Marcia decides in secret to enter her new stepfather, whom she's crazy about, it the local paper's "Father of the Year" contest. Keeping it a secret involves some suspect behavior on her part--sneaking into Mike's den without permission, turning in homework late, and the coup de gras, sneaking out of the house late at night to mail the essay in question. Of course, she's caught trying to sneak back in, and is promptly grounded from the family skiing trip. Flash forward to a bunch of newspapermen coming to the house and--surprise!--presenting Mike with the award. When told the essayist was none other that his daughter, Marcia, the violins swell, and a young, teary-eyed Maureen McCormick, pigtails, braces and all, rushes into her new daddy's arms. This is the one and only episode of the Brady Bunch that, literally, chokes me up every time I see it. The writers of this series dealt very well with the issue of "blending" two families during the first season. There are more than a few episodes that deal with the problems of two families becoming one. It's nicely handled and not at all glossed over.
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