The Wonder Years (2021) s01e07 Episode Script

Independence Day

1 One thing that all species have in common is that at some point, offspring have to leave the protection of their parents and venture out on their own.
The process of gaining independence can go smoothly, or not smoothly at all.
Um I was wondering, can I go to the mall with some kids from my school? "Who's gonna be there?" "What are their parents' names?" "Why do you want to go there anyway?" "We got popcorn at the house.
" "Do you have mall money?" Unfortunately, my parents were not the kind to just let their kids hang out at the mall, even after it was desegregated.
When I was a kid, the Nordale Mall was like Mecca, the Promised Land, and the Forbidden City all in one.
It had delicious food, sharp clothes, and a pet store full of puppies.
But most of all, it had teenagers having the time of their lives totally unsupervised.
I couldn't wait to hang out at the mall without having my parents dragging me around.
But I wasn't the only one in the family struggling to gain independence.
You need to slow down.
I'm barely moving.
Watch out for that car.
Dad, we're stopped.
- In the middle of the street? - At a stop sign! I know what I'm doing.
Then why aren't you moving? It's clear.
Dad, can you please tell Dean to stop breathing on my neck? That hot breath is gonna mess up my hair.
Dean, sit back.
Kim, go around this car in front of you.
Driving like a maniac.
Be careful, now.
Dad? Granddaddy Clisby? The only person I knew who my dad had to answer to.
Back then, I thought Granddaddy Clisby was mean just to be mean.
I was wrong.
That was him being nice.
Yes, Mother Williams.
I can take you.
No problem at all.
Good night.
What's Mama talking about? She wants me to take her to choir practice tomorrow.
She doesn't trust your dad's driving.
I told you how he was swerving all over the road.
It was like watching a drunk turtle.
Well, it was worse than that.
He had a fender-bender.
Left the car and walked home.
They called a tow truck, but he couldn't remember where he left it.
I guess it's time.
Everybody's time comes sooner or later.
I know it's hard, but you're doing the right thing, and you're doing it because you love him.
It's okay, Dad.
He'll be in a better place, like Buster.
I didn't exactly know what they were talking about, but it sounded like when my dog Buster had to go to a big farm in the sky.
What? Boy, we're talking about stopping your granddad from driving, not putting him down.
Oh! Oh, oh, oh and I know Ohh Through the highs and the lows I'mma find my way home It'll be hard at first, but Lil and I will make sure you and Mama get every place you need to go, on time and in style.
That's why I was invited over here.
To fill me up on pound cake and meat loaf while you two conspire to steal my freedom.
W We just want you to be safe.
- Mm-hmm.
- Mother Williams said - you drove into the shed - Well and crushed all of her gardening supplies.
I just need to get my brakes checked, huh? Listen, why don't you wrap me up some of this pound cake? I'm going home.
Mills Brothers on TV tonight, huh? Give me your keys.
I'll drive you.
Oh, no, no.
Nobody drives Old Betsy but me.
Come on, Dad.
You know it's for the best.
Best for who? Not for me.
I mean, h-how am I gonna get to the barbershop and see my friends? He has friends? Son, now you best get on out of my way.
Sorry, Daddy, but this how it has to be.
As I watched my dad face off with his dad, I thought how great it must feel to finally get to lay down the law to your own father.
But the look on my dad's face said it didn't feel great at all.
I'mma need to get to the hardware store on Saturday.
For what? You have every nail that's Fine.
Kim can take you.
As a matter of fact, you should leave your car here for her to drive.
Now, how are you gonna give away my car? Really? I'm getting my own car? I'll buy it for you, on the condition you take your granddaddy wherever he needs to go.
Hold on.
This child don't need to be driving me all over town.
This child need to be trying to find herself a husband.
- That's what she need - A husband? She's 17! Okay, you right.
Ship's passed.
And instead of you taking Mama to church, Kim can take her.
- But that's six times a week.
- Kim.
This child just got her license a hot minute ago.
I mean, hell, I drive better than she do.
She's been trained by the best me.
