Growing Pains: Season 4, Episode 1, “Fool for Love”

In the season premiere of Growing Pains, we finally get another holiday special that’s not Christmas. This time it’s Halloween.

That’s great because soon it’ll be October and I’m already into the Halloween season. It would make more sense if this was the last episode aired before that Halloween. That episode is next week’s. They probably had a good story related reason why they didn’t though.
Now onto the actual episode. Ben’s playing Basketball, in the driveway, with Stinky, Vito, and Jenny.
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Speaking of the driveway, i’m pretty sure The Seavers added onto to their garage. There’s now staircases that lead up to what I assume is a guest house or something above the garage. Stinky’s been in a few episodes. We’ve, however, never seen Vito and the last and only time we saw Jenny was The Long Goodbye. What is up with the names of Ben’s friends. There’s Stinky which… well his name’s Stinky, so I don’t really have to say much else. Then there’s Vito, who sounds like an Italian mobster. Jenny’s played by Candace CAMERON. I wonder how she got this job. After Ben and Jenny beat Stinky and Vito in Basketball, Jenny leaves to go to Ballet practice. Next, we find out Vito’s having a Halloween party.
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He tells Ben and Stinky don’t forget to bring a guest “if you know what I mean?” They also make fun of how big Maggie is from being pregnant, when she comes home.

Maggie being pregnant brings me to my next point. With this season, there’s a few physical changes to The Seavers. Obviously, Maggie’s is that she’s pregnant. Mike’s got a mullet, which I think is the reason he looks a lot older. I know, obviously, people grow up, but it looks like more than that. Jason seems to have added color into his hair. I guess it’s to look younger, but it’s more distracting than anything.
Maggie comes into the kitchen where Mike is. He’s eating yogurt and looking at a magazine, all while Maggie is telling him to tell Jason that she’s too tired to make dinner. She thinks he isn’t listening, but much to her surprise he was.
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Ben and Stinky come in talking about what they’re going to dress up as for Vito’s party. We don’t really hear exactly what Stinky wants to go as. It sounds like a Garbage Pail Kid. His mom won’t let him go as that though. Ben’s planning on going as his usual dead guy with a meat cleaver in his head and his eye balls hanging out. Mike thinks they’re talking about Trick-or-Treating, but Ben shows him the invitation for Vito’s party.
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It’s at a horse barn, which sounds like the start of a horror movie. Turns out they didn’t know what Vito meant by bringing a guest. He meant that the party’s a boy-girl party, which Mike has to tell them. Now they’re not sure what they’re going to do about dates. They run by the idea of Stinky dressing up in a dress and being each other’s date. Stinky’s definitely more up for it than Ben. He goes home to try his sister’s dress on.

Jason comes out of his office into the living room where Mike is there reading a magazine. Jason asks Mike if he told Maggie that he couldn’t cook dinner. Again, we get the same joke of one of parents thinking Mike’s not listening when he actually is.
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Maggie didn’t get the memo, so Jason has to go make dinner. Ben comes in the living room and asks Mike about how to get a date to the party, so he wouldn’t look like a “weenie.”
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Mike tells Ben to call Tiffany, who’s a girl he likes. He calls Stinky about how the dress fits, but then goes to calling actual girls.
Jason’s in the kitchen making dinner. Then Maggie comes in and seems like she’s experiencing mood swings.
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She’s at first mad at him for thinking she needs to gain any more weight by eating. Then she apologizes, but then she gets mad at him again, because he’s thinking about and cooking dinner when they have a lamas class tomorrow. It’s All Hallows’ Eve, otherwise known as the day before Halloween. Who has a Lamas class on Halloween?

