Recap: Natalie is clearing off the tables in the cafeteria, gabbling to Tootie about how excited she is about tonight's Stray Cats concert. Blair and her Japanese friend, Miko Wakamatsu, burst into the cafeteria to show off their newly pierced ears and give everyone an update on the process of Miko's Americanization: she got her ears double pierced, then bought cosmetics and an I (heart) NY t-shirt. Tootie marvels that despite only living in America for six weeks, Miko has metamorphosed into "Miss Teenage America". Miko grins cheesetastically and hams it up for the studio audience when she robotically replies, "I've come a long way, baby." Jo enters the room and tells Miko she really digs her t-shirt, and Miko gushingly says she bought it as an homage to her (Jo's) Bronx heritage. Blair tells Miko she's mystified that she'd want to be like Jo when she could be emulating her awesomeness. Miko, who's clutching Jo's motorcycle helmet, explains that Jo represents true American beauty...and this prompts everyone to laugh heartily, until Jo's threatening scowl makes them abruptly stop.
Mrs. Garrett enters the cafeteria with Miko's father (actor Mako), who has flown in from Tokyo to surprise and torment his daughter. [Miko...Mako...this is going to be one confusing recap.] Miko rushes over to give her father a hug hello, but he shoves her away and rebukes her for the attempted PDA. When he glares at the helmet she's clutching, she explains that it belongs to Jo, then introduces him to all the girls. Blair greets him in Japanese and solemnly bows, and he nods approvingly and grunts, "Very good." He then presents Miko with a gift: a new, state-of-the-art cassette player and earphones. As he helps her put the earphones on, he notices her earrings and looks aghast that she has double piercings. Miko chirps, "It's very American" but her father just growls, "Why aren't you wearing your uniform?" Mrs. Garrett chimes in and explains that the students aren't required to wear uniforms on Saturdays, 'cause things at Eastland are pretty laid back on the weekends. For some reason, Jo blabs to Mako that they're all taking a bus to Tarrytown to attend a concert and that it'll be Miko's first American concert. Mako sternly nods and advises Miko to change out of her blue jeans to avoid offending the conductor. Mrs. Garrett chuckles and clarifies that the girls are going to a rock concert, not the symphony...and Mako grimaces and forbids his daughter to engage in that kind of debauchery. Miko pleads with him to let her go, but when she notices his glarey stink-eye, she obediently promises not to get on the concert/party bus with the rest of the girls. Mako grunts his approval, then orders her to change into her school uniform so she can give him a tour of the school. In the meantime, he and Mrs. Garrett head over to the kitchen for some coffee.
A bummed out Miko tells Blair and Jo that her father is really pissed...and that he's old school and thinks American kids are all spoiled and pampered. Well, d'yuh.
Over in the kitchen, Mrs. Garrett is gushing to Mako about how beautifully Miko is fitting in at Eastland. Mako sternly nods and says she's always loved American culture...however, he much prefers the Japanese way of doing things, which means placing a high premium on discipline and achievement. Mrs. Garrett says that Americans value those things too - then condescendingly adds that, unlike in Japan, they don't treat kids like assembly line items. Mako grunts disapprovingly and insists that schoolwork is far more important than rock concerts or earrings.
Blair tells Miko she feels bad that she won't be able to go to the concert and offers to bring her a souvenir - but Miko defiantly declares that she is going. She points out that, technically, she promised her father she wouldn't get on the bus that was transporting everyone to the concert. But he didn't specifically forbid her from traveling to the concert by riding on the back of Jo's motorcycle. Well, no...but I'm sure it was implied.
Hours later, the gals - plus Miko - return to the dorm after the concert. Miko gushes about how much fun she had tonight, and Natalie bursts into the room wearing Miko's headphones, then boogies across the bedroom floor and informs Miko that her father is on the phone for her downstairs. That can't be good.
Miko takes the call in the lounge, and as she talks to her father she looks increasingly distressed and wails, "What? But why? I love it here! I don't want to leave!" Eventually she looks resigned to her fate and obediently says, "Yes, father" and hangs up the phone looking very sad.
Jo hears someone start the engine of her motorcycle and then ride off. She quickly realizes that Miko is the culprit, shrieks, "My bike!" and runs outside.
