Category Archives: Saved by the Bell Season 2

Saved by the Bell Season 2 Recap

Before I get started, I just wanted to take this opportunity (especially since it won’t come around again for another six months), to thank everyone who reads this blog. As I write this, I’m up to record page views. I love writing this blog and I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks especially to Pablo, Mark Moore, and Jennie B who consistently comment almost every week. I love reading comments and hearing feedback and I generally approve almost everything I receive, positive or negative, unless it’s just not constructive at all.

With that, season two of Saved by the Bell.


Season two of Saved by the Bell was probably when the show finally started coming into its own. It wasn’t really trying horrible gimmicks yet to attract viewers, and there are some very good episodes in this season. I feel like this was the season that kept the franchise afloat for another nine years.

Yet, mixed in among great episodes like “The Prom” and “The Fabulous Belding Boys” were atrocious episodes like “Running Zack.” As always, the Saved by the Bell grab bag has to be a mixed one. And this isn’t even considering the fact that two out of season episodes made it into the mix. The show may not have jumped the shark this season, but the fin was definitely waiting to come out.


On top of all this, the DVDs for both seasons one and two were absolute, utter messes. I could forgive putting all four out of season episodes on the season one DVD. There’s actually some logic to that when you think about it. What I can’t forgive is the fact the episodes are advertised as in airing order but are definitely not in airing order. On top of that, three season two episodes are actually on the season three DVD: “The Fabulous Belding Boys,” “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo,” and “The Glee Club.” This is just messy and unforgivable. On top of that, The Summer of Morris, another Saved by the Bell review blog, has pretty much confirmed that what we have are cut episodes after that blog was able to dig up a lost scene from “The Zack Tapes.”

This is just unforgivable. What the DVDs are essentially saying is that they know we’ll buy these episodes no matter what crap they put out because they know we want the episodes. At this point, I have nothing but disgust for Lionsgate for doing this.


Let’s talk characterization.

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Oh, Zack Morris. You started off the season with so much promise when you actually did something admirable for Kelly in “The Prom.” You had to go and ruin it by being yourself, though, didn’t you. Between his racist portrayal of Native Americans, his desire to cheat on Kelly with the school nurse, and his attempt to sabotage Kelly’s chance to go to Paris, Zack Morris continues his trend of douchebaggery and takes it to new, unheard of levels. Zack Morris shows no growth this season, and he just becomes the kind of character you want to punch in the face.

vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h02m15s113Speaking of punching people in the face, Screech’s character this season shows the beginnings of the annoying character who’s going to be with us for the next nine years. He’s a complete moron, totally unlikeable, and yet the gang still lets him hang around with them. He gets a girlfriend this season but forgets about her unless it’s convenient to the plot. We meet his mother but only so it can be established she’s as much an idiot as her son. Peter Engel wasn’t lying: Screech’s point on this show is to try and salvage really bad scenes, and it shows.

vlcsnap-2014-06-19-21h29m14s42Oh, Kelly, you showed so much potential this season. You were the focus of one of the best episodes of the season and you carried over your likeable bits. Unfortunately, Kelly is defined by men, and I only realized it this season. Without men to fight over her, she has no character. I mean, really, the only things I know about Kelly other than her being beautiful and attractive to the male characters is that she’s poor, she is either tone deaf or a musical genius, and she has lots of siblings, and none of these things are mentioned unless they’re directly needed for the plot. This is an instance where the writers could replace a character with a toaster oven without effecting the show.

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Poor Elizabeth Berkley. You will always be remembered for two things: Showgirls and being a caffeine pill addict. Jessie doesn’t have a lot to do this season outside getting over her addiction and pursuing Slater like a psychopath. She has minor subplots in other episodes but they never amount to much. Though Jessie has more characteristics than Kelly, she’s still defined by her pursuit of Slater which, in itself, is a pretty minor subplot this season.

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 Lisa’s on the show a lot, but she never does anything. She’s usually only there to get in on the antics of the gang, to insult Screech, or to act as the voice of reason, which is quite sad considering this is the girl who, last season, thought it would be a good idea to let Zack Morris prostitute her out to pay back her father. I can’t think of a single memorable Lisa scene this season and that’s quite sad, especially considering she’s been around since Good Morning, Miss Bliss.

vlcsnap-2014-05-06-17h49m12s253If there’s a character this season who really has no purpose, it’s Slater. The biggest plot he’s a part of this season was in “Save the Max,” and there he doesn’t even have a large role. The writers wrap up his infatuation with Kelly pretty early in the season and, without Zack Morris to fight with, the writers don’t seem to know what to do with Slater. He off and on pursues Jessie this season but that’s about it. Everything else is relegated to minor sub-plot status. Of course, they did find an excuse for him to take his shirt off this season for fan service, but there’s no reason for him to be there other than to be a pretty boy.

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Mr. Belding gets the most development of any character this season as we get an episode that shows just how much he cares for his students. Yet, despite this, we still get moronic plots involving him such as “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo,” where he shows pederastic tendencies. Most episodes he continues to be relegated to the background, which is probably how it should be since he’s meant to be Zack Morris’s foil.

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With this recap, it’s time to say goodbye to the first Saved by the Bell cast member to depart: Ed Alonzo. We’ll see him show up in a couple more out of season episodes, but this is the last season he actually appeared in. I don’t know why Max was given the boot, but I can only assume it was because the writers realized he was the most redundant character on the show. He never did anything useful and gave horrible advice. He also apparently randomly snuck around Bayside taking pictures of all the students.

So what did Ed Alonzo do after Saved by the Bell? Not much, it turns out. He’s made a few sporadic appearances on talk shows and in sitcoms such as Murphy BrownHow I Met Your Mother, and Modern Family, but he’s never had another major role. He continues performing magic and, from what I understand, he completely whores out the fact he was a regular on Saved by the Bell for a season to get people to come see him. But, yeah, he’s a definite d-list celebrity at this point and most people don’t even remember he was a regular on this show.


vlcsnap-2014-05-13-16h46m19s65Season two of Saved by the Bell is definitely better overall than season one, and I’d rather rewatch some of these episodes than much of what is to come. But it’s time to move on into season three as Saved by the Bell essentially becomes even more centered around Zack Morris than it already was.


My Picks

As usual, I encourage you to agree or disagree with my picks in the comments section below.

Five Episodes I Loved:

1. “The Fabulous Belding Boys” (Episode 15): This is, hands down, the best episode this season. The plot is mostly realistic, we get some amazing characterization for Mr. Belding, and Zack Morris really does learn something in the end. It’s going to be hard to beat this episode as my favorite of the series.

2. “The Prom” (Episode 1): This could have easily given “The Fabulous Belding Boys” some serious competition had it not been for the stupid subplots. Still, it’s a really good episode and I found myself genuinely empathizing with Kelly. I wish there were more episodes like these two.

3. “Jessie’s Song” (Episode 9): Don’t get me wrong. This is not a good episode. However, it is absolutely hillarious how ludicrous it is. Even more, it’s amazing that the writers thought this was a good idea. It’s the most infamous episode of the series by far and lives on as fodder for Elizabeth Berkley jokes.

4. “From Nurse to Worse” (Episode 16): I love it when Zack Morris acts like an asshole and gets his comeuppance. It may be completely improper for the nurse to conspire with the gang for revenge, but it’s great to see him get what he deserves nonetheless. It’s slightly hampered by the “Slater doesn’t want a flu shot” subplot, but it’s solid nevertheless.

5. “The Glee Club” (Episode 18): Okay, if I have to pick one more episode, it’s this one. It’s a solid episode that gives us some characterization for Violet and really shows off how much talent Aaron Spelling’s money can buy. It’s probably the only decent episode involving Screech this season.

Three Episodes that I Hate:

1. “Running Zack” (Episode 13): I hate this episode. I hate every single solitary minute of this twenty-two minute piece of racist garbage. I hate that someone thought this was bringing up sensitive issues in a wise way. I hate that Zack Morris is even more racist when he thinks he’s being racially sensitive. I hate that we, the audience, are insulted by the idea that Zack Morris is deeply affected by the passing of a minor supporting character he met twice. I hate that this episode exists.

2. “Blind Dates” (Episode 6): This is an episode without a reason for existing. The entire thing would have been cleared up if Zack Morris had just told Kelly and his parents that Mr. Belding was blackmailing him. Instead, we get a half hour of insufferable nonesense that is insulting to two year olds.

3. “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo” (Episode 17): All the characterization Mr. Belding received in “The Fabulous Belding Boys” is thrown down the drain as he crosses so many professional boundaries. What writer thought the concept of a principal hanging out in his student’s bed and talking about his love life problems was a good idea?

Honorable Mentions:

“Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind” (Episode 12) and “The Babysitters” (Episode 14): It’s no wonder NBC choose not to air these episodes during the first season. They’re two of the worst episodes I’ve seen in the franchise, and that includes what I’ve seen of The New Class. These episodes are subpar, even by Saved by the Bell standards, and should never have seen the light of day.

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 18: “The Glee Club”

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We open with Zack Morris declaring that Screeh and Violet are the hottest couple at Bayside despite the fact that this is only the second time we’ve seen Violet. I guess Screech has been hiding her in his closet to use as his personal love toy. Either that or the writers of this show have no idea what to do with a recurring character who isn’t the focus of the episode.

Violet tries to convince the gang to join the Glee Club but no one except Screech wants to join because singing is hella stupid despite the fact the girls were once part of a rocking girl group. Screech only wants to be a part because he’s hoping to get some poon. The gang change their mind, though, when Violet mentions the possibility of a trip to Hawaii for the finals of the “All-City Competition.” If it’s all CITY, why are the finals being held in Hawaii? Are the writers under the impression Hawaii is a city in California? Also, it’s totally possible for six people to join a club a week before a major competition in the Saved by the Bell universe.vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h30m02s99

Yeah, they join and three stereotypical nerds are there to push home the message that singing is only for nerds unless you can go to Hawaii or be a part of a girl group.
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The Glee Club is lead by Bayside’s most versatile incompetent faculty member, Mr. Tuttle. Geez, how many degrees does this guy have? He teaches everything!

Mr. Belding comes in to hear them sing and…vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h31m34s21

…they suck ass! But the most important question in this scene is what the hell is Scott Wolf doing there? Yes, the boy to the right  of Jessie in the orange shirt is future Party of Five star Scott Wolf. Turns out that, before he became a big name, Scott slummed around as a background character on Saved by the Bell. This is the first of several episodes he’ll be in. It’ll be a fun game, like Where’s Waldo. He’s also quite literally one of only three members of the club who aren’t either a part of the gang or a stereotypical nerd. How did this club exist before the gang joined?

Mr. Belding tells Mr. Tuttle the Glee Club has to shape up or he won’t allow them to compete at the All-City Competition since it’s being held (surprise, surprise) at Bayside.

Also Lisa randomly has a cold.

At Zack Morris’s house, Zack Morris and Screech are thinking up ways they can whip the club into shape. Violet calls Screech because she assumes that, if he’s not home or at school, he has nowhere else to be than Zack Morris’s house. Violet invites them to a concert at Cal U. Zack Morris doesn’t want to go at first until he finds out the Cal U Glee Club is performing. vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h32m51s38

 

I’m briefly distracted by Screech doing a disturbing kissy face into the phone, but I’m more impressed by the fact that The College Years actually used a place that had already been established as existing in this universe. This begs the question why they invented a place and didn’t just use a real university in this episode but this is Saved by the Bell. They might have actually believed it existed at first.

