Season 6, Episode 15: Little Apartment of Horrors

Welcome back! I hope you all helped a grandparent get laid this past week.


We open at 711 Caldwell, lucky enough once again to catch the Vitner’s Snacks truck on its circuit of that windy city, the Windy City.


Like any good product, Vitner’s packaging sends multiple messages: that one man is willing to stake his reputation on the quality of the product, that they lend the consumer that elusive “coolness”, and—just maybe—that they might have their rightful place in an active, healthy lifestyle. So, too, does the Vitner’s truck serve multiple symbolic needs over the course of a season. The show has given away its own unconscious thinking previously by associating the snack foods with patterns of consumption and disposal; and here, what’s on display? Why, perhaps that snack foods are cheap imitations of real foods, enlarged to show texture, sliced paper-thin so that everyone can have a bite, or perhaps that the businessmen have conspired to reverse-engineer nutrition, and like alchemists seek the magical mixture of elements that will transmute baser metals into gold.

Man, I miss Lydia, we haven’t seen her for four weeks now, she better be in this one.


Balki cuts out a newspaper photograph not taken by Larry, about yet another of his close friends going to court for murder one.


I suddenly see more symbolism, because look, Balki is removing elements from some whole object for reuse, and ends up damaging his own audience experience in the meantime. But it allows for a cheap joke! Seriously, you could just go watch the whole episode yourself, come back and read this paragraph, and I’d have done my work for the week.

Cousin Larry comes a-shufflin’ in from the bedroom, weakwheezing and nasalvoiced, interrupting Balki raisin’ Puffs bowl to mouth. He says he hasn’t been able to breathe for a week, so now we officially know how often the cousins check in with each other (it’s once a week).


From time immemorial, man has checked his effluences and excretions; according to Aesop this is so that we may reassure ourselves that we have not exerted ourselves to the extent that we have expelled our brains.

Larry comments that everyone in Chicago has a cold but Balki, and Balki says that this is because he never sticks his face directly in front of sneezing children and doesn’t marinate his rare meats in unfamiliar toilet bowls. Larry’s confusion is well-placed, though: European settlers found the indigenous North Americans easy to defeat in part through communicating germs and diseases that the latter had not built up any immunity to.  Hell, every time I travel past the 40th parallel north, I get a chest cold and my snot turns the color of the tan M&Ms they discontinued in 1995. Realistically, Balki should have been hit by the common cold and the flu and/or Larry should have picked up toxoplasmosis from Balki during their first year living together.

Balki chides Larry for not having taken preventive doses of pig spleen, because the show has decided that if it can’t reasonably have Balki misunderstand every fifth word, then it will use its only other joke about Balki for the next 39 episodes.

Larry takes a handful of Cold Medicine and Balki tells him that Mama is sending a Myposian cure via carrier blue-footed booby. I take it back, they’ve added a joke: Mypos is Bedrock now.

Ah, god dammit, though. Even if I ignore the fact that a 3-pound bird native to tropical Pacific Ocean regions is somehow able to carry a package clean across the Atlantic Ocean—and trust me, I won’t—we’ve already (do over:repeat) had this episode! Larry has had both the flue—


–and the common cold before!


And Balki cured it with fish parts! And it was terrible then!

When Larry sneezes again, Balki grabs the base of a tissue so he can pull off just a corner to put in front of Larry’s nose and mouth.


Look, if you have to have your saint character come off looking like an asshole, it should at least be in service of a good joke. Perfect Strangers’s writers have never even sneezed, though, and have no idea that what you’d get on your hand is your own saliva, not snot.


I can blame the writers, and maybe the director, for holding onto the tissue joke, but should I blame the writers for re-using a plot? I certainly haven’t gotten the impression that they bothered to watch older episodes; and by this point we’ve traded out directors on the show; but the actors, at least, should know if they’ve done a story already. I rarely feel like I need to criticize Mark Linn-Baker, but I kind of do here. I don’t know what kinds of philosophies actors have about their work, especially when it’s high-profile work that pays for you to follow your own more important projects, but I have to wonder if Mark, at least, had no interest in bringing up when a joke made no sense, or when a plot had already been done. From watching interviews with Bronson, I could easily believe he had completely forgotten “Ladies and Germs” and wouldn’t care. But… come on, Mark. Come on.

There’s a light knock on the door and Larry makes sure to delay opening it by trying to tell Balki about how there’s no cure for the common cold.


It’s Doug MailKenzie, with a package for Lar. Y Apelytoon. Instead of, oh, idunno, incorrectly correcting the man, Balki just stands there with a blank look on his face.


Balki grabs the package rushes it over to the couch and opens it to find that Mama has sent a script rewrite!


Nah, j/k, it’s a plant, and Balki rubs it in Larry’s face. Coughin’ Larry tells Balki to shove the plant where the sun don’t shine (a little photosynthesis humor for ya there) and Balki is offended because his serene-miened mother from his birthplace had gone gladly up Mt. Mypos to get the plant.*

Balki tells us that the plant blooms only once per century and that it’s called the Popopiloupolopoppitypoo plant.

The cousins waste the next five minutes by having Larry call it the “Popopiloupolobippityboppityboo” plant, despite his stellar track record of getting Myposian words right on the first try. From what I read on the fansite, it looks like the original script had Balki saying “pippitypoppitypoo”, which is a more realistic misunderstanding and flows (sorry) from Larry’s stopped up nose, but I can see it’s harder to clarify audibly between b and p, and some of Balki’s corrective dialogue—that would fit with that earlier form of the joke—appears to be retained**. But the writers decided to fill up a whole scene with the joke and when it didn’t transfer from paper very well, they had nothing to replace it with. Keeping the joke changed it from being about Larry’s stopped up nose to Larry not even trying to say a word correctly. Welcome to season 6, y’all.


I will say I’m happy that Balki finally gets fed up with Larry over something entirely mundane, like normal people do, but the moment is quickly gone as Larry eats the pod and stops mid-sneeze, reporting that his symptoms are gone. Also the pod freshened his breath because fuck you.


I hope you all enjoyed the part at the end of “A Horse is a Horse” where a piece of parsley immediately cured a lung disease, because it’s whole fucking premise of this episode! You do enjoy that as a premise, don’t you?


Larry chooses to place his blind faith in that of the pharmaceutical companies to not mass-produce pills that prolong his role as their purchaser, and says that the time-release capsules (that I guess he hadn’t been taking all week) finally kicked in after four minutes.

