January 23, 2016
Summary: Donna’s on another date with Mitch, who almost has her website ready to go. She’s nervous since time is running out, but he knows what he’s doing. He gives her an electronic planner with two more dates already scheduled. At the beach apartment, Kelly tells Matt that her father’s coming to town and wants to have dinner with them. Matt’s a little nervous about undergoing scrutiny from his future father-in-law, so Kelly reminds him that Bill is an ex-con and a horrible father, so the bar’s pretty low. Of course, she doesn’t know that Matt isn’t that great of a guy either.
Steve checks out the Internet, wishing that he and Janet were making money from Internet stocks. He contemplates investing in Donna’s website, but Janet says they can’t afford it. They can’t risk a bad investment now that they have a child. The photo shoot for Donna’s website is delayed because the model’s late, so she’s nervous again. Dylan completes the process of becoming an LLC, then cautions his accountant (or whoever the guy is) not to pursue Camille.
With the model nowhere in sight and time running out, Dylan suggests that Camille do the job. Donna agrees, but David reminds his girlfriend that she’s a businesswoman, not “eye candy.” Camille says that since she’s a businesswoman, she’s making a business decision and modeling the clothes. Meanwhile, there’s a launch party scheduled for the next night at the After Dark, and Noah’s excited about it. He wishes he had a big investment with money coming to him. Steve does, too. Ellen calls Noah to ask for help – she’s in jail.
At home, Donna complains to Kelly about how annoying David was during the photo shoot. She laughs over how Mitch likes to schedule everything. Kelly notes that Donna always gets critical of the person she’s dating, then starts thinking about David. To absolutely no one’s surprise, Bill calls to cancel dinner with Kelly and Matt. Dylan runs into Janet and Maddy at the Peach Pit and mentions that Steve just wired $10,000 into his account to invest in Donna’s website. Janet pretends she was aware of this.
Matt meets with a guy named Tom who got his business card at the desert party. As Kelly arrives, Tom tells Matt he’ll say hi to Amy for him. Kelly laments the fact that she once again got her hopes up about her father and has again been disappointed. She thanks Matt for never disappointing her. Oh, Kelly. Then she asks who Amy is. Matt says Dylan hooked up with her in the desert. Oh, Matt.
Noah takes Ellen to his place and asks why she was found passed out in her car. She admits that she was behind on her rent, so she moved into her car. She was too embarrassed to ask Noah for help. When her car wouldn’t start, she fell off the wagon. Noah encourages her to go back to AA, but Ellen thinks finding a job is a bigger priority. At the Peach Pit, Mitch tries to sync his schedule with Donna’s, but she misses having a relationship with spontaneity. She thinks they should stick to business. He can’t really object, but he tells her he doesn’t give up that easily.
Kelly tries to ask Dylan about Amy, but Matt interrupts and drags his fiancée away before Dylan can say anything incriminating. Steve gets home from some kind of alien-encounter convention and gets an earful from Janet about investing in the website behind her back. He argues that he was within his rights because he invested his own money, left to him by his grandfather. Janet’s even madder now that she knows her husband had a bunch of money she didn’t know about.
Noah takes Ellen to an AA meeting, but she doesn’t think it will help her, so she leaves. Donna and Camille look over Camille’s photos, which turned out great. David’s less than enthusiastic, hurting Camille’s feelings. She doesn’t get why he seems to get more upset the better things get for them. Noah goes to the meeting on his own, expressing his gratitude that he has so much support from the other members. Ellen comes back at the end, so…yay? I really couldn’t care less about her.
The launch party kicks off at the After Dark, and Donna’s nervous again, this time about seeing the site for the first time. Matt asks Dylan what he and Kelly were discussing earlier, warning him not to tell Kelly anything about the trip. Camille worries that David’s bad mood is her fault, but Donna assures her that things will be okay. With just a few seconds to go before the website launches, Dylan and Donna take the stage. Steve accesses the site (using a search engine, the dork), but it declares that access is denied “until Donna Martin goes on another date with Mitch Field.”
The next day, Donna goes to confront Mitch, who says his stunt was just a “romantic plea.” He asks for another chance because they’re totally meant for each other. Donna tells him that his action was cruel, not romantic – and also illegal. Mitch maintains that she’s the one for him, like, dude, you couldn’t be any creepier right now. She tells him it’s not too late to do the right thing.
Steve now regrets making his investment. Janet’s just glad he didn’t use any of her money. He tells her that his grandfather wanted him to do something special with the money, and this is the first thing Steve has considered worthy. Janet worries that Steve isn’t committed to their family or doesn’t trust her if he’s going to keep secrets about money. Steve doesn’t think money’s that important, which Janet says is part of the problem.
David checks on Donna at the boutique, comforting her when she says she feels responsible for everyone losing out. He tells her he hasn’t smoothed things over with Camille yet. The website’s now up and running, though, so Mitch came to his senses. Camille wants to have lunch with David, but he says he’s busy. This relationship doesn’t seem to be going anywhere good. In other romantic news, Noah and Ellen have another fight when she objects to him talking about AA all the time.
The gang goes to the After Dark again, and Kelly bugs Dylan about Amy some more. Matt lies that they met her at a gas station, and Dylan flirted and gave her a ride on his bike. Dylan changes the subject to the website, leading Kelly to leave and call Donna to congratulate her. Matt tells Dylan that he’s going to keep lying to Kelly about Amy; Kelly’s too important to lose. If Dylan’s waiting around for Matt to ruin everything, he shouldn’t get too comfortable. Dylan remarks that he underestimated Matt. “It’s the sweater vests,” Matt replies.
Ellen comes crawling back to Noah after their latest fight and asks him to come somewhere with her. Janet and Steve fight some more, and he tells her that he takes his responsibility to care for the family seriously. The secret money was a safety net in case he screwed up and needed to save them. Janet reminds him that they promised to stick by each other for better or for worse. They don’t need to keep secrets from each other.
Donna gushes to a distracted David that someone in New Mexico bought one of her skirts. She knows things between him and Camille are bad, and she encourages him to fix things before he loses a great relationship. David implies that he’s ready to lose it. Ellen takes Noah to a playground and points out a six-year-old girl, her daughter. Ellen’s mother is raising the girl until Ellen gets her life together, which is taking longer than expected. The girl is the result of a drunken one-night stand. Her father’s out of the picture, and the girl thinks Ellen is gone all the time because she’s a flight attendant.
Camille goes to David’s, where they kind of make up, but not completely. He thinks she deserves better, so they’re over. At the beach apartment, Kelly tries on Jackie’s wedding dress, since Jackie wants her to wear it for her own wedding. (Donna’s working on designs for a new one, though.) Dylan shows up and notes that this is the second time he’s seen Kelly in a dress for a wedding to someone else. He tells her she looks beautiful, then finds a reason to leave.
Thoughts: The internet! Electronic schedulers! This show is full of cutting-edge technology!
Donna, your top at the party is not a shirt – it’s a handkerchief. As someone who’s supposed to know about fashion, you should be able to tell the difference.
Seriously, if you lifted Noah and Ellen’s scenes out of the show, the plot wouldn’t be affected at all.
I like the wedding dress above, but I can’t imagine Jackie wearing it.
‘Bye, Camille! You weren’t so bad. You just weren’t Donna.
November 7, 2015
Summary: Donna takes Gina to the Martins’ house so Dr. Martin can see both of his daughters at the same time. The Martins want to spend Christmas with both of them, but they’re hesitant to let Gina come to their Christmas party. They haven’t figured out how to explain her to their friends. Gina decides to leave, telling Donna to pick a side. Donna says she can’t go against her father, so Gina tells her she’s an only child again.
Dylan and David help Steve and Janet pick out a Christmas tree, an activity Steve’s filming for some reason. David and Dylan hug for the camera to show that they’re friends again. Janet runs into her parents, who are surprised to see that the baby has already been born. They make some civil conversation before the Sosnas leave.
Dylan takes a tree to the community center as Kelly brings over some presents. The two have some awkward talk about when she basically proposed (he finds it funny). A guy comes by to complain to Dylan about the mess some people make whenever they come to the community center for drug-recovery meetings. That just means Dylan has another problem to solve.
