December 12, 2015
Summary: Paramedics have been called to the Martins’ house, but there’s nothing they can do – Dr. Martin is dead. The medics think he had a stroke. When Felice comes home, she’s distressed that no one’s helping her husband. Over at the After Dark, Dylan and Noah get the news from Steve as Noah’s damaged car is towed. Noah asks Dylan not to tell Donna what happened to them, so she doesn’t worry.
Everyone gathers at the beach apartment to comfort Donna. Kelly can’t bother to keep her mouth shut, asking if Dr. Martin was supposed to be exercising. In other words, she’s trying to imply that Gina may have accidentally killed him. David follows Gina outside and basically says that it’s reasonable for people to wonder what happened. He points out that no one blamed her right out, as if that makes a difference.
Kelly later asks Matt if you need a license to be a personal trainer. Matt tells her to shut up already (okay, he’s nicer than that, but still). They change the subject to a potential job Pia the PR person has for Kelly. As they approach the street where Matt parked, they discover that it’s missing. A valet tells him that it seems to have been repossessed. Kelly wishes Matt had talked to her about his continuing money problems.
Dylan tries to comfort Gina, who now feels guilty that she couldn’t do more for Dr. Martin. She wishes she hadn’t pushed him to work out. Dylan wants her to think about how much it must have meant to him that she wanted him in her life. Felice and Donna discuss arrangements for Dr. Martin, but Felice gets frustrated because she’s going to have to deal with things that her husband usually took care of. David and Camille show up with flowers, and David pledges his support for his ex. Donna’s not sure how her family can still be a family without her father.
Matt confides in Kelly that after his suspension, he’s struggling to find clients. She offers to help him out with money, but he doesn’t like the idea of his fiancée bailing him out. He’s willing to go back to working for a big firm (which he previously hated) so they can be financially secure. Matt also doesn’t want Kelly to take the job with Pia just so they can have money. Kelly assures him that she’s actually interested in the job. She thinks things will turn out fine.
Gina goes to the Martins’ to check on Felice, who tells her that Dr. Martin used to work at a movie theater. She only found out when she read his obituary. Gina mentions that the obituary only said Dr. Martin had a wife and one daughter. Felice thinks she should shut up about it – outing herself as Dr. Martin’s daughter could ruin his reputation. “Don’t you see how one careless moment could destroy everything?” Felice yells, asking if Gina bothered to check her father’s blood pressure.
At the After Dark, Steve and Janet invite Noah over for dinner, but he doesn’t want anyone to babysit him. He realizes that Shane could have killed him, which would have been a crazy way to go out. Kelly asks Dylan about the kidnapping, wondering if he got a rush out of being in danger. He tells her that he risked his life to save Noah, and no, he didn’t enjoy it. He spits out that when his life flashed before his eyes, he didn’t give her a lot of thought.
David’s back at the Martins’ with Donna, who can’t sleep. She tells him that when she was a kid, she would fall asleep in her parents’ bed while her father read her Charlotte’s Web. She remembers her mother stroking her hair until she fell asleep, like David’s doing to her now. At the Beverly Royale, Dylan catches up with Gina, telling her not to let Felice bother her. They’re both sick of Beverly Hills, and he thinks they should move somewhere else together. Gina likes that idea.
Kelly accepts the job with Pia, who already has an assignment for her. She’ll be consulting on a campaign, and working to pass an initiative regarding gay student rights. Kelly’s excited to work for a cause she believes in. Dylan arrives and Kelly apologizes for calling him reckless when she didn’t know what really happened with Shane. He announces that he’s leaving town after Dr. Martin’s funeral. He doesn’t think there’s anything left for him in Beverly Hills.
David helps Donna out with some funeral-related tasks, and she tells him she really appreciates all his support. Gina comes over to tell them she’s leaving town after the funeral. She thanks Donna for being so great to her since their discovery that they’re sister. David thinks Gina should stick around; Dr. Martin’s death wasn’t her fault. Donna disagrees – she thinks he would still be alive if Gina hadn’t found out he was her father.
Kelly follows Dylan to his office to tell him she doesn’t want him to leave because of their fighting. She’ll miss him if he does go. She’s no longer supportive when she finds out he’s heading off with Gina. “By the way, how is Matt?” Dylan replies. Noah’s drunk at David’s house (does he live there, too? I seriously can’t remember), clearly traumatized by his abduction. He admits to David that he’s been thinking about suicide. David can relate, and he tells Noah that if he wants to kill himself, the responsibility’s all his own.
Dylan goes to see Donna before the funeral, but she’s not exactly in the mood to deal with more upheaval in her life. He tells her that sometimes leaving and coming back helps you see things differently. When he left, Donna was shy and sweet; now she’s confident and capable. He knows she can handle the responsibilities she’ll have to face with her father gone. She’s definitely more prepared than he was when his father died. Donna doesn’t get why he always runs away, or why he takes what he has for granted. More responsibilities mean she’ll need more help.
Kelly tells Matt that she took the PR job, and he admits he’s grateful to have her help. Kelly realizes that her assignment isn’t to support a ballot initiative for gay students’ rights – she’s been hired to prevent students from forming gay-related clubs. At the funeral, Felice tells David to seat Gina with the family. All Gina can focus on is her desire to get out of Beverly Hills.
Donna gives a nice eulogy, saying that her father was always the most important man in her life, and always will be. She reads a letter he wrote her while he was recovering from her stroke. It talks about having a second chance and getting to see what really matters in life – faith, love, and family. Donna gets too emotional to finish, so Gina takes over. Everyone cries. Felice personally asks Gina to sit with her and Donna, even giving her a hug.
