Becker s03e21 Episode Script

The TorMentor

Morning, everybody.
How's it going? Hey.
Well, look who's finally in a good mood.
Yeah, I'm in a pretty good mood.
Guess who's coming to town.
Santa Claus? Don't be such an idiot, Linda.
Where's Where's my coffee? Welcome back.
We missed you.
Who is it? Who's coming to town? Oh, Emmett Fowler, my favorite professor at Harvard.
He's coming to New York for a book signing.
Ooh, please, tell me everything.
By that I mean, who gives a crap? No, you don't get it.
See, Professor Fowler was my mentor.
You can say he's the one who made me who I am today.
All right.
We finally got someone to blame.
He was a philosophy professor, but his lectures went way beyond that.
They incorporated, you know, economics, physics, ethics, logic, art.
I mean, uh, he was amazing.
I mean, everybody at Harvard used to stand in line for days to get into one of his classes.
Huh, who said Harvard students don't know how to party? He, uh He took special interest in one particular student and made him his protégé.
I'll give you one guess who that young man was.
Who? Oh, for God's sake, Linda, it was me.
Well, when you said young, it threw me off.
One day I'll tell you about the time Professor Fowler had, uh, car trouble.
Ha-ha! We ended up pushing his little Fiat all the way across Harvard Square to my place, opened up a bottle of Irish whiskey, and spent the whole night talking.
Someday, if you're lucky, I'll tell you that story.
Again? That's great, John.
It should be really fun for you.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
I'm gonna go down to Tenth Street Books tonight and surprise him.
Oh, can I go with you? I need textbooks for my psych class, and they sell used ones there.
It's great.
All the underlining is already done.
How do you know if they highlighted the right stuff? Yeah, it was horny freshman trying to look busy to impress the large-breasted chick next to him.
Why do I waste my time with you people? I'm talking about one of the greatest modern-day thinkers at Harvard, and you guys are rambling on like a bunch of imbeciles.
You know, I swear, back at Harvard Oh, my goodness.
You've said Harvard like ten times since you walked in here.
Yeah, I think they should teach a class at Harvard on shutting up about Harvard.
Reg, you're in for such a treat.
Wait till you meet Professor Fowler.
You're gonna tell your kids that you actually Oh, that's so sweet.
You think I'm gonna have kids.
Kids, cats, whatever.
To whom shall I make it out? Oh, just make it to your old friend, John Becker.
Very well.
"To my old friend" No, Professor Fowler, it's me, John.
Got it.
Thank you very much for coming.
Professor Fowler, I John Becker, class of '72.
I was your favorite student.
Remember the time we pushed your Fiat all the way across campus? Oh, yeah.
Yes, of course.
So you do remember me.
No, I remember that car.
Remember how I was always talking about becoming a doctor? Well, I'm a doctor now.
Good for you.
Well done.
Could you move it along, please? Just give me a second here.
I surprised the man.
But we go way back.
Look, you do know me.
Uh, we have a history together.
We shared theories.
Oh, please.
Uh, would the next person step forward? No, no.
You know, I'm sorry, you're not finished with me.
Oh, I'm sorry.
My friend's just a little upset.
We came all the way down from the Bronx.
Did you say the Bronx? Oh, I grew up in the Bronx.
Uh, I live in the Bronx.
He doesn't care.
You know something? Oh, I see you're studying psychology.
Yes, yes, I am.
The science of the mind.
What could be more fascinating? Oh, yeah, real fascinating.
Come on, Reg, let's go.
Come on.
And you bought used textbooks.
Very smart.
The underlining is already done.
How you feeling now? He didn't remember you, and he snaked your date.
Hey, Becker.
You all remember John Becker? And if you don't, just say you do.
Very amusing.
Coffee to go, please.
So your professor really didn't remember you? How could he not remember you? You went to Harvard.
He remembered me.
He just didn't remember me last night.
I mean, after all, the place was incredibly crowded.
