Hi. Welcome back to my re-watch of Punky Brewster. If you want to read my prior reviews, you can check them out HERE.
I provide a short episode summary here at the top, then a long and detailed summary just below that. There’s a sub-section near the bottom (scroll down) labeled “reaction” if you just want to get right to my thoughts about the episode.
THE QUICK AND CLEAN SUMMARY:
Part two of episode 4 begins with Punky and Cherie dancing in Henry’s living room. You might remember Cherie from the pilot. She is the person who probably kept Punky from starving while she was squatting in an empty apartment in Henry’s building. Cherie is doing some swimming type dance move while Punky’s dance is a little harder to figure out. But when they’re done she tells Cherie she learned those moves from watching how Brandon (her dog) scratches himself when he has fleas.
The two girls – while folding Punky’s blankets on the couch – start talking about how Punky wishes she had her own room.
Punky decides to ask Henry if she can convert his study into a bedroom. So she goes to find him in said room.
- It appears to be the biggest room in the house.
- It’s a room Ron Burgandy would love – it is filled with old leather bound books, rich mahogany, and the sounds of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons, Violin Concerto in E Major, Op. 8, No. 1, Rv 29 “Spring”: 1. Allegro” [note: thanks Shazam] is playing while he sits in there reading.
- Henry tells her how much he enjoys the room. It’s the reason he picked the apartment he lives in when he became the building manager.
After she tries unsuccessfully to sell Henry on the idea of not spending so much time in the room, Punky asks Henry for the room outright. It seems like a pretty reasonable request. Surely this old man did not think he could take custody of a little girl he does not know and then have her live on his couch for years. He had to have thought about this, right?
Henry agrees to consider giving her the room. But he says they will need to take some time, save some money, and not rush into it. Henry appears to think he has won this argument and heads off to work. (In addition to being a building manager, he is also a studio photographer.)
Punky decides to convert the study into a bedroom while Henry is gone to work.
We cut to a montage of Punky, Cherie, and Eddie, the weird building repairman, moving Henry’s stuff out of the study, painting it, and decorating it. (Alas, Shazam does not know the montage guitar riff to which they are working.)
In quick order, they get Henry’s stuff moved out – though who knows where it ends up being stored. Punky starts painting. She uses her own white shirt in place of the room’s walls to see if she likes the paint colors. The walls are a myriad of colors (pink, red, yellow, green.) Eddie paints the wall sconce pink. Henry’s antique trunk is painted purple. The girls paint the window yellow.
But true to the magic of television, we leave the mess at its worst and cut to the finished product. It looks great. New colorful carpet. Eddie has converted a flower cart into a bed. The yellow paint in the window is a smiling sun. The once unorganized panapoly of color on the walls now looks like a little girl’s dream bedroom.
Punky, Eddie, Cherie, and even Brandon are covered in paint but the job is complete.
Henry, of course, flips out. “This room would blind a smurf!” “I want everything in this room changed back to exactly the way it was!”
[cue sad music] “You know Henry, I was hoping that you and me could sort of be like a real family. I was hoping that I could feel like I belonged here. But how can I if everything in this whole place belongs to you?”
Henry, of course, then changes his mind. Punky has her own room.
After this conversation, we see Eddie appear outside of what is now Punky’s bedroom window and peak his head in. He comes to apologize and say that if Henry is mad, he should not take it out on Punky. Henry decides to tell Eddie that he did a good job. After that happens, Eddie appears to fall some distance to the ground but is apparently okay after landing on his head.
Before Henry leaves the room, he makes the mistake of sitting on the antique freshly painted trunk. And he turns his slacks purple.
There was not much to this half of episode 4. I am appreciative at least that after the trauma of “Lost and Found” the 2nd half of this episode was a little bit more lighthearted.
Based on what we know about Punky to this point, I am not surprised that she would try to convert Henry’s study on her own. She had a full blown panic attack that Henry abandoned her in a grocery store in the first half of this episode. The poor girl is craving stability. Turning Henry’s favorite room into something that “would blind a smurf” and not getting kicked out is probably one way of testing the stability of her new situation. The Warnimont-Brewsters need to be in family counseling. ASAP.
The implausibility of the complete room renovation happening in one day, notwithstanding, I am happy to see the show tackling some logistics. An 8 year old moving in with a senior citizen means a lot of changes for said senior citizen. I suspect that Henry had a plan in mind of giving Punky the study. And his reaction was probably a realistic blend of horror at the dramatic change mixed with some relief at the work being done and not having to actually make the changes himself.
I still find Eddie a bit unnerving instead of funny. He apparently spent the entire day alone with two little girls. He peeked in through Punky’s bedroom window as the show concluded. If this character is going to continue as part of the show, I am going to need to see some reason to not hope that his next multi-storey drop onto his head is his last.
“I”m the only kid I know who doesn’t have her own room.”
“You’re new to the area. You do not know that many children yet.”
“A bedroom has a bed. This is a couch room.”
“I’m not nobody. I’m Punky Brewster.”
“Oh no, I suddenly have a feelin’ I’m not gonna live to be nine.”
“Great work, guys. Can you imagine Henry’s face when he sees what we’ve done?”