Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 10: “Drinking and Driving”

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Ah, it’s homecoming time again at Bayside which means that, since Kelly’s locked in Zack Morris’s basement again this week, Lisa’s running for homecoming queen. She’s getting an A in sucking up, too, as she even says Tori’s outfit is great, which you know is a damned dirty lie.

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Meanwhile, as captain of the football team, Slater tries to organize a party for the seniors, but the brain trust he’s assembled wouldn’t be able to figure out that Clark Kent is really Superman.

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Lisa makes a grand entrance complete with Tori throwing confetti and shit in order to litter The Max and make working conditions unsafe for the employees there. Turns out that, in one scene, she’s been elected homecoming queen because we don’t have time for once to deal with a stupid plot that goes nowhere. No, it’s a very special episode so we’ve got much more important things to talk about.

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But first Slater has to figure out what to do about his dumb ass teammates who can’t even seem to remember they’re present to plan a party. Tori makes a smart ass comment about them being animals and, therefore, needing to rip off Animal House and have a toga party. The dimwits hear Tori and think it’s a great idea so…vlcsnap-2015-04-12-20h49m16s50

Let’s just go directly there to the party at Ox’s house, where Ox wans to smash his own belongings because that’s a good idea. Is he trying to compete with Screech for biggest dumb ass award?

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And Zack Morris has his standards set high tonight as he’s trying to arrange a nice threesome with a couple lady friends, which Tori has to make a disgusted frowny face about.

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One of the football players brings in a bunch of beer and they proceed to peer pressure Zack Morris, Slater, and Lisa into drinking some of it because the extras have decided it’s time for our gang to act like real teenagers instead of Peter Engel’s interpretation of Leave it to Beaver. Also, despite resisting Johnny Dakota’s temptations last season, this season they’ve turned into the most easily influenced teenagers in the world. They proceed to get mildy intoxicated while the extras stumble around as the director thinks they would if they were wasted. Tori says she’s had enough of this stupid acting and is going home.

Lisa decides she needs to get home and get some beauty sleep before her coronation. Her parents have randomly left their Mercedes in Lisa’s posession while they’re out of town but she’s feeling too drunk to drive. Zack Morris, on the other hand, feels just fine.vlcsnap-2015-04-12-20h52m40s55

And you can probably guess the rest. They’re just cruising along, singing a Troggs song really poorly, which means that the producers have spent their budget on actual songs for the rest of the series. Zack Morris decides to lean over the back seat and try to give Slater a blowjob, causing them to run into a telephone pole. And, no kidding, the effect is the exact same one as when Lisa crashed Mr. Belding’s car in “Wicked Stepbrother, Part 1.”

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They wake Tori up to come rejoin the plot and give them money to tow the car to Zack Morris’s house, where Slater says it’ll probably cost a lot to fix because he has a feeling the writers are going to need to introduce some conflict to show why it sucks to drink and drive.

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But they wake up someone else, Derek Morris, who’s decided to grace us with another appearance in order to buy a stupid story from the gang that a cat ran out in front of them and so that he’ll be around later to give a nice preachy wrap up to the whole thing. He says it’s fine but he’ll call Lisa’s parents to let them know what happened and that she’s fine.

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Lisa can’t let Derek know her parents are out of town because then he’d know that, as practically an adult, she’s home alone! Oh no! So she calls him first and does a really bad impersonation of her mom’s voice so that he’ll instantly buy the bullshit and know that Lisa’s parents have been informed.

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The next day, they’re naturally totally hung over from a little bit of beer. Even on my twenty-first birthday when I drank a shit ton of beer, I didn’t get this drunk. It’s like the writers have never been drunk themselves…

Slater comes in and gives the bad news that Lisa’s mom’s car will cost $1,000 to fix, but they can get by with $500 if they can steal a water pump from the auto shop. That steal leaves a lot of money to be raised and Zack Morris has the perfect plan to raise it. But, what do they need a water pump for? The damage to the car looked mostly aesthetic and relatively not too bad. Um, contrivance anyone?

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Meet Sylvester. Now the plan is stupid and involves Sylvester paying $120 to have a brief message to a girl he likes stiched to Slater’s jersey during the homecoming game. It’s idiotic so of course Sylvester goes for it. The more important thing, though, is that Sylvester complicates matters for those of you who have been arguing in the comments that the Tori episodes are in an alternate dimension. See, Sylvester made exactly four appeareances: two in Tori episodes and two in Kelly/Jessie episodes. So I content that my theory that Zack Morris is locking Kelly and Jessie in his basement is correct because nah nah na boo boo!

