Monthly Archives: November 2016

The New Class Season 7, Episode 8: “A Mall Shook Up”

Christmas has come early for me this year for this might be the most unintentionally hilarious episode this show has ever had. Seriously, I haven’t laughed so much at an episode of this franchise since “Pipe Dreams.” Oh, where has this episode been for the last 137 stupidly boring fucking episodes of this series?


We’re at the mall this week as the horrible pun in the title might suggest, and we open to find Mr. Belding chewing Screech out for trying to bring food into Gadgets & Gizmos despite his new clearly posted sign. Screech promptly stuff his sandwich in his face and proceeds on his way because he already knows Mr. Belding isn’t going to do shit to him at this point in the series.


Meanwhile, a small tremor of an earthquake shakes things about a bit and none of the gang even react except Nicky because the writers suddenly remember NEW YORK and decide to have him freak out over them. The rest of the gang say earthquakes are so common in L.A. they are used to them. If they’re so common, though, shouldn’t Nicky have experienced one already in the three years he’s been on this show? Eric proceeds to shake the tables to freak Nicky out because he’s a fucking jerk, and Tony thinks macaws are probably hot girls because there’s going to be a macaw in one of the subplots and we need to make Tony look Tommy D level stupid.


So, yeah, the pet store has a macaw and Eric’s trying to teach her to pick up women because he’s still a playa. Liz mentions that Maria thinks her boss, Mr. Carey, is a big jerk, and a badly dubbed voice actor proceeds to have the bird repeat Liz that “Maria thinks Mr. Carey is a big jerk!”


Screech hides a Cup ‘o Noodle from Mr. Belding on top of this jukebox, and Mr. Belding is sure to exposit that it cost $10,000 because, if Gadgets & Gizmos can’t sell the cheap junk they already have, I’m sure they’ll be able to sell a really expensive jukebox. Also, I’m not sure Mr. Belding can really get $10,000 for this jukebox given that it’s used, having been a fixture of The Max for all those years.

As predicted, Screech spills his soup all over the machine, instantly shorting it out, and he’s nearly caught by Mr. Belding…


…when the most unintentionally hilarious episode of The New Class really begins! Yes, it’s a big earthquake this time, and we get to see the reactions of all our main characters! Mr. Belding and Screech wonder why they keep getting caught up together in earthquakes, both real and fake.


Maria steadies some glasses at the Teen Machine because that’s apparently the most important thing in the world right now.


Katie randomly starts running through the mall and past a gay pride shop.


Eric’s trying to beat Tony for stupidest person this episode and tries to give the animals instructions on how to survive the earthquake. Liz gives people instructions to get under the tables because she’s so useful and shit, while, at the movie theater, people are still running around in the middle of an earthquake.


A couple kids are still in the theater, and Tony is all, “YOUNG CHILDREN COME WITH TONY TO THE PLACE OF THE SUNLIGHT!” The girl doesn’t want to leave, though, because her brother, who happens to be Tum Tum from 3 Ninjas 4 (you know, the horrible one you didn’t see with Hulk Hogan as a villain), won’t leave. Tony grabs the girl, practically throws her over his shoulder, and is all, “TONY TAKE LITTLE GIRL TO PLACE OF SUNLIGHT NOW!”


This leaves Nicky to save Tum Tum. Tum Tum doesn’t want to leave, so Nicky gets out his flashlight and tells him he’s Flashman and, wherever the flashlight shines will be safe.


I’m glad to see Tony is also a fan of Choushinsei Flashman, the 1986 entry in Japan’s long-running Super Sentai series of shows that would eventually come to America as Power Rangers! Tum Tum, never being the brightest of the 3 Ninjas, believes that Nicky is a Power Ranger as Nicky picks the boy up and runs out of the theater literally just as a set director drops a beam over where Nicky and Tum Tum were just standing.


Given that the movie theater is apparently falling apart from the stress of the earthquake, I don’t understand why these fucking idiots have not evacuated and why Maria’s just sitting near a giant movie film reel while paramedics sort out the dead. Please flash back to Gadgets & Gizmos and show me that something fell on Screech! That would make this a truly glorious episode!


