Oh, Mr. Dewey. WHY! You went four seasons without staining your reputation with this spin-off! Why did you choose to suddenly to tarnish your character by appearing on this show? Excuse me while I go sob quietly into my pillow.
Yes, after a four season absence from the franchise, Mr. Dewey is back, now as a communications teacher. I guess he took over the role of “most versatile” teacher after Mr. Tuttle left since the only thing he’s ever taught before is algebra. In any case, he gives the gang their assignment: a video assignment to film someone they consider to be a hero. Oh, god, please don’t let one of them choose Screech…
Also, what happens if a group can’t afford a video camera? Oh, wait, this is Saved by the Bell, where even Kelly Kapowski, despite supposedly being poor, can afford to take a trip to Hawaii with five of her closest friends and own the latest fashions, so I guess “poor” in this universe means you do without Cinemax.
And, yes, in case you’re wondering, The New Class does manage to fuck up Mr. Dewey’s character. I’m not sure how the fuck you manage to screw-up a character who just stands and talks in a monotone, but some idiot decided he needed to show emotion, and he frequently does, as when he enthusiastically encourages the Bayside football team to beat Valley.
On their way to a pep rally, Ryan and Rachel practically jack each other off in the hallway over the fact they’re both dressed like they’re on the Bayside golf team. Wasn’t Rachel a cheerleader before? Why doesn’t she need to be on stage? Nicky doesn’t want to get involved in this circle jerk until he realizes his new forced love interest is a cheerleader because she’s Lindsay’s replacement. Also, Maria brings up the fact that Todd Miller, Katie’s old boyfriend, is coming back to town next week and she totally blows Nicky off in the not so good way as the girls all walk to the pep rally talking about how awesome Todd Miller was.
At the pep rally, Eric thinks Mr. Belding’s going to recognize how important he is to the team as a bench warmer.
Unfortunately, for Eric, Mr. Belding actually means Melvin, the water boy, because water boys are frequently recognizes water boys.
Mr. Belding hands over the pep rally to the worst possible person to give encouragement. Screech reminds the assembled teenagers how much Bayside has sucked against Valley ever since he’s been on this show because they haven’t really had a football related episode. And, proving that, even in his absence, Tommy D is still a dumb ass, Screech relates how, last year, Tommy D had the opportunity to score the winning touchdown against Valley and, instead, ran the football into the opposing teams’ end zone. Oh, Tommy D. Your legacy will always be to be a complete moron, won’t it?
Also, Nicky’s jealous of Todd Miller because he and Katie just started dating. I guess that happened off screen. Thanks, The New Class, for not including something as trivial as two main characters deciding to date in an episode! Nicky decides that the most important thing he can do in this episode is spend as much time with Katie as possible!
In the locker room, we find out that the Bayside/Valley game’s currently in progress, and a player named Kapowski ran into Mr. Belding and was too shaken to go back in the game. Wait…are they making a reference to one of Kelly’s myriad of younger siblings here? If so…kudos on an inside reference! Also, Mr. Belding took out a cheerleader in the process, which seems thrown in but will actually matter in a minute.
In any case, we don’t get to watch the game in progress because filming is difficult. Instead, we get the excitement of Screech watching from the window and telling us what’s happening, because that’s a great substitute. Show, don’t tell, guys!
Screech tells us that Eric’s put in for Kapowski. The team throws a long one to Eric, he zigs and zags through and makes it to the end zone. He makes a touchdown and, lucky for contrivance, that just happens to be the end of the game and Eric wins the game for Bayside.
At The Max, the background extras just eat up Eric doing a random victory dance for them. Meanwhile, Rachel and Maria get the idea to do their class project on Eric as a Bayside hero. He agrees because he doesn’t want to be as under-appreciated as R.J. from last season so Rachel and Maria go to get their camera, which I guess they just left in their car since break-ins aren’t a huge problem in LA or anything. Also, Ryan gets the idea to sell autographed Eric Little t-shirts.
Heather, a snobbish cheerleader who’s been kind of a bitch to Eric throughout the episode, suddenly wants to jump his cock and convinces Eric to come to her house and fuck. Ryan reminds Eric he’s supposed to wait for Rachel and Maria, but he’s all, “Fuck that! I’ll be another R.J. if it means becoming the first person in the history of this show to get laid!”
Katie has no time to hang out with Nicky because she has to find a replacement cheerleader for the one that Mr. Belding injured. Nicky lies and tells Katie he was a cheerleader in…wait for it…NEW YORK! Ah, it’s like playing, “Where’s Waldo?” finding the New York reference for Nicky in every episode! This excites Katie, or at least it would if she had the ability to emote, and she rushes to tell the cheerleaders.
Rachel and Maria return and are pissed off to find that Eric ditched them to get laid. There’s not much reaction to this revelation other than the indecisive stock music of The New Class playing us into a commercial break.
At Bayside, Eric and Heather are a couple, and Rachel and Maria get pissed at Eric for standing them up. He promises they can interview him in the gym before practice.
Also, Ryan shows Eric the t-shirts he’s going to autograph and sell for $20 each. He’s ordered a ton of them in anticipation that Eric won’t get his comeuppance later in the episode for acting like an ego inflated jerk to everyone.
