Taxi S4E8 Script

Fledgling (1981)

(theme song playing)

Elaine, Elaine, I don't think we should be doing this.

Oh, no. Come on, Alex.

This may be our only chance to meet Craig Eagen.

You said you loved his paintings.

You said you wanted to meet him.

I know. I said that before.

You told me he was a total recluse.

Oh, those are just stories.

I'm sure they're exaggerated.

CRAIG: Whoever you are, go away!

That was fun. Thank you very much.

Let's go. No, come on.

Uh, Mr. Eagen, it's Elaine Nardo and Alex Reiger.

I'm from the Hazeltine Gallery.

I brought the painting for you to authenticate.

CRAIG: Oh, yeah, well, just leave it there in the hallway and pick it up tomorrow, okay?

Um, Mr. Eagen, we really need to know this right away.

Uh, do you think you could just open the door a crack and take a look?

CRAIG: Oh. No, I-I couldn't do that at all, no.

I have a... an extremely vicious dog in here.

(growling, barking, glass clinking)

(fabric tearing)

Go to your place!

(dog whimpering)

Let's forget it.

No, no, no. Come on, we've come this far.

Uh, Mr. Eagen, I-I realize that you're a very private person, but this'll only take a minute.

Mr. Eagen, we're big fans of yours.

(loud clattering)

(footsteps running)


ELAINE: Where is he?


Maybe that's him.

Where's your dog?

Uh... I have a, uh, confession to make.

ALEX: Well, what's that?

(growling and barking)

Craig, go to your spot.


I see.

So, is that the, uh, the painting?

Uh, yes, it is.

(clears throat)

Yeah, that's, that's mine, that's mine.

Say, you know why I recognize this apartment?

You've painted this whole apartment in bits and pieces.

I-I recognize this chair.

I saw the paint... Oh.

You painted this table. I, um...

Oh, hey, listen, I'm sorry.

I, uh... I guess I'm making you feel uncomfortable, huh?

Oh, no. No. No, not at all.

Oh, well, I think we'd better go.

Come on, Elaine.

Here you are.

Thank you very much.

You know, I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to meet you.

I... I think you're a genius.

Ah. Oh. Oh.

Anyway, you know, I, uh...

Frankly, I don't... I don't have a lot of visitors, you know, and, uh, I know I should probably offer you some coffee, and...

Oh, that'd be nice.

CRAIG: But I... No, unfortunately, I've just...

I just don't have any coffee, you know.

Oh. Okay.

Elaine, let's go.

Stay where you are. You know, how would you like to go out for some coffee?

Oh, yeah, that sounds great.

Well... I'd love it.

Okay, great. I'll put the water on, and you go down and get the coffee, okay?

Oh, I thought you were inviting us out for coffee.

Out? No, no, no.

Well, I-I guess I-I should...

I should... I should tell you that, uh, I'm, uh... I'm agoraphobic.

Oh. I don't know what that means.

I do.

Yes, Alex? ALEX: Ah.

It means you're afraid of heights.

No, no, that's acrophobia.

I have that a little bit, too, but not-not quite as severe as agoraphobia.

Agoraphobia means... especially in my particular case...

It means I have total terror of leaving my studio.

I thought that was Anglophobia.

No, no, no.

That's fear of England.


Yeah, I have... I have... I have sort of just a whisper of that myself, but... not as severe as the other stuff.

I mean, for instance, the name Alistair Cooke gives me the shivers.

So, wait. If you're afraid to leave your studio, what do you do when you go out?

I just don't go out.

What is it that you're afraid will happen if you go out there?

Oh, it's... That's...

It's so difficult to explain.

It would take a very long time.

Well, try.

Elaine, Elaine.

Hey, uh, you'd probably be happier if we left you alone, wouldn't you?

Yeah, I would.

Yeah. Thanks for understanding.

Okay. Come on, Elaine.

I'm not leaving.

Elaine, the man wants you to leave.

He wants help. Look at him.

Elaine. Elaine, now look, this is out of your league.

That man is damn near psychotic.

Uh, no offense.

None taken.

Look, Elaine, I'm gonna leave.

Okay, go.

It was nice to meet you, Mr. Eagen.

Oh. Oh, it was very nice meeting you, Mr. Reiger.

I'm going.

Fine. (door closes)

Um, I'm sorry about that. Um...

Do you want me to leave?

I... I don't know.

See, I didn't mean to intrude on you.

I... Oh, I'm sorry.

No. That's okay.

I'm, I'm not genophobic.

That means you have no fear of touching?

No, it means I have no fear of sex.

As long as it's right here, right now, pronto, see?


I'm just kidding.

See... I just can't believe that somebody like you can't just, you know, walk through that door, and-and-and take a drive or...

God, go to a museum.

No, there's nothing...

There's nothing depressing about it at all.

No? No, I have a wonderful life here.

