In the final episode of the first season, the girls revisit how they met. Mr. Peepers, Madame Zelda, and Rose’s tactic for finding the perfect melon all emerge as unsung heroes in this hilarious wrap-up.
Below is the Enough Wicker podcast transcript for Episode 25: Golden Origins, analyzing The Golden Girls Season1 episode, The Way We Met:
Hello, and welcome to Enough Wicker, a podcast where we reminisce about the way we met, which is, of course centered around our favorite TV show The Golden Girls. I'm Lauren.
And I'm Sarah.
And today we're on the 25th episode of the series and the final episode of the first season, The Way We Met. A big one.
A big one. It's great. This is amazing. This is a perfect accomplishment. 25th episode. Congratulations us. And yeah, this one, I think is a wonderful, wonderful summary of the first season and I am fascinated to know whether there were people and/or fans -- like, I actually don't know how much of the first season was written when they actually started broadcasting. I'm not sure if it was all of it or anything like that, but it was, like, I mean, it might have all been totally filmed. I'm not really sure how the cadence went. But, I do think that the decision to have the origin story, essentially, that was so absent from these women, and I'm not sure if that was ever the real plan to have it at the end, but I could absolutely see people clamoring to know, right? To go back to that very beginning phase. So, I love this episode. I think it's really cute.
Yeah, that's an interesting observation, because I feel like I have never watched, like, in recent memory, ever watched the show without already knowing this, you know? So I'm sure that you would be like, but why did they all -- how? Yeah, like, I'm sure that you would be left with a lot of questions about how they all came together. So that's a good point.
Yeah, they just, you know, they pepper little teasers throughout. You -- you obviously find out, you know, that Dorothy was divorced right off the bat. You find out, you know, Rose and like Charlie, and she put herself -- her life back together. And you -- you understand the whole, like, Blanche married rich. All of that kind of stuff. But -- but yeah, they never really spell it out. And that's a really good point, too. Like, you just know it from seeing it all the way back in the day. So you can't watch the episodes now without having that in the back of your mind. So, but it's great. And I'm really happy that this is a fake flashback. So we actually have fully developed characters and looks of these characters. Like, it'd be really interesting if they had filmed actual, like, early footage with the original, you know, the break-in character era. Or all of those awkward, you know, strange director filmed episodes where it's just slightly off. Like, this is actually a nice picture of who these -- these ladies are that we've come to know over 25 episodes.
Yeah. And I feel like the flashback scenes are -- it's a good end to the first season, because it is a nice summary and they're much more in sync than they are in the beginning, for sure. But they still are a little rough around the edges which, you know, I think lends a lot to being the final episode of the first season, especially when the show was so big so quickly, right? Like, it wasn't like people found it later. Everybody loved it. So.
Everybody loved it at the time. Yeah, for sure. So, but yeah. We open -- so we open with them watching a Psycho. I also love the scream in the very beginning. It's a fantastic scream. I mean, that should replace the Wilhelm scream. I'm telling ya. It was very well done.
Yeah, they never should have watched Psycho, right? Like, so they're -- they -- this --we've seen this a couple times too, but I don't think if you're watching live, you would necessarily get that being in the kitchen late at night is going to be such an anchor of this relationship in this show. And it's nice that this is how it all starts. It's, like, they're, you know, staying up too late. They have a double fudge chocolate cheesecake. Like, they're -- they're already there and they're sort of reminiscing about other times which I think those two in conjunction make it seem like you're in on the conversation, like, the audience is part of the remembering even though we haven't seen these before.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that, like, it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship where they have the cheesecake and it's, like, they just really -- it really ties everything together very, very well. And also the really good jokes in the present day as well as, you know, when they've watched Psycho as well as in the past back and forth. They really --the interplay, like, the writing and back and forth works really well. Whereas I feel like -- I don't know. Sometimes not -- not in this show necessarily, but just other times when shows do flashbacks, it is just so ham-fisted. It's just really awkward to come back into present day. And this one has that cheesy sitcom thing of like, "oh remember that" and then fade into the background. Like, there's -- there's not really a perfect transition for it but I actually feel like they do it pretty well. Like, I buy into it.
