United States of Al (2021–…): Season 2, Episode 7 - College/Pohantoon - full transcript

When Al struggles with the college class he is taking, Riley takes it upon himself to speak to his professor; Art's confidence is shaken when he learns Lois used to be married to a professional football star.

You have really
beautiful hair.

Hmm. Thank you.

She says that to everybody.


Is that true?


So, Al, what do we want today?

High and tight.

Take me 90 seconds.


Just a little off
the top, please.

I want to look nice for
my first day at school.

Don't commit
to a friend group too early.

Shop around. Have fun with it.

I never got the chance to go
to college in Afghanistan.

I started working
for the Marines after grade 12.

Oh, that's my plan.

Hazel Jaan,

you should never
stop learning.

Education is
a privilege.

For me, going to college
is a second chance.

Are you nervous
it'll be too hard?

Please, I have read more books
than the hairs on your head.

I read 30 news articles
every day.

I love to learn.

Ugh, if you were in my class,

we would not be friends.

♪ Oh!

Okay. I'd like to start
by saying I recently published

a book on reverse psychology.

Please don't buy it!

I'm kidding, of course.

I assume everybody
has downloaded

and read the articles
off the student portal?

We will talk about all those
in a moment...Excuse me.

Do you know
what a portal is?

It's a website where
they post the readings

and the syllabus and stuff.

What is a syllabus?

Do you mind?

I'm trying to watch this.

am I interrupting something?

Not for me.

But he is watching
the hockey game.

This is lovely.

Yeah, it's
finally cool enough

to turn on the fire pit
and not sweat.

I'm 50. Speak
for yourself.

Thanks for making dinner.

Mm. It's my pleasure.

You know, maybe we should do
something special

one of these nights.

Maybe go out for a steak?

That sounds fun.

You know where they make
a hell of a tomahawk chop?



You don't like Donahue's?

I don't like Donahue.


Jimmy "the Arm" Donahue?

Led the Big Ten in passing
in '91,

got Ohio State
to the Hall of Fame Bowl.

That guy is a legend.

That guy is my ex-husband.


There was a marriage, kids,
divorce, the whole thing.

Had a, uh...

framed poster of him
in the garage.


He signed it.

Maybe we should go
somewhere else.


You didn't date
the Burger King, did you?

No, but in college,

I experimented
with the Dairy Queen.

I want to hear that story.

Donahue drops back to pass.

He evades a tackle. And another!

Wow! Somebody hold
my cigarette--

this guy's going all the way!

What's this?

Hall of Fame Bowl.

The ten, the five.

Donahue does it again!


You reliving
good memories?

I wish.

Jimmy Donahue is
Lois' ex-husband.


That guy
was a beast.

Oh, thanks.

So if you marry Lois,

he'll be, like...

my Uncle Jimmy?

Do you have any idea
how families work?

You must be
a little intimidated.

I'm a lot intimidated.

Does Lizzie know?

Ooh, she's about to.


Good. A different person.

How was class?


Fine? That's it?

Excuse me. I am very tired
and have a lot of homework.

Hmm. He seems bummed.

Yeah. I think I should go
make sure he's okay.

But then there'd be
nobody here to tease you.


You must be
a little intimidated.

I made you some tea.

Ah. Thank you.

Riley, do you know how
to write a bibliography?

Look at my abs.

What do you think?

Just ask your professor.

Listen to yourself.
"Ask the professor."

What's the big deal?

You're paying for the class.

Isn't it his job to help you?

You mean "Brett"?

Can you believe they call
him by his first name?

Back home, if I disrespected
a teacher like that,

I would be kicked
out of school.

I'm not sure
you can get kicked out

of community college.

I used to think my
English was very good.

But there are so many words
I have never heard of.

Look at this one.

Uh, "cohg-nie-zant"?

It's pronounced "cognizant."

Okay. What does it mean?

I can't do
all your work for you.

Oh, you're up early.

Never went
to sleep.

What's the problem?
Ten years

of conversational English
with U.S. Marines

did not give me
the most useful vocabulary.

Mm, depends where you live.

In prison, you're set.

Yes. I know many ways
of implying

a man's mother has loose morals,

but none of them appear
in the work of Carl Jung.

Why don't you take the day off?

Get some rest.

No. I need that job to
send money to my family,

and I need this education to
be able to get a better job.

I will end up like you.


Sorry, Riley.

I'm just very tired.

You want a cup of coffee?

I am fearful for my future,

but not enough to
become a drug addict.

How you doing?
You okay?

Yeah. Why?

Oh, yeah. That makes sense.

You still obsessing
over Lois' ex?

Sheesh. You
don't understand.

I went to those games.

I cheered for that guy.

Hell, you were conceived during
halftime of the Penn State game.

A story no one is asking for.

I mean, how can I measure
up to a guy like that?

