

♪ you'll always know your pal

♪ if you've ever navigated
on the Erie Canal ♪

Woman: All right!

Well, what do you say, dad?
Do you want to go now?

We've been here
three minutes, Jennifer.

All right. That was
very nice singing, girls.

And now on to the new business.

I would like to welcome
all the moms

and...the dad.

Mr. Keaton, nice that
you could come, sir.

Thank you, Mrs. Carpenter.
I feel very much at home.

In fact, I'd like to, uh,

give you all
a warm Sunflower...


Well, now it's time

for the roundtable.

Oh, what's that?

Well, once a month, we discuss
some topic of interest

to the Sunflower girls.

Oh, great. I'm all ready.
Camping? Boating? Hiking?

Today we're gonna talk
about sex.

I'm your guy.

Did you say "sex"?


Dad, maybe you should go.

Nonsense, Jennifer.
I'm a Sunflower dad.

I think I can handle

a mature discussion
about, uh, what she said.

Now, we're going
to discuss our bodies

as they blossom
into womanhood,

and about boys and their bodies
as they burst into manhood.

I know that some of you
have already gone out

on dates with boys,

and I want to talk
about first experiences.

And I want the younger girls
to benefit from you older girls,

so we're gonna go
around the room,

starting with you, Shelley.

Well, on my first date,

I went out
with a guy in my class.

I'm not gonna
name names...

Was it Larry Parker?

That's right.

I went out with Larry,

and all he wanted
to do was fool around.

What do you mean
by "fool around?"

I mean, he wanted
to touch my body

as it blossomed
into womanhood.

Boys are only interested
in one thing - sex.

Right, Mr. Keaton?

Well...well, uh...
What's your name?


Well, Alice,

some boys are
very interested in sex.

Were you?

Well, uh,
when I was a boy,

I was interested
in a lot of things.

Was sex one of them?

Well, I was interested in, uh,
baseball, basketball, football.

You're not answering
the question.

Get off my back,
will you?

I don't want to lie to you,
uh, Alice.

I admit,
there were some girls, uh...


I remember
Marjorie McCracken.

Boy, she had a body
on her.

Dad, I can't believe you're
talking about this stuff.

What can I do?
She was hounding me.

Dad, you're really
embarrassing me.

This is not the place
for you to be.

Why do you say that?

Look around you, dad!

Do you see anyone else
here who shaves?

Jennifer, I just want to spend
some time with you.

I'm sorry, dad,
but this isn't the right place.

If you don't leave,
I will.

Would anyone like to know
how I did in court today?

Well, let's see.
Not good?

I won.

The judge loved me.

Commended me
on my thoroughness,

commiserated with me
about Mallory.

He has a sister...

Not quite as aggravating,
but close.

Anyway, I won.
Tore up the ticket.

That's not good news?

When I went out to the car...

...I found a parking ticket.

When I went inside
to complain,

I got a jaywalking ticket.

Don't you just
love justice?

It's so fair.



It wasn't a good idea.

You tried to stop me,
but I wouldn't listen.

I was wrong.
Wrong again.

I'm always wrong.

Want to tell me
what happened?

Maybe in
a couple of years.


It was really something.

I was talking about my sex life
to the Sunflower girls.

I'm sorry I missed that.

Jennifer was
so embarrassed.

She must think I'm the most
ridiculous excuse

for a father
in the world.

Oh. Do you know
what Mark Twain said?

Was he a Sunflower dad?


He said
that when he was 14,

his father
was so ignorant,

he couldn't stand
to have him around.

But by the time
he turned 21,

he was astonished
at how much the old man

had learned
in just seven years.


She'll come back to you,

It may take seven years,
but she'll come back.

I heard it didn't
go so well.

Let's just say
that most of the Sunflower girls

are still in shock.


He only went because
he cares so much about you.

That's hard to believe.

Well, it's true.

And the day will come when
you'll look back on this fondly,

and you'll realize

what a wonderful father
you have.

I guess you don't want to see
the Sunflower salute, huh?

Not at the moment, no.

I made a mistake, Jen.

I tried to force myself
in somewhere where I, uh...

I didn't belong.

But I only did it
because I missed you.


I miss talking to you,
walking in the park with you,

throwing the ball
back and forth.

You mean, if I would have gone
to the park with you,

none of this
would have happened?

Well, it's not as simple
as that, Jen.

You know, when you were born,
when I picked you up

for the first time
and our eyes met,

right then,
I signed on for life.

I knew that I would...

I would care for you,
protect you,

teach you...

Love you.

And you've done
all those things.

All of a sudden, it seemed
like you didn't need me anymore.

You didn't want
to be with me.

Well, it hurt.

I didn't mean
to hurt you, dad.

It's just that I've changed.
I can't help it.

Look at me, dad.

I'm 13 years old now.
I'm not a little girl anymore.

I know that.
I'm just trying to find ways

that I can still
fit into your life.

Well, it's not
as a Sunflower girl.

I learned that
the hard way.

Look, dad,
this is a hard time for me.

So much is changing at school
and with my friends.

It's just so hard
to keep up with everything.

Well, I only wish I was able
to help you through this.

I think the easiest thing
for you to do

is to not push too hard.

Not a little girl anymore.

I guess I'd better
get used to that, huh?

You've got no choice.

I can't help it.
I just keep growing.

I'm really gonna miss
the old times.

It's not gonna be like
that anymore, huh?

Maybe it'll be better...