The College Years Episode 18: “Marry Me”


In the cold opening, Zack Morris and Kelly hump while the gang and Mike watch what I assume is a romantic comedy a few feet away. I guess they’re exhibitionists, or else lazy writers have to remind us that Zack Morris and Kelly are a couple again since it’s going to be crucial to this episode.

There’s the expected cliche jokes about Slater thinking emotion is for losers while Leslie, Alex, Screech, and even Mike get all emotional shit over the film. Slater decides they should go get a pizza but Zack Morris and Kelly stay behind so they can fuck in peace.

Out of all the cold openings for this series, this one may be the most pointless so far. Of course, they have one more chance to prove they can be even more pointless.


After the credits, Slater and Alex set up the subplot: they hate everything the other person loves. I’m pretty sure they’re repeating a subplot they’ve already done because they’re out of things for Slater and Alex to do. After all, Slater’s character has been radically altered all season and Alex’s sole characterization is that she’s just slightly more competent than Screech.


In this case, Alex doesn’t want to go to a car show but it’s a good thing there’s a one episode love interest available because  Christie here wants to ride Slater all the way to the show.


Meanwhile, Dean McMann seems overly invested in Zack Morris and Kelly making out…again. Jesus, I’ve heard of public displays of affection but this is ridiculous. Dean McMann is here to berate Zack Morris and also to tell Kelly she’s been selected for the semester at sea program we’re only now hearing about since it’s a plot point. Why am I not surprised that The New Class even ripped off the worst idea for an episode arc they’ve had to date?

The ship leaves Tuesday but, naturally, it won’t be that simple because, though Kelly wants to go, Zack Morris is back to his old, possessive ways as wants his property to stay behind and do his bidding.


Back at the dorms, Slater walked Christie home and proceeded to kiss her because she likes cars and shit. Lucky for the plot, Leslie just happens to be on the same floor and witnesses the kiss, and she immediately pretends she saw nothing so she can draw out those consequences to another scene.


We get a scene in Professor Lasky’s office where Zack Morris sucks up for a recommendation letter to the semester at sea program, presumably so Patrick Fabian could collect a check this week. Lasky says he can’t give Zack Morris a recommendation, not because Zack Morris is a shithead who would likely cause an international incident if it let him get into Kelly’s pants, but because he’s already given a recommendation and there’s apparently only one recommendation allowed per professor. Though Lasky is hesitant to say who the recommendation is for, we soon find out when Screech bursts in and reveals that Lasky gave the recommendation to another shithead who’s likely to cause an international incident.


Back at the suite, Zack Morris pays off Stingray to tell Screech all kinds of horror stories about shark attacks on the semester at sea program. Naturally, Screcch doesn’t question the story of a possibly mentally ill person and runs out scared.


Meanwhile, Leslie confronts Slater about the contrivance she saw and forces him to address it with Alex. Instead, he tells her a half truth, saying that he was really out with a “Chris” at the dog show and that, no, he’s not a gay homosexual. I swear to god, I wasn’t out with Slater at the car show or I would have tried to convince him not to do two episodes of The New Class!


Zack Morris attends the orientation for the semester at sea program, for some reason, even though he isn’t even being considered right now. He meets Curtis, a random guy who was talking pleasantly with Kelly and, because he’s not hideous like Screech, Zack Morris instantly goes into jealousy mode, assuming Kelly’s going to jump Curtis the minute the boat leaves port.


While he’s there, he also changes Dean McMann’s slides to imply last year’s ship sank, further freaking Screech out and causing him to quit the program and run out. Zack Morris assumes this means he’s a shoo in for the program, but Dean McMann says she wouldn’t let Zack Morris represent Cal U in any capacity if he was the last person at the school. Besides, he’s a shithead and hasn’t done anything to endure himself to her since they met.

The only thing: if Dean McMann didn’t intend to let Zack Morris go, why didn’t she tell him to fuck off when he came to the orientation. Well, unless she was just trying to fuck with him, which sounds like a good enough reason as any.


That night, Zack Morris has a dream sequence, the first one of the series and the first without those nice neon pink borders to remind those too dense to realize the events aren’t happening. Basically, the dream sequence consists of Curtis and Kelly practically fucking on the deck of the boat, and Zack Morris wakes up, sure of what to do.


He rushes into the girls’ room and tells Kelly his incredible possessiveness won’t allow him to believe Kelly could be monogamous, especially after she cheated previously with the captain of the starship Enterprise. When Zack Morris realizes his patriarchal pleadings aren’t working, he spontaneously proposes to Kelly, waking up Leslie and Alex.

Naturally, Alex and Leslie butt in and take opposite sides. Leslie, since she’s the intelligent one, points out how stupid it is for them to get married given they just started actually dating last episode. Alex, the one just slightly more competent than the character who believed Jaws would be waiting patiently to eat him, says she thinks it’s romantic and they should do it.

