Friend or Foe
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Connie enters Jules’ room to ask how her homework’s going, but stops when she sees Jules’ inappropriate dress. Jules says that she’s wearing the dress to a ‘Chains of Despair’ concert tomorrow night, a concert that Connie did not permit her to attend. After Connie sees the price of the dress and learns that Jules paid for it with her dad’s credit card, she makes Jules return the dress and stay home the night of the concert.
At school the next day, Jules complains to Buck about having to miss the concert. Buck’s surprised that she listens to their music, and says that Connie’s just trying to look out for her, to protect her. All of a sudden, Valerie Swanson walks by and drops her books. After Buck helps her pick them up (and Valerie flirts, to Buck’s embarrassment), Valerie starts talking about ‘Chains of Despair’ with Jules. She tells Jules that she couldn’t buy a ticket because of the price, and Jules gives Valerie her ticket. Valerie is thrilled and announces that the two of them are hanging out, as a way to repay Jules. Valerie leaves, and Buck tries to warn Jules about what she might be getting into, but to no avail.
The next day, Valerie and Jules hang out at a clothing store, Valerie talking about the concert, and Jules talking about California. Jules says that she doesn’t feel as comfortable in Odyssey as she was there, that Connie has no interest in her having a good time, and other things. Valerie sees an outfit and raves about it to Jules, but pouts when she realizes she doesn’t have money for it. Jules, wanting to encourage her friend, offers to buy it with her dad’s card. Valerie is again thrilled, but then gripes that she doesn’t have shoes to go with it, which Jules, again, agrees to buy. After deciding that Jules should have a new dress, too, Valerie pulls one out and asks Jules’ opinion. Jules says she can’t buy it – she already bought it and had to return it, Connie said so. Valerie asks why Connie has any say, and Jules replies that it’s because she lives in her house. Valerie has a simple solution – keep it at her house. She considers, then agrees, along with a new pair of shoes for herself.
On the phone, Jules says that she can’t; Connie doesn’t let her go out on school nights. She hangs up just as Connie enters her room to find her sweater. She says that Valerie doesn’t have the best reputation, but Jules shrugs it off, saying that she’s just helping her with geometry. After Jules asks if she can go to Val’s house to help, Connie agrees. Jules leaves, calling over her shoulder that Connie can grab her sweater, but as long as she brings it back.
Jules meets up with Valerie… at the movie theater. She has the tickets and Valerie has the popcorn. The movie: Queen of Camelot. Valerie heads off in the wrong direction, and when Jules asks, she says she’s going to Blood Slasher III. Jules consents without any argument, and Valerie comments, “It’s so good to see you breaking free from Connie’s chains and finally being yourself.” Jules agrees.
Next, the two head out to buy Jules’ favorite sandwich: bacon, pastrami, BBQ chips, and peanut butter. It’s a sandwich Connie doesn’t let her eat, because of the fat content; she says Connie’s just jealous. After Valerie takes a bite, she pulls out a surprise for Jules: the latest ‘Chains of Despair’ album. When Jules says they can’t hear it at Connie’s house, Valerie says they can’t listen at hers because her stereo’s broken.
But there they are, at Valerie’s house, rocking out with the new album on a new stereo, one that she didn’t pay for. Jules bought yet another thing for Valerie. All of these happenings aren’t lost on Buck, who confronts Jules about it at school later. He says that Valerie told him if he hung out with them, Jules would buy him whatever he wanted. Buck says it’s a scam – Valerie’s using her. She and Jules aren’t really friends. When Jules gets uptight and defensive about it, Buck suggests a test: ask Valerie to pay for something for once. Jules says that she’ll make her own decisions for herself. She then leaves to go to Valerie’s house.
