April 8, 2012
Summary: Up in the cosmos over the Walshes’ house, an angel named Miriam whines to an angel named Clarence that something horrible is going to happen and she needs his help. They look in on West Beverly High, where the madrigals are singing Christmas carols in the hall. The kids wrap presents for a party they’re throwing for underprivileged kids at another school. Clarence questions how any of them could have problems since they’re so good-looking.
Steve complains to Andrea about having to serve detention, though he should be glad that’s all he got. The girls need a Santa for the party with the underprivileged kids, and the job falls to Dylan. Miriam tells Clarence that all this actually happened two days ago. Now the kids are on a bus, and they’re not happy or talking to each other. Clarence doesn’t care.
Miriam takes them back two days, when Andrea (now healed) gets a call from her grandmother telling her she got a letter from Yale. Unfortunately, it’s a small envelope. Brandon and Gil try to cheer her up and decide to bet on the outcome. The three of them go to Andrea’s apartment to find out for sure what the letter says. It’s an acceptance letter. Andrea decides that Gil will have to shave because he lost the bet. She also has a letter from Jay, but it doesn’t have good news.
At the Walshes’, Brandon blasts Jay for dumping Andrea via letter, saying he never liked the guy anyone. His family guesses that he never said anything because he never wanted to sound jealous, petty, or bitter. Brandon says it doesn’t matter since he’s with Nikki now. Kelly and Dylan show up to help the Walshes trim the tree.
Back at school, Gil has to shave his beard, though Andrea tells him at the last minute that he doesn’t have to. David and Donna are there as well, and she notices that he seems upset. David’s sad that his friends are all going to graduate before him. (I thought he was working on graduating early?) Andrea asks Brandon to see a movie that night, but he has plans to see Nikki, who’s been in San Francisco.
Brandon and Nikki make out on his bed, getting interrupted by Cindy, who should really start making her children keep their doors open. It’s for the best anyway, since Nikki needs to tell Brandon something important: She’s moving back in with her parents in San Francisco. She only came back to L.A. to get her things and say goodbye to Brandon. Clarence says Brandon will be fine, but Miriam says he won’t if he gets on the bus.
Later that night, Brenda complains to Brandon about the Dylan/Kelly deception. Brandon tells her about his break-up with Nikki. Miriam takes Clarence to the Peach Pit a few nights earlier, when Brenda and Kelly had a come-to-Jesus meeting with Dylan about admitting their feelings and getting back to being friends. Basically, no one will be dating Dylan for the immediate future. Dylan thinks that’s for the best.
The arrangement works for a while, until Dylan and Kelly come over to decorate the tree and study Shakespeare. Kelly goes downstairs to get some sodas, passing the living room, where the other Walshes are watching It’s a Wonderful Life. (Clarence has never heard of it, har har.) Kelly thinks Jimmy Stewart is Cary Grant. Upstairs, Dylan and Brenda suddenly start making out, then stop just as suddenly, blaming old habits.
At the Peach Pit the next day, Kelly tells Brenda and Dylan that David’s mother has decided to move to Oregon. After she leaves, Brenda and Dylan discuss their “little accident” the day before, reaffirming that it won’t happen again. Brenda and Donna leave to finish planning the Christmas party, and Kelly winds up going to Dylan’s place. He doesn’t think he’ll make a convincing Santa. Kelly tells him her favorite visit to Santa at the mall happened to be to a Chinese one. The two start making out, and when Brenda comes by with Dylan’s Santa costume, she catches them.
Brenda confronts the two of them and brings up her own make-out session with Dylan the day before. Now both girls are mad at him. Kelly tries to excuse her behavior as trying to convince Dylan to play Santa. The girls realize they can’t all be friends. Dylan blames them for starting all the kissing.
At school the next day, Brenda tells Donna that Dylan and Kelly can’t be part of the party. Donna balks, so Brenda says she won’t go instead. Dylan also backs out, telling Donna that he doesn’t think the party will make a difference for the kids anyway. Kelly’s next to try to get out of the party, so Donna tells her Brenda isn’t going. David also drops out, saying he’s not a senior and has been “tagging along” with the others for too long.
Steve’s not supposed to go to the party – he’s been banned from school activities – so Donna tries to convince him to go in disguise, specifically as Santa. He won’t. Even Andrea isn’t up for the party, saying she does enough charity work anyway. Mostly she doesn’t want to be around Brandon. Donna wonders if all of this is some sort of message. Brandon tries to back out, saying that he’s not in a festive mood. He believes Gil, the party’s faculty sponsor, will support this.
Too bad Gil isn’t the sponsor – Ms. Teasley is, and she’s not going to let any of the volunteers drop out. Everyone has to go unless he or she has pneumonia – “and I want to see that chest x-ray.” This takes us back to the kids riding the bus, all upset with each other. Clarence interrupts to ask for more information on Brandon and Andrea. (Thanks a lot, Clarence.)
Miriam goes to the Peach Pit, where Brandon is complaining to Nat about his break-up with Nikki. Andrea shows up and Brandon asks her to see a movie, like she’d wanted to before. She has to babysit, so she invites him along. (Andrea, what would Kristy say?) After the sitting charge is in bed, Andrea and Brandon watch It’s a Wonderful Life. She brings up the time he tried to convince her to stay in Beverly Hills for the summer. Then they make out. Andrea stops the kissing to accuse Brandon of thinking of Nikki. He in turn accuses her of thinking of Jay.
Miriam tells Clarence that the bus is about to crash with a truck driven by a drunk guy. Clarence has already taken care of it, or so he thinks. He’s actually diverted the wrong driver. While the kids are on the bus, Steve goes to the party anyway and meets up with Gil. Miriam begs Clarence to stop the truck, asking him to “call upstairs” if necessary. Clarence says they have to “let destiny run its course.” This involves everyone sniping at each other while the madrigals sing Christmas carols.
Donna finally puts the smackdown on everyone, asking if they plan to be grumpy when they get to the party. Kelly says they’ll pass out presents, but probably won’t enjoy themselves. Donna notes that this is a good time of year to stop thinking about themselves. If they can’t appreciate all the good things in their lives, they should just get off the bus right now. Miriam supports that idea. Now everyone wants to make up.
Steve and Gil are entertaining the kids at the party when they spot the bus and truck both approaching. There’s nothing Clarence or Miriam can do, which makes this whole thing pretty pointless. Steve sees the truck going the wrong way on a one-way street and tries to stop the driver. Instead, the truck heads for an intersection as the bus comes from another direction. But instead of crashing, they pass through each other.
Gil and Steve welcome everyone to the party, where Ms. Teasley punishes Steve by giving him the Santa costume. The kids all get presents, and Dylan shows a little girl how to play with a yo-yo, because he is wonderful and adorable. David tells Donna that if he takes extra courses (as he’d previously planned), he can graduate early. Another non-problem solved!
Ms. Teasley approves of Steve’s portrayal of Santa. Brenda and Kelly inform Dylan that he needs to pick which one of them he wants to be with on New Year’s Eve. Donna hears a bell ring, which means an angel got its wings. Yes, it was Miriam. Bleh.
Thoughts: You’d think that in an episode with a title playing off of It’s a Wonderful Life, the plot would be about how things would be if, say, the Walshes never came to Beverly Hills. Andrea even mentions that briefly. But no, we got this junk instead.
So…that’s it for Nikki? Good. Her presence meant nothing.
Donna calling in Ms. Teasley to yell at everyone was awesome.
For two girls who tend to be melodramatic, Brenda and Kelly deciding to let Dylan choose between them is really anticlimactic. I mean, are we really supposed to believe that the girl he doesn’t choose is just going to be okay with it?
April 1, 2012
Summary: Andrea has now lost her faith in the police figuring out who was behind the school break-in. She’s also had no luck figuring out who has the legacy key. Steve is relieved. Brenda worries because no one’s heard from Dylan in three days, and he could be drinking again. Donna thinks Brenda and Kelly are being immature by avoiding each other. Somewhere, Dylan’s car breaks down and he meets a woman named Anne who gives him a ride to a phone on her horse.
Back at West Beverly High, Steve assures Herbert that they’ve gotten away with the break-in. Brandon repeats to Steve what Andrea told him about the legacy-key investigation being a dead end. Nikki is…also there. David bugs Steve about a showcase he’s supposed to play, and Steve says he has everything under control, though of course he doesn’t. He spots Hutch the janitor watching him and gets a little paranoid.
Dylan can’t get his car fixed right away, so he’ll have to stay wherever he is for a while. Anne offers to let him stay in the ranch’s guest house. David’s unhappy with the showcase, not realizing he almost didn’t get to play. Kelly asks Brandon if he’s heard from Dylan, who they’re both worried about. Brandon is also worried about Kelly and Brenda’s friendship, or lack thereof. David starts off the showcase with some…um…rapping? The sound system goes haywire, but I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing.
