Strangers Episode Guide
65 - Blind Alley
First Air Date:
February 17, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 15.3 HH
TV Guide Description: Balki
pinch-hits for an absent player in the
Chronicle's bowling league, but he may be unable to see his way to victory after
a visit to the eye doctor on the day of the big tournament.
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Tom Devanney
Directed by: Joel Zwick
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Belita Moreno: Miss Lydia Markham
Jo Marie Payton-France: Harriette Winslow
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley
Jimi Bridges Jr.: Calvin
Dimitri is not seen in this episode.
"Rubbing your face with a trophy? Cousin, that could damage your
"Well, Cousin, if . . . if you have time to go pick up your slacks you have
time to teach me how to bowl."
"I thought they left that one out overnight and the ball weevils got
"And not rubbing his face on it means that youíre a better winner than he
ridiculous: Said once in this episode.
used in this episode:
"Well, Iíll be snookered."
Other running jokes
used in this episode:
Harriette insults Lydia
- Jimi Bridges, Jr., seen in this episode as Calvin, is Todd (Diffírent
Strokes) Bridges older brother and both are part of DVFilmWorks, a film
production company. Now known primarily as James Bridges, he has worked as
an actor, director, producer and scriptwriter.
- In parts of this episode Balki is wearing a
jacket with a red, black and yellow geometric pattern and yellow sleeves.
Bronson wore this same jacket on the first appearance he did on The
Arsenio Hall Show on February 8, 1989 which can be seen on our YouTube
- There are three background actors who have been
seen in various previous episodes who also appear in this episode. Two of them
are part of Gorpley's bowling team, which is funny considering they were also
guests at Larry and Balki's Christmas party in the episode The Gift of the
Mypiot earlier this season and weren't too friendly to Mr. Gorpley then!
The first has been seen in a number of episodes playing various background
characters. Here, according to his bowling shirt, his name is Paul.
Another member of Gorpley's bowling team, whose name appears to be Bill, was
seen before at the Christmas party. And the woman who is usually working
behind Larry and Balki in the Chronicle basement can also be seen at the bowling
alley watching the championship game, cheering on Gorpley's team (she can also
be seen eating at a table in the background while Larry teaches Balki how to
- Jimmy the security guard does not appear in this
episode but Larry mentions him when he talks about how Gorpley locked Jimmy in
the menís room so heís miss the previous years bowling championship.
- The name of Larryís bowling team is
"Strike Force" while Gorpleyís team is called "High
- When Balki arrives to play in the tournament,
he's wearing Calvin's bowling shirt.
- This episode was clearly inspired by the Laverne
& Shirley episode entitled Bowling for Razzberries in which the
girls are competing in the annual Shotz bowling tournament. The difference
is Laverne has taken an excess of medication to fight a bad cold and is
"doped up." However, the joke where she almost throws the
bowling ball into the seats is recreated here in much the same way, except of
course she isnít swinging the ball over her head!
- The music used while Balki is throwing his last
shot is the same music used when Balki hit the winning home run in the second
season episode The Unnatural.
- Itís true that Balki doesnít plan to bowl when he enters the
bowling alley with Larry, but when Balki announces he wants to learn he never
gets bowling shoes. Playing on the lanes without bowling shoes can get one
kicked out of a bowling alley.
When Balki throws the last ball in slow motion, you can see the end of
the rise between the bowling alley lanes, showing that is where the alley set
- Also on his last throw, Balki tosses the ball
from the center of the lane, but when it cuts to the shot of the ball going
towards the pins it is coming from the very far right of the lane. Not
only that, but the ball Balki throws has distinct writing above the holes while
the ball going down the lane doesnít.
The episode begins in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle. Larry is
standing by his desk with Lydia, Harriette and another
mailroom worker named Calvin. Larry is punching figures into an adding
machine. "All right, Harriette," Larry begins, "after last
nightís thrilling come from behind victory, your season bowling average is now
. . . 135." "Iím hot!" Harriette exclaims, "Iím
total hot!" "Uh, how am I doing, Larry?" Lydia asks.
Larry checks a sheet and starts punching in numbers, answering, "Uh, your
average has climbed to . . . 79." "79!" Lydia cries
excitedly, "And I havenít even peaked yet!" "All right,
and Calvin still has the league leading bowling average of . . . 195,"
Larry announces. Calvin smiles and looks proud. Larry puts the
calculator down, saying, "All right, now . . . nothingís gonna stop us!
