7th Heaven. We used to watch in college. And drink. With yesterday’s snow, I found myself watching the episode “The Tribes That Bind.” Matriarch Annie is about to give birth to twins (so now instead of a family of seven there will be seven kids; get it!). As a Reverend’s wife, the busybody church ladies force their way into her home for a “baby shower” and to judge the Camden family’s lifestyle. You know, Christian stuff. Actually, this A plot, while not ingenious, is pretty standard when it comes to TV shows, all the way up to the awkward encounter with a neighbor in front of the parishioners after which Annie cries “labor” to empty her house. Said neighbor has a devious little boy who is bullying youngest Camden Ruthie. Her desire to wage all out war with the boy and his siblings is basically an excuse to pimp fellow WB show Xena: Warrior Princess (obvious, but okay). The truly ridiculous aspect of this episode is the “very special plot.”
Reverend Eric, to avoid the baby shower, flees out to lunch with eldest son Matt, fellow preacher Morgan, and Morgan’s son, John. It’s convenient that the Camdens are friends with the Hamiltons. The dads are ministers and with the exception of middle Camden child Lucy, Morgan and his wife have a complimentary child for each Camden to pal around with in terms of age and gender. The men decide to try a new restaurant (although the exterior stock footage tells a different story). After some male bonding and pinball, lunch is served? Eric and Matt get their meals, but no burgers come for Morgan and John. Hamilton Senior tries to flag down a waiter but is categorically ignored. What could it be, Eric wonders. Morgan and John know; it’s called racism.
Now obviously racism is lower than gum on a shoe, but what follows is… well. Morgan demands the meals that he and his son ordered and he wants to see the manager. The waiter goes to “find” him. Okay. So they’re ignored, denied service, but wait! Here comes the manager followed by the waiter, carrying burgers. So Morgan made his point. But wait! These are not the meals that they ordered, and since Matt and Eric politely waited for their friends’ food, no one is eating at their table. Oh snap! The manager fires back that no matter what he offered, he wouldn’t satisfy Morgan and his son. It’s his establishment, and he has the right to refuse service to anyone. Angry much, pal? As he and his minion stalk away, the customers decide to fight for what’s right. Morgan and Eric take a stand, literally, and demand respect. So the manager threatens to call the cops. And who should show up but Eric’s other best bud, Sergeant Michaels. Who’s black! Double snap! Michaels puts the manager in his place, and Morgan promises to tell his parishioners about the restaurant; John will tell his friends the same. It’s suggested that the restaurant donate food to Morgan’s Meals on Wheels program. And guess what? The manager agrees, apologizes, and everyone, including Michaels, sits down for the lunch they ordered hours ago.
What have we learned, boys and girls? Initial racist comment=one drink. Standing up at the table as the music swells=two drinks. Shaming a bigoted vendor into charity work=three drinks. Ultimately deciding to fight a racist establishment by paying the bad guys for a meal=four drinks. Time to turn in. I’ll have more show to snovel in the morning.