The Golden Girls (1985–1992): Season 1, Episode 12 - The Custody Battle - full transcript

Dorothy's wealthy sister Gloria wants Sophia to move to California with her.

♪ Thank you for being a friend

♪ Traveled down the
road and back again

♪ Your heart is true
You're a pal and a confidante

♪ And if you threw a party

♪ Invited everyone you knew

♪ You would see the
biggest gift would be from me

♪ And the card
attached would say

♪ "Thank you for
being a friend" ♪

Ma, will you knock it off? What?

"What?" We've
been washing glasses

for ten minutes.
We've finished three.

So what's the rush?

It's not like you
have a date tonight.

Ma. It's not like you
have a date any night.

Or any day.

Look, Ma, when I find
somebody worth going out with,

I'll go out with him.

Now, will you please
stop nagging me?


Is that what it's called
when a mother wants

a little happiness
for her daughter?

Ma, I'd like to finish these
glasses before Gloria gets here.

Your sister's not coming
till tomorrow. I know.

Oh, Dorothy, could I please
borrow your diamond ring

and your pearl necklace
and your jade bracelet?

Are you planning to come back?

Some time tomorrow morning.

Where are you going?

Oh, out to dinner with Jason,

the director of our
community theater.

He's considering me for
the role of Lady Macbeth,

in Mr. William Shakespeare's
masterpiece Macbeth.

I feel sure after our date, he'll
make a decision in my favor.

Oh, come on now, Blanche,
you're not just using this guy

to get a part in a play.

Of course not, Dorothy.
I'm going to let him

use me to get a part in a play.

Blanche, Blanche, does
he have a friend for Dorothy?

Oh. We know this is last minute.

So we'll take short, bald, fat.

I'm sorry, Sophia, but I've
already palmed Rose off

on his fat friend.

He's a lighting director.

Blanche, I've never been
out with a fat lighting director.

What'll we talk about?

How should I know,
honey? Talk about light bulbs.

That's a good idea.

Maybe he could explain to me
how the three-way bulb works.

I've always wondered about that.

I've always wondered
about the same thing, Rose.

That, and what Jane
Pauley looks like standing up.

Maybe she can't stand up.

Maybe Willard has to
carry her around the set.

Come on, honey.

We don't want to
keep our dates waiting.

Wait, Blanche, honey, aren't
you forgetting something?

Oh, no, I never wear underwear.

I mean my jewelry.

Oh, forget it. Why
paint the peacock?

Your sister Gloria
never sits home

on a Friday night,
and she's a widow.

Every time I talk to her, she's
going out with another guy.

Ma, she calls you
three times a year.

She's very busy.

I'm thrilled she finally
found the time for a visit.

Ma, why do you always
make excuses for her?

I don't make excuses
for any of my children.

Except Phil.

Ma, I think I'll watch
TV in my room.

Before you go, before you go,

call this number.

What is it? A phone number.

I met him at the supermarket. He
asked me to squeeze a melon for him.

He's missing a few fingers,

but everything else
seemed to be intact.

Ma, how dare you?
How dare I what?

I was trying to help!

Ma, can you get it
through your head

that I do not need your help?

Now please, Ma, get off my back!

Who do you think
you're talking to?

Don't you raise your
voice to your mother.

Then stop smothering me
and give me some space!

Space? Fine! Have
all the space you want!

Where are you going?

To Mildred's! She's
shorter than you.

She doesn't need so much space!

I can't understand why
the community theater

chose Macbeth for
its spring production.

Oh, well, Jason said that they
were planning to do a musical,

but the accordion player died.

Besides, I think it's a much bigger
challenge playing Lady Macbeth!

Oh, but Blanche, you
don't have the part yet.

You still have to audition.

Oh, honey, I did. Last night.

I opened to great reviews.

Morning, everyone.

Clear out, girls, Dorothy
needs her space.

Ma, don't start with me.

Now come on, you two,
let's put on our happy faces.

It's a beautiful day
and Gloria's coming.

Why don't you just
kiss and make up?

Why don't you just
blow it out your ditty bag.

I'll get it.

I'll get it. Ma,
I said I'd get it.

I don't want you to get it!
Let's not argue. You get it.

What am I, your servant?

Hi, Ma! Gloria!

So good to see you! Dorothy,
it's wonderful to see you!

Honey. What is this?

You giftwrapped your luggage?

Of course not, Ma. My
luggage is at the hotel.

Those are gifts.

You're staying at a hotel?

