April 26, 2015
Summary: David broadcasts from the After Dark, reporting that Dylan’s back. Apparently he hasn’t explained why he came back, but some fun rumors are swirling, like the one that Dylan’s smuggling diamonds. He and Kelly are at the club, and she asks what’s going on with him, but Dylan enjoys being mysterious. Gina urges Donna to keep her distance from Noah until she’s gotten past everything that’s happened with them. Then she tells Noah to keep up his romantic gestures.
Outside the club, Matt confides in Steve that he doesn’t want to go in because Kelly’s there with Dylan. He asks for details on their past, and Steve admits that they always thought they were soulmates, even after she got together with Brandon. Denise’s parents follow through on their threats and have David arrested for statutory rape in front of all of his friends.
Dylan bails David out of jail, then goes to West Beverly to talk to Denise. Mrs. Teasley stops him but allows Dylan to act as a go-between, since David isn’t allowed to talk to Denise. She tells him there’s nothing she can do. Dylan advises David to lawyer up. Janet meets Samantha, who has been busy since we last saw her – she has a new sitcom and is apparently dating her co-star. She’s unhappy with Steve’s new tabloid format, which makes him dig into celebrities’ privacy.
Gina goes with Noah to buy Donna some jewelry, reminding him that Donna’s spoiled and always gets what she wants. Kelly and Matt go to a hospital with Jackie to see Kelly’s grandfather, who doesn’t want treatment for his emphysema. Steve and Janet discuss Samantha, who has never been lucky in love; Janet hopes her new relationship, however unconventional, will be the one that lasts. Steve meets Barry, the co-star, who’s not much older than Steve himself.
Jackie chats with Matt, who’s a little antsy about not having a lot of clients right now. Kelly and Jackie discuss Jackie’s father; Jackie wants him to have surgery to prolong his life, but Kelly supports his decision to stop fighting. Jackie currently has her father’s power of attorney, and is supposed to pull the plug when the time comes, but she won’t do it.
Dylan arrives, wanting to take Kelly off for a drive, but she tells him he can’t just reappear in his life and act like things are the way they always were. She also has a family crisis to deal with. Matt scoffs at Dylan for seemingly not caring about the crisis. Dylan notes that Kelly has a lot of support for her problems – he came by to help her forget them. The next day, Matt deposes Denise, but she storms out. David begs her to just tell the truth.
Gina eavesdrops while Donna and Noah have a nowhere discussion about their relationship. Noah feels like he’s on probation, and would prefer to date someone who isn’t so spoiled. Donna objects to that word. Gina’s all, “I can’t believe he called you that!” Dylan tries to buck up David, who’s worried about how the whole case is affecting Denise. Dylan has no sympathy for her. David asks Dylan what he’s been up to the past three years, wondering if he still thinks about Toni. What a dumb question.
Steve complains to Janet that Samantha’s selfish – she’s dating Barry without worrying about how it will look to other people. Samantha points out that older men date younger women all the time, “but when an older woman is paired with a younger man, all hell breaks loose!” If she’s happy, Steve shouldn’t care who she’s with. He wonders what would happen if he disapproved of what makes Samantha happy. Samantha spits that no one has the right to judge her.
Kelly laments to Donna that her mother is trying to keep her from telling her grandfather that she won’t fulfill his wishes. Donna changes the subject to ask if Kelly would rather be with Matt or Dylan (who happens to be at the boutique). Kelly insists that there’s nothing going on with her and Dylan. Dylan asks Kelly what happened with Brandon; she makes it sound like they never got past being best friends. Dylan thinks she missed what they used to have. Kelly admits to being shaken by his return: “I hadn’t planned on it.”
Noah has plans with Donna, but Gina thinks he should move on to someone whose standards aren’t so impossible. Matt gets evicted from his apartment for not paying rent for six weeks. Kelly visits her grandfather, who wants her opinion on his decision not to have surgery. She tells him he needs to decide what’s best for himself. Then she tells him what Jackie said about not fulfilling his wishes. Dylan wonders if Matt is the right lawyer for David, who wants Dylan to admit that Kelly’s the reason he came back.
Matt asks Steve to put him on retainer in case the Beat needs legal representation, but Steve turns him down. Mrs. Teasley shows up to see what kind of person David is. She tells Dylan that Denise’s parents are pretty neglectful. Steve complains to David about Samantha dating someone so young, just before Barry himself shows up with a woman who’s definitely not Samantha. Steve may not like the guy, but he’s not going to stand by while he cheats on Samantha. A punch is thrown.
Gina thinks Donna’s letting Noah off too easy, especially after she’s been turning down all of his peace offerings. Donna thinks he’s proven that he’s the man she needs. Noah leaves a message that he’ll have to miss his date with Donna since he’s stuck at the club, dealing with the aftermath of Steve and Barry’s fight. Gina deletes it before Donna can hear it, then leaves.
Desperate for work, Matt turns himself into an ambulance-chaser. Kelly comes by to talk about her grandfather; she feels like she betrayed Jackie, but Matt reminds her that a living will is a legal document, and Jackie was going to violate it. He turns the conversation to Dylan, promising that he’s not going to get in the middle if Kelly needs to work through things with him. He’s not stepping aside, though – he’s willing to wait.
Noah arrives late for his date with Donna, confused as to why she’s upset, since he thinks she got his message. Dylan goes to see Denise’s parents, warning that kids whose parents ignore them tend to act out. After all, he knows from experience. He blames Denise’s parents for the whole mess and asks them to back off for Denise and David’s sakes. The Beat is being sued for libel, so now Steve is willing to hire Matt. He’ll also let Matt move into the Walshes’ house.
Samantha comes by to blast Steve for his fight with Barry. She reveals that they’re not dating, though she is seeing someone – someone named Linda. For the first time in his life, Steve is speechless. Donna deletes all of Noah’s messages begging to talk to her, still thinking he didn’t leave the original message about missing the date. Then she takes a message from Gina’s agent, learning that the spokesperson job Gina says she was offered isn’t real. Gina’s all, “Everyone around me has everything! I have nothing! Feel bad for me! But don’t pity me!”
Kelly’s grandfather understands why Jackie was going to defy his wishes, but he wants someone else to have his power of attorney – Kelly. Makes sense. Denise tells David that she won’t testify, and the DA agreed to drop the charges against him. Also, her parents are going to be more involved in her life, like, she’s already 17. It’s a little late now. David’s so grateful to Dylan that he invites him to move in.
Kelly calls Dylan to take him up on his offer to help her forget her problems. Gina eavesdrops on Noah and Donna again as he tells Donna he wants to earn back her trust. She agrees to give him another chance. Kelly asks Dylan again why he came back, but instead he tells her that he left Brenda two years ago. He traveled for a while, trying to forget his life, and decided to come back to Beverly Hills because it’s his home and he missed his friends, especially Kelly.
Thoughts: Oh, Dylan, I love you, but don’t tell Denise it’s her fault if David goes to jail. Yeah, she lied, but David was the one who slept with a minor, and her parents were the ones who pressed charges. Don’t make her feel bad for her parents being the way they are.
Gina, why do you have a sweater tied around your neck while you’re wearing a dress? Are you trying to start a trend?
I can’t think of anything else to say because I’m mesmerized by Vanessa Marcil’s pretty, pretty hair.
April 25, 2015
Summary: Adam’s working on a writing assignment, but Julia’s stuck on the ending to hers. She may be distracted by the idea of ramping things up with Adam, even though they agreed to take things slowly. Adam’s on board. There’s a scene with Bailey with Holly, but part of it is cut off, so I don’t know what’s going on.
Charlie wants to take care of Kirsten while she goes through morning sickness, but she sees it as a positive – it means she gets to have a baby. She thinks Charlie should look at the hassles at his job in a positive way as well. They’re all steps getting him toward his goal. Todd’s stressed about an audition for first chair, but Claudia thinks he has it sewn up. She’s wrong – she’s gotten the honor.