Noah wants to take Donna to Paris for Christmas/her birthday, but she’s not over his lies about going to Harvard. She’s also upset that he let his parents make his problems go away with money. At the Beverly Royale, Gina shares her problems with David, who apparently still wants to be friends after that whole…disaster. Felice shows up and offers Gina any amount of money she wants; after all, Dr. Martin has an obligation to her. Gina says no amount of money will make a difference.
Janet tries to make eggnog but can’t get it the way her mother makes it. Steve urges her to reach out to her parents and let them see Maddy. She calls her parents and invites them to dinner the next night. The annoyed neighbor returns to the community center, complaining to Dylan about declining property values. He pours out a bag of trash left in the neighborhood by junkies. The kids should be used to it, since they come from trash. Dylan punches the guy, who threatens to sue. Dylan tells the kids not to use their fists like he just did.
Gina goes to the Martins’ to tell her father she doesn’t want his money or pity. Dr. Martin wants to know what Gina expects from them. They talk about her stepfather, who Gina barely remembers, since she was so young when he died. She tells Dr. Martin that she doesn’t expect anything from him. Matt meets with a client who wants to sue over loss of intellectual property. He pays a $15,000 retainer. Merry Christmas, Matt!
Dylan and Andrew discuss the neighbor at the Peach Pit, as well as Andrew’s decision to cancel the recovery meetings being held there. Kelly shows up in time to pass judgment on Dylan for punching someone in front of the kids. Dylan denies that he’s a role model; he just finances things and hangs out. Kelly says that’s not enough.
The Sosnas come over for dinner, and things go really well. That is, until Steve mentions the wedding and Mr. Sosna decides it’s time to leave. As Dylan tries to find a new location for the recovery meetings, one of the community-center kids, R.J., hits another boy. Dylan realizes that the kids notice him more than he thought. At the beach apartment, Donna wonders if Noah was drunk the night of the accident that killed his girlfriend. Noah’s mad at her for meddling.
The next morning, Donna has breakfast with her parents, telling them that Noah lied to her. Now she wonders if she really knows him, just like she and Gina wonder if they really know her parents. Felice warns her not to develop Gina’s mindset. R.J. wants to play foosball with Dylan, but Dylan would rather talk to him about how hitting is wrong. He urges R.J. to apologize to the kid he hit. Amazingly, R.J. doesn’t tell Dylan to apologize to the guy he hit.
Donna finds Noah at the After Dark and tells him that she knows her parents were under pressure to make a decision, and didn’t necessarily make a good one. Noah and his family did the same thing after Beth died. Donna hopes they can get past this. Steve goes to the Sosnas’ house to confront them for only showing Janet conditional love. He won’t let them treat Maddy the same way. He invites them to stop by the next day, Christmas, but they only get this one last chance.
Kelly and Matt decorate a tree at the beach apartment, disagreeing on whether or not they should use tinsel. They exchange gifts, a book of maps of L.A. and Orange County for him, and a ring for her. After a slight hesitation, Kelly accepts Matt’s marriage proposal. On Christmas morning, Noah serves Donna a birthday breakfast in bed (well, just a croissant with a candle in it), and Kelly shows off her ring. Donna laments that things are changing quickly. She wishes Noah hadn’t been forced to grow up so fast.
Everyone gathers at the Walshes’ house, forgoing a gift exchange between each other and only bringing presents for Maddy. Donna tells Gina that she didn’t go to her parents’ party since she knew Gina wouldn’t be there. Dylan tells Kelly that she was right about his inability to think about consequences before he acts. He thinks they should try their relationship again. Apparently he doesn’t notice the giant diamond on her finger. Matt and Kelly announce their engagement, so Merry Christmas, Dylan.
Donna pulls Kelly out of the room to ask where her engagement leaves Dylan. Kelly admits that she sometimes thinks he could be the one, but it’s too easy for him to walk away. She loves Matt for who he is, not for who he’s trying to be. Gina and David watch Dylan look at his ex longingly. Janet’s parents arrive, and Janet’s touched to learn that Steve drove all the way across town the night before to talk to them. “We’re glad you both found each other,” Mrs. Sosna says.
Noah tells Donna that the accident with Beth was just an accident, but he’s worried that Donna will keep wondering if he was responsible. He thinks she’ll always find something not to trust him over. He’s gotten past the accident, and he doesn’t want to relive it while she deals with it. They’re done. In happier relationship news, Matt’s looking forward to growing old with Kelly.
Dylan watches It’s a Wonderful Life alone at the After Dark, like, at least go to the community center. Noah shows up and almost joins him for a drink, but changes his mind. Gina goes to see Donna, and they discuss how Gina’s world has been shaken, but that doesn’t mean she has to have a sad ending. The sisters seem to be on good terms now – a Christmas miracle!
Thoughts: What made Felice think Gina would respond to her blank-check offer any different than Ray did?
So Dylan just hangs around the community center and doesn’t play with the kids? What’s the point?
Matt’s defense of tinsel: “It’s shiny!” This is why you’re a good law-talkin’ guy, Matt.
What’s with Donna getting dumped on her birthday?
October 31, 2015
Summary: Steve and Janet bring their daughter home for the first time, and Steve immediately starts worrying about baby-proofing the Walshes’ house. Janet wants to take a minute to enjoy the fact that things are finally looking up. Maddy ruins it by crying. Donna begs Gina to help out at the boutique, reminding her that they’re family, so they should be able to put their feelings aside. Gina doesn’t feel like it. Donna tells Kelly that she’s waiting for the right time to tell Gina that they’re really sisters, not cousins.
Dylan and Kelly meet up at a gallery, and he apologizes for his behavior on Thanksgiving. He asks her to help him pick out some art for his place. She only has a minute, since the boutique is doing so well. Dylan praises her hard work there, but Kelly feels like she still hasn’t found her true calling. She admires Matt for doing what he wants, even if it doesn’t make him rich. Dylan assures her that she’ll find what she’s looking for.
Donna’s still worried about telling Gina the truth; it could make things worse for their relationship. Noah thinks she should do it for her own peace of mind. Donna tells him that they were invited to a Harvard alumni party, and they should go, since Noah went to Harvard. He’s uneasy with the idea. The gang stops by the Walshes’ house to shower attention on Maddy. Steve’s nervous about germs and cold weather. Janet, please talk to your husband.
Gina confides in Dylan that she’s thinking of leaving L.A., since her life there hasn’t turned out the way she’d hoped. It doesn’t sound like David knows this. Also, he would prefer if Dylan wouldn’t have private conversations with his girlfriend. Gina decides to leave, but she encourages David to hang out with his friends. Matt puts Maddy in a Snugli, and Dylan notes to Kelly that her boyfriend seems good with kids.
Donna goes to see Gina, wanting to smooth things over with her before hitting her with the news that they’re sisters. Gina doesn’t believe her, so Donna produces Gina’s birth certificate. Gina immediately kicks her out, insisting that this doesn’t change anything. Donna disagrees. At the beach apartment, Dylan presents Kelly with a painting she admired at the gallery. At the boutique, Donna asks Noah about the alumni party again, guessing that he was part of a secret society there.
Gina enters and announces that she hates Donna. She adds that Donna needs to tell their father to stop trying to kill her. She wishes Donna had kept her mouth shut. Did she think Gina would like knowing that they’re sisters? It’s just a way of reminding her that Donna’s had a wonderful life while Gina’s has sucked. Matt goes to the beach apartment to tell Kelly that he’s fallen in love with someone else. (He means Maddy. That was mean, Matt.) She tells him Dylan gave her a painting. Matt’s not a fan of this kind of gift-giving.
Donna beats herself up for telling Gina the truth, though Noah thinks Gina will eventually come around. Donna’s glad that she and Noah are so honest with each other, unlike her parents. Noah’s so awesome and decent! It must be because of his Harvard education! Noah admits that that’s impossible – he never went to Harvard. He was supposed to, but after the accident that killed his girlfriend, Mr. Hunter paid off the local sheriff not to file charges, then sent Noah to Hawaii. Donna wonders if Noah would have ever told her if she hadn’t brought up the party.
David wants to take Gina to a bed and breakfast in Catalina, but she’d rather stay at the hotel and mope by herself. He’s like, “But we can get drunk and look at buffalo!” Gina tells him that she and Donna are sisters, and she’s trying to process the news. After he leaves, she calls Dylan, telling him she needs company. She shares her family news with him and confesses her feelings of being rejected by Dr. Martin. Gina doesn’t want to talk things over with David, since he can’t be impartial, due to his history with the Martins. Dylan’s happy to be a shoulder to cry on.
