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The Seance

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Previous episode: The Audition         Next episode: Men Are Messy

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PlotEdit

Lucy and Ethel have a newfound love of numerology. They're enjoying reading many books on the subject, as well as reading their daily horoscopes. Ricky thinks all of this occult stuff is nonsense, and he heads off to the barber's for a haircut. Lucy stops her husband before leaving, checking his horoscope to make sure it's okay to go outside. His horoscope said it's a "yes" day, so she lets him leave.

When Ethel goes to read her horoscope, she realizes that Lucy was reading from yesterday's paper. Lucy panics, and when she reads Ricky's correct horoscope, she is met with bad news. It's really a "bad" day for him today, and the horoscope advises Ricky to "jump in a hole and take the hole with you!" When Lucy gets a call from who she thinks is Ricky's barber, she emphatically says, "NO!" on Ricky's behalf. Ricky comes home, having forgotten something. He tells Lucy that he's expecting a very important business call. Lucy realizes that the phone call she yelled "no" to was really the businessman, Mr. Merriweather, not Ricky's barber.

Ricky and Lucy rush down to Mr. Merriweather's office, trying to explain the situation. Mr. Merriweather surprises them both by saying that his horoscope told him not to do business after noon that day. So, Mr. Merriweather and Lucy bond over their love of the occult, and Mr. Merriweather is completely understanding when he finds out why Lucy told him "no." Mr. Merriweather asks Lucy if she's ever been able to contact the dead, because he really wants to talk to his beloved and deceased Tillie. To get in good with Mr. Merriweather, Lucy says that they happen to know a wonderful fortune teller, and she invites Mr. Merriweather over for a fake seance.

Ethel poses as Madame Mertzola, the great fortune teller. Lucy and Ricky both plan to have Mr. Merriweather hear from Tillie, but they don't tell each other that they both have the same idea. Lucy plans to do the voice of Tillie herself, and Ricky makes Fred fake a headache and go home to bed, so he can enter secretly enter and do Tilly's part. During the seance, Lucy does a great Tillie voice. Then, Mr. Merriweather asks to speak to his wife, Adelaide. Everyone is surprised, having thought Tillie was Mr. Merriweather's wife. Lucy goes to do a different voice for Adelaide, but Fred beats her to it.

Once Mr. Merriweather leaves, Lucy freaks out and tells Ethel that she really did contact the other side, and that the voice of Adelaide was real. Fred also freaks out, thinking that the voice of Tillie was real. They explain to each other what really went on, and when Ricky comes back from escorting Mr. Merriweather out, he told Lucy that Mr. Merriweather paid her a great compliment, saying that Tillie sounded just like how she would if she could have talked. Confused, Ricky explains that Tillie was Mr. Merriweather's cocker spaniel.