Nicky delivers Tum Tum to his mother as I’m wondering why she wasn’t in the theater with her damned fucking kids to begin with. The mother calls Nicky a hero, starting a long line towards a truly hilarious main plot point that’s overshadowed by the fact that the movie theater was only one of two places seriously affected by the earthquake enough to nearly kill people. We’ll get to the other one soon enough.


And, just for fun, here’s Ben Gould’s best, “I could have been killed!” face. Yeah, it looks like every other face Nicky ever puts on, and that’s what makes it utterly hilarious that they want me to believe Nicky’s traumatized.


The gang arrive back at the food court where Liz informs them that, despite the fact that multiple people were nearly killed, the mall should be open again in two days because earthquakes are another thing the writers of The New Class don’t understand.


One of the construction workers recognizes Nicky from the paper, and he and the others are surprised to learn that Tum Tum’s mother told a reporter all about Nicky being a Power Ranger. This begs the question how the paper got photos of Nicky without him realizing what they were for. Nicky’s photo is even bigger than a fireman’s who rescued six people in an elevator off-camera because it was more important to show Katie being interrupted from shopping for gay pride merchandise than to actually show that part of the episode from one of our characters’ perspectives! No, why show that when Maria can just clumsily tell us about it!

Tony wants to go see the movie theater and Nicky, reasonably, says it must still be closed off since it nearly killed two people. The construction worker, though, is all, “Naw, it’s cool now that the crew are done throwing shit around,” so Nicky and Tony go off to see the theater.

Eric comes back to report the macaw has escaped, and Maria’s brief elation is interrupted by the realization the bird is flying around the mall and spreading how much Mr. Carey sucks ass.


Mr. Belding’s depressed that pretty much everything’s been destroyed in the earthquake, but it’s okay because they have earthquake insurance and he and Screech will be able to take off lots of random time from their jobs at Bayside to clean up the mess. Also, unfortunately, Screech is still alive and decides to let Mr. Belding think the earthquake destroyed the jukebox so he can claim insurance on it.


In the theater, Nicky has flashbacks about the earthquake and rescuing Tum Tum, and this is where the writers of a good show would have explored the effects of trauma and PTSD on the human psyche. But this is The New Class so, instead, we’re just going to get Nicky being a little jumpy yelling at people for calling him a hero. Tony proceeds to remind Nicky how close he came to dying and insists on making Nicky realize he nearly didn’t make it to the series finale, and, really, why does Nicky not punch Tony in the fucking face and let out some of that pent up PTSD out? Really, why do the writers insist on making Tony give Tommy D a run for stupidest character on this show?


At Gadgets & Gizmos, an insurance inspector shows up to make sure the same earthquake that hit the rest of L.A. also hit Gadgets & Gizmos. He talks about putting lots of people in jail for insurance fraud, making me wish he would throw Screech in there and burn the key. He’s okay with everything until he sees the jukebox, and proceeds to snip a random piece of wire from the back of it to “test” because that’s the best way to figure out if someone’s lying about how one particular item in the store was damaged. Yeah, it’s not like he could have just asked to have someone look at the bloody thing!


In the food court, Maria and Eric search for the macaw in the midst of reconstruction by parodying cartoons of jungle hunters.


The oft-mentioned Mr. Carey finally shows up, so Maria and Tony have to randomly start singing when the macaw, which seems to be right above them, starts yelling how Mr. Carey can suck a dick. Maria then rushes Mr. Carey off so Eric can keep looking for the bird.


Liz says the mall wants to hold a random awards ceremony for Nicky and the firefighter while more random construction workers call Nicky a hero and Tony and Katie talk about Nicky being a hero. Nicky’s all, “If Tony thinks I’m a hero, it can’t be true!” and rushes off to cause some conflict.


We get our first glance at Nicky’s room of the past two seasons, and it appears they’ve moved all of Ryan’s stuff out because they figure he’s never coming to visit again since he’s not in the credits any longer. Katie comes in, telling Nicky that his mom told her to come cheer her son up in his bedroom (even though Nicky’s mom lives in New York since his dad married Ryan’s mom), and we find out the real reason Nicky doesn’t want to be called a hero: he was scared when he rescued Tum Tum. Yes, it wasn’t trauma or PTSD. It was that Nicky was fucking scared and that’s why he can’t accept being a hero. And, yeah, the firefighter wasn’t scared at all and shit.

