We take a look at the 8th episode of The Golden Girls, The Break-In. As the title suggests, the girls' home is broken into and each is left to deal with the mental anguish. Rose, ever the sensitive one, uses this moment to exploit Florida's lax gun laws, almost to the detriment of Lester!
Below is the Enough Wicker podcast transcript for Episode 8: Fudge, Yarn, & Gun, analyzing The Golden Girls Season 1 episode, Break-In :
Hello and welcome to Enough Wicker, a podcast where we ransack the hell out of our favorite TV show, The Golden Girls. I'm Lauren.
And I'm Sarah.
And today we're tackling the eighth episode in the series, The Break-in.
I never watch this episode, it's so weird. It's -- to contrast with the last one we just talked about, The Competition, and it's pretty light. It's not it doesn't it doesn't cover any like super, super heavy themes. And this one is -- I mean, it's really kind of funny, but it's also very heavy themed and and odd.
Yeah, it's really layered, too, because obviously you think it's just about getting robbed, which I feel like -- similar to organ donation, oddly, is a pretty common theme for an episode in an 80s sitcom -- but there's a lot more to this that makes it much heavier, and I think much darker, really. So I just want to really quick open and say that they're coming back from a Madonna concert in the beginning, which is --
Like just take that for what you will -- like, what? It makes no sense and it's great and it's just -- like did they throw that in to be 'relevant to the 80s'? I have no idea.
The name 'Madonna' doesn't really suit her.
Oh my god, 'she did stuff in that stage that I've never done with my husband.'
So they're coming back from this Madonna concert. And right away, Sophia looks a little bit ragged. She -- the girls are sort of off on the chemistry, and it's what we were talking about a few episodes ago, where it's clearly sort of filmed out of order. Because in the last one, at the bowling one, they're, you know, totally different. They have much better chemistry. Their characters are better dressed for their characters. You can see a lot of sort of regression in this one.
Oh, yeah. And this is also, as we also mentioned in a previous episode, the one director that really is, you know, kind of off his game, where you know they -- he was basically fired this, this guy Paul Bogart, where he was being super serious and had these crazy zooms and it just didn't strike the right chord for this particular sitcom. So it is filmed by him, he's the director again -- it really really shows -- there's a super weird dolly zoom on Sophia and you know it's really strange.
Yeah, so they come in from the concert, their house has been quote unquote ransacked, but there's like a cushion on the ground and like -- I guess you dedude that a robber has been there but it could use some work.
Really yeah, the tossed house is just too much, like the paintings are askew, like I guess let's look for a safe in the Miami household on the wall, I guess? But yeah, like you said, it's just like one couch cushion -- everything is just like, just so -- like it is not a true ransacking or representing a robbery, but it's amazing.
So they go in and all the girls are sort of like you know dealing with and processing this, and they all kind of go to where their priorities are, right? So Blanche immediately goes to the kitchen to look for her jewelry, which is in the freezer or maybe in the flour. She's got all these these places for her jewelry, and she
She comes back with the flour on her, and she goes, 'they got my jewels!' Dorothy goes, 'but I see they didn't get your cocaine.'
Again. Oddly, there's two drug references in this one.
Two drug references, yeah.
So Blanche comes in, she's covered in flour, Sophia comes out of her room and says they stole all our clothes, which is of course just a ploy to get new clothes.
They laugh at Rose, who says they were probably looking for drugs. Which is fascinating -- because this is actually probably one of the top reasons that a home would be robbed or -- I'm sorry, burglarized today, not robbed, if I'm going to use the proper parlance -- but like this is before the prescription opioid epidemic and like who, you know, because Dorothy says 'we have Maalox and estrogen', like, and it gets a huge laugh, right? It's like, why would these old ladies have drugs? And it's like, well, in present day, these old ladies WOULD have the drugs that everyone was looking for to be on.
Yeah, no, totally!
It's, it really is like, you know, I mean, it's dated for a number of reasons. But that that line like really struck me is like, the audience is like, Oh my gosh, and they're like, No, not really. Welcome to the future.
And also, on same sort of path. Dorothy -- you know, they're sort of like lamenting on like why it could have happened to them and you know, what was -- what did they do wrong, and Rose has this bizarre, very in line with her character idea that it happened because they weren't, they don't have a man in the house. Then Dorothy, sort of, in maybe her first sort of moment as a politically aware person, says it has to do with a faulty lock and massive unemployment. And especially, you know, looking at the economy of the 80s -- thanks, Reagan -- that's true. And, you know, I think that it's it. It certainly has, you know, carries through to today, but it's really it's great -- and I love, obviously I love, Dorothy's involvement with politics...
