Rate "Shirts and Skins"

On a scale of 1-5, rate "Shirts and Skins":

  • 5-Perfetc

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • 4-It's a Wonderful Episode

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • 3-Fine. Fine. Good. Good.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2-One for the So-So Corral

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1-Not So Great

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5
This may be my favorite Season 5 episode. If you watch it... forget for a moment what comes before and after... you can still believe these are two people who love each other.

The battle between the sexes, while it is handled with seriousness, does appear to also be an exciting competition between Maddie and David.

David is flirty, even when arguing with her:

"I like my women laying down, okay... I come from a long line of missionaries."

Maddie's response is, "Fine, make jokes," but she says it with the slightest smile on her face.

They are arguing with each other, but they're not being mean or bitter. And I love when David punctuates his final point by getting up in Maddie's face and puckering up for a kiss only an inch from her lips.

He asks her if she'd like to go out to dinner with him. I'm a firm believer that, for these two, going out to dinner was simply foreplay for the romantic evening that was bound to follow.

When they are arguing after he catches her snooping in his office, he says to her, "The only thing beneath me is you, and this is the one time I don't like it." He says this in present tense. Present tense!

Maddie admits she wanted David to come onto her. Nice amount of flirting in this episode.

And then we get the bloopers with Cybill and Bruce hugging and laughing. I have to give this Season 5 episode a 👍.
 
This may be my favorite Season 5 episode. If you watch it... forget for a moment what comes before and after... you can still believe these are two people who love each other.
SAS is definitely one season 5's better episodes, but even on its own terms, it unfortunately fits too well within "what comes before and after" for me to find the same sense of a currently-happening romance that you see. Yes, David drops his typical, occasional suggestive line, and Maddie actually flirts at the end ("Neil Fass came onto someone who didn't want him to" and "I may be willing to negotiate the terms"), but most of what I see in SAS is sadness and regret, with this being the defining moment for me:

While working separately from competing angles on the same case, David and Maddie have a brief, after-hours moment in which he offers to take her out for dinner and tells her, "Listen, I, uh... I just want you to know that all of this has been fun."

"What?" she replies, somewhat defensively.

"Well, this. You, me, all this." Though on the surface he is referring to their pending legal showdown, I just get an all-too-clear sense that David is trying to reach through the current state of their relationship and find a hint of better times. That he wishes she would join him in reaching.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly call it fun," she answers, perhaps not yet grasping where he is coming from, or where he is going. "Thought provoking, challenging, stimulating, maybe a little infuriating."

"Stimulating, challenging, infuriating," he considers... "Sounds like fun to me." Once again, this sounds more like David missing and pushing for something to be happening between them that right now simply isn't.

The sense of sadness and longing in her simple and soft reply, "Yeah," says to me (and perhaps to David) that she now has gotten his point. It hints that, on some level, she feels the same as he does. It is likely this particular moment of subtle connection between them that leads to her flirtation in the episode's final moments, not mention her asking him fairly early on in the very next episode, "Are you seeing anyone?"

That's just my take on it, anyway.
 
SAS is definitely one season 5's better episodes, but even on its own terms, it unfortunately fits too well within "what comes before and after" for me to find the same sense of a currently-happening romance that you see. Yes, David drops his typical, occasional suggestive line, and Maddie actually flirts at the end ("Neil Fass came onto someone who didn't want him to" and "I may be willing to negotiate the terms"), but most of what I see in SAS is sadness and regret, with this being the defining moment for me:

While working separately from competing angles on the same case, David and Maddie have a brief, after-hours moment in which he offers to take her out for dinner and tells her, "Listen, I, uh... I just want you to know that all of this has been fun."

"What?" she replies, somewhat defensively.

"Well, this. You, me, all this." Though on the surface he is referring to their pending legal showdown, I just get an all-too-clear sense that David is trying to reach through the current state of their relationship and find a hint of better times. That he wishes she would join him in reaching.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly call it fun," she answers, perhaps not yet grasping where he is coming from, or where he is going. "Thought provoking, challenging, stimulating, maybe a little infuriating."

