As the school year begins, Dwayne faces the prospect of taking a calculus class from Col. Taylor, a tough professor nicknamed "Dr. War." He fears that Col. Taylor could expose his academic success as a fluke and destroy his dreams of becoming an engineer, so he asks Walter to help him get into another section. Walter believes that Dwayne could thrive under Col. Taylor's tutelage, and asks the professor to talk to him. Col. Taylor manages to change Dwayne's mind and convince him to enroll in his class. Whitley meets new roommate Kim Reese, a headstrong freshman who plans to become a doctor. Whitley hopes to intimidate Kim and drive her to another room, but finds it impossible to break her. Jaleesa's cheerful freshman roommate, Freddie Brooks, develops a massive crush on Dwayne.b: 6 Oct 88 pc: 201 w: Thad Mumford d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Charnele Brown, Cree Summer and Glynn Turman join the cast, and Darryl M. Bell and Sinbad become official cast members. From 1978 to 1984, Turman was married to Aretha Franklin, who began singing the show's theme song this season.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Dwayne pairs with irresponsible Ron to write a philosophy paper. Ron refuses to do his share of the work, instead purchasing a ten-year-old paper. Dwayne is furious, particularly because he turned down an offer from a good student in order to work with Ron. Jaleesa warns Dwayne that his comments about Ron may have been too harsh. In spite of his reservations, Dwayne decides to show his loyalty to Ron by using the old paper. Ron discovers that Whitley bought the same paper, and he and Dwayne are forced to work all weekend to finish the project. Ron later learns that Whitley never bought a paper; she helped Dwayne with a scam to trick Ron into actually working. Kim gets a job at campus hangout The Pit. Freddie is rejected by dozens of potential employers, but vows to keep trying.b: 13 Oct 88 pc: 202 w: Susan Fales d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Mary Alice, Glynn Turman and Sinbad do not appear in this episode.
Walter asks Jaleesa on a date. She refuses because she is involved in a long-distance relationship. She finally agrees to join him for dinner, with the stipulation that they are just friends. Jaleesa has a great time with Walter and even shares a slow dance with him. However, she still refuses to break up with her boyfriend. Dwayne and Ron start a wake-up service.b: 27 Oct 88 pc: 203 w: Rob Edwards d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Glynn Turman does not appear in this episode.
During a party celebrating the end of midterms, Dwayne finds himself attracted to Whitley. She agrees to dance with him, but runs out after he grabs her ass. Whitley is disturbed by an erotic dream about Dwayne, for which Kim teases her mercilessly. Whitley daydreams about Dwayne in the computer lab. After he helps her retrieve a file, she kisses him without thinking. Dwayne believes that Whitley is the secret admirer who sent him brownies and a poetry book; he becomes convinced that she wants him. Kim saves him from humiliation by revealing that Freddie sent the gifts. Whitley confesses to Lettie that she is a virgin. Lettie assures her that she has no reason to be embarrassed, and says that she shouldn't read too much into dreams. When Freddie offers to bow out, Whitley melodramatically declares that she will step aside and let Freddie have Dwayne.b: 3 Nov 88 pc: 205 w: Alicia Marie Schudt d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Glynn Turman and Sinbad do not appear in this episode.
Whitley and Jaleesa team up for an audition to sing backup at an upcoming Gladys Knight concert on campus. They ask Angela, an aspiring opera singer, to join them. After Whitley and Jaleesa improve Angela's stage presence and teach her how to sing popular music, she turns into an insufferable diva. They throw her out of the group, but she forms her own trio and wins the audition. Whitley goes nuts and tries to attack Angela, embarrassing herself in front of Gladys Knight in the process. Jaleesa and Whitley realize they should have followed their instincts and tried out as a duo. They imagine what it might have been like to sing with Gladys. Meanwhile, Freddie tries to work up the nerve to ask Dwayne to the concert.b: 10 Nov 88 pc: 206 w: Jeffrey Duteil d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Gladys Knight performs "Love Overboard" with Jasmine Guy and Dawnn Lewis. Mary Alice, Glynn Turman and Sinbad do not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Whitley and Kim stay at the dorm for Thanksgiving. Depressed by the thought of Thanksgiving dinner at the Pit, they decide to go out. Kim uses a fake ID to get them into a club. Whitley does not realize that the waiter served them non-alcoholic drinks; she ends up performing a number and dancing on the bar. Kim spots Col. Taylor in the crowd and tries to warn Whitley. Col. Taylor helps Whitley fight off an overzealous admirer. Although he confiscates Kim's fake ID, he doesn't report them to Lettie because he feels there is no harm in blowing off a little steam. Walter hopes to get closer to Jaleesa as he drives her home for Thanksgiving. His plans are thwarted when Freddie and Dwayne join them in the car, but Jaleesa later gives him the good news that she broke up with her boyfriend.b: 17 Nov 88 pc: 207 w: Margie Peters d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Darryl M. Bell does not appear in this episode. Jasmine Guy performs "Twist and Shout," and Michael DeLorenzo sings "La Bamba."
