07x21 - The Favourite

I love pinball.

Ah.

You never played?

Oh, no, sir.

Our pastor always said, "Only churches should have that many bells.

" - [LAUGHS.]

- What the hell?

Hey, hey, Mikey, look at, look at this.

Come here.

I bought this for the game room at my house, and they delivered it here by mistake.

- Great story.

Get rid of it.

- No, no, no.

I'll get rid of it in a few days, but, but try it, it's fun.

Yeah, so much fun.

I only want to be paid - in quarters from now on.

- [CHUCKLES.]

Not interested.

Okay, so you weren't into pinball.

It's not for everybody.

Only for those who aren't afraid to live a little, yeah?

All right.

Move aside, I'm just gonna show you this one time.

All right.

Go ahead.

[MIKE SIGHS.]

Oh, he knows where the money goes.

I think we got a ringer.

[MACHINE BEEPS AND JANGLES.]

[GAME BUZZES.]

Oh, you have to use the flippers, Mr. B.

- [GAME BUZZES.]

- Let me have your tie.

Okay.

What's that about tie?

[GAME WHIRRING.]

Uh, this isn't golf.

Low score does not win.

All right?

[CLEARS THROAT.]

So [INHALES DEEPLY.]

[EXHALES.]

No cussword way.

I believe that would be a free game.

Now get the cussword back to work.

[LAUGHS.]

Thanks for coming grocery shopping with me, Jen.

I know it's a chore.

Not at all.

At first, I was put off by all the ridiculously oversized product at the store, but then I found this.

God bless America.

Ooh, good, you guys went shopping.

Kyle and I are gonna need this at the new apartment.

No.

You can't take all of them.

I'll leave you one.

[CHUCKLES.]

Hey.

Uh, if you're here to steal toilet paper, I already got it.

Uh no.

Kris is stealing ink cartridges, and I'm just the sexy getaway driver.

Uh, hey, guys.

Look at this.

Looks like someone wrote a poem and left it in the printer.

"To my little bird, "About to fly the nest into the night, Our time is precious, like a piece of tanzanite.

" Interesting.

Hmm.

It's certainly lyrical.

The rhyme scheme's a little forced, but I guess I'm just a free verse kind of guy.

Wha What's tanzanite?

Uh, a gemstone.

It was in the earrings Mom gave me for Christmas.

Oh, my gosh.

Mom wrote me a poem because I'm moving out next week.

Hmm.

When you moved out, all you got was a box of pancake mix - and a can of bug spray.

- Shh.

Hey, hey.

Uh, parents care for their kids in different ways.

Some get meaningful words, others get flapjacks and a can of poison.

Big deal.

Okay?

I don't care.

[CHUCKLES.]

I mean, I only gave Mom her first grandchild.

That should merit a poem, right?

"My darling Kristin, how the light " No.

Not from you.

N You-you know what?

I'm just gonna up my daughter game and earn myself a poem.

Okay.

Good luck.

It'll be hard to compete with this little bird.

- Tweet, tweet.

- Hmm.

"My darling Kristin, "One-upped by her sister, Abandoned in the foyer of life.

" We've been trying for an hour to duplicate that pinball trick, and I'm starting to think it's not a trick.

It's not.

Listen.

There was a time that pinball, literally, was my life.

- You were that good, huh?

- I wasn't good.

I was I was the best.

Huh.

Well Kids from other schools would drive to Ann Arbor just to take me down.

Takes a lot to make a man drive to Ann Arbor.

I didn't go to class, I didn't go out.

It was an obsession, man, you know, and every time I turned, there was some twitchy-fingered kid just looking to find me and go, "Hey, I hear you're the one to beat.

" Wow.

You were like Clint Eastwood, right?

In every Clint Eastwood movie.

There got to be a point where I was hoping - that I'd get beat, you know?

- Yeah.

Somebody to take the target off my back.

But God was right there saying to me, "I only made one of you, Baxter.

" That's a hell of a story, Mike.

Yes.

Don't worry, I'll get rid of the machine tomorrow.

- Don't worry.

- [KNOCKING ON DOOR.]

- Yeah.

- Oh, hey.

Uh, Kyle was looking for you.

Oh.

Thanks, Chuck.

Don't worry about that.

- Thanks, man.

- Yep.

I hear you're the guy to beat.

[VOCALIZING.]

- What are you doing here?

You're cooking?

- Oh.

Oh, yeah.

Just throwing a little somethin' somethin' together for Mom.

