7th Heaven
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I Hate You
Season 2, Episode 9
I Hate You
Air date November 17, 1997
Written by Brenda Hampton & Eleah Horwitz
Directed by Burt Brinckerhoff
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"I Hate You" is the nineteenth episode of the 2nd season of 7th Heaven. On its original airing, this episode scored 7.53 million viewers.

Synopsis[]

Simon asks Mrs. Kerjesz (guest-star real-life survivor, Rita Zoharm) to tell her story about being in the Holocaust in his class presentation. Despite Eric's warnings to respect the woman's privacy, Simon is eager to use Mrs. Kerjesz's story for a school project, but he is about to be taught a harsh lesson about the pain of another human being. To form a strong sisterly bond, Mary and Lucy decide to hate Matt's new girlfriend for no good reason and end up hurting her feelings and breaking up with Matt. Lastly, Ruthie also realizes the power of words when she reacts badly to a punishment from her mother.

Plot[]

Simon is in the car asking Eric where Eric was when Kennedy was shot. There is a class project and Simon has to find something about history and present it to the class. Simon becomes frustrated with Eric's uninteresting answer. Eric has to stop by Mrs. Kerjesz's house but Simon doesn't want to go in with Eric since he feels a tad creepy around her since she gives him useless things. Eric tells him to come anyways. Mrs. Charlotte Kerjesz answers the door and leads Eric and Simon into the living room to ask Eric to drive her and her friends to the farmer's market because the person who normally drives them is in the hospital for a small surgery. As a present, Mrs. Kerjesz gives the box tops that she has been saving for Simon so that he can send them off for a red lightning ring. Simon, for a change, is delighted with this gift and thanks her. When Mrs. Kerjesz hands Simon his present, Simon notices numbers on her arm. After Simon is startled at the sight of numbers that were tattooed on her arm when she reaches for the envelope with the box tops, Mrs. Kerjesz notices and quickly rushes them out of the house. Eric is confused about why they were rushed out but a confused Simon tells him about the numbers and Simon asks Eric about the numbers and what they mean. Eric quietly tells Simon that he will explain later as they get into the car, which sends a chill up Simon's back.

Back at home, Eric tells Simon about the holocaust by explaining that charismatic but very evil Hitler blamed everything on the Jews and convinced many people that Jews were the root of all of the German people's problems. He adds that Hitler gathered a band of followers, the Nazis, who carried out Hitler's dirty work. Simon, stunned, asked why no one helped but Eric explained that most people did not want to believe that such a terrible thing was happening, many that did believe it simply didn't know what to do, most were very afraid and unfortunately, some didn't care. Eric mentions he suspected but tells Simon that he didn't ask her about it because it is not something you just ask and realizes that Simon is thinking of using her in his project. Annie walks in and Simon asks her what she was doing when JFK was shot and she replies that she was at the market with her mom. Simon is not impressed. Annie walks into the living room and Matt, who is sitting down waiting, complains to his mother that the rest of his younger siblings are just sitting in the living room so that they can see Matt's new girlfriend, Joanne. Annie tells the kids to go upstairs to give Matt some privacy.

Simon walks into his room and is shocked to see that Ruthie has colored on the walls. Simon knows that their mother is going to be very upset. Mary, in her room, tells Ruthie to pretend to look for something downstairs when Matt's girlfriend shows up, then the girls will "have to" go get Ruthie and in turn meet Matt's new girlfriend. Matt lets Joanne in and just as he's becoming comfortable that his siblings are properly occupied elsewhere in the house, Ruthie comes down pretending to look for her doll. Joanne is very sweet to Ruthie despite the interruption and warmly greets her. Mary and Lucy come down under the pretext of "looking for" their little sister but a slightly annoyed Matt sees through their little scheme. Joanne also warmly greets Mary and Lucy, who plaster on fake smiles and say hello back. Joanne mentions a car she'd recently bought, which turns Mary and Lucy green with envy. Matt quickly ushers Joanne out of the house after being introduced. Mary instantly declares that she hates Joanne once Matt and Joanne leave and the other girls follow suit in making fun of her. Before they can disparage Joanne too much just yet, Annie comes down and sternly orders Ruthie upstairs. Mary and Lucy are glad that Annie didn't even notice them but Annie remarks that she'll deal with them later as she goes upstairs with Ruthie. Once upstairs in the bedroom, Annie scolds Ruthie for drawing on the walls. Ruthie freshly tells Annie that she was bored. Annie tells her that it's no excuse and orders her to clean up the mess. Ruthie becomes angry and tells her mother that she hates her. Annie is stunned as she walks out of Ruthie's room and runs into Eric. Eric sees tears in Annie's eyes and asks what's wrong. Annie tells him about what Ruthie said but insists that she will still deal with Ruthie's bad behavior herself. Matt drives up to school with the girls while the girls are complaining about Joanne's "perfect" everything. They've found out that Joanne is an honor student, has a full college scholarship and plays music. They use all this as an excuse to trash Joanne and say more rotten things about her but they stop when Matt listens. In Simon's class, Simon thinks that he will be doing his presentation on where his parents were when Kennedy was shot but when the majority of the class raises their hands because they will be doing it also, he changes his project idea to Mrs. Kerjesz's life. A girl said that her grandmother was in a concentration camp and had the numbers on her arm but never got to hear her story before she died. Larry, another classmate, tells them that his father says that it is all just a hoax and none of that really happened. The teacher insists that Simon tell the woman's story and if he does that, then he will be guaranteed an A. Simon says that he will get it, although he sounds more confident than he actually feels.