Whitley choreographs Gilbert Hall's step routine for a competition during homecoming festivities. She annoys everyone with her pushy attitude, and team captain Jaleesa throws her off the squad for insulting the rhythmless Freddie. Whitley reconsiders her behavior following a meeting with her childhood idol, a respected 92-year-old alumnus who never married and is completely friendless. Walter blackmails Dwayne into tutoring the football team's star offensive lineman, "The Meat Locker," for a math test that he must pass to remain eligible for the big game.b: 1 Dec 88 pc: 204 w: Cheryl Gard d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Glynn Turman does not appear in this episode.
Dwayne believes that he may have found love with his new girlfriend, Suzanne. He reconsiders the relationship when he learns that her father is Col. Taylor. After seeing Dwayne with Suzanne, Freddie vows to change her "cute" image and make herself more alluring to men. She turns to Whitley for a complete makeover, but decides she would rather be herself.b: 8 Dec 88 pc: 209 w: Cheryl Gard d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Mary Alice does not appear in this episode.
Kim begins spending a lot of time in her dorm room with her boyfriend, Robert. Whitley tries to be understanding, and sets up a system to allow the couple some privacy. However, she quickly grows tired of being locked out of her own room and quarrels with Kim. She notes that Robert's bed is vacant and decides to move into his room (with Dwayne). Kim goes to the guys' dorm to retrieve Whitley, and they agree that they deserve each other. Freddie edits a poetry magazine, but her harsh critiques make her unpopular with classmates.b: 15 Dec 88 pc: 208 w: Rob Edwards d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Darryl M. Bell, Mary Alice and Glynn Turman do not appear in this episode. During their poker game, Dwayne, Robert and Randall offer imitations of series creator Bill Cosby.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Ron slips Dwayne a bootlegged copy of a new rap album, which he immediately puts on the air. The dean pulls the plug on Dwayne's show because of the explicit content of one of the songs. Dwayne and other students conduct a sit-in at the administration building to protest the censorship of student media. After listening to the rest of the tape, Dwayne concludes that he should not have played material without listening to it beforehand. The dean does not punish the protesters. She suspends Dwayne from the airwaves for a month, but allows him to hold a special tribute show for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.b: 5 Jan 89 pc: 211 w: Jeffrey Duteil d: Debbie Allen NOTE: A recording of Dawnn Lewis singing "You Will Never Walk Alone" plays during the Martin Luther King tribute show. Dean Hughes insists that the "Dapper D" song could not be played on any radio station because its content violates FCC regulations. However, around the same time that this episode aired, rapper Tone Loc had a smash hit with the much raunchier "Wild Thing."
Kim refuses to take calls from Robert, and simply tells her friends that they had a fight. She confesses to Whitley that she may be pregnant. Whitley offers her complete support, and even sacrifices her car by loaning it to Freddie to prevent her from pestering Kim. Robert explains his predicament to Walter; he made the situation worse by suggesting that Kim get an abortion. Walter tells Robert to give Kim some space, but he sneaks into the girls' dorm with Dwayne. Robert apologizes for his initial reaction and asks Kim to marry him. They decide to wait until after her doctor's appointment before considering such a big step. Kim is relieved to learn that she is not pregnant, and endures a stern lecture from Lettie.b: 12 Jan 89 pc: 210 w: Susan Fales and Margie Peters d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Darryl M. Bell does not appear in this episode.
