There's an odd amount of violence against women in this episode: Coop hitting Nancy (somewhat mitigated/justified by his anger regarding Audrey, but still arguably unbefitting of an agent of his standing and prowess), Jean stabbing Blackie (and in a beautifully creepy unscripted moment seemingly savoring her blood as she bleeds from her mouth!), and perhaps most troublesome, Pinkle's casual wife-beating joke, which is even more cringe-worthy in Shelly's presence. Of course, it's certainly the sort of joke plenty of people might have made in that era, and (slightly less so) even might make openly today, so it's realistic in that sense. But the episode seems to want us to find Pinkle endearing, or at the very least, harmless. I'm not really inclined to laugh at his slapstick to begin with (I like Lander generally, and really enjoy him on On the Air
, a show I don't particularly like but he's one of the best strengths) -- but after that crack, I'm really not in the mood to giggle at his capering. I really wish Shelly had at least gotten more of a reaction shot registering her disgust. She just placidly smokes her cigarette. Btw, the line isn't in the script, so it's possible that Lander improvised it.
OTOH, I have never found LFB as powerful, in control, or sexy as I do in this episode. It's almost like Clifford made it his personal mission to make Donna pop: the performance she gives in this episode, consistently in every scene, is head and shoulders above anything else she did on the show. Personally, I don't generally find her physically attractive, but the way she's photographed in this one and the energy she gives off is the definition of steamy. She owns it.
And, after this slightly troubling episode from a feminist standpoint (which ends with two females in peril), Lesli Linka Glatter returns in full force next episode, opening with a series of Georgia O'Keefe-esque vaginal orchid shots.