This episode acknowledged the growing bond between Mary and her co-workers, and going beyond the individual work relationships that were developing to that point, really established them as her true "family", which set the foundation for the rest of the series; it also set in motion the less common (up to that time) TV dynamic of having both home and work as parts of her life that could protect and nurture her. For example, in the Dick Van Dyke Show (albeit with a male lead), the work environment was established for mostly laughs, not necessarily for comfort or support. Also, this is a very sweet, innocent Mary that didn't exist in later seasons, for good or for bad, and episodes like this are the reason that I gravitate to the earlier years for shows of true warmth - and almost blind optimism.
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