Recap: The Facts gals (minus Blair) are slogging away in Edna's Edibles, their new home-workplace. Jo grumpishly tells Mrs. Garrett that the store is still in the red, then suggests various ways in which they could cut corners and save cash. Blair and her newest college friend Boots St. Clair, the snooty president of Langley's Gamma Gamma sorority who calls Blair Warnsey, breeze into the store. Blair introduces her to Mrs. Garrett and calls her a caterer extraordinaire...and when Boots says that the caterer that they hired for tomorrow night's rush party just went out of business, Mrs. Garrett visibly perks up. Jo accepts the gig on behalf of Edna's Edibles and negotiates a fee of $300, which Boots happily accepts. After Blair gushes about what an amazing feast Mrs. Garrett is sure to prepare, Boots announces that the election of new sorority members will take place immediately after everyone's chowed down on Mrs. Garrett's food. She tells Blair she's sure to be a shoo-in - but then pauses for a few seconds and reminds her that it only takes one vote to keep her from being elected into the sorority. Egads! After Boots flounces out of the store, Mrs. Garrett shriekily thanks Blair for recommending her for the catering job and says she hopes it will lead to more business from sororities and fraternities. Blair remarks that her mother and grandmother were members of Gamma Gamma and that she can't wait to move into the sorority house. Apparently, the dorm is no longer livable 'cause one of the girls on her floor is constantly playing the soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian...which seems like a very strange music choice, but OK.
Later, Mrs. Garrett and her Facts gal helpers are busily making giant plates of Mexican food for the rush party. Blair drops by to see whassup and is aghast that Mrs. Garrett made the executive decision to go with Mexican food, and informs her that the Gamma Gammas want Chinese food for the party. Mrs. Garrett snarkishly says she's been at food-making a long time - but Blair bitchily points out that she's been a dietitian for a long time, not a caterer. True enough, but it remains unclear why neither of them thought to discuss the menu, given the tight timeline of this party. Blair wails, "How could you do this to meeeee?!" ... and after she and Mrs. Garrett bicker back and forth for several tedious minutes, she snaps, "You're fired!" and Mrs. Garrett storms out of the room. Tootie, Natalie, and Jo glare daggers at Blair, who explains that sometimes you have to "get tough with labor". Tootie snarks that if she doesn't find a way to make up with Mrs. Garrett, there will never be peace among the four of them. Blair's all, "Ack!" and says she'd be willing to apologize if Mrs. Garrett agrees to hop to it and whip up a big batch of Chinese food, like asap. Tootie offers to mediate the situation and scampers out of the room to talk to Mrs. Garrett.
Tootie implores Mrs. Garrett to talk to Blair and see things from her perspective - but Mrs. Garrett just barks, "I have feelings too!" and stomps upstairs. Tootie returns to the store...and when the Facts gals stare at her expectantly, she fibs and tells them that their talk went A-OK, and right now Mrs. Garrett is looking over recipes for Chinese food. Blair says she should probably go thank her - but Tootie blocks her and cagily says she'll pass along her thank you. Blair senses nothing amiss with that and flounces out of the store...and once she's out of earshot, Tootie admits to Natalie and Jo that she totally screwed the pooch at mediating the situation. Shocker. This means that the three of them will have to cater the rush party themselves...and Jo's all, "Wha-a-a?" and says she highly doubts they can successfully pull this off.
Over at the Gamma Gamma sorority house, the Facts gals are putting out the Chinese food they prepared, then recount for the audience all the weird ingredients they had to substitute for the stuff that wasn't readily available in the Edna's Edibles kitchen. Boots arrives with the sorority gals and credits Blair for providing them with a caterer at the last minute, then says she's looking forward to chowing down on the tasty looking feast. As everyone mills around the food table, Mrs. Garrett bursts in and shrieks at Jo, Natalie, and Tootie for catering this event while using her name and reputation. She wails that she's here to protect her business and informs Blair she had nothing to do with catering this party - just as Boots makes an eww face and tells Blair that the food is shitty with a capital S. Mrs. Garrett aborts her original purpose in bursting in on the party and haughtily retorts that this menu went over pretty well at the last Calvin Klein party she catered, and Boots easily buys her fib and looks impressed. The other sorority sisters also look impressed and decide that the food probably isn't so bad after all.
Back at the residence part of the Edna's Edibles building, the Facts gals are patting themselves on the back for pulling off a successful (though not really) faux Chinese feast. Blair thanks Mrs. Garrett for pretending to be a successful caterer to a world famous designer and says if she makes it into Gamma Gamma, she'll owe her one. Mrs. Garrett says she didn't like lying to Boots, but admits to Blair that she probably should have consulted with her about the menu before randomly deciding to make Mexican food, which...well, d'yuh. Blair concedes that she behaved like a spoiled child when she fired her, and the two hug it out. A few seconds later, Boots breezes in and gives Blair the good news: she's been elected to join Gamma Gamma. Hurray! Blair asks her if it was 'cause of the excellent catering that she was able to arrange at the last minute - but Boots says she was voted in in spite of the shittastic feast - but then reveals that there was never any way he wouldn't have been voted into the sorority 'cause she's a legacy. Blair's all, "Wuh?" and says she's deeply annoyed that she was led to believe it wasn't a sure thing - but Boots just cackles and struts out.
Blair grumbles about the Gamma Gamma girls tricking her into worrying about whether or not she was going to get into the sorority, but Mrs. Garrett just shrugs and says it's all part of the Greek life tradition. Blair says she now thinks the Gamma Gammas are shallow twats, and that she's starting to call into question if she really wants to live with a pack of airheads...which puts her in a contrived bind now that her dorm room situation has become an intolerable homage to Conan the Barbarian music. Mrs. Garrett says she could always help restore the show's winning formula and move into Edna's Edibles so that she can go back to living under the same roof with her and the other three Facts gals. She then gets all fake solemn and says that before that can happen they'll have to conduct an election...and Natalie, Tootie and a "reluctant" Jo all give her a happy thumbs up.
Yippee! The gang's together again.
'80s social issues: prepare to be tackled in twenty-two minute increments.
Recap: The new season begins at Langley College, where Blair is playing cards with a gaggle of new friends...and flirting with a hunky blonde guy named Barry. A glum looking Jo lumbers in and snaps, "We have to talk" ... and the two head over to Blair's dorm room so that Jo can bellyache about the writers' latest contrivance: the part-time job the college promised her fell through...and without any income, she can't afford to get through the semester. (It remains unclear why she doesn't consider looking for a part-time job elsewhere.) Blair rolls her eyes and complains about how tedious it is to always have to hear about her chronic money problems. She urges Jo to apply for student aid - but Jo nonsensically retorts that she doesn't want to beg anyone for money, even though her dismal financial situation is exactly why student aid was invented. Blair suggests she find a cheaper place to live, then tells her to stop whining about her problems 'cause these are supposed to be her carefree years. Jo snaps, "Well excuse me. Don't let my anguish interfere with your collegial experience" ... and Blair sighs, tells her to lighten up, and reminds her that Mrs. Garrett, Natalie, and Tootie are coming by for a visit, and she'd rather they didn't know that anything is amiss in her world.
Over at Eastland, Mrs. Garrett is shrieking into a tape recorder, bitching about how Mr. Parker is making her plan a brunch for the alumni president. Natalie and Tootie enter the kitchen to remind her that they're leaving for Langley soon, then ask whassup with all the shrieking into a tape recorder. Mrs. Garrett explains that it's an audio letter for her son, then says she'd like to mail her tape/letter to Raymond on their way to the college. Mr. Parker chooses that moment to drop by and throw a wrench in her plans by announcing that the alumni president's brunch is being changed from 11:00am to 8:00pm...which effectively means it's now a dinner. He orders her to cook Moroccan food 'cause the alumni president recently gabbled about how sumptuous and exotic it is - and Mrs. Garrett looks alarmed and shrieks, "It's in two days!" Mr. Parker shrugs, assures her she'll do fine, then leaves her to her meltdown. Mrs. Garrett shriekily tells Tootie and Natalie they'll have to go to Langley without her, then does her best to not have a stress-induced stroke.
Natalie and Tootie arrive at the Langley students' lounge and do their best to nonchalantly blend in with the college crowd...until Tootie starts giddily snapping photographs of everything. One of the college girls snootily snarks, "Can we help you kids?" just as a hunky guy wearing just a towel cinched around his waist saunters in and says he's looking for his Basic Anatomy. After the obligatory cackling from the studio audience, he tells no one in particular that if they find the book, please bring it to his dorm room. Natalie perks up at what could be her first sexy opportunity and starts frantically searching the lounge for the text book, but has no luck locating it. A few seconds later, Jo and Blair enter the lounge...and they all hug each other hello, then head outside for a stroll around campus.
Mrs. Garrett once again is ranting into her tape recorder about Mr. Parker when he drops by the kitchen a second time to inform her that the alumni president no longer wants Moroccan food at his dinner, but rather authentic Chinese food. Mrs. Garrett starts wailing about how he runs Eastland by mood and whim, but he just shrugs and tells her she'd better start chopping vegetables for the Kung Pao. Once he's out of earshot, Mrs. Garrett moans into the tape recorder about how she's sooooooo tired of being at the mercy of her douchetard boss and wishes more than anything that she could be in charge of her own destiny. Hang in there, Edna.