And especially as a counter to Rose's comment, right? Like, it's, -- it's almost like you could really boil it down and have it be, you know, Rose is just like, Oh, this is the surface level thing. This is what, you know, society tells you 'it has to be this', it's the facade of safety. And Dorothy is saying, No, no, here's the actual systemic reason that this is actually happening to you, like she digs deeper. It's like with so much in politics today, right? Where you just have to actually really think about WHY something is, and not just take it at the surface value. So I love that exchange.
Yeah, it's great. So, so they got Blanche's jewels, they got Dorothy's mink stole, a gift from Stan.
I know -- which, later, I think it's in the first episode of the second season, she's like Stan never got me a stole, and you're like, girl, we just had this.
Oh, yeah, where they have the totally rational idea of breeding minks in their garage? We'll get there.
Oh, I can't wait to talk about that. We'll get there.
So everybody's kind of dealing with it in their own ways. And sort of in the ways I think you would expect them. Sophia is kind of unaffected. She, like you know, she's using it in a way to get Dorothy to buy her new clothes. Dorothy is really focused on like logically solving what they can do going forward, and you know, figuring out what to do involving the police. Blanche is just so hung up in her jewels and her stuff and she's, you know, materialistic -- and then Rose, who I think is, you know, obviously the focus of this episode is really mentally thrown off -- like she's traumatized.
She's shook. Yeah, absolutely. And it's, it's interesting to have like, they're painting the, like you said what each of them are concerned about, right? And then Dorothy is like the -- not only with that political line, of course, but like, you know, she does the Dirty Harry thing and like --
'Go ahead, make her day.'
She also -- like, the audience really laughs at like when she says, like, you know, 375 Magnum or something. And I was like, Did she missquote, a name of a gun? And then I kind of started researching it, and then I gave up. But no, it's, you know, she's the strong one, right? Like, and it's like Rose has the, as we've talked about before, where Rose is almost the most nervous, where she has sort of the most to lose if, you know this band, quote, unquote, is broken up. And you can see it here and obviously this is an earlier filmed episode, that's really playing on the same idea, where she's the most unsure of herself being on her own.
Yeah, no, that totally makes sense. So basically, you know, they're left to deal with this -- in sort of, on the one side of the logical way to go, they call a guy from, like, an alarm company. And it's another one of these like sort of bizarre interactions that I feel like they often have with people who come to their homes to do some repair work, -- like, sitting on the couch with them and he's trying to, like, really use fear to upsell them to a more expensive package, and it's working on I would say Blanche and Rose, and then you know, finally Dorothy just like draws the line like we're not buying from, you we're buying from your competitor, because he's just trying to scare them into spending more money.
He, he also says, first of all, he's such a nerd. It's amazing. And Dorothy is like such a boss when she throws him out, it's really -- it's fantastic. Again, going back to the systemic thing, she knows he's using fear, like it's it's really -- she can see right through him. Where he talks about how, you know, statistically, like, they're likely to get robbed and Rose is like oh my gosh in addition to this like I read that one in three people will get cancer ! So that, you know, like she's doing this ridiculous inordinate math that doesn't actually work in real life, but what is interesting, is that Bea Arthur -- of the three of them, of course, she died of cancer. Like one in three who has passed away has died of cancer, so it's just kind of a fascinating little like, you know, nugget that happens.
Also, there is -- this is a little fun fact here too, because I've always wondered -- where, you know, that when you watch the opening credits, they're all culled from clips of the first season and actually just only a handful of episodes, like these earlier filmed episodes. There is a deleted scene from THAT scene in the opening credits. Because they're talking on the couch with nerdy salesman, right? And you can tell because of, like, the the outfits that they're wearing. And, like, Blanche puts her hand into her sleeve. Like she might be telling a story about cutting a hand off, or like something -- I mean, who knows? She's, she's very big on corporal punishment.
Yeah, I'm sure, that's what it is, because later she tells it, she wants him to be publicly beheaded with no trial, which is like, very Big Daddy -- once we learn a little bit more about Big Daddy, it's like, of course, that's what she thinks of somebody who maybe MIGHT have robbed her house.