Crowded? There were like five people and a cutout of Kurt Vonnegut.
Yeah, and all I remember is you fawning all over Professor Fowler.
As a matter of fact, we had a very nice chat.
After everyone left, he invited me to have a cup of coffee, and we talked for hours.
What could you two possibly have in common? You know, he once had a hamburger? We had a lot to talk about.
Psychology, music.
He and his wife both grew up in the Bronx.
He's gonna come by the neighborhood later, and I invited him to come over and have lunch.
Have all the lunches you want.
You're still never gonna have the relationship that he and I had.
Hey, who the hell is John Beeker? That's Becker.
Some of his C's look like E's.
He didn't even know your name? Ha-ha-ha! Give me that.
"Ethics in an Unethical World.
" You really gonna read this? Yes, Bob, I am.
But I understand your confusion.
To me, it's a book.
To you, it's a booster seat.
Hey, don't turn this on me.
You're the one he didn't remember.
He's got you there, Beeker.
Margaret, I just saw the mailman.
Did he leave the mail? Yes, in a strange turn of events, the mailman left the mail.
Well, where is it now? Dr.
Becker took it to his office.
Why? Were you expecting something? No.
Just making conversation.
Hello, Julie.
I'm so screwed.
I thought I could get here early enough to get the mail before Dr.
Becker, but I overslept and missed my train.
Oh, my God, he's gonna kill me when he sees that long-distance phone bill.
Why do you sound so tired? Oh, sorry, I always forget about the time difference between here and Hawaii.
Oh, my God, I called Hawaii.
Again! Margaret, I need to see you in my office, now.
What? Oh! Oh, Julie, glad you're up.
Look, he just called her into his office and closed the door.
This can't be good.
Look, I'll call you later.
No, what am I saying? I can't do that.
You call me.
Well, then call me collect.
How could Professor Fowler not remember me? It's been 30 years.
He's had a lot of students.
But we're talking about me, Margaret.
How could he not remember me? Although, he is getting older.
Maybe his memory's starting to go.
Gore Vidal says he has one of the greatest minds of the 21st century.
Why do you always take Gore Vidal's word over mine? What? Oh, of course.
How could I have missed that? He's still teaching.
He's teaching me a lesson right now.
Am I missing something here? He's faking not remembering me.
He once faked a heart attack in class just to prove a point about how people respond to crisis.
So, what point is he trying to prove now? I don't know.
I haven't gotten that far yet.
Wait, wait, wait.
Let me get this straight.
You're saying that the man waited 30 years, wrote a book, then came all the way to New York for a book signing where he pretended not to remember you, all as part of some elaborate plan just to make a point to John "Beeker"? Go away, just go away.
I wonder where I'd be today if I had had a mentor.
I mean, when I look in the mirror, what do I see? A shrimpy guy with greasy hair and a pointy face? Hey, I thought you were blind.
You got a shrimpy, greasy, pointy voice.
Anyway, what I was saying is, my life stinks.
I've got no skills, no goals, no future.
Stop complaining about it and do something.
Why don't you just go back to school, get a degree, and make something of yourself.
Make something of myself.
Hm, I never thought of that.
Hey, Reg.
Professor Fowler showed up for lunch yet? No, not yet.
He should be here any minute.
What are you so smug about? Oh, I'm just eager to talk to him, that's all.
He doesn't know you, Becker.
I can't believe you fell for that.
Oh, Professor Fowler, welcome back to the old neighborhood.
Bet things have really changed.
Oh, I'll say.
In fact, the building I grew up in, at 188th and Montgomery Street, used to be so nice.
Now it's just an eyesore covered in graffiti.
That's where I live.
And they said they painted it.
Well, professor, have a seat, and I'll make you some fresh coffee.
I know what you're doing.
I'm having a cup of coffee in a diner.
Not exactly the riddle of the Sphinx.
Come on, you can drop this act about coming here to see Reggie.
Professor, I know what you're doing.
