May 12, 2013
Summary: The Salingers, Kirsten, Griffin, and Sarah are at an ice-skating rink, and it turns out Kirsten’s a really good skater. Griffin’s (blue shirt) moping because he got fired. The rest of the family’s happy, at least until Claudia flies into a wall and breaks her arm. But then she gets painkillers at the hospital and everyone’s happy again.
At home, Kirsten opens some wedding presents, including an ugly urn and a certificate for a psychic reading. Charlie’s planning a weekly lounge night at the restaurant, and Julia mentions that Griffin needs a new job. Charlie doesn’t think it would be a good idea since Griffin doesn’t respect him. Julia says that Griffin is just intimidated, and he thinks Charlie’s great.
At school, Julia tells Griffin (oatmeal and gray shirts) that Charlie’s willing to give him a shot at the restaurant. The $6.25 and tips are some kind of draw. Bailey delivers a note to Sarah’s English class to summon her to the principal’s office, but it’s a forgery so he can spend time with her. Sarah would rather be in class since she has a test coming up.
Kirsten goes to the psychic reading; according to her tea leaves, she and Charlie are a good match, even though Charlie hasn’t always been such a great guy. The psychic can see them dancing at their wedding. Kirsten and “Rob” will have a long, happy life together. Griffin skips out on his first day at work, putting Charlie in a bad mood. Ross worries that Claudia’s injury will cause muscle damage that could lead to her not being able to play the violin anymore.
At home, Charlie tells Julia to tell Griffin that he’s fired. Julia takes responsibility, claiming that she gave Griffin the right start date. Charlie reluctantly gives him a second chance. Bailey and Sarah make out in a park, but when the clothes start to come off, Sarah gets nervous. The two are interrupted by a police officer, and Bailey tries to come up with a lie about a spider in Sarah’s shirt. Sarah won’t play along.
Kirsten tells Charlie about the psychic reading and the guy named Rob. She admits that she did date a guy named Rob for a month, but he’s the last guy she would entertain thoughts of marrying. Kirsten wants them to take dance classes to be prepared to dance at their wedding. As Bailey’s running around, getting ready for school, he tells Claudia to get moving because he has to go pick up Jill. She corrects him, but he denies that he misspoke.
Julia finds Griffin (gray shirt) at the coffeehouse and asks why he missed work. Griffin basically blows off the question, since he’s so busy buying motorcycle stuff. Julia tries to make plans for them to meet up at a Soul Asylum concert. Claudia overhears Charlie and Ross talking about her arm and getting a second opinion. Now she’s concerned that she won’t heal properly.
Bailey and Sarah meet Julia at the concert, but Griffin is MIA. Sarah tells Julia that dating Bailey is different than she expected; she thought it would be similar to when they were friends. Bailey learns that the concert is actually by an unknown band (they thought Soul Asylum was booked under a fake name), so he and Sarah split.
Kirsten and Charlie go to their first dance class, where their teacher thinks Charlie’s holding on too tightly and Kirsten isn’t showing enough trust. He thinks they’re there on their first date. Sarah and Bailey drive around, talking about misheard song lyrics. Bailey talks about driving to Seattle, and Sarah thinks he’s joking until he says he really wants to go. Sarah again has her test to think about, and she’s not amused by Bailey’s spontaneity.
Julia stays behind at the concert venue, still waiting for Griffin. Instead, she sees Justin meeting another girl. She runs into him again at school the next day, and he notes that ever since she ditched him for Griffin, she’s been alone a lot. He tells her he never would have stood him up like Griffin did. Justin doesn’t get why girls go for guys who treat them like dirt.
Sarah asks Bailey why his idea of fun is different now that they’re dating. He tells her that they didn’t know each other this well when they were just friends. Part of the fun of dating is finding out new things. They should relax and have fun. Charlie is currently doing neither of those things in a dance class with Kirsten. He suggests that Kirsten might like to dance with Rob instead.
Griffin actually shows up for work, and Julia corners him there to ask him why he skipped out on their date. He’s not sorry at all. Charlie snaps at him for breaking glasses, and Julia sides with him, telling Griffin to clean up the mess. But when Charlie tells Griffin he’s fired, Julia immediately blames wobbly shelves for the breakage. Griffin doesn’t appreciate her defending him, or trying to control him by getting him a job in a place where she can keep an eye on him.
Bailey and Sarah go to a movie, but Bailey just wants to make out. Sarah finally gets so fed up with his persistence that she walks out. She’s upset that he wasn’t paying attention to a movie she loves and wanted to share with him. She’s also mad that what she wants doesn’t matter to Bailey anymore. He suggests that she tell him exactly what she wants to do. Sarah would like to feel like what they do is special, and somehow different from what they did as friends.
At home, Charlie grumbles to Julia that dancing is suddenly such a big deal to Kirsten. She tells him that a lot of girls dream of dancing at their weddings, and feeling like they’re going to live happily ever after. She gives Charlie a little waltz lesson, telling him that their father taught her by letting her stand on his feet. He tells her that she deserves a boyfriend who will dance with her.
Griffin (gray, and he officially has a realistic number of shirts, so I’ll stop bugging him) and Julia meet up at school, and she tells him she doesn’t know why they’re together. He never talks about how he feels, he never calls or comes over, and he never even says her name. “Maybe it doesn’t matter to you what my name is,” Julia says. “It’s really too bad.”
Claudia’s still nervous about her arm, even though the doctor said there’s a 98 percent chance she’ll be fine. She’s worried that she’ll never play at Carnegie Hall. Charlie assures her that she would be able to handle the disappointment. Claudia tells him that she’s always the best when she goes to a master class, and she likes that.
