Happy Mother’s Day!
I’ve been pondering which Perry episodes are the best viewing material for the holiday. There’s a lot of episodes with mothers, but the mother aspect isn’t always front and center, nor are the mothers always flattering enough for decent recommendations.
My favorite is probably season 7’s The Nervous Neighbor, with the poor amnesiac mother who killed her husband without even really being aware of it. And despite not having her memory, she badly wants to reconnect with her son and help him with the troubles he has to deal with through the episode. Sometimes their interaction is so natural that it’s easy to forget she really doesn’t remember him.
The Polka-Dot Pony is also a keeper, with the main character in search of a mother. The end result is bittersweet in some ways, with the real mother (and even the girl’s identity) a bit of a mystery, but enjoyable in that she finds a satisfactory mother figure in her future mother-in-law.
I also decided that The Borrowed Baby is a good one for the list. The mother is a pretty good character and is determined to do right by her baby. And Della gets to be a surrogate mother for most of the episode, taking care of little Leander. Della is an absolutely adorable mother, when given the chance. I imagine there’s a lot of Barbara Hale coming through in scenes like that.
I imagine it wouldn’t be out of place to add The Fatal Fetish, since Larry’s mother Mignon is such a key part of the plot and she wants to help him out of the mess he’s into with Carina.
Mothers are also fairly important players in The Deadly Toy, The Red Riding Boots, The Libelous Locket, and The Missing Button, although the fathers/step-fathers are just as important in those. And there’s the mother defendant in The Skeleton’s Closet, who gets into her disaster zone mainly because of wanting to protect her children (albeit the kids aren’t seen very much, and not at all in the cut version).
I also feel like I should mention The Vagabond Vixen, because even though the mother isn’t a very prominent character, she certainly is memorable and colorful! "The salt of the earth," as Perry says about her. I wish she’d had more screentime.
I suppose The Baited Hook is a fairly good choice, since the woman’s crimes came about all because of her love for her daughter and her desire to protect her, although it isn’t one I would recommend with enthusiasm.
The mother in The Loquacious Liar is a prominent character, but I’m not a big fan of her and within the episode she never does seem to improve. I do greatly enjoy the episode itself, however.
The mother in The Hateful Hero is also certainly prominent, but while I love the episode and like her, I don’t know that I would want to recommend it, since it’s heartbreaking with her grieving over her son.
Then there’s episodes like The Black-Eyed Blonde, but they kind of fall into a category that just seems a bit twisted. The mother isn’t really the kid’s mother and doesn’t even act like a decent mother. All of the disasters of the episode happen because of her evil and greedy scheming, which heavily involves the child she’s raising.
It’s been fun thinking on the episodes to mention. I came up with several while writing this that I hadn’t thought of before. I’ll probably do a companion post on Father’s Day.