Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 4, Episode 7 - My Tutor - full transcript

Alex hires 13-year-old tutor, Eugene Forbes, to help him bring his grade up in advanced geometry from an 89% to 90%. However, Eugene is immediately distracted when he meets Jennifer, and he struggles to learn how to stop being an intellectual genius and learn to be a 13-year-old kid.

♪ 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

Steven, I can't believe you're
still working on our budget.

Elyse, I'm telling you,
we have to take

some drastic action
around here.

There's been a lot
of freewheeling,

extravagant spending
by every member of this family,

and it's got to stop.

Well, honey, I've talked
to the kids about it.

I mean, I know everybody's
making an effort.

Did we really need this?

I'm sorry, Steven.

I saw it in the window.
I just had to have it.

What is this?

I found it in the shower.

That's generic-brand

What happened
to my regular shampoo?

We won't be using
that kind anymore.

We're trying to cut back
and eliminate

these kinds
of needless expenses.

No. No, no.

Dad, you don't understand.

My hair is used to
herbal shampoo.

no turning back now.

Hey, listen, you mind
if I use the kitchen now?

I got someone coming over
to, uh, study with me.

Oh. Uh, sure.

Here, let me move some of this
stuff out of your way.

Whoa, that's a nice
adding machine, dad.

We ought to rush that down
to the business museum.

Who's coming over?

Oh, it's, uh, just...

Just someone to, uh,
study with me.


He's a...

...ahem - tutor.

A - ahem - tutor?

Why do you need
a - ahem - tutor?

It's a tutor, all right?
He's a tutor.

And the reason
that I need him

is because my average in
advanced non-Euclidean geometry

has slipped to an 89.

I got to get that back up
to a 90.

Well, I-i'm surprised,

I mean, you've never needed
a - ahem - tutor before.

Yeah, well, I've never
had this kind of math before.

It's abstract.
It's inexact.

It's philosophical.

It's everything I hate.

Did you find
a good tutor?

I don't know.
I haven't met him yet.

But professor Jenkins
recommended him.

His name is Eugene Forbes,

and he's the top
mathematics scholar at Leland.

Well, there's plenty
to snack on.

There's some milk in the fridge,
and I got some new cookies.


These look like
pretty fancy cookies, Elyse.


Don't let him eat
too many.

Mom, Eugene Forbes

is a graduate student
in mathematics.

He's a genius.

You don't give cookies
to a genius.

I'm Eugene Forbes.

And if you're Alex Keaton,
I believe I'm your tutor.

Can I... Can I ask you
one question?

I'm 13 1/2.


Okay, so, then, angle DCA
must therefore be congruent

to angle THETA.

How's that?

I'm afraid not.

Alex, you're still clinging
to Euclidean geometry.

I-i know. I-i cling.
I do that.

Higher geometry
is a different animal.

You have to be willing
to embrace the abstract.

Let go
of rational thought.

I don't want to let go
of rational thought.

I-i happen to like
rational thought.

My sister Mallory
let go of rational thought.

And she never got it back.

pull yourself together.

Erase your boo-boo.

I know how to erase,

I was
a National Merit Scholar.

I definitely sense some
hostility emanating from you.

Perhaps you'd be happier
with someone older...

Someone not as smart.

Wait a minute, Eugene.
Wait, wait. Stay.

I'm sorry, okay?
I-i need you.

Professor Jenkins
told me you're the only one

who can help me
understand this stuff.

Well, don't think it's easy
for me, either, Alex.

I've had to deal with the
pressure of being a genius

my whole life.

Me too.

I was doing long division
in nursery school.

Same here.

And I should have
my doctorate

by the time I'm 17.

I could have done that...

If I hadn't gone to camp
that summer.

I never went to camp,

except for math camp.

So, what do you do
when you're not in school?

I give lectures,
run symposiums, you know.

Well, that doesn't leave time
for much else.

