The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 8: ‘Opie’s Charity’ November 28, 1960. 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:
The episode opens with Opie pitching to Andy in front of the jail. Down the street comes Annabelle Silby who is the head of the children’s charity drive. We have two stories here- the main story is Andy is furious when he finds out from Miss Silby that Opie only donated three cents to the fund. The other story is Annabelle Silby and her ‘late’ husband Tom who was a drunk. Tom is ‘dead’ and Andy seems to delight in making fun of his drinking. Tom was ‘killed’ run over by a taxi cab in Charlotteville. Andy and Annabelle talk about how she threw such a great funeral for Tom. Not long into the episode who shows up but Tom. It turns out Tom had left his nagging wife and Miss Silby who is a very proud person can’t admit it to anyone so she told people he had been killed and went to the trouble of having a funeral for him. Tom is now sober and has decided to come back home. He had been gone two years. Back to the main story- back at home Andy is really ticked at Opie- who says he is saving his money to buy his girlfriend Charlotte something. Andy sends him to his room and goes on a rant to Aunt Bee about how selfish Opie is. Aunt Bee talks a little sense into Andy -that Opie is a good boy and etc. Andy never really allows Opie to explain his situation- about buying Charlotte something. He just sees Opie as being selfish and uncaring of others. Andy is also concerned about how others will view him- if they find out Opie only gave three cents. This is the first of many times where Andy reads Opie wrong- and then discovers that Opie actually did the right thing. In this case when he finds out that what Opie was buying Charlotte was a coat- because Charlotte’s mother couldn’t afford to buy her one. Andy then feels bad about misjudging his son.
There are many times in this series where it seems to me that the best and most sensible person in Mayberry- is Opie. Mrs. Postcard once pointed this out to me and I hadn’t really noticed but Andy is pretty short tempered. I should count the episodes where he loses his temper with Opie or someone else. Opie for the most part usually does the right thing and seems to have some sense. Where this episode is set up for Andy to be teaching Opie a lesson- in the end it’s Opie that teaches Andy a lesson.
- This is the only episode which will have Annabelle and Tom Silby in it. They are never mentioned again. So far eight episodes in the long term characters who have been introduced are – Andy- Opie- Barney, Aunt Bee- with only a token one time appearance by Otis. Of course the list of characters will expand. There have been a number of one episode or two episode characters and of course Miss Ellie doesn’t survive the first season.
- Opie is going to buy Charlotte a coat. I can’t recall off the top of my head- winter ever coming to Mayberry- or even cold weather in an episode. I know North Carolina isn’t exactly in the snow belt but..
- This is the first episode without an appearance by Don Knotts- aka Barney Fife. During the 5ive years in which he was a regular there would be 21 episodes where he was absent. Also no appearance by Ellie Walker in this one.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Frances Bavier- Aunt Bee Taylor
Lurene Tuttle- Annabelle Silby
Stuart Erwin-Tom Silby
Directed by Don Weis
Written by Arthur Stander