Recap: During a day trip to Manhattan, Blair brings Mrs. Garrett and the girls to Pagliacci's, a fancy Italian eatery where the rich, famous, and philandering like to dine. She tells them it's time she showed them how "the other two percent" live, and Jo does her usual boorish, I'm-a-straight-talkin'-tomboy-from-the-Bronx schtick and complains about how much her feet hurt and how ready she is to crudely plop herself onto the floor. Blair shoots her the stink-eye, then smiles and waves at all the rich society folk currently dining in the restaurant. A few seconds later, the maître d' sashays over and schmalztily kisses Blair's and Mrs. Garrett's hands and then leads them to their table. Blair points out the various "sections" of the restaurant: the rich society section, the showbiz section, and the area behind the potted plants, which is for people who are having discreet trysts. Blair gushes about how Pagliacci's is famous for its discreet encounters and says that Liz Taylor and her various husbands used to dine here. The waiter comes by to take their orders, but since the menu appears to be too much of a challenge for regular peasants to absorb, everyone just orders the elaborate sounding feast that Blair rattled off in her pretend Italian accent. Blair then spots a handsome young man sitting at a nearby table, and says that even though her boyfriend Jimmy is perfect in every way, it's never a bad thing to want to upgrade to someone even more perfect. She starts waving her napkin in the air until it catches the eye of the handsome man...and a few seconds later, he ambles over and asks, "Haven't I met you someplace before?" - but he's staring at Mrs. Garrett, not Blair. He introduces himself as Alan Cooke and says his sister attends Eastland...and Blair says that his sister is one of her closest friends, then flirtily introduces herself. Alan says he's planning to drop by Eastland this weekend, and Blair coquettishly urges him to look her up. After he returns to his table, Natalie stares over at Blair in wonderment and gushes about how much she admires her ability to look at a guy, say 'I want you', and then actually get him. She suddenly notices a famous soap actress walk by and giddily announces that she's going to ask for her autograph, then grabs her napkin since it's the only thing resembling a piece of paper, and scampers after the unsuspecting woman while she's en route to the bathroom.
Tootie notices Natalie's father, Dr. Green, enter the restaurant and stride past them toward a table where a woman (who's not Mrs. Green) is seated. He kisses the back of the woman's hand, and Tootie scrunches her face in puzzlement and mutters, "I wonder what he's doing here." Blair gives her a seriously? look and tells her to get a damn clue, and Mrs. Garrett snarks at her for insinuating that her friend's father is doing something unseemly. Tootie says she'd like to go over to Mr. Green's table to say hey - but, by this point, he's gently stroking the woman's face and staring deeply into her eyes, so Tootie wisely sits back down. Mrs. Garrett widens her eyes at the extramarital PDA and exclaims, "Oh my lord!" and Blair smugly says, "I told you so." A few seconds later, Natalie returns to the table and tells everyone that the woman she followed into the bathroom wasn't actually the soap actress she thought she was. Mrs. Garrett crinkles her face and says that the food here isn't very good and suggests they leave right this second, but Natalie insists on staying and says she's eager to try the food. Mrs. Garrett and the gals try to block her view of her father's tryst by forming a human wall and then holding up their menus...and Tootie tries to get her to switch seats, but Natalie gushes about how much she loooves her seat and points out all of the interesting people she can see from her vantage point. She then glances across the room and sees her father in mid-smooch with his lady friend...then springs up from her chair, looks like she might throw up, and dashes toward the exit.
