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Boys act like real people, making a pretty good episode
Here we see Beaver and Wally directed by Ward to spend a couple of their Saturday hours doing yard work, including collecting a lot of trash they are to stack by the curb and then contact a trash man to pick up everything.
Their friends are eager to do other things, but the boys have to tell them they can't until their work is done. As they clean, they find an old baseball and decide to see if the lopsided thing will curve more easily than a regular ball.
Later, Beaver is caught by Wally, returning from getting a drink of water, balancing a rake on his chin, with his friend Richard doing the same.
Despite Wally's insistence that they get back to work, the boys shortly get sidetracked again when they find Beaver's old archery set and they begin a game with that.
They finally are seen entering the house to call the trash man--and are stunned to learn that they are 90 minutes too late to reach him. They had too much fun and lost track of the time.
Big problem: What to do with all the trash they stacked up by the curb. To the rescue, they think, come Eddie and Lumpy. Eddie volunteers Lumpy's pride and joy, his roadster, to take the stuff to the dump. And they'll do it for half what the man usually charges-- just $3. The boys happily load the stuff into Lumpy's car.
But en route to the dump, Eddie spots a vacant lot and convinces his buddy that dumping the stuff there will save time and gas money.
That evening, when Ward later asks Wally how much he needs to put on the check for the trash man, Wally honestly tells his Dad what happened. Ward is happy they found a solution to the problem and gives Wally the $3 to pay them.
Eddie and Lumpy come by to collect and they are paid off. The four go upstairs to the boys' room and while they are still there, a Mr. Hill arrives to see Ward. It seems he found some magazines with Ward's name on the subscription label, and he figures Ward dumped all that trash on his vacant lot. Ward assures him everything will be cleaned up the next morning.
Ward goes upstairs and solemnly directs all 4 boys to clean up the lot the next morning. One of the episode's funniest lines comes in the tag scene as Wally describes how after they finished taking everything to the dump, Lumpy's car wouldn't start, so they were pushing it to get it started and a worker at the dump thought they were stealing one of his junk cars.
What I liked best about this show was that the boys were trying to do the job right, but just got carried away with distractions--not realizing, like real boys, how much time they wasted. When Wally was asked about payment, he told the truth right away instead of coming up with some tall tale. I always wished the Beaver did that more often in this series.
Eddie convincing Lumpy to save time and effort in dumping the trash was certainly in character with them.
One thing I don't believe made much sense was the business that they had to call the man by 1 p.m. and he would later come over, but if they called after 1 it would be too late. So he's still working after one, but even with someone else answering the phone, you can't call after then. Calling at 10 to 1 is fine.
Aside from what I just said, I don't understand why they couldn't have just called him, say at 11, and said, "We'll have some junk piled up by 1 p.m. (they planned to) could you come by sometime after that to pick it up."? Why do they have to wait until the pile is ready before they call the man? Do it logically, no problem exists.
But otherwise, this was a pretty good episode with the characters all behaving quite realistically.
Serious topic not done that well, in almost laugh less episode
Here was another example of a serious episode, focusing on Margaret. She had decided to sell the family's baby crib, along with a baby scale and some blankets, by placing an ad in the newspaper.
We viewers are taken into the kitchen of a young, married couple, who decide to go over the very morning they see the ad. The wife, Esther, played by Christine White, is much troubled by the things she hears from Kathy,particularly when told that her mother is going to disown her because of all the trouble she causes. Now Kathy explains right away that her mother isn't serious, only that she's rather upset at everyone but this doesn't placate the nervous mother-to-be.
Nevertheless, on husband Walt's insistence, they buy the items for $10, asking if they can pick them up that evening. Esther, whose face makes one think she was in a hypnotic trance throughout the episode,continues to be haunted by the chaotic scene in the Anderson household basically things like a sweater dropped on the floor and Margaret seeming rather annoyed with everyonenothing all that disturbing. Walt has not returned by the usual time from his job at a gas station. We see him still working and not quite picking up the phone in time when Esther calls to find out if he's still at work.
Now this is where we lose sight of logic. Esther immediately decides to go home to mother, by bus, just because she couldn't reach him at the station on one phone call, and not tell him anything about her sudden bus trip, nor let him know anything about what is troubling her. First she returns to the Anderson home to get back the $10 they paid. While there, she gets a good talking too by Margaret about how much she really cherishes her family, and that Esther just happened to earlier catch her on a bad day. Jim, Kathy and Bud overhear what Margaret tells her, and they are most happy to hear what she really thinks. Walt shows up about this time and Margaret gives him a story that Esther came by to surprise him by being there when he arrived to pick up his merchandise.
