March 1, 2015
Summary: Noah bugs Donna about her date with Jacob the morning after it. She thinks his jealousy is adorable and reminds him that she’s just helping him get back at his ex. Valerie goes to a clinic to get her HIV test, but she changes her mind when she sees the poor condition of another patient. That night, the gang gathers for dinner, along with Jim and Cindy (!). Valerie tells David that Johnny revealed that he’s HIV positive.
Jim and Cindy give a joint toast, saying nice things about their son and his soon-to-be-wife. Kelly decides that their vows are fine the way they are. Valerie decides she wants to give a toast, and for some reason, Kelly doesn’t immediately have her removed from the room. Val says that she hopes to someday have what the happy couple has.
Steve ambushes Sarah when she gets home from a date with her husband, almost getting in a fight with Mr. Sarah. They both tell Steve to leave. Donna and Noah discuss their crumbling relationship and wonder whether they should call it quits. David takes Valerie back to the clinic and questions why she didn’t use a condom when she was with Johnny. She tells him she wasn’t thinking that night; if she had been, she would have thought about David.
Steve tells Brandon about his recent encounter with Sarah, who refuses to return his calls. Brandon thinks that’s normal – after all, Sarah’s married to someone else. David films Donna for the wedding video, but she’s not in the best mood for talking about love, since her own love life is going down the drain. Jackie visits Kelly at work and gives her the locket her father gave her mother on their 25th anniversary. Kelly’s worried because she and Brandon struggled so much with their vows.
Donna and Jacob get the Walshes’ house ready for the wedding, and she tells him that she and Noah are a little stuck. Jacob wonders if she’s considering moving on. Their ploy with his ex worked out, because she’s now interested in Jacob again, but Jacob would rather be with Donna. Cindy does her part of the wedding video, talking about letting go of your kids as they grow up. She’s sure that Brandon and Kelly are over the moon and excited to be getting married.
Steve goes to Sarah’s workplace, so he’s officially gone too far with this. She tells him that no matter how he feels about her, she’s not going to walk away from her marriage without fighting for it. It’s pretty clear that she and her husband are officially back together, and she doesn’t anticipate ever going back to Steve. Brandon and Kelly spend the night before their wedding apart; he tries on his ring and she tries on her veil.
Valerie has a sleepless night at David’s, trying to endure the nine hours until she can get her test results. He reminds her that people can live full lives with HIV, but she’s afraid that no one will ever want to be with her. She promises that if she’s negative, she’ll turn over a new leaf. She also apologizes for sleeping with Johnny, but David doesn’t care. Val’s surprised that he’s being so nice to her after they broke up. He thinks that she would do the same for him.
Kelly wakes up on the morning of her wedding finally feeling calm. Brandon, however, looks like he’s preparing for a funeral. Valerie films a nice message for Brandon but can’t bring herself to say anything positive about Kelly. The clinic calls and asks her to come back to get her results instead of hearing them over the phone. Jacob tries to find an excuse to talk to Donna, who admits that she doesn’t know where things stand with Noah, but she loves him. Jacob graciously bows out.
David, Steve, and Noah watch Brandon and Kelly’s portion of their video, in which they’re all lovey-dovey and happy. Valerie tells David she’s going to wait until after the wedding to go back to the clinic. He’s surprised that she’s willing to wait so long, but Val’s fine with postponing it, since she’s sure it’ll be bad news. Noah tries to talk to Donna while she’s running around, trying to put out fires. He runs into Jacob, who tells him that Donna wants Noah, so Noah should put forth some effort.
Steve whines to Joan about Sarah, like Joan doesn’t have anything better to discuss in her five seconds of screentime. Donna and Jackie get Kelly ready, and then Jackie dismisses Donna so Kelly can admit her nerves. She pretty much says that she wants to be with Brandon but not as his wife. Jackie’s like, “Okay, cool, don’t get married,” though she notes that it might just be cold feet.
Steve WILL NOT SHUT UP about Sarah, and it just makes Brandon wonder if he and Kelly have the same kind of passion that Steve thought he and Sarah had. Brandon thinks it’s a problem that he’s not nervous. He goes to see Kelly, who gives him a Swiss Army knife. He reads her an e.e. cummings poem, “somewhere i have never travelled.” They admit their doubts to each other and realize they don’t want to get married.
Donna and Steve are like, “There are a bunch of people here for a wedding, so you need to get married. Also, remember how you love each other?” But Kelly and Brandon walk into the church together and announce that they’re not getting married. The priest thinks they’re brave. They’re still going to have the reception at the Walshes’, but now it’s just a regular party. Somehow, even though no one got married, everyone’s happy.
Sarah shows up at the reception and tells Steve that she left a trip she and her husband were on because she missed Steve so much. She wants to get back together, but he’d rather have his dignity. David tells Valerie he still loves her, but this isn’t a good time to get back together. He’ll still go to the clinic with her, though.
Donna thinks Noah’s happy because Brandon didn’t commit himself to that horrible institution of marriage. Noah thinks Brandon was smart and made the right decision. But if he and Donna ever get to that stage, he won’t necessarily say no to marrying her. Jim and Cindy are supportive of Brandon and Kelly’s decision, and Jackie’s so supportive of Kelly that she wants to set her up with another guy already. Yikes.
Kelly offers to pay for half of the wedding, and Brandon tells her to take Donna on their would-be honeymoon. They dance and talk to their guests like they actually got married. Back at the clinic, a much less happy Valerie is about to get her test results. She and David try to convince themselves that everything will be okay.
Thoughts: I finally made it through season 8! Only five Brandon episodes left!
How many times did Steve and Sarah even go out? Time to drop it, Sanders. Eat some ice cream, watch some sad movies, wear some grubby clothes, and MOVE ON. (With Janet, of course.)
I get Dylan not coming to the wedding, but no Brenda? And no explanation for why she’s not there? Sure, right. And no Andrea either? That’s also strange.
Donna, I don’t think a bridesmaid’s dress is supposed to have a slit that high.
’90s music alert: Babyface’s “Every Time I Close My Eyes.”
February 28, 2015
Summary: The Salingers gather at the house to discuss Griffin’s medical bills. Guess what, guys – hospitals are expensive! Julia suggests that they each give up a portion of their shares from the restaurant’s profits. She also offers to pay more than the others, but everyone agrees to chip in equally. They all think of things they can cut back on for a little while. Charlie and Kirsten pretend that they can completely afford trimming 30 percent off their monthly budget.
Griffin needs further surgery for nerve damage in his hand, and Julia approves it. Griffin doesn’t know that the Salingers are paying his bills. At the house, Bailey prepares for a yard sale while Will, who’s just moved in, tries to talk him into going to a party. (Apparently he works for the 49ers now.) Bailey doesn’t see the point since he never meets a woman he likes at those parties. Will thinks he’s messed up over Holly.
Charlie and Kirsten discuss their fertility treatments and how helping Griffin hurts their budget. Kirsten suggests postponing the treatments, which would give her time to take a job she wanted. Charlie would rather move forward, even if it means giving up luxuries like frozen yogurt. Kirsten makes up the difference a little by stealing sweetener packets. Hee. Holly shows up at Bailey’s yard sale and gets the cold shoulder.