Weíre going to that championship and what are we gonna do?"
"Win!" they all shout. Balki enters from the loading dock as
they continue to rally. "Whatíre we gonna do?"
"Win!" "We are going to . . . " "Win!
Win! Win! Win! Win!" The team starts high-fiving
one another (Lydia keeps putting her hand out but she is too short to reach).
Balki reaches the desk and joins in the excitement and high-fives, hugging
Lydia. "This is fun!" Balki says, "What are we doing?"
"We are psyching up!" Larry
explains. The bowling team does the synchronized success move, holding
their hands out and
pulling them back as if they are snatching success. "For the big
bowling championship!" Larry adds. The team does the move again.
"Are you gonna come and watch us play?" Lydia asks. "Well,
of course I am, donít be ridiculous!" Balki says, "When is it?"
"Tomorrow night," Larry answers. "Oh. Wednesdayís
bad for me," Balki realizes, "I have a doctorís appointment.
Can we do it Tuesday?" "Balki, this is the championship, not a
dinner date," Larry points out. "Oh," Balki sighs.
"Well, I better get back to work before Gorpley catches me standing
around," Calvin notes. Everyone agrees and Lydia and Harriette also
head back to work as Calvin leaves. "All right, all right,"
Larry says, after Calvin, "Take care of that arm. Huh? Keep it
warm. Keep it warm! Yes! Yes!" Larry returns to his
desk, saying, "I canít wait to see Gorpley when they hand me that trophy.
Heís been rubbing my face in it for a year!" Balki is at his work
table looking confused. "Rubbing your face with a trophy?
Cousin, that could damage your pores."
The next scene takes place at the bowling
alley. Lydia and Harriette are practicing in one lane. Lydia throws
a ball on a second
frame and gets all but two pins. She jumps up and down excitedly and runs
back to Harriette to tell her how to mark it on the score board. Larry and
Balki enter and stand behind their lane. "So, this is an American
bowling alley," Balki notes, looking around, "It donít look like any
alley Iíve ever seen." "Listen to me," Larry says
seriously, "I really need to get a lot of practice in tonight. So
please . . . just sit down and donít touch anything." Balki grabs
Larryís shoulders to keep him from walking away and says, "Cousin, I
donít suppose you would like to teach me how to bowl?"
"No," Larry says flatly, cutting off any argument, "No,
absolutely not. No, no, Balki . . . tomorrow is the most important match
of my life. I have to concentrate." Larry walks into the lane
with Balki following behind him, holding up his hands to Larry as if to keep
distractions away. Harriette and Lydia start to greet Larry but Balki
quickly says, "Donít! Donít say anything to Cousin Larry.
Heís got to concentrate." "Not now, Balki," Larry
explains, "When I bowl." "Oh," Balki realizes, backing
whereís Calvin?" Harriette asks, "Itís not like him to be
late." "Yeah, where is Calvin?" Lydia asks. The front
door opens and Gorpley and his team enters, Gorpley laughing loudly.
"Ah, hi guys!" Gorpley greets them. "Hi, Mr. Gorpley,"
Balki smiles. "Appleton," Gorpley sighs with fake sympathy,
"so sorry to hear about your bad luck." "What bad
luck?" Larry asks. "Oh, I guess you havenít heard,"
Gorpley says, "Gee, I hate to be the bearer of bad news."
"What bad news?" Larry asks, starting to suspect something.
"Well, it seems that Calvinís boss sent him to a seminar in Topeka for
two weeks," Gorpley explains, "I guess heís gonna miss the
match." "Wait a minute, Mr. Gorpley," Balki says,
"Arenít you Calvinís boss?" "Oh, so I am!"
Gorpley admits with a smile. "Gorpley, this is the lowest thing you
have ever done," Larry sneers. "Oh, trust me, Appleton . . .
itís not even close!" Gorpley assures him. Gorpley and his team
laugh as they walk to a lane further down.
"I donít believe that guy,"
Larry complains, "He did it again! Last year he locked Jimmy in the
menís room so heíd miss the big
match and now this." "Well, Iím too angry to practice!"
