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"Consenting Adults"
Season 4, episode # 2
# 71 overall in series (141 episodes)
Maude ep. 4x2 - Consenting Adults.jpg
Arthur (Conrad Bain) and Vivian (Rur McClanahan lead Maude (Bea Arthur), who's upset over Walter leaving, by the "bachelor pad" he's moved into in "Consenting Adults" in Season 4 (ep.#2).
"Maude" episode
Series: Maude
Network/Country: CBS-TV / USA
Air date September 15, 1975
Production code 403 (4x2)
Written by: Karyl Geld Miller & Pamela Herbert Chais
Directed by: Hal Cooper
Guest starring: Matthew "Stymie" Beard
Gene Blakely
Richard Dysart
Candice Rialson
IMDb logo.png IMDb: Consenting Adults
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Consenting Adults was the second episode of the Season 4 of Maude, the 71st overall episode in the series. Written by Karyl Geld Miller and Pamela Hebert Chais, the episode, which was directed by Hal Cooper, originally aired on CBS-TV on September 15, 1975.


"Consenting Adults"
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Synopsis

Maude feels bad about her argument with Walter, and she goes to his new apartment, where he took refuge after refusing to return to the house. Seeing his very mod bachelor pad insults Maude, as she hoped for a reconciliation. Maude and Walter ultimately decide to divorce.

Full Recap

Maude and Walter have been split up for the better part of a week. Maude remained in her house with Carol, Philip, and Mrs. Naugatuck, while Walter moved into a swinging singles complex, replete with the requisite single women. Arthur and Vivian lead Maude to the complex. Maude sees the new apartment and she and Walter talk about possible reconciliation. However, once again, Walter insists that a woman's place is in the home, chained to the stove, bare-foot and pregnant. This angers Maude and then they talk about divorce.

Arthur and Vivian think they have reconciled, but when it is revealed that Maude and Walter aren't really reconciling and are headed for divorce court, it's the Harmons who begin to argue and call one another names. This sends Maude into tears, sobbing to Walter, "They remind me of how happy we were when we were married!" Later on, Maude and Vivian moan about the upcoming divorce, and both are in tears, Vivian more so.

That night, Walter and Maude meet with their respective attorneys, John Vogel (Gene Blakey) and Mason Everhart (Richard Dysart) at the house to try to divide up the property. This starts out very nicely, but it devolves into yet another argument that's one of the nastiest they had ever had, as it culminates in Walter taking a photo album of their years of marriage. It had been the same album, Maude and Vivian had looked at earlier, while they were moaning and crying.

When Walter insists in taking the family photo album, Maude refuses to allow him to take it. She threatens him, whsaying, "You do that, and you'll be walking with a decided limp, Walter!"  When Mason, Maude's lawyer, provides a list of Maude's pre-marriage assets to Walter's attorney, John Vogel, reminding him and assuming that he informed his client Walter about her assets, that he wasn't entitled to, Maude interjects, "Aww, C'mon, Mason, Walter can have anything he wants, possesions are meaningless to me...You think I'm gonna quibble over a set of Tupperware or a pewter Revere ball --- " as she then cuts herself off and asks "Where's my sideboard?", this as Walter tries to calm her down saying "Maude, relax!", as she goes on about it telling him, "It's 19th Century! It's a collector's item! It was the first one that JCPenney ever put out!"

Walter, claiming that he doesn't want anything in the divorce, acquieses and obliges Maude, who insists that it's okay for him to take some things form their assets together, as he then mentions a "few litlle items" that he does want for his apartment, which irks Maude: their crystal wine glasses, their Burt Bacharach albums and their Japanese Art books as Maude angrily responds "Fancy glasses, romantic records, and dirty books...that's what you want for that rabbit hutch of yours!?"

The lawyers try to calm their combative clients down, as Everhart says to the warring clients, "Now, Folks, please don't argue over a few memories!" as Maude then says, "Aw, shut up Everhart! What kind of drugstore lawyer are you? You should have done all of this in your stuffy office!" When Vogel tries to inteject "Folks, please! as Shakespeare said,"When anger comes in the door, reason flies out the window!", Maude cuts him off, as she tells them both, "Oh yeah? Well, Shakespeare also said 'Kill the Lawyers!'"

As usual, Walter blames Maude for ruining the evening, while, in reality, he ALSO ruined it. He had, hypocritically, hidden from her a secret bank account with nearly $8,000 in it; while going and spying on Maude's account that only had about $2,480, mainly from her real estate job. Upon finding out about Walter's spying on her account and his hypocrisy in hiding his own, Maude quipped nastily, "You never really know a man until you divorce him!"

Walter concedes furiously that he would not take the album, because he wouldn't take any of those pictures if she begged him! Maude told him that she hated, despised and loathed those pictures and that the minute he left, she would burn them, but she would not let him get his hands on the album.

Walter doesn't care; he just wanted a certain picture of them from the Copacabana club, demanding, in a rage, "Just give me that picture from the Copa! I want to remember what we looked like when we were HAPPY!" A furious Maude screamed, "We were NEVER happy, Walter! NEVER! For your information, Walter, I was not smiling at you in this picture.....I WAS LAUGHING AT SANDLER AND YOUNG!!!!!" She then tears up said picture, all the while laughing at him in scorn. This only served to enrage Walter even MORE.

Walter then explodes, yelling, "ALL RIGHT!" , while waving his clothes which she had earlier dumped on top of him, "SAVE THESE FOR YOUR NEXT HUSBAND! HERE!!!!!!" He then storms out of the house. Maude pursues him to the porch, where she screamed at him at the top of her lungs, "WALTER, DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE?! WALTER?! DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE?! WALTER!!!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE?!!! GO SIT ON A SNOW CONE --- THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE!!!!", as she then slams the door in rage.

With her initial anger spent, Maude's true vulnerability comes to the fore as she then tries to put the picture back together, while singing, "Make Love to Me" by Sandler and Young, the song that the duo sang the night she and Walter were at the Copa.

Did You Know?

Trivia/Notes

  • One of the residents of Walter's singles complex, who insulted Maude (who mistook his door for Walter's apartment, when she knocked), was famously played by Matthew "Stymie" Beard of "Little Rascals/Our Gang" fame.
  • Note: This and three other episodes ("The Split", "Rumpus in the Rumpus Room", "Maude's Big Decision") comprised a four-week story arc which centered on the possible dissolution of the Findlay marriage due to Maude's political ambition and Walter's chauvinistic tantrum concerning it.

Cast (in credits order)

Main Cast

Guest Stars/Recurring Cast

  • Matthew "Stymie" Beard as Stymie (special guest star)
  • Gene Blakely as John Vogel
  • Richard Dysart as Mason Everhardt
  • Candice Rialson as Jenny

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