A Different World

Season 6 Episode 24

A Rock, a River, a Lena

1
Aired Unknown Jul 08, 1993 on NBC
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
18 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Legendary singer/actress Lena Horne visits the Hillman campus to dedicate a scholarship named for her grandmother. Whitley becomes very excited and has her students put together a musical tribute to Ms. Horne. She insists on a formal ceremony and refuses to allow Mr. Gaines to cater the event. Kim is mortified that Whitley could be so respectful of Ms. Horne, yet treat Mr. Gaines as though he is too old to contribute anything to society. When Ms. Horne admits that she doesn't like the upper-crust food, Kim takes her to the Pit for a home-cooked Southern meal. She has a good time dancing with Spencer, Kim and Mr. Gaines. Mr. Gaines recalls meeting Ms. Horne during World War II, and Kim is surprised to learn that this actually happened. During the ceremony, Ms. Horne calls Mr. Gaines to the stage and introduces him as an old friend. Whitley sees the error of her ways.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A lovely episode - why show it so late?

    9.1
    I will never understand why this episode aired after the real series finale, when few people were likely to watch it. It features much of what was best about the show ... fun, insight, character exploration, and a commitment to making connections with the Black American Experience (caps required). The tribute to Lena Horne is fabulous (especially the line about Ava Gardner), as is the interaction with Mr. Gaines. Kim's part in the story is especially good and in keeping with her character's personality in every way -- her scenes with Mr. Gaines, Ms. Horne, and Whitley are all "dead on."



    As is sometimes typical of the show and particularly the last season, there are some bits that are "over the top." The Dean Davenport (Dr. "On My List") character makes another tiresome appearance, and much of the material for Whitley -- outside of the Mr. Gaines/Lena Horne interactions -- is tired, such as her interaction with her middle-school students. We also get hit over the head a bit with the demonstrations of Whitley's impatience with Mr. Gaines, though it is in character.moreless
  • The show draws to a close with a tribute to singer and actress Lena Horne.

    10
    Hillman has drawn many august visitors over the years. Some are alumni, others come to the school to pay their respects to its status.



    Even so, perhaps few had expeceted they would be graced by such a luminary as performer Lena Horne.



    The legendary artist arrives at the school to dedicate a scholarship in the name of her grandmother. People on campus are beside themselves, and handle the appearance in different ways.



    Whitley is so floored she wants Horne to see what she considers only the best-- that means none of the old-fashioned cooking favored by Mr. Gaines. Kim does an end run around this strategy.



    It turns out that Horne and Gaines have more than food tastes in common-- they met during WWII. Gilbert is humbled when Horne says she and the cook are old friends.



    And so the cast heads off into the sunset, closing the series on a warm and sentimental note.moreless
Jasmine Guy

Jasmine Guy

Whitley Gilbert-Wayne

Kadeem Hardison

Kadeem Hardison

Dwayne Wayne

Charnele Brown

Charnele Brown

Kimberly Reese

Cree Summer

Cree Summer

Winifred "Freddie" Brooks

Lou Myers

Lou Myers

Vernon Gaines

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith

Lena James

Lena Horne

Lena Horne

Herself

Guest Star

Ahmad Stoner

Ahmad Stoner

Olufemi Dakar

Guest Star

Terrence Williams

Terrence Williams

Byron

Guest Star

Bumper Robinson

Bumper Robinson

Dorian Heywood

Recurring Role

Patrick Y. Malone

Patrick Y. Malone

Terrell Walker

Recurring Role

Michael Ralph

Michael Ralph

Spencer Boyer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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