Family Affair Friday: Season 2, Episode 23, “A Member of the Family,” 2/19/1968

Which caricature do you like best?

Written by: Henry Garson and Edmund Beloin. Directed by: Charles Barton.

When we look in on the Davis family this week, Jody is getting ready to go roller skating. He’s getting ready a bit prematurely, in fact.

"We do not put on our roller skates until we reach pavement," French advises him.

“We do not put on our roller skates until we reach pavement,” French advises him.

Buffy is going roller skating, too, with plans to teach Mrs. Beasley how to skate. First, however, the kids want to see what Cissy is doing out on the terrace. As it turns out, she’s drawing a picture of Uncle Bill–a “crack-a-ture,” as Jody calls it. The kids to want to know what all the mountains are in the picture. The “mountains,” Cissy informs them, are Uncle Bill’s muscles.

Oh, does he have nicely sculpted arm muscles? I hadn't noticed.

Oh, does he have nicely sculpted arm muscles? I hadn’t noticed.

Cissy informs the kids that she’ll be displaying her work at a high school art exhibit. She’ll be including caricatures of Uncle Bill and the twins–all the members of the family.

French looks hurt, and his mood doesn’t improve when Cissy asks him to provide hors d’oeuvres for the exhibit. Cissy can tell he’s upset, but she doesn’t know why. After French and the kids leave, a perceptive Uncle Bill explains the situation.

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Cissy says she does, in fact, plan to display a caricature of French. She’s been working on it all week in secret so that she can surprise French at the exhibit.

Meanwhile, at the park, Buffy and Jody wonder why French is acting like “an old growly bear.” He feels even worse when he runs into his frenemy Withers.

It seems, according to Hardcastle, that Withers is the envy of all the gentlemen's gentlemen at the moment.

It seems, according to Hardcastle, that Withers is the envy of all the gentlemen’s gentlemen at the moment.

In fact, they are planning a bon voyage party for him. Smithers’ employers are going to Europe and taking him with them. French admits that he hasn’t been on a trip abroad with Bill since the kids took up residence with them.

“Some of us are merely employees, and some of us are members of the family,” Withers says, twisting the knife.

Later, however, Bill gives French a private heads-up that his picture will appear in the exhibit. He even shows it to him.

Understandably, he’s in a much better mood the next day when he runs into Miss Faversham at school pick-up time. He can’t resist telling her about the exhibit and the fact that he’s included. He invites her to opening and asks her spread the word to Withers and Hardcastle.

When the kids emerge from school, they sing a song taunting a "skinny" boy who's been calling their friend Peter "four-eyes."

When the kids emerge from school, they sing a song taunting a “skinny” boy who’s been calling their friend Peter “four-eyes.”

French affects shock and horror, then tells them about crying himself to sleep every night because his childhood friends said, “Here comes Fatty,” whenever he approached.The kids are properly abashed and head off to apologize to Tony.

French gives Miss Faversham a wink and tells her that "overdramatic fiction" gets through to children better than anything else.

French gives Miss Faversham a wink and tells her that “overdramatic fiction” gets through to children better than anything else.

That’s a tip you won’t find in many parenting manuals.

Back at home, the kids pose for their own caricatures. Jody wants muscles like Uncle Bill, but his defining characteristic seems to be "a zillion freckles."

Back at home, the kids pose for their own caricatures. Jody wants muscles like Uncle Bill, but his defining characteristic seems to be “a zillion freckles.”

While she’s waiting, Buffy happens to see the French caricature.

The alarmed twins share the "Here comes Fatty" story with Cissy.

The alarmed twins share the “Here comes Fatty” story with Cissy.

They’re worried that French will find the picture offensive.

"I didn't realize Mr. French is so sensitive," Cissy exclaims.

“I didn’t realize Mr. French is so sensitive,” Cissy exclaims.

She decides that she won’t display French’s picture after all. Oh, dear.

Later, Sharon stops by and asks if Cissy can go with her to The Blue Yonder that evening. Bill’s out of town until just before the exhibit, so Cissy has to seek approval from French. She doesn’t think Bill would mind, even though they’ll be out until midnight and it’s a school night.

Seriously, Cissy?

Seriously, Cissy?

French says no, of course, and Sharon mutters about how strict the “establishment” is in the Davis home.

Soon, the art exhibit is almost under way at last.

Helping Mrs. Scofield with the snacks, French is taken aback when the teacher mentions Cissy's three pictures.

Helping Mrs. Scofield with the snacks, French is taken aback when the teacher mentions Cissy’s THREE pictures.

Cissy’s gone home to change for the opening, but French checks out her display area. Sure enough, his picture is missing. He assumes that saying no to Cissy earlier cost him his place in the exhibit. He gets on the phone to head off his friends, but he’s too late.

Doesn't Miss F look sharp in her street clothes?

Doesn’t Miss F look sharp in her street clothes?

Luckily, Bill has arrived at home and straightened things out. Telling Cissy how much French liked her picture, he encourages her to sneak in the gallery’s back entrance and add it to her display. By the time French’s friends make their way to Cissy’s area, the picture is in place.

"It's a nice family--the whole group," Bill says.

“It’s a nice family–the whole group,” Bill says.

French is delighted, of course.

And, along with his hor d'oeuvres, he gets to taste some sweet, sweet

And, along with his hor d’oeuvres, he gets to taste some sweet, sweet schadenfreude.

It seems Withers’ employers aren’t taking him along to Europe after all.

Which caricature do you like best?

Which caricature do you like best?

Commentary

This is one of the best French episodes–his sadness at being excluded is poignant.

Of course, you have to overlook all the contrivances that drive the plot. For instance, why does Cissy want to surprise French with his picture, when the others posed for theirs?

Guest Cast

Withers: Richard Peel. Mrs. Scofield: Joan Vohs. Peter: Randy Whipple. Sharon: Sherry Alberoni. Miss Faversham: Heather Angel. Mr. Hardcastle: Noel Drayton. All are Family Affair veterans, but we haven’t seen Drayton as Mr. Hardcastle since the second episode of the series. Vohs will appear most often in the third season as the twins’ teacher Miss Cummings.

Random fashion note: I like Cissy's casual, exhibit set-up outfit.

Random fashion note: I like Cissy’s casual, exhibit-set-up outfit.

Continuity Notes

Cissy’s artistic talent is a good call-back–we learned about it in season one.

Fun Facts

Mrs. Beasley doesn’t like sea lions because they splash too much.

French’s childhood friends actually called him “Chubby”–and he liked it.

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One thought on “Family Affair Friday: Season 2, Episode 23, “A Member of the Family,” 2/19/1968

  1. Orschel52 says:

    Having pronounced “Captain Hippopotamus” always perfectly and with great ease, Buffy and Jody now stumble over “caricatures”, changing the word to something like cracker chewers! I’d assume that “caricatures” isn’t so much more difficult to pronounce than “Hippopotamus”, but cracker chewer does provide a good pun for a comedy/dramedy like Family Affair, of course.

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