Seriously, it's, it's really like, they go back -- the south, like, regresses like at least two generations back from when they're supposed to be representing here, but you know, we're Yankees anyway, so that's how we were raised to think of the South. But yeah, but there's -- it's just so funny. I've always watched the opening credits being like, which one is that one from? Because I, of course, can could recite exactly what each of the other ones are, including the dialogue that they mouth. But, but in that one, it I've never recalled it and it's because it's a deleted scene, you never actually get to see what that was. But it made it into the opening credits somehow.
That is a fun fact!
Yeah. You're welcome.
Okay, so they're all sort of dealing with it. And Rose is continuing to sort of display behavior that indicates that she's more affected, maybe, than some of the other women and, you know, like I mentioned before, she has this crazy idea that like, it wouldn't have happened if there was a man in the house, and she's like, 'I was never once robbed or murdered while I was with Charles.' And then of course Sophia comes back and is like, 'I'm surprised she wasn't murdered BY Charles.'
Oh my god and they say 'Charles' so much, it's wild. You know, like, it's 'Charlie,' you guys, they had like, but like -- not only is it Charlie, they literally say Charles like four times in that scene. AND Rose is from Little Falls!
That's what she says. It's like, get out of here. It's great. So yeah, totally.
So yeah, we, you know, see that Rose is kind of losing it a little bit, and we're all kind of forced to confront it. Actually, because Blanche goes to the police station and is trying to do her typical Blanche thing and you know, like, look sexy and flirt when she gets in there so she takes Rose's pocket hairspray. And she maces herself with what she thinks is pocket hairspray, and then, you know, the girls are -- they have to sort of like basically intervention Rose. But in even a bigger reveal, Rose pulls a gun out of like a little brown bag that you would get from Bloomingdale's.
Literally a paper shopping bag which -- wait for it -- has YARN in it.
It's, like, fudge! Fudge you would get from the boardwalk. It's tied up real nice.
It totally is a fudge souvenir bag! Oh, it's incredible. Um, yeah, I mean, honestly, this for -- Oh, by the way, she runs in, and she says like, she sees a swarthy man with a weapon outside? And as she's like carrying her paper bag of fudge, yarn, and gun, and like when she comes in she leaves the door open! It's like so stupid -- like they leave the door open for like the the episode and like, you know so Dorothy can like not waste the two seconds to open it to see that it's the gardener trimming the hedges, but like come on, guys. Anyway I feel like they do a better job of, like, the actual how people would act in real life. They're really not, you know, they haven't ironed out details yet.
Yeah, definitely not. So Rose gets a gun and then we have this -- again, Dorothy sort of going back to the liberal, you know, I'm really, really here for Dorothy in this one and she's like, 'I cannot live in a house with a gun.' And it's so bizarre that Rose -- I mean, you know, we could do a whole episode on gun control right now if we wanted to -- but Rose just goes to the store and decides to buy a gun? This woman who's never like -- she's from a farm!
Seriously, and it's like she didn't shoot the animals out, you know, when they eating them or anything -- like that wasn't her job. And she's so nervous. Yeah, it's just, it's interesting and like, you know, Blanche is like yeah, 'you kill the killers!,' like come on, like give me a break. And again Dorothy is the ONLY person making a big deal of it, and I actually noted it, too, because I remember -- again, like I said, the beginning I never watch this episode because it's so bizarre and because I personally feel very strongly against having a gun in my house for instance, or letting someone like Rose Nylund own one, or buy it at a fud. fudgesicle -- a fudge-making shop--
Down on Cape May!
I went on my vacation! Um, but it's just -- I wanted to note that someone here is being the voice of reason -- and not just the voice of reason of like, oh, maybe that's not a good idea -- like adamant against it, and thank god, Dorothy, my favorite is the one that she says, 'I cannot!' like she does this very, very intense acting that is warranted.
Yeah, and I think that it is -- it's a very realistic reaction. And I think that also speaking of good acting, Betty White is really good at actually seeming traumatized -- when she has the breakdown when she's sort of sobbing on the couch, but also just like her paranoia, I feel like it is definitely relatable. If, you know, like I feel like it is absolutely what you would feel like if your space was violated that way and if your safety was violated that way, and especially if you have lived so many decades, thinking you were safe because you had a husband -- which obviously I'm not endorsing that thought, but I do think that that's very present.
Yeah, that's a -- that's a reality for many people and even many young women, and the fact that she's older? I mean, there's there's so much going on there in terms of you know, being violated in your home and then feeling that you could have, like, a personal violation as we see later in the parking garage scene.
