Becker s02e19 Episode Script

The Bearer of Bad Tidings

1 ( upbeat blues theme playing ) Okay, here's the thing.
I was up all night with my friend who got dumped by her boyfriend.
Yeah, and how is that my problem? Well, I didn't get any sleep all night long.
She was crying and sobbing and moaning.
The only way I could calm her down was to make her a Coffee Surprise.
That's two parts coffee, one part Jack Daniel's.
Well, what's the surprise? It's really five parts Jack Daniel's.
So I'm really sorry, Dr.
Becker.
I'll get back to work.
I had a message written down for Margaret.
I can't seem to find it.
Was it to tell her that Mrs.
Cooper called? Oh, my God, it's like you read my mind.
Yeah, well, some are easier to read than others.
Margaret, I have a message for you.
Is it that Mrs.
Cooper called? Wow, you people are freaky scary.
I won't tell her if you won't.
It's a deal.
All right, who's up? Uh, there's a Mr.
Orvis in One.
Orvis.
Who's that? He's one of Dr.
Heisman's patients.
So, what's he doing here? Heisman's on vacation, and you agreed to cover for him.
Well, why did I do that? So that one day you could go on vacation.
I-I don't go on vacation.
Well, then you screwed yourself.
( door opens ) Mr.
Orvis, I'm Dr.
Becker.
How you doing today? I'll be honest with you.
I'm a little ticked off.
I'd rather see Dr.
Heisman, but he's out of town, so I'm stuck seeing you.
Well, he's on vacation, so-- And I gotta say, your nurse is kind of curt, you already kept me waiting here for 15 minutes, and this office is a dump.
Hey.
I'm not that late.
You wanna tell me why you're here, please? I'm not so sure I want to.
Well, you must be here for a reason.
Look, my problem is of a sensitive nature, and I don't feel comfortable just blurting it out.
Ah, ah.
Well, would you like a little, uh, dinner, dancing first? Ha-ha-ha.
You're a real charmer, aren't you? I'm not the one who walked in here and called my place a dump.
Excuse me, I'm upset.
I happen to have a little medical problem.
And I'm trying to find out what that is.
Well, I'm not so sure we know each other well enough for me to tell you.
All right.
"Pain in the ass.
" Okay.
So you guessed.
Oh, uh, all right.
Welldrop your pants, and I'll-- I'll take a look.
Whoa, whoa.
Easy, Cindy.
What's the rush? I'll tell you what.
Why don't you, uh, slip into something a little more comfortable, and, uh, so will I.
( blues theme playing ) ( blues theme playing ) What's that? Oh, it's a little slow, so I thought I'd borrow a magazine.
"Borrow?" Don't worry.
I'll put it back.
Okay.
( squeaks ) And now what was that? What was what? That sound.
I was just getting the magazine to lay flat.
I can't believe it.
You're a spine breaker.
A "spine breaker"? Yeah, you break the spines of magazines.
There's a name for that? Yeah, in the magazine business, we have names for all you people.
You got the spine breaker, the page creaser, the finger licker, the thumb smudger.
All right, all right.
I'll put it back.
Jeez, this never bothered you before.
Before? Reg, you've done this before? Magazines are like lovers.
I mean, nobody wants to think that somebody's been there before them.
Well, when it comes to magazines, I'm-- I'm just a slut.
Fine.
Make fun.
( clears throat ) Mmm.
What are you doing? Just browsing.
And how am I supposed to sell it now? What? I put it back.
Besides, it's never bothered you before.
( intense blues theme playing ) I couldn't help noticing that you only have coffee.
Elaine in Dr.
Heisman's office always has a nice selection of herbal teas.
Yes.
A number of people have mentioned that.
Elaine also has fresh-baked muffins.
Yes, I know.
A number of people have mentioned that too.
When I had the flu, Elaine brought me chicken soup.
Homemade.
I love Elaine.
Yes, apparently everyone loves Elaine.
Hey, Margaret.
Here.
You see these charts from Heisman's office? His nurse-- What's--? What's her name? Elaine.
Yeah.