Claudia visits Ross (hey, it’s Ross!) at his studio space and tells him she wants to start playing again. She can’t pay for lessons right now, but he’s willing to start her on credit. Holly goes to the Salingers’ and tells Bailey that she thinks she can get Griffin into a special rehab program at the hospital. Bailey questions her decision to come by the house instead of calling. He orders her to apologize for judging him based on one incident, and when she does, he asks her out again.
Daphne visits Griffin in the hospital, apologizing for crashing his motorcycle and injuring him. They decide that they don’t owe each other anything. Griffin asks who’s paying his hospital bills, and though she pretends she doesn’t know, she eventually admits that it’s the Salingers. He immediately leaves the hospital, but Julia tracks him down at home and blasts him for putting his recovery at risk. Griffin’s mad that Julia made decisions for him that left him in debt to the family.
Ross gives Claudia a lesson at the house, and though he says she’s doing well, she’s frustrated that she has to relearn some things. She announces that she signed up for a competition and needs to perfect what she’ll be performing. Bailey takes Holly to a football stadium so they can have a picnic on the field. He insists that it didn’t cost him anything since Will works for the 49ers. They’re saying nice, romantic things to each other when the sprinklers come on.
Charlie and Kirsten are trying to save money by living like the Amish. Charlie thinks they can also get her fertility drugs at a lower price from some not-so-legal back channels. Griffin has trouble working on his bike with one hand in a cast. Bailey and Holly go to a locker room to warm up in the shower (and make out, of course). They take the date back to her place, and after they have sex, she tells him that she’s surprised by the speed and intensity of their relationship.
Griffin calls his mother from a bar and asks her to let him stay with her for a few weeks while his father is out of the country. She says no because the Holbrooks are horrible people. Claudia’s nervous before her competition, sure she won’t win. Bailey and Holly’s date is interrupted by a guy she’s been seeing; he’s upset to learn that she’s seeing someone else now. Holly lies to Bailey about who came to the door.
Charlie and Kirsten meet their drug contact, who seems like a nice guy who just wants to help out people with problems because he and his wife also had fertility issues. Claudia doesn’t think she’s up to the level she was before, and Ross is surprised that she didn’t already know that. He thinks she was right to give up her lessons before because it gave her the chance to have a normal life. Kirsten realizes that she and Charlie got ripped off – their drugs are expired and the dealer is gone. Oh, and then their car gets booted because they have outstanding tickets.
Griffin tells Julia that he’s moving out of the shed – he can’t pay rent because he can’t work and earn the money for it. Julia assures him that he can still stay, but Griffin isn’t going to accept charity. She reminds him that they don’t have a business relationship, and that the Salingers didn’t just pick out a random person to help. Plus, he’s helped them plenty of times without any obligation. “It’s too late to say you’re not a part of this family,” Julia says. He took care of them, so now they’re taking care of her.
Holly worries that she’s freaked Bailey out by telling him how she feels. Charlie calls Bailey to ask for help getting his car back, and Bailey jumps at the chance to get the heck away from Holly. Kirsten and Charlie end up telling Bailey about the treatments, and he offers to help them with savings bonds. Kirsten wants to put the brakes on the process for now. She reminds Charlie that he wanted to trust fate – maybe fate wants them to hold off for a little while.
Ross tries to remind Claudia that not being the best at something doesn’t mean you’re not good. Claudia wishes she still had something to count on, like always winning. If she can’t be the best, she doesn’t want to play. Bailey tells Will that things with Holly are going awesomely, and he sees them on the edge of making a big commitment. He’s hanging out with Will right now so they can spend a little time apart, but then he calls Holly and ignores Will.
Griffin agrees to keep his things in the shed for now, but he tells Julia that he doesn’t want to be a burden or ask anyone for help. Daphne sees the two of them hugging and…is jealous? I don’t know. I don’t care. That whole thing is weird.
Thoughts: Holly, you can go away now.
I sure hope Victor’s watching both Owen and Diana, because neither kid is ever around. They weren’t even mentioned this week. Maybe Charlie should spend less time trying to have a baby and more hanging out with the child he already has.
What’s up with Claudia? When did she become like this? I thought maybe she was competing to win money, in which case her frustration would make more sense, but no, she’s just being weird.
I feel like there was a deleted scene between when Bailey leaves to get Charlie and Kirsten, and when he’s with Will, telling him how great things are going with Holly. All of a sudden, everything’s good?
February 24, 2015
Summary: The last book kicked off the series’ trend of having a monthly Friend In Need for the twins to help. This book’s is Patrick Morris, who has strict parents who make him do tons of homework, never let him go anywhere fun, cut his allowance and won’t let him talk on the phone after 6. Sounds like Richard Spier. He goes over to the Wakefields’ one day after school, then runs home as soon as his mom calls looking for him. She’s mad that he went to hang out with friends and do actual kid stuff instead of coming straight home to do homework and chores and other boring stuff.
The next day, the twins take Patrick his homework since he stayed home sick. He’s reluctant to let them in the house, since he’s only allowed to have one friend over at a time. When his mom gets home, Jessica leaves, and Mrs. Morris meets Elizabeth. She asks Liz and Patrick to help bring in some groceries. Then she runs into Jessica outside and thinks she’s Elizabeth. I bet the twins could keep this up for a long time if they ever wanted to visit Patrick at the same time.
Patrick tells his friends that he wants to try out for the school band; he’d like to learn to play the saxophone. But he’s not sure his parents will be okay with that. Spoiler alert: They’re not. They want him to focus on his schoolwork, and they’re worried that the lessons and the instrument will be expensive. Even when Patrick assures him that the lessons are through the school and that he can borrow a sax, they say no to the band. I can’t really argue with their rules about having friends over and setting a curfew, but this? Makes no sense. Let the kid have a hobby.
Patrick decides to try out for the band anyway. He’ll demonstrate that he can do band while keeping his grades up; then his parents won’t have an excuse not to let him join. He hides his sax in the Wakefields’ shed and practices there. Ned and Alice are like, “Oh, the neighbor’s practicing with the windows open again.” Elizabeth is reluctant to go along with this plan, but Jessica reminds her that she’s always yapping about doing the right thing and helping people. Like, the one time Jess wants to meddle for the right reasons, Liz is against it.
The practicing pays off and Patrick makes the band. Mr. and Mrs. Morris are furious that he disobeyed them. Patrick disappears, and everyone thinks he’s been kidnapped. Someone delivers a note to the Wakefields’ ordering everyone to stop searching or something bad will happen to Patrick. For once, the twins do the reasonable thing, giving the note to their parents. The police are smart enough to figure out that the note is fake, since it doesn’t demand a ransom.
Winston confesses to the twins that Patrick is hiding out in his basement. He wrote the note and made Winston deliver it (though why would he take it to the Wakefields? Why not the Morrises?). Jessica wants to give Patrick money so he can stay hidden, but Elizabeth thinks that’s a stupid idea.
The twins go home, where the Morrises are freaking out about Patrick. Elizabeth announces that he’s at Winston’s, and her parents are like, “Why didn’t you say something two minutes ago?” Yeah, like you’re going to punish her. You may not be as strict as the Morrises, but you still suck as parents, Ned and Alice. Everyone goes to Winston’s, but Patrick has taken off again, having predicted that Elizabeth wouldn’t be able to keep her mouth shut. Heh. He’s now hiding out in an abandoned church.
