BMW: 318, “Life Lessons”; Feb 23, 1996

Most of the episodes up to this point have had some kind of life lesson in them, and now they even have an episode called “Life Lessons.” WHAT WILL THIS EPISODE BE ABOUT, I WONDER??


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Finals are coming up. They have THREE IN THE SAME DAY.

Okay. So. This always drives me crazy whenever high school students – or even middle school students – on tv are flipping out over finals. I mean, three in one day? Yeah, have you ever been to a high school? Most kids tend to have at least four tests every Friday, so having three tests in one day isn’t a huge deal.

I mean, I do remember the “final exam” tended to be a comprehensive from the whole year, but I also remember not freaking out about is as much as kids on tv shows do – not even during the school year where I almost had to go to the hospital because of a stress fever.

Going back to the episode, hey look! Topanga’s back! I think it’s great how she basically has only been in a third of the episodes of the entire show so far despite ostensibly being a main character. And like I’ve pointed out before, she was barely ever on the show when she and Cory were still dating.

I actually kind of like that, though? I mean, I like Topanga, but it was cool that the show didn’t suddenly swan-dive into being entirely about Cory and Topanga ALL the time when they started dating.

Well anyway, Cory says, as long as they spend the next two weeks doing nothing but studying, they should be fine.

Cut to a quick montage of Cory and Shawn watching tv and eating while leaning on their textbooks.

Suddenly, finals are in two days. And Feeny is the one who arranged the Finals schedule.

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It blows my mind that not only is there an actual finals schedule, but that the principal is the one who arranged it. When I was in school, it was just up to the teachers for when finals took place. That was usually how we ended up having tests in EVERY class on the same day, or projects due in EVERY class, or whatever. Personally I think that’s actually pretty cool of Feeny to set up Finals so they’re spread out and they ONLY have three tests on one day rather than tests in every single class, which is what usually happens in school.

Some greasy bullies come along and are mad at Feeny and say they’re going to kill Feeny or something, I forgot.

No one takes this threat as something they ought to tell someone about.

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Cory and a bunch of kids try to get Turner on their side. Because Finals are so hard! And all on the same day! Feeny tells him that school isn’t about being easy, but he’s willing to listen to what his students have to say. Turner makes the crowd appoint a leader, who is of course Cory. Greasy Bully #1 tells Cory if he can’t get Feeny to change his mind, the Greasy Bullies will change it for him.

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I really dig Cory’s sweater, I tell you what.

Anyway, Cory presents his case: Finals are hard. Space them out.

Feeny asks Cory how long he and the kids have known when Finals were. Cory replies they’ve known for two weeks. Feeny then asks how long they’ve had to study the material. Cory again answers “two weeks”, but Feeny correctly points out they’ve had all semester, and that it’s a big failure on the part of him and the other kids to only come to him just now to complain.

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So Greasy Bully #1 is like “All right, we’ll handle this.” And I’m here like, “Wasn’t that curly-haired kid in The Sandlot?” Yes. Yes he was.

Anyway the bullies decide the best way to convince Feeny to change the Finals schedule is to vandalize his house.

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They could be studying instead, but NO, let’s just break the law.

The next day, Feeny has a lecture on an abolitionist, emphasizing his night raids and how he was caught and hung by the neck for his crimes. That’s it for the semester and Finals are tomorrow. Which is weird because there’s four episodes after this one that take place in school for at least a little while.

Cory and Feeny have a chat after class lets out. Cory still thinks it couldn’t hurt to spread Finals out. Feeny says the point of having them so close together is that the pressure forces the kids to push everything but knowledge out of their heads, and hopefully it will stick and they’ll have that info forever. And apparently Feeny also has a “final exam”, in seeing how well he handles the students freaking out about the exams or whatever. Then he announces he’ll be retiring at the end of the school year.

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Greasy Bullies then come back in the room and tell Feeny if he doesn’t change the exams, they aren’t going to bother taking them. What the heck kind of threat is that? So you don’t take the exam, and then you fail, and you have to repeat a grade. TAKE THAT, FEENY.

Feeny’s reaction is a kinder version of my own, and he tells them he can’t force them to take it if they don’t want.

