Cheers strikes again in this series classic that introduces a love interest for Cliff: Margaret O'Keefe. Annie Golden plays her as an admiring and then adoring woman -- a perfect match for Cliff. "Oh, God, there's another one!" Carla says. "The few." "The proud." "The undatable." Golden is top-notch in her guest appearance -- so good that she would return for more episodes down the line.
The episode itself is terrific. Brian Pollack and Mert Rich wrote this gem with two plots that weave their way into one so brilliantly at the end of the show. In the first, Cliff is designated to train a new postal service employee. He dreads the assignment because "they slow him down". Of course, this leads to the predictable, yet still funny, jokes about slow mail. Well, Cliff meets Margaret, and it is clear quickly that (1) she is a devoted postal employee-to-be and (2) that she has the hots for Cliff.
This begins a "torrid love affair" that involves a motel, stealing a post office vehicle, and corruption at the highest levels of the U.S. Postal Service. One of the best scenes of the episode involves Margaret's plea to Cliff for help. "You have to make up a story to cover for me!" Margaret cries out. "This is my life. My dream," Cliff replies. "This is my shoulder," she retorts. "This is our story," he concludes. So well done.
But then Margaret loses interest in Cliff because he is no longer an innocent man. So she asks that they come clean to the post office, predicting that there would be only small punishment. She is wrong. She ends up being canned while Cliff gets punished in ultimate mailman style: 6 weeks at Rottweiler Ridge.
Her duty for mail is too much. She decides she must go to Canada to deliver mail and asks Cliff to go with her.
Plot #2: Sammy tries another way to have Rebecca melt in his hands. This go-round it involves a song: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". But, before he figures out what song it is, some others ring in their suggestions. One of those songs is "Ballad of the Green Berets."
It is here where Pollack and Rich pull off the master conclusion. Cliff wants to go with Margaret to Canada, but Woody happens to be murmuring the ballad -- and the men of the bar all hum in their support. This leads to a tremendous conclusion where Cliff chooses duty over woman:
One hundred men will test today
But only three win the Green Beret!