Yeah, yeah, that's it.
Look at her handwriting.
It's like calligraphy.
I mean, you should try to write more like that.
How's that? Well, that's-- That's not very nice at all.
Hi.
I'm looking for Linda.
( sobbing ) What are you doing here? I'm so sorry.
I just don't wanna be alone.
LINDA: Oh, I would've stayed with you, but I had to come to stupid work.
Ever since Steve left me, I just can't be alone.
Can I stay here with you? Sure, no problem.
UhLinda? BOTH: Yes? No, no.
I meant Linda.
BOTH: Yes? You're both named Linda? BOTH: Yes.
I just got that same creepy feeling I had in med school watching a cell divide.
Okay, here's the thing.
Remember my friend I told you about who got dumped and was really upset? ( sobbing ) Yeah, let-- Let me guess.
That's her.
Yeah.
Well, I'm sorry.
She can't stay here.
Oh, she won't get in the way.
In fact, she could help out.
She could do half of my work.
Doing half your work is what you do.
( sniffles ) I promise, she'll be okay.
You'll be okay, right? No.
( sobbing ) She'll be okay.
( wailing ) Of all the things we needed around here, another Linda was not one of them.
Uh, John, wait a second.
( sighs ) We got a call about one of Dr.
Heisman's patients, a Mr.
Tompkins.
What's his problem? He's dead.
Well, I-- I can't fix that.
Eighty-two years old, chronic heart condition, in a convalescent home for the last six months.
He went into cardiac arrest this morning.
You're gonna have to call the family.
Oh.
I gotta tell you, that's the worst part of this job.
I never get used to it.
Oh.
Damn answering machine.
Yeah, uh, this is, uh, Dr.
John Becker at 555-0199.
Um I-I'm filling in for a Dr.
Heisman, and I need you call me back as soon as you get this message.
Thank you.
Why does everything happen to me? It's a shame that dead man isn't around to feel sorry for you.
( mellow blues themeplaying ) ( door opens ) ( ripping page ) What was that? I just tore a coupon out of this magazine.
You what? Relax.
It's mine.
I bought it down the street, and I can do whatever I want to it.
Oh, I see.
You buy from someone else.
You just borrow from me.
And now I am licking my fingers and turning the pages.
Licking and turning, and licking and turning, and licking and turning I wonder how many people handled that magazine before you started licking it.
Uh, I think I'll have a little lunch.
Maybe a sandwich? Fine.
What do you want? A good one.
That's why I bought it from down the street.
Oh, real nice.
Mm-hm.
Mm.
Oh, and it's your favorite: cockroach, lettuce and tomato.
It is not.
You'll never know.
( door opens ) ( upbeat blues theme playing ) It was Steve's idea to have a threesome.
It's not my fault I liked it.
( sobbing ) Why are you telling me this? You said you cared.
No.
I said, "Tell someone who cares.
" Don't you have a job you can go to? I worked for Steve.
( sobbing ) Linda?! I'm standing right here.
Not you.
Linda.
Oh.
Are you calling me? Yes.
Didn't you hear me calling "Linda"? I thought you were calling Lynda.
Oh.
You know what? I can't take this anymore.
Just for today, you'll be Beth.
Oh, I don't like the name Beth.
I do.
Can I be Beth? Fine! Oh, I changed my mind.
I wanna be Beth too.
You can't both be Beth.
Why not? We're both Linda.
I know.
Let's pick our own names.
I wanna be Margaret.
No, I wanna be Margaret.
I wanna be dead.
You know, these magazines are pretty old.
Elaine gets new ones every single week.
Well, didn't you read Elaine's newsletter? I don't do that here.
Well, gee, I read it very carefully, and I-- You mean, she really has a newsletter? Margaret.
The-- The guy who passed away.
Did his family call back? Sorry, nothing yet.
Oh, damn it.
Boy, I hate giving people bad news.
Wish they'd call back so I could get it over with.
John, look, I know how hard this is for you.
When they call back, would you like for me to tell them? No.
No, it's my responsibility.
I'll do it.
Would you? No, no, no.
No, I-I'll do it.
