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And Then There's Maude: Episode 12

Our tribute to the 35th anniversary of the debut of Maude continues.

*

Season 1, Episode 12
Episode Title: The Grass Story

Original airdate: 5 December 1972

Plot: The drug references fly fast and furious in this episode. Pay close attention kiddies and you just may learn a pill-popping thing or two.

The episode kicks off with a slam-bang argument between Maude and Walter that's been raging since Wednesday. No, since Tuesday. No, it was Wednesday. No . . . you get the idea. When the doorbell rings mid-yell, a panicked Maude shouts, "Maybe that's Jeff with the marijuana!"

It seems a 19-year-old supermarket box boy was arrested for possession and faces a possible three to seven years in jail. Maude plans to be part of a protest where 146 middle-aged women will march themselves into suburban police stations all over New York, present their own stash, and have themselves arrested on the same charge. Maude's responsible for getting the marijuana she and her friends will need to get arrested and she's counting on her nephew to score some grass. Walter thinks Maude is being ridiculous. So, what else is new?

Maude and Walter continue to argue back and forth, right through Maude's exchange with a door-to-door tomato salesman. (A door-to-door tomato salesman?) When Maude mentions that her anxiety about the pot protest has given her insomnia and Walter says he slept like a baby, their conversation turns into an exchange of who-took-what-drug when.

Maude: I'm exhausted. I was so nervous about this morning that I didn't sleep a wink last night.

Walter: Why didn't you take something, like a couple of Seconals.

Maude: We're out of Seconals but I did take two Chloral hydrate and a Librium and they didn't work.

Walter: Well I took two Miltown and a Doriden and I slept like a lamb.

Maude: And snored like a moose. No, I should have taken two Meprobamates with a Nembutal instead of two Chloral hydrate with a Librium. (She glances down at her grandson Philip who's having breakfast at the kitchen table.) Philip! Cold knockwurst for breakfast? How can you put that junk inside you?

Jeff finally shows up. Maude's nephew looks less like a twenty-something pothead and more like a 40-something, shaggy-haired version of Paul Williams. Maude gushes over her "favorite nephew" until he tells her he couldn't score any weed ("There was a big senior prom last night," he whines) and she says, "You're a loser Jeff. You've always been a loser." She shoos Jeff out the door, telling him to "hang around playgrounds" until he can scratch up some Mary Jane.

Carol comes downstairs and makes a beeline for the coffee. She needs all the help she can get to wake up, after she had to take a Valium to sleep through Maude and Walter's argument. ("We were not arguing. I just had to speak very loud because Walter was trying to sleep.") Mommy Maude reaches in her purse and gives dopey Carol a "mommy's little helper" ("Here sweetheart, take a Ritalin. It will pick you up like that.") and asks Carol for a return favor - to help her get some marijuana.

After striking out with Carol, a desperate Maude turns to Florida for help. No luck there either. ("On my salary, I'm a Dr. Pepper girl.") That leaves Arthur, who's dropped by on his way to work to bum a Bloody Mary hangover cure off Walter. As he dispenses refill prescriptions of Seconol, Miltown, and Librium to Maude and Walter, Arthur rails against "kids using artificial stimulants like marijuana to solve all their problems."

Florida enters with good news. A friend of Jeff's just dropped off a plastic bag filled with $20 of pot. Maude snatches the bag with glee while Walter gives Florida money for the backdoor salesman. He takes the bag from Maude ("I paid for it. It's mine."), sparking another fight with Maude. He refuses to give her the pot or his "permission" to participate in the protest, which only further enrages the independent-minded Maude. To prove that "the rights of the individual stop when it affects the marriage," Walter calls a cute "little chick" who works for him to ask her on a weekend trip to Atlantic City and the telephone suffers collateral damage when Maude rips it from the wall.

Walter prepares to leave with Maude's baggie safely out of reach in his briefcase. Crafty Maude goes for Plan B, or should we say Plan O, heading off to the police station with a bag full of oregano.

