7th Heaven
Season 5, Episode 6
Air date November 6, 2000
Written by Brenda Hampton & Sue Tenney
Directed by Joel J. Feigenbaum
Episode Guide

"Broke" is the sixth episode of the 5th season and the 94th episode overall of 7th Heaven.


Eric and Annie's marriage isn't looking so good as they continue to fight about Mary, who is still unemployed and swamped with unpaid bills. The tension soon takes its toll on the whole family, especially when debt collectors start calling the house and making threats. The other kids finally take a dangerous risk to help their sister but will it be enough to make her face her responsibilities?


Everyone except Mary was sitting around the kitchen table, silently eating breakfast with no one talking to each other. Eventually, Annie broke the silence and instructed Lucy to get the twins dressed, causing the other kids to leave the table quickly to help her. Eric then spoke up, suggesting that they should take some kind of action against Mary before things got worse. Annie pointed out that she would need to get an education in order to get a job that she really loves, and that this will motivate her to take charge of her own life. Annie believes that Mary should take the initiative to ask for help, but Eric argued that they should help her themselves. They argued for a while until Eric eventually conceded to Annie's idea but questioned how long they had to wait. Eventually, Eric and Annie left the house, leaving Lucy in charge of getting the kids ready. Eric decides that he needs to leave the house to run errands but Annie gets angry that he is the only one that gets to leave and she decides to leave herself and leaves Lucy in charge of getting the kids ready for school. At home, Lucy receives a phone call from a woman who is looking for Mary. Lucy informs the lady that Mary isn't home and when the woman questions as to who Lucy is, Lucy hangs up. The woman immediately calls back again and Simon comes in and tells Lucy to answer the phone since she was ignoring it. Lucy picks up the phone and when she explains that she isn't Mary, the woman is unconvinced and continues to tell her all about her troubles with her credit card company. Lucy gets upset when she asks the lady if there is anything she can do to convince her that she isn't Mary and when she says no she hangs up. The woman tries to call again but Lucy does not answer this time. Sergeant Michaels is conducting a meeting speech with other police officers and after the meeting concludes, one of the officers confesses to Sergeant Michaels about letting someone go who was drinking. When asked why he would do that, the officer said he knew who it was and it turned out to be Mary. John is pacing in his apartment, which makes Matt annoyed as it makes it impossible for him to study. Matt asks as to why John is so agitated and John admits he knows something of Mary. John reveals that Mary had asked him for money which he had refused and felt guilty for not helping her out. He also admits he had seen her out with some people drinking beer a few nights prior. Matt tells him that it's probably Frankie and Johnny and that Mary shouldn't be hanging out with them. Matt gets concerned for Mary and says he doesn't know what to do about her. At the hospital, Hank notices Eric and goes up to him. He starts to notice that he looks a little stressed out and advises him to take it easy. Mary is at an ATM and is becoming increasingly frustrated that she doesn't have money available on her cards. The man behind her in line gets impatient and eventually offers her $5 to leave, which she takes. At the store, Annie runs into Mark Johnson, a parishioner who goes to their church and works at an insurance company, and he informs her as a heads up that Mary can't drive her car without insurance since her policy was canceled due to an unpaid bill. Mark warns Annie that if Mary gets caught, she'll face a $1,600 fine.