Dylan and Anne chat, though neither is very open about his or her background. She thinks that whatever Dylan left behind deserved to be left. Kelly, Donna, Brandon, and Nikki try to figure out what to tell David about his performance. They wind up lying that he sounded great. David’s upset and fires Steve. The next group to perform is Diesel Stone and the Waste Management, who Nikki knows. In fact, she used to date their keyboard player (really, it’s a keytar, which is awesome).
After the performance, Nikki meets up with the keyboard player, Diesel, who wrote the song for her. He invites her to spend the evening with him before he and the band leave the next morning. She says it’s a school night and she’s there with her boyfriend. Brandon meets Diesel, who smokes and insults David. Brandon tries to be clever by calling him “Axl.” Nikki defends Diesel to Brandon, then invites him to their party. Brandon thinks they should go comfort David. They fight, and Brandon asks Nikki to choose who she’ll be hanging out with. She chooses Diesel by default.
The next morning, Brandon asks Brenda for her advice about the situation. Brenda notes that it wouldn’t have been a big deal for him and Nikki to go to the band’s party for 15 minutes. She says he’s jealous when he’s judgmental (which is always). Brandon says she’s one to talk, what with the way she’s been acting toward Kelly. Brenda encourages him to call Nikki and make up. Brandon does, but she’s not home from the party.
As Anne and Dylan bore me, David uses his radio station to tell the school that Steve’s a jerk. Donna bugs Kelly about her and Brenda avoiding each other. Kelly says Brenda’s the one who drove Dylan away. Steve starts to confront David, but Hutch calls him away to complain that the police have been interrogating him. He needs to give them something so they’ll back off, and he’s giving them Steve.
Brandon and Nikki fight again; he calls her a groupie and blasts her for staying out all night. She tells him that she had some tequila shots and passed out at the party. She still wants to be with Brandon. He’s upset that she didn’t defend David to Diesel, who’s a loser. Nikki admits that he has some sort of control over her and she can’t help herself when she’s around him. Anne is totally the female Dylan, blah blah blah, just have sex already. She wants him to stay at the ranch for a while and work, and he admits that he’s tempted, and then they make out.
Diesel shows up at West Beverly to tell Nikki that his band got a record deal. He wants her to come with him to celebrate, but she has a history test. As he gets angrier about making her to come with him, Brandon arrives to intervene. Nikki tells him to stay out of it. Diesel orders Nikki into the car, and she goes, even though he’s been drinking. Later, Brandon and Brenda complain about their problems to each other, and then Brenda and Kelly ignore each other some more.
Dylan works on his car, and Anne asks her to come to dinner with some friends. Steve asks Herbert to take the fall for him since he’s a freshman and can become “rehabilitated.” Steve knows he’ll be expelled if he gets busted. Herbert tells him he’s disgusting and so conceited that he thinks he can buy his way out of anything. “I don’t know how you can stand being you,” he says.
At Anne’s dinner, she’s offered $700,000 for a horse she doesn’t want to sell, then a million. Dylan encourages her to keep the horse, but Anne gives in for a big chunk of money. “Everything’s for sale,” the buyer tells Dylan. At the Peach Pit, Donna finally gets fed up with Brenda and Kelly’s feud, telling Brenda that she started everything by telling Dylan she wanted to see other people. She also blasts Kelly for seeing Dylan without talking to Brenda first. She wants them to try to recover something more important than a guy.
Brandon learns that Nikki never went home after school, and that Diesel’s abusive. Nikki’s been hanging out wherever the band’s staying, while Diesel was out picking up another girl. Nikki starts to leave, but Diesel gets mad and smacks her. Of course, Brandon arrives to save the day. He’s dumb enough to get into a fight with Diesel, but at least he wins it. He takes Nikki to his house and she admits that she left San Francisco because of Diesel, who’s totally awesome when he’s not drunk or hitting her. Until she met Brandon, she didn’t realize she deserved better.
Cindy pops in to check on Nikki, which makes her miss her own family. Brandon wonders if the Witt family’s problems are so bad that Nikki can’t talk to her parents about what’s been going on. She tells him she’s supposed to see them at Thanksgiving. Brandon promises to still be there when she comes back. Kelly stops by to work things out with Brenda, who was just about to leave a message for her with David. The girls apologize to each other and take responsibility for their own actions. And now they can worry about Dylan together.
Dylan’s decided to leave the ranch, but first he confronts Anne for selling a horse she loved. She says it was a game and she won. Dylan notes that she already has a ton of money. Anne replies that he wouldn’t understand since he doesn’t have her wealth. He reveals that he does, and he doesn’t want to turn into her. He left L.A. because he was sick of all the strings tying him to various people, but he’s realized that without those strings, he has no connections. Without connections, he’d rather be dead inside.
Brenda and Kelly let Donna know they’re reconciled, telling her she’d be good at counseling if art school doesn’t work out. Steve gives David a list of potential managers he’s sent his demo tape to. He tells David he’s talented and deserves the best. Kelly asks what his finder’s fee. Steve blasts her for thinking he only worries about what he can get out of situations. He then apologizes for telling someone how sexy Kelly was in bed.
As their friends look on, Steve shows Brandon the legacy key and admits that he screwed up and can’t get himself out of it. He’s going to confess to Ms. Teasley. He doesn’t know what will happen, but if he doesn’t have friends, it doesn’t matter. (Hmm, sounds familiar.) Brandon says that Steve’s underrating them, but Steve corrects that they all overrated him. Steve goes to Andrea next, and she thinks he was only nice to her to throw her off his trail. He tells her he never needed a reason to be nice to her.
Steve tells Ms. Teasley everything, saying he’s as disappointed as she is. She notes that he’s not a computer whiz, so he must have had help. If he doesn’t name his accomplice, she’ll recommend that he be expelled. Steve tells her he worked alone. Now suddenly Ms. Teasley has the power to expel him, which she does.
Thoughts: Diesel (gag) is played by David Arquette. The look he gives Nikki when he sees her at the showcase is even more hilarious than David’s rapping.
Whose idea was this episode, a ten-year-old girl’s? “Luke Perry and horses – yay!”
How did the keyboard player get a band named after him? Maybe the lead singer has a really lame rock star name.
Donna: “You do remember Brenda Walsh. She used to be your best friend.” Kelly: “Well, we all have our crosses to bear.” Brenda: “Or our legs to uncross.” BURN! Nice one, Bren.
March 18, 2012
Summary: Brenda, Kelly, and Donna are at the video store (remember those?), trying to find something to watch. David’s wandering around in the adult section. As Donna pulls him away, they run into her priest, Father Chris, who jokes, “So I see you’re looking for musical comedies.” He suggests that she stop by for a talk sometime. Suddenly another familiar face appears: Rick. Brenda can’t leave the store without encountering him, so she asks her friends to play along with whatever she says and does.
Rick has transferred to UCLA, and Brenda tells him she’s visiting a relative. He tells her he waited a long time for her in Paris. He wants to give her a tour of L.A., but she says she’s only in town for a couple of days. Rick thinks it’s fate that they’ve run into each other. Brenda says she’s staying with her aunt and uncle, the Walshes. He calls her there that night, and she has to play French in front of Jim, Cindy, and Brandon.
Kelly paints her bedroom black, leading Jackie to think something’s wrong. Kelly admits that she feels alone since she’s single. She adds that she keeps falling in love with the wrong guys. Jackie notes that she’s been married five times and knows you can’t control who you fall in love with. David and Donna make out on her bed, and the discussion turns to taking things further. Donna still isn’t sure if she’s ready for sex. She always thought she would wait until she was married, but her body feels differently. David warns that he probably won’t be able to wait that long.
Everyone discusses their SAT scores at school, and Steve admits to Brandon that he did really badly on his and probably won’t be able to go to USC. Brandon isn’t all that sympathetic. Steve spots his freshman buddy Herbert fixing a computer and offers him a ticket to a Raiders game. They start talking about computers, then the grade banks at school, then the possibility of Herbert breaking into a grade bank. Herbert would only need an active server, which would mean breaking into the school. Steve notes that he can make that happen (thank you, legacy key).
After putting in some time on the Blaze, Andrea walks home. Or she would walk home if she weren’t hit by a car that then drives off. She winds up in the hospital with casts on both legs. Brandon visits and surprisingly doesn’t arrange a posse to go after the hit-and-run driver. Steve bugs Herbert about helping him, noting that he could be the next recipient of the legacy key. Herbert gives in, so Steve uses his ultra-’90s cell phone to get the password he needs, then runs off laughing hysterically.
Nikki tells Brandon, Donna, and David that she has tickets to a televised AIDS benefit Rosie O’Donnell is hosting that night. They all agree to go together. Dylan goes over to the Walshes’, where Brenda’s finalizing a date the next day with Rick. Dylan’s SAT scores are in, and they’re so good that he’s being accused of cheating. Jim thinks he should just take the test again. Dylan refuses since he has nothing to prove.
