Welcome back friends and fans to the conclusion of our season 5 debut episode. This is where Willona finally gets to adopt Penny, although Bookman temporarily may have screwed it up. Hope you enjoy the review.
Thelma was dancing in the living room to the stereo when J.J. came in from work. She asked him why he couldn’t say hello. He said if he had the energy to say hello when we walked in, he wouldn’t have the energy to walk in. Willona went jogging in and out without them realizing until after she left. She concluded that Willona was trying to put herself in shape in order to become a foster mother to Penny. Michael came in upset over the fact that he was turned down for co-captain of the basketball team and there were three co-captains. Willona came back in continuing with her jogging. J.J. said she was already in great shape and she was only raising Penny, not getting into the ring with her. Willona explained that if she stayed still, she would go crazy. Bookman came in and suspected that Willona was a spy, for the CIA was asking personal questions about her. Thelma explained she wanted to adopt Penny, so they merely needed to know how fit she was. Bookman stated that despite the fact they didn’t get along well, he was very supportive of the idea. Thelma then stated the only problem was Willona was single so it may have been extra hard for her. Bookman decided he would tell the social worker they were married.
Florida called to say hello to the kids. J.J. asked when they were coming home, he followed with a bunch of “uh-huh’s” and “mmm hmm’s”. Then he said “same to you, mackerel mouth”. Thelma asked why he talked to Florida like that, he answered the motel operator cut them off. Florida informed him that she and Carl were staying in Tucson where it was better for Carl’s health and she wanted him, Thelma and Michael to come out and join them. Mrs. Dobbs, a social worker from the children and family services, came to visit. They told her very positive remarks about Willona. J.J. even said she almost raised him and take a look at him, not impressing her all too much. However, she went over to Willona’s apartment to give her a final interview. They welcomed her to wait until she got home and she let on that she had corns, which tempted her to accept the offer. J.J. suggested she wait outside Willona’s apartment (I didn’t know corns were contagious). Michael asked if they were really leaving for Arizona and J.J. said that was the way their mother wanted it so he and Thelma should go. They asked what about him, J.J. explained he was working at the best job he had and didn’t want to leave it. Meanwhile, Mrs. Dobbs was sitting outside Willona’s apartment when Bookman came by and opened the door for her to wait for her inside the apartment. He identified himself as her husband. Mrs. Dobbs stated she was under the impression that she was single and when she came back Bookman was falling over her and called her “kissy face”. This caused a great deal of confusion for Willona and Mrs. Dobbs until Michael came over and let it slip that she and Bookman were not married and it seemed to blow Willona’s chances and resulted in her throwing a cake in Bookman’s face.
Thelma was trying to cheer Willona up while J.J. and Michael returned to get bus tickets to Arizona. Thelma decided she didn’t want to change schools and jeopardize her scholarship. Michael lamented the fact that he had to travel alone. Bookman came to the door only to face the anger of Willona and the kids. J.J. even challenged Bookman to a fist fight. Bookman explained the reason for his mistake was because he was adopted himself as a child and he was thinking about his parents. He also maintained that he cleared up the situation with Mrs. Dobbs and they said they would take everything into consideration and let her know one way or the other. Willona stated that was a roundabout way of saying no. Then she thanked Bookman for what he tried to do. J.J. was on the phone with one of his girlfriends and Willona made him hang up to await a call from Mrs. Dobbs (why wasn’t she calling her on her own phone). Michael was preparing to leave, then he changed his mind and decided that Florida and Carl should be by themselves and he would be in the way. Willona thought he made the right decision and he should call his mother to tell her so. J.J. questioned that she was actually letting them use their phone. Willona decided why not, for if he hadn’t heard yet it meant she wasn’t getting Penny. Just as she was conceding that fact and that it wasn’t meant for her, Mrs. Dobbs and Penny came in with the good news that Penny was to stay with her.
Original airdate October 5, 1977
Written by Austin and Irma Kalish
Directed by Gerren Keith
Guest star Alice Ghostley
A good conclusion to this four-part episode. It also showed the sensitive side of Bookman, although, unfortunately, it allowed him to make a fool of himself and Willona. It was also good when at the end Willona was starting to realize she wasn’t cut out for parenting and Penny came in and surprised her. I also found it very relieving that now Penny was in an environment surrounded by love and the old days of anguish and abuse were behind her.