This episode has a quite clever framing method. The story is broken up into five acts, each with a title card as shown below, similar to the way Fraiser broke up its episodes into various acts. Considering that this episode aired years before Fraiser, I’d say it was on the cutting edge of what was to come. Not too shabby for Saved by the Bell!
We start with “The Wedding,” and our three couples come marching in: Zack Morris and Kelly, Slater and Jessie, and, of course, Screech and Lisa, who are all participating in a class project to simulate the experience of marriage. It seems that none of the other students in the class are allowed to participate in this project because it would require them to be more than convenient background filler in this episode. Their grade is to be determined by how well they communicate and whether they go all Lorena Bobbitt on each other’s asses.
Zack Morris tells us that this is the greatest day of his life because being fake married to Kelly will surely cause him to receive maximum fuckage. And Kelly has turned into Helen Keller because, despite the fact that he’s talking to the magic flying elves in front of him, she can’t seem to tell despite the fact she’s hanging right off his arm.
At the front is Mr. Belding, who tells them their regular teacher got can’t-afford-a-guest-star-for-this-episode-itis, and that he’s there to fill in for her and marry the couples because it would just be stupid if Max did it.
Lisa asks why she got paired with Screech and Mr. Belding says it’s alphabetical order. So, let’s break down what alphabetical order should look like:
Zack Morris – Kelly Kapowski
Screech Powers – Jessie Spano
A.C. Slater – Lisa Turtle It’s nice to know our public school system is educating our children so well. After all, if a high school administrator couldn’t put six names in alphabetical order, it might mean she or he was incompetent.
At The Max, the gang (minus Screech) expresses varying opinions about their fake marriages and it’s quite apparent right away that they’re taking all of this way too seriously. Zack Morris wants to get Kelly on the honeymoon so they can fake consummate their fake love, which I assume means lots of masturbation. Jessie asserts her eco-feminist dominance over Slater, and Lisa bemoans the fact that her husband is the most likely cast member to never do anything again in his career.
Max brings a cake out and, of course, who should pop out but Screech, which sends Lisa into twitching signifying she may be finally ready to snap from Screech’s constant sexual harassment.
In Lisa’s room, Lisa is working out to one of those cheesy eighties workout tapes that were advertised all the time on late-night infomercials. I want to believe it’s Richard Simmons because a cameo from him in this show would quadruple the cheese factor of Saved by the Bell instantly. Screech comes walking in and starts doing a weird dance. He wants to move in with Lisa now that they’re fake married and she starts twitching again as she pushes him out the door and is all, “Boy, you done made dat up! Get yo ass out of here this instant before I pop a cap in yo ass!”
Later, Lisa is praying to God that he strike her dead rather than continue on as a regular of this show, and God says, “Fuck that shit! Thou hast sinned against me with thy vanity, biatch!” and rewards Lisa with a disturbing nightmare where she sees Screech everywhere, including in the face of her doll.
She wakes up, her twitching more pronounced, and I’m waiting for this to become a very special episode about fake domestic violence in fake relationships any minute now.
Our next part is “The Honeymoon’s Over,” which must mean that, during their fake marriage, Kelly saw the size of Zack Morris’s fake penis and fake laughed.
Today, the couples are going to be given situations they must deal with in everyday life. Slater and Jessie go first and must resolve who’s going to be the bitch and cook dinner and Slater’s like, “Fuck that women’s work shit!” Next, Kelly has wrecked Zack Morris’s car and Zack Morris thinks a good dicking is the way to comfort Kelly.
Finally, Screech needs to be comforted after he lost his job and Lisa has a seizure from his constant neediness. Mr. Belding fake annuls their fake marriage before Lisa fake dies.
And Screech takes it about like that kid from the photo meme who found out Santa is dead.
Zack Morris and Slater offer him a sensual massage to get over it, but it doesn’t do anything but turn Mr. Belding on.
In our next segment, “The Firstborn,” Mr. Belding tells the remaining couples that normally fake couples get fake babies in their fake marriages, but, this time, they’re getting teenagers so they can see what it’s like to raise a selfish little shit who can’t think of anyone but themselves. Gee, I wonder who the kids will be?
Zack Morris is horrified to find out Screech is now his son and the single most terrifying words I’ve heard in this series are uttered from Screech to Kelly: “What a hot mommy!” Meanwhile, Lisa becomes Slater and Jessie’s daughter and immediately starts demanding that her parents bow to her every whim. Just like normal, then.
