The New Class Season 5, Episode 23: “Private Peterson”


Back at Bayside this week (imagine that, a show about high school taking place at high school!), and it’s time for that annual-when-the-writers-are-out-of-ideas event, Career Week! Aren’t you so excited to find out what these Saved by the Bell wanna bes are going to be when they grow-up/


Well, we open to find Mr. Belding wants everyone to be a principal, but no one else wants the job except Screech who, if the fates willing, will not be allowed alone with a child without adult supervision. Mr. Belding’s depressed that everyone hates his table since that kid Ryan and Tommy D chased off back in season three isn’t around anymore, but Screech, in his usual level of helpfulness, offers doughnuts, which get people to come to the table and promptly run away.


Meanwhile, Katie and Eric, being our resident poor students, get reeled into ROTC when the instructor mentions scholarships. They’re initially skeptical until the lieutenant here is all, “It’s going to cost us a lot more to write an actual original script if you don’t go with this, so just play along,” and they’re fair game.


As for the rest of the gang? Liz wants to be a doctor and Ryan decides to be a doctor as well, presumably so he can fuck Liz in some sick role play fantasy. Maria wants to be a lawyer because she’s the most pushy and arrogant of the group, and Nicky decides to be a lawyer because why the hell not. No, this isn’t out of order and suddenly Maria and Nicky are dating again. It’s just Nicky doesn’t have an original bone in his body this episode.


And it’s already time for ROTC shit! There’s some weird shit here, like one guy putting barbed wire around his locker because…hell if I know? The lieutenant complements Katie and we get the first hint of how horrible this plot is going to be as the other cadets are all, “Eww! Girls!”

The lieutenant instructs them to choose a squad leader, and the others nominate Eric since he’s a member of the cast and not a girl. The lieutenant instructs them to march around a bunch so the other cast members can have time in this episode and Eric instructs Katie to leave. Suddenly, though, the rest of the squad stop following her because COOTIES AND VAGINA AND SHIT!


In the hallway, Ryan and Liz need a subject for a medical evaluation since they’re doctors and shit. They need someone who would make a really interesting specimen.


Oh, glorious day, someone finally recognized that Screech has something seriously wrong with him, even if it is two high school students on The New Class pretending to be doctors! I always knew Screech must be the result of some botched medical experiment! It’s time for him to fulfill his destiny and donate his body to science, where at least it won’t hurt the rest of us!


Fortunately for Ryan and Liz, TNBC shows didn’t allow much nudity beyond shirtless guys and the occasional Screech in a speedo, so we’re spared from having to see Screech undressed. Naturally, Screech’s family history is weird and his reflexes are stupid. He’s also double-jointed, which he seems to be really worried about because he’s a dumb ass.


At The Max, the other cadets continue giving Katie shit because she’s a girl and doesn’t have a penis and shit. They tied her shoelaces together on an outing and she’s pissed because she needs that college scholarship because her family is poor even though she just got back from an expensive month in Paris and she seems to go on the other exorbitant field trips Bayside offers without any problems.


They send her out with a sign on her back because obviously they missed the first part of last season and the random Space Camp episode where Katie dated a boy. Also, VAGINA AND SHIT!

If this episode becomes anymore MRA-ish, Paul Elam and Roosh are going to jump out and declare that women are destroying the fabric of western civilization. Also, I’m just realizing that some of those cadets look way too old to be students at Bayside, which makes me think they really just came from a Roosh seminar.


Screech comes in and our fake doctors give him his diagnosis that of course he’s fucking okay. He’s just double jointed. Naturally they can’t leave it at that and mention a rare and fake condition that could also be the cause, so Screech instantly starts believing he has that condition because he’s a complete dumb ass, to the point that, the next day at school, he’s moping around and shit and having a reaction to every symptom he hears.


Back at Bayside, Maria’s pretending to want to sue Bayside for stupid negligence. And Nicky’s realized he sucks ass at being a lawyer so now he wants to be a school principal.


Unfortunately, that means listening to Mr. Belding read his published memoirs, which must have been published by the same people who published Behind the Bell.

Katie, meanwhile is none too happy that the local MRAs are targeting her and tells Eric off for letting it happen.


At The Max, Screech gets Maria to help him make a will because he’s now convinced he’s dying and shit. Also, Nicky’s decided that, since Mr. Belding is boring, being a principal sucks ass so he’s now a chef at The Max dressed like Chef Boyardee. And apparently he gets no training in how to cook because Maria and Screech both think his cooking sucks ass.