Yeah. I actually think the scenes of them as present day people looking back are more sitcom-y and more almost cliché in their delivery than the actual flashbacks. Like, the flashbacks themselves I think are great. So I guess, like, let's start with Rose in the grocery store because there's so many things about this that are, like, just wild.
It's so ridiculous. So, Mr. Peepers, ok?
Oh my god. Can you imagine if your child came up to you in a grocery store and was like, "Hey, I just got this cat from an old lady. We're gonna take it. Right, that's cool?"
"Does it have its shots?" Like, what? Also, I love the idea -- the whole premise is that her landlord is kicking her out because she has a cat. But, I gave my cat away at this exact moment, but I'll still go through the headache of moving even though, I can just tell my landlord I got rid of the cat. I don't know if she, like, crossed the point of no return where he's like, well, I don't even want you back even if you didn't have a cat. But, like, it's a big fucking deal to move, dude. And just because you met Candid Camera, Blanche Devereaux room in the supermarket doesn't seem to really be the, you know, the only reason to move on. But anyway, yeah, it's just so silly.
Yeah, it's so bizarre. And then they really tried to -- I think this is an instance of the writers like not completely trusting the audience of, like, when Blanche is talking about how she thinks Rose is a wild woman and like -- and Rose's, like, examples. I think it works on one level, because it does go too far and it's funny when she jumps into the third example, but initially, I was kind of like, alright. I don't need to be -- I don't need you to tell me that Rose isn't the kind of 'wild' that Blanche is picturing. Like, I already know this.
Yes. Yes, exactly. It's like, a little bit like -- you said, perfectly. The writing goes a little too far where it's just like, no, no, we're in on it. And it's the opposite of, like, the way you were saying where you feel so in on it intimately, like in the kitchen table, like, you know that this is part of the deal. And this is how the show is and it's just as -- even as a first time viewer, you get sort of swept up into it. So, but yeah. If you've been watching the first season, you know who Rose is and the joke is there. We get it. But I do love how she just goes, "I'll stop eating raw cookie dough."
Yeah. It's cute.
As if that's something to protest. Actually two of our friends, Mike and Kimberly, if you're listening, they did actually have an argument over whether or not you eat raw cookie dough as an adult.
I couldn't believe that Mike said no. I've never met a person who is anti-eating cookie dough.
Yeah. I mean, it sounds like a mom from the 80s. Or I guess a grandma. But yeah, it was certainly a concern for Rose that it could be -- she could have been persecuted for her belief.
Mike is more conservative than Rose Nylund on eating cookie dough!.
Yes, that's perfect. But yeah, so, the Mr. Peepers thing is hilarious and every single time I'm just, like -- especially as a person who's not a pet person, I'm like, my God.
I mean, that's insane. And then also if you did have an emotional attachment, like you said, she's just gonna give it to this random kid who like -- what? So nuts.
Oh, my God. That kid is really funny. But I always think of this too, when you have just little tiny bit parts as a child actor in a TV show or a movie. Like, that kid's career went nowhere, right? And like, to this day, hopefully he's still alive, and he's, like, going out and being like, "Remember, I was the little boy in a Golden Girls episode." That would be a really fun tidbit to, like, pick up somebody at a bar with.
Yeah. Oh my god, it would be so great. I feel like it would be...
If he's still going to bars in his late 40s. Picking up people.
I hope he is.
Yeah, so, there's that -- actually the grocery store -- that scene is funny, but the grocery store that comes up later where they're shopping together is so good. But before we get to that, I want to talk about Madame Zelda because she's there before Dorothy is going to look at the house. It's I assume after Rose has already been established as somebody who's moving in. But she's really funny. It's pretty small, but it's like -- and it's an extreme take of this, but like if anybody -- if you've ever tried to find an apartment, or like, random roommates on Craigslist, like this is not that far off.
"Move into this house and you'll die an agonizing death." She literally -- it's so funny you bring her up, because I basically had written in my notes that it's a shame that there's not a little bit more to this character.
I feel like there are some sort of guest quirky characters that are just like -- they take up an entire episode, right? And you're like, they're not as good as she is in just that fucking five seconds that she's on camera. It's pretty good. And I really want to see more of her. But you're right. It's so, oh my god, like, just the roommate search and this is, like, classified city and there's probably less screening, you know, on the phone than you would on email these days. And, you know, obviously like social media stalking and all these things to be safe and you just get the wackos.
