The Ropers

Season 2 Episode 5

Two for the Road

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Oct 13, 1979 on ABC

Episode Recap

Jeffrey and Anne are having a heated argument in their living room because Jeffrey didn't tell Anne that he broke their reservation at a restaurant so they could instead visit one of his friends. During this whole time, Stanley is on the other side of the common wall eavesdropping using a drinking glass pressed up against the wall. Jeffrey angrily declares that as his wife, Anne's place is by his side. In response, Anne walks into the kitchen. She returns, and tells him to stuff it. Jeffrey is outraged, and charges out the front door, slamming it behind him and hurting Stanley's ear. Helen walks up to Stanley and screams his name into his other ear to get his attention. She asks what he's doing, and he explains that he's listening for termites. When she informs him that they don't have termites, he replies that he knows that now… or that they are all asleep. Abruptly changing the subject, Helen angrily asks him when he's going to buy her new furniture. He claims not to know what she's talking about, but she reminds him that he's been promising to replace all of the furniture for months. He says she's crazy, because she has no idea how much that would cost. She claims only $200, which he finds very reasonable. She then clarifies that she meant a $200 down payment, and paying off the rest in monthly installments. He contends there's a lot to be said for the furniture they currently have. She agrees, and says it's old. Stanley contends that some things get better with age. Looking directly at him, she contends that some things don't. She accuses him of being cheap. Sensing her growing anger, Stanley tells her they can go looking the next time there's a sale. Now excited, Helen grabs the newspaper off the coffee table and shows him that a store is having a sale today. He reiterates that they can go looking during the NEXT sale. He then demands that she go prepare his dinner. At the end of her rope, Helen asks him one last time if he's going to buy her new furniture. He emphatically replies that he won't, to which she threatens to tell the Brookes that he was just eavesdropping on them. He angrily grabs the paper from her and attempts to sit down in his chair, but he is met by a spring that breaks and pokes out of the cushion, causing him to jump up in shock and pain. Helen howls at his misfortune as he angrily charges out the front door, slamming the door behind him. Helen begins to pout.

Jeffrey is sitting at the bar in the community recreation room, looking depressed. He asks the bartender for a double scotch, and as he notices Stanley entering, changes it to a triple. The bartender puts the drink down in front of Jeffrey, but he isn't paying attention. At this time, Stanley sits down, grabs Jeffrey's scotch, and downs it in one gulp. After he places it back on the bar, Jeffrey grabs it and puts it to his mouth, but it's empty. Looking confused, the bartender asks Jeffrey if he's having wife troubles. Stanley replies, "don't ask." Jeffrey begins complaining about his wife being unreasonable, while Stanley complains about his wife wanting new furniture. Jeffrey wonders aloud what's wrong with wanting to show off his wife. Stanley admits that it might be a little lumpy in places. Jeffrey says she has great legs, and Stanley admits that the seat is worn out. Jeffrey angrily looks at him, thinking Stanley is talking about Anne. Stanley wonders why anyone would want to get rid of something that's already broken in. Jeffrey demand to know why he's talking about his wife that way. Stanley explains is isn't, and has enough troubles with his own wife. The bartender puts another drink in front of Jeffrey, who isn't looking. Stanley picks it up and downs it. Once again, Jeffrey tries to take a drink from an empty glass.

On the Brookes' living room couch, Anne and Helen are trying to console each other. Anne explains that long ago, she and Jeffrey made a promise to never go to bed mad at each other, which always made the making-up great. Helen contends that if she thought that would work, she'd fight with Stanley every day. Anne admits that she's worried about Jeffrey, because he's probably sitting alone somewhere, brooding. She further explains that when he's upset, he keeps it all bottled up.