Simon gets home, then mysteriously leaves the house again with Eric questioning where he is going. Ruthie is up in her bedroom with her mother cleaning the wall and asks why her mother can't work on cleaning the wall while she is at school but Annie curtly tells her that she didn't make the mess and that they need to spend more time together anyways. Ruthie snipes that maybe they should spend more time apart, so Annie, wounded again, leaves her to clean up her own mess. Simon shows up with Happy at Mrs. Kerjesz's house but she doesn't answer the door, so he calls that he really wants to talk to her, that he's a good listener if she wants to talk about the horror she suffered. Eric is making dinner and when Annie shows up, he leaves to find Simon but Simon walks through the gate before Eric can get to the car. Eric reprimands him for being out later than nightfall and Simon tells him that he went to Mrs. Kerjesz's house to say thank you for the box tops. Annie walks into the living room with Mary and Lucy staring at Matt and Joanne. Joanne says that she is happy to have a home-cooked meal since she normally eats by herself. Mary and Lucy nastily snicker at this out of Joanne's earshot and mock her all the more. Upstairs, Ruthie tells Simon that she would rather eat by herself but he doesn't like the idea. Ruthie then tells Simon that her mom is being "mean" to her by making her wash the walls when she usually gives her cookies and milk. Ruthie tells Simon that she hates her mom, hoping that Simon will take her side but Simon warns her about not saying hurtful things that you don't mean. Ruthie insists that she really means it when she says she hates Annie. Ruthie adds that she knows Mary and Lucy say that they hate Joanne and they mean it since she has heard her sisters' cruel mocking of Joanne. Simon, stunned, becomes silent.

After dinner, Mary and Lucy are in the kitchen making fun of Joanne for being "perfect" and having a "perfect" body. Joanne accidentally overhears their mean comments about her and is very hurt. At the same time, Mrs. Kerjesz is listening to the sad news on the TV and her eyes are well with tears as she wonders why there is still so much killing and violence today. Annie walks into Ruthie's room the next morning when Ruthie is running late for school. Ruthie fakes being sick, claiming that her arms "hurt" from washing the wall. Ruthie again tells Annie to finish it but Annie tries to talk to her about how wrong it is to say mean things to other people and lets Ruthie know that in telling Annie that she hated her, she hurt Annie's feelings. Ruthie, feeling no remorse, doesn't apologize. Simon asks Eric to ask Mrs. Kerjesz to ask her but Eric says no then Simon explains that Larry told the class that there were "no" concentration camps. Eric is concerned and he decides to help Simon after all. Matt approaches Joanne in school but Joanne tearfully tells him that she can't see him anymore because of his sister's cruelty toward her. Matt doesn't believe her and Joanne walks away and tells Matt not to call her again. Eric shows up at Mrs. Kerjesz's house and finds her gardening and apologizes for Simon. Mrs. Kerjesz says it's all right and admits that she knows what Simon wanted to talk about and she questions if it would be too upsetting for Simon to hear her story. Mrs. Kerjesz adds that she talks about it with other survivors because they have something in common but other people can't understand what she went through. Eric then tells her about what loudmouth Larry had said in Simon's and encourages her to tell her side to counter the myth that the holocaust "didn't happen".

Matt enters the girls' bedroom to ask if they hate Joanne but they deny it all. Matt starts to become suspicious as their faces tell otherwise. Matt demands to know just what is going on. Mary tries to tell him that there will be other girlfriends but then thoughtlessly adds that it was "no big loss" for Matt to lose Joanne. Matt now sees that Joanne was telling the truth and is very hurt himself. He angrily blasts his sisters and storms out of their room. Lucy asks Mary why they hated her in the first place but Mary can't answer the question and doesn't know. Matt wants to talk to Eric about the situation but when Annie offers her advice, he tells her that he doesn't want advice, he wants someone to yell at them and then, tells her about Mary and Lucy's cruel treatment of Joanne. Mary and Lucy walk into the kitchen to apologize to Matt, hoping that this will automatically smooth things over with their brother but Matt doesn't feel any better. Annie, angry on Matt and Joanne's behalf, berates the girls and demands that they not only apologize to Matt but also apologize to Joanne at school the next day. Mary and Lucy say that they can call Joanne to apologize but Annie demands them to apologize in person. Matt wishes Eric could have been here since he could have yelled at the girls better than Anne. Annie, still upset over Ruthie, tells Matt that her heart hurts because Ruthie said that she hates her. They don't know that Ruthie overhears their conversation in the stairwell. Ruthie finally realizes how hurtful she's been and begins to feel a glimmer of guilt.