Harriette announces, "Iím gonna go home and burn dinner."
Harriette grabs her jacket and leaves. "I gotta go shopping,"
Lydia sighs, "The only thing that gets me out of a depression is buying on
credit." Lydia grabs her jacket and also leaves. "Oh
Cousin, Iím so sorry," Balki offers, "Iím so sorry."
Larry sighs, then says, "Well, Iím not gonna let Gorpley win without a
fight. If I have to, Iíll pick up the slack myself."
"Well, Cousin, if . . . if you have time to go pick up your slacks you have
time to teach me how to bowl," Balki points out as Larry picks up a bowling
ball from the ball return. "Absolutely not," Larry insists.
Balki starts to argue with him and Larry argues back until Larry finally says,
as if he were talking to a child, "Balki! Why donít you go get
yourself a soda?" Balki smiles and starts to walk away as Larry takes
his position in the lane, ready to throw. Balki stops and looks around,
then walks up behind Larry, following him as he starts his stride.
As Larry swings the ball back to throw it,
Balki grabs it on the back swing and holds on, causing Larry to spin around and
the floor, his fingers still in the ball in Balkiís hand.
"Cousin," Balki says, "I want to bowl." "Okay,
fine," Larry capitulates, "Get a ball. Letís get this over
with." Balki drops the ball, which lands precariously close to Larry
on the lane. Balki starts examining the balls in the ball return,
announcing as Larry gets up, "Oh, this oneís no good. Itís got
holes in it." "Balki, Balki," Larry says, "the holes
are what you put your fingers in." Larry shows him with the ball he
is holding. "Oh, itís supposed to have the holes!"
Balki realizes. "Yes," Larry answers. "Well, Iíll
be snookered," Balki says, "I thought they left that one out overnight
and the ball weevils got it." Balki starts to demonstrate how they
get in there and Larry has to say, "Balki. Balki. Balki?
Watch me." Larry steps onto the lane with Balki watching closely.
"All right," Larry begins, "Now, you stand here. All right?
Get relaxed and comfortable. Okay? Then you bring the ball up to eye
level," Larry demonstrates, holding the ball up in front of him as he says,
"to line up your shot." Balki walks in front of Larry and looks
at the ball as Larry continues, "And then when it . . . bad place to stand.
Bad place to stand." Balki moves aside again.
"All right, then," Larry
continues, "when everything comes together . . . you start your
stride." Larry walks through his stride and
then throws the ball, which rolls down the lane and knocks down all but two
pins. "Cousin, you know what?" Balki asks, "This is just
like nok-nok-roll-a-rock." "Nok-nok-roll-a-rock?" Larry
asks. "Exactly," Balki says, "Itís the Myposian game the
whole family can play. First you take a rock . . . oh but, listen to me!
Listen to me! ĎJust take a rock.í You donít just take a
rock. Part of the skill is picking just the right rock. Uh, you have
to feel at one with your rock. And you get it, and you put it . . . "
"Balki," Larry interrupts, "Iím sure nok-nok-roll-a-rock is a
real challenge in Mypos. But in America, where weíve already gone
through the industrial revolution, sports are a bit more sophisticated. It
takes years to become a good bowler." "Well then, letís get
started!" Balki suggests enthusiastically. "Get a ball,"
Larry gives in, "Get a ball." Balki runs to the ball return and
look over the balls. He picks one and puts his fingers into it, picking it
up. "How am I doing so far?" Balki asks. "You seem to
have mastered that part," Larry says condescendingly. "Well, I
should say so," Balki smiles, dropping the ball to his side and realizing
it is stuck on his fingers.
Balki tries to shake the ball off, then
tries pushing it off. He then puts it between his legs and tries to pull
it off. "Well, maybe not,"
Larry sighs. Larry takes the ball and tries to help Balki get his fingers
loose. Balki pushes on Larryís face for leverage but the ball wonít
budge. Larry then holds the ball tight while Balki turns his back and puts
his foot on Larryís leg and tries to pull his fingers out. When this
doesnít work, they stand back to back with Larry holding the ball at armís
length while Balki has his arm over Larryís shoulder and they try that way.
Larry looks over his shoulder at Balki then gets an idea and bites Balkiís
arm. Balki jumps and his fingers come loose from the ball.
