Recap: Mrs. Garrett informs the Facts gals that she signed them up to enter a float in the upcoming Founder's Day parade in the hopes of generating publicity for Edna's Edibles. When Jo grumbles about how much she hates parades (along with everything in general), Tootie tells her that no one should hate a parade and that it'll be soooo fun for the five of them to work together as they decide how they're going to construct their float. Natalie suggests they make an edible float made of the more decorative type edibles in the store, and Mrs. Garrett says she looooooves that idea and squeals, "You're a genius!" Blair suggests they feature a float queen - Miss Edibles - and have this ethereal creature ride atop the float in a ballgown and tiara...and naturally volunteers herself for the honor. Jo grouchily tells her to not assume that anyone wants her to be crowned Miss Edibles without first earning the title, then says they should put it to a vote among the customers.
Natalie gets a phone call from her Aunt Betty...and after gabbling obliviously about the edible float that she and the rest of the Facts gals are starting to plan, she stops talking, scrunches her face concernedly, and goes, "Is something wrong?" ... then a few seconds later cries, "Wha-at?!!"
In the next scene, Tootie, Blair, and Jo are in their communal bedroom, getting dressed in their dressiest dark clothing to attend Natalie's father's funeral. Tootie moans about how shocked she is that Dr. Green kicked the bucket after a sudden heart attack, not least 'cause he seemed fine when she visited the Green household with Natalie a few weeks ago. Jo tells her that a lot of deaths play out like that...and when Tootie rails about how unfair it is to lose a parent before he has the chance to grow old, Jo's like, "Yeah, whatever. We really need to get going now", and quickly ushers her out the door before she can continue her sadness fueled tirade.
After the (off camera) funeral, the Facts gals arrive at the Green residence to continue mourning with Natalie, Mama Green, and Grandma Mona. Tootie wrings her hands about not knowing what to say to the Greens, and then they all give Natalie a hug and express their condolences. Natalie, who's strangely upbeat in this scene, remarks to Jo that she thought the funeral service was totes awesome, and Jo politely concurs.
Tootie wonders aloud why there are no flowers in the apartment, so Jo explains that the Jewish custom of "sitting shiva" means that during the mourning period there are no flowers, music, TV, or mirrors allowed. Blair gasps in horror at that last thing.
As guests continue to drop by with large plates of food, Natalie ambles over to where the Facts gals are milling around and urges them to eat something. She sadly says it feels like her dad is going to come home any minute, then spacily wanders over to the kitchen. Jo and Blair stare after her concernedly and agree that they're very worried about their friend.
Mrs. Garrett chats with Grandma Mona about the challenges of raising sons, blah blah. Mona moans about how much it sucks to outlive her son, then decides she'd like to zone out and go lay down for awhile.
When Natalie again urges Tootie to eat something, Tootie loses her marbles and shrieks, "You're taking care of everybody! Who's going to take care of you?!" When the other mourners glance over at her with WTF? expressions, Tootie tears up and moans about how horrible it must be to lose a parent so unexpectedly. Natalie remains stoic and chances the subject by suggesting they use decorative looking bread rolls (like the kind someone brought for the mourners) on their Founder's Day float. As Tootie grunts something unintelligible, Blair tells Natalie she's been admiring the lovely artwork throughout the apartment...and the two wander off to closely view an original something-or-other in the next room.
Mama Green introduces Natalie and the other Facts gals to Dr. Perkins, a young doctor who considered Natalie's father to be his mentor. Mama Green offers to gift him her husband's vintage leather briefcase - 'cause what the hell's she going to do with it now that he's dead? - but as she heads to the bedroom to retrieve it, Natalie looks visibly miffed and follows her.
Natalie tells her mom she objects to the giving away of her father's treasured possessions - but Mama Green says she's not interested in holding onto his stuff, 'cause she doesn't want to prevent herself from moving on. Natalie tears up and wails, "He had no right to leave us like this!" and tearfully asks what she's going to do without him. Mama Green hugs her and assures her that everything will be A-OK by the time the next episode airs.
Tootie, meanwhile, is beating herself up about how many times she's stuck her foot in her mouth this episode...and Mrs. Garrett's like, "Um, d'yuh", but then throws her a bone and adds, "The important thing is that you're here."
As Mrs. Garrett fixes Mama Green and Mona something to eat, Blair, Jo, and Tootie hug Natalie goodbye and wish her godspeed with swiftly getting through the mourning process. Tootie scrunches her face miserably and says she wants Natalie to come back to Eastland so everything can be the way it was prior to this episode...and Natalie just tears up and stares back at her in mute incredulity. Or maybe I was just projecting my incredulity onto her expression 'cause somehow Tootie still hasn't gotten a clue that Dr. Green's sudden demise isn't solely about what an inconvenience it is to her. Jo assures Natalie she won't always feel this bad, and Natalie says, "I'll take your word for that" ... and this is where the writers decided to abruptly end the episode.
Thanks for that depressing installment, writers.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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