Strangers Episode Guide
02 - Picture This
Air Date: April 1, 1986
Nielsen Rating: 21.3 HH
Guide Description: The cousins aren't speaking after Balki's refusal to
do a favor costs Larry a shot at a celebrity photo and, by Larry's reckoning, a
career in photojournalism.
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: William Bickley & Michael Warren
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Ernie Sabella: Mr. Twinkacetti
Lise Cutter: Susan Campbell
Anna Nicholas: Linda
Ava Cadell: Woman
Jim Ingersoll: Man
"You know someday I'm going to look at you and say 'That's my cousin, Larry
Appleton, the best photographer in the world. And do you know why?
Because you're cracked."
"Don't you think you're stepping on her privacies?"
"Okay, wise eyes!"
"I don't think it's right, just because she has a public figure."
After Larry says he has no integrity Balki assures him "Of course you do.
You're full of it."
ridiculous: Said twice.
used in this episode:
"What are we talking about?" (first time)
"You try to trick Balki!" (first time)
"Uh uh!" (first time)
"Ha!" (first time)
"Now you're making Balki mad." (first time)
"Donít you ever, EVER do that again." (first time)
"Oh po po!"
"Cousins should joke more!" (first time)
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Balki watching television and commenting about a
particular show. (first time)
Songs: "9 to 5" - sung by Balki after hearing about Dolly
Parton being in town
- In the first scene when Balki says the old woman
had to drag him off the roof like Tippi Hedren to save him from the pigeons it's
a reference to the 1963 horror classic The Birds directed by Alfred
- In this episode we first see Balki talking back
to the television and commenting on a particular show, a running theme used
several times in the first and second seasons. In this instance he's
crying "Door number two!" which means he is watching the game show Let's
Make a Deal in which contestants in the final round were given a choice of
one of three doors, behind which could be either a wonderful prize or a useless
This is the first and only appearance of Linda, Larry's stewardess friend.
It's worth noting that when Jennifer and Mary Anne are introduced to the series
in season 2 they are airline stewardesses as well.
Linda leaves her Great Dane for Larry to dog sit. But in the episode Dog
Gone Blues it's made clear that pets aren't allowed in their apartment building.
Perhaps it was worth the risk for Larry to watch the dog anyway in hopes that
Linda will "bond" with him.
is also the first time the phrase "What are we talking about?" comes
up when Larry makes subtle references to sex and Balki doesn't get it.
is also the first we hear the line "You try to trick Balki!"
first, Balki says his deep voiced "Uh uh." Not to mention his
cooks Myposian food for the first time in this episode but none of the dishes
are named and Larry, giving the silent treatment to Balki, makes no comments
about the food.
get to hear Balki say "Now you're making Balki mad" for the first
time, as well!
Larry first! After Balki gives him the Mypos Kiss of Silence Larry utters
those famous words: "Don't you ever, EVER, do that again!"
is also the first time we hear Balki say "Cousins should joke more!"
can be said that this episode also had the very first "couch scene,"
although it actually takes place in two armchairs which are sitting in front of
- Balki arrives late
for work in what seems to be the morning at the Ritz Discount Store. A
short time later Larry gets a call from his friend Gus at the Whitcliffe Hotel
saying Dolly Parton is there and Larry leaves right away. Larry arrives at
home that evening (after dark) explaining that he got to the hotel right when
Dolly Parton was getting into a cab and pulling away. If that is the case,
and assuming the hotel isn't that far away, where was Larry all the rest of the
day (besides checking on information about her)? Even if Balki was late
getting back from his lunch break it would still be a long time for Larry to be
gone. Okay, granted, he could have been staking out the hotel hoping she'd
return, but then why did he give up when he did? Wouldn't it stand to
reason she'd be coming back any moment when it was getting late?
Larry is working in the Ritz Discount
store, finishing a sale for an elderly woman. As the woman exits, Mr.
Twinkacetti enters, shouting at someone in the street. "Yeah?
If you'd watch where you were going you wouldn't fall down!" He
enters the store and walks to the cash register, complaining, " Sheesh,
give somebody a white cane they think they own the sidewalk!"
