Coach returns from the funeral of an old pal, T-Bone Scappagioni, and is upset he wasn’t eulogized properly – as no one at there really knew the man. To remedy this, Diane proposes that they have their own memorial service at Cheers. Only Sam has doubts, mainly because he knows a secret about T-Bone, which he tells Diane but accidently reveals to Coach: that the slugger once hit on Coach’s wife. Coach now has to deliver a reverent honorific which now looks like a slam job more fitting for a roast. Tempted, he backs off and reveals how he must mix praise with forgiveness, as must everyone else whom T-Bone ever done wrong – and that just about includes everyone at the bar.
The deceased T-Bone is actually quite a major player in this episode (with his smarmy cut-out stand-up figure filling in, and providing quite the nifty sight gag). One can just imagine the real deal in the flesh, his reputation getting more and more sullied by the minute. Coach, too, has a change, particularly about the revelation of his wife, and it’s great to see him go from adulation – to apprehension – to hatred – and finally to choked-up forgiveness. Episode ends with Diane calming a fuming lynch mob (literally), but episode would be better served by concluding on Ernie’s emotional speech, one of the emotional high points of the season.
Cold open: Diane tricks Sam into wearing a peace-offering gift, a hideous turtleneck sweater, and modeling it for all in Cheers to see, and scoff at.
Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.