Category Archives: Saved by the Bell Season 4

Saved by the Bell Season 4 Recap

Season four of Saved by the Bell is simultaneously the weirdest and least consistent of the seasons. Pretty much every source from interviews to documentaries to the Lifetime biopic each confirm that this was intended to be the shortest season since the first season but NBC, at the last moment, decided to expand the number of episodes for maximum profit. This would normally be a disastrous move but, as we’ll see, it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have…or as bad as most people remember.

This is a complicated season to recap as well since the twenty-six episodes fit into four categories, none of which really have anything to do with one another: Kelly-Jessie episodes, Tori episodes, clip show episodes, and out of season episodes. I’ll deal with the first two categories in a moment. All I’ll say about the clip show episodes is they’re horrible, each more terrible than the last, and completely worth skipping unless you have a penchant for the most boring episodes of the series. They’re not even worth putting in my bottom episodes list because they’re not even real episodes. I won’t talk much about the out of season episodes but they will come up later.


vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h04m27s805

The Kelly-Jessie episodes are the eleven that were intended to air this season. They were considered to be an epilogue for the series, featuring the gang’s senior year and providing some closure as to the series. And, to say the least, these episodes were underwhelming. They were so all over the map and provided no character development that lasted longer than an episode. Zack Morris and Lisa date…and then never speak of it again. Screech dates Punky Brewster and then break up with her. Slater and Jessie & Zack Morris and Kelly renew their relationships and redeclare their love for one another…and then never mention it again. With the exceptions of “The Fight” and “Graduation,” I really can’t understand the purpose of most of these episodes.

This doesn’t even take into account how stupid many of these episodes are. A square dance senior prom would bring open rebellion from the students. Nobody cares about Screech’s love life or his spaghetti sauce. And we get a completely unbelievable excuse to put Zack Morris in charge of the school and a resolution to the plot that left a Donald Trump presidency looking plausible by comparison. All of our favorite characters were really at their worst in these episodes, as we’ll discuss more in characterization. If these had been the only episodes of the season, this would have been my least favorite of the series.


vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h45m10s060

The Tori episodes are the ones usually remembered as bad and I think the reason has been voiced by many people in the comments: many people were bitter that Tori replaced Kelly and Jessie. And I will be the first to say she’s not a good replacement for Kelly and Jessie. With that being said, she’s not bad as people make her out to be and, more surprising, the episodes featuring her this season are of a higher quality overall than the Kelly-Jessie episodes. Even the worst Tori episodes, like “Day of Detention” and “School Song” are a lot better than the worst Kelly-Jessie episodes. Tori brought something different to the series and, for that, I’m impressed.

It’s even more impressive considering these episodes were kind of ordered at the last minute to pad out the season. The writers could have very easily just blow off these episodes and not done crap with them and, though we would have hated the episodes, we wouldn’t have been able to blame them. Instead we got some high quality episodes that aged well and are enjoyable. There’s faults with the episodes, like every Saved by the Bell episode, but, with the possible exception of continuity issues, the faults are easy to overlook.

Where and how exactly these episodes fit in is another matter entirely. Kelly and Jessie don’t seem to exist in the Tori episodes. This has lead to lots of fan speculation, from the idea that they take place in a parallel universe to Chuck Klosterman’s theory that Zack Morris and the gang just weren’t hanging out with Kelly and Jessie during these episodes. I have trouble accepting either explanation because of some continuity problems during the season. Slater has a new magic sister, Lisa doesn’t seem to remember that she dated Zack Morris earlier in the season, Slater doesn’t seem to remember Zack Morris’s relationships with Kelly and Stacey, and Screech goes back on his promise to stop sexually harassing Lisa. The biggest problem of all, though, is the fact that some elements of the Tori elements find their way into The New Class episodes, including the school song and Little Zack. It’s just impossible to resolve these contradictions. As such, I don’t think there is a satisfactory explanation. It’s just one of those things we have to accept, like the magic move from Indiana to California.


Let’s talk characters.

vlcsnap-2015-02-19-20h58m24s3

Zack Morris is douchey, as usual. This isn’t helped by his competing claims in both Hawaiian Style and “Senior Prom” that he has either loved no one like he did Andrea or no one like he did Kelly. One might excuse this as just being a horny teenager who can’t make up his mind, but he doesn’t reflect on his changing tastes so it’s not clear there is character development. So much on this show is done off camera so you never know, but we need to be able to see it to be sure that it’s real.

Having so many out of season episodes, though, did demonstrate that Zack Morris has grown somewhat. He has more of a conscience than he did during season one and, rather than being a complete sociopath, is only a partial one. After all, he does engage in a pissing match with Slater over multiple girls who aren’t attracted to either of their dumb asses. I continue to fail to believe he was admitted to Yale as well and am convinced the writers don’t understand college admissions requirements.

He’s at his best in “Earthquake,” taking charge of a bad situation and turning it around. If he was like this in every episode, he might actually be a decent human being. Instead, he’s a caricature because that’s what we’ve gotten used to. Naturally, he’ll probably lose any character growth once he reaches college.

vlcsnap-2015-04-16-22h03m17s75

The number of out of season episodes also shined the spotlight for me on how Slater has changed. Whereas Slater started as a rival for Zack Morris, he evolved into a clone of him, with the only discernible difference being a worse taste in fashion. Really, Slater hasn’t had a whole lot to do this season. The problem is he doesn’t have much to do this season. Only two season four episodes focused on him: one on his relationship with his father and the other one on a sister that had never been mentioned before and will never be seen or mentioned again.

Sure, he had a brief flame up of his relationship with Jessie that came the fuck out of nowhere, but that doesn’t really cut it. I miss the rival Slater, and I think that was something this series drastically needed: regular tension that wasn’t always forced through situations and guest stars.

In any case, I can’t hate Slater. He was just there. I don’t believe for a second, though, that, in real life, he would hang out with Zack Morris or Screech. The girls maybe, but not Tweedle Preppy and Tweedle Dumb. In any case, his just being there must have paid off since little girls fought over who made them tingle more: Zack Morris and Slater and, in the end, maybe that’s what Slater contributed the most to Saved by the Bell.

vlcsnap-2015-04-03-22h22m44s201

Screech is a moron and the longer he’s with this franchise, the bigger a moron he is. I’ve decided that Screech’s biggest function this season is to be a walking, talking plot contrivance. Really, the only episode he’s truly the focus of is “Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce” and that episode is fucking stupid. He’s around to tell secrets, to cause drama, and to prevent anyone from dating Lisa except for himself. The fact that someone doesn’t punch him every episode is beyond me.

Really, he’s the court jester, the one who makes the lame ass jokes that make no sense. Despite this, he pushes on, convinced of his own humor, which is not so far from Dustin Diamond in real life. I don’t believe for a second he’s the real valedictorian or that he could really create artificial life. Screech reminds me more of a Ralph Wiggum or Peter Griffin than an Einstein. The fact that he was admitted to multiple Ivy League schools but chooses Cal U instead says it all. No semblance of common sense.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h37m02s187

Kelly hasn’t changed a bit over the past four years. Not a bit. She’s around to be pretty and give all the little boys boners. That’s it. There’s an ample comparison between “Video Yearbook,” an episode produced during season two, and “Senior Prom,” both of which feature Zack Morris doing despicable things to Kelly and both of which lead to Kelly instantly forgiving Zack Morris to get back to the status quo. Really, if it weren’t for her being overly nice, she wouldn’t have a personality at all.

I’m going to say something controversial: I didn’t miss Kelly much during the Tori episodes. She just doesn’t do a lot of important things. She has a role in “Student-Teacher Week” and a major plot in “Senior Prom,” but both plots are only in relation to Zack Morris’s plot. This season, Kelly only does things in conjunction with the rest of the gang. She doesn’t do things on her own.

vlcsnap-2015-06-07-18h54m50s179

Jessie is at her strongest when she’s the moral center of the group, which doesn’t say much considering she’s pretty much a caricature of feminism. This gradually fades over the years until there’s only a handful of instances where she acts as the ethical one. Other than that, her only other discernible character trait is being a psychopath…about everything. Going off on Slater. Believing a t-shirt to be sexist. Wanting to be valedictorian way too much. All signs of an unstable mind.

It’s no wonder Slater’s really her only boyfriend over the course of the series. I mean, you could count her dance partner in “Dancing to the Max,” but that guy just didn’t know what he was getting himself into. She ranks as just slightly more tolerable than Screech but, suffice it to say, I won’t miss her on The College Years. It was time for Jessie to go, even if that exit was only caused by Elizabeth Berkley doing an NC-17 movie.

vlcsnap-2015-04-03-22h23m11s220

Lisa finally got shit to do this season! After spending much of the last three years as just a big plot contrivance as Slater, she actually got to date Zack Morris for an episode, even if that was quickly forgotten in the realm of plots the producers didn’t care to carry over for more than one episode. Not to mention the fact that, in the Tori episodes, she kind of becomes a lead girl, picking up the slack for Kelly and Jessie. It’s the way she should have been used throughout the series.

And, yet, something was still missing. It feels like the producers never took Lisa seriously. Out of all the characters, she shows the most growth over the course of the series, even growing to tolerate Screech, a feat I’ve not yet accomplished. I like Lisa and I wish she had carried on to The College Years.

vlcsnap-2015-02-19-20h56m34s196

Mr. Belding hit his stride in season two and he’s been going downhill ever since. He shows so much incompetence in administrating Bayside this season that one could make the argument it’s foreshadowing things to come in The New Class. At his best, he’s a wise mentor and a foil to Zack Morris. At his worst, he’s the butt of stupid jokes and just kind of existing in limbo within the series: kind of there but kind of not.

Mr. Belding is the one character who shouldn’t have been the focus of too many episodes but I still wish we could have saw the wise caring Mr. Belding more often. He only goes down after this season and it’s hard to believe that Dennis Haskins really thought his character was growing in the right direction. Rather than character growth, I think we saw character decline in Mr. Belding, not quite as drastic as Screech, but there nonetheless.

vlcsnap-2015-03-06-08h25m51s103

A commenter asked me last season to be easy on Tori and judge her on her own merits, not on her legacy within the fandom. Fortunately, this is where never seeing the series before came in handy. Tori was original. If there’s a previous character I’d compare her to in terms of personality, it’s Stacey. She’s brash, independent, and doesn’t take Zack Morris’s shit. Her relationship with Zack Morris was quite sudden and not really developed, but I attribute that to the low number of episodes she was in.

Naturally, her absence from “Graduation” raises questions despite the fact we know the actual reason for her absence: “Graduation” was filmed before Leanna Creel joined the cast. The solution could have been simple: make her a junior and make her the starring character in The New Class as she befriends a new generation of characters. Unfortunately, people rebelled against Tori. She replaced a popular character and she was never going to be accepted because of that.

