Episode Cast:

Suzanne Sugarbaker
Delta Burke

Julia Sugarbaker
Dixie Carter

Mary Jo Shively
Annie Potts

Charlene Frazier
Jean Smart

Perky Sugarbaker
Louise Latham

Bernice Clifton
Alice Ghostley

Anthony Bouvier
Meshach Taylor

Tony Maggio

Perky's Visit

Directed by: Jack Shea
Written by: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Taped: September 23, 1986
Airdate: November 24, 1986

Perky Sugarbaker, Julia and Suzanne's mother, and her friend Bernice hope to escape the dull routine of their retirement home by joining the girls and their ex-con handyman Anthony for the festive occasion, considering it an exhilarating change. While Suzanne frantically prepares the turkey, Anthony arrives from making some last minute deliveries and is irate about one of the customers. He is tired of Tommy Thompson constantly putting Julia down. Suzanne offers that Tommy is just jealous because he and his partner are trying to start their own design business. Anthony states that is Tommy doesn't watch himself, he is going to take some action.

Perky and Bernice arrive an hour early and they are easily entertained by the women, and are very glad to be out of the boring environment of their retirement home. After all the introductions are made, Julia opens the newspaper to shocking news; Tommy Thompson was found dead, apparently the result of foul play. Charlene jumps to the conclusion that Anthony may have had something to do with it. They all remember his threat and the fact that Anthony did spend some time in prison. Perky tells Bernice that this might be the excitement they have been looking for. When Anthony arrives for dinner, everyone is on their best behavior; and on edge. Bernice starts choking and Anthony successfully performs the Heimlich maneuver, explaining that he learned it in prison when another guy tried to steal his ring by swallowing it. The group continues to have an enjoyable dinner and are too full for dessert, which is a good thing because Suzanne burned the pie.

With Anthony asleep on the couch, the girls do the dishes while speculating about his involvement in the murder. Charlene notices a police car pull up out front and announces they have come for Anthony. Julia suggests that everyone stay calm and not do anything that would jeopardize Anthony's innocence; then she opens the door and announces that he is on the sofa. The policeman is completely confused. Anthony awakens and says that he hates to wake up to a bunch of people pointing at him with the police nearby. Suzanne asks the policeman is Anthony is a suspect in the Tommy Thompson murder. He replies that he doesn't know who Anthony is but Tommy's business partner made a full confession to the murder. The officer just stopped by to return Julia's earring that she lost in the squad car during her traffic ticket incident. Anthony claims he doesn't know what is going on, but he feels a salary raise coming on. His parting message is full of thanks for the Thanksgiving dinner and for turning him in for murder.

-- Columbia Tri-Star Marketing

Additional Comments:

Even though Anthony's prison days are always acknowledged throughout the series, he is much less polished in this episode. It is even implied that Anthony has offered to have people killed for the ladies and that his hobbies included trying random codes at automated teller machines. Part of the reason for this is that Anthony was a one-shot character intended for this episode only. The series producers were so impressed with Meshach Taylor's performance that they asked him to be a series regular. (Although Anthony first appeared in the episode Design House, it was taped after this episode.)

It is also mentioned in this episode that Anthony has a dog.

This is Bernice's first appearance (and her only the first season), and Perky's only appearance.

Julia did not lose her earring in a traffic ticket incident, but rather an altercation at the bank. The police were called after she commandeered another customer's car to get her to the drive-up teller.

Suzanne -- having never cooked before -- uses Thanksgiving dinner as her first attempt.

Charlene is upset in this episode because her boyfriend Mason has moved to Japan.

Classic Scenes:

SUZANNE: You can't spend the rest of your life crying just because Mason is moving.
CHARLENE: Well, I just don't understand why he had to tell me this right at Thanksgiving! (sob)
SUZANNE: Call him up and have him pay for a ticket to fly you to Tokyo.
CHARLENE: Oh, Suzanne! I couldn't except a plane ticket just because he feels guilty about moving away. I wouldn't have any integrity.
SUZANNE: Y'know sometimes I think about stuff like that.........then I just try and put it right out of my mind.

(Mary Jo and Julia enter in a huff and arguing..........)
JULIA: Look, Mary Jo, all that I'm saying is that I'm not gonna pay one red cent on that ticket, and if I have to I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court!
CHARLENE: What happened?
MARY JO: (very dramaticly) We're on the way to the bank to make that deposit, right? But the car breaks down, so while they're working on it, Julia decides that we should walk to the bank and make our "drive-thru" deposit on foot............because the inside of the bank doesn't open until 10.
CHARLENE: Sounds reasonable to me.
JULIA: Thank you, Charlene!
MARY JO: So there we are standing in the drive-thru, and when we "pull up"--- so to speak --- to the glass window, the guy refuses to accept our deposit because we're not inside a vehicle.
CHARLENE: That's ridiculous.
MARY JO: So Julia commandeers the back seat of the woman behind us and starts yelling for this woman to drive us through the drive-thru! And then the bank manager makes Julia get out of the woman's car, and then the police come. Need I say more?
CHARLENE: Well, Julia. If you're not gonna pay the ticket, what's your defense gonna be?
JULIA: My defense is...........that when I attempted to use that drive-thru window, I was indeed inside a vehicle; the vessel in which I have chosen to go through life -- my body!
SUZANNE: Oh Julia, don't be ridiculous. No judge is gonna believe that! If you'd gotten to choose you would have selected a much newer model.

CHARLENE: At our house it was kind of a zoo with eleven kids at Thanksgiving.
SUZANNE: What was that like having a hillbilly Thanksgiving? Did you have Turkey?
CHARLENE: (sarcasticly) No. Possum! Daddy killed it, Mama stuffed it, then at the table we'd all have a big food fight, then afterward widdle sticks and sit on the front porch pickin' our teeth!
SUZANNE: Ok ok.....I was just asking.
CHARLENE: Well you're always just asking! I curse the day I ever told you we had an outhouse!

PERKY: Oh, my darling. You should have come to me for advice, I could have told you cooking was not for you, you were born for much bigger things.
SUZANNE: Like what?
PERKY: Like..........when I used to take you to the park when you were about two years old, everybody used to come up and say "oh what a beautiful little girl.......whatever will she be?" And I used to stand very tall and say "Why the center of attention, o'course!"

(The police officer is confused when everyone starts pointing out Anthony -- who is just waking)
BERNICE: I can explain. I'm not sure, but I think this man (Anthony) has been holding us hostage.
PERKY: Bernice, that's not true!
BERNICE: Oh.......ok.

JULIA: Oh, Anthony. We just feel terrible. I wish you'd take some more of that turkey for your dog.
ANTHONY: I don't want anymore of that turkey. I like my dog.
MARY JO: Anthony, we are so sorry.
CHARLENE: We promise we'll make it up to you.
ANTHONY: Don't worry about it. It's been a fine afternoon. Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks again for turning me in for murder.


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