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The Magic School Bus Goes on Air is the fourth episode of season four and the forty-third episode overall of the original series. It first aired on October 4, 1997.
When the Bus shrinks and gets stuck inside a pickle jar, the kids must find out how to escape.
Keesha and Ralphie are arguing about the uses of air and Ralphie tells her that a jar is useless for the Space Capsule. But Keesha argues that an empty jar is filled with air. Ms. Frizzle's class meets Ms. River's class, who have built a project demonstrating the action of water. Ms. Frizzle's class regret not doing their project on water instead of air since water does something. Ms. River's class also has a project of a volcano, created by Carmen, to demonstrate the information of rocks. Just then, Ms. Frizzle arrives via bus and the class tells her that they are stuck on air. This prompted Keesha to say she "should've stayed home today", to which Arnold agrees. So Ms. Frizzle sends the class to the Magic School Bus and Liz shrinks it inside the empty jar.
The class exit The Magic School Bus and a woman closes the jar with a lid. The class re-enters The Magic School Bus and Liz hits the Jar Vacator, only for it to break down. So Ms. Frizzle reads the escape manual and exits The Magic School Bus to open compartment seven for the escape kit. She opens the kit and the pink clouds, named "extraordin-air" colored in pink to see, permeates the jar. Ms. Frizzle also reads that the Extraordinaire to escape through the top of the jar. Unfortunately for the class, the Space Capsule is set to launch in exactly ten minutes.
So the class finds out on their own what the extraordin-air can do. Ralphie catches some with his baseball cap, but it ends up escaping out. Dorothy Ann reads in the manual that the extraordin-air disperses in multiple directions. Liz discovers a way to catch the extraordin-ar using a turkey baster. But Ralphie states that it would take more than a turkey baster to catch all of it. So Ms. Frizzle searches in the escape kit and pulls out an elastic rubber glove. The class uses the glove to catch most of the extraordin-air and attempts to seal it to keep it trapped. Dorothy Ann reluctantly lets the class use her hairbands to seal the glove to keep the extraordin-air from escaping out, and as Arnold points out, Dorothy Ann's ponytails stayed in place. The class then learns how the extraordin-air pushes anyone on top up once someone else pushes down on the glove and that the extraordin-air can be pushed in any direction, as well as changing colors once it is squeezed in a smaller space. Arnold also compares the extraordin-air to a spring pushing back a person trying to push it down. So Keesha decides to push all of the extraordin-air into the larger part of the glove to make it springier to bounce someone to the top of the jar. She volunteers to do the job and the class rolls up the fingers. Wanda and Phoebe jump onto the glove, sending Keesha flying to the top. Unfortunately, Keesha doesn't get high enough and begins to drop right back onto the glove. So the class squeeze in the rest of the air inside the glove using Ms. Frizzle's air pump, growing the size of the glove. Suddenly, the glove pops and the top flies out of the jar, removing the jar lid in the process. Keesha, who was on top of the jar, begins to fall down.
She lands onto a net provided for her by the bus. The class then learns that the Space Capsule is about to launch in three minutes. Wanda discovers a cork pump in the space kit and Arnold inadvertently gets the idea to use it to pump the class out of the jar. The class decides to make a giant cork popper along with a big, strong air tank, using it to squeeze the Extraordinair inside to build pressure and release it through the cork popper to use the pressure to blast the students out. The only problem is that all of the Extraordinaire got depleted. So Keesha suggests that the class should use ordinary air to escape out of the jar. As the Space Capsule is now ready to launch, Keesha decides to use a lot of air pressure to blast her high to catch up to the Space Capsule to put something inside while in the air. The class decides to use the cork popper. But Keesha wants to use more. So The Magic School Bus transforms to a giant cork popper and provides a tank big enough to hold a prolific amount of air inside, as well as three high-pressure pumps and one pod for two. Keesha and Ralphie enter the pod and the rest of the class pumps the air. Liz releases the pressure valve and the pod Keesha and Ralphie are inside blasts out just in time to catch up to the launched Space Capsule. Keesha decides to go with Carlos' idea of a poem ("Air is here, air is there, down on earth, it's everywhere, what it does is hard to tell, 'cause air does invisible very well, pushed air is all snugged and tight, it pushes out with all its might, but best of all, if you need a ride, air under pressure can provide") and the pod catches up to the Space Capsule, using suction cups to adhere to it. Ralphie stores the cork popper and the poem inside and returns to the pod, which lands safely down the ground below. As Ralphie and Keesha meet the rest of the class, Ms. Frizzle states, "Just like air, my class works best under pressure".
Cast (in credits order)
- Lily Tomlin as Ms. Valerie Frizzle
- Malcolm-Jamal Warner as the Producer
- Tara Meyer as Dorothy Ann Hudson
- Erica Luttrell as Keesha Franklin
- Daniel DeSanto as Carlos Ramón
- Stuart Stone as Ralphie Tennelli
- Maia Filar as Phoebe Terese
- Danny Tamberelli as Arnold Perlstein
- Andre Ottley-Lorant as Tim Wright
- Lisa Yamanaka as Wanda Li
- Don Dickinson as the Announcer
- Blake McGrath as Carmen's classmate
- Ruby Smith-Merovitz as Carmen
- Kerry Duff as the Caller
- Discovery Education |
- Sees Stars (DVD, 2006)
- All About Earth (MSB) - (DVD, 2013)
- In Ms. Frizzle's escape kit, a pair of boxer shorts are seen, much to the disgust of her class why such an item would appear in such a kit. This is the only episode to mention any humor regarding underwear.
- When Dorothy Ann removes her hairbands (her original hairstyle), instead of her hair going down, her ponytails stayed in place.
- Going by production order, this is the 3rd episode of Season 4. This is the 18th episode to be switched in streaming order. This episode was completed in August 12, 1997.
- A future episode discusses air currents.
- In the Producer Says segment, the producer is referred to as "Produce-Air", relating to the topic.
- In the Producer Says segment, the producer says "What's up?" instead of "Hello?".