So everyone gathers at the church, which is structurally unsafe, and the Morrises beg Patrick to come out. He won’t, so someone calls the fire department to get him out. At this point, if I were the Morrises, I’d be mentally composing a list of chores for my son to do until the end of time, because it’s one thing to run away, but it’s another to throw a tantrum and practically barricade yourself someplace unsafe instead of trying to talk things over. Anyway, the floor collapses and Patrick gets trapped and has to be rescued by his father. The Morrises are so happy that Patrick’s okay that they don’t even punish him. I would not be so lenient.
The Morrises reveal that they’ve been stricter than usual lately because Mr. Morris lost his job. The Morrises were against Patrick taking sax lessons because they were worried about the added expense, and they wanted him to focus on his schoolwork because he might need a college scholarship someday. Okay, but…he’s in sixth grade. Did Mr. Morris think he’d be out of work for seven years? It doesn’t matter anyway, since he has another job now, and the Morrises have learned their lesson about not being honest with their kids, and about taking it easy on Patrick. I still hope he gets grounded for a really long time, though.
The B-plot is about how Jessica has a crush on Bruce but for some reason isn’t assertive enough to either ask him out or find reasons to spend time with him. She gets paired with Winston for a science project and worries that her friends (and Bruce) will see her as dorky for hanging around with someone who’s actually dorky. I think they understand assigned partners, Jess. They do a project on mold, and their teacher asks them to display it on Science Day at the library. Jess wants to go to a football game that same day, since Bruce will be there, so she makes a deal with Winston to go to the library after halftime.
Then Jessica learns that Bruce is having a big party after the game, with an appearance by a band everyone loves. Jess decides to skip Science Day, but karma comes around to bite her. The party is basically just a bunch of people hanging out. There’s no band or food, and Bruce barely acknowledges most of the guests. I find it hard to believe that Bruce wouldn’t throw a big bash with fancy food and at least a DJ, but then again, middle-school boys are pretty clueless about hosting stuff. The plot fizzles out, except Jessica gets in trouble for telling her parents she was going to Science Day and then skipping it. Ha, she went to a bad party and got punished for it. Serves her right.
Thoughts: Winston is described as shy. In what universe?
Usually I’m against Elizabeth’s endless “I always know the right thing to do” behavior, but in this book, she was right to tell the Morrises where Patrick was. Once the police get involved in something, it’s time to quit screwing around.
(J. Walter Weatherman voice) And that’s why you tell your kids the truth.
February 22, 2015
Summary: Kelly and Brandon are getting married super-fast, but everything seems to be ready to go. Dylan and Brenda won’t be attending. David tries to be friendly to Valerie, but she’s not in the mood. She cries and tells him she did something really stupid. David doesn’t like hearing that she slept with someone else. She promises that he didn’t mean anything to her, and that there’s more: He was an IV drug user. David advises her to get an HIV test.
Instead, Val tracks down Johnny, who clearly doesn’t want anything from her now that he’s had sex. She announces to his colleagues that he’s a heroin addict, then asks Johnny his HIV status. He claims he’s negative. Donna and David try to film Brandon and Kelly for their wedding video, but neither knows what to say. Steve plans to introduce the gang to Sarah at the wedding, because he hasn’t yet decided that it’s a dealbreaker that she’s still in marriage counseling with her husband. She swears that her marriage is over.
Brandon and Kelly have lunch with Bill and Jackie, who keep offering to pay for the wedding but keep getting turned down. Bill wants to reminisce about their wedding, but Jackie doesn’t share his happy memories. Donna and Noah record a message for the wedding video, saying that Brandon and Kelly have true love. David asks what that means, and how they feel about marriage. They both say they’re not ready yet. Kelly and Brandon go ring shopping but bicker over whether or not to have them inscribed.
Donna loves the caterer’s choices, but Noah thinks the food isn’t that big a deal. He announces that he has a problem with marriage because it should be enough to declare your love for each other. As he leaves, a truck rolls down the driveway and straight toward Donna. The caterer, Jacob, saves her. At the Beverly Beat, Steve complains to Brandon that Sarah hasn’t called him after a counseling session. He’s sure that means that the session went well and she’s getting back together with her husband. He works himself up into a panic, and then, of course, Sarah calls.
Valerie tells David that Johnny said he doesn’t have HIV, but David points out that addicts aren’t always honest. He knows that you can have the virus for months before it shows up on a test. Val doesn’t want to waste her time worrying about something that might not be an issue. Noah agrees with that mindset, so Valerie asks him to hang out. David says she has something to do first. Donna complains to Kelly about Noah’s views on marriage, and Kelly complains that Brandon snores.
Janet tells Brandon to pick an obituary out of the paper and focus on the part that says “survived by” rather than the accomplishments the person made. Steve wonders why the men always die first. Sarah asks to reschedule a date with Steve so she can be with a friend who’s going through a bad breakup. David bugs Valerie about getting tested, which she still hasn’t done. She doesn’t want his support if he’s just going to pity her. She heads off to see a band with Noah.
Steve makes Brandon go with him to stalk Sarah and find out if she’s really with a sad friend. Brandon thinks he should enjoy being part of a competition. They stake out Sarah’s home, and she does indeed get a visit from a crying woman. Donna wants to talk to Jacob about how he saved her life, but he’s a little embarrassed by the attention. She offers him anything he wants as a thank-you, so he asks for a date.
Noah takes Valerie up to the roof of a building to take in the view, but she’s a little bummed at the sight of a billboard about HIV awareness. She walks on the ledge and tells Noah about playing Truth or Dare as a teenager. Noah gets nervous, not wanting to watch another girl die, like he did with Beth. Val complains that he’s overprotective. He pulls her back onto the building and she scrapes her arm. She runs off when he tries to help her.
Brandon and Kelly meet with a minister, who encourages them to write their own vows. Noah goes to the Walshes’ house to see Valerie; when David arrives a minute later, he accuses Noah of moving in on his ex. Val asks them both to leave. Steve talks to Brandon about how much he loves Sarah, commenting that Brandon must understand the feeling. Brandon clearly doesn’t have that same passion for the woman he’s about to marry.
Kelly complains to Donna that the first draft of Brandon’s vows didn’t turn out that great. She thinks she chose the perfect poem to read, but Donna didn’t understand it. Steve goes with Brandon to a jewelry store to look for a gift for Kelly, but Steve gets distracted and picks something out for Sarah. Brandon doesn’t like that Kelly wants to use a poem as her vows.
Noah’s mad that Donna’s willing to go on a date with Jacob; she doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Noah doesn’t buy Jacob’s story that he just wants to use Donna to make his ex jealous. Brandon reads Kelly his vows, asking if they’re what she wants him to stay. She thinks they’re well-written, but she’d prefer if he described his feelings for her rather than just describe her. Kelly reads her poem, Deborah Garrison’s “Happily Married,” but Brandon doesn’t get it either. Rather than fight again, Kelly leaves.
