We examine Dorothy's love affair with the first (and lesser, in our opinion) Glen O'Brien and the complicated nature of infidelity. Plus Blanche tries to scam Rose and reminds us that you can take the girl of the Antellbeum, but...
Below is the Enough Wicker podcast transcript for Episode 14: Exploring the Morals of Dating a Married Man and Selling Your Friend A Lemon, analyzing The Golden Girls Season 1 episode, That Was No Lady :
Hello, and welcome to Enough Wicker, a podcast where we disregard our committed relationships and spend our evenings talking about the big show The Golden Girls. I'm Lauren.
and I'm Sarah.
And today we're on the 14th episode in the series, That Was No Lady.
What is this a reference to? Do you actually know?
I don't know. I was wondering that too, because I feel like usually you can kind of gather what like what the episode is about from the title, but this is -- I guess maybe since Dorothy's not being a lady by seeing Mrs. O'Brien's husband? Spoiler!
I think it's like, yeah, that was like 'that was no something' -- like there's got to be some sort of old timey you know, reference that we just don't get because this show is over 30 years old.
Movies from the 40s!
Exactly, exactly. That's my guess, that's my guess. But, anyway, I really like this one. I think it's actually really funny and very heavy and has a really good self respect thread throughout, which is really cool. What do you think? Do you like this one? Do you watch it a lot?
Yeah, I like this one too. I feel like this one really strikes a chord, like the perfect balance of being pretty heavy and dark and emotional, but also being really funny. There's a lot of laugh out loud moments in this one. And I realized that, you know, my -- I really like things that are really, really dark and depressing, or I like things that are like funny, and it's hard for me to like something that's in between, but this is like the perfect example of why I like this show so much, because it has a really, really dark -- or, not even, I wouldn't call it dark -- but it's a really heavy, heartbreaking moment with Dorothy and Glen in the hotel. But they break it up because she storms out onto the bathroom, and it's like the perfect time of her being like, 'oh my god, I walked into the bathroom and I was trying to have this dramatic exit.' Just -- it's like a perfect, it's like a symphony. You know, like the timing is perfect and ugh -- it's just the best.
But also like, how many times have you been -- I don't know, I've certainly been in this situation, not this particular one --
Yeah, you better clarify that!
I know, right? Yikes. 'I was no lady.' But where you're in a serious argument or discussion, and it's someone you're close to or whatnot, and there is some levity somewhere, right? Like someone says something stupid, or something happens, or like there's a fart, you know, there's something ridiculous and you would react the same way Dorothy reacts, where it's like you acknowledge the levity -- you, like, have a little bit of it -- but it doesn't really break you from, like, the moment you're in. Unless, of course it comes like at the end of an argument as a diffuser. But it's not a diffuser. Like, like you said, it's a symphony, the way everything plays out. It's so good. It's so good.
Yeah, I love it. So, I guess, also, I do want to talk about there's -- this is another time where there's two Glen O'Brien's.
This one, in my opinion is the lesser of the two.
Yeah, it's true. He's a little rough around the edges. Good old Alex Rocco, who by the way was Moe Green on the Godfather, where he got his eyeball shot out at the end of it.
Wow. What credit to this guy. What a reel!
What a real G. Um, no, he. I do think, though, it is -- like he is like this perfect, like, rugged gym teacher guy and he's kind of awkward. He's got like, he's like shoulder slumps, even though he is like, taller than Bea Arthur, which is great. I mean, he just like matches her in a really good way, I think, for this particular episode.
Yeah, yeah, I agree. So sort of to back up a little bit, obviously, like, you know, we're gonna get a lot into Dorothy and Glen's thing that they have going, but you know, we've talked a lot about everything that this show was so ahead on and so good at, and we even kind of like, in the episode with Jonathan Newman, we talked about (I always refer to him by his character's name, which is horrible, but) in that episode, we talked a lot about how sometimes they do miss the mark. Like, you know, they are some little person jokes, but this one has two, I would say they're different, but there's two pretty big, uh --
I know exactly which two you're going to talk about. So, shall I?
Um, I will say that, you know, despite it being buried in the slur of the Irish, which is pretty typical of an Italian woman --
Yeah, that's my heritage!
