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The Magnetic Mambo Carlos Gets the Sneezes Hides and Seeks

"It has to come from the heart, somewhere deep down inside."
Carlos

The Magic School Bus: Carlos Gets the Sneezes is an episode of the first season of The Magic School Bus Rides Again.

Plot

"For Carlos Only: Do Not Touch. P.S. That Means You, Ralphie! From Wanda", reads a gift from Wanda to Carlos. Ralphie and Tim wonder what's inside, so they start guessing. Tim thinks it's a rare first edition of Tigerantula: Volume 1, Ralphie thinks it's a pizza fountain, and Arnold thinks it's a pair of safety goggles. Carlos appears and asks what's going on, and Keesha tells him that there's a present for him from Wanda. He begins to open it (with a drumroll for suspense) which happens to be an empty rat cage. He knew what was inside it: Wanda's former pet rat, Ratney, who appears with her as she enters the classroom. Carlos introduces the class to their new class pet, but Dorothy Ann reminds him that he needs to get permission from Mr. Rhule to make Ratney their class pet. He says he already wrote a great speech that will win permission to keep her. So he tries to practice on Ralphie, who's pretending to be Mr. Ruhle. But then Carlos starts sneezing uncontrollably, for he must be sick. Arnold doesn't want to get sick, so he hides under a blanket. The class is worried that Mr. Ruhle might get sick too, so Dorothy Ann opts to give the speech. But Carlos says he needs to do so, because it has to come "from the heart".

Ms. Frizzle arrives in the classroom in an orange gas mask—which gives Wanda an idea for a field trip inside Carlos' immune system to sort out the problem of just what's making him sneeze so much. Ms. Frizzle scans his biometrics and, just like with any other field trip inside another character, leaves Liz to stay behind and take care of him.

The class and Ms. Frizzle enter the bus and shrink to the size of a bacterium. After circling Carlos' toes and shooting up his nose, they land on one of his nose hairs. Ms. Frizzle says they're there to keep out unwanted things in there—including tiny buses! Keesha tells the class that her future biographer will never believe that she has joined the kids on so many field trips inside people's bodies. Soon, Carlos starts to sneeze the bus out of his nose. But because the class need to save him, Ms. Frizzle tethers it to a nose hair and swings the class deeper up his nostril. The Bus eventually lands on a blood vessel, and, being small enough to fit through its walls, proceeds to sink inside.

The class arrives in the bloodstream, where they see white blood cells hard at work. Ms. Frizzle tells them to look for a cold virus, but they don't see any. Dorothy Ann shows them pictures of some germs in her cold-causing germ database that might be causing "the sneezes", but so far, they see any of them. Arnold spots a white blood cell, knowing from his past experience when they went inside Ralphie, that they're going to attack the bus! A few T-lymphocytes latch onto the windows and shake it around. Ralphie accidentally puts his elbow on the dashboard, and turns the bus into a cell. Ms. Frizzle says the button he pushed is a Regular Cell-a-Nator, that makes the bus blend in with cells. Everyone is glad to hear that Carlos' immune system is working okay, and he doesn't have a cold, but why is he sneezing? Dorothy Ann says that everything inside him is normal, even his pun production, to which he replies "phlegmtastic". He goes to Mr. Ruhle's office with Ratney and practices his speech, but continues to sneeze uncontrollably, causing one of Mr. Ruhle's colleagues to spray disinfectant and escort him out of the room.

Later, the bus exits a blood vessel and travels inside Carlos' nasal mucus membrane, where cells spray histamine that trigger his sneezing. They see various green germs infesting it,and Dorothy Ann can't find them in her database. They are too much for the immune system to vanquish, so the class decides to find out ways to help it. Tim spots some antibodies grabbing onto the germs, with special markers that connect to their flagella like puzzle pieces. Jyoti decides to design a special magical germ grabber using the bus' 3D printer, but she needs a closer look at the germs. She decides to go with Wanda and Keesha out into the membrane on foot and capture the germs in a jar. Inside the bus, Ralphie is wondering if Carlos' T-cells think that Jyoti, Wanda, and Keesha are invaders. Dorothy Ann shows him a few surrounding them.

Soon, a button on Wanda's belt glows. She presses it, and her suit expands like a balloon. It's a portable Regular Cellinator. Jyoti expands hers, making the T-cells think that they are cells too, just like the bus. Keesha swims her way through the nasal mucus membrane and finds a germ. She inserts it into her jar and puts the lid on. A T-cell grabs and takes her and the captured germ out of the membrane and into the nasal cavity to be sneezed out. Jyoti and Wanda head into there with her, where they withstand a sneeze from Carlos by grabbing onto a nose hair. He looks at his tissue under a microscope to see if Keesha, Wanda, and Jyoti are inside his mucus. He sees the green germs and Jyoti's and Wanda's germ jars.