"Hi, Mr. Twinkacetti," Larry offers, "The handicapped harassing
you again?" Twinkacetti gives Larry a sharp look. Balki enters,
sounding winded, and says, "Boy, Chicago is a big place! If I walked
as far on my little island of Mypos as I just walked I'd be drowning in the
ocean right now!" Balki thinks about this and adds, "I'm so
lucky to be here!" "You're so lucky the Statue of Liberty didn't
wave you away!" Twinkacetti says, then checks his watch and asks,
"Where are have you been?"
this nice little lady bought a television set," Balki begins, "and she
said to me 'Would you take this to my house?' and I said, 'Of course' because
it's only ninety-three blocks. And so when we got there I had to hook up
the antenna which was on the roof and I got up on the roof and it was covered
with pigeons and they were coming toward me because they want to peck me.
And then they come and sit on my neck and . . . I don't like that. And
then the old lady had to come up and drag me off the roof like Tippi Hedren.
But the TV works like a charm!" "What TV did she buy?"
Twinkacetti asks, looking around. "Oh, not one from here," Balki
explains. "It's obvious in his country cousins can marry,"
Twinkacetti sighs, then heads to his office. "Balki, that little old
lady took advantage of you," Larry says, "Every panhandler on the
block knows you by your first name . . . sucker. You've got to stop being
so nice." "Okay, you right," Balki nods, "I never be
nice again." The phone rings and Balki and Larry grab for it at the
same time, Balki saying, "Let me get that for you!" "I'll
get it," Larry insists.
Picking up the receiver, Larry says,
"Ritz Discount. Oh, hi Gus." Larry gets excited, saying,
"You're kidding! Gus, this means a lot
to me! Thanks!" Larry hangs up and runs to get his coat.
"Cousin Larry, you were very nice to that person on the phone," Balki
points out, "I hope he didn't take advantage of you." "I
finally got a break," Larry explains, "I just got a tip from a friend
who works at the Whitcliffe Hotel. Dolly Parton is staying in town
secretly." "Dolly Parton, I love her!" Balki exclaims, then
starts singing and dancing to "9 to 5" until Larry, who has grabbed
his camera case, stops him. "Balki, sit this one out," Larry
suggests, then continues, "Anyway, if I can get a picture of her before
anyone knows she's in town it'll show those newspaper editors that I've got what
it takes to be a crack photojournalist." Larry heads for the door but
Balki calls him back, saying, "Cousin Larry? You know some day I'm
going to look at you and say 'That's my cousin, Larry Appleton, the best
photographer in the world!' And do you know why? Because you're
cracked." "Thanks," Larry says facetiously as he heads out
the door, leaving Balki to start singing "9 to 5" again.
evening in the apartment Balki is watching television as he mends a pair of
pants. "Are you crazy?" Balki cries, "Door number two!
The couch is behind door number two!" Larry enters, sighing
"Unbelievable!" in frustration. "Cousin Larry, did you get
the picture?" Balki asks. "I got to the hotel just as her cab
was pulling away," Larry explains, "I jumped into another cab and said
'Follow that car!' and in case you're wondering . . . they don't do that."
"You've had a busy day," Balki agrees. "I gotta get this
picture," Larry says, sitting down on the couch, "And I found out why
she's staying under an assumed name. She checked into a room with a man
who is not her husband. This is a sure sale!" "If he's not
her husband then what's he doing in her room?" Balki asks. "Balki,
she's having an affair," Larry explains. Balki look offended,
stating, "Dolly Parton wouldn't do that. Maybe it's her
brother." "Yeah," Larry sighs, getting up to go to the
kitchen, "Well, there are newspapers who will buy a picture of them,
whoever he is." Balki gets up and walks to the kitchen as well,
asking, "What if they don't want their picture taken?"
"They don't," Larry confirms, "That's what makes newspapers want
to buy it." "Well, don't you think you're stepping on her
privacy?" Balki asks.
"Look, Balki," Larry
explains, getting some food and two soda cans out of the refrigerator and
carrying them to the dining table, "in America a famous person gives up
their right to privacy. If I'm gonna make it as a photojournalist it's
going to take a lot of talent and luck. I've got the talent and Dolly
Parton is my luck." "You want to get lucky with Dolly Parton?"
Balki asks. "Well, uh . . . that's another conversation
altogether," Larry says, "What I'm saying is that people have the
right to know about every aspect of a public figure's life."
