Season 4, Ep. 17: “Double Standard”

There’s a plot aspect of this episode that’s really weird. Ben really wants to date this girl, Amy, but he can’t until he turns 13. That hasn’t stopped him before. I know the role could’ve always been there and Ben just ignored it, but he’s really concern about it now. It’s nice though that the entire episode isn’t about this, as we’ve seen this type of plot line on the show multiple times. He asks Mike who just suggests Ben to use the loopholes in their rule. Then Julie walks out and Ben asks her. She’s really there just so we can Mike and her flirt hinting at their relationship only them and the audience currently knows about. Ben just decides to not tell Maggie and Jason.

Later that night, Ben has sneaked out and went on a date with Amy. It would’ve been nice to see Amy, but that’s really not what the episode is about. Jason and Maggie scare the hell about Mike, because they think he’s Ben. Amy’s mom called, because she thought Amy and Ben were there. A noise comes from the living room, which they all think is Ben. It turns out to be Carol who was on a date with a guy from school. What happened to Sandy (Matthew Perry)? A noise comes from the kitchen and it’s Ben. You’d think he’d try to sneak into the house better than just use the door.

Jason, as agreed on between him and Maggie, talks to both Jason and Maggie about their punishments. Having been like Ben with girls at his age, Jason just gives him a warning. Carol, on the other hand, gets one month grounded. She doesn’t like it, but she just knows she has to deal with it.

After Carol and Jason finish up, Carol finds out from Ben and Mike that Ben got a warning. She will not stand for this double standard, so she she tells Maggie. Maggie can’t believe it, so she goes and discusses it with Jason. He’s watching the Knicks game with Ben and Mike, but she straight up just turns it off.

They really should’ve just done this together, but they come to the conclusion that Maggie will just talk to both of them.

Maggie talks to Ben and gives him one month without television. A disclosure comes on the screen saying no Growing Pains for a month, which is obviously a joke on Ben’s punishment. But woohoo, no Growing Pains for a month.

Carol talks to Maggie. Maggie goes easy on Carol when Carol gets into that she was on a date with the cute guy from Trig that Carol told Maggie about. Yeah, Maggie completely screws up. She just gives Carol breakfast dishes duty, as oppose to Ben not being able to watch TV for a month.

Ben and Mike finds out when Carol tells them when they’re all in the kitchen. Ben is pissed, so he’s going to talk to Jason.

Jason and Maggie talk about this again. Maggie thought Jason was being sexist, but he says parents are just generally more tougher on daughters than son. I’m surprised he just didn’t say it’s because boys have that type of relationship. Now they decide Jason will talk to Carol from now and Maggie will talk with Ben, which works.

The first problem is the whole how Ben has had no problem avoiding this rule Jason and Maggie had until now. The writers probably just made up the rule for the episode. Also it seems like they really dragged out everything with their approach. They could’ve just had Jason and Maggie figure everything out together from the beginning. It was still an interesting approach though.

And That’s the Point.

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