Coach sees the woman he’s “going to marry” at the bar – what his Italian kin would call the “thunderbolt,” and, as she is there with her daughter, enlists Sam’s help in approaching the two. Sam gets shot down – big time – but Ernie scores rhapsodically with his dreamgirl, Irene, and soon there’s talk of marriage, romanticizing everyone’s mood, especially Diane’s. When Coach pops the question, Irene accepts; mere minutes later she gets a call informing he that she just won a 2-million dollar lottery jackpot. Diane is elated and exclaims, “Two such wonderful developments in a matter of minutes!” Irene’s response: “Yes, I won the lottery! What was the other thing?”
Beginning of the second two-parter of the season shifts focus on Coach and plays up his wonderful comic timing, particularly in the pickup scene. As the “simpleton” character, this timing is all the more crucial, as absolute character fidelity must be maintained in order for the comedy to function (just ask Jean Stapleton, whose brilliant depiction of Edith set the mold for this archetype). All this, though, is tinged with knowledge that he’s certain to face inevitable heartbreak in the conclusion of this story. The heterogeneity of emotions: a pure Cheers trademark.
Subplot involves Sam inadvertently ruining the possessions Diane left behind after their breakup. His reactions are funny – repentance mixed with just a teeny hint of happy malice.
Cold open: Norm wakes up after falling asleep during one of Cliff’s know-it-all harangues, this time about Florida, where he had gone for vacation. Cliff returns from the bathroom only to continue his bore-fest.
Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.