After the service, Noah splits, asking Dylan to tell Donna he’ll catch up with her later. Dylan wonders if Gina’s changed her mind about running away – she’s in the front row now. Gina says that she got closure, but she doesn’t think Dylan did. Dylan has decided to stay in Beverly Hills to find the love, faith, and family Dr. Martin cherished.
David takes Camille back to his place, because I guess now that he’s done taking care of Donna, they can make out? Noah interrupts, and David looks through his groceries to make sure he didn’t buy any more alcohol. Noah was smart enough to put a bottle in his jacket pocket. At the Martins’, Gina says a final goodbye to Donna, who thinks she’s brave to head out on her own. They reminisce about playing together as kids, and how Donna always wished Gina could stay with her. She still does.
Everyone else gathers at the beach apartment, where Kelly and Dylan agree that they want to smooth things over. He tells her that’s one of the reasons he’s staying in town. David checks on Donna, promising that he and the rest of the gang are there for her like she was for him when his grandfather died. And then they make out. Okay, not really, but they should.
Thoughts: I wonder if the show decided to get rid of Gina or if Vanessa Marcil realized she was wasting her time and should get out.
Tori Spelling does a good job in this episode. She’s goot at portraying low-key sadness.
David, please never work for a suicide hotline.
December 23, 2014
Summary: Things n Sweet Valley have been too happy for too long, so it’s time for someone to die. As Todd and Elizabeth learned in the previous book, Gin-Yung has an inoperable brain tumor and not much time to live. She’s now in the hospital, dying a particularly unpretty death. I’m actually surprised the series doesn’t soften things a bit. But no, Gin-Yung must suffer. And Elizabeth must suffer, too, because somehow, this poor girl’s death is about her.
So anyway, Todd wants to be with Gin-Yung during her final days, since she wants him there. This means he and Elizabeth have to spend time apart. Poor, poor Liz. It’s so hard being beautiful and healthy and having so many guys want you. Like, Gin-Yung will be dead in a matter of days, and then Todd is all yours. Chill. Gin-Yung’s sister Kim gets Todd to promise that he’ll hang around so Gin-Yung can get what she wants. Kim is kind of annoying, but then again, at one point Todd thinks about how he doesn’t have time to sit at his ex’s deathbed, so maybe they’re both jerks.
There are a bunch of scenes of Todd and Gin-Yung spending time together as her health declines. He starts regretting that they can’t still be together. But there will be no miraculous recovery for Gin-Yung. After sharing a final kiss with Todd, who promises he’ll always love her, she dies. ‘Bye, Gin-Yung! I thought you were cool!
Elizabeth has been avoiding the SVU TV studio so she doesn’t have to deal with Tom, but she realizes that she shouldn’t have to give up something she likes because of a stupid boy. As soon as she returns to the studio, she meets another stupid boy. Scott Sinclair is interning for the station, since he wants to switch from print to TV journalism. I’m not completely sure he actually goes to SVU, though. Or maybe he’s going back to school? I don’t know. Anyway, he and Liz immediately hit it off, and he encourages her to give up TV journalism and go back to print. I guarantee that not one reader cares about this.
While all this is going on, Jessica is being a flipping idiot. She thinks her relationship with Nick is boring and that they need to do something exciting. By the way, her ideas of exciting activities aren’t actually exciting. Girl just wants to go to the beach. Jess seems to think that dating a cop should be a lot more interesting than it is. When Nick has to leave an evening with her to go on a stakeout, Jessica tries to invite herself along. Nick manages to leave without her, but then she takes a message from one of his fellow cops asking him to bring a hub cap to the stakeout. Jessica thinks it has to do with their investigation, so she takes the hub cap to Nick, all, “Yay, I’m going to be a hero!”
At the stakeout, which is at a chop shop, Nick and the other cops face off with the criminals. One of the criminals is about to shoot Nick without Nick realizing it. Jessica tries to Frisbee the hub cap at the guy, and though she fails, she at least distracts him enough for Nick to overtake him. Then there’s a shootout, and Nick is cornered again, this time with Jessica beaning the criminal with a wrench to save her boyfriend.
Now Jessica thinks she’d be an awesome cop. Never mind that the hub cap had nothing to do with the case and was just something Nick had picked up as a favor for a co-worker. Jessica wants to team up with Nick and become an awesome crime-fighting duo. Nick realizes that he’s never going to be able to work as a cop and date Jessica at the same time. Because she’s bananas. But you knew that.
Having learned in the last book that Elizabeth was telling the truth about Tom’s father hitting on her, Tom goes to confront the creepster. His father is pretty much unapologetic about the whole thing, so Tom decides to cut him off. He also realizes that he’s still madly in love with Elizabeth, even though he’s been dating Dana.
After a talk with Danny, Tom decides to write Elizabeth a letter telling her he knows that she was right about his father the whole time, and how sorry he is that he screwed things up. Elizabeth goes off with Scott, so she doesn’t see the letter at the station before Dana does. She’s realized that Tom still loves Elizabeth, and she’s determined to keep her man. (I don’t know what the appeal is.) Later, Tom returns to the station, and since the letter’s gone, he thinks Elizabeth read it. He’s all hopeful until he sees Liz comforting Todd over Gin-Yung’s death and realizes she doesn’t want him back. Yeah, move on, Tom. I hate this love triangle.
Thoughts: Todd hits the denial stage of grief early: “Maybe she’s just exhausted from her trip – a bad case of jet lag or something.” Yes, Todd. Neurologists often confuse fatigue and brain tumors. I’ve heard that jet lag often manifests itself on MRIs, too.
“I don’t want Gin-Yung to die. But if Gin-Yung lives, I can never be with Elizabeth again.” Todd sure has his priorities in order.
I thought Dana was okay before – now suddenly she’s a jerk? Where did that come from?
Jessica should have been arrested for interfering with police business and endangering people’s lives. I wish people could also be arrested for being complete morons.
