It's Your Move/Dating Games
Dating Games is the third episode of the first season of It's Your Move, and the third episode overall.
As he is chatting with building manager Mr. Donatelli in the hallway, Norman becomes angry when he sees Matt casually coming out of his apartment. When he confronts Matt, he finds out that Matt had just had Norman's phone reconnected after it had been shut off due to delinquent phone bills, and was just visiting Norman's apartment to make sure it was working. Norman feels thankful but skeptical, especially when Matt explains that now Norman will owe him a favor.
Meanwhile, Matt and Julie are planning their dates for the upcoming school dance, The Harvest Ball. Matt had promised Eli that he would help him secure a date, but had become too busy with his own matchmaking and ultimately forgets about Eli. Eli then turns to Norman for assistance and Norman suggests that he not concentrate so hard on taking his dream date Julie, but look for someone more on his level ('female seepage' as Eli describes her).
Although Matt is pleased that Eli was able to get a date on his own, he quickly becomes disheartened that Eli had turned to Norman for advice. Matt promises that Eli will be going to the dance with his first choice Julie...dead or alive. Various tactics fail to convince Julie to go with Eli, but he ultimately is successful when he is able to capture on tape Julie's confession to a friend that she had gotten sick on beer.
As Julie and Eli head out to the dance, Matt gets a visit from Joyce Bailer, the date that Eli had gotten on his own and then dumped in favor of Julie. Matt makes up an excuse for Eli, but then softens his heart and helps Joyce get a date of her own. The date turns out to be Norman, who is forced to take Joyce to the dance as a payoff for the favor that he owed Matt.
- This is the first episode to use the familiar checkerboard lead-in. Although the scenes within the checkerboard would change with episode 14, this lead-in would be used in all subsequent episodes and would be used in the first two episodes when they aired in reruns and syndication.
- This episode reveals that Julie is 16 years old and Eli is 14.
- Eli's uncle Jocko drives Eli and Julie to the dance in a bus that normally goes to Tustin.
- In this episode, we meet Julie's snobbish best friend Angela, who takes great delight in insulting Julie, and naturally is a mortal enemy of Matt's.
Allusions and References
- Matt names famous mismatches throughout history to convince Julie to go to the dance with Eli: Esmerelda dated Quasimodo, Fay Wray dated King Kong, Susan Anton dated Dudley Moore. Julie replies "that means nothing, they're all make-believe people."
- Matt explains how he met Eli: "I've known Eli since the first day of kindergarten. I walked in and saw some guys playing with some dough. I went over to join to them. I looked and I said 'hey that's not dough. That's a kid' That's how I met Eli."
- Norman: Wait a minute, I should have known, I had a feeling...someone has been using my typewriter. And someone has been sitting in my chair.
Matt: Someone been eating your porridge too, Norman?
- Julie: I've got two seniors and a junior to choose from.
Eli: Woah, woah. Does this mean I'm fourth?
Julie: No Eli, you're fifth...right behind Earth.
Eli: At least I'm ahead of wind and fire.
- Norman: Hi Eli...what's the matter?
Eli: Do you really care or are you just asking because you don't have a phone?
- Matt: Friends shouldn't have to go to strangers for help.
Eli: He did help me get a date.
Matt: He got you a wildebeest!
- Matt: You don't remember Dad do you?
Julie: I remember him better than you do. I'm older!
Matt: But he didn't like you.
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