Hello again my friends and fellow GT fans. Welcome to another review of GT. This episode focuses on Willona getting an extra job at her boutique. It has her watching shoplifters, a situation she is not all too comfortable with. Hope you enjoy the review.
Thelma was on the phone with some guy. She said she wouldn’t go out with him again because he’s a cheapskate. Michael came home without his coat, stating it got ripped off. J.J. came home form work with a new watch. He explained he was the only person in his office without one. Willona and Penny came in and Penny showed them a trophy she got for figure skating. The coach said she did a perfect figure 8. Willona had the news that she helped bust a shoplifter, an elderly woman who pretended to be pregnant, but ended up giving birth to an alligator purse. She then let on about how serious shoplifting has become and Thelma added how the honest people have to pay when they raise the prices. Willona maintained that all kinds of people were responsible: doctors, lawyers, kids of wealthy families. Michael stated they are kleptomaniacs and can’t help themselves, just like that person who stole his coat.
Willona said that Lenny the Looter was their biggest shoplifter. He would give her and her co-workers Christmas cards that he stole on Thanksgiving. She stated she received a $50 bonus and was offered a job as store detective. Penny said “oh boy, Willona the fuzz”, hence the episode title. Her job description was to sit behind a two-way mirror and watch women dress and undress, to make sure they are not stealing merchandise. Willona initially turned it down, although she thought of accepting it. Willona then offered Michael her bonus money for a new coat, but he and J.J. told her not to relinquish it to them. Michael excused himself to go to his girlfriend Cindy’s house to get warm. Penny inquired to Willona why he needed to do that, Willona answered she would understand when he got older. Penny then answered how her couch encouraged her to make more lessons so someday she can be in the winter Olympics. Only problem was it costed $80 a month, which was out of reach for their budget. Penny stated she wished she could spend half the day on ice and the other half with her. When Willona asked her how much she wanted that, Penny answered “more than anything, mama.”. Willona asked her to repeat that. That was enough to warm Willona’s heart.
Willona also decided that she would take the detective after all, but not without reservations. She reported to Mr. Rogers, head of the security team. He told her he had a file on her, as well as the other employees. She was described as alert, observant, loyal and trustworthy. She added that she uses only one paper towel in the ladies room. He explained the job to her as inventory shrinkage, another term for shoplifting. He introduced her to Ms. Johnson, her new supervisor. He also uttered a motto they use, “when they snatch them, we catch them”. J.J. came home with a new coat for Michael (he exchanged his watch for that). Bookman came by to caution them that he was fixing the shower in Willona’s apartment, so if they hear any noises, it was from him. He told them she mentioned having a new job and they thought she took it to buy Michael a new coat, unaware she was doing it for Penny.
J.J. ran down to her boutique to tell her the new job wasn’t necessary, for he got Michael the new coat. Willona saw a lady putting lipstick on and made a silly face at her, checking if she really couldn’t see her. Then a plus-sized woman tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to try some new clothes on. Mr. Rogers told J.J. Willona was unavailable for him to speak to her because she was on assignment. J.J. found some women’s clothing and decided to disguise himself. Lootin’ Lenny came by and spotted him, accusing him of competing with him. Willona let on to Ms. Johnson how uncomfortable she was about watching people dress and undress, she suggested Willona get a breath of fresh air. At that time, J.J. came in and told her about Michael’s new coat and she mistook him for a pervert. When she came out and asked who he was, he said he was Pam Grier (lol). Willona came back and realized what an invasion of privacy it was to do what she did. She asked Ms. Johnson how she’d feel if someone was watching her dress or undress, Ms. Johnson replied that she would pretend she didn’t hear that. After she left Willona’s post, a lady came in and sneaked a bunch of blouses into her purse while Willona yelled to her not to do that. Ms. Johnson came back in and berated her for not stopping that woman. It turned out she was watching Willona, causing her to say “ain’t that a blip, the watchers are being watched”. Ms. Johnson threatened to fire her, but Willona said she quit. When Mrs. Rogers came in, he said he kept his eyes on her as well. At that time the vice-president of the company asked all of them to come into his office.
Original airdate October 19, 1977
Written by Richard Freiman and Sid Dorfman
Directed by Gerren Keith
Guest stars Gordon Jump, Conchata Farrell, Dap Sugar Willie (2nd appearance)
This is the first time Penny called Willona “mama”
A good episode with a realistic theme as well as moral values. It depicts the seriousness of shoplifting, and how much worse it is than many people think. Willona felt that she was violating the rights of others and it turned out she was right. I don’t know why they couldn’t install hidden cameras or put metal tags on the merchandise, unless they weren’t invented yet.