November 28, 2012
Summary: The premise for this book is incredibly dumb. Dawn’s father has a friend who’s moving across the country, and Mr. Schafer offers to drive his RV from Connecticut to California for him. He somehow convinces Dawn and Jeff to come along, even though they were supposed to spend the summer in Stoneybrook. Watson hears about this and decides he wants to cancel the Brewer/Thomases’ vacation so they can also drive across the country in an RV. And of course, Kristy can bring friends (but no one else can). So all of the BSC girls get permission to go along, and a trip that started out with three people balloons to include 15:
RV 1: Mr. Schafer, Dawn, Jeff, Kristy (her travel route didn’t match the rest of her family’s), Claudia, Stacey, Mary Anne
RV 2: Watson, Mrs. Brewer, Abby, Jessi, Mallory, David Michael, Karen, Andrew
Sam and Charlie are at camp, and the family is smart enough to leave Emily Michelle behind with Nannie. (Can you imagine two weeks in an RV with a two-year-old?) The idea is that everyone gets to pick a special place to visit, and there will be other touristy stops along the way. RV 1 goes north, RV 2 goes south, and everyone meets up in California.
Highlights/lowlights from RV 1:
- Kristy wants to visit as many baseball stadiums as possible and buy hats from them (plus go to some games, obviously). It’s something she once discussed doing with her father. At a Giants game, she sees him on a Jumbotron and manages to track him down. They talk briefly but he promises to write. Notably, he doesn’t ask about any of the rest of the family.
- Dawn wants to go to a ghost town, but the one she picks is corny. The group ends up having fun there anyway.
- Claudia goes to the Art Institute of Chicago, but nothing interesting happens. Later she stops at a flea market and buys a sketch that reminds her of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work. When she gets to California, she looks at the back and discovers that it is an early O’Keeffe. Mr. Schafer’s friend, an art appraiser, offers her $500 for it, but she decides to keep it.
- Stacey has a not-that-funny comedy of errors in Seattle when she tries to meet up with Ethan at a coffee shop. Also, she thinks Claudia read her diary and spends most of the book mad at her.
- Mary Anne has no imagination and only wants to go to Maynard, Iowa, to spend time with her grandmother. (They end up meeting at the Mall of America instead.) She spends most of the book on edge because Mr. Schafer keeps making snarky comments about her and her father. She finally confronts him and he apologizes.
- Jeff wants to go rock climbing in Yellowstone, and also get away from all the girls. I kind of feel bad that he has to spend his vacation with drama queens.
- I don’t remember what Mr. Schafer wants to do, and I don’t care since he’s annoying in this book. He also runs out of gas in the Badlands and leaves the girls and Jeff alone in the RV so he can get help.
Highlights/lowlights from RV 2:
- Abby is apparently obsessed with Elvis, which I don’t remember hearing about before, so she wants to go to Graceland. There’s some uninteresting stuff with an Elvis impersonator.
- Jessi first takes everyone to her grandparents’ home in New Jersey and briefly suspects that Mallory is racist. (Um, what?) Her grandmother points out that Mallory is just uncomfortable because she’s with a bunch of people she doesn’t know, and she wants to make a good impression. Jessi’s other destination is Dalton, Mississippi, where some of her relatives were slaves. She sees firsthand how horrible that point in history was for black people.
- Mallory wants to go to Chincoteague, because she’s still obsessed with horses. She does nothing interesting the rest of the book.
- Watson has a college friend in Oklahoma, so the group stops at his house for lunch before going to a rodeo, David Michael’s pick. A tornado hits and everyone has to hide out in the bathroom. It might have been interesting if there was any possibility that someone could die.
- Karen wants to go to Four Corners, the spot where four states touch. Karen is boring.
- Andrew is obsessed with the pandas at the San Diego Zoo and has a full-on meltdown when he hears that one that’s supposed to give birth has been sent back to China. Then it turns out she wasn’t. I don’t know.
- Mrs. Brewer wants to see the Grand Canyon, and Abby is secretly freaking out about it. It turns out that her father loved the Grand Canyon, and her family was planning a vacation there just before he died. When they arrive, Abby is sad at first but manages to enjoy the experience, feeling like her dad’s spirit is with her. She later writes in her journal that her dad once gave her a pep talk based on that “teach a man to fish” saying, and she sees the Grand Canyon as a huge fishing pond. She plans to fish a lot and bring her mom and sister back there one day. It’s really sweet and a little sad and I totally did not get a little misty-eyed, someone was chopping onions, shut up.
They also keep running into this annoying girl, Liz, who’s traveling with her grandparents. It’s dumb. There’s also a brief stop in New Mexico, where they meet some of the Stoneybrook kids’ pen pals. It’s actually too bad Dawn didn’t get to make that trip, since she was the force behind that whole thing.
Thoughts: I know I’m definitely, for real an adult because I can’t help wondering how expensive this trip was. Gas, food, baseball tickets, admission fees to the rodeo and things like that, souvenirs…that’s a big chunk of change.
Also, how do they all get home? Does Watson have to drive the rented RV back?
Also also, if I had to spend two weeks in an RV with anyone, I would probably never want to see them again.
Andrew whines a lot in this book. I don’t remember him being so annoying before. Maybe he’s just in a super-bad mood the whole two-week trip.
Watson’s college roommate’s last name is Romney. Um…
Who would you least want to be stuck in an RV with for two weeks, Karen or Dawn? Death is not an option.
October 27, 2012
Summary: SVH’s roof collapses after an earthquake, so while the school is closed for a week, Lila and Jessica take a trip to New York. Lila oversleeps and misses their flight, so Jessica goes on by herself. But there’s an emergency during the flight and they have to divert to New Orleans. In the midst of the chaos, Jessica discovers that her disguised seatmate is a rock star named Ryder Mitchell. They immediately fall in luv, but Ryder confesses that he’s going to New York to enter into a fake engagement with an awesomely named singer, Deidra La Monde. He wants to be with Jessica, though, so they make plans to meet at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day.
