Recap: It's Saturday night, and the Facts gals are riding around Peekskill in Blair's fancy car with Jo in the driver's seat. Blair complains about how lame it is to be cruisin' up and down Main Street and would prefer to go to a movie - but Natalie and Tootie are all into the idea of spending an entire mind-numbing episode cruisin' [without the comforting background noise of a live studio audience laugh track] and ask Jo to crank up the radio so they can sing along. Incidentally, this is the first episode we see of Tootie without her braces.
Jo says she has no opinion one way or the other about the writers forcing them to spend the episode inside a car and says that in the Bronx, people with nothing better to do ride around the borough at 15 mph. Blair urges Natalie and Tootie to refrain from openly gawking at men with such eager 'we're available for some G rated fun!' expressions, then says that the best way to attract a guy is to appear disinterested. Natalie implores Blair to get into the spirit of their cruisin' - just as Blair spots Cathy, a sorority girl [who harbors a grudge against her for asking out her fiancé to homecoming] and immediately tries to hide herself 'cause she doesn't want Cathy gossiping to anyone that she saw her cruisin' with three gal pals on a Saturday night. Egads!
Tootie gets jazzed when the radio DJ announces a contest to win Abba concert tickets and puts out a trivia question. Tootie bellows, "I know the answer to that!" and asks Jo to pull over before she bursts out of the car and scampers to the nearest phone booth. A few seconds later, she glumly returns after not getting through to the radio station quick enough and snarks that since Natalie borrowed her last dime, she had to resort to asking a bum if he had any spare change. Blair continues to bitch about the inanity of aimlessly driving up and down Main Street, and insists on keeping the car windows closed so they can give other motorists the idea that they're aloof and unattainable....and/or in the process of being transported somewhere. Natalie spots a sexy motorcyclist and giddily shares how turned on she is by a man in leather, then opens her window and screeches, "Hey! Do you need directions?!" - but he just speeds away disinterestedly.
Blair announces that a car filled with classy guys is pulling up beside them...but has to quickly take that back when the guys pull down their pants for a full mooning. Tootie studies the naked bottoms and cackles, "I think I know that ass!" - LOL - while Jo hits the gas and needlessly runs a red light.
After the commercial break, Jo pulls into a drive-in for a snack break. After placing their order, they spot a lonely aging redhead parked next to them...and are all, "Ack!" when they realize it's Mrs. Garrett. They cluck sympathetically about how sad and depressed the old girl must be if she's spending her Saturday night cruisin' around Peekskill. Mrs. Garrett eventually notices them parked next to her, screeches hello, and tells them she just had a great night at the movies...then introduces them to the silver-haired fox she's currently on a date with. He gives the shocked gals a perfunctory nod before climbing into the driver's seat and driving off...and a few seconds later, Blair runs into her sorority nemesis again and is newly embarrassed at being seen cruisin' dateless on Saturday night. When the waitress brings them the bill for the drive-in snacks, the gals suddenly realize they don't have enough cash...and Jo proposes they beat a hasty retreat, and return in the morning to pay up.
Jo advises they lay low at a nearby gas station, while Blair worriedly wrings her hands that someone at the drive-in got their license plate and is calling the cops. Tootie gabbles about about badly she wants to participate in the radio contest and starts singing along to You've Lost That Loving Feeling when it starts playing. Blair joins in and stares yearningly at Jo as the two belt out the lyrics together. Mmm hmm..
Tootie scrambles out of the car to try to be the tenth caller in the radio contest, but returns dejectedly when the phone in the nearest booth turns out to be broken. Jo pretends she can't start the car and says the battery must have drained...and Natalie starts freaking out about being trapped in the middle of nowhere - until Tootie calms her down with a face smack. Jo chuckles and says she was just messing with them, and starts up the engine to aimlessly drive somewhere else. [Holy fucking shit, writers.]
Blair lets out a sigh and says she was hoping to meet someone special while cruisin'. Jo tells her she once met a guy while cruisin' in the Bronx...and by met, she means she admired his Trans Am before he took a hard turn off the cruisin' loop and drove off into the night. When Blair suggests they throw in the towel on this wretched boredom and head home, Natalie begs for one more lap around Main Street - just as the radio DJ gives Tootie a shout-out for being the night's most persistent caller. Even though, according to my calculations, she was only able to get through to the radio station once. Tootie shrieks happily, which is where this bizarre episode abruptly ends.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!
Recap: Mrs. Garrett bustles into the store carrying a tray of freshly baked croissants for a hungry crowd of coupon clutching customers, who are rudely demanding their free croissant. When the entire croissant batch get wolfed down as if these people haven't eaten for a week, Mrs. Garrett shrieks that she's officially out of pastry, but that whoever didn't get a croissant can come back tomorrow (Sunday). Natalie and Blair groan at the thought of having to work on a Sunday to feed a bunch of surly freeloaders without Jo's help [who we're told had to rush to the Bronx to tend to her ma after she broke her arm], and Mrs. Garrett sheepishly tells them she thought for sure that people getting a free croissant would buy other stuff while they were in the store. Tootie announces that she's off to meet up with her boyfriend Jeff who's in town this weekend [reminder: he was once illiterate but rapidly learned how to read before getting admitted to college] ... and when Jeff suddenly appears outside the door with a bouquet of flowers, she's like, "Ack!" and runs upstairs to beautify herself. Blair offers to keep Jeff company until Tootie re-emerges, and remarks on how muscular his biceps have gotten. He tells her he's looooving Penn State, especially the no rules college lifestyle.
Jeff's college buddy Rich and his girlfriend Ellen arrive at Edna's Edibles to kick off an ill-fated double date with Jeff and Tootie. Ellen recognizes Blair from her European history class, then directs her attention back to Rich and starts smooching him intensely. The two moan about how it's been three looooooong months since they've seen each other...and apparently feel the need to make up for lost time by sticking their tongues down each other's throat in front of a complete stranger.
Freshly beautified and adorned in a long gold chain that Jeff once gifted her, Tootie runs downstairs and gives her boyfriend a happy hello hug...then marvels at his muscular physique. Jeff introduces her to Rich and Ellen - and when an amused looking Ellen asks what the hell kind of name Tootie is (bwahahaha!), Tootie explains that it's short for Dorothy. Ellen mulls over that nonsensical connection, then shrugs indifferently while chirping, "Cute." The four settle onto the couches, where Jeff natters about the stress of having to decide what his major is going to be so he can one day graduate. Tootie asks what the big deal is, 'cause she figures that college should be strictly about having fun. Rich laughs in his condescending 'I'm soooo savvy about how the world works now that I've been in college for the last three months' manner, then replies, "I thought so too when I was in high school" and the four shift awkwardly as they contemplate the vast, one year age difference between the three of them and Tootie. The four decide to get their double date going, and Ellen suggests dinner and a movie. Rich is all, "Wha-a-a-a?" and says he thought they were going to a dance club, and Jeff subtly motions to Tootie and says they can do that another time. When Rich is still all, "Wha-a-a-a? But I want to go dancing tonight!", Ellen has to come right out and tell her boneheaded boyfriend that Tootie is under eighteen and therefore too young to be admitted into the clubs. Rich goes, "Ooooh..." and scrunches his face with an unmistakable look of disappointment on his face as the four head out for a forcibly wholesome night on the town.