Back at Eastland, Tootie is telling Jo how nice and considerate Dr. Green is whenever she visits, then wails, "How could he cheat on his wife?!" Blair says that sometimes an affair can hold a marriage together, but Jo argues that marriage is sacred and that the creep should be shot. Tootie wonders aloud that if a seemingly honorable man like Dr. Green could cheat on his wife, maybe her father is stepping out on her mother. Yep - I guess anything's possible, Toots. When Natalie enters the cafeteria, the girls urge her to talk about the disturbing visual she witnessed at the restaurant, but she declines and quietly goes about her work. Mrs. Garrett informs Blair that Alan Cooke called for her, and when Blair gets a blank look on her face and murmurs, "Alan..?" Natalie snarks, "Not to be confused with Jimmy, the love of your life." She then rails at Blair for cheating on her boyfriend, and gets all in her face and bellows, "You're cheap and disgusting! I wonder how many marriages you're going to break up when you get older!" After that outburst, she whirls around so she's facing the camera, and blinks back tears while the other girls quietly stare in her direction with holy fucking shit! expressions on their faces. Mrs. Garrett motions for Jo, Tootie, and Blair to vamoose, then gives Natalie a comforting, from-behind hug. She wails, "Mrs. Garrett, what I am going to doooo?!" and says she can barely bring herself to look at her cheating slutbag of a father. Mrs. Garrett advises her to rid herself of her pent-up anger, and Natalie mulls that over and decides she needs to have a face-to-face with her father so they can get all their dirty laundry out in the open.
As Natalie waits for her father to arrive for their chat, she asks Jo and Blair what it's like to have divorced parents. Jo tells her she may be jumping the gun, but Natalie insists that divorce is inevitable and would like to know what to expect. Jo says that divorce isn't really all that bad, just different, and that she quickly got used to it. Blair concurs and says that every time her mother got divorced, she'd take her on a trip and/or shopping spree. She adds that having divorced parents is a lot better than having parents who are constantly fighting, and assures Natalie she'll survive. Mrs. Garrett enters the room and chides Natalie for assuming that her parents' divorce is a foregone conclusion and adds, "Life isn't that simple." Natalie says she really really wants to tell her mother about her father's infidelity, but Mrs. Garrett cautions her about meddling in a marriage, even that of her own parents, and strongly advises her to talk to her father about it first.
When Dr. Green arrives at the school, he and Natalie head over to the lounge for some semi-privacy. An oblivious Dr. Green asks whassup with the emergency father-daughter chat, and Natalie asks him where he was yesterday. He says he was in surgery most of the day, then rattles off the list of patients he operated on. Natalie makes a crack about there being a lot of Parmesan cheese in the operating room, and he's all, "Wuh?" so she comes right out and tells him she saw him having lunch at Pagliacci's. He suddenly gets an oh shit look on his face, and Natalie presses him further and asks if his "friend" enjoyed the food. Dr. Green insists that the woman is just a colleague, but Natalie bellows, "I saw you! I saw you kiss her!" He weakly tries to convince her that she "didn't see it right" and Natalie barks at him to stop lying to her, then turns her back on him while she fights back tears. He sheepishly asks, "What do you want me to say?" and she says she just wants to know what's going on. He takes a deep sigh, then tells her that his paramour is a fellow doctor who's very very nice, and that their affair has absolutely nothing to do with her mother. Natalie argues that it sure as shit does have something to do with her mother 'cause he's currently cheating on her with another woman. She sadly asks, "Don't you love mom anymore?" and Dr. Green says of course he does and reminds her that they'll be celebrating their silver anniversary next year. Natalie bitterly retorts, "Won't it be a little tarnished?" and Dr. Green explains that sometimes things happen in life and in marriage, and that men often suffer from mid-life crises and get a hankering to dip their wick in different women once in awhile. Natalie calls that baloney, and Dr. Green shamefully agrees that it is, indeed, baloney - then says he never imagined he'd be having a conversation about his infidelity with his daughter...'cause blech.
Natalie tells her father she always assumed he was different than all the yucky men who have extramarital affairs, then tearfully adds, "I adored you." Dr. Green tells her not to use the past tense of the word adore 'cause it scares him too much. Natalie wails, "You were my hero!" and he reminds her that he's a mere mortal, and admits what a horrible mess he's made of everything. She asks him if this is the first time he's cheated and/or been caught, and he assures her that this is the first time for both. He announces that he'll end his affair 'cause he loves her more than anything and doesn't ever want to see that angry, disappointed look on her face again. Natalie bursts into tears, and Dr. Green says he'd really really like to give her a hug, but doesn't want to rush it. And that's where the episode abruptly ends and the studio audience starts clapping in kind of a lukewarm, tentative way. Weird.
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10/9/2019 11:19:19 am
It always bothered me this Natalie calls Blair out of her name but never apologizes for it. I know she's upset, but that's out of line.
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