Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 6, Episode 21 - Mary's Aunt Returns - full transcript

Mary's aunt and respected newspaperwoman Flo Meredith makes a surprise visit to Minneapolis, a surprise at least to Mary. It's isn't a surprise for Lou, as he and Flo have been talking about producing a television documentary about the Flynns, a local couple with twenty children from a combination of their previous marriages. Lou and Flo want Mary and Murray's help in producing the documentary, which they are more than happy to do. Ted's offer to narrate is another story. Regardless, a wrench is thrown into the proceedings when the Flynns announce that they are getting a divorce. Flo wants to capitalize on that aspect of the story, whereas Lou wants it to be an epilogue to the primary story they were going to do anyway. As such, they decide to submit separate story ideas to the network, with the better man or woman producing the documentary. Mary, Murray and Ted are forced to take sides, which is an especially difficult task for Mary.

♪ Who can turn the
world on with her smile ♪

♪ Who can take a nothing day ♪

♪ And suddenly make
it all seem worthwhile ♪

♪ Well, it's you, girl
and you should know it ♪

♪ With each glance and every
little movement you show it ♪

♪ Love is all around
No need to waste it ♪

♪ You can have the town
Why don't you take it ♪

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪♪

Mary, you got
tonight's editorial?

Yeah, Ted. Here it
is. What's it about?

Mental health.
What's our position?

- We're for it.
- I can live with that.

Hi, kiddo!

Aunt Flo!

Hello, Murray! Hi.

I should've written that I was
coming, but I didn't have time.

I am in town on a very big deal.

I'm so glad to see
you. You look terrific!

Gee, what do you have to do to
get a cup of coffee around here?

Oh, I'll get you one, but I
don't think it's very fresh.

Oh, Murray, after 20
years in the city room...

I wouldn't know a fresh cup of coffee if
Joe DiMaggio brewed it for me himself.

Which he often
does incidentally.

How are ya,
baby? I'm fine, fine.

What are you doing
here in Minneapolis? I

thought you were covering
some story in Uganda.

Well, I was, but General
Amin and I had words.

Apparently nobody'd ever
called him fatso before,

least of all in Swahili.

[Laughing] Oh, you!

Mmm. Mmm!

Just the way I
like it... rotten.

[Flo] Thanks, peaches.


Oh! Flo, huh?

Here I am.

And it's all set.

You mean it, what you said
on the phone? Every word.

Come on. Let's go
where we can talk about it.

Mary, be a pal... take my calls.
Be a bigger pal... drink my coffee.

What's that all about?
Well, I don't know.

She's my aunt, he's my
boss, and I know less about

what's going on in the
newsroom than anybody.

Almost anybody.

Wonder what she's doing here.

Who? My Aunt Flo.

She's in Lou's office. The two of
them have some kind of big secret.

Secret? Listen to him, Mary.

"Some kind of secret."
We're journalists, Murray.

It's our job to
investigate, find the facts.

There's no secrets
to a news team.

We dig them up.
It's our sacred trust.

Oh, hi, Flo. Remember
me? Ted Baxter?

Of course. I could
never forget you, Ted.

Thank you. God knows I've tried.

Mary, could you step in
here for a moment, please?

Yeah, sure, sure.

Sure, sure. They call Mary in.

Well, she's family, Ted.
Flo Meredith is her aunt.

It's only natural that they'd tell Mary
something they wouldn't tell you and me.

Well... Well, I guess
that makes sense. Sure.

Murray, would you join us too?

Sure, Lou.

Uh... [Door Closes]

I guess you're both curious
about what this is about.

Well, no. Oh, no.

Well, the reason I'm in town... Lou and I
have always wanted to do a story together,

and I have the perfect one.

Coffee, anyone?

No, thanks, Ted. We
have coffee right here.

[Chuckling] Oh, right.

What kind of story are you
talking about, Flo? Human interest.

And it's right here
in Minneapolis.

