This is one of my least favorite episodes. Joyce Martel is loud, obnoxious, brassy, and thoroughly unlikeable. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 12 July 2008.
I also don’t care for this episode. The Joyce Martel character was too over-the-top. But, I suppose that’s what the script called for. Actually, something like what Constance Ford (who played Reed/Martel) did in “Potted Planter” would have worked. It’s a shame, too, because Abraham Sofaer is such a joy to hear. Submitted by billp, 1/18/2009.
+ Among his 139 IMDb credits, Burma-born Abraham appeared in 3 Perrys, 2 Time Tunnels, & 2 Star Trek VOICE roles (Spectre of the Gun, Charlie X). Mike Bedard 4.21.15
A small plot inconsistency: At one point mid-episode, Dr. Maitlan tells Perry that Helen Reed has “only recently” learned of Joyce Martel. But in the epilogue, Della says that Helen didn‘t know of Joyce at all! Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 5/18/2009.
+ But I was *just* watching the scene on MeTV where her brother tells Perry and Tragg (in Perry's office) that Joyce Martel was her sister's make believe/made up character as they were growing up, but I guess the point was that she did not know what Joyce actually did. She described what she experienced was like a "dream"/not real to her. Submitted by mesave31, 04/22/15.
Another inconsistency?: At about 30:20 on the 2006 Region 1 Paramount DVD, Dr. Maitland tells Paul that "Helen Reed doesn't smoke or drink. Joyce does both to excess." Given that both personalities are in the same physical body, why hasn't Joyce developed at least a craving for nicotine? (I wonder if the tobacco and alcohol companies are suppressing this method of abstinence.) Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 07/22/13.
+ Helen has an extreme allergy to fur, which is a physical reaction which has not transferred to Joyce, so it's possible that Joyce's nicotine habit has not transferred to Helen. jfh 04Jun2019
++ I don't have a problem with the nicotine/alcohol usage, but I do with the fur allergy, in that allergies are physical responses. If one personality doesn't drink or smoke, how would they know that is what they are craving? Having [assumedly] never smoked, would Helen one day feel a bit strange and think "Wow, I am really craving a cigarette?" —yelocab 15NOV19
+++ There are actually people out there who do not become addicted to cigarettes. The medical industry calls them "chippers"; My mom's best friend was one, so I know they're real. If others around her were smoking, like at a party, she'd light up too, but never any other time. It's a bit of a stretch, but maybe Joyce/Helen was one of these? OLEF641 10/30/2020
Unlike previous commenters, this is one of my favorite PM episodes! I think Constance Towers does a great job portraying both women, and the courtroom transformation is well-done. I definitely would have liked free-wheeling Joyce more than prissy Helen. Actually, lowercase-masonite, I have less problem with the 2 personalities having different craving for nicotine and alcohol than with the fur allergy--allergies are a physical thing, a reaction of the body to what it mistakenly thinks is an invader, I (allergic to horses) don't think any mindset could override that reaction. submitted by DyNama, 4/7/2014.
+ I have a problem with the fur allergy as well: I could see being allergic to a specific fur, but just "fur" in general seems implausible. The online literature on this is somewhat lacking, but what there is suggests that such is often an allergy to dander, proteins or saliva on the fur rather than the fur itself - which would presumably exist only on a living animal, not a pelt - so all of this IMHO suggests the allergy is psychosomatic...a manifestation of her repressed nature. Diagnosed (without a license) by Notcom, 083117.
++ Just watching The Three Faces Of Eve and, similar to the Joyce/Helen character, one of Eve's personalities (Eve Black) is allergic to nylon while the other personality (Eve White) is not. [see comments by JohnK below] 01Oct2019
I'm split over this episode -- the Joyce character is certainly enthusiastic, but not completely implausible (she reminded me of my second wife after she had had a few drinks). But I thought the courtroom scenes were pretty good, especially at the moment when she flips from Helen to Joyce. JohnK, 2 December 2015
+ Seeing this one again six years after my comment from 2015, it occurs to me that my second ex-wife also had a thing for mink coats (she had two as I recall). That was years ago, but still sometimes embarrassing when living in a liberal stronghold like Manhattan. JohnK, July 1 2021.
I think this is the first episode that is not taken straight from an E.S. Gardner story. It seems they wanted to ride the coattails of Three Faces of Eve, which was released a year earlier. JohnK, 2 December 2015
Just as this episode was likely inspired by “Three Faces of Eve”, I suspect “TCOT Lonely Heiress” was inspired by “A Kiss Before Dying”, and “TCOT Silent Six” was inspired by the infamous, and infamously misunderstood Kitty Genovese murder. Can anyone come up with other episodes inspired by contemporary books, movies, or incidents? DOD 06/17/20
In the opening scene, it is obvious that secretary is just mindlessly tapping at the typewriter keys, and the sound of the keys does not match her finger action. DOD 06/17/20
Why haven't we heard from DellaFan on this epilogue? Della does a wonderful model's spin at the end and is definitely purring! Wow! Submitted by DyNama, 4/7/2014.
+ Great minds think alike, DyNama! She looks terrific! DellaFan, 4/8/2014.
++ I was referring to a comment DyNama had made--now (for some reason) gone--about how foxy Della looked at the end of the episode wearing the fur. DellaFan, 4-22-2015.
+++ Don't know why it went missing! Don't know why my signature links to a non-existent profile either. DyNama 9/30/2015
In the epilogue, Perry instructs Paul to return the fur to Robert Crane. Paul should return the fur to its rightful owner, Helen Reed. jfh 04Jun2019
+My guess is that Helen is in a sanitarium or otherwise under intense treatment with her brother as guardian or helper. Or maybe he looks better in mink than she does? Fred Flintstone 12/16/2020
"Homicide won't need a Joseph to Interpret this Dream," Perry tells Paul: Genesis tells the dream insights that led Joseph to become Pharaoh's Vizier. Mike Bedard 4.22.15
Wrong Street: When questioning John Hale, Mr. Burger asked if he had visited Helen (Joyce) at her apartment on Waverly Place. Joyce lived at the Crest Apartments at 622 S. Barry. Submitted by H. Mason 4/23/15
"Alternate" a 2007 episode of Law and Order - Special Victims Unit dealt with similar topics. They called it "Dissociative Identity Disorder". Submitted by H. Mason 4/23/15
+As with most psychiatric disorders, the name has changed over the years, from Schizophrenia to Multiple Personality Disorder to Dissociative Identity Disorder. It depends on what edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders you are reading. Submitted by Vladimir Estragon 9/27/2020.