Lila makes it to New York before Jessica, but she’s mopey because she wanted Bo (her boyfriend from the camp books) to meet her there and he refused to come up from D.C. Little does she know that he’s planning to surprise her there. In other news Lila doesn’t know, there’s a princess named Charlotte (from the made-up country of Laestra) who’s staying in the same hotel and who looks enough like Lila to cause them to be mistaken for each other. In fact, Bo mistakes Charlotte for Lila and gets himself roughed up by her bodyguards. Lila has no idea at first and takes advantage of the mistake to get a nice suite and special treatment.
Jessica finally makes it to New York, and she, Lila, and Bo live it up on Charlotte’s dime. (Well, Laestra’s dime, I guess.) Charlotte, meanwhile, just wants to be left alone, so she poses as Lila and works at a soup kitchen. (Why, yes, we did see this plot in the London books.) There’s some dump subplot with her falling for a guy there, but I don’t care about either of them. Anyway, Jessica and Lila get kidnapped on Valentine’s Day; the kidnappers think Lila is Charlotte and take her for ransom. They’re pretty dumb, and Jess and Lila bicker with each other like they’re Buffy and Cordelia in “Homecoming.” It’s all pretty weak.
The girls swear they’re not who the kidnappers think they are, but promise to get them money (through Lila’s father) if the guys don’t hurt them. They’re taken to Yankee Stadium (because the ghostwriter has to mention every New York landmark at least once in this book) while the kidnappers try to get money while slowly turning on each other, thanks to Jessica planting suspicion in the dumber one’s mind. Meanwhile, Bo realizes Lila’s missing, tries unsuccessfully to get help from the police, and connects with Ryder, who got worried when Jessica didn’t show up at the Empire State Building.
The kidnappers can’t get a hold of George, so Lila tells them to ask Bo for their million-dollar ransom. They tell Bo to bring the money to the stadium, not bothering to tell him to come alone and not call the police or anything. Seriously, they’re dumb. Jessica, smarter than she looks, hides a bottle, breaks it, uses the glass to cut through the ropes on her and Lila’s wrists, and frees them. She also uses baseballs to trip up the kidnappers, ultimately locking them in a storage room.
As the girls escape, the guys arrive with the money but don’t know where to go. The girls head back to their hotel, where they run into Charlotte. She jumps in to help find the guys, but no one calls the police, for some reason. Charlotte’s bodyguards stop the kidnappers before they can kill Ryder and Bo. So good triumphs over evil once again. And then there’s a stupid concert and I don’t care about Ryder.
Thoughts: I guess Ryder isn’t worried about the press finding out he likes underage girls. There’s reference to him being a teenager, but if he’s old enough to get married, he’s probably 18 or 19. And Jessica’s 16. 16! Why do older guys always fall in love with her?
And why doesn’t anyone notice that Lila doesn’t have Charlotte’s foreign accent?
Lila and Jessica eat pickled chestnuts. That’s disgusting.
With this book, the series really joins the ’90s: The rich people all have cell phones. (Except they keep calling them cellular phones.) Also, someone mentions a video dating service. I totally forgot those ever existed.
Bo has a dream about Lila fall off one of the Twin Towers. So…that’s disturbing.
Jessica first finds baseball bats but ditches them in favor of using the baseballs like she’s in Home Alone. Lila suggests that they arm themselves with the baseball bats just in case. Silly Lila, trying to be helpful and smart.
September 16, 2012
Summary: David complains about his crappy life on the radio, as if he didn’t bring it all on himself. Howard’s tired of all the whining, calling David self-indulgent. Also, his playlist is depressing. David asks for more drugs since he feels so horrible. Howard’s suggestion is to stop doing meth. At the beach apartment, Donna asks Kelly to keep an eye on David while she goes on a ski trip. Then she regrets not inviting him along. Kelly tells her she’s doing the right thing since David’s such a jerk.
David comes home and continues being a jerk, but Donna invites him skiing anyway. He tells her he already agreed to watch Erin that weekend. Donna tells him they need to be civil since they’re living together. David snaps that he’d be in a better mood if Donna could have a “mature relationship.” Basically, he wouldn’t be so mean if he could get laid. Donna tells him she’ll be having sex when she’s ready.
Cindy has packed a giant cooler for Brandon, Brenda, Steve to take on the ski trip. Brenda tells them that Andrea isn’t coming; she has the flu. Dylan also isn’t coming since he’s taking care of Erica. Donna calls to try to back out of the trip, telling Brenda that she and David had a fight. Brenda refuses to let her mope when she could be having fun. Once the kids are gone, Jim tries to arrange a meeting with Dylan to share what he’s learned about Suzanne.
Dylan’s surfing with a nervous Erica, whose only previous experience with the ocean is from reading The Old Man and the Sea. Kelly tries to calm Jackie down over letting Mel take Erin for the weekend. David complains again about his issues and Kelly asks him straight out if he’s using drugs. He says no, he just needs sleep. He also needs a hug, which she gives him. Dylan gives Erica a surfing lesson on the sand before she admits that she doesn’t know how to swim.
Kelly and David pick up Erin from Mel’s office so they can take her to the park. David pretends to go to the bathroom but instead sneaks back into an exam room to steal codeine. Up on whatever mountain the kids are skiing, a guy helps Donna with her boots, then asks her to lunch. Andrea goes to a doctor for her suspected flu, asking for an AIDS test just to be on the safe side.
