Ally Mcbeal s04e08 Episode Script

The Man with the Bag

John? Nelle.
Everything all right? Well, actually no.
My father was just let go from his job and he's determined to bring suit for wrongful termination.
It'll be a tough case.
You're the only one I know who could conceivably win it.
Why was he fired? He believes he's Santa Claus.
All right.
- His job was? - A schoolteacher.
He used to be a lawyer.
He retired from that at 65 and began teaching.
It's his life.
If he can't teach Wouldn't it behoove him to stop saying he's Santa Claus? Well, yes.
But he really thinks he is.
I'd like to bring an injunction first thing.
Would you meet with him? Yeah, sure.
Dad? John Cage my father.
A pleasure, John.
Claus? Oh, please.
Call me Kriss.
I've been down this road The Man with a Bag Walking the line That's painted by pride And I have made mistakes in my life That I just can't hide Oh, I believe I am ready For what love has to bring I got myself together Yeah, now I'm ready to sing I've been searching my soul tonight I know there's so much more to life Now I know I can shine a light To find my way back home Oh, baby, yeah Oh, yeah First up, the Christmas party tonight.
Again, we've rented out the bar.
Presence is required.
- Speaking of which, where's Nelle? - Working on a new case.
Move along.
It's always been tradition for us to sing at the Christmas party.
Anyone with a number is free to sing.
After last year's nightmare, we've decided to discontinue that tradition.
- Thank God.
- What happened last year? Ally sang.
Songs must now be cleared in advance.
- Hey, I was good.
- Well John, Nelle needs you.
She said it's urgent.
Excuse me? Mr.
Claus San Kriss.
We agreed you wouldn't dress in the work clothes Why deny what I am? I'm no lawyer.
Well, I used to be, and I was good but once you start admitting vulnerability on the merits you're sunk.
And for me to try to disguise or apologize for who or what I am The thing is, you have been discharged for being delusional.
If we walk in with you dressed like this the judge will think you are, in fact, delusional.
It may be his shortsightedness, but he'll rule from it.
As your lawyer, I want you to adhere to courtroom decorum.
Put on a coat and tie.
Wait outside, Dad.
I'll be right with you.
Are you sure it isn't Alzheimer's? The doctors say it isn't.
It's just some kind of weird schizophrenia It happened last Christmas too.
- We'll need his doctor to testify.
- He's ready.
Nelle, are you doing him any favor here by He happens to be a great teacher.
And it's the only thing since my stepmother died.
Teaching is all he lives for.
- He doesn't live for you? - Yes, but the truth is, he's probably closer to his 2nd graders than to me.
He really thinks he's Santa Claus? Apparently so.
You said I should decorate.
I did.
But this is slightly much.
Wait, you have to see it.
Okay? Now, you right here.
- Perfect.
- What are you doing? Now, that's the great one.
Look up.
I suppose this would be where you kiss me? Obviously this has happened to you before.
This would be where I kiss you.
Hi, Larry.
Jamie! This is your office? Ally, Jamie.
Jamie, Ally.
- Hello.
- Hello.
Jamie is an old girlfriend.
Ally would be the new one.
- Hey.
- Hi.
- Nice to see you.
- Hi.
- What brings you? - Business.
I'm in a deposition.
I fly out tonight.
I just thought I'd surprise you.
Seems I accomplished that.
- You're from out of town? - Detroit.
Well, must be really cold in Detroit.
- So you must be - Sam's mom.
- I've heard a lot about you.
- I've heard a lot about you too.
- You have? - He loves you.
Jamie! - You haven't told her? - I was gonna let you break it.
Do you have time for coffee? - No.
I mean - Well You guys go and catch up.
I have to get back anyway and - I'll see you tonight.
- Absolutely.
It was really nice to meet you.
You too.
- Bye.
- Bye.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- Bye.
- Bye.
- She seems really sweet.
- Yeah, she is.
So you're happy? - You left them there? - What could I do? Put that bitch back on a plane to Detroit, that's what.
You don't leave exes in the same room.
- Why was she even there? - She's here on business.
- What does she look like? - She's really beautiful.
