Murphy Brown s01e21 Episode Script

The Bickners

Good morning.
Oh, jeez.
Where is everybody? Every Thursday morning at 10:00 we have a meeting.
It's not a surprise, it's not a new idea.
But is anybody ever here, in their seats, ready to go? At least you're here, Frank.
At least someone appreciates the importance of - Frank! - What? Frank, are you all right? - I'm fine, Miles.
- No you're not.
You're using Jim's cup.
What are you, crazy? I just got a call.
Something I forgot about.
Blocked it out, I guess.
But there it was my dentist appointment.
I tell you, all the blood left my head.
I knew it wouldn't pay to be on time.
The meeting hasn't even started yet.
Frank, how come your head's all white? Dentist appointment.
Oh, my God, isn't that Jim's cup? You know, tardiness is a sign of hostility.
I don't deserve this.
Sorry I'm late, everyone.
Although it looks like I haven't missed anything.
I leaned against the sink in the men's room.
Got the front of my pants all wet.
Tell me if it looks funny.
- Fine, really.
- Can't even tell.
Here we are.
You just sit for as long as you want, use the phone.
- Am I walking too fast? - Murphy.
Hi, Miles.
I'm sorry I'm late.
I was just in a car accident with these people.
- What? - Oh, my God, are you all right? - Was anybody hurt? - Yes, we're fine.
It was just a fender-bender.
A cat ran into the street, Mr.
Bickner stopped, I was behind him.
- This is Myrna and Bob Bickner.
- This is Oh, there's no need to introduce them.
We watch you on television every week.
Yes.
We know who each of you are.
You're the one with that lovely voice.
You're always doing something dangerous.
You're the other blond one.
We don't know you.
Miles Silverberg, executive producer of FYI.
How nice.
He's not on the show.
Now, there's a phone right here.
Oh, yes.
We just have to call the church and tell them that we'll be late for the senior citizens car wash.
I'm in charge of the chamois.
I'm stuck behind him for six blocks while we move along at parade speed.
But do I get impatient? No.
I tell myself, I don't always have to be in a rush.
I can drive to work a little slower today.
Suddenly, he stops.
I slam on the brakes, but there wasn't anything I could do.
It's a miracle you were all able to walk away.
It's not such a big deal.
I just tapped his bumper.
I could have fixed it with a tire iron but Bob was afraid I'd damage my reproductive organs.
Well, I guess this is goodbye.
Now remember, I want to pay for everything.
- You just give me a call.
- You are such a nice girl.
I know that I'm going to have to make you a batch of my special butternut cookies.
Well, Murphy, I'm glad we ran into each other.
It's so nice to meet all of you.
Keep up the good work.
What a sweet, adorable couple.
Okay, people, let's get this meeting rolling.
That's odd.
It's always right here.
I know there was unexpected excitement this morning but we've got a lot to cover.
Let's buckle down.
Frank, isn't that Jim's cup? I guess it is.
Well, that's enough work for now.
Let's take a five.
Just one more cookie.
I really mean it this time.
That's it.
Boy, these are great.
That little Mrs.
Bickner sure knows how to bake.
Oh, no.
Not again.
Why do you do this to yourself, Robert? Why do you keep coming back? Can't you just accept the fact you don't have what it takes to be my secretary? The last time you were here, we had to talk you down off the Xerox machine.
No, Ms.
Brown, that was the old Robert.
You are looking at the new, improved Robert.
No more stuttering.
No more fumbling.
No more voices telling me to dress up like you.
I have been to therapy.
Oh, really? Robert, I have six letters waiting to be typed a call to be made turning down Noriega's request for an interview and I need research done on every pesticide study in the last 20 years.
Domestic or international? Okay.
Maybe I'm the crazy one but I'll give you one more try.
- One.
- You won't be sorry, Ms.
Brown.
Hi, Murphy.
I was just upstairs and I heard the news.
Tough break.
I'm really sorry.
Who would have guessed, huh? I just came down here to let you know that we're all behind you 100 percent.
If there's anything I can do for you, just let me know.
Miles, what are you talking about? Nothing.
Wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
What's going on here? Well, you know that nice elderly couple who've been sending you cookies? Yeah.
The ones who invited us all over for dinner and charades next Thursday? They're suing you $1.
5 million.
Gotta go.
I'm glad you were able to meet with me.
I thought it was important that we have a chance to talk face to face without any lawyers.
You know, they see a celebrity involved in an accident, and before you know it they've talked nice people, people like yourselves into doing things they ordinarily wouldn't.
- Oh, Howie's not like that.
- Howie? Our grandson.
Your grandson is your lawyer? We're very proud of him.
Don't you think Howie is making a little too much out of this? After all, he wasn't there.
He didn't see how I just tapped you.
Don't worry, dear.
You don't have to pay the 1.
5 million, your insurance does.
We wouldn't take it from you.
That's not the point.
Insurance is for people who really need the money.
Admit it, you're not really hurt, now are you.
We're suffering from loss of consortium.
Excuse me? We haven't been able to have sex at all since the accident.
