The New Class Season 4, Episode 26: “Fire at the Max, Part 2”

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We open with Mr. Russell and the gang sans Ryan entering the lightly burned remains of The Max. They thank Mr. Russell for giving them one last chance to say goodbye to the shitty restaurant. Mr. Russell says it’s no problem since he has some paperwork to randomly do in a burned out building since burned out, potentially unsafe buildings are the best place to do paperwork. Plus they were randomly going in and out of the building last week so they might as well.

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The gang sit in their old booth, the remains apparently still recognizable after this horrible fire, and recount what happened in the last episode, especially emphasizing how Ryan wants to transfer.

So, after burning down a beloved icon of the franchise in the last episode, how would you expect The New Class to handle the conclusion in part two? If you answered tactfully and respectfully, you obviously haven’t watched enough of this shitty show. No, the correct answer is: another clip show episode! Yes, the producers of this show think so little about your intelligence that they built up some semblance of drama and emotion last episode only to let it implode in the laziest cliche in television.

Get ready to relive events of the past season that have occurred at The Max, because they have a whole episode of them waiting for us! And, since this is a clip show episode, I feel the need to point out that, once again, an entire season of The New Class, including Nicky dating two girls, volunteering at the hospital, and jobs at the mall (except Space Camp, of course, which took place in the summer but makes the chronology of this season even messier as we’ll see in the coming weeks), have all taken place in the space of four months. I know, I know. If you really stretch it, it’s possible. But wouldn’t it have been much easier to make this a whole school year like competent writers would have done?

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And, when Mr. Belding and Screech show up, after recounting their own events of the last season, we even have time enough to show some clips from the original series so Screech can recount his youth and show how he’s never been competent at anything. Also, we see how he’s still obsessed over Lisa after all these years. Considering how Danielle disappeared after Screech’s sole date with her, Lisa needs to go into witness protection now!

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And who shows up in the middle of it but A.C. Slater himself, having been summoned from wherever the hell he’s living nowadays by his Slatey sense so he can do his own grieving over The Max. When I reviewed “Goodbye Bayside,” I said that episode was the final episode for Zack Morris, Slater, and Lisa, and some of you corrected me in the comments. Unfortunately, I was wrong, and I still have no idea why Mario Lopez made this appearance unless he was just that hard up for a paycheck in the mid-1990s. I hate to say it, but I think “Goodbye Bayside” would have been a more dignified curtain call for Slater. At least “Goodbye Bayside” did more with Slater’s character than have him recount clips. No, he got to stand around and say stupid things in that one.

And what do they do with the final cameo by an original series cast member? If you answered something meaningful and classy that would have brought a satisfying conclusion to a beloved character, you’ve really not been watching the same show I have the last four seasons. No, as if to pour salt in the wound for anyone who was expecting this to be a satisfying resolution to the first part, Slater’s appearance is merely an excuse to show more god damned fucking stupid ass clips!

Watching this show is like ingesting seven seasons worth of dog shit while I’m tortured by the vocal renditions of Yoko Ono and William Hung. I swear to fucking god.

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But, in case you were worried, Screech takes advantage of the situation to put his snot on Slater’s shirt, because that makes all this stupid ass shit worthwhile.

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Ryan finally shows back up and reveals that, off screen, he’s dealt with most of his grief over burning down The Max, and his final lingering regret is fixed by a pep talk from Slater. This gives Ryan the opportunity to show his own clip from the past season, and Ryan decides not to transfer after all.

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So, with exactly one minute left, Mr. Russell reveals he’s been listening in this whole time and his icy heart has been melted by their stupid ass clips. He’s decided to rebuild and make it a bigger and better Max to ensure that the status quo of this franchise is never broken, and our episode and season mercifully end with the assembled regulars and guest stars cheering a completely unsatisfying resolution to this whole cluster fuck.

My fucking god this was a squandered opportunity. Not only did they not show Ryan work through his emotions at all, but they also missed the opportunity to make the Teen Machine the new hangout for the gang. I mean, it was perfect: take an existing locale and have this gang make it their own, differentiated from the original series, and actually do something different. Instead, we get a clear sign that, as long as this franchise exists, nothing will change, ever, because the producers and writers for this show are the laziest fucks on the face of the planet.


And that’s it for season four of The New Class. Tune in for a recap this Wednesday. Next Monday, we’ll delve into the fifth season of my self-imposed punishment and try to figure out how this show kept getting renewed.

Also, this is the second anniversary of this blog and, once again, thank you for making it such a success! You guys are why I keep torturing myself with The New Class. I am so grateful for everyone who reads, shares, and comments on my posts. Here’s to two years of watching this franchise!

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