"MOTHER MEETS WHAT'S-HIS-NAME"
This episode is interesting because unlike most others, it's almost like three separate acts in one show. Act One: "The Garden" scene continues the narration (by Oscar winner Jose Ferrer) as employed in episodes 1 & 2 to introduce the premise of "Bewitched" to audiences who may have just started watching. Act Two: "The Girls' Visit," which focuses for half the episode on nosy neighbors. And then finally Act Three: "Mother Meets What's His Name!"
These early episodes are masterful at establishing character and intent. The Kravitz's are featured prominently and are shown as fleshed out, three dimensional characters with a Gladys (in Alice Pearce) that is much more sympathetic and tragic than the shrewish, unlikeable caricature created later by her color counterpart (Sandra Gould).
Agnes Moorhead also has a different demeanor here: Her voice is sitting a little lower than usual in her register and her line readings are quite slow and deliberate, making Endora almost sexy! Unlike later episodes where it's already clear to the audience exactly what drives Endora to dislike "Dennis" so much, all of her reasons are spelled out here and you know what....? She has a point. After a truly lovely moment (Darrin opening the door and smiling, Endora smiling, and Samantha beaming) the tension immediately appears, finally culminating in Endora asking Darrin what we've been wondering for three episodes already: "Why do you object to my daughter being herself, young man?" The scene is dramatic and marvelous, with the audience really being able to understand all three sides in this debate.
Liz's twitch is still a trifle too fast (in fact, the film seems to be speeded up for it) and whenever anything appears or disappears, they still cut to a blank white screen instead of the later use of "on the spot" edits. Everybody looks wonderful in this episode (even Gladys) with other highlights being Sam's "baseball explanation" to Endora; The three boys meeting Endora; and the bitchy neighbor ladies!
FAVE QUOTE: Little Boy: "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?"
Endora: "Comme ci, comme ca."
GUEST STARS: Hollis Irving (tall, bitchy neighbor) will play Darrin's secretary, Betty, in a later episode.
OOPS!: After Sam says to Endora, "I prefer the natural you and so will Darrin," she goes into the kitchen to check the oven. We see her and her shadow in the background while Endora says, "I wonder." Endora then disappears but... seems to have taken Samantha with her!
© Review Copyright 1997 by SCOTT VIETS
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