On this "painfully special" episode of
Strangers With Candy:
Jerri has a good time at Tweetzie Railroad throwing rocks at the Indian. At one time Orlando probably would have enjoyed this pastime, too, but now he just wants to ride the train and he's finding Jerri's racist comments and actions to be a bit offensive. After one insult too many he walks off and leaves her there alone. Undaunted, she gets another good rebound off the Indian's head. Later, in Mr. Jellineck's class, she continues her insults after the students are told that it's casting time for the Bi-Annual Thanksgiving Turkey pageant. When Orlando expresses his desire to play a Pilgrim, Jerri tells him that Pilgrims are supposed to have milky white skin to match their pure Christian souls. This is the straw that breaks the Chimpipino's back; Orlando tells Jerri that they are no longer friends. At home, Jerri tells Sara of her plans to spend the upcoming two-week school break sitting in front of the television with her and Derrick. Sara, however, has made arrangements for Jerri to go away to a camp where young Native American adoptees learn about their Indian heritage. Jerri is perplexed because she is not, I repeat, "not" an Indian. At this point, Sara reveals a long-kept secret that she was hoping to save for a moment when Jerri was feeling really low, probably during some tragic crisis, but the prospect of spending two weeks with Jerri hanging around the house is more than Sara can bear. Sara tells Jerri that she was adopted and that she is actually a full-blooded Aramapu Indian. She gives Jerri a box filled with items that her birth mother left for her. Despite her fondness for alcohol and gambling, and her knack for contracting syphilis, Jerri refuses to believe that Sara is telling her the truth. The next day at school, Jerri is taunted by other students, who have obviously heard that she is an Indian. Mr. Noblet gets his digs in by focusing his history class on the "atrocities" committed by Indians. He makes Jerri defend the actions of Native Americans throughout history in a mock debate that pits her against the entire class. The barrage of accusations is too much for her to bear and she snaps. She fashions a makeshift tomahawk using a ruler, a protractor, some rubber bands, and her feathered earrings, and uses the weapon to scalp a blond student. Principal Blackman confronts Jerri with the scalp and tells her that she has to go to the Indian Camp. When she arrives at the Bob Whitely Cultural Immersion Camp For Adopted Indians she is greeted by Bob Whitely himself, who arrives in a golf cart decorated with feathers. Before long, Jerri is befriended by a young brave named Wendell. Wendell doesn't feel that Bob Whitely's camp is helping him to learn about his heritage at all. Whitely just wants to pass around his $80 bong, calling it a peace pipe, and teach the campers how to be card dealers. Orlando is concerned about Jerri so he visits the Blank house to ask how she's doing. Orlando observes that Jerri's belongings have been removed from her bedroom and are lying on the floor, waiting to be sold. He picks up the box that contains the belongings that Jerri's birth mother left for her. Sara tells him that the box will cost $1. Orlando takes the box and heads off to the Indian Camp. Although he has been hurt by Jerri's harsh words, Orlando still has fond feelings for her and he seeks her out to give her the box. Jerri is obviously very happy to see Orlando, but he doesn't stay for more than a moment. She takes the box to Wendell and asks him to help her to sort out the items within. Wendell tells her that they are supposed to use the items to build a fire and read the smoke signals to decipher a message that Jerri's mother had left for her. Jerri is relieved to learn that her birth mother didn't just give her up for adoption, she actually traded her for a pitcher of beer. Finally, Jerri is able to come to terms with the truth of her heritage. She tells Bob Whitely that she is ready to go home. She returns to school just in time to save Mr. Jellineck's Bi-Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Pageant by volunteering to play the uncoveted Indian roles. Jerri's Indian character threatens the life of a Pilgrim woman and is in turn shot and killed by Mr. Noblet's character. Before she dies, Jerri's character deeds all of the continental United States (and Alaska & Hawaii) to the white man and implores him to defend it from her savage brothers.
Episode Title: "Trail of Tears"
Original Airdate: 7/24/00
Production Number: 3-03
Directed by: Juan Campanella
Writers: Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris
Additional Writer: Matt Lappin
Regular Cast: AS, DD, DR, GH, LS, OP, PD, SC
Guest Cast: Will Ferrell (Bob Whitely), Andy Richter (Tweetzie Railroad Indian), Michael Cruz (Wendell), Patrick Blindauer (Chip Beavers), Lance White Magpie (Indian that Orlando thinks is Jerri), Kimberly Masters, Lisa Terezakis, Todd Swenson, Patrick McCrackin (Student in Noblet's class), Matt Ostroff, Jason Brinker, Jennifer Johns, Jackie Tohn
· Tim Fagan is among the hecklers in Noblet's class.
· The student whom Jerri scalps was played by Luke Lappin, the brother of the show's Additional Writer, Matt Lappin. Luke also worked as an extra in episodes 108 and 109.
Aramapu (ä·răm'·ä·poo) n. fictional Native American tribe, was originally to be called Shingo Beak
blunderbuss (blŭn'·dür·bŭs) n. 1 a short gun with a large bore and a broad, flaring muzzle, accurate only at close range 2 a person who blunders
Winner of the Season Three
Golden Donkey Awards for
"Best Celebrity Guest
[ Will Ferrell ]
and "Best Episode"
|Additional Episode Information|
· Tom Everett Scott, one of Amy's "Country Club" co-stars, was supposed to appear in this episode as Mr. Drummel, the Shop teacher, but his scene was cut because of time contraints. During the scene in Shop class, one of the students says to Jerri, "Your brother Derrick told us you're an Indian. Can I take you home tonight and scalp your beaver?"
· The scene where Jerri throws the drinking fountain through the cabin window is an hommage to the scene at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in which an Indian, Chief Bromden (Will Sampson), throws a fountain through the window of the mental institution to set himself free after he smothered Jack Nicholson's character to death with a pillow.
· In interviews, Amy had stated that Jerri would learn of her "Shingo Beak" Indian heritage, but in the actual episode the tribe was called "Aramapu", which Paul Dinello jokingly claims is the breed of his dog Cagney.
· Wendell tells Jerri that his camp name is Two Bears. Jerri tells Wendell that her street name is Spread'em Thighs.
Comment: Jerri's adoptee status would explain a comment made by Sara in "The Virgin Jerri". Jerri asked Sara if she was a virgin when she married Guy Blank and Sara replied, "Yes, he was."
On The 'Flatpoint High School' Sign: "JERRI BLANK IS AN INDIAN"
The Best Things In This Episode:
· Will Ferrell.
· The picture of Jerri's birth mother and her beer.
· The scene in which Jerri snaps and scalps a student.
· Sara + Derrick = Gertrude + Hamlet = Jocasta + Oedipus.
Closing Credits Dance Sequence: The cast enjoyes some Country and Western dancing on the stage after the Bi-Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Pageant, to the tune of Loretta Lynn's "Your Squaw is on the Warpath".
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