I don’t know why, but my blog has suddenly exploded with views. Well not “exploded”. But I’ve got 43 total so far, which is way better than 1 I had a month ago.
I’m seeing how this post looks with bigger screenshots. I think the medium-size ones are too small, but the screenshots are all sort of blurry and low-quality so I wasn’t confident with including larger ones before. But I thought I’d just try one post with all of them full-size.
I’m pretty sure this is the episode the Rue McClanahan is in. I’m stoked.
We start with a rare view of Shawn and Cory on Feeny’s side of the fence.
They’re picking snails off Feeny’s roses to use as bait for when they go fishing. Alan arrives on the scene and informs our impressionable 12 year olds that fish do not eat snails. A quick Google search informs me that this is not true, but probably regular river or lake fish in Pennsylvania don’t eat regular garden snails, so I’m not saying Alan was wrong.
I have a bad feeling about this fishing trip because fishing trips on sitcoms either end up badly or get canceled, and also because I already know what happens in this episode, if it’s the one with Rue McClanahan.
Inside, Eric is training Morgan to say adorable things to cute girls in the mall as a sneaky way to get dates. Amy doesn’t exactly approve, but she’s happy they’re at least spending time together. Suddenly, a car horn playing “La Cucaracha” blares outside the house. Alan comes into the living room and they all agree – grandma has come to visit! And with a car horn like that, she’s sure to be kooky.
Almost immediately, grandma comes to the door. Like, within seconds. She must’ve ran or teleported or parked right outside the front door.
And… Rue McClanahan, everyone!
If you don’t know who the late Rue McClanahan is, you may know her better as Blanche from “The Golden Girls”. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m not sure what planet you live on.
Grandma is staying the weekend, having temporarily left her convoy en route to Palm Springs, Florida. Grandma brought everyone really awesome presents and promises to do something really awesome with everyone. Alan is pretty unenthusiastic about her, which probably means she’s disappointed him a lot in the past and will disappoint someone over the weekend. By the way, I’m pretty sure she’s Alan’s mother, but I don’t think they mentioned if she was yet.
Feeny comes over and asks Eric what one might do to entertain a teenage girl for a night or two. Eric asks if Feeny is dating a teenage girl. The way he said it, he could’ve added “You sly dog, you” so I’m not sure if Eric was only jokingly assuming this or not.
Anyway it turns out Feeny’s niece is going to be visiting for a short time, and he doesn’t know anything about entertaining teenage girls, being an older man who teaches 11 and 12 year olds. So he asks Eric for advice, and asks if Eric would consider doing something his niece, but tries to wriggle out of it by saying he has strep throat. If I know my sitcoms, this means Feeny’s niece will be very attractive and Eric won’t believe he tried to get out of hanging out with her.
The next day, Cory goes into the kitchen. It’s his turn to do something fun with Grandma – they’re going to get a Cal Ripken baseball card signed. I don’t know much about baseball, but Cal Ripken Jr. is one of the very few names I know are a big deal in baseball.
But Grandma isn’t at the house and it’s about time to leave, so Cory’s understandably getting a little antsy.
Eric comes downstairs and he asks how long he can go without washing his arm. Oh, I didn’t mention it, but Eric and Grandma went to a car show and Eric got his arm signed by a hot car model. So Cory asks if he’s going to be that girl-crazy when his hormones start flooding in, and Eric says he has a lot on his mind besides girls. Immediately after saying this, he notices a girl in Feeny’s yard and runs out to make a date with her.
He greets Feeny and asks what he can help with in the garden to day and impressively picks up a bag of fertilizer and hefts it over his shoulder.
Still being handsome and manly, he asks Feeny where he can move that incredibly heavy bag of fertilizer. Feeny says he hadn’t planned on moving it all, and Eric says he’ll just effortlessly toss it over there.
He makes the funniest noise when he throws the bag. It’s like “hooodyuhhh”.
Morgan comes out and says the phrases Eric trains her to say to pretty girls. “This is my brother Eric. He’s very shy.” Then she says Eric was going to take her to the carnival today. This is a lie, evidenced by Eric asking just when he said that, but then Morgan asks Feeny’s niece (who is the girl in Feeny’s yard, if you hadn’t guessed that already) if she would like to come.
By the way, Feeny’s niece – whose name is Jessica – is played by Keri Russell, who you might know better as Felicity from “Felicity”, and a lot of other shows I’ve never watched. People have this really weird obsession with her hair. I know she cut it while she was on “Felicity”, and I think people consider her haircut that show’s “jump the shark” moment – the moment at which the show is just so far-gone, it can never be the same great show it once was. There’s even a thread on her IMDB page complaining about her having short hair in some movie she was in a few years ago.