When Jeff brings Tootie home after the date, she tells him she had a nice time with Rich and Ellen...despite them being snootily condescending about her being younger than them. She complains that she had nothing to add to the conversation, and Jeff unhelpfully concurs that, nope, she has absolutely nothing, zip, nada in common with those two. He suggests they meet up for brunch at 11am tomorrow, just the two of them, and Tootie says she likes the sound of that. He gives her a chaste kiss goodnight, stares morosely into space for a few seconds, then opens the door and heads out...leaving Tootie staring after him worriedly.
Upstairs in the communal bedroom, Blair begs Natalie to turn the lights off so she can get enough sleep to deal with the Sunday rush of croissant freeloaders...so Natalie finally finishes brushing her teeth, shuts the lights off, and climbs into bed. When Tootie enters the room a few seconds later, Natalie turns the lights back and asks her how the double date went. Tootie glumly says lousy and that they can talk about it in the morning, then turns the lights off. A few seconds later, Tootie turns the lights back on and whines about how shittily Rich and Ellen treated her all evening, and that it seemed to go unnoticed by Jeff. Natalie asks her where Jeff is staying while he's in town, so Tootie says he's bunking with Jeff in Ellen's dorm room while she sleeps elsewhere...and Blair chimes in to say she doesn't buy that for a second, and is pretty sure Rich is shacking up with Ellen so they can romp undisturbed. As Tootie looks a combination of intrigued and dismayed, Natalie gets all wide-eyed and goes, "Wuh? Really? They're allowed to do that??!!" and Blair's like, "They're not allowed - they just do" and says that college roommates with sex on the agenda usually work stuff like that out ahead of time.
Tootie is too troubled about her relationship with Jeff to sleep, and at 3:00am she sits at the foot of Natalie's bed and stares contemplatively into space until Natalie senses her presence and asks her whassup with her being awake in the middle of the night. Tootie laments how her relationship with Jeff is still very "high school" even though he's in college now, and that she's going to have to put out...like, for example, the way Ellen does for Rich. Natalie says she's shocked she'd even suggest something so lascivious and urges her to not make a major life decision - at least until she thinks about it some more in the light of day.
The next morning, Edna's Edibles is abuzz with more coupon clutching customers demanding their free croissant. Blair takes it upon herself to speed up the process of croissant making by nuking them in the microwave...and, to Mrs. Garrett's surprise, the customers don't seem to notice the difference between freshly baked and nuked croissants.
Jeff is putting on his sweats to go out for a run when Tootie stops by the dorm...and he says he's surprised that she's here so much earlier than the agreed upon 11:00am meeting time. She closes the door and blurts out, "I love you! And if you want us to sleep together, it's A-OK with me." Jeff gives her a funny look and asks her why she's suddenly talking about sex, so she explains that now that he's a college man, she gets that their relationship has to move on to the 'between the sheets' phase. Jeff makes an ew face at that prospect and tells her that the two of them doinking isn't going to fix what's wrong...and by wrong, he means he's quickly outgrown their G rated relationship now that he's at Penn State and mingling with a more sophisticated crowd than he was hanging with in Peekskill. He half-heartedly says he's still game to have brunch with her, but Tootie shakes her head sadly and says she'd rather he go on his run so she can sadly leave behind the long gold chain he gave her and then shuffle out of the dorm room dejectedly.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!
Recap: When Tootie blabs to Mrs. Garrett that Natalie is up to something nefarious this episode, Natalie explains that she's acting all giddy and secretive 'cause she's planning to pepper Jo and Blair with scientifically constructed questions, then submit their responses to a computer dating service that will tabulate the results and match them up with the perfect mates. Tootie rolls her eyes and says she's mostly doing this to prove a thesis for her psychology term paper - but Natalie argues that her only motive is to inject some love and romance in the lives of Jo and Blair, who refuse to publicly acknowledge the non-hetero undercurrents in their friendship that have been crackling just below the surface for the last four seasons.
Blair and Jo come downstairs, peppering each other with fast facts for an upcoming exam. Natalie pretends to be merely curious about their interests and preferences as she works her way through the list of scientifically constructed questions, then asks Tootie to snap a photo of Jo and Blair for their dating profile and breezily explains that she just wants to finish the roll.
Natalie and Tootie arrive at the computer dating service place to submit Jo's and Blair's completed questionnaires. When a hunky blonde man named Rex Winchester arrives to drop off his questionnaire, Natalie brazenly ogles him and remarks on how surprised she is that such a looker would need a dating service. When the front desk guy steps away to input Jo's and Blair's data into the computer, Natalie steals a glance at Rex's questionnaire and decides it'd be fun to submit her own questionnaire that is closely aligned with Rex Winchester's interests and preferences.
Natalie fibs to Jo and Blair about getting them tickets to a Springsteen concert, while Tootie and Mrs. Garrett engage in a barely developed subplot about Mrs. Garrett coaxing Tootie to be her new bridge partner now that her previous one has moved away.
When the doorbell rings, Natalie tells Jo and Blair she has an even better surprise for them than Springsteen, then says she engaged a computer to match them each up with "the perfect man". She proudly says, "Meet your dream men!" while opening the door to two nondescript looking dorkboys named Doug and Chip. Doug presents a bouquet of flowers to Jo, who looks visibly pissed off...as does Blair when Chip hands her a box of chocolates. Blair asks Mrs. Garrett to give Doug and Chip a tour of Edna's Edibles [presumably so that she and Jo can kill Natalie without witnesses] ... and once they're out of earshot, a still giddy Natalie explains that she's attempting to prove a theory for her psychology term paper that a computer can help humans find love. And that when she fed their data into a computer, out popped Chip and Doug. Jo snaps that she hates flowers, and Blair gets on that bandwagon and snaps that she hates milk chocolate. Natalie says, if it's any comfort, she too has subjected herself to a computer match-up...and a few seconds later, hunky Rex Winchester makes his grand entrance and brags about driving over in his Porsche. Blair whimpers at not being matched with a richer, hunkier male counterpart, then joins forces with Jo to assure Mrs. Garrett - who looks like she's about to settle into one of her solemn-faced chastisements to scold them about their hostile 'tude - that they have no plans to humiliate two innocents like Chip and Doug by rudely bailing on their date.
At the restaurant, Natalie works overtime trying to initiate conversation among the couples, but everyone just stares moodily into space...except Rex, who natters about the salad bar offerings and how it "works" for him. When Chip and Doug escape the table to load up at the salad bar, Blair and Jo complain to Natalie that they're having a shitty time 'cause they don't have anything in common with their dates. Blair tells Natalie it might help if she left, like pronto, and Natalie agrees and orders Rex to take her home. Rex perks up at this development and assumes he has a shot of getting lucky.
When Chip and Doug return from the salad bar, Blair explains that the double date they've all found themselves on was a surprise to her and Jo 'cause Natalie took it upon herself to submit their data so that a computer could match them up with their perfect mates. Doug suggests that since they're all out for the evening, they might as well make the most of it...and when Jo proposes they go Dutch, everyone visibly relaxes and begins engaging in fun banter.
Tootie stares worriedly at Mrs. Garrett, who's playing cards with an imaginary bridge partner. Over on the couch, Rex is prattling to Natalie about how much he hates eating the same food twice in a row, e.g. he will not eat a turkey sandwich at lunch and agree to a turkey enchilada for dinner. As Natalie stares back at him with bored disdain, he suggests they go whitewater rafting this weekend - but she tells him she's all whitewater rafted out and that it's suddenly waaaaay past her bedtime. He takes the hint and promptly leaves, leaving Natalie to wring her hands about her term paper, since it's clear she can't prove that computer dating isn't a disaster. When she wails about having no idea what went wrong, Mrs. Garrett chides her for thinking that love could be "manufactured by a computer".
