Season 5, Episode 3: The Newsletter

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The camera pans from the top floor of the Chronicle down to the ground: a symbol of returning to its foundations.  This is a good sign.

Parallel to this is Lydia’s descent into the basement, Lydia being herself symbolically loaded.  The brains of the show–yet her own brain is troubled.  A symbol of familiarity, the former Edwina; her hair a novelty, evoking a phoenix, rising from the black ashes of the past.  These are good signs.

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Twinkaquerent, she stands ready to receive information on Larry’s condition.

The former teacher is now beset with assignments.  Where once he only typed two-sentence summaries of minor affairs, Cousin Larry now must interview an Alderman*; research a series of articles on money laundering; and is evidently in charge of the obituaries.

It proves to be too much for his Wellington 4000 typewriter, which has lost its feather-touch control, tearing Larry’s articles as he pulls them out.

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Lydia offers relaxation advice: go to the Bahamas and rerun old columns (shit, if only I’d known I could do that two weeks ago…).  She calls it “The Best of Lydia”, which leads to a solid joke about “The Best of the Obituaries”.

Anyway, Lydia tells Larry that he’s whipped, so Larry swears to fuck up the next person who tries to give him an assignment.

Immediately he’s tested on this, as RT (Resistance Training) Wainwright comes in.

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Larry comes correct when Wainwright demands 1,000 words of background on the Burgess murder trial.

Larry makes an attempt to manage his time by giving Wainwright an estimate on when he can have it to him, so Wainwright tells him to manage his time.  I think many of us have had that boss before.

So, before Balki comes in and derails everything… think for a second on where this episode seems to be going. Think back to around this time last season when Larry took on assertiveness training.  Think back to four seasons ago when Larry tried to tell Balki how to say no to people taking advantage of him.  Pretty obvious what this one’s about, right?  But after last week, I don’t think I can trust the show anymore.

That’s not a good thing or a bad thing.

Just sayin’.

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Balki runs in shouting at his cousin that he’s going to be working on the Chronicle Chatter newsletter.

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Balki keeps yelling at Larry, and it turns out it was just a ruse to make everyone leave so that they could spend some quantity time** together.

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Larry lets slip that he doesn’t want Balki in the basement anymore, and encourages Balki, saying that maybe this is a way he can become a real reporter.

Well, I just filled my quota of asking “how the fuck does the hierarchy work here?” once a month.

There’s a nice little confusing conversation about how Larry can’t help him with the newsletter, even with Balki making a dumb joke about acronyms.  It’s nice because it’s confusing for the characters without being badly written, but also because it’s a tidy bit of character work for Larry, and the type of small change that we should have been seeing more of by now.

Last season Phil (AKA “ALF Man” from Mega Man 16) commented on “Come Fly With Me” by saying that the show could do with changing the dynamic of Larry-helps-Balki by having Balki be confident about something, only to then get out of his depth.  This episode sure isn’t that, but it is changing the dynamic. After all this time of being a father/cool big brother with sunglasses surrogate, Larry automatically makes the assumption that Balki is going to ask for help.  Even though he honestly doesn’t have time or energy to spare to help Balki, you can tell he gets off a little on the idea that he’s needed.

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At the apartment, Balki prepares the newsletter the old fashioned way of pasting articles to sheets of paper to ready them for copying. Dmitri’s just hanging out until Balki starts bashing him on the newsletter repeatedly.  Also Dmitri squeaks, meaning that Balki doesn’t even have to put a sock on the doorknob.

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When Cousin Larry arrives home, they do the Dance of Joy to celebrate the completed newsletter.

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We last saw the Dance of Joy at the end of “Wedding Belle Blues” where the cousins celebrated not being separated; I anticipate the next time will be for Balki finishing a box of cereal and a carton of milk at the same time. Does the Dance of Joy have any meaning anymore?

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Balki says he’s developed his own unique style: “some may liken it to Hemingway, while others cite Kafka, but you decide.”

I better damn not see another time–ever–when Balki reads something out loud slowly.

And here we get a better version of “Larry grades Balki’s paper”.  In “Teacher’s Pest” we were given no indication what Balki’s writing style was like, and even vaguer recommendations from Larry (“fundamental problems”).  Here, Larry reads Balki’s articles aloud, meaning the audience gets to come to the exact same conclusion as Larry. You could argue that in the other episode it needed to be vague so that Larry could be easily written off as a jerk, but this improvement is really impacting me here.  This episode has basically accomplished in a couple of minutes what the other managed not to in 10. This…

This is a very good sign.