Dylan takes Erica to a pool to teach her to swim, even though she’s afraid of the water. He uses The Old Man and the Sea to make her brave. In the park, some random old woman offers Erin a cookie and Kelly says no, though David almost accepts. I’m sure it’s because of the drugs. See, kids? Drugs make you take sweets from strangers! Erin runs off to the ice cream truck, and Kelly chastises David for offering her some since it would be rewarding bad behavior. Then she ditches them for an appointment, telling David to do whatever he wants.
Donna hits it off with her lunch date, Chad, who’s a ski instructor and offers her and Brenda lessons the next day. Donna’s happy that Brenda made her come since she’s having a great time. Kelly returns to the park and finds David asleep on a bench, with no Erin in sight. They end up at the police station, where they’re joined by Mel. A cop wonders if Jackie might have taken Erin because of the custody dispute. Mel isn’t sure but won’t let David blame himself.
Dylan waits for Erica outside the pool locker room, hearing from a couple of girls that she’s in there crying. He goes in to find out what’s wrong and almost has security called on him by a reasonably concerned woman. Erica tells Dylan she got her first period and doesn’t know what to do. Not that he knows what to do either, other than taking her to the Walshes’ so Cindy can help her out. Erica hopes this doesn’t mean she’ll suddenly be obsessed with boys.
The skiers meet up at the lodge and decide to go to dinner, but Donna wants to skip it in hopes of spending more time with Chad. Brenda warns her not to do anything stupid. (Like what, sleep with him? It’s Donna.) Jim finally meets with Dylan, asking what Suzanne told him about her financial situation. Dylan relays that she was wiped out when her home was flooded. Jim reveals that she actually has a bank account containing $25,000.
Jackie finally gets to the police station and learns that she’s a kidnapping suspect. She’s mad at Mel for leaving Erin with David again, though at least this time it’s not like he went to another country. David keeps apologizing, but no one blames him. Donna and Chad do a little kissing and he tries to invite himself to her place. She tells him that’s not going to happen – not because she doesn’t want to have sex but because she’s still in love with David.
The Taylors and Silvers spend the evening at the police station, but they’re finally reunited with Erin, who had run off to some random house. Suzanne comes home early and Dylan asks when she was going to tell him about the $25,000. She’s upset that he looked into her background. She tells him it’s the insurance money for her trailer, and it was just wired into her account a few days ago. She also admits that she can’t be sure Erica is Jack’s daughter, but Dylan doesn’t care.
At the beach apartment, David admits to Kelly that he’s being using meth, then stole codeine to help him sleep. He asks her to help him, and she promises she will. The next day, Andrea goes back to the doctor to get her AIDS test results. That test is negative, but another is positive: She’s pregnant.
Thoughts: I didn’t realize that Gabrielle Carteris was actually pregnant, so Andrea’s pregnancy didn’t completely come out of nowhere. It also explains some of her fashion choices over the past few episodes.
Oh, no – Kelly caught Calling Your Parents By Their First Names from Brandon. I hope there’s a cure!
Do dentists’ offices have drugs? They have novocaine, obviously, but painkillers in pill form? I thought they just wrote you a prescription and you had to go to a pharmacy to get it filled.
I feel bad for any teen actress who has to do a my-first-period storyline. It must be incredibly embarrassing. And I don’t think any viewer really wants to see that plotline. Oh, and considering this storyline, the episode title is kind of gross.
September 8, 2012
Summary: Judging from the decorations all over Beverly Hills and the Walshes’ house, it’s Christmas. Speaking of the Walshes, they’re headed to Hawaii after they celebrate Christmas Eve at home. Brandon calls Brenda out for being nervous about flying. Cindy reminisces about their first Christmas in California, leaving out the unhappy parts. Her family reminds her that she was homesick for Minnesota and hated their tree. Then they talk about Santa, and I hit fast-forward.
Dylan shows up with presents; despite the fact that his one remaining family member lives in Hawaii, he won’t be going there with the Walshes. They’re all sad that he’s going to spend the holidays alone in Mexico. Over at the beach apartment, Donna and Kelly decorate their own tree with Donna’s favorite ornaments. Dylan brings them presents and winds up under the mistletoe, but Kelly makes Donna kiss him instead of doing it herself. They start to make out, which is pretty funny.
David’s getting ready for a party at Mel’s, and he’s not thrilled that afterward he’ll have to come home to Donna. She thinks he’s just upset about the ongoing custody fight. She encourages Kelly to go to Mel’s as well, but Kelly doesn’t want to be disloyal to Jackie. After Dylan leaves, Donna notes that he’s been in a really good mood lately. Kelly worries that he’s overcompensating with Christmas cheer and is actually depressed.
Dylan packs for his trip to Baja, taking a few minutes to remember visiting Jack on Christmas. (I hit fast-forward again.) He follows it up with a memory of Jack’s car going boom. Dylan’s reminiscing is interrupted by a woman and a girl on his front doorstep. The woman says that Jack once told her to look Dylan up if she was ever in town. She’s looking for a hotel to stay in. Dylan lets them in to use his phone. The woman is Suzanne and the girl is her daughter, Erica. While Dylan’s in the kitchen, Suzanne tells Erica to do exactly as they’d planned.
The Walshes are off to the airport…or they will be, once Brandon gives Andrea some “ecumenical advice.” Jesse wants to take her to midnight Mass, but she doesn’t know what to expect. Brandon advises her to call the Vatican hotline instead. Dylan and Suzanne talk about Jack; it sounds to him like the two of them used to date. He’s also suspicious that she waited a year to express her condolences. Suzanne takes him down a notch by telling him she and Erica lost everything in a flood and have been living in a Red cross shelter.
Brenda’s nervous on the plane, and Brandon tells her she has a phobia. Cindy and Jim are enjoying living it up in first class. There are more flashbacks, but I don’t feel like dealing with them. The flashbacks do succeed in distracting Brenda from being anxious during takeoff. At the beach apartment, Donna tries to use mistletoe to be romantic with David, who’s being very Grinchy. Kelly seems perfectly content eating the chocolates Dylan gave her (so I guess her eating disorder is a thing of the past).