Balki says “there are none so blind as those who will not ski” and what the fuck can he possibly mean by that in this world, with what he knows and has experienced? “See” is the goddam operative word in that sentence, it should be the one word he gets right fuuuuuck


They go downtown—perhaps they commute—they go downtown—where they still dispute—they go downtown—if a fruit can mute nasal flow. Larry says “no”.


Gorpley comes out of his office and says that he was masturbating to their argument, but he’s done now and they can quit. There’s a joke about how the sheep on Mypos won the right to vote, so Mypos is a very progressive version of Bedrock.

Lydia comes out of the elevator sneezing, Gorpley sneezes an echo, the mating call of the lonely.


Lydia says she hates cold season, wow, all that personality on display, it’s hard to capture with mere words. Balki persists on pushing his pods on her, but she says the last time she tried a new drug, she got so high she signed a 5-year contract with ABC.


Cousin Larry points out that to prove a hypothesis, what you really have to do is test the null hypothesis, and begs her eat the pod. She tries it, without even swallowing the centigram she bit off, and her cold disappears.

Gorpley then tries the pod—bless you, Sam Anderson, for the half-apologetic, half-daring look you give Cousin Larry, I can tell you care—and again, unswallowing, is cured.


Gorpley is so pleased that he leaves to fire someone. Oh no! I hope he doesn’t fire… um… whomever that would be.

Gee, aren’t you glad we came all the way to the Chicago Chronicle just for that? Anyway, Larry has finally swallowed the truth that Balki’s plant works.


You’ve got no alternative, Larry, old boy, though it means you’ll spend time with your cousin, annoyed, it’s the only good plotline: a scheme you’ll deploy, to sell vegetables to hoi polloi.

Later, on Carl Lewis street…


The cousins—who still owe $140,000 on a house—have bought aprons rather than buy a new blender with a damn lid.*** Balki is mixing up some purple drank in a blender and Larry asks if what Balki must have told him an hour ago—that this will make the plant bigger—is true.


I hope someone out there in comment-land will take a shot at identifying all the ingredients here.

There’s some bullshit joke with a Tootsie Pop, I’m not going to mention it. Instead, here’s a couple facts about Mypos: “inki binki twop” appears to be “one two three” and they name their plants (this one is “Marge”).


When Larry learns that three drops will equal two inches of growth over six months, he takes a cutting from the plant and contacts a biology professor at Dial College.


Oh, no, wait, Balki—making a face like he’s tweaking the nipples of Mother Nature herself—tells him not to disturb the delicate balance of nature, so Larry cuts some corners and finishes the batch of 2,000 bibibabkas overnight.

Cousin Larry makes a solid point here, and one I don’t think gets heard often enough: almost nothing we do anymore can be considered “natural”.  Food products; clothing; even giving the plant three drops of Mythical Gro isn’t natural.


Larry tries to shuttle Balki off to bed, and when Balki evinces knowledge of how clocks work, Larry yawns and Balki yawns and you’re yawning too and even science doesn’t really know why that is yet and Balki goes to bed.


Larry pours the whole pitcher into the plant, and after night—you remember, night? that time of day when the sun isn’t visible?—the plant has now covered the kitchen and living room.

Balki planted the seed, and Appleton watered it, but


made it grow. Just in case you forgot what Larry’s plan with the plant was, he reiterates it.

Don’t forget to watch the ABC Sports, here on ABC!


Balki emerges, wearing the hat he pumps into, speechless that there was so much mass in just two cups of dirt and that three drops of Purplesaurus Rex could duplicate 100 years of nutrient buildup.


Balki thrusts the blender jar at Larry accusingly, saying that the people of Mypos must have good reason not to ever grow the plant so big.


Not-quite-psychology sidebar: I see this story mostly get repeated with a ham, but it looks like the “Pot Roast Principle” has been gaining traction as a name for this thought-process illustration. A girl asks her mother why she always cuts the ends off the ham before putting into the oven; mother doesn’t know, asks grandma, grandma says it’s because the only pan she had was too small for a whole ham. The point is to be willing to question tradition and understand the historical context of decision-making before adopting a strategy that may not fit for you. So maybe Myposians of centuries past couldn’t afford the means to whip up the growth formula, or maybe there was a passing superstition about having plants in the house, maybe large plants were a sign of opulence, maybe it killed the stud goats.

Or, gee, idunno, maybe because it was impossible to get to, bloomed once every century, and they don’t get colds anyway? Anyway, what the fuck, who cares, Balki says that something bad will happen, not what, but he promises there’ll be a punchline by the end of the episode.


Larry tells Balki about all the children who will die off that year because they caught the cold, and that there’s nature for you, cruel, unrepentant nature, the meek shall not inherit, the weakest will die off but the next generation will be stronger.

Nah, j/k, but that would have worked better than them talking about how Balki’s third grade class did an episode of Bonanza for the school play.


After Larry puts Balki back in his bedroom, he answers the door to find Jennifer and Mary Anne (Sagittarius). They both sneeze, but Jennifer’s sneeze is slightly taller.


Mary Anne senses something’s different about the apartment, and notices that the couch has changed at some point this season.**** We can tell by this that she’s dumb.

Larry starts talking about the plant and Jennifer says they don’t want to hear about the fucking plant, they just came by to ask for cold medicine. Remember, kids, this was the 90s, when there were no stores in airports, which wouldn’t have sold cold medicine during cold season even if they did exist.


Larry hands them pods, they bite them and don’t swallow, and their colds disappear. Can we please learn that this was a dream so I can make a joke about how we already did a Pod People episode?

On their way out, Jennifer tells Mary Anne that the couch has always been exactly that couch and I guess I do have to blame the actors because why the reupholstering fuck would they not tell an adult that the joke doesn’t work?


Two weeks later, Larry is searching Jennifer’s corpse for the keys to her apartment.

Nah, j/k, the plant has grown further, and Larry is getting ready for a meeting with CEO Chef Robert of Danforth Pharmaceuticals.

Balki has been trying to call Mama to find out the side effect of the enlarged pods, but cannot reach her, as she has accumulated enough wealth to afford a satellite dish and a phone, and spends her midnights buying fancy clothes for her younger pig boyfriend.***** What the fuck is natural about all that, Balki?

For once this season, two of Balki’s misunderstandings work: he thinks that Larry’s talking to farmers, and then that he’s addicted to meth when Larry uses the word “drugs”.


And then, believe it or not, we get a third good joke in a row when Larry brags that his new wealth will allow him to “hire a man full-time just to explain things to” Balki. That is a goddam perfect joke, I cackled at that one.


I guess Larry didn’t mention selling the plant over the past two weeks, because Balki starts claiming ownership of the plant.


Larry has an ace in his hole, though: the plant was sent to him.


