Happy Father’s Day! As a parallel with the Mother’s Day post, I have been trying to think of good Perry episodes for the holiday.
And I’m having the same difficulty as I had with Mother’s Day. While there’s quite a few episodes that include fathers, the problem is weeding out the ones that not only feature fathering as an important plot point, but show the fathers in the best light and also don’t end up depressing for them (such as the poor grandfather’s death in The Nine Dolls).
As I recall, season 2’s The Married Moonlighter involves a man who is married with a young son, and he’s holding down two jobs trying to support his family. His wife is upset feeling that he doesn’t have the job that would pay the best, as instead he’s longing to follow his dream of teaching, and Perry tries to convince her to stick with him instead of throwing in the towel.
Season 3’s The Flighty Father is one of the best choices I could come up with. The father, though absent for many years, has come back into his daughter’s life. The question is . . . which one is the real one? It’s an intriguing mystery of identities but ends with all being well and sorted out, and the daughter and her father beginning a new relationship together.
John Hoyt’s father character in the season 4 venture The Resolute Reformer is an honest, upright man and tries to be a good father. Most of the episode centers around the trouble his son inadvertently gets him into following a hit-and-run.
I had also kind of considered The Duplicate Daughter, but I’m not as sure about it. The daughters and the mother are more prominent characters than the father.
The Lawful Lazarus in season 6 involves a once-derelict father as well, come home not to get back into his kids’ lives, but just to make sure they have the best possible lives they can. And while for many reasons I don’t think he made the right choice of guardianship for them, unfortunately it was probably the best choice out of what was available in the episode. In any case, he’s trying to do the right thing, and the writer depicts it as indeed being the right thing.
I can’t remember if I mentioned it on the Mother’s Day post, but a good episode for both holidays is probably season 7’s The Festive Felon. Not only is it revealed that the girl has two mothers, one biological and one who more closely raised her (albeit with the complicated circumstances, they were both around), it’s discovered that her father is still alive and has been in her life without her knowledge of their true relationship.
There’s episodes where both parents are quite important, such as The Red Riding Boots and The Missing Button, and I was thinking there were also a couple of episodes with young single fathers (The Poison Penpal, for one, I just remembered).
Then there’s episodes with grandfathers, and offhand I think The Lucky Loser might be one of the best of those—albeit the focus is more on the grandson whom Perry is hired to help. The problem is the same with The Grumbling Grandfather in season 4.
The Pint-Sized Client, also in season 2, features a boy being raised by his grandfather. They have a special relationship and it’s a sweet episode and, I think, a good choice.
Season 7 brings The Devious Delinquent, which features a grandfather as well, if I remember right. The poor man has been completely duped by his hired help, who wants the family fortune for herself and has been working to that end for years. Once he realizes the immense damage, he is sickened and wants to do everything he can to mend what’s left of his family.
Those are all the ones I can think of that might work the best. There may be others, too.