The New Class Season 7, Episode 12: “The Bell Tolls”


We open in the hallway with Maria and Tony excited to be finished with a final exam. Tony is all, “TONY RIP NOTES NOW!” and rips up his notes just as Eric comes out to tell him he’s an idiot and picked up his trigonometry note. Oh, Tony, you’re going to go out of this franchise just as big an idiot as you came in, aren’t you?


Nicky and Katie brag all about their superior relationship that’s going to transcend their time at Bayside and how he can’t wait to show her around New York, which I assume is code for hot fucking. We finally find out that Nicky’s going to NYU for film studies even though he’s never expressed this interest before while Katie’s going to Columbia for journalism. Katie’s got to stop home before lunch, though, so she can find out how much of a scholarship she’s getting and whether there will be conflict about it this week.


Meanwhile, Screech is busy decapitating flowers hoping to divine whether Mr. Belding’s going to leave or not.


Mr. Belding comes up and reveals his decision to the gang: he’s going to accept the position so he can get the fuck away from Screech before this job takes his last remaining sanity. Everyone gives their teary, “We love you and learned our lesson last week so we’re not going to pressure you to stay and shit!” But Screech decides he needs a subplot so he’s in complete denial that Mr. Belding is leaving because that’s why he felt such a need to keep him at Bayside last week.


At The Max, Maria decides that, since they’re going to be Mr. Belding’s last graduating class, they need to do something special for him to help him take away some memories other than the fragility of Screech. Eric wants to get I *heart* Belding tattoos but forgets he already has one. She decides that each graduating senior will wear a ’68 patch on their gown to honor Mr. Belding’s year of graduation. Whatever I suppose. I guess it’s an okay tribute, though an operation to remove all memories of Screech would be a better present.


Katie comes in upset, saying she only got a partial scholarship to Columbia and can’t afford to pay the difference, which means she can’t go and will have to go to California State instead. Oh, poor Cal U, snubbed again by your lack of actual existence. Nicky, of course, is distressed he may not get his New York love fest after all.


In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech continues to think that Mr. Belding is putting him on by packing up his office. Mr. Belding finally tells Screech to shut the fuck up because he’s getting the fuck up out of here, and every ending is some other beginning’s end. Screech looks distressed as Mr. Belding leaves. Maria enters and asks Screech to present their very special present to Mr. Belding at graduation because they want to traumatize him one more time.


In the hallway, Maria’s distressed the gowns are dirty, apparently not knowing things can be cleaned. Tony is all, “TONY AND ERIC USE MACHINE WITH SUDSY WATER TO CLEAN GOWNS!” Maria’s happy she doesn’t have to think about it anymore, but apparently misses that there might be something up about this, not to mention the fact she left this task in the hands of the two stupidest members of the gang., not to mention mention most gowns are dry clean only.


Nicky runs up and says he’s decided not to go to NYU after all so he can still get his hot fucking. Katie’s excited but Liz has nothing better to do this episode so she acts as a wet blanket to remind her that going to NYU is a dream Nicky’s had since this episode.


Later, in the hallway, Katie shits on all Nicky’s ideas to stay in LA, saying, “But what about NYU!” Nicky acts equally stupid by getting pissy with Katie and insisting he has to give up NYU for them to be together and shit and that’s just the end of the story.


Meanwhile, our resident idiots ruin the gowns by putting an ink pen in with them. Not to worry, though, they prove their idiocy knows no bounds as they decide to put an entire bottle of bleach in the washer and rewash the gowns. These two are going to be voted most likely to die a very painful, stupid death, aren’t they?


At The Max, the gang celebrate what could be their final time together at the place that was once owned by a guy who kept baby chickens in his pants by stealing shit. No joke. They steal shit and then decide they need to go back to Bayside one more time so they can move multiple plot lines along.


Katie stays behind, though, to tell Liz she an’t let Nicky turn down NYU and is going to pretend to not give a shit about him so he’ll break up with her and go.


Maria and Nicky meet Mr. Belding in the hallway as Mr. Belding’s taking out the last of his shit. After Mr. Belding’s out of earshot, Screech starts screaming at Maria about graduation and says he can’t handle giving a gift and shit.


And, as if that’s not enough, Eric and Tony reveal that their idiocy has caused white spots to appear on the gowns because that’s exactly how bleach works.


