THE PASSAGE Is More Enjoyable If Viewed As Sequel To Saved By the Bell

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Brad Wolgast/Zack Morris talks to Amy Belafonte in Fox's The Passage

Fox recently premiered the first episode of its adaptation of The Passage book series by Justin Cronin. Reviews of the premiere have been very middle of the road, pointing to good chemistry between stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Saniyya Sidney. However, while watching the show, I’ve discovered how to increase your enjoyment of it by AT LEAST a few percentage points. What if it takes place in an alternate reality where after deciding to stay with ROTC (in the show, called the California Cadet Corps), Zack Morris is recruited into a secret Military Black Ops group after graduating High School?

Zack in his California Cadets uniform in Saved By the Bell, Season 2, Epsiode 2
Zack is a good little soldier

Think about it. The second episode of Season 2, ‘Zack’s War’, is the only episode in which the California Cadets program is ever mentioned, it is never seen or heard from again. The only reason for this must be the show’s structure, where almost every episode was basically stand-alone and very little if anything ever stuck around from one episode to the next; I believe Lieutenant Chet Adams realized how intelligent, manipulative, and persuasive Zack was. The Lt. knew how much of an asset Zack could be for special ops and continued working with him over the next few years to hone his skills.

Zack and Friends in Good Morning Miss Bliss
Why didn’t Miss Bliss go to Southern California? Is she even still alive?

We already know that Zack was good at keeping secrets. What was it that occurred between Good Morning, Miss Bliss and Saved by the Bell that forced himself, Screech, Lisa, and Mr. Belding to pick up and move from Indianapolis to Southern California? Did it have something to do with when they bought Potatoes on margin using the class’s money (GMMB Season 1, Episode 3)?

ZAck buys potatoes on margin in Good Morning, Miss Bliss Season 1, Episode 3
Zack convinces his friends and a few other classmates to illegally use Miss Bliss’s account to buy potatoes on margin

Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that Zack can stop time. . . maybe he’s related to Evie from Out of This World? Will this or another power appear on the show?

Out of This World
Evie stops time by touching the tips of her fingers
Zack stops time to avoid a fight in Saved By The Bell Season 3, Episode 18
Zack is able to stop time by forming the time-out signal

Whatever the case is, Zack must have been at the center of some sort of government conspiracy/cover-up that forced all of them to just pick up and disappear. . . though I do find it weird that they didn’t have to change their names. . .

I mean, when you really think about it, weird stuff happened around Zack ALL THE TIME.

Saved By The Bell Episode 25
Why do we never see Frank and Laura again?

That homeless girl and her father that his family took in (Season 3 Episodes 24 + 25)? Gone, never heard from again. All of his girlfriends outside of Kelly (multiple episodes)? Disappeared. Did anyone else find it strange that he was the ONLY person to have a cell phone?

What is the real reason Zack has that phone?

He knows how to build subliminal messages into recordings (Season 1, Episode 14). Why did he and his friends REALLY get a job at that beach resort (Season 3, Episodes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12) . . . Was it actually a beach resort or was it really a secret training facility? He scored a 1502 on his SATs (Season 3, Episode 17). Zack is a smart guy.

Zack Morris scored a 1502 on the SATs without even trying.

If you consider all of this and then just accept that he was forced to change his name when he joined the secret organization, it really doesn’t seem that far fetched. So, If you haven’t watched The Passage on Fox yet or if you think you want to give it a 2nd chance, try imagining it as a sequel to Saved By the Bell and let us know if that makes a difference for you. . . as a bonus, you could even argue that Amy Bellafonte (Saniyya Sidney) is actually Lisa Turtle’s daughter and Zack hasn’t found that out yet.

Is Amy Belafonte really Lisa Turtle's daughter in Fox's The Passage?
Is Amy really Lisa Turtles daughter? What happened to Lisa after Bayside?