February 20, 2006 – The Final Season of That’s So Raven Premieres
“Because as soon as you get to like them, you have to leave. And you never see them again.”
On February 20, 2006, the first episode of the final season of the hit Disney Channel series That’s So Raven premiered with the episode “Raven, Sydney, and the Man.” This season was the only season that didn’t feature character Tanya in a starring or guest role, as T’Keyah Crystal Keymah had left the show at the end of season 3. The episode was directed by Rich Correll and written by Marc Warren. It starred Raven-Symone as Raven, Orlando Brown as Eddie, Kyle Massey as Corey, Anneliese van der Pol as Chelsea, Rondell Sheridan as Victor, David Henrie as Larry, and Sydney Park as Sydney.
The episode begins with Chelsea teaching the kids at the community center how whales communicate. It’s then Raven’s turn, who shows the kids her hobby of designing her own clothes. A little girl named Sydney keeps heckling Raven, although Raven is determined to keep her cool. Eddie then steps up and starts rapping, which entertains the kids more than Chelsea’s and Raven’s combined. The kids then have an option to join Eddie to learn how to rap, Chelsea’s whale appreciation club, and Raven’s fashion appreciation club. Only one kid joins Raven’s group – Sydney.
Meanwhile, Corey is attending a bar mitzvah party for his friend Larry, and finds that Larry mostly received gifts of money from his friends and family. Thinking that he can make a lot of money just by turning 13, Corey asks his father Victor for a bar mitzvah. Victor points out an important fact – they’re not Jewish. Corey then decides to call is a “bro-mitzvah,” and Victor finally agrees to throw the party. Back at the community center, Raven is not looking forward to working with Sydney, especially as Sydney keeps making fun of her and showing up late. Raven calls Sydney out on being rude and mean, and Sydney reveals her dream of becoming a comedian. Raven then decides to teach the girl how to be funny without resorting to cheap shots. After working on Sydney’s act, the girl surprises Raven by giving her a hug.
Corey is working with Victor at The Chill Grill to prepare for the “bro-mitzvah.” Raven takes Sydney with her to The Chill Grill, with the two wearing matching outfits. As Sydney leaves for the bathroom, Raven remarks to her family that she’s become the girl’s role model and helping her write her jokes; Raven’s bubble is burst when Corey points out that Raven isn’t funny. Raven argues against him, but changes the subject when she convinces him to at least let Sydney perform jokes at his party. When Sydney comes back, Raven tells her the exciting news, and Sydney starts cracking jokes at the family’s expense. Raven calls her out on being mean again, and Sydney storms out of the restaurant. Back at the community center, Raven looks for Sydney, as the girl has gone missing. Suddenly, Raven has a vision of where Sydney is, and after seeing that the girl will slam the playhouse door in her face, she decides to give up on Sydney, as she feels like she can’t get through to the girl.
The day of the party arrives, Victor soon realizes that Corey is only having the party for the gifts of money. Chelsea and Eddie show up late for the party and tell Raven that Sydney is in the playhouse, just as Raven had seen, and won’t come out for anything. It is then revealed that Sydney lives with a foster family, as her parents aren’t around anymore. Sydney’s been bounced around from home to home, and Raven runs to the community center to help her. Raven tries to talk to her, but Sydney refuses. Finally, after Raven reassures her that she cares, Sydney opens up about how she hates meeting new people, as once she gets to like them, she leaves and never sees them again. Raven assures her that she will never leave her, and asks Sydney to trust her.
Raven returns to the party, but is unsure if Sydney will trust her again or show up to the party. Raven then decides to take Sydney’s place in her absence, but Corey is horrified by this. Raven begins the show, but quickly tanks. Corey then goes to count his money, which annoys Victor. Larry then is asked to explain the real meaning of a bar mitzvah, which includes taking more responsibility for his actions. Corey finally realizes that he’s going to have to grow up, and father and son return to the party. Raven’s routine, however, has taken a turn for the bizarre. She is then heckled, with the heckler turning out to be none other than Sydney. Sydney then takes the stage and entertains the crowd. After the party, Corey uses the money he got from the party to buy some new toys for the community center, having learned his lesson about “becoming a man.”