March 4, 2017

The X-Files 4.20, Small Potatoes: Tail as Old as Time

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:40 pm by Jenn

I would trust this man

I would trust this man

Summary: At Tablers Community Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia, a woman named Amanda is in labor and isn’t happy about it. A nurse tries to get information on the baby’s father, but Amanda isn’t sure how to get in touch with him, since he’s not local. Actually, he’s from another planet. The baby, a girl, comes quickly, and the doctor says that she’s fine, but he’s lying. Well, unless “perfectly fine” includes having a tail. “Not another one,” the doctor laments.

Mulder and Scully get involved in the case after her reads a tabloid article about monkey babies in a small town. He’s surprised that Scully isn’t more interested in children being born with vestigial tails. Scully says it’s not completely unheard of, though five in one town is an anomaly. She just thinks the local Health Department should handle it. She figures Mulder wants to look into things as well because the tabloid is blaming aliens.

The agents meet Amanda, who has a good outlook on the tail, which can be removed when the baby’s a few months old. Scully asks if Amanda had any fertility treatments; she didn’t, and wasn’t trying to get pregnant. The father came over to her place one day, one thing led to another, and nine months later, Amanda’s a mom.

Mulder asks about the father, wondering if Amanda was abducted by aliens. Amanda outlines a regular fling like anyone would have with a human. Only she had her fling with Luke Skywalker, renowned Jedi knight. He didn’t have a lightsaber, but he sang Amanda the theme song from Star Wars. After learning that Amanda has seen the move 368 times, Mulder decides to duck out. Amanda wants to know if her baby’s father could also be the father of the other tailed babies in town.

A group of people, including Mulder and a guy named Eddie, is outside the nursery, admiring Amanda’s daughter. Scully takes Mulder to the local Health Department, so they can compare the children’s DNA. They all have the same birth defect, meaning they all have the same father. He probably also had a tail, though it was probably removed. Mulder wonders how this could happen. “Birds and the bees and the monkey babies,” Scully replies. “Birds do it, bees do it, even educated M.D.s do it,” Mulder says, which I think is his admission that he wants Scully to do it with him.

Mulder thinks that since the mothers all share the same OB, and four of them underwent fertility treatments, the doctor is the father. “So much for not putting all your eggs in one basket,” he says, which doesn’t really make sense. The agents gather all the angry parents (one of whom thinks Mulder and Scully are another couple with a tailed baby) at the doctor’s clinic, but he insists that he did everything by the book. However, he was surprised that his process to get the women pregnant worked all four times. Now he wonders if it really did.

Mulder wanders off and finds Eddie working on a sink. He notices a scar on Eddie’s butt, right where a tail might once have been. Eddie realizes Mulder’s on to him and takes off running, but Mulder tackles him and shows off his scar to all the parents. Paternity tests prove that Eddie Van Blundht (the H is silent) is the father of all five tailed babies.

The agents are interested in finding out how Eddie fathered five children with women who claim they never slept with him. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong, since the women all got babies and no one got hurt. Mulder and Scully step aside, and Scully presents her theory that Eddie roofied all the women and raped them. They at least have enough to go on to keep Eddie in custody while they investigate.

A sheriff’s deputy takes down Eddie’s information as Eddie studies him carefully. Suddenly, the deputy realizes that Eddie now looks just like him. Eddie knocks him out, and when he’s found the next morning, the sheriff is confused, since he said goodnight to the deputy as he left the night before. The deputy tells the agents that Eddie turned into him before knocking him out. Scully predicts Mulder’s theory that they’re dealing with someone who can take on other people’s appearances. “Should we be picking out china patterns or what?” asks a surprised Mulder.

Scully thinks the deputy is confused, and the sheriff just mistook Eddie for him since Eddie was wearing the deputy’s uniform. Mulder points out that all the mothers mistook Eddie for their husbands, and Amanda mistook him for Luke Skywalker. There has to be something else going on, and yeah, it could include aliens, so maybe don’t be so judgmental, Scully.

As the agents head over to Eddie’s parents’ house, Mulder asks Scully who she would be for a day, if she could be anyone. She picks herself, so he calls her boring. She’s not interested in being someone else for a day, though Mulder would like to see how people react to others. Scully picks Eleanor Roosevelt, but Mulder vetoes this, saying she can’t pick a dead person, for some reason.

