S2 E21 My Girl Henrietta

Welcome back fans and friends to another review of GT. This episode is entitled “My Girl Henrietta”. We finally get to see J.J.’s much talked about girlfriend. Plus, she has a surprise for the Evans family as well. Hope you enjoy the review.

The phone rang and Florida went to pick it up. James made a joke that it was President Ford telling them how bad off the country was, not to mention call collect. It was J.J.’s girlfriend, Henrietta. Since J.J. wasn’t there, Florida invited her for dinner so they can finally meet her and J.J. would be surprised (what about in the episode ‘The I.Q. Test. when Henrietta was due to come over for dinner that night). When Florida started to wonder what Henrietta was like, James commented he only recalled two kinds of girls, the ones that are so dumb you bring home to mom and dad, or the ones who are hip that you only bring home when your parents are not there. Florida asked what kind she was, James, after a pause, claimed she was the third kind. The kind that most guys hoped to marry but couldn’t get. Florida took that as a corny compliment. She told Thelma and Michael the news and asked Thelma to help with dinner and Michael to change his shirt and comb his hair and wash up. Michael responded with ‘for some dopey girl?’ Then he suggested that the guest should be the presentable one. James started loosening his belt for a convincer and Michael went inside to wash up. Florida suggested James put a new shirt on and he also answered with ‘for some dopey girl?’, he also obliged.

J.J. came in and expressed delight in Florida’s cooking, calling it a 9.9 . When she asked why it wasn’t a perfect 10, he said Thelma got the other .1. He joked that after the .1, he would take one point to the Pepto Bismol. Florida noticed he had a bunch of newspapers on him and questioned why, Thelma stated maybe he wanted to be housebroken. He explained he was looking for a full-time job. Then he claimed he was starting to become conscientious and mature, causing Thelma to call him a fool. J.J. looked in the paper and found such jobs as electrical engineer, digital analogue circuit designer (although he needed telecommunications experience). when he moved on to jobs for people his own age, he found one job as a salesman. They needed someone who was young, eager and bright. Thelma told him to quit while he was ahead on the bright part. It turned out they were looking for someone to sell cemetery plots. He also needed his own car for that. J.J. commented why they didn’t need a hearst. Next was a restaurant manager and wanted a résumé. He pronounced it like resume, reflecting how inexperienced he was. James asked him why he wasn’t interested in junior college or art school. When Florida and James questioned why he was looking so hard for full-time work. He stated it was because he wanted to marry Henrietta. Then he claimed she liked sweets and he was the Almond Joy of her life. They were adamantly opposed to the idea and asked why, J.J. only stated he had his reasons. Florida and James said they may find out as soon as she arrives for dinner, spoiling their surprise for J.J.. Henrietta came by and said surprise to J.J., but it turned out the family was in for a bigger surprise. Henrietta was pregnant.

Florida stated when she invited her over she didn’t know she would bring company. J.J. introduced her to the family, and he introduced Thelma as the ‘weirdo’. he said James was the old block he was the chip off of, James replied the block had a small crack. Florida had Thelma bring Henrietta in her room to listen to music. Thelma stated she had some really good albums Henrietta may not have heard. Henrietta answered that she gets around. Michael started to protest when they asked him to go inside as well. Florida and James demanded some heavy explaining from J.J.. Florida even stated that J.J. was old enough to understand that 1+1=3. J.J. tried to protest but James told him to shut up and mind his own business. Meanwhile, Thelma and Henrietta were listening to music and Henrietta was dancing. She stated when she danced she looked like a butterfly, but at the time, looked like the good year blimp. When Thelma asked Henrietta how it was when she found out, she said it was quite scared. When her parents found out, her mom just stated that now  she was becoming a grandmother, should she start mixing geratol with gin. Her father stated she got what she deserved. When she asked how J.J. felt, Henrietta stated that if it wasn’t for him, who knew what shape she would be in.

Out in the living room, Florida and James were still arguing and not letting J.J. get a word in edgewise. J.J. finally blurted out it wasn’t his baby. He stated that she got pregnant before they met and it didn’t start showing until after. He then stated he was only thinking of marrying her because he thought he was in love with her. James said they couldn’t stop him from thinking whatever he thought but they could definitely stop him from marriage. Florida said he couldn’t legally marry until he was 21, therefore he needed their permission which they weren’t giving him (In ‘Thelma’s Young Man’, Thelma said she can marry when she turned 18, did the laws change during that time?). Henrietta came out of Thelma’s room and announced she didn’t want to get married, yet she wanted to keep the baby. Florida and James asked how her parents felt, she replied they felt nothing but hangovers. Then they asked her what she would do and how she would live, Henrietta said she wasn’t sure. They advised her she should put the baby up for adoption, since she had no job, education or place to live, what can she give the baby. Henrietta answered ‘love’, something she didn’t get much of from her parents. Realizing they were at a stalemate, Henrietta decided to leave with out having dinner. Thelma stated as much as she hated to admit, she was happy it didn’t happen to her.

Original airdate February 25, 1975

Written by Bob Peete

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest star Tina Andrews

Willona did not appear in the episode

Another good episode with a hard-hitting theme: teenage pregnancy. I also must comment on whatever happened to J.J.’s previous girlfriend, the wealthy Clarissa (maybe she did go away to college and J.J. went back to Henrietta). J.J.’s heart was in the right place by wanting to marry her, but considering the circumstances, 1. the child was not his 2. he didn’t have money to support Henrietta and the baby 3. he was only 18, it was not a good decision. Situations like these make James and Florida ponder and thank goodness for their decent kids. It is also noteworthy that Henrietta was never seen and rarely mentioned again.

One thought on “S2 E21 My Girl Henrietta

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