Original air date: June 9, 1952
Today we look at the Season One finale! As I was watching this one, I could tell Lucy and Desi had an especially great energy. I knew she was pregnant at this point, but it turns out she found out the week they filmed this!
So they’re on a high about the baby, I’m on a high that we’re one season down, and you’re hopefully just high. (It helps the jokes seem funnier.)
We open on the Ricardos getting ready for dinner with the Littlefields. You may recall, Mr. Littlefield just promoted Ricky to nightclub manager. And Lucy has decided to celebrate by looking like an ugly hag so Littlefield will pity them when Ricky asks for a raise.
Lucy pushes Ricky not to be afraid to ask for a raise. She sits down on on the bed and pretends to be his boss. (Do with that what you will, pervs.)
As expected, Lucy is good at both a) business negotiations and b) role play in the bedroom. Ricky leaves confident and collected.
Lucy: Come on, let’s go into the parlor and wait for the flies.
I looked this phrase up everywhere. It means nothing. Baby brain, I guess. If I’m wrong, explain it to me I beg you.
That evening, the Ricardos and Littlefields lounge around.
Mr. Littlefield: Phoebe, I want you to get Mrs. Ricardo’s recipe for that cheesecake. It was delicious.
I don’t know which is more offensive: that he could order his wife to make him dessert like that, or that women in the 50s regularly made cheesecake from scratch.
Anyway, Ricky tries asking for a raise, and when Lucy jumps in to help him, she makes it sound like he has tons of other more lucrative offers. Mr. Littlefield, being a compassionate man who doesn’t want to hold immigrants back (take note Donald Trump), says he should take the amazing offer.
Too bad there’s no amazing offer. Next time we see Ricky, he’s headed to collect his unemployment check.
Now Lucy has to figure out what to do. She, Ethel, and Fred think up a great scheme: reserve the whole Tropicana, then leave because Ricky Ricardo isn’t there. Basically what all of us did when The Office renewed after Michael Scott left. We said we’d watch, but who were we kidding?
Lucy and Ethel make all the calls, until finally Ethel comes in like she’s just had the best sex of her life.
Fred has a pal who’s a quick-change artist, so they contact him to get their costumes.
Meanwhile at the club, a French concierge waits with Mr. Littlefield for their guests that night. And by French, I mean he’s a brie-eating, existentialist pantomiming, refugee-welcoming, professional sommelier level of French. Even though he works at a nightclub called the Tropicana with a Cuban bandleader.
And here’s where they go ALL OUT for the season finale. In fact, the producers wanted to dazzle us so much, they even had Fred dress in drag and NOT complain about it like a homophobic asshole.
In each scene, the gang comes in, sits down, and then immediately leaves when they hear Ricky Ricardo won’t be there anymore. Reminded me of pretty much every SNL Weekend Update since Stefon left.
After their excellent performance, Ricky comes home all proud of himself. Mr. Littlefield offered him twice as much as before.
But Ricky turned him down, because:
Ricky: If I’m that popular, I can write my own ticket to any place in town!
Ricky, this isn’t a serial drama. You need to crawl in disgrace to Mr. Littlefield over the summer and get your job back. I didn’t sign up to watch I Love Lucy: Welfare Edition.
I’m taking off for the Thanksgiving holiday. See you in two weeks for S02 E01: Job Switching!