Plot: Fillmore and Ingrid get a tip from a recent collar that someone’s going to try to steal the answer key to the upcoming important pre-algebra test. Mrs. Cornwall, the teacher, hears Fillmore and Ingrid’s warning, but instead of locking up the answer key tight, she puts it in an unlocked drawer in the unlocked classroom and even tells the whole class where it’s hidden. She firmly believes in the honor code and has faith that her students won’t steal the answer key. Fillmore, however, is not so trusting.
Breakdown: This episode had its moments, but ultimately didn’t click with me as much as I’d like. I liked the idea of Fillmore staying in the school all by himself overnight and with a following snow day. Without Ingrid, he’s left entirely alone as he guards the test answers. However, I have to call bunk on that since no school staff would just let a kid stay overnight by himself.
I find it even more ridiculous that they’re, no questions, calling a snow day and even closing all of the roads and not running plow trucks when the snow outside is clearly shallow enough to easily walk in. I’ll give this leeway if they live in a state that so rarely gets snow that they shutdown for the tiniest snowfall, but we don’t know where this is.
I can’t help but side firmly with Fillmore here. Mrs. Cornwall has good reason to believe in the honor system so much. When she was a student in X Middle School, she accidentally got a hold of a test answer sheet, but ignored it, answered honestly and admitted what happened to her teacher. She got a C on her test, but won an award for being an honorable student.
Problem is, she WAS kinda wrong for having such faith in her students. Even though the group of ne’er do wells who were attempting to jack the answers did eventually see the error of their ways, it was only after a massive chase with Fillmore, turning the school upside down, holding Fillmore’s fish hostage, threatening to freeze it alive and nearly getting it killed before they finally relented.
If Fillmore didn’t intervene and spend the night at the school, those kids would’ve certainly taken the answers and used them without question. To me, it just makes the message seem rather flimsy.
The idea that all of the students would have upheld their honor code by default and not taken the answers when they could is a very nice thought, but it’s a bit ridiculous to think all of them would. To her credit, a good deal of her class chose not to even try it, though whether that was born of honor or fear of getting caught is another matter entirely.
Since Ingrid is gone for a good chunk of this episode, she has to help Fillmore through walkie-talkies and the use of her super cool new robot that I think she might have built for a Battlebots/Robot Wars reference, which, if true, is insanely awesome.
Despite being away for so long, she did still have some good moments and even saved Fillmore’s butt with her robot.
Here are some weird facts about her part of the story, though. Ingrid’s sister, Ariella, looks damn near identical to her with the only differences being that she’s slightly taller, has a bit of a different haircut and glasses. They also both seem like they’re geniuses.
In addition, despite getting all of one line, they got Anthony Friggin’ Stewart Head to play Ingrid’s father…..This episode and Red Robins Don’t Fly are the only episodes Professor Third appears in, and I don’t even remember him having a line or appearing at all in the aforementioned episode. Why? How? Just…What? Why would you get such a big name for such a non-part? He was even still performing on Buffy at the time! What is this!?
All in all, this isn’t a bad episode by any stretch, but the moral has a bunch of problems with it, the logic has more problems than it usually does (Principal Folsom will be livid when she seems the state of the school) and it wasn’t even as funny as it usually is. The funniest part of this episode was a running gag about O’Farrell trying to take pictures of his own butt because he’s trying to prove he has one….It makes sense in context.
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