Back at the bar, Jeffrey has his arm around Stanley's shoulder, as he pours another drink with his other arm, spilling most of it on the bar. Both of them are thoroughly drunk. Stanley clumsily tries to hold the glass under the pouring bottle as Jeffrey moves it around randomly. Completely uninhibited, Stanley says that Helen gets away with murder. Jeffrey asks who she killed. Stanley says he's speaking "mouthatoricaly." Stanley slams his hand on the counter, and contends that Humphrey Bogart would know how to handle Helen tonight. He then begins to giggle uncontrollably, causing Stanley to do the same. They make incoherent statements in a poor Bogart voice, and Stanley takes a bowl of cream from the counter and pours it all over Jeffrey's face. They both continue to laugh uncontrollably. After he clumsily cleans off his face, Jeffrey contends that King Kong understood women the best, because when they stepped out of line, he would…At this point, Jeffrey grabs Stanley by the throat with both arms an begins to jokingly choke him. Jeffrey then admits that he thinks he misjudged him, even though he's undesirable, uncouth, and a general nuisance. Stanley thanks him. Starting to sob, Stanley wishes that Helen understood him like Jeffrey does. Jeffrey tells him to call him Jeffrey. He then reaches into his pocket, and asks Stanley how much money he needs to make the down payment on the furniture. Stanley tries to wave him off, but Jeffrey continues to insist as he unfolds a wad of cash. Tired of resisting, Stanley tells him he needs $200 and takes the whole wad of cash, with no resistance from Jeffrey. Stanley then tells him that the thing he likes best about him is his car. Jeffrey uncomfortably explains that he can't give Stanley his car, because a man's car is his castle. Confused, Stanley clumsily contends that a man's home is supposed to be his castle. Jeffrey explains that a car is a man's castle away from home. Jeffrey begins to cry, as he remembers that Stanley's castle away from home is a slum. Jeffrey reaches into his pocket and pulls out his car keys, telling him that his castle is Stanley's castle, as he hands Stanley the key. Stanley puts up little resistance, and asks if he would mind if he took it for a spin tomorrow. Jeffrey doesn't mind. The bartender informs them that it's now closing time. Jeffrey fears that Anne is going to kill him for being out so late. With a big smile on his face, Stanley tells him that she won't if he "makes her happy." When Jeffrey doesn't understand, Stanley further explains that there's only one way to make a woman happy. Jeffrey now understands. Stanley tells him to ask someone who knows, as he winks at Jeffrey. They both grin slyly.

The two men clumsily return to their front doors, with their arms around each other and singing incoherently. They shush each other when they arrive at their respective front doors. They say good night to each other, then embrace in a bear hug. Jeffrey orders Stanley to go inside and make Helen the happiest woman alive. Stanley slowly tells Jeffrey to make Anne the second happiest woman alive. They clumsily open the doors, but decide to give each other one more hug before going inside. Unfortunately, they spin around during their embrace, and when they break it off, they have unknowingly switched positions. They trip over themselves as they enter the wrong houses, closing the door behind them. After a moment of silence, a loud woman's scream is heard. Jeffrey comes running out of Stanley's house, with his pants around his knees. He tries to pull them up, and knocks on his own front door, quietly screaming Stanley's name. Stanley finally emerges, and tells Jeffrey not to worry, because Anne is still not happy.

The next morning, Helen is reading the newspaper on the living room couch as Stanley descends the stairs. He starts to explain what happened last night, but Helen breaks in and tells him that he was wonderful. Stanley is confused. She doesn't know how to thank him, then suggests that she could make him a special breakfast, specifically, some extra Wheaties. Stunned, he asks her if he was really that good. She nods her head in agreement. He admits that it shouldn't have come as a big surprise. She admits that it did. He explains that he just wanted to make her happy after their big fight. She gives him a big hug, telling him that it was such a nice way to do it…on the dresser. Stanley is uncomfortable. Helen declares that she can now buy their new furniture. Stanley doesn't understand. She explains that he left her $200 on the dresser, and blows him a kiss as she goes to the kitchen. He realizes that it was Jeffrey's money, and begins to panic.

Meanwhile at the Brookes, Anne is sitting on her living room couch, looking visibly angry and throwing one of David's balls up in the air. Jeffrey slowly enters from the bedroom in his tennis outfit, unable to stand up straight. He walks up to the couch and tries to say good morning to Anne in a very weak voice. He gets it right after the third attempt. Anne tells him that he's hung over. He slowly sits down next to her, and asks her why she thinks that. She takes the ball and bounces it on the floor several times, eliciting a moan from Jeffrey each time. Jeffrey pleads with her to stop. She says she didn't know that tennis was good for a hangover. He explains he has to be at the club in twenty minutes. He declines breakfast, and says he'll just lay down for a minute until the pounding goes away. He slowly places his head on Anne's shoulder. There's a knock at the door, and he screams. Anne answers it, and it's Stanley, who gleefully enters. He pats Jeffrey on the back and asks how his old buddy is doing. Jeffrey is stunned, angrily demanding to know what he wants. Jeffrey angrily explains he's just about to sit down to breakfast, which leads Stanley to think he's invited too. Stanley says he likes mayonnaise on his waffles, which grosses Jeffrey out. Jeffrey angrily asks him if he has anything better to do. Stanley explains that he thought he would try out "our castle." Jeffrey is confused. Stanley repeats their conversation from last night, but Jeffrey is clueless. No realizing Stanley was talking about using his car, Jeffrey tells him to go try it out now, and he pushes him out the front door. As Anne enters from the kitchen, Stanley tells her he loves Jeffrey, as he leaves to take Jeffrey's car for a drive. Jeffrey wants to go to bed, but Anne reminds him of the tennis game. Anne gets him his racket, and he realizes he doesn't have his car keys. Anne gives him her set, and he stumbles out the front door. He returns a moment later, declaring he can't find his car. Anne notices it's gone herself, and they conclude it has been stolen. As Jeffrey goes to call the cops, Anne stops over at the Ropers' to see if they saw anything. He angrily gives the operator his information, as Helen races over and tells Jeffrey he can borrow their car if he wants. Jeffrey begins to laugh uncontrollably. He says that it won't be necessary, because he will take Anne's. Anne informs him that her car is in the shop. Helen holds her car key in front of his face. He reluctantly takes them from her and goes out the front door.