Sarah confides in Julia again that she expected things to be different with Bailey. Instead, he just wants to rebel and drive away. It’s like he’s acting like someone else. Julia corrects that he’s acting like Sarah’s someone else. Lounge night at the restaurant is a bust, but it’s where Sarah finds Bailey and reminds him that she’s not Jill. She also doesn’t want to do the things he liked to do with Jill. After all, that relationship wasn’t exactly healthy. Sarah isn’t sure why Bailey would pick that over spending time with her. She doesn’t think he’s ready to date her.
Charlie wants to make the money he spent on the band worth it, so he gets Kirsten to dance with him. He tells her that he read the crumbs at the bottom of his cereal bowl and saw the two of them dancing at their wedding. They’re going to get their happily ever after. The other Salingers are mopey, but Bailey makes Claudia dance anyway.
Griffin comes by and asks Julia if she wants to hang out. She’s not charmed by his lame invitation. Instead, he gives her what he’s been trying to buy all week: a second helmet so she can ride his motorcycle. Then he calls her by her name, so now she’s all charmed and stuff.
Thoughts: The dance teacher is played by Sam McMurray, who’s been in pretty much everything and is one of the last people I would picture as a dance teacher.
To be fair, Justin, you can be quite a jerk, too.
Griffin looks kind of cute in the white shirt he wears to work at the restaurant. Keep dressing like that, Griffin!
Charlie, if you’re going to wear a tux, you should really shave.
May 8, 2013
Summary: Elizabeth decides she needs a break from both Todd and Devon, since the last time she saw them, they were acting like cavemen. She hears about an adventure program where people go out in the woods and learn to live off the land and fend for themselves, so she signs up. It’s boring, so just imagine what you think would happen on that sort of trek, and I’ll tell you you’re right and move on.
Jessica wants to cheer everyone up and take their minds off of all the drama, so she decides to throw a big party at Secca Lake. This is actually, amazingly, a good idea. Jess’s friends agree to help with the party, but none of the guys will help. Also, they keep disappearing and acting kind of weird. This is because Todd has gotten them all interested in mountain biking, and they all start hanging out in the mountains and convening with nature to relieve stress. The girls follow them one day and find out what they’re doing, and they’re kind of confused.
Devon is really mopey because he’s lost Elizabeth, so he decides to leave town. First, though, he runs into all the guys in the mountains. Instead of getting into another fight with him, Todd invites him to bike with them. Suddenly everyone’s mellow and forgiving, and it’s weird. They happen to be biking in the same area where Elizabeth is having her back-to-nature experience, but when she sees Todd and Devon, she thinks she’s hallucinating from hunger. The girls also wind up in the same place, and Jess tries to get Liz to leave with them, but she wants to finish her trek.
The time apart (and with nature) has been good for Elizabeth, Todd, and Devon, with Todd and Liz agreeing that they can just be friends. But the guys had both agreed to give her some space, so when Devon arrives at the Wakefields’ and sees Todd leaving, he gets mad. (Never mind that Devon shouldn’t be there either.) Now the guys will fight to the deal! Or something.
But first, the Secca Lake party! Todd heads out to get something for the party in the twins’ Jeep. Jessica calls right after he leaves to tell Elizabeth not to use the Jeep; the brakes aren’t working. It’s too late for Elizabeth to stop Todd, so she and Devon take his motorcycle to try to catch up with him. Unfortunately, Todd crashes before they can get to him, and the Jeep almost falls off a cliff. Devon and Liz save him, and though he’s injured, he’ll be fine.
Todd’s parents are away, and they ask Elizabeth to look after Todd until they can get to the hospital. But she realizes that she needs to be single for a while, and they can still only be friends. She visits Todd, taking Devon with her, then announces that she’s done with boys for the time being. Or, in other words, “I choose me.”
Thoughts: So it turns out Devon is really emo. Fantastic.
“This was more like it. A bunch of guys, the mountains, and good times.” I think that means Elizabeth finally drove Todd to the other team.
Lila wears an orange shirt, brown pants, and racing gloves. Did she lose a bet?
Suddenly everyone has a cell phone, but I don’t remember that many people having them in 1998.
May 6, 2013
Summary: Julia hangs out with Griffin (gray shirt) while he works on his motorcycle, then invites him to family dinner. He declines, and she decides to stay with him. Everyone else is at the restaurant, where Joe clearly isn’t feeling well. He insists he’s fine until he collapses. He winds up in the hospital, but just as Charlie’s calling to check on him the next morning, Joe arrives at the house, doing much better. It’s just congestive heart…something. (Joe, the third word is probably “failure.”)
At school, Bailey runs into Sarah (literally), and she tries to laugh off what she told him at the engagement party. He agrees to put the whole embarrassment behind them. Bailey’s dropped out of the election, citing being too busy to serve in student government, especially since he’s back on the football team. Julia tells Nina and her new way-too-old-for-her haircut how hard it is to see Justin at school every day. Nina gives her condoms, noting that her new boyfriend has had sex and will expect it again.
Charlie wants to take Kirsten to a nice lunch, since he just made some money on a painting job, but she wants to go to the family’s restaurant and check on Joe. Charlie thinks she’s being overdramatic about his health problems. She thinks everyone else is being unrealistic. He’ll need someone to help run the restaurant. She means Charlie, but he thinks she’s overreacting and that Joe will be fine by Christmas.
Julia and Griffin (gray shirt) hang out at the coffeehouse, and he teases her about doing a sex quiz in Sassy. She panics about the topic of conversation and runs off. At football practice, Bailey hits a teammate, Andy, so hard that he flips him. Andy hits the ground hard and says he can’t move. Bailey spends the night at the hospital, where he’s joined by Claudia and Charlie in the morning. They learn that Andy has a spinal injury and might not walk again.