Donna goes out with Jacob and they put on a great show for his ex. Steve meets Sarah for a date and has his worst fears realized: She’s decided to give her marriage another chance. Meanwhile, a high, drunken Johnny goes to the After Dark and confirms Valerie’s worst fears: He’s HIV positive.
Thoughts: Why would you go to marriage counseling if you weren’t going to get back together with your spouse? What a waste of money.
Steve: (ranting) Brandon: “Have you ever considered Ritalin?” Steve: “That’s for hyperactive kids! How dare you!”
David, Valerie is a grownup. I know she doesn’t always act like she is, but it’s true. She’s responsible for her own health. Back off.
Jacob is nice and charming, and he has an English accent. Noah is boring and more boring, and has no accent. Make the right choice, Donna.
I feel like a lot of the wedding prep should have been done earlier. No rings? They haven’t talked to the minister yet? Yikes.
February 21, 2015
Summary: Bailey has dinner with some really annoying girl, ditching her to talk to Joe, then Tracy. He’s disappointed that he can’t spend more time with his married girlfriend. He tells the annoying girl that they’re dating, but she doesn’t care. Charlie’s 30th birthday is coming up, and though he tells Kirsten he doesn’t want to make a big deal about it, he kind of wants to make a little deal about it. At school, Claudia and her friends plan Homecoming, but she splits when Derek shows up.
Brian tracks down Julia to apologize for kissing her. She’s happy to forget about it and move on. Bailey wants Charlie to move some of his things out of the Salingers’ basement so Will can live down there. Charlie would rather talk about how he’s dating two women at once. Then suddenly there’s a third woman in the picture; she’s at the wrong house, but Bailey wonders if they were meant to meet. He asks her on a date for the next night, bugging her when she keeps saying no.
Back at the house, Bailey invites Daphne and Griffin to Charlie’s birthday party. Somehow, they realize that he’s figured out that they’re…dating? Is that what they’re doing? Julia gets down about some critiques of her book, then gets more annoyed when Evan doesn’t show her any sympathy or give her support. Later, Julia and Brian encounter each other again at Evan’s house, and he tries to make her feel better about the critiques. Hey, do you think the show is trying to tell us that Julia and Brian are a better match than Julia and Evan?
Bailey’s fated woman, Holly, must be crazy because she agrees to go on a date with him. We’re supposed to think they’re cute, but it’s gross. She’s all type A and a control freak like Bailey, but she gave in to a guy who harassed her, so I can’t root for her. Julia has also figured out that Griffin and Daphne are…whatever, and she assures him that she’s fine with it. Griffin says it’s just casual, and he can’t picture them actually dating. Julia wonders if he could picture her with him before they got together. She encourages him to tell Daphne how he feels about her.
In the Salingers’ basement, Charlie finds a model of a house he made back when he was in architecture school. Claudia tells Alexa that she’s quitting the Homecoming committee because of Derek. She doesn’t get how Alexa can hang out with him like nothing happened. Alexa points out that Claudia didn’t tell anyone that he assaulted her; Derek didn’t get punished, so Claudia can’t expect other people to punish him.
Brian says goodbye to Julia before heading back to college, admitting that he doesn’t want to hang around and watch his father date someone he’d like to be with. Evan overhears them talking about the kiss but doesn’t say anything. Bailey wants to go out with Holly again, but she likes the idea of ending on a high note and keeping their good memories of each other. Their date is interrupted by Tracy’s husband, who confronts Bailey in the restaurant and punches him.
Julia pushes Evan to talk about her kiss with Brian and how she kept it from him. She wants to make sure he knows that the kiss didn’t mean anything to her. Evan believes her and isn’t surprised that Brian’s interested in her. Claudia’s an outsider at school again, now that she doesn’t want to spend time with the popular kids. Myra’s snuck in some alcohol, and Claudia decides to join her for a drink.
Bailey tracks down Holly, which is REALLY GROSS, and tries to get her to see that he’s really a good guy. He only hooked up with Tracy to get Sarah out of his system. Holly thinks they’re a mismatch because Bailey’s not mature enough to know that a meaningless affair is a bad idea. Julia’s upset that Evan’s always so nonchalant about everything and never shows emotion. Evan admits that the kiss bothered him, but he doesn’t see the point in complaining about it. Julia would like him to give her more emotion than he would any other random person in his life. Otherwise, why be together?
Myra’s alcohol loosens Claudia up, and when Derek starts to leave to get his own bottle, she announces that girls should be careful around him. She accuses Alexa and Cameron of knowing his true nature and not saying anything. She’s tired of the view she’s gotten from being in the top tier. Griffin goes to see Daphne at her job and asks her to go somewhere to talk. She knows what he wants to talk about, so she asks to go for a ride on his motorcycle instead. He puts his only helmet on her and lets her drive. She’s bad at it, and they crash.
Charlie, Kirsten, Julia, Claudia, and Victor convene at the hospital; Daphne’s mostly okay, but Griffin has a head injury and needs reconstructive surgery on his hand. He may not be able to fully use it. Plus, Griffin doesn’t have insurance, so he’ll have to be sent to a hospital with lesser facilities. Julia authorizes the surgery, declaring that the Salingers will figure out a way to pay for it. Bailey arrives late and runs into Holly, who works there and finally finds it creepy that he’s always around. Victor visits Daphne, who cries and asks, “What have I done?”
Evan shows up, ready to do actual boyfriend stuff for Julia. He knows she’s right about his problems showing emotions; she’s not the first person to mention them. He asks her to bear with him while he works through them. Julia, however, has realized that she has the bad habit of dating men who ask her to bear with them while they deal with their issues. She thought he was the opposite of Ned, who couldn’t control his feelings. She can’t keep dating someone who requires so much work.
Charlie spends the morning of his birthday on the roof of the hospital, telling Kirsten how seeing Griffin made him remember when he was in the hospital. He’s decided to start focusing on what’s important to him. He’s going to quit teaching and will eventually go back to architecture. Whenever anything bad happened to him, Charlie would try to trust fate; if he held on long enough, things would get good again. He’s going to try to remember that.
Holly tries to be nice to Bailey (nicer than he deserves), but he’s snotty to her because she said he wasn’t mature enough for her. He thinks he should get a pass because he made a mistake. Acting like an idiot got him a date with Holly, so she can’t say that being reckless is all bad. Julia tells Griffin that the doctors are hopeful, but no one’s 100 percent sure what kind of recovery he’ll have.
Thoughts: Holly is played by Rhona Mitra. When I looked up what she’s been in to find out what she’s known for the most, I realized that I’ve never actually seen her in anything.
Rejected Homecoming theme: the Heart of the Sea. SO ’90s.
Bailey, bugging Holly: “Sometimes you just can’t take no for an answer.” Well, you’d better learn to. Alert to all men: Bailey’s behavior in this episode is not cute. Asking a woman out multiple times and ignoring her when she declines is not romantic. You are not the star of an adorable Hollywood movie. Shut your mouth and walk away.
February 17, 2015
Summary: Ryan’s ticked because Elizabeth missed their date due to car trouble and wasn’t able to get in touch to let him know. Ryan is now officially off the wagon, which makes him a huge jerk. Like, so jerky that even Elizabeth deserves better. They fight a bunch, and it’s kind of annoying because Elizabeth is totally right but can’t present her argument in a way that doesn’t make me roll my eyes. I think Ryan’s in the same boat there.
