I’m getting a lot more views than normal all of a sudden. Is it because I’m tricking people searching for cars by putting “BMW” in the titles?
Well since I can see what search terms people used to get here I’m pretty much sure that isn’t the case.
Most episodes have started with an establishing shot of the school. This episode starts with Alan coming in through the door. Cory wants to play baseball, but there’s a really bad thunderstorm outside.
Cory laments that he’s been stuck inside all day, and his life is preditable, boring, same-old, same-old. He goes up into his room to sadly put his baseball stuff away, and then suddenly a horror movie ensues.
“Don’t turn on the lights” the soggy, shadowy figures says.
It turns out it’s just Shawn, of course. He’s on the run from the law – seriously. The cops are after him, maybe even the FBI. Cory’s not involved, fortunately. But hey, this sure seems like a nice change of pace from his regular, boring life! Whatever’s going on, Cory’s all for it!
And, cue credits!
Shawn tells Cory he can’t tell anyone he’s here, and Cory immediately violates the first thing Shawn said this episode, and turns the lights on. Shawn apparently climbed up the tree outside Cory’s window – which is a thing he’ll end up doing a lot, because the Matthews don’t have a convenient ladder outside the way the Darlings had for Sam on “Clarissa Explains it All”.
Shawn explains that, after carrying around a cherry bomb all day, he felt a strong urge to actually light it, but when he lit it, he realized he could get seriously hurt by this thing. He couldn’t just throw it, because he was in a parking lot surrounded by people. So he… put it in a mailbox. [Sidenote: public mailboxes are often found in parking lots of large grocery stores here. Yes, even now, and not just in 1994].
Cory agrees to let Shawn hide out from The Law in his home, even though there’s really no room in his bedroom. Amy calls Cory down for dinner, and Shawn tells him to be careful – if it were Shawn in Cory’s place, he’d have no trouble being his regular smooth self and hiding the fact that he’s got a fugitive in his room. Cory, however…
Cory’s nervous and putting a lot of food on his plate, saying that he has tons of homework and needs lots of fuel so he’s going to take some food up to his room. Alan grounds him for two weeks; even though Alan is sure Cory has done something worth being ground for at least two weeks, even though he has no idea what that could be yet. A booming sound comes from upstairs, and Amy asks what the sound was. Cory says it was his homework, it fell off the desk – there’s so much of it that he needs fuel for, remember?
Cory brings his plate upstairs and can’t find Shawn at first. Then Shawn comes out from behind the door.
Wearing Cory’s clothes. Obviously they don’t fit him too well.
Shawn and Cory have a short argument over the meatloaf – Shawn likes ketchup on his meatloaf, and Cory responds by saying he’ll just go downstairs and tell his mom that Shawn the cherry bomber hiding in his room would like more ketchup.
Then Eric bursts into the room. Eric knows what’s up – smuggling food, the noises, the bad smell: Cory’s hiding a puppy! Obviously. Eric starts looking for the puppy and Shawn hides in the bathroom.
But then, Amy and Morgan come in. It’s time for Morgan’s bath, and Morgan’s bathroom door is locked. Of course it doesn’t strike anyone as odd that Morgan’s bathroom door is locked despite the fact that no one is using her bathroom. I mean, some doors have a thing where you can turn the lock and then close the door, so it’s plausible that Morgan might’ve accidentally locked the door after leaving the bathroom, but this is never addressed or anything. At least we know that there is actually another bathroom in this house and Morgan doesn’t always have to share with her smelly older brothers.
Anyway, Shawn apparently climbs out the bathroom window, crawls along the roof, and comes back in to Cory’s window – which is still open despite the raging storm, I suppose. Eric, still in the room, sees that Cory is hiding Shawn and not a puppy, and agrees to stay silent about the matter – for a price. Cory and Shawn must do all of Eric’s chores, for at least as long as Shawn is hiding.
The next day at school, everyone – and by that I mean Topanga, Minkus, and Feeny – are gossiping about Shawn. They’ve apparently all heard that he set off a cherry bomb, and Feeny knows that Shawn didn’t go home after the incident. Cory denies having spoken to Shawn since the incident, yet knows the exact location of the incident. Minkus immediately smells a conspiracy and accuses Cory of hiding something, despite the fact that Cory’s dad owns the grocery store where the cherry bomb went off (in the mailbox in the parking lot), and if they all heard that Shawn set off a cherry bomb, why wouldn’t they all also know where the cherry bomb had gone off anyway??
And so of course in their class, they’re reading Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Tell-Tale Heart”, which is about a guy who’s guilty of something, and is a poem they read in every single tv show when a character is guilty and hiding something.
Back at the house, Amy is vacuuming Cory and Eric’s room. She hits Shawn with the vacuum a couple times, but with the noise of the vacuum and her loud singing, she can’t hear Shawn saying “ow”. Cory comes in and almost gives away that Shawn is hiding there, but luckily saves himself with a very flimsy “what I meant to say”-type excuse. Amy is like “Okay…” and tells him she’s discovered what he’s been hiding – he’s organized his closet!
She leaves and Cory and Shawn have a very quick – Shawn is super bored and that’s why he organized Cory’s closet, and played through all of Cory’s video games, including Pong. Cory tells Shawn that his (that is, Shawn’s) parents came by school today, and they’re very worried about him.
