S4 E10 Rich Is Better Than Poor…Maybe?

Welcome back friends and fans. Here we are with another episode of GT. Here is a plot in which The Evans family wins $2,500 in the lottery. Unfortunately, two of Thelma’s friends came over and held them at gunpoint while demanding the money. Hope you enjoy the review.

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Michael congratulated Thelma on making oatmeal they can plaster the ceiling with, rather than making it burnt or cold. When she got up to make some fresh new oatmeal, he decided to settle for what he had. J.J. announced he would become a millionaire by winning the state lottery, he had just gotten a bunch of new tickets, as did Thelma and Michael. Florida lectured them by stating they had a slim to none chance of winning, as  she had a bunch of tickets of her own. J.J. stated they could be as rich as the Rockefellers, due to his job delivering ribs and Florida’s job at the department store and Thelma by tutoring Edna, a juvenile delinquent teen. She stated Edna was unable to read but was beginning to learn the alphabet (duh, she had to be quite stupid). Edna arrived early for her next lesson, claiming she ain’t got no watch. Thelma told her not to use double negatives because it would mean she really had a watch, Edna replied that she honestly ain’t got no watch. J.J. stated it was the same situation for him. He ain’t got no million dollars. Thelma told Edna to ignore tall and dark, J.J. said she forgot to mention handsome, Thelma answered with him she wasn’t the first.

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Willona came in and told them to turn the television on, for they would announce the winning numbers. As they were announcing them, the TV went out. When they got it working again, they repeated the numbers and J.J. had the winning ticket. He won $2,500 and they got so carried away they forgot about Edna, who got up and left. They all started going on about all the things they wanted (like $2,500 would buy all that). Florida regained her senses and decided the best thing to do is put the money in the bank and put it toward the kids education. They would just make do like they always had. The next day, Florida and J.J. were at the bank with the manager (the same jerk who tried to screw J.J. out of paying for the mural). He gave Florida a bankbook for her new account and welcomed her. J.J. asked the guy if he validated, until Florida reminded him they had no car. Then he asked him to stamp their bus transfers. After they returned home, Edna and her sister Rozzie came to visit, it turned out they had guns and demanded the money they won.

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Florida informed them they put the money in the bank. Edna sent Rozzie to accompany her to withdraw it and bring it back, while she held J.J., Thelma and Michael hostage. Florida protested that God better be with her if she hurt any of the kids. J.J. tried to sweet talk Edna by telling her she was beautiful. She then told him he was handsome and he gave his signature ‘what can I say’ line, she said to just say she lied. She threatened to serve him up like a turkey before Thanksgiving (this was the episode after Thanksgiving, did the writers forget that?). Meanwhile, Florida was filling out a withdrawal slip and Rozzie got impatient and noticed she was writing too many letters (could’ve been a note asking for help or to tip the bank that a robbery was in progress). Rozzie made her fill out another slip and put nothing but numbers on it.

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Willona came over but Edna had the door locked and caused her to become suspicious, especially when they told her Florida went down to the laundry room when the machines were ripped off. Edna pulled the gun on her, she claimed it was a Saturday night special but he had no problem using it on Wednesdays (that was the night they aired it at the time). Thelma asked Edna where she got off robbing poor people, or any people for that matter. Edna claimed they had everything compared to her and she was the poorest of people. Willona stated they were all poor, only they didn’t pick up a gun and rip off their friends. Thelma added, sarcastically, that Edna’s mother must have been really proud of her. Edna answered when her mom sobered up, she would ask her. Florida and Rozzie came back with the cash and Rozzie let on that Florida almost cheated her. J.J. asked Rozzie if she knew Edna would cheat her as well, all the kids claimed Edna stated she would wind up with all the cash. Rozzie didn’t find that hard to believe, since Edna cheated them ever since they were little kids. She also stated how many times Edna called her dummy and stupid. They started fighting over how they were going to split the cash and J.J., in an act of bravery, took the cash and scattered it. While Edna and Rozzie were fighting over it, Willona and J.J. grabbed their guns and Florida made them sit on the couch while Thelma called the police. Michael protested the police wouldn’t come in their neighborhood and Florida said they would, even if they had to tell the police they were white. Thelma reminded Edna how she would wind up in jail, again.

Original airdate December 8, 1976

Written by Alan Manings and Norman Paul

Directed by Gerren Keith

Guest stars Tamu Blackwell, Shirley Hemphill, James A Wheaton (3rd appearance)

A good episode. This is another one that deals with the desperation of poverty in underprivileged neighborhoods. It’s also another one about how once the Evans family gets a break, something happens that spoils it. One thing I didn’t get was how Rozzie could’ve let Edna kick her around and put her down like that. She looked like she could’ve creamed Edna with one shot. I found it very touching when Florida maintained how lucky she was: the kids didn’t get hurt and that she had Willona there to help them, not to mention it ended happily.


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