I have everything I want.

I got practically two of everything I want, actually.

You got a real ark, huh?


That's nice. I like that.

Have you always been like this?

No? No, uh-uh, no.

As a kid, I was afraid of all the sort of normal things.

You know? I'm still listening.

Like, I was afraid of the dark, and lightning...

How about the hallway? And loud noises and fish.

But I don't know.

As I got older, I started getting more afraid of more things.

Let me help you.

Many have tried.


Come on, just the hallway?

Just one step?

I'm right here.

We did it! Oh.

I don't believe it!

I don't believe it! You did it, Craig.

I'm gonna do it again, all right? Okay.

All right, I'm gonna do it again. All right, all right.

I'm gonna do it myself, all right? Fine.

You don't mind? No offense. No.


I did it again! I did it again!

Oh, Craig, that's wonderful!

I'm gonna do it with my eyes closed now, all right?

Oh, okay. Okay, now watch.

Is this the door? God. Okay.

Ah. How do you like that?

I loved it. All right.

Now one for the tango.

Yeah, I'm really cooking now.

Oh, God, I can't wait till I tell Alex.

Oh, Alex, I got to talk to you.

Well, if it isn't Nurse Ratched.

What are you doing here?

Who's watching little cuckoo's nest?

(laughing): Oh, you.

Listen, I got to tell you what's going on.

I mean... (gasps)

I used to be hard of hearing, but now that you touched me, I can hear again.

She's doing it again, folks.

I love my cage.

I think of it as a window on the world.

Come here, Jeff.

There seems to be another interesting tale unfolding.

Alex walks away from Elaine.

Elaine follows.

Could there be a problem?

Alex, I am making amazing progress with Craig.

Yes, and he's making amazing progress with you.

Now you're both nuts.


Why? Yeah.

Why don't you get this man to a qualified doctor?

That's why. Okay.

Yeah, there must be some doctor who specializes in... (sputtering)

Sorry for interrupting.

She turns.


He walks to his mailbox now.

Oh. Mm-hmm.

On command?

Would you listen?

And we had lunch on the fire escape.


And he went inside of an elevator.


It is so thrilling to see him actually considering coming out into the world.

And I figured out how to do it.

See, he has agreed to get into my cab, and so I thought that I would bring him here.

Oh, Elaine, for crying out loud.

No! Alex, it's perfect.

I told him all about the guys, and the guys know all about him, and it's like he knows them already, so no one will seem strange to him.

Just my luck.

Nothing to throw away.

Elaine, for some strange reason... I don't know why...

I don't think that's a great idea.

Besides, if you make a mistake, you're never going to forgive yourself.

You may do irreparable damage to that man.

You don't fool around with this stuff unless you're trained. Period.

Oh, Alex, don't you think I know what you're talking about?

And if you keep this up, I'm going to start listening, because I'm scared, too.

But please don't take this away from me.

I feel so worthwhile.

Please don't undermine my confidences.

Elaine... Besides which, how do you think they cure people of their phobias, huh?

By carefully exposing them to the thing that they're afraid of until their fear is gone.

And that's exactly what I'm doing.

With love and care and understanding.

Nardo, help me.

I got a phobia about getting naked.

Louie, you'd better behave yourself when Craig comes in here.

Ooh, I love you!

I'm bringing him tomorrow.

Reiger, you still here?


What's the matter?

I don't know, I just think that, uh, Elaine's making a mistake bringing him here.

You mad at her?

No, I'm scared, Louie.


Hey, Reiger, (blowing, spitting)

See this bottle? Yeah?

This is an expensive vintage wine that I got from one of my first fares in 1957.

And I've been waiting for the right occasion to open it up.

This sure ain't it.

I wouldn't break out a bottle of Yoo-hoo for this one.

But let's talk.

I don't want to talk, I don't want to talk.

No, no, listen, I, I know what's wrong.

You went against your better judgment and you trusted Elaine.

We've all trusted skirts.

We've all paid.

The man who gave me this bottle of wine...

Listen to me, this'll, this'll get your mind off it.

The man who gave me this bottle of wine was a man that women loved.

His name was Errol Flynn.

Errol Flynn.

Interested, huh?

All right.

I'm a rookie cab driver, right?

Errol Flynn gets into my cab with two beautiful women.

Better than beautiful women.

Cheap women.

He's sitting back there with an arm around each of them.


Now, I got this problem because in those days, our rearview mirrors are only so big.

My luck, I could only see him.

But he was smiling, Reiger.

Smiling from ear to ear.


The old swashbuckler was never happier.

(smarmy laughter)

All right.

You should have seen these, Reiger.

I can still smell their perfume.

It was... Thick, you know?

All right, he says to me, "Take me to the Hotel Pierre, kid."

So, I take him.

We get there and he is totally passed out cold.

Can't feel a thing.

There's no doorman around.

