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37-xx-xx Vic Confides to Rush about Mothers

Over a game of cards, Vic has a heart-to-heart talk to Rush about the way he's been treating Sade as of late.  While he hasn't been horrible to her, he hasn't exactly been nice either.

He's been teasing her about things she doesn't know (for instance: she thought that George Washington was part of the Civil War.)  He's a smart boy and he's been kind of rubbing Sade's face in it, so to speak.
Vic does have his weaknesses. He is helpless before the flatteries of a pretty girl, he is impatient with ignorant boasters, he's obsessed with parades and the minutiae of the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way. But he does have one rare, unimpeachable quality: he knows that boys are inexperienced men, and therefore deserve a man's respect. Although Rush joined Vic and Sade's cast of characters as a child, the surviving recordings of the program portray him as a young man, often trying to assert himself in the adult world. Sade remembers the child, and often tries to keep him as such. On the other hand, some of the best episodes in the series are the ones in which Vic affirms Rush as a fellow citizen who deserves his unpatronizing attention. Of those rite-of-passage exchanges, this conversation over Rummy is probably the finest. Although Rush has been slyly belittling Sade for her ignorance – and Sade's world of time and space does not extend much past her birth and the city limits -- Vic doesn't scold him for being a churlish snob. Instead, He explains to Rush, as he would to a friend, the reasons for his mother's limited knowledge. Vic honors Sade's intellectual sacrifices as much as he respects Rush's intelligence. That Rush comes around to Vic's point of view is no surprise. He was an affectionate child who cared about people's feelings. Thanks to Vic's influence, he will come to be a kind, considerate man – just like his father. - Sarah Cole
Jean Shepard said this in the book's forward:
Not all of Vic & Sade’s episodes were pure fun and games... Vic’s understanding of Rush, and his obvious love for Sade, comes through in a beautifully written and subtle episode called “Vic Confides in Rush about Mothers.” It contains hints of the inevitability of death, references to the “Empty Nest” syndrome ([Paul] Rhymer was thirty years ahead of psychiatrists on this one), overlaid with a beautifully realized treatment of masculine relationships. In addition, he managed to be funny. Rhymer must have been a hell of an interesting man to know.
I'm convinced that Rush wasn't trying to be mean; it's a matter of growing up.  Vic knows this and with care and ease he talks to Rush.  Rush feigns innocence but the reader can tell the talk has had a strong and almost shocking effect on him.

The talk Vic gives has such a strong effect of Rush that he forgets he was winning the card tournament.  When his dad asks what the score is, Rush mistakenly tells him they are tied.  This shows us clearly that Rush's mind is elsewhere after the talk.


  1. Years ago, when I first started reading Vic and Sade scripts, I ran across this one. It was so good that, not only did I make a photocopy of it, but I ended up with a mental copy of it. Now, whenever I feel the need to publicly correct my own parents, I can hear Father Gook shuffling the cards.

  2. Yes, I'll have to check the Net for the script. I've read similar similarities in another script or two. When one reads of the early days of the show and the relationships, it's clear these people do love one another. I wish more folks in this age read and heard these programs. Times change, but human nature is, at its heart, ever the same. Thanx!

  3. Hi. First off let me say thank you so much for this site and the opportunity to read these scripts. Especially episodes we aren't able to hear.

    This script in particular really does resonate!

    Now, let me respectfully disagree with you on one point: You say "When his dad asks what the score is, Rush mistakenly tells him they are tied. This shows us clearly that Rush's mind is elsewhere after the talk. "

    Actually I think what is going on here is far more subtle and touching. I think Rush is perfectly aware of what the score of the game is. I think what has occurred to him is that moments ago he was actually treating Vic in a way similar to how he's been treating his mother: a bit smug and superior. (Without realizing he had been, of course.) Now Vic's words really have stirred him, and he does realize how he'd been behaving toward Vic at the beginning of the episode. He deliberately miscounts the score so that instead of lording over Vic about being ahead, they are on an even level again.

    1. Thank you for your valuable insight. I hope you will comment on other episodes as well. Your input would mean a lot to me and other fans.