The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: Cousin Virgil (1962)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season two television episode that first aired in April 1962.

Synopsis: Barney (Don Knotts) convinces Andy (Andy Griffith) to give his cousin, Virgil (Michael J. Pollard) a job helping out at the Sheriff's office. However, Virgil proves to be horribly clumsy and, after a series of accidents ranging from crashing the squad car to destroying the keys to the jail cells, Andy wants him gone.


I ultimately wound up mowing our lawn yesterday evening but, while trying to convince myself it was the right thing to do (and grabbing something to eat), I managed to watch this episode first. 

I have seen bits and pieces of this particular episode before. However, up until yesterday, had not actually seen it in its entirety. Maybe it was because I really didn't want to go out and mow, but I found I enjoyed watching it.

I think the thing that really surprised me about this episode was just how impatient Andy wound up being when it came to Barney's cousin. Sure, he does eventually realize why Virgil is so clumsy and helps the young man gain some self confidence. But, up until that point, he just seemed to be as bad as what I would expect from just about any other character on the series.

In fact, Andy was pretty much reluctant to even give Virgil a chance to begin with. To say that is out of character for the Mayberry sheriff would be an understatement. I honestly would have expected to see the exact opposite with Andy doing everything he could to defend Virgil while Barney and everyone else wanted him to go.

My only real complaint about this episode is I wish it would have done a little better job exaggerating his destructive abilities. I'm not saying he didn't do damage. But, some of them, such as accidentally backing the squad car into Andy's garage and breaking glass on a cabinet were kind of minor. In other words, other than destroying the jail keys, he didn't do anything that any ordinary person could do on a bad day. Even when taken in one lump sum, his acts really don't add up to much.

Final Opinion

Again, I would have liked to see Virgil's clumsiness exaggerated a bit more. But, overall, I did enjoy watching this episode and would recommend it.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 05/31/2019, StevenHelmer
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