Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 70 - Seven Card Studs

First Air Date: April 14, 1989
Nielsen Rating: 13.2 HH
Filming Date: March 21, 1989

TV Guide Description: The chips are down for Balki, who's lost a bundle in Gorpley's poker game, but Larry comes through with a plan to recoup his cousin's losses.

Co-Producer: James OíKeefe
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Paula A. Roth
Directed by: Joel Zwick

Cast:
Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons

Guest Cast:
Sam Anderson: Mr. Sam Gorpley
Guy Christopher: Walt

Dimitri Appearances: Dimitri can be seen in the apartment scenes sitting on the bookshelf with a dealerís visor on and some poker chips in front of him.

Balki-isms:
"Other than that it was really a great way to experience male bondage."
"Mr. Gorpley is quite the aardvark."
"In fact, I doubt if in the whole history of card playing there have ever been two more rank-smelling amateurs."
"Fold, spindle, mutilate!"
"Itís my mad money.  If you lose it, Iím gonna be real mad!"
"You canít bet my ball of wax!  Iíve been collecting it for years!"
"I spent the whole evening on an emotional roller derby."

Donít be ridiculous: Not said in this episode.

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Funny, funny thing . . . "
"Well, Iíll be snookered."
"Wwowww!"
"What was the question?"
"I donít think so!"
"Well, tell me something I donít know!"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Balki looks into Larryís mouth as Larry pronounces a word for him
Balki laughs at his own joke
Larry has a plan
Larry and Balki have a quick word exchange, in this case "Do you?" "I do!"
Larry and Balki talk at the same time in a mumbling way, then finish by saying something at the same time

Interesting facts:
-
The title of the episode is a pun on the poker variant called seven-card stud, although the type of poker they are playing in the episode is actually five-card stud.
- This is the first time we've seen Balki wear his bullet hat since the second season episode Can I Get a Witness?
- When Larry announces he has a plan in this episode, Balki responds with "Oh golly!"  This will be the precursor for the more common, "Oh God!" reaction Balki has to Larryís plans.
- The background character who was formerly known as Paul when he was on Gorpleyís bowling team in the episode, Blind Alley, appears in this episode as Gorpleyís poker buddy, only now his name is Andre.
- Guy Christopher, who plays Walt in this episode, would again appear as a Chronicle employee in the season five episode Here Comes the Judge.  He had previously appeared on General Hospital and later he made appearances in the series Knots Landing and provided the voice of Earl Eccchhh on the animated series Galaxy High School.
- This is the second episode in a row in which Jennifer appears and Mary Anne doesnít.
- Itís also the second episode in a row in which Larry has a plan that actually works!

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
-
At the end of this episode, Larry tries to play a joke on Balki when he points to Balkiís shirt and asks "Whatís that?" then touches the end of Balkiís nose with his finger.  Balki doesnít understand the joke at all.  But when the cousins were playing Boochi Tag, Balki actually played this same joke on Larry!


Synopsis:
The episode begins in the apartment one morning.  Larry has poured himself a cup of coffee and walks to the counter in the kitchen, sipping it.  He is surprised when the front door opens and Balki sneaks in, carrying his shoes and trying not to make any noise.  Larry watches Balki slowly close the front door and start to tiptoe toward the bedroom.  "Balki?" Larry asks, startling Balki who didnít realize Larry was already up.  "Hi, Cousin," Balki offers, trying to act like nothing is wrong.  "Are you just getting home?" Larry asks.  "Well . . . yes," Balki admits with a smile, then says, "Bye bye!" and tries to escape to his bedroom.  "Balki?" Larry calls, stopping him, "Were you working all night?"  "Well, no," Balki confesses, "We were playing poker.  Bye bye!"  Balki again tries to hurry into his bedroom.  "W . . . w . . . wait a minute!  Wait a minute!  Wait a minute!" Larry calls, "Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.  You were playing poker?"

Balki laughs nervously, walking over to the kitchen as he says, "Yeah.  Funny, funny thing . . . um . . . I wasnít really even supposed to play but one of the regular players in Mr. Gorpleyís game was sick and Mr. Gorpley graciously allowed me to sit in."  "How much money did you lose?" Larry asks.  Balki breaks down sobbing, mumbling something incoherent into Larryís shirt sleeve.  "What?" Larry asks.  "Oh Cousin . . . " Balki sobs again, again mumbling his words.  "What?" Larry repeats.  Balki lifts his head and says clearly, "Oh Cousin, I lost a hundred dollars."  "You lost a hundred dollars?" Larry shouts.  "Cousin, donít yell at me," Balki asks, "Iím feeling quite vulnerable.  I lost a hundred dollars."  "Balki . . . itís all right.  Iím not mad at you," Larry explains.  "You yelled at me," Balki points out.  "I am mad at Mr. Gorpley," Larry continues, "I canít believe he took advantage of you."  "Well, Cousin, donít get mad at Mr. Gorpley," Balki counters, "It wasnít his fault.  He was trying to help me.  He sat down right next to me so he could help me by looking at my cards."

