"Terms of Employment"

Episode #2.09
Original Airdate 11/30/1999
Written by David Kohan & Max Mutchnick
Directed by James Burrows
Transcript by Rob Durfee

Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)

Gregory Hines (Ben Doucette)
Robert Clendenin (Bob Dent)
Aaron Lustig (Marv Buhl)
Dan Sachoff (Announcer)
Jo Marie Payton (Mrs. Freeman)

SCENE I: Will's Apartment
(WILL is eating a bowl of cereal while watching TV when JACK enters.)

JACK: Will! You're not gonna believe what just happened?! Are you watching this?

WILL: Yeah. I've never seen The Usual Suspects. They're just about to reveal who Keyser Soze is.

JACK: It's Kevin Spacey. [TURNING OFF THE TV] Ok. Listen, coming off the stunning success of [HOLDS UP HIS HANDS, A LA "JUST JACK"] ... I have been asked to play the lead in an employee training video for the Canterville Plate Glass Company. Aah! Oh!

WILL: Well, good for you, Jack. What's the video about?

JACK: It's a hard hitting look at sexual harassment in the workplace.

WILL: Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! I'm sorry, Jack. Sexual harassment? Starring the guy that asked his coworker at Starbucks if he had 2 nipples for a dime?

JACK: Which, by the way, was the beginning of a very fulfilling 3-day relationship. Couldn't you once be happy for me?

WILL: Hey! Don't you think it's possible that maybe I'm jealous because you've got this great new job, and I've been unemployed for a month?

JACK: Oh, no. Are you?

WILL: Yeah, right! Ha ha ha!

JACK: [SHAKING HIS FIST] Hateful! I'm raiding your closet. They said, "dress like a repressed straight guy."

GRACE: [ENTERING] Hey, I need you to help me sue someone.

WILL: Did the lady at the Korean market call you "mister" again?

GRACE: Buy one tube of cream bleach, and you're mister for the rest of your life. No. But that has nothing to do with this. Ok, I have this client, right? I have a signed contract. I spend a huge chunk of money, and then--

WILL: He backed out.

GRACE: Wow. See?! See? This is what I need, someone who will show Ben Doucette a mustache chair and then back out.

WILL: What?

GRACE: It's sort of like a club chair, but the top's curvy--

WILL: No! Not the chair! Ben Doucette of Doucette & Stein?

GRACE: Yeah. He's some big, deal lawyer guy. You--you know him?

WILL: I know of him. He's a killer. Sweetie, you need a real litigator, not a corporate attorney, especially the one who spent the last month arguing the case of Ass vs. Sofa Cushion.

GRACE: What is this? Do I hear a doubt, Mrs. Doubtfire?

WILL: I don't know if I can do this. I mean, this is Ben Doucette, and I'm-- ah, I'm a little rusty.

GRACE: [BABY TALK] Oh, come on, little rusty. You can do this. As Jane Seymour says to her wheelchair-bound husband in every Lifetime movie..."I believe in you."

WILL: Oh, my god. I watched 2 of those today. I'll do it.

JACK: [JACK ENTERING FROM THE BEDROOM] Hi, Grace. Bye, Grace. Can't talk. In a movie. There's just enough time to grab some ice cream and run to my acting class.

GRACE: Why don't you just combine them and study with Uta Haagen-Dazs?

JACK: Ha ha ha! That's--ha!

GRACE: You don't get that, do you?

JACK: Not really. No. [JACK EXITS]


SCENE II: The Offices of Doucette and Stein, Conference Room
(WILL and GRACE are waiting for BEN DOUCETTE.)

WILL: All right. He's kept us waiting half an hour. I say we go find him in his office.

GRACE: Listen to you, Mr. Thing With the Boom-Boom. I love it when you get like that.

WILL: I've just been thinking: why am I so scared of this guy? He's a lawyer. How intimidating can he be?


BEN: You be in my office in one hour, and be nervous. Hello. I'm Benjamin Doucette.

WILL: Will Truman.

BEN: I know who you are. Your reputation proceeds you.

WILL: And, Mr. Doucette, your reputation proceeds you.

