Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989–1993): Season 2, Episode 17 - A Life in Progress - full transcript

The hospital hires an artist to decorate a mural inside the children's center. When it is found that the artist has AIDS, he is dismissed amid public concerns.

MY CLASS ASSIGNMENT IS TO MAKE

A TWO-MINUTE VIDEO ON
THE ESSENCE OF SOMETHING,

AND THE THING
I'VE CHOSEN IS LIFE.

AND THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IS...

OKAY, OKAY, I GOT IT.

IT'S RIGHT ON THE
TIP OF MY TONGUE.

THE ESSENCE OF LIFE
IS... TAKE IT, WANDA.

- ART. - (imitates buzzer) NEXT.

- SHOPPING? - SHOPPING? NO, NO.

I NEED SOMETHING
DEEP, MEANINGFUL,

IMPORTANT.



THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IS...

- Doogie and Vinnie: SEX!
- Janine: OH, PLEASE.

YES, THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IS SEX,

AND THE ESSENCE OF SEX IS WOMAN,

AND THE ESSENCE
OF WOMAN IS... JANINE.

(imitates buzzer) IF YOU THINK I'M TAKING
OFF EVEN A SOCK FOR YOUR FILM...

NO. I KNOW WHAT
YOU'RE THINKING...

THIS IS JUST GOING TO
BE SOME CHEAP, TAWDRY,

LOW-BUDGET TOUR OF YOUR ANATOMY.

YOU LEFT OUT "SLEAZY," VINNIE.

NAKEDNESS IS NOT SLEAZY
UNLESS IT'S FILMED CORRECTLY.

(scoffs)

DRY UP AND DIE.

OOH, I DETECT A
LITTLE HOSTILITY HERE.



WHY DON'T YOU LEAVE HER
ALONE? SHE'S HAVING A ROUGH TIME.

OH, PLEASE.

NOT THIS "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO
WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE" STUFF AGAIN.

EXCUSE ME IF MY
IDENTITY CRISIS BORES YOU,

BUT I'M TOTALLY CONFUSED.

I CAN'T DECIDE ON A
COLLEGE. I CAN'T PICK A MAJOR.

YOU GUYS ALREADY KNOW
WHAT YOU WANT TO BE.

ME, I'M JUST ONE BIG,
EMPTY QUESTION MARK

WITH BANGS.

- I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO
MAKE A LIST OF YOUR SKILLS.
- I DID.

(clears throat) ALL
RIGHT, HERE IT GOES.

"WORKS WELL WITH CHILDREN.

ABILITY TO ACCESSORIZE.
GOOD MALL SENSE."

- THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE
A LIST OF YOUR SKILLS?
- RIGHT.

WELL, JANINE, "GOOD HAIR"

IS NOT A SKILL.

FOR ME IT IS.

OH, GOD! WHAT AM I
GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?

YOU KNOW, JANINE, ACTING
IS A NOBLE PROFESSION.

IF YOU THINK I'M GOING
TO APPEAR SANS CLOTHES

IN SOMETHING PROBABLY
EVERYONE IN SCHOOL WILL SEE...

YOU DON'T WANT ANYBODY TO
KNOW IT WAS YOU? NO PROBLEM.

WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST SAY SO?
WE CAN PUT A BAG OVER YOUR HEAD.

(laughs) NO, NO,
IT'LL BE TASTEFUL.

YOUR CHOICE, MY GODDESS.

PAPER OR PLASTIC?

(Vinnie grunts)

(theme music playing)

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Man: OKAY, THERE YOU GO.

AND IF YOU HAD YOUR OWN CLOUD,
WHERE WOULD YOU FLY OFF TO?

- BRENTWOOD.
- NO, THIS IS BRENTWOOD.

I MEAN, IF YOU COULD GO

ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

AUSTRALIA? JAPAN?

- BRENTWOOD.
- (chuckles)

YOU'RE AN L.A. KIND
OF CHICK, AREN'T YOU?

NO, BRENTWOOD.

