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And Then There's Maude: Episode 20

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

*

Season 1, Episode 20
Episode Title: Maude's Good Deed

Original airdate: 6 March 1973

Plot: A visit from Maude's high school chum has the two women hugging and giggling like schoolgirls as they reminisce about the good old days, when they were "young and dinosaurs ruled the Earth." Maude and Jane spend the first five minutes of the episode singing old sorority songs. "Oh how we danced on the night we were wed," they duet. "We danced and we danced 'cause the room had no bed." Maude's daughter Carol declares they're "a riot." I suspect someone's in the kitchen sneaking sherry from the beef stroganoff Jane is cooking for dinner.

Jane and Maude have another reason for carrying on like teenagers. Jane has been dating Maude's next-door neighbor Arthur for three whole days and things are going great! Maude seems awfully happy that her good friend is seeing Arthur, a man she usually can't stand, but then again, he is a doctor. As Maude and Jane used to say back in the day, "hubba hubba."

Maude hums a tune and does a little hand-waving Charleston walk. (I'm confused. Was she in high school during the Roaring Twenties?) Looking through an old scrapbook, Maude points out a photo of Jane and her young daughter Linda; the same daughter who grew up and took her mother to court over her father's inheritance. "If Harvey had wanted her to blow $25,000 on gurus with greasy ponytails, he wouldn't have named me executor of his estate. He'd have named Sonny and Cher."

Clinging to her own daughter, Maude tries to paint a rosy picture. Surely Jane, having come all the way from Chicago, wants to contact her estranged daughter while she's in town. Jane refuses to hear any more about it and heads upstairs to fix her face before Arthur arrives. Carol, who knows her mother too well, realizes now why there's an extra place setting at the dinner table. Meddling Maude has staged a surprise mother-and-child reunion.

Walter arrives home, shortly followed by Arthur bearing roses for Jane. He charms her with movie dialogue and she proclaims that all his "lady patients" must fall in love with him. The lovebirds are both old movie buffs and a running gag develops in which one person quotes some dialogue and the other guesses the movie, year, and cast.

Things appear to be going great until Jane's daughter Linda arrives. Walter answers the doorbell to find a redhead on the doorstep. "Hi, I have this big problem. I need to be jumped." Walter's eyes bug out. Maude introduces Walter to Linda, who immediately flirts with her host by tickling his mustache.

The reunion between Linda and Jane is chilly until Jane introduces Arthur. In less than a minute, Linda has hooked her mother's boyfriend and reeled him right out the front door. ("Listen Artie, you wouldn't happen to have a couple of jumper cables in your little black bag? My battery's dead," which Arthur finds very hard to believe.) A deflated Jane pulls a barstool up to the mini-bar and Walter enters the movie guessing game with, "James Mason, Lolita, 1963."

The next morning we learn the dinner party was a disaster. Linda and Arthur never returned and Jane isn't speaking to Maude. Desperate to patch things up, Maude hides Jane's fur coat so she can't leave and again stages a reunion through deception: Carol leaves the office because Maude swallowed shampoo by mistake (she didn't); Walter rushes home because the basement is flooded (it's not); and Arthur hurries over thinking Maude has broken her leg. ("I did but it went away. I took a couple of Midol.") Linda is the last to arrive, thinking her mother has consented to release her inheritance - Maude's final lie.

Maude tries to reconcile Arthur and Jane, creating an excuse for Arthur's disappearance last night with a little wink-wink nudge-nudge but he's too dense to catch on. Instead, he giddily tells the group that he drove Linda home and had a few drinks at her place, complete with incense, "cushions all over the place," and so many cats he couldn't count them when tipsy on "vino."

Since Arthur isn't helping, it's up to Maude to set things right. She demands everyone sit down and listen while she pleads her case. It was with the best of intentions that Maude set up her widowed best friend with the doctor-next-door and reunited Jane with the daughter she hasn't spoken to in over eight years. "Is there a crime in this? I mean if anybody can see a crime in this, please raise your hand." The vote is unanimous.

Maude's plan completely implodes. Carol sides with Linda. Linda reveals she's not interested in Arthur. ("Can you imagine me being interested in a middle-aged man who comes to my apartment, sits on my floor, has one glass of wine, and throws-up on my cat?") Arthur leaves in a huff. Carol goes upstairs to drink a bottle of shampoo and Walter flees to the liquor store "for strength." Linda takes off, telling her mother not to write, "just send money." Jane is the last to go, leaving Maude alone to argue with a phone caller. Before she slams down the phone, she yells into the receiver, "Keep your opinions to yourself and quit bugging me. Goodbye mother!"

Hot button social issue: No good deed goes unpunished.

Fashion statement: Maude's friend Jane is wearing an olive-colored floor-length dress with five-inch pointed collars and a light blue scarf, knotted at the neck and extending down to her toes.

Neckerchief count: Zero!

Cocktail hour: "Carol, to think I gave up martinis for six months so I could breast feed you."

Welcome back to 1973 pop culture reference: Arthur gives four stars to Franco-American spaghetti.

Number of times Maude yells: 2

'70s slang: Commenting on Linda's apartment, Arthur declares it's "quite a pad."

Memorable quote #1: "Blow on my stethoscope and I'll follow you anywhere."

Memorable quote #2: "Jane, be reasonable. Nobody goes to Chicago without a mink coat."

Memorable quote #3: "Walter, tact, T-A-C-T, is the only four-letter word that doesn't describe you."

Times the live audience breaks out into spontaneous applause: 4

Wow, did they just say that? After Arthur insults Maude, she hold up her hand and says, "Five American fingers, Arthur. One of them is for you."

-

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.
Season 1, Episode 12: The Grass Story.
Season 1, Episode 13: The Slum Lord.
Season 1, Episode 14: The Convention.
Season 1, Episode 15: Walter's 50th Birthday.
Season 1, Episode 16: The Medical Profession.
Season 1, Episode 17: Arthur Moves In.
Season 1, Episode 18: Florida's Problem.
Season 1, Episode 19: Walter's Secret.



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Posted on April 9, 2008


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