Brandon, Nikki, David, and Donna visit Andrea, then go to the benefit, where Rosie gives a little PSA about sex. She asks the teens in the audience to share their first sexual experiences. Brandon and Nikki are put on the hot seat, and they admit that they’ve had sex, just not with each other yet. Donna announces that she’s a virgin and plans to wait to have sex. Rosie asks her to tell her mom that she did a good job raising her (ha! Clearly Rosie has never met Felice), and she shouldn’t let David pressure her.
At Dylan’s, Brenda bugs him about retaking the SAT. He asks if she believes that he didn’t cheat. She does, since he’s always been honest with her. That’s part of the reason she told him about Rick (or part of the truth about Rick, at least). Dylan comes clean that there was “a girl” over the summer. Brenda’s mad that he didn’t tell her sooner. She wants to know who the girl was, but Dylan says it doesn’t matter.
David and Donna wind up back at her house, and since her parents are out of town, he’d like to spend the night (but not do anything). They fall asleep together and she dreams about going with a Communion class to the adult section of the video store. One of the girls tells Donna she can’t go in because she’s “just a little girl.” Donna goes to church with the girls and asks Father Chris if God will still love her if she sleeps with her boyfriend. He says God will love her but her parents will be disappointed. Donna wakes up and tells David he has to go home.
Brenda gets ready for her date with Rick, asking Cindy to play along. She promises she won’t be seeing Rick again after today. Rick wants to go to the Peach Pit, and of course Brandon is working that day. He and Nat play along with Brenda’s story that Brandon’s her cousin. But Brenda finally snaps and tells Rick who she really is. She storms out but comes back a few moments later to apologize for lying to Rick. He apparently doesn’t care and just wants to make out.
Donna goes to church to get some counseling from Father Chris. He asks her what her heart wants her to do. He tells her that love and virginity are gifts; she needs to decide who to give those gifts to. He promises that God will still love her no matter what she does. Donna remembers that he told her the same thing when she was younger.
Rick takes Brenda home and asks to see her again the next day. He doesn’t see Dylan as any kind of obstacle. He thinks he and Brenda have something powerful, and he doesn’t want to lose her a second time. Brenda tries to get him to leave, and Rick guesses that she’s seeing Dylan that night. He tells her to make sure it’s worth bucking the odds.
David’s upset that Donna talked to a priest about their sex life. She tells him she wants to wait until they’re out of high school, then discuss sex again if they’re still together. David promises that he’s not going anywhere and is okay with just making out. Brandon visits Andrea again and learns that the police still don’t have a suspect in her hit-and-run. He assures her that her friends will take care of her while she’s wheelchair-bound.
Brenda bugs Dylan again about retaking the SAT, asking why everything has to be a battle with him. He tells her to leave him alone if she’s not going to support him. Brenda notes that their problems obviously aren’t about the SAT. She tells him Rick came to L.A. and she spent the day with him. She loves Dylan, but they need a “rest.” And just like that, Brenda and Dylan are no more.
That night, Steve and Herbert use the legacy key to get into the school and subsequently the grade bank. Herbert starts to change Steve’s grades, but the computer locks him out, then goes black. Kelly can’t decide on colors for her room, telling Jackie she’s going through some changes. Jackie notes that paint colors aren’t that important.
Brenda calls to tell Kelly that she and Dylan broke up, and that Dylan dated someone over the summer but didn’t tell her who. Kelly wonders if they broke up because Brenda wants to be with Rick. There’s a knock on Kelly’s door, and she thinks it’s David, but it’s actually Dylan (not that she tells Brenda that). He agrees with Brenda that they should start seeing other people, and he specifically thinks he should start seeing Kelly.
Thoughts: The priest is played by Gregory Itzin (24, The Mentalist, Big Love, Covert Affairs, Murder One, The Ides of March). I wouldn’t have recognized him without seeing his name in the credits.
The irony of Dylan insisting “I did not cheat” isn’t lost on me, show.
From what I’ve read, the breakup came about because Luke Perry couldn’t take working with Shannen Doherty anymore. If it’s true, he hid the animosity well in their scenes together.
When the computer freezes, Steve smacks the monitor and all I could think of was Zoolander.
Kelly, I know he’s cute, but a guy who would make a move on you five minutes after breaking up with your best friend is not a guy you want to be with. Not that you were any better for hooking up with him while he was still dating your best friend. I’m just saying, you’re putting a lot on the line here.
March 13, 2012
Summary: It’s Dylan’s birthday, and his friends celebrate with him at the Peach Pit. Blowing out the candles sends him into a coughing fit. Nikki tries to get Brandon to dance, but fortunately for us, he declines. (We aren’t so lucky with regards to David.) Gil comes in and Andrea hassles him about giving her a B+. Sue shows up next with some skeezy guy and chats with Gil, asking if she has to take her clothes off to get a decent grade from him. He tells her to come to class once in a while.
At home, Sue tries to erase all traces of her inappropriate clothing, but her mother (who we met in “The Next 50 Years”) busts her for being late. She tells Sue that her uncle Henry is coming to visit the next day and will be the first person allowed to stay in Scott’s former bedroom, let alone touch any of his things. Sue isn’t happy about it.
In the school office the next day, Donna runs into Sue and confronts her about her behavior with David at the dance. Sue says she’ll stay away from him, but Donna doesn’t want her to feel like she has to. She just wants Sue to remember that there’s a difference between romantic love and affection from a friend who’s as close as a family member. Sue angrily says she knows all about that.
Nikki informs Steve, David, and Brenda that she’s taking Brandon to a dance club. They find that hilarious. Brandon tries to get Brenda and Dylan to tag along, but Dylan isn’t feeling well. Sue rants to Gil about her mother getting on her about her grades, then says that sometimes she feels like she’s the Scanlon who should have died. Instead of immediately taking her to a counselor, Gil tries to cheer her up, telling her she’s special and hugging her. Minutes later, Andrea sees Sue run out of the classroom crying.
The next day, Gil gets a note from the office that shakes him up. He leaves in the middle of class and skips a Blaze staff meeting. Brandon asks David for dance lessons (NOOOOOOO! BRANDON, DON’T DO IT!) as Brenda orders Dylan to see a doctor. His pediatrician tells him the water he’s been surfing in isn’t as clean as he thinks it is.
Gil is still MIA from school, so Brandon considers going to his house to see him. Brenda informs him and Dylan that Gil “has been relieved of his duties pending an investigation.” The charge is sexual misconduct with a female student. Brandon and Dylan drive to Gil’s place, and while Dylan hangs out near the water, Brandon urges Gil to fight the charges. Gil doesn’t want to, since keeping quiet will make his accuser’s mother drop the charges.
Andrea tells Sue she saw her leaving Gil’s classroom, then suggests that she see a peer counselor. Sue tells her no one can understand how she feels. Andrea says she once had a teacher she thought she was falling for. (I completely forgot about that guy until just this minute.) After promising to keep everything confidential, Andrea gets Sue to open up.
Later, Andrea goes to the Walshes’ to see Brandon, but he’s still gone. Brenda knows Sue’s involved in the accusations; it’s all over school. She fills Andrea in on the Scanlons’ issues. She also doesn’t think Sue is completely innocent in the situation. Brandon shows up and tells the girls that he thinks Sue’s charges are bogus; otherwise Mrs. Scanlon wouldn’t just let things go. Andrea argues that there have been no unfounded claims of sexual abuse at West Beverly. She slams Brandon for blaming the victim and thinking Gil’s innocent just because he’s a guy.
After Andrea leaves, Brenda tells Brandon that whether Sue is always truthful or not, she doesn’t seem capable of lying to screw up someone’s life. David arrives for David’s dance lessons, but Brandon doesn’t have time. He tries to use the Gil/Sue situation as an excuse not to go to the club the next night. Brenda promises to keep quiet about David coming over for dance lessons if Brandon agrees to go to the club. She wants him to loosen up and enjoy being with Nikki.
Gil goes to West Beverly to collect his things and runs into Andrea. She rips into him for taking advantage of Sue when she had a crush on him. Gil swears that he didn’t do anything wrong. Andrea doesn’t think kids make up things like sexual abuse. She also thinks he’s doing the wrong thing by running away. He’s protecting Sue even though his teaching career is on the line. Gil says he likes working with young people, and Andrea shoots back that he might like it a little too much. Gil replies that he wouldn’t be able to live with two suicides on his conscience.
Gil elaborates that at his first teaching job, one of his students fell in love with him, but he pushed her away and stayed professional. She killed herself and blamed him in her suicide note. Gil doesn’t want to call Sue a liar; he’s happy enough knowing the truth. Andrea wants Gil to help Sue, but he thinks he’s the last person who can.
