Welcome back friends and fans. Here we are to conclude the season 4 finale. Carl finally revealed his illness to Florida and decided he should fight it. Hope you enjoy the review.
Florida is on the phone to the police to report the disappearance of J.J.. She broke down while giving his name so Thelma got on to describe him. She gave his description as six foot two and 120 pounds, then she said he was not on the critical list (lol). Michael got on the phone to reveal what J.J. was wearing. In another laugh out loud moment, they asked why they wanted him back, Michael then asked the same question. Bookman came by and informed the family that the painters had arrived. Florida asked him to get rid of them for she had enough bad news about J.J. missing. Bookman asked what was the bad news. Florida said J.J. was her son and that wasn’t a funny remark. Bookman said that was bad but it wasn’t news. Willona then told Bookman a joke, She had him step outside and she said “Knock, knock”, and he said “Who’s there?’, she answered “not you, sucker.” and slammed the door in his face. Michael congratulated her for stampeding her first buffalo.
Bookman came back in with the painters against Florida’s objections. He told her if they didn’t paint then she’d have to wait two more years. Willona talked Florida into letting them paint and getting it over with. However, these were the two most inept painters we’ve ever seen, they were in everybody’s way, spilled the paint and hadn’t gotten anything done. Willona went out to look for J.J., but to no avail. Florida went to ask her what she knew about him, but the painters kept interrupting her with trivial questions (what color did she want, what room should they start with). When Bookman asked them if they had everything they needed, he told them what to do next and they said coffee break. Bookman reprimanded them and said to get moving. One told the other he hadn’t been the same since he saw Roots. J.J. and Carl came in, both hungover. Florida asked Carl how bad his hangover was, and she yelled right in his ear. He told Florida they were at the bar drinking and things were well, until J.J. had an altercation with a truck driver and resulting in him getting knocked out. Michael told J.J. he should know better then to mess around with a truck driver. J.J. answered he thought he could handle her. Then he stated that Carl parked his car in an underground garage, but both were too drunk to find it. Florida reprimanded him for not calling but he answered that he did call, he called somebody’s mother to say he’d be out all night.
Florida decided to make J.J. a cup of coffee to help sober him up. He told Carl he would keep his war wound confidential. Thelma and Michael asked him what reason Carl gave for leaving Florida. He told Thelma it wasn’t a topic to discuss with a woman. When Michael asked him, the painters went over to listen. While Florida and Willona were making the coffee, Willona suggested she put rat poison in Carl’s cup for jilting her. After Florida angrily gave Carl his coffee, he finally revealed to her that he had lung cancer. He decided that he would sell his store and leave town and that it was not the right time to get married.
Carl said he was to have an operation then leave town. He was also unsure on how much time he had. Every time he tried to get more into detail with her, one of the painters took a lunch break and kept pestering them on where they kept all their food. When he asked them for white bread, Carl lost his temper and was about to do something to him but Florida took the paint and painted over the brown bread. Meanwhile, the other painter had Willona and the kids put a plastic cover over the couch. Then he found he left his scraper on there. As he went to reveal it, the phone rang. the call turned out to be for Thelma. When she asked him who it was, he answered he was a painter, not an answering service. Bookman came in and requested to speak to Carl in private. While he was out in the hall talking to him, Florida let the kids know about his condition.
Bookman informed Carl that they had the same doctor and that he had the same operations several years before. The doctor believed in the buddy system, that was why he asked Bookman to speak with him. He advised him that he should fight it and tell himself every day that he will make it. He also told him that John Wayne had the same surgery and did a commercial about it, then put on a fantastic impression of him. Carl came inside and was about to announce his change of plans when a policeman came to the door with a young man who bore a remarkable resemblance to J.J.. It turned out they forgot to call the police to say J.J. returned. The young man was named Jerome and J.J. said he lacked his inner beauty, causing a heated exchange of insults and Carl screamed for quiet. Florida had the police take Jerome away while Carl announced his plans to have the surgery but was staying in town. He asked Florida to marry him and Willona and the kids yelled out “yes”. Carl said he needed to hear one more yes, so Bookman and the painters yelled “yes”. Florida said yes as well.
Original airdate March 23, 1977
Written by Roger Shulman and John Baskin
Guest stars Moses Gunn (recurring), Johnny Brown (recurring), Richard Libertini, MacIntyre Dixon, Billy Wallace, Buzz Cooper
A good conclusion to a good episode. One thing I didn’t get, why Florida called the police after J.J. was only gone one night. In the episode when he got upset over Michael’s father and son dinner, he was gone for a few days. Carl stated he was staying in town instead of moving away, which he originally planned. Perhaps if Esther Rolle (Florida) didn’t opt out of the show, it may have shown the Evanses new life with Carl, which was not to be.