Tori got a bum wrap. She’s not the best character ever, but she’s not annoying. She doesn’t deserve the reputation she’s received and, I dare say, there were many times I found her more interesting than Kelly or Jessie. We’ll never know what the potential for her character could have been but there were so many things they could have done with her.

As for Leanna Creel, she continued trying to act throughout the nineties but she never landed another major role. Her next best remembered role was as half of Mike Seaver’s love interest in an episode of Growing Pains (she’s actually a triplet; her sisters appeared in that episode as well). According to IMDB, she currently works as President of Production at Ignite Entertainment. In any case, she never shook the fact that she was the most unloved character from Saved by the Bell  and, last year, appeared in Bayside: The Musical, partly as a way to find closure in her own experience from Saved by the Bell.


1403309048000-bell

When I started this blog last year, this was as far as I knew for sure I wanted to go. And here I am. Naturally, it’s morphed into a monster featuring multiple incarnations of the franchise, and I’ve loved it completely. Yet there’s something kind of sad about leaving the original Saved by the Bell behind, even if I know that I’m not leaving the original cast yet. This is the series that people look back on fondly as a nostalgic part of their childhoods. This is the series that made six young faces household icons. There’s something special in that and, though I’m not done with this blog, I’m aware that there’s about to be a shift.

I’m not going to do a grad recap of the entire series. I’m saving that for after The College Years. But I’ve enjoyed the process of really dissecting this series. I hope you have, too. If I have made you smile, think, or notice something new in your favorite childhood show, this blog will have been worth it. I’m sure I missed a lot, but I’m only one person. Hopefully, I’ll inspire some other blogger to write about the things I haven’t. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing this blog. It’s been such a rewarding experience for me so far and I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the franchise.

It’s quite clear that the franchise was not intended to continue. The College Years and The New Class were both huge cash grabs as there was a finality about “Graduation,” even if it was ultimately unsatisfying as a series finale. But I move on, now, to Peter Engel’s attempt to keep the Saved by the Bell cash train going.


My Picks:

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

Five Episodes I Loved:

1. “Earthquake” (Episode 21): There’s no question in my mind this is the best episode of the season. It showcases Zack Morris simultaneously at his best and worst and really shows him stepping up to help both Mrs. Belding and Tori. The whole gang really steps up in this episode and it was a quite enjoyable, solid episode.

2. “Teen Line” (Episode 6): I don’t buy the concept of the gang running a teen line, but I like this episode for Zack Morris being forced to confront his own prejudices. It actually shows a rare bit of growth on his part and it’s a nice change.

3. “Slater’s Sister” (Episode 16): Ignoring the inconsistent characterization of Zack Morris and the fact Slater’s sister has never been mentioned before, this is actually a pretty good episode on its own. Slater’s animosity about Zack Morris dating his sister is actually a bit justified and it’s nice to see Slater actually do something.

4. “Masquerade Ball” (Episode 7): Another nice Zack Morris growth episode. If only more could be more episodes could be more like this one. On top of this, Tori proves she’s not one to be fucked with and both Zack Morris and Slater receive much earned comeuppance.

5. “The Bayside Triangle” (Episode 5): FINALLY a good Lisa episode. I heard Lark Voorhies and Mark-Paul Gosselaar were actually dating at the time of this episode, and it shows: the chemistry is there and right and I actually found myself rooting for a Zack Morris/Lisa relationship. The only reason this episode doesn’t rank higher is because of Screech’s idiocy. There was no reason for his jealousy and it’s actually stalker-like behavior for him to control Lisa when she’s never shown a bit of interest in him.

Three Episodes I Hated:

1.  “Snow White and the Seven Dorks” (Episode 20): I hope whoever thought this would be a good idea for an episode was fired. I never wanted to see a rap version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and it just comes off as completely stupid. If I bought a ticket to the performance, I’d walk out. Oh, and the Zack Morris and Jessie possible romance was so forced it wasn’t even funny.

2. “Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce” (Episode 3): Punky Brewster comes off as a caricature of a gold digger and what’s sad is she really doesn’t do anything worse than Zack Morris has ever done. On top of that, the fact the gang actually believed Screech could make them money just showed how much they never truly learn.

3. “Video Yearbook” (Episode 18): This one is just stupid. If Zack Morris really gave girls’ contact information away to possible delinquents, he’d receive more punishment than a “GOTCHA!” He’s at his worst in this episode and, what’s worse, Screech is just as bad as him and gets no punishment.

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 26: “Graduation”

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h48m50s402

So I guess Zack Morris’s scheme to replace the normal yearbooks with video yearbooks only lasted as long as it was a plot point because we see all kinds of people getting autographs in their yearbooks in the opening at The Max. Seriously, this could have been the perfect opportunity for lots of subtle references to previous episodes for people like us who pay way too much attention to the details of these episodes, but we apparently have more important things to do, like one more foray into the administerial incompetence that is Bayside.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h49m27s174

Our gang’s excited because they’re done with their last final exam and Screech is a moron like usual, which makes what’s to come seem even more far-fetched.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h49m38s657

Jessie’s super pumped because, if she got an A on the final, she’ll be valedictorian and, since intelligence and quasi-feminism are Jessie’s primary two attributes, this would be the best thing in the world for her. Lisa tells her to fuck off with her fake humble bragging while Kelly’s bummed that their high school career is soon to be over.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h49m51s870

Sylvester, Pete, and Ollie come around to remind the girls to be on time for ballet rehearsal. Like usual, our gang is involved in every possible extracurricular activity so naturally they’re also involved in ballet. I’m more confused by Ollie’s sudden reappearance, though. I’m pretty sure this is his first actual appearance in an episode this season. They brought him back for the series finale but they couldn’t be bothered to bring back any real memorable guest stars?

Zack Morris has to run because Mr. Belding wants to see him. He figures Mr. Belding’s going to miss Zack Morris so much he wants to give him a goodbye blow job so he rushes off to see his soon-to-be former principal.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h50m48s849

In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding reveals the real reason he wanted to see Zack Morris: incompetence. You see, during Zack Morris’s sophomore year, he apparently dropped a class. In the two years that followed, no one bothered to warn him that this lack of a credit would prevent him from graduating and apparently Bayside doesn’t do any graduation audits until it’s too late to do anything about it so Zack Morris is just screwed. He has to go to summer school all because Bayside apparently has the worst administrators on the face of the planet.

Yeah, I don’t find myself defending Zack Morris very often, but this is fucking bull shit and I’m pretty sure Mr. Belding would be fired for allowing such a thing to happen under his watch, but we haven’t given a damn what high schools are really like for the past four years so why start now?

In the hallway, the rest of the gang find out about Zack Morris’s predicament and, in the usual contrived Saved by the Bell fashion, the girls say it’s a shame Zack Morris isn’t in their dance class since the recital counts as the final and isn’t until Friday. This is despite the fact that, two minutes ago, they were super excited to be finished with their last final. So far this is painful as a series finale or a regular episode.

After the rest leave, Zack Morris tells Slater he has a plan to get into the recital. He returns to Mr. Belding’s office under the pretense of asking for advice on a course to take during summer school.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h52m45s258

While there, Pete comes in and tells Mr. Belding he pulled a muscle during rehearsal and won’t be able to be in the recital. This upsets Mr. Belding since everyone worked so hard.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h53m28s004

Of course, in the hallway, it’s revealed that, predictably, Pete isn’t hurt at all but pretended at the beckoning of Zack Morris and Slater, all for a Letterman jacket because that’s incentive to just quit something you’ve been working really hard on. But this is the Saved by the Bell universe so everything has to work out for Zack Morris in the end no matter what the other students at Bayside have to give up.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h53m44s450

Mr. Belding, depressed and desperate to save the recital, says it’s too bad Zack Morris doesn’t have dance experience. Zack Morris claims he’s been taking dance lessons for the last ten years. Mr. Belding promises Zack Morris that, if he dances in the recital, Mr. Belding will makes sure he gets the credit he needs to graduate. After all, Mr. Belding’s been incompetently administering this school up to this point so why care about the fact that a final exam is only part of the final grade now?

At the recital, the nerds suck up to Jessie for no reason, asking for an extra special ass kissing message in their yearbooks from the soon to be valedictorian. Jessie eats up the attention of people she barely paid attention to the last three years her head is practically ready to explode.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h56m13s077

Mr. Lazaar, the dance teacher, introduces Zack Morris as their replacement dancer and, with the girls still in disbelief, Zack Morris immediately starts sucking at dancing, but not nearly as much as a certain inferior gang a few years later.

Also, Sylvester has the sniffles. Yes, this is actually going to play into the plot in a few minutes.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h56m37s952

In Mr. Belding’s office, Lisa shows Mr. Belding the “B” medallion she’s made for the valedictorian to wear. She’s even had Lisa try it on for size. Mr. Belding, continuing in his theme of incompetence for this episode, doesn’t follow education privacy laws so he flat out tells Lisa that Jessie isn’t the valedictorian.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-17h57m02s520

Yes, that’s right, the stupidest, most incompetent student at Bayside beat out Jessie for valedictorian by a tenth of a point. Screech, proving how stupid he is, runs out of the office insisting he won’t accept the valedictorian and tells Mr. Belding to find another one. I’m pretty sure that’s not how valedictorian works. He’s still valedictorian even if he refuses to give a speech. But why start making sense now.

Lisa chases Screech into the hallway where he says he knows how important the honor is to Jessie so he won’t take it over her. He makes Lisa promise not to tell Jessie that Screch refused to be the valedictorian.

Mr. Belding comes out and delivers bad contrived news to the gang: the nerds are sick so they have to cancel the recital after all. The girls will be graded on their attendance and work to this point but, for Zack Morris, that means that, once again he needs to find a way to earn his credit.

Also, Mr. Belding tells Jessie she’s the valedictorian and, for once, doesn’t violate privacy laws by telling her the reason why.

Mr. Belding and Mr. Lazaar agree that, if Zack Morris can find replacements for the ailing nerds, the recital can go on. Gee, I wonder who’s going to fill in?

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h04m27s805

At the recital, we find out Zack Morris’s plan to save the recital: put Slater and Screech in place of the ailing nerds, Screech in a giant red chicken costume. The performance actually doesn’t suck as much as one would expect, especially given that I’ve already reviewed The New Class‘s take on this scene, but Screech in that costume is just terrifying. He even throws eggs into the audience afterwards because…Saved by the Bell has no clue what ballet is really like?

