We open in the hallway where Eric’s apparently leading an impromptu pep rally for the big game against their arch rival, Central. Yeah, never mind you always thought it was Valley. Central is apparently just as important even though they’ve barely been mentioned over the years of the franchise. Just go with it because plot!
As usual, Screech gets way too excited about the game even though he hasn’t been in high school in six years now. Mr. Belding puts Screech in charge of finding something for the big game, and thus lies Mr. Belding’s first mistake of the episode: giving Screech a task without any criteria for how he should complete it. Yeah, it’s going to end about how you expect.
Tony gives us some exposition that he and Maria have been teamed up to work on the big Chemistry project together and Maria’s practically wetting herself that she gets to work with him, only one week after she was ready to sacrifice his ass to Screech. But she gets jealous when a random cheer leader butts in between her and Tony hoping to get a little of that new blonde boy ass.
But none of that shit’s important compared to Katie’s dilemma. See, she’s now editor of the school newspaper and she’s depressed that no one reads it, because apparently a school newspaper has to be read to support itself…I guess? I don’t know. It makes no sense given that school newspapers aren’t out to make a profit, but the writers of this show never went to high school so they couldn’t be expected to know that.
At The Max, Maria and Tony try to work on their project because a shitty retro diner is where I always try to work on Chemistry projects, but they’re soon interrupted by the entire cheerleader squad trying to get into Tony’s pants. Maria soon tires of this bull shit and slips away so she can continue brooding for her subplot.
You know what I’ve just realized this episode? Ever since Lindsay and Rachel left the show, none of our gang have been cheerleaders. It’s like slowly other people in the school are being given permission to occupy roles central to Bayside and that the events of the school don’t revolve around our six main characters. Of course, our six main characters are still the ones who get to do all the big Bayside stuff and get personalized service from the school administrators, so who knows? But…wasn’t that Maria’s thing when she joined the cast: she was the head cheerleader at Valley and was rivals with Rachel? I know, I don’t know why I expect them to remember silly things like characterization but I guess I’m old fashioned that way.
Liz starts complaining about her History test grade as an excuse for Eric to say he hasn’t taken the test yet because they had an away game last week and he had to leave early. The purpose of this is to give Katie an idea for a newspaper article and shit because Eric is her friend but she never knew over the last three seasons how being a football player works.
Also, Nicky suddenly wants to be on the football team. You know, why the hell not? I mean, he’s no less believable a football player than Eric so why not let all our male cast be football players since we don’t have cheerleaders anymore.
Back at Bayside, Screech prepares to reveal the surprise he got for the Central game. As you see what our resident dumb ass came into the school, remember this moment at the end of next season when you find out what this idiot gets to do at the end of the series.
Yes, Screech brought a live tiger into the school because his idiocy apparently knows no bounds. Turns out his Uncle Ernie owns a circus and randomly brought a tiger around for a bunch of high school students. One, so you’re saying both Screech’s uncle and his grandfather are named Ernie? Sure, what the hell ever. Two, even ignoring the physics defying act of getting that cage into Mr. Belding’s office, Screech has just reached a new level of idiocy I didn’t think possible. He’s now no longer simply a determent to the operations of Bayside, but he’s personally put every student, staff, and teacher’s life in jeopardy by bringing an unsupervised wild animal into the building. Tell me again why he has a job working with children?
But, no, Mr. Belding doesn’t instantly fire Screech, even when he suggests taking the tiger out of the cage because, at this point, I’m not so sure Screech doesn’t have blackmail on Mr. Belding. I mean, how else does he keep a job? Mr. Belding tells Screech to get that tiger the fuck out of here even as Screech assures him he has a blow gun tranquilizer in case anything goes wrong, because this is apparently Looney Tunes all of a sudden. God, this show…
In the gym, the gang prepares for the pep rally for the Central game. Tony sees Maria and tells her they need to get going on their Chemistry project, but she says she wouldn’t want to take him away from his hot fucking with all those random other girls. Tony says that Maria’s jealous but she insists that’s ridiculous and would reflect bad writing since, just last week, she completely hated him. She decides that Tony just has an ego and she needs to bring him down a notch since that wouldn’t be recycling last week’s plot or anything.
