The following was found on a now-defunct Livejournal account. It was terminated on July 21, 2006. This was the last entry.
JULY 20, 2006 Edit
Norman Lear was, and still is, a great man. Good Times, Maude, The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, all great shows developed by him. But if we're talking about Norman Lear, we of course have to talk about the show that kickstarted it all: All In The Family. Archie Bunker is the most loveable bigot I've ever seen. When I discovered All In The Family, it was long after it's more-than-a-decade run (if you include Archie Bunker's Place as All In The Family), and the only way to still catch it on the TV was to catch the occasional rerun on TV Land. So, I did the only thing I could do:
I torrented the episodes.
I really wish I didn't have to, but when you leave a man without options, he's going to do whatever he has to do. So I scoured the Pirate Bay, and came upon a number of complete season collections. However, I didn't want to wait a week for all 9 seasons to download (that's a lot of gigs!). So, I kept looking until I found a Season 1 Torrent. This was great! The title was something to behold too:
ALL IN THE FAMILY SEASON 1 + ORIGINAL PILOTS + LOST EPISODE
I was immediately interested in the Lost Episode. Unfortunately, the file became corrupted as soon as I finished watching it, so I can't show you guys what actually happened. I'm just going to have to relate through word of mouth. This isn't a surprise to me however, as during my viewing, my video player was skipping around. I missed at least 6 minutes of the lost episode, and every time I tried to rewind, the player just snapped back to the point it skipped to.
So, back to the torrent file. Like I said, I was immediately interested in the Lost Episode. It's file name was:
All of the other files were like this, with the pilots having a S0 in front, and the title of the episode after the season. For example, the pilot that showed on TV was:
There was nothing weird yet. LE stood for Lost Episode, obviously. There was a Notepad readme right under the Lost Episode file. It was called:
This also set apart the Lost Episode from the rest of the crowd, even the Pilot episodes, as no other had come with a script. I didn't catch every word while listening to the episode, and since the file was so badly corrupted, the original seeder must've written the script. It wasn't a regular script either, just the transcribed dialogue. This is what I used to share the dialogue with all of you readers.
So, when I started up the Lost Episode, the loveable intro started to play, where Edith and Archie sing a duet while Edith plays the piano. I cracked up when Edith's voice literally cracked, at the part where she sings “And you knew where you WEEEEEEEERE THEEEEEN!”. I found myself humming the tune, and at the end, I even recited “Those were the daaaaays!”, even though my days do not include the Great Depression. Just such a catchy tune.
Then, the episode started.
THE LOST EPISODE Edit
As usual, it started with Mike, or the Meathead, Gloria, and Edith doing their daily routine. Edith looked really worried about something, and did her over-the-top run everywhere.
“Hey Ma, what's wrong?”
“Oh, I'm just worried about Archie, I have no idea where he is!”
“Isn't that a good thing?” The Meathead asked.
The live audience started to laugh.
“Oh Mike, stop it. Daddy is really late today... he should've been at home from work by now!” Gloria said.
“He probably just got into a fight with somebody over a quarter like last week,” The Meathead remarked.
The live audience chuckled again.
“Oh Mike, I don't know, the last time Archie was this late, he was out drinking because he was sad about something,”
“Oh yeah? When's the last time he did that?”
“Uhhhh... 1963? He says that his old, big bones can't carry him well anymore,”
The live audience laughed.
And now that the opening monologue was out of the way, Archie came in through the door.
“Get away from me, Meathead. And don't you dare touch my chair, I had the awfulest day today!”
“Was it over another quarter?”
“No! This was woise than a Jew who tried to steal my change!”
“Arch, the bill said you got back 25 cents in change and he accidentally gave you 50 cents,”
“So? It's not like he needed it! Especially when I can't get any rent out of you, Meathead!”
The audience roared into laughter.
“You want to cover that 25 cents? Come on, fork it over!”
“Oh c'mon Arch, why don't you just tell us how your day was?”
Arch made his typical fart sound out of his mouth, indicating that he didn't want to talk. Of course, the audience ate this up.
