Zach Slater is presumed dead following the explosion of his plane just off the California coast on November 18, 2010. His loved ones are in mourning, but did he really die in the explosion? Or did Zach fake his death?
Soap fans know that on their shows, “dead” doesn’t necessarily mean dead. In fact, even when we see a character die before our very eyes, looks can be deceiving, and it isn’t always permanent. The writers like to give themselves the option of bringing the character back later, whether played by the original actor or a recast. With that in mind, here are the top ten signs that All My Children‘s Zach Slater probably faked his death.
1. Zach’s body was never found. His plane exploded in mid-air, and the wreckage was scattered all over the ground, but no sign of Zach was ever recovered.
2. We didn’t see Zach on the plane. He called and said that’s where he was, but we don’t actually know that. If there was airplane noise in the background, he could have been on another plane. Even if he was where he claimed to be, he could have parachuted out before the explosion.
3. Zach has a history of faking his death. When he was eighteen, he managed to fake his death and assume a new identity to get away from his controlling father, and he got away with it for many years. He’s not averse to doing it again if necessary, and he’s likely learned a great deal over the years since being young Alex Cambias.
4. Zach has the means to fake his death. He’s rich, so even after Kendall and the boys get their inheritances, he probably has enough money put aside in other accounts to last as long as necessary.
5. Zach told Kendall that someone was threatening her and the boys, and this threat was the reason he stayed away for a while after she returned to Pine Valley. We know that someone was following them after his return. Zach eventually said that his casino partners were stealing from him.
6. The threat was resolved too quickly and easily. Suddenly, Zach told Kendall that it was all taken care of and that he was no longer in the casino business. Unless the writers decided to drop the threat storyline, this is a sure sign that Zach faked his death.
7. Zach’s last scenes with the boys seemed to be a permanent good-bye. This went beyond actor Thorsten Kaye’s final scenes with the boys portraying his sons. The character, Zach, seemed to know that he would never see them again.
8. Zach has a hero complex. By “dying” on his way to help Greenlee, he went out a hero. He’s also a hero to Kendall and the boys, since his “death” kept them safe.
9. Zach didn’t want to force Kendall to choose between him and Pine Valley again. Even if she had agreed to go away with him permanently, something more “important” would always come along, and she would have felt compelled to return. Her lack of self-control would endanger their entire family.
10. When Kendall wanted to delay the sale of the yacht until after the holidays so that they could spend one last night on it, Zach told her not to do that. It’s possible that he needed the sale to go through as planned because he was to be the “new” owner and he planned to sail away under a new identity after faking his death.
The character of Zach Slater was killed off because the production of All My Children moved to the west coast, and actor Thorsten Kaye didn’t want to relocate. Since Zach’s body wasn’t recovered, a recast is a distinct possibility. If so, it will probably happen just as Kendall moves on to her next lover.
Thorsten Kaye’s six-year run as Zach comes to an end, Soap Central
AMC Transcript Monday 11/15/10, TV MegaSite
AMC Transcript Thursday 11/18/10, TV MegaSite