This week, we move on to the third episode of the First Season. We’re moving right along and this episode kicks off with what I’d imagined as a recurring theme for the series, that is Jason can’t cook.
Jason prepares eggs—and honestly who can’t cook scrambled eggs—but Carol and Mike both pass on the eggs and then he proceeds to offer them leftover liver from the night. Now the eggs aren’t looking so bad.
Ben enters the kitchen, telling his father that he needs ideas for his science project. Jason asks Mike and Carol what they did for their science projects, but Ben doesn’t get much inspiration from hearing their replies.
Maggie joins the group and squawks that she needs to get to work to work on a toxic waste story. Hey, that sounds like a good science project for Ben. But of course we can’t have that because the plot line has to be dragged out throughout the entire episode. Jason reminds her about the couple’s lunch plans but Maggie forgot and doesn’t think she’ll have time to meet him at house for lunch. So they make plans for Jason to meet her downtown at her office and they’ll just go out for lunch.
I think I see where this is going…
Jason arrives at the office and Maggie’s busy, talking to someone on the telephone. She tells him, “Just one minute.” Here we can clearly tell Jason is out of his element. He doesn’t know how to use the fancy phone and he sinks awkwardly into the office chair.
Maggie introduces Jason to her co worker, Fred, who is instantly more likeable and charming than Jason and by the end of the episode you’ll wishing he was cast in the role of Jason Seaver instead. Fred tells Maggie he wants to talk to her for a few minutes before the meeting at 2:00. But it’s 1:30 now and this would mess up Jason and Maggie’s lunch plans. Fred and Maggie eventually agree on Jason’s idea about Fred joining them for lunch so he can talk to Maggie.
Later back at the “ranch”, Mike is heckling Carol about doing his school essay for him.
Jason opens the door, anxious and thinking Maggie’s home, but no one’s there. Then the phone rings and when Carol goes up to answer it and Jason grabs the phone from her hand, again thinking this is Maggie. Poor Carol, always getting the phone swiped from her hand. This family must have a penchant for this sort of thing.
As it turns out, co worker Fred is on the phone and he asks Jason to let Maggie know that she needs to call him as soon as she gets home. Maggie walks in exhausted from work and flops on the couch. Except that all changes when she finds out Fred called and crawls over to the phone.
The following morning Carol and Mike are recovering from Pancakes a la Jason. Ben tromps downstairs still unable to decide on a science project. Jason tells him that he should choose something that interests him the most like Jason did with his mold project in 3rd grade. Maggie comes into the kitchen and Jason get frustrated quickly because Maggie won’t give Jason a proper estimate on when she will be home when he asks.
Maggie accuses Jason of being jealous, which he flatly denies . Jason forgives her for calling him jealous once she apologizes. But here’s the thing, it’s not really jealousy as much loneliness. He just wants to spend time with his wife.
That same evening, Jason is in a bad mood because he doesn’t like the idea of Maggie and Fred working late at the office together. You can tell because of his tapping a pen on a small table and the look on his face.
Ben joins Mike, Carol and Jason in the living room and declares that he’s finally decided on a science project. He says he’s going to put certain stimuli in front of Carol and Mike’s faces to see how long it takes them to react. Jason gets frustrated with him and tells him that’s a bad science project. But Ben this is what he finds interesting. I’m thinking next to Carol, he is the most evolved of the entire family. What about you?
Next Jason gets mad at Mike and then Ben, again without a science project, mentions how Mom could help him think of one. Jason snatches up the idea and uses it as an excuse to go down to Maggie’s office. Now here’s the thing: the episode up to this point doesn’t portray Jason’s behavior as jealously, but the writers make it very obvious that Jason is jealous in this office scene. It’s almost like the writers forgot how they wanted Jason to feel.
Jason shows up indiscreetly at Maggie office. Maggie and Fred surround the door in fear that’s it’s an intruder. Fred pushes on the door and Jason gets a door to the nose. Jason explains that the reason he’s here is because of Ben and his science project.
Fred sees that Jason and Maggie need to talk alone and leaves the room. He really seems to be a nice guy. No hanky panky here, folks. Jason tells Maggie that he misses spending time together and doesn’t like her coming home so late. Maggie reminds him that’s how she felt when he was working out of his office and about his sexy co worker that made her feel just the way Jason is feeling right now. Jason counters with saying that was a professional relationship and Maggie points out it’s no different than she and Fred. Jason admits that he sees where she’s coming from and he overreacted.
The pair embrace and Maggie tells Jason that she’d never cheat on him. A PG kiss and Maggie immediately pulls away when she gets an idea for Ben’s science project.
The final scene sees the entire Seaver family except for Ben in the kitchen conversing about how ben can’t do his project on caterpillars because someone else had already chosen Caterpillars. They’re having this discussion while eating jam smeared toast and Ben wanders in wondering where the moldy bread is that he’s observing for his science project. The family realizing what they’re eating throws the bread at Ben.
What a boring and inconsistent episode. It’s nice to see the main focus be something else besides Mike and Jason and the scene between Maggie and Jason is well done. But that doesn’t let the bad writing and Alan Thicke (Jason) and Joanna Kerns (Maggie) being annoying characters go, specifically Thicke.
And once again, that’s the point…
Hope you enjoined this third episode of Growing Pains and please join me next Thursday when I review Episode Four: “Carol’s Article.” Finally, a Carole centric episode.