I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (at the mall)

The gang looks way too proud of this totally unoriginal idea.

The gang makes Screech camp out at the mall by himself to snag them a place in the line for U2 tickets. Of course, because they’re the only people in the history of the world who have ever had this idea, Screech and his Pink Panther slippers are the first ones in line. After checking to make sure Screech wasn’t eaten by wild security dogs, the gang heads off for some shopping, leaving him to do all their grunt work.

Soon after, the ticket window opens. Screech orders five seats, as close to the front as possible. Apparently this ticket seller has not been at this position for very long because he asks, “Orchestra or mezzanine?” Hello, doofus, “orchestra” is almost always closer to the front than “mezzanine.” Screech is not well-versed in theater-seating lingo, either, so he asks the guy behind him to hold his place while he goes to ask Zack this challenging question.

Across the mall, Screech runs into Slater and Zack…and the guy who was supposed to be holding his place in line, who is now strolling around the mall, admiring his U2 tickets. Apparently the guy didn’t save Screech’s place because he speaks Spanish and didn’t understand what Screech was saying. Because, you know, I’m sure all the English-speaking people in line would have been happy just to stand there while Screech searched the mall for his friends. Zack and Slater order Screech to go get back in line.

Whoa…can you believe they actually expect us to act like this money is real?

Elsewhere in the mall, Kelly sits on a bench and is quickly joined by Zack and Slater, who explain the flaw in their plan of trusting Screech to buy their U2 tickets, which would be that they trusted Screech to buy their U2 tickets. Lisa walks up with a shopping bag, and they all start dogging her about buying so many pairs of shoes, like God forbid she actually shop in a mall. Anyway, as soon as she sits down, she finds a bag containing a stack of incredibly fake money. However, the gang seems to think this money is real and starts arguing about who should get it. Of course, Kelly thinks they should give it back because she has to be the moral compass of the show since Jessie is mysteriously missing. Zack then comes up with a foolproof plan to use the money to buy lots of U2 tickets and then resell them at exorbitant prices. Foolproof, except for the fact that scalping is illegal, which doesn’t seem to be of any concern to the show’s producers. I guess on the Saved by the Bell Offical Scale of Things That Are Bad, scalping is several degrees of wickedness below caffeine-pill addiction.

To execute their plan, Zack and Slater must first get Screech to the front of the line. They bribe a boy nerd with ice cream and are able to seduce some girl nerds simply by winking and pointing at them. Lisa and Kelly walk by and drop some shopping bags, and three guys rush out of line to pick them up. Wow, these are some die-hard U2 fans! The real U2 fan in the crowd is an old black lady who never misses a U2 concert. She’s not distracted by Zack and Slater’s charms, but she can be bought off for a measly $200. Guess she wasn’t that die-hard after all. Finally Screech reaches the front of the line again, just as the ticket seller puts up the “sold out” sign. Oh, the humanity!

As the gang is sitting in the food court, distraught, a voice over the P.A. announces that U2 has scheduled another concert. Apparently, Bono, the Edge, Adam C. and ol’ Lar want to give Zack another chance to put his illegal moneymaking schemes into action. Zack decides that it would be a good idea for them all to stay at the mall overnight, and he whips out his trademark gigantic cell phone so they can all call their parents and tell them that they’re spending the night at each others’ houses. Then he decides that since they’ve got some time to kill, they should go ahead and go shopping with the fake money that’s not theirs. However, as they’re divvying up the cash, they notice two mob-looking guys staring at them. So Screech acts like a monkey to divert them while the rest of the gang runs away.

Of course Zack and Slater would use this as an opportunity to express their true feelings.

They meet up at the movie theater, where we find out what everyone bought with their fake stolen money that was supposed to be earmarked for illegal scalping, including a fake hand (Slater) and a superhero costume (Screech). Well, at least if they’re breaking the law, they’re purchasing some quality merchandise. As Zack and Slater are quite homosexually acting out a scene from the featured chick flick, the two mob guys walk in. The gang decides to make a smooth exit by all immediately getting up and running out of the theater.

They have to camp out in a sporting-goods store because apparently, in the past 24 hours, camping out in front of the ticket window has been forbidden. While Zack distracts the sporting-goods clerk with some thought-provoking questions about footballs, everyone else sneaks into a tent, where they all spend the night together, even though there are several other tents in the store. They must really love each other.

The next morning, they’re the first ones at the ticket window, where they order $3,000 worth of U2 tickets. So that’s like what, three tickets? When they go to get the money (hidden in Lisa’s shoebox), it’s gone! They decide the best way to find it would be to ransack the shoe store, which works out great because the people who work there don’t seem to mind that the gang is throwing shoes all around the store. Just as Zack spies the one box they haven’t torn apart, the old black lady returns again and makes a grab for it. Fortunately, Lisa is able to distract her by saying “Look, Kevin Costner! Hurry, while he still has a career!” OK, so I added that last part. The gang gets ahold of the money, but oh no, the mob thugs are back! Slater throws some shoe boxes at the thugs, and the gang is able to escape.

Why oh why hasn’t Barneys replicated this window display yet?

To hide from the thugs, they disguise themselves as totally believable mannequins in the window of a bridal store. They are so good at being mannequins that they fool not only the mall shoppers walking by, but also the owners of the store, who come into the window and carry Screech away.

Tired of pretending to be mannequins, the gang decides it’s time to go to the police, which is of course always the very last thing you should do when you’re being chased by possibly murderous thugs. But it turns out that the policeman and the thugs are working together—for Candid Camera! Or Candid Video, because I guess Candid Camera was on a rival network. The gang’s prize for being such good sports? Front-row tickets to the U2 concert! Of course, Zack wants to scalp them. Why? Because scalping’s cool! Try it at home, kids!

Quote of the episode
“I’ll never get another letter from Ed McMahon again!” —Kelly, when she realizes she might be murdered

Grade: B+
All in all, a pretty good episode, but an actual appearance by U2 would have raised it to “A” level. Like that time on Blossom when Blossom and Six were waiting in line for tickets to C + C Music Factory and C + C Music Factory actually came up and sang for them and they did their little dance where they put their hands up and jump around in a circle. All I’m saying is, no one is above making a guest appearance on Saved by the Bell. Not even Bono.

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