The Brady Bunch

Season 2 Episode 20

Lights Out

Aired Unknown Feb 19, 1971 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary


After witnessing a magician performing a disappearing act, a scared Cindy refuses to sleep with the lights off. Meanwhile, Peter begins to develop a magic act and a reluctant Cindy agrees to be his assistant; that is, until Peter seemingly makes Bobby disappear.

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  • Very nice episode

    Youngest Brady Cindy isn't afraid of very much-except maybe mean bullies,getting in trouble for tattling, and having her tonsils out. But this time she's really REALLY afraid of something. So scared that she won't sleep with the lights off in the girls' room,something she's never done before, which of course, disturbs Marcia and Jan. Cindy gets mad that they won't leave them on , but won't offer an explanation why. Mike hears a commotion down the hall, and sends the girls to sleep with the lights off-but Cindy flips them back on. What could be wrong? wonders Mike. Cindy gets to come join Mike and Carol in the big bed-she feels much safer there. Snuggled between her parents, she finally feels brave enough to tell them what's wrong. She and Peter had gone to their friend Jeremy's birthday party, where they were featuring a big magic act, including a disappearing lady in a box. Mike and Carol explain it was only a trick, first you see her, then you don't. But scared Cindy didn't stay around long enough to see that it was just magic-when the lady disappeared, she ran out. Mike and Carol try to settle in with the lights out-but Cindy doesn't like that dark cuz that's when she "thinks about the lady". Carol ties to sooth her by telling her to think of something real pleasant. She seems fine one minute, then gets spooked the next, and back and forth and back and forth.

    Mike is weary the next morning, saying he spent half the night up with Cindy. Peter comes home from school excited-the school is having an old-tyme vaudaville talent show, and he signed up for it. He liked Jeremy's magic show so much that he wants to do magic too. But Mike isn't so sure~maybe they've had enough magic around here for a while with Cindy frightened. But then an inspiration-maybe if Cindy was exposed to more magic and saw how the tricks worked, she'll have less to be afraid of! And Alice says Cindy will make a real cute assistant for him. Cindy is game, but a little reluctant.

    Mike and Peter go downtown to get some supplies for his magic act.(The nutty salesman is the same guy who played the salesman in "Confessions,Confessions"",in a very similar role). He buys Chinese linking rings, trick handcuffs(probably the same prop Alice used in "My Sister Benedict Arnold"),a trick milk pitcher, a jumping bottle trick, a top hat, and a trick wand that turns into a flower. (This guy is a good salesman!) At home, Bobby tries on his tophat, and Greg says it almost made his whole body disappear!

    That night, Peter practices his magic with his family for an audience. They like his tricks and encourage Cindy to lift the canister for the bottle trick. She's warming up to the idea of magic now-especially since Peter told her the secret of the trick! Alice and Carol sew a homemade cape for Peter-a sharp black w/ red lining and the title "Peter the Great" on the back. They sew a miniature cape for Cindy too-but something's she scared again? No, Alice just forgot to sew her name on it!

    Also from the novelty store, Mike has bought the blueprints to a magic cabinet. And, being the talented architect that he is, will build his own (The salesguy had suggested buying a prebuilt cabinet-but Mike says it would make to much of his money "disappear" and the guy cracks up) This cabinet is like the one that scared Cindy at the party, and she's very reluctant to try. But Bobby, who is playing on the swings, is called over by Peter to try out the cabinet to demonstrate to Cindy. Bobby disappears as expected, but what's not expected is, he STAYS disappeared long after he's spose to return! After all that, Cindy is more scared than ever! Darn that Bobby! (But he apparently didn't know that Cindy had gotten scared at the birthday party).

    Cindy is very teary eyed on her bed, and Carol is trying to comfort her. But look who's come back by magic!-it's Bobby who was just playing a joke by sneaking out of the back out the garage. Cindy is ecstatic! She thought he was NEVER coming back, and she gives him a kiss on the cheek. (This is the first of 2 times we see Cindy kiss Bobby-the second one where Cindy gets on the TV quiz show, and Bobby tries to comfort her). Even after Bobby's safe return, Cindy decides to go to bed that night without watching the tricks, Jan will take her place as his assistant in the show. "That magic really has her bugged", says Carol.

    Down at the school tryouts are under way for the talents show. We see the principal (who would be continue to be the principal of Filmore Junior High, and was later referred to as Mr. Watson, ahough there was an entirely different principal of Filmore for Marcia in the slumber party episode-a Mr. Randolph.) and 2 teachers who will be the judges. The first tryout is a nerdy guy named Warren, who plays a VERY long rendition of "Chopsticks" on his accordian. While Warren is playing, Peter and Mike wait backstage, when they get a call on the payphone (pre cell fone days lol) from Jan who is in the nurse's office because she sprained her ankle in gym. Now she can't be Peter's lovely assitant!

    Jan fones home, and Carol is out of the house, so Cindy takes the call. She becomes concerned when she hears Jan can't do the magic Alice brings her down-she has taken the wings off her fairy princess costume-and added the cape-now Cindy is ready to be his sidekick! Even braver, she is ready to try the disappearing cabinet for herself. She likes it so much she decides to do it again-and Mr. Watson and the teachers clap for her.

    In the end , Mike comes home with what looks like flowers for carol-but it's only Peters pretend flower from his magic wand-and she chases him away playfully.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • It seems strange that Alice was able to get Cindy to the talent show tryouts in time to help Peter when (1) Mike was already at the school with Peter, (2) Carol was there for Jan's ankle, and (3) Alice doesn't drive.

    • In this episode Marcia, Peter and Jan were all in junior high school, but they should not have been in junior high school together. Since Marcia started High School 2 years later, Marcia should have been in 7th grade. Since Peter would have started high school 2 years after Marcia according to the last episode of the series and Jan was 3 years younger than Marcia according to Season 3 episode "My Sister's Shadow" Peter and Jan should have been in 4th and 5th grade in this episode.

    • The people who played the judges at the school auditorium were actually Florence Henderson and Barry Williams' stand-ins.

    • When Cindy shows up at the school auditorium to help Peter with the show, Alice comments to Mike "I took the wings off the Fairy Princess costume". But this costume she wore only the season before had a long skirt on it, etc. and was different.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (0)