Referring to you know, Sophia saying, asking where, you know, Dorothy met this 'gorgeous gym teacher.' You know, she says, you know, hey, 'I'm going out with a new man tonight. He's not Italian. His name is Glen O'Brien.' And somebody asked where she met him, and Sophia just goes, 'he's Irish. You know, his name's O'Brien. 2 to 1, she met him in a gin mill.' So despite this disparaging remark against the Irish people, I actually -- I was like, all this reminded me of was that I wanted to bring back the term 'gin mill' for when referring to a bar.
But it's also inexcusable, Sophia -- knock it off. And then the most ridiculous one which of course, again, reminds me of flashing forward to the chronic fatigue syndrome episode, is Rose with poor Mr. Yamamoto. So cringy. 'I'd expect you to be polite and good at math.' I was like, I just picture this guy on the other end of the line just being like, 'Son of a bitch. Not gonna hire this temp -- this substitute teacher anymore. She's having a marital affair with my gym teacher, and then also her roommate's a racist.'
Yeah, and also those are two, but there's a third one where Blanche is talking about --
Oh, oh, the right out of the gate!
Yeah, it's very early!
Less than a minute -- a slave joke.
You're fucking right! How did I even -- like I literally had that at the top of my notes but I was so excited to talk about gin mills. Dude, I also feel like if Dorothy -- Dorothy is not in that scene, right, cause she comes in right after to set up the Irish joke. But, like, literally I feel like if she were in the room, like that comment would be checked more, you know by the girls? And it just slides on by.
Oh yeah, definitely. And, you know, I was watching this episode, I was like, Oh, wow. Um, so, so Blanche is selling a car.
Boy, I wish I had a car to sell.
And she's basically saying like, why she can't sell the car to Rose. And she's like, Oh, great granddad -- I think it was great granddaddy. I hope it was great granddaddy.
I know, Jesus.
Like there are two things you never sell to a friend -- a slave and a car, and it is like...
'Cause if one of them quits working, you'll never hear the end of it.' It's like, oh my god. Come on now.
Yeah, I mean, we would definitely really have to do a lot of work and a lot of like, you know, introspection on that if this were now. I guess, you know, it really is it does speak quite a bit, I think, to how much things have changed, thankfully.
Oh, absolutely. And again, they're painting her as this like stereotypical southern belle of her time, her family owns a plantation, like it's ridiculous, but it's also like is several steps too far and it doesn't have the you know, like the writers don't have that like, like you said -- like today there would be no way. You'd have a full episode on that comment alone on our podcast to discuss it. Yeah, anyway, whoo.
Yeah, so I just wanted to acknowledge that you know, sometimes it is, yes, it is revealed how old this show is. So okay.
Whoo. Now that we got that off our chest.
So yeah, I mean, I guess we should go back to Dorothy and Glen, and I think that, you know, obviously, Dorothy is is the main focus. But what's interesting is that when she does pursue this relationship with Glen O'Brien, who, you know, we know is married, the girls, including Sophia, I think, all kind of react in like, exactly the way you think they're gonna react. I think they all sort of like stay in their lane. And we find out that Blanche has never had an affair with a married man, which I feel like, you know, in spite of her earlier comments, you know, she has some some rules that she won't break, even though it's just because she won't get the best gifts. You know?
Correct. Correct. Exactly. Yeah. It is actually kind of a moral or ethical standing that she kind of puts forth here, despite talking about slaves within 30 seconds. So it's kind of amazing for the Blanche character. Yeah.
And Rose, similar to how she acts in a few -- I think she does this behavior is sort of a pattern for her, unfortunately, but she's so judgy about this. And she -- oh, I think actually it's later I wrote this. When Blanche's niece Lucy comes to visit.
Oh, yeah. Oh yeah.
She's just so like, judgmental and unable to sort of have any empathy or see it from any perspective. But I think, you know, hats off to the writers because if Rose, you know, Rose wouldn't have be able to have any perspective on that.
So it totally makes sense.
Yeah, exactly. And it's like, you know, I mean, we've already made jokes about, you know, 'who's your father, Michael Landon?' And like, she just has this -- like she paints this idyllic picture of a childhood, but idyllic in the way that it's never been tested, and it's very normative, and there's no real, actual struggle. Like, this episode is that heavy piece that you were talking about before: This is a really complicated situation. Life is not black and white, and you can't very much like -- most people like Rose can't just cast off this incredible feeling when they fall for somebody like this, because of this other moral piece, right? Like, that's the entire topic of the episode. And I think it's really very real.
