Recap: The girls are in their PJs watching TV when Mr. Bradley enters the dorm and grumbles about how the TV is always on. Natalie explains that on Sunday nights they like devoting their evening to the boob tube, so then he bitchily asks them if they're all done the poetry assignment for tomorrow. Sue Ann asks him if it will really count for half their grade, and he replies, "You'd better believe it." Well that's just lazy and dickish. How could a poem possibly count for half an entire grade?? Mr. Bradley starts nattering about how powerful poetry can be, and Tootie interjects and reads the title of her poem, which sums up why she's always wearing roller skates. [The producers made her 'cause she's so short. The end.] Mr. Bradley tells her her poem sucks and advises her to come up with something more substantive, and she dramatically winces and fake assures him she has a backup.
The TV suddenly goes on the fritz and Mrs. Garrett goes to the kitchen and gets her meat tenderizer to beat it into submission...but Mr. Bradley stops her and fiddles with something on the back of the set, and somehow this causes the power in the entire building to go out. Mrs. Garrett lights a candle and leads the way to the fuse box. Meanwhile, Blair and her date (Jason) arrive at the dorm, and Blair assumes that since the lights are out, everyone's gone to bed. Jason tells her he could use a little more love scene rehearsal, then tells her she's a great Juliet. He gives her an intense smooch, and she stops him and abruptly says, "Good night." He looks disappointed and says, "I thought you liked me" and she insists she does, but explains that she has a poem due tomorrow she hasn't even started yet. He tells her that he's great poetry, then leans in for another kiss...and Blair giggles as he kisses her neck. From the fuse box room, Mr. Bradley loudly asks if anything is turned on out there, and Tootie shrieks, "Yeah, but it's not the lights!" and suddenly the lights come on and Blair realizes that the other girls have been eavesdropping on her and Jason's post-date canoodle. Mr. Bradley appears, sees Jason, and demands to know what's going on. Jason explains that they were rehearsing for Romeo and Juliet, but Mr. Bradley just gives him the stink-eye and tells him that rehearsal is over. Blair tells Jason it's been "a stimulating evening" and chastely shakes his hand...and as he heads out, Natalie yells out, "Good night, Romeo!" and all the girls giggle like four year olds. Mr. Bradley asks Blair if she's completed her poetry assignment, and she says yes, but that it just needs some final polish. He sternly reminds her that he wants it on his desk tomorrow. [I'm confused - isn't he the headmaster? Why is he teaching English class?] After he leaves, Blair admonishes the girls for eavesdropping on her and Jason, and when they start bickering back and forth, Mrs. Garrett shrieks at them to shut up, then asks Blair if she really does have her poem finished. Blair puts a finger to her temple and says, "It's all in here", so Mrs. Garrett gives Blair's rump a smack and tells her to get that on a chair and finish her homework. Blair smacks Mrs. Garrett's rump in retaliation - and Mrs. Garrett looks bewildered, but also like she kinda enjoyed it...and that's all I'm going to say 'bout that disturbing interaction.
Blair is in her room, beautifying herself in front of the mirror. Tootie rolls in and is shocked when Blair tells her she hasn't even started working on her poem yet. Blair explains that she has to get inspired before she can write poetry, so Tootie offers to send for Jason and his magic lips. Blair shushes her and tells her that she's talking about the man she may be pinned to. Pinned to? Did we suddenly time-travel to 1950? Tootie advises her to focus on Mr. Bradley and how he's going to hang her out to dry if she doesn't get her poem written, so Blair agrees to get down to work and says that looking at other peoples' poetry might help her get in the mood. She picks up a book by Emily Dickinson, randomly chooses a page, and starts reading:
"Beauty crowd me till I die
Beauty mercy have on me
But if I expire today
Let it be in sight of thee."
Blair likes the sound of the poem - and Tootie scrunches her face in confusion and says she didn't understand a word of it, so it must be good. Blair says that the poem is beautiful, and that Emily Dickinson writes the way she would write - if she had any interest in writing four lines of original poetry. She looks contemplative for a second and decides that she's going to plagiarize the poem, but change a few things here and there to give it "the Blair touch". Tootie tells her that that's cheating, and Blair retorts, "It's only cheating if someone finds out", then realizes she just said this out loud to the biggest big mouth at Eastland. She asks Tootie if she'll keep her secret, and Tootie agrees to keep mum about it if Blair agrees to make her bed, clean her room, and press her uniform. Tootie rolls toward the door, turns on the ham for the studio audience, and quips, "It's too much - having a white maid!!"
Mrs. Garrett fixes the TV, and the girls decide they want to watch football - but Molly specifies that she doesn't want to watch the Dallas Cowboys play 'cause they use cheerleaders as sex objects. Er...OK, Molly - but isn't every NFL team guilty of exploitatively showcasing female cheerleaders? Mr. Bradley enters the room and announces that he's going to reveal their grades on the poetry assignment, even though it would probably be far more appropriate to not blurt out everyone's grades to everyone, and to do this during English class.
