Empty Nest is now on Laff TV! To celebrat
After a successful seven-season run, Empty Nest aired an hour long finale on April 29, 1995. The episode was written by Peter Gallay, Ursula Ziegler, Steve Sullivan, Paul B. Price and Dennis Snee and directed by Steve Zuckerman. Kristy McNichol, who had left the series in 1992, returned for the occassion.
The plot centers around Laverne's pending nuptials to her boyfriend, Matt. When the clinic temporarily shuts down due to asbestos, Laverne and Maxine head to Hickory to plan the wedding. Meanwhile, Harry considers taking a teaching job he's been offered in Vermont, and Carol announces that she is engaged to boyfriend Kevin. The rest of the gang travels to Hickory for Laverne's wedding, including Charley and Sophia, who make the trip in Charley's car, but are shocked to discover that Laverne - upset by her mother's unwillingness to honor Laverne's wish for a small ceremony - has eloped with Matt.
Shocked by the news that Harry is considering selling the house and moving away, Carol has a fight with Kevin, resulting in their breakup. Once in Hickory, however, Kevin shows up to surprise Carol and soon their engagement is back on. Laverne's father offers to marry them himself and, just as Carol is strolling down the aisle, Laverne and Matt return, still unmarried. Both couples participate in a double wedding.
Back in Miami, Barbara arrives home to pack up her belongings and immediately begins
bickering with Carol. As emotions swell among the Westons and Charley, Harry decides that he can't give up the memories that the house holds. He later changes his mind again after Libby (in ghost form) shows up to remind him that life does indeed go on.
In the end, everyone is in the Weston living room to say good-bye to Harry as he prepares to leave for Vermont. They gather for a group photo at the end of the episode.
During the closing credits, we see a short, humorous bit that suggests the character of Dreyfuss was actually played by a man in a dog suit.
The Clinic: Maxine is standing in the lounge as a building inspector enters from the storage room.
Maxine: So, what's the verdict?
Building Inspector: I've never seen a building this age so well insulated.
Building Inspector: It's a shame it's all gotta come out.
Maxine: What? Why?
Building Inspector: Asbestos. It can cause cancer, you know?
Maxine: Of course I know! I'm a doctor
Building Inspector: Oh and I suppose a doctor's too good to go out with a building inspector?
Maxine: I never said that!
Building Inspector: Great, pick me up at 8.
He hands her his business card and walks out.
She tosses the card behind her and walks into the waiting area where Laverne is on the telephone with her mother.
Laverne: No Mama! Mama! Mama, I keep tellin' you I don't want a big fancy wedding. I had one of them when I married Nick. Even if you was against it, it still counts. All right now, Mama, I'll see you in a few days. Please, Mama, remember, no big fuss.
Laverne hangs up the phone as Maxine enters from the lounge.
Maxine: Laverne, we're closing down for two weeks.
Laverne: It is just my wedding. It is not a national holiday.
Maxine: No, you don't understand. The inspector said this place is loaded with asbestos.
Laverne: That way I can go home early and ride herd on Mama. That woman's gone wedding crazy!
Maxine: Oh, she's just excited.
Laverne: She's planning a laser show!
Maxine places her hand on Laverne's head, as if granting a blessing.
Maxine: Go my child, ride herd with my blessing.
Laverne: Doctor, why don't you come with me?
Maxine: I am coming. I'll be there for the wedding.
Laverne: No, I mean tomorrow. I could use the moral support, and now you've got some extra time.
Maxine: No offense, Laverne, but I was thinking of spending it some place a little more exotic than Hickory. Like Pittsburgh.
Laverne: Please? Please!
Maxine: Laverne, I'm not good with fresh air. Or the people who breathe it.
Laverne: Okay, if you don't come home with me tomorrow, I'm gonna call your mama and tell her that you have the next two weeks off.
Maxine: You're bluffing.
They stand staring at each other briefly with squinted eyes. Laverne makes a move toward the phone, and Maxine attempts to beat her to it.
The Clinic: Harry and Maxine are in the lounge, looking through a box of files.
Harry: Are you sure it's safe in here with all this asbestos?
Maxine: Well, the inspector says there's no danger unless it starts disintegrating. But I will feel better when its gone.
Laverne enters wearing a medical face mask.
Laverne: So will I! Are these the files for the 39th Street Clinic?
Maxine: They're all yours.
Laverne: I'll drop 'em off on my way to the bank.
Harry: Laverne, I'd take the mask off before going into the bank.
She picks up the box and walks out. Harry and Maxine sit down at the table, drinking coffee.
Maxine: So, Harry, how was your trip to Vermont?
Harry: Oh, Maxine, I can't tell you how beautiful it is up there.
Maxine: You know I was in Vermont once. Or was it New Hampshire? No wait, it was a Christmas tree lot in the Bronx.
Harry: My friend, Bob, lives about five miles from the medical school, right in the middle of the woods. It's incredible.
Maxine: If you like trees.
Harry: Who doesn't like trees? Nobody doesn't like trees.
Maxine: No, Harry, nobody doesn't like Sara Lee.
Harry: You know Bob goes fishing every day. And he taps his own maple trees for syrup. Do you have any idea what it's like to tap a tree?