It's not
a competition.

Oh, you're such a girl.

You know, with your mom,
if we ever got in a fight,

I could say, "Like
you could do better."

I can't say that with Lois.

She's got ten photo albums
to prove otherwise.

And ESPN Classic.


Why don't you go take a nap
in the truck?

All right? I'll demo the wall.

You think I can't do it?

That's exactly what I think.

I am fine.

No, come on.

Al, hold on, hold on.

Riley, I am not a child.
I can do this.


wrong wall.

I know.

Hey, Dad,
did your tattoos hurt?


No reason.

How much do they cost?

I failed my first test.

Join the club.

My professor says
I didn't answer the question.

But, look, I filled
the front and back.

The only thing I understand
on this is the "F."

You know, if you draw a three
over it, it becomes a "B."

What?Like you've never done it.

He asked us to apply one
of Sigmund Freud's theories

to our personal lives.

So I listed
all of the theories,

but my personal life
is none of his business.

All right.
Just go to his office,

tell him you didn't
understand the question

and ask for a redo.

No. The one time in my life
I did go to my teacher,

he thought
I was being difficult.

I had to stand in the corner
with my shoe in my mouth.

It's a funny image.

Professor Williams?

That's right.

Can I talk to you for a sec?

Of course. My door
is always open.

And that's not a metaphor.
I am required to keep it open.

I don't even know
why I have one.

Um, look, I'm not in your class,
but my buddy is.

Awalmir Karimi.

Oh, yeah.

The guy who calls me
by my full name.

I kind of like that.

Yeah, the thing is, um,

he hasn't lived in this country
very long,

and taking your class
is really discouraging him.

Oh, no. Did-did I say something
culturally insensitive?

I-I will apologize.

In fact, he can write
the apology and I will sign it.

Unless that's making the victim
do the work of educating me,

which is not okay.

No, it's just that English
is not his first language.

He was actually my interpreter,

embedded with us Marines.

Thank you for your service.


maybe you could just cut him

a little break on his grades?

Like that quiz
you guys just did.

Done. Yeah, I am not losing
another job over this crap.

Yeah, this important dialogue

that we are all having...

as a nation.

Thank you for bringing
this to my attention.

And, of course...

for all the freedom.


I should say that standing up.

Thank you for bringing
this to my attention

and, of course...

for all the freedom.

Oh, I'm sorry.
Sh-- Is this...?

It's-- It's all-- It's okay.

All right. Mm.

Okay, go to the top where
it says "My Student Portal."



Not there. Ugh, please
just let me do this for you!

If you do it for me,
I will never learn.

It is possible
you're too old for this.

Okay, here it is.

My Student Portal.

So I fill in my email.

Now I have to make a password.

Come on, I know you're
gonna put "Toyota Corolla."

Now I need security questions.

Uh, "What street
did you grow up on?"

"The one behind
the butcher."

"What was
your high school mascot?"

What does that mean?

You know, when the least
popular kid in school

dresses up like a squirrel.


Oh! I'm in.

What are you guys
looking at?

Oh, just teaching Hazel how
to use my college website.

I'm gonna let that one go.

Okay, here are your classes.

Here are your assignments,

your syllabus and your grades.

Now, remember,
whatever grades you get,

as long as you tried your
hardest, we're proud of you.

That is a lie.
A big one.
I hear it all the time.

Huh. Why does it say I got
an "A" in my psychology quiz?

'Cause your best friend went in
and talked to your professor.

How come you
never do that for me?

I'm afraid of your mother.

You had no business.

You wouldn't, so I did.

You also didn't say thank you.
So I'll do it.

"Thank you, Riley."
No problem, Al.

Friends don't meddle in each
other's personal business.

Are you kidding?
That's literally all you do.

What did you tell him? Hmm?

That I am some sad immigrant
who needs extra help?

I did not say "sad."

Riley, you have humiliated me
in front of the professor.

Who, Brett?
Nah, man, Brett's chill.

As if I didn't have
enough on my plate,

now I have to go back and
apologize for your behavior.

Relax. Everything's fixed now.

Hey, high five.

All right.

Don't hold back.

If it doesn't look
good, get rid of it.

You won't hurt my feelings.

Why do you still have
all these old uniforms?

Are you starting a museum?

Or a militia?

Hey, a Marine never gets rid
of his dress blues.

He gets them pressed
and dry-cleaned once a year.

More often
if that Marine has a coupon.

Okay, and what is
this section here,

the gift shop
at the Honolulu Airport?

Are you gonna help me or not?

You don't need any help.
Lois has never had a problem

with the way you look.

She probably likes
your big round head.


Besides, Marine beats
football player any day.

she's right.

I mean,
if Jimmy lost a game, who cares?

But if you lost Grenada...

I don't know.
Something might've happened.