The elder Mr. Van Blundht, who still has his tail, tells the agents that he doesn’t know where his son is. He didn’t think his son should have his removed, since without it, he was nothing interesting – just “small potatoes.” As Mr. Van Blundht continues talking about his son, Mulder wonders how he knows Mulder’s name. He quickly realizes that this is really Eddie pretending to be his father. But when you’re looking for a guy who can transform into someone else, it’s easy for him to run off and disappear.

Eddie transforms into a guy named Fred, the supposed father of one of the tailed babies. He tricks Fred’s wife, who’s just confused about the clothes her not-husband is now wearing. The agents search Mr. Van Blundht’s house, finding his dead body, which has been there for a while. Meanwhile, the real Fred comes home, and he and his wife realize there’s an intruder in the house. Now Eddie looks like Mulder, and he pretends he was checking the place out.

Scully autopsies Mr. Van Blundt’s body, finding striated muscle tissue all over him. She’s pleased that the body is completely intact, though not for long, as Mulder accidentally breaks off his tail. He wonders if Eddie and his father have the same muscle structure, and somehow use it to turn into other people. Scully thinks Eddie just has an identical twin.

Mulder decides to look into Eddie’s M.O., since Amanda doesn’t fit the pattern of the other mothers. Amanda’s still in the hospital, since it’s not clear if she’s sane enough to take care of a child on her own. Mulder shows her a picture of Eddie, who she dated in high school, though she really regrets that now. She thinks he’s a loser and came from a loser family. Mulder asks about any good qualities Eddie might have had. Amanda admires his love of Star Wars, though Eddie’s no Luke. What’s becoming evident, though not to Amanda, is that this isn’t really Mulder.

Fake Mulder (we’ll call him Muldie) hides as the real Mulder comes to see Amanda. She’s confused, since he just questioned her. Fred calls Mulder to follow up on his search of their home, and now Mulder’s the one who’s confused. Fred wants to know how Mulder chased Eddie into his bathroom, then asked to borrow a suit. Mulder catches on quickly, asking Amanda, “I was just here – where did I go?”

Following a lead to the men’s locker room, Mulder apprehends a security guard, apologizing in advance if he has the wrong guy. The doctor from the clinic enters, so Mulder handcuffs both men. He plans to give them blood tests, then release the innocent one. He calls Scully (“hey, it’s me” – close enough) and summons her to the hospital, then gets distracted by a flickering light and a gap in the ceiling tiles. Eddie’s hiding up there, and wants Mulder to know how good-looking he is before he attacks.

When Scully gets to the hospital, Mulder is releasing the guard and doctor, though he’s lost track of the real Eddie. He tells Scully that she was right, and the case is nothing – just “small potatoes.” As Scully leaves with her partner – or at least with a guy who looks just like him – the real Mulder, stuck in the boiler room, yells for help.

Scully and Muldie head home to D.C. and present Skinner with their case report. He’s unimpressed with Muldie’s misspelling of “Federal Bureau of Investigation” (twice). Scully confirms that Mr. Van Blundht died of natural causes, but his son hid his body so he could take his identity and continue collecting his Social Security checks. So Eddie’s not a murderer, but he’s a rapist. Muldie takes offense.

As the agents leave their meeting, Muldie asks if Scully has weekend plans. That right there should be a red flag to her. She wants to look at Mr. Van Blundht’s tissue more carefully, so she heads off to Quantico. Muldie decides to get acquainted with Mulder’s office, almost falling out of his chair. “This is where my tax dollars go?” he asks as he looks over Mulder’s decorations.

He heads home, wondering where he sleeps, as the audience has wondered for years. He ignores answering-machine messages from the Lone Gunmen (they think there was a third gunmen at Dealey Plaza, and they’re going out for cheesesteaks) and a woman named Chantal who misses “Marty”‘s calls on her phone-sex line. Muldie practices presenting his badge and declaring himself an FBI agent, then does a DeNiro impression in the mirror and admires his handsome new face.

Somehow Muldie finds out where Scully lives and visits her with a bottle of wine. He pretends to be interested when she says she found another anomaly in Mr. Van Blundht’s biology. He’d much rather talk to Scully, since they never just chat. Scully’s up for this, telling Muldie about a prom disaster she never mentioned to him before. She tells him she’s seeing a whole new side to him, and she likes it.

