The First Lady (2022) s01e03 Episode Script

Please Allow Me

1 And believe you are as graceful as an animal.
And now you are a giraffe! Ah! And now you're a bird! That's beautiful.
Just flying.
And what are we now? We're monkeys! All right.
Peg is here for story time! - Yay! - Hello, everyone.
Hi, Miss Peg.
Wow, your dancing looked so beautiful! Thank you! - You guys have fun? - Yeah! Great.
All right.
Well, now it is story time.
Before we get to our story, I wanted to tell you about my - Say, that was pretty swell.
- No spectators allowed.
Upbeat ragtime music plays Betty! Wait.
If you come to my class, you have to dance.
Next week, then.
You can teach me how to be a bird.
I don't know if you have what it takes.
You might be surprised.
I'm pretty good on the dance floor.
Peg wanted me to meet you.
Thought this was the only place I could pin you down.
Oh, and you thought you could pin me down? It's Gerald.
Gerald Ford.
I'd have to live in a cave to not know the football star of South High and the Wolverines.
Well, in Peg's defense, I've been putting pressure on her to set me up since I got back from the Pacific.
So, what do you say? Will you go out with me? Should I invite my husband? Hello? Betty? - Betty? - Bill.
- Bill? Bill, shh.
It's okay.
- Betty.
- It's okay.
- Where were you? Where were you? Bill, are you awake? I haven't been anywhere, Bill.
You've been in a coma.
You need to Betty.
Bill? Morning.
It's good to see you looking so much better, Bill.
Here is some crispy bacon, just how you like it.
What's the hurry? Oh, I'm just going to be late for work, Bill.
Well, why don't you lie down next to me for a minute? What about your breakfast? I don't want breakfast.
I want you.
Well, your mother's going to be Just fucking take it! Goddamn it! Take it! I want my wife to lie down next to me.
Is that too much to ask? No.
Soon enough, I'm gonna be better, and you won't have to work.
And you get to stay home like a normal wife! Good morning.
Good morning.
He was a famous trumpet man ♪ From out Chicago way ♪ He had a boogie style ♪ That no one else could play ♪ He was the top man at his craft ♪ But then his number came up ♪ And he was gone with the draft ♪ He's in the army ♪ Now a blowin' reveille ♪ He's the boogie woogie ♪ Bugle boy of Company B ♪ They made him blow a bugle ♪ For his Uncle Sam ♪ It really brought him down ♪ Because he couldn't jam ♪ And two, sweetheart.
- Can I get an ashtray? - Look what the cat dragged in.
This sure is off the beaten path.
Well, wouldn't want anyone to see you out with a married woman.
People might talk.
You look nice.
Just nice? You look beautiful, Betty.
And you look very well, yourself, Jerry.
What have you been doing lately? Thinking about you.
You ever dream, Betty? You know, getting to quit your jobs? Why would I want to do that? I I happen to like working.
Don't you dream, Betty Bloomer? Warren.
Betty Warren.
And, um And yet it hasn't stopped you from calling me.
Peg, you know, she told me about him.
Yeah, she told me about Bill.
My mother disapproved, so That's all it took.
We We got married And it didn't take me long to realize that home was the only thing we had in common, and and having a good time.
But Bill's good time means having breath as hot as whiskey when he's screaming right in your face and, um, punching holes in the walls of our bedroom.
I'm sorry, you don't want to hear about I want to hear everything.
I was planning on leaving him.
I was working on it and then he fell into a diabetic coma.
You can't leave a man in a coma.
The behavior you're describing is against the law.
The law? I'm a lawyer.
That's abuse.
Well, you don't know anything about me, Jerry.
People People will talk, Mr.
Upbeat jazz music playing You know her, she's always on time.
You know how she is about being on time for everything.
Hey, can you honk? - Oh.
- Yeah? Yeah, yeah.
Hey, Mama! Hey, hey! Is that my little girl back from Harvard Law School? - Oh, hey, Daddy.
