Mork & Mindy

Season 1 Episode 18

Mork Goes Erk

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 08, 1979 on ABC

Episode Recap

Mork is trying to cheer Mindy up. He invites a zoo-escaped monkey to live with them. He spent the entire day yesterday walking and talking backwards. He considers sending her hundreds of helium balloons and some liver. He is doing everything he can to cheer Mindy up. But Mindy isn't sad.

What Mindy doesn't know is that Orson has ordered Mork to be transferred to another planet, Toouris, on the other side of the galaxy. When he does tell Mindy, she is stunned by the news. And Mork's faux, "You won't be losing an alien, you'll be gaining an empty room" doesn't help.

According to Bickley, Mindy's subsequent crying was too loud for him to work through. He purchases a set of head phones from Fred, and asks Fred to have Mindy pay for them. He explains the crying episodes. And when Mindy comes into the store, she explains to Fred that Mork is leaving. Bickley, sheltered by the head phones, doesn't hear a word.

Susan Taylor comes in from a vanity purchase, evidently inviting Mindy to lunch. When she sees Mindy in depression, she introduces Mindy to ERK – Ellsworth Revitalization Konditioning. That "conditioning" is spelled with a C just plays into Ellsworth's thesis – for spelling is just another hang-up. ERK enables you to fight mood swings by teaching you how to love yourself.

At the apartment, Mork is still trying to cheer Mindy up, and he presents her with a Zen-O-Matic – a cardboard cube that does nothing. Mindy asks to appeal to Orson herself. But Mork discloses that Orson had revoked the mandate, and made the transfer optional. At first, Mindy was elated, but that was before Mork said he decided to leave.

Mork claimed to be protecting Mindy's emotional structure. He would have to leave eventually, and it's better that he leave after eight months than after ten years. Though Mindy is having trouble coping, Bickley comes in so that he can spread depression all around. Bickley is going through writer's slump, and he perceives that he's lost his creativity. His last attempt at a greeting verse read, "Your pet rabbit died; Poor little muffet; Your two choices are; Eat it or stuff it."

Susan Taylor comes in, and finds sadness everywhere. Bickley is sad because he lost his talent; Mindy is sad because Mork is leaving; and Mork is sad because the rabbit died. Susan uses the opportunity to be heavy-handed about forcing them to attend an ERK meeting.

Ellsworth is a con artist. He plays on those with self-doubt, talking a game of self-improvement, but interested only in acquiring more wealth. Anything he doesn't want to talk about is "just a concept." His favorite argument response is "Sit down and shut up." He's a control freak who disallows even needed bathroom breaks.

One man doesn't understand Ellsworth: Sit down and shut up. Bickley wants a drink, and walks out when Ellsworth doesn't allow it: I already have your check. Mork confronts Ellsworth, suggesting that he treat people with more dignity, a speech given with such passion that it clears the room, and ends the session.

It is time for Mork to leave now. He says his good byes to every piece of furniture, every plant, every knick-knack, and every atomic particle one by one. Mindy interrupts by observing that Mork doesn't practice what he preaches. He denies having emotions, but his speech at ERK the night before betrayed his emotions. Mindy concludes that Mork is not protecting Mindy's emotions, but rather his own.

Mork begins with a half-hearted denial of Mindy's assessment, and then it gets weaker. Just as he reaches the non-climax of his denial, Mindy forces a kiss on Mork, causing Mork to conclude that Orson is a real "nimnul" to deny Orkans their emotions. He picks up a giant playground jack knick-knack, declares that he's staying on earth, and shouts, "I'm back, Jack!"

Orson is first finding out that Mork has changed his mind about the transfer from earth. He discloses his emotions to Orson, though Orson believes that Mork is in error. For Orson believes that Orkans will never evolve until they lose their emotions. But Mork isn't so sure Orson is correct.