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Recap / Cheers S 2 E 4

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Episode: Season 2, Episode 4
Title: Homicidal Ham
Directed by: James Burrows
Written by: David Lloyd
Air Date: October 27, 1983
Previous: Personal Business
Next: Sumner's Return
Guest Starring: Derek Mc Grath, Severn Darden

"Homicidal Ham" is the fourth episode of the second season of Cheers.

Andy "Andy-Andy" Schroeder (Derek McGrath), the mild-mannered homicidal maniac last seen in "Diane's Perfect Date", returns to the bar. Andy pulls a gun on Sam and demands all the money in the cash register, but as it turns out, he really just wants to be arrested and sent back to prison. As Andy confesses to the bar after he deliberately lets Sam grab the gun, he wants to go back to jail because as an ex-con who served ten years for manslaughter, he has no future prospects.

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A sympathetic Diane gets Sam to hold off on calling the police. Talking with Andy, she gets him to confess his true dream: he wants to be an actor. Diane, who knows a lot of local theater people from her academic career, arranges for Andy to get an audition with a theater critic. Together, Andy and Diane will perform a scene.

Namely, a scene from Othello. The strangulation scene.


Tropes:

  • All Part of the Show:
    • Diane and Andy are performing Othello's murder of Desdemona when Andy really begins to strangle Diane. She struggles, causing the present acting scout to exclaim, "I love it! A Desdemona who fights back!"
    • Sam still briefly checks with the acting coach to make sure "Help me! This psycho's trying to kill me!" isn't part of the original text of the play. Coach exclaims, "That's the only line of Shakespeare I ever understood!"
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  • Bar Slide: Sam does another spin on his Bar Slide trick. This time he has an assembly line of beers lined up on the bar as everybody is watching the boxing match. The patrons form a line and grab beers one at a time as Sam pushes the whole line of beer to the end of the bar.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Shelley Long is a particularly bad Desdemona, which fits with the character of Diane being pretentious.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Coach is the king of this trope, as usual.
    Diane: (talking about the theater critic) He can spot an actor a mile away.
    Coach: Boy that could come in handy at a drive-in.
  • Death Glare: Andy delivers quite the murderous Death Glare to Diane as she's giving the intro to the Othello scene. This is what finally alerts her to what's going on.
  • Easily Forgiven: Diane is way too quick to take a murderous ex-con under her wing.
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  • Fake Pregnancy: Carla observed that she got better tips when she was pregnant so she is wearing a pillow under her shirt to pretend that she's still pregnant.
  • Hearing Voices: Andy gives a Suspiciously Specific Denial that he definitely doesn't remember "those voices...those shrill voices that used to sound like my...mommy."
  • Idiot Ball: Diane's choice of the murder scene from Othello was ill-considered.
  • Large Ham: Well, it is Shakespeare, and Andy has gone insane, but he really leans into Othello.
  • Momma's Boy: Andy is revealed to have a Psycho-esque fixation on his mother. As he has his complete psychotic breakdown at the end of the episode he screams "MOMMY! I'll clean my room, Mommy!"
  • Produce Pelting: The bar patrons throw pretzels at Diane as she stalls and delays starting the Othello scene, Diane having realized just how bad an idea it is.
  • Show Within a Show: Diane and Andy perform the strangulation scene from Othello.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Andy, who has formed a big crush on Diane during their week of Shakespeare rehearsals, tells her he loves her. When he later sees her kissing Sam, he has a psychotic breakdown.
  • Worth It: Diane turns off the bar TV so she and Andy-Andy can rehearse Othello—even though the patrons were watching a game. Norm whines to Sam, "I hope she's showing you one hell of a good time." Sam answers with a big grin.
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