Ben continues to call girls. One hangs up on him immediately when she realizes who he is. He actually gets a date, till he realized the woman he’s talking to is 36. He had the wrong number. So far, Ben’s called 7 girls in total. 3 of them aren’t allowed to date. 4 of the girls can’t go with him, because they have older sisters that dated Mike. Then we Carol getting home. It’s kinda surprising we’re almost 9 minutes into the episode and we’re just seeing Carol now. Ben’s going on about how difficult it is to find a date and questioning why they can’t be like Jenny, Vito, and Spanky. I should bring up that going with Spanky was an option. Then Carol brings up how Jenny is a girl. That gives Carol Ben’s attention.
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The next day Ben and Jenny are playing Basketball and Ben asks her to go to the party with her. Not as a date, as he claims. He just wants her to come with him so he won’t look like a “weenie.” She agrees to go to the dance.
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It’s Halloween night and Carol’s dressed up as a Bunny. Enjoy Carol while she lasts, because she’s barely in this episode. Two kids, dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Tee (even though they’re both boys). Carol gives them candy and she reminds them not to eat any candy until they get home, so their parents can check them for anything bad. This terrifies the kids and they drop their bags of candy.
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This never occurred to me till after I stopped Trick-or-Treating five years ago. I went to HHN in Universal Studios for Halloween that year. Jason and Maggie have their lamas class. They can take Ben to the party, but they can’t pick them up.The class goes to 11:00, which seems late for a lamas class. This is where Maggie learns Ben’s going with Jenny, thus being his first real date. Except it’s not a date, and Jenny is against even calling it a date. By against, I mean DEATHLY against. Anyway Mike will pick Ben and Jenny up later. As for costumes, Jenny’s going as a princess, and Ben’s going as a Monk. I wish I had that costume he’s wearing for my school project. When Ben sees Jenny in her princess outfit, he begins to question if he actually likes her.
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That reminds me when I was checking IMDB to see the name of the other episode Jenny appeared in, I noticed that this is the last episode she’s in. So much for that going anywhere, but Full House was going on at this time. Thus that would’ve made it harder for Jenny to appear.

A problem I have with this episode is I don’t think it’s really structured that well. Most of the attention is given to the party. That makes sense since that’s the main plot. We cut back and forth between that and the Lamas class. We don’t see Mike till later when he helps out Ben at the party. Up until that point, what was Mike doing. We don’t see Carol at all except the final scene really. It makes sense given the joke that’s there, which I’ll explain.

Jenny and Ben arrive at the party. They run into Stinky. His date is, no joke, a blow up doll. It’s hilarious, because I usually think of blow up dolls being used by lonely adults.
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Everyone starts dancing with each other, so Ben and Jenny start dancing with each other.

We also have Lamas class. Jason is about to say he’s a doctor, but Maggie doesn’t want him to. But he’s already started to say it so he says he’s a mechanic instead. I’ve never had a baby, but wouldn’t it seem like Maggie and Jason would know what they’re doing on their fourth child.
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Back to the party, there’s this weird games people are playing with their dates. It involves eating a hanging Apple.
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Turns out Jenny likes Vito, who dressed up as Robin Hood or something.
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That’s surprising to Ben, since they’re always being mean to each other. Jenny wants Ben to go and see if Vito likes her. Good news for Ben is that he doesn’t, but now he feels bad because Jenny will be sad. He goes over to tell Jenny and tells her he does like her. Vito comes over and Ben pulls him aside. Ben tells him to pretend to like her, so she won’t be crushed. Vito says that’s not a problem, because he changed his mind and likes her now. He just had to think about it. That got me thinking, where’s Vito’s date? He’s the one that made such a big deal out of it.

Later in the class when everyone’s learning about babies and the human body, another father comes up to Jason and thinks he can relate to him. That doesn’t work because Jason’s actually fascinated by what they’re learning, and the other dad thinks he’s weird. This whole lamas class gets a little bit more interesting when one of the moms go into labour. She’s married to the guy that thought Jason was weird. Jason tries to help, because he’s a doctor. The other dad doesn’t know that thought because of what Maggie told Jason to say. As his response, he punches Jason into the face.
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That’s how this ends making this whole part feels kinda underwhelming.

Well just as I’m thinking Mike needs to show up in this episode, Mike shows up. He’s helping Ben find another girl besides Jenny. There’s this girl dressed up in a nurse outfit and Mike gets Ben to start talking to her.
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The look of happiness on Mike’s face he’s getting by Ben possibly experiencing young love is really actually sweet.

End scene: Carol’s sitting in the living room with a bunch of bags of candy. She managed to (unintentionally) scare every kid that knocked on their door. Jason and Maggie come home. Jason has an ice pack to his eye and Maggie’s apologizing for telling him to lie.
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Jason also, having people think he’s a mechanic, changed two people’s oil for free. Jason says the wrong thing by saying it was not her, but the hormones that did this. That gets her pissed and she storms off. Carol goes over to comfort him, but he pisses her off too by saying he’s accepted females as just being very irrational. She storms off and the episode ends.

That’s the Halloween special of Growing Pains. It was an okay. I didn’t really mind the stuff with Ben. It was more just how everything was implemented into it. I just don’t think they gave enough attention towards the other characters as they should have. It gave me that good Halloween feeling, so I’m satisfied.

And That’s the Point.

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