Married with Children... All Things Episodic
1020 - Turning Japanese
Synopsis: Marcy bribes Al and the kids with a free night and dinner on the town to get them out
of the neighborhood so that her boss, Mr. Shimokawa will not be offended by their presence. All
is going well until Al and the kids come home prematurely and attract Mr. Shimokawa’s attention.
Mr. Shimokawa as it turns out collects dilapidated American cars and only needs Al’s rusty Dodge
to complete his collection and gives Marcy the assignment of negotiating with Al a price for his
beloved Dodge. If she fails, her future as a vice president of his bank is over.
Thoughts: Fun episode! Pat Morita makes it all the more fun with his presence as a rich man
forced to endure endless patronization at the hands of Marcy and Jefferson and later as a man of
rich stature enjoying the company of strippers and bar patrons. Every voice over in his head is
dead on-fitting the mood of his agony of putting up with Marcy’s horse-doody.
Another great segment is towards the end where Al and the kids (Peg is not in this episode, away
on maternity leave in real life) are sitting at home dining on clams they stole and put into
garbage bags of all things and hearing on TV that "homeless thieves living in a Dodge stole them
from the Hobo Motorlodge." They consider the possibility that it’s them the news is talking
about and go right back to chowing down on their pilfered dinner. Another part of this story has
been left out so that I don’t spoil it completely for when you watch.
Bud and Kelly thankfully are a part of the episode instead of being forced into their own little
side adventure, which in my opinion ruined many later season episodes. I guess that it’s better
then what they did on All in the Family years ago where Meathead and Gloria had their own
episodes without Edith and Archie and vice versa. Jefferson is in the background here and there
and croons some bad karaoke. The rest is Marcy’s episode and while it doesn’t happen often, her
and Al together in an episode or whenever they can at least see eye to eye or cooperate on
something is special and it shows that Marcy while she hates his guts, still values him at times.
In the end, a wonderful show which showed many people who stuck with Married with Children in
it’s lesser years instead of leaving it for a bright shiny toy (Friends, Seinfeld etc etc...)
that a good episode can still be made. Maybe not often but made nonetheless.
Rating: 8.5 shoes out of 10. Excellent fun. Every scene no matter how bad (Marcy’s dinner with
her boss) has something worthwhile. (Voice overs from Pat Morita) Dialogue is quick and the
writing is good. And again if I may say Pat Morita especially made it worthwhile. Too bad he
didn’t do more episodes.
Al: Bud, shut up. Family Matters is on now. If you've got anything to learn about life, you can
learn it from Urkel... and his fat cop neighbor.
Marcy: So, Mr. Shimokawa, did you like the sushi?
Mr. Shimokawa: It was wonderful, thank you. [voice over] How original: serving sushi to a
Japanese man in America. It's like Gilligan getting off the island and being offered a coconut.
Mr. Shimokawa: [voice over] In my country this man (Jefferson) would be filling water glasses at
Jefferson: Oh, you collect classic American cars?
Mr. Shimokawa: No, I collect classic American junk. Yes, I have a Gremlin, and a Pacer, an old
yellow school bus with no brakes or no seatbelts. I have everything except that one.
Al: Well, Marcy, me and that Dodge have been together a long time.
Marcy: Well, so have you and your hair but you got rid of that.
Al: Way to bargain, Marce. I love that car more than anything I have.
By John Nelson
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