The New Class Season 5, Episode 6: “Letting Go”

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Our episode opens with Ryan super excited about the new Tom Cruise film, and he wants to know if the gang want to go see it. At the time this episode aired, the newest Tom Cruise film was Jerry Maguire, so, yes, Ryan, I will go see the new Tom Cruise film with you. Katie and Eric are too tired from working at the gym so Ryan suggests that Nicky and Maria could double date with Liz and him because Ryan apparently now has no memory of the events last week. Nicky reminds Ryan that this episode is kind of chronologically consistent and that he and Maria just broke up last week but Ryan and Liz aren’t dating yet.  Oh, The New Class, it’s so cute when you try to be consistent in your chronology and you fail.

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And we get our main plot for the week: Maria insists to Liz that she’s okay with the break-up and they can still hang out with no problem. Jesus fucking Christ, this is like the third time we’ve gotten this plot now and it’s about the relationship on this show I’ve given the fewest shits about. Really, Nicky and Maria had less chemistry than Brian and Rachel, and that’s saying something.

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Ryan realizes that his wallet is missing and Deputy Dumb Ass runs up to assist, saying someone’s been stealing shit. But our resident incompetent moron is on the case and determined to catch the perp. Eric correctly reflects all our thoughts when he says that Ryan should just kiss his wallet goodbye. After all, this is the man once mistaken by the government for being an alien.

At Media Mania, we learn the reason this store will be out of business by next season: management just randomly hands out overtime by request. Yes, Ryan asks Nicky for overtime, and he’s all, “Sure!”

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Nicky and Ryan then meet Courtney, the new computer bookkeeper since Media Mania apparently loves hiring teenage girls for this position. Nicky’s all, “Hi, pretty girl! Please marry me!”

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Maria and Liz come in, and Maria’s completely over Nicky when she assumes Courtney must be a bimbo.

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Meanwhile, Screech throws nets on random customers looking for the purse snatcher, one of whom just happens to be Mr. Belding. Mr. Belding is all, “Quit being a dumb ass away from Bayside and Screech is all, “But I have to prove I can do one thing competently!”

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At the gym Eric and Katie get to help a guy who can’t lift a basic barbell. They commiserate over how tired they are when their boss comes out and tells them they need to work tomorrow because it’s common for businesses to just randomly change their employees’ schedules with only one day’s notice and expect not to kill morale.

Another member comes in who seems full of pep despite saying he just worked all day. And thus begins the closest The New Class has ever come to copying the unintentional hilarity of “Jessie’s Song.”

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See, the member is taking an herbal supplement called “Pep Pals” that he says is giving him all this energy. He assures them that even this show won’t do two drug episodes in a row and that it’s “all natural” and available at the health food store. They take samples from him, hoping that it’s not the start of a very special subplot.

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Mr. Belding finds that his bag has been stolen by the thief and says that Screech needs to do something better to catch the thief than throwing nets on random customers. Screech says he has a plan to catch the thief, which should scare Mr. Belding away, but Mr. Belding is all, “What the fuck. I have nothing better to do this episode!”

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Eric and Katie run up to Ryan, full of bad acting and talking loud, ready to go to the Teen Machine with Ryan. He says he’s tired from work but they share their herbal supplements with him. They’re soon joined by Maria and Liz, but Nicky says he and Courtney want to go see the new Tom Cruise movie instead. Maria decides she’d rather go see the movie so she can push her plot even further.

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In the theater, Maria sits so she can stare awkwardly at Nicky and Courtney.

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But Ryan, Eric, and Katie bounce around like they’re on caffeine pills.

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And then they get up and dance manically to the previews. Um, I’m pretty sure the writers of this episode have mistaken herbal supplements for speed. It’s an honest mistake for someone who can’t be bothered to do basic research I guess. At this point, it feels like I’m in a surreal comedy, maybe something directed by Jean-Luc Goddard. I’ve never known an herbal supplement that can make someone act this way. If there is, I want some!