"Taking a picture of Dolly Parton is photojournalism?" Balki asks with
confusion. "Well, it's the photo part," Larry admits with some
embarrassment, "the journalism will have to come later." Larry
pops open the tab of a pop top can which makes Balki jump backwards with
surprise. Larry also jumps up, startled by Balki's reaction.
"How you did that?" Balki asks with amazement. "It's a pop
top can!" Larry explains, "Haven't you ever seen one of these
before?" "Of course I have, don't be ridiculous!" Balki
brags, then walks over and pops the top on the other can, exclaiming happily,
"I did it!" After a second he asks, "Now how do I close
is a knock on the door and Larry answers it. A woman in a flight
attendant's uniform enters with a Great Dane on a leash. "Oh, hi
Linda, I forgot you were coming!" Larry admits. "Oh well, I hope
you're still going to be able to look after Gorbachev," Linda says,
"You're the only one he doesn't try to kill!" "Well, I'm
flattered," Larry comments. "Now remember, he likes to be walked
at ten o'clock. If you wait too long it'll be an experience you'll never
forget!" "Ten it is," Larry nods, "Maybe nine
thirty!" "Well, thanks a lot!" Linda smiles, handing Larry
the leash, "Hope I can return the favor somehow." "Well, um
. . . I'm sure we can think of something," Larry smiles with a wink.
"My flight gets back Tuesday," Linda says, then turns to leave as they
say goodbye, Larry still flirting. As soon as she's gone Larry sighs,
"Great, just what I need. I'm babysitting for the hound of the
Baskervilles! Come on, Gorbachev . . . if you're good we'll feed you a
mailman." Larry leads the dog into his bedroom, calling inside,
"Stay off the bed!" Off the dog's barking Larry says, "All
right . . . stretch out." He closes the door behind him.
Balki is leaning against the post to the
kitchen, eyeing Larry curiously. "Let me ask you something . . .
Linda just gave you a big dog
to take care of. Isn't she taking advantage of you?" "Welllll,
there's a difference," Larry explains, "I'm letting her take advantage
of me in the hopes it will help bond our relationship." Larry winks
at Balki. "You want to bond with her?" Balki asks.
"Well, she is a stewardess," Larry says, giving Balki's arm a knowing
punch. Balki punches Larry back. Larry laughs and shakes his hand as
if to say "Hot!" Balki mimics this. They continue to laugh
and throw knowing looks at one another until Balki finally asks, "What are
we talking about?" Larry shakes his head, taking his sandwich and
soda to the couch and saying, "I'll explain it some other time."
Balki returns to the couch and his darning as well. "I thought you
were going to your citizenship class," Larry realizes. "Well, I
make it up on Saturday," Balki explains, "I'm sewing Mr. Twinkacetti's
pants." "You're sewing Twinkacetti's pants?" Larry asks
with surprise. "Sure! You want me to sew something for
"There you go letting people take
advantage of you!" Larry moans, "You've got to learn to say no!"
"I can't say no," Balki says. "Balki, would you shine my
shoes?" Larry asks. "Sure!" Balki agrees immediately.
"There, you see?" Larry asks, "You did it again!
You've got to stand up for yourself!" Balki stands up.
"Sit down!" Larry insists. Balki sits. "Just say
no!" Larry demands. "No!" Balki says firmly, then adds,
"I'm sorry." "No, no don't say you're sorry, it takes the
edge off," Larry notes, "Now come on, try it again. Balki, would
you please shine my shoes?" Balki struggles, finally saying, "It
would help if you didn't say please." "Say it!" Larry
orders. "No!" Balki says strongly, shocked at his forcefulness,
which Larry encourages with a "Good!" "No, I won't shine
your shoes!" Balki states clearly. "Good, keep it going!"
Larry urges. "I would not shine your shoes if my life depend on
it!" Balki continues. "Would you get me the mustard?" Larry
asks. "Sure," Balki agrees, starting to get up and stopping
himself, "You try to trick Balki! No shoes! No mustard!
Good, huh?" "Very good, I'm very proud of you," Larry says,
"And you'll never do this again?" "Never again!" Balki
The phone starts to ring. Balki and
Larry both sit on the couch, listening to it several times, Larry testing Balki
and Balki struggling hard not to react. "I'll get it," Larry
finally says. "You bet you will, buddy," Balki states, sitting
back to continue his sewing with a smile as he adds, "This is fun!"
