Season 5 Episode 5

Flowers for Matthew

Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM Oct 28, 1998 on NBC



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Matthew: I finally understand National Public Radio.
      Dave: You understand everything they say?
      Matthew: No. I understand it's boring crap masquerading as bourgoise intellectual discourse and therefore not worth my time.

    • Lisa: First of all, don't ever kiss me again. Second of all, don't ever kiss me again. And third of all, don't ever kiss me again.
      Max: I'm sorry, I panicked.
      Lisa: It doesn't matter. That was beyond inapporpriate.
      Max: What? The kissing itself or the involvement of tongue?
      Lisa: Ugh! Both, both. And I think you owe it to me to go in there and tell Beth the truth.
      Max: About the involvement of tongue?

    • Dave: Who was Nixon?
      Matthew: Yoda.
      Dave: Naw. See here it falls apart because Yoda was a wise old pacifist.
      Matthew: No he was a muppet.

    • Jimmy: Son, you really readin' all these books at the same time?
      Matthew: Yep.
      Jimmy: What about this one? It's upside down.
      Matthew: Mr. James, no offence, but have you ever read four books at a time?
      Jimmy: No.
      Matthew: Then don't tell me how to do it.

    • Jimmy: What exactly is in that smart drink, Joe?
      Joe: What's it worth to you?
      Jimmy: You got scientific documentation?
      Joe: I just updated my data as a matter of fact.
      Jimmy: Let's see.
      Dave: "11:35 AM: Test subject now wicked smart."

    • Matthew: I was looking at this story assignment that you gave me. You know, "donuts vs. bagels, which one is rounder".
      Dave: Yeah.
      Matthew: And it kind of occurred to me that this is the sort of thing we'd never ever put on the air.
      Dave: Ooh, I don't know about "never ever".

    • Max: What if she just wants to be friends?
      Lisa: Well, so she likes you as a friend.
      Max: Lisa, I have friends. What I need is sex.
      Lisa: You have friends?
      Max: No. But what I need is sex.
      Lisa: Last week you told me you wanted a soul mate.
      Max: Yes, a soul mate to have sex with.
      Lisa: Max, I don't want to be your confidante.
      Max: I know but. (Beth walks by) Does that car come with a V8?
      Lisa: You know this is a news station not a car dealership. You could at least try to make your lies plausible.
      Max: I'm sorry, I panicked. (Jimmy walks by) How much is the driver's side airbag, sir?

    • Dave: Joe, what have I told you about experimenting on Matthew?
      Joe: Relax dude. It's not like I'm testing cosmetics on him.
      Dave: Sure, not anymore.
      Joe: Man, even I admitted that was wrong.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • Lisa: Who is Wile E. Coyote?
      Matthew: A latter day Sisyphus.

      Wile E. Coyote is the obsessive nemesis of the Roadrunner in the Loonie Tune cartoons directed by Chuck Jones. Although determined in his pursuit of the bird, Wile E. is doomed to failure within inches of acheiving his goal, despite his own genius. Sisyphus is a character from classical Greek mythology. The crafty king incurred the anger of the gods and was tormented in the afterlife. Given of the task of rolling a huge boulder to a mountain's summit, Sisyphus would labour mightily only to eternally see the boulder roll back down the slope before reaching the top. He has ever after stood as figure representing someone trapped in a punishing task with no end.

    • Jimmy: What you did was good, Matthew. Real good.

      Freaked out by Matthew's apparent superhuman powers, Jimmy adopts a defensive strategy from the episode "It's a Good Life" from The Twilight Zone (11/3/61). Faced with the prospect of a small boy with godlike powers, the citizens of a terrorized small town try to keep on his good side by pronouncing his every horrific whim "a good thing".

    • Joe: You read our lips like a computer?
      Matthew: No. Like a deaf person.

      Joe is remembering one of the most memorable moments from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Oddysey (1968) where the mad computer HAL reads the lips of the humans plotting his destruction through the window of the space pod they secreted themselves in.

    • Lisa: Just when I think I'm out, they drag me back in.

      Frustrated over the way people keep involving her in their personal lives, Lisa channels Michael Corleone from The Godfather Part II (1974).

    • Title: Flowers for Matthew

      The title is taken from Daniel Keyes' novella Flowers for Algernon (1959) where a mentally challenged adult is temporarily raised to a genius level intellect before tragically reverting to his former state. It won a Hugo Award for science fiction short story in 1960 and was expanded to a longer form which won a Nebula Award in 1966. In 1968 it was adapted into an Oscar winning film called Charly.