Griffin (rust shirt) and Julia meet up and she notices that he got a tattoo. He thinks she should get one, too, though it looks like he just wants an excuse to touch her. Bailey goes to football practice, where the coach says the players get to decide whether they play the next day. Everyone elects to play. The coach tells Bailey he doesn’t have to practice, but Bailey wants to. He spends the whole time taking hits until Will questions his state of mind.
Claudia busts Julia and Griffin making out, announcing she’s going to Ross’. No one else is home, so the lovebirds are alone. Julia quickly suggests that they go out, but Griffin’s tired and wants to stay in. Charlie finds a weak Joe out behind the restaurant and finally gets him to admit that he’s sick. He signed himself out of the hospital early because he doesn’t want to deal with his health problems. He feels young mentally, and now is forced to admit that he feels old physically. Charlie announces that he’ll take over running the restaurant.
Julia practices telling Griffin she’s not ready for sex, but when she goes back to her bedroom, he’s already half naked. (The top half, rendering the Griffin Shirt Watch moot.) But he doesn’t want to have sex – he wants to sleep. Sarah finds Bailey at the football field, and he tells her he’s struggling to get past injuring Andy. She reminds him that it was an accident, but he doesn’t think it matters. He also thinks he deserves worse injuries than he sustained in practice. Sarah kisses one of his bruises, and before long, they’re making out.
Charlie learns in the middle of the night that running a restaurant is a more involved job than he expected. He’s so busy taking calls from Joe that he almost doesn’t notice that Griffin spent the night. He blasts Julia for having sex, but she assures him that they only slept together. No, literally slept. Yeah, in the same bed, but still. Sarah calls for Bailey, but he makes Claudia tell her he’s not there. Charlie announces that Julia’s not having sex in the house, or anywhere else. “Exactly,” she says.
Bailey goes back to the hospital and meets Andy’s mother, who’s outside his room so he doesn’t see her cry. But the tears are happy ones – he’s going to be okay. He’s also in a great mood when Bailey visits, and has no hard feelings about what happened. Andy knew when he started playing football that anyone could get hurt. He tells Bailey that he was lucky, because if the injury had been an eighth of an inch higher, he wouldn’t be in such a good mood.
Joe goes by the Salingers’ house to talk to Charlie about some lunch receipts. Charlie takes offense that Joe’s second-guessing his work. But it turns out it’s a good thing he did, because Charlie did the math wrong. Charlie blasts Joe for climbing a bunch of stairs to talk about $14. Joe says he’s trying to help, but Charlie thinks he’s having trouble letting go of the only thing he has in his life. Bailey’s coach puts him in the game that night, but Bailey freezes and can’t make himself get off the bench.
Griffin (blue shirt, I think – it’s too dark to tell) and Julia sneak into a junkyard so he can get something for his motorcycle. She decides to bring up sex, asking if he wants to sleep with her: “Don’t you want me?” He doesn’t know how to respond. Sarah goes to the Salingers’ to yell at Bailey for ignoring her call and not telling her Andy was okay. She asks why he’s such a jerk. (Well, Sarah, he’s kind of having a bad year.) Sarah says that she’s never gone so far with anyone, and now she feels stupid. All Bailey can think to say is sorry.
Bailey continues that he couldn’t bring himself to play in the game. Sarah asks if he just turns his back on everything. He tells her that he went to the hospital the night Andy was hurt, and when he saw Andy’s mom, he felt like he’d taken something from her. He knew how she felt because someone took something from him, too. Bailey didn’t know how to make it up to her or change what had happened. He knows how close he came to killing Andy, and he’s scared that he’s capable of doing something so terrible.
In the morning, Charlie tries to talk to Bailey about the game, but Bailey thinks he’s in for more criticism. Charlie tells him that he’s taking over the restaurant (Bailey didn’t know), though he’s not completely sure that’s what he wants. He felt like he needed to take the chance. Charlie then goes to the restaurant and apologizes to Joe, who’s packing up his things. Charlie invites him to come by for dinner whenever he wants. Joe gives him a couple of last-minute pieces of information, but they’re on much better terms now.
Griffin (blue shirt) goes to the Salingers’ (but won’t go inside) to tell Julia that if they had sex, it would be a big deal, and he’s “not into big deals,” so they shouldn’t do it. Then he invites her for a ride on his motorcycle. Charlie has to stay late at the restaurant, but Kirsten thinks he knows what he’s doing after watching his father and Joe run things for so long. Charlie says that his dad and Joe would stay late to hang out and tell stories; the restaurant wasn’t their job, it was their life. Kirsten guesses that Charlie’s afraid he’ll come to see the restaurant the same way. He says he’s only scared that he won’t be as good as his father was.
Bailey waits for Sarah at her apartment building, and when she comes home, she tells him she kept wanting to call and apologize for being mad at him. She doesn’t like that she thinks he’s entitled to feel bad but he’s not. She feels pathetic for wanting their kiss to mean more to him. Sarah says she won’t apologize, and she won’t let him say he wants to try to make her feel better. Bailey takes her hand, which distracts her from her rant. She ends up telling him that everything will be okay.
Thoughts: Charlie finally made a good, grown-up decision! Running the restaurant is a much better job for him than his regular odd jobs, considering how many people he has to support.
I’d totally forgotten Bailey played football until this episode.
Hey, Charlie, while you’re making rules about sex, maybe you should make some about motorcycle riding.
Yeah, Sarah, no one blames you for being unable to stay mad at that face for very long.
