I have been a huge fan of Saved by the Bell since it debuted during my early teenage years. I followed it from “Good Morning Miss Bliss” into “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” however I stopped at The New Class. Even I have my limits. Maybe it’s my recent obsession with True Detective, but I started thinking about a few aspects of Saved by the Bell that didn’t quite add up. Obviously it’s just a television show for a younger audience so writers will take their liberty with continuity and plausibility, but I would like to present to you a theory that may seem ridiculous at first, however I implore you to let me present my case in full and then you can decide whatever you choose.
I believe that Zack Morris died in 1988.
It may sound ridiculous, but there are signs all over the place if you know what to look for. I believe that Zack was in some sort of accident that tragically killed him and as a result he is in an afterlife that is paradise according to his young mind. As an 8th grader his only dream is to be the coolest guy in high school since he hasn’t yet matured enough to worry about more adult life matters. Let’s take a look at some of the evidence:
As soon as the credits begin for Saved by the Bell, there is a hint to Zack’s death. Here is a screenshot from the opening graphics:
It may seem like just a bunch of random shapes, but note the spiral on the right side. Does it look familiar? If you’ve been watching True Detective it should. Remember this:
That’s the body of Dora Lange whose body was discovered at the beginning of True Detective with all sorts of spiritual symbols at the crime scene. Most notably, the spiral on her back. If you compare the two images, the symbols are exactly the same. What does the spiral represent? According to About.com’s Religion Section the spiral is a symbol of change. “Life cycles and cycles of the natural world create change. The old dies away so the new can come forth.” It’s interesting that a “random” symbol would appear as soon as Saved by the Bell would begin.
During season one, which was technically “Good Morning Miss Bliss”, the events take place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Suddenly, without an explanation or any mention at all, Zack, Lisa, and Screech are relocated to Palisades, California. There is no mention of it and in later episodes there are even references to Zack growing up with Jessie, which would be impossible since they grew up on opposite sides of the country. Remember during the “Jessie’s Song” episode when Zack comforted Jessie by telling her not to be scared. He said it was just like when they were kids and decided to sneak out to watch E.T. together. How would this have been possible? It’s not. Zack considered sunny California to be the greatest place in the world, so when he died he created Bayside High as his afterlife.
Even the names of his schools carry a meaning to them. In Indiana he attended John F. Kennedy Junior High School. How fitting that he was in a school named after a man who was taken abruptly at a young age. Bayside also has a deeper meaning. “Bay” is defined as “a crown or wreath made especially of the leaves and branches of the laurel and given as a sign of honor or victory.” He is now on the other side of the crown. Again, the concept of the dead or a life transition being symbolized by a crown has also been depicted in True Detective:
The one constant throughout Zack’s story has been Screech. They were friends in junior high and somehow continued to be inseparable even through high school. Why would you continue to be best friends with someone that constantly ruined your plans and was a strain on all of your relationships? Screech was the most vivid friendship throughout Zack’s life, so he is unable to project a life without him. He knows that he is in a different social class than Screech, but it’s almost like his constant from Lost. This is the one thing that keeps him from losing himself and from his mind turning everything into chaos. He has become completely dependent on Screech in a way.
Oddly enough, the word screech carries with it a meaning that some may be unfamiliar with. Screech is also a type of dark rum. In the same way Zack is relying on Screech to stay grounded and basically survive, Cohle has also become reliant on alcohol to perpetuate his image and give off the persona he wants others to see. Two different interpretations of the word “screech” but with quite similar results.
People And Activities Constantly Come And Go
Consider for a moment the amount of students at Bayside. You could probably list every student you’ve ever seen and not count past 50. Think about the love interests that have shown up in Zack’s life and seem like serious relationships only to disappear after a single episode and never mentioned again. How many clubs was Zack a vital part of or the number of teams that he lead? He was the star of the basketball team in one episode, yet we never hear about it again.
How is that possible? Because these things don’t exist.
His mind is going through his wildest dreams and once they’ve been accomplished, it’s on to another dream. He creates girls that have no real depth because he doesn’t really understand the depths of a female mind. Look at how one dimensional each of his dates have been. Ginger was a basic airhead. Nicki was Kelly’s sister, which was in a moment when he wanted a different variation of Kelly. Melissa was in a wheelchair. Stacy was the forbidden relationship with the boss’ daughter. Danielle was an older, college girl. It was simply his mind cycling through what he thought would be a fun love interest.
VIEWS ON DRUGS
One of the biggest piece of evidence is if you look at what Zack considers hard drugs. Jessie starts taking caffeine pills and it’s treated as though she’s addicted to heroin. In the “No Hope With Dope” episode, Johnny Dakota, an alleged action star that is supposed to be so world renowned yet he walks around the halls of Bayside alone without being bothered by fans, decides to smoke marijuana and Zack treats it as though crystal meth is being offered to him. When Zack tells Johnny he won’t do the commercial, Mr. Belding suddenly remembers he knows the head of NBC. It doesn’t make sense until you realize it’s all being projected from the mind of a child.
Controlling Space And Time
The strongest piece of evidence comes in the fact that Zack Morris can literally control time. When things have gotten out of control or Zack feels as if he can’t dictate what will happen next, he simply calls time out and either alters reality or takes a moment to determine what would be the best course of action. This is clear proof that everything we see is what Zack wants us to see. He is calling the shots and, unless things have gotten out of hand, he knows what will happen next. How many times have these events occurred to him? Is he reliving these events over and over? It would make sense because after all, “time is a flat circle.”