Episode 106: Love Thy Journey
Hattie tells Linda that she's just trying to encourage her to make sure she finds a job. Linda, realizing that her first interview is in 20 minutes, leaves with Hattie practically pushing her out the door.
"Mama, if I leave now, I'll be an hour early," Linda says.
"The only way to ensure that you aren't late is to go early!" Hattie says.
"I don't like you pressuring me like this to perform," Linda says.
"Uh, baby, my men got used to it, and you need to get used to it too!" Hattie says while escorting Linda to the door. Before sending Linda on her way, Hattie unbuttons the top few buttons on her daughter's shirt. When Linda asks what she's doing, Hattie says, "I'm giving you an advantage!"
"Mama, that's inappropriate," Linda says.
"Baby, being broke is inappropriate!" Hattie says. "Now, let 'the girls' lead the way and show 'em what your mama gave you!"
Watch this scene here.
"Why can't she just work here? It's not like we don't need the help," Floyd says.
Before the conversation can spoil Hattie's day, she puts an end to it, claiming that Linda doesn't actually know how to do anything, making it hard for any employer to hire her. Just as they finish talking about Linda's job situation, an older redheaded woman walks into the diner, looking around at how empty it is.
The woman is Vivian, the owner of the building where Sam, Danny and Drew live and where Floyd is the super. Vivian is also "the enemy," Hattie says, because she owns a restaurant next door to the Love Train Diner.
"She's probably trying to rub it in that her restaurant is doing twice the business that ours is," Floyd says. He walks over to Vivian to see what she wants, and Hattie follows.
"What do you want?" Hattie asks Vivian. Vivian remarks that business looks slow, and Hattie and Floyd try to convince her that busloads of people just left and ate everything on the menu.
"Well, I needed to see Floyd," Vivian says. "We have a little leak in our restaurant. Be a dear and fix it?"
Floyd agrees, explaining to Hattie that Vivian is his boss at the apartment building and that he can't risk his job security by saying no to her. Floyd and Vivian exit the diner to go next door.
Seconds after Hattie leaves, a handsome man in a suit walks into the diner and orders a burger from Linda. As Linda pretends that she works at the diner, she prepares to start his order, but instead of sitting down, the man steps into the kitchen. After assuring Linda that he's not trying to rob them, the man reveals that he is the health inspector.
"You don't have a hairnet, no nonslip shoes, the meat is not stored at the proper temperature, and I don't know how you plan on cooking that burger when your grill is not working properly," the man says. "Yeah, these are all violations."
"Please, sir, you can't," Linda says, pleading with the inspector.
"I can," he says. "I'm sorry, and you guys are officially shut down until you can get these things corrected." The inspector hands Linda a copy of the violations and asks all the customers in the diner to leave, announcing that the restaurant has been shut down.
Watch this scene here.
"Marty. From the health department," he says. Realizing they are in real trouble, Floyd attempts to convince Marty to reconsider shutting the diner down, but it gets him nowhere.
"I can't afford to have all this stuff on this list fixed!" Hattie says looking at the list. Linda apologizes to Hattie, taking responsibility for the violations, when Floyd steps in to reassure her that it's not her fault.
"The hell you preach!" Hattie says. "I taught you how to run from the police and the health inspector! What happened to all that stealth I taught you as a young girl? Lord, I knew it. I knew I shouldn't have left you in Sunday school with your daddy! Because that church...that church didn't do nothing but take all the thug that was up in you—just snatched it right up out of you!"
Vivian returns, and Hattie accuses her of calling the health department on the diner to steal their customers. Vivian neither confirms nor denies the accusation and leaves, gloating about how many new customers she will have now that Hattie's restaurant has been shut down.
"Why would you do that?" Linda says.
"Because I feel bad. And, you're a nice lady," Marty says.
"You don't even know me," Linda says.
"No, but I know your heart was broken when I gave you those fines," Marty says. They shake hands and formally introduce themselves in the spirit of starting over. Marty tops it off by telling Linda that he thinks she is beautiful and that he wanted to tell her earlier but didn't want to do it when he was on the job.
Marty offers to help them do the repairs needed in the diner on the condition that Linda and Floyd don't tell anyone. Plus, Marty says that he wants to spend time with Linda. The three agree on the deal and move forward with the fixes.
Watch this scene here.
After Hattie sees that Linda has proven herself as a valuable employee, and with some help from Floyd in the form of positive reinforcement, she finally agrees to give Linda a job at the diner.