Recap: The Facts gals are about to leave for the drive-in...and their feelings about it being bulldozed tomorrow range from the despondent (Natalie) to the utterly indifferent (Tootie). Natalie reminds the gals that she wrote several editorials for the local newspaper, imploring the community to save this precious institution, then says she regrets not doing more. Blair says she's looking forward to experiencing the drive-in for the first/only time 'cause she's in the mood to slum it with the common folk for one evening. Jo informs her that they'll be taking Mrs. Garrett's Volkswagen, and that it's a time-honored tradition to sneak in someone via the trunk...and that tonight, she (Blair) is going to be that someone.
Upon arriving at the drive-in, Jo, Tootie, and Natalie head straight to the snack bar...and quickly realize that they forgot to let Blair out of the trunk. A few seconds later, Blair staggers into the snack bar looking dirty and disheveled - but cheers up when Jo offers to treat her to some movie snacks.
Natalie runs into the owner of the drive-in, Mr. Lowell, and tells him that she's the Natalie Green who's been writing editorials in an attempt to save the drive-in. Mr. Lowell says that after thirty years he's more than ready to call it quits and retire to Arizona, and was therefore delighted when a second hand clothing chain submitted an offer to buy the land so they could build another store. Natalie stares wistfully into space and tells him she had so many good times at his drive-in over the years, and he dismissively waves a hand in the air and tells her to do what everyone else in the '80s is doing for movie entertainment: rent cassettes.
Natalie agonizes to Tootie about the imminent demise of her beloved drive-in...and Tootie multitasks by coquettishly waving at a cute guy who's standing at the counter and telling Natalie how her lawyer parents once saved an old schoolhouse: get the local historical society to declare it a landmark, then file for an injunction. Natalie's like, "That's brilliant!" and rushes over to the nearest pay phone to get the ball rolling.
As Jo gives Blair a crash course on the best snacks to mix together to guarantee the most satisfying movie watching experience, Natalie informs Mr. Lowell that her Save the Drive-in petition needs five hundred signatures in order to have a chance of it being declared a landmark...and he scrunches his face in puzzlement as to why she'd want to do anything to mess with his Arizona retirement plans.
When the film for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? gets tangled up in the projector, Tootie complains about how the universe is conspiring to prevent her from seeing this film...and Natalie uses the impromptu intermission as an opportunity to collect more signatures.
Two dorky teens approach Blair and Jo and invite the two to join them for the rest of the movie, and Blair shoots them a seriously? look and turns them down in the most disparaging way possible. Mr. Lowell sits idly by as souvenir hunters brazenly swipe items off of his counter, and Jo decides to get in on that action and looks around for something desirable to steal. Blair remarks that she needs to use the bathroom, and obliviously cuts to the front of the long line.
Natalie earnestly asks moviegoers to sign her Save the Drive-in petition, and they provide her with a fun variety of cartoon character names.
Blair shuffles out of the bathroom with her blazer tied around her backwards and explains to Jo that an angry woman did this to her in retaliation for not waiting her turn in the bathroom line. A few seconds later, Tootie runs over to announce that Mrs. Garrett's Volkswagen has been stolen!
Blair expresses shock that anyone would go to the trouble of stealing such a shitty car - just as Natalie realizes with horror that she was the one who left the keys in the ignition. Tootie, meanwhile, begs Jo to help the projectionist fix the film so that she can finally see the rest of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Blair runs into the woman - Moon Unit Zappa! - who rearranged her blazer for her, and is promptly threatened with bodily harm if she doesn't leave the premises immediately. Blair grabs Tootie and introduces her to Moon Unit as one of the many loyal friends who accompanied her to the drive-in...but a wincing Tootie slinks off, disinterested in Blair's plight. After Moon Unit stalks off, Blair rushes over to the pay phone to call a cab...then is all, "Wha-a-a-a-a?" when she learns it'll be a two hour wait.
Jo is discreetly trying to unscrew one of the drive-in's barstools to take as a souvenir while Natalie continues to collect signatures.
Two police officers arrive at the drive-in to investigate the theft of Mrs. Garrett's Volkswagen, and Blair throws herself into the arms of one of them and begs them to rescue her from this horrible place. The officers offer to give the Facts gals a lift home, but Tootie declines and says she's determine to stay as long as it takes for her to find out Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. The officers are like, "OK, whatever" and rush off when they get an emergency call. Blair runs into the dorky teens she insulted earlier and says she's now interested in being in their company for protection...but after being snubbed by Dork 1 and giving Dork 2 a careful once over, she decides she'd much rather risk a beating by Moon Unit Zappa. She calls for a cab again and tells the dispatcher that her need for a ride home has become a matter of life and death.
Natalie is finding it impossible to collect five hundred signatures, so she's resorted to forging names, which Tootie warns is fraud.
Moon Unit Zappa is incensed when she sees that Blair is still at the drive-in and empties a bucket of popcorn over her head before placing the bucket atop her head like a helmet. Blair grabs the nearest thing she can defend herself with - a mop - and blindly swings it in Moon Unit's direction, knocking her off her feet. The Facts gals rush over and ask what just happened, and Blair glances over at a fearful looking Moon Unit and says she had no choice but to deck the popcorn toting assailant. As Moon Unit scurries off, Blair clutches the mop and triumphantly pronounces, "I did what I had to do."
Natalie calls Jo out for trying to steal a barstool and asks her why she's doing that in the midst of her Save the Drive-in campaign. Jo shrugs and tells her that, in the VCR era, people don't really want to go to the drive-in anymore.
The police officers return and report that they were able to locate the stolen Volkswagen, and that it's only minimally damaged. The gals, Tootie included, agree that they're ready to go home now...and a newly confident Blair tells the cops that ever since [accidentally] fending off Moon Unit Zappa with a mop, she's been thinking about joining the force. Mr. Lowell presents Natalie with the iconic pizza clock that has hung in the drive-in for the last thirty years in exchange for giving up on her petition and allowing him to peacefully retire, and she thanks him and bids the drive-in a wistful adieu.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!
7/13/2020 04:47:55 pm
This was a weird episode. Something to watch to see the girls in a different environment but not a memorable episode.
7/13/2020 07:57:59 pm
"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" feels like a strange choice for a drive in in 1985. BTW, notice the poster for "Zapped!"? Not only did it star Felice Schlatter, but it was an Embassy production (like FOL).
Leave a Reply.
The Facts of Life homepage
Recapper: Isabel K. French
Your contributions help keep the site ad-free
Television of Yore
Snide recaps of television's most entertaining classics