Strangers Episode Guide
21 - Beautiful Dreamer
First Air Date:
January 28, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 16.2 HH
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Paula A. Roth
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Ernie Sabella: Mr. Donald Twinkacetti
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Marte Boyle Slout: Television Set Shopper
Muriel Minot: Greeting Card Shopper
Appearances: Dimitri can be see sitting on the end table to the right of
the couch in the last scene of the first act wearing a sleep mask. In the
second act he has been moved to the kitchen table.
"Before I talk about that dream again itíll be a cold day in
ridiculous: Said four times, once in Myposian.
used in this episode:
"Thatís a good point, a very good point."
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Larry grabs Balki by the shirt.
Mary Anne saying something profound or insightful and giving a completely
ridiculous reason for knowing it.
Jennifer skips kissing Larry goodnight at the door.
Balki cries until he gets something he wants.
Balkiís mama yelling "Balki!" which can be heard through the phone
We hear Balki's Mama on the phone for the first time.
- The episode title is the name of an 1865 standard
song by Stephen Foster which has been recorded countless times over the years.
A version of it was even recorded by rock legend Roy Orbison.
- This is the first time we hear Mamaís trademark "Balki!"
being yelled through the telephone.
- This episode marks the only time we would hear
Balki say "Donít be ridiculous" in Myposian!
- It wasnít the first time Jennifer didnít pick
up on Larryís desire to carry their relationship a step further (by kissing)
but at the end of the episode Larry makes it clear heís confused about where
they stand, whether Jenniferís really interested in him or not. This
would continue until the third season as their relationship slowly did progress.
Character actress Marte Boyle Slout, who appears as the woman with the
television set in this episode, would appear again as the debate moderator in
the sixth season episode See How They Run.
- While Melanie and Rebecaís screen credits continued to appear at the
end of the episodes throughout the second season (their names wouldnít move to
the opening credits until season three) they switched off getting top billing .
. . sometimes Rebeca was listed first and sometimes Melanie would be.
- In this episode Balki talks very respectfully about his Papa but
Balkiís Papa is rarely mentioned again and when they go to Mypos he is nowhere
to be seen and no explanation is ever given for his absence.
The episode begins in the middle of the night and Balki is has moved much of the
furniture in the living room to the edges of the area rug. He is in the
process of moving the round coffee table aside but its legs hitting the wood
floor make a noise and Larryís voice calls out "Balki?" from his
bedroom. Balki pauses, waiting to see if Larry will respond, then pulls
the table further and its last two legs make a noise on the floor. This
time Larry calls out Balkiís name and follows with "Is that you?"
Realizing that Larry is going to come out of his bedroom to investigate, Balki
runs to the front door and turns off the living room light, hoping Larry will
see the dark room and go back to bed.
Larry walks into the living room, asking whatís going on. He trips over
a chair and lands face first on one of the couchís cushions which is lying on
the floor. Balki quickly turns on the light and runs to Larry, asking if
heís all right. Larryís mumbled voice answers, "Fine!"
Balki comments that it was a good thing he put that cushion there or Larry could
have hurt himself. "Yes, itís a real piece of luck," Larry
Larry asks why Balki is rearranging
furniture in the middle of the night. Balki explains he needs more floor
space to do aerobics. Larry is surprised that Balki would be doing
aerobics at three a.m. when theyíre only four hours away from Twinkacettiís
monthly going out of business sale. He tells Balki they need to get some
sleep and Balki says heís not tired. Larry doesnít understand how that
could be. "But that reminds me," Balki begins, "I have a
friend who canít sleep. Thereís nothing wrong with him is there?"
Larry asks Balki if heís having trouble sleeping and Balki insists itís his
friend, his best friend. "Iím your best friend," Larry points
out. "Thatís a good point, a very good point," Balki agrees.
Larry assures Balki that everyone has
trouble sleeping every now and again. Balki asks if every now and again is
more than four nights in a row. When pressed he finally admits heís had
trouble sleeping four nights in a row. Larry sits Balki down on the couch
and explains that what Balki has is a classic case of insomnia. Balki is
horrified. "I knew it was something terrible!" he worries, then says,
"Okay, give it to me straight. How long have I got?"
"Fifty or sixty years," Larry answers flatly. "Fifty of
sixty years?" Balki cries, "Oh my god, a slow death!" Larry
consoles him by explaining that insomnia is what they call it when you canít
Larry says heíll help Balki to fall
asleep and Balki wants to know how. Larry asks how people generally fall
asleep on Mypos and Balki says they close their eyes and wait for Princess Reva,
the beautiful fairy princess who holds all the sleeping people in her arms and
protects them until morning.