Dylan and Gil run into each other on the beach and give us an environmental PSA. Dylan says that he would run away if he were accused of something he didn’t do, so he admires Gil for sticking around. Gil tells him that some things aren’t all black and white. He wonders if he’s to blame for giving Sue the wrong message.
The other kids go to a club (no eggs are exchanged this time), where Brandon lets Nikki dance with other guys because it means he doesn’t have to do anything. She has fun for a while but clearly would rather spend the time with Brandon. She asks Donna and Steve if he’s ever going to get over his dancing issues. Steve tells her to offer him an incentive, in the form of dancing with him to make Brandon jealous. It works.
At school, Sue invites Andrea to dinner at her house that night. Andrea’s confused but accepts. Steve tries to make up with Brandon, who knows Nikki’s really the one he’s mad at. Nikki tells Brandon that there are some differences she can deal with in a relationship, but there are some she can’t. She offers Brandon a private dance lesson (is that what the kids are calling it?), promising to shut up about it if he really doesn’t have any rhythm. Meanwhile, Dylan PSAs some more.
Andrea shows up at the Scanlons’ for dinner, but Sue won’t let her in and tries to disinvite her. Mrs. Scanlon invites her in, happy that her daughter has a visitor. Andrea chats with Mrs. Scanlon and Uncle Henry as Sue stands by uncomfortably. Over at the Walshes’, Brandon turns his dance lesson into a slow dance, and Jim and Cindy should really make him keep his bedroom door open when he has a girl over.
Dinner at the Scanlons’ gets really uncomfortable when Sue tells her mother she doesn’t want to watch home movies featuring Scott. Mrs. Scanlon tells Andrea that Sue hasn’t been the same since what happened with Gil. Henry wants to know exactly what happened and what Sue accused Gil of. He thinks she did something to make Gil think he could make a move. Andrea defends Sue, but Sue admits that she was the one who tried to seduce Gil.
Sometime later, Gil is reinstated at West Beverly and everyone’s happy. Andrea admits to Brandon that for once, she’s glad she was wrong. Kelly makes sure Dylan’s okay, because that sexual tension hasn’t been resolved yet. Andrea apologizes to Gil for jumping to conclusions, though he appreciates that she gave him some things to think about. He asks Andrea to help Sue in any way she can.
Andrea drops by the Scanlons’ but Mrs. Scanlon won’t let her in. Andrea turns to Brenda, who was Sue’s senior buddy, asking her to help get someone in the house. They ask Donna, who in turn asks David to come with her and get her invited in. Mrs. Scanlon invites Donna and David to stay for dinner, telling them that the family’s moving to be near her family in Oklahoma. Donna doesn’t get why everyone’s acting like things are awesome.
Donna pulls Sue aside and offers to listen if she wants to talk. Sue tells her everything’s fine since her family is so great. While they eat, David tells Donna that Henry was once Scott’s favorite uncle, but the last time Scott went to Oklahoma to visit him, something happened and Scott started hating him. Sue also seems to have a problem with Henry.
Donna finds Sue crying in Scott’s room and again offers to listen. She keeps thinking about what Andrea said about kids not making up stories about sexual abuse; the stories have to come from somewhere. Sue tells her she doesn’t know who started it, but there was kissing and touching, and she tried to pull away, but he wouldn’t let her go. Donna asks why she took back her story if Gil wasn’t innocent. Sue tells her it wasn’t Gil – it was Henry.
Donna takes Sue outside to tell her mother the truth. Later, she, David, Brenda, and Andrea discuss the situation at the Peach Pit. Sue decided to come clean because she was afraid Henry would move on to her little sister. Dylan shows up for some more PSA-ing, and Brandon and Nikki briefly stop by before going to a club. David’s surprised, so Brandon tells him that now that he knows how dancing makes Nikki feel, he’s all for it.
Thoughts: I haven’t seen Nicholle Tom in much outside this show, so I don’t really have a frame of reference for her acting, but she’s really good in this episode.
DAVID, STOP DANCING.
Ug, of course Andrea’s one of those a-B+-is-not-good-enough girls. There were a bunch of them in my high school and they drove me crazy. Some of them would complain about getting an A- and ask if they could do something to get extra credit. People are weird.
They make a big deal about Dylan being 18 now, so why is he still seeing a pediatrician? Though I got to see Dylan hold a stuffed animal in a doctor’s office decorated for children, so maybe I should just shut up.
No way can a high school teacher afford a place on the beach. Does this show just think everyone’s rich (except Andrea)?
There’s never been an unfounded sexual-abuse claim at West Beverly? Um…how many claims have there been?
Dancing as a dealbreaker? I don’t get it.
Hey, let’s end an episode about incest with a stupid Brandon moment! I thought they’d handled the topic pretty well until then. Once again, Brandon ruins everything.
March 10, 2012
Summary: After some random football-game footage, Brandon attempts to write an editorial for the Blaze while he flashes back to a post-game party at the Peach Pit. (He narrates the episode, which is really annoying.) There’s some exposition that Brenda has agreed to head up a committee to organize a school dance (the Pigskin Prom) that will give proceeds to kids. Donna thinks Sue is coming on to David, but Kelly thinks he sees her as a little sister.
Brandon’s hanging out with some football players, including Tony and Kyle, talking about their future game against a tough school called Shaw. There was some violent incident at Shaw after the game, but Brandon doesn’t really think about it. The next morning, Jim tells Brandon that two spectators were shot and killed at Shaw the night before. He thinks the Shaw/West Beverly game will be canceled.
At school, Brandon, Tony, and Kyle discuss the incident with another player, who disagrees with Tony that the violence was related to race. Football practice is canceled so the coach can go to an emergency school board meeting. Brenda auditions bands for the dance, but she has no control over the situation. Donna tells her to just hire David to DJ. Kelly’s excited because her father called the night before and has promised to come to town that weekend. That means she has to leave the dance committee since she won’t be attending the dance.
Brandon follows Coach Chapman and Ms. Teasley to the school board meeting, but only learns that a decision to cancel the game won’t be made until Monday. Brandon meets a Shaw student named Jordan Bonner who thinks the game dramatics are ridiculous; the violence had nothing to do with West Beverly. He assures Brandon that the West Beverly students have nothing to worry about. He also calls Brandon out for pretending he knows anything about gang violence. Jordan predicts that the game will be canceled, and he’s right.
Andrea and Gil interrupt Brandon’s narration/writing to see how his editorial is coming. He asks for 45 more minutes, since that’s how much time is left in the episode. But after Gil leaves, Brandon admits to Andrea that he needs more time. Apparently 15 extra minutes are enough. David books the Pigskin Prom, but Sue’s tagging along, and Donna isn’t happy about it. She lets it slip that she influenced Brenda’s decision to allow him to DJ. David assures her that Sue isn’t a problem.
Andrea checks on Brandon again, and he tells her he’ll take his time and lay the paper out himself. She warns him not to sneak in any swear words. Brandon goes back to narrating as he calls Jordan to talk about some super-secret plan. Kelly’s still on a high from the news that her father’s coming to town. Brandon thinks Brenda should cancel the dance since the game was also canceled. Donna suggests that they move the game to West Beverly, but Brandon thinks that will bring the violence there. Nikki decides to stay in the neutral zone, which is the smartest decision she’s ever made.
The phrase “neutral zone” gives Brandon an idea, and he drives to another part of town while thinking of Henry, whose store was trashed during the L.A. riots. Brandon visits Shaw, where students have to walk through metal detectors, and meets up with Jordan. He wants to ask the school board to move the game to a neutral location. Jordan sarcastically suggests Switzerland. He says if the game is played anywhere but Shaw, the gangs will win. They need to take a stand and let everyone know that Shaw students aren’t afraid.
Jordan is also a writer and has written an editorial about the past few days’ events. This gives Brandon another idea. He goes with Jordan to the locker that belonged to one of the dead students, who was a friend of Jordan’s. Brandon asks if the student was in a gang, but Jordan says it doesn’t matter. He’s mad that Brandon is only focusing on the game when two people are dead. He thinks Brandon should write a eulogy for the game. Jordan has already written one for his friends, and he and Brandon will publish both articles in both schools’ papers.
Brandon heads back to West Beverly with Jordan’s editorial, which Gil and Andrea balk at. They think it’s racist and inflammatory, not least because Jordan basically calls Coach Chapman a Nazi. Brandon thinks this is the best article they’ll get on the two dead students. Andrea says it’s too long, as if that’s the only problem. Gil says Brandon can write his own editorial, but they can’t publish Jordan’s in the Blaze.
Brandon goes back to his article, slamming everyone for focusing on the game and dance rather than the dead students. He wants everyone to “join together to form one circle.” His editorial is a call to arms. Jordan stops by with his editorial, which Brandon has already planned to print behind Andrea and Gil’s backs. Jordan calls him naïve, saying the first editorial was just his way of getting through his anger: “This is me getting through.” The new version is only two paragraphs, but they’re well-written. Brandon gives his editorial to Jordan, who’s skeptical about the call to arms.
