Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 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.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Tom Devanney
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne
Belita Moreno: Miss Lydia Markham

Guest Cast:
Jo Marie Payton-France: Harriette Winslow
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley
Jimi Bridges Jr.: Calvin

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri is not seen in this episode.

Balki-isms:
"Rubbing your face with a trophy?  Cousin, that could damage your pores."
"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 it."
"And not rubbing his face on it means that youíre a better winner than he is."

Donít be ridiculous: Said once in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Yes!  Yes!!"
"Well, Iíll be snookered."

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Harriette insults Lydia

Interesting facts:
-
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 Channel.
- 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 bowl).
- 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 Rollers."
- 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.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
-
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.
blindalleygrab04.jpg (67423 bytes)
-
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 ends.
- 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.


Synopsis:
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 away.

"Well, 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 land on 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 to black.

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 aisle cheer.

"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.


Script Variations:
There are some differences between the shooting script dated February 6, 1989 and the final episode:
After 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."
- After 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.
- When 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," Balki notes.
- Instead 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.
- At 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."
- When 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.
- After 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, "We're ready."
- The bowling montage is a little different and reads as follows:
   
- Gorpley bowls a strike.  His team cheers.
   
- Harriette bowls a strike.  She shoots Gorpley a look.
   
- Lydia bowls.  She hits four pins and is very excited.
   
- Balki 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.
   
- Larry bowls and picks up the ten pin.  The team cheers.
   
- Balki bowls and hits the pin sweeper.  Gorpley laughs.
   
- Lydia gets a strike and faints.
   
- Balki throws a ball, it goes in the gutter, then jumps out of the gutter and hits the pins.
   
- Balki 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.
   
- Larry gets a strike.  Jennifer runs to him and gives him a kiss.
- After 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 states.
- After 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."
- When 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.

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