I Love Lucy S01 E22 – Fred and Ethel Fight

(Or: FINALLY! Go get yours, Ethel!)

**More WTFacts are at this week’s Episode Watch Party.**

We open on Lucy setting the table for dinner and Ricky playing peekaboo because the guy legit thinks he’s married a 6 month old. 

“WHOM is coming to dinner?” Ricky asks, all proud of himself like he checked fucking Grammar Girl or something. Except he clearly didn’t, because WHOM is incorrect.

Ricky, it’s OK. English is your third language after Spanish and Stubborn. But in the future, use this nifty trick:

he = who
him = whom

Would you say, “Him is coming to dinner?” No.

Oh! But back to the question. Fred and Ethel are coming to dinner. They’re in a huge fight and Ethel kicked him out of the house and he’s staying at the Y.

WHOM is annoying the hell out of Lucy right now.

WHOM is annoying the hell out of Lucy right now.

Ricky calls Lucy by her full name: Lucy Esmeralda McGillicuddy Ricardo.

Esmeralda? Really? I dunno if you’ve read The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but she’s got one giant bummer of a story. She’s like Anna in Downton Abbey – every damn week there’s something awful. Maybe Lucy’s parents saw the Disney version.

Lucy has secretly invited both Fred and Ethel to dinner in order to get them back together. She feels bad for Ethel who’s been crying all day, and she assumes Fred feels the same way.

Lucy. Let Ethel do Ethel for a little while, literally and figuratively. Our homegirl needs a few days of peace and quiet. And she’s pretty open to flirting with the new guy. She asks to put on Lucy’s good perfume. Seriously, this could be Ethel’s big chance!

Ethel Mertz looks lovely tonight in black and plaid evening wear that perfectly hides her emotional scars.

Ethel Mertz looks lovely tonight in black and plaid evening wear that perfectly hides her emotional scars.

But alas, there’s no escape for Ethel. Fred shows up all excited about his date, since he doesn’t realize it’s his wife.

These two are the target audience for Ashley Madison. They might be the only acceptable members.

Before everything falls apart, Lucy brings out a roast beef and convinces them both to stay.

The sad truth is, much of this episode is terrible. I actually looked up major events during the week of filming (January 30, 1952), but couldn’t find any reason why the writers, editors, and performers all suddenly gave up. People mess up their lines, which aren’t that funny to begin with, and the pacing is way too slow.

So to pass the time, here’s a list of the things Fred might have done to get kicked out, based on his track record:

  • Drugged his wife without her knowledge (E04)
  • Cheated on her with a hot blonde he ordered by phone (E01)
  • Laughed about killing her (E04)
  • Pretended to break in and shoot her (E09)
  • Tried to lock her up against her will (E06)

But we never find out. All we know is it was something he said after Ethel said Fred’s mother looks like a weasel. Fred probably called Ethel a fat whore and then threatened to leave her dead in an alley like the other 3 women, or something like that. We’ll never know.

Lucy and Ricky won’t let them leave until they kiss. Classic psychology! When your friends are sad, force them to perform sex acts on each other in your living room.

Lucy and Ricky won’t let them leave until they kiss. Classic psychology! When your friends are sad, force them to perform sex acts on each other in your living room.

Then Lucy and Ricky brag about their awesome relationship. I hate couples like this. Oh sure, they never fight. They never fight because Ricky spanks Lucy whenever she disagrees with him.

But then, because this always happens with those smug ass couples, they start fighting almost immediately.

It’s a surreal moment when you realize these people didn’t rehearse. They legit don’t know their lines. Lucy seems the most prepared, and Vivian second. Even when slacking off, women work twice as hard as men.

Ricky storms out, screaming something in Spanish about how he’s actually better at English than any of them and they should leave him alone. Poor guy. This was before Rosetta Stone, so Lucy would have to actually study to learn Spanish to even understand why he’s mad. They’ll never make it.

The next day, Ethel goes to check on Lucy.

Ethel: Lucy, where are you? Lucy: I’m in the bedroom hiding inside this cloud.

Ethel: Lucy, where are you? Lucy: I’m in the bedroom hiding inside this cloud.

Ethel has been through a lot in her day, so she’s got useful advice:

Ethel: You know how families are. No matter what differences they’ve had, they always unite in cases of sickness, accidents, and terrible tragedy.

Ethel, the only reason that’s your experience is because your WHOLE LIFE has been sickness, accidents, and terrible tragedy. You’re married to Fred and your best friend is a total trainwreck — high drama and injury is a way of life for you.

Ethel recommends Lucy fakes getting hit by a bus.

Now I have a little experience in this department, having been in a pedestrian accident myself some time ago. You don’t fake getting hit by a bus. Getting hit by a bus isn’t, like, a thing people do. It’s a thing people did once, before that time they died.

Except for Lucy. Lucy goes all Regina George and does the bus thing.

Sadly, this episode we don’t have a performance by Ricky. But for the first 10 min, we don’t have a performance by anyone…

Sadly, this episode we don’t have a performance by Ricky. But for the first 10 min, we don’t have a performance by anyone…

Meanwhile Ricky’s all bummed out. He’s left Lucy, and now all he has to eat are peanut butter sandwiches. #whitepeopleproblems

Fred’s all, “Let’s fake a fire and terrify her to death. Then you can collect her life insurance money.”

Just kidding.

Fred’s all “Let’s fake a fire and terrify her to death. Then she’ll fall in love with your heroism.” Ah, so much better.

So the next day, Lucy lies in bed in a full body cast. Ricky and Fred fake a horrible fire coming from the other room, and Lucy — petrified because WTF OF COURSE SHE IS — throws all her most valuable possessions out the window.

Then she repels out the window harnessed to a sheet, and the sheet doesn’t hold because it’s NOT ANCHORED TO ANYTHING YOU MORON.

Fortunately, we find out she fell on the awning. But here’s this week’s true victory: now Ethel is so mad at Fred for his dumb idea, she’s moved out.

RUN, ETHEL! RUN LIKE THE WIND!

She’ll be back with these dipsticks in less than a week.


Join me next week for S01 E23: The Moustache. New posts every Friday!

And follow WTF Lucy on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

If dumb ideas mean you have to move out, these characters are going to live out the rest of their days Castaway-style.

If dumb ideas mean you have to move out, these characters are going to live out the rest of their days Castaway-style.

One thought on “I Love Lucy S01 E22 – Fred and Ethel Fight

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