Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 6, Episode 22 - A Reliable Source - full transcript

In working on a story about the mob, Mary comes across some information about a friend, Congressman Brian Nordquist, who is up for reelection, the election in a few day's time. Mary's source told her that Brian's law school education fifteen years earlier was funded by the mob. If true, Brian would lose Mary's personal and political respect. Mary tells Lou of the news, the two who decide to confront Brian with the information so that he can at least defend himself against the allegations. Brian admits that the story is true, but that he accepted the money since he was poor and could not have gotten an education otherwise. He also states that he paid back the money and that even though the mob did ask for favors, he never granted any of them. Brian's explanation satisfies Mary, but Lou still wants to run the story. Feeling that the story would ruin the career of someone she respects, Mary gives Lou an ultimatum: pull the story or else she quits. Regardless of if Brian is telling the truth, Mary and Lou have to figure out a way for this story not to affect their working relationship or friendship negatively.

♪ 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 ♪♪

Good morning, Ted.

Yeah! This is for you.

It's an advanced copy of an article in
this week's Sunday supplement about me.

Wow, a whole page.

Murray, did you see
the spread on Sue Ann?

Oh, yeah. But you don't notice
it so much when she sits down.

[Laughs, Coughs]

This article has put me
in such a good mood...

I'm not going to bother
to trade insults with you...

about our respective
physical shortcomings. Oh.

Is Lou in? Yeah, he is.

What are you doing? Just
checking my lipstick, dear.


It says here Sue Ann
makes $47,000 a year.

That's $2,000 more than
I make. That's obscene.

That's outrageous.
She doesn't deserve it.

Ted, don't come to me for sympathy.
You make twice as much as I make.

Murray, there's no place in
this business for petty jealousy.

- I hope you like it.
- Sue Ann, that's really
a great article.

Say, tell me. Is it really all
accurate, what they say here?

Oh, well, not entirely. They
did get a couple of things wrong.

Oh? Especially the
part about the salary.

I earn much more than that.

That's not fair, Murray.

Sue Ann makes
more money than me.

I mean, don't get me wrong.
I'm not a male chauvinist.

I think a woman should
get paid what she's worth.

I just don't believe any woman
is worth more than a man.

Good morning! Mary, do you know
what Sue Ann takes home every week?

Three sailors, a tree surgeon
and the boy in the mail room.

[Lou] Come in.

Mr. Grant, you know
that story on organized

crime in the Twin Cities
you wanted us to do?

What about it? I
think I have a lead.

I met yesterday with a man who
used to be involved with them.

He's retired now.

Well, what'd he say? Well,
he didn't trust me at first.

He said that the people
in the news media...

are always giving a very
negative view of what they do...

You know, the bad things,
how they're always killing people.


He said, "Just once,
why don't you mention...

how many people we don't kill?"

Point. Point. Anyway, here's a
summary of everything he told me.

I think we have the makings
of a terrific documentary.

Hey. Hey, this is
great, Mary, great!

He told me something else that
really disturbs me. What's that?

Well, he said that they send a lot of
people to medical school, law school,

pay their tuitions.

Oh, oh, yeah. Sure,
sure. It's an old story.

Then the mob's got a hold
on them if they need them.

So, what else is new?

Well, "so, what else is
new" is that he told me...

that one of the people they sent to
law school about 15 years ago was...

And, boy, this is hard to
believe... Brian Nordquist.

Congressman Brian
Nordquist? Yeah.

I mean, it really
shattered me. Why?

Because I know the man. I know his
family. I went to college with his wife.

I mean, I really believe in him. I've
worked in every one of his campaigns.

I just can't believe I
misjudged someone like that.

Oh, we all make mistakes, Mary.

I once voted for Miss
Rheingold and found

out later that she was
a female impersonator.

And a darn good
one, I might add.

Mr. Grant, don't be funny. I mean,
if this should get out about Brian,

it could ruin his
whole political career.

What do you mean if it gets out?

This is a great
news story if it's true.

Oh, no. No, no. Mr. Grant,
what I told you was in confidence.

That wasn't part of the story.

Mary, it is now. Mary, this is news.
The people have a right to know.

All right, all right.

Don't you at least owe it to Brian to
get his side of it? A denial at least?

Okay, okay. Set up a
meeting. I'll call him right now.


Did you read the article? It says
Sue Ann makes more money than I do.

So what?

You lied, Lou.

You went around telling everybody
that I was the highest-paid person here.

No, Ted. No, you got it wrong.

I said you're the most
overpaid person here.


I knew it was something
like that. Yeah.

All I ask is that you don't prejudge the
guy. Just keep an open mind. Be fair.