The next day, Brenda blasts Brandon for inviting the Shaw students to the Pigskin Prom. She thinks the dance is going to be canceled. Everyone else is also mad at Brandon, including Gil and Ms. Teasley. Andrea feels betrayed, but Brandon doesn’t care. Gil has covered for Brandon, having told Ms. Teasley that some copy “fell through the cracks.” Andrea’s mad since her name has been on the masthead longer than theirs.
Gil tells Brandon he knows how much of a concession he made to change Jordan’s editorial. Brandon says he didn’t change anything. He wants to break the West Beverly students out of their sheltered existence and make them care. Gil also has to meet with Ms. Teasley about the dance, as he’s the faculty advisor. Dylan’s on Brandon’s side, telling Brenda that he likes what Jordan wrote. Brenda thinks they should go to dinner with Kelly and her father if the dance is canceled, but Dylan doesn’t think Mr. Taylor is going to show.
Steve and Donna confront Brandon over the possibility of the dance being canceled and David not getting to show his stuff to some record-label guys. Brandon meets with Ms. Teasley, who thinks that the school has no choice but to cancel the dance. Brandon argues that the Shaw students aren’t that different from the West Beverly students. She says it’s about violence, not race. Brandon asks if Shaw students would have been allowed at West Beverly before the shootings (which is a pretty gutsy thing to imply toward a black woman).
Brenda, Kelly, and Donna go shopping as Brenda relays the information that the Shaw students have been okayed to come to the dance. Donna’s still upset about Sue hanging around David. Brenda asks Kelly if she’s sure her father’s going to show, but Kelly thinks she’s being judgmental. “If you don’t know anything about something, maybe you should just shut up,” she says. David and Kelly both get ready for their respective events that night, though Mr. Taylor is running late. They wish each other luck.
Jim and Cindy aren’t happy with Brandon’s recent behavior, especially visiting Shaw on his own. He notes that they can’t keep him locked up in the house. Brenda’s going to the dance alone, since Dylan won’t be attending. Jordan calls to tell Brandon that a bunch of Shaw students are heading to the dance, but they’ve been drinking. David does the world’s dorkiest mic check with his new band and gets a lot of screaming praise from Sue, who Steve calls “user-friendly.”
Brandon, Brenda, and Nikki run in to warn Gil about the drunk students. “Guess who’s coming to dinner,” Nikki tells Steve and Donna. Security is a little too observant and almost won’t let Jordan in. Jordan thinks they should get some metal detectors. David’s equally worried about the Shaw students crashing and about Sue, asking Steve to get rid of her. He should be more worried about Sue than Shaw, as she totally wants to do him. David finally tells her that hooking up would be “incestuous.” She tells him he doesn’t know what he’s missing.
Tony and Kyle are ready to take on any crashers, though Brandon notes that security will handle them. Gil finally shows up and gets the scoop from Brandon. Meanwhile, Dylan decides to spend the evening alone at the Peach Pit, but Kelly’s there, having been ditched by her father. She admits that the last time this happened, she and some guy got high together, and her mother was so high herself that she didn’t know Kelly was gone. Dylan tells her that some people do change, then encourages her to go to the dance. She doesn’t know where to laugh or cry; he says no one does.
Security tries to keep the Shaw students out, even the ones who are there because of Brandon’s article, not to crash. However, those students warn Jordan that the West Beverly kids aren’t his friends. Everyone stays separated like it’s West Side Story, and Brandon tries to keep things calm. Then a fight breaks out, but it’s between Tony and one of the West Beverly players, who’s mistaken for a Shaw student since he’s black. They say they were just messing around as they always do.
Nikki and Donna try to break the tension by asking Shaw students to dance. Soon students from both schools are dancing together. And then David raps. A Shaw student joins him, though really the only appropriate response in this situation is to laugh and throw things at the white kid. There’s some Electric Sliding and general merriment, then slow dancing. David assures Donna that Sue isn’t going to be an issue.
Jordan tells Brandon that his friends who were killed would have liked being at the dance, though Brandon would have ticked them off. They watch the football players from their respective teams hang out, and Brandon suggests a friendly game in a park the next day. Jordan says no one could have predicted this outcome, but Brandon thinks anyone could have.
Thoughts: Jordan is Brandon if Brandon were successful. I think I love him.
Funny how Brandon thinks he and Jordan solved racism or whatever in this episode, when it’s really Nikki.
Andrea, I don’t think Brandon even knows any swear words.
Also, Nice Laura Ashley jumpsuit, Andrea. You’ve completely given up trying, haven’t you?
Steve: “I hooked him up with a band, didn’t I?” Donna: “I thought David found him.” Steve: “I was in the room when he called.” Don’t tell anyone, but Steve is secretly my favorite.
Donna: “I really wish someone would dance.” David: (dorky dances moves). Thanks a lot, Donna.
When David raps, I, like Kelly, don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
You know the recent revelation that Brian Austin Green won’t let Megan Fox watch this show? I think he had this episode in mind when he made that rule.
March 4, 2012
Summary: It’s morning in the Taylor/Silver household, and Kelly’s in the shower while David’s listening to his Walkman and dancing dorkily. He’s not paying attention and walks into the bathroom, seeing his stepsister naked. At school, Andrea’s stressing about college and tuition. She doesn’t think Brandon has to worry about the money side of things. Steve has trouble opening his locker and bugs an annoying custodian named Hutchins about opening it for him.
Kelly complains to Donna about having to live with David. Ms. Teasley bugs her about missing a college counseling session. David tries to do announcements on the radio but gets distracted when he sees Kelly and flashes back to seeing her that morning. Steve asks him what’s going on, reminding David that they’re business associates and friends. Elsewhere, Nikki and Brandon engage in some PDA, now that they’re apparently together.
Steve quizzes David to see if he’s telling the truth about having seen Kelly unclothed. She sees them leering at her and gets mad. She also can’t believe that Donna’s defending David, saying the walk-in was accidental. Donna thinks Kelly’s jealous that Donna has a boyfriend while she’s single. In the girls’ art class, they happen to be studying nudes, which is an oh-so-ironical irony.
That night Kelly and Dylan wind up at the Peach Pit together and he teases her about how much he would appreciate being the one to see her naked. Andrea arrives, saying she’s narrowed down her college choices, and admits that she’s too intimidated to apply to Yale. Later that night she has a dream about walking a tightrope that will take her to Yale. Dylan’s at the other end, and he asks why Gil is in her dream. Gil shakes the tightrope and makes her fall.
Ms. Teasley meets with both Brandon and Brenda, who are considering the same schools. Ms. Teasley notes that all of their choices are expensive. Brandon says the family isn’t exactly rich, and Brenda says they’re not exactly poor. At home, Jim and Cindy inform the twins that only one of them can go to an expensive, out-of-state college. Jim says they’ll make the decision fairly, but that quickly leads to a fight, so Jim says he and Cindy will pick.
At school the next morning, Brandon and Brenda are still bickering about the decision; he thinks it’ll go her way because things always do. He adds that Brenda ran away from home and got rewarded with a trip to Paris. (I KNOW!) Dylan tells Brenda to calm down, but she just snaps that he’s rich so it’s easy for him to say. Donna meets with Ms. Teasley, admitting that she doesn’t think she’s smart enough to get into a good college. She also thinks her father doesn’t believe she really has a learning disability.
David tells Steve he has Kelly-related PTSD that prevents him from doing anything other than picture her naked. Steve advises him to enjoy it. Apparently Brandon also knows about the incident and tells David that it’s normal for guys to picture girls naked. He suggests that David move on to Sue next, but that makes David even more uncomfortable since she was Scott’s sister. Andrea overhears and asks the guys if they’ve ever undressed her with their minds. “I’m doing it right now,” Steve assures her. She’s not as flattered as she’d expected to be.
Andrea asks Gil if he was ever in the circus, learning that he went to Yale. He wishes her luck, which she interprets as skepticism that she can get in. Gil just says she shouldn’t put all her eggs in one basket. Andrea complains about this to Brandon, who tells her he has his own problems. Steve tells Ms. Teasley he plans to go to USC like everyone else in his family. He’s confident he won’t have any problems getting in. She points out that he has a D+ average and might need a backup plan.
David asks Kelly for a ride home, but she doesn’t want him staring at her in the car. Brenda asks why Kelly’s so worked up over something seemingly innocent. Kelly blames her anxiety on her uncertainty about what to do in the future. Brenda tries to cheer her up by inviting her to hang out at Dylan’s, but of course Kelly doesn’t want to do that.
