Episode: 5, Emily Dickenson, March 14th, 1980
The script of episode 5, Emily Dickenson.





FADE IN: The Eastland Living room. The girls are sitting on the couch trying to watch TV as Mr. Bradley tries to fix it. Mrs. Garrett comes in.

MRS. GARRETT

Hi there, Gang!

EVERYONE

Hi, Mrs. Garrett!

CINDY

Mrs. Garrett, the horizontalís wobbly again.

MRS. GARRETT

(Takes out a meat gavel) Iíll give it a shot with my TV tenderizer.

MR. BRADLEY

(Stopping her) This is not hamburger helper. Itís a sensitive piece of electronic equipment. I have been fixing TVs since high school.

NATALIE

They had TVís back then?

MR. BRADLEY

Hereís the problem.
(Reaches behind the TV and pulls a wire. All the lights go out in the room)

MRS. GARRETT

(Lighting a candle) All right, Mr. Good wrench. Tell me, in high school, did you also fix fuse boxes?

MR. BRADLEY

No.

MRS. GARRETT

Good, then we still have a chance. Follow me. (They stumble about in the darkness and leave the room) Tootie, let me know when the lights come back on.

TOOTIE

Roger!

(Blair and Jason come in to the darkened house, unknowingly being watched by the other girls in the darkness)

BLAIR

Everyone must be asleep. Goodnight, Jason. It was a good rehearsal. The play went really well.

JASON

I could use a little bit more practice on the love scene. Youíre a great Juliet. (They kiss passionately)

BLAIR

Uh, goodnight, Jason. Thank you.

JASON

Whoa, I thought you liked me.

BLAIR

Oh, I do! I do, butÖwell, I have a poem to do tomorrow. I havenít even started it.

JASON

Iím great at poetry.How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

BLAIR

Iíll count them. Youíre too busy.

MR. BRADLEY

(Off screen) Anything turned on up there, Tootie?

TOOTIE

Yeah, but itís not the lights!!

(The lights come back on and Blair and Jason are surprised at seeing all the girls on the couch)

BLAIR

Hi!

MR. BRADLEY

(Coming in) Blair. Whatís going on here?

MRS. GARRETT

Think hard, youíll figure it out.

BLAIR

This is Jason Hoss. Heís Romeo to my Juliet.

JASON

We were just rehearsing.

MR. BRADLEY

Well, rehearsalís over, Romeo.

BLAIR

Well, itís surely been a stimulating evening. (The girls whoop it up) Jason (She shakes his hand)

JASON

Oh, right.

NATALIE

Good night, Romeo! (Jason leaves)

MR. BRADLEY

Blair, I know you have a very busy schedule. Starring in the school play, rehearsing with your lead man. Getting back to the old humdrum world of education, I presume you have completed your poetry assignment for tomorrow.

BLAIR

Sure! Well, you know, I just got to put a little polish on it.

MR. BRADLEY

I donít care if you polish it or hot wax it. I want that poem on my desk tomorrow. (He leaves. Then Blair starts arguing with the girls.)

MRS. GARRETT

QUIET!!!!! Mr. Bradley means it. Do you really have your poem?

BLAIR

Yes, I have my poem right up here (Indicating her head) I just have to put it down in paper.

MRS. GARRETT

Well, you canít put it down on paper unless you put this (Pats her butt) in a chair up there (Indicating upstairs)

(Blair starts for the stairs, but the minute Mrs. Garrett is turned, Blair pats her on the butt and runs up the stairs)

CUT TO: Dorm room. Blair is looking at herself in the mirror and putting moisturizer on her face. Tootie comes in with a toothbrush in her mouth.

TOOTIE

Blair, what are you doing up so late?

BLAIR

Iím writing a poem.

TOOTIE

You mean you havenít finished it yet?

BLAIR

I havenít even put on my moisturizer.

TOOTIE

Never mind your moisture. You better write some poetry before Bradley hangs you out to dry.

BLAIR

Well, I will, but first I have to get inspired.

TOOTIE

Should I send for Jason and his magic lips?

