Some of the best episodes of this show focused on the relationship between mother and daughter, or more specifically, Sophia and Dorothy. As much banter, pessimism, and insulting quips that the two of them offer, they are two of the most lovable and loving characters in sitcom history. That\'s what makes this episode, a cleverly written yarn by Winifred Hervey, particularly effective.
Dorothy finally has a man in her life, and a seemingly good one, named Raymond (played by James Karen). Raymond and Dorothy seem to be a good match, but their timing is less than optimal. Sophia is depressed because her best friend Mildred has moved away. But it\'s not just that -- all of her friends seem to be disappearing (whether by death, insanity, or new location). She\'s the only one left of her \"old gang\". So Dorothy decides to cheer her up by letting her tag along for a golf game with herself and Raymond. Unfortunately, she becomes a permanent tag-along, and this is becoming a problem for Dorothy and Raymond. As the weeks of \"And Ma Makes Three\" roll along, Raymond is becoming more tiresome of the \"dating-your-mother\" gag.
So Dorothy and Raymond plan a getaway just for the two of them. But Sophia happens to hear of the plans and invites herself along for the cruise. As the pressure from Raymond and from depressed Ma grows, Dorothy decides to compromise by not going at all. But Sophia is aware of Dorothy\'s impatience and wants to make new friends. So she does so, but Dorothy doesn\'t buy Sophia\'s insistence that she is going on a trip of her own with her new friends.
Dorothy decides to say no to her trip with Raymond. Raymond then decides to call things off with Dorothy (for a while) until Dorothy gives more attention to the relationship. But, Dorothy is surprised to discover that Sophia is indeed going on the trip after all. Which leads to this exquisite exchange:
Dorothy: Ma! You\'re really going, aren\'t you?
Sophia: I tried to tell you.
Dorothy: But I thought you needed me. I thought you needed me to take care of you.
Sophia: I did need you. And you were there for me, just like always. I love you, [Dorothy]. But, hey, I\'ve got my own life to live. See ya!
It\'s really one of the most memorable moments on the show. It shows just how close the two of them are, and it is a testament to the great acting interaction between Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty.
While this episode is not particularly funny, it is memorable and actually quite moving. I give this episode an enthusiastic thumbs up.