ARE YOU SURE THIS
IS YOUR FIRST CLOUD?

- AH, JEFF.
- HI, DR. CANFIELD.

- GRAB A BRUSH.
- Canfield: THANK YOU,
BUT I'M NOT REALLY DRESSED.

HOW'S THE VIDEO GOING? YOU
GETTING THE ESSENCE OF ANYTHING YET?

DOOG, HOW CAN I EVER REPAY YOU?

YOU CAN START BY NOT
EMBRACING ME IN PUBLIC.

JEFF MOORE IS MY HERO.

HE'S THE ORIGINAL STREET ARTIST.

- MY VIDEO TEACHER'S GOING
TO FAINT WHEN HE SEES THIS.
- I'LL INTRODUCE YOU.

MR. MOORE HAS PAINTED MURALS

FOR SITES AS DIVERSE AS
THE NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY

AND THE BERLIN WALL.

AND NOW A MURAL

FOR AND WITH

THE CHILDREN OF EASTMAN.

- WE ARE DEEPLY HONORED.
- THANK YOU.

EXCUSE ME. MR. MOORE,
WHAT'S YOUR MURAL ABOUT?

IT'S ABOUT THROWING
EVERYTHING YOU GOT INTO LIFE.

- HERE, JEFF.
- WELL... (chuckles)

ACTUALLY, IT'S NOT THAT DEEP.

IT'S FOR THE KIDS SO THAT, WHEN THEY
LOOK OUT THE DOOR OF THEIR ROOM,

THEY SEE SOMEBODY
LOOKING BACK AT THEM.

ON THAT NOTE,

I DECLARE THIS
MURAL IN PROGRESS.

- THANK YOU.
- (people applauding)

- (camera shutter clicks)
- JERRY, I, UH...

I THINK THE BOARD MADE
A GOOD CHOICE THIS TIME.

- NO KIDDING.
- (child laughing)

LOOK AT THE SMILES
ON THOSE FACES.

JEFF.

- HEY, DOOGIE.
- HI. I WANT YOU TO MEET
MY FRIEND, VINNIE DELPINO.

OH, THE VIDEO ARTIST.

ARTIST? HE CALLED ME AN ARTIST.

MR. MOORE, YOU'RE
GIVING ME THE SHIVERS.

VINNIE, PLEASE, IT'S JEFF.

HE WANTS ME TO CALL HIM JEFF.

SO, JEFF, I'M TOTALLY INTO
WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO HERE...

ART IN PUBLIC PLACES.

GIVE THE ART BACK TO THE PEOPLE.

DOWN WITH THOSE
CHARDONNAY-SIPPING GALLERY SNOBS.

YOU GOT IT. ART SHOULD
BE AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

SO TRUE, JEFF. SO TRUE.

I MEAN, IN A SENSE, YOU COULD
SAY THAT I USE MY VIDEO CAMERA

THE SAME WAY YOU USE YOUR
PAINTBRUSH, YOU KNOW, JEFF?

TO COMMUNICATE IN A
NONELITIST MANNER, JEFF,

WITH THE LARGER FAMILY OF MAN...

AND WOMAN, JEFF.

I THINK THE OPERATIVE
WORD HERE IS "JEFF."

EXCUSE ME, VINNIE.

ALAN, HOW COME
YOU'RE NOT PAINTING?

OH, COME ON. I KNOW YOU
LIKE TO DRAW ON WALLS.

EVERYBODY LIKES TO
DRAW ON WALLS, RIGHT?

- Kids: YEAH!
- AND WHY?

BECAUSE WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED
TO, AND THAT MAKES IT...

All: FUN!

COME ON.

THERE WAS A TIME I'D
NEVER CALL MY ART FUN.

IT WAS ALWAYS "MY WORK."

BUT SINCE I'D GOTTEN SICK,

I'VE HAD A MAJOR
ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.

NOW I DON'T DO
ANYTHING THAT'S NOT FUN.

EXCUSE ME, JEFF. WHAT
DO YOU MEAN, SICK?