So it's settled.
This could work out good for everybody.
Yeah, my dad never got any better at reading a room.
The mall was so fun.
The girls from the Catholic school were there, too.
We all met up in the parking lot.
- Then what'd you do? - Just met up.
I'd never seen them without their uniforms before.
- They were naked? - No, dummy.
They were wearing regular clothes.
But maybe next time Anything could happen at the mall.
Man, I wish I could go to the mall without my parents.
How does Norman get to go by himself? Divorced dad.
Norm says he lets him do whatever he wants.
Why do my parents gotta be so in love with each other? Why isn't there a mall in your neighborhood? Oh, you just wait, Brad.
One day that mall by your house will be the black mall.
It's not fair.
The mall's lousy with Catholic girls, and we can't get there.
Well, you guys should just move closer.
Brad really needed to watch the news sometimes.
Wait, Norm might be onto something.
If our dads take us, they'll probably just lose us anyway.
That'll give us enough time to hang out until they find us.
Can your dad take us? Mm, I mean, if he's not working late or going to a fraternity meeting or drinking scotch and listening to jazz.
Maybe your dad could take us.
Nah, my dad's just gonna say, "Go with your mother.
She's always shopping.
" Then she'll say it's her money, she'll spend it how she wants.
Then they'll send me to my room so they can talk.
There might be one more option.
Kim just got her license.
Yeah! Shut up, Brad.
She'll be paying even less attention than our dads would.
We can ditch her easy.
All right.
Mall, here we come.
I neglected to mention to Cory that riding with my sister came with one condition.
Boy, stop breathing down my neck.
You're gonna set my collar on fire.
And comb your hair! Both of you look like you got weeds growing out of your head.
Our people's hair looked better during slavery.
I just combed it.
Well, next time, do it right.
That's how it was between us and Granddaddy.
I guess he loved his grandkids, but he never showed it, just a nonstop stream of insults.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Come on, Kim! Didn't you see the truck? Maybe if you'd take some of that eye makeup off, you could see a little better.
And criticisms.
I saw him coming up fast, so I let him pass.
Maybe that's your problem.
You're too nice.
Didn't even cuss at him or flash a gun.
Okay, Granddaddy.
Next stop is the hardware store.
Well, you're going the wrong way.
I'm going to Mercer's down there on Dexter.
Dean, that's the opposite way of the mall.
Yeah, Cory's right.
We're gonna miss all the fun.
Why that one? Aren't all wrenches the same? Oh, young lady, all you need to know about tools is which one to pass your husband when he's fixing the sink.
The stores on this side of town don't like us, so take me to a store where there's Negro clerks that don't follow me around and ask me for my money just so they can be sure I can pay.
Okay, but we have to stop at the grocery store and the dry cleaner before we get there.
No! Everybody's waiting for us at the mall.
If we make all those stops, they'll be gone by the time we get there.
If Mercer's sell out of those new soldering irons, I'm going to get mean, and you guys don't want to see that! Okay.
Let's listen to some music.
- All right, ow! - Oh, my God.
Come on.
Come on.
Come on.
Yeah, that boy get too sweaty.
Y'all need to listen to some gospel.
Yeah, you look to Jesus Look to Jesus Look to Jesus - Look to Jesus - You two need some Jesus.
Now, son, I don't know you, but I can tell by looking at you that you could use some, too.
The radio station is the driver's choice.
All right As Kim dragged us along on her errands, I discovered Granddaddy Clisby and I had something in common.
He hated being in the Kiddie Car as much as I hated being in the Senile Shuttle.
I have Jesus, sir.
Shut up, boy.
You don't.
I got the feeling, baby Baby, sometimes I'm up Sometimes I'm down Is it me, or does it even smell like girls in here? It definitely does.
That's because we're in front of the perfume department, idiot.
Stop talking! I don't want my friends to see you here with me.
They think we're here alone.
Don't disrespect your sister, hmm? Do you own a hat? I was finally able to embark on my first solo visit to the mall.
I felt grown, mature, tall bored.
