As Time Goes By (1992) s05e02 Episode Script

502 - Lionel's Ex-Wife

# You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # They're never her own, are they? No way.
Well, at least I hope not.
Her legs are six feet long, as well.
Let's console ourselves with the fact that, intellectually, she's a vacuum.
- We don't know that, do we? - No, but we can think it.
- Why didn't somebody wake me? - Mum, you don't have to be in first thing.
- Don't start.
- You don't believe that, do you? Good gracious! No, of course I don't.
That's what we thought.
Right, we're off.
Don't bother with supper for us tonight.
We're going out with Alistair.
- Again? - Yeah, why? - Nothing.
- We'll open up the shop.
Don't worry, we shan't make executive decisions until the big gun gets in.
I don't like being described as an artillery piece.
- Top dog, then? - That's worse.
Let's go before Lionel sees what we've done to the paper.
- Not covered in jam again, is it? - No, but it is in two bits.
But two very tidy bits.
Bye, Lionel.
- Bye.
- Bye.
No chance of getting the paper delivered to our bedroom door? Not unless we give the paperboy the front door key.
I'm just having coffee.
Do you want toast? Lionel? - Hmm? - Do you want toast? - Fine, thank you.
- You don't believe that? I hadn't really asked myself that.
Men are so easily taken in.
- Yes.
- She won't come to life, you know.
Just as well.
Be embarrassing, the two of you fighting over me.
Judy and Sandy are going out with Alistair this evening.
- That sentence is left hanging in the air.
- They seem to be going out a lot lately.
- Yes? - Yes, well - Well what? - Don't you think it's odd? - What are you suggesting? - Nothing.
- They are friends.
- Would you go out with two women? - I've never had the chance.
- What's that supposed to mean? I was going against my grain and being flippant.
- I'd sooner you didn't.
- I shan't do it again.
It's just that Judy and Alistair are no longer an item.
I hate that word.
Makes them sound like something on a supermarket shelf.
What if Alistair's roving eye has settled on Sandy? Why does he invite Judy? I'm not really up to these questions in the mornings.
I expect there's a perfectly rational explanation.
- I'm sure there is.
- And it's not really any of our business.
We just leave it alone.
Just have a word with Alistair when you see him.
- Certainly not.
- Don't make it obvious.
I must go.
See you this evening.
- I haven't agreed to - Bye.
"Congratulations, Mr Hardcastle.
You are already a prizewinner.
" Yeah.
Good God.
Come in, Alistair.
I'm home! - Listen there's something Oh.
- Hi, Li.
- Hello, Alistair.
- I found him on the doorstep.
I was in a basket with a note pinned to my chest.
You're early.
The girls aren't in yet.
I had a meet with a Malaysian guy, but he called off with the flu.
Malaysian malaise? Nice one.
I thought I'd drop by and see how you two are.
- We're fine.
- Like a drink? Yes, slimline-still-min please, Li.
I'm fat and driving.
- Jean? - No, thank you.
I've a few things to do.
- Why the sigh, Li? - What? Oh, I was just thinking, um, about Judy and Sandy.
Then you should have a big smile on your face.
- You three seem to be going out a lot.
- We do, don't we? - As a threesome.
- We would be, there are three of us! I don't know what I'm talking about.
Shoot from the hip.
Something bothering you? No.
She's not exactly bothered Well, just a bit, I suppose.
- You done something to upset her? - No! I'm still on the freeway but you've hung a left.
- What? - We're not connecting.
- That's my fault.
- Yes, I know.
All right, look, I think this is what I'm supposed to be saying.
You going out with Judy and Sandy at the same time I can't go any further with that sentence.
I hope you're not thinking what I think you're thinking.
- I'm not sure what I'm thinking.
- Judy and I have become good mates.
- And Sandy, too, I think of her as a mate.
- You do? Li, the millennium looms.
This kind of relationship can function.
- Hello, Lionel.
Hello, Alistair.
- Hello, Lionel.
- Hey, hey! - You're early.