- I'm going over there.
- Renee! Listen to me.
Nothing's hotter than making love to someone you're not supposed to.
Especially from out of town.
Especially around the holidays.
You still got a window.
He can say it was before you and he got serious.
He can say it was before you and he slept together.
I know men.
Why do you think I'm not with one? She is in town on business.
She dropped over to say hello.
You will not go there.
What if he goes there? Even if he were adjudicated as delusional there's no evidence it interferes with his ability to work.
He thinks he's Santa Claus.
Maybe it's better for teachers to think they're Santa than Joan Crawford.
"The" Santa Claus? If I think I'm Barry White, it doesn't make me a less capable attorney.
We entrust him with our children.
A school is responsible If he is detrimental to the students, that's one thing.
But he is not.
- The one from the North Pole? - Yeah, the one Do you know of another? I'm not a judge you can get snappish with.
If he were the Easter Bunny, I admit, it might be a problem.
But Mr.
Cage! At minimum, I insist on an evidentiary hearing to see if he poses a risk before you snatch away his livelihood.
Look, if the man is so delusional One lousy hearing.
He'll bring you a toy.
Two o'clock.
- John! - Ally, hi.
- This is - My father.
Daddy, Ally McBeal.
There's something in the store window.
Tell me if you like it.
- What was that about? - Oh, it's - Where are you headed? - Over to Larry's.
But I keep turning back and What's wrong? Oh, nothing, really.
His ex-girlfriend's there.
She's in town for a day.
Big deal.
Right? They're old news, so I should be cool.
Mother of his child.
So what? She's in town for one day and they're alone? Yes.
I'm sure it's fine.
- Obviously you're not sure.
- I can't speak to this.
I don't know the depth of your relationship.
Are you serious, you and Larry? Very.
Without prying, have you been biblical? Why is that so important? Can't we be serious without the damn Bible? I'm sure it's innocent.
Never mind.
Should old acquaintance be forgot And Sing? You and me? I'm tired of everyone else performing with no attention coming to us.
- Coffee bean, we have no talent.
- So what? When you see performers on TV, they're lip-synching.
We could do that.
- I don't know.
- You're senior partner, I'm first lady.
We should hog spotlight.
It has nothing to do with rebound.
I like your company.
It's a party.
I'd like you to be my date.
You'll be ashamed to be seen with me and my promiscuity.
I won't, okay? - What if I wear my Vi-Bra? - Were you planning to? I have made a few holiday adjustments.
Knock, knock.
Was it weird? Oh, well - Was it for you? - A little.
Thanks for being a good sport.
You were very kind.
Well, she seemed nice.
She is.
Listen, she's got a flight out tonight at midnight.
I said it would be okay if she came to the party.
Is it okay? Sure.
I didn't know how to say no.
But if you're uncomfortable, I will.
She'll understand.
No, it's okay.
Just, no dancing with her.
She's not here because she heard you had a new girlfriend and became jealous? She dumped me.
I don't think she'd be jealous.
Not the answer you were looking for.
Let me repeat, he's been a wonderful teacher.
The kids love him.
We all adore him, but he's delusional.
Should I wait until something tragic happens to remove him? Afraid he'll run his sleigh through a red light? I have a responsibility to make sure my teachers are stable.
Assuming arguendo that any of us are truly stable has he exhibited behavior indicating? - He thinks he's Santa! - I don't mean who he is.
There have been no incidents yet.
Thank you, Mr.
It's difficult enough to prevail without choo-choo trains.
Are you trying to lose? I thought the more we keep the Christmas spirit alive the better our chances.
This is a court of law.
That is a judge.
The spirit of Christmas does not live in that room.
What we need is sanity.
We need you to seem reasonable.
Can you be reasonable? Listen to me.
He thinks he's Santa Claus.
Porter if this is a game, it's time to call it off.
It's not a game.
Though the diagnosis doesn't exactly fit his condition resembles the disorder schizophreniform.
What is that, doctor? It's similar to schizophrenia, except the duration can be much shorter.
He suffered some delusional problems a year ago.
Then they went away.
It's possible he could be having some depression triggered by the holidays.