The scene changes to inside the local police station. An officer brings Stanley inside the front door, in handcuffs. Stanley angrily asks the officer if he looks like a car thief. Looking him over, he responds that he hopes Stanley doesn't ask a jury that question. Stanley demands to make his one phone call. As the officer removes his handcuffs, another officer brings a handcuffed Jeffrey, still in his tennis outfit, through the same door. He demands to know why he's in cuffs, and threatens that heads will roll for this mistake. The officer explains that he stopped Jeffrey for driving erratically. Jeffrey contends that there isn't any other way to drive Stanley's car. The officer explains that the car has $150 in unpaid parking tickets. Jeffrey proclaims that the tickets aren't his, but the officer says that Jeffrey doesn't have any identification. Jeffrey admits that things are beginning to look bad. Stanley is on the phone, telling Helen he's in jail, explaining that he's accused to stealing Jeffrey's car. He demands she find Jeffrey and bring him to the police station. Stanley then notices Jeffrey standing a few feet away, in handcuffs. Stanley tells Helen that she did a good job, and hangs up. Jeffrey asks him why he's there, and Stanley explains that some idiot reported that he stole Jeffrey's car. Jeffrey angrily smiles as he realizes what has happened. Stanley repeats, "your castle is my castle." Jeffrey takes him by the throat and begins to choke him. The officer has to lift Jeffrey up off the ground to separate them, as he continues to make the choking motion.

Sometime later, Jeffrey and Stanley are locked in the same jail cell. Stanley explains that Jeffrey gave him the keys last night, but Jeffrey thinks he's crazy. Stanley furthers explains Jeffrey also gave him $200. Jeffrey contends Stanley should be locked up, to which Stanley reminds him that he IS locked up. Losing patience, Jeffrey calls an officer over to the jail cell and informs him that Jeffrey is the man with the outstanding parking tickets. Stanley moves his finger in a circular motion around his ear to indicate to the officer that Jeffrey is nuts. The officer sternly warns Jeffrey that he will throw him in the drunk tank if he doesn't shut up. Tired of fighting, Stanley and Jeffrey move to the back of the cell, where there are two dirty cots set up. Stanley sits down, but Jeffrey thinks the cot is gross, and moves the mattress to the side so he can sit directly on the support underneath. The two men sit there in uncomfortable silence for a few moments. Jeffrey jumps to his feet and pleads with the officer to find a way to get him out. The officer asks Jeffrey why he's so special, to which Jeffrey indicates that he needs to go to the bathroom. The officer opens the door, but as Jeffrey starts to leave, Stanley tells him to not take too long. Jeffrey turns around to scold Stanley, but when he turns back around to leave, he accidentally knocks the officer flat on the ground. Jeffrey goes to help him up, but accidentally grabs onto his gun, and inadvertently points it at the officer as he regains his footing. The officer throws his hands in the air, and Jeffrey begins to laugh uncontrollably and shake his head, still pointing the gun at the officer in an unintentionally menacing way. Jeffrey declares that this is all a big mistake, but doesn't stop pointing the gun at the officer, who is clearly scared for his life. The officer finally reacts, subduing Jeffrey and taking the gun from him as he throws him back into the cell. He reminds the officer that he still needs to go to the bathroom, but the officer sternly informs him that he needs to get used to waiting, because he's going to prison for a long time. Jeffrey slowly sits on a nearby bench, thoroughly disgusted with himself. Stanley sits next to him, and declares that he would like a nice tall glass of ice water. This makes Jeffrey uncomfortable. Stanley then asks him if it feels like its going to rain. Jeffrey's eyes open wide.

Sometime later, Anne and Helen arrive at the station. An officer informs Helen that Stanley can't be released until he pays $150 in parking fines. Helen is clearly unaware he had any parking tickets. Stanley suggests she use the money they were going to use as a down payment for the furniture. Jeffrey eagerly asks to be let out himself, because he's late for his tennis match. Anne tells him he's already missed it by hours, but Jeffrey indicates he doesn't want to miss the buffet. Stanley asks Helen what's more important to her, the furniture, or his freedom? Helen has to think about it for a moment, then a wide grin grows on her face. She tells the officer it will take a couple of days for her to pay the fine, and she walks away. Jeffrey begins to laugh. Anne tells Helen to wait up, because she wants to go with her, as they walk out with their arms around each other's shoulder. The men plead for their wives to return, but they are quickly out the door and gone. Jeffrey demands a separate cell from Stanley, as they continue to yell at each other.