Tuesday, 15 July 2014

EPis0dIC! - The Addams Family - Morticia's Romance (parts 1 & 2) - 1965

Part 1

At the stroke of midnight, Gomez presents Morticia with a gift, and wishes her a happy 13th anniversary. The other members of the family, Fester, Grandmama, Wednesday and Pugsley enter via a fireman's pole and with Gomez and Morticia a happy anniversary too.

Gomez says he cant believe that he and Morticia have been married for 13 years (to go by the time frame of the series, this would mean that they married in 1952)
, but as Grandmama points out, the wedding very nearly didn't happen. Wednesday asks why, so Morticia gathers the family around and tells the tale of how Gomez was originally to marry her older sister, Ophelia, in an arranged marriage....

....13 years ago....

A much younger Grandmama Addams berates her 22 year old son Gomez for being a hypochondriac, as he and Lurch work a contraption which is designed to help Gomez's supposed bronchitis.
The doorbell rings and in enters Hester Frump (Played by Margaret Hamilton, aka "The wicked witch of the west" ), Grandmamas old school friend,who has brought her daughter Ophelia to introduce to Gomez before their arranged wedding.
Ophelia (played by Carolyn Jones in a dual role) is very perky, but air headed, and wears white clothing and carries a bunch of daisies that she enjoys sniffing as well as pulling the petals off. Gomez takes a dislike to her as soon as she introduces herself to him by throwing him across the room with a judo throw, however, when Mrs Frump introduces her other daughter, Morticia, whom she says she wanted to keep out of the way until she gets Ophelia married off, Gomez takes an immediate shine to her.

Soon enough, Gomez and Morticia fall in love, as their bizarre habits and interests compliment each other perfectly, plus Gomez gets overcome with lust and passion whenever Morticia speaks French, so much so in fact, that for the first time in his life, he doesn't feel ill whenever he is with her. Eventually, Gomez kisses Morticia for the first time, and makes the decision that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

The union however will be difficult, being as their respective mothers have already begun planning the wedding of Gomez to Ophelia, So Morticia calls her Uncle Fester to see if he has any advice, but he has none, save that anyone who wants to marry Ophelia must have a screw loose.

Morticia sends Pugsley and Wednesday to bed, promising to finish the story some other time.

Part 2
Morticia and Gomez are still awake, enjoying the thunderstorm that has begun on the night of their anniversary. Pugsley and Wednesday sneak downstairs and ask for Morticia to finish her story...

The wedding plans are well underway, however Mrs Frump and Grandmama quibble over the dowry, Mrs Frump offers a large amount of money in return for financial assets being signed over to Ophelia, finally, a bargain is struck and it is decided they will have a quickie wedding in the Addams house at 2pm that day.
Uncle Fester arrives and Morticia informs him of what has happened, so Fester vows to match make Ophelia with someone else, settling on Cousin Itt. Initially, his attempts at matchmaking seem successful, however Ophelia and Itt don't seem to get on too well.
With only an hour to go before the wedding, Gomez hides, but is eventually found by Morticia and Fester hiding in a secret room in the basement. Gomez explains that he cannot tell Ophelia that he doesn't want to marry her, because he is a coward. Fester and Morticia try to help Gomez overcome his shyness by role playing him refusing to marry Ophelia, he eventually manages to do it, but then backs down at the last minute and decides to go through with the wedding anyway.
At the ceremony, when the preist asks if anyone objects to the wedding, Gomez tries to back out of it by explaining to Ophelia that he feels unworthy, however Ophelia has a surprise of her own, and declares that she prefers Cousin Itt.
Gomez and Morticia marry as soon ad Ophelia leaves with Itt.

Wednesday asks if Ophelia ever married Cousin Itt, but Morticia says that it was just a summer romance, while Gomez says that Cousin Itt was too much of a playboy to settle down.
The children are once again sent back to bed, Gomez suggests that he and Morticia should retire for the night too, but Morticia insists on finishing the painting she is working on, as she wants to perfectly capture the lightning. At that second, a lightning bolt his the canvas, tearing a huge hole in it, to which she exclaims "i've captured it!" 

I like these two episodes as they are probably one of a handful of this 65 episode series which actually attempts to provide a backstory to the family, something which the original comic version never did. Margaret Hamilton as Mrs. Frump was a genius casting decision, as was the decision for Carolyn Jones to play her own sister as a mirror of her more well known Morticia character. Another great decision was for John Astin to portray the much younger Gomez as being a hypochondirac nervous wreck, who was pretty much saved from a life of misery and self imposed victimhood by the chance meeting of the love of his life.

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