(Or: Stalking can be fun!)
**Get the background story at this week’s Episode Watch Party.**
Happy 20th episode, Ballers! We open on Lucy reading a New York Times about Hitler.
Actually, the person on the cover is Gen. Sir Gerald Templer, who was put in charge of British forces in 1952 during the “Malayan Emergency.” But, being Jewish, I can’t go five sentences without mentioning Hitler.
Ricky comes in totally creeped out by a perverted teenage psychopath named Peggy. She lives next door, she’s “like a spook,” and she’s legit stalking him. Lucy thinks it’s hilarious, and reminds Ricky that teenage girls are totally unreasonable.
I used to have a massive crush on Ricky myself, and considering he was a) fictional and b) 80 years old by that point, I have to side with Lucy on this.
Suddenly, as though called in by some sexual harassment Bat Signal, Peggy enters from outside.
This is why there are men’s rights groups. She just broke in. She’s a criminal, and a man in her position would go to prison.
Or he would just get a slap on the wrist, which is why there are women’s rights groups…
Janet Waldo plays the teenage Peggy, and as I mentioned on Wednesday, the actress was… you know… I don’t like to say “pregnant” here, since they didn’t use such a crass term on the show. She was knocked up by her horndog husband.
Ricky tries to tell her he’s not interested, but he calls her “dear.” She gets excited and calls him “darling.” Moral of the story: don’t call women “dear” when you’re mansplaining shit to us.
Lucy tries to help:
Lucy: Why don’t you disillusion her?
Lucy: Just go in there and be mean and nasty and unattractive.
Ricky: I’m not that good an actor.
THAT’S LITERALLY HOW YOU BEHAVE EVERY FUCKING MORNING. Remember that time you bent your wife over the table and beat her ass?
So Lucy tries to talk with Peggy, but Peggy says she’s in love with Ricky and that it’s more sophisticated because he’s married.
I’m totally opposed to using cruel words against other women, but Lucy should bitch-slap that filthy whore.
Peggy does admit Lucy will be competition, because she has that “certain something.”
Peggy: I can tell by the way my mother looks at my father when my father looks at you.
That got real fast.
However, there’s one bit of good news: Peggy also has a crush on Arthur Morton. She wants to ask him out but he’s very shy. Hoping to fix this and get Peggy’s perfect teenage body off her damn lawn, Lucy offers to teach him how to dance.
Peggy: Don’t say anything about Arthur. I don’t want Ricky to know I’m untrue.
Later that day, Arthur arrives. He’s terrified, with a high voice and low self-confidence. The touch of a woman makes him very uncomfortable. Peggy can sure pick ‘em. Either married or eunuchs. He looks like one of those whack-a-moles popping out of the old arcade games.
He can’t dance, and he stomps all over Lucy, but she’s used to it because that’s what Ricky does to her spirit every day.
After teaching him the basics, Lucy asks to dance together.
Arthur: But you’re a woman!
Lucy: Yes my husband likes me that way.
Class, here we have the patriarchal view of femininity. Women exist for their husbands. It’s irrelevant that we’re women LONG before we ever meet said husbands. From the age of 13 we get catcalls and rape threats and unequal pay because one day some dude is going to need an offspring. I would go on more of a rant but my pregnancy test is ready and I have a casserole to prep.
Lucy tries to help ease his worries:
Lucy: Some people are men and some people are women. They’re made that way so they can dance together.
This whole episode is transphobic at best.
They dance the turkey trot or something like that. And within 5 seconds he’s in love and wants up her skirt. Oh, but teenage GIRLS are the unreasonable ones.
Lucy dances him out of the house and he falls down the stairs. This is an important lesson for any young person: love hurts.
With Lucy icing her feet, Ricky comes home.
Lucy: I gave Arthur a dancing lesson.
And an erection.
Peggy calls and bitches Lucy out. She says Lucy’s taken Arthur, so she’s going to come and take Ricky. I hate this girl.
Then Arthur calls and says he’s coming for a man-to-man with Ricky about Lucy.
Don’t these kids have class?
So the Ricardos decide to dress up like old people, and they do a fantastic job. Lucy jokes about leaving Ricky… because he doesn’t have any teeth… because he’s old.
Homophobic, sexist, transphobic. And now ageist. And Fred isn’t even in this episode!
Peggy arrives, and Lucy wheels Ricky in. He’s shaking, toothless, and then he sort of hits a drum. Which counts as his performance this episode.
It’s the best acting Desi has done so far. It’s hilarious.
They claim he has rheumatism, and that he constantly needs someone’s help:
Lucy: Now jiggle him.
Peggy: Jiggle him?!
Lucy: You have to keep him moving or his arteries harden.
Ricky: You’re a much better jiggler than Lucy.
That’s the dream, to be known as the best man-jiggler amongst your girlfriends.
Lucy terrifies Arthur as well:
Lucy: I’ll miss (Ricky). He’s the only one who knows how to put the batteries in my hearing aid.
Arthur: I still love you.
Lucy: Oh no thanks, never touch the stuff.
Arthur is actually hard to get rid of. He swears he still loves her, and he still thinks she’s beautiful. Listening to him, I think Lucy’s made a huge mistake. Ricky gets mad at Lucy when his breakfast isn’t ready on call – imagine how much he’ll hate her when her arthritis and poor eyesight slow her down.
RUN, Lucy! Run to Arthur! Have the life you dream of!
Arthur still likes her hair, so Lucy takes it off for him. Horrified, he throws her wig around the room and the teenagers run out screaming.
Yeah, Arthur, mortality is scary. But so is dating an actual stalker.
I don’t think we ever see Arthur on I Love Lucy again. I’m assuming he tries to break up with Peggy, and she kills him.
Join me next week for S01 E21: The New Neighbors. New posts every Friday!