Yeah no, and -- and it's funny you said that, like, the little guest stars who really work well, because I think she's a great one. And I think we'll see in a couple episodes, but the exterminator I think is really good. He's like -- and I think Lou. I think Lou plays really well with them.
Oh, Lou's wonderful. Well, they brought Lou back as Mr. Ha Ha.
Yeah, exactly. But, yeah no, I think it's very funny. And then we get to see, obviously, it's not the first time we're seeing it, but, you know, presumably it's the first time that Blanche is seeing Dorothy's reaction to that ridiculous comment and Bea Arthur is just stone face when she says that and it's, like, it's so funny. And then the Dorothy and Sophia dynamic is really, really funny and really, they look similarly -- I feel like they're kind of acting similarly to how they were in the earlier seasons, but it's just much better.
Yeah, they're doing an homage. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But it's interesting, too, because going back to the roommate conversation, right? Like Dorothy, just Bea Arthur is such a genius. Like, she plays this -- she puts on this, like, articulate accent, right? And she, you know, you hear her voice over. She was like, "I'm sure I blown -- I've blown it." And like, you can tell here she's going, "Mother lives at the Shady Pines retirement home," and she's like, oh, -- and she's got this like, façade, right? She is playing into who she thinks, one, she needs to be in general to sort of get something, right? Like, she is the interviewee, not the interviewer. So she needs to sort of play a role, which we all do, no matter whether it's a roommate situation, or a job situation, or what have you. But also she has the urges to say what she really thinks, which clearly when, you know, like, someone says move into this house and you'll die an agonizing death, to your point, like, her face says everything you need to know, which is also her holding back, because she can't say shit, because this isn't her home. And she's trying to sort of get this position. And then later when, like, Sophia's just being her fucking self --
"It's a prison!"
"Thought you said it looked like a dump from the outside." She, you know, she has to control her, but she can't be mean to her in the way that she thinks Blanche wants. Like every -- everything about it is just perfectly played, because you have to really walk that line. And again, it's like dating. Like, you're not quite showing your entire true self until you move in. And then when she moves in, like, the first day, she's super grumpy, and she so totally drops that friendly, articulate speak, you know, the way of speaking facade. Once she's there. Like, she immediately blasts Mrs. Rogers. And soon, you know, she's upset with Blanche when Blanche says that she gave her room away. I mean, there's, like, there's so much to it there where Bea Arthur is playing two different versions of the one character.
Yeah, and I actually, I haven't -- hadn't considered that before, but that's true, because also you can sort of see it start to unravel in the supermarket. Like, when she's at first being cool and go with the flow, and then it's like, "I'm not going in." Like, you know, it starts to kind of fall apart there.
But Sophia's -- I think this is kind of quintessential, like, what people think of Sophia Petrillo as is, like, her responses and her lack of filter and lack of polish, I feel is so -- is just such high value in this episode. Because, when she's talking about Shady Pines and she, you know, we get it from the beginning that she's not happy to be there, but then when she's talking about how they make them look like they're having fun and taking pictures for their brochure, it's so over the top.
It's also very believable.
Yeah! It is.
It's really good. Yeah, and the -- the breaking, like, the slow breakdown, right? Like you said where Dorothy, like, kinda goes with the flow in the beginning of it, you see these pieces -- I don't know. I see these pieces of like the character and I also wonder how I would act, right? Like, the first day you're moving in with strangers. Like, how -- how you you sort of let your personality come out and you sort of don't. I think it's interesting when like Rose breaks. What does she break of Blanche's?
Oh, something her grandmother gave on her desk.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I totally forget. And like, you know, Dorothy is really making fun of Blanche because she's going really hard on Rose.
And like all this stuff. And she just goes, "Why don't you just grind the broken pieces in her hand," which is also, like, a Dorothy line in general that she would do and say to these people, but she's also trying to show Blanche, like, kind of go easy on her. It just is so interesting. Like, I'm trying -- I always put myself into that position. Also having moved in with strangers several times, it's just, like, kind of think about when you sort of push back and when you just sort of let it be. And to your point, it all just, like, once you actually cross the line where you're like, I'm really frustrated with these people, you start speaking up and talking about, you know, how you're not going in on all the ridiculous stuff that Blanche wants to buy.