"There we go," Larry smiles, casually brushing the ball off as Balki
stamps his foot in frustration. Larry sets the ball back into the ball
return and picks out another ball for Balki. "Why donít you try
this one?" Larry suggests. Balki puts his fingers in the hole then
pulls them back out again. "Better?" Larry asks.
"Yeah," Balki says. Balki sticks his fingers in again and pulls
them out. "Better?" Larry asks again. "Oh yeah,"
Balki smiles, continuing to put his fingers in and take them out.
"Okay, you got it?" Larry asks. "Yeah," Balki laughs,
keeping his fingers in the ball. "You got it?" Larry asks again.
Larry lets go of the ball and it almost takes Balkiís arm off as it drops, but
Balki manages to hold onto it.
"Now, stand here," Larry
directs. "Yeah," Balki agrees. "All right, remember
what I told you," Larry continues, "Get relaxed and comfortable.
Just relaxed and comfortable." Balki lets his body go limp like a rag
doll and finally he lays on the floor where
spreads out. "Get up," Larry insists, "Get up. Get
up. Get up!" Balki gets to his feet and composes himself,
giving Larry a sweet smile. "All right, now," Larry continues,
"bring the ball up to eye level. Line up the shot." Balki
puts the ball right in front of his face. "I canít see a
thing!" Balki announces. "Lower the ball," Larry suggests.
Balki does so, spying the lane and pointing to it, smiling. "There it
is!" Balki says. "All right, now," Larry proceeds,
"start your stride." Balki starts to slink down toward the lane
with a sexy kind of stride. "No. No. No no no no
no!" Larry cries, motioning for Balki to come back. Balki giggles but
Larry continues to be serious. "All right, start your stride,
okay?" Larry prompts as Balki follows his moves, "Step on the right
foot; the first step of a four step delivery. Step on the left. As
you step on the right swing the ball back. Step left, swing forward, and
release." Balki follows through but doesnít let the ball go until
itís high in the air and it simply drops down onto the lane with a thud.
They watch as it rolls only slightly away. "Cousin, I donít think
itís gonna make it," Balki notes.
"Thatís enough for today,"
Larry decides. "Should I give it a little kick?" Balki asks.
"No, no, no, no, no," Larry insists, "I donít want you to
suffer from bowlerís burnout on the very first day." Larry smiles
and goes to retrieve the ball and put it back in the
ball return. "Cousin, look. Look," Balki asks, "Can I
. . . can I just try one thing? I want . . . can I just try it my way?
Can I just try it my way?" "Balki, if you want to use some of
your stone age techniques . . . go right ahead," Larry says.
"Thank you, I will!" Balki says, motioning for Larry to step aside.
Balki walks to the ball return, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.
"Now first, I have to find the ball that Iím at one with."
Balki holds his hands over the balls, moving them over different ones until he
stops at a particular ball. Balki leans over the ball emotionally,
gasping, "Oh!" Larry covers his face with embarrassment.
Balki takes the ball and walks to the lane, stepping up with his legs apart and
placing the ball in his hands on his head. He swivels his hips in
preparation. Taking five wide steps forward, Balki says, "Nok nok nok
nok nok," with each step until he reaches the line. He then lowers
the ball to his chest, takes a deep breath, and lets out an unbelievably loud
scream as he holds the ball high up over his head, then swings it down between
his legs and throws it forward. The ball rolls down the lane and knocks
over all of the pins. Larryís eyes open wide with amazement and he runs
to where Balki is standing, staring down the alley in shock as the scene fades
Act two begins at the bowling alley the
night of the championship game. Larry, Lydia and Harriette are in their
team uniforms with
their team name "Strike Force" on the front and back. They are
standing in the bowling aisle as Larry tells them about Balkiís bowling
prowess. "Are you telling me that Balki is a great bowler?"
Lydia asks over the establishing shot of the Panorama Bowl. "Yeah, I
couldnít believe it!" Larry says, "It was strike after strike after
strike. He bowled a 285 on his first game." "285?"
Lydia gasps. "285," Larry confirms. "In one
game?" Lydia asks in disbelief. "Thatís a monthís worth of
bowling for you," Harriette comments. Mary Anne and Jennifer enter
and Mary Anne calls, "Hi!" "Oh, hi!" Larry, Harriette
and Lydia greet them. Larry goes to meet them. "Larry, did we
miss anything?" Jennifer asks. "No, no, weíre just warming
up," Larry explains. "Whereís Balki?" Mary Anne asks.
