Recap: Natalie is cleaning up the cafeteria after a meal, grumbling to Mrs. Garrett about what messy slobs her schoolmates are. She then asks Blair if she's all set for tomorrow's big debate, and Blair says she is, but that she has to practice her disdainful stare and sarcastic chuckle. Mrs. Garrett assures her she's a born debater and that she takes great pleasure in tearing people apart, and Blair chooses to take that as a compliment.
Tootie and Jo bound into the cafeteria, and Tootie excitedly announces that Jo made the debating team. Blair practices her disdainful stare and says how "thrilled" she is that she and Jo are on the same team together. Jo says that their first debate will be against the boys at Bates Academy and Mrs. Garrett winks and says, "You'll cream 'em!" Blair says she's not so sure 'bout that, since Bink Parker (yes Bink), who's captain of the debate team at Bates, is a genius. Mrs. Garrett suggests to Jo that this could be an opportunity for her to meet a dreamy Bates boy, but Jo makes a blech face and dismissively retorts, "Who cares about those stuffy creeps? I got the best: Eddie." She pulls out his latest letter from her pocket and calls it "sheer poetry". For some reason, she hands it to Tootie to read aloud, and it's all about how much he misses her every moment of the day, blah blah.. Jo smiles dreamily into space, then sadly remarks that she wishes her mom liked Eddie more. And speaking of her mom, she wants to call her to let her know she made the debate team. As she rushes towards the pay phone in the lounge, Mrs. Garrett screeches after her that she should invite her mom to attend the debate.
When Jo calls home, some guy named Jack answers the phone...and when Jo asks her mom who the hell Jack is, she learns that he's her live-in boyfriend. She abruptly ends the call, then grumbles to Mrs. Garrett about her mom's new boyfriend and wonders if he's the reason she got shipped here. Mrs. Garrett insists that she got shipped here so she could get a good education. Blair joins Team Jo and tells her it was definitely a sucky thing for her mom to do, but Tootie doesn't agree and tells her that lots of people shack up together. Mrs. Garrett urges Jo to call her mom back and talk it out, so she heads back to the pay phone - but instead of calling her mom, she calls Eddie, who's based at a naval training center in Chicago.
The very next day, a bright eyed youngster with a severe overbite enters the cafeteria. Natalie takes note of his blue sailor costume and saucily coos, "Helloooo, sailor!" and then laughs about how she's always wanted to say that. She says she knows he's Jo's boyfriend, 'cause his photo is on display in their bedroom. Jo suddenly breezes into the room and runs into Eddie's arms. She's surprised he came all the way from Chicago, so he explains that after he heard her voice on the phone, he thought she needed him. Mrs. Garrett and the rest of the girls enter the room, so Jo introduces them to her fella...and Tootie teases him by cheesily declaring, "I loooove your letters."
Over in the lounge, Jo tells Eddie that her mom called her back and tried to tell her what a great guy Jack is...but she doesn't think anything will ever be the same between her and her mom again. [Sounds reasonable - why should the poor woman be entitled to any happiness in her life?] Eddie enables her self-pitying and says, "Well...you have me" then hands her a small box. She eagerly opens it and finds a ring with a microscopic diamond on it, and gasps, "It's beautiful!" He proudly declares, "Best one at K-Mart!" and he said that without being jokey or sounding ironic in any way. Jo slides the ring onto her finger, but it's about ten sizes too big - so Eddie tells her he brought along some tape, and then rifles through his bag and, yes, actually hands her a roll of tape. Jo admires the fugly ring that's now taped to her finger and says, "This must have cost you a mint" and he just shrugs and says he'll have it paid off in a couple of years. He then puts on his serious face and says, "I love you. And now all we have is each other. And that's why I want you to marry me." Jo stares back at him like he's nuts and goes, "Now?!" and he says, "How about yes?" She reminds him she's only sixteen years old, but he totally misses the point about them being a decade too young for marriage and suggests that they go to West Virginia, where sixteen is the legal age to marry. She argues that she hasn't even finished high school yet and would prefer not to blow the hard earned cash her mom had to scrape together so that she can attend Eastland. He tells her she shouldn't worry 'bout that, then whines about how lonely it is at the training base...and tells her he hasn't even looked at another girl (or vice versa, I'm sure). Jo scrunches her face and tells him she's so confused, so he says, "Let me do the thinking." (A hilarious and disturbing notion.) He then informs her that he went AWOL to make this visit, so he needs her answer to his proposal, like pronto, so he can get back to the training base before anyone realizes he's gone. Jo's impressed that he went AWOL for her, then says she needs to think seriously about whether or not she's willing to throw her life away by getting married to such a funny looking, overgrown child. He agrees to give her a day to mull it over and says he'll get a room at the Y.
