Carla’s ex-husband, Nick Tortelli, shows up at Cheers and wants custody of one of her kids because his current wife, Loretta, is infertile. Carla hates the idea, but knows all too well of his hypnotically persuasive effect on her. After his charm removes all other obstacles, Nick confronts Carla alone in the back room, but she stands her ground, feeling nothing after he works his magic. Unsure as to whether he had gone easy on her or if she has become a stronger woman, Carla nevertheless emerges victorious. Subplot: Sam can’t bear to take a new woman to the same inn room he and Diane had spent a romantic night in the year before.
Heide Perlman wrote another winner for her sister, and in it we see our beloved irascible barmaid break free of another tie to her ex-husband, the ever-sleazy Nick. Dan Heyada plays the character with all his unctuous charms, and Jean Casuem is also great as the ditsy blonde Loretta. Best scene: Carla explains how she kept “giving in” to Nick, essentially determining every milestone in their relationship. Second best scene: at the second act opener, Diane scorns the male practice of laughing gleefully at other men’s expense. (A bit of a running gag, as well.)
Cold open: Diane (again) scorns the male practice of placing bets on the most inconsequential of things. Cliff corrects: he and Norm actually have a bet running on whether Southeast Asia will obliterate itself with nuclear weapons. The loser has to push a peanut down Boyleston St. with his nose.
Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.