"Looking at your cards is against the rules," Larry points out.  "It is?" Balki asks with surprise.  "Yes, it is."  "Well, Iíll be snookered," Balki says, "I . . . I was wondering why he wouldnít let me look at his cards.  You think thatís why I lost each and every hand?"  "Yes, yes, I think so," Larry agrees.  "Cousin, you think if I go to Mr. Gorpley and ask him real nice heíd give me my money back?"  "Balki, youíre dreaming," Larry scoffs.  "I am?" Balki asks excitedly, "Well, you mean I didnít play poker all night and I didnít lose a hundred dollars?  Cousin, it seemed so real."  "Balki, it is real," Larry assures him, "What I mean is Gorpley is a serious card player.  The only way to get your money back is to beat him at his own game."  "Well, Cousin, Iíd love to get my money back," Balki says, "In fact, losing the hundred dollars was the only part of the game I didnít enjoy.  Other than that it was really a great way to experience male bondage."  Larry gives Balki a shocked look then thinks about it.  "Bonding," he corrects, "Male bonding.  Bonding."  Balki looks into Larryís mouth to see how heís pronouncing the word.

That evening, Larry carries a case from the living room to the kitchen table, calling, "Balki?  Would you come out here, please?"  Larry opens the case to reveal a card set complete with racks and chips.  Balki exits his bedroom, wearing his bullet hat and a towel which he has tucked under the back of his shirt like a cape.  He walks to the kitchen table where Larry eyes him in confusion.  "Did I catch you at a bad time?" Larry asks.  "No," Balki answers simply.  "I was just wondering why youíre wearing your bullet hat," Larry says.  "Oh!" Balki smiles, "I figured out a way to make back that hundred dollars that I lost.  Iím going to hire myself out on weekends as a human cannonball."  Balki holds his arms straight out for a moment as if he were flying through the air.  "Balki," Larry sighs, motioning him to step closer so he can take off his hat and the towel, "Forget about that.  It wonít be necessary.  I told Gorpley weíd play in his poker game tomorrow night.  Iím going to win your money back."  "Really, Cousin?" Balki asks, "But you got to be careful.  Mr. Gorpley is quite the aardvark."  Larry thinks about this a moment, then asks, "Perhaps you mean card shark?"  Balki nods his confirmation.

"But, Balki, I happen to be a great poker player," Larry informs him, "In the poker world I was known as ĎSmooth Larry Appleton.í"  "Well, in the goat-milking world I was known as ĎCool Hand Balki.í"  Balki mimes milking a goat, looking cool as he does so.  "Are you going to pay attention now?" Larry asks impatiently.  "Yes, I am," Balki assures him, "Iím going to . . . focus."  "First thing I have to do is to teach you to play poker," Larry explains, picking up a notepad from the table, "Iíve written down a few simple rules so youíll know how to play your cards.  As you can see, two pair beat one pair, three of a kind beat two pair, a full house, which is three of a kind and a pair, beat three of a kind, and four of a kind beat a full house.  Any questions?"  "Wwowww," Balki says, overwhelmed, "You make it all seem so complicated.  All Mr. Gorpley did was deal me five cards and we both look at them and . . . he take my money."  "Well, this is gonna be different," Larry promises, "Sit down, Balki."  They both sit at the table.

"This time," Larry continues as he takes a stack of chips from a rack and splits it in two, "we are going to take Gorpleyís money."  Larry deals them each five cards.  "Now, it is very important that nobody know what the cards in your hand are.  All right?"  Balki is about to look at his cards but Larry stops him, saying, "Watch me first.  Iím picking up my cards.  They may be good . . . they may be bad.  I am looking at my cards.  What do you see on my face?"  Balki looks closely at Larryís face, finally pointing to the corner of his mouth and saying, "Thereís a tiny little bit of ketchup right there.  And also a . . . . "  "All right, thatís enough!" Larry says in frustration, "Thatís enough.  What I mean is your face should not reveal anything about the cards in your hand.  That is called having a poker face . . . a poker face."  "Oh, well, thatís a relief!" Balki smiles, "I thought it meant being hit in the face with a poker."  Balki laughs quietly at his own joke.  "Do you want me to win your money back?" Larry asks impatiently.  "Yes I do!" Balki assures him.  "Do you?"  "Yes, I do!"  "Oh, you do?" Larry asks, "All right then . . . pay attention!"  "Okay, okay," Balki backs down.

"All right," Larry continues, "Look at your cards.  Remember your face should not reveal anything about the cards in your hand."  Balki moves his hand over his face as if wiping off his expression as he takes on a blank look.  He looks at his cards, then at Larry, flashing a quick smile before going blank again.  He studies his cards then looks at the list of winning hands Larry has given him.  He runs his finger down the list, stopping at a one hand, checks his cards, and his eyes widen for a moment before he remembers to look blank again.  Balki again checks the next hand down on the list and his eyes open really wide, as does his mouth.  He struggles to blank his expression again, then checks further on the list.  This time he canít contain his excitement, as he gasps deeply and fights back his enthusiasm.  He lets out excited noises even though heís trying really hard to refrain from showing his emotions.  Finally he looks at Larry again with a blank expression.  "Good hand?" Larry asks.  "How did you know?" Balki asks with amazement.  Larry takes Balkiís cards and puts them back into the deck.

"Balki, I donít want to take up your whole night teaching you how to play poker," Larry says.  "No, Cousin, I want to know how to play poker!" Balki begs, "Please, Cousin!"  "All right, all right!" Larry agrees, "All right, Iíll teach you later, but first we are going to go over the plan."  "Thereís a plan?" Balki asks.  "Yes!" Larry confirms.  "Oh golly!" Balki says worriedly, "There goes all the fun."  "Balki, tomorrow night we play Gorpley," Larry begins, "First weíre going to lose a few hands on purpose so heíll think Iím a beginner, too.  Then Iíll suggest that we pool our money and I play for both of us.  When he agrees to that just leave everything to me and Iíll win your money back."  "Thank you, Cousin," Balki smiles, "But are you sure you can beat Mr. Gorpley?"  "Balki, you are talking to ĎSmooth Larry Appleton.í  I can beat anybody!  There is magic in these hands."  Larry flicks the deck, intending to catch the cards in his other hand, but instead they fly in all directions.  Balki doesnít look too confident, but Larry strongly shows the one card still in his hand as a show of defiance, then slaps it down on the table.