Come on.
Has it really been that different for you? Oh, yes.
We have sex every day.
Wait a minute.
You're going to tell me you have sex every day? - You don't.
- Oh, yes.
- Every day.
- Until the accident.
I'm afraid I haven't been able to uphold my conjugal duty.
It's the darnedest thing.
I get all ready to go and then I remember the image of that white car of yours coming at me in the rearview mirror.
And so you're I mean, you You think this is worth Come on, $1.
5 million? You don't know Bob.
Nothing like this has ever happened to us before.
We've been playing the lottery for three years.
Haven't won spit.
And now Now we'll be able to travel.
And redecorate the house.
I've had my eye on a table saw.
Look, Mr.
And Mrs.
Bickner you seem to have the idea that suing me is going to Gotta run.
Another doctor's appointment.
Then we're going to test drive a Range Rover.
Goodbye, dear.
Bye.
Frank, you can't drive home from the dentist.
Because you don't have a car.
Remember, I dropped you off.
Yes, I'm sure Jim still loves you.
Frank, honey, it's spelled just like it sounds: F-O-N-T-A-N-A.
I'll see you in a few minutes.
Yes, I'll tell her.
Thank you.
- Good morning, Ms.
Brown.
- No, Robert, it isn't.
I was just sitting in my car, listening to a radio call-in show.
The topic was "Murphy Brown: Should Her License Be Revoked?" Six hundred people paid 50 cents apiece to vote against me.
Ms.
Brown, the phone has been ringing off the hook.
The Times, The Post, public safety organizations and a few concerned citizens.
I told these people you had no statement.
These I referred to your publicist.
And these I took the liberty of reporting to the police.
- Robert.
I'm impressed.
- Today's mail.
Hot tea.
Murphy.
Your hair looks weird, Miles.
Did you sleep with a hat on or something? No.
Have you seen The World Globe? Under your picture, it says: "Stay out of her way if you're old and gray.
" There's six more stanzas inside.
- What's wrong with my hair? - It's flat.
God, when did they take this picture? You yell at a parking attendant one time Murphy, this is getting way out of hand.
Now, are you ready to talk to our lawyers? I remember a time when you didn't need a lawyer before you could breathe.
Back when Jacoby & Meyers were just a couple of kids sitting around a go-cart track waiting for a pileup.
You've got your reputation to think about.
Okay, okay.
I just want to scare off this Howie character.
The way he's put dollar signs in their eyes, they think they're gonna get money.
Yeah, it's too bad.
They really are sweet people.
I hate this hair.
This is the last time I go to Ted Koppel's barber.
Hello, sweetheart.
Don't you look nice.
Ms.
Brown, hi.
I'm Howard Sutthoff.
I'll be representing Grampy Mr.
And Mrs.
Bickner.
Hello, Mr.
Sutthoff.
Please.
Howie.
Howie.
This is my attorney, Roger Moreland and his associates.
Associates.
Great.
I brought some homemade cookies.
I didn't know there'd be so many of you.
I hope there's enough for everyone.
Shall we get started? I stood behind you at a bank once.
You probably don't remember.
As you know, the nature of your compensatory claims will require serious scrutiny by all parties concerned.
And certainly a lengthy litigious confrontation would be both painful and embarrassing for Mr.
And Mrs.
Bickner.
We have precedents.
Tell him, Howie.
Right, right.
Here's one.
Case in Philadelphia, Kirkham v.
Campbell, 1981.
Plaintiff was struck in a one-way residential zone.
Suffered reoccurring nightmares, extensive psychoanalysis, blah, blah, blah.
Plaintiff was awarded $1.
75 million.
Wow, hey! Interesting, counselor.
But I believe in that particular case the defendant was exceeding the speed limit which would negate it as a precedent in this case.
Great response, Rog.
Okay, the other case has to do with a guy right here in D.
C.
He suffered post-traumatic stress disorder that resulted in a loss of consortium after a TA kind of like this one.
Do you believe my grandparents? They did it every day.
And, Howie don't forget Wiggins v.
Hoffstatter.
I know, Grandma.
It has to do with a woman who was a "sud-sucker" like Murphy.
I'm sorry, what did you say? What did she say? Sud-sucker.
It's kind of like a hooch hound.
We'd hate for Howie to have to bring all that up in court.
But he would.
Hold on here.
I haven't had a drink in almost a year.
The issue isn't relevant in my client's case.
That's what I thought too, Rog.
But people keep seeing her coming in and out of Phil's Bar.
Now all I gotta do is raise a little doubt and Well, you know the routine, huh? We haven't explored an out-of-court settlement.
- What? - Good idea.
I think we should talk about it.
No, we want our 1.
5 million.
And if you won't do it, Howie, we'll find a lawyer who will.
What are you trying to do, you greedy little leeches! I've had it with you and your stupid cookies.
There must be a stick of butter in each one.
What are you trying to do, kill me? Poor Murphy.
I think it would be a good idea if we left now.
And I think there's something a little sick about people who have sex every day.
Why don't you give it a rest for a while.