- Oh, chicken Bellagio?

- Mm.

You're just, uh, throwing together Mom's favorite meal?

Oh, yeah, that's right.

Now that you mention it, I do seem to recall that she loves it.

Is it love, Kris?

I mean, it's not like she's written it a poem.

Hey.

- Mom, hi.

- Hi.

Uh, wait, no.

You know what?

Let's keep your coat on.

I'm gonna take you to dinner.

No, no, no, no, no, no.

No.

I made-I made dinner.

- Yeah, just sit down and - You?

Oh.

Oh, okay.

- and I'll get you a glass of wine.

- Okay.

Sit down!

Wow, wow, look at all this attention I'm getting.

- I-I feel so special.

- Yeah.

You are so special.

Get away from her.

[CHUCKLES.]

Hey.

Hold on.

You guys found my poem.

- Mm-hmm.

- Uh, yes.

And I would love to hear it performed by the author.

Oh, really?

You don't think that would be kind of weird?

- No.

- Yes.

Yeah.

You-you go ahead and read it, Mom.

[CRYING.] : I'll try to keep it together.

[SIGHS.]

Okay.

[CLEARS THROAT.]

Oh, gosh.

I'm actually kind of nervous.

Uh, Jen!

[CHUCKLES.] : Um, uh, Jen?

Uh, that's not how the poem starts.

[MOUTH FULL.] : Yes, Vanessa?

I'd like to read a poem I wrote for you.

Wait, what?

Yeah.

I hope when you're back in Hong Kong, you will read this and-and think of me.

Oh, I'm going to cry.

Want some flapjacks now, Mandy?

"So, farewell, little bird.

"I hope you know you will be missed.

"You'll forever shine, like purple amethyst.

" That is the sweetest poem I've ever heard.

I want to frame it.

Oh.

[CHUCKLES.]

Well, we can use one of Mike's.

He won't notice one less picture of him and John Elway.

- [CHUCKLES.]

- What are you grinning at?

You.

I know that there are 26 letters in the alphabet, but all I see are "N," "V.

" Okay, I fell a lot farther than you.

Um.

I had everything, then I had nothing.

You had nothing, then a little s-sideways shuffle, and then still nothing.

Okay, starting to share your resentment.

We need to win Mom back.

[WHINING.] : How?

What if we treat her to a spa weekend at the Abbott-Berry?

Okay.

I am all for winning Mom back, but can't we find some place a little bit cheaper than the Abbott-Berry?

I mean, I don't want to have to tell Boyd that he's going to community college.

This is no time to pinch pennies.

We are at war.

Our mother's love has been stolen by a foreign power.

It's collusion.

I Oh, I, uh, I just need a pen.

Jen wants me to autograph the poem before we frame it.

- Aw.

- That is so sweet.

- Yeah.

- Um, unrelated, uh, so Kris and I were just talking, and we realized that we haven't been spending enough time with you lately.

- Oh.

Yeah, it bothers me, too.

- KRISTIN: Yeah.

- Yeah.

So why don't you pack your bags?

- Yeah.

Because we are stealing you away for a weekend at the Abbott-Berry.

[GASPS.]

What?

Really?

The Abbott-Berry?

[CHUCKLES.]

Unless that's too glitzy.

You know, there are a lot of other great spas.

- Are you kidding?

No.

- I mean, you know what I mean?

- I love this.

I love this.

- Okay, then.

Yeah, sure.

Oh, I have the best daughters in the world.

[KISSING NOISES.]

Oh.

The Abbott-Berry!

I'm gonna head down and have some lunch.

What are you gonna have chicken?

Oh, that's right.

You don't eat your own kind.

I'm not playing you in pinball.

Why is this so important to you?

I'll tell you why.

Because I was great, man.

'Cause I was great.

It was 1986, the annual pinball tournament at Flippo's Arcade in Minneapolis.

[CHUCKLES.]

This was the year I was gonna take home the crown.

Was there actually a crown?

It was a baseball cap with boobs on it.

It was a different time.

I was in the final against Petey "Pinball" Johnson.

Wha Are you familiar with the Captain and Tennille game?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Uh, electro-mechanical, - double flippers.

- Yes.

You got a free game if you could, uh, spell "Muskrat Love.

" I was on it.

All rollovers and spinners, - not a single outlane.

- Yeah.

And then, out of nowhere the fire alarm.

Someone had pulled it.

"Pinball" Johnson.