I mean, what about,
uh, Little League?

Model airplanes?

I don't get to meet many girls
my age in college.

The truth is -
is I don't get to meet any.

I'm lonely, Alex.

In fact, for all
of my astounding intelligence

and academic achievement,

I'd trade it all
right this minute for a date...

Just one date.

Yeah, I guess... guess
it must be difficult for you.

You know, a companion.

A confidante. A friend.

I know what you mean.

A chick in hot pants.



Sorry, Alex,
a momentary lapse.

Well, enough of that.

Let's get back to work.


Oh, yeah, uh, Jennifer,
this is Eugene.

Eugene, Jennifer.

Enchanted, my dear.


may I be brutally frank?


You've just touched
my soul.


Oh, I have two
absolutely superlative seats

to "Madame Butterfly"
on Sunday.

It's my favorite opera.

Would you be so gracious
as to accompany me?

Is he putting me on?

Afraid not.

No, thanks. Okay?


Eugene, do you mind?
I'm paying you by the hour.

What is time?

I just met the mother
of my children.

You and Eugene
finished studying already?

We're not studying, dad.

We haven't studied
for a week.

What's the problem?

Eugene - he's lost.

He... he's convinced
that he's in love with Jennifer,

and I can't get him
to concentrate on anything else.

You know, if this keeps up,
there goes the point.

The point?

The point.
The point I need for my "A."

I mean, it's going
right out the window

Mr. Geometry in here

has turned into
a Jennifer-crazed lunatic.

Well, at least he's found
a compassionate friend

in you, Alex.

Oh, wait a minute.

87 cents
for safety pins.

What's next, a Learjet?


Eugene, look, please,

let's go back in there
and study, okay?

The hour's almost up. We
haven't accomplished anything.

I can't help it, Alex.
I'm not myself.

I'm obsessed with her.

Yeah, well, you got to
snap out of it.


Oh, uh, Jennifer,
I got you something.

What is it?

An x-ray.
Of my brain.

Hey, that's a nice one.

It's my good side.

This is the most disgusting
thing I've ever seen.

I want you to
have it.

No, thanks.

Uh, Jennifer...

Will you reconsider
going out with me?

Eugene, it's nothing
personal, but, no.

Very well.

Sorry, Alex.
I can't go on.

I won't charge you
for this session.

Well, I hope you're happy.

He's a broken man.

Alex, it's not my fault.

Well, can't you at least
humor him? One date?

No, Alex.

Come on.

Look, he, uh, he gave you
this nice X-ray and everything.

You know, for all you know,
you could end up liking Eugene.

He's a very nice guy
once you see what's inside.

I already know
what's inside!

Look, until you go out with him,
he's not gonna be able

to think of anything else,
including my "A."

You know, I could actually get
a "B" in math?

Could you honestly live
with that on your conscience?

I'm willing to try.

All right. All right.
Okay, Jennifer.

All right.

I've tried to appeal
to your sense of compassion.

I have no other option.






Jennifer, I remember when
I could buy you for 10 bucks.

Hi, Ellen.

Boy, you look great
in that outfit.


You wouldn't say where we were
going or what we were doing.

You just said, "wear something."
So I did.

All right, all right.
I'll give you the rundown.

Uh, we're, uh, double-dating
with Jennifer

and this graduate student
named Eugene,

who's 13 years old
and my math tutor,

and he's in love with Jennifer,
but she hates him,

so I bribed her to do this
so I could get my "A."

Okay. I'm ready.

Oh, hi, Ellen.
Ellen: Hi.

Alex, uh, something
very strange is going on,

and we're kind of
wondering about it.

Oh? What's that, mom?

Well, it's this date that
Jennifer's going on with Eugene.

She never liked him before.

Do you have any idea
what's, uh, turned her around?

Gee, no idea. Sorry.
Wish I could have helped.

Oh, uh, we were sure
you would know,

since her going out
on this date

probably helps you out
quite a bit.

