August 19, 2012

BH90210 4.11, Take Back the Night: Steve May Be Bad, But He’s Not That Bad

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:27 pm by Jenn

This is the only time you’ll see Steve surrounded by women and unhappy about it

Thoughts: David does his radio show from the student union, where CU students are being educated on animal mating rituals, which is somehow connected to the campus Take Back the Night program. Lucinda tells the students that they’ll be looking at the differences between men and women to get to the heart of the battle of the sexes. Brandon stands in the back with Professor Randall, who reminds him about dinner with him, Lucinda, and D’Shawn that night.

Sears gives Steve a bunch of phone messages from Laura, who Steve is still trying to avoid. She calls again while they’re talking about her, and Steve has to talk to her. Brenda worries about a poetry exam since she doesn’t know anything about romantic poetry. Dylan offers to help her study. Steve reluctantly meets Laura at the Peach Pit and tells her he has a girlfriend. Laura immediately gets the crazy eyes. She’s upset that he pressured her into having sex with him, then dumped her.

Dylan has dinner with the Walshes before he and Brenda get down to studying. Brandon passes through on his way to Randall’s, making it clear he doesn’t want to go. Brenda says that she heard Lucinda gave a great talk for Take Back the Night. Brandon remarks that courtship rituals are one of her specialties. (Heh.) Dylan grumbles that men weren’t allowed to take part in Take Back the Night activities until just last year. Brandon encourages him to go to the next one since there will be a lot of hot women there.

Celeste brings Steve a new jacket at the KEG house, then goes off with Kelly to talk about their men. Sears brags to Steve and some other brothers that he’s pretty sure Kelly’s going to have sex with him really soon. Steve asks if Kelly knows about Sears’ other bed buddies. Then he blasts his brothers for making him mess with Laura’s feelings. He warns that their relationships aren’t a game and people can get hurt.

At the Randalls’, Brandon and Lucinda manage to flirt without Randall catching on. D’Shawn remarks that as a tutor, “Brandon is hard.” Lucinda replies, “So I’ve noticed.” (Dirty!) She and Brandon clear the table and have a whispered conversation in the kitchen about how she totally wasn’t flirting with him. He offers to make things up to her, so she asks if he’s ever had sex on a kitchen table. (This woman needs help, fast.)

Speaking of doing it, Kelly and Sears are about to, or at least he thinks they are. She tells him she’s not ready and starts to leave. Sears blasts her for her “Snow White act,” then makes it clear that he’s only with her because of her reputation as a slut. Kelly can’t believe she was falling for him. She winds up going to Dylan’s and telling him what happened, though she doesn’t want him to do anything to Sears. She thinks she’s stronger than she was three years ago, possibly because Dylan was the first guy to ever take her seriously. She regrets that they’ve drifted apart.

On campus the next day, Dylan finds Sears speaking French to a girl and calls him out for the way he treated Kelly. Sears thinks Kelly will change her mind about him, since girls always do. Dylan warns him to leave her alone. Steve tries to tell Kelly that Sears is a “state reptile,” but she assures him she already knows. She’s pleased that Steve’s becoming a better person, or something.

The girls, plus Laura, head to a seminar on date rape (led by Leslie and Angela). Angela asks who’s been burglarized, who’s been held up at gunpoint, and who’s been date-raped. Kelly admits to the last one. Angela notes that date rape is different from the other crimes because the victim isn’t always sure that’s what happened. Elsewhere, Lucinda and Brandon flirt while he lifts weights. She still wants them to get together, but he’s worried about Randall finding out. D’Shawn spots them together and proves to be smarter than Randall.

The girls at the Take Back the Night workshop split into groups, and Donna tells hers about David pressuring her to have sex. Kelly tells her group about her near-rape on Halloween. Andrea thinks people are painting women as passive in the situation. If she gets drunk and runs someone down, it’s her fault, but if she gets drunk and has sex with a guy, then regrets it, it might be considered the guy’s fault. She and Dan argue about her position on the issue.