Yes, but do you know what you're doing? Come on.
It's so obvious.
You're trying to teach me a lesson, just like that time you faked a heart attack in class just to prove a point.
I wasn't proving a point.
I was dying.
Okay, okay, but I know there's a lesson in here someplace.
The only lesson here is that you should take your medication.
You know, I may be a lot of things, but I am not forgettable.
Look, I understand how you feel, but I've had thousands of students over the years.
I can't remember all of you.
No, but I was special.
You said so.
It was Harvard.
Everyone was special.
Oh, you know, give me a break.
Harvard is nothing more than a breeding ground for pissant little morons who went to Harvard just so they could say they went to Harvard.
There, I said it.
You happy? I'll be right with you.
Please hold.
Good morning, Margaret.
Morning, Linda.
I think you'll find that the coffee is made, the storeroom is clean, the patients are logged in, and the files are in order.
Did you hire a temp? No, I did it all myself, because I wanna show you and Dr.
Becker what a valuable employee I am, despite any mistakes that I may or may not have made, to my knowledge as it were.
Good morning, Dr.
I think you'll find that the coffee's made, the storeroom's clean Yeah, not now, Linda.
I'm not in the mood.
Margaret, I wanna see you in my office right now.
He's really upset, isn't he? Let's just say he's a little disappointed in someone.
Julie, you still there? They definitely know about the phone bill.
They're in there right now deciding what to do to me.
I've been trying to get on their good side, but it's not working.
What am I gonna do? What do you mean you don't know? I've been on the phone with you for over an hour.
You've been no help at all.
Hart? He's 104.
He remembers me.
And Mr.
King fell off his bicycle last week, suffered acute head trauma, he remembers me.
Lee has Alzheimer's.
Who's the first person she asks for every morning? Me, because I am somebody, Margaret.
I do exist.
Of course you exist.
Yeah, well, not to Fowler, I don't.
John, are you sure this isn't about your ego? Oh, it has nothing to do with my ego.
It's his ego.
He's obviously so full of himself, he can't remember me.
Is there anything I can do for you? Anything you need? Anything at all? Linda, we are having a private conversation.
Yeah, why don't you pick up the call that's blinking on Line 1? Julie! Well, Bob, there are a lot of things you could do to better your life, uh You could become a traveling salesman, or a scout for a baseball team, or work at an embassy in a foreign country.
Everything you're talking about involves me leaving town.
Well, if you can improve your life, no reason I can't improve mine.
Hold on.
I got a perfectly good smart guy right over there.
Why am I wasting my time with a guy who graduated Phi Beta Kit Kat? Hey, brainiac, you got a minute? Can I help you? I'm at a crossroads.
That's where two roads intersect Yes, I'm aware of what a crossroad is.
Anyway, I'm trying to better myself.
You know, trying to improve my life.
Can you help me out? Well, I've been sitting here for about 20 minutes and I must say, you've made quite an impression.
I get that a lot.
As far as I can see, you've reached the apex of your capabilities.
I cannot imagine that you could exceed the level of achievement you've already attained.
You changed my life, man.
Hey, Jake, did you hear that? I don't have to set my goals any higher because my life is perfect.
Your life sucks.
Now, now, don't be jealous.
Maybe someday you'll achieve the apex of your capabilities.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go home, burp, and take a nap.
Oh, good, you're back.
Yeah, we have some unfinished business.
Oh, God.
Becker, leave the man alone.
Hey, back off, will you, teacher's pet.
That's my senior thesis.
Yeah, why don't you read what you wrote? "Excellent, insightful, superb.
" I don't think so.
This statement is false, this is a run-on sentence, and this theory was disproved in the 1800s.
I would've never given this an A.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, you can't change that.
Once you give an A, it's always an A.
That's the law.
You ought to know.
You're a lawyer.
I'm a doctor! I can't believe you don't remember me.
I'll tell you one thing.
You're becoming impossible to forget.
Reggie, I should be going.