Adam wants to sleep after sex, but Julia wants to talk, now that she has a ton of ideas for her story. He goes back to bed while she gets to work. Bailey goes to Holly’s place, which has been taken over by her sister, Fiona, an aspiring fashion designer. Holly confides to Bailey that Fiona will lose interest in this pretty quickly, like she’s lost interest in all her other hobbies. Bailey thinks she should keep trying to find what she loves to do. Holly assures him that she’s talking about Fiona specifically, not people in general looking for their callings.
Charlie meets with a buyer from a hotel chain who wants to use his chair design (called the Diana – aww!) in all the chains. That means building thousands of chairs. Charlie notes that the company is small, so the buyer tells him to get bigger. He’s hesitant to accept the job because he doesn’t think the company is equipped to handle it. The buyer thinks he would be crazy to turn her down.
Griffin and Will pretend to help fix Fiona’s sewing machine, but it looks like they just want to hang out with her. Griffin offers to let Fiona sleep on his couch to give Holly her apartment back. Will invites her to stay in the house, like there aren’t enough people there already. Bailey just wants the sewing machine to get fixed so Fiona can get back to working and discovering her calling and making him feel better about needing to find his, I guess.
Charlie looks for new space for the factory, realizing that it’s a lot more complicated than he expected. He’s advised to figure out his business strategy. What a concept! Julia wants to have sex while Adam’s trying to write; he thinks she’s procrastinating, but she thinks sex will inspire her, since it did last time. Adam resists because he really needs to work (and also, they’re in the library – keep your pants on, Julia).
Todd claims he’s totally okay with Claudia being first chair, but it’s obvious he isn’t. Claudia may not be either, since the new dynamic affects her playing. Charlie finds Bailey with an aptitude survey in hopes of figuring out what he should do with his life. The test says he should manage a restaurant. Heh. Charlie tells Bailey about the big hotel job, asking him to help get the new factory location up and running. Bailey doesn’t want to waste more time on a job he doesn’t love, when he could be looking for what he’s supposed to be doing.
The next day, Bailey learns that Fiona’s hooking up with Griffin, much to Will’s dismay. Fiona’s excited to tour Alcatraz with Griffin, but Bailey urges her to work instead. After all, he’s lined up buyers for her, so they’ll need something to look at. Fiona decides that she needs to put on a fashion show. Todd thinks Claudia’s faking humility, as she’s done in the past, and that she messed up on purpose to make him feel better. She calls him on pretending to support her when he was mad about losing first chair to her. He says she can’t handle competing.
Julia’s stuck on her ending again, which annoys Adam – “it is always about the ending with you.” He’s annoyed that she’s using him to finish her story so she can get published. Julia doesn’t see a problem with having that as a goal. Adam argues that the point of writing is writing, not to have people read it. He tears up his story, telling Julia that rewriting it will be better than having sex.
Kirsten is no longer as positive about her morning sickness and savoring the journey and all that. Charlie laments that he can’t find someone to help him out on such short notice, and he can’t do it himself, so he’ll have to turn down the hotel job. Like Bailey, he doesn’t want to spend time on something he doesn’t like when he could be enjoying his time with his family.
Fiona holds a show for Bailey’s buyers at the restaurant, using Bailey, Griffin, and Will as models. (The clothes are awful, by the way.) Holly thinks Bailey’s doing too much for something Fiona will lose interest in. He’s giving her breaks she won’t get in the real world, and feeding her fantasy. He may think he’s helping her, but he’s not. Julia thinks she and Adam should have tantric sex to tap into their creativity. She admits that he’s right about how she approaches endings, but with tantric sex, there isn’t an end.
Bailey and Holly make up, and he admits that he led Fiona down the wrong path. Holly, however, likes that Fiona’s happy – in fact, she’s happier than Holly, who supposedly has her life figured out and is going somewhere. Claudia and Todd do a really stupid dueling-violins thing. I want those 30 seconds of my life back. Apparently they’re inspired by each other, and also turned on by the competition. They kiss while I beg for the sweet release of death.
As we all expected he would, Bailey agrees to help Charlie so he can accept the hotel job. He doesn’t want to run around looking for something new and end up making a mistake. Plus, he would enjoy working with Charlie again. Julia and Adam are good now. Bailey and Holly appear to be back together, making out at a café. He’s ready to slow down a little and savor their time together.
Thoughts: I’m so over this show. It’s SO BORING. This season is ENDLESS. Also, I already know what I’m going to recap after this, and I’m eager to get started, which makes this show even more boring.
And thus Claudia learned at a young age the perils of the workplace romance.
No, no, no! Adam’s wouldn’t rip up his work if he actually liked it! Or if he did, he’d start screaming once he realized what he’d done.
April 21, 2015
Summary: This is the prequel to In Love with a Prince, and far less interesting. A kid named Arthur Castle is coming to Sweet Valley as an exchange student from Santa Dora. Everyone’s excited, but no one more than the Unicorns, who plan a big party for Arthur. To their credit, they’re at least doing research on Santa Dora, partly for school and partly to know more about Arthur’s culture. But it comes across as the sort of thing where girls do a tiny bit of research into, say, Indian culture, then put on saris and bindis and pretend they’re Indian.
When Arthur arrives, the cheerleaders do a little cheer, giving Elizabeth a big case of secondhand embarrassment. I assume that happens a lot with Elizabeth. She and Arthur hit it off when she helps him understand Fahrenheit in science class. She and some other students keep asking him questions about Santa Dora, but he’s a little hesitant to answer. He’d rather learn more about America and do things normal American kids do. Arthur, Sweet Valley is the wrong place for that. You should be out seeing movies and going to the beach, not learning how to steal someone’s girlfriend or escape a kidnapper.
Elizabeth and the other kids on the Sixers staff decide to make Arthur a scrapbook full of American stuff. They also give him a crash course in Americana, and he buys a bunch of American-y souvenirs like a football and a Mark Twain book. He also buys Texas sports-team memorabilia, which I don’t get, because this is California, but okay. Arthur continues to be a little reluctant to talk about Santa Dora, and when anyone asks him about his family, he gives vague answers. No one cares that much, though.
One day Elizabeth and Arthur get milkshakes, and while he’s paying, he drops a…whatever unit of currency they use in Santa Dora. Elizabeth notices that the face on the bill is Arthur’s. He admits that his name is really Arthur Castillo, and he’s the prince of Santa Dora. He wanted to keep his identity secret so he could experience the life of a normal American kid and not be treated like royalty. Elizabeth promises to keep quiet.
But the next day, Arthur panics a little and begs Elizabeth to remember to keep his secret. Only he has the wrong twin, and now Jessica knows that Arthur’s a prince. Of course, Jessica’s the last person who should know someone’s secret. (Well, Caroline Pearce is the last person, but Jessica’s a close second-to-last.) Jess spills to the Unicorns, who are thrilled that they get to hang out with royalty.
The secret is soon out, and of course Arthur thinks that Elizabeth blabbed, since she was the only one who knew. Liz is really confused, because she would never betray Arthur’s trust, but she has no idea what happened. Jessica lies that she heard it from someone else. Middle school Elizabeth is naïve enough to believe her, but I bet high school Elizabeth would see right through this.
Arthur’s not having such a great time in Sweet Valley anymore; his closest friend seemingly betrayed him, and everyone’s treating him the opposite of the way he wanted. He feels compelled to do all the stuff everyone wants him to do, though, because to decline would make his family look bad. He agrees to go to the Unicorns’ party with Jessica, but she feels bad about the trouble she caused and confesses that she told Arthur’s secret after he mistook her for Liz.
Arthur makes up with Elizabeth, who keeps working on his scrapbook. Jessica tells everyone at school to treat Arthur like any other student, which maybe isn’t exactly what he was hoping for, but still better than being treated like a prince. He takes the twins to a big, fancy party at the consulate, because no matter how normal Arthur wants to be, he still gets perks. So I think the lesson of the book is that if you befriend royalty, don’t treat him like royalty, but take advantage of the things that come with that status.
Thoughts: I don’t know why the title is Princess Elizabeth. I wonder if the plot was originally something else and they didn’t bother to change the title.
I started this while finishing Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan’s The Royal We, which is a much different story about hanging out with royalty. MUCH different. Like, no one’s clothes come off in this one.