Don't know, mom.

Maybe Ellen knows.
You know, hon?

No. How would I know?

Darn. Who knows?

she's attracted to him.


Maybe she thinks
she can learn from him.

I don't think so. No.

Darn. I wish I knew.

- You sure you don't know, Ellen?
- No.

All right.
I bribed her, okay?

Good evening.
Hey, Eugene.

Uh, Eugene,
this is Ellen Reed.

Ellen, Eugene.

And you know
my mom and dad.

Nice to see you again.
Hi, Eugene.

what do you think?

you look beautiful.

you really do.

You're a vision.

a deal is a deal.

we'd better get going.

Well, where are you
off to?

Well, there's going to be
a little shindig

down at the faculty club.

Some of the teaching assistants
are throwing a party

for professor Jenkins.

It's the 20th anniversary
of his tenure.

Ooh, Jen,
that sounds great.

This is incredible.

All of the massive intellects
of the Leland faculty

are gathered together
in the same room.

The combined brainpower
in this room is staggering.

Maybe we should get some X-rays
of these guys.

will you behave yourself?

This date
has to go well.

Need I remind you that
that check is post-dated?

Well, uh,
shall we mingle?

Yeah, yeah. Listen, uh, mingle
me over to professor Jenkins.

Well, Eugene.
I am so glad you could make it.

Thank you, Walter.
And I'd like to present to you

Jennifer Keaton,
the woman in my life.

Enchanted, my dear.

And I believe you know
her brother, Alex.

Yes, yes, yes.
We've met many times.

Nice to see you again.

Who'd you say he was?

Alex Keaton.

Uh, yeah, I, uh...
I sit in the front row

of your
advanced geometry class.

Oh, yes.

The point.

If you'll excuse us,

I'd like to show off
my better half.

Go to it, my boy.
Go to it.

So, I...
Excuse me.

Eugene, I am not
your better half

and I am not the woman
in your life.

So please introduce me
in a normal way.

Well, certainly.

Oh, Ronald, Eunice.

This is,
uh, Jennifer,

the old ball and chain.

So, uh, Eugene,
have you read Testrik's paper

on the meaning of man's
existence in the universe?

Ah, yes,
that's heady stuff.

Don't you agree,

Oh, I don't know,
muffin head.

The last book I read was
"Nancy Drew, Mountain Nurse."

"Mountain Nurse."

Isn't she priceless?

Such a fresh sense
of humor.

you're acting like a child.

Eugene, I am a child.

Well, you're embarrassing me
in front of my peers.

Eugene, listen, I'm sorry.
I'm doing the best I can.

This is my first
tenure party.

So, mister Keaton...

How are you and Eugene
getting along?

Uh, well I...

I'd say we're as close
as two sides

of an isosceles triangle.

He just meant that,
you know,

the triangle
with the two equal...

That he and Eugene

What did you mean, Alex?

I-i just meant we're, uh...

We're getting
along fine.

Well, good.
I-i hope it works out.

Well, thank you very much,

Professor Walter.

Professor Jenkins.


Your, uh...
Your Geometric Highness.

Ah, ha-ha.
Jennifer, Eugene.

Are you enjoying

Oh, it's fabulous,

A splendid affair.

Yeah, I think
it's really neat.


What she means is
it's fabulous, Walter.

A splendid affair.

No, I don't mean that.

Uh, why do you keep correcting
everything I say?


You're embarrassing me
with this infantile behavior.

Eugene, listen, I'm just
trying to make conversation.

That's a poor excuse
for conversation.

"It's neat."
I haven't heard that

since I was teaching
high school.

Eugene, take it easy.
No, I won't take it easy.

This evening
is very important to me,

And she's acting so immature -
it just makes me mad!

I hate it! I hate it!
I hate it!

- Eugene, listen...
- No, no, no, no, no.

I-i don't want to hear it.

I can't hear you!
I can't hear you!