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h06m16s609

In the hallway afterwards, this is apparently the first time people haven’t walked out on a ballet performance at Bayside so everyone gets As and Zack Morris gets to graduate. The gang reminisce as they realize this may be their final time loitering in the hallway, but Zack Morris is all, “Fuck Bayside! I’m never coming back unless a rich industrialist we met in Hawaii wants to close the school, but what’s the chances of that happening?” Also, we finally find out that Screech choose to go to Cal U and that he’s upset he won’t have any company there. Oh, Screech, you’re only going to be at Cal U for a year so what the fuck does it matter?

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h08m47s007

The rest of the gang conveniently leave Jessie and Lisa alone, where Jessie talks smack about Screech. Lisa lets it slip out that Screech gave up being valedictorian for her and, as Lisa walks away after telling off Jessie, Jessie is obviously moved by Screech’s sacrifice for her.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h09m27s359

And it’s time for the final Saved by the Bell scene: the actual graduation. Mr. Belding says he has more memories involving this class over the last four years than any other class and he’s sure his experiences with them will serve him well as he violates boundaries like never before over the next seven seasons.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h10m40s015

Jessie gets up to give her valedictorian speech but, instead, says that Screech is the real valedictorian and brings him up on stage to honor him. Screech says that he’s not much of a speech person so he brings Zack Morris up on stage to give a speech. Of course, Mr. Belding does nothing to stop all this because it’s completely normal to just randomly bring people on stage during graduation. Why, let’s just allow the whole senior class give speeches while we’re at it!

Zack Morris says he didn’t realize how much Bayside meant to him until it was time to graduate, meaning that, in the space of a scene, he’s resolved his conflict off screen about not giving a shit about Bayside. This would have been a much more interesting plot than the whole ballet thing but why start writing good, compelling stories now when we can just have character development happen off screen and have the characters tell us about it later?

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h13m03s475

Mr. Lazaar helps Mr. Belding pass out diplomas because why bring back any of the iconic regular teachers like Miss Simpson, Mr. Dewey, Mr Tuttle, or Miss Wentworth to help out when we can just have a guy help out we only met this episode? God, I hate how cheap this show is sometimes. It’s also a good thing that Bayside doesn’t hand out their diplomas in a sensible alphabetical order and just does it randomly for the most dramatic effect. Jesus Christ, is there nothing about high school this show can get right?

The extras from this episode go first of course, followed by the gang in reverse credits order, each having an emotional reaction to receiving their diploma. Tori and anyone else not having a role in the episode apparently fail to graduate because no one except our six main characters matter in the slightest when i comes to this show.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h14m16s856

Zack Morris and Mr. Belding finally give the audience their long-awaited embrace, hoping for more at the after party. Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris that he know Zack Morris will turn out to be something special and he hopes to be around to see it. Too bad he’ll be with an inferior cast who won’t turn out to be anything special at all.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h14m27s889

Zack Morris gives us the final monologue of the season, proclaiming that the state of California has actually seen fit to grant him a high school diploma despite the fact that the closet he ever came to learning anything at Bayside was when he did a project on his fake Native American ancestry.

vlcsnap-2015-08-16-18h14m37s476

And our episode, our season, and our series ends with our gang and the assembled extras cheering and tossing their hats into the air as we freeze on Peter Engel’s name one more time.

This was pretty bad for a series finale. I wanted something special, not just your run of the mill episode with a half-baked unbelievable plot written by people who never went to high school, much less understand how it functions. I guess this is the mediocre ending we get, though, as Saved by the Bell fades off into the sunset.


And, so, that’s it for Saved by the Bell. It’s hard to believe but this is it for our original series. Don’t worry, though. I’ll have a recap of season four on Wednesday. Also, there’s still three and a half seasons of The New Class left to go so I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. And that’s about it, right?

Oh, yeah. Join me again next Friday as we learn how Zack Morris, Slater, Screech, and Kelly fair in college as we join our gang on The College Years.

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 25: “The Time Capsule”

vlcsnap-2015-08-02-13h38m42s127

We open  our penultimate episode with Mr. Belding completing the all important task of polishing his picture frames. It’s an older Mr. Belding, too, as you can tell because he has a mustache. Mustaches always indicate age.

Yes, it’s the year 2003, despite the fact that Mr. Belding is still in his old office when we know he got a new one in season two of The New Class. This is the clip show episode people have been warning me about since I started this blog. Oh, how bad can it be?

vlcsnap-2015-08-02-13h39m07s618

Bad. Meet our graduating class of 2003, proving that the producers of The New Class never do stop recycling the character templates of the original series. This gang makes even Brian seem like a competently designed character by comparison, though, as they seem to enjoy talking in ways that openly people who haven’t been a teenager for a very long time would think teenagers talk. Also, I lived through 2003. I’m pretty sure their fashion was pretty outdated by then.

They tell Mr. Belding they found this metal case buried outside and Mr. Belding instantly recognizes it as a time capsule buried by the class of 1993. He says this was a special class and he was very close to it. Very close. He opens it and finds a video tape.

vlcsnap-2015-08-02-13h40m07s287

Naturally, since the gang are the only members of this graduating class who matter, they’re the only ones featured on the tape. Yeah, this is how a real time capsule would look. Totally.

vlcsnap-2015-08-02-13h40m30s735

They’re also apparently wizards because they rigged a booby trap for Mr. Belding that he somehow didn’t manage to set off in ten years, even with Screech all over his ass for much of that time. It’s nice to know Mr. Belding never opens that particular drawer in his file cabinet. It’s probably where he keeps his stash to cope with Screech.

The rest of the episode is about as competently produced as one would expect, as each member of the gang share their memories of their four years at Bayside featuring clips from the show where there was obviously never a camera present to record the events the time capsule is depicting. It also shows dream sequences, which means that there are cameras in their brains apparently.

It’s also strange how it’s supposed to be a retrospective of the series but the vast majority of it is clips from season one and two episodes. I don’t think they know what a retrospective is.

Also, Screech wants to pick up girls in the future. Nice to know he was always a creep with pedophile tendencies from the beginning.

In any case, all of the 2003 gang think their 1993 counterparts are super cool and they wish their 1993 counterparts were still around so they could make love to their prototypes.

The 1993 gang each give a message for the 2003 gang. Maybe this episode won’t be a complete waste and we’ll actually get some wisdom out of it? Nah, it’s just old cliches and character traits of our gang, complete with my commentary.

Jessie: Take care of our planet so the kids of 2103 can enjoy it as much as we do. Peace and love. [Jessie, the kids of 2103 will be much more concerned with caffeine pill addiction than environmental issues! Get with the program!]

Slater: Bayside was the first real home I ever had. Be good to it, or I’ll come and get you. [New Screech might actually enjoy the sound of that.]

Lisa: All my fashion secrets are taped to the back of my old locker, number 144. In the meantime, keep on rockin’ Bayside. [Nice to know Lisa’s characterization is shallow as ever.]

Screech: Class of 2003, let me leave you with one wise thought: be kind to geeks, dweebs, and nerds. Ten years from now, they’ll be the ones with all the money! [Except for Screech, who grew up to lose all his money to hookers and drugs, made a bad porno, pissed off his former cast mates by publishing a fake tell all book, and went to jail for assault.]

Kelly: No matter what happens, keep on smiling! And when life hands you a lemon, make some lemonade! [Keep on smiling, even through your loveless marriage to Zack Morris! Geez, I called Lisa’s characterization shallow? I guess this is the essence of Kelly: keep on smiling!]

Zack Morris: High school is the best time of your life! So love it, live it, and enjoy it! And, if you have any time left, do some homework. {And sometimes, in between, dress in drag and go on dates with your nerdy best friend.]

The real lesson here: clip show episodes suck, and having a premise you think is clever such as the gang recording a time capsule video doesn’t make them any better. I’m honestly unsure of which is worse: this or “Best Summer of My Life.”

And, before anyone says it, I know the premise of this episode directly contradicts the finale of The New Class. I’ll have more to say about that next year when I finally reach season seven, but, suffice it to say, both episodes can’t be true.

In any case, our episode ends with the gang smiling on as they prepare to go into the final episode…

Firsts: A look into the future.

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 24: “School Song”

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h44m58s332

Our final look at the Tori-verse opens with a triumphant entry to The Max by Zack Morris. Ah, to be Zack Morris this close to graduation! He’s majorly psyched and says no one at Bayside will ever be able to compare to him, no matter how often the producers try to replace him with douche bags and fake Swiss people!

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h45m10s060

As the gang are the only seniors in the world who matter, it’s their job to come up with a class gift. Zack Morris ants to kiss every girl in school, which I’m pretty sure he’s already done at some point, but, hey, a second time to be sure couldn’t hurt! Last year’s senior class gave Bayside a VCR so Lisa wants to make sure they give the school something that will last just as long, like a laser disc player!

Slater says that Zack Morris is graduating, therefore that’s a good enough present. Zack Morris doesn’t understand what’s so funny and the gang lets him know in no uncertain terms that he’s the biggest goof off the school has ever had.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h46m07s403

In glee club practice, the gang think their school song sucks ass because it’s an actual school song and stuff. Lisa suggests the senior class gift be to write a new school song .

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h47m42s440

Mr. Belding, meeting with the senior class gift committee, thinks it’s a good idea to update their school song and agrees to the project. When Zack Morris comes in late, Mr. Belding makes fun of Zack Morris like everyone else does this episode. The background characters join in and Zack Morris suddenly feels like a jack ass for the first time in five years.

Zack Morris overhears Mr. Belding tell the rest of the gang that Bayside will always be grateful for the composers of their school song, and this naturally gives him an idea to write the song alone that I’m sure won’t backfire at all.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h50m54s086

Since our gang are still the only seniors that matter, the five of them are writing the school song themselves. Also, Slater apparently knows how to play the piano…for some reason. Yeah, that’s been a huge part of Slater’s character over the past four years: piano playing.

Zack Morris puts his plan into action by sowing strife among the gang, telling Slater that Lisa’s changes to the song suck ass after she reveals she knows how to play piano as well, telling Lisa that Slater’s just jealous of her awesome new piano skills, making Tori blow up in a fit of, “I can’t work under these conditions,” and telling Screech the truth: that no one gives a shit what he thinks.  The gang all storm out and Zack Morris thinks he now has the opportunity to write his own song as he sits down and plays the piano. Jesus, does Bayside have  a graduation requirement that every senior must know how to play the piano?

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h54m25s017

In the hallway, though, Zack Morris discovers that everyone else stole his idea and have decided to write their own sucky ass school song. And they all decide to sing perform their stupid songs at the same time in the hallway just to piss Mr. Belding the fuck off. Mr. Belding tells them that Bayside can only have one sucky ass school song so they’ll have to have a contest to decide what song will be THE new sucky ass song. Zack Morris suggest they all play over the intercom Friday and let the senior class vote on the winner, which I’m sure will net a favorable result for a Beastie Boys song.