“Daddy, you can tell us! We won't make fun of you!”
“Oh honey, I know you won't make fun of me, but I don't know about that stupid Meathead. He's going to take the side of the other guy right away!”
“Oh yeah, why's that?”
“Cause he was a colored!”
“Well, what do you want me to say? That he's a well-degnified gentleman?”
“Okay Arch, what was he doing to you?”
“He was asking for change! Now you see where that extra quarter could've come in handy?”
The audience erupted into laughter.
“Well Archie, just because this man asked for a quarter doesn't mean he was going to do anything wrong with it. He might've just wanted a reason to give you a hug!”
Again, the audience was laughing.
“Edith, you're a dingbat! This man didn't want to give no hugs!”
“Well, what did he want?”
“He wanted some drugs!”
The audience was very quiet, as they usually were during dramatic parts of an episode.
“Now Arch, you shouldn't gene-gene-gene-gene...”
This is where the player started skipping – it skipped ahead to the Meathead, Archie, and the supposed druggie- well, he was an actual druggie, because there were heroin shots behind him.
The druggie was looking around wildly, and Archie and the Meathead were very silent. Then he said:
“Please, take me to a doctor, man! I feel like I'm about to...”
Then the man fainted on the ground.
Surprisingly, it wasn't the Meathead who rushed to the man's aid, but Archie. This was very uncharacteristic of him, as he didn't care about anybody who wasn't a WASP like him.
“Arch, what are ya doin?”
“What does it look like Meathead, I'm taking this man to the hospital! He needs some help!”
“So you DO like black people after all,”
“Meathead, this has nothing to do with him bein colored, I just need to help him,”
Now, the show was becoming more and more uncharacteristic, but that was okay with me: this is probably why it never aired after all. Norman Lear always attacked topical subjects in his shows. Perhaps he was tackling the drug problem and felt that he didn't do it right in this episode. But then, Archie said something very unexpected:
“I don't know!”
Then the two ran to a hospital. The scene changed from a dark alleyway to a waiting room, where Archie, the Meathead, and an older white man were sitting. The older man was crying in his seat. Archie was leaving him alone, but the Meathead, liberal as he is, thought he could help the man and asked “What's wrong?”
The man looked at the Meathead and said “My son is dead!” Then he bursted into tears, and the audience went “Awwwww”.
“Yeah, I wouldn't mind if the Meathead was dead, heh...” Archie muttered.
The audience laughed. Dark humor is a staple of this show, but I felt this was a little too dark. But hey, to each their own.
“Arch, you shouldn't say things like that! You never know when it could come back to haunt you – haunt you - haunt you - haunt...”
Again, the player was skipping. This time, it skipped ahead to a police station, where a sheriff, a doctor, Archie, and the Meathead were talking.
“Well you know, it's a good thing he asked for help, even though he'll be going away for a long time. I guess he felt his life was more important than his freedom,” The sheriff said.
“Now officer, is it really right to put this guy in jail? I mean, for crying out loud, he almost died!” The Meathead exclaimed.
“The law's the law, mister, and there's nothing I can do about it,”
“Drugs kill, Meathead. I think the officer knows what he's doing,”
“When did you become so anti-drug, Arch?”
“Ever since – ever since – ever since – ever...”
Again, the player skipped. Now it was skipping more and more frequently, and bigger and bigger chunks of the lost episode were dissapearing. Actually, this was the last skip – it skipped to a post-credits scene. And okay... this was the weirdest part of the whole thing.
Archie was just sitting alone in his chair, looking at the TV. All of a sudden, he looked disgusted. The camera did something very odd – it actually showed the program on the TV, but it wasn't a program that was on the TV... it was... well...
It was footage of the Twin Towers collapsing. Or at least, the seconds before they did. They were just sitting there, and just as the first plane was about to hit them, the TV turned off. The live audience was making inaudible noises, almost like chanting of some sort, but I couldn't make anything out. Archie looked speechless, and tried to shake the TV on, but to no avail. He shrugged and went upstairs to go to sleep.And you know, while he went up, I swear I could see a man walking into the scene. But as soon as he stepped in, the episode ended. It was weird – not even a single line of dialogue, in a show that is almost entirely driven by dialogue. It could've been out of a silent movie. This post-credits scene was so off-putting to me that I decided to conduct an investigation.