March 10, 2013
Summary: Donna, Brandon, and David are at the hospital, where Kelly and Alison have been admitted to the burn unit. Meanwhile, Rush is trying to head off the legal trouble Steve will face for throwing a party that ended in injuries. Steve is clearly in shock, and is more worried about Kelly than himself. A lawyer tells Rush that Steve and Griffin can plead no contest and just face community service. Then the lawyer will just need to deal with any personal-injury suit Kelly or Alison might file.
Kelly has some burns to her neck and hand, but Jackie tells Brandon that Alison’s injuries are more severe and she’ll need skin grafts. Brandon thinks Kelly would be okay if he’d been at the party. Kelly doesn’t know that he was with Emily, or that Emily’s still in Beverly Hills. At the KEG house, the caterer asks Steve for his pay for the party. Steve’s concerned about all the equipment that was destroyed and doesn’t care about the caterer. Griffin assures Steve that his father will take care of all the damages.
Kelly is soon discharged from the hospital and decides to visit Alison before going home. Alison is basically mummified with bandages but is in good spirits. She’s just grateful to be alive. Kelly’s just grateful Alison was there to help her through the fire. Alison gives the credit to God. Speaking of God, it’s Hanukkah, and Brandon accompanies Andrea, Jesse, and Hannah to a party on campus. Kelly’s fine with him not being with her at the beach apartment because she’s tired of being babied.
Jackie refuses to let Kelly talk to Steve’s lawyer, but Kelly doesn’t want to press charges against Steve. She wants to settle and move on. Jackie tells her there’s a modeling agency that still wants to represent her when she heals. Kelly says her modeling days are over. She’s having an existential crisis and doesn’t have the same gratitude toward God that Alison does. Back at the party, there’s exposition that Jessie is about to start working for an advocacy program that provides lawyers to people who can’t afford them.
Brandon goes to Emily’s hotel and admits that he’s feeling guilty. But for some reason, he doesn’t want her to leave town for La Jolla yet. Emily doesn’t think Brandon should feel bad for not telling Kelly the whole truth about her while she was in the hospital. Donna and Ray help decorate his family’s pumpkin patch for Christmas, though Ray’s in a bad mood. Jesse has a client whose kids were taken away because they were neglected by a bad babysitter; Jesse and Andrea disagree about something or other that isn’t important at all.
Valerie offers to testify on Steve’s behalf so he can demonstrate that he didn’t purposely cause any harm at the party. Basically, she’ll say whatever he needs her to say. Steve isn’t appreciative. He tells Brandon that he knows the party was his responsibility, so he’ll have to face the consequences of the fire. Ray’s still grumpy at the pumpkin patch because he hates the commercialism of Christmas. He snaps at Donna for telling a woman they had low prices, since it led her to try to bargain. Ray’s uncle tells her she’d understand his attitude if she met Ray’s mother.
Brandon tries to take Kelly to an appointment Jackie set up for her with a plastic surgeon, but she refuses to go. He casually tells her that Emily’s still in town, assuring her that he spent some time with her but there’s nothing to worry about. Kelly gets defensive over him telling her not to worry and asks him to leave. Then she calls Dylan at rehab and he makes her feel better. They’re interrupted when Brandon visits Dylan and asks for advice on helping Kelly. He doesn’t think she trusts him enough to show him all her burns. Brandon then mentions Emily, insisting that there’s nothing going on between them. Dylan questions that.
Ray: still cranky. Donna finally calls him on it and he confides that his mom always starts drinking around Christmas and shows up to make a scene. He poured out all her alcohol, so he knows she’ll be spiraling soon. Ray’s father left on Christmas 20 years ago after pushing LuAnn down the stairs and causing her to miscarry. Donna reveals that she was born the exact same day. Steve and Jesse run into each other at the courthouse; Steve thinks his case will go well because Rush has worked everything out. Kelly was cooperative and is part of the reason Steve will be able to get away with just community service.
Emily’s about to leave for La Jolla, and though Brandon doesn’t want to ask her to stay, he does admit that he still loves her. There’s kissing, and he wishes it were okay for them to “get carried away.” Back at the courthouse, Steve and Griffin plead no contest and receive 100 hours of community service, $1,000 fines, and two years of probation. The kicker comes when the judge informs them that they’re not allowed to host or organize any kind of party for profit for two years.
Steve blames Rush for not being able to negotiate that part away. He’s also mad that Griffin got everything he wanted because his father paid for the lawyer. Rush says that since they stole the key to the party house from Griffin’s father’s real-estate office, they deserve whatever they get. Steve is surprised to hear that they didn’t have permission. The only reason he gave Griffin a cut of the proceeds was because he supplied the location. Rush isn’t at all sympathetic that Steve’s planned career has gone down the tubes.
Steve waits for Griffin in his room at the KEG house and orders him to move out. If Griffin doesn’t, Steve will reveal that he stole the key to the house. He can even get Muntz to testify that Griffin overloaded the fuse box. Griffin isn’t the last bit worried – he even knows a court clerk who can alter their community-service sheets so they don’t have to complete the hours. Steve repeats that Griffin needs to move out, threatening him with physical violence this time. Emily visits Kelly to assure her that Brandon really wants to be with her. He told her before the fire that he loves Kelly. Emily asks Kelly not to tell Brandon she came by.
Andrea and Jesse have a Hanukkah party, which Steve stops by to deliver a gift. Andrea urges him to talk to Jesse about his legal problems. Jesse thinks Griffin’s father would have paid Steve off to accept the terms of the agreement even with the condition that he couldn’t host parties. Then he tells Steve about his other client, who took his kids out of foster care and took them back to Mexico. Steve blames the system, but Jesse notes that it works well for rich, white people. In fact, if Steve weren’t rich and white, he’d probably be in jail.
