Good Times (1974–1979): Season 2, Episode 23 - Thelma's Scholarship - full transcript

An upscale boarding school in Michigan offers Thelma a scholarship to attend their school. She is excited until she learns they only want her because she is black, regardless of her grades and needs.

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Hey, baby, what's for dinner?

Filet mignon. Huh?

Soon as I fatten up the filet

and beat the daylights
out of the mignon.

Actually we're
having round steak.

Yeah, that meat looks like
it's been around a long time.

Oh, James.


Please don't ask me what
happened at school today.

What happened at
school today, Junior?

Like I said,

please don't ask me what
happened at school today.

I'm not the kind of
guy to fink on his sister,

no matter how obnoxious she is.

Did something happen to Thelma?

Ma, please don't ask me.

Like I said before,
my lips are sealed.

Wild horses couldn't
tear it from me!

Thelma got called into the
vice principal's office today.

Yeah, what for?

Like I told you,
Dad, I don't know.

All I know is that little
miss perfect got called in

to see the principal
in charge of vice.

J.J., the vice principal
is not in charge of vice.

Ma, you haven't
been to school lately.

I do know that Thelma
wouldn't do anything wrong.

Now what happened, Junior?

I don't know.

Like I told you before,

all I know is that
it made my day.

She was probably
cutting a class.

Oh, J.J., Thelma
would never cut a class.

But it must have been
something serious like that,

the vice principal kept her
in there for a whole hour.

Oh, yeah?

Well, how do you know she
was in there for a whole hour?

I cut class so I could time her.

Well, just because she
had a long discussion

with the vice principal
does not mean

that Thelma is in any trouble.

But, Ma, it must mean.

I mean I've been to
the vice principal's office

a hundred times and
it's always been trouble!

You know something, Junior?

You might as well be in the CIA,

because the more you talk,
the more you hang yourself.

Moving back to Thelma.

You know they probably

caught her smoking
in the girl's bathroom.

Thelma smoking?

Quiet Michael.

Now J.J.,

you know your sister
does not smoke.

Ma, how about those
Clorets you found in her room?

Florida is there something
going on here I don't know about?

Honey, there is
nothing going on.

Well, what about them Clorets?

Yeah, what about them Clorets?

Now James, you and I both know

that Thelma wouldn't
do anything wrong.

Well, how I know she
ain't doing nothing wrong

until you tell me what
she's doing wrong.

Maybe she is smoking.

James, I suspect
that those Clorets

are for kissing, not smoking.


It's that new dude she's
going out with, ain't it?

I don't like him, I mean
he dresses too fly for me.

And whenever I ask
them where they're going

he just says, "Out."

I can't get a straight
answer out of him

and then he don't look
you straight in the eye.

Maybe he's putting her
on to some of her bad ways.

Oh, James.

Well, she got to be doing
something wrong, Florida.


Young lady, I want you to stop
seeing that shifty-eyed dude,

and whatever it is you
done in school you can

come out with it right now.

Thelma, honey, we
know you were called

into the vice
principal's office.

It just kind of
slipped out, Thelma.

Slipped out?

With your mouth
it's an avalanche.

Well, for your
information toothpick,

I was called in
so they can tell me

I have a good chance
for a scholarship!


A scholarship! A scholarship!

Hey, that's great, baby girl.

Now see Florida, you got
me all upset for nothing.

I been thinking there
was something wrong,

there ain't a thing wrong.

Oh, James, can
you ever forgive me?

That's all right.

Thelma, what kind of
scholarship? To where?

To the Aliston School for Girls.

The what? Where?

Sound like a home
for unwed mothers.

Now you keep popping
them chops you going

to be going to the home
for unglued brothers.

It's a private boarding
school in Michigan

and it happens to
be the highest rated

high school in the state.

Sounds like a snob school to me.

Well, all I know is they're
offering scholarships

to needy blacks.

You mean token blacks.

Cool it, militant midget.

They probably got her there
on a football scholarship.

With her build they'd probably
sign her up for linebacker.

With your build you'd
be one of the yard stripes.

Cool it, Junior.
Cool it, cool it, cool it.

Thelma, why go to Aliston,

we have a high
school right here?

Well, for one thing Michael,

she could go to the girl's
room without a police escort.

Thelma, we're so proud of you!

We sure are, baby girl.

It's a big opportunity.

Aliston has a great record
for college placement.

If I get good grades there,

I'll have a better
chance to get into one

of the top universities
in the country!

You know something Thelma?

Your daddy and I never said much

about our dreams for
you and your schooling

because we didn't
think we could afford it.