His wife died two years ago.
Porter is otherwise a functional person? - Totally.
- Now, doctor has this disorder caused him to behave in any way that you consider harmful to children? No.
In fact, the symptoms seem to be generosity, charity, kindness.
And he's more loving.
But this schizophreniform is a very inexact disorder, isn't it? Yes.
- Difficult to even predict behavior? - I guess, but In fact there's little information on the course of this disorder.
Objection! Counsel's questions are designed to derive responses that inure to the detriment of my client's case.
It's really inappropriate Yes.
Doctor, you said he suffered delusions last Christmas as well? Yes, but they were much less pronounced.
He said he would have waves where he thought he was Santa Claus.
But the episodes lasted - It's getting worse? - Perhaps.
Has he suffered any other delusions? One day in July he thought he was Alvin.
- Alvin? - The chipmunk.
- It's a disaster.
- It is? Renee's right.
Nothing's more appetizing than an old girlfriend.
Look, I trust Larry, all right? And if I didn't trust him, why would I want to be with him? I'm not jealous.
Oh, Ally Jamie.
What? Hi! Ling, Jamie.
Jamie, Ling.
Have you got a second? Sure.
Ling was just she was just leaving.
She's just I won't take much of your time.
Larry invited me to your party out of courtesy.
He said it was okay with you but I thought I'd better check.
Is it all right? Sure.
It'll be fun.
Seriously, if it's at all awkward No.
It'll be really nice to get to know the mother of his child.
- You think you two will get married? - What? No.
Well, I mean No, we just We just sort of started, you know - Sleeping together? - No, we I think it'll be okay if you come to the party.
It'll be great.
- It's insane.
- Ally.
Old girlfriends don't pop in only to be invited to Christmas parties.
She was asking if we were getting married.
That's pretty personal.
I think her agenda is to get you back.
Which is fine.
She has that right.
I've tried to steal a few back.
I know the game.
But I'd be an idiot to welcome her into my playing field.
And she is cute, with a good figure.
How many women have a baby then still have a body like that? You don't, unless you have a mission.
If her mission is you, she won't succeed at my party.
- Ally.
- And she is really, really sweet.
Which actually threatens me most of all, because I know I'm not.
I'll call Jamie and tell her not to come.
You have her number? She left me her cell.
I'd feel foolish.
I'm okay with her coming.
No, she should be there.
It wouldn't be the same without her.
Just stay close to me.
We just have your testimony, some brief statements, then he'll rule.
The judge says we can finish tonight.
Let's just do it then.
Likely to miss the Christmas party.
- Do you mind? - I don't if you don't.
I don't exactly feel like celebrating.
Claus? Please, John.
I asked you to call me Kriss.
In preparation for your testimony, just a couple of questions.
It's December 11 th.
Have you started making toys? Are you nuts? I'm retired.
Who makes all the presents? Toys "R" Us.
Parents buy them now.
They also take care of the distribution.
I have been basically pushed into a forced retirement.
So you don't really count anymore? Of course I count.
I'm something to believe in.
Flying reindeer.
Stockings stuffed on the mantlepiece.
The magic of Christmas.
The fantasy of it.
Of course I count.
These times, they need me more than ever.
Turn back, O man Foreswear thy foolish ways Old now is Earth And none may count her days Da, da, da, da, da - The woman is all sex, isn't she? - And more.
It's from Godspell.
Remember when we did Godspell in college? We did Godspell in college.
He was Jesus, which I'd call him at home too, after the Second Coming.
Love her.
Jamie? Oh.
God, I forgot.
Forswear thy foolish ways - Would you state your name? - Santa Claus.
And where do you reside? Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Are you employed? I'm not.
And that's what this whole business is about.
I was a teacher until they fired me.
- And before you were a teacher? - I was a lawyer.
And while you were a practicing attorney you still had time to make presents for children all over the world? That's correct.
- When did you find time to do that? - In my sleep.
In your sleep? I know it sounds fantastical.
But that's exactly what it was.
I'd be transported in my sleep to another world.
A world with elves and workshops and reindeer.
It was not in this reality.
