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An elderly resident of the projects appears to be living on pet food after Michael takes out her garbage. The Evans family's attempt to do something for her is complicated when she brings a meat loaf to dinner and the kids suspect it is made from dog food.
J.J. is recovering after being shot by Mad Dog, which only turned out to be a flesh wound. Meanwhile, a vengeful James presses charges against Mad Dog but a worried Florida is afraid James's anger will take over before the law does.
J.J. secretly has become a member of the Satan's Knights, a gang who are in the midst of a gang war with the Warlords. Two members and the leader of the Satan's Knights arrive at the Evan's home to escort a scared J.J. to a meeting place where the two gangs are to tangle. However, on the way there they run into James and Florida and a scuffle ensues leaving J.J. shot.moreless
An encyclopedia salesman is the last person James wants to see when he comes home from work. However, he softens when he learns the man is blind. This leads James to sign a contract and reads the fine print only after the man leaves.
Michael, one of the brightest boys in his class, comes home with the news that he scored the lowest out of his whole class on an I.Q. test. Infuriated at first, Florida and James hear Michael out and realize that I.Q. tests are designed for certain demographics and in this case exclude designed for white people. Meanwhile, J.J. prepares for a wild date with his latest girl, Henrietta.moreless
Thelma's been seeing the same man for two months and hasn't introduced him to the family yet. However, when she comes home with an engagement ring, Florida and James demand that they meet him and they are in for a surprise when they finally do.
Michael must write an essay on the person whom he most admires. He first picks Florida for her strength and effort in keeping the family together. However, Florida points out that James may be the best person. However, James' recent actions in applying for a new job leave little to be admired.moreless
Michael has the chance to be bused to a better school in a white neighborhood but he is determined to get out of it. Florida and James first hear about the opportunity when his principal arrives to question them about their responses on a busing questionnaire that Michael responded to and forged his parents' names.moreless
J.J. is taken down to the police station for questioning in the liquor store robbery. The family gathers there and tries to think up ways to raise enough money for J.J.'s bail and ultimately consider taking money from a loan shark.
J.J.'s 18th birthday has James and Florida in a fit when they find out they won't be able to give J.J. the art supplies he wanted because James' credit has been reduced to 0. After the birthday party, news hits the Evans family that J.J. has been arrested for robbing a liquor store.moreless
Florida's strange behavior has the family and Willona wondering what's wrong with her. Michael thinks she's beginning menopause while Willona believes she's fed up with the boredom that comes with being a housewife.