Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cheers 8.7: “Death Takes a Holiday on Ice”

Airdate: 11/9/89

Carla’s getting tired of Eddie’s excuses for his constant in absentia, until she gets the biggest one of all: he’s dead. He had gotten run over by an ice machine in pushing a fellow cast member out of its way. A silent Carla appears to be in shock – but she’s got lots to say at the funeral, when the other Mrs. LeBec comes forward for the eulogy, and soon an all-out brawl ensues amid the chaos of the revelation. Stewing over mixed feelings, not the least of which is wondering whether or not he really loved her, she receives a visit from Eddie’s other better half, who wants to settle their rivalry once and for all. Oddly enough, it takes a letter (hand delivered by Goldie, he man whose life Eddie saved) to confirm Carla’s husband’s true love for her – and both wives agree to let bygones be bygones.

Surprising turn of events effectively ends Jay Thomas’s featured role as Eddie LeBec, and his untimely demise is wisely handled a la Chuckles the Clown’s farcical fate on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Funeral fistfight is just perhaps a bit broad, but the quieter moments do lend a great deal of poignancy, as when Carla ruminates on her marriage and finally allows herself to “grieve” at episode’s end. Frasier probably has the funniest scene, when he tries to get Carla to spill her unresolved feelings and winds up doing so himself – over the loss of his own mother.

Cold open: Rebecca can’t figure out why the phone bill’s so high: it’s Cliff, jawing away to some dude in Tokyo. She severs the phone line with a cleaver.

Look sharp for an early appearance by Thomas Hayden Church (Sideways) as Goldie Brown, who delivers the note to Carla.

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