Hello again fans and friends. here is the second part of our debut fifth season episode. Willona and the kids came to the conclusion that Penny’s mother was responsible for her injuries and decide to get involved. Hope you enjoy the review.
Willona confronted Penny’s mother about the burn and bruises on her. She claimed Penny was at that awkward age where she falls down a lot. Thelma questioned about the burn on Penny’s arm, she said she told Penny many times to stay away from the stove, acting all nice and like a caring mom. As soon as she left, Willona started mimicking her, “isn’t it true Penny, didn’t you fall down?”. She realized right away that Penny’s mother was the culprit. Thelma tried giving her then benefit of the doubt but Willona and J.J. aroused their suspicions. Willona stated black is beautiful but not when it’s black and blue. J.J. stated how tough it was to live in the ghetto with a good family. Thelma stated that it’s not only among the poor, that rich people abuse their children as well. Michael came home from continuing to get the school carnival together, J.J. said he’d give him help any time he called for it. Michael called on him $2 for 2 tickets. They discussed their suspicions on Penny’s mother and her alleged abuse on her. Bookman came in with a huge box for Michael, a bunch of teddy bears for the carnival. Willona claimed to have a tip for him, a ticket to Michael’s carnival for $1. Bookman left in disgust, how they tricked him. Penny came back claiming she forgot to bring her costume. Michael let her have a teddy bear. He laughed at one of them, stating it looked like J.J. although Michael begged to differ. He claimed it had J.J. eyes and smile, but Michael disagreed. Then she said it was all fuzzy between the ears, Michael then said that looked like J.J.. Michael suggested they put an act on in the carnival as Sonny and Cher, but Penny worried they would get divorced (lol). Michael put on a mustache and Penny a wig, then they sang “I Got You Babe”.
The next day, Thelma came out in her costume for the kissing booth at the carnival. Michael kissed her for looking so good, so she charged him for it. He gave her a dime and asked for his change (lol). J.J. came out looking like a space cadet, Thelma claimed he was a UFO (unidentified fool object). Willona came over in a gypsy costume and they all left for the carnival. Michael reminded them that they needed to go get Penny. However, she was sitting outside the apartment crying and holding her arm. She screamed when Willona tried to touch it, she concluded that her mother had broken her arm.
Willona, J.J. and Penny went down to the clinic (with Penny’s arm in a sling). The nurse had them fill out a form but Willona demanded to see the doctor right away for it was an emergency. J.J. tried to hit on the nurse, but she expressed no interest. A Spanish lady asked Willona what happened to Penny, she answered she got beat. The lady went and attacked J.J., assuming he was responsible. The nurse informed another patient it was his turn, but he let Penny go ahead (what makes a broken arm such an emergency, it is not life threatening, and whatever he wash there for, wasn’t that just as important?) The nurse refused, stating that rules were rules. The Spanish lady gave her a diatribe in her own language and the nurse asked what that meant, J.J. said it merely meant the hell with the rules, while the lady agreed. Willona and Penny went in to see the doctor, the doctor masked what her name was and Willona answered, he meant for Penny. He asked her how it happened and examined her arm. Penny claimed she fell off her skateboard but Willona insisted she was beaten by her mother. Dr. Blake stated her arm wasn’t broken but he needed to x-ray and needed permission from her mother. Willona repeated her claim about her mother but Dr. Blake just said to have her mother call for an appointment. Willona got impatient and demanded he do something about it. Dr. Blake snapped back that he was required by law to report all cases of child abuse. He also maintained that every day he’s seen kids come in with injuries and that falling down is part of growing up. Because Willona had no proof and Penny claimed she fell, it was basically out of his hands. Willona left with Penny and advised Dr. Blake to get a heart transplant because he sure needed one.
Back at home, Penny’s arm seemed to have healed and Willona and J.J. were trying desperately to get her to open up to them. Then she said the truth was the cookies they ate were stale. Willona asked J.J. to help and he agreed they were stale. Penny said she would tell J.J. because she loved him. Just as she was about to confess, her mother came to the door with a police officer and accused Willona of kidnapping Penny (of all the nerve). Willona told the cop about her abuse to Penny, Ms. Gordon got indignant and was like “how dare you accuse me”. They asked Penny if it were true, but her mother gave her one of her mean looks and Penny claimed it was false. The cop warned Willona if that happened again, he’d have no choice but to run her in. J.J. tried to clarify what happened but the cop also threatened to arrest him for impersonating a Twinkie (lol). A frustrated Willona went on about how the doctors, the police and whoever else can help looked the other way. At that time, Dr. Blake called and apologized for being so hotheaded before. He explained that as a doctor he had long hours and a workload and was under tremendous pressure, sometimes he took in more than he can handle. Willona also apologized for being rough on him a swell. He informed her that he called the police and reported it and they were sending a social worker to speak to her. Michael and Thelma returned from the carnival with a few bowls of goldfish. Willona got impatient for the social worker to arrive. Mrs. Carpenter showed up and needed to fill some papers out while Willona kept pushing for her to go down to see Penny. When she went to have a sip of water, she mistakenly drank it from the fish bowl instead of the glass she requested. When they went down to Penny’s apartment, Bookman was cleaning it up and stated that Ms. Gordon packed up and took Penny. Willona became extra worried about her.
Original airdate September 21, 1977
Written by Sid Dorfman
Directed by Gerren Keith
Guest stars Chip Fields (2nd appearance), Sarina C. Grant, Stymie Beard (5th appearance), Alma Beltran, Bob Delegall, Renny Roker, Kathleen Doyle
Matthew “Stymie” Beard previously had a recurring role as James’s friend, Monty
A good episode with a lot of laughs. The extra humor was needed for an episode with such a serious topic. We all got to see what kind of person Ms. Gordon was, thanks to the terrific acting of Chip Fields. It also showed a harsh part of reality, as Penny was too afraid to admit about her mother’s abuse, in fear of retaliation. Or when there was no evidence to provide to the doctor or the police to justify Willona’s claim, or when Ms. Gordon accused Willona of kidnap. Watch for what happens next in Part 3 of ‘The Evanses Get Involved”.