BEN: And, Mr. Truman, my reputation proceeds your reputation. I can't believe I said that without a cigar. Let's do this.


SCENE III: A Movie Set
(The set is dressed like an office. JACK is fixing himself in the mirror while waiting for the crew and the director, BOB DENT.)

JACK: A cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup. Unique New York. Unique New York. Unique New-- [BOB DENT ENTERS] Hello, Mr. Dent. Looking forward to working with you. Oh, I've brought you another résumé. [HANDS BOB HIS RESUME] I've updated my special skills. I now know stage combat, banjo, and, as of last night, I can drive a commuter ferry. Kind of.

BOB: Bad news. We're canceling the shoot.

JACK: Oh, no, no, no. I didn't get a message.

BOB: I didn't leave a message. The girl dropped out. She got an airborne virus. It's attacking her joints.

JACK: Uh, Mr. Dent, we can't. We can't cancel. Look, this is my big break, ok? I've already taken ads out in Variety congratulating myself.

BOB: I'm sorry. Unless a girl walks through that door this minute, we're done.

KAREN: [ENTERING] Honey, when I agreed to drive you to the set, you didn't say it was on Staten Island! How the hell am I ever gonna get the stench of landfill and working class families out of tropical lightweight wool? [TO BOB] What are you lookin' at, eyebags?


SCENE IV: The Offices of Doucette and Stein, Conference Room
(BEN and WILL are meeting, while GRACE listens outside the door.)

BEN: I'm gonna make a wild guess here and say that you two are more than friends but less than lovers. You're gay, and she's straight.

WILL: Very good. Now if you can guess my weight, you'll get a T-shirt that says, "That's really none of your business." What we're looking for is full reimbursement for expenses.

BEN: So, you were 2 years out of law school when you started your own practice. That's pretty risky, considering you were on the partnership track at Getman and Denofreyo. [BEN CRACKS A WALNUT: CRACK!]

WILL: Ahem. We also seek token amount for compensatory damages.

BEN: And then you go and steal Harlin Polk right out from under them. Now that I love. That's--that's theater, man. That's very impressive. [CRACK!]

WILL: We're also looking for interest on the money she laid out.

BEN: It must be rough. I mean, one minute, you're a rising star, and then the next, you're sitting at home watching-- I'm guessing-- Lifetime. And right in the middle of a-- a-- Designing Women marathon, the thought starts to creep in. Maybe I've lost it. Maybe I never even had it to begin with. [CRACK!]

WILL: What's with you and the nuts?! Are you gonna eat one or what?

BEN: I don't like eating them. I just like crushing them.

WILL: Eh-heh! Give me a break. [AS DR. NO/DR. EVIL] Shouldn't you be stroking a white cat while you say that?

BEN: Excuse me?

WILL: This is it? This is the famous Ben Doucette intimidation tactic? You crush nuts? That's why I should never meet a legend. It's always disappointing, like the time I met Big Bird at the Ice Capades. No-o-ot so big. So unless you're prepared to make me an offer, I'm outta here.


BEN: Here's your offer. [HANDS WILL THE PAPER] Let me know what you think.


BEN: [TO GRACE AS HE WALKS DOWN THE HALL] Good to see you again.



GRACE: Oh, he knows what I meant. What happened?

WILL: Well, he made us an offer.

GRACE: Ohh! Ohh! Yes! What's it say? What is it?

WILL: He offered... [WILL READS THE PAPER] Me a job.

GRACE: Yes! What?! No!

WILL: Wow.

GRACE: What kind of offer is that? What was he thinking? Why would he do that? [GASPING] HOhh! Ohh! Ohh! Oh, my god! Don't you see? The only reason you were offered a job, is so that he can slither out of the lawsuit.

WILL: Of course. That ruthless bastard offered me a 5-year contract, paid vacation, a huge signing bonus, all to make a dispute over slipcovers go away. How could I have been so blind!

GRACE: Why do your people always go to sarcasm first? Ok, so it was a real offer. You're not actually thinking of taking it, are you?

