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602/Letters To Mabel

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Give me that letter.

Jamie, aware of how fast Mabel will grow up, has decided to write a letter to her to be opened on her 18th birthday. It's so Mabel will know how her mother felt during the first few weeks of Mabel's life. This inspires Paul to want to write a letter, which then inspires Ira, and soon everyone is writing letters. The most revealing is the one Joan writes to Ira confessing that maybe in "another time, another place, another never know". This is supposed to be kept a secret, but Debbie, who reads the letter, is so upset that she lets the secret out to Paul and Jamie and, worst of all, Ira. This stuns everyone, but it especially sets Ira off on "an ego trip of mythic proportions". In spite of Paul and Jamie advising, strongly, for Ira to forget it, he doesn't until Joan sets him straight. Also Paul tries to get his mother, Sylvia, to overdub an audio track for his film "Buchman", but she can't keep from over-acting. So Paul finally has to get Jamie to re-record the line.


What? Ingrid Bergman...

I liked nearly everything about this episode. It was balanced performance by nearly everyone in the cast, well-paced, and funny. The only two who didn't have that big a part in this was Paul's parents, Burt and Sylvia, although Sylvia's limited role was quite good. Oddly enough, my favorite part was during the tag at the end of the episode. It shows Mabel, now 18, reading her letters and watching the video Paul makes for her and saying, in perfect Paul-like style, "So, in other words, letters and video tapes are my birthday present - but a flying car, not so much." Funny stuff! I also got a mild kick out of Ira's obsession with Joan's confession. The only part I didn't really care for was when Ira tried to force himself on Joan in the sound booth. It was not only a bit over the edge for Ira's other-wise character, but frankly it made me a bit uncomfortable and embarrassed for Ira. They could've done that scene a little better and left out the sophomoric attack. The rest of the episode was good enough that I easily give it a 7.5.

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