Recap: Jo tells everyone she has a job interview at a motorcycle store and that she's really stressed out about it - and Blair scoffs at her lack of warmth or charisma, which is required of any good salesperson. The phone rings, and Blair assumes it's her mom, who just checked herself into the hospital for her annual face lift. Turns out the call isn't from Blair's mom, but rather the Moose Lodge - and they left a message for Geri, informing her that she needs to add some jokes to her act 'cause Norma and her trained bird had to cancel her appearance. (Ugh, Geri's in this episode.) Blair wants to wake Geri up to tell her about this new development, but Mrs. Garrett urges her to let her cousin sleep in and just tell her about it when she comes down for breakfast.
Tootie tells Blair that pretty soon getting a face lift is going to be like going to McDonald's...but Jo thinks the whole idea of a face lift is baloney and says that people should accept their aging by conceding: "You're old, you're ugly, you live with it."
When Geri comes downstairs, Mrs. Garrett informs her that the bird act was cancelled and that she's going to need some additional material for her Moose Lodge act. Geri exclaims, "I wish there was something I could do besides those cerebral palsy jokes tonight!" Yeah, we all do - and you could if you had any kind of range as a comedian. Tootie offers up some truly awful material: "What do you get when you cross Saudi Arabia and Mexico?" Answer: "OIL OF OLAY!" Everyone just stares at Tootie in stunned silence, and Geri wryly says she's definitely going to have to think of a new cerebral palsy joke.
Blair's stylish mom, Monica, arrives at Eastland for a surprise visit - and it's a different actress from the Like Mother, Like Daughter episode from Season 1. Blair and Geri give her a hug hello, and Mrs. Garrett studies Monica's face and goes, "Wow!" but Monica tells her she didn't actually get a face lift 'cause she decided to postpone. She breezily says that when she got to the hospital, everything was green - the walls, the food, the gown - and green isn't her best color, so she left. That's...completely nonsensical, and our first clue that something is medically amiss. Monica asks Mrs. Garrett if she thinks it's silly to get a face lift, but Mrs. Garrett tells her if makes her feel better about herself, then what's the harm? Monica suddenly gasps and exclaims, "I just had one of my brilliant ideas!" and tells Blair it's perfect shopping weather, then asks Mrs. Garrett if it's OK to steal away her daughter for the afternoon. Blair heads towards the stairs to go up to her room and get her purse...and on her way, Jo begs her to help her pick a suitable outfit for her job interview.
Geri tells Monica she heard from her mother that she (Monica) recently checked into the hospital for a biopsy...and Monica gets irritated and says she wishes her sister would keep her mouth shut. Geri advises her to tell Blair the truth, but Monica snaps, "It's none of your damn business!" then hastily apologizes for her bitchitude and says she doesn't want to think about the test results. Blair returns downstairs, ready for an afternoon of shopping, and she and her mom flounce off while Geri stares after them looking troubled.
Blair returns from her shopping trip, gabbling to Mrs. Garrett and Tootie about all the awesome purchases she and her mom made. During this gabfest, she gets a phone call from a Dr. Wyman and quickly learns the real reason for her mom's recent visit to the hospital. She looks shaken as she quietly thanks the doctor, then hangs up the phone. Mrs. Garrett asks her whassup, so Blair tells her that her mom was just in the hospital getting a biopsy on a tumor that the doctor detected in her breast. Eeek!
Blair tells Mrs. Garrett she doesn't want to meet her mom for dinner (as planned), but Mrs. Garrett points out that she can't just pretend she doesn't know the truth about her health. Blair says she has no idea what to say her to her mom if she does, in fact, have breast cancer and needs a mastectomy...'cause she's a flighty, shallow woman who places a huge amount of importance on looks. Tootie suddenly comes downstairs, clearly aware of Monica's cancer scare situation. Blair is irked that she knows all about it, and accuses her of blabbing it all over school - but Tootie insists that she doesn't consider a biopsy to be gossip, then swears on their friendship that she won't say a word about it to anyone. Damn. What fun is that?
A few seconds later, Jo and Natalie burst into the kitchen...and Jo's all wigged out 'cause she didn't get the job at the motorcycle shop. She shrieks at Blair, "Take your best shot!" but Blair's still too traumatized by her mother's breast tumor to lob a snappy retort. Jo can't figure out what she did wrong during the interview and says maybe she wore the wrong clothes...then concedes that maybe Blair's right about her being too pushy and irritating to be employed. That would be the likeliest explanation. Blair says that if the motorcycle shop didn't think she was good enough to work for them, it's their loss...and Jo thanks her for her generous words and takes off upstairs. Mrs. Garrett tells Blair that she was just very nice to Jo, and advises her to be the same to her mom.
Blair arrives at her mom's hotel room, and Monica slips into the bathroom to get dressed for their dinner. Blair starts packing her mom's suitcase and says she has to go back to the city, and Monica's all, "Wuh?!" and pretends that everything is OK - but Blair tells her she knows the truth and that she needs to book an appointment with her doctor to get the results of her biopsy. Monica barks, "I have the damn results!" and asks Blair how she found out about her breast tumor, and Blair replies, "Not the person who should have." Monica says the doctor did call, but that he didn't want to give her the results over the phone - so naturally she assumes it's bad news...which, yeah, it probably is. She starts crying, and Blair attempts to comfort her by telling her that everything is going to be all right. Monica wails, "Nothing will ever be all right again!" and says she's afraid of hearing her biopsy results. She doesn't want to go the route of a mastectomy, so Blair throws her a bone and says that maybe the doctor can treat her cancer without removing her breast. Monica shakes her head in despair and says she wanted to spare her any worrying, but Blair refuses to let her put off hearing her diagnosis and insists, "Warner women are stronger than you think."
Monica moans that she's sooo scared, and Blair hugs her and says they'll use the "buddy system" - meaning, that if she feels like she's "going under", she (Monica) can hang onto her (Blair). Blair then points out that they've never talked about serious things like life and death, and as a result have a "deep, superficial relationship". As Monica mulls over her shitty track record as a parent, Blair promises she'll help her through this medical crisis, and Monica looks at her in wonderment and calls her a beautiful woman - on the inside. She then asks Blair to stay with her awhile, and Blair solemnly says, "As long as you need me."
Thanks, writers, for a complete downer of an episode.