Original air date: March 30, 1953
Welcome back, Ballers!
I watched this week’s episode on Hulu, and what a racket. First, they mislabel every episode with either the wrong title or wrong episode number. Then they put ads on before AND after the intro song. Two seconds in and you’re watching QVC.
But they’re free Lucy episodes, so I’ll take it. And one of those commercials was for Viking River Cruises, so I’ll cut them some slack. I’ve swooned over those cruises since I was five and I taped photos of their Travel & Leisure ads up on my bedroom wall. I’m into smooth jazz and early bedtimes and lukewarm hot tubs on the Danube with a hundred silver foxes. Old souls, you know what I’m talking about.
OK so this episode is another flashback, and I think maybe the last one? I don’t say this very often in 2018, but I really miss the present tense.
To start this one, Lucy’s rearranged the furniture again, and Ricky and Ethel laugh about how she always does it. How she always [reads title] changes her mind.
So then DREAM CROSSFADE and we’re back in the past. The whole crew is going out for dinner and a movie. Lucy’s been getting ready since two in the afternoon. It took four hours for two reasons:
1) The patriarchy demands women use whatever makeup, clothing, and tapeworms it takes to look perpetually 25 years old until we die in our self-preserved botox husks.
2) She couldn’t decide on the movie.
Ricky: I guess she’s just a woman.
Fred: That’s your fault, you’ve trained her wrong. Come on, do something.
Welcome to Fred 101: Intro to Wife Training. Lesson 1: Best way to train a woman on how to make decisions is don’t let her make decisions in the first place.
Lucy comes out, and they try to decide between Italian food and Chinese food. Lucy can’t make up her mind between them. Same, Lucy. Those are the two hills I’d die on. They both have noodles with thick sauces, and they both have some take on stuffed pasta. A ball pit of ravioli and dumplings, that’s what my house will look like in heaven.
Then Lucy starts thinking about steak. This is because Lucy is stupid and has forgotten that steak sucks. Besides, most Italian places offer steak AND LINGUINE. Don’t be an idiot, woman.
At the restaurant, which is neither Italian nor Chinese because these are a small-brained people, Lucy keeps calling for the waiter. She knows what she wants. No worries that all three of the rest are still looking at their menus.
She moves them all to an empty table by the window, and they act horribly annoyed. But may she who hasn’t done that cast the first stone. I would move a 12-course meal across the entire San Fernando Valley if it meant natural light.
Lucy wants the roast beef, then changes to lamb chops, then pork chops. This is why you do Italian or Chinese. Then you can just say “carbs” and they’ll know. THEY’LL KNOW.
The waiter asks if anyone wants shrimp cocktails, and when Lucy tries to change her mind, Ricky stuffs her mouth with a cigar. But that doesn’t stop her: She sneezes, claims it’s because of the window, and moves the whole table again.
I mean, I know it’s annoying. But in comparison to today, she’s got a full head on her shoulders. We could let this woman decide on DACA and the whole country would be more stable.
Back at home the next day, Lucy’s gone full KonMari on her closet – a project she started 11 years ago – because Ricky apparently yelled at her the night before about how she has to finish everything she’s ever started. Hey, Ricky: how about YOU clean out a closet once every 11 years? Men like him claim to have invented civilization but chores break their brains.
Ethel overheard their fight the night before. At first, it seems she was listening from somewhere, but then it becomes clear she was really watching from somewhere. Yeah. Y’all gotta move. Ethel and Fred are the couple they make Forensics Files about twenty years after they find your bodies.
Lucy pulls out a letter from 15 years ago. A love letter to Tom Henderson, an old boyfriend she had a fight with. She never finished the letter, and now he has a swanky fur shop downtown.
OK, why is she keeping half-written letters to old boyfriends? My high school boyfriend gave me a nice letter once, but then he cheated on me, so I burned it in a fire before dousing the flames in my own tears and spitting on the ashes. I laughed maniacally until the embers finally died. But you do you, Lucy.
Lucy decides to finish the letter to Tom and invite him to lunch tomorrow, and when Ricky comes home she’ll act flustered about it. Ethel thinks it’s funny but she’s worried:
Ethel: Do you think this is safe, what with Ricky’s temper and all?
Translation: If you pull this prank, will your husband beat the shit out of you like we joked about all last week?
But Fred finds out the plan from Ethel and tells Ricky because “we men have to stick together.” Ethel must stop speaking to Fred. He is an enemy combatant, a walking war on women. Today he would tweet men’s rights memes and complain about how these feminists have practically ruined workplace assault.
Since he knows the prank now, Ricky teases her with it and calls her bluff. He mails the letter. So Lucy and Ethel go to the fur shop to explain the situation to Tom.
Ethel: Women don’t get older, they just mature a little. Men get older.
Well, sort of. Women mature and then disappear. Men get older and then get cast in Woody Allen films as loveable perverts who fall for 17-year-old girls. #fixedit
But Tom is short and bald:
Lucy: My hunk has shrunk!
So they decide not to talk to him. WTF?! I guess he’s not worth basic human courtesy now because he looks like Paul Giamatti?!
Then Ricky and Fred arrive. Ethel distracts Tom, and Lucy pretends to flirt with a mannequin to make Ricky and Fred jealous. But it’s pretty clearly a mannequin…
Ricky: You know Fred, I think this time she’s really jumped her trolley.
The mannequin’s hands fall off and his torso pops off his legs.
Ricky: Is this your old boyfriend?
Lucy: He isn’t half the man he used to be.
Lucy confesses she was embarrassed because Tom was so dumpy. She was sure Ricky would make fun of her forever.
Oh, Lucy. This is where I, your BFF, take you to lunch and tell you Ricky will make fun of you forever no matter what you do because he doesn’t respect you. We’ll get cobb salad, it’ll be fun.
But the short, bald man was actually Tom’s brother. Tom is still a hunk and has definitely not shrunk.
Who hasn’t made out with a mannequin to convince her husband that her former lover was hot, and then found out that he actually is hot, and regretted breaking up with him a few decades ago because if you’d married him you’d get free fur coats?
This show, it’s like looking in a mirror.
It’s OK Lucy. You have major life regrets. It happens. And you know what goes great with crushing disappointment? Lo mein. I’ll see you there.