The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: Lawman Barney (1962)

Synopsis: When two farmers (Allan Melvin and Orville Sherman) scare Barney (Don Knotts) away after he tried to get them to stop illegally selling produce, Andy (Andy Griffith) tells them a fib about his deputy in an effort to intimidate them and build up Barney's confidence. When this backfires, Barney must finally learn to stand up for himself.


Review: I remembered seeing this episode some time back but couldn't remember too much about it when I had a chance to watch it again yesterday morning. At first, I wasn't really sure if I would enjoy it, mostly because the plot sounded a bit too similar to other "Barney needs Andy to save him" plots I've seen on this series before. However, after watching it, I have to admit I enjoyed it.

I think the thing that really stands out for me when it comes to this episode is the way both Barney and Andy ultimately learn valuable lessons. Barney gains a new understanding about what it means to wear a badge and the power that comes with it while Andy, at the same time, learns (well, at least I hope he learned something) he can't keep helping his deputy behind his back.

Another thing I liked about this episode is the way the writers portrayed the two antagonists. I've grown used to people not being intimidated by Barney. But, in this case, the two farmers actually tried to pull the same stunt on Andy too. It was refreshing to see characters who genuinely believed they could get away with a crime regardless of who they were talking to rather than just use Barney as a punching bag. Plus, even though Barney probably shouldn't have run away from them, it was easy to understand why he might be frightened (though I'm still not sure why he didn't just threaten them with his gun).

My biggest complaint about this episode is the way it, once again, made me think twice about wanting to live in Mayberry. As has been the case with other episodes, this one makes the people of that town seem kind of unfriendly, especially the way they were so willing to talk about and make fun of Barney in front of two complete strangers. I guess it's not that perfect of a community after all.

Final Opinion: I had some doubts about this one but, overall, enjoyed watching the episode. I would recommend it as a result.

My Grade: B

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