But when he tries to convince Balki that he’s going to jail for opening someone else’s mail:

It’s obvious to me that Terry Hart—the credited writer for this episode—probably didn’t watch earlier episodes, or he didn’t care; and given the fact that this was likely written very close in time to “Finders Keepers”, maybe there’s a chance he didn’t, at the time, get to compare this scene to Larry mentally abusing Balki about how the police would lock him up over a box of money. Or maybe he did. If this joke is meant as a progression of Balki’s responses to Larry’s gambits, it works. Even if it isn’t meant that way, it still works! It’s a much more realistic response from someone who has lived with Larry for five years and has seen how hundreds of real people disregard postal law on a daily basis.

I’m finding myself leaning more towards the idea that Terry Hart wasn’t terribly concerned with continuity while writing this episode. And “Little Apartment of Horrors”, I think, is an interesting collection of the various successes and failures that such an approach can include. It’s a do over:repeat of at least four previous episodes (“Ladies and Germs”, “Just Desserts”, “Come Fly With Me”, “A Horse is a Horse”), but it does a little more with the central concept—that something great from Mypos could turn sour when used incorrectly—than the others have. On the one hand, it’s insulting to be asked to believe that touching a plant to your tongue will cure a cold; but on the other, bioaccumulation/biomagnification is a real thing that can happen with plant-animal interactions. Pastries exploding because Larry used store-brand heavy cream isn’t.

With the exception of the “two weeks later” bullshit—spoiler: we won’t be given a good rationale for this choice—this episode has a good structure and is a logical progression of steps. On the other hand, Larry trying to get rich off of Balki’s culture is well-trodden ground at this point. Lydia, Gorpley, Jennifer, and Mary Anne (Sternutatious) served their purposes for this specific plot, but couldn’t they—shouldn’t they—have done more than just say “thanks, bye”? I’m tired of this show not wanting to introduce more than one plot twist, and we could have gotten one from any one of four different people. There seems to be this sense that the writers can just leave portions of an episode unwritten, to be filled by the cousins’ antics. As we’ve seen this week, though, there doesn’t seem to be any backup material when those “jokes” *ahem* stop working correctly when enlarged from the script to the stage.

I don’t think “Larry tries to exploit Balki’s homeland” is an uninteresting direction to take the episode, but I think it’s the easiest, and lazy when it’s the only direction. Speaking of easy and lazy, it looks like it’s time for that punchline about what side effect the priapic pods have:


That’s right, you heard right, the women just let their facial hair grow for two weeks straight. Or they’ve been shaving it every day and it just grows fast. It’s not explained. This is shit.

Subsequent to the events you have just witnessed, Balki is on the phone with Mama. Terry Hart forgot that two weeks passed and Mama says that the facial hair disappears a few days after eating the oversized pods.


Larry, Jennifer, and Mary Anne all sneeze, and god damn it Larry shouldn’t have sneezed and Larry even asks why he sneezed and everyone basically just shrugs except for Mary Anne who says something that isn’t really that dumb and why would you write in something that you didn’t know what to do with and had no good jokes for fuck you fuck you fuck youuuuu


Mama, who understands the pacing of American sitcoms, waited until everyone was done delivering their punchlines to tell Balki that in 1307 they grew the pods big, and women on Mypos have had mustaches to that very day. And you probably thought that only a few of them did, as was said explicitly in “High Society”; but don’t worry, I’ve scheduled you an appointment in a couple of weeks to see a doctor about your bad memory.


Balki tells Mary Anne that her mustache engorged his pod, and they almost kiss before Mama interrupts them so they don’t go over their seasonal allowance.


Jennifer and Larry kiss and sneeze into each other’s mouths and then Balki sneezes and the episode ends.


Join me next week for “I Saw This on TV”!


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

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

Cut for syndication: The original opening scene featured Tess launching a snot rocket into a sleeping Larry’s mouth.

Appearances left: Lydia (8); Gorpley (8)

*Here’s some math for you: Balki says that Mama is 82, which means she had Balki when she was around 56. This also means that Yaya Biki (who is still dead, and died at the age of 106) would have given birth to Mama at the age of 26, and if Myposian tradition actually goes back farther than the advent of lounge music, Yaya Biki got pregnant shortly after marrying on her 25th birthday. Also, remember how Balki, a Myposian a third her age, had been unable to scale a mountain face? Haha fuck youuuu

**Balki even uses the word “plosives” here and haha fuck youuuu

***It may be the case that Larry stole his from the airline Jennifer and Mary Anne work for

****Between “A Horse is a Horse” and “Family Feud”

*****He’s just a pigolo

Vitner’s Big Snax packaging image owned by Jason Liebig of Collecting Candy


Season 6, Episode 14: Grandpa

Welcome back! I hope you all gave a priest some money this past week.


We open at the Caldwell, where there’s people and cars and stuff outside. Look, not everything’s a metaphor, okay?

Larry walks over to the kitchen and starts sniffing the air, which probably means there’s something that smells nearby.


Larry: Boy, you can really smell how much we masturbate, even all the way out here, huh?

I don’t understand the cousins’ relationship sometimes.  Whenever we see them, they’re nailed together at the hip(s), but it would be easy to get the impression that they never talk otherwise.  Balki has cooked food for Grandpa Appleton’s visit, but this is the absolute first that Larry knew of it. Let’s see if we can understand this through a philosophical proof:

  1. Balki drives all over the city to find rare and visceral animal parts to cook
  2. Larry knows that Balki cooks these
  3. Larry has often been surprised by Balki’s choice of food to serve
  4. Larry does not like these foods
  5. Larry is a neurotic who so wants to minimize his failure and suffering that he will plan out minor details of his life
  6. Larry is an overweight man and must open the fridge 30 times a day
  7. Balki is aware of Larry’s dislike for these foods
  8. Balki does not like it when Larry gripes at him
  9. Thus, Balki does not share beforehand what he’s doing so he can avoid that situation
  10. Hence, Larry never asks Balki what the food in the fridge is and whether he’s going to have to eat it

Sounds pretty solid to me! Anyway, Larry has spent the afternoon stuffing incontinence pads under his bedsheets in preparation for his Grandpa’s visit and only just finished a mere minute before he arrives.  Balki says that the smell is from the “hot and spicy goat lips”.

The show has Larry repeat the punchline in the form of a question so that Balki can


Balki says that this is the traditional Myposian grandparent-welcoming dish, which is why he cooked them when Yaya Biki was coming, right? I swear, sometimes I think you were born without a memory.

Balki is frightened by the eggtimer and was I really complaining the other week that they give Balki nothing to do?