Yeah, I mean, I think like that is -- it had to be Dorothy who had this storyline, because you need somebody who you know has a very strong moral conviction that I think is also able to look at things objectively. But, you know, love still gets her -- like she, you know, she's not gonna not do something because just because it's the wrong thing to do, which I think is totally realistic and totally relatable.
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah.
And this is also too -- I know I'm jumping around a bit -- but this is when Charlie is 'Charlie', finally.
Her only love that she's ever had. Um, so what do you think about this B story? Let's talk about the car sale situation.
I mean, it's just kind of, well, you know, well it's kind of set up in a terrible way as we've mentioned already, but it's um, I mean, I honestly think as I've already said, like the best line coming out of it is the, 'boy, I wish I had a car to sell.' It is kind of weak, but I do -- I do think it plays off very well with Blanche and Rose's relationship, and Rose is coming at it so innocently, right? Oh, 'the car's making this noise' and all this -- I mean, it's just hysterical. But I do think it's a little, you know, it's a little over -- it oversteps a little bit, I guess it's a little early and you know, in this series of how Blanche would actually treat Rose in general, you know, I think she would have a little bit more respect for her, for something as big as selling her a junk car. I mean, they live together for christ's sake. It's not like she's not going to hear about it anymore.
Right? Yeah, it was like you can't cheat someone out of a car when you live with them, but it's fine.
But I do think it's funny. It's -- I appreciate this one versus like when they try to do something more complex and or write a B story that like no one cares about at all. Like this is a fun, light thing to break up the the heavier moments of Dorothy and Glen O'Brien.
And I also -- I always enjoy when they talk about cars, cause it's just kind of weird, like you never picture these characters driving. You know?
It's a real thing! Blanche loves cars.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, since we're talking about cars, can we skip to the end for a moment? I really, really, I love when -- oh, first of all the going cruising is like the extra hysterical thing right? It's just like so 80s, so hilariously wasteful and so amazing. But, so, but I love that like they're about to go out there. And then of course, Dorothy has just broken it off because she's really depressed. She's down. And then, like one by one, they all sort of make an excuse for, like, why they're not going to go cruising in the car and then they just kind of sit with her at the kitchen table until she's like, this is depressing, give me a break. Let's go cruising. You know, which is so cute. But I think that also reads really true to me, especially, you know, having roommates for so much of my adult life, and roommates who I was friends with, where like, you know, one of them you maybe have a plan when you come home from work, or you're going to go do something, and then one of them comes home and has a problem -- because they're your friend, like, a lot of your shit just gets totally pushed over like, well, we're not going to do that anymore. We're gonna stay here and like, figure out what's going on with you. I can totally relate to that. And it is extra funny that they're all like, 'Oh, we won't do that really fun thing that we were just going to do. It's okay.' But they're being earnest. Like they do want to support Dorothy. And then of course, you look to the person in struggle to give you the okay to, like, go do the fun thing, which is really cute. So I like it.
Yeah, it's such a nice moment. It reminds me sort of, like, less touching but there's sort of another version of that moment in a Christmas episode, where you know Sophia -- I think Sophia is the first one to say she's gonna stay and look at the tree. And then they all do it, but then Rose like, forces them to sing Christmas carols and, like, breaks it up. A nice nod to that. But yeah, I think, you know, the overarching message of this episode is obviously like, you know, respect yourself enough to know what you need and want and, you know, like, it's, I think -- it's easy to say that, but I think it's much -- you can really only practice that in life if you have a support system. And I think this just goes back to what we were saying couple episodes ago. Like, it's so wonderful to see the support system being a group of female friends. You know? Like, I know there's a mother/daughter here, but the core of that is that they're all friends and it is -- it's so true to life. And I think it's so refreshing to see a TV show that that's the main -- the core of it.
Absolutely. And it's interesting like you said before, they all support her and will support her in whatever she does, despite Rose being horrified by her mid-episode decision to continue seeing Glen But you know, like, like you said, what what puts her over the edge isn't Blanche, you know, encouraging her to go for love, because, again, you know, Dorothy's divorced, she's already struggling with her ex-husband as we can see. You know, this is like another chance -- this is the second shot of having a relationship where she is a new woman, she's not the one that was, you know, Stan walked out on, she's not the woman that she was in 38 years of marriage, yada yada. But also then Rose, of like, you know, just supremely judging, 'this is wrong, It's flat out a sin,' you know, all this kind of stuff. But it's really -- because obviously she's feeling both of those -- the devil and the angel -- on her shoulders, but like it's really her mother. It's really Sophia that just says -- she flips it back to Dorothy and she is like, you know, I raised you to have respect for yourself. So of course, she plants that seed, but she basically calls her out on her not actually being happy. And I think that that's what's interesting. She just -- all she does is hold up a mirror to how Dorothy is feeling herself, as opposed to like telling her what to do. And then Dorothy immediately is like, you're right. Like, I recognize it already. You know, I think that's, that's awesome. That's like a very wise, motherly thing to do, or wise, good friend to do is just to sort of reflect back, you know, that's like active listening, right? Reflect back, like what the person is already showing you or telling you. And that's how she comes to the decision, which I think is fantastic.
