Season 3 Episode 8

It's a Wonderful Job

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Dec 16, 1986 on ABC
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Episode Summary

It's a Wonderful Job
A depressed Maddie gets a chance to see what her life and the rest of Blue Moon staff would be like if she had sold the agency as she originally intended.

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  • Maddie dreams of a world in which she closed the doors on not only the agency but the rest of her life as well.

    The good ship Blue Moon may be about to hit the rocks.

    Maddie wakes up with reports in her arms and the briefcase still on her bed. She’d fallen asleep while trying to finish her work. Then she gets a call from her mother, who reminds her to visit her Aunt Ruth in the hospital. Maddie says she’s been meaning to, she just hasn’t had time because of work. Her mother presses the issue, and Maddie promises again. She heads to the office.

    Ms. Hayes has ordered everyone to work Christmas. This earns her the instant hate of the entire staff—they wear black armbands, and MacGillicudy even takes it to her in a shouting match. Maddie insists business is business and they still have to stay. She heads back to her desk.

    David walks in, and is just as torqued as anyone over the work schedule. She spars with him too, claiming it was necessary. He blasts her lack of sympathy for people who want to go home and have fun with their families. Maddie won’t change plans. David walks out.

    Then Maddie gets a call that it’s too late to find time to go see her aunt. The woman has passed away.

    That’s about the last straw for Ms. Hayes. After an outburst in which she yells at the workers that she wishes she’d closed the place two years ago, Maddie heads out the door in one almighty funk.

    Hayes then does a very rare thing for her: goes out and gets good and roaring drunk. She downs a number of doubles and refuses to make small talk with the friendly bartender.

    She is approached by a gentleman from the other end of the bar. Thinking he wants to flirt, Maddie flashes him a thanks-but-no-thanks half-smile and says she’s not really here for fun. The man says he's not either.

    Rolling her eyes, Maddie gets up to go. The man follows her into the elevator. Hayes presses the button for the roof.

    Maddie’s earlier words about wishing she’d never stayed at Blue Moon will soon come back to bite her.

    She walks to the edge and looks over the city. The mystery person is still on her trail.

    He insists he is a guardian angel come to advise her on her destiny. He claims to have intervened on her behalf many times before. Maddie, whose character was described earlier in the series as an atheist, and who might very well be creeped out by his words even if she weren’t, retreats toward the building.

    Only it’s not because she’s happy to be going home.

    She’s not going home, not just yet. And when she does, it won’t be anything to smile about.

    The ‘angel’ comes with her. They stop at a familiar office suite.

    Blue Moon is gone, now owned by Hart Investigations (a sly shot at Hart to Hart, another private eye series of the time). All the workers are abject drones; no one says happy rhymes at the front desk; everyone scurries to and fro, stacking papers, racing to answer the phones, and generally acting like they’ve stuck their hands in sockets.

    Next place is not much better.

    The angel walks with her to the offices of greeting card company Rhymes for the Times, now run by her former secretary Agnes Dipesto. While at Blue Moon, Agnes was known to be the picture of sweetness, perky and funny, answering the phone in little verses composed on the spot. At the new place, however, Agnes has had a personality transplant. She’s mean and punishing—yells at everyone in a big line-up, derides their talents and won’t let them so much as sneeze without permission.

    Remind you of anyone?

    Even Agnes’ former crush Herbert Viola feels the brunt of her wrath. She is apparently blackmailing him into making their relationship more than professional. The spirit has changed from happiness to fear and resignation.

    That’s not the way it was meant to be.

    A crestfallen Maddie shouts to Agnes, “You two love each other, you just don’t know it yet! Come on, tell him you love him!”

    Again...sound familiar?

    Agnes, unfortunately, has no way to hear this. She carries on being ruthless.

    Next place is Maddie’s house, only it can’t be called that anymore. She doesn’t live there.

    David does. He’s bought the house. And there’s a party going on.

    While the latter is hardly a surprise, the occasion is. He’s getting married, and to no less a personage than model Cheryl Tiegs.

    Maddie is certainly shocked but pretends it doesn’t bother her: “It’ll save two other people.” David and Cheryl dance a bit at the party; then just David and his brother Richard, and the two otherworldly eavesdroppers, head outside for a talk.

    Richard kids that his brother might be getting a case of cold feet. David says no; he mind is on other things.

    “Take Maddie Hayes, for instance,” David says. “She slapped me once. She was even a great slapper.”

    “What does he mean, was?” says a bewildered Maddie. She’s not three feet away, but she can’t get him to hear a thing.

