Open on jarring comparison shots of a mysterious blond woman arriving in Los Angeles to meet her lover for a tryst; balanced with a view of Ms. Hayes spending the morning picking out her attire for a night on the town.
Maddie has checked and discarded a passel of choices, before settling on a dangerous black number, then literally dancing in front of the mirror. It is a simple but shocking vignette that completely changes our idea of who we’re dealing with here.
Still in the black dress, Maddie phones the company. “I won’t be coming in today. I’m…sick.” A deception, not the last we’ll see in the near future. She had tried on her new image…and now she’s tired. A visual theme that will be played out over the rest of the day.
The other scene ends less peacefully: the strange woman kills her lover.
Cut to the Blue Moon office, where ‘dealer’ David leads his employees in a round of strip poker. Everyone but him is losing. Maddie shows up after all. She glances briefly at the insane little gathering and continues strolling toward her office. No tirade, no threats to fire or murder anybody, nothing.
And that’s just wrong!
A surprised David halts the game and sends everyone scurrying back to their stations to get dressed and to count their losses. Addison walks to Maddie’s office.
What happened out there, or didn’t happen, and why? Normally Maddie would have blasted all and sundry with verbal lambastes about how disgusting and juvenile their behavior had been. David would answer with some joke better suited for a 900 line.
Neither was true.
This disturbs David to the core. For all that he acts like he can’t stand his boss, you and I know that is ultimately so much hot air and that there’s really no one better suited for each other. Maddie’s iron temper and somewhat prudish nature are part of her personality, just like David’s refusal to take the world seriously is much of his, and when the system does not function as normal, it can’t be good. They’re supposed to fight. They’re supposed to joke. That’s the way it works. That’s how they drive each other crazy, and how they solve cases.
Dave pleads with Maddie to tell him the truth. She refuses. By rights, everyone in the lobby should have been in big trouble, as this is not something any sane person would do at the office, and Maddie hates it if so much as a time card is turned in out of order. So why isn’t she throwing a tantrum right now?
What’s bothering her?
Maddie still insists there’s nothing wrong. David presses the issue. Maddie, glowering, takes her coat and hat and says she’s leaving for a while. She walks out and doesn’t come back until after the close of day. We never learn what she did in this intervening time.
Maddie goes back to her office and sits on the couch. (The place, in a shrink’s office, to confess what is truly on your mind, and talk about one’s deepest feelings, including matters sexual.) Soon David shows up, still perturbed about what happened before. He kids about fleecing Bert Viola in the card game, then picks up the real subject again. (Another visual metaphor here: laying all your cards on the table.)
Thunder cracks as a heavy storm gets under way. David kneels in front of the couch and pleads with her to let him know “if anything was causing her pain.”
This time, Maddie decides to go ahead and say what was bothering her. And David is the one who will regret it.
“You want to know what’s really going on?” Maddie asks.
“Yeah, I want to hear it,” David promises.
Be careful what you wish for…
The episode is very dark—there is no daylight in it at all, after the introductory sequence with the plane landing. The themes are confusion, deception, and the hopelessness of trying to cut through them without knowing the truth. David will soon charge off under his own power trying to figure out the story, and it will only take him further and further from reality—until the bitter end, when the solution turns out to be something he really did not want to know.
Maddie steps from the shaded half of the office into the beam from an overhead light. “I feel like I’m restrained, yet like I’m about to break free,” she says. David urges her to continue, not sure what any of this really means. It sounds like something, but right now it’s vague poetic phrases.
Then she clears it up for him.
Maddie wants to find a man for an anonymous night of debauchery. David, used to her being repelled by his bawdy nature, is astonished. This can’t be her.
“I don’t want to hear this!” he bleats, in an about-face. He was better off with the illusion of her as someone who does not participate in the world, specifically the lusts he himself so much enjoys. When he could think of her as ‘pure,’ although she was unattainable to him, she was sweet and someone he could look up to.
