Student Seduction, starring Saved By the Bell’s Jessie Spano!
This movie opens right up to the police barging into a high school and asking for some dude named Joshua. He is confused.
Then they go to Jessie Spano’s classroom and she’s teaching her students about oxidation. She asks the police if they need her for more questioning so she is not confused- did she call them? They tell her she can’t finish her class and have her come with them.
The cops who have Joshua in custody walk right into these cops, which seems a bit messy and also opens everything up to school gossip when the bell rings and students flood out and see both a student and a teacher with the police. Joshua continues to look confused.
Cut to, an alarm going off at 6am and Jessie Spano’s husband getting all frisky, while she apparently sleeps in full makeup and a black lace nighty. This scene has the “one month earlier” text on it so we know this happened one month ago. Husband tells her that only her could make chemistry sexy and then they make out a lot in a long sexy scene that is to show that this lady is in a great marriage. After they do it she says “we have to be more careful about getting pregnant.” Um, that thought should come BEFORE the sex. Husband is all “or, less careful…” with a raised eyebrow but she isn’t having it and shoves him off. They go downstairs and husband brings it up again and she says that she can’t take maternity leave right now because this is her first year teaching. He makes a pretty gross comment about how she already has a job being a doctor’s wife- “isn’t that every woman’s dream?” Ew.
This next scene really happens- Jessie Spano pulls up to school and just sits in the car mildly jamming to some boring alterna-rock song.
She’s not singing along or anything, just slightly bobbing her head. Some student gets dropped off and goes up to the car all “is this ‘Take Me Away’?” and Jessie says she just loves this song and the student admits that it’s great but she doesn’t have it yet. END SCENE.
What the eff just happened? Was that clever product placement for the band Lifehouse?
In school we see Joshua and he’s in the hall making out with some blonde so he’s clearly a ladies man. Another teacher calls this couple “two future members of the unwed parents club.” Laughs. Jessie says she should remember what it was like to be that age. I think we’re supposed to believe that Jessie Spano is young here because she is mistaken for a student in the next minute. Ummmmm, no. She’s 30 something and also not dressed like a student at all and she has her full hair and makeup done.
She’s teaching chemistry and Joshua is kind of dumb. He shatters a beaker because he removes it from heat abruptly after everyone tells him not to and he just sits there with a hangdog look on his face like “wha…happened?”. His lab partner is pissed.
Joshua tells Jessie Spano that he is going to have to drop the class because it’s messing with his average and then we’re in a counseling session with them, Joshua’s parents and the principal.
Joshua’s dad claims that this new hotshot teacher is the problem because she runs her class like it’s a college course (it’s a senior level chemistry class, shouldn’t it be sort of like a college course?) and that his son’s grades shouldn’t suffer. No one agrees with him and it’s decided that Jessie Spano will be doing some tutoring after school a few times a week, ON HER OWN TIME to help this idiot. His dad doesn’t even thank her. Dad needs to wake up and smell the coffee, the coffee that smells like your idiot son.
Joshua is a little too into the tutoring idea but Jessie Spano is such a wide eyed baby about this whole teaching thing that she doesn’t notice and mistakes his boner for a boner for learning about chemistry. Rookie mistake!
She is pretty hard ass with him until she totally lets him take her out to a burger place that other kids hang out at… but this seems to happen on other teen shows so maybe it’s not weird? After graduating, I’d hang out one-on-one with my history teacher. My sister, who was in his class, was the only one who hated that haha. He’s telling her that his dad expects him to go to an Ivy league school but luckily dad is an alum with money so this doofus should be fine. She tells him about her marriage and how she worked to put her husband through medical school before going to “the teacher’s college.” He’s all “whoa, you supported him?” because no women in his family work or support the family (not a joke, he’s really never heard of that).
Joshua is dumb enough to tell her that she doesn’t look like most people who are good at science because she is “a babe.” She is uncomfortable but also pissed and asks him if attractive women are all stupid and he backtracks. She tells him to stick to the work and takes off.
The next day in tutoring session she’s teaching him about hydrogen bonds while he looks at her butt. He sort of gets it… but then says he still can’t do it on his own. Tutoring session is over and he asks if he can take her out for another veggie burger.
She’s all “no, that was a one time deal” and he has the audacity to say that since she’s the wife of a doctor he just thought maybe she’d be alone but he doesn’t get that sentence out before she cuts him off and tells him that’s inappropriate. She also has the smarts to inform him that she’s doing him a huge favor and that he should just appreciate that.
