A Different World (1987–1993): Season 5, Episode 15 - Prisoner of Love - full transcript

Freddie's pen pal, Jamal, is an ex-con and he visits Hillman, where Whitley is drawn to him. Ron and Dwayne get involved and find an expensive camera and other items in Jamal's belongings and accuse him of stealing.

Oh, my sisters, my sisters.

How do I explain to you
what it means to be faithful
to a man like Shazza?

Especially when Shazza
is the only man

you've had a chance
to be faithful to.

Listen, 40 years of marriage.

You know what kept
me and velma going?


Don't you mean monogamy,
Mr. Gaines?

Potato, po-tah-to.

Well, it doesn't matter
who you're with

'cause it's always nice
to fantasize.

I just picture what my mama
calls "a tall drink of water."

- What's that?
- Big, broad shoulders

and a butt
like two ripe peaches.

Ooh, I can see that.

Skin like velvet.

- Ooh, I can feel that.
- And his voice...


I can hear it.

Do I know you?

It's me, Jamal.

A very tall drink of water.

Yes, indeed.

Happy chastity.

Yes, lord.

Jamal, Jamal...
I'm sorry.
I can't quite place you.

I'm your prison pen pal.

You said, when I was out,
I should look you up.

You're a convict.

I mean, you're an ex-convict.

I prefer
the term "ex-offender."

Hey, no offense.

I mean, ex-offense.

When did you get out?

- Last week.
- Oh, that's great.



Uh... what do they say...

Happy release?
Merry parole?

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My girls...

Learning, growing, evolving.

Each one living
like they were born
in a trash compactor.

I called jaleesa's
employment agency.

She promised to send over
a janitor right away.

I hope it's not another loser.

All right, make way!

Mr. Clean
coming through!

Ron, you're not
the new janitor
are you?

I prefer
"custodial engineer."

I used to have a band.

Music was my life.

I've heard that tune before.

Just remember,
what goes around comes around.

That's why
you're pushing that mop.

Freddie, maybe
we shouldn't say anything

about where I've been.

Oh, good idea.

These people are not
as open-minded as i...

Especially our dorm director.

She can't be worse
than a prison warden.

Well, I don't know about that.

I'll be right back.


Listen, Kim, I got this friend

and he's got no money

and, Kim, he's got
no place to stay

and I was wondering...

Kim, your eyeballs are drooling.

I am just staring
at this gorgeous man.

Oh, that's Jamal.

You want him to spend the night
in our room?

Go, girl!

Ain't nobody
going to get no sleep
with him around.

I know that's right
'cause I volunteer
my room.

Let's talk about this upstairs.

What you staring at?

It must be nice having a job?


Who are you?

I'm a friend of Freddie Brooks.

That figures.

So you think
this looks like a good job?

If it pays more
than $2.00 an hour, it does.

How would you like to earn
say, $2.50 an hour?

Well, good luck

and watch out for
wicked whitley of the west.

All right.

Oh, lord...



May I be of assistance, ma'am?

Who are you?

I'm the new janitor.

I'm taking over for Ron.


My, my, my.

You're so... tall.

"Were I so tall
to reach the pole

"or grasp the ocean in my span

"I must be measured by my soul.

The mind's the standard
of the man."

Hey! Hey! Hey!

What happened to your new job,
Mr. Janitor with a drum?

Oh, that's funny.

Let me put it to you this way.

Some people like to whistle
while they work.

I prefer to whistle
while other people work.

Get the door, boy.


Oh, Jamal.

What's up, man?

Jamal, this is
my best friend, Dwayne.

Dwayne, meet Jamal.

Jamal's camping out
on the couch.

What's in it for you?

I'm just helping him
get into hillman.

Thanks for the job.

That $2.50 an hour
will really help.

My pleasure, man.

Y'all mind
if I use the washroom?

No. It's
right through there.

Yo, $2.50 an hour?

You're going to sit on your butt

and make a profit
off this brother?

I'm only charging
$2.00 a night.

You are a nasty, little maggot
destined for hell.

That's not necessary.

Say, Jamal,
want something to eat?

No thanks, man.

I got a date.

That's what I like...
A brother who works on the job.

Who's the lucky lady?

The one you told me about.

- Ohh...
- The wicked one.

- Whitley.
- Yeah, wh...

