Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, season 2, ep. 1 – 5

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"BABY DUCKS!" (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
“BABY DUCKS!” (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 2, EPISODE 1: “Never Name a Duck”
DIR. John Rich
WRITTEN BY Carl Reiner
ORIGINALLY AIRED September 26, 1962
Recap:  Rob brings home two baby ducks for Richie to keep as pets, though they’ve already had a bad experience with baby chicks that Richie got for Easter. Despite Laura’s protestations, Richie keeps the ducks, and disaster strikes.
Reaction:  This is a really fun episode. The baby ducks are adorable, and the way that the Petrie family treats the (spoiler alert) one surviving duck like a child is hilarious. They take this joke so far that when a puppy-mom at the vet comments on the size of the duck, Rob mentions that he and his wife are both tall — as if the duck inherited their traits! Richie’s comments as he over-reacts about Stanley being set free at the lake are very funny, too. There’s lots to love in this episode, plus it gets a baby animal bonus.
Favorite moments: “Don’t look relieved yet. I brought baby ducks.” + the scene in the waiting room at the vet’s office

After speaking to Rob's Italian alter-ego on the phone, Laura starts acting super-romantic. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
After speaking to Rob’s Italian alter-ego on the phone, Laura starts acting super-romantic. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 2, EPISODE 2: “The Two Faces of Rob”
DIR. John Rich
WRITTEN BY Sheldon Keller and Howard Merrill
ORIGINALLY AIRED October 3, 1962
Recap: Rob has an idea for a sketch about a wife not being able to recognize her husband’s voice on the phone — a phenomenon he truly believes is possible, if a guy disguises his voice well enough. To prove his theory, Rob decides to play a prank on Laura, calling her and disguising his voice. But when she plays along, he obsesses over whether she actually didn’t recognize him, or if she’s just playing along with the joke.
Reaction:  Though Rob’s jealously should be the focus of this episode, Mary Tyler Moore steals the show. Her antics after Laura supposedly receives a call from a suave Italian doctor are hysterical, and it really is impossible to tell if she’s playing it up for Rob’s benefit (until she lets the audience in on it by telling Millie).
Favorite moments: The man from the deli calling Lon Chaney “the man with the thousand voices” + Laura lunging for the phone

Rob and Laura's engagement gets off to a "shaky" start as nerves get the best of both of them. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob and Laura’s engagement gets off to a “shaky” start as nerves get the best of both of them during the proposal. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 2, EPISODE 3: “The Attempted Marriage”
DIR. John Rich
WRITTEN BY Carl Reiner
ORIGINALLY AIRED October 10, 1962
Recap: When Richie finds a wedding gift that leads him to believe his dad almost backed out of marrying his mom, Rob and Laura recount the story of the hurdles they faced as they attempted to marry.
Reaction: The episodes filled with  flashbacks to Laura and Rob’s courtship are always some of my favorites in this series. These episodes are too stinkin’ cute, and this one’s no exception. Rob’s mishaps bring a couple of great laughs to what otherwise would have been a sugary-sweet addition to the season.
Favorite moments: The proposal + “I love Ingrid Bergman, I’m not marrying her!”

Richie buys himself and 89-cent hat for his dad's birthday. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Richie buys himself and 89-cent hat for his dad’s birthday. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 2, EPISODE 4: “Bank Book 6565696”
DIR. John Rich
WRITTEN BY  Ray Allen Saffian and Harvey Bullock
ORIGINALLY AIRED October 17, 1962
Recap: Rob unexpectedly finds a bank book in one of Laura’s gloves and tries to uncover the mystery of why Laura has a secret bank account.
Reaction: Once again, Rob gets egged on by his buddies and becomes suspicious of Laura… and instead of just asking her a simple question that could resolve the whole issue, he plays sleuth! He soon comes to suspect that she’s saving up for a super-fancy gift for his birthday, and this is where the episode gets much funnier. As Rob does with many things, he becomes obsessed with the gift. This episode isn’t the funniest of the first five but it’s still a good little watch. (I don’t think there’s any such thing as a bad episode of this show — some are better than others, but they’re all at the very least enjoyable.)
Favorite moments: Sally saying that Laura will use her $378 to get an old fella, since it isn’t enough money to buy herself a new fella + Rob sneaking around the apartment trying to find his gift as Laura sets the table

Phil Leeds guest stars as Buddy's brother, Blackie. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Phil Leeds guest stars as Buddy’s brother, Blackie. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 2, EPISODE 5: “Hustling the Hustler”
DIR. John Rich
WRITTEN BY Carl Reiner
ORIGINALLY AIRED October 24, 1962
Recap: Buddy’s hustler brother Blackie shows up at the office after returning from a trip to South America. Rob invites Blackie over for dinner and afterward decides to play a game of pool with him, not knowing that he’s a hustler.
Reaction: The casting of Buddy’s brother is perfect. Phil Leeds (y’know, Rosie) brings a lot of energy to the episode and his character’s mannerisms are hilarious. Blackie seems so fun when we’re introduced to him that Buddy seems cruel for treating him with such disdain. In the end, he proves himself as a reformed man (which the audience can see coming from a mile away, though there are a few moments in the middle of the episode where we begin to question him). Overall, a decent episode with a great guest performance.
Favorite moment: Sally, Rob and Buddy singing and dancing to “On Moonlight Bay” + Rob saying that Laura got him a pool table to keep him off the streets

NOTE: If you watch these episodes on Netflix, stay tuned after the ending credits for a Joy dish soap commercial featuring the stars of the show!

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