Episode Cast:

Suzanne Sugarbaker
Delta Burke

Julia Sugarbaker
Dixie Carter

Mary Jo Shively
Annie Potts

Charlene Frazier
Jean Smart

Ted Shively
Scott Bakula

Ray Don Simpson
Arlen Dean Snyder





Pilot

Directed by: Ellen Chaset Falcon
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Taped: March 15, 1986
Airdate: September 29, 1986

Mary Jo has just returned from bidding a job at the fabulously wealthy home of the Sundemeyer's when Julia enters, having just returned from the bank where she's learned that their design business is a few hundred dollars off last month's figures. Suzanne breezes in with a bubbly air that doesn't agree with Julia's mood from the bank visit. Suzanne is clearly upset when Charlene tells her that her gynecologist called to cancel her appointment --- he is retiring. Charlene suggests Suzanne go to see Mary Jo's ex-husband, also a gynecologist.

Later that afternoon, after Suzanne's doctors appointment, Julia is appalled to learn that Suzanne is now dating Mary Jo's ex-husband Ted. Suzanne claims it just happened and writes it off as romantic fate. Though Charlene feels this news is upsetting to Mary Jo, Mary Jo says it absolutely doesn't bother her --- she and Ted were young when they married and just found other interests.

The following day, Charlene, Mary Jo and Julia are waiting for Suzanne at a restaurant when a middle-aged swinger type approaches them for company. Julia makes it very clear to him that they are comfortable being with each other and he departs quickly. Suzanne enters apologizing for her tardiness by explaining that she and Ted were looking over a guide to Paris where they plan to go for the weekend. Everyone is a bit ruffled, but they maintain composure until Suzanne produces a very expensive diamond cuff bracelet and goes on to say that Ted has asked her to marry him.

Back at the office, Mary Jo confides to Charlene that is does bother her that Suzanne and Ted are dating........ she has realized that she is mad at Ted and has never told him so. Suddenly, the door opens and Ted and Suzanne enter. Suzanne says that she feels that if she and Ted are going to have any chance at happiness in their marriage, Ted and Mary Jo are going to have to get everything resolved between them. The girls leave them alone and go in the back room. Hours later, Mary Jo tells Ted that all she really wants is to know that he appreciated her for all she did; and a thank you. It takes a lot out of Ted, but he finally accommodates her request. Mary Jo, feeling better about herself and the whole situation, proposes a toast to three of the classiest women she has ever known who she calls friends.......

-- Columbia Tri-Star Marketing



Additional Comments:

Obviously recorded ahead of the rest of the series to sell to the network and advertisers, there are many differences in this episode from the rest of the series. Some things were changed before the series actually went into production.

The actual set is different --- the foyer is deeper with an entry closet, and the inside steps continue around the door rather than just at the bottom of the staircase.

Julia's desk, instead of being in the back next to the staircase, is right in the foreground. The decor is also much more ornate than in the rest of the series.

Charlene's nickname for Mary Jo is "Jo" --- an idea which was obviously scrapped after the pilot was recorded (Mary Jo also makes reference to Charlene as "Char").

This episode also appears to have been shot using a cheaper film stock.

Suzanne seems much more intelligent and dramatic, as she does in most of the early episodes. Charlene also starts out as softer and kind of sassy and not as loud as in later seasons.

In addition to the regular cast, the pilot also introduces Scott Bakula in the recurring role of Mary Jo's ex-husband, Ted Shively. Although he and Suzanne appear to begin a relationship in the episode, it's short-lived.

This episode makes minor references to clients and characters that will eventually be worked into later episodes. The eccentric Mr. Tyson, introduced in Season Two's Half an Air Bubble Off, is mentioned as having complained about some lamps that accentuated the nude angels in his paintings. Also, Charlene mentions the mysterious Shadow, who ends up being her New Years date (an alleged escaped convict) in New Year's Daze. And the scene where Julia tells off Ray Don in the sushi bar comes back to haunt the ladies in Mary Jo's First Date when they realize he is conducting their I.R.S. audit.