The next day, Mr. Belding comes to see the club rehearse. Zack Morris apparently has access to high end recording and playback equipment because not only does he have a completely clear, perfect recording of the Cal U Glee Club, but his playback sounds genuinely like they’re singing it. Mr. Belding is fooled and Mr. Tuttle is happy because the plan has bought him some time to think of a real solution since the judges for the competition probably won’t be as huge idiots as Mr. Belding.

After a commercial break, Zack Morris tells us that he and Mr. Tuttle have come up with a plan since adults are stupid on their own in the universe. The plan is to feature only the best singers and hide everyone else in the background. Uh, I think that defeats the purpose of a glee club.

Kelly sings first and we’re apparently back to the tone-deaf Kelly rather than the Hot Sundae Kelly since tone-deaf Kelly is more convenient to this plot. vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h36m38s252

Oh no! Jessie is wearing a mask because she doesn’t want to get Lisa’s cold even though Lisa is sitting closer to Zack Morris than to her. I wonder if this will in any way play into the plot in a few minutes.vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h37m41s23

Violet is up and she demonstrates how Aaron Spelling’s money can buy great singing lessons. It turns out she’s inexplicably the best singer of the bunch. This naturally makes her the star, which she doesn’t want to be, but Screech says he’ll be right there behind her preparing to grope her if she gets nervous. Also, despite the fact they’re Bayside’s hottest couple, Violet’s family haven’t met Screech so they want him to have dinner with them on Saturday night.

Screech is nervous about meeting Violet’s parents since they’re rich and rich people are completely different than upper middle class people. He naturally gets advice from the five worst sources on the planet, which basically amounts to telling Violet’s mother she looks like a celebrity.vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h40m22s192

We cut to…Monday I guess? I don’t know. The timeline on this episode is very confusing. But, yeah, bad yearbook photo Screech here recounts dinner at Violet’s house.vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h40m36s68

We get it in fantasy sequence framing even though this isn’t technically a fantasy sequence…I think…and the first problem is Screech doesn’t seem to know how to wear a tie, even though we’ve seen him do it many times before. He tells Violet’s mother she looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger and her father that 7th Heaven was the worst piece of shit he ever put his name on. He makes a stupid comment about frog’s legs, doesn’t know how to eat posh food, and pulls the table cloth off the table. Oh, the non-existent hilarity!

Violet comes in, tells Mr. Tuttle that she’s quitting the Glee Club, and runs back out, leaving Screech to believe that she hates him. No, Screech, everyone hates you, not just Violet.  You’re responsible for that Lifetime movie after all. Zack Morris tells Jessie she’ll have to take over since she’s the only other good singer but, oh no, Jessie’s caught Lisa’s cold and lost her voice! I’m glad that small, minor detail turned out to be a plot contrivance!
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Even though Lisa was one-third of Hot Sundae, she can’t sing because she’s under contract to Chiquita Bananas. Seriously, this is the character who was supposed to be the fashion expert…

The girls find Violet in the restroom crying and she tells them that her parents forbid her to see Screech because Aaron Spelling doesn’t want a future porn star dating his teenage daughter.

We cut to Zack Morris consoling Screech over the lost of Violet. Don’t worry,you’ll always have each other. Violet comes in and tells Screech about her parents. Screech agrees to take a backstage position so Violet can sing because…being in the same club means they’re still dating? I don’t know. It’s stupid and we’ve only got about five minutes left.
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Screech gives Violet a rose and wishes her good luck.
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Violet’s parents, including Not-Aaron Spelling, come backstage and decide that Screech and Violet being in the same vicinity means they were getting ready to fuck. Not-Aaron Spelling has the same misogynistic problems as many of the male characters on this show since he proceeds to speak on behalf of his wife without consultation and tells Violet how much they’re both disappointed in her for defying them. Come on, chief. Learn to use “I” statements, not “we” statements. Violet runs off in tears.

Mr. Tuttle, in typical form, is so incompetent he doesn’t notice Violet is gone until Zack Morris tells him. Kelly runs off to find Violet…vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h46m34s61

…and Zack Morris calls a time out to give his Cal U bootleg to Screech to play while Scott Wolf looks confused he’s still in this episode. I still don’t understand how Zack Morris’s warping of time and space works, especially since Screech is exempt from it here.

Yeah, Screech is so incompetent he doesn’t know how to play a cassette tape correctly. He first plays it sped up and then plays it too slow. vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h48m04s199

He then makes cassette ribbon spew out at him from a part of the machine that looks like a reel to reel player and shouldn’t have anything to do with the tape deck. He also makes the machine blow up.

Lucky, though, Violet shows up, but she’s a mess and freezing up.vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h49m18s178

Don’t worry, though, Screech is suddenly back in the glee club and comes out to do a duet with Violet. They complete the performance and find themselves at The Max, where the gang is impressed with what Screech did for Violet. Randomly coming out on stage and doing a duet is now praise-worthy.
vlcsnap-2014-08-24-12h50m53s106Violet and her parents come in. Screech’s soft melody was enough to melt their icy hearts, and they give Screech permission to date their daughter, which is great because the writers need to bring her back one more time before she moves to 90210.

Firsts: Scott Wolf, Cal U is mentioned.


And that’s it for season two of Saved by the Bell. It’s not technically the halfway point of the series in terms of episodes since seasons three and four are going to take me, quite literally, six months each to finish. It is, however, the halfway point in terms of seasons. Given this, I’m going to have some bonuses next week. In addition to my normal The New Class review on Monday and a season recap on Wednesday, I will have bonus reviews on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Then, join me next Friday as we kick off season three of Saved by the Bell!

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 17: “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo”

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We open with Slater and Jessie playing a rousing game of “Got Your Nose!” It’s the game all infants enjoy!vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h36m24s183

Zack Morris reminds Kelly they’ve been going steady for sixty-eight days, which is probably as much news for her as it is for us considering the ending of last week’s episode. Either these writers can’t keep their timelines straight or NBC is airing the episodes out of order again. I can believe either one. Of course, there’s always possibility number three: they don’t give a shit.

Slater and Jessie exchange some sexually suggestive dialogue that I think involves Jessie’s boobs and how Slater wants to see them shake. I’m surprised that this made it to Saturday morning television. Don’t worry, Slater. In three years, Jessie will make a horrible movie that will feature her boobs prominently. Oh and Slater’s sexually suggestive nickname for Jessie is “Honey Lips.” Could they get any more risque? Next they’ll have the Honey Nut Cheerios bee dancing seductively.

Zack Morris and Kelly tell Jessie and Slater that they’ve basically been going out since the prom so they should just fuck and get it over with. Once again, this is news to us, the audience, since a plot point earlier this season was that Slater hadn’t asked Jessie out again since the prom. Remember, Zack Morris? You tried to give him horrible dating advice on your shitty 900 number.

Kelly says Slater and Jessie should just make it official. Jessie’s all, “Feminism! Power to my pussy! Down with the man!” and Slater’s all, “Whatever will get me in Jessie’s pants.” So they don’t want to go steady because Jessie thinks it will be oppressive. vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h36m54s233

They end this timeline contradicting scene with a kiss that the audience loses their shit over.

At Bayside, Lisa gives us some exposition that school gossip claims Slater and Jessie are a couple. Magically, in the space of a scene transition, Jessie dropped her feminist caricature and decided to date Slater. Kelly suggests they celebrate with a date Saturday and the audience loses their shit again as they exchange sweet nothings that would make the Little Rascals blush.

Zack Morris suggests to Kelly that they should do something special for their ten week anniversary on Saturday since that’s such a crucial anniversary. Kelly says she can’t because Todd Winfield is in town, who is apparently her rich, Mel Gibson-like ex-boyfriend. So does that mean he spouts anti-Semitic slurs at police and makes snuff films about Jesus? I want to know when these two dated considering how much both Zack Morris and Slater were up Kelly’s ass last season. Was it before the giant move from Indiana?

Yeah, predictably, Zack Morris being Zack Morris is threatened by other testosterone even breathing on Kelly.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h40m06s90

At The Max, there’s a wacky misunderstanding about where Jessie’s and Slater’s date will be. Uh, oh! They both bought tickets before they bothered to consult the other because they’re both dumb asses! What’s more, they both bought tickets to something it should have been obvious the other won’t enjoy: Jessie to ballet and Slater to a football game! This is so wacky! All this really reminds me of is that there was a time people wanted to see the Raiders.

Jessie’s hella pissed and says that Slater is a sexist pig for not enjoying ballet. I think there’s a flaw in her logic there. Slater tells her to fuck off and they both decide to fuck off.

Zack Morris comes in and tells Kelly that, since she’s his property, she forbids him to see Todd Winfield. Kelly tells him to eat Screech’s dick and gives him back his ring as she storms out.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h41m57s182

Back at Bayside, there’s a council meeting and there’s some boring shit about Jessie wanting to cut the sports teams jerseys to unilaterally create a dance department.
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The four guys present, including Moose and, for some reason, one of the geeks from “Model Students”, are against getting rid of the sports jerseys. I get Moose, but why the hell does the nerd care? After all, we’ve previously established no nerds enjoy sports in the Saved by the Bell universe.

War breaks out between the boys and the girls since all boys love sports and hate dance and all girls love dance and hate sports.
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Everyone starts fighting so much Mr. Belding breaks his gavel. He brings Zack Morris, Slater, Kelly, and Jessie into his office. There’s some heated name calling like “Meat Head” and “Skinny Lips.” After hearing their exaggerated grievances, Mr. Belding receives a phone call from Mrs. Belding and tells the four they should learn from his superior relationship. We find out Mrs. Belding has a first name (Becky), and Mr. Belding has a falling out with his wife because she wants her mother to stay in their house. I can almost hear the *wah wah wah* music.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h46m45s3At The Max, Mr. Belding is having an inappropriate moment with Screech talking about the fall out of his relationship. Doesn’t he have friends or family that he can do this shit with? We also find out The Max was once an Italian restaurant when he was a kid because that’s what all the kids loved, back before a shitty magician bought it and made it a diner where nobody ever eats the food.
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Mr. Belding has a tender moment where he puts Screech in a headlock and tells him he wishes he had someplace to go.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h47m25s99

We cut to Zack Morris and Slater staring at the phone and waiting for the girls to come back groveling.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h47m58s205

Mr. Belding follows Screech to Zack Morris’s house. This…is getting creepy. Don’t Zack Morris’s parents think it’s strange the principal of their son’s school is hanging out at their house with high schoolers? He would have had to go through the living room to get to Zack Morris’s bedroom, right?
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And Mr. Belding fulfills his fantasies of sleeping in Zack Morris’s bed? Oh, Zack Morris has now had Screech and Mr. Belding in his bed! Yeah, Mr. Belding says men have to stick together and that men don’t need women; women need men.
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We cut to…the girls needing the guys. Lisa’s the voice of reason and tells the girls they should try seeing things from the other person’s perspective. She also tells them they need to swallow their pride and make up. Lisa then proceeds to tell them she’s going to do it for them since she doesn’t have much else to do this episode.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h49m57s123

Meanwhile, Mr. Belding bought pizza for the guys. Seriously, where are Zack Morris’s parents? This is getting rather creepy the longer Mr. Belding is in Zack Morris’s bedroom! The four do their “man cheer,” which is just the four of them burping in unison. You know, disturbingly, I hear that’s a sexual fetish in some groups.