Balki has waited until one minute before Grandpa arrives to suggest they take him to the Lithuanian circus. This isn’t a hard line to rewrite.

Hey, so it turns out that lips is euphemistic in Myposian as well:


Larry talks while Balki removes the hot lips from the pan, making him lose count. Balki cannot remember how many he purchased and cooked and did I really think this show could be decent for more than two weeks in a row?


Larry has waited until right before Grandpa arrives to convey to Balki that Grandpa is an old, frail man and that spicy food will just add insult to injury by making the man’s loose stools burn on the way out.  Grandpa is so old and frail, in fact, that Larry doesn’t even go down to make sure that he can make it up three flights of steps.


(By the way, which of the cousins do you figure grazes in the grass while listening to Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love on vinyl?)

Anyway, Grandpa is a white man and thus not relegated to appearing in the last three minutes of the episode, so I’ll quit lolling around in the opening hoping to seed punchlines later in the review. All you really need to know is that Grandpa’s old and shouldn’t experience anything more exciting than uncooked oatmeal and the closing credits for The Andy Griffith Show.


Grandpa comes in hollering his hellos, picks up Larry, and when he recognizes the foreigner, he hits him hard enough to knock him backwards.


Grandpa: It’s not Grandpa anymore… it’s Buzz.

Buzz proves his youth by showing off his purchase of black athleticism in the form of Reebok Pumps that the show can’t actually call by name.


Somebody was paying attention that day and told John Anderson to mimic the way Larry sniffs the air.  He tells Balki to bring on the food and Balki says that on Mypos they cohabitate with pigs.


When Balki offers up a steaming plate of roast vagina, Buzz declines and says he wants pizza and to go to the Lithuanian circus. Jesus! Carbohydrates and sitting down for a couple of hours! Has this man no respect for the temple that is his body?


Balki: Well feed me a specific food and call me a thing that might eat that food!

Grandson Larry, tears in his voice, asks Grandpa what happened to the man who didn’t do these three or four very specific things before. I feel like it would have helped if the show had laid out what kind of relationship Larry had had with his grandfather when he was a child, or what activities he used to engage in, or even that he had experienced some decline in health or activity after his wife passed on. Fuck, I’d at least like to know when’s the last time he saw the man. But Larry just says that Grandpa is old and thus is a set of qualities you associate with old men. Spoiler: Larry’s approach to this scenario doesn’t get any deeper than that for the rest of the episode. I’m left to fill in the gaps by wondering if Larry was excited to get to a stage in his life where he could just eat Jell-O and cultivate bedsores until he dies of pneumonia.

Buzz says that he needs to balance out the sex-to-years-lived ratio in the time he’s got left; he even made a new friend on a recent cruise—Sam—and they’re going to meet up there in Chicago.  Larry is too concerned with maintaining his own ideas to even notice that Grandpa has stopped by just for free lodging, and tells Grandpa that they really shouldn’t do two corpse-handling episodes back-to-back, and could he kindly slow his roll.

Grandpa says that he’s only got half the time, and thus must go twice as fast.  He hurries off to Larry’s bedroom so he can jerk off twice as fast to the copy of Hustler he picked up at a gas station.


Balki spends about two minutes cataloging every single joke up to that point about how Grandpapa App-le-ton is not like Larry described. There’s a joke about how the prune juice Larry bought was actually for him and god damn it show, that’s my joke! You can’t have my joke! Now I only have three left!


Later, Larry–who is still paying off a $140,000 house–limps in and Balki and Grandpa rush to the couch, fresh from their trip to Theme Park, where they rode Log Ride.

As a guest, Buzz is doing his best to follow the customs of his hosts, and sits down long enough to recap the scene we didn’t see. He runs off to the bedroom to “pump up his shoes” before his date with Sam. Look, we’re 110 episodes in, just make the weird sex joke yourself.

Larry tells Balki that all he can come up with for his side of this episode is repeating his opinion that Grandpa is old, and that Balki should just do what he tells him to do, just like he’s blindly done the past three weeks.

Balki counters that on Mypos, everyone gets to act as old as they feel. He also says that they treat the old like they’re young and vice-versa, and I’m sure those two things never contradict each other in practice.

Larry responds by reminding Balki that Myposians fuck pigs as entertainment for the sheep and that things are different in America.


Larry doesn’t expand on this other than to say that people know their age and act it.  So here, then, is about all I can offer for any sort of thoughtful commentary on this episode: Larry, for all that he’s one-note on how old people should behave, seems to be more tied to “tradition” than Balki for once.

Balki comes from a culture where things have stayed mostly the same for the past dozen centuries, resisting, it seems, darn near every major cultural and political change on both the European mainland, or the colonies. We’re supposed to intuit from Balki’s mores that, over this time period, without any sort of modernization to distract them from real life, they are more in touch with the deeper, more compassionate little-t truths about humans and their needs and interactions. (Of course, yes, advancements in tools are what allow people to even get that old in the first place—pots and spoons made soup possible, which in turn let the toothless not die—but we’re dealing with a romanticized Rousseauan idea of the “state of nature” here, so don’t bring that up, thanks.) They’ve seen powers and trends rise and fall and yet people stay the same.

Cousin Larry, on the other hand, grew up in a world in which mass media images and their effects cannot keep pace with advances in technology and medicine.  The people who were 76 years old when Larry was a child were depicted a particular way in television and movies and books (and those images were likely informed by those creators’ concepts of old age from their childhoods*). Media images become an ideal against which the real world is judged: for years, I felt that something was wrong with my childhood because I didn’t ride a school bus. I’m not going to go do any research on this, but I’m going to hazard a guess here and say that by 1991, thanks to increased medical access, and a larger variety of leisure activities and products to consume, Grandpa Appleton’s behavior probably was no longer that extraordinary. Larry has been sold one set of images, Grandpa another: a world where age barriers have been lifted and all ages have access to the same fun.

Perhaps what doesn’t sit well with Grandson Larry is that Buzz is partaking in something that, when Larry was a child, was the exclusive domain of his age group, the ever important 18-34 white male demographic.

Anyway, commuters really do have a socially-deprived experience of college campuses, because Balki says that Buzz is his new best friend and Larry ought to be happy that it’s not a serial killer this time.


They argue alliteratively awhile, Balki actually holding his own and not getting shouted down.

There’s a knock on the door and they’re both so angry at each other that they decide to both answer the door after waiting 30 seconds, which makes no fucking sense to me.

Show of hands: did anyone else here just assume that the “Sam” who Buzz mentioned would be Sam Gorpley?


Yeah, well, it’s not. I guess I’d feel comfortable criticizing this choice if there were any other one-syllable name that could refer to both sexes.


