Zack walks into history class but gives us a little background first, just in case. Zack claims that Mr. Dickerson, the teacher, is more horrible than four zits on a first date. Incredible! I think most of Bayside’s teachers would fit under the “1 to 3″ zits category.
“Good morning, Mr. Dickerson!” Zack proclaims in a charming way. “Stop sucking up – it won’t work!” Dickerson answers. Zack was right! This guy is terrible!
Dickerson reminds everyone that tomorrow is the History midterm and makes sure to add that nobody has passed it in three years. I kind of wonder what type of life-altering, horrific experience Dickerson suffered three years ago, but since the episode revolves around the Belding family, I’m guessing we’ll just never know.
While the students ask for some kind of test prep, Dickerson agrees. “Who shot Lincoln, SCREECH?” Dickerson gets in Screech’s face in an accusatory way. “It wasn’t me!” Screech answers with fear. “John Wilkes Booth!” Slater says from the other side of the room. The students get into a good question and answer rhythm before Dickerson announces that none of this information is even on the test.
Belding interrupts the class using the PA System, which angers old man Dickerson. So much that he throws a chalk duster at the PA. Unfortunately, Belding doesn’t realize and the PA System stays in tact.
Belding talks about the Annual Class Trip and asks the representatives – which is approximately half of Dickerson’s entire class – to meet in his office immediately. Dickerson comments to Zack about how the only trip this class will take is to Summer School. I love it when teachers get psyched about failing you!
In Belding’s office, Mr. Belding says that the students will be discussing trip destinations. Milton, the portly student, is amped to go to the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Trust me, Milton. Living 45 minutes away from Hershey Park, I can guarantee you that Chocolate World isn’t worth the air fare from California to Pennsylvania.
When Lisa mentions a Hawaiian Cruise, Belding admits that money is tight. Jessie wants the trip to be a place where they can picket a nuclear power plant. I cannot imagine what her future honeymoon will be like. And – oh man. Zack just said that she should “save that idea for your honeymoon!” I swear, you guys. I’m watching this show so much that I can pretty much predict dialogue. I think I might need to see a therapist about this.
Milton’s second suggestion is to visit the Hostess Exhibit and learn about Ding Dongs. “You’re a ding dong, Milton!” Zack yells. I have to say, the whole “fat kid suggestions only involve food” method that the writers of Saved By The Bell seemed to adopt is pretty horrible.
Since nobody can agree, Belding decides to make the decision. Which probably should have happened all along, saving us from the Milton jokes. Belding tells them to start hitting the books, since failing the midterms will mean that nobody gets to go on a class trip. And I’m sure the probability of more than half of Bayside failing every class is pretty high.
The gang decides to study back at home, where they talk about how Dickerson even flunked his own kid once. But even using their best studying habits fail when the students start seeing terrifying images of Dickerson in their books and on their sports posters. I guess they shouldn’t have taken all of those hallucinogens prior to studying.
Dickerson even appears on their TV, when they try to take a break to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel Air! Aw. Shows within shows.
On test day, Dickerson is more than 5 minutes late and the kids decide to invoke the “5 minute rule”. The definition of the “5 minute rule” is pretty self-explanatory. While they count down the seconds before they can walk out with no punishment, Belding walks in and says that Dickerson won’t be in. He pretty much went bananas in the teacher’s lounge. My guess is, he’s probably in jail.
Thankfully, Belding found a good substitute teacher to proctor the exam in such short notice. It’s Mr. Belding! Er. Mr. Belding 2. Just call him Rod. “A building with two Beldings, one of whom is balding!” Screech announces. I thought this line was hilarious when I was 7. Also, now.
Rod looks over the test and admits it looks pretty hard. He decides that instead of taking history, the students should be making history. He tells the students to follow his lead, while poorly ripping up the test and throwing it in the air with glory. Pretty soon, test pieces are everywhere, a janitor is bound to be annoyed and I’m sure Dickerson is punching the walls of his jail cell where I’ve fictionally placed him.
It’s only later that Jessie questions her midterm grade. But Rod is so cool, he says that he’ll just give the kids the grade they totally deserve. A’s for everyone! Except for Screech, who thinks he deserved a C+.