Maxine: I imagine it's like that thrill you get when you insert a catheter.
Harry: You want to hear something funny? He offered me a job teaching pediatrics a couple days a week.
Maxine: Are you gonna take it?
Harry: Don't be silly, Maxine. I couldnt possibly take it.
Maxine: Why not? It sounds like the perfect job for you. Work two days a week. Spend the rest of the time catching fish and pouring maple syrup over them.
Harry: Maxine, how could I move to Vermont? I've got ties to Miami. I've got the house, and I've got Carol and Scotty. And I've got my responsibilities here at the clinic.
Maxine: Well, Harry, we'd miss you, but we'd manage. I mean, if you want this, you should go for it.
Harry: Well, there's still the house and Carol.
Maxine: Oh, come on. You put an ad in the newspaper: For sale. Well-built rambling modern. Perfect for a young professional. Needs a little fixing.
Harry: What about Carol?
Maxine: I'm talking about Carol.
Weston living room. Harry and Charley are sitting on the couch watching television.
Charley: I'm sorry, Harry. It's confusing. Could you tell me one more time?
Harry: Charley, I've told you three times already.
Charley: But I'm new at this. Please, just once more.
Harry: All right, but this is the last time. That ones McNeil. That ones Lehrer.
Sophia enters through the front door as if poised to make an important announcement.
Sophia: Harry, we can't go to Laverne's wedding. None of us.
Harry: Why not?
Sophia: I had a dream. We were all flying to Hickory and the plane crashed. There were only two survivors.
Sophia: A salesman from Toronto and Madonna.
Harry: Sophia, just because you had a dream doesn't mean that it's going to happen.
Charley: You're wrong, Harry. I saw Madonna interviewed on TV this morning.
Charley: Obviously, she did survive!
Sophia: That's it. I'm not going!
Charley: Neither am I.
Harry: Okay, if flying bothers you, then why don't you take a train?
Sophia: In the dream, the plane crashed into a train!
Charley: Spooky! Hey, I've got an idea. Sophia, why don't we drive?
Sophia: I'm in!
Charley: Harry, buddy, can I borrow your car?
Harry: Charley, pal, come on. Do you even have to ask? Of course not!
Sophia: Im going home to pack. Ill see you in Hickory, Harry. Oh wait, I forgot. You're flying. Well, it was nice knowing you.
As the scene changes, we see an aerial view of Hickory and hear a radio DJ broadcasting over accompanying banjo music.
DJ: Its 68 degrees and sunny in Hickory. This is KBBH: down home radio for northcentral Arkansas. Now stay tuned for the Howard Stern Show.
Cut to the living room of Lavernes parents Grit and Scarlett Higby. Grit is reading the newspaper when the doorbell rings.
Scarlett: Oh my lord, theyre here!
Grit: Ill get it.
He slowly gets up and makes his way toward the door as Scarlett runs back and forth bringing various plates of food to the coffee table. Just as he is set to open the door, she gets in front of him and opens it herself. Upon seeing each other, she and Laverne scream in delight and hug while Maxine stands at the door holding the bags and smiling uncomfortably.
Maxine: Hi. Is this the Higby residence?
Scarlett: Oh come in Dr. Douglas. We have heard so much about you. So, how do you like Hickory so far?
Maxine: Im impressed. I was really surprised by your airport.
Scarlett: What about it?
Maxine: You got one!
Scarlett: Would yall care for some refreshments?
Maxine: Well I hope you didnt go to any trouble.
Scarlett: Oh its nothing. Nothing at all. Just a little iced tea and a few cookies...and some hushpuppies, and uh catfish, fried chicken and uh dumplings of course. And uh...well Im afraid thats all. Ill go make more!
She runs out of the room as Maxine and Laverne sit down.
Laverne: Have a seat Maxine. Well Daddy, hows business?
Grit: Uh huh.
Laverne: Yeah. Things pickin up?
Grit: Uh huh.
Laverne: Well good. Daddys an auctioneer!
Maxine: Oh really? What do you auction?
Grit: Livestock, tobacco, renaissance art.
Maxine: Renaissance art?
Grit: It dont come up that often but if you find a Botticelli in your barn, Im your man!
Laverne: Come on Daddy, do it one time for us. Its a hoot.
Grit: Oh, shes not interested.
Maxine: No really, Id love to hear it.
Laverne: Come on Daddy auction off something, say them hushpuppies there!
He picks up a plate of hushpuppies and holds them in front of him.
Grit: Okay. What are my bid for these hushpuppies?
Laverne: Five dollars!
Grit: Okay, five dollars. Anybody wanna bid ten? [pauses] Well you get the idea.
Laverne: Aint he great? Daddys gonna perform the ceremony. Hes a judge, too.
Grit: Im the only one in town knows how to work the gavel.
Scarlett enters carrying two more plates of food and puts them on the table.
Laverne: Oh Daddy, wait till you see what Im wearing to the wedding.
Scarlett: Hes already seen what youre wearing, Dear. Youre wearing my old wedding gown.
Laverne: Mama, I plan on wearing a really nice gray suit.
Scarlett: And Im sure youll look lovely in it. Perhaps on the trip to the honeymoon.
Laverne: I plan on wearing it at my wedding.
