Just when you were hoping this could be the season without any away from Bayside episodes other than the obligatory mall episodes, this piece of crap comes along. Yes, welcome to the police academy arc, because if there’s ever something I wanted to see, it’s these fucking morons learning how to be cops, as if cops need any more bad publicity today. Also, I’m pretty sure firefighters receive very different training from cops and would not share an academy, but what do I know; I’m just a bitter internet reviewer who’s been watching way too much of The New Class.
We open with the girls arriving and talking about how excited they are to finally be here, even though they’ve never talked about having any interest in this shit until they found out it was yet another way to get school credit without going to school. I’m beginning to think our six idiots are going to graduate without even knowing how to tie their own shoes, and Maria will have it worse since she’s been doing this stupid shit since season three. Of course, Liz is only there because she hasn’t been touched by anyone except an emotionally abusive guy since Ryan’s been gone so she wants to see some hot, shirtless, police guys.
She won’t be seeing that in the male idiots, who have the unreasonable demand they shouldn’t have to carry the girls’ suitcases just because they’re too lazy to do it themselves. Slackers! Don’t you know you’ve got to work it if you want a very special episode on losing your cursed virginity!
Mr. Belding and Screech are soon brought in by Cadet Fred, a recurring character in this arc who actually makes Screech look intelligent by comparison, disturbing me that this guy wants to carry a gun in the Saved by the Bell universe. He thinks two random men loitering around teenagers is suspicious, but Mr. Belding soon clears it up by saying they’re school administrators during the rare time they’re actually at school.
Randomly, we find out Maria’s father is the police captain at the academy, a fact that’s never been mentioned before, and, suddenly, he’s also a neglectful father as Maria never gets to see him and is looking forward to spending time with him in lieu of doing actual school work. Seriously, I don’t get how learning to be police officers can earn you school credit.
Sergeant Meinhart, who’s in charge of the cadets, comes in to meet the group, and quickly puts Eric in line, telling him to stop being a useless character who only gets to do shit they don’t want to give to the other characters. Sergeant Meinhart tells them they get to attend a banquet honoring Captain Lopez this week, which you would have thought Maria would have mentioned. Turns out he’s being honored for making this the best police academy in the country by Who’s Who in American Police Academies. It may not exist but it’s better than the zero explanation the show gives on the award.
Sergeant Meinhart mentions that the entertainment for the banquet fell through, and this gives Screech an idea since there’s really no other reason for him and Mr. Belding to be there other than to do stupid shit that makes no sense. In this case, Screech is going to do magic for Captain Lopez because the writers want me to cry softly into my pillow at night as I realize there’s still nine more episodes of this stupid show left.
And meet Captain Lopez, who reminds Maria that hugs are for criminals and shit. Maria asks her father out for lunch, which he accepts, and Maria can’t stop gushing about her father as Eric makes jokes that make Carrot Top look funny by comparison.
In the mess hall, a pretty blonde police woman asks Sergeant Meinhart for volunteers to help out in the mess hall for Captain Lopez’s banquet, and the boys’ penises immediately go off at the prospect of being in the immediate proximity of a pretty woman who knows how to use handcuffs. Because they’re breathing, they’re good enough for her!
And Captain Lopez suddenly doesn’t have time to eat with Maria because he’s too busy with work because it’s completely reasonable to be disappointed your father has to work at work rather than spend time with you.
As if to top off the head shaking stupidity of this episode, Screech manages to switch a pair of trick handcuffs for real ones, locking Mr. Belding and himself together. Rather than admit he’s hired a complete moron as an administrative assistant, Mr. Belding decides to pretend everything is okay for most of the rest of the episode.
In the kitchen, the boys’ penises are excited to be working with a pretty woman, with Tony even bringing her a flower, suggesting this arc may be taking place before he and Maria dated.
But, oh, hilarity of hilarity, they’re actually being supervised by Officer Barry, who’s breaking the laugh-o-meter because she’s masculine and tough! Oh, Peter Engel, it’s nice to see you falling back on old stereotypes and cliches for your jokes once again! Also, it appears Officer Barry is able to psychically communicate what the three will be doing in the kitchen as she tells them to get to work and they automatically know what to do!
Eric’s not so good at it, though. Also, I include this pic because I can’t believe the producers didn’t even try to cover up the fact Anthony Harrell got a tattoo. It’s quite obvious, too! I’m quite shocked they didn’t make that a very special episode.
Katie turns out to be really good at Judo because she’s used to flipping Nicky around and shit, and gets enthusiastic praise from Captain Lopez, while Maria just gets a “nice job!” Maria tries to get her father to stick around until she can get a gold star, but Captain Lopez has to go do some work at work! How horrible a person!
Maria tries to get a training dummy to touch her in a way Tony never could and is interrupted by Liz, who suggests she ask Captain Lopez to help her with some self-defense moves.
Mr. Belding and Screech try to find a key that will open their handcuffs and are interrupted by Cadet Fred, who’s still harassing them for no reason. This is what we call police harassment. When Screech knocked the keys over, they just take a random handful of keys, hoping that contrivance will lead one to be in the batch that will open the handcuffs and god this may be their stupidest subplot yet, even worse than Screech bringing a tiger into Bayside.
In the kitchen, the boys make some really bad food in hopes Officer Barry will reassign them, but she says this subplot isn’t through with them yet and she’s just going to have to kick their asses until they learn to cook.
In the mess hall, Captain Lopez is happy Maria wants help with self-defense and assigns Katie to help her because he has an actual job to do. She’s all, “This is stupid because I came here just to spend time with my father!”
Maria decides to get revenge by throwing a party in their rooms. You might ask why it’s egregious for the extras to have a party off hours but I’m more worried about why the producers think police cadets spend the night in the academy. Their idea of police training came straight out of the Police Academy movies, didn’t it? Katie and Liz tell Maria she has to cut out this shit…
…but Captain Lopez, who apparently also lives at the police academy, comes in before the shit can be cut out. Maria admits it was all her, getting Katie and Liz out of trouble, and, after they leave, Maria tells her father he’s a doo doo head who’s a meanie head because he won’t spend time with her at hi work.
Meanwhile, Officer Barry loves the boys even after they rig revenge on her because they finally made really good food and shit because that’s the only way this stupid subplot could have ended. I think she even tries to feel up Eric’s nipple. Well, that was a complete waste of time.
Speaking of wastes of time, Screech is an idiot with magic…
…and causes the killer rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail to bite Mr. Belding’s nose, ending yet another humiliating subplot for Dennis Haskins.
Meanwhile, Maria’s mad her father won’t talk to her about the party incident right when he’s about to be called up to a banquet in his honor to give a speech.
Seeing Maria sulking, Captain Lopez abandons his own banquet so his selfish ass daughter can pretend there’s been some sort of moral in this whole stupid episode. He apologizes to Maria for being a neglectful father, and our episode ends with the two embracing for the future of this arc. What the writers don’t seem to realize is they never addressed the real problem that Captain Lopez is sleeping at the academy and neglecting his home while Maria apparently is such an idiot she doesn’t realize a person’s work is not the best place to spend quality time with them. Of course, given that Mrs. Lopez and Tino nowhere to be seen at the banquet, it could be that Maria’s home is much more dysfunctional than originally thought as it seems no one gives a shit about this award but the Bayside gang!.
Firsts: Bayside Police and Fire Academy, Captain Lopez, Sergeant Meinhart, Officer Barry, Cadet Fred.