Off Larryís clueless expression Balki asks "Donít she come to
America?" "No, she donít come to America," Larry admits.
"Well, what do you do in America?" Balki asks. "Here we
wait for the sandman. He makes you sleepy by throwing sand in your
eyes." Balki thinks about this a moment then says, "Well, if
itís all the same to you, Iíll hold out for the princess."
Putting the second cushion back on the
couch Larry explains theyíre going to put Balkiís body to sleep one part at
a time. He instructs Balki to lie down and say goodnight to his toes.
Balki sounds skeptical at first but then goes along with saying goodnight to his
feet and legs. By the time he says goodnight to his finger Balki falls
fast asleep. Larry is satisfied, commenting
to himself "Where would this kid be without me?"
Heís about ready to go back to bed when
Larry notices that Balki is looking pained in his sleep. He stops and
watches as Balki starts to call out for his Mama and then lets out a horrible
scream, bolting upright. Larry realizes Balki must have had some kind of
nightmare but Balki canít remember anything about it. Larry offers to
sit up with Balki but Balki insists Larry go back to bed. Larry says that
at some point Balkiís body will tell him when itís time for him to sleep and
Balki says heíll let Larry know if his body says anything to him. As
Larry is about to head for bed again Balki stops him, pausing anxiously as he
listens, then realizes his body is only telling him heís hungry.
next morning the cousins are in the Ritz Discount store preparing for the big
sale. Balki is obviously exhausted and Larry is trying to encourage him to
go to bed. But Balki says he needs to help with the sale, pointing to the
mob of people already pressed against the door waiting to get in. As they
are looking at this they see Mr. Twinkacetti making his way through the mob,
ending up smashed against the door as he yells for Appleton to help him.
Larry runs to the door and manages to open it just wide enough to let his boss
is, as Twinkacetti beats back the anxious shoppers. Once inside the shop
Twinkacetti moans, "Youíd think I was having a real sale!
People are so gullible!" Larry tries to wish Twinkacetti a good
morning but the man only grunts and goes into his office.
Larry looks around and realizes Balki is
no where in sight. Larry spots a table in the foreground with a sheet over
it and runs over, pulling the sheet back to reveal Balki sleeping on a pile of
shirts. Larry pulls him up and Balki says "Remember when you told me
that my body would tell me when itís time to sleep? Well, itís talking
to me like crazy!" Balki starts to drift off again but Larry pulls
him up, saying they have to get Balki upstairs and into bed. Larry pulls
Balki off the table but he only slumps down onto the floor. It takes some
effort for Larry to finally get Balki onto his feet again.
They head for the front door and Larry
tries to get it open and keep the shoppers at bay while balancing a sleeping
Balki on one arm, but the mob manages
to burst through and rush inside, sweeping Balki up with them and carrying him
back well into the store where he ends up next to a table of precariously
arranged cups and dishes. Larry barely manages to push his way through the
people to grab Balki and keep him from crashing into the display.
Steering Balki to an antique barberís
chair Larry says itís best for Balki to stay out of the way. No sooner
does Larry walk away than a woman holding a small television approaches Balki
and asks if he works there. "Oh, Iíll put that in your car for
you," a dazed Balki offers and gets up to take the television. No
sooner is he on his feet than he nods off again, backing up toward the dishes
display. Once again Larry catches him barely in time and asks the woman to
take the television set out of Balkiís hands. Larry once again pushes
Balki into the chair and tells him to stay there. Balki insists heís
going to help Larry with the sale but falls asleep the moment heís finished
his sentence. Larry places an "Out to Lunch" sign on Balkiís
to help the woman with the television Larry informs her that itís eighty nine
dollars marked down from ninety two. The woman says sharply, "I
thought you said this was a sale!" In the meantime Balki is starting
to have his nightmare again and calls out in his sleep as a woman next to him is
looking through greeting cards. Balki sits up and screams, startling the
woman looking through the cards. She races out of the store, scaring the
woman holding the television set into throwing it in the air. Larry lunges
for the television set, catching it but knocking into the display of dishes
which go crashing to the ground. The woman is quick to hurry away, leaving
Twinkacetti to find Larry standing over the shattered display. "You
broke it, you bought it!" Twinkacetti tells Larry, slapping Larry on the
back and causing him to drop the television set as well.
night Larry is carrying a stack of books to the coffeetable as he and Balki sit
on the couch to discuss the problem. "We have to make sure you
donít stay up another three days then fall asleep during Mr. Twinkacettiís
annual water damage sale," Larry explains. He found some of his old
college psych(ology) books to help them find out whatís causing Balkiís
nightmares. "The answer is inside your head. We have to get in
there and find what weíre looking for." Balki looks nervous.