Ryan decides he can’t be a lifeguard anymore, since it doesn’t leave him with enough time for drinking. This is actually a good move because a drunk lifeguard is a really, really, really bad lifeguard. He gives his job to Nina, who’s understandably mad because it means a huge increase in responsibility, and she won’t be able to spend as much time with Stu. Elizabeth tries to whine to Nina about Ryan quitting, but Nina awesomely tells her to shut up about how it affects her, since it’s had a much bigger impact on the squad as a whole, and Nina in particular.
Jessica’s been dealing with Ben and Priya’s relationship, and by the way, Ben is a huge jerk. I get Priya being annoying to Jessica, but Ben keeps egging her on and teasing Jessica, and I don’t get why Jess would still want to be with him. Eventually she decides that she wants Ryan instead, which makes much more sense, but she’s hesitant to make a move since he and Liz just broke up. She goes to see him, wearing some of Elizabeth’s clothes, and at first he’s so drunk that he thinks she’s Liz. When he realizes she’s Jess, he’s like, “Awesome, she’s the fun twin anyway.” Elizabeth picks this time to try to talk to Ryan once again, and she finds him making out with her sister.
Nina wants to keep her relationship with Stu a secret, since she made such a big deal about hating all men, but they run into Winston and Wendy at some New Age-y coal-walking event, and it’s pretty obvious that they’re romantically involved. There’s a whole big deal about Nina walking on the coals that goes on way too long. The point is that there’s a woman stalking her because she thinks she and Stu belong together. She shoves Nina, who almost falls on the coals. It’s too dark for anyone to see who she was.
Later, Nina finds her bathing suits shredded, then gets hit over the head and knocked unconscious. She doesn’t remember getting knocked out, so she thinks she just fainted. Then she thinks she sees a baby in the water, but when she jumps in it save it, she can’t find it. When she gets home, someone has left a doll in her room, and she realizes that’s what she saw in the water.
Nina catches Stu trying to hide a letter, and she learns that this mystery woman slept with him once and became obsessed. He couldn’t deal, so he took off on a trip and only came back to the shore just before he met Nina. Her name was Rachel, and Nina thinks he’s talking about troublemaker Rachel Max, but the description Stu gives of his mystery woman doesn’t match that Rachel. It doesn’t matter, though – Nina’s just ticked that he slept with a woman, then ditched her.
After some time apart, Nina decides to talk things over with Stu, who promises that he loves her and hasn’t had anything to do with Rachel since their night together. Then Rachel shows up, and of course it’s Rachel Max. Nina and Stu tell her to go away, but Rachel announces that there’s something that will keep her and Stu connected forever: She’s pregnant.
Wendy wants to divorce Pedro, and Winston’s determined to help them fix things, so he takes Wendy to psychic healers, like a crystal reader, to try to get her to see that she’s making a mistake. But spending all that time with Winston makes Wendy think he’s the one for her. Oops!
Thoughts: In case you were wondering, the twins are still size sixes in college.
Elizabeth makes a brie and tomato sandwich. What kind of college student eats brie? I mean besides Lila and Bruce.
Ryan to Elizabeth: “Your voice hurts my brain.” If these were audiobooks, I would probably say the same thing.
February 15, 2015
BH90210 8.30, The Fundamental Things Apply: For Once, Brandon’s Obsession With Doing the Right Thing Pays Off
Summary: Gwyneth is looking through Donna’s designs at the beach apartment, so I guess she’s still staying there. Noah comes by and announces that Donna needs to put on a fashion show at the After Dark. Donna thinks it’s a great idea. Gwyneth suggests that Donna be one of the models, but Donna’s unsure about that. At the clinic, a cab driver brings in a woman who gave birth in his cab. He was able to help her deliver because he was a doctor in his native Sarajevo.
David complains to Valerie that a check he got from a jingle client bounced. Valerie’s more concerned with her living arrangements – she wants to move out of the Walshes’ house since Kelly and Brandon are getting married. Specifically, she’d like to move in with David. David’s not on board, since Val’s been low recently, what with the moral dilemma over saving the life of a child molester. Brandon makes a list of pre-wedding tasks, taking a break to ask Steve to be his best man. (Who else would he ask? Dylan? Ha!)
At the Peach Pit, Donna shows Kelly a sketch of the wedding dress she’s going to make her. Donna’s fashion show is in the works, and she’s trying to be okay with Noah and Gwyneth working together on it. Valerie isn’t happy about the show taking place at the club; she’s also not happy with David, or with the fact that she has to move out, or, really, anything in her life right now. Steve meets Sarah for a round of golf, which she says her husband taught her to play. She kisses him, then tells him they’re separated.
Kelly takes Brandon to meet the cab driver/doctor, Alex, so Brandon can write an article about him (of course). Alex was working as an intern in Sarajevo when he and his wife, also a doctor, were both injured in a bombing. Alex came to the U.S. for medical treatments and became a legal refugee. He’s not certified to practice medicine in the States, which is why he drives a cab. He claims that he hasn’t become a doctor in the U.S. because of a language barrier, but Kelly and Brandon don’t believe him.
While David goes in search of the money he’s owed, Gwyneth tries again to get Donna to model her own designs. Donna can’t pass the task off on anyone else, so she’s forced to do a test with the lighting director. She gets really into it, which makes Noah proud, which makes Gwyneth sigh. David shows up to talk about their recent struggles; he thinks Val is trying to pretend everything’s fine. They’re having too much trouble trying to connect, and he thinks it’s time to stop trying. They’re through.
Kelly takes a break from rolling her eyes at Jackie’s additions to the wedding guest list to discuss Alex with Brandon. They’re trying to track down Alex’s wife, Katya, but since she seems to have disappeared, Alex thinks she’s dead. Steve asks Brandon and Kelly’s advice about dating Sarah while she’s still married. Brandon thinks it’s okay, but Kelly warns that Sarah might not be completely over her previous relationship.
David’s still trying to get his money. This is a boring plotline. Valerie goes to his place to get her things and give him back his key. David blames her for the breakup. Val points out that he’s been completely unsupportive, so he doesn’t get to be the good guy here. Brandon tries to talk to Alex about getting recertified as a doctor, but Alex doesn’t want to think about his career. If he doesn’t have Katya, being a doctor means nothing to him.
Steve makes a nice segue from talking about Brandon and Kelly’s marriage to talking about Sarah’s. She says that her husband cheated, and unlike Kelly, she wasn’t able to forgive him. David tells Donna and Noah that he and Valerie broke up, and since he doesn’t want to see her, he doesn’t want to do the music for Donna’s fashion show. Wow, jerk. Noah hopes the breakup wasn’t a result of what happened between him and Val, because Noah is not a jerk.
A photographer, Johnny, tries to flirt with Valerie, but she’s not in the mood. What she is in the mood for is helping Gwyneth scheme to do something mean to Donna. She suggests using wine to ruin Donna’s designs. At the beach apartment, Gwyneth also ignores Donna’s request to call a journalist to do publicity about the show. Noah brings by some clothes, and Gwyneth expresses concern that the stress of the show will cause Donna to take pills again. When Donna gets home, Gwyneth tells her that the journalist can’t come to the show.