Then Cory, Shawn, and the Bullies have a disagreement that basically ends with Cory admitting he’s partly responsible for what the other guys did to Feeny’s house because… I guess he was literally the only person in the WHOLE school who objected to the exam schedule. Fff.

Hey, hold on. Exams were in two days when Cory was wearing that blue shirt. So then he was wearing this sweater, which would suggest it was the next day of school, so exams would be in one day. Now he’s wearing a different outfit again but exams are supposed to be tomorrow??

Topanga and Cory are studying in Cory’s kitchen when Shawn runs over. The bullies are at the school! So they all head over there instead of calling the police.

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A much larger group of bullies than the three we’ve been seeing are smashing the school. Bully #1 says “We’ll take the exams, all right. We’ll take them right off his desk!” [No, really, he said that]. Topanga asks why they don’t just study, and they’re all “What he teaches doesn’t matter! It’s all about old, dead guys – like him! He doesn’t care about us!” [no, really, that’s like 90% what they actually said, including calling Feeny a dead guy].

Cory snaps at this. Don’t you dare say that Feeny doesn’t care!

Also, what? Why do the bullies care that Feeny doesn’t care about them?

Cory and Bully #1 have a little argument, but Shawn unexpectedly says “Freedom of assembly.” Everyone’s all “A-bwuhhhh??”

It turns out Shawn actually read a textbook, and explains that thanks to the first amendment granting the freedom of assembly, all of them have the right to peaceably assemble, but the moment they broke the lock on the school fence, they broke the law, granting Shawn the right to call the cops, which he probably should’ve just done to begin with.

Bully #1 is still all “So? What did Feeny every do for you?”

Shawn says, “You see those bolt-cutters in your hand? And you see how I don’t have any in my hands? That’s what Feeny did for me.” All right, Shawn!

Cue Feeny:

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Everyone scatters.

Feeny was there late to finish preparing the exams. Shawn’s all “Yeah I hear Feeny’s making them really tough this year. So he can cram more of that ‘knowledge’ into our heads.” Feeny says that’s the truth, and he’ll making the tests even harder next year. He’s not retiring yaaay!

The trio leave, and Feeny starts cleaning up the place because… Yeah, I don’t know who else would do it. I was going to point out they have a janitor, but that wouldn’t be fair to make him clean up all that vandalism. But they have four witnesses who saw who all the vandals were, so… just get them to do it?

Anyway the trio come back to help clean up.

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Over the credits, the gang read their exam results. Cory and Shawn both did well for themselves. Cory declares that studying truly is the way to go. So everyone’s going to go off to study even though exams are over.

And by study, I mean this:

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Eric subplot:

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Eric’s home alone since Morgan still barely exists on this show. Some woman shows up. She and Eric hit it off, but then she realizes Eric isn’t Turner. But she still agrees to go out on a date with him. Amy is scandalized when she later finds this out. They apparently work together at the real estate office/art gallery/housewife association, and I guess she’s a bit older than Eric.

They go to Chubbie’s, and she’s a little put off because Eric doesn’t really do anything outside of school. Then Turner shows up and Eric introduces them. Boy Meets World has the dumbest, most pointless subplots sometimes.

I feel like this episode would’ve mademore sense to be, you know, at the end of the season rather than the 5th-to-last episode.

And the next episode is one of the weird ones you can bring up as an argument against the people who seem to be under the impression every episode of Boy Meets World was like this one or the one where Shawn blows up the mailbox.

I mean Cory goes back in time due to a microwave mishap and gets mistaken as a Russian spy but sure, go ahead and keep believing every episode of Boy Meets World was super serious and only ever dealt with issues about drugs, abuse, and sex.


One thought on “BMW: 318, “Life Lessons”; Feb 23, 1996

  1. Personally I think that’s actually pretty cool of Feeny to set up Finals so they’re spread out and they ONLY have three tests on one day rather than tests in every single class, which is what usually happens in school.
    ^ Exams, not test. BMW is semestered, so that’s 4 courses a day, for one semester, then the other 4 next semester. 8 courses a year. So this semester they had 4 classes, so 4 exams, and Feeny, who did not space them out, put 3 exams in one day.

    That’s it for the semester and Finals are tomorrow. Which is weird because there’s four episodes after this one that take place in school for at least a little while.
    ^ this episode came out (and is presumably set) in February. So, end of semester 1, finals. There’s still the second semester.

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