"Well, he should be here any minute," Larry answers, "He had to
stop at the doctorís and then heís coming straight here. Now, I saved
you these seats." Larry motions to a couple of stools right behind
the lane and the girls sit down.
Gorpley approaches with his bowling team,
dressed in their uniforms with their team name "High Rollers" on the
front and back. One
member, Paul, is carrying the trophy the won the previous year.
"Appleton," Gorpley says, "letís get this show on the
road." "Keep your shirt on," Larry says, "Not all of
our team is here yet." "Oh, whoíd you get to replace
Calvin?" Gorpley asks, "One of the babes from the typing pool?"
His team laughs. "It so happens itís Balki," Lydia informs
them. Gorpley laughs even harder. "Bartokomous? Oh,
excuse me. I have to go get ready for our victory party."
"You wonít be laughing so much when Balki gets here," Larry smirks.
Balki enters the bowling alley wearing temporary sunglasses. He fumbles
forward, groping to find his way, and ends up colliding with a waitress,
toppling her tray of drinks. "Oh! Am I late?" Balki asks,
"Am I in the bowling alley?" Larry runs to Balki and grabs him
by the jacket, asking, "Balki?" Balki feels Larryís face,
asking, "Cousin?" "Oh, this is gonna be fun," Gorpley
laughs with Paul.
"Balki, whatís the matter with
you?" Harriette asks. "Harriette?" Balki calls, fumbling
toward the seats where she is sitting. "Right
here, baby," she calls, "Right here." "The eye doctor
put drop in my eyes and I canít see a thing," Balki explains. Larry
pulls Balki forward, crying, "Balki! You didnít tell me you were
going to the eye doctor!" "Well, I didnít think it was
important," Balki says, taking a step forward and tripping over the step up
to the bowling lane. He quickly gets back to his feet and states, "I
was wrong." "I canít do it," Larry sighs to himself,
"I canít think of everything he doesnít know." "Come
on, Cousin," Balki says, "I can bowl. The doctor says that they
will clear up in just a few hours and all I need to do is just take a little
practice shot." Balki removes his jacket and asks, "Okay?"
"All right. Okay," Larry sighs, not sounding very certain.
"Okay," Balki says, slowly sidestepping until he reaches the ball
return. Lydia, who had walked over to examine the balls earlier, has knelt
down on the side opposite Balki to tie her shoelaces. Balki starts feeling
for a ball and ends up grabbing Lydiaís face, putting his fingers under her
front teeth. She screeches as Balki tries to pick her up. Lydia
looks shocked and Balki looks confused as Gorpleyís team has a good laugh.
Gorpley steps forward, saying, "Come
on, Appleton. Enough stalling. Letís get started."
"Well, just a minute," Larry argues, "Just a minute. Balki
needs to warm up. Heís gotta take a few practice frames."
Gorpley laughs and walks back to his team. "All right, come on, Balki,"
Larry says, taking Balkiís hand, "Letís get ya a ball."
"Okay," Balki says. Larry leads Balkiís hand over one of the
balls in the ball return. Balki shakes his head no. Larry tries the
one next to it and Balki immediately gasps happily, so Larry
picks up the ball and hands it to him. "Oh! All right, all
right, here we go," Larry says, moving Balki into the lane, "Okay, all
right, all right. Now, can you see the pins?" "No,"
Balki answers. Larry waves his hand in front of Balkiís face and asks
again, "Can you see the pins?" "No." "Can
you see the pins?" "No." "Okay, go," Lary
says, patting Balkiís back and walking back to the seats. Balki places
the ball on his head and takes up his stance, everyone watching in confusion.
Balki steps forward five times, saying "Nok" with each step until he
reaches the end of the lane. The pins in front of him are blurry. He
raises the ball and lets out a scream. "Good luck, Balki!" Mary
Anne calls. Balki spins around to face the seats, calling, "Thanks,
Mary Anne!" "Balki, concentrate!" Larry scolds. Balki
turns back to the lane but spins too far and ends up going in a complete circle,
facing the seats again. He lets out a scream and moves to throw the ball,
sending everyone in the seats diving for cover. Larry cries out "Hold
it! Hold it!" and slowly approaches Balki, grabbing onto the ball.
