Married with Children... All Things Episodic


0523  -  "Route 666, Part Two"

"Just hang it on the moosehead...."

OUTRAGE! The devils at Sky have cut out the classic 'moosehead'
sequences from this episode. Damn them - damn their eyes, in fact. This
is quite unforgiveable, as the two sequences are one of the episode's
highlights. Considering the channel spent some time advertising the fact
that Pamela Anderson was in the episode - though they forgot this for
Al...with Kelly - it's quite stupid, as Pamela's role was severely
hacked as well. Anyway, onto the episode. Part Two takes its predecessor
and improves on it, which rather puts You Better Shop Around to shame
(see other review for more on two episodes just barely tacked together).
It's a shame we don't see any more of the town of Lucifer; on the plus
side, this is an episode with almost no guest cast, allowing the six
regulars to get together and just feed off one another. This often 
leads to some of the best episodes and Part Two is one of those best. 
In contrast to Part One, everyone gets an individual role in this story 
and much of it's good character comedy too. Once again Al has got an 
idea in his head and run riot, allowing Ed O'Neill plenty of free rein 
to indulge in one of his Al-as-another-occupation impersonations, this 
time dressed up and behaving like a gold prospector. Liberal use of 
slang ripped wholesale from Westerns makes him fun to watch as he once
again has this illusion torn apart - he even gets beaten up by Peg in
one scene, which is one of the funniest MWC moments, and it's a shame
more isn't made of it. Second funniest is Kelly discovering all the gold
and giving it away, which is a cruel usage that's very typical indeed of
the family. MWC can be very predatory and this episode shows most of the
characters at their worst; they themselves have been tricked on by the
prospector; they all use Kelly as a drudge; and they rob a bunch of
tourists of all their possessions. Comedy? With an undoubted sharp edge;
it would only take the removal of the laughter track and a bit less
exaggeration in the acting to make parts of this episode quite vicious.
It's funny, but cruelly so.

"I have everything I want...and everyone I want. By the way, will you
object if I get a place of my own?" (Jefferson)

Oh look, a Jefferson quote! First one I've found that's worth sticking
in, too. Coo. Certainly it's a surprise as once again he is somewhat
underused in this episode. It's surprising what little is left when you
take away the pretty-boy comments he makes in later seasons, because the
writers clearly don't know how to handle him at the moment in comparison
to the other characters. Marcy gets about one good line, which is
directly before the Jefferson quote; she is almost always the character
used when the writers want to express political comment ("I can't help
you, I'm a Republican"), and her sexual double standards seem to extend
to her desire to help others as well. Naughty! However, there's that
constant niggling imbalance as some characters, particularly Bud and
Jefferson, are underused as always and not given full reign. If they're 
not going to be of any use to the plot, then contractual obligations 
or not, it gets irritating that they're hovering in the background 
and not allowed to do any good.Real-world economics intrude once again,
but the episode isn't really too disturbed by this fact; it's very 
confident of itself and doesn't allow being stuck with just one set 
and very little else to distract it from being polished and enjoyable. 
And better than Part One, incidentally, though not by much.

Rating : 7.5.

By Grail


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