The cycle of "Beaver discovers girls" episodes comes to a close with "Beaver Sees America." This time the object of Beaver's infatuation is one Mary Margaret Matthews, a 13-going-on-30 junior operator who twists boys around her little finger like soft pretzels. The boys all come visiting with her on her front porch wearing their best suits and cologne, and she favors them all with nearly identical flattery. A more lurid portrait of girlhood corruption was scarcely to be found on LITB.
It's June of 1963, and the beauty of summer is already in sight. Beaver has been planning to go on a six-week bus trip across America, but he won't be able to rest easy knowing that weaselly Gilbert Bates will be moving in on Mary Margaret while he's gone.
Will it be education or romance? Ward, and Gilbert's father, do everything in their power to ensure that education wins the day.
LITB fans have tried to use the itinerary of Beaver's bus trip as a guide to the exact location of Mayfield. No dice, unfortunately; the itinerary clashes with information gleaned from previous episodes, and so the writers left the question open and vague as ever.
Beaver is nearing the end of eighth grade now, and we are nearing the end of the series with just two more episodes to go. Beaver has come a long way from filling his bathtub with dirt and alligators.
Ward has signed Beaver up to go on a six-week bus trip around the country for the summer. Beaver is up for up for it, better than hanging around Mayfield all summer or going to summer school like Whitey. The guys seem jealous when Beaver tells them which he sees as a good thing. Beaver tells Wally he is going to see Whitey; but he's really on his way to see Mary Margaret Matthews to tell her about the vacation. As he sits there with her on the front porch, Beaver finally breaks the news. Nice trip for Beaver (Teddy) but what is Mary Margaret to do? It seems that when Gilbert shows up shows up, it seems Mary Margaret has plans with Gilly (Gilbert) for the summer. For an eighth-grade girl, she has flirting down to a science; she might be a great, great, great granddaughter of Mati Hari.
This has thrown a wrench in the plans for the summer trip. Nevertheless, Wally is trying to teach Beaver how to use a camera. Wally figures Beaver is mooning over a girl, but he tells Beaver to forget Mary Margaret; Beaver is in the pony league and she's batting in the world series. Yeah, but Gilbert will be with her all summer.
Eddie shows up with a present, joke as usual, but offers several ways Beaver might be able to get out of the trip. None will work of course. June is out shopping for the trip but both have noticed a drop in Beaver's enthusiasm. They think it's because Beaver will miss them. Obviously not it. Wally decides to let his parents know what the problem is. Wally says Mary Margaret is a new girl; she is older and is quite an operator, a junior Cleopatra. Now that they know the answer, they know how to fight it.
Beaver comes home and he's all excited about the trip again. Gilbert is going on the trip. Great, I'll be traveling with a friend. June is puzzled how that happened. Seems Ward spoke with Gilbert's father about how great the trip is and he agreed it was a great trip; he signed Gilbert right up.
Beaver and Gilbert are on their way to see Mary Margaret to break the bad news that they will both be gone. They see her sitting with Whitey and using the same lines on him she used with them. They are off of Mary Margaret. Unless Whitey has a major growth spurt, Mary Margaret will have a tough time turning Whitey into the man of her dreams.
Beaver is on the trip and should be in Albuquerque now and June wonders if he has been changing socks. Ward says he hopes not, it's supposed to be a pleasure trip.
A great episode that shows Ward at his cleverest. We also get a glimpse of the next four years as Teddy works his way through high school. ,