The Broken Window

Original Air date: April 2, 1958
Director: James Nielson
Guest Actors: Charles Davis (Willis Cornelius), Ralph Sanford (Fats Flannaghan) and William Hunt (Grocer).

Leave it to Beaver  - The Broken Window episode

Telling the truth is one of the more difficult things to do as a child, especially when doing so is a sure fire way of getting a whippin’, grounded or both. A very familiar plot line in many classic television shows featuring kids is the broken window. “Who broke that window?” could usually be heard yelled over the airwaves of prime time television most every night.

In this case, it’s late afternoon on Mapleton Drive, Wally and his friends Chester, Tooey, Eddie are playing ball in the street in front of the Cleaver house. Wally pitches to Eddie and finally after many misses, Eddie gets some wood on the ball. He smashes it and before Larry Mondello can catch it, the ball sails over his head and right through a pane of glass of the living room window.

This all happens right in front of Ward as he pulls into the driveway after a hard day of work at the old salt mine. All of the boys run away but Wally and Beaver have nowhere to run, they’re stuck to accept the consequences of playing ball near the house. At supper that night, Ward says all is forgiven and forgotten, but other than his edict that they are never, ever, ever, ever to play ball near the house again, there are no consequences. The next morning before going to the park to obey their father, with their parents out for the morning, Beaver has Wally throw him one pitch – just one – but Beaver smashes it into the garage, off the wall and right into the passenger window of their car.

When Eddie Haskell arrives, he has a sure cure for their problem, a dishonest one of course. “Roll down the car window and deal with the problem later.” Wally and Beaver both feel uneasy about being so dishonest (because they really are good kids deep down inside, unlike that rascal Eddie Haskell). After thinking about it a while, they take Eddie’s suggestion and roll down the window. In the meantime, they do their best to raise the money needed to fix the window. They do this by looking for discarded bottles and returning them to the store to get the deposit money on each of them. They next go to see Fats Flanaghan, the junk man and sell him some scrap metal. They wind up with less than $7.00 and the cost to fix the window is almost double that. The next day arrives, and after an evening and a morning of pretending everything was okay, Ward tells the boys the family is going for a ride in the country. Wally and Beaver do the best they can to discourage their father from taking the family for a drive in the country. When Ward asks June to roll up her window, the boys plead with their dad to keep it down. To their surprise, the window was not broken. It was a miracle.

It wasn’t really a miracle. The previous night, Ward had opened the car door and closed it and heard the smashing sound of broken glass. He thought he had broken the window and then had it fixed. Being the honest kids they were, Wally and Beaver confessed to their cover up and Ward felt good that his boys could tell the truth when in fact; they could’ve gotten away with a lie.

Feel good points in this episode

I love the idea of kids playing baseball in the street, or anywhere for that matter. Like stick ball in NYC streets, or kids in a sandlot, watching kids play baseball as an afterschool activity really hearkens back to an earlier more carefree era.

Returning bottles was always a fun way to get some candy money when I was a kid. I loved finding those 32 oz Pepsi bottles. How about you?

The honesty of Wally and Beaver may take a hiatus once in a while, but it always comes back in the end.

Your turn

What are your thoughts about The Broken Window. Have you ever tried to cover up a broken window? What did you like most about this episode of Leave it to Beaver?

Watch Leave it to Beaver Anytime

While Leave it to Beaver used to be available on Netflix to watch in live streaming, that is no longer the case (as of this writing). The best option for LITB lovers is to buy the DVD box set and there are times you can get a good bargain on Amazon, especially used.

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