But one night every year on Christmas Eve the two worlds would meet, and I would give the toys I'd made in that world to children who lived in this one.
Teaching, you're in this world? Oh, very much so.
This other world, this magical one you go to that one in your sleep? Not so much anymore.
I'm retired.
- You tell 2nd graders you're Santa? - I do.
How do they respond? Mostly they ask for toys.
As Santa, you have to keep track of kids all over the world? That's correct.
- Do I have children? - You have to ask? I'm asking you, sir, because as Santa, I'd expect you to know.
Do I have children? Yes.
- How many? - Three.
I have four.
I was forgetting the baby.
I remembered Tommy, Wayne and Sarah.
And I forgot the baby.
With a name like Nicholas, I should remember.
Well, that's why it's best that I retired.
Uh, okay.
What do they want for Christmas? The list is endless.
And pretty diverse.
- Tell me one thing they want.
- To spend more time with their father.
Claus, do I have children? One, Your Honor.
A teenager.
He doesn't like you.
Obviously he went out and looked up our bios.
- Or this is a trick.
- I object! Accusations of chicanery in court are serious.
- I demand to be mollified.
- Withdrawn.
When students ask what day it is, what do you say? - I tell them it's Christmas.
- Every day? Every day.
And is it Christmas today, sir, or December 11 th? Well, that depends.
On what? Well, on whether you consider the needs of children.
Or whether you remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old.
Or whether you can stop asking how much your friends love you and ask whether you love them enough.
Then you may keep Christmas every day.
Rockin ' around the Christmas tree At the Christmas party hop Mistletoe hung where you can see Every couple tries to stop Rockin ' around the Christmas tree Let the Christmas spirit ring She's pretty good.
Well, she studied dance, so I meant Elaine.
Oh, yeah, she is good.
- You okay? - Me? Sure.
Rockin ' around the Christmas tree Have a happy holiday It's a mistake to follow this kind of talent.
Richard, we're good.
You've heard us.
Ling, that wasn't us.
It's our lips.
If we sync them perfectly, nobody'll know it's not us.
I think they'll suspect.
Look at her, she's good.
Jingle bells, jingle all the way Come on, Santa.
I was a good girl this year.
You know that's right.
It's about me.
Excuse me? My favorite character when I was a little girl was Alvin.
My birthday's in July.
One time we had Alvin and the Chipmunks.
When my parents split up the final straw, my father had to be away on Christmas.
I cried and cried.
When he got home, my mother laid into him and they were separated by New Year's.
And that has something to do with him thinking he's Santa? Well, you know, Santa's everything to a kid.
It could be a delusion that I don't know.
Well, maybe it's fixable.
Maybe you two can have a relationship.
I wouldn't even know how to talk to him.
The last time we had a real conversation, I was 7 years old.
The day he left.
In his testimony, he quoted a poem by Henry Van Dyke.
What? When he said through loving people, you could keep Christmas every day.
That's from one of my favorite poems.
Henry Van Dyke.
If you can keep it for a day, why not always? Left out the last line, though.
Which was? You can never keep it alone.
Hey, hey, Paula I wanna marry you Hey, hey, Paula No one else could ever do Is he kidding? I'm not sure.
They've got to be kidding.
I don't know.
For you Hey, Paul I've been waiting for you Hey, hey, hey, Paul I want to marry you too Hey.
Need some help? No.
Maybe, yeah.
So? So You okay? Well, I suppose I've been better.
When I was with you.
I lied.
There was no deposition.
I want to be a family again.
I've been reading about what breakups do to kids long-term.
Sam seems okay but what if he's not? I think we should try again.
For Sam's sake? And mine.
I still love you.
And I know you still love me.
True love means Planning a life for two You can count on me There'll be snow and mistletoe Do you think this is fair? No.
I was on my way to work.
I saw the airport, and next thing I know I'm boarding a plane.
Jamie, you and I were great in situations like this.
- In a bar, or - In bed.
But we weren't compatible in any other I wasn't jealous when you got married.
I was nothing but happy for you.
Then last week when you spoke of her and this morning in the office when I saw her.
There's something different about Ally, isn't there? I knew.
