Welcome back friends and fans. Here we close season four with a two part episode. Carl intends to ask Florida for her hand in holy matrimony, until something major stands in the way. Hope you enjoy the review.
Willona came in with some gossip that her boutique was taking in men’s clothing. She brought an outfit over for J.J. to try on. Thelma commented that’s because he was built like a coat hanger. Michael begged to differ, stating that a coat hanger had broader shoulders. Willona sat down with Florida to share some gossip. Florida claimed she was so busy with the painters coming the next day she didn’t time to catch up with what was happening. When Willona told her some woman was fooling around with someone, Florida knew exactly who it was. Then stated her boyfriend was fooling around with someone else, Florida knew who that was too. When Willona asked Florida if she knew what the result was, Florida answered “How should I know, you’re the one with all the gossip” (lol). Carl came over and invited Michael, Thelma and J.J. out for lunch. He mentioned passing by the Pump Room (an elegant restaurant) on the way to the Burger Pit (bummer). Michael called for J.J. to come on out and join them for lunch, J.J. had the plastic outfit Willona had given him. He said it was from Willona’s boutique, the style that’s unique. Thelma answered it was unique because it was worn by a freak. Michael joked that he looked like a Tootsie Roll wrapper. Thelma cautioned him not to wear the outfit to lunch with him but Willona argued it was the latest in high fashion. Florida stated one would have to be high to wear something like that. Carl commented that when stationed in Paris, he saw an outfit like that in some of the best boutiques. Unfortunately, they were in the garbage, prompting a “who asked you” by Willona. J.J. went to change into something else, stating he would put the hamburgers to shame. Thelma said he wouldn’t with his buns. Michael asked him what he wanted to talk about and Carl replied it was secret until they get there. Michael concluded if Thelma would be with them they certainly wouldn’t be talking about guy things, like sex. Florida inquired if Carl teaches Michael about sex down at the shop, Carl said that Michael taught him about it. Florida and Willona insisted that Carl tell them why he was bringing the kids to lunch and not them. He had them raise their hands and make a solemn promise not to repeat what he said. Carl confided in them that it was lunchtime and he was hungry. Willona told Florida that she knew what the topic of conversation would be.
Down at the restaurant, Carl was putting onion on his third hamburger and Thelma remarked that he still hadn’t mentioned anything. Every time he would try to announce his intention to marry Florida, J.J. would keep interrupting him to ask for ketchup, onions or pickles. Finally, Carl blurted out that he wanted to marry Florida. The kids stated their approval (it’s surprising they didn’t resent it in any way, for James had been deceased only about 6 months at this time). Carl said he had one stop to make before coming over that night to propose and warned the kids if they mention anything to Florida, he would burn their butts. J.J. said until she said I do, their butts belonged to Florida. While at home, the kids were already going over the invite list for the wedding, including their late Uncle Lamar. J.J. said they just won’t see him up front. Florida came out and asked what time it was and J.J. answered it was two minutes to Carl (7 o’clock). Florida was getting ready to go to a movie with Willona. The kids stalled them until Carl arrived and J.J. had Thelma, Michael and Willona go inside for Carl to say what he needed, then Thelma grabbed him and dragged him in. However, instead of a proposal, Carl told Florida that he couldn’t see her anymore without even giving her a reason.
Willona and the kids came out asking when was the big day and other questions summing up to a wedding. Florida announced that Carl left and they would no longer be seeing each other. J.J. was ready to go out and attack Carl but Florida warned him not to. Florida told everyone to stop treating her like she was coming apart at the seems. She told Willona that they planned to go to the movies and told J.J. one last time to stay right there. Then she told Thelma to make some egg salad for the next day’s lunch and then she turned to Michael and off-handedly called him Carl. Then she ran into her bedroom in tears, with Willona following her. J.J. decided that was the last straw and went out looking for Carl.
Carl was down at the local bar drinking with Ned the Wino. Suddenly, Lootin’ Lenny came in with some hot jewelry he tried to sell to the ladies at the bar. When he asked Carl if he were interested in buying, Carl said a 25 inch television. Lenny stated if he knew that, he would have worn his other coat. J.J. came in and tried to start a fight with Carl. He demanded an explanation from Carl and after a little soul-searching, Carl told him the reason was because while in the Korean War, he was wounded in a vital place that could have affected his relationship with Florida. While J.J. went to show Ned out of there, the bartender asked Carl what he meant by that. They were close friends and he knew he was never wounded. Carl confided into him that he saw his doctor that afternoon (the stop he had to make between the restaurant and the Evans’ apartment). He stated that his doctor told him he had lung cancer.
Original airdate March 23, 1977
Written by Austin and Irma Kalish and Alan Manings
Directed by Gerren Keith
Guest stars Moses Gunn (recurring), Raymond Allen, Dap Sugar Willie, Mel Bryant, Gwyn Karon
This was one of the more powerful episodes of the series. It was rather disappointing for Florida as she was expecting Carl to pop the question, but instead he jilted her. I don’t know why he couldn’t just come out and tell her the truth, or why he gave J.J. that nonsensical story about his wound. I’m sure they would have understood. Well, tune in next time for the conclusion of “Love Has A Spot On His Lung”.