“Episode 6” really makes a commentary on the 1970s. To begin, Mary takes out some obscene material at the library. There, she meets an insecure librarian, who is gay. As well, Grandpa Larkin sees his court appointed psychiatrist for flashing. Plus, Grandpa Larking manages to drop knowledge, too. These are just some of the story lines of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
After a local trip to the library, Mary picks up some reserved obscene material and wants a brown bag for it, too.
“Could you just please put these in a brown paper bag, please?” sheepishly smiles Mary.
However, Mary is embarrassed, so the librarian tries to comfort her. The librarian says: “Well, it’s mostly married women that take out books on sexual problems.”
Mary turns the tables on the librarian, a feminine looking man. Mary says, “Embarrassed that you are a man? No, why should I be embarrassed that you are a man. I’m not embarrassed that you are a man. Does it seem like I am embarrassed that you are a man?” The librarian is gay, which was a new issue in the 1970s.
It should be said, in the 70s, obscenity was a new issue for America. The Supreme Court just laid out a test for obscenity in Miller v. California (1973) to determine what was obscene material. As well, in the media, Americans demanded obscene free programs from television networks, which came in the form of such television shows like The Waltons (1971). As the 70s passed, America was just waking about to this new issue, which would occupy American minds to this very day.
Meantime, Charlie is having a lucky day. “There are some days when everything goes right. Like my daddy said ‘It’s better to be born lucky than good-looking.'”
During his Charlie’s conservation with Tom, the topic of May comes up. “When you know, she’s a divorcee,” chuckles Charlie.
Tom seems to be moody, though. Charlie tells Tom, saying: “The mood you’re in, everything today gives you a pain in the neck.”
As it turns out, we learn in this episode that Grandpa Larkin must see a court appointed psychiatrist in regards to his flashing. His psychiatrist, Roberta, tells him: “I am a great listener.”
Grandpa Larkin is funny in “Episode 6”. Here’s what Grandpa says, “The only time I get a nice little chat these days is around grave sites, once in a while.”
As well, Grandpa Larkin continues to drop knowledge in this segment. Grandpa Larkin tells Roberta, saying, “How long since you looked into a casket? They all smiling! Whether they want to or not. My old friend Al Parkins. He went 40 years without smiling. Now, you got to admire a man for that. Well, then, death tapped him. Actually, he was hit by a truck. And they put this big smile on his face like getting hit by a truck finally made Al happy. Well, nothing made Al happy. And he deserved the right to go on frowning.”
Mary and Cathy discuss choice in regards to love-making and Mary’s house. Cathy says when two people are in love, nothing is unconventional. Mary responds by saying, “It’s my house and I have a right to bring it up. Well, it’s my kitchen and I have a right to change my mind.” Apparently, choice is a two way street.
At this point, Heather arrives to say she’s being followed. She tells Cathy and Mary: “He followed me all the way home from school. A man.” Nobody seemed too interested that Heather is being stalked.
In brief, this episode was informative. It touched on some hot issues of the 70s; namely, obscenity in the media and gay people. As well, Grandpa Larkin dropped some knowledge on how it is to die. These were some of the interesting story lines in this segment.