Yes, I cancelled a meeting with a healthy Malaysian guy in order to be early.
We've got to change.
You've got all of five minutes.
Lionel, why are you looking at us like that? Nothing, nothing.
- Right.
We'll get ready then.
- In five minutes.
- Mates? - Just mates.
Well, that's all finished.
What have you two been chatting about? Bye.
Have a nice time.
I can tell you didn't establish anything with Alistair.
I don't know what you wanted me to establish.
- Something! - He says they're mates.
Did you think of girls as mates when you were young? You didn't treat me as a mate.
- I don't think you'd have wanted me to.
- No.
It's just - Can we change the subject? - I am going on a bit, aren't I? No, it isn't that.
I got a letter this morning.
- Oh, not bad news? - Not exactly bad news.
It's from my ex-wife.
I see.
How is she? - You don't care how she is, do you? - Not truthfully, no.
- How'd she know you were living here? - She didn't.
- It was forwarded from my old flat.
- Does she want something? - To see me.
- Oh, I see.
She hasn't displayed the slightest interest in me since the divorce.
- Have you shown an interest in her? - Good God, no.
She says she's in London for a few days and might we meet for a drink.
- Why would she suggest that? - Old times' sake? - We don't have any old times' sake.
- You were married for ten years.
We still don't have any old times' sake.
- Blast! - What? It was forwarded immediately.
Just when you want the post office to be inefficient! Oh, Lionel! Mind you, she's not to know that it was forwarded so quickly.
- That's a very sneaky thought.
- Good one, though.
- You'd never forgive yourself.
- I'd have a damned good try.
- What if she wants help? - Margaret never wanted help.
In ten years of marriage, she never once asked me to zip up her dress.
In any case, I hardly think that suggesting we meet for a drink is a cri de coeur.
- I think you should ring her.
- Say I can't make it? No, I think you should see her.
- This isn't like you.
- What do you mean? Well, you have thrown the odd jealous fit, haven't you? I most certainly have not.
Displayed the odd twinge? Well, perhaps just the odd one.
- But this is different.
- You sure? Yes.
Why should I be jealous of Margaret? You divorced her.
- All right.
We'll see her.
- We? - Did you tell her about me? - No, she doesn't know.
I don't think she'd want me to come.
- I want you to.
- I don't know about that.
It'd be better than sitting at home dying of curiosity, wouldn't it? Go on, ring her and get it over with.
She's called Margaret Butterworth now.
- Is that her maiden name? - No.
Unless she's using an alias, she's remarried.
Poor devil.
She's staying at the Dorchester.
Well, he can't be that poor.
Go on, get on with it.
I'll go into the kitchen.
- Why? - You might feel inhibited with me here.
I feel inhibited anyway.
You won't be listening in on the extension, will you? That remark isn't even worth an answer.
- Dorchester Hotel.
- Yes, good evening.
- Is a Mrs Butterworth staying with you? - Mrs Butterworth? Er yes, she is, sir.
Oh, she is, good.
Um may I speak to her, then, please? Certainly, sir Well, that's that fixed.
- When? - Tonight.
- Tonight? - Get it over with, you said.
Good idea.
I'm peeling potatoes! Take 'em with you.
Get the Dorchester kitchens to finish them off.
You know what I mean.
I can't be ready for 8:30.
- It's an hour and a half away.
- She's had all day to get ready.
She didn't know we were coming.
This is ridiculous.
And don't say I look fine as I am! - Well, you do.
Apart from the pinny.
- Oh! I don't see what all the fuss is about.
We're going for drinks.
It's not a long frock and tiara job, is it? - What if she wears a long frock? - So what? - You're one up in a long frock.
- You wear one.
- What if she doesn't? - Then you'll be one up.
- Making her think I need to be? - I'm in a no-win situation.
You're not in a no-win situation, I'm in a no-win situation! Why do women have this need to impress other women? - They don't.
- No? - Well, just the odd occasion.
- Like present wife meeting ex-wife? - Perhaps you should go on your own.
- Perhaps you should get ready.
- My hair's a mess.
