Episode Title: Only ‘Til Friday
Season 09, Episode 13
Episode 203 of 344
Written by James Stanley
Directed by Lawrence Kasha
Original Airdate: Thursday, January 7th, 1988
The Plot (Courtesy of TV.Com): Greg grieves for Laura. Paige is suprised to find Greg at home, but he tells her he's still in New York. He calls the MacKenzies and says he's been delayed and will be gone longer. Abby and Charles have a romantic day at an amusement park and horseback riding, but then Judith calls and Charles says he has to leave. Instead, Charles comes back and tells Abby he can't leave her and make the same mistake twice. Johnny Rourke, an "Irishman," tells a woman on an airplane that he is flying to see his girlfriend Paige Matheson. He steals the woman's credit cards and later buys a gun in a bar. Val tells Gary about Jill's visit and that they should just remain ex's. Gary's angry with Jill, but Jill says she told Val he's a free man, so Val must not want him. The Williams family, Pat and daughter Julie, move into Laura's house.
Welcome to Only ‘Til Friday, an ep I’m very eager to discuss. Now that Laura is dead and buried, Rest in Peace, we are ready to have some new characters move into her empty house, and yes, they are black. As a smug little liberal, this makes me happy, because even though we have had black people in the previous eight seasons of KL, and even though I’ve always generally liked the way they were portrayed, not as horrible stereotypes, but as interesting characters in their own right (Karen’s amazing black Liar Liar doctor from season six comes to mind), we’ve never had main characters who were black, and now we do. Should I discuss the new neighbors first or should I get some of the other storylines out of the way? I think I’ll go with the latter, so let’s begin by discussing the dullest storyline right now, Abs and Basil Exposition. Be sure to get your pillow and your nightcap.
Oh sigh, how sad it is to watch a great character like Abs drift through such a boring and meandering storyline. Even in the depths of season eight, when everything seemed to be going wrong with the show, I think Abs still came out smelling like a rose, being given the great storyline of Olivia on coke and working wonders with it through her topnotch acting. Now, however, as the show rapidly improves itself from last year’s problems, Abs is feeling adrift. Again, I get it, I can see what the writers were trying to do; they are trying to both explain how Abby’s first love turned her into the woman we see before us now, while also showing a more vulnerable side of Abs. Unfortunately, it just isn’t working for me, mostly because she and Basil Exposition have absolutely no chemistry. I’m a bit of a Basil fan from Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet and Logan’s Run and of course the Austin Powers movies, but could he possibly be less interesting on this series? You just look at the man and you can tell that he thinks this series is beneath him, even though it’s obviously the greatest thing he will ever appear in and he should be honored to be around television royalty like Donna Mills. I think Donna is doing her best to make this work, but she has a bad acting partner who doesn’t even want to try.
Okay, so what do they do in the confines of this ep? Well, mostly it’s a bunch of the same old shit about how Basil is still married to his cunty wife and how he keeps promising to leave her, but then he doesn’t, Bob Loblaw. One thing I put in my notes is that Basil shows up ready to take Abs to see Baryshnikov dance, but it’s the same night as Brian’s school play, so then we cut to the two of them at the play. I guess that’s kinda funny, but I also found it almost offensive, and perhaps that’s the result of being raised by a mother who owns a dance studio and has danced her entire life. To me, if you have the chance to see Mikhail Baryshnikov dance, you go and see him dance and you drop whatever else was on your agenda. It’s sorta like how if a Kubrick or a De Palma film is screening in a theater; you drop what you are doing and you go fucking see it because it’s art and it needs to be seen. I get that Brian might have been upset if Abs didn’t go to his play, but it’s Baryshnikov; go see him dance. At the same time, I guess the fact that Abs chooses her child over a dancing legend further demonstrates that she’s not a shabby mother. She has her problems elsewhere, but she loves her kids and treats them right. Anyway, aside from that, Abs tells Basil he should go back to his wife, and then at the end of the ep, he shows up and is like, “Abs, I love you!” Anyway, it’s boring and that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.
