The Ropers

Season 2 Episode 12

The Other Man

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Dec 15, 1979 on ABC

Episode Recap

Helen is at Anne's house sitting on the living room couch, where they are discussing their respective marriages over a cup of coffee. Helen asks her if she is wrong to expect so much out of marriage after all of these years, after see how good Anne's is. After taking a drink of coffee, Helen asks her how she does it. Anne contends that just because Stanley is taking her for granted, it doesn't have to stay that way. She further explains that everyone's relationship gets stuck in a rut sometimes, explaining that she had a friend who was tired of waiting for her boyfriend to ask her to get married, so one day an old boyfriend called her. Helen breaks in to conclude that's how Anne got Jeffrey to propose. Anne seems embarrassed, but confirms her conclusion. Helen laughs and wags her finger at Anne, then wishes aloud that she had an old boyfriend around. Anne says she should consider inventing an imaginary lover. Helen sadly quips that she already has one. Anne suggests that if Stanley thought there was another man, he would become jealous. Helen is hesitant to consider the idea. Anne admits that it's a little sneaky and underhanded. After a moment, Helen asks her what she should name him. They laugh, and Helen contends that this is just like Peyton Place – she comes over for a cup of coffee, but ends up having an affair. While she is saying this, David comes in from outside and overhears Helen's last statement. He breaks in to inform Helen that Stanley needs her badly. Helen is intrigued. He specifies that Stanley can't find the ketchup to put on his waffles. Disappointed, Helen pats him on the head and leaves.

Sometime later, David is in the living room busily putting glue on pictures cut from magazines he has scattered around the coffee table. His father comes home from work and sits down on the couch. Without paying attention to David's project, he places his suitcase down on the coffee table, on top of the pictures covered in exposed glue. He asks David what's new, and he responds that nothing is new, while he continues to cut out pictures. Jeffrey is disappointed, contending that it's not the Brookes' attitude, because life is always full of new and wonderful things, and one just has to learn to use his eyes and ears to observe them. He then bluntly asks David if he's observed anything today. David informs him Mrs. Roper is having an affair. Jeffrey does a double take and is in shock. David repeats the accusation, as he continues his cutting. Jeffrey sternly asks him what would make him say such a terrible thing. David bluntly states that he OBSERVED it this morning. He clarifies that he heard Mommy and Mrs. Roper talking about it. He then asks his father what an affair is, while still cutting out pictures. After a few moments, Jeffrey explains that an affair is like a big party, like the affair he took Mommy to at the tennis club last week. David asks if there is ice cream and cake. Jeffrey confirms, which causes David to ask if he can go to Mrs. Roper's affair. Jeffrey adamantly tells him he can't, but then has to call Anne when asked why David can't go. Anne comes in from the kitchen, and Jeffrey mimics David's voice while repeating what David just told him. Anne sternly tells her son he shouldn't listen to things like that. David contends that his father told him to. Anne is not pleased, and tells David to go to the kitchen for lunch. Before he goes through the door, he says he wants to ask her something. Anne immediately tells him no, but Jeffrey thinks it's important not to curb his natural curiosity. He pushes Anne to the side and kneels in front of David. David asks him why he put his suitcase on his sticky pictures. Jeffrey is outraged as he picks up his suitcase to find the bottom of it covered in cut out magazine pictures. As he hastily tries to remove the pictures, Jeffrey scolds Anne for discussing private matters in front of David. She admits that the affair was her idea. Jeffrey does a double take.