Sue Ann: C-
Molly: D (haha! Suck on it, Molly)
He's about to announce Tootie's grade, but she says she'd rather it be their little secret, so he just quietly hands her her paper. Mrs. Garrett congratulates Blair on her A+ and says it's wonderful, then asks Mr. Bradley why everyone else got such shitty grades. He explains that he graded them on a curve...and when Mrs. Garrett questions the fairness of this method, he just says that life isn't always fair, then goes, "Tough darts, Mrs. Garrett." He tells her that when she's headmaster (or a teacher), she can grade any way she wants...and until then (he starts singing), "I'll do it myyyy wayyyy.." What a douchecanoe. Mrs. Garrett retorts that she's going to make the girls a blueberry cheesecake, then snidely says he can't have any 'cause she's "baking it on the curve". The laugh track kicks in even though that joke made absolutely zero sense. Nancy suggests that they all watch TV to cheer themselves up, but Mr. Bradley, who's acting particularly dickish in this episode, declares that he's pulling the plug...like, literally. He wants more learning, less boob tube watching, then orders the girls to write another poem - except, of course, for St. Blair. Blair insists that her poem wasn't all that great, and he jokes about how he can't handle her modesty. Tootie sourly adds that she can't either, and that she might be sick...and the other girls all snarl at Blair and head upstairs to work on their assignment. Tootie asks Blair what she's going to do, and Blair says she has to keep her secret 'cause she doesn't want to get kicked out of school. A few seconds later, Mr. Bradley pops back in to tell Blair that he just entered her poem in a New York State poetry contest. She wails, "You didn't!" but he just nods happily.
Everyone's annoyed that they have to redo the poetry assignment. Tootie rolls in with several boxes of pizza and announces that she got too much change back - and Mrs. Garrett purses her lips with displeasure and says that when she was a waitress, she had to cover the difference if she accidentally gave back too much change. Tootie hangs her head with shame and rolls back out to repay the waitress. Blair is sitting in a chair looking bummed out, so Mrs. Garrett asks her whassup. She says she didn't sleep very well, then confesses that the poem she submitted to Mr. Bradley is one she copied from Emily Dickinson. Mrs. Garrett clutches her chest and sits down to process the devastating news. She scrunches her face, stares over at Blair and goes, "Why?!" Blair says she kept putting off the assignment, then just panicked. She sheepishly asks, "It's kind of like cheating, huh?" and Mrs. Garrett glares at her and sternly replies, "It's worse. It's like stealing." She asks Blair how she feels inside, and Blair tells her rotten, and says she knows she has to confess her crime to Mr. Bradley. She's about to go do that when Jason suddenly bursts in. He tells her came by for "one last rehearsal" 'cause he's leaving tomorrow for his college interview. Mr. Bradley suddenly appears out of nowhere, and Blair asks him if they can have a talk. He just assumes she wants to ask his permission to rehearse with Jason again and says it's fine, and then shoves her out the door with Jason - not giving her an opportunity to confess her plagiarism.
Blair and Jason sit on a bench outside. He puts his arm around her - but she's too upset about her poetry stealing to canoodle, and just glumly stares into space. He says, "This is it. Tomorrow I'll be gone" and she points out that he's just going out of town for a college interview - not shipping off to war. He leans in and smooches her cheekbone, but she's clearly not into it...so he chides her and says, "Only fish kiss with their eyes open!" She tells him she's not in the mood 'cause she feels guilty for cheating on a poetry assignment, and he chuckles and tells her that everyone does that, then says that cheating is pretty much how he's getting into Yale. He misses her lips and smooches her cheek again, and she shoves him away and tells him she has a poem to write. She wishes him well at Yale, and he looks miffed about not getting any.
Later, the girls are still hard at work re-poeming. Blair looks shamefaced and admits to them that she stole her poem from Emily Dickinson. Sue Ann exclaims, "You cheated?!" and Blair says she did, then says she can confirm this with Tootie, who kept her shameful secret...and Natalie is enormously impressed that Tootie actually managed to keep a secret. Blair apologizes for her crime, but the girls continue to snarl at her...and when the snarling dies down, Blair tells Mrs. Garrett she wrote an original poem she plans to submit for class. Mr. Bradley bursts in and says he has terrific news: Blair's poem won third prize in the state contest! Blair wails, "Oh no!" and insists she doesn't deserve it, and Mr. Bradley snarks that her modesty is getting to be a big bore, and then declares that they should celebrate her success by having Blair Warner Day. (Say what?) Mrs. Garrett tries to shut him up, but he keeps nattering nonsensically until she shrieks at him that Blair has something to tell him. Blair admits she copied her poem from Emily Dickinson, and Mr. Bradley gets furious and goes, "Blair?! What the hell are you talking about?" Mrs. Garrett stares at him in horror, and he immediately takes it back, but then takes back taking it back. He clutches his head and moans that he feels like a total idiot. Well d'yuh. Mrs. Garrett acknowledges that Blair's plagiarism is a serious offence, but points out that she at least had the courage to admit to it.
Blair tries to appease him by telling him she wrote her own poem, but he just sourly mutters, "Oh, big deal." Blair is too emotional to read the poem herself and asks Mrs. Garrett to read it aloud for her, so she does. It's all about how she doesn't like what she sees in the mirror - a betrayer of friends...and from there it kind of derails and gets into a description of her cute facial features. Mr. Bradley cuts Mrs. Garrett off and says that Blair will be severely punished, but Blair doesn't mind 'cause she feels beautiful again now that she's gotten the guilt out of her system. She glances at herself in the mirror and tells her reflection, "Hi! I'm back!" Mr. Bradley then metes out her punishment: she has to withdraw from the play, is grounded for a month, and will get an F in English lit. Sue Ann sympathizes, "Boy Blair...that's really rough." Tootie rolls over to Blair and apologizes for what she put her through, then cheekily asks her if she can still have her maid services for half a day on Thursday. Womp womp!