But what if she really is the same as him? How does that complicate the picture? Who’s chasing who, and who is now in charge? David used to think that although Maddie ran the frame in the world of work, he was far more acquainted with the personal realm, and so would always have the chance to get her into a relationship, where he would determine what went on.
Now, however, ‘the female of the species is more deadly than the male.’
Maddie says David is being sexist because he would not care if one of the men were about to do this. (Also, he is about five years her junior, yet he is talking like a father to a teenager.) David agrees, but in fact doesn’t say in so many words that this is the reason. Rather, he implies Maddie has not been out in the social world in a long time and does not fully understand what can happen out there. It can be fun, but for the uninitiated it can be brutal and dangerous too. Maddie thinks she’s going to find a night of madcap romance. She may end up as some tragic bulletin on the next day’s news, or at the least, shocked and broken-hearted.
In an odd way, David, with everything he says in this scene, also implies that the world in which he is used to moving isn’t what it seems, and someone like her deserves better. When it looks like she’s going to try and be that way, suddenly David feels he needs to save her.
This is an incredible sentiment, but because he does not explain it in detail, Maddie can only see the surface meaning, and thinks he’s being patronizing.
Embarrassed that she tried to tell him the truth, and was scorned for it, Maddie grabs her things and wants to leave again. “Stupid Maddie,” she spits, “what’s good for the goose is forbidden for the gander!”
David is adamant not to let her go.
“There are a lot of crazy people out there!” he warns. He tries, and fails, to block the front door.
“There are a lot of crazy people in here,” Maddie scoffs.
“You’re going right home,” David insists. “Look me in the eye and tell me you’re going right home!”
She stares him down. And says nothing.
“Why are you looking so—unhappy!?” he sputters.
“My chastity belt is pinching me. Goodnight.” Furious, she pulls the door and walks out.
There is only one thing to do. Chase after her. It’s hard to have a chase without a car, though, and since Maddie has claim to the BMW, Dave isn’t very well going to be able to conduct pursuit via cross-town bus. He corrals Bert Viola and asks the clerk to work with him on a ‘big, important case.’ They hurry off to the garage and are soon in pursuit of a silver car. Bert does not recognize whose car it is, but Dave knows.
They stop in the parking lot of a large store, and watch Maddie walk in. “That’s Ms. Hayes! We’re following Ms. Hayes!” Viola declares.
Dave walks up to the front and watches through the glass. He spots Maddie. Herbert ignores David’s instructions to stay in the car, and follows to the shop door.
Bert very nearly figures out something quite important.
“There are some of us at the office who think there’s a personal thing between you and Ms. Hayes,” Bert ventures.
David jeers. “You have been laboring under a severe delusion, my friend.” Actually, Viola has not. At least, not in terms of what the passenger wishes would happen. Still, Addison is not yet ready to let the whole truth be known. He dashes back to the car before Maddie can see them on her way from the checkout counter.
David spins some wild tale about protecting the boss from international skullduggery. Yeah, because the first thing an intelligence operative does when he sneaks into a country is make sure he has enough t.v. dinners…
Intrigue! Espionage! Groceries!
Herbert, amazingly, buys the story.
Once Hayes is outside, she does something strange: places her bag in the cart of another shopper. Then Maddie gets into her own car. It took me a while to figure out why she did this, but I think I can be reasonably sure that before she got to the store, she may have given up on going to the bar; the discarding of the bag, which looks almost defiant and forceful if you watch closely, might be a way of showing that she had decided she was not going to spend another boring night in and would go out to party after all. Although there are a few ‘near misses’ in this episode—including an astounding one, as Maddie drives right past the men and Bert ducks but David does not—I don’t think Maddie knew she was being followed.
Bert drives to the next stop on Maddie’s itinerary.
