The Golden Girls

Season 1 Episode 12

The Custody Battle

Aired Unknown Dec 07, 1985 on NBC

Episode Recap

The episode begins with Sophia and Dorothy in the kitchen finishing the dishes. Sophia keeps giving Dorothy the same glass to wash again. Dorothy washes it again, and Sophia holds it up to the light. Dorothy tells her to knock it off because they've been washing glasses for the last 10 minutes, and they've only washed 3. Sophia asks what the rush is because she doubts that she has a date tonight. Dorothy tells her that when she finds someone that she wants to go out with, she'll go out with that person. Dorothy tells Sophia to quit nagging her about it. Sophia asks when happiness for her daughter turned into nagging. Dorothy says she wants to finish washing the glasses before Gloria arrives. Sophia notes that Gloria isn't coming until tomorrow. Dorothy says that's correct so they should get cracking. Blanche comes into the question, and asks Dorothy if she can borrow several pieces of her jewelry. Dorothy asks if she's planning to come back. Blanche says sometime tomorrow morning. Dorothy asks where she's going. Blanche says she's going out with the community director of their theater, Jason, who considered her for the role of Lady Macbeth. Blanche is convinced that after their date, he'll put her in the role. Dorothy says that it's shameful that she's using him to get a part in the play. Blanche tells her that she's letting him use her so she can get a part in the play. As they walk out of the kitchen, Sophia asks Blanche if her date has a friend for Dorothy. Blanche apologizes but says that she already promised Rose a date with his friend; who is a lighting director. Rose notes that she's never been on a date with a fat lighting director, and asks Blanche what she thinks they should talk about. Blanche suggests light bulbs. Rose says that's a great idea, and says that he can teach her how the three-way bulb works. Dorothy jokes that she's always wanted to know that as well as what Jane Pauley looks like standing up. Rose thinks that maybe she can't stand up, and Willard has to carry her around the set. Blanche tells Rose they shouldn't keep their dates waiting. Dorothy asks Blanche if she's forgetting something. Blanche tells her that she never wears underwear. Dorothy meant her jewelry. Blanche says there's no point in painting the peacock.

After they leave, Sophia comments that Gloria isn't spending her nights at home. She says that even though she's widowed, Gloria is going out with another guy every night. Dorothy comments that Gloria only calls her three times a year. Sophia thinks she's very busy, and she's glad she can finally pay them a visit. Dorothy asks Sophia why she's always making excuses for Gloria. Sophia says that the only one she makes excuses for is Phil. Dorothy says that she's going to go watch television in her room. Sophia says that before she goes, she should call this phone number. Sophia says that she met this guy when she was squeezing a melon for him. Sophia notes that the man is missing a few of his fingers, but everything else should be intact. Dorothy is angry at her for doing that. Sophia says that she was only trying to help. Dorothy tells Sophia that she doesn't need her help and tells her to stay off her back. Sophia tells her not to raise her voice at her. Dorothy tells her to stop mothering her and give her some space. Sophia tells her that she can do that, and she heads for the door. Dorothy asks where she's going. Sophia says she's going to visit Mildred because she's shorter so she won't need as much space.

