Belz on Bell

Saved By The Bell: S4E24 "School Song"

Walking right by the MAX jukebox, Screech is wearing his finest multicolored, vertical striped shirt. But nobody cares, since Zack just walked in! Zack talks about how graduation is coming up, and no incoming freshman will ever be as cool as him. I bet he’s totally right, since The New Class was just really terrible.

Lisa is discussing with Slater and Tori about the class gift and asks for Zack’s input. Zack’s gift will be a kiss to every girl. Even the fat ones and the ones in wheelchairs… and possibly Slater’s sister. Lisa says that she wants to give a lasting gift – last year, the class bought a VCR. And I’m sure it’s still being used today.

The group jokes, saying that Zack graduating is enough of a gift. Zack seems taken aback – four seasons of tomfoolery and scams and the school will be happy he’s gone? I agree with Zack on this one. I’d have extended his stay there even longer, like how they did with Screech in The New Class. Screech admits that Zack took on the title of Bayside’s Biggest Goof-Off, but says he’s still a fan of him anyway.

In choir practice, the students trudge through their boring school song. Even the nerd accompanying on piano is yawning over how dull it is. “That song should be in a nursing home,” says Tori. Lisa agrees and thinks that writing a new song would be an amazing class gift.

The “committee” brings the issue up with Belding, who thinks the idea is great. Rushing in two seconds after the decision has been finalized, Zack joins the gang and is met with ridicule and jokes. “Let me guess. You were rescuing a bunch of girl scouts from a burning cookie factory!” says Belding, before Zack could think up another excuse. After the other students join in, Belding says that if they got on the topic of the trouble Zack has caused, they’ll all be there another four years.

Once the meeting lets out, Zack tells Screech that he needs to clear his name before he graduates. “The only way to clear your name is to change it!” Screech jokes. Zack decides that his mission is to write the song solo, so everyone can see what a great dude he is.

While they get to working on the song, Zack tries to make matters difficult by penning Lisa’s ideas against Slater’s. Pretty soon he creates tension with Tori and Screech as well and everyone leaves, leaving Zack the perfect opportunity to have the piano all to himself. What a great dude!

Unfortunately, his plan backfires. Now everyone in the committee is set on writing the school song individually. While Screech blatantly rips off of ‘Home on the Range’ with a xylophone, Zack learns that his competition is pretty intense. While Tori and Slater are teaming up, we’ve also got Louise on the accordion and that other nerd on the committee that I refuse to look up the name for. And who knew that Lisa could play guitar?

A very upset Belding comes out of his office to handle the noise issue. He agrees to letting the seniors vote on the new song via PA System, which Belding agrees to with frustration. Tori and Slater are more impressed that Zack thought up a plan that made logical sense. OR WILL IT?

All of a sudden, it’s the end of the week and Tori and Slater are amped to show “Mr. B” and the students how great their song is. Of course, Zack takes it upon himself to screw with the piano first. Really, Zack? What a nice guy!

As guessed, Tori’s chords are screwed up while Slater dreamily sings the lyrics to ‘Bayside, We’ll Remember’. Slater freaks out on Tori, and the entire school hears them quit the competition. There are many, many dramatic cuts to the PA system.

Overhearing in the hallway, Zack admits that the sabotage was pretty low. “But if I want to be remembered as a nice guy, you can’t take any chances!” Screech is up next and Zack said he could lay low – Screech’s song will sabotage itself.

Surprisingly, ‘Home At Our School’, dramatically performed, is somewhat of a hit. Sure, it sounds like a 12-year-old wrote it, but at least he didn’t screw up the chords! And he also managed to magically fix the piano in between his and Tori’s set, which is pretty amazing.

Zack’s song, ‘Cool School’, is featured last. Despite practicing so long at the piano, Zack switches it up with a guitar. Pretty soon, all of the students are feeling the groove of “Bayside is a school that’s cool,” and Zack is an obvious winner.

Or is he! Both Screech and Zack got 132 votes and the glee club will be singing both songs to the senior class and they’ll determine the winner. Zack realizes that Screech’s “in” with the dorks might be enough to declare him the winner, so he decides to ask Louise out on a date. The most popular of the girl nerds, who we earlier learned, has amazing accordion skills.

Like most of his ladies, Zack brings Louise to the MAX. While admitting she would have voted for Zack after realizing how charming and great he really is, Louise asks Zack for a kiss. Zack, obviously, is not a fan. He is, however, flattered that she referred to his lips as “lethal weapons”.

Slater, Lisa and Tori witness the event and Tori concludes that Zack is willing to do anything to win. Even sabotage his friends’ songs! I have to say, despite being on the Tori Hate Train, she’s definitely quicker than Jessie and Kelly. Kelly would have realized that Zack sabotaged her chances while babysitting for Professor Lasky’s daughter, a year later.

While Louise is trying to persuade her nerd clan to vote for Zack, Slater pulls them aside and reminds them that Zack has a lot of pull in the school. If he dates a nerd girl, then all of the jocks will start dating nerd girls. There won’t be any more nerd women to go around!!

In the midst of practicing with the glee club, Lisa, Slater and Tori decide mid-song that they need to talk to Screech. They present a few changes to the song, that – well, the song is nothing like what it used to be. Let’s leave it at that. I’m not about to argue the validity and fairness of a completely different “winner” song. Not now! Possibly later.

Step 3 of the process is to poison Zack. At least, that’s what I heard when Slater – behind the scenes of the glee club contest – says, “I poured our secret weapon in Zack’s cup.”

Wait, no. It’s only lemon extract. But after accepting to toast with his friends, Zack probably assumes it’s alcohol.

Belding introduces “Cool School”, although he admits he’s unsure where Zack got the title from. After all, he keeps the thermostat at 70 degrees. Zack comes on stage, still feeling the effects of that lemon extract. This show has taught me that lemon extract can make it sound like you’re suffering a stroke, as Zack loses his ability to speak English properly.

Going along with his verbal screw-ups, the glee club repeats his nonsensical jabbering in a harmonic way. I guess the whole glee club was willing to look foolish based on the lemon prank. Zack hums the remainder of his song, while someone in the audience should have been calling an ambulance.

Afterwards, Zack realizes that he’s been duped. “You – Sippha-Me- — Un Puppos!” he says, angrily. Lisa gets him some actual water, and his extract nonsense is wiped away. “You sabotaged me on purpose?” Zack asks. They admit that they know Zack was behind the previous sabotages, which they all thought was pretty low.

Zack admits that he wanted to be seen as more than a goof-off and he really wanted a chance to be remembered by something positive. He apologizes and the gang admit that they had a lot of fun treating their friend like garbage.

Screech walks in, finally realizing that his song is completely different. It only took him a few days and practices. Zack asks if he can sing with them, and he manages to learn all of the words in about five minutes.

While Screech sings, he longingly looks over at Zack. The song repaired everyone’s friendship!

Lessons Learned: In order to be a hero to change your reputation as a jerk, you should be a jerk to reach that goal. And never, ever buy lemon extract before a speaking event.

Photo Credits: My Canon and my TiVo.

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