Thursday, November 2, 2017

72 Hours S5E19

Synopsis: Rose might have contracted HIV; Dorothy helps plan a wetlands fundraiser.

90s Flashback
Dorothy: “Swell. Now I don't have a band for the banquet.”
Blanche: “What happened??”
Dorothy: “They decided to play at the Free Noriega benefit.”

Crazy Continuity
If I was Rose not only would I be pissed that I might have HIV, but that the doctor who did the test looked suspiciously like the waiter in the episodes “A Little Romance” and “The Flu.”

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “It so happens I know some famous people.”
Dorothy: “Who?”
Blanche: “Well I don't want to divulge his name, but I'll give you a clue: I know what the F stands for in William F. Buckley.”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia: “Thank God I was one of those progressive parents.”
Dorothy: “I was amazed at how you used those technical terms. You told me never to let a boy touch me 'you know where.' And you spelled 'where.'”
Sophia: “Well maybe I used to be old-fashioned, but times have changed. So when I was at the pharmacy I bought you some condoms. Your boyfriends are supposed to put them you know w-h-e-r-e.”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “You know Ma, that's part of the problem. Nobody cares. Do you realize what would happen if there were no swamps?”
Sophia: “New Jersey wouldn't have a state smell.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “I know I'm not always the first one to volunteer, but I happen to have an affection for bayous. Matter of fact, I became a woman in one.”
Sophia: “I thought you lost it in a hot-air balloon?”
Dorothy: “I thought you lost it at a pancake breakfast?”
Blanche: “Well, those don't count. I mean, they did at the time, but this is the definitive where-I-lost-my-virginity story.”
Sophia: “It's really nice of you to share something so personal with us, Blanche. In a bayou? You slut.”

Product Placement
Sophia: “I always think it's nice when you're in a hospital to walk around and cheer people up.”
Dorothy: “Ah. That's nice, Ma.”
Sophia: “So after I had my prescription filled, I went to up to Geriatrics and sang 'Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.'”
Dorothy: “Ma!”
Sophia: “What a tough crowd. They threw Jell-O at me. If you could call that throwing.”

Sassy Sophia
Dorothy: “Ma, what were you doing in my bathroom for two hours?”
Sophia: “The hokey-pokey. What do you think I was doing?”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “I haven't been this scared since 1952, when St. Olaf's most active volcano threatened to erupt. Well luckily, there were some Druid priests who were in town for the opening of Stonehengeland. They said they could stop it if they could sacrifice the town's dumbest virgin. I don't know why I raised my hand. It must have just been the excitement of the moment. But they said the only way to prevent the eruption was for me to crawl through their legs, up the volcano, while they gave me my birthday whacks. Well - and you're not gonna believe this - it turns out they weren't Druid priests at all. Just a bunch of Shriners looking for a good time.”
Dorothy: “That's a scary story, Rose.”

Rose: “Well, some people might chuckle, but I think what you're doing is important. I mean, people laughed at me back in St. Olaf when I spearheaded the drive to get our very own missile silo. Oh, sure, some gloomy Gusses muttered about the plutonium thing. But I figured if we could make our sleepy little hamlet into a first-strike target, it would help tourism.”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Blanche: “What is it, Rose? Is something wrong?”
Rose: “I'm not sure. St. Luke's Hospital wants me to come in for some kind of test. That's where I had my gallbladder out six years ago.”
Dorothy: “Can I see it, Rose?”
Rose: “They throw organs out after surgery.”
Dorothy: “The letter, Rose.”

The Boob Tube
Rose: “Look at all this stuff for the celebrity auction. Linda Evans' compact….”
Dorothy: “Now, look, Rose-”
Rose: “What about the dress Jamie Farr promised us from M*A S*H?”
Dorothy: “No it hasn't come yet.”
Rose: “But he promised.”
Blanche: “Honey, we have a lot of other stuff. It's OK.”
Rose: “No, it's not. He let you down. Well, I'm not surprised. You couldn't trust Klinger on guard duty, you can't trust him now.”

Reel References
Dorothy: “You know that, in school, I actually joined the math club so I could meet guys. Really.”
Rose: “Oh, I can beat that. I joined the 4H Club to be hip.”
Dorothy: “The Aldo Ray fan club.”
Rose: “I can beat that too.”
Dorothy: “Oh? What?”
Rose: “No, I can't. That's pretty bad.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “What an idiot! Of all the lame-brained, moronic dopes. I mean if ever I wanted to reach right through the phone and strangle somebody.”
Sophia: “Not really a morning person, are you, Pussycat?”

Sophia: “I know just how you feel. I remember how nervous and scared and panicked I was when I went to that neurologist to have my memory tested.”
Rose: “How did you handle it?”
Sophia: “Well, usually, I add a cup of bleach.”

Rose: “I couldn't sleep so I went for a spin last night. To Alabama. Blanche, do you know at a truck stop in Tuscaloosa they have an egg dish named after you.”
Blanche: “Really? How are they prepared?”
Sophia: “Overeasy.”

Blanche: “AIDS is not a bad person's disease, Rose. It is not God punishing people for their sins.”

Rose: “Oh, God. This waiting is driving me crazy. Blanche, when you were tested, how did you make it through?”
Blanche: “Just kept it to myself and acted like a real bitch to everybody else.”
Rose: “No wonder we never knew.”

Dorothy: “I've rewritten this thing three times, and the most persuasive slogan I can come up with is: 'Save our swamps. No, really, we mean it.'”

So does Minnesota actually have active volcanoes? I’d say no. But just in case, a quick trip to Wikipedia assured me that yes I was correct. There hasn’t been a volcano in the area for over 100 millions years. I guess that’s why The Golden Girls writers wrote sitcoms and didn’t write for National Geographic. But I digress. So, “72 Hours,” aka “Rose Gets Aids,” is, as Dorothy might say, just one hell of an episode. It’s relevance in the political landscape of the time, post-80s AIDS epidemic, was hot-button for sure and rather controversial. But today the episode functions in sort of a campy way for me. The way Sophia uses the gas station bathroom or writes R on all the coffee mugs Rose has drank from is just silly and is completely against everything the character ever stood for. But it’s ok because, like I said, it’s just a hell of an episode. Even though it deals with “SSM” (Serious Subject Matter) it maintains its comedic dark edge rather well. Betty is great here, giving a similar performance to what she did in Season Four's “High Anxiety.” Dorothy’s subplot about her Save the Wetlands benefit feels insignificant in comparison to possibly being infected with HIV but it still offers plenty of comic moments; one of my favorites being Dorothy pantomiming smacking a mosquito on her neck after proudly declaring that “all life is precious.” And let's not even mention that Rose drives to Tuscaloosa and back overnight (which is nearly a 13 hour drive, one way, without stopping once of course). Ah screw it, this episode is hilarious and amazing. GRADE: A

Just in case you were curious...

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