Recap: Natalie and Tootie are busy doing the support work for tomorrow's graduation ceremony - yippee! it's the graduation episode! - while Blair gives hair, makeup, and fashion tips to random Eastland extras sporting frizzy '80s mullet perms. Jo is practicing her valedictory speech on Mrs. Garrett, who's shrieking about how frazzled she is that she's solely responsible for the graduation ceremony, reception, and all the food. That's dicked up - why wasn't anyone from the faculty roped into helping her out? Or is this Mr. Parker's not-so-subtle way of driving Mrs. Garrett so nuts that she'll quit in protest in the Season 5 premiere (spoiler)? Alexandra (the Italian princess) is attempting to pitch in, but judging by the annoyed look on Mrs. Garrett's face, it doesn't look like whatever she's doing is very helpful...so Mrs. Garrett asks her to stand outside and wait for the bread delivery guy. A few seconds later, the bread delivery guy - in the form of dorky Roy - arrives and somehow Alexandra seems intrigued by his doltish charm. Roy tells Jo he has a graduation present for her...and by graduation present he means a forcible lip smooch while bending her over backwards - which, by today's #metoo sensibilities, would probably be considered an assault.
Tootie is twirling around in Blair's red graduation gown while Blair continues to give fashion advice to her hapless schoolmates. Jo gruffly forbids anyone from ever bringing up Roy's blechy kiss, and the gals just giggle at the revolting spectacle. Mama Polniaczek arrives at the school and gushes about how proud of her daughter she is...and when Jo tells her she's almost done packing up all of her stuff, Tootie puts her sad face on and laments to Natalie that Jo and Blair are about to leave Eastland forever. Natalie's like, "Well d'yuh, it's the Season 4 finale. They can't attend high school forever...however much the producers might want us all to" as Tootie wrings her hands and grapples with all the changes Season 5 is going to bring to the show. When Tootie tells Blair that everything's about to change after she and Jo move out, Blair breezily remarks that she needs to send out change-of-address cards asap...and Tootie gets annoyed at her for not being sad enough about their impending separation. Jo reminds her that Langley is close enough for the four of them to still hang out once in awhile - but Tootie refuses to be comforted and wails about how "the four musketeers" won't be rooming together or slinging hash in the kitchen anymore. She cries, "We're not going to be friends anymore!" and actually starts sobbing - OMFG - and Natalie puts forth her best half-hearted effort to comfort her by patting her on one shoulder and staring morosely into space.
After the commercial break, Natalie makes Tootie an ice cream sundae and coos that everything's going to be A-OK. A few seconds later, Geri - fuuuuuuuuuuuck - arrives and gives the cafeteria a nostalgic once-over and says she's really going to miss dropping in on this place uninvited, prompting Tootie to wail about how nothing is ever going to be the same again. Blair's mom arrives and tells Blair she ran into her shitbag of an ex-husband in the hotel lobby, then bitchily adds how surprised she is that he even bothered to put in an appearance. Jo bustles into the room and says she needs to use the typewriter to type up her valedictory speech - but Blair insists that she suddenly needs the typewriter for no particular reason...and the two bicker in a really contrived sounding way 'bout that for awhile. Tootie scrunches her face disapprovingly and says they should be spending every moment they have left reminiscing about Eastland and their friendships...and Natalie joins Tootie in lamenting all the changes that will soon be coming their way.
Alexandra tells Mrs. Garrett that she and Roy bought ten boxes of pineapples...and when Mrs. Garrett's all, "Why in blazes would you do that?" Alexandra says she thought she heard her say, "I need a hundred pineapples." Mrs. Garrett screeches, "I said I need a hundred pie apples!" and orders the dimwit to return the unwanted fruit. I think maybe Eastland should budget for a caterer to feed its graduating class instead of relying solely on such a volatile, shrieky in-house dietician.
Mrs. Garrett is going through the details of the ceremony with the seniors when Mama Polniazcek storms in to bitch about how her ex-husband hasn't arrived at the school yet. Jo pulls her aside and tells her to shut it 'cause she's kinda busy at the moment - just as Blair receives a flower delivery from her father, who has been called away to London on business. When Mama Warner gets wind of that she starts railing about what an absentee douchefuck of a father he is. While that's happening, Papa Polniaczek makes a grand entrance decked out in a flashy new suit and announces that he booked a couple of rooms at the swanky Peekskill Inn. Mama Polniaczek snarks back that she already booked their rooms at the cheapest, grimiest Motel 8 she could find...and Papa Polniaczek's like, "Whatever" and announces that he's treating everyone to dinner! As he and his ex-wife argue back and forth, Mama Warner starts complaining to no one in particular about her ex - until Blair and Jo shriek at their parents to shut the fuck up, then storm out of the room and into the kitchen. Jo rails that she's definitely not going to her dad's stupid dinner, and Blair ups the ante by declaring, "I'm fasting!" Tootie and Natalie perk up at that and suggest that this new development means they can spend their last night at Eastland together talking about old times, but Jo snarks that there's nothing about Eastland she wants to remember and that she can't wait to see this dump of a school in her rear view mirror. Blair concurs, gets all in Natalie's face, and snarks, "I don't want to hear your sap!" and storms up the stairs after Jo...and Tootie and Natalie stare perturbedly into space.