Liz comes in and confronts Katie on her next newspaper article, which Liz says is slanted and untrue. See, Katie implied that the football team doesn’t make up their tests and Liz says that’s bull shit and she knows it. Katie is suddenly unethical and says that other schools doing it justifies this article and she’s printing it, god damn it, because plot. Why does this show never realize that making your character look like jack asses is not a good substitute for actual conflict?
But then Nicky comes in and reveals he’s now on the football team because apparently it’s possible to just join a sports team when a major game is coming up because that’s the way school sports works, right? Liz asks Katie if she really wants to print this article and Katie’s all, “Sure! I’m not going to get the chance to look like an asshole any other way!”
The next day, Katie’s article has magically managed to mobilize a previously apathetic Bayside to read the school paper, and the entire football team confronts Katie on the obvious lie. She’s all, “Blah blah blah! People love lies and shit and stuff!” Also, Maria initially doesn’t like the article until she finds out Tony likes it and then she instantly changes her opinion because Tony sucks ass.
Screech goes in Mr. Belding’s office and finds the tiger missing. Rather than assume the reasonable, that Mr. Belding sent someone to get a fucking wild animal out of his office, Screech assumes the tiger is loose in the school because tigers are often silent, aloof creatures, not tearing people from limb to limb and causing carnage in their wake. God, Screech, if you were any stupider…well, I’m running out of insults for what you would be, but suffice it to say you are one stupid mother fucker.
We end up in Miss Biddy’s class where the football players are waiting to go to the pep rally. Miss Biddy has previously been on this show before, in season four’s “Oh, Brother,” and I’m very shocked to see her back, especially since she’s just a cheap Miss Simpson knock-off. In any case, everyone who’s not a football player is now pissed off at the football players and decide to walk out at Katie’s insistence, Katie hoping to get another news story.
Liz tells Katie she sucks for being this stupid and that, since she once again has to be the voice of reason in this group, she’s quitting as photographer.
Before the pep rally, it turns out the regular mascot was out sick so Mr. Belding is conveniently filling in since no students are apparently available. It’s a shame he doesn’t have an otherwise worthless staff member who actually once was the mascot when he was a student.
The pep rally starts and basically mass hysteria occurs when one of the players too old to be a high school student accuses Katie of writing lies and says this school is just a bunch of idiots who play into whatever far-fetched scheme the hack writers pick for that particular week.
A player attacks Nicky, Katie attacks the player, Maria accidentally punches Tony, and the world’s most subdued riot is well underway. But I think my favorite part of this riot is Liz sitting calmly in her seat and silently mouthing things at unseen people off camera.
Also, Screech comes in the middle of it and, being that he is a complete dumb ass, can’t tell an actual tiger from a person in a tiger costume, and shoots Mr. Belding in the ass with the tranquilizer dart.
In the aftermath of the riot, Screech reveals he found out his uncle had already picked up the tiger and Mr. Belding says that, if he could move at that very moment, he would murder Screech. Please, nurse, give him something to make him move! I want to see that so bad!
Maria apologizes to Tony for accidentally punching him and reveals she was jealous as the writers are very quickly trying to move them into a relationship since they have limited time this season.
And Nicky lets Katie know he’s fucking pissed at her for being an idiot this episode.
In the hallway, Mr. Belding tells Katie he’s removing her as editor of the newspaper for writing stupid shit. Liz comes over and instantly forgives Katie so they can resolve their short-lived conflict.
Mr. Belding reveals he’s angry Screech is still doing the same stupid bullshit he did when he first arrived on this show in season two. Don’t worry, though: a simple apology is all that’s needed to make it go away once again, and Screech keeps his job for another week, even as he releases a shit ton of other animals on the premises.
At The Max, the football team beat Central and everyone celebrates. Eric and Tony can’t believe people came out but Mr. Belding reveals that Katie put out a special edition of the paper to retract her previous statements. Because Katie printed a retraction and apologized, everything is okay and Katie can even have her job back because sorry apparently fixes everything in this universe!
Nicky and Katie make-up with a kiss as Katie promises not to act completely out of character for at least another week as our episode ends with the audience completely losing their shit over this hackneyed ending.