When Brenda tells Dylan about Kelly’s problems, he tells her that Kelly might not want to go to college. After all, he doesn’t either. Brenda thinks he’s trying to get revenge on his father. Dylan reminds her that he doesn’t do things to get back at people. She wonders what will happen if she goes to college out of state and he stays in Beverly Hills. Dylan tells her they’ll figure that out when the time comes.
Back at home, Brenda asks Jim to talk to Dylan about college, which Jim says will just make him more insistent about not going. He suggests that the two of them are moving in different directions. Brenda accuses him of trying to break them up. Jim asks what they were doing tonight instead of studying. When she says Dylan was fixing his motorcycle, Jim points out that Dylan has no motivation and lots of money, so of course he doesn’t think he needs college. Brenda needs to decide if she and Dylan want the same things.
Brandon comes home, learns that Brenda and Jim are talking, and complains to Cindy that Brenda’s going to get her way again. He announces that he’ll apply to California University to solve everyone’s problems. Cindy tells Jim about this, saying that Brandon’s just giving up whether or not he really wants to go to school in California. She thinks he might deserve the better college because he’s worked harder. Jim notes that Brandon worked for his car, and Brenda shouldn’t be punished for that. Cindy suggests taking out a second mortgage on the house, an idea Jim doesn’t like.
Andrea has her tightrope dream again, this time with Brandon at the other end. He notes that Gil isn’t in charge of admissions at Yale, so she shouldn’t let him rattle her. She needs to go for what she wants. Brandon announces that it’s showtime, and Gil starts sawing at the highwire. Steve has a clandestine meeting with B.J., asking for the alumni master key. B.J. reminds him that the legacy is now in his hands. Steve immediately heads to the school, but the key doesn’t work.
In the morning, Steve meets B.J. at the Peach Pit and accuses him of pulling a frat prank. B.J. promises that the key is the same one that’s been passed down for years. If it didn’t work, then maybe the school changed the locks. In art class, Donna’s work impresses her teacher, who suggests that she go to art school. This makes Donna’s day.
Brenda asks Kelly if she thinks Brenda and Dylan have anything in common. Kelly notes that they can have different interests and still date. Brenda’s concerned that Dylan doesn’t seem to have any ambitions. She hasn’t discussed this with Dylan yet because she’s worried Jim is right. Brandon and Nikki talk about his fight with Brandon, and she says she kind of misses not fighting with her siblings back in San Francisco. She also thinks Brandon shouldn’t consider California University a negative.
At home, Brenda tells Brandon that he can go to school out of state. He guesses that there’s something behind this decision. Brenda calls Dylan and admits to being scared about going to school away from him. She tells him she’s decided to stick around L.A. He warns her not to plan her life around him. She needs to do what she wants or she might end up resenting him. The call is interrupted when Kelly shows up at Dylan’s place.
Kelly’s there under the pretense of giving Dylan some wrenches, and she uses the opportunity to tell him she misses their friendship. She’s tired of moping around. She also thinks the two of them are the only people at school who aren’t obsessing over colleges. Kelly asks for a ride on the motorcycle sometime, then leaves. Dylan calls Brenda back and again encourages her not to base her college decisions on him.
Jim and Cindy call a family meeting to announce their decision, which is that there is no decision. The kids can look at any school they want, and Jim and Cindy will do whatever they can to send them there (even if it means a second mortgage). Brenda reveals that she’s been thinking about California University for a while, so she’ll be applying there. Brandon admits that he’s leaning that way, too. They ask for the money their parents won’t be spending on tuition as a graduation gift.
Andrea has the highwire dream a third time, with Gil climbing up to the rope to taunt her. She kicks him in the face and makes it to the other side. The next morning, she tells Gil she’s applying to Yale no matter how Gil feels about it. Of course, he never thought she shouldn’t apply. Steve uses a wad of gum to keep the door to the maintenance closet from locking, then sneaks into the school that night to get the legacy key. Hutchins catches him and reveals that he has the key on him. He threatens to turn Steve in, so Steve shuts him up with $100.
Kelly apologizes to David in their shared bathroom, saying she understands that everyone’s adjusting to living together. They agree to be more careful and set a schedule. Then Kelly turns on the shower and takes off her robe. David freaks out, but she’s wearing pajamas underneath.
Thoughts: Andrea still sleeps on her grandmother’s couch. Maybe they could get a place with two bedrooms?
Steve is skeezy all through this episode, but in a hilarious way.
Donna’s art looks more like fashion designs to me, which makes total sense for her character.
The wardrobe people put Dylan in a wifebeater just knowing that 20 years later, I would find it hot.
This makes no sense: Steve tried to use the legacy key to get into the school, but it didn’t work, so he tried to break into the maintenance closet. But how did he get back into the school to get to the closet?
February 26, 2012
Summary: Brenda, Kelly, Donna, Steve, and David are in an SAT prep class, though only David is nervous about the test. He wonders why everyone is retaking the test if it’s not a big deal. As they leave the class, a woman from the local news asks if anyone is willing to do an interview about the pressures they’re feeling pre-SAT. Brenda does an interview, but Steve interrupts to tell her the reporter is really from a sleazy news magazine called The Back Story. He’s mad because of an unflattering story they did on his mother.
At school the next day, Brandon and Steve discuss Nikki, who Brandon says he’s not interested in because she’s a sophomore. (I thought she was a freshman. Eh, whatever.) Steve is supposed to hang out with a girl who’s dating a college student named B.J. Harrison. Brenda’s stressed enough to want a cigarette; Kelly lectures her and reminds her that her parents would kill her if they knew about the habit she developed in Paris. Brenda adds that Dylan would, too, since he hates smokers. Kelly adds this to the list of Dylan-related secrets she’s keeping from Brenda.
Nikki asks Donna why everyone’s so anxious, because apparently she’s too dumb to realize what’s going on. Donna tells her that Brandon and Andrea are the only people not retaking the SAT. She adds that Brandon is often at the Peach Pit after school. The reporter from the day before stakes out West Beverly High so she can talk to Brenda. They go to a café and the reporter, Beth, asks Brenda to help her with a story that will break down stereotypes about Beverly Hills teens.
Brenda then heads to the Peach Pit to try to talk to Brandon, but he’s too busy. Nikki also wants his attention, but he barely notices her. Steve hangs out with B.J. and his girlfriend, complaining about all the work he has to do. B.J. offers him a master key to West Beverly High; it’ll give him access to every office, filing cabinet, and grade bank. It’s passed down from student to student every year, and Steve getting it is an honor. Steve isn’t sure, so B.J. gives him a few days to think about it.
After work, Brandon tells Brenda that Nikki makes him nervous. She seems too innocent for him. Brenda tells him about Beth’s offer, and Brandon thinks that after what happened to Samantha, it’s a bad idea. He advises her to talk to the vice principal, Ms. Teasley, first. Brenda has felt a little out of place since coming back from Paris; Donna’s always with David, and Kelly’s acting weird. Brenda wants to do something to make the school look good.
As the twins arrive home and greet their parents, Brenda accidentally drops a pack of cigarettes. This leads to a family meeting where everyone tells Brenda she’s being stupid. She thinks everyone’s overreacting. Cindy reminds her that she’s already had a cancer scare. (Ironically, that was the last time she was supposed to take the SAT.) Brenda denies that she has a problem, using the cliché that she can quit anytime. Jim challenges her to do just that.
Donna and David study some vocabulary as Kelly tells Brenda she’s glad Jim and Cindy found out she’s smoking. Brenda comes clean to Dylan, telling both him and Kelly that she’s already given up the habit. Dylan announces that he’s skipping the SAT to visit his dad in jail. Kelly defends him for not necessarily wanting to go to college. Later, Brenda takes Beth a yearbook and video scrapbook, telling her that she needs to talk to Mrs. Teasley. Beth wants to put the piece together first. She asks Brenda to skip class to help her out.
Andrea tells Brandon that the Blaze has a new sophomore-class representative: Nikki. Beth and Brenda watch the video scrapbook, and Brenda reveals Donna’s learning disability and Kelly’s past life as a slut. Oh, and she smokes with Beth. B.J. visits West Beverly, and Steve sees how beloved he is by Ms. Teasley. Brenda spends the rest of the school day with Beth, then goes to see Dylan, who can tell she’s been smoking. She promises to quit if he takes the SAT on Saturday.
Brandon gets rid of Nikki at the Blaze, and Andrea tells him to break it to her that he doesn’t want to date her. Brenda visits Beth while she’s editing, though she’s having trouble putting together the story she wants. Her producer, Dan, wants something a bit more exploitative. Ms. Teasley tells Brandon and Andrea about The Back Story‘s presence at the school, asking them to put an announcement in the paper telling students not to talk to them. Brandon realizes it’s too late for that and rushes off to find Brenda.
