(Ep 67 - "The House That Jack Built")
(The Arnold's are visiting Karen in the rented house she is sharing with a roommate.)
Still, you had to hand it to Karen. In her own kitchen...she actually seemed...at home. So maybe there was more to her new life then we'd been giving her credit for.
(Michael steps into the doorway, holding two brown shopping bags.)
Hi. Sorry I took so long. (Smiles.)
I, uh...brought the groceries. (Smiles.)
(Karen points, and looks worriedly at Michael.)
You can just put them down here, OK?
(He sets the bags down, then looks at Kevin.)
Hnnn. Friendly delivery-people in these parts.
Well, thanks. (Smiles.)
Oh, no problem. (Shrugs.)
Now, something wasn't quite right, here. I just couldn't put my finger on it.
Maybe Mom couldn't, either.
Aren't you going to tip him? (Smiles.)
Nah - this one's on the house. (Nods.) Well. (Nods.) Bye.
(Michael turns and walks to the door.)
So, maybe it was nothing. Or maybe not.
Hey, what could be better? A hearty meal with the family...a new hearth and home...backbreaking projects ahead...
(Jack looks at Norma and nods slightly.)
Lotsa work to do.
So it's a good thing we came up, right? (Smiles.)
No kidding. Place needs a man's help. (Smiles.)
(Michael enters behind Karen.)
Can I come in? (Gestures.)
(Michael sits between Karen and Jack, and looks at Jack.)
(Michael serves himself some food.)
Did the guy change his mind about the tip?
(Jack frowns at Michael.)
Seemed pretty clear...an explanation was in order.
And who are you? (Frowns.)
I live here.
(Jack frowns and tosses the serving spoon down.)
Uh...everybody...this is Michael. (Smiles.)
(Karen puts her hand on Michael's.)
And, with those polite formalities out of the way...we sat down to break bread.
What do you mean you live here? (Frowns.)
(Jack looks at Karen.)
What does he mean...(gestures)...he lives here?
You didn't tell 'em, yet.
W-well, I didn't quite get around to it yet.
Tell us what?! (Frowns.)
(Karen tilts her head and scratches it, then straightens up and gestures.)
Mom...Dad...you know I-I told you that I was gonna be sharing a house with somebody...(Nods.)
Nice to meet you. (Nods.)
Somehow I'd envisioned Karen's roommate a little less...male.
You know, um...Michael's a carpenter...and he's...gonna be renovating the house.
Yeah. You can probably tell..it needs some pretty serious work. (Laughs.)
Like I said, the landlord's giving us a huge break...on the rent.
But I had a hunch rent was no longer foremost on Dad's mind.
You know, Daddy, maybe...Michael can help help you out. (Shrugs.) Or...(frowns)...you could help him out.
Yeah. Yeah! (Gestures.)
I got a lot of work to do upstairs. (Gestures.) And we were thinking of renting out three of the bedrooms.
This place has five bedrooms? (Smiles.)
Uh, actually...(gestures)...it only has four.
Let's see here. A little quick math...four minus three equals...
(Kevin looks at Michael.)
Where do you sleep? (Gestures.)
Believe it or not...at the time...it was an innocent question.
(Jack frowns, bangs the table, scattering silverware onto the floor, and stands up.)
We braced ourselves for the inevitable. My father was gonna make mince-meat of this guy. Tear him limb from limb.
I'm gonna take a walk.
(Jack starts to walk off, holding his hand up to Norma.)
Or, he was gonna take a walk.
I knew this was a bad idea.
(Karen rises and exits. Michael starts to rise.)
(Norma exits toward Karen. They talk in the background.)
I don't want to talk about this.
(Michael sits down.)
Well, it's not that easy, Karen. We're going to talk about it.
Yeah. Like Dad really wants to...
(Michael looks at Kevin.)
This isn't going well, is it?
Karen, he loves you.
Well, he's got a funny way of showing it!
