Flipper: Season 3, Episode 6

Cupid Flipper (22 Oct. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Family
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Sandy has met a girl he really likes, but she doesn't seem to want to spend time with him. Instead, she wants to spend time with Porter.

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Tommy Norden ...
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Susan Abbott ...
Janie Mathews
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Sandy has met a girl he really likes, but she doesn't seem to want to spend time with him. Instead, she wants to spend time with Porter.

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Adventure | Family

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22 October 1966 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Crush on the older man
2 June 2014 | by See all my reviews

Despite Sandy Rick's status as a "dreamboat" (as he was described by a girl in the swimming race episode - Teamwork - in Season 1) and apart from his minor fling with Bonnie McCoy near the end of Season 1, it seems odd that the script writers waited until Sandy was a senior before they ever thought to write an episode with him dating a girl! In real life a kid like Sandy with his looks and cool lifestyle would have had the girls lining up - perhaps that was just too much for the mid 60's.

This time though the plot takes an interesting twist. Sandy's date (who Sandy seems really sold on - "prettiest girl I ever brought here") falls for Sandy's handsome father - the late high school girl crush on an older man routine. This possibility is made more likely by having someone as young as Brian Kelly play Porter Ricks. The real age gap between Luke Halpin and Kelly was only 16 years and the age gap in the show was 18 years so quite unlikely in real life.

Porter, whilst alert to the fact that Janie's interest ought to be in his son, seemed to be uncertain with his boundaries. If I was a 30 something father of a high school senior and his date came on to me, I would have resisted her entreaties to travel alone in the launch with her - especially given that the likelihood of Sandy finding out was high. It is interesting that Bud is aware enough of the emotional complexity of Janie's attraction to his father to not tell Sandy where Janie and Porter have gone when Sandy returns to the dock and is trying to figure out why Janie's car is there and not her. Sandy's comment "aced out by my own father" was a great one line summation of what looked like was happening. Sandy's dismissive comments about Janie to Porter causes Porter to twig to what's going on after pushing Bud to tell him what happened.

Porter devises an interesting way to address the older man crush situation. Rather than outright put her straight, he paints a picture of the real life adult world and domestic drudgery versus the carefree life of a teenager. Janie figures out she's chasing the wrong man and finds an excellent way to win a sulky Sandy back. Her approach is tailor made for Sandy's lifestyle she thinks but it seems to backfire as Sandy is blasé to her entreaties after being shafted by her. Just when you wondered if Flipper had no real part in this episode, he knocks Janie off her board and swims it away provoking Sandy to come to Janie's 'rescue'. Reminiscent of various romantic scenes from other movies, Sandy carries Janie in his arms from the water to the beach and the episode ends with the teenagers back together. Sandy attempts a kiss only to be interrupted by Cupid Flipper! With the last scene of Sandy driving Janie off in her cool sports car, it's surprising the producers did not exploit Halpin's well known teen stardom more regularly with innocent romantic episodes like this. Perhaps the target audience of children precluded this.


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