Welcome back friends and fans. Here we are to conclude our review of this GT episode. J.J. comes through for the family and their financial needs. However, it’s not the way Florida believes he should do it. Hope you enjoy the review.
Thelma was pacing back and forth because J.J. was in her room getting dressed. She was also upset because Michael was in the bathroom and she needed to get in there as well. He came out and handed her her make-up kit and when she asked what should she put it on with, Michael opened the door and handed her a plunger. The family was under the impression that J.J. got a job at an advertising agency (stands to reason, considering he did obtain such a job later in the season). J.J. emerged from Thelma’s room wearing a pimp like outfit. He called it the style of the future, Thelma answered he was right if he meant science fiction. He called it the international look and a tasteful understatement of the English, the elegant flare of the French, and the boogie down of Chicago. Michael handed him his briefcase and Florida commented how expensive it looked and started questioning how much he was making at his ‘advertising” job.
J.J. headed down to his “office” and his friend Leon was discussing a gambling game. Leon and his partner, Ernie, claimed they had to meet somebody and discuss business while J.J. stayed behind and took in phone calls. A man came in disguised as a police officer and appeared to arrest him while Leon and Ernie waited outside and laughed, they set the whole thing up. Their friend Fred played the cop and J.J. pretended he knew about the joke. After they paid J.J. and he left, Fred discussed their other activities, such as dope smuggling and prostitution. J.J. came home and gave the family gifts, he gave Thelma a clock radio and Michael a set of black encyclopedias. somebody delivered Florida a new television set, this caused Florida’s suspicions to arise. He finally opened up that he was into gambling. He also stated that he was sick and tired of being poor and this led to a major argument between him and Florida and she would end up kicking him out of the house .
Florida was a lousy mood the next day while she was preparing breakfast for Thelma and Michael. Thelma complained that hers was uncooked and Florida answered if she didn’t like it, she should cook it herself. They asked her to speak to J.J. and she said she wouldn’t as long as he was committing crimes. After she left for work, Thelma told Michael she yelled at her the night before for half an hour, Michael said she yelled at him for one whole hour-for not listening when she yelled at Thelma, lol. J.J. came in after with some meat. Thelma and Michael said Florida wouldn’t let them keep it. Thelma asked him to give up what he was doing, he said he was waiting for Florida to come around and they could all leave the ghetto together. Thelma said there was no way she would agree to what he did. Then she and Michael said although they didn’t agree with what he was doing, they still loved him.
That evening, the guys had a party with a bunch of hookers in presence. They got a call from Fred stating the cops were on their way to bust them. J.J. thought it was another joke but they insisted. When they handed him a gun to throw away, that was when he realized when he saw it loaded. He threw it out the window and breaking it. Then they gave him dope to throw down the sink, which he did under protest. The cops came just at that time, when they went in the kitchen, J.J. hid behind a mop until they left. Then he called Florida asking if he can return home. She replied it was his home and welcome to it.
Originally aired November 17, 1976
Written by Roger Shulman and John Baskin
Directed by Gerren Keith
Guest stars Andre Edwards, Grand L. Bush, Alan Manson, Chip Hurd, Bernard Stevenson, John Dewey Carter, F. William Carter
Willona did not appear in this episode
A good conclusion to the first episode. This is the closest we’ve seen J.J. come to doing something illegal. It only proves that desperate times call for desperate measures. Although J.J. was aware he was in the wrong for getting involved with the gambling process, he was oblivious to the fact that prostitution and drugs were also part of the deal. These were some of the things that series star Esther Rolle protested she was unhappy with, concerning the character of J.J. and prompting her to leave the series at the end of this season.