BMW – 203, “Notorious”; October 7, 1994

I have to wonder how the search term “zombies in a bathrobe” led someone to this blog. I know I have mentioned bathrobes, in one recap, but…

20301

Mysterious lady voice on the other side of the door: Oh, yes, Eric, that feels SO good. Don’t stop!

It turns out a student named Emily is typing up a personality profile on Feeny, and Eric is massaging her shoulders. Eric was supposed to drive Cory and Shawn home, but he was busy helping Emily out with that personality profile thing. The cage the boys have contains rats. They’re doing a project on natural selection – which is interesting because Shawn is taking Earth Science, which usually has more to do with stuff about plate tectonics and minerals, and Cory isn’t in the same class as Shawn – so they’re going to see if the rats know the difference between natural cheddar and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cheese”. Oh butter substitute references, will you ever cease being relevant?

Emily it turns out is afraid of rats, and commands Cory and Shawn to keep their vermin – also named Cory and Shawn – away from the newest edition of the school paper, which only exists as a file on a computer so I don’t know what two caged rats are going to do about it. And don’t school newspapers usually have adults looking over them to make sure none of the students include pictures of body parts or fart jokes? Well, anyway, Little Shawn breaks out of the cage, and Emily freaks out and runs away. Eric is upset at the boys, because he finally got a brainy girl interested in him and they go and ruin it. He tries to run after her, but he can’t open the door. And then he remembers that you have pull it instead of pushing it. I think we have just witnessed the start of Eric’s path from “average teenage boy” to “mentally deficient”.

20302

The janitor tells Eric to be careful, because he’s just waxed the floors. Eric runs off into the hallway offscreen, screams, and makes a big thudding sound. The janitor is pleased with Eric’s injuries.

Cory sits down to read look at the article on the computer, and the boys edit the article in the cleverest way possible.

GET IT? WEENIE.
GET IT? WEENIE.

To be fair, “New Principal is Feeny” is just about the worst newspaper headline ever. What about “Fresh Foreman is Feeny”, or “Feeny is Fine” or even “Interview with New Principal Feeny”.

Cory laughs at the change, and tells Shawn to change it back to Feeny. But Shawn doesn’t want to. If everyone in the school knows they were guys who altered the newspaper’s headline to make it seem like Feeny was actually weeny, they’d be legends – neigh, gods among men! Cory thinks they’ll just get into trouble, and changes it back, and then heads out the door. Shawn looks like he agrees, and gets up to leave, but stops and turns mischievously towards the computer right as the show cuts to commercial.

So here’s a couple things – is Emily actually supposed to come back and do anything with the article she just finished? Is the school newspaper somehow going to print with that one file just sitting on a computer that no one has turned off? Why would everyone in school assume some cool person deliberately changed Feeny to Weeny and not that it was just a hilarious typo? And school newspapers are supposed to be looked over by older staff, to make sure this kind of stuff doesn’t happen, so that the newspapers aren’t printed and it turns out all the articles are about Will Smith and Feeny’s picture was replaced by one of Fabio.

20304

Harley: Hey, look at this. His name’s Feeny, They wrote Weeny. I’m laughin’.

Harley goes on to say that any guy who’s clever enough to come up with something like that, is a guy he wants hanging out with him. He changed ONE letter, it’s really not THAT funny or clever. Maybe if it was accompanied by a picture of a cocktail wiener with Feeny’s face superimposed on it. But even then, that would be a major disrespect to the greatest history/social studies/English/…math?/life teacher who ever existed (fyi the greatest science teacher is Ms. Frizzle).

Shawn conveniently overheard Harley talking, and goes over to try to confess that he was the one who made the change. But Harley threatens to tear his ears off for daring to even approach him, and Shawn scoots away, bumping into Cory. Cory is not pleased with Shawn’s shenanigans. But Shawn is happy – everyone thinks he’s hilarious! But as Cory points out, no one actually knows it was him who made the super clever change of F to W. Again, I’m not sure why literally everyone in the school thinks it was deliberate and not just a typo. True the f and w keys aren’t that close together on a keyboard, but I know when I’m typing sometimes my fingers fly in weird places and I’ll end up with a c in a middle of a word for no reason, or sometimes my hand will be one key over abd syddebkt akk nt wirds start ti kiij kuje tgus until I notice what I’m doing and go back and fix it.