The real Mr. Belding comes in to check up on the group and realizes that everyone’s gone a little Rod-crazy. He’s so cool! He makes paper airplanes and left an important job at the airlines to become a substitute teacher and has such cool hair.
Belding also wanted to announce that the trip destination has been decided – they’re going to Yosemite Park! (BO-RING! Wait, I shouldn’t talk. My school barely had class trips and when we did, they were terrible.) Rod thinks that the students are brave, since Belding once got lost camping outside on his front lawn.
Rod adds more points to his cool-o-meter when he lets Zack and Screech watch a Dodgers game in Belding’s office while Belding is off school grounds. He’s even letting Zack drink a soda! And pretend to announce stuff about girls on the PA!
When Rod asks Zack if he’s psyched about the Yosemite trip, he mentions how his high school trip was going white water rafting. All of a sudden, Zack no longer cares about his original plan. White water rafting beats all – and Rod is taking them! This will surely end well.
Back at the MAX, the gang talks about how exciting white water rafting is. Only Jessie remembers how they promised Belding the chance to take them to the park, so Zack decides to clue in Belding on the changes they made regarding the trip he planned.
When they greet Belding, he’s looking up a bunch of Yosemite pamphlets from the ‘70s. Belding, amped about the trip, already tells the kids about the first two planned days. Hiking! Yosemite Falls! Deers! Wildflowers! Nature! Man, Belding’s going to get so bummed.
“We don’t want to go on your boring nature trip,” Screech announces. “We want to go white water rafting!” Belding fears the danger and then realizes that the students would rather hang with Rod. They crush his feelings and leave the office as Belding tosses his Yosemite pamphlets in the trash.
The next day, Rod decides to have a sexually charged practice run for the students. Screaming, flailing students are all over the place before Rod decides to hold a seminar on mouth to mouth. Jessie reveals that Slater isn’t a very good kisser, which “wasn’t what she said Saturday night!” TMI, you two.
Belding walks in right as the makeout party is starting. “Hey hey hey, WHAT is going ON here?” Belding says. I cheer! I love when he says that!
He’s not too fond of Rod for pulling the kids out of History class and the two brothers get into a confrontation. “Take your class to the room,” Belding says sternly. When Zack asks Belding why he was being such a killjoy, he mentions how Rod was the only teacher who cared about them. “Maybe he should care more about teaching and less about being popular,” Belding says. Zack claims Belding is just crazyjealous over Rod being great, which is yet another knife through Belding’s poor, Principal heart.
The students prepare for their Colorado River trip – Screech even has a flotation device to prevent him from drowning/being taken seriously. Milton loudly announces that the buses were there when the students realize Rod is nowhere to be found. Zack goes off to find him and realizes he’s in Belding’s office being reprimanded.
“They look up to you!” Belding says. “What’s so important that you’d disappoint 30 kids?” “Richie, if you met this stewardess, you’d know!” Rod says. WAIT. HOLD UP. Bayside’s entire class only has 30 kids in it?
I mean – Wait! Rod would disappoint kids for a lady? Named Inga? Doesn’t he know they’re called flight attendants now?
Belding claims that Rod has never changed, while asking him how he’d explain this weekend fling to the kids. “Tell them I’m sick! Tell them anything, cover for me!” Rod says with a smarmy, stupid smile. Belding kicks him out of the school and as he exits, he fails to see Zack eavesdropping outside the door.
Zack rejoins his classmates and tells Kelly he’s not feeling so good. Belding comes in to announce that Rod can’t take them on the trip, claiming that Rod has the flu and is sorry for disappointing everyone.
While the kids try to pack up, Belding says that while he’s no rafting expert, he’d love to take the kids on the trip himself. The kids are psyched, while Belding fails to realize he’s prepared no luggage.
Zack pulls Belding aside and asks why he didn’t tell the truth. He apologizes for acting like a jerk. “Rod always was the more exciting Belding,” Belding admits. “Maybe,” says Zack. “But we got the better Belding.” Aww.
Post-episode, there’s been a lot of speculation on what truly happened to Rod. I highly suggested you check out this video, which is (honestly) one of my favorite things in the world.
Lessons Learned: Life is tough when you have a cool sibling.
Photo Credits: Screen-capped by me!