And Katie comes up and tells Nicky she doesn’t give a shit about him. He breaks up with her and decides to go to NYU. He doesn’t recognize this is a plagiarized resolution to a California Dreams episode and gets going.


For some reason, Bayside decides to have graduation at the same place as the prom, which turns out to be Palisades Public Hall because the writers are continuing to believe Palisades is a city and shit. I guess the gym was taken up with Screech auctioning off Mr. Belding’s underwear or something.

Mr. Belding, of course, thinks the white spots on the gown are tie-dye in honor of his graduation year.


He asks if anyone’s seen Screech and Screech overhears Mr. Belding talk about being emotional and shit.

Katie tries to talk to Nicky but he’s basically like, “Fuck off, whore!” and she runs off. Liz tells Nicky it’s about time, after four seasons, he wake up and realize when there’s a really contrived plot in action. Nicky finds Katie and confronts her on this. She admits she just wants him to follow his relatively new dream and that, if they’re meant to be together, NBC will order a reunion movie taking place in Las Vegas where they’ll be married. Otherwise, it’ll just be clear the viewers don’t give a shit about them. They decide to go their separate ways.


It’s time for graduation and, of course, our main characters get to sit in the front row because they’re the only ones that actually matter. Yeah, that’s exactly how seating at commencement works: sit out of alphabetical order next to your friends. What the fuck ever.


Maria gives a bit of a speech as Mr. Belding, Screech, and two people we’ve never met look on. Seriously, you just introduced us to the superintendent two weeks ago. Could you not have enough foresight to consider that maybe it might be good to have him back for graduation? Fucking incompetent writers to the end.


Screech presents Mr. Belding with his present from the graduating class, an oil painting that will live on forever in the halls of Bayside along with Screech’s undying sorrow that they won’t grow old together and have babies.


And then, we have the diploma presentation, and Mr. Belding gives each of our six characters a mini-speech about how proud he is of them and shit. If he does this for every graduating student, this must be the longest commencement ever. Tony here is all, “DIPLOMA LOOK DELICIOUS! TONY EAT DIPLOMA NOW!” Of course, all the extras already have their diplomas and I like to imagine Mr. Belding just threw them randomly into the audience yelling, Oprah style, “You get a diploma and you get a diploma!”


Our six characters join a group of extras for our final scene as they sing the old school song. And, despite the fact we were supposed to have learned about the evils of sleep deprivation last season, they leave the lyrics about studying until 3:00 unchanged because this show is completely and utterly unable to continue anything past one episode, not even to mention the fact that it’s painfully obvious the only person singing in their real voice is Eric. Everyone else doesn’t sound at all like their real voices.

So Mr. Belding presents the class of 2000. Yes, in case you’re one of those still desperately trying to resolve this show with real time, this means Maria was, indeed, in high school for at least six years. And our episode ends with the realization that, after USA jettisons reruns of this show in a few years, no one will give a shit about any of these people anymore.

Of course, I think the biggest surprise is that the rumor I’ve been hearing all these years about Screech becoming principal in the final episode are not true. Thank god someone saw fit to not put him in charge of the lives of teenagers. Maybe that’s where the superintendent is: off trying to hire a new principal whose first act will be to fire Screech for his bull shit! Unfortunately, we all know that would never happen because this is the universe where Screech could go on a murderous rampage and only receive a lecture with the week’s lesson as his punishment.

Oh, hallelujah! After two and a half years, this stupid fucking torturous ass series with some of the worst writing and acting I’ve ever seen in my life is finally over! I need never watch it again! Maybe I should even burn my DVDs for some cathartic release because you know they’re going away in some deep, dark cabinet, never to see the light of day again! The end of this stupid fucking series was the best Christmas present I could have received this year!

Wait, what’s that you’re saying, comments section? There’s one more episode after this? And, to add insult to injury, the final episode is an out of order episode that has nothing to do with the end of the series? And I have to review it?

God damn it.

