Tear Jerker / Chico and the Man

  • "Raul Runs Away" was a special hour-long episode that brought closure to the death of series star Freddie Prinze. Aired January 20, 1978, on the weekend of the one-year anniversary of Prinze's death, the plot revolved around new "chico" Raul running away after Ed had yelled at him. (Raul had found Chico's things, and Ed still having trouble coming to terms with Chico's heretofore unacknowledged-to-viewers death shouts at him and breaks Chico's guitar, which Raul had been playing.) Ed later deeply regrets his hasty anger and, after going to apologize, sees that Raul is nowhere to be found. Ed forms a search party and, acting on a tip that Raul may have hitchhiked to Tijuana, travels there to find him. He eventually tracks him down inside an old church and tenderly apologizes. The tearjerker kicks in when he indeed explains about Chico, how close he had grown to him, and that he had passed away (though it is never stated exactly how Chico died; it's presumably due to a car accident). Although Ed never cries on camera (in reality, it likely was all Jack Albertson could do to avoid showing his emotions) it is a very tender moment and was probably one of the last true highlights of the series. (And yes, Raul accepts the apology and agrees to return home.)
  • After Prinze died, there was no time to rewrite the last few season 3 episodes so all of Chico's lines were reassigned to recurring character Salvador. In one episode, there's a scene of Ed shaving, with one side of him facing the camera. Salvador's actor Danny Mora remembers in a 2008 book that the side facing the camera was basically just Ed being Ed, but the side that wasn't - the Jack Albertson side - had tears running down his cheeks.