Before the contest, we see that Zack Morris has rigged the piano to play out of tune on one particular note…

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h56m45s531

…and Slater and Tori’s song just happens to use that note frequently.  As with most schemes on this show, it’s a good thing for Zack Morris that several factors went off exactly as planned or it couldn’t have worked, as with most Saved by the Bell schemes.  This naturally means that no one likes the song because no one in this school has the ability to distinguish between an instrumental mistake and the essence of the song. Oh, and it must really be a graduation requirement for all seniors to play the piano because now Tori knows how as well. I’m sure if Kelly and Jessie weren’t locked in Zack Morris’s basement, they’d be playing piano along with the others.

It’s also a good thing that no other song in the contest need to use that note or else people might think something was up.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h57m28s350

Next up is Screech playing “Home on the Range” with new lyrics about Bayside. Zack Morris decides he doesn’t need to do anything to beat Screech because Screech sucks ass and couldn’t possibly get people to think anything he does is good, right six seasons of The New Class?

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h58m46s223

The final song is a rock ballad by Zack Morris, or at least what Saved by the Bell thinks rock sounds like since I’m pretty sure the opening chords are a direct rip off of Chuck Berry. So, once again, Saved by the Bell is in touch with what was cool forty years before it aired.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-18h59m11s548

Of course, it’s such a hit it starts a spontaneous dance party in the middle of the hallway and everyone’s going bat shit crazy over it. Well, except for that one guy sitting on the steps who looks like he just wants to collect his check for being an extra and get the fuck out of there. Also, how long is Bayside’s passing period? I’m pretty sure that chaos would result from giving students this much free time in the hallways.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h00m07s060

When the results of voting are tallied, though, Zack Morris and Screech each receive 132 votes, meaning we need a run-off to draw this plot out even further.  Turns out the nerds at Bayside only aspire to be as incompetent as Screech and voted for his stupid plagiarism. Mr. Belding says Zack Morris and Screech will each perform their song with the glee club at a school assembly next week.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h00m44s931

Zack Morris decides he has to find a way to get the nerd vote, and the best way is to sexually lead on the nerd princess, Louise. He asks her out on a date and tells her he thinks she’s super great and shit and she buys it all up.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h02m18s984

At The Max, Zack Morris romances Louise, who’s practically drooling and has a massive lady boner over how much attention Zack Morris is giving to her. She says she would have voted for him if she’d known how scheming Zack Morris was, she would have voted for him instead of Screech. She says she’ll get the boy nerds to vote for Zack Morris in exchange for a kiss so Zack Morris, not being one to pass up an opportunity to kiss a girl, even if it’s a background character from The Wonder Years, puckers up and gives Louise the thrill of her life.

Slater, Lisa, and Tori come in The Max to find Zack Morris and Louise in mid-lip lock and it suddenly dawns on them that Zack Morris is a schemer. They jump to the conclusion that he must have sabotaged their songs and decide to get revenge on him. Hey, they may have jumped to the right conclusion but it’s still jumping to a conclusion.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h03m53s332

They put their plan into motion after Louise tells the male nerds to vote for Zack Morris when Slater warns them that Zack Morris is stealing their girls. Slater says that soon, all the other cool guys in school will want to date nerd girls and there won’t be any left for them. This panics them that they may not get to lose their cursed virginity and they rush off to tell their fellow nerds to vote for Screech…because all of that made sense somehow I guess?

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h04m30s546

In practice, Slater, Lisa, and Tori tell Screech they’re going to change his sucky ass song to make sure he beats Zack Morris. 

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h06m04s292

Finally, before the performance, they feed Zack Morris water tainted with pure lemon extract…

What the hell is that supposed to do?

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h06m57s622

Oh, it makes Zack Morris unable to sing, because one of the well known properties of lemon is the numbing of the human voice. None of this makes any sense!

In any case, Zack Morris crashes and burns and there are no second chances even when it’s obvious that something’s very wrong. Backstage, Slater, Lisa, and Tori reveal the conclusion they jumped to: that Zack Morris sabotaged them. He apologizes and says he just wanted to be remembered for something positive, but he fucked up again like usual.

Screech isn’t happy with the changes the other made, but he says it’s okay because they used the same prepositions. Zack Morris asks to sing with them, and they go out to reveal the new school song.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h09m36s341

I’ve recapped these lyrics once before when it was sang in “Goodbye Bayside, Part 2” but, in case you don’t follow those reviews, here is the horrible song that will forever be a part of Bayside until the writers forget it exists.

It seems like only yesterday we started,
But soon we’ll put away our books and pens,
We’ll go on with our lives once we have parted,
But how can we say farewell to our friends?

The double dates, the parties, and the dances,
Cramming for a mid-term until three,
The football games, The Max, and the romances,
Soon Bayside will be just a memory.

Our four years here have all become unraveled,
And so our high school story finally ends,
But years from now, no matter where we’ve traveled,
We’ll all look back and think about our friends.

So many reasons to hate this song and think the writers have never heard a school song before in their lives. And, of course, should The Max ever go out of business after PETA boycotts them for Max’s mistreatment of animals, future students will have to sing a song about an irrelevant business that used to cater to the every whim of Bayside’s students.

vlcsnap-2015-07-31-19h11m10s866In any case, the audience loves it and our episode and our final look into the Tori-verse ends with our gang friends forever more until Tori disappears out of existence. Judging from Ox’s expression, though, I think he’s caught a glimpse of Lisa’s breasts and he’ll have a lot happier memories of this episode than I will.

Firsts: The new school song.

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 23: “Slater’s Friend”

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h19m21s315

We’re back to season one for the final out of season episode of the series, and we open in speech class with Coach Rizzo substituting as the speech teacher. It’s not clear why Coach Rizzo is the only one available to do this but I have to assume Bayside’s having one of their many financial shortfalls that come from investing in too many junk stocks.

Zack Morris tells us in monologue that their class assignment this week is titled, “My Best Friend.” I’m sure he’ll talk about his left hand. Also, it’s strange going back to these season one episodes since Zack Morris’s voice hasn’t deepened yet and I have to remind myself he was only a budding sociopath back then.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h19m43s608

First up is Slater, who talks all about a friend who’s been around the world with him, he’s never had to say goodbye to, and will never leave him nor forsake him. While it would be easy to assume that he’s found Jesus and has been attending ex-gay summer camp, he has a different sort of best friend.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h20m34s122

A plastic chameleon he’s named “Artie.” Yes, a fucking plastic chameleon. Slater’s friend, the namesake of this god damned fucking episode, is a plastic chameleon. Oh, they’ll insist it’s real the entire episode but that is plastic I tell you! The audience thinks this is a touching moment, thus proving they’ve always been easily impressed.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h20m59s812

At The Max, everyone’s practically pissing themselves over Slater’s chameleon. Well, except for Lisa, who’s a feminine girl so she’s afraid of icky things and shit. Also, hope you caught Max walking by on the left side of this screen shot because it’s the last time you’ll ever see him. This is his sole apperance in this episode: walking by and gawking that someone else has brought an unsanitary animal into his restaurant. It’s a wonder the health department isn’t all over this place.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h21m21s261

Slater even shows the gang how he can put a plastic chameleon in his hand and make its head touch his nose. They don’t even try to make it look like the thing did it on its own. They even show Slater adjusting it and it nearly falls off Mario Lopez’s hand at one point, but doing another take would cost too much money so fuck that shit! Screech is amazed by this non-trick, though, and wants to know how it’s done. Okay, so Screech was already showing signs of the idiot he’d later become as early as the first season.

Slater says he got Artie when his dad was stationed in the Philipines. Since then, they’ve been through fourteen schools together. FOURTEEN? Geez, that’s more than one school for ever year you’ve been a student, Slater! Your dad’s commanding officers must fucking hate him to transfer him that often!

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h23m46s500

Slater decides our episode needs some conflict so he asks Screech if he’ll watch Artie while he’s in San Diego this weekend. We never do find out why he’s going to San Diego but it’s a convenient excuse to push along the plot.

Kelly reminds Jessie that they’re meeting that night so Jessie can help Kelly with her speech but Jessie has to back out because her mother is a quasi-feminist crusader who’s making Jessie chain herself to a gas pump or some shit that night. I’m assuming that this entire family just has more issues than National Geographic. Sensing an opportunity to lose his cursed virginity, Zack Morris invites Kelly over to his house that night instead for some hot “studying,” which is naturally code for “fucking until we’re inevitably interrupted by the plot.”

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h25m08s563

In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris destracts himself from his boner by showing us the cardboard cutout of Kelly from “King of the Hill” again. Jesus, Zack Morris was one creepy ass motherfucker creating cardboard cutouts of girls without their knowledge.

There’s a knock on his door and Zack Morris assumes it’s Kelly but, instead, Screech walks in and tells Zack Morris he needs to leave Artie there tonight because his animals are hungry for plastic. Kelly comes in as they’re talking and Zack Morris kicks Screech out so he can have happy fun time with Kelly.

Kelly wants to make baby faces at Artie but Zack Morris, sensing his opportunity for fucking is passing him by, suggests she put Artie down so they can practice their “speech.”

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h26m43s486

Kelly puts Artie down under a desk lamp but, before Zack Morris can get very far, Jessie comes barging in through Zack Morris’s window and declares she’s Peter Pan! No, actually, she couldn’t make it to the protest so she’s free to help Kelly practice her “speech,” leaving Zack Morris once again to relieve his own frustration.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h27m58s728

I guess two days have suddenly passed because we’re back at Bayside, where Zack Morris can’t get Artie to move. Screech declares that Artie is dead and…good lord, it’s a plastic fucking chameleon! They don’t die! Kellie and Jessie each blame themselves for Artie’s death, Kelly for placing him under a desk lamp and Jessie for leaving the window open so he could get cold. So he either died of heat or cold…or why not both in this crazy, fucked up universe. Also, Jessie says this all happened last night, meaning the gang had a one day weekend and Slater was only gone to San Diego for one day!

Slater comes around to pick up his plastic chameleon and Zack Morris throws it in his locker before Slater can see. He tells Slater he left Artie at home. Slater wants to ditch class so they can go get Artie since Slater hasn’t been able to make love to him the whole one day weekend, but Zack Morris, instead, says he’ll get Artie at lunch and meet Slater at The Max.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h31m04s775

Zack Morris and Screech find a pet store that sells chameleons and buy one for Slater. Unfortunately, the girls have the same idea and Slater quickly realizes, with two chameleons, that something’s up. Now either there are a lot of pet shops immediately around Bayside and The Max that sell chameleons or Zack Morris and Screech managed to walk completely around the girls and not even realize it. Either way, something stupid happened here.

