The Bronx Zoo

Truancy Blues

Season 2, Ep 3, Aired 3/24/88
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  • Episode Description
  • An angry Joe holds a parent/teacher meeting, because 30% of the students are terminal truants. Unfortunately, most of the parents take after their kids. Matthew assumes he's lost Roz when he sees her skipping school. With Harry's case not going well, Sara offers up the services of her attorney ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey, whom Harry can't stand. Sara gets stuck with an incompetent, irascible, middle-aged student helper, Margo Bleiweiss, whose idea of teaching is to throw things at the class. A social services guy, O'Connor, fills Joe in on how one of the truants only shows up on days when he has to have a welfare form signed. Matthew tracks Roz down at her new job as a diner waitress to persuade her to come back, but Roz says her mother needs the extra cash. A student is killed after getting hit by a car during school hours, prompting Joe to look for a way to force the parents to get their spawn to stop playing hooky. O'Connor's comment gives Joe an idea -- stop signing all the truants' welfare forms until they start showing up. Jeffrey's flippant advice to Harry is to get back together with Chris, so that he can get back together with Sara. Harry isn't any happier to hear his sincere advice, which is to lie to the judge and say that Chris abandoned Max and Nicole. Suzanne calls her father a "fascist" due to his crackdown. The faculty gets blasted by parents who are forced to return their truant kids, and Roz blasts Matthew, mistakenly thinking he talked Joe into doing this. Mrs. Feeney, a poor, widowed mother of one of the truants who won't return to school, begs Joe to cut her and her other two children a break, to no avail. Harry asks Sara to look after his kids for him while he and Chris have a one-on-one meeting, but Max and Nicole don't have a very fun time with her. Harry fools Chris into thinking she'll be seeing the kids during a visit to his apartment, causing a fight between the two when she sees they're not there. A board member informs Joe that Feeney has holed herself up in a church and turned his missive into a hunger strike. Harry walks into class, and finds a parent trying to fill in for his truant son to get his welfare check. Gus, poor, repressed black dude to the stars, is so disgusted with Joe's actions that he starts faking attendance records -- which Joe catches. Roz tries to get expelled. Sara tells Margo to leave teaching and never come back. Feeney's daughter spits on Joe. Sara begins to suspect that Harry and Chris are about to rekindle after Harry turns down her offer to move in, Jeffrey, Max and Nicole make comments on the subject, Chris comes to school to pick Harry up, and Harry informs her that Chris is over at his place with the kids -- which is where he soon winds up after Nicole gets sick. Joe tells Carol that he thinks Feeney is blackmailing him, then goes to her church. After hearing her side of the story, Joe calls everything off. Roz then drops out again.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Mykelti Williamson

    Gus Butterfield (as Mykel T. Williamson)

  • Edward Asner

    Principal Joe Danzig

  • Jerry Levine

    Matthew Littman (episode 3+)

  • Nicholas Pryor

    Jack Felspar

  • Kathryn Harrold

    Sara Newhouse

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Notes (3)

    • Tom LaGrua is credited as Tom La Grua.

    • If Nicole suddenly looks different, it's because she's now played by little Shiri Appleby of Roswell. Obviously, finding another young actress with the same hair color as Nicky Rose wasn't the producers' priority.

    • Another special Thursday airing to relaunch the series.

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