In the restroom, oh glorious restroom, where have you been this whole episode?! Anyway, in the restroom, I think Screech is going all The Shining on the restroom mirror using toothpaste to spell out LIsa’s name. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.
Slater comes in and tells Screech that if he can break up Zack Morris and Kelly, he’ll guarantee him a date with Lisa because she’s his fake daughter now and he completely fake controls who she can and cannot fake fuck.
Our next segment, “The Surprise,” opens back in the classroom and Mr. Belding tells our couples that dealing with the unexpected, like finding out your spouse is a serial murdering cannibal, is the key to a successful marriage.
Kelly tells Zack Morris she has a surprise for him but, before she can get it out, Screech jumps out from behind the couch and, much like Dustin Diamond later will do in his autobiography, starts screaming, “ME! ME! ME! PAY ATTENTION TO ME! I’M IMPORTANT DAMN YOU! PAY ATTENTION TO THE GOLLUM BEHIND THE COUCH!” Zack Morris tries to shoo him away and Kelly’s all, “You hate our fake child! I was going to tell you I’m having your second fake baby but now I think I’ll take our fake son and move to a fake sleezy motel, file for fake divorce, and sue you for fake alimony!”
Next, Slater is sucking Jessie’s dick and tells her that he’s going to fake stay home and take care of their fake daughter so Jessie can become a fake lawyer. She’s all, “Wow, you became such a fake great father and husband!” Screech comes over to the Spano-Slater’s fake house and asks to take Lisa out on a fake date. Slater’s like, “Fuck off, she wouldn’t touch your fake dick with a fake twelve inch pole!” and Screech is all, “You promised me fake Lisa poon tang if I fake broke up Zack Morris and Kelly!”
Mr. Belding brings the boys into his office and tells them he’s giving them all real Fs for making a mockery of the assignment, and his reasoning is pretty off, especially since Zack Morris is the victim in this whole scheme, for once. He claims that they all three let a rivalry get in the way of an assignment, which is bullshit since Zack Morris did nothing to Slater. But whatever, we have to make Zack Morris a perp somehow and what better way than to shoe on a punishment that makes no fucking sense.
They beg Mr. Belding to give them all a second chance and he agrees on condition they can get their fake wives to agree.
Our final segment, “The Anniversary Dinner,” takes place at The Max, where Max pretty much admits that his restaurant has become a second school and he has closed his business just to serve the whims of Bayside High’s administrators. Jessie and Lisa walk in and Max escorts them to a table where Screech is waiting. Lisa asks what the most expensive entree is and Max pulls out a live goose.
Seriously, what is it with Max and random live animals that he pulls out of his clothes. I swear to god if he pulls a snake out of his pants, this blog it over! That will be too much! Jessie gets pissy because Slater ordered for her and tells him she’s a modern liberated woman and doesn’t need his caveman antics dragging down her fake sense of liberation. They decide they’re not compatible and agree to get a fake divorce and put their fake daughter up for real adoption. This will all become all the more ironic around the next season or so.
Kelly comes in wearing…what the hell is she wearing, a sun dress? Seriously, I let a lot of fashion faux pas pass with this show, but this is too much, especially when they’re trying to simulate a semi-formal atmosphere! Jesus, send it back to Goodwill and get her a garbage bag! It would look better than this thing! Zack Morris tells Kelly he’s been a selfish shit. Max brings out what he says is the night’s special and Zack Morris picks up the tray to find Screech’s decapitated head. Oh, great, Max has turned into Mary Antoinette.
Kelly and Zack Morris make up and this time it’s Kelly that puts the lid back on Screech, thank God! Mr. Belding tells both groups he’s giving them As because everybody communicated and everything turned out just fine, as it always does in Saturday morning television land!
We end with Kelly asking Zack Morris if he remembers about their second fake little bundle of joy she referenced a few scenes ago, and he’s like, “Well, yeah, but I’m surprised the writers remembered what happened a few minutes ago!” Lisa takes the lid off the tray again and finds Screech’s decapitated head like this.
Yeah, I feel your pain, Zack Morris. If I had that as a daughter, I would send her to live with Uncle Ted Bundy.
Despite the ridiculous premise of this episode and how much I’ve made fun of it, there’s something I quite like about it. I found myself genuinely laughing at several points, and this episode might have been the most fun of all the season one episodes thus far.
Firsts: Zack Morris isn’t the biggest jerk, Slater is the bigger asshole.