"Barbarino's Girl" opens with Kotter passing out report cards for the Sweathogs, with Juan Epstein's very first note (mouthing every word as Gabe reads), coming from 'Epstein's mother's doctor,' asking the teacher to give her son a good grade for the sake of his ailing madre: "thanks Mr. Kotter, you just killed my mother!" Vinnie confesses that his saintly mother wouldn't like to see him get left back: "you probably got no idea what it feels like to get hit with beads!" Kotter suggests he work with a tutor after school, which turns out to be a familiar face, that of honor student Judy Borden (Helaine Lembeck), who is just as adept at ranking as is Barbarino: "this ain't easy for me you know, I never opened a book before!" Kotter has a good one for Judy: "I understand there's three kids in your family, one of each!" Their adversarial introduction actually brings them closer together, despite the other Sweathogs' taunts. Vinnie turns in a soggy report card: "my mother cried on it!"
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