Jo and Blair return from their double date in good spirits. They tell Natalie that once they got over the awkwardness of being matched up with a couple of dorkboys via computer, they realized that Chip and Doug are actually pretty nice guys. Natalie looks unimpressed and grumbles that nice doesn't equal love, but Blair points out that everyone should be satisfied that she and Jo each made a new friend this evening, in spite of Jo's inherent surliness. Natalie mulls this over and decides she was successful in helping bring about compatible relationships, and points out that friendships are nearly as impactful as romantic hookups. Mrs. Garrett perks up at that notion and says she'd be interested in using scientifically constructed questions to find herself a new bridge partner, then cackles devilishly to herself just before the end credits roll. Weird.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!
Recap: Natalie tells Tootie she's ready for them to head out to the latest Indiana Jones movie, but Tootie says before they go she wants a piece of Jo's homemade pizza. One of Blair's study friends remarks on how fantastic the pizza smells - just as Mrs. Garrett bustles into the room, sticks her snout in the air, then screeches, "Joooooo must be making her pizzzzzzzzzza!" - but then glumly adds that she's on a diet and probably shouldn't indulge in the tasty pie.
Jo proudly brings out her pizza, and everyone quickly descends on it and grabs a slice. Jo tells Blair and the three study friends she has over - Ronald, Sally, and Hacksaw - that the pizza recipe is her mom's. [Incidentally, Blair is acting suspiciously canoodly with Ronald, which makes me wonder if she decided to throw in the towel on her long distance relationship with Cliff.] Hacksaw (a stereotypically tall, muscular, rocks-for-brains jock) tells Jo her pizza is so awesome she should sell it, and Ronald concurs and says he'd pay up to $10 for a single pie. Jo perks up at that and contemplates the idea of starting a pizza business - just as Hacksaw gives her $30 as a pre-payment for three pizzas for a fraternity party tomorrow night.
Jo and Natalie arrive at the frat house to deliver the three pizzas - and a guy named Victor grabs one of the pies and gorges on it in the most unsightly way possible, then nods his approval and pronounces it great, which...high praise, I'm sure. A few seconds later, the entire frat dives in and grabs slices - and Hacksaw tells Jo that her pizza is so delicious, he'd like to order six more for tomorrow night. As Jo mulls over whether or not she really wants to start a pizza business with no staff, financial resources, or cognitive ability to run a business, Natalie gushes, "You're a hit!", and with her investment of $28 and the $25 that Tootie's been saving (not to mention the fast cash she's already earned from her pizza making), she'll have all the seed money she needs to launch a pizza startup. When Hacksaw abruptly changes his order to eight pizzas, Jo happily chirps, "I'm in business!"
The next day in the Edna's Edibles kitchen, Jo and Natalie are busily preparing tomato sauce and chopping up pizza toppings...and Jo proves to be a bitchy slave-driver of a boss by admonishing Natalie for not chopping the veggies properly or stirring the sauce deeply enough. When Blair and Tootie pop in to announce that they're off to go have carefree fun somewhere, Natalie says that she and Jo would appreciate it if they both stayed home and helped them with pizza making. Blair makes an ew face and says she's not interested, so Natalie gives her a pass - but tells Tootie that as an investor, she's obligated to help out in the kitchen. Tootie stares back at her blankly, then quickly gets a clue that Natalie robbed her secret stash o' cash and demands her $25 back. Natalie snaps, "It's gone!", then orders her to quit pouting and pitch in to help get Jo's pizza biz off the ground.
Later, Hacksaw arrives at Edna's Edibles to pick up the pizzas - just as a call comes in to place a new order of fifteen pizzas for tomorrow night. Jo's like, "No problem!", and a horrified looking Tootie asks if they're really set up for all that pizza making. Jo breezily assures her they are, and the three gabble excitedly that they're soon going to become so rich and successful that they'll be invited on The Today Show for an interview. Be still my beating heart.
The next day, Jo, Natalie and Tootie are run off their feet preparing the fifteen pizzas. When they use up all the sauce, Jo figures 'why not rub a ball of dough inside an empty sauce pan, then roll it out and hope something tasty comes from that?' Somehow the situation degenerates to the point where Natalie gets so flustered she tosses an opened bag of flour in the air...and as flour is raining down on them, Blair saunters into the room to answer the ringing phone. She reports that the frat house just placed an order for twenty-five pizzas for Monday night, and Natalie scrunches her face in horror and says after spending five hours making fifteen pizzas, she sees no feasible way to be a full time pizza maker and still have a life. Tootie concurs, and she and Natalie demand that Jo buy them out of her pizza business.
Blair tells Jo she shouldn't feel bad about failing at her debut in starting a small business - but Jo snappishly denies failing and points out that she's made a lot of money so far. Furthermore, she's accepting the challenge of fulfilling the order for twenty-five pizzas, even if she has to prepare them herself. So there.
The next day, Jo tells the Facts gals that she was able to finish making twenty-five pizzas via mass production, meaning she used pre-baked pizza crusts, no name sauce, and some sort of synthetic cheese substitute called cheese food. Tootie sanctimoniously points out that she's no longer being honest about the pizzas being homemade and predicts that the frat guys are going to hate them. Natalie shrugs and says that despite no longer giving a shit about what happens to Jo's fledgling pizza business, she's volunteering to help Jo deliver the pies to the fraternity house.
Victor grabs one of Jo's mass produced pizzas and devours it in his disgusting manner, and says he loooooves it...even though he's scarfing it down so rapidly that there's no way it's not completely bypassing his taste buds.
Natalie tells Tootie she was wrong about the mass produced pizza, and says that Jo's business has tripled as a result. Jo smugly says she'll probably soon be on the cover of Time to honor her remarkable success as a young '80s businesswoman, but Tootie continues to look skeptical.
Mrs. Garrett arrives home from her diet club meeting, sees one of Jo's pizzas sitting on the counter, and sneaks a piece. She chews on it for awhile, makes an ew face, and complains to Jo that it's not nearly as "rich and sinful" as it used to be...and that she can taste the freezer burn on the crust. Jo says it's almost her mom's recipe - but that she had to change a few things for the sake of production. Mrs. Garrett's like, "Seriously? It tastes like this on purpose?" - LOL - and Jo agrees that the defrosted crusts and low grade supermarket sauce are sub par ingredients.
Blair presents Jo with customized Mama Rose's Original Bronx Pizza boxes, but Mrs. Garrett shakes her head disapprovingly and tells Jo it would be an abomination to associate her sainted mother with the terrible tasting mass produced pizzas she's been cobbling together as of late. Jo argues that they don't taste that bad...but then takes a bite and is forced to admit that, yep, it pretty much tastes like a pile of garbage.
Hacksaw saunters into Edna's Edibles and says he's gonna need twenty pizzas for tomorrow night - but Jo's like, "No can do" and says the most she can handle is three. She then gets a dreamy expression on her face and describes in superfluous detail all of the delicious ingredients she plans to use to make the pies...and Mrs. Garrett salivates and cries, "There goes my diet!" before the episode comes to a weirdly abrupt end.
Recap: Mrs. Garrett is excitedly bustling around the residence part of Edna's Edibles, delighted that the Facts gals are back from their summer vacays so the five of them can begin slogging it through Season 6 of a show that, IMHO, the writers should have called it quits with after the Season 4 finale. As Natalie gabbles about how annoyed she is with her school schedule and Tootie insists on wanting henceforth to be referred to as Dorothy, Jo wearily shakes her head and remarks on how predictable they all are, griping about the same stupid things at the beginning of every season. Tootie argues that they're not so much predictable as they are steady and reliable...and Natalie says, on the contrary, she has a funny tidbit that shows how out of character Tootie acted just a few weeks ago. This segue ways into a fake flashback of Natalie's/Tootie's summer vacation at a Cape Cod resort.