Well, what did you expect?!
(Kevin shakes his head slowly and looks at Michael.)
I don't think so.
Um, maybe we should go outside.
(They stand and exit. Cut to the steps of the house as Kevin exits followed by Michael.)
What's wrong with it?!
I'll tell you. You are not married...
(Kevin sits near the bottom step. Michael looks toward the house, then sits on the top step.)
Seemed like a good idea to get out of there. (Gestures.)
I suppose I felt a little funny...fraternizing with the enemy.
You ever been on a motorcycle before? (Smiles.)
Well then, come on. I know a place that makes a great bean-curd sandwich.
(Kevin frowns. Michael smiles.)
It was a joke. (Gestures.) Come on.
(Michael exits. Kevin looks after him.)
Huh - did this joker really think he could win me over that easily?
(Cut to the street. Kevin smiles as he rides behind Michael, who looks over his shoulder and smiles.)
OK - so I took the ride. Didn't mean I had to have fun.
(Cut to the front of a burger stand. Kevin and Michael sit at an outdoor table.)
How's your burger.
Yeah, Karen's great, but I've had just about all the sprouts I can handle.
(Michael looks off and snorts, then shakes his head slightly.)
Man, your sister's a pistol...probably takes after your old man, huh? He's pretty steamed, isn't he?
You could say that. (Gestures.)
Think he'll get over it?
I don't know.
Man, I hope so. I mean, I was hoping this would go a little better.
(Michael looks forward and laughs slightly, then looks at Kevin.)
Family's a pretty important thing.
Yeah, well then why are you guys doing this?
(Michael looks at Kevin, then glances off slightly and hesitates.)
Well, I'll tell you why I'm doing it, uh...because I love her.
The funny thing is...listening to the way he talked about my sister...I couldn't help but like the guy. And it seemed Dad might like him, too...if he'd just give him a chance.
(Later on the porch, Jack and Karen argue.)
Daddy! These aren't the Dark Ages. Times have changed...things have changed.
(Jack violently makes a fist.)
I haven't changed!!
You never listen, Daddy.
I'm not listening to this. You're moving out of here.
Look, maybe you're being a little hard on her. (Gestures.)
This is between my daughter and me. (Frowns.)
May be, sir, but...it's also between your daughter and me.
Also see "Full Transcript"
(Ep 77 - "Dinner Out")
(Kevin and Michael are unloading groceries which Norma brought.)
Have you got that OK?
Yeah - I'm fine.
Your mom knows there's only two of us, right? (Gestures.)
I think so.
That would be Michael - Karen's boyfriend. Or live-in. Or...significant other. Whatever.
So, uh...how's your dad?
Ya know, he's...about the same.
You got it.
Thing is...even though I was supposed to hate the guy...I didn't. Not that that was the problem.
(Cut to Karen and Michael's kitchen. Karen is facing Norma.)
Well, we live together, we sleep together...we are together.
That was the problem.
We know that, honey.
See, maybe you know that, but Dad doesn't know that.
Well, you just have to give him some time.
I mean he...he's stubborn...he's pig-headed...
(Karen looks at Kevin.)
Isn't he, Kevin?
Now, don't talk about your father like that.
Ah, so, uh...
(Michael looks off and pauses, then looks at Kevin.)
Who do you think's gonna be in the superbowl this year? (Smiles.)
I guess life here was about the same as at our house.
(Kevin lifts a bag from the table and frowns.)
Karen you're not being fair. Just...(gestures)...come talk to him.
Mom, I'd love to.
Well, good, then. (Smiles.) But not without Michael.
And we were back where we started.
You know...maybe it wouldn't hurt...
(Michael looks at Karen.)
For you to, ya know, sit down, together. (Frowns.) I mean, he's your father, right? And, he's paying for all the groceries. Right?
(Karen says nothing. Kevion looks off and frowns slightly. Michael looks off, squints slightly, then looks at Karen.)
