June 7, 2016

SVU #57, Who Knew?: When You Live With Elizabeth, You’re No Longer Entitled to Privacy

Posted in books tagged , , , at 4:29 pm by Jenn

Obviously the person designing the covers had just given up by this point

Obviously the person designing the covers had just given up by this point

Summary: Sam has successfully stayed away from the duplex for a few days, still not wanting to face Elizabeth after their kiss. Elizabeth is desperate to talk to him, even falling asleep on his bed while waiting for him to come home. You’d think she’d take the hint, but no. Sam runs out of people to crash with and starts driving around town, looking for a hotel. There’s a big football game, so a ton of people are in town, and the only hotel with a vacancy is the super-fancy Sweet Valley Resort Hotel. Sam would rather not stay there, though…because his family owns it. We’ve known for a while that Sam is rich (but won’t spend his family’s money), and now we know how they got that way.

Out of options, Sam checks into the hotel, landing the owner’s suite. Due to some sort of tax issue, the hotel is actually in his name, so he’s technically the owner. And yet he lives in a duplex and shares a bathroom with three other people. Sam, what’s wrong with you? This is like Todd wanting to pay his own rent even though he has a bank account full of money from his parents. Boys, you are in college! College students are poor! Take advantage of…you know, not being poor!

Sam invites his friend Anna over, she of the plan to make Elizabeth jealous by making her think Sam had a one-night stand. Anna tells Sam that he’s clearly in love with Elizabeth and needs to let her know. Meanwhile, Liz is still obsessed with the fact that Sam’s been MIA, and is so distracted that she can’t have a normal phone conversation with Nina about her best friend’s problems.

Elizabeth goes looking for Sam, because SHE IS A STALKER, and happens to drive past his car outside the hotel. She goes in to ask if he’s there and learns that he spent the night in the owner’s suite because he’s…well, the owner. She goes up to see him, finds out that Anna spent the night, and flips out. Sam thinks his problems are solved – Elizabeth won’t want him anymore, so he doesn’t have to worry about things like expressing his feelings or becoming vulnerable while actually spending time with the woman he’s in love with. Anna thinks he’s nuts. Anna’s right. I would like to swap Elizabeth out for her, please, and finish out this series in peace. (Only three books left!)

So now Elizabeth is all mopey over Sam a) not telling anyone his family’s rich and b) hooking up with Anna again. She tries to vent to Nina, but that doesn’t work out, since Nina’s mad about Elizabeth not listening to her problems earlier. I really wish that Nina had enough of a backbone to cut ties with Liz and seek out friends who are there for her when she needs them and help her when she needs advice. Elizabeth doesn’t even care that much that she’s blowing off her supposed best friend.

Sam finally returns to the duplex, having decided he needs to be upfront with everyone, especially Elizabeth. Neil’s ticked that Sam lied to everyone, which…whatever, it’s not like he killed someone and covered it up. I mean, I think the whole thing’s dumb, but Neil seems like the kind of person who would be pretty forgiving in this kind of situation. Anyway, Sam tries to talk to Elizabeth, but after all those days of wishing he’d come home, she now wishes they’d never met.

Sam makes up with Anna by buying her flowers, then tries the same tactic with Liz. Liz happens to be off with Nina, making up with her instead of getting tossed in a Dumpster like she deserves. When Elizabeth gets home, she verbally tosses Sam in a Dumpster, making him change his mind about trying to make things work between them. I honestly don’t see what either of them sees in the other, and I couldn’t care less about this relationship.

The problems Nina’s been trying to discuss with Elizabeth have to do with Josh, the guy she’s recently started dating. She thinks he’s eager to have sex, and that her desire to take things slowly is turning him off. He’s really hot and cold with her, and eventually she decides to just go ahead and sleep with him, I guess so she doesn’t lose him. The next morning, Nina realizes she made a mistake, but she still likes Josh and wants to date him. She’s convinced herself that this is a solid relationship, or will at least become a solid relationship over time.

Clearly, Josh doesn’t agree. A friend of his, Dan, asks Nina out, confusing her since she thought everyone knew that she and Josh were a couple. Dan tells her that Josh okayed a date between them, claiming that they have an open relationship and are free to date other people. I’ve never felt sorrier for poor, naïve Nina. Nina talks things out with Elizabeth once they’re friends again, and Liz helps her see that she’s not at fault for the destruction of the relationship. I only wish we’d gotten a scene where Nina told Josh off, preferably in public, in front of someone he was trying to pick up.

The Jessica/Neil/possibly-gay-Jason triangle is still in play, with Jess and Neil both still insisting that he or she is the object of Jason’s affection. Neil’s upset with Jessica because he saw Jason first, but Jess claims she’s just trying to prove that Jason likes girls and doesn’t want to date Neil. Okay, but there are better ways of going about this. Both of them continue hanging out with Jason, and it’s not easy to tell which way Jason leans.

Jessica ultimately decides that she’s going to take herself out of the equation and let Neil have Jason, if that’s what Jason wants. This may be the most mature Jessica has ever done/ever will do. I’m actually shocked that she was worried enough about her friendship with Neil to let him win. But I’m also not shocked that things don’t turn out the way she’d planned: When she goes to see Jason to “break up” with him (keep in mind that they’re not officially dating), they end up kissing. And you’re probably not surprised to hear that Neil sees them.

For some friends, this could spell the end of the friendship, but Jessica’s still on her maturity kick, and Neil is already more of a grown-up than most people in this series, so they make up without much further drama. They’ve decided separately to bow out of the love triangle, valuing their friendship more than a guy neither is even sure likes one of them.

Jason asks them to meet him, and the three finally talk about the weird situation. Jason reveals that he’s struggling with his sexuality – he thinks he’s gay, and was basically seeing Jess to figure out if he likes girls at all. He’s realized that he does like guys, or at least he likes Neil, but because he’s just now figured that out about himself, he’s not ready to be in a relationship. So all around, these three handled things pretty well. Too bad they didn’t start getting smart until after things had blown up. Fortunately, Neil gets over it pretty quickly, realizing that he still has Jessica to pal around with. Poor guy. Make some new friends! There’s more to life than being a supporting character in the never-ending drama that is the Wakefield twins’ lives!

Thoughts: Josh’s version of sweet talk: “Oh, you smell so nice. Like a field of wildflowers! It’s making me dizzy. Your hand is so smooth and small. You feel so good to me.” Ugh.

“Nina had an important role to play, but everyone knew that Elizabeth was the star.” Hey, Nina figured out what Enid never did!

“‘So, you’re not attracted to me,'” Jessica stated bluntly, and immediately hated herself for trying to make this whole conversation about her.” Hold up. Are we still talking about Jessica Wakefield?

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