Brandon brings Kelly flowers, and she tells him things between them are okay again. Steve meets with the caterer at the Peach Pit to give him the money he owes and apologize for being mean the other day. The caterer is pleased to find a bonus with his pay. Nat drives Dylan home from rehab (that was fast), and Valerie and Cindy surprise him with a cake. The bigger surprise is that someone found Erica’s note in the airport bathroom and has sent it to Dylan.
Thoughts: Donna’s knit belly shirt really screams “Christmas spirit.”
This is why Dylan and Kelly should get back together! Brandon makes her cry! Dylan makes her feel better!
Emily, if you’re going to wear a pantsuit, you must tuck in your shirt. Also, why are you wearing a pantsuit?
Steve, your career is not over. You’re still in college, and will be until your probation’s over. You’re lucky Alison isn’t suing your pants off. Chill out.
Jennie Garth got to spend this whole episode in bathrobes. Comfy!
’90s music alert: “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree.
Steve, considering your recent brush with the law, you might not want to hand out envelopes of cash in public. It might be misconstrued.
February 18, 2013
Summary: Paramedics tend to an unconscious Dylan after his car accident. A firefighter finds drugs in the car. Once Dylan’s admitted to a hospital, a doctor tries to present his case to other doctors, but they don’t really care about him because he’s a junkie. His doctor tells a nurse that according to shamans, when a person’s unconscious, he’s experiencing a battle for his soul. In his “battle,” Dylan dreams that his doctors are Ms. Teasley, Suzanne, and Kevin. He can hear Erica calling for help. Dream Dylan runs off to save Erica, who’s kneeling on a subway track. His drug dealer winks at him.
Over at CU, David and Clare make a video about a frat flag-football tournament Steve and Brandon are playing in. The tournament lasts for four days, so I guess the students don’t have anything else to do right now. Clare wants the video to highlight how jocks are competitive and girls cheer them on, or something. Shut up, Clare. She doesn’t even know why they’re wearing flags. Rush arrives and asks to take over coaching duties, even though KEG is doing fine.
Jim and Cindy disagree about whether or not Valerie should be allowed to smoke in the house. (Cindy is okay with it, since Valerie is such a poor, delicate flower, but Jim is against it.) Valerie overhears and offers to quit. Suddenly they get a call from Iris. After their football game, Brandon, Steve, and Kelly go to the Peach Pit to kill the 90 minutes before the playoffs. Steve’s annoyed that Rush got involved, but Kelly says he’s just trying to recapture his own glory days of being the big man on campus. Inside, Nat and Andrea tell them about Dylan’s accident.
The Walshes and Valerie head to the hospital, where the doctor tells them Dylan’s in a coma. She doesn’t think it’ll last more than 24 hours. Oh, wait, she’s not a doctor, just a med student. Okay, who cares? Dylan dreams that he and Valerie go to the Walshes’ for Thanksgiving (Dylan calls Cindy “Mom” – aww). Suzanne and Kevin are there, and Kevin is friends with Jacques Cousteau. Dylan goes to answer the door and sees a snake slithering around the turkey Jim’s carving. Dylan thinks he’s letting Erica in, but his dealer’s at the door.
Then we get a black-and-white flashback of Dylan and Jack singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” then their final scenes before the car bombing. Dylan keeps seeing the car exploding and burning. Brandon and Kelly go to the hospital, though she thinks he should still go to the playoff game. She doesn’t want them to act like Dylan’s already died. Valerie worries that her presence is making Dylan feel worse. She blames herself for the accident. Kelly reminds her that they did everything they could to help Dylan, but he checked himself out of rehab. It’s not like Valerie knew he was getting wasted and didn’t try to stop him. Val asks if Kelly still loves him. Kelly doesn’t get a chance to answer.
As Kelly says mean things to him, Dylan dreams about their swim in the pool, then imagines them getting married. (Jim walks her down the aisle, so that’s weird.) Suzanne appears to be the maid of honor. Then Dylan realizes Brandon is the groom. Jim asks Dylan, the best man, if he brought the rings. Valerie, in her own wedding gown, says she brought one. Except she’s not Valerie – she’s supposed to be Brenda. Dylan goes back to the subway to get Erica, and his dealer tells him to save her. He just needs to “follow the light.”
Dylan wakes up and rings for a nurse, but instead gets Ms. Teasley, Suzanne, and Kevin again. Suzanne apologizes for stealing his money, then says that since they’ve already come this far, they might as well keep going. The dealer gives him an injection. In reality, the med student (Jamie) asks for more medication for Dylan, but the nurse tells her to fill out the proper paperwork. Over at the Peach Pit, Steve and Nat worry about Dylan’s addiction. Steve wants Dylan’s share of the After Dark, angering Andrea, since they’re discussing business while Dylan’s in the hospital. Nat gives Steve 12 hours to make things work or he’s walking away.
Dylan dreams again about going to Jack’s car, but this time he’s the one who gets in, and it doesn’t blow up. His dealer is there and takes him to the pool hall, which is full of girls Dylan’s slept with. Dylan’s all proud of himself. Kelly makes out with him while the dealer plays electric guitar. Then Valerie intercepts Dylan, offering to do whatever he wants. Next, Donna shows up in her underwear, saying they’re “fixing it.” Suzanne’s next, but then the dealer shoots Dylan up and sends him back to the subway.