Lisa comes in and expresses mild surprise that Mr. Belding is there but takes his explanation of, “Bonding with my boys,” very nonchalantly. Seriously, it’s like nobody gives a second thought to a high school principal hanging out with his students in their bedrooms. Lisa tells Zack Morris and Slater that Kelly and Jessie want to make up.
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Mr. Belding convinces Zack Morris and Slater that making up is stupid and they should remain sexless virgins forever and hang out with him. They tell Lisa to tell the girls, “Thanks but no thanks,” and Lisa’s like, “Whatever, I’m getting out of this stupid scene!”vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h52m13s192

The next morning, Zack Morris hallucinates Kelly in his bedroom wearing a Dukes of Hazard outfit. vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h53m36s7

He sees her in his mirror.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h54m03s25

And coming out of his closet. Yeah, that last one.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h54m25s224

At Bayside, Slater gives some gratuitous fan service in the locker room as Zack Morris comes in. They decide that listening to their possible pederast principal was a bad idea and they need to get back with their girls. vlcsnap-2014-08-17-12h56m18s96

Mr. Belding comes in, now living at the school because that’s totally allowed. Where did he put on that shaving cream? Is he just walking through the school wearing shaving cream and a bath robe?
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After Mr. Belding suggests a guy’s night out involving tacos and bowling, Zack Morris warps the laws of time and space to tell us, the viewer, that he has a plan to get rid of Mr. Belding and get their girls back. He then proceeds to use his phone to order flowers for both Beldings from each other. So how does warping the laws of time and space work? Does it only freeze people in the general vicinity of Zack Morris but not florist employees?
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Mr. Belding assumes flowers means his wife has caved so he decides to go home and cancel tacos and bowling. He says he’s her little “whoopey whoopey” and goes home to his wife who will soon confirm that this was another Zack Morris scheme.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-13h01m08s120

Slater and Zack Morris give each other air kisses and say they’ll always have each other.
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Cut to The Max, which has nicely allowed Zack Morris and Slater to use it as a place to meet Jessie and Kelly after hours when the employees have gone home. The Max must really trust our gang since they’re the primary six customers. I think our gang just gets whatever the hell they want because they have blackmail on Max.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-13h02m22s140

They sit at a table conveniently labeled with a printed sign on it for Kelly and Jessie.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-13h02m28s215

Zack Morris comes out and says this is “What I Should Have Said Theater.” He also does his best Touched by an Angel impression since a light shines down on him out of nowhere.
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Lisa comes out dressed as Beyonce to play the role of Jessie. Slater’s all, “My feelings don’t matter and I should have just caved to an activity I dislike in order to please you because that’s the foundation of all great relationships!”vlcsnap-2014-08-17-13h03m38s141

Slater proceeds to strip off his clothes and dance throughout The Max, because I needed a reminder of what Slater looks like in spandex. The audience loves Slater in spandex so much that they nearly have a heart attack from how much they lose their shit. I think someone may need first aid.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-13h04m17s16

Meanwhile, Kelly’s been taking too many caffeine pills since she now resembles Screech in a Blossom wig. Zack Morris tells our caffeine pill overdosing Kelly that he thinks it’s great she’s still friends with her ex-boyfriend, trusts her completely, and would say anything to get some more of that sweet sweet poon.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-13h05m25s165

The girls instantly forgive Zack Morris and Slater and there’s one more excuse for the audience to lose their shit. I hope there weren’t any old people with heart conditions in the audience for this episode because they have been emotional for a record number of times.vlcsnap-2014-08-17-13h05m35s25And we close with caffeine pill overdosing Kelly crying because she doesn’t know which bathroom to use. Yay, gender confusion. Classy way to end an overly sappy, sometimes creepy episode you guys.

Firsts: Mrs. Belding’s first name (Becky), Zack Morris and Kelly go steady, Slater and Jessie go steady.

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 16: “From Nurse to Worse”

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We open with a rare exterior shot of Kelly’s front door, which would look a lot more convincing if it weren’t painfully obvious it was shot on an indoor set. But if that’s this episode’s biggest problem, then we’re in for another good episode.

Zack Morris and Kelly are getting back from their romantic date seeing Ernest Goes to Jail and Zack Morris decides to ask Kelly to go steady with him. Kelly tells him she needs time to think about it and, all the while, they’re being heckled off-camera by yet another of Kelly’s siblings, Kyle, who’s being voiced by a grown man. I bring up this point only because it’s both impressive and scary how convincing this man is as a prepubescent child.
vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h09m57s21At Bayside, it’s school physical time as exemplified by Screech, who’s “cramming” for his physical. Yeah, this is going to be a running gag throughout the episode and it never really gets funny. Oh and Slater doesn’t want to get his school physical. I hope this doesn’t play into the plot!

Zack Morris comes in and tells the gang that he asked Kelly to go steady with him and they run off to spread the gossip through the school.
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After they’re gone, Zack Morris gets his books out of his locker when he’s approached by Jennifer, who’s played by that one woman who played David Hasselhoff’s boss/girlfriend for a season on Baywatch. If you watched Baywatch, you probably don’t remember her simply because you probably weren’t looking at her face very much during the show. The fact that she went on to “act” on Baywatch tells a lot about her acting on this show.

Jennifer is new to Bayside and looking for the nurse’s office. Zack Morris suddenly goes mute and uses really bad gestures to direct her there, all the while seeing her in sparkle vision. Jennifer says Zack Morris is cute and he automatically takes that as a sign she wants to fuck him.vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h12m18s157

Welcome back, Miss Simpson! Okay, between Miss Simpson and Mr. Dewey, I have to admit that I’m beginning to warm up to some of the regular Bayside faculty. Once again, the running gag is that Miss Simpson is deaf as shit, which is especially relevant given that the class assignment last night was to write a poem.

First up to read his poem is Screech:

“When Morning Comes”

When morning comes, I raise my head,

Shut off the alarm and get out of bed,

I brush my teeth like mother said,

and I always feed my spider, Ted.

Deep stuff, man. He should publish this shit. At least we know now where he developed the song-writing abilities he demonstrates on The New Class.

Lisa is next:

“Ode to the Mall”

So many stores all in one place,

It brings a big smile to my face,

I love to hop from shop to shop,

and buy and buy until I drop.

I think Lisa has a future in writing cheesy advertising jingles.

Lisa is kind enough to pause in the middle of her poem as the camera goes to Kelly and she tells Zack Morris to talk to her after class because she has an answer for him.

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Mr. Belding tells the students on the intercom that they’re going to get their annual physicals and flu shots from Nurse Butcher, the school nurse, this week. Yeah, school nurses don’t give flu shots. Doctors and clinics do. Even if they did, there is no requirement in California for students to be vaccinated against the flu, which means that Bayside is forcing students to get a shot they don’t have to have. What’s worse, we find out Slater is scared of getting a flu shot, and this knowledge renders this subplot completely pointless since it shouldn’t actually be happening.

Kelly is next to give her poem.

“That Special Someone”

Those eyes so warm, that smile so bright,

I think about him day and night.

The cutest guy I’ll ever see,

And lucky, lucky, lucky me.

Did Miss Simpson not go over any of the mechanics of writing poetry with her class? Seriously, you can’t just rhyme some words and call it poetry.

Zack Morris is a complete scumbag during Kelly’s reading and has a fantasy sequence that she’s actually sparkly Jennifer. Yeah, I want to punch him in the balls right now for the inevitable plot that’s unfolding. I mean, we found out in season one that Zack Morris had been pining over Kelly for years. She finally dates him this season, and now a brief interaction with a woman he knows nothing about except her name is making him reconsider his entire relationship with Kelly. Fuck him. Fuck him in the ass with a baseball bat.

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But there’s no time to dwell on this as Zack Morris, Jessie, and an extra are called to the nurse’s office for their physicals. We get our second subplot of the episode after Jessie fails her eye test and Nurse Butcher tells her that she needs glasses. Caffeine pills have ruined Jessie’s eye sight and now she’s near sighted. She automatically reacts in disgust to this as we all know that only nerds and geeks wear glasses in the Saved by the Bell universe so Jessie will finally be forced to accept her clique affiliation.
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Before Zack Morris goes in, Nurse Butcher is called out of the room and Jennifer enters. She tells Zack Morris that she’s taking over as school nurse when Nurse Butcher retires next month, and Zack Morris suddenly gets an erection lasting more than four hours.vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h17m39s35

In the hallway, Kelly wonders what’s taking Zack Morris so long and she tells Screech she’s decided to go steady with him. Screech is so overwhelmed at the prospect of a threesome that he grabs Zack Morris in the hallway, but Zack Morris gets away before Screech can plant a hot kiss on him.

Kelly tells Zack Morris the answer is yes but we’re expected to believe that Jennifer has caused Zack Morris to forget he asked Kelly to go steady with him.vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h18m11s73

Kelly is not amused.

At The Max, Slater wants someone to write him a note to avoid his flu shot but Lisa and Jessie are all, “Fuck that shit! They shouldn’t be giving it to you anyway!”

Kelly comes in and tells Jessie and Lisa she’s scared that Zack Morris doesn’t want to date her anymore. Jessie tells Kelly she’ll talk to Zack Morris for her.vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h19m29s113

Jessie then gets out her glasses and asks Kelly and Lisa how she looks. Lisa says she looks ridiculous and Screech comes up and says his grandmother’s friends wear glasses. We now know that only old people and ugly people wear glasses. There are no beautiful women in the world who wear glasses. So the moral of this subplot is going to be that Jessie realizes there’s nothing wrong with wanting to correct her visionand our resident ultrafeminist is going to say, “Fuck you!” to all her naysayers, right?vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h19m48s39

At Zack Morris’s house, Zack Morris is checking out his favorite person in the world: himself. Jessie comes through his window and tells him that Kelly is upset over how he’s been acting. Zack Morris tells her he’s having second thoughts because he’s in love with Jennifer but makes her promise not to tell anyone. She calls him a fucking swine and we get a fantasy sequence.
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Oh my god, this may be the scariest one yet. Zack Morris has a medical degree and he’s in a ployamorous relationship with Kelly and Jennifer, who are both acting as his nurses. vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h21m29s19

He’s operating on Mr. Belding, which surely means Mr. Belding will soon be dead.

At Bayside, Miss Simpson can suddenly hear because of her new ultra-sensitive hearing aides.
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But the hearing aides amplify all sound, including the bell, which nearly makes Miss Simpson’s brain explode. Okay, I admit it. That was pretty funny. 
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Zack Morris comes in and asks Miss Simpson to go to the nurse. Kelly offers to walk Zack Morris there but he yells she wouldn’t want to see what’s going to happen there and Miss Simpson’s head continues to swell up to near-explosion status.

Mr. Belding comes in and Miss Simpson rips out her hearing aid before it kills her. Mr. Belding tells Slater it’s time for his physical. Uh oh!

Zack Morris walks in the nurses office and Jennifer thinks that he’s having a reaction to the flu shot. She goes to get her thermometer but, wouldn’t you know it, Slater comes in on the other side.vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h24m56s51

Zack Morris tells Slater all his deepest feelings but is horrified to discover he just admitted his deepest homoerotic fantasies to Slater. Slater tells Zack Morris he’ll keep it a secret if Zack Morris gets his flu shot for him. Nurse Butcher comes in and tells Zack Morris to bend over, not because flu shots have to be administered in the butt but because she really wants to see Zack Morris’s ass.
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At The Max, Zack Morris and Screech are jogging around the restaurant. Zack Morris tells Screech he doesn’t want to date Kelly exclusively and needs a horrible guy for Kelly to date so that she’ll continue pining after Zack Morris’s ever whim. Screech offers a guy on the chess team, Melvin Nerdling, and Zack Morris thinks this is perfect because names automatically denote what sort of personality a person has.

Kelly comes in and Zack Morris tells her he doesn’t want to date other people. Zack Morris leaves and, as Slater, Lisa, and Jessie walk in, she’s understandably pretty pissed off as she realizes she’s dating the biggest asshole at Bayside.

Jessie and Slater put two and two together and realize they both know what’s going on. Lisa picks up on context clues and says she’s going to Jennifer to tell her what Zack Morris did to Kelly.

