December 31, 2011
Summary: Brenda and Dylan are at his place, making out and lamenting the fact that she has a curfew. Dylan invites her to go to Baja with him, which Brenda is sure will never fly with her parents. He points out that they let him go to his place all the time. They’ll only be gone from Saturday morning through Sunday night. Brenda decides she can risk missing curfew since she’s still in the same state as her parents.
Brenda sneaks in late and gets caught by Jim, who notes that this isn’t the first time she’s missed her curfew. He thinks she’s spending too much time with Dylan. Brenda thinks he’s treating her like a child; she’s 17 and her grades are fine, so there shouldn’t be a problem. Jim replies that sticking to a curfew is one of the few things he asks of her. They agree that Brenda always does the right thing.
At school, David shows Kelly and Donna the diamond earrings he got for Mel and Jackie. He thinks Mel will get his ear pierced. Kelly’s sick of talking about the wedding, and Donna wonders if she’s jealous. Dylan presses Brenda about the Baja trip again. Kelly would rather have Brenda in town to mope with her.
Brenda takes Dylan home for dinner and announces to her parents that they have weekend plans in Mexico. Jim starts to protest, but Cindy pulls him aside and tells him there’s nothing to worry about. They question Dylan over dinner, and Jim eventually relents, to Brandon’s surprise. Jim reminds Brenda that since they’re treating her like an adult, she needs to act like one.
The lovebirds head to a Beverly Hills beach and discover that it’s closed because of bacteria. They encounter Jake Hanson, an old friend of Dylan’s who taught him how to surf. He’s living in “a little place off Melrose.” (Get it? Because they spin him off for Melrose Place? Get it??) Brenda and Dylan head to the Peach Pit, where Dylan calls Brandon “Benedicto Arnoldo” for not supporting their Baja trip. Andrea learns of the trip and tries to turn it into a group thing, to no avail.
Steve examines his invitation to Jackie and Mel’s wedding, complaining to David that he didn’t get a plus one. He’s on Kelly’s side about being anti-wedding. He’s also not sure this marriage will last longer than Jackie’s previous ones. Jake comes by and meets all of Brenda and Dylan’s friends, minus Kelly. He needs a job, so David suggests that he paint the Silver/Taylor house.
Brenda and Dylan watch The Grapes of Wrath and make out at his place, falling asleep. (Wasn’t this an episode of Full House?) They wake up at 4 in the morning and Brenda rushes home, where Jim tells her he can’t trust her, so she can’t go to Mexico. The Taylor/Silver clan hangs out with Donna, looking over invitations. Donna finds it ironic that Mel and Jackie are getting married while hers are splitting up. Kelly gets annoyed and leaves.
Brenda, Kelly, and Donna try on bridesmaid dresses and discuss Jim calling off the Baja trip. Donna suggests that Brenda go to Mexico anyway and tell her parents she’s staying at Kelly’s. Kelly’s reluctant to agree to the plan. Jackie sends her to the house to let Jake in, which just gives Kelly another thing to complain about. Jackie calls her out on her attitude, but it doesn’t get anywhere.
At the Taylor/Silver house, Kelly meets Jake and is instantly attracted to him. He seems interested, too. At the Peach Pit, Brenda tells Dylan about Donna’s proposed plan, saying she doesn’t want to lie. He urges her to tell her parents the truth. Brenda thinks Jim is being sexist because he would never treat Brandon the way he’s treating her. She decides she’ll go to Mexico whether Jim and Cindy like it or not.
Early Saturday morning, Brenda packs and tells Brandon she’s going to Kelly’s for the weekend. He guesses she’s actually going to Baja. Brenda expects him to keep quiet, and he agrees, because he’s Elizabeth Wakefield. Jim and Cindy buy the story about Brenda going to Kelly’s, and Jim even wonders if he was too hard on her, because he’s Ned Wakefield.
Kelly hangs out with Jake while he builds a wedding canopy, telling him she’s surprised her mother isn’t going to try harder to hide her pregnancy at the wedding. She admits that she’s stressed about adding a new stepfather, stepbrother, and baby to her life all at the same time. Jake tells her she’s facing a “world of possibilities.”
Dylan and Brenda head to Mexico, and she tells him she told her parents she was going to Kelly’s. She calls home to check in and Brandon lets her know he’s been covering for her. Brenda and Dylan check into a motel where he knows the owner, and Brenda learns that she’s not the first girl he’s brought there. In fact, the last time he was there, it was not long after he and Brenda had broken up. She’s furious that he didn’t tell her and announces that they’re leaving.
Back in Beverly Hills, Cindy calls Kelly looking for Brenda. Kelly tells her Brenda went out to get some food and will call when she returns. Brenda fights with Dylan, telling him she’s not sure what she wants anymore. Kelly calls to tell Brenda to call home, then chats more with Jake, who is not at all disappointed to learn that she’s single. She invites him to stay for dinner since her mom’s out.
Brenda calls Cindy, then snipes at Dylan some more. They wind up getting separate rooms. Kelly and Jake flirt a little, joking about finding work for him to do that will keep him around longer. He thinks that she’ll soften when the baby arrives. Steve shows up and isn’t happy to see Jake in the house. After he leaves, Jake confirms that he and Kelly are really over, then kisses her.
Dylan and Brenda go to dinner together (since he warned her not to go alone), and he blasts her for being a brat when they’re alone in a romantic setting. They get serenaded with a Spanish version of “Feelings,” which cracks them up and leads them to apologize to each other. Steve goes to the Peach Pit to complain to Brandon that Kelly didn’t even want him in her house tonight. He’s worried that Jake will hurt Kelly, but Brandon notes that Kelly will come to him for comfort afterward. Steve admits what everyone already knows: He’s still in love with Kelly.
When Jackie and Mel get home, they’re surprised to see that Kelly’s actually happy. She hugs Jackie and feels the baby kicking for the first time. Dylan and Brenda spend the night dancing in Mexico, then go surfing in the morning. They get stopped at the border on their way home, but Brenda doesn’t have any ID on her. She’ll need to have a legal guardian bring her birth certificate, which means Jim and Cindy have to be called.
To be continued!
Thoughts: Grant Show sure is pretty.
Doesn’t Dylan have a phone? Can’t Jim just call and bug Brenda when she’s late getting home?
Jackie’s letting Brenda and Donna be bridesmaids? What is this, the Baby-sitters Club?
Dylan and Brenda have better chemistry when they’re mad at each other.
Hey, Jake, maybe you should find out how old girls are before you make out with them.
Summary: Spooky stuff is happening to the BSC girls. First, Kristy and Abby see someone apparently breaking into the house next to the Rodowskys’. The police (including Sgt. Johnson) are called in, but the house’s owner doesn’t think anything was stolen. Then some of the girls get notes and phone calls saying, “You’re next.” Mary Anne sees a possible stalker outside her house, Kristy gets a rock through her window, someone starts a fire in the trash cans outside Claudia’s house, and Stacey almost gets run down by a car.
The girls are pretty sure this isn’t just some prank Cokie’s playing, but telling an adult or calling the police again would be foolish, so of course they don’t do that. At the library, Abby finds a copy of the article about the girls thwarting the pet-napping ring in the trash, and the girls see that the photo that ran with the article is of Claudia, Stacey, Kristy, Mary Anne, and Dawn. With the exception of Dawn, these are the only girls who have gotten threats.
There’s really only one lead: Stacey remembers seeing a sticker on the bumper of the car that almost ran her down. The girls figure out that it’s from the Stoneybrook Business Bureau, but from the previous year, not the current one. They get a list of members of the bureau for both years but don’t get a chance to do much with it. They decide to keep an eye on the house where the possible break-in took place.
