Okay, since the holidays are bearing down on us, I thought it was the right time for this one. ;D I voted 8.
Two crooks break into a couple's apartment. They are after the man who was a witness against them in a trial. They force him to drink and say they will make it look like he died in an accident. The wife sees them about to throw the man over the balcony; but she has just a moment free to escape with the baby, and runs for it.
Switch to Agnes at her place, which is all done up for Christmas. Dipesto is having a great time singing and getting the laundry ready. (I like seeing how she's usually happy--a contrast to the folks in charge.) Unbeknownst to her, the mother of the baby is running down the hall too...Agnes heads to the laundry room. Lead criminal Leonard (Richard Belzer) runs in, sees Agnes, realizes she's not the one, says sorry and leaves. Dipesto goes back to the apartment to see the baby left in the basket.
Cut to Maddie arriving at the office. The place is all decorated, and everyone is running around busy...maybe a little too much? When she walks in, it turns out they are running a Santa hotline. Not exactly to her liking... In David's office, he is chatting up one 'Ingrid' when Maddie walks in. David defends the line as a way to make money (yeah, he 'cares about the kids out there,' huh); Maddie can't stand it as unprofessional and tying up time. In a way, both of them could be a little bit right... However, Maddie doesn't like the idea at all, and tells Addison, "I just want to scrape you off the bottom of my shoe." (Subtle moment here: although David makes it look like he thinks it's funny, you can tell he winces a little. He's used to making jokes like this himself, and maybe isn't so handy at taking sarcasm the way it was dished out.)
Then they hear a baby crying. Where is it?
Agnes takes a call, and it becomes apparent she is hiding the baby in a carrier under her desk. Maddie, ever practical, says they have to call the police. David takes Agnes' side, with the very sweet accolade, "Whoever left this baby knew exactly who it was and who they were leaving it with." Agnes cheers up. This shows David is actually considerate and friendly--more the 'man of the people,' because he had worked at the agency in person long before Maddie showed up. Hayes winds up looking like more of the strict boss, doesn't want any trouble...Maddie still wants to call the cops and return the baby to the mother. Dave says the mother may be some unstable person who abandoned the child. "It's Christmas!" he insists--he's trying to get her to let Agnes watch the baby for a while. M. doesn't seem to get the whole 'spirit' business. Dave ever so smoothly tries to talk her into his way of thinking, to ask the police if they're looking for a missing baby, then go out and look for the mother themselves. Before Maddie can turn around, David has tacked on the idea that the baby can stay with Agnes at Maddie's place.
Later on, in the car, David asks if Maddie thinks the baby was cute. She says, "I suppose." He is baffled; why didn't she seem to be interested? "I'm not the kind of woman who makes a fuss over children," M. says. "...That doesn't mean anything is the matter."
D: "I'm just really surprised (about) your attitude, about children." M: "How can you be surprised when you don't know what my attitude is?" D: "Well, it's obvious!" M: "It is?"
And she doesn't want to talk about it anymore.
This is a strange contrast because David thinks he is paying a compliment. To him, this means it's a sign of being a caring person. Also, you'd never think Dave himself would be the kind who is all aglow over kids, since he's a partygoing single man. To Maddie, this all sounds a bit old-fashioned; some people have families and others are into business, and that's that, none of yer beeswax otherwise. This is a deeply personal subject; watch the looks on their faces as they do all that blustering. It marks one of their most emotional conversations.
D: "...Because I think you'd make a hell of a mother." M: (pauses, startled): "...Thanks." D: "I just have this instinct." M: "Well, it doesn't matter, because we'll probably never know." D: "What do you mean by that?" M (very tense): "Look at my life, David, I live alone! I'm trying to make a business work! I'm not--" D: "Happy?" M: "Happy?" D: "If you wanted to have a kid..." M: "Not that I do--" D: "But if you did--" (repeat exchange) "--I would help." M: "You would?...That's not the kind of help I need." D: "That's not what I meant. If you met somebody, and you wanted to have a baby, I would help. I would hold down the fort at the office if you wanted to stay home." M: "What, you mean you wouldn't have the baby for me?!" D: "I would if I could." M: "That's just one of those things men say to women because they know it'll never happen." D: "Well, I mean it."
Wow. The acting and the layers of meaning in that scene are just incredible.