I think there's another bag in the car. (Nods.)
(He looks at Kevin.)
(The Arnold's are outside the Briarcliff Lodge, where Jack has agreed to have a birthday dinner with Karen and Michael. They head for the entrance.)
Yep. All that remained was awaiting the arrival of loved-ones and friends.
(The group pauses at the sound of a motorcycle, and they look over their shoulders as Michael and Karen pull up.)
Or, the Hell's Angels. Which ever came first.
(Michael sets his helmet on the handlebar, and looks at the Arnold's.)
Hi. Sorry we're late.
They couldn't come in a car?
They don't have a car. (Frowns.)
Hey, Mr. Arnold.
(Jack holds his hands together as Michael holds his out toward him. Michael pauses, then Norma shakes his hand.)
Hi, Michael. (Smiles.)
Looking back, it was quite a moment. Historic, really. After all, we were crossing the Rubicon, here.
(Wayne leans toward Michael slightly.)
(They shake hands.)
You're the guy who's sleeping with my sister, hah?
(Kevin has tipped the maitre d' a dollar to get a good table. It is small, with wooden chairs.)
So, where do we sit?
Well, let me see, uh...(frowns)...how about...(shrugs)...boy-girl, boy-girl? (Smiles.)
There. Sound thinking. What a plan.
(Shot of Jack.)
(The camera passes Karen.)
(The camera passes Wayne.)
(The camera passes Norma.)
(The camera passes Kevin.)
(The camera passes Michael.)
(The camera pauses on Jack.)
(Jack glances toward Michael, and the camera pans back to him. Michael looks off.)
Leading to one unmistakable conclusion.
(Michael looks at Jack.)
Guess we ran out of girls, huh? (Smiles.)
(Karen made a fuss about prime rib being dead cow flesh.)
Who chose this place, anyway?
Dad did. (Points.)
Which left us about, oh, five seconds from meltdown.
So, uh, Mr. Arnold...how are things at...
(Jack turns toward Michael and frowns. Michael glances up quickly.)
Norplant? Norcorp. Norfleet. (Frowns.) Nor...
(Sound of a timer clicking as Michael looks toward Karen, who mouthes "com".)
(Ding of the timer bell as Michael looks at Jack, who glances sideways at Michael.)
(Michael looks uneasily at Jack and nods slightly.)
That's-that's where you work, right?
(He glances down.)
How are things there?
(He licks his lips and looks at Jack, who nods slightly and frowns heavily at Michael.)
Work's work. (Frowns.)
And, back to me.
Well, uh...I have to go to the bathroom.
(He starts to stand up. Michael looks at him.)
Yeah, me too.
(They stand up and start to exit. Cut to the rest room.)
Norcom! (Frowns.) I knew it was Norcom. What is the matter with me?
Look, it wasn't so bad. Really.
Right. I just made a complete fool of myself.
Well, sometimes...my dad can do that to people.
Maybe we should just stay in here awhile, you think?
Obviously this guy needed help.
Look, you'll be fine. It just gets awkward, when you're, you know...
Sleeping with someone's daughter.
The new person.
You mean because I'm sleeping with his daughter? (Nods.)
Well...(shrugs)...there's that. (Smiles.)
If I could just figure out how to talk to the guy. What's he interested in? I mean...(frowns)...besides murder.
So I searched my brain for that one elusive universal language that could somehow forge a bond between men.
What about golf? (Smiles.)
(Cut to the salad bar.)
Sure - Dad loved golf.
My short game's crap, my putting's gone to pot, and last weekend I lost twelve bucks on a three-man Nassau. I hate...golf.
(At the table, Jack opens a present Karen hands him.)
A ratchet set! (Smiles.) I could really use this. Thank you!
(Karen reaches across the table and puts her hand on Michael's.)
It was Michael's idea. (Smiles.)
Guess you say it was kind of the high point of the evening.