I didn't want to
inconvenience anyone.

What inconvenience?
You're my daughter.

We shared a body
for nine months.

Really, Ma, I'd be more
comfortable at a hotel.

Fine. Be more comfortable.

I hardly see you. You
never come to visit.

And you finally get here
and you're staying at a hotel.

You could have just called.

Ma, do you want me
to stay at the house?

Do what you want.

Honey, why don't you stay here?

You could share my
room. It's certainly easier

than arguing with her. Right.

I'd like you to meet my two
dearest friends. This is Rose.

Hello. This is Blanche.

Hello. My sister, Gloria.

Welcome to Miami.
Oh, well, thank you.

Oh, Gloria, Sophia's told
us so much about you.

I especially enjoyed
the story about your

imaginary childhood friend,
David, who lived in the oven.

I had an imaginary friend,

but he'd never tell me his name.

It was during spring
planting... Rose! Do you mind?

Gloria's only
staying for a week.

I'd like to talk to her
before she leaves.

Come on, honey.
Let's get to that audition.

Gloria, just consider
this your home.

Oh, thank you. Nice
meeting you both.

I'll tell you about it
later. Oh, all right.

Honey, let's go in the
kitchen, I'll fix us some coffee.

No, no, no. Wait, wait, wait.

First, open these.

Now, there is a
new outfit for you

and some warm pajamas
and an electric blanket.

Every time I call you, it
seems you have a cold.

Call more often!

Don't pick on your sister. Here,
she brought you something.

It's a gift certificate for

a complete makeover
at Elizabeth Arden's.

Maybe now you can get a date.

Please, Ma. I'm not
calling Captain Hook.

I am going to freshen
up and call my driver.

Then I'm taking you for lunch

and a shopping spree, Ma.

That Gloria's some special
kid! Oh, Ma, she's your baby.

All mothers think their
babies are special.

That's ridiculous. I think
all my children are special.

Except Phil.

Sure, Ma.

Oh, Dorothy, can I
make a little suggestion

when you go for your makeover?

Sure, what is it?
Don't expect a miracle.

Hi! How was the audition?

Wonderful! I'm 99%
sure I got the part.

Oh, Blanche, there were
so many good people there!

Trust me, I got
this part in the sack.

She means in the bag. No,
honey, she means in the sack.

Where's Sophia? Oh, she
and Gloria went shopping.

They haven't come back yet.
Gloria seems like a lovely person.

She is a lovely person.

And she's sophisticated
and worldly and wealthy...

and has never had
a pimple in her life.

Do I detect a little
sibling rivalry?

Oh, I don't know.

I guess I've just
always had the feeling

that my parents liked Gloria
better than they liked me.

Oh, I know for a fact my
parents liked my sisters

better than they did me.

Oh, Blanche, that's silly!

How could you
know a thing like that?

They told me.

Oh, Blanche, I can't believe
that your parents told you that.

I don't care if they
are from the south.

They didn't tell me in
words, they told me in actions.

Like on our birthdays.

Now, when we
were little, every year,

my sisters had huge parties
with clowns and magicians

and tons of presents.
Oh, and you didn't.

Well, not exactly. I did have
parties and I had presents,

but I never had a clown.

Not until I was much
older. Much older.

But that's another story.

My parents always made each
of us feel like we were the favorite.

They loved all
nine of us equally.

We used to have the
best Christmas Eves.

Daddy'd sit at Grandma's
old player piano

and he'd play
Christmas carols and...

the children would
sing along and...

Mother'd bring in some homemade
eggnog and snickerdoodles.

And then we'd decorate the tree.

And after Daddy'd hung the
star at the very top of the tree,

we'd all join hands and pray,

and then Daddy'd
tell us a story and...

tuck us into our feather beds...

Who was your father,
Rose? Michael Landon?

Can I help it if I came
from a happy family?

Well, we had our
share of problems.

Believe me, we had
some hard times.

Once a mysterious drifter
stole our butter churn.

Well, I guess Ma and Gloria
aren't coming back for dinner.

What say we go out
and grab a hamburger?

Oh, sounds good to me.

This reminds me of when
Daddy used to take us

for hamburgers
on Saturday night.

We'd grab our dog, Binky,
and we'd pile into the...

I hope you're not mad at
me for keeping Ma out so late.

Of course not.

Did the two of you
have a good time?

Ah, wonderful. I
like being with Ma.

I want to spend
more time with her.

And I'd like us
to get closer, too.

