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"Leave It to Beaver" The Perfume Salesmen (1957)

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This is the dad we all wanted, some of us got him.

9/10
Author: pensman from United States
21 June 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The boys are sending off for something. Whatever it is, it only took a week to arrive. June is being eaten up with curiosity. It's perfume. Sell 24 bottles for a $1 each and send back $24 and the company will send you a movie projector. Problem is no one wants it. The boys think is smells like an old catcher mitt. June still is bugged that she doesn't know what it is. Now she does, a letter arrives and the boys are being sued for not selling the perfume or returning the unsold product. Ward plans on sending the perfume back with a letter about the exploitation of children.

Ward figures if the boys really were interested in selling perfume they wouldn't have given up so easily. He says when he was a boy he could have sold a 100 bottles if he had had a mind to. Now he backed himself into a corner, he has more or less promised the boys he can sell anything. He will take them out that morning and they will sell the perfume. That is until he smells the "perfume." It smells like an old catcher's mitt.

Ward has changed his mind, instead of going with the boys, he has given them a list of customers. It's a list of all the women in June's women's club. Actually, Ward has called all the women and promised he would buy the perfume back. Now the boys are selling perfume so fast that they're shocked. Wally figures something is wrong and they should find out what. Beaver says they should wait until they get their projector.

Ward hopes he has taught the boys that perseverance has paid off. The boys do get their projector and are thrilled. There is a problem. June can't fit the projector back into the box it came in. June tells Ward she wants to know where is the projector that came in the box. Ward shows her, and it's a piece of junk. Ward went out and bought the boys a real projector.

Ward tells June how when he was a boy he sent away for a model of Admiral Byrd's plane. It turned out to be just cheap balsa wood. June wants to know if his dad went out and got him a real model plane. No, Ward admits, but he wishes he had.

Wally figures Dad sent them the projector so they wouldn't be disappointed. Beaver feels they should thank Dad then. Wally believes this is a time when they shouldn't say anything, they are just lucky they have the Dad they do.

They do give their dad a thank you note, along with a truly hideous clock. Ward asks a tearful June what are they going to do with the clock. June proudly puts in on the fireplace mantle. This episode is a turning point for the series. Ward's character shines through and the writers kept that feeling of a caring dad, who recalling the disappointments of his childhood, chooses to keep those feelings away from his boys if he can.

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