Welcome Back, Kotter

Season 4 Episode 5

The Sweatmobile

Aired Unknown Oct 09, 1978 on ABC

Episode Recap

Prologue: Arnold, Freddie and Juan are sitting on the bench near the lockers about to have lunch. Arnold complains that lunchtime is 'otherwise known as Mother's Revenge.' Freddie says that it is one form of child abuse no one is doing anything about. Juan says they should see what they have. Arnold as a peanut butter and prune sandwich; he says his mother knows he hates peanut butter. Freddie has a turkey sandwich with leftover turkey from last Thanksgiving. Juan has his typical Wednesday special: a chopped liver burrito. Vinnie joins them; he has a Swiss cheese and cornflake sandwich on rye bread.  This prompts Arnold to say his sandwich sounds tasty. Vinnie says he puts cornflakes in the holes of the Swiss cheese so you don't get any cornflakes in your lap. Juan has a big paper bag and suggests they do a lunch swap: put their lunches in the bag and pull one out. They do this, but wind up with the same lunches they started with. Then Carvelli and Murray come up. Carvelli teases them about making lunches their mommies made for them; Murray says they're eating baby food. Vinnie says that it's bad manners to look as ugly as them when people are eating. Carvelli says he's eating a good lunch and pulls out a burger, which prompts the Sweathogs to come over. He says he got it at the Burger Czar, 'Where the burgers are.' He says it's a Rasputin special, with Russian dressing. Murray calls it a 'Commie burger to go!' Vinnie suggests they go there tomorrow but Carvelli says they need a car because it's a drive-in. He then offers to help them out by selling them his car. This brings back a bad memory for the Sweathogs: when Vinnie's Uncle Louie tried to sell them his car. Vinnie tells them how when the Sweathogs had saved enough money to buy their own car, his Uncle Louie offered to sell them one for $150. In flashback, the boys count the money, including Arnold's life savings: 87 cents. He is excited to think of the 'local peasantry' seeing him behind the wheel. He pretends to drive and crash into Freddie, who claims whiplash; Arnold says to call his lawyer. Vinnie says that he will do all the driving since he put in the most money--$90-- and has the most experience behind the wheel. Juan says that all that experience is in the back seat and he says 'Well, that's behind the wheel, aint' it?' Freddie says since he put the next highest amount, he gets shotgun. Juan says his $25 bucks gets him a window seat in the back. Arnold asks what his 87 cents gets him and Vinnie says he can sit in front--under the hood. Freddie says that they can use his nose for a dipstick, then he asks when they can get the car. Vinnie says that he told Louie that he can give him the money after school, and he told him that he'd drop the car off at the hospital where Vinnie works.

