The Golden Girls (1985–1992): Season 4, Episode 18 - Fiddler on the Ropes - full transcript

Sophia is given money that is intended to be put into a Certificate of Deposit, but she buys a Cuban prizefighter instead.

♪ 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" ♪

Hi, Blanche.

Girls, you are my very best
friends in the entire world,

and I trust and respect you
more than any people I know.

So I want you to
tell me the truth.

Now, honestly, do you think
I'm competent at what I do?

Based on the sounds
from your bedroom,

I'd bet you're damn
near spectacular.

I am talking about
my job at the museum.

Of course you're competent.

They wouldn't have kept you
for five years if you weren't.

Then why is my boss constantly
looking over my shoulder?

I would guess a plunging
neckline and a push-up bra.

I swear, sometimes I think I
just wanna throw in the towel

and take an early retirement.

I wonder if you can collect
Social Security at 49, 50.

49-50. What is that, Blanche -

the address of the
Social Security building?

Come on now. You
had a bad day at work.

Happens to all of us,
but we're not retiring.

I just don't know
what I'd do if I retired.

No problems to
solve, no challenges.

I'd be afraid my
mind would go soft.

Don't even talk that way,
Rose. That's crazy talk.

It sure would be nice to
have some investments

to fall back on, though.

I just never had
a mind for that.

Me neither. I never had
a mind for money matters.

I always used to let Stanley
handle all our investments.

Did he have a head
for numbers? Stanley?

The man used to have to
get naked to count to 21.

Little more. Another one.

Now, if you ask me,
we are doing fine,

starting out slow,

you know, going in on that
certificate of deposit together.

It's the simplest
form of investment.

An idiot couldn't screw it up.

By the way, Rose, what was the
rate today for the CD at the bank?

I didn't go to the bank today.

I was called to work early,
so I asked Sophia to go for us.

You let Ma leave the house
with $3,000 of our money?

What's wrong with
that? What's wrong?!

Odds are she'll probably come
back with a handful of magic beans!

Dorothy, just relax.

Your mother is a
responsible woman.

She knows how long it
took us to save that money.

You can trust her.

Don't get mad.

Ma, did you buy the
CD today? Not exactly.

I said, don't get mad. Sophia,
what did you do with our money?

I think you're gonna
be really impressed.

I made a very shrewd deal
with a guy I met at the bus stop.


Now, I know it's a big
responsibility to take care of one,

but I bought a boxer.

You spent $3,000 for a dog?

He's no dog. He's a winner.

Come on in, Pepe.

Ma, you bought a prizefighter?

It's a once-in-a-lifetime

A week from now, you're gonna
be kissing the ground I walk on.

You're gonna be looking
up at it from the other side.

What happens a
week from tonight?

Pepe, tell them. ¿Qué?

Pepe, boom-boom.

Kill Gonzales!

Attaboy, tiger.

Hey, Pepe, why don't you do
some roadwork while we talk?


Immigration, Pepe. Immigration.

Nobody has to
worry about anything.

This is the chance
of a lifetime.

Even if Pepe loses next
week's fight, he still gets $10,000.

How is that possible?
It's a guaranteed purse.

And for our lousy 3-grand
investment, that's a $7,000 profit.

Pepe gets the standard 20%,

and we're left with a tidy
sum for only one week's work.

So 20% is standard for a boxer?

It is if he doesn't
speak English.

Ma, that's it. Forget
it. Take him back.

To where, Customer Service?

Besides, I believe there's a
no-return clause on fighters.

Unless you're Robin Givens.

Ma, this isn't making any sense.

It's all legit. I
checked it out.

If you don't mind, we're gonna
make a few phone calls in the morning

to try to find out
what this is all about.

The whole thing is ridiculous.

Fine. In the meantime,
I'll bunk with you.

I told Pepe he
could have my room.

He's staying here with us?

Hey, we're in training. And
set another place at the table.

Hey, Pepe.

Pepe, you like ravioli? ¿Qué?

Boom-boom. Kill Gonzales!

(♪ violin) Yeah, his
name is Kid Pepe.

That's right. He's supposed
to have a fight next week.

Yeah, thank you. I'll hold.

OK, Kid, there are three
things you have to remember

in the ring.

One - keep your face covered,
two - keep your head down

and three - keep
moving at all times.

