“Two for the Price of One”

13 September 1997
[Miss Cosgrave uses the chalkboard.] Written by Rupert Holmes.

Directed by Juan Jose Campanella.
MAIN Season Three Episodes: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17

We've wrapped up a four episode arc that made some changes to WENN. The main change throughout the four episodes was the movement of the Scott Sherwood character from station manager to performer duties. Now that this arc is completed, we have our first episode without the "When last we met..." introduction.

Speaking of introductions, it's interesting in light of the episode, that Bob Dorian speaks of "Miss Cosgrove."

Well, we've been treated to a four-letter word or two from Mr. Sherwood in the last few weeks. Due to his complete apathy when he shows up 20 minutes late, we must question his grasp of another four-letter word: "work".

Scott is familiar with "Bedside Manor" and its airtime and that it's Hilary and Jeff's show. When told his role in this morning's episode, he decides the episode is about his character, the gardener. I think I see a "Battle of the Prima Donnas" brewing.

After we hear the proper reading of the script by Mr. Eldridge (a shame one of his best readings wasn't broadcast, but he gets lots of airtime later), Scott goes in and completely ignores clues from the script and reads the gardener like a D. H. Lawrence character (credit to Linda for this!). It should be pointed out, however, that the major clues that he was reading it wrong came in the later lines. His first line had him describing Hilary as ravishing and this line is probably what he based his voice on.

As a result of Scott's surprising take, Hilary is stunned into actually sticking to Betty's script to defend herself (although she did put a spin on "mind your fingers"). Hilary watches aghast as Scott continues down his own path. The station is probably going to get another call from the listener who called in to complain about Betty's first script ("On the Air"). Mr. Foley is probably pondering how long it's going to take the church league to burn down the station as he "pours the coffee".

Adding to Hilary's aghastness (okay, it's probably not a word), is the realization of Scott's effectiveness. Eugenia finds she has a sudden burst of perspiration in response to Scott's reading. In the end, Hilary finds she can't "defend herself" and flees! Next time, I don't think she'll be caught so off-guard and there may be a Battle Royale.

Nice insert of Jeff at the Ministry of War (much as we saw Victor calling from there or a similar location in "World of Tomorrow").

We knew that Maple and Scott knew each other before WENN. We get a little more hint of this background this week. Maple: "Hey, Scotty. Our first time acting together...at least over the airwaves, huh?" I see two likely interpretations of this. One, they used to do some stage work together (maybe vaudeville) or they used to run scams together. Not really clear at this point.

The next scene brought some disappointment in Scott when I first saw it last night. But on rewatching it, I felt better about it. Scott and Maple seem to have a "good friends" relationship. She may well be his best friend at WENN; she's certainly is the oldest friend. We've also heard her speak up in his defense.

As a friend, getting physically close so they would be less likely to be overheard, she asks him to level with her. (And the Earth wasn't level before 1492, it was only considered to be level.) Instead, he brushes her off.

On the re-watching, it looks to me that he may have considered telling her the truth. In fact, it could be he had decided to do so and the last part of Maple's question ("trying to figure a way back into...Betty's good graces?") turned the tide. Before adding the Betty part he had a face like "Golly, ya caught me Maple, so...", but after adding Betty into the equation his smile disappears and he's thinking of a different reply.

A lot of people aren't comfortable discussing these emotions and it only gets harder as life goes on. Regardless of his friendship with Maple, his relationship with Betty is something he wants to keep close to the vest.

But the best part is: while he doesn't choose to tell the truth, he doesn't choose to lie, either! And he probably knows that she's bright enough to reach the correct conclusion from his reply.

And as to putting two and two together...I speculated last week that Hilary might have guessed what the score was. But I can't tell if she really bought Scott's claim that the sponsor called up to ask for MORE of the gardener. If she did, I must scale her gullibility rating up. (Didn't they take that word out of the dictionary?)

