Recap: The Facts gals are trying to get Tootie interested in buying Natalie on Slave Day - but she refuses to do it and wryly says, "Slavery isn't one of my favorite things." Natalie begs her to buy her 'cause she's afraid that someone who doesn't like her is going to do it just so they can boss her around...and Jo gets in on that action and reminds Tootie that it's for a good cause. Apparently, whatever proceeds are earned (how they're earned, the writers don't specify) from this Eastland tradition - that should probably be phased out asap or, at the very least, renamed - are put towards buying Christmas gifts for underprivileged kids. Tootie mulls that over and agrees to purchase Natalie when she goes up for sale on the auction block.
Mrs. Garrett rushes into the girls' room to make an exciting announcement: on Sunday night, her old cooking teacher from Paris is coming to Eastland for dinner! She reminisces about the time Chef Antoine told her she has the makings of a gourmet chef - but then Blair reminds her that he also admonished her for being being an incompetent cook who would never amount to anything. Mrs. Garrett chews on that painful memory for a few seconds and wonders aloud if Chef Antoine is coming all this way just to see her make a fool of herself [seems like a lot of trouble to go through for such a small payoff, but OK], then shuffles out of the room, contemplatively muttering to herself about what in blazes she's going to serve to the crusty bastard.
Blair waxes poetic about the light of the moon and then opens the window...and Jo promptly shuts it and snarks that her bed is right beside the window and she has no desire to catch a cold. Blair dismisses that silly notion and suggests they swap beds 'cause she's desperately craving "the moon's caress" [almost as much as she's craving Jo's caress], and after hemming and hawing for a few seconds, Jo agrees. Blair gives her a thank you hug, opens the window, then tucks herself into Jo's bed. Tootie shuts off the lights...and a few seconds after everyone has said their goodnights, Natalie screeches and says that something furry just crawled across her leg, then skittered across the floor. The gals tell her she probably just imagined it...but when she insists it really happened, Tootie says, "It's probably just a squirrel." Everyone seems A-OK with a possible squirrel roaming around their room while they sleep - except for Natalie, who's all, "Ack!" and scrambles up to the safety of Tootie's top bunk. After the lights go out again, Blair starts giggling with girlish pleasure 'cause she assumes that Jo is tickling her feet...but before anyone can unpack the non-hetero undercurrents of that remark, she lets out a loud shriek when she realizes that the tickling is the squirrel.
The next morning, Blair tells Mrs. Garrett she'd be happy to attend her dinner party on Sunday night, and promises to charm Chef Antoine with her fluency in the French language. Jo shoots Blair her usual beady-eyed glare and asks whassup with her being so invigorated this morning, so Blair dreamily says it's 'cause she slept near the fresh air, then adds, "Tonight will be another beautiful night" - but Jo growls, "Forget it!" and refuses to swap beds with her a second night in a row. Tootie and Natalie enter the cafeteria, and we see that Natalie is carrying a stack of Tootie's books. She offers to perform other menial tasks, but Tootie declines 'cause she can't bring herself to order her best friend around. For now, anyway. Jo urges her to get into the whole Slave Day thing more, so Tootie concedes and asks Natalie if she'd mind organizing her dresser drawers...and Natalie woots with delight.
Mrs. Garrett is setting the table, decorating it with little French flags. Jo shows everyone her makeshift squirrel trap and explains that she's going to use cheese to lure the creature in, and then squish it to death. Tootie gasps in horror, while Mrs. Garrett makes a blech face and tells her to get that nasty trap away from her pristine table setting. Natalie, meanwhile, complains that her Slavemaster Tootie, who has gotten increasingly demanding, has ordered her to darn her socks...then says she's now soured on the idea of Slave Day 'cause she was really only looking for an occasional command and an amusing set of chores to keep her busy. Mrs. Garrett snaps at her to shut it - just as Chef Antoine and an entourage of three very glum looking old people arrive at Eastland. Mrs. Garrett rushes over to him, deeply curtsies as if he's a king, then shakes his hand and formally welcomes him to Eastland. She says she wasn't expecting him so early, or for him to bring three extra people...and speaking of the three extra people, he introduces the Glums: his wife Marie, his brother Louie, and his sour-faced mère. Mrs. Garrett proudly tells him she's been working hard on dinner and prepared the bouillabaisse just the way he likes it - but he tells her he's not interested 'cause he's heading into Manhattan so he can sample one of the city's fine restaurants. Mrs. Garrett stares at him incredulously and screeches, "You're not staying for dinner?!" and he says no, but that his stern-faced entourage is looking forward to dining with her. LOL. It's really odd that he wouldn't at least want to take his wife to dinner, but I'll assume it's par for the course for his rude pomposity. Mrs. Garrett poutishly tells him she planned an elaborate French feast after he declared at the beginning of the episode that he was dropping in on her for dinner, but he's just like, "Whatever" and says he's counting on her to feed and entertain his family members in his absence...then beats a hasty retreat. Mrs. Garrett rails to the Facts gals about the nerve of the impertinent chef, but they shush her and remind her that she has three dinner guests to entertain. Mrs. Garrett turns around and politely asks the Glums if they'd like something to drink, and they all say yes ... but Jo figures out pretty quick that yes is the only English word they know. Mrs. Garrett says she's sooooo relieved that Blair will be on hand during dinner to translate. Cue Blair, who shuffles into the room in her bathrobe, sneezing and wheezing 'cause she caught a cold from sleeping beside an open window. Mrs. Garrett stares mournfully into space and shrieks, "I'm dead!"