I wish there was
more time. I mean,

I see you just packed
for the weekend.

Dorothy. You don't
resent me, do you?

Don't be silly! Why would
I resent you? Oh, please!

For having money?

No, I don't resent you.
Oh, I did, a great deal,

as a matter of fact,
but I've outgrown it.

Even though my marriage was
happy and yours hit the rocks?

Well, that bothered me
for awhile, but I got over it.

Even though all my children are
practicing professionals, and yours aren't?

Please, Gloria, I'm
happy for your children.

All except Katherine.

No, she really should've
taken the nose job

instead of the
Mustang for graduation.

Oh, this reminds me
of when we were little,

and you used to tell
me bedtime stories.

Oh, yeah, yeah.

"The Bogeyman
and the Little Girl,"

"The Zombie in the Hamper,"

"Cannibal Parents."

I think between the
ages of five and seven

you might've gotten...
two hours sleep.

Dorothy, why don't you ever
come to California to visit me?

Well, it's not easy, you know.

I have my job, I
have responsibilities,

I've never been invited.

Well, I'm inviting you now.

I have a huge house with
servants and an ocean view.

And Bert Convy shops
in my grocery store.

Bert Convy? Let's leave now!

I was telling Ma
about it, you know.

How great the weather is

and how she would never
have to lift a finger for anything.

And she really liked the
idea of maybe coming out.

Oh, I think it would
be great if she were

to come out for
a visit sometime.

Well, I was thinking of more
than just a visit, Dorothy.

I was thinking of a
permanent arrangement.

What do you mean?

I want Ma to come live with me.

So I asked her to...
and she said yes.

Hi, Ma. What are you doing?

Having a toga party.

Never mind, I'll talk to
you when you're not busy.

I'm not busy, but
do what you have to.

Gloria tells me you're
gonna go live with her.

That's right. I think it's best.

Isn't that kind of
a fast decision?

Why, you think I'm
making a mistake?

Oh, no, of course not. I mean,

you know, not if
you think it's best.

What do you think?

Well, I can understand why
you'd wanna live with her.

I mean, she can give you
so much more than I can.

You'd live in a mansion,
you'd have servants,

you'd do your grocery
shopping with Bert Convy.

And you'll have your space.

And you can sit
home on Friday night

and become an old
maid like your Aunt Regina

and you won't have
to listen to me nag.

Then I guess it's all settled.

I guess so. Yeah, well,
I'd better get to work.

Ma? Yeah?

If you need any help
moving, just let me know, OK?

I'll do that.

I'm afraid I have some bad news.

Blanche, I'm afraid I
have some bad news.

Oh, goodness!
I'd better sit down.

Dorothy just said
she had bad news.

Oh, well... Since you got
here first, you go ahead...

No, you go ahead. No, really.

Look, I insist.
You got here first.

Girls, please! Will one
of you just say something

so I can become hysterical,
eat a box of Mallomars

and get it over with?


Jason called. You
got a part in Macbeth,

but I'm afraid it isn't the
part you were hoping for.

What part did I get?

Witch number three.

A witch?

He cast me as a witch?

Well, who got Lady
Macbeth? Don't tell me!

Probably one of those
little theater groupies

with a mattress
strapped to her back.

No, it isn't.

It's me.

Oh! You're pulling my leg!

He picked you over me?

Listen, I hate having to...

Hold on, Dorothy.

This is a joke, isn't it?

He didn't really
pick you over me.

Oh, Blanche, I didn't
even want the part,

but Jason said I have presence.

Listen, I really
have to go to work...

He actually picked you over me?

I do not believe
this. I have been had.

I know.

And you still
didn't get the part.

All right, Dorothy.

I'm ready. Now tell
me your bad news.

My mother is leaving.

She's going to move
in with my sister, Gloria.

Oh, you're kidding. Oh, Sophia
can't leave! She just can't!

She's a grown woman, Rose.
She can do anything she wants.

But why is she leaving?
Isn't she happy here?

Well, I guess she thinks
she'll be happier with Gloria.

Well, what about us?

Who's going to keep after us,

and make us linguine and
tell us stories about Sicily?

I don't know, Rose. Maybe Mary
Poppins has an Italian cousin.

Dorothy, do you want her to go?

Well, of course not.
It's breaking my heart!

Well, then, I for one, am not
gonna let her go without a fight!

Me neither! Sophia's
like a mother to us all!

It just wouldn't be
the same without her.