Next we have the scene more fully introducing the new schoolmarm, Miss Cosgrave. She created flashbacks to my second grade teacher, Mrs. Hatchett, a name well and truly earned. Perhaps knowing this episode would first run in September, Rupert used this scene to say "Hi-Hi" to all WENN's young fans, welcoming them back to school.

The rest of the episode is peppered with bits of programming gone insane such a Gertie mounting a defense of the potato.

Among the other insane programming is Mr. Eldridge reporting of the Bismarck sinking the Hood (I believe this has allowed James Young to date the episode) and claiming the Hood was named after Robin Hood (Mallory, there's you another Sherwood reference).

Well, all the male characters continue to express their good taste as Mr. Eldridge believes briefly (earlier in the episode) that Betty "needs him" and as C.J. expresses delight at the idea of patting Betty's head and rubbing her tummy simultaneously.

However, it looks like one character has had his eyes moved from Betty. Out in the hallway, Gertie's desk appears to have been replaced by a piano and Maple serenades Mr. Foley. He brings over a rose from across the room and significant glances are exchanged as Maple sings, "...strong and silent makes my day."

We then have a little surreal bit as we watch C.J.'s mind slowly disintegrating. (Wonder if Linda's "Wave at C.J." comments on her web page had anything to do with his increased role?)

As they discuss the scene and contrive a solution (you know, I like what Scott wore last week...made him seem like a regular Joe), we know more twisted, insane programming is on the way.

Many good lines. Here's one: "I, your Fuhrer, shall rule the world! And that will happen..." "...on the 39th of June in the world of make-believe."

Well, Miss Cosgrave now owes one to Scott and the rest of the cast for bailing her out. How do you defeat the enemy? Divide and conquer! (heh heh heh)

After two weeks on, one week off, one week on, I was listening for the tones of John Bedford Lloyd's voice. It didn't show up, making it 3 of 5 episodes so far. With the result of the opening 4-episode arc and JBL's many appearances I wouldn't be surprised to see Victor back shortly after the halfway point in the season. I said as much in the WENNsday chat. But I also don't want to get my hopes up too much.

Next week, it looks like Betty will be offered a job that would actually pay her what she was worth. For Betty, I wish her the best. She deserves to be able to take the job. However, I'd be too sad to see her go. So the sadist in me cries out for a scheme to keep her there. (And I don't think I'll be disappointed.)


BEGIN PART TWO (originally separated by "spoiler" space)

I wrote above about John Bedford Lloyd pretty much as I had planned during the week. However, last night, before the show aired, AMC ran a 10-second spot congratulating "Remember WENN on its Emmy nomination for Best Costume Design".

Several short cuts from the series flashed by, including one with Victor clearly interacting with others in the cast. Now, it could have been from season one. It flashed by pretty quick (if only because it surprised me. Kinda knocked me off center like Scott did to Hilary this episode.)

However, others in the chat confirmed that they had seen it and Bizarra managed to catch it on tape. Looked like a new scene to her.

I'm not as good at recognizing scenes as others. There was one thing I wanted to see for confirmation...is Victor in the scene with characters he's never been in a scene with?

They repeated the Emmy spot before the early morning showing and I caught it on tape as I slept.

Looking at the scene from left to right: There's two people up front I can't identify although the far left one looks Mackie-ish. Then we have Victor followed by a be-boppin' Mr. Foley. Betty finishes the characters, at least up front.

In the back of the shot from right to left is apparently the real Mackie. The next person I can't identify. The last person is: clearly Scott Sherwood!

Both Scott and Victor in the same scene! Obviously a new scene from an upcoming episode. Another scene shows another unidentified man, Mr. Eldridge and Victor.

It should be noted that in each of the two scenes, several characters are in various sorts of desert garb (fedoras, turbans). It was suggested that an episode coming up is to be a "Casablanca" homage ("Casablanca" was released in 1942) and that maybe it was a dream sequence. Well, a dream sequence would be an accepted way to have a character guest for one episode, but I think too many signs are pointing to a full Victor return...far sooner than I had dared hope.

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