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Lisa, meanwhile, calls her mother in order to establish that Mrs. Turtle will have a role in the end of episode shaming as well.

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Of course, they entrust the stupidest member of the gang with stealing a water pump and, when he encounters Mr. Belding, he ends up telling a fantastic story.

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The story he tells, and this is not an embelishment on my part, is that a truckload of bananas spilled all over the freeway. Also, some monkkeys apparently died. This somehow justifies Screech stealing a water pump as Mr. Belding doesn’t seem to mind the thievery at all.

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Also, Slater managed to hurt his shoulder in the car accident so he can’t play in the homecoming game. Are we actually going to see consequences of the gang’s actions?!?!?! Mr. Belding also believes it was the result of hard practice and shit.

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Lisa is crowned homecoming queen at The Max, of course, and her mother comes to watch  her crowned.  Mr. Belding says a bunch of shit about Lisa being honest and shit, anything to make her feel guilty, and no one seems to believe the football team can win without Slater. My biggest question, though, is: who is this random cheerleader that crowned Lisa? Is she on call just in case Kelly and Jessie get locked in Zack Morris’s basement again? Also, since Slater can’t play in the game, Sylvester takes Zack Morris’s phone as a refund for the message his girl won’t see.

Slater and Tori fixed the car during lunch so it’s all ready for them to go to Zack Morris’s house and pick up. But, when they get there, the car won’t start, probably because Slater and Tori went fiddling around under the engine for aesthetic problems, leading to Slater making up some bullshit about needing to unclog something or another in order to buy them time.
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And they would have gotten away with it, too, if not for the appearence of a random Derek Morris. Derek reveals the accident and the pieces of their lies soon start to unravel. Mrs. Turtle tells Lisa it’s time to go home so she can beat the ever loving shit out of her daughter for being a part of such a cliched plot. Also, Lisa doesn’t get to participate in homecoming. CONSEQUENCES! Derek tells Slater to go home and tell his father about the accident before he calls the major.

vlcsnap-2015-04-12-21h10m30s12After they leave, Derek wonders where he went wrong with Zack Morris. Oh, if only he hadn’t killed Miss Bliss’s Peter and replaced him as Zack Morris’s father! Derek tells Zack Morris this whole thing was stupid because he shouldn’t have been trying to orally stimulate Slater while driving to begin with, and he grounds Zack Morris and takes away his car. And our episode ends with Derek assuring Zack Morris he’s doing all this so Zack Morris will learn not to do stupid things that could potentially get him hurt which, spoiler alert, he will never stop doing.

As far as very special episodes on this series goes, this was not the worst they’ve ever done. It’s not a very good anti-drinking episode, but it gets its point across and it’s not overly preachy. It could be worse: we could be comparing caffeine pills to cocaine again!

Firsts: Sylvester.

9 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 10: “Drinking and Driving”

  1. Is it me, or in the Tori episodes does Zack’s wardrobe get uglier and uglier? I know it’s the early ’90s, but come on.

    Speaking of the early ’90s, instead of dressing her like Leather Tuscadero from Happy Days, wouldn’t it of been more hip to have Tori look more Grunge and not Joan Jett light? It is the early ’90s after all. Or at least more hair metal?

    It’s interesting that during the Tori episodes they have Lisa doing the stuff that normally would have been done by Kelly or Jessie. IE, homecoming queen, (Kelly) and running the Fall Ball dance, (Jessie). I guess they had to leave for her to be more than the third wheel who insults Screech all the time.

    I have to admit something. I like Tori. In fact, I wish she was cast from the very beginning. Would have saved me from the downer that is Jessie. Since Kelly always says she’s from more of a working class family, it would of been more believable if she and Tori who came across as more working class were friends, in stead of Kelly and an rich feminist?

    Also anyone remember that Tori are one of three triplets? Who did a sequel of the Parent Trap with her two other sisters? Just throwing it out there.

    • ILovedKellyKapowski

      I like Tori too.

      I just wish the writers put in some effort to explain why Kelly and Jessie weren’t around. ANY kind of explanation. How hard is it to make Slater or Lisa say: “Kelly is visiting her grandpa in Hawaii this week” or “Jessie is visiting Columbia university this week”? It’s insulting that they don’t consider their audience would think about shit like this.

      Kelly wasn’t always poor. But when world peace was accomplished, and her dad got laid off, that was when the whole Kelly-is-poor-and-needs-a-job-to-help-out-the-family thing came up. So it’s not a stretch that she could be friends with a rich quasi-feminist and rich shopaholic, years before her dad lost his job.

