Married with Children... All Things Episodic


0221  -  "Father Lode"

"I want you." (Babe)
"I'm married." (Al)
"Perfect. That means you're already broken in." (Babe)

One of the best babe lines in the series, in my opinion, even though the Babe herself is pretty
much irrelevant to this story (not that they're usually relevant, admittedly). But enough
drooling. This episode is at once both entertaining and derivative, which is like so many later
episodes of MWC. Once again Al has something to hide, whether it be $1250 or a car radio; once
again he's forced to have sex with Peg to keep his secret. Here there is a nice twist in that
Steve is in on the secret and, for once, the pupil gets to outsmart the master by demanding
shares in the money. Steve's initial protest about Marcy not knowing is followed, hilariously, 
by admitting that it's a total lie but he's scared to death of his wife. This is another
Al-gets-screwed-by-his-family episode, too, but it's a nice change because he finally admits
defeat and surrenders himself rather than gets fooled. Al's wearily resigned expression as he
stands by the stairs, knowing his family will take from him and allowing it anyway, is
surprisingly touching - full marks to Ed O'Neill for this. 

"Honey, I didn't marry you for the money. I'm not really sure why I did marry you, but it
 definitely wasn't for the money." (Peg)

Of course, evil doesn't win, and Al doesn't lose to Steve; in the final moments of the episode,
though Marcy's revenge is not completely demonstrated, Al has managed to frame Steve in such a
way that all three know there will be a holocaust when Steve arrives home - and who did not
wince at Marcy describing the Ferris wheel punishment? Well, any women probably didn't,
admittedly. There's not very much that can be said about this episode, because it is quite a
familiar MWC theme. Only certain aspects - Steve's involvement, for example - make it stand out
in any way. It's very watchable, if only because of Ed O'Neill, who really does carry this story.
The scene in the bedroom is a classic, with Al's "oh no" and Peg's pretend-delicate dabs at her 
air. Also, for the first time in a while, we get a Peg advising Marcy scene, which is something
that has been sorely missed in recent episodes. So although it's not really possible to call the
episode a classic, it's certainly good.

"Kelly, here's $5. Bud?" (Peg)
"Going by the 'double for virgins' rule, $10." (Bud)

Rating: 6.

By Grail


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