Nicky approaches Screech and asks for some cheerleading tips since he heard Screech was once the mascot on the cheerleader squad because being the mascot, you definitely learn all the moves all the other cheerleaders do. That makes complete sense! Nicky still hasn’t learned it’s not good to trust Screech with anything and doesn’t sense a bad omen when Screech injures Mr. Belding trying to come out of his office.
So, yeah, we get Screech’s bad cheerleading advice now: all you need to do is smile, shout, and shake it, because dancing and acrobatics aren’t involved in cheerleading at all! Naturally, Screech’s advice makes Nicky look like a complete fuckwit.
Rachel and Maria come in and find out that Eric stood them up again, while Mr. Belding comes in and exposits that the next game is against Westwood and he’s counting on them to win with an awesome player like Eric because what could go wrong!
Melvin comes in wearing an Eric t-shirt and he tells them that Eric’s autographing the t-shirts at The Max…
…while Heather gives him a reach around I guess? Rachel and Maria tell Eric that he’s turned into a jackass since he got an episode revolving around him. Eric says not to worry about the project deadline because Mr. Dewey will let it slide because he’s Eric Little. Sorry, Eric, but you don’t have what it take to have the ego of Zack Morris.
Back in the gym, the cheerleaders show Nicky the cheerleader routine he needs to learn. Nicky suddenly realizes that Screech is a moron and fakes an injury to get out of being a cheerleader.
In the locker room, before the Westwood game, Mr. Belding and the coach tell the players to not let a cliched plot device ruin their chances of winning a game.
Naturally, Eric doesn’t listen. When he has the chance to score the winning touchdown, he stops at the two yard line and does his victory dance there instead, allowing two Westwood players the opportunity to tackle him. Since this is contrivance city, it’s the end of the game again and Bayside loses.
Wait, they filmed an outdoor scene for Eric’s fuck-up but not for his winning touchdown? I guess they’re limited to one outdoor scene a season. Damn it, The New Class, is making a decent television show just this hard for you?
At Bayside, Eric sucks ass now. Nerds make fun of him, Heather doesn’t want anything to do with him, Ryan can’t give away Eric Little t-shirts, and Rachel and Maria think Eric is a horrible person because the project is due today and they don’t have time to film it. Oh, and Mother Teresa called to let Eric know she hates him.
Katie realizes Nicky faked the injury and gets mildly annoyed that Nicky can’t actually do something that common sense should have told her he can’t do.
Mr. Belding and Screech find that Eric’s stuffed himself in his own locker, something Screech should have done long ago. Eric doesn’t want to go to class and face any more humiliation and, instead, asks if he can just exit the show unceremoniously like R.J. did, but Mr. Belding convinces Eric that this show has had enough cast changes over the last four years and can’t have another for another twenty episodes. Eric goes to class and Screech decides that maybe Eric should meet Screech’s long lost cousin and talk to him since he played a little football. And it just so happens Screech is meeting his cousin at The Max for lunch.
Screech’s cousin is…Jim Harbaugh. Sorry, guys, I never got much into football so I haven’t the slightest clue who he is but I assumed he’s famous since the producers turned on the “audience, lose your shit” sign. I looked him up on Wikipedia and I guess he was a big player, playing for the Indianapolis Colts at the time this aired.
Jim Harbaugh gives Eric a nice motivational speech to give this an educational moral and says that you’re nothing without a team and that you usually mess up when you assume you’re more important and other such cliches. Eric says he fucked up for everyone, but convinces Jim Harbaugh to come to communications class and speak to them in lieu of a video project. Jim Harbaugh says he’s always willing to help out as long as Peter Engel gets him the check on time.
Nicky comes in and does a horrible cheer to apologize to Katie. She says that humiliation is enough for forgiveness since we’re running short on time, and Jim Harbaugh wonders what universe he’s accidentally wandered into.
In communications class, no one believes Eric that he met Jim Harbaugh and Mr. Dewey breaks character again and gets pissed off at Eric for insinuating he met his hero since he’s from Indianapolis. Wait…does that mean Mr. Dewey moved to California with Zack Morris, Screech, Lisa, and Mr. Belding? So confused!
Even more confusion ensues when Screech comes in dressed as a football player and pretending to be Jim Harbaugh. He whispers to Eric that Jim Harbaugh couldn’t make it so he’s filling in for him, which would normally full everyone given the nobody can recognize faces rule of the Saved by the Bell universe, but it’s convenient to the plot so no one falls for it.
Mr. Belding brings in Jim Harbaugh, who gives a twenty second motivational speech to the class about being a hero being about who you are. In any rational world, this would get an F, but we need to end the episode with Mr. Dewey giving Rachel, Maria, and Eric an A and the girls making up with Eric.
Seriously, how hard was it to get a character right whose sole characteristic is saying everything in an uninterested monotone?
As a postscript, someone in the comments of a previous review asked me to be sure to mention the fact that this episode inspired someone to get a tattoo of Jim Harbaugh from this episode. Yes, some guy pledged that, if Jim Harbaugh was hired as head coach of Michigan, he would get an image of Harbaugh from this episode tattooed on his arm. I had never heard about this before, but you can read about it here. The biggest tragedy, naturally, is that someone has an image from this shitty show permanently etched into their skin.