The blondie from before finds Joshua and basically tells him her parents aren’t home so they should “study” at her house. He unlocks his car which means he’s down with this plan. END SCENE.
Jessie Spano is at the movies where she learns that her husband won’t be joining her because he’s stuck at work. She’s kind of pissed. Then we cut to Josh and blonde girl boning in the shower, and by that of course I mean to say that they’re “studying.”
She throws on some jeans made out of denim, lace and bandanas and asks if they can get dinner at “the caboose.” I hope that’s not a euphemism.
He starts undressing her again and she says that they never go anywhere but he’s not listening. She then says “you can be such a jerk sometimes” and he FREAKS out and throws her down. “DON’T EVER CALL ME THAT!!” All the while he’s only wearing a towel that doesn’t even budge.
She tells him to leave and he does. In his glued on towel.
At school he walks right passed the girl he was just psycho to (and also banged in the shower) and on to the girl who just loves that song (from the commercial for that band earlier) and says something about needed her chemistry homework and asks if 30 dollars will make her feel better about things.
She looks really uncomfortable like she’s afraid of him though and he words things really weirdly about how they need to bury the hatchet. What has this jerk done to her? I’m sure we’ll soon find out.
Joshua is in his chemistry tutoring session giving his duhhhh face when Jessie Spano asks him what he’s thinking about and he says a girl. She tells him to go home.
In the parking lot her car won’t start and she calls… someone… and is all “yeah, it’s me again” to show us that her car breaks down all the time. They say it will be a while and she hangs up her phone and keeps trying to start it as though this time will be different.
Creepy Joshua pops up by her car all “I may be bad at chemistry, but I’m awesome at fixing cars!” and has her pop the hood. He fixes and she thanks him but then he calls her by her first name like they’re buddies and she gets her frown on. Displeased!
After the commercial she’s getting all fancied up and telling her husband what happened and he says that the problem is that she’s far too hot to be a teacher. Someone has clearly never seen the “Hot for Teacher” video. He seems to be up for some promotion or something and they have a fancy dinner to go to. Boring dinner is so boring. Jessie Spano makes some comment about how she misses her husband since he’s always at work that goes over like a lead balloon. Husband is not happy. In the car he says that he’s trying to get promoted and she’s lobbying for less hours… then she hilariously says that it’s cold in the car and that maybe Joshua can fix his car as well. Oh no she didn’t.
Back at school there is some really electronic metal playing when Jenna (the girl from the music scene is named Jenna) gets to her locker and “SLUT” has been written across it in sharpie.
She goes over to blondie and starts a fight. IT’S ON! Jessie Spano breaks it up and sends blondie to the principal’s office while asking Jenna what’s going on. Jenna fights her off and says she WANTS TO BE LEFT ALONE.
Jessie Spano then walks five feet down and sees the graffiti and ponders silently.
A short scene where husband is all passive aggressive about the comments she made at the dinner and she asks him to please stop. He apologizes and she apologizes and he smiles. Perfect marriage is back!
Jessie Spano surprises the students with a huge pizza party (that she claims cost her 30 bucks) and then she holds Jenna back and gives her a Lifehouse cd because she’s been working so hard (okay, that is weird) and tells her that she can come to her if she ever wants to talk about the fight that happened.
Some other teacher tells Jessie that her pizza party was the talk of the teacher’s lounge and that teachers are beginning to think she’s trying to win over students the easy way. Jessie brushes that off like it’s no big deal.
At home husband has fixed some kid’s leg and fixed his car heater and can’t wait to have the makeup sex with his wife.
They start and she’s all “condom” and he’s all “let’s skip it.” Oh, put that makeup sex on the backburner, husband, because now she’s pissed again! She turns off the light and goes to bed.
Joshua comes up to her after class and tells her she looks frazzled today and asks if she had a fight with her husband last night. Whoa, inappropriate! She smacks that down and tells him that is not something that he should be asking her about (while Blondie eavesdrops from the doorway). She keeps her stern face on and her distance while lecturing him. He’s all “so if I had a problem, I couldn’t come to you?” and she’s all “you know that’s not what I mean.” Him- “well, that goes both ways.” Her- “actually, it doesn’t.” He’s so dumb that you can almost see the wheels cranking and I can’t tell if it’s this actor trying to remember lines or if this character is supposed to be this vacant.
Creepy scene of Joshua and his dad where you see that the creepy apple doesn’t fall far from the creepy tree. Joshua tells his dad that Jessie Spano loves him and his dad is all “she loves you, you get good marks, everyone goes home a winner” and then sips his scotch slowly and walks out of the dark room.