Kelly tells Matt she’s going to give the painting back to Dylan specifically because Matt asked her to. If she were giving it back because she wanted to, it would mean that the painting has some sort of significance. Matt tells her the painting cost $16,000, which is pretty significant. He admits to being bothered by the fact that Dylan can afford to give her expensive things. Kelly insists that the painting doesn’t represent anything. Matt tells her to think on that some more, then tell him if she’s sure she wants to be with him.
David goes back to see Gina, finding Dylan in her room. Dylan tries to explain why Gina wanted to talk to him, not David, but David doesn’t want to hear it. Dylan and Gina follow him outside, where Dylan continues to try to talk to David. Fed up, David shoves Dylan, not realizing a car is coming. Dylan’s a little banged up, and David’s shaken by his behavior.
Gina takes a photo album to the Peach Pit so she can reminisce about good times with her stepfather. Donna arrives, and Gina talks to her about how he died in a plane crash. When she was a kid, she wanted to be a pilot, too. Donna reminds her that actions, not biology, make someone a parent. Gina’s paternity doesn’t change her relationship with her stepfather. Gina points out that things haven’t changed that much for Donna – Gina’s the one who found out her father wasn’t really her father.
Kelly visits Dylan, who’s received the painting. He tells her about David’s tantrum, which Kelly chalks up to David’s belief that Dylan’s coming between him and Gina. Matt feels the same way about him and Kelly, so they need to figure things out. If Dylan wants to be with her, really commit and build a life with her, then he needs to stay it. “Uh…hmm…,” Dylan replies. So…that’s a no? Kelly decides this is her cue to go back to Matt.
At the beach apartment, Donna overhears Noah telling Kelly that he didn’t feel like going to the alumni party. After Kelly leaves, Donna complains that Noah told her to be honest with Gina, and now he’s keeping his own secret from other people. Noah doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with making people think he went to Harvard.
Gina goes to David’s to apologize for talking to Dylan instead of him, like, he’s the one who needs to apologize. David’s sick of the two of them always needing to forgive each other. Things are out of control, to the point where he hurt a friend. He feels like he needs to protect himself…from Gina. Janet goes looking for Steve at the Walsh house and learns that he took the baby for a walk. She’s pleased that he’s gotten past being overprotective. Steve says he finally feels like a dad.
Kelly goes to see Matt, telling him she’s figured out what she wants: him. She doesn’t tell him that it’s because Dylan won’t commit to her, so technically he’s her second choice. At the boutique, Donna tells Kelly that Noah didn’t go to Harvard, and he doesn’t want her to tell anyone. Kelly tells her that’s a huge red flag. Donna already knows.
David visits Dylan to make sure he’s okay, and to tell him that he and Gina are over. Dylan knows that’s not what’s really going on with David. David admits that he feels depressed, and he’d like to renew his friendship with Dylan. Gina goes to her childhood home, telling the woman who lives there now what it was like before. The sight of a swing in the backyard makes Gina want to revisit her childhood.
At the boutique, Donna admires how sweet Kelly and Matt are with each other. Kelly admits that she practically proposed to Dylan, willing to have a future with him. But she only asked because she knew he would say no. Now that he’s chosen not to commit, she feels much freer to build something with Matt. Donna wonders what Kelly would have done if Dylan hadn’t said no. Kelly admits that she doesn’t know.
Thoughts: ’90s music alert: Marc Anthony’s “I Need to Know.”
A fun game to play during this episode is Spot the Doll. It’s easy because in every other scene, the baby is obviously not a real baby.
Does Matt know that Kelly bought Dylan a car while they were supposedly just friends? The painting is actually the less inappropriate gift here.
August 29, 2015
Summary: David makes Gina go to the hospital after her collapse at the skating rink. She’s very much against this and glares at everyone involved. At the boutique, Kelly criticizes a customer for wanting to buy a dress that shows a lot of skin. Donna advises her to talk to Matt, who she’s been avoiding since her rape. Donna assures her that Matt’s feelings toward her won’t change after he finds out what happened. As Kelly leaves, Joe shows up to ask Matt to help him bring a case against the police for brutality.
Gina stops by David’s to tell him she has some sort of imbalance and electrolytes issue but is okay. David knows there’s something more going on and encourages her to tell him. She admits that she’s struggled with bulimia for years, stemming from trying to stay in shape for skating. David’s the first person she’s told. He appreciates her honesty. Dylan posts fliers offering $100,000 for information on Kelly’s attack. A homeless woman tells him that she was there and heard Kelly screaming. The woman tried to get help, but no one listened to her. She praises Dylan for what he’s doing.
As another man tears down a flier, Janet reads a rave review of the Beverly Beat to Steve. The two of them celebrate by smashing a solar-powered calculator, since now they can afford batteries. Janet’s ecstatic that Steve turned the tabloid into a profitable paper. He’s throwing a party at the After Dark, featuring Collective Soul. Matt finds Kelly on the beach and tries to find out if her problems are relationship-related. She tells him she was raped, and he assures her that that doesn’t change anything.
Noah also has relationship questions, wanting to know why Donna’s still dragging her feet about moving in together. She won’t give him any straight answers, so he tells her they’re through. Yay, only two years too late! Matt tracks down Dylan to bug him about calling Kelly the night she was raped. He’s also a little annoyed that Kelly told Dylan about her assault, but not Matt. Dylan thinks it was easier for her to talk about a sex crime with someone she’s not having sex with. Dylan gets a call from the flier-ripper-downer, who wants to meet and point Dylan in the right direction.
David asks Gina why she felt the need to start purging again. She says she’s never felt good enough or pretty enough – “not blond enough.” In other words, she was jealous of Kelly. At the beach apartment, Donna’s happy to see Kelly dressed up for a date with Matt. Kelly feels like she can handle things now, thanks to how well Matt reacted. Wayne calls, wanting to go out with Donna. Donna tells Kelly that she and Noah broke up, but she blames the pressure of stepping things up, not Wayne. Kelly encourages her to call Wayne back. Donna notices that she’s taking her gun on her date.
David and Gina set up dominos around the house, as David attempts to distract Gina from her problems. When Dylan comes home, David tells him that Gina’s spending the night, and Dylan needs to leave her alone. Dylan’s annoyed to hear them having fun together. Over at the After Dark, Collective Soul performs. Not one person in the group has an attractive haircut. Matt talks about Joe’s case with Kelly, who doesn’t like that he got a criminal released from jail on a technicality. Janet’s suddenly not so excited about the paper’s successes; she doesn’t want to do this for the rest of her life.
Dylan drops by the club to ask Matt if he learned anything about Kelly’s rapist from the cops. He objects to the fact that Matt brought Kelly to the club. Matt tells him to stop acting like he knows what Kelly needs better than her own boyfriend does. Donna invites Wayne over and tells him she and Noah are done. She’s inspired by Kelly’s attack to do more interesting things with her life. The two take things to the bedroom, and I’m going to guess that Donna was planning that all along, since there are lit candles in there.
The club is crowded, and when a guy bumps into Kelly, she has a flashback to her attack. She thinks the guy is Joe, but he’s not. Matt realizes that Kelly isn’t doing as well as he’d thought. David and Gina wake up in his bed (fully clothed), and though he’s apologetic for not giving her some space, she’s totally fine with it. In fact, she wants to spend another night there. Meanwhile, Dylan and Matt tend to Kelly at the Walshes’ house.
Donna makes breakfast for Wayne. He reminds her that he’s heading to Mexico for a tournament, and will be traveling all summer. She’d like to tag along, but she has a job and friends in Beverly Hills. She also has an ex-boyfriend, as she remembers when Noah shows up to talk. He’s learned of Kelly’s rape and realized that that’s why Donna’s been so distant. Donna tries to rush him out of the house, asking him to meet her for lunch. Wayne makes his presence known, and suddenly Noah isn’t so interested in fixing things.
Dylan goes to a bar to meet Sean, the guy who claims to have information on Kelly’s rapist. Dylan gives him part of the reward money, promising the rest when the rapist is arrested and convicted. Sean’s tightlipped but tells Dylan to wait around for a while – the guy will show up. Steve meets Kelly to get some advice on what to run as the paper’s lead story the next day. He apologizes for one of the options, which objectifies women. He just wanted to help take Kelly’s mind off of things. Kelly appreciates it.