6 responses to “The New Class Season 7, Episode 12: “The Bell Tolls”

  1. Heh, just like the show, this blog will have one straggling episode show up early in the new year.

    The production order of these two seasons is weird and doesn’t make it any less confusing than the airing order:

    01 Maria’s Revenge (s6e01 – Bayside)
    02 Show Me the Money (s7e01 – Bayside)
    03 Do the Write Thing (s6e02 – Bayside)
    04 The Young and the Sleepless (s6e04 – Bayside)
    05 Cigar Wars (s6e05 – Bayside)
    06 Mind Games (s6e09 – Bayside)
    07 Win, Lose, or Cheat (s6e06 – Bayside)
    08 Prescription for Trouble (s7e02 – Bayside)
    09 Loser (s6e11 – Bayside)
    10 Party Animals (s7e09 – Bayside, end of semester)
    11 A Repair to Remember (s7e13 – Bayside)
    12 ME TV (s7e03 – Bayside)
    13 The Lyin’ King (s6e03 – mall)
    14 Hands Off (s6e07 – mall)
    15 Free for All (s6e10 – mall)
    16 The X-Friends Files (s7e06 – mall)
    17 Season’s Greed-ings (s6e13 – mall, Christmas)
    18 A Mall Shook Up (s7e08 – mall)
    19 The Captain and Maria (s7e04 – academy)
    20 Liz Burns Eric (s7e05 – academy)
    21 Don’t Follow the Leader (s7e07 – academy)
    22 The Last Prom (s7e10 – Bayside)
    23 The Bell Tolls (s7e12 – Bayside)
    24 Guess Who’s Running the Max (s6e08 – Bayside)
    25 Bye-Bye Tony (s6e12 – Bayside)
    26 Mr. B Goes to College (s7e11 – Bayside)

    If you want to fit this into the school years (and focus on just the school episodes without the extra crap), it could go like this:

    1998-1999 school year:

    first semester:

    01 Maria’s Revenge (s6e01)
    02 Show Me the Money (s7e01)
    03 Do the Write Thing (s6e02)
    04 The Young and the Sleepless (s6e04)
    05 Cigar Wars (s6e05)
    06 Mind Games (s6e09)
    07 Win, Lose, or Cheat (s6e06)
    08 Prescription for Trouble (s7e02)
    09 Loser (s6e11)
    10 Party Animals (s7e09 – end of first semester)

    second semester:

    11 A Repair to Remember (s7e13)
    12 ME TV (s7e03)

    1999-2000 school year:

    second semester only:

    22 The Last Prom (s7e10)
    24 Guess Who’s Running the Max (s6e08)
    25 Bye-Bye Tony (s6e12)
    26 Mr. B Goes to College (s7e11)
    23 The Bell Tolls (s7e12)

  2. I always thought it was heavily implied that Screech would become Principal when I originally saw this but after seeing it again they don’t mention anything about it.

    Guess Katie didn’t want to join the Army even after her record setting time in the obstacle course in order to get that scholarship making that episode entirely pointless.

    I will say it’s too bad that they couldn’t have had more seasons with this cast minus Tony. Season five was probably the best cast this show had even though Ryan’s character was really long in the tough by then.

  3. I don’t know how to feel about this episode. It’s all over the place. What’s the A, B, C plot?

    You would think Mr. B leaving Bayside would be A. But the whole Nicky Katie will he go to New York thing gets as much if not more screen time. Then they threw in a throw away plot with the caps and gowns for Eric and Tony. Which is something I thought Eric normally does with Screech and Belding.

    Poor Liz. Last show of the series and she didn’t do anything. NOTHING. She kind of talked to Katie at the Max. At least Maria was school valedictorian, had a speech and was kind of in the gown plot. I still state that Ryan leaving was the worst thing for her character. All she became was background eye candy when he left.

    Bad thing is, this episode should of been a tribute to Mr. Belding. The character who was there since Miss. Bliss. The guy who was in most if not all of the original SBTB and TNC.

    Why not bring in another original character come in to say good bye to Belding. Was Mario Lopez busy? Or how about a old character from TNC? Tommy D, Ryan or Lindsay. Something.

    Oh well, one more review. A very special episode AFTER the series finale. Sigh.

  4. I think I figured out why I didn’t like Ryan much. In season 3 they tried to make him a schemer and defacto leader of the gang like Zack. The problem is he looked so young and didn’t have that heartthrobe thing going for him or much charisma. Season four and five they pretty much dropped his scheming and then he just became really boring. Out of all the new Zacks he was probably the best but it shows you how important Mark Paul really was to playing Zack.

  5. I heard that the graduation episode (The Bell Tolls) was actually filmed later in 1999 separate from the rest of the season 6/7 episodes.

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