Incidentally, the
same rules apply

if you're ever dining at
a clam bar in Little Italy.

(raises volume)

Ma, will you turn that
down? I can't hear.

(turns off music) Uh, yes,
yes. Yes, I'm still here, yes.

Oh. So the contract is valid?

Well, thank you.
Thank you very much.

Everything is on the up and up.
He does have a fight scheduled.

All we have to do
is hire a cut man,

but I can probably do that on my
way back from the dry cleaner's.

Gee, it sounds so
natural, doesn't it?

Then I guess till next Tuesday,
we are Kid Pepe's managers.

What happens after Tuesday?

We take our winnings
and buy a heavyweight.

OK. A middleweight
and a microwave.

Ma, forget it. This insanity
lasts exactly one week,

and that's only because
we have a chance

of possibly getting
our savings back.

The minute the fight is
over, it is "Adios, Pepe."

No! No, no, Pepe!

Get back here and boom-boom.

Wouldn't it be something,
though, to make $7,000 in 7 days?

It sure would.

Oh, girls, remember
what we're dealing with.

My mother bought
this man at a bus stop.

Jab. Left. Jab, jab, left.

Ma, you don't know the
first thing about boxing.

Please. I used to be known
as the Don King of Sicily.

Of course, I used to wear
my hair differently then.

I might be able
to help Pepe, too.

You can be a constant
reminder of what might happen

if you spar without headgear.

I mean I might be able
to help him with this.

(singsong) A, my name is Anne,
and my husband's name is Alf.

We come from Anhoev,
and we sell antlers.

This is ridiculous.

The important thing is
that we get our money back.

What difference does
it make if Pepe wins?

Ten grand. Say what?

Ten grand. If Pepe wins,
the money's doubled.

Didn't I mention that?

Hands up, Pepe. Come
on. Ma, get the music.

Pussycat, get some sleep.
The big fight's tomorrow.

Words that have echoed
from mother to daughter

since time began.

OK, so I don't turn a
phrase like Harriet Nelson.

You still better get some sleep.

I can't, Ma. I'm too
nervous. About the money?

No, Ma. I'm always a
wreck the night before

any welterweight Division B
match-up at the local arena.

Of course I'm worried about
- Ma, how could you do this?

How could you
gamble with our money?

Let me tell you
a story, Dorothy.

Picture it - Sicily, 1920.

Two young girls pack their
bags and leave their tiny village

to seek fame and fortune

and a meal cooked
without oregano.

Their journey takes
them to a seaside town

where a ship prepares to
depart for the New World.

They're just - The New World?

Anybody can say Baltimore.
There's an art to telling these stories.

Sorry. Where was I?

Departing for the
New World. Oh, right.

Anyway, the price of steerage
turns out to be 900,000 lire.

Or approximately a
buck and a quarter.

Which is exactly the amount
of each girl's life savings.


That's why this is a story

instead of an
immigration report.

May I continue?

One girl chooses to spend her
money and take a chance on adventure.

The other plays it cautiously
and books only a ferry to Sardinia,

saving the rest of her
money for a rainy day.

Lemme guess, Ma. You were
the one who chose adventure.

You also would've said
Baltimore instead of the New World.

You're no good at this.

I'm the girl who played it safe.

Maybe if I'd made
the other choice,

I'd have been prime
minister of Israel

instead of my good
friend Golda Meir.

Ma, you never met Golda Meir!

Please! I almost
married her husband,

the man who
perfected the hot dog.

(both) Oscar Meir.

Ma, you're not making any sense.

All right, Dorothy.
Let me level with you.

All my life, I've been the practical
one. Your father was the dreamer.

So when this
opportunity came along,

I could hear his voice like
he was standing next to me.

"Sophia, take a
chance. Go for it."

I didn't mean to
hurt you, pussycat.

I guess... I did
it for your father.

Oh, Ma... That's a load of crap.

I'm dancing as fast
as I can, Dorothy.

Hey, I did a dumb
thing, and I feel terrible.

What else do you want me
to say? At least it was a start.

You can also tell me again

how everything is going
to work out just fine.

Everything is gonna
work out just fine.

All the Kid has to do is
step into that ring tomorrow,

and we'll make our money back.

Dorothy, he's gone! What?