But if she wants
to live with Gloria,

she has every right to do it.

And we have no right to
make her feel guilty about it.

Now I really have to go.

Oh, what a terrible morning
this is. Sophia's leaving!

And I'm playing an ugly old
witch 'cause you stole my part.

Oh, Blanche, I know how
much that part means to you.

You know what I was thinking?

You could go on
for me one night.

Well, Rose, isn't that sweet?

And I do love you for it,
honey, but I just couldn't.

I could never fit
this trim little body

into that big old
tent of a dress

they're gonna have
to make for you.

Gloria, does your luggage have
to sit in the middle of the room?

No, it could also roll
over and play dead.

Something bothering you?

'Course not. What
makes you say that?

Do you wanna talk about it? No.


You come here with your
limo and your presents

and your designer luggage

and you think you're
better than everybody else.

You have everything! Do
you have to have Ma, too?

I mean, all these years,
you've been her favorite.

All I wanted was
this time with her.

Dorothy, you are crazy.

You're Ma's favorite.
You always have been!

Oh, come on,
Gloria. You're the one

who always got
all the attention.

Sure, I got attention!
But only because you

were the strongest,
the smartest,

and you could take
care of yourself.

Which Ma constantly pointed
out in English and Italian.

Ma said this about me?

Think back, Dorothy.
When we were kids

and Ma and Pop were working

who did Ma always
leave in charge?

Me. Right.

And do you know why?

Yeah, because Phil
played with matches.

No, because Ma trusted
you with responsibility.

In her eyes, I could
never be as good as you!

Ma looked at you and
saw a wonderful future.

She looked at me and
hoped I would marry rich.

Which I did. Very rich.

Why didn't she
ever say any of this?

She did.

Who does she turn to
whenever she's in trouble, hm?

Who did she come to live with?

Her favorite... you.

Oh, come on, Gloria. That is
the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Dorothy, even with all my money,
you have so much more than I do.

You have Ma and your
friends and your work and...

Your life just seems so much
more important than mine.

And I wanted to take
a little bit back with me.

It's not what Ma wants.

You think she wants to stay?

I know she wants to stay.

I'm gonna go talk to her.

Are you all right?

Oh, sure. I've got all I need.

And you also have a
sister who loves you.

And Pop's nose.

Ma, you're not leaving.

You're staying here with
Rose and Blanche and me.

Hey, if I wanna
leave, I'll leave.

I'm free, single, and 80!

I'm not going to take no for
an answer. You're staying!

I should have known you
couldn't make it without me.

You're right. I can't.

And neither can Blanche
and neither can Rose.

Of course, not Rose! The woman
can hardly find her way to work!

Then you'll stay?

Not so fast.

You're gonna have to make a
few changes around here first.

What kind of changes?

Like you can't hang
around me all the time.

You need your space,
I need mine. OK?

OK, Ma.

So, maybe I'll stick around

and look after you
Three Stooges.


Oh, Gloria. I just made
a very important decision

I think you should know about.

What is it, Ma?

I decided to stay here in Miami.

I had to, she begged.
It was pathetic!

It's OK, Ma. I understand.

You're a good daughter, Gloria.

You're both good daughters.

Most people my age have
children trying to get rid of them.

My children are fighting
over who gets to keep me.

You don't know how much
that means to an old lady.

Honey, you don't know
how much you mean to us.

And I love you. I
love all my children.

Even Phil? Sure,
but don't tell him.

He'll wanna borrow money.

Hi, girls. Oh, hi.
How was dinner?

Great. I ate a lot,
Ma drank a lot,

Gloria paid a lot.

Oh, I'm so glad the three
of you got things worked out,

and that Sophia's not
leaving. Oh, me too.

That spunky little lady sure
does add life to this place!

Oh, and the stories she tells.

And there's always
a little gem of wisdom

hidden deep, deep, deep inside.

Listen, when I
thought I was moving,

I was going to give
each one of you a gift,

but I want you to
have them anyway.

Why, Sophia, how sweet!

Oh, honey, you shouldn't have!

Oh, Ma, this is so lovely.

And so familiar.

This is mine.

I thought the cleaner lost it.

I told you the
cleaner lost it. I took it.

I needed something to
go with my black sweater.

This is my black sweater.

I know, it goes great
with... My pearls.

Well, enjoy and be healthy!

I wonder if she's seen my
umbrella with the duck handle.

You know, I haven't been
able to find my ankle bracelet.

Come on, I think it's time
to search her room again.