The next night in the basement of the Chicago Chronicle, the poker game is in progress.  Mr. Gorpley is playing with Larry, Balki and two other men named Andre and Walt at a card table set up between Larryís desk and Balkiís work table.  Balki is dealing the second set of cards for their hand.  "Hereís your two," he tells Walt, "Dealer takes three."  "Iíd say these were worth five bucks," Gorpley says off his hand, putting in one blue chip, "Andre?"  Andre folds by throwing his cards down.  "Walt?" Gorpley asks.  "Iím out," Walt says, throwing his cards down as well.  "Up to you, Bartokomous," Gorpley says, "Are ya in?"  Balki looks at his cards and gets excited.  "Whoa.  Whoooaaa!  Whooooaaaaaa!  Am I in??" Balki cries.  "Balki," Larry says under his breath.  "I got nothing," Balki announces, putting down his cards.  "How Ďbout you, Appleton?" Gorpley asks.  "Well . . . Iím in," Larry says, placing a blue chip in the pot, "Read Ďem and weep.  A pair of threes."  Larry places his cards face up to show everyone his hand, smiling proudly.  "Whoa, tough hand!" Gorpley says sarcastically, placing his cards down, "Pair of sixes."  "A pair of sixes?" Larry asks, sounding shocked.  Gorpley laughs and gathers in the pot.  "Well, of all the luck," Larry sighs.  "Cousin, you and me must be the two worst poker players in the whole world," Balki states, overplaying his part, "In fact, I doubt if in the whole history of card playing there have ever been two more rank-smelling amateurs."

"Oh say, I have an idea," Larry says.  "You do?" Balki asks.  "Why yes, I do.  Well, I didnít plan on this but what if Balki and I pool our money so that just one of us plays?  And then if we raise the stakes we might have a better chance of winning our money back."  "Cousin, thatís a great plan!" Balki says, still overacting, "Even though itís not a plan but something you just now thought of."  "You want to raise the stakes?" Gorpley asks, then laughs maliciously.  "Only if itís okay with you," Larry smiles.  "Hey, Sam, these guys are just beginners," Walt points out, "Címon.  It doesnít seem fair."  "You want fair?  Go coach Little League," Gorpley snaps, then smiles at Larry, "Okay.  No limit.  Which one of youís gonna play?"  Larry and Balki start talking to each other quickly, mumbling over each other.  Finally they look at Mr. Gorpley and ask, "What was the question?"  "Which one of you is going to play?" Gorpley asks again.  "Oh!" they both say, then Larry says "I will" as Balki says, "He will."  "Weíve decided that Cousin Larry is going to play, even though that wasnít the plan but something we just now thought of," Balki offers.  "Now, what díya say we play some real poker?" Larry asks.  He shuffles the cards from one hand to the other, not dropping any this time.  Balki looks surprised and Larry raises his eyebrows knowingly at Balki as the scene fades to black.

Act two begins some time later.  The poker game is still going on, with Larry looking stressed and Balki looking worried.  "Okay, Iíll see your five and raise you twenty," Gorpley says, throwing the appropriate number of chips into the pot.  "Andre?" Gorpley asks.  Andre folds.  "Walt?"  Walt folds.  "Fold, Cousin," Balki urges.  "Balki," Larry hisses under his breath.  "Fold, spindle, mutilate!" Balki cries, "Just donít lose any more of our money!"  "I am trying to play poker," Larry snaps, then to Gorpley he says, "Iíll see your twenty and raise you another twenty."  "Okay," Gorpley says, tossing in his chips, "I call.  What díya got?"  Larry looks at Gorpley seriously, then throws down his hand and says, "Three jacks.  Beat Ďem."  "Okay, three kings," Gorpley smiles, showing his hand.  "Cousin, I got to talk to you privately," Balki urges, grabbing Larry by the arm and pulling him away, "Excuse us!"  "Iíll be back," Larry promises, following Balki.  They pass Larryís desk and Balki turns to Larry.

"Cousin, remember that plan where ĎSmooth Larry Appletoní was supposed to win back my hundred dollars?" Balki asks, "Well, I canít help but notice that weíre down to our last twenty dollars.  Now when does the smooth plan kick in?"  "Everythingís working perfectly," Larry assures Balki, "Gorpley thinks heís winning."  "Well, what a coincidence," Balki says, "I think heís winning, too!"  "I am in total control of the situation," Larry says, "Now give me the rest of your money."  "I donít think so!" Balki counters, "I keep giving you money and you keep giving it to Mr. Gorpley.  I could do that!"  "Balki, your money is safe with me," Larry insists, "Now hand it over."  Balki pulls a bill out of his pocket and holds it up, saying, "Cousin, this is my last twenty dollars.  Itís my mad money.  If you lose it, Iím gonna be real mad!"  Larry snatches the money from Balkiís hand, saying, "Thanks.  Trust me."  "Okay," Balki sighs, and they return to the table, Larry announcing, "Iím in!"