None of us knew how to talk to the girls.
No, that's not how you walk the dog, Brad.
Here, give me the yo-yo.
Hey, D.
Ain't that your girl? - Charlene.
- Hi.
What are you doing here? Montgomery Ward got a new shipment of church hats.
My mom likes to shop before the other first ladies see them.
Where's your mom? Uh, at home.
Just hanging out at the mall with my friends.
Really? You're so mature.
- Want some of this? - Sure.
One of the best things about having a girlfriend was that you got to eat their food.
There he is.
Right there.
The only thing more embarrassing to a teenager than being seen with parents in the mall is being seen with your grandparents, especially one as crotchety as Granddaddy Clisby.
I thought you were by yourself.
I I I did.
I I was.
Uh, I'm gonna go find my mom.
See you in church.
I thought we weren't leaving for two more hours.
We're not, but Granddaddy didn't want to wait while I shop for my delicates.
Well, now, ladies underwear ain't no place for a grown man to be waiting.
Shouldn't even have to be looking at it.
Kim, I mean, if you need some help, I He can stay with you while I finish shopping.
But w-we're busy.
Standing around? He can stand with you.
Wait Now, these are the boys you came to the mall to see? Yes, sir.
Well, I know they make you go to school with them, but, uh, you don't have to pretend to like them, you understand? But I do like them.
Oh, well.
I guess we have overcome, then, huh? Hey, everyone.
Come over here for a minute.
So, this is my granddad, Mr.
He's gonna be hanging out with us for a while.
Yeah, now, I got a question.
Why would young and healthy children want to hang out in this cold mall rather than play in the sunshine outside? I mean, what's so special about this place? Well, there's a food court.
Boy, you can eat at home.
And the movies.
Well, I never was one for going to the movies.
They used to make us sit up in the balcony and see the same shows that other people got to see from the good seats.
But your dad used to beg me and beg me to let him go so he could be free with his friends, but it wasn't safe, him to be going around and about where anything could happen to him.
I began to see why my dad was so overprotective, and maybe it wasn't overprotective.
Maybe it was wise.
Well, we don't have to sit in the balcony seats anymore, Granddad.
Even if we did, we still don't have money for the movies.
"Rosemary's Baby" is playing.
- Oh.
- I'd love to see that.
Yeah, me too.
But my dad doesn't let me see R-rated movies.
Your dad said that? Well, I'm in charge, and, uh, I got money.
I can get you in.
Really? All of us? Yeah.
You think this is enough? Yeah! Whenever I looked at the roll of cash he carried, I thought Granddaddy Clisby was rich.
I didn't realize back then, it was hard for him to get a bank account.
One good gust of wind, and he'd be off to the poorhouse.
Well, I guess we can get going, then.
Thanks, Mr.
- Yeah! - So cool.
This is gonna be so good.
Think we could get some popcorn, too? Yes.
Thank you, sir.
So, that's who you're courting now? What? Oh, no.
I have a girlfriend.
She just left.
The one with the cotton candy.
Boy, if The Blind Boys of Alabama were standing here, they'd be singing songs about how you're looking at that girl.
Keisa's just my friend.
Ah, well, whatever you say.
But it was a smart thing for you to pick a scary movie.
Yeah, she might get frightened and let you put your arm around her.
I like that.
Smart? Wow.
That was the nicest thing Granddaddy Clisby had ever said to me.
Maybe he was softening up.
That sure was rated R for a reason.
Oh, please.
You couldn't even see the baby.
Then why is it still in my head? I just want my mama.
Don't tell me this movie scared you kids.
You got to toughen up! Listen, when I was 12 years old, I had already killed a platoon full of German soldiers during the Great War.
I shot some of them, put the bayonet to the rest of them.
How'd the let you in the army if you were still in junior high? Because I had a full beard and a mustache at 11.
You're funny, Granddad.
Thanks for the movie.
Granddad did me such a huge favor that day.
My friends thought he was cool, and that made me cool, too.
Let's just keep this R-rated movie between the two of us, all right? Sorry I'm late.
