Recap: Blair breezes into Edna's Edibles, impressed with herself for her resourcefulness in booking the opening act for Freshman Night...and by booking the opening act, she means she hired Geri (fuuuuuuuuuck) to perform her wretched comedy schtick for a group of hapless first-year college students. When she adds that she plans to inform Geri about the gig when she stops by later, Mrs. Garrett tut tuts her for not checking with Geri before committing her to the gig, then scrunches her face disapprovingly.
A tall black teenager catches Tootie's eye when he struts into the store and orders a sandwich. He flirtily introduces himself to her as Jeff Williams and says he's a senior at Bates Academy and a member of the school's football team. Tootie flashes him a grin and gushes, "I heard you are the football team!" and offers to make him a free gourmet sandwich. While she's doing that, Jeff schmaltzily tells Mrs. Garrett that her store is a quality establishment...then brazenly ogles Tootie, who blushes and giggles in response. He invites her to his upcoming football game and asks her if she'd like to be his date for the (presumed) victory party afterwards, and Tootie happily accepts his invitation.
In the next scene, Tootie is gushing to Natalie about how super awesome her budding romance with Jeff is going, and that she especially loves the vapid way he silently gazes at her. Blair and Geri burst into the room...and Geri is chiding Blair for leaping to the assumption that she'd want to open for a rock band on Freshman Night. Blair's all, "But you have toooooo!" and somehow refrains from pointing out to Geri that she should be grateful to anyone who's willing to pay actual money for an onslaught of condescending cerebral palsy jokes that feel overplayed really quickly. She tells Geri she has a meeting with the Entertainment Committee and would rather not admit that she screwed the pooch on booking the entertainment...and when she worries aloud that it might ruin her reputation, Geri quips, "Then let me do it!", and the two scurry off-camera together.
Jo snappishly orders Tootie to finish doing an inventory of the store, which she's been promising to do for the last three days.
Tootie gets out her clipboard and begins work on the store's inventory...and while she's doing that, Jeff is bugging her to hurry up and finish 'cause they have plans to go see Jaws and Jaws 2. Tootie tells him the sooner she's done with the inventory, the sooner they can head out to the movies, then suggests he help her speed things along by reading off the labels of whatever's on the shelf so she can cross-check them against the list on her clipboard. Jeff twitches nervously and says he couldn't possibly concentrate on food 'cause his head is filled with football plays - but Tootie gets all pushy and thrusts a jar in his direction and orders him to read the label. When he just stares at it cluelessly, she gets exasperated and snaps, "What's the matter with you? Can't you read?!" and Jeff stares back at her with a stricken expression on his face, then turns around and walks away. He mumbles, "Reading isn't my thing" and says his coach told him he shouldn't distract himself by pursuing the ability to read 'cause of all the college football scouts who've been showing an interest in him. Assuming that's true, he's definitely one dicked up coach. A bewildered Tootie asks him how in blazes he's been able to get this far at Bates Academy, so he explains that he's surrounded by a small army of yes people who are more than willing to help him cheat his way through school. Tootie stares at him sadly and asks him if he doesn't want to learn how to read, and he replies, "I'll get around to it one day" but says he's currently too busy trying to be the country's best quarterback. He then refers to Tootie as his girl - and Tootie perks up and goes, "Wuh? Really?" - LOL - and he nods and gushes about how much he cares about her. He then takes off the chunky necklace he's wearing, declares that he wants her to officially be his girl, and puts the necklace around her neck.
Mrs. Garrett and the Facts gals toast the end of the inventory process...and while that's happening, Geri (fuuuuuuuuuck) drops by to tell Blair she's decided to perform on Freshman Night after all 'cause she's running short of cash on account of it's really hard for comedians who limit their routines to joke-making about cerebral palsy to find work. A few seconds later, Jeff arrives to announce that he passed his latest biology test [by shamelessly cheating]...and that if he also passes his upcoming English test, he'll be eligible for recruitment by colleges [who clearly have scarily low academic standards for athletes]. Natalie toasts his faux accomplishment and touts him as "not just another dumb jock" ... and Tootie puts her sad face on and wanders over to the store. Mrs. Garrett and Natalie follow her and ask whassup with her glumness...and Natalie assumes that Tootie is worried that Jeff will head off to college and forget all about her. She assures her that Jeff will write, and Tootie snaps, "No he won't!", and Mrs. Garrett scrunches her face concernedly and asks her if Jeff has a problem with reading. Tootie says yep, her boyfriend has the reading ability of a small child, and Natalie's all, "Wha-a-a?" and asks how he's been able to make it through nearly four years of high school. Tootie explains that his friends "help" him by giving him the answers to tests, which he then memorizes. Mrs. Garrett shakes her head all judgey-like and says that these people aren't his friends 'cause they're cheating him out of acquiring a basic life skill. Tootie argues that the people who are helping him care, then wails, "They care a lot!" ... and confesses to helping Jeff cheat on the biology test he just passed. It remains unclear precisely how she was able to do that, considering they don't even attend the same school, much less are in the same biology class. Mrs. Garrett and Natalie look appalled at her complicity in Jeff's illiteracy, then implore her to be the kind of friend who will forcibly help Jeff get himself on the right track of learning his ABCs. As Tootie mulls that over, Jeff breezes into the store and is all, "Whaddup?" and Mrs. Garrett and Natalie avoid making eye contact with him as they quickly scuttle out of the room.
Jeff yammers about how relieved he is to have passed his biology test, but Tootie says it's nothing to celebrate and that she's ashamed of herself for helping him cheat. She chides him for being obsessed with football and says he's destined to be "an illiterate jock", to which Jeff shoots her the stink-eye and snaps, "You're getting out of line!" Tootie reminds him that previous generations of their people were forced to work in the fields and had to learn how to read in secret, and Jeff retorts that football is going to give him everything he wants. Tootie points out that he can play football and learn how to read - but he sheepishly reminds her he's almost eighteen years old and doesn't want to go back to a fourth grade class and make a fool of himself. Tootie fails to explain that no one would actually expect him to enroll himself in a classroom with fourth graders 'cause he could simply hire a private tutor, then screeches, "Who cares?!" Jeff says he's afraid that people will laugh at him and that he'll lose everything, and Tootie coos, "I know" and assures him he hasn't lost her...and I'm not sure if this means this isn't the last we'll ever see of illiterate Jeff Williams.
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