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

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Sally pays another visit to her old friend Stevie. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Sally pays another visit to her old friend Stevie. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 21: “Dear Sally Rogers”
Directed by Richard Erdman
Written by Ronald Axe
Originally aired February 23, 1966
Recap: Sally takes a one of her occasional steps in front of the camera, visiting The Stevie Parsons Show, where she makes a joking request for marriage proposals by mail. The gag results in Sally receiving hundreds of letters from eligible suitors.
Reaction: The “Sally can’t find a husband” jokes are pretty tired, especially five seasons in. Rose Marie is always a delight to watch, though, and I’m glad to see another episode where she gets to steal a little bit of the spotlight. I also like the fact that there’s a little bit of mystery thrown in, when Sally begins receiving multiple gifts/letters from one nameless admirer.
Favorite quote/moment: “If you’re of voting age… better make that twice voting age.” + Sally’s confrontation with Herman after the show

While Rob and Sally think that Buddy is cheating on his wife, he's actually meeting with a rabbi. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

While Rob and Sally think that Buddy is cheating on his wife, he’s actually meeting with a rabbi. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 22: “Buddy Sorrell, Man and Boy”
Directed by Richard Erdman
Written by Ben Joelson and Art Baer
Originally aired March 2, 1966
Recap: Rob and Sally become suspicious of Buddy when he begins exhibiting some odd behavior. They speculate that he may be cheating on his wife, or seeing a psychiatrist. But neither of these things are true: he’s planning a belated bar mitzvah for himself!
Reaction: This episode is a bit slowly-paced, but has a lot of great dialogue and a few good laughs. I love the scene where Buddy visits Dorothy’s apartment — their conversation truly makes it seem like he’s cheating on his wife (“I’m too old for this”/”When will your husband be home?”/etc.), but once the truth is revealed, it all makes sense. Very sweet ending.
Favorite quote/moment: “Maybe they sit on the couch and laugh with each other!” + “You’re running around with your rabbi’s wife?!”

Rob has to watch the fashion show in a neighbor's room when his TV breaks. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob has to watch the fashion show in a neighbor’s room when his TV breaks. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 23: “Bad Reception in Albany”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson
Originally aired March 9, 1966
Recap: Rob is supposed to watch a televised fashion show, to see if one of the participants in the show is right for the Alan Brady cast. He struggles to tune in when he and Laura visit an Albany hotel for her cousin’s wedding, and the hotel has some technical problems.
Reaction: A pretty good episode with a couple of different conflicts at play — Rob’s struggle to watch the fashion show, and his struggle to show up at the right church on time, and to act as usher at the wedding directly after the show. The “seals” staying in the same hotel as Rob and Laura are very funny. Chanin Hale is a great guest star as “Sugar Anderson,” a fellow hotel guest who wants to audition for Rob when she finds out he works in TV.
Favorite quote/moment: Rob trying to remember the name of the church by listing child actors

Buddy and Sally are distressed to learn of the network's cost-cutting request. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Buddy and Sally are distressed to learn of the network’s cost-cutting request. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 24: “Talk to the Snail”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson
Originally aired March 16, 1966
Recap: The writers of The Alan Brady Show suspect that Alan may be planning to lay off one of them due to budget cuts, so they all decide to quit, in solidarity.
Reaction: There’s a bit of suspense in this episode as Rob, Buddy, and Sally wait for Alan Brady to break the news about the budget being slashed. (They learn of the network’s decision from a memo that they find in the trash.) While they anxiously wait, they search for other work, and a number of hilarious scenarios ensue — including Rob having an interview with a snail puppet named Jellybean.
Favorite quote/moment: Doug reciting “Keep-A Goin’!” to Rob, for inspiration

Alan Brady attends the anniversary festivities. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Alan Brady attends the anniversary festivities. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 25: “A Day in the Life of Alan Brady”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Joseph Bonaduce
Originally aired April 6, 1966
Recap: Alan Brady is taking part in a documentary. To make himself look good in the film, he decides to do something nice, hosting an anniversary party for the Helpers at Rob and Laura’s house.
Reaction: Lots of laughs in this episode! Alan goes to great lengths to make himself look like the portrait of a perfect boss/man in this documentary. He gives the writers’ room a fancy remodel, rents a yacht, and pretends to be friends with Millie and Jerry to show himself mixing with the “little people.” The party scene itself is hilarious. A fight almost breaks out, and amidst the chaos, one of Millie’s young relatives puts on a song and dance routine.
Favorite quote/moment: “I can’t bring a bagel into a place like this!” + “The waters do not part at Alan Brady’s command!” + “That’s him, the distiller’s dream.”

Rob tries to find a way into Alan's office to steal back the script. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob tries to find a way into Alan’s office to steal back the script. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 5, Episode 26: “Obnoxious, Offensive, Egomaniac, Etc.”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Dale McRaven and Carl Kleinschmitt
Originally aired April 13, 1966
Recap: Working on the latest script, Rob and his fellow writers throw in some jokes about Alan Brady, venting their frustrations. They mean to turn in a fixed copy, insult-free… but they accidentally turn in the angry version, and must try to retrieve it before Alan sees it.
Reaction: A slow-starter, but in the end, a fun episode! It plays out like a spy caper, but where the spies are completely unskilled and everything goes wrong. Rob, Buddy, Sally, and Laura team up to sneak around the office, hunting down the script. They face multiple locked doors, locked drawers… and Mel, who shows up and catches them in Alan’s office. The final six minutes are a riot.
Favorite quote/moment: Rob crawling into the darkness to sneak into the office

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