In our cold opening, Zack Morris tells Not-Slater that he broke his father’s $300 video camera while he was on his roof video taping some twin girls down the street. Zack Morris is trying to hit Not-Slater up for the money to buy his father a new camera, which Not-Slater very reasonably refuses. They’re in eighth grade. Why the hell would Zack Morris try to hit up an eighth grader for $300? I don’t think I had $300 of my own that my parents didn’t give me until I got a job well into high school!
After the credits, Miss Bliss reminds us in voice over that the computer age is on us and we can bank, shop, and invest without ever leaving the house. Given when this series was made, something tells me that the computer’s capabilities were still pretty limited. But whatever. She’s tricked her students into learning about American business through putting $2 each into stocks using the classroom computer.
Not-Slater goes on the computer (he’s apparently the only one competent enough to use the computer in Miss Bliss’s class) to check their stocks in Elliott Airlines, an airline they’ve apparently invested all $50 into, and Miss Bliss tells the class their airline was bought out by another airline, which they discover caused the price of their stock to jump $3 a share. The class decides not to sell their stock yet and, instead, wait and see what will happen with it.
We cut to Tina and Miss Bliss in the office. Now, before I go on, I have to point out that Tina is wearing the absolute worst fashion I think I’ve seen in this series yet. I mean, really, was this ever in style, even in the ’80s? Half my childhood was spent during this decade and I certainly don’t remember seeing anything this god awful hideous. Of course, she’s never been shown in class so maybe she’s off in the home economics room making her own clothes to match her insane personality.
Miss Bliss and Tina discuss Miss Bliss’s new sports car, which is to be delivered in a few days, and just in time because Mylo comes in and bitches about Miss Bliss’s old car leaking oil all over the asphalt. I’m sorry, Mylo, but if that’s the biggest problem in your job, you really have a stupid job. A parking lot without oil on the asphalt would be an unused parking lot. Mr. Belding comes in next and complains about Miss Bliss being successful in her job and actually getting her students to learn something. Seems he’s jealous they’ve earned $500 and claims that’s more than he gets paid. I’m calling bullshit on this entire scene because school administrators would not do the very difficult job they have if they got paid less than $500 a week. Miss Bliss tells Mr. Belding to go fuck himself, that she’s teaching over here.
The next morning, Zack Morris and Not-Slater break into school at 6:00 a.m. Turns out Zack Morris has a get-rich-quick scheme to sell the $500 the class has invested in the airline and put it all into potatoes. He claims that he read about a guy who got $300,000 in thirty minutes investing in potatoes. Yes, potatoes. They’re the miracle spud apparently. Of course, since Not-Slater is the only one competent enough to use a computer, he has to get him on board by inviting him to imagine his greatest fantasy come true: a private jet of his own with a naked Justine Bateman as the stewardess. I don’t even know what to say. This fantasy dates this episode and makes it seem creepy at the same time. But Not-Slater decides to do it, hard-on leading the way.
They run into Mylo on the way who wants to know why they’re at school at 6:00 a.m. Mylo, the better question is why you’re there. Something tells me that most custodians aren’t required to be at the school all night. Are you living there?Zack Morris and Not-Slater tell Mylo they’re there to use a computer to complete a class assignment, and Mylo totally buys it. Mylo must be the most incompetent staff member at this school if he doesn’t give a shit that two students broke into the school during the night to use a computer. He also must be the dumbest if he believes their story. Don’t worry: Mylo doesn’t tell a soul throughout the rest of the episode, rendering the entire scene pointless. Not-Slater still has reservations about using the money, but Zack Morris convinces him it’s ok and he’ll take care of everything.
In the cafeteria, Mr. Belding is still butthurt about Miss Bliss being a successful teacher. Meanwhile, Zack Morris is working to manipulate his fellow students into embracing the gospel of the potato. He’s convinced everyone in the class except Lisa and Not-Jessie to bow down and worship the potato, and finally convinces them with visions of shopping sprees and endangered animals. He also refers to Screech here as “Sammy,” the only time I ever remember any of the kids calling Screech anything other than Screech.
So the only real conflict we’ve encountered so far is about Zack Morris and Not-Slater selling the stock before they consulted the rest of the class, which has just been rendered void by this scene. At this point I was really asking myself why I should care. Why is there a risk? As Not-Slater points out, they only stand to lose $2 each. Did they need that to buy lunch?
