The Ropers

Season 2 Episode 21

Four Letter Word

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM May 08, 1980 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Finally a show about Stanley

    I got to the party before the first half ended but not enough to get the full flair of the episode, such as, I didn't see any of the Brookes family here. What I did see was Stanley's botched attempt to mix Ethel a drink (it appeared as a glass of grapefruit juice but Stanley says, "We didn't have any tequila so I used beer instead"). It showed Helen, Ethel and Hubert on the couch and were brainstorming a problem that evidently could be fixed somehow, involving Stanley (maybe he needed money or felt bored at home or something). So Hubert proposes to give Stanley a job at his meat packing plant. Stanley asks, "Can you do that?" and Hubert replies something like, "why not, I am the President. Everyone seems excited to solve the problem, except for Stanley, that is.

    For the second half of the show, it opens up with Stanley being led into Hubert's office (a standard set apparently I would say, looking quite familiar probably from Three's Company). The secretary lets him in, offers coffee, and tells Stanley she is one of two secretaries. When he asks her what her job duties are, she smiles knowingly. Stanley looks around and decides to sit at Hubert's desk, where he has a nameplate ("Hubert Armbrewster, President") and a typical executive blotter and pen holder. Stanley picks up two tickets from a travel agency, and reads aloud, "First class trip to Acapulco. In walks Hubert, and so Stanley pretends he is just testing the chair.

    Stanley says that Ethel and Hubert are invited to a dinner that Helen's making to thank them for getting him the job. Hubert makes a joke about Helen's terrible cooking. To begin, Hubert starts telling Stanley how to dress in work coveralls (Stanley is wearing one of his terrible suits plus a bow tie). He explains that his job would be in the meat packing plant as a sorter, and would have to sort hearts, livers, spleens and such. But Hubert also tells Stanley that the trip must remain a secret, because Ethel will never believe it is a business trip. The secretary comes in with coffee, and smiles at her boss. and there is a gag where the vacuous blonde secretary forgets her own name as the person that's going with him to Acapulco and thinks it's someone else.

    Hubert puts the tickets in his satchel ("You carry a purse?") and Stanley figures that Hubert is trying to use him to pull a fast one on Ethel. He tells Hubert that his secret's safe with him, on one condition, and smiles.

    In the next scene, Stanley is at home with Helen and tells Helen there was a technicality and the Union wouldn't let him work at the plant. Helen is disappointed and makes a crack about how Stanley always gets out of things on a technicality. In walks the Armbrewsters. Helen and Ethel air hug and kiss as usual, and Stanley has to go to the Brookeses' residence to get ice. Jeffrey's pleasure at having Stanley gone all day is sapped when Stanley tells him he didn't get the job and shoves the ice dish back at Stanley, gesturing that he leave. Jeffrey tries to get rid of Stanley but Anne makes him give the ice before he goes.

    Meanwhile, at the Ropers' home, Ethel takes the satchel off the floor when it falls down, and says, 'What's this?' and looks at the ticket and figures out it's not under her name. Stanley says something off the cuff like, 'Oh I don't know anything about a trip for Acapulco for you and your secretary' and so Hubert blurts out, 'You and I had a deal. I wouldn't make you take the job if you kept quiet about the trip to

    Ethel and Helen, both livid, can't believe Hubert. Ethel starts off with Helen, and and you think she'll again try to make Helen feel inferior. 'How long has it been since you and I did anything together?' Helen thinks. 'Probably since summer camp when we were kids. The time you lit my braids on Ethel asks, 'How long has it been since you had a vacation?' Helen admits it's been a long time. Ethel suggests that they go on vacation and take the tickets themselves. Ethel and Helen hug for real this time.