See, I remember when
Gail... That's his wife...

And I were freshmen in college.

She really wanted
to go out with Brian.

Even then, he was
student body president.

Mary, will you stop with all the
folklore about Brian Nordquist?

I told you I was going
to be open minded.

I'm just trying to show you how
honest he's always been. Mm-hmm.

Anyway, they went
out on their first date.

And the car ran out of gas
way out in some isolated place.

But across the road, there
was a construction site.

- And Gail wanted him to siphon
gas out of one of the tractors.
- So?

Brian wouldn't do it.

Instead, they waited in the
cold for hours until help came.


that really is
admirable of the guy.

I mean, to prefer huddling
in a car with a beautiful girl...

to sucking gasoline
through a rubber hose...

That's admirable.
Very admirable.

Mmm. Don't you know
by now about politicians?

What do you mean?
Professional charmers.

They can make
you believe anything.

This guy will walk in here, and I'll
say, "Nice to meet you, Congressman."

And he'll say, "Please,
I insist. Call me Brian."

And you'll say, "Would
you like a drink?"

And he'll say, "Oh"...
[Chuckles] "no, no thanks.

I'm campaigning. Maybe a Coke."

Oh. [Doorbell Rings]

Just wait till you
meet him. Yeah, okay.

Mary! Hi, Brian.

Good to see you.
Good to see you too.

Uh, Brian, I'd like you to
meet my boss and friend.

Lou Grant, this is
Congressman Brian Nordquist.

Mr. Grant. Call me Lou.

- Okay, Lou.
- I suppose you want me
to call you Brian.

Well, as a matter
of fact, I kind of like

the sound of "Congressman"
if you don't mind.

I, uh... I worked so
hard to get it. [Chuckles]

- [Mary] Can I get you a drink?
- I'll have a scotch.

Uh, I, uh... I am campaigning.

You, uh, better
make that a double.

Gail says hello, Mary. She wanted to
come tonight, but she has a meeting.

- Oh? What kind of meeting?
- P.T.A.


- How's little Billy?
- Terrific.

He's got the best batting
average on his Little League team.

Oh, did you hear that,
Mr. Grant? Little League.

- And how's little Sharon?
- Wonderful.

She just joined the Girl Scouts.

No. And little Linda?

She's taking ballet. [Chuckles]

And how's little Billy? You
already asked about little Billy.

Yeah, right, right.
Little League.

I think Lou'd probably like
to get down to business.

I was thinking about it on
the way over here tonight.

I don't know who your source is, Lou,
but it would be his word against mine.

After 15 years, what
could be proved, right?

Right. Right. What
could be proved?

But what the hell, why play
games? Listen, I was a slum kid.

No money, no way in the world
to get through college, law school.

I had a buddy in high school.

Turned out his uncle was a
part of the, uh... the syndicate.

They offered. I took it.

Then it's true. But it's
also very straightforward.

Mary. Did you ever pay it back?

- It took me three years,
but I did it.
- Can you prove it?

They don't take checks, Lou.

Do they ever come to you
for favors? Deals? Huh?

Once. I said no. That was it.

Well, there you are.

Where are we?

You've got a story,
and I've got an election.

Now, you run the story, I might not
win the election. So I'd rather you didn't.

But it's your decision.
Listen, I have to

run. I've got a fund-raiser
in a few minutes.

Thanks for the drink,
Mary. So long, Lou.

Brian, uh, thank
you for stopping by.

And thank you for
clearing up what I'm sure we

all agree was a very
minor, very unimportant...

I'm gonna air it, Congressman.

- Mr. Grant.
- I'm gonna put it on.

Oh, but you can't!
That's all right, Mary.

If I had your job, I'd
do the same thing.

Would you mind telling
me something? How

did you two find out
about this whole thing?

Uh, it comes from a guy who
used to be connected with the mob.

Mob, huh?

That's funny. I knew they robbed
and killed and beat people up.

I, uh... I never
knew they gossiped.

Morning. Oh, hi.

How'd it go last night? Oh,
well. Brian was fantastic.

He explained away the whole
thing completely and honestly.

Mr. Grant says we're
gonna do the story anyway.

- Why?
- Because he is stubborn,
pigheaded and obstinate.

Well, as long as Lou
had a good reason.

Murray, I've never
fought him on a story

before, but I am gonna
fight him on this one.

And what's more,
I'm gonna whip him.

You're gonna whip Lou Grant?

Ooh, need any help?

"Lou Grant." The name comes
trippingly to the tongue. [Chuckles]

Oh, great magnificent ogre.

Lou Grant. [Chuckles]
He, uh, called me last night.

I think he may
have been drinking.