Meanwhile, Greg is still enjoying his little staycation, having left Meg at the MacKenzie’s house last ep. Everyone assumes Greg is in New York doing whatever you do in New York in the ‘80s (try not to get raped and murdered, I imagine), but really he’s just hanging around his house and enjoying some time alone. However, his ruse, his cunning attempt to trick everyone, is discovered by one Paige Matheson, who is now enjoying her job at an art gallery and drops by Sumner’s ranch to leave him a painting. Before this occurs, however, I would be remiss in my duty if I did not point out Cigar #32 on the Sumner Cigar Counter, this one smoked while he calls up Mack and lies about his whereabouts. Anyway, after the scene with the cigar, Paige shows up to drop off the painting, she grab the phone to make a quick phone call, only to hear Greg’s voice on the line. He comes marching out into the living room (wearing a Hawaiian shirt; I love it) and when Paige says, “I thought you were in New York,” he says, “I am in New York, in spirit,” another great line. So now Paige knows his little secret, but I’d say the secret is safe with her.
Let me take a radical and probably unexpected detour to discuss how stunningly beautiful Nicolette looks in this scene and, in general, during her entire tenure on the show. I’m still gay and I’ll always be gay; I love having sex with men, but I’m starting to think that I could get it up for Nicolette and could probably have sex with her successfully (whether she would enjoy it or not is debatable, since I’ve never been with a woman and have no idea what the hell is going on down there). I’ve often said Donna Mills is the only woman I would shag (in a hot tub, of course), but fuck, Nicolette is hot. Her hair is the greatest, her outfits rock, and she just has this commanding presence about her. I’m gonna go into some extreme hyperbole and say that I think she’s one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, and she’s at her most beautiful here. I suppose this somewhat relates to the stories on the show, because we are clearly started to get a romance sizzling between Greg and Paige, something a lot of fans don’t like. Yeah, they are decades apart in age, but the first time I watched the show, I don’t remember it bothering me. I’ve never been as obsessed with age as some people are; if someone is a consenting adult, I think they can have sex with whoever they want. Is it a little creepy that Sumner is 24 years older than Paige (who hasn't gotten SORAS yet but I think is going to next season), that he would have been a young adult when she was just a newborn? I guess so, but whatever. My point is that Nicolette is so beautiful and so stunning that I could totally understand why Sumner would get a boner for her, and I don’t judge.
I was so excited about the black people being introduced into the series that I almost forgot about another character, one who, well, I’m not sure I like him or not. This character would be Johnny Rourke, a bearded Irishman (although I think he’s not really Irish cuz Paige has some line about how he was never good at keeping his accent straight). Anyway, this character is played by Peter Reckell, and somehow I watched the entire series through once before and never bothered to look at this guy’s IMDb page. Well, I just took a look at it turns out he wound up on a daytime soap (no judgment there, acting is hard and daytime soaps are good work if you can get it), Days of Our Lives, playing Bo Brady. Actually, it turns out he started playing that character in 1983 and he’s still playing him as of 2015, pretty impressive. So I guess his time on KL is kinda mixed in with his Days of Our Lives time. Anyway, we first meet Johnny on an airplane, talking to an old woman about how he’s going to California to see his girlfriend, Paige Matheson. However, after telling Granny this story, he also steals her credit card and uses it to pay for another flight (I guess the airport guy doesn’t notice that the credit card says “Granny” on it). So right away, we are not quite sure about this character; on one hand, he yoinked the old woman’s credit card, but on the other hand, he subtly slips it back into her purse a moment later, so I guess he’s not completely wicked? I’ll be honest and say I remember almost nothing about what Johnny Rourke contributes to the show (aside from some lousy singing that we will discuss in a few eps), but I do know he’ll be around for roughly 30 eps and will make his final appearance in The Perfect Opportunity in 1989.