Classic Scenes:

(After Suzanne returns from her gynecological appointment with Mary Jo's ex-husband)
JULIA: Y'know Suzanne, I find this really incredible. Three hours ago you were looking for a new gynecologist, so Mary Jo here very graciously gave you the number of her ex-husband. We were all under the impression this was to be a professional medical visit. Now you return with the news that you're dating this person? I mean, forgive my stupidity, but just exactly how does one make that jump from the stirrups in a doctor's office to a booth at Dijon Fridays?
SUZANNE: Look Julia.........I can't explain it. It was romantic fate; I'm a romantic. All I know is our eyes met.........
MARY JO: She's not only a romantic........she's a contortionist.
SUZANNE: I only had a consultation in Ted's outer office.
CHARLENE: Oh, so now it's Ted.
SUZANNE: Look, I just don't understand what everyone is getting so upset about. After all, Ted and Mary Jo's relationship is in the past.
CHARLENE: Oh c'mon, Suzanne. These things are never in the past. I'm sure Mary Jo has some old underwear she doesn't want anymore either...........that doesn't mean she wants to see you in them.
SUZANNE: Well, I think we should let Mary Jo speak for herself. Mary Jo, I want the truth. If my going out with Ted would bother you in any way, all you have to do is to tell me.
MARY JO: (kinda bitchy) and I would........but if you want to go out with Ted. It's fine with me.
SUZANNE: Well good! Because I wouldn't want you to feel pressured, or feel threatened by our incredibly electric attraction for one another. And I swear I don't mean that bitchy.
JULIA: I just don't understand why you had to pick on her ex-husband.
SUZANNE: Julia, I didn't pick him, it just happened.
JULIA: And it will happen again. Suzanne, if sex were fast food there'd be an arch over your bed. And I swear I don't mean that bitchy.


(a middle-aged swinger approaches the ladies in a sushi bar....)
RAY DON: Excuse me, but you lovely ladies look like you're in need of a little male companionship.
JULIA: Trust me when I tell you that you have completely misassessed the situation at this table.
RAY DON: (laughing and sitting down) a sense of humor.......I like that......and you are?
CHARLENE: Charlene Frazier.
RAY DON: No kidding! I have a sister named Arleen.
CHARLENE: Really? I have sisters named Marlene, Harlene, and Darlene.
MARY JO: I have a brother named Skip.
RAY DON: Allow me to introduce myself.......Ray Don Simpson.
JULIA: There's no need for introductions, Ray Don, we know who you are.
RAY DON: (smiling) You do?
JULIA: Of course. You're the guy who is always wherever women gather or try to be alone. You want to eat with us when we're dining in hotels, you want to know if the book we're reading is any good, or if you can keep up company on the plane. And I want to thank you, Ray Don, on behalf of all the women in the world, for your unfailing attention and concern. But read my lips and remember, as hard as it is to believe, sometimes we like talking just to each other, and sometimes we like just being alone.


MARY JO: (talking about her ex-husband Ted) You know what was really hard? When he would come home after a long day (as a gynecologist) and I would want to be somehow ..... different ...... from the others. But there's only so much you can do ..... with what you have, if you know what I mean.
SUZANNE: Really? I don't think I'd have that problem at all.
JULIA: Oh?
SUZANNE: All I'm saying is, anyone can make sex new and exciting if you're creative about it.
MARY JO: I guess I'm just not the exotic type. I see one of those electric personal massage deals and all I can think of is ......horrendous home safety accident!
SUZANNE: Oh, I'm not saying you need props. You just have to talk to each other in bed.
JULIA: Personally, I can't stand a man who talks in bed. And the last thing I want is to lie around discussing the why's and wherefore's of who is going to be doing what to whom and for how long. I say just get the show on the road.


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