BLAIR

Tootie, youíre talking about the man I might be pinned to.

TOOTIE

On second thought, you better stop dreaming about Jason and start thinking about Bradley.

BLAIR

Youíre right. Maybe if I looked at some poetry, it might help. I just have to get inspired. (She goes to a desk and finds a book) ďPoems of Emily DickinsonĒ. (She opens the book) She canít be much. Look at the way she wears her hair. (Flipping through pages) Letís see. ďBeauty crowds me Ďtil I die/ Beauty have mercy on me/ But if I inspire today/ let it be in sight of thee.Ē

TOOTIE

I donít understand a word of that. It must be good.

BLAIR

Itís a beautiful poem. You know, she writes the way Iíd write if I had the time. (Brightens up) Hey! Iíll just change a few lines, you know, to give it the Blair touch.

TOOTIE

Blair, you donít have to be Nancy Drew to figure out thatís cheating.

BLAIR

Whoís cheating? Iím just borrowing a poem from a woman who died in 1886. Itís not like Iím copying from the girl in front of me. Besides, itís only cheating when someone finds out. And no one knows but you and me.

TOOTIE

Sure, and youíre not gonna tell! (She leaves)

BLAIR

Uh, Tootie! You WILL keep my secret, WONíT you?

TOOTIE

You know me.

BLAIR

I sure do. Whatever I tell you goes in one ear and out your mouth.

TOOTIE

Blair, donít worry. I just hope I donít start talking in my sleep.

BLAIR

Exactly what would make you shut up in your sleep?

TOOTIE

Oh, if I wasnít under so much pressureÖ.

BLAIR

All right, what pressure?

TOOTIE

Well, I got to make my bed every day.

BLAIR

Iíll make your bed.

TOOTIE

And clean my room everyday.

BLAIR

All right.

TOOTIE

And press my uniform!

BLAIR

All right, Tootie! Thatís it!

TOOTIE

That is too much. Having a white maid! (She leaves)

CUT TO: Living room. The girls are sitting on the couch watching Mrs. Garrett bending over trying to fix the TV.)

MRS. GARRETT

Well, the verticalís fixed. Howís my horizontal?

SUE ANN

Itís blocking the set.

MRS. GARRETT

Well, I guess thatís not an insult. Itís only a 19-inch screen. (Nancy goes to the TV)

CINDY

Oh Nancy, turn on the football game.

MOLLY

Not the Dallas Cowboys! They exploit women by using cheerleaders as sex objects.

NATALIE

You wonít feel that way when you have your own set of pom-poms.

(Mr. Bradley comes in with a folder) MR. BRADLEY

Hello, girls. Iím going to read your poetry grades. (The girls get excited)

TOOTIE

(Shushing them up) Hey, you guys, this is big. Be quiet!

MR. BRADLEY

Blair: A-plus. Sue Ann: C-minus. Molly: D.

MOLLY

Youíre kidding!

MR. BRADLEY

Cindy: C.

CINDY

What?

MR. BRADLEY

Nancy: C.

NANCY

C?

MR. BRADLEY

C. Natalie: C-minus.

NATALIE

Oh no, Iím below C-level!

MR. BRADLEY

And TootieÖ.

TOOTIE

Oh please. Let it be our secret. (She gets up to get her paper and looks at it) Well, no one will ever look for it here! (She stuffs it in her shirt)

SUE ANN

How did Blair get an A-plus?

MRS. GARRETT

A-plus? Blair, thatís wonderful. But why did the other girls get such low grades?

GIRLS

Yeah?

MR. BRADLEY

Well, I marked it on a curve. Iím sorry I couldnít give you more than an A-plus, Blair.

NATALIE

What else could he give her, a weekend in Bermuda?

MRS. GARRETT

I think itís unfair to lower the other girlsí grades just because one girl wrote a poem that caught your fancy.

GIRLS

Yeah!

MR. BRADLEY

Life isnít always fair. Blairís extraordinarily gifted. Here let me read you a few lines. (Reading) ďBeauty crowds me Ďtil I die/ Beauty have mercy on meÖĒ The eloquence, the simplicity, itís you, Blair. Itís really you.