- No, it isn't.
Are you going to contradict me or are you going to get ready? I'll have a shower, then decide whether to wear a short shirt or a long shirt.
You sure we've got the right hotel? Margaret never was a very good time-keeper.
8:30 I said I'd be here.
- I? Not we? - Too much to explain on the phone.
I thought I'd surprise her with you.
I wish I'd worn the first dress I put on.
- I said you looked nice in it.
- I know you did.
I said you looked nice in the second one.
And the third and the fourth.
- You say I look nice in everything.
- Well, you do.
Blinkered, but reassuring.
You shouldn't need reassuring.
You're much cuddlier than Margaret ever was.
Cuddlier? - Prettier.
You've seen her photograph.
- Only an old blurry one.
- She could've changed since then.
- No, she was born middle-aged.
- Stop fiddling.
- Well, I don't like this dress.
Look, there'll be no competition.
Margaret and clothes, they just sort of hang on her.
I don't want to sound unkind but all you have to face is a drab woman.
- Lionel? - Yes? Well, don't you recognise me? Margaret! You look much older.
- Well, I am.
- Yes, I know, but - I didn't know you'd brought a friend.
- I'm not a friend.
I'm a wife.
My second wife.
She would be, of course.
Margaret, this is Jean.
- How do you - Well, let's sit down, shall we? - Um what can I get you to drink? - No, this is with me.
Marco, bottle of Bollinger, four glasses, please.
- You didn't like champagne.
- I didn't like a lot of things.
So, you're married again.
How long ago did that happen? - Just a few months ago.
- Good gracious.
Why "good gracious"? - I don't know why I said that.
- Where's your husband? Butterworth? Pushing up daisies.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
- No, he had a good innings.
He was quite venerable when I married him.
- Was that recently? - Lord, no.
Ages ago.
He died at the tiller of his yacht off Antibes.
- Did he? - Do you sail at all? Well, we've been on the Serpentine a couple of times.
Ah, there you are.
Just slop it about, would you? Put two more bottles on ice in case we get thirsty.
- Is someone joining us? - Yes.
He's my current chap.
He's ghastly.
He takes longer to get ready than I do.
Oh, it's lovely to see you again after all these years, Lionel.
- And Jean.
- Yes.
- It's so nice to meet you.
- Thank you.
Do you do anything or do you just look after Lionel? - I run a secretarial agency.
- Sweet.
You've gone blonde.
I've gone all sorts of things.
- What's your natural colour, Jean? - This.
- Oh, there he is at last.
- Cheers.
Honestly, Gary, you're more vain than I am.
You know I like to look good for you, baby.
Lionel, Jean, meet Gary.
- How do you do? - Pleasure, Lionel.
- Oh.
- Oh, hello.
Great pleasure, Jean.
Gary, stop trying to eat Jean's hand.
Pour some champagne.
Right, yes.
Drink up, you two.
The night is young.
Pour it up to the top, darling.
I'm very thirsty tonight.
No, I mean it! Use the house in Portugal whenever you like! Gary and I are always off somewhere, aren't we, Gary? Mm.
Next week, Barbados.
Gary loves Barbados.
If I don't take him to Barbados at least twice a year, he gets very sulky, don't you, darling? - No, I don't.
- Positively petulant.
- What do you do, Gary? - Do? He's an actor.
He had two lines in an episode of Baywatch last year.
A cameo.
And there's talk of asking me back.
- Lionel's a writer.
- A writer? What do you write? Well, I did a sort of a book.
It was a very good book.
It's still selling very, very, very well.
What's it called? My Life In Kenya.
Really? Am I in it? On and off, yes.
- Lionel's written a film, as well.
- Oh, you are a dark horse.
- What's that about? - It's a sort of a love story, really.
You, writing a love story? Now, that does surprise me.
- It's very special.
- Why?! - Darling, can we eat? I'm hungry.
- You're always hungry! Why don't we all make an evening of it and have supper? Why don't you pick it up, darling? We'd better order a few more bottles.
You said she was drab.
You said she was drab.
