Season 3 Episode 14

I Am Curious... Maddie (4)

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Mar 31, 1987 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • Oh my! THEY DID IT! The Moonlighting Curse has begun!

    Maddie has to make a choice before these two men kill each other. Sam takes a trip to David's barely there apartment to basically tell him he sucks and Maddie is just too high maintenance for a slob like him. David is basically tell me something I didn't already know. Sam says she needs someone who's better like maybe someone by the name of Sam! Oh, and not to mention he's asks Maddie to marry him! Ugh. Awww. Poor David...AGAIN!

    When David finally gets the nerve AGAIN to tell her how he feels he has to chase them down in the parking garage. Is it me or did Sam think about running David down right there? I'm starting to not like this fellow! Maddie's had enough and leaves the two to settle their differences alone. Finally, David gives Sam the long need punch to the jaw which doesn't seem to affect our perfect man at all! Then Sam whams David so hard he runs into the wall and hits into something knocking it down. Maddie comes back in time to see a bloody David nursing his shoulder and staggering away singing a song. If ever there was a time to not be happy to hear David singing a song it's this one. Such a sad, pathetic scene for David with Maddie looking on. What else is new? More pain for David! How much of that shoulder nursing was real I wonder though. I think Bruce had sustained a collar bone injury by then in real life and Cybill was pregnant. So these moments were a pretty dramatic time for the characters and the actors on the series. Amazing how they were able to even pull of this episode! Glad they did though. Anyway, Maddie's and Sam's dinner date is ruined by the garage adventure and Maddie decides she wants to be left alone for awhile. Since Sam has no place to go Maddie lets him stay at her house and she goes to David's office at work to see the marvelous artistic direction David has made there during all this emotional upheaval. She meets Agnes there. A girls' night out for drinks leads Maddie to the conclusion that she wants to break it off with Sam! Yay!!! She arrives home to a supposedly sleeping Sam and makes her confession that she loves him but she loves David too. No to the proposal but one more fling! Ugh! Darn you writers! Surprise, surprise! Not Sam in bed but David! Another cat and dog fight plays out and then Be My Baby plays as major sparkage which means lovemaking begins! This my sweeties is the legendary Moonlighting Curse! Most of the time this is what gets the blame for the ratings downfall on tv shows. Getting your two leads into bed ruins your show! At least that's what future writers of other male and female leads shows began to believe. So some shows like The X-Files drag out the tension FOREVER until no one really cares anymore! So tell me this. Which is the better way to go? Sooner or later? I think it really comes down to the stories people! Just write a good enough story and people will stick around. Hey, Moonlighting was having quite a few problems by this time so just the two teads doing the deed should have not been the blame. Just a factor maybe in a circus of problems? Does that make sense?! lol! I will continue to watch because these characters' lives were not over after sex even if the ratings may have been! Great episode either way!
  • You'll never think of "Be My Baby" the same way again.

    I was just a baby when this episode aired for the first time, but "Moonlighting" quickly became one of my favorite shows when I watched the series on DVD a few years ago. The previous reviewer provided a wonderful summary of the episode and all of its glory, but I just have to echo those sentiments and say that this is an episode that grabs your attention. No matter how many times you see it, it's impossible to step away from the television, even when you know what's going to happen next. The episode is a culmination of all that wonderful tension, and you can feel the chemistry between the actors in every moment of the episode. The last ten minutes are arresting in their power, and I remember clapping like a fool when they finally fell together for that passionate embrace as the Ronettes sang in the background. While the subsequent seasons definitely have their high points and deserve to be watched, Maddie's ambivalence over David is really tough to watch (and hard to believe), so I generally think of this episode as the end of "Moonlighting." I like to think of David and Maddie in that final frame of this episode, smiling and satisfied after finally finding their way to each other. Also? I always laugh when they're locked in that last embrace, and Mark Harmon's name comes up over the frozen frame. Sam never had a chance!
  • “Because the night belongs to lovers…” Where were you the day before April Fool’s, 1987? Very likely, glued to your t.v. set, to watch the most eagerly awaited popular culture event of the time. Justifiably a legend.

    The episode opens with a screamingly funny “Movie-tone” newsreel, in the style of wartime theater announcements. It recaps the previous three episodes and chronicles the long delay between airdates, with the ‘nation’s search for entertainment’ absent new installments.

