How Peacock's 'Saved by the Bell' Addressed Dustin Diamond's Death on Season 2 Premiere
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(Warning: This post contains mild spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell.”)
The “Saved by the Bell” revival paid tribute to Dustin Diamond’s Screech in its Season 2 premiere Wednesday by having his friends gather together at their old hang The Max to reminisce about the zany character.
Diamond, who passed away in February of cancer at the age of 44, never actually appeared on Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell,” but his character Screech was referred to in Season 1 asliving on the International Space Station with a robot sidekick named Kevin.
The revival’s creative team decided to address Diamond’s real-life death through an in-universe story line on the Season 2 premiere that sees Screech’s friends say goodbye to Zack Morris’s (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) nerdy BFF without ever actually revealing what happened to Screech, though his death is alluded to.
At the start of the episode, Zack and A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) are talking about how the pandemic has affected their lives over the last year, and Zack mentions “worse things” that have happened than him losing the California gubernatorial election. The scene gets tense, and Zack asks Slater if he’ll be coming to meet the gang at The Max for something and Slater seems not thrilled with the idea.
Later, Slater goes to see Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley Lauren), who is counseling the new Bayside High students about their post-pandemic trauma and Slater thinks that “pumping the pain away” is a better idea and again shrugs off the idea of joining his friends at The Max for some unknown gathering.
It’s not until he hears Mac and Daisy talking about all they have lost and dealt with during the pandemic and wanting their friends to help them get through it that he realizes he’s ready to go to The Max. “You were right, the only way through hard things is together,” Slater tells Jessie.
So Slater, Jessie, Zack, Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen) and Lisa (Lark Voorhies) meet up at The Max to be served Max’s (Ed Alonzo) newest addition to the menu, Screech’s Spaghetti Burger, which is brought over to them by Screech’s robot Kevin.
“It’s a little weird, but great,” Slater says.
“Kind of like Screech,” Lisa adds.
The group then talks about their favorite moments with Screech throughout the years, calling back to iconic episodes of the original “Saved by the Bell.”
The episode ends with a montage of clips of Diamond’s Screech, who appeared on all four seasons of the NBC comedy alongside Gosselaar, Voorhies, Dennis Haskins, Thiessen, Berkley and Lopez.
“Saved by the Bell” Season 2 is streaming now on Peacock.
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