Natalie goes looking for Tootie and finds her decked out in a busty red dress with her hair in a sophisticated upswept 'do as she chats with an older man named Bill Simpson. When Natalie stares at her in shocked incredulity, a startled looking Tootie introduces her to Bill as "my young friend Natalie Green". Natalie pulls Tootie aside and demands to know whassup, so Tootie explains that Bill is the casting director for a local playhouse and that she got all dolled up to show him as a means of showing off her extensive acting range. Bill overhears that last part and says he's looking to cast the role with an innocent looking teenager, which means he won't consider anyone who looks remotely glamorous.
Blair and Jo cluck sympathetically at Tootie for not landing the playhouse role, while Natalie smugly says that - unlike Tootie - she knows how to cope with life's mishaps in a far more mature way. Tootie chuckles, says, "Seymour", then explains who Seymour is.
Back to Cape Cod..
Natalie is being trailed and harassed by a pre-pubescent chubbo named Seymour. When she snappishly tells him to get lost, he responds by pinching her and pulling out a chair as she's about to sit on. She angrily threatens to strangle him, and chases him around the room as he gleefully scampers out of reach.
Back to present day..
Tootie chortles as she murmurs, "So much for maturity", and Mrs. Garrett tells Natalie that clearly Seymour had a huge crush on her. Jo's like, "Speaking of crushes.." and tells the Facts gals that when she and Mrs. Garrett spent a weekend together in Atlantic City last summer, she gained new respect for her as a woman. When the Facts gals look intrigued at the cryptic pronouncement, Jo eagerly starts spilling the beans.
Fake Atlantic City flashback..
While out at a ritzy restaurant for dinner, Mrs. Garrett tells Jo she wonders if the cute piano player [aka Gomez from The Addams Family] takes requests, then ambles over to him clutching a dollar bill. When she asks Gomez if he knows how to play Where or When, he flashes her a flirty grin, refuses to accept her money, and begins to play the requested song. After a brief time jump, Mrs. Garrett, along with the entire restaurant crowd, is singing along to Gomez's piano playing. After the song, she thanks him and breathlessly says, "It's been magic" ... to which Gomez coquettishly retorts, "The magic is you." Mrs. Garrett blushingly sashays back to where Jo is sitting, then tells her she's off to primp in the ladies room. Gomez watches her exit and decides that he too needs a restroom break - mmm hmm - and when the camera pans back to present day, Jo titteringly tells the Facts gals that Mrs. Garrett never returned to the lounge.
Mrs. Garrett informs the Facts gals that she did, in fact, return to the lounge - but that Jo didn't notice 'cause she was otherwise engaged.
Back to the fake Atlantic City flashback..
Jo is sitting at the piano, belting out Feelings [in what I would generously describe as a barely subpar singing voice] while the captivated restaurant crowd is gathered round. When an awestruck looking young man asks her how in blazes she learned to perform like that, she tells the story of how her mom used to take her to the bar she worked at, where the resident piano man taught her everything he knows. She then starts playing/singing It Had To Be You...and the crowd sways along with the melody.
Back to present day..
Blair steers the discussion to what she did over the summer...and to everyone's surprise, she didn't spend the last two months shopping in London and Paris. She tells everyone she went to Iowa to spend time with Cliff and his parents, who live on a farm of the e-i-e-i-o variety.
Fake Iowa farm flashback..
When Cliff’s dad threw out his back lifting Blair's makeup bag, everyone was asked to pitch in with the farm work. Blair tells Cliff that, completely implausible as it may be, the only outfit she packed for the Iowa trip was a poofy pink, Little House on the Prairie-esque frock...and also makes it clear she's less than thrilled to be expected to help out with anything resembling manual labor. Cliff asks her if she'd prefer to take the first train out of Hicksville to somewhere she can be suitably pampered, and she reluctantly declines and says she'll do her best to pretend to be a good sport. She agrees to milk a cow, then seats herself on a little stool, gently squeezes a teat, and immediately gives up on the task when nothing comes out. Cliff suggests she move away from the cow and instead help him slop the pigs, and Blair somehow decides it'd be more efficient to hand feed them corn cobs...and in the process trips and lands ass backwards into a muddy patch of pig shit. Cliff anxiously asks her if she's OK, and she responds by laughing hysterically at the pig-shitted mess she and her frothy pink dress are helplessly sitting in.
Back to present day..
Blair tells the Facts gals she sprained her ankle when she fell in the pig shit, and therefore got to spent the rest of her Iowa visit lounging on the porch with Cliff's dad. When Jo expresses doubt that she was actually involved in the slopping of pigs, Blair provides photographic proof. Jo studies the photos and deadpans about how she can't tell which is the pig and which is Blair...then jokes that she's not so much ridiculing Blair as insulting the pig.
Recap: Mrs. Garrett bursts into the Facts gals' communal bedroom to shriekingly remind everyone that the painters will be arriving any minute, and that they need to strip their beds and empty the closets ASAP. Blair enters the room in search of her peach pumps and says she's (sorta) looking forward to being a maid of honor and/or bridesmaid in five different weddings this summer, and desperately needs to find the peach pumps that match the peach organza dress she'll be required to wear for one of the weddings. Jo takes a break from the engine she's been cobbling together and says she needs to go buy a valve...and Blair tosses her car keys at her and asks her while she's out if she could please stop by the dress boutique and pick up her peach organza dress.
Natalie sorts through a large trunk and comes across Blair's Harvest Queen tiara, an Eastland yearbook, and Tootie's rollerskates...and that last thing prompts a series of flashbacks of Season 1 Tootie rolling around on the dumb things while grinning hammily at the camera and blurting out sassy one-liners. Blair marvels at how gorge she looks in her yearbook photo and reads the accompanying caption that describes her as having "grace, beauty, and a natural talent for leadership". She frowns and says, "Then something happened" ... and we get a series of flashbacks of the something that happened, aka Jo's Season 2 debut and the Facts gals' subsequent arrest at the Chugalug bar.
Natalie peeks under Jo's bed and tells Blair she may want to see what's under there...and Blair gets down on her knees and squeals happily as she pulls out her peach pumps. In the process, she accidentally bumps into the table that has Jo's engine atop it, which causes the entire thing to crash onto the floor and fall apart...and some of the littler pieces fall through the heating vent. Natalie pales and reminds Blair that Jo has been working on that engine for two weeks...and as Blair hastily picks up the engine pieces, Tootie contorts her face worriedly and moans, "There's gonna be troouu-ble."
Blair gathers up all the engine pieces she can find and does her best to put it back together, then breezily says surely Jo won't notice if some of the pieces are "a tiny bit mixed up". Natalie's like, "Dream on" and says there's no way Jo won't notice that the engine has been reassembled by someone with zero knowledge of engines and get really pissed off - but Tootie says that maybe Jo will be reasonable and not mind rebuilding the engine...and this remark leads to a series of Seasons 2-4 flashbacks of Jo acting like a vindictive tool at the slightest of provocations.