That night, Jo sneaks into Blair's dorm room 'cause she had to move out of her room due to her contrived no cash situation...and says she plans to crash here until a solution to her money problems magically presents itself before the end of this two-part episode. Blair looks dismayed by the thought of living with Jo in her teeny tiny space and warns her that they could both be expelled for breaking Langley's strict on-campus housing rules. Jo just shrugs, since it's pretty clear she doesn't give even the tiniest of rat's asses about dragging Blair into her never ending poverty problems.
Tootie is showing Mrs. Garrett all the photos she snapped while visiting Langley when Raymond quietly sneaks into the kitchen, puts his hands over Mrs. Garrett's eyes and does the annoying guess who? thing. She lets out a happy screech when she sees it's her son, who explains that he's in Peekskill on business and has something special he'd like to announce in dramatic fashion.
In the next scene, Raymond takes his mom to a dilapidated store, then spreads his arms and squeals, "All this is yours!" She glances around at the dusty room filled with broken furniture and goes, "All what?" so he tells her that the dump was an Armenian deli until it went belly-up...and that he bought the building so she could quit the shitty job she keeps complaining to him about in audio letters and open her own gourmet food shop and/or catering business. When she just stares dully into space, he reminds her it's been a dream of hers for years, and that he has every confidence she'll make a success of it. Mrs. Garrett glances around, weighs the pros and cons of quitting a job that offers financial security as well as summers off, and promises to think about it. When the Facts gals arrive, Raymond blurts out that his mom is quitting Eastland to open her own gourmet food shop, and Tootie and Natalie are all, "Wha-a-a?!" then ask her if it's really wise to start a business venture at her advanced age. Mrs. Garrett wanders around the room, absorbing the fact that since this show is going to limp along for another five seasons, the writers had little choice but to cobble together a scenario that would explain why in blazes she and the Facts gals would still be living under the same roof together. She officially announces that, yep, she's leaving Eastland to go into business for herself.
Blair is up early, styling her hair in her dorm room when Jo sneaks in after using the bathroom. As they continually bump into each other in case viewers haven't yet fully grasped that the dorm room is way too small to house two people, Blair tells her she hates this arrangement and asks her when she's moving out. Jo vaguely says she needs to find a job first, then announces that she'll be back at 11pm. She's about to climb out the window when suddenly Ms. Aames, the hall patrol Nazi, raps on Blair's door. After Jo dives into the closet, Blair opens the door and gets snarked at by Ms. Aames for hanging her delicates in the communal bathroom. Blair promises to take them down asap and hustles her out of the room - just as Jo spills out of the closet and loudly complains about all the chiffon she has on her hangers. What a rude ingrate.
Mrs. Garrett is in her room at Eastland, drafting her resignation letter, when Tootie drops by for no particular reason. Mrs. Garrett tells her she's having difficulty coming up with the right words for her letter, so Tootie suggests kiss off 'cause of how shittily Mr. Parker has treated her over the years. Mrs. Garrett looks faux appalled and says that being a rude and inconsiderate douchenozzle is just Mr. Parker's way. A few seconds later, Mr. Parker drops by to chide Mrs. Garrett for the shitty Chinese feast she prepared for the alumni president, and how much better a light brunch would have been. Mrs. Garrett scrunches her face angrily and blurts out, "You can just...kiss off!!" and the studio audience roars its approval.
Blair is studying with hunky Barry in her dorm room when Jo climbs in through the window, tells the two it's 11pm, and rudely barks at Barry to leave. When Blair bitches at her about the inconvenience of the two of sharing such a small space, Ms. Aames bursts in, is all, "A-ha!", and says it's against the rules for two gals to shack up in a dorm room together...regardless of how subtle their non-hetero attraction is for each other. She ominously says that the last time this sort of thing happened, both girls were expelled. Oh no!
Natalie and Tootie drop by the newly named Edna's Edibles to help Mrs. Garrett clean up. They glumly tell her that instead of hiring a new dietitian, Mr. Parker has cheaped out and contracted a caterer to truck in the food every day. The two then complain that because Mrs. Garrett is no longer employed as the school's dietician/house-mother, they've been assigned to different dorm rooms in separate buildings. Egads! A few seconds later, Mr. Parker drops by to beg Mrs. Garrett to return to Eastland 'cause apparently the catering company idea isn't working out as well as he hoped. Mrs. Garrett tells him it's nice to know he finally appreciates all the hard work she did during her years at Eastland, but firmly says no 'cause her mind is made up. She says she'll continue to cater his wife's parties, along with the school dinners, then sternly informs him that from now on he's going to have to pay her exorbitant catering fee. Mr. Parker's all, "Wuh? Pay?" then finally dials back his dickishness and acknowledges that, yep, she'll make a darn fine caterer. Let's hope this marks the last time we ever have to see this presumptuous assbag.
Jo and Blair arrive at Edna's Edibles, and Jo announces that she's going back to the Bronx to continue her family's cycle of poverty now that she has no part-time job to pay for her rent...and apparently no amount of resourcefulness to pound the pavement. She adds that she got in trouble with the dean of students for illegally squatting in Blair's dorm room and is now on probation. Mrs. Garrett looks as if she suddenly got a fantastic idea and tells her that, as luck would have it, the Edna's Edibles building has an extra apartment upstairs...because, yes, of course it does. I'll bet it's big enough for four! Jo half-heartedly tells her she couldn't possibly sponge off of her, and Mrs. Garrett's like, "Well d'yuh" and says she plans to put her to work in her new store, since there's no way she can do everything herself. Jo mulls that over for a few seconds, accepts her offer, and the two share a happy hug.
Natalie and Tootie are all, "What about us?!" 'cause they too need a reason to regularly hang out at Edna's Edibles as they periodically tackle the social problems of the '80s. Jo points out that there's plenty of work to go around, and Mrs. Garrett nods thoughtfully and says she'll talk to Mr. Parker and the gals' parents about granting permission for them to live in the apartment above Edna's Edibles...'cause, yeah, I'm sure it'll make total sense to Natalie's and Tootie's parents for their underage children to live with a shrieky woman in an off-campus apartment above her food shop.
Mrs. Garrett notices Blair standing off to the side, so she tantalizingly tells her that the spare apartment is big enough for four - heh - but Blair unexpectedly throws a wrench in the show's formula by saying she has zero desire to live over a kitchen again. She says she'd really like to move into a sorority house that has a lot of space...and Mrs. Garrett just kind of shrugs and says she should do what she wants. For now, anyway. As she and the other three Facts gals get busy sweeping and mopping, Jo tosses Blair a broom and snaps, "You can still help us clean up", and that's where this two-part season premiere abruptly ends. Weird.
Recap: Natalie and Tootie are busy doing the support work for tomorrow's graduation ceremony - yippee! it's the graduation episode! - while Blair gives hair, makeup, and fashion tips to random Eastland extras sporting frizzy '80s mullet perms. Jo is practicing her valedictory speech on Mrs. Garrett, who's shrieking about how frazzled she is that she's solely responsible for the graduation ceremony, reception, and all the food. That's dicked up - why wasn't anyone from the faculty roped into helping her out? Or is this Mr. Parker's not-so-subtle way of driving Mrs. Garrett so nuts that she'll quit in protest in the Season 5 premiere (spoiler)? Alexandra (the Italian princess) is attempting to pitch in, but judging by the annoyed look on Mrs. Garrett's face, it doesn't look like whatever she's doing is very helpful...so Mrs. Garrett asks her to stand outside and wait for the bread delivery guy. A few seconds later, the bread delivery guy - in the form of dorky Roy - arrives and somehow Alexandra seems intrigued by his doltish charm. Roy tells Jo he has a graduation present for her...and by graduation present he means a forcible lip smooch while bending her over backwards - which, by today's #metoo sensibilities, would probably be considered an assault.
Tootie is twirling around in Blair's red graduation gown while Blair continues to give fashion advice to her hapless schoolmates. Jo gruffly forbids anyone from ever bringing up Roy's blechy kiss, and the gals just giggle at the revolting spectacle. Mama Polniaczek arrives at the school and gushes about how proud of her daughter she is...and when Jo tells her she's almost done packing up all of her stuff, Tootie puts her sad face on and laments to Natalie that Jo and Blair are about to leave Eastland forever. Natalie's like, "Well d'yuh, it's the Season 4 finale. They can't attend high school forever...however much the producers might want us all to" as Tootie wrings her hands and grapples with all the changes Season 5 is going to bring to the show. When Tootie tells Blair that everything's about to change after she and Jo move out, Blair breezily remarks that she needs to send out change-of-address cards asap...and Tootie gets annoyed at her for not being sad enough about their impending separation. Jo reminds her that Langley is close enough for the four of them to still hang out once in awhile - but Tootie refuses to be comforted and wails about how "the four musketeers" won't be rooming together or slinging hash in the kitchen anymore. She cries, "We're not going to be friends anymore!" and actually starts sobbing - OMFG - and Natalie puts forth her best half-hearted effort to comfort her by patting her on one shoulder and staring morosely into space.
