At school, the students are now in Alterna-Cory’s classroom which is now moonlighting as an English class. The kids are waiting for their usual English teacher, Mr. Gariboski. Riley and Farkle wonder if they finally broke him, until Cory comes in and informs the class that Gariboski has retired, which pleases everyone. Gariboski wrote a farewell letter to the class, which Cory couldn’t read to them, because it’s inappropriate. Lucas mentions the Gariboski used to talk about life before 1985, Riley asks what happened in ’85, and Farkle tells her that the New York School Board forbade teachers from hitting children with rulers. Cory tells the class that they’ll need a new English teacher, which Maya’s against at first, until Lucas shows her a lady with a leather jacket, and a motorcycle helmet around her arm. The lady that walks in is Harper Lee Burgess, Lucas asks Harper if she has a bike to match her helmet, she describes her bike while walking up to him and asks if he rides anything; Riley tells her he rode a sheep, and Maya describes it to her. Harper playfully asks Lucas if he wants to race, and sheepishly says no. After that, Cory tells the class that she’s the new English teacher and tells them to treat her with the same respect that they give him.
After the intro, Harper begins her first lesson on “The Dark Knight Returns”, Frank Miller’s masterpiece before loosing his mind and unintentionally creating meme’s. Riley asks Harper if she’s should be teaching the class about more important books, Harper tells her (and the class) that the graphic novel is just as important as any other book they’ve read. Farkle asks what it’s about, and Harper explains that it’s about a world that became so tough that Batman had to fight Superman, and that they need to find out why. Lucas is a little concerned about Harper’s lesson, and calls her “Ms. Motorcycle”, Haprer tells him yes and also tells him and the class to call her by her first name. Farkle tests out the first name basis deal with Harper, and she reveals that she knows Farkle’s name and everyone else’s for that matter, as Cory has told her all about them. She demonstrates this when Riley asks her when the assignment due. Harper asks Riley how she’s likes having her father as a teacher, Riley tells her it’s bad, but Harper tells her it’s good, since her father made her love books, and named her Harper (remember that). Little do her and the class know, Principal Yancy was passing through the hall. He comes in and chastises Harper for wanting to teach the class comic books and allowing them to call her by her first name. Farkle tells him that Harper gave them the comics so she could teach them something, but Yancy could care less. Yancy reminds Harper and the class that using comics as a teaching tool and calling teachers by their first name are against school policy and orders her to teach them “To Kill A Mockingbird”. After he leaves, Harper tells the class to read DKR, leading the class to cheer her on, and causes Maya to take a liking to her.
Later that night, The Matthews’ and Maya are eating dinner, Topanga notices the girls eating quickly and asks them the why they’re doing this, Riley tells her they want to get started with their homework. Topanga’s skeptical about the girls’ sudden interest in wanting to do their homework, until they show her a copy of DKR. Topanga thought that strange until she remembers that her and Cory had a teacher that taught them through comic books. Topanga asks the girls for more information on the new teacher, they describes Harper by saying she has a motorcycle and leather jacket, similar to that teacher her and Cory were thinking about moments ago, and then remembers that Cory was on the committee to hire a new English teacher. Riley tells Topanga how Yancy isn’t to fond of Harper, giving Topanga the impression that Harper’s a young idealist. Topanga tells Cory that not all history repeats, leading the girls to finally asks them what they’re talking about. Topanga tells them that when her and Cory were in school they had a cool teacher, Riley thought she was talking about Mr. Feeny, but Topanga tells her it was another teacher, Maya asks if said teacher got along with the principal, Topanga told them that Feeny was the principal, which shocked Auggie, who also quips that something like that could never happen nowadays, to which Cory tells him “We’ll see!”. When Maya tells Topanga how Yancy doesn’t want the class to read DKR, Topanga wonders why Harper’s teaching it anyway, Cory tells her that Harper could help teach the kid good from bad, since it’s hard to tell them apart in this day and age, but Topanga reminds Cory that the principal still makes the final decision. Cory tries to help the girls understand the situation by comparing Harper and Yancy to Batman and Superman, when Topanga asks what the difference is between the two, Cory explains how Superman has powers while Batman relies on his mind and various fighting styles, to which Topanga wonders how that that’s a fair fight (we’ll find out soon). The girls tell Cory how they don’t want Harper to loose, Cory tells them they should do they’re homework and find out what happens next, Topanga doesn’t think they’ll do it, until they run to Riley’s room much to her amazement.
