Welcome back friends and fans to the third part of season 5’s debut episode. Penny gets abandoned by her mother and spends the night with Willona. She starts to ponder adopting Penny. Hope you enjoy the review.
Willona and Thelma just got back from shopping. Thelma commented on how meat was getting as expensive as jewelry and joked on how she wanted the butcher to engrave her pork chops. She asked Willona if she was there mentally, for she put the toilet paper in the freezer. Willona answered she was worried over Penny, as she and her mother were gone a couple of days and she didn’t know what was happening. Also, she had them to go to while they were there but in their new home she had nobody (she always could’ve met someone like she met them). Willona left her cleaning behind and Thelma went to bring it over to her. Ironically, Penny was hiding in the hallway and sneaked inside the apartment. When she saw nobody was home, she went to the kitchen and took some milk and the last piece of cake. When she heard Willona and Mrs. Carpenter, the social worker who dropped by to visit, talking in the hallway, she hid in the closet. She said they were still in search for Penny. Thelma stated the best place to look was in the sporting goods store in the boxing gloves department (at this point even she was convinced of Ms. Gordon’s true colors). Then Michael and J.J. came back from trying to sell the left over goldfish they had from the carnival. Michael said J.J. had the dumbest sales pitch on how to do so but they couldn’t even give them away. Michael, on the advice of Mrs. Carpenter, went to set them free. He took them to Lake Michigan and dumped them, much to Mrs. Carpenter’s chagrin.
After Mrs. Carpenter left, Penny’s mother showed up demanding to know where she went. When they said they had no idea, she went and checked all the rooms (not knowing she needed a search warrant). J.J. even helped her look, only not to find her in any of the rooms. Just as she was about to give up, and Willona tried convincing her to get help for herself, Penny came out of the closet.
Ms. Gordon was extremely angry and accused them of lying and hiding her. Penny confessed that they didn’t know she was there. After attempting to strike her once again, Ms. Gordon ran outside in the hall and told Penny to stay behind. Willona followed her and begged and pleaded with her not to leave Penny like that and to get help for herself, since she so badly needed it. The last thing she said before getting in the elevator was that Penny deserved better than her. Willona decided that they should cheer Penny up. J.J. pretended to die which made her smile, temporarily. Then she called Mrs. Carpenter, who was unavailable. Willona decided the only thing to do was to take Penny in for the evening. She got a call from a guy named Elroy asking Willona for a date. She told Penny to get rid of that joker. She gave him some tall tale about how she inherited a castle in India and wouldn’t be home until the next day. She finished the call with “goodbye, Mr. Joker” (lol). Thelma and J.J. came over to say good night to Penny, so she asked J.J. to tell her a bedtime story. J.J. told the story of the Three Little Bears, using himself and his siblings. When she asked why he didn’t finish the story with ‘they all lived happily ever after”. J.J. nobody ate Thelma’s porridge and lived happily ever after. After they left, Penny said her prayers before going to bed. She asked God to bless everyone and to please watch over her mama.
The next day, Willona and Penny came over and Mrs. Carpenter went to take Penny to a foster home. She went to say good-bye to everybody and left with Mrs. Carpenter. Willona lamented on how she barely made it through the night with Penny, for she twisted and turned and even screamed. She also marveled on how Florida made it with the three of them for so many years. Penny came back and stated that she ditched Mrs. Carpenter in the elevator. She wanted to stay there with J.J.. However, J.J. said he wouldn’t be able to take care of her. Then she told Willona she’d love to live with her if Willona could have her. While Thelma was trying to explain to her how Willona was not parent material, Willona stood there deep in thought about the matter.
Original airdate September 28, 1977
Written by Lloyd Turner and Gordon Mitchell
Directed by Gerren Keith
Guest stars Chip Fields (3rd appearance), Kathleen Doyle (2nd appearance)
Chip Fields is the mother of actress Kim Fields, who made guest appearances in the following season and went on to star in “The Facts of Life”.
Another good episode. It also had many funny lines to bring light to a serious episode. It may not have been right for Penny to ditch Mrs. Carpenter. I was surprised that she didn’t follow her. Tune in for my next review on the conclusion of this four part episode.