Recap: It's Saturday afternoon, and the Facts girls (minus Tootie) are about to leave for Manhattan to enjoy a Broadway matinee. Tootie can't go 'cause her parents think she's too young/immature/stupid to be in the big city unchaperoned by an adult...so she's sitting in the lounge with Miko, grumbling about the injustice of being left behind. After Mrs. Garrett leaves to drive Jo, Blair, and Natalie to the train station, Tootie rails at Miko about her over-protective parents, then wonders aloud how she's supposed to become a great actress if she's never allowed to go to the theater. Miko tries to get her interested in a game of backgammon, but Tootie just continues to whine - until she suddenly pronounces, "I am going to New York!" Miko's all, "Wha-a?!" so Tootie says there's no better way to prove to everyone that she's capable of taking care of herself than to sneak to Manhattan without mommy and daddy's permission. She's got $38 socked away, which should be more than enough for a train ticket and a ticket to the matinee. Miko likes the sound of her rebellious plan and gushes, "This is exciting!"
Jo and Natalie are irked at Blair for taking an unplanned detour to Bloomingdales to indulge in a shopping spree, which made them late getting to the theater...and by the time they finally got there, a nun bought up the last forty tickets to the show they had planned on seeing. The three enter a dive called Darlows Coffee Shop and seat themselves at the nearest table. Blair glances around disdainfully and says she can't eat in such a filthy place, then freaks out when she finds a hair in her menu. She complains about the coffee shop's sleazy looking clientele, and points out that there's only one man in the joint who's wearing a suit. Jo explains that that's 'cause he's a pimp...and Blair gasps, then wonders aloud where his coat, cigar, and purple hat are - and Jo deadpans, "Maybe it's his first day." Blair notices several tackily clad young girls milling around the pimp and jokingly asks if those are his pimpettes...and Jo matter-of-factly replies, "You got it" which prompts Natalie to look aghast and blurt out, "You mean hookers?!" When Blair still can't get her brain around being in the presence of a seedy prostitution ring, Jo urges her and Natalie to watch the pimp as he conducts his pimp business on the phone, then narrates events as they unfold: he informs a pimpette where she's to meet her john, and she obediently puts on her tacky fur coat and sashays out. Natalie tells Jo how impressed she is with her street smarts...but a second later, the three decide they're too icked out to watch anymore pimp/hooker action and beat a hasty retreat.
Mrs. Garrett is yelling at Miko for not stopping Tootie from taking off to New York, and also not reporting it to her until four hours later. A few minutes later, Jo calls to check in, and a momentarily relieved Mrs. Garrett tells her to put Tootie on the phone...but when a confused Jo informs her that Tootie's not with them, she lets out a wail and tells Jo she's driving into the city and orders her, Blair and Natalie to meet her in front of the theater in about an hour. She shrieks into the phone, "Wait for me!!"
Tootie enters Darlows Coffee Shop and seats herself at a table and orders a hamburger and hot chocolate. The waitress (Bernice) orders her to pay up front 'cause apparently this is the kind of dive where the customers "lose" their wallets as soon as the check comes. Tootie rifles through her purse and wails, "I can't find my wallet!" and Bernice rolls her eyes and tells her she'll have to leave. A young hooker decked out in an orange stretchy dress and purple legwarmers (!) overhears the exchange and tells Bernice she'll cover the check, then joins Tootie at her table and introduces herself as Kristy. Tootie tells her she lost her coat on the train and then lost her wallet...and starts nattering about how she's supposed to be meeting her friends (even though they're not expecting her) at the theater across the street. Kristy nods sympathetically and tells her that she too had trouble navigating the trains when she first came to New York, and Tootie looks impressed and tells her she definitely looks like she knows her way around now. She asks her where she goes to school and Kristy says she's done with school and is now an actress and model...and the fact that Kristy looks about thirteen years old doesn't seem to raise any red flags with Tootie. She lights up and says, "I want to be an actress too!" The pimp coughs to catch Kristy's attention, and she hastily tells Tootie she has to get going. Tootie reminds her that she still owes her for lunch, but Kristy tells her not to worry and that it was her good deed for the day.