Rush helps the KEG guys get ready for the playoffs, annoying Steve. Brandon tells Steve to suck it up so they can win the tournament. Steve doesn’t want to have to put up with his father turning everything into a competition and showing him up. Brandon threatens to quit, since he’s not in KEG anyway and has more important things to do, like check on his possibly dying friend. They decide to pretend it’s still that morning, before they knew about Dylan and before Rush made Steve mad.
Dylan dreams of Kevin and Suzanne urging Ms. Teasley to shoot him. Ms. Teasley realizes that she has nothing against him; Suzanne and Kevin are the ones who ripped him off and “destroyed his faith in mankind.” The dealer offers to pull the trigger. Instead, he sends Dylan back to the subway, but this time Dylan says he won’t follow the light. He gives money to a homeless man and approaches the train. Clare and David wander through, saying the tunnel would be a great place for a music video. (They’re actually in Dylan’s hospital room, and Clare is being a shrew.)
Dream Dylan goes to the pool hall, where Kevin and the dealer, dressed as bikers, scrutinize him. Suzanne tells him he just needs to make the next shot – not with a pool cue but with a syringe. Kevin and Suzanne hold Dylan down while the dealer gets ready to shoot him up. Meanwhile, Donna smokes and dances on the bar. Clare tries to make out with Dylan, then fights with Suzanne over who he belongs to. Clare sits Dylan up and lets him see that Erica’s in the bar. Erica screams and the real Dylan has a seizure. Dream Dylan drives his car down the cliff again and flatlines. Kevin and Suzanne are with him. The dealer turns off his heart monitor.
Football is played, and Jim arrives toward the end of the scoreless game. He chats with Rush, who’s kept himself away from the action so he won’t bother Steve. They talk about Dylan, and Jim says his condition doesn’t look good. Rush is surprised since Steve didn’t mention anything. Steve decides to use one of Rush’s plays to win the game. So now he has a game victory AND his father’s approval! What a great day for Steve!
Jamie and Dylan’s actual doctor bicker, standing close enough to each other to kiss. The doctor doesn’t get why Dylan isn’t getting better. The nurse mentions Jamie’s remark about Dylan undergoing a battle for his soul. Dream Dylan goes to Jack’s car again, and it blows up. Then he’s back in the subway tunnel, giving the homeless man money again. The dealer promises not to shoot him up again if he saves Erica. Dylan reaches out for her, but she screams again and disappears. The homeless man turns Dylan around, but this time it’s Jack. He tells Dylan to keep trying and trust himself.
The real Dylan is calm and stable now, though Jamie and the doctor didn’t have anything to do with the change. Steve toasts the KEG guys’ entrance into the finals and thanks Rush for the game-winning play. Then he hints that Rush will be paying for his shares in the After Dark. That night, Dylan wakes up for real with Iris next to him. He imagines Jack sitting in the room, smiling at him. Then Dylan makes out with Jamie. Okay, not really, but wouldn’t that have made sense?
Thoughts: The mention of Jacques Cousteau made me think of the Friends episode where Phoebe dreams about him. Hey, that took place at Thanksgiving, too!
Dude, Dylan wants Donna! I wouldn’t have expected that.
Hey, Brandon, the emerald green shirt with the kelly green shorts are really working for you.
Very appropriate music in the background of the last pool hall dream: the Police’s “Spirits in the Material World” (hence the name for the recap).
January 9, 2013
Summary: Stacey meets a new girl at SMS, Tess Swinhart, who’s nice but seems a little weird. Stacey thinks she just needs a makeover; she always wears pink, she never wears makeup, and her hair isn’t styled like anyone else’s. Due to the pink thing, Tess’ slightly porcine nose, and the fact that the first part of her last name almost contains the word “swine,” Alan gets everyone at school to start calling Tess “Swine-heart” behind her back. Tess is pretty oblivious and doesn’t get it when people start oinking at her. There’s also a comic book circulating about Swine-heart the Destroyer. Stacey decides not to tell Tess anything because…well, good question.
Since makeovers fix everything, Stacey tries to take Tess on as her project (a la Cher and Tai). She gets her to read some magazines, puts some makeup on her, and encourages her to wear something other than pink. Tess humors her a little but clearly couldn’t care less about whether or not her clothes are trendy or “in.” Most of the time, she just ignores Stacey, which is smart, because Stacey gets super-annoying. She also keeps saying she’s not Tess’ friend, since no one likes Tess and I guess, as Cher would say, Stacey’s “stock would plummet.”
At a football game, the students vote on a new mascot by applauding when Stacey and other students hold up signs with pictures of their choices. Stacey holds up a pig and everyone goes wild. She doesn’t realize until it’s too late that the pig picture has been replaced by a drawing of Swine-heart the Destroyer. Tess is so shocked at the reaction that she falls off the bleachers and breaks her ankle. She’s furious with Stacey and orders her to leave her alone.
Even though everyone knows Stacey would never switch the pictures, a bunch of people tell her that she wasn’t much of a friend to Tess. She just thought of Tess as a project and didn’t tell her what people were saying about her behind her back. Though, in Stacey’s defense, she did warn Tess not to trust a guy named Clarence King who asked her out, since Stacey thought it was some sort of scheme. But anyway, Stacey feels bad about everything and apologizes to Tess. While at Tess’ house, Stacey discovers that Tess lived in France, and her wardrobe is in style there. So suddenly Tess is cool.
The BSC girls band together with Tess and another girl, Barbara (who was best friends with Amelia and has become good friends with Tess), to enact some stupid 13-year-old revenge on Clarence. They mess up Clarence’s clothes and take pictures, then threaten to share them with everyone at school if Clarence and Alan don’t leave Tess alone. And then I don’t think Tess is ever mentioned in the series again.