There is a montage of scenes from the
championship game. Lydia is shown throwing a ball which hits only one pin
on the edge in
her first frame, yet she jumps around in excitement, shouting, "Yes!
Yes!" Gorpley is seen picking up a spare by knocking down three pins
and he and his team cheer. Balki is shown holding the ball above his head
and screaming, then throwing it into the next lane where he gets a gutter ball.
Gorpleyís team laughs hysterically over this. Larry throws a ball neatly
and gets a strike. Harriette bowls and knocks down one pin to get a spare.
Gorpley bowls again and gets a strike. His team cheers and Gorpley walks
over to address Larry. "Appleton, give up. The Mypiot needs a
strike and a spare to win this thing. Face it, that trophy is mine."
"Not so fast, Gorpley," Larry counters, "It ainít over Ďtil
itís over." Gorpley walks away and Larry turns his head to his
team, sighing, "Itís over." Balki stands up and walks over to
Larry, addressing him although heís facing the other direction.
"Cousin, Iím starting to see a little better." Larry rolls his
eyes and calls, "Balki. Balki." Larry whistles until Balki
turns around and feels his face to find him.
"Cousin, I think I can do this,"
Balki says. Larry looks hopeful. "You do?"
"Yeah, I have a feeling about it!" Balki continues, "The same
feeling I had at the Ď81 Roll-a-Rock Fall Classic. We were down to our
last rock and there were still six gourds standing and
everybody said ĎThis is impossible!í But I knew if I dug deep, deep
down inside myself I could knock the goodies out of those gourds!"
"And did you?" Larry asks. "Well, no," Balki admits.
"Oh God," Larry moans, covering his face in anguish. "But
it was a good feeling, anyway" Balki adds, "Real good one. Okay,
Cousin . . . Iím ready! Just lead me to those balls!" Balki
takes off the protective glasses and his eyes are pointing in different
directions. Mary Anne and Jennifer cheer from the stands. Balki and
Larry stand in front of the lane, Balki with a ball in hand. "All
right, Iíve lined you up," Larry explains, "Now, just follow your
nose." Larry pats Balkiís back and hurries to the seats.
Balki prepares, placing the ball on his head and taking his stance. The
pins in front of him are still blurry. Balki goes through the steps,
saying "Nok" each time, breathes in deeply, holds the ball over his
head with a loud scream and throws it from between his legs. The ball
rolls down the aisle and Balki gets a strike. The crowds behind Larryís
"Yes! Yes!" Larry cries,
getting Balki and leading him back, "Okay, all we need is a spare and the
championship is ours! All right, wait here." Larry gets Balki a
ball while Gorpley leans over to look at the score sheet in frustration.
Balki is in position with his
ball, Larry by his side. "You know what to do," Larry says.
"Yeah," Balki says. Larry pats his back and hurries to the seats
as Balki takes his position. Everyone watches intensely. Balki goes
through his motions as Harriette calls, "Come on, baby!"
"Letís go, Balki!" Lydia cheers and others in the crowd cheer him
on. Balki raises the ball, screams, and throws. The ball looks good,
heading for the center of the pins. "Yes! Yes!!" Larry
cries. But instead of a strike Balki ends up with a seven-ten split.
"No, no!!" Larry cries. "Yes! Yes!!" Gorpleyís
team shouts. Gorpley starts polishing his trophy. Balki holds his
hand out backward as Larry walks up to it and Balki feels his face.
"Cousin, youíre frowning. Whatís wrong?" " Thereís
two pins left," Larry sighs. "Why, thatís great!" Balki
says. "No, no, itís a seven-ten split," Larry explains,
"Itís the hardest split in bowling to pick up." "Oh, come
on, Cousin," Balki says, "One time in nok-nok-roll-a-rock I had a
deadly fifty-eight-thirty-seven split." "And you made it?"
Larry asks hopefully. "Well, no," Balki admits. "Oh,
God!" Larry moans. "Nobody makes that," Balki adds.
"Why do you tell me these stories?" Larry asks. "Just a way
of dealing with anxiety," Balki explains.
