“Invasion of the Potty Snatcher” examines what it means to be ladylike as Jenny’s quest for a raise entangles her with a woman in a toilet cubicle.
This recap of Bless the Harts season 2, episode 9, “Invasion of the Potty Snatcher”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
I was expecting a Christmas episode from “Invasion of the Potty Snatcher”, but no such luck. Instead, it’s about stereotypical ideas of gender, what’s arbitrarily considered “ladylike”, and worldless bathroom protocol, as Jenny’s desire for a raise leads to her being uncomfortably bound up in the digestive issues of a woman who won’t leave the toilet cubicle in The Last Supper.
Jenny obviously won’t ask Louise for a raise outright. Instead, she’s doing extra tasks without clocking in and trying to draw attention to it by dropping hints, a tactic that both Brenda — she gives herself bonuses by stealing things — and Wayne — he thinks she should just ask outright — are skeptical of. When a woman stays in The Last Supper’s bathroom for 35 minutes, then, Jenny takes the opportunity to drive a coded bargain for her raise if she’s able to get the woman out (I can confirm, by the way, that men’s bathrooms are pretty much identical to how they’re depicted here in Bless the Harts season 2, episode 9)
When the woman resolutely refuses to leave, despite Jenny’s increasingly elaborate attempts to coax her out, it leads Jenny down a path of introspection, and she’s forced to consider why arbitrary notions of what’s “ladylike” are allowed to keep women like her broke and women like the toilet lady afraid to come out of the cubicle and breach women’s bathroom protocol. With full support from Wayne — who’s doing a Die Hard through the vents — Jenny asks for a raise publicly while local news is at The Last Supper reporting on the bathroom incident, and her honesty coaxes toilet lady, whose name is Darlene, out into the open too. She confesses she destroyed the toilet. Jenny’s infectious openness leads to an award-winning film adaptation of the whole affair.
In the episode’s B-plot, Betty treats Violet’s parent-teacher conference as her glorious return to the high school where she peaked and tries to attract the attention of a teacher who was there while she was in her prime. Needless to say, it’s pretty embarrassing.
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