Dorothy Ann still doesn't understand why the germ that Keesha found doesn't match anything in her database, and why Carlos is acting sick. Arnold says that when his eyes water and he sneezes when he's not so, it's because of his allergies. Then that must mean that Carlos has allergies too. Dorothy Ann examines the green germ on her frizTab and tells the class that it's an allergen. Wanda asks Arnold when he does when he has an allergic reaction, and he says that he stays away from the allergy's cause, and then the sneezing goes away. Carlos is notified that they will help his immune system out. Jyoti's germ grabber has finished printing and is ready to grab some allergens.

The class leave the bus, put on their Regular Cellinators, collect allergens with the grabber, and put them in a bag. But more come out of nowhere and surround them. They retreat into the bus, as they discuss another plan. Than an idea goes into Wanda's head. She looks at the bus monitor and sees Carlos stroking Ratney. He realizes he's allergic to her, and he sneezes the bus out of his nose.

Wanda, worried, enters the classroom and apologizes to Carlos for letting him take care of Ratney. He forgives her, and says that he'll take Ratney back to the animal shelter, hoping someone who is not allergic will take care of her. They take her there and when they leave, Carlos starts sneezing when he approaches a flower. Once he and Wanda return to the classroom, Dorothy Ann runs a test to see if the particle in the flower matches the one from Carlos' body. It's a match! He learns that he's allergic to pollen, and Ratney must have gotten covered in it. He rushes back to the shelter to tell the worker the good news, washes Ratney, and gives his speech to Mr. Ruhle.

When Mr. Ruhle is ready to speak with Carlos, he starts sneezing. It seems that he is allergic to rodents. Carlos decides to keep Ratney as a pet, and the entire class takes a picture with him with her.

Trivia

  • Carlos' T-cells attacking the bus is a callback to Ralphie's doing so in "Inside Ralphie". They are both references to their source material, Fantastic Voyage.
  • When the secretary is browsing on her computer, she reads an eBook of "Weatherman vs. Captain Rock Man", and later looks at the Three Little Pigs play on "Theater Buzz".
  • The cast list in the closing credits focuses on Carlos, listing him after Ms. Frizzle and leaving the rest separately.
  • Arnold also references his allergy from "Goes to Seed" when he says that he sneezes when he is not sick.
  • This is one of the few times in which the class doesn't say "Car-los!" when he makes a pun, but they say his name when he makes another one.
  • Ralphie experiences being attacked by T-cells for the first time, since the class was inside him the last time that happened.
  • When the bus transforms into a cell, Jyoti's 3D printer appears near the emergency doors even before everyone learns about it.
  • Carlos's facial expression in this episode is different than in the theme song when the bus enters his nose.
  • Scenes from this episode are reused in the theme song.
  • Carlos is the fifth human body to serve as a location in the TV canon.
  • When the class entered Ralphie's, Professor Frizzle's, and Janet's noses the year before, they weren't small enough to fit on their nose hairs.
  • According to tie-in book order, this is the third episode of the series.
  • During the bus' transformation sequence, it spins for a long amount of time, which is something it hasn't done since "In the City".
  • Liz stays behind to take care of the explored student for the third time.
  • The orange helmet Ms. Frizzle wears when she arrives at the school is used again in "Space Mission: Selfie", where it's blue.
  • Carlos adopts Ratney, who reappears and is the focus of "I Spy with my Animal Eyes".
  • Ratney is also the third animal to be formerly or currently owned by Wanda, following Bella the Bullfrog (Hops Home) and her Cocker Spaniel ("Under Construction").
  • The title of the tie-in book remains the same, similar to the original series. However, like the other RA tie-ins, it does not have the subtitle "A book about allergies".
  • The buttons on the class' suits' belts are revealed to be Regular Cellinators (expands the suit into the shape of an erythrocyte) Strangely, in earlier and later episodes, the class is seen in them.
  • As a nod to the book "Inside the Human Body", during the time in which the class is inside Carlos' nasal passages, the bus is not transformed. In previous episodes, inside others' noses, it appears as a television station ("Inside Ralphie"), a car ("Works Out"), and a skunk ("Makes a Stink").
  • Mr. Rhule is mentioned in this episode, but never appears in neither it nor the rest of Season 1.
  • The office worker from the opening theme appears in this episode, and is revealed to be Mr. Rhule's secretary.
  • In the subtitles, his name is spelled Ruhle as opposed to Rhule like in the original subtitles, similar to the synopses for the original series episodes that are found on the reverse sides of the NTSC and PAL VHS's and episode-selection menus of the newer NTSC DVDs.
  • Carlos is shown to be left-handed.
  • This episode reveals Mr. Ruhle's allergy to rats.
  • Carlos has developed an allergy to pollen sometime in between "Goes to Seed" and this episode. In the former, Arnold had the same allergy, so maybe the allergens were contagious and were transferred from him to Carlos.
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