Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Apr 19, 1990 on NBC
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Episode Summary

On Nantucket Island, Joe Hackett, owner and sole pilot of Sandpiper Air, receives a letter from the executor of his late father's will. The letter contains a package to be opened only in the presence of his brother, Brian, who had run off with Joe's fiancée Carol six years ago, and to whom Joe had not spoken to since. At the urging of Helen, proprietress of the airport lunch counter and longtime friend to both brothers, Joe calls up Brian to invite him to the island. After Brian's arrival, the two open the package only to discover a key to a security deposit box. Expecting to a find a fortune, the two brothers head of to the bank. But they return with another key, this one to a lock in Boston. The trail of keys continue, until they return to Nantucket with a key belonging to an unknown lock. Frustrated at the meaningless chase, the strained peace between the two brothers dissolves. The painful subject of Carol is brought up, but Brian reveals that Carol ran off with another man only two weeks ago. Just as Brian is ready to leave the airport, Fay discovers that the key belongs to one of the lockers at the airport. Inside is one last suitcase, and inside that nothing but joke snakes and a picture of young Joe and Brian together. Their father's last wish was to have his estranged sons reunited, and that wish is granted as Brian accepts Joe's job offer to be a pilot for Sandpiper.moreless

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Steven Weber

Steven Weber

Brian Hacket

Timothy Daly

Timothy Daly

Joe Hackett

Crystal Bernard

Crystal Bernard

Helen Chappel Hackett

Thomas Haden Church

Thomas Haden Church

Lowell Mather (Seasons 1-6)

David Schramm

David Schramm

Roy Biggins

Rebecca Schull

Rebecca Schull

Fay Evelyn Schlob Dumbly DeVay Cochran

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: Although Lowell was definitely around when Joe, Brian, and Helen were growing up, and they may not have known who he was, they don't appear to have known him personally at the time (as Helen's comment "We didn't even know you then" in "This Old House" would indicate). It's hardly surprising that Brian would fail to recognize someone he hadn't seen in years who he barely knew in the first place.

    • Goof: Brian doesn't know who Lowell is, but in later episodes everyone seems to have been familiar with Lowell since they were children. In the second part of "Burnin' Down the House," Joe and Brian's dad refers to Lowell as the "Mather Boy" who Joe ran into with his bike when they were little. Several other episodes, such as "Remembrance of Flings Past" and "Miss Jenkins," even indicate that Joe, Brian and Helen went to school with Lowell.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Brian : Excuse me, excuse me, hi. I'm looking for the owner of Aeromass Airlines, I've gotta shake his hand.
      Roy : That'd be me. Roy Biggins.
      Brian : Hi.
      Roy : And you are?
      Brian : Call me Brian.
      Roy : Brian.
      Brian : I just came off one of your flights and sir you are a genius.
      Roy : I am?
      Brian : Oh you bet you are. I mean I've heard of some creative cost cutting measures before but getting rid of the life jackets, it's inspired. Sure tell them they're under the seats but nobody ever checks so why have 'em.
      Roy : They are so under the seats.
      Brian : Oh sure they are, sure they are. Oh and getting a pilot fresh out of flight school must have saved you some serious coin, huh? Nice kid too, had a couple of drinks with him before the flight. It's too bad about that eye operation though but it's like he said, how often do you have to look left anyway.

    • Brian : Good old St. Joe.
      Joe : Stop it right there, Brian.
      Brian : Solid citizen Joe, he always does the right thing. You know I bet you don't even tear that stupid tag off the mattress.
      Joe : It says 'do not remove.'
      Brian : I knew it.

    • Brian : You look a little tired.
      Joe : No, I'm fine.
      Brian : Hey, I know you Joe. You're the best pilot around but you're doing too much. You're running the office, you're flying the planes you keep this pace up you're gonna end up like Howard Hughes, locked in a hotel, sitting on Kleenex, sucking apple sauce through a straw.
      Lowell : Isn't that something. All that money and his hobbies are the same as mine.
      Brian : Really? He also used to collect toenail clippings and keep them in a mason jar.
      Lowell : This is uncanny.

    • Fay: You've got six passengers and a crate of lobsters that have to be delivered alive. The lobsters, not the people. Although I'm sure the people would appreciate it too.

    • Fay: For those of you going out to meet arriving passengers, we found out, due to one particularly nasty incident, it's best to wait for the propellers to come to a complete stop.

    • Joe: It never fails, every time I fly, I come back a little surer there's a god.
      Lowell: I go down to the dump and shoot rats.

    • Joe: Ok now, remember Brian, whatever is in this suitcase, we split in two.
      Brian: What if it's a puppy?

    • Brian: Whoa! Major hooters!

  • NOTES (1)

    • Helen establishes in this episode that she used to be seriously overweight when she was younger, and it becomes clear that Joe is compulsively neat. This is the first of many times that the writers of "Friends" seem to have "borrowed" material from "Wings," when they combined these two issues for the character of Monica Geller.