TriviaEdit

  • This episode was rerun during Lucy's maternity leave, using a new "flashback" intro shot specifically for this episode. None of the rerun "flashback" intros are available to see anywhere but on the show's DVDs. Adding the flashback scenes was one of the best special features the DVDs had to offer. For this episode's flashback, Ricky asks Ethel where Lucy is, and Ethel replies that she's down at the library, looking up numerology again. Apparently, Lucy thinks that Little Ricky's name really should be "Mot Morenzi" because of correct numerology, but she was down at the library to make sure before she really changed his name. Ricky mutters about how ridiculous this is, and how no son of his will be named "Mot Morenzi." Ethel said that he should be happy, because, earlier, Lucy was adding up the numbers incorrectly, and the name was coming out as "Xavier."
  • The "vibration" line at the beginning is one of the most risque lines in the series, but it is usually never mentioned when discussing the handful of instances strong innuendo was used on the show. It is unclear how this line ever passed the 1951 censors! Mr. Merriweather's "Ouiji" line also sounds very dirty.
  • Ricky is said to be a Gemini. Ricky is the only one of the four main characters to not have an episode plot centered around their birthday. However, we can estimate when Ricky's birthday is from this episode. He must be born sometime in late May or early-to-mid June. In real life, though, Desi Arnaz was a Pisces (birthdate of March 2nd).
  • Ethel says that she's a Leo in this episode. Vivian Vance was also a Leo in real life (birthdate of July 26th).
  • Lucy says she's a Taurus in this episode, meaning her birthday would be in late April or early-to-mid May, but in episode #105, she says her birthdate is August 6th, making her a Leo. August 6th was Lucille Ball's real birthdate.
  • Mr. Merriweather is a Scorpio, and his original script name was "Mr. Simpson."
  • The name of Ricky's barber is Nick Vascalupas. That is the spelling given on the DVD's subtitles, and you can clearly hear Lucy and Ricky both say a "V" and an "L" in the name. But both Lucy author Elisabeth Edwards and the official Lucy trivia book by Ric Wyman spell the barber's last name as "Bascopoulis."
  • Ethel's number in numerology is 7. The rest of the characters' numbers are listed below in a hilarious quote by Mr. Merriweather.
  • This is the first episode in which a second couch cushion has been added to Ricky/Desi's side of the couch. This was so Desi could appear taller than Lucy while sitting down.
  • In real life, Lucille Ball was quite superstitious and studied astrology to figure out how to get along better in her marriage to Desi. (Lucy was a Leo and Desi was a Pisces, and in astrology, these two signs are notoriously incompatible.) She actually clung to a numerology belief that Carole Lombard's mother once told her. The letter combination "A-R" was lucky for Lucy due to her numerology make-up, and she whole-heartedly believed this because of gaining most of her fame and career success after being "AR-naz" and "Ric-AR-do." After I Love Lucy, every character Lucille Ball played had the lucky "A-R" combo in their last name (C-AR-michael, C-AR-ter, and B-AR-ker). Legend has it that one reason the main I Love Lucy character names were changed from "Lucy and Larry Lopez" to "Lucy and Ricky Ricardo" was not just because of the nauseating amount of alliteration in the original names, but also because Lucy wanted the "A-R" combination somewhere in her character's name.
  • Lucy fans will recognize the actor who plays Mr. Merriweather as also having played Mr. Beecher in "The Sublease" and Mario Orsatti in "Visitor from Italy."
  • Lucy calculates that Ricky's numerology name should be "Genevieve."
  • Lucy correctly predicted that female company was going to come and give her money, from the signs that she dropped a fork on the floor and her palm was itchy. Ethel ended up coming to give Lucy back the dollar she had borrowed.
  • Ethel didn't have a consistent fortune teller name. She was referred to as both Madame Mertzola and Medium Raya.
  • "Tillie" caught a cold, because she went out the other night without wearing her shroud.

QuotesEdit

  • Lucy: Maybe if you're something besides "5," it will help our vibrations.

Ricky: Lucy!

Lucy: What?

Ricky: Don't you like the way I vibrate?!

  • Mr. Merriweather: I'm a "1" [in numerology].

Lucy: I'm a "3"!

Ricky: I'm a "5".

Mr. Merriweather: We're all odd, aren't we?

  • Mr. Merriweather: (to Lucy) Do you Ouiji?

Lucy: Well, I'm not sure...

  • Fred: (presenting "fortune teller" Ethel) Introducing Raya, the medium. Well-done, Medium Raya!
  • Mr. Merriweather: (having heard "Tillie" scream) Are you alright, Tillie?

Lucy: (as Tillie) Oh, I burned myself. It's awfully hot here!

Mr. Merriweather: Oh, so THAT'S where you are!

  • Fred: (as "Adelaide Merriweather") Hello, darling!

Mr. Merriweather: "Darling"? That doesn't sound like Adelaide!

Fred: (as Adelaide) SHUT UP, YOU WORM!

Mr. Merriweather: That's Adelaide!


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