Written by: Austin and Irma Kalish. Directed by: Charles Barton.
To set the scene for this episode, we open with ample ski resort footage.
Inside the ski lodge, Bill is sipping cocoa with his latest squeeze.
Before committing to a man, she adds, she has to “see how he slaloms.” That sounds like a euphemism to me.
Bill’s a less experienced skier, but he’s game.
Michelle blames herself for Bill’s accident. “It was the worst moment of my life when I saw you heading for that tree,” she says.
It’s nice to see he can handle a broken leg without losing his trademark laconic wit.
Back at home, the Davis family gathers around Bill.
Is it really just an American thing? And how does Bill know that? And why does he feel the need to explain it to Buffy and Jody, as if they are visitors to these shores? Anyway, I think it’s cute that French signs, too.
I wonder if that is really Brian Keith’s foot. Considering Keith’s abbreviated shooting schedule, it is probably a stand-in foot.
The kids are eager to nurse Bill back to health and pledge that they will drop all their other activities to do so.
Jody makes a valiant attempt to include school in the activities they sacrifice, but Bill doesn’t go for that. The kids promise, though, that they will spend every free minute at home.
Later, Michelle stops by to check on Bill.
Wait…why is she carrying that suitcase?
Well, that’s a bit pushy, isn’t it?
It takes quite a bit of convincing on his part to dissuade Michelle from her plan. She’s unfazed as he enumerates the logistical problems, but she reluctantly accepts the idea that her taking over Bill’s care might hurt the kids’ feelings.
In the following days, the kids devote themselves to Bill.
This is a bit of a struggle for Jody, even though he’s in third grade.
When French stops by to check on him, Bill insists he stay and listen to the story, too.
When Bill says he’s getting a stomachache from all the candy, Buffy cheerfully announces that she will give him candy stomachache pills.
Cissy gets her own chance for some role-play, as she assumes secretarial duties.
If you are wondering why Bill didn’t just dictate the letter to Miss Lee over the phone…well, Bill will soon be wondering that himself.
Frighteningly, she promises to help him shave later.
Later, French brings him a telegram from his prospective client.
He makes her get her notes and double-check his bid. It was actually $530,000, which she transposed in typing the letter.
At least Bill admits that he should have checked over the letter before he signed it. Ya think?
The next day, the kids return from school to see that French has taken matters into his own hands.
When Bill hears about French’s plan, however, he seems disappointed that the kids gave up caring for him without a fight.
Meeting his need for round-the-clock attention soon wears on Michelle, however.
Later, Michelle returns from shopping to find that the doctor has moved Bill into the living room.
“It’s easy to live with the things you like about somebody, but I guess it’s getting to live with those things you don’t like that makes for those happy marriages,” Bill observes.
Both Bill and Michelle are happy to have dodged a bullet. She says she wouldn’t have wanted to spend her whole life catering to him, and he says he would expect more from a wife than doing her nails and shopping all the time.
Michelle also says that being around the kids convinced her that she isn’t ready for parenthood. I wish we could have seen their encounters!
He tells French to let the kids start caring for him again.
An episode that involves the whole Davis family is always welcome. This one has a lot of amusing non-verbal reactions from Bill and French. I also like that Michelle isn’t portrayed as a villain. She and Bill simply have different temperaments, and they are both okay with that.
Michelle Reid: Nancy Kovack.
Kovack’s mini-bio on IMDb.com is interesting: “A native of Flint, Michigan, Nancy Kovack was a student at the University of Michigan at 15, a radio deejay at 16, a college graduate at 19 and the holder of eight beauty titles by 20.” She made five appearances on Bewitched, including three as Darrin’s first fiancee, Sheila Sommers. A 1969 guest appearance on Mannix earned her an Emmy nomination. That same year, she married conductor Zubin Mehta, and they are still together today. I guess they have one of those happy marriages Bill was talking about.