All in the Family

Season 6 Episode 22

Joey's Baptism

Aired Unknown Feb 23, 1976 on CBS

Episode Recap

After returning from church one Sunday afternoon, Edith's recount of the service prompts Archie to ask when their grandson, Joey, will finally be baptized. Edith reminds Archie that he knows how Mike feels about such a thing; however, when Mike and Gloria bring Baby Joey over that day for Archie and Edith to babysit, Archie immediately launches into the subject. Mike and Gloria won't hear of it. Archie tries to persuade them that Joey will be denied entrance into heaven with him and Edith, and then suggests that Joey will be safe from his "own kind" throwing rocks at him if he "has religion." Archie affirms this by admitting that he threw many a rock when he was a kid.

Laughing him off, Mike and Gloria leave. Archie then tries to persuade Edith to assist him in having Joey baptized at Edith's church, on the sly. Edith will not consider such a thing, however, and Archie goes as far as to try to trick her into taking a walk in the park, with the intention of stopping by the church on the way. In the midst of their argument, the telephone rings, and Edith tries to give directions to their house for a clothing pick-up to the driver on the other end. While Edith is in the midst of her explanation, Archie takes advantage of her distraction and grabs an old sweater from the charitable donation pile, and also Joey, who is sleeping on the porch in his baby carriage. By the time Edith makes the discovery that they have left, it's too late.

Once at the church, Archie is dismayed to find out that the Reverend Felcher is not available to perform the baptism, but rather the ethnic Reverend Chong. After a series of politically incorrect gaffes on Archie's part, Reverend Chong assures Archie that he is perfectly capable of giving Joey a Christian baptism, but that he (Reverend Chong) is beginning to sense that Joey's parents are against the idea. After lying to the minister initially, Archie finally offers him a bribe, which the minister refuses.

Daunted once again in his efforts, Archie stops the stroller on his way out beside a station of holy water, before leaving the church. He proceeds to pray, opening a dialogue to God with the line, "A. Bunker here" and asking God not to forsake Joey just because "his old man's a dopey atheist." Archie then lifts Joey from the stroller and sprinkles water on his head, adding, "I hope that took Lord, 'cause they're gonna kill me when I get home."

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