Dylan’s also looking for Brenda; he wants to say goodbye before he goes to see Jack. He adds that a girl named Nikki is looking for Brandon, and he did Brandon a favor by telling her how much he likes her. Dylan admits that he’s not taking the SAT, despite his deal with Brenda. Brandon advises him to keep his options open. Dylan suggests that he do the same. Brandon’s still annoyed that he can’t find Brenda, and he takes it out on Nikki, finally telling her that they wouldn’t work out if they dated. She’s confused.
Brandon finally finds Brenda at the library and tells her the school board doesn’t want people talking to Beth. Brenda blows him off. Brandon then heads to the Peach Pit to work, complaining to Steve that he has a lot of homework to do. Steve offers to make things a little easier with the master key. Brandon points out that things didn’t turn out so well the last time Steve cheated. He points out that Steve can either have a big GPA but worry about getting caught, or he can be happy with average grades.
Brenda comes home in time for her story to air on The Back Story. She’s stunned to see that it’s been edited to make the students seem like rich snobs with family problems. The segment host, who Brenda never talked to, says that Donna has a severe learning disability that her parents dealt with by sending her to Paris for a shopping spree. Kelly’s whole past and family are outed as everyone watches. Brenda tries to call her but can’t reach her, so she goes for a walk.
Brandon runs into Brenda on his way home and asks if she wants to be alone so she can smoke. Brenda thinks she’s earned it. He tells her that if she can get through this crisis without a cigarette, she can get through anything. He takes her home for ice cream instead. Brenda finally gets through to the Taylor/Silver house, but Kelly and David won’t talk to her. Meanwhile, Dylan visits Jack, who wonders why he’s skipping the SAT. He notes that Dylan has money, but he’ll only have respect as long as it’s there. If he works to get a college degree, no one can take it from him.
At the SAT, Tony Miller makes fun of Steve, who was described as being emotionally unstable on the Back Story piece. Brenda tries to talk to her friends, but they’re too mad. Brenda promises Kelly that she never said what the piece claimed she said about her. Dylan goes to another school to take the SAT. Beth goes by the Walshes’, where Brandon blasts her for stabbing Brenda in the back. Beth wants her to know that she quit and wants to make amends.
After the SAT, Brenda turns the tables on her friends by ignoring them. Brandon and Beth show up so Beth can apologize and assure Brenda’s friends that she wasn’t in on the negative parts of the piece. She also has an unedited version of Brenda’s interview to prove that she said nice things about her friends. The teens head to the Peach Pit, and Brandon pulls Nikki aside to apologize for yelling at her the day before. Then he kisses her, for no apparent reason, and she’s all happy.
Thoughts: What’s a grade bank? I mean, obviously it’s a place where grades are stored, but…well, what is it?
Actual funny moment: Brandon’s sarcastic “thanks, buddy!” to Dylan after Dylan said he told Nikki that Brandon likes her.
I don’t think you can just show up at any school and take the SAT. And I guess if Dylan thinks he can take it without any preparation, he either believes he’s smart enough to ace it or he doesn’t care. Probably that second one.
Ah, yes, Beth, the “I was only following orders” defense. Always a classic.
Really, Brandon? Two minutes ago Nikki bugged you, and now you want to make out with her? Boys are weird.
February 19, 2012
Summary: Brandon, Brenda, and Dylan are back at West Beverly for their senior year. Kelly and Donna watch Brenda and Dylan, wondering how long they’ll stay together. David is surprised to see Nikki Witt, who has ditched San Francisco to live in Beverly Hills. Brenda, Donna, and Steve are senior buddies to incoming freshmen, though Steve is only there because it’ll look good on his transcripts (and so he can meet a hot girl). Instead, he’s paired with a guy named Herbert.
Brenda’s buddie is a girl named Sue who seems a little meek. She has Brenda show her to a bathroom, where she changes into a skin-baring outfit and smokes a cigarette. Brandon meets up with Andrea and learns that the Blaze has a new faculty advisor. Brandon actually wants to leave the paper, but Andrea refuses to let him quit. They meet their new advisor, Gil Meyers, who helps Andrea convince Brandon to stay put.
Kelly and Dylan end up in Spanish together; they haven’t talked since Brenda got back. Brenda’s also in the class and has no idea that anything should be awkward. Andrea thanks Mr. Meyers for being on her side about Brandon. Donna gushes to David about her freshman buddy, who turns out to be Nikki. She and David pretend they haven’t already met (and made out). Speaking of making out, that’s what Dylan and Brenda are doing, and Kelly doesn’t really want to see it.
Mr. Meyers meets with the newspaper staff for the first time to discuss content and layout. Andrea’s surprised that he thinks anything should change. Brandon tells her that Mr. Meyers is on her side since he said she was a good editor. She thinks she needs to go out of her way to show him how committed she is to the paper.
Dylan has dinner at the Walshes’; he and Jim are getting along a lot better. Meanwhile, Kelly complains to David about having to watch Brenda and Dylan make out all the time. He asks if she’s in love with Dylan, which she denies. David tells her about Nikki going to West Beverly and befriending Donna. When they’re with Donna, Nikki plays innocent, but when Donna’s away, she hits on David. Kelly encourages her to come clean to Donna.
Andrea and Mr. Meyers run into each other at the public library and discuss Brandon. Mr. Meyers wants to know if he’s motivated and a leader. Andrea suggests that he challenge Brandon with more responsibilities. Mr. Meyers agrees and recommends that Brandon take over as editor-in-chief. Andrea can be “the woman behind the man.”
Back at school, Herbert ruins Steve’s attempts to flirt with some poor, clueless girl. Nikki asks David if he’s going to tell Donna about their fling; she wants him to do it soon. Mr. Meyers teaches Whitman in Brandon and Andrea’s English class, then tells Brandon that he’s being promoted to editor-in-chief. Andrea is the least excited she’s ever been about anything.
Brandon runs into Nikki (the second time that day), then asks Mr. Meyers (who wants to be called Gil, because he’s all young and hip and stuff) if Andrea’s okay with him becoming editor-in-chief. He thinks Andrea is better for the challenge. Gil (bleh) thinks she needs to find other things to occupy her time. Brandon would rather be a team player than a leader, especially during his senior year, which he wanted to be a smooth ride. Gil just quotes Whitman to him.
Brenda and Dylan encounter Sue, who’s already picked herself up a boyfriend. Brenda wants Dylan to throw a barbeque for all their friends. Kelly tries to get transferred to an art class, which will require her to change her entire schedule. Elsewhere, David continues not telling Donna anything about Nikki.
Andrea pretends to be okay with her new position on the Blaze. When Brandon asks for the report she gave Gil on streamlining the paper, she tells him to do the job himself. He wonders why she backed him as editor-in-chief if she didn’t want him to have the job. Andrea points out that the alternative was trashing him. She walks away, telling Brandon he’ll have to run things without her.
Steve gives David a bunch of 45s so diners around town can play his music in jukeboxes. David doesn’t want it at the Peach Pit since Nikki and Donna each think she was the first person to hear the song. Steve advises him not to say anything to Donna. Kelly’s keeping his secret from Donna, and Nikki just wants them to break up so she can have David. David worries that Nikki will tell Donna. “Deny, deny, deny,” Steve tells him.
Brenda and Dylan bring home food for his barbeque, though Dylan admits that he’s never grilled anything in his life. As she’s cleaning up his living room, she finds an earring and asks who it belongs to. Dylan lies that it’s Iris’. At school, Kelly tells Dylan that her schedule has changed and gets her earring back. He assures her that he didn’t tell Brenda it was hers. He adds that if Kelly hadn’t changed her schedule, he would have changed his so she wouldn’t be uncomfortable.
Brenda and Donna run into Sue again; now she’s hanging out with a bunch of bikers and barely wearing clothes. Brenda’s surprised that Donna knows Sue, but Donna’s more surprised that Brenda didn’t pick up that Sue is Scott’s sister. Gil confronts Andrea for glaring at him during class, and she calls him out for not letting her answer any questions. He says he knew she knew the answers. Andrea announces that she’s quitting the paper since her work apparently doesn’t mean anything to him. Gil was apparently dumb enough not to realize she was annoyed.
Andrea continues that Gil obviously likes Brandon more than he likes her. He tells her that sometimes overachievers need to step back and be followers. She thinks that if she were a guy, Gil would congratulate her for being an overachiever. Instead, he’s teaching a guy to lead and a girl to follow. She addresses some double standards and asks Gil what Walt Whitman would have to say about his ideas.
Donna and Nikki discuss David, and Nikki says she’s glad Donna is okay with everything. She promises that nothing happened, but she met David over the summer. Donna’s mad that she pretended not to know him. Nikki says they only kissed, but that doesn’t make Donna feel any better – after all, kissing is all she and David do. Nikki notes that David stopped things from going any farther because of Donna. Donna decides to skip getting mad and get even instead.
