Good Morning, Miss Bliss Episode 4: “Leaping to Conclusions”

In our cold opening, Miss Bliss is trying to teach a lesson on the Civil War but the movie she ordered came with…just the film. Then her map tears when she tries to pull it down. Where has she been buying her supplies from, Goodwill? Something tells me there’s a little thing called a return policy that could fix this entire pointless situation.
Bliss film

After the opening, Miss Bliss and Tina try to convince Mr. Belding to approve new supplies for them, but he’s a cheap shit and won’t even approve new paint for an art class, much less let Miss Bliss take her students across town to the statehouse. He apparently hasn’t approved any supplies for Miss Bliss in three years, which makes me think he’s using the money to buy hookers and blow. He tries to give Miss Bliss her mail but she leaves before he can and notices a letter from Trump Hill Academy which apparently recruited two of Mr. Belding’s teachers last year. He assumes they’re trying to get Miss Bliss and, because he needs a competent staff member around, he declares to the little green gremlin on his shoulder that they’re not getting Miss Bliss.

In the science class…oh boy, the science class. Remember in the first episode when I questioned whether Miss Bliss was the only competent teacher in the school? I’m beginning to think that’s the truth.

science teacherThis is Mr. Morton the science teacher, played by a guy with Mario Lopez’s hair whose only major accomplishment seems to be a small role in an Elvira movie. Mr. Morton has a case of bad actor-itis so he has to overemphasize every line he delivers. He really makes the kids look Oscar worthy in these scenes.

Apparently it’s dissection day tomorrow, and Zack Morris and Not-Slater are a little too excited about the prospect of killing and slicing up another living being.

Zack Mikey slice and dice

Yeah, their role throughout this entire episode is basically to play the stereotypical assholes who really just can’t wait to think about anything but killing and slicing. It may be from watching too many bad crime shows on cable, but I think that’s a symptom of a budding serial killer. It makes sense now why Not-Slater didn’t move to California: he’s really Jeffrey Dahmer!

Mr. Morton seems even creepier, though, with a cardboard box that apparently has live frogs inside. I…don’t know what to think about this other than this is not the way things are done at all.

Morton animals

Not-Jessie, being the stereotype of the concerned eco-feminist, doesn’t want to do the dissection and looks visibly shocked in her boy scout uniform outfit.

Nikki shockedYes, it’s going to be a Not-Jessie episode that tells us about the evils of dissection in a heavy-handed way. The writers obviously want us to hate Zack Morris and Not-Slater and love Not-Jessie in this episode but I really just want to commit them all to mental institutions. Especially after Zack Morris tells Not-Jessie to lighten up because they’re only frogs. Yes, I think we have a future Hannibal Lecter in the making here.

In the teacher’s lounge, Mr. Belding comes in with a globe, which just happens to be one of the things Miss Bliss wanted, making Tina and Mr. Morton think that Miss Bliss is doing a little something something with Mr. Belding to get supplies.

Belding glob


Meanwhile, the boys keep acting like assholes towards Not-Jessie when she asks them to sign a petition against dissections.

Yeah, the screenshots of Mr. Morton doing really bad acting are endless.

Morton beaker

Miss Bliss comes to see Mr. Morton telling asking if he’d let Not-Jessie do an alternative assignment instead of the dissection. He says if Not-Jessie doesn’t do the dissection, she’ll fail. Yeah, no. There’s always an alternative assignment. If Mr. Morton really did this, he’s have PETA on his front door splashing blood on his lab coat.

Miss Bliss tells Not-Jessie the bad news and tells her to follow her conscience, which, of course, means stealing the frogs and setting them free.Nikki stealing

In the middle of a test, Mr. Belding calls Miss Bliss to the office and she places Zack Morris in charge of making sure everyone is being honest on the test. Yeah, that’s a law suit waiting to happen.

Zack in chargeZack Morris is in charge long enough to piss everyone off and then like only after a minute of Miss Bliss being gone, the bell rings. Really, why the hell didn’t Mr. Belding just wait for passing time to call Miss Bliss? It’s a lot easier than the law suits after the dictatorial regime of Zack Morris.