Kristy puts her tacky fur coat on and tells the pimp, whose name we learn is Mike, that she's hittin' the streets to peddle her wares. Mike glances over at Tootie and asks her whassup with that situation, and Kristy shrugs and tells him she's just some dumbass from upstate who happened to stumble into the coffee shop. Mike nods in Tootie's direction and narrows his eyes all sinister-like as he declares, "She's got the look." Kristy explains that Tootie's only here for the day and will be going home...and Mike smirks and dickishly reminds her, "So were you." He sternly says, "You know what to do" and Kristy argues that it's doubtful that a clueless tool like Tootie would make a good hooker - but Mike just glares at her and insists, "I want her" which is just so gross on so many levels.
Kristy returns to Tootie's table and tells her that she doesn't have to leave after all 'cause her acting class got canceled. Tootie looks impressed that her new friend attends acting school and says she has a few hours to kill while she waits for the matinee across the street to let out. Kristy proposes they pass the time together...and Mike suddenly makes a call on the pay phone so that he can loom over the girls menacingly.
After a fruitless search for the Facts gals in front of the theater, Tootie and Kristy re-enter the coffee shop to warm themselves up again. Kristy offers to buy Tootie another hot chocolate, and Tootie happily says that that sounds delish.
Kristy heads over to Mike and declares, "This kid's a dead end" and insists that Tootie's too sweet to metamorphose into a teenage hooker. Mike shoots her the stink-eye and accuses her of giving him a hard time, and she assures him she's not and that she simply doesn't think this is going to work. Mike glares at her and barks, "Make it work."
Kristy urges Tootie to make the most of her rebellious decision to come to New York by staying at her place for the weekend...and Bernice overhears the invitation and looks alarmed. Tootie's like, "I dunno.." so Kristy insists that she needs new experiences if she wants to be an actress, then exclaims, "Get out there and live it!" She tells Tootie that practically everyone she knows is a either a producer or an agent, and she could introduce her to all of these important people...and Tootie perks up and giddily asks, "Could you?!" In a rare moment of common sense, she says she should probably call Mrs. Garrett to let her know she's OK, but Kristy hastily tells her she can use the phone at her apartment. A few seconds later, Mike ambles over and creepily looms over the two underage girls. Kristy tells Tootie he's a friend of hers, and he leers at Tootie and says, "Hi." Tootie grins back at him, 'cause nope, there's nothing disturbing or abnormal going on here.
Mrs. Garrett has arrived in Manhattan, and she and Jo, Blair, and Natalie are frantically searching for Tootie. They vow to not give up looking until they find the nitwit.
Half a block away, an older couple gabbles about how they need tickets for the sold out show, and assume that Mrs. Garrett and the girls are scalpers. The husband sidles up to Mrs. Garrett and says, "I need two for tonight" and Blair overhears and assumes he's looking for some call girl action and gasps in horror, while a curious Natalie asks, "Which two?" - bwahaha! - a remark that earns her a smack from Jo. Mrs. Garrett bellows at the man to leave them alone, otherwise she'll screech for a cop. He retorts, "Ah come on lady, everybody does it" and she calls him disgusting and says that these girls aren't for sale. He explains that he's looking for tickets to the play (not a lady of the evening), and Mrs. Garrett says she doesn't have tickets and snaps at him to go away. After he scuttles off, the four discuss the best strategy to locate Tootie. Blair thinks it's possible that Tootie may have returned to Eastland, and Mrs. Garrett likes the sound of that possibility. Natalie reminds them that there's a phone in the nearby coffee shop, so off they go to Darlows Coffee Shop. Phew..
Tootie informs Bernice that she's leaving now, and thanks her for everything...and Bernice gives her a funny look and goes, "Sure." Tootie gabbles about how she had no idea when she woke up this morning that she'd be spending the night in New York with a super fun gal like Kristy. Bernice suddenly throws all caution of suffering retribution from Mike to the wind and warns her not to go anywhere with "that one". Tootie looks taken aback and goes, "Why not? She's terrific...and so is her friend, Mike." Bernice stares at her incredulously and asks, "Don't you know what they are? Don't you see what's going on?!!" and when Tootie just stares back at her blankly, Bernice wails, "Come on kid, open your eyes!!" Tootie gets irked and snaps, "They've been very nice to me" so Bernice warns her that these "nice people" will take her to a nice apartment, give her a nice warm drink...and she'll wake up three days later. Tootie scrunches her face in confusion and wails, "I don't understand! They were so nice!!"
Bernice asks Tootie if she really wants to be for sale like Kristy...and Tootie, whose eyes have suddenly been "opened" to what's been going on in front of her for most of the episode, watches Mike as he tells whoever he's talking to on the pay phone, "No problem" then accepts a wad of cash from a scantily clad young girl who has just returned to the coffee shop. Subtle. Bernice barks, "Go home!" and Tootie looks ashen and discombobulated.
Kristy flounces over to Tootie and asks her if her hair looks OK, and Tootie glares at her and snaps, "You're not an actress, are you?" Kristy tries to fake assure her she is, but Tootie flatly states, "You work for Mike." Kristy insists that he's just a friend, and Tootie snaps back, "I'm not that dumb." (The hell you're not. If it weren't for Bernice, you'd be lounging in Kristy's apartment right now, sipping a roofie cocktail.) Kristy, who accepts that the jig is up, 'fesses up about being a hooker...and Tootie haughtily asks what was going to happen to her after she went to her apartment, then moans, "I thought you liked meeeee." Kristy insists she does like her, and that recruiting her into teenage hookerdom wasn't her idea. She then says she owes Mike a lot, and that he takes care of her...and that once you get used to getting nailed by strange, disgusting men who think nothing of violating a teenage girl, hooking really isn't that bad. She tells Tootie that when she first arrived in New York she had nothing, then says, "And now I have an apartment and super new clothes. And someday I'm going to be a great actress." [Mainstream Hollywood: doubtful. Porn industry: possibly.] Tootie gives her a sad stare and murmurs, "Oh Kristy.." then walks away. Kristy starts to look panicked and begs her to come home with her just for just one night, then promises that nothing bad will happen to her. Tootie says she doesn't want to, but Kristy implores her to get her off the hook with Mike, then whimpers, "He gets so mad." A few seconds later, Mike saunters over and smarmily says, "I was just lookin' at you two and thinkin' what a lucky man I am...to be escorting two beautiful young ladies." Kristy chuckles nervously and remarks to Tootie, "Mike always knows the right thing to say." He asks them if they're all set, but Tootie insists on calling home first. Mike tells her she can do that at Kristy's place, so then Tootie declares she's not going with them after all. Kristy begs her not to chicken out and blurts out in desperation, "It's an adventure!"
Tootie pulls away from the two of them and snaps, "I can't." Mike goes, "What's the problem?" and Tootie says there is no problem...she just changed her mind. Mike concedes that she has the right to change her mind, then wonders who's been putting ideas in her head. Kristy assures him that she didn't say anything, but he doesn't believe her and looks like he's gearing up for a pimp-on-pimpette whoopin' to remind her who's boss.
A few seconds later, Mrs. Garrett, Jo, Blair, and Natalie burst into the coffee shop, and Mrs. Garrett screeches, "Tooooootie!!" They rush into each others' arms, and Mrs. Garrett berates her for sneaking to Manhattan, but then says she's just relieved she's OK. Tootie says that right now she just wants to go home, then turns around to take one last look at Kristy, who's standing forlornly in the middle of the coffee shop. Mrs. Garrett asks her who the scantily clad tart is, and she says, "Just a girl I was talking to."