MRS. GARRETT (Looking over the poem) What an extraordinary poem. What a nice surprise!

TOOTIE

Oh, Iím not surprised!

MRS. GARRETT

Mr. Bradley, donít you think that each poem should be graded according to its own merit? I donít see how you can grade poems on a curve!

MR. BRADLEY

Touch darts, Mrs. Garrett. When they make you headmaster, you can grade any old way you want. But until then (Singing) Iíll do it my way. (Laughs)

MRS. GARRETT

Well if you excuse me, Mr. Bradley. Iíd promise the girls Iíd bake them one of my famous blueberry cheesecakes. (Going into the kitchen)

MR. BRADLEY

Oh good, thatís my favorite.

MRS. GARRETT

Too bad there wonít be any left over for you. Iím baking it on the curve. (She leaves)

NANCY

For those lousy grades, we need something to cheer us up. Turn on the TV.

MR. BRADLEY

Sorry, girls (Pulls the plug) Iím pulling the plug.

GIRLS

WHAT???

MR. BRADLEY

So we can start doing some learning around here.

CINDY

But we wonít be able to watch TV.

MR. BRADLEY

See, youíre learning already. And to help you learn even more, youíll all do a poem a second time except, of course, for Blair.

BLAIR

Mr. Bradley, my poem wasnít that great!

MR. BRADLEY

Iíve never seen you this modest before. Iím not sure if I can handle it.

TOOTIE

Me neither. I think Iím going to be sick!

MR. BRADLEY

Bye, girls. Upstairs! Start writing! (He goes to the door) Poetry is like love. Itís better the second time around.

TOOTIE

But I havenít even had my first time around! (He leaves)

SUE ANN

I broke my back to write that first poem and now Iíll have to write another one. Thanks, Blair! (The girls go upstairs)

TOOTIE

What are you going to no now, Miss Emily Dickinson?

BLAIR

What can I do? If I turn myself in, Bradley will probably kick me out of the play. Maybe even out of school!

TOOTIE

Gee, Iíd hate to see you get kicked out of school. You have been a gem of a maid. (She turns to go up the stairs) And by the way! (She holds up her skirt) These pleats arenít as sharp as I like them.

BLAIR

Tootie! (Mr. Bradley comes back in) MR. BRADLEY

Oh, I forgot the most important thing. I couldnít keep your talent a secret. Iíve entered your poem in the New York Poetry Festival.

BLAIR

You, you didnít?!?

MR. BRADLEY

Yes I did! (He leaves again)

TOOTIE

Oh, Blair! Are you going to be famous!

(COMMERCIAL)

FADE IN: The Eastland living room. The girls and Mrs. Garrett are sitting on the couch. Tootie comes in the door with some pizza boxes.

TOOTIE

Hot stuff coming! Hot stuff coming! And the pizzas are warm, too!

MRS. GARRETT

All right!

TOOTIE

This is our lucky day! The pizzas should have been $12.00, but the waitress goofed. So we got all this change! (She takes out money)

MRS. GARRETT

Oh no, Tootie. You have to take that money back.

MOLLY

We canít exploit the waitress of the working class. Itís a tainted pizza!

NATALIE

No its not. Itís mushrooms and anchovies.

MRS. GARRETT

I waited tables when I was younger. And every time I made a mistake, it came out of my pocket. Tootie, you want that waitress to be out that money?

TOOTIE

Youíre right, Miss Garrett. Just because sheís dumb doesnít mean she has to be broke, too. (She goes to the door and goes out)

MRS. GARRETT

Youíre all heart. (As Tootie goes out, she opens the pizza boxes and slices the pizza)

MOLLY

All right, I pronounce this pizza untainted.

MRS. GARRETT

(Trying a piece) And cold! (She throws her slice back in the box)

NATALIE

(Taking the pizza) Iíll warm it up!

MOLLY

Iím going with you!

NANCY

Yeah, we donít trust you! (They all go into the kitchen. Mrs. Garrett sees Blair sitting so glum in the chair)

MRS. GARRETT

Hey, Blair, whatís this? Youíre suddenly allergic to pizza?