Dylan offers to let Suzanne and Erica stay at his house for the night. Suzanne tells him that Erica’s father died last year, but father and daughter weren’t close. Dylan babbles about parents and children for a while until Suzanne announces that Jack was Erica’s father, making Erica Dylan’s sister. On the plane, Brenda and Brandon babble about how all the kids have changed this year, with the exception of Steve.
Steve, by the way, is at the Peach Pit, telling Nat about his baseball-stealing bust and possible setup. Nat tells him the obvious solution is for him to leave KEG. Steve can’t, since his father was in the frat and would disown him for leaving. David mopes through Mel’s party, mad that Donna won’t sleep with him. Mel makes the same assumption that he’s angry about the custody case. He gets an emergency dental call, as he does every year, but this one’s from Kelly, who cracked a tooth.
Dylan goes to the Peach Pit, where Nat tries to enlist him to help get food ready for the homeless. Dylan confides in him about Suzanne’s claim, which he thinks is bogus. Nat tells him to be Christmasy and give her the benefit of the doubt. Jesse goes to get Andrea, who’s dressed like she’s going to church with the characters from Steel Magnolias. He teases that she’ll have to give confession, become a nun, and do missionary work in a third-world country. (I love Jesse.)
Mel takes care of Kelly’s tooth, quipping that despite being a bad husband, he’s a good dentist and father. Kelly says she tried to talk Jackie out of going overboard with the custody case. He knows Jackie won’t forgive him for what he’s done, but it looks like Kelly’s okay with him. The Walshes learn that the computer controlling the plane’s landing gear has gone down, and though the crew has everything under control, they’ll have to return to L.A. (And land…how?) Aloha, Hawaii.
Donna comes home from the party and gets a Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas serenade from Kelly. David’s still at Mel’s, but Donna swears they didn’t have a fight. As the pilot follows procedure in case of a non-wheeled landing (and the Walshes freak out), Erica gives Dylan his Christmas present: a picture of the two of them and Jack, signed “from your little sister.” Andrea and Jesse attend Mass while the Walshes’ lives literally flash before their (and our) eyes. Then they land and no one dies.
In the morning, Nat and the remaining kids serve the homeless while Steve plays Santa. Kelly blasts David for ignoring Donna all morning. Andrea really enjoyed the Mass and keeps talking to Donna about it, which at least distracts her from her relationship problems. The Walshes make a surprise appearance just in time to sing Christmas carols.
Suzanne and Erica are off to Disneyland, but Erica’s sad that Dylan isn’t there to say goodbye. Suzanne thinks he’s already on his way to Baja. He actually went out to get a tree and another ticket to Disneyland so he can tag along. It’s all smiles over at the Peach Pit until Donna goes looking for David and he tells her their relationship isn’t working, “especially the sex part.” So Donna gets dumped on Christmas. Which is also her birthday. Fa la la la la.
Thoughts: Trivia: The Walshes are Presbyterians.
The kids haven’t taken finals yet? What kind of schedule is CU on? Most schools end the semester before Christmas and start the new one after the new year. And why is Andrea still in the dorm? Don’t most schools close their dorms during the break?
Nat, there’s giving the benefit of the doubt and there’s being a gullible fool.
You know the beach apartment is huge because they have a gigantic tree that they can just stick in a corner without having to move anything to accommodate it.
If I were Brenda, I’d tell Brandon I was totally right to be nervous about flying.
Enjoy the coal in your stocking, David.
August 6, 2012
Summary: Dawson’s at the airport (where there are awesome giant hot-air balloons as decorations), about to fly to L.A. Joey’s also there, but they haven’t seen each other for five years, so obviously this is a dream/fantasy/something like that. Dawson says he thinks about Joey a lot and would like to spend some time with her before he flies out. Too bad she’s engaged to someone else.
They make awkward small talk before she starts to leave. Joey says that they had their shot, but Dawson blew it, so she moved on. He needs to do the same because “this is getting sad and ridiculous.” Yep, it’s Dawson’s nightmare. If only he’d stayed asleep longer so we could see Joey rip out his heart a few more times.
Joey and Audrey hang out by the water in Capeside; Audrey wants Joey to come to L.A. with her, but Joey plans to spend the summer in Capeside. Pacey shows up, wearing a security uniform, and Audrey takes off. Joey encourages him to talk to her, but Pacey doesn’t want to revisit his recent humiliations.
Dawson’s trying to get Lily to talk, worried that she’ll say her first word while he’s in L.A. Gail asks if he’s said goodbye to Joey yet. He’s made plans to get together with her, and Gail wonders if this social meeting is really a date. He won’t tell her, claiming he and Joey have nothing to say to each other anyway. She finds that hard to believe.
Jack got his grades back: four C’s and a D. Now he can focus on their summer in Costa Rica, though he’s not sure Jen is still on board. He’s gotten her a copy of Moby Dick to read on the plane so she won’t talk and keep him from sleeping. Joey, Audrey, and Dawson finish up dinner at the Leerys’ restaurant, and Audrey decides to give the other two some time alone to talk. Dawson asks Joey to promise she’ll never marry a lawyer.
Joey reminisces about the last time she and Dawson said goodbye, just before he left for L.A. the first time. They thought it was all epic and dramatic, and then he showed up in Boston just a few months later. She’s not sorry at all about the way things turned out. Finally Joey asks Dawson why he came to Florida. She promises that there will never be a time she doesn’t want to hear what he has to say. He announces that he went to tell her he loves her.
Joey asks why he didn’t say something sooner. Dawson reminds her that she’d moved on by the time he got there; it wouldn’t have been fair to ask her to drop Charlie for him. She wonders when things changed. Dawson names Lily’s birthday party, when he saw Joey’s sketches. He realized that he hates it when Joey isn’t around. She’s worried that he just keeps coming back to her when things are uncertain. Dawson moves in for a kiss, but she rejects him.
