The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: “Andy and Opie’s Pal”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season four Andy Griffith episode that first aired in 1964

Synopsis: Opie (Ron Howard) makes friends with the new kid in school and does everything with him. However, when he sees Andy (Andy Griffith) spending some quality time with the new kid too, he starts to feel some jealousy. This puts their new friendship in danger as he tries to find a way to prevent Andy and his friend from spending so much time together, something that doesn’t go unnoticed by Andy.

Guest Stars

Guest stars include David Alan Bailey and Richard Keith.

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What Not to Do As a Parent

My wife had an appointment to go to last night so, while we were waiting for her to get home, my oldest daughter and I ended up watching this episode when we came across it on TV. Overall, I thought the plot was OK but I honestly wasn’t as big of a fan of this episode as I thought I would be.

This was my first time seeing this particular episode of the show and, because of that, I wasn’t really sure what was going to end up happening. In fact, when I first started watching it, I figured it would be about Opie spending too much time with the new kid (Bailey) and maybe the kid would turn out to be a bad influence. However, when I saw Andy treating the kid like a second son, it became obvious there would ultimately be some tension there.

And, to be perfectly honest, I think Andy was kind of clueless for a good portion of this episode. Did he really think Opie would be OK with him letting the new boy use his fishing pole or hold a (unloaded) gun? That is basically in the “what not to do” category of parenting 101 and I really lost some respect for him as a dad.

Also, while admittedly somewhat funny, I kind of thought that part toward the end, where Andy was pretending to end his friendship with Barney (Don Knotts) was pretty harsh. The least he could have done was pull Barney aside and warn him considering he decided, on the fly, to be a big jerk toward his long-time friend. Personally, if I were Barney, I wouldn’t have been so willing to accept his apology.

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Final Opinion

The premise of this particular episode was an interesting one. However, I did lose some respect for Andy both as a parent and as a person in general. It’s one thing to show he isn’t perfect. But, this episode went a little too far and made him seem like he wasn’t a very good dad or friend.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 05/14/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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