Scarlett: Well fine. And then you can wear it again at my funeral because Ill just die if you shame me in front of 200 people!
Laverne is shocked, and speaks as if gasping for air.
She turns to Maxine, with her back to her mother.
Laverne: If she keeps the up it aint the shame thats gonna kill her.
Maxine: Uh, Mrs. Higby, if I could put my two cents in.
Grit: I have two cents! Do I hear three?
Scarlett: Vernie, honey, I dont want to tell you what to do. Its just that I know that when Matt sees you all dressed in white, coming down that long spiral staircase...
Laverne: Mama, we dont have a spiral staircase.
Grit: She rented one!
Scarlett: Its all set up in the backyard.
Maxine gets up and looks out the window.
Maxine: Wow! Were talking Gone With the Wind City!
Scarlett: Thats where we got it!
The Weston kitchen. Harry is standing at the counter, on the phone.
Harry: No Julius, I dont want it listed. Im just curious about how much I would get for my house if I sold it. How much?
Upon hearing the answer, he lowers the phone and covers it with his hand, screams, and puts it back to his ear.
Harry: Are you sure thats the best we can do?
Carol enters through the back door full of excitement, yelling for Harry. He hangs up the phone and goes over to her.
Carol: Daddy! Daddy! Oh my God, Daddy! Daddy, I have news. I have big news. The biggest news ever! I have dreamed of this moment for so long! I knew how I would tell you! It has to be absolutely perfect. Come here, sit here!
She grabs him by the arm and leads him hurriedly to a chair, then pulls him again before he finally stops her.
Carol: No, stand up! Maybe you should put on a tie!
Harry: Carol please slow down! Youre acting like youre getting married or something.
Carol: Well thanks a lot you ruined my moment!
Harry: Youre getting married? Thats terrific! Go back outside, well do it again. Ill sit down, Ill put on a tie...
Carol: No Daddy! Look!!
She shows him her ring and the two hug happily.
Harry: Oh God, great! Its unbelievable! Oh sweetheart, I cant tell you how happy I am....for you, too!
Carol goes over to the desk and grabs a pencil and notepad.
Carol: I have a million things to do. I have to call Barbara and Emily and Aunt Susan. Look at me, Im making an Im Getting Married list. I wonder if I saved my old one. Dont worry Daddy. Even though Im getting married, Ill still come visit you every single day.
Harry: Well, maybe not.
Carol: What do you mean?
Harry: I have a little news of my own. Come here, sit down.
They sit down together at the kitchen table.
Harry: Ive been offered a job teaching.
Carol: Oh Daddy, thats wonderful!
Harry: In Vermont.
Carol: Vermont? Would you have to live there? Of course you would. No, thats great...and sudden.
Harry: Yeah well Ive been thinking about it for quite a while here and I wasnt gonna take it but now that youre getting married, I guess Im going to Vermont!
Charley and Sophia are in the car, on their way to Hickory.
Sophia: Charley, how long till the next town?
Charley: Ten minutes.
Sophia: Youve been saying that for the past hour.
Charley: Well one of these times, Im gonna be right.
Sophia: Tell me the truth, are we lost?
Charley: Im not sure. I could tell better if I had some idea of where we are.
Sophia: You never shouldve taken that turnoff.
Charley: You told me to.
Sophia: Whyd you wanna listen to me for? Ive got such a lousy sense of direction, sometimes I think Im getting younger.
Charley: You were reading the map.
Sophia: I thought I was but it turned out I was just looking at the veins in my hand.
At the Higby house, Maxine sits in a chair reading a newspaper while Laverne stands on a stool wearing a wedding gown which Scarlett is hemming.
Scarlett: Look at her Maxine. Looks like she just stepped off a wedding cake.
Maxine: Yeah if I didnt know better, Id swear there was frosting on her shoes.
Laverne: Okay I tried it on like I said I would now lets get me out of it.
Scarlett: Oh hush girl, it isnt an official try on till we make it fit right.
Maxine: Laverne, heres your wedding announcement in the Hickory Gazette.
Laverne: Mama I told you not to do that!
Scarlett: Laverne its customary, now hold still.
Maxine: Its four pages.
Maxine: Page one, the childhood years. Man its true what they say, everybodys ugly when theyre thirteen.
Laverne, obviously frustrated, steps down off the stool.
Laverne: Mama we have to have a little talk concerning my wedding. And I reiterate that phrasing my wedding as in I would like to choose what I wear.
Scarlett: Why dont we ask Maxine for an unbiased opinion?
Laverne: Do you promise to abide by what she says?
Scarlett: Of course I will. Now Maxine, which do you think is more appropriate? This lovely handmade wedding gown thats been worn by every Higby bride for six generations, or this cheap gray suit off the wrack of some cut-rate store in a sleazy, God forsaken Miami neighborhood?
Laverne: Mother, I do not buy my clothes in cut-rate stores in sleazy, God forsaken neighborhoods.
Scarlett picks up the dress and examines it.
Scarlett: You dont? I stand corrected. But it certainly was an honest mistake.
Laverne: Okay Doctor, what is your opinion?
Maxine: Well personally I like the wedding gown. But Laverne is a grown woman and it seems to me she has absolute right to choose for herself.