The next morning, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia are making breakfast in the kitchen. Rose says that she doesn't understand why the community theatre picked Macbeth as the play. Blanche acknowledges they were going to do a musical, but the accordion player passed away. Blanche adds that it'll be harder trying to play a character like Lady Macbeth. Rose reminds her that she doesn't have the position yet because she still has to audition. Blanche jokes that she did last night, and that she opened up to great reviews. Dorothy joins them in the kitchen, and Dorothy warns the girls to back away so Dorothy can have her space. Dorothy tells her not to start the attitude with her. Rose tells the two to put on their happy faces because it's a beautiful day and Gloria is coming over. Rose tells the two to kiss and makeup, but Sophia says that's not happening. The doorbell rings, and Dorothy and Sophia both start arguing about who will get the door. Dorothy says she doesn't want to fight so she relents and tells Sophia she can get the door. Sophia asks if she's her servant. Gloria hugs the two of them, and has presents for the both of them. Sophia asks why she's staying at a hotel. Gloria tells Sophia that she didn't want to inconvenience anyone. Sophia notes that they shared a body for 9 months so she doesn't understand what the inconvenience is. Gloria tells her that she'll be more comfortable at a hotel. Sophia is upset, and notes that she doesn't call her much and now when she finally gets the chance to visit her, she decides to shack up in a hotel. Gloria asks Sophia if she really wants her to stay at the house. Sophia tells her she can do what she wants. Dorothy tells Gloria that she can share her room, and notes that it's better than arguing with Sophia. Rose and Blanche enter the room, and Dorothy introduces Gloria to them. Rose says that Dorothy has told them so much about her. Rose comments that her favorite story was the one when Gloria had an imaginary friend named Dave that lived in their oven. Rose tells everyone that she had an imaginary friend, but that he never told her what his name was. Sophia tells Rose to stop because Gloria's only here for a week and she would like to be able to talk with her before she leaves. Blanche tells Rose that they need to get to their audition. Dorothy tells Gloria she'll get her a cup of coffee, but Gloria tells them to open their gifts first. Gloria tells Sophia she got her an electric blanket, new pajamas, and a new outfit because she's been hearing that Sophia's had a lot of colds lately. Dorothy suggests that she should call more. Sophia tells her to knock it off, and hands Dorothy an envelope that's for her. Gloria says it's a gift certificate for a spa so that she can get a makeover. Sophia notes that maybe Dorothy can finally get herself a date. Dorothy tells Sophia she's not calling her guy at the market, Captain Hook. Gloria tells them that she's going to wash up, and then she's going to call a driver and take Sophia out on a shopping spree. Sophia says that Gloria is such a special girl. Dorothy notes that Gloria is her baby, and notes that all mothers think their babies are something special. Dorothy says that all her children, except Phil, are special. Sophia asks if she can make a suggestion for Dorothy when she goes for her makeover. Dorothy asks what her suggestion is. Sophia tells her not to expect a miracle. Dorothy doesn't reply.

Later that night, Blanche and Rose arrive home from the audition. Dorothy asks how it went. Blanche says she's really confident that she got the part. Rose comments that there were so many great auditions, but Blanche says that she has this one in the sack. Rose thinks that Blanche meant in the bag, but Dorothy assures her that Blanche meant the sack. Dorothy asks where Gloria and Sophia are. Dorothy tells her that they're on a shopping spree. Rose says that Gloria seems like a nice person. Dorothy agrees that she is, and notes that Gloria never had a single pimple in her life. Blanche asks if she senses some sibling rivalry. Dorothy says that she sometimes had a feeling that her parents liked Gloria more than they liked her. Blanche says that she knows for a fact that her parents liked her siblings more than they liked her. Rose says that's silly, and asks how she knows a thing like that. Blanche tells her that they told her that. Dorothy can't believe that her parents told her that. Blanche says that her parents told her in actions, not in words. She says that on her siblings' birthdays they would get large parties with a lot of presents and a clown. Dorothy asks what she got. Dorothy says that she always had large parties and presents, but that she never got a clown. Rose says that her parents made all 9 children feel equally special. She tells them that on Christmas Eve, her father would get on the piano and play Christmas carols for them to sing along to. She notes that her mother would make eggnog and snicker doodles, and then they would decorate the tree. She says that her father would then tuck her into bed. Dorothy jokingly asks Rose if her father was Michael Landon. Rose says that she can't help that she came from a happy family. She says that her family had some tough times, and tells the girls about the time a drifter stole their butter churner. Dorothy notes that Gloria and Sophia probably aren't coming back for dinner, and suggests that they go out for a hamburger. Rose then starts to tell them a story about how her father took them out for hamburgers on Saturdays which really starts to annoy Blanche and Rose.

