October 11, 2011
BH90210 2.10, Necessity Is a Mother: Sure I’m Sober, Sure I’m Sane
Summary: Dylan plays pool at a hall then heads home to see his mother, Iris. At school the next day, Kelly encourages him to tell his mother how he feels, but Steve says it’s pointless since parents are oblivious. Kelly notes that none of the kids in their group has normal parents (except Brandon and Brenda). Brandon assures Dylan that he’ll get used to having his mother around all the time. After Dylan leaves, Brenda says she’s worried about him; he’s been moody and keeps ditching school.
Steve, Kelly, David, and Donna are taking an introductory economics class, and Donna happens to have the best portfolio. Steve suggests that they invest real money. David isn’t interested, since his dad lost a ton of money in the stock market a few years ago, and Kelly doesn’t want to take the risk. Donna decides that since she’s good at it in class, she’ll be good at it in reality. Brenda tries to get Dylan to talk about his mother, but he won’t. When he takes her home, he sees his mom’s car in the Walshes’ driveway.
Iris does something new-agey with Cindy, then tells Brenda that she read her astrological chart. Cindy thinks she and Iris have a lot in common since they both grew up in the ’60s. She tells Brenda that Dylan and Iris are staying for dinner, which is news to Dylan. Donna closes her bank account against Kelly’s advice. Kelly also makes the mistake of calling her stupid. Donna winds up withdrawing a little over $2,000, including 14 cents. Kelly asks for the 14 cents since that’s all Donna will have left when she’s done.
Dylan can’t hide his animosity toward Iris as she tells the Walshes about her life. She claims that Dylan was “mellowed” when he visited her in Hawaii; he says he was bored. He gets fed up with the conversation and leaves. Brenda follows and tells him Iris is just trying to be a mother. She reminds him that when they went camping, he complained that she didn’t care enough. Dylan says there’s nothing he can do about Iris being around.
After the McKays leave (Iris calling Brenda “a magical young lady”), the Walshes talk about how much they like Iris. Brenda’s the exception since she’s driving Dylan crazy. At the McKays’, Iris tells Dylan that Brenda has “an extremely negative aura.” She can’t believe Brenda and Cindy are related since they’re so different. Iris continues that Dylan and Brenda are wrong for each other since their astrological signs don’t match up. Dylan tells her that his relationship with Brenda is none of her business.
Dylan goes back to the pool hall and learns that a guy named Bobby is looking for him, wanting to play against him. He also gets a beer (the bartender knows his ID is fake and doesn’t care). At school the next day, Brenda tells Brandon and Andrea that Dylan’s not at school for the third time that week. Brandon tells her that Iris is his problem to deal with. (What a nice friend.) He thinks Iris is just flaky, but Brenda tells him that she took Cindy to a “mind gym.” Apparently this is a place for people to have acid trips without taking acid.
Brenda meets up with Dylan at the Peach Pit, where Nat asks Brandon what’s going on with him. Dylan assures Brenda that he’ll be at school the next day. She invites him over to study. Iris asks Cindy about having kids who actually talk to her, since Dylan’s so closed off. She notes that Cindy probably knows Dylan better than she does. She appreciates having Cindy as a friend, especially since she thought people would treat her as a pariah for leaving her son. Iris knows she can’t change the past, but she wants to do something about the future.
Donna and Steve’s investing is going well, and they tell Nat about the money they’ve made. She’s not that excited about it. Dylan goes back to the pool hall and finally meets up with Bobby for an expensive evening of pool. Cindy orders in spicy Pakistani food for the Walshes, having been inspired by Iris. Brenda complains that Iris is too hard on Dylan, but Cindy says she’s just trying to be a good mother. Brenda worries that Dylan will eventually snap if Iris doesn’t back off.
Dylan wipes the floor with Bobby at the pool hall, then goes to the Walshes’. Brenda can immediately tell that he’s been drinking. He tries to get more booze from the Walshes’ liquor cabinet but Brenda kicks him out. Dylan snarks that he thought he could count on her. Brenda tells Brandon what just happened, and he finally gets how bad things have gotten for Dylan. He spills that Dylan also had some drinks on the camping trip. Brenda blames Iris for Dylan’s relapse, but Brandon doesn’t think it’s that simple. He adds that Iris isn’t forcing Dylan to drink.
In their econ class, Donna tries to convince Steve that they need to sell their stocks. She thinks he’s being greedy. Steve notes that they could get out too soon and miss out on a big jump. Donna would rather take an honest profit. Steve says his broker advised him not to sell. Dylan actually comes to school and apologizes to Brenda for his actions the last night. She and Brandon can both tell that he’s drunk. Brenda says that a mean drunk is even worse than a drunk, but Dylan doesn’t care. Brenda asks Brandon to do something.
Kelly advises Brenda to stay out of it since Dylan’s going to do what he wants to do. She thinks he needs to hit bottom. The more she tried to help her mother, the worse things got, just because Kelly was there and Jackie knew she would fix things. She tells Brenda that she can love Dylan but she can’t save him. Brandon stops Dylan from driving, offering to take him wherever he wants to go. They wind up at the pool hall, where Bobby tells Brandon that Dylan won $500 off of him the night before. Bobby’s now won it back, but Dylan doesn’t care.
Iris goes to the Walshes’, unable to find Dylan, and confides in Cindy that she thinks he’s drinking. She’s especially worried because he didn’t come home at all the night before. Cindy pretends that everyone planned to go to the movies together. When Brenda shows up, Iris realizes that no one knows where Dylan is. Brenda admits that Dylan has been drinking but Brandon took him somewhere. She blasts Iris for never being there for his son. Cindy assures Cindy that Dylan’s fine since he’s with Brandon.
Bobby decides he’s done fleecing Dylan, but Dylan doesn’t have the money he just lost. Bobby beats him up and tells him to bring him the money the next day. When he finally takes Dylan home, everyone yells at Brandon, then notices that Dylan’s been beaten up. He and Iris start fighting and he says he has no respect for her since she walked out when he was six. The Walshes all head into the kitchen so the McKays can talk. Jim tells Brenda it’s time to stop feeling sorry for Dylan since there’s only so much people can do for him. She accuses him of abandoning Dylan. Jim tells her he doesn’t want her seeing him until he’s gotten a grip on his life.
Dylan asks his mother why he should start listening to her all of a sudden. She assures him that she loves him, but he doesn’t want to listen to it, so he leaves. Iris laments to Cindy that she doesn’t know how to be a mother. Cindy replies that she’s been a mother for 16 years and is still working on it. She knows that Dylan needs Iris whether he realizes it or not. Iris understands that Dylan has no reason to forgive her for leaving him. She doesn’t deserve to be a part of his life. Brenda tells Dylan that she’s not allowed to see him until he gets his life under control. He promises her that things will work out.
Steve confronts Donna at school, showing her that the company she chose for their investments is tanking. She literally says, “I told you so.” Oh, and she sold the day before, so she’s made money, and she doesn’t want Kelly or Steve to ever call her stupid again. They decide they should get her to pick another stock for them.
At the McKays’, Iris tells Dylan that she knows she can’t make up for the years they’ve missed together. She’s there for him, but she knows he doesn’t need a full-time mom, which is fine since she doesn’t know how to be one. Cindy told her that he takes pretty good care of himself. Dylan admits that he didn’t give her a chance. Iris announces that she’s going back to Hawaii. She admits that she gave up when he was a kid by taking the money Jack offered her to leave his life. She never spent any of the money, and now she wants to give it to Dylan. Dylan doesn’t want it, but Iris tells him Jim is putting it in a trust for him.
Iris says goodbye to the Walshes, asking them to look after Dylan. Brenda apologizes for her harshness, and the two agree that the one thing they have in common is their love for Dylan. Dylan tells Brandon he’s going to become emancipated, which is probably a very, very bad idea, but whatever. Then Brandon takes Dylan to an AA meeting, as Dylan did for him in “B.Y.O.B.”
Thoughts: The recap title comes from the Tracy Bonham song “Mother Mother.” So I used a ’90s song about someone’s mother with lyrics about being sober. I’m kind of weirdly proud of myself.
As naggy as Brenda comes off in this episode, at least she cares before someone tells her to, BRANDON.
Yes, Iris, give the messed-up teenager with no self-control a ton of money. That’s brilliant parenting.