Boy Meets World – 106, “Boys II Mensa”

I don’t know why, but I really like this episode title.

We begin with Feeny about to pass back everyone’s book reports. I always hate book report episodes of tv shows. What always happens is the really smart kid in class does something like “War and Peace”, and the main character either doesn’t do a report or does it on something like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, but the teacher gives them another chance, OR they do the book report but decide to watch the movie version instead and of course they do badly on the assignment. I see that it hasn’t happened so much on tv in recent years (granted, most of the shows I watch these days feature adults who do not have to do book reports for their English class), so that’s a comfort. This isn’t a book report episode anyway, so this paragraph is sort of moot.

So Feeny goes to pass back the report, and Cory turns around to Shawn, puts a clown nose on his face, and starts mimicking Feeny. Feeny, being the awesome Feeny he is, spots Cory.

Feeny asks if he should express his usual disappointment in Cory or just ask him to guide his sleigh tonight. God, Feeny is awesome.

Cory says that with Halloween coming up, he was just trying out some of his costume. Apparently he’s going to be a clown. That’s sort of a weird costume for an 11 year old. Feeny makes Cory keep the red nose on for the rest of the morning. It’s not even one full minute into the episode yet and Feeny is already racking up the awesome points.

As always, Minkus did the best in the class. He wrote his report on Moby Dick, and even wrote a haiku about Ahab’s obsession with the whale.

The calm blue ocean.

Sun lights up the monster’s eye.

He sees me: whale food.

Shawn calls him a brown-noser. Minkus calls Shawn a troglodyte.  I had to look up what a troglodyte was, and I’m still not really sure. I think here Minkus is insulting Shawn by calling him a caveman, but according to Wikipedia, “troglodyte” can refer to the Morlocks from The Time Machine, a kind of wren, or a chimpanzee. I thought it was related to a trilobite, but I guess not.

Cory gets a C on his report. This should come to no surprise to us, as he’s gotten a C on almost every other assignment we’ve seen him do on this show. But Cory is offended that Feeny praised another kid for getting a C on his book report when he told Cory it wasn’t his best work. Feeny says it’s because the other kid worked hard for his C while Cory “wasted his efforts on being the class clown”.

Cory then asks Feeny why Minkus never gets told to work harder, why Minkus never gets in trouble – like when Cory makes paper airplanes, he gets detention, but when Minkus does it…

That airplane propeller actually spins. Dang, Minkus.

Cory withdraws his complaint, and opening credits play.

After the opening theme is done, Cory gets out of detention to find Shawn waiting for him. Shawn tells him it’s because they’re best friends, but really he just had detention too – detention for art class. I wonder if this is where Shawn starts his journey towards being amazing. He hasn’t really done much in the show before. It’s obvious he’s Cory’s closest friend because he’s the one Cory always sits with at lunch and Cory goofs off with him during class and all of Cory’s other friends only seem to be in one episode each.

Also Shawn is drinking something. I thought it was milk, but it doesn’t really look like a milk carton in most of the shots.

Shawn digs through the garbage can that the janitor just randomly left in the hallway and finds an answer sheet. At first he’s excited because cheating on tests is awesome but Cory thinks it’s wrong. Then Shawn realizes the sheet is just for the stupid IQ test they’re taking the next day and crumples it up and tosses it. Cory catches it and considers the fact that whoever knows all the answers to the test gets a perfect IQ score, and if that were to happen, they’d probably get Feeny off their backs, and he’d adore them like he does Minkus.  Shawn admits Cory has a point, although he thinks it’s stupid to bother cheating on a test that doesn’t even count for a grade or anything.

Why was there an IQ test answer sheet in the trash anyway? I mean… it seems like someone should’ve kept it or something. Or made sure to dispose of it in a secure manner. When I was in school we had to do our various state-mandated standardized tests – which admittedly aren’t the same as IQ tests – they kept all the test papers in locked briefcases, and they had to send to the tests to some mystical education office where they’d grade them.

I also keep getting this episode mixed up with another one where they find all the answers to a test and contemplate cheating, and in the end it turned out it the teacher planned for them to find it to test their ethics or something. Geez come to think of it, how many times does this “kid finds test, cheats, feels guilty” or “kid switches test with other student” plot come up in shows? I don’t think it happens so often in more recent shows, but then, come to think of it, most tv shows these days don’t have school-age kids on them, other than the ones on Disney and Nickelodeon. And pretty much all the shows with school-age kids, the kids are in their last years of high school so are usually beyond these sorts of moral dilemmas.

Anyway there’s a review going on here.

A shot of the school we haven’t seen before:

Feeny announces he has the results of the IQ test. He is heaping praise on one particular student who got the highest score not only in the class, but in the whole school. Minkus of course assumes it was him. Feeny informs him that he in fact got the second-highest score. Minkus is appropriately shocked.

Then we find out it was Cory who got the highest score. Feeny and Shawn applaud enthusiastically while everyone else could basically have just said “Eh” with the way they were clapping.

Also, look at this:

Halloween decorations along the wall, the big tv that they probably still use in most schools, and… I think it’s a computer underneath it. And a random picture of a bald eagle’s head on the corkboard in the back. This classroom… I mean the poster on skin still  wins, but man.

Anyway, Cory, glowing in the light of all this praise, says it was “no big thing”. Feeny says “On the contrary, Mr. Matthews. It is a big thing. It is a very big thing” and he walks ominously back to his desk. Cory turns to Shawn and says “Uh-oh”.