Yeah! And kind of similar to that, when after Dorothy comes in from having ended it with Glen, she and Sophia are in the kitchen, and Sophia doesn't -- sort of out of character, too -- doesn't jump on her to find out what happened or, you know, whatever. She kind of lets Dorothy tell her in her own time, which I think is similar to that. It's very -- it's good mother behavior. It's good friend behavior. It's also recognizing that like, yes, Dorothy should break up with him. And she will, but also like it still sucks. I think that especially --
She says 'I'm sorry'!
She actually says, 'I'm sorry.' And I think that that's the most, like, respectful thing to do in that moment.
Yeah, I think if you ever had a friend or somebody close to you date somebody or be with somebody that you didn't like, or you felt was wrong for them in some way, and then it ended, it's very easy -- it's honestly, I think it makes you want to be like, 'Oh, yes!' Like, you know, like, I knew this, that this person was bad. And here are the reasons why. But you shouldn't do that. Like as a PSA! Eventually, maybe there will be time to make those points. But really, the biggest thing to do when your friend is sad is to be there for your friend, and I feel like that's what they do.
Yes! Absolutely. That's exactly right. And yeah, it's like, like you said, later on, you can make the arguments, whatever it is, and the barest thing that Sophia says is like, you know, 'you kids get to be middle-aged, you think you know everything.' Like she's always gonna be here to guide her and like, you know, it's just -- it's amazing and it's a very touching moment. It's a very -- it's a lesson, like you said, it's a PSA for how to behave when even if their situation thrills you to no end because your friend dumped the shitty boyfriend that they had, like, you have to understand that they're feeling the hurt right now. You can make your your logical, intellectual points later, but just be there for their emotions.
Yeah, and I mean that's it. Sophia obviously is like this beacon of wisdom, but also Dorothy speech in the hotel room about breaking up with him and saying like, 'Yes, I'll hurt for a while, but eventually I won't.' I remember, it speaking to me even before I had had a real breakup, you know, in like, seventh grade when I like, had broken up with my two-week-long boyfriend or something like that.
The tragedy of your life.
Ha, exactly -- but it even hits now. You know, I think like differently, certainly. But when you are an adult who's actually experienced heartbreak, or has been in a situation like this where, like, you just have to leave even though everything else is okay, but you're not happy or you're not getting what you need, I think that's one of the most painful ways to break up, and I feel like she just captures it. She really -- it's just a really really great speech.
Yeah, she nails it and like you said, this could apply to any relationship that is just where, like, love is not enough, right? There's so much more that you have to have in a lot of situations and a lot of times, like, it might be -- it's not like you don't have that clean break where you're like, oh fuck yeah, I hate him, or he cheated, or she, you know, did this terrible thing to me or whatnot. It's like -- it's gray area. Like it's not a very easy break and you just have to deal with it with time. But yeah, but I love where she -- again, the self-respect angle, right? She says, 'I care too much about myself to let that happen.' Like to be the other woman and to, like, throw away her future. I mean, that's like a -- that's a heavy-ass line. And that's sort of like, when she says these lines, it's like, the thing that's funny is I really have a lot of sort of empathy for the Glen character in the beginning of the episode and then like moving through, I was like, oh, you don't fucking get it. She's so good, like, so much better than you, and like, just has her shit together. And like, I don't even know if you understand the concept of 'throwing away your future' because you're doing that to yourself. You know, it's just like, it's fascinating.
It's, it's so great.
I also -- like I said, I can't not hold second Glen O'Brien in my head and like, he's such a douche in that second episode. He's like, 'I don't know how to do my laundry. I need another wife,' and you're like, oh my god. So so I can't, I can't not, you know, separate the two.
