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alsplacebartender 02-18-2003 12:19 PM

203 The Americanization of Machiko
 
The Americanization of Machiko
August 4, 1953


Oak Creek, Ohio


Oh my God...I'm Popeye! Well, close. Sam's a returning son from the Navy who has been stationed in Japan for two years. His parents and old girlfriend know he has brought a surprise with him.

Then the surprise shows up: he is now married to a Japanese woman named Machiko.

In the original history, his parents never accepted Machiko and it doomed their lives. Can he change the prejudices of his family and that of another angry member of the community who threatens Machiko's life?


Written by: Charlie Coffey
Directed by: Gilbert Shilton


Rate and comment on this episode!

Vince Beckett 10-05-2005 10:12 PM

Great episode. It was another episode dealing with discrimination, this time against Japanese.

Sam Beckett Fan 02-03-2006 06:20 PM

another one of my favs, i loved it.

Samantha Beckett 02-05-2006 02:05 AM

I loved this ep too! Machiko is so sweet and pretty, it hurts to see her treated that way. And, well....Seeing Sam pitch the hay was nice to see:dreaming

Samantha Beckett

Julie 01-10-2007 12:06 AM

My favourite episode. Good storyline. The scene where they're at the hospital is kinda depressing. Of course it turns out well in the end, and the bride looks beautiful, and he definitely looks sexy in a suit.

Sam Beckett Fan 05-13-2007 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samantha Beckett
I loved this ep too! Machiko is so sweet and pretty, it hurts to see her treated that way. And, well....Seeing Sam pitch the hay was nice to see:dreaming

Samantha Beckett

I agree. I love this episode, Machiko is very sweet and childishly cute as she's adapting to American life. I loved how we got to hear Sam speak to her in Japenese it's sexy. They should have given him more lines that he needs to say to her in Japenese. It would have been cool. I also Love the way Henry seemed to take to her pretty fast and how he welcomed her with open arms.

We also get some other sexy Sam moments besides the line he said in Japenese. First of all he's hot in the sailor outfit. "Oh my God, I'm popeye!" Lol, I just love that. Also Like Claire said here, the whole rolling in the hay deal, grrrr-rrrow. :dreaming

I wanted to sock Namoi for making a disgrace out of Machiko (I mean in the eyes of the people around her including Lenore) and Rusty for writing "Jap Go Home" on the side of the truck. That is the cruelest thing anyone can do, its like calling a nigro a nigger. Although that's what Made Sam look so sexy while he was shoving the hay cuz he was putting muscle into it from anger.

"I know that Americanizing Machiko was the best way to get Lenore to accept her, but there was a certian beauty about her, uniquly Japanese that I hoped she would never have to lose to blend in with the other daisies."

I just love how Sam just has so much love for all people no matter where they come from or how they talk or what they look like. I loved how Sam taught her American stuff without forcing her to give up her Japanese-ness. (hehe Yeah I know thats not a word but lack of a better one forced me)

Some more on Rusty now. I hate that he had such a hate for Japanese people just becuase he couldn't pitch anymore, like he had his arm cut off or something. Big deal, what a jerk. He just makes me so mad. I really like the actor's performace of him though very well acted. I also enjoyed him as Ralph Boumount in A Single Drop of Rain. Maybe a little better than in this ep probably just because I like the charactor more hehe.

I also liked the reference at the end of the ep to Sam's little Cherade in Star Crossed succeeding.
"I'm Sweating here Al"
"You didn't the first time."
"I'm Married!?"
"Just kidding"

I love the look he gets on his face, like "Ooops, Damn that was close!"

This is a great episode and a great desplay of Sam's big open heart. :)

JuliaM 05-13-2007 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
Some more on Rusty now. I hate that he had such a hate for Japanese people just becuase he couldn't pitch anymore, like he had his arm cut off or something. Big deal, what a jerk. He just makes me so mad. I really like the actor's performace of him though very well acted. I also enjoyed him as Ralph Boumount in A Single Drop of Rain. Maybe a little better than in this ep probably just because I like the charactor more hehe.