    But let’s begin at the beginning.

    Maddie sneaks back in her own house, to find Sam already awake and waiting for her. He ‘fixed breakfast’—cereal—and notice he’s now gone from the elaborate dinner of the night before to this plain fare. It's a lovely set-up, but very simple food. Maybe he’s more tired of the whole matter than he lets on. Still, he puts a smile on his face and asks what happened.

    Maddie only says she was on a case. Sam, who rarely lets her see him lose his temper, pretends to shrug it off, and suggests Maddie go upstairs and get some sleep. After Maddie takes a strange phone call from her mother, she gets under the covers. Sam walks out on the landing and surveys the house below—where, he has perhaps finally realized, he may never truly be *at home.*

    He wants to present the image that he’s king of the castle, but when you look at the pale sunshine coming across the room, and the off-white tone of the setting, he actually comes off looking rather weak. As if he’s dominated by the house behind him.

    *Unable to establish himself as a permanent part of Maddie’s life.*

    In his only ‘fourth wall’ moment of the series, and look closely because it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it thing, Sam turns his head very slowly, finally looking directly at the camera.

    Now, having tucked Maddie in bed—and notice, he reestablished control by making sure he was the one to get the pillows and the blankets and actually help move her in there—Crawford has the time to go out there and confront the real problem.

    David Addison.

    Last time Sam saw David, he was all fake smiles and handshakes at the office. That was clearly to prevent another fight. The day before *that*, Sam rescued David from a brutal parking lot scuffle, then dropped him back at Dave’s apartment. Addison slurred out the surprising benediction, “You know… you’re all right,” and Sam, although knowing the other man probably wasn’t sincere, took the olive branch anyway and smiled a little.

    David then muttered vehemently, “Rat bastard.”

    So the façade of cooperation was quickly crumbling. Sam was adamant to throw David off the trail.

    He storms back to Addison’s place and lets him hear it.

    “We’ve got something in common. Some*one* in common...Look at the way you live…it’s endearing,” Crawford jibes. We know he thinks it’s anything but. He tells David, whose apartment might indeed make a college freshman ashamed of himself, the man can’t give her anything. “Last night I made her a real serious proposition,” Sam continues. “One that, under any other circumstances, I think she would have jumped at.”

    Not knowing the intensity of the two detectives’ history together, Sam wonders why Maddie could even hesitate. The fact he sees it this way is exactly the problem. The relationship between the sleuths is anything but simple. Sam in three decades had been unable to truly get as close to Maddie and know her as well as David did in three years.

    Crawford storms off, leaving a surely perplexed and irate David Addison to make his way back to work.

    An odd thing about that scene is that David, livid though he had to be, did not get up and cause another fight. He just sat there and listened, said very few words, no cussing or shouting involved.

    David will be much less accepting the next time he has to talk to anybody.

    Maddie checks into work late, following her catch-up on sleep. She goes into her office to find David in the chair.

    “Why didn’t you tell me?” David spits.

    Maddie runs back out. The two of them race up and down the hall. This time they can’t slam the door—they’re in the elevator, it opens and closes around them. Unlike other chase scenes they’ve sent up, there are no cars, milk trucks or carts of fresh fruit waiting to be knocked asunder by a speeding car. It’s just about the two of them, frightened and angry, with no hope of a resolution at the end.

    “Last night, before you went chasing around with me?” David yells, rattled to the core. Maddie had come to his apartment, pleaded with him to say what they were going to do—and it probably wasn’t about the case, either—and then kissed him, in one of the most sweet, meaningful gestures ever between them. All the while, she was contemplating belonging to somebody else.

    Toying with both men? Using one as a convenient escape from the other? Asking for someone’s heart while unwilling to give her own…

    Maddie, however, insists the decision is private and even saying it exists is not something she owes to anybody else. “It’s none of your damn business!”

    “None of my damn business?” David says, astonished.

    “That’s right, it’s none of your damn business!”

    In a uniquely bizarre line, David bellows, “All right, well, maybe it is none of my damn business, but I’ve got a right to know!”

