January 4, 2015
BH90210 8.24, The Nature of Nurture: Beware Gay People and Their Horrific Agenda to Be Parents and Give Your Child a Loving Home
Summary: Donna meets Noah at the Peach Pit, where she opts for caffeine instead of the pills she’s no longer taking. She’s frustrated that she can’t find another job. Also frustrated: Kelly, who hasn’t yet been approved as a foster mother for Leanne’s baby. Instead, the baby has been placed with a couple who have named him Raphael. Kelly’s disappointed that the foster parents can apply for custody and eventually adopt Raphael. She’s also disappointed that they’re gay. Brandon wants to write about them, of course. Kelly’s unsure of their ability to raise a child.
Brandon gets to work right away, discussing with Janet how weird it is that people consider it controversial for gay couples to adopt. (It’s no less controversial 17 years in the future, guys.) Brandon notices that Steve is taking some cost-cutting measures. Steve admits that without a big advertiser, they may not be able to keep publishing. He’d like to publish cigarette ads. Brandon outright refuses to advertise a product that kills people.
Valerie and David go to the airport to pick up Abby, who’s decided to visit in the wake of Valerie’s recent trauma. Val is really, really not happy to see her mother. Noah encourages Donna to make her own clothes since she can’t find a designer to make them for her. He’s willing to cover all the costs, too. Donna’s hesitant but can’t really say no to a fully funded chance to make her dreams come true.
Kelly calls the social worker to complain about the gay couple, Kyle and Gene, being allowed to take care of a child. The social worker assures her that they went through all the same verifications as straight couples, and were cleared to be caregivers. The phone call ends when Bill suddenly shows up. He was let out of prison early for good behavior, and wants to start working on his relationship with Kelly. She’s eager to do the same.
Steve goes out with Jill, having to make up stuff about the people Ted wrote her about. (Hilariously, he says that he and “his” brother, Sam, went hunting, which is a miracle because Sam was in a wheelchair. Jane is taking the news well, and Jill hopes she and Sam can patch things up, because “it was a crime of passion.” I want to meet Ted’s family!) Steve has to scramble to keep Jill from finding out his real name from his credit card.
David meets his new neighbor, who likes to play his music loud. David recognizes him as Woody Sloan, but Woody doesn’t appreciate being recognized. Brandon learns that Steve went behind his back to work on a deal for cigarette ads. He puts a halt to the deal, then asks Kelly if she thinks he should give in to save the Beverly Beat. She thinks he should stand up for what he believes. Brandon segues to her disagreement with the social worker, admitting that he doesn’t think Kelly should get Raphael.
Donna gets right to work on making her clothes, telling Noah that they should set some ground rules so working together doesn’t get complicated. If they disagree on something, it won’t get done. She’d also like his opinion on her designs. Noah’s worried that this is too much for Donna to handle while she’s recovering from taking the pills. She assures him that everything is awesome and this is a great arrangement and there will be rainbows and puppies in their future.
Valerie continues to resist connecting with Abby, which David thinks is ridiculous. They listen to Woody play, and David tells Val that ten years ago, he was a Grammy winner with a huge contract. He’s not sure where things went wrong. Valerie wonders why Woody still plays when David doesn’t. David’s sure that Woody isn’t playing just for the joy of it. He blasts Valerie for acting like there’s something he needs to get over.
Steve confronts Brandon for halting the ad deal, which keeps them in financial trouble. Brandon has a hard time taking Steve seriously when he’s currently lying to his girlfriend. Steve promises that he’s going to tell Jill the truth. Brandon doesn’t think it matters if he’s already sleeping with her. There’s more fighting across town when Bill shows up at the After Dark. Val yells at him a little, then introduces him to Abby. The two parents are immediately taken with each other.
Jill invites Steve to her hotel room, where she wants to enact the fantasies he once told her about in a letter. Steve quickly gets uncomfortable when Jill keeps saying Ted’s name. He ducks out before there’s any sex. Brandon asks Kelly what she thought of his article; she didn’t like it since he sided with Kyle and Gene. She doesn’t like that Raphael will be raised without a mother. Brandon wonders if she would feel the same about the arrangement if Kyle and Gene were lesbians. Just as they’re sort of patching things up, Leanne arrives and begs Kelly to help her get her son back.