Apparently Alice likes to say, re: traveling, “If you accidentally leave something behind, it means that you never wanted to go.” That’s stupid. What if you just have a bad memory? Shut up, Alice.
February 22, 2014
Summary: Claudia helps Charlie pick out what to wear to Julia and Griffin’s wedding. He has an Armani suit but doesn’t want to wear it since Kathleen gave it to him. He doesn’t feel right about it since she was basically his sugar mama. Claudia makes him change his mind, so Charlie tries it on and realizes that he’s lost a ton of weight. I’M SURE HE’S FINE, THOUGH. Bailey finds Sarah cooking in their kitchen, but the food isn’t for him – it’s for a guy named Elliot. She asks Bailey to clear out of the apartment so they can have a date.
Julia and Charlie talk about past weddings they’ve attended while making plans for Julia and Griffin’s. The groom isn’t participating because he’s just found out that a new bike shop has opened three blocks from his. Charlie wants to use a caterer instead of getting the food from the restaurant; he’s dealing with a lot of stuff right now and doesn’t have the time. Griffin leaves to go check out his new competition. They’re undercutting Griffin’s prices and predict that he’ll be out of business soon.
Bailey tries to study in his bedroom while Sarah and Elliot have their date. Then he walks in on Elliot in the bathroom, which can’t be awkward at all. Bailey decides to leave, like Sarah wanted him to in the first place. Since the theme of the week is meeting your ex’s new love interest, Charlie has dinner with Kirsten and her husband Paul. It’s uncomfortable, and not just because their restaurant table is barely big enough for just one person. Paul invites Charlie to play racquetball with him.
Bailey goes down to the laundry room to study (yeah, I’m sure it’s nice and quiet there), but Annie’s there doing…you know, laundry. He tries to ignore her but gets a little distracted at the sight of her girly things. Julia’s frustrated with Griffin for not taking an active interest in their wedding. Bailey tries to return to his apartment, but Sarah and Elliot are making out, so he just studies in the hallway.
Charlie and Paul play racquetball, trying to one-up each other with how much they love Nina and Kirsten, respectively, and the romantic things they’ve done. Charlie says that he misses Nina (who’s out of town) so much that he hasn’t eaten since she left. Then he passes out. Paul is appropriately concerned and calls an ambulance. BUT I’M SURE EVERYTHING’S OKAY. Since Paul’s a doctor, he’s able to talk to Charlie’s ER doctor about his condition. Charlie’s annoyed and sends him away. But after he leaves, the doctor finds something concerning under Charlie’s arm.
Sarah gets ready for another date with Elliot, and since new sheets and candles are involved, Bailey should probably be a little more interested than he is. A wedding planner meets with the Salingers at their house; Kirsten and Paul are also there, having recently been invited to the wedding. Since there are too many guests to fit in the house, Paul suggests that they have it in the backyard. Kirsten adds that they could have it at night to make it more special.
Don’t get too happy about the upcoming nuptials, because Charlie’s doctor’s on the phone. He’s fine, right? RIGHT? He’s called back in for an appointment, but he tells everyone he’s fine. Even though Griffin isn’t there, the wedding planner wants to walk through the ceremony. Bailey encounters Sarah getting fancy for her date and finds a strip of condoms. Now he gets what’s going on. Sarah scrambles to explain her decision to have sex even though she and Elliot haven’t been together that long.
Reed makes a brief appearance, working with Griffin, who then gets a visit from his unhappy wife. He totally forgot that they were supposed to meet with the wedding planner. He tells her he’s been swamped with customers, so Julia yells at him to hire someone. Griffin doesn’t want to leave the garage in anyone else’s hands. She reminds him that when they first got married, she didn’t even want a fancy wedding, but now she’s excited and wants it. Griffin promises that everything will be awesome.
Charlie meets with his doctor, telling her that EVERYTHING IS GREAT. She informs him that everything is not, in fact, great: He has cancer. Charlie points out that he had blood tests weeks ago and they all came back fine. Apparently Hodgkin’s doesn’t show up in blood tests. Charlie doesn’t know what to say. The doctor assures him that there are very effective treatments, and he could go into remission in just months. She would like to start his treatments within the week. Charlie says it’s not a good time, then leaves.
Bailey and Sarah’s apartment is all done up for a romantic evening, but apparently Bailey didn’t realize that Sarah planned to swipe her V card tonight. He plans to study at the library and camp out there for the night. (If only he had family with a house nearby.) Griffin tracks down Howard, his investor, and asks for more money. Howard doesn’t want Griffin to keep coming back and asking for more, so he agrees to give him $15,000.
Bailey studies at the coffeehouse, appropriately reaching the chapter in Moby Dick entitled “The Pequod Meets the Virgin.” Annie finds him there and questions why she hasn’t seen him at AA meetings recently. He tells her he’s been going to a different location (probably to avoid her). Bailey’s interested in the fact that she went to a bunch of places he’d mentioned liking so she could track him down. He thinks it’s significant that Annie was worried.
Bailey continues that he’s been thinking a lot about Annie. He gets not going out to seek a new relationship in your first year of sobriety, but what’s wrong with seeing someone you already know? Wouldn’t it be worse to walk away from someone who helps you stay sober? Annie doesn’t seem to have an argument for that.
Julia and Griffin have another meeting with the wedding planner, and he actually shows up for this one, even though he’s late. Charlie comes home and watches them from outside. Fed up with the planner trying to talk Julia and Griffin into and out of certain things, he fires her. Then he goes upstairs, looks at himself in the mirror, and cries. When Julia comes up after him, he splashes water on his face and acts like things are fine.