So, what could I do?

Me and the two babes rolled him.

He had $184, a pirate knife and this bottle of wine.

I was so thrilled, I was a kid.

All the dames wanted was the knife and the wine.

So, I took the $184.

Then they put the knife to my throat and sold me the bottle of wine for $184.

So, you see?

Errol trusted women and lost.

I trusted women and lost.

What chance does an anteater like you have?

Thank you, Louie.

ELAINE: Now, don't worry.

They might not even notice you.

Hey, everyone, we have a visitor.

Guys, I want you to meet Craig Eagen.

Craig, I want you to meet the guys.

(thud, lock clicks)

Um, he locked the door.

ALEX: Mm-hmm.

It's okay.

I, I don't know, I really think I've done all I can for right now, okay?

Oh, sure. This is major.

Craig, it's really okay. Great.

You know, why, why don't we just rest for a minute, okay?

Great, all right, okay.

JIM: Psst.

Psst, psst.



Should we all rest or just him?


Reverend Jim, yeah. Right.

Hey, uh, would you like to meet him?

I don't know.

Jim, why don't you get in the back seat with Craig and, uh, talk to him a minute, 'cause it, it would be so nice if he'd come out for just a little while.



Uh, I think I'll lock my door, too.

Take me to Yankee Stadium.


Uh... (clearing throat)

Now that we're close, why don't you join me in the great outdoors?

I'd really like to very much, but I'm, I feel kind of numb.

And I don't think I can move right now, okay?

Listen, Craig... not only do I understand how you feel, but I used to pay hard-earned money to get to feel the way you feel.

Excuse me.

I couldn't do anything for him, but I love him.

Let me talk to him.

(knocks on door)

How you doing?


I'm Tony.

You know what I do when I feel wired?

I play handball.

You hit the ball against the wall, right?

(bangs door) Bam! It comes back at you.

You hit it against the wall again.

(bangs door) Bam! It comes back at you again!

And you hit it against the wall again! Don't hit it again.

Please! Bam! It comes back to you again.

You do that until your hand is like a raw cutlet.

You do that long enough, you're too exhausted to feel bad.

Could I talk to the guy who's on drugs again?

Hey, look, you know what I think?

I say, you pull up your socks, and the two of us get out of this cab together right now. What do you say?

I swear, I'd really like to, I would, I'd like to but that would mean I'd have to pry my fingers loose from this seat, and I don't think that's possible right now.

Ah, look, hang in there, baby.

Hey, nobody thinks you're a bad guy.

Thanks a lot.

Next time I'll give jump rope.

Hey, uh, we're just gonna sit here, you know?

Hey, you want a cigar?

No, no, thanks, no.

You know, uh, I do some stage work.

Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah.

I didn't know that.

I didn't know that, that's great.

Yeah, I did eight things professionally.

And I got scared every time I went out there.


You got to go out there if you want to play that part.

D-Do you know what I mean?


You're making a comparison between my problem and being an actor on the stage.

Yeah, that's right, I mean, but I got scared; I mean, I used to shake.

But something always used to happen.

I'd remember Peter O'Toole, he said he said, "If they think they can do it better than me, then why aren't they up here doing it themselves?"

Yeah. And that always gave me the inspiration to go on.

That's great. He said that?


But what if, what if Lawrence Olivier and Marlon Brando and Vanessa Redgrave were sitting out there?

I never thought of that.

And then, and then, and then what if Ralph Richardson and Paul Scofield and John Gielgud happened to be sitting right next to them?

All of them?

As a matter of fact, what if, what if it was an actors benefit and every great actor in the whole world was sitting out there, then what do you do?

I don't deserve to be in the theater.


Alex, I stink. Yeah.

Yeah, I know, we'll talk about that later.

Come on.

Yeah, all right.

Uh, just, uh, let me talk to him, all right?

It's about time, Alex.

Now we'll finally get him out of the cab.

Listen, Craig...

I think we'd better take you home.

All right?

Elaine, I think you'd better drive him home.

Yeah, I think that's a very good idea. Okay, look, Craig don't feel bad about it. I don't, I don't.

It's only your first day. You were so wonderful.

Okay, Elaine why don't you take him home.

It's really no problem at all.


Craig, are you okay?

I don't know.

Can you take a step?

How's that?

Another one.


Come to me.

I feel kind of stupid.

(gently): Come on, come on.

Very good.


Oh, it's okay, it's okay.

It's okay, it's okay.

Really, just relax.

(imitating horn playing "Stormy Weather")

♪ ♪

LOUIE: Wheeler, 681.

(instrumental "Stormy Weather" resumes)

Banta, 324.

♪ ♪ Iggy, 111.

♪ ♪

Reiger, 816.

(instrumental "Stormy Weather" continues throughout)

♪ ♪

(theme song playing)

WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters!

(man grumbling)