The Wonder Years

Season 3 Episode 12

The Powers That Be

Aired Unknown Jan 23, 1990 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Powers That Be
Trouble begins in the Arnold household when Grandpa Arnold arrives and gives Kevin a dog - a responsibility Jack doesn't think Kevin can handle.

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  • Sheer perfection

    Another marvelous episode of how Wonder Years had lots of heart while resisting the tendency to get sappy. You can practically feel the years of struggle between dad and gramps, with somehow poor Kevin getting stuck in the middle--summed up by him attempting to give the puppy back in disgust. And nobody even mentions what it was all about, because you don't have to. After all those years, it sort of goes beyond words. Another scene that has stayed with me all these years was Jack doing Kramden, only to have Gramps ridicule his effort. Sheer perfection!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Jack: (sees his father run over the lamppost again with the car) Damn it, Dad!
      Grampa: (referring to the lamppost)Why do you put this thing so close to the driveway?
      Jack: Why don't you stay on the damn driveway?!

    • Narrator: And for some reason, maybe the way he said it, I began to understand. He wasn't giving me an order. My dad, was asking me for help. That morning, as I stood with the man who was my father... The son of my grandfather, the man who would one day be the grandfather of my son's...I realized something. That not all gifts are simple. That some battles are fought out of love.

    • Jack: I think we need a dog. You, me, gramps...I think we need to do this.

    • Narrator: I wanted them to tell me why they were fighting. Why they kept hurting each other like this. Why it was that the two men who meant the whole world to me...had to act like - children. But most of all, I just wanted them to stop.

    • Narrator: From the pawn...through the established the lord and master of all things great and small. But one week out of the year, a force would blow into town that even my father could not control... Grampa Arnold.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Episode title: The powers that be is a phrase used to refer to any group that holds power over a certain entity: politicians, television and film writers, CEOs, etc. It actually originated from the Bible (Romans 13:1).