"Stimulating, challenging, infuriating," he considers... "Sounds like fun to me." Once again, this sounds more like David missing and pushing for something to be happening between them that right now simply isn't.

The sense of sadness and longing in her simple and soft reply, "Yeah," says to me (and perhaps to David) that she now has gotten his point. It hints that, on some level, she feels the same as he does. It is likely this particular moment of subtle connection between them that leads to her flirtation in the episode's final moments, not mention her asking him fairly early on in the very next episode, "Are you seeing anyone?"

That's just my take on it, anyway.
Hey Ryan,

I totally get what you're saying about that scene when David asks her to dinner. He's thinking of their past and missing it, while Maddie doesn't remember it with the same fondness that he does, but she misses it, too.

I just think that if you put the blinders on to the before and after, S&S doesn't have the bitterness that you see in other Season 5 episodes. You can kinda, sorta pretend that things are okay.

To me, when I watch Season 5, when Maddie says to David in TMWFE, "Are you seeing anyone?" .... that's the moment when I fall off my chair. It's like, where'd that come from?!?

In fact, in my next story, that's precisely the line I'm looking to explain. So, glad you brought it up.
 
To me, when I watch Season 5, when Maddie says to David in TMWFE, "Are you seeing anyone?" .... that's the moment when I fall off my chair. It's like, where'd that come from?!?

In fact, in my next story, that's precisely the line I'm looking to explain. So, glad you brought it up.
That line alone proves to me that David and Maddie have not been romantically involved for some time, with the last on-screen evidence of romance being TCOM. There is nothing in PFL or SAS to really contradict that. In fact, Maddie's rejection of David's get-together invites in both of those episodes supports that some sort of falling out happened between TCOM and PFL. (I have an "Available Concept" in that gap that you may be familiar with.)
 
This may be my favorite Season 5 episode. If you watch it... forget for a moment what comes before and after... you can still believe these are two people who love each other.

The battle between the sexes, while it is handled with seriousness, does appear to also be an exciting competition between Maddie and David.

David is flirty, even when arguing with her:

"I like my women laying down, okay... I come from a long line of missionaries."

Maddie's response is, "Fine, make jokes," but she says it with the slightest smile on her face.

They are arguing with each other, but they're not being mean or bitter. And I love when David punctuates his final point by getting up in Maddie's face and puckering up for a kiss only an inch from her lips.

He asks her if she'd like to go out to dinner with him. I'm a firm believer that, for these two, going out to dinner was simply foreplay for the romantic evening that was bound to follow.

When they are arguing after he catches her snooping in his office, he says to her, "The only thing beneath me is you, and this is the one time I don't like it." He says this in present tense. Present tense!

Maddie admits she wanted David to come onto her. Nice amount of flirting in this episode.

And then we get the bloopers with Cybill and Bruce hugging and laughing. I have to give this Season 5 episode a 👍.
Gave it 4 because it is still Season 5 but I also loved this episode. AND how Maddie tells him in so many words she welcomed his advances when David asked her if she thought of him as Neil Fass.
 
That line alone proves to me that David and Maddie have not been romantically involved for some time, with the last on-screen evidence of romance being TCOM. There is nothing in PFL or SAS to really contradict that. In fact, Maddie's rejection of David's get-together invites in both of those episodes supports that some sort of falling out happened between TCOM and PFL. (I have an "Available Concept" in that gap that you may be familiar with.)
and how he offers to fix her up! WTF???
 
This may be my favorite Season 5 episode. If you watch it... forget for a moment what comes before and after... you can still believe these are two people who love each other.

The battle between the sexes, while it is handled with seriousness, does appear to also be an exciting competition between Maddie and David.

David is flirty, even when arguing with her:

"I like my women laying down, okay... I come from a long line of missionaries."

Maddie's response is, "Fine, make jokes," but she says it with the slightest smile on her face.

They are arguing with each other, but they're not being mean or bitter. And I love when David punctuates his final point by getting up in Maddie's face and puckering up for a kiss only an inch from her lips.