Well, she was.
- Really? - Yes, really.
And clothes just hang on her.
You said that.
She's not the same woman.
You mean she's someone impersonating your ex-wife? Of course I don't.
She's She's done something to herself.
From your description, she's had a complete body transplant.
Look, I'm telling you, she's changed.
I was married to her for ten years and I hardly recognised her.
When I asked you about her, why didn't you just say she was very glamorous? I wouldn't have liked it but I could've lived with it.
She never was, that's why.
I married her in Kenya because she was the only single woman within 50 miles.
- Really? - And now you're saying "really" again.
- Well, really! - I don't know what else to say.
It's some sort of impossible metamorphosis.
- Can happen, I suppose.
- You said it was impossible.
- I'm confused.
- Yes.
But I'm not lying.
Why should I lie to you? Look, if Margaret looked like Miss World, I'd have told you.
- Would you? - Well, of course I would.
Or I'd have looked a complete fool when she walked in tonight.
- Yes, that's true.
- At last.
I suppose some women do get more attractive the older they get.
- Having all that money helps a bit.
- Course it does.
- She really was plain? - She really was.
- My God, she can knock it back! - She had two bottles to herself.
When we were married, she made one glass of wine last all evening.
She was very glamorous, though.
Until she started weaving about.
That's thanks to Butterworth's millions, I suppose.
- What did she say he did for a living? - I thought she said he was in feeds.
I thought she said peas.
But you may be right.
- You still look a bit shell-shocked.
- Well, I am.
I mean, that's not the woman I married.
Whizzing around the world, dripping with diamonds.
She's so sure of herself, as well.
I suppose if you're dripping with diamonds, you tend to be.
You haven't mentioned Gary.
- Well, I was being discreet.
- She wasn't.
- They were rather tactile, weren't they? - Mm.
If you were dripping with diamonds, you wouldn't have someone like him in tow? - I don't think you'd like that.
- If you were on your own.
Oh, credit me with some taste.
He's good-looking, but if he has a brain, he did a very good job of hiding it.
I suppose he's what you'd call a toy boy.
Not to put too fine a point on it, he is.
I couldn't do that for a living.
You've left it a bit late.
Honestly, I went tonight expecting to dislike Margaret.
- And? - I'm afraid I did.
You don't have to apologise.
I still wonder why she wanted to see me.
- Old times' sake.
- No.
It means good old times.
We could've chatted about those in five minutes.
She can't have wanted financial help.
It all seemed so pointless.
- Interesting, though.
- Yes, in a macabre sort of way.
Still, it's done.
I don't expect we'll be seeing her again.
I'm glad I met her, though.
It lays a sort of ghost.
When I was married to her, you were the ghost.
- You never told her about me? - Too special.
thinking of that.
- Good night.
- Good night.
If you found a really old lady, you could be a senior toy boy.
Mum I want a quick word while Sandy's in the bath.
Secrets? It's about us both knocking about with Alistair.
It seems to bother you.
Of course it doesn't bother me.
Why should it? Well, I don't know, but it just seems to.
Anyway, I do have a reason for it.
I'm trying, as discreetly as I can, to push Alistair in Sandy's direction.
She's a smashing girl.
Once you get past his ego, he's not a bad chap.
You see? - I suppose I do.
- For goodness' sake, don't tell Sandy.
No, no, of course not.
- Hi, Judy.
- Er, hello, Lionel.
- I've broken the egg whisk.
- What were you whisking? Nothing.
I was getting a spoon, the egg whisk fell on the floor, and I trod on it.
I think we can stand the loss.
Listen, Judy's just told me something odd.
- Should I really hear about this? - She's pushing Sandy in Alistair's way.
- By going out with them? - Yes.
- Does that make any sense to you? - Well, in a sort of way.
- Can I tell you something? - Both of us? Yes, of course both of you.
It's this threesome business.
I know you find it confusing.
- No, no, no, we don't.
- Yes, you do.
- Well, just a little.
- OK.
Look, I know they've drifted apart.
But I still think Judy and Alistair were made for each other.
