Jodie is getting ready to go out. But she's not at the store. She's at home, dressed in casual clothes. She makes sure she has everything: House keys, wallet, and some laundry. She looks up and notices us and tells us that she's glad we're here because she has a problem. She doesn't want to go to the store tonight because she's got some bad news - and good news, too, "in a way."
She's been offered a new job. "They want me to be the supervisor of an entire store!" she says excitedly. "Only it's not this store, it's another store, in another city. So I have to move away. You see, that's why I don't want to go to work because I don't know how to tell Sam and Muffy and Jeff that I have to leave." She sighs. "Well, guess I could always say no and turn the job down. But it's a much better job, more pay, more responsibility - and besides, you can't just stay in the same job forever! You understand, don't you?" She pauses. "Well, it's like school. You might be having a lot of fun in first grade, but you can't just stay there because you're having a great time, you have to move on to second grade and third grade. Hey, that's how we learn! And that's why I've decided I'm going to take this job. Oh, it will be really sad saying goodbye to all my friends, but we have some wonderful memories and just thinking about those will make me happy." Now she's off to do a few errands and she asks us to come along to cheer her up and give her someone to talk to. As she leaves, she mentions that what she'll miss most about the store will be all the singing and dancing they always did. "I don't think big important supervisors are supposed to sing and dance. Still, I can't help thinking, Jeff and I could always find something to sing about!"
(Flashback to "Ears," the song, "What Do You Hear?")
Jodie is singing the song to herself as she comes across a used bookstore. She hopes there will be a lot of good used bookstores in her new city. When she finds a copy of "Cinderella," in the rack outside the store, she remembers her funny Cinderella dream, starring her friends from the store.
(Flashback to "Dreams," Jodie's dream).
Jodie admits that when she woke up from the dream, she had a look around for that glass slipper. "Just in case!"
She begins thinking of how hard it will be to make new friends in her new job. Friends like Waldo, Mort, Mrs. Pennypacker - and of course "Sam, Muffy and . . ." she pauses a bit before she says, "Jeff." She hopes they'll like her replacement.
"Maybe I should just stay and take care of them." she says. Then, "No! This new job is important and I'll be my own boss! And that'll be good for me. I think." She begins to sing about her quandary.
"Do I really want to go on my way, have my own say, start a new day, it's time to make up my mind. I know my friends will understand why, be brave and not cry, with love say goodbye, how can I leave them behind? Well I'll miss those silly tricks by little Muffy! And Sam getting huffy - Bumbling banana bread! - And Jeff, well he's one of a kind. Oh, come on Jodie! It's time to decide, what's inside, truth you can't hide, answers are so hard to find."
As she is singing, she has been walking, and she finds herself at the laundromat, which makes her think about Sam and one time when they went to the laundromat together.
(Flashback to laundry scene from "Soap.")
Now Jodie is waiting for the streetcar, still wondering what she should do. She wishes she was as sure of what she wanted to be when as when she was a little girl. She wanted to be the biggest movie star ever. For one thing, she wouldn't have to wait for a streetcar.
(Flashback to "Changes," the "Movie Star" number).
Unfortunately while she has been daydreaming about being a movie star, she has missed her streetcar. "Come on! We're gonna have to walk!" she tells us.
As she walks home, she thinks about when she had to rush a picture of the store's historical plaque to the store's owner to keep him from selling the store.
(Flashback to "Our Story, Part 2," "Hurry Jodie," to her arrival back at the store where the four friends sing "Wonderful News").
"Everything's fine, everything is okay!" she sings to herself as she comes in her front door. "Except everything's not okay, is it? Oh, all this remembering has made me realize one thing. If I leave the store, I'm gonna be very unhappy. And what good is a better job if you're not happy?" She walks over to the desk and picks up the envelope containing the job offer. "I am NOT going to take this job!" she says, ripping the envelope in half. "I'm gonna stay right where I am and go to work like always." She looks at her watch. "Except if I don't hurry, I'm going to be late. Aw, thanks for dropping in, you were a big help. It's always good to have friends when you have a decision to make. Well, I'll see you at the store soon, and don't worry. I'll be there, just like always."
- In my opinion, of the four flashback episodes, "Jodie" was the best. There was no revisionist history, and the plot was quite compelling. Since these were the last episodes of 1985, and I had no idea if they were ever going to make another season of episodes, I felt it was possible that Jodie might leave the store. Also, personally, since I was wondering if there'd ever be any more new T.S. episodes, I found great comfort when Jodie said, "I'll see you at the store soon and don't worry, I'll be there, just like always."
- When Jodie sings the song from "Ears," she corrects the grammar of the original. In the show, she and Jeff had sung, "I hear clap, clap clapping, I hear snap, snap, snapping, I hear tap tap tapping, it's a very happy sound." But when Jodie sings it here, she says, "those are very happy sounds." I thought it was a mistake, but then I realized that the second way is gramatically more correct.
- It's always kind of amusing to me when they acknowledge all the singing and dancing they do in the store, because I tend to think of the song and dance numbers as being part of the story, the way they are in a musical, not that Jodie and Jeff are actually standing in the store singing and dancing their way through work.
- Perhaps what makes this episode a bit better than the other flashback episodes is Nerene Virgin's warm and cozy voice and the way she really seems to be confiding in us. It was the only flashback episode in which I didn't feel like something was missing.
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