The only humorous parts were how sloppy Bud and Kathy kept making messes, and how Jim and Bud could sit at the table unaware that badly burning toast was smoking about 6 feet away. That is to say, almost all of the intended humor was in those scenes. There really were almost no chuckles, let alone anything more in the whole episode. We were given no reason to believe Esther and Walt had any serious troubles, which is why her plan to suddenly leave Walteven assuming it wasn't to be permanent, is the sort of thing old shows used to do often, which always frustrated me. How, I ask, can one spouse leave his/her partner without ever letting that person know that there is a problem?
Trying to put myself in Walt's place, I will say that if my wife got furious with me, told me off royally, yelling and whatever, and said she's "going home to mother" when we talked in a few days, maybe a week or more, I would be most happy to listen, apologize if necessary, work out our problems. But if I got home one night and she was just gone and didn't let me know for days where she was, I would be furious at her for making me worry AND for running away without letting me know what the problem was. Repeated actions like that could threaten any long term hopes of happiness.
I think the writers really just wanted an excuse for the family, minus Betty, to hear Margaret saying some really nice things about her wonderful family. This vehicle left this viewer quite bored with this almost-laugh less story. A 3.
Not super funny, but a positive message as Margaret learns something
Jim is visited in his office by an old friend, Virge, who tells him that he is now married. Naturally, the couple are invited to the Andersons, where the wife, Jill is first seen smoking a cigarette through a long holder, saying she thinks she broke their television set.
As they sit down to talk, Jill is pleasant in a way, but as she talks about the books she likes, she annoys Margaret greatly, making her feel ignorant for not knowing certain authors, etc. Soon enough, Virge needs to take a 2-3 day trip to his mother's and because his mother doesn't like Jill, he asks if Jim and Margaret will put her up because Jill "doesn't do well all alone" in a hotel.
Of course they do, and she seems to continue to rub Margaret the wrong way. Because Jill professes to not being a good cook, Margaret basically shuts her out from helping in any way. She just wants her to sit and relax, making Jill feel unwanted. Now mind you, Jill tries to be nice and never directly says anything critical, but Margaret can't wait for her to leave.
Only near the end, when Jill has jumped in to shampoo Kathy's hair and breaks down crying as little Kathy gets her to admit that the only friend she has is her husband, and Margaret learns of this, does Margaret understand that she has been unkind to Jill by just wanting her to stay out of the way and not try to help her with anything around the house. She asks for help with that night's supper and we see that they will now become friends.
Now much of this was not intended to be funny as they were making serious points here. I found it an interesting story, partly because the new guest was much more realistic a character than the modern-day house guest would be on most shows. Today's shows would have the person ridiculously rude, such as the aunt who visited on The Hogans who on given a hint of advice about smoking, snarled at one of the boys"You want to live my life pay my bills." I liked the funny lines in the beginning with Virg and Jim, and some of Jill's interactions with the kids were cute too. Betty of course, was overly dramatic about how much trouble she felt Jill was causing. Jill played catch with Bud and screamed at a frog Kathy showed herfrom up close.
It was one of those "nice message" shows, pointing out how letting a house guest help out is usually a good thing. I give it a 7 for the good message.
Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935)
Charlie in great peril, after getting rare chance to sing
I don't need to detail the plot of this 82-year-old film with 30 other reviews already available here.
I just saw this again. I remember thinking as a teen that this was the "scariest" of the Chan series and I believe it is primarily because Charlie was kidnapped, held prisoner, and later led into the den of smugglers where he certainly could have been killed in two different locations. In most Chan films, he rarely faces any danger other than someone taking a shot at him and running away, having missed.
His fatherly relationship with son, Lee, was never warmer. Lee was not the bungler he and brothers were in later films. He was comical, but didn't hinder Charlie's work, and was quite helpful, quite possibly saving his life even.
I loved the scene at the banquet early on where after a speaker spoke in Chinese for about 3 minutes, someone asked Lee what he said, and the response was "He said, 'Thank you, so much.'"
Charlie gets to sing a song to some children early in the film, and he does the usual wise old sayings.
The mystery was pretty good, as we had a few occasions where we were led to believe someone was a "bad guy" then saw the opposite, then...
There was a cool scene where Charlie demonstrated how someone could have snuck out of a room, leaving behind a locked window.
