Happy Days

Season 9 Episode 13

Southern Crossing

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 12, 1982 on ABC

Episode Recap

At the Cunningham house, Marion tells Howard that the television is broken, and they have to take it to the shop. A man carries the television out as Howard pleads with him. Joanie comes down, and Marion tells her about Howard not wanting to let go of the television. Howard is heard, outside, begging the man, Mel, not to take it. He comes back in with the antenna. Marion tells Howard that he's dealt with not having television before, and he says that was when they had radio. Joanie says they still have radio. Howard cheers up a little until Joanie shows him a small one she's holding. He says a radio is big, wooden box that goes on a small table where the television used to be. Marion tells him that they might have visiting hours for his television. The doorbell rings, and it's Al. He has come to drop off Howard's fez. Howard asks why he didn't just bring it to the meeting the next night, and Al says he can't go. Howard asks why he can't go, and Al says he's going "away." Joanie asks where, and Al just dances around the question not giving a straight answer. Al leaves. Howard pulls his fez out of the box, and it shrunk in the wash. Chachi comes in. He and Joanie are going to the library to work on a current-events report and to his apartment to watch television. Howard gives Chachi $5 to go to the movies after they're done studying so that he can go to Chachi's place to watch television.

At Arnold's, Fonzie is in his office yelling for Al to bring him some paper towels to dry his hands. Al comes in with the towels. He says he told Chachi to fill the dispenser and says the place is going to fall apart while he's gone. Fonzie asks what he's talking about. Al says he's leaving the next day and will be gone a few days. He asks Fonzie to take care of the place while he's gone. Fonzie says he needs some notice. Just breaking his dates will take a day. Al says it just came up, and he has to go tomorrow. He says it's something he has to do, and Fonzie tells Al not to keep secrets from him. He tells Fonzie about the civil-rights demonstrations down South that they show on television. He saw people beating up a black man just for sitting at a counter. Al says he can't just sit back while this is happening, so he's going down there to try to help. Fonzie says that, of course, he'll take care of Arnold's. The important thing is that Al takes care of himself.

At the house, Fonzie tells Howard that Al is going down South with the Freedom Riders. Fonzie says that Al thinks church bingo gets a little rowdy sometimes and says that he may not be cut out for what he's about to do. Fonzie asks what's going to happen when people start yelling at Al. He bursts into tears when someone criticizes his meat loaf. Howard repeats what Fonzie has said countless times: "A man has got to do what he's got to do." Howard leaves to go to bed and asks Fonzie to wake him if the repairman brings the television back. Fonzie calls Al and tells him he's going with him.

A bus is shown driving down the road while "THE SOUTH, 1962" appears on the screen. Al and Fonzie arrive at the home of the family at which Al has arranged to stay. They are black. The man introduces himself (Henry Douglas) and his wife (Annie) to Al and Fonzie. They sit down in the living room, and Henry says the situation is looking very promising. People are coming from all parts of the country. Henry says that if enough common people stand up for what's right, then something will get done. Henry and Annie's son, Charles, comes in and is introduced to Al and Fonzie. Annie tells Charles that Al and Fonzie are going to participate in the demonstration on Saturday. Charles says they're white, and Annie says she taught him never to judge anyone based on their color. Charles is very cynical about the whole thing saying that nothing brings black and white folks together like a civil-rights demonstration - except maybe a lynching. Henry tells Al and Fonzie that they'll have to excuse Charles because his friend was recently beat up during a sit-in at a segregated restaurant. They all sit down to eat.

Later, Al, Fonzie, Henry, and Annie make signs for the demonstration. Charles comes in and says their little arts-and-crafts exercise isn't going to do any good. He says it's going to take a lot more than signs to change things, but Al says they have to start somewhere. Charles says that the demonstration isn't going to accomplish anything; people singing songs and waving signs isn't going to change the minds of white people toward blacks. Al says he must be awfully naive. He honestly thought he was down there to help. He leaves to go to bed. Henry tells Charles to apologize to Al when he wakes up in the morning. Charles says he's just doing what Henry always taught him: speaking his mind. Fonzie says that some of what Charles said makes sense, but some of it is a lot of garbage, as well. He says that Al is about the most caring person, black or white, North or South. Charles asks how he can care about something he knows nothing about, and Fonzie tells him about watching the news reports and reading the papers. Charles says how much can he know sitting in an easy chair a thousand miles away. Fonzie says they're there now and doesn't know what Charles wants of him. Charles says he wants Fonzie to have lunch with him the next day.

Fonzie, Al, and Charles arrive at a white's-only restaurant. They sit at the counter, and Fonzie notices the "WHITE'S ONLY" sign. The waitress comes over and says to Fonzie and Al that if their friend leaves, she'll be glad to serve them. Fonzie says that Charles is paying, so he has to stay. He orders them three coffees. The manager comes out asking if there's any trouble. He says they don't serve coloreds there and points to the sign. Fonzie says they'll leave as soon as they get served their coffee. The manager goes to get the sheriff. A customer named Lamar gets up from his table and pushes Fonzie from behind. He asks Fonzie if he is a black lover, and Fonzie says that he is. He says he loves Jews, Protestants, cowboys, Indians... Al says Fonzie's the biggest lover in Milwaukee. Lamar starts to roll up his shirt sleeves, and Al reminds Fonzie that this is a non-violent thing they're doing. The waitress tells Lamar to sit down and shut up because the sheriff is coming. The sheriff, Jack, comes in. He sits down next to Charles. He says he's known Charles and his family for years and would hate to see him get mixed up with these outside agitators. He asks Charles and his friends to leave, and he'd forget the whole thing ever happened. They all stay put. Al says all they want is a cup of coffee. After a snide remark from Fonzie, Jack says they're all going to be arrested. Al says they're violating every basic rule of public service and common dignity. Jack tells them all to come with him, but the waitress pours Al, Fonzie, and Charles cups of coffee. She says she's felt this way a long time and tells the manager, Ned, that he can fire her if he wants. He doesn't fire her. Jack says he'll be keeping an eye on Fonzie and Al as long as they're in town. Fonzie says they've really done something here, and Charles says they've got to get home to finish making the signs. On their way out, Fonzie hits the wall, and the "WHITE'S ONLY" sign falls down.

At the Cunningham house, Fonzie tells Marion about the demonstration. Fonzie leaves. Howard comes in saying he had one of the best sales day ever. He sees that his television is back and runs over to hug it.

Songs in this episode:

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