Meanwhile, Kristy’s family is taking a weekend ski trip at Shadow Lake, and she brings Claudia, Stacey, and Abby along. They think they’re leaving all the madness behind in Stoneybrook, but they’re wrong. Claudia accidentally winds up on a closed trail (the sign stating it’s closed is hidden), and she and Abby almost get stranded there. Stacey gets stuck on a ski lift. Kristy is almost flattened by a snowblower. All possible accidents, but the girls are suspicious.
Mary Anne is sitting for the Rodowskys when she sees a second break-in at the house next door, this one for real. She calls the police (and Logan), and the story comes out that the son of the house’s owner was stealing stuff to sell. The guy has no connection to the BSC girls’ troubles and even says he wouldn’t mess with kids. So it’s a red herring, but Mary Anne still solves a mystery.
The BSC members still in Stoneybrook gather for a weekend meeting and finally get around to looking at the list of Business Bureau members. Jessi realizes that one of the people who was a member the previous year but not currently is Karl Tate, the head of the dog-napping ring. A call to Sgt. Johnson lets the girls know that Tate is now out of jail. Mary Anne calls the girls at Shadow Lake and tells Stacey that Karl Tate is free, but there’s a blizzard coming, and the phone goes out before Stacey can hear more than his name.
Watson, Mrs. Brewer, and the little kids head into town for supplies while Kristy, Stacey, Claudia, Abby, Sam, and Charlie stay back to ride out the blizzard. A neighbor, Woodie, encourages them to go to the main lodge, but the teens decide to stay put. That is, until their chimney gets blocked and the cabin fills with smoke, forcing them out. They’re already on edge, what with the weirdness going on, and the fact that Stacey has spotted a woman they’ve seen before, Kris, lurking around with a gun. They decide to tell Sam and Charlie what’s going on once they all get to the main lodge with Woodie.
Back in Stoneybrook, Mary Anne, Logan, and Shannon take Shannon’s dog Astrid for a walk. Astrid chases a cat into Tate’s house, so the teens follow her inside to get her. They end up accidentally locking themselves in Tate’s study, where they find the photo from the article, this time with a big X through it. Then Mrs. Tate comes home and tells the teens that he needs to be stopped.
As the girls, Sam, Charlie, and Woodie head to the main lodge, Karl Tate appears and Abby knocks him out with a big chunk of ice. (Nice.) Next, Kris arrives, and the girls learn that she’s an FBI agent tailing him for violating the terms of his parole. (Just go with it.) Kris takes Tate away, and the others continue their trek to the main lodge. Suddenly, Woodie grabs Stacey and threatens to throw her in the freezing lake. He’s Tate’s son, and he’s basically been driven crazy by what a bunch of teenagers did to his father. Kristy thinks fast, throwing a flare at him, and he falls into the lake.
In the post-madness wrap-up, the girls learn that Tate came to stop Woodie, not to hurt them. And Kristy actually gets in some trouble for not telling her parents what was going on. But I doubt anyone will learn a lesson there.
The subplots, both boring and not (mostly boring):
- Claudia thinks Abby is full of herself, since she keeps talking about what a good skier she is. Everyone else knows that Abby’s just a jokester and doesn’t really think she’s better than anyone. Claudia’s cold to Abby until their experience on the closed trail, and after that, they’re fine.
- Mallory’s parents are putting in insulation at home, so she and Jessi have to skip the ski trip to watch her siblings. Mal is really ticked about this and doesn’t hide it well. She mopes around until Jessi tells her to cut it out. Mallory does occupy herself by putting together the club’s mystery notebook.
- Mary Anne is mad at Logan because she’s been getting notes in his handwriting telling her not to cry. Logan’s also acting weird, which she thinks is evidence of his guilt. It turns out he’s also getting notes, seemingly in her handwriting, accusing him of lying. They work things out but never figure out who sent the notes. They figure it was probably Cokie.
- Kristy is worried about Watson, thinking he’s doing too much since his heart attack. She keeps trying to do things for him so he’ll take it easy, finally telling him straight out that she’s worried. He assures her that his doctor said he’s doing really well and can even start exercising regularly. Kristy admits that she doesn’t want Watson to leave like her father did. It’s actually very sweet.
- Kristy tells Stacey that Sam and his girlfriend have broken up, so Stacey’s worried that he’ll pursue her even though she’s dating Robert. Sam tells her that he thinks of her as a close friend now, though he doesn’t mind keeping his flirting skills sharp with her.
Thoughts: With the way she eats, I can’t believe Claudia still has Halloween candy in December.
When Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne smell smoke in Claudia’s house, Mary Anne opens the pantry. In case the canned goods have committed arson?
Abby coming up with Agatha Kristy made me giggle.
Jessi cracks the case on Karl Tate, so good for her. Junior officers are good for something after all.
Shannon’s presence in this book, however, is almost completely pointless. She’s only useful because of her dog. Ironic, though, that a pet-napper’s son was partly undone by a dog.
It’s a little funny that Dawn was really the person who sent Tate to jail, but she wasn’t one of Woodie’s targets.
December 30, 2011
Summary: It’s morning at Capeside High, and everyone’s tired and going through the motions until a student yells for everyone to go to the pool. When they arrive, they find a golden retriever on a sailboat that has “class of 2001″ painted on the sail. Everyone’s amused except Principal Peskin – it’s his boat and dog. The dog, Chester, jumps off the boat and goes straight to Jack, making Peskin think the dog knows him.
Later that morning, five students are summoned to the principal’s office, including Dawson, Pacey, and Jack. After some time, those three are narrowed down as the three most likely suspects. Peskin and Mitch interrogate the guys, noting that Dawson has access to Mitch’s school keys, Pacey has access to boat storage, and Chester knew Jack. Peskin wants to know where Jack was the previous morning.
Jack flashes back to visiting Jen to tell her that she’s allowed to fulfill her community service by helping him coach his soccer team. She isn’t game, but Jack convinces her by telling her how much he’s been struggling since Andie left. After Jen agrees to help, Jack heads off to meet Drue at a hardware store.
Peskin next asks Pacey about his activities the day before. They involve making out with Joey outside the police station before spending the day with Doug. Dawson gets the good cop/bad cop treatment next, as Mitch remembers that Dawson left before him. Gail takes Dawson to Mr. Brooks’ and asks him to find Mitch’s keys, which Dawson may have misplaced. Mr. Brooks wants Dawson to do some organizing, but Dawson asks for money since he’d already repaid his boat debt.
At the hardware store, Jack and Drue get paint for a school project and net for a soccer goal. Drue notes that Jack is pretty selfless. Pacey and Doug get donuts (of course) while Dawson works in Mr. Brooks’ study. He finds Mr. Brooks’ high school yearbook and learns that he wanted to be a filmmaker.
Mitch brings up an old pact Dawson and Pacey made in the ninth grade after a particularly lame senior prank. Dawson notes that he and Pacey aren’t friends right now, so he wouldn’t have done anything. He’s not sure about Pacey, though. In flashback, Jack and Jen work with the soccer team, and Jack offers Molly the goalie position. She doesn’t want it. Jen says Molly reminds her of herself as a kid; they’d rather avoid embarrassment than be stars.
Peskin notes that Pacey is the only senior with access to the warehouse where his boat was kept. Pacey agrees to describe all of his actions during the time in question, warning that they won’t be interesting. Indeed, he’s with Doug the whole time, monitoring drivers’ speeds and questioning Doug’s life choices.
