We open with Screech, whose sense of fashion has decreased about fifty times, approaching Zack Morris to declare he’s going to get it on with a random extra in the hallway. I suppose this scene inspired Dustin Diamond’s “revelations” in Behind the Bell. Oh and this episode was quite obviously filmed some time after the last one because Screech’s voice has changed.
And, oh god Screech, what is up with your clothes this week? It looks like the opening credits of Saved by the Bell met a clown convention. Nobody dressed like this ever, not in the early nineties and not today.
Extra’s name is Molly and Screech approaches her to say hi. Rather than being revolted by the idea of Screech coming near her, Molly says hi back. Her boyfriend, who we’ll find out is named Butch later in the episode, doesn’t like the idea of someone warmly greeting his property, so he tells Screech to fuck the hell off.
This prompts Screech to lock himself in Molly’s locker. I think he just took the creepy thing even further.
In what is apparently a home economics class judging by the chalkboard behind them, Mr. Belding comes in introducing Lt. Chet Adams, who wants to start a “Cadet Corps” program at Bayside. What the hell? Lt. Adams is probably Army since we see him handing out recruiting brochures later in the episode, but was ROTC a copyrighted term? What the hell is up with creating a fake program in the military when there’s all ready a suitable one in existence?
Anyway, Lisa thinks Lt. Adams is smokin’ hot and she wants him in her now. Zack Morris is goofing off, and Jessie goes off the subject to ask why women aren’t allowed on the front line. And, proving she’s the most worthless feminist ever, she backs down when Lt. Adams gives her a patronizing remark about women being smart.
Lt. Adams wants volunteers and the only one who will sign up is Slater. Zack Morris gives a remark about not wanting to sign up and Mr. Belding immediately takes him into his office for spankings. But, in lieu of of a spanking, or thirty weeks of Saturday detention (which seems quite harsh for being a smart ass), Mr. Belding offers to let Zack Morris off the hook if he signs up for the cadet corps and convinces enough people to sign up so that the class can be offered because trouble making teenagers are obviously better for the publicity of a new program than anything the administration could actually do.
And Zack Morris’s natural first choices to join the program are two nerds. First there’s Alan, who is promised lots of cake because he’s mildly overweight and that’s apparently disgusting and funny. Next is our first female nerd of the series, Louise, who is promised lots and lots of hot wet action, to which she promises to become the most ridiculous fighter since Chris Tucker tried to play a cop next to Jackie Chan.Next is Butch, who is promised the opportunity to beat up whoever he wants and not get in trouble. I’m pretty sure it only works that way on The Walking Dead. Jessie joins to prove that women can join a fake army program too. Jessie volunteers Kelly because she has a vagina and she’s poor and needs scholarships. And Lisa joins because she wants Lt. Adams’s cock.
That leaves Zack Morris with one more person to recruit and I bet you’ll never guess in a thousand years who it is. Why, yes, it is Screech. How did you ever guess? It’s like the writers are predictable or something. Screech is promised that Molly will find him fuckable in a uniform, which triggers a fantasy sequence with the girls all dressed in camouflage and Screech doing a horrible General Patton impersonation, because joining the Cadet Corps will turn him into an army general. Butch insults Screech and Screech uses his magical powers to turn Butch into a crash test dummy that he tosses into the sky. Because the dummy is apparently filled with helium, it never comes back down either.
The next day, everyone shows up in their uniforms, including Lisa, who has created a custom uniform because that’s totally allowed in military programs. Apparently this fake military program uses extremely generic uniforms that resemble Boy Scouts uniforms more than army uniforms. Mr. Woodchuck from Full House would be so proud!
Lt. Adams comes in and goes all drill sergeant on their asses. He doesn’t take any shit when Jessie starts spewing feminist stuff at him. Then, Zack Morris starts running his mouth and I hoped that would mean thirty days in the stockade. Instead, he’s given one hundred push ups. What is it with Zack Morris and punishments in the form of physical exercise?After the break, Zack Morris wants to quit but Mr. Belding tells him hells to the no. Zack Morris is all, “This requires hard work and I hate hard work despite the fact that my schemes always require hard work!” Mr. Belding’s all, “Fuck off. I need to watch internet porn.”
In what I assume is the next day, Zack Morris comes in out of uniform but Lt. Adams has suddenly lost the drill sergeant persona. Zack Morris says he wants to quit. Lt. Adams is all, “I’ll let you quit if you win the crowning pinnacle of achievement in Cadet Corps: winning at intramural sports!” Really, if the Cadet Corps values intramural sports over all else, it can’t be that effective an organization.
Zack Morris agrees when he hears he gets to pick the teams as a captain with Slater as the other captain. Naturally, Zack Morris is a selfish fuck and picks Butch, Jessie, Kelly, and Rocco (an extra who seems to have wandered in to the class off the street) for himself and the blue team while giving Screech, Lisa, Alan, and Louise to Slater and the red team. Lt. Adams is all, “Are you sure this is fair?” and Zack Morris is like, “On Mr. Woodchuck’s honor I swear that it is fair!” Lt. Adams then actually outsmarts Zack and switches his and Slater’s teams so that Slater gets all of Zack Morris’s picks. Oh, and apparently they’re still in the home economics class as no one in the crew has bothered to erase the chalkboard.