WILL: Well, let me think about this. [SINGING] I got a job. Da-da da da da. [TO GRACE] Come on! How could you not be happy for me?

GRACE: How can I be happy for you? You were on my side, and now you're bailing on me. I think that sucks.

WILL: You consider this: once I'm on the inside, I'll be able to settle this, and maybe even get you a whole lot more money.

WILL AND GRACE: [SINGING] Got a job, got a job, got a job....


SCENE V: The Movie Set
(JACK, KAREN, BOB DENT, THE ANNOUNCER, and the rest of the crew are preparing for the shoot. BOB is giving directions.)

BOB: So, it goes line, line, line, do the inappropriate gesture, then freeze, then announcer moves in, ok? You guys ready? Jack? Jack?

JACK: I'm sorry. I am at one with my character right now, so from here on in, could you please refer to me as Mr. Whakerly?

BOB: Uh... No.

JACK: Good idea. I'll use that. [WINKS. WHISPERING] I will use that.

BOB: Ok, places! Rolling. And...action.

KAREN: [ENTERING THE SET. ANNOYED] Good morning, Mr. Whackerly. I brought you the file for the Herman Shlow meeting. [THROWS FILE ON THE DESK]

JACK: Thank you. Oh, Miss Bartholomew, you have a piece of fuzz on your shoulder. [KAREN SCOFFS AND ROLLS HER EYES.]


KAREN: Oh! Ahh! [LAUGHING] Ha ha!

BOB: Cut! Ok, lady, you need to freeze.

JACK: I was freezing. Oh, you meant-- I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Excuse me. [SOTTO, TO KAREN] You're gonna ruin this for me. What are you doing?

KAREN: Honey, what are you doing? That tongue of yours could have a career. It's drivin' me crazy.

BOB: Places. Let's make some magic, people. And... Action.

KAREN: [SEDUCTIVELY] Good morning... Mr. Whackerly. I brought you the file for the... Herman Shlow meeting.

JACK: Thank you. Oh, Miss Bartholomew, you have a piece of fuzz on your shoulder.



ANNOUNCER: Ok, stop! What you've just witnessed is an example of inappropriate office behavior. Clearly this female employee is uncomfortable and finds her boss' overtures unwelcome--

KAREN: Meats and cheeses! You are rockin' my clock, Mary!

BOB: Cut! Cut! What is going on, people? You're supposed to freeze.

JACK: I was freezing, Mr. Dent. I'm working with an amateur here. I--

BOB: Ok, you freeze, or you're outta here.

JACK: Ok, God bless you.

BOB: Let's go again, people!

JACK: [TO KAREN] You blow this for me, and so help me God, you'll wake up with Rosario's head in your bed!

KAREN: Then just don't put it all the way in. Ok?

JACK: I'll have to adjust my whole character, but whatever.

BOB: Ok, people, now, places! Settle... And... Action.

KAREN: [LEANING AGAINST THE DOOR FRAME, VERY SEDUCTIVELY] Morning, Whackerly. I, uh... brought you the file for the... [RUNNING HER HANDS OVER HER BODY] Herman Shlow meeting.

JACK: Thank you. Oh, Miss Bartholomew, you have a piece of fuzz on your shoulder.

KAREN: Mmm...


ANNOUNCER: Ok, stop. What you've just witnessed is an example of inappropriate office behavior.


ANNOUNCER: Clearly this female employee is uncomfortable and finds her boss' overture unwelcome. You know, sensitivity--

BOB: Cut! Cut, cut, cut!

KAREN: You're gonna cut now?! Oh...typical man! No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No. Now, we are gonna do this until we get it right. Ok?


SCENE VI: The Offices of Doucette and Stein, Will's Office
(WILL is sitting at his new desk. BEN is wearing a tux and MRS. FREEMAN is cleaning the lint off it.)

BEN: Will, have you met my assistant Mrs. Freeman?

WILL: No. Mrs. Freeman, nice to meet you. [WILL HOLDS OUT HIS HAND.]


WILL: Ok. [TO BEN] What's with the tux?

