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Kids in Space The Frizz Connection In the Zone

"Balloons don’t need rockets or engines to push them forward; they just go up and down. That’s why I love them!"
Arnold

The Frizz Connection is the fifteenth episode of the second season of The Magic School Bus Rides Again. It is about air currents.

It is the second Joanna Cole special.

Descriptions

  • Netflix (version 1): "It's triple the Frizz, triple the fun when lightning strikes and a high-flying hot air balloon adventure goes haywire!"[1]
  • Netflix (version 2): "Lightning splits the Magic School Bus into three pieces, scattering the class around the globe, with different versions of Ms. Frizzle aboard each Bus."
  • Brown Bag site: “In a flash of lightning, the Magic School Bus is split into three pieces and the class is scattered across the globe. But that’s not the biggest shock: Ms. Frizzle has been split into three too! Now, the class has to master the global air currents to bring themselves, the Bus, and the Frizzles back together before it’s too late.”[2]

Ms. Frizzle's outfit

In this episode, Ms. Frizzle's dress shows a weather map. Her pendant is a compass, which matches the balloon for Fiona's third of the Magic School Bus.

Plot

A thunderstorm rages above a desert, and the Magic School Bus, as a hot-air balloon, flies along the lightning-infested skies. The kids all exclaim in terror as Ralphie says, "Oh, the humanity!" Ms. Frizzle tells everyone to hang on as the kids experience one of her favorite things about riding a hot-air balloon—turbulence, and her second favorite thing—wind shear. Arnold is upset to hear about her third favorite thing, and wants to know how to get out of the storm. Ms. Frizzle tells the kids that the balloon Bus does not have steering capabilities, and it can only go up and down. Arnold proceeds to yell, "I knew I should've stayed home today!" and Jyoti contradicts it, telling him that it was because of he that everyone went into all this trouble.

[Begin flashback]

It's Arnold's birthday, and Tim gives him a card that he made, depicting the former falling out of the Bus into a pit of balloons, with a scared look on his face. Arnold thanks Tim for capturing his essence, as Ms. Frizzle appears and tells Arnold that, since it's his birthday, he can choose the field trip, causing Keesha to sarcastically say, "I guess we're staying home today!" Arnold says that he wants to go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and Ms. Frizzle orders everyone to the Bus, which transforms into a giant basket attached to a deflated hot-air balloon.

After noticing the deflated balloon, a confused Ralphie asks if the hot-air balloon is supposed to be "balloony", asking where the helium is. Ms. Frizzle tells the kids that hot-air balloons don't need helium, and tells Ralphie that the way to inflate it is in the words "hot air". Keesha, as snobby as she is, states: "No problem, Ralphie's full of [hot air] that!" as Ralphie scratches his head. First, Ms. Frizzle blows air into the balloon using the giant fan on the basket part of the Hot-Air School Balloon, and then heats up the air so the balloon can rise. Dorothy Ann states that if you heat something, the air molecules move around uncontrollably fast (which she learned from Three in One). Soon, the balloon and the Bus rise, and the kids climb on board. Arnold feels relaxed, as he states that this is the best field trip ever.

[End flashback]

Back in the present day, the kids worry if they'll be safe. Ms. Frizzle states, "We'll be fine as long as we don't get hit by lightning!" Soon, the kids get hit by lightning, and the hot-air bus disappears.

In Hawaii, two surfers are hanging out on the water as the Magic School Bus appears. However, things are different: the Bus has turned into a giant banana-shaped hot-air balloon with a smaller basket, and Ms. Frizzle is dressed as a clown with an afro. What's worse: Keesha, Carlos, and Ralphie are the only three students on the Magic School Banana! Ms. Frizzle sings a song about the great blue sea, and the kids hula along.

In Peru, the Magic School Compass appears, carrying Tim, Jyoti, and Wanda. They worry about everyone else being missing, and soon, another Ms. Frizzle appears, who happens to be more brave than usual. She doesn't care about the Balloon Fiesta, and just wants to "surf some serious air currents".

