Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 3, Episodes 1 – 5

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Welcome to the first installment of Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 3! Today we’ll be taking a look at the first five episodes of the season. Stay tuned for more installments of R&R, featuring The Dick Van Dyke Show and other classic television series.

Rob struggles to get everything moved out of Laura's hospital room. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob struggles to get everything moved out of Laura’s hospital room. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 1: “That’s My Boy??”
Directed by John Rich
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired September 25, 1963
Recap: Mel is visiting the Petrie home for coffee one night. The topic of babies comes up, and Rob recounts the story of how, when Ritchie was born, he thought that he and Laura had brought the wrong baby home from the hospital.
Reaction: We’re beginning the third season recap of this series, and by now we all know that I adore the flashback episodes, which give us glimpses into Rob and Laura’s courtship and their earlier life as newlywed husband and wife. This episode is just as adorable and enjoyable as the rest of the flashback episodes I’ve seen. Dick Van Dyke always plays Rob’s paranoid side so well, and at the same time the writing makes his fears seem ever-so-slightly plausible.
Favorite moment(s): Rob and Jerry comparing the baby footprints + Rob asking Laura, “Honey, how much do you like that baby?”

Rob calls in an art expert to look at the painting. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob calls in an art expert to look at the painting. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 2: “The Masterpiece”
Directed by John Rich
Written by Sam Denoff and Bill Persky
Originally aired October 2, 1963
Recap: Rob, Laura, Buddy and Sally are attending an art auction together. They find a lot of strange and interesting artifacts. Rob and Laura come home with a mysterious sculpture and an accidentally-won $180 painting. When they take the painting home, they discover that there’s actually another painting underneath it… and they begin to think that it could be a very valuable masterwork.
Reaction: This is a solid episode. The auction scene is very funny and the mystery of the painting keeps the audience hooked into the story. Great guest-starring performance by Howard Morris as Mr. Holdecker, the art expert.
Favorite moment(s): Laura’s mysterious favorite object only being referred to as a “thing” because no one knows what it is + “That’s enough proof for me — ‘ood!”

Laura fakes a smile or ten as she avoids telling Rob the truth. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Laura fakes a smile or ten as she avoids telling Rob the truth. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 3: “Laura’s Little Lie”
Directed by John Rich
Written by Carl Reiner and Howard Merrill
Originally aired October 9, 1963
Recap: After Rob gets a call from his insurance agent, Laura must tell Rob the truth about a pretty big secret that she’s been hiding since they got married.
Reaction: Mary Tyler Moore completely owns this episode. The episode on the whole is a little bit more serious than usual, but there are still plenty of laughs.
Favorite moment(s): Laura’s fake smiling + the way she runs out of the door any time Rob tries to put her in contact with Ed + Buddy suggesting that maybe Laura ran out of the house because she heard the ice cream truck + “Marriage and a movie?”

Rob and Laura scramble to get ready for their second wedding. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob and Laura scramble to get ready for their second wedding. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 4: “Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice”
Directed by John Rich
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired October 16, 1963
Recap: (This recap contains Spoilers for “Laura’s Little Lie.” This episode is the continuation.) After revealing to Rob that she was only 17 when they married and she lied on their marriage license, Laura must travel out of town with Rob so they can get married again and make their marriage legal without anyone finding out about it.
Reaction: The opening of this episode is very funny, with Laura trying hard to keep her impending marriage a secret from prodding Millie. Then we move to Rob’s office, where he’s having just as much trouble keeping the secret from Buddy and Sally. Most of the episode deals with their secrecy. Aside from Laura letting it slip to Millie, they tell no one — not even their son! Laura and Rob’s bickering once they arrive at the ceremony is pretty great, too.
Favorite moment(s): “The first time I saw my Dodo was at the cemetery!” + “I refuse to send you into a life of certain unhappiness and possible misery!”

Laura wants Rob to turn the intercom off... until she hears her own name mentioned. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Laura wants Rob to turn the intercom off… until she hears her own name mentioned. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 5: “All About Eavesdropping”
Directed by Stanley Cherry
Written by Sheldon Keller and Howard Merrill
Originally aired October 23, 1963
Recap: Rob begins eavesdropping on Jerry and Millie when he realizes that one of Ritchie’s toys, an intercom system, as been wired into their home. When they hear Jerry and Millie talking about them on the intercom, Laura and Rob get angry.
Reaction: Both Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore are very funny in this episode, especially once Rob and Laura arrive at Jerry and Millie’s dinner party. They look so miserable! Jerry and Millie try to be great hosts (not knowing what was overheard), and Buddy and Sally try to be funny (but get no laughs out of Rob and Laura, and are also confused about the mood in the room). The charades scene is absolutely hilarious.
Favorite moment(s): “We eavesdropped this long, we can eave a drop longer!” + “ACCUSE! INDICT! MALICIOUS ACCUSER-Y!”

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