This is the one in which Ralph, after bullying a little guy named George, is himself bullied by a bigger guy named Harvey (HARRRR-veeee!) and has to fight him. I always considered it one of the single funniest installments, and we'll get into the episode soon, but let me get right to the one thing I do NOT like about it.
I like strong "heels." Growing up, it annoyed me when I watched pro wrestling and saw dominant bad guys suddenly turn to jelly just because the babyface hero pulled his strap down on his singlet or shook his finger. I liked seeing villains get beat, mind you, but I respected ones who managed to stay strong, like Lex Luthor or Doctor Doom, and it frustrated me to see the old cliché that bullies backed down right away when you just challenged them.
Is that really true in actual life? I don't think so. Sometimes, maybe, but just as often, doesn't standing up to a bully delight him (or her) because it's easier to get at his target?
This is why I hate the end of this episode. Ralph, thanks to a ruse concocted with Norton (not really, we discover, but Ralph doesn't find out till after the fact) punches out a guy in front of Harvey to scare off the big guy. It actually works!
Harvey was an interesting character, a blowhard, yes, but one who was really sticking up for his little friend. They did kind of have dibs on the pool table (I don't know the code of the pool hall, but surely there must be some kind of procedure in a place like that for reserving a table when you want to go get something cold to drink), and Ralph brushed off George's concerns.
I never bought Harvey chickening out like that even if Ralph did slug an even bigger guy (Mike O'Dowd). Ralph's swagger IS funny, and the episode has a great payoff, but it comes at the expense of ol' Harv, who turns punk in record time with too little reason. he practically runs out of the gym.
I do think Ralph's silly laugh when he says this is why he doesn't like to fight--and sometimes he even hurts himself--is classic.
More next week!