Samuel “Screech” Powers’ former classmates gather in The Max to honor their late friend in the season 2 premiere of Peacock’s Saved by the bell revival.
The memorial also pays tribute to longtime cast member Dustin Diamond, who died of lung cancer in February; he was 44 years old. Although Screech was not seen during Season 1 of the sequel, he was mentioned during the big Homecoming episode, when Slater alluded to Screech having moved to the International Space Station with his robotic companion Kevin.
So how exactly does the revival confirm Diamond’s passing? Read on to find out…
Wednesday’s opener kicks off a full year after the events of Season 1, as Bayside resumes in person for the first time since the coronavirus shut the world down. After dropping Mac off at school, Zack asks Slater if he’s “going to the thing in The Max,” but Slater shrugs. He then spends the next few days avoiding his feelings about the pandemic and the unspoken passing of his childhood friend — that is, until he can no longer.
While helping current students clean up the gym after the Last Year Dance — a formal one intended to curtail any Bayside event that was beset by quarantine — Slater overhears Daisy talking about the year she and her classmates lost as a result. of COVID.
“It did happen last year,” she admits. “And we’ve lost a lot of things that we’ll never get back. We’ll never get a second year again. And there are people we will never see again. And everyone can’t just be okay all of a sudden.”
That’s when Slater realizes that his efforts to “pump the pain away” are misguided, and he can no longer run from his feelings. He accompanies Jessie to The Max, where they meet Zack, Kelly and Lisa to remember Screech. Veteran owner Max introduces the gang to the newest item on the menu: Screech’s spaghetti burger, a nod to Screech’s spaghetti sauce from the OG Saved by the bell — brought to the table by none other than Kevin. Slater takes a bite, then gives his two cents: “It’s a little weird, but great,” he says, to which Lisa responds, “A bit like Screech!” What follows is a walk through memory as the Bayside friends reminisce about their wayward friend.
Bag: Do you remember the time he was struck by lightning and had a psychic for a week?
jessie: And then you used his powers to cheat on a midterm?
Bag: Yes! Why didn’t we go to Vegas for example? Or… stop the Gulf War?
Lisa: Hey, you know, I was still mad that little dweeb beat me when I became Miss Bayside.
Kelly: Yes, me too!
jessie: He was so funny.
As the gang rattles their burgers in Screech’s honor, a montage of classic Screech clips begins, set to the tune of Mr. Belding singing ‘Miss Bayside’. At no point does the episode say the words “Screech died”, and we’re not going to find out either how Scream died. But his passing is clearly implied.
Executive producer Tracey Wigfield told our sister site earlier Variety that “it would have been wrong not to acknowledge” [Diamond’s death] in a real way and not to make our OG characters mourn this character that we will never see again.” Asked how important it was to get the tone only right, fellow EP Franco Bario — who joined the . has been SBTB franchise since inception as Disney Channel’s Good morning, Miss Bliss – told TVLine: “It was important to all of us – obviously the OG cast and myself, but it was important to Tracey – that this was tasteful and that it made sense…. I think we all feel good about it had.”
On how Kevin the Robot was still functional after all these years, Bario added: “Kevin does say he did some work. He did a bit of work!”