We had to evacuate.

I had to forfeit.

He stole my He stole my boob hat.

[EXHALES.]

This is sad on so many levels.

I need this, Baxter.

Yeah I'll play you one game.

- Yes.

- But it won't matter, - you're still gonna lose.

- [SCOFFS.]

Hey, you've never played against Chucky "The Greek" Larabee.

Who was in charge of nicknames up there in Minneapolis?

MANDY: Great.

Thank you.

We will see you in a couple hours.

Ah.

We are all set.

- You, me and Mom in the deluxe suite.

- [SIGHS.]

We are gonna sea-salt-scrub that Jen right out of our mother's heart.

Hey, guys.

- Hi.

- Hi.

Oh, are you going somewhere?

Uh, yeah.

We are taking our mom to the Abbott-Berry for an expensive spa weekend.

It's fine.

Boyd can just go to community college.

Uh, it'll just be us Baxters, though, but-but you'll have Dad and your poem.

Mm.

Hope you understand.

Of course.

There's nothing more important than the time a girl gets to spend with her mom.

Oh, we know.

Don't think we don't.

It's important to build memories, because some day that's all you'll have.

I know, because well, you know, my mom is dead.

- No - [GROANING.]

Enjoy this time, you guys.

Oh, all set.

[GIGGLES.]

I am so excited.

Yeah.

I have the most loving, generous, best daughters in the world.

[SIGHS.]

Just just get in the car.

Oh.

We should just come clean to Mom and turn around.

Uh, sure.

Yeah.

We'll just say we broke the orphan's heart.

We have to do something.

Okay?

The guilt is killing me.

Let's just put it out of our minds.

We can get through the weekend, and we'll make it up to Jen when we get back.

Hmm.

Don't take this the wrong way, but it is a lot easier - for you to put things out of your mind.

- [FAKE LAUGHS.]

So, it's okay.

- Ooh.

- I got road trip snacks.

- Ah.

- I am pretty sure there's not a naturally-occurring substance - in any of this.

- Mmm.

Mmm.

Just what I need something else to eat away at me.

Uh-uh, no, no, no, this is a guilt-free trip.

You hear that, Kris?

Guilt-free.

- Mm.

- Now let's go.

Oh, you know what?

Um, before we go, guys, I-I just want to clear the air.

- Hmm.

- I know why you girls are doing this.

- You do?

- I do, yeah.

I do.


It's because lately I haven't made the effort to be present in your lives.

- [CHUCKLES.]

Actually, Mom - No.

Don't interrupt her.

Maybe that's why she abandoned us.

[LAUGHS.]

No, I don't I don't think I abandoned you, but but I have been busy, and I haven't been connecting with you as much as I would like to.

Well, you're forgiven, Mom.

[SIGHS.]

What a beautiful word.

- "Forgiven.

" - Hmm.

Uh, it's not just you, Mom.

I mean we have lives, too.

I-I'm a newlywed and an up-and-coming fashion designer.

- Mm-hmm.

- I have a new apartment.

And Kris has that kid.

Well, you know, that's why Kristin understands this.

- Mm.

Mm-hmm.

- Look, the worst thing a mother can do is to disappear from her child's life.

ED: All right, listen up, everybody.

One game.

Three balls each.

High score wins.

All betting is forbidden, all right?

But your bets will be paid after the match.

All right, Mike, you're up.

Ready to do this, Greek?

- Let's dance.

- All right.

Oh, geez.

Are you all right, Kyle?

No, I-I'm a nervous wreck.

I mean, you, the man who's like a father to me, playing Chuck, who's an employee of the man who's like a father to me.

Just relax.

It'll be over before you know it.

[GAME CHIRPS.]

[DINGING, WARBLING.]

[DINGING AND CLACKING.]

[DINGING AND CLACKING.]

[DINGING AND CLACKING.]

Hey, uh, hey, Greek, you notice the score?

You're still behind.

[DINGING AND CLACKING.]

Stay out of my kitchen, Baxter.

This is how we do it in the 612.

Nice try.

There's nothing you can say to make Minneapolis sound badass.

[FIRE ALARM RINGING.]

What the hell is that?

It's the fire alarm.

Oh, hell no.

- [DINGING.]

- Fiddlesticks, everybody.

What a shame, but-but safety first.

Everybody out, everybody out, come on.

Just finish up, finish up.

Keep going, keep But I'm the head of security.

- The store is on fire.

- Unless it's a false alarm.