  2. It amazes me how the school just happened to have a water pump that fit that Mercedes at the school and that Belding knew what it was right away!

    • ILovedKellyKapowski

      This is a school that can afford to give students $100 seed money to start their own business (“Friendship Business”), or take over an existing business and cover any operating losses the students may incur (The New Class Season 1, “Running the Max”). I’m sure there are water pumps for Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s as well, just lying around the autoshop.

      I wonder if the school board had approved a slant-drilling operation, so they could still get at all that wonderful oil underneath Bayside, without killing any more of Becky’s animal friends.

  3. ILovedKellyKapowski

    What other episodes has Sylvester been in? I gotta look into that.

    But I like your theory of “Zack Morris is locking Kelly and Jessie in his basement” over my Toriverse theory. I can totally picture Zack Morris and the 2 girls engaged in some seriously freaky BDSM action in a dark basement. (Maybe they made Screech their gimp!) With Elizabeth Berkley doing Showgirls and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen playing a slutty whore on Beverly Hills 90210, it’s actually not a stretch. I hope Hustler does a future porn parody of this.

    Your theory still doesn’t explain why Lisa’s hairstyle changes only when Tori is around, or why she can’t remember that she and Zack Morris used to date.

    • The only other one I can recall Sylvester being in is “Screech’s Secret Sauce”, but he only had one line there. I think he was also in the finale.

  4. Zack was telling Screech to pull his dumbass head inside before something stupid would happen. Then while driving an incoming car came at the gang, causing Zack to lose control of the car, as two beers will cause one to lose focus behind the wheel. Also, Screech offered to drive since he didn’t drink, as Lisa and Slater were too buzzed (that teenage tolerance is low) but the gang was wary of their lives in Screechs’ hands, which makes sense, if not a plot device. interesting how they towed it to Zacks house instead of Lisas’. I’m sure teenagers could conceive a more clever way to get out of this one, but here again, this isn’t the Ferris Bueller crowd. The gang has to learn their lesson. That’s the point. Saying yes to underage drinking HAS to have consequences.

    Also, other early 90s reminders. No Caller ID! Derek Morris wouldn’t know Lisa called him. Zack had that cellphone since JFK Jr. High, Considering the bills and luxuries those were wouldn’t he have bought a different car? Or better yet, considering most of the crew were well-off, wouldn’t they have been members of Malibu Sands beach club with Lisa? That could have made for an interesting storyline.

  5. Caleb Bernard

    I analyzed this episode backwards and forwards a few months ago and have come to a startling conclusion:

    SBTB is actually a science fiction alternate-earth show featuring characters whose internal anatomy is similar yet distinct from our own. Think about it: Slamming a gavel on someone’s hand so hard that their retainer comes flying out might make perfect sense in an alternate anatomy. Being struck by lightning is seemingly all it takes to activate an internal radio receiver and speaker system.

    But the biggest difference is the characters’ tolerance to mind-altering substances. Caffeine Pills. Marjiuana (telling Ox or Scud or whatever his name was in the drug episode “This’ll kill you too!”, implying that in that universe, people commonly die from cannabis).

    Screech getting a buzz from standard doses of cough syrup. I did some research into the feasibility of this, and since Screech is quite small, I think it’s only just possible in our world, but it makes so much more since if Baysidian substance tolerance is somewhere between 1/5 and 1/10 of Earthian tolerance.

    Screech’s ability to drown his sorrow in milkshakes might even make more sense under this model, where the sugar rush from 6 milkshakes, with the Bayside x5 multiplier, could actually be pretty significant.

    But this drinking and driving episode is my main data point. I’ve done careful counting of the number of beers and partygoers on camera, and both figures are in the 20-22 range. One beer per person essentially. Yet in the end-of-party scene these kids look like they’re all on acid.

    The timing also doesn’t quite add up: the party starts at 7:30 I think, and by the time the kids arrive at the Morris household, Derek thinks it’s an okay hour to call someone’s home phone. This indicates that it’s no later than ~11:00 pm, I would guess. Before 11, the kids had to wreck the car, freak out for a little bit, call a tow truck, wait around, have the tow truck tow them, call Tori, wait for Tori, etc. I think they must have left the party at 9:30 to have time for all of this. This means that they all got smashed in 2 hours, on beer (just from casual sipping from what we see). This makes no sense in our own universe.

    But it might in theirs.

  6. Caleb Bernard

    It’s funny to me how quickly each member of the gang flips from being dubious about this evil beverage to pressuring their friends to join in.

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