The B-plot is kind of clever: Jackie Rodowsky and Nicky Pike have been acting weird. In fact, Nicky seems overly protective of Jackie. Eventually Abby learns that some kids were hassling Jackie, so he hired Nicky to be his bodyguard. I guess Nicky is intimidating or something? Why not hire the triplets?
Thoughts: This book brings up an interesting question: If you knew someone was being mocked behind her back, would you tell her? I think I would, because if I were the person being mocked, I’d want to know.
Stacey says that Alan has no sense of humor about himself, but aren’t a lot of his jokes at his own expense?
Tess and her friends once carved a bunch of ducks, painted them to look realistic, and put them in a river to confuse people. I’d rather hang out with that group than the BSC girls.
Nicky, up in a tree with Jackie: “We were practicing invisibility.” Claudia: “Well, practice visibility and come down from there.” That cracked me up, for some reason.
Moral of the story: Solve your problems with blackmail.
November 21, 2012
Summary: Elizabeth’s boss, Leona, goes away for a couple of days and leaves Liz in charge. Then Leona breaks her leg and has to take more time off, so she has Elizabeth go to her house to get her mail and collect her messages. Liz kind of pretends to be Leona, which is weird, then hears a recording Leona made of a letter she was going to send to someone at Flair, pitching an idea Elizabeth had for a column written by a reader. Liz realizes that Leona is Bad News. She confides in a co-worker, who convinces her to rat Leona out.
Jessica has those two dates planned for the same night, and somehow convinces Elizabeth to pretend to be her and go out with Cameron while Jess is with creepy teenager-dating Quentin. Jessica would rather spend time with Cameron, but remember, he’s just a mailroom peon while Quentin is a photographer who could get Jessica into modeling. Elizabeth feels bad for Cameron and gets revenge on Jessica by ordering food Jess hates, then making her eat it when they switch places. The joke is on both of them, though, because Cameron figures out the switch.
Jessica’s still determined to be a model, so she ruins some of Simone’s film, then offers to sub in for her when Quentin redoes the shoot. Apparently she’s gorgeous and perfect and blah blah blah, though she realizes that modeling isn’t as fun as she thought. Jessica patches things up with Cameron and he agrees to give her a second chance, but then he catches Quentin kissing her and goes back to thinking that Jessica is horrible. (Which she is. She clearly has no problems basically sleeping her way to the top.)
In Todd-related news, he and Elizabeth are basically kaput, since she saw him kissing Simone. He doesn’t care, since he gets to hang out with people who are just as awesome and gorgeous as he is. He also doesn’t care that his parents don’t like his new job. He breaks curfew and they warn him not to push it. Todd’s sick of being treated like a child, so he keeps breaking the rules. Eventually his parents tell him he has to stop modeling. Todd decides to move out instead. I’m sure that will go well.
Oh, and Maria and Enid try desperately to be interesting, going on a disastrous double date and shutting Elizabeth out because she was so mean to them before. Yawn.
Thoughts: I guess Elizabeth can date and make out with whoever she wants, but if Todd even looks at another girl, he’s devil spawn.
“With her funky retro look, Maria had a style all her own. Tonight she was wearing a pale blue forties dress with huge square buttons and thick army boots on her feet. An exotic green silk scarf was tied over her head, hiding her hair completely.” I can’t stop rolling my eyes.
There’s a restaurant in Sweet Valley called Bobo’s Burger Barn, where you can draw on the tablecloths. It makes the Dairi Burger seem like Le Cirque.
Enid has a mini-backpack. Remember those?
Cameron orders a steak and fries at a French restaurant. Dealbreaker!
Ghostwriter, stop trying to make us care about Enid and Maria. It’s a losing battle.
July 3, 2012
Summary: It’s almost Christmas, but since this is Jessi’s book, that means it’s also Kwanzaa. We get to learn all about it. Jessi keeps emphasizing that it’s a holiday about unity and family. Jessi, Becca, Squirt, and Aunt Cecelia are in a car accident a couple weeks before the holidays, and Squirt is admitted to the hospital with a head injury. All the family’s togetherness goes down the drain. They fight with each other, worry about Squirt constantly, and don’t have time to get ready for the holidays. Also, Cecelia is really, really annoying.
The BSC girls are putting together a Kwanzaa festival, complete with a play (of course), which introduces them (and us) to other African-American families in Stoneybrook. Jessi tries to find time to help out, but she’s not really feeling the Kwanzaa spirit. The intra-family fighting continues until dinner one night when Jessi’s cousin Keisha tells everyone to basically shut up and celebrate already. Then the festival goes well, so everyone’s in a good mood again.
Thoughts: I didn’t remember much about this book, and I was all set to roll my eyes the whole way through it, but it’s not that bad. It emphasizes the importance of family and shows how close the Ramseys are.
I don’t think I know anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa. And outside of this book, I think the only time I’ve read about it was in The Boondocks. (Man, I miss that strip.)
Squirt gets hurt because Cecelia lets Jessi undo his carseat strap while she’s still driving. So…shouldn’t she be charged with child endangerment or something?
Also, if I spoke to any of my brothers’ kids the way Cecelia talks to Jessi and Becca, they wouldn’t be nearly as patient as Jessi’s dad is.
One of the kids in the Kwanzaa play wants to sing “Colors of the Wind,” so now that’s stuck in your head, too, ha ha ha!
Mallory brings the Ramseys a Christmas tree since they don’t have time to get one. Aw, sometimes Mallory’s a little awesome.
Apparently Becca’s over her horribly, legendary stage fright, since she narrates the play.
