Recap: The Facts girls are back from their summer vacations, bustling around their bedroom and chatting about all the stuff they did during the hiatus. Tootie (who's now wearing braces) spent the summer in drama camp, Natalie went to Akron, and Blair traveled through Europe. I'll assume that Jo spent the summer languishing in Brooklyn (or whichever borough she's from). Jo asks Blair if she brought anything back from Europe, and Blair pulls out a box from under her bed, but then gestures toward Tootie and says, "How about later? Not in front of the child." Subtle, Blair. Tootie indignantly retorts, "Who you callin' a child?" and reminds them that she was just appointed dorm monitor. Jo chortles and says that that's 'cause no one else wanted the job. Tootie pleads with Blair to tell her what's in the box, but Blair refuses and says it's private.
Mrs. Garrett enters the room to say hey to everyone and deliver their mail. She gushes over how much Tootie has grown, and Tootie says she looks at her braces as a sign that she's officially a teenager. She tattles to Mrs. Garrett that Blair brought back a big box of souvenirs from Europe...and when Mrs. Garrett asks Blair what they are, Blair nervously tells her they're just a few trinkets like watches and handbags. Tootie sullenly announces that she's off to conduct a safety check - starting in Mrs. Garrett's room...and Mrs. Garrett's all, "Wha-a? My room?!" and rushes out after Tootie.
Blair opens her box of "souvenirs" and pulls out a bottle of wine. She gleefully coos, "Feast your eyes on this!’ and Jo’s like, "Yippee! Booze!" Blair calls her a heathen for referring to her pricey French wine as booze, then pulls out a second bottle. Natalie asks her what she's planning on doing with all that wine, and Blair suggests that they throw an impromptu party. She reminds them that Mrs. Garrett has a meeting with the headmaster tonight and Tootie has drama club - which seems as good a reason as any to throw a party. Natalie asks if they really want to exclude Tootie, so Blair reminds Natalie that she's an upperclassman now...and as such is going to have to choose whether she wants to play with the little girls or the big girls. (I'm confused...aren't Tootie and Natalie supposed to be the same age?) Speaking of playing with the big girls, Jo decides she needs beer to go with the wine...and when Natalie asks her where she's going to get beer, she deadpans, "I'll get the beer." Er, OK. Tootie suddenly enters the room carrying a drying stand and snarks that it was blocking the fire exit. Blair slips the wine bottles back into the box and asks her if she can do her dorm monitoring somewhere else, then says they're in the middle of something important. Tootie poutishly shoots her the stink-eye and barks, "What a coincidence. So am I!" and storms out.
Mrs. Garrett is preparing for her budget meeting with the new headmaster, Mr. Parker. She hopes he approves the purchase of a new rotisserie...but in case he doesn't, she asks Tootie if she could ask Jo to try to fix the old one again. Tootie bitterly informs her that she's not talking to Jo...or Blair and Natalie for that matter. Mrs. Garrett breezily tells her they'll work it out, then gets back to her budget. Tootie ignores the cue to go away and sort out her issues herself, and seats herself across from Mrs. Garrett and starts railing about how her roommates are always putting her down and treating her like a little kid. She insists she's changed a lot since Season 2, and Mrs. Garrett tells her that sometimes it takes time for people to adapt to changes. Tootie asks her if she could please talk to them about making her feel more included, but Mrs. Garrett says she'd rather not get involved with their problems and says they're all old enough to work out this kind of stuff themselves.
When Blair, Natalie, and Jo rush into the cafeteria to set up for dinner, Tootie wails, "Mrs. Garrett - tell them to give me a chance! Tell them I'm not a baby!" Blair rolls her eyes and says, "Could you not whine? You're giving me a migraine." Tootie insists she's not whining, but Natalie's like, "Yeah...you're whining."
Party time! Blair, Natalie, and Jo spread out their booze and snacks on the large table in their bedroom. Jo opens a beer just as Tootie expectedly bursts into the room...and Jo and Blair quickly hide the alcohol under the table. Natalie asks Tootie what she's doing here, and Tootie sullenly declares she's decided not to be in the school play 'cause she already starred in The Sound of Music last summer and doesn't want to get typecast...which, considering that people still refer to Kim Fields as "Tootie" twenty-eight years after Facts of Life went off the air, is pretty ironic. She glances over at the snack laden table and asks them if they're having a party. Blair goes, "Sort of" so Tootie asks her where the milk and cookies are. Jo gives up trying to camouflage her six-pack of beer and holds up a can and says, "It's not that kind of party, kid" and Natalie comes right out and admits to Tootie that they're partying with beer and wine. Tootie gasps and says, "You can't have this stuff here! It's against the law!" then looks crestfallen and asks them why they didn't invite her. Blair explains that they're in the fast lane now, while she's still on the bike path...and Natalie gets in on that action and quips, "You're under the hill." Tootie's stares sadly at her best friend and is all, "Et tu, Natalie?" then angrily reminds her roommates that as dorm monitor, she has an obligation to report their drinking. Jo derisively snarks, "You don't have the guts" and Blair and Natalie gather up their beer, wine, and snacks and announce that they're moving their lame drinking party to the laundry room. Where they probably should have had it in the first place. As Jo exits the room, she snarks at Tootie, "You're getting to be a real drag" and Blair adds, "What do you expect from a child?" Tootie shrieks after them, "I'm not a child!" then bitterly mutters, "I can do anything they do." She then finds Blair's second bottle of wine (which she stupidly left in the room) and pours herself a cup. She guzzles it, coughs it back up for a few seconds, then pours herself some more...and - oh dear - the muted response from the studio audience and the way the scene fades to black (to cut to commercial) gives the season premiere the distinct feel that it has just embarked on very special episode territory.
