With eldest siblings Marcia and Greg quickly approaching their respective heights of groovyness, ignoring the younger and less popular Brady's would have been too easy for the scripting department at this point in the 'Brady Bunch' series.
Instead many episodes in this 23-episode 1971-1972 season pointedly explore Cindy and Bobby's quest to fit in with their other family members. Both are encouraged to like themselves for being who they are instead of trying to become somebody else. You cannot have other people like you unless you do not first like yourself.
In the 3-part Grand Canyon adventure opening this season, Bobby and Cindy become lost from their family on a camping trip. They meet up with Jimmy, a young Indian (Michael Campo). Jimmy is also running away from his family because he feels isolated by his grandfather's expectations. In return for helping them get safely back to Camp Brady, Jimmy receives food from Bobby and Cindy. All of these kids panic when they are discovered, but all ends well for everybody.
"In Big Little Man" Bobby embarks on a quest to become physically bigger. When this does not work with the speed which he had originally preferred, Bobby sets out to become a mental giant instead. "Mr. Brady" himself---Robert Reed---directs this episode.
Finally "Cindy Brady, Lady" shows Bobby having a friend of his play `secret admirer' to his forlorn sister. Cindy is upset at having to be the youngest sibling in the family. Bobby's action is really sweet specifically because I don't know of many brothers (including my own) who actually would think of doing this. Then again, it could be Bobby's empathy from his own age issues.
We also continue dealing with Jan's ongoing psychological issues mentioned during the previous seasons.
Jan is trying out for pom pom girl ("Her Sisters Shadow") so that her teachers will stop comparing her to `Marcia..Marcia..Marcia'. Even though Jan fails to be picked, it shows her determination to exercise an `independent streak' when being a copy-cat of Marcia would have been so much easier. Anybody can relate to always being compared to somebody whom you are not.
Jan then learns that real beauty is inside a person when she meets her Aunt Jenny (Imogene Coco) in "Jan's Aunt Jenny". Because they had looked a lot alike in her childhood photographs, Jan is worried that she will look just like Aunt Jenny now does when she is older. Yet talking with Aunt Jenny subsequently gives Jan a new perspective---somebody else knows about the issues she is now going through. Coco was a really big star so Paramount's ability to snag her for a guest appearance demonstrates the clout which this series had gained.
The Brady Bunch again proves why it sticks in the American psyche with this season. Many episodes delivered memorable social statements on tolerance, individuality, and identity without nagging to their audience.