The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: “Goodbye Sheriff Taylor”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 5 episode that first aired in November of 1964.

Synopsis: Andy (Andy Griffith) is offered a job in Raleigh and gives it serious consideration. Since Barney (Don Knotts) would be the obvious choice to take over the sheriff’s department if he leaves, he decides to let his deputy be sheriff for a day while he travels to Raleigh to explore the opportunity further. Barney is excited by the opportunity, until everything goes wrong at once and he discovers he isn’t prepared.

Guest Stars

Guest stars include Burt Mustin and Andrew Duncan.

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Sheriff Barney Fife

I ended up watching this episode the other day after my daughter and I had just finished the Don Knotts’ movie “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” And, I have to say, this episode was almost as funny as that movie was.

Of course, to be honest, the first time I heard Andy mention Barney as being the natural choice to replace him, I thought that concept was hilarious. After all, what has he done in the time he served as deputy to indicate he is, in any shape or form, ready to be the sheriff? I actually had a hard time believing anyone in Mayberry would be willing to go along with that and have to wonder if maybe he just gave Barney the opportunity so he wouldn’t feel as bad if Andy did leave and the community picked someone else.

That being said, I do have to admit this episode didn’t convince me there were better candidates for the job. After all, Barney did weed out potential deputy candidates and the best he could come with was Goober (George Lindsey), Otis (Hal Smith) and Judd (Mustin). So, maybe Andy was right and he was the best candidate after all.

The way everything went wrong at once, ranging from a child getting his head stuck in a sewer to a major car accident was pretty entertaining, especially since we all know how high strung Barney can be. However, I also liked how the episode did take a moment to show even Andy has his moments when he’s in over his head too, giving Barney a little more credit for the job he did, despite the mistakes.

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Final Opinion

This is an entertaining episode that I definitely enjoyed watching, simply because it was interesting to have a glimpse of what the sheriff’s department would be if Barney was the one in charge. It was great to see that and still having an ending that didn’t have him feeling like a complete and total failure.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 03/02/2016, StevenHelmer
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