S2 E24 The Lunch Money Rip-off

Welcome back to another review of GT. This episode concludes our second season. A bully was stealing Michael’s lunch until he felt the wrath of James. Hope you enjoy the review.

Florida reminded Michael to get ready for school before he’s late. Michael started moaning about getting up and going to school everyday, going home, having dinner and going to bed. When he went out in the hallway, he hid his quarter for milk money in his shoe. When he got to the elevator, a bully named Eddie grabbed him and dragged him in. He demanded Michael hand over his lunch and his quarter. He said putting it in his shoe was the oldest trick in the world, only a jive turkey would pull a con like that. Michael told him if he was so hungry, Eddie should sign up for the free lunch program. Eddie said he did and Michael was the supplier. Michael told him he gets hungry later himself, Eddie told him he should sign up for the free lunch program. When they got to the first floor, an angry Michael threw his books on the floor.

Florida dropped a button and dropped it under the sofa. she lamented on why couldn’t it have dropped in the middle of the floor. She begged for it to come out from under there and give there a break. James came home and helped her find it. J.J. and Thelma came out arguing that J.J. cheated while they were playing monopoly. James yelled at them to stop hassling and J.J. commented that James and Florida were praying (lol). After finding the button, Florida found a quarter, J.J. claimed it was his. He explained that he dated Diana Ross in his dreams and didn’t want to come off looking like a cheapskate. Thelma remarked they should donate his brain to science for it is never used. J.J. said they should donate her face so they can make a new bride of Frankenstein. James then noticed a large quantity of food was missing. He, J.J. and Thelma also stated some food they saved for themselves was missing. Florida concluded the culprit was Michael, stating he was a growing boy. James asked if he was growing Wilt Chamberlain. Thelma added Michael was acting extremely moody lately and J.J. suggested that Michael was eating more and acting that way because he was pregnant. That prompted James to wonder if they brought the wrong baby home from the hospital.

Michael came home and James tried to talk to him. Michael ignored it to go straight to the refrigerator. Florida asked him if he’s been eating his lunch, he replied yes. Then she asked if he’s even eaten the apple she gave him, he said he did. Florida stated she hadn’t put an apple in his lunch for two weeks. Michael excused himself to go to the bathroom but James stopped him. Michael then retracted his statement by saying he was giving it to a poor kid. Florida stated that even though it was nice for him to care about somebody, skipping his own lunch was not healthy for him, Michael replied that it was in that case. James then came to the conclusion that somebody was taking his lunch from him. Michael responded that he couldn’t say or he’d get a beating. Florida stated that James wouldn’t hit him for telling the truth, Michael answered he wasn’t the one he worried about. J.J. stated that the bully was an eight foot monster but Michael answered that Eddie was his size but he was tough. James told him to try to reason with Eddie and if that don’t work out, then fight him back. Thelma suggested that he get someone to bring his lunch for him and hide his quarter in his shoe. Michael told her that was the oldest trick in the world, only a jive turkey would try that. (lol) James and J.J. were trying to teach him pointers on how to handle Eddie. James even suggested that punks like that make you fight them. Otherwise, they’ll keep picking at you until you have nothing left.

Michael came home the next day announcing that he invited Eddie to spend the weekend with the family. Eddie got a rather unwelcome reception from James, claiming he wouldn’t be there long enough to gum a grape. Florida asked Eddie if he had his mother’s permission to stay. He replied she didn’t care, for he stayed out for days at a time before, and so has she. Florida asked Michael to take Eddie into their room while they discuss the matter. James asked Michael why he would do that for Eddie after he bullied him. Michael explained he did such a thing because Eddie got the lowest grades in the class. The teacher made fun of him and all the kids laughed at him. He figured if he can help Eddie study he can pass into the next grade and think how can you rip off someone if they help you. James said he’s seen kids like him before and they were no good. Florida said she saw kids like him before as well and they fall behind in school and give up on themselves and when they grow up they either go to jail or to an early grave.

After much persuasion and a little reluctance, James allowed Eddie to stay for the weekend. He then said if Eddie causes just one ounce of trouble, he’s out. When Eddie came out, they told him he was welcome. Thelma said she hoped she liked what they had for dinner, James said he ought to since he loved what they had for lunch. When it was time for dinner, Eddie started helping himself but Florida said they prayed before they had dinner. Florida asked Eddie to say the prayer since he was the guest. Eddie didn’t know any prayers and didn’t like it. Michael said the blessing and Eddie looked at him in disbelief. After dinner, Eddie was picking at the chocolate cake Florida made. Michael asked if they can be excused to start studying. Eddie asked Michael to show him straight A tricks. Michael said the only trick to good grades is study. Eddie thought studying was weird and asked Michael to go on without him. James told him that in their house people study when they’re told to and as a guest in the house for the weekend, he was under their rule. He said if he didn’t study he would give him a beating. Eddie challenged him to do so and James pulled him in the bedroom and gave him a beating he would never forget.

Thelma questioned what beating did Eddie get and J.J. said they all knew about his repertoire. He either gave the regular, super or the Big Mac. Michael said the Big Mac could really warm your buns. Eddie asked James how it made him feel, James said it didn’t feel him feel bad. Eddie then conceded that he never got a beating in his life. James answered his parents should’ve beat him a long time ago. When he came out, J.J. remarked that he at least didn’t get the Big Mac, since he was still walking. When he sat down, however, he moaned and got right up. He even stated he thought things like that happen only in the movies. Florida told Eddie that they discipline their kids because they love them. They wanted them to grow up to be decent, responsible adults. She also told Eddie that he didn’t need to be a member of the family for them to care about him and love him. He then asked Michael where they were in their book that they needed to study.

Original airdate March 18, 1975

Written by Roger Shulman and John Baskin

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest star Douglas Grant

Willona does not appear in this episode

A good episode that deals with the evils of bullying. The only negativity was James’s handling of Eddie. Even then I asked myself if James was within his legal rights to beat Eddie with his belt. Eddie could’ve went home and told his mother and she could press charges against James. Of course, they would never have that on TV nowadays even with their own children. The funniest scenes were when Michael asked Florida was James serious about beating Eddie with his belt. Florida answered ‘is a bean green?’ J.J. added ‘can James Brown get down?’ and Thelma concluded ‘is your head dead?’. Plus, the funny remarks the kids made about James’s ‘Big Mac’ beating.

 

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