After the commercial break, Natalie makes Tootie an ice cream sundae and coos that everything's going to be A-OK. A few seconds later, Geri - fuuuuuuuuuuuck - arrives and gives the cafeteria a nostalgic once-over and says she's really going to miss dropping in on this place uninvited, prompting Tootie to wail about how nothing is ever going to be the same again. Blair's mom arrives and tells Blair she ran into her shitbag of an ex-husband in the hotel lobby, then bitchily adds how surprised she is that he even bothered to put in an appearance. Jo bustles into the room and says she needs to use the typewriter to type up her valedictory speech - but Blair insists that she suddenly needs the typewriter for no particular reason...and the two bicker in a really contrived sounding way 'bout that for awhile. Tootie scrunches her face disapprovingly and says they should be spending every moment they have left reminiscing about Eastland and their friendships...and Natalie joins Tootie in lamenting all the changes that will soon be coming their way.
Alexandra tells Mrs. Garrett that she and Roy bought ten boxes of pineapples...and when Mrs. Garrett's all, "Why in blazes would you do that?" Alexandra says she thought she heard her say, "I need a hundred pineapples." Mrs. Garrett screeches, "I said I need a hundred pie apples!" and orders the dimwit to return the unwanted fruit. I think maybe Eastland should budget for a caterer to feed its graduating class instead of relying solely on such a volatile, shrieky in-house dietician.
Mrs. Garrett is going through the details of the ceremony with the seniors when Mama Polniazcek storms in to bitch about how her ex-husband hasn't arrived at the school yet. Jo pulls her aside and tells her to shut it 'cause she's kinda busy at the moment - just as Blair receives a flower delivery from her father, who has been called away to London on business. When Mama Warner gets wind of that she starts railing about what an absentee douchefuck of a father he is. While that's happening, Papa Polniaczek makes a grand entrance decked out in a flashy new suit and announces that he booked a couple of rooms at the swanky Peekskill Inn. Mama Polniaczek snarks back that she already booked their rooms at the cheapest, grimiest Motel 8 she could find...and Papa Polniaczek's like, "Whatever" and announces that he's treating everyone to dinner! As he and his ex-wife argue back and forth, Mama Warner starts complaining to no one in particular about her ex - until Blair and Jo shriek at their parents to shut the fuck up, then storm out of the room and into the kitchen. Jo rails that she's definitely not going to her dad's stupid dinner, and Blair ups the ante by declaring, "I'm fasting!" Tootie and Natalie perk up at that and suggest that this new development means they can spend their last night at Eastland together talking about old times, but Jo snarks that there's nothing about Eastland she wants to remember and that she can't wait to see this dump of a school in her rear view mirror. Blair concurs, gets all in Natalie's face, and snarks, "I don't want to hear your sap!" and storms up the stairs after Jo...and Tootie and Natalie stare perturbedly into space.
The next day, Blair and Jo apologize to Natalie and Tootie for their bitchy outburst and explain that the stress of graduation has been making them act more squirrelly than usual. Tootie grabs her camera and snaps pics of them while singing Memories...and a few seconds later, Mrs. Garrett enters the kitchen to shriekily remind Jo and Blair to start getting ready for the ceremony. Mama Warner arrives with Geri - fuuuuuuuuuuuck - and once again rails to Blair about what a shit her ex-husband is...blah blah...and that she never should have married the deadbeat. Blair tells her to calm down and says she's accepted that her dad loves her despite his negligent parenting style 'cause she doesn't want to go through life all bitter and hate-filled...and her mom finally gets a self-reflective clue and stares sheepishly into space.
Jo is in her graduation gown, about to head over to the auditorium, when her mom storms in to snark about how late her ex is probably going to be. &*^%$!! Jo irritably tells her to zip it with the overplayed complaining just as Roy enters the cafeteria wearing a pink satin jacket and clutching a single rose. He explains that he has "an appointment" with Alexandra and hopes that Jo can somehow bring herself to get over him. Papa Polniaczek arrives and presents Jo with a jewelry box that has an expensive diamond pendant inside. Jo declines and tells him he can't afford it, and adds that it's far too fancy for her tomboyish taste...so he explains that the gift is actually for her mom. When Mama Polniaczek snarks that she doesn't need it, he says he's doing his best to say thank you for all the hash slinging she's had to do in order to pay for Jo's Eastland tuition. He says he wanted this weekend to be special for the both of them and tells his ex, "It's sorta like your graduation too." Mama Polniaczek looks touched, accepts the pendant, and admits she's very impressed. As the two grin stupidly at each other, Jo says they need to hightail it to the auditorium before the ceremony starts.
Over in the auditorium, the seniors are decked out in their caps and gowns, pacing nervously. Jo panics and wails that she can't remember her valedictorian speech on account of her eyes and brain not working together...and Blair tells her to chill the fuck out and concentrate on the key lines of her speech. Jo suddenly remembers her speech, then gets misty-eyed as she recites it while having black and white flashbacks of herself interacting with the other three Facts gals over the years - and it seems like a disproportionate number of the flashbacks include snuggling under a blanket with Blair...mmm hmm. As the graduation music begins, everyone gets emotional as they line up and file inside the auditorium. Blair and Jo cackle, "No more high school!" then suddenly stare at each other solemnly as it fully dawns on them that everything in their lives is about to change...though not really, since the only big change in Season 5 is that the show will be filmed on the Edna Edibles set instead of the Eastland set.
As Jo and Blair finish packing up their stuff in the communal bedroom, Natalie and Tootie are giddy with the excitement that they no longer have to sleep in bunks 'cause they plan to take over Blair's and Jo's beds. Not sure why they'd assume they'd still be rooming above the cafeteria now that the debt they owed for all the damage they caused is paid in full. I'm assuming, anyway. Mrs. Garrett enters the room bearing gifts: Jo gets a decorative rock 'cause it has crystals, minerals, and therefore - like Jo - has a lot more to it than meets the eye. To Blair she gifts a pretty sweater she knitted, then wanks her about how much she's grown and matured over the years and feels lucky to count her as a friend. Blair tears up and hugs Mrs. Garrett, who then heads back down to the kitchen to clean up after the reception. After she leaves, a teary Jo says she doesn't know how to say goodbye to their beloved house-mother...and Natalie's like, "Don't" 'cause apparently they made a nonsensical pact to not say goodbye.
Jo says that someone is going to have to say it, and Blair concurs and says their days of following contrived dorm rules are over...um, until the Season 5 premiere. Jo admits that it's going to be hard to cut the cord with them, but Natalie suddenly cheers up and says that Langley isn't far away, and that surely the four of them can get together regularly without these four walls forcing them to stay in such close proximity. Blair says they have to commit to staying friends, and Jo agrees and says the best way to do it is to just do it...I guess in lieu of focusing on her new college life and investing time and energy in a fresh circle of friends. Mrs. Garrett pokes her head in the room and sheepishly says that the clean-up people have bailed on her 'cause they got the dates confused...and could Tootie and Natalie please report downstairs for kitchen duty? Jo and Blair are like, "Wuh? What about us?" and Mrs. Garrett says she didn't think they'd want to clean up after their own graduation ceremony, but they're like, "Of course we do!" and eagerly put on their aprons so they too can pitch in. Mrs. Garrett beams at them and says, "It's good to have the team together again!" and smiles wistfully into space as the mandatory applause sign flashes at the studio audience.
Recap: It's exam time at Eastland, and the Facts gals enter their bedroom loaded down with snacks for an all night study-fest. Jo snipes at Blair for losing her book about World War II, then wails, "I have a history exam tomorrow!" ... and a frazzled Blair tells her to lay off the sniping 'cause she too has been busy and is tense about her exams. As Natalie unpacks the bagfuls of food and milk, Mrs. Garrett drops by to frown disapprovingly at their plans to stay up all night cramming [while over-snacking on junk food] - but Jo insists that cramming [and over-snacking] is a necessity on Exam Eve...and is something the writers have chosen to structure the entire episode around. Mrs. Garrett urges them to just get a good night's sleep, then lets out an exaggerated yawn to try to get them yawning. Blair chuckles and says, "Nice try, Mrs. Garrett", and Mrs. Garrett shrugs and heads off to bed. For a little while, anyway.
Natalie tries to get the girls pumped up for their all-nighter while Blair admonishes herself for always waiting until the last minute to start studying. And speaking of procrastinating, she asks the girls if they'd like to warm up by playing a game of cards, and they snark at her to shut it...but then agree to delay their studying until after they're done chowing down on banana bread.
At 10pm, Tootie has her headphones on and is singing along with the music. Natalie, who's wearing a funny looking blue baseball cap with yellow energy bolts on either side, glares in Tootie's direction ,then grabs her pencil and breaks it in two. Tootie glares back at her and snarks about how much she hates her energy bolt hat, and Natalie snaps back that it's her exam hat, and "explains" that the yellow bolts function like brain wave conductors. She then moans about her chemistry exam and how hard it is to remember the symbols for each element. Tootie grumbles about how all this studying is a waste of time, then questions the importance it's going to have in their lives - so Jo points out that the purpose of homework and studying is to force them to use their brains. She then marvels about how she once thought she'd like to be a race car driver, but is now thinking about becoming a teacher...'cause what the hell's the point of going to a fancy fictional college if you're just going to race cars?? Natalie goes to get herself another snack and gasps when she realizes that all the food has been eaten...and just as they all start panicking about their no food situation, Jo suggests they order in a pizza, 'cause I guess the cookies, Ho Hos, and banana bread hasn't been enough to sustain them.
