The New Class Season 7, Episode 7: “Don’t Follow the Leader”

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Oh, the irony. The camera pans over a sign above the doors that says, “Through these doors pass the finest cadets in training.” Then, in walk six horrible, horrible characters talking about how this is their last week at the academy. How long were they there? How are they getting any of their graduation requirements in if they keep going off on random months away from school? Why do I expect any of this to make sense at this point?

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Captain Lopez is back this week to introduce us to our horrible gimmick: a cadet competition in which Katie hopes she gets to beat a confession out of a suspect. Yeah, finest cadets ever..

Actually, Captain Lopez says they’re dividing up into teams to compete against each other and, since we’re over budget on the cop actors, the six of them are the only ones that matter. Maria, Liz, and Tony will go with Sergeant Meinhart while Nicky, Eric, and Katie will be with Sergeant Schilling, who apparently will be the villain of this episode as the very first thing he does is express how much he really wants to win the cadet competition, for some reason.

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Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, Officer Barry is back and she suddenly wants to fuck Mr. Belding because we need something for them to do to not make it look like they’re completely useless in these episodes. But, yeah, for reasons I can’t fathom, the academy is having a chili cook off because that seems like  completely legit thing a fucking police academy would do, right? I think these writers have been watching too much of the Police Academy movies. In any case, Mr. Belding and Screech are going to combine their cherished family recipes for chili and enter the contest together.

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In the training room, we see Maria and Tony practicing rope climbing. Sergeant Meinhart tells them to take a break, and we get our completely useless subplot of the week: Maria and Tony like eating junk food, but Liz thinks it’s bad and eats vegetables! Oh, how will this all important subplot end? I’m on the edge of my seat about whether Liz will be judgmental enough throughout!

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Sergeant Schilling comes in and tells Meinhart he reserved the room for his team. Meinhart is like, “Okay!” and, after Meinhart and his people leave, Schilling reveals he lied about reserving the room because he’s the obvious villain and he expects the three of them to make him look good in front of Captain Lopez because I guess the captain has him on latrine duty or some shit.

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In the kitchen, Mr. Belding and Screech cook chili as Screech pours a whole bottle of hot sauce in. He takes a bite and drinks lots of water and Officer Barry flirts some more with Mr. Belding. Then Mr. Belding and Screech argue over whose ingredient Officer Barry is smelling.

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Back in the lobby, Sergeant Schilling chews Nicky out for helping Maria adjust an oxygen tank on her back because that could help her win the competition and shit. He’s evil and shit because he wants to win, and Katie’s the first to recognize his nefarious ways.

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Back in the training room, I think Tony’s a little too happy to be holding this cucumber. Turns out they’re full of candy, and Liz, after initially praising them, discovers the candy and starts judging them. She takes a bite of candy to show how stupid a very special episode on the evils of junk food would be, and Maria and Tony decide they can give up junk food after all. As they walk away, Liz starts eating handfuls, showing she’s now addicted because I guess this is what passes as irony on this show.

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So the first event is on, and Tony easily destroys Nicky in the climb-a-ladder-with-an-oxygen-tank-on-your-back event. Afterwards, he tells Maria, “TONY HURT HIS ANKLE-WANKLE AND NOW WALK IT OFF!”

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Sergeant Schilling is pissed they lost, and tell them it’s time for a new strategy: make Tony believe his ankle is hurt worse than it actually is because Tony shouldn’t be so hard to fool. Now Eric thinks this might be wrong, too, but Nicky insists he’s in charge of them and shit so they have to follow his orders. Also, Sergeant Schilling is the villain, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

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In the dining room, Mr. Belding and Screech argue with a reporter about whose recipe is most important in chili because this stupid plot is still going on.

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In the boys’ dorm, Nicky and Eric convince Tony that his ankle looks horrible and that, unless he stays off it, he could ruin his football career. Tony stumbles off to put some ice on his ankle and shit.

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In the kitchen, Mr. Belding and Screech continue arguing over the chili as Officer Barry tries to mediate. They won’t hear of it, though, and Mr. Belding says that he’s so pissed off he’s entering on his own as Officer Barry makes another pass at him.

In the training room, Liz is still eating candy while Maria and Tony have kicked the habit. isn’t that special.

Tony comes in to workout and tells Nicky and Eric he went to see a doctor, who gave him some exercises to do to make his ankle feel better. “BESIDES,” Tony says, “IF TONY FOOTBALL CAREER NO TAKE OFF, TONY HAS ACTING CAREER AS BACKUP!”

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Sergeant Schilling is pissed that Nicky and Eric couldn’t convince Tony his ankle was worse than it is and yells at them. He tells them they need to injure Tony and, if they won’t, he’ll kick them out for disobeying orders. Nicky’s finally on board with the Sergeant Schilling is evil crowd. Personally, I don’t see what the problem is. I’ve wanted to injure Tony at least once a week since the start of season six. They should do what I can’t, for fraudenscheude’s sake.

