Nurse Wretched

Paging Carrie Bradshaw!

Paging Carrie Bradshaw!

Zack and Kelly are at Kelly’s front door, having just returned from seeing Ernest Goes to Jail. Despite some heckling from Kelly’s kid brother, Zack works up the courage to ask her to “go steady” with him, and while I think the answer here should be pretty obvious (“Sorry, but I can’t have a boyfriend who actually thinks taking me to see Ernest Goes to Jail is an acceptable date; also, for the last freaking time, no one says ‘go steady’ anymore!”), Kelly says she wants to sleep on it. While she ponders this question, let’s ponder what Kelly has chosen to wear on her date, which is a skintight acid-washed dress so low-cut that it is blatantly exposing her floral bra. I am pretty sure I’ve seen Carrie Bradshaw wearing that outfit or something very similar on Sex & the City, and I can’t believe Kelly’s parents let her out of the house in it.

The next day at school, Screech is wearing some neon gym-wear and doing push-ups in the hall in an attempt to cram for the upcoming school physicals. Jessie brags about how she’s going to ace her physical (ugh, goody two-shoes), but Slater, who you’d think would also be a shoo-in for high marks on the physical, looks distinctly uncomfortable about the whole subject. I can’t really blame him, though, when we find out that the school nurse’s name is apparently Nurse Butcher. (Then again, one of my pediatricians was named Dr. Payne, and he was very nice, so you can’t really judge a book by its cover.) Anyway, all this physical talk is cut short when Zack walks up to brag that he expects to be “going steady” with Kelly by the end of the day.

One of the lesser-known Cullen siblings.

One of the lesser-known Cullen siblings.

Except not so fast, because after everyone else has left for class and Zack is still in the hallway (where’s Belding with a detention slip when you need him?), an ostensibly hot girl…er, woman walks up and asks Zack for directions to the nurse’s office. In case you have doubts about her hotness (as I do), the SBTB producers have helpfully festooned her with sparkles and added some swoony music every time Zack looks at her. (Either that, or she’s a Stephenie Meyer-variety vampire.) Anyway, Zack is so enamored with her sparkliness that he can barely speak and has to resort to gesticulating wildly to pass along directions to the nurse’s office.

Meanwhile in Mrs. Simpson’s class, Her Deafness introduces this week’s unit: poetry. Lisa and Screech get up to read their super-lame poems about shopping and waking up (seriously). Just as I’m starting to hope that Slater will have a Jack McPhee-like moment with a poem about his undying love for Zack, class is interrupted by Belding on the intercom, who has agreed to take his flu shot publicly to assure the students that there’s nothing to worry about. His cries of pain after a diabolical-looking Nurse Butcher stabs him would suggest otherwise. Anyway, Kelly’s lame poem (“That Special Someone”) is next, and it would be pretty easy to figure out that it’s totally about Zack even if she hadn’t been making googly eyes at him throughout the recitation (which he doesn’t seem to notice, since he’s too busy hallucinating Sparkly Hallway Lady in place of Kelly). Thankfully, the Lame Poetry Hour ends here, when Zack, Jessie, and a random extra are paged to the nurse’s office.

Cut to said office, where Jessie is reading letters off of an eye chart. Apparently her physical-passing abilities were way overstated, because Nurse Butcher tells her she needs glasses. Jessie is uncharacteristically dismayed at this news (I would’ve thought she’d welcome the chance to revisit her sexy-librarian photo shoot), and she asks Zack what he thinks. Zack basically tells her, “Guys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses,” because, as we have already observed, Zack’s brain resides in the 1950s. Jessie’s all, “My life is OVER!” Has she never heard of contact lenses?

Given that she dresses like a common prostitute to go to her job, can you really blame Zack for thinking that Jennifer might be receptive to his advances?

Given that she dresses like a common prostitute to go to her job, can you really blame Zack for thinking that Jennifer might be receptive to his advances?

As Jessie leaves to despair about her four-eyed future, Zack takes a seat on the table and is soon greeted by Sparkly Hallway Lady, aka Jennifer, who is shadowing Nurse Butcher in preparation to take her job when she retires. Jennifer’s uniform appears to have been purchased at the local adult superstore, since it is waaaay too short to be any kind of professional ensemble. And her nametag, instead of reading “Nurse Whatever,” just says “Jennifer.” Also super-professional! But clearly professionalism is not Jennifer’s strong suit, as she totally plays into Zack’s blatant flirting/drooling instead of actually giving him a physical and flu shot.

Meanwhile in the hallway, Kelly is waiting for Zack to finish his physical so that she can give him her answer about “going steady.” Despite Zack’s horrendous taste in movies and general Don Draper-esque outlook on life, Kelly has decided to be his girlfriend. Too bad Zack is too obsessed with sparkly vampire Jennifer to even remember asking Kelly to “go steady” in the first place.