In Nova Scotia, Canada, The Magic School Apple appears. Arnold, DA, and Liz are the remaining three. Arnold claims he is "classblind" because he can't see the others, but Dorothy Ann (he can see her) says that the other students are not there, and its just she, he, and Liz. Arnold then replies that this reminds him of a recurring dream that just happens to be every single trip. Soon, their Ms. Frizzle appears in a suit and pants and a bun hairstyle without frizzle. She tells the two kids that their Bus is approaching the lighthouse in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dorothy Ann wonders why they are in Canada instead of Albuquerque, and Ms. Frizzle tells the kids learn that the lightning has caused The Hot-Air School Balloon to rupture, causing the full Ms. Frizzle to split into three parts - the reason for the Frizzle clones.

Ms. Frizzle gives Arnold her frizPhone, and he goes to the GPS app showing the others' locations. The kids learn that another part of the Bus in Peru (the Magic School Compass).

On the Magic School Compass, someone is video-calling Wanda on her frizPhone. Tim wonders if it's a rescue team, but it's actually Arnold, calling from the Magic School Apple. The Compass kids were starting to get worried that Arnold would be gone forever. Arnold tells Wanda that he and Dorothy Ann are in Nova Scotia, Canada. Then Dorothy Ann finds another part of the Magic School Bus in Hawaii, as she calls the Magic School Banana, where Keesha answers. Keesha says that she needs help because Carlos, Ralphie, and Ms. Frizzle won't stop acting weird. Wanda says that that isn't possible because, to her, Ms. Frizzle is supposed to be in Peru, where in reality, she's been split into three, as Dorothy Ann chimes in to the video call, showing everyone her Ms. Frizzle. Keesha's Ms. Frizzle says "You get a Frizzle, she gets a Frizzle, we all get FRIZZLES!"

Back in the Magic School Apple, Arnold and Dorothy Ann's Ms. Frizzle tells the passengers about the other Frizzles: Carlos, Ralphie, and Keesha have the wacky, goofy, silly side, named Friz. Tim, Wanda, and Jyoti have the daring, adventurous side, named Fiona. And finally, Arnold, Dorothy Ann, and Liz have the reliable teacher side, who just goes by "Ms. Frizzle". She orders the two to sit, as it is 77.84% safer than standing.

The kids soon find a way to get all three Ms. Frizzles back together soon, because if they don't combine before it's too late, they'll fade away for good. As the reliable teacher's hand fades away, Carlos and Friz ask, in the form of a terrible pun, "Could somebody give her a hand?" Then Friz's arm fades. While Fiona is swinging from a rope on the Magic School Compass, her arm fades as well, as she uses her other arm to grab onto the rope.

Ms. Frizzle's hand grows back, as Friz tells everyone through the phone that the Frizzle Fragments can't survive on their own. Arnold, desperate to get his teacher back, devises a plan to get to Albuquerque and reunite the Frizzle Fragments, but they have to do it quickly.

On the Magic School Compass, Jyoti, Tim and Wanda watch Fiona swing from a rope and dangle from the Compass's basket. Jyoti warns her to watch out, but Fiona doesn't listen. She slams into a tree and spits out a few leaves. The students need to pull her up, but Fiona claims that she has a better idea: cut the rope with a knife and use the tree branch to catapult herself into a river, leaving Tim, Jyoti, and Wanda all alone on the Compass.

Fiona uses the river to teach the kids a lesson about currents. "I'm in a river, and so are you!" she says. She explains that the students are in a "river" because the air has currents, just like a river. But after everyone notices she's in a waterfall, Jyoti presses a Liz button on the Compass's dashboard, which makes the Compass stick out a rope-like tongue. The tongue pulls Fiona onto the vehicle as she shouts "tasty save!" and fades a second time. Desperate to head to Albuquerque, Tim suggests they head north.

On the Banana Bus, the Banana kids approach another storm. Ralphie is afraid he might get hit by lightning and get split into the Ralphie Fragments - Ralphie, Awesome Ralphie, and Super Awesome Ralphie.