Sean takes Dylan out to an alley to meet the rapist, but it’s just an excuse to get Dylan alone so Sean and another guy can attack him. Fortunately, Dylan has brought Matt along as backup. That night, Kelly has a nightmare about her assault, and Donna comforts her. Kelly knows she won’t be able to move on until her rapist pays for what he did. Dylan and Gina make awkward small talk, trying to gauge what kind of friendship they have. They get close enough to kiss, wondering what they’re going to do.
Donna visits Noah at the After Dark, telling him that this is the first time her life she doesn’t know what she wants. She loves Noah and wants to work through things. Noah asks if she loves Wayne. Donna replies that she doesn’t even know him. Noah announces that he’s going to find a hot girl in the club, take her home, and then go to Donna’s work and ask her to understand. Janet goes to the office after hours and learns that Steve is letting a rape support group use it for meetings. Janet realizes that she can see herself working at the Beverly Beat for a long time after all.
Kelly counsels Donna on her relationship, reminding her that she loves Noah, and Wayne is never around. But then Wayne shows up, telling Donna that a friend wants his help getting a company off the ground. Now Wayne will be around. In other weird love triangle news, David comes home to find Gina in Dylan’s bed. Matt tells Joe he’ll help him with his case, though he’s not that happy about it. Joe wants to buy his girlfriend a present, so Matt sends him to the boutique. As soon as Kelly and Joe come face to face, they recognize each other. Joe locks the doors and pulls out his knife. But he literally brought a knife to a gunfight. Kelly and her six bullets are the last things he sees.
Thoughts: After all these years, I’m finally down to the last season of this show. There’s light at the end of this tunnel!
I guess a guy like Joe would know what “brutality” is.
This is probably the first time I’ve thought about Collective Soul in years. And now it will be a few more years before I think of them again.
Oh, I see a velvet belly shirt! My eyes! My eyes!
Donna makes pancakes in a pot. That seems time-consuming. You can only make one at a time unless you make them really tiny. Here’s a hint, Donna: The “pan” in “pancake” is for…well, pan. What you should cook them in.
Steve is a doof, but he really can be a good friend.
June 20, 2015
Summary: It’s morning at the Walshes’ house, and Gina’s bugging Noah. Donna and David are trying not to be awkward around each other after their kiss. Matt and Lauren tell the gang about their wedding, looking very happy together. Kelly arrives and things get really tense. Dylan takes the blame for her not being invited over to hang out with everyone. He claims he’s not picking sides, but Kelly snots that he has.
Steve and Janet are apparently working with Super Brothers and Super Sisters, and are taking a couple of teenagers camping. Janet wants to focus on roughing it, while Steve, of course, just wants to have fun. The teenagers are a stoner type named Stewart and a Goth named Marianne. They hate each other. Dylan books a room at the Bel Age, but not for himself and Gina – it’s a second honeymoon for Matt and Lauren. It’s Dylan’s way of thanking Matt for his help. Gina complains again about how Dylan only wants her for sex.
Noah thanks David for whatever he did that helped get Donna to forgive him for the photo-booth pictures with Gina. Noah admits that more happened, and he wants to come clean to Donna. He wants advice, but David refuses to get involved, because he’s smart. At the campsite, the campers spot a bear and retreat to their car. That night, Kelly joins David on his broadcast at the After Dark, giving advice to callers. Matt calls in to tell Kelly that after some time, she’ll feel better about what happened between them.
Donna and Noah discuss the call; she says Kelly and Matt can probably be friends after a while. It’s not like he cheated on her, which would be pretty unforgivable. Instead of telling her that he slept with Gina (which, remember, he didn’t), Noah asks Donna to move in with him. She happily accepts. Oh, Noah. Lauren pours cold water on her and Matt’s stay at the Bel Age: Her medication is messing with her white blood cells, and her doctor wants her to stop taking it, or she could damage her health. That means she could undo all the progress she’s made with her schizophrenia.
In the morning, the bear is gone, and so are Stewart and Marianne. Apparently they don’t hate each other anymore, as Janet caught them making out the night before. She and Steve find them off by themselves (though at least they’re fully clothed). Dylan and Kelly hang out downtown, coming across a Thunderbird that makes Dylan think about an uncle who drove one. He’s been thinking about his future ever since he got into recovery, but isn’t feeling motivated.
David thinks that Noah told Donna about sleeping with Gina, while she thinks David already knows that she’s moving in with Noah. Confused? Kelly wants to talk to Matt about his call during the radio show, interrupting while Matt’s trying to get in touch with Lauren’s doctor. Matt doesn’t have time for her issues. Steve tries to warn Stewart that getting into a relationship with Marianne will drive him crazy. Meanwhile, Janet tells Marianne to protect herself because boys only want sex. Steve wants Stewart not to get involved with someone he hates.
Dylan wakes up to find a present from Kelly: She bought him the Thunderbird. Lauren’s doctor warns her that if she keeps taking the medication, she’ll develop something that will eventually kill her. Lauren refuses to give it up; she won’t go back to the mental state she was in before. At the After Dark, Gina instructs Noah to keep his mouth shut and never tell Donna what they did. But when Donna shows up, Noah immediately tells her that he and Gina slept together. Donna just as immediately tells him they’re over.
Kelly’s supposed to be on David’s show again the next day, but she asks Donna to fill in. It’s probably not a good time for Donna to be giving relationship advice. She tries to call Gina, who’s at the After Dark, taunting Noah for being stupid – it’s not like they had sex. Noah’s like, “YOU SAID WE DID!” Gina plays dumb, pretending she didn’t mean to imply that they did. Clearly he wanted it to be true or his mind wouldn’t have gone there.
Matt wants Lauren to fight and look for a different medical option. He’s lost her once and doesn’t want to lose her again. Dylan tries to be supportive of Matt, who knows it’s because Dylan can relate to losing one’s wife. Janet tries to teach Steve to light a fire, telling him they can’t just use a lighter because kids like Stewart and Marianne don’t have quick fixes in their lives. Steve finally gets the fire lit…just before it starts to rain.
At the Peach Pit, Dylan tells Kelly that Matt and Lauren aren’t as happy as Kelly thinks they are. Lauren has very little time left before her schizophrenia gets bad again. Gina interrupts, then gets mad when Dylan won’t tell her what they were talking about. She whines that Dylan’s everyone’s friend but won’t be her boyfriend. He assures her that he and Kelly aren’t getting back together. Then he lets her drive his new/old car, which she takes off in.
Donna joins David for his broadcast, fielding a question about having to see an ex you still have feelings for. They claim that when a relationship is over, it’s totally over, though sometimes you feel a spark. Off the air, they reminisce about a time on the radio in high school, when Donna hyperventilated and everyone thought they were fooling around in the booth. David decides to give the night a theme: “Can ex-lovers remain friends?”
Steve and Janet check Stewart and Marianne into a motel, though it looks like Janet would rather hand out in the car. She’s mad at Steve for giving up on roughing it. He always takes the easy way out. She wanted to do something away from him, but he arranged the camping trip and involved himself. Janet wonders how she’s supposed to get over him when he’s always around. After she calms down a little, she tells Steve he’s good with the teens. He tells her he’s always around because he likes being with her.
Noah ambushes Donna at the beach apartment so he can retract his confession that he and Gina slept together. She doesn’t believe him. Janet and Steve spend the night together in the car, and like the last time they had sex, she wants to pretend it never happened. Steve, however, thinks they should have a relationship. Stewart and Marianne are on his side about that. Elsewhere, Kelly tries to show Matt some compassion over Lauren’s situation.
Donna finally faces off with Gina, accusing her of misleading Noah on purpose so Donna would get hurt. Gina claims that Noah came on to her the night they took the pictures, but nothing happened. Donna calls her trash and some harsher words. Lauren only has three pills left in her prescription; after that, she’ll have to find another way to get her medication. Matt wants to take her to Venice for a real second honeymoon. I guess his money troubles aren’t so bad anymore.
Dylan and Kelly play Battleship at David and Dylan’s house, reminiscing about their childhood together. He tells her that sometimes he reaches out and grabs whatever – or whoever – he can because he needs something to help him stay grounded. He’s only ever been able to connect with Kelly and Toni. David goes to the beach apartment to tell Donna that he lied when he said exes can be friends. Then they make out. Woo!