Pepe's gone! I went to take him milk
and cookies, and his room is empty.

He can't be gone!
We have to find him!

Sophia, where are you going?

Out the window
before I'm thrown out.

On my own, at least
I can tuck and roll.

Are you sure this
is the right place?

No, but it was the only address
we could find in Pepe's room.

I feel uncomfortable about
going through Pepe's things.

Me, too. Although it was kind
of exciting opening his closet

and seeing his little
boxing trunks hanging there

with that provocative
nickname on 'em.

Blanche, Everlast is a
brand name, not a nickname.

What kind of a
place is this, anyway?

I don't know. An old office
building or a warehouse.

Looks to me like the kind of
place where shady dealings go on.

I say we just forget our
money and save our behinds.

Why? You've got a lot more
behind than you do money.

No, I'm with you. I say let's cut
our losses and get out of here.

(♪ piano)

(violin plays sweetly)

Excuse me. This
is a private session.

What is going on here?

What does it look like? The
opposition kidnapped our fighter

and is trying to turn him into a sissy
boy by making him play the violin.

Come on, Pepe. Ma!

Ladies, I guess I've got
some explaining to do.

You sure do. Like why
you snuck out on us.

Like why you used us.

Like why you're speaking better
English than Sylvester Stallone.

Pepe, what is this all about?

The violin. In two
days, I have an audition

for the Juilliard
School of Music.

Yeah, right. And I'm
Jimmy Swaggart's

favorite way to pass
a lonely afternoon.

No, it's true. This
is my teacher.

He's been coaching
me in the evenings.

I see. And is
there anything else

that you feel we're
entitled to know

before we kiss you and
the $3,000 goodbye?

You'll get your money back.
I'm gonna fight tomorrow.

I need that purse in
case I get into Juilliard.

You need a purse
to go to Juilliard?

You understood more when he
spoke Spanish, didn't you, Rose?

Frankly, I don't
understand much, either.

Pepe, why didn't you tell us all this
when Sophia first brought you home?

I was afraid you'd
back out of the deal.

I needed your money for
the entrance fee for the fight.

Entrance fee?

Oh, yeah, right.
Didn't I mention that?

No problem. It comes
out of Rose's share.

What about the Spanish? Why did
you pretend to only know Spanish?

Image. Cuban boxers are supposed to know
their right from their left, not much else.

And you think that we are that
narrow-minded and prejudiced

that we actually felt that way?

You bought into it, didn't you?

Hey, I didn't invent Kid Pepe.

I just conformed to your image of
a simple-minded Hispanic fighter.

Well, I am a Cuban. But
hath not a Cuban eyes?

Hath not a Cuban hands?

Organs? Dimensions?
Senses? Affections? Passions?

Fed with the same food?

Hurt with the same weapons?

Subject to the same diseases?

Healed by the same means?

Warmed and cooled by the same
winter and summer as you are?

If you prick us,
do we not bleed?

If you tickle us,
do we not laugh?

If you poison us, do we not die?

I also considered auditioning
for the Actors Studio.

Why does every
fighter become an actor?

Just once, I'd like it
the other way around,

if for no other reason than to see
Chevy Chase get his butt kicked.

You can't fight. You can't
take a chance like that.

I have to. I need
the money for school.

What about your hands? What if
something happens to your hands?

They'll be fine. And after
tomorrow, I'll never fight again.

Or never play the violin again.

Excuse me. Are
we back to real life?

Or are the two of you performing
a scene from Golden Boy?

Ladies, I've spent years
working with this boy,

watching him turn into
a masterful musician.

You yourselves have heard
how he makes the violin sing.

But his fate is in your hands.

Please... Please don't make
him step into that ring tomorrow.

You mean and lose
all our money? Yes.

That's the most touching
thing I've ever heard.

I don't know what to say. I do.

Fat chance, grandpa!

Oh, no! What's everybody
doing up? We settled this.

The Kid wants to fight,
and we need him to fight.

There's no problem here.
Everybody back to bed.

Ma, stop that.

We have to consider
this very carefully.

We could be holding the
man's fate in our hands.

I once held a man's
fate in my hands.

I'm shocked.

It was back in high school.

I was dating the quarterback
of the football team.

All the major colleges
were trying to recruit him.

I was pretty sure he was
leaning toward Notre Dame

'cause he asked
me how to spell it.