Part One: Julie is in the school office as Woodman comes in, bumping into students. He says they should be like other schools and have more dropouts. He sees Julie and asks where the regular secretary is. She says she was asked to sub for her because she had too many white cells in her blood. Woodman says she means white sales, then tells her to get her husband in his office, that he should get on the ball and expel more students. Julie says Gabe is at a school board seminar upstate. Woodman says he's turned into a social butterfly since he was promoted to vice-principal. Julie says he went to those seminars when he was vice-principal. He says that they were always the same: boring lectures and eating stale finger sandwiches, and that he misses them. The Sweathogs then come in and tell about the car. Woodman tells them to take it back, turn themselves in and they may get suspended sentences. Julie scolds him, saying that as long as he has known them, he always thinks the worst of them, but then she tells them the same thing. They then explain how they bought it. Arnold says it should put them 'on the road to a car full of kissy-face.' Woodman says no decent girl would be caught dead with a Sweathog. Julie says she married one, but he says that being from Nebraska, she was brought up with hogs. Four cheerleaders come in the office looking for tickets for a victory dance. Juan approaches one, asking if they would like to go on a date with him and his 'co-horses.' She tells him to buzz off so he buzzes away. Freddie asks what it would do for her image to be seen with a star basketball player and she says it would make her look short. Freddie says 'You're momma's short!' Then Vinnie starts to approach her and tells the others to take notes, but Arnold comes up and says they have a car, so she accepts and they all leave together. Later, at the hospital, the boys are all dressed up for their date. Arnold asks if the car is fully equipped and Freddie says the cheerleaders were. Juan brings out a pair of fuzzy dice to hang off the rear-view window. Arnold say a nice St. Christopher belongs in the front seat but Juan says 'Let him bring his own dice.' Arnold says they are illegal, but Juan says they aren't loaded. Arnold quotes from the state driver's manual saying there should be nothing that can obstruct the driver's view. Juan says he has to use the dice because he doesn't have his baby shoes. Freddie says his family is still using them: 'They kept his shoes and they bronzed his feet!' Vinnie gets off the phone and says that his Uncle Louie left his house an hour ago, so he should be there anytime. Arnold coaches Vinnie on driving signals. When he does the one hand up signal, Vinnie says that means your underarm deodorant isn't dry. A siren sounds and the boys go up against the wall, thinking it's the police. A couple of victims of a car accident come in. Vinnie takes one of the victims, but discovers it's Uncle Louie. The boys think it's terrible, but realize it was in their car.
Part Two: Carvelli tells Murray to give him another burger because it's a two-burger story. Murray says it's a meaty story. Carvelli asks Vinnie why he didn't get his money back and he says he didn't know if the car was wrecked before he bought it. All he knew it was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. Back in flashback, the boys are pacing about. Vinnie says he can't believe his uncle has 'multiple confusions.' Juan asks where he was hit and he says in his arm. Freddie asks if the arm was in or out of the car. Vinnie says all he knows is it was broke in two places. Arnold asks if his uncle told him the condition of the car. Vinnie says that he didn't. Juan asks what he was driving, and Vinnie finally realizes he wrecked the car he was selling to them. Freddie reminds him that his uncle is hurt. Arnold says there are many accidents where a person is hurt but the car is not, but they usually involve a pedestrian. Vinnie's aunt Josephine comes in crying and asking where Louie is. The nurse tells her the doctor just finished setting his arm. She wants to see him and the nurse says she'll check if family can see him; she says 'I'm not family, I'm his wife!' Vinnie assures her Louie will be fine; she thinks he's there to see him and pinches his cheeks. He tells her his friends are watching. He introduces her to them, but Juan is on the phone to the girls, telling them what happened. She says they are lovely, but to Vinnie, calls them punks. The nurse says she can visit Louie for a minute. Vinnie asks her to find out some things, such as how the car is. She calls them punks and goes off crying. Later, Juan is using the fuzzy dice to play craps. Vinnie says they shouldn't be shooting craps and Juan says they should shoot Louie. Josephine comes in and cries that Louie is being punished by God. The boys try to listen in and she yells at them 'Don't you punks have homes?' Juan asks if he looks like Little Orphan Annie. They go off and Josephine says the car was a complete wreck when Louie bought it at a junkyard. She says he was going to sell it to a sucker for $150, but she stole his wallet with the money in it and she is going to put it in the poor box at church. Vinnie tells her that he was the sucker but she doesn't believe him at first. She says that she will give him back the money only if Louie tells her with his own lips. The nurse tells her to go home because Louie was given a sedative. Vinnie tells her to sit down, and gets the boys and they go into Louie's room. Later, three of them come out with Juan on a gurney covered by a sheet. Freddie says their plan won't work, but Vinnie insists they do it. Arnold says he'll try anything for 87 cents. They bring the stretcher out and Josephine grabs him. Vinnie tells her he has to take her to the 'intensive restroom.' He asks 'Louie' about the money; Juan moans and he says he admitted it. The nurse comes in and asks what's going on. Arnold then grabs his throat and goes around the corner, Freddie and the nurse following. Josephine says he has to look her in the eye and admit it. Vinnie hits the sheet and Juan pops up, his face covered in bandages. She says she thought he had a broken arm and Vinnie says 'It spread.' Juan takes her hand with the wallet and brings it toward Vinnie; he takes the wallet and says 'Thank you, Uncle Louie.' Freddie tells Arnold they have the money back and he says he feels much better. The cheerleaders then come back and say they'll be late for the game. Freddie says they are ready to move. Vinnie takes Juan's date and puts her on the gurney with him. He then tells Josephine that the next time she sees Louie, he'll be a different man and everyone pushes the gurney out.
Epilogue: Vinnie tells Carvelli and Murray that everything turned out okay because they got to keep the date with the cheerleaders and Freddie says they got their money back. Arnold says Uncle Louie turned out just fine 'for Uncle Louie.' Carvelli says the lunch has turned out to be a most educational experience. Juan says 'Never buy nothin' from a Barbarino!' Carvelli says he means 'Never eat nothin' from a Burger Czar.' He grabs his stomach and runs to the bathroom. Murray starts to talk but starts running himself as the boys laugh.