Even though “Episode 18” is a continuation of the Davey/Mary Hartman hostage situation, this broadcast looks at some major issues of the 1970s. First, Heather talks about child abuse and neglect. Plus, it appears the Reverend Steadfast is a drinker and violent man. As well, this episode talks about the Family Viewing Hour of the 1970s, which all major US television stations adopted. This episode give one an insight into how social issues of the 70s looked to the very people who lived in that time.
This broadcast begins with Martha and Heather discussing marriage breakdown.
“Would daddy have to hire a house keeper like Suzy Tablets father did when her mommy ran away and was never heard from again?” asks an inquiring Heather.
As well, Heather discusses child abuse and neglect. Heather tells a story about her friend, Suzy, saying, “Well, this house keeper hates her and punishes her when nobody is home.”
Not only that, Heather brings up minority religions. Heather mentions voodoo: “Well, this one practises voodoo and killed the goldfish,” In the 70s, people discriminated against minority religions if they weren’t mainstream religions.
Later, in the broadcast, we learn the Reverend is a drinker. We see the Reverend drinking liqour during a hostage scene. After drinking from a small bottle of liqour, the Reverend swears on a stack of bibles.
Meanwhile, back in the Chinese laundry, Davey gets his demands, but he’s sorry too.
“Mrs. Hartman, I am sorry I inconvienced you or the Lombardis,” says an apologenic Davey.
We learn in “Episode 18,” the Reverend is a violent man. During his departure from the Chinese laundry, he kicks over a photographer. The Reverend isn’t fond of publicity to say the least.
Along with that, we learn in this segment, Davey makes a personal confession to a stranger, a local reporter. It appears Davey wants to be “a male nurse”.
In this episode, Davey, the mass murderer, might have more mental problems when he’s worried about getting arrest for not having a license.
“I didn’t bring my license. I don’t want to get arrested,” moans Davey
This episode sees a LT. Trask campaigning for the next election.
“I am proud to be a member of a police department which has nothing to conceal. I been a member of the department for 15 years, and although I was passed over for promotion as chief of police by a city administration that doesn’t always realize a public post is a public trust, elections are coming up soon and I am sure that will all change,” says LT. Trask on a TV news report.
Back at the Shumways, Martha is anxious. “I am so nervous. I think I will bake a cake,” as Martha paces the living room.
In this episode, the Family Viewing Hour from the 70s is discussed.
“I don’t know why they allow all this television with these things going on. It just aggravates children right out of their little minds,” says a concerned Martha. “This is on television? Is this the family hour? Cause this is a lot of violence for the family hour.”
Briefly, I enjoyed this episode for the social issues. We got to see 70s social issues and how people saw them. As well, the bit about the 70s Family Viewing Hour was funny, given a family can be anything today. I liked this episode for the issues.