At around midnight, Natalie stands by the window and anxiously awaits the delivery of their pizza while Blair reads aloud from a romance novel...then sighs and says it reminds her of the non-hetero feelings she's harbored for Jo since Season 2 - I mean her boyfriend Chad, who's apparently an expert kisser. Mrs. Garrett drops by to see how the four of them are holding up...and when they do their best to suppress yawns, she suggests they turn the lights off and rest for a few minutes. Tootie agrees that a short nap might do them some good...and they all retire to their beds while Jo sets the alarm on a clock that isn't plugged in.
Jo wakes up at 2am, is all, "Ooooh noooo!", and wakes everyone up. As Natalie blames Tootie for unplugging the clock when she made hot chocolate earlier, Tootie giggles at one of her energy bolts, which is limply hanging off the side of her hat. Mrs. Garrett drops by to deliver the pizza they ordered hours earlier and bewilderedly asks what happened to their many bagfuls of food...and they all just shriek, "Pizza!" and stampede toward the desk and ravage the pie as if they haven't eaten in months. Mrs. Garrett tells them that when she was in boarding school, she and her roommates used to blow off steam by having pillow fights...and once that seed has been firmly planted, she heads back to her room. Tootie mulls over the idea of a pillow fight, decides she likes the sound of it, and smacks Jo with her pillow...and before long, all four gals are pelting each other with their pillows.
At 5am, Blair and Jo are studying side by side at the desk...and Blair looks over at Jo and solemnly confesses how apprehensive she is about the writers taking Facts beyond the Eastland years and filming on an entirely new set next season. Jo says it's normal to be scared about taking the next step in life, and assures her she's going to loooove the show's transition to the college years while the writers figure out a way to explain why in blazes the four of them would still be living together - under the same roof as Mrs. Garrett. Jo confesses what's been wigging her out lately: her parents and all their Bronx friends/neighbors are counting on her to not screw up 'cause no one in their gritty orbit has ever attended college. Tootie, meanwhile, helps Natalie as she tries to memorize the element chart for chemistry. When she gets the symbol for gold (AU) wrong, Tootie suggests the word association technique: a mugger steals her gold watch, and she responds by yelling, "Aye! You! (AU!) Gimme me back my watch!" Bwahahaha!! That's actually not a bad way to remember that particular symbol.
By 8am, the girls are dressed in their uniforms and ready to take on their exams. They agree to meet back at the cafeteria for lunch just as Mrs. Garrett drops by with some orange juice. After they quickly down the juice and rush off, a wistful looking Mrs. Garrett picks up Natalie's bolt hat and chuckles at its goofiness.
Recap: The cafeteria is filled with a gaggle of Eastland extras who are wooting/crying over their acceptance/rejection letters from the various colleges they applied to. Mrs. Garrett is comforting a particularly distraught looking girl when Natalie marches over with a microphone and tape recorder and cheekily asks the girl how it feels to be rejected from the college of her choice...and the girl shrieks in mortification and flees the room. Tootie and Alexandra (of The Royal Pain episode) make an entrance, and Tootie explains to the Italian princess that college hopefuls get either a thin or fat envelop from the colleges they applied to, and that a fat envelop is good 'cause it generally means it's an acceptance. Blair enters the room with a faux glum look on her face...and when Mrs. Garrett asks her if she got a fat envelop in the mail, she says no, then beams from ear to ear and announces, "I got three fat envelopes!" and happily says she got into every college she applied to: Wellesley, Smith, and the fictional Langley (her top choice, conveniently located in Peekskill so that her post-secondary school decision won't disrupt the show's winning formula of four aging teenagers living under the same roof as their housemother). When Jo enters the room, Blair also gives her the good news...and Jo congratulates her and shiftily says she hasn't heard anything from any colleges yet. After everyone clears out of the cafeteria, Mrs. Garrett asks Jo whassup with the large yellow envelop sticking out of her back pocket, and Jo admits that's it's her acceptance letter from Langley. Mrs. Garrett lets out a joyful screech and gives her a congratulatory hug - but Jo just shrugs and says it's no big deal. Mrs. Garrett argues that it is a big deal, especially since she was awarded a partial scholarship. She scrunches her face in puzzlement and asks Jo why she didn't tell the Facts gals about her acceptance letter, so Jo says she's not planning to attend Langley...'cause even with a partial scholarship, her mother could never afford to pay the hefty tuition costs. Mrs. Garrett urges her to discuss it with her mother, but Jo refuses and says she's had a hard enough life already, slaving away at two minimum wage jobs just so she could attend Eastland. When Mrs. Garrett refrains from pointing out that Mama Polniaczek likely sent her to a fancy boarding school so she could get into a fancy college and one day earn a lot of dough, Jo dramatically rips up her acceptance letter and announces that she's off to the Bronx for the weekend. Mrs. Garrett stares after her concernedly and is all, "Wha-a-a-a-a?"
Mama Polniaczek greets Jo in the hallway of her building when she arrives and gives her a hello hug. When they enter the apartment, a group of Bronx extras yell, "Surprise!" and we see that the little apartment is decorated with balloons, streamers, and a Congratulations for getting into Langley! poster. Jo immediately gets irked and asks her mom if Mrs. Garrett blabbed to her about Langley, but her mom says she found out about her acceptance when she received a bunch of financial aid forms in the mail from Langley and put two and two together. She gushes about how proud she is...as does Aunt Evelyn, who gushingly calls her a genius. Jo pulls her mom aside so she can quietly point out that in order to qualify for an acceptance to Langley, they're going to have to fork over $6,000 which neither of them has. Mama Polniaczek insists she has the funds to cover it, then tells her about the hot stock tip she got from a customer at one of the restaurants she works at...and how she subsequently turned over her life savings of $900 to her ex-husband to invest for her. Since then, the stock has gone through the roof, and her investment is now worth $5,000. Assuming this happened in the somewhat recent past, that sounds like a completely implausible ROI, but then I'm a recapper not a stock market analyst. A few seconds later, Papa Polniaczek arrives at the party...and when he gets a moment alone with Jo, he confesses that he didn't actually invest his ex's $900 in what he assumed was "a long shot stock" - and instead put it in a low earning money market account, where it's currently worth about $1,000...which, incidentally, sounds like a far more realistic return on her money. Jo's all, "Wha-a-a?" and tells him he's going to have to confess to Mama Polniaczek that he totally screwed the pooch on her investment plans.
After Papa Polniaczek has dropped the bomb about the money and quickly fled, his ex-wife is sitting on the couch, staring despondently into space. She insists that there has to be a way to send Jo to Langley - there is: apply for a student loan - but Jo says she'll get herself a minimum wage job and move back in so the two of them can be roommates. Mama Polniaczek wails that she doesn't need a roommate, but rather a daughter with a future...and Jo yells, "I'm not going to college, and that's that!" and storms out of the room, leaving her mother staring worriedly after her.
The next morning, Papa Polniaczek drops by the apartment looking sheepish. He tells Jo it would be a crazy decision to not go to college, then promises to somehow come up with her tuition money. His ex-wife bitchily reminds him he's a deadbeat ex-convict with zero financial resources, and the two start bickering until Jo screams at them to shut up, then storms out of the apartment.
Jo cuts her Bronx weekend short and returns to Eastland. Natalie gushes at her about how awesome Langley is and explains that she found her ripped up acceptance letter. She then sticks her microphone in Jo's face and asks her why in blazes she'd turn down a partial scholarship, and Jo shoots her the stink-eye and shoves her away.
Mama and Papa Polniaczek arrive at Eastland to wrap up the 'we're going to put our heads together and find a way to send Jo to college' story arc. Papa Polniaczek insists that Jo get herself educated - and Mama Polniaczek concurs 'cause she'll be damned if she doesn't recoup at least some of the money she's worked her ass off slinging hash in two restaurants to keep up with Jo's pricey Eastland tuition payments. When Jo points out that they're going to need $2,000 for a college deposit in the very near future, Papa Polniaczek says it suddenly dawned on him during the ride over that he could sell his '66 Mustang. When Jo half-heartedly says she can't let him sell his beloved car, he tells her he always knew he was saving it for something important and that he'd be honored to invest in her future. Jo looks touched and hugs him just as Mrs. Garrett and Blair return from spending the afternoon at Langley. Blair shows off all the shirts and banners she bought...and when Jo grabs one of the Langley shirts and puts it on, Blair says it'd prolly make more sense for her to buy one from her own school. Jo proudly says, "Langley is my school. See you around campus!" and Blair scrunches her face and is all, "Wha-a-a?" - but then beams at the thought of carrying on with her unrequited, non-hetero crush on Jo well into the Facts college years and chirps, "Great!" just as the episode comes to a weirdly abrupt end.
Recap: Blair is in the process of filling out her college applications...and when Mrs. Garrett reads over the essay portion of one of them, she's dismayed to learn that Blair considers Calvin Klein the person who's had the biggest influence on her life. She says it may not be what the admissions people are looking for, but Blair cockily says that since her last name is Warner, every college will be tripping over itself to accept her application (and her rich family's money) no matter how shallow she comes across in her essay. Jo enters the room and announces that she's entering the stock market 'cause she's been learning all about it in her economics class. She says she's managed to save up $30 to begin an investment portfolio, and Mrs. Garrett puts her solemn face on and urges her to be careful now that she's taken up gambling...and she says this as if investing in the stock market should be equated with playing craps in a Vegas casino. Jo ignores that dumb remark and says she could use some help choosing which stocks to buy...but when Blair offers to make a few suggestions, she snarkishly declines her expertise.