Bailey ends up in Annie’s bed, so at least he doesn’t have to spend the night at the library. They try to figure out what to tell Natalie, who will see them together in the morning. Annie’s okay with saying that they’re dating. Howard stops by the garage and seems optimistic about the way the business is going. He asks Griffin to help him out with a bank account he needs for under-the-table profits at a club he runs. Griffin is reluctant, so Howard threatens to withdraw his investment. But he shouldn’t have to, because he and Griffin are pals, right? RIGHT, GRIFFIN?
Kirsten goes by the Salingers’ house to tell Charlie that she doesn’t think she and Paul should come to the wedding. He starts crying and tells her he has cancer. His chances of recovery are 75%, but he’s not sure if that’s especially good. Kirsten comforts him, then realizes that he hasn’t told his family or Nina yet. Charlie wants to wait until after the wedding.
Julia and Griffin go shopping for their registry; she teaches him about price ranges and how sometimes you have to return things if you didn’t get a full set of china. Griffin asks an employee if they can return gifts for money. Uh-oh. Bailey returns to his apartment, telling Sarah he slept at a friend’s place. Sarah, however, spent the night alone. She changed her mind about sex at the last minute, deciding that her life has undergone enough changes recently. Meanwhile, Nina returns from her trip, and Charlie immediately takes her to bed.
Thoughts: Paul is played by Tim DeKay from White Collar.
Elliot is played by Christopher Gorham, who’s from another USA show, Covert Affairs.
Griffin’s like, “Wedding cake? I like ice cream cake.” This reminds me of Britney Spears’ How I Met Your Mother character asking if Barney wants Fudgie the Whale or Cookie Puss for their wedding.
Sarah, you don’t have to talk about your sex life with your ex. In fact, I would encourage you to talk about your sex life with anyone but your ex. Don’t you have any female friends?
I would say that Griffin should have seen Howard’s change in attitude coming, because anyone who invests in a 19-year-old high school dropout’s struggling business is either stupid or up to something, but…it’s Griffin. We all know he’s not the brightest.
Owen status: unknown. And he was doing so well, too.
January 21, 2014
Summary: It’s summer yet again, and Mary Anne is happy for some time to relax. It’s all sitting, sitting, sitting with the BSC girls, plus the possibility of entering a magazine contest looking for the best babysitter. The girls decide to enter as a group, which is good, because otherwise this book might be filled with fighting over which one of them is the best.
Then suddenly things go south. Mary Anne, Richard, and Sharon are woken up in the middle of the night by smoke alarms (and Tigger, who apparently is just as good at saving people as Lassie is). Their house is pretty well destroyed by a fire, and all their stuff is gone. Mary Anne is in so much shock that she can’t even cry. Now she has no idea what will come next in her life – she has no home or belongings, and just feels lost.
The BSC girls and tons of people in Stoneybrook pitch in to help the family. The Thomas/Brewers let them stay at their house, and they’re provided with clothes and other essentials. Everyone spends a lot of time going through the wreckage at the house to find anything that can be salvaged (there isn’t much). Then Richard drops a bomb on Mary Anne: He’s been offered a job in Philadelphia and is considering accepting it. Also, Sharon wants to go back to school so she can have a career change, and since there are more schools to choose from in Philly, she’s up for the move.
Now Mary Anne feels even more lost. She’s lived in Stoneybrook her whole life, and leaving would mean losing the BSC and all her friends. Dawn tries to sympathize, since she also lost one of her homes, but Mary Anne has a hard time connecting with her because Dawn does still have a house to go back to in California.
One night Mary Anne sneaks out and goes over to her old house, where everything catches up with her and she finally cries. Dawn finds her there and comforts her. Mary Anne realizes that her life might change completely, but she still has the people she loves.
In the B plot, the kids of Stoneybrook help the BSC girls put together their entry for the best-babysitter contest. Nothing comes of it, but obviously the BSC would win this.
Thoughts: Even though it’s summertime, Mallory’s still banished, with the explanation that her boarding school lets out later than SMS. The ghostwriters really hated her, didn’t they?
Little Archie Rodowsky is worried that the fire at Mary Anne’s is still going. Aw, poor Archie.
David Michael, Karen, and Andrew make a big Lego building and tell Mary Anne it’s her new house. That’s flipping adorable.
So here we are, at the end of the series. It feels weird. I can see why it ended – there wasn’t much left for the characters to do, and they wanted to take it in a bit of a different direction, with the Friends Forever series. So say goodbye to the BSC (at least until I can recap the movie), because it’s about to get a lot Sweet Valleyer up in here.
October 15, 2013
Summary: There’s a new family in Stoneybrook, the Brookes, and Stacey’s the first of the BSC girls to sit for them. The kids, Joni and Ewan, are sweet but sad; their mother has ditched them to become a reporter in Atlanta, so the kids are in Stoneybrook alone with their dad, John. He’s a writer and usually needs a sitter to watch the kids while he works. Stacey finds him nice and cute.
So does Stacey’s mother. When she and John meet, they quickly hit it off. Stacey’s thrilled, since her mom hasn’t dated since her divorce, and she likes that Mrs. McGill has fallen for such a great guy. Joni, however, is unhappy. She hasn’t come to terms with her parents’ divorce, so she doesn’t want her father to get involved with another woman. Totally understandable, right? Unfortunately, no one handles the situation well.
Joni is a brat to Stacey, since she’s the one who introduced their parents, and gets Ewan to be bratty to her, too. She’s also a little jerk to the other BSC girls, since they’re Stacey’s friends. Stacey lets John know how the kids are acting, and he talks to them about it, but Joni doesn’t listen and continues to be a little jerk. She also figures that if John can’t write during the day, he’ll have to skip dates with Mrs. McGill and write at night, so she messes with his computer to keep him from working.
