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I Love Lucy Season 1 Episode 4 Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying To Murder Her


Some shows take a while to find their footing. I imagine this was even more true in the early days of television, though many shows did have the advantage of being adapted from radio. So I wasn't expecting much from the 4th episode of this show, even if it is the most classic sitcom of all time. And it's true that it doesn't feel exactly like the later legendary episodes of the show, and the zaniness that is the hallmark of the show hadn't reached the levels that it would. But the episode is still pretty darn funny.

The show starts with Lucy reading a book. The book is a murder mystery, as is plainly spelled out by the title. Lucy is so engrossed in her book that she eats cold cream thinking it is nacho cheese. When her husband Ricky comes home and startles her, she throws the book out the window when she jumps. She tries to get Ricky to go retrieve the book, because she won't be able to sleep without knowing who committed the murder. Ricky explains it was the husband, irritated that his wife wouldn't let him sleep after a long day of work. He acts it all out for her, convincing her that Ricky actually does intend to murder her.

When Ethel does a fortune telling trick with playing cards and tells Lucy she is going to die, Lucy becomes even more convinced that Ricky plans to off her. She overhears him talking on the phone about firing a singer in his band and thinks he is describing his plans for her. She sees the names he has written down and thinks they are the girls he has lined up to take her place when he has disposed of her. In reality they are the names of the dogs in a new act he is hiring. When she gets to the bottom of the list of female names, she is startled to see the name Theodore. There are more hijinks involving home made bullet proof outfits, and a drink laced with a sleeping powder.  In the end it takes even less time for Ricky to persuade her that he doesn't plan to kill her than it took for her to decide that she was in danger.

The episode first aired on November 5, 1951. It was actually the first episode filmed for the show, but it ended up being the 4th aired. The episode was recycled during season two during Lucy's maternity leave, with a new beginning scene that leads to this episode playing as a flashback.  The episode was based on an episode of Lucy's radio show.  Being the first episode filmed, this is the beginning of the most classic sitcom of all time, and while this may not reach the comedic heights of later installments it's still a lot of fun.

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