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Episode #109 "The Value of Money"

 
SYNOPSIS:
 

In the Mitchell living room, Alicia tells Tracy that Ron, her old boss at Bloomingdales, just joined her yoga class. He said she can have her old job back anytime she wants it. What does Tracy think? Alicia’s kind of excited. It would be kind of nice to have some adult interaction for a change. Whatever makes her happy, Tracy tells her. The Gamestation is busted, and Jimmy and Derrick are arguing over who broke it. Tracy’s not happy. He bought it for them just last month. Derrick says they need to go buy another one. No way, says Tracy. They’re going to have to entertain themselves the way Tracy and Alicia did when they were kids. That night at dinner the kids are still lamenting the loss of the Gamestation It cost two hundred dollars, Tracy tells them. Just go to the bank machine and get more money, suggests Jimmy. Not that easy. Tracy tells the kids they have it really good. Everything’s provided for them-clothes, food, a phone. Okay, says Derrick, they’re grateful. Now how about some money for a new Gamestation. Tracy refuses to give in and the kids exit. Tracy tells Alicia he doesn’t understand how the kids got so spoiled. Tracy did it, she tells him. He’s kiddie-whipped. Tracy says he just wants them to have more than he did when he was a kid, and he wants them to know the value of money. There’s no contradiction. He wants spoiled kids who appreciate how lucky they are to be spoiled. At the garage the next day, Tracy complains that the kids expect him to give them everything they want. Bernard says it’s because that’s exactly what Tracy does. Spoon observes that you have to keep kids in check, like a lion-tamer. That night Tracy tells the kids he’s planned a little field trip for them. He’s taking them to the garage where he works hard to support them. Later, Alicia tells Tracy she’s taking the job at Bloomingdales. She starts tomorrow. Tracy’s not happy. He wants Alicia home when the kids get in from school. Alicia promises that no matter what the kids will never come home to an empty house. The next day, the kids are with Tracy at the garage, but there’s no work to do, and the guys are just fooling around. Tracy tries to think of something for them to do, but all the work is done. Tracy gives up and sends the kids out for ice cream. When the kids get back, fumes Tracy, the guys had better be busy. Derrick asks Jimmy if he thinks it’s weird that their dad’s so worked up about money. Maybe they’re poor. No way, says Jimmy. But they see Tracy on the street with a coffee cup and he’s picking up some change he dropped on the sidewalk. They think he’s begging. Now that’s poor, says Jimmy. The next morning the doorbell rings, and it’s a woman from St. Vincent de Paul with a box of food for the family. Derrick and Jimmy admit that they’re the ones who asked for food, and the urge Tracy to accept it. Tracy thanks the woman for her time, but doesn’t take the food. Derrick tells him to stop pretending. They need help. Jimmy knows they’re poor. Mom took a job, and dad was in the street begging! Tracy explains that he dropped some change. This is so sad, says Jimmy. They’re not poor, Tracy says. At work, Alicia’s frustrated, because the people she works with are lazy and have no work ethic. Tracy takes the kids to the projects to the apartment where he grew up. The Dominican man who lives there now lets Tracy and the boys into the seedy apartment. Tracy tells the kids he loves them and wants them.

 
CAST:
 
Tracy Mitchell
Tracy Morgan
Alicia Mitchell
 
Tamala Jones
Derrick Mitchell
 
Mark John Jeffries
Jimmy Mitchell
 
Bobb'e J. Thompson
Spoon
 
John Witherspoon
Bernard
 
Heavy D (Dwight Myers)
Freddie
 
Katt Williams

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