Eric and Simon walk out of Mrs. Kerjesz's house. Simon is crying because he just heard her story and Simon thanks her. With tears still streaming down his face, hugs Ms. Kerjesz, his own heart hurting over her suffering. Back at the house, Ruthie walks downstairs with the sponge and water and tells Annie that she is done. Ruthie tells her that she loves her and it makes Annie feel a little better. Ruthie asks her if her heart has stopped hurting but Annie says that it still hurts and that words are very powerful and they hurt. Annie then tells Ruthie to give her a day or two and her heart will be all right again. At school, Mary and Lucy go up to Joanne to apologize but Joanne senses that they really do not feel that guilty about hurting her and can tell that they are only apologizing because they were ordered to. Joanne tells them that she can never feel comfortable around them again and that it will be a long time before she forgets their hurtful behavior. Matt approaches after Joanne leaves and asks about the apology. The girls sulkily tell Matt that Joanne didn't buy it. Matt is upset all over again and heartbroken about Joanne and very angry at Mary and Lucy for causing all this to happen and Mary and Lucy mention that they at least learned a lesson but Matt says that they had to learn it at his expense and walks away with his heart hurting just like Annie and Simon's.

At Simon's school, Simon is up to give a report and begins to tell them about the holocaust with facts and Larry's father looks away because he doesn't want to hear it. Simon tells them that he can't tell the story as well as Mrs. Kerjesz can and tells his teacher that he's willing to take an F because Mrs. Kerjesz will be telling the story. Mrs. Kerjesz walks into the class and tearfully tells her traumatic story of her experiences during the holocaust. She begins talking about the horrible train ride to the concentration camp, the people getting in different lines for men and women and their children. Mrs. Kerjesz told her ill brother to go with her mother in one line and today she still feels guilty for "killing" her brother because everyone in that line was taken directly to the gas chamber. Mrs. Kerjesz found her father and she saw her large, tall usually calm father crying but when she tried to run to him, an SS officer beat her and harshly told her to go back to the line. She was told to enter a third line where young single women were they were either told by an SS officer to go left or right. The ones that were ordered to go left were immediately sent to the gas chamber to die. Mrs. Kerjesz painfully and in vivid detail describes how she and the other surviving prisoners then got showered and their heads shaved and were given rags to wear. The SS told them to go to their barracks to "meet their parents" but there were no parents. When they noticed the black smoke, the prisoners intuitively guessed something awful had just happened to their parents, which turned out to be true because the SS officer coldly told them that that is where their parents were. Charlotte Kerjesz had lost her mother, father, two brothers.and a sister; at a young age, she was the only one that had survived the concentration camp. By the end of her story, Simon is sobbing once again and many members of his are also in tears. Even Larry regrets his earlier words and his eyes fill with tears. Larry's father tries to placate his son with a hand on the shoulder but Larry pushes his father's hand away, a bit angry that his father had lied to him about the holocaust "not happening." At the end of the episode right before the credits, the that says that this is a true story and gives thanks to Elisabeth Mann, an Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp survivor, for letting them use her story in the episode.

Notes[]

  • The main theme in this episode dealt with The Holocaust (only for Simon's story). This was a time in history where Jewish people, homosexuals, handicapped, Jehovah's Witnesses, and various other ethnicities and religions of people were put in Concentration camps in Germany by an antisemitic group called the Nazis, with German dictator Hitler being the supreme leader in this horrific ordeal.
  • At the end of the show's credits, this was said: "This is the true story of Auschwitz- Birkenau survivor ELISABETH MANN who allowed us to create a fictional character to portray her in tonight's episode. Special thanks to her and to The Simon Wiesenthal Center for their assistance."
  • Rita Zohar, who portrayed Mrs. Kerjesz, was a Holocaust survivor herself, but this isn't her story.

Trivia[]

  • In many interviews that David Gallagher (Simon Camden) has had, he has said that this is his favorite episode. It remains unknown if it's still his favorite episode.
  • Ashley Tesoro(born Ashley Lyn Cafagna), who plays Joanne in this episode as Matt's girlfriend, plays Liz Miller on NBC's Saved by the Bell: The New Class and later she starred as Kimberley Fairchild on CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful.
  • The numbers on Mrs. Kerjesz's arm are 78136.

Opening Credits[]

Featured in the opening credits are:


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