- Hey.
- Look at you.
- No, look at you.
Oh, I missed you.
That was good.
What were you scrunching up your face for? That was right.
- Yeah.
- Yeah? See, now you lost it.
Now you lost it.
You'd better go back to the top.
Oh, oh.
I got your favorite.
Spinach dip.
- Hey.
- Oh! - Listen to that.
- Mmm.
I'm listening.
Yeah, I'm sure Roberta Flack played it just like that.
So, are you ever gonna tell us about the meeting they flew you in for? First class.
- She fancy now.
- Yeah.
- How'd it go? - It was good.
Sidley Austin, huh? That's a big-time law firm.
Yeah, one of the biggest.
So, uh, you still rockin' - those old slippers, huh, Daddy? - You know it.
That's right.
That man ain't never gonna get rid of them, even though they do stink to high heaven.
Ha! Just like I always say, "Use it up.
Wear it out.
" "Make it do, or do without.
" That's right.
So, uh, how long have you been Oh, well, uh, two weeks.
It took Medicare a bit, but they finally got me this chair.
Wish they would get him a motorized one, but that old hunk of metal is all they would pay for.
Well, I'll be making money in no time, so I can get you whatever chair you need, Daddy.
Uh-uh, uh-uh.
I'm not taking any of my daughter's check.
Daddy, let me do this.
Been hardheaded since you were in the womb.
Matter of fact, I've still got the bruises.
Sorry, he's still not here.
I hate it when people aren't punctual, especially on their first day.
I'm also mad it's the brother that's gotta be late.
You know? I mean, come on now.
You gotta represent.
- Mm-hmm.
- Thanks, Lorraine.
- Oh.
- Hey.
- Come on in, Mr.
- Thank you.
Hi, uh, I'm Barack.
Um, my apologies for being late.
Start with these.
- Okay.
- Uh, we'll need all of that back by tomorrow.
And, uh, Lorraine can show you to your desk.
- Nice to meet you.
- Mm-hmm.
Thought I'd get some fresh air too.
Uh mind if I, uh, join you? Uh, sure.
I have, uh, two muffins, if you want one.
Do you always eat breakfast pastries for lunch? Uh, it's fun to switch it up sometimes.
Well, I eat a salad every day.
I gotta say.
You're, uh You're a lot more laid-back than I imagined you'd be.
- Oh, yeah? - Yeah.
The partners made it sound like I was gonna be mentoring the next Thurgood Marshall.
Just the light-skinned lawyer part.
Honestly, I think my success at Harvard has been because I really took my time before I got there.
Reading too many books for my own good and organizing here in Chicago.
Is that right? Yeah, uh South Side, mostly.
That's where I grew up.
Yeah, that's where all my people are.
That's I envy that.
I'm actually, uh, writing a book about my search for identity and not knowing a lot of my family Hold up.
You're writing a book? Yeah.
That probably sounds so, um Pretentious? But, you know, also impressive.
I'll take that as a compliment.
I mean, okay.
So I hope you don't mind if I duck out a little early today.
Meaning you hope I don't mind you asking my permission to duck out a little early? Yep.
That's exactly what I meant.
My man's only been here a few weeks and already he's slacking off.
I'm sorry.
Did you not read the 30-page memo I wrote on corporate governance that all the partners are raving about? - I'm making you look good.
- Mm-hmm.
If you don't get those broke-ass shoes off my couch And you might be impressing all the partners here who are dazzled by any Black man with a vocabulary, but remember, I'm the one writing your end-of-summer review and I know Negroes like you.
Um, so you know, the reason I wanna leave early is to help out one of my old organizer friends.
It's actually over by where you live.
On Euclid, right? What, are you stalking me? No.
I listen closely, intently, passionately.
You're so full of shit.
Come out.
We never get to hang out.
Besides, it'll be fun.
And it's for a good cause.
I don't know.
I mean, in fact, after red-lining all these contracts, all I want is a glass of Zin and a footbath.
I get that.