Muldie asks if Scully ever wishes things were different. How far is she from the person she thought she would be when she was younger? Does she wish she could go back and do things differently? Scully turns the question back on him, but instead of responding, he moves closer and starts to kiss her. Just then, the real Mulder bursts into the apartment. Busted, Eddie turns back into himself.

A month later, Mulder visits Eddie in prison, where he’s wearing a hat that declares him a “superstar!” in an attempt to improve his self-esteem. It doesn’t help, since the other inmates just beat him up and take it. Mulder wonders why he was summoned, while Eddie wonders if his partner didn’t come with him. He reveals that he’s on muscle relaxants that prevent him from shape-shifting.

Eddie laughs at Mulder for being a loser by choice while Eddie has no say in the matter. He thinks Mulder should treat himself, since Eddie would do so if he were in Mulder’s place. Mulder leaves, joining Scully, who assures him that he’s not a loser. He notes that he’s not Eddie either. As they head off together, a janitor mops the floors, wearing Eddie’s orange coveralls and “superstar!” hat.

Thoughts: Eddie is played by Darin Morgan, who also played the Flukeman. Tail or no tail, loser or no loser, this is a much better look for him.

One of the headlines on Mulder’s tabloid is “Etap Bigshot Busted,” a reference to “Unruhe.” The mugshot is of the show’s assistant prop master, Jim Pate, whose last name was reversed to provide the name Etap.

I love how Skinner asks who misspelled “Federal Bureau of Investigation,” like, did he really think it was Scully?

January 31, 2016

The X-Files 2.12, Aubrey: The Man of Her Dreams

Posted in TV tagged , at 2:17 pm by Jenn

Not a good look for you, John Locke

Not a good look for you, John Locke

Summary: In Aubrey, Missouri, a police officer named B.J. Morrow wants to talk to another officer, Brian Tillman, but he’s too busy for the conversation. Finally, Morrow writes him a note while he’s on the phone, telling him she’s pregnant. Tillman gives her the address of a motel and tells her to meet him there that night so they can talk. When Morrow arrives, she sees a bright light and has a flash of a man burying a body by the side of a road. She digs up the body and finds an FBI badge.

In D.C., Mulder and Scully check out dental records to determine that the body belonged to an FBI agent named Sam Chaney. He and his partner, Ledbetter, disappeared in Aubrey in 1942 while they were investigating a serial killer. Basically, Chaney and Ledbetter were the 1940s Mulder and Scully. Mulder can’t figure out why Morrow was suddenly compelled to drive to a field and dig up a body that had been missing for 50 years. Scully guesses that they’re on their way to Aubrey to find out. Mulder makes the requisite joke about how Morrow’s name is B.J.

Let’s go to Missouri! Mulder and Scully meet with Morrow, who claims that she was in the field at night because her car broke down. Tillman, standing nearby, eavesdrops. Morrow’s story is that she saw a dog digging in the field and went to the motel to use the phone once she saw the body. Tillman cuts in, noting that Mulder and Scully should be more focused on the body than how Morrow came across it. Mulder asks Morrow if she’s ever had any psychic experiences. Tillman has no patience for this and pulls Morrow away.

Scully does her thing at the coroner’s office while Mulder reads Chaney’s journal. He and Ledbetter were investigating a murderer called the Slash Killer who killed women. He hit them over the head, then carved “sister” in their chests and used their blood to paint on the walls. Scully sees that Chaney was clearly hit over the head as well, and that his ribs were cut, possibly with the kind of razor that the killer used to slash his victims.

Mulder hears from a mechanic who reports that Morrow’s car was fine. Scully’s already figured out that Morrow and Tillman are having an affair, and were planning to meet up at the motel. She matches scans of Chaney’s skeleton with those from one of the Slash Killer’s victims to determine whether they were killed by the same person. Morrow comes by, and when she sees Chaney’s skull, she has a flash of his murder. It disturbs her enough to make her run off.

Scully finds Morrow in the bathroom and reveals that she knows about Morrow’s affair with Tillman. She’s also guessed that Morrow is pregnant. Morrow thinks her nightmares are a side effect of the pregnancy; she keeps dreaming about a man in a house, and a lot of blood. She hasn’t decided yet what to do about the baby, but she knows Tillman would be mad if she told anyone. Scully goes back to Mulder and tells him what’s going on.