Brandon and Alex have hit a dead end in finding Katya through refugee organizations. Kelly and Janet try to help, wondering if she came to the States illegally. Alex still thinks she’s dead; he’s registered with all the groups she might have used to help her immigrate, and he hasn’t heard anything from them. At the Peach Pit, David hears the jingle he wasn’t paid for on the radio. He calls the radio station to try to make his client lose customers.
Valerie talks to Noah about the breakup, insisting that it wasn’t her fault because she’s a better person now. She promises to be at the fashion show. David can’t get on the air because the radio show that played the jingle is sponsored by his client. He wants to keep fighting because he can control this situation, unlike the situation with Valerie. Donna’s show is successful until Gwyneth stains a bunch of dresses with wine. Noah tries to make helpful suggestions, but Donna says he’s pushing her too much.
After another unsuccessful search for Katya, Brandon and Kelly meet Sarah. She thinks they should keep up the search; it’ll be hard for Alex to completely give up his connection to his wife. Steve thinks this means Sarah will have trouble giving up his connection to her husband. Donna has to end the show prematurely, and Valerie can’t be bothered to fake sympathy. David’s not surprised. Johnny tries to chat with Valerie again, and this time she’s more receptive.
Sarah’s hesitant to invite Steve inside after a date, since she’s still married and hasn’t been with anyone but her husband in a long time. A makeout session changes her mind. Meanwhile, Valerie and Johnny have the same activity in mind. In the morning, Johnny’s distant and ditches Val to go to work. She snoops in his things and finds drug paraphernalia, including syringes.
We don’t get to see it, but Brandon and Kelly found Katya, so she and Alex are happily reunited. Katya explains that she thought Alex was dead as well. She came to the States and got a job cleaning costumes for a ballet company. Brandon remembered that her and Alex’s first date was at a ballet, so he called ballet companies with Bosnian employees. Katya tells Brandon and Kelly how romantic their wedding was despite being small; they only ate bread and wine. Kelly thinks that sounds like a great idea.
David finally tracks down his client, thanks to a helpful employee, and schemes to…steal clothes from his department store? I don’t know. Gwyneth goes to the After Dark to yell at Valerie for ruining the show, which…was what she wanted, right? Noah overhears and confronts Gwyneth for ruining the clothes. They agree that she should leave town. David gets a bunch of clothes, and when it’s time to pay, he hands over the bounced check. The client has to let him take the clothes for free.
Sarah visits Steve at work and reports that her husband wants to go to couples counseling. She’s agreed to give it a try. Oh, but she wants to keep dating Steve. Yeah, I think the counselor might advise against that. Noah tells Donna that Gwyneth sabotaged the fashion show but regrets it. Donna’s upset that Noah wants to defend her. Valerie calls a hotline to get advice about having had sex with an IV drug user. She’s asked if she knows Johnny’s HIV status.
Thoughts: Valerie to Kelly: “I wish you and Brandon many weeks of happiness.” Heh. Same.
After Gwyneth tells Donna to do a lighting test – Donna: “Hey, Val, uh–.” Valerie: “No.” Why is she so enjoyable in this episode?
“I stopped drinking coffee when my husband and I split up.” Huh? Also, stop talking about your husband, Sarah.
February 14, 2015
Summary: Charlie’s back in the principal’s office, eager to do something about Myra and her mother’s accusations. The principal, Mary Anne, tells him that they won’t file charges if Charlie resigns. Charlie refuses – quitting would be like saying he’s guilty. Mary Anne disagrees, arguing that it would be like saying it never happened. If charges are filed, all the other parents will immediately see Charlie as guilty, whether he is or not.
Julia spends the night at Evan’s, then wakes up to find his son, Brian, in the house. Brian is also a college student, and he’s not thrilled that his father’s dating someone so young. He’s been reading Julia’s manuscript and wonders how she could have so many life experiences in so few years. Evan is disappointed to learn that Brian dropped out of college, but Brian thinks it’s just because Evan can’t get his tuition back. Evan accuses him of ruining his college career out of spite. Brian shoots back that Evan cares more about other people’s children than his own.
Joe has no Thanksgiving plans, so he wants to have a meal at the restaurant. Bailey invites him to have dinner with the rest of the Salingers. Tracy stops by the restaurant to confront Bailey for avoiding her calls. He tells her he doesn’t want to get involved with someone who’s already married. Tracy thinks her husband’s already cheating, so why shouldn’t she have some fun, too? Bailey still resists, but he doesn’t look happy about it.
Claudia returns to school after playing sick for a while to avoid Derek. He admits that he had too much to drink and got “out of control,” but it was all in fun. Claudia clearly doesn’t agree. Victor tries to help Daphne look for a job, but she’s distracted at the sight of Griffin, who she suddenly has the hots for. Victor thinks she should go for it. Daphne resists, so Victor gets Griffin to give her a ride somewhere. It’s all very high school.
Julia questions Evan and Brian’s relationship, which has been bad for years. (Evan gives the exposition that he was 18 when Brian was born, so don’t go thinking he’s old or anything.) He wonders if the badness is his fault. Joe invites Victor to the Salingers’ Thanksgiving, which already various non-Salingers anyway.
Kirsten agrees with Charlie’s first instinct not to quit, but Charlie’s reconsidering – they could use the money he would get as severance. He also wants Kirsten to avoid stress; she’s already undergone IVF treatments and could be pregnant. Claudia confides in Julia that Derek tried to rape her. Julia comforts her, then urges her to report him. She thinks Derek has probably assaulted other girls, and if Claudia doesn’t say something, he could attack another girl. Claudia’s not ready to speak up.
Charlie and Mary Anne meet with Myra’s mother and a lawyer so Charlie can resign, but Myra’s mother also wants him to apologize. He wonders why she’s offering a deal if she thinks he’s guilty. Myra’s mother says it’s so Myra doesn’t have to face Charlie in a courtroom. Charlie blasts her for being a horrible mother. Mary Anne tries to negotiate wording that Charlie can agree with so he’ll just be saying he regrets how he handled things with Myra.
Claudia tells Alexa about Derek’s assault, now also thinking that she should report him. Alexa thinks Derek should get a pass – he was drunk, he regrets what happened, and an accusation like this could ruin his life. If there was no actual rape, then no one got hurt. Alexa adds that she believes Claudia, but other people won’t.
At Evan’s, Brian accuses Julia of playing house to make her family think everything’s great. Julia tells him to come out and tell her whatever his problem is with her. Brian doesn’t like that his father is dating someone so young, and that Julia’s acting like his mother when they barely know each other. Evan walks out during the argument, which is always mature. Kirsten tells Charlie that she got a false positive on a pregnancy test.
The next day, Charlie and Claudia go grocery shopping and discuss the Myra situation. He’s decided to fight back. Claudia warns that the whole school will find out about Myra’s accusations, and everyone will be talking about him. Charlie knows it’ll be tough for both him and Claudia, but he wants the truth to come out. When they get home, they’re impressed with how nicely Victor has decorated the house. Evan and Brian are both there, so this is going to be awkward.