In any case, Slater just assumes Zack Morris lost Artie somewhere in his room so he says he’ll come by after wrestling practice and help Zack Morris look for him. Slater leaves and the gang realize Slater’s eventually going to find out everyone’s just patronizing him about his stupid plastic chameleon.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h32m29s711

This naturally leads into a shared dream sequence where Mr. Belding, playing one of the cops from Reno 911, bring the gang in for booking as suspects in the death of Artie.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h32m55s188

His main witness is Slater dressed in a modified Godzilla costume, and this has to be one of the creepiest things we’ve seen Slater do on this show. He randomly flicks his tongue in and out of his mouth trying to imitate what Artie would do if he wasn’t made of plastic but it really looks like he’s auditioning for a porno. He also speaks with a voice that makes him sound like a cross between James Gandolfini and the Cobra Commander. Oh, to be a G.I. Joe right now so I could put an end to this awful scene!

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h33m32s137

The gang imagine each of their individual fates for their role in killing Artie, including Screech getting solitary confinement for life dressed as the Monopoly man.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h34m01s508

Jessie gets put on ice in a bathing suit since she made Artie cold.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h34m23s953

And since he died from being both too cold and too hot, Kelly’s put in a frying pan with some eggs. Does that mean she’s the bacon? I wonder if that’s what Zack Morris secretly wanted to do to her all through the first season!

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h35m13s157

Lisa just hated Artie so she has to wear polyester or some shit.  Strange but Zack Morris doesn’t get a punishment of any type for his role in this stupid situation; just a strongly worded rebuttal. Yay for Zack Morris getting off yet again…

Unlike most dream sequences, we don’t go back to The Max but, instead, to Zack Morris’s room.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h36m33s303

Slater goes through all of Zack Morris’s belongings looking for Artie and finds the cardboard cutout of Kelly. Okay, now I know Slater’s completely insane. No one could find something like this and not want to use it against a guy they don’t particularly like who he’s soon to find out killed his imaginary lizard. Someone knows about the cardboard cutout and they don’t warn Kelly of stalker-like behavior occurring.

The rest of the gang come in and Zack Morris finally tells Slater the truth about Artie: that he was never alive to begin with. Slater acts like he takes the news of his insanity in stride but the way he says, “stupid chameleon” and the fact seven minutes are left in the episode just let you know he’s not completely over this situation yet.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h38m08s160

Back at Bayside, it’s Kelly’s turn to give her speech about her German Shepherd Freddie. Slater deals with his grief by making random outbursts and sexual harassment during Kelly’s speech. He pisses Coach Rizzo off, who sends him to Mr. Belding’s office so Mr. Belding can actually have a role in this episode besides the minor role in the dream sequence.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h39m36s734

In Mr. Belding’s office, Slater won’t tell Mr. Belding what’s wrong and they have a stand-off about Slater’s behavior. Zack Morris  and Screech barge in and tell Mr. Belding about Slater’s fake plastic chameleon.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h41m04s415

This leads to one of the most unintentionally hilarious scenes since “Jessie’s Song” as Mr. Belding and Slater bond over the death of a damn fucking fake plastic chameleon. I swear, it was hard not to laugh as Slater processed his emotions with Mr. Belding. Season one Saved by the Bell was really bad when it came to serious situations. I mean, not “Jessie’s Song” and “Pipe Dreams” bad but still…

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h41m52s611

And how else could we end this whole damned episode then with a funeral as suggested by Mr. Belding. Zack Morris naturally acts as the officiant because why the hell not. Lisa and Coach Rizzo give testimonies.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h44m56s470

Jessie and Screech provide musical accompaniment in the form of a stupid song Screech wrote about Artie and it’s quite obvious this isn’t really Elizabeth Berkley singing. It sounds nothing fucking like her, in any fucking world!

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-13h45m36s510

 

Slater gives a final tribute to his fallen friend and says he’s discovered he has six friends who may just be as good of friends to him a fake fucking chameleon. Oh, and two faculty members at his school with really bad boundary issues.

vlcsnap-2015-07-25-16h19m54s341And our episode ends with Slater feeling better as Mr. Belding reflects that he still has three more years to get it on with Slater.

All of this over a fake plastic fucking chameleon. Fucking hell.

 

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 22: “Best Summer of My Life”

vlcsnap-2015-07-11-21h09m51s190

We open in Zack Morris’s room, where he’s apparently playing guitar with a tennis racket. He tells us that his mom felt like he exhausted himself working so much over the summer so she insisted he take a day off from school because apparently he came back and went directly to school from Palm Desert.

vlcsnap-2015-07-11-21h11m02s129

The rest of the episode is basically Zack Morris remembering how awesome the Malibu Sands and Palm Desert episodes were, and that’s really about it. Screech, Slater, and Lisa are each sent by Mr. Belding to see how Zack Morris is and each one remembers more stuff about the summer arc. It’s going to be a short review, maybe the shortest I’ve done to date, and, for that, I apologize, but what more can I do? If you want to remember whether the Malibu Sands and Palm Desert episodes were awesome or not, I recommend you go back to season three and watch them (or read my reviews) and don’t watch this stupid excuse for an episode that has about as much thought behind it as Kirk Cameron’s insane ramblings about creationism.

This may be the strangest clip episode to date as it focuses on these specific episodes and doesn’t even recap them very well. There’s no mention about the conflict surrounding Zack Morris and Stacey getting together, nothing about the gang’s conflict with Mr. Carosi, and, strange enough, nothing about Jessie’s father’s wedding. They even falsely imply Zack Morris and Kelly got back together and didn’t just have a subplot filling fling to give everyone’s hopes up. The ending isn’t even original; it’s just the same ending scene from the Malibu Sands episodes of the gang walking arm in arm along the beach after Stacey leaves! No original footage! Also, no Hawaii, but we’ll talk more about that later. I’m not even sure what the purpose of this episode is. Were they releasing the summer episodes on VHS and they needed an excuse to promote them and remind people how amazingly terrific they were? My god, if they loved the Malibu Sands episodes so much, why didn’t they just marry them?

In any case, I will make one remark about continuity. This episode is supposed to take place on the first day of school. Of course, this is horse shit since “The Fight” took place on the first day of school. I’m just going to assume that this episode is a hallucination on the part of Zack Morris the night before the first day of school and that the producers weren’t dumb enough to have made this episode just to pad the season out to twenty-six episodes.

And our episode ends with your reviewer having sat through a half-hour cheer leading episode on how awesome everyone’s summer was but his own as he goes to get a beer and drown his sorrow.

If you were disappointed by a short review this week, I promise you that I more than make up for it next week…

vlcsnap-2015-07-11-21h32m11s25

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 21: “Earthquake”

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h14m49s0

We’re taking a couple weeks off from our out of season episode marathon to delve back into the Tori-verse! And what better way to jump back in than with Mr. Belding trying his hardest to huff and puff and blow Zack Morris’s house down! No, actually he’s practicing his breathing exercises. See, he managed to go the entire season without mentioning that Mrs. Belding is pregnant and he’s practicing breathing exercises for when she goes into labor. I would say that the fact we haven’t heard, twenty-one episodes into the season, that Mrs. Belding is pregnant is an example of professionalism on the part of Mr. Belding but, with his history of boundary crossing with his students, it’s more likely just another case of writers not feeling the need to foreshadow anything.

Based on what Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris, the baby is due on the 15th, which is two weeks away, despite the fact that it’s only a week away if you pay attention to the boxes Zack Morris checks off on his calendar.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h15m49s90

Naturally, Zack Morris being a sociopath, he’s found a way to profit off Mr. Belding’s impending fatherhood: by holding a baby pool! Of course, he checks off the 15th and both days around it for himself, and quickly starts ripping off the other students. Screech gets upset because he wasn’t given first choice, but, because he’s an idiot, Zack Morris is able to placate him by giving him today, tomorrow, and last week for half price. This is the man the parents of The New Class trust to take their children to ski lodges and for three months on boats.

Slater and Lisa remind Zack Morris he has a physics midterm in two minutes. He’s panicked because, in the hysteria of, yet again, tying up Jessie and Kelly and putting them in his basement this week, he forgot to study.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h17m33s109

Our physics teacher, Mr. Heimlich (yeah, like the anti-choking method…clever guys) is basically a Looney Tunes-like parody of Germans complete with the random breaking into German. The only problem is this person couldn’t convince anyone he’s German as he sounds like an American trying to do an approximation, which is exactly what he is. He’s also another one of those teachers who delights in making his tests incredibly hard because I guess he gets off on it? He’s quite literally the worst part of this episode and he’s only in this scene, though, so let’s not get too side-tracked.

Just as Mr. Heimlich is about to hand out the exams, an earthquake goes off. Lucky Tori’s never heard such an alarm before so Slater can actually explain what’s going on: an earthquake drill!

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h26m40s194

Zack Morris wastes no time in getting two girls under the desk with him for some hanky panky! Guess he’s not dating Tori or Kelly anymore. Oh, Zack Morris, your love interests are so hard to keep up with! Zack Morris then reminds Mr. Heimlich that he needs to lead them outside to safety, which I’m pretty sure is the absolute worst thing you can do following an earthquake considering the risk of aftershock. He does it anyway, though, much to Zack Morris’s delight, which gives him an extra day to study for the mid-term.

In the hallway, Mr. Belding finds all the students wandering around. Yeah, he apparently somehow didn’t know there was going to be an earthquake drill today, which I’m pretty sure wouldn’t happen, and passed out doing his breathing exercises so he missed both the drill and the end of the day. Oh, Mr. Belding.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h28m23s215

Meanwhile, Lisa’s getting put off by Tori’s constant questions about earthquakes. Seems she’s never heard of these magical phenomenon and now she’s suddenly paranoid about them. Gee, I hope this doesn’t play into the episode in just a few minutes! vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h29m30s98

At The Max, Tori’s reluctant to remove her motorcycle helmet, suddenly paranoid about the possibility of an earthquake. She even checks the structural integrity of several of The Max’s beams. It’s a good thing she didn’t tug too hard; I’m pretty sure one of those beams looks like it was ready to just fall down.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h32m18s244

Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Belding come in. Zack Morris and Slater automatically assume Mr. Belding’s there because Zack Morris is in trouble despite the fact we see Mr. Belding in The Max all the time. Of course, he’s there because Mrs. Belding had pregnancy cravings. Screech, being the moron he is, can’t help but start fat shaming Mrs. Belding, leading even Zack Morris to slap him upside the head for being an insensitive ass.

Lisa asks Mrs. Belding if she’s had a baby shower yet and she remarks that almost everyone she knows has given her a shower. This makes a light bulb go off in Zack Morris’s head by saying the gang were planning a baby shower for her during seventh period. Naturally, this is to get out of the midterm since Zack Morris is a sociopath and doesn’t do anything just to be nice to people. Zack Morris tells Mr. Belding they’re too afraid to ask Mr. Heimlich to get out of class but Mr. Belding tells them that he sees absolutely nothing odd about a spontaneous baby shower the next day and he’ll make sure they’re excused from class.