Jennifer thinks Zack Morris is a fucking piece of shit for the way he’s treated Kelly. She tells Slater, Lisa, and Jessie she’ll take care of it. Jessie reads the eye chart without her glasses while she’s there and Jennifer tells her she got them all perfect. Turns out Nurse Butcher is going blind, which is why she’s retiring. Wait…so the school nurse now has the authority to prescribe eye glasses? Jessie didn’t go to an optometrist and confirm the diagnosis? And…wait…the resolution is that Jessie doesn’t need the glasses after all and everyone’s happy because glasses are stupid? Fucking shit. Way to give your young, impressionable viewers, many of whom will need eye glasses, a nice, stereotypical message about glasses being for nerds and geeks. God, as stupid as Full House was, at least their episode about Stephanie getting glasses got the message across that it is okay to correct your vision.
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After a cut, Jennifer is dressed seductively as Zack Morris comes in. She starts seducing him and tells him he’s sweet, unlike her husband who beats her.vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h30m59s97

Jennifer proposes Zack Morris engage in statutory rape with her but Zack Morris is afraid of his bones being shattered under the weight of her husband’s punches and runs away.

He runs straight to Kelly’s house, where he tells her he’s come to his senses and wants to go steady again.
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Much to her credit, Kelly isn’t having it and Zack Morris meets Melvin Nerdling. Oh no! You mean someone who’s not a stereotypical nerd can enjoy chess? What has this world come to! Next you’ll tell me attractive people wear glasses!

Kelly tells Zack Morris to fuck off and our episode ends with Kyle dumping water on Zack Morris. I really enjoy it when Zack Morris gets what’s coming to him, although I fail to understand how Zack Morris didn’t know who Melvin was, especially since we find out Melvin is apparently a major jock. Oh well.vlcsnap-2014-08-09-14h32m37s57

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 15: “The Fabulous Belding Boys”

This episode is, reportedly, Dennis Haskins’s favorite episode. Considering “Running Zack” is supposed to be Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s favorite episode, I’m not holding out much hope that recommendation will mean anything.vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h12m59s239

We open by meeting Mr. Dickerson, the history teacher. I swear, what is it with Bayside hiring their teachers from Arkham Asylum? Mr. Dickerson’s quirk is that he gains pleasure from failing his students. He doesn’t even like when people say good morning to him.

So the History mid-term is coming up and Mr. Dickerson assures the class that they will all fail since no one has passed his mid-term in three years. Wouldn’t that be grounds for termination if none of your students are passing a class? The parents need to take this asshole to the school board! Mr. Dickerson even seems to enjoy fucking with the class during a study session. He asks them questions about Lincoln’s assassination and then tells them none of it will be on the test.

vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h55m22s48Mr. Belding comes on the PA to ask the leaders for the class trip to report to his office. Mr. Dickerson’s logical response is to throw an eraser at the speaker and yell at Mr. Belding to stop interrupting his class. This guy…needs to be psychologically evaluated. Seriously, given all the school shootings over the last couple of decades, if a teacher acted like this, there would be reason to be concerned that his mental instability might lead to violence.
vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h14m37s179 In Mr. Belding’s office, the class trip organizing committee argues over where to go for their trip. Milton, the fat nerd here, wants to go to the Hershey factory and the Ding Dong museum because he’s fat and fat people only care about eating. I should point out for those following my The New Class review that this is either a different Milton from The New Class or Milton substantially lost weight, changed his personality, and failed a lot of classes. I prefer to imagine it’s the second option.

The group argue and it looks like they might break into fisticuffs when Mr. Belding breaks it up. “Fuck this shit,” he tells them, “Since you idiots can’t even agree on a simple place to take a trip, I’ll pick it for you. Oh, and you have to pass that History mid-term from the last scene or you can’t go.”vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h16m17s167

The gang goes to Zack Morris’s house to study, and we join them right after they took some nasty shrooms, as evidenced by the fact that Mr. Dickerson is appearing to them in books.vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h16m28s24And on the body of Magic Johnson.
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And on other books.vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h16m55s27

And they think he’s replaced Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Way to cross promote your shows, NBC. Zack Morris really wants to go on the trip so he’s actually studying and knows quite a bit about the start of World War I.

The next day at school, Mr. Dickerson is five minutes late for class. There’s a running gag in this scene where Screech keeps saying really dumb things so half the class keep hitting him. I’m liking this episode better already. This should be in every episode. It would make The New Class so much more tolerable if everyone was allowed to beat Screech whenever he said something stupid.

Mr. Belding comes in and tells the class that Mr. Dickerson has taken some “time off” because he lost his last connection to sanity in the teacher’s lounge and tried to give all the teachers Fs and detention. Yeah, he says time off but I’m going to assume that’s subtext for “I fired him because he’s a treat to everyone in this school.” If that is the case, I can’t believe it! One of the bat shit crazy faculty members of Bayside has been fired! It’s a miracle!
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Their substitute teacher here is Mr. Belding’s brother, Rod.vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h20m41s242

You can tell that he’s a free spirit because he has long hair and insists the students call him Rod. He also likes laying on his desk. So Rod tells the students to tear up their tests and throw them in the air reminiscent of a scene from Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Rod also tells the students that he’s going to let them set their own grade. Everyone except Screech give themselves an A while Screech gives himself a B- because he’s a dumb ass.

Rod lays on the desk and tells the gang a story of why he quit working in the airline business so he could become a substitute teacher. Apparently substitute teaching is glamorous because you get summers off. What he doesn’t mention is that you don’t get paid during the summer and what you get paid during the year is utter shit.Yeah, sounds great to me.

Mr. Belding comes in to announce where the class trip will be: Yosemite National Park. I…am utterly shocked. The writers picked a real place that is actually in the vicinity of Los Angeles! I…I’m speechless that something makes sense on this show!
vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h22m13s134The writers continue demonstrating how cool Rod is by having him watch a Dodgers game with Zack Morris and Screech in Mr. Belding’s office while Mr. Belding is at a school board meeting…which don’t usually occur during the day but, whatever. Zack Morris and Screech make fun of Mr. Belding and it’s apparent they’re gaining boners for Rod. We get some exposition about the upcoming class trip and disturbingly learn that Screech’s mom is packing him three pairs of long johns with locks on the trap doors…to keep the bears out. So is Screech’s mom afraid Screech will be raped by a bear? I guess he does resemble a wild animal.

Rod tells the boys about his class trip whitewater rafting, and this gets Zack Morris excited enough that he brings the idea to the gang. They all return to Mr. Belding to ask him if Rod can lead them whitewater rafting. Mr. Belding is obviously upset that they don’t want to go to Yosemite with him but he reluctantly agrees to let Rod lead a whitewater rafting trip, because substitute teachers lead class trips all the time.

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In the gym, Rod has inflated a raft, and the gang is imagining they’re on the trip. Is this their class trip: to Imaginationland? It sure seems that way for a moment until we learn that they’re “practicing” for the trip, because inflating a raft in the school gym is completely the same as riding through rough currents on a river.vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h29m31s147

This comes complete with Slater and Zack Morris practicing CPR on Slater and Kelly because it’s completely safe to practice CPR on a live person. Mr. Belding comes in and sees this for the foreplay that it is. Turns out Rod and the kids are supposed to be in history class and Rod’s all, “Take a chill pill bro!” Mr. Belding orders everyone back to class. Zack Morris is pissed that Mr. Belding dares to do his job and ensure that the students learn instead of giving in to the irresponsible whims of his brother. He tells Mr. Belding that he’s just jealous that they want to fuck Rod more than him.

We’re back in the gym and it’s time for the trip and Zack Morris tells us they’re going to the Colorado River. I’m…blown away. Once again the writers have picked a destination that’s actually realistic for a school in California since the Colorado does run through California.

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Does Slater ever wear any clothes? I swear, Bayside has a laxer dress code than Paris Hilton’s bedroom. vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h39m46s164

Lisa’s bringing along only the essentials because the writers wanted to use the stupid spoiled rich girl cliche.vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h40m13s178

And Screech is dressed as the brain damaged love child of Rambo and Gilligan. Oh and the trip is for a whole week. What is it with this school and just randomly taking students out for a week? Doesn’t the Department of Education have anything to say about this?

But, oh no! Milton comes in to tell us the buses have arrived but Rod has not! Zack Morris goes to search for Rod and, as he walks by Mr. Belding’s office, he overhears Mr. Belding and Rod arguing.
vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h41m27s137Yes, Rod may be cool and rebellious but he’s also an irresponsible jack ass who’s decided to ditch the class trip so he can fuck a stewardess. Rod is like, “They’ll get over it. Tell them I got sick.” Mr. Belding is furious and tells Rod that he should have known better than to let Rod come to Bayside. Apparently Rod has always been a fuck up and always will be. Mr. Belding does something completely unprecedented in the history of Bayside and fires a second incompetent teacher!

Zack Morris gets back to the gym before they notice him, obviously angry and upset that Rod has fucked up their class trip. Before he can tell others the bad news, Mr. Belding comes in and tells them Rod came down with the flu and won’t be able to take them on the trip. The gang is ready to pack it up and leave when Mr. Belding tells them not to worry because he’ll take them on the trip.

After everyone else leave to get on the bus, Zack Morris tells Mr. Belding that he overheard everything and wants to know why Mr. Belding didn’t tell everyone the truth. Mr. Belding says that he knows the students look up to Rod and he didn’t want to ruin that for them. He says he knows that Rod is the more exciting Belding. Zack Morris tells him that may be true, but that Bayside got the better Belding. Zack Morris apologizes for acting like a jerk earlier and the two are off to consummate their new found love in front of squirrels and birds and Screech.
vlcsnap-2014-08-03-19h43m57s128I…wow….

You guys, this might be the best episode of the series yet! We have great pacing, genuinely funny and touching moments, characterization, a coherent and mostly believable plot, and a satisfying resolution. There are no stupid subplots going on to distract us from the main plot, and almost everything is in line with what might happen at a real high school (with the possible exception of the one week trip). I can completely see why this is Dennis Haskins’s favorite episode! Besides the fact that it paints Mr. Belding in a positive, competent light for the first time since Good Morning, Miss Bliss, it develops his character in a way that will influence his actions for the next nine years. It even reverses a cliche: instead of the free-spirited, rebellious teacher being the good guy, he’s an asshole and lets everyone down.

I just have one question. Has hell frozen over? After all, I really have nothing bad to say about this episode!

Firsts: A crazy faculty member is apparently fired.

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 14: “The Babysitters”

vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h23m16s89 It’s our second out of season episode for season two, and we open with the gang, including Screech, who forgot to put his clothes on, gathered at The Max because Kelly has called them there for an emergency.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h23m53s192Oh god, it’s a baby episode. Meet Kelly’s baby brother, Billy, who will never be seen or mentioned again after this episode. The premise of this episode is that Kelly’s parents have been snowed in at one of those notorious Los Angeles ski lodges in the horrible Los Angeles blizzards. Kelly has to babysit Billy until they get back because there are no other adults in her life who can do it nor are there any such things as daycare services in the Saved by the Bell universe, so the natural choice is to ask your teenage daughter to play hookie from school so she can babysit.

Kelly has an Earth shattering dilemma, though: she has to get her cheerleading photo taken during first period and she needs the gang to watch Billy in the meantime. I think this is what they call first world white people problems. Oh, and, apparently Lisa and Jessie are suddenly not cheerleaders anymore since they’re not concerned with getting their pictures taken. Of course, the real reason is it’s not convenient to the plot, but the writers hope we’re too stupid to realize that.