Scarlett: Well I guess that settles it then. Come on, lets get you out of this thing. Weve got to get it all hemmed and pressed before the big event.
Laverne: Mama, you agreed to abide by Dr. Douglass opinion!
Scarlett: Well thats right and her opinion is she likes the wedding gown better. Oh, wait right here. Im gonna go run and get the veil. You know I just thought of something, youll be the oldest Higby bride ever to wear this dress.
Scarlett exits up the stairs.
Laverne: Do you see what she does? Do you see what I am up against?
Maxine: Yeah, she really pushes you around. I like her!
Weston living room: Carol enters through the front door carrying a shopping bag. Dreyfuss is sitting alone in a chair.
Carol: Daddy, Im home! Wait until you see the outfit I got for our trip to Hickory! I found it in this wonderful cut rate shop in a sleazy God forsaken neighborhood! Daddy? Oh...the silence of things to come.
She goes over to Dreyfuss and kneels down in front of him.
Carol: Oh Dreyfie, you and Daddy arent really going to move to Vermont are you?
He raises up revealing a canine traveling case around his neck and exits through the kitchen. Carol, looking depressed, perks up as the doorbell rings.
Carol: Oh, Daddy? Is that you? Maybe he forgot his key.
She opens the door and finds that it is her fianc Kevin.
Carol: Oh, Kevin, hi!
Kevin: Hi, Honey.
He hugs her tightly, lifting her off the ground, and kisses her.
Kevin: I was on my way to the airport and I realized I wasnt going to see you before you left for Lavernes wedding.
Carol: I know. Im gonna miss you.
Kevin: Im gonna miss you, too, Mrs. Millen.
Carol: Mrs. Millen? Mrs. Millen? Why are you assuming Im going to change my name? Westons a good name! Its my Daddys name!
Kevin: Okay, dont change it. I was just excited about getting married.
Carol: Oh Im sorry sweetheart, I am too. I think Im just a little tired.
Kevin: Its okay. I see theyve already got the For Sale sign up outside. This is a great house. I bet it's going to sell in no time.
Carol: Honey, I just had a weird idea.
Kevin: Okay...but I dont have much time!
Carol: No! What if we bought this house? Then you could move in with me in my room and we could keep Daddy's room exactly the way it is for when he wants to visit.
Kevin: Honey, we talked about getting our own place.
Carol: Youre right, we should. How about Vermont?
Kevin: Vermont? Carol, why? Our life is here.
Carol: Our life? What about my life?
Kevin: I dont think youre going into this with the right attitude.
Carol: Look, Ive got a lot going on right now. And I need some time to think. Maybe we should put off getting married for a little while.
Kevin: Put it off? For how long?
Carol: I dont know Kevin. I dont know.
The Higby living room. A terrible rainstorm is occurring outside. Maxine is sitting on the couch as the doorbell rings. Scarlett rushes into the room to answer the door, Grit follows.
Scarlett: Oh, come in, come in!
She opens the door. Carol enters holding Scotty. Harry follows carrying luggage.
Scarlett: Let me take your umbrella. Grit, go fetch Laverne. Tell her Dr. Westons here.
Grit: Nice talkin to yall.
Harry: Whatd he say?
Carol: Its nothing, Daddy! His ears are still plugged up from the flight.
Harry: Mine too!
Scarlett: Look at the little angel.
Carol: Yeah, its been a long day. Could I put him down somewhere?
Scarlett: Right in there.
Carol: Okay, thanks.
Carol exits as Scarlett shows Harry to the sofa, where he sits down next to Maxine.
Scarlett: Doctor, make yourself at home.
Maxine: So, how was your flight Harry?
Maxine: I beg your pardon?
Harry: The flight was hairy, isnt that what you said?
Carol reenters and sits down in a chair.
Carol: Wheres Charley and Sophia?
Maxine: Theyre not here yet.
Carol: Youre kidding! They shouldve been here days ago. Daddy, Sophia and Charley arent here yet!
Harry: Oh good, Ill go say hello!
Scarlett: My, I hope theyre alright. Radio says roads are washed out all over the state.
The scene cuts to Charley and Sophia in a car, driving down the highway.
Sophia: Do you have any idea where youre going?
Charley: Sure. That way.
Sophia: Maybe you should let me drive.
Charley: Are you kidding? You cant even see over the dashboard. Dont worry I know exactly where we are. Were right here in Indiana.
He points to the map, as if to prove to her he knows what hes doing. She grabs the map and examines it herself.
Sophia: Oh Yutz! You got the map upside-down. Okay Magellan, hang a U-ie. We passed Hickory three hours ago.
He turns the car around and they resume driving in the other direction.
Charley: Okay, now were going in the right direction.
Sophia: Good, maybe we can still see Laverne get married.
Charley notices a car passing them, going the opposite direction.
Charley: I doubt it. She just passed us going the other way.
Back in the Higby living room, Grit enters from upstairs holding a piece of paper.
Grit: Scarlett, we got a problem might effect Lavernes wedding.
Scarlett: Whats the problem?
Grit: She wont be there.
Harry: Whatd he say?
Grit: Shes gone! She left this note. Here, read it for yourself. It says the only way she can have the kind of wedding she really wants is to do it herself. Shes eloped!
Scarlett: My beautiful wedding!