Bronson gets a little flustered and can’t take his eyes off of Sam’s high heels.


Buzz says that they’re going to go paint the town whatever color Sam’s nipples are, and they leave.

Balki informs a confused Larry that Buzz and Sam are going to fuck.


Later that night, Larry is waiting impatiently so he can give Grandpa an earful.  I laughed when he pulls out a golf club, bangs on Balki’s door, and hides it so he can say “couldn’t sleep either?” when Balki emerges.


Balki quickly falls asleep on the couch and makes Popeye noises in his sleep. That that, Uncle Joey!


Larry can’t imagine where Grandpa is and Balki reiterates that they’re out fucking. We learned before that it was Bronson who insisted that the cousins be virgins, but really, Balki being familiar enough with sex to not even be bothered when it happens fits far more into the Myposian laissez-faire** attitude that he brings to so many other situations.


Buzz comes in and says that Sam dumped him. Advances in healthcare got Grandpa this far, but Viagra wouldn’t come on the market for another five years.


Larry misinterprets Grandpa’s admission that he’s been acting foolish as an acceptance of death and tries to smother him with Chekov’s blanket.


Grandpa goes to bed, and Larry beams about having put an old man in his place.


Perfect Strangers Reviewed will be right back after I call my dad and tell him just how old he is and to stop eating potato chips.


You know, Larry…


…if you’d buy more than one cookie at a time you wouldn’t have this problem.

Balki and Larry sit around saying variations on the same shit they’ve said five times already this episode until Grandpa lurches, zombie-like, out of the bedroom. Grandpa Appleton has dropped his newfound moniker, reverting to Beaumont. He has, in fact, dropped every aspect of personality and vigor that he’s shown up to this point.  Perfect Strangers has quickly shrugged almost every effort it has made to include side characters. The cousins’ co-workers show up long enough for ABC to fulfill its contract terms. When Jennifer and Mary Anne fought last season, we spent much of the episode seeing neither one of them. Perfect Strangers prefers to have characters asleep, off-screen, standing silently off to the side, or made powerless, just so the cousins can fight about how to handle them. So of course it wants to take this story in a direction where Grandpa falls in line with Larry’s opinions and basically shuts off, a shuffling slack-jawed shell ready to be pointed in the direction of each cousins’ desires by turns.


But! Grandpa’s lines—and John Anderson’s performance—bring the whole sequence to a level of farce, enough so that I suspected that Grandpa and Balki had conspired to make Larry feel awful about what he’d “done”.  When he asks for some weak tea, he has Balki dunk the teabag once***; he hands Larry a copy of his will; and says he’s going to put on his burial suit and “wait it out”.


It lasts maybe a minute, really, but it’s the best part of the episode. It’s still the case that Grandpa has no more agency than a woman does on this show, but the simple act of giving him a few funny lines goes a small way towards distracting you from it.


Larry realizes his error and pleads with Balki to… well, to do exactly what Balki has been doing all episode. Balki says that they’ll take him to a restaurant called Yurgos’s, and then has Larry stand on one foot and cluck because the writers were probably spent after coming up with three whole jokes for another character.


Later, at White Orchid Yurgos’s, Yurgo personally greets the cousins and Grandpa. Yurgo himself being an energetic older man, and Balki speaking perfect Greek to him, are nice touches.


Balki, can this show go more than a few weeks without a restaurant scene?


Balki clarifies that this not a Myposian restaurant, because Myposians fuck pigs. And if you needed any more proof that it’s a Greek restaurant, two guys run out and shout “Opa!” repeatedly.


Balki gets thrown in to the lap of a squealing woman and I guess the joke is that Balki has to touch a fat person.


When they’re finally seated by the Flying Didymo Brothers, Balki offers Grandpa some fried goat testes.


Larry takes a bite and pretends to like it so that Larry’s Forebear will try some too. Grandpa tries it, comes immediately back to life, and then the episode basically devolves into chaos.


A guitar player shows up and starts playing, Balki shoves a goat ball down Larry’s throat and Athena forces him to do a lap dance, Yurgos and his twin sons dance through the dining area, grabbing diners as they go.


On the one hand, I think the show has no idea what Larry should be doing at this point, because even after he reflected that he had gone too far in pushing his opinions on Grandpa, he’s not modifying his behavior in any way at all, here chasing after the dancers with worries of slippery floors…


…there dancing with Balki and worrying about heart attacks. I mentioned last week that “Finders Keepers” felt like a perfect sitcom plot in that you could put lots of different sets of characters into it and get different results back. “Grandpa”, on the other hand, feels the same; but I think it’s misplaced here where two men close in age are handling an older relative, rather than a parent and child.  You can picture that, right? Son is excited to go to the theme park with grandpa, but dad knows that grandpa’s already had a hip replacement; grandpa is excited to risk his own health just for the opportunity to be a part of his grandson’s life; dad and grandpa argue, and then finally talk when they realize what it is going on for the other person; and some middle ground is struck. I’d have to imagine that Who’s the Boss? went to this well in some form multiple times. But here, in Perfect Strangers, what’s at stake for Larry? Certainly not his relationship with Balki or Grandpa. No matter which direction he goes in, Grandpa’s physical or mental health is in danger. He’s not coming up with any sort of happy medium, nor is he apologizing to Grandpa and asking him what he wants out of this portion of his life.


On the other hand, this scene is fine, and is its own reasonably realistic conclusion. There’s a lot going on in this scene, which is disorienting and frightening for Larry.


All he needs is for someone to show him that Grandpa is having fun, and for him to realize that someone else’s life is out of his control, no matter how much they change over time. I’d like to imagine that that’s what someone had in mind when they wrote this—Balki does point out to Larry that Buzz found an age-appropriate fuckbuddy named Sofia…


…so it’s a nice realization for me to start off critiquing this scene and then see the underlying structure working just well enough to be noticeable. Going backward from this point, it’s the earlier scene—where Larry admits his error—that sticks out. If Larry’s going to be doing the exact same thing here as in the rest of the episode, it would have made more sense to me for Balki to convince Larry that the restaurant was fun but not dangerous, even if he knew how Larry would react when he found out he’d been misled. In another sense, this story ends up with a completely opposite lesson of that in “Hello, Elaine”, and I appreciate that Larry would need to learn different lessons with different family members.


So, this is a fine place for the episode to end up, but even now, Grandpa’s story plays out in the background, while Larry once again has to get over—not controlling others—but being himself repressed when it comes to having fun. Here we are again where Balki is right, and everyone should be like Balki. I’m much more of a Cousin Larry myself, and I’m a little disappointed that the show can’t let Larry be mature enough to say that it’s great that Grandpa has found something new and exciting he can enjoy before he’s done, but that it’s just not his thing right then. No, Larry must be more like Balki, and meet instant failure when he tries.


