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"Dial 'S' for Suspicion" is the fourteenth episode of the third season and the seventy-fourth overall episode of the original series, The Flintstones. It aired on December 14, 1962.

Synopsis

A series of strange accidents coupled with Wilma's sudden insistence on having Fred take out a life insurance policy, and her devotion to a murder mystery novel about a wife who bumps off her husband, causes Fred to wonder if his life is in danger.

Plot

Fred applies for an executive position at Stone Valley Inn, a mountain resort hotel where one can ski and swim in the same day, and after stretching the truth somewhat about his knowledge of Spanish and his having graduated from college (two prerequisites for the job), Fred is granted an interview with hotel owner Conrad Hailstone and accepted for managerial status at Stone Valley Inn, pending a free-of-charge physical examination by the "company" doctor.

The promised increase in Fred's income prompts Wilma to recommend that Fred assent to a life insurance policy whereby Wilma will receive $40,000 should Fred, per chance, die. Fred signs the necessary "papers" to activate the life insurance policy before Barney discovers and reads to Fred textual passages from a book of Wilma's, "Dial S For Suspicion", in which a wife insures her husband for a fortune and then arranges his apparently unexpected death so that she and her extra-marital lover can collect and enjoy the monetary bounty.

Fred rejects the idea that Wilma may be following the example of the female character in the book until Wilma, while in the process of using a hatchet to slice meat and not knowing that the hatchet has a faulty handle, accidentally releases the hatchet blade for a free-flight across a room to cut into in the arch of a doorway into which Fred is walking.

To Barney, Fred shares his belief that the hatchet blade was hurled deliberately toward him by Wilma, i.e. that Wilma does plan to kill him. At night, Fred's pillow falls to the Flintstone bedroom floor, and Wilma is restoring the pillow to Fred's bed when Fred awakens from troubled sleep to find Wilma standing above him with the pillow in her hand. He tacitly concludes that Wilma is attempting to suffocate him with the pillow, flees through the bedroom wall, and does not return home until morning.

The plot thickens when a friend from Wilma's past, Rodney Whetstone, a knife-thrower with the Barnacle and Bailey Circus now in Bedrock, invites Flintstones and Rubbles to the circus to view his act- and Wilma "volunteers" Fred to stand against Rodney's target board as Whetstone tosses his knives in a perfect arc around Fred's tied, trembling, and terrified body. Whetstone decides to perform this feat while blindfolded as per Wilma's suggestion, and Fred busts his bindings and bolts from the target board, convinced that Wilma has conspired with Rodney to perforate him with the knives.

Desperate to negate the life insurance, Fred feigns illness, by using a false arm with no pulse and a slowly ticking clock to serve as an ailing heart, to fool what he thinks is the life insurance physician into declaring him unfit to be insured, only to later learn that the doctor is really in the employ of Stone Valley Inn, and Fred has scuttled his opportunity for employment there. Wilma finally learns about Fred's ridiculous suspicion of her and verbally scolds him.

Characters

Locations

Bedrock

  • Flintstone home
  • Stone Valley Inn (only appearance)
  • Barnacle and Bailey Circus tent (only appearance)

Objects

  • Fred's application letter (only appearance)
  • Dial "S" for Suspicion book (only appearance)

Animals

Vehicles

Cast

Alan Reed Fred Flintstone
Jean Vander Pyl Wilma Flintstone
Mel Blanc Barney Rubble
Dino
Elephant
Turtlesaurus #1
Pencil Bird
Bea Benaderet Betty Rubble
Howard Morris Rodney Whetstone
Dr. Pilldown
Monkeysaurus
Letter Opening Bird
Turtlesaurus #2
Guy #1
John Stephenson Conrad Hailstone
Mr. Featherspine
Man/Ringmaster
Guy in Crowd #1

Notes/Trivia

  • The circus is Barnacle & Shaley (named for Barnum & Bailey).
  • The mail carrier is called Mr. Featherspine.

Allusions

Errors

  • When Fred introduces Wilma's book to Barney, the book is red, but later when Wilma is reading, the book is green, she also turns the pages backwards.


Season 3 of The Flintstones
"Dino Goes Hollyrock" • "Fred's New Boss" • "Barney the Invisible" • "Bowling Ballet" • "The Twitch" • "Here's Snow in Your Eyes" • "The Buffalo Convention" • "The Little Stranger" • "Baby Barney" • "Hawaiian Escapade" • "Ladies' Day" • "Nuthin' But the Tooth" • "High School Fred" • "Dial 'S' for Suspicion" • "Flash Gun Freddie" • "The Kissing Burglar" • "Wilma the Maid" • "The Hero" • "The Surprise" • "Mother-in-Law's Visit" • "Foxy Grandma" • "Fred's New Job" • "The Dress Rehearsal" • "Carry On, Nurse Fred" • "Ventriloquist Barney" • "The Big Move" • "Swedish Visitors" • "The Birthday Party"
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