Here's the book I was telling you about.
I think you'll find it fascinating, and the underlining is already done.
Oh, thank you.
You're very welcome.
Nice, Becker.
Very mature.
What a slut.
Hey, don't talk about Reggie that way.
I'm talking about Fowler.
All you have to do is say hello, and he spreads his mind wide open like a cheerleader under the bleachers at homecoming.
Look, I can understand why you're upset.
He's an amazing teacher.
He completely changed the way I look at my life.
I mean, I used to think that getting my psych degree meant setting up a small, dead-end practice in some crappy neighborhood, taking patients off the street.
Well, I don't have to tell you.
What I mean is, Emmett's opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.
In fact Emmett? You call him Emmett? I-I never got to do that.
Don't Don't you understand? By using somebody's first name, it implies a certain degree of familiarity and friendship.
I know, Becker.
Julie, the tension's killing me.
I know they're gonna call me in there any minute and fire me.
Yes, I'm sure.
I've already started cleaning out my desk.
Well, I don't actually have a desk, but I've been taking stuff.
Just answer the question, will you, Margaret? Does the government have an obligation to take care of people in other countries even though there's so much suffering here at home? That's very complicated.
I don't think I can answer that right In less than 30 pages? No, you wouldn't think so.
But I did, and I got an A.
And there's nothing Fowler can do to take it away from me either.
Becker, I can't go on like this.
What are you talking about? I can't take it anymore.
The secrecy, the whispering, the closed-door meetings.
I know what's going on, so if you're gonna fire me, then just fire me.
Linda, this doesn't have anything to do with you.
You mean, you weren't planning to fire me? Well, we always daydream, but no.
So you haven't seen the phone bill? No.
Okay, I think I overshot the runway a little bit.
See you.
Hey, hey, hey.
I made a ton of long-distance phone calls.
And by a ton, I mean a lot.
But I want you both to know that I'm really, really sorry.
Look, you know, I'm involved with something much more important.
Whatever it is, we'll just take it out of your salary.
That's it? You mean, you're not mad? Look, you're gonna pay it back, so just drop it.
I will not drop it! Do you know how worried I've been? Do you know what I've been going through? And then to find out that you don't even care.
The least you could do is yell at me.
I mean, how many phone calls do I have to make? How many stamps do I have to steal? How many times do I have to break the x-ray machine to feel like what I do matters? You broke the x-ray machine? All's I'm saying is I wanna be important.
Can you imagine being that self-centered? Oh, look, it's lady and the tramp.
Hey, Becker.
Sorry to bother you.
I'll just have some coffee to go.
Then I'll go.
Look, ahem.
I'm sorry I didn't remember you.
The loss is mine.
You seem to be an exceptional person.
Nothing makes a teacher more proud than to know that he made a difference.
You're obviously a fine physician, and if I had anything to do with that, I'm honored.
Well, good for you.
Is your life any less worthwhile because I didn't remember you? No.
And is your career at all diminished by it? No.
Do you love what you do any less? You stay out of this.
My job was to open the door to learning.
You're the one who walked through it.
Don't forget that.
You're always teaching, aren't you? Thank you, Professor Fowler.
Wait, wait, wait, just a minute.
That night when my Fiat broke down, it was snowing.
That was you that helped me? Yes! Oh, yes, yes, that was me.
And then And then we went home and we talked all night.
Remember? Yes.
And as I recall, there was a very fine bottle of Irish whiskey.
Yeah! Oh, God, I knew you'd remember.
I just knew it.
I wish I didn't have to leave town so soon.
But, believe me, it's been great seeing you again.
Ha-ha, come on.
Oh, wow.
Huh, well, don't be a stranger, Professor Fowler.
Emmett, please.
In your face.
Thanks for that, Emmett.
It was perfect.
You even remembered the part about the Irish whiskey.
Yeah, well, thanks for filling me in on that story.
I'll tell you one thing.
I'll never forget the name John Beeker again.
It's Becker.