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The gang reluctantly agrees at Slater’s urging but then promptly leave the baby in the sole care of the second most incompetent member of the gang so they can all go and tend to their own first world problems. So, what does Zack Morris decide to do?vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h25m37s215

Why, take the baby to school in a gym bag. He’s had the baby exactly thirty seconds and he’s already acting the neglectful babysitter. What is it with just randomly bringing kids to Bayside? I’m sure there’s some kind of rule against that. vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h27m26s38

The bell rings and Zack Morris ends up in French class with his teacher, Madame Oeuf, who does one of the worst fake French accents I’ve ever heard.
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What follows is a minute and a half of one of the worst gags I’ve yet to see on this show. Billy starts crying at random intervals that make me think the director has never heard an actual baby cry. Madame Oeuf, being the type of idiot that adults on this show usually are, can’t tell the difference between a baby crying and Zack Morris doing a French accent.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h29m00s139

So Madame Oeuf encourages all the extras in the room to imitate Billy’s crying. And that’s it, for a full minute and a half, until Lisa just walks right in the room and whispers something in Zack Morris’s ear, causing Zack Morris to exclaim, “Kelly did what!” and then say he had to go, because it’s perfectly acceptable to walk out of class whenever you want as long as it moves the plot along. Oh, and the extras, still imitating Zack Morris, say they all have to go and stand up and leave.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h29m44s104

In the hallway, we find out that Kelly broke her arm getting her picture taken, and there’s not even an attempt to hide Billy at this point. Keeping in the spirit of the idiocy of this episode, no extras or adults even bat an eye at Zack Morris having a baby because young Kapowski children have free reign to come and go at Bayside whenever they want.

Jessie and Lisa suggest that they should leave the baby with the school nurse or Mr. Belding because I’m sure neither of them have anything better to do in their day than babysit a child that shouldn’t be there to begin with. Zack Morris insists that he’s the best incompetent babysitter around and he’s going to see it out.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h30m42s200 Yeah, the yearbook photographer is Max, who’s been hired without Mr. Belding’s knowledge and is even being paid…without Mr. Belding’s knowledge. Yeah, that’s not how it works guys. Max says he was hired because photography is his hobby. I mean, it’s not like he has a restaurant to run or anything so he might as well just randomly come take lots of picture of Bayside. Actually, that’s sounding kind of creepy now.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h31m29s129

In the locker room, lucky Billy has just witnessed Zack Morris and Slater change into their sports clothes for pictures. Once again, coming back to this episode’s theme of first world problems, Zack Morris has to find someone to watch Billy while he gets his picture taken for track. Slater says he’ll do it after wrestling picture.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h31m52s142

The baby starts crying so Slater thinks may he should give Billy his ding dong in case he’s hungry for one. They realize he needs to be changed and proceed to take his diaper off. We get some full frontal baby nudity and, of all the things they could have managed to get right on this show, they managed to get the right sex of baby.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h32m27s226

Considering that Billy is very naked from the waist down, it makes.the way this extra comes up to stare at Billy extremely creepy.

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But, yeah, the idiots two get the diaper off but then decide to argue about who gets the privilege of covering Billy’s nether regions. Their idiocy manages to get the last diaper torn in half. Slater runs off and Zack Morris walks to a locker. For a second, I was horrified as I thought Zack Morris was about to just stick him in the locker, but, instead, Zack Morris gets out one of Slater’s t-shirts and wraps Billy in it.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h34m34s217

We then get a dream sequence of Zack Morris imagining what it will be like to be father to a blonde headed hell spawn. We get elementary age.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h35m06s32

Good Morning, Miss Bliss age.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h35m33s37 And about to be on The College Years age. In all three ages, the running gag is Zack Morris is too smart for his hell spawn’s antics. Yeah, even the audience sounds like they’re half-heartedly laughing.

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The writers manage to forget that they just established a couple minutes earlier that Slater was going to watch Billy while Zack Morris got his picture taken, so, in order to move what little plot this episode has along, he pawns the baby off on Jessie and Lisa. By some great coincidence, it happens to be the day where everyone plays with baby dolls in their home economics class.
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Their teacher, Mrs. Hatcher, is played by the aunt from Step by Step, and does a good job of adhering to the all adults are idiots rule as she doesn’t realize Billy’s crying is not coming from one of the plastic dolls.

For some reason, Max needs a photo of the home ec class for the yearbook. During the photo, Screech comes in to pick up Billy.
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Because Screech is a complete moron, he can’t tell the difference between a doll and a real baby…
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…and he ends up bringing Zack Morris one of the dolls. As if this plot wasn’t convoluted enough, not only do Jessie and Lisa not notice he got the wrong “baby,” they don’t notice that Billy, a living, breathing, human being, is still in the room, and leave him behind. When they return to look for him, they discover that Billy must have taken his first steps in the interim because he’s not in the room. We can only hope Mrs. Hatcher discovered him and called Child Protective Services.

Because we needed even more plot convenience, Kelly picks this moment to come back before the gang can search for Billy.
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Max just so happens to walk up as well at this moment and they ask Max to take pictures of Kelly while the gang searches for Billy.
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Their method of searching involves moving at the speed of light in and out of the various lockers.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h43m23s137The intercom comes on with some crying, and the gang rush into Mr. Belding’s office to find out that a semi-competent adult has Billy. The gang manage to convince Mr. Belding that he didn’t find an abandoned baby but, instead, has memory loss about agreeing to watch Billy during the yearbook photos so that Kelly doesn’t find out how completely incompetent her friends are.
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Max comes in and randomly takes a picture of the rest of the cast with a baby so that Bayside can always remember that babies are allowed to come to school whenever adults are too incompetent to find a proper babysitter.vlcsnap-2014-07-26-17h46m10s5And our pointless, pointless episode ends with Billy saying his first words, “This episode is fucking stupid, almost worse than the ‘Screech is an alien’ episode from two weeks ago!” Or it may have been, “Zack.” It’s one or the other.

Firsts: A baby at Bayside.

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 13: “Running Zack”

Once upon a time, the native peoples of North and South America were proud. They ruled land from the Arctic Circle to the southern tip of the Americas. Thing weren’t perfect but it was a noble way of life. Then the Europeans came in and quickly destroyed what they had built. Native American lands were stolen from them under the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. Whole tribes were exterminated, notably on the tragic Trail of Tears. Native Americans were relegated to reservations where their way of life was all but exterminated.

Then, to compound injury, pop culture insulted the Native Americans time and time again. Sports teams find their namesakes in overtly and covertly racist terms that they refuse to change. Westerns depict the Native Americans as savages who are only out to kill the white man. Ignorant pop culture figures wear sacred Native American garments without any thought as to the meaning behind said garments.

But none of this indignity compares to the treatment Native Americans have received at the hands of Saved by the Bell.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h42m50s58

We open at The Max where everyone practically sucks Zack Morris’s cock because of how well he did at the track meet. Zack Morris is their star runner and, thanks to him, they might beat Valley on Friday.

Zack Morris wants to celebrate with the only five people in the world who will call him a friend but Lisa says she can’t stay because she has to finish her family history project for tomorrow. Kelly asks what she found out and Lisa says her great-great-great grandfather was a slave in the south who escaped and helped other slaves escape via the Underground Railroad. My god…Lisa’s one of like three African-American students in the school and this may be the first time they’ve ever acknowledged it. I get that the writers are trying to go for the color blindness bull shit but it’s Los Angeles in the early ’90s. There’s a prime opportunity here to explore race. But this is Saved by the Bell and the deepst we’ve gotten so far is a lecture on why caffeine pills are evil.

Slater’s the Latino student so his great-grandfather had to be a matador. Jessie’s all like, “Think of the animals!” but won’t say who her ancestors were, only that they are dead. That’s deep. And, of course, Zack Morris hasn’t done his assignment yet so all he knows is that the Bible tells him he’s related to Adam and Eve.

In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris and Screech are going through a trunk that contains a photo Zack Morris has never seen before despite the trunk being in his house.
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Yes, this is the reason for my rant at the beginning. We’re going with the idea that Zack Morris is Native American here. Now let’s break this down. Most people with the last name “Morris” are of English, Scottish, Welsh, or Irish origin, with a minority of German or Jewish origin. Let’s combine this with Zack Morris’s blonde hair, fair skin, and funny body freckles. Boy doesn’t have a drop of Native American blood in him. I do not buy this Native American origin story for a second and don’t want to hear the excuse, “Well, maybe it’s his mother’s side of the family.” Boy is of Nordic origin. There’s no doubting it.

But, yeah, this is the story we’re going with. The fact that Zack Morris finds a random picture of a Native American must mean they’re related because plot.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h45m54s94 At school the next day, Lisa finishes her presentation, which is, by far, the best presentation we’re going to see out of this project.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h47m14s148

Miss Wentworth is back as a history teacher this time since I guess Carol Lawrence needed the work. Jessie is up next and…her ancestors were slave traders…

Okay, Spano is an Italian surname and, guess what? The Italians were not involved in the slave trade. Yeah, the writers decided they wanted to do a half-assed exploration of white guilt and put it on the most socially conscious of the gang without any thought as to whether it was a realistic portrayal or not.

Jessie’s now insanely paranoid about everyone hating her because of her ancestors, especially Lisa. Lisa’s just kind of sitting there like, “I can’t believe I’m the sane one in this episode!” as Jessie starts apologizing profusely as Miss Wentworth tells her to sit the fuck down and get a grip.

And next, it’s time for Zack Morris, and…oh god, no…
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Yes, we’re going to play “Dress Up Screech Like a Racial Stereotype.” Apparently Screech believes that all Native Americans are paralyzed on one side of their bodies and that they enjoy holding their arms crossed in front of their bodies. And…oh god no…
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Zack Morris just used lipstick to put fake war paint on Screech. Can this get any more uncomfortable?
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I had to ask, didn’t I? A toy tomahawk. Oh my god. And what does Screech do with this tomahawk? Grunt like a caveman and beat his chest? vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h48m53s89

Opening my big mouth again. He says, “Me hungry!” and cuts Miss Wentworth’s apple in half with it.

Okay, I don’t give a damn if you’re trying to set Zack Morris up to learn a valuable lesson later. You just portrayed both him and Screech as shit faced, asshole racists who don’t know the difference between a Native American and Captain Caveman. And, to make matters worse, Miss Wentworth tries to put an end to this mockery by asking what tribe Zack Morris is a part of, to which he replies the Cherokee, who live over there in the valley past the freeway.

I would like to remind my readers that the Cherokee are the tribe who were massacred in the Trail of Tears. Nice sensitivity there guys.

The bell rings and Miss Wentworth keeps Zack Morris after class to tell him that his presentation was fucking bull shit and that she wants him to go see a friend of hers after school. I’m going to ignore the fact that it probably violates some law or, at the least, a school regulation to require a student to visit a random adult without parental permission, but I’m only going to ignore it because it’s the least of this episode’s problems. Zack Morris says he has track practice after school and Miss Wentworth tells him tough shit because track is the least of his problems if he doesn’t get this project done.
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Meet Chief Henry, Miss Wentworth’s friend. Now I have a few questions about the good chief here. First of all, where the fuck is he living? Is this someone’s garage? They say at one point he attended UCLA but, if that’s the case, why is he living like this?

Second, what is he chief of? We never hear what tribe Chief Henry is a part of, but chief is a very specific title that not just anyone can use. Not every Native American is a chief, assholes.

Third, how does Miss Wentworth know Chief Henry? They never tell us but, from her reaction later in the episode, the best I can guess is that they’re fuck buddies, which makes her sending Zack Morris to his house even creepier.