No man's ever given me
daises before.

Simple flowers
from a simple man.

Would you open
the chardonnay for me?

Uh... I don't know how.

Well, I find your
honesty refreshing.

Well, speaking of honesty...

And there's also
this air of mystery

that you have.

I can tell you've done things

been places.

I can't really explain it,
but I like it.

Now push this down.

I got these schedules...

Not a good time, winnifred.


What's going on?


Okay, I'm going to be
right outside...

Directly outside this door.

If you need anything, just call.

Are you hungry?


It's been a long time
since I had a home-cooked meal.


I love to cook.

I hope you like artichokes.

If you eat it like that,
you will choke.

There's a lot of things
I don't know

but I'm going to learn.

Something tells me
you have a great capacity
for change.

You are the personification
of pulchritude.


It means beauty.

I've been reading
the dictionary
one page at a time.

I'm on "p."

Well, education is
a very pulchritudiful thing.

So let's start right here.

I'll teach you
how to eat an artichoke.

- Pull off a little leaf.
- Uh-huh.

Dip it in the butter.

Then you slide the meat off
with your teeth.

Tender part's in the middle.

There's something
I want to tell you.

And there's something
I want to know.

Where have you been all my life?


Where were you last week,
last month, last year?

San Quentin.

San... San Quentin.

Is that near Trinidad?

Uh, no, whitley.

San Quentin is a prison.

I've been in for seven years.


What... what were you in for?

Armed robbery.



It was very nice meeting you.

So this is what it's
going to be like from now on?

Well, what did you expect?

Oh, I don't know.

Maybe the chance to start over.

You know what
my parole officer said to me?

"You'll be back."

I spent seven years
fighting for my manhood.

I dreamed every day
about getting out...

About holding the hand
of a beautiful woman like you.

And you think
I want to hurt you?

You haven't got a clue.

Jamal, i'm... I'm sorry.

I suppose
it is very difficult to change

when people only want to see
what they want to see.

And some of us
haven't been raised
to see very much.

Maybe you can help me.


Want to finish your artichoke?

Here's to seeing
beyond appearances.

I'll bet you've got
some wild tattoos.

Kim, Kim!


Whitley is having
a romantic dinner
with Jamal.

Damn, she's fast!


Jamal just got out of prison.

Prison? For what?

That's it...
I write so many felons

I can't keep them straight.



It's locked!

No! Whitley!

Open this door!

You open this...

Whitley, can I talk
to you for a minute?

This isn't a good time.

He's an ex-con.

He just got out.

I know that.

Is it safe

to have a criminal working here?

What is criminal

is that society won't see him
for who he is...

A wounded creature
with the heart of a lion
and the soul of an angel.

This is not
beauty and the beast.

Thank you.


What was he in for?

Armed robbery.


Armed robbery!

Whitley: It was society
that put that gun in his hand.

Was society driving
the getaway car?

How dare you talk that way!

Maybe I'd better leave.

- Maybe you should.
- Maybe you should.

And you too.

How dare you!

I don't want to cause
more trouble.

I certainly hope
you'll be reporting
to work tomorrow.


Good night.

This is insane.

He didn't have
the same chances we did.

He came from the streets.

So did I.

I didn't end up in prison.

Yes, but you are not
a black man.

Don't you read?

In some neighborhoods
little boys grow up
wanting to be inmates

like their daddies.
That's all they see.

The black man's university.

Speaking of black men

I just ran into
that very fine Jamal.

Let's talk about him.

We are...
Jamal just got out of prison.

Ooh, honey-boom.

I just got over him.

Well, that's
a very charitable attitude.

Whitley, you know
my dad was shot
by a guy on parole.

Kimberly, it wasn't this guy.

We can't make Jamal pay
for someone else's crime.

Is this
about justice for all
or Booty for you?

That is a good question.

- Ooh!
- Hey, Gina.

Got chilly in here, huh?

I'm used to that.

Want to know something?

The first letter
I ever got from my father

was from jail.

So you hang in there.

Hey, Lena, maybe we can
get together and talk...

You know, just... talk.

Well, you know, I got
a real busy schedule
with school and stuff.

Yeah, I know.

But you take care.

Hey, Freddie, what's up?

Hey, man.

I thought this might help you.

It's a self-healing
coloring book.

