The Golden Girls (1985–1992): Season 4, Episode 13 - The Impotence of Being Ernest - full transcript

Rose tries to do something about her boyfriend's sexual dysfunction.

♪ 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" ♪


Sophia, we're playing hearts.

I know. I felt like
drinking some.

If I'm gonna get through a
boring Saturday night with you two,

I'll need a buzz.

Ma, why are you so cranky?

I had plans with
Mildred tonight.

She waited until the last
minute to call and cancel it.

The woman had a heart attack.

It wasn't massive.

Girls, does this look OK?

Oh, fine. A little overdressed
for a quiet evening at home.

Oh, Blanche, didn't you
hear? Rose has a date.

A date?

Yes. I met him briefly
at the counseling center

and he asked me out to dinner.

Well, Rose has
a date and I don't.

What are the odds of
something like this happening?

There's probably a better
chance of getting struck by lightning

in a house you won
from Ed McMahon.

Blanche, I'm sure it's a fluke

that nobody called
you for a date.

They must have painted the
men's room walls at the Pizza Hut.

Well, there must be something wrong
with Rose's date. There has to be.

I bet he's an airhead, or a
mutant, or an insurance salesman.

Oh, that's it. Well, Rose,
you and your geek have fun.

And you said she wouldn't
take it well, Dorothy.


Sophia, I forgot to
give you this letter.

Oh, from Sicily.

A gift from Cousin Vito.

A feather. That's a message
of some kind, isn't it?

What are you babbling about?

Don't play dumb, with me, Ma.

Everything from Sicily
means something.

A black rose means a
family member is dying.

A white carnation means
a newborn is on the way.

A dead rabbit means, "My
husband knows. Get out of town."

Knows what?

The score to
South Pacific, Rose.

Relax, Dorothy. Maybe Vito just
wants a handmade pillow for Christmas.

It means nothing. Who cares?

(doorbell) Argh!

Sorry. I was just so
excited about this lovely gift.

Hi, Ernie. Hi, Rose.

Ernie, I want you
to meet my friends.

This is Dorothy and Blanche
and Sophia. Pleasure.

Everyone, this is Ernie Faber.

I'm sorry I'm late, Rose.
I got tied up in court.

What are you charged with?

Nothing. I'm a
corporate attorney.


So, tell us, Ernie, have you
ever been married? I'm divorced.

Oh. Was the breakup caused
by your drinking problem?

I don't have a drinking problem.

Were you cheating on your wife?

What is this? A
Barbara Walters Special?

I guess the two of
you want to get going.

It was a pleasure meeting
you all. Good night, now.

(Dorothy) Have fun. Bye-bye.

Well, he's perfect.
He's absolutely perfect.

I cannot believe a man like
that would be interested in Rose.

Well, I guess he's
not perfect after all.

That's right, Dorothy.

Thank you. I feel
so much better.

We're living with Robin Givens.

Morning, Ma.

OK. Good morning.

Ma, what is going on? Ever since
you got that feather in the mail,

you've been acting like a spy.

I'm surprised you
didn't check to see

if someone was hiding
out in the broom closet.

Broom closet, right.

This is ridiculous.
Dorothy, she's right.

I know for a fact that two people
can fit into the broom closet

with room left over for a
medium-sized cold-cut platter.

Now, what's going on, Ma? OK.

I hoped I could spare
you this, Dorothy,

but it's best you
know what's going on.

It's about Sonny Venuchio...

as in the famous Venuchio
vendetta. I never heard of that.

Who asked you? This
is a speech, not a quiz.

It began when your
great-grandfather, Nicodemo,

was run down by Marco
Venuchio's milk wagon.

He ran him down in cold blood?

Very cold. Grandpa
was already dead.

Unfortunately, there
was a gravediggers' strike,

so the family was using him
as a temporary scarecrow.

The high winds tipped him over

and Marco used
him as a speed bump.

But, Sophia, if it
wasn't Marco's fault...

It doesn't have to be his fault.