Mrs. Garrett tells Tootie she's determined not to fail at this dinner, and Tootie applauds her misguided need to please Chef Antoine and offers to pitch in by taking the Glums into town so they can do some sightseeing and buy souvenirs. The two then bring trays of tea and cookies into the cafeteria and serve it to the Glums, who look bored as Natalie loudly describes to them the various clothing combinations she likes to wear. LOL. Mrs. Garrett asks them if they'd like to kill some time by going into town to sightsee, and Mama Antoine perks up and says she'd love to go to Disneyland. Mrs. Garrett's like, "Great! Tootie will take you to downtown Peekskill. Off you go!" - LOL - and Tootie summons Slave Natalie to join them so she can trail behind her and carry the Glums' packages.
After the sightseeing trip, a disgruntled Natalie drops off the packages in the bedroom, where Blair is still recuperating from her cold. Natalie complains about all the slaving she's had to do under Tootie's regime, then accuses her of being in love with power and promptly quits Slave Day. Tootie reminds her about all the underprivileged children who won't have any Christmas presents under the tree this year, and a sheepish Natalie agrees to complete her servitude. After she exits the room, Tootie spots the squirrel atop a pile of clothes...then is all, "Ack!" when she hears Jo coming. She gathers up the squirrel in the sweater and shoves it in one of the Glums' souvenir boxes just as Jo bursts in, demanding to know if anyone's seen the renegade squirrel. A few seconds later, Mrs. Garrett shrieks at them to help her with dinner...and Tootie is forced to leave the trapped squirrel behind.
Dinner is so awkward that Mrs. Garrett begs the Facts gals to liven things up by talking about whatever they've been into lately. Jo tells everyone she's had to rethink her squirrel trap design...and when the Glums look confused because they don't understand fucking English, Jo thinks it's helpful to loudly blurt out, "Le trap!" Tootie complains about Jo's cruel intentions to kill the poor squirrel, and then a sneezing Blair comes downstairs for a glass of milk. Mrs. Garrett introduces her to the Glums, and she promptly sneezes on one of them...and Mrs. Garrett apologizes for the grossness of being sneezed on, explains that Blair hasn't been feeling well, then shoots her the stink-eye and snarks, "Go get your milk!" She suddenly remembers the sightseeing trip the Glums took with Tootie earlier and says she'd love to kill some time by looking over the souvenirs they bought, then orders Jo to bring all the packages downstairs. While that's happening, Chef Antoine returns to the school, miffed because his train broke down en route to Manhattan. Mrs. Garrett squeals, "You must be famished!" then gleefully informs him that there's no food left. Haha! When Jo brings down the boxes of souvenirs, everyone starts opening them. Tootie grabs the one she shoved the poor squirrel into, but Mama Antoine grabs it from her and opens it. The meek little squirrel peeks its little head out, then leaps out of the box to make a run for it. As it races across the floor, everyone descends into contrived chaos while some people try to capture it, and others climb atop tables and chairs to avoid all contact with the rodent.
After the Glums have departed, Mrs. Garrett looks morose and exhausted. Natalie says the evening wasn't that bad, but Tootie argues that it was pretty bad and chides Jo for trying to murder the cute squirrel. She apologizes to Mrs. Garrett for the horrible way everything turned out, but Mrs. Garrett just shrugs and says it's OK, then wonders aloud what Chef Antoine and his family must think of America. She says they may never want to visit again...then smiles at the delicious thought and giggles about the spectacle of the squirrel leaping out of the box and everyone freaking out. The gals join in with her chortling and they all end this thoroughly pointless, nonsensical episode on a positive note.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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