Maxine: This is really awful.
Harry: Well nevermind that! This is really awful!
This scene picks up where the previous scene left off...
Maxine: Damn! I cant believe Laverne eloped.
Harry: Thank God!
Harry: My ears! They popped. I can hear again. I cant believe Laverne eloped.
Scarlett: How could she do such a thing?
Grit: Well that aint no big mystery. Laverne said she wanted a small wedding. But you had to have it your way. What Scarlett wants, Scarlett gets. Now aint that so?
Scarlett: Yes! It is!
Grit: Just checkin. Uhh...can I go now?
Scarlett: Ill go with you. Ive got two hundred wedding guests to uninvite. Oh by the way Doctor, in all the confusion I forgot to give you this message. You got an offer on your house.
She hands him a slip of paper as she and Grit exit. Maxine grabs it from Harry before he can read it.
Maxine: Oh, let me see, let me see! Wow!! Damn, Harry, you just got a lot better looking!
Harry: Give me that! Whoa, boy this is great. Looks like Im selling the house.
Maxine: If I were you, Id hit him up for a nice big wedding.
Harry: Honey, whatever you want. But we really should get home before this guy changes his mind.
Maxine: Youre not going anywhere. I saw the weather forecast on the local morning show. This storms gonna be around for a while...at least according to Regis and Catfish.
Carol: Regis and Catfish. They sound like such a happy couple.
Harry can tell she is upset and sits down on the coffee table in front of her.
Harry: Carol, whats the matter?
Carol: Kevin and I broke up.
Carol: Well after I accepted Kevins marriage proposal I began to consider the big picture.
Harry: Oh God no, not the big picture!
Carol: Daddy, I just want you to know that no matter how brokenhearted, bereft, or abandoned I may feel, I give you my full permission to leave me behind and move to Vermont.
Harry: Good, because thats what Im gonna do. Come on, youre an intelligent, capable young lady. Youre ready to stand on your own two feet. Youre gonna do just fine.
Carol: Youre right! Thanks for that vote of confidence. I feel liberated! I feel empowered!
Harry: Thats my girl!
He stands up and exits the room.
Carol: I feel like youre a very bad Daddy!
Higby living room. Harry and Grit are sitting down, throwing playing cards into a hat.
Harry: Stopped raining.
Grit: Dang it, Harry! We was playing Throw Cards in a Hat, not Talk and Throw Cards in a Hat!
He gets up and walks out of the room, passing Scarlett, who enters as he leaves carrying the top tier of Lavernes wedding cake.
Grit: Jabber, jabber, jabber! Thats all the man does!
Scarlett: Well I just cancelled all the arrangements. We might as well start eatin up the wedding cake. Oh I can just imagine Laverne getting a piece of this...squished in her little face!
She starts to sob and Harry tries to comfort her.
Harry: Come on, try not to be sad. Its turned out to be a beautiful day. The sun is shining...and that means I can go home!
Carol and Maxine enter from upstairs as Harry was about to leave.
Maxine: Hey Harry, you wanna come with us? I thought Id cheer Carol up and show her some of the hot spots of Hickory.
Harry: No, I really need to see about a flight out of here.
Maxine: Oh come on Harry, you cant leave Hickory before you go down to Elmos Bait & Tackle.
Harry: Why not?
Maxine: Because if you guess how many nightcrawlers he has in his jar, he lets you run over stuff with his monster truck! God, I love this town!
Carol: Oh look! Look at Laverne wedding cake. See the little bride and groom with their silly little painted on smiles. They stand there blithely hand-in-hand, about to step into that abyss we call marriage. Oh foolish, foolish figurines!
Maxine: Carol, honey, you need to go count some worms.
Harry exits. Maxine and Carol start to follow when the doorbell rings. Grit enters to answer it but Scarlett beats him to the punch yet again.
Grit: Ill get it!
Scarlett: Oh lord, I forgot to cancel the band!
She opens the door and sees Kevin, thinking he is one of the band members.
Kevin: Uh, hi.
Scarlett: The weddings off! So you go play your Hokey Pokey someplace else.
She slams the door in his face, but Carol runs to open it.
Carol: Kevin? What are you doing here?
Kevin: I had to see you.
Carol: You flew here all the way from Miami just to see me?
Kevin: I stole a plane to see you.
Carol: You stole a plane for me? Thats so romantic!
Maxine: Thats also a felony.
Carol: Kevin, I was wrong. I want to get married.
Carol: Yes! Call me fickle! Call me mercurial! Call me capricious!
Maxine: Call me a cab!
Kevin: Honey, this is great! Lets go home and get married.
Grit: Yall dont have to go anywhere. Ill marry ya right here!
Carol: Really? Kevin?
Kevin: Lets do it!
Grit: Scarlett, fetch me my marrying book and my good suspenders!
Scarlett: Oh come on Maxine, were gonna have a wedding!
She grabs Maxine by the arm and tugs her out of the room.
Higby living room. Kevin enters buttoning the jacket on his suit. Maxine looks on as Harry coaches Scotty on his role in the wedding.
Harry: Now Scotty, youre gonna be the ring bearer because thats what you are for a big boy! Now pay attention to me. When Kevin waves, youre gonna bring him the ring. Understand?
Scotty: I a boy!