Mulder finishes the scans and determines that Chaney may have had “sister” carved into him. Looking at the bones, Morrow thinks “brother” is more likely. Tillman arrives and wonders how the group got access to the photos from a recent crime scene. He’s confused them with the ones from Chaney’s death, since they look so similar. He reveals that three days ago, a woman was killed in the same style as the Slash Killer’s victims. Just then, an officer arrives and announces that another victim has been found. Morrow immediately recognizes her as a woman she’s dreamed about.

The agents chat with Morrow in a park, talking about how her maternal instinct is emerging. Her father was a cop, and Morrow always wanted to be one, too. She knows her father would find it ridiculous that she wants to use her dreams to solve a crime. But it’s all they have to go on, so here they are. Morrow describes the dream for the agents; there’s a man with a rash on his face, and a picture of a monument with something circular by it. Mulder thinks it looks like the trylon from the 1939 World’s Fair.

Back at the police station, Morrow looks at some mug shots from the ’40s. Tillman tells her he’ll go with her “for the appointment,” but Morrow isn’t sure that’s what she wants anymore. Tillman’s adamant that they make the decision together. Morrow recognizes the man from her dreams in a mug shot and rushes off. The agents head to Nebraska to see the man, Harry Cokely, who was convicted of rape decades before. He carved “sister” into his victim’s chest.

Scully doesn’t think Cokely’s still killing, since he’s so old. She wonders if Morrow’s just remembering things her cop father talked about when she was a child. The recent killings might have triggered something in her memory and led to a big hunch. Mulder laughs that off, though Scully reminds him that he’s had some extreme hunches of his own. He denies it, but we have video evidence, so nyah.

Cokely is old and uses an oxygen tank, but Scully interrogates him anyway. He claims not to remember attacking and slashing Linda Thibedeaux in 1945. “I’m sure Mrs. Thibedeaux will never forget it,” Scully replies. Cokely claims that he’s recovered from whatever condition led him to attack Linda, and he was nowhere near Aubrey when the most recent victims were killed. He can’t leave the house without his oxygen, so he’s in no condition to kill anyone. Scully decides to end the interrogation. Cokley doesn’t help things by calling her “little sister.”

Morrow dozes at home, dreaming about a 1940s car and a hand holding a razor. When she wakes up, she sees that she’s covered in blood. “Sister” has been carved into her chest. She sees the reflection of a younger version of Cokely in a window, then flashes on someone burying something beneath floorboards. She heads to the location in her dream and starts pulling up floorboards. Someone calls the police, and when Tillman and the agents arrive, she says, “He’s here.” While Tillman takes Morrow to the hospital, Mulder finishes unearthing what she was digging up: bones.

The agents meet up with Morrow at the hospital, and she tells them Cokely hurt her while she was asleep. Mulder’s confused since she says she recognized him from his mug shot. Scully humors her, saying she’ll tell Tillman to question Cokely. Tillman does so, but Cokely insists that he didn’t hurt anyone. However, blood tests show that Cokely’s DNA matches what was found under the most recent murder victim’s fingernails.

Mulder decides that they need to talk to Linda next. She remembers the way the light reflected off the ivory handle of Cokely’s razor. “Someone has to take the blame, little sister, and it isn’t going to be me,” he told her. His defense at his trial was that his father was abusive and punished him for everything that went wrong, since he was the only boy out of six children. Mulder notices a picture of Linda and her husband at the 1939 World’s Fair, right in front of the trylon. Linda says she thinks Cokely was born evil.

Mulder asks if Linda had children. She says no, but Mulder knows that she was admitted to the hospital nine months after her attack. Linda reveals that she had Cokely’s child and placed him for adoption. The agents head back to their motel, having learned that the bones Morrow dug up belonged to Ledbetter. They were under a house Cokely rented in 1942. They were buried with a straight razor, so Scully thinks they have enough to nail Cokely.

Mulder isn’t sure – Morrow saw a younger man in her house. Maybe she was attacked by Cokely’s grandson. After all, he could look just like his grandfather. “I don’t think Mendel had serial killers in mind when he developed his theory of genetics,” Scully remarks. Mulder says he had nightmares as a child and would wake up thinking he was the only person left in the world. Then he would hear his father chewing on sunflower seeds in his study. What if Mulder likes the seeds because he’s genetically predisposed to? What if other traits are passed down through DNA?