Will wants Bailey to go on a double date with him; he’s caught the attention of two ring girls. He reminds Bailey that he wanted to be more spontaneous. Daphne and Griffin start drinking, which can’t end well. Brian blows up at Evan, then runs off. Evan doesn’t see the point in chasing after him since they always have the same conversation. Julia points out that Brian doesn’t have anyone else to chase after him. A drunk Daphne and Griffin head to the basement to look for more alcohol but only find balsamic vinegar. They console themselves by making out.
Myra shows up and promises Charlie that she never made any accusations; her mother made inferences and took things too far. Not that Myra denied them, of course. She’s upset that taking the case to court could lead to Charlie accusing Myra’s mother of being a bad parent, which might get Myra taken away from her. After Myra leaves, everyone else sits down to dinner, which kicks off with Victor singing grace.
After dinner, Bailey goes to Tracy’s to tell her he used to be fun. She kisses him and invites him inside. Charlie goes to Myra’s to tell her mother that Myra’s going to testify that the accusations are false. Both of them want to protect the people they love, so he would like Myra’s mother to do the right thing for her daughter.
Daphne and Griffin have an awkward conversation, avoiding discussing their hookup while agreeing to still be friends. Maybe friends who make out. Claudia tells Julia that she’s decided to keep her assault quiet so people won’t start talking about her. Julia thinks that’s a bad idea, not least because she’s going to have to keep going to school with Derek. Claudia just wants to pretend it never happened.
Will surprises Bailey at work, ready for their double date with the ring girls, and Bailey is suddenly so spontaneous that he cancels plans with Tracy to go out with them. Charlie’s ready to move on from the whole Myra mess, and he tells Kirsten that he’s optimistic that she’ll get pregnant. She thinks they should wait before trying again, but he notes that they fought through their struggles and things turned out all right.
Julia’s meddling worked, and Evan and Brian have patched things up. Plus, Brian has decided to go back to school (partly so he doesn’t have to pay his father back for his tuition). He knows Julia talked Evan into doing some actual parenting for once. Brian still thinks Julia’s too young for Evan, but he doesn’t mind her so much anymore. In fact, he minds her so little that he tries to kiss her. Now that’s awkward.
Thoughts: Brian is played by Eric Mabius from Ugly Betty. He looks so scrawny here.
I can’t remember ever seeing an assault plot on TV where the person who was attacked wants to keep it quiet. Usually the show wants to send the message that you shouldn’t let the attacker get away with it.
They really overloaded the cast this season. There are way too many people on the show. I wonder at what point they knew this would be the last season, and they decided to just do whatever they wanted.
“If you report this, you could, like, ruin his life.” Go away, Alexa. Juliet would have already beaten the crap out of this guy.
February 10, 2015
Summary: Belinda Layton, AKA Billie, is having a tough time. She’s nervous about a big Little League game coming up, where she’ll be the starting pitcher. Her mom is having a baby, which means her parents have little time for her right now and will soon have even less time for her. And if that weren’t enough, she just got her first period and is worried about how the new changes to her body will affect her as an athlete.
What Billie doesn’t know is that her best friend, Jim Sturbridge, keeps hanging out with Sally Holcomb, who flirts with every guy in the sixth grade. Jessica thinks she deserves to know, because for some reason Jess thinks that Jim and Billie are actually dating, and that Jim is somehow cheating by talking to another girl. It’s all very middle school. Elizabeth and Jessica invite Billie to go dress shopping with them for Julie Porter’s birthday party. Jess secretly thinks tomboy Billie needs a makeover so Jim will think she’s hot and ditch Sally.
Billie’s various life stresses start catching up to her at Little League, and her game is off. Plus, she’s become more aware of all the time Jim and Sally are spending together. So not only do her parents not have time for her anymore, but now her best friend doesn’t either. Also, somewhere in hear, she overhears her parents talking about naming the baby William, and how they hope Billie will understand. The ghostwriter is too sloppy/lazy to clarify that they want to nickname the baby Billy, which means girl Billie will need a new nickname. This is one of the dumbest things ever to come from a Sweet Valley book.
Anyway. Wakefield twins to the rescue! Billie goes shopping with them and realizes that they’re pretty cool to hang out with. But then they run into Jim and Sally, and Billie gets mopey. Jessica advises her to adapt, because the dinosaurs couldn’t, and look what happened to them. No, seriously, this is her train of thought.
The day of the big baseball game is also the day of Julie’s party. Billie doesn’t do well at the game, and she gets pulled and replaced. Also, her dad doesn’t show up, despite promising to come. It starts raining and a bunch of people leave, but the twins and Amy stay to support Billie, which is really nice of them (and especially nice of Jess, who doesn’t normally do nice things unless she’ll get something out of them). The game gets postponed until the next day, and Billie hopes she’ll get to start again then.
The girls then head to Julie’s party, where Billie feels awkward in her new dress but, unlike the dinosaurs, adjusts. The makeover the twins did on her acts like a typical Sweet Valley makeover, giving her confidence and drawing people’s attention to her. And by “people’s,” I mean “boys’,” because that’s all that matters. Jim, however, ignores Billie. She’s about to melt down when her father arrives to take her to the hospital – her mother’s in labor.
Spending time with her parents and finally talking to her mom about things like her period make Billie feel much better about her family changing. And once the baby’s born, she’s so happy to be a big sister that the rest of her problems kind of fade away. She announces that she’s grown-up enough to go by Belinda instead of Billie, so her brother can have the nickname Billy. Somewhere, Steven’s future girlfriend Billie feels offended but doesn’t know why.
Time for the rest of the big game! Billie – sorry, BELINDA – gets to start again. But first we must validate her femininity and affirm her makeover! A guy on the team asks her out. Jim tells her he didn’t talk to her at Julie’s party because he didn’t recognize her. If he had, he would have asked her to dance. See, girls? Dress up all pretty and your male friends will fall in love with you! It’s that simple! I hate this book.
Belinda’s team wins the game, thanks to her excellent pitching. Who else is shocked? And then the Unicorns, who have been trying to find a way to polish their image, invite Belinda to join the club. Now Belinda’s life is awesome, and it’s all because Jessica gave her a makeover! Well, also because she had the support of her Little League teammates, and she was successful in the big game, and she discussed her issues with her parents and got closer to them, but I’m sure we’re supposed to think it’s because she curled her hair and wore a dress one time.
Thoughts: “It’s wrong to meddle or be a tattletale.” It’s also wrong to be a hypocrite, Elizabeth.
Why is Julie’s birthday party considered such a big deal? Isn’t she a nerd? Why are the Unicorns invited?
“As Billie held the baby, her father bent over and hugged and kissed her. She realized that this was the very first time she’d ever gotten his attention as a girl. He’d always complimented her on her athletic abilities, but none of those compliments had ever been as sweet as the one he paid her just now.” This is so, so messed up. “Tomboys, make yourselves girly and your fathers will compliment you!” UGH. Also, Billie, YOU WERE ALWAYS A GIRL. Not wearing dresses or makeup doesn’t make you a boy!
Why do they have to call the baby Billy? His name is William; there are plenty of other nicknames they can give him. You get to be called whatever you want, girl Billie! And wear whatever you want! That means you don’t have to wear makeup or perfume unless you want to! And you can be feminine without those things! AHHHH, I HATE THIS BOOK!
