Normally a weak year for any sitcom, this 4th season episode is awfully familiar...
I'm hard-pressed to criticize a loving and gentle show like "Family Affair", but sometimes the writers pushed the kids' neuroses a little too far. This is especially true in the case of Johnnie Whitaker's Jody, who continually attaches himself to fantasies, delusions, and guest stars as if they were going to abandon him forever. Here, Buffy and Jody visit an elderly Japanese friend for the last time--he's dying and wants to return to his homeland--and get as a gift a Bonsai tree. Despite a reasonable argument from Uncle Bill, Jody has it in his head that the old man and the tree are spiritually connected, and when the tree starts to die under his care, he's convinced his friend is expiring too. Mr. Osaki already told the kids he didn't have long to live, yet Jody is adamant that the tree mustn't die (to the point where I thought a little psychotherapy was in order). It certainly isn't strange to see the twins (Jody in particular) becoming frantic over a separation (they are orphans after all), but here the writers are crazy enough to side with Jody, ending with a "miraculous" happy ending which I found difficult to swallow.
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