There's a family by
the name of Flynn who

have 20 children. Maybe
you read about them.

Yes, I did. He's a
widower, she's a widow.

He had nine children, she
had 11, and they got married.

Though why, I'll never know.

Danish? Doughnuts? Coffee cake?

- No, Ted!
- A shine. Would you like a shine?

Ted, would you, by any
chance, like to join our meeting?

Well, okay.

But make it snappy.
I've got work to do.

And you want to do a kind
of documentary on the Flynns.

Exactly. See how they
function during the day.

Move right in with our
cameras and our film crew.

- Has the family approved
of this idea?
- They love it.

And the best part of all... I have
just sold it to educational television.

television? Hot socks!

We're gonna do it together.

Flo has the reporter's eye,

I've got the
television know-how,

and we want you and
Murray to do the research.

Oh, hey, that's great, Lou.
Right, Mar? Sensational.

[Clears Throat] Who, uh...

Who are you gonna get to
narrate the documentary?

Oh, we'll find
somebody. Listen, Mary...

I'm right for it, Lou. I
got the looks, the voice.

Besides, once I've done
educational television,

no one would ever
laugh at me again.

I don't think so.

Mary, what I'm trying to get
across to you... Lou, wait a minute.

I think you're
being a little hasty.

I mean, Ted has
made a very nice offer,

and I think we should
take him up on it.

[Chuckles, Sniffs]

We could use some fresh coffee.

Here's to the greatest
team in journalism.


Lois Lane and Clark Kent.

No, I'm talking about us, toots.

"Toots"? Where did you ever
pick up a corny word like that?

From you. You
use it all the time.

Yeah? Yeah.

It's kinda cute.

[Flo] Here's to us, partner.

Well, Mary and Murray have
done some great research.

We now know...
that in a single day...

the Flynns go through 30
quarts of milk, 15 loaves of bread,

six jars of peanut butter...
Three smooth and three chunky...

And one industrial-sized
can of talcum powder.

Now we come to the hard part.

We need an angle.

Oh, Lou, relax. You
and I are two old pros.

If we put our heads together,
we'll come up with something.

You know, I-I had an idea.

I've been spending a
lot of time with the Flynns,

and there's this one
adorable kid, Jimmy...

Well, I should say Little
Jimmy, 'cause there's

another Jimmy... Big
Jimmy. H-He's adorable too.

But he's not quite as
adorable as... Little... Jimmy.

Anyway, I was thinking
it might be interesting

to look at things
from his point of view.

Sort of follow him through
a typical day and sort of, uh,

trace his, uh,
relationships... [Clears Throat]

with the other members
of the, uh, family.

Of course, you know, that's
just a germ... germ of an idea.

I mean, you'd have to take it from
there and kind of develop it further.

Or you could look at it all through
the eyes of little Herbie if you...

Yeah, I don't have to say "Little"
Herbie 'cause there is no Big Herbie.

[Clears Throat] The one, uh...

There's a dog, Henry.

You wouldn't want to look
at it all through his eyes.

[Doorbell Rings] I'll get that!

Hi, Mar. Hi, Ted.

Just happened to be outside in the
hall, anyway, so I thought I'd drop in.

Well, well.

This is the first time
I've ever seen you with a

pipe that didn't have
bubbles coming out of it.

I'll call the Flynns and see if I
can set up a shooting schedule.

Hi, Lou. Hi, Flo. Hi.

How's, uh, the documentary for
educational television coming?

- Fine, Ted.
- Have you chosen
a narrator yet?

Not yet, Ted. [Sighs]

[Clears Throat] I've just,
uh, been to the library.

Had my own library
card for years.

I love books.

[Exhales, Chuckles]

It's a pity they only let
you take out four at a time.

Means I just have
to go back every day.

Ted, if you don't mind,
we're kinda busy here.

All right, well, I've gotta do some
reading anyway. [Clears Throat]

I just picked up
Victor Hugo's latest.

