Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Bewitched: "The Leprechaun"

Premiered March 17, 1966

Darrin Stephens (Dick York) is dismayed to learn that yet another of Samatha's (Elizabeth Montgomery) relatives has come to visit.  The visitor is a bona fide leprechaun named Brian O'Brian (Henry James).  

Brian turns out NOT to be one of Samatha's kinfolk, but is from Darrin's side of the family.  The leprechaun is seeking his last remaining pot of gold, which he'd hidden away in a fireplace in Ireland.

Unfortunately for Brian, that fireplace was transported from the Auld Sod to the US by a wealthy businessman named James Dennis Robinson (Parley Baer) where it holds pride of place in Robinson's mansion! 

Since Brian isn't in possession of the pot of gold, he cannot use his leprechaun magic.  Moreover, Samantha cannot use her witchcraft to obtain the pot of gold as its leprechaun bewitchment prevents this.  So Brian will have to find a way to retrieve the pot himself.  

Matters are complicated by Darrin's skepticism of the whole issue and the fact that Darrin's advertising firm would very much like to obtain Robinson's business.   Darrin goes to Robinson's home to verify Brian's claims and attempt to drum up some ad firm revenue, but is not very successful. 

The leprechaun decides to take matters into his own hands and runs into serious trouble in the form of guard dogs. Robinson himself calls the police and has Brian sent to jail.  Brian uses his one phone call to ask Samantha for help.   She obliges and springs him using witchcraft. Darrin is angry that she interfered and forbids her from helping further. 

Ignoring Darrin, Samantha witches herself and Brian back to Robinson's mansion to search for the pot of gold.  However, it seems that someone else has already discovered its hiding place! 

Will Darrin win another advertising deal for his firm?  Will Brian O'Brian regain his pot of gold or will he be reduced to a mere mortal?   Will Samantha think of a clever way to save the day?  

RigbyMel says: 

This is a slight and silly episode of Bewitched.  It's amusing to see how the sitcom's writers work some leprechaun mythos into the suburban setting -- but also a bit annoying to see how heavily they lean into the "drunken Irishman" stereotype.   

Brian seems particularly dopey for a leprechaun -- they have a reputation for being reasonably clever if not tricky, after all.  Maybe the loss of his pot of gold is dulling his faculties?   That being said,  Henry James is fun to watch as Brian the leprechaun and definitely knows how to work the blarney

I liked that they played with the sitcom's formula a bit in this episode as it's one of Darrin's nutty relations (not Samantha's) causing the difficulty.   However, Darrin is a bit less likeable than usual in this episode as well.   He's rather mean and unsympathetic to Brian and to Samantha throughout -- and they come through for him in the end anyway! 

Interestingly, Parley Baer who plays the episode's antagonist Mr. Robinson, appeared on nine episodes of Bewitched between 1966 and 1972.  He played different characters each time! 

"The Leprechaun" is an enjoyable episode of Bewitched with lots of St. Patrick's Day flair but it's not really a classic.

RigbyMel's rating: 

2.5 shamrocks 

J.A. Morris says: 
We should mention that even though St. Patrick's Day is never mentioned in "The Leprechaun," this episode premiered on St. Paddy's of 1966.  So I believe it qualifies as a "holiday" episode.

This is an OK episode of Bewitched.  I agree with most of what my co-blogger says.  If I have any problem with "The Leprechaun," it's that I felt it gets off to a slow start.  It's a "low energy" episode until Brian tries to get his gold back from Robinson.  

There isn't a lot of St. Patrick's Day programming out there, that makes "The Leprechaun" worth watching at least once, but that's about it.

J.A. Morris' rating:

2 shamrocks.