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Tearjerker: All in the Family
All in the Family
The Season 8 finale "The Stivics Go West" was both a Very Special Episode and a tearjerker, in that it was the final time all four of the show's main stars – Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers – appeared together as regulars.note Reiner and Struthers both would appear in two later episodes, reuniting the foursome. Archie and Mike's final conversation, where Mike thanks Archie for all his support over the years, tells him he loves him, and awkwardly embraces him, is very touching. Shortly thereafter comes an emotional farewell. The final scene has a deeply saddened Archie watch the taxi – with his daughter, son-in-law and grandson, Joey, inside – drive away, choke back a sob, and sit down next to an equally sad Edith in the now-silent house.
The "Two's a Crowd" episode, where a drunken Archie talks to Mike about his father and reveals where he got his prejudiced views from.
Mike: My ol' man used to call people the same things as your ol' man. But I always knew he was wrong. So was your ol' man.
Archie: Don't tell me my father was wrong! Let me tell you somethin'. Your father who made you, wrong? Your father, the breadwinner of the house there, the man who goes out and busts his butt to keep a roof over your head and clothes on your back? You call your father wrong? Hey, hey, your father... Your father, that's the man that comes home bringin' you candy. Your father's the first guy to throw a baseball to you. And take you for walks in the park. Hold you by the hand. My father held me by the hand, oh, he had a hand on him, I tell you. He busted that hand once, and he busted it on me. To teach me to do good. And my father, he'd shove me in the closet for seven hours to teach me to do good, 'cause he loved me. He loved me. Don't be lookin' at me!... Let me tell you somethin'. You're supposed to love your father. Because your father. Loves. You. And how can any man that loves you tell you anything that's wrong?
Any episode involving Stephenie worried about having to leave was this. Especially when she tried to come up with excuses as to why she can't go back home to her terrible father yet.
Edith alone in the house with a rapist in "Edith's 50th Birthday". Archie ends up interupting them, so the rapist hides in the closet with a gun, telling her that if Edith says anything, he'll shoot the both of them. Watching Edith looking so desperate while Archie prattles on about needing a punchbowl, then when he leaves, she cries for him not to go. Doubles as Nightmare Fuel.
As the family stays up all night waiting to hear if Archie will be laid off, he remembers how his father was devastated by the Great Depression. "He just kept asking why, and no one could tell him."
Archie Bunker's Place
The Season 2 opener "Archie Alone" saw Archie in deep denial over Edith's death (after series star Jean Stapleton decided to leave the show). Eventually frustrated that everyone is talking about it, Archie shouts at the world to go away. He then goes upstairs and sees one of Edith's slippers, before he has his emotional breakdown.