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The three finally go to see Captain Lopez, giving him a hypothetical situation about not following orders. The captain tells them that cadets shouldn’t be forced to do something that’s against their conscience, showing that, once again, the writers for this show don’t understand how the police work. I might personally disagree with the War on Drugs, or the criminalization of sex work, for instance, but, if I’m a police officer, I don’t get to opt out of arresting people in it just because I disagree with it. Granted, Sergeant Schilling’s definitely out of line in this episode, but Captain Lopez’s advice, in general, is bull shit and shows a complete lack of understanding.

Naturally, the three refuse to tell Captain Lopez what they’re actually upset about because that would resolve the plot five minutes too early. They give the excuse that it would be their word against his, but I call bull shit. In any case, Katie says they don’t have to put up with Sergeant Schilling’s shit so they shouldn’t go hurt Tony, much to my disappointment.

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At the chili cook off, Mr. Belding and Screech realize that their chili are both good and mend their differences. They decide to combine their chili…

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…and promptly kill two judges because I guess the secret ingredient was arsenic. Officer Barry, being the last judge alive, tries to give the award to Mr. Belding, but he refuses as he sees through her ploy to get in his pants. He tell her he thinks he’s still married even though he’s gone from home for months at a time multiple times a year so he can’t be fucking with her. She asks if she can at least have a hug, so Screech gives her one as she disappears softly into the obscurity an appearance on The New Class brings.

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Back at the competition, Liz beats Eric at the…hose rolling contest…geez, they really ran out of ideas for this thing, didn’t they? In any case, Liz is now confirmed to be hooked on sweets so Maria and Tony take her off to rehab before a very special episode starts.

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Sergeant Schilling is pissed because the trio refuse to hurt Tony. Come on, he can’t be as pissed as me! In any case, Captain Lopez overhears as they coach Schilling into admitting he want Tony injured, and Captain Lopez tells Sergeant Schilling he’s in big trouble, mister, but we’ll never find out the results since he’ll never be on this show again. Captain Lopez tells the three he decided to keep an eye on them and see what’s going on, and he’s proud of them for not injuring on of the worst actors who’s ever graced this franchise. And our episode ends with the trio congratulating themselves on learning not to blindly follow orders in a profession where blindly following orders is often the norm. Seriously, the moral of this episode doesn’t work in a police academy episode, especially when cadets are also taught over and over that they have to trust their fellow officers as a matter of survival. It also contradicts Captain Lopez’s very words just a few weeks ago about the importance of following orders. Leave it to The New Class to get it wrong.

6 responses to “The New Class Season 7, Episode 7: “Don’t Follow the Leader”

  1. How ironic that Officer Barry wants Mr. Belding. Since it’s not her first time being a cop. Or a randy cop.

  2. Thought this episode was so over the top and not in a funny way. There was literally no reason for the Sargent to want to win as bad as he did at all. It would have made more sense as a Bayside episode not an outside Bayside episode.

    Screech and Mr. Beldings subplot was just as bad but was honestly the only semi funny part of the episode.

  3. These episodes sound so tedious to get through; no wonder TNC hasn’t been in syndication since the late 1990s (I do remember watching older TNC episodes on the USA channel in high school, when new episodes were still airing on TNBC). I don’t remember the last season at all, except for the last episode, and these police and fire academy episodes sound particularly awful, even by TNC standards.

    • I remember that. Used to come on before USA High. But it is interesting that TNC never is shown in syndication like the original show. Right now SBTB is syndicated on MTV, many digital networks. It’s easy to find it. Hell even California Dreams was shown on TBS all the time. TNC nothing. In fact unless for guys that watched the show back in the day TNC has turned into a forgotten show. Strange for something that was on for 7 years.

  4. The really funny thing is TNC has no pop culture footprint anymore. It only ran in syndication on USA for around three and that’s it. It never ran in syndication after that whereas the original series has been syndicated for 25 years. The entire series was released in DVD and even though you can find either the entire run or almost the entire run of California Dreams, City Guys and Hang Time you can’t find a single episode of TNC on YouTube.

    I’m not sure if it’s a situation in which the original show is so iconic that people only care about it or if TNC was just forgotten because no one enjoyed it but it’s crazy for the show that anchored TNBC for seven years.

    • That’s a good point. With these reviews I tried to find them on youtube and can’t find anything. CD, Hang Time and City Guys no problem. TNC just small clips.

      I think in the Peter Engel Universe TNC is in the same category with other spinoffs that seemed better on paper them what you saw on TV. TNC is Peter Engel’s Joey.

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