I HAVE AIDS.

OKAY, THAT'S THE
KAANAPALI HOTEL,

THURSDAY, THE 8th. MM-HMM.

THANKS, BETTY.

EVERYTHING'S SET FOR HAWAII.

- SAME HOTEL.
- SAME HOTEL.

- SAME ROOM.
- SAME ROOM.

SAME FRUIT BASKET, SAME
PIECE OF SWORDFISH FOR DINNER.

WELL, NOT THE SAME
PIECE OF SWORDFISH.

I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE
MIGHT CONSIDER IT BORING

TO GO ON THE SAME
VACATION YEAR AFTER YEAR,

BUT I FIND IT
TREMENDOUSLY FREEING.

NO DECISIONS, NO SURPRISES.

I KNOW YOU DO, SWEETHEART,

AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU
SAID LAST YEAR AND THE YEAR BEFORE.

GREAT. I WON'T HAVE
TO SAY IT NEXT YEAR.

OF COURSE I'VE HEARD ABOUT
AIDS. EVERYONE'S HEARD ABOUT AIDS.

I JUST NEVER THOUGHT I'D
MEET ANYBODY WHO HAD IT.

- WHO HAS AIDS?
- Doogie: JEFF MOORE.

THE ARTIST WHO'S DOING
THE MURAL AT THE HOSPITAL?

- YEAH.
- I GOTTA BE HONEST, DOOG.

WHEN HE SAID HE HAD AIDS, THE FIRST
THING THAT WENT THROUGH MY MIND WAS,

"YIKES! AM I GOING TO CATCH IT?"

BUT THEN MY
INTELLIGENCE KICKED IN.

I MEAN, I KNOW THE FACTS.

I'VE SEEN "60 MINUTES,"
"20/20," "GENERAL HOSPITAL."

I KNOW THERE'S
ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY

NO WAY IN THE WORLD.

IT'S AN IMPOSSIBLE
THING FOR ME TO CATCH IT.

- RIGHT?
- RIGHT.

DR. H, YOU CONCUR?

VINNIE, AIDS CANNOT BE TRANSMITTED
THROUGH CASUAL CONTACT.

RIGHT, BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?

IT'S A BREAKDOWN IN
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

THAT MAKES YOU VULNERABLE TO
DISEASES THAT ARE LIFE-THREATENING.

HOW SICK IS HE, DOOGIE?

HE SAID HE HAD
PNEUMONIA LAST YEAR,

AND HE HASN'T HAD ANY
SYMPTOMS SINCE THEN.

HE COULD BE HEALTHY FOR A
LONG TIME. WE JUST DON'T KNOW.

- NOT KNOWING
MUST BE UNBEARABLE.
- YEAH...

- BUT JEFF'S GOT
A GREAT ATTITUDE.
- Vinnie: YEAH.

CHECK THIS OUT.

All right. Before I got sick,

I was a creature of habit,

a real meat and potatoes man.

I used to think, "Hell, I'll try
raw sea urchin tomorrow."

But now I think, "Try it
now. Try something new."

So here we are at this
lovely... and I do mean lovely...

Cajun restaurant.

Thank you.

(inhales)

And the adventure
for today is alligator.

Come on, Vinnie.
Grab a fork, dig in.

Vinnie: Uh, Jeff, I gotta
operate the camera.

Bring it in with you.

(Vinnie mutters)

All right.

You don't happen to know
if this is free-range alligator?

Jeff: Eat.

I don't wear chicken shoes.
Maybe I shouldn't eat alligator.

Come on. Mangia, mangia.

Eh...

It's not bad.

I normally don't like to eat
anything that leaves a slimy trail.

What do you say, we shoot till
midnight, then we get a burger?

- Yeah.
- Great.

(zydeco music playing)

CARPE DIEM.

EXCUSE ME, DR. HOWSER?

SEIZE THE DAY, VINCENT.

SEIZE THE DAY.

- MORNING, DOOG.
- HOW'S IT GOING
WITH JEFF?

