Director: Charles Rondeau
Writer: George Tibbles
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, and Butch Patrick
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 12/23/1965
Having stumbled upon a secret compartment in the dungeon, Grandpa and Herman locate a series of clues leading to the pirate treasure of Henry Morgan. Herman and Grandpa cooperate long enough to discover the treasure, but turn against one another over an ownership dispute.
A bottle episode, “The Treasure of Mockingbird Heights” manages to entertain despite being confined to a single location. It should be noted, however, that an awkward approach to pacing prevents the main conflict from arriving in a timely fashion.
When Herman, Eddie, and Grandpa wander outside during late-night hours, certain tropes (e.g. fog, dead trees, and the howling of a nearby wolf) generate a suspenseful, creepy atmosphere reminiscent of a classic horror movie—possibly an homage to the Universal Monster pictures that inspired The Munsters.
On a more comedic note, Herman and Grandpa bicker incessantly due to their inability to share the newfound treasure. Though predictable, the antics of both characters (i.e. designing idiotic booby traps for each other) will appeal to fans of lighthearted slapstick.
Herman and Grandpa’s treasure hunt takes longer than necessary to resolve, leaving little time for household hijinks—the true highlight of George Tibbles’ narrative.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
When Lily and Marilyn donate the treasure to a rescue mission, Grandpa and Herman admit wrongdoing and subsequently forgive one another—a touching display that serves to reinforce the positive, albeit occasionally dysfunctional, family values at the core of this series.
“The Treasure of Mockingbird Heights” contains a valuable lesson on the importance, if not necessity, of establishing and maintaining trust within one’s family. Therefore, audiences of all ages are advised to view this episode.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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