BLAIR

No, Iím just not very hungry. I didnít sleep well last night.

MRS. GARRETT

Oh? Sounds like an acute case of Jason.

BLAIR

No. Itís about the poem Mr. Bradley entered in the contest. It isnít mine! I copied it from Emily Dickinson.

MRS. GARRETT

Oh, Blair! (She has to sit down) Sheesh! Why?

BLAIR

Well, I kept putting it off and then I, I panicked! I guess itís like, like cheating, huh?

MRS. GARRETT

No, itís worse. Itís like stealing. Blair, when you copied that poem, did you happen to read it?

BLAIR

Itís about feeling beautiful.

MRS. GARRETT

Mmmm, and how are you feeling right now? (Indicating stomach) In here?

BLAIR

Rotten. And youíre saying, uh, I should tell Mr. Bradley the truth?

MRS. GARRETT

You said it.

BLAIR

Thank you. (She goes to the door)

MRS. GARRETT

Oh, uh, you owe yourself one more thing.

BLAIR

Whatís that?

MRS. GARRETT

A poem.

BLAIR

Right.

(As she reaches the door, there is a knock. It opens, and Jason comes in.)

JASON

Hi, Blair!

BLAIR

Jason! What a surprise!

JASON

Iím leaving tomorrow for my college interview. So I came over for one more rehearsal. (Mr. Bradley comes in)

MR. BRADLEY

Mrs. Garrett, Blair.

BLAIR

Oh, Mr. Bradley. Can we have a talk?

MR. BRADLEY

Sure. (Blair goes to him)

BLAIR

I have a problem.

MR. BRADLEY

No, you donít. I know itís a school night, but go ahead and rehearse. Just stay on school grounds.

BLAIR

But, Mr. Bradley, IÖ

MR. BRADLEY

(Taking her to the door) Donít be such a goody-goody. Get going.

BLAIR

Mr. BradleyÖ

JASON

Thank you! (They go out the door)

MR. BRADLEY

Quite a girl we have there. I wish we had a hundred of her.

MRS. GARRETT

One is plenty.

CUT TO: Outside the house on a bench. Jason and Blair are kissing- actually Jason is kissing and Blair is just staring in space)

JASON

How can you kiss with your eyes open? Fish do that!

BLAIR

Iím sorry, Jason, Iím just not into this.

JASON

Itís okay. I am (Jason starts kissing her again)

BLAIR

No, no, no. I feel guilty.

JASON

We havenít done anything!

BLAIR

I have!

JASON

Oh. (Turns away from her)

BLAIR

No, no, itís not that! I cheated on my poetry assignment.

JASON

Oh, is that all? Everyone does that! How do you think Iím getting into Yale? Come here. (He grabs her to kiss her again)

BLAIR

Iím sorry, Jason, Iím sorry! Iíve got to write a poem. (She gets up and heads for the door)

JASON

I donít believe this!

BLAIR

Have a good time at Yale. (She goes inside)

JASON

(Wondering what the hell happened) Yeah, Boola Boola.

CUT TO: Living room. The girls are all writing their poems. Mrs. Garrett keeps them company.

TOOTIE

Iím glad Mr. Bradley gave us a chance to do a second poem. This one will knock his socks off!

(Blair comes in the door)

MRS. GARRETT

Blair, I thought you were rehearsing with Jason.

BLAIR

I was, but thereís something I want to tell the girls. (The girls look up) You know that fantastic terrific poem I wrote? I didnít write it.

SUE ANN

Who did?

BLAIR

Emily Dickinson.

SUE ANN

Are you kidding us? You cheated?

BLAIR

Ask Tootie. She was there.

NATALIE

Tootie, you kept a secret? There is a God.

BLAIR

Iím sorry, you guys. I feel worse than you do.

SUE ANN

Give us a break. Are we supposed to feel sorry for you?

CINDY

You canít go through life cheating!

MOLLY

If you cheat your way through school, youíre in real trouble.

NATALIE

Unless you go into politics.

MOLLY

Yeah, Blair, why donít you run for president?

