“I have this recurring fantasy. ‘Take me, Alex, take me now,’ I tell him. And he says to me, ‘Ah, ah, ah, Blanche, in the form of a question.’”
Dorothy is ecstatic to learn that Jeopardy is auditioning contestants in Miami.
“I watch it every night!”
“We know. We missed the entire Gulf War.”
-Dorothy and Blanche
No one quite shares her enthusiasm, but she’s going to audition. Blanche says she is, too; she doesn’t care about Jeopardy, but she does like her some Alex Trebek.
Rose comes home and is feeling down; the other Girls talk to her about how depressed she’s been lately. She tells them her volunteer work at the hospital is emotionally draining her. To help, the Girls have gotten her a dog! Rose is excited, and launches into a story about her old dog Rusty saving their cat in a house fire, much to the other Girls’ frustration.
“Yes, sir, he was a real hero. Oh, if only he hadn’t gone back in for the TV. He was a dachshund, for God’s sake, what made him think he could carry a TV?”
“You know how pig-headed the Germans are.”
-Rose and Sophia
Rose brings the dog, Jake, to the hospital to cheer up patients, and it works like a charm.
At the Jeopardy auditions, Blanche tries to cheat off of Dorothy. It doesn’t work.
“Well, well, well, Blanche. A pot of lip gloss and a Maybelline can’t help you now, can they, Blanche?”
Two days later, Dorothy anxiously waits for the Jeopardy people to call. Rose tells the Girls that the dog is significantly helping many of the patients, and he’s also good at finding slippers Blanche hides.
“Isn’t this dog amazing? He can find anything!”
“Anything? A viable Democrat for president. Go!”
-Rose and Sophia
Finally, the call comes. Dorothy’s made it to the next round. Blanche has not. Dorothy’s happy with both pieces of news. She starts studying every book she can find for the next round of the competition, though Sophia urges her to get some sleep. She finally does fall asleep on the couch, and has a dream.
Unfortunately, it’s the kind of dream that’ll get blocked for copyright issues if you try to upload it anywhere. The long and short of it is that Dorothy dreams she’s on Jeopardy against Rose and some guy from Empty Nest, and after beating them handily in almost every round, she loses everything during Final Jeopardy, and Trebek and Merv Griffin laugh at her.
The next day, Rose learns that hospital patient Grace, who had a particular bond with Jake, has passed away. Rose asks Grace’s husband to take Jake.
“Listen, be a good boy. Don’t chase! Remember: cats are people, too.”
The final trial for Jeopardy takes place, and it’s Dorothy against a NASA scientist and a hospital administrator. She creams them, but then she gets smug fast.
“Okay, switching categories to the Book of Genesis.”
“Hey, Doc, I bet you wish you hadn’t wasted all that time on Darwin now, huh?”
-Moderator and Dorothy
In spite of her impressive performance, the moderator does not choose Dorothy for the show, telling her that they don’t believe America would root for her.
“Sweetheart, he’s wrong. How could America not root for you? You’re what this country’s all about. The daughter of immigrants who became the first member of her family to go to college. You made something of yourself.”
“Oh, thanks, Ma.”
“Until you got knocked up in a backseat by a nobody. People didn’t want you at their birthday parties, and they don’t want you in their living rooms.”
“I thought this was supposed to make me feel better.”
“We did that. Now we’re up to the part where I feel better.”
-Sophia and Dorothy
High points: The Jeopardy dream, Rose’s dog, Blanche trying to flirt and cheat her way onto Jeopardy.
Things that don’t age well: Merv Griffin as a recognizable figure.
MVP: She may not be the power player of the episode, but Rose is genuinely sweet and generous in this episode, as well as being hilarious in the dream sequence.
The verdict: Dorothy gleefully mopping the floor with her fellow contestants and memorizing everything from English history to the St. Olaf yearbook make for quite a ride.