"Yeah, we might get hit lightning again, and I might split into my three main parts: Ralphie, Awesome Ralphie, and Super Awesome Ralphie. The world couldn't take it."
Ralphie

Characters

Character Voice
Ms. Fiona Frizzle Kate McKinnon
Friz
Fiona
Ms. Frizzle
Liz Ard
Bus
Banana
Apple
Compass
Arnold Perlstein Roman Lutterotti
Carlos Ramon Leke Maceda-Rustecki
Dorothy Ann Hudson Gabby Clarke
Jyoti Kaur Birva Pandya
Keesha Franklin Mikaela Blake
Ralphie Tennelli Matthew Mucci
Ralphie (mentioned)
Awesome Ralphie (mentioned)
Super Awesome Ralphie (mentioned)
Tim Wright Kaden Stephen
Wanda Li Lynsey Pham

Watch Episode

Netflix

Trivia

  • Since the final three episodes of Season 2 have the same credits across every episode, the previous episode teases this episode. Some foreshadowing elements include the balloon bus flying through a storm on the way to the Balloon Fiesta, and the air-current theme of Ms. Frizzle's dress.
    • Because of this, it is implied to be the first episode in production order for the season.
  • This episode was nominated in the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards.[3]
  • The name of this episode may allude to 1971's The French Connection.
  • This is the first episode to be released in an October since Sees Stars, and the first and only October episode of Rides Again.
  • This is the last episode in which two characters high-five.
  • This episode was released 24 years and a day before “Shows and Tells” and 25 years and a day after “In a Pickle”.
  • It's not just Ms. Frizzle who has Fragments, Ralphie has Fragments too (he mentioned the Ralphie Fragments when the storm approaches the Banana Bus).
  • For its representation in the credits, the Bus is shown in hot-air balloon form, during the line "Climb on the Magic School Bus".
  • This is the second time the kids video-chat with each other. The first time was in Shows and Tells.
  • The Bus's split hot-air balloon forms have smaller baskets than the full Balloon Bus. The three balloon buses look similar to the full Bus's balloon form from The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane.
  • Ms. Frizzle’s “Reliable teacher” fragment was originally going to wear a skirt, but it got changed to a suit. [2]
  • Even though a guest star is credited, Kate McKinnon is not considered a guest star.
  • This episode streamed in the month of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and it is coincidental that Arnold wanted to attend it for his birthday.
  • When Ms. Frizzle puts hot air into the Bus's balloon in the flashback, D.A. remembers what she learned in Three in One.
  • Similar to Cracks a Yolk, part of the episode is told in a flashback.
  • The Producer Segment features the Frizzle Fragments as the "producer". This is the second Producer Segment to feature the Bus after Rocks and Rolls, and one of the two to feature a main teacher after Goes to Seed, when the professor appears on a video call to Mr. Seedplot.
  • This is the first Producer Segment without Liz or Goldie.
  • There are three hosts (Fragments), similar to the two producers in Gets Ants in Its Pants and Kicks Up a Storm.
  • This episode released six days prior to 24 years after "Makes a Rainbow".
  • "The Frizz” quotes Oprah Winfrey when she says “You get a Frizzle…”.
  • Arnold celebrates his supposedly eleventh birthday in this episode.
  • The full Ms. Frizzle says "Wahoo" for the first time. This is the first time Fiona uses her sister's version of the phrase.
  • The Reliable Teacher Side of Ms. Frizzle appears in Canada, the home of Nelvana and 9Story, the companies which produced the two shows.
  • This is the first birthday of a male in the canon (Arnold's), and the third birthday episode in the series, following Dorothy Ann's in "Sees Stars" and Professor Frizzle's in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough". Coincidentally, when the Bus is split into clones, Dorothy Ann is on Arnold's bus, referencing her birthday in the former.
    • Not counting Professor Frizzle, Arnold and Dorothy Ann are the only students to have a birthday episode.
    • This is the only birthday episode not to feature Professor Frizzle.
  • As seen in the previous episode's credits, Ralphie's new attire includes a white shirt with blue rims on the sleeves.
  • The students wear their normal clothes for the first time in this season.
  • The respective Bus Fragments represent each of the students' personalities. For example, Carlos appeared on the Goofy Bus because he makes puns, Arnold appeared on the Reliable Bus because he is always looking out for people's safety, and Wanda appeared on the Adventurous Bus because of her tomboy qualities, her jump height and her super-strength.
  • Tim's and Carlos's voices were deepening for a few of their lines in this episode, because their voice actors, Kaden Stephen (Tim) and Leke Maceda-Rustecki (Carlos), were possibly going through puberty at the time of production.
  • This is the second episode to have Joanna Cole's dedication message: "For Joanna Cole, who educated and inspired us all. 1944-2020". The previous episode had this message.
  • The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta happens in the first week of every October, confirming Arnold’s birthday to be around that time frame.


Songs

  • "Hangin' with the Friz"
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