Harry: Ive heard that. But you are gonna bring Kevin the ring when he waves at you. Do you understand what Grandpa just said to you?
Scotty: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!...
Harry: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah....
Harry appears flustered as Scotty toddles out of the room. Grit and Scarlett now stand side by side with Kevin facing them, and Harry and Maxine standing behind him.
Grit: Alright now, lets get this show on the road. Scarlett, hit it!
Scarlett: Hit what? If you remember, Grit Higby, I sent the organ back.
Grit: Well it aint a wedding without music!
Scarlett: Okay, okay!
Frustrated, she begins to whistle Here Comes the Bride. The others stare at her surprisingly.
Scarlett: Yall wanna help me out here!?
Everyone joins in whistling as Carol enters from upstairs carrying her bouquet of flowers. As she nears the wedding party, Maxine breaks into the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show. Everyone stops and stares. Maxine quiets down and Carol finishes her march.
Grit: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to join these two in holy matrimony. So, who gives this woman away?
Harry: Me, yo, right here! I got it! I got it!
Grit: Then here we go...
Carol: But first...my beloved family and friends, if youll indulge me, I would like to share some deeply personal thoughts.
Carol turns toward Harry and alternately toward Kevin as she begins her speech...
Carol: Am I the little girl you carried? Is he the little boy at play? Do you remember growing older? When did they?
She grabs Harry and Kevins hands and lifts them up...
Carol: Sunrise! Sunset!
Laverne and Matt enter through the front door, interrupting Carol. Laverne: Hey!
Laverne: Whats going on?
Carol: Im getting married!
Laverne: Oh, sorry! Well take a seat in the back.
Carol: Great! Were all here. As I was saying...Sunrise!
Scarlett: Nice of you to show up at Carols wedding. Its too bad I couldnt show up at yours!
Laverne: Mama, Matt and I are still unhitched.
Carol: So am I! Sunrise!
Matt: So Laverne, you wanna tell your mama why we aint married yet?
Laverne: Well...you know...um...I didnt wanna get married without my mama.
Scarlett: What? Honestly, Laverne, the way you mumble. And after all those elocution lessions!
Harry: Elocution lessons!?
Grit: Scarlett, your daughter just said she couldnt get married without her mama.
Laverne: Oh Mama!
The two begin to cry and hug each other.
Grit: So are we gonna have a wedding or what?
Harry: Wait, wait! I got an idea. Why dont yall have a double wedding!? Did I just say yall? I gotta get out of here!
Laverne: A double wedding? Why thats a great idea! Carol?
Carol: Yeah great, anything, come on, lets go....
Laverne: Mama, just one more thing. May I please wear your wedding dress?
Scarlett: Oh, Darlin!!
Laverne: Oh Mama, I love you!
Scarlett: I love you too, Baby!
As the ladies begin to cry and hug, Maxine is overcome with emotion and grabs a startled Harry, crying and hugging him.
Maxine: I love you Harry!! Sorry...I just got caught up in the moment.
The wedding party reorganizes, with Laverne, Matt, Carol, and Kevin all standing side by side in front of Grit.
Grit: Alright then. Laverne, Matt, Carol, and Kevin, do yall take each other to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for...oh well what the heck. Most of youve been married before, you know the drill! So do ya?
Laverne: I do.
Matt: I do.
Carol: I do.
Kevin: I do.
Grit: Okay then by the power vested in me by the state of Arkansas, and the greater Dardinell County Buick dealers, I pronounce you hitched! Gentlemen, kiss your brides.
As the couples embrace, Charley and Sophia burst through the front door.
Charley: See! I told you wed make it!
Sophia: Let the wedding begin!
Everyone is gathered in the living room for the wedding reception...
Maxine: So what happened to you guys?
Charley: Well the road washed out so we sat in a motel room and watched cable.
Sophia: Thats not all we did. We got schnockered off the mini-bar.
Charley: Yeah, and the manager taught me this really cool game: Throw Cards in a Hat.
Grit: Pardon et moi! Did you say Throw Cards in a Hat?
He grabs Charley by the arm and leads him away. Laverne is mingling with wedding guests and comes upon Maxine.
Maxine: So, Laverne. Im not real good at this but....well hell Im gonna miss you. Next to me, youre the biggest pain in the ass I know.
Laverne: Oh Doctor, back at ya!
They hug and Laverne exits through the front door. Matt passes by and stops to talk to Maxine.
Matt: Thanks again for coming out for the wedding. It really means a lot to Laverne.
Maxine: Yeah, yeah, me too. So let me get this straight. You married her and she gonna be the nurse in your clinic?
Matt: Yeah. Were gonna be together night and day.
Maxine: You are a very brave man!
The scene cuts to Laverne and Harry standing on the front porch of the house.
Laverne: You know Doctor, you are gonna do fine in Vermont. You just remember to bundle up, now you know how your arthritis acts up. Dont try to be a hero out there shovelin that driveway, that trick back of yourn!
There is a pause as the two stare at one another.
Laverne: Doctor, you reckon youre gonna be alright without me?
Harry: It wont be easy. Oh Laverne...
He makes a motion to hug her and she stops him.
Laverne: Doctor, we have had a long, productive, professional relationship and there is just no reason for you to get weepy on me!