In flashback, Gretchen picks Dawson up from Mr. Brooks’; the man tells him to come back in three hours or he’ll forfeit his payment. Between soccer practice and a game, Jack keeps working on getting Molly to agree to play goalie. He convinces her to take the position to get respect from a boy who keeps messing with her. Molly’s totally aware of the manipulation but doesn’t care.
When Gretchen takes Dawson home, Drue’s there waiting for him, wanting to thank Dawson for loaning him money at the movie theater, then eating dinner with him. Drue’s happy to have made a friend in Capeside. He also has Mitch’s keys, which Dawson left in his car. Drue tells Dawson that what goes around comes around, and Dawson says that’s true.
Pacey and Doug look for a lost dog as Pacey mentions again that Doug’s job isn’t exactly wonderful. Doug tells him that if Pacey ever loves anything as much as Doug loves his job, he’ll be surprised. Peskin notes that Pacey was looking for the same dog he’s suspected of taking. He adds that a new detail has come into play: Dawson and Pacey’s pact. Pacey thinks Dawson has implicated him to cover for himself.
Peskin still thinks the person who broke into the school had a key, but Dawson notes that he was witch Mitch all night. After talking to Drue, Dawson returns to Mr. Brooks’ house, but Mr. Brooks fires him for going off with Gretchen. Dawson tells him that just because he’s alone doesn’t mean he can take his loneliness out on Dawson. Mr. Brooks kicks him out.
Jack tells Mitch and Peskin that he spent the previous evening at his soccer team’s first playoff game. In flashback, a bunch of fathers approach him to tell him they disagree with his decision to make Molly goalie. One of the fathers reminds Jack that they kept quiet when his sexuality was revealed. If Molly loses the game for them, Jack loses his job.
Doug makes Pacey ride in the back of his car, supposedly as punishment for not being able to find Chester (or at least that’s what Pacey tells Mitch). He’s actually there so a blind man named Mike can ride up front as Doug takes him grocery shopping. Now Pacey doesn’t see Doug’s job in quite the same light.
Dawson goes back to Mr. Brooks’ house and reveals that he saw that Mr. Brooks wanted to be a filmmaker. He doesn’t want to turn out like Mr. Brooks, and he doesn’t want either of them to be alone. He plans to finish the job he was hired for. Jack’s team wins the game despite Molly failing to block three goals. One of the parents tells Jack that those goals could count against them if they tie their next game. Jack’s being removed as the team’s coach.
Pacey does wind up at the boatyard, but he’s with Doug. They find Drue there, having been sent by his mother to report a missing boat. Doug notes that Drue could have taken the boat. Neither can prove anything, so Drue just leaves. Pacey follows him to get a ride home, telling Doug (who reminds Pacey that he hates Drue) he’s trying to be a better person. Pacey tells Mitch and Peskin that he went straight home and went to bed. They let him go.
Before he leaves, Pacey says that he doesn’t think Dawson was behind the prank. Dawson says the same about Pacey, thinking he wouldn’t want to jeopardize his already tenuous academic standing. Once all the guys are gone, Peskin tells Mitch that he knows who was responsible for the prank. Drue gets called into the office, along with his mother, and Peskin goes through what he thinks happened.
Drue (with Jack) purchased the same kind of paint that was used on the boat sail. He returned Mitch’s keys, possibly after copying one to the school. He was also in the boatyard around the time the boat was taken. He was in three suspicious places at three suspicious times, and had the means, motive, and opportunity to do everything. Mrs. Valentine says she should have known about Drue’s conniving ways after “last year’s ferret incident.”
Mrs. Valentine suggests a week’s suspension as punishment. Peskin ups it to two weeks, plus probation for the rest of the year. He knows Drue’s history and will keep an eye on him. As he cleans out his locker, Drue tells Joey to let his friends know that he admires what they did, and wants her to deliver a message: “Touché.” He admits that karma finally caught up with him.
Pacey stops by the police station to thank Doug for letting him ride along with him the day before. He thinks Doug’s job really is more important than anything Pacey will ever do. He helps people and scares kids out of driving crazy. Doug doesn’t think Pacey’s cut out to be a cop, but calls him a “daring original.” He has a talent for breaking the rules, and Doug admires that. Pacey’s surprised to hear that.
Dawson tells Gretchen that Mr. Brooks has gotten him thinking, and he’s trying to find out if Mr. Brooks became a filmmaker. She suggests some nicknames he might have used and he teases her about them. But he does find an A.I. Brooks who made a number of movies. Molly’s sister brings her by Jack’s house to tell him she’s sorry she got him fired. He tells her he was fired because the fathers don’t like who he is. They both need to ignore people who act like that.
Joey goes over to the Leerys’, where Mitch tells her to tell Dawson that he knows, and congratulations. Joey finds Dawson and Pacey throwing away a bunch of stuff in Dawson’s room. Jack climbs up, sans ladder, and Joey realizes that the three of them worked together on the prank. The guys remind her that they all had alibis and Drue was the obvious culprit. However, Dawson runs down how they could have hypothetically pulled it off.
That night, Pacey and Dawson go to the woods to bury the evidence of their part in the prank. Pacey feels like something is now right that hasn’t been right for a long time. He and Dawson agree that becoming friends again isn’t that simple. Pacey admits that Dawson saying he could never trust him again was one of the worst moments of his life. Dawson replies that his worst moment was seeing Pacey and Joey on his back porch.
Pacey wonders if Dawson will ever be able to trust him again. Dawson says he’d like to believe he will. Pacey replies that he’s not ready to give up on him. “If it doesn’t work out, we can always just kill each other,” Dawson notes. (That might not be the best thing to say to someone when you’re both holding shovels.)
Thoughts: This episode was surprisingly clever, especially for this show. I like the idea of Dawson and Pacey putting their problems aside to bring vengeance to Drue.
Peskin is played by Harry Shearer of The Simpsons and This is Spinal Tap. Interesting casting choice.
“Wait until I’m 17 and hot. He’ll regret messing with me.” Rock on, Molly.
I wish I cared more about the soccer storyline, but alas, I don’t, and nothing can make me.
I wonder if the ferret incident is anything like the noodle incident.
December 29, 2011
Summary: Remember Color Me Badd? Donna, Kelly, Brenda, and David are watching one of their videos at the Peach Pit. Donna’s obsessed with the group and wants to try to win free passes to their concert on the radio. David offers to call the club and ask for comped tickets; he thinks that will work since he’s a DJ. Instead, the girls go to Donna’s house and try to win the tickets. Donna’s mother Felice tells her she’ll be home late because of a meeting, but Donna isn’t paying attention. Felice doesn’t want Donna going to the Sunset Strip that night, but it doesn’t matter since the girls don’t win.
Brandon, Steve, and Dylan are at the Walshes’, bored because it’s raining and they can’t think of anything to do. Steve sees an ad for strippers and is very interested in hiring one. David shows up at Donna’s house with the news that he knows where Color Me Badd is staying (their manager is a friend of Mel’s). The girls decide to go stake out the hotel and try to see the band. They’re not the only people with this idea, as there are a ton of fans there with umbrellas.
When the group arrives in a limo, there’s a bit of a stampede, and the kids try to use it as a cover to sneak into the hotel. However, they can’t get in since they’re not guests there. David is determined to get the girls inside, noting that he was already able to figure out where Color Me Badd was. At the Walshes’, Dylan pretends he’s not interested in seeing the stripper; he’s just staying because Steve and Brandon seem to think he should. Brandon is a little grossed out by the idea of letting a half-dressed woman into his parents’ house.
Andrea arrives rather than the stripper, wanting to brainstorm with Brandon for the newspaper. No one is amused. David returns to the girls with room keys, so now they have to be admitted to the hotel. As the kids head upstairs to a suite, they run into Felice. Donna tells him David and Mel are staying at the hotel while their house is being fumigated. Felice says her charity meeting is at the hotel and they’re on a lunch break. The kids pretend they’re just there to get something of David’s and will leave right after. Felice believes them, but Donna’s suspicious of her mother.
The guys try to cancel the stripper, Brandy, but it’s too late. Then Brandon tries to talk Andrea into going to a museum to get her out of the house. She doesn’t get the hint. Dylan tells Steve to tell Andrea the truth, and Brandon jokes that she’d probably write a series of articles about Brandy. When Brandy arrives, the guys pretend that she’s Cindy’s niece, there to help Brandon with a genealogy report.
Donna’s worried about Felice finding out what she’s really up to, saying Felice will kill her. Kelly notes that she says that a lot and she should just let Felice kill her, then see what happens. David calls Color Me Badd’s manager, but the guy hangs up on him. The kids decide to search the hotel for the group, though Donna’s worried about Felice catching them. After some spying and somewhat casual standing around, the kids find someone traveling with the band and figure out that they’re staying in the penthouse. However, they can’t take the elevator up there since it’s locked.
David and Brenda head for the back stairs while Kelly snags a maid’s key and uses it to get her and Donna up to the penthouse via the elevator. The doors in the staircase are all locked except one, and Brenda and David wind up on the roof in the pouring rain. Meanwhile, Donna sees Felice making out with a guy who definitely isn’t Donna’s father. She’s really upset and tries to call her dad but can’t reach him.
Andrea chats with Brandy, learning that she’s getting her master’s in social work at UCLA and has a five-year-old. Kelly wanders around the penthouse floor, running into a groupie looking to party. The groupie doesn’t get why Kelly and her friends would want to meet Color Me Badd and not hook up with them or something. As they split up, Kelly runs into one of the group members at a soda machine and he offers her a pass to the show. She talks him into giving her four.
David and Brenda make it to the suite, fighting about which of them is dumber. Donna’s ready to leave, but Brenda notes that they’ve already been through a lot, so they might as well keep going. David tells Donna not to give up so easily. Kelly hangs out with Color Me Badd, admitting that she’s not a huge fan, though she does like them. Donna tells David and Brenda again that she wants to leave, then gets a call back from her father. She chickens out on telling him about Felice. Afterward, she tells her friends that Felice is having an affair.
At the Walshes’, Brandy’s still talking, now about the Peace Corps, where she met her husband. He’s writing a book about surfing, so now Dylan’s interested. Andrea decides it’s time for her to go, so the guys are finally alone with Brandy. She starts to do her thing, but the guys see her as kind of a friend now, so they can’t get into it. Jim and Cindy return home just as Brandy’s leaving. “I’m Cindy’s cousin,” she introduces herself. (Ha!) Dylan and Steve run off, leaving Brandon to explain himself to his parents. (He tells them Steve has a cousin named Cindy.)
Brenda and David urge Donna to talk to Felice and find out what’s really going on. Donna’s worried that her whole life will change. David notes that her father might already know; he and Felice might have some sort of “arrangement.” As the kids check out of the hotel, Kelly calls Brenda to tell her she got passes to the concert. Brenda gives her the news about Donna, who she’s taking to the Walshes’. She tells Kelly to go to the concert so she can tell Donna all about it.
Felice finds Donna in the lobby and blasts her for not leaving earlier. Donna reveals that she saw Felice with another man and asks if she’s having an affair. Felice won’t answer the question, but Donna’s clear on the answer. She goes home with Brenda and tells Jim and Cindy what happened. She feels like she doesn’t have a family anymore. Donna admires the Walshes because their family never changes, though Jim tells her that isn’t true.
Felice arrives but Donna refuses to leave with her. She reminds Felice that she was a huge proponent of abstinence while she was having an affair. She cares more about appearances than feelings, and Donna won’t hide her feelings to make herself look okay. While Brenda comforts her, Cindy tells Felice that Donna can stay with the Walshes until things calm down. After Felice leaves, Cindy assures Donna that her mother loves her, and no matter what she does, it has nothing to do with how she feels about Donna.
Cindy continues that marriage and family are difficult. Donna points out that Cindy always keeps things together. Cindy admits the events of “The 17-Year Itch” to her. She assures Donna that parents never stop loving their children, adding that Donna doesn’t want to turn her back on her mother’s love. Later, the other Walshes discuss the situation and how Donna has suddenly changed. Jim thinks the twins can help Donna keep her life simple. Oh, and “Steve’s cousin” left her business card behind.
Donna heads home after all and asks Felice if she still loves Donna’s father. Felice says she does. She feels like she’s asking Donna to grow up quickly now that she knows about the affair. She apologizes for how her actions have hurt her daughter. Donna asks what will happen to their family, and Felice promises that she’ll tell her husband. She assures Donna that whatever happens between them, they still love Donna. Donna begs her to try to work things out in her marriage.
David stops by to see if Donna wants to hang out with him and Brenda at the Peach Pit. Donna wants to stay home, but Felice urges her to go. As they leave, Donna tells David that she’s never known what it’s like to have problems. They meet up with Brenda at the Peach Pit, and Kelly arrives a few minutes later to talk about the concert. She met some guys and brought them along to get some food. Of course, the guys are Color Me Badd. Kelly makes them sing before they can eat, so they give the kids their own private concert.
Thoughts: I’m not that familiar with Color Me Badd (I was more a New Kids on the Block girl), so I have no idea if their fame here is overblown or not. Probably.
David: “Plan B is to think of a plan B.” Heh.
Tori Spelling kind of breaks my heart in this episode (in a good way). She does the sad scenes really well.
Is it bad that I think the stripper’s dress is cute? To be fair, it’s not the kind of dress you would associate with a stripper. And it covers more of her body than you’d think.
If Felice is so concerned with appearances, she should really talk to Donna about the super-short argyle shorts she wears in this episode.
December 28, 2011
Summary: As Jeremy reported at the end of Double-Crossed, Sue is missing. Jeremy takes the twins out looking for her, and we get to confirm what we’ve been suspecting: Jeremy and Sue are scamming everyone to get her inheritance. He’s stashed her in a cabin and is planning to keep her there until everything else gets worked out. Then he takes her necklace and tells the twins he found it in the woods.
The next morning, the Wakefields get a call from the “kidnapper” demanding $500,000 – what a coincidence, that’s the same amount as Sue’s inheritance! Elizabeth is the only one who realizes it. If anyone calls the police, the “kidnapper” will “kill” Sue. Ned calls a friend named Sam (not the dead one) who’s a PI, and he and Alice decide to keep the twins out of school until Sue’s safe.
Sam arrives, and the twins are shocked to learn she’s a woman. There’s, like, three pages here where they talk about it. It’s dumb. Anyway, Jeremy, who is turning into a bigger and bigger jerk as the hours pass, makes another phone call (previously recorded so he can be in the room when the Wakefields get it) demanding $100,000 more because the family called in a detective. He also wants the twins to deliver the money.
And then the book suddenly gets really crazy, and a little awesome. Lila comes by to get Jessica, and Alice acts weird and tells her Jessica’s sick. Lila calls later and Jessica decides it’s okay to tell her what’s going on, despite having just promised her family she wouldn’t say anything. Only Lila can’t really hear her, and she thinks the Wakefields are the ones who are being held hostage. She tells Todd, who’s already suspicious since Elizabeth has been acting weird, and the two spy on the house. They can see the Wakefields inside, looking tense, along with someone in a baseball cap. It’s Jeremy but they don’t recognize him.
Lila and Todd decide to work with Robby to get into the house and overpower the kidnapper. They come up with this convoluted plan to pretend to be from Sweet Valley Power (uniforms and all) and say they need to shut off the electricity. Then Lila will spray the kidnapper with some flame-retardant stuff while the guys help the Wakefields escape. At the same time, Sam, Ned, and Alice come up with their own plan, with Ned getting the money and Sam putting microphones on the twins so she can know what’s going on. And Jeremy has a completely separate plan where he disables Sam’s car, runs the twins off the road, takes the money, and runs away with Sue.
While Lila, Todd, Robby, and Robby’s cousin (who works for the power department) do this whole crazy thing to get the uniforms and a van, Jessica gives Jeremy Steven’s wedding ring, which he has to wear on his pinky because it’s too small. As she’s leaving for the “drop” (yes, they use all the lingo you would find in a crime novel), Jessica decides to take a camcorder with her and record everything. I don’t know why.
Just after the twins and Sam leave, Lila and the others arrive and see Jeremy leaving the house. They tackle him, but when they realize who he is, they let him go. Ned and Alice learn about their wacky plan and have to tell them what’s really going on. Jeremy goes to the cabin, where Sue has decided she’s done with the whole plan, and takes her to the meeting spot. He can’t run the twins off the road anymore, so he just plans to exchange Sue for the money, then go by the house later and pick Sue up so they can run off together. This is the only thing that ends up going as planned.
Back at the Wakefields’, everyone’s relieved that Sue’s safe, even though they weren’t able to catch the “kidnapper.” When she finds out Jessica recorded the whole exchange, she almost chokes on her we’re-glad-you’re-not-dead cake. Sam has everyone watch the recording of the “drop,” but since the “kidnapper” is wearing a mask, no one recognizes him. Jessica, however, recognizes something else: the wedding ring on the man’s pinky.
Thoughts: Jessica makes a good point: She broke up Jeremy and Sue’s wedding, so what would they have done if she hadn’t? Of course, the real question is, why did they do any of this in the first place? If Sue was going to get the inheritance for staying away from Jeremy, why were they together at all? This whole mini-series is overly complicated. Especially for SVH.
Robby’s business class is ending a week into November? I don’t think SVU is on the up-and-up.
Also, why is Robby still around? Why do I have to keep reading about him? Why should I be expected to care about Lila’s love life if Bruce isn’t involved?
There’s an actual funny moment where Lila and Todd plan to go to the Wakefields’, and Lila goes to get Robby first without telling him what’s going on. They spend the drive talking about an argument they had earlier, and when they get to Todd’s house, Robby asks why they’re there. Lila says, “Oh, I almost forgot. The Wakefields have been kidnapped.”
Summary: Joey is stressed out by the college-application process, though her admissions advisor tells her she’s ahead of the game. She just needs a peer recommendation from the person who knows her the best. She’s not looking forward to having to figure out who that is. The advisor tries to help her, and it’s obvious who Joey comes up with.
Pacey brings Andie her homework at home, since she’s not ready to go back to school yet after her experience at the rave. She notes that everyone’s been by to see her, but they’ve all come alone and aren’t speaking to each other. Andie’s upset that everyone’s blaming Jen. Pacey thinks the friendship may have run its course. Dawson finishes painting Mr. Brooks’ house, but Mr. Brooks doesn’t approve of the job he did. Dawson says he doesn’t have the time to do more work since he needs to work on his college applications.
At school, Jack avoids Jen, but Drue wants to bug her about how her friends won’t talk to her. He’s happy since that means he’s the only person left for her to talk to. He reminds her that he’s always been there for her, “not pretending to be and then judging [her] afterwards.” Jen tells him that no matter how many people stop talking to her, she’ll never be friends with Drue. “That which doesn’t kill me makes me more diabolical,” he replies.
Pacey heads home, where Joey’s waiting for him, and Gretchen sends him out to buy groceries. Joey asks Gretchen how she managed to survive the college-application process. Gretchen guesses that she’s avoiding something and gets her to admit that she needs a peer recommendation. Gretchen also guesses that the person who knows Joey the best is Dawson. Joey is nervous about hurting Pacey if she asks Dawson, and vice versa. Gretchen reminds her that the recommendation needs to be from the person who knows her best, not just the person she’s dating.
Mr. McPhee tells Andie that since she has all the credits she needs, she should take the rest of the semester off. He can’t remember the last time he saw her relax and not worry about responsibilities. It was in Florence when they visited her aunt. He wants her to spend the rest of the semester in Italy and take it easy before college.
Jack gets an email from Jen and Andie urges him to respond, saying he can’t avoid her forever. She mentions Mr. McPhee’s suggestion about Italy, and Jack says it sounds like she would be running away. Andie notes that there’s no point in spending time with her friends in Capeside since they’re not speaking. Jack doesn’t want her to miss the end of senior year.
At school, Jen’s called into Mitch’s office, where Grams, Mrs. Valentine, and Drue are gathered, along with a juvenile corrections officer. Drue has admitted to supplying the Ecstasy at the rave – and is dragging Jen down with him. Mrs. Valentine thinks Drue was reformed and Jen got him to return to his wicked ways. Jen is the only person who knows what Drue is pulling. Even Grams isn’t on Jen’s side. The kids get 100 hours of community service as punishment.
Jen chases after Grams, who doesn’t want to talk to her. She thought they’d improved their relationship and were being honest with each other. “I have never in all my life been so deeply disappointed in anything or anyone,” Grams says. Jen then heads to the McPhees’, having received an email from Jack (which Andie actually sent). She apologizes again for her part in the Ecstasy situation; she did something dumb but doesn’t deserve to be abandoned for it. Jen would never do what Jack’s doing to anyone. Jack just closes the door.
Joey goes to the Leerys’, then chickens out at starts to leave. She runs into Dawson, who’s getting supplies together to work on Mr. Brooks’ house; he notes good-naturedly that he’s working off their debt by himself. Joey gives him the form for the peer recommendation and he’s a little floored that she would ask him. He’s also not sure if he’s the right person for the job. Dawson wonders if Pacey knows, but Joey isn’t going to tell him unless he agrees to write it. If he decides to, he’s the right person.
Dawson paints Mr. Brooks’ fence and finally gets some kindness in return when Mr. Brooks offers him some food. It doesn’t take long before they get into a fight and Dawson confronts Mr. Brooks over having pictures in the place of people. Mr. Brooks explains that 30 years ago his brothers came to him asking for money. They invested it all and he lost it. He tells Dawson that sometimes you don’t lose people from your life by choice, but when you make the wrong decisions.
Pacey brings Andie more homework and she tells him about possibly going to Italy. She thought Jack would be supportive, but instead he’s trying to convince her to stay. She points out that he left once; Pacey points out that he only moved across town. He guesses that Andie wants a tiebreaker to make the decision for her. He asks what Andie would be running from if she went to Italy. Maybe she needs to take off the training wheels and ride by herself. Andie worries what others will think, but Pacey reminds her it’s her life and she gets to live it. She’s the tiebreaker.
Drue bugs Jen some more, telling her he’s looking forward to doing community service with her. She knows he’s protecting his “inner Iago,” but people will make up their minds about them and not change. He tells her the people of Capeside aren’t her people: “I am your people.” Capeside will only ever be her past.
Andie talks to Mr. McPhee about how he and Jack have worked things out, and how that means the rest of her friends should be able to do the same. He says it takes realizing what you’re risking if you let someone go. Dawson takes Joey’s peer-recommendation form back to her blank and tells her he’s not the right person to write it. Joey’s disappointed but thanks him for thinking about it.
As Dawson leaves, he sees Pacey waiting nearby. Joey tells Pacey about the recommendation and tries to brush it off like it’s nothing. Pacey knows it isn’t since she didn’t tell him about it. Joey doesn’t want to talk about it, and Pacey complains that she always gets to decide what they air out and what they ignore. She argues that she was trying to avoid a conflict. Dawson has always been there for her, and Joey doesn’t think Pacey can be angry with her for asking him to write the recommendation. Pacey just wonders when he gets to be the person who knows Joey the best.
Joey and Dawson run into each other outside Leery’s Fresh Fish, where they’re each supposed to have dinner with Andie. She’s summoned Jack and all their friends for a surprise dinner. Jack wants to leave once Jen arrives, but Andie announces that she’s actually the one leaving: She’s going to Italy. Jack and Jen agree to stay to hear what she has to say to everyone.
Andie says it shouldn’t have taken a ploy to get all her friends together. When Mr. McPhee brought up taking the rest of the year off, Andie made a pro/con list, and the first con was leaving her friends. She takes full responsibility for taking the Ecstasy. Pacey, Joey, and Dawson are lucky for having lifelong friends because they can go back to the beginning together. The main thing keeping Andie in Capeside was the idea of Jack not having a sister if she left, but she realized that he would have Jen.
Andie continues that when she met her friends, she didn’t know much about friendship or love, but they taught her a lot. By leaving, she hopes to return the favor. She doesn’t want everything to end the way things are right now; she doesn’t want to remember them like this. Later that evening, Pacey apologizes to Joey for his reaction to the peer-recommendation issue. She tells him that in ten years, he’ll be the person who knows her best. Dawson knows her past the best, but her future is with Pacey.
Jack finds Jen crying outside and asks if she’s the same girl who used to tell him everything. She asks if he’s the boy who used to listen. He says he didn’t stop listening, he just didn’t always like what he heard. Jen assures him that she’s the same person. Jack apologizes, but Jen just wants him to stand by her. He asks if she’s willing to keep standing. Dawson and Joey wind up by the water and he tells her he never doubted how well he knew her. He was just worried about putting it all on paper. He’d like to write the recommendation after all.
Andie tries to say goodbye to Pacey, but he’s sure she’ll be back for prom and graduation. She tells him she’s going to Italy because of what he said to her. He gave her strength to do things she’s always needed to do but was too scared to do. Pacey tells her she can no longer use the word “afraid,” only “brave” and “stalwart.” He adds that he’ll miss her optimism and asks her to leave a little behind when she goes.
Jack tells Andie that the only reason he didn’t want her to leave was because he would miss her. She reminds him that since they’re siblings, they’ll never have to say goodbye. The six friends start to take a picture together, but Andie, who’s standing between Pacey and Dawson, moves down the line so the two friends have to stand next to each other.
Thoughts: Other than in “Coming Home,” I never really felt like Andie was part of the group. I think it’s because we saw Jack spend more time with the others, especially Jen, and Andie felt more like a tagalong.
How many applications are these people filling out? How long is each application? I only filled out one (I applied early decision and got in, so I didn’t have to do any more), and I don’t remember it being that long or intense, so I really have no frame of reference. I also don’t remember my friends getting this stressed about applications.
Grams believes Drue over Jen? That SUCKS. And also makes no sense.
Mr. Brooks is who Gregory House will grow up to be.
Best way to turn what’s supposed to be a sweet, sad scene into a laugh-fest: play Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” over it.
December 27, 2011
Summary: Brenda and Dylan are studying at the Walshes’, though Dylan’s mind is on a different kind of chemistry than what Brenda’s working on. He thinks she’s obsessed since she studies so much. Brenda decides they need to go someplace public so he’ll stop getting romantic ideas. Everyone else is at the Peach Pit, where Nat’s the only person happy about midterms because it means a lot of hungry kids come by between study sessions.
Dylan and Brenda join everyone, and the two of them and Brandon are the last people left after hours. The guys leave Brenda alone in the diner while they take out the recycling (and juggle it). She’s a little jumpy, so it doesn’t help when a guy comes in and points a giant gun at her. He orders her to open the register and put all the money in a bag. The guy tells Brenda she’s cute, points the gun at her chest, and tells her to thank him for the compliment. Then he yells for her to get on the ground. He tells her to start counting so he can have a head start.
Behind the diner, Dylan thinks he hears something but doesn’t think anything of it. When he and Brandon go back inside, they see broken glass and find Brenda cowering under the counter. When the police arrive, a detective questions Brenda, who can’t remember what the man looked like. Nat wishes he’d put in a video camera. The detective compliments Brenda for handling the situation well and not losing her cool. The Walshes arrive to take the twins home and Dylan realizes that Brenda’s purse is missing.
At home, the Walshes discuss the fact that the robber now has Brenda’s keys and address. They think she’s handling the trauma very well. Cindy thinks it’s because of a childhood horse-riding accident she got over with a stuffed animal named Mr. Pony. Later, Cindy finds said animal, which Brenda decides to sleep with. She wakes up in the middle of the night, goes into the bathroom, and sees the robber there with his gun. (It’s a dream, of course.)
In the morning, Jim and Cindy discuss a brochure the detective gave them for a women’s crisis hotline. Jim thinks they should keep it to themselves unless Brenda mentions wanting help. At school, Steve and Donna are concerned about Brenda, but she seems completely fine. She even tells Dylan to let it go because it’s over. But when he kisses her, she has a flashback to the moments in the diner just before Dylan went outside.
In class, Brenda keeps hearing the bell over the Peach Pit door and the voice of the robber. Andrea thinks she might have seen him, since she was leaving just as the robber was arriving, but Brenda doesn’t want to talk about him. She thinks everyone’s making a bigger deal out of the situation than they should. Donna wonders how Brandon can go back to work at the Peach Pit after what happened the night before. Brenda says again that it’s no big deal, but she makes excuses not to go.
Andrea tells Brandon that Brenda seems fine but doesn’t want to talk about what happened. He replies that she might just not want to talk about it with Andrea. (Ouch!) At home, Brandon tells Brenda that everyone’s impressed by how she’s handling the hold-up, though Andrea’s concerned. Again, she blows it off. That night, she dreams about being back in the Peach Pit and asking Dylan not to leave. He does, and this time when the robber confronts her, she screams.
In the morning, Brenda goes on a cleaning spree in her bedroom, saying she can’t go to school until she finds something to wear. The other Walshes finally see that something’s not right. Brenda’s first midterm starts off badly when her teacher rings a bell to indicate the beginning and it makes her think of the robbery. This time she daydreams about the robber shooting her when she can’t get the cash register open. She screams herself back to reality and breaks down, telling Dylan she’s sorry she couldn’t get it open.
At home, Brenda’s now depressed and in bed; she thinks her parents are disappointed in her. Jim tells her they don’t want her to pretend things are okay when they aren’t. She admits that she feels stupid for not being able to stop thinking about the hold-up. Cindy thinks she’s making things worse by fighting her feelings. Jim brings up the idea of counseling, which he and Cindy didn’t think Brenda needed because they thought their support would be enough. Brenda doesn’t think a shrink will help her, but Jim tells her to sleep on it.
Dylan calls Brandon at the Peach Pit to tell him what happened. Brandon says he wanted to go right back to work so he couldn’t talk himself out of it. He reminds Dylan that he thought he heard something during the hold-up. Dylan tells him not to think about what-ifs. Brenda goes to see a psychiatrist, who tells her all her reactions have been normal, and she has post-traumatic stress disorder. The doctor has her think back to a happy time, so Brenda remembers riding her horse, Sylvester. The doctor tells her to use that memory when she needs a “safe place.”
The rest of the gang waits for Brenda at the Walshes’, wanting to support her when she comes home. They try to look inconspicuous by playing Scrabble. (No one makes an actual word, so Steve says it’s “reverse Scrabble.”) Brenda tells her friends she’s feeling better, though it’s strange going to see a psychiatrist. David, Kelly, and Steve admit to going to counseling as well. Brenda thinks she’s ready to deal with the hold-up and put it behind her. Just then the police call: They’ve picked up a suspect and want Brenda to look at a line-up. She refuses.
Jim and Dylan try to change Brenda’s mind, reminding her that if she doesn’t help put the robber behind bars, he’ll be able to commit more crimes. Brenda replies that they weren’t in her situation and don’t know what it’s like. She wants to go do the line-up, but she’s too scared. She also rails at Dylan over the fact that he and Brandon left her alone in the diner and are now putting her on a pedestal. After a couple more moments of fuming, Brenda says she’ll go to the police station.
Brenda looks at the line-up, with the disclaimer that she only remembers the robber’s gun. As she studies each suspect, she remembers the hold-up and is able to pick out the robber. Afterward, she asks the detective who the guy is. He won’t give the robber’s name, but he’ll reveal that he’s only 17, the same age as Brenda.
Dylan takes Brenda to the Peach Pit, where all their friends are waiting. She admits that she thought she would be scared to return, but it’s okay. She still has midterms to face, but David assures her they’ll be easy compared to what she’s been through. (Steve might prefer a gun in the face.) Back at home, Brenda tells Brandon that she thinks she’ll finally get a good night’s sleep. She’s still going to share her bed with Mr. Pony, though.
Thoughts: Can you imagine if this had been a Brandon plot instead of a Brenda plot? We would have gotten endless speeches about crime and a protest about how the police aren’t doing their jobs, and we all would have prayed for the robber to come back and finish Brandon off.
Shannen Doherty actually does pretty well with the subject. I mean, it wasn’t completely Emmy-worthy, but it worked.
I bet they’ll never mention this storyline again, though.
Maybe next the psychiatrist can help all of the characters with their plaid addictions.
December 26, 2011
Summary: Andie wants to guide Jen through the college-application process, suggesting that they start with schools in New York, thinking Jen wants to go back there. Jen thinks Drue has been talking to her. Andie confirms that Drue told her about he and Jen would go out partying a lot. Jack brings Andie a letter from Harvard, but she thinks it’s bad news since it’s small. Fortunately, she got accepted early.
Gretchen runs into Dawson at a music store, where they learn about an upcoming rave. She thinks it would be nice to “let loose” and have fun. Dawson is cynical, of course, knowing it’s not something he would enjoy. Gretchen tells him she wants to expose him to new experiences as part of their friendship. He asks for a rain check. Meanwhile, Pacey complains to Joey about how boring Capeside is; she suggests they rob some banks. She sees Dawson and Gretchen together and is totally not jealous at all.
Mr. McPhee gives Andie his old Harvard sweater as Jack teases him about the school’s snootiness. The three family members are finally getting along well. Jack tells his sister not to freak herself out, but Andie is disturbed by the fact that she doesn’t feel freaked out – or anything, really. She thinks her medication is keeping her from feeling anything intense. Jack tells her about the rave that night and suggests that they go out to celebrate.
In the school computer lab, Jen receives an email invitation from Drue, who reminds her that she used to love partying. He thinks she’s been in Capeside so long that she’s deprived herself from anything fun. Drue continues that he went back for the Ecstasy he gave her, but it was gone. Jen tells him that if he wants to screw up her life, he’ll have to try harder. Drue thinks she wants to feel good again. He encourages her to take the drugs and go to the rave.
At home, Dawson finds Gail and Mitch dancing in the kitchen with a celebratory dinner nearby. They’ve decided to keep the baby. Dawson’s thrilled for them. Joey and Gretchen get ready for the rave together, Gretchen encouraging Joey to give it a chance. Pacey thinks it’ll just be a longer version of a high school dance. Dawson arrives to get Gretchen, so now everything’s awkward. Jen tells Andie that they first have to go to a “map point” (and possibly exchange an egg). Andie catches her bringing Drue’s Ecstasy with her.
On the way to the rave, Joey notices that Dawson and Gretchen are getting along well. Jen tells Andie about the times she took Ecstasy before going to raves in New York. It made her happy and gave her a vacation from her problems. Andie doesn’t see the downside. Jen tells her the high lasts for six hours and leaves you more depressed afterward. She stopped taking it because she no longer knew who she was.
Andie looks at the pills, admitting that getting into Harvard hasn’t made her as happy as she thought it would. She’s tired of talking about her feelings – tonight she just wants to have fun. She’s sure she’ll feel happy soon. Jack meets up with the girls, and Andie is unable to give the pills back to Jen without him seeing. Dawson and Gretchen go to the map point to get directions to the rave as Joey and Pacey discuss their friendship. Pacey’s suspicious of it.
Dawson and Gretchen get passes to the rave and are told to “follow the Yellow Brick Road.” Gretchen asks if he’s really okay with being with Joey and Pacey. He tells her Mitch and Gail are having the baby after all, so he’s in a good mood. He’s happy he got to share the news with Gretchen. She tells him about the benefits of having a younger sibling. Dawson thanks her for sharing her own experiences and putting things into perspective.
Jack, Andie, and Jen reach the rave, and Jack runs off to have fun. Andie assures Jen that she’s feeling better…and she “sort of” took a pill. She thinks she deserves to have a great night. She asks Jen not to say anything to Jack. Drue is surprised to see Dawson, Joey, and Pacey at the rave. The gang meets up and everyone congratulates Andie on getting into Harvard. Drue teases Joey as Pacey hugs Andie. Gretchen asks who Drue is; Dawson asks if she ever met Abby Morgan.
Andie’s already tripping when the kids enter the rave. “Petting Joey – not a good way to maintain a low profile,” Jen warns her. She tells Andie to stick by her side so Jen can keep an eye on her. But moments later, Drue takes Andie away to dance, so that didn’t last long. Gretchen tells Joey she’s sorry Dawson’s arrival was a blindside, since he originally said he wouldn’t come. Joey’s okay with it. She asks if there’s something more than friendship between Gretchen and Dawson. Gretchen’s oblivious to Dawson’s feelings, thinking he’d rather have Joey back.
Drue can tell Andie’s high, and he assures her that he’s a better babysitter than Jen. Pacey goes outside to get away from the music and crowd, asking Joey why they even came. She reminds him that they wanted to try something new. He says it just makes him appreciate the old. Joey also thinks something’s bugging him. Pacey admits that he misses True Love.
Gretchen confronts Dawson about his possible feelings for her, but he denies that there’s anything there other than friendship. He doesn’t think either of them is ready for anything else to happen. He notes that when Joey and Pacey left last summer, he lost two good friends, so he’s just trying to make some new ones. Andie tells Pacey and Joey that they’re great together, and that Joey’s really nice, except for the time when she dumped Dawson for Pacey. She adds that Pacey is the love of her life, but Joey doesn’t need to worry because Pacey’s over her.
Jen goes looking for Andie, and Jack is no help in the search since he’s too busy having fun. Andie and Drue join Dawson and Gretchen in a bouncy house, where the drugs finally catch up to Andie and she collapses. Jack and Jen show up in time to find her unconscious. When the paramedics arrive, Jen has to confess that Andie took Ecstasy. Jack’s mad at her for giving Andie the drugs and tells her she should be the one in the ambulance.
As the rest of the gang heads to the hospital, Drue takes Jen home. She’s mad at herself for letting Andie take drugs. Drue doesn’t think she should feel responsible because Andie made her own choice. Her friends want her to be the bad girl because it makes them feel better about their “pathetic, plastic, Mayberry existence.” Jen tells him that they may have come from the same place, but now they live far apart, and she’s going to keep it that way.
At the hospital, Andie is stabilized and Jack tells their friends that the Ecstasy reacted badly with her medication. Pacey’s shaken up and wishes he’d realized something was going on. Dawson notes that he couldn’t have done anything. Pacey wants to spend the night at the hospital, sending Joey, Dawson, and Gretchen home. Dawson drops Gretchen off at her place, where she thanks him for his friendship.
Mr. McPhee tells Andie he’s not mad at her, but Jack is – their family has already been through enough disasters. Andie cries and says she just wanted to feel something. Mr. McPhee is sure they can get through this as long as they communicate. Pacey brings the guys some coffee and Andie apologizes for the things she said at the rave.
Dawson and Joey watch the sunrise together, shaken by what happened to Andie and how easily something horrible can happen. Dawson misses the simplicity of the fun they had as kids. Joey notes that they’ll all be in college in less than a year. After 18 years of living nearby, they’ll be in different places. Dawson suggests that Joey give her boat to Alexander, because he plans to give his to his younger brother or sister.
Joey’s happy to hear about the new baby, but it makes her feel old. Dawson feels the same way. She says that no matter where she goes next, it’s hard for her to think about a life without Dawson. He notes that they did all right being apart for three months. She asks if he knows what she really means, and he says he does.
Thoughts: There’s a band in the ad for the rave called Burkittsville 3. I wonder if that’s a reference to The Blair Witch Project.
Did Jack grow a personality between seasons? He’s just so much more laidback and likable now.
Drue: “We haven’t met.” Gretchen: “I don’t have a problem with that.” Ha!
Please, Dawson – Abby wishes she were as witty and evil as Drue.
I’m surprised Pacey didn’t notice that something weird was going on with Andie. Old Pacey would have gotten her out of there in two seconds. New Pacey is too distracted by Joey’s tongue down his throat.
Summary: Mallory convinces her family to have an old-fashioned Christmas, with homemade presents, home-cooked meals, and the like. Vanessa hears about a contest looking for families with unique Christmas celebrations and enters with the old-fashioned idea. She wins, so the Pikes will have their preparations and holiday activities taped for a TV show. Plus, they get $10,000. The Pikes are all excited, but Kristy’s even more excited because now the BSC can get a ton of free publicity.
Of course, things don’t go smoothly. Because they’re filming a TV show, there are various takes and some things have to be staged. There are cameras in everyone’s faces, and the whole process is just a hassle. Plus, the BSC girls are working at a boutique at Stoneybrook Manor, where Mallory’s Uncle Joe lives, and the filming puts him off. Finally, on Christmas Eve, the kids revolt, and the Pikes decide to shut down filming and give back the $10,000.
Not much else happens in the book, other than the BSC girls working at the boutique, but we get to accompany the Pikes on a lot of Christmas errands. That was kind of nice to read about on…Christmas. (Nice coincidence, huh?)
Thoughts: Suddenly, I’m realized the real plus of having seven brothers and sisters: tons of Christmas presents. Can you imagine all the stuff under the Pikes’ tree?
Claudia’s “Kishi Scientific Ener-joy Theory”: “If you eat what you like, you become happy, and the energy from your joy burns off calories.” I like it!
I’d love to know where the Pikes store the 360 Christmas cookies they make.
I love that Claire believes in Santa but is “suspicious.”
Vanessa’s Christmas song, which cracks me up:
“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
When I chop you down, don’t fall on me.
You smell so nice, you look so green,
Excuse my axe for being mean.”
This book was published before reality TV really took off, but I can imagine the BSC girls starring on some reality shows:
- Kristy and Abby – partners on The Amazing Race
- Claudia – Project Runway or Work of Art
- Stacey – 16 and Pregnant (let’s be honest)
- Mallory – a Jon & Kate Plus 8/19 Kids and Counting-type show starring the Pikes
- Mary Anne – she’ll have her own show about having a giant family
- Jessi – So You Think You Can Dance
- Dawn – Whale Wars
December 24, 2011
Summary: Jessica is in major trouble after stopping Jeremy and Sue’s wedding, so she stays at Lila’s house (since Sue is still staying with the Wakefields). Ned and Alice think Jessica has gone way too far and want to send her to boarding school. Jessica is surprisingly blasé about this, mostly because she isn’t going to let anyone get between her and Jeremy. Speaking of that guy, he proposes, then jets off for Costa Rica for work. When Jessica calls to talk to him, he’s always off doing something and she has to leave a message.
Elizabeth appoints herself Sue’s babysitter, basically, trying to cheer her up. She eavesdrops on a conversation between Sue and Alice, learning that Sue was set to inherit a ton of money from her mother (who herself inherited a fortune from some frozen-dinner empire). If Sue had married Jeremy, she would have been cut off and the money would have gone to Alice. Now, though, if she and Jeremy stay away from each other for two months, she gets the money.
Jeremy asks Jessica to keep their engagement a secret, but she announces it at dinner one night so her parents know she’s really serious about him. The next day, the Wakefields find Sue unconscious in her room, having OD’d on tranquilizers. Jessica actually feels bad, so that’s something. She decides not to say anything to Jeremy. A little later, Sue admits to Elizabeth that she doesn’t actually have the blood disease she said she was dying from.
Jessica watches a film Winston made about romantic spots in Sweet Valley and thinks she sees Jeremy and Sue in it. This plus some other things she’s found out about Jeremy’s slips in honesty make her a little suspicious. At a Halloween party, Jessica finds Jeremy and Sue making out, and she finally realizes that he’s, you know, not that great. But later that night, Jeremy comes by the Wakefields’ house to announce that Sue has disappeared.
Subplots, all of which are dumb:
- Lila signs her boyfriend Robby up for a business class, and he’s furious when he finds out. But he goes to the class and winds up enjoying it. He also signs up for an art class in which he paints nudes, which freaks Lila out.
- Elizabeth takes part in an experimental girls-only math class. She thinks it’s sexist at first, but all the girls in the class enjoy it, and all their grades improve. She decides to write a series of Oracle articles about the class and track people’s progress over time.
- Todd gets a haircut and grows a mustache. Elizabeth hates the facial hair. They fight, then make up.
Also, Winston gets a bad haircut. Yes, this is really an actual plot.
Thoughts: I’m fairly certain Todd gets the hideous haircut Jeremy had on the cover of the last book.
Note to Jessica: If a guy says, “Good girl” to you, you should not be with him.
Someone got paid to write an entire subplot about Todd growing a mustache. Incredible.
Ned used to have a soul patch. Thank God for the “used to” part.
Ned and Alice want to send Jessica to the Milford Academy, where I presume she will be neither seen nor heard.
Bruce: “You little home wrecker, you. You just can’t keep your hands to yourself, can you?” Jessica: “If I remember correctly, you like it when I can’t keep my hands to myself.” Score one for Jess.