Later, Helen is on the phone with Anne, informing her that Stanley just got home, and that she should call back so Helen can make believe it's her lover calling. However, Stanley enters before she gets off the phone. Asked who it was, Helen admits that it was Anne, but she had to tell her she couldn't talk because she's expecting a very important phone call. Stanley says he's expecting lunch. She tells him he'll have to wait, and that she hopes he doesn't ask who the call will be from, and that she hopes he doesn't try to drag it out of her. Showing a total lack of curiosity, he says okay and sits down on the couch to read the paper. The phone rings, and she answers it. She says hello in a seductive voice, and says that she's a married woman. She turns to watch Stanley's reaction, but he isn't paying attention. She then angrily says in a loud whisper that her husband is home, right in the room with her. Stanley just yawns. She picks up a phone book and drops it on the floor, making a loud thud. This gets Stanley's attention. She pleads with her supposed lover that he shouldn't be calling her here because it's dangerous, and she slams the phone back in the cradle. Stanley gives her a blank stare, then declares that he doesn't like the sound of it. She asks him what he means, trying to sound clueless. He points to the paper and declares that the phone company is trying to raise rates again. Disappointed, she asks him if he heard anything. He claims this is the first he's heard of it. She clarifies that she meant the phone call, and sternly asks him if he even cares who she was talking to. He reluctantly asks who it was. Helen reacts as if he has angrily demanded to know who she was talking to, claiming these questions never seem to end. Still not getting a response out of Stanley, she finally admits that it was someone who wants her. Stanley doesn't understand why she didn't just hang up, as that's the only way to deal with obscene phone calls. She angrily states that the call was not obscene, then slowly admits that there is someone else in her life… someone who is crazy about her. This finally gets Stanley's attention in the way she wanted. He asks her if it's another man, and she quietly confirms. Stanley appears to be shocked. After a few tense moments of silence, he breaks out in a deep belly laugh, leaving Helen to stand there with her mouth agape. Regaining his composure, he asks her who it is. She contends that wild horses couldn't drag it out of her. He admits that it doesn't bother him. This causes her to state his name is Ramon, and that she doesn't know how long she can hold him off because he is a hot blooded Latin man. Stanley angrily contends that there is no Ramon, and demands that she invite him over for a drink. Helen clearly wasn't expecting this reaction. He tells her to invite him over tonight, unless he has a bullfight. Stanley says he's going to make a sandwich, but notices that Helen is hesitating to make the call. She picks up the phone, but immediately puts it back down when the kitchen door closes behind Stanley. She sneaks out the front door and goes to Anne's house.

Helen tells Anne what just happened, and she suggests Helen should tell Stanley the truth. She agrees to tell him…on her deathbed. Helen then abruptly leaves. After a few moments, Anne gets an idea, and places a phone call.

Outside, Helen is clumsily trying to unlock her front door when Jeffrey arrives home. She drops the key on the ground, and he picks it up for her. On the verge of tears, she admits she doesn't know what she's doing. He tells her she needs a key ring. She grabs him by the arms and passionately declares that she needs a man. Jeffrey is shocked. She repeats that she needs a real man, as she shakes him. She pleads with him, that it will only take a half an hour…an hour at the most. Jeffrey is disgusted. Realizing her mistake, she admits she doesn't want someone like him. At this point, Mr. Ramirez the gardener walks past them, causing her to declare she wants someone like him. Jeffrey is left speechless. She asks Jeffrey to excuse her, and he bolts into his house, slamming the door behind him. She asks the gardener if he is still looking for extra money. After he confirms that he is, she asks him if he could be Latin. Looking unsure, he says that he could try.

Stanley is sitting alone in the community hot tub, reading the comics. Young and attractive Linda enters through the gate, says hello, and gets in right next to him. He glances over at her, and she states that she hopes he's done looking at "them". Stanley is embarrassed, and claims he wasn't looking. She tries to reassure him that there's nothing to be embarrassed about, because everyone enjoys them. Stanley is shocked. She clarifies that she meant the comics, which he notices are now soaked with water. He crumples them up and throws them over the side. There is a moment of uncomfortable silence, as Stanley tries to think of something to say. Finally, he asks her if she'd like to see how long he can hold his breath. Not waiting for a proper response, he takes a deep breath and disappears under the water. Linda becomes disgusted and gets out, then leaves through the gate just as Jeffrey enters. Jeffrey disrobes and gets in, but doesn't notice Stanley's submerged body until he's seated. Stanley reemerges, and claims that a person's legs look different underwater. He then notices Linda has been replaced with Jeffrey, who is giving him an angry stare. Stanley tells him he was trying to show Linda how long he could hold his breath. Jeffrey requests he show him…for twenty minutes. He suggests Stanley should be at home, paying attention to his wife, who is acting very strange. Stanley says that Helen is just making up another man named Ramon to make him jealous. He further explains that he got even with her, by demanding she invite him over tonight. Jeffrey asks him if he's really sure there isn't another man. Stanley confidently declares that there isn't, but if there was, he'd do what any other man would do. Jeffrey asks if that means he would stand up and fight. Stanley tells him he's crazy, because he's never hit Helen in his life. He then bluntly admits that if she fell in love with someone else, he'd move out. Jeffrey does a double take. Stanley reiterates that he would sell his house, "just like that". Determined to take advantage of the situation, Jeffrey bolts out of the tub and races out the gate before Stanley even notices he's gone.