    As they run in and out of the elevator, notice David can’t bring himself to repeat the words Sam must have said. He can’t even say what Joan told him in the jail cell. Even now, when David wants to tell Maddie how he feels more than anything else in the world—it is *clearly* breaking his heart—and it’s pretty obvious that Maddie herself finally knows what’s going on, David still can’t talk about it. Too much of a risk? Scared she’ll say no?

    Or does he assume she knows how he feels, because to him, it’s always been obvious? Maybe he won’t say, because he honestly believes he doesn’t have to: he thinks she already knows.

    They wind up in her office again. David backs her into a corner—but suddenly the normally staid Ms. Hayes pushes back.

    “How do you feel about me, David?” she badgers, placing a hand literally over his heart and forcing him into reverse. “He’s willing to make a commitment to me. How about you?” She starts off very angry, but by the end is almost pleading. “Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

    Ironically, she requires honesty from him, while *she* had completely failed to be forthcoming about the nature of her own secret just before.

    All of a sudden the brazen Mr. Addison has nothing to say. He clams up and stands rock still for a long, agonizing moment.

    During the time *he* claimed it was most important to speak to *her*, in an argument that *he* started, when it comes down to it, he fails. Can’t do it. Bottles up.

    (I don’t have to tell you what that’s a metaphor of.)

    “Are we through?” Maddie asks.

    “Sure sounds like it,” David answers, and you know they don’t just mean the end of the conversation.

    The rest of the office tries in vain to get back to work. Everyone is so distracted, one lady doesn’t even care when she puts a hand on her drinks mug to say ‘no thanks’ to the guy bringing around coffee, and he pours it all over her hand.

    Agnes and Bert play cards at the front desk. They talk about the perils of romance and of doing without it—“When the person each of you wants, is right under your noses.”

    As usual, the loyal understudies have long since pegged the real upheaval is between their bosses. Who are heading for disaster at full steam.

    Sam shows up to take Maddie out to dinner. Agnes, feeling guilty for having swooned the first time Sam stopped by, turns her back and tells him Maddie is waiting. Even Bert stands up to him. Sam is more than a little taken aback.

    Then there’s the other boss to worry about.

    Agnes and Bert check on Mr. Addison. David has smashed to pieces everything in his office except the t.v. He sits there scoffing at “Divorce Court,” until the employees remind him if he doesn’t step in, there may soon be something different about Maddie—her last name.

    David rushes to the garage. As the couple is on their way out, he stands in front of the car. Sam hits the brakes. (Interesting to see him literally behind the wheel…)

    David thumps the window and yells at Maddie to get out of the car. “I just want to talk to you!” he demands. She glares and stays where she is.

    When Sam climbs out of his side of the vehicle, David snaps, “This has got nothing to do with you!” Neatly refuting Maddie’s claim that the proposal leaves Dave out of the equation—Addison now turns it around and makes Sam the unnecessary one.

    “See, she doesn’t want to talk to you,” Sam protests.

    “Butt out, Buck Rogers!” David barks. He goes back to shouting at Maddie. Who still sits there.

    The men continue to argue; Maddie can’t take it. She runs to the elevator. They both follow, but the men bump into each other first. Sam puts a hand on David, who immediately pushes him away.

    Sam tells Addison to walk it off and talk about it. “Okay,” David offers, and looks sideways for a second, even taking a half-step past Crawford as if to accept the offer. Then he turns the fake-out into a full-on punch in the face.

    Maddie screams in terror and steps in the elevator.

    Meantime, the initial punch is the only one David lands. Sam throws blocks and return shots of his own; he ends by hurling David head-and-shoulders into a wall. Just when Addison is writhing like a newly hooked fish, Maddie comes back out of the elevator.

    “Oh God, David,” she gasps, reaching to touch his face. David refuses hands up from both of them, stands and turns away.

    “You should have seen it,” David warbles miserably. (Perhaps very disappointed that she did not.) He staggers off—a profoundly *lonely* sight. David sings a scathingly ironic happy tune. By the time he gets to the other end of the garage, he’s listing like a sinking ship. It was a rough round indeed. Who knows if he’ll recover.

    The next shot is Sam driving Maddie away.