Jessie Spano is swimming when Joshua swims up to her to apologize for yesterday but she’s freaked out because this is teacher swim and he’s not supposed to be there. He’s all “I GUESS I CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT” and storms off while she looks concerned (and other teachers take notice). She gets out of the pool and walks into the locker room where he surprises her and she tells him their tutoring sessions are over and that he has issues he needs to talk to his counselor about.
Joshua is clearly very good at reading signals so he decides to throw her up against a wall and kiss her. She slaps the shit out of him and tells him he’s in big trouble. He looks flushed.
Jessie Spano is meeting with the principal and her hair is still wet so this must be right after the pool scene. The principal says this is disturbing but that she’s not surprised given the rumors… Jessie has not heard these rumors. The principal does not fill her on what they are- thanks a lot? The principal also says there is nothing she can do about this. Really?? Jessie Spano is all “shouldn’t he be suspended? Can I charge him with assault?” and Principal Downer is all “do you have a witness? Why bother?” WOW. Do schools not have any policies about this? She says that maybe a complaint can be made. I am rolling my eyes so hard right now. Shouldn’t he at least be taken out of her class?
Dinner with the husband and he’s far more pissed off than the principal was. Husband thinks maybe she should stay at home some though but she thinks that will send the wrong message. Husband offers to rough up Josh if it comes to that, he’s smiling though so their perfect marriage is okay again.
Back in school Joshua is being a dick and makes a gay wedding joke instead of answering a question about bonds. Jenna answers it correctly instead.
Josh makes some under-his-breath comment of “screw you” that she hears. She says he needs to stay after class and he is all “any time” and winks like it means he’s getting lucky. What a little shit head. The class titters.
Cut to Joshua in the principal’s office! He’s horrified to hear that the principal knows that he kissed Jessie yesterday like his private business is nobody’s business. I guess he’s a very delicate flower? He’s informed that his parents are going to be called in to deal with this as well and then his detention is over. The best part is when she instructs him to steer clear of Jessie Spano except for attending her class. Seriously.
He goes running to the chemistry room in a fury but it’s locked.
Jessie Spano is at home dabbling in a little “Plumbing for Dummies” when Josh just walks into her house and surprises her. I’m getting tired of his surprises.
He is VERY HURT that she told the principal about their kiss. I wouldn’t call it a kiss so much as being shoved into a wall and having someone’s mouth smash into yours, but okay. HE BROKE UP WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND FOR HER! Is he talking about when he threw his girlfriend down and she asked him to leave? Is that the “break up” in question? She tells him that he’s very confused and he says that it’s actually her who is confused and then he begins to wrestle her down and start going through the motions of rape while she screams and fights him off. He chases her to her stairs where she again yells at him to stop and starts sobbing.
He finally seems to get it and stops all “what is going on?” but he may just have no idea how to deal with rejection… which is most likely why Jenna also hates him if you catch my drift.
Joshua angrily swims laps at his house while Jessie Spano sits in a hospital bed saying that she wants to report this assault to the police (and the asshole doctor tries to talk her out of it… shut up, asshole!). Her husband runs up all “I’ll kill him!” She says she wasn’t raped but was assaulted and wants to press charges, husband agrees.
Joshua is sitting in the dark, breathing a lot when his mom walks in surprised to see him (or surprised to see him sitting in the dark? I don’t know).
The cops do the thing where they act like it’s the lady’s fault for being assaulted and sort of undermine the whole thing like it’s no big deal. FURY. This is unfortunately realistic. She tells them about the kiss yesterday and how she fought him off and slapped him and reported it to the principal. They don’t act like they’ll be arresting him and she’s pissed off, rightly so.
Creepy Joshua’s creepy dad talks to some lawyer about how delicate this situation is and how no charges have been pressed yet (is this about yesterday and not today’s, much bigger, issue?).
The cops add to my fury by asking that other doctor, doctor naysayer, for Jessie’s medical and psychiatric history. Because she was assaulted and technically had her house broken into. Whatever. They don’t ask for any information on the abuser, weirdly.
The school is a-buzz with gossip about this whole thing and blondie and Joshua’s other douchebag friends are all “I just wish I had my turn before the cops got involved” like she is a joint being passed around a party. Blondie is all “I heard they did ecstasy together…” so basically all the cops are getting from these kids are stupid rumors someone just made up? Great.