It's just, I've been cooped up in Cambridge all year.
It'd be nice to connect with real folks whose circumstances could be so much better if they only knew how much power they would have if they lobbied together.
And no one ever wants to tell them that.
Well, good luck with that, Half-Black Superman.
Um, I will see you bright and early tomorrow morning, 7:45.
Get outta here.
You're the best boss in Chicago.
You can have influence in this city.
You can make change.
But it means listening to your neighbor, trusting your neighbor.
It means joining this coalition.
- Glad you could make it.
- Yeah.
Hello, everyone.
- Hello.
- Hi.
- How are you? - Who is she? Uh, it's my boss.
That's what they're calling it these days? Out of my league is what they call it.
I know what you're thinking.
"Who are these kids coming in here, telling us what we want? With their big old ears.
Forget 'em.
" But trust me, these kids have heard you.
We know you spend your days on the phone fighting with these big corporations.
Asking them for medical care that should not be a privilege, but a right.
You shouldn't have to fight to be healthy.
And we can change that.
And not take no for an answer because do we wanna settle for the world as it is, or do we fight for the world as it should be? Yeah! dramatic music Ah.
That is Madame Souvestre.
She's the most interesting person you will ever meet.
I thought we were only supposed to speak French.
Yes, but you don't speak French very well.
What makes you say that? You didn't say anything that whole time.
So, either you struggle with French or you're shy.
If Madame Souvestre thinks we'll be fast friends, then so we shall.
She's always right.
Jane? I'm sure beauty is what gives your life meaning, Abigail.
But not all of us have what you have.
Abigail is a young woman with a keen intellect.
- Just like you are, Eleanor.
- Yes.
But I am not beautiful like Abigail.
According to whom? My mother.
And was she an expert on the subject? She was disappointed and ashamed to have such a plain child.
It sounds like your mother may have been the plain one.
Can we agree that the idea of beauty is far more complex than the way someone's face is arranged? The color of her eyes, her hair, her smile.
These things may make an initial impression, but it is when we cultivate our mind that our true beauty is revealed.
The very act of thinking, questioning, learning, being curious That is where our true beauty exists.
- No, I don't believe it.
- It's true, I swear.
I was sent here because he was sick with embarrassment.
Describe exactly what you saw when you opened the door.
And say it slowly so we can all picture it.
Well, I was in my room and it was quite late.
And I heard Mama moaning in pain.
I thought she was ill.
Or worse.
I walked upstairs And I listened right by the door.
She was crying, and father was making a noise, almost like a farm animal.
So, I pried the door open and I saw them on the bed, stark naked.
- What? - Father was on top of Mama.
And it seemed like he might crush her with his weight.
And then he suddenly cried out.
What? So I shrieked.
And that's how they saw me.
- That sounds so frightening.
- Yes.
But it can't be like that for every woman, though.
Perhaps Emma's father is a cruel sort.
Well, I'd like to ask Madame Souvestre, to get a definitive answer.
- She wouldn't know.
- Why not? I'm quite sure she is a sapphist.
What does that mean? She only has relations with other women.
At least a woman wouldn't weigh so much.
Better, better.
All right.
That's beautiful.
Remember, we Everyone in the store, they want to be us.
Or they want to marry us.
Great job.
Great job.
All right.
Let's do it one more time.
Burning the midnight oil, Howard? I still haven't heard on the buyer job, Betty.
Well, sales the last two months have been the highest ever.
And they've only been going up since I started working - with the girls.
- Betty.
I couldn't have sung your praises any louder.
I'm sure the job is yours.
I'll let you know when I know.
Good night.
We both know that this marriage isn't working.
A petition for divorce? And all you have to do is sign.
You know I'm not paying you a red cent.
I wouldn't dream of asking you to.
Now, who do you think is gonna want a divorced woman? You're gonna end up alone.
Well, that's a chance I'll have to take.
I, uh I wouldn't have taken you for a cone guy.
They're better for the environment.