"Guys, guys, guys," Mr. Gorpley shakes his head, "Why donít you just give me your last twenty bucks and go home?  You canít beat me.  Iíve been playing poker since I was in high school.  They used to call me ĎSlick Sam Gorpley.í"  "Cousin, letís get out of here," Balki urges, "Heís got a better nickname."  "Balki!" Larry says, staying put, "I can take him.  I can do it.  Why donít you go see a movie?"  "Iíd love to but you have all my money," Balki points out.  Larry gives the money to Gorpley and says, "Give me another twenty dollars in chips."  Jennifer suddenly enters from the parking garage.  "Larry, I was afraid Iíd find you here!" she says worriedly.  "Jennifer!" Balki gasps in surprise.  "Whoa, whoís the blonde?" Walt asks excitedly.  "Appletonís girlfriend," Gorpley explains, "Why Iíll never know."  Larry gives Gorpley a hurt look.  "Larry, could I talk to you for a minute, please?" Jennifer asks.  "Not now.  Itís my deal," Larry answers.  "Balki, we have to talk," Jennifer urges.  "Yeah, okay," Balki agrees, getting up from the table.

Jennifer and Balki move a ways behind Gorpley to talk.  "Balki, we have to get Larry out of here," Jennifer says softly.  "Well, tell me something I donít know!" Balki replies.  "Howís he doing?" Jennifer asks.  "Well, he says heís doing great but Mr. Gorpley has all of our money," Balki answers.  Mr. Gorpley is listening intently to every word they say.  "If we donít get Larry out of here right now heíll start writing IOUís.  Heíll bet his car.  Heíll bet everything he owns," Jennifer says.  "Iíll raise you twenty dollars," Gorpley tells Larry, smiling wickedly.  "But how can that be?" Balki cries, "Heís supposed to be ĎSmooth Larry Appleton.í"  "He was ĎSmooth Larry Appletoní years ago," Jennifer explains, "but thatís before he got the fever.  It got so bad he finally vowed to quit and never pick up the cards again.  I told him not to take this chance but, Balki, he said he had to do it for you."  Balki places a hand over his heart in shock.  "But . . . but . . . but . . . do you think he has any control left?"  "All right, hereís your twenty," Larry tells Gorpley, putting in his chips, "And Iíll throw in the blonde."  Jennifer and Balki look shocked.  "Apparently not," Balki answers his own question.

"Come on, Jennifer, weíve got to get him out of here," Balki says, and he and Jennifer walk to Larry and start trying to pull him away from the table.  "Cousin, come on," Balki says, "Weíre getting out of here."  "Balki, Iím not going anywhere!" Larry insists.  "Larry, please, you know youíve got the fever," Jennifer says, "You canít win!"  Larry doesnít move.  "Cousin, Iím sorry," Balki says, "but this is for your own good."  Balki grabs Larry around the middle and lifts him as Jennifer grabs his legs and they both hold Larry up, pulling him from the table.  Larry hangs on to the edge of the table.  "No, no, no!" Larry yells.  "Mr. Gorpley, tell him that the game is over," Balki begs.  "Please, you have to let us take him home," Jennifer agrees, "Heís lost control."  "Heís got twenty dollars on the table," Gorpley points out.  "Yeah, not to mention the blonde!" Walt adds.  "Iím not on the table!" Jennifer says indignantly.  "Oh," Walt sighs, "then Iím out."  He folds.  "All right, Balki!" Larry says.  "What?" Balki asks.  "Put me down!" Larry insists.  "No, Cousin!" Balki cries.  "Put me down!"  "No!"  "Put me down!  Put me down!  Put me down now!" Larry shouts.  "All right, if you think itíll help," Balki says sadly, "Youíre short, you dress funny and you walk like a duck!"  Larry thinks for a moment, then understands.  "Oh!  Oh!  No, no, no, no, no, no.  Set me down."  "Okay," Balki agrees, and he and Jennifer set Larry down again.

Larry picks up his cards which are face down on the table and turns them over.  "Pair of eights," he announces.  "Pair of jacks," Gorpley smiles, "You lose again, Appleton."  Gorpley rakes in the pot and Larry looks like heís at the end of his rope.  "All right, Gorpley," Larry says, "What díya say?  One more hand for the whole ball of wax."  "No, Cousin!" Balki cries, "You canít bet my ball of wax!  Iíve been collecting it for years!"  "Okay," Gorpley agrees, "Iíll play one more hand with ya.  But what are you gonna bet with?"  "Iíll bet next weekís paycheck against everything we lost tonight plus the hundred Balki lost," Larry says.  "Ooh, you are a serious card player!" Gorpley says, pushing his winnings back to the middle of the table.  "Cousin, Cousin, itís your paycheck!" Balki says worriedly.  Gorpley deals out the cards.  "Donít worry, Balki," Larry says, picking up his cards, "Iím not gonna lose."  Larry looks at his cards, then tells Gorpley, "Iíll take three."  Gorpley gives Larry three new cards and takes back the three Larry gives up, then looks at his own cards.  "And Iíll take . . . one," Gorpley smirks.