But now, with this
kind of a break,

oh, I'm just sure you're going

to make something
great of yourself.

Maybe even a cocktail waitress.

Be cool, Junior, can't you see

what we got here
is a future lawyer?

Daddy! A doctor.


I can just see it,
Thelma Evans, MD.

Medical Disaster.

You know I am
seriously thinking about

sending you to Detroit

see if can I get me one
of them $500 rebates.

Dad, Ma, you all are
jumping the gun, see...

Hi y'all.

Hey, Willona! Willona!

Thelma just won a scholarship

to that Aliston
School for Girls.

Ma! Oh, honey, congratulations!

I always knew you had it in you.

Now, what are
you¦ going to wear?

Oh, she's got a
lot of nice clothes,

and I'm going to make
her a few more dresses.

Oh, Flo, honey, I don't think
homemade dress is gonna get it.

That school is very foxy.

So Willona's going
to make sure that

she is the foxiest of the foxes.

They got some stuff down
at the boutique, honey,

that just screams,
"R-i-c-h, rich," hey!

And I got a wallet that
just screams, "P-o, po," hey!

Listen you all, what
counts is what she learns,

not what she wears.

Right, Ma.

Thelma wants to become a doctor.

But, Ma, I may not make it.

Honey, it don't even matter,

because the way I'm
going to dress you,

if you can't become a doctor

you sure can catch one.

Willona, she's not going
there to catch a man,

she's going there to study.

Look, both of you...

Well, now, wait,
she's gonna study,

what she needs is
my study ensemble.


A printed chiffon blouse
with clinging pants.

You know that cling a
little and swing a little

and shows a little
and witholds a little.

What's all that got
to do with studying?

James, it might not
help her studying,

but it sure will give the
boys something to study.

What Thelma should wear
is my Malcolm X t-shirt.


Florida, you know
what I got in today?


An aqua suit.

You know, with
a matching jacket,

with a long flowing flip skirt,

gold earrings, bracelets,

lots of chains around
the neck, honey!

Oh, I can see her, she's going
to look great arriving on that

campus with her flip skirt
and her lots and lot of chains

and carrying a
cardboard suitcase.

Don't worry about that, baby,

we gonna get her
matching luggage.

We already got that,
two A&P shopping bags.

Look everybody.

Hey, wait a minute,
your daddy is right.

Now if you're going to
this Aliston School for Girls

we've got to do
this thing up right.

But Ma...!

Yeah, don't you
worry, baby girl,

we'll come up with
the money somehow.

See, don't you forget
now, you part of a family,

and everybody in this family

is willing to make whatever
sacrifice we got to for you.

Right on! All for
one and all the one.

That's right.

I'd like to take a vote on that.

You gonna go
first class, baby girl.

We'll make sure you get
in on all of them activities

and you gonna
have every advantage

all the rest of them girls have.

Will you listen to me?


I'm not sure I got
the scholarship yet.

Well how you let us get
so worked up about it then?

Daddy, I said I had a
good chance to get it.

Well, when will you
know about it, honey?

This afternoon I hope.

They're having a
meeting on it and Mr. Adler

the vice principal
said he'd call.


Well, I ain't worried,
you'll make it.

And as soon as you get
the word from the man

you come down to the boutique

and I will dress you so
fine you will make Cher

look like Sonny, honey.

You know there are two other
girls who might have a chance,

Juanita Gonzales
and Sally Eaglefeather.

Being underprivileged
is getting crowded.



No man, you got the wrong list.

Some fool wants me to trade
my Cadillac in on a Mercedes.

Well, I will get dinner started.

James? Huh?

A watched phone never rings.

Anything I can help you with?

Mm-hm. You can
take out the garbage.


Ma, you know
I'm getting worried,

it's not going to be
easy to become a doctor.

Oh, you can do it.

I don't know.

Lots of kids talk
about those things,

but sometimes they don't happen.

Now you stop thinking
like that... You can do it.

You're gonna get that
scholarship and you can do it.

I'm not sure, maybe I
don't have the talent.

Oh, you do too.

Now you're just as smart
and just as competent

as anybody else.

Whatever you want
to do, you can do.

Oh, some day you're gonna
be a doctor, a specialist,

the top brain
surgeon of the world.

Now take out the garbage.

What, with these hands?

What you think you doing?

Calling my friend Alvin,

I want to know if he wants

to play basketball
with me tomorrow.

You better hang up that phone.

Suppose I wanted
to call Dial-A-Prayer?

You don't hang up that
phone, you gonna have to.



I'm sorry, miss, you must
have the wrong number,

there ain't nobody
here named Samson.

