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The Golden Girls S01 E02 Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding


S01 E02

Original Airdate September 21, 1985
Let’s just start this episode with a drink. Wedding is in the episode title and the whole episode revolves around a wedding, no need to beat around the bush. *drink once for a wedding, in fact, make it one whole cocktail or three shots because wedding for days*
Dorothy is all panicked because she thinks her daughter is lost on her way to visit. She’s “just terrible at giving directions.” But Blanche points out that she gave Kate the directions and Dorothy makes a dated joke about Rand McNally. Us youngsters use Google Maps now, Dorothy, Google Maps.
Dorothy is being a real jerk to Blanche and Rose because she’s anxious to meet her daughter’s boyfriend, who she’s been seeing for a whole six months. I’d also like to point out we have no idea how old Kate is and we never will. I suppose it doesn't matter, but six months at 21 is different than six months at 31 in my mind. 
All Dorothy knows about this guy is that he’s a doctor and Blanche tells her “to forget about his family background” because “do you have any idea how much a doctor makes?” Tuck away that little nugget. We’re going to need it in a few minutes here.
Dorothy cares not how much he makes, she only cares he’s a doctor. Priorities. It’s funny, how liberal the ladies tend to be, but how the focus is “oh squee, my daughter might marry a doctor!” When I’d think Dorothy would be more like “well my daughter is a __blank__.” I have no idea what Kate does and according to this show I should not care. Don’t you know her boyfriend is a goddamn doctor? Go take your bra burning somewhere else!
Kate arrives to much fanfare by Dorothy. But where's Dennis? Oh, at a conference? Because he’s a fucking doctor. But what does Kate do? I’m going to assume Kate is a urologist. She met her boyfriend at the hospital they both work at and it was love at first sight.
Sophia turns up for the first time in the episode in a huge, fluffy robe and I am shocked because this is Miami and it has to be at least 80 degrees and she is bundled up like we’re in St. Olaf in the winter.
Moving on from my disgust at the heavy winter clothes in Miami, Kate has a big announcement. She’s up for partner at a prestigious practice in New York, obviously. She is an award winning urologist after all.
Ha! No! She’s been dating a doctor and they’re getting married. In the Bahamas. My sister got married in the Bahamas, so I asked her what sort of preparations she had to do to make that happen. She said she worked with her hotel and they sent all the paperwork. She picked it in November and was married in July. She said there wasn't a whole lot of prep beyond that.

I did some of my own legal research on marriage there. There's a 24 hour waiting period for the license and you have to be in the Bahamas for those 24 hours. So you have to have plane tickets, hotel reservations, and plan to get paperwork done when you get there. You have to make a statement you're currently single and get it notarized. So, it's not like Vegas, but it's not terribly difficult to make arrangements. So when I first started this episode I was under the impression Kate was throwing away time and money to get married in Miami. She's really not. She can always change her flight plans and it's not like she paid for a marriage license that is not being used. Point one to you, sitcom plot.
In two days Kate is flying to the Bahamas to get married. Dorothy goes from thrilled that her urologist daughter is getting married to devastated she’s getting married in the Bahamas, away from family and friends. Dorothy wants to give her a wedding. Kate, very reasonably, points out Dorothy and Stan don’t speak and she doesn’t want wedding drama. But Dorothy cares not for her daughter’s wedding bliss, nay, nay, she will throw a wedding in Miami for her! Of course, none of Kate and Dennis’s friends will be in attendance and neither will Dennis’s family because this wedding is in two days in Florida, not the elopement in the Bahamas. But Stan from Hawaii is going to be there, you bet your ass he will.
There’s a three day waiting period in Florida for a marriage license for residents, but none for non-residents. The laws of Florida are convenient to the plot of this episode. Point two to you, sitcom plot.
Dorothy kindly decides to let her daughter have her day by allowing Stan to be invited. Kate insists on having Dorothy do the actual inviting. She doesn’t even tell her father she’s getting married. She makes her mother do it. I'd say Kate is maybe 25, I'm not totally sure, but she doesn't look too old. So she was probably in her early 20s when her father cheated on and abandoned his wife, she’s pretty chill. When we see Stan’s second wife Chrissy, she looks to be at least Kate’s age. Isn’t that a recipe for ‘80’s sitcom/drama gold?


