In the cold opening, Zack Morris and Kelly get all lovey dovey and shit with each other, prompting me to want to vomit my food up. Then we get a recap of events…from two episodes ago. Seriously, the recap just shows the skydiving shit when Kelly radioed up and told Zack Morris she loves him. To listen to the recap, this is when they got engaged, not in the anticlimactic way they actually did last week. So much for the writers forgetting one fucking episode ago.
Well, while we get our inaccurate recap, Kelly calls her parents to tell them the news she’s getting married, and they react about as expected: telling her she’s a fucking idiot for getting engaged to a sociopath during her first year of college. Well, maybe it’s not really that harsh, but, in any case, they say they’re not going to help pay for the wedding, which I’m not sure why they would considering they’re supposed to be the poor family while Zack Morris has a virtual surplus of disposable income.
After the credits, Zack Morris’s parents have a similar reaction to the news of a wedding, though I’d be a hell of a lot less worried about adding Kelly to my family than Zack Morris. So Kelly worries she’s not going to have the dream wedding she’s always imagined but Zack Morris swears to her they’ll get married this weekend and she’ll have a dream wedding. See, he has $1,800 in savings bonds from his grandmother,which I’m sure will buy a hell of a wedding, right?
Zack Morris goes in the boys’ room and, after a disturbing exchange where Screech wants Zack Morris to touch his pants zipper, he tries to recruit Slater and Screech to help him put on a wedding. Screech readily agrees because he’s a lemming, but Slater tells Zack Morris he’s too young and he won’t be a part of any of this shit. I swear, Slater in The College Years is a judgmental prick. Even if I disagreed with my friend’s choice, I would have supported them through it. People wonder why Zack Morris and Slater are often paired up in erotic fan fics: because they write Slater like he’s a jealous, jilted lover.
In any case, Zack Morris asks Screech to be his best man just to piss off Slater, and it seems Slater does fill a might jealous that Zack Morris is going towards the old reliable idiot to fill this role.
In the student union, Zack Morris is taking this wedding planning seriously, even planning Kelly’s dress for her since she’s too much of a girl to know what kind of dress she likes. Leslie and Alex separately ask to be maid of honor and Zack Morris promises it to both of them since we need a wacky subplot that will inevitably lead to conflict.
Back at the suite, Bob Golic earns his paycheck for the episode by having Mike try to talk Zack Morris and Kelly out of marrying but, instead, giving them reasons to marry as he remembers the lover he gave up in college. You were always such a vital part of this cast, Mike. It’s nice to see your final scene for the series is equally useless as all your other appearances.
After Mike leaves, there’s a knock on the door, and who could it be but Lisa Turtle coming to make a special guest appearance. Yes, after the audience finishes losing their shit over her being back, we find out Lisa flew all the way out from New York to be Kelly’s maid of honor since she’s Kelly’s lifelong friend, or at least lifelong since the great move from Indianapolis to Los Angeles. This, naturally, gets a subplot going where Lisa, Leslie, and Alex fight over who gets to be maid of honor (fuck Jessie since she’s off stripping now) and Kelly’s pissed off because she actually wants to plan a detail like who gets to have the highest honor in her wedding.
Screech comes in and we find out that Zack Morris can’t afford a ring and the chapel is booked for the next six months because plot. This distresses Kelly but Zack Morris promises her the writers will come up with enough contrivances to fix all of this. Leslie throws one more plot point in, though: they need permission from Dean McMann to live off campus, and Lisa naturally guesses that Dean McMann must be the sane character who sees through Zack Morris’s bullshit.
This gives Dean McMann an excuse to appear and, though Dean McMann initially wants to lecture Kelly on how she’s throwing her life away, she realizes that, time and time again, the man always has to drop out of school and work to support the family. She realizes this is a nice way to get rid of Zack Morris and says she’ll do anything she can to get him the fuck out of Cal U.
She also bumps a professor’s funeral in the chapel for their wedding on the condition the minister wants to meet them. So many questions. Why are so many professors at Cal U suddenly dying? Why was the chapel booked six months in advance if a funeral, which usually has quite a bit less than six month’s notice, was able to be fit into the schedule? And what does Dean McMann have on the minister that she has the power to bump shit like this? These are all questions we’ll never know the answers to as we say goodbye to Dean McMann forever.