The next day, Harper’s going over DKR with the class. Harper asks if good and evil can change, Riley tells her good is good, but as for evil, Lucas believing that when something bad happens something worst would happen, Harper asks why that happens, Maya says it’s because evil fascinates people. Lucas asks Harper if good is suppose to win, Harper answers him with a question, “Should it?”. Yancy stops by again and sees that she’s still teaching DKR, Harper tries to explain herself, but Yancy isn’t interested in listening and dismisses the class. The class head to Study Hall, but Riley and Maya go somewhere else. Harper tries to talk to Yancy but instead of listening to her he fires her. While Yancy tells Harper that there aren’t any heroes and villains in the world but children who come and go, the girls escort Cory in Harper’s classroom. Harper tells Cory about her firing and thanks him for believing in her. Cory tells Yancy that he’s making a mistake firing her, and that he’ll have to fire him too. Yancy pretends to be blindsided by this and immediately fires Cory, much to his shock and the shock of the students listening in.
After the break, The Matthews’ and Maya are having a quiet dinner together until, Topanga asks someone how their day went, Auggie decides to contribute by reciting word for word his day from the second episode, which Topanga instantly recognizes. Cory tries to play along and act as though nothing new’s happened until, Riley mentions that Cory was fired. Topanga asked what, and Cory explained that Harper didn’t win over Yancy, he deended her and was fired. Topanga tells Cory that Yancy can’t fire him, since teacher dismissals must be approved by the state. Maya asks if Cory’s going to be OK, Cory asks if she cares about him, she just tells him that she just wanted to say something. Topanga talks about how she met Yancy and that he’s can very stubborn and will pursue this, Riley asks what he plans on doing next, Topanga tells her he’s going to talk to his boss, the superintendent, which excites Cory and Topanga.
The next day, Yancy’s taken over Cory’s classroom, and writes his lesson on the board, “You’re Fired”. He tells Cory and Harper he’s got a great relationship with the superintendent, Yancy asks Cory how well he knows the superintendent, it turns out Cory knows him very well, as the superintendent, is his former English teacher, Jonathan Turner, who’s actually pretty confused as to why he’s at the school. He asks Yancy why he wants to fire Cory and Harper, Yancy tells him how Harper was teaching the class about Batman on her first day, Jon tells him he taught “X-Men” on his first day, Yancy thought he was joking but is shocked when he realized Jon wasn’t joking. Jon asks why he did that, Cory tells him that he wanted his class to good and evil wasn’t black and white by using characters they loved. Jon was touched that he payed attention, Cory tells him of course he payed attention since Jon wore a leather jacket, drove a motorcycle, and taught comics, causing Yancy face palms at the sound of this. Jon then recounts the fatal accident that cost him his beloved motorcycle and almost cost him his life, but reveals that he married his nurse. Jon compliments Harper’s motorcycle, then starts making fun of Cory’s car, a Sedan he bought from Feeny, after that he tells Harper to be careful on her bike. Yancy tells Jon how he wanted Harper to teach the class “To Kill A Mockingbird”, when Jon looks at the cover he asks Harper “Mom or Dad”, she tells him Dad, Yancy asks what’s going on, and Jon tells him Harper was named after the author of “Mockingbird”, Harper Lee Burgess. Jon tells Yancy that he’ll observe Harper’s class and make his decision the next day, since he already decided on Cory. As he heads out, he sees Yancy’s lesson on the board, and tells him let’s see what comes of it.
Later that day, Harper’s teaching the class with Cory, Jon, and Yancy in attendance. Harper tells the class to behave the way they normally would, but Riley walks up to Jon, who she calls “Uncle Jon” and tells him how much they all love Harper. Yancy asks Riley if Jon is her real uncle, or if she just calls him that, she tells him Jon comes over all the time, and Yancy shuts up. Jon asks Harper why she has the class calling her by her first name, she tells him she wanted to see if the class piece together that she’s named after Harper Lee, so they can care about what she’s teaching. Jon asks the class if anyone knows the significance between Harper’s name and the author of to “To Kill A Mockingbird”, Maya answers with her name is Charles Twain. Maya tells Jon that Harper was told not teach something and that it has to mean something, Jon tells he it does, but asks the class what they learned form DKR. Farkle volunteers to go first, Jon sees his and asks Cory if he Stuart’s son, and a real boy, Cory tells him yes on being Stuart’s son, but still aren’t sure about Farkle being a real boy. Jon tells Farkle to sit down, Lucas volunteers to give the presentation, Jon asks if Lucas likes Harper, Lucas tells him he likes both teachers, but Jon wants to know if he’s familiar with the material, at first Lucas tries to say he’s not, but he eventually tells him yes. Jon decides to personally choose someone to give the presentation and eventually chooses Maya. She accepts and Riley goes to the front of the class with her. Cory tells Riley to stay in her seat, but Maya only looked at the pictures while Riley actually read the book. Harper tells Riley that she hopes she learned something, Riley tells her she learns something all the time, and Maya tells her she only comes to school because her apartment leaks. Harper takes Maya to the side and tells her she a lot smarter than she lets on, but Maya shushes her. Riley tells Maya they got this, and Cory reminds them that his and Harper’s futures are on the line.