Thoughts: Who buys a car for a friend? How did Kelly even afford it? The boutique can’t be doing that well.
Gina’s mental health seems less stable than Lauren’s. Maybe she needs a referral to Lauren’s psychiatrist.
Okay, David and Donna, just get back together already. Make me happy.
March 14, 2015
Summary: Claudia’s packing for a big East Coast college trip, which is news to Bailey. She’s still planning to apply to college early so she can get away from high school. Julia knows about the trip since she wanted to go visit Justin at Yale, but she didn’t realize it was happening so soon. Claudia’s determined to go on her own if no one can accompany her. Julia volunteers to chaperone her, all excited about a sister road trip.
Kirsten calls Charlie at work to report that the surgical procedure she wanted is going to be mostly covered by insurance. This means they might be able to conceive without fertility treatments. She schedules the surgery, though she’s worried about Charlie making a tight deadline at work. Owen tells Victor about a kid named Morgan who’s been bullying him. He doesn’t want Bailey to know. Victor encourages him to stand up to Morgan, which will definitely, 100 percent work.
Claudia and Julia head to Yale; Julia’s staying at Justin’s apartment while Claudia stays on campus. Since Victor is now effectively raising Owen, Bailey has more time for sex with Holly. Yay? She wants to spend more time together, because being apart for 48 hours was too much for her. He’s hesitant to push things too much. Charlie’s late picking up Diana, thanks to work, and discovers that Luke has moved in with Daphne.
Julia meets Justin’s girlfriend, Laura, who’s full of energy and has turned Justin into a runner. (She also broke the nose of a guy who once tried to assault her, so: new role model.) Charlie’s still working on finding ways to spend money, with no luck. He’s also stressing over Daphne’s new living situation, and the possible complications of Kirsten’s surgery. Kirsten thinks he should be focusing on his work project instead.
Owen stood up to Morgan, but it didn’t work. Womp womp. Claudia meets up with her student guide, Peter, who thinks they should skip the standard freshman tour since it won’t tell her what she really wants to know about college. He’s going to take her on the insider’s tour instead. Claudia, if he makes a move, pull a Laura.
At a bowling alley with Owen, Victor encourages Bailey to take Holly up on her suggestion that they spend more time together. Bailey doesn’t want to change their schedule since then they won’t be casual. (Because nothing says “casual relationship” like a schedule.) Owen runs into some musclehead, spilling ice cream on him, and when Victor steps in, the musclehead threatens to hit him. Victor bends the guy’s arm back, so now Owen has a new role model, too.
Daphne takes Diana to visit Charlie at work, because that’ll help him meet his deadline. Daphne suggests that they alter their custody arrangement so Diana spends a few nights with her. After all, Charlie’s working later hours, and Diana’s already falling asleep at Daphne’s. Charlie declines, and Daphne immediately guesses that it’s about Luke. Charlie’s worried about leaving his daughter alone with a guy they don’t know well. He doesn’t think Daphne’s being as responsible as she wants to be.
Julia has dinner with Justin and Laura, hearing all about Laura’s goodwill work in Kenya. When she leaves the table, Justin tells Julia how being with Laura has made him a better person. He admires how she’s already planned out her life. He’s been thinking about proposing, and has decided that he’ll just do it instead of talking about doing it. Julia’s like, “No, yeah, she’s totally great! I’m not exhausted just listening to her talk!”
Outside Holly’s building, Bailey – who has apparently become a stalker – sees her with another guy. Daphne goes to Charlie’s to get Diana, but he’s dozed off and lost track of her. Fortunately, Diana’s just wandered into the bathroom to play with the toilet paper. Daphne remarks that things like this happen, “even to responsible parents.” Nice one. Claudia’s enjoying her time with Peter, experiencing actual college things like attending classes and hanging out at coffee shops.
Victor teaches Owen some self-defense, reminding him that violence is always a last resort. Owen would also like to learn some wrestling moves in case words aren’t enough. Claudia stops in at a restroom before going to class with Peter, but he surprises her by meeting her inside. She’s understandably upset, lecturing him that a girl being nice to him doesn’t entitle him to anything. Peter tells her that it’s a co-ed bathroom and he wasn’t there to do anything sketchy.
Charlie decides to take the night off to spend time with Diana and Kirsten. Kirsten’s surprised to hear that he’s put his big project on hold for a while. She thinks he’s giving up because he hasn’t come up with any ideas he likes. Charlie says he’s just focusing on more important things right now. Kirsten encourages him to face challenges rather than avoid them. He’s dreamed about making furniture for years, and this is the first time he’s gotten the chance to actually do it.
Bailey asks Holly for clarification on their dating arrangement, which she says is open, but only between each other (whatever that means). He wonders if she would tell him if she wanted to go out with someone else. She asks if he would want her to. He would, so Holly says she will if that ever happens. Bailey questions her recent social activities, and she says she’s spent some time with a co-worker, but nothing’s going on between them. She’s not happy with him for stalking her.
Julia confides to Claudia that she doesn’t think Justin should propose to Laura, since they haven’t been together that long. Claudia announces that she doesn’t care. She’s skipping the rest of the trip and going home tomorrow. Julia asks what she can do to make things better. Claudia asks her to go back in time and stop her from going into the bedroom with Derek.
Charlie drops Diana off with Luke, seeing that Luke has done a lot of decorating in Diana’s room. He agrees to let Luke and Daphne keep Diana overnight. So I guess putting up pictures of sheep is all it takes to prove you’re responsible! Justin thanks Julia for being supportive of his decision to propose to Laura – he’s officially decided to do it. Julia pretends to still be supportive.
Owen is sent home from school for using his newfound self-defense moves on Morgan. Bailey confronts Victor for not telling him about the bullying, and for teaching Owen to fight. Victor thinks he’s justified in using violence if using words has failed. He spent years feeling ashamed and afraid because of the way other kids treated him. If Owen can get through his childhood by taking care of himself this way, he should.
Julia tracks down Claudia and asks for more information on her decision to go home early. Claudia refuses, ordering Julia to leave her alone. Julia also refuses. Claudia cries, unable to figure out what to say. Kirsten’s surgery goes well, and Charlie tells her that the doctor thinks it could be successful. Kirsten admits to being scared because conception is dependent on her now; there are no more excuses for failure. Charlie admires her courage, saying he also has no more excuses for his career.
Bailey tells Holly that he needs to face his fears about commitment – they should become exclusive. Holly knows he’s not over Sarah, and that she’s a rebound for him. She knew that going in, but she thought dating for long enough would help him work through his breakup with Sarah. Holly wants Bailey to take more time before he gets into another serious relationship. However, she can’t promise she’ll still be available when he’s ready to commit.
Charlie gets up in the middle of the night to work on a design after having a Frank Gehry-inspired dream about unfinished work. Julia and Claudia are also up late, getting ready to head home. Claudia asks Julia if it took her a long time to trust another guy after she and Ned broke up. She thinks that’s what’s hurting her the most. She’s ready now to tell Julia what happened with Peter.
Thoughts: What a waste of a title. No one went to Las Vegas!
Hello, Charles Esten’s biceps! How you doin’?
Victor, please teach Claudia some self-defense as well. Maybe it’ll help her feel better.
February 21, 2015
Summary: Bailey has dinner with some really annoying girl, ditching her to talk to Joe, then Tracy. He’s disappointed that he can’t spend more time with his married girlfriend. He tells the annoying girl that they’re dating, but she doesn’t care. Charlie’s 30th birthday is coming up, and though he tells Kirsten he doesn’t want to make a big deal about it, he kind of wants to make a little deal about it. At school, Claudia and her friends plan Homecoming, but she splits when Derek shows up.
Brian tracks down Julia to apologize for kissing her. She’s happy to forget about it and move on. Bailey wants Charlie to move some of his things out of the Salingers’ basement so Will can live down there. Charlie would rather talk about how he’s dating two women at once. Then suddenly there’s a third woman in the picture; she’s at the wrong house, but Bailey wonders if they were meant to meet. He asks her on a date for the next night, bugging her when she keeps saying no.
Back at the house, Bailey invites Daphne and Griffin to Charlie’s birthday party. Somehow, they realize that he’s figured out that they’re…dating? Is that what they’re doing? Julia gets down about some critiques of her book, then gets more annoyed when Evan doesn’t show her any sympathy or give her support. Later, Julia and Brian encounter each other again at Evan’s house, and he tries to make her feel better about the critiques. Hey, do you think the show is trying to tell us that Julia and Brian are a better match than Julia and Evan?