Not to excuse the behavior but it is understandable. Rusty lost his chance to play pro-ball because of having to fight in the war. Off hand I can't remember if it was stated or not but based on his dislike of Japanese, I'd say it's safe to say he probably fought in the Pacific Theater. My uncle was killed in Guadalcanal (in the Pacific). Some of my surviving aunts still harbor a certain dislike of the Japanese people in general because of that. Not because as a whole people they were responsible but because of the circumstances involved. It's much the same way that many Americans distrust Arabs now. Again, I'm not excusing the behavior whether in the fictional setting of QL or in real life but it is understandable. When such a major part of your life is lost, it's simply human nature to want to pin the blame on someone or something. In Rusty's case, it was easy to pin the blame on his lost career on the Japanese people as a whole.

Sam Beckett Fan 05-13-2007 11:05 PM

Right, I never said it wasn't understandable it just doesn't need to merit his behavior towards machiko. That's neat that you had family who served there, sorry about your uncle though.

isz 06-30-2007 06:14 AM

An avarage episode in my opinion. This episode,maybe tried to be an "asian version" of the excellent episode "The color of truth",but it wasn't even close. It was interesting.but not as interesting and powerful as "The color of truth".

JuliaM 06-30-2007 03:00 PM

I don't think it's fair to say that this episode is trying to be an "Asian version" of "The Color of Truth". The two episodes deal with completely different issues. "The Color of Truth" deals with segregation in the United States. "The Americanization of Machiko" is dealing with how other cultures are accepted in the states and how someone from another culture has to adapt in order to be accepted. It also gives a picture of the anger that remained against Japanese after World War II.

Sam Beckett Fan 07-01-2007 02:56 AM

I agree with Julia I don't see this as another version of Color of Truth as Segregation and being loathed for being of a culture with which we just faught a war are not the same type of issue at all.

isz 07-01-2007 08:41 AM

You know what you right because The only people that seems to have problem with ,machiko was Lenore,Naomi and Rusty. It seems the rest of the people didn't mind,but still - If some one will come and ask you to give him 5 episodes that deals with racism from QL i'm sure most of you will think of " The Americanization of Machiko" as one of the examples.

JuliaM 07-01-2007 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isz
If some one will come and ask you to give him 5 episodes that deals with racism from QL i'm sure most of you will think of " The Americanization of Machiko" as one of the examples.

Not really. Five episodes of QL that deal with racism in some form or another:

The Color of Truth
So Help Me God
Black on White on Fire
Justice
Pool Hall Blues

Sam Beckett Fan 07-01-2007 01:03 PM

The episode has nothing to do with Machicko being Japanese, its the fact that she is one of the enemy that we had just fought in a war including Charlie Makenzie himself he fought over there and then has the nerve to bring the enemy into our territory. That's what people are thinking.

JuliaM 07-01-2007 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
The episode has nothing to do with Machicko being Japanese, its the fact that she is one of the enemy that we had just fought in a war including Charlie Makenzie himself he fought over there and then has the nerve to bring the enemy into our territory. That's what people are thinking.

Actually, Charlie wouldn't have fought in World War II which ended in 1945. The date of "The Americanization of Machiko" is August 4, 1953 - about 8 years later.

Sam Beckett Fan 07-01-2007 07:12 PM

Oh Then what was he doing over in Japan?

bluedana 07-01-2007 07:52 PM

He would have been stationed there, probably at the base in Okinawa.

I just watched this ep today, and I was struck by how Lenore, Naomi, and Rusty all had different reasons in disliking or not accepting Machiko, and they all coalesced into her being Japanese. Really, Rusty was the only one whose sole reason to dislike her was that she was Japanese.

JuliaM 07-01-2007 08:04 PM

An article of the peace treaty with Japan in 1951 put the Ryuku Islands, inlcuding Okinawa, in US trusteeship resulting in a continued US military presence in Japan. The US retained trusteeship of Okinawa until 1972. There are still US military installations in Okinawa and Japan today.

Sam Beckett Fan 07-01-2007 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluedana
He would have been stationed there, probably at the base in Okinawa.

I just watched this ep today, and I was struck by how Lenore, Naomi, and Rusty all had different reasons in disliking or not accepting Machiko, and they all coalesced into her being Japanese. Really, Rusty was the only one whose sole reason to dislike her was that she was Japanese.

Yeah that's what Julia and I are saying that this ep is not a raciest issue ep because she was not disliked because of her being Japanese...well for the most part since like you said Rusty was pissed because her kind 'cut off' his pitching arm.

But basically they could have done this episode with an Itialian girl or a German Girl and the only difference there would have been is the Rusty deal. It's just the fact that Machiko was different period.