Why don't you stop
trying to impress us?

Impress you? I'm not trying
to impress you. [Chuckling]


Please let me be the narrator. Give
me a chance. I'll do anything. Please!


Oh, Lou, what do you say?

Anything is better than going through
this. Yeah. Okay. You got the job.

Oh, good! Thanks,
Lou. Thanks, Flo.

Listen, you won't be sorry.
I'll do a great job for you.

You won't be sorry that you chose me to
narrate the story about the "Flim flamily."

I mean, uh, the "Fim" family...
The "Flam fimly"... the...

Why couldn't they call
themselves Lipschitz?

Hey, Mary, did you hear?

I'm gonna be the narrator for
educational television! Me! Ted Baxter!

Oh, good, Ted. That's... That's really
good. There's just one little problem.

I just talked to the Flynns,

and they're getting a divorce.

I don't understand. I
thought they were happy.

Mrs. Flynn said the romance
had gone out of their lives.

Well, it's no
surprise, with 20 kids.

After all that tucking in, they're
probably just too tuckered out.

They told the kids yet? No.

Their oldest daughter is
getting married in two weeks.

They don't want to
put a damper on the

wedding by breaking
the news to everyone now.

Well, we'll just have to postpone
the filming until they do tell the kids.

What do you mean
postpone the filming?

The Flynns have decided
to split up. The story's over.

Oh, now, look, kiddo, I'm sorry
for what happened and all that,

but the divorce just
makes it a better story...

How these people cope with
the breakup of a marriage.

That's disgusting.

That's just cheap exploitation
of a human tragedy.

I've got news for
you, sweetie pie.

All journalism is exploitation
of human tragedies.

- Well, I won't do it.
- Now, you have a contract,
and so have the Flynns.

I've checked with them. They're
willing to go through with it.

Okay. Then we'll do it just
as we originally planned...

One day in the life
of a big family, period.

That is dishonest. No, it's not.

We'll tell about the divorce at
the end, but we won't exploit it.

I'm sorry. As a reporter,
I can't do it your way.

Well, as a producer I
won't do it your way.

Why don't we do it both ways
and let the network choose?

Murray, that is a terrific idea.

Let's see which one is right...

The hotshot producer or me.

We'll both submit a presentation
in our own way to the network...

and let them choose.

Oh, th-that's crazy. I'm
not gonna go... No guts.

[Both Laughing]

Come on, come on.

You really think that
you can goad me into

doing something that's
against my principles...

by saying something
as childish as...

No guts. You're on!

Murray, that was a
great idea. Thanks.

Now, you and Mary split up. One of you goes
with each of us. Okay, let's get going.

Uh, well, hold on just
a second, Aunt Flo.

When you say one with
each, how do we decide?


Oh, well, no, no,
no. Come on, I...

Choose, Mary. Choose
who you want to work with.

[Stammering] Well,
it's... It's a not a question...

Choose. I mean, you know,
both sides have really...

Choose, or you
don't work the show.

Well, o-okay,
then. I-I-I choose...

Mr. Grant.

Okay, and I choose Flo...

because I've always
admired your work.

Besides, I have this feeling that God put
me on Earth to be used by strong women.

Swell. Now let's get going.

You check this out, toots.
I'll start the writing. Right.

The deadline is Monday
morning, 8:00 sharp.

I'll be there. And may
the best reporter win.

The word is
"better," and I will.

[Doorbell Rings]

Hi, Mar. Murray told me about you and Lou
and Flo and Murray splitting up in teams.

I just wanted to stop by, wish
you both good luck. Oh, thank you.

Fine, fine, Ted. Whose
team are you on?


Oh, well, I just assumed that...

whoever was the winner,
I'd still be the narrator.


Wait, Lou. Are you saying I have to make
up my mind what team I want to be on?


Does that mean if I choose a
team and it doesn't win, then I'm...