But, yeah, even Chief Henry thinks Zack Morris being Native American is bullshit. The writers are pointing out how bullshit this entire plot is without me having to say it. Zack Morris shows Chief Henry the picture but doesn’t want to listen to anything Chief Henry has to say because he has to hurry and get to track practice. vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h51m36s188

Chief Henry is like, “Fuck this bullshit. I didn’t ask for some racist prick to come around to my place,” gives Zack Morris a shit ton of books to read, and sends him on his way.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h51m50s83

So who does Zack Morris see for relief? Why, Mr. Belding, who suddenly cares more about beating Valley than he does about Zack Morris’s education. Mr. Belding calls Miss Wentworth in and asks her to give Zack Morris an extension. Miss Wentworth is all, “Fuck that shit. Little racist piece of shit had a month to do the project. He’s getting what he’s getting.”

At The Max, Zack Morris is reading through Chief Henry’s books when Slater, Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa come in bummed that they could lose the tournament if their favorite Nordic Native American doesn’t get to play. Cry me a river.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h53m45s211

Meanwhile, Jessie is bugging the shit out of Lisa to let her do something to make up for her ancestor enslaving the black folk. Jessie’s all, “Let me buy you a Coke or a salad, because that totally makes up for the oppression and degradation of your ancestors.” Lisa’s like, “I’m sick of your fucking insanity. If you’re going to keep up like this, I might as well take advantage of you. Take me shopping at the mall!” And Slater’s all jealous that no one is paying attention to the stereotype the writers have put on his ancestors’ ethnicity.

Zack Morris finds out that his ancestor’s picture is in one of the books as a famous chief. Yay! Everyone’s a chief in this episode!
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Zack Morris returns to Chief Henry and begs him to tell him about his ancestor. Chief Henry gives Zack Morris his new stereotypical Native American sounding name of “Running Zack” because…he runs and he’s a Zack…

I know Jessie’s the one who’s supposed to be feeling white guilt, but right now I’m feeling quite a bit of it myself…

Now it took me a bit to understand the tribe that Chief Henry claims Zack Morris’s great-great-great grandfather was a part of, but it was apparently the Nez Pierce tribe, a group that was primarily in what is now North-Central Idaho but also stretched into Washington, Wyoming, and Montana. This begs the question of how Chief Henry knows so much about Zack Morris’s ancestor. Are they implying that all Native Americans know each other?
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Zack Morris decides to go to the beach with Chief Henry to hear more stories but not before Chief Henry gives him a stereotypical Native American headband that he claims is a symbol of Zack Morris’s tribe. After all the bull shit in this episode, why do I question the validity of that statement?vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h58m08s23

At school the next day, we start off with Screech, who is apparently Italian and doing the most stereotypical portrayal of a womanizing Italian he can come up with, because the last name Powers is so Italian. He comes off sounding like one of the Mario Brothers and sexually harasses Lisa, Miss Wentworth, and an extra in the process but still manages to get an A. I guess I should be thankful he didn’t bring pizza and spaghetti.

Next up is Zack Morris again and…oh god…vlcsnap-2014-07-14-16h59m04s71

I think it was better when the writers were purposely going for exaggerated stereotypes rather than unintentionally being degrading. Even the audience sounds uncomfortable, like they don’t know whether they’re supposed to be laughing or not. We get a history lesson that includes every cliché about Native Americans except for casinos and alcoholism. Hell, why didn’t they just go for it all while they were at it?

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Everyone loves Zack Morris’s project and he predictably gets an A, much to the delight of Mr. Belding.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h01m01s211

And he’s happy for Zack Morris. Uncomfortably happy. Even the extra in the background notices it and looks horrified.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h01m45s142

Zack Morris makes a phone call to Chief Henry before going to the pep rally and the look on his face implies there’s bad news. Meanwhile, Jessie wants to carry Lisa’s books because white guilt!
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Why does it not surprise me a pep rally is being held at The Max? vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h03m02s142

Lisa has acrylic nails so she can cross the finish line faster. Kelly is doing some of the worst cheers I’ve ever heard in this franchise, and that says a lot.
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And no one notices Zack Morris isn’t there until he doesn’t run up when called. They must have thought this was going to be an episode where Zack Morris turned invisible. Kelly decides something must be wrong so she gives Mr. Belding pom pom duty and goes to look for him.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h03m59s209

And yes, she finds Zack Morris and Miss Wentworth commiserating over the death of Chief Henry, a super important character who hasn’t ever been seen before this episode but whom Zack Morris claims was important to him. Yes, Zack Morris, those two times you met him, one of which you basically blew him off, were so important in the grand scheme of things. We never find out what Chief Henry died from but, since he was looking perfectly healthy and even on his way to the beach, we can only assume it’s the deadly plot contrivance-itis in which bad television writers try to manipulate us into feeling sad over a situation we, as the viewer, have no emotional investment in.

But, yeah, Zack Morris is so broken up that he can’t run on Friday because plot and stuff.
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And that night, Zack Morris thinks he’s dreaming…
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when Chief Henry wanders into his bedroom…
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and gets into bed with Zack Morris….eew….vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h06m46s77

Zack Morris’s hallucination tells him to look for the answer to his grief in his hand…vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h07m14s98and he finds out he’s holding the headband Chief Henry gave him.vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h07m28s224

Back at Bayside, Jessie’s still on about her white guilt and Lisa’s all, “Look, you insane bitch. What the slave traders did to my ancestors was shitty. But you’re acting a fool and I’m going to beat the living shit out of you if you don’t stop acting like a crazy woman!” And so ends our white guilt subplot.

Everyone’s down about the chances of beating Valley without Zack Morris when who should come down the stairs but…Zack Morris!
vlcsnap-2014-07-14-17h09m10s238He reveals that he just happened to never notice before that Chief Henry had printed “Beat Valley” into the headband. Either that or we’re supposed to believe it’s some supernatural shit. Either way, Zack Morris is fired up to go and beat Valley.

And, with that horrible, horrible episode over, I apologize profusely on behalf of ignorant white folk everywhere who managed to fuck up two racial plots. All we learn from this episode is that the writers of this show are about as deep as a Twilight novel when it comes to tackling serious issues. If there is anyone of Native American ancestry reading, I’ll buy you a Coke and a salad to make up for it.

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 12: “Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind”

When I recapped season one, I alluded to the fact that there were more episodes produced for that season than the sixteen I reviewed. NBC ordered a total of twenty episodes for season one but, for reasons that are beyond me, chose to shelf four of those episodes. They aired all four episodes later on, two during season two and two during season four. Because I’ve chosen to take a look at the episodes in order of airing, I am treating them as episodes of season two and season four and referring to them as “out of season episodes.”

It’s painfully obvious these episodes do not belong with seasons two and four. The cast, especially Zack Morris and Screech, are noticeably younger, and Max is still in the cast. But they’re there so let’s take a look at the first of these out of season episodes.vlcsnap-2014-07-10-11h35m48s167We open in the only classroom in the school, where Zack Morris is directing a student film using the school’s new video camera. Jessie is playing a school teacher because all teachers dress like Ma Ingals from Little House on the Prairie. 

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Slater is acting as camera man while lots of extras sit around looking bored in the background for no discernible reason.vlcsnap-2014-07-10-11h36m16s190Zack Morris cues the hideous creature and…oh my god that is a hideous creature! Why, that thing is the stuff nightmares are made of! Oh, yeah, of course it’s just Mr. Belding butting in to give us some exposition about how the camera is expensive so he just decided to let a bunch of teenagers use it on a whim. Gee, I hope this doesn’t play into the plot in like a minute.

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The real hideous creature comes in and I actually think it would be more hideous without the makeup. Like Screech just looks like the Jolly Green Giant glued a bunch of fake eyeballs to his forehead. Hey, they still have better production values than Birdemic. But, yeah, the Screech alien sucks Jessie’s brains out through a giant straw.vlcsnap-2014-07-10-11h37m44s43

Oh and Kelly’s role in the film is to deliver exposition by jumping around and cheering her lines, because that’s totally how cheerleaders act all the time.vlcsnap-2014-07-10-11h38m43s119Lisa comes in playing the school nurse and delivers oh so important exposition about Jessie’s brains being sucked out because a school nurse can totally diagnose conditions just by moving a person’s head around in circles.

The Screech alien tries to suck out Lisa’s brains for dessert but Lisa resorts to physical violence and punches the Screech alien in the straw, causing it to chip a tooth. Zack Morris calls cut and gets hella mad that they’re going off script. In the process, he accidentally knocks the camera out of Slater’s hands.

vlcsnap-2014-07-10-11h39m17s202That was  either one hell of a fall or one delicate camera. Falling on the ground caused the eye piece to fall off, the battery to come off, the cassette to eject itself, and tape in the cassette to come out, not to mention the random exposing of wires. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this was horribly contrived in an attempt to convince us that one fall to the ground damaged the camera beyond repair!

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In Zack Morris’s room, Jessie is freaking out because her reputation is at sake as “President of the School.” Yeah, I’m not making that one up. The writers actually had her say she was president of the school. Does this mean Slater is her first lady? Kelly says the best thing to do is to buy a new camera but Slater says the camera costs $1,200 because…Slater just happened to know how much the camera costs? I don’t know.

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Meanwhile, Screech is reading The Weekly Babbler, a rip-off of Weekly World News. For those who don’t remember, Weekly World News was a trashy tabloid that was sold at supermarket checkout lines to really gullible people filled with supposed paranormal and supernatural headlines. They were most famous for a series of articles on a supposed bat boy but my favorite was always the one that claimed Hitler, JFK, and Elvis were all alive somewhere and hanging out, despite the fact that Hitler would have been 120 years old at the time.

Zack Morris sees an ad that offers to pay $1,500 for the best picture of an alien. They all get the same idea with the implication that they’re going to take pictures of Screech in his alien costume.

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Back at Bayside, Jessie dresses like the Swiss Miss girl in an effort to elude Mr. Belding. She’s supposed to be Spanish or Mexican or some shit here, but her fake accent sounds nothing like either a Spanish or a Mexican accent so the entire getup is, as usual, complete and utter bull shit.

We find out that Mr. Belding has been bugging Jessie for the return of the camera. He finds her but she manages to convince him that her name is “Maria Tortilla” until Zack Morris comes in and ruins the clever ruse. It’s been a week since the last scene and Mr. Belding wants his camera back so he can make internet porn. Zack Morris pulls a new camera out of his bag and Jessie faints because even she can’t believe this entire scheme, including getting paid, was pulled off in only a week.

Yeah, a scheme worked with no consequences, but it wouldn’t be much of an episode if that were the end of it, so let’s get our next point of conflict.

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At The Max, a strange man comes in looking for Zack Morris. His name is Johnson and, although he never says it, the kids assume he’s from the newspaper. He wants to meet the hideous Screech alien and says that he’ll pay $10,000 for a meeting. Ah, so we have some conflict: greed!vlcsnap-2014-07-10-11h53m53s6

After Zack Morris is out of range, Thompson speaks into his beeper, identifying himself as “Lieutenant Thompson” and saying that he has made contact. Yes, folks, the implication here is that a representative of the United States government believes that a cheesy picture of a completely unrealistic looking alien in a trashy tabloid magazine is real. Boy, the writers of Saved by the Bell sure have some faith in their government!

At Bayside, Screech has had his tooth filled and his filling now magically picks up bad muzak radio stations because that’s totally a thing that happens with fillings. Zack Morris and Slater tell Screech their plan to continue defrauding a newspaper. Screech is hesitant and says he’ll let them know after he drops off his doctor’s note with Mr. Belding.

And magically, through contrivance, who should be in Mr. Belding’s office but Lieutenant Thompson, who identifies himself as a member of the Air Force’s UFO Investigation Unit. Yeah, this is totally a thing. There’s a running gag that gets no laughs about Lieutenant Thompson being really clumsy and Mr. Belding tries to convince the lieutenant that Zack Morris is not a reliable source.