David believes his gesture is very caring and helpful. For once, he's not monkeying around, he's being very mature. In his way, he wants what he thinks will make her happy, and he wants to see her comfortable and loved. From Maddie's point of view, she is perhaps tired of the questions that career women had to go through--you aren't "normal" or there's something 'wrong with you' because you chose to see your job as more enjoyable than family; also, you can hear it in her voice, she has perhaps been through more of that looking and trying to have an "ideal" private life than she lets on, and it took its toll on her. Chasing other people's standards, but not having them ring true for you, can leave you fighting with your friends and neighbors over who knows what's right for whom. They think they mean well; you're tired of having to justify everything.
Our team winds up at the apartment building. They meet the three Justice Dept. agents (named King!). Turns out they are looking for a woman and a baby...the man was made to look drunk and thrown off the balcony...uh-oh. :-[
Maddie thinks they should have called the police right away. The next day, the story will be all over the news, and she could be in serious legal trouble as an accessory to the crime. David, who thinks the wife may have done the murder, still says they were right to take in the baby.
M: "It makes me look like an accomplice." D: "It makes you look like a nice person." M: "Something you go to jail for...Talking to you is what got me in trouble in the first place. Just drop me off at my house."
David mutters "Right" and Maddie is immediately rattled by that. She asks what he meant. This time he is the one who doesn't want to talk. Finally he says he meant Maddie couldn't let Agnes enjoy being around the baby. He's calling her a killjoy.
M: "That's a lie! Stop it!" She thinks the baby would be safer if they did things her way. David just shakes his head. Was he trying to convince her, or just really mad? Both? (Why is he so quick to skim over the fact that she really was, technically, in some danger at that point?) Both of them think they are doing the best thing, but are ignoring the unpleasant aspects of their plans.
Back at Maddie's house, Agnes is there with the baby.
Agnes: "You live alone, you don't bother to get a big tree. Oh, that's right, I forget--you live alone too." Agnes is just incredibly sweet with the baby; she's also reaching out to Maddie. The holidays can be a rough time for some. Agnes is so happy, it's just the right thing.
(At this time I'd like to note, isn't it Maddie's house? Then why, precisely, does she have a tree? She's not religious... Well, some people do celebrate Christmas as more of a social than religious occasion, have a tree, give presents, that kind of thing, but it does seem a touch odd since we learn more about her stance on this a few episodes later. Anyhoo!)
Agnes: "Christmas and children. They make up for a lot of the bad stuff." Maddie: "They sure do."
Agnes asks what they found out. She wants to return the baby, but not until the next day.
A: "I'm sure going to enjoy him while he's here...Want to share him with me? It's Christmas."
She hands Maddie the baby and surprise, she quite likes it...
Maddie says they "didn't find out a thing."
Next day they go to Agnes' place to pick up her things. Agnes says that weird line, "There's no one I'd rather have children with than you." Maddie gets this stare that is utterly confused and yet pleasantly surprised at the same time. ;D It's much like what David said to her. This is the second time somebody claims she'd make a good mother!
Who should show up, but Leonard.
Maddie thinks he is one of the agents and unknowingly helps him by answering his questions.
Leonard: "Somehow, I got the impression that is not your baby!" This is oddly two-edged: he hints that he's out to find the real mother and take the baby, but also implies Maddie doesn't 'look like a mother,' refuting the nice things David and Agnes have said about her. At last he leaves.
Maddie has no choice now but to let Agnes in on the full truth. Dipesto is of course very sad. Maddie says she now doubts Leonard was an agent.
David is at the front desk in the office, and says, movingly, "I've been tying up the hotline trying to find you!" He teases Maddie about how watching the kid made her look and act different. Then he says they have to meet the mother, in his office.
You know, by the look in his eyes--when Dave thinks it's weird, it's pretty weird, all right. ;D
The woman, Mary, says she's on the run and "couldn't find any rooms at any of the inns." David is absolutely shocked. That look on his face is a crack-up right there. This time he's the one who's scared and cautious, and backs out of the room.
Maddie tries to call the police. David cuts her off. They yell back and forth.
M: "I hate you!" D: "You love me!"
They go back into his office. Mary tells them the boy's name is Andrew. (This breaks up David's little jinx theory.) Then Mary says she saw it all happen. Both of them are floored, but David perhaps flinches a little more, feeling bad about having suspected Mary.
Mary says she left the baby with Agnes because "she seemed sweet and kind." Maddie: "She is."
Mary says she was waiting in the hall for them to arrive, and she wants to see her son.
Maddie and David both realize they made the mother spend the night without her child. That must have been horrible. All for what they thought was a good idea from their points of view! :-[ Maddie has to break the news to Agnes. David offers to help. Maddie says no. In one of my favorite little scenes, David gives her a playful punch on the shoulder in encouragement.
Agnes is gone.