(Jack flips the lid closed.)
(Jack put it down, then frowns and rubs his ear.)
Well, gee, Dad - don't get all choked up about it. (Frowns.)
I said "thank you".
Did you see what he just did? (Gestures.) Mom, did you just see?
Come on, Karen, give the guy a break - it's his birthday.
Hey, when I need your help, I'll ask for it.
Look, I was just trying to ease the -
You've done enough, dammit. (Frowns.)
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 90 - "Stormy Weather")
(Jack, Kevin and Wayne are at Michael's front door, to get Karen's stuff.)
It's us. (Smiles.)
She couldn't be here.
She kinda asked us to, uh...
We came to get her loot.
(Kevin elbows Wayne.)
Well, we did, didn't we? (Frowns.)
And with that...
(Cut to inside as Kevin enters and looks around.)
We were through the gates and onto the deck. Of the Titanic.
(Sound of a deep ship's horn. Jack approaches next to Wayne, looks off, and frowns because the living room is very messy.)
Looked kinda like Heartbreak Hotel.
Sorry about the mess.
(Michael picks up a pizza box and a beer bottle.)
I wasn't expecting...(shrugs)...company.
Look, we don't wanna put ya out - we just wanna get Karen's things.
Well, most of her things are upstairs...but, uh...
That'll be fine.
(Jack picks up a box.)
(Wayne follows Jack toward the stairs.)
Still, I couldn't help feeling like Attila the Hun. Seemed like I owed the guy some word of consolation.
Sorry about all this.
(Michael shrugs slightly and looks off, then sniffs and frowns.)
So much for consolation. It was time to get packing.
(Upstairs in the house.)
It was time to get packing. Not that that was gonna be easy...in the middle of the lucky couple's bedroom.
So...this is were it all happened. (Nods.)
Sorry. Didn't have a chance to make the bed.
Clearly, there was only one thing to do. Load up, and move out.
So...(smiles)...where do we start?
(Wayne approaches Michael, holding up a camping tent.)
How about this?
That's our tent. (Frowns.) Karen and I were supposed to go to Mount Pine next week...for our first anniversary.
Michael...you think you can help us out with this?
Course it was pretty clear...the guy really didn't have a choice.
Well...(sighs)..she keeps most her things in there. The top two drawers.
And with that, we crossed the Rubicon. And reached...the wall...of underwear.
(Cut to the sidewalk. Jack has the car trunk open as Michael trots down the steps.)
Still, an hour later...we were on our way.
Let's get outta here. (Gestures.)
With Karen's life...in boxes.
Mr. Arnold, wait! I can't let you do this.
Michael...we're goin'. (Nods.)
Fine, then...I'll go with you.
Well, I just can't let this happen, can I? I mean, just because we had an argument...doesn't mean you move out of someone's life, do ya?
I mean, you know how she is. She's stubborn, and...pig-headed...(gestures)...she won't listen to anybody. What would you do? (Gestures.)
Now understand...my dad was a patient man. A private man. A good man. But he was no Ann Landers.
Look, Michael...(gestures)...what you do is your business. All I know is I never wanted you two...(gestures)...livin' like this in the first place.
(He raises his eyebrows and gestures with both arms.)
And with that...we'd reached the bottom line.
Yeah, neither did I.
What did you say? (Frowns.)
Well, that's what the fight was about. (Frowns.) Didn't she tell you? I wanted to marry her. (Nods.)
(Kevin and Jack enter the Arnold kitchen. Karen is setting the table.)
Did you get all my things?
Yeah, I think we got everything.
(Jack smiles at Karen and glances at Kevin.)
Yep. Books, records...underwear...
(Norma looks toward the window, then looks at Jack, slightly puzzled. Karen turns toward Jack and frowns slightly.)
Plus a few things that maybe weren't on the list.
(Michael enters and pauses. Karen frowns and looks down.)