It turns out to be Metropolis, a nightclub Viola recognizes as a “meat market,” the perfect place to find somebody for a reckless one-nighter. The second thing spies do, after making sure the kitchen is stocked, is go out to have fun…in big, public places with huge crowds…
Bert and Dave take their seats and watch the goings-on. Maddie gets a drink at the bar. She initially requests club soda, then changes it to a white wine spritzer, and finally, after a good look at the people lined up at the bar, to a boilermaker.
Her first prospect soon approaches. He is a muscular gentleman in about his early forties.
I use the term “gentleman” loosely.
When Maddie asks him for the time, he turns up his left hand, on the third finger of which is a wedding ring. Hayes wryly shoots him down and goes to a table, hoping the next person will be an improvement.
Meanwhile Bert spins a charming story about his growing attraction for Agnes. He speculates that it may be time for him to end his single days, as the secretary has come to mean more to him than just the person who transfers the phone calls. This is a marked change from his apprehension when Agnes first made her attentions rather forcefully clear. It is also a subtle nod at the need for David himself to start telling the truth (not to mention a mirror of Agnes’ bar scene with Maddie three episodes later).
This will be one of the few moments of hope the whole night.
Next to come up to Maddie is a man who says he first saw her in television commercials. Laughing gently, Maddie lets him stay. They talk for a few minutes and the man asks if she senses the same interest he does. David, who has moved over to the bar to avoid being spotted at the table, winces at the apparent success of the guy’s horrible lines. This is the kind of garbage he must be used to saying, only now it’s not so cool! (Notice, for some reason, David does not tell Bert to hide. Viola could just as easily be seen, and if so, would have an equally difficult time explaining why he, who works at the same company, should be here so close to the boss tonight. Could be David forgot, because he was so worried, or the writers did.) Either Maddie is especially desperate or she is such a social novice she can’t even tell this is a bunch of horsefeathers. Then his drink goes flying, what do you know, and Maddie’s top is ruined. She’s in luck, because the patron is willing to let her clean up over at his place…
That won’t happen. Maddie runs in disgust to the bathroom. (In a grit-your-teeth moment, she passes within a hair’s breadth of Dave, who rushes to turn his back.) There Hayes meets the woman whom she does not realize is indeed one of the ‘crazy people out there’: Joan Tenewich, the woman who murdered a man in that scene in the opening montage. Maddie vents about the misery of the evening, cleans up her blouse and heads around the wall to use a hand dryer as recommended by the other person. While Maddie is gone, Tenewich helps herself to the woman’s hat and coat as a disguise. She had phoned her contact to say there was a man following her. Initially there was one such, briefly seen when Maddie was having her first drink and Joan was sitting in a corner. We will later learn the first man following Joan was an FBI agent, but a second person soon got in the way, by sheer force of accident.
It was David, although he himself had no idea that’s what she thought or who she was.
So Addison’s crazy story of trying to protect Maddie from an ill-intentioned ‘operative’ turned out to be absolutely true! (Come to think of the ending, it’s surprising he didn’t get paid a commission fee, but let’s not jump ahead of ourselves here…)
Now dressed in different gear, Joan looks fairly similar to Maddie in passing. She rushes out of the room, past a nervous David, who trails her outside. Hayes is left to discover the theft of her belongings, and we do not see how or when she actually leaves the building to go home.
That will become very important later on.
Meanwhile, David follows the woman he thinks is Maddie through a café, down an alley and finally into a hotel. The lady quickly meets up with a man and walks with him to the elevator. David, hiding by some ferns in the lobby, of course doesn’t understand it’s actually not Ms. Hayes and she’s not just keen on some total stranger, but because of lack of awareness, he is doubly shocked and disgusted. It looks like she literally just grabbed the first person she ran into, close to ‘her’ room, and will go do what she was planning with the very nearest subject available. For David to be floored at someone else’s apparent lack of moral scruples is itself a bit funny. His heartsickness at the thought of losing Maddie to some random nobody is not.
