Good Times

Season 2 Episode 15

Florida Goes to School

Aired Unknown Jan 07, 1975 on CBS

Episode Recap

JJ makes a date with Henrietta, but he needs five dollars. He tries to get it from his father, but he hasn't been paid yet. James says that he has a new job as an assistant foreman for a manufacturing company, and has quit his job at the car wash. JJ then tries to get the money from Florida, but she refuses, then both Thelma and Michael do also. Florida tells the family that she has signed up for night school classes so she can get her GED diploma so she can get better jobs. She is so excited she doesn't let James really tell her about his new job. He says she should have asked him first. She apologizes, then asks, but he says no. Thelma and Michael say that he has always told them how important education is; he says that it is for them but Florida's school days are behind her. Thelma offers to help her with her studies. JJ says they should because she doesn't even have to study, since one studies to get good grades so their parents can sign their report card, and since Florida is old enough to sign her own, she has 'meliminated' the middleman. Florida says she is doing it so she can get better jobs because she is the worst job prospect since she is black, female and has no high school diploma. James says no one would be there to take care of the family; she says they are practically grown. He shuts down the discussion and asks what is for dinner; she replies, 'One hell of a fight.' James asks her who put the idea in her head; she says Willona told her about the program. She comes in to deliver the latest gossip and James yells at her for telling her about the program. He asks her why she isn't in the program and she says she has her diploma, which is how she got her job at the boutique. He says he thought she got it to pay off her clothing bill. She does an imitation of a slave and leaves, saying, 'You won't have to see this cotton-pickin' cotton picker pickin' cotton no more!' James makes more excuses and Florida asks him if her going to school threatens him. He denies it and she asks him if he doesn't want her to better herself; he says to go ahead and storms off. Two weeks later, Florida tells Thelma she is getting the hang of school. JJ offers to teach his mother a speed reading technique: He flips through all the pages at once. He says that if asked, he can tell the teacher he's seen every page. James yells at JJ for not taking the trash out. Florida tells him that in her child psychology class, she learned parents should reason with their kids. James does a mock reasoning with JJ. James says that going to school has changed her, that he feels she is pointing out everything he is doing wrong, even his grammar. He says they are going in different directions, and storms out. He goes to the local bar, where he sees Willie, a former co-worker at the car wash. They play pinball and he says he heard about Florida going back to school. James wins the pinball game and Willie says his wife went to the free clinic and talked to a 'headshrinker' about what was wrong with her, but she kept seeing what was wrong with him and he left her. Florida decides not to go to school anymore, instead tp study at home. The kids all protest but she says it is coming between her and James. He comes back and she tells him about her decision but he gives her a book bag, saying he was wrong in his opposition to her going to school, that he was being selfish and afraid of something he didn't understand. Then he shows her another book bag. This one is for him, because will also sign up for the classes too. On another night, Florida and James tell the kids how school has changed: the desks are smaller, the girls are older and the teachers are younger. They also saw JJ's principal, and James says the principal says he's seen more of JJ than his teachers. Florida says school is tough but they will see it through. JJ says now that they are going to school together, James won't have to worry about a date for the senior prom.