Eugene, wait...

Eugene! Eugene!

Eugene, wait.
Eugene, Eugene.
Come back.

These three graphs
show the relationship

between what
this family is earning

and what it's spending.

These are lovely, Steven.
You have a way with graphs.

Well, thank you, dear.
You have a way with words.

Dad, can we get on
with this, please?

The stores close at 9:00,

and I'd like to do
some shopping.

Mallory, your dad
has put a lot of time and effort

into these graphs.

The least we can do
is hear him out.

Get on with it, Steven.

What's there
to get on with?

These graphs speak
for themselves.

Look at them.

But wait a minute.
I think there's a problem here.

What's that?

Well, according
to the line graph,

we're $200 behind
each month.


But according to the pie graph,

we break even each month.

Uh, that's true.

According to the bar graph,

we are $300 ahead each month.

What's your point, Elyse?

Which one's right?

Well, wait a minute, mom.

I think in this situation,
there is no right or wrong.

I think it's up
to each individual

to decide
what is right.

And personally,
I-i think we're ahead.

So, uh,
I'm gonna go shopping.

Don't worry, honey.

If we go broke,
we go broke.

The important thing is,

hey, this has kept you busy
for three weeks.

Forget it, Jennifer.
I'm not paying. No way.

Why not, Alex?
I did my part.

What happened
wasn't my fault.

The, uh,
date didn't go well?

Eugene had
a temper tantrum.

Oh, dad,
it was a nightmare.

Sorry you missed it.

Good evening.

Eugene, uh,
please come in.

Sit down and make yourself

I'm afraid I can't do that.
I'm terribly upset.

Nothing went right

I, uh... I saw that X-ray
you gave to Jennifer.

Very becoming.


Do you have
any wallet-sized?

I don't mean to be rude,
but is... is Jennifer here?

- I need to speak With her.
- Uh, of course. We'll get her.

Steven, um...

Hey, Eugene.
You all right?

No, I'm not all right.

I'm embarrassed, humiliated,
and ashamed.

But that's it, right?

I mean,
it's nothing serious.

I-i-i just hate to think
that what happened tonight

may have affected your brain
in any way.

It hasn't.

Maybe we can get
another X-ray.

I'm okay, Alex.

So you'll still be able to tutor
me to help me get my "A."

Alex, forget
about your "A"!

Eugene is obviously upset.

He needs a friend
right now.

All right.
You're right. You're right.

I-i shouldn't be thinking
about my grades.

Eugene, everything's
gonna be all right.

You're a swell kid.

Now, quick,
in hyperbolic space,

the upper base angles
of any quadrilateral are...?

That's my boy!

He's still got it.

All right, now, don't sweat
this Jennifer thing, okay?

She's too young for you,

Uh, see you tomorrow,
same time?

You are
quite a humanitarian, Alex.


He is a young boy.

He's confused.
He's upset.

He looks up to you.

Is that the best
you can do for him?

All right.


I, uh...
I-i-i just want you to know

That, uh...


You care
about his feelings.

...that I care
about your feelings.

I mean that.

So, uh, you...

You just...

You just get some sleep.

I'm drained.
I can't...

I'm sorry.

I made a complete fool
out of myself.

That's the first time
I've seen that side of you.

I liked it.

You liked it?

Well, that's the first time
I've seen you

act like a kid for once.


You may be smart,

but you're not a grownup.

You know, underneath that brain,
you're really a nice boy.

Thank you for looking.

And... and I think that you are
an extremely stunning

and vivacious...

I think
you're really neat, too.

Do you want to get
a soda?

Yeah! Yeah, yeah!

That'll be fun.

Hey, hey,
what's going on?

Jennifer and I
are gonna go get a soda.

Well, I-i think
that's great.

I mean, I'm glad
you two hit it off.

You go out.
You have a wonderful time.

Eugene, quick -
Gottlieb's theorem.