So Nicky’s going to quit his job so he doesn’t have to go to the mall anymore and it’s just hilarious how Ben Gould is trying his damndest to emote on this flawed, flawed script.


So the macaw flies right back into its cage just as Mr. Carey comes looking for Maria again. This time, the macaw tells Mr. Carey that Maria thinks he’s a supermodel, making me wonder if we’re about to get another sexual harassment episode. Instead, Mr. Carey buys the macaw, and we’re left to wonder if the bird will ever tell Mr. Carey how much he sucks. Alas, though, this subplot is over!


Katie introduces Nicky to the firefighter, who basically gives Nicky the moral of the episode: even heroes are scared in the midst of danger, and that he was scared when he was rescuing six people off camera. Gee, I’m so glad The New Class was here to deliver that astounding message to me since I didn’t’ get it off, say, PBS shows when I was preschool age!


The insurance investigator decides the earthquake did cause the jukebox to break and shit and complements Mr. Belding and Screech on being so honest. As soon as he leaves, Screech confesses he spilled soup on the jukebox and, as usual, there are absolutely no consequences to the world’s worst employee. This is a man in his fucking twenties at this point and Mr. Belding just treats him like he’s a child! I would say Little Zack is going to be fucked up when he’s older, but let’s not kid ourselves: Mrs. Belding is essentially a single parent given how often her husband is away from home. But, yeah, Mr. Belding took out insurance against employee damage to merchandise because I guess he did one sensible thing knowing he has Screech as an employee, so he’s not going to return $10,000 of the insurance money since they would have to pay it out anyway on another plan. Great lesson for the kids there, Dicky.


The pep talk from the fireman makes Nicky show up to receive an award from the mayor of…Palisades. No, I kid you not: The New Class has now upgraded Pacific Palisades to a city and not just a neighborhood as even Wikipedia tells me it is. Jesus fucking Christ this episode! Well, as the gang, the fireman, and Tum Tum look on, Nicky tells everyone what he learned today about fear, and, as our episode ends, I practically expect one of the G.I. Joes to jump out and scream, “And knowing is half the battle!” Oh, well. Here it is, just because I can’t think of a better way to round out this mess of an unintentionally funny episode:

The New Class Season 7, Episode 7: “Don’t Follow the Leader”


Oh, the irony. The camera pans over a sign above the doors that says, “Through these doors pass the finest cadets in training.” Then, in walk six horrible, horrible characters talking about how this is their last week at the academy. How long were they there? How are they getting any of their graduation requirements in if they keep going off on random months away from school? Why do I expect any of this to make sense at this point?


Captain Lopez is back this week to introduce us to our horrible gimmick: a cadet competition in which Katie hopes she gets to beat a confession out of a suspect. Yeah, finest cadets ever..

Actually, Captain Lopez says they’re dividing up into teams to compete against each other and, since we’re over budget on the cop actors, the six of them are the only ones that matter. Maria, Liz, and Tony will go with Sergeant Meinhart while Nicky, Eric, and Katie will be with Sergeant Schilling, who apparently will be the villain of this episode as the very first thing he does is express how much he really wants to win the cadet competition, for some reason.


Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, Officer Barry is back and she suddenly wants to fuck Mr. Belding because we need something for them to do to not make it look like they’re completely useless in these episodes. But, yeah, for reasons I can’t fathom, the academy is having a chili cook off because that seems like  completely legit thing a fucking police academy would do, right? I think these writers have been watching too much of the Police Academy movies. In any case, Mr. Belding and Screech are going to combine their cherished family recipes for chili and enter the contest together.


In the training room, we see Maria and Tony practicing rope climbing. Sergeant Meinhart tells them to take a break, and we get our completely useless subplot of the week: Maria and Tony like eating junk food, but Liz thinks it’s bad and eats vegetables! Oh, how will this all important subplot end? I’m on the edge of my seat about whether Liz will be judgmental enough throughout!


Sergeant Schilling comes in and tells Meinhart he reserved the room for his team. Meinhart is like, “Okay!” and, after Meinhart and his people leave, Schilling reveals he lied about reserving the room because he’s the obvious villain and he expects the three of them to make him look good in front of Captain Lopez because I guess the captain has him on latrine duty or some shit.