At any rate, Balki’s articles are “fluff” pieces: one or two sentences apiece about Lydia’s vacation and Gorpley’s wardrobe.

Larry: Where is the real story?

Yeah, and where’s the results of Balki’s journalism class? On the other hand, y’know what? Cover up “Teacher’s Pest” with Liquid Paper and let’s move on.  This story’s worth it.

Unfortunately, Balki’s aren’t, according to Larry.  Balki says he’s writing them exactly as he was told.

Ah, now we see that Larry’s trying to remove the splinter from Balki’s eye, ignoring the crossbeam in his own.

What is Larry’s stake in Balki writing more than fluff? Balki’s doing what he was asked, he’s having fun with it, he’s a little kid getting to make his own newspaper.  The Chronicle Chatter is pretty obviously something like People Magazine, and Lydia even said so earlier, that she gets to read about people she’d never interact with unless she absolutely had to.

Larry usually wants to use Balki, and I think that’s the missing key*** to understanding here.  He wants to feel needed, so he can say no, but now, he’s demanding to be needed. He’s creating a need–this guy should be in advertising.

But what’s more… there’s more than a little, I think, of Larry wanting to be able to stick it to their superiors.  We started out with a cornered Larry wishing to buck the system and have freedom to say yes or no to the assignments he’s given.

Cousin Larry encourages Balki to tell the story behind the story, to dig deeper–

Balki: you mean like when I stick my finger in your–

Larry: No, no. Sort of.

Larry says Balki should answer why, citing the basic five Ws of journalism, which of course he didn’t get to in the journalism class.

They do a “Who’s on First” bit that works. It’s a pretty damn organic conversation that you could expect an English learner to get completely frustrated by. Balki keeps misunderstanding Larry’s statements as questions, and Larry is misunderstanding Balki’s the meaning of Balki’s questions.  The situation is enough to make Larry’s misinterpretation of questions okay because there’s two ways that Balki could be getting confused; the situation is enough for Larry–in teacher mode–to forget that Balki can get confused on a more basic level sometimes.

Also, hey, it’s not the first time one of them has had a problem with (heh) a high rising terminal.

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Even Balki getting upset and fanning himself works.

And that previous scene–Balki being taught about asking questions–is followed up by Balki trying to interview Gorpley and misunderstanding the phrase “that’s for me to know and you to find out”.  Somebody took the two extra minutes this week to come up with good immigrant misunderstandings!

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But Gorpley is on his way to a four-hour lunch (in itself newsworthy!) and doesn’t want to answer Balki’s question about his clothes.

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Larry comes in and says Balki will have to change his tactics if he wants to get the truth out of people. You know, thumbscrews, water torture, steel wool and raisins.

Nah, j/k, that’s stuff from my Perfect Strangers fanfic. Larry tells him to snoop around, get juicy gossip (where’s Harriette when you need her?), talk to friends, wives, ex-wives…

Completely forgetting that everyone knows that Gorpley is divorced, Balki just says “what if he don’t have friends”.

*sigh*

Larry tells Balki to go incognito. Can we go for three good language mixups here? Please?

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Balki: I don’t care much for Mexican food.

Yes!

Balki: It always gives me Monty Hall’s revenge.

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*shoulders slump* Oh. Anyway, Balki worries that he’d be snooping.

Larry: It’s not snooping if you’re writing it down; then it’s journalism!

Larry and Balki have a good laugh about misnomers.

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Before Larry leaves, Balki doesn’t understand quote fingers, which is also perfectly understandable, so long as you forget “Teacher’s Pest” again.

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Lydia asks Larry about his workload and Larry questions RT Wainwright’s mental health (“not playing with a full deck”) and

UH-OH

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I guess you could say Larry was “hoisted by his own petard”. I guess you could say that he “put his foot in his mouth”. That he “fucks Balki”.

But man, wasn’t this story exactly what I was asking for during the season 4 review?

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The next day (?), Balki comes in the basement and look who’s wearing a funny hat again! It’s our Balki!

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But before Cousin Larry can even read the newsletter, Gorpley (no longer dressed so snazzy), comes out of his office laughing.