I'm in my early 30s and would probably not speak to my father if he ran off with a woman my age. But my dad wouldn't do that, because my dad's cool. And at this point, only my mom is going to put up with his disc golf. 
Dorothy tells Stan that Kate is getting married in a few days in Miami and Stan is not even remotely suspicious that this is a trick to get him to Miami so Dorothy and her roommates can murder him. Think about it. As Stan you a) don’t hear from your daughter she’s getting married b) your ex-wife you abandoned makes the call c) it’s in a few days not in the state your daughter lives in. If I was Stan I’d think Dorothy was going to murder me Dexter style and dump my body in the ocean.
Chrissy can’t come because “that” can happen in a tanning machine. She lives in Hawaii, why is she using a tanning machine? I’m going to assume “that” is crabs and leave it at that.
Dorothy hangs up to be heaped with praise
Blanche: Dorothy, you were magnificent!
Rose: How did you do it?
Dorothy: I kept telling myself once he was here, he’d be close enough to kill.
Dorothy: I can’t believe Stan has the nerve to show his face at this wedding.
Sophia: The man has a right to see his daughter get married.
I’m with Sophia. Stan is a scumbag, but it’s Kate’s wedding. If she’s fine, or at least at peace, with how he treated Dorothy, then she has a right to invite him to her wedding. Dorothy, however, is making this all about her. She has every right to be angry, but Stan is Kate's father and it seems like they have a decent relationship. Her daughter’s happiness takes a backseat to her anger and hate. 
Ok, ready for the B Plot of this episode? It’s a doozy. Sophia is stealing Rose’s wedding cheeseballs! DRAMA!
But now we finally get to meet Dennis. He has brought flowers as a way to greet Dorothy.
Dorothy: Your father used to bring me tulips every time we had a fight. Near the end it looked like Easter in Rotterdam
Kate: I’m glad to see you’re not bitter.
Kate, shut your face. After three decades of marriage, a marriage Dorothy had to do because she was pregnant out of wedlock, she was abandoned for a younger woman and as we find out later in this episode, Stan didn’t even come to see her. She got a call from a divorce lawyer. So yeah, Dorothy shouldn’t be making the day about her, but she has every right to hate Stan and be bitter about it. Just because Kate is cool with her mother’s mistreatment doesn’t mean Dorothy has to suck it up and not hate Stan. 
Now we find out Dennis is a podiatrist. And you could blow Dorothy over with a feather. She’s shocked and a bit disgusted her soon to be son-in-law is JUST a podiatrist.
Here’s some fun facts about podiatrists:
·       Their average annual salary in 2019 is around $140K a year. I looked at an inflation calculator and he’d be making about $58K in 1985. The average household income was about $23K in 1985 (link https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/1987/demographics/p60-156.pdf)
·       Podiatry is a specialty. Typically you need a referral from your primary care physician to see a specialist if you want insurance to cover it. I saw a spine specialist and it took three months to get an appointment. So there is probably some demand for patients to see Dennis.
·       Some podiatrists are surgeons. We don’t know if Dennis is or not, but let’s say he is. Not only is Dennis a specialist in the field, he’s also a surgeon.
·       Becoming a podiatrists is a little different than becoming an M.D. but Dennis would still have to pass the MCAT, go through rotations, learn biochemistry, biology, organic chemistry, etc. Pretty much he’s still doing his undergrad and then four more years of medical study, plus rotations and residency.  
But for the next few minutes Dennis’s podiatry career is the butt (foot) of all jokes. Not everyone can be an accomplished urologist like Kate.
Sophia: Maybe one of your children will be a real doctor.
A real doctor like Ken Jeong? I can only hope.
Stan finally shows up.
Stan says some real crappy stuff, but Kate doesn’t scold him. Sophia tells Stan she had a stroke and it wiped his memories of Stan out. Still pretty sure the stroke is a front for Sophia to be a jerk to everyone, but Stan deserves it. So we're going to let this one slide.