In the office, Mr. Morton says that he caught Not-Jessie letting the frogs go by the football field and demands justice after Not-Jessie says she did what Miss Bliss told her to do, which, of course, she didn’t. This is such a flimsy excuse to get Miss Bliss involved in this conflict. Mr. Belding, who’s still up Miss Bliss’s ass, takes Miss Bliss’s side and lets Not-Jessie off with a don’t do it again. Mr. Morton is, understandably, outraged. He thinks stealing is a crime worthy of capital punishment, which makes me all the more disturbed that he’s teaching young teenagers.

Back in Miss Bliss’s class, Tina is outraged that Mr. Belding cancelled her field trip to the ballet. She still thinks Miss Bliss is doing a little something something with Mr. Belding, which is confirmed in her mind when Mylo brings in a new TV and VCR, along with a set of textbooks, all items Miss Bliss wanted.

Bliss TV

Really, Tina, that’s not a television to get jealous about. That’s small even for late-1980s standards, which makes me think why anyone would think a classroom of twenty-five children would be able to watch anything on this thing. It looks like Mr. Belding went into one of his kids’ rooms and stole it.

The boys continue displaying aggressive serial killer tendencies towards Not-Jessie in the aftermath of the frog incident. For some reason, Zack Morris and Not-Slater suggest Not-Jessie should release the lettuce on the salad bard next because lettuce is a living thing. I’d actually like to see that, Not-Jessie throwing the lettuce down the football field screaming, “Be free!”

Not-Jessie goes over to Miss Bliss’s house. Really, what is it with Miss Bliss and boundaries with her students? Does she hold office hours in her living room? Miss Bliss tells Not-Jessie that she deserves the serial killer behavior because the other students have their rights too. But Miss Bliss has a solution: a computer program about frog anatomy on a rad 5 1/4″ floppy disk. Remember those things? We thought they were the bomb back in the ’80s. I doubt today’s children would even know about them.Bliss diskNot-Jessie thinks this means that none of the other kids will have to do dissections now but Miss Bliss tells her Mr. Morton has already ordered a new batch of frogs. I’m so confused by this plot contrivance. The subplot in this episode is that Mr. Belding is a cheap-ass when it comes to school finances so why the hell would he buy a new batch of frogs? And where did Mr. Morton get these frogs so fast? I mean come on it’s been a day!

At school the next day the whole Mr. Belding kissing Miss Bliss’s ass subplot is wrapped up when Miss Bliss reveals the envelope he saw was just a letter from one of the teachers who went to Trump Hill Academy. But Mr. Morton is pissed because his new frogs are missing because he’s apparently too much of a dumb ass to do anything but leave the frogs out in open sight, even though they’ve already been stolen once. Miss Bliss thinks he’s leaping to conclusions (haha! Title reference!) but Not-Jessie comes in with the box full of frogs. Mr. Morton tells the frogs he’ll make love to them later before he allows Zack Morris and Not-Slater to murder them in cold blood.

Not-Jessie reveals that she let one frog go, to which Mr. Morton threatens to give her an F. She says she learned a valuable lesson: that we always have to respect other’s opinions. There’s so much wrong with this lesson, starting with the fact that she is essentially saying that in any moral situation we must respect other people’s rights and opinions, or she’s no better than the things she’s against. Tell that to the French Resistance during World War II or Martin Luther King, Jr., or Gandhi. Are they immoral in the Saved by the Bell universe because they refused to respect the opinions of their oppressors? Are they no better than their oppressors because they fought against being oppressed?!?! Seriously, this is giving me a headache over here as I try to comprehend this backwards, stupid ass moral they’re trying to cram down our throats.

Miss Bliss tells Mr. Morton about the software and Mylo tries to give away Miss Bliss’s new visual aids, and we get a nice, arbitrary ending, all while Miss Bliss turns into a werewolf.

Bliss mad

I guess we’re left to assume Not-Jesse got what she wanted. After all, the ultimate moral in the Saved by the Bell universe is it doesn’t matter what stupid ass shit you pull. Everything will always work out okay.

First: Heavy handed moral episode.

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