Monday, August 7, 2017

Rose Fights Back S5E4

Synopsis: After losing her late husband’s pension, Rose has troubling finding a better job (aka the one with Enrrrrique Mas); Sophia becomes obsessed with shopping at Shoppers Warehouse. 

Crazy Continuity

I’m 90% certain that Enrrrrique Mas is actually a character created by aspiring actor Kid Pepe.

Let's Get Political

Dorothy: “What do you need the money for?

Sophia: “They're having a special at Shoppers Warehouse. It's something I really need.”

Dorothy: “What?”

Sophia: “Tube socks.”

Dorothy: “Ma, you know, this is how Imelda Marcos got started with that shoe thing.”

Lewd Ladies

Rose: “I never heard of anything like that before. When men see that you shave your legs above the knee, what does that say to them?”

Blanche: “Hopefully, it says, ‘Touch my leg.’”

Dorothy: “That's in case they miss the tattoo that says the same thing.”

Picture It

Blanche: “When did you start, Sophia?”

Sophia: “Oh, late. Not till I came to this country. In my village, hairy legs were a sign of beauty.”

Rose: “How do you account for that??”

Sophia: “Dumb men, hairy women.”

Zbornak Zingers

Rose: “OK, what we have to do is try these different hair-removal products, evaluate their advantages and disadvantages and see which one gets our legs the smoothest. Sophia, why don't you try the regular razor. Dorothy, would you like to try this thing?

Dorothy: “What is it?”

Rose: “Well, that wire vibrates and it's supposed to whisk hair away from below the skin line.”

Dorothy: “I don't know whether I wanna use this. It says it's gonna hurt.”

Rose: “Well, you can try it on your right leg and then use the hot wax on your left one.”

Dorothy: “Why don't we just set each other on fire?”

Blanche: “You know, a lot of those European girls don't shave under their arms… They just let it all hang out… Bushy as can be.”

Rose: “Well what do they look like in a strapless dress?”

Dorothy: “Like Milton Berle, Rose.”

Insult Watch

Sophia: “Something's come up. A medical emergency. Can I have the money?”

Dorothy: “What medical- Ma, what's wrong??”

Sophia: “I think I'm pregnant.”

Dorothy: “What happened? The rabbit died laughing?”

Tales from the Old South

Blanche: “This reminds me of the first time I ever shaved my legs. It was at a slumber party when I was 11 years old...”

Rose: “Blanche, did you really start shaving at 11? That seems so young.”

Blanche: “Oh, I did it on a dare. You know, back where I come from, everybody thought that once you started shaving your legs, why, you'd become loose. So I shaved 'em.”

Rose: “What happened?”

Blanche: “Oh, it was an old wives' tale. I didn't become loose for another year and a half.”

Product Placement

Rose: “Charlie and I were so careful with our money. We saved. We never splurged. OK, one year, we went to Chicago to tour the stockyards. But it was our 20th anniversary. We had a romantic trip coming.”

Dorothy: “You must have been the envy of every woman in St. Olaf.”

Rose: “Oh, it was more than the stockyards. We even got to see where Crisco is made.”

Rose: “You can't write me off just because I'm not 30-something. I have experience. And wisdom. And insight. I'd be perfect for this job. You see, I am the battered consumer. I drive a Gremlin, for God's sake.”

Sassy Sophia

Sophia: “Wow, look at this. If you buy ten boxes of adult diapers, they're only eight dollars a box.”

Dorothy: “Ma, you don't wear diapers.”

Sophia: “A lot of my friends do. I'll load up now and keep them for stocking stuffers.”

Back in St. Olaf

Rose: “You know what gets me mad about this whole thing? All those years Charlie put into that job just for the pension. He used to say, ‘Rose, I hate selling horseshoes, but if I do it long enough, you'll be set for life.’

Blanche: “Your husband sold horseshoes? I thought he sold insurance.”

Rose: “Oh, he sold insurance for a while, but Charlie wasn't very good at it. As soon as people said no, he'd give up. Well, insurance salesmen have to keep going till they get a yes. They have to keep talking and talking and talking, even if people aren't listening.”

Dorothy: “He should have taken you with him.”