Mary arrives at the house, and Lucy immediately confronts her about the credit card company. She tells Mary she has to pay her bill but when Mary asks for $50, Lucy refuses to lend her money and tells her she needs to figure out how to get out of this mess on her own before Eric and Annie find out. Mary gets angered by the refusal and says she knows where she can find the money before leaving upstairs. Mary goes upstairs to Simon where she asks him for money but Simon refuses. Mary even tries to coax him into giving her money such as offering to drive him places but Simon tells her that he already gave her money in the past three months. When Mary mentions she has to pay off the credit card, he gets concerned about her having a credit card but still refuses her again. The phone rings and Lucy hands it to Mary, but she hangs up on the collection agency. Ruthie then calls her over to her room and reveals she has $20 from her birthday money, but Mary states that it's not enough. Mary decides to just take the money and pay the collection agency. She leaves without answering the phone when it rings again. Simon answers the phone and the collection agency informs him that they will take legal action against Mary if she does not pay the bill by the end of the day. Although Lucy insists that Mary needs to handle this herself, Simon states that they need to help her since after all, she is still their sister. Lucy says she only knows one person that might help other than Eric and Annie. Matt arrives and then talks to the kids about what they should do and Simon suggests they bail Mary out since she is at least trying to pay her bills. Ruthie confesses that she gave Mary her birthday money. Annie calls and asks for Eric and when he isn't there, she asks for Mary, but when Lucy tells her that Mary is looking for a job, she hangs up and says she'll call back later. Matt gets disappointed when he finds out Mary has been quitting all her jobs due to Lucy mentioning it on the phone.

Mary, instead of paying her bills, arrives at the movie theater and decided to use the twenty dollars that Ruthie gave her to buy a movie ticket for a double feature. At the pool hall, Annie is looking for Eric but can't find him, and the bartender asks how Mary was doing and told Annie that she had been fired from the pool hall even though Mary told Annie that she quit. He goes on to say that she worked hard in the first week, but after that, she didn't do her job, so the manager had to fire her. He also explained that she was often on the phone with bill collectors and had asked some of the waitresses to loan her money. Meanwhile, the kids at home were avoiding answering the phone when it rang until Simon finally answered it and it turned out to be Eric. Eric asks for Annie and then Mary but they both aren't home yet so he tells him to tell Annie he called if she returns before he does. Sergeant Michaels finds Eric at Pete's Pizza and tells him that Mary had been caught drinking and driving and the officer had let her off as a favor to Eric since the officer knew Mary was Eric's daughter. Eric was surprised that Mary had been drinking and driving. Mary is at the movie theater watching the film and laughing, while at the same time at the house, the phone keeps ringing at home and when nobody answers it, Lucy gets the courage and picks it up which turned out to be the lady from the collection agency calling for Mary. Lucy hands the phone to Matt who decides to imitate an attorney and tells them that Mary won't give them any money. They all laugh but Matt tells them that he can't do it again and they all try to decide whether to tell Eric and Annie or try to find a way to get Mary some money themselves. Ruthie suggests that they can give Mary the twins' money when no one else has any money to spare. At Pete's Pizza, Sergeant Michaels leaves the restaurant after a long conversation with Eric and then the manager of the restaurant tells Eric the real reason he had fired Mary. He said that Mary had started hanging out with Johnny and Frankie and drinking after hours although he said he didn't know if Mary was drinking herself. He tells Eric that Mary is hanging out with the wrong crowd even if Johnny is his nephew. Eric tells him that he forbid Frankie and Johnny to ever hang out with Mary. The manager tells Eric that Mary was hanging out with them a few days ago and that they lied.

Annie, still at the pool hall, calls the dealership to see if Mary has paid her car payment, and the car salesman, who Annie knows, tells her that she needs to come up with $300 in 3 days or the car is going to be repossessed. The kids huddle around the twins' piggy banks and debate whether they should use the money or not. Ruthie reveals that the banks have almost $500 in them, as Annie has been putting $10 in each month since the twins were born. Matt insists that Mary will return the money before anyone will notice it's missing. Ruthie is confident that Mary won't let them down and they decide to take the money, with Matt being the one to break open the banks. Mary walks out of the movie theater with her last $5 and decides to buy ice cream at the dairy shack. Later, the kids are waiting at home and when Mary returns, Matt yells at her for not paying her bills. Mary tells Matt to calm down but then the collection agency lady calls, and when Matt is pretending to be Bernie, Mary states that she has no money. The rest of the kids enter and inform her that they took the money from the twin's piggy banks and she is to go and pay the money directly to the people that she owes it to. Matt hugs Mary and tells her to get a job to pay back the money. Mary promises them that they can count on her and leaves. Annie rushes to the hospital and finds Hank and asks him where Eric is. Annie tells him she really needs to talk to him about Mary. Hank decides to speak with her in his office and takes her there. Meanwhile, Eric calls the house again and tells Ruthie that they have to keep Mary at the house if she comes. Eric is at Julie's house and lays down on the couch and tells her that Mary lied to her about everything directly to them. Annie discusses Mary with Hank at the same time about fighting about Mary that morning and her lying to them. Eric tells Julie that she ran a stop sign when drinking and driving and Pete fired her because she was hanging out with Frankie & Johnny while drinking beer. They both ask Hank and Julie how Mary was when she babysat for them. Matt leaves the house and confidently tells Lucy that Mary will definitely pay the twins back because they're family and Ruthie suggests that she wouldn't lie to the family. Ruthie adds that she wouldn't take the money from Sam and David if she knew she couldn't pay them back.