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Let’s just zip through this part, because I’m sure you can kind of guess.  Balki reported that Lydia went to Milwaukee to have an eyelid tuck****, but then Lydia comes in and reveals that Gorpley’s antics were outed in the paper as well.  Evidently the Gorpster has been shtupping somebody named Maggie Minor, who happens to be the wife of the sports writer. And obviously, if you’re a sportswriter, you’re built like a linebacker, so this is reason enough for Gorpley to be scared for his life.

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(There is also, we learn, a “Dmitri the Sheep” cartoon in the Chronicle Chatter, though it is not shown. It’s a nice additive detail.)

Okay, now here’s the pinch point. A distracted Cousin Larry gave Balki some incomplete good advice: no examples, no boundaries on what should be kept personal out of decent respect for others. Balki has become Anonymous without any ill intent, and Larry’s desire to be a smart big brother (something he never got to be, but always thought he deserved to be) is on full display. This is, believe it or not, the good episode I’ve been looking for for quite some time. Balki honestly misunderstood an idiomatic phrase, which becomes… well, not a great gag, but simply the equivalent of the result of a chemical reaction.  It plays out exactly as it’s supposed to, and the neatness of the plot raises the level of the joke. (Balki wrote that people should be Wainwright some playing cards for Christmas.)

*counts on fingers*

We’re on episode 75 now, precisely the halfway point of this whole series.  Let’s celebrate with a

Psychology sidebar: Put simply, operant conditioning describes the process by which we learn to repeat–or discontinue–certain behaviors/responses.  The idea is that we (humans, cats, dogs, mice, etc.) will repeat behaviors that lead to successful outcomes and cease those that don’t.  Further, those behaviors can be refined as well through processes of differentiation.  I’m somewhat surprised I haven’t thought to talk about this before, because it’s a decent framework through which to view the show’s choices in what it focusses on and how it tells its stories.  I’ll skip over a lot of the theory so I can talk for a minute about reinforcement/reward schedules.  Imagine a lab rat is pressing a lever to get a food pellet, but the food only comes out according to a schedule. There are two schedule aspects; “interval” refers to the amount of time between responses and “ratio” refers to the number of responses. Each of these can be fixed: a food pellet only comes out every 60 seconds, regardless of how many lever presses; or a food pellet only comes out after every 10th lever press, regardless of how much time has passed.  Or, the schedules can be variable: it could be 1 minute between food pellets one time, and then 3 minutes the next, or 10; it could take 2 presses to get a pellet, or it could take 100.

The schedule that’s most addictive is that very last one, variable ratio.  You could certainly argue that Perfect Strangers follows a variable interval schedule, but damn if it doesn’t feel like a variable ratio sometimes.  At any rate, here we are, halfway through, and the show has given me a reward for these millions of times I’ve pressed tiny lever-surrogates in hopes of something worthwhile. *sigh* Looks like I’ll do the next 75 episodes…

Meanwhile, back in the basement, the cousins already cornered by Lydia and Sam, RT (Raging, tetchy) Wainwright comes in and tells Larry he’s got some splainin’ to do.

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Larry blubbers.

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It goes on for a while.

(Also, Wainwright only seems to come in from the bomb shelter part of the basement.  Does he live there?)

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Then Matt Minor, Maggie’s husband, comes in looking for Gorpley.

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Gorpley points at Larry, and Balki just stands there, realizing that he can turn others’ misery into his own journalistic success. The 2014 Academy Award-nominated film Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhall, got nothing on this!

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Later on, Larry is talking to Wainwright on the phone, apologizing for what he “did”. Him not doing this in person, in Wainwright’s office, is one more thing I’ll ignore because this was a good episode.

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And then Balki comes out of his room wearing something foreign and looking pained, much like I did when I had to wear a tie for elementary school functions.

He refers to it as the Myposian Mantle of 1,000 Itches. So we’ve now returned to the theme of Balki being only exterior, claiming others’ minds with his vest, having to wear outfits to tap into his former culture, understanding only the literal meaning of words (he made liberal use of the words Who/What/Where/Why/When in his articles), causing problems when forced to go beyond “fluff” writing and dig deeper. Light in the loafers, dating an airhead, turning his 3D sheep into a 2D cartoon, gliding on the surface of days… and now wearing a punishment designed solely for the skin. Balki says he must wear it one year for every person he offended, and I laughed out loud at the 7-year-itch joke.

(Also we learn that there are Boxer Shorts of Eternal Chafing. I’m proud of you for making a dick joke, show. Mighty proud.)

Larry tells his cousin to just apologize to everyone so he can take Balki’s shirt off.

