Recap: Miss Sherwood, who's suddenly doubling as a math teacher, is admonishing the class for being unmotivated, lazy fuckwits. As she tries to get them to do some calculations in their heads, Dwight shouts out the answers, then proudly tells her he's able to do the math so fast 'cause his watch is also a calculator. Miss Sherwood starts railing about their over-reliance on machines, and bitches about how it's reaching the point to where they can't think on their own anymore. She snarks that if it were up to her, they'd throw every calculator and computer into the river. Bruno chuckles and tells her she's being naive...while he, in contrast, often enjoys the aid of a synthesizer to help him generate his craptastic music - a practice Mr. Shorofsky openly abhors. He adds that her attitude about technology has a lot to do with age, and pronounces that adults typically regard computers as a threat, whereas young people view them as an opportunity. Miss Sherwood looks aghast at that notion, then polls the students as to how many of them agree with that...and pretty much everyone raises their hands. She then shoots Bruno the stink-eye and smugly decrees, "I'm about to make you an offer you can't refuse."
The students are gyrating in the school's lobby to a loud drum beat when two deliverymen wheel in two large boxes. Dwight excitedly tells Danny it must be the S21 computer, then dreamily tells him it has data re-conversion, DMA, and bit-slice capabilities. Sounds very impressive. He breathlessly adds, "It's the future" but Danny just shrugs disinterestedly and ambles off to bop to the gyrating.
Miss Sherwood is in the office, snarking on the phone to someone at the phone company about how her home phone service service got accidentally cancelled because of a computer glitch...and as that's happening, Mrs. Berg takes possession of the new computer from the deliverymen. Miss Sherwood finishes her call, grimly eyes the new computer, and asks Mrs. Berg whassup with this hunk o' junk. Mrs. Berg informs her that the board of education sent it over to help with her record keeping.
Ms. Grant asks Mrs. Berg if she's seen Mr. Reardon, and Mrs. Berg tells her that he left a message saying he'll meet her in the dance gym before class. She then asks Ms. Grant if Mr. Reardon is feeling OK, and explains that he's not looking so hot.
An exhausted looking Mr. Reardon tells Ms. Grant he'd like to watch the dance number she's been working on with her class so he can see where it fits into the upcoming show. Ms. Grant directs her students to begin dancing...and it's an extremely low energy number with a lot of bending, toe pointing, and swaying. Mr. Reardon props his head against the wall and falls asleep.
As Mrs. Berg does her best to immerse herself in the computer manual, she remarks to Mr. Shorofsky that the S21 keeps track of all kinds of student information. Mr. Shorofsky's like, "Meh", makes it clear he's totally unimpressed, and says it sounds like the computer wants to take over her job. He tells her that she's the one who keeps the school running smoothly - something a machine could never do. Mrs. Berg chides him for dumping on the poor computer and insists it's only here to help her with her daily tasks...but Mr. Shorofsky insists that thing is not to be trusted, and that he worries computers will soon take over the world. Heh. What a wise, prophetic old sage you were, Mr. Shorofsky.
Ms. Grant tells Mr. Reardon how miffed she is that he fell asleep during her class's low energy dance performance. He tells her there's a perfectly good explanation for his exhaustion: he's spending his nights rehearsing for an off off Broadway show.
Mrs. Berg is in the cafeteria, still immersed in the computer manual...and Miss Sherwood tells her how impressed she is that she's trying to make sense of all that techno-gobbly-goop. Mrs. Berg tells her that Mr. Shorofsky thinks the computer is out to get her job - but she's confident that the board of education halfwits would never do anything as awful as replace her with a machine. She earnestly adds, "The school is my whole world. I give the teachers and students everything" and Miss Sherwood smilingly nods in agreement and replies, "Anybody could see that."
Bruno glumly tells the Fame kids that Miss Sherwood challenged him to create "a production without people". Everyone tells him that that's an impossible feat, but Bruno chides them for having no faith and declares, "I have a secret weapon." The camera then cuts to him telling his pop that he now regrets shooting his mouth off about having a secret weapon...when the truth is: he has absolutely no idea how he's going to complete this assignment. Bruno says that Miss Sherwood promised to bump up the class average if he pulls it off, which seems nonsensical and unfair to both him and the entire class. He then suddenly looks as though he just got a brilliant idea, exclaims, "Secret weapon!" then gets on the phone and calls Dwight.