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Conveniently, Mr. Belding gets called out of the office because the water polo team has a horse in the swimming pool. I don’t know what it was with the writers during the first season and the swimming pool but that poor swimming pool sure saw better days. Screech comes in and encounters Lieutenant Thompson, whose keen intuition hears the radio stations in Screech’s fillings and becomes convinced he could be an alien.

At The Max, Max is totally willing, as the responsible adult he is, to help the gang defraud a newspaper. He agrees to show Screech some magic tricks to convince Lieutenant Thompson that he’s an alien.vlcsnap-2014-07-10-11h59m12s119

First is drinking milk through your finger, because when I think aliens from the great sci-fi shows like Star TrekStar Wars, and Doctor Who, I think drinking milk through your finger.

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Then Max teaches Screech how to make two metal xylophone mallets appear behind his head like antennas. Yeah, Max, I had forgotten how useful and integral to this show you were. I don’t know how we’ve gotten through most of this season without you.

It’s after school hours at Bayside and Zack Morris breaks in to lead Lieutenant Thompson to see the alien. There’s some lame practical effects including lights blinking smoke, and lockers opening and closing on their own, as well as some scary muzak. Screech comes out dressed as the alien and though Lieutenant Thompson believes the ruse at first, even he catches on to a fake ear and fake antennas falling off. The rest of the gang come out apparently admitting to the ruse.

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Screech rips his face off to reveal Dustin Diamond’s true appearance and this convinces Lieutenant Thompson he’s an alien because the lieutenant is a moron. Lieutenant Thompson finally tells them who he is and reveals his plans on dissecting Screech because dissection seems to be the first thing that comes up in every bad sitcom involving an alien. Just ask Alfvlcsnap-2014-07-10-12h05m22s234

Rather than tell their parents there’s a creepy guy from the government who wants to murder one of them, Screech hides out at Zack Morris’s place and keeps Zack Morris up with his incessant praying and referring to himself as “the Screechster.” He also wants Zack Morris to come to Heaven with him so their love can be eternal.
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And it’s finally time for them to consummate their love beneath Zack Morris’s Bejeweled blanket.

In Mr. Belding’s office, even Mr. Belding can’t help but laugh at Lieutenant Thompson’s idiocy in believing Screech really is an alien and, after the lieutenant tries to rip one of Mr. Belding’s ears off, Mr. Belding does the first sensible thing anyone has done this episode and tells Lieutenant Thompson to leave, to which the lieutenant continues his idiocy by demanding that Mr. Belding produce the alien, threatening the wrath of the federal government if he doesn’t.

Zack Morris and Mr. Belding team up for a plan they thought up off camera. Lieutenant Thompson comes in to take Screech who comes out of a locker ready to go. But the rest of the lockers open up revealing the most hideous site you ever saw.

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Oh my god, the gang and all the extras have taken too many caffeine pills and turned into Dustin Diamond clones! Get your children inside! Get your guns! Hide your prostitutes who might want to make a horrible sex tape!

The logic here is that if Lieutenant Thompson wants to take Screech, he has to take everyone, which is completely ludicrous but whatever. We’re almost done with this stupid episode.

vlcsnap-2014-07-10-12h09m17s20Screech reveals the mask that he used in an attempt to defraud a newspaper, which resolves the conflict instantly, completely rendering the others dressing as Screech pointless and idiotic. The lieutenant says that wasn’t very honest and Mr. Belding lectures him about how it wasn’t honest to tell a group of kids that he was from a newspaper despite the fact that he never actually did that. The lieutenant leaves flabbergasted by his own idiocy and we end with Mr. Belding and Zack Morris showing a grain of respect for each other before each runs in the opposite direction in fear of this new blossoming love.

Firsts: Out of season episode.

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 11: “1-900-Crushed”

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We open at The Max, where Zack Morris wants to be rich again and thinks that, because he has big ideas, he can do it. Zack Morris is reading a magazine conveniently titled Making Money where he gets the idea to open up his own 900 number and make a fortune. Unfortunately, he has no idea what to offer for a service for his 900 number, so his plan currently looks similar to the underwear gnomes from South Park:

  • Step 1: Open a 900 number.
  • Step 2: …
  • Step 3: Profit!

Lisa, Jessie, and Slater come in as Jessie is reading “Dear Donna,” a relationship advice columnist. Turns out that Lisa always gives the same relationship advice as “Dear Donna,” which causes a light bulb to magically appear above Zack Morris’s head Looney Tunes style.

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Yes, his idea to create “The Lisa Line,” a relationship advice service, but he only tells us this in monologue rather than telling Lisa, who’s sitting right there, because we need to draw this out a little longer.

Meanwhile Jessie and Slater are fighting like usual. It doesn’t really look different from any other episode, but it actually plays into one of the subplots later on.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h10m52s31

Kelly and her little sister Nicki, whom we’ll never see again after this episode, come in The Max. Make sure to welcome Kelly back from the shortest month in Paris on record! And Zack Morris…is flirting incessantly with his girlfriend’s thirteen year old sister. They’ve become friends over Zack Morris teaching Nicki how to pitch a baseball, a skill he’s never had before but it was convenient this time, but we get a dream sequence from Nicki’s head to show us she wants more.
vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h11m24s99And look, it’s a Cinderella rip-off, with Nicki as Cinderella…
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And Jessie, Lisa, and Kelly as the evil step-sisters, with The Max as their home because the producers didn’t want to spring for the Kapowski home set for a dream sequence. What follows is the reason it took so long for white rappers to be taken seriously. No, it wasn’t Vanilla Ice hat was the root cause of it. It was this episode.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h12m09s41

Dear freaking god. If this isn’t a relic of white people trying to imitate the hip-hop community in the early ’90s, I don’t know what is. This is painful to watch as D.J. Zacky Zack and the Preppies here rap the Cinderella story at us.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h12m35s42

DJ Zacky Zack is looking for the person whose foot fits in the gold sneaker. And you know the rest of the story: it won’t fit Jessie, Lisa, or Kelly… 
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But it will fit NickiAnd they live happily ever after in the magical land of cultural misappropriation!

At Zack Morris’s room, he’s gotten Screech in on the plan for no particular reason and decides they’re going to be rich off this line if they operate it for five hours a day at $2 a minute. Uh, no. 900 numbers don’t work like that. The reason they made money was because people could call anytime day or night. Therefore, the number could afford to advertise late at night when the rates were cheaper. But this is Saved by the Bell so they’ll probably be richer than Bill Gates by the time this is over.

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They also rip off the dance of joy from Perfect Strangers.

Lisa walks in and they finally tell her the plan. She demands half the profits, which is quite reasonable, but Zack Morris tells her she can’t tell anyone their secret identity and she can’t give free advice anymore. So what does she do if one of her friends is genuinely in trouble? “Sorry, I can’t give you advice, but you can call this line that I’m not a part of and get your advice there!”
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Isn’t it great that Bayside High just lets any student advertise their 900 number at school? Isn’t it even better that the advertising doesn’t give the number to call so there should be no way for anyone to know how to reach this Teen Line?

So the predictable subplot with Jessie and Slater is that Jessie is hella pissed because she has a good time at the prom with Slater eleven weeks ago but he hasn’t asked her back out and she doesn’t want it to be a one night stand. Slater’s all, “You’re this ultra-feminist who always insists on doing everything yourself so why didn’t you ask me out?” Jessie’s all, “I’m going against my characterization because it creates more conflict that way!” So Slater asks Jessie out and she walks away saying, “Maybe!” What the hell was that all about?

So we get to the teen line, which is three phones in Zack Morris’s bedroom with only Lisa, Screech, and he answering. Yeah, this would really make someone rich outside the Saved by the Bell universe. Oh, and Zack Morris is answering the phone with a bad Australian accent and the name “Nitro.” To our readers down under, I apologize grossly for this misrepresentation of your fine nation. Here’s hoping Zack Morris gets kicked in the face by a kangaroo.

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Nitro’s first customer is Moose, who’s holding a football to let us know he’s a dumb jock since we’ve never seen him before. He likes a girl but she is perceptive and doesn’t like him because she’s well aware he’s a fucking dumb ass. Lisa’s advice: write a poem, because poems solve everything!
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Next is Louise, whom Moose has a crush on. Louise wants to know if she should go steady with Moose and Lisa tells her to make fun of his name because that’s romantic.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h16m41s200

Next is Jessie, who doesn’t know whether she should go out with Slater despite the fact that she already did eleven weeks ago. Lisa tells her to just fucking do it for Christ’s sake and quit dragging out this fake conflict!
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The phones start ringing off the hook as Zack Morris gets Nicki on the phone. Nicki says she really likes this guy who’s dating someone she’s close to and wants to know what she should do. Zack Morris is a complete moron and can’t see the obvious in front of his nose so he tells her to go for it since Lisa is busy fighting about shopping on the other line.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h18m15s104

At Bayside, Nicki is there…

So Nicki is thirteen, which puts her in seventh or eighth grade. This begs the question WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING IN A HIGH SCHOOL? Can anyone just walk in this school at anytime who wants to? We saw the creepy photographer do it last week and now an obsessed pubescent.

Anyway, Nicki asks Zack Morris out.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h18m45s152

As he’s about to change into Teen Wolf, Zack Morris realizes his advice was really bad  Nicki is demanding a kiss as Kelly comes down the stairs and, instead of straightening this all out like a normal person, Zack Morris sticks Nicki in his locker as Kelly tells him about Nicki having a crush and thinking it’s super great they have sex to bond over now! When Kelly walks away, Zack Morris lets Nicki out of his locker and gives her a sexy peck kiss on the cheek to get her to fuck the fucking fuck off, but Jessie witnesses the whole thing and reaches the obvious conclusion that Zack Morris is dating a thirteen year old.

Back at Teen Line HQ, the phones aren’t ringing because Lisa solved everyone at Bayside’s problems because a 900 number can only be called by people from one specific place of course. Zack Morris reaches the conclusion that he needs to give bad advice to keep people calling so he fires Lisa.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h20m59s215

Zack Morris’s first customer is Slater and he tells Slater to get rid of the nuts girl who said, “Maybe.”

At The Max, Kelly thinks it’s preposterous when Jessie tells her that Zack Morris is dating Nicki. Slater comes in and breaks off his date with Jessie, which causes her to get so upset that she runs a marathon out the door and down the street.

Zack Morris tells Kelly he can’t go out tonight because he has something to do, which naturally leads her to conclude Jessie might be right about him dating Nicki because conflict.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h22m56s89

 

Meanwhile, Louise shows Zack Morris and Screech Moose’s love poem, “The birds and the bees don’t compare to your knees, Louise.” Yeah, that’s romantic shit right there. Zack Morris and Screech lead her to believe it was plagiarized, which causes Louise to go fucking nuts and squirt ketchup on Moose because conflict.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h23m10s244

At Teen Line HQ, Kelly calls in thinking that Zack Morris is dating NIcki and, rather than do the obvious thing and tell her the truth, Zack Morris decides to prolong the conflict because the writers really fucking like conflict in this episode. vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h23m38s11

Zack Morris calls Lisa on another phone begging advice on what he should do with Kelly and she’s like, “Biatch, you fired me! I’ll only do it if you give me all your money!”vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h24m09s70

Nicki calls in on a third phone and Zack Morris tells Lisa she wins, who tells him the obvious: tell Kelly the truth and let Nicki down easily. And he goes to do that, only he tells Nicki the truth and lets Kelly down easily because he mixes up the phones.
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Hi, crazy ass art teacher who has nothing to do with the plots of this episode!