He asks her if she'd like to go out to dinner with him. I'm a firm believer that, for these two, going out to dinner was simply foreplay for the romantic evening that was bound to follow.

When they are arguing after he catches her snooping in his office, he says to her, "The only thing beneath me is you, and this is the one time I don't like it." He says this in present tense. Present tense!

Maddie admits she wanted David to come onto her. Nice amount of flirting in this episode.

And then we get the bloopers with Cybill and Bruce hugging and laughing. I have to give this Season 5 episode a 👍.
SAS is definitely one season 5's better episodes, but even on its own terms, it unfortunately fits too well within "what comes before and after" for me to find the same sense of a currently-happening romance that you see. Yes, David drops his typical, occasional suggestive line, and Maddie actually flirts at the end ("Neil Fass came onto someone who didn't want him to" and "I may be willing to negotiate the terms"), but most of what I see in SAS is sadness and regret, with this being the defining moment for me:

While working separately from competing angles on the same case, David and Maddie have a brief, after-hours moment in which he offers to take her out for dinner and tells her, "Listen, I, uh... I just want you to know that all of this has been fun."

"What?" she replies, somewhat defensively.

"Well, this. You, me, all this." Though on the surface he is referring to their pending legal showdown, I just get an all-too-clear sense that David is trying to reach through the current state of their relationship and find a hint of better times. That he wishes she would join him in reaching.

"Well, I wouldn't exactly call it fun," she answers, perhaps not yet grasping where he is coming from, or where he is going. "Thought provoking, challenging, stimulating, maybe a little infuriating."

"Stimulating, challenging, infuriating," he considers... "Sounds like fun to me." Once again, this sounds more like David missing and pushing for something to be happening between them that right now simply isn't.

The sense of sadness and longing in her simple and soft reply, "Yeah," says to me (and perhaps to David) that she now has gotten his point. It hints that, on some level, she feels the same as he does. It is likely this particular moment of subtle connection between them that leads to her flirtation in the episode's final moments, not mention her asking him fairly early on in the very next episode, "Are you seeing anyone?"

That's just my take on it, anyway.
You two have some very good points. I watched this episode just now and I love it. Before being reminded by Ryan that in the next episode Maddie asked "Are you seeing anyone?", I was leaning that they were still a couple in a limited capacity. With that question next episode though, it's unlikely. Ryan is right, there must have been a fallout that happened between TCOM and PFL. I still rate this episode a 5 as I review it as a stand-alone and I love it for all the reasons Marlena mentioned.

😮‍💨 I know I've said it before but I can't stress enough how frustrating season 5 is due to it being so vague. Then again, maybe this vagueness gives us the latitude to incorporate some hope into this fictional relationship we're obsessed with. Had it been clear, maybe we'd have to resign to the fact that these two aren't meant to be together. As it is, we can still mold it to a more satisfactory conclusion.
 
😮‍💨 I know I've said it before but I can't stress enough how frustrating season 5 is due to it being so vague. Then again, maybe this vagueness gives us the latitude to incorporate some hope into this fictional relationship we're obsessed with. Had it been clear, maybe we'd have to resign to the fact that these two aren't meant to be together. As it is, we can still mold it to a more satisfactory conclusion.
This is exactly my thinking and why I wrote the Season 5 background stories that start with "Since I Lost My Maddie" and end with "A Lunar State of Mind". That Season 5 vagueness that you mention really let me paint a picture of what else might have been going on in the lives of Maddie and David during that time and why they might have been acting the way they were towards each other. And in the end, I think I was able to pull it all together into a simple, but satisfying conclusion.

Sorry if I'm tooting my own horn here. But I really felt like I could appreciate Season 5 so much more after going through the exercise of writing those stories.
 