The elevator door closes and David, safely unseen at this particular place by his target, makes note of the floor marker arrow. Notably, the letter “M” lights up before the destination level, as if a reminder from the cosmos. Addison heads up the stairs.
He emerges in the hallway, does not spot them and most likely is also worried it’s too easy for him to get caught in the open. Frustrated, he scrambles for another way to get to the couple.
Going back through the staircase door, David notices the window is open onto the ledge that runs under the windowsills. There is just enough space for him to shimmy down the row.
He passes by a row of startling and comical sights: a businessman in front of a t.v. playing a risqué movie; hyperactive kids chasing each other around at a birthday party; and two writers arguing over whether to put a certain type of scene in their next script.
The fourth vista is not funny at all.
The blonde lady is with her friend, and he apparently knows what to do if the poor woman’s dress is a little too tight. David winces as he takes in all this.
Then the other man notices David.
Addison is a little slow to huddle to safety. The fellow gets to the window and pulls a gun to usher the hapless detective into the room.
He throws David against the wall and frisks him. When this is done, David has a second to turn around, and notices the blonde he’s been following is not actually his boss.
David tries to fool the woman and her gun-wielding friend into staring out the window so he can run away. This works for about half a second, not quite enough. A fight breaks out and David gets in a few good shots at the man. Before he can turn and defeat the other, however, the lady picks up a liquor bottle and clocks David upside the head with it. Addison slumps to the floor.
Let’s just say that despite a very pleasant reverie, he wakes up in bad shape. The criminal’s gun is in his hand, and her companion’s corpse is next to him. Uh-oh. Better get out of here.
Yet he can hear police sirens already.
Back out the way he came in, then.
Thinking this would be a safe way to hide, Addison heads for the ledge. The cops spot him, though, and even catapulting down into a garbage bin doesn’t help. He is busted as soon as he lands in the muck.
Addison is taken to jail, where he gets the ‘pleasure’ of the company of several shiftless lunatics. When one of them calls out lines from a classic comedy movie, David is still not moved to smile.
Then the woman from the hotel is shown in by a guard. David yells, “Did you tell them what happened?” The woman quiets him down, asking if David has been given the standard preparation for confinement, a rather nasty cleaning treatment. (He has.)
The words seem to make Addison realize he’s trapped for the time being, and he relaxes just a little, taking a seat on the bench at the rear wall.
“No offense, but you look like hell, baby,” the lady says, walking back to take a seat on her side of the divide. “Who’s Maddie?”
“What?” is all David can reply.
“When you were climbing in from the ledge, you said you were looking for Maddie. Who’s he?”
“She,” David corrects. “He’s a she. I thought you were her.”
“Well, she must be someone you care about. I mean, look at you.”
David has indeed been flattened pretty thoroughly. He still blushes at her use of that word.
“I know whereof I speak. That man I murdered tonight? I would have killed for him.”
Stunned, Addison leaps to his feet to scream the message he just heard. The guard does not get there before the woman calls David back again.
“You just confessed!” David snaps.
“Fine, and I’ll confess again!” the lady says. A flustered David sits down.
Joan asks again why he was following Ms. Hayes. David says he was worried about Maddie’s very unusual words and attitude. “I guess I was just trying to make sure she didn’t get in any trouble.”
The next thing Joan says will be even more blunt.
“Does she know you love her?”
Startled, Addison mutters, “What? I’m not…” and you can just hear him say, “…in love with her.”
“Yes, you are.” The criminal smiles. “It’s just so clear…Tell her.”
“Tell her.” Even murderers seem to know better than him on this one.
“Go ahead, tell her,” says one of the inmates across the cell. “What’ve you got to lose?”
The killer gets in one last admonition before a police officer shows up to take David away. “Write to me. Let me know how it turns out,” the lady says.
Then it’s off to see the wizard. Seems the lieutenant is in a hurry to take care of the questioning.
In the interrogation room, David repeats his assertion that the woman in the cell is in fact the real culprit, and he had really been looking for Maddie. The cops want to know why. “She’s nothing to me,” David snaps, then admits the truth under pressure.