Katie comes in and unloads on Maria about her issues with her resident MGTOWs. She’s pissed Eric won’t stick up for her but she’s concerned that, if she goes to the lieutenant and complains, the others will deny everything and she’ll look like a wimp. Maria’s all, “Sucks to be you!” Really, no useful advice. We just get to see Screech go the bathroom, because that’s what was needed to bring his character full circle!


In ROTC, Katie’s made fun of because she knows the answers to the lieutenant’s questions and that’s just stupid since she has a vagina. Tomorrow, they’re running the obstacle course, which will count as twenty-five percent of their final evaluation. After the lieutenant leaves, the others grab her book and start tossing it back and forth and then leave.

Katie asks Eric why he won’t do anything about their idiocy and Eric’s all, “Bros before hoes!” Katie tells him he’s a fucking dumb ass as well and that, if he’s really the leader, he needs do something.


At the obstacle course, Katie comes in last because the boys put a twenty pound weight in Katie’s backpack. When Eric finds out and tells Katie, she’s furious and can’t believe Eric’s still so stupid. She’s mad that a bad evaluation will hurt her chances at an evaluation, even though physical fitness shouldn’t really be that heavily weighted since it’s one of the elements that can most easily be worked on, and she rushes off.


At The Max, Screech doesn’t want Mr. Belding to find out he’s dying but then Mr. Belding comes over and is all, “Quit acting like a fucking dumb ass, taking medical advice from two high school students. Go see a real doctor!”


Eric tries to convince the others to quit acting like an idiot with Katie. They’re all, “But VAGINA!” They try to get him not to tell the lieutenant.


Back at Bayside, Screech is, unfortunately, not going to die, and he takes advantage of the situation to cop a feel of Maria. Yeah, that image is going to stay stuck in my mind for a very long time. There’s some stuff about Screech suing for pain and suffering but Ryan and Liz point out they never actually said he was dying and Mr. Belding interjects that Screech is a fucking dumb ass, and thus ends the “Screech is dying” subplot.

Also, Nicky sucked ass at everything he did, bringing his arc to full circle.

In ROTC, the lieutenant gives everyone their evaluations, pointing out this week long taster is going to be weighted heavily should they decide to apply for a scholarship because a week is enough time to gauge whether someone is worthy of a scholarship. After all, it’s half the time needed to build a house!


Eric finally tells the lieutenant that the others have been surfing reddit too long, and they cheated on the obstacle course. The lieutenant is all, “Y’all, that was bad!” Eric convinces him to give Katie another chance at the obstacle course. She runs it again, this time with the rest of the gang to cheer her on, for some reason.


Katie beats the fastest time and proves girl power and shit, and our episode ends with The New Class single-handedly defeating misogyny through military intervention!

God, this episode is pretty bad. Not that I have high expectations of The New Class but come on!

13 responses to “The New Class Season 5, Episode 23: “Private Peterson”

  1. So Katie actually completed the course in 18 seconds but the lieutenant recorded her time as 29 seconds. It does make me question his efforts to stamp out sexism, especially when you look at his success rate for recruiting girls for the ROTC.

    It seems like a fitness test should be a little more strenuous than thirty seconds of light exercise. That would be the equivalent of writing your name in a written exam.

    • You know, when I first started writing this blog, I used to notice all kinds of inconsistencies like the obstacle course being ridiculously short or Katie’s time being misrecorded. Now I think I just take it for granted because I’ve seen much more ridiculous things, like building a house in two weeks. I think too much The New Class is rotting my brain.

      • I always thought that the world of SBTB TNC wasn’t in the real world, but simply in the Peter Engel Universe . All of his shows are in this world and building a house in two weeks, HS kids that are never in school or Screech or Belding never getting fired or suspended by the school board was the norm. .

        I’m shocked that no one has dedicated a website to the shared Engel Universe much like some have with Stephen King or the Tarantino Universe and explained all the wacky theories or confections people had on this show.

        Like: The original SBTB is a show within a show. It’s really a popular program that all the kids on Good Morning Miss Bliss watch.

        Or that Mickey and Slater are related. They got separated The Parent Trap Style. This would explain why they have kind of the same hair.

        • Actually, GMMB footage was played on a TV in SBTB, so, really, GMMB is a show within the SBTB universe.

        • It’s not consistent enough to be a single universe. Peter Engel clearly subscribes to the multiverse theory. It’s a scary thought but there are many different Screechs out there.

          Earth SBTB Prime – Home to most of Screech’s adventures with Zack, Slater, Kelly, Jessie and Lisa.

          Earth Tori – An earth without Kelly and Jessie but Screech makes a new friend in his final year of High School. Slater also has a sister on this earth.