- And you know what else? - What? It's a container you can eat! How great is that? You're such a giant geek.
You know that, right? Yeah, I'm fully aware.
Uh, I'm really glad you came the other night.
Mmm, me too.
You were great up there.
You really, um Believe in all of it? Politics? So much in our lives is political.
Education, health, employment.
This park.
Is your ice cream political? Does your environmentally friendly cone make you a liberal and my cup a conservative? Hey, you said it.
Oh, fool, please.
I don't know.
Politics is just not for me.
And public speaking? You know, I flunked my last exam in high school so I didn't have to give the valedictory speech.
- Come on.
- No, seriously.
The performance of it, ah So, um one of those ladies asked if, uh, you were my girl.
I'm nobody's girl.
You're ridiculous.
You are incandescent.
I want to see you more.
Oh, look.
It's gonna rain.
Don't you love it? Uh, no.
What, is that what those Harvard white girls do? You know, this hair, rain, it don't mix.
I'm parked right over there.
Come on.
All right.
I got the door.
Hold on.
- Oh! Go, go, go, go, go! - All right.
You got it? Get in.
Whoo! God, I'm soaked.
Oh, God.
I didn't know you were driving Fred Flintstone's car.
Doesn't that scare the shit out of you? Nah, it keeps me grounded.
I can literally see the ground.
Oh, really? What, you give that line to all the girls? Yeah, I get so many girls in this beat-up thing that they're just lining up.
Believe me.
So, uh, what's your end goal? Making partner? Uh, opening up your own practice? Get a car with a floor? Uh, end goal? Um Yeah.
What kind of Well, uh Whoo.
Yes, hello.
Is Mr.
Ford available by any chance? This is This is Betty.
I'm sorry, ma'am.
He's gone for the day.
Grab your coat and get your hat ♪ Leave your worry on the doorstep ♪ Just direct your feet ♪ To the sunny side of the street ♪ Can't you hear a pitter-pat? ♪ And that happy tune is your step ♪ Hi.
This is Betty Bloomer calling for Mr.
Just one minute.
This is Jerry.
This is Betty.
Is Is now a good time? Hey, Betty.
I'm actually kinda swamped right now.
Can I call you back in a little bit? Yes.
Yes, of course.
Of course, that's fine.
Well, great.
Talk to you soon.
I used to walk in the shade ♪ With those blues on parade ♪ Well, since you asked me, this one is my favorite.
Have you seen these cluster pearls? Yes, I have.
Have you seen these? Hello.
Ford and Buchen Law Office.
Hi, yeah, uh, is Mr.
Ford there? It's Betty Bloomer.
I'm sorry.
He's not here.
- Are you sure? - Yes, I'm sure.
- Hey.
I got it! - Wow! - I can't believe it! - Congratulations, Eugene.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
- Wow! Eugene got the buyers job, Howard? Give me a second, Marty.
Betty, this came from way above my head.
You couldn't have sung my praises any louder? - Was that even true? - Yeah.
Mostly? Ah Marty.
Yeah, I'm gonna have to call you back.
You're a young woman.
The second I give you this job, you start having kids.
Taking weekends and months off.
Then we realize we probably should have hired someone else in the first place.
Well, I could have done this job pregnant since you're doing it sitting on that fat ass of yours.
Not only did I make the mistake of listening to your advice, I stupidly believed you when you said you were going to be there for me.
I'm guessing you only said those things for one reason.
Well, congratulations.
You're like every other man out there.
I hope you're pleased with yourself, Mr.
Jerry "Thinks he's God's gift" Ford.
- Yes.
- And when the new collections are gonna start, then we have to get ready.
Okay, so I think we should get here at 6:00 a.
tomorrow, and then will you lock up? - All right.
Good night, guys.
- Good night, Betty! Betty.
I I received your letter.
So, I I just I wanted to tell you how sorry I was.
I tried calling you.
Where were you? Sometimes with work, I just get so focused and days go by, you know? I In this case, it was too many days.