I ran into a boy from school who worked at the shoe store.
He invited me to a party, so I'm gonna have to take you to the barbershop tomorrow.
Listen, if the Devil is looking to pick a bride, I got a suggestion.
Today we'll be taking a look at some of our favorite woodland creatures Bill.
Bill! Listen, um, uh, Kim has left me, and I needed to get to the barbershop.
Ah, I'm working on an arrangement with Washboard right now.
We are really smoking! Give me an hour or so, and I'll run you home.
N B-Bill? and other succulent plants.
Be careful Nobody tells me No son of mine is gonna tell me when I can get my hair cut.
Well, are you staying or coming? You want me to go with you? Yeah.
Now, now, listen.
Listen, listen.
Now, if you gonna go with me, no snitching to your dad.
So it began my first joyride in a stolen vehicle.
Thelma had Louise, and I had my 73-year-old grandfather.
We were locked and loaded for trouble as soon as we adjusted the front seat.
She didn't know I had these.
You know, your father, grandmother, and that redneck police officer don't know what they talking about.
I been driving for 60 years.
Yeah, I know what I'm doing.
Watching the expression on my granddad's face, I related to him in a new way.
We were both tired of unfair limitations other people put on us.
We had both gotten a taste of independence, and it was good.
This was actually fun.
The two of us breaking rules, together.
Hey! How you doing? Hey there, brother.
- Yeah.
- Give me that coat.
Oh, Muhammad Ali should have just gone on into the army.
He'd be back in the ring by now.
Well, you know what? I'm glad he took a stand.
And I wish more pro athletes would, too.
Well, see, I ain't studding them rich Negroes.
Bring on the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Real athletes, no politics.
So you don't disagree with any of this country's politics? Son, everybody disagrees with this country's politics.
You just got to be ready to serve, see? I served, hmm? My son served.
My other grandson is in Vietnam right now.
You got to be ready to fight and die for America.
Ain't that right, Dean? Uh, yes.
Yes, sir.
Die? I hadn't really thought about all that.
But that's what the barbershop was good for making you think, challenging your assumptions, and giving you a good laugh.
Dean won't take a fastball for his little league team.
How the hell he ready to die for his country? Well, he certainly can't serve in the army with that hair.
So, Bray, were you able to do anything with it? Well, I trimmed it up.
Now your grandson looks nice and neat, like Wicked Wilson Pickett.
See, you just don't like the afro style, Mr.
Come on, Mr.
Look, you know they say that, uh, Jesus had hair like wool.
You see, he's just saying that because his hair look like the back end of a fat sheep's dookey.
Now, that's wrong.
Oh, you laughing hard, ain't you? Uh, uh, uh.
Now, now, now, when Bray first started cutting hair, oh, he was just so nervous, his his hands were shaking like a leaf.
I had to say to him I said, "Now, don't you dare cut no zig-zags in my hair," see? Granddad! Are you okay? Yeah, I-I I'm fine.
Are you okay? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I just need a minute to kind of collect myself.
Are you sure you're okay? Because I don't know what I'd do if But you're okay, right? Yeah.
Damn it! It's just a little accident.
My dad almost ran over a squirrel last week, and my mom was so scared that she even almost said a bad word, too.
I learned a lot about my granddad that day and why black men like him go to the barbershop, even when their hair hasn't changed in 20 years.
Where you been? We were so worried! Look at the car.
Look at the car, Dad.
How many times do I have to tell you? I don't know what to tell Dean, are you okay? Are you okay, Dean? Dad, I don't Watching my granddad deal with his new situation made me realize that what he was being forced to accept was much harder than the limitations I had as a 12-year-old.
I also appreciated how difficult this was for my dad and how difficult it may be for me one day when I have to do the same thing.
Nah! I'm gonna love telling him what to do.
Younger and older generations always have more in common than it appears on the surface.
We both want independence, self-determination and freedom.
Even if that freedom doesn't start until you're down the street, where your friends can't see you getting dropped off.
Don't worry about it Hey.
Hey! What's up, Dean?
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