Some ostensibly hot girls walk by and one says that if the guy who made that headline change was her boyfriend, she’d do anything he wanted. If it was my boyfriend, I’d tell him it was a cute prank, but he would certainly have to do something more impressive in order for me to declare I’d do anything for him.

20305

They’re discussing The Scarlet Letter in Turner’s English class, and I can’t help but notice that Topanga is not sitting in front of Cory. Now, look. She’s supposed to be a series regular or something this season, and it’s well established that she always sits in front of Cory. So who is this girl who dares take her seat?? Also, I think all the desks are different from the ones that were in the last episode.

Cory, being Cory, thinks this is all boring, and Turner explains that… I’m sorry I’ve just noticed that Turner has on some really tight jeans. I can’t look away. I have the video paused while I’m typing, and I just keep glancing back to the window the video is in…

Um… oh, he says that the story of The Scarlet Letter is blahblah very interesting and such, and could easily have come straight of today’s headlines, and he picks up one of the school newspapers. As dumb as I think the whole F-W thing is, I thought this was pretty funny.

20306
I apologize for the following “joke”.

Suddenly, a Fild Weeny appears! He’s apparently going around to every single classroom to ask if anyone knows anything about this “journalistic vandalism”. Cory and Shawn look super guilty, but don’t say anything.

It would probably have made more sense for Feeny to announce over the PA system that if anyone has any information, they could come to his office so they could talk privately instead of potentially embarrassing the culprit in front of everyone. And like I’ve been saying, it would make more sense to assume it was a typo – and it would sure make a heck ton of sense to talk to the girl who wrote the article. Maybe the article doesn’t say who wrote it, and that’s why no one in the school is automatically assuming that Emily was the one who did, instead of some proto-Banski or something. But if I were Feeny, I’d talk to everyone who worked on the school newspaper first, to see if they did it or had any leads. It’s also a little surprising that, as Feeny’s going around to every individual classroom – remember how he’s also supposed to be teaching some history classes or something? – no one is jumping at the chance to say they did it. I’m sure some people wouldn’t dare, because they don’t want to get in trouble, or they’re too honest to take credit for someone else’s vandalism, but there’s gotta be some kids low enough on the school totem pole that they wouldn’t mind getting a week’s worth of detention in exchange for being known as That Guy Who Called the Principal a Weeny.

…No one says anything, so Feeny decides to take leave of Turner’s classroom, and let them get back to their lecture on… (Feeny looks at the chalkboard)… the letter A.

20307

Alan asks Eric how his day was, as Eric sits at a table clearly set for four people despite there being five residents in this house. Eric shows him the newspaper, and they both agree it’s pretty funny. Emily, however, said the headline has ruined her journalistic integrity forever, and she broke up with him. Never mind that this is entirely her fault for not going back to the newspaper editing room thing after she ran away because omg rats. As editor of the school newspaper, she should’ve been the last one out of the room, and if she was so afraid of the rats, she should’ve made sure to go back after Cory and Shawn left, to proofread the article, save it, send it to whoever to get it printed, then turn off all the equipment and lights in the room.

Alan says that Eric will find love again, but Eric was only into Emily as a “status relationship” – I guess the cool thing is to date the school’s newspaper editor. Alan goes on to make some remark about how love sneaks up from behind and wraps you in its comfy arms, just as Amy walks up behind him and hits him on the head for not cleaning out the garage. So they have a garage somewhere next the house. And apparently it’s Alan’s job to clean during a weekday, despite the fact that he’s the manager of a grocery store… during the day.

Amy notices the newspaper headline and says “How could this have happened?” – she seriously says that. Eric has no idea, because Emily proofread the entire thing just before she heeeeeeey wait a minute, right before she left Cory and Shawn in the editing room! Of course!

