Ok folks gotta start with an awkward one, so here we go…
Season 5, Episode 16
Plot Summary-Ray is upset that Debra volunteered the twins to play fairies in the school play
Nitpick of the episode-Maybe if the script had made it more clear Debra pushed the boys into being fairies I would agree with Ray, but if the kids were up for it (even if Debra did sign them) then what’s the problem?
Best Line-“So what if they’re gay, you think that would be the worst thing? Turning like you would be the worst thing”…Marie (to Frank)
Episode Fun Fact –The prince and the kid in the lion suit that Ray yells at is Ray Romano’s real son
Deleted Scenes-Ray being told the twins are playing fairies. The scene makes it clear Ray is not happy about it from the start.
Syndication Edit-Teaser, Debra reminds ray to pick up the kids
Best Character-Ray, Yeah he’s a jerk through a large part of the episode but at least he shows he’s capable of being open minded in the end. In fact that scene at the end where he is trying to work with the boys is one of his best scenes with the kids in any episode.
Worst Character-Frank, I can respect that he is from the old school and came from a time when gay people were not thought of in the same way they are today. Before this becomes a political discussion, let’s just say the LGB community has come a long way. But why can’t he accept things are different now? The boys being gay would mean…the boys were gay, so what?? He acts exactly like my father would about this subject.
Final Thoughts-Ok gotta talk about something serious here. I almost did a whole article on this but scrapped it when I realized I could offend people here. But here it is, I watched this episode with my wife once and at the end when the boys act out and trash the play I wondered, could they be autistic? I mean they don’t seem to follow any directions and as we’ve seen before (and will again) they have serious trouble in different areas. It could have been bad writing or directing, but that final scene doesn’t strike me as funny at all. As for the rest pf the episode, it’s pretty typical as we see Frank’s homophobia trotted out once more. Then the rest is Ray just being a douche. And the rock idea was one of his dumbest yet! Maybe it would have been better if the boys had more to say. I don’t know maybe they weren’t great actors or something but the kids are like four or five at this point and they barely utter a line! They do in other episodes so not sure why all they do here is laugh and smile.
And yes, I see you there elephant in the room! I should point out that one of those boys, Sawyer Sweeten, sadly committed suicide a few years ago. That is a tragedy of course and please don’t take anything I say as a slam on the actor or his trouble. I am commenting on characters in this episode, and maybe the weird directing, and that is all.
Man that was awkward. Anyway…..
Season 5, Episode 17
Plot Summary-When Stefania visits from Italy Robert realizes that the sparks aren’t quite there anymore
Nitpick of the episode-I love how Debra tries to pointlessly bring up Amy at one point. He was with Amy in Italy and that didn’t change how he acted!
Best Line-“ I’m going to tell you about my marriage now, but we’ll need the garbage disposal.”…Frank
Episode Fun Fact –
Deleted Scenes-more Robert and Stefania golfing(good edit it’s just more of what we’ve already seen), Roberts reaction to Stefanias father also arriving
Syndication Edit-top of the teaser
Best Character-Robert, mostly because he is the episode though he comes off real uptight
Worst Character-Debra, I hate it when she can’t give Ray any credit. He makes a valid point about how Robert was going to fast in Italy using the oatmeal as an example and all she can do is mock.
Final Thoughts-I am not a huge fan of Robert episodes, because it always takes Robert away from the family. The rest come in, offer an opinion, and then we spend the final half with Robert as he stumbles through the problem. As a result these episodes feels off, and this is no exception. Robert is better in small doses. And Robert proves that he does have a fair of commitment the way he nitpick Stafania the way he does. I guess it makes sense since he is divorced, but we’ll discuss this more next week.
Season 5, Episode 18
Plot Summary-Debra is angry when Marie sends a vacuum saleswoman to her house, and sets out to prove Marie doesn’t keep as clean a house as she claims
Nitpick of the episode-Probably Debra’s dumbest scheme yet when she tries to prove there is dirt in Marie’s house. One thing about Marie, she practices what she preaches. And how said I had to use the word “scheme”.
Best Line-“I’m just letting Frank’s pants out again. It’s in God’s hands now.”
Episode Fun Fact –
Deleted Scenes-more of ray and Robert watching the pretty saleswoman (this scene is ultimately pointless and better off deleted)
Syndication Edit-Some dialogue
Best Character-Debra, she does a make a valid point about Mare’s need to sterilize her family. But of course Marie will do anything to prove Debra wrong, even taking the plastic off the couch!
Worst Character-Frank, Ray and Robert…what the heck did Marie do to these guys that the idea of sitting on the couch sans plastic cover literally makes them nervous??