[DINGING CONTINUES.]

I've got a lot of lettuce riding on you, Mike.

Huh?

I thought you were a cinch to win.

Thanks, Baxter.

I couldn't have done it without you.

- Done what?

- Win.

[DINGING.]

Yes!

[CHUCKLES.]

- Sorry, Ed.

- That's all right.

I'm out 45 bucks.

- Congratulations.

- Ah.

Don't have a boob hat for you, but you know what you do get?

What?

A bunch of twitchy-fingered kids just wondering how good you really are.

- Aw, man.

- There you go, guys.

The guy to beat.

Ah.

[CHUCKLES.]

Okay.

Yeah.

[LAUGHS.]

Uh, Baxter?

Damn it.

Et tu, sister?

Jen-Jen!

Our little bird!

[MOUTH FULL.] : I don't know what's happening, but I love it.

Ah.

The girls excluded you from our weekend because they were jealous of all the attention I give you.

Isn't that awful?

You don't look like you think it's awful.

Oh!

No, it's terrible.

[GIGGLES.]

Oh, they were just being petty.

Okay, look, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

It's just, my daughters haven't competed for my affection since 2004.

[LAUGHS.]

A mother remembers.

Well, I'm-I'm sorry that we were so selfish, Jen.

We're honored to share our mother with you.

Thanks, because Vanessa is the second-best mom in the world.

[SIGHS.] : Yeah.

Well, I mean, you've you never told us much about your mom.

Well, I lost her when I was a little girl, and I don't like to make people - feel uncomfortable.

- Mm.

Oh.

It doesn't make us feel uncomfortable.

I mean, it totally did at first, but-but not now.

We would love to hear about her if you would like to share.

Well, my mom was a very elegant woman.

- Very fashionable.

- Mm.

For her birthday one year, I bought her this beautiful scarf.

Oh, that's so sweet.

Not really.

It turns out she was allergic to wool.

She broke out in huge hives.

One above her lip, - [LAUGHING.] : another above her eye.

- No.

[LAUGHS.]

She looked like that, uh, uh Who's that sailor who's angry who eats all the spinach?

- VANESSA: Oh, um - Popeye?

- Mm.

- Yes!

[LAUGHS.]

[VANESSA LAUGHS.]

But she refused to take off the scarf because it was from her little girl.

[CHUCKLES.]

I still remember her saying, "No, I love it.

" [LAUGHTER.]

VANESSA: Yeah.

Those were her last words.

[GASPS.]

Oh, no.

I'm kidding.

Oh!

[LAUGHS.]

Well, your mom sounds amazing, Jen.

She was.

Thank you for asking about her.

We-we would love to hear more about her.

And you can tell us at the Abbott-Berry.

- Go pack, because you're coming with us.

- [KRISTIN LAUGHS.]

- VANESSA: Mm.

- Are you sure?

I heard that place is very expensive.

Oh, it's my treat.

- [PHONE RINGING.]

- Ooh.

Wonder who this is.

- Oh, hey, it's Eve!

- Don't pick up!

Do not pick up!

Hey, Mike Baxter here for Outdoor Man.

My good buddy Billy Shakespeare wrote, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

" Yeah, London in the swingin' 1590s.

You could you could still thrust your greatness upon people.

[CHUCKLES.]

Yeah, it was a different time.

But no matter how an all-time great reaches the top, they all face the same question.

When is the right time to pass on the crown?

John Elway and Peyton Manning timed it pretty good.

They both won championships and rode off into the sunset.

- [HOOFBEATS.]

- Hyah!

Hyah!

Come on now!

[CHUCKLES.]

No pressure, Flacco.

[LAUGHS.]

[IMITATES INHALING, EXHALING.]

But they were the exceptions.

Usually we get Willie Mays flopping around in center field for the Mets like a grouper on a dock.

Or the great Muhammad Ali losing to Trevor Berbick.

Trevor Berbick?

Sounds like a digestive problem.

Hell, even my buddy Billy Shakespeare hung on too long.

You ever seen a great production of Two Noble Kinsmen?

No.

You don't want to limp out like a lamb.

You want to still be roaring like a lion, just not a Detroit Lion.

And while it may be hard to know when to walk away from the thing that made you great, it's never the right time to be finished as a person.

Life is a gift.

Every day is a gift.

That's why they call it the "present.

" And what you owe in return for it is to keep growing, keep learning, and keep getting better.

And call your mom!

Baxter out.