She begins to sob herself and the two hug. The scene then shifts back inside.
Carol: Okay everybody, its bouquet throwing time! Assemble all ye single women!
She watches for the ladies to gather, but the only two people who do are Maxine and Sophia.
Sophia: Looks like its just you and me, Shaquille.
Carol tosses the bouquet, which passes over Maxine and Sophia and lands in the hat into which Grit and Charley are throwing cards.
Grit: Dang it! Its not Throw Flowers in a Hat! Cant these people get anything right!?
Weston kitchen. Carol comes down the stairs carrying a box of stuffed animals.
Carol: No, no, no! Because to you borrowing means keeping. After all the stuff youve taken, I wonder why I never gave you a good trouncing!
Barbara enters from upstairs carrying another box of toys.
Barbara: Because you knew Id kick your butt!
Carol: Honestly Barbara, youre home fifteen minutes and were already bickering.
Barbara: Theres no place like home!
Carol: Ive missed you so much! I wish you couldve been at my wedding.
Barbara: Therell be another one!
Seeing that she has upset her by her remark, Barbara hugs Carol.
Barbara: Carol, Im kidding! Kevin is a great guy and you seem so happy.
Carol: Oh Barbie-Barb!
While they hug, Barbara eyes a stuffed monkey in one of the boxes and suddenly pulls away from Carol, grabbing the toy.
Barbara: What are you doing with Mr. Fuggety!?
Carol: Hes going to my new abode with the rest of my furry confidants.
Barbara: I dont think so! He was my present in third grade, remember? To take my mind of those ugly braces.
Carol: You never had braces! I did!
Barbara: I know! They scared the hell outta me...Tin Grin!
Carol: Im rubber and youre glue and Mr. Fuggetys not going with you!
Barbara: Says you!
Carol grabs at one end of the monkey with Barbara pulling on the other. They struggle with each other until the toy rips in two just as Harry enters through the backdoor.
Carol: Barbara, give it to me!
Barbara: Its mine!
Harry: Whoa! Look at this mess!
Barbara: Yeah Carol, clean up your monkey! Hi Daddy!
Harry: Its so good to see you!
Carol watches as Barbara and Harry hug happily. Jealous, she grabs hold of Harrys arm and puts it around herself so as to not be left out. Carol: Hi Daddy.
Barbara: This is just like old times.
Carol: Yeah, if only Emily were here.
Harry: Although I dont think shed be too happy about what you did to her monkey.
Barbara: Oh thats right! In third grade you gave me...Ducky!
She reaches for a toy duck and Carol tries to stop her.
Harry: You wanna go to your rooms!?
Carol: Empty though they may be.
There is a quiet moment and Barbara then squeezes the duck, which makes a quacking sound.
Carol: Somehow I always thought it would be my room forever.
Harry: And you almost made that happen, Dear.
Carol: Daddy, were you planning on taking the pasta maker to Vermont?
Harry: Yeah, well I was thinking about...
She abruptly grabs the pasta maker and smirks as she exits into the living room.
Barbara: What a nut!
Harry: It is so good to see you.
Barbara: You too.
Harry: So, everything in Tucson okay?
Barabara: Oh yeah. Jobs great. Weathers perfect. I mean Daddy its not home, but nothings gonna be like this place.
Harry: Yeah I know. But youll come and visit me in Vermont, right?
Barbara: Yeah! I was gonna come up for Christmas. Its not gonna be like our old Christmass. Its gonna be kinda weird with all those pine trees and snow.
Carol enters from the living room, holding up her hands which are full of troll dolls.
Carol: Barbara, I just took inventory and I am one troll short!
Barbara: At least.
Weston living room. Harry is standing alone when Barbara enters from the kitchen.
Barbara: Daddy, Charley wants to see us in the kitchen. Hes a little choked up.
He follows Barbara into the kitchen, where Carol stands watching Charley hold a can of beer.
Charley: Okay, you ready?
Harry: For what?
Charley opens the can of beer, becoming teary eyed.
Charley: Thats the sound of the last beer youll ever hear me open in this kitchen.
Harry: Thats very touching.
Charley: Im really gonna miss you guys. Last night in bed I counted up every time I opened up your refrigerator door. 17, 206.
Barbara: Oh, isnt he sweet?
She puts her arm around him and he begins patting her on the back.
Charley: Thanks. Youre not wearing a bra are you?
Weston living room. Carol and Barbara enter from the dining room with boxes. They kneel down on the floor with them as Harry stands by.
Barbara: So sex with this guy Kevin must be pretty lousy, huh?
Carol: Barbara, what would make you say a thing like that?
Barbara: Because if I were a newlywed I wouldnt be here packing boxes.
Carol: Well, if you must know, I had him up all night last night!
Harry: Thats enough!
Carol: Thats just what he said!
Harry: From now on we pack in silence.
He steps on a creaky floorboard and, hearing the familiar sound, begins to laugh.
Harry: I forgot about this.
Barbara: What, Daddy?
Harry: This creaky floorboard used to drive your mother nuts.
Carol: Thats funny, I never noticed it before.
Harry: Yeah, I promised Libby that one day I would fix it but you know, some things just never get done. Plus it was a great way to catch you guys when you snuck in late.