Jessica makes an avocado and banana sandwich. I don’t want to think about how gross that would taste.
Apparently there are no jeans or roller skates outside of the U.S.
The kids have been studying Santa Dora’s royal family but never saw a picture of the country’s prince?
Arthur buys a Confederate cap, and someone donates a Confederate flag for his scrapbook. GUYS, NO.
“All week, [Jessica] had imagined how it would be to walk onto Ellen’s elegant patio – hundreds of lights twinkling, Brooke’s Santa Doran melodies filling the air – on the arm of Prince Arthur, the handsomest prince she had ever seen. All the Unicorns would turn and stare, especially Lila and Janet, who were bound to be green with envy. Everyone else would bow as the royal couple walked past on their way to the throne (Ellen’s grandfather’s carved walnut chair), where Arthur would sit in dignified splendor while she stood beside him. And they would dance together, as everybody looked on, and Arthur would whisper in her ear that she was more beautiful than any princess. It was going to be a fabulous evening – the most beautiful, most wonderful evening of her life.” Have you ever read anything more 12 years old?
Speaking of 12 years old, why does Arthur have a Navy uniform? Is that a royalty thing? How low is the minimum age of enlistment in Santa Dora?
April 19, 2015
Summary: It’s a busy night at the club, and Noah has tossed out professionalism in favor of getting drunk. Kelly and Donna are at the Bel Age to see Donna’s cousin Gina, an ice skater in town with some ice show. Minutes after they meet up, the show manager fires Gina for being upset about not having a lead. She tells Kelly and Donna that she quit.
A girl named Denise calls David’s radio show to complain that her parents made her break up with her boyfriend. Noah drives drunk, listening to the show as David encourages Denise to move on. Apparently David’s voice isn’t enough to keep Noah conscious – he passes out and crashes. Valerie wakes him up at the After Dark the next morning, and he sees that he crashed his car.
Donna takes Gina to the Peach Pit, where she notices that Janet and Steve are a little more intimate than they usually are. Steve admits to Donna that he and Janet had sex, but he doesn’t want anyone to make a big deal about it. Gina meets Noah, but he’s not in the mood for small talk. Valerie returns her stolen dress to the boutique, in the process inviting Kelly and Matt to the Walshes’ house for the Thanksgiving dinner she’s hosting.
Matt asks Kelly to remind Donna of their dance lesson the next day. (He’s learning for his grandparents’ anniversary party.) He encourages Kelly to come to Val’s Thanksgiving so they can hang out. Janet and Steve discuss the possibility of becoming friends with benefits, since they’re certainly not going to have a relationship, what with all the little things they hate about each other. They’re sure hooking up won’t affect their current relationship.
Gina meets with her agent, who chastises her for earning a reputation about being difficult to work with. She begs him to get her a new job, but he doesn’t want to deal with her anymore. Gina tells Donna that she had to fire him for trying to get her to take a new job when she just wants to take a break. Noah shoos her away and tells Donna that he blacked out, crashed his car, and may have hit someone.
Denise shows up at the After Dark to meet David (and give him a lapdance). Kelly and Valerie pack up Brandon’s things for him, because he’s GONE AND NEVER COMING BACK, YAY! Kelly finds a note Val wrote Brandon telling him not to marry Kelly. She thinks Val was the reason Brandon wanted to call off the wedding. So much for that brief truce. Noah and Donna go to the police station so he can turn himself in for a hit-and-run.
David spends the night with Denise, who tries to sneak out the next morning. When she does leave, she accidentally leaves her beeper behind. David calls the number that paged her and speaks to Denise’s mother…who reveals that Denise is only 17. At the boutique, Donna tells Kelly that no charges have been filed against Noah (at least yet). Valerie tries to talk to Kelly, but she’s not in the mood. Donna warns Val that with Brandon gone, she has no one to clean up her messes, so she’d better behave.
Kelly goes up to Matt’s office to tell him that Donna can’t make their dance lesson. She asks to see some moves, so I think he’s going to have a new dance partner. Steve and Janet interview a couple who have been married for years but can’t have much physical contact because of an allergy. Janet thinks it’s romantic that they want to stay together anyway. Steve asks her to dinner, but Janet doesn’t think a friends-with-benefits arrangement allows dates.
David runs into Valerie at the grocery store and tells her that Kelly said everyone’s having Thanksgiving dinner at the beach club. He reveals that she spread the word about the don’t-marry-Kelly letter, so everyone’s mad at Val. Gina claims to have some job offers, and Donna hopes she takes one in L.A. They talk about how Gina’s mom was always jealous of her sister Felice’s wonderful life with a Beverly Hills doctor.
Noah informs Gina that her credit card was rejected, so Donna now has a hint that things in her life aren’t as perfect as she’s been letting on. Noah tells Donna that paint found on the bike of the child hit-and-run victim may match his car. Time to lawyer up, Noah! Denise goes back to David’s house, apologizing for not telling him her age. Also, she told her parents what happened, and he’s facing statutory-rape charges.
Noah goes to the hospital to see the hit-and-run victim, pretending it’s his brother. David tells Kelly that Valerie knows she’s stealing Thanksgiving, and that it hurt her. Kelly doesn’t care, of course. David announces that Val was molested by her father, and Abby knew but didn’t do anything. Steve clearly wants more with Janet than their current arrangement, but she says she has a date with someone. She’s still resistant to get their emotions involved.
David visits Denise’s mother to try to explain the situation. Of course, she’s not receptive to that. Kelly announces that she wants to co-host Thanksgiving with Valerie, who’s not interested in charity or pity. Kelly promises that she’s trying to be a friend for once. Val responds by throwing her turkey out in the yard.
Donna catches Noah getting drunk again, but he’s wallowing in his grief – the hit-and-run victim died. Donna doesn’t think she can handle babysitting him, so Gina steps up. And since Gina is clearly the new Valerie, this isn’t going to go well. Steve and Janet run into each other at a video store (remember video stores, guys?), and she says her date had to cancel. Steve tries to get her to watch a movie with him, but she balks.
Noah and Gina go to a boardwalk or fair or something, and he asks her what she’s trying to avoid thinking about. They take pictures together in a photo booth. David is smarter than Noah, as he goes to Matt to get legal representation. Kelly points out that if Denise was at the After Dark, an over-18 club, she had to have lied about her age. Matt notes that that doesn’t really matter in this case.
Noah and Gina go to the Walshes’ house, where, amazingly, they don’t have sex. Instead, he falls asleep and she leaves their photos with him. In the morning, Donna tells Noah that the police determined that he wasn’t the hit-and-run driver. It looks like Noah and Donna are on good terms again, so Gina grabs the photos before Donna can see them.
Steve brings up the friends-with-benefits arrangement with Janet again, and she tells him she’s hesitant to try a relationship because she fears one of them would get hurt. That night, everyone shows up at the Walshes’ with food, so Val gets to host dinner without having to cook anything. Valerie and Kelly make up, but it won’t last long: Valerie’s packing up to leave. She announces to the gang that she’s moving back to Buffalo after dinner.
Later that night, Valerie says a private, emotional goodbye to David, talking about heading into the future without ever looking back. Gina pretends she lost the pictures she and Noah took in the booth, so Donna can’t see them. Donna tells Kelly that if Gina wants to stay, she can take the third bedroom at the beach apartment. Gina does intend to stay, as she tells someone on the phone.
Kelly and Matt chat a little, and the kiss she gives him on the cheek soon turns into more kissing. This is bad timing on her part, because guess who’s back in town? Mr. Dylan McKay. Kelly isn’t nearly as happy to see him as I am.
Thoughts: If I ever accidentally call Gina “Brenda,” it’s not because of that Walsh chick. It’s because Vanessa Marcil played Brenda on General Hospital, and that’s all I know her as. P.S. It’s been 15 years since this episode aired, and I swear to you, Vanessa looks exactly the same. She has never, ever aged.
David, OF COURSE Denise is underage. She said her parents made her break up with her boyfriend. Does that sound like something that happens to a lot of people over 18?
At what point do you think Matt started wondering how he got mixed up with people who need lawyers all the time?