It's a vendetta, not
The People's Court.

Anyway, there's only one
Venuchio alive today. Sonny.

That feather from Vito meant he's
somewhere down here in Miami,

so now it's up to me
to take care of him.

Oh, Ma. Do you really expect us to believe
that you're gonna go through with this?

Believe what you want. Sicilians
take these things very seriously.

You know what might
happen if I didn't do my duty?


Free swimming lessons
with a cement kickboard.

Hi, girls.

Rose, honey, is something wrong?

No. I'm just a little depressed.

Oh, come on now, Rose. If there's
something wrong, you can tell us.

Is it about Ernie?

He's lousy in bed. I knew it!

I knew there was
something wrong with him.

No, he's not lousy.
Well, I don't think he is.

Well, either he is or he
isn't. Well, I'm sure he's not.

Of course, I have no proof that
he's not, but still, he's not. I think.

I don't get it.
Neither does Rose.

You mean you've been
seeing him for over a month

and you two haven't done it?

He hasn't made one move.

There was the time
we were out to dinner

and I thought he was coming
on a little strong all of a sudden,

but it turned out he was looking
for his napkin under the table.

What have you all
been doing all this time?

How long can you
make conversation?

Blanche, there is more
to conversation than just:

"Can I have a hanger
for my pants, please?"

Oh, Ernie's not like
that. He's very special.

He's not the type of man who wants
to hop into bed after just one date.

And this is one of
his attributes? Yes.

I love it.

In fact, I think I love him.

Oh, honey. Rose,
that's wonderful.

But I still can't understand why he
hasn't even approached the subject of...

you know... sex.

I mean, not that I'm
in a hurry or anything

but we have been
dating a while now.

Honey, sometimes you have
to stoke a man's fire a little bit.

Words of wisdom
from the human torch.


Rose, if he really
means that much to you,

and he feels the same way,

things will happen naturally.

Yeah, but if you
don't want to wait,

there are other
avenues you can take.

There are just dozens
of ways to seduce a man,

hundreds, maybe even thousands.

I think that you should
forget the ones that

involve swinging
naked from a doorframe.

You need to get him in a
romantic situation, Rose.

Why don't you ask him to
take you away for the weekend?

I think we should probably
try holding hands first.

Blanche has a point... finally.

If he doesn't want
to go away with you,

then you'll know how he feels.

(doorbell) I'll get that.
That's probably Ernie.

Oh, I can't do it. I can't
ask him to go away with me.

I've never learned
how to be aggressive.

Honey, it's as easy
as riding a bicycle.

I never learned
how to ride a bicycle.

It's as easy as
falling off a bicycle.

Really? Well, that is
easy. Thanks, Dorothy.

It was just a hunch.

Hi, Ernie. Oh,
Rose. I'm really sorry.

I'm on my way to the office.
There's a small emergency.

Do you mind if we
postpone our date?

I was gonna ask you...

I'd like to make this up to you.

I've been thinking...

How about we go
away this weekend?

I know it's sudden,

but I'd really like to take
you somewhere special.

What do you say? Well...

Yes. That sounds wonderful.

That's great.

I'll call you later, Rose.

Looks like everything
worked out after all.

Were you three listening
to our conversation?

Absolutely not. You know
we would never eavesdrop.

They made me do it.

When I turn my
hearing aid up to ten,

I can hear a canary
break wind in Lauderdale.

Oh, Rose, I'm having
a wonderful time.

You're a lot of fun to be with.

Oh, I'm having a good time too.

I don't think I've had this much fun
since I was a little girl back in St. Olaf.

I remember once
when I was about ten...

You were about to tell a
story. Why did you stop?

Well, this is usually when
Dorothy and Blanche interrupt me.


I'd always go to the movies every
Saturday afternoon with all my friends.

Oh, we'd have a ball.

The only problem was that our town
theater was designed for silent movies.

They never put in a
sound system? No.

Luckily, our schoolteacher,
Miss Sigerson,

was an expert lipreader.

