Season 4, Episode 10: “Mandingo”

This week on Growing Pains, A trip to Martha’s Vineyard goes wrong when Mike and Julie are the only ones who make the ferry, and they end up alone together for the night. Even though Julie was introduced last week via last week’s The Nanny, i’m surprised it took them this long to do this type of story with her and Mike.

Mike is trying to bang Tawny, who appeared in season 4, episode 5: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. According to IMDB, this is her last appearance. She sounded and looked like Carol too at the beginning. Mike does a card trick for Tawny and asks, “was your card The Ace of Spades.” Tawny replies, “no,” but Mike hands her a piece of paper saying just that meaning Mike “read” Tawny’s mind. What follows is a horribly lazy way for Mike to get Tawny to makeout with him. He says, “I can read your thoughts to. Shame on you.” Tawny replies, “shame on me.” Before she starts making out with Mike. In comes Julie, who Tawny has no idea who she is or why she’s folding Mike’s underwear. Julie tells Mike about how he knows he’s not suppose to have any girls in his room, which turns out to be a real dealbreaker for Tawny. She leaves after Julie heads back to the house, where Mike ends up going too.

Mike doesn’t like how Julie always barges in, even though he gave her a key and told her, “Julie, come up to my place any time you want.” He keeps losing his train of thought because of how attractive Julie is. He then tries to put the moves on her, but Maggie comes home cutting him off. This whole situation feels off to me. It’s not that this whole Mike liking Julie is coming at the wrong time, but the way they’re approaching the situation is off. Mike seems to have developed this feelings right now, even though he clearly didn’t. I guess he’s just taking the attraction further now. The show’s just acting like this is new when it’s really not. Maggie comes in and she tells Mike to let everyone know that dinner is ready. She wants him to leave the room, which he does. Now Maggie can ask Julie about going to Martha’s Vineyard. Maggie’s plan this whole surprise trip and wants Julie to come along given that she’s the nanny. Maggie makes sure it doesn’t collide with any plans for Julie, but it doesn’t. She had this date, but rescheduling it was no problem. She gave the guy the Willy test, which is where she takes him home and shows him her little brother. Depending on how he acts toward the baby, she maybe has a keeper. The guy she’s seeing is not a keeper. Julie goes home to pack, since they’re leaving tonight. The rest of the Seavers come in and Maggie tells them the news. All of their individual worries with this trip is quickly brushed away. Jason thinks it’ll cost too much, but they’re using Maggie’s boss’ place for free. Carol doesn’t want to be stuck with Christ, but she won’t since Julie is coming. Mike just simply doesn’t want to go until he hears Julie is going.

Later that night, they’re getting ready to leave. Julie wants to leave soon, since Chris just fell asleep. She’ll be asleep for the whole way there then. To make sure she doesn’t wake up, Mike, Julie, and Chris go ahead. They have a map, while Jason, Carol, Maggie, and Ben don’t.

Maggie, Ben, Carol, and Jason are driving. They’re lost, because the drive was only suppose to take 4 hours, but it took 5. Then the rest of the family finds out Jason didn’t bring a map. They find the place, but it turns the the ferry Julie, Mike, and Chris were on was the last one till morning. Mike finds that out from Lester, whose twin brother is Chester, the guy who informed the Seavers of the ferry situation. Mike attempts to put the moves on Julie, but she says she doesn’t want him to hit on her tonight. They get a call from Jason. He and the rest of the family are at the “Historic Whale Watch Inn.” Mike talks to almost everyone on the phone, except for Carol. Jason goes to get Maggie, so Ben talks to Mike. Ben’s been waiting for the bathroom which is currently being used by “the fat guy from Ohio.” He turns out to be Carol, but the real fat guy from Ohio goes into the bathroom right before Ben can get in. Jason tells Mike that Julie is there to take care of Chris, not for Mike to put the moves on her. Maggie talks to Mike and she tells him to act like a gentlemen. She mainly just wanted to talk to Mike to make sure Chris is okay.

Later that night, Mike puts on a smoker’s jacket that he found in the house. He looks like Hugh Hefner. Mike tries to put the moves on Julie, but it doesn’t really work. He does a card trick again, but he ends it differently. Now he just said, “forget it, I hate card tricks.” Then he throws the cards up in the air. Some of them even end up in the fire. A weird thing I noticed is Julie and Mike are both sleeping on sleeping bags. They’re all alone. Wouldn’t there be any beds. Julie tells Mike she likes honesty, so Mike tells Julie he finds her cute. Julie tells Mike she finds him cute too. Mike tries to put this in the right direction and Julie ends up calling Mike a “cute kid.” This is not what he was hoping for. He doesn’t want Julie to see him in a similar way she sees Ben. Julie seeing that she’s made Mike sad just thinks maybe they just shouldn’t talk at all. This is where they really get talking. Julie asks Mike if he’s always been like this. He then asks her the same thing. Turns out Julie was uptight as a kid and very shy. She moved around a lot, because her dad was in The Marines. She never really got into dating until she was 16, which really surprised Mike. Mike asks her about who she’s currently dating. Julie brings up this guy, but it’s not really working out. Julie asks if Tawny is Mike’s girlfriend. Mike likes her, but she needs more. That’s a problem Mike has had with a lot of girls. He fell asleep on a date he had to a drive in movie, which he tells Julie to never tell anyone. That doesn’t matter, because Julie just fell asleep before hearing that.

Mike wakes up the next morning and Julie’s not there. She’s in the shower. Chris is crying, so Mike goes up to check on her. Julie comes down in a robe and Mike’s holding the baby. She thinks he heard about her Willy test she told Maggie, but Mike has no idea. Turns out Julie really misjudged Mike and she kisses him. She then thinks it’s weird, because she works for his parents. There’s also the whole age gap, which doesn’t really matter. It especially doesn’t matter here, because she’s only a year older than he is. Julie takes Chris upstairs to change her, which is when the rest of The Seavers finally arrive. Maggie goes to check on Chris, while Jason is curious about what happened. Mike claims nothing happened and that he has no alternative motive, when asked by Jason. Maggie comes down and Jason tells her what Mike said. Jason’s pretty sure Mike’s telling the truth too.

End scene: Maggie is reading and Jason comes up to her telling her to pick a card. Mike showed him this trick. It’s suppose to be the same trick from before. Turns out Jason messes up and he guesses the card that she had correctly. Maggie asks if he could do it again, but Jason just writes no on a piece of paper and shows it to Maggie.

That was sorta a fun episode, given the change of scenery and Mike and Julie working well together. It seemed like Mike developed these feelings now for Julie, which I think he would’ve already done. Like I said, this is probably just taking it further. Even though it comes to a conclusion, the episode still feels like it sorta fizzles out. I’m sure we’ll see more of this plot line in the future though.

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