Steve, sweetie? Why would you toast Dylan’s return with champagne? HE’S AN ALCOHOLIC, YOU MORON.
‘Bye, Valerie! I probably won’t miss you, especially with Valerie 2.0 around now.
April 18, 2015
Summary: Bailey’s at group therapy in rehab, being heckled by a guy named Oliver. Bailey says he’s not scared about relapsing because he feels like he can switch it on and off now. Oliver doesn’t think he should be in rehab, since he only had one slip. He doesn’t believe Bailey really has a problem with alcohol. He should go home and live his wonderful, fantastic life.
Adam catches Julia reading an email from Justin announcing that he and Laura are eloping in Vegas. Adam wonders if Julia’s going to go to the wedding. Julia doesn’t know if Justin wants her there – is he inviting her or asking her to stop it? Adam encourages her to go. Kirsten tries to sympathize with the distraught mother of a girl in a depression-drug study, but the mother doesn’t think Kirsten can really understand how she feels. Little does she know that Kirsten can.
Bailey’s discharged from rehab but sticks around to try to talk to a counselor. The counselor urges him to talk to his family instead. Claudia and Todd find it awkward to spend time alone together. Julia’s decided to go to Vegas, but she’s stalling her departure for Vegas, telling Claudia that she’s not sure what to say to Justin. She sees two options: Ask Justin to get back together, or encourage him to move on. Claudia invites herself and Todd along on a road trip.
In Bailey’s absence, Charlie’s putting in some time at the restaurant. He clearly feels uncomfortable working with Joe the thief. Joe’s hurt that Charlie doesn’t trust him, but…come on. Will’s the only person home when Bailey arrives, so Bailey faces his first night home alone. Kirsten tells Charlie how difficult it is to see the kids in the drug trial, struggling with depression. Charlie thinks she’s having a relapse of her own depression because she went off her meds to get pregnant.
Will brings Holly over to see how much progress Bailey has made. Bailey confides that he’s sick of people telling him how great he looks. He feels like quitting drinking was easy, but he feels worse than he did before. He may look fine, but he’s not. In Vegas, Todd gets distracted by showgirls. I think we’re supposed to think that he’s sexually frustrated. I don’t care. Justin’s happy to see Julia but scampers off right after just a minute of chatting.
Kirsten allows the distraught mother to pull her daughter out of the drug trial, which her boss is upset about. Kirsten thinks she did the responsible thing, since the kids on the drug aren’t improving and the kids not on the drug are miserable. Her boss argues that the kids are in the study so thousands can get help. He’s noticed that she’s been acting strange lately.
Bailey goes back to the rehab center to see the counselor, and while he’s there, Oliver steals a bottle of pills. Bailey stops him with a tackle, reminding us all how he was a wrestler in high school. Adam shows up in Vegas to give Julia a very When Harry Met Sally-like speech listing what he loves about her. He wishes she would let Justin go and pair up with him instead. Justin shows up, sees them together, and runs off again.
Julia catches up with Justin, who tells her that marrying Laura is a leap of faith. He wants to go through with it, even though he still loves Julia. He’s not sure he’s supposed to take the leap with her or Laura. Julia says she’s not sure what she wants. Joe calls Charlie on his attitude toward him, like…you stole from his business. You’re lucky you still have a job there, dude. Joe thinks he should be forgiven because they have 20 years of history. Charlie won’t budge, so Joe considers quitting.
Bailey goes back to the rehab center yet again, and Oliver tells him that taking the pills wouldn’t have killed him, so Bailey stopping him was a waste of time. Bailey just wants to know what’s wrong with Oliver. Oliver recognizes that he and Bailey are both fans of crises. In Oliver’s case, he likes being rescued. In Bailey’s case, he likes being the rescuer.
Claudia catches Todd watching porn and asks him to start noticing her instead of other women. Todd says he’s been trying not to come across as a dog because he knows what happened with Claudia and Derek. Claudia kisses him, assuring him that they don’t need to move quite that slowly. Julia goes to Justin and Laura’s wedding but stays out of sight and leaves before it’s over.
Charlie tries to catch Bailey up to speed on the restaurant, but Bailey stops him. He admits that he hates working there even though he’s good at it. The only time he feels useful is when someone calls him needing to be rescued. If their parents hadn’t died, he wouldn’t have a reason to live. Bailey continues that the high point of his life was when Charlie got sick – Bailey was able to take charge and prove his worth. He hates that he needs people to suffer so he can feel successful.
After Bailey’s meltdown, Charlie goes home to deal with his wife’s ongoing struggle. Kirsten confides that she felt like her depression had come back, but a trip to the doctor told her otherwise: She’s pregnant. Her mood swings have been hormonal, not related to a mood disorder. Charlie manages to be happy, despite the fact that they’re throwing a baby into the mess the family has become.
Julia leaves Vegas to tell Adam that she wants him in her life. She’s happy he came to tell her how he feels. Charlie asks Bailey to help Owen with his homework, but Bailey recognizes that Charlie’s trying to keep him busy. Owen shows Bailey a letter he wrote while Bailey was in rehab, and the effort he put into it makes Bailey emotional.
That night, Charlie invites Joe to join the family (and Will) for dinner at the house. He wants Joe to stay on at the restaurant until they figure out what will happen with Bailey. Bailey learns that the family has been having dinner together once a week, a new old tradition. And then I assume Charlie and Kirsten announce their pregnancy, but we don’t get to see it.
Thoughts: We only see him for a few seconds, but the minister at Justin and Laura’s wedding is played by Doug Jones. He’s been in tons of stuff, but is usually unrecognizable because he plays a lot of creatures in heavy makeup. If you’ve seen anything by Guillermo del Toro, you’ve seen Doug Jones.
How are all these people paying for this Vegas trip? And don’t they have school?
’90s music alert: Filter’s “Take a Picture.” Ugh, that song.
April 14, 2015
Summary: We pick up pretty much where the last book left off, with Bruce upset that Paul hustled him in a tennis game, and Elizabeth going over the details of the investigation in her head. She teases Bruce about calling the police on Paul to report that he’d stolen money he’d actually won. Bruce mentions that he gave Paul a check, which is news to Elizabeth, since she knows Tom saw him with a bunch of cash, including the bill Tom wrote “buena suerte” on, supposedly for a club employee. So the newest wrinkle in the investigation is that money one of the employees collected went to a club member.
Paul’s father, a congressman, is having a reception at the club, and somehow Dana was invited and asks Tom to go with her. Tom is basically done with Dana, but he needs her to get access to the country club, since you can only go there as a couple. What a stupid club. Elizabeth and Scott are also going to the reception, if anyone cares. And of course Lila and Bruce are going, because Lila practically lives at the club now. Lila chats with Paul for a little while, and then he heads off to switch cars with someone, getting into a van with a missing mud flap. Jessica happens to see this.
Elizabeth and Scott review the investigation, so I might as well, too: A caddy named Dwayne Mendoza was discovered dead in the lake at the country club. Brandon Phillips, a fellow caddy and SVU student, was arrested for murder after some of Dwayne’s things were found in his locker. A busboy named Manuel Coimbra has gone missing, and Elizabeth has uncovered possible voter fraud involving him – he got a voter registration card, despite the fact that he wasn’t a citizen. Plus, the card spells his name Manoel instead of Manuel.
Scott and Liz go to the county records office to look for Manuel’s address. None exists, but there’s info on Manoel. Except Manoel was from Brazil and died in 1991 at the age of 76. So it seems someone was employing some good old-fashioned fraud by collecting the votes of dead people. While Elizabeth is busy doing some actual investigating, Jessica snoops in her things to find out what she’s uncovered about the case. Liz catches her, and Jessica mocks her for keeping secrets so she can compete with Tom, instead of trying to solve the case and get justice.
Tom talks to Carlos, the waiter he gave the “buena suerte” bill to, and starts to think that Paul’s extorting the club employees who are working illegally. This makes a lot of sense, but I hate that Tom was the one to figure it out, because I don’t want him to be right about anything ever. Meanwhile, Scott and Elizabeth pose as lawyers so they can visit Brandon in lockup. Except Scott didn’t tell Liz that he’d planned this, which is pretty rotten of him, since I’m pretty sure they could get in a lot of trouble for this. All they really learn from their conversation with Brandon is that Dwayne may have figured out that Manuel was using someone else’s identity, and was killed so he couldn’t tell anyone.