Hold it, that's me!


Hello, Delilah, baby.

Junior, hang up that phone,

you know we're
expecting an important call!

Hold it, Dad, I been
cultivating this chick

for a couple of months now.

I got a feeling the crops
is just about to come in.

Give me a second.

All right, but make it snappy.

Hello, Delilah.

Yeah, I knew you was gonna call,

our cosmos must be in tune.

Oh, now come on,
you're just saying that.

Now there must be some dude
handsomer than me... somewhere.

Okay, then. I'll
agree that you're right,

because there is none
other like Kid Dy-no-mite!

Daddy, please, get
him off the phone.

All right, I said make
it snappy, nappy!

Dad, when cupid shoots his
arrow you don't eliminate the target.

You do if the principal
is supposed to call.

Goodbye, Delilah.

Now, see, you done
messed me up with Delilah.

Yeah, some Samson you
are when you order a Big Mac

the girl has to lift it for you.

I don't want to hear that...


Yes, Mr. Adler.

Lord, tell us it's good news.

Baby the Lord
don't tap no phones.


You mean it?

Yes, of course!

Oh, thank you so much!

Okay, bye!

I got the scholarship!

Oh, so happy for you!

Hey Thelma, even
though it is a white school

I'm still glad you
got that scholarship.

I can't believe it, I'm going
to the Aliston School for Girls!

That's right, baby
girl, you're going away!

James, our baby
girl is leaving us.

Oh, now...

Ma, don't worry
about it, I'll still be here.

J.J., please don't
make things worse.

Oh, Ma, I'll be home a lot.

All summer, Easter,
Christmas, and I'll write a lot too.

Yeah, whenever she needs money.

Doesn't anybody care?

Thelma is going away.

Oh, now, Florida, it
ain't the end of the world,

it's the beginning of a dream.

Hey, Dad, that's a great line.

I think I'll use that on Delilah
the next time she says no.

I'm gonna miss Thelma too, Mama.

Sure, baby, we're
all gonna miss her.

Okay, I'm thinking about it.

All right, I'll miss you too,

Thelma, honest I will.
But I get your room!

I get her bed!

Oh, no you don't,

I'm the oldest and the longest!

Well then, I get her closet.

Oh, no you don't!

Stop it, both of you!

Well, let's look on the
bright side of this thing,

you're not losing a daughter,
I'm gaining a bedroom!

And I'm gonna be in it too.

Oh no you won't, I'll
give you her stereo.

Oh no you're not, I'm taking
my record player with me.

Look at that, how
selfish can you get?

Five minutes in a white
school and she acting like one.

Thelma's going
away and all you two

can think about is
grabbing her room.


Well, I thought I handled the
situation very diplomatically.

I ain't even mentioned
once about all of the new

bathroom time I'll be getting.

Well, the Walton's got
John Boy and we got you.

Now come on, baby,
don't take it so hard.

We both knew it was
going to happen someday.

Yeah, but someday
meant some day, not now.

Honey, our baby
girl is leaving us.

But, Florida, I mean
she's just going to school,

it ain't like she
going to the slammer.

I mean, look at the bright
side, she's getting ready

to get a good education
that's gonna be free.

She have a chance to make
something out of herself.

Now I ask you, is that
something to cry about?

Look at this, her
second birthday.

She's blowing out the
candles on her cake.


We never told her that it
was from a day-old bakery.

Yeah, good thing she
couldn't read, huh?

Happy Birthday, Cynthia.


I'm just jiving,
baby, just jiving.

Now come on, snap out of it.

She was four years old
wearing my high heels.

Yeah, cute as a
bug's ear, wasn't she?

Now, baby, that's
the way it's got to be.

I mean, it's time for
the girl to move on.

Now we done done our part,

now she got to do what
she got to do, that's life.

I know.

And besides, think how
proud we're gonna be of her.

I suppose you're right. I
guess I'm just being silly.

That's right.

Oh, you remember this one,

you and her making a snowman?

Yeah, she always said her daddy

was the best snowman
maker in all of Chicago.

James, honey, thank
you. I feel much better now.


You know you always knew

how to make me
look at the bright side.

She also said her
daddy was the best daddy

in the whole wide world.

Oh, James, I'm so happy for her.

How gonna be happy when
we're losing our baby girl?

James, she's just going
to school, not the slammer.

You're right, baby.

Come on, let's
celebrate tonight,

maybe we'll take the kids
out for some ice cream,

a movie or something.

That'll be nice. All right.

Oh, thank you, kids.

That's all right
sweetheart, I'll get it.

Hello, is Thelma Evans here?