They check her apartment. There's a note from her, a food list--even that is in rhyme. ;D David won't let Maddie call the police, and says keep looking.
Back to the car. Although it's going on Christmas Eve, they didn't have time to get each other presents. It's a sweet moment, one of many in this episode. For once there's no fight going on!
David says he wishes he were in Bethlehem--"there (would be) a star in the sky, if you needed to find a baby..." This jogs Maddie's memory, and she tells him she knows where to find Agnes and the baby. She knows where there would be a star. (David is confused...)
Back at Maddie's house. Underneath the Christmas tree.
And it's true. Agnes has something to say, but Maddie won't let her finish. She's trying to tell her, uh, we have company...the unwelcome kind...while Maddie thinks Agnes just wants the baby to stay.
Here come Leonard and his friend the big bad lug.
Maddie says Agnes and the baby are waiting for Santa Claus. Leonard laughs.
And Santa shows up!
Except it's David, and he's not so dang happy about this. Especially since he has to get through the chimney while he's upside-down and wearing a costume. And then save the day.
The crooks try to move in; David belts them with the bag of toys. Shots fly. Everyone ducks behind the couch and throws toys at the attackers. At last, in come the Justice Dept. agents!
And everything is fine. The end.
Cast and crew sing the whole darn thing of "The First Noel." We know it's in as a time-killer, seeing as they were maybe 6-8 minutes short on the episode, but it's just really sweet.
Especially the kiss under the mistletoe.
Last Edit: Oct 2, 2005 3:18:26 GMT -5 by queensgirl
Yeah that is one great post queensgirl, you've got everything in there! I think my favourite part of this episode is the "STOP THAT DAVID!" banter in the office and then I love the ending. The commentary on this one is cool too, now all I want for Christmas is Season 3 DVDs.
Ohhh Thanks Queensgirl! I like this episode especially those conversation :
D: "...Because I think you'd make a hell of a mother." M: "...Thanks." D: "I just have this instinct." M: "Well, it doesn't matter, because we'll probably never know." D: "What do you mean by that?" M "Look at my life, David, I live alone! I'm trying to make a business work! I'm not--" D: "Happy?" M: "Happy?" D: "If you wanted to have a kid..." M: "Not that I do--" D: "But if you did--" "--I would help." M: "You would?...That's not the kind of help I need." D: "That's not what I meant. If you met somebody, and you wanted to have a baby, I would help. I would hold down the fort at the office if you wanted to stay home." M: "What, you mean you wouldn't have the baby for me?!" D: "I would if I could." M: "That's just one of those things men say to women because they know it'll never happen." D: "Well, I mean it."
It's sweet but I agree with Maddie...they know it'll never happen;)
I was in a christmas mood today, so I watched this! It's perfect, so I voted 10 just now. ;D It both begins and ends with The First Noel, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The funniest parts are to me all of the talks in the car, when David wants to help Maddie out with having a baby ;D and when David wishes he was in Betlehem ("Betlehem nice this time of year?").
They should have done a Xmas episode every year and included the mistle toe. It's a perfect setup.
Post by haddie mayes on Dec 5, 2006 4:42:33 GMT -5
There must be something in the air because i sat and watch both of the xmas episodes one after the other while i was wrapping presents the other day. And i might watch them again today while i`m putting up the xmas decs and tree . I have visions of sugar plums and fairies dancing in my head.
I watched this one last night. This is such a terrific episode! I really love this one alot. Definitely a great Xmas episode for a tv show. Wish they did one every year also. I love all M/D conversations in this one from the funny ones to the serious ones. Some conversations are so telling of what will happen to them in the future. I never voted till now-10
Post by honeyblondenoggin on May 21, 2007 11:51:35 GMT -5
This really is a great great episode. Ironic too, lots of "foreshadowing" about helping Maddie out with a baby if she ever needed the help Which is what makes season 4 all the more frustrating, when way back in season 2, David shows that he would be there for Maddie if she needed him! Not Maddie-bashing here, I'm ML-writer-bashing
I got really sad over Maddie's responses/reactions to the baby. I completely felt her pain, because I could relate. It took a long time for me to have my daughter, so I threw myself into work and dodged motherhood questions much like Maddie. Always said that I wasn't the mother-type. To me (from my perspective) she DESPERATELY would have liked to be a mother, but wasn't in a place in her life for that to happen, but was hearing her biological clock ticking, so to speak. Which makes the beginning of season 5 all the more sad, to me.
I digress. This particular episode is just lovely. Funny, heart-warming, sweet and yet still has David making mock. I give this episode a 9.