    “For what it’s worth, I didn’t take the first swing,” Crawford explains. Maddie is still cross with him, but even more than the fight, rather the fact that Sam told David about the proposal. Why? In Maddie’s view, it’s not David’s business—and she uses almost the same words she told Dave—the decision was in her hands, and all Sam did was stir up trouble. So though it’s been thirty-six hours since Sam proposed, Maddie still can’t answer. Not in the mood for dinner anymore, Maddie heads back to the agency, while Sam stays at her house.

    Maddie walks into the wreckage in David’s office. Agnes comes in and helps pick stuff up. Now everybody knows what’s behind the scenes and how it’s building to an impasse.

    Dipesto lightens the mood by suggesting they get drunk. “All the boy detectives do it!” she rejoices. So they hit a bar.

    Maddie has just the one glass of wine. Agnes has more alcohol than you can shake a stick at. There follows a bizarre, funny and very revealing conversation.

    “What does a girl have to do to get served around here!” Agnes shouts. Apparently, just that. Dipesto socks away a great big bunch of liquor in minutes. She tells Maddie how to sit at the bar, how to order and pretty much how to have a good time.

    Hayes looks miserable. She tells the melancholy tale of how skittish she really is about getting married. *It’s the first time she tells the whole truth to anybody.*

    “Maybe it’s not possible to know if you’re ready for marriage,” she ponders. “Maybe it’s only possible to know if you’re not.” And she heads home to tell Sam what she really thinks.

    What happens next makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. I say that in the present tense because it still does. It has lost absolutely none of its power.

    Maddie walks in the house in near darkness. The only light is the blue shade through the back windows. Longtime fans of the show understood blue light means she is thinking about one person and one only, and it’s not the astronaut.

    She walks upstairs. There is, as expected, a man in bed. He shakes, but before he can turn over, Maddie stops him.

    “Sam, don’t,” she says. “Don’t move, don’t speak, don’t even look at me.” She tells him she has considered his proposal very seriously, and anyone would be lucky to have a family with him, but she can’t say yes. Because she loves David, too.

    Slowly she walks to the bed. “Give me tonight. Give us tonight,” she pleads, getting undressed. She gets under the covers.

    And gets out again just as quickly.

    That’s not Sam.

    Waiting for her, and not venturing a word until she made a very personal gesture of greeting, was David Addison.

    Maddie shrieks and spits out bitter epithets. David, gleeful as well as full of tension, tells her Crawford has skipped town. He’d left a note saying he didn’t think he and Maddie could be together, since other obstacles stood in their way.

    Namely, the one looking at her.

    David beckons her to join him. She refuses, horrified he could just sit there and let her do what she did, quite willing to ‘earn’ by deception what was intended for somebody else. Although Maddie does not say, she must also be deeply stung by the fact Sam gave up on her first.

    David walks around the bed.

    “Stay away from me,” Maddie warns.

    “Here I come,” David sneers.

    Maddie picks up a vase and raises it as if to defend herself. David snorts.

    “Put that down. I’m not going to force myself on you. To tell you the truth, you’re not worth it. No woman is worth this.” Incensed, Dave collects his clothes and marches downstairs.

    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    They scream insults on their way into the living room.

    “You’re not a person, you’re a poster,” David yells.

    “You’re going over the line,” Maddie cautions. Soon they are both next to the couch.

    Things get worse.

    “Two years of is you is, is you ain’t,” David snarls.

    “Two years of bees bee-ing, ducks ducking and a man who thinks that culture is dark beer! This is ridiculous, I’m miserable!” Maddie returns.

    “Well, so am I!”

    “I may have just let the best thing that ever happened to me get away, and look at me, here I am spending the evening having another pointless argument with you.”

    They glare at one another. Pause, then:







    She slaps him. “Get out!” she yells.

    And again. She belts him. “Get out!”

    David grabs her wrist to stop the third slap. He pulls her in to kiss.

    They devour one another, brushing shoulders, pulling shirts and covers, finally sinking to the floor and smashing the table in the rush to get it out of the way. They roll across the carpet to the front of the dormant fireplace, where they knock over the poker stand. Then David stops and looks Maddie in the eyes. He holds her a bit apart.

    The next thing you see is them upstairs in her bedroom. He sets her down gently under the covers.

    It’s widely believed that David, who sadly can barely be heard over the soundtrack, mouths the words, “I love you. I’ve always loved you.”

    Yet the two of them, and surely the audience as well, have known that in some way since day one.