The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Season 2 Episode 12

. . . Is a Friend in Need

Aired Saturday 9:30 PM Dec 04, 1971 on CBS

Episode Recap

At lunch Mary notices that Rhoda is less buoyant than usual, and when they return to the television station, Rhoda explains that she's lost her job. Everyone at the station assures her that she will soon find another one. That night, Mary has dinner with Rhoda and Phyllis. Phyllis is especially interested in the details of how Rhoda lost her job at Bloomfield's. Rhoda claims that she felt unhappy with the store's tight window display budgets, and when she didn't receive the bonus that her colleagues got, she quit.

The next evening, Mary finds Rhoda watching soap operas in her apartment. Rhoda admits she hasn't really been looking for a job yet, but she has applied for unemployment benefits. (She admits that she was fired after all.) Then Phyllis shows up with the newspaper in which she has circled some interesting job advertisements for Rhoda. But what is a keypunch operator and why does the employer want an alluring snapshot of the applicants?

As usual, Ted spends some time looking at the bulletin board in WJM-TV, studying the job vacancies. (According to Murray, this is just to make sure that there aren't any advertisements for his job.) When Ted mentions an opening for an assistant art director, Murray suddenly thinks of Rhoda, but Mary has her doubts. Moments later, Rhoda arrives at the station, way too early for lunch. Murray waits for Mary to mention the art director vacancy, but nothing happens. Out of boredom Rhoda starts to read the bulletin board. When she sees the art director advertisement, Mary tells her the job has already been filled.

Troubled by her own behavior, Mary asks to see Lou in private. She pretends to want to talk about an early lunch, but Lou realizes that something else is bothering her. She explains that she lied because she'd be uncomfortable if Rhoda worked at the station. Would their friendship survive? To forget all of this, Mary takes Rhoda to lunch. When Rhoda orders a very small lunch to save money, Mary offers to pay for a really big lunch. But her generosity can't make her forget the betrayal. She admits to Rhoda that she lied about the art director job being filled. Surprisingly, Rhoda doesn't mind as the job seemed badly paid and dull.

Some days later, Mary finds Rhoda asleep on her couch again. Phyllis believes that Rhoda isn't trying hard enough to get a job and that Mary should have a stern talk with her. Mary's attempt at berating Rhoda falls flat because Mary is just too nice. Before Phyllis can have a go, Rhoda announces that she has a job as the new manager of the window dressing department at Hemple's. And she earns more money than Mary!

In the final scene Ted is reading the bulletin board again. He sees a vacancy for associate producer on another show. The salary is a lot higher than that of Mary's. Before Mary can take a closer look, Lou grabs the paper and claims that the vacancy has been filled.