I could sense I'd be losing you forever.
That's why I got on the plane.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I couldn't help but overhear.
Were you talking about Ally? What do you want? I just thought you might want to know she left.
She went upstairs.
She said she'd be back, but I wonder.
Oh, by the way, I'm not loving you as much.
He's ill.
The man thinks he's a fictitious character.
Is there any question here? He's entrusted with the care of children.
He has a psychological disorder.
It's getting worse.
He's already delusional.
Why are we debating this? We're debating it because he hasn't done anything wrong.
He's been fired because of a fear of what he may do.
Now, that's illegal.
Cage, we're dealing with children.
The point is, do we want to sit back and wait? If tragedy were foreseeable, the answer would be no.
But according to Dr.
Shulman, the symptoms of this "progressive disorder," thus far have been: Kindness, charity and love.
Quick, hit the panic button before it escalates.
Come on, he thinks he's Santa Claus.
And forgive me.
Forgive me, Your Honor.
But has anybody proven he isn't? I mean who is Santa Claus? There was this famous letter to the New York Sun in 1897 where an 8-year-old girl asked the editor, "Is there a Santa Claus? Because all my friends tell me it's stupid to believe.
" And the answer she got was, "Santa Claus exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.
" It went on to say: "How could you not believe in Santa? How dreary.
You might as well stop believing in fairies.
" Is faith real? Is glory? Now, what about the magic of a newborn baby? Is that real? The editor of this newspaper said it best.
"Of course Santa Claus lives, and thank God he lives.
May he live forever and ever to make glad the heart of childhood.
" Today he lives in the heart of Henderson Porter.
His only crime has been bringing extra wonder to his students making their lives a little more magical a little more romantic.
Now, he's caused them to keep Christmas every single day? How much more of a Santa Claus could anybody be? Old Mr.
Kringle Is Still gonna jingle The bells that'll tinkle All your troubles away Everybody's waiting for the man with the bag, 'cause Christmas is coming - He's gonna rule tonight? - Eleven o'clock.
Gave us an hour.
What did I miss? Larry and his ex-girlfriend got a bit chummy.
We think they left together.
What? Where's Ally? She fled to her office.
Put a damper on the party.
Can we dance? I've still got a little adrenaline from our number.
Well, I thought we'd have sex.
Everybody's waiting for the man with the bag, Christmas is here again Catching up on a little work? No, you two just seemed like you were into something, so It's difficult for me to be selfish or possessive, because Well, you're co-parents.
You have a little boy together.
Is that what you two were talking about? Parenting? Sort of.
She wants to be a family again.
In part, for the sake of Sam.
In part.
Well, there is a little kid to think of.
What did you say? I agreed.
If there's any way we could work it out, we should.
But I didn't think there was any way, since I was so totally in love with somebody else.
She's probably on her way to the airport.
I'm still capable of making mistakes, but leaving you isn't one of them.
I don't know what to say.
Don't say anything.
Let's go downstairs.
You promised I wouldn't be alone for Christmas.
You'd better make good.
This is a tough one.
Porter is obviously ill.
To let a man with a mental disorder teach 2nd graders? Clearly the benefit of the doubt goes to the children.
But I am also mindful we have a shortage of teachers today.
Especially the magical kind.
Since there's a teacher's aide in the room also and since he's done nothing wrong thus far I see no basis for terminating a teacher because he's Santa Claus.
Petitioner's TRO is granted.
We're adjourned.
- I don't believe it.
- Neither do I.
- I can teach? - You can teach, Daddy! Wow.
Wow! I thank you both so much! Dad.
Daddy, how about I walk you home? - To Wellesley? - No, to my place.
Spend the night.
You haven't seen my apartment, have you? Well, you don't have a chimney.
Let's go.
Thank you for your incredible heart.
Thank you.
Let him see yours now.
Maybe it's much too early in the game Oh, but I thought I'd ask you Just the same What are you doing New Year's New Year's Eve? I see what you mean.
Holidays are stressful.
Why? Anything happen? Funny.
What? Nothing.
- Merry Christmas.
- Yeah.
You stinker!
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