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Balki says he’ll resign from the newsletter, but Larry tells him his first effort was pretty good. NOT THE FIRST TIME, AMIRITE?

Ah, such a good episode, and now we’re in the final seconds, lessons learned, tying everything up, I bet this is even going to end on a good joke…

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The final joke is that Balki went in disguise as a waiter at the restaurant where Gorpley and Maggie Minor hesitantly touched each other’s pee-pees under the table.

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*sigh*

Join me next week for “Tooth or Consequences”!

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Catchphrase Count: Balki (1); Larry (0)

Boner Count: Balki (0); Larry (0)

Dance of Joy Running Total: 15

*Let’s hope it’s not Alderman Zittrell, whom we last completely forgot about right after “Crimebusters”.

**Psychology sidebar here: I’m not up on the research about quantity vs quality time, but I will make a detour just to say that quantity/quality is a good framework through which to say that this show sucks.

***It’s called a MOTIF, y’all.

****The reader may wish to refer to “Just a Gigolo” for insight on this.

Season 5, Episode 2: Lie-Ability

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The episode begins with Cousin Larry telling Gus over the phone that “Everything is gonna be all right”, so by Crumpton’s law of Comedy Dialogue, something–perhaps everything–will not be all right.

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Balki comes in and lets us know that Larry is going on a date with Jennifer, and that they are going to be loved by everyone at the Airline Tennis Tournament.

Balki: Why?

Ooh, okay, I like this kind of game, let me pause this.  Is it because Larry’s going to pose as Stanley Kubrick and Jennifer will be a tall blonde beside him? Is it because the Airline Tennis Tournament is a front for a shady cabal that pays to see couples cry while having sex? Is it because, theoretically, there has to be a group of people somewhere so boring that even Larry and Jennifer look exciting?  Because it can’t be that Larry’s any good at–

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Oh, no, wait, Larry has a tennis racket, which Balki seems to have turned into a dreamcatcher. Which is actually a nice gesture, because maybe now Larry can exorcise all those worries about his rela–

Oh, no, waited, Balki said the word “jazzed”, so let’s all laugh at that. It’s so funny when someone who’s lived in our country for four years picks up slang words! Makes him sound just like a real person, doesn’t it?

Then we find out that Sister–*sorry, had a krikri tassel in my throat*–sister Elaine got a partial scholarship at Juilliard, which means she can’t go.  I still want to gripe that we don’t get to see other of Larry’s siblings: there has to be one that was hell with his fists and/or belittled him daily.  But it’s nice that we get some more continuity. Last time we saw Elaine, she was opting out of college so she could go to New York and study piano.  Now, she’s going to stay in New York and study piano.  Can you image what crazy life events brought her from point A to point Z? Wow, I mean, just, wow.

Anyway, do I even need to tell any a y’all where this episode’s going to go?  Can I just….

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Nah, j/k. I really do want to see how the show forces this good story opportunity in a direction that ends up with Balki and Cousin Larry playing piano four hands and Balki gets confused when Larry said they were playing “three easy pieces” because REALLY what he meant was they’re playing “Three Easy Pieces”.

*sigh*

Who am I kidding, they’re just going to carry her piano up the stairs, aren’t they?

Larry says Elaine needs $3,875 dollars (for those playing along at home, yes, that is more than 100 times what Balki spent on a stock certificate).  But Larry doesn’t have that kind of scratch.*

Larry says he plans to give Elaine the money she needs. Balki suggests that what this episode needs is for them and the women to go for 48 hours straight making Myposian food.  But Larry, holding out that small bit of hope that maybe the writers came up with a new kind of plot, deflects the suggestion.

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Later, at the Chronicle, Larry comes in limping, supported by Balki and Lydia.  Turns out they went to the bank, got in a car accident and Larry’s hurt. A character like Larry should know whatever the accepted steps were for what to do when you get in a car accident back in the late 80s; he would have definitely demanded a police report and to say then that his back hurt. That’s the officious Larry. The scared Larry would want to go straight to a hospital to see if he needs treatment since he’s…

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Damn, I already forgot it.  Was it pretending he’s rich? Skiing? No, bowling. Wait.

Skating?

Anyway, here were at back in the basement where Balki brags about his skills and starts bending Larry back and forth on the table.  The only skill I see here, though, is how adeptly he puts Larry face-down on the table.**

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Larry screams at Balki and then Gorpley comes in. Lydia begs him have mercy on Larry’s condition. Balki shows Sam how he narrowly dodged his Myposian fate once again by only bruising his finger.