Mrs. Garrett returns to the dorm with Mr. Parker - who, by the way, seems like a total douchewad. I wonder what happened to Headmaster Harris and his toupee. He tells Mrs. Garrett he'll consider her budget requests, then bitches about the door being left unlocked and a window being wide open. Mrs. Garrett assures him that Tootie is usually a very responsible dorm monitor, and he grumbles, "I hope so. Dorm monitor is an important job." A few seconds later, Tootie stumbles down the stairs and drunkenly says hey to the two of them. Mrs. Garrett's all, "The fuck?" and goes over to her to see whassup. She leans in and takes a good whiff, then gasps and whispers, "I smell liquor." Tootie grins at her and whispers back, "So do I." LOL. A clueless Mr. Parker's all, "Wha-at's going on over there?" and Mrs. Garrett blocks his view of Tootie so he won't notice her drunken slouching. Mr. Parker bitches at Tootie for doing a shitty job as dorm monitor and reminds her that she's still on probation. (From last season? Seriously?) He then snaps, "Good night" and stalks out. Once he's safely out of earshot, Mrs. Garrett glares at Tootie and moans, "I'm just sick about your being drunk" and Tootie suddenly looks queasy and moans, "I am too." Heh.
A little later, after Tootie has vomited and rested a bit, she tells Mrs. Garrett she's feeling much better. Mrs. Garrett asks her how she could do this to herself, then reminds her how badly she screwed the pooch as dorm monitor. Tootie sheepishly replies, "I blew my job" and Mrs. Garrett's like, "Well, d'yuh" and says that being drunk on campus is serious enough to warrant being expelled. She asks her where she got the wine, but Tootie opts to not rat out her roommates and stays mute, except to promise that she'll never booze it up on campus again.
Downstairs, Blair bitches at Natalie for spilling half the bottle of her expensive wine, but then says they're lucky they still have the other bottle. Mrs. Garrett, meanwhile, is lecturing Tootie about how she's responsible to the students' parents and the school for their welfare. Natalie walks in, sees Mrs. Garrett holding the empty bottle of wine, goes, "Ack!", and abruptly exits. She hastily tells Blair and Jo what's going on...and the three attempt to beat a hasty retreat downstairs, but Mrs. Garrett dashes into the hallway and orders them to come inside. Mrs. Garrett says they have a problem, then explains that Tootie got hammered after polishing off a bottle of wine. Blair looks horrified and exclaims, "The whole bottle?!" and Mrs. Garrett shoots her a suspicious glare and asks if she knows where the wine came from. Blair says no, and Natalie and Jo deny knowing anything about it either. Mrs. Garrett threatens to tattle to Mr. Parker unless they're willing to 'fess up to anything bad they might have done, but they all just stare mutely at the floor...and Mrs. Garrett shakes her head in sad disappointment and exits the room.
Tootie grumbles to the girls that she didn't promise to keep her mouth shut to save their asses, and makes it clear that she still wants revenge for the crappy way they've been treating her. Natalie sheepishly apologizes for being such a rotten friend, and Jo and Blair follow suit and do the same. Jo says they should probably tell Mrs. Garrett that they're the ones who brought alcohol onto the campus...and when Mrs. Garrett conveniently reappears a few seconds later, Jo tells her they know where Tootie got the wine. Tootie suddenly interjects and says it doesn't matter where it came from, and acknowledges that her drinking was childish, wrong, and entirely her fault. She says she's willing to be expelled, and that if Mr. Parker decrees it, she'll be packed and ready to leave by noon. Sounds good to me. Jo looks impressed and says, "Geez. That took guts." Mrs. Garrett says she'll talk to Mr. Parker in the morning and starts to head off, but Natalie stops her...and then Blair steps forward to confess that they were the ones who brought wine and beer into the dorm, and that Tootie was only doing what she saw them doing. Mrs. Garrett tells them they're in deep, deep shit...and Blair suddenly chuckles and coos, "I just had one of my brillllliant ideas!" She proposes that instead of bothering Mr. Parker about their underage drinking, Mrs. Garrett could mete out their punishment. Mrs. Garrett doesn't like the sound of that and says she never seems to be able to punish them severely enough. They insist she can...and after some superfluous back and forth, she sentences them to two months of grounding, with no TV and no dates. If they're willing to comply with that, she won't tattle about their drinking to Mr. Parker. With that settled, she glares at them and solemnly warns them never to pull a stunt like this again - otherwise they're on their own.
After Mrs. Garrett leaves in disgust, Tootie yawns and says she's exhausted...and Jo nods sympathetically and replies, "Being mature is hard work." The girls then gently tease Tootie about what they should nickname her now that she's wearing braces (e.g. metal mouth, tinsel teeth, tin grin, brace face, etc.) then cap off the episode with a group hug to assure viewers that all is suddenly well again.
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