I've said on the former board and (I think) this one that S&S is one of my favorite episodes of the series, and certainly the best of the bloodbath that was S5. Love the casting, especially Jayne Atkinson as Robin Fuller, the protagonist of the episode. (Also delighted to see Joan Pringle, who had a leading role as Principal Buchanan on one of my other all-time favorite shows, "The White Shadow," appear early in S&S as Fuller's attorney.) And loved the plot. After the awfulness of AWWAV (I won't bore you with why I hate that episode so very, very much, if you don't already know), S&S's plot is not only in the former spirit of the show, it also, really smartly, parallels David and Maddie's working relationship, turning it on its head.

Robin Fuller, subordinate to her boss, shoots him in the opening scene. Soon after, we find out why – he was forcing her out of the promotion, and job, that she loved and had earned, because she wouldn't sleep with him. And this is the exact opposite of Blue Moon – where the male subordinate, David, desperately still wants to date the boss, Maddie.

Consider the opening scene: we see Robin getting on an elevator, full of men, almost hiding in the back, clearly not in authority – whereas our establishing shot almost every week on ML is of Maddie, clearly the boss, almost oblivious to the men riding with her, getting off the elevator at BM, clearly in charge, and with nothing taking place without her approval. When Robin shoots Neil Fass, she proves almost as inept with a gun as we often see David. Maddie, who never likes soliciting business, leaving that up to David (and often objecting to the cases and/or people he drums up), almost begs Martha Tracy (Pringle – another woman in charge) to let BM handle the legwork in Robin Fuller's defense. And, of course, she (again!) objects when David brings her what would be a very lucrative case for BM – working for the prosecution in the Fuller case! Everything in this episode is topsy-turvy, including when it's Maddie who has to engage in slapstick, climbing through the ceiling from her office to David's to look for a key piece of evidence.

Of course, the main storyline is about the women employees of BM working for Maddie against the male employees, working for David. But underneath it – and this is where the show was at its smartest – was the notion of trust between Maddie and David. On the other board, a question was once asked: "do you think Maddie respects David?" And I came to the conclusion that, no, she really doesn't. She loves him. But I don't know that she really respected him. S&S is a major step in their relationship. At the end, Maddie realizes that David is, actually, quite a good detective (or has grown into one, maybe), and she makes him a full partner in BM. Not because she wants to sleep with him, but because he's earned the promotion, the way Robin Fuller had. Whatever future David and Maddie have with one another as lovers is not material here – they're going to be actual partners going forward. And that's a major step.
 
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I've said on the former board and (I think) this one that S&S is one of my favorite episodes of the series, and certainly the best of the bloodbath that was S5. Love the casting, especially Jayne Atkinson as Robin Fuller, the protagonist of the episode. (Also delighted to see Joan Pringle, who had a leading role as Principal Buchanan on one of my other all-time favorite shows, "The White Shadow," appear early in S&S as Fuller's attorney.) And loved the plot. After the awfulness of AWWAV (I won't bore you with why I hate that episode so very, very much, if you don't already know), S&S's plot is not only in the former spirit of the show, it also, really smartly, parallels David and Maddie's working relationship, turning it on its head.

Robin Fuller, subordinate to her boss, shoots him in the opening scene. Soon after, we find out why – he was forcing her out of the promotion, and job, that she loved and had earned, because she wouldn't sleep with him. And this is the exact opposite of Blue Moon – where the male subordinate, David, desperately still wants to date the boss, Maddie.

Consider the opening scene: we see Robin getting on an elevator, full of men, almost hiding in the back, clearly not in authority – whereas our establishing shot almost every week on ML is of Maddie, clearly the boss, almost oblivious to the men riding with her, getting off the elevator at BM, clearly in charge, and with nothing taking place without her approval. When Robin shoots Neil Fass, she proves almost as inept with a gun as we often see David. Maddie, who never likes soliciting business, leaving that up to David (and often objecting to the cases and/or people he drums up), almost begs Martha Tracy (Pringle – another woman in charge) to let BM handle the legwork in Robin Fuller's defense. And, of course, she (again!) objects when David brings her what would be a very lucrative case for BM – working for the prosecution in the Fuller case! Everything in this episode is topsy-turvy, including when it's Maddie who has to engage in slapstick, climbing through the ceiling from her office to David's to look for a key piece of evidence.

