Recap: When the Edna's Edibles boiler starts making loud banging noises, Mrs. Garrett decides it's time to call in a real plumber and not rely on Jo to fix mechanical stuff she has no business pretending she knows how to fix. Blair sweeps in and announces that she scored second row Baryshnikov tickets...and Natalie and Tootie squeal excitedly at the prospect of seeing their favorite male ballerina up close, while Jo contorts her face with distaste at all the money Blair shelled out for the tickets.
As Mrs. Garrett browses through the yellow pages to find a plumber, Jo insists she fixed the boiler as expertly as she recently fixed the hot water heater, and thinks the underlying issue is "air in the pipes". She begs for another chance to look into the boiler's banging issues, but Mrs. Garrett mumbles, "No way in hell" while continuing to browse the yellow pages.
As Tootie covers the store, an impossibly cute little blonde boy named Danny Slater ambles in, prompting the studio audience to coo, "Awwwwww.." the way '80s sitcom studio audiences were programmed to do whenever sweet-faced tots were forcibly interjected into storylines. Danny and Tootie exchange cute banter, discuss their mutual interest in Morse code, and he tells her he's a latchkey kid who has to hang out alone every day after school in the apartment he shares with his mom (atop the real estate office next door). Tootie contorts her face all indignant-like and snarkishly asks, "You mean your negligent mother leaves you home alone every day after school?", and he's like, "Uh, yeah..?" and shows her the house key that's attached to his pants with a little retractable pulley thing.
Upstairs in the communal bedroom, Natalie is staring lovingly at her framed, black and white photograph of Baryshnikov, telling it she'll be with him soon, blowing him kisses from the audience. Jo rolls her eyes in her usual 'I hate everything' manner and says she couldn't be any less interested in watching a grown man prance around in his underwear.
Tootie bursts into the room to announce that Danny is signalling her [for help with his homework] in Morse code 'cause he's not allowed to answer the telephone unless his mother calls using "the signal". She moans about the inhumanity of Danny having to sit alone in an empty apartment until his mother comes home from work - but Jo says it's really not that big a deal, and that she too was a latchkey kid while being raised in the Bronx by her hard-done-by waitress mom.
Mrs. Garrett enters the room, prefaces what she's about to tell them with, "Don't freak out, but.." and explains that she called the gas company after the stench of gas in the boiler room became overwhelming...and after the gas company people came and looked into it, they told her it's possible that the entire building (and/or block) could blow up at any moment. The Facts gals shriek in terror, then run around the room like headless chickens in a panic to grab their most treasured valuables (Blair: entire wardrobe, Natalie: framed photograph of Misha). Jo tells Mrs. Garrett she plans to stick around and try to sort out the gas problem herself - but Mrs. Garrett warns that if she doesn't get the hell out this instant, she's going to start screeching uncontrollably in her unbearably screechy voice while beating her with a frying pan. The camera then pans over to Tootie, who suddenly looks alarmed and cries in the annoying hysterical way she cries whenever she finds herself affected by a Facts-manufactured crisis, "We have to get Danny out! He's home alone! No one knows he's in there!" And Mrs. Garrett's like, "Holy fucking egads, Tootie! Let's rush over there right now and do our best to save the hapless boy!"
Mrs. Garrett goes to the building next door, knocks on Danny's door, and tells him he has to leave with her right now 'cause of an emergency - but Danny refuses to open the door 'cause of the hundreds of times his mother warned him to never open the door to strangers. A few seconds later, Tootie bounds into the building and implores Danny to come out 'cause he get hurt really badly if he stays behind...and Danny opens the door and casually says, "Hi, Tootie." Tootie sanctimoniously points out to Mrs. Garrett that Danny opening the door for her is the payoff for her (and no one else's) efforts in cultivating a trust-based friendship with the latchkey tot...and Mrs. Garrett somehow refrains from telling her where she can shove her self-aggrandizing sermon and focus on helping her get Danny out of harm's way.
An hour later, the neighborhood gets the all clear that the gas leak crisis has been resolved. Phew! Blair returns to Edna's Edibles with her wardrobe, while Natalie clutches Misha's photograph and natters endlessly about how she just cheated death. Mrs. Garrett tells her to stuff a sock in it and do something useful, like take Danny out for some ice cream so he has something fun to do until his mom comes by to pick him up.
The plumber informs Mrs. Garrett that he fixed the banging boiler, along with the water heater Jo pooched when she tinkered with it. He then explains to everyone that, easy as it would be to believe that Jo's incompetence was the cause of the gas leak, a nearby road crew was the culprit when they unwittingly broke a gas line.
A worried looking Jean Smart rushes into Edna's Edibles, identifies herself as Danny Slater's mother, and asks where her son is. Mrs. Garrett assures her that Danny is fine, and that he's enjoying an ice cream treat with one of the Facts gals. She offers to go get him, then rushes out...and Tootie contorts her face in a judgey expression and tells Jean Smart she met Danny when he came into the store one day, struck up a conversation with her, and told her how he spends his after school time alone in their apartment. Jean Smart gets defensive and says this doesn't mean she's, in any way, mistreating her son, but Tootie haughtily retorts, "Well, no...you're not around enough!" Jean Smart, who somehow feels the need to explain herself to this holier-than-thou twit, explains that she has to work full time in order to stay off of welfare - and Tootie says she doesn't care about the real world predicaments of adults who struggle to make ends meet and rails about how dangerous it is to leave a little kid home alone. Jean Smart says that's exactly why she's drummed it into her kid's head that he's not supposed to answer the phone or open the door to strangers, and Tootie snaps, "That didn't work well today!" then suggests she find [free?] daycare, or leave Danny with a friend who's conveniently home every weekday afternoon and would be happy to babysit. Jean Smart says she's new to Peekskill and that it's not easy making friends, then chides Tootie for not showing up at her door in a Welcome Wagon capacity when she and Danny first moved in. Tootie deflects blame by snappishly pointing out that no one even knew that she and Danny were living next door 'cause she didn't think to stop by the neighborhood bakery and make a grand announcement to the staff regarding hers and Danny's arrival in Peekskill...'cause, yeah, that wouldn't have been weird.
Mrs. Garrett brings Danny back to Edna's Edibles, and Jean Smart lets out a relieved cry and hugs her tiny son. Danny explains that he only left the apartment after Tootie warned him he might get hurt if he stayed behind...and Jean Smart assures him it's A-OK, then reluctantly thanks Tootie for potentially saving her son. As she turns to leave, Tootie's bitchitude subsides and she says she'd be glad to look in on Danny in the afternoons, seeing as how they're neighbors and all...and Jean Smart nods in agreement - while whoever's in charge of the studio audience applause meter take a few seconds too long to cue the applause sign before the camera freezes and the end credits appear. Awkward.
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