In the kitchen, Mr. Belding and Screech cook chili as Screech pours a whole bottle of hot sauce in. He takes a bite and drinks lots of water and Officer Barry flirts some more with Mr. Belding. Then Mr. Belding and Screech argue over whose ingredient Officer Barry is smelling.


Back in the lobby, Sergeant Schilling chews Nicky out for helping Maria adjust an oxygen tank on her back because that could help her win the competition and shit. He’s evil and shit because he wants to win, and Katie’s the first to recognize his nefarious ways.


Back in the training room, I think Tony’s a little too happy to be holding this cucumber. Turns out they’re full of candy, and Liz, after initially praising them, discovers the candy and starts judging them. She takes a bite of candy to show how stupid a very special episode on the evils of junk food would be, and Maria and Tony decide they can give up junk food after all. As they walk away, Liz starts eating handfuls, showing she’s now addicted because I guess this is what passes as irony on this show.


So the first event is on, and Tony easily destroys Nicky in the climb-a-ladder-with-an-oxygen-tank-on-your-back event. Afterwards, he tells Maria, “TONY HURT HIS ANKLE-WANKLE AND NOW WALK IT OFF!”


Sergeant Schilling is pissed they lost, and tell them it’s time for a new strategy: make Tony believe his ankle is hurt worse than it actually is because Tony shouldn’t be so hard to fool. Now Eric thinks this might be wrong, too, but Nicky insists he’s in charge of them and shit so they have to follow his orders. Also, Sergeant Schilling is the villain, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.


In the dining room, Mr. Belding and Screech argue with a reporter about whose recipe is most important in chili because this stupid plot is still going on.


In the boys’ dorm, Nicky and Eric convince Tony that his ankle looks horrible and that, unless he stays off it, he could ruin his football career. Tony stumbles off to put some ice on his ankle and shit.


In the kitchen, Mr. Belding and Screech continue arguing over the chili as Officer Barry tries to mediate. They won’t hear of it, though, and Mr. Belding says that he’s so pissed off he’s entering on his own as Officer Barry makes another pass at him.

In the training room, Liz is still eating candy while Maria and Tony have kicked the habit. isn’t that special.

Tony comes in to workout and tells Nicky and Eric he went to see a doctor, who gave him some exercises to do to make his ankle feel better. “BESIDES,” Tony says, “IF TONY FOOTBALL CAREER NO TAKE OFF, TONY HAS ACTING CAREER AS BACKUP!”


Sergeant Schilling is pissed that Nicky and Eric couldn’t convince Tony his ankle was worse than it is and yells at them. He tells them they need to injure Tony and, if they won’t, he’ll kick them out for disobeying orders. Nicky’s finally on board with the Sergeant Schilling is evil crowd. Personally, I don’t see what the problem is. I’ve wanted to injure Tony at least once a week since the start of season six. They should do what I can’t, for fraudenscheude’s sake.


The three finally go to see Captain Lopez, giving him a hypothetical situation about not following orders. The captain tells them that cadets shouldn’t be forced to do something that’s against their conscience, showing that, once again, the writers for this show don’t understand how the police work. I might personally disagree with the War on Drugs, or the criminalization of sex work, for instance, but, if I’m a police officer, I don’t get to opt out of arresting people in it just because I disagree with it. Granted, Sergeant Schilling’s definitely out of line in this episode, but Captain Lopez’s advice, in general, is bull shit and shows a complete lack of understanding.

Naturally, the three refuse to tell Captain Lopez what they’re actually upset about because that would resolve the plot five minutes too early. They give the excuse that it would be their word against his, but I call bull shit. In any case, Katie says they don’t have to put up with Sergeant Schilling’s shit so they shouldn’t go hurt Tony, much to my disappointment.


At the chili cook off, Mr. Belding and Screech realize that their chili are both good and mend their differences. They decide to combine their chili…


…and promptly kill two judges because I guess the secret ingredient was arsenic. Officer Barry, being the last judge alive, tries to give the award to Mr. Belding, but he refuses as he sees through her ploy to get in his pants. He tell her he thinks he’s still married even though he’s gone from home for months at a time multiple times a year so he can’t be fucking with her. She asks if she can at least have a hug, so Screech gives her one as she disappears softly into the obscurity an appearance on The New Class brings.