After a day of failed pitches to stores, Donna asks Nat to take a look at her designs and state his opinions. He has no idea what to say, which makes sense, because he’s not in fashion. (Also, she used spring colors and he’s an autumn.) Donna thinks this proves that she’s never going to be a successful designer. Noah thinks their last meeting will go well. He tries to get Donna to take her mind off of work, but that fails.
Kelly takes Leanne to meet with the social worker; she’s happy that Leanne wants the baby back, because one ill-equipped teenage mother trumps two stable, nurturing, mature fathers. Leanne is even less of a fan of gay parents than Kelly, and Kelly ends up defending Kyle and Gene a little. Apparently Leanne found out about the arrangement from Brandon’s article. She objects to her son (who she’s named Eric) being “raised gay.” Kelly says that people are born gay, not raised that way. She also realizes that someone who left her baby on a doorstep is probably not the best judge of what’s right for him.
Steve talks about the Jill situation with Janet, who’s already figured out that he got uncomfortable about which guy Jill wants to be with. Brandon confronts Steve about the ads, and Steve points out that they both have the financial problem, not just him. He knows that Brandon will move on if the Beverly Beat closes, while Steve will struggle to find something else. Brandon isn’t making as big a deal out of the situation as Steve thinks he should be.
The next time Woody plays his guitar, David starts playing his keyboard, and the guys have an impromptu jam session. Meanwhile, Steve goes to tell Jill who he is – or, more accurately, who he isn’t. She’s disturbed that he read her intimate letters to someone else. Steve thinks they could have a great relationship, but Jill disagrees. Noah secretly makes arrangements with a boutique to pay for anything necessary if the boutique will sell Donna’s designs.
David goes to the Walshes’ to happily tell Valerie that he started playing music again. Her good mood over the news is quickly ruined when she learns that Abby and Bill are going on a date. Kyle’s upset to learn that Leanne is back in the picture and can take Raphael/Eric back. Brandon apologizes for the fact that his article caused the upheaval. Kyle and Gene are unwilling to fight Leanne since they might ultimately have to give the baby up anyway, and it would be even more painful after they’ve raised him for a few years.
At some later point, Brandon’s up for some award, and Steve’s not happy for him. Kelly admits that she doesn’t think Leanne will be a better parent than Kyle and Gene…and she doesn’t think she would be better either. She also didn’t object to Gene and Kyle as parents because they’re gay – she objected because she wanted the baby for herself. Abby and Bill show up to announce that they’re dating. Kelly’s as unhappy about the relationship as Valerie is.
Noah’s deal with the boutique is a success, and Donna has no idea how it came about. I’m sure there’s no way this will come back to bite anyone. Kelly goes to Leanne’s to see how things are going, but Leanne isn’t happy to see her. Uh, she got you your kid back, girlie. Show some gratitude. Kelly tells her that Kyle and Gene would have been great parents. Now Leanne is stuck with a baby she doesn’t know how to take care of, and no help from her mother. She insists that she loves the baby, but Kelly thinks she made the wrong decision.
Brandon doesn’t win the award, and he and Steve aren’t talking, and Kelly’s late arriving, so the Beverly Beat‘s table at the ceremony is pretty dreary. Then Steve is called up to presents a surprise award to Brandon. He says he tried to explain to Brandon what a difference his stories make, but Brandon wouldn’t listen. (Whatever. Brandon loves hearing that stuff about himself.) Brandon tells Steve that they’ll be publishing their paper far into the future, which I guess means they’ll be running cigarette ads.
David visits Woody, who’s grateful for their jam session since it helped him finish a song he was working on. He wants to know what happened to David after his sudden (and brief) success. Woody plans to just play their song for the enjoyment of music, not to gain fame or fortune. David uses it to get Valerie to calm down and stop freaking out about how Abby and Bill are going away together for the weekend.
Steve goes back to Jill, arguing that they’re meant to be together. He wants her to be happy, and he’s figured out the way to do it: He’s going to find Ted so he and Jill can be together. Kyle and Gene show up at the Walshes’ with Raphael, having been asked to foster a child they didn’t even know was him. Kelly and Brandon are happy for them.
Thoughts: I was going to say, I didn’t buy Kelly being homophobic. I appreciate the show trying to tackle a subject like this, but it didn’t fit that Kelly would have anything against a gay couple.
If this series took place ten years later, Donna could go on Project Runway.
Nooooo, Noah! You were doing so well as a good guy!
I can’t believe I’m on Valerie’s side about anything. Abby’s a jerk for going out with someone she knows her daughter has problems with. (Eh, Abby’s a jerk in general.)