          Earth Robin – Katie Peterson’s sister attended Bayside with Screech.

          Earth Promo Photos – An earth in which Screech is friends with Kelly, Jessie and Tori.

          Earth Time Capsule – An earth in which class sizes are far smaller – sometimes consisting of only six students – but there are cameras everywhere.

          Earth College – Similar to Prime except the Screech, Zack, Slater and Kelly are far more codependent and go to the same college.

          Earth College Pilot – Almost identical to the previous except the semester starts earlier in this universe so Danielle was around to attend her first classes before transferring colleges.

          Earth Wedding – A universe possibly without Leslie Burke?

          Earth TNC Rich/ Earth TNC Poor – a set of twin universes in which a school governor’s choice of either red or black at the roulette wheel greatly changed Bayside’s fortunes.

          Earth TNC Rich-S – A universe in which Ryan Parker chose swim class instead of wrestling. Also training for the Olympics is very much more a casual hobby here than on most other Earths.

          Earth Hang Time – Screech is a apparently a famous celebrity here who later changes his name to Dustin Diamond and stars in the motion picture “Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas”

          Earth GMMB – Screech, Zack and Lisa grew up in Indiana on this earth.

          Well you get the idea with that…..

          • Don’t forget that Earth Hang Time includes Ryan Parker hooking up with Mary Beth Pepperton on both shows. And there’s Earth USA High, where the school and diner they visit on The New Class randomly features different students, and Earth California Dreams, where Gem Diamond from Earth Tori and Stingray from Earth College are suddenly a part of a shitty band’s universe.

            There’s also Earth Wedding 2, where Screech was already working at Bayside at the time Zack Morris and Kelly’s wedding occurred.

            I love your explanation for the metamorphosis of Screech to Dustin Diamond in Earth Hang Time.

          • It’s not the same as the version we saw in the TV movie but on Earth TNC Zack and Kelly’s wedding did occur while Screech was working as an administrative assistant. Leslie and Tori could both have been bridesmaids at that wedding for all we know – a universe only has to be consistent with itself.
            The Pepperton/Parker kiss is a great example. We know it occurred in much the same way on two different Earths but in winter ’96 on one Earth and summer ’97 in another.

            One of the most interesting Earths would have to Earth Fallon. Teenagers there could easily pass for 40, so what factor lead to the accelerated ageing on that Earth? We know in the Engel Multiverse that puberty is a longer more drawn out process in which people don’t really develop any sex drive until their early twenties. Could the ageing have been a side effect of attempting to speed up that process?

          • Also on Earth GMMB Screech has a brother and Zack has divorced parents and a sister and his dad has a different first name

          • That is interesting, it diverges more from the Prime Universe than I expected. Zack’s grandparents choosing the name Derek for their son is the same on both Earths except when he’s born on Earth GMMB “He doesn’t look like a Derek.” That makes sense because Peter is a no closer to being Derek than a sibling would be. That’s a mother’s intuition.

            Peter’s a different man than Derek – one less capable of making a marriage work – so the fact that Zack is still born is clearly the universe correcting itself.

            Despite it being far more feasible the Powers, Turtles and Beldings all ending up in Indiana is actually more difficult to figure out. I guess we’ll never know, nor how the Kelly, Jessie and Slater of this Earth got on at Bayside, it’s a shame

  2. Ok I stand corrected. Maybe Into the Woods is the second stupidest episode to come from the New Class. This episode just sounds like it sucks and makes no sense for instance:

    -ROTClasts longer than a week.
    -ROTC means you enroll in the military and they pay for your schooling so you start as an officer. Here you just apparently get a scholarship for a week of activity.
    -So a fitness test consists of thirty seconds of an obstacle course. That’s just stupid.
    -So do they only have one scholarship to give? It seems like that’s what they insinuate.
    -what happened to Liz’s dreams of being in the Olympics?

    All the way around this episode is just stupid.

    • I heartily agree with most of your points. The only correction I’d make is that Liz does indeed have hopes of becoming an Olympian. Most of this episode is about Katie.

  3. The prank didn’t make a lick of sense. Honestly, these guys look at Katie and think she’s never been on a date? I guess they never saw her in that dress in the third picture today. Dang…

    Last Bayside episode of the year.

  4. ILovedKellyKapowski

    Mr. Belding regales to Nicky (and later, to Liz) how his career as a principal got started: “I was born on a cold October Day …”

    Um, in the episode “Screech’s Millions”, Mr. Belding’s birthday was Dec 10 1951.

    Is Mr. Belding going to have a different birthday in each parallel universe?

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