Episode Cast:

Suzanne Sugarbaker
Delta Burke

Julia Sugarbaker
Dixie Carter

Mary Jo Shively
Annie Potts

Charlene Frazier
Jean Smart

Stephen Tobolowsky

Anthony Bouvier
Meshach Taylor

Design House

Directed by: Jack Shea
Written by: Jon Brooker and Nancy Eddo
Taped: September 27, 1986
Airdate: November 17, 1986

Suzanne arrives at work in a foul mood -- she attended a party the night before and ended up losing their biggest client after being called a bimbo front person for Sugarbaker's. Suzanne explains that it is difficult being on this social merry-go-round. She doesn't enjoy going out to lunch after lunch; she wants to do something creative for the business, like being a decorator, and she is even willing to start at the bottom. After a good deal of thinking, Julia finally concedes to Suzanne's request because, after all, Suzanne does have money invested in the business. Julia goes on to promise Suzanne that the next job through the door will be hers.

At that moment, Boyd Gladny, self professed raving decorator enters bearing the good news that Sugarbaker's is one of the eight design firms selected to decorate the 1986 Design House. Suzanne is ecstatic at the proposition of her first job -- decorating the master bedroom. Boyd goes on to say that along with the design responsibility goes the rotation of house sitting one night a week.

While Charlene is watching a fitness show on television, a news bulletin comes on, announcing that a fire has completely leveled Design House '86. Live coverage of the fire shows Suzanne standing outside the charred remains wrapped in a bedspread with a man. The girls enumerate the cost to their business and reputation and Julia knows Suzanne will have some sort of story and explanation for the fire, then will probably fly off to Barbados until things blow over. When Suzanne enters, still wearing the singed bedspread, she is despondent and wants to clear out her desk. She is sure that after the police question her about the fire she will be charged with negligence and sent to prison. When Anthony enters, having heard the news, he tries to cheer her up. After a few minutes, the girls decide to tell the police that they were all at the house and Suzanne is moved by their loyalty.

Then Boyd enters and is happy to announce that the fire inspector confirmed that the cause of the fire was due to defective wiring. Suzanne is ecstatic. She tells all that she was worried sick that the fire was caused by trying to dry her bathing suit in the oven, or toasting marshmellows with a cigarette lighter. Boyd suggests that they all go to lunch to celebrate Suzanne's good fortune, and Suzanne steps in and adamantly states that "lunch" is her area and has decided to stick with what she is good at and leave the decorating to her cohorts.

-- Columbia Tri-Star Marketing

Additional Comments:

This episode intruduces the recurring character of Anthony Bouvier, an ex-convict hired to make deliveries for Sugarbaker's. The character was written for the Thanksgiving episode Perky's Visit (which taped prior to this one), but the series producers were so impressed with Meshach Taylor's performance that they asked him to recur, and by mid-season he is a series regular.

Though the summary says Boyd's last name is Gladny, it's never mentioned in the episode, so there is some confusion as to whether this Boyd is the same sexist Boyd Allison played by Ritch Shyder in Season Four's Tough Enough. It seems unlikely that there would be two competitor male firms with a sexist Boyd, but the scripts show the characters to have different last names.

Classic Scenes:

MARY JO: I've often wondered why we can't continuously show ourselves in the most flattering light, the way we light rooms, you know?
CHARLENE: Well, how would you do that?
MARY JO: You'd have to wear a harness with a big spotlight on the back and candles in the front.
CHARLENE: You've given this some thought, haven't you?

ANTHONY: Hey! How's it going? Whatcha been up to? Seen any good movies lately?
SUZANNE: Real funny, Anthony. Wait, I have to talk to you.
ANTHONY: I don't like the sound of that.
SUZANNE: You've been in prison, right?
ANTHONY: I especially don't like the sound of that.
SUZANNE: I was wondering, what would you think of saying that you slept at Design House last night? See, it wouldn't be quite so bad if you went to prison because you've already been there before. Nobody would think anything about it. I'd send you a little money every month, and then before you know it you'd be out on good behavior.
ANTHONY: I don't think so, but thank you for thinking of me.

MARY JO: Why don't I take all of you out to lunch? Then we can talk about my new idea: design armory. It's not quite the same thing, but at least it's fireproof.
CHARLENE: That sounds like fun.
SUZANNE: Oh hey wait a second here. New deal is, I stay off of your turf, you stay off of mine. Lunch is my job....
BOYD: ...I was just hoping to have lunch with the eight finest breasts in Georgia.
SUZANNE: I know what you were hoping, Boyd, but you're just going to have to settle for the top two.


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