This is the first episode of the final season. A change in timeslots from its previous six seasons (Saturdays at 8:00pm instead of 9:00pm; the night stayed the same) caused the show to drop out of the Nielsen Top 10 for the first time ever, bottoming out at #30.
(Dorothy and Sophia have just returned from Sophia's doctor.)
Blanche: Hi, how did the hearing test go?
Sophia: (to Dorothy) TELL HER WHAT THE DOCTOR SAID. TELL HER WHAT THE DOCTOR --
Dorothy: (to Blanche) Ma's fine, okay?!
Dorothy: (hesitates) And I need a hearing aid, alright?
Blanche: Rose, can't you put yourself in my position?
Rose: (beat) Apparently I'm not limber enough!
Blanche reveals her full name to be "Blanche Elizabeth Devereaux," indicating that her initials spell "BED". In the season six episode "Wham, Bam, Thank You, Mammy", however, her middle name is stated to be "Marie."
It's explicitly stated that Sophia does not have a hearing aid and doesn't need one, yet in the season four episode "The Impotence of Being Ernest," Sophia mentions having one.
Dorothy mentions that she and Sophia are planning to go to hear the philharmonic orchestra play "Beethoven's Sonata 29." However, a sonata is a solo piano piece, and would not be performed by an orchestra.