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.