Bailey’s fated woman, Holly, must be crazy because she agrees to go on a date with him. We’re supposed to think they’re cute, but it’s gross. She’s all type A and a control freak like Bailey, but she gave in to a guy who harassed her, so I can’t root for her. Julia has also figured out that Griffin and Daphne are…whatever, and she assures him that she’s fine with it. Griffin says it’s just casual, and he can’t picture them actually dating. Julia wonders if he could picture her with him before they got together. She encourages him to tell Daphne how he feels about her.
In the Salingers’ basement, Charlie finds a model of a house he made back when he was in architecture school. Claudia tells Alexa that she’s quitting the Homecoming committee because of Derek. She doesn’t get how Alexa can hang out with him like nothing happened. Alexa points out that Claudia didn’t tell anyone that he assaulted her; Derek didn’t get punished, so Claudia can’t expect other people to punish him.
Brian says goodbye to Julia before heading back to college, admitting that he doesn’t want to hang around and watch his father date someone he’d like to be with. Evan overhears them talking about the kiss but doesn’t say anything. Bailey wants to go out with Holly again, but she likes the idea of ending on a high note and keeping their good memories of each other. Their date is interrupted by Tracy’s husband, who confronts Bailey in the restaurant and punches him.
Julia pushes Evan to talk about her kiss with Brian and how she kept it from him. She wants to make sure he knows that the kiss didn’t mean anything to her. Evan believes her and isn’t surprised that Brian’s interested in her. Claudia’s an outsider at school again, now that she doesn’t want to spend time with the popular kids. Myra’s snuck in some alcohol, and Claudia decides to join her for a drink.
Bailey tracks down Holly, which is REALLY GROSS, and tries to get her to see that he’s really a good guy. He only hooked up with Tracy to get Sarah out of his system. Holly thinks they’re a mismatch because Bailey’s not mature enough to know that a meaningless affair is a bad idea. Julia’s upset that Evan’s always so nonchalant about everything and never shows emotion. Evan admits that the kiss bothered him, but he doesn’t see the point in complaining about it. Julia would like him to give her more emotion than he would any other random person in his life. Otherwise, why be together?
Myra’s alcohol loosens Claudia up, and when Derek starts to leave to get his own bottle, she announces that girls should be careful around him. She accuses Alexa and Cameron of knowing his true nature and not saying anything. She’s tired of the view she’s gotten from being in the top tier. Griffin goes to see Daphne at her job and asks her to go somewhere to talk. She knows what he wants to talk about, so she asks to go for a ride on his motorcycle instead. He puts his only helmet on her and lets her drive. She’s bad at it, and they crash.
Charlie, Kirsten, Julia, Claudia, and Victor convene at the hospital; Daphne’s mostly okay, but Griffin has a head injury and needs reconstructive surgery on his hand. He may not be able to fully use it. Plus, Griffin doesn’t have insurance, so he’ll have to be sent to a hospital with lesser facilities. Julia authorizes the surgery, declaring that the Salingers will figure out a way to pay for it. Bailey arrives late and runs into Holly, who works there and finally finds it creepy that he’s always around. Victor visits Daphne, who cries and asks, “What have I done?”
Evan shows up, ready to do actual boyfriend stuff for Julia. He knows she’s right about his problems showing emotions; she’s not the first person to mention them. He asks her to bear with him while he works through them. Julia, however, has realized that she has the bad habit of dating men who ask her to bear with them while they deal with their issues. She thought he was the opposite of Ned, who couldn’t control his feelings. She can’t keep dating someone who requires so much work.
Charlie spends the morning of his birthday on the roof of the hospital, telling Kirsten how seeing Griffin made him remember when he was in the hospital. He’s decided to start focusing on what’s important to him. He’s going to quit teaching and will eventually go back to architecture. Whenever anything bad happened to him, Charlie would try to trust fate; if he held on long enough, things would get good again. He’s going to try to remember that.
Holly tries to be nice to Bailey (nicer than he deserves), but he’s snotty to her because she said he wasn’t mature enough for her. He thinks he should get a pass because he made a mistake. Acting like an idiot got him a date with Holly, so she can’t say that being reckless is all bad. Julia tells Griffin that the doctors are hopeful, but no one’s 100 percent sure what kind of recovery he’ll have.
Thoughts: Holly is played by Rhona Mitra. When I looked up what she’s been in to find out what she’s known for the most, I realized that I’ve never actually seen her in anything.
Rejected Homecoming theme: the Heart of the Sea. SO ’90s.
Bailey, bugging Holly: “Sometimes you just can’t take no for an answer.” Well, you’d better learn to. Alert to all men: Bailey’s behavior in this episode is not cute. Asking a woman out multiple times and ignoring her when she declines is not romantic. You are not the star of an adorable Hollywood movie. Shut your mouth and walk away.
February 15, 2015
BH90210 8.30, The Fundamental Things Apply: For Once, Brandon’s Obsession With Doing the Right Thing Pays Off
Summary: Gwyneth is looking through Donna’s designs at the beach apartment, so I guess she’s still staying there. Noah comes by and announces that Donna needs to put on a fashion show at the After Dark. Donna thinks it’s a great idea. Gwyneth suggests that Donna be one of the models, but Donna’s unsure about that. At the clinic, a cab driver brings in a woman who gave birth in his cab. He was able to help her deliver because he was a doctor in his native Sarajevo.
David complains to Valerie that a check he got from a jingle client bounced. Valerie’s more concerned with her living arrangements – she wants to move out of the Walshes’ house since Kelly and Brandon are getting married. Specifically, she’d like to move in with David. David’s not on board, since Val’s been low recently, what with the moral dilemma over saving the life of a child molester. Brandon makes a list of pre-wedding tasks, taking a break to ask Steve to be his best man. (Who else would he ask? Dylan? Ha!)
At the Peach Pit, Donna shows Kelly a sketch of the wedding dress she’s going to make her. Donna’s fashion show is in the works, and she’s trying to be okay with Noah and Gwyneth working together on it. Valerie isn’t happy about the show taking place at the club; she’s also not happy with David, or with the fact that she has to move out, or, really, anything in her life right now. Steve meets Sarah for a round of golf, which she says her husband taught her to play. She kisses him, then tells him they’re separated.
Kelly takes Brandon to meet the cab driver/doctor, Alex, so Brandon can write an article about him (of course). Alex was working as an intern in Sarajevo when he and his wife, also a doctor, were both injured in a bombing. Alex came to the U.S. for medical treatments and became a legal refugee. He’s not certified to practice medicine in the States, which is why he drives a cab. He claims that he hasn’t become a doctor in the U.S. because of a language barrier, but Kelly and Brandon don’t believe him.
While David goes in search of the money he’s owed, Gwyneth tries again to get Donna to model her own designs. Donna can’t pass the task off on anyone else, so she’s forced to do a test with the lighting director. She gets really into it, which makes Noah proud, which makes Gwyneth sigh. David shows up to talk about their recent struggles; he thinks Val is trying to pretend everything’s fine. They’re having too much trouble trying to connect, and he thinks it’s time to stop trying. They’re through.
Kelly takes a break from rolling her eyes at Jackie’s additions to the wedding guest list to discuss Alex with Brandon. They’re trying to track down Alex’s wife, Katya, but since she seems to have disappeared, Alex thinks she’s dead. Steve asks Brandon and Kelly’s advice about dating Sarah while she’s still married. Brandon thinks it’s okay, but Kelly warns that Sarah might not be completely over her previous relationship.
David’s still trying to get his money. This is a boring plotline. Valerie goes to his place to get her things and give him back his key. David blames her for the breakup. Val points out that he’s been completely unsupportive, so he doesn’t get to be the good guy here. Brandon tries to talk to Alex about getting recertified as a doctor, but Alex doesn’t want to think about his career. If he doesn’t have Katya, being a doctor means nothing to him.
Steve makes a nice segue from talking about Brandon and Kelly’s marriage to talking about Sarah’s. She says that her husband cheated, and unlike Kelly, she wasn’t able to forgive him. David tells Donna and Noah that he and Valerie broke up, and since he doesn’t want to see her, he doesn’t want to do the music for Donna’s fashion show. Wow, jerk. Noah hopes the breakup wasn’t a result of what happened between him and Val, because Noah is not a jerk.
