Season 1 episode 14
Look for fine acting by Jeanette Nolan and Jerry Houser in “Antiques”, a tale about longing, miscommunicating, and how bad things happen when people don’t express their desires to each other. Jeanette’s career began with a turn as Lady Macbeth in Orson Wells’ 1948 film and wound up 40-years later in 1998’s The Horse Whisperer. Jerry Houser’s career, while less illustrious, though nothing to sneeze at, began with 1971’s Summer Of ’42. Houser dabbled in television roles before playing Killer Carlson in Slapshot, then returned to TV for good, working regularly until 2006.
In “Antiques” Will and Sonny make a delivery to Lucille’s junkyard. The next morning Lucille accuses them of stealing her antique Mercedes Benz – and she’s partially right; the rig was used in the heist without the boy’s knowledge. And of course, that’s all that’s required to get them involved.
Sonny tends to ailing Lucille while Will figures out that Alex, Lucille’s ward, planned the theft. Alex has a change of heart and wants to return the Benz, so Will helps Alex convince his criminal partners to reassemble the car while Sonny tries to convince Lucille life is still worth living, even without the Benz which is a touchstone to Lucille’s dead husband.
All works out in the end – after Alex and Lucille speak honestly to each other about their hopes and dreams.
When Eugene Price came into our office with the story outline for “Antiques”, I thought two things; what a wonderful idea, and who the heck are we going to get to play this very demanding role? The actress will be on screen almost the entire episode; she must be curmudgeonly and sweet, and tough and tender. Whomever we cast is going to make a star turn…. a real tour de force for episodic TV. I went to my “go to director” Charlie Dubin, who I knew could handle the chores of directing this special talent. But what actress can fill all these requirements? The answer my friends is Jeanette Nolan. Jeanette had many years of experience and a broad spectrum of roles. I remember when our casting director brought her into the office for a meeting she came in-costume; complete with frumpy dress and a strange little hat perched on her head. She even had her hair looking disheveled. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. She had the role immediately.
The plot revolves around the old lady who owns an antique Mercedes-Benz and her adopted son, played nicely by Jerry Houser. The son can’t seem to put his life together and eventually succumbs to the maneuverings of some crooks who want to steal the old lady’s Benz. Of course, when given the opportunity to quote the law and recite the ramifications of bad actions, Will convinces them to return the car while Sonny ministers to the “failing old woman” who has already planned her departure, going so far as to have her tombstone carved and providing a stonemason the date of her demise. But thanks to Sonny and Will intervening, none of that will happen. They foil the theft, help reconcile Mom and Son, and load the Benz on the back of the Kenworth and take it to California for auction.
Antiques is beautiful episode, and a wonderful piece of acting. Please watch with family.