Married with Children... All Things Episodic


0514  -  "The Godfather"

"You're dating someone old enough to be my father!" (Peg)
"No, Peg, she's not dating Lincoln." (Al)

It's a bit odd that Jefferson has been so readily accepted by Marcy and
the Bundys, unless you think that the show is being subtle and parodying
the way soap opera characters can slip in or out without a qualm. Here,
when Jefferson comes in with Marcy to kiss Godfather Al's hand, he already 
seems like he's part of the setup and has forgotten anything about being 
new to the situation. A little too quick for my liking, especially after 
the slow and measured pace of writing out David Garrison last season. Why 
not something similar for Jefferson? Oh well, onto the episode proper. The
Godfather is another of those forgotten episodes; coming after the seminal
episodes of the first half of the season, it is a filler episode that 
contains nothing which influenced later shows. In actual fact much of the
episode is fairly predictable and derivative, right down to the title of 
the story. There are so many missed opportunities in this episode that most
people will surely find themselves saying "but what if..." all the time. 
How much more could have been made of Kelly's relationship with the alderman 
and (if nobody else) Marcy's attitude to that? The fundamental problem is 
that Al's protective instincts of his "little girl" go out the window just 
as soon as he sees his latest chance. If you think of Rock'n'Roll Girl, it's
unlikely. If you realise that One Down, Two to Go was just three episodes ago,
it's almost impossible.

"Peg, when you married me, was it a premeditated or a drive-by
marriage?" (Al)

What comes close to rescuing this sorry tale is Ed O'Neill's "Godfather" 
moment. In the setting of the Bundy household, it's so ludicrous that it's
perfect, and his slow, measured movements milk the moment for everything 
it's worth. We've seen Al looking smart on numerous occasions, even looking 
rich (the casino scene in You Gotta Know When to Fold 'Em comes to mind), 
but never as confidently opulent as this. Sticking his hand in his pants may 
be something we could see coming a mile away, but this is one time where it
doesn't seem to matter. Instead of a simple imitation (again, the casino 
scene), this is still the genuine Al who's masquerading, and that makes it 
all the funnier. His voice is superb, too. However, while this is a true gem,
that doesn't get away from the fact that what's surrounding it is pure
Kelly's simple pride in being on the front of the newspaper is funny, true, 
and reminiscent of her "how to be a slut" speech in He Ain't Much But He's 
Mine, but Kelly as a whole is just too ineffective in an episode that should
have seen more of her. What it really reminds me of is Bud on the Side, nearly
six years later, except that that was a good episode and this isn't. Too
derivative, it deserves the obscurity in which it now languishes.

Rating : 4.

By Grail


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