BEN: Well, I'm going to a dinner. They're honoring African-Americans who run big-time law firms in New York City. It's being held in a phone booth on the Upper East Side.

WILL: Ha ha ha! That the same phone booth where they held the Gays for Buchanan rally?

BEN: Yes. Yeah. So what did you want to see me about?

WILL: Oh, it's this whole thing with Grace.

BEN: Oh, yes. I am so glad you brought that up. Make it go away, would you?

WILL: Oh, ok. So you just want me to pay her off?

BEN: No, no, no, no, no. I don't want you to pay. No. I want you to take her to arbitration and kick her ass! Huh...wrong cuff links. [TO MRS. FREEMAN] Murphy's got a good pair. Let's get his.

WILL: Ben, come on, I mean, how important is this, really? The amount of money we're talking about is only slightly less that you paid for those cuff links... that you just threw into my garbage pail.

BEN: It's not about the money, Will. I don't lose. And since you're working for me now, you don't lose.

WILL: But you're putting me in a kind of an awkward situation here. I mean, Grace is my friend.

BEN: Yeah?

WILL: Don't you think that's a conflict of interest?

BEN: Will, you know how many people I pissed off by giving you this office? Have a good night. [BEN EXITS]

WILL: But--but, uh... eh... [TO MRS. FREEMAN] I--I really don't have a choice in this, do I?



GRACE: [ENTERING] Knock knock.

WILL: Hey.

GRACE: Oh, my god! Look at this place! Well, I think that the only thing that is missing... is the orchid I stole from the lobby. [HOLDS OUT AN ORCHID FROM BEHIND HER BACK.]

WILL: Aw... Oh...

GRACE: What's with the face?

WILL: Sweetie, uh... Sit down. We need to talk.


GRACE: Traitor!

WILL: Grace, take my check.

GRACE: I don't want your money. I want his money.

WILL: But he's paying me now, so, in a way, this is his money.

GRACE: I will see you in court.

WILL: It's not court. It's arbitration. We'll be in a conference room with an arbitrator there.

GRACE: Then I will see you in a conference room with the arbitrator there! That did not sound as good!


SCENE V: The Movie Set
(The crew has left, except for BOB DENT and JACK. KAREN is laying on the desk, smoking.)

JACK: [TO BOB] Whew! What a day, huh? Only 148 takes. My tongue's drier than a Triscuit in an old lady's cupboard, but I think we got it.

KAREN: [MOANING] Mmmmm.... Wha ha ha!

JACK: [TO BOB] You comin' to the cast party?

BOB: See that bag of Doritos? [POINTING TO A TABLE.]

JACK: Yeah.

BOB: That is the cast party. [BOB EXITS.]

JACK: [TO KAREN] Well, thank you very much. You just ruined my chance to ever work with Bob Dent again.

KAREN: Honey, I feel great.

JACK: Karen, um... I hate to give notes to fellow actors, but... you were really unprofessional today. Couldn't you have contained yourself? Couldn't you have shown some kind of respect for acting? Couldn't you have just-- [KAREN PUTS HER TONGUE IN JACK'S EAR] Ahh... Chaka Khan, you totally found my G-spot! Oh!

KAREN: Ok, honey, now do me. Do me. Do me. [JACK PUTS HIS TONGUE IN KAREN'S EAR] Ok, that's... Oh, I love that.

JACK: Ok, me! Me. Me again. Me again. And keep your boobies away. I'm trying to imagine Matt Damon.



SCENE VI: The Offices of Doucette and Stein, Conference Room
(MR. BUHL is sitting at the table with WILL as GRACE enters, carrying a basket.)

GRACE: [TO BUHL] Hi. You must be Mr. Buhl, arbitrator. Grace Adler, victim. [SHAKES HIS HAND] I know you have to remain entirely neutral, but I also know you have to eat, which is why... [OPENING THE PICNIC BASKET] I have put together a roasted chicken... artichoke salad... and some kreplach direct from Flatbush.

BUHL: Ms. Adler, I can have no part in that. Now, would you please sit down so we may begin?