- What makes you think that?
- He called her, didn't he?

Sue Ann, you ever think you
might be a more attractive woman...

if you didn't earn
quite as much?

You just wait, Murray. When
Mr. Grant walks through that door,

I'm gonna win my
fight. [Chuckles] Oh.

Dear, sweet, eternally
optimistic Mary.

Thinking she's gonna win a fight
with someone she calls "Mr. Grant."

No, no, no. Sue Ann,
I call him Mr. Grant

because I want to, not
because I feel I have to.

I started calling him
Mr. Grant six years ago.

It was comfortable then.
It's comfortable now.

It's what I want to call him.
It's what I'm going to call him.

Lou. You talkin' to me?

Yes, Mr. Grant. Could
I talk to you, Lou?

Not if it's about
your friend Nordquist.

Lou, you were so cute
when you called me last night.

Oh, I called you by accident.

I didn't know it was your
number written on the wall.

And they say it
doesn't pay to advertise.

You can start on that
Nordquist story, Murray.

Murray, don't you write a
thing until I discuss it with Lou.

All right. All right.

To show that I'm still open minded
about all this, I'll hear you out.

Go right on in.

Write it up.

You called me Lou
again. You mad at me?

No, I'm not mad at you! Why is it everyone
else around here can call you Lou...

and not be accused
of being mad at you?

I call you Lou and you think
I'm mad. Then you're not mad.

You bet I am!

Listen, Mr. Grant.
After you left last

night, I did a great
deal of soul searching,

as I'm sure you did too.

Soul searching?

Mary, any man who
calls Sue Ann Nivens at

4:00 in the morning
isn't searching for soul.


Did it ever occur to you,
Mr. Grant, to take into account...

all the good Brian Nordquist
has done for this community?

And quite possibly in
the future for this country?

Yes, yes. But it also occurred
to me that it isn't our job...

to decide what's
best for the country.

It's our job to put out the
news and let the country decide.

Lou, we gotta talk more money. Ted,
you're not getting any more money.

Mr. Grant, you are doing a
great injustice to a fine man.

My mind is made up.

But he is respected and
admired by everybody in this city.

- In this state! Yes, in this country.
- I'm sorry.

If you're gonna let this happen, I
can't stand by and be a party to it.

The case is closed, Mary.

Then I quit.

That's... That's a real
friend. A real friend.

Say, now that Mary's off the payroll,
maybe you can afford to give me that raise.

No, I guess not.

Come on, Mar. Calm down.

Cool it. Don't do
anything in a hurry.

Murray, I am perfectly calm.
But unless Mr. Grant relents, I go.


Come on, guys.

Lou's not gonna break up the newsroom team
just because he wouldn't give me a raise.

Ted, this has nothing
to do with your raise.

Mary is quitting because she
doesn't want to run a story...

that she feels can ruin
the congressman's career.

You'd quit over a silly thing
like that? You're wacko, Mary.

Murray, you've got the
stuff on the Nordquist story.

Write it up. I want it to
lead the evening news.

Uh, sure, Lou, sure. But I'm in the
middle of a piece on hamster diseases.

Then I've got a human interest thing
I have to do about this retired dentist,

uh, who's just completed a mural of
Hubert Humphrey made entirely of old teeth.

But after that,
Lou... Now, Murray!

- Now?
- Now.

Yeah, now. I'll get him
to do it. Leave it to me.


What is it? [Chuckles] Lou.

Hey, big fella.

Sure, you know?

You follow me?

[Chuckles] Sure, you do.

Come on, you old son of a gun.

Oh, you and me. I
mean, the both of us...

Mary, Murray, me.

[Chuckles] Hey. Hey.

Hey. [Chuckles]

Come on. Son of a gun, what
do you say? Get outta here.

I tried.

What are you workin' on?

I'm preparing a
list of things my

replacement... she or
he... should know about.

Mostly schedules,
technical things like that.

I sort of go into the
philosophy of working here...

How it's necessary to eliminate
any feelings of, well, humanity.

To become a cog in
an impersonal machine.

Just grind it out, grind it
out. Unthinking, uncaring.

All right, all right. Lou, are you
sure you want me to write this?

Forget it, Murray. I'll
write the story myself.

- And read it on the air too?
- You'll read it on the air!

All right. Just
checking. Just checking.

And a good good evening. This is Ted
Baxter bringing you the evening news.

First in the headlines this evening
is a fast-breaking election bulletin...

which we will bring you
later on if we have time.

[Whispering] Now, Ted!

Oh, what the heck?
We'll make time.