GREAT. LAST NIGHT, HE TOOK
ME TO SEE SUMO WRESTLERS.

MAN, TALK ABOUT YOUR
UNCOMFORTABLE UNDERWEAR.

JUST THINKING ABOUT IT
MAKES ME WALK FUNNY.

(indistinct
announcement over P.A.)

- WHAT'S GOING ON?
- PACKING UP.

- WHY?
- WHEN WORD GOT OUT
THAT I HAVE AIDS,

SOME OF THE PARENTS TOOK
THEIR KIDS OFF THE MURAL.

SO YOUR HOSPITAL CANCELED
THE PROJECT. EXCUSE ME.

JEFF, YOU CAN'T LEAVE.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT
TO FINISH THIS MURAL.

THE BOARD IS JUST CAVING IN TO
A BUNCH OF HYSTERICAL PARENTS.

WAIT A MINUTE, I UNDERSTAND THOSE
PARENTS. THEY'RE NOT HYSTERICAL.

THEY'RE AFRAID.

LISTEN, DOOGIE, I'M SCARED, TOO.

I WAKE UP EVERY MORNING
SCARED. I GO TO BED SCARED.

IF I'M LUCKY, OR BUSY ENOUGH
DURING THE DAY, I GET A REPRIEVE.

BUT, YOU SEE, THE
THING ABOUT FEAR IS

IT COMES FROM THE
HEART, NOT THE HEAD.

THOSE PARENTS BELIEVE
THEY'RE PROTECTING THEIR KIDS.

YOU CAN'T BLAME THEM FOR THAT.

I'M NOT BLAMING THE PARENTS.
IT'S THE BOARD I'M GOING AFTER.

THIS HAS GOT TO BE A
VIOLATION OF YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS.

YOU CAN SUE THEM. THEY'RE
WORRIED ABOUT NEGATIVE PUBLICITY.

LET'S CALL A PRESS CONFERENCE
AND EMBARRASS THEM.

LISTEN, DOOGIE, I RESPECT
YOUR IDEALISM AND YOUR PASSION,

BUT I FIGHT MY
BATTLES WITH MY ART.

- (sighs)
- (siren wailing)

- I CAN'T BELIEVE
YOU'RE NOT ANGRY.
- I AM.

I AM ANGRY. BUT
WHEN YOU GOT AIDS,

ANGER'S NOT GOING TO
HELP YOU LIVE ANY LONGER.

LISTEN. THANK YOU, DOOGIE.

AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DO
SOMETHING, DON'T PUNISH PEOPLE.

EDUCATE THEM.

Woman on P.A.: Dr. Culich,
please check your beeper.

(door opens)

IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THEM,
THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU TAKE A STAND?

I DID. LOOK, IT WAS A
VERY DIFFICULT DECISION.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FEELS

THE HOSPITAL CAN'T AFFORD
THE NEGATIVE PUBLICITY.

WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT,

IT'S A LEGITIMATE CONCERN.

Vinnie: DR. CANFIELD, WOULD
YOU CARE TO MAKE A STATEMENT

- ABOUT THE HEARTLESS DUMPING
OF A GREAT ARTIST?
- NO.

THIS IS KIND OF LIKE "60
MINUTES," HUH, DR. CANFIELD?

THE GUILTY GUY
SCURRYING AWAY LIKE A BUG.

MAYBE YOU WANT TO THROW A
JACKET OVER YOUR HEAD OR SOMETHING.

MR. DELPINO, PUT
THAT CAMERA DOWN

BEFORE I CALL A SECURITY GUARD.

Woman on P.A.: Dr. Tony
Barrett to Obstetrics.

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW.

Vinnie: I KNOW YOU'RE IN HERE.

YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE.

COME OUT AND TALK LIKE A MAN.

EXCUSE ME? SO WHAT
DO YOU WANT TO SAY?

I JUST WANT TO SAY THOSE
ARE BEAUTIFUL SHOES.

ITALIAN?

(chuckles)

YOU FOLLOWED DR. CANFIELD
INTO THE BATHROOM?