The next morning, Dawson takes a cab to the B&B to pick up Audrey. Audrey doesn’t know about the near-kiss the night before, since Joey refuses to talk about it. Audrey drops it, telling Joey that this was the best year of her life. Joey and Dawson only wish each other a good summer, and Joey’s left behind in Capeside.
Patrolling the marina, Pacey runs into Danny, who’s been dumped by his wife. He’s surprised to see Pacey as a security guard but isn’t sympathetic about him losing his job at the restaurant. They’re both screw-ups, but it’s okay because they never have to grow up or conform. Danny says Pacey has a great future ahead of him. Somehow, Pacey isn’t comforted.
Jen and Jack rush to make their flight to Costa Rica, but it’s delayed. Fortunately, they have Dawson and Audrey to hang out with. Also coincidentally in the same gate area: Eric, who went home to tell his parents he’s gay but couldn’t do it. He offers to wait with Jack until his flight leaves. Jack rejects the offer.
Joey’s supposed to start work at the yacht club again for the summer, and she’s not that happy about going back instead of moving forward. Dawson runs into Grams at a newsstand, and she admits that she and Clifton are taking a trip together that Jen doesn’t know about. She doesn’t want Dawson to tell Jen she’s there, partly because she doesn’t want Jen to think she’s going to pressure her into spending the summer with her parents.
Bessie drops by the yacht club with Joey’s passport, reminding her that she’d thought about spending the summer in France. She has something special that came in the mail for Joey. Dawson bugs Jen about her parents, telling her it’s time for her to grow up. She tells him that not everyone is as strong as him; they don’t always do the right thing. He gets her to lie and say she’ll think about it.
Jen asks Jack about Eric, saying he’s a nice person for trying to help a person who wasn’t nice to him. He doesn’t see the big deal in being a friend to someone who needs one. She wants him to stay in Boston to help Eric, and he wants her to go to the Hamptons. Jen says that she needs to help herself for once.
In case Dawson hasn’t run into enough people he knows, next he encounters Todd, who recognizes him but can’t remember from where. He thinks Dawson’s opinionated but gutsy, and he’d like him to keep in touch. Back in Capeside, Joey reads her mail at the marina and confides in Pacey that she feels trapped. She thinks he might be the most adult person she knows – he never looks back. She encourages him to believe in himself more.
Joey brings up Audrey, asking if Pacey misses her. He won’t answer the question. She says Audrey changed her life, and she misses her. Pacey suggests that she might have changed on her own. He thinks that whatever she’s thinking about, she wishes she could change it. Joey says no, then announces that she and Pacey are going after Audrey, and possibly another person, to say what they need to say.
Cue the typical movie/TV rush to the airport. Joey goes off to buy a ticket and stop Audrey, but Pacey has another idea. Jen’s trying to get on a plane to New York but can only get a first-class ticket. (Oh, you poor girl.) She runs into Joey, telling her Dawson changed her mind about her summer plans. She’s sure he’s the reason Joey’s there, too.
Pacey has Audrey paged so he can tell her over the phone that he’s sorry. He knows that might not be enough, but they’ll never know if she gets on the plane. He tells her to meet him downstairs so they can talk. “That is your pitch?” she exclaims. “You are a lazy romantic, Pacey!” She hangs up on him, so he runs to a security office to try to use the intercom.
For some reason, the security officer lets Pacey make a big speech about how he didn’t have the best year, but it got better when he met Audrey. Joey’s energized by the gesture and eagerly tries to get a ticket so she can go to Dawson’s gate. She has to pick a destination, so she randomly picks Milwaukee. “That’s boring,” the ticket agent says. Heh. Joey picks Paris, because apparently money is no object here.
Audrey finds Pacey, who suggests that their next move is to drive to California, “stopping for only food and sex.” (Audrey makes a plea for a visit to the world’s largest ball of yarn.) She tells him he’s lucky because she “kind of” loves him. He thanks her for giving him a second chance. As they leave, he asks if she has any money for gas.
Dawson’s just about to get on the plane when Joey arrives, asking why he didn’t say goodbye. He replies that it was when he tried to kiss her and she turned her head. She admits that she was scared of going backwards and never growing up. At the beginning of the year, she thought they would have to say goodbye, but she was wrong. He’s in her past, her present, and her future. He makes her life better, not worse.
He asks her to go to California, but Joey says she can’t. Dawson’s journey is to California, but Joey’s isn’t. They don’t need to worry if they say everything they need to say to each other. She thinks she knows what the kiss meant, then smooches him. Once again, Dawson doesn’t want to get on the plane, but Joey tells him he has to since it’s his dream to go make movies. If he gets lost, he just needs to remember that she loves him, too.
After some more kissing, Dawson gets on the plane. On her way to New York, Jen enjoys the benefits of first class and chats with her highly improbable seatmate, Todd. Elsewhere, Eric and Jack hang out. Lily says her first word: “Dada.” Audrey and Pacey happily drive to California. Dawson’s seatmate is a woman who hates flying, and he assures her she’ll be okay. Joey goes to refund her ticket to Paris, debating actually using it.
Thoughts: Five seasons down, one to go! I can’t believe I’m in the homestretch already. It seems like just yesterday I was cringing in embarrassment at the pilot.
Pacey’s a security guard and we didn’t get to see Doug make fun of him? I feel cheated.
I don’t think I’ve ever run into someone I knew at the airport, let alone everyone I knew all on the same day.
No way are Joey and Jen close enough to say they love each other. Maybe Joey was just thinking about what she was going to say to Dawson, and it slipped out?
