The Saved by the Bell revival recreated the original's most iconic episode
The new series, whose freshman season is currently available to stream on Peacock, revisits the exciting and scary moment Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley Lauren) became addicted to the stimulants in the classic episode "Jessie's Song." Only now, Dr. Spano is a counselor at Bayside High and she stops a new generation of students from making the same mistakes she did as a teen.
The scene in the revival's fifth episode titled "Rent-a-Mom," sees Zack and Kelly's son Mac Morris (Mitchell Hoog) try to help his overachiever buddy, Daisy Jimenez (Haskiri Velazquez), who is struggling to balance her schoolwork and helping her mom out at home, by offering her pills. Dr. Spano sees the bottle and instantly flashes back to her terrible experience with them as a teen and knocks them out of Mac's hand.
Berkley Lauren helped guide Velazquez throughout that scene with behind-the-scenes stories from 30 years ago.
"I remember when Elizabeth and I filmed that scene, she asked if I knew where it originated from. And I said, 'Of course! It's from the caffeine pills episode," Velazquez tells EW. "She was really excited that I was familiar with it and she began to break it down for me and also give me some behind-the-scenes insight into how it was shot."
Velazquez used Berkley Lauren's wisdom as acting inspiration — and for a little bit of fangirling. "When we finally shot the scene, I kept trying to imagine it being her instead of me and how she felt all those years ago," Velazquez says. "It was that moment where she smacked the pills out of Mac's hands that I felt like I was really working with Jessie Spano! Jessie becomes a mentor to my character Daisy and that specific situation was the catalyst behind that. She really showed Daisy she had her back by knocking those pills out of Mac's hand. And it's a good thing too because Daisy is so innocent she would've taken them because of her strong desire to be a good student and get all her work done. But Jessie came to the rescue!"
“To see a character be vulnerable with her best friend who she felt safe with is what I remember the most," she says. "Mark-Paul and I, by that point in the shooting, had a real solid foundation. We were very close. It was something very unique to be able to look at him and know that I trusted him wherever we were going to go emotionally.”