We open in the hallway where Tony’s all, “TONY WRITE POEM FOR MARIA’S BIRTHDAY BECAUSE TONY DEEP INTELLECTUAL IS!” And it turns out Tony’s deep contribution to the canon of poetry is a tome comparing Maria’s eyes to a football that makes Brian’s love poem to Rachel back in season two seem like the sonnets of Shakespeare by comparison. Eric’s all, “Your poems suck almost as much as you do. Let’s rip off a Saved by the Bell plot and get a shady adult who likes hanging out with kids to sell you some real cheap jewelry for her instead!”
Meanwhile, the swim coach is concerned that Katie’s time was off today. She denies anything is wrong, but turns out her shoulder was hurt during practice. Liz, Maria, and Nicky pressure her into seeing a sports medicine doctor and she’s all, “Anything to get you off my case and move the plot along.” Also, why are they still having swim meets if the championships were last season? Is this another out of order episode?
In the world of our incompetent adults, Screech notices Mr. Belding’s in a foul mood while carrying a ton of shit around. In his office, Mr. Belding snaps at someone on the phone, and I’m willing to bet he’s stressed out from straightening out all the shit that Screech messed up last week as acting principal. Screech is going to make Mr. Belding have a heart attack one day!
Screech’s solution is to take advantage of Mr. Belding’s stress to feel him up under the guise of giving him a massage. This is the only possible reason I can see for this as Screech claims he’s been taking classes via correspondence course on massage, but I find it hard to believe a person could learn much about massage from a correspondence course. How do they grade you? Based on what you tell them you’re doing? Mr. Belding makes the mistake of complementing Screech on his sexual advances, and this suddenly gives Screech a big head and makes him think of ideas for the subplot this week.
At The Max, we meet Big Al, The New Class‘s answer to Gem Diamond, and I’m pretty shocked and not shocked at the same time that the writers of this show missed that South Park created a character around this same time named Big Gay Al. Maybe this is Big Gay Al if he was a Miami Vice snitch. There’s a quick line about how Big Al used to weigh three hundred pounds and how he lost it through the miracles of diet soda, and I’m wondering if there’s a joke in there I’m supposed to be laughing at. Seriously, anymore this is most of what The New Class is: someone says something random and the audience finds it hilarious. The only thing missing is comedy.
In any case, Big Al sells Tony a fake diamond look-a-like for $30, but Tony’s all, “TONY HONEST LIKE ABE AND TELL MARIA DIAMOND BE FAKE!” Big Al’s like, “What the fuck ever.” But he doesn’t go away. Instead, we can clearly see him having lunch with Tony and Eric in the background as we pan to the next table.
Katie’s back from the doctor and tells Liz and Nicky that she has tendinitis. The doctor prescribed pain killers for her and told her not to swim for a few days, but Katie’s freaked out about wanting to win the swim meet against Valley, I assume because Liz just had a freak out episode about winning last season and can’t freak out again so soon.
Back at Bayside, Screech advertises his new massage business out of Mr. Belding’s office, and Eric asks him if Mr. Belding’s really okay with this shit. Screech is all, “Mr. Belding doesn’t not know!” and moves on so Eric can move on with his subplot as Screech feels up Eric under the guise of giving him a massage.
Tony gives Maria her necklace, and she’s amazed he bought this for her, assuming he’s working triple shifts at The Max to afford it, even though this would mean he would have to skip school and wouldn’t have time for his second job at the movie theater. Oh, Maria. Use some common god damned sense. Tony’s about to tell her the truth about the necklace, but she just keeps gushing and gushing to the point Tony let’s her walk away after the audience gets a chance to lose their shit over a kiss.
And Katie tells Liz and Nicky the pain killers are making her shoulder feel better so she’s going to swim and shit. Liz and Nicky think this is a very bad idea, but Katie’s determined to push the plot forward so we’re going to get what we’re going to get.
And, it turns out, after swim practice, Katie did better than Liz or Maria today and is gushing with pride, or high as fuck. Whichever is the case I’m not sure, but Liz and Maria are still concerned about Katie and shit.
And Maria shows off her necklace to Liz as Tony goes to tell her about the necklace. She can’t stop gushing, and he’s soon convinced by Eric not to tell her it’s fake as fuck.
Mr. Belding finds out Screech is operating out of his office and is pissed as fuck that Screech is doing this instead of his fucking job, and even questions why Screech is such an idiot so often, which I agree with him on. I mean, I’ve been saying that since season two, but you’re the idiot who keeps putting him in charge of shit. Screech gives Mr. Belding another massage and that’s all it takes to convince him to drop all protestations against a massage business in his office. Oh, Mr. Belding. If you want Screech to touch you, I’m sure he would with or without a teenager touching business.
In the hallway, Katie’s upset that she can’t get a refill on her prescription without seeing the doctor because he’ll find out she hasn’t been resting her shoulder. Geez, you took all your painkillers that fast? You are an addict, Katie! Nicky’s all, “If you really feel better, what the fuck is wrong?” And Katie’s like, “Nothing. Just moving the plot along.” As soon as Nicky’s gone, Katie goes to Liz, who had the same prescription not long ago, and convinces Liz to give Katie her stock of painkillers.
Maria freaks out because she’s lost Tony’s fake diamond so, knowing Eric is friends with the person Tony bought it from, she asks him to help her buy a replacement lest she continue to freak out and shit.
So Eric gets Big Al to sell a fake diamond to Maria but charge her $100 so she won’t know it’s fake. As soon as Eric is gone, though, he charges her $200 instead.
And Katie’s freaking out on Nicky and random waiters as Liz brings her the painkillers, and Nicky tells her he’ll have nothing to do if she suddenly has a freak out because she’s become an addict.
And Mr. Belding discovers Screech has taken too many liberties as usual and has turned his office into a full spa and shit. I wonder where he got the money to get all that shit. Screech tries to spread some mud on Mr. Belding’s face, but he won’t be fooled this time and tells Screech to get the fuck out.
At the swim meet, Maria’s lost another necklace, which really makes me think she shouldn’t have any jewelry. Tony’s all, “TONY BUY CHEAP FAKE NECKLACE FOR MARIA!” Eric admits Big Al ripped her off and says he’ll get her the money back, and Maria pushes both Tony and Eric into the pool as revenge for stressing her out over the necklace, because, somehow, Eric being a party to Maria getting ripped off is Tony’s fault. Believe me, I don’t want to defend Tony, but they just wanted an excuse to get Tom Wade Huntington wet, didn’t they?
Screech reveals he’s given up massage and is now taking a correspondence course for acupuncture as he proceeds to stab Mr. Belding in the back quite literally. Why someone would trust Screech with sharp objects is beyond me.
During the relay, Katie’s arm goes out. Yes, no drug freak out for The New Class like “Jessie’s Song” that might make this episode so bad it’s good. We just have Katie briefly drowning before Nicky jumps in fully clothed to rescue her since none of the people standing around in swimsuits could be bothered.
Katie admits to the coach and everyone else what she did and even throws Liz under the bus for good measure because Katie just sucks as a human being this episode. She apologizes for using drugs in lieu of getting better and pushes the reset button so all is forgiven. With that out of the way, Nicky makes a tasteless joke about getting to be in the girls’ locker room, because what I think of after a near drowning is getting to see boobies. As Nicky walks out of the locker room, our episode ends with all the girls giving each other knowing glances about Nicky wanting to see their lady parts as I cringe and wish this series was over already.