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521 - White Trash, Holy Rollers and Punching People

Aired Thursday, May 12, 2022
White Trash, Holy Rollers and Punching People

As the congregation gossips about Georgie, Mary's situation at the church becomes untenable. Meanwhile, Missy defends her brother, and Sheldon is distracted by the family situation.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "White Trash" refers to the Sunday school bully's description of Missy's family, "Holy Rollers" refers to George's comment about the congregation, "and Punching People" refers to Missy hitting the bully.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothes as a black cow with horns approaches the family.


Quote from Sheldon

Mary: Let's say grace.
Sheldon: Hang on, safety first. [puts mittens on]
George Jr.: When are you gonna get over that?
Sheldon: I would think recent events would make you value protection.
Mary: Enough.

Quote from Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: I was struggling to focus and needed help. Luckily, there was someone on campus I could always count on to lend a friendly ear. A second mom, if you will.
President Hagemeyer: What now?
Sheldon: You said if I ever had a problem, I could come to you and you'd fix it.
President Hagemeyer: When did I say that?
Sheldon: September 13th, 1991. You had just eaten a poppyseed bagel and had one stuck in your teeth.
President Hagemeyer: I'll take your word for it.
Sheldon: It was right here. How did it not make you crazy? It made me crazy.
President Hagemeyer: What do you want?
Sheldon: My family's falling apart.
President Hagemeyer: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Uh... what do you want me to do?
Sheldon: Fix it.

Quote from Sheldon

Sheldon: If we're switching religions, may I recommend Judaism.
Mary: Why?
Sheldon: Both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are Jewish.
George Sr.: So?
Sheldon: Isn't that enough?

Quote from George Sr.

George Sr.: Hold on. Are you firing her?
Pastor Jeff: No, no, just a little leave of absence till things settle down.
Pastor Rob: Is that really necessary?
Pastor Jeff: I believe it is. As leaders of this church, we are held to a higher standard.
Mary: Are you asking us to leave the church?
Pastor Jeff: Of course not.
George Sr.: Y'all talk a big game about community, and then you just turn your back when things get a little messy.
Pastor Rob: Okay, let's just take a breath.
George Sr.: You do that. We're leaving. Come on, Mary.
Pastor Jeff: George, let's talk this through.
George Sr.: I've heard enough. I'll be in the truck. [exits]

Quote from Missy

Mary: Bless us, Lord, for the food we are about to receive and bless the hands that prepared it.
Missy: And bless Mom.
Mary: Thank you. Amen.
Missy: Amen.
George Jr.: Amen.
Sheldon: She's the hands that prepared it. Your blessing is redundant.
Mary: Let's eat.

View more quotes from this episode

Episode Trivia

  • What is Georgie's middle name?
    • Matthew
    • Morgan
    • Marshall
    • Michael
  • What kind of car does Meemaw drive?
    • Toyota
    • Honda
    • Mazda
    • Nissan

Episode Recap

When Pastor Rob approaches Mary on a park bench, she thanks him for meeting with her. “For you, always,” he responds, getting her a coffee and, since she seems upset, some donut holes—his favorite, in case she doesn't want them. Mary declines the offer for donut holes and says she is fine with just coffee. Pastor Rob asks her what’s wrong, and Mary explains that all the things she was afraid of are happening: ever since word got out about Georgie, her bible study group has cancelled. Pastor Rob sympathizes with her and says he's sorry, but he's not surprised. This is the part of religion he doesn’t like. Mary points out Christians are supposed to forgive, but Pastor Rob poses a difficult question: if this were happening to someone else in the congregation, how would Mary respond? With a sigh, Mary grabs the bag of donut holes and takes a bite.

At the church, as Missy and Sheldon walk into the Sunday school room, the chatter dies down, and Billy Sparks wonders what’s going on. Missy explains that people are talking behind her back about her brother, Georgie, instead of saying it to her face. Sheldon believes people only talk behind his back to say how smart he is. Another student in the class, Danny, tells Missy to her face that her brother is going to hell. Missy says he's not, and Sheldon agrees, mostly because hell isn't real. Danny says his mom said they should kick Missy's whole family out of the church. Missy offers to kick Danny's ass instead. Sheldon runs out of the room to get Pastor Rob, who arrives to see what's going on just as Missy slugs Danny.