Natalie, her new fella Gil, and Tootie (who's been third-wheeling it with them all day) enter the cafeteria and gabble about how much fun they all had at the Bates game. Gil gets introduced to everyone, politely tells Mrs. Garrett he's heard good things about her cooking, then heads home. Once he's out of hearing range, Tootie and Natalie gush about how super awesome he is - but then Natalie scrunches her face concernedly and says he seems to go through a lot of girlfriends and worries that he's going to dump her like yesterday's news. She then shakes that off and excitedly tells Tootie that she and Gil have a date on Sunday...and that he called her ravishing when he asked her out. Squeal! She asks Tootie if it's OK that she cancels their Sunday plans so she can go out with Gil, and Tootie breezily says she's totes fine with that. For the moment, anyway.
Tootie shows Mrs. Garrett and Blair the giant bowl of popcorn she made for herself and Natalie to munch on while they get caught up on their busy lives. Mrs. Garrett remarks on how much Natalie and Gil have been seeing of each other lately - just as Jo bursts into the room to announce that she's taken the Wall Street plunge and invested her $30 in a compact limo company. She's currently the happy owner of one share. Apparently, Blair recommended it as a sure winner...though it's really too bad she didn't know to recommend Apple stock back in the '80s. Natalie breezes in and tells Tootie she can only stay a few seconds 'cause she has to return Gil's shirt, then help him write his essay. Tootie poutishly shows her the giant bowl of popcorn she made for the two of them to eat while they hang out...so Natalie grabs a handful of popcorn, scarfs it down, and hightails it out of there. Tootie angrily dumps the popcorn in the trash can and starts railing to Mrs. Garrett about how this is now the fourth time Natalie has cancelled their plans to be with Gil. When it's clear how minuscule a shit Mrs. Garrett gives about any of this, Blair explains, "She's a woman in love. No one else exists" ... but then Jo chimes in and agrees that it's a lousy way to treat a friend.
Natalie is gushing to Blair about Gil's awesomeness when Tootie bursts in and tells Natalie she loooooves the new Lionel Ritchie song - LOL - and Natalie's like, "That's nice", then turns her attention back to Blair and waxes on about how hard Gil makes her laugh. When Tootie tries to join the conversation, Natalie condescendingly tells her she can't possibly relate to all this love talk 'cause she's never been in love herself. Tootie asks her to describe what it's like, and Natalie dreamily says that Gil thinks about her all the time...then turns to Blair again and adds that he even dreams about her. As the two giggle, Jo enters the room and happily announces that her stock just went up by a quarter point, and thanks Blair for recommending it and calls her a genius. Natalie says that she and Gil are going out to eat and then do some studying...and after she heads upstairs to change, the pay phone rings. Tootie answers it, and it's Gil who asks her to please tell Natalie to meet him at the bookstore at 6:30pm. When Natalie comes back downstairs a few seconds later, Tootie fibs and tells her that Gil just called to cancel their dinner/study plans. Natalie's like, "What? Oh nooo!!" and says she should probably call him to see whassup - but Tootie advises against that and says she got the feeling he was with a girl when he called 'cause she could hear high-pitched giggling in the background. Natalie stares despondently into space as Tootie perks up and points out that since she's suddenly free for the evening, they can go to a movie and have some BFF-only fun! Natalie nods and sadly says, "Yeah, OK" and solemnly tells her she's a real friend...and Tootie stares sheepishly into the distance for a few seconds, but then perks right up again and chirps, "You can always count on me!" For shame, Tootie! For shame.
As Natalie sits in the cafeteria, continuing to stare despondently into space, Gil bursts in and demands to know why she just stood him up. She's all, "Wuh?" and tells him she's been here the whole time, moping, and he's like, "Wuh?" and says he's been waiting for her at the bookstore, where he told Tootie to tell her to meet him. Tootie enters the room at that moment, is all, "Ack!" when she sees Gil and Natalie talking and tries to sneakily tiptoe past them, but Natalie quickly puts two and two together and screeches, "Toooootie!" and chases after her.
Tootie flees to Mrs. Garrett's room and is helping her fold sheets when Natalie storms in. She tattles to Mrs. Garrett about Tootie lying to her about Gil's phone message and snaps, "There's a liar living under this roof!" When Tootie haughtily tells her she got what she deserved, Natalie tells her she needs to get out and mingle with other girls, since it's obvious she's way too dependent on her. She then tries to get Mrs. Garrett interested in chastising Tootie further, but Mrs. Garrett refuses to take sides and admonishes them both: Tootie for lying 'cause lying a terrible thing, and Natalie for shoving Tootie aside so she can hang out with Gil. Natalie doesn't take kindly to the criticism and tells her to mind her own bidness.
Blair is reading the business section of the newspaper when she notices that the compact limo company she recommended Jo invest in has gone down in value. She thinks back to the face punching she got in the Best Sister episode, then goes, "Ack! I can't let Jo see this!" - and naturally Jo enters the room at that exact moment and demands to see the paper. She checks out the stock market page and wails, "I'm ruined!", then advances on Blair and chases her out of the room. Natalie, meanwhile, enters the cafeteria and is so overcome with emotion she's unable to spit out what's bothering her. She says she needs to talk it out with Tootie, but Mrs. Garrett tells her she's out mingling with other girls to expand her BFF horizons. Natalie rails about how she's never here when she needs her, and Mrs. Garrett sternly reminds her that she was the one who told Tootie to make other friends, on account of how needy and clingy she was getting. Natalie scrunches her face confusedly and goes, "I did? What a creep.." Blair races back into the room with Jo in close pursuit...but Jo suddenly backs off and tells her she's decided to refrain from punching her in the face again, then announces that she's pulling her money out of the stock market - all $30 of it. After a day and a half, she's decided she's too nerve-wracked by stocks raising and falling in value and can't take the pressure, so she's going into real estate...and by going into real estate she means she's going to purchase a parking spot for her motorbike. Sounds like someone didn't learn a helluva lot in her economics class about the stock market.
Tootie bursts into the cafeteria with two girls, giggling about all the madcap fun they're having. Natalie sighs loudly while looking as depressed as possible, and Tootie looks over at her sympathetically and tells her friends she's going to stay in and study...and then she and Natalie head over to the lounge for a private one-on-one. Natalie moans about how her world is coming to an end 'cause she just saw Gil talking to another girl - and Tootie's like, "That's it?!" and asks if she asked him about him about it, and Natalie says she didn't want to pry. Tootie says it probably doesn't mean anything, then throws her a bone by telling her it's obvious that Gil is crazy about her. She then apologizes for lying to her earlier and says she feels awful about it, and Natalie admits that she hasn't been making time for her lately while at the same time expecting her to be available when it's convenient for her. Tootie concurs, but then digresses so the two of them can agree that friendships take time and effort. She urges Natalie to call Gil and get everything sorted out, and Natalie likes the sound of that and heads over to the pay phone and dials his number.
And this is where the episode abruptly ends, so we never actually find out for sure if he's stepping out on her or not.
Recap: The Facts gals are trying to get Tootie interested in buying Natalie on Slave Day - but she refuses to do it and wryly says, "Slavery isn't one of my favorite things." Natalie begs her to buy her 'cause she's afraid that someone who doesn't like her is going to do it just so they can boss her around...and Jo gets in on that action and reminds Tootie that it's for a good cause. Apparently, whatever proceeds are earned (how they're earned, the writers don't specify) from this Eastland tradition - that should probably be phased out asap or, at the very least, renamed - are put towards buying Christmas gifts for underprivileged kids. Tootie mulls that over and agrees to purchase Natalie when she goes up for sale on the auction block.
Mrs. Garrett rushes into the girls' room to make an exciting announcement: on Sunday night, her old cooking teacher from Paris is coming to Eastland for dinner! She reminisces about the time Chef Antoine told her she has the makings of a gourmet chef - but then Blair reminds her that he also admonished her for being being an incompetent cook who would never amount to anything. Mrs. Garrett chews on that painful memory for a few seconds and wonders aloud if Chef Antoine is coming all this way just to see her make a fool of herself [seems like a lot of trouble to go through for such a small payoff, but OK], then shuffles out of the room, contemplatively muttering to herself about what in blazes she's going to serve to the crusty bastard.
Blair waxes poetic about the light of the moon and then opens the window...and Jo promptly shuts it and snarks that her bed is right beside the window and she has no desire to catch a cold. Blair dismisses that silly notion and suggests they swap beds 'cause she's desperately craving "the moon's caress" [almost as much as she's craving Jo's caress], and after hemming and hawing for a few seconds, Jo agrees. Blair gives her a thank you hug, opens the window, then tucks herself into Jo's bed. Tootie shuts off the lights...and a few seconds after everyone has said their goodnights, Natalie screeches and says that something furry just crawled across her leg, then skittered across the floor. The gals tell her she probably just imagined it...but when she insists it really happened, Tootie says, "It's probably just a squirrel." Everyone seems A-OK with a possible squirrel roaming around their room while they sleep - except for Natalie, who's all, "Ack!" and scrambles up to the safety of Tootie's top bunk. After the lights go out again, Blair starts giggling with girlish pleasure 'cause she assumes that Jo is tickling her feet...but before anyone can unpack the non-hetero undercurrents of that remark, she lets out a loud shriek when she realizes that the tickling is the squirrel.
