Growing Pains: Season 4, Episode 2, “Birth of a Seaver”

This week on Growing Pains, Maggie finally gives Birth.

With this episode, i’m surprised about two things. Given how big of an episode this is, you’d think this would be better served for the season premiere. This isn’t a two-parter either. I’m not complaining; i’d just thought it would be. It definitely makes more sense why it isn’t. If it was a two-parter, it would’ve been really dragged out. It’s not unlike they haven’t done that before (clip show).

This episode starts out and it’s Ben’s birthday. Since the episode is called Birth of a Seaver, i’m already wondering if the new baby will be born on the same day Ben was. Back to Ben’s birthday, he’s got a very creative cake that looks like a giant cheeseburger. I want that cake, bad. All this talk of the new baby is making Ben really depressed. Not only will he not be the baby anymore, but all this talk is taking attention away from his own birthday.

We see the opening theme play out. Instead of it just ending normally, Maggie announces that the baby’s coming. This is all in opening theme. It’s a cool idea, but it doesn’t really make sense with what happens next. It’s already night time by the time the show comes back. Why aren’t they at the hospital already? They should’ve just had the earlier events in the episode set during the day. I’m probably looking into it to much.

Like I said, the baby’s on the way. Carol’s surprise that every one is this calm. Even though, like I said last week, Maggie and Jason have already been through the whole process three times. Mike comes running down the stairs with a suitcase filled with clothes and other stuff Maggie needs. He ends up tripping and landing on the suitcase. It’s a funny scene, but it looks a little too staged. Carol’s suprised even Mike is calm, but Mike suddenly loses it when Maggie asks him to go heat some water for her. He only calms down when she tells him it’s only for tea. There’s also a big conversation of who’s car to take. At first, they’re going to take Jason’s. Only problem is it’s in the shop. Then they’ll take Maggie’s. Only thing is Jason doesn’t like driving her car. Does that really matter in this situation. Then there’s Mike’s car, but that’s too small. Then it’s decided that Jason and Maggie will take Mike’s car, while Mike will go with Carol and Ben in Maggie’s car. This scene is just to add comedy, but it’s just more annoying than anything. They almost forgot Ben too.
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The Seavers arrive at the hospital. Mike’s recording everything going on. At first I just thought someone from Maggie’s crew was recording it for TV, like how they recorded Becky’s birth, in Full House, for Wake Up San Francisco.
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A nurse explains so that the entire Seaver family can partake in the birth. Jason and Maggie head up to the room for Maggie to give birth, while Mike and Carol stay in the lobby. Then they realize Ben’s gone, so Mike looks on the 6th floor (the floor they’re on), while he tells Carol to check the rest of the 7 floor hospital. That’s classic Mike for you.
We cut to Ben wondering the halls and he comes across a nursery. He says, “you guys think you’re so cute.”
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Then one of the employees tells him, “you don’t belong here.” I don’t really know how hospitals work, but that seems kinda of a rude thing for that guy to say in this situation. How does he not consider that Ben could be looking at his baby brother or sister. That piece of dialogue just seems like it was added into advance the plot, and they couldn’t really come up with a better way to just advance the plot. I could be wrong though.

We cut to Maggie in labour. Then walks in Mike and Carol, who are decked out in full hospital garb. Jason asks where Ben is. They lie and say he’s in the cafeteria, even though the cafeteria is closed. Jason doesn’t give any thought to as why Mike and Carol can’t give a definitive answer as to where Ben is. Jason and Carol can’t give Carol is a bit grossed out by seeing Maggie in labour. Mike is okay until he turns on the camera and starts to shoot Maggie in labour. He faints which is funny, but it seems kinda weird since he was watching her before without fainting. I guess I can understand if it looking through the eye piece on the camera would give a different perspective.
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Ben continues to walk the halls of the hospital. That’s where he meets Chris Longshot Gainy. Chris drops his cigar and asks Ben to pick it up.
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Then Chris invites Ben in his room to talk. Chris tries to have a conversation with Ben, but he’s not really up for talking. Turns out Chris was a bartender, so he sorta talked to people for a living.

Mike regains consciousness and him and Carol go looking for Ben.

Meanwhile, Ben and Chris are talking. Ben’s having some cookies and milk, and he’s telling Chris about his problems with the new baby. Chris tells him that the best thing he ever was a big brother. Then he asks Ben if he has a big brother. Ben says he does and his brother thinks he’s a doofus, but he’s also the greatest guy that Ben knows. Then Chris tells him now he can be an older brother to his new younger sibling, which gets Mike in a more optimistic mindset.

We cut to Maggie pushing and pushing, with the baby almost there.
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Ben and Chris are now playing cards. Ben says he should come over and hang out at his house, which Chris pretty much ignores answering. This is when Ben knows something is up. Then Carol and Mike come to tell Ben the baby is coming. Not really sure how they had so much trouble finding him the first time when this time it didn’t seem very hard. I guess because he was actually staying in the same place to this time. Ben and Carol run out. Ben says goodbye to Chris, knowing that he’s going to die.

All the Seavers are looking at the new baby girl. Everyone has held the baby, except for Ben who just walked in.
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Then they have to decide what to name the baby. Jason wants Erma. Maggie wants Sophie. Mike proposes Appleonia. Then Ben decides it has to be Chris, short for Christine. Obviously this is because of the effect that Chris had on Ben.

We now have a new member of the Seaver family.
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End scene: Jason, Mike, Carol watching the new baby from the nursery. Ben tries to get a bunch of random people from the hospital to go see his little sister, but they’re not having any of that.
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Then Ben joins his family.

I liked the arc they had for Ben and how he’s actually the one to name the baby. My only real problem kinda is how he got there. Chris definitely seems like a nice guy, but these things are tricky to pull off. They want you to really care that this guy is going to die, but we only have a few scenes with him. It’s at least a little better here because it’s not the main aspect of the episode. We’ll also get reminded of him every time we hear the name Chris.

And That’s the Point.

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