Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 4, Episode 3 - Mr. Wrong - full transcript

Mallory introduces her new boyfriend, Nick, to the family. He isn't well received, and Steven realizes that he needs to trust Mallory and let her make her own choices.

♪ 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


Is the revolution tonight?

Why wasn't I informed?

Because we're coming
to get you, Alex.

Well, what do you think?

They're authentic
paratrooper jump pants.

I hope your chute opens.

It's okay, dad.

I'm not wearing them for you.
I'm wearing them for Nick.

See, to Nick,
camouflage is a big turn-on.

Well, then this Nick
is definitely my kind of guy.

Yeah, I'm really looking forward
to meeting this Nick.

It's been three weeks now,
and we haven't even seen him.

He'll be here any minute.

Oh, good. I'd like
to meet this Nick, too.

Me too. I mean, we've heard
so much about this Nick.

Will everyone
stop calling him "this Nick"?

He's just "Nick."
Just plain "Nick."

Unless I'm wrong,
it's just plain Nick

on a Kawasaki 750 Turbo.


Hey, Mallory!

He's really anxious
to meet all of you.


Come on in, Nick!

Oh, do I have to?

He seems anxious to meet us.

I don't know about you,

but I am keeping
an open mind about this.

It just closed.

Nick Moore, I'd like you
to meet my parents,

Elyse and Steven Keaton.

Nice to meet you, Nick.
It's a pleasure having you here.


It is nice
to meet you finally.

I've heard an awful lot
about you.


My brother and sister,
Alex and Jennifer.


How youse doin'?

We's doin' fine, Nick.

At least I's doin' fine.

That's, uh -
that's a nice earring, Nick.

Yeah, I found it
in the garbage.

Picked it up
on my rounds.

Are you a garbageman?

Me? No.

I mean, but I hope to be one
one day, you know?

It's the only way
to get the good garbage.

The good garbage? Um...

How do you distinguish that
from the bad garbage?

You got to have an eye
for it.

I'm not sure I understand.

Mom, Nick's an artist.

I am like what they call
an environmental artist.

I make things out of trash,
garbage, junk.

You'd be amazed at the things
you can make from garbage.

You see this hat?

I made this hat
from garbage.

I see.

we better get going.



Hey. Hey.
Hey. Hey.

Little mama bird
flies back to the nest.

And the baby bird
opens up his mouth so big.

Open up your mouth,

Would you open up
your mouth?

Andrew, would you open up
your mouth?

Hey, mom.
Mom, take it easy.

Well, you were always
such a good baby bird.

You always opened up your mouth
so big.

you're losing your mind.

Alex, you sit down

and you show him how
a good baby bird loves to eat.

No. Mom, mom, mom.
I'm not gonna show him.

Come on, Alex. You're his big brother.
You set a good example for him.

- Mom, no, this is ridiculous.
- Show him!


Watch Alex, Andrew.

Okay, now, the mama bird
flies back to her nest,

and the baby bird opens up
his mouth so big.

Come on, honey.
Open your mouth, Alex.

Open - would you open
your mouth, Alex?!

Hi, guys.

I can't get either one of them
to eat!

Dad, we need a new mom.
This one's had it.

Oh, dad, it's you.

I thought it was Nick.

Oh, no, no, no,
it's just me.

Steven Keaton,
a non-criminal.

You going out with Nick
again tonight?


Well, this will be
four nights in a row.

Yeah, well, he's gonna
help me study.

Well, there go your hopes
for a "D."


It's so romantic
the way he says my name.

I'm coming!

Well, Elyse, what are we
gonna do about this?

What do you mean?

What do you mean,
what do I mean?

We have a crisis
on our hands.

What crisis?

Elyse, our daughter
is dating Rambo.

Oh, Steven,
I think you're overreacting.

Dad, you are absolutely right.
You got to stamp this out.

You got to stop this
before it spreads.

Alex, I take no comfort
from the fact

that we are on the same side
in this.

It's kind of unnerving,
isn't it?

Oh, come on to bed,

How can you sleep
when you know she's out there

in the middle of the night
with him?

Does it look like
I'm sleeping?

We've told him,
Mallory home early.

We made it very clear,

I drew him a little picture.
He grunted.

You're just getting upset,

It's not gonna do you
any good.

I am upset.
I've had enough.

Mallory's got to stop
seeing Nick.

That's really something,

I remember before we were
married, you said,

"if we ever have children,

"I'm not gonna tell them
what to do.

And they're gonna
have minds of their own."

I take it back.

Elyse, nothing I said before
right now has any bearing.

I'm not anything
I used to be.

I gave all that up
to become a father.

I'm nothing else now -
just a father.

Well, father,
if you lay down the law

and you tell Mallory
that she can't go out with Nick,

she's gonna get angry
and she's gonna say,

"I'm gonna be 18.

