Ever wonder why Sheriff Andy wore a cast for two episodes?
We're used to seeing Andy slappin' wrists, not injuring his!
In "Aunt Bee the Warden," the funny premise finds town drunk Otis Campbell serving out his typical sentence not in the Mayberry jail, but in Sheriff Andy's home.
This is necessary because the Mayberry jail is full, and Andy has no room for the jail's most frequent occupant. He also doesn't have time to be in two places at once.
That's how Aunt Bee comes to serve as a guard over Otis in the Taylor home, keeping a watchful eye to make sure he serves his sentence.
"Aunt Bee the Warden" is an unusual episode of The Andy Griffith Show for a big reason other than Aunt Bee filling in as law enforcement. It's also one of the few times you actually see the Mayberry sheriff holding a gun — every Mayberry fan knows that Andy was a lawman who famously had no use for guns.
But perhaps the most unmissably out-of-place aspect of this episode is that, throughout it, Sheriff Andy's hand is all bandaged up. On the show, the audience is told that Andy hurt his hand valiantly fighting off criminals. It's seemingly just a minor detail the writers incorporated, choosing to not ever use it as a sight gag or play it for a joke.
However, it's long been whispered that the cast came on not as a creative choice but because Griffith actually hurt his hand on set one day. What actually happened is behind the scenes, the story goes, Griffith got upset and put his hand through a wall. To finish filming, the writers supplied the improvised explanation and Andy appeared throughout "Aunt Bee the Warden" wearing a cast.
Now, The Andy Griffith Show is not terribly big on continuity. At the beginning, Andy and Barney are cousins, but by the end, connected only through the bond of friendship. The actress who played Opie's beloved housekeeper in the first episode eventually comes back as a totally different Mayberry resident. Heck, even Andy and Opie go through slight character changes as the series goes on.
So clearly, one episode does not necessarily build on any other. It's more that when all The Andy Griffith Show episodes are taken together, they tell a tale of a place in time that many enjoy revisiting time and again. It's the stuff of a fond memory, not an ongoing adventure with an epic conclusion.
However, in the very next episode of The Andy Griffith Show, there is Sheriff Andy again, still wearing the cast from the prior episode when he supposedly got wounded in the line of his official duty. In this episode, the cast doesn't get a backstory, as it's already been explained in the previous episode.
That's not a common occurrence in this TV town where every day and every episode resets the clock, and the prior day's events are rarely referred to again. It's also a little bit of an eyesore in idyllic Mayberry where we rarely see anyone get seriously hurt. (Feelings got hurt way more often, but everything always got smoothed over in the end.)
By the next episode, "Andy and Barney in the Big City," the cast is off and long forgotten, and funnily enough, we actually get to see the boys go on an adventure with an epic conclusion — catching a jewel thief!
So whatever you want to say about The Andy Griffith Show, just remember: predictable it was not