Come and go with me (to the SBTB Bermuda Triangle)

Apparently the SBTB Bermuda Triangle is the land where crushed velvet went to die.

Zack is at the Max, where he tells us that Bayside is planning to have a sock hop so they can “dig that crazy scene…whatever that means.” Um, you got me, Zack, as I think you’re probably the first person to use that phrase in the history of the entire world. Zack joins the gang at their regular booth, where Ginger (aka Mrs. Pete Sampras) comes up to take their order. Instead of ordering like regular people, the gang launches into a Doobie-Brothers-esque medley about the great Max food and their great waitress Ginger Sampras. Ginger is so flustered by their wonderful lip synching that she forgets to take their actual order, and they all rag on what a ditz she is. Hey, if you would order food like normal people, maybe these things wouldn’t happen.

Their musical number for this scene out of the way, Slater tells everyone that his kid sister is coming into town. Zack, Screech and Lisa are all like, “Oh, J.B.!” while the entire viewing audience, a few extras and most of the crew is like, “Oh, J.—what the hell? Slater has a sister? Um, where exactly has she been for the past four years?!” If I had to guess, I’d say she was kickin’ it in the SBTB Bermuda Triangle with Artie the Chameleon. The gang fills Tori (and the rest of us) in on the mysterious J.B., namely the fact that she’s a tomboy. Hmm, long-lost tomboy sister? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that she’s going to end up being hot.

Later in the hallway, Slater attempts to explain why we’ve never heard of J.B. before—she’s been at boarding school and then living in Europe. Oh, well that explains it. Because I know when my relatives don’t live in the same city as me, I often forget they exist and never, ever mention them to my friends. Also, when did Slater become a freaking Rockefeller?! As Lisa, who is supposedly the rich one in the gang, is gushing about Miss J.B. Slater’s privileged existence (while we’re at it, what is up with everyone in the Slater family going by their initials—must be a conceit of the wealthy), Zack scopes a hottie at the end of the hall. Everyone acts mucho surprised that the hottie turns out to be J.B., even though they must have seen it coming a mile away like the rest of us did.

Zack offers to accompany J.B. to Slater’s wrestling practice. Slater is suspicious because Zack has never wanted to come to wrestling practice in the four years they’ve known each other. OK, 1) he did go to wrestling practice that time he was dating the female wrestler, Kristy, and 2) you never mentioned your sister in the four years you’ve known each other, Slater, so you really don’t have room to talk. Anyway, Zack turns on the charm while he and J.B. are at wrestling practice, and they sneak away to the Max while Slater’s busy getting touchy-feely with a bunch of sweaty guys.

The next day, Lisa is all abuzz about the love flame between Zack and J.B. Zack decides he’d better tell Slater what’s going on between him and J.B. before the news makes it onto Page Six of the Bayside school newspaper. Slater tells Zack he’s OK with it but secretly dispatches Screech to ask out J.B. first because, as he puts it, “Zack has busier lips than I do.” Screech ponders the concept of “busy lips.” The rest of us throw up at the thought of Slater getting busy with his lips.

Memo to Bitchface there on the end: This is not about you.

Slater’s plan is ultimately doomed, a) because it’s a dumb plan, like how is one person asking J.B. out going to prevent someone else from asking her out? and b) because he chose Screech to execute it. Once Screech discovers that J.B. isn’t into bugs, he deems that Zack would be a much better match for her. What perfect timing, because Zack just walked in to ask J.B. out! Slater immediately moves on to Plan B, which is to ask Tori out and make it a double date.

On the date, Slater is doing everything in his power to keep Zack and J.B. apart, such as driving really badly. Well, I guess if you kill them, they can’t date. Great plan, Slater! Tori, meanwhile, is acting like they’re on an actual date and is getting really pissy that Slater’s not paying attention to her. Memo to Slater: When you require a partner in crime to execute your schemes, it’s good to let him or her in on the scheme itself. Eventually, Slater resorts to really, really fakely choking on some popcorn, which causes Tori to give him the Heimlich with the whole movie theater watching. Slater claims to be scarred by his near-death experience with a popcorn kernel and makes everyone go home.

Because nothing says “sensitivity” like a bear carcass on your head.

The next day, Belding, fresh from male sensitivity training, decides he’s going to make the guys’ gym class do some male bonding. For some reason this involves Belding wearing an actual bear’s head on his head and all the guys wearing fur pelts over their gym clothes. Where’s Jessie with a good PETA-type protest when you need her?! Oh, the bonding exercise also requires a fake campfire and some sort of stick. Anyway, Screech and Ox get all emotional about the respective pressures of being a geek and a jock, and then they hug and cry. Why do they need some ritual with animal pelts and fake fire for this? Why can’t they just watch The Breakfast Club? It’s a lot more entertaining, and no animals had to die for it. Anyway, Belding gives Slater the stick, and Slater goes off on Zack for dating his sister, then throws off his fur pelt in anger! Ooooooh!

“I think your scrunchie just tried to attack me!”

Later, Zack and J.B. are parked at some unspecified location that, in keeping with this episode’s Happy Days-esque theme, we’ll call Inspiration Point. Zack turns to J.B. and tells her how beautiful she looks. Yeah, if you can manage to forget the fact that a huge neon-orange scrunchie is obliterating most of her head! Anyway, as soon as Zack goes in for the kiss, J.B. morphs into Slater, chastising Zack for being a horrible friend. Man, Mario Lopez is one ugly woman! In his case, I think the huge orange scrunchie actually helps. Anyway, Zack freaks out and tells J.B. that maybe they should call it quits.

Seriously, you guys, I think J.B. has some sort of scrunchie fetish. Although in this case, at least it’s partially eclipsed by the utter hideousness of Zack’s jacket.

At the sock hop, Lisa and Tori (both of whom are wearing a few too many scarves) tell Zack (who is wearing one too many jackets with a sequined lapel) that he should go talk to J.B. (who has totally ruined her cute ’50s strapless dress with yet another ill-placed scrunchie). But before he can, Slater (in Danny Zuko finery) walks in. Determined to put his male sensitivity training to use, Mr. Belding (incarnating The Fonz and not doing too bad a job of it) brokers an understanding between the two of them before any of the items on his body can end up in the punchbowl again. With their “band” back together, The Five Aces (aka The Zack Attack, circa 1950) lip sync J.B. right back to the SBTB Bermuda Triangle from whence she came.

Quote of the episode
Screech (to J.B.): “Wow, you’re a girl now!” (to Tori) “There’s hope for you yet!”

Grade: B-
Yes, it’s a Tori episode, but it’s one in which Tori’s scenes are rightly kept to a minimum. It’s also one that features Belding wearing a bear carcass on his head, some really funny lip-synching, Slater in an orange scrunchie, not to mention J.B., Slater’s mysterious long-lost sister, who must be like the sovereign of the SBTB Bermuda Triangle.

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