A photographer, Johnny, tries to flirt with Valerie, but she’s not in the mood. What she is in the mood for is helping Gwyneth scheme to do something mean to Donna. She suggests using wine to ruin Donna’s designs. At the beach apartment, Gwyneth also ignores Donna’s request to call a journalist to do publicity about the show. Noah brings by some clothes, and Gwyneth expresses concern that the stress of the show will cause Donna to take pills again. When Donna gets home, Gwyneth tells her that the journalist can’t come to the show.
Brandon and Alex have hit a dead end in finding Katya through refugee organizations. Kelly and Janet try to help, wondering if she came to the States illegally. Alex still thinks she’s dead; he’s registered with all the groups she might have used to help her immigrate, and he hasn’t heard anything from them. At the Peach Pit, David hears the jingle he wasn’t paid for on the radio. He calls the radio station to try to make his client lose customers.
Valerie talks to Noah about the breakup, insisting that it wasn’t her fault because she’s a better person now. She promises to be at the fashion show. David can’t get on the air because the radio show that played the jingle is sponsored by his client. He wants to keep fighting because he can control this situation, unlike the situation with Valerie. Donna’s show is successful until Gwyneth stains a bunch of dresses with wine. Noah tries to make helpful suggestions, but Donna says he’s pushing her too much.
After another unsuccessful search for Katya, Brandon and Kelly meet Sarah. She thinks they should keep up the search; it’ll be hard for Alex to completely give up his connection to his wife. Steve thinks this means Sarah will have trouble giving up his connection to her husband. Donna has to end the show prematurely, and Valerie can’t be bothered to fake sympathy. David’s not surprised. Johnny tries to chat with Valerie again, and this time she’s more receptive.
Sarah’s hesitant to invite Steve inside after a date, since she’s still married and hasn’t been with anyone but her husband in a long time. A makeout session changes her mind. Meanwhile, Valerie and Johnny have the same activity in mind. In the morning, Johnny’s distant and ditches Val to go to work. She snoops in his things and finds drug paraphernalia, including syringes.
We don’t get to see it, but Brandon and Kelly found Katya, so she and Alex are happily reunited. Katya explains that she thought Alex was dead as well. She came to the States and got a job cleaning costumes for a ballet company. Brandon remembered that her and Alex’s first date was at a ballet, so he called ballet companies with Bosnian employees. Katya tells Brandon and Kelly how romantic their wedding was despite being small; they only ate bread and wine. Kelly thinks that sounds like a great idea.
David finally tracks down his client, thanks to a helpful employee, and schemes to…steal clothes from his department store? I don’t know. Gwyneth goes to the After Dark to yell at Valerie for ruining the show, which…was what she wanted, right? Noah overhears and confronts Gwyneth for ruining the clothes. They agree that she should leave town. David gets a bunch of clothes, and when it’s time to pay, he hands over the bounced check. The client has to let him take the clothes for free.
Sarah visits Steve at work and reports that her husband wants to go to couples counseling. She’s agreed to give it a try. Oh, but she wants to keep dating Steve. Yeah, I think the counselor might advise against that. Noah tells Donna that Gwyneth sabotaged the fashion show but regrets it. Donna’s upset that Noah wants to defend her. Valerie calls a hotline to get advice about having had sex with an IV drug user. She’s asked if she knows Johnny’s HIV status.
Thoughts: Valerie to Kelly: “I wish you and Brandon many weeks of happiness.” Heh. Same.
After Gwyneth tells Donna to do a lighting test – Donna: “Hey, Val, uh–.” Valerie: “No.” Why is she so enjoyable in this episode?
“I stopped drinking coffee when my husband and I split up.” Huh? Also, stop talking about your husband, Sarah.
January 3, 2015
Summary: Though Charlie asked Bailey to be his best man, Bailey has basically made himself the wedding planner, and has gone a little overboard. (There are doves.) The wedding is four days away, but the theater it was supposed to be held in is suddenly closed, declared unsafe for people to go inside. The Salingers and Kirsten are fine with just getting married in the backyard, but Bailey wants them to have something special. (Also, the backyard is bad luck.)
Charlie and Kirsten go to the airport to pick up Ellie and Gene. Ellie is polite to Charlie, but Gene has major problems with him after his and Kirsten’s previous relationship issues. Joe is also back in town for the wedding. Bailey assigns Claudia to find music for the wedding, so she immediately picks Cody’s band. Sarah wants to help out, but Bailey’s keeping her at a distance.
Julia gets a letter from Stillman Press inviting her to meet with Stillman himself, Evan. He wants to discuss a story she submitted about domestic abuse – it’s not original enough. He gets tons of submissions from abused women, but none of them reveal why the women don’t leave. Evan has an imprint for nonfiction paperback books and thinks Julia should submit a proposal.
Claudia gets Cody and his horrible haircut to agree to play Charlie and Kirsten’s wedding. Claudia’s been spending some time away from Cody because she’s not quite ready to take the next step with him. Also, because his haircut is awful. Kirsten’s parents meet Daphne and Diana; Daphne’s getting ready to take care of the baby on her own while Charlie and Kirsten are on their honeymoon. Gene hates that Kirsten voluntarily spends time with these people.
Bailey manages to book a church for the wedding, though it’ll have to take place at 8 a.m. The priest there thinks he and Sarah are getting married. Sarah says they might someday. (Spoiler: They won’t.) Bailey’s mad that she isn’t sure when he is. Back at the house, Owen wonders if he should be mad, too. Sarah thinks it’s reasonable – if Bailey loved her enough to propose, he’s allowed to be upset that she said no.
Claudia goes to see Cody and catches him kissing another girl. Meanwhile, Kirsten learns that she’ll be getting married at 8 a.m. Charlie still thinks that the backyard is a better option. He and Kirsten try to tactfully tell Bailey that they appreciate all his planning but would prefer things that fit them better. Bailey’s like, “Then plan your own wedding yourselves,” like that’s a novel concept.
Julia goes back to Evan to tell him she doesn’t think she can balance schoolwork with writing. He suggests that she transfer to a college more focused on writing. He’s on the board of the College of Fine Arts and might be able to pull strings to get her a transfer, even though it’s October. Julia isn’t sure about the singular focus. Evan points out that he hasn’t even accepted her book proposal yet. She needs to figure out what makes sense to her.
Bailey whines to Sarah about Kirsten and Charlie disagreeing with his decisions, but she’s not that sympathetic. She thinks he was trying to turn it into his own event. She continues that she had the right to respond the way she did to his proposal, and she still has the right to not be sure about what she wants in the future. Sarah’s sick of Bailey being mad at her and treating her like an enemy.
Charlie asks Daphne if he and Kirsten can borrow a garter for the wedding. (Heh – of course she has more than one.) Gene’s like, “Yeah, no one’s surprised.” Ellie tells him to shut it, but Kirsten wants her father’s opinion. She calls him on acting like he’s superior to Daphne, who Kirsten thinks is awesome now. Ellie tries again to quiet Gene, blurting that Kirsten can’t handle his criticism.
Kirsten’s upset that her parents are questioning her decisions because of her past battle with depression. Ellie tells her that it doesn’t matter what they think. Kirsten disagrees – she wants her life choices to mean something to her parents. If they can’t support her, then after the wedding, they can phase themselves out of her life.
Cody, whose hair looks marginally better, tries to talk to Claudia, but she doesn’t want to hear about his girl on the side. She thinks he’s cheating because Claudia won’t sleep with him. Cody promises to cut the girl out of his life but doesn’t apologize for wanting to have sex. He understands why Claudia wants to wait, and he’d like her to understand why he doesn’t.
Julia talks to Griffin about her possible life changes, and the risks of making a commitment to writing. She compares it to Charlie and Kirsten getting married. Griffin points out that there are ways out of marriage, as they both know. He also doesn’t think he should be the one she asks for advice, since they’re not usually on the same wavelength. He’s taking a less chancy approach to life, knowing that he has plenty of time to take bigger steps.
Charlie assures Bailey that he’s still the best man, then reports that the wedding will take place at the house. Bailey’s opinion matters, so Charlie wants to make sure he’s not too upset about things. Bailey shares what Sarah said about him wanting the wedding to be his. He admits that he’s disappointed because Charlie’s leaving to start his own family. Bailey’s happy for him, but wants him to be less casual about everything. It’s a big deal for everyone, and their way of letting Charlie go.
