Episode Title: "The Gypsy Cried"
Production Code: 0309
Reviewed By: Nitzan Gilkis
Lodged at the heart of what is widely considered the show's golden period, "The Gypsy Cried" may not have achieved the classic status held by most of the preceding season 3 episodes, but it still showcases a lot of the era's sharp writing, even if the plot is nothing special. An excellent performance from Amanda Bearse also helps raise this one above mediocrity.
Kelly: Mom, why can Buck have
that coat upstairs, and I can't have boys in my room?
Peggy: Because that coat can't get pregnant.
Bud: Obviously, neither can Kelly.
"So that's how you're gonna die!"
The episode's structure is very simple. In the first scene we have the psychic prophesy good fortune for Al, Peggy and Steve and tragedy for Marcy; in the second, the first three's predictions quickly come true, and in the third and fourth, so does Marcy's, in an admittedly clever twist which marks the only real bout of creativity here. There is no subplot and little in the way of deviations from the main story, so it's to the writer's credit that only one scene - the last - feels drawn-out. Al and Peggy's careless happiness is simply given way more screentime than is necessary to get that point across, to the point of threatening to make the loyal viewer's meal reverse direction in his stomach. The other scenes' length goes largely unnoticed however, with the four adults' reactions to Marcy's impending disaster in the second and Al and Peggy's gleeful rudeness in the third even leaving a taste for more.
Steve: Al, your dog went on my
Peggy: Well, in a manner of speaking, so did Al.
Al causes a drop of pressure
Much like its predecessor "I'll See You In Court", "The Gypsy Cried" features the kids only one brief time, which is probably just as well, as anything more would have felt forced. Again all four adults are prominent, but Amanda Bearse easily steals the show, masterfully running the gamut of emotions from downhearted through bitterly sarcastic to joyous and back again with seeming effortlessness. The number she displays in the second scene alone is flabbergasting, Marcy gradually growing more despaired with each prediction that comes true, then making a 180-degree turn with the news about the business trip, only to realize the dangers involved (with another series of reactions). Her peak moment, however, comes when Marcy finally decides to confront her boss, delivering a cutting, vehement monologue and then throwing a fit when the plane fails to crash. Together with the usual great little touches that MWC specializes in (e.g. the black cat passing in front of Marcy, the oxygen masks dropping when Al takes off his shoe, Peggy's anything-but-reproving "speech" to the kids...), she's what really makes this episode worth watching.
Madame Olga: I feel very strong
Al: [to Peggy] Did you leave your toy running under the couch again?
Peggy: No. It's in the shop. It's being turbocharged.
"You fat Pig!"
Marcy about to get her wish...
One can only regret that the writer felt compelled to throw in the unnecessary (and troublesome) "happy ending" in the form of Steve's comment about blackmailing Vandergelder. Bundy fans are used to ill-fated conclusions - hell, we expect them - and something like Marcy's demotions in "976-SHOE" or "Turning Japanese" would have been a lot more suitable and satisfying. All in all, though, "The Gypsy Cried" is a fine episode, once again exemplifying the show's partiality towards the supernatural and providing a showcase for Amanda Bearse's talent.