August 14, 2011
BH90210 1.20, Spring Training: Bad News Brandon
Summary: Brenda’s going for a run when a dog joins her. She tries to get him to go home, but he won’t listen. Jim takes Brandon and Steve to a Little League practice (he’s supposed to be a coach) but promptly hurts his back and winds up on bed rest. His children are not at all sympathetic. Brandon and Steve will have to coach his Little League team.
Brandon asks Dylan to help out, but Dylan doesn’t want to deal with anxious sports parents or jerky coaches. Andrea also has a story about mean coaches. Brandon promises them that he and Steve won’t be jerks. At their first practice, Steve is already a jerk. Franklin, a friend of Jim’s who runs the league, brings him and Brandon new gear.
Brenda finds the dog that followed her messing with the Walshes’ garbage. She threatens to call the pound, but the dog guilts her into changing her mind and even getting him something to eat. Brandon tries to make a kid run a lap for talking back, but the kid doesn’t take him seriously. Also, his mom is the team mother and provides snacks, so Steve won’t stand up to her.
At dinner that night, everyone can hear the dog whimpering outside, but no one’s sure what the noise is. Jim isn’t sure why Brandon’s so critical of the league. Brenda comes clean about the dog, which she’s keeping in the garage. Jim refuses to let her keep the dog, knowing that he’ll wind up having to take care of it. (Apparently the family has a bad history with pets.)
Jim demands that Brenda take the dog to the animal shelter, announcing that he’ll do it himself when she says she won’t do it. Cindy yells at him to lie back down and tells Brandon to post fliers looking for the dog’s owner. Oh, and Brenda’s named the dog Wally. Brandon learns that Nat also coaches, though his team is parks and rec. He knows his kids aren’t good, but he enjoys coaching anyway. At practice, Steve tells Brandon that he wants to get rid of a kid who’s dead weight. Brandon’s hesitant, so Steve goes to Franklin.
Brenda, Kelly, and Donna attempt to teach Wally some tricks, but the dog won’t participate. He will, however, lick Donna’s legs. Steve gets Franklin to agree to a trade, though Brandon doesn’t want to get rid of a kid who might not want to be traded. Brandon wants to tell Franklin to stay out of it, but Steve warns him to stay on the league president’s good side. Wally won’t stop barking that night, at least until Brenda yells at him. Jim again tells Brandon to stop being so critical since Franklin is doing his best. Brenda eventually lets Wally spend the night in her room instead of the garage.
Brandon and Steve’s kids prepare for a practice game against Nat’s kids, and Brandon talks to them about good sportsmanship. Franklin asks them not to use the new equipment so it doesn’t get broken. Nat’s kids really don’t play very well, but Nat’s good at encouraging them and not being hard on them. Brandon tries to take a kid named Noah out for trash-talking, but Noah will only listen to Steve. Steve won’t bench Noah, so Brandon leaves.
Brenda tells Cindy that she’s tried to find a place for Wally, but she hasn’t had any luck. She wants to let him stay in the house. Cindy tells her she’s on her own trying to explain that to Jim. Brandon tells Jim what happened at the game, and Jim accuses him of losing his temper and leaving in the middle of the game. Brandon argues that if Jim had been the coach, he would have benched the kid, too. Jim replies that the Brandon he knows wouldn’t have made a scene. Brandon asks if Steve’s way of sucking up to the parents and letting the kids run the team is a better idea. Brandon wants to quit, but Jim asks him to keep coaching until he can return.
Brandon goes to the Peach Pit, feeling bad about Manny, the kid Noah was picking on. Nat tells him Manny’s sob story about being a foster child. Steve wants to cancel the next practice game. Nat thinks his kids just weren’t ready to play against a formal league. Brandon asks to help him coach. Back at home, Jim asks Brandon to stay on as his team’s coach. Steve’s come over to make a lineup, and he thinks he, Brandon, and Jim could create a great team. Brandon notes that Franklin’s pulling all the strings. He asks for another practice game, which Steve agrees to, since beating Nat’s team again will make the players feel great.
Brandon asks Dylan to help him run a baseball clinic for Nat’s kids. Dylan’s on board for it. Brenda tries to get David to take Wally, telling him to take the dog for a night as a trial run. David asks for a date with Kelly in exchange. “Wally, I’ll find you a new home,” Brenda says. Dylan is less than impressed with Nat’s kids and struggles to find nice things to say about them. Brandon calls Andrea to find out more about a really good ballplayer she knows of.
Brenda finds Cindy getting food ready for Wally, who’s still in the garage, but when they go to feed him, he’s gone. The Walshes search for the dog but can’t find him anywhere. Jim says he’ll actually miss Wally, since the dog’s howling put him to sleep. Brenda asks Brandon which team he’ll be sitting with at the practice game the next day. He claims that he was just trying to help Nat’s kids, though he admits that he didn’t mention it to Jim.
Brandon plans to ride to the game with Dylan, but when he sees that Jim wants to go with him, he changes his mind. At the game, they see that Nat got his kids uniforms; their team is called the Pitts, which Nat explains is because he’s from Pittsburgh. Brandon overhears his kids making fun of Manny again and gives them a lecture. Andrea arrives with her ringer, who happens to be a girl. She also happens to be better than any other kid on the field at both hitting and pitching. Steve and Franklin are both frustrated with this turn of events.
When Brandon, Jim, and Steve’s team is up 2-1, Jim overhears a kid trash-talking and tells him to stop it. Jim also wants to put the soon-to-be-traded boy in the game, noting to Steve that he’s still on their team. Franklin urges Jim to put someone’s son in, but Jim doesn’t listen. Brandon assures his team’s pitcher that there’s no pressure. Manny’s up to bat next, and Brandon calls his team together to warn them not to make fun of him when he inevitably strikes out.
Noah trash-talks Manny, and for some reason no one benches him or throws a ball at him. Manny then hits a homerun, winning the game for the Pitts. Franklin’s furious that Jim didn’t put in the kid he wanted him to. Jim thinks his team won anyway, since they’re showing good sportsmanship. Noah says it doesn’t matter that they lost, since it was a practice game, but Steve tells him it still counts.
Steve and Brandon try to comfort their player who was unable to catch Manny’s ball. Wally shows up at the park and runs straight to the non-catcher – it’s his dog, and his name’s Rupert. Brenda’s disappointed both in the loss of her dog and in his real name. But at least Brandon and Jim are happy with the events of the day.
Thoughts: The dog plotline makes me feel like I’m watching a kids’ show. If I were Shannen Doherty and saw when I got this episode’s script that most of my scenes were going to be with a dog, I would have wondered why I was being punished. Maybe that’s why she was so difficult to work with (allegedly).
The Brandon you know would never make a scene, Jim? All Brandon does is make scenes!
David looks much less nerdy in this episode. The earring needs to go, though.
Thanks for tucking your Pitts shirt into your jeans, Dylan. I really needed an example of how not to dress.