Ultimately, the lesson this episode was leading to is that everyone ought to be allowed to be the main character in their own story; Balki and Larry may have learned this back in season 2’s “Since I Lost My Baby”, but Perfect Strangers has a bad memory these days.

“Grandpa” has a good sitcom episode hiding within it, and could have been a great episode of Perfect Strangers. It’s easily better than what we usually get, thanks to its un(der)stated lesson and John Anderson’s just-under-over-the-top performance; it’s also the best that the show has been able to hide the fact that it isolates a third character’s interactions with the cousins to them coming out, saying a few lines, and scooting off multiple times in the episode. And this may actually be a useful episode to point to in discussions of how Perfect Strangers’s bad habits—overreliance on easy “Balki cooks an animal” jokes, joke repetition, Balki’s superiority, recap scenes, cutting out a handful of lines****, and refusing to let a story be about anyone else for very long—held it back.

The cousins do a version of the Dance of Joy under the credits.


Join me next week for “Little Apartment of Horrors”!


Catchphrase count: Balki (2); Larry (1)

Boner count: Balki (0); Larry (0); Buzz (1)

Dance of Joy running total: 19

Cut for syndication: Tess switches out Grandpa’s heart medication with baby aspirin

*tangent: I’d argue that many movies and television shows are prime examples of creators working out/paying homage to how media impacted them as children.  Pee-Wee’s Playhouse is nothing if not a celebration and reworking of various 1950s and 1960s aesthetics that Paul Reubens (and Gary Panter and Wayne White and…) grew up with. Many of the Firesign Theatre’s albums in the 1960s and 1970s are spoofs of the radio plays and the media landscape of the 1940s. Is it any surprise that a 1980s/1990s sitcom wanted to pay tribute to Laurel & Hardey, I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show?

**”Lassie hair”

***The Porky Pig mug can be found on p. 44 of the Summer 1990 Warner Bros. Collection catalog. Only $12.95 plus S+H while supplies last!


****Noticeable when they meet Yurgos

Season 6, Episode 13: Finders Keepers

Welcome back! I hope you all got your genitals back in reach of your hands after last week.


We open at the Caldwell to find Bronson counting out his $18 in royalties from VHS sales of The Great American Sex Scandal.  On the couch beside him is a box that I guess one of the stagehands forgot to remove before the day’s filming started.


As Balki sorts out the denominations of bill, he calls them by the name of the president featured (“Washington, Washington, Washington…”). Now, you may think that this linguistic oddity serves only to setup Balki singing a snatch of Shirley Ellis’s “The Name Game”, but you probably think that the dollar bill is free of Freemason iconography, too.* But just as Balki stacks cheddar, so too he stacks meaning. The United States, even at its founding, thought it wrong to emblazon its currency with living leaders, and current law demands that two years must pass after a person’s death before they may feature on money. Perhaps the founders were unconsciously re-writing Solon’s words: “call no man valuable until he is dead”, that is, until the full measure of his life can be taken.**


Larry hangs his coat. Remember this. This is important.

And just how much value does this collection of dead men hold? “Around $40,000”, snapping Larry to full attention.


Larry, the show’s constant figure of modern America, is now in direct conversation with the real world’s counterpart (his symbolic cousin, if you will). Keep this in mind as we go forward; alternately, you can forget about it because I’ll bring it up again.

As always, sitcom characters’ true feelings are always barely surface deep, and Larry is no different as he reveals the extent of his reverence:


Here’s something new about Balki: he spends his free time hanging out behind abandoned buildings, which is where he found the box of money.


Balki begins to do the Lambada.


After confirming that there was no ownership information with the money, Larry grabs Balki’s upper love handles and presses his face to his cousin’s, which for them is the equivalent of dry-humping.

Balki says that they must keep themselves pure and that found wealth–the box, Larry’s body–must stay in the hands of their rightful owners.

Larry: It’s not going to be easy.


Larry: Wh– how am I being ridiculous?

Balki: Get out of the city?

Larry: You agreed with me, and then told me I was being ridiculous.

Balki: Well feed me Myposian food and call me Myposian?

Larry: Nevermind.

Let me be upfront here: I don’t think I’m familiar with the box-full-of-money trope. In fact, after doing some cursory “research”, the closest I can find is the Full House episode “Mad Money”, or Married… With Children’s “Old College Try”. I can think of plenty of episodes of shows where someone lucks into some honest money and has to decide how to spend it, and I think generally those programs deal with family dynamics and responsible prioritizing of need.  But finding a box full of money and not knowing who it belongs to feels like a perfect sitcom scenario, one I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more of. And what I mean by that is that it’s a framework that allows the characters’ personalities to take center stage.  And god damn is Perfect Strangers in need of that kind of story at this point.  You’ve already figured out that Larry’s goal is doing everything he can to keep the money, and Balki’s is trying to return it.  But imagine Eddie Winslow and Steve Urkel in this story, or Eddie Winslow and Carl Winslow. Imagine the Simpsons. Taxi. Saved by the Bell. You can imagine how these characters might react to a box full of money.

As much as Perfect Strangers ignores, reduces, or forgets the cousins’ personalities, they still do exist. Balki is still there, and can be turned back on when needed, it’s just this little chromium switch here…

Balki is both foreign, and compassionate, and the interaction of these two elements of his personality produce a good joke: Balki has drafted a classified ad that reads “I found a big box of money. I live at 711 Caldwell, Apartment 209. Please come and get the money.”

Even if by the third act the cousins are tossing cornish hens at bank tellers, I’ll have that joke to cling to.

Larry offers to write the ad for Balki, and the scene ends there. I like to criticize Perfect Strangers for never having good punchlines to end its scenes on, but here it actually improves the scene by respecting the audience’s intelligence. The show generally has Larry explain to himself or a willing female face what he’s going to do. To not tell us what his plan is–to in fact wait a couple of scenes to reveal it–is better story structure than I thought this show was capable of at this point. All Larry has to do is is put on his false grin and sweetly condescending tone for the audience to start thinking ahead.

This plot–this structure–is strong enough that it could focus on just the cousins, but big enough to pull other personalities in.  Having him come to the apartment is admittedly clunky–the dialogue has to do the heavy lifting of telling us that Balki mentioned the find to Gorpley at work, and we’re supposed to just assume they waited until just now to have this conversation–but it pits Larry and Gorpley against each other in a way that it rarely does.