Laura asks Kelly some questions about Halloween, and Kelly starts to suspect that she needs to talk about her own experience. Meanwhile, Brenda and Dylan’s class discusses “To His Coy Mistress”; she thinks it could be construed as date rape but Dylan thinks it’s just indicative of women who date awesome guys, then dump them for frat guys. (Um, hypothetically speaking, of course.) Laura tells Kelly she was raped but doesn’t think anyone will believe her. Kelly urges her to name the rapist at a rally that night so she can warn everyone to stay away from him.

Brandon studies with D’Shawn, who mentions that he saw him with Lucinda at the gym. He thinks the two of them are “doing the sweet thing.” Brandon tries to deny that anything’s going on, telling D’Shawn to focus on his midterm. D’Shawn isn’t worried – Brandon will pass it for him. Kelly takes Laura to talk to Angela and Leslie, and they get her to admit that her rapist is from KEG house. He gave her some vodka, they made out, and he started undressing her, then pushed her onto the bed. The others want Laura to call him out at the rally.

Kelly and Laura leave the meeting, and Kelly says that she knows Laura was talking about Sears. Laura says she doesn’t even know Sears – Steve was the one who raped her. Kelly thinks she’s confused since there’s no way Steve would do something like that. Laura says she’s as bad as anyone else who wouldn’t believe Laura.

The next day, Kelly confronts Steve about Laura’s accusations. His story is different: Laura came on to him and provided the condom. He’s adamant that “she was into it.” Kelly warns that Laura’s going to name him at the rally, and people will believe her. Steve is relieved that Kelly believes his side of the story, but he knows it’s not enough. He’ll probably get kicked out of KEG, and Celeste is going to leave him.

David wants Donna to broadcast from the rally by herself since he’s sick of hearing about rape. He’s already dealing with enough real-life issues thanks to Jackie and Mel’s custody battle. Also, Donna won’t sleep with him, so he’s cranky enough as it is. Steve finds Laura on campus and confronts her for accusing him of rape because he dumped her. He points out that if their night together was so horrific, she wouldn’t have agreed to meet him at the Peach Pit.

Brenda and Dylan chat before their poetry midterm, and she admits that he was right about his interpretation of “To His Coy Mistress.” Brenda learns that Kelly and Sears are over; she tells Dylan to take a chance and go after her again. She admits that if he’d come back to her after he left her for Kelly, she would’ve taken him back. At the Peach Pit, Steve tells Celeste everything, including his fling with Laura. She says he’s always made her feel like she wasn’t who he wanted to be with. They’re done.

Steve goes to the Walshes’ to get some sympathy from Brandon, who says he did the right thing by coming clean to Celeste. He plans to go to the rally, then start looking for another college. Brandon goes to D’Shawn’s room to announce that he won’t be taking his midterm for him. D’Shawn says straight out that if he doesn’t, he’ll tell Randall about Brandon and Lucinda. Both guys refuse to budge, even after D’Shawn makes more threats.

Steve and Brandon join the rally, which David admits is surprisingly moving. Sears and some other KEG members are there, and Dylan says he still wants to hit the guy. Brenda tells him that by the end of the night, he might not be the only one. Andrea and Dan make up, bringing their total screen time in this episode to a full 60 seconds. Steve looks for Kelly, who he thought would stand with hi. Instead, she’s with Laura and Leslie.

Angela tries to bring Laura up to the stage. Instead, Kelly goes up and talks about her own experience. She says that she knows no matter what she did or what she was wearing, it wasn’t her fault. Steve thinks she’s siding with Laura. Kelly continues that there have also been times when she slept with a guy and regretted it later, but if she didn’t stop the guy, it wasn’t rape. She praises Steve for saving her on Halloween, saying that if more guys were like them, they wouldn’t have to have Take Back the Night rallies.