I’ve shown a picture of the Matthews’ home before, but… where is their driveway? That brick path in the middle is a walkway. There doesn’t seem to be room on either side of the yard, and we’ve never seen anything in the backyard for cars. I guess the driveway could be hidden somewhere, because I know it’s sort of expensive or cumbersome to have cars on set when you don’t need them for anything. It seems weird to me that with a house that nice with a yard that giant they would be parking on the curb. Although my neighbors live in a gigantic house with a two-car garage with a driveway that fits four cars and they always park on the curb for some reason, so I guess it’s not totally ridiculous.
Cory has been helping Amy make muffins while he waits for Grandma to show. They’ve made at least 4 batches, so Grandma must be over an hour late. Even though the audience and even Cory know Amy’s just making muffins to distract Cory, he’s still worried something might’ve happened to Grandma.
And here’s the big reveal: Grandma’s probably not coming, because Grandma does that sometimes.
Amy suggests Cory call Shawn to see if he wants to go bowling, but it turns out Shawn is… fishing. With Cory’s dad. Because Cory forgot to tell Shawn the fishing trip was canceled because he was supposed to go to a baseball game that day. Cory, saddened that his dad is spending some quality time with someone else’s son, dejectedly goes to sit in the tree-house. I didn’t remember the whole “Cory goes into the tree-house when he’s upset about his dad” thing being a… thing on this show. Maybe it’s only in the first season. Sort of like on Full House, I never realized that they really only used Comet as someone (somedog?) for the girls, usually Stephanie, to complain or cry to about things. But that lasted for a lot of seasons, and I never really watched Full House anyway.
Eric, Morgan, and Jessica are back from the carnival. Cory, spying on them from the tree-house, is disgusted by Eric and his attempts to woo Jessica. Then Eric and Jessica kiss.
Alan and Shawn return from fishing. They come from around the side of the house, so I guess maybe the car is parked there somewhere. Eric and Jessica are sufficiently embarrassed. And then they find out Cory was in the tree-house watching them the whole time.
Eric says something about making out not being a spectator sport. Alan, Shawn, and Cory react appropriately.
Alan asks why Cory’s back from Baltimore so early, and Cory says he never even went and says something about getting stabbed in the back while his dad spent time with his new son.
That’s more muffins than have ever appeared on any sitcom ever, including any bake sale episode. There might be more muffins here than on those reality shows about making cupcakes.
So Alan gives Cory a talk about his Grandma – his Mom – did the same kind of crap to him when he was younger. He couldn’t go on some awesome field trip to a science museum because she flaked out and forgot to turn in the permission slip. I wouldn’t say that’s really the same sort of situation as as not taking someone to get their favorite baseball card autographed by a famous baseball player, but whatever. I mean, sometimes moms just forget paperwork things. And the museum will always be there. Cal Ripken won’t.
Alan goes on to say that his mother later drove him to Cape Canaveral to watch a space shuttle launch. So it’s not that she’s a bad person, “she just shows love in her own way”, and she wants your time with her to be memorable. So that’s why she didn’t take Cory to Baltimore. Because… she wants their time together to be memorable.
Grandma finally comes back and says that Cory just won’t believe what come up. She never actually says what it was, but Cory says it’s fine because the Cal Ripken card was his favorite and an autograph might mess it up.
Eric then runs in from the yard and says he’s been upstairs for the last 20 minutes. Feeny then comes in and says he’d appreciate it if Alan kept Eric and his hormones inside the house, at least until Jessica leaves. Grandma says Eric has totally been upstairs for 20 minutes, but Feeny doesn’t believe her since he saw her just pull in the driveway a minute ago. Grandma asks who Feeny is, and then asks if Feeny gives Cory straight A’s. When she finds out he doesn’t, she threatens to destroy the rest of Feeny’s flowers.
Feeny then asks who she was, and Cory affectionately says that was his grandma, and then Cory says he loves her, and then his dad high-fives him.
So I guess the moral of the story is: if someone promised to do something awesome with you, and then they don’t, they can make it up to you by destroying your neighbor’s property.
Kidding aside, I guess we were supposed to learn that even if someone totally flakes out on you, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. I don’t really see how Alan’s example of a time when his mom forgot something and made it up to him is similar to her doing the same thing to Cory (forgotten permission slip made up for with a trip to Cape Canaveral versus not going to Baltimore to get a famous baseball player’s autograph made up for with destroying the neighbor’s flowers because he doesn’t give you straight A’s), but… oh well.
Rue McClanahan’s performance wasn’t exactly anything special. It would’ve been really great to see her in more than one episode, but I’m pretty sure she’s only in this one episode. I’m not sure we ever learn about Amy’s parents, or Alan’s dad.
Also of note: When Rue McClanahan entered through the door at the beginning of the episode, the audience went crazy with cheering and applauding. I’m pretty sure they never react that way for a guest star again, except maybe towards the end of the episode with the parent’s anniversary.