'What does an Irishman know about cannoli?' Um, I do want to also to, to change gears a little bit -- we have a very, very funny Dorothy-interrupting-Sophia before she can deliver something that probably wouldn't be allowed on TV with a 'Ma!' Oh yeah, and Sophia is like, 'I can't put my ear to the door but you can put your --'
Oh my god it's so good.
It's like they're really getting into the groove of the interruptive piece. It's fantastic. It's so good. That also comes -- oh my god -- there's that whole scene where she comes back into the kitchen, you know? Where she like -- my favorite is when like, you know, Rose is being so awkward and, again, like we talked about before, it's just really obnoxious how Rose is being so judgy but she also, again, Betty White plays it so well. Because obviously, you can't be like a hated character. You never hate Rose or you know think she's like totally off the rocker. But she has this, like, she really does care about Dorothy, and it's coming from a good place. Like she doesn't know how to express it in a way that's respectful because she's so judgy, but she really is worried about her. And like it comes from, you know, so like, it comes from a good place. She comes back, you know, she's like, 'Oh, you spent you spent tonight at dinner.' Oh, that's great to hear and she's like, 'we spent dinner at dinner, we spent the night at a motel,' and freaking out she's like, 'a motel, a cheap tawdry bare-bulbed den of iniquity?!' And like, she just is having like a fucking brain aneurism over it, and Dorothy goes, 'We didn't drive to Sodom and Gomorrah, Rose.'
It's so good!
It's amazing I love it so. And then when Blanche is talking about, you know, somebody that she knew was having an affair and then she's like, 'his wife shot him in the -- boxer shorts.' Yet another -- like when we were talking about, you know, 'bonging' everyone at the Country Club. It's like just another great substitute for not being able to say real things on TV.
Yeah, I really I do really like this one. I feel like it's -- like we were saying the beginning, it is just such a -- there's so many really funny moments. And you know, the three we just went over are like kind of big ones, but there's a lot. There's a lot of little quips and stuff, which makes sense because Dorothy's feeling kind of judged by all of them, even though Rose is the only one who's like, outright expressing it, so they're a little snippy. It's, it's a good one. I love it.
Oh, yeah. Well, there's also there's great physical humor. We constantly talk about the physical humor of in the very beginning when you know, Rose talking about when she met Charlie. She's like, I was seven and he was eight. And it's very clear that she's about to launch into this huge fucking diatribe. And it's like, so obnoxious because it's childhood love and Michael Landon and all that stuff. And literally, they're on the lanai, and everybody just slowly sits back into their chair to get comfortable, and it's like -- I fucking love that scene. It's perfect.
Yeah. And when Rose talks about, she's talking about what happened to her wagon, and Blanche -- for some reason the wagon was trampled. And it's another one of those moments where Blanche is like, *sigh* how was it trampled? You know, like she -- she just, like, nails the sigh. It's amazing.
'Acts of swine.' Also from a -- I mean, sorry, we're skipping around because I want to go back to an actual genuine moment. Well, also I love Blanche's like, 'ooh' over the gorgeous gym teacher comment. It's like -- it's like most sexual, like, tremble of a lip there, it's fantastic. No, but that going back to something very genuine and vulnerable is how vulnerable Dorothy is in the very first scene that we see them in the hotel.
Yes! The daytime sex, and, like, acknowledging that and just, she's constantly like -- Bea Arthur plays this amazingly, she's just like, she is cataloguing how much she's, you know, not self-conscious about being naked in front of him in the daytime, and all this other stuff, how she sounds, how she looks, all this other stuff and complimenting him. And just like -- she's just letting herself be incredibly vulnerable, which is why, like, the come down and you know, like, just really like, hurts that much more. But I love that scene because again, it's just, it's modeling the way to be in a relationship, right? If you're gonna be in, like, be all in, and feel that for yourself. Like that's what -- that's what is building this episode up to be a real hard relationship to walk away from.
Yeah, I wrote that down too. It's similar to the next scene in a hotel room with how genuine I feel like it is but it is a very good description, I feel, like of being giddy and falling in love and being in the first early stages of a relationship but like, marveling at how comfortable but also how smitten you are with the same person. And it sucks for her to have that and have to walk away, and I feel like that's why it adds to this episode. If it was just like some affair, it wouldn't matter, but we really get the impression that she's like falling in love with this guy. And that sucks.
Totally. Well, got anything else?
I do not!
All righty, well, join us next time when we discuss a shockingly coincidental second incident of homicide-by-intercourse. See you then!