I'll do it.
I-I'll call 'em right now, as a matter of fact.
( tearfully ): I mean, what did I do to make Steve stop loving me? Well, you slept with all the guys in his band.
I-- I was trying to take an interest in what he does.
( sobbing ) Oh, there, there.
Yeah, Linda.
I'm sorry.
Linda.
Hey! BOTH: Oh, I thought you were talking to her.
Just-- Just get out.
Go on.
Dr.
Becker, I need your opinion.
Now, if you loved someone-- And I mean really, really loved-- Hey, hey, get out.
Go on, get.
I don't think he's the one-- Really deep love.
Like a soul mate.
What are you two doing? I'm just trying-- I told her not to talk to him about it.
( all talking at once ) Damn answering machines.
Hey! Hey! Will you please shut up?! I'm trying to get these people to call me back so I can tell 'em their father's dead! ( answering machine beeps, dial tone humming ) That was not how I wanted to do that.
( blues theme playing ) ( mellow blues theme playing ) You just told those people that their father died on an answering machine.
Even Steve didn't break up with me on the answering machine.
Margaret, if you don't get them out of here, I'm gonna use one to beat the other.
Out.
Both of you.
That-- This was not my fault.
No one said it was.
I know.
I know.
I'm just gonna keep calling.
That way, when they come through the front door, the phone will be ringing.
They'll never hear that message.
You do realize that-- You're right.
That's-- That's no good.
I know.
I-I'll just, uh, leave 'em another message telling 'em to disregard the-- The bad message.
Did you hear what you just said? You're right.
You're right.
I know.
I'll just go over there.
We don't know where "there" is.
Well, call 'em and find out-- I heard what I said.
I heard what I said, you know.
Don't say it.
Here-- All right, look.
The, uh, woman that works for Dr.
Heisman, what's her name? Wonder Woman? Yes, yes.
Call-- Call her and find out if she has any other numbers for this family.
You know, cell phone, work phone, you know.
But d-don't tell her what I did.
Uh, uh-- I don't think she'd understand.
What do you care what Elaine thinks? Uh-- I don't know, but for some reason, her-- Her respect means a lot to me.
( blues theme playing ) I can't believe you told someone their father died on their answering machine.
Will you stop saying that? Damn, John, that was cold.
And will you stop saying that? Jake can't really help himself.
Being sensitive to other people's feelings isn't something he does well.
Hm.
It's kind of ironic that Reggie should talk about being sensitive to other people's feelings, don't you think? Donut biter.
Spine breaker.
You started it.
No, no.
You started it.
No, you did.
Oh, the hell I did.
What's going on? She ruined my magazine.
He bit my donut.
Ohyou know, I'm-- I'm-- I'm dealing with life-and-death issues here, and you two idiots are having some kind of sandbox squabble over God-knows-what.
I realize it's a tired and overused expression, but I really think it applies here: Get a life.
You know, e-even just one for the two of you.
You could share it.
( door closes ) ( sighs ) You know what scares me? That we just chased away our only paying customer? Well, that and he may be right.
Yeah.
I suppose we did get a little carried away.
Ha.
I guess we were just frustrated 'cause we were so bored.
Yeah.
Well, we could put our time to better use.
Yeah, instead of bitching at each other, we could think of ways to improve our lives.
What else you got? We could go to that bar down the street, get hammered and worry about our lives tomorrow.
Much better.
Much better.
( mellow blues theme playing ) ( hitting one key ) Oh, Steve You make me Grieve Why did you--? Why did you--? Leave! Oh, that's good.
No.
I want you to leave, Lynda.
Don't have to tell me twice.
Not you.
You're not going anywhere without her.
( Lynda sobbing ) Look, I don't know if you've noticed, Margaret, but Lynda's a real downer.
( scoffs ) All she does is cry and sing that song.
Which, between you and me, I don't even think's a real song.
Get over there.
( weeping ) So how are you feeling? Oh, like I could handcuff Steve to the radiator in his apartment until he realizes how much he loves me.
Great, you got a plan.
She's good to go.
( sighs ) Yes.