Never mind the fact that she didn’t actually proofread that article because she had just finished writing it!

Cory and Shawn were the last ones in the newspaper office before the disks were sent to the printers! …So who sent the disks? You know, that article on Feeny was still up on the computer screen. Whoever went to get the disks didn’t notice it said “Weeny”?

Establishing shot!
Establishing shot!

Eric complains to his friend Jason, who we haven’t seen a while, about how Emily is terrible and he’s done dating women during his junior year. Then bumps into a girl and spills her coffee. It turns out she’s new, and also attractive.

She is REALLY pretty.  She has a nice voice, too. It's a shame she has so few acting credits.
She is REALLY pretty. She has a nice voice, too. It’s a shame she has so few acting credits.

Her name is Desiree. She’s played by Sydney Bennett, who is a champion roller skater.

Shawn is worried. There’s this crazy rumor going around school that the whole “Weeny” thing is just a typo. I cannot tell you how unamused I am that the show has finally brought up the possibility of it being a typo, halfway through the episode. But Shawn had an idea that no one would think was a typo.

20310

He painted Feeny’s office door to read “Weeny”. By the way, if it wasn’t incredibly obvious, that’s the exact same door that has previously led to the senior boy’s bathroom, as well as the newspaper office. Saved By the Bell wasn’t this cheap about redressing the sets for different rooms in the school.

Shawn runs away just before Feeny and Janitor Bud approach the door. Janitor Bud had previously seen Cory and some other boy (Janitor Bud has awful eyesight in one eye) in the newspaper room the other day, when he was emptying out the trash can. Cory swears it wasn’t him who did the name change (either one), but he won’t reveal the culprit when Feeny asks him for it. Feeny then tells Cory that he has the end of the day to tell him who did it, or else Cory will be suspended. I was about to go into a rant about how unjust that is, but one school just suspended a kid because his Pop-Tart sort of ended up looking a little like a very globular gun while he was in the process of eating it, and another school suspended a girl for “dyeing her hair an unnatural color”, with that unnatural color being auburn, aka a naturally occurring color that doesn’t even look like her hair is dyed, SO I guess it’s realistic that Cory would be suspended for not actually doing anything and there not being any proof that he did do something anyway.

20311

So Feeny called A&A about Cory having to meet with him tomorrow, and he told them to ask Cory what the meeting is about. Cory confesses that he has this friend who pulled this major scam at school and he doesn’t want to rat him out. Of course Amy keeps asking if it’s Shawn, and Cory keeps denying it, until Cory says “of course it’s Shawn”. Putting aside that Shawn is the most likely person they know to do something like that, Shawn is also Cory’s only friend, besides maybe Topanga but honestly Cory and Topanga only really hung out together one time. I mean she’s not even in this episode.

Alan doesn’t want him to rat out Shawn, but Amy says there’s consequences. If Cory gets suspended, there’ll be a big mark on his permanent record, which will mean that colleges won’t accept him, or something. Now, I’ve never been suspended from school, so I can’t say this for certain, but I’m pretty sure no college is completely deny you entrance just because you got suspended one time. If that were true, wouldn’t that mean that people who spent a couple years in prison couldn’t go back and get a degree later on? I just really hate all these shows with their “THIS WILL GO ON YOUR PERMANENT RECORD” and “Oh hey I found my permanent record. It fills an entire filing cabinet!” Not once in my entire school life did I ever hear an actual teacher say “permanent record” and then pull out a giant red marker and put an F on the record, or anything.

The next day at school, Feeny asks Cory if he’s prepared for their meeting later that day. I could’ve sworn their meeting was supposed to be the day before, but I guess I misheard. Shawn stands awkwardly in the background, pretending to look at that day’s school newspaper, while Feeny and Cory have the same conversation – Cory didn’t do it, but knows who did, it’s just a harmless prank, etc.

After Feeny leaves, Shawn comes over and concludes that Cory told Feeny it was him who pulled the prank. Shawn was seriously only a few feet away and no one else in the hallway was making any noise, so I don’t know how he concluded that Cory told Feeny the truth out of lines like “But I didn’t do it!” and “But you know who did.”