(Karen looks off, drops some silverware into the drawer next to her, and looks at Jack.)
I don't believe you. (Exits.)
And, in the glow of that heart-warming moment...there was only one thing to say.
(Michael sighs slightly in embarrassment, glances at the guys, then looks at Norma.)
So...(shrugs)...what's for dinner? (Smiles.)
(Fade to dinner. Karen is absent.)
And so, we sat down to sup. The traditional Arnold nuclear family unit...plus...the man who came to dinner.
The meatloaf is delicious, Mr. Arnold. (Gestures.)
It was kinda like having a two-ton elephant at the table. Not that we couldn't be hospitable about the whole thing.
You know, Michael, I...really wasn't expecting you here. (Smiles.)
Yeah...I guess not. (Snorts.)
So...(smiles)...why are you here? (Nods.)
Simple. Uh, Dad invited him.
(Jack frowns and quickly looks at Wayne.)
(Jack smiles uncomfortably.)
No, Norma. I, uh...didn't...invite him.
No! (Frowns.) He didn't invite me.
Yeah. Mom, he just...
(Karen approaches behind Norma.)
And it was time for another lovebird serenade.
Hi. Look, Karen...why don't we take a walk and talk this over?
There's nothing to talk about.
What does that mean? (Frowns.)
Karen...all I did...(frowns)...was ask you to marry me.
(Norma is looking down, then looks at Michael, slightly surprised.)
I beg your pardon?
Norma, I was gonna...
Fine, Michael. You want to talk about it? (Frowns.) Let's talk about it. Marriage is an antiquated, male-centered institution. And...(frowns)...I don't believe in it!
Institution? (Frowns.) Karen, this is you and me! Not some...(shrugs)...building.
Fine. You can make a joke of it.
Karen - I am not joking.
Yes, you are, Michael.
Wait. (Gestures.) Please.
But if Mom meant to untie the tangle here...
It seems to me...
Look. It's really very simple...I don't want to spend the rest of my life making meatloaf...(gestures)...and mashed potatoes.
The tangle got worse.
Karen, why do you always have to be like this? (Frowns.)
See? You're already trying to change me!
I am not!
Michael? I want you to leave. Now.
(Michael looks down as he frowns and nods slightly, then looks at Karen and stands up. He pulls his jacket off the chair, then walks toward Karen.)
(Michael is starting his motorcycle in the driveway as Kevin trots out after him.)
Maybe it was dumb I went out there, but he was I guy I admired, and I didn't want him to just leave.
You're not gonna just go like this, are you? (Gestures.)
I don't think she really left me a choice.
Yeah, but...I've known my sister all my life. (Shrugs.) She never means anything she says.
(Michael shrugs slightly.)
Well, nice try, anyway.
I'm pretty sure...(nods)... she meant it, Kevin. (Frowns.)
I dunno...it just seemed I should say something to make this better. Something about men. And women. And human relationships.
Maybe she'll change her mind.
Yeah. (Nods.) Well...(Shrugs.) Thanks for the advice. (Nods.)
(Michael rides off.)
(Michael has returned at night and is standing resolutely in the yard in the rain. Karen reluctantly goes out to meet him.)
Like I said...anything really important that happened at my house...happened in the middle of the night.
Nah...(Gestures.) A little. (Nods.)
(Karen holds out a thermos.)
What took you so long?
(They smile and hug.)
In a way, it was a relief to all of us. We weren't really good at things like romance. We were better at marbles, and eight-legged science projects.
Look, Karen...I don't care...(frowns)...about getting married...being married. I just...want us to be together.
What took you so long?
(They hug again.)
Ten days later...Karen asked Michael to marry her. And he accepted.
See also "Full Transcript"
(Ep 91 - "The Wedding")
(Kevin, Norma and Jack are sitting in the back seat of Michael's van, behind a bead curtain. Norma wears a nice dress, and the guys wear suits, all looking somewhat uncomfortable.)
