Tod, in Southern California, is working for an ultra-successful female doctor who combines psychology and dentistry. When her husband disappears, Tod is assigned to look for him. Tod does ...
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Tod, in Southern California, is working for an ultra-successful female doctor who combines psychology and dentistry. When her husband disappears, Tod is assigned to look for him. Tod does and finds an unhappy man who is tired of his wife's dominance and unwilling to live her lifestyle. Buz is not seen-or mentioned. Written by
This rather limp finale to the legendary second season of ROUTE 66 brings back the underlying themes of the second ever episode, "A Lance of Straw" and the second season episodes "Once to Every Man" and "You Never Had it So Good": that of having aggressive, bossy women ruin the lives of men by under-mining their manhood. "You Never Had it so Good" had a hopeful take on this as the tycoon recognized the value of the woman executive but it also had him propose marriage: he wants her as a wife more than as a business partner.
Here June Vincent plays a prominent dentist who is also a psychologist and has employed psychological counseling to help children deal with the fear of pain. The approach has been a big success and as a result so has she. Todd is hired to work with the children using her methods. We see the lady at home, imperiously ordering around her maid. Anne Helm plays her daughter, who has adopted many of her attitudes toward servants and men, (even though she seems a nice enough young lady otherwise). When out on a date with Todd, she tells the waiter what they will both have: it's what mother would have done. She also out-performs Tod when they play with some of the electronic toys her father creates. There's even a discussion of Philip Wylie and "Momism"
Arthur O'Connell plays Vincent's husband, an eccentric inventor who longs for the early days of their marriage when his wife was just a dental assistant and they lived simply. He disappears one day and it becomes Tod's job to find him. He finally does at what is apparently a retreat for emasculated husbands. Tod listens to O'Connell talk about how his wife keeps putting a painting he likes in the bathroom rather than his bedroom. Biff Elliot is a boxer whose wife liked to see him knock guys more than he did. Milton Selzer is a Hollywood producer whose wife became a "cash register" when he started having success. O'Connell tells Tod to be at his laboratory the next day where he'll demonstrate his latest creation.
The result is a silly scene where O'Connell had invented a massive computer that can determine what women want. He tests it on a young couple and creates a rift between them because the woman likes what the computer tells her more than her boyfriend. O'Connell then makes a speech, looking directly at his wife and daughter, talking about how women today prefer machines to men. Then O'Connell goes off to make furniture for a roadside stand he's set up. Meanwhile Todd goes back to the dentist's office and hears the young children being told that their procedures won't hurt that much. He explodes and tells them they need to know what the real world is like and that sometimes it's going to hurt. I'm not sure what the point of that- or any of it- was.
The problems of the men in this episode can certainly be real but I'm disturbed by the suggestion that aggressive, confident career women are a threat to men. I think we found out after the next decade that women could have rights and careers and lives and that men would be just fine. Real men, anyway.
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