The next day, Blair and Jo apologize to Natalie and Tootie for their bitchy outburst and explain that the stress of graduation has been making them act more squirrelly than usual. Tootie grabs her camera and snaps pics of them while singing Memories...and a few seconds later, Mrs. Garrett enters the kitchen to shriekily remind Jo and Blair to start getting ready for the ceremony. Mama Warner arrives with Geri - fuuuuuuuuuuuck - and once again rails to Blair about what a shit her ex-husband is...blah blah...and that she never should have married the deadbeat. Blair tells her to calm down and says she's accepted that her dad loves her despite his negligent parenting style 'cause she doesn't want to go through life all bitter and hate-filled...and her mom finally gets a self-reflective clue and stares sheepishly into space.
Jo is in her graduation gown, about to head over to the auditorium, when her mom storms in to snark about how late her ex is probably going to be. &*^%$!! Jo irritably tells her to zip it with the overplayed complaining just as Roy enters the cafeteria wearing a pink satin jacket and clutching a single rose. He explains that he has "an appointment" with Alexandra and hopes that Jo can somehow bring herself to get over him. Papa Polniaczek arrives and presents Jo with a jewelry box that has an expensive diamond pendant inside. Jo declines and tells him he can't afford it, and adds that it's far too fancy for her tomboyish taste...so he explains that the gift is actually for her mom. When Mama Polniaczek snarks that she doesn't need it, he says he's doing his best to say thank you for all the hash slinging she's had to do in order to pay for Jo's Eastland tuition. He says he wanted this weekend to be special for the both of them and tells his ex, "It's sorta like your graduation too." Mama Polniaczek looks touched, accepts the pendant, and admits she's very impressed. As the two grin stupidly at each other, Jo says they need to hightail it to the auditorium before the ceremony starts.
Over in the auditorium, the seniors are decked out in their caps and gowns, pacing nervously. Jo panics and wails that she can't remember her valedictorian speech on account of her eyes and brain not working together...and Blair tells her to chill the fuck out and concentrate on the key lines of her speech. Jo suddenly remembers her speech, then gets misty-eyed as she recites it while having black and white flashbacks of herself interacting with the other three Facts gals over the years - and it seems like a disproportionate number of the flashbacks include snuggling under a blanket with Blair...mmm hmm. As the graduation music begins, everyone gets emotional as they line up and file inside the auditorium. Blair and Jo cackle, "No more high school!" then suddenly stare at each other solemnly as it fully dawns on them that everything in their lives is about to change...though not really, since the only big change in Season 5 is that the show will be filmed on the Edna Edibles set instead of the Eastland set.
As Jo and Blair finish packing up their stuff in the communal bedroom, Natalie and Tootie are giddy with the excitement that they no longer have to sleep in bunks 'cause they plan to take over Blair's and Jo's beds. Not sure why they'd assume they'd still be rooming above the cafeteria now that the debt they owed for all the damage they caused is paid in full. I'm assuming, anyway. Mrs. Garrett enters the room bearing gifts: Jo gets a decorative rock 'cause it has crystals, minerals, and therefore - like Jo - has a lot more to it than meets the eye. To Blair she gifts a pretty sweater she knitted, then wanks her about how much she's grown and matured over the years and feels lucky to count her as a friend. Blair tears up and hugs Mrs. Garrett, who then heads back down to the kitchen to clean up after the reception. After she leaves, a teary Jo says she doesn't know how to say goodbye to their beloved house-mother...and Natalie's like, "Don't" 'cause apparently they made a nonsensical pact to not say goodbye.
Jo says that someone is going to have to say it, and Blair concurs and says their days of following contrived dorm rules are over...um, until the Season 5 premiere. Jo admits that it's going to be hard to cut the cord with them, but Natalie suddenly cheers up and says that Langley isn't far away, and that surely the four of them can get together regularly without these four walls forcing them to stay in such close proximity. Blair says they have to commit to staying friends, and Jo agrees and says the best way to do it is to just do it...I guess in lieu of focusing on her new college life and investing time and energy in a fresh circle of friends. Mrs. Garrett pokes her head in the room and sheepishly says that the clean-up people have bailed on her 'cause they got the dates confused...and could Tootie and Natalie please report downstairs for kitchen duty? Jo and Blair are like, "Wuh? What about us?" and Mrs. Garrett says she didn't think they'd want to clean up after their own graduation ceremony, but they're like, "Of course we do!" and eagerly put on their aprons so they too can pitch in. Mrs. Garrett beams at them and says, "It's good to have the team together again!" and smiles wistfully into space as the mandatory applause sign flashes at the studio audience.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!