Laura gets upset and leaves before Angela can call her to the stage again. Steve follows Laura outside, thanking her for not naming him. He apologizes for leading Laura on and dropping her the day after they slept together. Laura says she didn’t have a choice about not naming him – she didn’t say yes, but she also didn’t say no. After the rally, everyone eats pie, and Brenda and Dylan watch as Sears bugs Kelly about a second chance. Dylan grabs a cream pie and decks Sears with it.

Brandon finds Lucinda in the gym the next day and tells her that D’Shawn knows about them. She tells him to take the test. Brandon says no, so she calls him naïve. He needs to stop being childish and “start playing [his] part.” Lucinda tries to offer some advice, but Brandon doesn’t want to hear it. Instead, he’s going to go camping (or at least that’s what he wants Brenda to tell their parents). But first, he’s going to find a picture of Emily Valentine in his drawer and moon over it. Oh, joy.

Thoughts: I don’t get why Steve slept with Laura in the first place. That whole plot made no sense. The brothers wanted him to go on a date with her; Steve chose to sleep with her. Then he was an idiot for trying to keep it from Celeste. So yeah, he’s not as bad as a rapist, but he’s not that great either.

Also, Steve, maybe the time to tell Kelly that Sears is a jerk was before you thought she might sleep with him, not after.

Hey, David, you do’t get to agree to date someone who wants to practice abstinence, then whine that you’re not getting any.

Andrea makes an important point, so of course they don’t let her elaborate on it or talk about it for more than a minute.

I appreciate Kelly crediting Steve with saving her from the cowboy rapist, but Dylan saved her, too. Just saying.

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1 Comment »

  1. TGBX said,

    I was surprised how even-handed the episode was considering:
    a) the present-day culture of believing false accusations and lack of due process (e.g. Emma Sulkowicz, aka “Mattress Girl” who was factually proven to be a liar, in spite of the fact the man she falsely accused was forbidden from preventing any evidence — she was found out and he was cleared only because her obsession over him became apparent when she presented her own texts which demonstrated she continued to message him after the supposed assault occurred); and
    b) the outright wrong statistics – the oft-quoted “1 in 4” (or sometimes “1 in 5”, they can never make up their minds) includes uninvited kisses, and excludes male victims; real college sexual assault statistics place the incidences at less than the general population: 0.61% (that is 6.1 per 1000 students) in colleges versus 0.76% (that is, 7.6 per 1000 people) in the general non-college population, both according to DOJ statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5176), and even the researchers who produced that “1-in-single-digit-integer” statistic, Christopher Krebs and Christine Lindquist, have debunked it (http://time.com/3633903/campus-rape-1-in-5-sexual-assault-setting-record-straight/). Fortunately, the rabid organiser spouting these non-facts in the show was drowned out by the normal character dialogue.
    In 1993, we knew the difference between rape and regret. This appears to no longer be the case with “regret rape” being legitimised by feminists and not dismissed by colleges, to the detriment of innocent men. Make no mistake, though, Steve Sanders was unbelievably lucky. In the real world, any whiff of a rape accusation, whether maliciously falsely accusing him or honestly feeling hard done by and used, and his life would have been ruined for no reason.
    And with this backdrop of rape panic, even in 1993, we have Lucinda making inappropriate and unwanted advances on Brandon – to the point where he literally has to get out of town. This is where the hoots of how lucky men are to garner the attention of a woman, and should be grateful.
    Andrea encountered her first White Knight. A Feminist Man who holds women up as flawless, helpless victims of men with no agency of their own, and views his own gender with derision and scorn because he’s one of the Better Ones. Because feminism taught him that. Andrea was completely right, however feminism needs to speak over the top of individuals with their own thoughts and silence and “correct” them based on feminist dogma. Even when that feminist voice is a man, and the individual with their own thoughts is a woman. Odd as it may sound, he was “femsplaining” to her. It’s a classic that happens a lot.


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