When George and Mary meet with Pastor Jeff in his office, he informs them that Pastor Rob should be arriving shortly. George argues that if Pastor Rob had been present to stop the other child from speaking, Missy would not have resorted to violence. When Pastor Rob arrives, he introduces himself to George, and Mary realizes the two have not met before. As they begin to discuss the matter at hand, Mary expresses her embarrassment over Missy's behavior, while George believes the other child deserved it. Pastor Jeff acknowledges that the boy's words were out of line, but emphasizes that the bigger issue is how people in the community are talking about George.

While Mary suggests that Pastor Jeff give a sermon on the topic of judgment and forgiveness, Pastor Jeff believes that Mary should take some time off to focus on things at home. George questions whether Mary is being fired, but Jeff reassures them that it's just a temporary leave of absence, as leaders of the church are held to a higher standard. After Mary wonders if they’re being asked to leave the church, Pastor Jeff denies that’s the case, but George is outraged and leaves in protest. Pastor Rob suggests that there might be another way to handle the situation, but Pastor Jeff remains silent. Mary, feeling defeated, decides to clean out her office.

Back home, as Missy holds a pack of frozen peas on her wrist, she tells her brother the movies lied: punching people hurts. “Try being the punchee”, Sheldon adds. When Georgie comes in, he wonders what happened to his sister. Missy doesn’t say anything, but Sheldon explains his sister punched a boy in Sunday school. “Why?”, Georgie wonders. Missy says he was saying crap about their family so she had to do something. Georgie, figuring this is about him and Mandy, tells Missy she can’t go around punching people. Missy felt like she had to do something, explaining Danny said Georgie was going to hell. Georgie says he’s there now, before asking Missy to promise him she won’t be violent. “Fine”, Missy concedes. Georgie says he knows Sheldon isn’t going to be punching anyone. “You are correct, sir”, Sheldon confirms.

When Mandy arrives at Meemaw’s door, she asks to talk. Meemaw welcomes her inside and Mandy explains that she told her parents about the baby. Her parents told her she’s on her own and want nothing to do with her. Meemaw advises her to give them time as they might come around. Mandy admits that she didn't even get to the part where the father is 17 years old. Meemaw jokes that that’s something fun for next time.

As Mary and George return home, he tells her to just join a new church. Mary insists they’re not joining a new church. George wonders if she really wants to go back after what they just went through, prompting Mary to admit she doesn’t know. Sheldon says if they’re joining a new religion, can he suggest Judaism. Sheldon mentions that both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are Jewish. “So?”, George wonders. “Isn’t that enough?”, Sheldon asks.

Back at Meemaw's house, she explains that when Mary first told her she was pregnant, she had the same reaction as Mandy's parents. "Not my finest moment," she admits. Mandy assumes that Meemaw is going to say that Mary and George got married and she accepted it, but Meemaw quickly corrects her: "Hell no. I didn't want my daughter to marry that fat dumbass." She concedes that she shouldn't have said that, adding that George got fat later. Mandy would laugh, but her mother put on 70 pounds after having her little brother. Meemaw tells Mandy that, whether she likes it or not, Georgie is going to be there for her whether she wants it or not.

Mary enters the house carrying a box of her belongings from the church. When she finds Missy watching TV, she sends her daughter to her room. George insists Missy is fine, but Mary points out that she punched a boy in Sunday school. Missy offers to go to her room, but George tells her to stay put. After he asks what she's watching, Missy tells her father she’s watching MTV. George instructs her to keep watching, making clear that he's not punishing her for doing the right thing. Mary disagrees, insisting that violence is never the right thing. George then asks if they're in California, to which Mary groans and walks out of the living room. As George turns to look at the music video playing on the TV, he tells Missy to turn it off.

At Meemaw's place, Mandy asks whether her parents will ever come around. Meemaw responds that babies have a magical power over people, especially grandparents. Mandy asks whether Meemaw felt that way when Georgie was born. "It was love at first sight," Meemaw says. Mandy then adds, "And then 17 years later he got me pregnant." After Meemaw wonders if Mandy will ever let that go, Mandy confirms that she won't.

