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Thursday, June 26, 2003

Baby you can drive my glorified golf cart

Zack slides down the bannister in the main hallway and tells us he's in a great mood because driver's ed is starting today, and that means he's one step closer to getting his license...which means he's one step closer to getting to go parking. Right on cue, Kelly walks up, looking ravishing in an orange t-shirt that is four sizes too big and belted at the waist. Who wouldn't want to go parking with that?

Zack walks up to Kelly's locker and gives her a ring that he bought her. Immediately Kelly starts freaking out, like calm down, sweetie, he's not proposing here. Zack says it doesn't necessarily mean they're going steady, which is a good thing because no one's used that phrase since the 1950s. He says it's just a friendship ring, and then he tells Kelly that "friendship is the boat that happy people sail on." She says he sounds like a Hallmark card. Yeah, I was going to say something else, but OK.

In driver's ed, Mr. Tuttle is quizzing the class (aka the gang and two other extras) on the finer points of driving, such as "Why do you put your hand out the window?" Lisa says it's to dry your nails. I think that's a pretty good answer, along with "to prove that that story your parents used to tell you when you were little about some guy getting his arm whacked off by a wayward tree branch is complete and total crap." But no, the correct answer is "to make a left-hand turn." Oh, come on. Why are they even teaching hand signals? Unless you're driving a Model T or something, there's a pretty good chance your car is going to have a turn indicator. Plus, most idiots out there don't even use theirs.

Moving on. Zack and Kelly walk into the Max, where they immediately get hit on by several members of the opposite sex. Um, right. Who would hit on someone who just walked in with another guy/girl? And since when did the Max become such a pickup scene? Anyway, the gang starts chiding Zack for not taking driver's ed seriously. He doesn't see what the big deal is; it's not like any of them can afford a car anyway. Good point, Zack. Right on cue, Slater walks in and says he just bought a car. With what? Loose change he found in his couch? Because last time I checked, he didn't have any means of income. Zack does a spit take. So do I.

Everyone heads to Slater's garage (which looks a lot like Zack's garage...and the garage on California Dreams) to check out his new wheels. Needless to say, it's a bit of a lemon. Jessie tactfully points out that it has a license-plate holder, and right on cue, the license-plate holder falls off. Man, is everyone hitting their cues today or what? Slater says it just needs to be cleaned. After a tinkling sound to indicate the passage of time, we see the group sitting on a brand spanking new car. Why it could be Grease Lightning! Only there's no singing. And, um, in Grease, it was a fantasy sequence and the car did not actually transform from lemon to hot rod in a matter of seconds. But here, it did.

Naturally, Zack is concerned that this hot car will drive Kelly straight to Slater, and they'll go to the drive-in movie, where Kelly will give him kisses on the cheek to which he responds with a much-too-orgasmic "Oh, yeah!" while Zack glares at them jealously from the bike he is sharing with Screech. Seems like a valid fear. Zack uses his time-stopping powers to let us know that he's going to make Slater fail driver's ed.

That day in class, it's time for some actual driving. Or, it's time to drive a modified golf cart around some cones in a classroom, which I don't consider driving at all. Slater volunteers to go first, but Zack has already put his plan in action by telling Mr. Tuttle what a show-off Slater is, so Mr. Tuttle lets Screech go first. However, Screech takes too long with his pre-driving preparations (including adjusting his leather driving gloves), so Mr. Tuttle lets Slater get in the car, but not before making the course a little tougher for him by moving one of the cones. Ooooooh! Unsurprisingly, Slater is able to navigate the golf cart successfuly through the cone maze, and Mr. Tuttle is so impressed that he offers to let Slater be his teaching assistant next semester. Ruh-roh! Time for Plan B!

Zack somehow convinces Slater to tutor him in driver's ed and to bring the "car" into the hallway so they'll have more room to maneuver. Meanwhile, Screech, posing as Mr. Tuttle, is stalling Belding until Zack has a chance to properly frame Slater. A foolproof plan, until Kelly shows up on her way to volleyball practice and Slater offers to drive her there. Zack starts yelling after them, which causes Slater to wreck the car and topple some lockers outside Belding's office right onto Kelly's head. About 30 seconds after the crash, Belding pipes up with his trademark, "Hey hey hey hey, what is going on here?" Nice delayed reaction there, Richie! By the time he gets out in the hallway to investigate, Zack, Slater and Kelly are gone.

The next day, Belding announces on the P.A. that whoever wrecked the car has until noon tomorrow to turn themselves in. He tries to be menacing by coming out of his office, but unfortunately, the P.A. cord won't reach that far. After Belding's gone, Kelly tells Jessie and Lisa that it was her fault the car was wrecked, since Zack's jealousy distracted Slater. How that even remotely makes it her fault is beyond me. Martyr complex, anyone? Zack shows up and apologizes to Kelly, saying the whole thing was his fault. Kelly points out that Slater's the one who wrecked the car. Zack thinks that's a good point and books it out of there before anyone can find out otherwise.

Of course, then Screech shows up and lets the cat out of the bag with one menacing look from Slater. And now it's time for...getting Zack back! The gang sets up their revenge scheme at the Max, where Jessie and Lisa mention to Zack that Kelly has a headache. Slater helpfully adds, "Yeah, the kind you get when you hit your head in a car accident." Smooth. Kelly walks in and pretends not to know Zack. Screech asks if she remembers him, and she says, "Yeah, you're Tom Cruise, the coolest guy in school." I really hope Tom Cruise is getting some sort of remuneration for every use of his name on the show, because they sure do use it a lot. And Gorbachev. He could make a freaking million off of this show! Anyway, it's not until Kelly "mistakes" Slater for her boyfriend that Zack finally comes clean.

However, there's still the problem with Belding. Zack thinks that if no one confesses, Belding won't punish anyone. However, Belding's gotten tougher in his old age, and when no one confesses, he threatens to punish everyone by cancelling driver's ed. Kelly can't let that happen, so she takes the rap, but she does so in a way that makes her martyr complex all the more evident. Belding knows she's lying and calls her on it, prompting Slater to confess. When Belding questions him, he says, "I was in the seat; I'll take the heat." Dude, there's no need to rhyme. See, this is why I don't like Slater. That, and the fact that he wears pleated, acid-washed jeans.

Just as Belding is about to cart Slater away, Zack's conscience gets the best of him and he fesses up to the whole thing. Before Belding marches Zack to his office, Kelly asks Zack if she can have his ring back, although he hasn't really offered much of an apology. See? Martyr complex.

Quote of the episode
"Get Zack Morris to confess? You'd have an easier time trying to get that thing off Gorbachev's head." -Lisa

Clare: B. The only real star of this episode, as far as I'm concerned, is the glorified-golf-cart driver's ed car. Plus, I've never been a big fan of Mr. Tuttle. I've always considered myself more of a Mr. Dewey girl.

12:28 PM

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