"Does this involve cutting?"
Larry explains that in college they
studied ways to get into the subconscious. He decides to start with word
giving Balki a word and having him respond with the first word that comes into
his head. It starts out normally enough, with Larry saying "in"
and Balki answering "out," Larry giving "up" and Balki
saying "down." After "black / white," "short /
tall," Balki answers "door" with "eggs." Larry
says that makes no sense but Balki says it does because he remembers the time
his Uncle Stavlos closed Aunt Sophiaís hand in the door and they had to take
her to the doctor but he charged so much money they couldnít pay it so they
had to give him one dozen eggs from their hen Hilda every week for a year.
"So you see it makes perfect sense and donít you feel just a little bit
stupid?" Balki asks. Larry is ready to leave but Balki says heíll
Since that didnít work Larry says
theyíll try an exercise where they go back into the dream state.
"Would that be New Jersey?"
Balki asks. "No . . . no, thatís the Garden State," Larry
explains patiently. Larry says this exercise will help Balki relive his
dream and starts by asking Balki to clear his mind of all thoughts.
"I know itís not easy," Larry says, "but you have to
concentrate . . . " But Balki declares heís done it and that his
mind is empty, taking on a vacant expression. Larry encourages him to go
back into his dream and tell him what he sees. Balki says he sees little
white cars and that their engines are running like thunder and he wants to run
but canít move and theyíre coming closer to him and heís afraid theyíre
going to crush him. Seeing Balki is becoming more scared Larry eases him
back and Balki fans himself nervously, saying "Whoa, baby! We shoulda
gone to New Jersey!"
asks Balki if this is the same dream heís had for the past few nights and
Balki says he thinks so. Larry says that the only way Balki can get rid of
the nightmare is to figure out what it means and theyíll have to talk about
it. Balki immediately refuses, saying "Cousin, before I talk about
that dream again itíll be a cold day in December!" Balki runs into
The second act opens at 3:00 a.m. the next
morning. Jennifer and Mary Anne are sitting around the coffee table with
the guys as Larry insists Balki tell them about his dream. Balki keeps
trying to create distractions, like getting popcorn. When Larry asks if
the dream was in black and white or color Balki heads into the kitchen to make
hot chocolate. Mary Anne is all smiles, saying "This is fun!
Iíve never been to a dream interpretation party before!" Jennifer
looks more skeptical, saying to Larry that she gets the feeling Balki doesnít
want to talk about his dream.
walks into the kitchen and tells Balki they have to solve his problem, pushing
Balki back to the couch. Balki insists he doesnít want to talk about it.
Jennifer assures Balki that everyone has nightmares and theyíre nothing to be
afraid of. "Dreams are nothing more than windows to our
subconscious," Mary Anne offers, "They should be open to let in the
fresh air of reason." Everyone stares at Mary Anne in disbelief.
"Mary Anne, did you just read that?" Larry asks.
"No, sometimes late at night I start to make sense," Mary Anne
explains. Jennifer eyes Larry, saying, "Scary, huh?"
The girls excuse themselves because they
have an early flight. "If we donít get some sleep weíll wind up
spilling things on
the passengers," Jennifer explains. "They hate that," Mary
Anne adds. Mary Anne wishes Balki "Pleasant dreams!" then
realizes what she's said. As they leave Larry wishes Jennifer goodnight
and she smiles at him but doesnít kiss him goodnight. The girls leave.
Balki suggests they go to an all-night
movie and gets their jackets from the closet door but Larry insists they have to
find out what Balkiís dream means so they can both get some sleep. Balki
still doesnít want to talk about it and says Larry canít make him.
Larry says fine, that heíll figure it out himself. Balki puts Larryís
jacket back and prepares to leave as Larry sits back down on the couch and
starts thumbing through one of his books. Just as Balkiís heading out
the door Larry pretends heís found something very interesting, "Ah
ha!"ing to himself and catching Balkiís attention.
Balki slips back in the door and over to the couch, trying to look over
Larryís shoulder to see what Larry has found. Larry hides the pages from
his view and Balki comes around to sit on the couch and says he wants to see the
book. Larry refuses until Balki starts to cry and then agrees heíll let
Balki see the book if Balki gives him one piece of information.