GRACE: I understand. I will just leave it right over here in case you want a nice little gnosh. [PUTS THE BASKET ON THE COUNTER.]


WILL: Grace, where is your lawyer?

GRACE: Um, I don't need a lawyer because I have right on my side.

WILL: But you need someone to--

GRACE: [TO BUHL] Uh, excuse me, your honor. Can you please instruct opposing counsel to stop badgering the witness?

WILL: Grace, you are not a witness. He is not a judge. This is not a trial, and you are not a lawyer!

GRACE: I know you aren't, but what am I?

WILL: Ok, so we're in that head space.

BEN: [ENTERING] Keep going. Keep going. [BEN SITS DOWN] I'm just hiding. My ex-wife's in the building. Every time she sees me, it costs me $10,000. Will? Shouldn't you be over here?


BEN: Good.

BUHL: All right, then, let's begin. I'll give each of you an opportunity to argue your side. Based on the legal merit of those arguments, I will render a decision. Mr. Truman, would you care to begin?

WILL: According to paragraph 3 of the contract, any of Ms. Adler's purchases had to be mutually agreed upon by both parties. Ms. Adler made said purchases without the consent of my client, therefore, he should not be required to pay.

BUHL: Ms. Adler?

GRACE: My choices were gorgeous. Defense rests.

WILL: But they were not mutually agreed upon.

GRACE: Look, my choices were flawless, and if your client can't see that, then he is guilty of extremely bad taste, and isn't that the real crime here today?

WILL: Gracie, there is no--

GRACE: Objection! [TO BUHL] The familiar cutening of my name implies we like each other.

BUHL: Ms. Adler, though it's clear you know a lot of legal terms, you've yet to use a single one of them properly.

GRACE: [TO BUHL] May I approach the bench?

BUHL: You'd have to build one first. All right. Mr. Truman, I'm going to rule in your favor.

GRACE: What?

BEN: Thank you.

BUHL: Now, then, if you could just--

GRACE: What? No! How could this happen? I mean, this is so unfair! [TO BEN] Why should I be out thousands of dollars just because you changed your mind? Look, ok, fine. Maybe I don't know the legal words, but I know the difference between right and wrong, and what is wrong is that I worked hard for you. I did good work and I'm honest, and that obviously doesn't mean anything. [CRYING]

BEN: Ok, Will, let's wrap this up.

WILL: Uh... [Ahem]... You know what? I can't do this.

BEN: Why not?

WILL: 'Cause I'm on the wrong side of this table.

BEN: Mr. Truman, outside.


WILL: [SIGHS] I'm sorry, Ben. It's this thing I have. A conscience. I tried to get rid of it in law school, but it didn't take. I don't think I'm the kind of lawyer you want for this firm.

BEN: You're wrong. You're exactly what I want. Mrs. Freeman, make sure Grace gets her check.


WILL: What just happened? What-- Underneath it all, you're just a big old softie?

BEN: Underneath it all, I'd sell my grandmother down the river if it got me a continuance, but I have me. That's why I need you.

WILL: But wait, wait, wait, wait! So, what? This was just a test? Like this is Willy Wonka and you've just given me the keys to the Chocolate Factory?

BEN: Will, you've got your job. But, please, don't refer to me as "the chocolate factory." See you tomorrow.

WILL: But-- [TO MRS. FREEMAN] Heh heh! You know I didn't mean anything by the chocolate factory remark, right?


GRACE: [OPENING THE DOOR] What happened?

WILL: You're getting your check. And I still have my job.

GRACE: You're kidding?

WILL: I know!

GRACE: Thank you.

WILL: I promise you... I will never again [ITALIAN ACCENT] pick sides against the family. Come on. Your attorney's buying you lunch. [WILL PUTS HIS ARM AROUND GRACE'S BACK] Grace, am I wrong, or is there some large, round object in your pants that is not your ass?

GRACE: I didn't think I was gonna win, so I stole his bowl. [GRACE PULLS A BOWL FROM HER PANTS.]

WILL: That's the bowl Ben keeps his nuts in.

GRACE: Ok, puttin' the bowl back.

WILL: No, no, no, no!