At the bank, Mary is offered a credit line increase and takes the offer. In the kitchen, Ruthie asks Simon what happens if Eric or Annie pick up the piggy banks and find them empty. Ruthie explains that Annie puts the money into the piggy banks on the 14th, so Mary has a week to replace the money. At the car dealership, Mary is offered to extend the loan terms which would lower the monthly payment even though she would be paying more for the car and Mary accepts. Annie calls Julie, who gives the phone to Eric and they apologize at the same time. They decide to meet at the house and when he gets off the phone, Julie apologizes to Eric for not telling them sooner about the incident that happened when Mary was babysitting Erica. At the insurance agency, Mary tries to extend the length of the payments but the lady tells her that there is no way. On the way out of the agency, Mary stops by a shop that has a help wanted sign in the window. Mary walks in and talks to the owner of the bookstore and gets hired as a counter-person. The owner tells her that she could double the salary. When Mary walks out, the owner's wife walks in and tells him that she can't work there. Annie gets home and worries about what happened since the kids look weird. Ruthie tells Annie that Matt stopped by but he isn't there anymore. Lucy tells Annie that he just came to visit and Annie gets more suspicious. Lucy tells her that Mary is paying bills but Annie gets suspicious when Mary doesn't have any money to pay the bills. Annie asks who loaned her the money but they all say that they didn't loan her anything. Eric walks into the kitchen and they fill each other in on what they found about Mary during the day. Annie tells him that Mary is behind on her car payments and insurance and got fired from the pool hall instead of quitting. Eric tells her that she got fired from Pete's Pizza because she was hanging out with Frankie and johnny drinking beer, and Sergeant Michaels told him that the officer who stopped her thought she was drinking and driving. Annie says that she was wrong for not doing anything first before it gets worse and they decide that they are going to confront Mary and they have to help her. John finds Matt at the hospital and Matt tells him that he had to imitate as Mary's attorney and he doesn't know what is going to happen with Mary or if she is going to be okay. Mary walks in and Eric and Annie confront her about her problems but Mary stops them and tells them that she paid her bills and found a new job. Mary vows to show them how responsible she can be even if the job is bad and she will try to make it work no matter what. Mary walks away and Eric and Annie start to realize that Mary is lying about "one last paycheck" which is the excuse she used when they asked how she paid her bills and that they need to come up with a plan on how to deal with her. Mary walks into her room and Lucy starts griping at her for having to deal with Mary's money problems. Mary apologizes to Lucy and tells her that she isn't going to tell her any more lies. The phone rings and when Mary answers the phone and the bookstore owner tells her that she doesn't have the job anymore and he didn't realize his wife didn't fill the position. Mary then lies to Lucy and tells her that it was the wrong number when she asks who it was.


  • When Sergeant Michaels makes a speech, there's a sign on the lectern that goes the following: "During the past years in California, we lost a lot of good cops. They didn't make the laws, they just tried to enforce them. They didn't make the city, they just tried to make it work. Now, nobody's asking you to love cops, but, they've got a tough job. Don't make it tougher. It could be a matter of life and death. There's or mainly, yours. What if you called a cop and nobody answered"

Opening Credits[]

Featured in the opening credits are: