Recap: Natalie admonishes Tootie for choosing Oedipus Rex to be Eastland's next play and calls it "bizarre and sick". She complains that she's not going to be able to come up with a slogan that's uplifting enough to sell tickets - so Jo interjects and says she knows how to get people to attend the play, but refuses to divulge any details. Mrs. Garrett enters the cafeteria wheeling in two large suitcases, and is followed by a blonde girl wearing a fancy hat. [Incidentally, she's the same actress who played Dumb Betty in a couple of early Beverly Hills, 90210 episodes.] Mrs. Garrett introduces her as Alexandra, and tells the Facts gals that she'll be bunking with them (in their already crowded bedroom) until she gets her permanent dorm assignment. Blair stares at Alexandra for a few seconds, says she looks familiar, then realizes that she recently saw her photograph in Town & Country magazine as she was playing tennis in Nice. Alexandra breezily says she had been practicing her backhand with Bjorn at the time - and everyone's all, "Wha-a? You know Bjorn Borg?!" Blair tells the gals that Alexandra is the daughter of Italian Prince Frederico and Princess Julie - but then tries to downplay her mother's royal status by cackling about how "Princess Julie" used to be an airline stewardess before she married a prince. She invokes Princess Diana and passive-aggressively gushes, "Now there's a real princess!" and Alexandra shoots back by saying how much she wished she could have watched Di's wedding on TV and not been stuck inside the crowded church, watching it in person. And then being forced by daddy to attend the reception at Buckingham Palace afterwards. Blair's jaw drops to the floor as she stutters, "Buck-buck...you were at Buckingham Palace?!" and looks miffed that she's about to lose her title of Best Connected Privileged Person at Eastland. Jo asks Alexandra if she'd like to attend the school's upcoming play, and Alexandra says that her family will probably buy a few rows' worth of tickets...but not actually attend 'cause they don't much like visiting her in boarding schools. That seems like a pointless gesture in what is probably a small school auditorium with limited seating. Mrs. Garrett asks the girls to show Alexandra to their bedroom, then reminds them that it's time to set up the cafeteria for lunch. Blair stubbornly glares into space and refuses to help Alexandra tote her suitcases upstairs. Natalie chides her for her 'tude and says that since there's an actual princess in their midst, there's a new pecking order...which means she's no longer Eastland's "big bird".
Jo tosses a sleeping bag on the floor of their dorm room and tells Alexandra she can sleep on that...and when Alexandra looks less than thrilled with her sleeping accommodations, Natalie offers up her bed, which Alexandra gratefully accepts. She tells Jo and Natalie that she's been kicked out of various boarding schools 'cause of "stuff" she did...and even Jo is shocked at that bad-ass track record. Blair enters the room to tell the Facts gals that she needs their help setting up for lunch - and Alexandra is all, "Wha-a? You work?" and asks why Eastland doesn't have "people" to perform the daily kitchen duties. I would wonder that myself if we didn't already know that this "never ending debt repayment" storyline was a contrived plot device to keep these four students under the same roof until graduation...and then waaaaaay too far beyond that.
Natalie brags to Mrs. Garrett and the gals about how a real live princess is napping in her bed, then remarks on how Alexandra turned down lunch 'cause she wasn't hungry. In the next scene, we see that Alexandra is upstairs chowing down on a sandwich and chit-chatting with her dork friend Greg who must have crawled in through the window. Greg complains that his parents have stuck him in a horrible military academy that feels like a jail (must be the nearby Stone Military Academy that made a couple of failed attempts to create a spin-off show). He tells Alexandra he wants to split asap and urges her to flee with him, but she points out that she literally just got to Eastland and wanted to check it out for longer than half a day. Greg dismissively tells her that boarding schools are all the same, and she ponders that logic and smilingly says, "Well, I am still packed." As the two share a conspiratorial hug, Tootie enters the room and goes apeshit about a boy being in their dorm room. She screeches, "He can't be here! We have rules!" so Greg puts his coat on, hightails it toward the window, and tells Alexandra he'll be at the bus station at midnight. Tootie implores Alexandra to stay put, not least 'cause her parents will be very worried if she just disappeared. Alexandra poutishly says she's run away from a lot of schools, and it usually takes weeks before her negligent parents notice she's gone. Tootie tells her that Eastland is a super awesome place, and that there's no shortage of fun and female bonding that would await her if she opts to stay. Alexandra stares blankly into space as she mulls over the prospect of not running away.
As Alexandra trails after Tootie to the kitchen, Tootie suggests they get her a school uniform so she'll feel more at home at Eastland - but Alexandra says she'd prefer to wait until tomorrow (after she's long gone). Mrs. Garrett bounds into the kitchen to announce an exciting surprise: she just got a message that Prince Frederico and Princess Julie will be gracing Eastland with their royal presence to take their daughter to dinner! Alexandra's all, "Wha-a-a-a?!" and happily decides she'd love to wear a school uniform for the occasion, then asks Mrs. Garrett if she knows of any out-of-the-way type restaurants her parents could dine in and not be bothered by pesky commoners. Blair interjects and says that her mother find the local country club "quite adequate" - but Alexandra counters, "Daddy wouldn't. He's a snob about institutional food." Mrs. Garrett suggests "Chez Edna" (meaning the tired old cafeteria set) and offers to whip something up for the visiting royals before shrieking, "I've learned the art of haute cuisine!" Easy there, Edna. Try to play it at least a little cool. Alexandra likes the sound of a home cooked meal and invites Edna and the gals to dine with her and and her high profile parents.
The Facts gals put together an elaborate table setting...and by elaborate, I mean they're using egg holders as finger bowls and hope to hell that the royals don't notice. Blair laughs at the hilarity of Jo Polniaczek rubbing elbows with royalty, and Jo shoots her the stink-eye and warns her not to snicker at her Bronx style table etiquette in front of the company. Alexandra enters the room wearing a freshly pressed Eastland uniform just as a Rolls Royce pulls up outside. Mrs. Garrett nervously orders the Facts gals to start bowing and scraping (which they actually start doing, and it was a tad disturbing to watch), then rushes over to the entrance to curtsy before the prince and princess. She's puzzled when an attractive man saunters in - and Alexandra squeals happily and introduces him as Alphonso, her parents' all-purpose Italian manservant. Alphonso explains that the prince and princess had to cancel 'cause they were invited to the White House at the last minute. Alexandra hangs her head in disappointment, while Mrs. Garrett shoots Alphonso a come hither stare and invites him to join her and the girls for dinner...and is delighted when he's too polite to decline and beat a hasty retreat.
Late that night, Alexandra changes back into her regular clothes and tiptoes out of the bedroom. Tootie sees her leave and scrambles out of bed to follow her, accidentally stepping on Natalie and her sleeping bag. Tootie tells her that Alexandra is about to make a break for it...and the two rush out to put a stop to the princess's escape attempt. The commotion wakes Blair and Jo, who suddenly decides she's hungry for the leftover mousse and heads down to the kitchen.
Downstairs, Alexandra announces to Natalie and Tootie that she's leaving...and Tootie tells her she can't keep running away from every boarding school she gets enrolled in. Alexandra argues that she can actually, and pouts about how her parents clearly don't give much of a rat's ass about her. Mrs. Garrett stumbles into the room complaining of a stomach ache, 'cause apparently she scarfed down all the mousse and has made herself sick. She scrunches her face in confusion and asks Alexandra why she's wearing her street clothes, so Jo explains that Alexandra is like she was when she first arrived at Eastland: always running away from everything. Tootie tattles about Alexandra's history of running away from boarding schools, so Alexandra sadly explains that she just wants to be someplace where she feels like she belongs. Mrs. Garrett points out the obvious, which is that she can never belong anywhere if she's constantly on the run. Tootie asks her if she's not just a little tempted to stick around and enjoy all the great times and hijinks she's sure to experience if she stays at Eastland...and when Alexandra chuckles at the light-hearted banter that ensues, I guess we can assume that her answer is yes.
I guess this means that poor Greg, who's probably waiting for her at the bus station, is on his own.
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