"I tell you what," Larry says, "Letís, uh . . . sweeten the pot."  He digs into his pocket and pulls out his car keys.  "Iíll raise you . . . my car."  Larry throws his keys into the pot.  Gorpley eyes Walt and Andre with amazement.  "No, Cousin, donít do that!" Balki cries, trying to take Larryís keys back, but Larry throws them out again.  "Balki!"  "Cousin, you donít have a pair of anything!" Balki cries.  "Balki!" Larry says in shock.  "Gee, I got a feeliní youíre bluffiní," Gorpley laughs, then fishes into his own pocket, "You wanna bet cars?"  He throws his car keys into the pot and says, "I call."  "What díya got?" Larry asks worriedly.  Gorpley shows his hand.  "Full house . . . kings and aces."  Gorpley laughs in triumph.  "Uh, you can just leave your car here and take the bus home.  Itíll be a nice lesson in humility."  Gorpley reaches for the pot, but Larry shoots out a hand and grabs Gorpleyís arm.  "Whoa, not so quick, Slick," Larry warns, "When I sat down you thought you had a pigeon you could take to the cleaners."  "Cousin, cut through the metaphors!" Balki cries, "I donít know what youíre talking about and Iím dying to know if weíve won or lost!"

"He thought I didnít know how to play and that he could take everything I had," Larry explains.  "Oh," Balki sighs.  Larry turns back to Gorpley.  "Then when you overheard Jennifer say that I was out of control, you thought it was Christmas."  "Cousin!"  "He thought he could take all our money," Larry explains to Balki, "Well, it was all a trap and you walked right into it."  "The blonde was in on it?" Walt cries.  "I have a name," Jennifer points out.  "Do you have a phone number?" Walt asks her.  "Walt, shut up," Gorpley sneers.  "Balkiís right," Larry continues, "I donít have a pair of anything.  I got a straight flush."  Larry lays his cards out on the table to show everyone.  "You lose, Gorpley!" Larry smiles.  Balki cries with happiness and hugs Jennifer and Larry.  Larry pulls the pot in and stands, picking out the car keys.  "I canít believe I lost my car," Gorpley says in shock.  "Well, I donít want your car," Larry explains, "I just came to win back what Balki lost."  Larry tosses a set of keys to Gorpley.  "Nice gesture, Cousin," Balki says, "but those are your car keys."

Back at their apartment, Balki is sitting on the couch and Larry walks over to sit down next to him.  "Cousin, you mean to tell me that Jennifer knew that you were pretending to be out of control the whole time?" Balki asks.  "Yes, she did," Larry admits.  "Cousin, why you didnít tell me what you were going to do?" Balki asks, "I was really worried.  I spent the whole evening on an emotional roller derby."  "Iím sorry, Balki, but I had no choice," Larry explains, "I knew you couldnít keep my secret.  Youíre just not a devious person."  "Well, Iím sorry.  We all have our shortcomings," Balki sighs.  "No, no, Balki.  Thatís a good thing in life," Larry assures him, "Oh, uh . . . hereís your hundred dollars."  Larry fishes in his pocket and hands Balki the money.  "Thanks, Cousin," Balki says, "Thank you for winning my money back."

"I think you would have done the same for me," Larry smiles.  "You know I would," Balki confirms, "You know, Cousin, this has been quite a week.  Mr. Gorpley fooled me.  You fooled me.  Jennifer fooled me.  Iím beginning to think . . . Iím . . . easily fooled."  "You?" Larry asks, "You?  No, Balki, you are not easily fooled," Larry assures him.  "Really?" Balki smiles, "Well, thank you.  Thatís a load off my mind."  "Oh!  Whatís that?" Larry asks, pointing to a spot on Balkiís shirt below his chin.  Balki looks down and Larry touches the tip of Balkiís nose with his finger as a joke.  Balki looks at Larry and asks, "Whatís what?"  "Whatís that?" Larry tries again, pointing at Balkiís shirt and again touching Balkiís nose when he looks down.  "Whatís what?" Balki asks again in confusion.  "Whatís that?" Larry asks, pointing and touching Balkiís nose again.  Balki just doesnít get it.  Larry tries one last time but Balki keeps trying to find whatís wrong with his shirt, and finally Larry just gives up.