The next morning, Blair tells Mrs. Garrett she'd be happy to attend her dinner party on Sunday night, and promises to charm Chef Antoine with her fluency in the French language. Jo shoots Blair her usual beady-eyed glare and asks whassup with her being so invigorated this morning, so Blair dreamily says it's 'cause she slept near the fresh air, then adds, "Tonight will be another beautiful night" - but Jo growls, "Forget it!" and refuses to swap beds with her a second night in a row. Tootie and Natalie enter the cafeteria, and we see that Natalie is carrying a stack of Tootie's books. She offers to perform other menial tasks, but Tootie declines 'cause she can't bring herself to order her best friend around. For now, anyway. Jo urges her to get into the whole Slave Day thing more, so Tootie concedes and asks Natalie if she'd mind organizing her dresser drawers...and Natalie woots with delight.
Mrs. Garrett is setting the table, decorating it with little French flags. Jo shows everyone her makeshift squirrel trap and explains that she's going to use cheese to lure the creature in, and then squish it to death. Tootie gasps in horror, while Mrs. Garrett makes a blech face and tells her to get that nasty trap away from her pristine table setting. Natalie, meanwhile, complains that her Slavemaster Tootie, who has gotten increasingly demanding, has ordered her to darn her socks...then says she's now soured on the idea of Slave Day 'cause she was really only looking for an occasional command and an amusing set of chores to keep her busy. Mrs. Garrett snaps at her to shut it - just as Chef Antoine and an entourage of three very glum looking old people arrive at Eastland. Mrs. Garrett rushes over to him, deeply curtsies as if he's a king, then shakes his hand and formally welcomes him to Eastland. She says she wasn't expecting him so early, or for him to bring three extra people...and speaking of the three extra people, he introduces the Glums: his wife Marie, his brother Louie, and his sour-faced mère. Mrs. Garrett proudly tells him she's been working hard on dinner and prepared the bouillabaisse just the way he likes it - but he tells her he's not interested 'cause he's heading into Manhattan so he can sample one of the city's fine restaurants. Mrs. Garrett stares at him incredulously and screeches, "You're not staying for dinner?!" and he says no, but that his stern-faced entourage is looking forward to dining with her. LOL. It's really odd that he wouldn't at least want to take his wife to dinner, but I'll assume it's par for the course for his rude pomposity. Mrs. Garrett poutishly tells him she planned an elaborate French feast after he declared at the beginning of the episode that he was dropping in on her for dinner, but he's just like, "Whatever" and says he's counting on her to feed and entertain his family members in his absence...then beats a hasty retreat. Mrs. Garrett rails to the Facts gals about the nerve of the impertinent chef, but they shush her and remind her that she has three dinner guests to entertain. Mrs. Garrett turns around and politely asks the Glums if they'd like something to drink, and they all say yes ... but Jo figures out pretty quick that yes is the only English word they know. Mrs. Garrett says she's sooooo relieved that Blair will be on hand during dinner to translate. Cue Blair, who shuffles into the room in her bathrobe, sneezing and wheezing 'cause she caught a cold from sleeping beside an open window. Mrs. Garrett stares mournfully into space and shrieks, "I'm dead!"
Mrs. Garrett tells Tootie she's determined not to fail at this dinner, and Tootie applauds her misguided need to please Chef Antoine and offers to pitch in by taking the Glums into town so they can do some sightseeing and buy souvenirs. The two then bring trays of tea and cookies into the cafeteria and serve it to the Glums, who look bored as Natalie loudly describes to them the various clothing combinations she likes to wear. LOL. Mrs. Garrett asks them if they'd like to kill some time by going into town to sightsee, and Mama Antoine perks up and says she'd love to go to Disneyland. Mrs. Garrett's like, "Great! Tootie will take you to downtown Peekskill. Off you go!" - LOL - and Tootie summons Slave Natalie to join them so she can trail behind her and carry the Glums' packages.
After the sightseeing trip, a disgruntled Natalie drops off the packages in the bedroom, where Blair is still recuperating from her cold. Natalie complains about all the slaving she's had to do under Tootie's regime, then accuses her of being in love with power and promptly quits Slave Day. Tootie reminds her about all the underprivileged children who won't have any Christmas presents under the tree this year, and a sheepish Natalie agrees to complete her servitude. After she exits the room, Tootie spots the squirrel atop a pile of clothes...then is all, "Ack!" when she hears Jo coming. She gathers up the squirrel in the sweater and shoves it in one of the Glums' souvenir boxes just as Jo bursts in, demanding to know if anyone's seen the renegade squirrel. A few seconds later, Mrs. Garrett shrieks at them to help her with dinner...and Tootie is forced to leave the trapped squirrel behind.
Dinner is so awkward that Mrs. Garrett begs the Facts gals to liven things up by talking about whatever they've been into lately. Jo tells everyone she's had to rethink her squirrel trap design...and when the Glums look confused because they don't understand fucking English, Jo thinks it's helpful to loudly blurt out, "Le trap!" Tootie complains about Jo's cruel intentions to kill the poor squirrel, and then a sneezing Blair comes downstairs for a glass of milk. Mrs. Garrett introduces her to the Glums, and she promptly sneezes on one of them...and Mrs. Garrett apologizes for the grossness of being sneezed on, explains that Blair hasn't been feeling well, then shoots her the stink-eye and snarks, "Go get your milk!" She suddenly remembers the sightseeing trip the Glums took with Tootie earlier and says she'd love to kill some time by looking over the souvenirs they bought, then orders Jo to bring all the packages downstairs. While that's happening, Chef Antoine returns to the school, miffed because his train broke down en route to Manhattan. Mrs. Garrett squeals, "You must be famished!" then gleefully informs him that there's no food left. Haha! When Jo brings down the boxes of souvenirs, everyone starts opening them. Tootie grabs the one she shoved the poor squirrel into, but Mama Antoine grabs it from her and opens it. The meek little squirrel peeks its little head out, then leaps out of the box to make a run for it. As it races across the floor, everyone descends into contrived chaos while some people try to capture it, and others climb atop tables and chairs to avoid all contact with the rodent.
After the Glums have departed, Mrs. Garrett looks morose and exhausted. Natalie says the evening wasn't that bad, but Tootie argues that it was pretty bad and chides Jo for trying to murder the cute squirrel. She apologizes to Mrs. Garrett for the horrible way everything turned out, but Mrs. Garrett just shrugs and says it's OK, then wonders aloud what Chef Antoine and his family must think of America. She says they may never want to visit again...then smiles at the delicious thought and giggles about the spectacle of the squirrel leaping out of the box and everyone freaking out. The gals join in with her chortling and they all end this thoroughly pointless, nonsensical episode on a positive note.
Recap: Jo proudly shows off the piece of pottery she just finished laboring over "with the Good Lord's help" and says she'd like to give it to her mom...and a few seconds later, Tootie gets too near to the thing and clumsily drops it onto the floor, where it shatters into pieces. Jo does her best to refrain from freaking out, while Tootie asks her if she's not going to yell or stomp on her face...and then Natalie interjects and says to Jo, "About this nun business.." and tells her that her decision to follow in the footsteps of Blair's step-sister [aka her friend of three days] and become a nun seems to have come from out of the blue, not to mention it being completely out of character for her. Jo's like, "Not really" and says she used to go to church all the time when she was a kid. A few seconds later, Jo's boyfriend Jason wanders into the cafeteria to report to Jo that he didn't actually have mumps - as was reported in the previous episode - but rather, swollen glands. He apologizes for ruining their college weekend together and hopes she's not mad at him for surprising her by showing up at Eastland without warning. Natalie wryly jokes, "Jo can definitely top that surprise!" - but Jason just ignores that quip and invites Jo out for pizza, then suggests they take his motorbike so she can cling to him real tight from behind. Jo prudishly replies, "No can do" and says she can't do things like that anymore 'cause - surprise! - she's decided, pretty much overnight, to become a nun. Jason stares at her in bewilderment, sheepishly asks, "Was it something I said?" then decides it's probably best for him to head back to his Yale dorm room and never be heard from again. Natalie asks Jo how she'll cope with never being able to date boys (or dig beneath the undercurrents of her non-hetero attraction to Blair), and Jo says she spoke to the nuns at the retreat about the issue of romance, and they assured her that they have special courses on how to suppress carnal desire. Tootie asks her if she really truly absolutely doesn't ever want to have children, and Jo smiles serenely and says, "You will all be my children." Natalie says that no way is she going to be able to pull off being a nun, given her crusty disposition and the volatile temperament that's been on display in pretty much every episode since her dramatic Season 2 arrival.
Blair enters the cafeteria just as Meg and Mrs. Garrett return from tying up some loose ends for Meg in downtown Peekskill. Turns out she donated her car to the convent so the sisters could raffle it off during one of their fundraisers. Jo happily tells Meg that she's decided she too wants to become a nun, and Meg makes an oh dear face and says she should probably spend a few minutes of her time trying to talk her out of that life choice. Jo gabbles on and on about how the retreat was such a revelation and that it's changed her life, but Meg's like, "Whoa, dude" and tells her that devoting one's life to the church shouldn't be a snap decision. Blair snarkishly accuses Meg of being the convent recruiter and ruining hers and Jo's life, but Meg denies trying to recruit anyone and says she simply wants more out of life than charge accounts and country clubs. Blair rails about how she hasn't been home to see her parents in over a year, so Meg explains that last time she was home they locked her in her bedroom so she couldn't return to the convent. Holy fucking crap! Blair doesn't seem at all horrified by the thought of an adult being held captive by her own parents and snarks that she's been brainwashed...and Jo comes to Meg's defence and snappishly tells Blair that there's nothing wrong with a person devoting their life to God. Blair rails about how tired she is of hearing about God, then gets all in Jo's face and yells, "Prove he exists!" Jo gets all in her face and yells at her to shut up...and then Blair screeches, "If there is a God, give me a sign! Show me!" and Jo responds by punching her in the face. Which I can only assume will put to rest the ridiculous notion that Jo could ever be considered suitable nun material.