When she gets there, Jules helps Valerie plan her birthday party. Valerie says she can invite 10 people to the restaurant where it’ll be held: Jules and Valerie’s cousin and his six friends. There’s room left, so Valerie suggests inviting Buck, but Jules says no, he turned out to be just like everyone else in Odyssey. Valerie says that it’s okay; they’ll have fun anyway with her cousin and his friends. Then she gets an idea: they could rent a limousine! Jules, remembering what Buck said, slowly suggests to Valerie that she pay for the limo instead of Jules. At first, Valerie can’t believe what Jules is asking, but eventually consents to pay. She supports whatever decision Jules makes. …However, Valerie says after a pause, if Jules doesn’t pay for it, she might just happen to tell Connie about all of the things Jules has been doing, all of the music she’s been listening to, all of the movies she’s been watching, and all of the things she’s bought. Jules finally gets it and starts to leave, but Valerie threatens her again by mentioning she’ll show Connie all of the receipts she’s kept with the name Jules Kendall on the bottom. So, what decision will she make? At this point, Jules has no choice.
She approaches Buck the next day, first inviting him to Valerie’s party, and then, reluctantly, telling him that he was right. Valerie has been using her, and now she’s blackmailing her. At this point, she says, she could use a friend. When Buck asks how he can help, Jules asks him to, perhaps, trick Valerie or blackmail her into getting Jules out of her problem. Buck says he can. But he won’t. Conning another con only escalates the problem. He won’t help Jules that way; she should have stopped it herself before it got this bad. The best thing for Jules to do is to confess what she’s done to Connie; she cares about her. “Some friend you turned out to be,” Jules remarks, and walks away.
At Valerie’s party, the guests are in the middle of an eating contest when the waiter pulls Jules aside and tells her there’s a problem with her card. The transaction was declined. Jules looks at the bill, cringes, and then goes back to Valerie to show her. Once she realizes that Jules isn’t just trying to get her to pay her fair share, Valerie says she’ll try to get everyone to pay, and Jules should go stall the waiter. After Jules leaves and explains the situation to him, a waitress walks up and says that when she went into the room to deliver more food, the group was gone. Jules is escorted to the manager’s office, where the waiter calls Connie.
Connie arrives, mildly flustered, and the waiter shows her the way to the office. After Connie makes sure Jules is okay, the waiter gives her the bill. She’s stunned at the total, then hands the waiter her card. He leaves to process the transaction. When Connie asks how Jules got the dress she’s wearing, Jules replies that she bought it back again, and chuckles. “Don’t laugh,” Connie says. She then takes the next few minutes to explain to Jules that her dad called and wanted to know why Connie wasn’t using the money that he sends for Jules each month. Jules had been buying clothes and food with his credit card and not the money he sends to Connie, so, wondering if Jules even lived with Connie, he canceled the card. Jules has limits because Connie understands her – she’s young and immature and needs people in her life who love her to tell her when she’s going the wrong way. Jules listens, but ultimately rejects her advice. Finally, Connie breaks the news to her that Jules is going to have to get a job to pay off the card. And she just might know a place…
Buck is minding his own business, finishing a milkshake at a table in Whit's End, when Jules bustles up and offers to clear the table. When questioned, she says that it’s her job, what she’s getting paid for. Connie comes and tells her about a big banana split spill, and Jules leaves for a mop. Connie turns to Buck, and after realizing that he kind of knew what was going on, she tells him that her dad relayed to her that most of the things Jules bought were being returned, and he was getting the money back. Connie then says that she heard from Valerie’s mom that some “nice young man” came to her house, and after explaining what happened, offered to return everything. All Buck says is that Jules has a lot of people who care about her. Connie hopes that she’ll see that someday.
|Buck Oliver||Robby Bruce|
|Valerie Swanson||Allison Sharpe|
|Jules Kendall||Shona Kennedy|
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Sandwich Man||Phil Lollar|
- One of the ‘Chains of Despair’ songs ends with the lyrics, “I’m so unhappy!”
- If Bill's Credit Card was cancelled, the stores would be unable to refund the amount back to it, especially without a receipt.
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