Very good entry in the series.
Patriots Day (2016)
Tons of cussing, violence, and tense police action
We saw this in the theater on January 14. I read all available IMDb reviews and am writing this because two rather important elements were not mentioned in any reviews I saw. To me, a review should help potential viewers decide if they would like to see the film in question.
First, the basics: This is a gritty, adult-oriented film about the horrible bombings at the 2014 Boston Marathon that killed 3 people and lead to 280 people being injured and two additional police officers being killed in the manhunt that followed. It is quite fact-based, designed to let viewers see the horror of it all, and how the police agencies worked diligently to capture the Islamic terrorists who perpetrated the whole thing.
The film begins with an unrelated police raid the night before the marathon, where we focus on a policeman, Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), who, I've learned, represents a composite of several real officers involved in the actual events. This is a common ploy by filmmakers because viewers feel lost if the movie keeps showing so many different police officers accurately doing their parts and there's no continuity in who we are watching.
We get, in the beginning scenes, several vignettes of actors portraying different real people, preparing to watch or participate in the marathon. These brief introductions let us feel a connection to the real people, some of whom are shown in film-ending scenes talking about their lives and how they were changed by the bombings.
Scenes of the race, the crowds, the finish line site that was bombed and the mass confusion and bloodshed lead to how police investigate. A command center was established in an old warehouse, a large part of which was used to lay out clothing and belongings found at the bomb site, putting everything gathered on a recreated bomb site. A large part of the investigation involved finding video footage of people, searching for possible suspects, and later, publicizing the photos of the two suspects, seeking public help in identifying the perpetrators.
We also saw in the opening sequences before the marathon, and later on, scenes involving the brother who carried out the bombings. We weren't meant to get to like them, but we saw a couple of scenes of the pair who lived together with the older one's wife and their young daughter. It was clear that the wife knew just what they were planning and was in full support. It was also clear that the older brother was in charge, but that the 19-year-old, while he argued about what specific actions they should take, was totally willing to kill as many innocent people as possible.
We later saw a scene where the wife of the lead terrorist was being questioned. She revealed nothing and, we were told at the end of the movie, was never arrested for her part in the whole thing.
It took several days for authorities to find these punks, with the biggest key being a young man who was kidnapped by the pair, as they stole all the money they could from his bank accounts via an ATM, and drove his car. The young man was able to escape and phone police, leading to a police chase which had a huge gunfight in nearby Watertown resulting in another officer being killed (in addition to a separate killing by one of the brothers) and 16 more officers being injured in the gunfight that ended when the younger brother escaped, driving a stolen car, smashing through police cars and driving over his injured brother, killing him accidentally, as he tried to make his getaway.
Almost anyone old enough to see this film remembers where the younger brother was found hiding. Seeing how many police were involved and how they went about this capture was quite interesting.
The film includes many bloody scenes of people's injuries, at crime scenes and in hospitals. These scenes are important to show the horror of it allto make sure we don't gloss over what these two evil people did.
Now for the two overlooked elements of this movie: First is the use of a spinning camera, panning about various scenes at such a speed as to possibly make you dizzy. Some scenes designed to show the chaos of the bombing see things whirling around too fast to see clearly. Viewers close to the movie screen might find themselves a bit queasy if not worse. If you are sensitive to such scenes, I'd advise you to close you eyes for a few seconds.
Another topic not discussed much is the cussing, particularly the so-called "F-bomb." I'll estimate that had they chopped out 85 uses of this word, there would still have been at least four dozen times when you hear it.
Largely, the situations seemed like one where you might expect to hear cussing. This isn't a lighthearted comedy or a movie that would be interesting to kids. But they could have reduced the cursing and still kept it gritty. Like any word or expression, overuse reduces or destroys the effectiveness of the term. A remake of Gone With the Wind made today would likely have had Rhett cussing frequently, which would make the famous line near the end totally forgettable, instead of being one of the most famous lines in Hollywood history, made so because it did stand out thanks to the use of one normally-forbidden word. If you are troubled by hearing F and S words in shows, you probably will not want to see this movie because there is so much profanity used throughout the film.
Otherwise, it is a tense, police-action film full of violent scenes that depicts a horrible event that will never be forgotten. I give it a 7.
The Black Camel (1931)
Very good entry for this series
Whenever I see an old film and wish to review it, I try to place myself as if I saw it in the theater when it was first released. The Black Camel came out in 1931.