I'm sorry.
Look, I Look, I've never met a woman like you.
Okay? I don't wanna lose you.
Will you give me another chance, Betty? Just give me one more shot.
You have to call me.
Yeah, I will.
I'll call you every night if you let me.
Every afternoon too.
I'm gonna go call you right now.
Yes, hello.
May I please speak with Betty? That depends.
Who's calling? This is her future husband.
Um, I'm sorry.
Betty is unavailable at the moment.
So what do you want to do today? Go to the park or get married? I'm kinda on the fence.
Definitely the park.
You sure? Have fun at work.
Talk to you later.
Hello? - Betty? - Jerry? I'm in here.
Are those for me? Maybe.
Could I convince you to come join me? I don't know.
Men don't take baths, Betty.
Too bad for men.
- You're not gonna fit.
- Too late.
Hey, I'm getting in.
What a mess! Hey, you invited me.
So, you know that question that you've been asking me.
The one about getting married? Yeah.
I'd love to become your wife, Jerry Ford.
Yeah? Now, honey, there's no use fussing.
Daddy, this is ridiculous.
We've been here for over three hours, and I've seen people get called in who got here after us.
Welcome to hospitals.
I'm going to see what's going on.
Excuse me, you see my father over there? He's clearly in a lot of pain and this is an emergency room.
And I'm wondering why there's no sense of urgency in getting him treated as quickly as possible? As you can see, a lot of people are in the same boat.
He'll be seen when his name is called.
Be patient.
Okay, look.
I understand how waiting rooms work.
What I don't get is why folks who got here after us are getting seen before him.
Depends on your insurance.
Fucking HMO.
How much will it cost to get my dad seen right now? Give me a number.
I may not look like it to you, but I actually make a lot of money.
That's not how it works.
It's all right, sweetie.
I can wait.
Come sit next to your dad.
Chicken Parmesan from Spiaggia for milady.
Thank you.
What's wrong, baby? It's my dad.
They, uh, want to keep him in the hospital longer.
Oh, Mich Oh, I'm sorry.
I just Ugh, I can't.
I just didn't really think anything could ever stop my daddy, you know? I'm sorry.
Yeah, I don't know what we'll do.
He's a remarkable man, and he raised a brave, remarkable daughter.
Well, he doesn't think you're half bad either.
Yeah, I don't think I'm really brave enough to see him like this, you know? You are the hardest-loving person I know.
I mean, that's why I, uh I know that you're the one.
You mean the one? Yeah, I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to make it about that.
But that's, uh that's just how I feel, though.
Me too.
The president shall be with you shortly.
- Uncle Teddy.
- There she is.
Let me take a look at you.
Why, you're all grown up, Nel! Only you call me that.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
I was ordered home by Grandmother to attend this inane coming out party.
- Ah, yes, your debut.
- Yes.
My education was cruelly cut short for a dance.
I read that you dined with Booker T.
What was it like to have dinner with such a man? It was just like dining with anyone else.
- Ah.
Thank you.
- Thank you.
So, Nel, what do you plan to do with this fine partial education you've received? Help those who are less fortunate.
Those who don't have the luxury of Allenswood to introduce them to the world.
Seems this Madame Souvestre has made quite the impression.
And to answer your question, what I plan to do is teach, and what I plan not to do is participate in this absurd ritual of putting on a frilly dress to try to attract a suitable husband.
So, you'll become a brilliant, accomplished spinster.
No children, no family.
Madame Souvestre doesn't have a husband, and look what she has accomplished.
Life is about relationships.
Not just romantic ones, but all sorts of alliances that can help us along the way.
You never know who you may meet at even the dreariest of functions.
So I say put on the dress and go.
- Is that your advice? - Mmm.
At the very least, it'll give you something to write about.
Your letters show great promise.
- Luke.
Good to see you.
- Oh, hello.
One second.
Ah! Wait.
You were the terrible cousin who used to carry me around when I was little, and I didn't I didn't like it.