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Gorpley: Yeah, whatever. Do the… mail or something, etc. (leaves immediately with no effort to enforce his power)

Before they get Cousin Larry off the table, Larry subtly starts casting aspersions on the whole of Myposian physical treatment. It could be that Mypos is a leader in traditional medicine–remember, Balki’s cold cure did work. I mean, somewhere, at some time, some group of people must have been successful with the doctrine of signatures. While everybody else was messing around with Dentaria because it looked like teeth, the wacky, off-kilter ways of early Myposians made them take some different approach that worked. Perhaps they went through all the mushrooms that looked like dicks until they realized it wouldn’t work, and through further trial and error, finally found one that did work for something (maybe not a dick, but maybe also a dick).  But whence this restless urge to find the right herb, the right fish part, the right technique, the right way of matchmaking? From what we know so far, a curse hangs over the tiny island.  No, not from pollution, or from having nowhere to put all the sheepshit. The curse of Mypos is to have one’s finger broken. We’ve been teased with this before.  Now, when Balki again attempts Charopracty on his cousin, Larry grabs ahold of Balki’s injured finger and tells him to

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Lydia has a good laugh about boners, and then tells Larry to go to the hospital.  But Larry says he throws his back out all the time** and he’ll be fine. Lydia makes some joke that I think is supposed to be about sex, but I have no idea how a heating pad would fit into that.

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While Balki runs off to get ice, Larry pops his back into place. Then Gorpley comes out–completely unconcerned that the mail isn’t being sorted, like he asked–and tells Larry to get a lawyer and claim damages to the tune of $4,000-5,000.

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Okay, that’s enough, show.  You’ve been teasing me all over the damn place. First you tell me Larry and Jennifer are going to play tennis. Then you act like Elaine’s going to show up and that we’ll see Larry interact with her. Then you tease me with the possibility of piano shenanigans, cooking Myposian food, Balki making money from Mediterranean physical therapy, Lydia having a substantial role. Very briefly here, you tease with another episode about Balki overdoing it while trying to take care of Larry. But then, after 6 minutes of possibilities, you settle on “Larry Lies”.

You arrogant sonofabitch! You think you’re the only episode that can give me that “Larry Lies” feeling? I got twenty episodes from seasons 1, 2, and 3 that I can watch to get a Lietype thing from. You swell-headed hypocrite! You just don’t get it, do you?

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At the apartment, we recap for the sake of Jennifer and Mary Anne (Sagittarius), while Balki runs around doting on his cousin.

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Hey, a bemilked cookie finally made it into Larry’s mouth, thanks to Balki!

Why is Larry giving these women such a performance to convince them of his injuries? Just to prove he can’t go to the tennis tournament? When is the damn thing anyway?

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To its credit, the Balki-takes-care-of-Larry bit turns out to be legitimately funny.  Balki pats Larry’s lips dry with a napkin after he eats the cookie; he does it again right after Jennifer kisses Larry.** Thank you, show.

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Then Balki says he’s going to go to the store to pick up some high-fiber items for Larry.  Thank you, show.

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Where does he come up with them, you guys? Really makes you think. Balki leaves.

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Larry pretends to play tennis. Before I go any further, I’ve just got to give a special “What the Fuck” shout-out to the fact that just last week saw Cousin Larry doing his best to convince his girlfriend of his superlative sport acumen.  Now, this week, we’re finally given some insight into their relationship: something that the two of them do together without Balki around. This is good and necessary for the worldbuilding of this show and making that couple at all believable. And I get that, for the purposes of this story, someone saw fit to have Larry make a personal sacrifice in service of stacking that cheddar. But to follow last week’s episode with one where Larry and Jennifer enjoy a sport together? I mean, that’s just… it’s…

It’s one of the zany escapades you’ll see Balki and Larry get into on Perfect Strangers, returning for its fifth season, this fall, on ABC!

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Balki walks in and Larry starts lying to him.  Larry falls into a pit near the fireplace, pretending to be hurt.

Balki and Larry have a discussion about compassion for one’s family and compassion for everyone.  Larry says he’s going through with this for Elaine.  After all, as Gorpley said, it’s only the insurance company that will pay, not the driver.  Balki counters that the driver will pay, but in the form of higher premiums.  And what’s more: that everyone’s premiums are likely to go up. Balki begs Cousin Larry to understand that hurting one hurts all.  Elaine won’t be hurt if she doesn’t get the money–she’ll stay exactly where she is.  But others will hurt in tangible ways. Larry will hurt in an intangible way–he’ll lose his integrity.

