Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 3, Episodes 21 – 26

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Sally, the rising late-night comedy star! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Sally, the rising late-night comedy star! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 21: “The Pen is Mightier Than the Mouth”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired February 19, 1964
Recap: Sally has had the opportunity to appear on The Stevie Parsons Show, and everyone’s elated for her. Rob and Laura stay up extra-late to watch the episode, and in the writers’ room, Buddy and Rob have helped Sally come up with jokes. But when Sally gets invited back to the show, her insistence that Buddy and Rob help her write more jokes causes tension in the office.
Reaction: One of few episodes where the central conflict isn’t resolved by the end! As the episode concludes, Sally’s still moonlighting on Stevie’s show, and Rob’s looking for help in the office, since Sally was not only a writer but also the typist of the group. Not a wildly funny episode (as can be predicted by reading the premise) but there are a couple of great Rob/Buddy moments.
Favorite moment(s): Rob & Buddy’s corny “Coat Rack Awards” gag + “What’d you do, write it with a dirty fingernail?” + Buddy wearing his wife’s wig

Laura excels as a typist. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Laura excels as a typist. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 22: “My Part-Time Wife”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired February 26, 1964
Recap: Laura wants to help Rob out in Sally’s absence by working at his office as a typist.
Reaction: I like the fact that Rob’s insistence against Laura’s help is not because of the fact that she wants to work, but because he’s worried that working together will put stress on their relationship. Still, his behavior and attitude in this episode is obnoxious. He can’t accept the fact that Laura is a good fit for the job, and that she’s able to successfully juggle it with the work she does at home. Get over it, dude! You’re married to a wonderful lady and should be grateful!
Favorite moment(s): Laura dropping hints about her typing skills, saying she re-typed 400 recipe cards in only a few hours + her comment that in the office, Rob would be the boss (because he isn’t at home!)

Rob & Laura are distraught when they can't get passes to leave the base and celebrate their honeymoon. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob & Laura are distraught when they can’t get passes to leave the base and celebrate their honeymoon. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 23: “Honeymoons are for the Lucky”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Reiner
Originally aired March 4, 1964
Recap: Sally and Buddy walk into the office and overhear Rob describing his honeymoon as “bizarre” and “disappointing.” Their interest is piqued, and Rob recalls the story of how his honeymoon with Laura was almost ruined by the Army revoking passes.
Reaction: Another flashback episode, my faaaavorite! Rob and Laura’s courtship and early marriage were marred by so many mishaps, and they’re always such fun to watch. Comic failures and wrong-steps. In addition to the Rob/Laura element of the flashback, we also get a little bit of early Laura/Millie friendship! Plenty of amusing gags in this episode. Lots of fun to watch.
Favorite moment(s): Sam saying he’s willing to be the “scrapegoat” + Rob wearing fake eyelashes (to which Laura says he looks like Bambi)

Paula puts in a call to Alan Brady himself to request that Mel be replaced by Rob as the producer of the episode. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Paula puts in a call to Alan Brady himself to request that Mel be replaced by Rob as the producer of the episode. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 24: “How to Spank a Star”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Nathaniel Curtis and Bill Idelson
Originally aired March 11, 1964
Recap:
The Alan Brady Show has booked another big-name guest star: Paula Marshall. Unfortunately, as Mel says, “She’s a terror!” Paula appoints Rob as the producer of the episode, trying to turn him into her puppet so she can have control of the show. Rob must figure out a way to make Paula comply with the script that he and his fellow writers have cooked up.
Reaction:
Lola Albright guest stars as Paula in this new-to-me episode. I had previously only seen Albright in A Cold Wind in August, but I really enjoyed her performance in that, so when I realized that’s where I recognized her from my expectations for this episode shot up. They had been low when I realized a couple of minutes into the episode that it set up to be a “Jealous Laura” tale. Albright’s part is a bit smaller than I expected it to be, but her performance is good. She pulls off comedy nearly as well as she pulls off drama. Her final scene with Dick Van Dyke is great.
Favorite moment(s):
Buddy miming violin-playing when Rob starts complaining about all of his responsibilities as producer.

Rob & Laura's reaction faces are classic when Rob's dad starts talking about fancy headstones! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob & Laura’s reaction faces are classic when Rob’s dad starts talking about fancy headstones! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 25: “The Plots Thicken”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Reiner, Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired March 18, 1964
Recap:
Rob and Laura get caught in the middle of a feud between their parents over where their funeral plots will be. Rob’s dad has bought funeral plots for the whole family, but Laura’s parents already bought plots for Rob and Laura years ago. On top of that, Rob’s got a writer’s union plot and a military plot!
Reaction:
Interesting to see this show incorporate some slightly morbid humor! This is another of the episodes I’d never seen before. I enjoyed it a lot. Surprisingly, though the plot is focused on the family, Sally really steals this episode. She has so many great lines! But the episode on the whole is great, too.
Favorite moment(s):
The scene where Rob and Laura think that the senior Mr. Petrie’s toast is referring to them all moving in together + Sally’s “Cut it out, you ghouls!”

Laura gets worried about what Rob will do when he sees the scratch. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Laura gets worried about what Rob will do when he sees the scratch. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 3, Episode 26: “Scratch My Car and Die”
Directed by Howard Morris
Written by John Whedon
Originally aired March 25, 1964
Recap:
Rob gets a fancy new car, which he’s become very possessive of. He’s made a million rules tailored toward keeping the car clean and in perfect condition, and he can’t wait to take it to work to show it off to Buddy and Sally. There’s one small problem: Laura’s station wagon is in the shop, and she needs to borrow the car because she’s on carpool duty and has errands to run throughout the day. While Laura’s out for the day, the car gets scratched, and Laura knows Rob is going to react badly when he finds out.
Reaction:
Rob’s obsession with the car is pretty hilarious. He even has a special English hat and fancy driving outfit that he plans to wear while operating the car! His behavior in this episode is totally ridiculous.
Favorite moment(s):
Buddy saying that when he gets a new car he makes Pickles run alongside it instead of riding in it

5 thoughts on “Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 3, Episodes 21 – 26

    1. I try not to give the endings away for anyone who hasn’t seen the episodes, haha. I’ll spoil it, though. :)

      In the end Rob realizes that he was jealous that Laura was doing so well, and they talk it out. (She had been tossing out ideas for the scripts in addition to being a badass at typing, haha.) Sally ends up coming back after a few more days of working with Parsons and getting fed up with his attitude, and with Sally back in the office Laura returns to her routine of housewifery.

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      1. Thanks for the spoil! I haven’t watched this show in quite a long time, but from reading your recaps, I’m beginning to the get the impression that, if one were to look closely, Rob Petrie is really kind of a jerk. And if he had fired Laura from that job, I REALLY would have considered him not only a jerk, but dumb!

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        1. He can be a jerk, but all people are jerks at some time or another haha. Makes him a more realistic character (though it can sometimes be frustrating to watch!).

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