Congressman Brian Nordquist,
three-term incumbent for Minneapolis...

and candidate for reelection
in tomorrow's primary,

has admitted that his law school
education some 15 years ago...

was financed in large part by persons
believed to have ties with organized crime.

There's been no allegation of wrongdoing
on the part Congressman Nordquist,

who claims to have repaid
the loan a number of years ago.

For an update on this story,
stay tuned to this channel.

I'm sorry, Mary.
He made me do it.

I don't have to see the
rest of the news. Sure, Mar.

Well, nobody said when I took this job,
six years ago, it was gonna be permanent.

Maybe I've been
here too long anyway.

Listen, Mary, I...

That's all right. I
understand, Mr. Grant.

You made your choice, and
now I have to make my choice.

My resignation will be on your desk
in the morning. Good night, Mr. Grant.

Mary? Good night, Murray.

Lou? Lou, you just
gonna let her go like that?

Oh, don't-don't worry, Murray.
She'll think it over. She'll be back.

Oh, no. No, no. No, she won't, Lou.
She's just as big a blockhead as you are!

You better take
that back, Murray!

All right. You're right, Lou. Nobody's
as big a blockhead as you are!

Okay, Lou. I did
your dirty work.

Now do I get that
raise? No, Ted!

You are treating the most
dedicated, caring person around here...

The backbone of this
whole operation... like dirt!

You oughta be
ashamed of yourself, Lou.

And listen, if you don't change your
mind, I may just hand in my resignation.

[Door Slams]

Did you hear that?

The good Lord has blessed
me with many friends.

Not a damn one of them
has any pull around here.

[Doorbell Rings] Who is it?

Lou... Grant.

I'm glad to see you.

I, uh... I just happened
to be in the neighborhood.

Uh, just happened to have
a bottle with me. You know.

Would you like a drink?

It's champagne. I
don't drink champagne.

Then why did you bring it?

'Cause you're not the kind of
girl a guy brings a bottle of gin to.

Well, uh, come in.

So, uh, what are you up to?

I was just typing
up my resignation.

Uh-huh. How's it goin'?

Well, I'm having trouble with
the salutation. Oh, salutation. Huh.

I tried, "Dear Mr. Grant."
But that sounds too...

Even though I do call you
Mr. Grant... formal on paper,

like I'm mad or
hurt, and I'm not.

Hmm. Yeah. Well, uh,
what's the other choice?

Well, I... I tried, "Dear Lou,"

um, but, you know, when we were working
together, I always called you Mr. Grant.

And now that we're not working
together, I call you "Dear Lou"?

[Clears Throat]
Uh, I don't know.

Uh, try it out loud.

Dear Lou.

It's not bad.
Try... Try it again.

- [Voice Softens] Dear Lou.
- Sounds better all the time.

Uh, what else did
you want to say?

Well, I don't know. I've never
typed a resignation before.

You know... I'm... I'm
just... I've got a writer's block.

[Chuckles] Sit
down. I'll help you.

You will? Yeah,
sure, sure. Sit down.

[Clears Throat] Dear Lou.

Look all right?

Yeah, I guess so. Mm-hmm.

Uh, whoever was
right... [Typing]

whoever was wrong...

is not important.

What is important...

are the good times,
the good feelings,

the respect, the
affection that we had...

[Carriage Return Bell Dings]

every day of
these last six years.

To get the job done...

To get the job
done... [Sniffles]

and to have fun doing it...

is something very
rare to have shared.


I hope we both
keep this alive...

and carry it with
us... wherever we go.

With these thoughts,

please accept my resignation.

[Silent Sob]


Mary, you... you really
gonna do this? Yes.


Because I have to.
Because I said I would.

I mean, what good is my word if I
say I'm going to resign and then I don't?

What are you doing?

I can't accept the resignation of someone
who writes a beautiful letter like this.

Dear Lou.

See you tomorrow, Mary.

See you tomorrow, Mr. Grant.

Your friend Nordquist's
ahead by a mile.

You're kidding. After the
story we did on him? Uh-huh.

I guess the voters don't care
what a politician did then...

just as long as they
like what he's doing now.

Or, more likely, that nobody
listens to Ted. [Lou Chuckles]

Okay, Lou. We're gonna have a showdown
on the question of my raise right now.

Hey, Ted, you hear the
good news? Mary isn't quitting.

Oh, that's nice. Well,
do I get that raise or not?

- No, Ted. Forget it.
- Okay.

I see how things
work around here.

The only way to get results
from you is by threats.

Now hear this. Either I
get that raise, or I quit.

No raise. Very well. I quit.


Lou, did you hear
what I said? I quit!

Yeah, Ted. I
heard you. You quit.

If I take a cut in pay, will
you let me come back?