Old Friends was the premiere episode of Season 3 of The Golden Girls, also the 52nd overall episode of the series.
Sophia has a new friend but as the friendship deepens, the old fellow's behavior becomes erratic and she learns he has Alzheimer's disease. Meanwhile, B.E.D. accidentally gives away Rose's teddy bear and the girl who has it holds it hostage.
Blanche donates some things to the Sunshine Cadets, she then gives Daisy a teddy bear, however it turns out it belonged to Rose so she quickly makes something up while she tries get it back.Sophia goes to the Boardwalk and makes friends with Alvin Newcastle.
Blanche reveals to Dorothy that Daisy is now holding Fernando the bear for ransom sending his ear. As Alvin and Sophia met everyday, she remarks about Alvin's wife Edna but he acts confused trying to change the subject, Sophia thinks because of his tears that it's still painful.
After trying to convince Daisy to return it she wants a bike despite being threaten with her parents being told she refuses and upon Rose entering Daisy leaves with the bear, Blanche and Dorothy explain it to Rose but she still wants him back.Sophia meets Alvin but after he says she sitting in his seat calls her selfish and walks off.
The next day Daisy returns this time wanting money however Rose decide that it's time for her to let go of Fernando saying words that makes Daisy sad only for Rose to grab the bear and kick her out. Sophia tries to be careful and thinks Alvin's soda and lack of acknowledgement is his way of saying sorry. Dorothy meets with Sandra Alvin's daughter who witnessed the outburst yesterday and explains the truth about her father.
That evening Dorothy tells Sophia the truth, Alvin is ill, Sophia tries to deny it and jokes that she knew something Dorothy reveals he has Alzheimer's disease. Dorothy explains she met Sandra who has been watching him since he started wandering, she took a leave of her work but she needs to return, so in a few weeks time he will be going to New York where a nephew will give him special care and so Sophia rushes to finish the scarf.
One evening later Sophia is on the bench, Dorothy comes to her and she realises he isn't coming back. Rather than go to see him in New York she'll mail it so she'll remember him sitting there.
Blanche: Dorothy, I have a confession to make. Rose didn't lose Fernando. I gave him to Daisy when she was helping out with the rummage sale.
Dorothy: Well, then, there's no problem, honey. Just call Daisy and get Fernando back. She's a very sweet kid. She'll understand.
Blanche: I tried that. She said no.
Dorothy: What do you mean?
Blanche: She's not a sweet kid anymore. She's holding Fernando for ransom.
Dorothy: Come on.
Blanche: Dorothy, she sent me one of his ears!
Dorothy: Hey, I didn't hear you get up.
Rose: I never went to sleep.
Dorothy: Now look, Rose, this has to stop. Now you have been carrying on for a week. It was only a toy animal.
Rose: Fernando was more than that. He was full of life, he was full of love...
Dorothy: He was full of stuffing, Rose.
- This episode won two Emmy Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy (Estelle Getty) and Outstanding Technical Direction/Camera/Video for a Series.
- While this episode dealt with Alzheimer's disease and displayed Alvin suffering from memory loss, Estelle Getty was later in life stricken with dementia and suffered similar symptoms such as memory loss.
- Daisy's ransom of Fernando is based on the ransom of J. Paul Getty lll whose ear was send to his family.
- When Rose talks about Fernando to Sophia she mistakes him for Dr. Johnathon Newman who was a little person.
- Sophia also talks about the myth about Black men in bed which she would also talk about in Mixed Blessings