Blair snarks at Jo for stinking it up during their debate against the Bates Academy boys. Jo tells her she's got other stuff on her mind...and Natalie, who's eavesdropping, correctly assumes that they lost the debate. Blair snarks, "Yes. And Jo made me look really dumb!" Jo admits that she let her mind wander, and Tootie cheekily tells her that the source of her distraction is outside at the moment, jogging on the track. Blair's all, "Wha-a?!" and is appalled that they lost the debate because Jo couldn't stop mooning over her dorky boyfriend. Jo snarls at her to stop blaming Eddie the way her mom is always doing, then bitchily adds, "At least he's ready to prove how he feels about me!" Blair asks her what that means...and might it have something to do with the tacky K-Mart ring that's fastened to her finger with tape? Tootie examines the fugly ring and asks Jo if it's an engagement ring...but Blair rolls her eyes and says that engagement rings are supposed to have diamonds on them. Jo shoves her fist about a millimeter from Blair's face so that she's able to view the ring's teeny tiny diamond. Tootie pouts at Jo for not telling them about her engagement, so then Natalie surmises that there might be a "big reason" why Jo didn't tell them anything. Jo snaps at her to "knock it off" and assures them she's not preggers...Eddie just proposed, that's all. Blair says, "Of course you turned him down. You're only sixteen" and Jo goes, "So what?" and points out that Juliet was only thirteen when she married Romeo...'cause, yeah, that's a reasonable comparison to make in the modern age. Blair wryly reminds her that the ill-fated lovers died on their wedding night, but Jo insists that were it not for their premature deaths, the marriage probably would have worked out great. LOL. She snarks at Blair to drop it 'cause it's her decision, then bitchily storms out of the cafeteria. Blair tells the other girls they have to stop Jo from ruining her life, which means she's going to have to come up with one of her brilliant ideas again. She says she'll call Bink Parker and ask him if he'd like to go on a double date with Jo and Eddie...and maybe he can use his impressive debating skills to talk Jo and Eddie out of getting married.
Jo enters the lounge and finds Mrs. Garrett playing with Tootie's hand-held electronic football game. Jo asks her if she knows about Shakespeare...in particular, the way Romeo and Julie got married and then croaked. She adds that some people thought they were too young to be wed...but she insists that they were so much in love that things could have worked out. Mrs. Garrett points out that they had a lot of things working against them, e.g. no place to leave, and no means to get a well paying job. She says that since Romeo wouldn't be able to earn enough to support both of them, Juliet would have had to go to work, which means that she and Romeo probably wouldn't be able to see much of each other. Jo suddenly gets a maniacally giddy expression on her face and says that they would have had at least a little free time to romp around in the sack - but Mrs. Garrett reminds her that that usually results in little Romeos and Juliets. Jo stares into space, looking bummed as Mrs. Garrett predicts that a teenager who's dumb enough to get married would, in all likelihood, not finish high school. Jo finally acknowledges that they've been talking about her and Eddie, which...well, d'yuh.
Blair enters the lounge and invites Jo and Eddie to join Bink and herself for dinner tonight. Jo glares at her suspiciously and says she smells a rat. Blair says she simply wants to get to know Eddie better, since he's practically a member of their Eastland family now...and Jo mulls that over for a few seconds and agrees to the double date.
Once Blair and Jo are out of earshot, Mrs. Garrett makes a beeline over to the pay phone and dials Jo's mom.
Blair and Bink are at a swanky French restaurant, waiting for the other half of their double date to arrive. Bink tells Blair he's surprised she offered to go out with him, since he always thought she regarded him as a weenie. (I don't know about weenie...but despite his youth he already looks like a dorky, middle aged man-child.) Blair glosses over the weenie crack and tries to prep him on how to convince Jo and Eddie that it would be total lunacy to get married at this stage of their lives. A few seconds later, Jo and Eddie arrive...and Bink congratulates the happy couple on their engagement. Jo shows him her ring, and he has to squint really hard to see the microscopic diamond. LOL. The waiter comes by with a blackboard that has all the dinner specials written on it, and Eddie makes an ass of himself when he incorrectly translates the French menu. After that, he orders one of the specials, beefsteak with mushrooms, for everyone, along with soup and salad...and Bink whips out his calculator and informs him that the bill is going to be well over $90. Eddie's all, "Wuh?" and looks panicked and says he might be short. Bink offers to pay for the meal, and Eddie promises to pay him back when he gets his next paycheck. Bink uses this opportunity as a teachable moment and lectures Eddie and Jo about how unsuccessful and stoopid teenage marriages tend to be, and Blair nudges him and says, "Maybe now's not the time..?" Bink ignores her and gabbles about how this meal is a metaphor for a teenage marriage: they're hungry, the food looks good - but when the bill comes, they're not ready for it and need someone to bail them out. Eddie gets irked at Bink's smugness and says, "I told you I'd pay you back." Jo, meanwhile, glares at Blair and asks her to join her in the ladies room, and a sheepish looking Blair gets up and irritably tells Bink that he is, indeed, a weenie.
In the ladies room, Jo angrily calls Blair a phony and says she thought she had invited her and Eddie to dinner out of friendship. Blair insists that what she's doing is out of friendship, then expresses concern about her future. Blair suggests she do the more rational thing, like wait until after college to get married, but Jo insists that she'll finish high school and college whether she marries Eddie or not. Blair argues that marriage to a bonehead like Eddie will mean she'll likely have to work several jobs just to make ends meet...so then Jo pretends to agree that she and Eddie have no education, no money, and no chance, and Blair's like, "Exactly!" Jo snarkily informs her that she was planning to say no to Eddie' proposal - but now realizes he's the only one she can trust. (Say what?!) And so, out of spite for Blair's concern for her welfare, she's going to marry the dumbass. She snarks, "Having each other isn't much, but it's enough" (ouch, Eddie) and then storms out. Considering the general cuntiness with which Jo regularly treats Blair, it's mystifying why Blair would give so much of a rat's ass about any of this.
Back at the table, Bink is boring the shit out of Eddie. Jo rushes over, grabs Eddie, and blurts out, "Let's get married right away!" Blair wails, "You caaaan't!" and Jo bitchily retorts, "Can't? Just watch us." OMFG.
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