Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cheers 5:13: “Chambers Vs. Malone”

Airdate: 1/8/87

Diane has a woman’s intuition that Sam will finally propose to her. Sam scoffs, but Carla wars him to take it seriously, as women and their “cycles” have preternatural accuracy in foretelling the future. After hours, Sam lays dow the law to Diane, telling her enough is enough with the marriage bit; when she sobs uncontrollably, he proposes out of pity, and then chases after her when she rejects him yet again. The next day, Sam finds himself in court, with neophyte lawyer Tom Babson defending him against charges made by Diane that he caused her neck injuries and sprained ankle during the chase. Diane, hoping to expedite the not-so-speedy trial this will entail, explains the whole story to the judge. Tom proposes that Sam propose to get her to drop the charges. He does, and she does, and after Sam suggests that he was serious in keeping his word, they both may say “I do” in the near future.

A wrinkle in the Sam/Diane relationship has potential wedding bells in store for TV’s stormiest sitcom couple. A great premise, Sam having to propose to avoid jail time, is given expert setup and development under the pen of story editor David Angell, and subplot of semi-regular Tom Babson finally passing the bar exam and getting his first case is woven neatly into the main story as well. We’ll see where this leads!

Cold open: Three drinking men think each other is the designated driver; Sam calls them a cab. Relatedly, Carla tries to pick up a non-drinking patron by requesting he be her designated driver. (Remember, this was the era of MADD and “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” so this was a timely topic).

Norm’s opener: Woody: “How’s it going?’ Norm: “Never been better. But just once I’d like to be better.”

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