As Mary drives Sheldon to the university, she questions whether he should be reading in the car. Sheldon insists he will be fine, but Mary reminds him that she will be the one left cleaning up the oatmeal. Sheldon curtly insists that he will be fine and suggests that Mary should worry more about the blueberries than the oatmeal. After Mary notices that Sheldon seems to be in a bad mood, Sheldon posits that it might be due to the bickering at home that prevented him from studying. Sarcastically, Mary apologizes for the family problems interfering with Sheldon's schoolwork, but Sheldon misses the sarcasm and accepts the apology. After he vomits, Sheldon confirms it’s the blueberries that caused the most mess.

Georgie sees his Meemaw about to leave the laundromat and asks her where she's going. Meemaw replies that she's got things to do. Georgie keeps asking Meemaw for more details about where she's going, and she simply responds with "just stuff." Georgie then asks if she can pick up some food for him, but Meemaw declines, citing that she's too busy with her own tasks. When Georgie further presses her about her activities, Meemaw becomes defensive and tells him it's none of his business. Georgie then asks if what she's doing is illegal, but Meemaw refuses to engage in the conversation. As a final request, Georgie asks for the first letter of her destination, but Meemaw simply says "goodbye" and leaves.

As a soap opera plays on the TV, Mary is smoking a cigarette in the backyard and judging the characters' situation. When the doorbell rings, Mary rushes to put out her cigarette and pops a mint to disguise the smell. As she opens the door, Mary coughs and greets Pastor Rob, who asks if she's okay. Mary explains that she just swallowed a TicTac. Pastor Rob jokes that he can barely smell the smoke at all. After Mary asks why he's there, Rob says he didn't like how things went down the other day and came to check on her. "Aren't you kind," Mary remarks. Pastor Rob then asks if he can come in, and Mary welcomes him inside.

At a clinic waiting room, Mandy is filling out a form with Meemaw seated next to her. When Mandy gets to the question about her marital status, she responds with "single". Mandy then hesitates when asked for the name of the father, as she doesn't want to write "Georgie" since it makes him sound like he's 11. Meemaw reveals that his full name is George Marshall Cooper. When Mandy gets to the payment method question, she jokes that there's no option for "bad check". Meemaw asks if she has health insurance, and Mandy explains that she doesn't even have car insurance. When Meemaw wonders how she drives without insurance, Mandy answers “slowly”. Meemaw offers to help with the costs, but Mandy feels guilty and says she couldn’t ask her to do that. Meemaw points out she’s offering to do it, Mandy isn’t asking.

When Georgie walks into the clinic, he is not surprised to find Meemaw with Mandy. When Meemaw and Georgie both ask what the other is doing there, Mandy admits that she asked Georgie's grandmother to be with her. After Meemaw questions how he found them, Georgie jokes that he could see her yellow Toyota from space. After Georgie asks if he can stay, insisting he wants to help, Mandy agrees. When Georgie asks what he can do, Mandy answers “Nothing”. Georgie tells her he can do that.

Adult Sheldon explains he was struggling to focus and needed help. Luckily, there was someone on campus he could always count on to lend a friendly ear. A second mom, if you will. “What now?”, President Hagemeyer asks as Sheldon stands in front of her desk. “You said if I ever had a problem, I could come to you and you'd fix it.”, Sheldon explains. President Hagemeyer doesn’t remember saying that, but Sheldon confirms she did so on September 13th, 1991, after eating a poppyseed bagel with a poppyseed lodged in her teeth. Sheldon wonders how the dental debris did not drive her mad, it drove him mad. “What do you want?”, Hagemeyer asks. After Sheldon says his family is falling apart, Hagemeyer is sorry to hear that but wonders what he wants her to do about it. “Fix it”, he tells her.

Back in the Cooper's living room, Mary expresses her disbelief to Pastor Rob about the church turning its back on them. Pastor Rob reminds her that while the church may have done so, God has not. Mary confesses that she doesn't feel His presence at the moment. In response, Pastor Rob suggests inviting Him in, and they hold hands and close their eyes as he leads a prayer. Rob asks God for guidance during these trying times, and for Him to watch over Mary Cooper and her family, and to recognize that this unborn child, despite being born out of wedlock, is one of His miracles. As they open their eyes and look at each other, Missy interrupts from outside, asking what is happening. "Just praying," they both say, somewhat defensively.