Mrs. Garrett gets an ice pack for Blair's jaw while Tootie gigglingly recounts the brazen way Jo just popped her one. Mrs. Garrett sternly says it was an inexcusable act of violence and snaps at Tootie to stop fucking laughing about it. Blair says she's worried about getting a bruise on her face, then grumbles about the way Meg has been influencing her lesbian crush. Mrs. Garrett tells her she seems disproportionately angry about Meg joining a convent and asks her why she's been reacting like such a crazy person...so Blair says she's tired of all the "God talk" that's been thrown around during this implausible two-parter, claims he only exists for the gullible, then dramatically declares, "God is dead!" When Mrs. Garrett is all, "Wha-a?!", Blair explains that God disappointed her the day her parents' divorce became final. Mrs. Garrett's all, "Ahhhh...I finally understand" and coos about how much the divorce devastated her...then points out that the experience has given her the empathy to be the go-to person for other Eastland girls who have family problems they need to talk through. Blair says that's not enough of a reason to suffer heartbreak, and Mrs. Garrett tells her it's also not enough of a reason to take her anger out on Meg. Blair wails, "What kind of liiiiife can she have??" and Mrs. Garrett sternly says, "Her life" and tells Blair that if the situation were reversed, she wouldn't take kindly to people telling her what to do. Blair stares contemplatively into space as she chews on that nugget.
Jo tells Tootie, Natalie, and Meg that she's pretty sure God will forgive her for clocking Blair...and Natalie retorts, "Blair won't" and reminds her that the writers are still forcing the four of them to be roommates in that awful attic room above the cafeteria. Jo says she needs to get some air to mull over punch-gate and leaves the room just as Blair comes back downstairs. She acknowledges to Meg how judgemental she's been about her decision to become a nun, but then in the next breath tells her she took it upon herself to phone her (Meg's) parents to report that she's currently at Eastland...and so they'll probably be arriving any minute now. Meg just shrugs unconcernedly and says she's A-OK talking to the dickwads 'cause she's been praying to God to give her the strength to deal with the cunty way in which they've been reacting to her desire to join the convent. Blair bewilderedly says that she doesn't believe that praying serves any purpose, so Meg explains, "You hope for what you want, you pray to God to do what's best" ... and at this point Blair decides to throw in the towel on her faux outrage and says she's tired of constantly being angry with her. Meg agrees that the relentless sniping has been exhausting - just as Jo enters the room. She stares solemnly at Blair and says, "I hit you", but that she talked it over with God and the two of them decided that since he gave her fists, it was his will that she slug her in the face. Bwahahaha! A horrified Meg cries, "Wha-at?!" and admonishes Jo for using God to justify her shitty behavior. She then explains to Jo that her calling to the church was "more of a hunch than a lightning bolt", and that she's planning to seriously question her decision over the next several years 'cause, yep, she does still have doubts about it from time to time. She tells Jo it's not necessary (or even advisable) to join a convent to prove her love for God, and points out that a person can have a regular type life and still be deeply religious. Blair perks up at that and asks her, by that logic, why she can't just be a teacher who's deeply religious? ... but Meg says that being a nun is the only thing that brings sense and meaning to her life. Blair says she'll try her best to understand that, then concedes that she really just wants her to be happy.
Blair invites Meg to stay for dinner, and after Meg ambles off to wash up, Blair is left alone with her attacker. Jo apologizes for striking her, and Blair assures her she's fine but not a masochist...so getting a fist in the face was most definitely not a turn-on, despite how secretly attracted she is to her street-smart swagger. Jo promises to never hit her again, then says it's going to be tough when Meg leaves 'cause she's afraid of losing all the fuzzy feelings for the church she developed so suddenly over the past two episodes. Blair solemnly replies, "They won't" ... and that is where this pointless, two-part episode abruptly ends.
Recap: Jo is gussied up in a skirt and sweater for her first college weekend, which Mrs. Garrett and the rest of the Facts gals seem overly excited about. When Blair applauds Jo for not dressing herself in her usual grubby wear, Jo gets irked and threatens to go upstairs and change - but Blair forbids her to be seen on the Yale campus looking like her usual sloppy tomboy self. Mrs. Garrett gushes about what a milestone this weekend is in her life, but Jo downplays it and says she's really just visiting her friend Jason for the weekend. Mrs. Garrett's like, "Uh, about you spending the weekend with a boy.." and says they should probably have a discussion about "certain pressures" she may face, and Blair blurts out, "Give in to them!" - bwahaha! - then explains that she was referring to societal pressures so she could blend in well with the uppity Yale students. Tootie asks Mrs. Garrett if she was referring to sex, and a red-faced Mrs. Garrett mutters something unintelligible and scurries out of the room. Jo remarks to the Facts gals how super awesome her life has been lately, and Natalie cautions her to keep it to herself 'cause she could jinx things if the fates hear her expressing her happiness out loud.
A young blonde woman enters the cafeteria - hey, it's Eve Plumb! - and Blair greets her warmly and introduces her to the Facts gals as her sister Meg. When the gals point out that she doesn't have a sister, Blair explains that her mother was briefly married to Meg's father. The step-sisters spend a few gushy minutes getting caught up...and when Blair offers to whip up a snack, everyone heads over to the kitchen.
Meg says she's been really busy lately, then presents Blair with her belated birthday present: her bank book and the keys to her car. Weird. She reminds Blair how she always used to bounce from one thing to another and could never focus on any one thing, then says she's finally found something that feels right to her - but that it requires lots of training and a willingness to relinquish all of her worldly belongings. Blair chuckles and says, "It sounds like you've joined a convent!" and Meg solemnly replies, "I have." As Blair stares back at her in complete incredulity, Tootie remarks on how romantic it is to become a nun (?) while Natalie presses Meg for more details. Blair asks Meg how her fiancé (Paul) feels about this decision, and she wryly says he's now her ex-fiancé and that he refuses to talk to her. Blair tells her she's out of her mind, and that this decision must be killing her parents...and Meg concurs that, yep, her parents have had numerous freakouts, and have gone so far as to accuse her of being a liar and a lesbian. Yeesh, they sound like mean-spirited dickwads. She sadly tells Blair she thought she'd be way more hip about her life decision, but Blair's like, "Mmm...not" and calls her life decision stupid and selfish. When Meg argues that she feels a strong calling to devote her life to the church, Blair snarks that she's throwing her life away, then runs upstairs to throw herself face-down on her bed and weep bitter tears at her step-sister's insanity.
Tootie and Natalie tell Meg that Blair is too distraught to come back downstairs, and Meg says she'd better head out to her weekend nun retreat...but that she's planning to return on Sunday night, by which time Blair will have had time to digest the news and hopefully be more open-minded. Before she gets a chance to leave, Mrs. Garrett and Jo return unexpectedly 'cause apparently the car broke down on the way to the train station. Natalie informs them that Meg just announced her plans to become a nun, and Mrs. Garrett calls that career choice "off the beaten path", but that if it makes her happy then who gives a shit. Jo gets all reverential and says that a nun is the best thing a person could ever be, and explains that she attended a Catholic school in the Bronx and admired and respected all of her nun teachers. Meg lights up at that and says that since her retreat venue is located near New Haven, she could drop her off at Yale, then pick her up again on Sunday evening. Jo eagerly accepts the offer.
When Sunday evening arrives, Blair is upstairs reading when Mrs. Garrett drops by her room for a schoolgirl-housemother heart-to-heart. Blair grumbles again about how Meg is ruining her life, then wonders if perhaps an evening at the local country club and/or a satisfying doink with a good looking high society man could get her head on straight. Mrs. Garrett urges her to try to see things from Meg's point of view and says she's merely making a life choice for herself. Blair argues that Meg is running away from living a normal life and is pretty sure she can reason her out of wanting to become a nun - but Mrs. Garrett points out that a calling like this comes from a deep well of faith and that it's unlikely Meg can be reasoned out of her decision. Tootie suddenly bursts into the room to announce that Jo has just returned from her college weekend and is ready to divulge all the juicy details...along with an unexpected announcement of her own.
Natalie begs Jo to regale them with stories of her Yale visit, so Jo tells them that Jason unexpectedly came down with the mumps and had to spend the weekend in the infirmary...so she decided why not spend the weekend at Meg's nun retreat? She gushes about how terrific it was, and that she really enjoyed slowing down and taking quiet walks in the woods. She then adds that something has been bugging her lately - especially as she's been waxing on and on about how super awesome her life has been going - and this weekend she finally realized what she had been neglecting: God. She chides herself for failing to thank God for her good fortune and says, "It's about time I did." Blair looks alarmed and asks her what in blazes she means by that, so Jo declares that she wants to be just like Meg...and by just like Meg, she means become a nun. 'Cause, yeah, that's not completely out of character and near impossible to envision. Blair stares at her in horror while Tootie widens her eyes and is all, "Wha-a-a-a?"