The McGills and Brookes spend some time together, and Joni continues to be a brat, but John is almost as annoying. He just yells at her to get in line, punishing her in front of Stacey and Mrs. McGill. Mrs. McGill has started to cool on John, having learned more about him and realized that they have a lot of differences in ideologies. (I’d think she’s also a little turned off by his lack of sympathy for his daughter.) Stacey, however, still wants them to date.
John suggests that the two families have Thanksgiving together, and it’s a disaster. Joni is in full-on brat mode, and when her father yells at her yet again, she reaches her breaking point and runs off to hide in Stacey’s room. Stacey goes after her and finally shows the girl some compassion, assuring her that her parents love her and all that. Joni sobs heartbreakingly, unable to deal with her parents’ divorce. But Stacey helps her feel a little better, and Joni calms down.
Mrs. McGill decides to break up with John, which Stacey disapproves of. She plans to warn him, but when she goes to New York to visit her father and Ethan, she cools off about it. Ethan gets her to see that Mrs. McGill, as an adult, gets to make her own decisions. Stacey and her mom are also reading Pride and Prejudice, and the book helps Stacey realize that Mrs. McGill deserves a Mr. Darcy, not just any old guy.
There’s not really a B-plot, but there’s talk of how Mallory is still struggling at school after her disastrous student-teaching gig. She hates going to SMS so much that she’s considering going to boarding school in Massachusetts. The BSC girls are sad at the possibility of her leaving, and Jessi’s really upset. More on that in future books.
Thoughts: According to Stacey, people still use word processors in 1998. Poor dear. They have computers now. Smartphones are really going to blow your mind.
“I was never sure if Dad’s girlfriends liked me or if they were only pretending to like me because of Dad.” Richard had girlfriends before he married Sharon? Multiple girlfriends? Richard Spier? I call bull.
Okay, Mallory has officially been bullied out of SMS. WHY IS THE ADMINISTRATION NOT DOING ANYTHING? I can’t believe her parents haven’t gone down there and demanded that the school do something about the way Mal’s being treated.
Claudia: “Mrs. McGill loves kids who are a pain. She loves Stacey.” Nice best friend you got there, Stace.
July 28, 2013
Summary: Dylan and Toni are for real getting married, and plan to have a private ceremony, then a reception with their friends. Kelly and Donna help Toni pick out a dress, talking about how glad they are that Dylan’s found someone (even if it’s not Kelly). Meanwhile, Marchette plots to have Dylan killed in a fake burglary gone wrong. His henchman reminds him to make sure Toni’s out of the house by 5 p.m.
As Marchette’s guys gather weapons, the gang kidnaps Dylan and Toni for their bachelor and bachelorette parties. They unknowingly ruin Marchette’s plans to have Dylan killed that night. The guys go to the Walshes’ and play poker; Brandon vetoed strippers and other debauchery because Dylan’s already done all that stuff. The girls (minus Valerie, plus Susan) go to the beach apartment for cigars and male strippers. Kelly teases Donna about how shocked Felice would be to see her.
Marchette is confused since Toni was supposed to come see him, but he learns that the parties meant the hit had to be called off. Bruno tells him he’s going to drive Toni to the wedding the next day. Brandon and Dylan are the last two awake at the Walshes’, and Brandon wants to make sure Dylan’s watching out for himself because of Marchette. He thinks Dylan and Toni are a great couple. Dylan thanks him for being a good friend.
Ray continues stalking Donna at the apartment, telling her he misses her and her friends. She reminds him that he hated hanging out with the gang when they were dating. She won’t let him in. He tells her she needs to start listening, or he’s going to make her life horrible. (I think that mission has been accomplished, Ray.) Toni thanks Kelly for the party, and Kelly assures her that the gang is her family now. She reveals that she knows Marchette killed Jack. She advises Toni to get far away from Beverly Hills and not look back.
The next morning, Toni reads the note her mother wrote her in the Bible she carried at her wedding. That’s her something old, and Kelly gives her flowers from the gang as her something new. Donna loans her pearls for her something borrowed. Her something blue is a garter from Kelly. Jim and Cindy send Dylan a congratulatory message from Hong Kong, and Dylan jokes that they’re just glad he’s not marrying Brenda. Brenda has also sent a message from London, saying that their love triangle has finally been resolved.
Marchette goes to the beach apartment to try to talk Toni out of the wedding. She won’t listen, so he tells her the marriage was made in Hell and will lead to nothing by misery. “You have made your Hell,” she replies. After Marchette leaves, Bruno comes in and tells Toni he tried to change Marchette’s mind. He volunteers to walk her down the aisle in her father’s place. He takes her to the wedding, where Brandon is the only attendant, and they get married overlooking the ocean.
At the reception, Brandon toasts the newlyweds, who go off alone to talk about Marchette. Neither of them is too upset about it. They go to Dylan’s house for their first night as a married couple, finding it decorated with candles by the gang. Susan goes home with Brandon, who admits that he feels a little lonely, since people keep leaving. She assures him that she’s not planning on going anywhere.
Donna caught the bouquet, and she and Joe think it means her luck is changing. He admits that he almost married his high school sweetheart, but she changed. He thinks things have worked out for the best. Kelly tells Colin that she thought it would be hard to see Dylan marry someone else, but she’s happy for him and Toni.
Dylan and Toni’s first morning as a married couple is interrupted when Nat and Steve arrive with a fancy breakfast for them. Then it’s interrupted again by a call from Marchette, who asks to meet with Dylan. He claims to have a surprise for Toni. (Surprise! You’re a widow!) Dylan wants to ignore him, but Toni tells him to just go and see what he wants. Bruno thinks Marchette is really trying to patch things up. Marchette double-checks his new hit with his henchman, who casually comments to Bruno that Dylan may not be alive much longer.