Talking motion pictures were common by then, but almost every movie- goer had spent most of their time reading subtitles on their movies. The lack of background music didn't seem odd as it does to us today.
What would have jumped out at me 86 years ago was the wonderful scenery of Hawaii that opened the film. We saw beaches and other views of the city. We saw surfers from an angle that made it look like we were in the water very close to them. Now to almost anyone at that time, these scenes were probably our first ever look at such activity in any film.
We are taken to a movie scene--that is, our movie shows actors on a beach filming a movie. The lead actress begs off work for the day, and we learn it has to do with the guy she met on the ship coming to Hawaii to make this movie.
I later learned that the man playing the director of the film within the film was actually the director of this film. Neat.
Charlie Chan appears shortly and Warner Oland is just like the Charlie Chan we know from many other movies. The biggest difference is that he is "assisted" (and I use the term loosely) by another policeman who bumbles around more than any of his sons did in later movies, comically running onto the set calling out, "Clue!" He had a way of sliding to a stop when running up to Charlie that made me chuckle.
Our actress friend has sent for her psychic, played by Bela Lugosi, to advise her on the notion of marrying her new lover. Before long we are involved with a murder that seems to be related to a murder in Hollywood that took place 3 years ago. It seems everyone connected with this actress was also on the scene at that time, and is thus a suspect in that murder as well.
There are plenty of clues for the detectives to find. On the way we get a neat scene at the Chan household, where Charlie learns that one of his offspring is at the bottom of his class, because, "all the other places were taken." He happily leaves his beloved family to go back to the pleasures of detective work.
Before he wraps things up, he has a thrown knife narrowly miss him, and confronts someone who falsely confesses to the main murder.
This film had all the elements the later ones did--including Charlie's proverbs, the mix of humor and suspense, even the oft-used clue-stolen-while-the-lights-went-out-trick. It was the only film in the long run of the series that actually had parts of it filmed in Hawaii.
Another famous face is Robert Young, best known as Jim Anderson and Marcus Welby.
To me, this film ranks among the better of the Chan films, with all the likable elements in place. Too bad we don't have copies available of the other Oland films before 1934s Charlie Chan in London, which is normally the earliest one ever shown on TV.
Wonderful Christmas Episode
This is one of my favorites on my Christmas DVD collection of over 20 sitcom Christmas shows. It starts with Ozzie and Harriet looking at the Christmas cards they've received and discussing which ones they like best. Ozzie hates ones where the sender doesn't write any sort of note. He then reads a sweet, sentimental card to Harriet, something that nicely concludes something about "hoping we can always include you in our list of closest friends." When Harriet asks who it's from, Ozzie deadpan replies that it's from their dry cleaners.
Most of the episode deals with Ozzie being tricked into agreeing to do everything for everyone--play Santa at one place, play Scrooge at another, and join in singing Carols with another group, while still finding time in the last few days before Christmas to buy and put up a tree and string lights outside the Nelson home. I particularly liked how neighbor Joe reports that the guy who normally plays Santa moved away and they don't have a suit. Ozzie says, "I have a suit" and Joe quickly thanks him for volunteering to do the job, knowing full well Ozzie only wanted to let them use his suit.
While shopping at a department store, Ozzie is visiting with a neighbor lady when he hears the P.A. calling, "Will Little Ozzie Nelson report to the Lost & Found" before the voice apologizes and asks for "Mr. Ozzie Nelson" to report.
One scene has Ozzie climbing a ladder outside his house, carrying lights, while practicing his Scrooge role with Ricky, sticking his head out the window and reading the lines of Marley's ghost. Throughout the show, Ozzie keeps getting interrupted with another request keeping him from finishing whatever he was working on.
Near the end, he feels frustrated at not getting anything done around the house because he was too busy with all his other activities, when his loving family shows that they were able to get the other things done.
This isn't a side-splitter comedy, but lots of gentle laughs wrapped around what was always portrayed as a realistic, happy, family. I will always remember Ozzie's distinctive rendition, practicing a bass voice for Deck the Halls, after the lady leading the carolers asked him, "Are you a bass?" and when Ozzie said he wasn't, she calmly asked him if he'd try to be, because they needed more bass voices. Fa la la la la.
Mike re-learns an important Christmas message
Saw this on DVD last night--first time since it first aired.
A truly hilarious episode, particularly the antics of Mandy and Ed. Mandy has a line where she's busy and the doorbell rings. She calls out, "Can someone other than me please get that." Ed had a line a couple of minutes later that made me pause the show for over 45 seconds until I stopped laughing. I cannot reveal it because it needs too much context.
