Episode 8: "Pulp Turkey"
First Aired 11/26/99

Heather and Lisa are in the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. Lisa can not handle the thought of celebrating Thanksgiving without Michael. But Heather wants to celebrate Thanksgiving they’ve always done: "You always make a turkey on Thanksgiving, and we stay in our pajamas and watch the football games and parades until just before the guests arrive and the house fills up with that smell. And besides what about Uncle Roger and Aunt Ruth? If we don't have Thanksgiving where will Uncle Roger go to cook his yam surprise? And what about Aunt Ruth? Where will she find a piano so she can sing those creepy Neil Diamond songs?"

So Lisa reluctantly gives in to her daughter, but tells Heather that Aunt Ruth will be out of town that weekend. It’ll just be Lisa, Heather and Roger. Heather even convinces her mother to buy pecans to make her traditional spicy pecans (even though only Michael ate them every year).

Meanwhile, at Michael’s townhouse, Michael has just finished his workout, when Dr. Theo stops him. He tells Michael that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Since Dr. Theo has the holiday off, he can’t be there with Michael. Michael looks disappointed, but accepts this.

Dr. Theo then tersely tells Michael that they will be spending Thanksgiving at *Dr. Theo’s* family’s house. Michael accepts graciously, but Dr. Theo warns Michael that, "As with anything else, Mr. Wiseman there are rules governing this excursion." Michael agrees.

On Thanksgiving morning, Roger is summoned to a museum. A foreign diplomat has donated some historical items to the museum. But before the museum can accept them, the pieces need to be insured. But Roger’s company, Grand Empire Insurance. Roger is more than willing to help, but he explains that before anything can be insured, it must be appraised first. Since it’s Thanksgiving, they will have to wait for the next day for the appraisal. The curator then handcuffs a briefcase, with the items that need insuring, to Roger’s wrist. He explains that Roger needs to safe-guard the items until the next day, when they can be insured. Since he can not do anything, Roger leaves, with the briefcase attached to him.

At this time, two thieves had been attempting to break into the museum, to steal the items that are now attached to Roger. They decide to follow Roger to wherever he’s going and steal the items from him then.

At the Wisemans, Lisa has put the turkey into the oven. She and Heather sit in front of the TV, watching football games, like they always did when Michael was alive. Both admit that they don’t understand the game, but enjoy the sense of continuing the Thanksgiving tradition.

Meanwhile, Dr. Theo and Michael are driving to the Morris family dinner in Dr. Theo’s Jaguar. Michael attempts to thank the Doc for including him, but Dr. Theo rebukes Michael words. As they are talking, Michael notices that Dr. Theo’s car is overheating.

They end up on the side of the highway. Dr. Theo accidentally locks his wallet, keys and cellphone in the car. With nothing else to do, Michael realizes that they are near the Wiseman house. He suggests that they go there and call for a tow-truck. Dr, Theo reluctantly agrees, after being backed into a corner by Michael. But Dr. Theo gets the last words, " No turkey, no stuffing, no pie. No nookie. Happy Thanksgiving."

Michael pushes the car to the Wiseman house. They knock on the door. Lisa answers it and is not happy to see them. (Read "Nothing to Fear, but Nothing to Fear" for the background.) She slams the door in their face. They knock again and this time Heather answers it. She convinces Lisa to allow them to make their phone calls.

Dr. Theo calls his family and for a tow-truck. Meanwhile, Michael spends a few moments bonding with his daughter. He excuses himself and goes to talk to Lisa. She is still upset that he stood her up. He tries to explain, without revealing anything, but Lisa is beyond listening. Fed-up, she finally tries to throw Michael out of the house. When she opens the door, Roger is standing on her doorstep.

The moment Roger enters the house, two more visitors end up on the Wiseman’s front door – the two thieves. They point a gun at everyone and enter the house. Michael softly pleads with Dr. Theo to allow him to do something, but Dr. Theo holds him back.

The thieves detach the briefcase from Roger’s wrist and open it. Roger is arguing with Dr. Theo, Lisa is still snapping at Michael and Heather is not happy with all that’s going on.

The thieves get the briefcase open and call their employer. Accidentally, they mention the boss’ name (Nicki), so they have to continue keeping everyone at gunpoint, until Nicki arrives. Michael smells the turkey in the oven burning and when he mentions this, the thieves invite themselves to Thanksgiving dinner.

Livid, Michael says no, so they handcuff him to a pillar in the living room. Everyone else sits down at the dining table. Only the thieves (and Roger) are eating. Heather begins to taunt the thieves. One of them waves a gun at Heather, to shut her up, which upsets Lisa. Heather throws out, "You know what? You're lucky my dad's not here right now 'cause if he were, he'd kill you." Unable to hold back any longer, Michael bends the handcuffs off and escapes out the window.

The thieves push Dr. Theo, Roger, Heather and Lisa into the basement, while they search for Michael. Michael, after sneaking back into the house, knocks out of the thieves. He’s about to get the other one, when the boss shows up.

Downstairs, everyone can hear the noises, but they can only guess what’s going on. Heather and Lisa believe Michael is being beaten, but Dr. Theo, knowing the truth, simply plays pool. Roger tries to make a call out on his cellphone, until Heather reminds him that they’re underground.

Back upstairs, the boss, Nicki, is looking at a medal, which had been in his family "until the Communists came." Michael interrupts and beings fighting with the two men. They fall down the stairs to the basement, with only Michael unhurt.

Michael gives all the guns to Dr. Theo and tells him they can leave now. Heather reminds her mom that if it hadn’t been for Michael, they might have lost the house. (Read "The Insurance Man Always Rings Twice" for the background.) Lisa relents and partially forgives Michael and Dr. Theo. She invites them to dessert.

At the table, they all take a minute to say what they are thankful for. Dr. Theo is "thankful for the swift arrival of our friends in law enforcement." Roger seconds this and then admits that he is "thankful that you fellas showed up. Ultimately."

Heather is thankful that she "didn't end up some gangster's moll" and Lisa laughingly agrees. She is also thankful that they’re all safe. She asks Michael what he is thankful for. When she gets no reply, they all turn. To see Michael stuffing his face with a piece of pie. Taking a moment, Michael jokingly says, "I'm thankful the Doc's sitting over there."


Episode Description for "By the Light of the Moon"