An Unfortunate Episode – Small Wonder Season 2 Episode 5: Home Sweet Homeless

Cut to a family scene in the kitchen. Joan is excited that Steve Morales’s report on the homeless will be airing that night. Ted is excited when Vicki informs them Roland has left. “HE SAID HE WAS OFF TO PARIS. HE HAS A DATE WITH A BAG LADY BEHIND AN EXCLUSIVE RESTAURANT.” Eww. Jamie flips, blaming Ted for his buddy’s abrupt departure and insisting they find him. He walks off in a huff. Ted says Roland has corrupted him. Joan asks, “What are we gonna do about it?” Hmm, maybe let it blow over ’cause he’s just being a kid and he’ll forget about it soon enough?

Of course not! Ted smirks. “I think I know exactly what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna give Jamie a taste of that ‘good life’ he admires so much.”

Cut to the dingy cardboard set alley. The whole family is there in search of Roland. Jamie is at first eager to find his friend, but then grows bored, hungry and grossed out. “Maybe we should look for Roland somewhere else.” Ted’s shit-eating grin says this is the highlight of his day. Joan suggests they stick around. “He’s bound to be back sooner or later. It’s not so easy giving up all this.” As if that weren’t enough snark, Ted adds, “And I love what he’s done with the place.” If you’ve never spent a day in Detroit with shitty white people, this is exactly what it’s like.

Jamie asks if they can get a pizza. Ted says they should dumpster dive, just like Roland. Jamie whines, “I’m beginning to think this good life is the pits.” Just then, lights flash upon the family. It’s roving reporter Steve Morales. He’s taken the Lawsons for a homeless family. An embarrassed Joan reminds him of their earlier meeting, which leads Morales to a bizarre conclusion. “Do we have a real story for you folks. Just yesterday, Mrs. Lawson came to me with an impassioned plea on behalf of the homeless. And because she’s so dedicated to the cause, she’s moved her entire family out here in the alley to make her point.”

Joan is about to correct him again, but Ted intervenes. “That’s exactly what she did, Mr. Morales. She’s a gutsy little gal.” Thank goodness, Joan gets to look good on camera and the committee will never learn how classist and hateful she and Ted really are.

Morales asks Jamie what he thinks of all this. “Mom’s really dedicated. This is no way to live. We should help the homeless.”

Then Morales asks Vicki, “And what about you little girl?”

“GOT ANY MONEY? THERE’S A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE.” Freeze frame. The end. Everyone is as horrible as ever, but at least our robot slave heroine got to embarrass her captors just a little bit more.

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Tara Rose
About Tara Rose 106 Articles
Since 2009, Tara has been writing snarky essays about pop culture, motherhood and her various neuroses at Rare Oats. She spends most of her other time selling cheese, raising a small human and goofing off with her husband Dan. E-mail:
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