| Season 4, Episode 3 |
#64 in Series
|Air date:||October 1, 1977|
|Written by:||Michael S. Baser & Kim Weiskopf|
|Directed by:||Jack Shea|
|Production code:||4.3 / 403|
|IMDb||Once a Friend|
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|"The Grand Opening:Part Two"||"George's Help"|
Once a Friend was the 64th overall episode of The Jeffersons TV series, also the third episode of Season 4. Directed by Jack Shea and written by Michael S. Baser and Kim Weiskopf, the episode made its premiere on CBS-TV on October 1, 1977.
George is excited when he learns that an old Navy pal is in town and wants him to stop by at his hotel for a visit. However, the old pal, who George knew as Eddie, has a big surprise for George: her name is now Edie, and she is a transgender woman.
George comes home to find a note from Florence saying that someone named Edie Stokes is in town, and would like to meet him at a hotel. After a brief confusion, George comes to the conclusion that this is a misspelling of Eddie Stokes, the name of an old navy buddy he served with for two years.
When George meets Edie, who has been in town for six days, at the hotel where she was staying, he takes the news of his old friend, who once comforted him on ship when it was under attack in Korea during the war, quite hard, at first believing he was joking around when he saw her, in a pretty dress, makeup, and hairdo, even prying into Edie's drawer and closet to see her wardrobe.
When Louise calls the hotel room to find out if there was really an Eddie Stokes registered there, she finds out that the guest's name is Edith (Edie) Stokes after all, which sparks her suspicion of George, who maintains the truth about Edie, and her transition. Louise, not believing him, threatens to kick him out of the apartment for the night and make him sleep elsewhere. George, out of desperation, tries to enlist Leroy, his employee in his cleaning store in the Whittendale Building and who Louise hasn't met, to pose in drag as Edie. Louise, insulted, gets even madder until Edie actually visits the apartment on the desperate insistence of George. Louise still does not believe the truth until Edie mentions the nickname Weezie used to call George in her letters to him: her "fuzzy wuzzy, teddy bear!"
At the end of the episode Edie, who pre-transition was known to be a big practical joker, is able to lure George into the bathroom, pretending to be scared of a rat that's in it, then dumps a bucket of water on him!