Jo returns from her errand with Mrs. Garrett trailing in behind her carrying Blair's organza dress. Blair sheepishly tells Jo she accidentally knocked over her engine and did her best to put the pieces back together...and Jo looks mildly annoyed but says it's no big deal; however, when Blair adds that a few of the pieces might have fallen through the heating duct, Jo goes from mildly annoyed to visibly irked. Blair offers to write her a check to reimburse her for the lost parts, but Jo gets all snappy-bitchy and accuses her of always using money to solve life's problems, then rails about how she's never had to work for anything in her life. Blair gets upset at Jo for not simply taking the damn check to cover the engine's lost parts - just as Jo (accidentally?) flips the organza dress onto the oily engine parts, resulting with the dress getting a giant oil stain. Blair's all, "The fuck..?" and accuses her of doing that to retaliate for the engine...but Mrs. Garrett assures her that the stain can be removed, and that the most important thing is to restore their friendship, preferably before the end credits roll. Jo and Blair both deny the existence of a friendship, and Jo pissily declares that after this season's finale she's moving out of the Edna's Edibles building.
After the commercial break, Mrs. Garrett presents Blair with the freshly laundered organza dress that no longer has a stain on it...and says that since this disaster was so easily resolved, it's time for her and Jo to take back all the harsh words they exchanged during the previous scene and be friends again. When Jo and Blair continue to snarl angrily at each other, Natalie implores them to ponder the implications of ending their friendship with this spat...then unhelpfully reminds them that, unlike her and Tootie, they've been at each other's throats since Jo's Season 2 arrival. This leads to a sequence of flashbacks of Jo and Blair exchanging barbs - which, in turn, leads into a series of flashbacks of the various arguments Natalie and Tootie have had over the years.
When none of the flashbacks inspire Jo and Blair to kiss and make up, Tootie calls their spat "really dumb" - then suddenly realizes she can't find Jessie (her boyfriend's cat she's been cat sitting) and starts railing at Natalie for not closing his travel cage properly. The Facts gals frantically search the room for the missing feline...who turns up a few seconds later when he's carried in by a wheezing/sneezing Mrs. Garrett, who irritably reminds everyone she's allergic to cats.
The Facts gals hurriedly clean up the mess they made of the room during the search for Jessie, sniping at each other in the process. Mrs. Garrett shrieks at them to shut up, then begs them to not let petty arguments ruin their friendships to the point that they're departing for the summer hiatus irreparably pissed off at each other. When no one makes a move to make up with each other, she throws in the towel and mutters, "Who am I to give advice?" and stomps out. The Facts gals are all, "Huh?" and point out that Mrs. Garrett never doesn't interject herself into their bidness...and this leads to a flashback sequence of all the solemn faced heart-to-hearts Mrs. Garrett has had with each of them over the years.
Tootie declares that no one is leaving the communal bedroom until all of their contrived disputes have been settled...and Natalie concurs and puts her arms around Jo and Blair, urging them to think about all the flirty, non-hetero fun they've had on the show. This - $%#@!! - leads to yet more flashbacks, culminating with the episode when they all threw paint at each other so they could continue the show's winning formula of the four of them living under the same roof and working in the kitchen to pay off whatever damage they needlessly caused.
The Facts gals are all packed up when Mrs. Garrett bursts in to shriek, "The painters are here!" and is pleasantly surprised that the room has been emptied out. Natalie looks alarmed and says they packed up so fast that so much of their stuff got inter-mixed in different boxes...and Blair glances over at Jo with a hopeful expression on her face and [rhetorically] asks, "What's the difference?" Jo agrees and says they'll straighten everything out when they return to film the [OMFG nooooooo!!] Season 6 premiere, and everyone's like, "Hurray!" as they happily scamper out of the room.
Recap: Mrs. Garrett is bustling around Edna's Edibles, making sure everything is in perfect order for an imminent visit from her son/landlord Raymond and his fussy wife Doris. She tells the Facts gals she doesn't much care for her shrew of a daughter-in-law 'cause of how miserable she makes her son's life with her constant criticizing. A few seconds later, Raymond and Doris arrive...and Mrs. Garrett rushes over to give her son a warm hug, then air kisses Doris. Raymond glances around and says the store looks great - but Doris scrunches her face disapprovingly and says she finds the lighting to be too harsh. As Mrs. Garrett stares daggers at her, Blair interjects to politely introduce herself...and then Raymond introduces his wife to the rest of the Facts cast.
Doris remarks that since they had to come to Peekskill for her cousin's wedding, they decided to "kill two birds with one stone" and also drop by Edna's Edibles to see how everything's shaking there...and Mrs. Garrett puts her frowny face on and says she's always hated that expression, and that she's kinda disappointed that she and her store are not the primary focus of their trip. Raymond, meanwhile, notices a plate of his mother's peanut butter croissants sitting on the counter and starts scarfing them down, prompting Doris to snap, "You just ate!", then informs the Facts cast that her gluttonous pig of a husband likes to shovel food into his pie hole at an alarming rate. She shakes her head disapprovingly and mutters, "Look at him. He'll eat anything." Mrs. Garrett pats her son's stomach and points out that he's not exactly a fat person, to which Doris wryly retorts, "You don't see him with his clothes off." Mrs. Garrett shakes off that disturbing visual by quickly offering to take Raymond and Doris on a tour of the store.
Natalie tells Mrs. Garrett she concurs that Doris is a shrew...but Tootie just shrugs and says she thinks Doris is nice looking, and agrees that the lighting inside Edna's Edibles could be a lot better. Jo snarks that they've been doing fine without Doris' advice - just as Doris storms into the room looking visibly upset. Mrs. Garrett and Raymond rush in after her with Mrs. Garrett earnestly clarifying that she didn't call her stupid...she called her idea of freezing milk stupid. As Raymond scarfs down a few more peanut butter croissants, Doris admonishes his bingeing...and Mrs. Garrett shoots her the stink-eye and bitchily says he can start his diet on Monday. Doris is like, "Whatever" and says she's tired from the wedding and is heading back to the inn now.
Mrs. Garrett tells Raymond she hates the way Doris constantly picks on him and wishes she wouldn't criticize him in front of her...and Raymond's like, "Right?! She acts like I'm an ogre", then breaks the news that Doris is leaving him. As Mrs. Garrett is all, "Wha-a-a-a-a-a?" at the idea of Doris being the one to call it quits, Raymond says they've tried everything they can think of to work things out, but to no avail. As he moans about how hard it's going to be for him to adjust to living alone - not least 'cause he seems highly unmarriageable for anyone who isn't Doris - Mrs. Garrett urges him to do whatever it'll take to change his wife's mind.
After Raymond leaves for the inn, the Facts gals re-enter the room and admit they were all eavesdropping just now. Jo says she thinks Raymond is way better off without the uppity ball and chain, while Tootie clucks about what a shame their impending divorce is. Blair points out that since Edna's Edibles is in both Doris' and Raymond's names, they'll likely split the asset between them, which means that Mrs. Garrett could lose her store. Jo's like, "Ack!" and urges Mrs. Garrett to find a way to coax the ill-suited couple back together so they can somehow save their shitty marriage.
Mrs. Garrett has prepared a Hawaiian luau themed party for Raymond and Doris, and explains to the Facts gals that the two once vacationed in Hawaii, and that she's hopeful the happy memories of the trip will help spark something resembling romance between them.
When Raymond and Doris arrive, Doris is admonishing Raymond for the crappy job he did parking the car just now. Jo places a lei around Doris' neck, which prompts her to start sneezing...and when she's served a pina colada, she complains that the drink wasn't made with fresh enough pineapple juice. Raymond explains that Doris is allergic to flowers, then sourly adds that when they vacationed in Hawaii, she forgot to bring her allergy medicine - one reason the vacation sucked so badly. Doris argues that it sucked so badly 'cause he ate so much poi that he threw up...and the two start bickering until Raymond storms upstairs while Doris storms over to the store.