Jenna walks up and can’t believe anyone would believe this shit. Blondie is all “didn’t you also do ecstasy with Josh all the time?” and Jenna says that she doesn’t have the first clue about what went on between them (see what I mean…). Jenna says that Jessie Spano is the best thing that ever happened to this school and they need to stop ruining good things. Did no one ever teach chemistry before? Or listen to Lifehouse? I guess she’s some kind of Dead Poet’s Society genius but we’re not getting that side since we have to see these horrible Joshua scenes instead.
Jessie Spano’s teacher friend tells her that she should be brazen and come back to school (she has taken three days off) and not let this kid win. She comes back and the friend is all “oh, he just got here, this was a terrible idea.”
Jessie then learns that Joshua didn’t even get suspended. She’s FURIOUS and, again, rightly so.
And now we’re up to the opening scene. Jessie Spano has actually been arrested and they’re just questioning Joshua because apparently his dad has convinced someone that his son has been victimized. So seeing her in custody in the hall has more weight in a different way than initially thought. Clever.
Jessie Spano is pacing in a big office-like room saying that she can’t believe this. Her lawyer explains to her that Joshua’s parents have charged her with pursuing a physical relationship with their son. He then informs her that the minimum sentence for that is 5 years in whatever state this is (despite Joshua being 17 or 18 years old). She’s all “are you trying to freak me out or calm me down?” The lawyer asks her how old she is and she says 27 (no way) and he says that she could easily pass for younger. Seriously, she has to be 30 something here and with the deep set eye brow wrinkles (for all of the furrowing acting has required) to prove it. They keep acting like she could pass for a college freshman or something and that’s ridiculous. But also, what does that have to do with anything? People could be teachers by like 23/24/25 years old all over this country, it’s not like that gives students the right to stalk and assault them. Lawyer also asks her if she did anything out of line and she says that she did not.
Lawyer informs her that there is some very damning testimony that she invited him to some party that he shouldn’t have been at (he was stalking her!) and that they were horsing around in a pool (ugh) and that she wears tight jeans (oh shut up, world) and that she tries to win over students with parties. It hits her that she is in trouble. Lawyer- “this is a runaway train and it is coming straight at you.” He really could use tips about bedside manner.
Jessie Spano is home while Josh’s parents are on the news talking about how awful this has been. She’s baffled. She decides that she should go back to school and her husband tells her that she can’t do that because she’s just been charged with a felony. He then says that maybe she was putting out signals that she wasn’t even aware of… oh god, really?? He’s saying this now while she’s in a panic about getting her job back? Not the time, husband. She gets really mad to say the least. When she calms down and says that she may have handled this badly she runs out of the room to throw up. Uh oh, someone is knocked up. In her post-vomit-calm she tells husband that they’re going to beat this.
But let’s talk about what she was wearing in this scene. It was difficult to photograph because the only full body shots were when she was walking quickly around the scene but here:
It’s an ankle length skirt made out of NAPKINS that have been sewn together and then a beige velour sweatshirt jacket and white lacy camisole. Her shoes are barely seen but I think they are clogs. Was there a strike in the wardrobe department? Did someone in wardrobe just hate Elizabeth Berkley?
Jessie Spano goes to the school to meet with the principal and she does not pull punches. She tells the principal that she was told not to file a formal complaint or assault charges and then he broke into her house and assaulted her- Principal is very sorry about that and says she defended Jessie to the school board last night or else she would have been let go today. Jessie asks if the principal will testify on her behalf and she says of course she will but that she’ll also have to say that Joshua told her that she came onto him. Jessie continues to be furious and stomps on out of there.
Jessie Spano shows up at Josh’s father’s place of business (this doesn’t seem like a good idea…) and she confronts him. He practically runs from her but she corners him and says that she wants him to take his son to the police department and be honest about what happened. Creepy dad is all “I’m calling the police!” and runs away successfully.
Jessie Spano surfs the web and learns about what happens to people who are sexual predators while letting her phone ring and ring. ANSWER YOUR PHONE. Finally, on maybe the third call (so 15th ring?) she gets up and answers it and it’s creepy Joshua. What a cock.
She’s all “how dare you have the nerve to call me” and yet again, rightfully so. He tries to tell her that he really did think she was into him but he doesn’t really get it out through her admonishing him to tell the truth. He says it was his dad’s idea to lie to the cops. Oh god, if only this call was being recorded. He then says that girls are like that- they act like they don’t like you but really they want you. She gets wise and asks him what girls act like that. He says “screw you” and hangs up instead of just letting fly that he’s assaulted other people.