Why the urgency to stop Audrey? She’ll be back in Boston at the end of the summer, right? I always hate those cliché scenes where someone runs through the airport to stop/say goodbye to someone else. You can’t pick up the phone and call the person once the plane lands?
I shouldn’t have laughed at Pacey ending his intercom speech with “free the West Memphis Three,” and yet…
July 23, 2012
Summary: Joey and Dawson are watching some movie about spring break, because, fittingly, it’s their spring break. Dawson’s about to head to New York for a meeting about his movie. He’s uncertain, so Joey says lots of nice things about him. She thinks Mitch would love what Dawson’s doing. Joey realizes that after the awful year they’ve both had, things have worked out well. Dawson stills feels bad about the way he treated Joey right after his father died, but she’s past it. Then there’s some blah blah about dreams, but no one cares.
Dawson heads off with Oliver, who bugs him about what (or who, more accurately) he’s thinking about. This is a mini-clip show, so Dawson tells Oliver about their relationship as we see flashbacks from the pilot. Meanwhile, Joey’s reading on a beach in Florida while Pacey and Audrey make out in a bedroom. (It seems her parents own the house where they’re staying.) They talk about their families, who don’t appear to know about their relationship. Jen and Jack are also there, and the latter is cranky.
Joey gets a call from Charlie, who’s been calling her every few hours and won’t take the hint that she doesn’t want to talk to him (mostly because she keeps flirting instead of making the hint a clarification). Later, the girls and Pacey hang out by the pool and try to decide what to do. Joey spots a movie star named Chris who turns out to be a friend of Audrey’s. He’s there for an MTV-sponsored M2M concert and offers the kids free passes. Audrey assures Pacey that she and Chris were just friends, but Joey knows they dated. Charlie calls again, then reveals that he’s at the house.
The kids go to the concert, where Pacey rejects the advances of a girl who turns out to be one of the M’s of M2M. Joey flirts more with Charlie while Audrey tries to avoid having any kind of meaningful conversation with Chris. Pacey’s beginning to suspect that something’s going on there. Charlie tells Joey a story about all the steps he took to track her down, but it turns out Pacey told her where they were. She tells him that doesn’t mean she’s going to hang out with him.
Pacey and Chris chat about Audrey, and the truth about Chris and Audrey’s relationship comes out. Chris is happy that Pacey doesn’t seem to be dating her, since he’s been thinking about how cool she is lately. Joey interrupts a conversation Charlie’s having with a girl and gets her to leave by telling her that Charlie’s one of the Hanson brothers. After some Joey/Dawson flashbacks highlighting the intensity of their friendship and relationship, Oliver asks Dawson, “How does it end?” He hopes it’s tragic, with Joey running into a homeless Dawson on the street and not recognizing him. Then Dawson gets hit by a bus. (I love you, Oliver.)
Charlie gets Joey back by interrupting her conversation with another guy. Jen watches, then has a coughing fit while Jack (who seems drunk) gets excited about a hotel raffle. Pacey confronts Audrey for lying about Chris; she says if she’d told the truth, Pacey would have ruined the evening by trying to get her to compare the two of them. Audrey says Chris was her Dawson, and breaking up with him was the hardest thing she had to do. She still wonders sometimes if she did the right thing. Pacey reminds her that their relationship was supposed to be casual, so her lies don’t matter.
The next morning, Pacey tries to convince Joey that he’s learned from his past relationship mistakes. She points out that her own Dawson is in the past, as is Audrey’s Dawson. Pacey just wants a girl who doesn’t have a supposed soulmate. Joey advises him to leave himself open to the possibility of falling in love with Audrey. He asks if she takes her own advice. She admits that she might possibly like Charlie, but they’re not going to have a serious future. Pacey points out that Charlie came all the way to Florida to see her.
More Dawson/Joey flashbacks as Oliver wonders if Dawson’s considering going to Florida instead of New York. Dawson doesn’t know what he would say if he did go see Joey. Oliver thinks he should take a chance. (I no longer love you, Oliver. Stop encouraging this.) Dawson knows it’s crazy but decides to go anyway. Charlie gives Joey surfing lessons as Jen nurses a cold, Jack drinks, and Pacey, Audrey, and Chris avoid each other. Jen notes that Jack seems to be drinking to forget something, but he doesn’t want to talk about it.
Joey tells Jen about her day with Charlie, and though Jen claims to be okay with that, she’s not sure why Joey wants to waste her time. She warns Joey not to fall victim to Charlie’s charm. Joey thinks her instincts trump Jen’s experience. She throws Jen and Dawson’s relationship in Jen’s face, asking why Jen cares so much about Charlie and what he and Joey do. That night, Chris comes by the house and tells Audrey he wonders where they would be if he’d followed her to Boston. She says they’re different now, though he thinks she’s pretty much the same. They kiss, which Pacey sees.
Joey’s a little distant with Charlie, pointing out that she’s not sure how she feels about him. He knows she’s only uncertain because of what he did to Jen. He swears that’s not all he is. “Haven’t you ever hurt anybody?” he asks, thankfully not triggering a stream of flashbacks. Sometime later, Dawson arrives at the house to find Jack on the roof, drunk. He jumps in the pool and Dawson pulls him out.
Jack confides that college has turned out to be harder than he expected. He’s failing and will have to ace all his finals. Dawson promises that their friends will help him out. Jack points out that he wasn’t very helpful when Mitch died, but Dawson disagrees. Jack tells him that Toby has a new boyfriend. He starts crying, wondering how to fix his life when he doesn’t know where it went wrong. He just wants to go back and start over.
Audrey starts to tell Pacey that she kissed Chris, but he lets her know he saw. She asks if he cares about her; she can’t keep seeing him if he doesn’t. She wants to be his official, exclusive, serious girlfriend, and she wants him to want the same thing. Pacey assures her that he does. He’s wanted to tell her all day and was just waiting for the right time. They make their relationship official.