I'm Cindy Bradford
with the Zeta Gammas.

The what?

The Zeta Gammas,
it's a sorority at Aliston.

Oh yes, yes, yes.

Come in, I'm Thelma's mother,
and this is my daughter Thelma.


How are you?

Oh, you're so pretty. Thank you.

I'm glad.

The Roe Kappas haven't
been here yet, have they?

The who?

The Roe Kappas...

They're another
club at the school,

but we're much
better than they are.

Anyway, as soon as our president
heard about your scholarship

she phoned me up,
because I was in town.

This is my weekend
with my father,

and I hurried right
over to invite you

to our first rush party.

Oh, that's nice.

Daddy, what's a rush party?

Don't ask stupid questions.

But, Dad, what is a rush party?

Didn't I just say don't ask
stupid questions, stupid?

Cindy, this is my
husband, James.

Cindy, how you doing?

Hello, Mr. Evans.

And these are our
sons, James Jr...

Hi. Hi.

And Michael. Hi.


You know it's really
nice of you to invite me.

Well, we just know you're
the type of girl for Zeta Gamma.

Michael, just to
be on the safe side,

go in the bathroom and
put some clean towels.

For a honky?

Cindy, what kind
of a club is this?

It's a social organization.

Oh, well we got
those around here too.

We call them the
Warlords, the Satan Knights,

the Silver Daggers,

which is the ladies auxiliary
of the Satan Knights.

Would you like something
to drink? Maybe some punch?

Oh, no, really.

You can use the
bathroom now. Michael.

Or how about some
cookies, we've got plenty.

No, no, believe
me, I understand.

And we're doing things about it.

The Zeta Gammas
collected $32 for the NAACP.

We never got our cut.

We support bussing
in public schools.

And we want you to know, Thelma,

that you'll be very
welcome in our sorority.

Thanks, but maybe I ought
to look into the other clubs first.

But we need you.


Oh, well not need.

No, no, but that's
what you said Cindy,

you said you need
her in your club.

Now how come your club needs her

and the rest of the
clubs don't need her.

I don't know what you mean?

Well, let me lay it
to you straight then,

you want Thelma in your club
because she's black, don't you?

Well, yes, but we Zeta Gammas

don't see what's
so bad about it.

I mean the Roe Kappas
already have a black.

Oh, now you all got
to make your CQ, huh?


Coon quota.

What you're saying is
you want our daughter

to be your token black?

I told you.

Look, you shouldn't
put it that way.

The Aliston sororities
are trying very hard

to open their doors to you.

Yeah, well why don't you
open them to a token Jap?

We got a Jap!

An Oriental... And we
also have a Chicana.

So see Thelma, they need
you to complete the set.

Please don't be like that.

Don't you see, we're
offering a helping hand.

Thanks, but no thanks.

You mean you're turning us down?

No, let me put it another way
Cindy, you take your Zeta...


But I'm trying to help.

I'm trying to open
doors for you.

Then allow me to reciprocate.

Speaking on behalf
of the minorities

throughout the nation,

goodbye, adios,
sayonara and bon voyage.

You're lucky they didn't
send Tricilla, she hates Bs.


Yeah, blacks.

Well, so much for Zeta Gamma.

Let's face it, so
much for Aliston.

Oh, now wait a
minute, baby girl,

I mean you could
still go to that school

without joining one
of them jive clubs.

Would you want me to?

Well, the main thing is,
you won the scholarship,

it's up to you to
use it if you want to.

I do, Dad, but... No way.

Any school that will put
up with sororities like that

and encourage them is
the last place in the world

I want to go to.

Come on, Mom, Dad, don't worry,

if I can win one scholarship
I can win another one.

You sure can, Thelma.


And if I couldn't, I'd
still get to college.

I'll work my way through
or go to city college.

I might even get to
a better university.

And there's always the
United Negro College Fund.

Ma, Dad, don't
worry, I'll make it.

Yeah. You know something?

I am sure you will.

Well, that's the end of a dream.

Don't you hang
your head, Junior,

that's the beginning of a dream.

No, the end of my
dream, not hers.

One more year in high school,

two more years
in city college...

I'll never get that bedroom!

♪ Just lookin' Out
of the window ♪

♪ Watching the asphalt grow ♪

♪ Thinkin' how It all
looks hand-me-down ♪

♪ Good times Good times ♪

♪ Keepin' your
head Above water ♪

♪ Makin' a wave When you can ♪

♪ Temporary layoffs Good times ♪

Good Times is recorded on tape

before a live audience.

♪ Ain't we lucky we got 'em ♪

♪ Good times ♪♪