Back at the competition, Liz beats Eric at the…hose rolling contest…geez, they really ran out of ideas for this thing, didn’t they? In any case, Liz is now confirmed to be hooked on sweets so Maria and Tony take her off to rehab before a very special episode starts.


Sergeant Schilling is pissed because the trio refuse to hurt Tony. Come on, he can’t be as pissed as me! In any case, Captain Lopez overhears as they coach Schilling into admitting he want Tony injured, and Captain Lopez tells Sergeant Schilling he’s in big trouble, mister, but we’ll never find out the results since he’ll never be on this show again. Captain Lopez tells the three he decided to keep an eye on them and see what’s going on, and he’s proud of them for not injuring on of the worst actors who’s ever graced this franchise. And our episode ends with the trio congratulating themselves on learning not to blindly follow orders in a profession where blindly following orders is often the norm. Seriously, the moral of this episode doesn’t work in a police academy episode, especially when cadets are also taught over and over that they have to trust their fellow officers as a matter of survival. It also contradicts Captain Lopez’s very words just a few weeks ago about the importance of following orders. Leave it to The New Class to get it wrong.

The New Class Season 7, Episode 6: “The X-Friends Files”


We’re back at the mall this week to find Liz randomly announcing that the mall’s sponsoring a grudge match between two random, nameless employees who don’t know how to settle their differences on their own. Yeah, this is the most contrived excuse for a subplot. It’s even contrived for this show and that’s how you know it’s bad. It’s basically around to give Liz and Eric something to do since Liz wants Eric to be a referee or some shit. He’s initially hesitant to get involved in such a stupid subplot, but he eventually agrees when he realizes a couple pretty girls are going to be ring girls.


Katie comes in all excited and shit because she’s gotten her boss to agree to have a party for all their members at the Teen Machine because gyms throw random expensive parties all the time. There’s lots of reminding the viewer that Maria and Katie are best friends and shit…


…and, I have to admit, I actually chuckled at the stupidity of it when Nicky and Tony did their best girly voice in an attempt to mock the two for being best friends. “NICKY BE BEST FRIEND OF TONY AND GIRLY SHIT!” Tony says. Oh, for the nineties when men acting like stereotypical women was apparently the most hilarious thing ever!


At the Teen Machine, Maria and Katie plan the party. BORING! Put flamboyant Tony back on the screen! That was more interesting! Make Tony the first out gay character in the Engel-verse! I want to see that train wreck!


Well the show has a train wreck of a different sort in store for us this week as Maria walks away and Katie apparently instantly finds her journal on her laptop. Nicky comes up and is all, “We shouldn’t be reading this as it will surely have repercussions!” Katie reads it anyway, though, and finds out that Maria thinks Katie’s mean and thoughtless. How dare she think such a thing of the person reading her most private thoughts!


At Gadgets and Gizmos, we find out that the “weapons” for the grudge match are being provided by Mr. Belding’s store because that’s apparently great promotion watching merchandised be used to harm your opponent, and Screech proceeds to punch Mr. Belding in the face with one of them because he’s trying to kill Mr. Belding before the series is over. Liz and Eric come in to deliver bad news, though: the nameless employees had their fight early and one sent the other to the hospital, meaning the grudge match is over and Gadgets and Gizmos won’t get their cheap ass promotion.

So, predictably, Screech comes up with an idea for he and Mr. Belding to pretend like they’re pissed at each other so they can be in the grudge match because Mr. Belding has no compunctions about doing illegal shit this season. Liz and Eric quickly agree to let them make fools out of themselves so we’ll have a subplot.


In the food court, Katie tries to get Maria to admit that Maria thinks she sucks ass, but Maria won’t admit such a thing. Nicky reminds Katie that she can’t really confess to Maria how much she knows without admitting she’s read her journal, but she’s determined to get Maria to admit it so we can advance the plot.


So, at the Teen Machine, Katie convinces Maria to tell the entire gang what she thinks about them out of her journal, but the only thing I’m gleaming from this scene is that Eric is the only character who has an actual, unique character trait because he sings and shit. When Maria dares to say Katie’s a good friend, Katie reveals she read an entry, causing Maria to barge out of the room pissed off. Ironically, Katie reveals the entry was dated September 11. I’ll leave it to my commenters to decide what that means.


