Monday, April 29, 2013

Cheers 3.5: “Sam Turns the Other Cheek”

Airdate: 11/1/84

Sam breaks up with a woman because he’d just found she’s married, and after hours the enraged cuckold, Marvin, accosts Sam with a gun. Craftily, Sam maneuvers the gun away from his would-be murderer, but accidently shoots himself in the – ahem – derriere (now you got the show’s title?). When the Cheers gangs inquires about his injury, his little white lie – that he stopped a robbery with a karate kick – escalates into the lead story on the 6:00 news. Suspicious Diane gets the truth on the situation, but when Marvin returns, angered this time by Sam’s media exploitation of his adultery, both she and Sam are targets of Marvin’s ire, which she allays by revealing that she loves Sam and can identify with loving “trash.” All’s well that ends well, except Diane still wants Sam to call the news station and admit the truth. He never gets past the secretary, who is enamored with his heroism and wants a date.

Sam’s philandering ways bite him in the… (insert pun), but his nervous energy in dealing with the situation is good comic fodder. His adulation-basking and subsequent lie management again reveal a truly insecure ego behind the suave bar manager, and the show is wise not to moralize and have him do the right thing at the end.

In this episode, we earn of Sam’s three non-no’s for dating women: underage, married and comatose. (Norm: “Hmm, he added one.”)

Two subplots here are a bit throwaway: Carla’s nervous about her tooth extraction, and Norm sells his house, at an unbelievably low price, to a suspicious Cliff.

Cold open: The aforementioned breakup, with Diane cynically commenting that it will be available in paperback wherever lurid trash is sold.

Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.

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