Recap: Mrs. Garrett and Jo are in the lounge, attempting to fix a broken table leg. Blair stares over at them, mystified, and asks why they don't just buy a new table. Natalie enters the lounge with Tootie trailing behind her, bugging her to get back to studying for her Spanish test...and Natalie snaps that she needs to take a break. Mrs. Garrett asks her how the studying is coming along, and Natalie whines that Spanish has been bringing down her GPA all year. Mrs. Garrett finally gives up on the table leg and says maybe they should just glue it on, then hustles over to the kitchen to find some Elmer's.
An overly exuberant dork carrying a guitar enters the cafeteria and asks the girls if they know where Mrs. Garrett is...and Blair dismissively waves her hand at him and says that deliveries are made through the kitchen. He chuckles and says, "You must be Blair" and Jo snidely remarks, "Well d'yuh - no one else would want to be Blair." He then guesses she's Jo, and also knows which of them is Natalie. Jo asks him who he is, and Tootie suddenly interjects and tells them he's Alex, Mrs. Garrett's son (who she recognizes from the photo on Mrs. Garrett's dresser.) Alex says it's been "a real kick" meeting them, then says he dropped by Eastland to surprise his mom [and raid her wallet...spoiler]. Natalie gushingly says she's heard all about his awesome career as a recording artist, and Blair tells him that Mrs. Garrett talks about him all the time...even though she's never once mentioned having a son in nearly two full seasons of the show. Natalie tells Alex she's interested in music, and by music she means poetry, which is sort of like songwriting. Mrs. Garrett returns to the cafeteria, and Alex bellows, "Who's the best mother in the world?!" and the two carry on about how happy they are to see one another, then hug and kiss.
Natalie asks Alex to regale them with stories about his recent gig in Chicago, where he supposedly performed with Neil Diamond. Blair looks impressed and says her mother is good friends with the singer, and Alex ignores that potential landmine and brags about how he was at Neil's latest birthday bash and says they all partied 'til dawn. Blair just stares over at him coolly, but doesn't say anything. Mrs. Garrett tells Alex she wants them to get caught up on each other's lives, so the two go up to her room. Tootie says that Alex is full of wonderful stories, and Blair wryly retorts, "That's not the only thing he's full of" then says she knows for a fact that Neil Diamond's birthday party was rained out this year. Jo says he was probably talking about last year's party (well that's just dumb), and Blair rolls her eyes and says that everything about Alex seems phony. No duh...though it really doesn't take a genius to see past that guy's smarmy bullshit.
Alex gabbles to his mother about his life and claims he just finished working on a Carly Simon record - but, for some unknown reason, he was overlooked when they were putting the credits on the album jacket. Mrs. Garrett pretends to believe his nonsense, then heads over to her desk to write out his monthly check, and he looks suitably sheepish and says he was hoping that by his late twenties he wouldn't still need to be financially supported by his mother. She insists she's happy to do it, since apparently she's unable to set reasonable boundaries for her grown ass son...and he assures her he's making great strides as a musician and that someone recently told him he has the same qualities as Elton John. Natalie enters the room at that moment and excitedly asks, "You know Elton John?!" and Alex flashes her a shit-eating grin and says he's been to a few parties with Elton, then mulls over his pretend friendship with the celeb and says, "Maybe I'll look him up when I hit the Big Apple." Mrs. Garrett asks Natalie why she's interrupting their mother-son bonding session, so Natalie says they're all out of Brussels sprouts...then tells her she recently wrote a poem that maybe Alex could write music to. Mrs. Garrett orders her to hit the books for her Spanish test, and Natalie irritably tells her to stop squashing her dreams. Alex swiftly interjects and says that Edna Garrett is no dream squasher...and he oughta know since she's still providing him with financial support so he can continue to pursue his failing music career. He puts an arm around his mother and promises her that when he hits it big, he'll buy her a mansion, the way Elvis bought Graceland for his mother...and Mrs. Garrett gets a dreamy look on her face and murmurs, "Just imagine...Edna-land."
Natalie recites her poetry while Alex provides backup music with his guitar...and when she finishes, Mrs. Garrett and the girls enthusiastically applaud. Alex tells Natalie she has a good ear for lyrics, which makes Natalie beam happily. Mrs. Garrett announces it's bedtime, and she and Alex go upstairs to turn in for the night. Natalie gushes to the girls about what a great guitar player Alex is, but Blair just rolls her eyes disdainfully and snarks, "He's not so hot." For some reason, this pisses Jo off and she snaps, "You never let up!" and Blair counter-snaps that this cheesy phony has everyone snowed...and that Mrs. Garrett should know mediocre music playing when she hears it. Ouch! Hee! Jo barks, "We don't care what you think, Blair" and Tootie chimes in and says that she thinks Alex is terrific, and obviously Mrs. Garrett thinks so too. Natalie agrees, then blabs about how Mrs. Garrett is financially supporting Alex...and Blair's all, "Wha-a?!" and says she needs to talk to Mrs. Garrett, like pronto, about what a horrible idea it is to keep enabling a freeloading spawn. Jo stops her and bellows, "He's her son!" and warns her not to meddle in other people's family business. Blair insists that allowing this situation to continue is not doing Mrs. Garrett any favors...and besides, someone's got to tell her her son is a fraud.