Husband gets her a big book of baby names and she jokes that they could name their baby “Fulsom” or “Attica.” Prison baby jokes.
In the middle of the night Jessie Spano does a little research on her school’s website which I guess means that she can still log on as an administrator. She finds that Jenna had a 6 week medical leave last year… dun dun dun. Jessie goes to find her and Jenna’s mom is all “she has nothing to tell you” but Jenna walks right out and starts talking to Jessie who gently coaxes the sordid story out of her.
Jessie asks if Josh hurt or raped her and it’s clear that yes, that happened but she doesn’t say. Jenna, it turns out, is going to Dartmouth and is obviously poor so it looks like Josh’s creepy dad paid this girl off to keep quiet about being raped. Paying a poor kid’s college tuition as a bribe, so so gross. Jessie says she just doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else and Jenna just sobs and sobs.
Jenna leaves the car but I don’t think Jessie Spano has piece together the bribery yet.
Jessie gets home and tells her husband that her hunch was correct and he seems relieved even though it’s awful news. He’s all “I’ll call the lawyer and tell him” but she lowers the blow that Jenna won’t be testifying. Husband lowers the blow that they need help because things aren’t looking good.
More of the lawyer saying things that are annoying and saying this is all about perception and no one cares about the facts. The lawyer also tells them what a plea bargain is and that she could just plead guilty… and they’re not taking to that idea.
Jessie Spano has coffee with blondie who is clearly uncomfortable. Jessie says that Joshua assaulted her and that she did nothing and Blondie is all “I can believe it” even though she was spreading tons of anti-JessieSpano shit at school. Teenagers are the worst. She says that Josh is a jerk when he doesn’t get “any” because he’s a “total horndog.” She can’t testify though and was never really hurt so there’s nothing to say. She leaves. Shouldn’t the lawyer be building the case and finding witnesses and character witnesses? This lady is being hung out to dry and forced to do it all herself.
Lawyer says their only deal is pleading guilty of a felony (maybe a lesser one) and then moving away and starting over somewhere else and never teaching again, presumably. He leaves them alone to figure it out. She says that she wants to fight and go to court because she’s innocent. She says that they want her to be a convicted child molester- is there any state where sleeping with a 17 or 18 year old would get you that conviction?? This seems nuts but I don’t know what state this is so I can’t look it up. Husband says the lawyer says their chances at trial are less than 50% so if they fight and lose she’ll be having a baby in prison. Oh right. She decides to plead guilty to child endangerment and never work with kids again. A press conference happens 2 minutes later, on television.
Josh looks a little guilty but also, his parents know that this didn’t happen and that he’s a rapist so that seems like a pretty big elephant in the room. How could he ever look them in the eye knowing that they know that he just ruined a lady’s life and also ruined another girl’s life and that they paid her off? Maybe I just won’t love my kids enough but there is not enough money in the world to make me do something if my son did something like this. Jenna sees it on tv and is very sad indeed.
Jenna comes over and Husband says his wife is home and to come in but then once she’s in he says that she’s gone to the school to pick up some things. Wait, you just said she was home? What a weird continuity error. Jenna says that they must hate her and he says that there is one person who did wrong here and it’s not his wife and it’s not her and to get that straight. Oh good, husband has redeemed himself a little bit. Jenna spots the big book of baby names and takes off.
Jenna goes down and finds Jessie Spano cleaning out of her classroom. Jessie hilariously gives her a huge wall-sized periodic table that was passed down to her by her chemistry mentor. “Take this to Dartmouth…” and be the nerdiest nerd in nerdville.
Jenna is ready to testify but Jessie tells her not to blow it with Dartmouth (oh, she figured it out). Jenna says this is what she wants to do because she’s right and no one should be hurt again.
They hug it out in the hall and thank god the Principal isn’t there or you know this would be the new scandal in town.
Jenna gives her money back to Josh’s parents and says that she’s going to the police. Josh peers at them from behind a peeled back curtain. I hope she kept some proof that they were paying her off for the last year or else we’re back at square one.
Given this “new evidence” the DA says that she is willing to reconsider Jessie’s guilty plea but isn’t yet ready to press any charges against Josh. WHY?? He’s now raped one person and assaulted someone else. What does it take to get charges brought in this town? Well, besides Josh’s dad, that is.
Anyway, cut to Jenna learning chemistry while a bird chirps out the window and Jessie Spano with a baby bump teaches her beloved chemical reactions. They really wrapped that up with a bow right there in the last minute. No word on whether Josh is still in this class but I can only assume his attendance continues to be mandatory.