So, what do you think? (Smiles.)
It's...nice honey. (Smiles.)
Yeah! We got a real deal on it. Michael's gonna paint it and fix it up. Aren't you, Michael?
Uh, yeah. Sure.
(Wayne leans forward between Norma and Jack.)
Well...whatever you do...don't get rid of the mattress back here.
(Wayne makes a little face, and and "OK" sign with his fingers.)
Face it. The Arnold family was undergoing a radical shift.
(Michael grinds the gears.)
We were in a period of readjustment. A state of...flux.
(At a church.)
So...what kind of a ceremony do we have in mind?
Well, we haven't really...(gestures)...talked about it, but...
We thought...(gestures)... something simple. But, traditional. (Smiles.)
(Outside the church. Karen did not like the minister, or Norma's wedding plans.)
Mr. Arnold? Do you think you could...(Gestures.)
(Jack raises both arms.)
Ah, ah, ah. Don't ask me - I just pay the bills.
(Jack walks off. Kevin and Michael look after him.)
This is going great, so far - don't you think?
Mmmmm. I know what you mean. You want me to talk to him?
No. (Frowns.) It doesn't make sense. Why can't we just get married...(gestures)...and go on with our lives? (Frowns.)
But even I knew enough about weddings to know they weren't about getting married.
(In the living room, Norma has made tailoring adjustments to her own wedding dress, which Karen is wearing.)
Mother, no! (Frowns.) I can't do this! I-I can't wear this dress...and I can't have this kind of wedding! We have to do it our own way. (Frowns.) Can't you understand that?!
And finally...the truth had been told.
This...isn't what you want?
(Karen looks off and shrugs as she shakes her head slightly.)
And with that, the great Arnold prenuptial crisis of nineteen-seventy-two...
(Cut to the curb. Kevin is at the open passenger door of the VW as Michael starts it.)
Passed into history.
(Michael looks at Kevin and smirks slightly, then looks off and puffs out his cheeks. Kevin hands an aluminum foil-covered bowl toward Michael.)
This must be a relief, huh?
I mean, making your own plans. Having the wedding at your house, and all.
(Michael looks forward and leans back.)
Heck. Seemed to me, the lines of communication...
(Kevin looks over his shoulder at Karen, Norma and Jack on the porch.)
Had been firmly re-established.
Karen! You ready?!
I'll be right there! (Gestures.)
In fact, the only one who didn't seem convinced...was the groom-to-be.
Michael? You OK?
Can you keep a secret?
I got a job.
Well...that's great! (Smiles.)
And it was. At least I thought it was.
There's just one thing. (Nods.) It's in Alaska.
OK, Michael! I'm ready.
(Karen walks in front of Kevin.)
Bye, Kev. (Smiles.)
(Karen gets in the car and looks at Michael.)
(Michael looks past Karen toward Kevin, then backs up the car.)
And right about then...I knew for sure what I should have guessed all along.
We weren't gaining an in-law...
We were losing a family.
(During the ceremony.)
And who brought Karen into being and now presents her to be united with Michael?
Her mother and I.
(Karen and Norma hug, then Karen turns toward Jack, and hugs him as he pats her on the back.)
I watched my father give away his only girl...to a stranger he hardly knew.
(Fade to Kevin holding a ring in each hand.)
I said goodbye, myself.
Although they are separate, they will always be together.
(Kevin hands the rings to Michael. Michael and Karen face each other.)
We are as one.
(Karen takes a ring, and looks at Michael.)
One pain, one joy.
One coming together, for all our lives.
One dream of tomorrow.
It is more than love.
It is life.
(Karen slides a ring on Michael's finger.)
(Michael slips a ring on Karen's finger.)
One being. Together.
Looking back, maybe it all seems a little silly. But being there, in those passing moments...I saw that something real and important was happening. Not just for Michael and Karen...but for all of us.
Also see "Full Transcript"
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