In the morning, Pacey finds Dawson in the kitchen and tells him that he’s made a mistake if he came there to see Joey: “It’s over.” Dawson disagrees: “No, it’s not.” He’ll keep coming back as long as there’s something to come back for. When something pulls him this strongly, he has to act on it. Dawson asks where Joey is, and Pacey tells him she’s with Charlie.
Joey and Charlie spent the night in a tent (inside the house), telling each other their life stories. He realizes that even though they’ve been together all night, he hasn’t given her “a proper kiss.” They smooch while Dawson mopes on the beach.
Thoughts: Why in the world would you want to date a guy who screwed over your friend? Especially when that screwing over was in the form of sleeping with someone else, exactly like your father did to your mother?
I either never knew who M2M were or I blocked them from my memory. Either way, I’m good with it.
Joey, why are you wearing jeans on the beach? And not sitting on a towel? Are you familiar with sand?
Dear Charlie, you are creepy.
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.
April 14, 2012
Summary: The BSC girls (minus Kristy, Mallory, and Shannon; plus Logan and Robert) have raised all the money they need to go to Hawaii, so off they go. Jessi makes them all keep a journal of the trip for poor, unloved Mallory, which is why everyone gets a chapter:
- Jessi spends the whole trip taking way too many pictures and writing down every little detail of the trip for Mallory. If I’d been with her, I would have hidden her camera and notebook.
- Stacey and Robert aren’t getting along since he had the nerve to talk to another girl on the trip and Stacey’s uncharacteristically jealous. They go with a small group on a side trip that involves helicopter tours over a crater, and Stacey’s helicopter crashes. She and her group have to walk back to civilization, but the lack of food takes a toll on Stacey and she ends up passing out from low blood sugar. However, when she’s back with Robert, she sees how worried he was and they make up.
- Mary Anne and Logan have decided to spend the trip TBI, together but independent, since their friends have been teasing that they spend too much time together. They avoid each other a lot but admit at the end of the trip that they wish they hadn’t, and they won’t try that again. Mary Anne also accepts a job sitting for a real Hawaiian family, who – shocking! – turn out to be like any other American family. Mary Ann is asked to sit again the next day, but instead she sends…
- Claudia, who has been depressed for a lot of the trip. She’s just learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor and is uncomfortable with her Japanese heritage. She also wonders how Mimi, who was living in Japan during World War II, viewed the whole situation. When she sits for the Hawaiian family, she meets their grandfather, who’s Caucasian and served in the war. He tells her that he doesn’t have any animosity toward the Japanese, and in fact has Japanese-American friends. He also points out that the U.S. hurt Japan worse with the atomic bombs. After that, Claudia feels a lot better.
- Dawn finds a little beach and enlists some local kids to clean it up.
- Abby talks her way into a commercial for sunscreen by saying she’s on her school’s volleyball team (not true) and is 18 (SO not true). Karma gives her a sunburn.
- Mallory and Kristy run a farm daycamp back in Stoneybrook, but Kristy’s barely in the book, other than to make everyone wear shirts advertising the club (yes, even in Hawaii). While at the park with a tantrum-throwing Jenny Prezzioso, Mallory encounters a woman who thinks she’s a horrible sitter and neglects her charges. The woman, Mrs. Wellfleet, even calls Kristy during a meeting to bash Mallory. Later on, Mallory takes her sisters to the park and catches Mrs. Wellfleet’s own son throwing a much bigger tantrum. Mal manages to be the bigger person and not rub it in the woman’s face.
Thoughts: Logan’s disappointed that they don’t get leis at the airport. I would be, too.
I think I’ve figured out why Abby’s so weird: She’s high from all of her allergy meds.
Trivia: Mary Anne is part Norwegian.
Before seeing sugarcane, Robert thought sugar was dug out of mines. What?
In the scene where Mrs. Wellfleet’s son is a terror, Margo Pike proves to be a wonderful kid. The boy steals the shovel she’s using, and at first she tries to be polite and tell him to return it. When he doesn’t, she finds something else to do. Then when he moves on to something else, Margo takes the shovel back. The kid gets mad, so she invites him to play with her. So out of eight kids, at least a couple Pikes are turning out all right.
I actually liked Claudia’s plotline. We don’t hear about her heritage a lot.
April 1, 2012
Summary: Now that John Marin is back behind bars, Ned decides everyone needs a vacation, so he sets up a vacation to Catalina. (Steven doesn’t get to go, but who cares?) They’re just starting to relax when Marin escapes from prison, thanks to the utter stupidity of a prison guard who only took three days to fall in luv with him. He kills her partner, steals the guard’s car (leaving her in the trunk in the desert), and carjacks another family to drive back to Sweet Valley. There, Marin gets into Ned’s office, finds out the Wakefields are on Catalina, and follows them out there. Then he pays off a bunch of people to stalk the twins on a horseback-riding trip.
Jessica’s horse almost falls off a cliff, and just as Elizabeth is about to help her get to safety, Marin shows up. Jessica channels Jessamyn by jumping onto Liz’s horse, which Liz proceeds to force to jump off a cliff. Yes, that happened. Ned figures out that Marin is on Catalina and takes a horse out to find the girls, not that they need rescuing. Then the Wakefields rent a houseboat to escape the island, but Marin gets a motoboat and keeps following them.
Ned is apparently unable to ignore a person in need, and when he sees that the motorboat appears to be in trouble, he anchors the houseboat and heads over in a dinghy to help out (obviously not knowing Marin’s there). Marin busts the motorboat’s radio and makes it fill with water, then escapes to the dinghy. Ned is left behind on a broken boat with no method of communication. Oh, and of course it’s storming. Marin takes the dinghy to the houseboat, knocks out Alice, puts Elizabeth in a storage space, and then…just kind of hangs out with Jessica for a while. (There’s a part here where it’s not really clear what’s going to happen.)