HEY, I WAS AFTER A STORY.

WE'RE TALKING GONZO
JOURNALISM HERE.

I'VE NEVER SEEN
ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE.

OF COURSE NOT. IT'S
IN THE MEN'S ROOM.

WHAT I MEANT WAS, YOU'RE REALLY
GETTING GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO.

I, ON THE OTHER HAND, AM
STILL WANDERING AIMLESSLY

IN THE CAREER WASTELAND.

OH, COME HERE,

MY CONFUSED LITTLE BONBON.

I AM STILL UP AGAINST
A BRICK WALL HERE.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
IS NOT GOING TO BUDGE.

THEY'RE MORE CONCERNED WITH LOSING
BUSINESS THAN THEY ARE WITH ETHICS.

YOU'D THINK THEY'D BE
MORE CONCERNED ABOUT

PEOPLE FINDING OUT
HOW INSENSITIVE THEY ARE.

YEAH.

MAYBE THAT'S WHAT
PEOPLE SHOULD FIND OUT.

Doogie: JEFF DIDN'T HAVE TO
TELL ANYONE THAT HE HAD AIDS,

BUT HE PUT HIMSELF ON THE LINE

BECAUSE HE BELIEVES
IN THE TRUTH...

TRUTH IN HIS ART
AND TRUTH IN HIS LIFE.

I DON'T DISAGREE. MR. MOORE
IS A VERY COURAGEOUS MAN.

THEN WHY DON'T WE PUT OURSELVES
ON THE LINE AND STAND BY HIM?

REINSTATE THE MURAL.

DR. HOWSER, IT WAS THE
PARENTS WHO PULLED THE CHILDREN

OUT OF THE PROJECT,
NOT THE HOSPITAL.

BUT WE KNOW THEIR
FEAR IS IRRATIONAL.

AIDS IS ONLY TRANSMITTED THROUGH
THE EXCHANGE OF BLOOD AND BODILY FLUIDS

THROUGH SEXUAL CONTACT,
THE SHARING OF DIRTY NEEDLES...

DR. HOWSER...

BUT NOT HANGING AROUND
WITH SOMEBODY IN A HALLWAY.

WE KNOW THAT. WE
ARE CONCERNED HERE

WITH THE PUBLIC'S PERCEPTION
OF WHAT IS DANGEROUS.

BUT ISN'T IT OUR JOB AS
A MEDICAL INSTITUTION

TO HELP CHANGE THAT
PUBLIC PERCEPTION?

DR. HOWSER, IT IS OUR JOB

TO SERVE THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

WE CAN'T SERVE ANYONE
IF WE LOSE SO MUCH MONEY

THAT WE'RE FORCED TO SHUT DOWN.

EVEN IF WE DO
LOSE SOME PATIENTS,

I STILL SAY WE HAVE A MORAL
OBLIGATION TO DO WHAT WE THINK IS RIGHT.

BILL, I THINK
DR. HOWSER HAS A POINT.

JERRY, WE HAVE
BEEN THROUGH THIS.

NOW, WE TREAT AIDS
PATIENTS. WE HAVE CLINICS.

WE EVEN PUBLISH
PAMPHLETS ON PREVENTION.

BUT HE'S RIGHT. WE'RE
BEING HYPOCRITICAL.

PEOPLE ARE AFRAID
OF AIDS PATIENTS,

AND THAT FEAR IS CAUSING
A TERRIBLE ISOLATION.

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO
BE THE STANDARD BEARER

FOR EVERY CAUSE
THAT COMES ALONG.

WELL, THAT'S NOT
WHAT I'M SAYING.

JERRY, PLEASE.

YOUR POSITION IS DULY NOTED.

PHIL, I...

HAVE AIDS.

- WHAT DID YOU SAY?
- I SAID I HAVE AIDS.

(sighs) THAT'S THE FIRST TIME

I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SAY THOSE
WORDS TO ANYONE BUT MY WIFE.

YEARS AGO, I HAD BYPASS SURGERY.

