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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Teacher's Bet

We open with Cory and Shawn talking about Barry Bonds making millions of dollars a year. Minkus overhears and is disgusted that sports stars make so much but Feeny only makes about $40,000. Cory and Shawn are amazed by this figure and can't believe he makes so much, but Minkus thinks he's quite underpaid. Cory points out that Feeny doesn't actually DO anything, because the material never changes and all Feeny has to do is tell students the same thing year after year.

In class, Feeny assigns The Diary of Anne Frank as part of the unit on prejudice. Cory makes a disparaging comment and Feeny calls him out after class. Cory doesn't really apologize, he just says that since teaching is so easy, his smart ass comments stir things up and make it interesting for Feeny. Mr. Feeny ponders this and gives Cory the opportunity to teach one of his classes for the rest of the week. If more students than normal pass the test, Cory will get 1/5 of Feeny's paycheck. If more fail, Feeny will get Cory's new bike.

Cory rushes home to tell Alan and Amy about the bet. They have some reservations, but Cory just brushes it off. Eric brings home a new girlfriend, Linda. Linda is very pretty and smart and happens to be Japanese.

The next day is Cory's first class. He pretty much throws one big party and assigns the same homework as Feeny did. Minkus points that out and Cory says he knows 6th graders sometimes don't do homework, so he's giving everyone a second chance. Minkus replies that he did do his homework, so Cory gives him an assignment to get a life.

Alan asks how the class went and Cory says it was great, they partied and Shawn taught Feeny to play poker. Alan says that's fun and all, but wonders if he actually taught anything and Cory says no, because the book is the teacher. Alan raises his eyebrows at that and inquires if Cory's actually read the book. Cory skimmed it and came to the conclusion it was about the Nazi's and when there was prejudice a long time ago. Alan tells Cory he's going to lose his bike.

That scares Cory and he asks Shawn for help getting the class back under control, but Shawn blows him off. He tries to call roll, but Topanga is mediating, Minkus gets sassy, and the class gets out of control. Cory just sort of sits there defeated.

At home later, Cory is actually reading the book and realizes it's sort of hard to be a teacher. Eric leads Linda in and sits her on the couch. Linda is sobbing and distraught, and it's not until Morgan asks what's wrong that Eric tells them someone called Linda a really bad name and the mall. Amy takes Morgan into the kitchen and Cory is incredulous that something like that happened that day in their neighborhood.

The next day in class, Cory tells everyone about what happened with Linda. No one pays attention and Cory almost quits, but then turns around and asked Shawn his mother's maiden name. Shawn tells him it was Cordini and Cory calls him a wop. Everyone immediately stops what they're doing and looks. Shawn starts pushing Cory and tells him he's going to kill him. Cory stops him and asks what Shawn would do if he lived in a country where he could be killed just because of his name. He gives the class a speech about racism being bad and says everyone has to read the book and pass the test so that they can all stand up and fight against prejudice.

It turns out the bet is a draw and neither Cory nor Mr. Feeny have to give anything up. Cory is happy but can't believe people still failed. Feeny says it'll happen no matter what, but Shawn got a B and usually gets C's so Cory must've gotten through. This makes Cory feel better and he realizes he learned an important lesson, too.


*Shawn has a different denim vest. Still has the ripped sleeves, but with a classy collar, not a sweat hood.

* While Cory teaches, Feeny is a student. His student clothes are a Phillies jersey and a Meat Loaf hat/sweatshirt combo. Feeny is such a fashionista.

*When Eric brings Linda home, she asks Morgan if Eric's brought home lots of girls. Morgan says there's been billions. I have a very scientific girl tally, and this is not the case.

*At one point Alan brings groceries home in a reusable bag. The Matthews were on the cutting edge of the green trend, people.

*On the first day of class, Cory says he's doing away with the no hats policy and Topanga asks if they can also go against dress code so she can wear a sari. Wouldn't those rules be established by the school and not Mr. Feeny?

*Feeny is late to class and says he was "chillin with his homies."

*At the end, Linda makes the cheerleading team. Amy used to be a cheerleader and does this ridiculous, cheesy cheer. Eric says cheerleading is cool and cutting edge, but Linda demonstrates the exact same cheer.

Girl Tally:
Eric- 3
Shawn- 0
Cory- 1


  1. I love how the world turns into Mississippi circa the 1950s whenever a sitcom character encounters someone nonwhite, and the non main characters exhibit racism. It happens in the BSC with Jessi and on 7th Heaven whenever the Hamiltons show up. Not that there isn't racism IRL, but it's never as depicted in sitcoms.

  2. I agree. I don't think any "very special" situation is ever portrayed very realistically. I'm so looking forward to the episode where Cory drinks after Topanga dumps him. That's going to be tops.

  3. I love that one! I love how Cory and Shawn pee on a cop car. Now if that isn't a bromance, what is?

  4. I just came across your blog and I'm so excited to follow along through the seasons. I just started re-watching the series a couple of weeks ago so this is perfect timing!

  5. I honestly have zero recollection of this episode. But that's not surprising - I've only ever watched the show in syndication and I tended to skip over the first season.

    But yeah, like Sadako said. In sitcoms racism is never ever subtle. And I also LOVE the Cory and Shawn get drunk episode. The gay subtext is deep in that one, particularly with Alan's reaction. We know what he's really worried Shawn leading Cory into.

  6. Are all the eps available on DVD now? because if they are I am buying them! I've only seen the first 3 seasons.

  7. Kristin, only the first 3 seasons are on DVD. If you're in the US, ABS Family plays two episodes every weekday morning. I think it's the 6th season right now.