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Yes, in art, we’re drawing Moose, Slater, and a random extra. I swear, if they strip I’m not finishing this review.vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h27m17s154

Yeah, everyone’s pissed at everyone else so we rip off a plot from Good Morning, Miss Bliss and have a random silly string fight as Mr. Belding comes in because…apparently everyone in class just happened to have silly string!vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h27m53s252

Mr. Belding drags the entire class in his office rather than…investigating right there in the class and, despite the fact that it was crazy ass art teacher who started the silly string fight, he’s blaming it on the students and finds out they all got bad advice from the Teen Line. Mr. Belding puts on his thinking cap and deduces it was Zack Morris and Screech behind the line even though the only evidence is that they’re the only ones who didn’t call it. Yeah, that’s solid beyond reasonable doubt stuff right there. Let’s get Mr. Belding in the criminal justice system! Mr. Belding gives Zack Morris and Screech an ultimatum to make the school happy again or there will be spankings all around.

Zack Morris begs Lisa to help him set everyone straight and she takes pity on him. Her advice for Kelly and Nicki?vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h30m38s2

Make Nicki think that Zack Morris is as big an idiot as Screech, who is tossing popcorn in the air and catching it in his mouth.

Lisa sets everyone right including Slater and Jessie and now it’s time to take care of Kelly. Her plan?vlcsnap-2014-07-08-19h32m34s255

Dress Kelly up like Dolly Parton and take her to The Max so she can spy on Zack Morris and Nicki.
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Zack Morris is dressed…actually, he is dressed like Screech. I can totally see Screech wearing this outfit. Maybe they swapped clothes in Screech’s bedroom as they admired their duple teenage bodies. Zack Morris is trying to scare Nicki away with spiders and worms and other stuff all women hate because all women on Earth have the same phobias, but it backfires and Nicki wants to take Zack Morris to the “insect rodeo,” which I can imagine is ants in cowboy hats riding grasshoppers and roping centipedes.

Zack Morris goes to the last resort, the truth, since we only have about a minute left in the episode. Nicki says he’s a fucking idiot that he was too scared to tell a thirteen year old that he didn’t like her and that makes him hella lame. Nicki runs out as Dolly Parton walks up and flirts with Zack Morris. Since Kelly is completely co-dependent on Zack Morris at this point, she overlooks the fact he has a chronic aversion to just telling he truth in the first place and avoiding this whole damn thing. Zack Morris pretends that he doesn’t know it’s her and says he can’t, but he tells us, the viewer, in monologue, just in case you’re just tuning in as the show closes.

Firsts: Moose.

Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 10: “Model Students”

vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h46m19s24 Zack Morris tells us in his monologue that the school store is also known as “Nerds R Us” as demonstrated by this nerd’s unhealthy obsession  with a shell clock, whatever the hell that is. Yes, it’s time for us to see the first incarnation of the school store, which is actually in its own room. Mind you, it’s just the classroom set converted but at least it’s not just a booth in the middle of the hallway like in The New Class.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h46m32s138

This is a school store that also has at least four staff employees, including Kelly. Where the hell does Bayside get the money to fund all this shit? Is Mr. Belding secretly using the store as a front for caffeine pill smuggling? Also, it’s apparently a school store that allows all its inventory to be chosen by the student employees.
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The rest of the gang come in to get Kelly and Slater sets off the alarm for the autographed Mr. Rogers picture, because that’s totally what geeks are into: Mr. Rogers.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h48m51s19

Slater is manhandled by one of the nerds who feels all over his rippling muscles. The nerd asks Slater out on a date later but the producers haven’t built a set for Bayside’s gay bar yet, so no go.
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The gang develop a plan to get Mr. Belding to put Zack Morris in charge of the school store, and Mr. Belding laughs to see such sport, suggesting he’d rather Zack Morris put a hit out on him. Zack Morris decides to convince Mr. Belding by demonstrating how much sales are down, because that’s totally why high schools have a school store: to make a profit. After telling Mr. Belding that the nerds’ bestselling product is pale flesh colored Band-Aids, Zack Morris immediately contradicts himself by showing Mr. Belding a bunch of blank sheets of paper and telling him that’s the sales figures. They sold Band-Aids but made nothing on them. How does that work again?
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Since it moves he plot along, Mr. Belding acquiesces to Zack Morris’s request and puts him in charge. The next day, he’s hired the rest of the gang to work there, and his new stock, which he somehow go a super rush on, includes cup holders, Bayside t-shirts and sweats, a ball with a drunk face on it, and something that, judging by the signage, is apparently AMAZING!vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h51m51s23

The nerds come in to have a sit-in until they’re scared off by security, Slater, who does the growl he does with Zack Morris in bed to scare them away.

The gang decide they need a gimmick to get customers in the store and, as the girls are going to swim team practice since the episode needed them to suddenly be on the swim team and Screech is going to photography club because the episode needed that too, Zack Morris decides these two things might go together in the form of snapping illicit photos.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h53m11s52

Ladies and gentleman, Screech’s worst disguise yet. He was supposed to have been in the pool taking pictures and even has water in the snorkel, but notice that his shirt and shorts are not wet nor is their any water anywhere on his body. So…was the water in the snorkel part of his disguise then?

Zack Morris’s plan is to use Screech’s photos to create a “Girls of Bayside” calendar which…all things considered…is actually one of Zack Morris’s better plans. Of course, he goes to the magic printing press next to the radio station in the basement and…
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By the next day, has lots of the calendars ready for sale and a line full of extras waiting to buy them! It’s amazing how fast the wheels of progress can turn when you have horrible writers on staff!

The girls come in and are all excited until they discover…vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h54m19s212

That Zack Morris’s magic printing press also has the ability to print cardboard cut outs! Really, the timeline on this episode is ridiculous, even by Saved by the Bell standards. It’s like Zack Morris has connections with the Chinese Mafia to where he can obtain anything he wants in a short amount of time.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h54m36s130

And these are the photos that Screech took in the water with an underwater camera? Pictures of the girls posing completely dry and smiling at the camera, with Lisa even saluting the camera. And they didn’t know that the camera was there? Are they blind or just stupid?
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But, woo hoo! Ms. December is hot stuff! Slater comments on how hot ass Mr Belding is in a bathing suit and Jessie promptly assaults him. All three girls want the calendars to be pulled off the shelf and, when Zack Morris refuses, they take their case to a higher authority.

In Ms. December’s office, the lovely model takes the side of the girls because of feminism and privacy and stuff. And, just as Mr. Belding orders the calendars be recalled and destroyed, a stranger enters!vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h56m35s46

This is Adam Trask, who barges into Ms. December’s office saying he’s a photographer with Teen Fashion Magazine and thinks the pictures in the calendar are great masturbatory material. Adam wants to do a photo spread of the three people in the calendar who the producers were willing to pay to appear, and Jessie’s all, “Feminism! Inner beauty! Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!” until Adam tells her their pictures will be seen around the world.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-18h57m49s11

And she’s ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille because fame is apparently more important to Jessie than her principles.

Now forget all the stranger danger stuff you had hammered into you since kindergarten because everyone completely trusts Adam despite the fact that he just wandered in off the street with a calendar full of teenage girls and now wants to take more photos, because you should always let strangers who haven’t even proven their identities take lots of photos of you.
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So here are just a few of Adam’s god awful photos, including Jessie as the school teacher who wants to punish you for being naughty!
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Lisa gets stuck with the African poacher who looks incredibly uncomfortable to be doing this photo shoot look.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h00m17s224

The Max once again shooed all its customers away for one of Zack Morris’s schemes, and here we have Kelly looking sexy while calling the Psychic Friends Network.
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Here we have Jessie dressed like Blossom would be if she were dressed as a cowgirl. vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h01m00s139

And, since the writers figured they didn’t want to waste their one opportunity to use the school store set, Adam takes some photos in their, because when I think sexy girls, I think school supplies in the background.

The next day at The Max, the girls are apparently having breakfast at The Max because they’re meeting Adam there before school. Makes sense as we know how much poultry Max keeps in his pants. vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h01m33s209

The magic printing press was running all night again and the magazine with the girls’ picture is already out. The girls think they look like hot shit and Slater’s jealous that he wasn’t asked to model.

Adam tells the girls that his editor has decided he wants one of them on the cover of their anniversary issue and he picks Kelly because she’s the one whose pictures he’s gotten the most use from. After the girls agreed not to get angry at who would be picked, they immediately start fighting…
vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h02m15s113Until Screech does his Gollum impersonation that is.

Adam tells Kelly the best news is that he’s taking her to Paris for a month because he can more easily take the sorts of photos he wants to if the meddling adults aren’t around, and because high school students can just take off for a month of school at a time at their discretion. Yeah, that’s totally how that works. Naturally, everyone is overjoyed that Adam is going to commit statutory rape in Paris except for Zack Morris, who believes Kelly will immediately forget about him upon stepping foot in French soil.

After eavesdropping on the girls’ conversation, Zack Morris learns that Kelly is leaving tomorrow because Saved by the Bell time is apparently sped up. Zack Morris goes into shit face mode by mentioning all the things that Kelly won’t be around for, like the swim meet and Slater’s science project, hoping it’ll make her feel guilty because all that matters is Zack Morris and what he wants and, besides, Kelly is Zack Morris’s property and needs to learn her place.
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He also gets Screech to cry hysterically as he walks by so he can tell Kelly she’s going to miss Screech’s birthday since that episode was aired out of season and they haven’t established when his birthday is yet in airing.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h06m09s153

So the manila envelope contains Kelly’s assignments for the entire month that she’s gone. Really. They aren’t even trying at this point in the episode. I think the writers decided to go on vacation to Paris themselves rather than finish writing this.

The gang is bummed because Kelly can’t go to The Max for a farewell lunch because she has to skip school to go home and pack. After she leaves, Zack Morris convinces them all not to go to the photo shoot that Kelly is apparently having today for some bizarre reason. Yeah, I guess they needed one more scene with Adam so they just said, “What the hell! Let’s take more photos!”
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At the photo shoot, Kelly’s taking lots more illicit photos for Adam’s personal collection when Zack Morris comes in and tells her that the gang is hella pissed at her for going off for a month and that’s why they didn’t come to the shoot.
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An upset Kelly tells Adam she can’t go to Paris and runs out. Adam quickly deduces that Zack Morris is cock blocking him and tells him he’s a piece of shit that just cost him the one opportunity for nudie pics of Kelly since he’ll never be on this show again.

The scene ends with a sad Zack Morris as we dissolve into Kelly’s room, who’s frantically trying to call Lisa and apologize. And, in an age before cell phones were popular, Lisa apparently has her own line and answering machine since we hear her voice and name on it and not her family’s.

Zack Morris comes in and tells Kelly how much of a piece of shit he’s been suddenly acting during the last quarter of this episode and says he was feeling extremely insecure because the writers needed more conflict than the usual Jessie being pissed off about the calendar because feminism. So what is Kelly’s response you ask. Does she finally see how horrible a person Zack Morris is and dump him?
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Why, no, Kelly’s response is, “Oh, Zacky-wacky you silly willy! I’m going to love you forever because I’m horribly insecure and codependent, unless of course a college guy works at The Max next season and seduces me away from you! But what are the odds of that happening?” And they seal their forever love with a kiss, which causes he audience to lose their shit.vlcsnap-2014-06-29-19h11m54s21And we end with the reveal that the gang was loitering in Kelly’s hallway waiting for the happy ending to give her a send off. Boy, that would have been really awkward if Kelly had reacted like a normal person, dumped Zack Morris’s ass, and told him to get the hell out of her house and life forever.

Firsts: The store.