The genius of this episode is that it exposes Meathead for what he is at heart - not a bad guy, really, but a double-minded hypocrite who imagines himself superior because he's so self-righteously tolerant.
Edith's speech at the end about Archie being jealous is kind of out of left-field. A bit nonsequiteur, a little too deep for her, and a bit of a pacifier for the leftists who imagine that the rest of the world is jealous of them =D
It's pretty much just a half hour of Edith, Mike, Gloria, Lionel and some other couple playing a game called Group Therapy, but Mike gets upset when everyone on the game rips on him and disagrees with whatever he says. Yep, just 22 minutes of people ripping on Mike and Mike getting frustrated.
So, you may ask, why the perfect score? It's a funny episode. Mike freaking out and throwing the game on the floor, that woman having to sit on someone's lap who was 'making her nervous', Mike giving Archie a hug (Edith may be slightly dumb and gullible a lot of the time, but she is pretty smart in the last scene of this episode), etc. It's a decent episode with a good ending. A+
This episode is very powerful. The primary thing that makes this episode so great is that Mike is confronted with the real reasons for the tension between him and Archie. Edith points out to Michael that the reason that he is so angry with Archie all of the time is that he feels that he owes Archie a great deal for allowing him to live in his home. Mikes fear that he will not be able to repay Archie for all he has done fuels Mike’s resentment toward Archie.
Furthermore, Edith lets Mike know that Archie doesn’t hate him, but points out that he is jealous that Mike has his whole future ahead of him and is capable of things that Archie can no longer hope for himself.
If you’ve ever been on either end of the situation just described you will find that this episode hits the nail on the head. It is not overly sappy and is not heavy handed. The revelations are presented in such a way that you completely empathize with both Mike and Archie. A classy work all the way.
Mike gets a game called "Group Therapy" which gets the players to ask some very revealing and brutally honest questions. Mike constantly gets selected and dissected which makes himm act childish and upend the game and go out to kitchen to sulk. Edith goes out to kitchen to talk to him and one of the finest moments of this show's history plays out.
Edith tries to explain to Mike why Archie treats him the way he does- with the insults about being a Polack meathead, not working but instead going to college, etc. Mike blows her off but she firmly tells him he will listen to what she has to say.
Edith explains that Archie had to quit school and support his family. Without a college education, he will never go any further than he is right now (working on a loading dock) and he knows it. She goes on further to explain that Archie ridicules Mike not out of dislike or hatred but jealousy. He knows that when Mike finishes college, a lot of doors will open for him that Archie has no chance of seeing. As Edith says, "He sees all the things in you that he can never be."
Great character development here- we see that Mike for all his smarts and education can be even more childish and pig-headed than Archie. And Edith, constantly called "dingbat" by Archie, has a wonderful insight into human nature. Awesome episode- if I see it's on TV Land, I'll always watch it!
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