Written by: Ed James. Directed by: Charles Barton.
Bill’s date this week is cute, but he’s not paying any attention to her.
Bill loves the city, but he thinks the “dirty air,” pushing and shoving, and three-block walk to the park make it a bad environment for his nieces and nephew.
His mood grows even darker on the way home.
Unable to get a taxi, Bill is a sodden mess by the time he walks back to the apartment.
Observing her uncle’s reaction, Buffy says, “I think he’s getting another mood.”
Somehow, they end up in the kitchen bothering French instead.
Buffy and Jody wonder aloud why the metal bowl doesn’t have the same effect.
Buffy and Jody ask Bill if they can watch him make faces as he shaves. He obliges them, but he’s soon shocked to hear the foul language Jody has learned in the wicked city.
Before Bill’s delicate sensibilities can recover, Jody also mentions the “crummy rain.”
After Bill sends Jody off to fetch French, Buffy tells her uncle that she’s no longer taking Mrs. Beasley to the park. Buffy’s friend Pamela was nearly hit by a car the day before, and Pamela’s doll Gertrude suffered a smashed head. Buffy notes that Pamela is having a funeral for Gertrude when the weather improves.
“That should be fun,” Buffy notes brightly.
When French arrives, Bill sends Buffy to join her brother in the kitchen.
Of all the people he could blame–school friends, park ruffians–French chooses Scotty to throw under the bus. He does try to defend the doorman, though, by calling him “the salt of the earth” and adding that such language is “typical of city life.”
That was the wrong thing to say.
Just to make Bill’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day complete, Cissy barges in asking about the appropriate age to become engaged. Bill doesn’t care for her box-boy intended; he says the boy “looks like a refugee from the House of David.”
After all this drama, Bill makes up his mind–he’s ready to chuck city life.
“This is the only place to bring up kids,” Bill’s realtor assures him as they check out a lovely property.
French notes approvingly that the place resembles the Duke of Glenmore’s weekend estate in Kent–although he does emphasize the word “weekend.”
French, sensing that Bill has made up his mind, tells Buffy and Jody that “this bird sanctuary is about to be our new home.”
Jody says he’ll miss blowing Scotty’s whistle, and Buffy worries that she’ll miss Gertrude’s funeral.
She reminds them that “no one has ever been as kind to them” as Uncle Bill, and that if he hadn’t intervened, they’d still be scattered. Actually, she’s going a bit overboard here. Surely their own parents were “kind” to them.
The twins agree to put on a happy face about the move, which becomes more difficult when Bill tells them they’ll be moving by the end of the week. How do you close on a house that quickly?!
Buffy returns some borrowed toys to Pamela, who’s upset that Buffy will miss the doll funeral.
Jody says his goodbyes to Scotty, who leaves him with some words of wisdom.
Cissy parts with her boyfriend, despite his pleas that they get married. She could get a job, too, and they could have “a real swinging time.”
Meanwhile, French vents to Miss Faversham about the move.
Back at home, the Davis apartment is emptying rapidly.
The kids are looking so miserable that even Bill starts to pick up on it.
Once again, she’s forgetting their actual “first real home,” but she gets through to Bill.
Good thing that reversing a house purchase is not at all difficult.
But when he returns home to a happy family, and the Violins of Emotional Resonance ring out, he decides city life isn’t so bad.
This script has lots of cute dialogue, but it also has room for improvement. If, for example, Bill overheard the kids talking about some Terre Haute experiences they missed, his desire to leave the city would seem less like a wild hair. If he reminisced a bit about his own Indiana boyhood, his motivation would be more clear. And his change of heart at the end would be more plausible if the house sale hadn’t already gone through.
Mr. Pendergast: Mauritz Hugo. Scotty: Karl Lukas. Jerry: Patrick Moore. Mr. Burgess: Walter Reed. Pamela: Debi Storm. Marcia: Lynn Borden. Danny: Dennis Olivieri. Miss Faversham: Heather Angel.
Most of our guest actors are familiar faces. Lukas and Angel, of course, are frequent guests. Borden and Olivieri are both making their second of three Family Affair appearances, and Storm and Moore are making their second and final ones. Hugo made a career out playing bit parts in TV and movie Westerns. Reed quit acting a few years after this episode aired and became a real estate broker.