Steve finds Herbert being hassled by some other students and stands up for him, calling him “my freshman.” Herbert agrees to stop calling him “sir” if Steve will remember his name. Brandon and Nikki officially meet, and she seems to have forgotten about her crush on David. Brenda finds Sue smoking in the bathroom and changing back into her good-girl clothes. Brenda admits that she knows who Sue is, adding that she was at Scott’s birthday party the night he died. She offers to be there for Sue, or to recommend a counselor who can help her.
Brandon is already in over his head with newspaper stuff, and Gil feels bad about pushing Andrea aside. He asks Brandon if he comes across as sexist. He laments that he’s read all sorts of studies about teachers favoring boys, but he never thought he would be one of them. Brandon says he would understand if Gil wanted to give the paper back to Andrea. Gil doesn’t like the idea but the guys know they need to do something.
Brandon tracks Andrea down at the library and shows her the Blaze’s new masthead: Both of them are listed as editors-in-chief. He wants them to work together as a team. Of course, Andrea’s on board. But first Brandon wants her to have some fun, so he takes her to Dylan’s barbeque. Donna brings Nikki, and she and Brandon are happy to see each other again.
Nikki pulls David aside to talk and begs him to tell Donna about them. She throws herself at him, but he tells her he loves Donna. Donna overhears, having arranged the set-up with Nikki. And then apparently everything’s forgiven. Plus, Nikki’s free to pursue Brandon. Brenda asks Kelly why she’s been so down lately, promising to find her a guy as great as Dylan.
Thoughts: I read somewhere that Nikki, Sue, and Herbert were brought on for a potential spin-off involving younger characters, but it didn’t work out. I can see why.
Sue is played by Nicholle Tom, who was later on The Nanny.
No one wants to call you Gil, Gil. Go away.
David, stop asking Steve for advice. No one has ever asked Steve for advice and been successful in whatever he has advised them to do.
Herbert, your tiny little ponytail is going to be a problem.
Donna’s idea of revenge is extremely weak. Girl needs to talk to Emily Valentine.
January 29, 2012
Summary: Brandon and Steve are at the beach club, eagerly awaiting the arrival of hot girls for a volleyball tournament. Steve also thinks the two of them will win the tournament. He spots a pretty girl named Nikki Witt and thinks she’s there for volleyball. She’s actually there to find her aunt’s cabana, and she’s more interested in David’s music than Steve’s…whatever. Nikki even says David reminds her of George Michael.
Over in Paris, Brenda and Donna hang out with one of their classmates, but Donna’s annoyed that they keep speaking French. She also goes off on a bakery worker who calls her an idiot for not speaking perfect French. Brenda notes that at least Donna was able to understand the woman. Someone takes photos of Donna, saying that her employer would like to meet her. Does she have any modeling experience?
Kelly and Dylan both turn up at the tournament without partners, so she suggests that they play together. (Play volleyball. Yes, that’s what she meant.) Brandon and Steve work at the registration table, which allows them to meet all the hot girls they were hoping would arrive. Steve tries to pick up a girl named Brooke, who’s there for some serious competition, and assures her that he’d make a great partner.
Brooke watches Steve play, then meets Brandon, who she hits it off with (they’re both from Minnesota, and Brandon played hockey against her brother). After she leaves, Steve literally tells Brandon he saw her first. Brandon assures him that he’d never move in on his territory. Donna does a photo shoot, and the photographer’s assistant seems unhappy with her talent. Kelly teases David for his music, so he doesn’t tell her he’s attracted Nikki’s attention.
David plays a truly horrible song for Nikki, who’d like a demo tape. You know, like the one her boyfriend’s band made. David wonders if her boyfriend would have a problem with them hanging out. (Uh, would Donna have a problem with you hanging out?) Nikki says he doesn’t need to know. By the way, she thinks keyboard players are hotter than drummers. Donna gets flowers from her photographer, Pierre, who wants her to do a photo shoot that day. That means missing a trip to Versailles, which Donna had been looking forward to for weeks.
Dylan and Kelly win a game in the tournament, then decide to celebrate by watching Casablanca while they babysit Erin. First they join Brandon and Andrea, who are watching Steve and Brooke’s game. They also win, and Steve invites Brooke to the Peach Pit that night. Brooke asks Brandon to come along. She spends the evening gushing over Brandon and ignoring Steve. Brandon promises Steve that he’s not trying to interfere with his date; in fact, he’s willing to leave so they can be alone. Before he goes, Brooke invites him to call her sometime.
Brandon goes by Dylan’s to talk to him about the Steve/Brook situation. Brandon laments wanting to ask out the girl his friend is into. Dylan gives him the horrible advice that “all’s fair in love and volleyball.” He then heads over to the Silver/Taylors’ and impresses Kelly with his child-soothing skills. Though he also tells Erin that the only person she can trust in the world is herself, so maybe he shouldn’t be allowed around children.
Brenda’s concerned that Donna skipped a day of shopping for another photo shoot. Her classmate thinks that Donna’s about to get a rude awakening from working with an older man. For some reason, Brenda responds to this by smoking. That night, Donna tells Brenda that Pierre has offered her a contract (which is in French). This means dropping out of the summer program. Brenda notes that the contract is for two years, but Donna isn’t concerned.
At the beach club, Steve laughs over the fact that David and Donna haven’t had sex yet. David tells him that Donna wants to wait until she’s married. Steve encourages him to have sex with Nikki; Donna won’t want to be with someone who’s inexperienced, and she’s probably hooking up with guys in Paris anyway.
Steve and Brooke face off against Dylan and Kelly in the tournament, and though the latter team doesn’t play well, they have fun together. Brooke’s pleased with her choice in partners. Steve invites her over for some champagne, but Brooke has to break his heart and tell him she just likes him as a friend.
Brenda confronts Donna about her decision to drop out of school to become a model. She points out that her parents will never approve. Donna reminds Brenda that Jim and Cindy haven’t approved of all of her decisions. Donna wants to make her own money and become more than the dumb girl in their group of friends. Brenda asks about David, wondering if Pierre has become more important. Donna insists that Pierre’s just a business colleague. Brenda points out that people cheat, which Donna knows all too well.
Brooke meets Jim and Cindy at the club, then invites Brandon to go for a drive after work. He tells her he can’t because Steve likes her. Brooke says that means none of them will be dating each other, since she doesn’t want to date Steve. Brandon decides that since Brooke told Steve they’re just going to be friends, she’s fair game.
Kelly catches David and Nikki making out in a cabana and blasts him for cheating Donna. She tells him he has a lot to learn about women. Brandon drops Brooke off after their drive and they almost kiss, but he hesitates. She suggests that Brandon and Steve go out. Brandon kisses her, possibly to make her shut up.
Donna goes to a party with Pierre, staying after with him to talk about her nerves over becoming a professional model. He promises to help her, then starts touching her in some icky ways. Donna reminds him that they’re there for business. Pierre tells her to read between the lines of her contract, calling her a baby. She starts to leave and he tells her not to be stupid. This gets her to stay.
In the morning, Brenda and Donna make up, and Donna admits that Brenda was right about Pierre. Donna threw wine on him and quit. Brenda promises that she’ll never be ordinary. She compliments Donna for all the progress she’s made in Paris: She’s speaking more French, she has a photo portfolio, and she’s started standing up for herself. Donna thanks her in French.
David and Nikki meet up at the Peach Pit so he can tell her he has a girlfriend. Not that Nikki cares, since she has a boyfriend. David doesn’t feel right fooling around behind Donna’s back, especially with someone he likes so much. Nikki complains that her boyfriend treats her like dirt; she wishes she could find someone like David. He gives her a demo tape as a parting gift.
Brooke and Steve are still in the tournament, but they’re not playing well. Brandon tells Steve not to blow everything over a girl. Steve tells him he’s at least playing a clean game, unlike Brandon the liar. Brandon argues that he didn’t go after Brooke, she went after him. Steve admits that he would have acted the way Brandon did if their roles were reversed. He’s just ticked that he’s never in Brandon’s shoes. Steve apologizes to Brooke and they start playing better, eventually winning the tournament.
Kelly tells Dylan that at first she regretted not going to Paris, but her summer’s turning out well. She thinks they’ll be good friends. David shares a postcard from Donna with Kelly; he’s pleased that she misses him. He thanks Kelly for being a good sister and calling him out for cheating. Kelly then heads off to most likely do something naughty with her best friend’s boyfriend.
Thoughts: I love the slo-mo volleyball shots, like, let’s all watch Ian Ziering hit a ball.
Yeah, sorry, Donna’s not a model.
“You’re so precious to me. Am I precious to you?” Freaking A, David. Your “music” sucks. I can’t even defend you anymore.
This episode was bad advice central. These people are horrible to each other in so many ways.
“She came after me”? That’s your excuse, Brandon? I’d say you were the worst offender in this episode, but it’s totally going to turn out to be Kelly and Dylan, so I can’t. I hate you the most, though.