BLAIR

I said I was sorry!

SUE ANN

Yeah, Blair, Take care of #1. Whatís the difference if the rest of us have lousy grades?

MRS. GARRETT

(Sharply) All right, thatís enough!

BLAIR

No, itís okay. Iíve got it coming. But I want you to know; I did do one thing, Mrs. Garrett. I finally wrote a poem. (She takes it out of her pocket) (Mr. Bradley comes in)

MR. BRADLEY

Well, I see youíre all here. I have some terrific news.

MRS. GARRETT

I donít think we can handle any more terrific news.

BLAIR

Mr. Bradley, I have something very important to tell you.

MR. BRADLEY

This is more important! Your poem won third prize.

BLAIR

Oh no! Mr. Bradley, honest, I donít deserve it!

MR. BRADLEY

Blair, your modesty is getting to be a bore.

MRS. GARRETT

Mr. BradleyÖ

MR. BRADLEY

First, weíll have a Blair Warner day.

MRS. GARRETT

Mr. BradleyÖ

MR. BRADLEY

A picture with a trophy

MRS. GARRETT

Mr. BradleyÖ

MR. BRA

DLEY Oh, I will be so proudÖ

MRS. GARRETT

MR. BRADLEY!!!!!!!!! Blair has something to tell you.

BLAIR

Mr. Bradley, I cheated! I copied that poem from Emily Dickinson.

MR. BRADLEY

Emily Dickinson? Blair, what the HELL are you talking about?!?! (Mrs. Garrett gasps) I didnít mean it. Yes I did!

TOOTIE

I was shocked, too, Mr. Bradley!

Mr. BRADLEY

How could you do this to Eastland? To Me? You let me go around praising a poem you never even wrote. I feel like a complete idiot!

MRS. GARRETT

Mr. Bradley

MR. BRADLEY

What?

MRS. GARRETT

Youíre right. This is a serious offense and yes, she did make a terrible mistake, but at least she had the courage enough to admit it.

MR. BRADLEY

That still does not excuse her.

MRS. GARRETT

Yes, I know that and she knows that. But she has written a poem of her own andÖ

MR. BRADLEY

Oh, big deal!!!

MRS. GARRETT

Oh, for goodness sakes. Would you listen to her?

BLAIR

Please?

MR. BRADLEY

All right, Iíll listen.

BLAIR

Mrs. Garrett, could you read it for me? I get too emotional.

MRS. GARRETT

Oh, sure honey. (She reads the paper) ďReflections by Blair Warner. I never thought it possible/ but when I look in the mirror, I donít like what I see/ what I behold is a tarnished image/ of a betrayer of friends and a cheater of self.Ē Thatís eloquent, Blair. ďWhere is that Blair of yesteryear/ that reflection that we held so dear? / Those perfect eyes, those pearly teeth/ that adorable perky nose, the alabaster dimple cheeksÖ.Ē Oh, Blair, I think youíre being too harsh on yourself.

BLAIR

No, no, I deserve it. Go ahead. Read the part about the soft cascading hair.

MR. BRADLEY

We get your point, Blair. Now understand that your punishment is going to be very severe.

BLAIR

Thatís okay. I can take it. Iíve gotten all the guilt out of my system.

MRS. GARRETT

How do you feel?

BLAIR

Beautiful. (She looks into the mirror) Hi! Iím Back!

MRS. GARRETT

Mr. Bradley, well?

MR. BRADLEY

Itís obvious that your extracurricular activities are getting in the way of your schoolwork, so youíll have to withdraw from the play. And you are grounded for a month. And, of course, youíve just flunked English Lit.

BLAIR

Flunked???

SUE ANN

Boy, Blair, thatís really rough.

MRS. GARRETT

Blair. (Hands her a handkerchief) This is for your perky little nose. Blow. (Turns to the girls) That means all of you! (All the girls run upstairs, except for Tootie)

TOOTIE

Blair, Iím sorry for all that I put you through. But can I still have you for half a day on Thursday?

(Blair smiles at Tootie and they give each other fives as the episode ends.)