Script Variations:
There are some huge differences between the first draft script dated March 16, 1989 and the final episode:
The episode begins in the apartment.  Balki is in the kitchen making a bowl of cereal as Larry enters from his bedroom.  They are dressed for work.  Larry comments, "You got in awfully late last night.  Gorpley must have had a ton of work for you."  "Oh, I wasn't working late," Balki explains, "I was learning the Great American pastime."  "But, you already know how to play baseball," Larry says, confused.  "Oh, not that Great American pastime.  The other one.  Poker."  "You played poker?" Larry asks worriedly.  "I know what you're thinking but rest assured it doesn't involve any poking at all," Balki says, "Mr. Gorpley pointed that out right away."  "Wait a minute, you played poker with Gorpley?" Larry asks with surprise.  "Yes," Balki answers, "One of the players in Mr. Gorpley's regular game was sick, and Mr. Gorpley graciously allowed me to 'sit in.'  That's a poker term.  Although, it was used in the sixties in a totally different context."  "So after you 'sat in,' what happened?" Larry asks.  "Well, I told Mr. Gorpley that I had never played poker before, so he offered to sit next to me and teach me everything I needed to know," Balki answers.  "Did this 'teaching' happen to include looking at your cards?"  "Well of course it did.  Don't be ridiculous.  How else would Mr. Gorpley know if I should increase my bet or 'drop out?'  Another term poker shares with the sixties."  "Balki, how much money did you lose?" Larry asks.  "A hundred dollars," Balki answers, "How'd you know I lost money?"  "You lost a hundred dollars?"  "But Cousin, it was a learning experience.  And Mr. Gorpley said, 'There's no free lunch.'  Although he did serve some chips and a very interesting dip that was dark on top but became progressively lighter as you dug down . . . "  "Balki.  You were 'taken,'" Larry explains, "You were 'set up.'  You were a 'pigeon.'  Several timeless expressions, all meaning you were cheated."  "Mr. Gorpley wouldn't do that to me," Balki argues, "We're card-playing buddies and I don't want you talking about him that way."  Larry decides to change his tact.  "Maybe you're right.  He probably just forgot it's traditional that your first poker lesson is free.  I'll just go down to the paper and remind him in no uncertain terms."  They head for the door.  "That would be great, Cousin," Balki says.  Then he makes the male bondage comment.
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The next scene takes place at the newspaper, where Larry is talking to Harriette.  "Now let me get this straight, baby," Harriette says, "You're saying that Gorpley took Balki for a hundred dollars.  And you're going to ask him to give it back."  "Right," Larry answers.  "Are you going to do this with a baseball bat in your hand?" Harriette asks.  "I'm going to reason with him," Larry says, "Maybe he'll realize it's the right thing to do."  "And maybe pigs will fly," Harriette comments, and walks into the elevator.  Balki enters from the loading dock.  "Cousin, I've been talking to poker players all over the building and nobody ever heard of this 'first lesson free' tradition.  Most of them seem to think I got off pretty cheap."  Larry gets angry and says, "Well, you didn't.  The man took your money.  He cheated you and I'm not going to let him get away with it."  "I may be way off base here, Cousin," Balki says, "but I think if you talk to Mr. Gorpley that way, I could be out a hundred dollars and a job.  And I'll never be able to afford lesson number two."  "You're right," Larry agrees, "I lost it there for a second.  But I'm all right now.  Don't worry.  I'm going to explain calmly and rationally to Gorpley why you deserve to get your money back."  Gorpley enters from the garage.  "Well, good morning, boys.  Like my new shoes?  They cost me a hundred bucks."  Balki is genuinely impressed and says, "Nice."  "I guess what you meant to say is they cost Balki a hundred dollars," Larry remarks.  "Cousin," Balki says worriedly.  "You got a problem, Appleton?" Gorpley asks.  Larry stays calm, but is firm.  "Yes, I've got a problem.  Look, we both know that Balki doesn't know anything about poker, and that he believes anything that people tell him, and that he wants very much for you to like him.  Now the combination of these things has cost him a lot of money.  I think you'll have to agree that the decent thing to do would be to give him back the money he lost."  "Nice going, Cousin," Balki compliments Larry, "Very calm, very rational.  This is a big step for you."  "Thank you," Larry replies.  "Is it my turn to talk now?" Gorpley asks.  "Of course," Larry answers.  "He played, he lost, tough luck," Gorpley smirks and walks into his office.  Larry goes for him but Balki grabs Larry up off the ground so Larry's legs spin in the air.  "Let me at him," Larry snarls, calling after Gorpley, "You haven't hard the last of me!  This isn't over!"
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The scene at night in the apartment starts with a segment that includes Jennifer.  Larry is pacing in the apartment when there is a knock at the door.  Larry opens it and Jennifer enters, holding a wooden box.  "Good.  You brought it," Larry says, taking the box, "Thanks a lot, Jennifer."  "Larry, I don't like this," Jennifer says, "When you asked me to keep this box you said you hoped you'd never have to use it again."  "I know, I know," Larry answers, "But this is the only way to get Balki's money back from Gorpley."  "But, Larry, you know what happens to you when you play poker," Jennifer says worriedly.  "Jennifer, it's for Balki," Larry explains, "I've got to take the chance."  Jennifer gives Larry "a Miss Kitty to Matt Dillon" look.  "I understand," she says, "Be careful."  "I will," Larry promises.  Jennifer gives Larry a kiss.  "Remember, no matter what happens, I'll still be here for you," she says.  She leaves.  Larry knocks on Balki's door.  "Balki, could you come out here, please?"  Balki comes out of his room and follows Larry to the kitchen table.  "Cousin, I've been thinking.  Since Mr. Gorpley said he really 'took me to school' last night, perhaps my gambling loss is a tax deduction."  "Balki, you don't have to worry about that because I told Gorpley we'd play in his poker game tomorrow night.  We're going to win your money back."  "Cousin, I didn't know you could play poker," Balki comments.  "There's a lot about me you don't know, Balki," Larry begins, "You see . . . "  "Well, there's a lot about me you don't know, too," Balki responds.  "I'm sure there is," Larry agrees, "But . . . "  "I'll bet you didn't know that I can stick out my tongue and touch the end of my nose.  Watch."  Balki sticks out his tongue and touches his nose with his fingers.  "Boy, where do I come up with them?" Balki laughs.  "Do you want to win your money back?  Do you?" Larry asks.  "Sorry, Cousin," Balki apologizes, "As you were saying."  "I don't just play poker," Larry continues, "I've been blessed with that magic combination of skill and luck which, at one time, made me virtually unbeatable."  Larry takes a carousel of poker chips and decks of cards out of the box.  "In the poker world, I was known as 'Smooth Larry Appleton.'"  "Well, in the goat milking world, I was known as 'Cool Hand Balki,'" Balki counters.  "Balki, what we have here is a failure to communicate," Larry notes.  (Editor's note: this is a reference to the Paul Newman movie Cool Hand Luke).
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Larry gives Balki the rules of poker.  "Cousin, are you sure this is the same game I was playing with Mr. Gorpley?  The way he explained it the rules changed with every hand."  "I'll bet they did," Larry sighs, "Trust me, Balki.  These are the correct rules."  "Gosh, if the rules never change, this game will be a lot easier.  Let's play," Balki says.  Balki sits at the table and starts playing with the chips.  "First of all we have to ante up," Larry explains.  "Bad news, Cousin.  I don't have an Auntie Up.  I do have an Auntie Ursula.  She'd a rather large woman with those eyebrows that sort of meet over the bridge of her nose."  "'Ante up' means to put some money on the table so we can play the game," Larry explains.  Larry picks up a chip and puts it in the middle of the table.  Balki does the same.  Larry starts to explain about having a "poker face."  After Balki points out the ketchup in the corner of his mouth, Larry clarifies, "I mean, does my face give you any idea whether I have a good hand or not?"  "How can I tell from your face is you have good hands?" Balki asks.  Larry explains what it means to have a poker face.  "Boy, for a hundred dollars Mr. Gorpley left out a lot of stuff," Balki notes.  After Balki tries to do a poker face and Larry guesses he has a good hand, Balki asks, "How did you know?"  "It's written all over your face," Larry answers.  Balki tries to read his own face, asking, "It's not in ink, is it?"  Larry has Balki try it again, telling him not to have any expression on his face.  Balki holds his face so tightly that nothing can move.  He then puts his cards on the table face down in three stacks of two, two and one.  "Okay, let me guess," Larry sighs, "You have two pair."  "Wwowww, Cousin, you are smooth!" Balki says in amazement.  Larry then says he doesn't want to take up Balki's whole evening teaching him to play poker and that they should go over the plan.  (In this version, Balki doesn't make any comment about Larry having a plan).  After Larry explain the plan, Balki asks, "Well, Cousin why don't you play for both of us right away?"  "No, no, he'd get suspicious," Larry answers, "But if he thinks I'm new he'll be happy to let me raise the stakes.  And then I could win back what you lost."  "We're playing for steaks?" Balki asks, "Boy, this game is getting more and more complicated."  "'Stakes' means money," Larry explains.  "Oh, good," Balki says, "Because I'm trying to cut back on my consumption of red meat."  "Now, let's run over the basic rules.  What does a full house beat?" Larry asks.  "It beats the pants off whatever's on CBS!" Balki answers.  (!!!!)  This was to be the end of Act One.
At the poker game, Andre's name is Louie.  When we first see the poker game in progress and Balki has a good hand but folds anyway, he puts his cards down and says, "I bend."  "That's fold," Gorpley corrects, "How about you, Appleton?"  "How much would I have to bet?" Larry asks.  "Five dollars," Gorpley answers.  "That would be one of the blue chips?" Larry asks.  "Yes," Mr. Gorpley says impatiently, "Will you see the bet or not?"  "I can bet more than five dollars, can't I?" Larry asks.  "Yes!" Mr. Gorpley cries, losing it.  "And that's called a raise?" Larry asks.  "Yes!  Are you raising?" Gorpley asks.  "No, I was just asking," Larry explains, "Fascinating game, isn't it, Balki?"  "Oh, yes," Balki replies, "And quite challenging, too."  "Appleton, see the bet, raise, fold, get out of the game.  Do something, anything!" Gorpley cries.  Larry shows Balki his hand.  "What do you think I should do?"  "That's hard to say, Cousin," Balki answers, then asks Gorpley, "What were his choices again?"  "Bet, raise or fold," Gorpley snarls through clenched teeth.  "Fold," Larry and Balki say together.  Gorpley rakes in his chips.  "You know, you two seem to be getting low on chips," Gorpley notes, "I'd be happy to let you write a check."  "That's very nice of you, Mr. Gorpley," Balki smiles.  "But I have a better idea," Larry says quickly.  "You do?" Balki asks.  "Yes, I do.  I didn't plan on this, but how about pooling our funds and letting one of us play for both of us.  If we raise the stakes, at least we'd have a chance at winning our money back."  "Cousin, that's a great plan," Balki sauys, "Even though it wasn't a plan but something you just thought of."  "How about it, Gorpley?" Larry asks.  "Fine with me," Gorpley agrees, "Who's going to play?  Tweedledum or Tweedledumber?"  Gorpley, Walt and Louie laugh.  "Since it's my turn to deal anyway, why don't I play?" Larry suggests, then does an elaborate shuffle and adds, "Now what do you say we play some real poker?"