Bruno immediately tries to call Dylan and Toni, who have taken the phone off the hook for privacy. Toni’s worried about the cat, who she hasn’t seen since the day before. She asks Dylan to go look for her, since it’s getting dark and about to rain. Bruno spends the day trying to call the McKays, eventually calling Brandon and telling him about the hit. Brandon rushes over to the house to warn Dylan.
Dylan has no luck finding the cat, and it’s getting close to the time of his meeting with Marchette, which will be followed by their flight to Hawaii. He sends Toni to meet Marchette while he stays at the house to find Trouble. Brandon gets to the house and warns Dylan not to go to see Marchette. The two of them hurry off to stop Toni. On her way to see her father, Toni’s cut off by a guy who stops in front of her, then shoot her through the window. Dylan and Brandon arrive moments later to find her dead.
Dylan refuses to talk to the police, and in the morning he tells Brandon not to say anything to anyone. Brandon can’t believe he’s going to let Marchette get away with killing Toni like he did with Jack. After Toni is buried, Dylan stays behind in the cemetery to confront Marchette. Marchette tells Dylan that Toni’s death is his fault, then hands him a gun and encourages Dylan to kill him. Dylan almost does, but he says that they’re even now, so they need to stop killing. Dylan goes home to pack and finds Toni’s wedding dress. He opens the door and sees Trouble on the porch.
The rest of the gang gathers at the Peach Pit with Nat, wondering what Dylan will do now. All they know is that bad things happen, and they’ll miss him. Brandon finds Dylan getting ready to leave on his motorcycle with the cat. Dylan isn’t sure if he’ll ever come back to Beverly Hills. He gives Brandon his keys and asks him to lock up the house. Instead of saying goodbye, Brandon says he’ll see Dylan around.
Thoughts: General Hospital did a similar plot to this episode a few months after this one aired – a mobster married the daughter of another mobster, who tried to kill him but accidentally killed his daughter instead. And that plot tangentially involved Vanessa Marcil, who later played Gina on 90210. Everything is connected!
Sadly, this is Luke Perry’s last episode until season 9. I’ll miss you, Dylan!
Yeah, Marchette, I’m sure Toni wouldn’t have been suspicious about Dylan being killed right before their wedding. You should have waited till after and pretended to support the marriage, to look innocent. Plus, she would have inherited Dylan’s money.
If I ever have a bachelorette party, remind me to make sure it’s not at my fiancé’s ex’s place. That’s just weird.
Trivia: Dylan’s middle name is Michael.
Bruno, sweetie? Why didn’t you get in your car and go to the McKays’ house? I blame this on you. And maybe a little on the cat.
July 17, 2013
Summary: This book has four plots, so I’ll split the recap into four parts:
Jessica and Steven: After their car accident at the end of Last Wish, Jess and Steven are fine, but the new Jeep joins the long list of totaled Wakefield vehicles. (RIP, buddy. You almost made it an entire book.) Jessica wants to go home to make sure Elizabeth’s okay, since her twin spidey sense is telling her something’s wrong. Steven, however, wants to keep going to the gas station where Billie’s stranded. They get into a big fight over it, and even though it would be reasonable for him to just drop her at home and go after Billie himself, and even though Steven practically says he’d rather go get Billie than worry about his own sister, they go downtown.
Once Billie has been retrieved (and she’s fine), she and Steven realize that Ned and Alice are also downtown. Jessica finally heads home while the elder Wakefields are rescued. But on her way, Jess runs into a guy named Bryan whose 12-year-old sister Alyssa is clinging to the edge of a big crevasse in the road. Jessica tries to help Bryan save her, but the girl can’t hold on long enough, and she falls into the pit and dies. That’s right, SVH killed off a 12-year-old. But wait, there’s more!
Elizabeth: At the house, which is massively damaged and about two seconds from collapsing, Elizabeth finds Enid unconscious in a big pool of water. There are downed power lines, and Liz realizes that Enid has been shocked. She tries to get Devon to help her rescue Enid, but he’s some combination of in shock and a huge jerk, so he just sits there and taunts that there’s nothing they can do and they’re all going to die. So for those of you compiling mental lists of which SVH characters to have around in an emergency, Devon should not be on that list.
Elizabeth, however, should. Even though she makes a detour into the swimming pool, and even though she has to face down a rattlesnake (no, seriously), and even though she can’t actually pick Enid up and carry her to safety, Elizabeth manages to get her away from the live wires. Unfortunately, she herself gets shocked in the process, so now she’s unconscious, too.
Todd and Lila: These two spend the whole book trapped in the bathroom, fighting like Xander and Cordelia in Buffy’s basement (I know I made that reference before, I think with Lila and Bruce, but it’s even more appropriate here). Lila first thinks there’s nothing to worry about, but then there’s a fire, which freaks her out because of the fire at her house. Todd proves to also be good in an emergency, though he can’t find a way out of the room. The two of them end up sitting together in the bathtub, kissing goodbye. Fortunately, firefighters arrive just seconds before they can be burned alive.
And the rest: Ronnie Edwards is dead. Try to hold back your tears. Almost everyone else is okay, despite some minor injuries. Winston and Ken take charge, and Winston winds up being the person to get the rescue squad to the house. Ken spends most of the book with Olivia, who’s badly injured, as well as trapped under a beam and the Wakefields’ refrigerator. By the time the rescue crew arrives, she’s died from internal injuries. And it’s actually pretty sad.
Thoughts: Devon doesn’t see the point in calling the fire department. When there’s a fire. And people are trapped in a house. Shut up, Devon. I’m so happy to almost be rid of you.
How is Jessica being immature and selfish by worrying about Elizabeth? You shut up, too, Steven.
I don’t really have anything else to say, so I’ll just tell Devon to shut up again. Shut up some more, Devon.