Snish 07-03-2007 07:02 PM

I disagree. I do think this episode is about prejudice--whether you call it racial or cultural, I think it's pretty much the same. Resentment against the Japanese lingered much longer after World War II than resentment against the Germans. (Only 15 years ago, my brother got married, and he got a friend of his to drive us to his wedding in the city. The friend was Japanese American. His English was fine, yet my father was very unhappy to be in a car with a Japanese man. Seriously.)

Because of their very different culture and language, Japanese were regarded as weird and alien. People would be more polite about it because they didn't have the generations of institutionalized racism that existed against black people, but they would still regard Machiko as an outsider who doesn't belong there. Maybe I take it for granted that prejudice is part of the subtext of the episode, because I grew up in a small town and I know what the attitudes would be there. But I don't see why Lenore should have such a problem with Machiko except that she doesn't want a non-Christian in her family, and she wants white grandchildren. That was very important in most families in those days.

Didn't Rusty serve in World War II? It was only 8 or 9 years before 1953, and he's not that young, is he? I thought he was in combat.

bluedana 07-03-2007 08:35 PM

Quote:

I do think this episode is about prejudice--whether you call it racial or cultural, I think it's pretty much the same.
I agree. And just to be clear, I wasn't saying that Lenore and Naomi didn't care that Machiko was Japanese or wasn't prejudiced against her; I was saying that for Rusty, that's all he needed to hate her, full stop. Lenore and Naomi had other, more specific reasons to hate Machiko, and her being Japanese was secondary.

Quote:

But I don't see why Lenore should have such a problem with Machiko except that she doesn't want a non-Christian in her family, and she wants white grandchildren. That was very important in most families in those days.
Lenore saw Machiko as "different," and yes, "less than" herself. That's why she jumped all over everything Machiko did, from cooking rice for breakfast to cleaning the floor. I think, in her defense, she was understandably upset that her son got married without telling her. But Lenore also had a dread of people looking at her family and judging them - the way they did Eileen. And to her, Machiko being Japanese got conflated with Eileen getting pregnant and committing suicide, as something shameful. That was what the hospital scene was about. She could not bring herself to accept anything about Machiko because she hadn't been able to forgive or accept Eileen.

Naomi used Machiko's naivete against her simply because she was jealous that Charlie chose Machiko to marry, and then wouldn't change that decision once he got stateside. Probably Naomi felt that Machiko, being Japanese and the enemy in more ways than one, was beneath Charlie, and resolved to humiliate her because her pride was hurt (Charlie chose that over me?) She even mispronounced Machiko's name, I think on purpose.

Rusty, on the other hand, had a simpler motive. He saw combat in Japan and lost his pitching arm and his chance to play in the majors. Pretty straightforward scapegoating there.

So, yes, Snish, I agree with you that it was all prejudice. Just that while Rusty had issues, Lenore and Naomi had whole subscriptions!

Sam Beckett Fan 07-03-2007 10:38 PM

Hmm interesting points there Dana I am feeling myself changing sides now.

markg 05-07-2011 05:26 AM

Is this the only episode that accidentally went outside Sam's lifetime?

Lightning McQueenie 01-22-2012 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markg (Post 58455)
Is this the only episode that accidentally went outside Sam's lifetime?

No, just off the top of my head, Sam leaps out of his lifetime in "The Leap Back", which is the first episode of season 4, and "Leap Between the States", which is the third-last episode of the entire series. I have a feeling there may be more...

Donofrio_QLTD 08-26-2013 07:15 PM

From a great commentary, to being funny, to create suspense, and then drama, and then some strange interactions and different kind of atmospheres (love, rejection, joyfulness, playfulness, and, even at some point, eeriness), this is an episode to remember!!! A real shame that Charlie Coffey never wrote another episode for the series, in my opinion. Very well done. An episode where the music and even its very peculiar lightning and photography were outstanding.

The actor who played Rusty, don't know so much about him, but I think he's very versatile. He also played Ralph in "A Single Drop Of Rain", and he's one of my favorite QL actors.

By the way, this Al line: "You didn't do the first time." (about Sam fainting at the altar, I believe), and then fixing it with "uhmm, no, I was just kidding", or something like that when Sam asks him if he was married, always bugs me. I firmly believe that Al screwed up at that time and then, when he remembered that he was not supposed to say anything, he just went and fixed it and was saved by the fact that Sam never wanted to ask more questions about it. If that was really the case, then it's very interesting how, at this early stage, they were actually thinking about reuiniting him with Donna at some point.

My rating: Excellent.


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