We'd be waiting in
line for blue jeans.


Hazel's right.

Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Now, you hold
your big round head up

and you get out there

and you have
the greatest date of your life.

It's not till Tuesday.

Then we will do this again
on Tuesday.

Professor Brett Williams.

I'm here to talk about my grade.
Hold on.

Do you mind if I record
this conversation?

I'll send you a copy.


Awalmir Karimi,

what can I do for you at...

5:26 on a Tuesday?

I know you are
a busy person.

I don't want
to waste your time.

But I must apologize
for my friend Riley,

and I want you
to take the "A" back.

What grade
would you prefer?

I'm gonna say them all
and you just drop a pencil.

I want a grade that I deserve.

I gave you that,

and you sent Captain
America to see me.

I did not ask him
to bother you.

I told him I was struggling in
class, and he decided to help.

But I don't want
anybody's help.

How long has your friend
been out of the service?

Three years.

Well, I'm not surprised he's
trying to fix your problems.

A lot of veterans are wired
to be mission-oriented.


Once a week,
he organizes my closet.

Mm-hmm. It's really hard
when the people back at home

have learned to
operate on their own.

It's a big strain
on relationships,

marriages in particular.

He is having problems
with his marriage.

You should be a professor
of guessing.

It's not guessing--
it's psychology.

Okay, it's a little guessing,

but this entire field is devoted
to trying to understand

why people behave in certain
ways in order to help them.

Ah. Well, thank you.

This has been
very helpful, Professor.

Well, come by anytime.

The views expressed here
are my own

and do not represent
Eastmoor Community College

or Princeton University,

towards which I hold
no ill will.

So I could just drive
to North Dakota

and, bippity-boom, I will have
visited all the lower 48 states,

which I think we can both agree
is quite an accomplishment.


What's going on?

What do you mean?

So far tonight,
you've told me

how you were
a highly decorated Eagle Scout,

how a cop chased you on the
interstate but you outran him

and-- my favorite--

you used to have hair
like Jon Bon Jovi.

I did.



I just can't stop thinking
you can do better than me.

Hell, you have.

You mean Jimmy?

He's only been to,
like, 30 states.

Not funny.

If you want me to make a list
of all the things wrong

with Jimmy "the Arm" Donahue,

I'm gonna need
a long piece of paper.

That's why I left him.

But you loved your wife.

The only reason you're not
with her is because she died.

You think that doesn't
make me insecure?

I never thought of it like that.

You're kind,

you're funny,

you're good-looking.

And I know
you're not gonna believe me,

but that steak
you cooked the other night

could put Jimmy out
of business.



I mean, I hope you don't
put him out of business.

I own half of it.

Something wrong
with the lawn mower?

Nah, just making it better.


I went and talked to
Professor Brett Williams.

He's giving me
my "F" back.

Well, as long
as you tried your hardest,

we're proud of you.

Look, man, I'm, uh...

sorry I pissed you off.

I was just trying to help.

Actually, I wanted to thank you.

You were right.
I was being stubborn

about talking to the professor.

Teachers here are very friendly.

Nervous, but friendly.

So, Riley...

I've been thinking
about something.

Yeah? What's that?

In Afghanistan, you
were a leader of men.

But here, you have
no men to lead.

What is that like?

Whatever pops
in your head.

There are no
wrong answers.

It's weird.

I was commanding a squad.
Now I'm not.


So you want to do more.

You want to help people.

You want to help me.

How does that
make you feel?

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Why are
we talking about my feelings?

As a student
of psychology,

it is my job to understand
people's behavior

in order to help them.

I don't need you to help me.

I hear you.

Go on.
You go on.

Eh, it's okay.

We know about veterans.

We've done studies.

I'm not doing this.

We are not doing anything.

I'm not a psychologist.

You've been to one class
and got an "F."

But the way I see it,

this needing
to be needed

is part of your earliest
tensions with Vanessa.

Didn't you tell me
that you two used to argue

about how she mowed
the lawn?

She always went
the same direction.

She was making ruts.

But you have to ask, is there
any way she could have done it

that would have made you happy?

She could've done it my way.

Would that have
been better?

Would it?

But would it?

I'm proud of the progress
we made here today!



What's going on?
I just wondered

if I could maybe
borrow the lawn mower.

Ours doesn't work
for some reason.

Yeah, it's in the garage.


Hey, Vanessa.


Remember when I got back,
I used to get mad at you

for mowing the lawn
and making ruts?


What I should've said was

"Thank you for mowing the lawn."



And if you ever want me
to, you know, help out,

it's still our house. I'm...

more than happy
to mow the lawn.

I appreciate it, but...

I kind of like
doing it myself.


And as a hairdresser,

it's kind of nice
to be cutting something

that doesn't talk back.

All right. I'll just
grab the mower then.

Do you want
any help?

No. I got it.