S4 E19 A Stormy Relationship

Welcome back friends and fans. Here I treat you to another review of GT. This episode introduces Carl Dixon, Michael’s boss and Florida’s new love interest. Hope you enjoy the review.

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The episode began with Thelma having J.J. wait on him hand and foot. You see, J.J. broke a New Year’s resolution he made not to insult any of Thelma’s boyfriends. J.J. claimed he paid Thelma’s latest boyfriend a compliment by saying he enjoyed his last movie, King Kong. Thelma didn’t think it was funny and demanded he fill her empty glass with water. J.J. took the pitcher of water and emptied it into Thelma’s glass, causing it to spill all over the floor. Thelma demanded he clean the whole house, starting with Michael’s drawer. J.J. noticed a lot of junk in Michael’s drawer. They found a note in the drawer for Florida stating that Michael was replaced as leader of the honor assembly, due to his newfound atheism. J.J. uttered one of James’s most famous catchphrases ‘the militant midget strikes again”.  Florida just returned from shopping to buy Michael some new clothes to wear to the assembly. She stated how the President said they were in a recession when about 1,500 people were in the store. Willona added they were all trying to find jobs.

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Florida invited Willona for dinner that evening. She said they were having stew. Willona declined, stating they had stew the previous two nights. She claimed she had a meeting at work. When Florida informed her there was meat in the stew, she accepted. Thelma put the note in Florida’s apron, and she started making dinner. Thelma pretended a do a dance to try to retrieve the note. Michael came home from his part-time job at an appliance repair shop, owned by Carl Dixon. Michael thought the world of Carl. While showing him the new clothes, Florida stated how Michael had strong hands , just like his father. J.J. said he definitely had strong hands. Thelma and J.J. tried to stall Florida from going to the assembly by stating there was a new rule that mothers were not invited, over Michael’s objections. Michael then admitted they were protecting him because of the note. Michael said he didn’t want to salute the flag because there was something in it that he didn’t believe in. J.J. questioned if it was and justice for all. Michael stated it was one nation under God that he was opposed to. He said that Carl didn’t believe in God and so he felt he shouldn’t believe in him either. Florida said she and James raised him to believe in God and that Carl brainwashed him. Michael argued that he just opened his eyes. He said that Carl stated if you can’t see, hear or feel him, he wasn’t there. Florida told him there was a God. A kind, loving and merciful, God. Michael questioned if he was so merciful, why were they living in the ghetto.

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Florida went down to Carl’s shop to discuss the matter with him. Mr. Barnes, one of his best customers, came in. Michael went to deliver something and Carl was ready to close up for the night. She came in and told Carl she didn’t want Michael working for him. She stated he was a bad influence on him. Carl said Michael made up his own mind about the God jazz. Florida told him she didn’t like statements like that, so Carl re-phrased it as that God rock and roll. They argued about the existence of the deity, she said God was everywhere, even in the shop. Mr. Barnes said “don’t look at me, I may be old, but I ain’t God”. Carl took out the paper and pointed out the many tragedies it carried. He questioned if there was a God, why did these thongs happen. He also asked why would he let the Boston Celtics beat out the Chicago Bulls. She asked him if he betted on the game, he answered he did but didn’t win. They answered there was a God. He argued if God existed, he should make his prescence known. Suddenly, there was a phone call. He said it was from the man upstairs (he lived above the shop) asking if his radio was fixed.

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Florida told Carl she was telling Michael he couldn’t work for him anymore. Carl decided it would be best if he told Michael himself, for Michael would resent it if Florida told him. She told Carl he was very thoughtful. When Michael returned from his delivery, Carl told him he needed to let him go because of slow business and rising prices. Michael even suggested he’d lessen his days and even mentioned a salary cut, but to no avail. Michael was at home moping about losing his job, Thelma told him not to feel bad, for J.J. was fired from more jobs than a Saturday Night Special. Carl came in to return Michael’s tool belt. Michael asked to be excused, for he couldn’t face Carl. He rudely took it from Carl and bemoaned that he fired him for no reason. Florida let on that she asked him to fire Michael. Florida told him she was shocked over Michael’s attitude and Carl told him that just because he was an atheist, Michael didn’t have to be one as well. He would still be his friend no matter what he believed. Michael asked Florida if he could still lead the assembly at school and Carl if he can keep his job, they both replied “you got it”. Then Carl said “Thank God that’s all cleared up”. When Florida reminded him of what he said, he said that was the same as a Christian saying “Holy mackerel”. Florida invited him to stay for dinner and J.J. said the blessing, by a vote of 5 to 1.

Original airdate February 9, 1977

Written by Bruce Kalish and Ron Seltz

Directed by Gerren Keith

Guest stars Moses Gunn (recurring), Davis Roberts

A good episode with very fine acting. I do believe, however, that this should have been Carl’s only episode. It was unnecessary to keep him on and have a relationship with Florida. James was gone not even a year and it was too soon for Florida to move on. It also seemed unlikely for Florida to marry an atheist. They should have waited at least a couple of years to have Florida involved with another man.


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