Gorpley has fed Balki the lie that he wants to use the money to put out a hit on Krampus. When Larry comes in, he sees the box in Gorpley’s hands and wrests it from him.


Larry tells Balki that Gorpley is lying, prompting Balki to perform the Myposian Blowjob of Truth on him. After trying to negotiate a percentage, Gorpley tries flat-out stealing a stack, and then Larry throws him out.

Twice now we’ve seen Larry and Gorpley compete: at bowling, and at poker.  In the former, the two were engaged in an underdog/bully dynamic; in the latter, the two were presented as evenly matched in their skill, and some of the surrounding jokes established that they were both prone to the same self-nicknaming braggadocio. All this time, I had been wanting Lydia to be the one pulling Larry further Larryward; but Larry has finally drifted far enough away from the intelligent/neurotic combination that he’s more like Gorpley than anyone else. Lust for coin is new for Gorpley, but it’s a fair interpolation; and having greed in common with Larry means that their differences must emerge.

After Gorpley is gone, we see a smaller shift: instead of the Greenhorn’s face, Larry now presses greenbacks to his cheeks. The show wants us to see this as Larry’s hypocrisy, but he needs these dead men and their abstracted value for his own comfort. He just doesn’t know why yet.


Balki says he’s going to take the money to the police, because he thinks it would be fun for both him and Larry to spend the next month telling hundreds of people over the phone that they don’t have the money anymore.

But before he can call up Carl Winslow, Larry calmly and quietly explains that the corrupt police will not only seize the money and use it to buy cookies and not share any with him, but they’ll also put him in a holding cell for 24 hours and punch him in the tummy real hard.


Larry tells him that that won’t matter anyway, because if Balki so much as sets foot outside the apartment, he’ll try out the new shredder at work by putting Balki’s H1-B visa through it.


He tells Balki that various aspects of copyright law are still muddy and untried, and that there’s no clear statutory or case law guidance on what constitutes a “substantial number of persons” when determining whether public performance rights must be obtained, and how the police would love to know about how Balki watched The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking on VHS with some of his college buddies.


And here I was praising your plot structure, show. The structure is still good, but in the span of 90 seconds, you’ve undone the good work you’d done with both cousins’ characterization.

There’s still a good progression of decision-making here.  Larry says that Gorpley is proof of people’s greed, which prompts Balki to give up on the newspaper ad and put the money in the hands of someone more capable of determining honesty. This puts Larry in the position of having to talk Balki back into his own plan–that’s a good sitcom setup, and should involve Larry having to give lip service to something he doesn’t want.  Larry should be in the tough spot of having to guide his cousin down a very narrow path of thought that maximizes his chances for keeping the box of money.

Two minutes ago, Balki knew how the police worked, or else he wouldn’t have come up with the idea.  But Larry’s threats–that the police would somehow think that there was originally $100,000 and demand to know where the rest is–are baffling when I think of how many times Balki must have been on both sides of the situation of one shepherd finding another’s stray. If Larry wants to change Balki’s mind about the police, he needs to establish that they think differently from literally everyone else Balki has ever met. Larry jumps straight to terrorizing his best friend of five years. Kudos to Bronson for making me feel bad for Balki.

Am I still supposed to like Larry after this? Ever again? Or is this like Larry and Jennifer’s relationship in “The Break Up” where it could covertly be its own meta-joke about their personalities? Is it fine for Larry to not have any emotion because Balki has no logic?

Larry says that they’ll put the money in a safe deposit box and if no one shows up after 30 days, they’ll keep it.


29 days later, Balki is worried that no one will come to claim the money, worried sick, in fact, at the thought that someone out there in sitcom-land will actually have to face any consequences for their own behavior.

Larry has dropped all pretense that he’s only Balki’s side, and wonders aloud whether he should go on a cruise or buy a 1962 Corvette. The show has dropped all pretense that it takes place in the real world, as Larry has a full-color trifold brochure for a 29-year-old car.

There’s a knock on the door, and Balki opens to find Gorpley dressed as an old man.


Larry recognizes him instantly and proceeds to strip off his wig, mustache, and clothes. He wrestles the naked Gorpley to the floor and crams a fistful of dollar bills into his mouth. “I’m going to get a Pulitzer some day,” he hisses into Gorpley’s ear before picking him up by gullet & gonad and pitching him down the stairs.


Nah, j/k, but he might as well have.


Balki asks if that was Gorpley’s cousin Gorpos. Larry apologizes that they’ll have to keep the money.

Suddenly, the phone rings, the caller a claimant on the box, washing away all of Balki’s anxieties, and making–

Oh, no, wait, Balki perks up and says that someone called earlier about coming by. My mistake; it’s mystifying, the tricks that memory plays on us. I’m glad Balki tells us this, because I’m not sure I would have understood why, immediately after this, someone comes by to claim the money.


It’s some priest named Father Killian. Balki starts shaking his imaginary censer and singing a Patti LaBelle song (“I’ve Got a Beatitude”). Father Killian has–oh god–come in search of his lost box.

Father Killian*** says that he saw the ad in Stockyard and Slaughterhouse Monthly–he gets it for the articles, honest–and that it’s his last, most distant hope for recovering the funds that his parish raised for making the final payment to the bank for an orphanage.  Larry, positioned here, where the light above his head still has not brightened,**** turns Doubting Applethomas and grills Killian about the hills of bills.


Larry angrily demands that Killian prove his priesthood. I’d come up with some joke demands, but Larry’s is already funny enough: that Killian say how many books in the Old Testament begin with the letter “S”.*****

Bryan O’Byrne plays Father Killian mostly straight, but I do appreciate his delivery of the story of losing the box. It’s a very shruggy “I guess I’m the one who left the ice cream out to melt”, which works both because of its distance from the amount of money ($50,000+) as well as because he’s a priest without proper contrition.

The interaction between Larry and Father Killian is also a nice, tight joke. Killian describes the box perfectly, the amount of money down to the dollar, the color of the rubber bands, and the color and type of a velvet coin purse; Larry asks for the exact color of the bag.

Father Killian says that “the bank” will foreclose on the orphanage that very day if the payment isn’t made; Larry tells him that he’ll go to “the bank” and get the money to him. Just meet at the sole bank in Chicago, y’all. Sheesh.


On his way out, Father Killian promises Larry that he will be richly rewarded.


Larry, having finally discovered pockets, looks for the suit coat where he stowed the safe deposit box key; but Balki donated it to the Good Neighbor Thrift Shop. Larry chases Balki and Balki grabs Dimitri from his room for some goddam reason for some goddam reason.


