Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mother's Day S3E24

Synopsis: As the girls await phone calls from their kids before Mother's Day brunch, they reminisce about previous Mother's Days.

Crazy Continuity
If Blanche’s father is still living during Blanche’s flashback story, why wouldn’t he be with his wife in the retirement home? And where the heck is Virginia and Charmaine?
Here, in a flashback to 1957 we see Sophia's mother as an elderly woman in a wheelchair, but in a later season Dorothy says Sophia's mother died when Dorothy was six.

Let’s Get Political
Stan: “Here, Mama. This is for you. Happy Mother's Day.”
Mother Zbornak: “Oh, thank you, Stanley. 'The Artwork of Adolf Hitler.'”
Dorothy: “The minute we saw it, we knew it was for you.”

St. Olaf Vocab
When traveling by bus to St. Olaf, you have the option to take the Express or the Yokel. On the Yokel a family of first cousins plays banjo music but they don’t take requests.

Lewd Ladies
Blanche’s mother: “Wasn’t Virginia the slut?”
Blanche: “No ma’am that was me.”

Picture It
Sophia: “Picture it: Brooklyn, 1957, the second Sunday in May. Dorothy had gone to pickup my mother and I was getting the house ready which mostly meant trying to get my Salvadore into a shirt with sleeves...”

Insult Watch
Anna: “Excuse me. Are you waiting for the bus to Northern Falls?”
Rose: “No. St. Olaf.”
Anna: “I've visited there. Lovely little town.”
Rose: “Oh, yes. Yes, it is.”
Anna: “Rolling hills, charming homes.”
Rose: “Yes.”
Anna: “Full of idiots.”

Zbornak Zingers
Stan: “It’s from Dorothy too.”
Stan’s mother: “If I had to thank her, I’d choke on the words.”
Dorothy: “Please risk it.”

Tales from the Old South
In her flashback, Blanche recounts how when she was a senior in high school she ran off to marry Deck Bovinglow, a man in his 40s. She fell for the old reverse psychology and eventually decided against it once her mother gave Blanche her blessing.

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “So, when was it you visited St. Olaf?”
Anna: “Oh, Lord, it must be 50 years ago now. I went to a wedding. A distant cousin of mine married a local St. Olaf girl... Sonja Yongen-”
Rose: “Yongenfrauliksteinerbrau??”
Anna: “You know her?”
Rose: “Know her? I was flower girl at the wedding! Well, of course, there were no flowers that year because of what happened to Old Man Smith. He was our town florist. He was also our town's only blacksmith. Come to think of it, he was our town's only black man. Anyway when he first moved in, the town council decided to give him a traditional Scandinavian welcome gathering on his front lawn and singing songs and dressing up in bedsheets. 'Course, coming from Chattanooga, he wasn't familiar with the custom. He had a heart attack. He spent most of the summer in intensive care. After that, when somebody new moved in, the town council just handed out peanut brittle and free passes to the local movie house, which they hoped to build someday.”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Sophia “That's Mama. She sees you looking like this, we'll never convince her to move in with us. Get moving. Move! Move!”
Sal: “Oh, boy. Boy, it's a dark day in Brooklyn today. The Dodgers are moving out, and your mother's moving in!”

Literary Intelligentsia
Blanche: “It's a really sweet story, Rose.”
Sophia: “Yeah right. So sell it to the 'Reader's Digest.' Let's get outta here!”

Reel References
Stan: “Would break Mama's heart if she knew I was a failure. To her, I have the business sense of a Rockefeller, the looks of a Gary Cooper, and the charm of a Cary Grant.”
Dorothy: “I'm not surprised. The woman drinks grain alcohol out of a measuring cup.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “I’m sure that you’ll be proud to know that the name Zbornak has become synonymous with plastic vomit.”

Rose, on the phone: “Hey, everyone, it's Charlie Jr. Oh! Guess what. He says it's cold in Minnesota.”
Blanche: “Get outta here.”
Rose: “Charlie, is it cold enough that if you put your tongue on something metal, it'll stick? Sure. I'll hold.”

Critique: This is another one of those flashback/vignette episodes that feature scenes we luckily haven’t seen before and a couple of them are pretty decent. Going for the heartstrings most of them are overly sentimental than outright funny. The first one involving a visit to Stan's mother's trailer is the best one and the twist that reveals Stan’s mother actually hates her son and not Dorothy is a fun surprise. The second involves Rose getting to know an elderly runaway who gives an Emmy-nominated performance. The actress will show up again in Season Four's “Not Another Monday” (And you may recognize her as the grandmother from Poltergeist II). I’m still not quite sure where Blanche’s father is in her flashback since he doesn’t die until the fifth season but I digress. And of course we get another flashback to Brooklyn with a young Sophia and Dorothy. These scenes are always cute if not particularly laugh out loud funny. There’s a somewhat of a dearth of really memorable lines in this one but is by no means a terrible episode but, in the end, it feels sort of weak as a season finale.  GRADE: B


  1. When Dorothy leaves Stan's mother's trailer, she brushes up against the prop tree in the "yard" that wobbles precariously! Is the Tree From Props??

  2. Alice Ghostley makes this episode for me in the humor department. She is probably GG's best comedic guest star. But then, she always had a tendency to bring life to a scene, like as we saw on Designing Women (running concurrently).

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