Final Thoughts-I know that scene at the end where Marie takes off the plastic sofa cover and the family nervously sits on it is supposed to be funny, but not so much for me. It’s just awkward. I give this episode credit for the misdirection. You think it’s going to be another episode about Ray looking at a pretty girl (the woman selling the vacuum). And for a second it does seem to go that way, but then it takes a totally different direction and becomes about how Marie spends so much time cleaning her family she never enjoys them. When Marie proves to Debra she can change by taking the cover off the couch, hijinks.
Season 5, Episode 19
Plot Summary-When Marie asks Debra to return a canister Debra insists she returned, Marie apologizes for the accusation. Until Debra discovers she never returned the canister after all!
Nitpick of the episode-Debra uses a word in this episode that would come up again. She insists that if she returns the canister, Marie will be proven right and will suddenly have more power than ever. Power? I never understood what she meant by that, what “power”? Is Marie a Disney villain?
Best Line–“Give your heart to God cause your ass is Marie’s”
Episode Fun Fact –Patricia Heaton won her second Emmy for this one
Deleted Scenes-Ray and Debra getting ready for Easter to bad it was deleted. In the second act when Ray and Debra bring the canister to Marie’s in an attempt to hide it ever wonder why the kids never rat them out? A deleted scene explains that, they basically made the kids promise not to say anything in a better off deleted scene.
Syndication Edit-the tag where Marie gives Debra the canister
Best Character-Frank, taking the fall for Debra was nice. I said before we don’t get to many nice moments between these two, so this is a nice one.
Worst Character-Debra, yeah this is her episode. And of course she can’t accept the consequences for her mistake. She’d rather lie, destroy private property, and try to set up someone else to take the blame. Nice. She even tries to throw the blame Rays way but for once it doesn’t land for a second.
Final Thoughts-I really like this episode, and the Easter framing made me make it an annual Easter tradition to watch it. It’s nice to see a slapstick farce kind of comedy, and this episode actually feels more like a Frasier episode but that’s ok. Course Debra comes off horribly but for once she’s supposed to. It moves fast and all the character reactions are perfect. Not much else to say, just a fun episode.
Grade-A, one of my favorite episodes it was laugh out loud funny the first time I saw it.
Season 5, Episode 20
Plot Summary-Debra is upset that when Ray invests money without telling. When Ray suggests that it’s his money, she gets even more upset!
Nitpick of the episode-Ugh, this episode. I am actually with Debra until the point when she implies she technically makes more than Ray does. Really???? By the way how did he give his friends a check with Debra not knowing about it?
Best Line-“I work for her don’t I?”…Ray
Episode Fun Fact –
Syndication Edit-teaser which sets up the go cart meeting that starts the episode. It also makes the syndicated episode oddly paced with one one scene after a long teaser.
Best Character-Marie, nice to see the responsible side of her as she explains that Frank doesn’t’ control the money. She doesn’t even really take sides in Ray and Debra’s argument for once.
Worst Character-Robert, once again his pro-Debra stuff is annoying. Ray isn’t worth anything aside from a paycheck? C’mon! He does help take care of the kids and even helps out around the house in his own way.
Final Thoughts-How is Debra worth more than Ray? Well that is what this episode is about. Even though Ray technically brings in the money Debra feels she’s worth more because all of the things she does all day. And I get Debra getting upset when Ray says it’s his money so he should be able to do what he wants with it. The problem is he never told her, and that’s wrong, but he shouldn’t need to ask permission to use his money either. This is a difficult issue and in fact the episode never gives a clear answer. To prove her point she bills Ray for all she does, and when Debra suggests she is worth more than Ray, that’s where she loses me! I agree with Ray when he says he actually earns his salary! What does she do, grocery shopping and laundry? I love “child care”, you know the older the kids get the harder it is to whine she has to care for the kids all day when they have school and are old enough to not need 24 hour supervision. Heck, I even agree with Marie when she says she may be entitled to some of that money she does as much as Debra does. Then it becomes a men are stupid thing when Marie reveals what she keeps from Frank and it turns out Debra keeps financial things from Ray. Of course. And of course, it’s ok when she does it! Sigh. The worst thing is this episode is very bland and forgettable, every time I hear the title I have to remind myself what the heck it’s about! For some reason I always confuse it with “Humm Vac”, probably because that one has at least one memorable scene and this one is just dull.
Kind of glad we ended with that one, I need a break. This wasn’t the easiest installment to write! I’ll be back next time to finish off Season 5, with hopefully a lighter tone!