Scully points out that things like tastes have to be developed. Mulder says people have genetic memories, which have been studied in twins separated at birth. For example, separated twins may have children with the same names without even knowing it. The conversation takes a new turn when Scully learns that someone tracked down Linda’s son. He was a police officer named Raymond Morrow – B.J.’s father. That makes Morrow Cokely’s granddaughter.

Mulder thinks Morrow has genetically inherited her grandfather’s homicidal tendencies, and she’s committing the new murders. Scully asks him to explain why Morrow herself was slashed. Mulder says it doesn’t matter – they need to make sure Morrow doesn’t go after Linda. This is exactly what happens, as Morrow goes to Linda’s house and starts to attack her grandmother with an iron. Fortunately, Linda slows her down by splashing her with bleach.

Linda also has a gun, which she aims at Morrow as Morrow starts to channel her evil grandfather. Linda quickly recognizes Cokely’s eyes in Morrow. Morrow sees the picture from the World’s Fair and briefly stops advancing on Linda. Linda sees that they both have “sister” on their chests; Cokley has attacked both of them. Linda tells Morrow that she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and Cokely’s the one to blame. Morrow raises a straight razor to finish her off.

The agents reach the house, where Linda tells them that something stopped Morrow from killing her. Scully thinks Morrow’s looking for someone to blame for her pregnancy, which means she’ll go after Tillman next. Mulder disagrees – she’s figured out that Cokely’s her grandfather, and she must blame him for everything. He tries to call Cokely but doesn’t get an answer. As he heads to Cokely’s house, Scully takes Linda to the police station, where Tillman argues that Morrow couldn’t have attacked her. Linda shuts him down.

At Cokely’s, the old man discovers that his oxygen tube has been cut, and someone’s in the house. As Mulder arrives, Cokely comes face to face with Morrow. She slashes the razor through the air, calling him “brother.” She tells him he knows the rules: “This doesn’t stop till you’re dead.” When Mulder enters the house, he finds Cokely in bad shape, and Morrow waiting for him, mistaking him for a young Cokely. She puts the razor to his neck, saying that this time he’ll stay dead.

Scully and Tillman arrive in time to stop Morrow, who says she’s not B.J. In the corner, Cokely dies, and Morrow pulls the razor away from Mulder’s neck. Scully’s end-of-episode report tells us that genetic testing has so far been inconclusive. Morrow’s fine now, and they’re trying to find out if the pregnancy triggered her “transformation.” They don’t know yet what the effects might be on her unborn child. Morrow’s locked up, on suicide watch because she keeps trying to kill the baby. Cheery!

Thoughts: In case you couldn’t tell from the picture, Tillman is played by Terry O’Quinn. He’ll be back two more times in the series.

“I’ve had feelings for people I’ve worked with. Interoffice relationships can be complicated.” Oh, just wait, Scully.

Linda still lives in the house where Cokely raped and impregnated her. Holy cow.

Also, did we really need two rape episodes in a row? And I know the next one isn’t much better.

January 24, 2016

The X-Files 2.11, Excelsis Dei: Magic Mushrooms, Indeed

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:27 pm by Jenn

"So...come here often?"

“So…come here often?”

Summary: At the Excelsis Dei Convalescent Home in Worcester, Massachusetts, two members of the night staff tell a nurse about a resident who died that afternoon. The nurse catches two residents watching a boxing match on TV and banters with them for a while. One of them is handsy, so she straps him to the bed. Then she knocks an orderly, Gung, for not enforcing the no-TV-after-9:00 rule. The orderly says that a doctor claimed the residents were getting better.

The nurse changes the dead resident’s bedding, getting spooked when the door suddenly closes. The door then locks itself, and the bed moves to block the door. The nurse is unable to move it back. Suddenly she’s thrown on the bed and an unseen force straps her down. She screams for help but no one hears her. So…this isn’t going to be a light, funny episode, then?

For once, Scully gets the case information first, viewing video footage of the nurse’s injuries. When Mulder finds her in front of a TV, he tells her that whatever tape she found in the VCR isn’t his. She replies that she put it in a drawer with a bunch of other tapes that probably aren’t his either. She explains the case to him: The nurse, Michelle Charters, says she was raped by an invisible spirit being. Shockingly, no one believes her.

Mulder says this isn’t the first time something like this has been described, but it’s possible Michelle just blocked out the identity of her attacker. Scully says that Michelle claims she knows who the spirit is, and she’s filing a lawsuit. The agents meet with her, and she tells them her attacker was the grabby resident, Hal Arden. From tending to him for years, she knows enough about his body to recognize it, even invisible. Scully notes that they’ll need physical evidence to build a case against Arden. Michelle doesn’t have any, and she’s sure she didn’t just repress her memories.

