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Cult Fiction
Season No. 4
Episode No. 21
Original Airdate April 25, 1997
Written by Jeff Manell
Directed by Jeff McCracken
Guest starring Jerry Levine as Philip Mack, Tamara Mello as Sherri, Andie Tecec as Alicia

Synopsis

When Shawn is pressured into thinking about life after high school by Mr. Turner, he is convinced to join a cult, called the Centre, by Sherri, a fellow student. Shawn is totally brainwashed and refuses to leave, despite attempts to persuade him by Turner, Cory, Mr. Feeny, and the Matthews.

When Turner gets into a motorcycle accident, though, Shawn is forced to confront the issue head on. He brings along Mr. Mack, the leader of the Centre, who is not welcomed and is even threatened by Mr. Feeny and Alan. Cory and Topanga then force Shawn to see Mr. Turner in his badly banged up condition, and they make him stay in the room and deal with it. Following a moving monologue in which Shawn talks to God, Shawn exits the room and realizes the truth about Mr. Mack and The Center.

Trivia

This is the final appearance of Mr. Turner, although the ending implies he survives by showing his fingers twitch. Later, in Graduation, he is referred to as spending time in the hallways of John Adams High just offscreen.

This episode features Rider Strong delivering one of the most poignant speeches of the series:

Shawn: Jon, how could you be in here? How could you screw up on your bike? I have never seen you screw up on anything. I'm the screw-up, remember? Come on, you remember. Don't do this to me, Jon. I don't do alone real good. (Long pause) Look, I know you're in there, but it's like you're not really here. You're not talking, but I know you're here. So I'm just going to talk, and you can listen. (Sits bedside) Jon, even when I was at the Centre, it was all the things that you taught me that made me wonder if it was the right place for me or not. But you didn't teach me enough. You… and Cory… and my parents… and the Matthews and the handful of people who really care about me, so don't blow me off, Jon! Don't blow me off God! (Looks up) I've never asked you for anything and I never wanted to come to you like this. But don't take Turner away from me. He's not done yelling at me, yet. God, you're not talking, but I know you're here. So, I'm going to talk and you can listen. God… I don't want to be empty inside anymore.

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