I can do what I want,
and you can't stop me."

That's what she's gonna say.

No, she won't.

She would not say that
to her father,

not if I put it to her
properly -

forcefully but tempered
with sensitivity.

It's not a good idea,

I need your support here.

If Mallory senses
we aren't together in this,

we'll be slaughtered.

we're not at war.

Oh, yes, we are, Elyse.

We're at war with Rambo.

And we can beat him.

Hi. Sorry.
We lost track of time.

Good evening, Mallory.

Good evening, Nick.


It's a little late.

Hey, this probably
isn't the best time to ask,

but, uh, me and Mallory
want to go away next weekend.

So I got to know if it's okay
so I can tell my cousin

so we can get the truck.

Well, you see,
it's an ice-cream truck,

and he needs two days
to defrost.

Probably not
the best time to ask.

That's what I figured.

Hey, good night.

Good night, Nick.

Well, I guess
I ought to go to bed.

Uh, sit down, Mallory.
We want to talk to you.

Can't it wait?
I'm really tired.

She's really tired.

No, no, please.


Your mother and I love you
very, very much.

Don't we, Elyse?

Of course we do.

Of course we do.

And we have really liked
so many of the young men

who have visited you
here in our home.

Haven't we, Elyse?

We have.

Whatever happened
to Walter Murchison?

We liked him so much.

A lot more than I did.

I miss Walter.


Why don't you
call him up, dad?

I'm sure he'd love
to hear from you.

we want to talk to you,

um, about Nick.

About you and Nick.

About you and not Nick.

Wait a minute.

What is this?

Are you saying
you don't like Nick?

Is that it?

Are you saying you don't
want me to see him anymore?



No, we -

We - we -
we don't want to say

that we're forbidding you
to see him.

But that is what you're saying,
isn't it?

We - we -
we strongly recommend...

What are we saying,

All right,
you can't see him!

You're saying
I can't see him?

Would you like me
to sing it for you?


Nick is the sweetest,


I'm almost 18,

and I'm old enough
to do what I want

and to see who I want,

and you can't stop me,
you hear me?

You can't stop me!

Mallory is very upset,

and I think she has
every right to be.

She doesn't realize that
I did this for her own good.

She doesn't understand.

You don't understand.

Nobody understands
what fathers go through.

We're the unknown men.

We trudge through life

pointing the way
for our families,

working hard,
paying those bills,

always with a smile
on our face.

Always ready
to make the tough choices.

Always there
when we're needed.

But completely

That is
the biggest load -

Mothers too.

Mothers too.
Now, you get it worse.

You're completely

We don't do this
for recognition.

We are parents,
for crying out loud.

Well, I guess all this
is just very new to me.

Who are all these people
coming to our door

wanting our daughter?

I hate them.

That's probably not
the perfect attitude.

Probably not.

I just don't know
what to do.

You know, we don't really
know this boy, Steven.

We have no way of knowing
what Nick is really like.

We've had
some strong hints.

But Mallory thinks the world
of him.

Don't you think
we at least owe it to her

to give him the benefit
of the doubt?

To try to get to know him

Well, Mallory
won't talk to me.

I tried everything.

Even faked
being sensitive.

No sale.

Hey, hey, hey.

Come on.
What is all the gloom about?

You guys
should be rejoicing.

You did the right thing.
Oh, don't say that.

No, no, no, no.
You are my heroes.

You drove the Pagan
from the village.

I salute you.

Well, don't salute us,

Wait a minute.

Wait a minute.

Uh, you're not thinking
of changing your mind.

No, dad.
No, don't.

Look, we cannot have these guys
coming around here,

sniffing around our women.

Dad, I appeal to you.

You have made a responsible
and courageous decision.

When I heard
that you told Mallory

that she couldn't
see Nick anymore,

I said to myself,
"what a dad."

Dad, I have never
in my entire life

been prouder of you
than I am at this moment.

Mallory, let's invite Nick
to dinner.

Did you say something,

No. No, I didn't.

Are you sure?
It sounded like you -

I just coughed.

Oh, I see.

I see.

Well, if you say something,
I'm ready to respond.

Great, dad.
I'll look forward to that.

Hey, this is really nice.

Uh, you guys eat like this
all the time?

You mean with utensils?

Don't mind Alex.
He's a little strange.

Hey, he's all right.

He's a cute little guy.
He's just...

He's just a little stiff
is all.

You know what you could use,

No. No.
What could I use, Nick?

An earring.


No, I don't -
I don't think so.

No, no, really.

It'll get you loose.


No, no, no, Nick.

I enjoy being tight.

What kind of things
are you interested in, Nick?

I'm interested
in Mallory.

Yes, indeed.

Uh, how about school?

How about school?

Uh, do you go to school?

Uh, can you expand
on that?