Mrs. Belding suddenly starts feelings pains in her stomach.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h32m59s144

Mr. Belding, assuming it’s the baby’s coming, shows exactly how good of a father he’s going to be to this new baby by grabbing Lisa and running to the car to go to the hospital. Oh, Mr. Belding. It’s a good thing that baby has two parents or it would die! Good thing it was just an upset stomach from bad Max food or else she’d be giving birth in a cheesy restaurant best known for once being owned by a guy that kept chickens in his pants.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h34m14s101

The next day at the baby shower, it looks like the gang actually got the baby a bunch of nice presents. Slater hands Mrs. Belding a present and it’s a Bayside football jersey the baby won’t be able to wear until its old enough to go to Bayside. Um…thoughtful? Screech fails at life and doesn’t understand what baby showers are so he gets the baby a shower cap, shampoo, and soap on a rope. Tori gets Mr. Belding a coach baseball cap. As usual, Tori’s probably the most thoughtful of the group in these episodes because she doesn’t have five years of Zack Morris stained on her soul. We also get what at first seems like a throwaway line about Tori helping her sister birth a baby last year.

The bell rings signalling the end of school. Mr. Belding says that Mr. Heimlich will give the gang their make-up test on Monday, which is two days away according to Screech despite the fact that we clearly saw Zack Morris marking off Tuesday as today when he was assigning the day to Screech for the baby pool. Consistency shouldn’t be this hard people! Slater and Lisa run off to swim practice…since I guess Slater’s on the swim team now? Screech helps Mr. Belding take the presents down to his car but they have to stop off at his office first to get the keys. Zack Morris and Tori say they’ll help Mrs. Belding down the never-before mentioned faculty elevator that Zack Morris has acquired keys for because he’s Zack Morris. Tori sees that the jersey’s been left behind so she randomly picks it up, which I’m sure won’t have any bearing on the plot in a minute.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h36m50s151

Zack Morris, Tori, and Mrs. Belding make it to the faculty elevator and get in. Quite literally, just as the doors close, the unthinkable happens in an episode titled, “Earthquake”…an earthquake occurs! I know! I didn’t see it coming either but there it is!

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h37m48s188

In the hallway, chaos erupts as people scream and do their best impression of 1960s Star Trek special effects while Lisa keeps calm and gets people into a doorway.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h38m04s112

Luckily for the audience Slater was in the locker room changing when his shirt was trapped under falling lockers! If not, he wouldn’t be able to run around barechested the rest of the episode and give them something to scream about every few minutes.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h38m18s3

Mr. Belding’s in his office with Screech.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h40m40s141

And Zack Morris, Tori, and Mrs. Belding are stuck in the elevator. Just as fate and contrivance would have it, Mrs. Belding goes into labor right at that very moment! Also, Tori has a meltdown over the earthquake to the point I’m wondering if we’re about to see a repeat of Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” video.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h42m55s226

Mr. Belding discovers that the lock is jammed on his office door so he can’t get out to see if Mrs. Belding is alright. Showing that Mr. Belding’s been completely oblivious to Screech’s idiocy from the start, he trusts Screech to try and get them out of there…

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h44m12s218

…but all Screech can do is play with a hippopotamus puppet and do weird voices. Mr. Belding starts screaming for help and thinking to himself that he needs to remember never to hire Screech as his administrative assistant.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h45m12s45

In the hallway, Lisa gives Slater her jacket to wear so the audience won’t hyperventilate over the tingly feelings they’re getting in their downstairs regions. They hear Mr. Belding and Screech yelling for help. Slater, showing how he could possibly beat Chuck Norris in a cage match, kicks open Mr. Belding’s door, and they rush to the elevator to check on Mrs. Belding. So Slater’s powerful enough to kick open a door but not to life a locker and get his shirt?

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h46m27s36

Meanwhile, Tori’s still having her meltdown. Zack Morris tells Tori to snap the fuck out of her fit of crazy and help Mrs. Belding. She instantly snaps into action (so much for her actually working through her fear) and tells Zack Morris to give Mrs. Belding something to focus on. He pulls out a picture for her to look at while Tori gets her started on breathing.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h47m28s120

Everyone arrives at the elevator and finds out that Mrs. Belding is in labor. Mr. Belding sends Pete to find a working phone to call 9-1-1 so that everyone whose name is in the opening credits can stay behind to stare at the elevator doors.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h49m45s219

Mrs. Belding starts pushing and breathing alternating. Zack Morris says he sees the head coming and, from outside the elevator, we start to hear crying.

vlcsnap-2015-07-09-14h50m39s236

It’s a good thing that, at that very moment, the power randomly came back on. LA must have the most efficient power crews post-earthquake ever! The elevator doors open and Mr. Belding is introduced to his new son, wrapped in the jersey Slater gave them. It’s weird, though. We know from his three appearances on The New Class that Mr. Belding named his son Little Zack after Zack Morris. I would have thought they would have mentioned this since it would have been a touching moment for Mr. Belding to show his gratitude to Zack Morris for helping his son come into the world.

In any case, despite how much crap I gave this episode, it’s actually not bad and may be one of the best of the season. For how much of a bad reputation the Tori episodes have, I’m thoroughly impressed.

Firsts: Mrs. Becky Belding, Little Zack Belding.

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 20: “Snow White and the Seven Dorks”

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h20m11s299

Well, this week we’re back on the good ‘ole second season of Saved by the Bell, and what better way to mark our return than a random close-up of a Shakespeare statue. No, it has nothing to do with anything the rest of the episode. It’s just one of those random times the camera person got bored and decided to start filming random stuff on set. There are times I think the crew of Saved by the Bell went to the Ed Wood School of Film-making.

Anyway, the episode proper starts with Zack Morris declaring that, in addition to all the other random activities the gang takes on in their thousand hour days, they’re also a part of the drama class, something Zack Morris excels at since he can almost always con his way out of anything despite the fact even Mother Teresa and the Dalai Llama wouldn’t trust his scheming ways.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h20m36s369

And meet Mr. Bainbridge, our drama teacher, who’s actually quite sane, at least for being a member of Bayside’s faculty. The most insane thing he does this episode is thinking that Screech’s idea for putting on a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is a good idea, mainly because it’s in the public domain and the producers of Saved by the Bell won’t have to pay any royalties since they blew their royalty money already this season. But they can’t just do any old version of Snow White; no, they are going to do a rap version because when I thought of what was missing from Saved by the Bell, my first thought was our gang rapping about tiny people and poison apples.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h23m03s862

So we go directly to the try outs, which was confusing because, for a brief moment, having no clue what was going on, I thought they had skipped to practicing the play. Luckily it’s not or we’d miss out on seeing Screech take advantage of the situation to not only sexually harass Lisa while rapping horribly but to also shake his hips in the semblance of what I assume Dustin Diamond thought looked like dancing.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h23m26s361

Next up is Kelly, who’s auditioning for the wicked queen, and she raps her lines with the charisma of Ben Stein watching The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. She doesn’t want to try out for the role since she wants Snow White, which means I have to question why she’s auditioning if she doesn’t want to, but Mr. Bainbridge insists that she imagine some petty high school insecurity in order to channel the wicked queen, and she improves. Well, she improves as much as an actress on this show can.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h24m24s644

Jessie, meanwhile, complains backstage about quasi-feminist bullshit on how sexist Snow White is. How dare a nineteenth century character be less enlightened than a woman who thinks t-shirts are sexist and once overdosed on caffeine pill! Well, Zack Morris tells her just change the lines since none of the crew are going to bother checking whether they did or not anyhow.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h24m47s701

Jessie auditions with Screech and a grab bag of background characters as the “Seven Dorks” and raps about Snow White being liberated and shit, very believable for a nineteenth century Grimm Brothers fairy tale. Mr. Bainbridge, despite initially looking like he doesn’t know what to make of this mess, complements Jessie on her performance. He really shouldn’t encourage her. Seriously.

Last up is  Zack Morris, who auditions for the role of the prince. There’s really not much to say other than the rapping is really beginning to annoy me, but the audience loses their shit over his audition, making me think the last play they saw was a peep show at their local adult bookstore.

And it’s a good thing Mr. Bainbridge is quick to make up his mind on the roles because that means we can fast forward directly to casting. Kelly’s the wicked queen, Lisa is the mirror on the wall, Screech is dork number five, Zack Morris is the prince, and Jessie is the super-enlightened Snow White. There’s no accounting for taste since none of these people should be acting. Ever.

 

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h26m27s099

 

Zack Morris doesn’t want to be in the play anymore, though, as he says that the only reason he tried out was he couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else kissing Kelly. Well, aren’t you just the little shit wasting everyone’s time like that? Jessie butters him up about being the best and shit and how they once were “Mr. and Mrs. Skunk” in an elementary school production, they’re just the next Lucy and Desi waiting to be born!

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h27m15s147

So Zack Morris agrees and we go directly to the kissing scene because that’s all this episode really gives a shit about. Unfortunately, Mr. Bainbridge doesn’t buy their kiss as much as the audience so he tells them to try it again with more feeling tomorrow. After everyone else leaves, they get right to it.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h34m28s051

And, by getting right to it, I mean they stick their tongues down each others’ throats. Lisa comes in to retrieve something in the meantime and catches them in full-on make out mode. She quietly sneaks out and the two break their kiss, realizing they liked it a lot more than they’re supposed to because they both got boners and, after all, kissing should be a purely theoretical enterprise except when you’re magically in a relationship! No enjoying anything!

Oh, I see. It’s finally happened. With this episode, Zack Morris has officially gone after every female in the main cast. Jessie was last because she would have, in real life, ran Zack Morris off with her propensity for whining.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h38m49s217

At Kelly’s house, Kelly and Lisa practice their lines, but Jessie’s really distracted, so, when Kelly leaves the room, Lisa takes advantage of the situation to tell Jessie she knows that Jessie’s a big hoe bag. Jessie swears Lisa to secrecy but then blurts out the whole thing to Kelly in guilt upon her return and rushes out, leaving Kelly to wonder what the fuck just happened.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h39m36s012

At Bayside, Jessie’s mobbed by her seven dorks who want to practice their scene with her. She rebuffs them until it becomes a convenient plot point for her to get away from Slater, because nothing says not feeling guilty like getting a gaggle of background characters to carry you away.

And now, it’s time to play our favorite game here at Saved by the Bell Reviewed: “Where’s Scott Wolf?” Yes, it’s that magical time when we guess where our future Party of Five and Everwood star will show up as a background character on one of his first acting gigs! So, where is Scott Wolf this week?