The main plot deals with the entrance to the series of Ryan, Boyd's father, who is back in the area and now wants to be a part of his son's life, but is not interested in being involved with Kristin at all. Kristin is happy for this, but Mike is rather hostile to Ryan. Ryan has been performing in fairs and such, and Mike tells him, "The role of Boyd's father should have been cast 2½ years ago."
Eve seems to get to her father a bit, and with Kristin's recalling a World War I story Mike has often told, and on getting him to re-tell it by playing dumb (getting all the facts wrong as she starts the story) Mike agrees to a "Christmas truce" with Ryan.
This all came after Kyle was quite disturbed that his serious girlfriend might get back with Ryan, and the actions he took were also important in the plot, but won't be revealed here--too much of a spoiler.
Meanwhile, Mandy gets a Christmas time job at the store, playing an elf-helper to Santa Claus (Ed) who tells her one of her big duties is making sure all the little kids have gone to the bathroom before they sit on his lap.
Mandy causes a stir by getting all the other Christmas help to go on strike, demanding better working conditions. When she talks about certain benefits "after six months" Ed reminds her, "you do realize your job ends in three days, don't you?"
I thought this episode was brilliant, utilizing all the cast well, and providing a nice Christmas message of forgiveness as well. It even had a cute finish involving Ryan showing a weird side by singing on his own at church with the family, distracting everyone else from the hymn they were singing. This was interesting because in this episode, Ryan was played by singer Nick Jonas.
When the episode is great from start to finish, it has to get a 10 score from me, something I rarely give out for any series episode.
The Odd Couple: The Hideaway (1971)
Affirmative Action Eskimo is Helped by the Couple
This episode began with Oscar sneaking in some fellow in a parka to the apartment, and being caught immediately by Felix, who is told that the young man has just finished college at Alaska A & M and is a fabulous football quarterback, Ernie Wilson, whom all the pro teams are dying to sign to a contractwhich Oscar is going to help him with for 10% of the deal.
Oscar knew Ernie because he had somehow written about him in his column. Players having contracts negotiated by an agent was still a relatively new thing in sports, but a sportswriter who knew the guy might well have attempted to help him, and himself, as Oscar was trying to do.
Now the NFL draft had been around for decades, beginning in 1936, so the whole premise of this episode did not ring true for football fans. If Ernie was so highly sought-after, he would have been drafted. Players not drafted do sign with pro teams, but they are not, then or now, highly desired by all the pro clubs, as Oscar stated.
Ernie was also an Eskimo, which led to a succession of jokes between him and Felix about cold weather, eating fish, etc., mostly stated by Felix who immediately apologized for his dumb jokes.
Ernie was played by Reni Santoni, a 31-year old actor best known for his role as Poppie on Seinfeld, but who has a long list of TV credits dating to 1964.
Right after introducing Ernie to Felix, Oscar leaves to go to his office to make phone calls for Ernie, with strict instructions for Felix to keep Ernie in the apartment and not let anyone in, lest some team representative be eagerly trying to sign him to a contract without Oscar helping.
Almost immediately, Felix answers the doorbell and a big, burly guy almost forces his way into the apartment, but he has nothing to do with football. He represents some, I presume, fictional musical school who is eager to sign Ernie as a cellist.
Felix is impressed with Ernie now, and we are told that Ernie would like to study music instead of playing pro football, even though the money wouldn't be nearly as much. Oscar, on learning from Felix that Ernie would like this comes on board. Only as soon as Ernie starts playing the cello Felix rented for him, Felix learns that he is terrible at this talent.
He phones the man from the musical school, who comes over and agrees that Ernie is terrible at playing. He reveals that he is desired because they don't have an Eskimo cellist. They don't use the words "affirmative action" but this is what they are describing. Schools and businesses were eager for "token" representatives to put up appearances that they were diversified and many people got places in a schoolin this type of instancewho weren't at all qualified in the skills normally needed. The episode was really a stinging criticism of this practice, without really delving into the politics of it all.
The "big scene" set up by all of this is a pro team owner, Slim Daniels (Dub Taylor), supposedly with a background, not a personality, like that of Gene Autry, comes by with three other men to the apartment, to find out why Oscar told him Ernie was not interested in playing football anymore, not knowing that the QB had now changed his mind, on learning why he was desired by the musical school.