The cousins call up Gussy, who works at the thrift shop.  She remembers the suit and happens to know that it was purchased to clothe Mr. Wilson for his funeral; she also just so happens to know that the funeral is that very day, and where it is. As weird and unlikely this is, I’m not sure I can complain about it, as it’s far more plausible than, say, Popeye the racehose. But I hope the show doesn’t make a habit out of needing the cousins to talk to someone on the phone to find out what the next scene should be.


(By the way, with all this talk of religion and symbolism and clothing, I wonder what Balki’s vestment?)


Since Mr. Wilson will be at the Beekman Funeral Home, Larry and Balki rush out to buy ashes to cover themselves with, and then painfully put on their formal sackcloths.


Larry–who still owes $140,000 on his house–pays his respects to the Gussied-up Mr. Wilson. Balki grieves for Dennis the Menace’s loss. Before Balki can perform the Myposian Ritual of Reaching Inside the Breast Pocket, Reverend Store-brand Chester Tate from Soap asks everyone to take their seats for the service.


This plot has once again saved the show from its own bad habits, and it actually takes the time to have Balki ask why they don’t inform the family of the problem. Larry explains that that’s not funny enough for a sitcom.


The tallest blonde woman we’ve ever seen on this show walks in and the Reverend forgets to spare his rod and loses his train of thought.


She walks three feet away from the casket to loudly grieve and tell the cousins about how Mr. Wilson’s ex-wife sold all his clothes, leaving him to die naked and alone.  And–holy shit!–she’s played by Judy Pioli, who directed this episode, and nearly every episode after this point. And even though I can’t find anything connecting her to Perfect Strangers before this season, I suspect she’s been there in some role for quite some time.  She was a writer on Laverne & Shirley and Valerie/The Hogan Family, both Miller-Boyett shows, before showing up in the credits for Perfect Strangers. Pioli’s Pizza has to be named for her, right?  Anyway, her turn here as Mr. Wilson’s masseuse, paralegal, and financial advisor is a welcome one; she has presence, her lines are largely unnecessary but add a lot of flavor to the episode, and her relationship to Mr. Wilson is funny no matter which direction I try to take it in. Is she a dumb blonde and this is why he had no money left? Did he leave his wife for her? Her presence here is enough to communicate that the cousins have walked in on a whole different story, which is a refreshing change from the cousins interacting with insert shots of crowds.


And when Balki comforts her, his monogram reads “BBB”. We learned a couple of seasons ago that Balki’s canonical middle name is “Bini”, and I’m pleasantly surprised to see that someone cared about continuity. It’s almost like I’m watching a real sitcom this week!

When no one takes the reverend up on his invitation to offer a eulogy for Fred Wilson, Larry realizes that the room will quickly clear out after the service, and that he can just wait–


–wait, no, he goes up to the casket and speaks, deadpanegyrically, of Mr. Wilson. The finder, keeping up his ruse, pretends to share a loss with those weeping at the tomb of the Unbeknownst Holder.

And here, finally, is the crux of the biscuit, the culmination of Larry’s emotional journey over the past 13 weeks.

You see, Larry Appleton wants to die; or more to the point, Larry Appleton needs reassurance that he can.

We started this season with the image of a torn, mangled chair unsuccessfully stitched back together. Larry’s attempts to preserve the completeness of his environment through increased security met with failure, and ended with a booming, sourceless voice mocking him that his fatal fear was fair unfounded, a feint for fooling the faint-hearted; he was not dead. Where downfall had dogged his every dodge, suddenly success beset him. To have the hand of a golden-haired her was unlikely enough, but seeing Balki enact equine equilibrium with such ease broke something in the man. Where Frank let murder murder him, Cousin Larry made death his life’s end. He agreed to *ahem* swordplay with a bloodlusting islander. He suffered bed terrors in which Balki’s pure culture prevented his end. After witnessing a man murdered, he raced against time to recover the footage and in so doing set himself up to win: either by owning proof of death, or receiving it himself. When he could not kill himself one layer of skin at a time, and when he could not kill himself two limbs at a time, when he could not be a complete literal or figurative human, when he could never win assurance that his life would, someday, be measured, he believed in little green men of valued pallor.

Larry has ever been keyless, but here finally he uncuffs himself from his cousin. Larry’s willingness to return the money does enrich his soul by Father Graveyard’s promised reward: finder of key per corpus, salvation in the body of a dead man. The third week is the charm, and do over:repeat, do over:repeat, do over:repeat. Larry larrylying too long in a sun box, Larry lying too larrylong in a sundered box, and now Larry facing a true dead face in his own larryclothing, a man who has left his tall blonde, in a box open on the correct side, a box Larry can get into and out of as he pleases, life and death both restored.


Larry grabs for the key too fast and his hand breaks through Mr. Wilson’s chest cavity.

Larry tells everybody to pray so they won’t see (or hear) him walking three feet over to Balki and shouting that it’s time to leave.


I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this week’s episode.  “Finders Keepers” features a solid sitcom situation with its own twist that leads to a number of good jokes and allows the cousins to approach a problem from their points of view. I’m happy to see the show actually using a side character in a way that utilizes his personality.  Just like in “Eyewitless Report”, Gorpley (you remember, the guy whose house burned down on Christmas when he was 8) has become comic relief, but it doesn’t break his character. And the left-field addition to the situation halfway through turned out to be rewarding this week.


Finally, back at the Caldwell, Father Killian is reunited with his box, and Balki gives him a bag of cookies that are probably made out of mule anus or whatever. Father Killian leaves.

Balki asks if Larry is happy to have helped out some orphans.


Larry: Yeah, I guess.

Gorpley comes by dressed as Emo Philips and Larry makes out with him to teach him a lesson.


Can the show manage three good episodes in a row? Join me next week for “Grandpa” and we’ll find out!


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

Boner count: Balki (0); Larry (0); Reverend S.C.T.f. Soap (1)

Cut for syndication: Tess sprays Larry’s toothbrush with Raid

Appearances left: Lydia (9); Gorpley (9)

*Note also how the foreigner turns the playfulness of African-American culture on the symbols of white male power.

**Note also that Balki correctly pronounces Lincoln’s name, not enunciating the second L; compare with his pronunciation of Appleton.

***Note the name meaning here: Killian, from the Irish cillín, a graveyard for souls of uncertain destination; one can see already that the “dead” of undecided valuation are his

****Note how there’s so much exegetical bullshit this week that it’s overflowing into the footnotes

*****ɔᴉɐɯɐɹ∀ puɐ ʍǝɹqǝH uᴉ uǝʇʇᴉɹʍ sɐʍ ʇuǝɯɐʇsǝ┴ plO ǝɥ┴ ¡ǝuou :ɹǝʍsu∀