June 27, 2012
Summary: It’s time for another school trip! This one takes a bunch of SVH students to Colorado to ski Snow Mountain during spring break. Jessica and Lila have boys on the brain and immediately take a liking to a ski instructor named Lucas. They get ridiculously competitive over him, deciding that whoever kisses him first is the “winner,” while the loser has to do a double-black-diamond ski run. They spend the rest of the trip trying to keep each other away from Lucas.
Eventually Lila gets her some kissage, so Jessica skis the run but crashes into Lucas. He sprains his ankle, she fractures hers, and they wind up stuck in the lodge since they can’t ski anymore. Jess takes advantage of this to get closer to Lucas, but Lila sneaks into the room in a room-service cart (just go with it). Lucas leaves while the girls are fighting, and Jessica remembers what Elizabeth has said to her in the past: Chicks before…well, you know. Besides, Lucas has found another love interest.
Todd wants to spend the trip getting muuuuuuuuuch closer to Elizabeth. He can’t keep it in his pants until they even get to the ski lodge, and he gets in trouble for climbing into her bunk on their bus. Elizabeth is mortified and won’t even talk to him. He tries to approach her on the slopes, but she runs away. When he goes after her, he takes a wrong turn and heads for an unsafe area of the mountain. Then there’s an avalanche and he gets stuck in a cabin with some older chick, Cassandra, who can’t keep it in her pants either.
Elizabeth spends the majority of the book having a total meltdown over Todd and demanding that the head of the ski patrol, Dirk, take her along on rescue missions and whatnot. When they finally find Todd, Cassandra’s trying to make out with him, and Elizabeth thinks Todd wants to hook up with her. When Todd goes looking for her to explain, he finds her cuddling up with Dirk. Then a few pages later, they get back together. There’s no big buildup to their inevitable reconciliation; they basically just realize they’re both being dumb and make up.
Enid buys a book about being “sassy” while skiing, and she puts all 101 “methods” in it to the test. She keeps attracting guys, but not the kind of guys she wants. Winston spends the trip trying to avoid skiing, since he’s told everyone he’s awesome at it but isn’t. He and Enid help each other out with their various issues, but it doesn’t go anywhere. And then Enid winds up with Lucas. I know! I don’t get it.
Thoughts: There are three adults in this book who want to hook up with 16-year-olds. THAT IS A PROBLEM.
Snow Mountain? That’s the best name they could come up with? (And I can’t even make fun of the ghostwriter for it, because it’s a real place!)
Enid seriously asks Elizabeth and Todd if they mind her going off by herself. Enid, please tell me you understand all the ways that question is stupid.
Jessica thinks 25 (the age of a potential suitor) is “too old for a long-term thing, but just right for a spring-break fling!” 25 is also the age Jess will be when that guy gets out of jail for sleeping with her.
Who gives teenagers an emergency credit card for a ski trip? Oh, right, Ned “Am I Done Parenting Yet? They’re Almost 18″ Wakefield. Honestly, if he’s going to give Jessica access to that kind of money, he deserves whatever happens.
The Enid/Winston stuff would have been much less pointless if it had ended with them getting together. Instead, there’s a brief indication that they’re attracted to each other, and that’s it.
May 17, 2012
Summary: School is back in session (eighth grade again! Woo!), and the girls are so busy with non-club activities that it’s hard for them to keep up with meetings. Kristy is not pleased. She tries to organize a big fall celebration including activities like maple sugaring (huh?) and apple picking, but no one else is interested. Plus, Jessi wants to take a ballet class and Mallory wants to join a writing group at the same time as club meetings. There’s also a stupid Mary Anne/Claudia fight.
Then Jackie Rodowsky falls out of a tree and hurts his ankle while Kristy’s sitting for him. She blames herself for his injury and starts doubting herself as a sitter. Add that to the other girls having trouble getting to all the meetings and everyone wanting time to do things other than sit, and it all equals Kristy deciding that the club should disband. The girls will keep sitting, but they won’t have meetings anymore.
Kristy surprises herself by being a little relieved at first. She has lots of free time now, and she gets to avoid sitting, which she still isn’t comfortable with. The other girls have a harder time: Mallory and Abby have no other friends, Claudia’s overrun by phone calls from parents who don’t know the girls’ home numbers, and Stacey can’t buy clothes because she’s not making any money. Also, their sitting charges think the girls hate them, and the parents can’t live without the BSC. (They start hiring other girls in Stoneybrook, including Cokie, but of course, non-BSC sitters aren’t as good as the BSC girls.)
Jackie tries to fix everything by riding his bike to Kristy’s house, but he falls off and winds up in the hospital. All the girls rush over to check on him, and he begs them to work things out. Kristy gets everyone together and suggests that the club start meeting again. Stacey is the only one who isn’t sure; she’s afraid they’ll backslide again. Kristy suggests a month-long trial period to see how things go. But there are still dozens of books left in the series, so obviously it works out okay.
Thoughts: Why would Kristy buy Mallory clip-on earrings when she has pierced ears?
Mr. Papadakis is so upset about the club splitting up that he offers them a retainer to get back together. Dude, take it! Free money!
“If a cologne were based on Cokie, it would be called Obnoxious.” Snerk. She would probably take it as a compliment, though. You just know one of Cokie’s life goals is to have her own perfume.
Jackie’s mom is all, “Oh, he’s okay, it’s just a concussion.” Um, they have to DRAIN FLUID FROM HIS SKULL. That’s not “okay.”
Claudia: “The last time Mr. Hobard called, I made him help me with my math homework.” For some reason, that cracked me up. That, and her telling Janine that her homework is covered in ink blots because she was stabbing it with her pen.