Mrs. Garrett trails after her daughter-in-law while clutching a bowl of poi and says she doesn't want it to go to waste. Doris tells her she's leaving Raymond...and looks surprised when Mrs. Garrett tells her she planned the Hawaiian luau party in order to help them patch things up. Doris says she always got the feeling she never liked her...and Mrs. Garrett pretends to not have talked trash about her earlier in the episode and says she thinks she's good for Raymond, then urges her to talk to him and sort through their various issues. Doris lets out a bitter guffaw and says that Raymond doesn't so much talk as type out memos...and Mrs. Garrett stares back at her in puzzlement and agrees that that's really weird. Doris explains that the only reason they even went to Hawaii that one time was 'cause Raymond worked out a trade with a travel agency so he could avoid paying taxes...and that he's such an obnoxious, penny-pinching workaholic that the doctor has strongly advised him to get more exercise, lose a few pounds, and take some much needed time off. She puts her sad face on and says she's alone a lot...and that she has a dream of starting a children's boutique - but Raymond won't give her the green light 'cause he considers it too much of a financial risk. Mrs. Garrett scrunches her face confusedly and points out that Raymond was more than willing to gamble on the success of Edna's Edibles by buying the building...and Doris wryly says when his mother is involved it's an investment, but when it's his wife, it's a financial risk.
Jo storms into the store, complaining that Raymond is being an annoying stickler about how she does the accounting for Edna's Edibles. A few seconds later, Raymond breezes into the room and chides Jo for not using the correct shade of blue ink for the books...and as Jo silently fumes, Mrs. Garrett calls him out on being a cheap dickwad of a husband who prefers to squirrel money away rather than make his wife happy by giving her the financing to open a children's boutique. Doris gets in on that action and calls him a lousy husband, and that she's been craving a real vacation. Raymond mulls that over and says he'll try to work out a trade with a travel agency so he can once again avoid paying taxes - but Doris is like, "Just pay the fucking taxes!" and says if he's serious about wanting to work on their marriage, he needs to stop issuing memos, be less of a cheap dickwad, and spend more face time with her. When Raymond points out that he's being asked to change a lot of things about his abysmal personality, Doris promises to dial back her haughty 'tude and be a lot nicer to him. With that settled, Mrs. Garrett's all, "Hurray! Now give me some grandchildren", and jokes that children are tax deductible.
Recap: As Mrs. Garrett excitedly bustles to and from the kitchen to lay out a delicious looking spread, a bemused Blair asks her why she’s going through all this trouble for an unworthy dumbfuck like Eddie. Mrs. Garrett tells her she's considering this a special occasion, on account of they haven't seen Eddie since the Teenage Marriage double-parter...and when the doorbell rings a few seconds later, she shrieks, "He's herrrrrrrrrre!" Easy there, Edna. Natalie answers the door as Jo races down the stairs in anticipation of Eddie's grand entrance - but the visitor turns out to be Kelly, who dropped by for no real reason [other than to get in some superfluous airtime before she gets canned by the producers soon after the filming of this episode]. When everyone groans with disappointment at Kelly's impromptu pop-in, Blair tells her they're awaiting the arrival of Eddie, and disdainfully describes him as "a high school dropout in a sailor suit". Bwahaha! Natalie chimes in to explain that Eddie is Jo’s ex-boyfriend with whom she nearly eloped in Season 2, and Kelly looks intrigued and tells Jo she didn’t realize she had such a juicy past. Jo grumbles something snappishly unintelligible and barks at Kelly to get lost...which she does, and is never seen on Facts of Life again. Hurray.
When there’s a knock at the door a few seconds later, Jo naturally assumes it’s Kelly again and starts muttering about what a pain in the ass she’s being, when - not unpredictably - a grinning Eddie and his distracting overbite are standing on the doorstep. Jo gives Eddie a hug hello, and then Tootie, Natalie, and Mrs. Garrett squeal excitedly as they rush over to greet him. Blair dryly asks him why he’s not decked out in his “little sailor suit” - LOL, I am loving her sass this episode - and he tells her it’s at the cleaner’s, then looks around and gushes about how much he loooooves the new Facts set. Mrs. Garrett promises to give him a tour of the store after they eat, then points at the spread she’s laid out on the dining table. Eddie pulls out a bottle of wine he brought along for the reunion and tells Mrs. Garrett he’s going to open the bottle so that the wine can breathe...and Blair examines it and is pleasantly surprised to see that it’s a French wine from a pretty good year, and also seems impressed that Eddie knows enough about wine to know that it needs to breathe before being served.
Eddie tells everyone he’s now based in Brooklyn...and that since he’s on leave from the Navy for a week, he figured it'd be fun to hang around Peekskill and work on rekindling his and Jo's romance. Jo says that’s fine with her, though she’ll still have to attend her classes - and Eddie perks up at that and says he’d be interested in sitting in on her classes so he can see what college life is like. Blair snorts derisively and sasses, “Why? You didn’t find high school interesting enough to stay”, and Eddie tells her that since his last appearance on Facts, he got his high school diploma and also earned a petty officer badge. As everyone gushes over his smarts and general awesomeness, Eddie jokes to Blair that his new and improved self is going to make it as difficult as possible for her to hate him...and then he and Jo canoodle on the couch and agree that his visit is going to be just like old times.
Natalie and Tootie gabble happily about Jo and Eddie being lovebirds...and Blair also gets in on that action and teases Jo about being a woman in love. Mrs. Garrett bursts into the room and shrieks about how shrieking de-lighted she is that Eddie is fixing a bunch of things around the store she’s let fall into disrepair.
A flower delivery arrives for Jo, and Blair reads aloud the accompanying lovey dovey note that Eddie penned. A blushing Jo heads over to where Eddie is fixing Mrs. Garrett's cuckoo clock and chides him for wasting money on expensive flowers - but then lets out a happy squeal when she sees that Eddie hid a socket wrench inside the bouquet as a bonus gift. Eddie tells her it’s been great spending time with her this week and that he’s soooooo happy she’s in his life...and after an intense-for-Facts smooch, he suggests they go out tonight for pizza and a movie.
Natalie reminds Tootie she still owes her $4, and Tootie promises to repay her whenever she gets change for her 10 dollar bill. Eddie overhears the contrived exchange and tells Tootie she’s welcome to rifle through his wallet to break up her 10...and she takes him up on the offer - but soon after opening his wallet, she looks aghast. When Mrs. Garrett exits the room, Tootie stares at Eddie with a crestfallen expression and asks him who the woman in the photo is, aka the one who's dressed in a wedding gown and standing next to him wearing a tux. He hangs his head in shame while admitting that, yep, he is indeed married - but that the marriage is pretty much toast, despite the two of them not being formally separated or divorced. Tootie shrieks in horror and asks him if Jo knows about this, and he says she doesn't...and when Tootie threatens to immediately tattle on him, he begs her not to and promises to break the news to Jo tonight over pizza.
A cheery Jo returns home early from her date and mentions to the Facts gals that Eddie had to head back to the city sooner than expected. Blair says she’s so impressed by Eddie 6.0 that she's officially giving Jo her blessing to hook up with this wonderful gentleman...and Tootie snarks, “Gentleman?!” and starts railing about what a deceitful bum he is. She clams up when Jo's all, "The fuck..?" ... but when Blair gets all in Tootie's face about why she suddenly hates Eddie, she blabs about Eddie's marital status, and that he clearly welched on his earlier promise to 'fess up about it to Jo tonight. Jo accuses her of lying, but Tootie points out that she has no reason to lie about something which has zero effect on her life one way or another. Blair reverses her favorable opinion of Eddie and declares him a loser, to which Jo yells, “Butt out!” and storms upstairs.
