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

p5I’m a little sad to be writing this post, and I’ve been putting it off for a few months. Why am I sad to be watching The Dick Van Dyke Show, you ask? Because this is the beginning of the end! Season 5 was Dick Van Dyke‘s final season, meaning that this version of the “Recap and React” series is almost finished. I love this series and its characters, and while I’ll continue to re-watch after the “Recap and React” series is over, I’ll miss making these posts!

Alas, all good things must come to an end. So let’s get back to laughing by looking at the first five episodes of Dick Van Dyke‘s final season.

The gang at the Alan Brady office waits anxiously for Laura's TV appearance. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

The gang at the Alan Brady office waits anxiously for Laura’s TV appearance. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 1: “Coast to Coast Big Mouth”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired September 15, 1965
Recap: Laura and Millie are in the audience for a TV game show. When Millie gets picked to play a game, she gets nervous and Laura takes her place. During the course of the game, she accidentally reveals on live TV that Alan Brady is bald and wears a hair piece!
Reaction: Mary Tyler Moore does such a great job here. The scene where she’s listing her prizes but can barely speak (because Rob doesn’t yet know she told Alan’s secret) is hilarious. The scenario is classic Dick Van Dyke Show — Laura gets herself into a pickle, Rob doesn’t understand her until he also faces the consequences of messing something up, and by the end of the episode the whole misunderstanding is resolved and everything is happy again. A nice start to the fifth season of the show.
Favorite quote/moment: “What a day. Now I’m thinking like Millie!” + Alan Brady talking to his hairpieces

Rob becomes desperate for company and tries to trap the groundskeeper into hanging out with him. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob becomes desperate for company and tries to trap the groundskeeper into hanging out with him. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 2: “A Farewell to Writing”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Fred Freeman and Lawrence J. Cohen
Originally aired September 22, 1965
Recap: Rob’s friend, who just finished writing a book at his cabin, offers the place up to Rob. Rob also plans to work on a book there, escaping the distractions of home. But in typical sitcom fashion, things don’t go as planned!
Reaction: This episode doesn’t bring any huge laughs, but it is amusing and fun to watch. It’s one of those episodes that focuses almost solely on Dick Van Dyke, giving him the chance to show off his comedic chops. He’s stuck all alone in a cabin, left to find ways to amuse himself through his writer’s block, and he just about drives himself nuts.
Favorite quote/moment: “It’s a dedication, honey. Now all I have to do is write a book to stick on the end of it!”

Rob looks for the UFO (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob looks for the UFO (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 3: “Uhny Uftz”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Klienschmitt and Dale McRaven
Originally aired September 29, 1965
Recap: Rob and his fellow writers are stuck at work late, struggling to finish the latest Alan Brady Show script. In his sleepy stupor, Rob thinks that he sees a UFO!
Reaction: The previous episode was constructed to show off Dick Van Dyke’s comedy, but he does an even better job in this one, stealing the show from his castmates as he tries to convince everyone that he truly did see a UFO. He’s so firm in his belief that he truly did see a flying saucer. Rob’s second late-night writing session, where he’s in the office alone until Buddy comes back and also hears the “Uhny Uftz,” is hilarious (but so is the whole episode)! One of my favorites from the entire series. Just thinking about this episode makes me laugh!
Favorite quote/moment: “Rob, I’ve done a lot of rotten things in my life. I never Uhny Uftz’d anybody!” – Buddy

Rob and his "ugliest dog." (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob and his “ugliest dog.” (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 4: “The Ugliest Dog in the World”
Directed by Lee Philips
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired October 6, 1965
Recap: Rob adopts an “ugly” stray dog from the pound for a sketch on The Alan Brady Show. When the plans for the show change, Rob tries to find a home for the dog.
Reaction: The title for this episode is wildly inaccurate. There’s no such thing as an ugly dog (at least in my mind)! And the “ugly” dog here is actually terribly cute. Why is everyone so mean to the pup? They even name him “Horrible.” So sad! Rob gets attached to the dog. He can’t keep Horrible because he’s allergic to dogs, but won’t take him back to the pound because they euthanize dogs, so he and Laura cook up a scheme to find Horrible a home. Interesting for this episode to tackle the topic of euthanizing and overcrowding at dog pounds — it’s an unusual topic for a sitcom. It’s a cute episode, and Billy De Wolfe gives a great guest-starring performance as Rex, the dog groomer.
Favorite quote/moment: Buddy suggesting that they keep the dog and send Mel to the pound

Rice wins a date with Laura in a raffle, and despite her relationship with Rob, she agrees to go on a second date with him. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Clark Rice wins a date with Laura in a raffle, and despite her relationship with Rob, she agrees to go on a second date with him. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 5: “No Rice at My Wedding”
Directed by Lee Philips
Written by Jerry Belson and Garry Marshall
Originally aired October 13, 1965
Recap: Laura reads a story about her and Rob’s old friend Clark Rice in the paper. The Petries reminisce on how Rob almost lost Laura to Clark many years ago… in a raffle!
Reaction: Jealous Rob rears his ugly head again! In flashback-land, we see Rob freak out over Laura’s decision to go on a second date with Clark Rice. He gets so angry that he can’t even put on his hat correctly! I love Laura in this episode. Even as Rob tries his best to convince her that what she’s doing is wrong, she stands her ground and says she wants to go on dates with both, to figure out how she feels. And when Rob tries to stop her from saying goodbye to Clark before he heads overseas, she storms out on him. (“Rob Petrie can’t give me ultimatums!”) There are so many great moments in this episode.
Favorite quote/moment: “If things had gone differently he’d be sleeping in this bed, married to that bed!” + Millie asking if she can have Rob after Laura gets home from her date with Clark + Rob accidentally kissing Millie! + “What’s the difference? Rain, Rob, they’re both big drips!”

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2 thoughts on “Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 5, Episodes 1 – 5

  1. Todd Benefiel says:

    I had no idea this series lasted just five seasons! And based on your reactions to these five episodes, it sounds like this final season could turn out to be the best. Do you get the same feeling, having watched these first five, or was there an earlier season you’ve (so far) liked more?

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    • Lindsey says:

      Having watched the whole series now, I’d have to say that season 4 is my favorite. It’s so consistently hilarious, even though most of the usual “fan favorite” episodes (and even most of my personal favorites) appear in earlier seasons. Season 5 does have a lot of gems as well, though. None of the seasons are particularly weak, in my opinion!

      I’ll probably put together a list of my all-time favorite episodes and perhaps a definitive ranking of the seasons, since I’ve seen every episode in order now (and have seen most of the episodes more than once). I’m not quite ready to give up the series yet!

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