Yeah, like, uh,
when school's on, I'm not there.


Really, dad, I mean,
there are other things

to talk about
besides school.

No one's even asked him
about his art.

Hey, it's okay.

No, you love to talk
about your art.

Dad, ask him.

Um, so, uh, Nick, um...

How did you get interested
in this environmental art?

I don't know.

Uh, can you expand
on that?




Very good.

Uh, getting back
to the school issue -

No, come on, dad.
Nick was talking about art.

You interrupted him.

Sorry, Nick. Uh, didn't mean
to cut you off like that.

Uh, what were you
going to say after,







Would anybody like
some more peas?

Right here, yep.
These are awfully good.

You know,
environmental art

isn't the only thing
Nick knows about.

He has a wide range
of interests.

Here's a thought
that just occurred to me, Nick.

Don't you think
a person needs an education?

Not every person.
Not every person?

Come on, dad -
excuse me, Mallory.

How can a person make a living
without an education?

I don't know. Why don't you ask
somebody who's educated?

I don't think a person

needs an education to
answer that question.

Can you tell these peas
are fresh?

I guess what I really
want to know, Nick -

Hey, look, I was invited here
for a meal, you know?

But this doesn't feel
like a meal.

It feels like a test.

And I'm sorry I'm not the kind
of guy you're looking for.

I'm not smart,
I'm not cultured,

and I'm not sophisticated.

You know, I'm not
no Charles Bronson.

I hope you're proud
of yourselves.

You just embarrassed me

in front of someone
I really care about.

Hey, Mal, Mal, Mal,
don't worry about it.

He won't retain this night
in his memory.

You think that's all
that counts, huh, Alex?

got to be smart.

it's for your own good.

You're a snob,
you know that?

I know that.

I wanted you to see in Nick
what I see in him,

but you didn't give him
a chance.

You know, it's like - it's like
you don't trust my judgment.

If this had been Alex,

you would not
have acted this way.

Oh, Mal,
you have to understand -

No, come on, dad.

I can't remember one time

when you've interfered
in Alex's personal life.

Alex can do whatever he wants.
That's the way it's always been.

Well, Mallory,
if we've given Alex more freedom

in his personal life,

it's only because he's a boy
and you're a girl.

Go ahead. I'd like to hear
the rest of that.

I can't believe
you just said that, dad.

Hang tough, hang tough.
Looking good.

So, what are you
saying, dad?

I can't go out with guys
for the rest of my life?

Oh, no, no, no, honey.

For the rest of my life.

Dad, why are you
doing this?

I don't know, Mal.
I give up.

I can't defend it

I know I'm on shaky ground.

What can I say?

You can say you'll let me see
Nick 'cause I care about him.

What else can I say?

Dad, I'm not blind, you know?

I can see
why you don't like Nick,

but I do, very much,

and I'm just asking you
to trust my judgment.


All your life
I've watched over you,

I've worried about you,

I've tried to protect you.

Now you're getting older,

it's not easy to let you make
your own decisions,

especially when
I don't agree with them.

Dad, you and mom have taught me
to be a good person.

And you've done your job.

Now you have to trust me
to go out and live my own life.

Oh, hello, Nick.
Uh, good to see you.

Hey, everybody. Nick.

I've been standing out there
at the curb

trying to get myself
to leave.

But I can't.

Well, come on in
and sit down.

I'll stand.

I've got to say something
to you.

First of all,

I apologize about before
for being rude and running out.

I don't think
you're the only one

who needs to apologize here,


Okay, look,

I know I don't look like
what you want,

and I know I don't sound like
what you want,

and maybe I'm not what you want
in any way.

Maybe if I'd grown up
nice and refined like Mallory

and Jennifer
and even Alex there...

...maybe I'd feel comfortable
around people like you.

And maybe if I was comfortable,
I'd know what to say,

but I don't.

I think you do.

No. But you got to understand
one thing.

I really like Mallory,

and I wouldn't hurt her
for the world.

I'm not gonna see her
if you don't want me to,

but I really like her,

so I hope you don't
not want me to see her.

We don't, Nick.

You don't what?

We don't not want you
to stop not seeing Mallory.

Not in any way.


I mean, as far as not seeing
Mallory is concerned,

we are not going to say
you cannot stop not doing that.

Let's say
I wanted to see Mallory.

What would happen?

Honestly, I don't know, Nick.

You can see her,
right, Steven?

Well, I guess what we're trying
to say, Nick, is, um...

We do trust Mallory.

She likes you.
You like her.

We're not gonna
stand in your way.

You mean it, dad?
I mean it, Mal.

Hey, dad,
let's remember this night

so we don't have to go through
it again when I'm 18, okay?

Hey, uh, Jennifer,

you know, I got
this little brother at home

that maybe
you'd really go for.

Let's take one step
at a time.