Well, in that case,
naturally, I'm on your team.

I think you're in the right,
and I know you're gonna win.

Besides, today my horoscope told me:
"You will bring good luck to a fat man."

How we doing?

Fine. Fine. Fine, Ted.

But this is the technical part.
You wouldn't be interested.

It would bore you, and I don't
want you sitting here acting bored.

Bored? I wouldn't be bored, Lou.

You always say that.
You treat me like a kid.

Honest. I won't be bored.

Let me just sit here. Let me just
listen. Okay? Please? I won't be bored.

All right. Mary, where were we?

Well, I think we should put in
something about tempo in the film editing.

Right. My thought is that
pace is very important.

For instance, in shooting
a dinner table scene,

I'd want rapid intercutting
from face to face,

with a voice-over
perhaps accelerating...

to show the... the...

What are you doing?

Nothing, Lou. Just
counting my teeth.

Get outta here. All right, Lou.

I just want you to know that I'm in your
corner. I'm gonna back you all the way.

I know we're gonna win. As a
matter of fact, let's hear it for our team!

Hip, hip...

Mary, where'd you put the
file on the Flynns' budget?

I wanna put in that line about
how 22 can live as cheaply as 21.

Murray has that file.

Well, we need it tonight.

Okay. I'll go over to Aunt
Flo's hotel and get it. All right.

Hooray! Oh, God!

That's it! Finished!
Thirty. The end.

Oh, that is one heck of a
story, if I do say so myself.

You know something?
You are really very good.

Of course she is. That's
why I chose your team.

Well, I don't mind telling you,
kiddo, that you picked a winner.

Let's celebrate. Order
some champagne.

Right, chief. Champagne.
Gotcha. How do I do that?

You call room service, give them our
number and order whatever you want.

- Who pays for it?
- Ted.

I'm on an expense account.

Oh, really?

Wait'll Georgette
hears about this.

Room service?

This is Ted Baxter of
educational television.

I bet they're all goose
bumps in the kitchen.

I'm in Room 1007.

I'd like a bottle of
champagne, please.

She wants to know if there's
anything else. [Flo] Be my guest.

[Chuckles] Let's see.

Uh, uh, some cashew nuts.

Uh, salted. The great big ones.

And, uh, some cheese doodles.

And some penny
crinkles and popcorn.

And some cocktail franks,
baby shrimps and a steak.

- A steak?
- Put that in a doggie bag.

I'll take it home with me.

Say, listen, do you have
clothing, too, or just food?

Ted! That's enough.

I-I'll call you back later.


Boy, talk about fast service.

[Flo] Who is it? It's Mary!

Ohh! [Laughs]

Hello, kiddo. What brings you
here... unconditional surrender?

Uh, no. I need a file from Murr.

How's it going?
Tell her, Murray.

We just finished.

You finished? Already?

What's the matter? Aren't
you and Lou almost finished?

Almost, yes. Nearly.
V-Very... Very nearly.

In the... In the, uh...
uh, home stretch.

Well, we're finished, and
it's a doozy. A sure winner.

[Flo] Can't miss.
Isn't that great, Mar?

Great! Yes. Great.

Listen, Aunt Flo, I...

I hope you weren't hurt by my choosing
Mr. Grant. You weren't, were you?

Oh, honey, you had a
tough choice to make.

I know what it's like.

One time, Albert
Einstein and Cary Grant

both asked me to spend
the weekend with them,

and I had to choose.

Albert Einstein...
and Cary Grant...

asked you to spend
the weekend with them?

Right. Of course
I can't prove it.

Einstein's dead, and
Cary'll probably deny

the whole thing because
I didn't choose him.


how soon will that
champagne be up?

[Ted] It should be
any minute, Flo.



Oh, hi, Mary. I didn't
see you under there.

Ted, I've got a
question for you,

and you better have
a pretty good answer.

What did you come here for?


Come on, Mar. Why don't
you sit down and relax?