"All right, all right, come on, come
on," Larry urges, leading Balki to the ball return. Larry hands Balki
a ball. "Come on! Knock it
out of the park!" Mary Anne shouts. "Now remember," Larry
tells Balki, "This is only a game." Larryís voice becomes dead
serious. "Itís the most important game of my life." He
lightens his voice again. "But itís only a game."
"Not too much pressure!" Balki sighs. Larry pats
Balkiís back and heads to the seats as Balki loosens up. Placing the
ball on his head, with the pins still a blur, Balki goes through his stride,
"Nok, nok, nok, nok, nok," lowers the ball and takes a deep breath.
In slow motion, as dramatic music plays, he raises the ball above his head,
screaming. The ball rolls down the aisle, heading for the pin on the far
left. It hits that pin, which flies across and knocks over the pin on the
opposite side for the needed spare. Everyone on Larryís side of the
bowling alley goes wild with celebration. Balki runs to meet the cheering
crowd but goes in the wrong direction. Harriette runs to Gorpley and yanks
the trophy out of his hand. Everyone is gathered around Balki and Larry,
cheering and celebrating. Harriette hands the trophy to Larry. Balki
hugs Larry with one arm and everyone continues to cheer.
Back at their apartment, Larry and Balki
are sitting on the couch looking at the trophy on the coffee table.
"I canít wait to take it to work tomorrow and rub Gorpleyís face in
it," Larry smiles. "Cousin, isnít that what Mr. Gorpley used
to do to you?" Balki asks. "He certainly did!" Larry
confirms. "And . . . and, and you hated it when he did it, didnít
you?" Balki asks. "I sure did," Larry
agrees vindictively, "and now heís gonna see what it feels
like!" "This trophy is supposed to represent your
accomplishments, not somebody elseís misfortune," Balki points out.
Larry looks deflated, saying, "Youíre gonna take all the fun out of
winning this, arenít you? Youíre just gonna suck all the fun right out
it." "Okay, Cousin, Cousin, look," Balki interrupts,
"Listen to me. Youíre missing the point. The point of this
trophy, this trophy says that your team was better than Mr. Gorpleyís.
And not rubbing his face on it means that youíre a better winner than he
is." "Mr. Gorpley probably feels pretty awful right now,"
Larry speculates. "Oh, you know he does," Balki agrees.
After a pause, Larry asks, "Couldnít I just call him up to make
sure?" "No," Balki shakes his head. "How about a
nasty note on his office door?" Larry asks. "No," Balki
shakes his head again. "How about if I just drive by his house and
yell ĎLoser! Loser!í" Larry asks, getting desperate,
"I need something, I need something to call my own . . . to hang
onto." Larry motions this to Balki, who thinks a moment.
"All right, Cousin. One phone call," Balki agrees. Larry
hurries to the phone on the counter to make the call as the scene fades.
There are some
differences between the shooting script dated February 6, 1989 and the final
Larry tells Calvin he has the league leading average, Calvin says, "League
leading average. Those words are music to my ears." After Balki
says he can't make it Wednesday night he asks if they can do it Thursday
instead. After Larry says it's the championship and not a dinner date,
Balki says, "Oh, I'll get there as soon as I can."
Balki says that rubbing Larry's face with a trophy could damage his pores, the
scene continues. Gorpley enters carrying a bowling trophy. "Bartokomous.
It's that time of year again," Gorpley says. "Don't I know
it," Balki replies, "If Dustin Hoffman doesn't get the Oscar this
year, there's no justice." "I'm talking about polishing up the bowling
trophy," Gorpley explains, "I want it to look its best for the
presentation." "Mr. Gorpley, that's very nice of you,"
Balki says, "Cousin, Mr. Gorpley is having me polish up the trophy for your
team." "For Appleton?" Gorpley asks, then laughs.
Balki laughs with him. "You find something amusing, Gorpley?"
Larry asks. "Amusing doesn't cover it," Gorpley chuckles,
"Hilarious, maybe. You with a bowling trophy? What's wrong with
this picture?" Balki thinks then says, "I give up, Mr. Gorpley.
What is wrong with this picture? In fact, where is the picture?"
"You're forgetting one thing," Larry says, "We have a new team
member this year." "Oh, I know all about Calvin," Gorpley
assures him, "That doesn't worry me. You still have two women on the
team. And this is bowling, not a bake-off." Gorpley exits and
Balki smiles and says, "Bowling not a bake-off? I love it. I'm
glad to see you two are finally hitting it off." Larry reacts.
