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This article is about the episode. For the original novel, see Claudia and Mean Janine. For the graphic novel see Claudia and Mean Janine (Graphic Novel).

"Claudia and Mean Janine" is the sixth episode of season 1 and the sixth episode overall of the Netflix reboot. It is based on the seventh book, Claudia and Mean Janine, of the original book series. It was released on July 3, 2020, on the streaming network, Netflix, along with the rest of season 1.

Episode Description[]

A family emergency triggers an emotional feud between Claudia and her older sister Janine. Elsewhere, Mary Anne works to hide her feelings. 

Plot[]

Claudia and Stacey walk up the stairs to Mary Anne's home. They beg Richard to let them decorate Mary Anne's room and apologize for tearing down the wall paper the previous week. Richard tells the girls it's okay, as he understands that they were simply trying to to something nice for Mary Anne. He also apologizes for his reaction.

He finally agrees to the room makeover, and while Mary Anne and Claudia decorate Mary Anne's room Stacey distracts Richard by giving him a Queer Eye-style makeover. Later, Claudia shows Kristy, Dawn, and Stacey the room, and they are amazed. Mary Anne says it's very purple, but good, but she has a sad look on her face.

Later, Claudia is showing Trevor Sandbourne her candy-themed paintings, because she got selected in the Eastern Connecticut district art show by Mrs. Johanssen, their art teacher. Trevor tells her that her that her Tootsie Roll piece is very compelling. He also reveals to her that that the head of admissions for the Summer Art Institute in New Haven is one of the judges. However, Janine barges in, and questions Claudia about the symbolism of her pieces. She then reminds Claudia to do her homework before their parents come home. Trevor leaves, and Claudia is fuming, saying Janine is "a life ruiner."

After Claudia is done with her homework, Mimi, Janine, and Claudia, are playing a trivia game. Janine and Claudia get into a fight, and Mimi goes upstairs, tired. A few seconds later, the sisters hear her collapse and they run up the stairs. At the hospital, the Kishis learn that Mimi is suffering from a stroke.

Stacey is with Claudia in the kitchen. Stacey tells Claudia that the other BSC members will cover her jobs for the next few weeks and give her the money anyway. Claudia expresses the desire for things to remain as normal as possible and says she believes MImi will be just fine. Janine comes down the stairs and tells Claudia to not get her hopes up about Mimi recovering, due to her age, and they again get into a fight. Claudia retorts that Mimi loves her more than Janine, which causes Janine to get a hurt look on her face and to storm back upstairs.

The Thomases, Richard, and Mary Anne all show up as dinner reinforcements, while Claudia and Stacey are in the kitchen getting Claudia's art pieces ready to be displayed at the art show. Mary Anne texts Dawn to come, and they all eat together happily. After that, all the kids make get well cards for Mimi. Sam talks to Stacey about how he draws "blenders" and how he's exited about the move.

Sam makes fun of Kristy for believing their mother is giving up her feminist views because she is marrying Watson. While washing dishes Liz tells Richard it was nice of him to bring his casserole and he tells her that the Kishis have done a lot for his family. This leads to them talking about how he used to date Sharon, Dawn's mother. Richard tells her their relationship breaking up was inevitable due to being polar opposites personality wise. The call finally comes that Mimi has awoken.

When Claudia visits Mimi, she excitedly tells her how the other girls and Sam made her get well cards and about her upcoming art show. Mimi starts talking about peaches and how their are no horses and no house. The doctor comes in and tells her Mimi is upset and needs space. Claudia feels like she's lost her connection to the only person who understood her.

Claudia heads home and tries to make sense of what Mimi was trying to communicate to her by drawing it out. However, that doesn't help either.

At the art show, the other girls compliment Claudia on her art work. Trevor tells her Paola, the judge who he was telling her about is one her way over to look at Claudia's work. Mary Anne tries to talk to Logan, but gets flustered and abruptly leaves. Mary Anne then walks up to Kristy and Dawn. Dawn tells her that she spoke, which is progress. Mary Anne questions why she's still like this, seeing that the new clothes, hair, and room should have given her more confidence. Kristy tells her just because she has new things does not mean she will magically have the same level of confidence as Stacey.

Kristy presses Mary Anne on if she really likes her room. Mary Anne says that she does in theory, however, it does not quite feel like home to her. The other girls suggest maybe they can do something about that and they finally realize there were somethings Mary Anne wasn't ready to leave behind yet.

Meanwhile, the judges review Claudia's work and they ask her about the symbolism behind it. Claudia nervously tells them it is a pop art homage on American consumerism. Paola asks her to elaborate and Claudia tells her that she thought it would be cool to draw the crinkles of the candy wrappers. Paola tells her that while her skills as a draftsman are impressive she should think about why she is creating art and the meaning behind it.