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Nah, j/k, Balki doesn’t say any of that shit. He yells “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” and calls Roseanne Barr fat.

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The next day, Larry is in a wheelchair. Mr. Garber from Insurance Company insurance company comes in to talk to Larry about his report.

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And then a crazily-attired Balki comes in and shits in the fireplace as silent (but deadly) protest against Larry. Actually, this is most foreign we’ve seen Balki in a long time (the wedding was kind of weaksauce on how foreign it felt), and I do appreciate that. He chants something in Myposian that repeats the word “babasticky” a lot, and he also says “yo mama” a couple of times.  You see, Balki is foreign, so it’s funny when he suddenly isn’t foreign, so let’s have him act not foreign a lot. Anyway, Balki’s doing the Myposian Litany of Truth:

Balki: Babasticky echta kiki icchi ecchi bah koom, oh baby / eenie poonie ippa beppa bochono hanji banji bam boom.

Larry: Do you have to do that now, after the other 30 times I’ve lied?

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Balki keeps singing.

It goes on for a while.

Larry gets what he wants from Mr. Garber (alt: Garber, Baby) but then Balki starts yodeling the Elef de O oo oo o oo oo o – the Myposian Litany of Hope.

Ooh! It’s Mypos story time!

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Balki tells us about the Myposian accordion player: Umpo Musikako. Long story short, his brother Bimbo bought him an accordion, and he played well until he realized the money that bought it was stolen. Then the music was terrible.

Balki offers an alternate, albeit illogical, way for Larry to believe he’s helping his sister.  And that’s given us a nice variation on a theme: how to show compassion.  Gorpley presented insurance companies as not really caring about people (they do put you in a position of betting on your own injury or demise), but that they are sure to pay out just to be done with it. It’s nothing to them.  Larry wants to show compassion by giving something tangible to help Elaine reach a goal. After all, he was in an accident, and he was hurt.  When he told her he would get the money, he was preceding the truth; when he talked to Mr. Garber, he had missed the timeframe to be concurrent with the truth.  Balki sees the spiritual side of things, and based on a sample size of one–Umpo–believes that the principle applies here.  And ultimately, there’s no losing situation for Elaine.  Larry withdraws his lie? Elaine’s right where she started.  She’s made it in New York for a couple of years, she can do it some more. Maybe ask, I dunno, her parents and 7 other siblings?   Mr. Garber catches him in a lie? Same thing. Larry gets the insurance check? Elaine goes to school, and the impact on anyone else is so diffused that Larry can ignore it.

What Larry should be thinking about is the fact that he tried. He even went to the bank to try to get a loan, and as far as we know, they haven’t said no yet!  He should be thinking about asking Lydia to borrow money. He should be thinking that, whatever happens, he can offer his sister moral support for her musical journey.  But all he’s thinking about is whether Balki’s going to wear that hat all day.**

And hey, where the fuck is Elaine, anyway? Isn’t she a person who should have a say in this? That’s just… it’s…

Just one of the many ways ABC makes it easier for you watch its shows without having to remember who another disposable female character is! (Seriously, name a second adult woman on Full House.)

Larry finds his happy medium by lying about a recurring injury from when he was in Little League. It allows him to act on his conscience but maintain character.  Also, Larry played Little League; Jennifer watched him coach an inter-store baseball game.  I bet he’s not bad at baseball, really. Seriously, why put all this in the very week after he lies about being good at a sport?

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The cousins talk about other ways they could raise money for Elaine. Balki offers to sell his car, and there’s a decent gag there about how he couldn’t think of selling the fuzzy dice along with it.

In the end, I actually like this episode a little better than most.  For one, it’s Gorpley who tempts Larry to lie. For another, there is a little bit of a discussion of compassion here. And the physical comedy bit was good–again, because it involved limited movement on the part of one of the cousins.

Anyway, Larry decides to sell his own car to help his sister.

Larry: You don’t think the audience will remember my really nice car from the intro, much less the fact that it was damaged at the beginning of the episode, do you?

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Join me next week for “The Newsletter”

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Catchphrase count: Balki (1); Larry (0)

Boner count: Balki (0); Larry (1, while fantasizing about Jennifer’s cute new tennis outfit)

*Just look at Balki’s back….

**The cousins are gay.