Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, season 2, episodes 27 – 32

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Laura comes to Rob's office just to meet Rattigan (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Laura comes to Rob’s office just to meet Rattigan. She’s a big fan of his work and tells him she’s seen all of his pictures. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 27: “Racy Tracy Rattigan”
Directed by Sheldon Leonard
Written by Ronald Alexander and Carl Reiner
Originally aired April 3, 1963
Recap: “Racy” Tracy Rattigan, a famous British actor, is filling in as the host of The Alan Brady Show. Rob gets jealous when he begins to think that Rattigan has an eye for Laura.
Reaction: Guest star Richard Dawson embodies his somewhat cocky character quite well, but I hate to say it — I found him kind of obnoxious! The episode isn’t at all bad, though. Rattigan’s disagreeable personality only works in Rob’s favor as he, too, tires of his guest’s behavior. The audience can absolutely understand his frustration!
Favorite moment(s): Rob kicking his legs and flailing his arms around to demonstrate what he’ll do if Tracy keeps flirting with Laura + Rob spraying Rattigan with champagne

Rob finds Buddy at the bar after getting a distressed phone call. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob finds Buddy at the bar after getting a distressed phone call. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 28: “Divorce”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired April 10, 1963
Recap: Buddy announces that he plans to divorce Pickles because he thinks that she has cheated on him. After taking Buddy’s side and helping him find a lawyer, Rob gets caught in the middle of Buddy’s drama.
Reaction: I always enjoy episodes that focus on Rob’s friends, if for no other reason than the fact that we get to see more of them and their lives, making the “world” of the show seem more complete. This episode blends comedy and drama, with a bit of mystery thrown in too since the viewer is left wondering the truth about Pickles and the checks she’s been writing. The viewer can assume everything will turn out alright since this is early-’60s television, after all, but “Divorce” grips the audience regardless.
Favorite moment(s): “Yeah, yeah, my wife and pretty-boy Floyd!”

Everyone else at the party is captivated by Jim's story. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Everyone else at the party is captivated by Jim’s story. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 29: “It’s a Shame She Married Me”
Directed by James Niver
Written by Sheldon Keller and Howard Merrill
Originally aired April 17, 1963
Recap: Though Rob makes decent money at his job, he and Laura are trying to save money and keep a budget after being advised to do so by their accountant. Jim Darling, a very rich new sponsor of The Alan Brady Show, sparks jealousy in Rob when it is discovered that he used to date Laura.
Reaction: This episode is a little slow. I had trouble paying attention during it, which usually isn’t a problem I have with this series. The party itself caught my attention, but like the “Racy Tracy” episode, it was because of an obnoxious character. This time, the obnoxious one was Rob himself! The audience feels like a part of the party while watching, and his jokes become tiresome to us just like they to do Laura, the Helpers, Sally, Buddy and Jim Darling.
Favorite moment(s): Everyone acting awkward over Rob’s bad jokes during the party + the spring noise that plays whenever they sit on the couch

Rob eavesdrops on Laura when she calls Millie to make party plans. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob eavesdrops on Laura when she calls Millie to make party plans. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 30: “A Surprise is a Surprise”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired April 24, 1963
Recap: Laura tries her best to keep Rob’s surprise birthday party a real surprise.
Reaction: A light, super-cute episode. The story is upbeat and has no conflict, so unlike the episodes that mix comedy and drama, this one is pure fun. It made me laugh out loud a couple of times and left a smile on my face. A new favorite!
Favorite moment(s): “He may be smart and bright, but like all men, he can be deceived!” + Rob hiding behind the chair so Laura won’t know he’s eavesdropping + Sally pushing Buddy after they both talk to Laura + Buddy saying he’ll show up no matter what the plan is because he wants a free meal

Sally has fun with Fred, but Rob and Buddy don't like him. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Sally has fun with Fred, but Rob and Buddy don’t like him. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 31: “Jilting the Jilter”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Ronald Alexander
Originally aired May 1, 1963
Recap: Sally’s got a hot date! But Buddy and Rob aren’t supportive of the budding relationship, because Sally’s date is a comedian named Fred White who never paid Rob and Buddy when they wrote material for him… and they fear he as ulterior motives in dating their talented writer friend.
Reaction: Man, Fred is a total tool! He only wants to marry Sally so she’ll write for him and he won’t have to pay her. I found myself wishing throughout the episode that someone would punch him. This means that guest star Guy Marks gives an effective performance, though, and the episode does keep the viewer’s attention as we wait in suspense for Sally to come to her senses. I do wish less time was devoted to Fred’s act since I found him despicable and therefore couldn’t find him funny, but I doubt anyone would have signed on for the guest role if they were going to be painted as a pure villain.
Favorite moment(s): Buddy and Rob scheming to make Sally see Fred’s true colors

Ritchie gets his grand bowling pin idea from a children's program. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Ritchie gets his grand bowling pin idea from a children’s program. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 2, Episode 32: “When a Bowling Pin Talks, Listen”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Martin A. Ragaway
Originally aired May 8, 1963
Recap: Rob, inspired by his son Ritchie, writes a new sketch for The Alan Brady Show that revolves around a talking bowling pin. The show might get sued, though, because the sketch airs without anyone realizing that it was stolen from The Uncle Spunky Show.
Reaction: The bowling pin idea makes me laugh because it’s really not that different from the car sketch that we saw Rob come up with on his first day as the head writer of The Alan Brady Show.  It isn’t a brand-new, unique brand of comedy… and yet it causes such a fuss! The fact that Rob’s whole problem could have just been solved by telling Laura the sketch is pretty funny, too. This episode lacks the punch you might expect from the final episode of a season, but it’s still a pretty good one.
Favorite moment(s): Rob shaking Laura’s hand when he comes home from work because he’s so exhausted + Ritchie’s love for “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven”

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