THE INVESTIGATION Edit
So, like I said, this was the only part that weirded me out, though the whole atmosphere of the episode was weird, not to mention the skipping. There's no way that Norman Lear could have predicted such a tragedy happening. And it's not like this is something that a conspiracy nut could substantiate an inside job – this would have apparently been recorded in the '70's, years before that bombing in 1993 took place, and there weren't any spooky flashes of 9/11 beforehand in the show. Or at least, not that I'm aware of. It was skipping, after all.
I decided to do some research on Archie Bunker first, so I Googled him. There was a lot of stuff about his character history, which again, didn't exactly line up with this lost episode. He was too nice; even though he occasionally showed flashes of goodness and humanity, he wouldn't be the type of person to save a guy who overdosed on heroin. He did live in New York City, which could explain the connection to the Twin Towers, but not the explosion. He did have altercations with Arabs and the KKK, but not terrorists, which as far as I can tell, Muslim terrorists weren't a big problem back in the '70's.
The trail was cold when I Googled Archie Bunker, though in retrospect, I had the information I needed to continue the investigation. I tried to open up the lost episode again, but an error message appeared and said “The file has been corrupted,” Instead, I decided to go back to the Pirate Bay and looked at the guy who put up the torrent. His name was:
Who the hell was “Carroll O'Connor”? Well, that's the actor who played Archie Bunker, as I realized when I clicked on the guy's profile. He also played a sheriff in another series, but other than that and a “R.I.P. CAROLL O'CONNOR”, there wasn't much useable information. So, I decided to Google Carroll O'Connor. And what I saw, well...
Carroll O'Connor's son struggled with a HEROIN addiction.
Carroll O'Connor put his son in the show where he played a SHERIFF.
Carroll O'Connor LOST his son to the drug addiction.
And he died on... June 21, 2001. A few months before 9/11.
It's almost as the episode was predicting his life events in the future, and an event that he would fortunately miss. Maybe that's why the footage cut off suddenly at the end. It should've, well, RESONATED with him. I have a feeling that this lost episode wasn't an episode Norman Lear produced. It's really sad, actually. If this is real, then Carroll's future was all in the acting. He maybe could've done something to stop it. It's really sad... I wish I knew more. But I guess I'll have to be satifised with this...
Actually, before I go, the parts of the episode that were skipped, the script text for that part was illegible. So I wasn't even able to ascertain the actual plot. And there was a cryptic entry at the end of the document. It said:
“tvland tomorrow lost watch and lost”
So, I guess I'll be able to find out what happened on TVLand! I'm actually very excited, I'll tell all of you what happens tomorrow!
Oh, and I don't know about that weird man at the end of the post-credits scene. If anybody could tell me who that man could be, please tell me in the comments!
I never got to find out what happened the next day. His/her account was terminated. I tried to find the torrent that he mentioned, but it seemed to disappear from the net. There was forum talk about the torrent from as long as a year before the Livejournal entry, but all the discussion of the lost episode seemed to fluctuate. Some people saw parts that he didn't; for example, Archie Bunker had a heart attack at the hospital, which was skipped over. Other parts seemed insignificant to the user's theory: Carroll O'Connor had several heart surgeries throughout his life.
Surprisingly, the one constant was the post-credits scene, and the “tvland tomorrow lost watch and lost” message. And every user never commented again after talking about that message. One person, claiming to be a user's sibling, said that the user had been found dead after watching TVLand that day.
As for my theory to what happened? Well, I think the 9/11 was something that user edited in, sort of as a hook to these people. Not to mention the skipping of the player. Who wouldn't want to see the whole lost episode? And this CAROLLOCONNORFAN76 man, he left this cryptic message to draw them in to... something. Something that he was behind. He was probably that man who the user saw at the very end of the episode. And then, whatever they saw notified tvland tomorrow lost watch and lost
Written by Sater