Also the newspaper has a section to address errors made in the last issue. Shawn vandalized it so it says that, while last issue gave gave the new principal’s name as “George Weeny”, his name is really “Weeny Weeny Weeny Weeny Weeny” and there’s seriously like 12 more. So, great job, newspaper writing staff. Someone vandalized the last issue of the newspaper, so you don’t do anything to make sure it didn’t happen again.

20312

It turns out Shawn actually didn’t do it this time. It was someone else. Someone more awesome.

It was Joey. Joey The Rat.

Eric’s new girlfriend who demanding, but phrases all of her ridiculous requests – take her kitten to get neutered, drive around the block for 45 minutes to warm up the inside of the car – in such a sweet voice, along with the fact that she’s a senior, that Eric totally puts up with her.

Shawn thanks Cory for taking the heat for him, saying that after he blew up that mailbox last year, his dad said if screwed up one more time, he’d be sent to military school. Cory doesn’t want that to happen, but, as Cory says, he can’t go on covering for Shawn for much longer.

20314

Oh hey a lesson that parallels Cory’s predicament!

Turner: So in the end, Hester Prynne is faced with a pretty tough decision, huh? Does she rat on the person responsible for her predicament, or does she keep his secret and face the scorn of society?

Then Turner actually says “Pretty relevant stuff, eh Matthew, eh Hunter?” Hey, is “The Scarlet Letter” a weird thing for 7th graders to be reading? I mean, they’re all 12 and 13 years old, reading a book about adultery and getting shunned by society and whatever. I never actually had to read it. For some reason, being in the gifted program at the schools I went to meant you didn’t have to read the books that apparently are countrywide required reading. I still read some pretty good books, though.

Class ends, and Turner calls Cory over to have a little chat with him. He tells him that, when you’re new at a school, first impressions are important, and how would Cory like it if Turner just started calling him “Booger” tomorrow. Names like that can follow you around forever. He then denies Cory’s assumption that he’s telling Cory to squeal on his friend, and then denies Cory’s assumption that he’s telling him to keep quiet.

20315

So Cory goes to meet with Feeny, and I swear the sign on Feeny’s door says “Principe” instead of “Principal”. The door was at an angle and the word was at the very top of the frame, so I couldn’t get a good picture of it.

Cory tells Feeny he’s sorry that he got called… “that word”. Feeny then reveals that Weeny was practically his nickname growing up. Having heard the nicknames all the characters have on “Leave It to Beaver” – Beaver, Lumpy, Tooey, and Whitey (to be fair, his last name is Whitney) – I’m not entirely sure if “Weeny” as a nickname back in Feeny’s youth would have been meant to be insulting or not.

Feeny tells Cory that he has to keep pranks like these in check, to keep the school from spiraling out of control. Cory still won’t rat out his friend, no matter what Feeny says. Principal Feeny is okay with punishing Cory for something he didn’t do. Mr. Feeny, teacher and neighbor, admires Cory for his integrity and his refusal to let a fear of punishment come before his friendship.

20316

Feeny says he’s only giving Cory 5 days of detention, one for each letter in “Weeny”. He goes on to say, as he closes the office door, revealing Shawn standing next to the pay phone, that it should be spelled “Weenie in this case, shouldn’t it, Hunter?”

Shawn: You told him?!
Cory: What do you think?
Shawn: …You wouldn’t. I’m an idiot.

Feeny tells Shawn he will be watching him like a hawk for his entire high school career. You know, every move you make every step you take etc. We end the episode on Shawn asking Cory why he didn’t just rat him out, a hilarious twist on Shawn’s opinion throughout the episode.

So, you know, it’s one thing to refuse to rat out your friend who pulled a stupid prank. But what if Shawn had done something really dangerous and crazy, like blowing up a mailbox – hey wait.

Hey, remember how Cory and Shawn had a science project about rats at the beginning of the episode? And how most of the episode takes place the next day and the day after that? Yeah. I didn’t leave the rats out. They’re only in that opening scene.

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