Slim talks about his accountant and his lawyer, leaving Oscar to ask about the third man. We all learn that it is Slim's movie sidekick, Grubby (not Gabby) who happily recites on of his supposed movie lines that endeared him to movie fans. Slim still employs Grubby because "we take care of our own." The scenes with Slim were the funniest in the show, as improbable as they were. I don't think it will spoil the fun for anyone to read here how the resolution really was that Ernie was advised by Oscar to get a good lawyer to help him sign the contract because Oscar was inexperienced at that. Frankly, as a big-time sports writer, Oscar would have the knowledge of what other QBs were getting and actually could have gotten him a good contract. In those days, most players had one-year contracts, or maybe 2-3 years and there wasn't any salary cap, or deferred money to complicate matters.
Nowhere near the best episode, there were some laughs and it was nice to see the pair not getting into any sort of fight for a change. Some of their arguments were quite funny, but a series wears out its welcome if they keep having big arguments almost every week. I gave it a 7, with one point just for seeing Poppie a quarter of century before his wacky role on Seinfeld.
Better Title: How Poor Communication Causes Huge Problems
Here we have Patty dating an older man--who graduated a few years ago,we hear, and is working for a stock broker. He has a mustache (rare in the mid-60s) and smokes most of the time (common then). He is polite in meeting Martin. Just before leaving with Patty, he brings out virtually the only chuckle in this entire episode. He offers to help Martin if he ever wants stock advice, because he has been with his company "over two months."
We next see the young couple parked in a secluded spot (I guess these are rare, but possible in Brooklyn Heights/Brooklyn) where Patty appears to be quite bored as the man just talks about how much money he is making. Suddenly two men come up from behind and tell the man they are repossessing the car for three missed payments. He gets out, apparently to be left alone, but the guy returning the car is happy to drop Patty off where she lives.
We next see Martin and Natalie's bedroom, where Martin wakes up, at 1:30 and sees that the porch light is on--which to him proves Patty did not get home by her curfew of midnight. Natalie convinces him to check her room, which he does.
Just before he goes there, Patty happens to wake up, remembering she forgot to turn off the light, so she goes downstairs to do so. So when Martin peeks in, he sees her bed is empty. Somehow he doesn't notice that it looks slept in--blanket and sheet askew. He returns to his room and in seconds he and Natalie her Patty's door shut. They figure she just got home.
Now Martin has the right idea--talk to her right away. This would preclude her having much time to come up with a lie/ or even think about it--supposing Martin was right. Of course, we viewers know he would see her in her pajamas and robe and happily accept that she just went down to turn off the light. Episode over at this point. But Natalie convinces him to wait till morning.
The next blunder comes when Martin only gives Patty his conclusion-- that she wasn't home by midnight. She says he was and believing she is lying upsets Martin so much that he next interrupts her when she tries to explain, saying, "I'm not interested in any explanation..."
This crushes Patty. Since he doesn't want to hear her explain, she politely asks to be excused. She has always been portrayed as having a good relationship with her dad and to suddenly not be trusted, to not even get a chance to explain hurt her, as it logically should have.
After a full day apart, at work and school, the two finally talk enough to make up, with Martin learning what really happened the night before. He was stunned to learn that he had said to Patty that he didn't wantto hear her explanation. He never meant to say that.
I find it quite believable that Martin would have been unaware of what he said that so stunned Patty. (Been there, done that.) Thinking of her as a real-life person, Patty should be commended for not yelling at her dad, but quietly excusing herself that morning and then talking politely with him that night. I think most teens would not be that good.
Of course, the whole morning scene would have ended the episode quickly if Martin had just begun by telling Patty what he saw instead of giving her his conclusion. Had he just said, "Patty, I woke up about 1:30 in the morning and saw the porch light was still on. I checked your room and you weren't in bed. Then I heard your door being closed a minute later. Why did you get home so late?"
Her answer would have been good enough and there would have been no conflict to be resolved. The dialog had to be a bit convoluted so they could have the big issue about trust to show the dramatic scene the writers were seeking.
As a drama, not too bad. But this show was a comedy. It had no more than two things that were even supposed to be funny. (The second was a tag scene where 3 members of the family, Cathy absent, teased Martin when he was seen in pajamas turning off the porch light the next night.)
The serious tone really made it a weak episode to me. We knew they would make up and that all that was needed was for Martin to learn what really happened.
Comedy shows really should stick to making us laugh, with serious scenes not dominating whole episodes.