Reception time! There’s a funny scene where Lila gets upset that Bruce isn’t dressed nicely enough for the reception at the club, so she fake-cries until he changes, because she knows Bruce can’t handle tears. If anyone else did this, I would be disgusted, but since it’s Lila, it cracks me up.
Jessica spots Tom and Dana making out, and she’s so surprised that she accidentally breaks character (as Perdita). Lila overhears her and figures out that she’s Jessica. Jess hightails it out of there. Elizabeth also sees Tom and Dana together, so Tom ditches Dana to try to get Liz to agree to work with him on the investigation. Scott shows up, as he always does, and Tom’s so mad to see him that he decides not to tell Elizabeth anything he’s learned, since she would inevitably give the information to Scott. Lila tracks down Jessica but doesn’t care what “Perdita” and “Chip” are up to as long as it doesn’t keep her and Bruce from becoming VIP members.
Congressman Krandall addresses the guests at the reception, and Bruce seems to be the only one surprised that it’s really a fundraiser. Why else would a politician hold an event for rich people? Bruce refuses to give Krandall any money. While he and Lila are fighting about this, Tom overhears him mention that he gave Paul a check after he was hustled, so now Tom is confused about where Paul got all that cash, including the “buena suerte” bill.
Tom goes looking for Carlos, but he’s busy, so Tom tries to talk to a busboy instead. The busboy doesn’t seem to speak English, but Tom knows someone who speaks Spanish: Perdita! Ha, I knew this would come back to bite Jessica. He pulls Jess in to translate, but unfortunately, Carlos arrives before she can really make a fool of herself. Carlos warns Tom to stop snooping around. While Tom’s trying to figure out if Carlos is threatening him or helping him, Jessica breaks her cover again. Tom tries to get her to tell him about the investigation, but she won’t.
Lila’s mad enough at Bruce to tell him they’re through. She can put up with a lot, but not a cheapskate! She thinks Bunny’s bored with Paul, so she just needs to get in good with him to be able to stay at the club. Speaking of Paul, the van Jessica saw him driving has been found abandoned with a few dozen people inside. Nick and Jessica are sent to talk to one of the people, who reveals that they were brought over the Mexican border after being promised papers and jobs by a guy using the name Wil E. Coyote. So Nick and Jessica head out to check out the van. Tom sees them and follows, while Elizabeth and Scott see him and follow.
While this caravan of fools drives around, Bruce goes back to the club and announces that people are being extorted. Carlos thinks he’s uncovered the whole illegal-worker thing, but Bruce is just talking about Paul’s hustling. Lila hopes that the two guys start fighting over her. Oh, Lila. Bruce makes a big scene, then leaves, stealing the trophy from the tennis tournament Lila fixed. Lila falls in the pool. I don’t know.
The others all meet up at the van, where Nick almost shoots everyone because it’s a little sketchy for people to be tailing a cop. He’s pretty ticked that reporters are running around, getting involved in this investigation but not sharing any information. He’s ready to arrest everyone, even though he doesn’t actually have anything to charge them with. Jessica tricks everyone into getting into the van (AKA the crime scene – come on, Jess), then says they can only get out when they start working together. She wants them to feel the way the immigrants felt when they were abandoned in the van.
Nick, Elizabeth, Tom, and Scott finally start sharing information, which leads to them deciding that Congressman Krandall is Wil E. Coyote, and he was using fake votes from illegal immigrants. They also think that Paul was extorting the illegal employees at the club, so they were getting doubly screwed. They ask to be let out of the van, but Jessica’s in no position to help them – Paul has followed them all out there and has stuffed her in the front of the van, which he plans to drive into a reservoir.
Jessica accidentally knocks herself out, which is pretty spectacular. When she comes to, she manages to get out of the van, like I’m so sure Jess was able to jump out of a moving vehicle without killing herself. She heads off to get help, and just happens to come across Bruce (who, hilariously, doesn’t realize at first that Perdita and Jessica are the same person). They head after the van as Jessica fills Bruce in on Paul’s crimes.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth figures that Jessica’s dead, and though the others convince her that Jess is probably okay, they know they’re going to have to save themselves. They face off with Paul, who reveals that Dwayne wasn’t murdered after all. Paul was just going to beat him up, but when he threw Dwayne in the lake, he quickly discovered that Dwayne couldn’t swim. Also, nothing bad happened to Manuel; they just sent him back to Mexico. (Later, Jessica finds out that he was one of the immigrants in the van, having come back across the border for another shot.)
Paul’s accomplice arrives, and the investigators realize that Paul isn’t Wil E. Coyote. So who is? It’s Carlos, the waiter Tom gave the “buena suerte” bill to. This was a nice twist I didn’t see coming. Paul plans to kill all the investigators, starting with Elizabeth. He shoots at her, but Tom shields her, because they’ve kind of reconnected and she’s given him a reason to live, or something. Carlos doesn’t think Paul’s plan is the way to go, and Tom seizes on his conscience to try to talk him out of helping Paul any longer.
It’s a moot point anyway, because rescue comes in the form of Jessica. She shows up with Bruce’s tennis racket and helps the captives overpower their captors. Carlos ends up with the gun, but Tom talks him into not using it. Then Bruce arrives and knocks Carlos out with the tennis trophy. Then Lila shows up, somehow. Why are all these people driving around in the middle of nowhere at the same time? The bad guys are taken into police custody, and Elizabeth and Tom come close to kissing.
The whole mess with the club leads to Lila deciding that she doesn’t want to be a VIP member after all. Also, she’s turned on by how brave and strong he was. He hit someone with a trophy, Li. Calm down. Tom covers the story on SVUTV, and Scott encourages Elizabeth to write about it for the paper. He also makes out with her, and this time, she’s into it. Too bad he’s about to leave – he was accepted into some investigative-reporting school in Denver. He thinks Liz should apply, too. And in other career news, Jessica announces to Nick that she wants to leave SVU to become a police officer. He tells her he wants to leave the police force and go back to school. Womp womp!
Thoughts: Why no, I don’t know why the book is called Undercover Angels. Thanks for asking.
Bruce: “I’m not obsessing. I’m venting. There’s a difference.” I’m stealing that for future use.
Dana wears zebra-print jeans. ICK.
Lila carries a papier-mâché clutch shaped like a sea cow. Uh, what? Rich people are weird.
My favorite thing in this book as how Jessica keeps saying “adios” and running away from Tom before he can completely figure out who she really is.
Nick gets mad at Tom and kicks the van. Jessica: “Why are you kicking the van?” Nick: “Because it’s illegal to kick him.” Hee.
Elizabeth with a gun pointed at her: “Yikes!” Okay, Liz.
“We’re just two college students, completely unarmed except for a tennis racket and a tin trophy cup. What am I supposed to do? Yell ‘Freeze or I’ll double fault’?” Bruce, you’ve just given me a great idea for a unique new action hero…
April 12, 2015
Summary: Sophie and David are at the Peach Pit, talking about a modeling job Eric told her about. David reminds her that Eric isn’t the best choice of people to tell her about jobs. Valerie rushes in to try to get David to come to Bel Air with her to see something. She gets rid of Sophie by telling her there’s someone in her car. The someone is a repo man, so it looks like Sophie will need to take the modeling job and make some quick money.
Lenny the abusive father goes to court and wins full rights to his daughter, which means Leah can’t avoid him. Kelly snarks at Matt for doing something good for a bad guy. The thing Valerie wants to show David in Bel Air is a mansion; she wants to throw a big party there while she’s supposed to be house-sitting. Leah’s distressed to have to be away from her daughter while Lenny has her. Kelly’s distressed that Lenny’s taking her to a park at a racetrack.
