From "Brother Can You Spare A Blonde?" Agnes challenges David Addison about the windfall he has supposedly just uncovered in a forgotten bank account. In reality, David has borrowed the money from his brother so that Maddie can pay the IRS to save her house. Agnes knows there is no second bank account and attempts to set the record straight. David is already upset about the entire circumstance of having to humble himself before his brother to borrow the money and also having to endure Maddie showing an interest in his brother, so he takes it out on Agnes telling her she is wrong and to butt out and that she doesn't know what she is talking about. Agnes is stunned and very hurt by his words.
The following scene when David walks back into the Blue Moon office, Agnes gets right in his face about what has happened and lets him know she has been hurt and that she demands more respect from him than that. Agnes shows no fear in taking her boss on and letting him know in no uncertain terms that just because he is her boss, it doesn't mean he can treat her like he did. Agnes may come across as ditsy at times and childlike, but here she proves to be determined, clear thinking, and perfectly able to stand up for herself. She looks David squarely in the eyes and tells him his charm isn't going to get him off the hook with her this time, "No cute apologies," she tells him, "I don't want a cute apology. You were mean to me Mr. Addison for no good reason other than you were in a bad mood...and that stinks!" Her no nonsense approach with him and her firm admonition brings a sincere apology from David and re-establishes their close bond. After he apologizes, she tells him he is forgiven, "But watch it--I know where you live!" Agnes is the one person who can laugh along with David, enjoy his jokes and fun, but then get serious with him when the situation requires it--and whenever that happens, he pays attention.
In "Yours Very Deadly" we see Miss DiPesto's first encounter with temp clerk Bert Viola and she makes no bones about her attraction to him, openly expressing her feelings by grabbing him, pulling him down across a desk and kissing him. At this point, we notice the immediate contrast between Agnes and Maddie in how they deal with men and with life in general. Agnes' has few hang ups about her true feelings and her honest expression, although a bit over the top, actually comes as somewhat refreshing given all the subterfuge, flirting and backing off we have endured between Maddie and David up to this point.
When Maddie calls Agnes into her office to discuss this breach in office decorum, Agnes doesn't try to hide or lie about what she has done, she openly admits she was the instigator and corrects Maddie's assumption that Bert was the one who took advantage of her, "I grabbed him and kissed him and forced him to return my affections." (Contrast this to Maddie and David's first "real" kiss between them which occurred in the parking garage in "Witness for the Execution," where each denies they kissed the other or that it ever happened.)
"Maddie's Turn to Cry" has a wonderful scene that takes place in Maddie's office between the two women as Agnes gently sticks her nose into the relationship problem between Maddie and David. Agnes spills the beans about David to Maddie and lets her know that despite the show he is putting on trying to act like he is just fine and is his usual happy-go-lucky self, that really he is a mess.
Agnes also makes sure that Maddie knows exactly who and what David is so upset about--"There is no Monique" she confides to Maddie, "I'm Monique. Is there really a Sam?" One of the reasons we all love and identify with Agnes DiPesto is that she speaks for all of us about Maddie and David. She sees and knows exactly what we have seen and know about her bosses, and she voices our hopes and frustrations so well. Agnes bravely challenges both Maddie and David about their true feelings for each other, and we know that at times without her gentle pushes, the couple would have more than likely languished in a constant state of frustration, neither brave enough to take that final step toward the other.
In "It's a Wonderful Job," we are transported to "Rhymes for the Times, Inc.", where Agnes has landed after Blue Moon has closed. Landed doesn't quite describe it...Agnes has become president of the company. She plays the business executive as cold, mean and calculating, and all the while, Maddie cringes at the exaggerated yet striking similarities to her own management style.
Agnes never waivers, shows no sign of weakness, and maintains the same demeanor in relating to Herbert. Her portrayal hits home as Maddie realizes that Agnes has become shockingly similar to the persona that she herself exhibits to the Blue Moon staff, and at times, to David. What makes it all the more poignant, is that in spite of the fact that Agnes has become successful, it is abundantly clear that success doesn't always make you a better person....we like the memory of the ditsy, happy, caring Agnes, just as Maddie does. Agnes's portrayal is dead on, and a scene that logically seems to be Maddie's is propelled by Agnes. This forces Maddie to beg for the old Agnes to reveal herself, and admit that the portrayal is not really Agnes, but Maddie herself.
I adore the scene in "I Am Curious, Maddie," when Agnes comes back to clean up David's office because she "just didn't want him to come in here and find this mess". She encounters Maddie, and tries to get her to talk. When she is unsuccessful, she asks Maddie if she wants to get "wrecked".
The scene shifts to a bar, where Agnes shows an unexpected and hilarious familiarity with the bar scene. Her interactions with the bartender are interspersed with her unsolicited campaigning for David, and all the while, she gulps kamikazes. Her going on and on about David, while it seems to irritate Maddie, also strikes me as the reason why Maddie finally comes to her decision -- Agnes picked her point and continued to hammer it home, until Maddie actually heard it.
Our final glimpse of Agnes, as she stands up and falls backwards, is truly priceless -- and is a common result of overindulgence in members of the tequila family -- at least, that is what I've been told.
My very favorite Agnes DiPesto moment is in "Father Knows Last." She
returns to the empty office with a chair, "in case anyone wants to sit". She
is obviously upset and downhearted, and David attempts to cheer her with his
normal brand of baloney. She is having none of it. David suggests she
should be supporting him, because he can make it happen again. She remarks
that "even Camelot had to end". He comes back with "Et tu, DiPesto", and
frantically starts listing the ways he will make it work........"a file
cabinet here, a worker bee over there, another dumb blonde in the
office...." Agnes goes ballistic, both physically and verbally,
letting him know that he cannot talk about Maddie that way. She lets him
know, in no uncertain terms, that he is totally to blame for the demise
of Blue Moon.
This is the episode in which Agnes has to help her hero down off his
pedestal...or maybe off the float from which he has led the parade for all
these years. The girl with all the faith in the world has lost faith in the
one person she always trusted, and nothing he can do can restore that faith.
In fact, when he trashes Maddie, Agnes shows the allegiance that has
developed between her and Maddie and proves that she has much more insight
than anyone would give her credit for. Allyce makes this work beautifully
-- the emotion on David's face after her tirade is proof positive that he
knows he has almost lost everything...and that two good actors can put
together one powerful scene.