And that's where the shocking Part 1 cliffhanger leaves us.
Recap: Tootie and Natalie are awaiting the arrival of Tootie's brother, Marshall. Tootie gabbles on and on about how super awesome he is and says she's proudly wearing the purple sweater he once gave her as a present. She gushes about how honored she is that he's taking time out of his ski weekend to spend time with her, then decides she also needs to put on the hat and scarf he gave her and rushes upstairs to fetch the items. All of this obnoxious wanking over Saint Marshall can only mean that he has a serious malfunction that Tootie will have no choice but to come to grips with.
Jo and Mrs. Garrett enter the room, excited about the Chinese cabbage Jo planted, watered, and dug up from the solar greenhouse. Jo is fascinated by the idea of planting a seed and watching something grow out of it, but Blair just rolls her eyes and pokes fun at her enthusiasm. Natalie, who's been stationed near the window, screeches, "Marshall's here!" and Tootie races past her wearing a turquoise hat and scarf. When Marshall enters the room, Tootie, the gals, and Mrs. Garrett gush over him like he's a returning war hero, going so far as to refer to him as "Marshall the Magnificent". When his roommate Paul enters the room, Blair perks up, then bats her eyes and flirtily says, "Why, helloooo" and introduces herself...and the two look instantly smitten with each other. When Tootie invites Marshall to stay for dinner, he tells her that he and Paul have plans...and by plans, he means they've invited a few friends to stop by the motel he and Paul are staying at to sit around and drink themselves silly. He invites Tootie to the drunkfest, and she lights up and squeals, "Yippee!" and happily remarks on how it's the first time he's ever shown the slightest interest in having her attend one of his parties. He grins and says, "Why not? You're all grown up now" and invites the other Facts gals to tag along as well.
Motel party time! Blair and Paul chat about their rich families, and Blair is impressed to learn that Paul's dad owns a cable company, which Paul hopes to run one day. Natalie, meanwhile, is chatting it up with a journalism major named George, who pompously tells her she's going to have to be willing to stretch her mind if she even hopes to one day study journalism. When the gals hear the sound of Jo's motorbike in the parking lot, Marshall suggests they play "kamikaze quiz", then explains that it's a drinking game for when an unsuspecting new person enters the room: every time the person asks a question, everyone chugs from their beer (or soda, in the case of the underage gals)...and any time the person asks why? everyone has to chug their entire can. Sounds like a laugh a minute. Sure enough, when Jo enters the room and asks what kind of pizza they ordered, everyone chuckles and takes a drink (without actually answering). Her questions/their drinking goes on for several tedious minutes until Tootie finally explains to a bewildered Jo what in blazes is going on.
Hours later, Marshall, Paul, and George are visibily inebriated, and the Facts gals (minus Jo, who was smart enough to high-tail it out of there on her motorbike) continue to hang around, and they now look bored. Marshall says there's another [drinking] party he wants to go to and offers to drag Tootie and her friends along, but she tells him she promised Mrs. Garrett they'd be home at 10pm. Marshall's like, "Aw come on!" but then offers to give them a lift home, which prompts Blair and Natalie to exchange worried glances. Blair urges Marshall to hand over the keys and jokes that she's always wanted to know what it was like to cruise around in a station wagon - but he snappishly retorts that he's taken psychology courses in college and knows she's only saying that 'cause she thinks he's "a little too bombed to drive" ... and Natalie rolls her eyes and is all, "Well d'yuh." Marshall denies being, in any way, drunk and assures the girls that he's responsible enough to know how much alcohol he can handle. Tootie enables this madness and chirps, "Of course you are" then chides Natalie for embarrassing her brother in front of his passed out friends. She asks Marshall to go start the car and says that she and her friends will be right out...and he's like, "Okay dokay", chugs the rest of his beer, and stumbles out to the parking lot - LOL - and the spectacle of his brazen drunkenness still doesn't appear to ring any alarm bells for Tootie. A distressed Blair moans about how much she regrets not leaving with Jo when she had the chance, and Tootie asks why Jo was in such a hurry to leave. Natalie snaps, "'Cause she's smart!" and Tootie nonsensically retorts that Jo just doesn't know how to have a good time...as if sitting around a motel room and watching her stupid brother and his dickwad friends guzzle beer all evening could be anyone's idea of fun.
When Marshall impatiently honks his horn from the parking lot, Natalie suggests to Blair that they walk back to Eastland...and Tootie accuses her of ruining her visit with Marshall, then whines, "You're supposed to be my friends!" Natalie points out how unfair of her it is to expect them to get into a car with a visibly drunk driver - but Tootie insists that he knows when he's had too much to drive. As Marshall continues to honk the horn (and the other motel guests refrain from yelling at him to stop fucking doing that or they'll shove that horn up his ass), Tootie asks her friends if they're coming, and Blair and Natalie throw all caution and good sense to the wind and agree to let Tootie's drunkard brother ferry them home.
Jo's on the phone with George, who informs her that Marshall left the motel with the Facts gals more than an hour ago. When Mrs. Garrett enters the room and asks whassup, Jo keeps mum about her concerns and tells her that the rest of the gang should be home any minute.
A few minutes later, Blair, Natalie, and Tootie enter the cafeteria looking traumatized. Tootie tells Mrs. Garrett that Marshall had car trouble so they ended up walking home...and a suspicious Jo sends Mrs. Garrett off to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate so she can find out what really happened. She asks them if they got into an accident - and Tootie starts to say no, but Jo doesn't buy it and snarks at her to 'fess up. Blair interjects to blab about how Marshall ran a red light and hit a tree...and Natalie trembles piteously and asks no one in particular why her legs won't stop shaking.
Marshall enters the cafeteria with a bloodied bandage on his forehead. He reports that he finally got the fender pried away from the tires, then scrunches his face confusedly and says he can't figure how it happened. Tootie breezily says it was just an accident and not his fault...but Natalie finally shuts down the idiot enabler and wails, "It was no accident, it was five beers!" Jo snarls at Tootie that things could have turned out far worse, and Tootie sullenly tells her it's over now. Blair warily asks, "Is it?" and points out that Marshall is about to drive himself to party #2. Marshall says he has no plans to continue boozing, and that he's just going to drive himself very slowly back to the motel...while still under the influence, no doubt, since no way have all those beers worked themselves out of his system yet. When Mrs. Garrett emerges from the kitchen with a tray of hot chocolates, she notices Marshall's bandaged forehead and shoots him a suspicious stink-eye...and he sheepishly bids Tootie goodnight and slinks out before he's forced to come under her scrutiny.
Once everyone has cleared the room, Mrs. Garrett asks Tootie what really happened, then says it's pretty obvious that Marshall just had a drinking/driving related accident. Tootie admits that her brother did have a few beers, but continues to remain in denial that he was actually drunk. Mrs. Garrett refuses to buy that load of bullcack 'cause she has an ex-husband who was often "not drunk" after spending the evening drinking endless amounts of beer and then acting like an assclown. She sternly tells Tootie that her douchewad of a brother had no right to take chances with their lives or the lives of the other drivers on the road...and when Tootie still refuses to face reality, Mrs. Garrett points out that since the car her boozing brother has been driving belongs to Mama and Papa Ramsey, they deserve to know the truth about the "accident". Tootie looks alarmed and says if they find out, they'll probably take it away, which would leave Marshall wheel-less for his spring break vacay. Egads! Mrs. Garrett wryly says it probably wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to not have that guy on the road during spring break, then points out that that by alerting her parents about Marshall's nonchalant attitude about getting behind the wheel after a night of beer guzzling, she could be saving his life. Tootie stares contemplatively into space as she chews on that morsel of wisdom.
Tootie drops by the motel to give Marshall the what-for for driving while drunk. She tells him she's going to tell their parents what happened during this episode, and he's all, "Wha-a? Are you kidding?" and says that their dad will totally freak. Tootie argues that he'll be tough but fair and now thinks it's wrong to not tell him. Marshall mumbles, "It's not that simple" then hangs his head in shame and confesses that a few months ago he was charged with a DUI and really doesn't want a lecture from his father about it...even though clearly the message that he shouldn't drive after he's been drinking hasn't penetrated its way through his thick skull. Paul breezes into the motel room with a six-pack of beer, and Tootie's all, "Wha-a?" and correctly guesses that he and Marshall actually did attend party #2 last night and got themselves drunk all over again. When Marshall weakly insists that beer doesn't make him drunk, Tootie shrieks, "You could have killed us!" and accuses him of acting like a macho jerk who drunkenly lost control of the vehicle. Marshall sheepishly assures her he wouldn't do anything to hurt her, then asks her what she wants him to do. She orders him to call their parents and confess his crimes...and that if he refuses to do it she will, 'cause she doesn't want the burden of being the only one in their family who's worrying about his drinking/driving problem.
Marshall pissily refuses to call his parents, then grabs his bags and heads for the door. A defiant Tootie picks up the phone and makes a collect call to her father...and Marshall puts his bags down, turns around to shoot her a somber look, then decides, "Yep. I'd better face the music about my drinking and driving before the end credits start rolling." He walks over to Tootie, takes the phone from her, and the two hug as he prepares to open up a UGE can of whoop-ass to his father.