With Brandon gone (woo!), Steve and Janet are left to put together the paper on their own. She pretends to be optimistic that they can handle it. Sophie balks at nudity at her photo shoot, not even changing her mind when the photographer tells her she’ll lose her paycheck. She only agrees to strip when the photographer warns that a bad attitude will lose her jobs. Donna asks Matt to dinner, and he notes that Noah hasn’t been around. She tells him things are complicated and she needs a friend.
Steve thinks becoming a tabloid might be able to save the Beverly Beat. Janet is rightfully skeptical. The After Dark is super-busy, which means Noah gets to keep busy, but he tells someone to keep Donna and Matt out. Kelly and Leah meet with a woman to discuss Leah’s options for keeping her daughter from Lenny. The woman can’t directly help Leah leave, but she can guide her toward the assistance she needs. She warns that Kelly could face legal trouble for helping, since Leah would be violating a custody order.
At the boutique, Donna helps Valerie pick out an outfit for what she’s considering an end-of-the-world party. Val gives herself a five-finger discount. Noah stops by, supposedly looking for Matt, and asks Donna straight out if she and Matt are dating. Instead of answering, she kicks him out. Val can sympathize with Noah, who has two days before he starts court-appointed AA. She thinks they should be reckless, like she’s being with her rave. He invites her to a drag race.
Sophie buys David some CDs to thank him for his advice about the modeling job she claims she didn’t take. He suggests that she wait tables at the Peach Pit until she gets her big break. Steve moves forward with his tabloid idea, though Janet doesn’t like the idea of compromising journalistic integrity to make money. He tries to entice her with the idea of getting to write. Also, she’ll get a raise. Steve suggests that they check out a possibly haunted hotel.
Matt visits the beach apartment to ask Donna to dinner, but she turns him down. She really just wants him to leave so he doesn’t find out Leah’s there while Kelly makes plans to get her out of town. Sophie starts working at the Peach Pit, which she sucks at. A friendly customer leaves her a $100 tip, because he doesn’t yet know that it’s dangerous to enable her. Amazingly, she tries to return it, but the guy tells her to keep it, along with his phone number.
Valerie rides with Noah during the drag race, telling him she’s going to turn herself in for killing her father. She realizes that he’s not the best person to ride with in a dangerous race. Sophie meets the friendly customer, Tom, who invites her to go to Paris with him. Sophie, run away! This guy is super-shady! Donna easily makes up with Matt, then invites him to Valerie’s party. Kelly has trouble helping Leah get a fake ID, but that’s the least of their problems – Lenny knows what they’re up to. As Kelly calls the police, Lenny warns Leah that he’ll never let her go.
Steve and Janet pose as city inspectors to get access to the hotel. Steve pays off a security guy to let them into the kitchen where one of Marilyn Monroe’s alleged lovers may or may not have choked on a chicken bone. Janet accurately pegs the whole thing as a Scooby Doo plot. Sophie tells David that she got a role in a movie, but it shoots in Paris and she’ll have to leave the next day. David’s up for a long-distance relationship.
At Valerie’s big party, Donna tells Matt about the Lenny situation; his solution is for Leah to get a restraining order. Donna asks about fake IDs, so it’s not long before Matt figures out what Kelly’s up to. A neighbor threatens to call the police over the noise at the party, but Valerie isn’t intimidated. She tells Matt she’s turning herself in for her father’s murder. Shaggy and Velma Steve and Janet get themselves locked in a walk-in fridge, because of course they do. They fight a little, then kiss, because of course they do.
Noah gets drunk at the party and asks Donna not to leave him. Matt sees them together and mopes off. The police arrive, and Matt and David urge Valerie to keep her mouth shut. She’d rather go to jail with a clear conscience than keep the secret. But when the opportunity arises, Valerie can’t make the confession. Donna takes Noah to the Walshes’, where I guess he’s living now, and she asks him to take his time in AA seriously.
David thinks Valerie will confess, and he asks Matt if there’s a way they can stop her. Matt says no, so they should find someone who can talk her out of it. Steve and Janet are released from the fridge and deny that anything happened in there. The security guard tells them lots of people get locked in there and have sex. What kind of hotel is this?? Tom takes Sophie on a shopping spree at Donna’s boutique, where David learns what’s really going on. He tells her she’s prostituting herself by going off with a rich guy. He asks her to stay, but she says she can’t.
Valerie goes to the police station, where Abby intercepts her and begs her not to confess. She takes responsibility for Mr. Malone’s death, since she knew what was going on and didn’t stop it. Valerie says that after she shot her father, she watched him die. She hated him, though Abby thinks she loved him, too, and now confuses the two things. She promises that she forgives Val, urging her to forgive herself.
Leah can’t get on a plane without photo ID, so she’s low on options for leaving town. Matt arrives with the news that he knows a forger who can help Leah disappear. Kelly knows Matt could be disbarred for this, but he’s willing to take the risk. Donna has an awkward conversation with Matt, who’s still hurt that she ditched him to help Noah.
Steve and Janet agree that their time in the fridge isn’t worth discussing again. Then they’re stuck in a small place together again when construction makes them think there’s an earthquake. They do some more kissing. Kelly sees Leah and her daughter off, then visits Matt to apologize for the way she saw him before he did something good. Noah goes to an AA meeting, but instead of going inside, he drinks from a flask outside.
Thoughts: ’90s music alert: Natalie Imbruglia’s “Wishing I Was There.” Wait, Natalie Imbruglia had a song other than “Torn”? (Actually, I was familiar with the song; I just didn’t know it was hers.)
No way Brandon wrote every article in every edition of the paper. Or at least there’s no way he did that and still had a social life.
Why is the photographer the only person at Sophie’s shoot? Sketchy!
Seriously, what was the point of having Sophie on the show? I feel like the writers didn’t even know, and had to come up with a fast way to get her out of there before they had to think of an answer. She contributed absolutely nothing.
April 11, 2015
Summary: Bailey drives his car into a stoplight post, then imagines the conversations of the people in the car he swerved to void hitting. Suddenly Will’s in the car, yelling at him for running a red light. Will wants to check on some other people, but Will warns that if they call the cops, the two of them will get in trouble for drinking – and Bailey’s parents will be furious.
Bailey and Charlie head to the restaurant, where Julia and Joe are planning a party for Mr. and Mrs. Salinger’s 31st anniversary. Charlie doesn’t get why they’re making such a big deal out of it. Julia doesn’t think last year’s party was a big enough deal. Claudia arrives, home from a music tour. Julia’s annoyed because her visit was supposed to be a surprise for their parents.
Julia goes home to Justin, her fiancé, though they haven’t announced their engagement yet. He thinks they should do it at the anniversary party. Julia admits that she sometimes wonders if they’re together because they love each other or because their parents always wanted them to be together. Mrs. Salinger leaves a message reminding Julia to take her car in to a garage.
Bailey and Will take Claudia to their place, and she scoffs at her brother’s smoking habit. She thinks he’s working to screw up a really good life. Bailey complains that their father wants him to take over the restaurant. Claudia points out that he gets free beer, and his money doesn’t go straight into a trust. Will thinks Bailey will find the courage to get out, like Charlie did.
Julia takes her car to the garage, where she meets Griffin. Looks like he’s hot for her already. Charlie hangs out with his girlfriend, who tries to encourage him since he’s hit a rough spot working on his designs. An ex named Felicia shows up and announces that she’s pregnant. She wants him to come with her the next day to talk to someone about their options.
Claudia and Julia go shopping for lingerie for their mother, which is really weird. Julia’s surprised to learn that Claudia has some lingerie of her own, because she’s not a virgin. Claudia’s equally surprised to learn that Julia’s only ever had sex with Justin. Will bugs Bailey about not telling Claudia his plans, but Bailey doesn’t want her to tell their parents. Will can’t believe that Bailey hasn’t yet let them know that he’s quitting college. (The guys apparently want to be roadies.)
Claudia hangs out with Ross, who’s more excited about her tour than she is. She admits that she’s considering taking some time off from recording and touring. Ross doesn’t get why someone who’s been touring since she was 11 might want to spend more time with her family.
Charlie’s late to Felicia’s appointment with a pregnancy counselor, who happens to be Kirsten (with a bad haircut). He’s surprised that Felicia’s considering keeping the baby. Kirsten has no sympathy for Charlie, blasting him for not thinking of the possible consequences of unprotected sex, and showing up late for the appointment.
