Growing Pains: Season 4, Episode 11: “In Carol We Trust”

Mike missed dinner because of his “term paper.”
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After working hard, he wants to drive around and clear his head, but he needs money. Carol, who’s going to the library, comes in and gets $20 from Jason. That’s because they actually believe her when she says she’s going to the library. The weird thing is Mike doesn’t say where he’s going, but them not trusting him is just going off of past experiences. Carol also gets to use Maggie’s car. That doesn’t matter to Mike though, because he has a car. Before he leaves, Mike ends up getting $5 out of Jason.

At the library, we see Carol studying at the same table as Sandy, played by Matthew Perry. I know what happens with this individual storyline, but I’ll talk about it when we get to it. Carol gets up to go and get a book, with Sandy following her trying to get it up to talk to her. Mike comes out of nowhere and needs Carol to cover for him and say that, if Jason and Maggie ask, he was at the library the whole time. Turns out Mike didn’t have a term paper and just asking straight out isn’t his style. After Mike leaves, Carol runs into Sandy on purpose. Turns out they have a lot in common and like the same things. Only thing is Carol says she goes to school at NYU. She’s actually just a senior in high school and Sandy is a sophomore in college. They leave the library and go to The Beer Keg.
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It’s 12:30 in the morning and Carol is now just getting home. She goes to Mike’s first to see how to handle coming home so late. Maggie and Jason are waiting up for her. He tells her to use the excuse of cattle blocking the road thus preventing her from getting home. Mike also asks where she was, which Carol explains. This whole episode, if you didn’t notice, is really ironic. Carol’s acting how Mike usually does. They do a good job of making it come together. There’s not a lot of extra garbage that they don’t need.

Jason and Maggie are freaking out, because they have no idea where Carol is. In walks Carol and they’re glad to see her. They’re obviously mad though, because they had no idea where she was.
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She takes the excuse Mike gave her and says there was a ton of traffic due to cattle in the road. They buy it, which really shocks Mike later.

The next day or so, Sandy calls Carol. He asks if she wants to go to the new F. Scott Fitzgerald biopic tonight. She can’t because she’s babysitting Chris, but now Sandy is just going to come over to her house. Everyone will be out of the house, except for Mike. Jason and Maggie are going to Fiddler on the Roof, while Ben is sleeping over at Stinky’s. Jason actually finds a pamphlet from The Beer Keg with Sandy’s phone number. He thinks it’s Mike’s though. They leave and Mike comes into the room. He sees that Carol’s expecting someone, and she gets him to leave by offering to do his paper. There’s also all this junk food, including Sour Balls, around the living room, so Carol throws it into the hallway leading into the kitchen. I bring up the Sour Balls, because they become important later.

Sandy comes over
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and they quickly get to making out. Maggie and Jason come home early and Carol freaks. Sandy doesn’t see why he’s she’s acting this way. To get him to hide, Carol tells Sandy Jason has a gun. Carol pushes Sandy into the kitchen and he trips all over the Sour Balls. It’s a really funny moment, but they reuse the joke (not just with Sandy) multiple times. Jason trips on it and then Sandy trips on it again. In the end scene, both Maggie and Jason trip on it. By the end it feels really burned out. Maggie and Jason are home early, because the car broke down and by the time they got it fixed, they missed some of the play. Jason got pissed at the mechanic for overcharging him too. Carol tries to get Sandy out through the back door, but the door is locked. He hides under the kitchen counter and so they won’t see him, Carol offers to get their tea for them. Maggie doesn’t take her up on the offer, because she’s off duty. After tripping, Jason comes in complaining about the bill. He comes by the side Carol is at and sees Sandy. This is where Sandy trips again. Needless to say, Jason and Maggie are pissed.
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Later that night, Mike comes into his place and sees Carol working on his paper she promised she’d do. She’s doing it here, because she’s avoiding Jason and Maggie. Jason and Maggie come into the place, and Mike leaves to go work on his paper. Carol tells them she knows what she did was wrong. She betrayed their trust by doing this, which she’s never done. Jason and Maggie seems like the point has really gotten through. Carol’s been grounded for three months.
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End scene: Jason claims he did the real talking in that last scene with Carol, but he didn’t. They slip on the Sour Balls. That joke is really burned out by now.
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That episode was fine until the end. Sandy is in more episodes, but I feel like there should’ve been more conclusion with him and Carol here, like a scene of them talking about everything after he runs out of the kitchen.

And That’s the Point.

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