Continuing my examination of what happened to the characters of Saved by the Bell once the lights turned off.
Kelly Kapowski, the uncontested sex bomb of Bayside, sat at Zack Morris's right hand as his inamorata and object of his lust, sexual deviance, and jealous rage. While many people assumed Kelly to be little more than an object to be won in Zack and Slater's hormonal feuding, in reality she pulled their strings and played their affections against them with Machiavellian deftness. Behind her innocent, girl-next-door visage was a brutal, conniving mind. She was the Cersei Lannister of Southern California.
Kelly initially had little interest in or use for Zack Morris, who as a scrawny Freshman had yet to assert himself in the hierarchy of students. She coolly directed his frustrations toward new student A.C. Slater, implying the winner of their duel would win mating rights like some kind of bighorn sheep. In truth she simply hoped to distract the two boys as they vowed to destroy each other so she could focus on taking her rightful place as Queen of Bayside. The patriarchal structure confounded her, though, and she didn't have the power to overthrow such an entrenched social construct.
Eventually Slater conceded that Zack had "won" her, and as much as she hated the fact that these pathetic man-children considered her little more than a prize to be had, she recognized that in his lustful plotting, Zack had accrued a significant cache of popularity in the school. And at Bayside, popularity equaled power.
She gave herself to Zack, giving him the impression that he was her "first" and it was "special." In truth, she'd had to fight back laughter at his pathetic sniveling, his fumbling romantic speech, and his inevitable premature ejaculation. For Kelly, sex was a transaction. A simple exchange of bodily fluids cementing a bond between two individuals or, in the case of Zack Morris, cementing his permanent infatuation and emotional enslavement to her whims.
Life was good as the "Hot Chick" of Bayside. She took her paramours - men, women, sometimes both depending on her mood - but the emotional connection her partners would babble on about eluded her. She could fake the feelings, certainly, she had always been good at that. But so many times they would look up into her eyes so enamored, like children, and tell her how beautiful she was or how wonderful she made them feel or how much their life had changed based on this experience. She would smile, sometimes if she was feeling especially generous she would parrot their words back to them, just to see their eyes light up and their smile widen. In truth, she wanted only to grab the back of their heads and press them back down into her loins to finish bringing her to orgasm.
To taste Kelly Kapowski was something every boy (and some girls) at Bayside dreamed of. It was spoken of in hushed tones, with almost a religious reverence. Some were foolish enough to say they had done just that, but they were doubted by all: surely a woman as perfect and virtuous as Kelly Kapowski would never deign to touch a plebeian fool like Ox, after all. Zack saw to eliminating the rest of those who spoke out with his jealous schemes to maintain his dominance as alpha male.
Maintaining her status among the elite was hard work, but Kelly was up to the task. There were times when Zack would grow too confident, and she would have to bring him down to earth with a break-up or brush-off. Her very public dalliance with actor Jeffrey Hunter served to humiliate Zack into acquiescing quite well. After high school, though, Kelly soon found the intricate webs of intrigue she had spent so long building carried little weight when scaled up to the much larger campus of California University.
Bewildered, she clung to Zack and quickly took two women - Leslie Burke and Alex Taber - into her harem. The two were perfectly comfortable with sexually servicing Kelly and one another, but viewed the whole arrangement as one born more out of convenience than any sort of loyalty or deference to her social status. They would routinely seek out dates and boyfriends of their own without so much as seeking Kelly's approval; she maintained her calm visage and did not allow them to see how this enraged her.
Kelly found the larger social structure of college life difficult to navigate and her cool, calm exterior cracked. She made a desperate play for power in seducing her Anthropology professor, Jeremiah Lasky, however Zack put up a shameful if not predictable display of whining and tantrum-throwing. Lasky, to his credit, had no time or interest in such melodrama and quickly exited Kelly's life forever.
It was in those dark months as she picked up the pieces of her shattered glory that Kelly realized her hubris had done her in. She had worked so mightily to achieve superiority at Bayside that she had left no room for anything else in her life, and that life now stretched before her: an open and desolate expanse devoid of possibility. She weighed her options before deciding that if she could not rule the world, she could certainly rule Bayside. She agreed to marry Zack (in Las Vegas of all places, the dolt was nothing if not predictable) and settle down back in Bayside to perhaps start a real estate office or bar.
It didn't take long, though, for Kelly to notice Zack's eye had wandered. Suddenly having her firmly in his grasp seemed to take some of the luster away, and she noticed him ogling young girls, older women, and just about everything in between. She was incensed. After all she'd done for this idiot! She couldn't tolerate such a slight; if she allowed this to pass it would only be the beginning of the end. She began frequenting bars, occasionally dabbling in drunken trysts with whoever was willing to ply her with drinks. Word eventually made its way to Zack, who erupted. She pushed him, and talked of how he had never satisfied her sexually and how their entire life together had been one big unfulfilling lie. Zack became unhinged, and in his rage struck her. Only once.
Her plan had worked. Horrified at his loss of control and at the sudden loss of the one instance of moral superiority he felt over Slater, he fell immediately to his knees and tearfully begged for forgiveness. She was in no mood. She had all she needed from Zack; it was time to cut bait and move on. She left the house and never returned. Two weeks later Zack was served with divorce papers. She took him for everything he had, including the sizable inheritance his father had left him. He acquiesced to her every demand in the vain hope of some reconciliation but she stonewalled him at every turn. When it was all said and done he was paying her a monthly stipend of $4,000 just to pay for the house he wasn't allowed within 1000 yards of.
Kelly contemplated her next move, but the ugly divorce had made its way into the town gossip. She had lost control over the rumors swirling around her and Zack, and was marked as damaged goods. She had no trouble attracting attention at the bars, but no one with any real power would be seen with her. In a last-ditch bid she courted her own principal, Richard Belding. He was kindly, and flummoxed by how direct she could be, but ultimately he was too noble for his own good and couldn't be lured.
Upon leaving lunch with him she was confronted by Zack, who accused her of fucking Belding. She simply smiled, told him it was none of his business, and walked away. She had no idea what she had set into motion. For that matter, no one to this day has any idea what happened after that. That night a 911 call was made from Kapowski's home, but the operator was unable to reach anyone on the line. Faint, indiscernible voices could be heard in the background arguing briefly before a male voice is clearly heard saying, "just like old times." The phone then went dead.
Three days later Kelly Kapowski-Morris was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the base of her skull. Her body was under a Highway 101 overpass. Her wallet was still on her person, and there were no signs of struggle.