“She’s someone I care about,” Addison grumbles. “I think I’m in care with her.”
“And if we find her, she’ll back up your story?” says one of the officers. “She’ll corroborate the fact that the two of you are in care?”
“I don’t know,” a weary David admits. “I don’t know if she’s aware of the fact that I’m in care with her.”
In walks an FBI agent, who says David is telling the truth: Joan Tenewich is the real guilty party. The man she shot that night was her husband, whom Joan killed to keep his share of the money from a hold-up of an armored car, and the man from the first killing was the ‘fence,’ an assistant in the initial theft years ago. David is free to leave.
“I told you!” Addison cheers. He heads for the door.
The cops turn one last time to stare at him.
“I’ll tell her,” David pledges.
Addison bursts through the doors of the Booking department and storms down the hall. “Two years!” he crows as he passes through the crowd of new arrestees. “Two years of civil war!”
He yells a proud assertion that tonight will finally be the night he lets Maddie know what he’s always been thinking about. There’s just one thing.
How’s he going to get to her house?
One of the officers agrees to drop him off, and David jokes that he better hang around in case there’s a need for a ride back. A second later, he laughs, picking up his confidence, and heads for the door as the cop drives away.
It’s pouring rain. David leans over to pluck flowers from a stanchion at the foot of the path. Then he heads toward the house.
He gazes up at the second floor, rings the bell, then hammers on the door. No answer. He tries again. Finally a figure appears on the other side.
David starts: “I know it’s four in the morning, but…”
A man answers.
He is buttoning up his shirt and looks like he has just tumbled out of bed. He is in his thirties, dark-haired and strikingly handsome even in this messy state.
David’s world is coming to an end, but he has to think of something to say.
“Hi,” is all he can manage.
“Hi,” the stranger says back. “Maddie’s asleep. If it’s important, I can go get her…”
“No,” David says, “it’s not important.” He turns and walks away.
Addison, dumbstruck, can finally let the pain show. He drops the flowers near the door and trudges back down the path.
The rain mixes with the tears on his face.
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2006 6:06:10 GMT -5 by queensgirl
Great post, queensgirl. I always enjoy how thorough you are.
Notice, for some reason, David does not tell Bert to hide. Viola could just as easily be seen, and if so, would have an equally difficult time explaining why he, who works at the same company, should be here so close to the boss tonight. Could be David forgot, because he was so worried, or the writers did.
This and a hundred other things show me just how FREAKED David was that night. No regard for his dignity, social propriety, business decorum, even the preservation of his own life when he sees her slipping away from him... this time for real! I think his statement (and expression) as he climbs out onto the ledge says it all. "What am I doing?" Little does he know his falling from that ledge would have been significantly less painful than what he's about to go through.
Watching this on Saturday, I wondered what David thought he was going to have to do whenever he eventually caught up with the woman he thought was Maddie, and her 'suitor.' Hypothetically, let's say it had been Maddie after all (in that room at the hotel). I bet she would not have appreciated his efforts, to say the least, and the poor guy's career, and very possibly his physical safety, would have been shot to heck. (Whether he caught her with Sam, someone else or even nobody at all.)
Had he always been planning to confront them, or was he kind of forced into it by Mr. Tenowich spotting him on the ledge? If he had not seen David, or if the other man had not had a gun, I wonder if David would have been able to mosey off to safety, then...I don't know what. Who knows what else he had been planning to do at that point. I'm sure 'getting the daylights kicked out of him and getting arrested' weren't on his original agenda.
Again going on the premise of what he'd do if that were actually Maddie in that room (if she had not 'gone home' as she later claimed), if David had been able to observe them and then slink away to safety, would he have instead tried to stop them on their way out of the room later on? Or just let them go and wait 'til tomorrow to act? What would he have said about it at the office the next day? Would he have just quit? Gotten sick? Picked a fight about it? Given up and decided this was too crazy to keep up with after all, thus sidestepping the move toward destiny?
