I Love Lucy

Season 3 Episode 4

Equal Rights

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 26, 1953 on CBS

Episode Recap

Fred, Ethel and Ricky are talking in the living room while Lucy gets ready. She finally emerges saying that she's not ready yet because she's waiting for her nails to dry and tells Ricky to tell a story. During the story, Lucy chimes in making corrections, which is driving Ricky crazy. Lucy then decides where the group will eat. Fed up, Ricky berates Lucy, telling her that she needs to butt out when he tells a story, she needs not to decide for the group where and what to eat, and to be ready on time. Lucy becomes submissive as she gets her coat. Then, coming back to herself, demands equal rights. Ethel agrees. Fred and Ricky decide to treat the girls as their equals. They don't put the girls' coats on for them, nor do they allow them to exit the Ricardos' apartment first.

At the restaurant, to further prove their point, the boys don't treat the girls like ladies, expecting them to pull out their own chairs, pick up their own purses, etc. After the meal, the girls then proceed to touch up their makeup at the table. In the spirit of equal rights, the boys begin shaving right at the table!

The boys arrange with Xavier the maitre d' to give everyone separate checks, and proceed to pay for their meals before departing,leaving the girls to fend for themselves. Not having the money to pay for their meals, the girls are then forced to wash dishes against their will.

Meanwhile, at home, Ricky instructs Xavier to have the girls call them when they finish. As the girls wash dishes, Ethel expresses her resentment to Lucy at having been involved in her "crises" for eleven years. They quickly make up and agree to get even with the boys by hatching a plot to make the boys think that the restaurant is being robbed by a couple of bandits. Frantic, the Ricky calls the police and he and Fred head to the restaurant. When they get there, the boys find that the police haven't arrived yet. Seeing that all is well, they realize they've been tricked and Ricky decides to have a little fun with the girls by suggesting that he and Fred use their handkerchiefs to disguise themselves as bandits and scare the girls out of their wits. The police finally come, but proceed to arrest the boys, thinking that they're the robbers. Ricky explains that the whole thing is a gag, but Lucy quickly denies ever knowing either of the boys before they're promptly carted off to jail. The girls come to bail the boys out and, much to the surprise of the police officer (he thinks Fred and Ricky are strangers to the girls), Lucy and Ethel kiss their respective husbands before their release.