Over at the Max, Lisa and Jessie are relentlessly teasing Slater about his needle phobia when Kelly rushes in, devastated after getting the brush-off from Zack. Lisa and Jessie reassure her that it’s probably nothing, and then Jessie pulls her new Warby Parker specs out of her purse and models them for the other girls, who can barely hide their distaste. Don’t worry, Jessie—just wait 15 years, move to Portland, get a job at American Apparel, and you’ll fit right in.

No, Zack. Just no.

No, Zack. Just no.

Back at Chez Morris, Zack is dressed in a blue silk shirt and a blue suit, which he has peg-rolled the legs of. I…can’t even. He’s practicing greetings to deploy on Jennifer, including, “Yo! Jen babe!,” which I would also advise against. Jessie enters through the window to inquire why he’s cooled on Kelly, and Zack reluctantly admits to his crush on Jennifer. Instead of pointing out that Jennifer is an adult school employee who would be putting both her career and her life outside the pokey on the line if she were to respond to Zack’s advances (though it’s not totally off base, as Jennifer does seem a little slutty), Jessie calls Zack a pig and asks if he thinks he can date them both.

Cue the fantasy sequence! Dr. McNotDreamy (aka Zack) is being prepped for surgery with kisses from Nurses Kelly and Jennifer, who have really stepped it up in the adult superstore nurse costume department. Did I mention Screech is the anesthetist? It’ll be a miracle if the patient, Mr. Belding, makes it out of this fantasy sequence alive.

The next day in Mrs. Simpson’s class, it’s time for more bad poetry! The worst entry yet may be the one written on the board. I quote:

“Some clouds look like a face
Some clouds are in a race
But when I look at a cloud
It really makes me proud.”

WTF? Would it have killed the producers to just copy some Wordsworth? Anyway, both Zack and Slater manage to get out of hearing any more lame poetry by faking an illness (Zack) and being summoned for a flu shot (Slater). Slater looks terrified as he slinks away (to the sounds of the funeral march being hummed by his fellow students), but there is no way a flu shot can be more painful than that cloud poem.

Sorry, Slater, the big embrace will have to wait until later.

Sorry, Slater, the big embrace will have to wait until later.

In the nurse’s office, we see that Zack has chosen to lead with “Hi there, Jennifer” (acceptable), but still has the legs to his suit pants rolled up (unacceptable). But before he can declare his love, Jennifer leaves the room to get a thermometer to check his phony symptoms, pulling the divider curtain shut as she goes. Slater enters next, pretending to be Jennifer to get a little sweet talk for himself. Zack is horrified when he pulls back the curtain and realizes it’s Slater standing there and not Jennifer. Slater’s response: “I’m yours!” Sadly, the only thing that is actually Zack’s is Slater’s flu shot, which he gets blackmailed into taking so that Slater doesn’t out his crush on Jennifer to Kelly.

However, the flu shot did not buy Slater’s silence where Lisa and Jessie are concerned, and it takes very little for the truth to come out (despite Jessie and Slater’s lame attempts to discuss it in code). Lisa, ever the voice of reason, suggests they simply tell Jennifer about Zack’s crush and have her take care of it.

Well, this is awkward.

Well, this is awkward.

Her version of taking care of it turns out to be turning the sluttiness up to 11 (even trading her adult superstore nurse’s uniform for an Official Hot Girl Uniform and gigantic hoop earrings, so we know this is serious) and calling Zack on his bluff. He’s digging it until she mentions her violent wrestler husband, at which point he can’t get away fast enough.

With Jennifer out of the picture, Zack beats a hasty retreat for Kelly’s doorstep, only to be confronted by Melvin Nerdly, the chess-team alternate he asked Screech to set Kelly up with to distract her. Unfortunately for Zack, Melvin Nerdly’s last name is not an indicator of his one-dimensional high-school personality—in addition to being a chess whiz, he’s also a multi-sport athlete and part-time model who can dance the lambada, looks rather fetching in a jean jacket, and would probably never take his girlfriend to an Ernest movie. Sorry, Zack—but I’m pretty sure Slater is still available.

Quote of the episode
“I liked the old school cheer better.” –Mrs. Simpson, after hearing Belding’s anguished scream over the PA

Grade: B
After years of pining over Kelly, it seems pretty unbelievable that Zack would ditch her so quickly for a woman who’s not even all that hot (the oversized T-shirt belted over a short skirt isn’t fooling me). Kelly’s probably better off with the well-rounded Melvin Nerdly, but like Jennifer, he’s SBTB Bermuda Triangle-bound.

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