When Missy enters the house, Mary asks why she isn't in school. Missy explains that her mother told her not to punch anyone else, so she left. A flustered and perhaps embarrassed Mary sends Missy to her room. As Missy walks out, Pastor Rob says he should go. They awkwardly exchange pleasantries, with Mary thanking him for coming and him thanking her for the tea. Before Mary closes the door, she gives Pastor Rob a warm hug. Missy sticks her head back in the room and watches as Mary embraces Pastor Rob. After Mary turns back to see Missy watching her, Missy says "Mmm-hmm" and leaves her mother to it.

In the waiting room, a nurse tells Mandy that the doctor is ready to see her. Meemaw and Georgie stand up to accompany her, but Meemaw stops Georgie when he says he's going to see the doctor too. She reminds him that he's not going with Mandy, but Georgie points out that he is the father, after all. Mandy asks him not to cause a scene, and eventually, Georgie gives in and agrees to wait in the waiting room. Once Mandy and Meemaw leave, Georgie announces to the couple across from him that he is the father.

At a bar, Principal Petersen tells Coach Wilkins that he's thinking of getting a rug, pointing to his bald head, as he tries to get back out there with the ladies. Coach Wilkins corrects him, saying they're called hair systems now, but assures him that the right woman wouldn’t care. When Wilkins asks Petersen if he's heard from George today, Petersen claims he hasn't. Petersen says they've got to cut him some slack given what George's going through at home. George, who's been seated at their table nursing a beer this whole time, asks if they're done. Petersen and Wilkins continue to joke around, with Petersen wondering about the source of Sheldon's intelligence. Wilkins quips, "Oh, you mean like was there a genius pizza delivery guy or mailman in the mix" George interrupts, saying that's enough. For the record, his grandfather was a brilliant man who co-invented the traffic cone. It used to be made of wood before they switched to rubber. George stands up, leaves them some money, and walks out. Wilkins asks Petersen if he thinks they cheered George up. "Oh, yeah."

Back in the waiting room, Georgie is talking to the other couple, says he’s hoping for a boy but as long as it’s healthy, that’s all that matters. “What are y'all having?”

As Mary prepares dinner, George arrives home. She asks how his day was and he replies that it was swell. Mary admits that it was a little boring not having a job to go to. George chuckles and says he'll trade places with her. Mary mentions that Pastor Rob dropped by, causing George to ask why. Mary says Rob was "just seeing how we were doing." "You mean to see how you were doing," George wonders. Mary asks what that means, and George responds that Mary is not fooling anybody. Mary insists they were just praying. "Is that what we're calling it?" George asks. Mary says yes because that's all it was. As the phone rings, George says he's had enough and picks up his keys. Mary asks where he's going and points out that she's making dinner. George sarcastically says that maybe Pastor Rob will eat it.

After George storms out of the kitchen, Mary answers the phone. It's President Hagemeyer from the university. Mary wonders if everything's okay. Hagemeyer explains that Sheldon came to her office today, upset about the situation at home. Mary asks what Sheldon told her. "Nothing much, really, just that his parents are fighting all the time, his older brother got a girl pregnant, and his sister punched a little boy in Sunday school," Hagemeyer responds. Mary sighs, saying it's just one thing after another. "Oh, ain't that the truth," Hagemeyer relates. Still, Hagemeyer says the university has invested quite a bit in Sheldon's progress and, well, not to be critical, but Sheldon didn't go to Mary complaining about her. Mary's composure finally breaks as she asks, "What are you saying? Are you saying that I'm not doing a good job as his mother? Because I am doing the best that I can to hold this family together, and I am tired of everyone blaming me. I have half a mind to get in my car and drive until I run out of road and then start my life over again with a different name." Hagemeyer makes a hasty retreat, wishing Mary a good evening. Mary says "You too!" as she hangs up and starts sobbing. Missy, who was listening in the hallway, comes and gives her mother a hug.

As Mary serves dinner to Missy and the boys, Sheldon asks where their dad is. "Well...", Mary begins, before Missy jumps in to say that he had to work late. Mary then asks Georgie if he had a good day, to which he explains that he accompanied Mandy to the doctor for her baby. "She actually wanted you there?" Missy asks. "Not at first, but I wore her down," Georgie responds. When Mary suggests that they say grace, Sheldon says "safety first" and puts his mittens on. Georgie asks when he's going to get over that, but Sheldon jokes that recent events should have made Georgie value protection. "Enough," Mary says before saying grace. As Mary says "Bless us, Lord, for the food we are about to receive and bless the hands that prepared it," Missy jumps in with "And bless Mom.”

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