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We find out Screech’s plan is to have Mr. Belding dress up as Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life and leave a purse casually unattended. Oh, Mr. Belding, when will you learn to run as far away from Screech and his bullshit as possible.

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Soon, what’s obviously a man dressed as an old woman passes by and, though it’s clear by sitcom cliche conventions that this is going to be the thief, she knocks Mr. Belding’s wig off, revealing two men dressed in drag.

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Nicky soon discovers Mr. Belding like this and decides that he’s already seen stranger shit in the two seasons he’s been with this show.

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Back at the gym, Katie and Eric have introduced the wimpy member to the herbal supplement speed, and it’s given him pep to run around the room jumping rope. My god, surreal comedy.

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In the food court, Maria convinces Screech that Courtney is the thief because that won’t piss Nicky the fuck off. Screech hauls Courtney off on suspicion of theft because he’s trying to get a law suit for the mall since that’s totally illegal.

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Back at the gym, our herbal pumped member is going full speed. Mr. Belding is alarmed to find out that the member took evil herbs! The member soon collapses and Mr. Belding directs an extra to call 911.

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In the food court, Screech reveals to Nicky that Maria convinced his feeble mind that Courtney was the thief. Nicky confronts Maria and calls her a jealous, conniving, controlling bitch and tells her to fuck the fucking fuck off.

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After a commercial break, Screech tells Liz he’s depressed he can’t find the thief as it’s yet another indication of his complete incompetence. He loudly announces that he’s given up on the thief. He also loudly thanks Maria for her help.

Liz asks Maria what Screech was yacking about, and Maria reveals what she did to Courtney. Liz is all, “I need to be the voice of reason and tell you to accept that you and Nicky are over.”

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At the gym, Eric and Katie’s boss reveal the member will be okay. The herbs made his body feel like it could keep going when it couldn’t. He says he’s suspending them for…recommending a legal product the member misused? Fuck if I know, but they’re really laying it on thick to convince me that herbal supplements are dangerous.

Speaking of laying it on thick, Mr. Belding lectures them they shouldn’t take anything that they don’t know what it will do to their bodies because anything that could possibly change how your body reacts is evil! They say they told everyone to get off the herbs, but not before Ryan runs in to give us one more surreal comedic moment.

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Ryan, Katie, and Eric soon discover that they have no energy once they’re off the supplements. Seriously, what the fuck kind of herbal supplements ever did this?!?! Do the writers know what a herbal supplement is?

Come on. Yes, herbal supplements can have interactions with over the counter and prescription medication and, much like anything else, it can have side effects and unintended consequences in high doses. but this is fucking ridiculous.

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Maria apologizes to Nicky for acting like a neurotic fool. She says she guesses she’s not as over him as she thought. Nicky says their emotionless relationship will always mean a lot to him no matter who else he dates, and they apologize.

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The old woman from earlier tries to steal Katie’s purse and is soon revealed by a hidden Screech to predictably be a man dressed as a woman because I didn’t call that about a half hour ago. Screech says he wanted the thief to beleive he’d given up but he always gets his man, unless his name is Zack Morris. And our episode ends with our gang and the assembled extras congratulating Screech on being able to hide and watch people in order to do something semi-competent on this show once.

3 responses to “The New Class Season 5, Episode 6: “Letting Go”

  1. I hate that I’m defending TNC writers, but because of the nonexistent quality control standards for herbal supplements, there have been cases of people being severely injured by tainted, bogus, or misleading supplements. However, that would be a very different sort of episode, not so much a “don’t do drugs” message so much as a “be skeptical about health claims.” In any case, I can’t see TNC showing a character being on permanent dialysis or something like that because they tainted supplements.

  2. The episode would have been better without the stupid Screech/Mr. Belding subplot. But then, that could apply to 97% of the episodes of this series…

  3. BTW, not in this season but TNC related. Congrats to Natalia Cigliuti. I heard she got married a few weeks ago to Matt Passmore. He was the lead actor on The Glades and is currently on the USA show Satisfaction.

    Hope they live a long life together.

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