Can I help you? I think a better question would be, can I help you? You seem a little frazzled.
Oh, well, I guess I have had kind of a rough day.
Things have been a little chaotic around here.
I know how that can be.
( sighs ) You know what you should do? When you get home, take a nice hot bath, have a glass of wine, and your troubles will just melt away.
I know it sounds silly, but tomorrow really is another day.
You're Elaine, aren't you? You're right.
Yes.
And you must be Margaret.
I got your message, but I'm sorry.
I don't have any other numbers for poor Mr.
Tompkins' family.
Here's the address, though.
Thank you.
I'd go visit them myself, but this afternoon I'm leading storytime at Children's Hospital.
Oh.
Heh! I thought maybe you were gonna go and donate a kidney.
No.
Can't do that again.
( sobbing, hitting piano keys ) Oh, my.
She seems upset.
Maybe I can help.
Hm.
Knock yourself out.
BECKER: Margaret did we get any other numbers for the Tompkins family? Oh.
No, nothing yet.
But, uh, Little Mary Sunshine over there brought the address.
They're out on Long Island.
Well nobody should have to hear that their parent died from some jerk on an answering machine.
I-- I'll go on out there.
I'll see you in the morning.
Okay.
My God, you're psychotic.
No wonder Steve dumped you.
Just deal with it and move on.
Whore.
( door closes ) She makes a lot of sense.
I think I'm gonna go home and start putting my life back together.
Isn't Elaine the best? "The best?"She just called you a whore.
She did? ( sobbing ): Well, I didn't hear that.
( slow blues theme playing ) ( blues theme playing ) Oh, please be easy.
Please be easy.
( doorbell rings ) Grandpa! Oh.
I thought you were my grandpa.
So much for easy.
Um, are your parents here? Mm, my mommy's here.
Come with me.
It's my birthday.
Yeah? Did you bring me a present? No.
Not exactly.
Mommy, this man wants to talk to you.
Oh.
Are you the clown? Because you were supposed to be here a half an hour ago.
No.
No, I'm not the clown.
Um, is there someplace private we could talk? Oh.
Well, I-- I guess so, but I'm a little busy right now.
I-I-- I'm sorry, who are you? John Becker.
I'm-- I'm filling in-- Mom.
When is Grandpa coming? He said he'd be here.
BillyI promise, your grandpa wouldn't miss your birthday for the world.
Cross my heart.
You were saying? Umsee, I'm-- Billy, uh, would you mind, uh, playing over there for a second? I need to talk to your mommy alone.
What's going on? This is very awkward.
Um Obviously, you-- You haven't checked your answering machine, but I-- I'm filling in for your father's doctor.
Andwell, there's no easy way to say this.
Your father passed away.
What? I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
I don't understand.
I-I-I-- I talked to him this morning.
It happened very suddenly.
I tried to get hold of you all day long.
Oh, God.
I-I-I'm sorry.
Oh, no.
My father died.
( all gasp ) Grandpa's dead? Oh.
Oh, Billy-- I'm so sorry.
I didn't want you to have to find out this way.
Sorry I'm late.
Happy birthday, Billy.
Dad? Dad? ( eerily ): I see dead people.
Wh-what's going on here? ( tearfully ): Oh, Dad.
Oh, Daddy.
Dad, this man just told us that you were dead.
He what? What the hell's wrong with you, pal? Umis--? Isn't this, uh, 1835 Jackson Road? This is 1853.
Oh, well, you know some-- That is my mistake.
Um Boy, I must have misread the number.
The-- Uh, I-I guess I went to the wrong house.
Boy, I'm-- I'm-- I'm so sorry.
I really am.
You know-- You know, you should, uh, go back to the party, you know.
I-I-- I didn't mean to, uh-- I didn't mean to intrude here.
Uh, you know, I-- I probably should-- And-- And you've probably got lots of things to do.
You know, it's a lovely home.
Get out.
Tell Billy happy birthday.
( slow blues theme playing ) ( horn honks ) Oh.
Yeah.
Good luck.
( blues theme playing ) ( upbeat blues theme playing )