I liked the constant bickering between Dorothy and Stan in this episode and how Dorothy finds herself with the decision of whether or not to pawn her wedding ring to come up with her share of the money. She doesn't want to sell it because it's the one nice thing that Stan gave to her. I really liked at the end when Stan bought it back for Dorothy and then he asks her if she wants to go to bed and Dorothy squeezes him real hard.
Winifred Hervey tackled many of the Stan episodes. In fact, she wrote the first Stan episode, so it is not surprising that many of her episodes focused on everybody's favorite ex-husband.
It was becoming clear by Season 3 that Winifred Hervey was losing her touch. She had a handful of tremendous episodes from Season 1 (I especially liked The Operation), but her humor was a level short of co-writers Barry Fanaro and Mort Nathan. Thus, there is an obvious disconnect in level of quality between Hervey episodes and those of others.
The Audit is a clear example of this. While this episode has its moments, it is mainly standard fare. I was, however, quite pleased with a few scenes in the episode. One of my favorites involves Stanley's revelation that he bought a Corvette without telling Dorothy. Bea Arthur, in her infinite skill as a strong-willed, smart, angry woman, pulls off another beauty of a fit in this scene.
Another favorite scene from the episode involves Dorothy's wish for Stan to have a jailmate named Bubba. Ah, good stuff.
And the focus on Dorothy's watch (that Stan gave her) was a nice touch. It was gratifying to see that there were still some sparks in their defunct and slighly parasitic relationship. Arthur and Herbert Edelman sure worked well together on screen.
My main problem with the episode, however, was that there seemed to be a lot of time between laughs -- and the laughs weren't that hearty in this one. This became a common characteristic of the Hervey episodes (Refer none other than to The Housekeeper from earlier this season). However, this episode sneaks in a "great" rather than a "good" because of Arthur and Edelman, whose chemistry onscreen makes any episode, great or mediocre, much more fun to watch.
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