Headscratchers / Sanford and Son

  • Esther is a pretty complicated character, isn't she? Generally, on the surface, she always expresses animosity and disdain towards Fred, yet on rare occasions, we see that deep down, she genuinely does care about Fred. At the same time, we know she never approved of her sister, Elizabeth, marrying Fred in the first place... so, why did she make such a big deal of Fred's engagement to Donna? I know Donna suggests in one episode that she believes that Esther resents her for seemingly taking Elizabeth's place, but you would think she wouldn't care less what Fred does, or who he decides to be with.
    • She cares a lot about her nephew Lamont and she even wonders if Donna would be a good mother to him, even though Lamont is well into adulthood. I think it's lets about Donna being a replacement for Elizabeth as Fred's wife but as replacement for Elizabeth as Lamont's mother. Plus, I got the feeling she sees it as cheating on Elizabeth even though she has been dead for a long time. Eventually she gets over not liking Donna and in a later episode she is even mad at Fred when she thinks he is cheating on her.
  • Did Esther and Elizabeth have a brother? In the episode "Sanford and Niece," Esther brings his niece Elizabeth to stay with him until her dorm as U.S.C. is ready for her to move in to. Not only is she the niece of Fred, but Esther's her aunt as well, and she even says the former Elizabeth was her aunt too; at the same time though, she mentions that her father named her after Elizabeth and even says she's the spitting image of Elizabeth. I don't ever recall any other episode that may have provided such information, but I'm assuming that Esther and Elizabeth had a brother and that the younger Elizabeth is his
  • Esther has several sisters including Aunt Ethel who appeared in the early episodes. Elizabeth could be one of their daughters.
  • For some reason, the beachside town of El Segundo often figures in Fred's punchlines. It seems IRL like a wholly unremarkable community - I'm puzzled as to what the joke is here. I'm guessing it has some humorous or derogatory reputation that only So Cal insiders would "get?"