In the hallway, we see both teams practicing. For some reason, practicing includes randomly marching in military formation through a school. Of course, the blue team is really good at it and, as seen below, the read team sucks ass.
Their first practice run is on some conveniently color coded tires, because they would apparently forget which side they should be on if they weren’t color coded. Of course, blue team does amazingly well while red team…well, epically fails. This is enough that Zack Morris throws off his red team insignia and quits as the audience does a half-hearted “aww” and the traditional Saved by the Bell neutral music that could mean anything comes on.
I realize I haven’t talked much about the music on Saved by the Bell to this point so now is as good a time as any. This is a sound they love to end scenes with before a commercial break. I think it’s meant to build suspense but, really, it’s neutral enough it could mean anything, from comical to happy to sad to homicidal to what the hell just happened. And it’s used in like every episode, to the point it gets tiring. Really, some sitcoms of this period just loved to use the same generic music over and over in ways like this but it never worked well. On shows like Full House, it’s used to manipulate the audience into how they should feel, but, in Saved by the Bell‘s case, it’s just an utter reminder of how lazy this show is, even on minor points like this.
Yes, I said it. Full House did something better than Saved by the Bell!
Screech barges into Zack Morris’s room while he’s reading Playselfish-bastard, and Zack Morris does not look amused to be interrupted from his fantasies.
Screech tries to convince Zack Morris to rejoin the team and he’s all, “You’re a bunch of losers. Why should I?” Screech is like, “I love you Zack Morris and I want to be just like you when I’m actually the age I’m portraying. If you don’t rejoin the team, one day I’ll write a tell-all book in which I detail your imagined sexual escapades!” He barges out of the room as Zack Morris looks dejected.The next day, the teams are playing a very out-matched game of tug-o-war when Zack Morris comes in begging Lt. Adams to let him rejoin the team. He’s all, “This is a sitcom where teens are supposed to learn something so it’s not up to me. It’s up to your team.” Zack Morris apologizes and says he’s a selfish piece of shit and begs the others to let him back in. The others are like, “Hell yes! You were our only good player!”The first contest is…monkey bars? Oh, and the teams have taken their dress rules from Power Rangers by dressing entirely in their team’s color. In monkey bars it’s Jessie verses Lisa, and Lisa inexplicably wins.
Next is a rope climb and it’s Slater verses Louise. Louise barely gets off the ground because she’s busy swinging on the rope and trying her damndest to look like she’s struggling to climb it so Slater wins.
Now we have the running through tires event. It’s Butch verses Screech. Screech trips halfway through so, of course, Butch wins.Now we have…So You Think You Can be a Gladiator? I guess so, except Mr. Belding, or “Beldo” as his delusions of grandeur lead him to call himself. And it’s Kelly verses Zack Morris to see which one of them can beat the crap of out “Beldo” first. Kelly’s pretty good at it by distracting the great Beldo.But Zack Morris is even better at beating the crap out of Mr. Belding than Kelly and he wins this event.
The tie breaker is another go at the tug-o-war. Despite seeing how horrible the red team was at it earlier, Zack Morris has been taking steroids and his added strength leads to the rope being torn in two.
Lt. Adams tells the two teams that, since the rope broke, the tie breaker will be the “super obstacle course.” Each team picks one person to compete. Slater picks Butch and Zack Morris says there’s only one person who can do it on the red team: Screech.Screech is all, “I can’t compete! I’ll lose!” and Zack Morris gives the sage advice, “Not if you win!” Oh, Zack Morris, I’m glad that logic class paid off for you. Lisa’s like, “Haven’t you been watching this episode? Didn’t you see how horrible he did earlier?” And Zack Morris is all, “This is Saved by the Bell so don’t worry. Of course the underdogs are going to win in the end because otherwise we wouldn’t live up to our reputation as being extremely predictable.”
Oh and, for some reason, Molly is there watching. Gee, I wonder what’s going to happen.
They begin the super obstacle course, which consists of conveniently color coded tubes for the two to run through, followed by color coded slides, followed by running through the tires again. That’s a tie breaker? Why didn’t you just play rock-paper-scissors?They get to the tires, and Screech wins because Butch looks like he’s about to have an orgasm.
Molly instantly dumps Butch and kisses Screech because winning Cadet Corps competitions is all that matters to a successful relationship. Of course, she’ll never be seen as a speaking character again, leading me to believe that Butch cut out her toungue to keep her from Frenching Screech.
Lt. Adams says that Zack Morris won and, per the terms of their agreement, he can quit. Zack Morris is all, “Even though we’ll never mention the Cadet Corps again, I’m not going to quit. I’ll just fall into the collective amnesia that befalls inconvenient Saved by the Bell plots that aren’t convenient to continuity and never mention it or go to another Cadet Corps class again.Firsts: Butch, Louise.