June 29, 2013
Summary: Julia is pretending not to be jealous that Justin’s British friend Allison, who he met in England over the summer, is coming to visit. He insists that they’re just friends, and she’s only staying with him while she checks out a college. A woman asks Sarah if she’s the daughter of an acquaintance, since they look and sound alike. Sarah wonders if the acquaintance could be her birth mother. Charlie wants to send Owen to preschool in the mornings, but he’ll have to be potty-trained first.
Claudia shadows Kirsten for a school assignment; she chose Kirsten because she respects her future profession. Claudia uses the opportunity to try to dig into Kirsten’s personal life. She regrets it when they run into a guy who’s definitely seeing Kirsten. (So I guess Charlie and Kirsten stopped sleeping together.) Allison hangs out with Justin and Julia, making Julia feel like a fifth wheel until the girls start bonding over the things Justin does that drive them crazy. Now Justin’s the fifth wheel.
At the Salingers’, Sarah asks Bailey about the kids’ resemblances to their parents. She wonders if she gets her singing voice from her birth mother. Bailey gets her to admit that she wants to look for her mother. Mrs. Reeves isn’t thrilled with this admission but provides Sarah with her name. Meanwhile, Charlie tries to bribe Owen into becoming potty-trained, and Claudia interrogates Kirsten about her dating life. Charlie continues to be completely ineffectual as a parent.
Justin goes shopping with Julia and Allison, who are now great friends. Justin admits that she didn’t think she would like Allison. Kirsten races over to the Salingers’, since Claudia called to tell her that Owen was in an accident. It’s probably just a coincidence that Claudia made the call just as Kirsten was supposed to go on a date. Kirsten calls her on it and tells her not to interfere in her personal life.
Bailey and Sarah look through phone books, and Sarah finally finds her mother, Robin Merrin. They wonder what she’s doing, and Bailey accidentally makes Sarah panic by suggesting that Robin has other kids. Sarah worries that Robin won’t want to meet her or have anything to do with her. After all, Robin didn’t want her when she was born. Sarah decides to hold on to the information she has and wait to make contact.
Justin ditches Julia and Allison, so the girls hang out at the Salingers’ alone. It soon becomes clear that Allison is no threat to Julia and Justin’s relationship, or at least not in the way Julia expected: Allison would rather date Julia than Justin. When she realizes that Julia doesn’t return her affections, Allison gets flustered and leaves.
Charlie takes Owen to the preschool for an interview, but he cuts it short when Owen has an accident. At home, Bailey secretly tries to call Robin. Justin, Julia, and Allison go to a movie, and he’s completely oblivious to the fact that the girls are awkward around each other. Charlie’s mad at Owen, which is ridiculous, and critiques his drawing skills, which is even more ridiculous. Claudia catches him yelling at the poor kid and reminds him that Owen’s just a baby.
Bailey finds Robin on the set of a detergent commercial she’s starring in. He tells her he’s a friend of her daughter’s, and she doesn’t respond. Claudia tells Kirsten that Charlie yelled at Owen, but Kirsten doesn’t want to get involved. Claudia thinks Kirsten could help if she were around. Kirsten says she cares too much, and she’s working on caring less, but Claudia isn’t making that easy.
Bailey bugs Robin some more, telling her that Sarah just wants to meet her, but isn’t mad about being given up. Robin says she placed Sarah for adoption because she was at a good point in her career and getting pregnant was bad timing. He tries to show her pictures of Sarah, but Robin refuses to look at them. She doesn’t want any kind of relationship with her daughter. She encourages Bailey to tell Sarah that she’s dead.
Justin, Julia, and Allison go to a club, but it appears Allison only wanted to go there so they wouldn’t have to talk. And also so she can make out with a random guy. She starts to go home with him, so Julia and Justin try to stop her. Julia asks if Allison is trying to spite her. The guy really wants to go off with Allison, so Julia attempts to stop him by announcing that Allison doesn’t like guys. It works, but Allison runs off.
Julia runs after her, but Allison is upset because she feels abnormal for liking girls. She wishes she could force herself to like guys, and be able to talk to her parents about her sexuality. She knows it’s not Julia’s fault that she doesn’t return Allison’s feelings, but she feels alone. Allison just wishes someone would say they love her. Julia proves to be very bad at comforting sad people.
Claudia finds Charlie looking at Bailey, Julia, and Claudia’s artwork on the walls of the house. He wonders why their parents never put up his pictures. Once he showed their father a picture he drew of a skyscraper, but their father told him how it needed to be changed. Now Charlie’s trying to get Owen to live up to the same expectations their father had for him.
Claudia says their father was never like that with her, so Charlie thinks it’s because he was the firstborn, and their parents learned later not to push so hard. Owen was their dad’s last child, but he’s Charlie’s first. He wants to put Owen’s drawing on the wall so Owen knows Charlie loves him and doesn’t expect too much of him.
Claudia got an A on the paper she wrote about Kirsten’s job, so she wants to celebrate with her subject. Kirsten gently tells her that she has a date. Claudia’s stunned when said date turns up with his daughter. Julia drives Allison to the airport, wondering why she would want to come to school 500 miles from home. She thinks the school and Julia are both appealing because they’re far away from Allison’s life. That makes them safe. She encourages Allison not to run away.
Kirsten goes to the Salingers’ to see Claudia, who thinks Kirsten’s trying to replace the family. Kirsten says she could never replace them, but she’s trying to move on with her life. Claudia needs to move on, too, and accept new people in Charlie’s life. Kirsten promises to always be there when Claudia needs her. Claudia wonders if they’re “kind of breaking up.”
Sarah tells Bailey that she realized that the last four digits of Robin’s phone number spell “Sara.” She thinks that means something. Bailey thinks she wants it to mean something it doesn’t. Sarah also saw someone the other day who looked a lot like her, then realized it was her own reflection. She’s looking for Robin even when she isn’t doing it consciously. She’s decided to just call her.