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Two hours later all the players are still there.  Only Gorpley and Larry are playing.  Balki is standing behind Larry and massaging his shoulders.  Larry appears to be very nervous.  "It's just you and me, Appleton," Gorpley taunts, "Let's see, the way your luck's been running, I think I'll do you a favor and just bet three dollars."  Gorpley puts his chips in the pot.  "I've just had a couple of bad hands," Larry explains, "It happens to everybody."  "Actually you've had seventeen bad hands," Balki points out.  "It doesn't matter," Larry insists, "My luck with change.  I feel it.  I'll see your three dollars and raise you five more."  Larry puts his chips in.  "Hey, it's your funeral," Gorpley says, "What have you got?"  "Three jacks," Larry says, showing his hand, "Let's see you beat that."  "Read 'em and sleep," Balki remarks to Gorpley.  "Gee, all I have is two little pair," Gorpley sighs.  "Alright!" Larry says happily, "See I told you, Balki.  This is the beginning of the end for you, Gorpley.  You're mine."  Larry starts to rake in the chips but Gorpley stops him, showing his hand.  "Oh, forgive me.  I forgot to mention that I have two little pair -- of threes."  "Cousin, he has four threes," Balki realizes.  "No.  He can't!" Larry cries in disbelief.  "Now does that beat three jacks?" Balki asks.  "Yes, it does," Larry answers.  This is when Balki pulls Larry aside to ask him when he's supposed to start winning their money back.  Larry just says his luck's gotta change and goes back to the table.  "What were you doing, revising your strategy?" Gorpley asks, "You can't beat me, you know.  I was on to your little game right from the beginning."  To Walt and Louie, Gorpley explains, "Appleton thought he could make me believe he was no good, so he could raise the stakes and win back the Mypiot's money."  "Wow," Balki says, impressed, "How did you figure that out, Mr. Gorpley?"  "Hey, I've been playing poker since I was in high school.  They used to call me 'Slick Sam Gorpley.'"  Balki asks Larry, "Question.  In the rules of poker, does a 'Slick' beat a 'Smooth?'"  "Balki, we can't stop now," Larry says desperately, "We're in too deep."  "It's getting late," Walt announces, "Bubbles said I have to be home by two.  I'm going to hit the road.  Come on, Lou."  Walt and Louie exit.  "You're going to miss the fun of seeing me clean Appleton out!" Gorpley calls after them, then says to Larry, "Unless, of course, you'd like to quit, too."  "Maybe you should, Cousin," Balki suggests.  "I'm not quitting until I win back your money," Larry says, then tells Gorpley to deal.
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This is when Jennifer runs in and tries to talk to Larry, then talks to Balki and asks how Larry is doing.  "Well, I hate to criticize, but if you ask me, he's going down in flames and he's got a bad attitude about it," Balki answers.  Jennifer then explains how Larry has a gambling problem but said he had to do it for Balki.  "We've got to get him out of here before he bets the big one," Balki says worriedly.  "You lose again," Gorpley tells Larry, "Looks like you're busted."  "Well, I guess that means we can go now," Balki says, "Come on, Cousin."  Balki tries to get Larry to stand up but he won't move.  Then Balki and Jennifer try to pick Larry up.  Larry suggests one more hand for the whole ball of wax, to which Balki cries, "Cousin, you can't bet my ball of wax.  I've been collecting it for years.  Next you'll be betting my string collection."  Larry tells Balki to put him down and Balki says, "Okay, Cousin.  If it will help.  That's the ugliest shirt I've ever seen."  "No, I mean set me down," Larry explains.  They set him down.  "I'm a grown man," Larry states, "If I want to play poker, I'll play poker.  Now deal, 'Slick.'"  Gorpley deals, saying, "That's the spirit, Appleton.  Don't let them tell you what to do."  "All right, I'll bet my car against everything we lost tonight plus the hundred Balki lost," Larry says.  "Oh.  You are a serious poker player," Gorpley smiles, pushing a huge stack of chips on the table.  "But, Cousin, you love that car," Balki points out.  "I'm not going to lose," Larry assures them, then looks at his hand and says, "I'll take three."  Gorpley deals three cards.  Larry puts them in his hand.  He looks worried.  "Does he have a chance?" Jennifer asks Balki.  "It doesn't look good," Balki says, looking at Larry's hand, "He doesn't have a pair of anything."  "Balki, be quiet," Larry scolds.  "Well, I might as well just play these," Gorpley smiles.  "What do you have?" Larry asks.  "I've got a pair of aces," Gorpley explains, "You want to bring the title to your car in tomorrow?  Sorry I can't give you a ride home."  Larry stops Gorpley.  "Not so fast, Gorpley," Larry warns.  "Too bad, Cousin," Balki sighs, "You've just got all those red cards."  Larry shows his hand.  "Balki, this is called a straight flush."  "Well, that's a good name for it since everything we've got is going down the toilet," Balki sighs.  "A straight flush is a good thing," Larry explains, "I win."  Larry rakes in all the chips.  "Boy, talk about dumb luck," Gorpley smirks.  "It wasn't just luck," Larry assures him, "The hard part was letting you win all those other hands.  Come on, Balki, Jennifer."  They exit.
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In the apartment a short time later, Balki, Larry and Jennifer are talking.  "You mean all along you were pretending to be out of control?" Balki asks.  "Yes, it was all a set up," Larry explains, "I know Gorpley was expecting a trick.  That's why I let him think he was on to me.  But, the real plan was to let Jennifer come in and make everyone think I was out of control so Gorpley would think I was an easy victim."  "Wow, a 'Smooth' does beat a 'Slick!'" Balki states.  "I'd better be going," Jennifer says, "Mary Anne probably realizes by now that I didn't really go out for hairspray at two in the morning."  "Thanks for your help, Jennifer," Larry smiles.  Jennifer exits.  Balki then asks why Larry didn't let him in on the plan and Larry tells Balki he's just not a devious person and assures him it's a good thing.  Balki thanks Larry for winning his money back.  "I kind of enjoyed that," Larry admits.  "Cousin, is there anything else you're hiding about your past?" Balki asks.  "You mean any other skeletons in my closet?" Larry asks.  Balki is shocked, saying, "You have skeletons in your closet?  I don't want to hear about this."  Balki backs away from Larry as the scene fades out and the show ends.

Continue on to the next episode . . .