So, what does a basically unromantic person do when the blog post falls right on the holiday most noted for romance?
She goes with the flow! Actually, oddly enough, I love Valentine’s Day. But maybe that’s because I associate it more with getting fun presents and chocolate than mushy stuff.
(Valentine’s is seriously becoming a big deal, though. I was in Wal-Mart last night and it was absolute madness. It reminded me of Christmas Eve when I investigated the Valentine’s plush toys section. And they didn’t have any more of those cute big ladybug plushies, bah.)
I got curious to know what kinds of Perry episodes aired on or around Valentine’s Day. Digging into the airdates list, I discovered these:
15/Feb/58 The Case of the Fugitive Nurse
14/Feb/59 The Case of the Romantic Rogue
06/Feb/60 The Case of the Gallant Grafter
18/Feb/61 The Case of the Wintry Wife
10/Feb/62 The Case of the Poison Pen-Pal
14/Feb/63 The Case of the Two-Faced Turnabout
13/Feb/64 The Case of the Nervous Neighbor
11/Feb/65 The Case of the Feather Cloak
13/Feb/66 The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise
Well, that’s one interesting lineup. And none of them seem particularly great for Valentine’s Day, unless someone has a really dark and twisted sense of humor. The first two of those involve one spouse murdering the other, in The Fugitive Nurse because the wife thought her husband might be worth something dead, and in The Romantic Rogue because the wife was running off with another man and the husband couldn’t stand it.
I guess The Poison Pen-Pal has kind of a cute romantic slant, but it takes a backseat to the main plot. And the others don’t feature any romantic couples in prominent roles, to my remembrance.
(You know, The Nervous Neighbor would make a great Mother’s Day episode. So would The Polka-Dot Pony.)
Now, if I were going to pick some good Valentine’s Day episodes, I’d have some far different choices.
Of course, for the fans of the Perry/Della romance, I’d have to include at least a couple of good episodes for them.
The Weary Watchdog is probably one of the most beloved among that part of the fanbase. I prefer to see it in a friendship light, but either way, the Perry and Della scenes in that episode are lovely. My favorite is probably when Della asks, “How far would you go for a friend?” and Perry says, “How far is forever?” and then gives her the $25,000 without question when she says she needs it. I also love how worried Perry is about Della after she gets in trouble, and how visibly angry he is with Janet Brent over putting Della into that spot.
The Crooked Candle is also at least somewhat a favorite, I think, largely from the investigation scene on the boat. And perhaps some like to watch The Velvet Claws, although that’s also a bit twisted for Valentine’s Day.
Overall, so many episodes have bits between Perry and Della that each enthusiast of the pairing probably has a list that’s slightly different. Some episodes with minimal interaction overall may still stand out because of the quality of whatever interaction is present, much the same as how I examine episodes with my favorite Hamilton scenes. To that end, I love the scenes involving Perry and Della in The Twice-Told Twist. And they have quite extensive scenes investigating together in The Bigamous Spouse—although I hesitate to recommend that one for Valentine’s Day, because of well . . . the eponymous character and situation.
When it comes to the guest-stars, I’d rank The Guilty Clients very high on my list of favorite Valentine’s episodes. And perhaps The Lost Last Act, because while yes, it’s very cheesy in some parts, the romance between the producer and his actress wife is very sweet.
I also love the guys’ caring for the girls in The Crying Comedian and The Elusive Element. Even though it looks as though those pairings won’t come to be, by the end both seem to be going to work out.
I venture to say I would also include The Missing Button, since the plot heavily involves the entire broken family and ends up with the parents reuniting. And maybe The Wednesday Woman, as it also involves a couple that truly loves each other in spite of their problems and they intend to work through them.
I couldn’t possibly forget The Ugly Duckling, one of my favorite episodes ever. It’s such a roller-coaster of emotions for the viewer as well as the girl. First the guy is apparently a jerk. Then he seems to honestly care about her. Then it looks like he was just using her. And finally, we learn that he really does care about her and pretending not to care was just an act to try to help her in the end.
Along similar lines, I also love the pairing in The Nautical Knot. It certainly looked like the guy was just using the girl for a while, until the full truth came out.
I guess for those who truly have a bit of a twisted sense of humor, they might enjoy The Betrayed Bride (which is overall one of the most bizarre episodes the series ever did). The Tell-Tale Tap is also quite twisted as a Valentine’s episode. And, maybe, The Hasty Honeymooner (another off-the-wall venture).
I debated over whether to include The Bogus Books, with the intention of mainly thinking of Gene and Pearl, of course. I’m never quite sure whether to think they’re romantically involved or that they’re not but are just open to the idea. But, regardless of them, there’s also Peter Norland and his obvious interest in Ellen Carter, as he tries to help her through the ups and downs of the case.
Possibly I would include The Fatal Fetish, as friendship love should be celebrated as well as romantic, and of course, I love Hamilton and Mignon’s friendship. (Then there’s the twisted mess Larry gets himself into with that femme fatale. . . .)
And, finally, this shows a bit of my own sense of humor, perhaps: I would definitely list The Candy Queen, mostly tongue-in-cheek. After all, what’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate?! Every time I watch this episode, I end up craving a lovely box of assorted chocolates. Hold the Veronal, please.