Julia arranges to run into Griffin at a bar, and they start chatting. He reveals that they went to the same high school, but he dropped out. Griffin’s figured out that Julia came to the bar to see him, not to use the phone. He invites her to his apartment, but Julia doesn’t want to get that close to him. Bailey and Will do their roadie thing, and Bailey gets a moment on stage where he realizes he really does want to leave school and go on tour with the band.
The next day, Julia and Bailey discuss the fact that a couple of their parents’ friends won’t be able to make it to the party. Bailey doesn’t want their parents to get any bad news. Julia makes it worse by revealing that Claudia wants to quit touring. Bailey wants everything to go as their parents have always wanted, so his news won’t be seen as bad. He encourages Julia to announce her engagement, but Julia says it’s her life and she’ll do what she wants.
While Felicia’s with a doctor, Kirsten apologizes to Charlie for the way she spoke to him when they met. He confides that Felicia’s considering abortion, but Charlie kind of wants to raise the baby by himself. However, he knows his parents won’t think he’s capable. Kirsten tells him that parents don’t know everything. Charlie replies that his know more than he does.
Claudia and Ross go to the Salingers’ to get scrapbooks, and she’s saddened to see that her room is now for storage. Will leaves for the band’s tour, but Bailey hangs back. Julia goes to see Griffin again, telling him she remembers him from high school. She thought he was cute, in a bad-boy way. They kiss, so…sorry, Justin.
Charlie thinks Bailey’s going to catch up with the tour after the anniversary party, but Bailey’s worried about how their father would react. Charlie points out that he never did what Mr. Salinger wanted, and now they barely talk. Bailey needs to figure out what he wants, not what Mr. Salinger wants him to do.
Julia visits Griffin yet again, finally telling him she’s in a relationship. He doesn’t like that she used him to “figure stuff out.” Charlie goes to see Kirsten, telling her that he and Felicia are going to place the baby for adoption. He adds that they’re not getting back together, so, you know, he’s single, if Kirsten’s interested.
At the party, Claudia tells Ross that she’s not going to announce her decision to quit touring tonight. She wants to let everyone stay happy for a while. Justin has an engagement ring for Julia, but she tells him she wants to put the brakes on things. She needs to make sure they’re together for the right reasons, not because they think they should be. She asks him to hold on to the ring until she figures things out.
Bailey tells Charlie that he tried to talk to Mr. Salinger, but stopped when Mr. Salinger started discussing all the plans he has for them and the restaurant. Charlie thinks Bailey will be disappointed in himself in five years, when he realizes he made the wrong decisions. Mr. and Mrs. Salinger arrive, and everyone puts on happy faces while Bailey drinks.
Bailey’s vision of everyone turns black and white, and suddenly he’s back in the car, having just crashed. He goes home, where he tells his worried siblings that he was in an accident but no one was hurt. He knows now that he can’t blame his parents for the way his life has turned out. Bailey’s already arranged to go to rehab.
Thoughts: Felicia’s blond, so Charlie officially has a type.
Who buys lingerie for THEIR MOM?
Bailey and Will are roadies for the Flys, who had one ’90s hit, “Got You (Where I Want You).”
Even in Bailey’s fantasies, Julia’s horrible at relationships. I guess that’s one thing that had nothing to do with their parents’ deaths.
April 7, 2015
Summary: It wouldn’t be a Sweet Valley book without some big activity, and this time around it’s a fair the sixth grade is holding as a fundraiser. There are a bunch of booths to run, and for some reason, the students will be chosen by lottery to run them. I guess it’s so they don’t fight over who gets the better booths, but if there’s a booth no one wants to run, why have it? Anyway, the best booth is the Wheel of Fortune one, and the worst is the water-balloon toss. Jessica wants to run a booth, but Elizabeth is just going make posters.
Amy tells Elizabeth that she’ll have to miss the fair because she took an all-day babysitting job at the Sampsons’ the same day. Elizabeth volunteers to babysit for her, since she wasn’t going to run a booth anyway. Also because Elizabeth loves being a martyr. Amy warns that the kids are pretty wild, but since only two will be there, Elizabeth should be fine. Hey, Amy, if the kids are that bad, you don’t have to sit for them. This isn’t like the BSC, where Kristy throws a fit if you turn down a job.
The booth lottery is held, and Jessica has to man the water-balloon toss. This means she has to let people throw water balloons at her all day. Of course, she’s not going to stand for that, so she starts thinking of ways to get out of it. The best opportunity quickly presents itself when Mrs. Sampson calls to talk to Elizabeth about the sitting job. Jessica says Liz can’t make it but she’ll be there instead. She’ll get $10 an hour for seven hours, and ain’t no way Jessica’s going to say no to $70. She figures the kids can just watch TV all day and she’ll ride out the seven hours.
Elizabeth is a little mad that Jessica snaked the job – and the money – from her, but it means she can go to the fair after all, so it’s kind of okay. Then Julie calls on Elizabeth to take Jessica’s place at the water-balloon booth, and Liz realizes why Jessica took the sitting job. She hopes the kids are as bad as Amy said, and that Jessica gets what she deserves for being devious. If only, Elizabeth. If only.
On the day of the fair, Jessica goes to her job, which she thinks will be a piece of cake. Two cute little kids, spaghetti for lunch, and a magazine to read – what could be easier? Of course, three- and five-year-olds won’t just sit around all day, not pestering people, so Jessica can’t sit and read her magazine in peace. But the kids don’t want to do anything she suggests, so Jessica’s at a loss for ideas. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is actually having fun at the fair, since no one’s hit her with a water balloon yet. When she finally does get hit, it’s not so bad because it’s a hot day and now she gets to cool down.
Things at the Sampsons’ get messy. One of the kids feels sick but won’t take medicine. The other kid rips up Jessica’s magazine to make a collage. Jessica panics and calls Elizabeth (via Lila’s new cordless phone), but Liz already warned that she wouldn’t be able to help. Jessica can’t believe her sister finally grew a spine. As the younger kid gets sick and the older kid makes a mess in the pristine living room – which no one’s supposed to go in – one of the other Sampson kids calls home to report that her Brownie leader got hurt, so they can’t go on their hike. Jessica figures that she’ll just go play at someone else’s house.
Then the oldest kid comes home. He was supposed to be at a friend’s house all day, but they got in a fight and he stormed out. Not long after, the last kid comes home from the hike. Jess is stuck with four wild kids to look after, and Elizabeth still won’t come help. Jessica manages to occupy the kids for a little while, but things go south again when she burns their lunch. Apparently Jessica doesn’t know how to use a microwave properly. Why am I not surprised?
Jessica calls Elizabeth again, and this time Liz feels bad for her sister. She tells Jess to make the kids afraid of her. Jess has no idea how to do that. Elizabeth sees a pair of twins dressed alike and gets an idea. She asks Jessica what she’s wearing, goes home to change, and shows up at the Sampsons’ house dressed like her twin. As soon as the kids start fighting again, Jessica pretends she’s fed up and storms inside. The kids run in to beat her to where she’s going…and find Elizabeth there. They think Jessica has magical powers that allow her to move really fast.
The kids run around for a while, testing Jessica’s powers, while Jess and Liz beat them everywhere they try to go. The kids are worried that Jessica will use her magic powers for evil and do something bad to them. For the rest of the day, they’re on their best behavior. The Sampsons pay Jessica an extra $10 for watching all four kids all day, which only works out to $11.43 an hour to watch four brats, so Jess was definitely stiffed. Plus, when she gets home, Elizabeth asks for $30, which means Jessica only wound up making $7.15 an hour, while Elizabeth got $30 for, like, half an hour of running around. Totally stiffed.
Jessica’s real problem, though, is that Lila was stuck running the water-balloon booth while Liz was off rescuing her sister. Lila’s wearing a brand-new jumpsuit, and it gets ruined by the water, which makes me wonder what the jumpsuit was made out of, and why someone would make a jumpsuit out of that kind of material, though really, who makes jumpsuits at all? Someone with a lot of anger inside, I think. On Monday, some of the sixth-graders tell Jess that they set up a mini-fair to make up for the one she missed, but it’s really just a chance for Lila and Elizabeth to get revenge on her by pelting her with water balloons. If this were SVH, they’d push her in a pool.