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Freddie grapples with writer's block as she works on a creative writing assignment. Kim encourages her to take a break and come to a party, which Dwayne and Ron have organized in honor of a popular rib joint's final night in business. Whitley has resolved to eat only healthy foods, but finds herself tempted by the ribs. Freddie gets drunk and claims to have rediscovered her "muse." After Walter breaks up the party, she steals some booze and ends up passed out in the library. She awakes with a hangover the next morning and discovers that the paper she wrote while drunk is terrible. Walter lies about his culinary abilities to impress Jaleesa. Lettie and Mr. Gaines try to teach him to cook to ensure that his dinner with Jaleesa isn't a total disaster.b: 26 Jan 89 pc: 212 w: Bud Wiser d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Glynn Turman does not appear in this episode. The writing credit is obviously a joke. I do not know who actually wrote the episode.
Clair Huxtable attends the Hillman job fair to conduct a seminar on business etiquette. She brings teenage daughter Vanessa and a friend in the hopes of convincing Vanessa to attend Hillman. (She and Dr. Huxtable would like to have a child actually graduate from their alma mater.) Dwayne has a disastrous interview with the Kinishewa electronics company. Clair agrees to lobby the company rep--a longtime friend who is attracted to her--on Dwayne's behalf. Vanessa and Kara ditch Whitley and Jaleesa so that they can cruise the campus alone. The girls lie about their age and identity and convince Dwayne and Ron to take them out. The foursome runs into Clair and Phillip at a restaurant. A fuming Clair drags the girls away, and Dwayne gets his internship.b: 2 Feb 89 pc: 213 w: Cheryl Gard d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Charnele Brown, Cree Summer, Mary Alice, Glynn Turman and Sinbad do not appear in this episode. When Dwayne asks Ron to name the campus computer expert (meaning Dwayne), Ron replies, "Thad Mumford?" Mumford is a co-executive producer.
Phylicia Rashad and director Debbie Allen are sisters.
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Dwayne gives Suzanne an expensive ring for Valentine's Day. She returns it to him and asks for some space, which drives him crazy. She later breaks up with him, as she is not ready for a serious relationship. Dwayne gives Whitley some chocolates to thank her for her advice and support. She has been stood up by her date, so she goes to a movie with him. As a prank, Jaleesa calls Walter and impersonates a Jamaican woman named Sheila. Walter accepts a date with Sheila, and Jaleesa plans to bust him for cheating on her. However, he turns the tables by donning a dreadlock wig and bringing in a group of guys to sing, "Jaleesa is Sheila, Sheila is Jaleesa!" Kim learns that Robert, who is away in England for six months, is cheating on her.b: 9 Feb 89 pc: 216 w: Mike Scott and Daryl G. Nickens d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Darryl M. Bell and Mary Alice do not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines, Marion
Whitley experiences anxiety about a visit from her mother, Marion, who is obsessed with finding her daughter a husband. She criticizes Whitley for paying more attention to academics and potential jobs than the hunt for a mate. Whitley is pleased to receive a phone call from a handsome childhood acquaintance, who is now enrolled in medical school. She soon learns that her mother got the guy's phone number and encouraged him to date Whitley. Whitley embarrasses Marion by storming out during an important function, and later calls her mother to task for her behavior. However, Marion doesn't understand what she has done wrong. Freddie goes all out to implement a new campus recycling program.b: 23 Feb 89 pc: 217 w: Susan Fales d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Sinbad does not appear in this episode. Dominic Hoffman later had a recurring role as Whitley's boyfriend Julian.
For her work in this episode, Diahann Carroll was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy.