Of course, the main storyline is about the women employees of BM working for Maddie again the male employees, working for David. But underneath it – and this is where the show was at its smartest – was the notion of trust between Maddie and David. On the other board, a question was once asked: "do you think Maddie respects David?" And I came to the conclusion that, no, she really doesn't. She loves him. But I don't know that she really respected him. S&S is a major step in their relationship. At the end, Maddie realizes that David is, actually, quite a good detective (or has grown into one, maybe), and she makes him a full partner in BM. Not because she wants to sleep with him, but because he's earned the promotion, the way Robin Fuller had. Whatever future David and Maddie have with one another as lovers is not material here – they're going to be actual partners going forward. And that's a major step.
I love your analysis. I do enjoy it when moonlighting examines David and Maddie 's relationship through their cases.
I also reluctantly agree that Maddie doesn't really respect David - another reason why their relationship never actually worked out. 'I'm not supposed to be with you ' - how sad is that, and how arrogant and heartless of Maddie to actually say that to David.
 
Of course, the main storyline is about the women employees of BM working for Maddie against the male employees, working for David. But underneath it – and this is where the show was at its smartest – was the notion of trust between Maddie and David. On the other board, a question was once asked: "do you think Maddie respects David?" And I came to the conclusion that, no, she really doesn't. She loves him. But I don't know that she really respected him. S&S is a major step in their relationship. At the end, Maddie realizes that David is, actually, quite a good detective (or has grown into one, maybe), and she makes him a full partner in BM. Not because she wants to sleep with him, but because he's earned the promotion, the way Robin Fuller had. Whatever future David and Maddie have with one another as lovers is not material here – they're going to be actual partners going forward. And that's a major step.
Wow, the respect aspect is one that I haven't thought about before. Your analysis is an eye opener.
 
I do like this episode, but was anyone else bothered by the ending when David and Maddie are walking out of the courthouse and he doesn't hold the door for her. She just offered to make him a partner in the agency, they had a nice talk, and then he walks out ahead of her and doesn't help her with her briefcases or the door. I always wonder, was that what David was supposed to do or was that Bruce doing what he wanted? It's not like they had just fought or anything. What would be the reason for his behavior?
 
I do like this episode, but was anyone else bothered by the ending when David and Maddie are walking out of the courthouse and he doesn't hold the door for her. She just offered to make him a partner in the agency, they had a nice talk, and then he walks out ahead of her and doesn't help her with her briefcases or the door. I always wonder, was that what David was supposed to do or was that Bruce doing what he wanted? It's not like they had just fought or anything. What would be the reason for his behavior?
The theme is equality between the sexes. Equal partners. David was just playing along. The man shouldn't have to carry the woman's bags. Maddie's response might have been a chuckle with a harrumph, but she would've understood his humor here I think.
 
The theme is equality between the sexes. Equal partners. David was just playing along. The man shouldn't have to carry the woman's bags. Maddie's response might have been a chuckle with a harrumph, but she would've understood his humor here I think.
I was thinking that. But it really was more about being a kind person and nothing to do with men vs. women, at least that's how I felt when I saw it. David seemed like he was actually being mean to her. He came across as a jerk in that scene in my opinion. He didn't have to carry her bags, he could have just held the door for her instead of making her struggle with it. Also, remember how she felt when no one helped her when she had a flat tire? She said it wasn't really about a man helping a woman, but just that people should be kind and helpful to others in need.
 
I was thinking that. But it really was more about being a kind person and nothing to do with men vs. women, at least that's how I felt when I saw it. David seemed like he was actually being mean to her. He came across as a jerk in that scene in my opinion. He didn't have to carry her bags, he could have just held the door for her instead of making her struggle with it. Also, remember how she felt when no one helped her when she had a flat tire? She said it wasn't really about a man helping a woman, but just that people should be kind and helpful to others in need.
I agree with you about Maddie's perspective in "Knowing Her", but agree to disagree about "Shirts and Skins".
 
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