She'd do all the dialogue.

There were some
problems sometimes.

Through most of Citizen Kane,

we all thought everybody
was looking for a rowboat.

Rose... there's something
I have to tell you.

Something I should have
told you from the start.

What, Ernie? What's wrong?

I was sort of hoping
this weekend, this

romantic setting, might
help... but it hasn't.

I was hoping that it might
help me get over my... problem.

What problem?

It's not easy for a
man to say, Rose.

I'm impotent.

I see.

Well, in that case,

why don't we see what's
playing at the movies?

Yeah. Is this the
Venuchio residence?

It is?

Is Sonny Venuchio there?

He is? Sorry, wrong number.

Sophia, does this still have to
do with that vendetta business?

Blanche, don't even
discuss it with her.

The whole thing is ridiculous.

Dorothy, this vendetta
is a very real thing.

It goes to the root of
my soul as a Sicilian..

If you don' wanna acknowledge
it, that's your business.

Fine, Ma.

But I need a ride later. I
wanna go to confession.

They go easy on you if it's
still just an impure thought.

Well, well, you got in
pretty late last night. I know.

So, tell us all about the big
weekend. And don't leave out a thing.

I want you to start with the sweet
nothings he whispered in your ear.

Well, OK.

First, he said that I was
a very attractive woman.

(both) Yeah.

And then he said I
was fun to be with.

(both) Yeah.

And then he said
he was impotent.

(both) Urgh!

Impotent? Are you sure?

Oh, Blanche, what would you
have done? Asked him to prove it?

I can't talk about this.

Of course you can.
Rose, We're your friends.

We're here to listen.

I mean, we've all spoken at one
time or another about a sexual problem.

Not me.

It's not your fault,
and it's not Ernie's.

I mean, we've all been with
a man who couldn't perform.

Not me.

I just feel so...
so undesirable.

Oh, honey, we all
have at some point.

I know, Blanche, not you.

I remember when Stanley
and I were going through this.

We tried everything.

techniques, hypnosis...

I fed the man so many oysters,

when he passed a kidney
stone, I had it appraised.

It was two years before he
found a cure. What was it?

A blonde stewardess with a butt

that would have made
Gandhi throw in the towel.

So, Rose, are you
gonna stop seeing Ernie?

No, of course not.

Rose, how about you and
Ernie seeing a sex therapist?

I suppose I could talk to Ernie.

Maybe we could
make an appointment.

Well, sex therapy is one
solution, but there are other ways.

Oh, Blanche, dessert
toppings are not the answer.

I was talking about patience.

Rose, just tell Ernie that sex is not
the most important part of a relationship.

Just ask anybody
married to an Englishman.

I'm gonna call Ernie right now.

I think we have
a lot to talk about.

OK, Dorothy. I'm
going for a walk.

If I don't come back, it's up to
you to take care of Sonny Venuchio.

His address is on
the table. Ma, that's it.

Now, I want you to
look at me and tell me

this vendetta
business is all a joke.

This vendetta
business is all a joke.

(phone rings)

Now I want you to
look me in the eye

and tell me you're
not lying. I'm not lying.

Sophia, it's for you. He says
his name is Tony the Hook.

Tell him I'll call him back.

What are you looking
at? He's my butcher.

Yeah, that's it. My butcher.

How's your soufflé,
Rose? Delicious.

I never did get the
hang of making these.

There is nothing
more frustrating

than waiting for one of these
suckers to rise and it just won't.

That's no reflection
on you, Ernie.

I know why you called me, Rose.

I know why you wanted
to have dinner. You do?

You wanted to tell me that maybe
we should stop seeing each other.

Ernie, that's not
true. Come on, Rose.

I mean, after all, you can't be
happy with the way things are.

I mean, you're a healthy,
active, sexy woman.

Well, I'm also a
patient woman, Ernie.

I mean, really. I'm probably the
most patient person you know.

Go ahead. Try to think
of somebody else. I'll wait.

Tell me honestly.