February 8, 2015
Summary: Brandon, Kelly, and Steve discuss a councilman’s affair, a story Brandon had a tip about but didn’t pursue. This is just an excuse for Kelly and Brandon to have their thousandth fight. Valerie gets a call from a doctor confirming if she signed up for the national bone-marrow-donor registry. She did, years ago when a neighbor was sick, but she wasn’t a match and totally forgot about it. The doctor tells her that she’s been matched with a patient.
David’s getting money from an ATM when a man robs him. David gives the guy what he wants and escapes without injury, but doesn’t see the robber, so he can’t ID him. The rest of the gang advises him to change his locks and get an alarm since the robber took his license and knows where he lives. Noah thinks he should get a gun, too. Valerie considers donating marrow to a patient with leukemia; there are no other matches and the patient needs the transplant soon. Val and David randomly meet Mark and Judy, the patient’s children, and Val makes up her mind to donate.
Brandon, Steve, and Janet interview assistants for the paper, which means Steve gets to talk to hot women all day. He’s especially interested in one named Sarah, but tells Janet he can’t work with her. A friend of Noah’s named Gwyneth comes to visit and reminds him that he promised to ride a Ferris wheel with her to help her overcome her fear of heights. Of course, Donna is concerned about her boyfriend spending time with another woman. Kelly tries to get in touch with Brandon, but he’s not with a source he was supposed to meet, and he hasn’t come home yet.
Mark tracks Valerie down at the After Dark and reveals that he was only at the hospital to support Judy, not to see his father. His father repeatedly molested Judy and their other sister, who has cut off all ties to him. The molestation only stopped when the girls got too big to be controlled. Mark wanted Valerie to know whose life she’s saving – if it were up to him, he’d let his father die. Steve brings in more interviewees from a modeling agency, now focused on finding a girlfriend instead of an assistant.
Kelly tries to find out what Brandon did the night before, since he wasn’t with her. Brandon just says he was tired and went home. Kelly calls David to check on him and learns that Brandon stopped by to see him the night before. Valerie goes back to the hospital to discuss the transplant with a coordinator; she learns that the patient will die without her donation. She agrees to donate. David goes out to buy a gun despite knowing how dangerous they can be (R.I.P., Scott). He’ll get it in 11 days.
Judy finds Valerie while she’s having bloodwork done and tells her that if she’d been a match for her father, she would have donated. She’s convinced that her father has changed, and she doesn’t want to lose him. Val reveals that she was molested by her father as well. She asks if Judy is really willing to let her father be around her eight-year-old daughter. Brandon and Janet think Sarah is the best choice as the new assistant, but Steve is hesitant to hire someone he’s attracted to. He tells them to give her the job, and Brandon warns him to be professional.
Donna, Noah, and Gwyneth hang out, and Donna learns that the other two never had a relationship. She and Noah don’t realize that Gwyneth has been in love with Noah for years. She also doesn’t appreciate them kissing in front of her. Brandon catches Kelly looking through his pockets, and she admits that she doesn’t trust him, since he cheated before. He tells her that if she wants to be done, she should end things. Kelly says she wants him, she just doesn’t want to feel like this. Brandon assures her that there’s no one else and he’ll never leave her. Then he proposes and she says yes.
The next day, Kelly shares the news with Donna while Brandon talks to Steve and Valerie. “You’ve traded your entire future to have sex instead of an argument you couldn’t win,” Valerie points out. David goes to an ATM but gets nervous about how close the guy behind him is standing. Sarah comes to the paper to announce that she can’t accept the job. It looks like she likes Steve and doesn’t feel comfortable with an office romance, but Steve thinks she hates him.
Noah takes Gwyneth to an amusement park so they can ride the Ferris wheel. He pays a guy to make the ride stop when they’re at the top. Gwyneth reminds Noah that when they were kids, they promised to kiss when they were 21. Noah resists, but Gwyneth kisses him anyway. He reminds her that he’s seeing someone else. Kelly and Brandon discuss their engagement, and he admits that he proposed pretty impulsively. She’s not sure he gets the permanence of the situation. She also thinks they should continue living apart for now.
Donna goes to the After Dark and sees Noah and Gwyneth acting very chummy. David’s also there, drowning his anxiety in alcohol. Gwyneth meets him while Noah tells Donna about their kiss. At the Walshes’, Brandon awaits more of Valerie’s criticism about the engagement, but she’s preoccupied with the idea of saving the life of a child molester. He reminds her that the patient will die if he doesn’t get the transplant.
David takes Noah’s gun from behind the bar and heads off to face the ATM again. Gwyneth alerts Noah, and the two of them follow David into an alley. He waves the gun around while saying that he felt stupid for being so nervous when he was robbed. Noah demands the gun, but David starts shooting at a Dumpster. One of the bullets ricochets (hey, like the episode title!) and hits Sarah’s arm. The guys rush Sarah to the hospital, where a police officer is called, so David’s probably in a lot of trouble.
Brandon takes Valerie to see Judy so Val can announce that she’s not donating after all. Judy calls her a murderer. Donna gives Kelly a wedding planner and starts a to-do list. Kelly admits that Brandon proposed while they were fighting about jealousy and lack of trust. Donna says that she’s decided to trust Noah despite the fact that he kissed Gwyneth. If Kelly can’t trust Brandon, they shouldn’t get married. Meanwhile, Steve goes ring shopping with Brandon, who’s decided that the previous engagement ring is bad luck. Steve basically says that Kelly and Brandon are the bad luck.
Donna goes to the boat to make up with Noah. Gwyneth is going to be fine, and David was charged with a gun offense but probably won’t have to do jail time. Noah’s going to get rid of his gun. He’s insisted that Gwyneth stay with him while she recovers, but Donna thinks the beach apartment would be more comfortable. Janet hires a male assistant, so take that, Steve. Sarah comes by to tell Steve that she didn’t want to work with someone she’s attracted to. Now that they’re not working together, she wants to go out with Steve. He accepts, of course.
Valerie asks David why he didn’t call her from the police station. He’d rather talk about the fact that she’s not saving the life of a child molester. He tells her he now knows what it’s like to feel powerless, and to try to convince yourself that you’re okay. David says that two people could have died because he and Valerie haven’t been able to deal with their issues. He thinks she should go to therapy. She goes too far with her fearlessness.
Brandon tells Kelly he’s looking for a ring, though she thinks the original ring is fine. He says they need a ring that symbolizes moving forward, since he gave her the first one to keep her from leaving. He doesn’t know what the future holds, but he’s sure that he wants Kelly in his life forever. Brandon proposes again, and she says yes again.
Thoughts: Sarah looks so much like Charisma Carpenter that I almost did a double take.
It’s okay, Gwyneth – I don’t like watching Noah and Donna make out either.
I don’t get what’s romantic about kissing on a Ferris wheel. Then again, I’m afraid of heights, so if I were stuck at the top, I’d be too focused on not throwing up to do anything else.
I wish Kelly had said something when Noah suggested that David get a gun, considering her experience with gun violence.
Brandon: “All we did was get engaged.” Yeah. It’s not like that means anything.