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Lambert The Rapist

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Lambert the Rapist is the main antagonist in the All in the Family 2 part episode "Edith's 50th Birthday", although he only appease in part one.

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On Edith Bunker's 50th birthday, her family plans a surprise party for her at her daughter Gloria and son-in-law Mike Stivic's house next door; however, Edith knows about the party and is in the process of baking her own birthday cake. As she waits for her cue to go to their house, two visitors come over. The first one is her friend, Sybil Gooley, with whom Edith chats for a while.

As Sybil leaves, a handsome man in his early 30s and dressed in a suit arrives. The man identifies himself as a police detective named Lambert, claiming to be searching the neighborhood for a rapist. During his explanation, the man describes the clothes he's wearing himself and locks the door; Edith quickly realizes that Lambert is himself the rapist.

Lambert tries repeatedly to assault Edith, and despite all her attempts to get away from her attacker, he is too strong and too smart for her. Edith, in her unrelenting innocence, tries to cite her advanced aged and marital status as reasons that she would be an unacceptable rape victim, but Lambert smiles sinisterly at this and replies that he enjoys older women and that he is married himself. Edith offers the man coffee (he declines), explains that she has a party to go to and rambles on about her plans (he keeps her restrained, but with a stunned look on his face), tries to go to the bathroom (he offers to escort her), and has a panicked telephone conversation with one of her friends (Lambert waves a gun at her, warning her that letting slip about her predicament will mean death). Later, when her husband Archie appears to retrieve a punch bowl, the man hides in the closet and threatens to kill them both if Edith says anything.

Once they are alone for the final time, and it appears Edith has exhausted all of her getaway attempts, the two smell something burning from the kitchen. It's the cake Edith was baking, and Lambert escorts her to the kitchen to pull it out. However, Edith uses this final opportunity as her chance to escape her ordeal, pushing the burned cake directly into her attacker's face. With his face burned, and before he can regain his senses, Edith pushes him out of the kitchen and onto the porch and slams the door behind her. Edith then flees the house and runs to Mike and Gloria's, where—just as the party is about to get underway—she breaks down in Archie's arms.

As the second half-hour opens, Edith confides to her family what has happened. Archie, who is furious, wants to press charges, but a confused and shaken Edith wants to just forget the ordeal. Later, two police officers arrive at the Bunker house, announcing they had picked up an apparently injured man wandering around in a back alley who fit the description of a subject wanted in a series of sexual assaults. At first, they mistakenly restrain Archie - thinking he is the rapist but Mike clears that up almost immediately. When the police attempt to get a statement from Edith, she immediately flees the room in a panic when she's shown the tie Lambert left behind in the closet with his hat, jacket and fake badge.

Two weeks then pass since the attempted rape, and Edith has entered into a state of constant fear and depression. She is always ironing her bed sheets and pillowcases, and refuses to talk about what happened. Even Archie's unusually sensitive attempts to bolster her self-esteem (he kisses her) do no good. When Lambert is arrested in another rape, Gloria urges Edith to identify him in a police lineup, or else the police will have to drop the pending charges against him; Edith continually changes the subject and refuses to listen. Eventually, an exasperated Gloria is tired of her mother's hypocrisy and no longer considers Edith her mother. Edith slaps her, and her shock at having done so snaps her out of her depression; after expressing remorse for her action, Edith realizes she must identify her attacker. She leaves for the police station with Archie, hoping that her actions may keep the rapist away for good.

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