Recap: Mrs. Garrett is on the phone with the Board of Health, confirming that she got a bunch of their forms in the mail, along with with a notice stating that they'll be dropping by on an unspecified date/time to formally inspect her shop to ensure that it's up to code. Mrs. Garrett assures them she'll fill out the forms and mail them in on time, then asks if it's possible to get a heads up as to when the inspection will occur. The person on the other end tells her to go pee up a rope and just make sure that her store is meeting all of their regulations, and she snarls, "Sourpuss.." into the phone receiver. Very mature, Edna.
Natalie is campaigning for the Miss School Spirit pageant at Eastland...and when Jo grumpishly asks her why she gives a rat's ass about winning a popularity contest, Natalie says she's never been Miss anything and figured that this was one pageant she had a reasonable shot of winning. Blair breezes into the room to moan about her latest conundrum: she's having her new passport photo taken and can't decide what to wear. But somehow refrains from fixating about whether or not a photo of her in her fluffy '80s 'do is going to stand the test of time over the next ten years.
A frazzled Mrs. Garrett waves around a long to-do list and tells the Facts gals they have a lot of work to do if they're going to pass inspection from the Board of Health, e.g. move the refrigerator at least ten feet away from the water heater, and get Tootie to remove the fruit fly science project she's been allowed to store inside the refrigerator of a public eatery, OMFG. Tootie natters excitedly about the various scientific findings of her fruit fly experiment, but Mrs. Garrett snaps at her to shut it, then..
The gals disinterestedly mutter, "Yeah yeah.." while Mrs. Garrett heads off to - fingers crossed! - book a lucrative catering gig for an upcoming Bar Mitzvah.
Tootie cheerily gets the mail and distributes it to the gals...and they're bemused when they all get the same chain letter, then get annoyed when Tootie proudly announces that she was the sender. Jo and Blair tell her they have zero desire to participate in such an outmoded mail scam, but Tootie warns them about all the bad luck that will befall them if they dare break the chain and not send the required $15 to the person at the top of the pyramid.
Later, Jo is pecking away at her typewriter when Mrs. Garrett enters the room and asks her to pleaaaaaase help her move the fridge so it's at regulation distance from the water heater...but Jo just keeps typing and mutters, "Just gimme five minutes." When Blair arrives home, Jo tells her she decided to throw all of her alleged street smarts out the window by deciding to send out chain letters after experiencing a bout of bad luck: she encountered a black cat who she had to swerve to avoid hitting, which resulted in an accident that caused damage to her motorcycle. Blair sheepishly admits that after encountering a string of bad luck of her own, she reacted by quickly mailing out a batch of chain letters.
A bummed Natalie announces that she got creamed in Eastland's Miss School Spirit contest - just as Mrs. Garrett bursts in with her to-do list and shrieks, "I need your help!!!" Jo promises to mail the Board of Health forms [along with her chain letters], and Blair makes a weak promise to paint the sign she's determined to procrastinate over as long as possible. Mrs. Garrett re-reminds Tootie to get her fruit fly project out of the fridge, fucking asap, then says that its rapidly growing population is really starting to freak her out...as it would her customers if they knew they were eating food that had been stored in the same fridge as an out-of-control fruit fly colony.
A serious looking grey haired man enters Edna's Edibles carrying a notebook, gives a curt hello nod to the Facts gals, then approaches Mrs. Garrett and asks her if she's the owner. She's like, "Yeah", but adds that she's too busy to give him the time of day - even though everything about him screams 'I'm an inspector with the Board of Health' - so could he please go away and ask one of the girls for help? The man introduces himself as Klaus Stevens from the Board of Health...and Mrs. Garrett's all, "Ack!", leaps up, shakes his hand, and asks him if there's anything she can do to suck up to him enough to get a favorable inspection report. He tells her she just needs to stay out of his way while he conducts his inspection...and Mrs. Garrett looks ashen and asks him if he could put off the inspection until such time as she and the Facts gals can get their shit together. Klaus tells her he had been planning to put off this inspection for a few more months - but when he got $15 mixed in with her forms, he assumed it was a bribe and figured he'd better look into this potentially corrupt situation pronto. As Mrs. Garrett scrunches her face confusedly, Jo's like, "Fuuuuuuuuuck" and quickly realizes that she accidentally put the chain letter money in with the Board of Health forms. Mrs. Garrett tells Klaus that no way in hell is her store ready for an inspection, and he's like, "Good! Let's start." Haha!
Klaus tut tuts Mrs. Garrett and the gals for leaving the food they just finished preparing for the Bar Mitzvah was uncovered, which is the first violation he's going to cite in his report. The second will be the lack of a 'this door is unlocked during business hours' sign. Mrs. Garrett snaps at Blair for neglecting to take care of this task despite repeated reminders, and Blair sheepishly replies that she was too busy beautifying herself for her passport photo. Klaus amuses himself by telling Mrs. Garrett that she should have named her store "Edna's Excuses" - haha! - and heads over to the kitchen to continue his inspection.
Tootie suddenly remembers that she forgot to remove her fruit fly project from the fridge, then blames Natalie for distracting her by making her do stuff for the Miss School Spirit campaign.
Klaus taps a bunch of numbers into his calculator and tells Mrs. Garrett that because of the unsanitary way she runs her store, she managed to rack up $500 worth of fines. She shrieks, "Five hundred dollars??!!" and whines about how impossible it is to monitor her idiot employees every minute. Klaus points out that if they're as inept as they appear - which they certainly are - they probably shouldn't be employed in her store. And that as the owner of Edna's Edibles, she bears ultimate responsibility for whatever violations occur. He then chuckles about how bad the inspection report is going to be, and how hard his coworkers are going to laugh when he shows it to them. Bwahahaha!
Once Klaus is out of earshot, Natalie asks if it's about to hit the fan...but Mrs. Garrett just stares despondently into space and says that right now she's far too angry to launch one of her usual screeching fits. Tootie tells everyone to look on the bright side...the bright side being all the good luck the chain letters will soon bring. Mrs. Garrett stares at her with a look of utter incredulity and informs her that chain letters are stupid, not to mention illegal...and that she could have [and probably should have] gotten shut down for all the health violations Klaus cited. Jo chuckles and breezily declares that money won't be an issue once the chain letter money starts to roll in...and Mrs. Garrett continues to stare incredulously as she tells the gals that since they have no idea how hard they may have boned her livelihood as an independent shop owner, she's finally going to make a sensible business decision by cutting the four of them loose and replace them with one or more responsible adults. She wanders over to the residence part of the set to write up a help wanted ad.
The next day, the gals enter the store, all dressed up, and inform Mrs. Garrett that they're here to apply for the jobs from which they just got fired. Er, OK..? When Mrs. Garrett tries to shoo them away, Blair pulls out a this door is unlocked during business hours sign she just painted, and Natalie tells her that last night she lined all the pasta barrels with five layers of plastic. Blair lays it on thick about how Edna's Edibles is "the finest store in all the land" ... but then the gals get serious and admit that they deserved to be fired for messing up so badly. They beg to be forgiven and given another chance - not least 'cause if they remain fired, it'll screw with the show's winning formula of four girls living under the same roof with their former house-mother well into adulthood - and Mrs. Garrett says that since they sound so newly mature and responsible, she'll strongly consider their collective application.
A few seconds later, someone calls about the job ad...and Mrs. Garrett stares over at the Facts gals and tells whoever's on the other end that the position has already been filled.
Big mistake, Edna.