The next day, Dwight is hanging in the music room with Bruno as the two discuss Miss Sherwood's assignment. He tells Bruno it's not actually possible to create a production with zero human input, 'cause the computer is merely a tool that humans program to make it do what they want. I'm glad at least one person at the School of the Arts understands the concept of a computer. Dwight then says that if he could get access to the computer that's currently in the office, along with some rockin' AV equipment, the two of them could put together an awesome show. Oh joy.
Miss Sherwood is on the phone again, continuing to sort out her problems with the phone company. Bruno enters the office and asks Mrs. Berg if he can switch study hall to third period so he can work on a project with Dwight, but Mrs. Berg informs him that third period is being cancelled for an impromptu special event in the theater that all students are required to attend.
Ms. Grant introduces stage, film, and TV actress Brenda Vaccaro to the Fame kids, and says she's here for a Q&A session that will, in no way, be connected to the episode's main storyline. I wonder if Brenda Vaccaro just happened to be available for filming that day, and since they had room for some filler, they stuck this scene in. The kids applaud as the lovely Brenda Vaccaro invites questions from the audience...and stupid Doris leaps up and asks her if she's ever had to change her physical appearance for a role. Brenda [refrains from strongly recommending to Doris that she get a top-to-bottom makeover and] diplomatically says, "Always be proud of who you are". Coco asks her if it's reasonable to drop out of school if she's able to get an agent and land acting jobs, and Brenda says that while it's not a bad idea to look for work while she's still a student, she doesn't recommend cutting short her education. Awkward...she must not be aware of the rule against School of the Arts students going on auditions (even though it's never actually enforced). Danny asks her how she handles fame, and if it ever gets annoying to sign autographs and interact with fans. Brenda says it's never a pain to acknowledge fans, and that she's always appreciative and gracious to the people who gush about her performances. After the Q&A, Coco confronts Mr. Reardon about landing a role in the off off Broadway play, then snappishly asks him if that's fair, considering the rule that prevents students from auditioning. He shrugs and goes, "Probably not", but says he's A-OK with taking full advantage of the opportunities he's being given. He then wanks her by telling her that she has more talent than most of the dregs who attend this school, and that that's probably not fair either...but it shouldn't stop her from taking full advantage of it. Coco stares into space, silently mulling over that flawed logic.
Miss Sherwood is in the teachers' lounge, on hold with the phone company and railing to her colleagues about her phone service woes. I wish she'd get her damn phone problems resolved and shut up about it already. When a registered letter arrives, Ms. Grant signs for it, then rips it open, reads it, and looks aghast. She hangs up on Miss Sherwood's call...and when Miss Sherwood is all, "Wha-a?!" Ms. Grant informs her colleagues that the board is planning to fire Mrs. Berg. Mr. Shorofsky snaps, "WHAT??!" and a bewildered Miss Sherwood asks who the board thinks is going to run the office. Ms. Grant says, according to the letter, the computer is going to run the office. Interesting personnel decision. I hope the faculty remembers to always keep it plugged in. Miss Sherwood points out that someone is going to have to break the news to Mrs. Berg...and when everyone just stares at each other in mute horror, Mr. Shorofsky steps up and volunteers.
After dance class, Bruno tells Leroy he needs a favor. Leroy moans and bitches about how he has no time for no favors...but then gives in when Bruno tells him that all he needs to do to fulfill the favor is gyrate on stage.
Dwight is using the computer in the office to create an animation of a stick person dancing...and Leroy, Bruno, and Mrs. Berg look on in awed fascination. Mrs. Berg then scrunches her face in confusion and says she has no idea how this machine is supposed to help her with her attendance records. A few seconds later, a Mrs. Kylie from the board of education arrives to show Mrs. Berg how to set up the computer. Mrs. Berg proudly tells her that she read the entire instruction manual, then admits she didn't understand a single word.