Rose: “Anyway, after he was fired, he worked for an iron company. He sold other things, but horseshoes were his specialty. He had a sense of humor about it. We couldn't pass a horse without Charlie saying: ‘Can I show you something in an Oxford?’ Ah, then he'd laugh and I'd laugh. Sometimes, even the horse would laugh.”

Sophia: “With them or at them?”

Dorothy: “Ma!”

Rose: “Assistant manager in a pet store. I don't know why they didn't hire me. I worked in a pet store in St. Olaf for ten years. I mean, I was the one who thought up big, squeaky toys for cows.”

Dorothy: “You didn't tell them that, did you, Rose?”

Best of B.E.D.

Blanche: “Oh, my. Yes, Enrique Mas is a great champion of the people. Besides, he has all that gorgeous black hair. And those swarthy Latin good looks and the sexy way he rolls his r's. Enrrrique. Boy, I'd love to get him on a couch made out of Corinthian leather.”

From Feud to Food

Sophia: “In a strange way, shopping there makes you feel immortal.”

Dorothy: “I don't follow.”

Sophia: “Let's say you buy 20 cases of sardines.”

Dorothy: “This better be just an example.”

Sophia: “Of course. You get 20 cases of sardines, you figure: God doesn't want me to waste good sardines. He's gonna wait till I finish the 20 cases. That could take five, six years.”

Dorothy: “Yeah, well, why couldn't you just eat one case slowly?”

Sophia: “Silly, isn't it?”

Blanche: “What in the hell are all those sardines doing in the kitchen??”

The Boob Tube

Enrrrrrique Mas: “I am not a fake. Mrs. Nylund, ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to be on TV. Do you know what that's like for a Hispanic kid? Who were my role models? Zorro and Ricky Ricardo. A gay caballero and a man who couldn't recognize his own wife in a fake mustache.”

Golden Quotes

Sophia: “Dorothy, your father's on the phone.”

Dorothy: “Ma, Pop's been dead for 15 years.”

Sophia: “Oh, you're right. I'm getting old. I meant, what's for dinner?”

Rose: “…I figured I'd better get a new job.”

Blanche: “I'm helping her look. We're going through the classifieds and cutting out ads that might be of some interest to her.”

Dorothy: “Single white male seeks traveling companion. Tour of European cathedrals. No prudes.”

Blanche: “That's my pile.”

Sophia: “You're not cutting up the obituaries, are you? I wanna make sure my canasta game is still on for tomorrow.”

Dorothy: “I used to think Stan would take care of me. I mean, we didn't have much saved, but he was a darn good novelty salesman. Sounds naive now to think that I placed my hopes for the future on a bald pinhead with the morals of a maggot who made his living selling plastic dog-doo. Well, at least I'm not bitter.”

Rose: “Boy, my mother would kill me if I ever did that. She never wanted me to shave at all. By the time I got to high school, the kids had made up this really mean nickname for me just because I had hairy legs.”

Blanche: “What’d they call you?”

Rose: “Rose with the hairy legs.”

Dorothy: “Kids can be so cruel.”

Ok let’s be honest. The message of this episode- the whole age discrimination thing-is important and all and disturbingly accurate even today, but there’s no way in hell a person Rose’s age would actually be hired to be a production assistant at a TV station. There I said it. It’s wrong and sad, but true. But good for Rose. And good for us because “Rose Fights Back” is a great episode. It gives us Sophia’s wacky adventures at Shoppers Warehouse, a hilarious cheesecake scene in which the girls reminisce about shaving their legs, and, of course, Enrrrrique Mas himself (played by Chick Vennera who played another Hispanic stereotype in “Fiddler on the Ropes”). I’m impressed -as I am with most of the scripts for this show- at how well the male writers wrote for the women. The shaving scene is one of my all-time favorites. It’s super “girly” in a way but somehow it’s still fascinating to watch these four ladies tell funny stories and throw barbs back and forth. And lastly, thinking about it, I’m not quite sure how being a production assistant could possibly pay Rose’s bills, which was the catalyst for this episode, but I digress. GRADE: A-


  1. Uh...Lewd Ladies - “That's in case they miss the tattoo that says the same thing.” - I'm 99% positive that's Sophia, not Dorothy.

    1. Nope it is Dorothy that says it!

    2. You know what line I may have been thinking of - Rose: "...I've heard a 'loin of pork'..." Sophia (about Blanche): "In her case, the same thing."