Celery Savoy-Bellacourt is throwing a masquerade ball, and Lillian and Blanche want to attend. Lillian has designs on Colonel Trimbald, the Toilet King of Kentucky and head of the National Restroom Association (NRA). Celery has her own designs, though– to broker a relationship between Trimbald and Frederick, using the former’s money to get the latter elected president, and she sends Lillian a hilarious “NOT INVITED” invitation. (If I remember correctly, Lillian impaled a friend of Celery’s at the last ball she attended.) Of course, the sisters are going to scheme to get in anyway.
Meanwhile, Garfield struggles to adjust to the role of head butler, being overwhelmed by the responsibilities, until Flobelle starts taking charge. This is a slight but fun plot. Garfield later attempts to assert his authority, only to discover that Flobelle has delegated so well that everyone is ahead of task. Eventually to thank her he attempts to share his food with her (“as Head Butler, I get to eat real food once a month”), but overhears Flobelle and Hamish mocking him and takes off upset (after venting what he wants to say to Flobelle to Blanche). He tracks down Peepers, who has returned to his Native roots and started a family. He’s unable to convince Peepers to return, until he drops a bombshell: “A woman is head butler now.” Cue Peepers immediately abandoning his family to return to Bellacourt Manor.
Lillian has to break through a window to enter the ball (she refuses to use the servant’s entrance), and ends up cutting her butt on some glass and having to stanch the bleeding. This will come up later, because the star guest, the Colonel, is in part at this event looking for a bride. And, uh, he likes them young. (“You know, some girls say they’re 11 when they’re really 15.”) A servant at the party mistakes Lillian for one of the virgins selected for the Colonel, and Lillian decides to go for it, leaning fully into the role with baby-talk and a declaration that she hasn’t had a period yet.
When her bloody butt is discovered and mistaken for a period (too heavy to be her first, according to Celery), she calls on Beatrice to tell them the truth about why she’s bleeding. Beatrice, however, is humping a total stranger in the garden, and by “total stranger” I mean “Beatrice and Frederick don’t recognize each other under their not-very-concealing masks.” I’m always a fan of these two, particularly when their stories indulge in their idiocy. They try to remove each others’ masks but fail; when the sisters are later leaving, Beatrice discovers that Frederick left his wedding ring inside her– the glass slipper of Cinderella!
And in the end, Lillian may not have bagged the Colonel, but at least she ruined Celery’s ball and chances to become First Lady.
As is typical of an episode of Another Period, we get a lot of examples of Didn’t We Used To Be So Messed Up Back Then? Oh, Wait, We’re Not That Different Now. The Colonel’s dating preferences echo Roy Moore. Garfield takes credit for Flobelle’s work, as so many men have done to so many women. Peepers can only be motivated to return upon discovering a woman is in charge. And, of course, sucking up to wealthy men to get them to fund your political ambitions has never gone out of style.
Good stuff all around.
- Frederick is far more interested in being queen of the dance than he is in becoming president.
- That’s Steve Little (the one and only Stevie Janowski) as the Colonel.
- The Colonel is pleased segregation was upheld, because that’s twice as many toilets for him to sell, “and the black ones don’t even have to work!”
- I will re-emphasize that the entire story of Lillian pretending to be a child bride, alongside the actual potential child brides, is pretty jaw-dropping.
- Beatrice explaining that she must not know Frederick: “I never forget a face. Or a voice. Or the time I drowned my puppy in a bubble bath.”
- Garfield to Flobelle after she basically does his job for him: “Thank you for that minor bit of help.” Flobelle: “We make a great team, Garfield.” Garfield: “Yes! Team Garfield.”
- Flobelle goes Captain Phillips on Garfield: “Look at me. I am the butler now.”
- I’ve got to mention Brett Gelman’s job as Hamish; he snaps out of his usual character and goes on a long rant about how he’s always so snide and crass to push people away and get them to dislike him first. (He continues this rant in the closing tag; Blanche seems clearly turned on by it.)
- Peepers’ son is named Pretends To Be British.