Immediately after that, Alan comes in. He knows what Shawn did and he knows Shawn’s parents are worried. He also tells Cory that he knew a kid like Shawn when he was in school – this kid started with small stuff, and then turned into a big trouble-maker. Cory assures Alan that Shawn’s not like that, he won’t ever turn into some rotten kid who steals cars or something.
Alan disagrees, and says if Shawn was here right now, he’d come down really hard on him – and then proceeds to do a little jump and sit down really hard on Cory’s bed, under which Shawn is hiding. Cory wonders why Alan is bothering telling Cory all this, since Cory’s a good kid who doesn’t seem to be going down a bad path of life or anything. Alan tells him this: if Cory does anything bad, no matter how awful, he wants Cory to know he can always come home. No matter how tight a spot Cory gets in, his family will always be there for him. Alan also stands up and falls back on the bed for good measure before leaving.
Cory tells Shawn that, maybe if they just explain to Alan, he’ll understand, and he can explain to Shawn’s dad, and everything will be okay. Shawn doesn’t think that’ll work, because his dad will probably kill Alan just to get to Shawn. And besides, all their lives they’ve been straddling a line between “little bad and big bad”, and Shawn blew up that line with a cherry bomb. It’s hopeless – Shawn is destined to be a fugitive on the run from the law for all eternity. Cory still thinks they should try, and calls Alan upstairs, but Shawn escapes through the window.
Downstairs, it seems Cory has explained the situation to his parents. And his parents reveal they’ve known Shawn was hiding upstairs ever since he actually got to the house. And thank goodness Alan really did know Shawn was under the bed, otherwise that would mean he has some serious issues to work out with Cory’s bed.
They explain they knew due to the strange noises coming from Cory’s room, and the food he was sneaking up there. To be fair, Cory IS 12, maybe he just started to like eating his room. And it could’ve been a possum or something in the walls. I’ve had a possum in the attic before, and it can sure sound like a person up there.
Cory says, hey, he could’ve been hiding a puppy, and Morgan tells him that no one is that naive, to believe he would be hiding a puppy. Eric says he personally likes this idea, and then Morgan and Eric go upstairs for literally no reason. They didn’t tease or make fun of each other leading to one chasing the other one, they just stopped what they were doing to go upstairs.
Apparently Feeny saw Shawn climbing into Cory’s window the day before, and told Cory’s parents, who have gone on to tell Shawn’s parents. Cory asks why they didn’t bust Cory if they knew Shawn was there all along, and they tell him they were hoping Cory would be able to convince Shawn to go home on his own.
It’s also revealed that when Alan was Cory’s age, he was like Shawn, and had a friend like Cory. Alan reveals that he did some big screw-up when he was 13, and it was only because of his friend that he decided to own up to it and not run away to California to start a life on his own.
That night at the school, Feeny arrives and spots Shawn and says something about this being a perfect time to set fire to his desk. This gets Shawn to bolt up from his hiding place – which was under Feeny’s desk.
Feeny reveals that he knew about Shawn all along, and even though Shawn thinks Cory betrayed him by trying to rat him out to Alan, Feeny says Shawn betrayed the friendship by asking Cory to lie for him. Feeny also reveals that the reason he’s there at school is because he left some canvas behind – apparently he likes to paint on the weekends. No explanation for why he just had a roll of unprimed canvas under his desk at the school and not, say, in his own home, or even in the art classroom.
Feeny says canvas is great, because it’s flexible, but doesn’t break, unless you cut it first. An allusion to friendship, perhaps??
Feeny destroys my clever observation by directly comparing the canvas to friendship. Then he gives a piece of canvas to Shawn and tells him to use it as a bandana.
Cory shows up, because… Cory somehow knew Shawn was in Feeny’s classroom. I think it’s implied that Shawn called Cory and asked for some supplies, because Cory brought a backpack and Shawn asks where the stuff is. Cory didn’t bring anything, and reveals he got a ride to the school from Shawn’s parents.
Shawn freaks out and says he’ll just escape, but Cory stands up to him and says that he has to confront his parents. Shawn’s afraid, because he’s sure he’ll be grounded for like an entire year, but Cory’s just like “it’s the right thing to do, man.” So… Shawn goes to talk to his parents, I guess.
During the end credits, everyone in the house is using electronics, and Shawn comes home, finally free from being grounded for a whole month.
Then the power goes out.
You see, Alan did remember to pay the electric bill, despite the electricity being turned off. He made sure to mail it from the mailbox… outside his store… on cherry bomb day.
Shawn makes a quick exit.
I realize they wouldn’t have had online banking where they could check to see if the electric company had cashed their check yet, but don’t they usually send you notices if your bill is late being paid? Like they give you a couple notices, saying the power will be turned off by this date if you don’t pay by this time? It does make sense that Alan would’ve put the mail he’s sending out in an official post office-owned mailbox, because those are more reliable than your usual house boxes – and I can’t remember if the Matthews even own a mailbox or if they have a mail slot on their door that you just slide mail through so you can’t actually send outgoing mail through them – but it seems odd that the company never once contacted them saying “Hey, your payment’s late – pay up or we’ll cut off the power”.
…So this episode was about friendship, and… that bad kids need good kids to keep them from going even worse? This was a good episode, even though I’m apparently having trouble grasping what the moral was.