S2 E23 Thelma’s Scholarship

Welcome back y’all to another review of GT. This episode is entitled “Thelma’s Scholarship”.  It has the Evans family all excited when Thelma wins a scholarship to a prestigious college. That is, until they find out the reason. Hope you enjoy the review.


Florida was beating a round steak she was preparing for dinner. James came out and inquired what they were having, she jokingly replied philly mignon. J.J. came home announcing that Thelma was sent to the vice-principal’s office and was in there with him for an hour. Florida and James were skeptical because Thelma had never been in trouble before. J.J. was making silly suggestions that Thelma cut class or she got caught smoking in the bathroom. Florida knew that Thelma didn’t do such things but James may have gotten suspicious, blaming them on her new boyfriend. Thelma came home and J.J. admitted that it slipped out about her meeting with the vice-principal. Thelma said with his mouth it must have been a toothpick. She then announced the meeting was for him to tell her she received a scholarship to a prestigious school in Michigan. Michael assumed it was a snobbish school looking for a token black. J.J. joked that they may have wanted her for a football scholarship.

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Willona came in and they shared the good news with her. She stated it was a very classy school and she would make some very savory clothes so Thelma can fit in. Florida reminded her that she was there to study, not for a beauty contest. Willona then added that she would get her every bit of jewelry and James said they would get her decent luggage to complete the picture. Thelma stated she wasn’t sure she had the scholarship yet, she just had a good chance. Michael tried to call his friend to ask him about playing basketball the next day, James made him put him down. Then a girl called for J.J., calling him Samson. Finally, the principal called and told  Thelma the scholarship was hers. Although pleased as punch, Florida then realized Thelma would be leaving them. J.J. said for them not to worry since he’d still be with them, Michael asked him not to make things any worse.

Thelma assured Florida that she’d be home during the summer, Christmas, spring break and she’ll even write home often. J.J. stated that would be only if she needed money. J.J. and Michael started arguing over who would get her room. The family also conceded that they would miss her horribly. Florida and James were looking over pictures of Thelma as a little child while Florida tearfully stated how much she’d miss her, also James kept assuring her it was a beginning of a new dream.

There was a knock on the door and it was a girl named Cindy. She called to invite Thelma to join her sorority. They were having a rush party and wanted Thelma to attend. When they asked Michael to put some fresh towels in the bathroom in case Cindy needed it, he protested. Thelma told her she’d like to look into the other sororities before agreeing, Cindy insisted they needed her. James figured it was only because she was black. She also stated they had an Asian and a Chicano and they were only trying to open doors for them. J.J. decided to reciprocate by opening the door for Cindy and say good-bye, adios and sayonara. Before leaving, she said snottily it was a good thing her sorority sister didn’t come for she hated black people. Thelma concluded that the school only wanted to use her as a token black and figured if she can win one scholarship she can win one again. J.J. then lamented that he would never gain Thelma’s bedroom.

Original airdate March 11, 1975

Written by Perry Grant and Dick Bensfield

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest Star Randi Kallan

Another good episode which dealt with other sources of realism. Thelma was only accepted as a token black, another evil of the mid 1970s. People should only be accepted for who they are, not because of race or color. It would have made a great difference if Thelma won the scholarship solely on her grades. The family’s reactions were great, being proud of Thelma and also lamenting that she would be leaving. J.J. also let out his selfishness by only caring about her room, yet he stuck up for her later. Cindy did a sensational job as the typical mean girl. finally, the fact that Thelma turned down the scholarship to such a school and stayed home was a great sense of morality.


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