Larry walks over and picks up the phone. "Hello? They did?
When did they leave? You're the greatest, Gus! Thanks!"
Larry hangs up and hurries to get his jacket from the door, explaining, "Balki,
Dolly Parton just
went for a walk with the guy's she's with. I gotta hurry if I wanna catch
'em. Do me a favor . . . take Gorbachev for a walk at ten, okay?"
Larry grabs his camera bag and clutches the front doorknob, waiting for
confirmation from Balki. But Balki stays silent. "Balki?"
Larry asks. "You want me to walk the dog?" Balki asks.
"Yes," Larry nods. "Don't be ridiculous!" Balki sighs.
"No, no, now Balki . . . Balki, I am desperate! I am in need!"
"Aren't we all?" Balki asks coldly, putting down the sewing and
walking to the closet to get his jacket. "No, Balki, this is not a
test! I repeat, this is not a test!" Larry pleads, "I am begging
you!" "No way! Uh uh!" Balki states, throwing his
books in a bookstrap over his shoulder, "I'm going to my citizenship
class!" "No, Balki, you can't do this to me!" Larry
insists. "Who do you think you're talking to? Somebody nice?
HA!" Balki walks out the front door, leaving a frustrated Larry.
The second act starts in the Ritz Discount
Store. Larry is angrily stocking shirts when Balki enters with Susan.
"Come here, Susan," Balki urges, leading her over to Larry, "Look
this. Hello, Cousin Larry." Larry scowls at Balki, then smiles
and says "Hello, Susan!" Susan says, "Hi!" and then
Larry scowls at Balki again. "Larry, why aren't you talking to Balki?"
Susan asks. "I only talk to my friends," Larry smiles at Susan,
then frowns at Balki. "All I know is last night he taught me how to
say no, until I was very good at saying no. And then I said 'No!' and he
got mad!" "That's not quite what happened!" Larry
interrupts, moving to stand between Balki and Susan as he addresses her, "I
had the chance to get an exclusive photograph of a famous person. It was
probably the most important opportunity of my life and all he had to do was take
Gorbachev for a walk but nooooooo." Larry goes back to folding
shirts. "Gorbachev?" Susan asks. "A dog the size of a
Buick," Balki explains. "The point . . . " Larry begins,
then moves around Balki again, "The point is I had to take the beast with
me. When I finally got close enough to take the picture, she saw me and
took off. Gorbachev took off after her dragging me behind like a rag doll.
I tore my clothes, I sprained my ankle, I probably would have been dragged to my
death if Gorbachev hadn't met a stray poodle who was coming off a bad
relationship. All because of this . . . person . . . who I am not talking
to!" Larry smiles at Susan and then limps away angrily as Susan
That night in the apartment Balki and
Larry are sitting across the table from one another. Larry is still giving
Balki the silent treatment. "Did you like Mypos food?" Balki
asks. Larry just looks at him angrily. "Cousin Larry, I don't
know what you want," Balki
sighs, getting up and starting to clear the table, "I cook all day for you
and still you no talking to me. You told me to say no!" Larry
gives Balki the "time out" signal to stop him then stands up.
"I'll make an exception just to say this . . . I don't want to talk about
it!" Larry puts his plate in the sink, then walks to the living room.
"You know, now you making Balki mad," Balki says, "You know I can
pout, too!" Balki steps across the couch to cut Larry off.
"Pouting was invented on Mypos!" Larry walks to the chair by the
fireplace and sits down. "You haven't seen pouting until you've seen
the Mypos Kiss of Silence!" Balki warns. Larry looks at Balki
skeptically. "Okay, wise-eyes . . . you asking for it! I now
put on you the Mypos Kiss of Silence!" Balki reaches down and grabs
Larry's hair, pulling his head back and kissing him hard on the forehead.
Larry jumps up, incensed. "Don't you ever . . . ever . . . do
that again!" Larry warns, storming into the bathroom.
The phone rings and Balki answers it.
"Hello? Hello, Gus. No, he's in the bathroom, not talking.
