Blanche Dreams That George Never Died
Watch this one and try not to weep. Blanche lives out a strangely fantastical scenario where Dorothy is pursued by celebrities Sonny Bono and Lyle Waggoner and, more importantly, her late husband George Deveraux was never actually late at all. After sending her many bouquets of roses, he shows up at a mystery date to reveal he faked his death and that he wants to be back in her life. The worst part is when she describes she’s had this dream many times — and always tries to hold him, but wakes up just before she can. Unfortunately, this is that dream… but at least she gets to hold him this time. (I’m tearing up just typing this.)
Tough Old Sophia Breaks Down When Her Son Dies
When Sophia’s cross-dressing son Phil passes away unexpectedly, the whole group deals with it differently. Dorothy is mournful and upset with her brother, Rose and Blanche try to be supportive, but Sophia maintains her salty exterior. In fact, she goes a step farther by purposely antagonizing her widowed daughter-in-law. But in the end we discover all this anger was just covering a mother’s deep, deep sorrow for losing her son, and Sophia breaks down with the heartbreaking line: “My baby is gone.”
Rose Gives Away Her Beloved Dog To Someone In Need
For her birthday, the girls surprise Rose with a beautiful dog named Jake. She brings him with her to the hospital during her candy striper rounds and an elderly couple become attached to him. In a total Rose move, once the man’s sick wife passes away, she gives Jake to him in order to help him in his time of grief. Instant tears.
Dorothy Shares A Heartfelt Eulogy For Her Little Brother
In the same episode of Phil’s death, Sophia’s breakdown is preceded by a tearful eulogy presented by his sister Dorothy. Performed perfectly by Bea Arthur, here are the beautiful words:
Seems like I’m always mad at my brother Phil. I was mad the day my parents brought him back from the hospital. I thought he’d take their love away from me, and instead their love expanded and we felt more like a family. I was mad at him when I was 10 and he was 4, and we moved to a new neighborhood. I was mad because he always made new friends more easily than I did. And I’m mad today, because I never wanted to give the eulogy at my kid brother’s funeral. I’m mad because he died, he didn’t have the wisdom to know that family members shouldn’t allow themselves to grow apart, because when this day comes, they can no longer tell each other how much they care. If he’d had that wisdom, he could’ve shared it with me and I would’ve known the hundreds of memories I have of just the two of us, eating ice cream on the stoop of our building, or going through the drawers at Grandma’s house, or dressing up like the Bronte sisters. How those memories fill me with joy! Why didn’t you have that wisdom, Phil? Why didn’t you give us a chance to tell you how much we loved you?
Sophia’s Friend Asks Her To Help Her Commit Suicide
Sophia usually had the wacky, silly plot lines during the show, so when her friend Martha decides after attending a funeral that she’s done with life and is ready to commit suicide it’s quite a shock. But that’s not all — she wants Sophia to be there to make sure it takes and so she’s not alone. Sophia feels obligated as a friend, but when it comes down to the wire she tearfully convinces Lydia not to do it, spouting off one of the most profound lines of the series: “We’re not in this life for peace!”
Rose Wistfully Remembers Her Last Moments With Her Late Husband
One of the show’s darker jokes is that Rose’s late husband Charlie suffered a massive heart attack during sex. This joke grows cold when Sophia is lying on the couch, possibly from a heart attack, and Rose tells Dorothy about Charlie’s death in more detail. He wanted her to dress him for the paramedics and they get into an argument about how the pants were white and it was after Labor Day. Unfortunately, it was too late and Charlie passed… but he was all dressed when the paramedics arrived, and Rose takes pride in that.
Blanche Hits Menopause
For someone whose sense of self is very much based around her sexuality, menopause affects Blanche in the worst way. To her, she’s losing something that she can never get back — the ability to have children — and that makes her unsexy. It’s terrifying for her, and she responds with a spectacular depression. Her speech about what it really means culminates in this heartbreaking speech:
“You know, sometimes, I look in the mirror, and I see my mother’s face. Not all the time, just every now and then, when the lights too bright, or too early in the morning, or late at night, or I look real fast. There it is — my mother’s face. Scares me to death. It just scares me to death. I just get so depressed I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning…I don’t want to get out of bed ever again.”
Sophia’s Friend Alvin Has A Problem
Sophia begins taking daily trips to a bench on the boardwalk to get some fresh air. There, she meets Alvin, an elderly man whom she develops a friendship with — even if that friendship involves mostly insulting each other. One day, she arrives and begins their banter, but he responds with utter confusion; he has no idea who she is. Later, she finds out that Alvin has severe dementia, and eventually he stops coming to the boardwalk altogether.
Miles Leaves Rose
In one of the more bizarre story arcs of the series, Rose’s boyfriend Miles turns out not to be Miles at all, but a member of the witness protection program. He’s hiding from a gangster called The Cheese Man, who turns out to be Rose’s future boyfriend. When going back into hiding after discovering The Cheese Man is alive, Miles gives Rose a Robert Frost book and tells her to read a poem on a certain page:
“And when to the heart of a man, was it ever a less than a treason / To bow and accept the end of a love, or of a season?”
Blanche’s “Big Daddy” Dies
Quite possibly one of the saddest episodes that pulls no punches, Blanche gets a call from her father (whom she calls Big Daddy) asking her to come visit. She’s got a pageant to attend so she declines, only to find out that he has passed away shortly after. To make matters worse, her sister berates her for being selfish by not coming when Big Daddy asked and Blanche has to grapple with the fact that both of her parents have passed. Upon leaving the cemetery, she looks over her shoulder at her parents’ mausoleums and says mournfully, “I’m no one’s little girl anymore.”