By the way, I feel like it’s been awhile since I shined a spotlight on a random one-episode character and discussed the person playing that character, so let’s go ahead and do that now with Granny, who is credited as “Mrs. Johnson” and is played by Natalie Core. Well, I looked at her IMDb and she is in not one, but two childhood favorites of Brett’s, the first being landmark cinematic accomplishment Clifford and the other being the even more brilliant Dunston Checks In, a movie I watched so much as a kid that the VHS actually disintegrated. And hey, look at this, she was also in Airport 1975 (that’s the most famous one cuz it’s the one where Karen Black lands the plane and it’s the one Airplane! spoofs the heaviest). Anyway, Natalie Core, ladies and gentlemen.
For the time being, I’m fairly indifferent to Johnny Rourke, but we shall see how I feel throughout his time on the show. Now, let’s move our attention over to the new neighbors on the block, the Williams family. There are three members of this family, but we only meet two this ep, mother Patricia and daughter Julie. The father will be showing up a few eps down the line, and I love him, too, but for the confines of this ep, we only meet these two. Pat Williams is played by the exceptionally gorgeous Lynne Moody. Seriously, not to sound like I’m objectifying women (although I also objectify men; look no further than every single thing I’ve ever said about Sexy Michael), but how gorgeous is Lynne Moody? She’s so beautiful that every single time she comes onscreen, My Beloved Grammy says, “Oh, she’s just so beautiful.” Also, she has a very impressive resume, with credits including Roots (which I’ve actually never seen, but has always been on my list of things I gotta watch) and All in the Family (interestingly, she was the only person recast when they spunoff into The Jeffersons) and she was also a Playboy Bunny, which is pretty awesome. So that's Pat, but we’ve also got daughter Julie, played by Kent King. It’s nice to see this actress is still busy, with her most recent credit being in 2017. She’s also got credits for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Wayans Brothers and a whole bunch of other stuff.
The two Williams ladies don’t do very much in this ep, but there is a certain cloud of suspicion over them when we first meet them. Karen is being welcoming by bringing them a chocolate cake, but she’s also being kinda nosy. I’m flashing back to the Pilot and the way that Karen greeted Gary and Val as soon as they arrived, and I guess the same is true here, but she didn’t seem quite as nosy way back in 1979 as she does now. What makes the Williams seem kinda suspicious is that Pat just seems a smidge too prepared to answer questions about where they’re from and how they wound up here on the cul-de-sac. She sorta gives off this big speech about how she got laid off and needed a new job and it just sounds a smidge too rehearsed, like some kids who have worked to get their story straight before having to talk to the school principal. I’ll just let the cat out of the bag right now, mostly because I’m now pretty sure nobody is reading this blog without having a full knowledge of the series and all the things that happened, so I’ll give a minor spoiler and say that, a few eps down the line, we find out that the Williams family is in witness protection. I bring this up because pretty much the very second that Pat and Julie arrived, My Beloved Grammy was like, “I’ll bet they’re in witness protection,” and I was just like, “Yeah.” When My Beloved Grammy makes her eerily accurate predictions, I usually just tell her if she’s right or wrong, and in this case, she called it almost right away.
You know, that’s about it for this ep, which I found very enjoyable. I think I liked Weak Moment better cuz it started with that ‘80s song and had a little more cinematic flair, but I also probably liked it because it was so heavily focused on Gary and Val, who are not as prevalent in this ep. This one is more about getting new stories going, bringing us Pat and Julie Williams as well as the mysterious Johnny Rourke. Now that both Lilimae and Laura are gone from the series forever, I can feel us shifting into a somewhat new era of the show, but I’m fine with it because I think these new characters (well, maybe not Johnny Rourke) show a lot of promise.
Alright, that’s all I have to say about Only ‘Til Friday, so let’s move right along to Ties That Bind.