Get yourselves a hobby! You Bickners! Easy, Murphy.
Jim? Jim, Frank's here.
I know your nose is still out of joint, but I'm worried about him.
He disregarded doctor's orders to stay home and he took a cab here.
I think he's been into the pain pills.
Hello.
Hello.
Hello.
Jim.
Jim.
Jim.
Jim.
Jim.
Jim.
Jim.
I thought you were supposed to stay home.
I was.
I was at home.
Sitting there.
Watching the fish tank.
And then I thought, "Boy, I wish I had a fish.
" - Pleasant chatting with you.
- Jim.
I got something for you at the fish store.
They wouldn't sell me any actual fish.
This is for you.
Oh, isn't that touching? What a lovely gesture from someone who's obviously trying to heal a relationship which he treasures very, very much.
Oh, darn it all.
How can I stay mad at such a pathetic display? Thank you for the mug.
Oh, Jim, I love you.
I think I'm gonna throw up.
Oh, Judas, Frank, use the mug.
Good morning, Ms.
Brown.
People called.
They wanted to know if they could get a picture of you next to the skid marks.
I can't take it anymore.
Everyone hates me.
I've tried not to let it bother me.
People have hated me before, but I dealt with it better.
I was younger.
I was tougher.
I was drinking.
Come here.
Come on.
That's right.
- This is all going to pass.
- No, it isn't.
I saw a car in the parking lot that had a bumper sticker that said, "I Brake For Bickners.
" That's right.
You just let it all out.
We'll hold your phone calls.
No one can bother you in your office.
Thank you, Robert.
What would I do without you? Did you ever think you'd hear me say that? Well, actually, that's something I needed to talk to you about.
I'm quitting.
- What? Why? - I've been offered another job.
A network job.
Network job? What kind of network job? - Vice president of comedy development.
- What? I know.
When I applied for it, it was just another exercise in positive thinking.
But before I knew it, they were taking me to lunch telling me they liked how I dressed, saying I had an interesting spin on things.
Whatever that means.
Look I'd love to stay and talk some more but I'm meeting the Charles brothers in 20 minutes.
They're pitching me some new idea about a bunch of accountants.
I don't know, I think workplace comedies are dead but Bye.
Hello, Murphy.
- Go away, Miles.
- Hey, why so glum? Let's see that smile.
Maybe I can help.
Everyone who's facing a lawsuit, take one step forward.
Not so fast, Murphy.
Don't play with me, Miles.
I've hit old people, I've got nothing to lose.
Listen to this: Our lawyers pulled some files and found out that the Bickners got three tickets in six months for faulty brake lights.
- So? - So we can show contributory negligence on the part of the Bickners.
Which means the Bickners' case is severely undermined.
Which means the Bickners have reconsidered and are dropping the suit.
- You're kidding.
- No.
It's all in the works.
Just a few signatures and it's over.
This is great.
The Gray Panthers will quit sending me hate mail.
I don't have to wear a Jane Pauley mask when I leave the house.
No more Bickners.
Miles, I could kiss you.
Instead, I'll just do this.
Hey, hey, Aretha.
- Give it a rest.
- Eldin, I had a great day.
You want to know why? Because evil doesn't always win out.
Because I beat some people at their own game.
Yes, I pulverized the Bickners.
Two ruthless, despicable monsters of greed and I beat their stinky little brains out.
We're going to celebrate with some microwave brownies.
Information.
Yeah, I need the number of that Betty Ford place.
I'll call back.
Hello.
I'm Bob, this is Myrna.
We're the Bickners.
The Bickners.
We just dropped by to say hello to Miss Brown.
- Eldin, who was at the? - The Bickners.
What are you doing here, Bickners? Myrna made you a blueberry pie.
I crimped the edges.
You did hear from Howie, didn't you? - You do understand that this lawsuit is over.
- Yes, we know that.
We just wanted to make sure there's no hard feelings.
That pie there looks heavy.
Maybe I ought to take that for you.
Thank you, young man.
Aren't you an angel.
Here's a quarter.
My Nonnie used to give me quarters.
Murphy, we mostly came by to say something.
Well, Myrna and I thought it over, and life's too short to hold grudges.
So we forgive you.
Excuse me? Just because you squelched any hope for financial security in our golden years that's no reason for us to harbor resentment.
Look, let me explain something to you.
What you tried to do was wrong.
These kind of lawsuits hurt everyone.
We all end up paying for it with higher insurance premiums to the point where a lot of people, people like yourselves can't even afford car insurance at all.
That's a very good point, Murphy.
But with $1.
5 million in our pockets higher premiums wouldn't have been a problem for us.
Well, Myrna and I got to be on our way.
Yes, now that this nasty lawsuit is off Bob's shoulders his manliness has returned.
Why, all day, he's been pawing me like a dog in a kennel.
I can see why.
Well, we've got to go.
So long, Murphy.
Now, try to get a little rest.
You look dead tired.
- Good night.
- Goodbye.
Well, thank heaven they spared us our lives.
Bob, look out for the step.