"I'D RATHER TWITCH THAN FIGHT"
Sam and Darrin get into an amphigoric (or is it semi-amphigoric?) argument when she gives away his classic houndstooth sportcoat - "the tweedy one" - prompting both to seek counsel from Larry and Louise, who only end up making matters worse with their amateur psychobabble.
Samantha might rather twitch than fight but it would seem director R. Robert Rosenbaum prefers Darrin and Samantha FIGHTING rather than twitching! Capturing their arguments better than any other director (William Asher included) Rosenbaum certainly favors our favorite lovebirds bickering. What makes this great is its premise. Coming from something so real that just about anyone can relate to (silly disagreement unintentionally blowing up) the opening is firmly rooted in believability with its natural approach and sudden escalation into sudden warfare. Darrin and Samantha ARE living, breathing, three-dimensional characters that act like anyone else, proving once again "Bewitched" never needs its gimmick of fantasy to carry the plot but rather ENHANCE it. And enhance it, it does!
At this point in the series' run, the incorporation of the magic is at its apex, used often enough (without overdoing ) while still being exciting and creative. Sam zapping up Darrin's coat when he walks out the door without wearing one is a fabulous show of her devil-may-care defiance we know she gets whenever Darrin's being a jerk. And later, her in-his-face door slamming whammy is not only thrilling but once again separates Samantha from the up to then typical sitcom wife twits. I mean, who else was yelling at her husband "Don't you DARE walk out on me!" on television in the 1960's?!
James Henerson has written some snappy dialogue while also highlighting some seldom seen character relationships: Endora and Tabitha alone in the nursery is a nice touch while even Sam and Louise finally get a chance to do some best-friend bonding. Norman Fell is so wonderful as Dr. Sigmund (Freud) it's a surprise to think he never appeared on the show again as some other character or client. And Bridget Hanley has a winning cameo as the salesgirl who sells Darrin his oh-so-lovely present to Samantha: (Darrin: "Aren't you gonna try on your robe?" Sam: "No, I think I'll wait a couple of DECADES!")
Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York are perfect, always making every scene, every word utterly believable while managing to still be charming even while yelling at each other. Be sure to catch them in the final tag scene: hands down one of the sweetest endings to a "Bewitched" episode ever.
FAVE QUOTE: Darrin: "I went to a great deal of trouble to find a present that would express exactly how I feel about our marriage..."
Sam: "And you bought me a PRISON GOWN!"
GUEST STARS: Norman Fell goes on to stardom as Mr. Roper on the 70's hit, "Three's Company".
Popular character actor Burt Mustin (Thrift Store Owner) makes his first of 3 appearances here (He's later seen as the magical mailman in "Toys in Babeland" and the Old Man on the Mountain in "Return of Darrin the Bold").
Bridget Hanley goes on to star in the late 60's sitcom, "Here Come the Brides" and marries "Bewitched" guest director, E.W. Swackhamer.
OOPS!: In the final credits there is a cast listing for "Riza Royce as Saleslady." Bridget Hanley's the only one in the episode who's doing any selling so poor Miss Riza must be selling her wares on the cutting room floor!
© Review Copyright 1999 by SCOTT VIETS
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