Balki and Larry enter the bowling alley to practice, Lydia and Harriette are not
there. Balki says, "So this is an American bowling alley. It
doesn't look like an alley I've ever seen. No garbage cans, no cats, much
better lighting . . . " After Gorpley comes in and tells him that
he's sent Calvin to Topeka, Larry fumes and says, "He did it again.
Two years ago he bribed Tierney into throwing the match. One year ago he
tricked Jimmy the security guard into handcuffing himself to the men's room sink
so he'd miss the match. And now this." "Cousin, I'm
starting to think Mr. Gorpley's not playing by the same rules you are,"
of asking if he should give the ball a little kick when it isn't going anywhere,
Balki asks if he should give it a little push. After Balki uses his own
technique to bowl a strike, he comments, "This is much easier than
nok-nok-roll-a-rock." "Why is that?" Larry asks.
"There are no sheep in the lanes," Balki explains.
the bowling alley the night of the tournament, Lydia asks Larry, "Why don't
you tell us who you got to take Calvin's place?" "After what
Gorpley did to Calvin, I thought it would be best not to tell anyone at the
office," Larry explains, "But I guess I can tell you now. It's
Balki." Lydia and Harriette both say, "Good night,"
together. After Harriette tells Lydia that Balki's score is a month's
worth of bowling for her, Larry says, "Balki's style is a little
unconventional. But I'm telling you, with Balki on our team, we can crush
Gorpley. And the best part is, he won't expect a thing."
Balki stumbles into the bowling alley, Mary Anne asks, "Balki, what's
wrong?" Balki gives Jennifer a big hug and says, "Mary Anne, I'm
glad you could come and see us play." "Balki, I'm happy to see
you. But I'm Jennifer," Jennifer explains.
Balki almost throws the ball into the seats, Larry turns him around the right
way to try again. Once again he asks, "Can you see the pins?"
"No." "Can you see the pins?" "No.
"Can you see the pins?" "No." "Okay."
Balki throws the ball and barely hits two pins. Larry announces,
bowling montage is a little different and reads as follows:
bowls a strike. His team cheers.
bowls a strike. She shoots Gorpley a look.
bowls. She hits four pins and is very excited.
takes his dark glasses off and squints. We still see a blurry POV.
He bowls. The ball goes into Gorpley's lane and gets Gorpley a strike.
bowls and picks up the ten pin. The team cheers.
bowls and hits the pin sweeper. Gorpley laughs.
gets a strike and faints.
throws a ball, it goes in the gutter, then jumps out of the gutter and hits the
gets a strike and Mary Anne runs up and gives him a big kiss. Balki,
disoriented, begins walking in the direction of the pins. Larry grabs
Balki and brings him back to the bench.
gets a strike. Jennifer runs to him and gives him a kiss.
Balki assures Larry he's ready to bowl the final frames, Larry says, "Wait,
wait!" Larry slaps Balki's face, trying to get his eyes straightened
out. "What do you see?" Larry asks. "Either you or
Gene Shalit?" Balki guesses. "Close enough," Larry says,
and hands Balki a ball, asking, "Is this it?" Balki says "Ahhhh"
and Larry lines him up on the lane. "Can you see the pins?"
Larry asks again. "No." "Can you see the pins?"
Balki says, "Yes, but they're moving." "Those are my
fingers," Larry explains. "Then I can't see the pins,"
Balki gets the seven-ten split, Larry mutters, "Well, Balki, you
tried." That's when Balki asks what's wrong. As well as saying
the match is the most important game of his life, Larry adds, "If we lose,
I'll be the laughing stock of the newspaper."
Larry and Balki are on the couch looking at the trophy, Larry asks, "Isn't
it a beauty?" "Now that I can see it, I have to agree,"
Balki says. Balki points out "Winning the trophy means that your team
is better than Mr. Gorpley's. And not rubbing it in means that you're a
better winner than he is." "You're right, Balki," Larry
agrees, "I should be a gracious winner." "Right,"
Balki says. Larry then speculates that Gorpley must be feeling awful and
the rest of the script is the same as filmed.
on to the next episode . . .