Back at the Matthews House, Morgan wants Amy to buy her a Halloween costume that night, because Shelly Figus is getting her costume, but Amy has to work or something. We find out she’s a realtor or something in this episode (she has to go show a house, I think realtors do that), so she asks Eric to watch Morgan for a few hours.

Eric says he’ll take her to get her costume, and as the three of them leave, Cory and Shawn rush in and are totally not guilty or hiding something or anything like that.

Upstairs, we find out that Feeny has given Cory a letter to give to his parents. Now, any kid should know the fear Cory is facing. I’m sure we’ve all gotten a mysterious sealed letter to give to our parents, leaving us to worry if we did anything wrong, and if so, what, or we worry how the teacher found out what we did, and if we’re trouble, we don’t know how much or what’s going to happen to us, and if it turns out the letter is for something totally tame and good, we might look guilty or let the bad thing we did slip when our parents read the letter.

So while Cory is struggling with these same worries – does Feeny know? Does the letter reveal him as a fraud? Or does he just want to praise Cory for his high score? If that’s the case, won’t that tip off his parents? – Shawn just rips open the envelope and reads the letter. That’s definitely two awesome points for Shawn.

Shawn tells Cory to start acting smart so his IQ test score makes sense.

So later, Cory puts on a foam finger and conducts to some Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in E flat on the radio.

By the way, Cory actually said the name of the music, so I made no errors in identifying it or anything.

…Anyway I’m only like 1/3 of the way through the episode and already this review is about as long as all the full episode reviews so I’m going to try to speed things up.

Cory’s parents show up and say they came from the school and found out about Cory’s high IQ score. They wonder why his IQ score was so high when all his grades are so low. Then Morgan comes up to show off her new Halloween costume.

And according to Eric, Morgan chose the costume herself, out of all the Cinderella costumes and froufrou princess dresses in the place.

At school, Minkus expresses skepticism that Cory is in fact a genius, mentioning that Cory always cheats off Minkus in class. Then Feeny and some lady come in, and Feeny says the lady will be teaching them for the first half hour of class. That’s kind of neat that they have a teacher there specifically to teach them for half of one class. In my schools, they probably would’ve just told us to read our textbooks or something. Feeny tells Cory he needs to speak with him.

In the cafeteria, Feeny gives Cory a chance to come clean about cheating. Cory says he has nothing to confess, and Feeny tells him that they’re sending him to a genius school, which worst of all doesn’t even have sports!

Later, Shawn goes up to Cory’s room, and Cory shoots him with a giant Nerf gun.

Cory is mad at Shawn for finding that stupid answer sheet in the first place, and says one of the people from the genius school is coming by later that day to give him another test.

It seems weird to me that they’re testing Cory in his house, especially in the same room where his parents and the genius school lady are talking loudly, instead of in a testing facility. I’ve taken a few official IQ tests and various developmental tests in my day, and they’re always in a secluded office, and also involve stuff beyond multiple choice questions. They usually have you do stuff with blocks and memorizing patterns and stuff. Maybe that would take too long to film, though. Or maybe that’s just how things were done in Pennsylvania in 1993.

Also the genius school lady says Morgan’s clothes don’t match.

Looks fine to me. And actually for being a 5 year old girl on an early 90s family sitcom, that outfit is really nice. I mean, compare it to some of the stuff the Tanner girls were wearing on Full House.

Erm, anyway, the lady says Cory’s second IQ test score was totally average for a sixth grader, and says it’s obviously because he threw the test so he wouldn’t have to go to the school. Cory confesses that he actually cheated on the first test, and the genius school lady – who is named Mrs. Bertram, apparently – is all tish-tosh and Britishly offended about it.

Cory’s parents reveal they knew all along, tell him the smart thing to do would’ve been to tell the truth, and tell him he’s grounded for two weeks. But because they’re so awesome, his two weeks start after Halloween. Sometimes Alan can be sort of a square, but all around, the Matthews parents are pretty cool parents.

During the credits, Morgan is handing out candy for trick-or-treaters. It’s sort of weird that she’s not trick-or-treating and there aren’t any adults in the room with her to make sure she doesn’t leave or get kidnapped or anything, but then again this seems to be a nice neighborhood and she’s taking half of the candy she’s supposed to be giving out for herself anyway.

Feeny shows up and gives her all the rulers he has. Because he was giving out rulers at his house and no one wanted them. Feeny lost half of his Awesome points for that.

While he’s there, some trick-or-treaters show up, and one of them who sounds an awful lot like Cory says his brother’s friend Cory said Feeny is the coolest teacher ever. Feeny sees through this and unmasks this flatterer who sounds like Cory.

Embarrassed by his mistake, Feeny apologizes and gives the kid all of the rulers. Then he leaves to get candy from Amy in the kitchen.

And then the other trick-or-treaters are revealed.

We end with Cory saying “And they say I’m not a genius,” as well as the question of why Cory was dressed as a vampire when he said at the beginning of the episode that he was going to be a clown.

So, this episode… It’s nothing special. Cory regrets cheating and lying about it… yeah.
Morgan being a zombie was pretty awesome. Eric is awesome for getting that costume for her. Everyone on this show is awesome.

On a side note, I’ve been reading Full House Reviewed lately. It’s actually what got me motivated to start writing stuff on this blog (I mean, I started this blog a while ago and had the idea to do recap/reviews of tv shows before I found the blog, but I didn’t start writing anything until after I found FHR). If you hate Full House or like it but have a good sense of humor about it, I’d definitely go check it out. It’s a lot more negative than this blog and there’s a lot more cussing, but it’s hilarious.


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