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h41m13s425

Why, he’s a waiter at The Max behind Slater! Well, since there are no more out of season episodes from the second or third season, we probably won’t be seeing Scott Wolf again unless it’s in a clip episode. As such, this probably really is the final installment of “Where’s Scott Wolf?” Goodbye, Scott Wolf, and godspeed your journey into marginally better television.

So Slater thinks someone else may be after Jessie and asks Zack Morris about it. Zack Morris stammers and stutters, which is only slightly less suspicious than if he was wearing a sign that said, “I kissed Jessie and I liked it!” Slater says he’s going to randomly join the play so he can keep an eye on Jessie like a psycho stalker and destroy any guy who goes after her.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-19h59m58s747

Well, and it’s really nice of Mr. Bainbridge to accommodate the random whims of Bayside’s student body because he allows Slater into the play as an eighth dork. The Grimm Brothers must be rolling in their graves at this point. This abomination to a classic fairy tale makes Jessie faint and, when it comes time for the kiss between Zack Morris and Jessie, neither can go through with it. When Lisa lets slip that maybe they like each other, they both run out, shocked by just how contrived this plot really is.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h43m30s520

Since Mr. Belding needed a couple scenes, this suddenly becomes serious enough for the principal to handle. Zack Morris and Jessie both quit the play off camera (thanks for telling and not showing, guys…Ed Wood School of Film-making) and they tell him they might like each other but it would cause problems with Slater and Kelly if they do. Mr. Belding, the guy who has gotten pissed off about kissing in school on more than one occasion, tells them the only way they can find out for sure is to kiss again and see if they feel any of those things people commonly call “emotions.” I guess I should at least be thankful Mr. Belding doesn’t want them to just sit there and go at it in his office.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h46m13s348

In the hallway, Slater and Kelly ponder whether there’s something going on between Zack Morris and Jessie. They decide that it’s preposterous to believe such a thing. After all, Jessie outright telling Kelly that she kissed Zack Morris and Lisa blurting out shit and both of them acting suspicious means nothing at all since it wouldn’t be convenient to the plot for them to figure it out now. No, they decide Zack Morris and Jessie are acting weird because they’re scared of Slater and Kelly being jealous, so they go off to tell them that they’re enlightened and understanding in what may be the most obvious set-up for a reveal ever.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h48m41s644

So Zack Morris and Jessie get right to it and try the kissing. They don’t get erections this time, which must mean they don’t like each other since asexuality doesn’t exist in the Saved by the Bell universe. They’re so happy they decide to kiss again in celebration…

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h49m10s241

…just in time for Slater and Kelly to catch them. Slater and Kelly break up with Jessie and Zack Morris.

It’s time for the play, and, after a scene where Mr. Belding just talks about random shit, Zack Morris and Jessie reveal they have a plan to win back Slater and Kelly, who are still visibly pissed.
vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h51m00s008

It’s nice to see the play takes place in a Vanilla Ice music video, as Kelly threatens to break Lisa’s bones if she says anything nice about Jessie, even in character.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h51m30s028

And Kelly wants to stuff an apple down Jessie’s throat since she’s no doubt had parts of Zack Morris down there.

Mr. Bainbridge wonders what the hell they’re doing and Mr. Belding tells him he has no idea either. Yeah, you’re the one that was practically begging Zack Morris and Jessie to make out in your office, or did you forget about your inappropriate boundaries with students?

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h51m52s661

It’s almost time for the kissing scene, but Zack Morris has a different idea. See, he decides to hell with pleasing the audience and changes the script mid-play.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h52m31s713

Slater’s kiss is the one that wakens Jessie…vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h53m04s938

…while the prince is in love with the queen. That constitutes incest I do believe. Also, the background nerds are way too excited about this turn of events that will no doubt convince everyone unfortunate enough to have bought a ticket to this spectacle to demand their money back.

vlcsnap-2015-07-04-14h53m34s009

And our episode ends with everything going back to normal as there’s nothing better to save a relationship than completely sabotaging a school play in front of students, parents, and faculty who you’ll be asking to write letters of reference for college on your behalf in just a couple years.

Firsts: School play.

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 19: “Screech’s Birthday”

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-18h55m11s219

For this week’s out of season episode, we’re going all the way back to season one when Screech created artificial life and no one seemed to think anything of it! Yes, that’s right, Kevin the Robot is back and he’s just as pointless to the plot and good for a cheap laugh as ever!

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-18h56m03s219

So Screech, who evidently doesn’t shave with a razor yet, is pissed off about something or other, and Kevin lets Zack Morris know that Screech is mad that the whole gang forgot about his birthday. Screech is pissed Kevin told Zack Morris because he was hoping to just go along passive aggressive for a while.

At Bayside, the girls all practice stereotypical accents for the “drama festival,” including Lisa with a southern accent, Jessie as Joan of Arc with a French accent, and Kelly as Eliza Doolittle with a British accent. They do realize a drama festival will have an actual play and isn’t just about spouting whatever random gibberish comes to mind, right? They all sound horrible anyway like black face for foreign people, or regional in the case of Lisa.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-18h58m14s246

Slater tangles with Neil, the hall monitor, who’s harassing the gang for loitering in the halls even though other students can be clearly seen doing the same thing in the background. Kelly uses her British accent on Neil and gets +10 attack, rebuffing Neil and sending him flying away.

Zack Morris and Screech come in and Screech uses his passive aggressiveness on them as well.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-18h59m55s233

At The Max, the gang decide they need to do something really special to make up for forgetting Screech’s birthday. Zack Morris decides they’re going to throw Screech a surprise party, but not just any surprise party. It will be a surprise party during school in Mr. Belding’s office. The rest of the gang have the reaction you’d expect, spitting water in whatever direction they hope the writer of this episode is. Zack Morris convinces them, though, that they have to do something daring to show Screech they really care.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h00m40s172

So we’ve got about forty seconds to waste so, since it’s a first season episode, let’s bring in Saved by the Bell‘s worst time-waster, Max, to do something stupidly magic that the gang will think is amazing. Today, it’s making a birthday cake for Screech using his magic cookbook. Is this like the book from The Never-Ending Story?

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h01m06s171

And, waalaa! Forty seconds successfully wasted on a non-gag that even the Saved by the Bell audience, the world’s most easily impressed group of people, didn’t think was funny. Thanks for that, Max. Come back in another four years, or not.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h02m09s39

Slater says they still have another issue to take care of: Neil, the hall monitor  most likely to try and steal your milk money! Zack Morris has a plan, though: record lots of things Neil says so they can play them back later out of context since adults on this show can’t tell the difference between an actual person’s voice and a late ’80s recording.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h03m20s236

Oh, hi, Mr. Dewey! Good to see you one more time, and just in case to play the idiot for this scene! And, here’s something interesting: Mr. Dewey identifies himself as vice-principal in this episode. That’s…something that’s never hinted at again, before this episode or since. Also, if he’s vice-principal, why does he teach algebra? Administrators don’t normally teach a subject since they’re paid to, I don’t know, administer! Strange…

Basically, while Mr. Dewey has his back turned working a problem, Zack Morris plays back the recording of Neil, making Mr. Dewey think that Neil’s insulting him. Going off the rule of all adults are stupid unless it’s relevant to the plot, this makes Mr. Dewey strip Neil of being hall monitor and he’s sent to detention.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h05m10s53

Zack Morris convinces Mr. Dewey the next hall monitor should be Screech because they should all have a taste of what we’re in for during six seasons of The New Class

In the hallway, naturally, no one listens to a word Screech says, as it should be, and part of Zack Morris’s plan has come together now that they own the halls. It’s time to get Mr. Belding out of his office!

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h06m37s161

This involves the girls calling Mr. Belding with their bad accents and convincing him that a student with multi-personalities is lost at the mall and needs his help. Once again, all adults are stupid unless it’s relevant to the plot, so Mr. Belding not only believes them but rushes over to try and help out. I hope all this is going to start making sense in a minute. I have a feeling it won’t.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h08m41s123

Mr. Dewey finds Screech, once again. run over by a bunch of students who don’t give a crap what Screech says and does, so Mr. Dewey give a pep talk to Screech, or at least the best semblance of a pep talk Mr. Dewey can give. He tells Screech that, to be tough, he has to think tough and that he has to come up with someone to channel his inner tough guy with.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h09m46s6

This leads into a dream sequence where some random guy tries to force Lisa to go on a date with him.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h09m58s117

But, never fear, it’s RoboScreech, the world’s most incompetent hall monitor and human being, to save the day by lightly hitting him in the chest until he falls down.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h10m58s211

Oh, no! Before he can celebrate, Neil wants a duel so he can get his hall monitor job back, but, by utilizing the power of special effects that look like they belong on a commercial bumper during one of those “the more you know…” segments…

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h11m04s22

Screech is successfully able to turn Neil into a pile of ungrinded coffee beans. Now Screech can secretly switch your cup of name brand coffee with some Neil brand goodness!

Screech comes away with a new sense of power as Mr. Dewey gives him the power to send all rule breakers to detention.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h12m04s106

Lucky for the gang, Mr. Belding doesn’t lock his office when he’s not at school because the gang apparently live in Mayberry where crime is nonexistent, so Zack Morris and Slater are easily able to get in and decorate. Kelly and Lisa have gone to The Max to get the cake…even though we already saw Max magically make a cake for them earlier, but we needed an excuse for them to be away and stress out Zack Morris, and Jessie’s off to get paper plates and utensils.

But they aren’t back before the scene cut, so Zack Morris is worried they won’t be able to pull off the party. Slater runs off to find them and randomly meets Screech in the hallway because…hall monitors don’t go to class? I don’t know; none of this makes any sense. He says he sent Jessie to detention for not having a hall pass and he’s sending Slater for not having one as well.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h13m39s35

Screech calls in his deputy, Kevin the sentient life made in Screech’s basement, and goes off to commit some more time wasting.

After a commercial break, Kelly and Lisa finally get back with cake and ice cream. Now both Slater and Jessie are missing, though, so Kelly and Lisa go to look for them. They’re soon intercepted by Screech who sends them both to detention despite the fact that Lisa tries to use her feminine wiles on him. This time, Zack Morris observes it so he prepares to go into backup plan.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h16m14s38

So, if detention is happening right now, that means school’s out so why did everyone have to have a hall pass? This is all hurting my brain! It’s like they just threw shit together and called it an episode! AGH!!!