Tina gives Miss Bliss a pair of red leather racing gloves to celebrate the purchase of her sports car, and she looks like she’s about to orgasm while stroking the gloves and thinking of Miss Bliss in the car. Miss Bliss tells Tina to shut the fuck up, that hot men are going to bang her in the car, not Tina. Boy, they keep mentioning this car. I sure hope something doesn’t happen during the episode to fuck it up. That would be a total surprise.
Zack Morris and Screech tell Lisa and Not-Jessie that potato stock is up $3,000, meaning each of them get $300. They wonder why people think it’s so hard to make money and decide their parents are sending them to school so they can make all the money. Yeah, keep telling yourselves that, especially when Zack Morris tells his dad about the video camera. Ironically, Zack Morris and Screech start dreaming of being in Malibu. Give it a few years, guys. Maybe the stock market is how three of them were able to move from Indianapolis to Los Angeles over a summer.
Not-Slater comes in and tells Zack Morris he’s worried about their investment costing Miss Bliss a lot of money. Turns out they bought the potatoes on margin, meaning that Miss Bliss has to pay back any money they end up losing. Ah, our forced conflict that hasn’t been mentioned before in the episode. I mean it’s like they just pulled this out of their ass at the last minute when they realized they had no conflict. And they expect us to care three quarters of the way through the episode.
Not-Slater tries to be the voice of reason and convince Zack Morris to sell now and get out, but Zack Morris doesn’t ever listen to reason. He’s a greedy fuck and doesn’t care about anything but his dad’s stupid video camera.
Miss Bliss hears rumors from Mr. Belding that the class has made a lot more money than she thinks they have, and comes in just as the class discovers that the price of potatoes has plummeted and they’ve lost all their money. Not only that, but Miss Bliss is now on the hook for $1,567. She questions our five main characters and discovers they were all in on it but doesn’t bother asking if the other twenty students knew about it. Still, she tells the entire class they’re the greediest mother fuckers she’s known in fourteen years of teaching and she hates them. Plus, she’s not going to be able to afford her sports car anymore and can’t get laid.
Miss Bliss abandons her class to go to the office and spout off to Mr. Belding about how horrible she was to the students. Wait, those fuckers lost $1,567 of your money and you’re the one feeling guilty because you told them off? Come on, Miss Bliss, those fuckers deserve a lot more than what you gave them. Mr. Belding tells her she’s a good teacher and that he told her so. Glad to know you’re such a great motivator of your subordinates, Mr. Belding.
The kids get a weekend to think about it and, on Monday, they all realize what greedy, stupid fuckers they truly are. They decide they’re going to have to find a way to pay Miss Bliss back. Zack Morris realizes he’s going to have to sell his dirt bike to pay Miss Bliss, and his VCR to pay his dad. Good thing he won’t have to sell his blow up doll. He really needs that. Not-Jessie thinks she’s become shallow and Lisa tells her to shut the fuck up and stop thinking of herself.
Miss Bliss enters the room and the class tells her what stupid fuck-ups they are. She apologizes, too, and tell them they’ll always be her special angels and that she’ll give them wet slobbery kisses after school. Mylo brings in a sack of potatoes and Miss Bliss puts a telephone book on Zack Morris’s desk, telling them it’s now time to sell the potatoes because she wants to get it on in her sports car this summer.
And that’s seriously how this episode ends. No punishments for anyone, not even Zack Morris. They just have to sell the potatoes so Miss Bliss can buy her car that we’ll probably never hear about again. Please, paddle him, send him to detention, make him clean Mr. Belding’s underwear. Do something to punish Zack Morris for doing something so stupid and greedy! You gave him an F last week but this week you won’t do squat to him because you feel guilty for yelling at them? Miss Bliss, grow up and do your job! And slap Mr. Belding while you’re at it!
I hate this episode. It’s truly the first episode in the franchise I cannot stand because the writing is beyond lazy. This episode is truly insulting to my intelligence in every way and marks the first episode of the franchise where every adult in the episode is fucking useless. It sets a great precedent for what’s to come in Saved by the Bell.
Firsts: Adults are useless.