- Terrible fifth cousin.
- Yes.
You don't like dancing? Oh, I don't like mindless rituals that force a girl to be at the whims of young men she barely knows.
Oh, I'm sure you know more people than you think.
Well, I've been studying abroad for three years.
I see.
Why did you come, then? My uncle thought I should.
Your uncle Theodore, the president? Yes.
Sorry, I didn't realize he had time to weigh in on such matters.
Oh, the president chooses his time very carefully.
What have you got so far? Oh.
I don't let anyone read my work until it's finished.
You know, I dabble a bit myself.
I write for The Harvard Crimson.
Oh! What do you cover? Whatever they'll print.
In fact, one time, I covered your uncle Teddy.
I'm told I may even have a shot at editor next year, so Franklin, come on, the party's upstairs.
So We both know I'm too plain for you, Franklin.
On the contrary.
I think it's quite clear you are the opposite of plain.
In fact, I'm certain you are the least plain person at this entire event.
Maybe the least plain person that I have ever met.
The only worry I have is that I may be too plain for you.
So, what do you say? One dance.
No, thank you.
I may need a few minutes.
Uh, that mac and cheese was the truth.
Well, wait till you try the pie.
My dad's favorite.
He just could not stay away from it.
Might need you to save me a piece, Mom.
- Aw.
- I love you.
- Love you too.
- I'll see y'all later, okay? Bye, Craig.
Tell Janis I said hello.
- Yeah, will do.
- Mm-hmm.
Let me help you with that, Marian.
Oh, thank you.
No, no, no, no.
I'll help your mom.
Give you a chance to, uh, finish your case prep.
Look at this gentleman over here.
Um, we've been talking a lot about future things.
So, uh You think, since I've made it this long, uh You think, uh, she'd marry me? Young man are you asking me for my daughter's hand in marriage - right here and now? - I suppose I am.
I mean, I thought I'd at least run it by you.
If Fraser were still here he'd know better than to answer anything on behalf of Michelle, and I'm no dummy either.
You're gonna have to ask her yourself.
Now? No.
Ah, beautiful.
Absolutely beautiful.
Your father would be so proud.
I wish he was here to see this.
My dear Eleanor, no other success in life, not the presidency or anything else, compares with the love between a man and wife.
Now, I believe you and Franklin love each other unselfishly, and I know good fortune will attend you both.
You're a good girl.
Shall we? You're allowed to breathe, Betty.
I don't know why I'm so nervous.
Maybe it's because your future husband felt the need to work on the morning of his wedding.
Jerry Ford.
He's going places.
He's here.
He's here, he's here, he's here.
Mom, you look beautiful.
Oh, Craig, you're wearing Dad's old bow tie.
"Use it up, wear it out.
" "Make it do, or do without.
" Mmm.
I'm so proud of you.
- Thank you.
- Shall we? Yes.
Oh, yeah, baby ♪ Like a fool I went and stayed too long ♪ Now I'm wondering if your love's still strong ♪ Ooh, baby, here I am ♪ Signed, sealed, delivered I'm yours ♪ Then that time I went and said goodbye ♪ Now I'm back and not ashamed to cry ♪ Ooh, baby, here I am ♪ Signed, sealed, delivered I'm yours ♪ Here I am, baby ♪ Oh, you got my future in your hands ♪ Here I am, baby ♪ Oh, you got my future in your hands ♪ I've done a lot of foolish things ♪ That I really didn't mean ♪ Yay! I got it! Oh, baby ♪ Seen a lot of things in this old world ♪ When I touch them they mean nothing, girl ♪ To the Roosevelts! Signed, sealed, delivered I'm yours ♪ I'm yours ♪ Ooh-wee, baby you set my soul on fire ♪ That's why I know you're my heart's only desire ♪ Ooh, baby, here I am ♪ Signed, sealed, delivered I'm yours ♪ Here I am, baby ♪ Oh, you got my future in your hands, baby ♪ Oh, you got my future in your hands, baby ♪
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