You don't think there's something
lacking in this relationship?


I think you're a kind,
generous, caring man.

As far as the
physical side goes,

we'll just take things slow.

And if it turns out

that we can't be anything
more than just good friends,

well, that's good enough for me.

I'm a lucky man to have
found someone like you.

I feel the same way.

If you ask me, people rely too
much on sex in relationships, anyway.

You're right. I mean,
what is sex, after all?

Two clunky old bodies thrashing
around against each other.

Like animals.

You get all sweaty and flushed.

Your hair gets mussed.

You lose your breath.

You lose your earrings.

Your mouth waters.

Your nose runs.

Your heart races.

Your blood races.

Rose... Say it, Ernie.

It's time, Rose.

Check, please!

Blanche, look at this picture.

A man's body was washed
ashore on the beach last night.

Oh, how horrible.

And look at this. It says:

"A tan bamboo purse
was found at the scene."

Do you know what that means?

The man was murdered on
his way to a Peter Allen concert?

No. It makes me think about
Ma and that ridiculous vendetta.

I mean, if I didn't know Ma,
I might actually consider...

Anybody seen my purse?

Oh, God. Ma, how
could you do this?

Relax. I probably
left it at Sonny's place.

Of course you did,
right next to his body.

How did you know? Ma!

It's all over the front
page of today's paper.

Oh. That's not Sonny.
That's a dead guy.

Of course he is, if you
carried out that vendetta.

What are you talking about? This
was an '80s vendetta. It was all symbolic.

You find the guy, drop
a fish on his doorstep,

boom, you wash your
hands of the whole thing.

Ma, wait a minute.
If that's all you did,

how come your purse
is still over there?

Oh, well, maybe I did
leave one thing out.

While I was giving
Sonny the evil eye,

I noticed he was kinda cute.

So, I decided to work in
a little kiss of death too.

Well, that livened him up, and
we spent a very pleasant afternoon.

(Blanche) Oh!

Ma, you are incredible.

Those were Sonny's
words exactly.

Good morning.

Well, good morning.

Rose Nylund, you little
devil. Just look at you.

What? Don't you get
coy with me. I can tell.

The rosy cheeks,
the bright smile,

the distant,
not-quite-there expression.

She looks that way every
day. What's your point?

(sings) Rose has
been with a man.

So what if I was with Ernie?

With Ernie?

Oh, oh, isn't that wonderful?

Oh, honey, congratulations!
I'm so happy for you.

Calm down, Blanche.

It was a roll in the hay,
not a walk on the moon.

Oh, Ernie's the best thing that's
happened to me in a long time.

I don't think I've been this
happy with a man since Charlie.

I have to get ready. We're
going on a picnic today.

Oh, I don't believe this.

Hey, she didn't even
tell us how it happened.

Same way it happened
the last time you did it.

Of course, hairstyles may
have changed since then.

I had a marvelous
time tonight, Ernie.

So did I, Rose.

Rose, there's something very
important I want to say to you.


I want you to know how much
I appreciate all you've done.

After my marriage fell apart, I stopped
being able to perform like a man should.

No, it's because of your warmth and
understanding that I got through this.

I never thought I'd find
happiness ever again.

Some marriages don't
work out, but some do.

You're right, Rose.

And that's why I think that I
can still patch things up with her.


My wife never remarried
after the divorce,

and I never stopped
loving her, Rose.

I see.

I have to give this a shot. I
really think I can make things work.

I hope you can, Ernie.

I know this is sudden, but it's
something I really need to try.

Oh, I understand. Really, I do.

I'll never forget what
you've done for me.

It's all over.

We know. We heard.

Now, honey, don't
you be depressed.

What you did was wonderful.

And it's all because you're such a
kind and sensitive and caring person.

You gave him back his manhood.

If he can find it,
he can have it.

He's probably the
worst lover I've ever had.

I'll get the ice cream.
I'll get the cheesecake.

I'll get the Etch A Sketch. At
my age, I need a visual aid.