The agents talk to Arden, who laughs off the idea of someone his age raping someone. He’s annoyed that the “sex harassment fad” has prevented him from expressing his feelings about women. Would Scully be offended if he hit on her? After a pause, Arden apologizes to Mulder for moving in on his territory. He adds that he heard that Michelle was attacked by a ghost, and since he’s not a ghost, it couldn’t have been him.

Mulder thinks this case is going to turn out to be a waste of time. Scully, however, knows something happened to Michelle. Arden’s roommate seems to agree. The agents next talk to an administrative woman, Mrs. Dawson, who says Arden is well-liked at the facility. Arden’s roommate, Stan, warns Arden to be careful and not say anything or he’ll ruin things for everyone. He doesn’t want to have to die there. He takes a pill, saying he knows where “he” keeps them. Arden wants one, but Stan says he can’t handle another. Arden threatens to tattle on him.

Scully gets a look at Michelle’s file, which shows that she’s made requests for leave in the past, citing job-related stress. Mulder starts to ask Mrs. Dawson if she thinks Michelle staged her attack. Before Mrs. Dawson can answer, an orderly comes in to announce that Arden is choking. Stan is unsympathetic, saying he told Arden he couldn’t handle any more. Scully tends to Arden, determining that his problem is really heart-related.

Arden doesn’t make it, and his doctor, Grago, is sad – he was making progress on an experimental Alzheimer’s drug. In fact, many residents at the home have made progress. Gee, I wonder if that’s important? Scully asks to speak to other patients in the test group. Michelle’s back at work, and she’s outside watching as Arden’s body is taken away in an ambulance. Gung is also watching, and he tells Stan to stop taking Arden’s pills. Gung has already given him enough.

The agents observe another patient in the test group, Leo, who his friend Dorothy describes as a brilliant artist. She wants to stay with him instead of going to dinner, saying Leo hasn’t finished his drawing of a field yet. Scully thinks the Alzheimer’s drug could be a huge medical breakthrough, but Mulder doesn’t see the importance. Scully finally realizes that there could be a connection between the drugs and Michelle’s attack. One of the side effects could be schizophrenic-like behavior.

Scully’s next suggestion is an environmental cause. There could be a fungus or other contaminant that causes violent behavior. Maybe they just haven’t heard about that violence in other residents. Mulder thinks that Michelle made up the story so she could leave a job she hates. Scully points out that she was pretty seriously injured for an incident he thinks she made up.

Dorothy refuses to eat her dinner, and Leo is too worried about her to eat. He pleads with Gung to give them more of something. Gung says no, but Leo tells Dorothy that he thinks Stan has some hidden away. Stan’s daughter is there to help him move in with her, but a year after asking for this to happen, now he doesn’t want to leave.

Mulder and Scully talk to the daughter, Laura, who says she was told years ago that her father needed round-the-clock care. He used to suffer from dementia, but now he’s completely changed. Stan’s too angry to talk to his daughter about his treatment. Meanwhile, Stan runs away from his room. An orderly chases him to the roof, where an invisible force tries to shove him off. He manages to hold on to the edge, and Mulder hears him yelling for help and tries to save him. He doesn’t succeed.

Grago learns of the orderly’s death the next morning and rushes to the home. Mulder thinks Stan might have had something to do with both deaths. Grago says that he has a hip disorder that would have prevented him from going up to the roof. Mulder suggests that he had help. Gung is in the room, and he should really work on not drawing any attention to himself. Michelle reminds Mrs. Dawson that she warned that something weird was going on. Now two people are dead and an orderly is missing.

Scully and Mrs. Dawson hear Dorothy down the hall, telling someone to go away. When they get to her room, she tells them there are a bunch of people in her room and she can’t get rid of them. There’s no one there, at least that Scully and Mrs. Dawson can see. Mrs. Dawson says she’s just suffering from dementia. In fact, Dorothy is seeing ghosts, who follow Scully when she leaves.

Mulder gets Arden’s toxicology reports, which show that he may have been poisoned. Scully says that that could have caused hallucinations, which could be to blame for Dorothy’s recent panic. Michelle summons the agents and Grago to a room where Leo has painted a huge mural of spirits on the walls. Mulder quickly asks to speak to Gung. He searches the basement for Gung, finding a locked room full of mushrooms. They’re being fertilized by the body of the missing orderly.

