Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mary Has a Little Lamb S5E13

Synopsis: The girls console a pregnant teenager who has allegedly been around all along, meanwhile Blanche writes love letters to a prisoner who's getting released.

80s Flashback
Sophia: “So, Mary, when's the baby due?”
Dorothy: “Ma, you're talking to a 16-year-old girl.”
Sophia: “A knocked-up 16-year-old girl.”
Dorothy: “Ma, how did you know?”
Sophia: “Because you had the same look of panic on your face when you got pregnant. Kind of like a deer caught in the headlights of a car. I thought only pregnant teenagers had that expression, until I saw Dan Quayle on TV.”

Crazy Continuity
Oh you don't recognize Mary who has allegedly been visiting the girls' house since she was little? Me neither.

Let’s Get Political
Dorothy: “What happened? Who did this to you??”
Sophia: “The Sandinistas.”
Rose: “Why would they do this?!”
Sophia: “Because I knew too much.”

Animal Alert
Blanche: “I cannot believe her father could be so mean.”
Sophia: “Not half as mean as his dog Samson. Did I ever tell you what that dog did to my friend Ida Silverman?”
Dorothy: “No. What?”
Sophia: “He ate her.Gobbled her up without a trace, support hose and all.”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia: “Listen to this.'If I were truly free, O fire of my loins. I'd take you to a paradise in the sun where we could lie naked, bronzed body against pearl body, locked together in a frenzy of love.'”
Dorothy: “Ma, who wrote that??”
Sophia: “Merrill Kellogg.”
Dorothy: “Merrill Kellogg? Who's he?”
Sophia: “Ask Blanche. It's her letter.”

Oh Shut Up, Rose!
Dorothy: “Not personal? The man said he wants to lie naked with you on a beach.”
Blanche: “Sure. And I wrote him I want to make passionate love to him in a hammock suspended between two magnolia trees - you know that couldn't possibly happen.”
Rose: “Well, maybe if you lose a few pounds.”
Blanche: “Shut up, Rose.”

Insult Watch
Blanche: “You wouldn't like Blanche anyway.”
Rose: “She's not your type.”
Blanche: “That's right. She isn't.”
Rose: “She's very cold.”
Blanche: “Frigid. Hardly likes men at all.”
Rose: “And she's ugly. Isn't she?”
Blanche: “Ugly is a pretty strong word, Rose.”
Rose: “And wrinkled. Isn't she?”
Blanche: “She is not wrinkled.”
Rose: “And fat!”
Blanche: “Stop that! You just stop that right now. She is none of those things, Rose Nylund. She is gorgeous. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!”

Product Placement
Sophia: “You feel, because Mary went out and got herself pregnant, she's a slut. Well, let me tell you what a slut is. It's someone who gets knocked up in the back seat of a Studebaker at a drive-in movie. It was a Studebaker, wasn't it, Dorothy?”
Dorothy: “It was a Nash, Ma.”
Sophia: “Now, that's a slut.”

Sassy Sophia
Rose: “Well I can't believe it. It was only yesterday you were selling us cookies.”
Sophia: “Now she's giving them away.”

Back in St. Olaf
Dorothy: “Have you ever heard of a little town called St. Olaf?”
Fred: “No.”
Dorothy: “Perfect. Now, as it was told to me—and I have to admit that I wasn't listening that closely—there was this farmer named Nils Nibelung, and he had a pig named Brunhilde, and she won all the blue ribbons at all the county fairs. Well, Nils also had a daughter named Fricka, and she won red ribbons, usually as runner-up to the pig.”
Fred: “Does this story have a point?”
Dorothy: “You asked that at just the right time. Anyway, one April, Nils decided to breed Brunhilde—that's the pig, not the daughter—and he chose April because that's when pigs are at their most beautiful and desirable. Unfortunately, so was Fricka. So while Brunhilde and the pig were doing their thing, Fricka and the local pig breeder were doing theirs. God, I hope I got the names right. Anyway, when Nils heard about it, he banished Fricka from his house and his life forever.”
Fred: “So?”
Dorothy: “So after a while he lost interest in the pig's company and he ate her. And he died St. Olaf's loneliest man.”
Fred: “Is that the end of the story?”
Dorothy: “God, I hope so.”

