The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 23: Andy And Opie, Housekeepers. March 13, 1961. 1 STAR OUT OF 5 STARS.
The episode begins with Aunt Bee getting on Opie and Andy for being messy- which sets things up when she gets a long distance call from cousin Edgar in Mt. Pilot, Aunt Maude is sick so Bee is going to head over there for a few days leaving the boys alone.
You’d think she was going away forever. She will be gone a couple days but she is worried about how Andy and Opie will take care of themselves and is in near tears when Barney comes to take her to the bus station. [ Barney is only mentioned not seen]
After Bee leaves Andy tells Opie how they will keep things in order while Bee is gone- but that quickly is forgotten as the house becomes a disaster area. It looks like a hurricane has come through- totally unrealistic.
After a couple days Bee calls again long distance from Mt. Pilot and you get the standard screaming into the phone- because after all it is long distance. Bee is coming home. The house is still a total mess so they get things cleaned up and in order. Then Opie says they will show Aunt Bee they can do well without her. Andy immediately sees the problem there. Aunt Bee needs to feel needed. So they totally mess the house up again before going down to the bus station to get Aunt Bee who is coming home.
Bertha Edwards [who in the future will turn into regular Clara Edwards] passes them on the way to get Bee. She goes into the house and sees the disaster and of course cleans things up. When they get home- Bee is hurt when she sees the living room is sparkling clean. She’s in tears as she says how proud she is of the boys-but she’s actually feeling unneeded of course. So Andy tells Opie to go up and destroy his room while he goes into the kitchen and messes everything up. Of course when Aunt Bee sees all this she is in her glory. She is needed again.
In the final scene Bertha [Clara Edwards] drops over and asks Bee how she found the house. When she says it was a mess and goes into detail- Bertha gets upset and storms out. Aunt Bee is mystified by her behavior as Andy hides his face behind the newspaper.
This is easily one of the worst episodes in the entire series. Andy and Opie dominate the episode which is a problem. This episode is totally unrealistic and they try and make a kind of slapstick episode out of it. The problem is there are no laughs. Andy isn’t funny. The last episode Cyrano Andy- was also a very unrealistic episode but it was saved by Barney. This episode has nothing to save it. Too much Andy and they tried too hard to be funny. Again I didn’t get one chuckle out of the whole episode. This is also the second episode in a row where they are getting away from the strength of the show- Mayberry and its citizens and narrowing the cast to just a few. Last episode it was Andy/ Ellie/ Barney and Thelma Lou. This episode just Andy/ Opie and Aunt Bee. I know this is a television show but- when Bertha comes in and cleans the house while Andy goes to get Bee at the bus station- they would have had to have been gone all day for her to have had the time to clean the mess. This episode also has the feel of very early television. Again I think the main gripe I have on this is- trying too hard. I give it one star out of kindness. Poor script. Also- again- too much Andy. He’s just not funny as the clown- but is as the straight man to Barney. To finish on a positive note- the only plus I see in this episode is it shows the closeness in the relationship between Andy and Opie which was one of the strong points in the series.
- This is the first time Mt. Pilot is mentioned.
- Andy is seen in this episode always at home. He is shown always with his sheriff uniform on.
- This is the first time we will see Clara Edwards- who appears in this episode as Bertha Edwards, later as Bertha Johnson and then settles in as Clara Edwards. The Clara character will appear in every season of The Andy Griffith Show.
- This is the only time the Taylor house will be shown all messed up.
- Opie’s friend Jimmy comes over- and they jump around on the bed and mess Opie’s room up. Jimmy will never be seen again in the series.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Frances Bavier- Aunt Bee Taylor
Hope Summers – Bertha Edwards- aka Clara Edwards
Rory Stevens- Jimmy- Opie’s friend
Directed by Bob Sweeney
Written by Frank Tarloff [credited as David Adler]