In the food court, it’s time for the grudge match…


…which is an obvious rip-off of American Gladiators. Mr. Belding and Screech pretend to fight in ridiculous costumes complete with choreography out of one of the fight scenes from the original Star Trek. But they start shocking each other and, by the end, they’ve ruined all the gizmos and are shocked that a grudge match could have caused so much damage because I don’t even understand this episode.


At the movies, Maria and Katie engage in sitcom cliche #3456, talking through other people when the characters are mad at each other, until a random extra yells for them to shut up so the movie can start.


And, at the Teen Machine, they fight over all the details regarding the party…


…which culminate in Maria smashing a cake in Katie’s face. You know, they’re both acting as representatives of their employers, and I’m pretty sure they’re both doing fireable things, but it merely ends in Katie declaring their friendship is over and such.


In the hallway, the rest of the gang try to get Katie to remember how much she cares for Maria by pretending like Maria’s in the hospital with pneumonia, but Tony ruins it by saying they’re going to have to take out her lungs. “TONY SORRY TONY NO UNDERSTAND HOW MEDICINE STUFF WORKS,” he says, and the gang sans Liz walk away to let Katie bask in her self-righteousness.

Liz is there to be the voice of reason again after doing all the shitty stuff last week and remind Katie she’s a fucking hypocrite as Katie flipped out on Liz when Liz went through her datebook to get a phone number and shit.


In the food court, Mr. Belding and Screech admit to Eric and Liz that they faked the grudge match and it cost them thousands of dollars because they’re idiots. Eric says it’s too bad they didn’t get it on video because everyone wants to see it again…


…and it just so happens that a really shitty sitcom was filming at the same time as their grudge match so they got the footage and released it on video and shit and people are actually making enough money for them to recoup their losses. Yeah, Screech claims the footage came from security cameras but, given it’s in color, fairly reasonable resolution, and has camera angles that couldn’t possibly be created by security cameras, I call bullshit.


So it’s time to end our main plot, and Katie asks Maria to come outside the grooving party to apologize to Maria for being a jack ass. Maria has Katie read a new entry about how she misses Katie because good friends like her don’t come along every season. Yeah, fuck Ryan and Rachel and Lindsay. Maybe R.J., too, if he’s not been retconned out. Katie’s the only character who’s ever mattered to Maria on this show despite what previous episode plots have said. Hey, Maria’s been on this show a long time and has outlasted a lot of characters. I guess you can’t expect her to remember them all.


Nicky and Tony come out to find them in tears and demand they make up. The girls hug, press the reset button, and our episode ends with Nicky and Tony ecstatic that they saved the day with their demand for apologies because I guess sometimes you have to throw those two bones to make them feel all special and shit.

The New Class Season 7, Episode 5: “Liz Burns Eric”

I’m just going to give a disclaimer first. I laughed outright at the ridiculousness and absurdity of this episode several times upon my first viewing. This episode is such a cluster fuck of contrivance that it’s difficult to take seriously on any level.


We open at the academy with Mr. Belding meeting Magnum. Sergeant Meinhart tells him that Magnum is a vicious police dog and Mr. Belding better keep his distance.


Unfortunately for me, Christmas has not come early as Magnum doesn’t try to rip Screech’s face off when Screech comes in and immediately just starts fucking with a police dog. Sergeant Meinhart tells him to fuck off and leave Magnum alone so he can get his training in.


Turns out Magnum reminds Screech of Scooter, his dog who ran away on Christmas Eve when he was eight, and he doesn’t think he can stay away from Magnum. Though Mr. Belding tries to tell Screech he’s an adult in a position of authority, Screech is all, “I’m going to do what I want because I’m going to become principal of Bayside in seven episodes even though I suck at life!” Also, what does it say that even Screech’s dog couldn’t stand him so much he ran away.


So this week we get to see the “fire” part of the Police and Fire Academy as Sergeant Murphy tells Liz she’s scored the highest on the leadership aptitude test. She gets to be Senior Cadet Assistant for fire safety class, which basically means she’s somehow been singled out to earn college credit for standing around and being Sergeant Murphy’s secretary. Yeah, why do I get the idea Sergeant Murphy just didn’t want to do anything this week and made up a position to make Liz do all her work? Also, we find out Eric wants to be one of the three cadets to be in the Honor Core.


