The Andy Griffith Show: Season 2/ Episode 2: Barney’s Replacement: October 9, 1961. 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS.
After featuring Opie in the season 1 finale and in the season 2 opener- the second episode in season 2- the spotlight once again falls on Barney. An attorney named Bob Rogers is sent to Mayberry to learn a little about law enforcement. Insecure Barney immediately senses that Rogers who will just be a second deputy for a short period of time- is his replacement. Rogers is on the ball and efficient. Barney tries to find fault with him in everything he does- even when there is really nothing to pick at him about. In the funniest scene in the episode Barney and Bob are in the squad car and Barney is teaching Bob the tricks on how to use this highly complicated technology- when it is really simple stuff. Barney turns on the siren -but then can’t get it turned off. This draws a crowd on the street. They lift up the hood and Barney wants to cut the wire- Bob easily gets it turned off.
Andy is quite impressed with Bob- and this makes Barney feel even more unwanted. At one point he had told Andy that he had been picking on his recently. When talking to Thelma Lou- Barney tells her Andy wants him out- and no matter how reassuring Thelma Lou is- it doesn’t convince Barney who thinks the only reason he’s having a hard time firing him is because of their friendship- so Barney walks in and quits. Andy tries to talk him out of it but Barney is very prideful.
So what does Barney do next- he goes out and tries to sell a sweeper called The New Miracle Sweep. He shows up at Clara Edwards house and she laughs at him thinking he’s joking-he doesn’t have any more success with Emma Brand. They just can’t see him outside of his deputies uniform. He’s a terrible salesman- ringing up no sales- as he comes across Andy out on the street. Again Andy tries to get him back as his deputy- but Barney talks up how successful he is doing- and can’t afford giving up all the money he’s making. Plus he says he and Thelma Lou will soon be getting married most likely and he doesn’t want her worrying about him every day when he leaves the house to go do his job.
Andy talks to Thelma Lou- and tells her he will think of a way to get Barney back. Bob asks Andy if Barney has a permit to sell door to door- and speaks of The Green River Orders’- which require a permit- a light goes off in Andy’s head- this will be a way to get Barney back. Andy tells Bob to bring Barney in- he does and puts Barney behind bars. Barney loses his cool with Bob- telling him there is more to law enforcement than following a book- its about people. Barney tells Andy he’s rescinding his retirement and coming back. No sooner than the words were out of his mouth when a smiling Andy appears with Barney’s old uniform.
As Rogers leaves- Barney writes him up for illegal parking- he’s no longer a deputy so he can’t part in that spot- Barney then rips up the citation- and reminds Rogers that it’s not always about the book- but about people. As Rogers drives away- a very prideful Barney starts to walk down the street. Andy is standing there with a big smile on his face. He has got Barney back.
As critical as I was at times in season 1 over how the Andy Taylor character was played- the big change is fully shown in this episode. Andy is full of wisdom- seeing through Barney all the time- and not overreacting but being patient. He knows how insecure and prideful Barney is- and is patient and finally get Barney back. He seems like an entirely different character than in the first half or so of season 1.
While Barney will quit the force a number of times before finally leaving in Season 5- this was the first time he quit and did anything outside of law enforcement.
Actor Mark Miller who was outstanding in his role as Don Rogers- is still living- he’s 95. His daughter is actress Penelope Ann Miller.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
Mark Miller- Don Rogers
Ronny Howard- Opie
Betty Lynn- Thelma Lou
Cheerio Meredith- Emma Brand
Hope Summers- Clara Edwards.
Directed by Bob Sweeney
Written by Jack Elinson and Charles Stewart.