You draw a picture
of your wounded inner child

and through finger-painting,
you explore your primal rage.


Peace, man.

Good morning.

Good morning.

I thought you might like
some coffee.

Thank you.

I put cream and sugar
in it already.


How's it going today?

I can deal
with the silent treatment.

I've been in solitary.

So, what are you doing tonight?

Robbing a liquor store.

Can I come?

I have two free passes
to a movie.

Hey, I can afford that.

It's a double bill.

Splendor in the grass
with Warren Beatty

and the wild one
with Marlon Brando.

I'll see you at 7:00.


Hey, Ronald, what's up?

put your computer in here.


He's going to be back
any minute.


Jamal. He's an ex-con.

He just got out of prison.

Didn't you hear?

The man is a crook.

You were giving him
$2.50 an hour

and you're calling him
the crook?

What do you think
he's got in this bag?

Ooh! This is heavy.

Put his bag down.

he was in for armed robbery.

Maybe there's a gun in here.

Maybe there's an arm in here.

Doesn't a brother
deserve a chance
to turn his life around?

Well, whitley
certainly seemed to think so.


Yeah... Jamal was at her place
last night

getting a whole lot
of understanding.

Whitley was alone
with the ex-con?

A man that was locked up

for seven long, lonely years.

Give me this bag.


- Uh, you ready?
- Yeah.

Let's ride, daddy.

Uh, ride what?

Your Harley.

I don't have a Harley.


Well, never mind.
We'll take the benz.

I thought we could stop
by the tattoo parlor
after the movie.

I don't think you'd want to.

No, you're wrong.

I want to experience life
as you know it.

What do you think about
"bad mama"

right there, upper arm?

Vroom! Vroom!

Hold it right there, man.

- Yo!
- How dare you?

We're making a citizen's arrest.

It's my ex-boyfriend.

I'm so sorry.

No, Jamal is sorry,
or whoever he is.

Explain yourself, Dwayne.

I will, if he will.

Let's start with this.

What you doing with my bag?

What are you doing
with all this loot?

An expensive camera,
tape recorder

and a whole lot of cash.

If my hot curlers
are in there, I'm going off.

She's just saying
what you're all thinking.

Tell me you didn't do this.

Would you believe me if I did?


These things are mine.

They belong to me.

That's not how it works in the
real world, unless you're...

Lionel Walker.

I'm not an ex-con.

I'm a journalist
for the capital monitor.

- Sure you are.
- What?!

I came to hillman
to explore attitudes
about ex-cons.

But I wrote you in the prison.

I had an arrangement
with the warden.

Here's my press pass,
here's my byline.

I came to hillman
because you are the future.

Not everybody gets your chance.

Almost one
in every four black men
are in prison or on parole

and their future depends on us.

You used us.
This is exploitation.

- Oh, really?
- Yeah.

Mr. $2.50 an hour?

That wasn't because you were
a convict.

That's because you were stupid.

My brother, I admire
what you're doing

but not the way you're doing it.

Next time, go to morehouse.

At morehouse they wouldn't
rifle through
my stuff like you.

Oh, Dwayne, what I am hearing.

I hope this little incident

makes all of you look
at your bourgeois
hypocritical souls.

You know, Freddie
you talk a good game

but you didn't want me here
any more than anybody else

and then you tried
to ease your conscience

by giving me a coloring book.

Well, do you think
an article
in a newspaper

can change things?

We can start to fight
the attitudes
your father faces.

Your daddy's a jailbird?

That was not
your business to tell

Mr. Jamal/lionel,
or whatever your name may be.

Are you afraid
they'll turn on you?

I was trying to help
the brothers.

And what about the sisters?

What about the way
you treated whitley?

Don't you even go there with me.

Listen. I just want to say
I still have very strong views
about this.

At least you have the courage
of your convictions.


I'm sorry.

I hope you're not mad.

No, I'm not mad.

You've done a lot of good
by coming to hillman.

You've made a lot
of people really think.

Maybe we can discuss this
over dinner.

I know this great
little French restaurant.

They serve this wonderful
artichoke supreme
in a sauce de beurre.

Uh, you'd have to change
your outfit.

That won't be necessary.

Okay. Let's go.

I'm glad you agree with me...

That the end
does justify the means.

It was mean, Jamal.

And this is the end.