Yeah, and you can see it start from the beginning in it. Like so, you know, I think her reaction -- I think you're right, it would depend on how much you allowed to show, but if you thought you were getting one room and you found out you're getting another one, you'd be pretty pissed. Like that's...
And Blanche just goes, "Oops."
Yeah, it's annoying. And then like...
Also, can we talk about, we've seen Rose's room. No wonder she wanted that fucking room.
Yeah, and remember Charlie doing her dumb makeup?
Seriously! There's like -- there's two sitting chairs and a couch in there! It's a lot. Anyway.
But yeah, like, breaking the vase -- I think it's a vase, actually. That's so -- it's so cringy. And so I feel even though Dorothy's kind of making fun of it, like, she's still uncomfortable by it. And then I think before they get to the supermarket, the final nail in the coffin of putting her on the edge on the edge, is like -- it's not really treated as something like this, but Rose's favorite restaurant is Dairy Queen, and it just feels so -- like, she makes the comment about skipping there. It feels so like actual -- we've referenced this before, but Bea Arthur and Betty White's real relationship, where it's like, oh my God. Like, so annoying for no reason.
It's just personality clash and it's fantastic. And obviously, there's so many caricatures here that that was bound to happen, right? Yeah, with this. So, which is why I think this episode really does feel organic. And it's interesting, because it does get a little ridiculous at the end, where it's -- I guess, I guess it's sort of true to life, because it's so early in the relationship, but we always make fun of all the storylines where like, "I'm moving out. That's it." And they're talking at the end, like, "Let's face it, this isn't working." And you're like, okay, well, maybe you could just try talking through some of your differences. But it all gets solved with cheesecake and laughing about Rose's family.
Yeah, it's perfect!
It's really funny.
The grocery store scenes, though, are so funny. And the reactions -- first of all, Blanche, I laugh every single time when she's looking at the melons and some guy, the guy who works there is like, "Those are very nice cantaloupes," and she's like, "Oh why thank you!" It's just, like -- it's so in character. And so just subtle, but hilarious. It works so well.
And he is -- and it's also a drive by, right? Like, they don't linger on the joke. He just moves through. He barely even acknowledges it. Like, I think lesser writing, or lesser sitcoms would absolutely have him stop and react to be like, "That's not what I meant." And to your earlier point where you're like, trust your audience here. Like, we get it. And Blanche sells the whole thing. We don't need this guy to react to her. Like she's, "Oh, thank you." Everybody dies and that's it. And we move along. And we talk, you know, we talk about oysters and, you know, a bottle of cold duck.
And the -- sort of in juxtaposition to the last one, it's much smaller, but we do get to see Blanche having like a little tiny bit of revenge for like, the way that her Southern identity was kind of criticized and made fun of with the pepperoni when she's like, "This is a nightstick." It's obnoxious. Like, it's not that crazy that she would be buying a pepperoni, but like, of course, Blanche Devereaux from Atlanta is not buying that.
Exactly, exactly. I mean, it is a gigantic pepperoni.
It is obnoxious.
It's hysterical. And, oh my god. And can we go also back to the produce section where Rose cuts into the cantaloupe? It's very like her with, like, eating the 14 grapes. And it, like, it does -- it does really work with this whole like, "I was on a farm. Like, this is what you do." And it's her complete innocence of being a quote, unquote, criminal. Like they're so embarrassed. She's just like, "No, this is what you do, right?"
Yeah, it is -- it's so funny. And she does such a great job with the, like, with staying in character, I guess is what you would call it, but she's just so unfazed by their reaction and the laughing, like, she just goes with it.
And she actually is cutting them really fast. Actually, I notice how perfect she's actually cutting them and actually eating them and, like, they're doing a very quick job for the exact beat that you need for the humor. It's really -- it's a great scene.
Another very Rose thing at the end is when the cashier keeps making mistakes, which like, I don't think happens that often, first. Second of all, as she's like trying to be a good samaritan...
It was her first day.
They don't have a digital system yet, Lauren.
I know, I guess that's true.
She really needed to memorize the produce codes and the sale items back in the day. You really did. It was a lot.
"Excuse me, you made a mistake." It's so annoying.