In the girls’ room, find out Kelly and Lisa made a bet when they were ten that the first to get married had to say goodbye to their first love, Kirk Cameron. I don’t think it would have worked out with either of them and Kirk Cameron. After all, why would Lisa want to date the only guy who makes Screech look sane by comparison.
Leslie and Alex come in and they fight some more about maid of honor and shit. Is this subplot over yet?
In the student union, Screech bugs Slater about coming to Zack Morris’s bachelor party. Zack Morris delivers them wedding invitations and Slater delivers some more overly judgmental bullshit.
Zack Morris, Screech, and Lisa go to see a shady jewelry dealer and Lisa negotiates a price on a ring because she’s apparently an expert in everything having to do with shopping, which doesn’t seem contrived at all.
Zack Morris returns to the suite and shows Kelly her ring she had no say in picking out. He tells her he also got them an apartment without her seeing it.
This leads into a dream sequence, and it’s not clear initially whose dream sequence it is but it soon becomes clear this is how Zack Morris hopes Kelly will treat him in married life: as the dominate man who controls her every desire.
He even imagines their kids, Zack Jr. and Zackerina, as well behaved youngsters who are going to bed quietly so their mom and dad can fuck in peace. Run, Kelly, fucking run.
Zack Morris and Kelly go to see their new apartment and it is, naturally, deserving of being condemned.
Even worse, their landlord is Stingray, which should be a sign to run as fast as they can, but Zack Morris says it’s the only apartment they can afford so he gives Stingray a deposit, thus ensuring they’ll have zany antics next season with the guy whose status at Cal U is completely undetermined.
Back at the suite, Zack Morris admits that maybe Slater was right about marriage and shit, which instantly makes Slater come around and decide to be a part of this wedding shit because he was just being a dick for no reason apparently. Slater tells Screech he’s going to be a part of the bachelor party as well.
In the girls’ room, Lisa, Leslie, and Alex fight over potential brides’ maid dresses so Kelly comes in and says she just wishes everyone could get along and find a way to wrap up this stupid subplot. She marches out and the three decide they need to put together a bacelorette party that won’t cause further conflict at all.
That night, Zack Morris and Kelly wait for the minister to come visit them, because ministers like to meet in dorms rather than a more professional place like, say, an office, when they’re invaded by a shitty bachelorette party. They try to get rid of it, but the boys invade with a simultaneous bachelor party because no one coordinated.
A police officer comes in to complain about the noise…
…but turns out to be Office McNasty, a stripper Slater hired to be mildly provocative. Wouldn’t this have been a perfect cameo appearance for Jessie?
Wouldn’t you know it: the minister picks that moment to show up and, after he sees Zack Morris handcuffed to the stripper and Alex demands he strip, he declares that Zack Morris and Kelly are sinners too far gone for a university chaplain to marry since they get to refuse anyone who doesn’t live up to their rigid moral standards. Spoiler: once again, Saved by the Bell doesn’t understand something. Chaplains don’t get to dictate moral standards the way a parish minister does. This guy would be fired for refusing to marry them.
In the boys’ room, Zack Morris is depressed that Kelly’s dream wedding isn’t turning out the way he’d hoped it would but Kelly says none of that matters anyway even though it totally did at the beginning of the episode. She says all that really matters is that Zack Morris is trying to make her happy, and she’s sure The College Years will get a second season to resolve this whole mess. And our episode and series ends with Zack Morris and Kelly deciding to run off to Las Vegas to be married since they don’t have judgmental chaplains there who will turn a blind eye to Zack Morris’s sociopathy.
In the recap, I’ll be talking about how I think the series would have wrapped up this plot had they been renewed, but, for now, let’s just say that this plot has been done a thousand times in bad sitcoms, and this isn’t particularly one of the better times I’ve seen it done.
During the credits, Mike expresses his love for Kelly.
And we get a cut scene involving Professor Lasky spitting water when Slater tells him Zack Morris and Kelly are getting married. Sorry, Lasky, your final scene on the show was so inconsequential the writers decided to cut it altogether. Why were you still on this show again?
And, with that cliffhanger, that’s it for The College Years! Stay tuned on Wednesday for a recap of the series. And, well, I guess that’s it for series involving the original cast. Nothing else to see here, right?
Yeah, I know.
Stay tuned on Friday to see the forced conclusion to the wedding plot as we review the final Saved by the Bell film.