After the break the girls give their presentation on Dark Knight Returns. Riley tells the class how the book needed the readers to figure out for themselves who was good or evil, Maya adds that the pictures makes you work too, comparing both the illustrations with the real world making the readers look up, down, across, and sideways. Riley also mentions the fight between Batman and Superman, with Farkle and Lucas giving their own thoughts on the fight, Farkle tells the class that Superman wanted Batman to look how different the world became and to change with it, but Batman refused to change and fought Superman, which Lucas admits was hard to look at (it really was), he also says that superheroes shouldn’t fight each other since they’re supposed to bring light instead of darkness. Riley and Maya go on to explain how a person with power shouldn’t hit kids with rulers to get them to learn, and this is a new world and no one does that here. The girls close out the report by saying how Frank Miller turned a comic book into literature, and how Harper is named after a person who gave the world a great story, which her father taught her to appreciate. Jon’s impressed by how much she taught the class in just two days, but Yancy’s still not impressed, and reminds Jon that comic books are against school policy, but Jon fires back with how in 19 states teachers can still hit kids with rulers, causing Yancy to quietly leave the classroom, knowing he’s lost. Jon tells Cory that he knows he hired Harper, he asks if she reminded him of someone, but Cory tells him no.
Later that night, the girls are talking at the window, Maya asks Riley what she wants to be when she grows up, Riley tells her she doesn’t know yet, then Riley asks Maya the same question, and Maya gives her the same answer, but tells her that being a teacher isn’t looking too bad. Riley tells Maya how Jon used to take care of Shawn and how Cory said they were perfect together. We see Auggie laying on Riley’s bed reading an Archie comic book, as Riley wanted him to start reading good books. he tells Riley he finished reading, and Maya asks him what he’s learned, he tells her that a dark haired girl (Veronica) and a blonde girl (Betty) were always competing for the same boy (Archie) but still remained friends, Auggie asks if that could happen in real life, but they both (awkwardly) tell him no.
The next day, Cory and Jon come in and inform the class on the School Board’s official decision on Harper. Jon tells the class that while it’s always good for students to grow fond of teachers, it’s not the first priority when a teacher’s methods are called into question. The first priority is how the teacher’s preparation in their lesson plan and what students take out of the lesson. Jon goes on to tell the class that Harper went against school policy, and Yancy did what he had to do. Jon tells the class that after much discussion someone had to go, as Jon introduces the class to their new English teacher, The girls protest against the board’s decision. And then Harper comes in the classroom welcomed with applause from the kids. Maya realizes that sometimes the good guy always wins, which impresses Harper enough to give Maya an A.
Later that night, The Matthews’ and Maya are once again eating dinner, this time with Jon joining them. Auggie asks Jon if Cory was a good student, Jon tells him yes, but Topanga knows he’s lying, then he tells him that Cory tries his best, but Topanga’s still not buying it, so he tells Auggie that Cory was a terrible student, and was so bad, he became a teacher just to go back to school. Maya talks to Jon about his taking in Shawn while Chet was away, she asks Jon if he ever cared about him, and he tells her that he loved him like a son, and still does to this day. The girls thank Cory for being a good teacher, then Cory and Topanga tell Jon the same thing. The moment is ruined however when Topanga brings up the matter of an A-, Jon gave her years ago, she asks him to change it for her, and he half heartedly agrees.
Just as Home For The Holidays and Master Plan were the most anticipated episodes for Season 1, this episode was highly anticipated, not only did introduce a new character in Harper, but we finally get closure on Mr. Turner after his bike accident, it was really good see him away from the “Other side of the school”. Let’s hope both he and Harper return later this season. Another great moment was when Auggie mentions how someone can’t be a teacher and principal at the same time, and Cory kind of foreshadows his eventual promotion to Principal of JQA. The one problem I had with the episode was near the end where Auggie seemed to have implied that Riley and Maya could get into a love triangle with Lucas. Personally, I really hope that doesn’t happen, it’s just feels kind of a cliche, and I really hope they don’t go there. Overall very enjoyable episode for both fans Girl and Boy Meets World alike.
Next time, we’re stepping back in time!