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!