The Munsters Episode 5: Pike’s Pique

General Information

Director: Seymour Burns

Writers: Norm Liebmann and Ed Haas

Cast: Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Beverley Owen, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, Richard Deacon, Jane Withers, Pat Harrington Jr., Henry Hunter, and Joe Brooks

Composer: Jack Marshall

Air Date: 10/22/1964

 

Overview

Borden T. Pike (Richard Deacon) plans to install a pipeline underneath the Munster home, but experiences difficulty in reaching an agreement with the property owners. Though Lily and Herman eventually accept Pike’s offer of fifteen the-munsters-pikes-piquehundred dollars, Grandpa fears that his laboratory will be invaded by the project.

“Pike’s Pique” will appeal to fans of Richard Deacon, the serious manner of whom serves to contrast the kooky, over-the-top hijinks whereby the Munsters are defined. There are times, however, when the jokes in this episode are a tad overemphasized, resulting in a cringe-worthy outcome.

 

Pros

Believing that the Munsters only wish to scare him, Borden decides to pay the residents of 1313 Mockingbird Lane a visit. Despite his initial confidence, Borden slowly loses his composure before breaking down completely in the presence of Herman, Lily, Grandpa, and Eddie—a hilarious reaction that works effectively due to the straight-faced, subtle performance of Richard Deacon.

 

Cons

the-munsters-pikes-pique“Pike’s Pique” relies too heavily on horror-related puns, many of which are quite terrible, while attempting to elicit laughter from the audience.

Also overplayed are the paranoid tendencies of Borden’s wife Fanny (Jane Withers), whose accusations of adultery border on cartoonish. (That being said, an amusing mix-up occurs when Marilyn arrives at the Pike home to deliver paperwork, thereby fueling Fanny’s suspicions about her husband.)

 

Analysis

(Spoilers beyond this point)

After a nasty confrontation between Borden Pike and Herman Munster, the latter character finally allows a pipeline to be built underneath his property. Refusing to give up without a fight, Grandpa lends Herman a pen filled with disappearingthe-munsters-pikes-pique ink, causing his signature on the consent form to vanish within several hours. Though quite despicable, the action described above is rectified when Grandpa—now regretful over his petulant misdeed—gives Herman a chance to re-sign the contract via crystal ball. As evidenced by this display, the Munsters occasionally (and ironically) exhibit higher moral standards than do the majority of sitcom families.

 

Concluding Comments

The first episode of The Munsters to feature Jane Withers (the second being “Grandpa’s Lost Wife” from season two), “Pike’s Pique” employs enough good, clean misunderstanding humor for the whole family to enjoy. For Deacon enthusiasts and longtime viewers of The Munsters in particular, this one is a must.

 

Overall Quality: 7/10

 

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