So one thing that has both amused and bemused me is the fact that in The Twice-Told Twist, so many people are romantically interested to one extent or another in the poor murder victim Robin Spring (which, by the way, is a hilariously bizarre name in and of itself). There’s Bill Sikes, whose girl she officially is. There’s the manager of the club, who wanted her to marry him. There’s Jodie, one of the boys in the gang, who seems to lust after her. And there’s the defendant, who has an innocent crush.
I didn’t think there was any other episode where such an absurd parade played out. I’d forgotten about The Duplicate Case and that wretched Millie. She even manages to top Robin’s count! In addition to Millie’s poor husband Herbie, whom she’s always putting down, she’s carrying on with at least four other people! Two middle-aged men in the company, as well as the younger characters played by Don Dubbins and Steve Ihnat, are all interested in her. The opening sequence has us meet three of her extramarital boyfriends, as well as poor Herbie. We don’t find out about Charlie until the end.
At least Robin is a nice girl. Millie is so treacherous, it’s hard to imagine what so many men see in her. They must just be focusing on her looks. And perhaps the first man who approached her, the one who was planning to embezzle, was just trying to get close to her because he wanted to find a way to get the money after she took it. But as it stands, that’s still five people for Millie and four for Robin.
Are there any other episodes where so many people are nuts about one person? One or even two is logical enough, but by the time the number climbs up to four and five it just seems too ridiculous to take seriously. Perry even sounds like he’s bemused by all the interest in Robin when he’s running down the list of everyone who wants her in The Twice-Told Twist.
The Duplicate Case really is a depressing episode. I always enjoy watching it for Steve Ihnat, as well as for the nice Perry and Hamilton friendship scene as the books are audited in the middle of the night. But seriously, poor Herbie! His wife was always so awful, and he thought he had a genuine friend in Charlie, but Charlie was running around with her behind Herbie’s back. Charlie even thought that if Herbie found out, Herbie would come after him to kill him! I always think how little Charlie really knew about Herbie to think such a thing. And then Charlie goes and kills Millie and lets Herbie take the blame. Ugh.
The epilogue never fails to amuse me, where Della doesn’t even remember Perry calling to tell her to find a federal judge in the middle of the night. And Perry and Paul are amused that she was so tired she didn’t remember that they start teasing her saying maybe Perry called someone else instead and maybe Della wasn’t even home. It’s nice to have a little levity after the depressing unraveling of the mystery in court.
I greatly enjoyed watching The Fatal Fetish again last week. I noted how interesting it is that for a while, it’s not clear who will be the defendant. Larry has plenty of reason to kill Carina, but so does Mignon. I think I really thought Mignon would be the defendant when I first saw the episode.
I regret that Andy only had the one little speaking scene in that episode, and then is seen sitting in the gallery in court without speaking again. A lot of season 8 episodes seemed to only allot him one little scene; strange when that was the first (and only) season he ran completely without Lieutenant Tragg. It’s certainly one more way the character was misused. And, since we really don’t know why Wesley Lau vanished from the show, I wonder if he could have requested to leave because of the greatly decreasing screentime. That, and how the character had so many cringe-worthy moments because of his insistence on believing in the defendants’ guilt and improperly speaking out about it in court!
Oh well, at least it’s different than when he was being written with nothing but Tragg’s dialogue. But I wish he really could have continued to be written as the more friendly one he’s usually remembered as being in seasons 5 and 6. I liked that Andy a lot better than the stressed and improper one season 8 brought us so much.
I wonder if the reason so many people seem to only remember Andy’s behavior in earlier episodes is because a lot of rerun packages don’t show season 8? My local station hasn’t shown any of it for ages. And I’ve heard that some rerun packages only show through season 6. Some even only show through season 4! What a serious shame.
(Another explanation, I suppose, is that some people feel that Andy was acting out-of-character in season 8 and therefore don’t count it? Or maybe they figure he was just having a bad day or two. But with that logic, it seems like in season 8 he was having a lot of bad days. Although he could be stressed or clipped sometimes even in season 6, it wasn’t happening nearly as often.)
And good old Sergeant Brice. When I saw The Careless Kitten and how Andy was absolutely flipping out by the evening’s end and the discovery of Perry having reached the murder weapon first, Sergeant Brice was standing behind him, terribly amused and even laughing to himself. He could have been amused thinking of what Andy would do to Perry and been more on Andy’s “side” in the conflict, but somehow I got the feeling he was just entertained by Andy blowing his stack and didn’t particularly agree with Andy’s reaction.
Sergeant Brice generally does seem easy-going and is very likely to be the one Perry and company get along with best in the police department—at least until Steve comes along. The times when Brice has actually called Perry to give him information, such as in The Ugly Duckling, are very intriguing indeed. And Perry talks with Brice in The Careless Kitten and doesn’t receive the clipped reaction that Andy gives him throughout.
Oh, how I wish we could have seen more scenes where Sergeant Brice talks. So many missed opportunities for interesting interaction!