Later that evening, Stanley asks where Ramon is. Rubbing salt in the wound, he further asks if she knows when to quit, because she tried to fool him and it didn't work, because you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool Stanley Roper. At this point, the doorbell rings and Stanley goes to answer it. It's Mr. Ramirez the gardener, dressed up and carrying a bouquet of flowers. Stanley is shocked as he proceeds to Helen and gives her the flowers, telling her that they are eleven American Beauty roses. He states that eleven roses plus Helen equal a dozen American Beauties. Stanley breaks in, referring to him by his real name and demanding to know what he's doing. Mr. Ramirez demands that Stanley call him Ramon. He then realizes that this is "the" Ramon. Helen sadly tells him that she's sorry he had to find out this way. Stanley contends that he can't be Ramon, because he's the gardener. Helen contends there's no one better to appreciate nature's beauty. Ramon declares that Helen is just like the flowers he grows, so full of life. Stanley contends Ramon is just like the ground he fertilizes, so full of…" Helen breaks in, loudly scolding him before he can finish his sentence. Helen offers Ramon a glass of wine, to which he responds, "why not?" Stanley says it's because he's leaving, right now. Helen demands to know where Stanley's manners are. Ramon then pulls back the chair so Helen can sit down, but Stanley races in and sits down first, causing her to sit on his lap. Helen and Ramon try to sit next to each other on the couch, but Stanley somehow manages to forcefully insert himself between them. Ramon takes her hand to kiss it, but ends up kissing Stanley's hand instead. Stanley jumps up and shakes his hand in the air violently. Stanley tells Helen to get up, and demands to know how she could do this to him. She gleefully admits that she didn't know he cared so much. He wonders how she could drop him for another man after so many years of marriage. At this point, the door bell rings. Helen, who is now floating on a cloud, answers the door to find another well dressed Latin man, smoking a cigar. He steps inside, and declares that Anne sent him. He then states that his name is Ramon. Everyone is in shock, and Stanley angrily asks, "another Ramon?" Helen fumbles over her words, and finally contends that he's from the phone company. Stanley claims the phones are working fine, but she unplugs it just as he picks up the headset to discover that there is no dial tone. As Ramon #2 tries to explain himself, Helen orders him to fix the phone. She then calls the other Ramon's name, which causes both men to say, "yes?" She takes Ramon #1 by the hand and tries to lead him out the door, saying that things just aren't going to work out. Unfortunately, when she opens the door, another well dressed Latin man greets her with a big smile and open arms. He declares that Jeffrey sent him, and wishes her buenas noches. She cries out that she has all the "noches" she needs, and slams the door in his face. Stanley asks who that was, and she claims it was nobody. However, the man knocks on the door again, and Stanley races over to open it. The man races past Stanley over to Helen, speaking in Spanish, and giving her a deep, passionate kiss. Stanley tries unsuccessfully to pry him off his wife. The other Ramons begin arguing with each other. Ramon #3 finally breaks of the kiss, and declares that he cannot live without Helen, but doesn't remember her name until he looks at a sheet of paper. The three Ramons all start arguing with each other. Stanley demands they shut up, then declares he's going to put an end to all this… by leaving. He tells the three men to fight it out, so see which one is going to MARRY Helen. He then grins slyly at the camera. The two men sent by Anne and Jeffrey get cold feet and leave. Mr. Ramirez says he would love to, but he's already married. He then leaves, shutting the door behind him. Helen is left embarrassed and depressed. She sadly tells Stanley to laugh at her. Instead, he politely asks her sit down on the couch. After they both sit down, he admits that she was trying to teach him a lesson so he wouldn't take her for granted, and pay more attention to her. She admits that it's true. He sternly declares that she doesn't have to invent anymore Latin lovers, as long as he's around, because HE'S going to be her Latin lover. Helen is happily shocked. She asks him if he really means it. He responds, "si, si!" He then gets up, and tells her he's going upstairs. Helen can't believe what she's hearing. He says that it's "Siesta time." They begin to sing a goofy Latin song as they race up the stairs.