Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, season 4, episodes 6 – 10

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Confusion strikes in the office when Sally finds a rose from an unknown sender in her desk. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Confusion strikes in the office when Sally finds a rose from an unknown sender in her desk. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 6: “Romance, Roses and Rye Bread”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson
Originally aired October 28, 1964
Recap:
Surprise, surprise — Sally has a secret admirer! Who could the mysterious fella be? Well, as it turns out… he’s the owner of the deli.
Reaction:
Buddy is on fire with the one-liners at the beginning of the episode, and gets a few of his trademark jabs at Mel in. The plot of this episode is a bit dull, and I will admit it sort of lost my attention by the end — a rarity in my viewings of this series. But it has its successful moments. Laura’s confrontation with Bert at the play is pretty funny, and I like the fact that Sally sticks to her guns despite Bert’s persistence and woe-is-me attitude.
Favorite moments/quotes:
“Well, either it’s a rose or your red pencil is blooming!” + “To the Juliet of jokes, from the Romeo of rye!” + “What is Rock Hudson gonna give ya? Heartache!”

Don Rickles: elevator mugger! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Don Rickles: elevator mugger! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 7: “4 1/2”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson
Originally aired November 4, 1964
Recap:
The series gives Rob another chance to practice his storytelling skills as he recounts the tale of the time he and Laura met a prisoner named Lyle Delp.
Reaction:
This episode was a lot funnier than I expected it to be, making up for the slight disappointment of episode 6! Don Rickles makes an amazing guest star as Lyle Delp, a man who holds up Rob and Laura in an elevator only to become friends with them later. His earliest interactions with them bring the laughs, while later scenes take on a little bit of a sentimental tone.
Favorite moments/quotes:
Mel getting so into the story that he won’t let Rob leave to do his work until the story is finished + “What ever happened to elevators that go up and down?!” + “Leftover food, leftover clothing… leftover dreams.”

Lyle introduces the show to his inmates. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Lyle introduces the show to his inmates. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 8: “The Alan Brady Show Goes to Jail”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired November 11, 1964
Recap:
A follow-up to the previous episode, this one has The Alan Brady Show gang visiting Lyle Delp in prison and putting on a show for the inmates. The situation gets sticky when Rob is mistaken for a prisoner!
Reaction:
I love the premise of this episode, seeing as one of the jokes in “4 1/2” was Laura stating that Lyle could switch jackets with Rob in order to evade capture after leaving the elevator. Rob isn’t mistaken for Lyle, but he does face a case of mistaken identity, with quite funny results. Again, Rickles’ guest-starring performance is an episode highlight.
Favorite moments/quotes:
Lyle lecturing the audience about what not to do during the group’s performance

Laura and Millie make a plan. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Laura and Millie make a plan. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 9: “Three Letters from One Wife”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired November 18, 1964
Recap:
Rob convinces Alan Brady to take part in a documentary about comedy. He also enlists Millie to write multiple fan letters to the program, to boost Alan’s ego and make him feel good about the documentary. But, as usual, Rob’s plan doesn’t work out without a few hitches being thrown in first.
Reaction:
This episode is quite funny, with Laura and Millie plotting to help Rob, and failing miserably at no fault of their own. There’s a little twist thrown in mid-episode that completely throws off their plan, and it’s a great development to the plot, adding a ton more laughs and interest to the episode.
Favorite moments/quotes:
“He’s a rotten liar, but he tells the truth better than anyone!” + Rob thinking that Millie flooded the subway to help him

Laura lets her nerves get the best of her the first time she meets Rob's parents. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Laura lets her nerves get the best of her the first time she meets Rob’s parents. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 10: “Pink Pills and Purple Parents”
Directed by Al Rafkin
Written by Jerry Belson and Garry Marshall
Originally aired November 25, 1964
Recap:
Yet another episode of Rob recollection! He shares with Buddy and Sally the story of a time when Laura accidentally took pills prescribed to Millie just before she and Rob were set to meet up with his parents. The night with the parents gets weird when Laura starts experiencing side effects from the pills.
Reaction:
Kind of an odd episode — we all know I love the flashbacks, but the set-up of this one is that Rob is offering Sally a cautionary tale about why not to take other people’s prescription pills! (She asks for a painkiller to deal with a migraine at the office.) We then enter into a fairly traditional flashback, the adventures of Rob and Laura’s early marriage. It’s all cute and funny until someone gets punched in the face. That someone is Laura, and she takes a pain pill of Millie’s which causes her to act strangely throughout her meeting with the elder Petries. Mary Tyler Moore gets to act really zany in this episode, and it’s hilarious.
Favorite moments/quotes:
Laura asking Millie for advice, and Millie’s answers being to avoid everything!

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