Synopsis: When Andy (Andy Griffith) alerts Gomer (Jim Nabors) to a small fire at Wally’s Garage, he overreacts and, thinking Andy saved his life and despite Andy’s protests, decides to start doing various “favors” for his friend as a way of paying him back. This, of course, causes a major disruption and forces Andy to find a way to convince Gomer he has paid his debt in full.
The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: “Andy Saves Gomer”
A review of the season 4 episode that first aired in March of 1964.
Guest stars include Howard McNear as Floyd the Barber.
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Jim Nabors Makes This Episode Memorable
I have always thought this particular show lost something when Jim Nabors left for his spin-off series “Gomer Pyle: USMC.” And, this episode is a good example of what he and his famous character brought to the series.
The thing that made this funny was the fact Gomer’s life was never really in danger. Andy discovered a bit of smoke coming from a barrel, woke up a napping Gomer and then poured water on the smoldering rags. So, the fact Gomer thinks of Andy as some sort of hero is just hilarious.
Of course, what really makes this particular episode entertaining is how Gomer, in true Gomer form, manages to make things increasingly more difficult for Andy and his family by trying to help, such as when he breaks eggs while trying to help Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) in the kitchen. The fact Andy, Aunt Bee and Opie (Ron Howard) had to resort to hiding in the jail just to have a quiet lunch was fantastic.
Another thing I liked about this episode is the twist at the end, when Andy decides to trick Gomer into believing he repaid the favor by saving Andy’s life too, only to have it get screwed up to the point Gomer had to be saved yet again. This was somewhat unexpected and I love how Andy still found a way to turn things around so he didn’t have Gomer trying to repay him for the rest of their lives. It was brilliant writing that you just don’t see in many shows.
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As I said before, this show lost something when Jim Nabors left it and I honestly don’t see this episode being anywhere near as funny if it involved anyone other than his iconic Gomer Pyle character. This episode was funny to watch and the twist at the end kept it from becoming as predictable as I thought it would end up being. I would definitely recommend taking the time to watch it if you get a chance to.
My Grade: A