Bailey admits that he contacted Robin, but she isn’t Sarah’s mother. Sarah pretends to be glad that she didn’t get her hopes up, but she’s really upset. Charlie lets Owen sleep in his bed, so if Bailey’s in the attic, that means their room is empty and Claudia’s sleeping in a tent for no reason. But whatever.
Thoughts: There are two guest stars in this episode who are now famous for other things. Robin is played by a pre-Everybody Loves Raymond Patricia Heaton, and Allison is played by Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace, Unforgettable), who’s actually Australian.
I’m more concerned with the fact that Owen never talks than with him not being potty-trained. Also, isn’t he only one and a half? No kid that age is potty-trained. No kid that age can draw anything recognizable. Most kids that age don’t draw at all. Shut up, Charlie.
Not that Kirsten isn’t right to be a little annoyed with Claudia, but as a psych student, she should recognize that Claudia, having lost both her parents, might be sensitive to loss and big changes in her life.
June 26, 2013
Summary: Stacey and Robert haven’t been close since they broke up, but she’s noticed (and heard from his friends) that something’s wrong with him. He’s alienated himself from his friends, not paying much attention in class, and uninterested in baseball. She decides to check up on him, and he’s appreciative of the fact that she still cares about him, but he just says he’s bored with his friends and life in general.
Things are worse than he lets on, though: Robert’s having trouble in school and shocks everyone by quitting the baseball team. He gets grounded because of his grades, so Stacey offers to tutor him in math. They start spending time together, leading everyone to think they’re back together. Stacey’s a little concerned because she thinks Robert does want to get back together, and she hasn’t mentioned to him that she’s dating Ethan. Fortunately, he just wants to stay friends.
Unfortunately, all the time Stacey’s spending with Robert hasn’t made much of a difference. And the BSC girls are kind of rude about how she keeps hanging out with him. I forgot that there’s a contract they sign when they join the club, saying they’ll spend all their free time with each other, even if one of their outside friends is having a tough time and needs help. Stacey tries to compromise by inviting Robert to hang out with the BSC girls, but it doesn’t go well. She then convinces Robert to rejoin the baseball team, but he skips the first practice and ticks off the coach.
Out of ideas, Stacey calls a radio show to ask advice from a psychologist. The doctor thinks she needs to ask an adult for help – Robert’s problem is too big for a teenager to handle. Stacey tells Robert about this, but he’s mad that she talked to someone about his problems. Stacey then talks to her mom, who thinks they should tell Robert’s parents what’s going on. Stacey balks, since Robert’s already mad enough.
That night, Robert shows up at the McGills’, really upset. He’s crying and tells Stacey that he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. (This part really got to me.) She encourages him to call an adult he can talk to, so he calls his coach. From there, the adults take over, making sure Robert will get help. Stacey realizes that all the stress of the situation has made her physically sick, and she was right to ask for help.
Stupid B-plot: Stoneybrook has another popular small business, Strawberry Fields Forever, where you can pick your own strawberries. Everyone in town goes, picks tons of berries, and gets sick of them. Kristy throws a strawberry festival, because of course she does.
Thoughts: Claudia’s lost her mind – she wears a zebra-print leotard, leopard-print overall shorts (which would be awful enough on their own), a tiger-stripe scarf, a lizard-print scrunchie, and giraffe earrings.
Stacey buys jelly sandals with heels. Ew.
The strawberry plot means two things: 1) The writers have run out of ideas, and 2) Kristy has finally exhausted every kind of festival she could possibly organize.
At the festival, Mary Anne and Logan run a game where people have to guess how many strawberries are in a basket, and the winner gets all the berries. No one guesses because they already have too many berries at home and don’t want any more. Hee.
The Kilbournes make strawberry shortcake – “parents had to ask Shannon and her sisters to set a two-cake limit so that their kids wouldn’t make themselves sick eating so many.” Uh, how about you actually parent your kids so Shannon doesn’t have to be the bad guy?
May 29, 2013
Summary: Kristy’s family takes in a puppy named Scout so they can train her to one day be a guide dog for a blind person. Most of the book is about training Scout, and how they have to treat her differently from Shannon (the dog, not the person – though they have to treat her different from Shannon the person, too, of course). The book is basically a big advertisement for organizations that train and place guide dogs, but it’s a good kind of ad.
The B plot fits in with the main plot. A local 12-year-old named Deb has recently gone blind due to glaucoma, and she’s having a lot of trouble adjusting. She’s extremely bitter and nasty about it. The BSC girls are sitting for her younger brothers, so they encounter Deb a lot, but they can’t find a way to befriend her because she thinks everyone’s staring at her and/or pitying her. She also freaks people (including me) out by telling them how quickly she got sick and lost her eyesight, and how the same thing could happen to them.
One day while Kristy’s sitting for Deb’s brothers, Deb disappears. She’d been wanting to go to the video store (awww, remember those?), and when Kristy delayed the trip, she decided to go by herself to show she’s independent. But she went the wrong way and wound up in the middle of a busy road. Kristy finds her, then basically yells at her for acting like she needs pity when she keeps saying she doesn’t want it. It’s kind of mean, but honestly, Deb was really annoying and needed to hear it.
Thoughts: I’m glad I didn’t read this when I was the actual target age of the books, because I might have had a bit of a meltdown. Deb seriously freaked me out. Deb: “You could go blind…right now.” Silence. Me: “Waaaaah, Mommy!”
Trivia: To Kill a Mockingbird is one of Kristy’s favorite books.
“Scout was growing up so fast.” You’ve had her for two weeks, Kristy. Don’t break into “Sunrise, Sunset” just yet.
Kristy says a dog that wasn’t able to become a guide dog now mentors others. Dogs can be mentors? Huh?