Thoughts: I can get behind hiring a 12-year-old to babysit your kids (depending on the 12-year-old, of course), but from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.? NO. Especially not a 12-year-old you’ve never met before.
It’s 1989 and Lila just got a cordless phone. Ah, memories.
Jessica complains about how her clothes will get wet if she works at the water-balloon booth. So…wear a bathing suit. I’m surprised Jessica doesn’t want to take advantage of the opportunity to wear a bikini and be the center of attention.
April 5, 2015
Summary: Donna’s boutique is opening tomorrow, which is insane, because Brandon’s just getting back from New York, which means it’s only been a couple days since the boutique idea came up. He tells Kelly that he was offered a job in Washington, and he’s going to take it, which means BRANDON IS LEAVING. I repeat: BRANDON IS LEAVING. Party at my place! Valerie asks Matt to represent her in case Abby turns her in for killing her father. She tells Matt the whole story, and he warns that a court might not agree that it was justifiable homicide.
David goes to the Beverly Beat looking for Sophie, who he hasn’t seen for a few days. Janet shows him and Steve posters she’s seen all over town asking where Sophie is. Steve couldn’t care less what happens to her. Noah stops by the boutique, clearly not happy that Matt’s been helping Donna. Donna asks him to be at the opening the next morning. Noah asks her to do something that night, promising that he won’t run away like he has been recently.
Kelly talks to Leah, who went back to the abusive Lenny when she found out she was pregnant. He was great for a while, but recently he became abusive again. Leah filed for divorce and requested full custody, leading Lenny to threaten to kill her. Steve learns from Nat that the Walshes want to sell the house, which means the tenants will have to move out. Steve claims that he was thinking of moving out anyway. He tells Brandon that he thinks Kelly’s moving on from him with Matt.
Valerie corners Abby to ask what she plans to do. Abby’s still considering her options, since she knows that she holds power over Valerie’s fate. Brandon visits the boutique, noting that he and Kelly are both making big life choices without consulting each other. Lenny shows up to warn Kelly to stay away from Leah. After they shoo him away, Kelly tells Brandon to shut up about how they’re making changes.
David finds Sophie and lets her know that someone’s looking for her. Sophie claims that she got a commercial audition off of the fliers; they caught the attention of a casting agent. She asks David to come along. Donna’s hesitant to let Noah spend the night because he’s still not talking to her about his feelings. Then when Noah starts to leave, she asks him to stay. This is the worst relationship. Brandon tries to discuss Lenny and Leah’s case with Matt, who’s surprised that he knows Kelly. Brandon’s more surprised that Kelly never mentioned that they were involved.
Valerie confronts Brandon about his move and how it’ll force her to find a new place to live. Brandon invites her to chat, but she doesn’t want to bug him with her problems. David goes with Sophie to her audition, where she uses her photo from the fliers as her headshot. She pulls her money scam to get herself bumped to the top of the list. David’s annoyed that she’s stepping over people who have put in the work to become actresses.
The boutique is about to open, and Donna’s nervous. Kelly tries to pump her up by talking about it being an adventure. Plus, they did it mostly on their own. Donna’s also worried because Noah is MIA. Kelly tells her that if he keeps pushing her away, eventually Donna will have to let him go. Love might not be enough to salvage their relationship. Noah’s drinking at the After Dark, having just been asked by Felice to lie about how his father died. Valerie compares it to Abby claiming she dumped Carl when it was the other way around.
Sophie grumpily gets some headshots taken after being rejected at the commercial audition. David thinks she lucked out – working jobs beneath you can make you miserable. Also, now she’s free the rest of the day and they can have sex. The photographer invites them to a big Hollywood party the next night. Noah takes Valerie to his parents’ house to show her all the places where his father said he was useless. She talks vaguely about murder, implying that it’s on her list of crimes, but Noah thinks she’s joking.
Brandon tells Kelly he’s doing a story on custody cases, but she knows he just wants to insert himself in Lenny and Leah’s situation. She blasts him for making his departure harder on her. Donna and Kelly throw a party at the boutique, and David becomes the first customer, buying Sophie a dress. Steve tells Sophie that he’s glad she has David to look after her. Matt tells Kelly that he warned Lenny to stay away from the boutique, but she’d rather Matt dump him as a client.
Brandon lurks outside the party, telling Steve how he felt when he started school at West Beverly. He told himself to be cool, but he tripped and embarrassed himself. Donna approached him and introduced herself, then thanked him for putting everyone at ease. Brandon’s grateful that she, Steve, Dylan, and Kelly made him feel so at home. The guys are happy that they had their own business, and now Kelly and Donna have theirs. Brandon announces that he’s turning down the Washington job and staying with the Beverly Beat.
Sophie and David go to the Hollywood party with the photographer, Eric, and David’s mistaken for an actor. He quickly realizes that the director throwing the party makes pornos. David tries to rush Sophie out of the party before she can accept a role. She’s totally willing to do porn, because of course she is. Brandon interviews Leah, addressing the accusations Lenny’s made about adultery (true) and substance abuse (false). Kelly doesn’t get why Brandon’s giving up the job in Washington; she thinks he’s scared.
Sophie still wants the porn role, but David tells her she can do better. She tells him she needs money immediately. He advises her to wait for a better chance. Sophie’s annoyed that she hasn’t become a big star in the past four weeks. Brandon tries to prove to Kelly that he’s not afraid by taking her night swimming. Matt meets up with Donna as she’s leaving the boutique, and she tells him that she’s uncomfortable with him defending Lenny because of her own abusive relationship. He tells her that his parents’ divorce makes him want to give a father the chance to see his child.
Kelly admits to Brandon that she’s scared of the unknown (so night swimming wasn’t really a picnic for her either). He seems afraid of disappearing from her life and being forgotten. Kelly notes that they’re adults and need to grow up. Brandon apologizes for not being a good enough friend to let her move on. She sends him back into the water by himself, and I think it’s a metaphor, because he’s ON HIS OWN, because he’s LEAVING. BRANDON IS LEAVING. WHY IS HE STILL HERE?
Sophie shows David a “where’s Sophie?” billboard – she put out the fliers, and thinks the billboard will get her even more attention. Steve takes Brandon to the Peach Pit for what he thinks is a party celebrating the Beverly Beat‘s first anniversary. It’s actually a goodbye party because everyone wants Brandon to go to Washington. Noah apologizes to Donna for not being at the boutique party, then leaves after she asks him to give something back to their relationship. Kelly still won’t approve of Matt defending Lenny, warning him to protect the baby.
David feels bad that he didn’t tell Steve that he was seeing Sophie. He doesn’t want her to get in the way of their friendship. Steve assures him that they’re good. Abby stops by to tell Valerie that she’s not going to turn her in. It was embarrassing enough for people to know that Mr. Malone killed himself; she can’t face the shame of people knowing what was going on. Valerie’s not surprised that, once again, Abby’s going to keep something quiet. Val just wants closure.
Brandon and Kelly agree that they don’t have any regrets, so he can leave on a high note. Donna tries to call Noah, who’s too busy trashing his father’s things to answer the phone. Donna agrees to have a drink with Matt instead. Brandon gets his parents to agree to let Steve and Valerie stay in the house (and Noah, if he wants). While David broadcasts from the After Dark, talking about how much has happened to the gang, Brandon drives out of our lives forever, woo-hoo!
Thoughts: ‘Bye, Brandon! I will never, ever miss you.
What’s the point of Sophie? She doesn’t add anything to the show. She just makes David look crazy for liking her.
I don’t find Lenny intimidating, partly because he’s roughly the width of a blade of grass and partly because he was Greg in the Brady Bunch movies, and Greg is the opposite of intimidating.
Yes, Abby, people knowing that your husband molested your daughter would be shameful for YOU. Obviously your delicate sensibilities are what we should be worrying about here. Kindly shut up and go away.