Monday, May 20, 2013

Cheers 3.17: “The Mail Goes To Jail”

Airdate: 2/7/85

A very sick Cliff asks Norm to finish up his postal route for him, but a cop later informs him that it’s illegal, and Norm is now in jail. If Cliff confesses that he asked his buddy to complete his appointed rounds, he could be fired, so the meek mailcarrier is stuck in a quandary. Ultimately, the Cheers gang pressures him into doing the right thing, and he is relieved to only be suspended after admitting his wrongdoing. Norm, on the other hand, s fit to be tied, but he’s willing to call it even if Cliff buys him a beer… and barks like a seal with his pants off for the entire bar to see. Subplot: Proving she can-do, Diane attempts to clear the heating duct but gets stuck in it, able only to communicate through a floor grate. Needless to say, Carla has a field day.

Pedantic, loyal to the core Cliff is stuck in a real pickle here, admitting that for others a job is just a job, but for him, it’s part of his identity. Given his often-craven inclinations, it’s no surprise he would opt for the back door out, but his integrity stands to be bruised as well. Ultimately, he pays a fair price for his personal and professional infractions, but for the life of me I can’t decipher the last line, spoken by an incoming customer who sees Cliff’s seal act.

Subplot is slight but enjoyable, if for no reason but the sight of seeing a horizontally disembodied Diane under the floor, and hearing her disembodied dialogue as if it were the voice of God.

Cold open: A fellow barfly asks Norm how his impregnation efforts with Vera are going, and he answers by pining for the good ol’ days when people asked him how the Red Sox are doing. Cliff inquires if he’d been to a fertility specialist; “Yes,” he answers. “He’s got Vera sprinkling powdered rhinoceros horn on my cereal!”

Norm’s opener: Coach: “What would you say to a beer, Norman?” Norm: “Daddy loves you!”

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