Recap: Jo is escorted home from a movie date by her latest squeeze, a tall drink of water named Bill. After a PG smooch, Jo tells him he'd better go - and Bill looks bummed and points out that he hasn't met any of her roommates even though they've been dating for three whole weeks. He asks her if she's embarrassed by him, and she assures him she's not...and that he's soooo much more awesome than the snooty rich Langley preptards she can't stand the sight of. She adds that her roommates are a bunch of nosy busybodies who have nothing better to do than get all in her bidness...and that she just wants to be left alone to explore a budding romance with a guy she really really likes, and gives him another smooch. Bill looks satisfied enough with that, reminds her about their dinner date tomorrow night, and heads out.
The next morning, Blair begs Jo to attend the upcoming pep rally with her - but Jo says she's all "pepped out" and is too busy with her studies. Blair grumbles that she studies so much that she's missing the college experience, then assumes that she's shutting herself away from the world 'cause she's afraid of being rejected by guys. Jo's like, "Yeah, whatever" and tunes her out as she stares over at a young girl - future show regular Pamela Segall - who's openly shoplifting. Jo storms over to her, pulls a bunch of food items out of her coat and pockets, then barks, "Beat it!" An impressed Blair remarks on how much more civilized she's become since her first appearance in Season 2...then complains about having to go to the pep rally alone, and grumbles to Natalie and Tootie about the excessive amount of time Jo is spending at the library.
Natalie tells Jo that she doesn't buy her I spend all my time in the library bullcack, and says she knows full well she didn't get home until midnight - long after the library has closed. She then produces irrefutable evidence - a baggy containing movie popcorn kernels - and says she found it when she was rifling through her pockets. Jo admonishes her for having nothing better to do than rifle through her pockets, and Natalie tells her she was compelled to figure out what she was up to on account of the writers failing to give her and/or Tootie anything more interesting to do in this episode.
As Natalie and Tootie implore Jo to spill the beans about where she really was last night, Bill enters the store...and he plays along with Jo and pretends to not know her. Mrs. Garrett, meanwhile, returns to the store after a morning aerobics class, notices Bill standing at the counter, and blabs to Natalie and Tootie about how she saw Jo and this handsome blonde at the movies together last night. She tries to walk it back when Jo shoots her the stink-eye...but then Jo throws in the towel on keeping her romance a secret from the Facts gals and introduces Bill as her new fella. After the obligatory gushing and grilling about Bill's intentions toward their friend, Bill pulls Jo aside and tells her that his parents are coming to town tonight and warns her that it might be a boring evening for her - but when Jo says she's up for it, they arrange to meet at the restaurant later this evening. Bill exits the store just as Blair reappears and excitedly asks, "Was that Bill Smith?!" then dishes the deets: his full name is William Ogden Smith IV, he comes from a super wealthy family, and his father is an ambassador and his mother a judge. Jo looks troubled and is all, "Wha-a-a-a?!" and wonders aloud why in blazes he didn't tell her about his privileged background. Blair just shrugs, then promises to give her a complete makeover and a plethora of tips on how to converse with rich people during dinner.
After much styling and primping, Blair urges Jo to reveal her fashionable new self to the rest of the Facts gals and live studio audience...and a few seconds later, an uncomfortable looking Jo lumbers out of the bedroom wearing what looks like a navy blue prom dress, and has a thick layer of makeup on her scowling face, along with a fluffy mullet shaped 'do. Natalie is so impressed with the metamorphosis that she coos, "Ooooh, Jo!" while Tootie fawningly says she looks like a princess. Blair smugly pronounces, "You look positively Park Avenue!" then advises Jo to avoid talking about her impoverished Bronx upbringing at dinner, and to tone down the obnoxious chip she insists on carrying around atop her shoulder. Jo wails, "But that's who I ammmmm!" - but Blair points out that Bill's parents don't have to know that. She then flounces off to the pep rally and chirps, "Good luck!" while Jo stares moodily into space.
Jo arrives at the restaurant, and - ack! - we see that she has peeled off the blue prom dress in favor of ratty jeans, a crumpled t-shirt, and a camouflage army jacket. Bill spots her and makes a beeline over, gives her sloppy outfit a grim once-over, and mutters, "Interesting clothing choice." Jo snarls at him for not telling her how rich his family is, nonsensically accuses him of being ashamed of her, then snaps, "I'm just going to be myself!" Yeesh...that can't be good. She heads over to where the Smiths are sitting and blurts out, "So, I hear you folks have more money than God!" and the Smiths chuckle graciously and do their best to come up with a witty retort while Bill looks mortified (as well he should) and changes the subject to their drink order. Jo glares at him and defiantly declares in an exaggerated New Yawk accent that she's from da Bronx, then shoots the Smiths the stink-eye as if they're personally responsible for the disparity of wealth between their families and bitchily explains, "It's the slum that rich folks drive through on their way to the airport."
The next day, Jo snappishly tells Tootie and Natalie she doesn't want to talk about how disastrously her dinner with Bill and his parents went...or about how the disaster was entirely of her own making. A few seconds later, Bill enters the store decked out in formal wear and talks with a British accent while acting all faux haughty-like. When Jo's all, "Wha-a-at's going on?!", Bill explains that he went through the contrived trouble to dress this way to illustrate what a fool she made of him in front of his parents - to say nothing of the gigantic horse's ass she made of herself. Jo snappishly retorts, "Why don't you stick to your debutantes!" and storms out of the store...and Mrs. Garrett follows her to deliver a much-needed lecture on her irrational behavior. She points out to Jo that every time she gets insecure about her impoverished Bronx upbringing she acts like a boorish fucktard, then says the immature routine is getting old fast.
Jo sheepishly says she's pretty sure that Bill is ashamed of her - as well he should be after the idiocy she demonstrated the night before - but Mrs. Garrett argues that that's not prolly true, and that Bill deserves the benefit of the doubt. Jo nonsensically says that where she comes from, giving someone the benefit of the doubt lands them in the East River, and Mrs. Garrett tut tuts her for acting like "a Bronx barbarian" and suggests she just come right out and ask Bill if he's ashamed to be dating her. Jo mulls that over, then rushes back into the store to run that question past Bill. He tells Jo he's so used to people only liking him for his wealth, then accuses her of always acting cunty towards people who didn't happen to grow up as poor or disadvantaged as she did. He reminds her how long and hard she harped on her hatred of the snooty rich preptards at Langley...and when Jo sheepishly admits that she has a general policy of being prejudiced against privileged people, Bill suggests they go somewhere private to talk all this out off-camera. The two head out and wave goodbye to Mrs. Garrett and the Facts gals, along with the small group of customers who apparently had nothing better to do that morning than to cluster together in order to eavesdrop on their private conversation. Weird.
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5/4/2022 10:56:15 pm
It's genuinely funny to see Blair's responses to Jo's behavior, lighting a cigar but not drinking out of her fingerbowl. Actual humor, how rare.
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