The ‘Saved By The Bell’ Season 2 Premiere Paid Tribute To The Late Dustin Diamond

Nearly every main cast member from the original Saved by the Bell returned for Peacock’s surprisingly good revival, minus two: Dennis Haskins, who played Principal Belding, and Dustin Diamond. Screech’s absence was explained away by him living on the International Space Station, which sounds ridiculous until you remember he once built a robot named Kevin. Sadly, Diamond died earlier this year, but he got a touching tribute in the season two premiere.

The episode begins with the students and teachers of Bayside High returning to school for the first time since the pandemic started. Slater (Mario Lopez) refuses to attend “the thing at The Max,” or even explain why, until he changes his mind and joins his friends, Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley), Zach (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen), and Lisa (Lark Voorhies). They bond over the new addition to the restaurant’s menu, Screech’s Spaghetti Burger (it’s a fun throwback), and reminisce about their friend.

A transcript, provided by TV Line:

Zack: Do you guys remember the time that he got struck by lightning and was psychic for a week?
Jessie: And then you used his powers to cheat on a midterm?
Zack: Yeah! Why didn’t we go to, like, Vegas? Or… stop the Gulf War?
[Awkward silence]
Lisa: Hey, you know, I was still mad that that little dweeb beat me at becoming Miss Bayside.
Kelly: Yeah, me too!
Jessie: He was so funny.
Slater: Yeah…
Zack: To Screech!

Although it is never revealed how Screech died (or even if he did in the universe of the show; it’s only heavily implied), his pals remember the old days with a montage of some of his most memorable moments. Executive producer Tracey Wigfield explained that “it would have been wrong to not acknowledge [Diamond’s death] in a real way and to not have our OG characters mourning this character that we’ll never get to see again.”

Saved by the Bell season two is available on Peacock now.

(Via TV Line)