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Season 1, Episode 4: Mother Meets What's His Name

According to TV.com, this episode was originally broadcast on 10-1-1964, though they also say that episode 3 was originally supposed to air on that date. Not clear what the truth is. It would make more sense if it aired on 10-8-1964. See the TV.com episode guide.

Two interesting plot developments take place in this fourth episode in the series.

1. First, Gladys Kravitz and two of her cronies--snobbish types--show up at the Stevens's front door with a cake. (This is the first time that Gladys has properly met Samantha, though Darrin kissed Gladys in episode 2.) They're the local Welcome Wagon committee. We've of course all heard of the Welcome Wagon, but maybe haven't thought of the reality behind the expression. But back in the day, Welcome Wagon hostesses--representatives of an actual company--would visit people who were new to an area bearing gifts from local businesses. It's not clear whether Gladys is visiting the Stevens in an official capacity or if she and her snooty companions are just self-appointed do-gooders.

Three rambunctious boys barge in with the Welcome Wagon. Eventually they make their way upstairs, where Endora is hiding out in a bedroom (reading the same issue of Harpies Bizarre we saw her with in episode 2). They have a funny conversation:

Boy #1: "Hi there lady."
Endora: "How do you do."
Boy #1: "I'm Jack Bob, the fastest gun in the west" [not sure I have the name right].
Boy #2: "I'm an Indian. He's a horse."
Boy #1: "Who are you?"
Endora: "I'm a witch."
Boy #1: "Okay."
Boy #2: "You a good witch or a bad witch?"
Endora: "Comme ci comme ├ža."

Screenshot

In the end the three boys wind up tied up on the bed. Only Gladys is smart enough to realize that three boys can't possibly tie up one another without a fourth person present.

Screenshot1-12. Endora and Darrin finally meet when Endora comes over for dinner. All of them are dressed to the nines. Immediately prior to her arrival Darrin lets his anti-wtch prejudice show: he's worried that his mother-in-law will be a hat-wearing hag. But the spat is over before the doorbell rings.

As we saw in episode 2, Darrin is willing to make things work, whatever his prejudices. But from the get-go Endora is itching for a fight. ("Now, young man, suppose you tell me all about yourself--what you do and why do you do it.") Within minutes they have an argument, and she leaves in a puff of smoke after issuing a threat: "From now on watch your step, young man. Mother is watching you."

She may be uninterested in compromise, but then again, Endora has a point: "Why do you object to my daughter being herself, young man?"

And that's a very good question. The point is further made a bit later:

Darrin: "I don't mean to be disrespectful, but we want to live normal lives."
Endora: "What is normal to you, young man, is to us asinine."

Of course it wouldn't make for much of a show if there weren't some conflict over the witchcraft, if Darrin and Sam lived in witchcraft-wrought opulence and leisure. But, divorced from that consideration, it's unfair of him to impose a human lifestyle on her. He's a bigot.

And I'm sure we've all thought about this while watching the show: what possible harm is there in Samantha cleaning the kitchen, say, by witchcraft rather than hard labor? Why would Darrin impose that on her? And why doesn't she stand up for herself more?

Some random comments:

  • Episode begins with a voice over.
  • Endora refers to Diogenes--the ancient Greek--in a manner that suggests she knew him. She's not certain she's thinking of the right guy, though. She says, "One of those young, good-looking Greeks who talked an awful lot."
  • Darrin doesn't know Endora's last name. She says, "You'll never be able to pronounce it."

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About the blogger: The mother of two preternaturally attractive girls, Debra manages her online universe from her subterranean lair.... Read more.