One of the joys of revisiting Soap for this book is finding those gems that really make the series as memorable as it is.
I don’t think it would be completely out of line to say that Season 3 came out of the gate struggling a fair amount. Yet with 3.8 the season finally found its feet again and came back swinging; it would contribute one of the finest scenes of the series.
Starting at the 3:56 time code in the clip above, we get Burt explaining to his alien double why he desperately wants his life back. It remains one of the most powerful scenes not just in Soap history, but in the history of American television.
(Compare Burt’s key line with the transcription below to see how crucial both the words and Richard Mulligan’s acting were to the success of this scene.)
Burt: Wait a minute here, wait, you don’t understand. You don’t know what it’s like here. But you see you spend most of your life here struggling to make money, to get along with people, to fall in love and make it good, to give your kids the best you can, and years go by while you do this pally, years! Then one day you wake up and you realize whoah, I’ve arrived. Business is good. My wife and I still love each other. The kids are alive and not on drugs. Now you can enjoy it all, no more struggle. Except then you realize you haven’t gotta lot of time. Well now I’ve been through the struggle and I don’t know how much time I’ve got left, but I do know one thing: I didn’t come this far to give up. Now give me back my life. I’m entitled!