What IS that scene, also?
Also it's like a coconut on the woodblock Like what? The footsteps are absolutely out of control. Like they had a PA do that, hands down -- there was no actual sound effects person anywhere remotely close to that scene. It's hysterical. Also like no one -- the parking attendant doesn't wear sneakers? Like get out of here. Actually, we might have discovered the real reason I don't really watch it because it's like, I can't take that scene seriously.
It's so ridiculous. But no, but it's like, even today, right, to introduce the idea of like, so many men are completely oblivious about like, oh, why wouldn't a woman want to walk in a dark parking garage by themselves? You know, I mean, there's such a good implication here about women's safety and older women's safety that you know, regardless of whether or not they have a man around them or not like they're still vulnerable, and they can still feel vulnerable in ways that that men or even younger women can't. So I just -- it's the sitcom playing with this really powerful message. And even though it's done weirdly with coconut halves, like it's Monty Python, it's still, it's still, you know, a very, very heavy subject. And then of course when, you know, the gun goes off, it gets even more ridiculous.
But of course, Lester! There's that vase that Blanche is so upset about, and Sophia is like picking it up, hiding the pieces because she hates it? It's just a really bizarre scene.
It's really, but it's pretty funny. It's just like, 'I love that vase!' But it's -- yeah, it's just -- it's funny because I think they're playing with Blanche's materialisticness, you know, like all this, you know, just like 'Oh, I love it. It's my antique vase.' And of course they mention it, like, earlier in the episode, so you really know it's important, and then I'm pretty sure it shows up as set dressing in a later episode, anyway. But yeah, it is just hysterical. But you know, Rose comes out on top -- she knees him right in the safe deposit box, which is such a great euphemism. I want to know, like how long they took to come up with that in the writers room.
Yeah, so I think -- Yeah, and you touched on this too, but it's really nice, a nice moment when Rose is like, you know, I'm not helpless, I can take care of myself, while still acknowledging that they are vulnerable because they're human. But sort of the overarching message of the show is that older women are not helpless and you don't have to baby them. And it's, you know, in a little box here and obviously there's some weird parts to it. But it really does hammer at home, despite the sort of like very odd circumstances under which we're shown that reality.
And you're right, she actually doesn't -- it's not this beautiful rainbows ending of like, oh, and this one time I kneed this crotch and now I'm healed! Like she doesn't, she doesn't play it like that, it's not written that way, it's very realistic. Like you said, we're still vulnerable, but we're not helpless. But yeah, it's like it's not quite handled as with the the amount of gravity that it needs to be. Although they, they do go to a psychologist, or a psychiatrist and there's like a weird line, like, the only thing I really like noted of that was Sophia goes, 'I was just thrilled to be out of there. He had two dead fish in his tank.' Like as a marker of his, like, state of mind or something?
Yeah, so it really wraps up nicely. We, you know, we find out that Blanche's jewels were never stolen, but they stole Dorothy's stole and they can't replace it because they don't make it anymore. You know, Blanche never misses a subtle jab. But we have to talk about the Scrabble game before we end this, because -- so Dorothy and Sophia are playing Scrabble. And it's it is a scene that makes me laugh before I watch it, when I watch it, and actually today, totally out of context, I just thought of it and I started laughing. They're playing Scrabble and Sophia plays 'disdam.' And we've already seen in the gin episode, I guess, the gin rummy episode, Sophia isn't cheating, but she's just sort of like a master at games and you kind of assume she's doing something a little shady. But so she plays the word 'disdam' in Scrabble, and Dorothy -- an English teacher -- is like, 'that's not a word' and Sophia, you know, they kind of go back and forth. And Sophia's, like, sort of slam dunk is, 'you're no good at this disdam game.' And it's like, I just will think about it and I laugh out loud.
It's so ridiculous. It's so good. And she tries to say that the robbers stole the dictionary, because she knows that's, like, Dorothy's proof and ace in the hole. It's great. And as you said, actually, she does -- there is a character trait that's building here of Sophia, like slightly cheating at board games and card games, which is like a perfect like little old lady thing like, I can get away with it because I'm old and cute. I mean, it's just it's fantastic. But yeah, 'disdam game.' So good. Well, are we done with disdam episode?
Yeah, I think so. What do we got next time?
All right. Join us next time when we discuss whether eating macrobiotics and watercress salads is worth getting to bang a young dude. Take care!