September 3, 2011
BH90210 2.2, The Party Fish: Cougar Town
Summary: Brandon’s only been working at the beach club for a week and he’s already whining about how hard it is. Jim is rightfully unsympathetic. Brandon asks him to pay for half of his car costs, and Jim tells him to go to work. There, Brandon helps make a call in a racquetball game, which makes him look good to Henry. He learns that he made the call for a guy named Jerry Rattinger, a sports promoter who’s friends with Jim. Later, Brandon and Dylan ogle a waitress named Sandy, then talk about Dylan and Brenda’s breakup.
Brenda brings a coat to her drama class for a sense-memory exercise. She tells the class about getting lost in a store, then tries to recreate her emotions. Afterward, she doesn’t think she did very well. Kelly and Donna want to go to the beach, but Brenda wants to work more on the exercise. David invites himself to the beach as her replacement. Andrea guesses that Brenda’s trying to avoid possibly running into Dylan. She asks if Brandon’s asked about her. Back at the beach, Brandon and Sandy talk about The Great Gatsby and flirt.
Cindy and Jim get ready for a potential-new-member party at the beach club, and Brenda wonders if Brandon knows they’ll be there. If he does, he doesn’t care, since he’s having too much fun goofing off with Sandy. The Walshes arrive and meet up with Jerry, who wants to take Brandon under his wing. Sandy clearly doesn’t like all the goings-on. Steve invites Brandon to a grunion run, encouraging him to invite Sandy along. Brandon doesn’t think she’ll want to hang out with high school kids. Steve thinks she’s interested in Brandon, though.
After the party, Brandon asks Sandy to watch the grunion run. She tells him she’s lived in L.A. for 12 years and has never seen a grunion, so she’s not sure they even exist. Brandon calls her out on being in a bad mood. Sandy’s upset that he didn’t introduce her to his parents. Actually, she mostly just doesn’t like people from Beverly Hills at all. Brandon points out that he’s only lived there a year. He invites her to the beach again, though he makes sure Sandy won’t be uncomfortable hanging out with a bunch of teenagers.
The next morning, Brandon tells Brenda about Sandy, whose age she has yet to disclose. Brenda thinks that’s a red flag. Jim and Cindy tell their kids that they had fun at the party and like the beach, but they don’t want to join the beach club. They’d rather spend the money on their kids’ college tuition. Jim adds that he wants to keep his professional and social lives separate. “What social life?” Brenda asks. Brandon accuses Jim of being a snob.
At the club the next day, Jerry wonders why Jim hasn’t taken a summer vacation. Brandon complains a little about how uptight his father is, and Jerry sympathizes. Steve invites Brandon to another grunion run, but Brandon wants to hang out with Sandy (by which he means go for a tandem-bike ride). Brandon starts talking about Jerry, which leads Sandy to lament that she’ll never be rich. She wishes she’d met Brandon five years ago. He points out that he was in sixth grade then. Sandy decides to make out with him without actually doing the math to figure out how old he is.
Dylan sees Brandon and Sandy together, and later tells Brandon that Sandy isn’t “the right person” for him. He won’t explain while, just telling Brandon to trust him. Brandon thinks this means that Dylan slept with her. Dylan doesn’t want Brandon to get hurt, but Brandon points out that he’s not the best person to talk about not hurting people. Later, Brandon finds Sandy crying but can’t get her to tell him why. Then he gets distracted when Jerry wants to talk about his car.
At home, Brandon explains to Jim that Jerry wants to give him an advance on his car and hire him part-time at his company. Jim thinks Jerry has ulterior motives. Brandon thinks Jerry just wants a son. Jim agrees, saying he didn’t think Jerry would go after someone else’s son. The next day, Brandon complains to Brenda about Jim’s behavior; he thinks Jim is still punishing him for wrecking his car. Brenda’s on Jim’s side, not understanding why someone wants to give Brandon money for nothing.
Brandon wants to talk to Jim again, but Jim’s already left for work. Brandon complains that Jim always tells him not to work too hard, then works hard himself. At the club, Jerry tells Brandon that he’s old enough to make his own decision. Brandon chooses the car. He tries to talk to Sandy again, but she just wants to whine about her life, even though she claims she doesn’t want to share her feelings with a Beverly Hills teenager.
Jim finds Brenda working on her sense-memory exercise, which has her crying uncontrollably instead of reliving the experience. Jim reveals that she wasn’t upset until later in the day; at first, she was having fun playing on the escalator. At the club, Brandon tells Steve that his relationship with Sandy is “like the grunion: No one knows if it really exists.” Jerry wants Brandon to test-drive a BMW he’s planning to let him borrow for the rest of the summer. Oh, and also pick up Jerry’s drunk wife and drive her home. Mrs. Rattinger tells Brandon that Jerry only had him drive her home so he can spend time with his mistress: Sandy.
Back at the club, Brandon catches a dolled-up Sandy going to meet Jerry and blasts her for…I don’t know, being annoying? Sandy tells him not to judge her since his parents still pay his bills. (What bills? He’s 16.) Brandon shoots back that she has a sugar daddy, so maybe she should keep her mouth shut. Jerry overhears this, which leads me to believe that Brandon will no longer be driving a BMW.
At home, Jim admits to Brandon that they’ve been having money problems since he turned down his promotion. However, Brandon shouldn’t have to suffer because of that. Brandon tells him he’s seen enough of “how the other half lives” and doesn’t want to be a part of it. Jim encourages him to be his own man; “everything else will fall into place.” At the club the next day, Brandon tells Jerry he’s going to honor his commitments, but he doesn’t want to hear any more trash-talk about his father. Jerry says he could have taught Brandon something after their run-in last night. Brandon blasts him for driving Sandy crazy, but Jerry doesn’t care.
Henry summons Brandon, who’s worried that he’s going to be fired. Henry admits that Jerry asked him to let Brandon go, but he’s not going to listen. Also, Sandy quit. “You think she’s got troubles? You ever watch The Young and the Restless?” Henry asks. Then he gives Brandon a quick lesson. In class, Brenda tells her lost-while-shopping story, turning it into a funny story. Her sense memory is actually about having fun and being herself. She’s realized that there’s no reason she shouldn’t do that today, and there’s no reason she shouldn’t go to the beach.
Jerry asks Brandon to make another racquetball call, but this time Brandon gets in a little personal dig. He finds Sandy packing up to leave town, and she tells him Jerry’s been telling her he’ll leave his wife for her for two years. Spending time with Brandon has helped her realize how jaded he is. Then, interestingly, Sandy tells him to say goodbye to Dylan for her. Brandon finds Dylan and they make up, then talk about Sandy. Dylan threatens to punch Brandon if he ever asks if Dylan’s slept with a girl he likes again.
The whole gang meets up on the beach and learns that the girl Steve wanted to get back together with likes David. (Wah wah waaaaaaaaaah.) That night everyone gets together for the grunion run. Brenda tells Dylan it’s nice to hang out with him even if they’re not together. He hopes they can become friends again. Then the grunion show up and everyone gets way too excited.
Thoughts: Easily one of the most boring episodes so far.
The word “grunion” always makes me think of Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.
Sandy’s lived in L.A. for 12 years – so, since she was 30? Seriously, she’s old enough to be Brandon’s mother. (Okay, so the actress was only 33 at the time, but 33-16=17, so yeah, she’s old enough to be his mother.)
So…Dylan totally slept with Sandy, right? (Don’t hit me, Dylan.)