Jack & Bobby
A Man Of Faith

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Hebba has come to speak to Grace. She wants to tell Grace that she has nothing to do with the protesting groups, some of whom keep trying to convert her: "I just think it's not even really about me anymore." Grace: "I'm not sure it ever was." And then Hebba gives a kick-ass speech. And because she's so cool, the four-line rule definitely doesn't apply to her. "The one thing is, I still think you were unfair to me that day. You judged me superficially. You look at me and you see an oppressed Muslim woman forced to cover her head by a misogynistic and backwards culture." Grace: "I never said that." Hebba: "That's what you meant. You see me as a victim. I don't think you see my choice in all of this. You know, in my hall, there are two women who are anorexic, one who has breast implants, two others who are considering surgery either to their body or their face. All of them obsess over their weight or their clothes and their looks. This is what your culture does to women. It suggests ideals they'll never attain and, when they fail to attain them, tells them they're worthless. You talk about my conditioning, but what you don't understand is that I'm a feminist just like you. And this [gesturing to her head scarf] is a part of that. This is me saying 'no' to all the ways that your culture tries to exploit me. This is me saying 'yes' to my religion and my God. Not no to being liberated. I am liberated. Well, anyway, I'll see you in class." And here it comes. Grace: "Hebba. I'm sorry." Woohoo! The first whole-assed apology from Grace. Let's have a party, y'all, because I doubt this day will come again any time soon. Hebba thanks Grace for the apology, and then leaves Grace to meditate on her own foolishness.

Marcus comes into the diner, and finds Jack working with Marcus's dad. Long story short, Saint Jack took even more weight on his shoulders and convinced Marcus's father to let Jack take his place in the diner -- for free -- so that Marcus could continue to run track. I hope the Department of Labor doesn't audit your business anytime soon, Mr. Marcus -- that would be one hefty fine for violating the minimum-wage laws.

Future Marcus tells us that President Bobby will be remembered as the president who took a stand against religious interests, but that Marcus will remember him as the man who stayed with him and prayed for hours as Marcus's father died: "Because in the end, that's all Bobby really was. Just like Jack. A man of faith."

Jack and Bobby are in their room. Bobby is putting on a tie. Jack tells Bobby he can't believe he pulled it off: "You actually have a backbone." Bobby: "I always had a backbone." It was just really small, and he kept it in his pocket. Grace enters the room in a gray sweater and skirt, with a vaguely ethnic-looking scarf around her neck. Jack leaves, and Bobby asks Grace if she's mad that they're missing the Film Society. "Are you kidding? Do you think I'd let Jules and Jim pass you by? I rented it. We're watching it later." ["Yeah, that's an appropriate movie for a ninth-grader to watch." -- Wing Chun] She notes that the Film Society was one Sunday morning tradition, and now they'll have a new one: "For a while. Hopefully not too long." They talk a bit about the fight they had, and Grace delivers Half-Assed Apology #2 when she tells him that things with his father were more complicated than she let on. She also wants to impress upon Bobby that while she is not a traditionally religious person, she does have faith. In response to his question about what that faith is, she says, "I have faith in humanity." Bobby: "That's not the same." Grace: "It is, actually. It's a really strong faith. It's faith in people and their potential. That we're all fallible, but also forgiven. That our own fragility can be the source of our greatest strengths, if we can learn. That the differences that separate us are dwarfed by the similarities that connect us. And I have faith in you. And I actually believe that faith itself can move mountains. I know it's not a church-going kind of faith. But I tell you what, it's what gets me up every single morning and it's what gets me through every single day." Through this entire speech, Grace is cleaning Bobby's suit with a lint brush. What a mom. (And I know I just violated the four-line rule, but I think it was worth it.) Bobby allows as maybe he understands what she's talking about, and they share a smile. And then we're back to the old Grace, as she tells him that this is just an exploratory mission, and that if he's going to investigate religion, she's going to bring him to every kind of denomination he can imagine, including Sufism and Hinduism. She's a bit more resistant when he suggests a Catholic church.

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Jack & Bobby

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