Jo is doing inventory in the store at 3am when Mrs. Garrett enters the room and asks her whassup with her doing inventory in the middle of the night. Jo tearfully tells her she just learned that Eddie is married...and that she learned this, not from Eddie, but rather the Tootie gossip mill. Mrs. Garrett stares at her in incredulity, says it’s mystifying that for an entire week Eddie didn’t say a word about having a wife, then rails, “How could Eddie dooooooooo something like that?!” Jo tells her that, according to Tootie, he's in a doomed marriage and admitted how dickish it was of him to keep the truth from her. She squeaks, “I love him”, but that she has no clue what to do about it...so Mrs. Garrett suggests that perhaps she loves 'Season 2 Eddie' - aka not this jerkwad - just as Eddie happens to walk by the store, see the light on, and knock on the front door.
Jo lets Eddie inside and shoots him the stink-eye, and he's like, “Damn...I guess Tootie told you.” He gives her a hangdog look for a few seconds, then tells her the story of his ill-fated marriage: he met his (American born) wife while he was stationed in Italy, proposed to her way too early in the relationship and then stupidly went through with the wedding...and as soon as they returned to the States, it dawned on him that his quickie bride wasn't right for him. Jo admonishes him for not telling her any of this when he first arrived in Peekskill, so he says he couldn’t bear to be rebuffed ‘cause of how much he loves her. Jo glares at him and calls him out on how shitty of him it is to expect her to love him back regardless of who it hurts, then reminds him that love should be about honesty and trust, neither which he's demonstrated this episode. Eddie promises to make it up to her and ask what he should do now, and she tells him to sort through the disaster that is his tattered marriage and maybe come to some kind of resolution with that before attempting to rekindle old flames. He mutters, “I’m sorry”, and she sadly retorts, “So am I.”
I am too, 'cause what another dud of an episode to have to recap.
Recap: Blair and Geri arrive at Edna's Edibles just as the store is closing...and Blair gushes to Mrs. Garrett and the rest of the Facts gals about the awesome performance Geri gave to the Women's Assistance Society. Following what I'll assume was a cerebral palsy-centric comedy schtick, Geri convinced the Society to donate their proceeds from an upcoming charity auction to the New York school she once attended: the now decrepit St. Martin's School for Handicapped Children. Apparently, the Society was so impressed by Geri's passion that they appointed her to serve as chairwoman of the auction...and Geri, in turn, appointed Blair to serve as her assistant. Mrs. Garrett says she'd like in on that action and offers up the services of Edna's Edibles to cater the auction dinner, and Blair announces she'll get the ball rolling by delegating Natalie to draft the donor letter, and Tootie to issue a press release to the local papers. Geri nods approvingly and says she's headed back to New York...and Blair promises to have a full progress report for her next time she drops by.
The next day, Blair is on the phone with someone at the local paper while Natalie and Tootie stuff envelopes. Mrs. Garrett enters the room and reminds Natalie and Tootie that they have a shift scheduled, then hustles them into the store part of the building as they bitch and moan about being pooped from all the envelop licking Blair's been forcing them to do.
Geri arrives in Peekskill (hours earlier than originally planned), and Blair proudly shows her the donor letters she signed. When an indignant Geri asks her why she signed them, Blair says she figured that the Warner name has far more cache and recognition value than Geri's low-rent last name [which I had to Google: Tyler]. She says she also went ahead and booked the Shrine Auditorium for the auction's venue (instead of the Community Center that Geri favored), and decided on The Gay Nineties as the general theme. Geri reacts to the onslaught of updates by scrunching her face in irritation and chiding Blair for not discussing any of this with her first.
Mrs. Garrett pokes her head into the room and informs the two that Mrs. Morris of the Women's Assistance Society is here for the scheduled meeting...and Geri glares at Blair and is all, "Why the hell did you schedule a meeting with Mrs. Morris at a time that I wasn't expected to be in Peekskill?" then complains that she isn't adequately prepared. Blair assures her she has everything under control - just as Mrs. Morris enters the room and brusquely says, "Let's get right to it!" Blair tells her she booked the Shrine Auditorium, arranged for a fleet of vans (courtesy of her father's company) to transport the auction items to the venue, and decided that a Gay Nineties theme might be fun. As Geri opens her mouth to comment, Blair quickly suggests they reinforce the Gay Nineties theme by handing out straw hats and suspenders to the auction participants...and when Mrs. Morris squeals about how much she looooooves that idea and urges Blair to get on the horn asap to place an order for the stuff, Blair smugly chirps, "I already did!" Mrs. Morris nods happily, tells Blair she's done a fabulous job in a very short amount of time, then gushingly calls her a marvel. Once she leaves and is out of earshot, Geri poutishly admonishes Blair for taking over all of the auction planning...and Blair explains that she was only trying to make things easier for her. Geri snappishly retorts, "What am I? An overgrown poster child?" and accuses Blair of taking over for her 'cause she's disabled. She firmly declares, "I'm taking it from here" and abruptly fires Blair as her assistant...and when Blair protests her sudden termination, Geri screeches, "Butt out!"
Not long after Blair's firing, the auction planning rapidly turns to shit. Mrs. Garrett complains to the Facts gals that Geri hasn't informed her how many guests are expected to attend the banquet dinner, which means Jo has no idea how many game hens to stuff. On top of that, Tootie is getting inundated with confusing phone calls related to auction planning that Geri, for some cheeky reason, has re-directed from her home phone to Edna's Edibles.
Further mayhem ensues when a man wheels a naked David statue into the store and explains that it's an auction item he's dumping here, instead of at the Community Center Geri stupidly forgot to tell people was the drop-off location. As the Facts gals do their best to grapple with that delivery mishap, a florist drops off a roomful of flower bouquets that Geri apparently ordered for the banquet dinner. As a wigged out Mrs. Garrett shrieks at no one in particular to track Geri down so she can get her ass over to the store asap and deal with her mess, Blair smiles smugly in the background.
When Geri finally makes an appearance, Mrs. Garrett shoots her a look of utter incredulity and is all, "The fuck..?" and tells her she wants all of this crap out of her store, pronto. Geri assures her she'll take care of it - but then gets sidetracked by all the phone messages Tootie shoves at her. Mrs. Garrett implores Geri to give her a ballpark estimate of how many people she expects to attend the banquet dinner - at the same time Tootie strongly suggests she let two able bodied people (aka herself and Natalie) lend more of a helping hand. Geri gets offended at the able bodied people crack...just as Natalie rushes into the room to inform Geri that she's late for a planning meeting with Mrs. Morris, who's waiting for her at the Community Center. Geri's like, "Oh no!" and rushes out as everyone glares after her in exasperation.
To no one's surprise, the banquet dinner goes disastrously...and when the exhausted looking Facts cast returns home, they gripe about being twenty-five meals short. Yikes. Blair smiles smugly and says she figured this would happen, and Jo snaps at her to shut it - but then concedes that Geri's guest count clusterfuck didn't exactly make Edna's Edibles look like an endorse-able catering company. Blair tells Jo that Geri should have listened to her, but Jo snarks at her for taking over all of the planning details, which inevitably pissed Geri off.