    Now what’s going on? Why is David missing someone else on the eve of his wedding? How come Maddie gave up her place to live? Where else could she have ended up after the transition?

    She’s about to find out.

    The angel leads Maddie as the ‘dream’ self gets in the car and races through the streets. She zigzags in and out of traffic, completely opposite the normal behavior for staid Ms. Hayes.

    ‘Real’ Maddie finally understands what’s going on.

    Dream-person heads into a giant garage and barrels right for the wall.

    The real person screams. And wakes up in the shadow of her glass at the bar.

    Is it over? Did she make it, or is this another taste of the afterlife?

    The bartender tells her it’s still early in the evening. An overjoyed Maddie, now back in her life before the horrible events of the vision transpired, rushes back to the office.

    She walks into her room and is met by David, Agnes and MacGillicudy. They offer condolences about her aunt, figuring the news was what threw her off, and Maddie calls off the extra work plans.

    Maddie tells David that from now on, life at Blue Moon is not going to be so serious-—they are going to make sure to have room for fun. Then she leans him over the desk for a kiss.

    What brought this on, he wonders? Then—“Who cares?”

    Brings an all-new meaning to the term ‘merry.’

Allyce Beasley

Allyce Beasley

Agnes DiPesto

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis

David Addison Jr.

Cybill Shepherd

Cybill Shepherd

Madeline "Maddie" Hayes

Curtis Armstrong

Curtis Armstrong

Herbert Quentin Viola (seasons 4 - 5, recurring previously)

Richard Libertini

Richard Libertini


Guest Star

Lucy Lee Flippin

Lucy Lee Flippin

Rhyme Time Employee

Guest Star

Lionel Stander

Lionel Stander


Guest Star

Curtis Armstrong

Curtis Armstrong

Herbert Viola

Recurring Role

Jack Blessing

Jack Blessing


Recurring Role

Charles Rocket

Charles Rocket

Richard Addison

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This episode and the subsequent 'The Straight Poop' both end with kiss scenes. Oddly enough, however, neither of these events is ever referred to again by any character, script or plot point. Not even the 'arc' storyline about the characters' relationship makes mention of the kisses. Were they even meant to be seen as real? Were they part of a dream?

      Another mystery...

    • This is the second, and last, holiday-specific episode of the series. It is also the second to center on Christmas.

      Although a show in the fifth season (1989) happened to run on Valentine's Day, I See England, I See France, I See Maddie's Netherworld had nothing whatsoever to do with that particular holiday.

      Oddly enough, the subject matter for I See England... would have made it perfect for Halloween.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • (In the dream, David takes a break from his engagement party to talk to his brother, Richard)

      David: Take Maddie Hayes, for instance. She just had something about her…she slapped me once. She was even a great slapper.

    • (In the dream world, Maddie tries to warn Agnes to stop yelling at Bert)

      Maddie: You two love each other, you just don't know it yet! Come on, Agnes, tell him you love him!

    • David (to Maddie): People don't work because they want to. They work so there are a couple of extra presents under the tree!

    • (In the agency's front office, as she slams down a box of decorations)

      Agnes: We're un-decking the halls!

    • Maddie: Is this friendly bartender chat?

      Bartender: Yeah.

      Maddie: Well, I don't want friendly, and I don't want chat. I didn't come here to feel better. I came here to feel miserable. So give me another drink, please, and hold the pep talk?

    • MacGillicudy: Short day, huh?

      Maddie (heading for the door): I'm going out.

      MacGillicudy: Out. That's terrific. Miss North Wind blows through here, turns everyone's life to hell, and skips off to the beauty salon.

      Maddie (turns around slowly): You're fired.

      MacGillicudy (drops box of decorations): No, no. I quit.

    • Richard: I thought you didn't even know her.

      David: I didn't, really. I mean, not the way I wanted to.

    • David: Just remember, Maddie, a good job doesn't love you back!

  • NOTES (3)

    • At the 1987 Golden Globes, Moonlighting won the award for Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical; and Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd took the honors for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Comedy/Musical.

    • When Maddie goes to the office after Albert grants her wish, she discovers that the new occupant is Hart Investigations (from former ABC series Hart to Hart) and talks with the Harts' assistant, Max. Hart to Hart previously occupied the Tuesday 9 PM time slot on ABC, going off the air about nine months before Moonlighting debuted.

    • Music: "Sleigh Ride" by the Ronettes; people in the elevator sing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"; "Dynasty Theme"; "Jingle Bells"; "White Christmas" by Darlene Love; "Silent Night"; "Joy to the World"