What?" Balki raises his voice so Larry
will overhear him, "What is that about Dolly Parton? Whoa, my Cousin
Larry would love to hear that . . . !" Larry races out of the
bathroom and Balki finishes up quickly with, "Bye!" and hangs up the
phone as Larry reaches him. "Who was that?" Larry asks,
"Was that Gus from the hotel? Did he say something about Dolly Parton?
Did he say she was going out?" Balki stays silent, walking away and
sitting in the chair Larry occupied before. Larry snatches up the phone
receiver and starts dialing. "Well, what d'ya think, huh? I'm
not smart enough just to call the hotel and find out what he said? You're
not dealing with a dimwit here!" Balki gives Larry the "time
out" signal and says, "Gus went on his break!" Larry walks
over to Balki, looking like he could strangle him. He calms down, trying a
gentler approach, sitting on the edge of the end table. "Balki, I'd
like to apologize. I was wrong. I'm sorry I pouted. There.
Now tell me what he said." When Balki stays silent, Larry insists,
"Balki, I apologized!" "You didn't mean it," Balki
points out. "Of course, of course I meant it, Balki . . . cousin . .
. friend," Larry tries again.
know, on Mypos we have a way of showing an apology is real," Balki says.
Larry jumps up eagerly, promising, "Tell me, I'll do it!"
"Well, first you pluck a chicken . . . . " "Balki!"
Larry says impatiently. "Okay, we skip the chicken," Balki
agrees, "The important part is the groveling." "I can
grovel," Larry says. "The sorry person says, 'I am dirt. I
am the sweat of pig. I am sorry forever.' But it better be
convincing." Larry begins, saying, "I am dirt . . . I am . . . .
" but Balki starts motioning with his hand for Larry to do something and
Larry cries, "What? What??" "It's not groveling
unless your head is lower than mine," Balki explains. Larry drops to
his knees and starts again. "I am dirt . . . I am the sweat of a . .
. ." and Balki slowly slinks down in his chair so his head is once again
below Larry's and Larry is forced to bend down even lower. "I am dirt
. . . I am . . . . " Larry hesitates and Balki fills in, "The
sweat of a pig." "The sweat of a pig," Larry repeats,
"I've got it! I've got it! I am sorry forever. There, is
that good enough?" Balki thinks a moment. "It's just not
the same without the chicken," he concludes.
"Balki, Balki, please!" Larry
cries, sounding pained. "Oh, I forgive you!" Balki says.
They hug and get to their feet as Balki exclaims,
"Now we happy because we friends again, so we have to do the Dance of
Joy!" Balki starts doing the dance but Larry stops him.
"Now, tell me what Gus said about Dolly Parton!" Larry insists.
"She's on the plane to Nashville," Balki answers.
"No!" Larry cries. "Just kidding!" Balki says, then
adds, "Cousins should joke more!" "Yes, yes they
should!" Larry says and laughs a fake laugh then demands, "Now tell me
what he said!" "She's in the lounge with the man that I'm sure
is her brother," Balki answers. "The lounge!" Larry
repeats, running to get his jacket and camera bag. "Can I come with
you?" Balki asks, grabbing his own jacket as well. "Okay,
okay," Larry agrees, "Just make sure you don't do anything that will
attract attention to us. I want to get close enough to get the picture
this time." "You won't know I'm there," Balki promises,
then asks, "Can I say 'Watch the birdy?'" "No you cannot
say 'Watch the birdy!'" Larry scolds. "Why can't I say 'Watch
the birdy?'" Balki asks as they leave.
At the hotel, Larry and Balki enter the
lounge. Larry heads for an unoccupied table and sits down, looking around
as Balki sits beside him. "It's so dark in here!" Balki notes,
"You can't even see your own nose in front of your face!" Balki
crosses his eyes, trying to look at his nose, when Larry exclaims, "There
she is!" We see the back of a blonde woman's head as the man at her
table gets up to leave. "Oh no, he's leaving!" Larry moans,
"I've got to get a picture of them together!" "Don't you
see what's happened?" Balki cries, "She's just told him that they
can't go on like this. She's going back to her husband because she's a
good person. And now no one will ever know that they came here
together." Balki suddenly eyes Larry's camera in horror.