After Alice regains consciousness and Marin randomly lets Liz out of the storage space, he ties them all up. Then he pours gasoline everywhere and starts some fires. Ned makes it back to the houseboat to save his wife and daughters, but instead of leaving with them, like a smart man, he goes back to grab Marin. It’s too late, but all the Wakefields survive to…be almost killed another day, I guess.
Thoughts: Jessica: “There just aren’t that many murderers out there, and we already found one this summer. So, statistically, there’s no danger anymore.” Except “this” summer has been going on for five years, and you’ve had run-ins with a dozen murderers in that time period. What are the statistics on that?
Why do women keep falling in love with Marin so quickly? He’s not that hot. Is he really that charming? The characters seem to think so. It’s like he’s a cult leader or something.
Though I guess I could ask the same about the twins – why do guys fall in love with them so quickly? There’s even one in this book. Brad, the guy leading the twins’ horseback-riding group, flirts with her, even though she’s clearly 16 and he’s married.
“At night the café at the pool turns into a disco. We get pretty funky bands here.” Brad, I’m just going to stop you right there before you make a complete fool of yourself.
Also, why does the ghostwriter think ’90s teens are so into dancing?
Jessica: “Maybe it’s an eclipse.” Elizabeth: “Maybe your brain is eclipsed.” Come on, Liz, you’re a writer. You can do better than that.
Apparently everyone on Catalina can be bribed with $100.
The houseboat part of this book was actually foreshadowed in the previous book – Elizabeth watched Cape Fear.
Alice tells Ned to free Elizabeth first, so there’s another reason Jessica will be in therapy for the rest of her life.
Ned claims that Marin died of smoke inhalation, but I found Ned a little scary in this book and the last one, so I’m not sure he didn’t help things along. But since he does sare me, I’m just going to pretend I believe him.
February 16, 2012
Summary: Alice wins a week at the Paradise Spa for seven people, so she takes the twins, Enid, Lila, and Lila’s mother Grace. Enid’s mom has to stay behind for work, so the mother-daughter trip is really mother-daughter-motherless Enid. To make things worse for Enid, she’s feeling particularly unconfident next to all the pretty people who work at the spa. And to make things doubly worse, the guy Elizabeth tries to set her up with prefers Jessica.
Oh, yeah, of course there are guys. Elizabeth and Jessica both find a spa employee named Chris hot; Jessica thinks he’s interested in her, but he really likes Liz. Jessica moves on to Chris’ friend Alex, and though the two guys hang out with all four girls, Enid still feels left out. Elizabeth has also connected with an employee named Katya, who’s kind of touchy on the subject of her mother.
Enid starts doing beauty treatments with Tatiana, the woman who runs the spa. Tatiana has a scar on her face an unhealthy obsession with talking about how beautiful the Wakefields are. Also, she totally brainwashes Enid and makes her want plastic surgery. Katya leads some spa guests on a hike and they end up at a white building that the employees are all mysterious about. When Tatiana learns of the trek, she yells at Katya. The next day, Katya’s dead.
Tatiana claims that Katya had a heart condition and being in the steam room killed her. She has no family, so they can’t get in touch with them, even though Alice had encouraged her to contact her mother and Katya hadn’t said anything about her mother not being around. Elizabeth starts snooping – er, investigating – and finds an ad in Katya’s possessions that shows she found out about her spa job through a publication for runaways. It turns out all the teens who work at the spa are runaways, including Chris and Alex. They also don’t get paid for their work.
During a trip to a waterfall, Alice disappears. The twins freak and try to call Ned, but the phones aren’t working. Liz uses her laptop and emails Ned while Jessica snoops in Tatiana’s office and finds a yearbook from Alice’s senior year at SVU – except Alice’s picture has been cut out of it. (Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.) As Elizabeth figures out that Enid’s being conditioned for plastic surgery, Jess finds out that all of the spa employees have had their appearances enhanced since they started working there.
Elizabeth goes out looking for Alice, and even though it’s dark and dangerous, Grace, the only adult left, is all, “Don’t get killed. See ya!” Thanks for playing, Grace. Jessica then tells Lila and Grace about all the plastic surgery and stuff. She gets an email Ned sent back to Liz saying that he remembers Tatiana as an SVU classmate who had a girl crush on Alice. Jessica manages to put together that Tatiana, a surgeon, wants to make herself look like Alice. Meanwhile, Elizabeth returns to the place of Alice’s disappearance, where Chris, clearly brainwashed, pulls her into a cave, then takes her to Tatiana.
The whole story eventually comes out: Tatiana trained her assistant to perform plastic surgery so she can make Tatiana look like Alice. Then they’ll kill Alice because twins are bad, or something. Jessica, Lila, and Enid arrive to save the day, and Enid’s brainwashing proves to be as weak as Tatiana’s villainy, so she overtakes her brainwasher. She also in effect brings down the spa, leading all the employees to have a “ding dong, the witch is dead” moment. She probably still feels ugly, though.
Thoughts: Elizabeth, you don’t have “the instinct of a journalist.” You’re just nosy.
I don’t think I could handle being friends with someone as insecure as Enid for more than five minutes. Shut up, Enid.
Elizabeth just worked things out with Todd after the Ken fiasco, and she’s hooking up with another guy. Todd, believe it or not, you actually deserve better.
Funny how Lila thinks Jessica is crazy for falling for a groundskeeper – Lila strikes me as exactly the kind of person who would sleep with her hot gardener.
A book with “murder” in the title shouldn’t take 128 pages to get to that murder.
“After dialing Olivia Davidson’s E-mail address….” Oh, 1995, you’re so cute.
GHOSTWRITER. STOP USING THE WORD “MAILLOT.” NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS.