Sunday, November 11, 2012

Balfours Everywhere!

Happy Veterans’ Day! I wanted to do a post suitable for the day, but I couldn’t come up with one that would work. I’d need to re-watch The Sardonic Sergeant and The Slandered Submarine before spotlighting them, and I’ve already rambled a lot on The Misguided Missile, even though I never have spotlighted it, per se.

One thing I’ve been wondering about is the name Balfour and its usage in the series. It doesn’t seem to be a very common name overall, and yet it turns up on Perry repeatedly. Is it a coincidence? Or did the crew really like it for some reason? Offhand I can think of three times characters by that surname played important roles in episodes.

The first time is in The Lucky Loser, an early season 2 venture. The Balfour family is said, I think, to be among the most influential families in the entire state (if not the most). That’s quite a statement, considering the size of California. They’re very wealthy, very powerful, and have the bad luck to run into enough trouble to need legal help. Perry is asked to defend the patriarch’s grandson and teach him how to fight for himself.

The second time is in season 7’s The Devious Delinquent. Once again, the Balfours are very wealthy. They are not, however, the same Balfours as in the previous usage. And once again, Perry must help the grandson of the patriarch. With the reappearance of the name and approximate social standing, I can’t help wondering if they’re supposed to be related to the other Balfours. Perhaps the patriarchs are cousins?

The name is back in season 9, with the character Ralph Balfour in The Wrathful Wraith. He’s connected with the murder victim Jamison Selfe, but I still can’t recall the exact nature of their involvement (business partners, insurance agent and client, etc.). And he ends up being the murderer. If he is connected with the wealthy Balfours, he causes them a great deal of scandal.

I want to say there was one other time when the name was used, but I can’t think when it would have been.

As with most of the large and rich families Perry and company encounter throughout the series, the Balfours in seasons 2 and 7 seem to be dysfunctional on various levels. It’s been quite a while since I saw The Lucky Loser, but I did see The Devious Delinquent recently, and again witnessed the disasters rampant among those Balfours. And they were all brought about by one wicked woman, the housekeeper, wanting to get everyone out of the way until she was the only one left to inherit. Ugh. As if that wasn’t enough, she tried to convince the poor grandson that she was his only friend, while she was really leading him to near-destruction.
If the name ever ends up in one of my stories, I'll probably try to connect all the Balfours into one big extended family. That would be interesting.
And I am afraid, as previously warned, that I may need to cut back on the number of blog posts for the next couple of months. The season grows busier and I don't have as much time to plot out detailed posts. I'll have to see what develops.

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