Doris tells the Fame kids about the rumor that's been circulating around the school: Mrs. Berg is being replaced by a computer. Bruno feels bad about being so enthusiastic about technology, and Leroy suggests they just snatch the computer and dump it in a river. Bruno's all, "Wha-a? It costs thousands of dollars!" and Leroy shoots back, "And how much is Mrs. Berg worth?!"
The next morning, Mrs. Berg arrives at work and notices that the computer is missing from her desk. Egads! She looks alarmed and mutters, "Oh my.."
Everyone is herded into the theater. Mr. Shorofsky tells them that if the computer doesn't turn up soon, they're going to have to notify the police about the theft. He strongly urges whoever took the dumb thing to return it promptly so that the matter can be swept under the rug. Mrs. Kylie takes the mic and snarks that this dump of a school has a shitty reputation for being cost effective, then bitches about how it took a small miracle for her to get the school onto the "new technology recipients" list. Mr. Shorofsky rolls his eyes and abruptly barks, "Dismissed!" - LOL - and the students file out.
Julie, Coco, and Danny confront Leroy in the hall. Julie solemnly tells him, "This isn't funny anymore" and urges him to return the computer. Leroy says that while he strongly suggested stealing it, he didn't actually carry out the criminal misdeed. When the three just stare back at him suspiciously, he snarkishly insists he didn't take it, and angrily storms off.
Dwight admits to Doris and Bruno that he's the culprit, then hastily adds that he didn't steal the computer so much as move it to the orchestra pit. He explains that he's tired of going through life as a complete dork who's always out-of-step and out-of-style...and hates the fact that he enrolled in a school of rebels only to join the establishment by becoming a dickishly militant hall monitor. (You can quit being a douche anytime, dude.) Doris and Bruno mull over his confessions and decide they should talk to Miss Sherwood about the computer off the record...and then the two exit the music room, leaving Dwight sitting alone and dejectedly staring into space.
Bruno and Doris babble to Miss Sherwood about how her assignment taught them something...but that the something wasn't at all what they thought it would be. Miss Sherwood looks confused and is all, "Wha-a?" so they cut to the chase and tell her that they need her help to put together a command performance.
Showtime! Bruno introduces the "almost people-free" performance by standing next to a giant screen on stage, and then Dwight reveals the presence of the "stolen" computer in the orchestra pit. Everyone gasps in shock, even though the giant computer would have been impossible to miss for anyone who had taken a good look in the direction of the orchestra pit. Leroy takes the stage and starts gyrating in tandem with ghastly looking, low resolution images that appear to mimic his movements on the giant screen, and Bruno sings in a microphone that garbles his voice and makes it sound computer generated. The audience is utterly dazzled by the odd spectacle, which goes on for an interminably loooooong time. When Leroy finally stops gyrating, the audience applauds wildly, Mrs. Sherwood grins appreciatively, and Bruno gives Dwight the thumbs up. Mrs. Kylie, who is not at all impressed with how the computer was just used, storms onto the stage and announces that she expects the computer to be returned to the office asap. Ms. Grant jumps up from her seat and is like, "Noooo chile!" and declares that the computer is now the property of the dance department, and says that since the board of education never specified exactly what the computer was to be used for, they'll just do whatever they like with it. I doubt that any board of education would meekly go along with that, but OK. Ms. Grant sassily reminds Mrs. Kylie that the school is filled with performing artists, and when they find something that can "generate this kind of spectacle, create this kind of vision, and put out this kind of heat"...LOL LOL LOL... She pauses for a seconds before she adamantly declares, "Honey - this belongs in the dance department!" and bids a bewildered Mrs. Kylie a brusque farewell. After Mrs. Kylie storms off in a huff [presumably to urge the chair of the board to begin termination proceedings against Ms. Grant], Ms. Grant urges the students to leap onto the stage and dance along to the horrible '80s graphics on the giant screen.
Mr. Shorofsky, meanwhile, escorts Mrs. Berg to the dance gym, then sits at the piano and says, "Now it's our turn." He starts playing a classical melody, and Mrs. Berg happily dances as though she's in a ballroom, in the arms of a dance partner. Sweet!
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