But there’s no time for discussing that shit right now as Liz has a lady boner for this random guy who turns out to be named Mark. For someone who was inexperienced with guys just last year, she sure seems to be good at forcing herself on guys this season.


And where are our other idiots you may ask? Why, they’re involved in a subplot of their own in which they won’t even come in contact with Nicky, Eric, and Liz this episode. See, they’re involved in the all important subplot of what did Maria get Tony for his birthday?!?! Yeah, we get to see Tony try to force Katie to tell him, and she’s all, “Fuck off you idiot!” And I have to correct myself. I speculated this was an out of order arc last week when Tony tried to force himself on the pretty officer. Turns out Tony’s just a jack ass as he’s clearly dating Maria in this episode.


In class, the cadets compete to see who can put their clothes on first and run to the other side of the room. Yeah, seriously. And Nicky forgets to put on his pants. How hilarious.


They also get to knock down a prop door, which Nicky sucks at as well. But Eric and Mark are good at this shit because the plot demands it, even though Eric’s never shown any interest in this shit before, but isn’t that a fair criticism of this entire arc?


Meanwhile, Screech can’t leave Magnum the hell alone because he’s a responsible adult who’s capable of being a principal and being a role model to impressionable youth. The dog whines and Screech decides to just be a complete moron and take Magnum out for a game of Frisbee.


In the dining room, Tony is all, “TONY FEEL BAD ABOUT BUG MARIA AND KATIE FOR BIRTHDAY PRESENT! TONY GIVE MARIA AND KATIE CANDY!” But Maria soon discovers that, shock of shocks, Tony has an ulterior motive, and this may be the most unbelievable thing of this episode: Tony was smart enough to sneak a wireless microphone into a box a candy. But it’s okay: Tony makes up for his apparent surge of brilliance by planting it in one of the candies he’s invited the girls to eat, allowing Maria to quickly discover it and play the same ruse that was used twice before in this franchise: give Tony false information.


She’s all, “Did you hear Cadet Fred thinks Tony sucks ass as a replacement for Ryan and wants to beat the shit out of him for just sucking at life?” Tony’s all, “TONY NO THINK HE SUCKS ASS!” and runs off to get acting lessons before Cadet Fred can kill him.


Liz finds out that Mark wants to be in the Honor Core because he wants to be a fireman when he grows up and Liz is all, “I’m sure you’ll get in because no plot contrivance could possibly hinder you!”


But, when Liz goes to grade the written tests, she discovers that Mark really sucks ass at standardized tests, which may prevent him from getting into the honor core. So Liz randomly decides to help Mark by changing his test answers, and here’s the problem with this scenario: Liz has so little established characterization outside being attractive to Ryan that it’s not quite clear if this is out of character for her or not. So, yeah, just the fuck out of nowhere we have Liz cheating for a guy even though she’s usually the voice of reason for the group because we needed someone to be the instigator of this shitty plot and why not Liz.


Meanwhile, Maria and Katie find Cadet Fred and tell him that Tony’s been talking smack about his ability to play checkers, so Cadet Fred finds Tony and tells him that he’s going to give him the beating of his life…at checkers, because, you know, being threatened by a psychopath who’s soon going to be responsible for the lives of countless individuals in L.A. is just hilarious! Tony figures out the girls set him up and is all, “TONY NO DO A HAPPY IN HIS PANTIES!”


Meanwhile, Eric finds out he didn’t make the Honor Core because Mark did better than him on the written test. Liz tries to apologize to him and tell him the truth, but there’s no time for that because he’s off to sulk. See, the Honor Core get to go out and get actual fire training while the rest of the cadets stay behind and do office tasks. I’m really confused why the students would get high school credit for doing clerical work and shit, and why there’s a class where three simultaneous assignments are going on.


Yeah, now Screech is in the kitchen with Magnum feeding him random food. Jesus Christ why am I supposed to take him seriously as a character.


Mr. Belding comes in to make a sandwich and, after Magnum steals his meat and cheese, Mr. Belding finally figures out that someone else is in the room hiding on the other side of the table. Mr. Belding scolds Screech for fucking with Magnum after he was told not to, but, once again, doesn’t take advantage of this to fire Screech for his gross incompetence. Instead, Screech convinces Mr. Belding to help him sneak Magnum back in his cage before Sergeant Meinhart discovers he has an idiot on is property. Because Mr. Belding has lost the last of the dignity his character once had, he agrees.