It's so annoying, but that's absolutely accurate. Yeah, there's -- I definitely know people like that. It's perfect for Rose's character.
Yeah, she would definitely do that.
Of course, of course. But also when they're -- when they're going to -- when they're sitting around and, you know, and telling wacky stories and Blanche's telling the story, "My bosoms had the power to make music." And they're laughing and everything and Dorothy, you know, goes, "Didn't Bette Midler win a special Grammy for that?" And she sort of, like, in there laughing together, right? Like, it's again, it's a bonding moment, but you're seeing what these people who have sort of been at odds for a lot of the episode, Dorothy touches very, like, delicately Blanche on her cheek, you know, and it's actually kind of nice. I just thought it was a nice moment to have, like, a ridiculous Blanche story end up with a sweet moment, and not a barb from Dorothy, you know? Like, in the same way we talk about how they, you know, they mock each other, like, mock her Southerness and mocks, you know, Dorothy for being Italian and from New York, and like, all this stuff with the animosity of making fun of them. And of course, again, like, bosoms have the power to make music. What a ridiculous story, Blanche. But it actually is kind of funny for Dorothy to make a joke that's actually not at Blanche's expense. It's like -- it's a little rare, but it was also a sweet moment. I think it worked really well to sort of heal whatever the fight was that they were having.
Yeah, and I think that speaks to a larger piece of this, which at the end, when they're Rose is telling the story of the Great Herring War, Blanche and Dorothy are laughing. It's another one of the kind of rare times, I think, where they're laughing, like, as she's telling the story. They think it's genuinely funny, and they're not exhausted by it. And you can hear Bea Arthur laugh when the camera isn't on her, which is a very non-typical thing. But it's really sweet. And I think it's similar to what you're talking about, where it's like, oh my God, like, they, you know -- it's gonna be weird and it's a little bit tense, but they do have just, like, a chemistry and they could get along. And it's very true to life. I think all you need is one funny interaction with people and then you can build up an entire friendship off of that. Like, it looks different now, but I feel like when I was in college, you would meet somebody, and then you would pull an inside joke out of that, and you would write on their Facebook. And then that's how -- that's how the start of a friendship would start and like, this is that. It's just in a different time. You know, you just need one foundational fun experience and you can go from there.
Exactly, exactly. No matter how wacky you guys are and again, their arguments are really just born of not knowing each other and knowing what you could live with. And obviously, you know, they can go fucking grocery shopping separately, man. Like, that's a really easy problem to heal. Like, it's fine. And then, of course, like, yeah, you have your differences. You're always annoyed by Rose's cheerfulness, and Blanche's stories, and Dorothy's grumpiness, but like, you know, it works. It's really sweet. And you're so right, I mean, it's, like, this -- this actually makes this episode makes me think fondly about roommate situations that I've had and kind of a joy of getting to know people even though like, yeah, I've had a lot of wacky roommates that I never was really friends with and we were just roommates. But, I've had a lot of roommates who became my best friends. Like, you know, like just in this situation, so -- who are very different from me, you know, or we we came in expecting different things, but we had that common ground that started in some sort of laughter, which is really cute. So, it's great. But yeah, I think it's a great summary of the first season, which of course, is magnificent. And it's just like, I also just love, like I said in the beginning, that it's a fake flashback, and they very carefully curated it that we're not just getting the clip show episode as filler. This is really very, very smart. This show obviously took off immediately, as you said, and this is, you know, what the fans sort of deserve.
Yeah. Thank you for that.
Thank you for being a friend. Do you have anything else for this episode?
No, I think that's it. We covered it all. First season! Big celebration.
First season! Exactly. We're done. This is awesome. Well, this is also a good time to remind you all if we -- if you haven't already, to follow us on Instagram. There's a lot of great content there curated entirely by Lauren, so take a look at that. And yeah, we'll be hopefully launching some other, you know, fun digital projects as time marches on. But, but yeah! So next time, we're gonna delve into the second season. Woo-hoo! Awesome. And we're gonna discuss two highly relatable features of old age, menopause and breeding Nick.
Fluffy, Buffy, Muffy, and Joanne, we're coming!
Joanne! Alright, everybody, thank you for being our friends, thank you for being our fans, and we'll see you next time.