Well, Kelly kicks them both out and tells Zack Morris there’s lots to think about, like how they’re going to support themselves and whether there will be a second season of The College Years. She tells Zack Morris she has to think about it and Zack Morris leaves, believing that thinking is stupid stuff that won’t get you anywhere.


Leslie tries to force Slater to tell Alex about Christie, and this leads to the most natural of outcomes: a wrestling match…


…which concludes with Leslie appearing to be giving it to Slater just as Alex walks in. She thinks Slater and Leslie are dating…again…and Leslie bursts out that Slater’s seeing someone else.


Leslie rushes out and Slater says he’s finally realized Alex is an idiot and he’s not sure why the writers paired them up to being with other than convienence. Alex rushes out, upset.


Zack Morris tells Screech the truth about the semester at sea program off screen and buys him some porn so he can get laid from himself. Screech packs and leaves since apparently it’s possible to opt back into a Cal U program at the very last minute.

Kelly comes in and tries to get Zack Morris to come to the S.S. Plot Contrivance to see her off, but he’s all, “Wah! I’m a little baby and I’m the only one whose feelings actually matter!” Kelly leaves, hurt, and tells Zack Morris she has feelings, too.


On the boat, Mike makes his second appearance of the episode to see Kelly off, acting as a walking, talking, Lonely Planet guide to what to do in possible international situations. I’m so glad Mike’s around for such important scenes.

The rest of the gang sans Zack Morris are there as well and give Kelly her wishes. Kelly says she can’t leave unless Slater and Alex resolve their subplot so they agree to break up on good terms since it was stupid for them to be together to begin with. Also, Screech decides he gets seasick way too easily and decides not to go on the boat after all, which explains why he later goes on the same program on The New Class. We have final goodbyes and everyone leaves.


But then Zack Morris shows up with flowers for Kelly and tells her that he’s sorry as he’s never considered the possibility she may have feelings before, and they can wait three months. As Zack Morris prepares to leave, Kelly says she’s decided to throw all common sense to the wind and that she’s going to accept Zack Morris’s proposal for the sake of the end of the series. And our episode ends with the boat seeming to take off with Zack Morris on board because stowaways are completely cool in international situations. Yeah, a random guy without a passport isn’t going to cause problems at all. Maybe it will lead to a movie: Saved by the Bell: Customs and Immigration Style.


During the credits, Kelly and Zack Morris mess up their lines. How thrilling.

Firsts: Zack Morris and Kelly get engaged.

7 responses to “The College Years Episode 18: “Marry Me”

  1. Didn’t Zack Morris give Screech the same book that Screech was already reading in the Palm Springs episodes? It was called “how to pick up girls”, or something to that effect.

  2. Even when I was a kid, I stuck this long to TCY for one reason. I was plot driven. Horrible show.

    BTW, in real life isn’t the actress playing Alex seven years older then the rest of the cast? Not that it’s bad at all infact eventhough she’s kind of a dud on here, I kind of like her as an actress.

    I remember seeing her in Independence Day and when she got vaprorized on top of the Capital Records building I was, “Oh..I wanted to see more Alex from TCY. Too bad.”

    I think i was the only person disapointed when she got shot by Laurie Metcalf on Desperate Housewives.

  3. I know, when this episode was soon to air, they billed it as the series finale, but did they know that at the time that they were taping it?

    • Actually this isn’t the last episode. Next week’s episode is and it’s a cliffhanger, so I have a feeling they didn’t know when they were filming.

      • Right. I meant both episodes aired on the same night and were billed as the series finale.

        These episodes, on their first airing, had hosting segments by the cast – much like the first two episodes with Kelly did. The cast, in character but also watching the episodes along with us, didn’t make any reference to it being the end of the series.

        Unfortunately, I probably no longer have the tape of the finale. Even if I did, I remember NBC coming in very poorly on that night. The image was grainy and black-and-white a lot. Ah, the days of antenna TV. I so don’t miss them.

  4. While Zack and Kelly getting married makes sense as an end to the series, I never liked it. Aside from the fact that they are way too young to get married, having not even finished their freshman year of college, the marriage basically makes TCY totally superfluous. With Kelly back in the picture, Leslie wasn’t needed at all, and was just there. The same is true for Alex, albeit for different reasons. That she and Slater break up in this episode was the writers saying there’s no reason to change the five year status quo established in high school. Ideally, college should be a time to meet new people and experience new things, and the SBTB gang do neither.

    • Agree. When St. Peter and NBC first thought of the idea of TCY, they should of did so with the idea of, “All or Nothing.” Either bring all six of the original characters back or just focus on one and maybe bring in the original cast mates as special gust stars though out the season.

      IMO if they focused on one character the three guys would of had the better stories.

      Zack at an Ivy Leauge school where he finds out almost everyone is a preppy.

      Slater at Iowa. Maybe make the show more sports centric since he’s there on a wrestling scholarship.

      Or even Screech. Retcon that in stead of going to Cal, he goes to either an MIT or CIT type school. Honestly it could of been Big Bang Theory before Big Bang Theory.

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