Jessie's about to lose control and I think I like it!
We open at the Max, where Jessie is downing coffee at an alarming rate. This can mean only one thing: it's the best episode of all time, the episode where Jessie gets addicted to caffeine pills!!!!! I'll try to contain my excitement.
Anyway, Zack and Screech join her as she complains about the taste of coffee and then orders a refill. Screech points out the discrepancy here, and Jessie says that she needs the coffee to stay awake so she can study for her geometry midterm. Slater joins them and tells Jessie that all her problems would be solved had she only been born a man, since men are naturally better at math. Oh, Slater. If you only knew.
Lisa and Kelly come in, put "I'm So Excited" on the jukebox and convince Jessie to sing along with them. Since when did the Max turn into a karaoke bar? Anyway, after they finish their spontaneous musical number, Zack tells them that his dad has a friend who just happens to be looking for a girl version of New Kids on the Block. Aren't we all? Kelly, Lisa and Jessie turn him down, saying that they just like to sing for fun in the locker room, which makes no sense because they just finished singing in a place that is clearly not a locker room.
Of course, the boundaries of privacy and general human decency have never stopped Zack before in his quest to pimp his girl friends in every manner possible, so he sends Screech, dressed as a janitor (an Irish janitor named Sinead O'Connor at that), into the girls' locker room to record them singing. Jessie is still freaking out about the C she got earlier that day on a geometry quiz and how if she doesn't do well on the midterm, her life will be ruined, etc., etc. The girls (along with the help of "Sinead O'Connor") convince her that the best way to de-stress is with another round of "I'm So Excited." Well, I know that's what I always do to relieve stress.
Later that night, Slater and Jessie are studying at her house when Zack climbs through the window to tell her that the record producer loved their demo tape. Jessie begins her usual diatribe of "How dare you violate our privacy" until Zack uses the tried-and-true method of appealing to her vanity to shut her up. He tells her that the record producer liked her best, but she shouldn't tell Lisa or Kelly because they'll get jealous. It's clear that her drug abuse has already begun because a non-drugged person never would have fallen for that load of crap.
Anyway, Jessie wants to get back to studying, but Slater points out that they've been studying for four hours. That's about the same amount of time I've spent studying geometry in my entire life. At some point you have to realize that you're just not going to learn any more and give up. Or, if you're Jessie, you can just pop some more caffeine pills. Slater points out to her that even though the pills are over-the-counter, the warning label says they "may be habit-forming." Ooh, scary! Jessie totally lies and says she'll stop taking them, then gives Slater a "woooo"-worthy good-night kiss. These pills are making her crazy!!!
Speaking of crazy...the next day, Jessie is sitting with Mr. Belding as he eats lunch at the Max. What the hell? Who eats lunch with just their principal? Or rather, who sits and watches their principal eat lunch? She has totally lost it. She tells Mr. B. how much she wants to go to Stanford, managing to say "Stanford" about 12 times in two sentences. OK, we get it, Chelsea Clinton. God, her drug use has really gotten out of hand. It's even causing her to have hallucinations that her bad grades will land her at Surf University with Zack, where she'll be utterly disappointed that there's no learning. If I were her, I'd be more disappointed that Surf University is located nowhere near the ocean, but rather in a small classroom back at Bayside.
Later, the girls out in the hallway, where Jessie is still studying for the test. If she gets this way over the midterm, I'd hate to see her at finals. What kind of drugs would she resort to then--speed? Crack cocaine? Anyway, Zack tells them that there are three other girl groups in the running for the ultimate honor of becoming the girl New Kids on the Block, one of which is named The Zit Hit Machine. Now there's a great name for a band! You know what's an even better name for a band? Hot Sundae! Not Hot Fudge Sundae, just Hot Sundae. Yeah, I'm sure we'll see that in lights someday. Zack tells the girls that they're going to beat out the others by making a music video. Was that necessary? Does it really take that much to beat The Zit Hit Machine?
And...cue the music video! The girls run around some random gym with a huge window and exposed brick wearing different variations of neon-colored gym wear and singing "Get Down and Go For It." It's a wonder MTV hasn't voted this the second best video of all time in one of its countdowns, right behind "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
The day before the test, Jessie and Slater are in the hallway where Jessie is (you guessed it) still studying for the test. Seriously, wouldn't it just be easier to cheat at this point? Slater asks to borrow a pen, but when he goes to get it, he finds the caffeine pills in Jessie's backpack. After arguing over the relative dangers of caffeine pills vs. geometry (both of which I'd say were pretty low, but no one asked me), Jessie storms off, presumably to down more caffeine pills and talk maniacally about going to Stanford in between insanely long intervals of studying.
The next day in geometry class, Jessie seems to have moved on from caffeine pills to the hard stuff. How else do you explain her overly enthusiastic recitation of the Pythagorean theorem? I highly doubt there's any drug in the world that could make me that excited about the Pythagorean theorem. Jessie is the first to finish her test and starts yelling to Mr. Dewey about how she aced it. Way to be considerate of the other test-takers, druggie.
After the test, Slater stops Zack in the hallway to tell him about Jessie's drug problem. Zack refuses to believe it on the grounds that Jessie's his friend. Well, that is an infalliable excuse right there. I mean, isn't Slater Jessie's boyfriend? Does Zack think that Slater is getting his kicks by telling people his girlfriend is addicted to caffeine pills? Zack is probably her dealer or something.
Later at the Max, either the haven't worn off yet or she's taken more of them because Jessie is carrying on with her crazy loud-talking ways at the girls' practice. Either that, or she really is genuinely excited about singing with Hot Sundae for the record execs. Seriously, though, how could someone be that excited about being part of a girl group that calls itself Hot Sundae? They'd be better off if they were named Pythagorean Theorem.
Jessie finally comes down from her high, and she's passed out on her bed when Zack comes to get her for the big performance. She's disoriented when Zack wakes her up and remembers nothing about the performance or the fact that she's already taken her midterm. I guess we're supposed to assume that this memory loss is a result of her drug overdose and not of her having just woken up. She immediately goes for the pills, but Zack wrestles them out of her hand. Then she starts singing and screaming and crying and just generally overacting all at once until Zack manages to calm her down with some story about how they snuck out to see E.T. when they were little. Why did they have to sneak out? What kind of overbearing parents wouldn't let their kids see E.T.?? I think we're getting to the root of the problem right here.
Meanwhile at the Max, the gang has recruited Screech to take Jessie's place in Hot Sundae. Why didn't they just make like TLC and do it without Jessie? I'm sure the record execs couldn't tell which fake voice was supposed to go with which girl. I never can.
Later, the gang gathers at Jessie's to talk about her crippling addiction. She tells them that her mom is taking her to the doctor for counseling. Good Lord, she took caffeine pills for two days! Does it really warrant counseling? Then again, maybe the counseling will be a good thing, as it could help her finally admit the truth about her transsexual past to her friends.
Quote of the episode Slater: "Jessie, these pills are dangerous!"
Jessie: "Yeah, well so's geometry!"
Grade Clare: A+. This episode has it all: drama, romance, humor and plenty of musical numbers. Not to mention Mr. Dewey with an American Gladiators reference, Screech in drag and Elizabeth Berkley's trademark overacting. What more could you want??
Bri: A+. Here's the message that I'm sending to you--you can do what you want to do. And what I want to do is LOVE THIS EPISODE!! I concur wholeheartedly. I love the lip synching, the totally awesome workout clothes, and Screech's emmy worthy performance as one Sinead O'Connor and as an integral ingredient in Hot Sundae. This episode is the best episode of all time, hands down.