Oh, Murr, I can't. The network
has had both versions for two days.

I just wish they would hurry up
and make a decision. [Door Opens]

They did.

I just got the phone call.

We won hands down going away.

Oh, Mr. Grant, that's
wonderful! [Laughing]

Oh, I'm so happy for
you. Congratulations.

Hey, congratulations, Lou.

Thanks, Murray. Sorry you
had to be on a losing team. Ah.

Yeah, me too, Murray. Sorry
you had to be on the losing team.

That's the way it goes. Some
people win, some people lose.

- That's the way
the cookie bounces.
- Right, Ted.

Well, I've got work to do.


Well, he'll get over it. After all,
we can't all grab the brass ring.

Today you're up,
tomorrow you're down.

Some get the prize,
some get the blues.

Matters not who won or lost...

Ted, why don't you
go count your teeth...

before the number changes.

Mr. Grant, I'm so happy.

Isn't that exciting?
Hi! Any word yet?

Aunt Flo, didn't you get a call?

It could be. I haven't been in my
hotel all afternoon. What's happening?

Uh, listen, Flo,
I've been thinking,

and I decided that it, uh...

Well, it's stupid
for us to compete.

We started this together, and I
think we should end it that way.

So here's what I
think we oughta do.

Why don't we put both our names
on the final version, whoever wins?

Oh, Mr. Grant.

Oh, baloney.

How gullible do you
think I am, sweetheart?

You heard something, and I have
a pretty good idea what you heard.

Uh, listen, Flo...
You lost, didn't you?

And you are not man
enough to admit it.

And now you want to
crawl into the winner's circle?

No dice, France. No dice.

Well, that's just the... I...

You... Oh, Aunt Flo!

You just m...

Mary, you should be a writer.
You have a way with words.

You lost.

Mr. Grant won, and he was trying
to give you a graceful way out,

which you were too
conceited to accept!

How do you like those words?

He just made a lovely, generous
offer, and you sneered at it.

You make me wanna scream.

Is that true?

Yeah. I couldn't have
put it better myself.

Except for the screaming part.

Aw, Aunt Flo! Well, well.

Now, you have
said enough, toots.

Believe me, it is not easy to
be told off by Shirley Temple.

Now, as a good niece, suppose
you tell me what I can do to apologize.

Well, it's not gonna do you
any good to go in there now,

not after some of the
things you said to him.

Maybe a day or two, but right now you go
in there, you're just wasting your breath.

I never could
resist a challenge.


I guess the better man won.


Anything I can say
to patch things up?

I don't think so.

Well, let me rephrase
the question...

in the light of certain information
I didn't give you the first time.

In 1945, in France,

General De Gaulle gave
me a bottle of cognac...

which was then over
a hundred years old.

I brought it along.
It's at the hotel.

I was hoping we could use it
to celebrate our partnership.

I mean, back in the days when I thought
we were going to have a partnership.

It's still unopened.

I accept your apology.

How do I happen to
find myself in a situation...

where you just beat the pants
off me and I end up apologizing?

That's what you get for
messing around with the big guy.

Funny. That's just what
General De Gaulle said.

Well, I warned her
not to go in there.

Can you imagine the language that's
flying around that office right now?

Well, I wouldn't worry. I'm sure Lou's
heard most of those words before.

You know Mr. Grant. He's
never gonna forgive her.

Mary, if anybody wants me...

I'll be in Flo's hotel room.

But we'd rather
not be disturbed.

Right. [Chuckles]

Uh, Aunt... Aunt Flo?

[Mumbling] Uh, could I, uh,
just speak to you for a minute?

I'll meet you at the
elevator. Okay. All right.

What is it, kiddo?

[Stammering] How did...
When... He... Oh, listen, never...

Never mind about that now.

I want you to do a
big favor for me. Sure.

Call room service
at the hotel...

and have them send up the dustiest
bottle of cognac that they can find.