Down at the Tuckahoe police station, a crowd of seven housewives is positively giddy with pre-arrest excitement. When Maude arrives, the women break out singing "We shall overcome!" Maude marches up to the desk sergeant and demands to be arrested. ("Print us, mug us, book us, and beat us up.") When he asks to see the evidence, Maude tries quickly flashing the bag in front of his face, but this cop can't be fooled. He's Italian and while he can't see the pot, he can certainly smell the oregano. Maude's busted - but not the way she was hoping for.

Officer Lazario is in no mood for this. He's had a hard day and he's tired. Maude says she's got just the thing for him and reaches in her bag of prescription tricks to offer him a Dexamil. ("It's an upper.") Apparently offering a cop prescription pills as if they were Tic-Tacs is no big deal in 1972, because the cop doesn't bat an eye.

Rules are rules though and Sgt. Lazario can't arrest Maude for possession of a controlled spice, even if she does flatter him by comparing his good looks to that of the Pope. When she threatens him with a middle-aged, stark-naked sit-in, he gives some cash to an officer on duty, telling him to run down the block to buy this nice lady some grass.

Hallelujah, Maude is on her way to the slammer. But not so fast! A phone call informs the desk sergeant that the kid has just been sentenced to three years, so there won't be any protest arrests today. Maude and the suburban ladies pothead auxiliary leave defeated and Officer Lazario, feeling lower than before, pops the pill Maude left for him.

Hot button social issue: Let the punishment fit the crime or "The ridiculous marijuana law."

Fashion statement: Arthur wins for most eye-boggling ensemble this episode: a camel suit with plaid vest, striped tie, white striped dress shirt and his bleeper, the size of a cigarette pack, prominently bulging out of the top pocket of his suit jacket.

Neckerchief count: One. What does a girl wear to her arrest? Maude sports a blue paisley blouse under her jumper dress that includes a built-in scarf, swirled around her neck in a yard of fabric that's secured by a large broach.

Cocktail hour: On his way to the hospital where he works, Arthur stops by the Findlay household for a Bloody Mary to cure his hangover. He scolds Walter for making the drink too weak and leaves with a serious case of the shakes. Did we mention that Arthur is a surgeon?

Welcome back to 1972 pop culture reference #1: Golf great Lee Trevino. Maude heard Trevino mention a particular Mexican dinner on TV. She thought Walter would like it because he's a golfer too; turns out it just gave him gas.

Welcome back to 1972 pop culture reference #2: Arthur: "I'm talking about morality. You start these young kids off on pot, indiscriminate sex, running off to Canada to avoid the draft - you know what it leads to? You know what it leads to? WELL I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IT LEADS TO! Jane Fonda!"

Welcome back to 1972 pop culture reference #3: Dial-a-Prayer.

Number of times Maude yells: 6

'70s slang: Maude accuses Walter of being "a fink" because he objects to her buying a bag of pot.

Memorable quote(s): "My luck, I have to have an aunt who's a head."
"Honey, I've got to have some marijuana. Now please Carol, call one of your weird friends."
"There is a pot fairy after all!"

Number of times the live audience breaks out into spontaneous applause: 4

Number of references to taking prescription medication: 17

Wow, did they just say that? "Florida is black. You can't tell me she doesn't know any musicians!"

Keep an eye out for: Lorraine (first seen in episode 1-10) makes a return appearance as one of the protesters. Sergeant Joseph Lazario is played by Frank Campanella, a character actor with quite a filmography on IMDB. He's also credited in Wikipedia as helping Robert DeNiro learn Sicilian for his role in The Godfather: Part II.

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Previously:
Season 1, Episode 1: Maude's Problem.
Season 1, Episode 2: Doctor, Doctor.
Season 1, Episode 3: Maude Meets Florida.
Season 1, Episode 4: Like Mother, Like Daughter.
Season 1, Episode 5: Maude and the Radical.
Season 1, Episode 6: The Ticket.
Season 1, Episode 7: Love and Marriage.
Season 1, Episode 8: Flashback.
Season 1, Episode 9: Maude's Dilemma (Part One).
Season 1, Episode 10: Maude's Dilemma (Part Two).
Season 1, Episode 11: Maude's Reunion.




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Posted on December 14, 2007


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