All in the Family (1971–1979)
8.4/10
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2 user

Archie and the F.B.I. 

A visiting FBI agent's investigation puts Archie's longtime friendship with an old war buddy in jeopardy.

Director:

John Rich

Writers:

Norman Lear (developed by), Michael Ross | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Carroll O'Connor ... Archie Bunker
Jean Stapleton ... Edith Bunker
Rob Reiner ... Michael 'Meathead' Stivic
Sally Struthers ... Gloria Bunker-Stivic
Mike Evans ... Lionel Jefferson
Graham Jarvis ... Larry Grundy
Jon Korkes ... Mr. Bradford
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Storyline

Archie flies into full-bird panic when a man comes by asking questions about his neighbor Larry Grundy, who has been his friend for 15 years. He suspects that the man may be from the F.B.I. investigating Larry to find out if he is really a subversive. Archie becomes suspicious and suspects that his house is being bugged as part of a sting operation. He and Larry get into a screaming match in the living room over who may or may not secretly be pink. Larry calls off their friendship and is about to leave when Archie gets a call from work telling him that the investigation is not being conducted by the F.B.I., but by The Air Force due to a defense contract that ended six months earlier. Edith suggests that Archie and Larry patch things up, but Larry refuses and quietly walks out the door. Written by Jerry Roberts <armchair-cinema@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the FBI agent shows up at the Bunker's house, Archie lets the agent sit in his chair, something Archie almost never does. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Bradford: How would you describe Mr. Grundy's drinking habits?
Archie Bunker: He seldom buys.
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User Reviews

 
The Monsters Are Due on Hauser Street
10 January 2018 | by GaryPeterson67See all my reviews

What sprang to mind watching "Archie and the F.B.I." were a couple episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE: "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" and "The Shelter." Both dealt with neighbors being chummy and nice until a crisis hits, then everyone's mask slips and the veneer of neighborliness is stripped away, uncovering all manner of ugliness, suspicion, and pent-up prejudice. It was a strange theme to adapt for a sitcom, and it resulted in a not wholly successful or satisfactory episode of ALL IN THE FAMILY.

One mistake was introducing Larry Grundy as Archie's "best buddy" when we've never met or heard of this guy until now. The story would have had more impact if it were Stretch Cunningham or Jimmy McNab. And wasn't it coincidental that virtually all of Archie's neighbors work at the same factory? Other episodes imply Archie has a commute to and from work, so why would so many plant employees settle along Hauser Street in Flushing? Sitcoms aren't held to the rigid rules of continuity like dramas, so that coincidence can be overlooked to allow the story to unfold as it did, with Mr. Bradford sparking fear and paranoia at every house he visited.

Archie comes off poorly in this episode, from slamming the door on Bradford's face before learning he's a G-Man (Air Force, not FBI as it turned out) to--despite his protesting otherwise--turning on his friend Larry Grundy by not wanting to be seen with him. The characterization of Archie thus far has been like a roller coaster, with some episodes presenting him sympathetically--"The Saga of Cousin Oscar" and "Edith's Problem," for example--and others, like this one, as a man possessing few redeeming qualities. At some point the series struck a good balance, then Archie was softened too much and robbed of his edge in the final season.

Graham Jarvis, making his sole series appearance as Archie's "best buddy," went on to a regular role in Norman Lear's soap opera satire MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN. He was very funny trading barbs with Archie before stomping off to bugle practice. Lionel makes his typical walk-on appearance, and one refreshingly free of his tired Stepin Fetchit routine. Jon Korkes is good as investigator Bradford, playing the part as if he were Jack Webb's protégé. Edith's mentioning Efram Zimbalist, star of the long-running ABC drama THE F.B.I., was a nice touch and noteworthy since ALL IN THE FAMILY was a CBS show.

And speaking of mentions, the 1972 setting was firmly established when Mike dropped the names of Fr. Berrigan, Huey Newton, and Abbie Hoffman in the epilogue. Names that once captured headlines, but which today would be recognized by few viewers under 50. But no matter, because just the look on Archie's face would tell the audience that whomever these people were they didn't rate high on his hit parade.


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