Mr. Dewey’s finally recovered from the adults are stupid syndrome and doesn’t believe any of the gangs’ excuses to get out of detention…but he does apparently want to see Slater wrestle shirtless…

I need an adult.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h17m15s146

Then, Zack Morris gets on the intercom pretending to be Mr. Belding’s new secretary, and calls Slater, Kelly, Jessie, Lisa, and Screech to Mr. Belding’s office. Mr. Dewey, not apparently knowing who works there at any given time excuses them to the office.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h17m35s80

And he demonstrates his tai kawn do skills for everyone else. Oh, Mr. Dewey, how we’ve missed your Ben Stein-like qualities of lethargy!
vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h18m26s78

The gang don’t have much time since Mr. Belding’s about to get back so they use Zack Morris’s ability to bend time and space to quickly setup for Screech’s party. He comes into the party and apologizes for being a jackass since they did something so stupid for him. They party for about a minute and then bend the rules of time and space again to get Mr. Belding’s office back in order.

vlcsnap-2015-06-19-19h19m49s149

And our episode ends with Screech overwhelmed by this stupid idea for a party. Oh, first season Saved by the Bell. How little sense you made! Not that anything after made any more sense, but you know what I mean!

Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 18: “Video Yearbook”

There’s two things I hate about this season: the number of clip show episodes and the number of out of season episodes. The producers apparently had five out of season episodes just lying around and decided to randomly throw them out with no context despite how much that would confuse viewers during an already confusing season. We’ve seen one out of season episode already with “Love Machine” a few weeks ago. This episode starts a string of three of the other four, starting with “Video Yearbook,” an out of season episode from the second season. Yeah, as if you’re not already confused enough by the Tori paradox, now Zack Morris and Kelly and Slater and Jessie are dating again. Geez, they must really have rekindled their romance at the senior prom!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h22m54s135

We open at The Max where Screech is busy reading the classifieds hoping to find a psychic to tell him his future life won’t suck.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h23m09s68

Zack Morris informs us via monologue there’s only two things in life he truly needs: sex with Kelly and a car, and he’s working on the second one. Unfortunately, he’s given the task of looking for a car to Screech, who’s busy searching for $185,000 Ferraris that Zack Morris will only be able to afford once he’s on Franklin and Bash.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h25m42s36

Jessie’s on the war path because she hasn’t been able to come with a theme for this year’s yearbook and, apparently, last year’s was awful to the point people wouldn’t buy it. Continuing the tradition in Saved by the Bell not understanding that teenagers do certain things in high school not out of quality but out of tradition and obligation, like buy yearbooks, the producers seem to miss the point that this plot setup already makes no sense.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h30m58s136

But, never fear, Zack Morris is on the Yearbook Committee, which means there will be some bull shit answer given to the whole situation. It’s a good thing, too, because the Yearbook Committee seems to actually be a group of people all trying their best to be more idiotic than Screech. Also, Mr. Belding says Zack Morris has to participate if he wants credit for this committee. Why the hell would you get credit for a committee? Do they require extra curricular activities to graduate?

Zack Morris comes up with the idea of doing a video yearbook, which sounds dumb to me but everyone thinks it’s genius. They don’t want to miss class because all teenagers are at school for the sole purpose of academics, though, so Zack Morris offers to shoot the whole yearbook himself because he’s, unfortunately, the closest thing to a realistic teen in this episode and doesn’t want to go to class. Plus it will give the writers a great opportunity to have some wild Zack Morris hijinks.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h36m01s103

It’s time to shoot the video yearbook with Screech as cameraman and first up is Slater, who’s suddenly camera shy despite the fact he’s never shown a propensity towards this sort of nervousness before but, hey, it’s perfect for an unfunny gag that it sounds like even the audience was struggling to laugh at.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h37m02s187

Kelly is her usual bubbly, perky self and even tells the camera she loves it, mistaking it for Zack Morris.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h37m55s223

And Lisa is her usual shallow, one dimensional fashion-boy crazy stereotype that the producers bring out when they have no clue what else to do with her. Oh, Lisa, this is why you can’t get a boyfriend that lasts longer than an episode!

In the midst, Zack Morris wants to have a date with Kelly but her car is unavailable so Zack Morris’s parents would have to drive them. Zack Morris doesn’t quite fancy double dating with his parents so he gets the idea to use the interviews from the video yearbook to create a dating video to sell to every lonely guy in L.A. because nothing could possibly go wrong with this idea!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h38m47s213

In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris and Screech watch the results of the interviews, including this girl who must know Punky Brewster because she wants boys to buy her lots of expensive stuff since she’s shallow that way.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h39m11s208

And this girl who wants to be a rock star and might be interested in BDSM. You’re delightfully frightful. I think I’ll call you “Scary Spice.”

Zack Morris tells Screech to use the best looking girls, add some music, and plaster their phone numbers at the bottom of the screen. Nothing could go wrong with allowing Screech to be in charge of this project!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h40m02s203

So the two sell the videos to Bayside students. Either that or they opened up a sleazy strip bar. In any case, they plan on selling the tape at more high schools until they have enough money to buy the car, including “Uni High School,” because, in the Saved by the Bell universe there’s apparently a University High School. Oh, wacky adopting of random words.

The next day at Bayside, Scary Spice talks about how she smashed her phone after so many boys called her because that’s a reasonable response. You’re going to grow up to be Lorena Bobbitt, aren’t you?

And now it’s time for the unexpected return of our favorite game here at Saved by the Bell Reviewed: “Where’s Scott Wolf?” Yes, I thought we were done seeing ‘ole Scott after the third season, but he decided to grace us with his presence once more! So let’s see if you can spot him in this next scene at The Max!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h42m21s52

Oh, there he is, in the background behind Slater and Jessie! Oh, Scott, it’s so great to see your smiling face taking orders again! Let’s hope there will be a next episode of this great and immortal game!

In any case, Slater and Jessie fight over Jessie getting so many calls the night before. She says guys were calling her all night looking for dates and they  argue over whether she’s become a slut or not.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h42m35s201

Zack Morris and Screech come in to video scenes of The Max for the yearbook, but Zack Morris is horrified to find out that, not only has Screech included Jessie in the dating tape, but he’s also included Kelly and Lisa. Zack Morris dodges questions about the yearbook to drag Screech out by his ear and kill him for being an idiot.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h44m37s145

Zack Morris tells Screech he must be the dumbest human being on Earth, probably the truest statement ever uttered on this show. Screech asks what that makes Zack Morris since he hired him, also true. After all, why would you trust Screech with anything that could potentially get you in trouble, much less not even watch the results before you sell it to horny teenagers of L.A. For all he knew, Screech might have just put his sex tape on there. In any case, they watch the video.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h46m07s7

They see this profile from Jessie which, no doubt, was intended to be the opening scene for Showgirls. Screech basically took the interviews, dubbed himself talking over the girls to make it sound like they were being sexual and shit, and put their phone numbers over it. You know, if the guys of L.A. are dumb enough (or horny enough) to believe Screech’s voice is the girls’ voices, we might have a bigger dumbassery problem than just Screech.

Zack Morris turns off the tape just as the rest of the gang comes in wanting to see the yearbook. He knocks the two tapes off mixing them up and hands them a tape, not really taking much time or notice that both tapes are unlabeled and that there’s a 50/50 chance he handed them the wrong tape. Plus, he conveniently takes Screech to go figure out a way to fix this idiocy. In the hallway, they meet Mr. Belding who also wants a preview. He sends Mr. Belding the gang’s way. Geez, I wonder what’s about to happen…

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h47m13s164

Why, the rest of the gang and Mr. Belding discover Zack Morris’s plot! How surprising! Slater wants to kill him while Mr. Belding expels him, but Kelly has a different idea: let’s, once again, employ the entire student body and disrupt the school day just to get revenge on Zack Morris! Great idea!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h48m57s180

The plot starts in the locker room with Slater pissed off over so many guys looking at Jessie and says that, if he catches who made the tape, he’ll turn them into a reasonable facsimile of a losing boxer’s face. He proceeds to rip a locker door off its hinges and storms out as Screech is convinced he’s going to die. PLEASE! PLEASE! KILL HIM!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h49m53s231

In the hallway, Jessie and Lisa jump in the scheme. Lisa says her father took her phone away while Jessie says she and Slater broke up and he’s punching any guy who even looks at Jessie.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h50m29s74

At that moment, Moose and Ollie come around with injuries supposedly inflicted by Zack Morris. Every other guy in school also suddenly has Slater injuries because the entire student body suddenly wants revenge on Zack Morris.

In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding even has injuries because assault of a school employee wouldn’t be grounds for, I don’t know, ARREST! He says Slater’s out of control!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h52m01s221

Kelly comes in with her new boyfriend, Vince Montana, because Saved by the Bell loves naming sleazy guys after states in ways that make them sound like Miami Vice snitches. Right, Johnny Dakota?

Kelly says she’s breaking up with Zack Morris for Vince Montana and that she’s suddenly went all bad girl and shit. Since she’s now wearing a bra in place of a shirt. Slater comes in, ready to punch Zack Morris for supposedly looking at Jessie.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h52m45s152

With things spiraling out of control, Zack Morris warps the laws of time and space and gets the hell out of there, meaning Slater unintentionally punches Mr. Belding for real. So…he was really going to punch Zack Morris? Also, did no one notice that Zack Morris just mysteriously disappeared? There’s only one explanation: Zack Morris is a witch!

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h53m57s116

So Zack Morris invites everyone to view a tape he gave Screech. He says he’s figured out that everyone knows about the dating video. He tells everyone he’s sorry for hurting them. Kelly was right to dump him because he doesn’t deserve to have her as his girlfriend, but Vince doesn’t either. He apologizes to Jessie and Mr. Belding for betraying their trust on the yearbook and tells them he finished it. He also says he’s using sales from the dating video to buy a video yearbook for everyone in school. And he’s going away to military school so they never have to see him again. Also, Zack Morris several times directly addresses Screech during the yearbook, meaning he either really is psychic or Screech is just that idiotically predictable.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h53m30s92

In the midst of it all, Zack Morris comes in dressed in drag to watch everyone’s reactions to his apologies. Why, I don’t know, because there was absolutely no reason for drag in this episode since there were a thousand other ways Zack Morris could have spied on the meeting, and it contributes nothing. I guess Mark-Paul just likes dressing in women’s clothing. Unlike in “Screech’s Woman,” the drag fools no one since they all took their smart pills today and everyone instantly recognizes the really ugly woman as Zack Morris. They don’t let on, though, and when the tape announces Zack Morris is leaving, they all start jumping for joy, although they should really only jump for joy if it was Screech leaving.

vlcsnap-2015-06-18-14h55m46s174

This reaction upsets Zack Morris. He jumps up and rips off the wig, revealing himself and asking what they want out of him more than his apologies. After his rant, they all yell, “Gotcha!” and our episode ends with everything going back to normal because I guess Zack Morris has learned his lesson for good this time and will never be involved with another bull shit scheme again.