June 10, 2014

SVU #18, Billie’s Secret: Sorry You Have to Think About Steven’s Sex Life Now

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 8:09 pm by Jenn

Billie wins the award for most '90s outfit in the series

Billie wins the award for most ’90s outfit in the series

Summary: Billie (remember her?) has started playing the guitar, and has proven to be very talented. She enjoys it so much that she’s considering changing her major to music. This means ditching the path she’d set for herself to go to law school. Billie’s worried about how Steven will react to the idea, since he basically has their future all planned out: law school, then a practice together, then a family. In fact, Steven is already a little annoyed with Billie’s new hobby, not to mention her new musician friend Chas; he thinks they like each other. You know, like that.

Despite Steven’s lack of support, Billie decides to enter a competition; the prize is a semester in Spain, studying with a famous guitarist. When Steven hears about this, he flips out: If she’s going to Spain, that must mean they’re breaking up. But then things take a twist, because suddenly Billie’s making decisions for two. That’s right, folks: Steven slipped one past the goalie. Billie’s pregnant.

A girl named Amy (not Sutton) contacts Elizabeth wanting her to investigate a local club, Kitty’s. Amy applied for a job waitressing there, but thinks she was rejected because she doesn’t have a big enough chest. Elizabeth turns on the feminism and decides to go undercover, stuffing her bra and dialing up the charm. She doesn’t tell anyone about her “job,” though Mike finds out, since he’s a patron, but he promises to keep his mouth shut.

Tom is a jerk through this story – he doesn’t like how much time Elizabeth spends with Jessica and her friends, and doesn’t seem to realize that getting upset about that sort of thing is just a few steps removed from being controlling and abusive. Elizabeth decides to tell Tom about her job, but then she catches him checking out a girl with bigger breasts than hers and decides he’s a jerk. He tries to make things up to her, but sees her with her padded bra and thinks she got implants. Tom is pretty dim, eh?

Tom finally calms down about Elizabeth, realizing that he can just spend their time apart hanging out with his own friends. It seriously took him 20 years to figure that out? But when he, Danny, and some others go out for a guys’ night, they end up at Kitty’s, and Tom discovers just where Elizabeth has been spending her time. Then Liz makes a scene and reveals that she’s been stuffing her bra. Guess what? So have a bunch of the other waitresses. Womp womp. There’s a stupid, rushed ending to the plot, but everything works out for everyone (except the dumb club).

Now that she’s single again, Jessica feels like she needs something to make her life meaningful. Maybe focus on your schoolwork? No? Okay. She decides to get a job at Taylor’s Department Store, because Jessica should definitely be in a customer-focused job where she has to show patience and be kind to everyone. On her way to her interview, she runs into Mike (remember him?), who has become a little bit fun since we last encountered him. He thinks she’s crazy for wanting to work in a clothing store.

Jessica applies for the job anyway, and is quickly hired. Her mentor is one Ms. Val Tripler, who Jess gets along with well, but her supervisor is a guy named Mr. Farley who isn’t very nice. Then again, Jess isn’t great at being professional, so it’s hard not to feel sympathy for him. When Isabella, Winston, Danny, and Denise turn up to do some shopping, Mr. Farley yells at Jessica for socializing with them, though she was really waiting on them as customers. This whole thing is dumb and boring.

Jess goes over to Steven’s apartment to complain about her job, but instead hears him and Mike talking about her. Mike thinks Jess will quit or get fired rather than stick it out. Steven nicely bets against him, believing Jessica will be professional. If he loses, he has to do handyman services for Mike for two months; if Mike loses, Steven gets his car. How is that a fair bet?? Anyway, now Jessica has motivation to keep her job.

Things don’t really get better, but Jessica does get to see a different side of Mr. Farley. After she has to deal with an especially annoying customer, he tells her about how he used to have a short temper when he first started out in sales. Jess also spends more time with Val, who takes her to a fashion show. There, they run into Mike, and Jessica learns that he and Val know each other. Someone’s jealous…

Lila’s annoyed that her parents still think of her as a child, and she decides that, like Jessica, she’ll get a job. She’s so confident (or, you know, arrogant) in her abilities as a salesperson that she tells Bruce they’ll probably make her a manager by the end of the week. She doesn’t even last a day – in fact, she and Bruce cause a scene and are kicked out of the store.

Lila hightails it to Daddy, ordering him to buy Taylor’s and have Mr. Farley fired. After all, he deserves to be punished for not knowing who Lila is. George is like, “Oh, you silly little girl – here’s some money. Go buy yourself something pretty.” Bruce isn’t much better, thinking Lila should be grateful that her dad wants to take care of her, and that she’s free to do whatever she wants and not worry about money. Lila doesn’t like being thought of as spoiled and useless.

Bruce somehow gets the idea that Lila should open a donut shop. I don’t know. She turns it into a non-profit, with proceeds going to a women’s shelter, which is nice of her, but…she has no experience running a business, and couldn’t even last a day as a salesperson. This isn’t going to end well.

In the end, Jessica and Lila’s plots converge: George buys Taylor’s, and everyone at the store is laid off. This means Jessica stumbled across a loophole in Steven and Mike’s bet – she gets to leave a job she hates, but without quitting or being fired. Steven wins, which I guess means he’ll be driving his baby around in Mike’s car. Also, Val wants Jessica to go into business with her, which is about as good an idea as Lila running her own donut shop. Oh, and since the sale was a long time coming, Mr. Farley knew exactly who Lila was, and George knew exactly what was going to happen to his daughter’s job. Mean!

Thoughts: I’m surprised Jessica doesn’t want to work at Kitty’s. She’d get to look pretty and flirt with guys for tips, two of her favorite things.

Why is Billie majoring in economics if she’s going to go to law school? Also, if she has to get Steven to help her with her econ homework, maybe it’s not the best fit for her.

Mike: “Some people resent being controlled.” Hey, he learned something!

Billie’s parents “agreed that work was probably going to be a necessity for Billie, and music was a very risky career choice.” Well, I don’t think she was going to major in music with the intention of slacking off for the rest of her life.

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