Geri arrives and glumly says she just spent the last hour apologizing to everyone for her shitty event planning abilities [as well she should], and self-piteously says she can only assume that everyone's thinking 'the crippled girl couldn't cut it'. Mrs. Garrett says the problem was more the chip on her shoulder, along with the dickish way she insisted on doing everything herself. Geri moans, "It's not fairrrrrr.." and says she wanted to prove she could plan the entire auction by herself, e.g. the way Blair could - but Blair points out that she didn't do it all herself, and delegated much of the grunt work to Natalie and Tootie. Geri laments not being able to ever do anything as fast or as adeptly as Blair, and Blair admits she overstepped in her role as assistant chairwoman - but that she should have just told her to back off. When Geri snaps, "I did!", Mrs. Garrett reminds her she didn't tell Blair to back off - but instead told her and everyone else to go away. She adds that the auction dinner was a job she clearly needed help with - and before Geri can snark, "Why? Because I'm disabled?!", Mrs. Garrett shrieks, "Because you're human!"
As Geri mulls over that straight talk, Mrs. Garrett suggests they call it a night and get some much needed sleep. And then thank the writers in advance for no longer integrating Geri into any future Facts of Life episodes.
Hurray! Sayonara forever, Geri!
Recap: Natalie tells Mrs. Garrett that Tootie is waiting for a call from the Peekskill Playhouse to hear whether or not she got the part she auditioned for, then adds that Tootie's mom will be in town this episode. Mrs. Garrett gushes about how proud Tootie must be of her savvy career mom, who's a highly respected lawyer and law lecturer. (Not so much, as it turns out.)
Blair and Jo enter the store with Diane Ramsey after attending Diane's latest law lecture, and Jo and Blair gush about what a super awesome lecture it was. Diane urges Jo to consider applying to law school 'cause of how tough yet honest she is, and Jo mulls that over and mumbles, "I dunno." Apropos of nothing, Blair announces that she needs something to wear for an upcoming punk costume party and asks Jo if she'd be willing to lend her anything from her closet, and Jo scrunches her face in her usual irritated manner and says she might be willing to lend her something...but for a fee.
When Tootie arrives home, Diane tells her she's bummed she didn't attend her law lecture...and Tootie pretends she had tried so hard to make it - but, darn it, just couldn't get herself there. Kelly barges in unannounced and introduces herself to Diane as a rehabilitated shoplifter...and then she and Natalie start cackling about their plot to TP a statue at Stone Military Academy for retribution for something or other. Diane chuckles about that being nothing more than some harmless, biodegradable fun, then offers to take the Facts cast out for a scrumptious lobster dinner. Tootie says she can't do dinner 'cause she'll be too busy proofreading a history paper - despite the fact, as a bemused Natalie points out, it's a task that would only take about half an hour. A few seconds later, someone from the Peekskill Playhouse calls to break the bad news to Tootie that she didn't get the part...and Mrs. Garrett gives Tootie a comforting hug as she sadly moans about how performing in the playhouse was supposed to be her summer's main activity. Diane breezily tells her to not be so disappointed and encourages her to focus on other things that make her happy...and an indignant Tootie's all, "The fuck you say?!" and says she's far too upset to go out for lobster and would prefer to spend the evening in, moping around the communal bedroom. Diane shrugs and says she has a lot of work to catch up on anyway, then suggests they get together for breakfast the next morning.
Once Diane's out of earshot, Tootie grumbles to Mrs. Garrett about having to get together with her stupid mother for breakfast, then bitches about how she never supports her or cares about what she wants. When Mrs. Garrett insists to the dumb brat that her mother clearly does care, Tootie wails, "She doesn't even know meeeeee!" and flees upstairs.
Jo tells Mrs. Garrett she's been reading a book that Diane gave her on civil law, and that she likes the idea of being able to legally threaten people.
Blair shows off her "punk" ensemble, which consists of dark sunglasses and a red jumpsuit that has strategically placed rips across the sleeves and pants. I'd probably classify it as more of a 'punk-lite ish? if that' type look. Diane gushes over the questionable punkness of the outfit, then remarks on how she and Tootie somehow missed each other for their planned breakfast. Mrs. Garrett tells her that Tootie called and pretended to be too busy studying at the library to eat breakfast, then says that she and Jeff probably stopped somewhere for a burger. Diane scrunches her face quizzically while murmuring, "Jeff..?"
Natalie and Kelly burst in and cackle about how they just TPed the statue at Stone Military Academy...and Natalie accidentally lets it slip that Tootie was there, TPing alongside them. When Diane looks alarmed about Tootie's involvement in the caper, she's all, "Excuse me?", Natalie's like, "Oops, never mind!" and makes a break for the nearest exit. LOL.
Later, Diane tells Mrs. Garrett she's irked that Tootie has been dodging her all day, and that she has no idea what's going on in her life, e.g. her boyfriend Jeff. Mrs. Garrett tells her that when her idiot son turned out to be a thief, she learned to ask better questions...and Diane retorts, "Whatever, Edna. I won't stand for my daughter lying to me."
Tootie arrives home and tells her mom she missed breakfast 'cause she was at the library, then ran into some gal pals and got further delayed chatting it up with them. Diane stonily replies, "I don't believe you" and haughtily adds that, in some circles, TPing a statue is considered to be a [fairly tepid] form of vandalism. Tootie points out that when Natalie and Kelly were joking about doing it earlier in the episode, she had laughed it off as "biodegradable fun" - but now that she's involved, it's suddenly the crime of the century. Tootie then wearily checks out of the conversation by glumly promising she won't ever TP anything again, then says she's off to her room to get some more faux studying done.
Diane tells Mrs. Garrett she didn't want to broach the subject of Jeff 'cause she doesn't want to waste any of her Quality Tootie Time by arguing with her. Mrs. Garrett points out that quality time can involve sniping at one another, then urges her to risk an argument in the hope that it leads to some heart-felt mother-daughter bonding before the end credits roll.
Diane barges into the communal bedroom, tells Tootie she's grounded for two weeks for her role in the TPing of the Stone Military Academy statue, and forbids her to date Jeff anymore. When Tootie's all, "What does TPing a statue have to do with Jeff?", Diane tells her she's too young to be in a serious relationship...and Tootie tears up and says that their dates consist mostly of meeting up at the library to study together. Diane chides her for not telling her about Jeff, so she snappishly retorts that it's 'cause she never listens to her, is always hyper-critical of everything she does, and doesn't care about what she thinks or feels. Case in point: not giving a discernible hoot that didn't get get the part she auditioned for at the Peekskill Playhouse. Diane says she had no idea that acting meant to much to her, then further proves Tootie's point by urging her to consider a more stable career choice, such as becoming an entertainment lawyer. Tootie wails, "Stop telling me what to doooooo!", so an exasperated Diane sarcastically asks if she would expect her to be accepting of her choices if she suddenly declared she wanted to jump off a building. Tootie retorts, "I wanna be an actress, not a stunt woman" ... and the quip brings a much needed moment of levity to the tense moment, and the two simultaneously dissolve into laughter. Phew. Looks like this mother and daughter are going to be aw' right.
Diane marvels that, despite arguing just now, the two of them still have a [reasonably] intact mother-daughter relationship. Tootie says she'd be far less pissy to her if she had more latitude in making her own decisions...but with the continued safety net of getting bailed out every time she screws up. Diane mulls that over, decides that allowing Tootie to have her cake and eat it too is reasonable, then tells her she wants to be kept in the loop about all the stuff that's going on in her life, even if it's stuff she'd rather not hear. Tootie agrees, then chuckles about how she's starting to sound like Mrs. Garrett...and Diane decides to take that as a compliment and replies, "And you're beginning to sound like my daughter!" before the two press against each other in an emotional hug.