Judy won't go out with him on her own so I go along with them to, well give them a push in the right direction - do you see? - Do we? - Well in a sort of way.
- Good.
Only don't tell Judy.
- No, no, no, of course not.
Well, that's that cleared up.
- It is? - As far as we're concerned.
As for them, what a muddle.
Don't laugh.
They're young.
I'm not laughing at Judy and Sandy.
I was thinking about Alistair.
He can't know whether he's coming or going.
It almost makes you feel sorry for Alistair.
Come in.
They must be ready by now.
- Be down in a moment.
- Be beautiful for me! If I didn't know you better, I'd say you were smirking.
Me? No.
What's the opposite of tug-of-war? There isn't one.
Push-of-peace is as near as I can get.
You should have seen the faces at Chelsea Harbour last night.
- Did something sink? - No, no, no.
When I walked in with a beautiful woman on each arm - envy! - I can see that.
- Between you and me, it makes a guy feel in control of his life.
- Have a nice evening.
- Yeah, thank you.
Hey, hey! Soon as I get one bit back, another bit pops out.
A bit like life.
- That's a sombre thought.
- Wasn't meant to be.
- Done it again.
- You don't have to mend it.
It's become a sort of a challenge.
You said that before you broke the curtain pole.
- Just before we got married.
- Yes.
- It's got a mind of its own, this thing.
- It doesn't like being trodden on.
Who's that? - Heads or tails? - Tails.
You go.
- Aren't you supposed to toss a coin? - Only in the fair version.
Oh, stupid thing! - It's Margaret.
- Oh.
I should have telephoned.
I hope it's not a bad time.
No, we were just wrestling with an egg whisk.
- Really?! - Dull night on television, you know.
Well, do sit down.
Would you like a drink? Not tonight, no.
We're off to Barbados tomorrow.
Gary says his tan's fading.
- I thought I'd say goodbye.
- I thought we did that last night.
I don't really remember the last half of last night.
I also came to apologise.
Everybody has a drop too much now and then.
I know Lionel does.
I'm not apologising for my drinking.
I quite enjoy that.
I'm apologising for getting back in touch with you.
- It was a bit of a shock.
- It was intended to be.
- I don't understand that.
- I think I do.
- I thought you might.
- You wanted to say "Here I am".
- Here I am? - That's right.
"Here I am.
"Look at me, Lionel.
Look where I've got to.
" That's what I wanted to do.
- I see.
- Only where I've got to I think Gary was the dud ammunition.
Perhaps I should have bought him some toys and left him to play in his room.
Be fair.
I wouldn't call wealth dud ammunition.
No, it isn't.
It can be quite powerful when it's aimed at the right target.
Only you two aren't the right target.
I could take some of your jewellery if it'd make you feel better.
I don't want to feel better.
I'm apologising for my behaviour, not my life.
The truth is, I wanted to show Lionel that I didn't remain the dull, boring wife he always thought I was.
- I don't remember saying that to you.
- I don't think you ever said it.
And I don't think I ever said I found you a dull, boring husband.
He does more exciting things than mend egg whisks.
None of it really matters any more, does it? That's what I realised when I finally surfaced this morning.
Well, places to go.
Goodbye, Lionel.
I don't expect we'll be meeting again.
Goodbye, Margaret.
May I ask you something before you go? Provided it's not about Gary.
No, it's about the late Mr Butterworth.
Did you say he was in feeds or peas? Aeronautics.
I wanted to ask you a question before I go.
Providing it's not about Lionel.
Not directly.
It's about that little film he's written.
It's bound to be a huge success.
What was the question? Oddly enough, I do remember what information I wrung out of you last night.
It's a love story? Just fiction.
Of course.
But you were the girl in it.
Yes, I was the girl in it.
She still is.
Always was, I suppose.
# You must remember this # You must remember this # A kiss is still a kiss # A sigh is just a sigh # The fundamental things apply # As time goes by # And when two lovers woo # They still say I love you # On that you can rely # The world will always welcome lovers # As time goes by #