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
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 hundred 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.
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.
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.)
(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 disappearing 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.
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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