The wedding day arrives, and Claudia and Julia help Kirsten get ready. The ceremony has been moved, but Kirsten isn’t sure where it will be. Charlie’s at the house, though he’s not supposed to be, and sees Kirsten in her dress. He doesn’t think they need to worry about bad luck. All their past luck has brought them here, where they belong.
Sarah and Bailey are awkward with each other, having realized how long it’s been since they had sex. They start making out. Julia, Claudia, and Kirsten follow directions to a little beach, which Charlie secured through an acquaintance of his father’s. Bailey barely makes it on time, and Kirsten’s parents don’t appear to be there at all, but everything else goes well. Bailey’s happy that the doves make it.
Kirsten spots Ellie at the reception and gets an earful from her mother about how difficult it was for her when Kirsten was sick. Kirsten assures Ellie that she’s happy. Julia tells Griffin that she’s going to transfer schools, and will move back into the Salingers’ while she looks for her own place. After Evan and Griffin gave her two different pieces of advice, she realized that she really did need to make her own decision. Griffin likes the part of Julia that’s confident about her choices.
Claudia tells Cody that they’re in different places in their lives, and she can’t be with him anymore. Bailey and Sarah are back on good terms, and can hardly keep it in their pants. When toast time comes, Charlie talks about making the right decisions, and holding on to things that are important to you. By the way, Gene’s there now. Charlie’s glad that his parents left him with the “secret to life,” which is to never let go. Fast-forward to the end of the reception, when the other Salingers see Charlie and Kirsten off on their honeymoon.
Thoughts: Evan is played by Kyle Secor. No matter what he does, he’ll always be Jake Kane to me.
Every single aspiring writer in the world just called BS on Julia’s plot. She goes in for a meeting with the head of the press (no way) about an article she submitted (he would probably never even see it), and he practically offers her a book deal (NO WAY). Next she’ll win the lottery just by looking at a ticket.
Claudia: “What if we missed the whole wedding? What if we’re too late?” Kirsten: “Claud.” Hee. Nice throwaway moment.
’90s music alert: Cody’s band plays Third Eye Blind’s “How’s It Going to Be.” When they break, they put on Smash Mouth’s “All Star.”
November 9, 2014
Summary: David’s thrilled to see his first music review published in the Beverly Beat. Not so thrilled is Jamie, the singer whose performance he reviewed, who comes to the Beverly Beat‘s offices to trash David for not knowing anything about music. She reveals that the owner of the club where she was performing fired her after the bad review. Brandon takes Emma’s tape back to her, eager to find out if there are any other copies that might find their way to Kelly. Emma won’t answer him.
Back at the Beverly Beat, Brandon tells Steve that Emma’s out as a writer, which doesn’t make Steve happy. He asks for a reason, and Brandon confesses that he cheated on Kelly with Emma. He’s trying to write a confessional letter, but Steve has a different idea: Make Kelly the new advice columnist, write an anonymous letter about an affair, and see how she responds. For some reason, Brandon doesn’t think taking Steve’s lead is a bad idea.
David asks Valerie to let Jamie perform at the After Dark. The performance he reviewed wasn’t good, but her CD is. Valerie is hesitant to do David any favors, but she agrees to give Jamie a chance. The club has a “ringside” night that evening, where people can watch a boxing match. Duke pops in, to Noah’s dismay. Next door at the Peach Pit, Donna invites Carly and Zach on a shopping trip. Steve’s currently out spending time with Zach, because he’s kind of awesome now.
Noah catches Valerie and Duke settling up and orders them to stop acting like the After Dark is a casino. Duke’s annoyed to learn that Noah didn’t know about their deal, though Valerie told him management was all on board. Noah makes Duke take all the money, then orders Val to give back everything she’s made from her customers’ gambling. As soon as Noah leaves, Valerie tells a customer that she’s still accepting bets.
Steve returns Zach to his mother, warning him not to tell Carly about all the junk food they ate. Carly’s upset that Steve didn’t walk Zach through the parking lot. Steve thinks she’s overreacting, since a six-year-old is mature enough to know not to walk in front of a car. Kelly likes her new role as advice columnist, reading Brandon a letter from “Torn in Two,” the fake girlfriend of the fake adulterer. Brandon thinks Torn in Two should forgive her boyfriend since he’s remorseful and came clean. Kelly won’t tell Brandon her first impression of the situation.
The next morning, Steve pushes Kelly to get her column in early. Kelly reports that she’s going to write about infidelity, and promises to be objective. Jamie’s appreciative of the chance to perform at the After Dark, and thanks David with a kiss on the cheek. A jealous Valerie intimidates her by warning her not to screw anything up. Noah asks Valerie about Duke’s money, which she swears she’s working on giving back. She complains that Donna turned him into someone who’s no fun.
Donna, Carly, and Zach go to the mall, which is also sort of an amusement park. Donna gushes about how great Noah is, and how confident she feels in their relationship. David tells Valerie to back off of Jamie, admitting that she makes him want to get back into music. But he doesn’t want to make another investment in something that won’t work out – like his relationship with Val, if she doesn’t cut out the jealousy.
At the Walshes’, Brandon’s about to tell Kelly he cheated when Emma calls. Kelly picks up the phone just as Steve does, and hears Steve tell Emma that it’s over. Kelly realizes that the letter from Torn in Two is about Emma…but she thinks the one who cheated with her is Steve, not Brandon. Valerie meets with Duke to assure him that their deal is still on. He tells her he’ll be sending an associate to collect his take from now on.
At the mall, Zach spots a balloon escaping from a clown’s handful and chases after it. Carly and Donna quickly panic and start looking around for him. Once Zach has the balloon, he can’t find his mom. At the Beverly Beat, Brandon warns Steve about the misunderstanding just before Kelly arrives to bash Steve for cheating on Carly. Brandon plays along, because he’s a jerk. Kelly agrees not to tell Carly.
Carly beats herself up for losing her son just a day after she got mad at Steve for not holding Zach’s hand. Poor Zach sits by himself, crying, until a guy who’s either a friendly businessman or a child molester offers to help him find Carly. Kelly goes to Emma’s place and greets her with a slap. Emma’s happy to clear up her misconceptions and informs her that she slept with Brandon, not Steve. She plays Kelly the tape to prove it.
Valerie apologizes to David for getting jealous, then gives him a really nice keyboard. At the mall, Carly and Donna learn that Zach was seen with a man and think he was kidnapped. Brandon assures Steve that they’re now even for everything Steve has ever done. Kelly sends in her response to Torn in Two, which advises the writer to dump her cheating boyfriend because she can never trust him again.
Carly and Donna go to mall security, where Zach is waiting for them. So it looks like the guy who found him was just a nice guy who was dumb enough to offer candy to a kid. Jamie hears David playing the keyboard at the After Dark and realizes that he’s a musician after all. He realizes that she gave a poor performance the other night because of stage fright. He advises Jamie to focus on one person in the audience. She asks if she can focus on him.
Carly thanks Donna for helping her stay calm when Zach was missing. Steve apologizes for not being more careful with Zach earlier, but Carly now understands that you can’t always be a perfect parent. Jamie’s performance at the After Dark goes well, and Valerie isn’t even jealous that Jamie’s focusing on David. Jamie gets David to play keyboard on a song. Duke’s guy arrives to get his money, and while Valerie’s away with him, David focuses on Donna in the crowd.
Valerie hands over Duke’s money, but quickly learns that the person who came to get it isn’t Duke’s guy – he’s an undercover cop. Val and Noah are both arrested for illegal gambling. David promises Donna that he didn’t know anything about Valerie’s crimes. As soon as Brandon gets home, Kelly plays him Emma’s tape. He assures her that Emma meant nothing and he only loves Kelly. Kelly doesn’t care. She’s moving back to the beach apartment, and she wants nothing more to do with Brandon.
Thoughts: Jamie is played by actual singer Jamie Blake, who was apparently sort of famous in the ’90s, though I’ve never heard of her. I thought she looked familiar, but then I realized that she just looks like everyone did in the ’90s.
David, you can’t be a critic. You need tougher skin. (Well, so does Jamie.)
It’s bad that I can’t tell the difference between David and Valerie when they’re dating and when they’re not dating.
Donna, just say no to velvet belly shirts.