Ron and Dwayne pledge a fraternity. Ron thoroughly enjoys the experience, while Dwayne grows tired of having the "brothers" push him around. They convince Whitley to charm a member who has a crush on her and find out their chances of gaining entry to the house. Whitley informs Dwayne that they are a shoo-in, but he has decided to drop out. Whitley reminds him that Ron may leave him behind if he joins the fraternity alone. Dwayne shows Ron his support by helping him put on a show for underprivileged youth (which he must complete to ensure his membership). They decide that they can maintain their friendship despite their different interests.b: 2 Mar 89 pc: 215 w: Jeffrey Duteil d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Mary Alice, Glynn Turman and Sinbad do not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Jaleesa accepts a dinner invitation from her ex-husband, Lamar. Walter pretends that he is okay with this, but is secretly jealous. All of the girls fawn over the handsome and suave Lamar when he arrives to pick up Jaleesa (including Whitley, who had been ranting about what a dog he was). Walter shows up to meet his competition, and is hurt when Jaleesa calls him a "friend." Lamar claims to be a changed man and seeks a reconciliation. Jaleesa is extremely wary; she storms out after he reveals that he is living with a woman, whom he hopes to dump for Jaleesa. Although Walter responds sarcastically to Jaleesa's apology, they later work out their differences.b: 9 Mar 89 pc: 214 w: Rob Edwards d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Darryl M. Bell and Mary Alice do not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Kim becomes overwhelmed by her hectic schedule, as she tries to balance pre-med courses with work and extracurricular activities. She also obsesses over her grades, suffering from nightmares about getting too many B's to make it into medical school. She buys a datebook and tries to plan every moment of her day, ignoring her friends' warnings that her lack of sleep could endanger her health. Kim finally agrees to cut back on her activities after fainting in the Pit. Mr. Gaines quarrels with his wife over the presence of their grown son, whom he wants to throw out of the house. Mr. Gaines crashes at Col. Taylor's place after Velma kicks him out, and quickly wears out his welcome.b: 16 Mar 89 pc: 218 w: Thad Mumford d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Darryl M. Bell and Sinbad do not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Whitley hits Mr. Gaines' car, causing nearly $1000 in damage. She is afraid to ask her father for the money because she fears that he will take her car away. Kim helps her get a job at the Pit to fund the repairs. Whitley initally annoys Mr. Gaines with her incompetence, but soon impresses him with a series of innovative suggestions that help boost profits. Kim feels insecure, as she is no longer Mr. Gaines' favorite employee. Ron endures campus-wide embarrassment after a classmate gives him a terrible haircut.b: 23 Mar 89 pc: 219 w: Yvette Denise Lee d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Mary Alice and Sinbad do not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Freddie falls for Garth Parks, a handsome and intelligent baseball star. Teammate Dwayne backs out of a date to the dance with Freddie so that she can go with Garth. However, Dwayne is disturbed when Garth shares details of a past incident with a woman. Dwayne describes the story to Walter, who confirms that it should be considered date rape. When Dwayne tries to dissuade Freddie from dating Garth, she accuses him of jealousy. Garth takes Freddie to an observation point and tries to force himself on her, but Dwayne comes to the rescue. Freddie and the other victim make statements to the police and help put Garth behind bars.b: 30 Mar 89 pc: 220 w: Margie Peters d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Darryl M. Bell and Glynn Turman do not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Dwayne runs for student council president. Although he has good ideas about scholarships and ways to fund student activities, no one will listen to him. They prefer the approach of his opponent, who only talks about parties. Rev. Jesse Jackson comes to the university for a lecture and stays with Col. Taylor. Ron tries to win votes by printing posters that imply that Dwayne has Rev. Jackson's endorsement. Dwayne apologizes to Rev. Jackson and plans to drop out of the race. Rev. Jackson encourages Dwayne to keep fighting; even if he loses, he can present his message to the students. Jaleesa and Kim struggle to find a present for Freddie's 18th birthday, but she seems to beat them to the punch on every gift idea.b: 27 Apr 89 pc: 221 w: Mike Scott and Daryl G. Nickens d: Debbie Allen NOTE: Sinbad does not appear in this episode.
rc: Mr. Gaines
Dwayne and Ron plan to rent a beautiful apartment for the next school year. They can no longer afford the place after Ron's father cuts back on his allowance because of his slipping grades. They are forced to rent a dump that is managed by Velma Gaines. Dwayne and Ron throw a housewarming party and decide that their new apartment will work out. Walter looks forward to a summer of freedom, until Jaleesa announces that she has received a promotion and can visit more often than expected. They agree to spend time apart to "sow wild oats." Whitley plans to work at a museum all summer, but feels guilty because she would rather join her mother on a cruise. Dwayne encourages her to have fun, as there will be plenty of time to work and act responsibly in the future. Dwayne and Whitley begin to show an interest in each other.b: 4 May 89 pc: 222 w: Lynn Bunt and Lenore G. Bunt d: Debbie Allen NOTE: This is Mary Alice's last episode.
The series finished the year #3 in the Nielsen ratings, trailing The Cosby Show and Roseanne.
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