A little while later, Jo is pacing in the cafeteria and muttering, "How could Miko do this to me?!" and Tootie guesses it probably had something to do with the phone call she got from her father. A few seconds later, a sheepish looking Miko enters the room and says hi. Jo asks her if her bike is OK, and Miko haltingly explains, "It just stopped moving...because of the smoke...from the fire in the engine." Apparently, after totaling the motorcycle without suffering so much as a scratch, Miko somehow got the bike to a mechanic, who told her it's going to need new parts. Jo snaps, "So are you!" and a shamefaced Miko hands her the mechanic's estimate, which is $462. [Yikes - that's almost $1,200 in today's dollars.] Miko assures Jo that her father will pay for the repairs when he drops by to pull her out of Eastland. She explains that she just wanted to go off by herself and mope about her problems the way she (Jo) is always doing, then apologizes for wrecking her beloved motorcycle. She self-piteously adds that maybe she doesn't belong at Eastland if she's capable of hurting a wonderful person like Jo.
Tootie and Mrs. Garrett are in the kitchen, making an artery hardening deli sandwich for Miko's last meal at Eastland. Mrs. Garrett is dismayed that Mako is pulling her out of school, and Tootie concurs with her feelings of dismay and says, "He's an uptight guy." Mrs. Garrett says perhaps they just need to find a better way of communicating with the gloomy gus...and a few seconds later, he appears at the kitchen door. Mrs. Garrett lets him in and says they need to discuss why he feels it is necessary to take Miko out of school. Mako says, in his stern opinion, Americans are far too permissive when it comes to raising/schooling children. In Japan, he can rest assured knowing that his daughter is being programmed to think only of hard work, good values, and volleyball (har har) and insists that his mind is firmly set.
Jo enters the kitchen and somehow doesn't notice that Mako is in the room, standing off the side. She grumbles to Mrs. Garrett, "Miko screwed me up good. My bike's going to need a bypass." Mako puts his scowly face on again and barks, "What has Miko done?" so Jo tells him that she took her motorcycle without permission, totaled it, and then got an estimate for the necessary repairs. Mako says that in order to preserve the honor of his family and countrymen he will pay for the damage, and that he's sure Miko is deeply ashamed of her actions. Miko, who's been eavesdropping for the last several minutes on the nearby stairwell, explains that she was upset after he announced he was forcing her to leave Eastland and subsequently did a very stupid thing. Mrs. Garrett snidely tells Mako that Eastland believes in allowing girls to make mistakes, but he just makes a face and retorts, "That's obvious." Mrs. Garrett gets indignant and snarks, "For your information, this school has turned out girls who have grown into women of great accomplishment!" and then rattles off some impressive sounding names. Miko implores her father to let her stay at Eastland, but he barks, "No! It's for your own good!" and Miko sadly retorts, "How do you know what is for my own good?" She tells him he has to start letting her make decisions for herself, then confesses to attending the rock concert last night. Mako says, "I already know" and tells her he pieced it together when he called her dorm room last night and her roommate told him, "She's out, shaking her booty." What an idiotic, dumbass of a roommate. Mako gruffly orders his daughter to say her goodbyes and says he'll be waiting for her in the cafeteria. Once he's out of hearing range (sort of), Mrs. Garrett gets herself all worked up and shrieks, "That man!! I can't talk to him!!" and says she has to find a way to reason with him. Fortunately, Jo senses that another shrieky tantrum isn't going to help the situation, so she tells Mrs. Garrett to cool her heels while she gives it a try.
Jo tells Mako it's obvious he doesn't like this place much 'cause he thinks it's a bad influence on Miko. She says she feels responsible for what Miko did to her bike 'cause of how much she idolizes her. Mako quickly strokes her a check for the damage and apologizes again on his daughter's behalf. Jo calmly says, "Don't take Miko back to Tokyo" but Mako argues that Japan is part of his daughter's heritage. Jo says she can definitely dig that, being from the Bronx and all, then offers him a nonsensical proposition: she'll look out look out for Miko in America, while he looks out for her from his neck of the woods. As Mako looks like he's mulling it over, Jo looks at him expectantly and asks, "So..? Can we give it a shot?" and he breaks into a smile and says, "Miko has made many mistakes. But choosing you as a friend wasn't one of them." Awww... I knew under that stern facade, Mako was just a big pile of mush.
Mrs. Garrett bursts into the cafeteria, shrieking, "I can't hold my tongue!" then calls Mako stubborn and demands that he allow Miko to at least finish out the semester at Eastland. Mako nods in agreement, grins at Jo and says, "We're going to give it a shot." Mrs. Garrett's all, "Wuh?" then takes credit for his change of heart and says she knew there would be no problem getting her point across once they communicated properly. And now that all is well again, Mrs. Garrett offers Mako a bite to eat. He says he noticed the large deli sandwich she was making in the kitchen and suggests spicing it up with sardines or octopus, and Mrs. Garrett looks aghast and shrieks, "Sardinessss..?!! Oooooctopussss..?!!" Easy there, Edna. Or he may change his mind about pulling Miko out of school and start running for the hills.
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