The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 32: Bringing Up Opie. May 22, 1961. 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS.
The final episode of season 1- begins with Otis standing before Andy – the charge is public intoxication. Otis has a choice a $2 fine or 24 hours in jail. Otis selects the 24 hours as usual. Opie walks in and says hello to Otis and says something about Otis having a snoot full again. Andy objects to this kind of talk. Andy then has Opie come over and he tells him the story of the Beauty and The Beast. Aunt Bee walks in and tells Opie he should be home doing homework. Opie explains that he doesn’t have any homework. Then Barney comes in and he plays Fast Draw with Opie. All of this upsets Aunt Bee- who says the jail is not a proper place for Opie to be hanging out after school every day.
That evening Bee reads Andy the riot act about not wanting Opie at the jail. Andy clearly disagrees but goes along with Aunt Bee. When he goes to tell Opie – Opie first thinks that Andy is trying to get rid of him. Neither Andy or Opie are happy about this new arrangement but Andy reluctantly goes along with Aunt Bee’s awful idea.
The next afternoon Andy and Barney are sitting around the jail and both notice it is 3 o’clock- and both seem kind of down about Opie not being able to stop in anymore. They talk about how it is best for the boy etc- but clearly they don’t believe this. At home Opie is bored- has nothing to do- so Bee gives him spinach to plant. Andy meanwhile goes on patrol and briefly stops by the house- Opie lights up when he sees his father- but Andy is soon back on his way.
Back at the jail Andy is unhappy- today was the day he was going to tell Opie about King Arthur and his Knights. Opie wonders from home and ends up at the jail- Andy tells him he has to go home. Opie is bored with the spinach- and starts kicking a can in the driveway- and ends up kicking it down the road- and ends up at a condemned mine. He tries to break into the mine- and it caves in. Opie goes back to kicking the can and ends up talking to an older boy who gives him a bunch of apples to eat. Andy sits on the back of a pick up truck and eats all the apples- which gives him a stomach ache. Opie lays down and falls asleep in the back of the pick up- and at dark a man gets in and drives away.
Back home Aunt Bee is frantic- Opie has been missing for a couple hours- Andy tries to calm her down. Luckily the phone rings- the fella in the truck has discovered Opie and gave them a call. After Andy brings Opie home, Opie explains how he was bored and had to find something to do. Andy says he has to punish him- he’s never wondered off like this before. Aunt Bee then speaks up-and says that Opie needs to spend more time with his father- and maybe stopping by the jail to see his father after school isn’t that bad after all. They set up certain guidelines – and Andy and Opie are both happy with the outcome. Opie’s happiness turns into a frown when Bee tells him he’s made him his favorite- Apple Pie!
The final segment- at the jail Andy is telling Opie the story of King Arthur. Barney breaks into the story and Andy and Barney argue over the story. Opie then gets up and heads out the door. When Andy asks why he’s leaving Opie tells them he’s leaving this place is a bad influence.
A good season closer- featuring the relationship between father and son. Season 1 comes to a close. The series started off- with a number of hit and miss episodes- but in the second half settled down into the Andy Griffith Show- the people would grow to love. The key- in the second half- Andy Griffith finding his voice as Andy Taylor. In the first half of the season there was too much of Andy trying to be the funny man and talking in an exaggerated southern accent- and acting like a hayseed. In the second half of the season it is clear that Andy should play the straight man to Barney who is consistently hilarious.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
Frances Bavier- Aunt Bee Taylor
Hal Smith- Otis Campbell
Mike Brent- Boy with Apples
Directed by Bob Sweeney
Written by Jack Elinson and Charles Stewart