Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 5, Episodes 11 – 15

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Rob and Boom Boom prepare to begin their boxing match. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob and Boom Boom prepare to begin their boxing match. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 11: “Body and Sol”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Carl Kleinschmitt and Dale McRaven
Originally aired November 24, 1965
Recap: After learning that Sally had lunch with his old Army pal “Boom Boom,” a prizefighter, Rob reminisces on his boxing matches when he was in the Army, including one against Boom Boom.
Reaction: Leave it to The Dick Van Dyke Show to take a subject I usually have no interest in (boxing) and make it fun! “Pitter Patter Petrie” is great to watch in his attempt to defeat a much stronger athlete. Again, Van Dyke gets the chance to make great use of his talents for physical comedy. Those spaghetti legs! This episode is a tad more dramatic than usual, with Rob torn between wanting to represent his outfit and wanting to appease Laura, who is afraid he’ll be seriously hurt.
Favorite quote/moment: “You mean to say that Pitter Patter fought Boom Boom and didn’t go bye bye?”

Rob reads Laura's story. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob reads Laura’s story. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 12: “See Rob Write – Write, Rob, Write”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Lawrence J. Cohen and Fred Freeman
Originally aired December 8, 1965
Recap: Competitive spirit takes over the Petrie household, when Rob and Laura each write a children’s book based on the same set of amazing illustrations by the butcher’s son, Charlie.
Reaction: I love Laura’s sense of determination early on in the episode. She’s certain that she can write the story on her own without Rob’s help, and though he doubts her, she stands up for herself and finishes the story in two hours. Go, Laura! Most of the 25 minutes are taken up by bickering between the Petries, which does become somewhat tiresome, but the episode is still a decent one.
Favorite quote/moment: Buddy’s idea for a children’s book gimmick: Furry pages! “It’s cold out, Cynthia. Go put on your book!”

Rob gets quite the nasty bruise after accidentally hitting his head. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob gets quite the nasty bruise after accidentally hitting his head. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 13: “You’re Under Arrest”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Joseph C. Cavella
Originally aired December 15, 1965
Recap: Rob comes home one night with a huge bruise on his eye. He tells Laura that he got “punched” by an iron jockey in Jerry’s lawn. And then the police call, asking for Rob and saying that his car may have been involved in a crime!
Reaction: A fun little mystery-driven episode in which the police suspect Rob of a crime, and he claims he had no part in it… but doesn’t have a very strong alibi. He went to a drive-in movie, but he fell asleep, so he doesn’t remember any of the details of the plot, and to top it off he has a huge bruise on his face! The viewer is left guessing what really happened as Rob is interrogated, which makes for a pretty snappy pace for the episode. I love the fact that Buddy and Sally are the ones to solve the case!
Favorite quote/moment: Millie saying that Jerry assumed Rob was drunk when they saw him hit their trash cans with his car — not because Rob is known for drinking heavily, but because Rob and Laura are too perfect, and one of them has to have some sort of flaw! + “You SLEPT through The Guns of Navarone?!”

Rob goes to the employment office to sign up for unemployment insurance when he gets laid off for the summer. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob goes to the employment office to sign up for unemployment insurance when he gets laid off for the summer. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 14: “Fifty-Two, Forty-Five or Work”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Rick Mittleman
Originally aired December 29, 1965
Recap: The writers of The Alan Brady Show are given a summer vacation. Rob reflects on the summer vacation he was given years earlier, which led to financial crisis in the Petrie household.
Reaction: This season seems to have an abundance of flashback episodes, which is great news for me! It’s always fun to see the early stages of the Petrie marriage. In this flashback, Laura is pregnant (not yet far enough along to show) and the Petrie home is empty of furniture, as Rob and Laura have just moved in. The episode is a bit slow, but still a decent watch, most enjoyable in the flashback scenes between Rob and Laura and those at the unemployment office. (Reta Shaw is a great guest star as the clerk at the unemployment office!)
Favorite quote/moment: Mel’s hairpiece in the flashback scene + the woman at the employment office getting excited about the fact that Rob works for Alan Brady

Rob confronts Buddy, thinking he stole the watch as a joke. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob confronts Buddy, thinking he stole the watch as a joke. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 15: “Who Stole My Watch”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Joseph Bonaduce
Originally aired January 5, 1966
Recap: When Rob’s brand new watch is stolen after his surprise birthday celebration, he accuses his friends of taking it.
Reaction:  Driven by a very simple conflict, this episode excels in the use of witty dialogue, as well as the touch of mystery brought about by the question of what really happened to the watch. Laura and Rob go into sleuth mode, talking through who could have possibly stolen it, and suspecting the people they trust the most! And then things snowball when all of their friends are interrogated by an insurance investigator, making them all believe that Rob and Laura think they’re guilty. It’s quite a funny episode, not one of the very best of the season but quite highly-ranked.
Favorite quote/moment: “Buddy shops at the war surplus store. It was either this or green underwear.” + Mel calling Buddy a “vicious little beast” when he hears that Buddy may have stolen the watch + Laura: “Rob, I’m the last friend you’ve got. Don’t push me.”

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