Best of B.E.D.
Dorothy: “Where are you gonna go?”
Blanche: “I'll be staying with my friend Janet. She said I could spend the night there anytime. Or was it her husband Ed who said that?”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Blanche: “I never finished reading this letter from Merrill till just now. Read that last paragraph.”
Rose: “'My sentence has been overturned on a technicality. I'm getting out on the 21st. Now, finally, we can make all our dreams come true.'”
Blanche: “Isn't that terrible??”
Rose: “Well he's written catchier stuff, but I wouldn't call it terrible.”
Blanche: “I'm not asking for a literary critique, you dweeb!”

What, We Can't Learn From History?
Blanche: “Oh, I loved high school. It seems like only yesterday; riding around with the boys in their cars, and the dances...”
Dorothy: “Don't forget the Hindenburg disaster.”

From Feud to Food
Dorothy: “Oh, Ma, I cannot believe that Merrill is a dangerous criminal. I mean, you've read his letters. They're beautiful. They're poetic, they're almost lyrical. You can be sure he's a real gentleman.”
Merrill: “I want Blanche.”
Sophia: “Break out the finger sandwiches. Mr. Astaire looks like he's hungry.”

What Do I Look Like, a Cross Dresser?
Sophia: “It's a known fact that dogs take on the personality traits of their masters.”
Dorothy: “That's ridiculous.”
Sophia: “Oh, yeah? Then why does your brother Phil's poodle like to wear that tutu and hop around on his hind legs?”
Dorothy: “Oh, come on, Ma. I mean, Phil would look pretty stupid doing that by himself.”

The Boob Tube
Dorothy: “But you're not a grown woman. Just because the plumbing's in doesn't mean the house is ready to occupy.”
Mary “I think I know what you're getting at.”
Dorothy: “Good, because I really didn't make that up myself. I heard it on 'This Old House.'”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “Now, you come into the kitchen with me, honey. I'll get you some pickles and ice cream.”
Mary: “Oh, no thanks. I don't have any strange cravings yet.”
Rose: “Strange??”

Sophia: “Oh, so Blanche's pen pal is getting out. Gee, that's gonna be rough. I bet after ten years in the jug, he's gonna be pretty short on foreplay.”

Merrill: “I'm Merrill. Are you Blanche?”
Dorothy: “No.”
Merrill: “How about you, cutie?”
Sophia: “Boy, this guy's done hard time.”

Merrill: “Call me Moose - that's my nickname.”
Sophia: “What a coincidence! That was Dorothy's nickname in elementary school. Remember, Dorothy?”
Dorothy: “No, I don't.”
Sophia: “Look, Moose-”
Dorothy & Merrill: “What?”

Rose: “I just had a thought.”
Dorothy: “Congratulations.”
Blanche “Way to go.

Blanche: “I think women ought to have babies the way God intended - strapped to a table, numb from the neck down.”

Rose: “Don't forget, Tuesday we have mime class.”
Dorothy: “Mime class??”
Rose: “The Lamaze class was all filled up.”

Critique:
Let's welcome the girls to the 90s! What a somewhat uneventful way to enter the new decade, with this after school special episode. Ok ok, it's not that bad. The stuff with Merrill is actually pretty great (and utterly ridiculous). This episode, like the fan-hated Empty Nests, focuses heavily on “the character who was always there but we've never met before” aka Mary. Apparently the ladies have been practically raising a young girl from the neighborhood and now she's knocked up. I think fans generally dislike this episode because it tries to be too serious and make us care about someone we don't actually care about. So let's just pretend Mary isn't around, like the series has been doing thus far, and just talk about Blanche's B story. First off, how the writers decided to counterbalance the story of teenage pregnancy with that of a hardened criminal going after Blanche is beyond me. The poor girl is taking refuge in the ladies' home and meanwhile a convicted felon is lurking around. Of course Blanche has been writing letters to a prisoner. She loves dirty stuff like hardware stores and prisons after all. Just wait until she comes up with that “Gettin' Out of Prison Party.” While the writing in this episode sort of takes a step down, (though there are some nice memorable lines here) the actresses are in fine form as always. Their reactions are simply priceless here when Merrill finally shows up at their door. Blanche gives one of my favorite moments of hers when she realizes that the guy sitting on her couch is the prisoner she's been writing to. It's actually not a terrible half hour, just not one that's very high on fan's lists. As a final note, who else would of loved to see Merrill seduce Sophia with white wine and music? No one? Though so. GRADE: B

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