S4 E21 My Son, The Father

Welcome back friends and fans to another episode of GT. In this episode J.J. offered to take Michael to the father and son dinner at his school, unaware that Michael had already planned to go with Carl. Hope you enjoy the review.

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Thelma was on the phone with a friend of hers, stating she caught a cold form her date. When they drove down to the ocean and he put his arms around her and started to…. then she noticed the food she cooked was burning and yelled “SMOKE!!!”. She hung the phone up and rushed over to the stove. J.J. came home and criticized her for burning the meal yet again. Then he announced he wouldn’t be home for dinner that evening, for he was taking Michael to the father and son dinner at Michael’s school. He called his girlfriend and told her a friend of his informed him of the event so he cancelled out on her. He also told Thelma he had front-row tickets to the KC and the Sunshine Band concert. She informed him that Carl already got her tickets. Then she told J.J. how sweet and considerate he was for what he was doing for Michael and he was glad he was her brother, and that she loved him. Florida came in and in a laugh out loud moment, she joked she was in the wrong apartment. A pleased Florida said their house may not have had a father but they did have a man. She also advised him not to feel uncomfortable about talking to the other fathers, most of which would be older than him.

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J.J. also told Florida he made arrangements for her to take one of the rib trucks from work to pay a visit to her cousin’s house. Florida said Carl was bringing her. J.J. went inside to change for that evening’s shindig. Willona came over and brought Florida a new pair of lounging pajamas for her date with Carl that evening. J.J. came out wearing a three-piece suit and a pipe. Willona asked who this fine man was. Florida answered it looked like J.J. and sounded like J.J., but it wasn’t J.J. because he didn’t smoke. He said neither did the pipe. Michael came in and announced he wouldn’t be home for dinner and J.J. informed him he was taking him to the dinner. Carl came in at this time and announced that Michael asked him to accompany him and he happily obliged. This turned J.J. mood of the day sour. Carl apologized for the misunderstanding and relinquished himself to let J.J. take him. J.J. abruptly changed his mind and insistently repeated that he wouldn’t take him anywhere. Florida demanded he take J.J. he take Michael to the father and son dinner or she and him would have a mother and son hassle. He answered they were having nothing. Carl reprimanded him by saying that was his mother and he shouldn’t speak to her in that manner. J.J. answered he didn’t need someone like him telling him who his mother was or coming between him and his brother. He said he didn’t need any of them and left.

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Florida and Carl came back from a cold blustery evening outing . Carl commented it was colder than an Eskimo’s outhouse. He foresaw that the next day would be a busy day for him selling snow shovels, although he needed to buy one to find his shop first. She offered him a cup of coffee and a piece of sweet potato pie. When the phone rang, she thought it was J.J. but t turned out to be Michael. She told him to get home right away, although he argued his girlfriend said her home was his home. When Florida refused some of his advances, Carl said it was definitely the coldest night of the year. Florida answered she was preoccupied with J.J. and the incident over the father and son dinner. Florida asked him if he could try talking to J.J., for she thought it would be better for a man to persuade him to return to his family. Carl invited J.J. to his gym to have a talking to with him.

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Carl asked his friend Charlie to let him know when J.J. got there, Charlie asked how would he recognize him, Carl pointed out a short, muscular guy and said J.J. was like a parody of him. Charlie instantly knew who J.J. was when he came in and got Carl for him. J.J. addressed him as Mr. Dixon but Carl insisted to still call him Carl. J.J. told the other members of the gym that he could be as strong as them but he chose looks instead. Carl told him he had more inner strength than most of those guys as they were only working out for their egos. Carl was understanding about J.J.’s attitude and that he was in the same boat as him as a young man. Carl joined the army to escape the responsibility of caring for his mother and sisters, although he sent them money for support merely out of guilt. He admired J.J. for hanging in there with his family, which took strength, courage and integrity. That was enough to convince J.J. to return home with Carl in tow for another piece of sweet potato pie.

Original airdate March 2, 1977

Written by Sid Dorfman

Directed by Gerren Keith

Guest stars Moses Gunn (3rd appearance), William Sims

Another good episode. This one deals with J.J. trying to be the man of the house. He was quite resentful of Thelma and Michael looking upon Carl as a father figure. It was good though, for Carl to tell him how he was doing the right thing by sticking it out with his family, unlike him when he left to join the Army. This will be a responsibility J.J. will be forced to take on in the following season, after Florida leaves for Arizona.

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