June 18, 2011
BH90210 1.8, The 17-Year Itch: A Family Affair
Summary: Cindy’s sad that she and Jim will be celebrating their 17th anniversary away from home, though he notes that Beverly Hills is their home now. Cindy also isn’t happy about how much Jim’s been working. Brenda has sensed her parents’ tension and reminds Brandon that they never used to be this cranky. David considers trying out to become the new school DJ (why do they have a DJ anyway?) and Steve tells him they’ll be competing against each other. A teacher invites Brandon and Brenda to participate in a paid twin study. Brandon teases that he’d like to do one where Brenda gets sent far away.
Out at a nursery, Anna notices someone taking pictures of her and Cindy. The photographer is Glen, a former boyfriend of Cindy’s who’s also living in California. She invites him to dinner at the house, where he tells the family stories of his travels (he takes photos for National Geographic). Glen reveals to Brandon and Brenda that he was the one who introduced Jim and Cindy. He’s surprised that Jim wound up as an accountant since he had potential when they were working at a magazine together. Glen tells Brandon and Brenda that he’d like to photograph them.
Brenda tells Brandon that she thinks Glen has the hots for Cindy. Brandon, ever clueless, thinks she’s nuts. Cindy and Glen stay up late talking, and when Jim wakes up alone in the middle of the night, he finds them still chatting. Glen tells Cindy he’s going to show her his L.A. Brenda and Brandon head to a college for the twin study, discussing their parents’ relationship and how different they are. Brenda also saw Cindy and Glen up in the middle of the night.
Glen takes Cindy around L.A., then takes some photos of her. He also remarks on the differences between Cindy and Jim. Brandon and Brenda prove not to have any psychic abilities (shocking, I know). Glen invites Cindy to an opening the next day. At home, she raves about Glen to Jim, who’s not as impressed with the guy. Brenda invites Kelly to Glen’s opening, telling Kelly that she thinks he wants to have an affair with Cindy. She’s concerned that Cindy’s been acting like a teenager.
Brandon tells Cindy that according to the twin study, Brenda’s good at “quantitative analysis.” Brenda replies that Brandon’s good at English. Jim has to work late and can’t make the opening, but Cindy’s not exactly broken up about it. Brenda’s concerned about what this might mean. Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, and Donna attend the opening with Cindy, who goes off alone with Glen. He tells her she’s more successful than he is because she has a family and stability. He adds that she’s the one who got away. They make out, but afterward, Cindy doesn’t feel good about it.
Back at home, Brenda asks Kelly for signs of impending divorce. Two of them are a mother who acts younger and a father who works late. Kelly tells Brenda that if Jim and Cindy split up, she’ll be a leftover. Jim comes home and tells Cindy that in a couple of weeks things will be easier at work. She notes that he’s been saying that for ages and she doesn’t think he really wants to spend time with her. She’s also angry that he hasn’t asked how her day went. Cindy overhears Kelly telling Brenda that another divorce warning sign is lack of sex.
The woman running the twin study tries to get Brandon and Brenda to tell her about their home life. Brenda thinks something’s really wrong, while Brandon thinks it’s no big deal. She wants to get her parents back on the right track, but Brandon thinks they need to stay out of it. He thinks she’s like Cindy and she thinks he’s like Jim. Brenda’s really worried about their parents not working things out. Brandon assures her that no matter what happens to the family, the two of them will stay close.
Glen keeps calling Cindy, who won’t return his calls. Brenda and Brandon try to come up with Parent Trap-ish ideas to rekindle their parents’ romance. They wind up making them dinner, but Jim and Cindy don’t really enjoy their time alone together. Cindy admits to feeling lonely and tells Jim to slow down at work. She thinks he’s hiding behind his work. Jim says that since he brought the family out to Beverly Hills, he doesn’t want to let them down. He adds that Cindy hasn’t been home much lately either.
With dinner over early, Cindy goes to Glen’s and tells him that she hasn’t been acting like herself. He gives her the photos he took of her, which he thinks really show who she is. He announces that he’s falling in love with her, noting that they’re having an emotional affair. He wants to have sex. Brenda and Brandon arrive for their photo shoot with Glen and see Cindy running out. They’re sure that this means Cindy and Glen are having an affair and their parents’ marriage is over.
The next morning Jim rereads a piece he wrote on “The Road Not Taken” for the literary journal back in college. Cindy remembers what things were like between them back then. Brenda starts to confront Cindy about her supposed affair, but instead throws her some veiled barbs. Brandon tells her there’s nothing left they can do to help their parents. Before leaving for the day, Jim tells Cindy that he really loves her.
Jim heads to Glen’s and says that he settled down quickly once he found Cindy and they had children. Glen remarks that he took the risks Jim didn’t. Jim confronts Glen for trying to make the family like him, telling him to grow up and get his own family. Donna gives a disastrous audition for school DJ, followed by one from Steve, who freezes up when he realizes people are watching him. David jumps in to take over, and though he’s incredibly dorky and white bread, his DJing is obviously well-liked by the other students.
Brandon and Brenda’s teacher tells them that the person running the study got a lot of good information from them. She urges them to appreciate each other’s strengths and continue to consider their family as important as they do. Cindy and Glen meet up and she tells him their emotional affair made her feel special. She likes Glen, but she loves Jim. He tells her that his conscience helped him see the light.
Brenda and Brandon see Glen leaving their house and decide to confront him. He tells them their family works well together. Jim comes home from work way earlier than usual and takes Cindy away for the night to celebrate their anniversary. She tries to tell him that something happened, but he just needs to know that she loves him. Brenda finds that one moment more romantic than any movie or play she’s seen.
Thoughts: This is the first time I’ve actually liked Jim. Points to him for manning up and giving Glen a much-needed smackdown.
Cindy, please don’t tell people that your children are like an old married couple. It’s gross.
Cindy and Glen dated in college but never had sex? Really?
Donna, Scott, and Steve really served no purpose in the early stages of the series, huh?