Mary Jo's First Date
Directed by: Jack Shea
Written by: Cheryl Gard
Taped: August 23, 1986
Airdate: November 3, 1986
Concerned that Mary Jo hasn't dated since she and Ted broke up, Suzanne arranges a blind date for her with an old acquaintance, J.D. Shackelford, head scout for the Atlanta Braves baseball team. At first Mary Jo resists, then gives in and agrees to give it a try. With the girls helping her get ready for her date, Mary Jo confides she's concerned J.D. will expect something fromher, but Charlene assures her it is just a date. Julia arrives with a shawl Mary Jo wanted to borrow, along with news that their I.R.S. audit is not going well, and that she's demanded to meet with the supervisor.
Mary Jo and J.D. have a great evening and return to her home. When he kisses Mary Jo, she confesses that she likes him a lot and would like to see him again, but adds that it took all her courage to kiss him, adding that is all she wants -- hoping he will understand. JD. claims he does understand, but goes to the door and says goodbye, leaving her confused and hurt. At Sugarbaker's the following day, Charlene is shocked when she recognizes the I.R.S. auditor as the man who tried to pick them up one night in Tokyo Gardens and that Julia shot him down with cutting remarks. Introducing himself as Ray Don Simpson, Charlene quickly takes Julia aside and warns her who Ray Don actually is. Because Ray Don has not recognized them, Julia suggests they should try not to look at him directly and hope he has forgotten about their previous encounter.
Julia whisks Ray Don to her office while Mary Jo tells Suzanne and Charlene that she is sure she will never hear from J.D. again. As she recounts the story, J.D. enters and takes her aside to apologize for the previous night. He admits he was trying to put moves on her before she was ready. When he invites her to go out to dinner and a movie on the weekend, Mary Jo happily accepts. Shortly after J.D. leaves, Julia and Ray Don re-enter. Julia is attired in dark glasses and a scarf while Charlene and Mary Jo shield their faces. Julia thanks him for coming in and Ray Don states there is a chance the entire audit will be thrown out. In the excitement the women unknowingly let down their guard -- Julia again thanks him and says his name. Knowing that she's seen the women before, it suddenly dawns on Ray Don where he knows them from...leaving a look of concerned horror on the faces of Julia, Charlene, Mary Jo and Suzanne!
-- Columbia Tri-Star Marketing
This episode is the first to feature Richard Gilliland in the recurring role of J.D. Shackelford (later spelled Shackleford).
Jean Smart became quite smitten with Richard Gilliland and told him it was her job to keep that week's guest star company so she could get to know him. The two eventually became a couple and were married.
This is the second appearance of Ray Don Simpson, who made an uncredited appearance in the pilot episode as the first victim of "The Terminator" Julia. He makes one final appearance in Season Two.
Suzanne mentions that her ex-husband used to play 2nd base for the Atlanta Braves, but by the end of the season he's their pitcher.
This episode is the first aired episode featuring Mary Jo's cottage home, which becomes the secondary set used for much of the first season.
JULIA: I'm over thirty-five, and I can assure you if I wanted to get married again, I wouldn't let a little thing like a graph stop me.
CHARLENE: According to this, Julia, your age group has a better chance of being killed by a terrorist.
As Mary Jo nervously prepares for her first date since her divorce....
JULIA: Here is a quarter for the payphone, Mary Jo. Mother always used to give Suzanne and me a dime to call home in case somebody got too fresh. I don't think Suzanne ever used hers. She eventually used the money to go to Europe.
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