And what exactly did Maddie do when she left the office for most of the day, during the first part of the episode, in between her first and second talks with David? Hair done? Drinking? (That's not like her, but then again, this whole episode is about people not being themselves.) I don't know, it's just that we never hear or see anything about this gap in time, and David doesn't call her out about her 'irresponsibility' until the next episode (and that's triggered by her showing up late, which is a different occasion). A lot of stuff to wonder about in this one.
Last Edit: Mar 12, 2006 1:30:04 GMT -5 by queensgirl
This is such a seminal episode that it leaves no doubt as to where the storyline is heading.
For me, the quintessential moment in Blonde on Blonde is when Maddie, after much cajoling by David, finally admits what is wrong: “I feel reckless.” David’s eyes flash open slightly wider and he softly gasps, all the while clearly trying to hide his shock. (This part does leaving me wondering what he thought she was going to say.) But then, when she tries to abandon the conversation, he grabs her arm and says, “No, I want to hear about it.”
The story, which to this point had been all about Maddie’s state of mind, starts to swing around to David’s. We feel his distress and his panic throughout the remainder of the episode as he desperately pursues her. (I esp. love the street scene where he’s following the wrong woman as Dion’s Runaround Sue echoes down the street. Very cool scene - kudos to Jay Daniel for his great direction.)
As for the ending, never has a broken heart been more achingly portrayed. I love this episode and give it a much deserved 10.
Post by honeyblondenoggin on Jun 10, 2007 12:19:34 GMT -5
Maddie Jr ~ I always wondered if Maddie, albeit subconsiously, launched into that speech so that David might make an offer to "relieve her problem" and this time, she wouldn't have refused. But David has so much love and (*gasp*) respect for Maddie, that even though there is sort of this offer laid before him, it's not the right context for him in which to finally "get horizontal" with Maddie. Like it's more than that for David now. He loves her, he doesn't *just* want to "lay" her (pardon the vuglar expression). She means more than that to him now, you know what I mean?
Oooh, I like this question Jr. And I like your response Noggin. I do think Maddie would have been open to David helping her with her "problem," but only if he had laid his cards on the table first. I mean if he had just made one of his sexist passes at her she would have just gotten mad and yelled at him as per the usual routine. But if he had told her he would be hurt/jealous if she looked elsewhere because he loved her, well I think she would have been most welcoming.
But of course neither one of them wanted to be the first one to lay their cards on the table. Too much danger in that. If only David would have given her the reassurance she wanted that she was more than a sexual conquest and enjoyable affair to him things might have been so very different. But if David did that he of course wouldn't be David!
This episode marks the start of a new era in Moonlighting. We all - as viewers - were waiting for 'it' to happen and now it unfolds, ready to lead us to unknown grounds.
I agree with the above posts that David has reached a point of having mature and real feelings towards Maddie, beyond a simple 'body attraction' state. That's why he is shocked to hear from the woman he loves and respects, that she just want to be 'bad'
The scenes with David watching Maddie at the bar and at the city are funny and entertaining. Then, we get dramatic again, as this time David realizes that he "is in caring" with Maddie.
The final heartbroken scene is also excellently portrayed by Bruce and prepares the ground for worse things to come.
...and we shouldnt forget the music theme...The same of the dancin'scene in the pilot(but more touchy performed by Al)...Great idea end the episode with "since I fell for you" and not with the usual theme. Rappresents Dave's feelings and his situation: "you love me and then you snob me".Fits perfectly! Dave is vulnerable cause the Addison we know,would have ignored Sam and gone straight to Maddie confessing his feelings.But he was more than shocked,petrified in front of Sam.It was clear that he was madly in love with her,afraid,alone and didn't know what to do.In a few words,turned down without even asking like a 18 years old kid.Who?The cool and arrogant Addison!