We open at the mall and at what’s apparently the newly remodeled Teen Machine, even though absolutely nothing’s changed and the writers seem to have forgotten that was a plot point a few episodes ago. But no time for that! There are exciting things like photo booths happening at the mall and the gang want to go have their cheap ass photos taken before Screech gets the same idea and breaks the camera!
But Tony’s all, “TONY NO LIKE CAMERA! CAMERA STEAL TONY’S SOUL!” The gang go to leave without him, but Maria realizes Tony has no soul and stays behind to find out what her bad acting boyfriend is really upset about. And thus we get our real reason why this episode exists as Maria reminds Tony how much they fought when they weren’t communicating back in the first episode. Yes, it’s a fucking clip show episode about Tony, because, if there’s one member of this cast who deserved a clip episode, it’s the one who’s only been on the show twelve episodes and hasn’t contributed anything of value to the show except for one of the worst performances in the franchise’s history.
But, you may ask, how are they going to pull off a whole episode of Tony clips? Are they going to resort to showing his hamster fear subplot?
Why, the answer is they’re not because this is one of the worst clip show episodes in the franchise’s history. See, Mr. Belding and Screech come around and, even in this, they have their stupid subplot. Seems Mr. Belding lost an ugly sweater his wife knitted him and he thinks he left it in the theater, so he asks Tony to come unlock the theater for him because the episode forgot it’s now Nicky who’s assistant manager and not Tony. This gives Screech time to ask Maria why she’s suddenly upset with Tony, and Screech tells Maria all about the time he and Mr. Belding were in couple’s counseling, which inspires Maria to nag Tony some more about why he’s really upset.
Tony and Mr. Belding get back, and Maria is all, “Tony, just fucking tell me what’s going on and get the plot going!” Tony’s all, “FATHER OF TONY WANT TONY TO MOVE TO SAN DIEGO WITH FATHER OF TONY I AM ACTING!”
But the rest of the gang sans Liz come back with their exciting stupid photos. Where’s Liz you ask? Apparently she’s still in the booth making faces at the camera because suddenly Liz is the most easily impressed person on the planet. I sure hope the real reason Liz keeps randomly disappearing this season isn’t that she got another job on a better show and so the writers had to keep coming up with lame excuses for her to go film.
But enough about Liz because, if the writers don’t give a shit about her, why should I? No, the real story is the rest of the gang’s reactions, and Tony reveals he doesn’t want to leave because it’s the only major role he’ll ever have on television. Of course, their stupid solution is for Tony to tell his father all about Maria because a forced relationship should be enough to convince anyone, and also we need a setup for another clip. Also, Katie randomly remembers about telling Jack to quit trying to sexually molest her, but Tony’s all, “FATHER OF TONY NO LIKE INCEST!” After all, why not just show lots of clips unrelated to Tony in an episode about Tony. He’s at least in the background of that one.
But never mind that! Mr. Belding’s still looking for his sweater! But he and Screech find out what’s going on and they decide to tell Tony about firing Mr. Klopper because they want to hammer home how unjust the world is that Mr. Klopper no longer has a job and Screech does. Tony decides to tell his father how he feels.
We finally meet one half of the couple who unfortunately produced Tony, and Tony chickens out on telling his father because we haven’t filled the running time yet, so instead they compare methods of drinking milk out of the carton as they go off to work. No joke.
After a commercial break, Tony comes back to the Teen Machine, reporting in his usual bad acting that he just couldn’t tell his father. Maria reminds Tony that hiding his feelings will only cause problems so the writers can have an excuse to show another clip.
But there’s more important things going on, like Liz is done filming The Bold and the Beautiful for the day so she comes back to stand in the background for the rest of the episode. Seriously, why’d they even put her in if that’s all they were going to do. And Maria coaches Tony on how to talk to his father.
In case you gave a shit about the bad sweater subplot, Mr. Belding and Screech find Tony’s father with the sweater, having found it on a bench or some shit, and I think it’s implied Tony’s father used the sweater as a cum rag or something. Tony sits down with his father and is all, “FATHER OF TONY, TONY NO WANT TO MOVE TO SAN DIEGO BECAUSE GIRL MARIA MIGHT GIVE HIM SOME POON TANG ROLL CLIP!” And we proceed to watch all about how Maria helped Tony quit cigar smoking. In case you were worried about the dangling plot thread that Tony’s dad smoked cigars, too, we get a throwaway line about how Tony helped his father quit smoking.
Tony’s father is impressed how good of a group of friends he has that helped him quit smoking through guilt and shame and says he only wants what’s best for Tony, which I highly doubt since I have a feeling it wouldn’t look too good for a student to be in two high schools during their senior year, but let’s not think of random shit like making sense if the writers don’t give a shit!
And our episode ends with our assembled characters thinking their lucky stars that they get to have fourteen more episodes with the only character who could possibly give the fake Swiss guy a run for his money in terms of bad acting.
Seriously, this might be the worst clip show of the bunch. There’s one more next season. Unless that one’s really bad, I’m going to call it for this one.