Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 21 - Beautiful Dreamer

First Air Date: January 28, 1987
Nielsen Rating: 16.2 HH

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
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

Guest Cast:
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Marte Boyle Slout: Television Set Shopper
Muriel Minot: Greeting Card Shopper

Dimitri 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 December!"

Donít be ridiculous: Said four times, once in Myposian.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Thatís a good point, a very good point."
"Yes!  Yes!"

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 receiver

Notable Moments:
We hear Balki's Mama on the phone for the first time.

Interesting facts:
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.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
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.

Instead 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 answers sarcastically.

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 sleep.

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.

The 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 on him.

Turning 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.

That 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 association, 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 be good.

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!"

Larry 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 bathroom.

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.

Larry 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.

Slowly 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.

Larry 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.

Balki 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.

Continue on to the next episode . . .