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It's not easy to upstage Archie Bunker, but Maude pulled it off, as Bea Arthur hit a home run with her excellent performance. Even before her first appearance on the episode, there's some very funny moments, as Archie, Mike, and Gloria are all sick, and poor Edith tries her best to tend to all of them. When it's too hard for her, Maude comes to the rescue, much to the chagrin of Archie! He can't stand her or her liberal ways. I won't get into the banter between the two of them, but it is legendary; besides, it's probably the first time I ever heard the word "socialist", which was uttered by Archie about FDR, whom Maude loved. I would say this is among my top overall episodes for this great show, and if you're a fan of Arthur's, make sure to catch her wonderful performance here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Perhaps only outdone by Marla Gibbs mere two or three lines spoken at
the end of an episode of The Jeffersons, this seemingly mere episode
introduced one of the most memorable TV characters of the 70s; and then
From the moment Archie opens the door, the audience gasps at the appearance of that stern-faced woman standing there.
What an interesting concept to think if the show Maude had never come about. This would be all we would see of cousin Maude, perhaps she would have another guest appearance or two, but the character was so phenomenally defined in this one appearance alone.
Arthur and O'Conner played it off as tho they had a bad history for real and couldn't stand one another.
Mike and Gloria were peculiarly, but predictably, shuffled off to the sidelines. There was no need for Mike to say peep to Archie tho, as Maude was doing it all brilliantly.
The final line is truly a memorable one, a brilliant introduction.
Right on, Maude.
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