(Or: Lucy Pursues Her Lifelong Dream of Fetching Ricky’s Slippers)
Get all the WTFacts at the Episode watch party!
Why hello, Ballers. I didn’t see you there. Shall we?
This week we open on Ricky sleeping in because he works late at a nightclub and absolutely not because the writers are stereotyping Cuban-Americans.
Lucy comes in beautiful and ready to face the day. We can assume she’s been up since 7am and has already vacuumed, mopped, and prepared breakfast from scratch. Ricky will not care.
To wake Ricky up, she plays “Babalu” on the conga drum. This is the first time we hear Desi’s signature song on the show, and I’m pretty sure he’s super pissed she gets to sing it before him. At least that might explain why he’s about to be such a total asshole.
While Ricky shaves, Lucy tells him he should be on TV, and that he really needs a girl in his act.
She can sing and dance and tell jokes, she tells him, so why not let her be a part of his show?
“Honey you know how I feel about this. I want a wife who’s just a wife. Now, all you have to do is clean the house for me, bring me my slippers when I come home at night, cook for me, and be the mother of my children.”
Every time Ricky speaks, an angel gets her wings… and then decides not to use them because the mantle needs dusting.
Then there’s a knock on the door and Ricky goes to answer it. Lucy looks over at the sea creature they apparently use as a lampshade and is all “this should be a hat.” Someone give this woman a job before she loses her mind.
Fred’s at the door, and as usual he’s being the worst and reading their mail. Then again, Lucy’s a year behind on rent, so you know what? Help yourself, Fred.
Ricky has received a telegram with time-sensitive information in it. Um, why didn’t the sender just use the phone? It’s like when people email me a PDF of a picture they took, or painstakingly type out every www, and I’m like you’re so adorable but seriously stop doing that.
Turns out (COINCIDENCE ALERT!) Ricky has a TV audition that very night. His first thought isn’t, “Holy crap that’s so weird I was literally just talking to my wife about this.” It’s:
“How am I gonna get rid of her…?”
Fred recommends imprisoning her in the bathroom. Lock her up, drug her senseless – Fred is the ideas man.
Fortunately for everyone, Ricky recently completed their wills. He decides to send her downtown to the attorney, which will take all day.
Incidentally, we do something similar with our retriever. We give him a toy with frozen apple sauce inside and he plays with it for hours and never even notices we’re out there making something of our lives.
Ricky tells Lucy the situation, leaving out the TV audition so she won’t do anything stupid. Then they talk about his will and not hers, which makes sense. If something were to happen to Lucy, he wouldn’t have any use for her fake eyelashes, used cigarettes, and wasted potential.
Lucy doesn’t want to go downtown and miss her hair
dyeing washing appointment. That’s the first time she admits getting her hair dyed, but come on. This isn’t exactly headline news. I mean…
We cut to Ricky at rehearsal and so much makes sense now. Ricky spends all day bossing people around and being disappointed in them. He seems like a pro at it because he is a pro at it!
Somehow his treatment of Lucy doesn’t bother me so much now that I know he makes a living going all Whiplash on an entire room of dudes.
BTW, why is Fred at Ricky’s rehearsal? I still have no concept of how Fred spends his time and why. Also: Ethel isn’t in this episode at all. Fred probably locked her in the bathroom (his idea, not mine) because she kept wanting to do stuff.
Then the most tragic character in this story enters. Buffo the Clown has an even shittier life than Ethel. He lives in Staten Island, and you just know he can’t afford a car on a freelance clown’s income.
So this guy gets up at like 5am, takes a bus to the ferry, rides the ferry into Manhattan, walks to the train station, then takes a train up to the club. All while carrying a cello and a bicycle. And two seconds into rehearsal, his bicycle brakes lock and he’s rendered unable to perform.
That’s one bitch of a morning.
Fred offers to take him home until he finds out the clown lives in Staten Island, and suddenly he’s like, “Oh just kidding I totally forgot I’ve gotta unlock my bathroom and let my wife out to eat.”
So Buffo goes to the Ricardos’ place instead. No one tells Lucy this, of course, because why warn her about a man in a clown costume coming into her house unannounced?
Lucy arrives back home, packages in tow. Yes, last episode she brought her family to the brink of financial ruin, but this shopaholic will never, ever back down. She’s probably got 2 cats and a silver plated chess board in there because why the hell not.
When she sees the clown, she beats him with everything she has, avenging all our clown nightmares and cementing this as Buffo’s worst day ever.
He decides to try his act again and see if he can pull himself together for the show. I don’t know what he thought would happen when he got on his bicycle in a Manhattan 1-BR apartment, but there’s no fucking place to go and yeah shocker he crashes through the kitchen door.
You know those people who always seem to have bad stuff happen to them, but the more you get to know them the more you suspect they sorta bring it on themselves? Poor Buffo.
Lucy finds out about the TV audition and realizes she was sent all the way downtown just as a distraction. She decides to take Buffo’s place in the show.
That night, Ricky performs “Babalu” with the band. The musicians are all great now, because if there’s one thing Ricky does well it’s order people into submission.
And yes, bro can sing and play the hell out of those drums. And yes, I got a little sweaty watching this. Don’t judge:
Note the harpist at the very end. Like most women on this show, she has nothing to do. This is not a harp song. One of the few times a woman actually should get paid less than her male counterparts.
Then Lucy enters as the clown and she’s so great. She’s just so great. Desi almost breaks character, the band is laughing, William Frawley is cracking up, and we all have fun and the comedy brings us together – men, women, and even wives.
They must have been so exhausted after filming both the song and clown scene in essentially one take. Betcha Desi and Lucille went home and separated their twin beds to take a serious nap. No hanky panky tonight.
Speaking of going home…
Back on 1951 Misogyny Street, Lucy’s returned to the kitchen, where she sweeps and hopes Ricky won’t be mad at her. She’s still wearing Buffo’s costume under her apron.
When Ricky gets home he sulks around like a petulant child. It turns out, Lucy was so fantastic at the audition, she got her own TV offer.
Let’s not understate this opportunity for Lucy: we’re talking about her deepest, most sincere dream. She’s wanted this since she was a little girl, and for years hoped and prayed the day would come.
Ricky: What are you gonna do about it?
Lucy: What do you want me to do, Ricky?
Rookie mistake, Lucy.
Ricky’s like “I’m sorry – maybe you didn’t hear me in the bathroom this morning? I totally support your dream as long as it’s mopping my floors, bringing me my slippers, and making me some babies.”
Lucy doesn’t want to make Ricky mad, so she decides to do all that and give up the TV offer. Then she tells him she’s baked his favorite pie.
And he gets mad at her anyway, because even though she just GAVE UP HER LIFE’S DREAM and BAKED HIS FAVORITE PIE, he was hoping she’d already conceived.
I’m not kidding – that is the actual end of the episode.
It’s incredibly offensive to me how after all that, we still don’t get answers to the most important questions:
1) Why in the world can’t they use her income to hire a maid, so Lucy could at least work a part-time gig?
2) Did anyone ever let Ethel out of the bathroom?
3) How the hell did Buffo get all the way home without his pants? Poor, sad little freak.
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