Director: Ezra Stone
Writer: Douglas Tibbles
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Buddy Lewis, and Charles Bateman
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 11/4/1965
Ignoring the wishes of her husband, Lily rents a room to Chester Skinner (Charles Bateman)—a pleasant, albeit highly secretive, young man. Suspicious of Lily’s tenant, Herman and Grandpa poke around Chester’s belongings and reach a misinformed conclusion about their new house guest.
“Lily’s Star Boarder” effectively plays off the incompetent tendencies for which Herman is known. That being said, sensitive viewers may find annoying Lily’s callous, unwarranted disregard for the feelings of Herman.
Having convinced themselves that Chester is a crook, Herman and Grandpa devise a ridiculous and convoluted trap that will appeal to fans of the absurd, slapstick humor typical of The Munsters. Specifically, Grandpa attaches a deck of cards to an overhead rope, which, when pulled, activates a blowtorch and releases a battle axe, thereby severing a different rope and dropping an anvil on the couch, propelling Chester through the air before landing him conveniently in Grandpa’s laboratory. Afterward, Herman ties Chester—previously revealed to be an undercover cop—to a table and prides himself on his “heroic” gesture.
By refusing to give Herman a say in an important family decision (i.e. whether a stranger should be allowed to live in the Munster home), Lily comes across as incredibly selfish and unlikable, notwithstanding the petulant behavior of her husband. Though potentially forgivable, Lily’s poor treatment of Herman—the actions of whom are motivated, at least in part, by concern for the safety of his wife—is compounded by the fact that no display of reconciliation, serious or otherwise, is featured in the final scene.
Despite reducing Herman and Lily to a jealous husband and overbearing wife respectively, “Lily’s Star Boarder” demonstrates why families should always value the opinions of one another, regardless of how unreasonable said opinions may seem.
A mostly worthwhile episode of The Munsters, “Lily’s Star Boarder” should be commended for its amusing finale. Certain fans may, however, feel as though Lily’s conflict with Herman is taken too far at times.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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