Naturally, Sergeant Meinhart comes in while they’re sneaking Magnum back in. Mr. Belding hides behind a cabinet, but I dare you to guess where Screech hides.


Yeah, I’m not even kidding. He hides in a dog cage, and Sergeant Meinhart doesn’t realize he’s there, right in front of his face, until Magnum gets out because Screech is incompetent at shutting cages. Apparently Sergeant Meinhart is at the academy and not on street duty because he has vision problems. In any case, Sergeant Meinhart tells Mr. Belding and Screech that Magnum has a performance test in the morning and better not fail because Screech is a moron. At least Dustin Diamond got valuable experience about what it’s like to be in a cage. He’ll need it later in life.


While doing clerical tasks, Nicky and Eric figure out that the answers to Mark’s test were changed by someone, and they start suspecting Liz may have had a hand because shut up.


Liz and Mark come back from a date, where Mark, whose actor is twenty-four, kisses Liz, whose actress is sixteen. He immediately runs off so the audience can throw a fit about them reaching first base and the plot can continue.


Eric confronts Liz and she admits she changed the answers. Eric tells her to fuck off and get off this show if she can’t do anything constructive on it!


In the dining room, Maria gives Tony his birthday present: a football autographed by Joe Montana. But Tony is all, “TONY ACT STUPID NOW AND WRITE ALL OVER FOOTBALL BECAUSE TONY BELIEVE MARIA STILL TRICKING TONY!” Maria’s all, “What the fuck is wrong with you, you third-rate replacement for blonde protagonist! That’s a $200 football!” Tony realizes he’s just acted like a jackass and collapses to the ground, crying that he ruined his precious Joe Montana football. And thus ends that subplot that served no purpose other than to give Maria, Katie, and Tony something to do. Yeah, they won’t be in the last five minutes of the episode.


Have you ever noticed that, when Liz is upset, she makes a face like a Cabbage Patch Doll and sounds like someone trying to fake cry so people will believe them? Well, I just did, and it’s because she’s upset that Eric won’t talk to her. She keeps apologizing, but Eric quotes a Justin Bieber song to tell her to fuck off. She tells Nicky she wishes there was something she could do. Nicky tells her she could do what we know she’s going to do by the end of the episode anyway: confess to Sergeant Murphy. I mean, how could the episode not end like that? She’s all, “Sergeant Murphy could expel me and Mark could get kicked out of the Honor Core!” but Nicky’s all, “Don’t be stupid! No one ever suffers any real consequences for their actions on this show!”


So, yeah, as predicted, Magnum fails all his tests, and Sergeant Meinhart is pissed because this means Magnum is unsuitable to be a police dog even though it’s obvious he’d had next to no training if one day with the world’s biggest idiot turned him into a lap dog rather than leading him to chew Screech’s face off. Mr. Belding convinces Sergeant Meinhart that Screech actually did him a service by showing how much of a softie Magnum is. Screech’s reward for being a moron is that Magnum gets to come live with him rather than go to the pound. I wonder if that’s also punishment for Magnum being a bad police dog? I mean, living with Screech does sound like a terrifying prospect!


So, yeah, big surprise, Liz confesses everything to Sergeant Murphy, who’s all, “I could expel you for this, but, because you’re sorry and all, I’ll just make a notation in your school record because I somehow have that ability and demote you. Oh, and no college credit for you!” She removes Mark from the Honor Core and puts Eric in instead.


Also, Mark’s pissed and says he can’t date Liz any longer because he’ll never appear on this show again. Gee, Liz’s consequences were she doesn’t get to do things that will never be brought up again. How surprising that being sorry makes everything okay.


And, yeah, she makes up with Eric, saying she never could have imagined that cheating for Mark would hurt him, which makes her a complete sociopath as, even if it didn’t hurt Eric, it would have hurt someone else in her class. She’s glad that this whole episode hasn’t ruined their friendship even though I’m having trouble remember a previous episode where they had significant interaction. And the episode ends with me in shock and awe that I’ve just witnessed what may be three of the stupidest plots in the history of this franchise. This may even be worse than Screech bringing a tiger into Bayside. At least Mr. Belding told him to get it the fuck out right away!