|Season 2, episode # 8|
A corrupt real estate agent named Chester Byrd encourages Archie to sell his home for more than it's market value in "The Blockbuster" in Season 2 (ep.#8).
|"All in the Family" episode|
|Series:||All in the Family|
|Air date||November 13, 1971|
|Production code||209 (2x08)|
|Teleplay by:||Michael Ross & Bernie West|
|Story by:||Austin & Irma Kalish|
|Directed by:||John Rich|
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|"Edith's Accident"||"Mike's Problem"|
The Blockbuster is the eighth episode aired during the second season and the 21st overall episode of All in the Family. The episode first aired on CBS-TV on November 13, 1971. The script was co-written by the team of Michael and Bernie West, who would later, along with Don Nicholl, would co-write episode and serve as producers for its spinoff The Jeffersons, as well as the ABC-TV sitcom Three's Company. The episode was directed by John Rich, and the story was written by Austin and Irma Kalish, who would go on to write episodes for two popular 1980s NBC-TV series, Diff'rent Strokes, and its long-running spinoff, The Facts of Life.
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Archie gets a $35,000 offer to sell his house, which is more than what Archie purchased it for (and much more than its market value) to Chester Byrd (Thalmus Rasulala), a realtor, who, as the family later finds out from Lionel Jefferson, is corrupt, in realtor terms, what they call a "blockbuster", a realtor who makes a huge profit in reselling homes sold to him by fearful whites to minorities at a much higher price than its value and for what one purchased from the seller.
The Bunkers are having problems with their furnace which gets Archie entertaining the idea of possibly moving to California.
Thalmus Rasulala (credited as Jack Crowder) guest stars as Chester Byrd, a shrewdly-dealing, opportunistic, high-pressure black real estate agent. Offering to give Archie twice what he paid for his house, Byrd adroitly and insidiously utilizes scare tactics to prey on his fears of having more minorities moving in the area, by which some former neighbors who lived in the community that the Bunkers are acquainted with were responding to, warning the Bunkers that their neighborhood is about to be infested by low-income African-Americans!
Though the eager-to-sell Archie takes Byrd at face value, Lionel, who calls the corrupt Byrd an "Oreo Cookie" Black on the outside and White on the inside", and Mike both recognize the tactic that Byrd is using, calling out Byrd in recognizing the "blockbuster" agent for what he is, one who purchases homes from whites at a much lower price than the prices which they resell the same properties to ethnic minorities eager to move out of lower income neighborhoods particularly, poverty stricken, crime infested ghettos, just make a huge profit.
The attempts of all the signs given to him by what Lionel actually knows about Byrd, as well as Mike and Gloria's attempt to warn him, and Edith's unwillingness to move out their home fall on deaf ears as a still eager to sell Archie is only encouraged by what his cousin Bertha (Peggy Rea) initally told him about her son Rudy, who's started a business out in sunny California, where its 85 degrees (as he finds out when he talks to Rudy on the phone), which he offered Archie partnership in.
His hopes of relocating to California as well as selling his house for still much more than it's actual worth (Byrd offered him $35,000, which he jumped at) is only dashed when Bertha drops by just as Archie is presented the contract to sell his home by Mr. Byrd, as she reveals that her son's business is, for the third time, in trouble, just his prior failed business attempts were when he still was living in New York City, and that he's "trying to barely make it above water" and Rudy was eager to get the $20,000 Archie offered to help his struggling business, as no one else in the family would loan him any money, as Bertha says Rudy was getting his garage ready for he and Edith to live in, and that Archie could be "the father that he needs!".
Undeterred by Archie's sudden unwillingnesss to sell, Mr. Byrd then decides to leave and to go around to canvass the neighborhood for other prospective home sellers; as Archie tries to warn him "They ain't gonna sell to you. I think you'll find that all of my neighbors is just about like me.", the unscrupulus Byrd just devilishly smiles and replies, "That's what I'm countin' on!"
Cast (in credits order)
- Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker
- Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
- Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic
- Sally Struthers as Gloria Bunker Stivic
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