The Andy Griffith Show offered some of its best-ever episodes during the series' third season on the air. Highlights include "Andy and the New Mayor," introducing Parley Baer as Mayberry's freshly elected mayor, Roy Stone; "The Cow Thief," in which sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) stumble onto the hilarious (but logical!) modus operandi of the title character; "Barney Mends a Broken Heart," treating viewers to their first glimpse of those "fun girls" Daphne (Jean Carson) and Skippy (Joyce Jameson); "Floyd, the Gay Deceiver," wherein barber Floyd Lawson (Howard McNear) confesses to being a cad in his dealings with a mail-order sweetheart; "One-Punch Opie," or how Andy's son Opie Taylor (Ronny Howard) conquers a tough kid without a single punch; "Barney and the Governor," wherein Barney tickets the governor's car and gets good and drunk in anticipation of being dismissed (which, of course, he isn't); "The Loaded Goat," illustrating the consequences of allowing a goat to wander too near a box of dynamite; "The Darlings Are Coming," Mayberry's first encounter with those musically talented hillbillies, the Darling Family; "Andy's English Valet," the debut appearance of the "veddy proper" Malcolm Merriwether (Bernard Fox); and "Mountain Wedding," affording the world its first glimpse of rock-hurling village idiot Ernest T. Bass (Howard Morris, who also directed several Andy Griffith episodes). Season three features two more attempts by the series' writers to pair off widower Andy Taylor with an eligible female. Joanna Moore appears in four episodes as new county nurse Peggy McMillan, whose efforts to land Andy are no more successful than those of her season two predecessor, nurse Mary Simpson. Conversely, the episode "Andy Discovers America" brings Andy face-to-face with his son Opie's much-despised "old lady" schoolteacher -- who turns out to be a very attractive young lady by the name of Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut). And it is clear from the get-go that Andy and Helen will remain an item for some time to come.
Arguably the season's best episode is the Emmy-nominated "Man in a Hurry," which allows us to see the familiar characters of Mayberry through the eyes of a nonplussed outsider, a dyspeptic businessman played by Robert Emhardt. As a bonus, this episode marks the very first appearance of that celebrated, nasal-voiced gas station attendant, Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors). Rated as the sixth most popular show on American television during the 1962-1963 season, The Andy Griffith Show also took home a third consecutive Emmy award for supporting actor Don Knotts. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi