May 20, 2013
Summary: Griffin and Julia go parking, though they’re kind of bored. She decides they should just go home, but he doesn’t want to. He also doesn’t want to talk about it. Joe is still bugging Charlie about work stuff, despite being in Canada. At least Charlie and Kirsten’s love life is back on track. They’re interrupted by a call informing Charlie of a fire at the restaurant. But the next information Charlie gets is from an insurance agent, letting him know he’ll be getting a $50,000 payout. That’s twice what it would cost for outside renovations, so they just made a $25,000 profit. Charlie remarks that if he knew he’d get that much money, he would have lit a fire a long time ago.
Julia goes to Griffin’s to get him for school, but he hurries her out. His father, Major Holbrook, follows him outside, yelling about how he keeps getting in trouble for cutting class. Griffin tells Julia that if he had the money, he’d leave the country. “Maybe we’ll go to war soon,” he hopes. Bailey and Will take a ballet class (on their football coach’s advice), and Will winds up dancing with Sarah. Claudia goes to the principal’s office for a schedule change and meets a girl named Jody, who’s your stereotypical middle-school bad girl. Upon learning that Claudia may be working in the office, Jody quickly latches on to her.
Griffin finds Julia at the restaurant and notices that Charlie’s now carrying around a huge wad of cash. He tells Julia that his father plans to make him enlist in the Army as soon as he turns 18. Julia urges him to get his grades up and graduate. Will casually asks Bailey if he would mind if Will asked Sarah out. Bailey’s totally fine with it. $1,200 is missing from the restaurant, which means some of the renovation workers won’t get paid. Julia decides not to mention that Griffin was in the restaurant. Then the news gets worse: The fire is suspected to be arson.
Will and Sarah have already had a date, so that was quick. He tries to convince Bailey that it wasn’t a big deal. They saw the ballet version of Romeo and Juliet, and Sarah cried at the end. Will thinks it’s crazy that she wants to dance so badly but is so horrible at it. He didn’t think they hit it off that well. Charlie tells Kirsten and Claudia that the insurance agent thinks he set the fire – he’s suspicious because Charlie was turned down for a loan, then upped the restaurant’s insurance. (They were underinsured in the first place.) Claudia and Kirsten are suspicious.
Griffin complains to Julia more about his father, who he says has gotten worse since Jill died. Julia asks if he noticed anyone strange hanging around the restaurant the day before. Griffin’s all, “Oh, someone stole money? How horrible. I definitely don’t know anything about that!” She suggests that the thief might realize stealing the money wasn’t worth it and will just return it. Jody tries to get Claudia to stamp a note for her so she can skip school. Claudia has morals and says no. Bailey sees Will and Sarah together at the coffeehouse and tries to hide how sad it makes him.
The insurance agent and an investigator check out the restaurant and discover that the fire was caused by a coffee machine that wasn’t turned off. Charlie was the last one in the restaurant and forgot about it. Kirsten notes that that means the fire was an accident. The agent adds that there was a bunch of paper next to the pot. Also, the water was shut off, which means the coffeemaker got hotter than usual. Kirsten blurts out that she left the pot on, and Charlie had no idea. Charlie plays along.
Julia offers Griffin money so he can leave town. The police are currently at his house, trying to find out what he knows about the theft at the restaurant. Major Holbrook accuses Griffin of taking the money, so Griffin grabs it from a drawer and throws it down. This leads to his arrest. Major Holbrook looks stunned that he was actually right. Word gets back to Charlie, who’s desperately trying to find insurance papers in the house. Julia begs him to defend Griffin and get the charges dropped. She’s angry that Major Holbrook left him in jail overnight and won’t hire him a lawyer. Charlie doesn’t care about Griffin possibly going to prison since he himself is facing the same fate.
Bailey and Will go back to ballet class; the former is mad that the latter didn’t mention he had another date with Sarah. He confronts Will for saying his first date with Sarah was boring, then turning around and going out with her again. Bailey swears he’s not upset. Will says Sarah knew he wouldn’t be. Jody writes graffiti in the girls’ bathroom, like all the bad girls do, and Claudia takes her marker to correct her spelling. (Heh.) She gets caught with marker in hand, but Jody takes the blame, saying Claudia just took it from her.
Griffin pleads guilty in court but could be released on bail (despite being a flight risk). Julia’s the only one there to support him. Charlie sort of thanks Kirsten for lying on his behalf, saying the coffeemaker was the only part of the plan he didn’t think he would need to explain. Basically, he’s calling Kirsten on believing that he’s guilty – otherwise, why would she cover for him? Bailey, Will, and Sarah all hang out at a pool hall together, which has to be awkward. Julia asks Major Holbrook to come to Griffin’s sentencing, but he’s not interested. She tries to use her parents’ death to sympathize with him about losing loved ones. He’s lost his daughter, and now he could lose his son, too.
Claudia’s hurt that Griffin would steal money from the family, and she wonders why Julia isn’t mad. Julia’s trying to understand him. Charlie tries to appeal to the insurance agent, reminding him how much money he’s gotten from the restaurant over the years. The agent tells him that they can’t pay out money in a situation that seems fishy. Charlie accuses him of trying to save his company money. He pulls out the “that restaurant was my father’s and it means everything to me” card, saying there’s no way he would burn down something so important.
Jody managed to go a whole day without getting in trouble, so she figures Claudia did something to help her out. Looks like Claudia has a new best friend. And now she has her first experience with peer pressure, when Jody gives her a cigarette. Julia gets to visit Griffin in lockup, and he tells her his father brought in a lawyer and is going to sort things out. Griffin won’t be going to prison, but he will be going to a military school for six months. She asks why he stole the money, and he says it was partly so the Army couldn’t take him, and partly to prove that his father was right about him being dumb.
Apparently Charlie’s dramatics worked, because the insurance company pays out $25,000. He doesn’t get a profit, but he can cover the restaurant’s repairs. He jokes darkly that that means he got away with arson. Kirsten has her own equally dark joke, giving him a can of gasoline with a bow on top. She tells him that even though she did suspect him of committing the crime, it didn’t matter; she was still going to stick by him. “I never knew being crazy about somebody means exactly that,” she says. The two of them decide to cross “have sex in a burned-out restaurant” off their bucket lists.
Bailey tries to tell Will how he really feels about him dating Sarah, but Will’s too distracted by watching Sarah practice in a dance studio. Bailey decides to keep his mouth shut. Julia visits Griffin as he’s leaving for military school; he was planning to go without saying goodbye. He encourages her not to keep in touch because he knows he won’t keep up with writing her letters. Just before Griffin gets in the car, he tells Julia he loves her. “Okay,” she replies.
Thoughts: Jody is played by Marla Sokoloff, who only played rebellious girls in the ’90s. (See also: Full House, The Baby-sitters Club movie.)
The insurance agent is played by Richard Fancy, who’s probably best known as Mr. Lippman from Seinfeld.
Will has clearly never heard of the Bro Code.
Dude, Jody, at least wait until you’re off school property before you pull out a cigarette.
Trivia: Griffin’s middle name is Chase (which is his father’s first name).
April 21, 2013
Summary: At the campus quad, Donna complains to Steve and Andrea that Clare and David are helping Valerie find a new band for the Peach Pit After Dark. Brandon joins them and shares the supposedly confidential news that Lenny isn’t the real rapist and theft. Andrea’s beeper goes off and she says she has to go to work. No one questions why a college student with a research job would have an emergency beeper. Andrea winds up with Peter at their new no-tell motel room. Valerie and Clare audition bands at the After Dark. One of them is covered in mud.
David collects Lenny from the police station, saying he knew the charges would never stick. Lenny confesses that after he got back from Desert Storm, he went out with some friends, got really drunk, and woke up the next morning in jail, having been arrested for rape. He served two years and is now a registered sex offender. David thinks Lenny has turned his life around, since he’s in college and has made the dean’s list. Lenny notes that any time a sex crime is committed, his name will come up.
Indeed, word has spread, and Janice the angry student politician is one of the many people upset that Lenny was allowed on campus. Brandon would rather focus on the real rapist and the lack of security on campus. The police admit that they don’t have any suspects or leads. Over at his family’s hotel, Charlie tells Dylan about the screenplay he’s working on and invites him to help out. He notes that the hotel is a great place to work because people leave him alone. In fact, most of them are having secret rendezvous there. Hey, like that woman leaving right now, who Dylan knows!
Garrett, an employee from the campus quad, goes to the After Dark looking for a job. He chats with Donna, who’s there to confront Valerie for firing Ray. Val tells her that David thought they should get some new musicians. She further snows Donna by pointing out that Ray will grow more as a musician if he plays different venues. Donna goes to get Garrett, but he’s gone. She sees that someone moved her backpack and overreacts.
On campus, Steve runs into Valerie and gives her a ride in a golf cart (it looks like KEG is giving women rides so they’ll feel safer). She asks for his help finding a special music act to play on Friday night. Steve points out that he’s not supposed to get involved in that sort of thing, so someone finally remembered that. Then he promises to help anyway, so that was a waste of continuity. Lenny’s back on campus, and a mob of students is harassing him.
Dylan’s also back on campus to let Andrea know that he knows about her affair. He promises to keep it quiet. He tells her it’s not what he thinks, which is hilarious, because it’s exactly what Dylan thinks. He says it’s none of his business and won’t talk about it if she doesn’t want to. Andrea says something about how it’s good that she didn’t ignore her feelings, so if that’s how she’s able to sleep at night, good for her.
David learns that Lenny’s moving out of the dorm but thinks he should stay since he didn’t do anything. He should fight, not run away. Lenny doesn’t want to be “the poster child for ex-con rights.” David notes that he’s involved with campus media and is friends with the student-body president. Lenny says there are other things going on but won’t discuss them. David asks if that means he’s guilty. Lenny replies that he needs someone to believe in him even if he’s guilty.
Steve has lined up someone for the After Dark, but Valerie has already booked someone and shoos him away. “I hate her,” Steve grumbles. David goes to the beach apartment to try to get Clare to help him produce a profile on Lenny portraying him as rehabilitated. Clare won’t help; she thinks if Lenny wants to go to college, he should go to an all-male school. David doesn’t even get to broach the subject with Donna, since she thinks he helped Valerie get rid of Ray. He calls her self-involved and wonders why he ever dated her in the first place.
As someone packs a bag with a flashlight and knife, Cindy and Jackie hang out at the Peach Pit, discussing possible men for Jackie to date. Mel brings Erin for a custody exchange, and for some reason Jackie is all a-flutter. The rapist breaks into the beach apartment, and we finally see his face: It’s Garrett.
At the Walshes’ house, Brandon talks to Janice on the phone, telling her he’s not running for another term as president. Cindy tells him that Jackie and Mel are suddenly getting along; apparently Mel’s girlfriend just dumped him for someone younger. David comes by and asks Brandon to talk Lenny out of dropping out of CU. Brandon easily agrees. Jesse’s back from his massive interview tour, and he and Andrea immediately start fighting about random things. There’s yelling, and I hate them both.
Brandon tracks Lenny down on campus, and though Lenny is defensive at first, Brandon breaks the ice by making it clear that he doesn’t think Lenny’s the rapist. Lenny confirms that he was in custody when a girl named Melody was raped, which is why he was released. He asks how much cloud Brandon has with the administration and the police. Brandon wonders if Lenny needs a lawyer. Lenny announces that he knows who raped Melody.
Donna, Clare, and Steve hang out at the After Dark, waiting to find out who Valerie’s mystery performer is. Donna decides to bail early since it’s weird being there without Ray. She leaves just as Valerie brings out the mystery act, the Flaming Lips. David shows up and Clare tells him Donna went home.
Donna arrives to see Garrett in the apartment, and though she tries to overpower him with her self-defense training, she’s no match for him. He tells her she’s even prettier than Clare, then takes her to the bedroom, telling her they’re going to get to know each other. Brandon goes to the After Dark with the police, who think Clare’s the rapist’s target. Valerie recognizes Garrett’s name and tells Brandon and Steve that he may be a friend of Donna’s.
At the apartment, Garrett pulls his knife and Donna begs him not to hurt her. She tells him she’s a virgin, which is a surprise to him. David arrives and Donna tells Garrett he’s her roommate. He makes her tell him to go away. David thinks the lights are off because Donna has a migraine, and that she doesn’t want to talk to him because of Ray. She calls him Dave to try to signal that something’s wrong. It works, because when Donna screams, David runs into the room and attacks Garrett. Donna joins in and they knock him out.
Dylan’s back at the hotel with Charlie, and he sees Peter arrive for a hook-up with Andrea. Andrea announces that she’s leaving Jesse because there’s no point in being miserable with him when she can be happy with Peter. Peter, however, is happy with the current arrangements. He reminds Andrea that they agreed not to have any strings. She doesn’t seem to remember that. Dylan sees Peter leave and goes to comfort Andrea, who laments believing that she and Peter were going to be together.
The cops go to the beach apartment, along with Brandon and Clare. Brandon relays Lenny’s news that he was in military prison with Garrett. He was afraid to say anything when he was arrested because he thought he would be pegged as an accomplice. Garrett had been asking him about girls on campus, which tipped Lenny off that he was interested in Clare. Donna apologizes to David for using a figurine he gave her to knock out Garrett. He’s surprised she kept it, and she says of course she did – it was the last thing he gave her. They hug, and Clare should probably be worried.
Thoughts: Donna: “I don’t know your name.” Funny, because you greeted him by name less than a minute ago. Did a writer fall asleep or something?
Yeah, being alone in a golf cart with a frat guy woud not make me feel safe. They need to tell all the women not to walk alone at night.
Dylan suit status: still active. Also, contagious – David caught the disease.
I think the Flaming Lips are the first musicians to play on the show who are still performing today.
Kudos to the guy playing Garrett – he’s normal at first, kind of creepy later, then just full-on shiver-inducing scary at the apartment. Though I think the story would have worked better if there had been some indication that Clare might be the target earlier on. We would have thought he was going to the apartment for her and been surprised when he went after Donna instead.
Kelly isn’t in this episode, but no one’s worried, so I don’t think she went back to the cult.
April 15, 2013
Summary: Valerie calls LuAnn, looking for Ray, but she lies that he just left. Rush comes by her hotel room and she tells him she wants to buy the Peach Pit After Dark from him. He’s willing to negotiate a deal. The gang throws Kelly a welcome-back-from-your-cult picnic, but Donna leaves after about 30 seconds to meet Ray. As someone lurks in the bushes, watching, a friend of David’s tells the group that someone stole a bunch of bikes from outside a dorm.
Valerie tracks Ray down at the After Dark, arriving just before Donna does. Nothing happens. David and his dorm mate Lenny bowl with soda cans in a dorm hallway; Clare’s bored and makes fun of Lenny’s music collection. Then she leaves, telling David she doesn’t like Lenny because he’s weird. Peter flirts with Andrea at the hospital, and I guess neither of them is worried about anyone seeing them and telling their spouses. Then they make out in an on-call room, because this really is Grey’s Anatomy.
Ray does a set at the After Dark while Donna shows off her poodle-like hairdo. David’s sick of hearing the same songs over and over. Steve and Rush are both around, so I guess we’re just supposed to forget that Steve isn’t allowed to be there. He gets suspicious when he sees his father talking to Valerie. After Ray’s set, Rush announces to the club that Valerie is the new owner. This is news to David, Clare, and Ray. Donna’s the only person who thinks it’s not a horrible idea.
Valerie goes to Dylan’s in the middle of the night to celebrate her new purchase. (And also to smoke some pot.) He declines, and she thinks it’s because he’d rather be with Kelly. He counters that she’d rather be with someone else, too. She goes, but leaves a joint behind. The Walshes discuss Valerie, wondering whether they should tell her mother what she’s up to. Jim says she can do whatever she wants with her money. If she gets into trouble, she’ll come to them.
Steve calls Brandon to let him know that some frat houses were robbed overnight. Brandon isn’t sure what he should do, so way to take your role as president seriously, Bran. The bush lurker watches Kelly as David dreads working with Valerie. Lenny comes by and talk turns to why he lives in a dorm. David notes that he was in the Army, so he should have some sort of GI benefits. Lenny says he has to “beg, borrow, and steal” to afford things, and David makes a joke about the bike thefts. Lenny doesn’t find it funny.
Jesse’s out of town on another interview, so he’s not there when Peter pops by his and Andrea’s place. She’s mad at him for taking a risk and coming over, but not mad enough to deny him some making out. At the After Dark, Ray pretends that he’s finally gotten Valerie’s messages. She threatens to pull his performance slots if he doesn’t start sleeping with her again. He refuses, so she tells David and Clare to book some new performers. Now David’s happy.
Steve meets Rush for lunch and grills him about his arrangement with Valerie; he thinks they slept together. Rush just laughs and gives him commission from the sale. Dylan goes to the park to smoke Valerie’s joint, but he can’t get his lighter to light. Clare gives Donna the news that Valerie doesn’t want Ray at the After Dark anymore, promising that she campaigned for him to stay. Donna isn’t surprised to hear that David didn’t.
Meanwhile, Ray packs his things to go on the road and play at various colleges. LuAnn blasts him for leaving without saying goodbye to Donna. She tells him to go to the gig he has booked that night, then go see Donna. Dylan visits Charlie at the hotel his family owns and admits that he almost smoked pot. Charlie tells him to stop letting Kelly get to him. He also advises Dylan to figure out what he wants to do with his life.
Brandon complains to Kelly that everyone wants him to beef up campus security. People get robbed all the time; he can’t do anything about it. Kelly hears rustling in the bushes but doesn’t see the lurker. We do, and he has a knife and shiny black shoes. Later, David, Clare, and Lenny learn that a girl was raped and cut in the bushes in the middle of the day. Hey, guess who has shiny black shoes? If you said Lenny, you get a gold star!
Brandon, however, doesn’t get a gold star; he’s still whining about having to deal with crimes on campus. Kelly’s freaked out because she and Brandon were right in the area where the girl was attacked. Ray does go to the After Dark for his gig, warning Valerie to stay away from Donna. He hints that he’s going to tell Donna that they had an affair. Valerie calls his bluff, saying he wouldn’t risk hurting her.
Dylan stops by just long enough to return her joint, then goes to the Peach Pit to mope. Kelly finds him there and thanks him for coming to her picnic, even though he didn’t stay long. She also thinks that without him, she’d still be a Finion. She wants him to promise that he’ll always be her friend. Over at the hospital, Peter gives Andrea a motel key, telling her he’s booked a room by the week. She tells him she might meet him there some night.
Donna watches Ray’s farewell performance while Nat wonders why Valerie’s cutting him loose. She tells him to just handle refreshments while she handles running the club. David and Clare skip work to hang out at the student union, where they wind up talking to Lenny. They’re surprised when a detective arrives and asks Lenny to come to the police station for questioning. He thinks he’s being accused of stealing the bikes, but that’s not what it’s about.
After his final set, Ray tells Donna he’s leaving town and isn’t sure when he’s coming back. She thinks something’s off. He starts to tell her about Valerie, but Donna doesn’t need to hear anything other than that he loves her.
Thoughts: The casting of Jed Allan as Rush is great. He and Ian Ziering have a lot of similar mannerisms and facial expressions.
Andrea is a mega-jerk for what she’s doing to poor Jesse. He deserves so much better.
Brandon, your compassion is matched only by your lack of compassion. Can you imagine him as the president of the U.S.? “There was a school shooting? Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t know what you expect me to do about it.”
So we’re just going to completely ignore how Dylan keeps wearing suits?
Even if Lenny were the rapist (and he’s obviously not), why would I care? We were just introduced to him.
April 14, 2013
Summary: Claudia and Artie are at a convenience store, debating what kind of junk food to get. A man comes in, pulls a gun on the cashier, and robs him. The kids hide and stay quiet but see the whole thing. At the restaurant, Charlie’s coworker/old college friend Dudley complains to him about his ex/neighbor, who just moved out of her apartment. Charlie wants to move in. Kirsten calls and Dudley flirts with her, because he’s that guy.
A police officer talks to Claudia and Artie at the Salingers’ house, but neither kid can agree on a description of the robber. Artie’s a little too excited about being involved in a police investigation. At school, Jill tells Bailey that she’s helping to run a dance marathon. He thinks it’ll be too much for her to handle so soon after she’s started rehab. Jill notes that her doctor says it would be good for her to get involved in school activities.
Julia tries to convince Justin to do the marathon with her, realizing that they’ve never danced together. She also realizes that it’s because he can’t dance. Bailey and Jill hang out, and he again says that he thinks she’s doing too much by helping with the marathon. He makes the good point that it’s probably not the best idea for her to stay awake for 36 hours. Jill accuses him of being unsupportive. He wants to make things up to her with sex, but Jill’s doctor has advised her to stop using sex to solve her problems.
Justin and Julia practice dancing in the Salingers’ backyard, and he makes a move toward getting her naked. Charlie and Kirsten look at an apartment, though she thinks it’s a bad idea for him to move out. He thinks the kids can take care of themselves, and he’ll look in on them every day. He starts packing at home, making Claudia sad. The police want Claudia to come look at someone in a lineup, but Charlie has Bailey take her, because he can’t be bothered. The lineup doesn’t produce the culprit.
Bailey then heads to the marathon and helps out, since Jill doesn’t have all of the details nailed down. Julia and Justin flirt and goof around before things start, then spend the dancing hours kissing. Charlie and Kirsten go to a party at Dudley’s, boring me. Back at the marathon, Will has a great time with his date, a cheerleader Bailey didn’t think he’d be able to get to go with him. Jill gets in trouble because someone spiked the punchbowl, but Bailey takes the blame. She doesn’t appreciate it.
The dancers get a five-minute break, and Justin gives Julia his wallet so they can get some food. She finds a condom inside. Dudley invites Charlie and Kirsten out on a houseboat trip, which Kirsten is extremely unexcited about. Charlie wants to go, despite the fact that sailing and drinking for three days isn’t his kind of thing. Kirsten wants to leave the party, but Charlie won’t leave with her.
Alone at home, Claudia has a nightmare. When Charlie gets back, she’s in his bed with Kirsten. Kirsten chastise Charlie for staying out so late; he grumps that she should have stayed, but she’s glad she was home to comfort Claudia. Charlie thinks he can have an active social life while still looking after his siblings. His solution to Claudia’s angst is to get a new lock for the front door and bolt the windows.
Artie shows up to announce that the robber was caught. He’s disappointed because there won’t be a trial, so he won’t get to testify. Claudia’s just relieved that the robber is behind bars. Julia congratulates Jill on a successful marathon, then asks how many guys she thinks carry condoms in their wallets. “How many guys do you think are having sex?” Jill replies. (All of them, Julia. All of them.)
Will and his dance partner get disqualified for making out instead of dancing. “My tongue was moving! That counts!” he argues. Bailey remarks to a chaperone that the marathon is starting to remind him of a movie he once saw: Carrie. It’s hour 18, and Jill is starting to fall apart. The chaperone suggests that they end the marathon at 24 hours instead of 36. Julia’s starting to get uncomfortable being with Justin, and she suggests that they quit. He doesn’t get what’s wrong with her.
At hour 23, Bailey tries to convince Jill to end the marathon early. She refuses, accusing Bailey of waiting all night for her to screw things up. No matter how things turn out, she wants to be able to say she ran everything. Charlie and Dudley do shots at the restaurant, toasting a lost weekend they once had together. Charlie remembers it less favorably than Dudley does, since they got so drunk that they missed a gig. Claudia has another nightmare – every room in the house is empty, and she can hear Charlie talking but can’t find him.
Charlie spends the night on a couch in his new apartment, oversleeping and forgetting to open the restaurant early for a produce delivery. Julia drops by, noting that he’s officially moved out of the house. She tells him she’ll miss having him around; things weren’t perfect, but they were getting better. Charlie assures her that she can come to him anytime she needs something. Julia takes the opportunity to ask about sex.
Jill skipped school, so Bailey goes to her house and confronts her for being difficult. She tells him that if she’s going to quit using drugs, she needs to feel like she can accomplish things without his help. In other words, if she has a flat tire, she won’t let him change it for her, but she’d like for him to teach her how to do it. Bailey will take that.
Claudia is sent home from school after falling asleep in class and hitting her head on her desk. She tells Charlie about her nightmares, and he’s surprised to hear that they’re not about the robbery. Justin tracks down Julia at the school pool (um, okay then) and tells her he figured out that she’s upset because she found his condom. She says that she cares about him but isn’t quite ready to have sex. He tells her he only has it so he’s prepared; he doesn’t want to rush anything. Right now, he’s getting enough intimacy from their makeout sessions. Then they go skinny-dipping.
Kirsten meets Charlie at the new apartment, telling him she had a debate with herself over whether to get him a painting. If she did, she would be supporting his decision to move; if she didn’t, she would be saying she wasn’t on his side. Ultimately, she got the painting, but Charlie tells her to put it in his truck. He’s realized that he’s already had the life of a single partier, and he doesn’t like that guy anymore. A year ago, no one needed him, and he felt lucky. Now, he just wants to go home.
Thoughts: How in the world did Charlie plan to explain his new living situation to social services?
That robber is an idiot. Pulling a gun in broad daylight without wearing a mask or looking to make sure there were no witnesses? That’s just asking to get busted.
A 36-hour marathon? Yikes. Even the one on Gilmore Girls was only 24 hours.
Justin, the best place to try to get your girlfriend named is probably not in her backyard while other people are home.
Once again, I don’t get why Julia doesn’t go to Kirsten when she has personal problems or questions. I don’t care if I had a gun to my head – I still wouldn’t ask any of my brothers for sex advice.
Owen’s not in this episode, and given the level of responsibility his siblings have been showing, I’m a little worried about him.
March 30, 2013
Summary: Dylan packs for his Erica-rescue mission but gets slowed down when Valerie shows up to hang out. She asks to come with him, but he won’t even tell her where he’s going. He remarks that he’s probably not the only guy she plans to visit this morning. When Dylan arrives in Mexico, he tries to call Jonesy, who’s sick in bed and doesn’t answer. He takes a cab to Jonesy’s hotel and learns that Jonesy isn’t so much sick as hungover and heartbroken.
Despite having a sick newborn through finals, Andrea made the dean’s list. She mentions Hannah’s doctor, and Brandon and Steve tease her for having feelings for someone who’s not her husband. David and Clare bicker over his desire to turn the Peach Pit After Dark into a hip-hop club. He thinks her affection for alt rock is awful.
At the beach apartment, Donna and Ray watch a video of Ray’s performance at the After Dark. Brandon finds Kelly meditating while listening to tapes of Professor Finley saying new-agey things. She tells Brandon he was denied tenure despite being popular with his students. He won’t give any more tutorials until he’s granted an appeal, which Brandon is willing to lobby for.
In Mexico, Dylan and Jonesy ride horses down a beach (of course) until they can get a look at the beachfront property Kevin and Suzanne have purchased. They’re now calling themselves Carl and Kitty Cavendish, and are possibly smuggling drugs. Jonesy plans to track down and flush down their secret bank account. His tap on their phone has let him know that Carl likes pirate collectibles and Kitty isn’t sleeping with him.
Jonesy has a plan, but it will only work if he has a female accomplice, and his just ditched him. Dylan gets distracted when he finally catches a glimpse of Erica. Jonesy needs another accomplice who can lie and be seductive. Dylan knows just the person. He calls Valerie, but she’s mad because he blew her off earlier and still won’t tell her what he’s up to. He manages to talk her into going to Mexico, and she gives the Walshes a cover story they don’t believe.
The next day, Dylan and Jonesy go to the airport, where Jonesy has Dylan pose as a valet and pick up Valerie. Dylan still questions Jonesy, who promises that he’s done this sort of thing before. In turn, Dylan promises that Valerie can do whatever they need her do. Jonesy pretends to be Valerie’s boyfriend, and she immediately plays along.
Brandon asks the dean about Finley’s appeal, wondering why he isn’t getting tenure. The dean tells him Finley was supposed to write a book, but he’s doing tutorials instead. The other professors think he’s trying to win “converts.” Parents have also complained about Finley’s conduct during a weekend retreat. The dean is willing to work with Brandon, though.
Dylan, Valerie, and Jonesy go to a retreat near where Suzanne and Kevin are staying. Val and Jonesy will be posing as a super-rich couple on vacation, and Dylan will be their “manservant.” Jonesy has even arranged a double date with Kevin and Suzanne. He tells Valerie to flirt with Kevin, then spills a drink on Suzanne so he can get her out of the picture. They talk pirate stuff, and Jonesy tells Kevin he has Blackbeard’s log. He invites Kevin to join them on their yacht.
Meanwhile, Dylan follows Erica and her nanny (I guess) around town, which would be totally creepy if we didn’t know what was going on. He catches up to her at a market stall and tells her not to look at him while they’re talking. She begs him to take her away from Mexico and gives him her favorite piece from her sea glass collection. A guard from the villa sees him, but Dylan acts casual.
Jonesy finds out about Dylan’s encounter with Erica and blasts him for letting the guard see him. Dylan doesn’t care what he thinks since he hasn’t come through on his promises yet. Valerie assures Dylan that she’ll do whatever he needs to get Erica back.
In Beverly Hills, Brandon meets with Finley, who asks him to lead the charge for his tenure. Brandon thinks he needs to address his critics head-on. Finley thinks the dean has already turned Brandon against him, and Brandon’s only there to find out if Finley’s as bad as everyone thinks. He promises a showdown if it comes to that, and he plans to win.
Jonesy, Valerie, Kevin, and Suzanne spend the day on a yacht, bringing a big marlin back with them. Dylan listens in on a surveillance device as Valerie and Suzanne talk about Erica. Meanwhile, Jonesy tells Kevin that he’s a smuggler (he stuffs his wares inside fish – heh) and wants a partner.
Suzanne and Jonesy head to villa while Valerie goes to the “Cavendishes’” house with Kevin. Kevin uses the Interwebs to access his bank account in the Caymans, and Jonesy hacks into the account to get all the information he needs. He immediately transfers what’s left of Dylan’s $8 million into an FBI account. Jonesy’s ready to go back to the States, but Dylan wants to get Erica. Jonesy has no experience taking kids, so he won’t be helping.
When Valerie finds out that Jonesy’s gone, she blasts Dylan for letting him go; Kevin and Suzanne will soon be coming over to have dinner with the couple. Dylan says that’s perfect, since that means Erica will be alone in the house. Kelly gets herself hired as Finley’s research assistant and chastises Brandon for stabbing Finley in the back. She calls him an extern, which is Finley’s word for a non-believer.
Valerie goes to Kevin and Suzanne’s house, pretending she was on the beach and was going to be late for dinner. She gives Erica back the piece of sea glass she gave Dylan. As soon as the others leave, Dylan sneaks into the house to get Erica. Suzanne calls and hears Erica shout a warning to Dylan as he’s spotted by a member of the house staff. Suzanne quickly figures out that Valerie and Dylan are working together and pulls a gun on her.
Kevin and Suzanne take Valerie back to their house, having easily gotten the truth out of her. Suzanne asks Dylan where Jonesy is. Just then Dylan looks outside to see his supposedly former partner. Gunfighting ensues, and Dylan knocks Kevin out while Valerie takes Suzanne’s gun. Suzanne offers her money, but Valerie tells her it’s already theirs.
Once the bad guys have been taken away, Jonesy tells Dylan and Valerie that he got some help from the FBI after he told them Kevin and Suzanne were plotting to kidnap Erik Estrada. Dylan lets Erica know that he’s okay, and she says she knew he’d find her.
Thoughts: My recap title comes from Veggie Tales, and it’s way better than the actual title of the episode, which has nothing to do with anything.
When Dylan is done playing Jonesy and Valerie’s manservant, can he come be mine? Oh, I’ve said too much.
I was thinking that brenda would have been a better choice for Valerie’s part of Jonesy’s plan, but I think she’s met Suzanne, so that wouldn’t work.
Hotter: Dylan with his shirt open or Dylan in a nice, crisp white shirt? Don’t make me choose!
March 24, 2013
Summary: The semester’s over, and Brandon and Dylan have no idea what to do other than hang out at the Peach Pit, apparently. Dylan suggests a road trip and some camping. He only has three days before his probation starts and he has to turn over his driver’s license. The guys will be road-tripping on motorcycles. Next door, the After Dark is being readied for its debut, but Steve doesn’t think it’ll be ready in time. He also thinks Clare and David will never be able to run it. Clare surprises him by telling him how awesome Rush is. In fact, everyone at the After Dark loves him.
Cindy questions Brandon and Dylan’s plans, though Jim notes that Dylan driving isn’t a better idea. Kelly comes over to say goodbye and tell Brandon she was invited to a workshop led by a psych professor, Patrick Finley. He has some grand theory called the new evolution. Valerie was also invited but wasn’t going to go until she found out Kelly was going. Dylan arrives and Cindy again expresses her anxiety over the guys’ trip. No one listens to her.
Clare, David, and Rush take a break at the Peach Pit while Donna tries to help Ray overcome his stage fright. Dylan and Brandon stop at a diner and flirt horribly with their waitress. Brandon tells Dylan about Lucinda showing up in D.C., but Dylan doesn’t want to hear about her, since she just reminds him of how Kelly and Brandon got together. Later, in their motel room, Brandon sneaks a call to Kelly while Dylan’s in the shower. The guys bicker, so this was clearly not a good idea. Brandon says he’ll go back to Beverly Hills in the morning.
Kelly and Valerie go to the seminar, which involves talk of the search for meaning and illumination and all that hippie stuff. Professor Finley (who’s in a wheelchair) tells the attendees, “We have evolved.” They’re very happy to hear that. Dylan doesn’t want Brandon to go home on his own, and somehow this leads to Brandon agreeing to continue the trip. Back at the seminar, Valerie’s bored but Kelly’s intrigued. When everyone splits into groups, Valerie ducks out. A grad student tells Kelly not to let a “negater” like Valerie hold her back from changing her life.
Brandon and Dylan take a pit stop at the border of a Native American reservation just as a police officer drives by. He tells them they’re desecrating a sacred burial land. Dylan blasts Brandon for handing over his driver’s license without asking to see the officer’s badge. (Um, Dylan, he just stepped out of a police car. I think that makes it pretty clear that he’s a cop.) The officer announces that he could arrest the guys, but instead he’s going to put them on a work detail.
Kelly tells her small group that she thought her life would be different after the fire. She used to care about how she looks, but now she feels like her physical appearance is less meaningful. Finley overhears and tells her not to analyze her “one truth,” which she’s revealed in an attempt to reach a “moment of clarity.” Kelly reveals that when the fire was approaching the door, she prayed that her face wouldn’t be burned – that Alison would be burned instead if that’s what it took. Kelly wants to change her life, but she doesn’t know how to do it.
The officer tells Dylan and Brandon to dig a big hole exactly two feet deep, with perfect sides and a perfect bottom. He gives Dylan the shovel and tells Brandon to supervise. Dylan balks, but Brandon says they have to do what they said they’d do. After all, the people on the reservation could do anything to them – they might not even follow the U.S. Constitution. (No, he really says this.) Dylan complains but starts digging.
Donna asks Steve for some advice on what to tell Ray before he performs. He tells her to sleep with him. Then he blasts her for not thinking that he might not want to hear about the After Dark. He calms down and tells her to look to the inspirational words of Vince Lombardi. The officer visits Dylan and Brandon, questioning Brandon’s claims that the whole is perfect. Dylan throws a hissy fit and storms off, so now it’s Brandon’s turn to dig. But Dylan doesn’t want Brandon to dig; that would give him the chance to tell everyone he bailed Dylan out. Brandon tells him it’ll just be for a while.
Donna confuses David and Clare by watching tapes of Lombardi giving his players pep talks. Clare’s figured out that Ray has stage fright. Donna assures them that she has everything under control. Kelly gushes that Finley is awesome, so David suggests that they get him to help Ray. Brandon and Dylan dig, dig, dig, Brandon with the shovel and Dylan with a rock. The officer returns, wondering who’s checking the sides and bottom if they’re both digging. He gives them back their licenses and tells them they’re free to leave, but he’d like them to stay.
A bunch of tribe members arrive, and by that night they’ve put up tents and turned the hole into a fire pit. The tribe members will use it as a sweat lodge. Brandon doesn’t want to have a turn, but Dylan doesn’t think they can turn down their host. Steve hangs out at the KEG house while everyone else at CU attends the After Dark’s opening. Rush comes by and Steve complains about how everyone loves him, and how he made a stupid deal in court. Rush says he doesn’t care how popular the After Dark gets if Steve doesn’t get to take part. He suggests that Steve sneak in.
Dylan and Brandon get naked in the sweat lodge and pray along with the other tribe members. Dylan is grateful to be alive, and Brandon is grateful to have this memorable experience with Dylan. The After Dark is a big hit, and Andrea and Jesse make their only appearance of the episode to congratulate Clare on the successful opening. David’s nervous that Ray will bomb or chicken out, so Clare tells him he gets to tell Donna if he wants to cancel Ray’s set.
Donna tells Ray to be like some football player, and remember that classic Lombardi quote: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” She’s drawn plays on a chalkboard, and I’d love to know what they’re supposed to mean. Donna tells Steve she took his advice, which he admits was a joke. But it doesn’t matter since it worked, and Ray’s able to perform. Valerie is especially impressed.
In the morning, Brandon and Dylan decide to cut their trip short, since anything else they do will be anticlimactic. Dylan admits that he was mad because he thought Brandon would have an easier time digging a perfect hole. Now he knows everyone’s flawed. Brandon sees the situation differently: Dylan thought Brandon was out to get him when he wasn’t.
Kelly slides a note under Finley’s door and he invites her into his office. She asks if he started “evolving” when he wound up in a wheelchair. He says that she should know from the fire that there are some events that put your life into focus. Kelly can change her life, but not everyone will understand what she’s trying to do. She doesn’t care – she wants to evolve. Dylan comes home to hear a message from Jonesy: He’s in Brazil and has found Dylan’s money.
Thoughts: Don’t you have to have a special license to ride a motorcycle? Is Brandon flagrantly breaking the law? I think Jason Priestley just wanted to ride a motorcycle and look cool.
Brandon doesn’t think the Constitution applies on the reservation? No, of course not – they’re savages, you know. They’ll probably scalp him and feed him to wolves. Brandon, THEY HAVE A POLICE FORCE. They’re not uncivilized.
Rush, you such as a father. “I’m so disappointed in you for the fire! Take your punishment like a man! Now let’s go party at the one place you’re not supposed to go!”
People clapping during Ray’s song: This isn’t that kind of song. Also, you’re not on the beat. Just stand there and listen, okay? (Though I guess I should just be grateful that David doesn’t dance.)
March 20, 2013
Summary: This Super Mystery has not one, not two, but THREE mysteries, so it actually deserves to be called a Super Mystery. And they’re actually mysterious!
First, it’s almost Christmas. (Yeah, I know it was Christmas in the last book. I’ll get to that later.) Someone is auditioning for the role of Grinch by breaking into houses in Kristy and Abby’s neighborhood. Fortunately, the break-ins happen when no one’s home, and only a few things are stolen, but there’s a lot of destruction. Plus, the burglar is painting “naughty” on the houses. Kristy’s house is left alone, but the family gets a note calling them “nice.”
A rake is found at one of the houses, which is weird since it’s winter and keeps snowing, so obvious no one’s doing yardwork. Speaking of yardwork, the only thing the break-in families have in common (other than their neighborhood) is that they’ve all recently fired their gardener. The Thomas/Brewers and the Stevensons still employ him. Dawn figures out that the gardener is the burglar, and that the rake fell off his truck, which has been spotted in the neighborhood. The Thomas/Brewers set up a sting with the police (including, of course, Sgt. Johnson), and he’s arrested.
The other Stoneybrook mystery involves a pregnant woman Mallory and Jessi run into who doesn’t know who she is. No one in town knows her and she doesn’t know how she got there. Because she’s pregnant around Christmas, she’s nicknamed Mary Doe. The Pikes invite her to stay with them so she won’t be alone over the holidays.
Mallory manages to figure out what the police can’t: Mary’s wedding ring is unique, probably custom-made, and her sweater came from a store in California. She picks a jewelry store in the same town in California and sends them a picture of the ring. The owner recognizes it: Her nephew had it made for his wife, Lisa.
Once it’s determined that Mary is Lisa, the real story comes out: She was visiting family on the East Coast, started to take the train back, and decided to stop in Boston to visit friends. When the train stopped in Stoneybrook, she got off and most likely had her purse stolen, suffering a concussion in the process. Because no one knew when she was getting back to California, no one knew she was missing. And her husband was out of the country on business, so he didn’t know he needed to be worried. Somehow, going into labor jogs Lisa’s memory, so she’ll be fine.
The third mystery involves Stacey and Claudia, who are visiting Stacey’s dad in New York. They spend a lot of time with Stacey’s boyfriend, Ethan, who keeps staring at Stacey and is possibly following the girls. He also won’t let the girls see certain parts of his apartment. Then the girls start getting notes and seeing fake blood in the elevator and near Stacey’s dad’s apartment. The doorman says no one has come into the building who could have left anything, so the culprit appears to live there.
The girls are summoned to the basement one afternoon, after being stuck in the elevator, which they thought they had to take since the stairs were roped off. It turns out there was nothing wrong with the stairs, which makes things weirder. Stacey asks Ethan about the note, and he admits that he used to date a girl in her building, Cybil, and she’s, shall we say, unstable. She’s the one who’s been following the girls and doing weird stuff to them. Ethan’s only been staring at Stacey because he’s sculpting her; the sculpture is the reason he doesn’t want the girls in his room.
The three decide to go to the basement at the allotted time, and sure enough, Cybil shows up. She starts ranting about how Ethan likes her, not Stacey. She’s turned off the lights, so no one knows what she’s planning to do. Claudia knocks her down and Ethan grabs her, though it doesn’t seem like she was going to do anything dangerous. Cybil’s parents agree that she needs help, and everything’s okay between Stacey and Ethan again.
Thoughts: Once again, we have continuity problems. The last book took place around Christmas and included a visit from Dawn. This book takes place around Christmas and starts with Dawn arriving in Stoneybrook. Stacey and Claudia go to New York in this book, but they were in Stoneybrook for the last one. Plus, Logan mentions at the end of this book that he was out of town, but he was in Stoneybrook in the last one. Arg.
Claudia, re: Ethan: “He had staring spells, sort of like the ones Mary Anne’s kitten, Tigger, gets.” That cracked me up.
Anna suggests that the burglar is using a fake delivery truck to case the neighborhood. When I inevitably turn to a life of crime, that’s what I’m going to do. Thanks for the idea, Anna!
Claudia notes that if the elevator she and Stacey are stuck in were to drop, she and Stacey could become “big dead pancakes.” Then she thinks that sounds like a good name for a punk band. I call it! Mine!
Mallory sometimes uses her dad’s briefcase instead of a backpack. Mal, this is why people make fun of you. (Though I’m sure if Claudia did this, it would be oh-so-cool and fashion-forward.)
March 19, 2013
Summary: Andrea brings Dylan a book of Charles Bukowski’s poetry, which leads him to wonder if artists can still be artists after they’ve conquered their demons. He gets a notice to appear in court so he can face the music for his DUI. The Peach Pit After Dark is being constructed, so Donna does a news report calling for musicians to perform. She thinks Ray would be great. Clare disagrees since “his music isn’t exactly danceable.” David opts to stay out of it since he knows Donna will get her way eventually.
Steve reports to a nursing home for his community service, arriving just as a recently deceased resident is wheeled out. He runs into Saul Howard, an actor he remembers from his mom’s TV show. Saul thinks he’s Chuckie. (Oh, ouch.) Saul laments that he was in show business for almost 70 years but is only remembered for his role in a dumb sitcom. (It’s okay, Saul – most of the people on this show will only be remembered for their roles here.) Steve thinks the director will just sign his time sheets and let him go. The director does, but complains that a rich kid is getting away with his crime.
As Steve leaves, Saul (still calling him Chuckie) asks him to wash his sheets. He doesn’t want the staff to know he wet the bed because they’ll make him sleep on plastic sheets. Steve promises to do the chore (or, more accurately, get his mother’s house staff to do the chore). Valerie returns from her Christmas break, which she spent in Jamaica, despite having told everyone she was going to Buffalo. She couldn’t face going home yet. After she leaves the room, Kelly complains that she’s a compulsive liar, encouraging Brandon to call Valerie’s mother.
Steve brings Saul’s sheets back, correcting him again that he’s not Chuckie. Saul knows exactly who he is, revealing that he was fired because Rush told the showrunners he couldn’t remember his lines. They bond over losing family in car accidents. The director stops by and Steve announces that he’s going to complete his community service hours. The director thinks Steve wants to be a hero to Saul; he should just leave the man alone and let him live out his last days in peace.
The next day, Brandon tells Kelly that Valerie’s mother confirmed that Val went to Jamaica. Kelly still doesn’t trust her. Valerie asks to borrow her notes for a class they have together, though Kelly hasn’t noticed her in the classroom. She snits that she doesn’t want to help someone who doesn’t care about the class. Brandon defends Valerie, but Kelly says she’s a user and a liar. At the beach apartment, Donna tells Ray she’s arranged for him to headline opening night at the After Dark. Ray isn’t interested.
Steve works in the nursing home dining room while Saul tells his friends jokes. He calls Steve over to show him a card trick (though there isn’t actually a trick involved). The director snaps at Steve to get back to work. Andrea does laundry again and runs into Peter again. He wants to give her his number again. She still doesn’t tell him a) that she’s married or b) that Hannah’s her daughter, not her babysitting charge.
Saul and Steve lament that they’re both stuck at the nursing home, though at least Steve can leave. Saul says he’s “sentenced to life.” Steve offers to take him on a field trip the next day. At the Peach Pit, Jesse advises Dylan to get a good attorney and plead for mercy in court. He could get away with probation and a fine. Dylan thinks he’ll get a harsh sentence. Jesse gives him an attorney’s number. Steve goes to pick up Saul, but Saul doesn’t know who he is. He thinks Steve’s there to steal money and his Emmy.
Steve comes back the next day, and this time Saul knows who he is and wonders where he’s been. He admires Steve’s Corvette and asks to drive, trying to guilt Steve by saying it could be his last chance. Steve takes him to the Peach Pit, where Nat recognizes him. They meet up with Brandon, Kelly, Donna, David, Clare, Andrea, and Hannah, and Saul does a card trick for them. Clare mentions one of Saul’s movies, but he doesn’t remember whether he was in it. He also doesn’t remember what his Emmy was for. Steve decides it’s time to go home.
That night, while Andrea and Jesse tend to a sick Hannah, Clare tells Ray that they’re holding a spot open for him at the After Dark’s opening. Ray tells Donna again that he doesn’t want to perform. He thinks she wants to show him off so she can show up Felice. Andrea and Jesse take Hannah to the hospital, and guess who the med student on call is? Yep, Andrea’s laundry buddy. Peter gets the one-two punch of information that Andrea’s married and Hannah’s her daughter.
Back at the nursing home, Steve tells Saul that he and Rush don’t get along very well. Saul tells him to stop complaining and cherish what he has. He had a similarly bad relationship with his daughter, and one day he called her and told her he loved her no matter what. Two weeks later, she died. “Do the right thing,” he tells Steve. Steve shouldn’t wait to make up with Rush, or he’ll always regret it. As Steve leaves for the night, Saul says that he knows he’s going downhill. Steve tries to hide his emotions, assuring him that he won’t take anything personally.
Hannah stays in the hospital overnight, but she’s better in the morning. Peter asks why Andrea wasn’t honest about who she was. She says she wanted to see what it was like not to be a wife or a mother. Peter confesses that he’s also married. Andrea chastises him for flirting with her, though he points out that she didn’t exactly resist. He thinks she and Jesse only got married because she got pregnant. (He’s not wrong, but he’s also a jerk.)
Valerie calls Kelly from school, wondering why she isn’t at their psych final. Kelly accidentally overslept, so Val accidentally helped her out. Saul’s in an art class at the nursing home but isn’t painting anything. Steve helps him but he can’t hold the brush. Ray plays his guitar outside the beach apartment (and he’s finally playing a different song!), and Donna apologizes for pushing him to perform. He says he’s always wanted to perform, but he has stage fright. Donna wants to help him overcome his fears.
Dylan runs into Jesse after his hearing and blasts him for his advice before revealing that he got exactly the sentence Jesse said he would. At the Walshes’, Kelly thanks Valerie for getting her to her test on time. Val tells her to stop feeling guilty about not sharing her notes; she did fine without them. Kelly promises to repay the favor sometime. Steve brings Saul some pie, but Saul is so out of it that he doesn’t even acknowledge him. Steve brings him back to lucidity by offering a ride in the Corvette. Saul finally calls him Steve.
Thoughts: Saul is played by Milton Berle.
Jack Bender directed this episode (he directed episodes of Lost and a bunch of other shows). And Ian Ziering co-wrote it! Go, Ian!
Guys, I love Steve. I’m saying it before it’s too late!
“I have an English final tomorrow and I still don’t know who killed the damn mockingbird.” Donna, you make me sad.
Buffalo vs. Jamaica in December? Family or not, Valerie made the right choice.
I thought Kelly was okay with Valerie. Did I miss an episode?
Donna, that’s not a shirt, it’s a vest. Put on more clothes.
Saul drops a card in Kelly’s lap, then says, “I only did that so I could touch your knee.” I wonder if that was ad-libbed – Jennie Garth’s laugh sounds genuine.
Thank you, show, for not killing Saul. I don’t think I would have been able to handle that.
March 13, 2013
Summary: Lila is arrested for firebombing the restaurant and spends the night in jail until Steven can bail her out. (I hope Mr. Fowler paid him back later.) Obviously Steven’s boss doesn’t like this, since Lila is the main suspect in the fire at Fowler Crest, so he forces Steven to choose between Lila and his internship. Steven chooses Lila and sets out to investigate on his own and prove her innocence.
Meanwhile, the twins still want Lila and Steven to break up, so they send them letters from each other, talking about their future together and making it clear how little they have in common. This is especially horrible behavior because Lila is now practically homeless, is possibly being stalked, is facing prison time, and can’t reach her parents. Steven is basically the only person she’s been able to turn to for support. But having her date their brother would mess up the twins’ perfect little lives, so they just have to get rid of her.
Anyway, Steven’s investigation actually turns up some evidence: The bomb was made from a can of the brand of soda John Pfeifer drinks. He also gets Lila to demonstrate that she wouldn’t be able to throw the soda/bomb as high or as hard as it was thrown. Not that this evidence is admissible in court, or proves that Pfeifer was the bomber, or was collected by someone not avidly trying to defend the accused culprit. But still, it’s pretty good work.
Because the twins have nothing better to do, they arrange for Steven and Lila to meet up at an SVH football game so they’ll have to discuss (and hopefully fight about) the letters. This actually works, but Lila and Steven figure out that the twins sent the letters and decide to get back at them by pretending they failed. Instead, they encounter Pfeifer, who has another bomb.
Pfeifer commits the cardinal sin of villains: talking too much. He’s mad that Lila’s accusations of attempted rape made him an outcast, so he burned down Fowler Crest and framed her. He detonates the bomb, blowing up SVH’s gym. Lila and Steven somehow make it out all right, but Pfeifer ends up killing himself. The twins feel worse about almost getting Steven and Lila killed than they do about Pfeifer actually dying.
Happy ending: Steven gets his internship back and calls Billie, so they’re on the road to getting back together. Lila’s parents come home and she tells them she doesn’t want any material things to make her feel better; she just wants them around more. And Lila and Steven get their revenge on the twins by pretending they’re engaged.
While all this is going on, Devon makes it to Sweet Valley, where his childhood nanny lives. He’s already been burned twice by relatives who a) only wanted him around because he’s rich or b) were jerks, so he doesn’t want to get too comfortable. But Nana is awesome and just wants Devon to have a stable place to live. Devon’s mad that she never got in touch with him after she stopped working for his family, but it turns out his parents hid all the letters she wrote him. She insists his parents loved him and weren’t horrible people, but the hiding of the letters seems to negate that.
Devon eventually tells Nana about his inheritance, and she makes it clear that she doesn’t care about the money. She’s more than happy to let him live with her no matter what. Devon starts to make himself at home in Sweet Valley, hanging around SVH to see what it would be like to go there. And since it’s required for this series, he sees Elizabeth and immediately falls in luuuuuuuv. Yay?
Thoughts: Devon gets a letter from the law firm of Boyd, Dewey, Cheatam, & Howe. Really, ghostwriter? Really?
Devon’s nanny is named Nan and he calls her Nana. My head hurts.
“You don’t know who I am, but you will be mine.” Dev, I’m pretty sure you can’t say that unless you’re smoking and petting a cat in a top-secret underground lair.
So Pfeifer sets off the bomb, and the next thing we get is the news that he’s dead and everyone else is fine. How anticlimactic. I bet in the next book, the gym will be fine, too.
March 12, 2013
Summary: Having asked Kirsten to move into the Salingers’ house, Charlie now has to tell his siblings about it. They think it’s too fast, since just a month ago, Charlie and Kirsten weren’t even speaking. Claudia’s the only one who’s excited. Julia and Bailey are upset that they weren’t consulted about someone who will be living in their house. (Fair point, but one of you invited an abused runaway to live with the family without asking anyone else’s opinion, so….)
Despite the protests, the move goes forward. Julia raises more objections when Kirsten and Charlie move their mother’s dresser out of their parents’ bedroom. She moves it into her own room, finding a journal inside one of the drawers. Jill and Bailey go to the mall, goofing around at some high-end department store, where Bailey sees gloves he likes that are way too expensive.
Claudia gives Artie feedback as he practices for his bar mitzvah, which he’s taking very seriously. In fact, he’s so serious about his religion that he’s worried what marrying Claudia would do to his grandmother. Plus, mixed marriages have horrible success rates. Claudia notes that one of them could convert to the other’s religion. It’s not going to be Artie.
Julia reads the journal, which belonged to her mother and contains numerous mentions of her violin teacher, Avery. It sounds like they were closer than Mr. Salinger probably would have liked. Jill informs Bailey that she has a present for him: the gloves he looked at. She casually mentions that she didn’t buy them.
Charlie wants to break in his and Kirsten’s new bed, but it squeaks and she doesn’t want his siblings to hear them getting it on. They opt for the floor instead. Julia goes looking for more journals with no luck. Claudia questions Kirsten about her religious preferences (she’s agnostic) and how she would want her children to be raised (of course, she doesn’t know that Kirsten can’t have children). Kirsten tells her that children don’t necessarily have to believe what their parents do.
Bailey doesn’t want to wear his new gloves since he claims he doesn’t need them. It’s definitely not because he has a conscious and feels guilty for using stolen property, Jill. Jill attempts to corrupt Bailey further by asking him to skip his family dinner that night. Claudia starts reading the Torah, telling Julia that she’s thinking of converting to Judaism. Julia thinks she’s too young to make such a decision. She’s also mad that Kirsten’s encouraging her to think for herself. Really, though, she thinks Claudia’s turning her back on their parents’ religion.
Julia heads to the restaurant early and asks Joe if he knows anything about Avery. Joe claims not to know whether Nick liked Avery or not. Julia thinks Avery and Diana had an affair and asks Joe to confirm or deny. He sticks to his claim that he doesn’t know. Everyone else arrives for family dinner, including Kirsten but excluding Bailey. Then Bailey shows up with Jill, which necessitates a move to a different table.
Charlie pulls Bailey aside so they can fight over who is and isn’t welcome at family dinners. Bailey’s upset that Charlie gets to make all the decisions. He agrees to send Jill home only if Charlie tells Kirsten to leave, too. That night, Claudia wakes up Kirsten because she doesn’t feel well. Julia wanders in and isn’t happy that Kirsten’s being the maternal one. Charlie, however, loves Kirsten even more for taking care of his sister. He’s also pleased that Claudia asked for her.
Julia meets with Avery, pretending she’s doing a school project on him. She gets him to talk about Diana, who he says he’d lost touch with before her death. He says she was his favorite student. Julia asks to hear the recordings they made together. Avery says they’re hard to find, and are the only recordings Diana made. She quit playing to raise her kids (which at that point were just Charlie, Bailey, and Julia). Avery reveals that he was in love with her.
Bailey and Jill go back to the mall, where she tries to get him to steal her a pair of sunglasses. He gets caught. Julia comes home to find Kirsten making matzo ball soup. Julia blasts Kirsten for advising Claudia about religion and changing things in the house. She thinks Claudia only went to Kirsten when she was sick because Kirsten moving in has confused her. Then Julia admits that she feels like her mother is disappearing. Every time something changes, there’s less of her in the house.
Charlie’s summoned to the mall, where Bailey defends Jill and claims the shoplifting was his idea. He’s let off the hook. Back at home, Charlie then confronts Julia over what she said to Kirsten. Kirsten admits that it was a mistake for her to move in without the others being consulted. Charlie assures Julia that Kirsten doesn’t want to be her mother any more than he wants to be the kids’ father. Julia says again that she feels like she’s losing Diana. Charlie tries to ease her mind, asking for some slack.
Claudia confides to Artie that her family’s resistant to her spiritual journey, and she’s having some problems sorting everything out. She decides she just needs to learn more about Judaism. He tells her about the names of the dead in the synagogue and teaches her the Mourner’s Kaddish. Bailey complains to Jill that Charlie’s overreacting to the fact that he committed a crime. Jill notes that at least Bailey has someone in his family who cares.
Avery shows up at the Salingers’ house, having figured out who Julia is. He gives her Diana’s recordings and says they were just friends. Julia thinks she deserves to know if her mother had an affair, so she doesn’t keep believing her parents had a perfect marriage. Avery tells her that he was in love with Diana, but they didn’t have an affair. She mentions the journal and how much Diana wrote about him. He says they had the opportunity to do something, but Diana never stopped loving Nick.
That night, Claudia tells Julia that she’s decided to hold off on converting. She wants to believe in the Heaven her parents are in. She needs to know that the whole family will wind up in the same place someday. Charlie’s supposed fixed the bed, so now he and Kirsten can have sex without anyone hearing. (Yay?) Except it’s not fixed after all. Charlie tells Kirsten she doesn’t need to try to be invisible in the house – he wants her to be there.
Bailey and Jill are out somewhere (the school football field?), and he decides they should just start driving and see where they end up. He’s wearing the Gloves of Corruption. Julia listens to Diana and Avery’s recordings, which include her mother’s voice. She cries and listens to Diana speaking over and over, then stops rewinding to hear Diana laugh.
Thoughts: Jill’s hair looks even worse now. It’s all fluffy and high. Poor girl.
Artie, you don’t get to worry about marriage until your voice has changed.
Trivia: The Salingers are Episcopalian.
Artie: “If you’re really becoming Jewish, you should never apologize for complaining.” Snort.