Barbara: So thats how you knew.
Harry: Yeah, that and Carol yelling Mommy, Daddy, Barbaras home!
Carol: We had so many happy times in this house.
Barbara: Yeah, we sure did.
Harry continues to step on the creaky floorboard. He turns to the girls, as if hes getting upset, and sits down on the couch, with Carol and Barbara soon joining him.
Harry: I cant do this.
Harry: I cant say goodbye to this place.
Harry: Kids, its just filled with us. Everywhere I look, I see you kids kinda playing on the floor. And your mother...I still hear her laugh. My life is here. Im not going anywhere.
Carol: Me neither!
Barbara: Uh, Carol, youre married, remember?
Barbara: Daddy, youre serious? Youre not gonna go to Vermont?
Harry: Cant. No, Im staying home!
Charley rushes in from the kitchen and grabs Harry.
Charley: Oh Harry, I knew you wouldnt leave me!
Harry: Charley, you I could leave!
Barbara: You mean I came all this way to pack my stuff and youre not going anywhere?
Harry: Im sorry.
Barbara: Im not!
All four join in a group hug.
Weston kitchen. The kitchen is empty, except for the stacks of boxes. Harry is sitting alone at the table drinking a glass of milk. Dreyfuss enters from upstairs and sits down next to Harry with his head resting on the table.
Harry: Whats the matter, Kiddo? You couldnt sleep either? Of course not, you sleep all day long. Well, Dreyfie, it looks like its just you and me again. Now that everybodys gone we have the whole house to ourselves. Plus theres an extra spot in the garage. Hey Dreyf, you want a car? Come on, what do you want to eat?
He starts to stand and hears the sound of the creaky floorboard in the living room.
Harry: Did you hear that?
He goes into the dark living room and turns on the light but no one is there.
He continues to walk across the room and steps on the creaky board himself.
Harry: Alright Libby now that Im staying I promise you, I will fix this. Maybe not today...maybe not tomorrow...
Libby: Maybe not the next day.
Harry turns around startled and sees Libby sitting on the sofa.
Libby: Hi Honey, Im home!
Harry: Okay Harry, lets go upstairs now! Well wake up! Lets go!
Libby: Harry, youre not dreaming.
Harry: Then what is...
Libby: Dont make me explain it Honey, just sit down.
Harry: Libby, you look great.
Libby: I get a lot of sun. You look like youve been taking care of yourself.
Harry: Well I exercise, try to watch what I eat...what am I doing? Im talking to Libby here!?
Libby: Harry, youre thinking too much. You always do that. You and Carol!
Harry: What do you mean, me and Carol? Me and Emily maybe, me and Barbara, but me and Carol?
Libby: Harry face it, Carol is definitely your girl.
Harry: Dont start. Dont start, Libby. You spoiled her.
Libby: I spoiled her? You bought her everything she ever whined for! Harry, how many times have we had this conversation?
Harry: I wish we could have it a million more.
Libby: Be patient, we will. Now Harry, what is the matter with you? Vermont looks perfect for you.
Harry: You know about Vermont?
Libby: I know about the baseball strike. Honey, now why dont you go?
Harry: I cant leave. Itd be like leaving you.
Libby: Im a memory. Im not a part of this house, Harry. Im in your heart.
Harry: We lived our life, we raised our kids here.
Libby: And youll always have that. Honey, its time to move on. I did! Oh believe me, Harry, life is short.
Harry: Just how short?
Libby: Nuh uh, thats against the rules! Thats just like you, always wanting to peek into the gifts before it was Christmas.
Harry: Oh, so youre saying that death is like Christmas?
Libby: More like Presidents Day. When you go you get to meet them.
Harry: God, I miss you!
Libby: Then take me to Vermont.
Dreyfuss enters from the kitchen and comes over to Libby, who begins petting him as Harry watches.
Libby: Hey there! Theres my big guy! Thanks for looking after Harry. Youre doing a great job.
Libby disappears. Dreyfuss climbs onto the couch and Harry hugs him.
The Weston living room. Harry, Barbara, Carol, Charley, Maxine, Sophia, and Dreyfuss are gathered around the couch. Laverne is setting the timer on a camera.
Laverne: Alright yall lets get it right this time. We are all happy the doctors leaving! You know, I mean for him! So smile!
She runs to take her place in the photograph.
Laverne: Say cheese, yall!
Everyone: Cheese yall!
The picture snaps and is shown as a page in a photo album as the gang continues to talk...
Maxine: Are we done yet? Tired of looking happy, its not natural.
Charley: If were taking more pictures Im grabbing another beer.
Harry: No! This is absolutely the last picture. I would like to make it to Vermont before the end of the century.
Sophia: I would like to make it to the end of the century.
The photo album closes, showing the cover which reads Empty Nest Memories.
During the closing credits, Dreyfuss is shown standing on the set in the kitchen as the director wraps the show...
Director: Okay Buddy, thats a wrap!
Dreyfuss: Excuse me! Excuse me! Hey wardrobe, can somebody get me outta this damn suit? Alright forget about it, Im outta here!
He walks away, passing Richard Mulligan.
Richard: See you around, Stanley.
Dreyfuss: Yeah, take it easy, Rich.
Richard waves and walks away.
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