Dorothy refuses to go to the wedding because she hates Stan too much and cannot be in the same room as him. Thankfully Blanche puts her foot down and forces Dorothy to go. Because this is Kate’s day, not Dorothy’s. Rose and Blanche have to stick to Dorothy like a shirt on a sweaty farmhand. You can hear Blanche’s panties drop at the thought of those sweaty farmhands. 
There’s a lot of people at this wedding reception. Remember how they were going to elope in the Bahamas in a few days? Somehow they’ve managed to get all these guests to Blanche’s house in Miami, presumably not Dennis’s parents, as it’s on short notice. Seriously, who are these people? Kate and Dennis are hotshot doctors, their hotshot doctor friends can’t just abandon their patients last minute to attend an elopement in Miami!
Stan brags about his new life in front of Dorothy, inviting Dennis and Kate to visit Maui. And Dorothy makes a crack at Chrissy being the pig at a luau and Kate scolds her. So Dorothy should be adult enough to keep it to herself, but Stan is clearly talking about how awesome his life is in front of the family he abandoned to live this life. He’s rubbing it in and it’s obvious, but Kate isn’t taking him to task. Why? Because women are bitter shrews who should bury the hatchet and men are just oblivious. Hey, Kate, has your father ever invited you to Maui before? Didn’t think so.
Rose picks up the cheeseballs B Plot strikes again. Only Sophia likes them, but Rose is determined to stop her from pilfering. We all know the cheeseballs suck, but Rose wants to stop the fiend before she eats them all. 
Blanche: Stanley, would you be a dear and get me some champagne?
Stan: It’s always a pleasure to get a drink for an attractive woman. *then with disdain* I’ll get one for you too, Dorothy.
At least Kate rolls her eyes at this remark, but she doesn’t SAY anything to Stan. She just stands there.
Dorothy: Have you ever met a man who knew how to push all your buttons?
Blanche: Just once, he was a cabana boy in Pensacola.
*drink for Blanche’s beau*
Blanche continues to be a good friend trying to derail Dorothy’s rage. Rose continues to be an absent friend. But someone has to maintain vigilant with the cheeseballs. That’s why Rose is dropping the ball when it comes to Dorothy.
Stan: To my son-in-law and daughter, may she be as happy with her new life mate as I am in mine.
KATE YOU ASSHOLE, TELL HIM TO STOP! In fact all these party guests are terrible for toasting that. That’s a terrible thing to say.
Dorothy appears with a knife to cut the cake and Rose pretty much tackles her into the kitchen. Rose demonstrates a formidable knowledge about the barter system for cigarettes in prison and tells Dorothy she can't kill Stan.
Rose: I thought you were going to stab Stan.
Dorothy: Don’t be ridiculous. Do you honestly believe I would stab Stan at my own daughter’s wedding?
Rose: Oh no, I guess not.
Dorothy: Well of course not! I would wait until after the wedding. There are too many witnesses!
Dorothy hides in her room and Sophia tells her she’s acting like a jerk on this the day of her daughter’s wedding. She then dispenses some good advice “Anger is like a piece of shredded wheat caught under your dentures, if you leave it there it causes a blister and you have to eat Jell-O all week. If you get it out the sore heals and you feel better.” Scoff all you want Dorothy, but it’s not untrue.
At least Kate thanks her mother for all she’s done before leaving on her honeymoon. And all these random party guests leave with Kate and Dennis. Then Dorothy confronts Stan on the lanai. *Drink for being out on the lanai*
Dorothy tells him what for. How angry and hurt she is at how he handled the end of their marriage. They were married for 38 years and Stan had a divorce lawyer call to say their marriage was over. Dorothy lays it on the line and how she deserved better.
Dorothy: Now you’re here in front of me and you can’t run away and I finally get to have what you tried to cheat me out of.
Nah, she just says good-bye, refusing to let him speak his piece. Which, good for her, there's nothing he can say that will make up for what he did. She has his toupee as a trophy. Burn it in effigy.
Drinks Counter:
Blanche's Beaus: 1

Out on the Lanai: 1
Weddings: 1
Tune in next week for Rose the Prude

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