Dorothy starts to organize Gloria's bags when Gloria comes into the room. Gloria tells Dorothy that she hopes she's not upset that she kept Sophia out so late. Dorothy doesn't mind. Gloria says that she wants to spend more time with Sophia, and also admits that she wants to spend more time with Dorothy. Dorothy says that she wishes that Gloria could be here longer because she only packed for the weekend. Gloria asks if Dorothy resents her. Dorothy asks what reason she would have to resent her. Gloria notes that she has a lot of money. Dorothy says that doesn't matter. Gloria notes that her marriage was happy while Dorothy's ended up on the rocks. Dorothy agrees that it hurt her for awhile, but she got over it. Gloria then notes that all of her children are practiced professionals and Dorothy's children aren't. Dorothy says that other than Katherine, she is happy for all of Gloria's children. She notes that Katherine should have taken the nose job over the mustang for her graduation gift. After Dorothy and Gloria get into bed, Gloria says that this reminds her of when they were younger, and Dorothy used to tell her bedtime stories. Dorothy remembers stories about the boogeyman and zombies. She jokes that between the ages of 5-7, Gloria probably only got 2 hours of sleep. Gloria asks Dorothy why she never comes to California to visit her. Dorothy says that it's hard because of her job, responsibilities, and the fact that she's never been invited. Gloria says that she's inviting her to see the big deck, the nice ocean view, and Bert Convy in her grocery store. Dorothy jokes that they should go right now then. Gloria tells Dorothy that she was talking to Sophia about California, and added that she would love the weather and would never have to lift a finger to do anything. Gloria says that Sophia liked the idea of going to California. Dorothy says it would be nice for Sophia to go out and visit her in California. Gloria admits that she was thinking that it would be on a more permanent basis. She admits that she asked Sophia if she wanted to come and live with her California, and she reveals that Sophia told her she would. Dorothy gets a concerned look on her face.

Dorothy visits Sophia in her room and asks what she's doing. Sophia jokes that she's having a toga party. Dorothy says that she'll talk to her when she isn't busy. Sophia says she's not busy. Dorothy tells her that she found out that Sophia wanted to go live with Gloria in California. Sophia admits this is true, and says it would be for the best. Dorothy comments it was a fast decision she made. Sophia asks if she thinks it's a mistake. Dorothy says that if she feels that's what's best she should do it. Sophia asks what she thinks. Dorothy admits that Gloria could give her a lot more than she could. She even jokes that she can do her grocery shopping with Bert Convy. Sophia says that it will give Dorothy the space she needs, and she won't have to sit home every evening listening to her nag about her not having a date. Dorothy says that it's settled, and says she has to get to work. Before she leaves, she tells Sophia that if she needs help moving out to let her know. Sophia says that she will. After Dorothy leaves, Sophia has a sad look on her face.

In the kitchen, Blanche is making food when Dorothy walks in. Dorothy tells her that she has some bad news to share. Rose then comes into the kitchen and says that she also has some bad news. Blanche says she'd better sit down for this. The two bicker over who should go first, but Blanche asks that somebody say something so that she can get hysterical, eat food, and get it over with. Rose tells Blanche that Jason called the house to tell her that she got a part in the play, but it wasn't Lady Macbeth. Blanche asks which part she got. Rose reveals she got witch number 3. Blanche is appalled that she was cast as a witch, and asks who got the part of Lady Macbeth. Rose reveals that she did. Blanche starts laughing, and thinks Rose is pulling her leg. Dorothy tries to calm the situation, but Blanche silences her and asks Rose if she really is joking with her. Rose says that she didn't really want the part, but Jason felt that she had great skills for the role. Dorothy says that she needs to go to work so she wants to share her bad news. Blanche still cannot believe that Jason picked Rose over her. Blanche gets some food out, and Blanche tells Dorothy that she can share her bad news now. Dorothy reveals that Sophia is moving to California with Gloria. Rose doesn't want Sophia to go, but Dorothy says it's not up to them as to what she decides. Blanche asks if Sophia is unhappy here. Dorothy says that Sophia feels that she'll be happier with Gloria. Rose asks who will keep after them, make them linguini, or tell them stories from Sicily. Dorothy jokes that maybe Mary Poppins has a cousin. Blanche asks if Dorothy wants Sophia to go. Dorothy reveals that she really doesn't. Blanche and Rose refuse to let her go without a fight. Dorothy says that if Sophia wants to live with Gloria, they should respect her decision and not make her feel guilty about it. Dorothy says that she really has to go to work. After Dorothy leaves, Blanche says it's been a terrible morning hearing that Sophia is planning on leaving, and Rose beat her out of the part that she really wanted in Macbeth. Rose says that she knows how much the part meant to her, and tells Blanche that if she wants to she can go perform for her one of these nights. Blanche says she would like to, but she jokes that she's never going to be able to fit into the dress that Jason is going to have to make for her.