"Where are the cars in your dream going?" Balki hesitates, then
answers, "Into a big garage" and reaches for the book, but Larry keeps
it out of reach. Larry pushes further, asking why the cars are going into
the garage and Balki says "I donít know why theyíre going into the
barn!" Larry latches on to the word barn as having significance.
"Do you know what this means?" Larry asks. "Youíre not
going to give me the book?" Balki asks.
points out that cars donít belong in barns, animals do, so the cars must
represent some kind of animal. He starts naming different animals,
"rabbits, cats dogs . . . " "Sheep?" Balki offers.
"No, it would have to be some kind of farm animal," Larry insists,
"horses . . . " "Sheep!" Balki says again.
"Iíve got it!" Larry declares. "Cows!"
"Sheep!" Balki repeats. Larry finally catches on and agrees that
the cars represent sheep. Larry is confused then, asking why Balki would
be afraid of sheep. "I donít know," Balki admits.
"I love sheep! Sheep are manís best friend!" Larry
speculates that maybe Balki only thinks he loves sheep but actually he was
jealous of all the attention his parents gave the sheep. Balki shoots this
theory down saying, "They treated us all equally."
The question as Larry sees it is why Balki
would be dreaming of sheep now. Balki announces, as if the answer should
be obvious, "Itís bopoltide!" Larry
asks what bopoltide is. Balki explains that itís the time of the year
when the Mypiot people shear off the wool of the sheep to sell to get money.
The whole family gets up very early because the wool buyer comes to Mypos for
only one day and if the wool is not ready when he comes then he goes right on to
the next farm and they perhaps donít have any money for food. Balki then
confesses that heís worried because heís not there to help and maybe they
donít finish in time and they will end up being hungry. Larry realizes
Balki feels guilty about this and thatís whatís causing his nightmare.
He suggests they call Balkiís family and tell them heís sorry he canít be
there. But Balki says they are probably tired from working too much and
thereís only one phone on Mypos which is way on the other side of the island
and that after they get the messenger pigeon theyíd have to pack a lunch, get
in the oxcart and drive many, many miles to get to the phone booth.
"One phone?" Larry asks incredulously. "Well yes,"
Balki confirms, "but it has call waiting!" Larry says he will
place the call.
The next scene finds Balki talking on the
phone in Myposian with Larry standing next to him, asking for translations of
what theyíre saying. Balki explains to Larry that he has told them he
feels bad because he canít be there for the sheep shearing. "Balki!"
Mamaís voice calls loudly through the phone, making Balki jump as he realizes
heís keeping his mother waiting while translating. Balki listens on the
phone and then becomes excited and Larry wants to know whatís being said.
Balki explains that they bought an electric sheep shearer with the money he sent
them. Again Mamaís voice cries, "Balki!" Balki
listens and talks again then tells Larry that they finished their work in half
the time and had a big celebration. "Balki!" Mama cries.
Balki finishes up his phone call with his mama, hesitating when she apparently
wants him to throw her kisses over the phone, embarrassed to do that in front of
Larry. But he does and then he holds the phone up for Larry, who also
blows a couple of kisses to Mama.
is very quiet when the phone conversation ends and walks to the couch to sit
down, Larry following him and asking if heís okay. "Cousin, what do
you call it when something squeeze your heart and make you wish you were with
your family?" Larry explains that it's called being homesick and that
itís perfectly natural to miss his family and want to be with them.
Balki says heís very happy he came to America and that Larry is a good family
to him. "But once in a while when I know my Mypos family is all
together then I wish I was in my chair at the table, because Papa sits here and
Uncle Stavlos sits there and itís a place of honor, you know."
Larry suggests that maybe Balki should call home more often. "It
wonít be like being in your chair but at least youíll hear the voices."
Balki says he is sorry he made so much
trouble for Larry and Larry assures him itís okay, that he was just worried
about him. Balki says heís glad Larry made him look Mr. Fear right in
the face. "Heís not so bad when you realize heís just a
sheep!" Larry says he knows Balki would do the same for him.
"Listen . . . if anything is ever, ever bothering you, you let me
know!" Balki insists. Larry says there is something heís wanted to
talk to Balki about but that things have been so hectic he hasnít found a good
time. Before he can even begin Larry realizes Balki has fallen sound
asleep where he sits, snoring with his mouth open. Larry continues anyway,
saying heís wondering where his relationship with Jennifer stands, talking it
out to a sleeping Balki.
on to the next episode . . .