Alex is in the lounge, fixing the broken table leg, when Natalie ambles over and needlessly informs him that she has to cram for her Spanish exam. She tells him what she really wants to do is work on her songwriting, so she promptly puts aside her Spanish books and announces that she's going to spend the rest of the right working on new lyrics for the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Er...OK? Alex chuckles at the silly project and wishes her good night.
The next morning, Mrs. Garrett and the girls look around for Natalie...and a few seconds later they find her slumped over one of the cafeteria tables. Mrs. Garrett wakes her up and chides her for worrying so much about her Spanish exam. Natalie says she wasn't studying Spanish; she was working on a song...then throws Alex under a bus and says he was helping her work on some lyrics (even though he, um, wasn't). Mrs. Garrett starts freaking out and shrieks at Natalie to get dressed and go take her Spanish exam, and Natalie snarks back that she doesn't want to...and says that since she's going to be a songwriter, she doesn't need to study Spanish or a lot of "the other junk" she's currently taking at Eastland. Furthermore, ever since she and Alex started talking, she sees life more clearly...and realizes that life experience is the best teacher. She declares that all she wants to do from now on is follow her dreams, like Alex - and Mrs. Garrett blurts out, "Alex is a grown man who still sponges off of me!" (bwahahaha!) then orders Natalie to get her butt upstairs and get ready for school. Natalie snaps, "I'm going!" then vows to write a song about how kids get pushed around.
Mrs. Garrett growls to the rest of the girls, "How dare he come in here and mess up Natalie's life when his own life is such a mess!" and Jo's like, "Wuh? He's doing great!" Mrs. Garrett breaks the news to her that her idiot son is a twenty-eight year old struggling musician who's being supported by his mother...in other words, not doing great. Blair can't help herself from smugly interjecting by retorting, "That's exactly what I've been saying." Mrs. Garrett says it's one thing to help put your child through school, but quite another to put him through life. She's been waiting for him to realize this and tell her, but he never has...which is just dumb, passive-aggressive, and negligent parenting. She wishes she could just tell the freeloading deadbeat he's a shitty musician who should stop deluding himself about his "talent", then scrunches her face in misery and wails, "But how can you say that to your own child?!" At that moment, an oblivious Alex bounds into the room and chirps, "Good morning, everybody! Who's the best mother in the world?!" and Mrs. Garrett turns around, glares at him disdainfully and tells him to cut the shit.
Mrs. Garrett bellows, "How dare you come here and twist Natalie's head inside out!" and tells him that Natalie has convinced herself she should drop out of school and become a songwriter. (Uh...I don't recall Natalie actually say that she was planning to drop out of school.) She then tells him he's wasting his life...and when he insists he's working very hard, she says he isn't - then acknowledges that this is all her fault. No duh, Edna. She apologizes for encouraging him to dream in lieu of realizing that he should maybe his focus his attention on growing the fuck up and getting a job that can pay the bills...then chides herself for not teaching him how to tell the difference between a dream and an unattainable fantasy. She suddenly scrunches her face and notices that the bum leg on the table has been fixed, and Alex tells her he fixed it...and she thanks him, then continues to rant about his aimless life. She says that so far his "career" as a musician has been a fantasy - but if he wants to make it a dream, he's going to have to stand on his own two feet and work for it...and by work for it, she means no more monthly cash instalments from her. Alex gasps and says, "You're cutting me off?" and she confirms she is. Alex lets out a sigh, dramatically exclaims, "Thank God!" and pretends he's relieved that he no longer has to lie to her about all the recording sessions he doesn't go to and the famous people he's never actually met...even though he could have been honest about his go nowhere music career years ago and spared his mother from having to finally declare that she's cutting him off. He starts blathering about his newfound interest in woodworking/cabinet making and says he didn't want to tell her about this passion because he didn't want her to think him fickle for getting sidetracked from his music. I guess he thought it would be better for her to think he was an unsuccessful musician who couldn't pay the rent. He says he now wants to become a carpenter, then asks her if she's upset by this sudden change. She assures him that as long as he's happy (and no longer requires monthly support checks), then she's happy. The two grin at each other and hug it out. What a couple of douches.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!
Leave a Reply.
The Facts of Life homepage
Recapper: Isabel K. French
Your contributions help keep the site ad-free
Television of Yore
Snide recaps of television's most entertaining classics