THEY GAVE ME A TRANSFUSION.

THAT WAS BEFORE THEY WERE
SCREENING THE BLOOD SUPPLY.

(sighs) THAT'S HOW I GOT IT.

JERRY, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US?

BECAUSE MAUREEN
AND I WERE AFRAID THAT...

WE'D LOSE YOU AS FRIENDS.

WE FELT WE HAD TO HIDE.

OH, JERRY.

WE'RE HERE FOR YOU.

JERRY.

JERRY, YOU'RE NOT
GOING TO LOSE US.

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO LOSE US.

Woman on P.A.: Mr. Hirsch
to Medical Records.

- (children chattering)
- Mr. Hirsch to Medical Records.

LOOK AT THIS, VINNIE.
WE'RE BACK IN BUSINESS.

EVERYBODY SEEMS
TO BE PRETTY HAPPY...

EXCEPT FOR THIS
TORMENTED SOUL HERE.

IF YOU DON'T MIND,
I PREFER TO HAVE

MY NERVOUS BREAKDOWN
GO UNRECORDED.

Vinnie: COME ON.
HAVE FUN WITH IT.

VINNIE.

THERE, HERR DIRECTOR. IS
THAT FUN ENOUGH FOR YOU?

Jeff: JANINE, IT'S NOT
THE SISTINE CHAPEL.

- BUT I CAN'T DECIDE
WHAT COLOR TO USE.
- THAT'S UP TO YOU.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT
COLOR BLOUSE SHE'S WEARING

AND WHO DESIGNED IT?

AND THEN I HAVE TO DECIDE ON
HER SKIN COLOR. IS IT LIGHT OR DARK?

DOES SHE HAVE A
RASH OR A BIRTHMARK?

SHOULD I GO AWAY TO
COLLEGE OR STAY HOME?

DO I GET A JOB?
WHAT KIND OF JOB?

AND IF I GET A JOB, WHAT AM
I GOING TO WEAR TO WORK?

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!
COME HERE, LITTLE LADY.

Woman on P.A.: Dr. Steve
Mason to the psychiatric ward.

Dr. Steve Mason to the
psychiatric ward, please.

THERE YOU GO.

- BUT WHAT IF
IT'S A MISTAKE?
- YOU JUST PAINT OVER IT.

YOU CAN DO THAT?

JANINE, IT IS OKAY
TO BE UNCERTAIN...

ABOUT PAINT, ABOUT LIFE.

YOU JUST DON'T LET YOUR
UNCERTAINTY PARALYZE YOU.

YOU DO ONE THING.
YOU DON'T LIKE IT?

DO SOMETHING ELSE.

TRAVEL, WRITE A BOOK,
WORK FOR A CAUSE.

JUST DON'T WASTE TIME,

FOR TIME IS ALL WE'VE GOT.

YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT?

- OH...
- I'M ONLY KIDDING.

IT'S BEAUTIFUL.

(classical music playing)

Kids: YAY!

IT'S BRILLIANT.

THAT WAS A GREAT FILM, VIN.

JANINE NUDE WOULD
HAVE MADE A GREAT FILM.

THIS JUST GOT ME AN "A."

I GOT A POSTCARD
FROM MY PARENTS TODAY.

THEY SAID TO SAY HI.

COLORADO?

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FATHER'S
TRADITIONAL HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY?

WHAT, DON HO DIED, AND THERE
WAS NO POINT IN GOING BACK?

NO, MY FATHER JUST DECIDED
TO TRY SOMETHING NEW.

HE TOOK MY MOM
WHITE-WATER RAFTING.

YOUR MOTHER ON A RAFT?

WITH HER BLOUSE
DRENCHED WITH WATER,

CLINGING TO HER BODY?

- I HOPE SOMEBODY'S
TAKING SNAPSHOTS.
- GET OUT OF HERE.

- I'M GLAD I MET JEFF.
- YEAH, ME TOO, VIN.

(beeps)

(theme music playing)

(orchestra playing
Vivaldi's "Four Seasons")

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