Later that evening, Dorothy comes into the room and asks Gloria if her luggage has to sit in the middle of the room. Gloria jokes that her luggage can also roll over and play dead. Gloria asks if something is bothering her. Dorothy says no, and asks her what makes her think that. Gloria asks if she wants to talk about it, but Dorothy declines the offer. Dorothy then comes out of the bathroom and says that she does. She tells Gloria that she's jealous of her for coming to Miami with her limo and presents thinking that she's better than everyone else. Dorothy says that Gloria has everything in the world, and asks why she needs Sophia too. Dorothy reveals that she always felt that Sophia favored her more and she just wanted to have this time with her. Gloria tells Dorothy that she's being ridiculous, and reveals that she always felt that Dorothy was Sophia's favorite. Dorothy tells her that she was the one that always got the attention. Gloria says that she got all the attention because Dorothy was strong, smart, and could take care of herself which Sophia constantly pointed out to her. Dorothy can't believe that Sophia thought that way about her. Gloria asks Dorothy when they were younger and their parents went out, who was left in charge. Dorothy acknowledges that she was. Gloria asks if she knows why. Dorothy says it was because Phil played with matches. Gloria says it was because Sophia trusted her with responsibility. She says that Sophia adored her more, and felt that Dorothy was going to have a wonderful future. Gloria feels that when Sophia looked at her, all she wanted to see was her marry rich, and she admits that she did. Dorothy asks why she never said any of this. Gloria says that she did, and asks Dorothy who she turned to when she was in trouble. She says Dorothy. Dorothy thinks it's the dumbest thing she's ever heard. Gloria tells Dorothy that even though she has a lot of money, she feels that Dorothy has so much more than she does because Dorothy has Sophia, a job, and her friends. Gloria feels that Dorothy's life is so much more important than hers, and that's why she wanted to take Sophia back with her. Gloria reveals that Sophia doesn't really want to go. Dorothy asks if she really thinks Sophia feels that way. Gloria says yes. Dorothy says that she's going to go talk to Sophia, and asks Gloria if she'll be okay. Gloria says that she has all that she needs. Dorothy tells her that she also has a sister that loves her, and jokes that she also has their father's nose.

Dorothy walks into Sophia's room while she's still packing. Dorothy tells Sophia that she's not leaving, and that she's going to stay with them. Sophia says if she wants to leave, she's going to leave because she's fit, single, and 80. Dorothy tells her she won't take no for an answer. Sophia says she knew that Dorothy couldn't make it without her. Dorothy admits she's right, and says that Rose and Blanche can't either. Sophia comments that Rose can hardly find her way to work. Dorothy asks if she'll stay. Sophia says Dorothy has to make a few changes around the place first. Dorothy asks what kind of changes. Sophia says that she can't hang around her all the time because just like Dorothy needs space, she needs some too. Dorothy says she will, and Sophia comments that she'll stick around to look after them. Gloria comes into the room, and Sophia tells her that she just made an important decision that she feels Gloria should hear about. She tells Gloria that she's going to stay in Miami, and tells Gloria a white-lie by saying that Dorothy begged for her to stay. Gloria says that she understands. Sophia comments that both of them are good daughters. She says that at their age, most people are trying to get rid of their mothers let alone fight over who gets to keep them. Sophia says that makes her feel loved. Dorothy tells Sophia that she means so much to all of them. Sophia says that she loves all of her children; even Phil. Sophia tells them not to tell him that because then he'll want to borrow money. The three share a big hug.

The next evening, Dorothy comes home and Blanche asks her how dinner was. Dorothy says that she ate a lot, Sophia drank a lot, and Gloria paid for a lot. Rose says that she's happy that Dorothy and Sophia worked things out, and that Sophia isn't leaving. Blanche adds that Sophia adds a lot of life to the place. Rose comments that all of Sophia's stories are great and a have a little hidden wisdom in them. Sophia comes into the kitchen with presents, and tells them that when she thought she was leaving she was going to give the girls a gift. Sophia decides she still wants to give the gifts to them. Everyone opens their gifts, and Dorothy comments that the dress she was just given belongs to her and she thought the cleaner lost it. Sophia admits that she only told her that because she needed something to wear with the black sweater. Rose then adds that the black sweater she just got was hers. Blanche then reveals that the pearls she got are hers as well. Sophia tells them goodnight, and adds that she hopes they stay healthy. Rose wonders if Sophia knows where her umbrella is, and Blanche wonders if her ankle bracelet going missing was Sophia's fault. Dorothy tells them that they should search her room. All three go out of the kitchen to try their luck.