The next time the Kishi girls visit Mimi, Janine suggest Claudia draw what she's saying to connect with her again. Claudia show her the drawings she made previously based on the words she said. Mimi points to the words "peach" and "horse" and gets visibly upset. Janine talks to Mimi in Japanese, and then pulls Claudia away.

At Mary Anne's house, Kristy and Dawn try to help Mary Anne figure out why she can't let go of the Humpty Dumpty portrait. Dawn finds a picture of Mary Anne as a baby with the Humpty Dumpty portrait behind her. Mary Anne realizes turns around the photo and realizes by the writing on the back it's her mother, Alma, she isn't ready let go of.

In the waiting room, Janine tells Claudia about Manzanar, the concentration camp Mimi was in when she was young. When Mimi was a child, her family had to eat rotten peaches and live in horse stalls. Claudia tells Janine she knew about the concentration camps but she didn't know it happened to Mimi. Janine tells her that Mimi only talks about it when asked and says she asked her about it previously. Claudia questions if Mimi is trapped in her worst memories forever and Janine tells her that her memories are a good sign because she will find her way back to them and to Claudia.

Claudia and Janine hug sadly, both wondering why anyone would ever do that to innocent people.

Mary Anne and Richard are seen looking at the Humpty Dumpty portrait, the baby picture of Alma, and the picture of Alma decorating Mary Anne's room while pregnant, which are now hanging back up in Mary Anne's room in the same place where the portrait used to be hanging previously.

Later, Claudia is deep in some history books about the Japanese concentration camps. She finds a picture of a little girl, and decided to draw it.

By the end of the episode, Mimi is finally home. Mary Anne gives her a homemade scarf and the girls all hug her. The girls then run up for a BSC meeting, and they get a call from Mrs. Pike, for a job babysitting at Sea City for her eight children.

Cast in this episode  []

Similar to Source Material[]

  • Mimi does have a stroke and suffers from aphasia afterwards.
  • Janine and Claudia have a heartfelt conversation; however, the novel and episode's versions are different. (See below)
  • The call for the trip to Sea City with the Pikes. This happens at the end of the novel as well as the episode.

Difference from Source Material[]

  • Mimi was born in Japan, not America, she did not move to America until she was thirty years old.
    • Due to Mimi being born in Japan, she was not put in the concentration camps during World War II.
  • Mimi does not have a limp and she is able to use both hands, in the novel she is unable to use her right hand after her stroke and since being right-handed she has to learn to use her left hand. She is also only able to do things that require one hand.
  • None of Mimi's therapy after her stroke is brought up in the episode.
  • Claudia had to do flash cards with Mimi and help her find her words and look after her after she returned home and watch after Mimi while her mom and dad were at work and Janine was at her classes. She also helped Mimi remember how to say chair by imagining an exploding cherry.
  • Mary Anne having to watch Mimi is not in the episode nor is Claudia's baby-sitting job for the Marshalls, which is why Mary Anne had to watch Mimi.
  • The conversation between Claudia and Janine that brings them close is completely different, while in the episode they bond over how they don't understand how anyone could and still do what was done to Japanese American families during World War II when they were placed in concentration camps, in the novel they discuss how Janine didn't feel like she was part of the family and that all Claudia and her family wanted her to do was study. This conversation brings about a change in Janine where she starts helping out more with Mimi's care to show her family that she's not all about her studies and wants to be part of the family.
  • The play groups that the girls started for the summer are not in the episode.
  • Kristy moves into Watson's house during the novel since her mom was already married to Watson by this point.
  • When the Kishis go to the hospital Claudia's mom introduces herself as Kimiko Kishi, when her name is Rioko Kishi in the books. Also, Janine doesn't have any understanding of Mimi's state in the book, while in the show she has an understanding of her condition.
  • The plotline with Trevor, Paola, and the art show isn't in the novel (and though both Trevor and Claudia's junk food paintings make appearances in other books, Paola never does).
  • Richard does not get a makeover.

Pop Culture References[]

Historical References[]

Songs Used[]

  • "Summer of 42" by Kishi Bashi
  • "Mercury" by Kitten
  • "All Things (Just Keep Getting Better)" by Passion Victim

Trivia[]

  • This episode, along with the next two episodes, are out of order from their canon in the book series. While this was the seventh book in the series it was released as the sixth episode. It is unknown why "Kristy's Big Day" which is the sixth book in the original book series, was made episode eight instead of episode six.
  • Mimi mentions that she doesn't like peaches during Claudia and Janine’s visit; while in the books she has a second daughter nicknamed Peaches.

Gallery[]

Reference[]

1. https://www.vulture.com/article/the-baby-sitters-club-netflix-adaptation-review.html

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