But secretly, I was
hoping for Alabama.

Going to Notre Dame would put
such a wrench in our relationship,

with all those priests
skulking about the campus.

Anyway, one night, he told me
he'd finally made his decision.

He was gonna enroll at the little junior
college just 5 miles outside of town.

When I said, "Honey, why? They
don't even have a football team,"

he answered by slipping a ring on
my finger and proposing marriage.

Well, I could not believe it.

I sat there for almost half an
hour just staring at that ring.

Finally I said, "Honey, this will
not do. I cannot accept this ring."

Because you loved him too much
to stand in the way of his career.

No, because it was a
piece of cheap glass,

and the band was
turning my finger green.

Well, no matter what
your reasons were,

you obviously made
the right decision.

He probably went on to a very
successful career in football.

Actually, he was so
crushed by my rejection

that he gave up
football and turned gay.

You don't "turn gay." You're
either gay, or you're not.

You had nothing to do with it.

Dorothy, if he had
been gay before,

he would have had
better taste in jewelry.

That sure convinced me. Let's get
some shut-eye. It's almost fight time.

Oh, Ma!

Dorothy, I'm not
asking the Kid to win.

He has to step in the ring,
and we make our money.

Sophia, if he steps in the
ring, he might hurt his hands.

Unless it turns
out that he's so bad

that he gets knocked out
before he can throw a punch.

Is everybody thinking
what I'm thinking?

That that was a really
mean thing to say.

As a general rule, Rose,

you should not be
the first to answer.

Rose, if we can convince Pepe

just to show up there
and get knocked out,

everybody'll get what they want.

What if he won't go along
with that? We'll talk him into it.

There's no shame
in taking a dive.

In Sicily, it's a
time-honored tradition.

Pepe, could we
have a word with you?

There's something
we'd like to discuss.

Can it wait? Right now, I've
got a few things on my mind.

Like that big sucker
over in the other corner?

That's right at
the top of the list.

We want to talk about your
fight strategy. We have an idea.

Yeah? What do you want me to do?

Fall down. What?!

They want you
to take a dive. Ma!

It wouldn't be a dive, exactly.

Just protect your
hands by not using 'em.

If you get knocked out,
you get knocked out.

I can't do that. It's
immoral. Immoral?

What's so moral about two
guys standing up in the ring

beating each other bloody?

It just isn't fair. To
whom? To the gamblers?

Gambling is
illegal in this state.

Besides, you're
such an underdog,

even Benny the
Weasel won't give odds.

I overheard that at
bingo the other night.

This way, everybody wins, and
nobody gets hurt. What's wrong with that?

All right, I'll do it. Great!

(Gonzales) Hey, Pepe,
your mother's a tramp!

I'm gonna kill you,
Gonzales. (bell rings)

It's a good thing he doesn't play
trumpet. His lip looks like meat loaf.

Just relax. Don't be
nervous. I'm not nervous.

Are your hands all right? They're
fine. He never threw a punch.

That's all behind you now, Pepe. This
is the moment you wanted. Good luck.

Before I start this piece, I
just have one question to ask.

Do I play the violin?

Oh, no.

I'm afraid I can't remember
the piece I'm supposed to play.

Look, this happens
sometimes after a fight.

Can I come back tomorrow?

I'm afraid not. You won't be
eligible again until next year.

Jeez, I can't believe I blew it.

Pepe, it's not your fault.

They are not going to
give you another chance

because you're Cuban.


(all) Because you're Cuban.

Ohh... Because I'm Cuban.

But hath not a Cuban eyes?

Hath not a Cuban hands?

Organs? Dimensions? Senses?

Affections? Passions?

Fed with the same food?

Hurt with the same weapons?

Subject to the same diseases?

Healed by the same means?

Warmed and cooled by the same
winter and summer as you are?

If you prick us,
do we not bleed?

If you tickle us,
do we not laugh?

If you poison us, do we not die?

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

That was the finest
audition for the acting school

that we've seen all
week. Congratulations.

I'm so glad Pepe has the
opportunity to be an actor.

Why? When was the last time
you saw a Cuban Macbeth?

He'll get out of school
and spend his whole career

getting arrested
on TV cop shows.

Ma, you don't see the bright
side of anything, do you?

No. But I can fake a smile.

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