Political unrest and cynicism permeates this sharp criticism of industrialist capitalism. More than anything else, the students (the workers) of Bayside dream of escape from their dreary lives. When one idyllic dreamer (Zack Morris) hears on the government sponsored radio of a chance to escape to the famed Utopian world of Ha-wa-ii, he desperately plots to win the contest. Mr. Belding (the Ogliarchical Manager), realizing that escape would undermine his entire social system and bring his already teetering empire to collapse, imprisons not only Zack but all of Zack's known associates (deemed "co-conspirators" by this corrupt court of one).
Zack's frequent attempts at escape symbolize the power of hope and the resiliancy of the human spirit against seemingly impossible odds. But in a profoundly pessimistic and cynical twist, Zack ends up coming within inches of success, failing to answer the one question which will lead to his freedom (a question concerning a Bonsai Tree, which we'll remember, Mr. Belding has symbolically reduced to a stump earlier in the narrative). When the contest's prize ends up in the hands of Mr Belding himself, the viewer realizes that escape for Zack was always impossible, for it was attempted through the very system the Managerial class controls.
Was the government-sponsored "contest" just a sham, put in place to keep the working class dreaming of a brighter future that will never come? Or was it specifically engineered to root out dissidents such as Zack, to crush them under the iron heel of the system before they can create any real discontent? The answer is deliberately left ambiguous, but, as Mr. Belding takes Zack back to prison, the ultimate message is crushing, desolate, and profound.
Also, Screech is Christ maybe.
Upon finding Slater sprawled out on the stairs, feigning injury:
Ox: Oh no! Belding hit him!
Most Implausible Moment
Yet again, Screech dresses up like Zack in order to fake out a stranger.
Hey Screech: DJ Rappin' Ken Kelly HAS NO IDEA WHAT ZACK LOOKS LIKE!
Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "Bonsai" a Japanese practice? And isn't Hawaii not Japan?
Screech on the Ancient Art of Bonsai
Screech: "Too much foliage on the left-hand side symbolizes flabby emotions - it means you're a namby-pamby!
Screech: "Thin is in - it's bonsai, not Sumo Wrestling!"
"Those Nerds and Their Orthodonture" Watch
Nerd: "Excuse me please - I have to call my Orthodontist."