"Until you take
a picture of them and then their life is ruined!" Balki snatches the
camera away from Larry and moves to a table further away. "What are
you doing?" Larry asks, trying to hold his temper. "I can't let
you take advantage of her," Balki announces, "I don't think it's right
just because she has a public figure!" "Balki, give me my
camera," Larry demands, reaching for it. "No!" Balki
insists, holding it away from him, then smiles, "Good, huh?"
"Let's be adult about this," Larry suggests, "Give me my
camera!" Larry makes a grab for the camera and the wrestle for it,
with Balki finally grabbing and pinching Larry's nose. Larry suddenly
points across to the other table where the man is returning. "Look,
there! See?" Larry says, "He's come back! She's not going
back to her husband . . . they are going to Mexico to live in sin! Now
give me my camera!"
Larry pushes Balki over and grabs his
camera, then tries to nonchalantly make his way across the lounge, then ducking
a fern to make some adjustments. Balki steps between Larry and the fern
just as Larry stands up to take the picture; Balki now blocking his way.
"Balki, get out of my way!" "No!" Balki insists,
throwing his arms around Larry to stop him, "I can't let you invade her
privacies!" As Larry struggles, Balki calls over his shoulder,
"Run, Dolly, run!" Larry tries to twist free and ends up
spinning past Balki and over the potted fern, landing next to the couple's
table. The woman screams, crying, "That's him! That's the man
that's been following me!" The man with her grabs Larry by his
jacket, holding him tight and yelling, "Somebody call the police!"
Balki looks at the woman and notes, "You're not Dolly Parton!"
"She's not? But I was told . . . " Larry looks at her more
closely, agreeing, "You're not Dolly Parton!" The woman shakes
her head no. "All right, wise guy," the man says, "Why have
you been following us all over town? You scared my wife half to
death!" "I did?" Larry asked, "I'm sorry, I didn't
mean to hurt anyone! I just wanted to get a picture of a famous person
committing adultery!" The man looks shocked, then takes his wife and
leads her out of the lounge as Larry starts to say, "I am dirt . . . I am
the sweat of a pig . . . . " Balki motions for Larry to lower his
head and Larry slumps down against the wall, disappearing from sight.
Back at the apartment Larry is still
feeling terrible as the cousins sit in the chairs by the fireplace.
"Why couldn't I see what I was doing?"
Larry sighs. "Well, because it was very dark at that hotel,"
Balki offers. "I was willing to destroy a person's reputation by
selling a picture to a sleazy newspaper just to get my career started,"
Larry continues. "Well, I tried to tell you that but you wouldn't
listen," Balki says. "You tried to tell me that but I wouldn't
listen," Larry says, leaving Balki to look around in confusion.
"I have no integrity," Larry states. "Of course you
do," Balki assures him, "You full of it. What is
integrity?" "Refusing to sell out to get where you want to
go," Larry explains, "If I wanted to be a photojournalist with
integrity what made me think I could start out this way?" Larry gets
up and Balki follows him. "Cousin Larry, when a person learns
something about himself, that makes a better person." "I learned
I was a sleaze," Larry sighs. "But you can build on that,"
Balki offers, then explains, "In my country when somebody learns something
about themselves that is not good then he changes that. That means he has
what you call integrity. You should be proud of yourself. I'm proud
Larry asks, "Well, that makes me feel better. A little better.
Do me a favor . . . lock up before you go to bed, okay?" Balki gets
that look in his eyes which makes Larry pause. "Now Cousin,"
Balki begins, "It would make me happy to do something for you because you
are my friend but . . . if I do that for you are you taking advantage of
me?" "No," Larry explains, "What I meant about that
was if you wanna help people you should. But you shouldn't do it because
you feel you have to." "Oh! I understand!" Balki
nods, "What a wonderful day we've had. You have learned something and
I have learned something. Too bad we didn't learn it sooner. We
could have gone to the movies instead." Larry nods and Balki walks to
the door to lock up, leaning around the corner to call, "Cousin
Larry?" "What?" Larry asks. "Good night,"
Balki offers. "Goodnight, Balki," Larry smiles, walking to his
bedroom door. As he opens the door and steps inside we hear angry growling
and barking and Larry throws himself against the wall as his bedroom door shuts
and Balki stands, looking confused at the strange sounds.
on to the next episode . . .