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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent episode

Author: stones78 from United States
9 May 2011

I consider this particular episode in my top 5 favorites for the legendary All in the Family series, and considering it's from the first season(1971)and hasn't hit its stride yet, one can see the excellent writing and acting very early on. Archie is worried he may lose his job, although he keeps the news from Mike and Gloria, and he confides in Edith that his department could be hit with layoffs, even though he says he's only concerned about little Emmanuel and black Elmo and not himself because he can get a job in 10 minutes; I seriously doubt he believes that, and appears in denial. There are some classic moments(to me, at least), especially after the Stivics find out that Archie's worried; first off, Mike tries to console him by telling "how good you look" to which Archie yells "you told them" to Edith, as this was after Gloria tells Edith that Mike "can be very tactful". Soon after that exchange, he's waiting for a call from the night security guard Feeney to give him the scoop from work, but all he gets is a few crank calls from a drunk(ends up being a sargeant!)asking for Mary Lou which infuriates Archie even more as he replies "your head is soaked in booze"; the Bunkers number was supposedly written on the wall of the bathroom, according to the drunk. Adding to the weirdness, Edith's odd friend Clara sees the lights on after 2 in the morning and decides to stop to see if she has any coffee, which Edith is now out of because of sitting up with her worried husband; I found Clara slightly annoying, but I digress. Dave the cop(there before Clara)knocks up because the lights are on(did the cops on the beat actually do this?)and Archie wants Dave to investigate the crank calls to the house as he calls once again; Dave ends up inviting the drunk(who turns out to be his very own sargeant, as I said earlier)to the house and then plans to nab him. Right before he knocks up at the Bunkers, the pizza delivery guy brings pizza which Mike ordered, which also angers Archie. Try to imagine all the cast of characters in the house this early in the morning, as poor Archie awaits his phone call which never comes.

During the madness, Archie takes Edith aside at the dinner table by themselves and Archie tells her how worried he is and how his old man got laid off after working all his life and when the paychecks stopped coming(the Depression, I think), no one could tell him why. This is a serious moment in the show and this is why I rank All in the Family much higher than all other shows, mainly because real acting is prevalent, and not just silly hijinks. Eventually the security guard, played by Burt Mustin(the audience gasps when he walks through the door)tells Archie the good news, which is that the company will have cuts, but the department heads and foremen will all be retained. The ending, where Archie should be very happy, has him basically push his family aside in order to give Feeney some pizza. A slightly strange conclusion to what is otherwise a terrific episode of what is to become one of the greatest shows ever.

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