Gung is questioned, and he swears that he didn’t kill the orderly. He was giving small amounts of the mushrooms to the residents to make them feel better. The mushrooms come from his home country, and have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. He felt that he needed to take care of the residents this way because, unlike in his country, the elderly in America are sent away. He also argues that the residents are mistreated by the orderlies.

Mulder asks straight out who killed the orderly and buried him under the mushrooms. Gung says that the spirits in the home are angry and have been awakened. They’re getting revenge for their mistreatment. He explains that he turns the mushrooms into a powder so the residents (so we can assume that the powder is then put into capsules). Mulder and Scully follow Gung to his room, where he discovers that all of his remaining pills have been taken.

Mulder thinks the mushrooms have been helping the patients improve, rather than Grago’s experimental drug. Scully doesn’t think they’re that powerful. Mulder points out that for centuries, shamans have used mushrooms to “gain interest to the spirit world.” Scully thinks the shamans were just dreaming and interpreted the dreams however they wanted. Mulder notes that, whatever the cause, something weird has been going on.

Laura catches Stan taking a pill, but before she can find out what it is, she’s distracted by Dorothy yelling at ghosts again. She tells Laura to run while she can. Dorothy hears Leo calling her from his room, but when she arrives, she finds Michelle being dragged off by the ghosts. Mulder and Scully hear Dorothy screaming and run to help Michelle. She and Mulder are locked in the bathroom together as the pipes all burst.

Mulder yells for Scully to get the water shut off in the building. She runs off to find Gung to do it while Mulder tries to keep a barely conscious Michelle from drowning. He’s unable to pull up a drain, and Gung is unable to turn the valve to shut off the water. Laura summons Scully to Stan’s room, where he’s about to face the same fate as Arden. Scully sends Grago to Stan with atropine, which makes the ghosts disappear.

The water in the bathroom eventually breaks the door down, so Mulder and Michelle are saved (but that’s going to be annoying to clean up). Stan’s alive, and Dorothy says the ghosts are gone. The next day, things at the home go back to normal, now under investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Health. Grago is replaced, and the experimental drug trials are ended. Gung is in danger of being deported back to Malaysia. Michelle’s lawsuit will be settled out of court. All the Alzheimer’s patients have deteriorated.

Thoughts: Dorothy is played by the late, great Frances Bay.

Yes, Mulder, a woman faked being raped so she could leave her job. Go sit in the corner and let Scully handle this. Though Scully thinks that “schizophrenic-like” behavior = violence, so maybe this is a case for people who have a better understanding of these kinds of situations.

I had to laugh at Arden saying that 74 is too old to be very active. 74 is the new 54, buddy.

Scully, re: mushrooms: “They taste good on hamburgers but they don’t raise the dead.” Then my love of mushrooms over all these years has been horribly misguided.

August 22, 2015

BH90210 9.25, Agony: Kelly’s Horrible Life Gets Worse

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:36 pm by Jenn

Sorry, Matt

Sorry, Matt

Summary: Kelly goes to the hospital after her assault and speaks with a nurse and a police officer. Dylan goes to the beach apartment looking for her, worried since she never turned up to meet him. Gina refuses to relay any messages. Kelly is subjected to a lot of questions and given the phone number for RAINN’s crisis hotline. The nurse apparently confided that she was also raped in the past, and when Kelly asks, she admits that her assailant was never caught.

Noah is still hoping to move in with Donna, so I guess he didn’t hear her in the last episode when she said she didn’t want to live together. She tells him she feels like they’re moving too fast. Noah points out that they’ve been dating for a year and a half. If Donna doesn’t want to live together, they should break up. Kelly comes home, having been at the hospital all night, but doesn’t tell Donna what happened. The first thing she does is take a shower.

Gina has the chance to join some skating tour, and David would actually miss her if she left. Janet tells Steve about a friend of hers who just won an Obie for a play he wrote. A man putting together a photo anthology wants to use one of Steve’s pictures from the Beverly Beat. Kelly continues being distant with Donna, who’s clueless. Dylan, however, immediately notices that something is off about her. She tells him what kept her from meeting him the night before.

Matt takes on a new client, Joe, who was arrested for burglary. He has no idea that Joe is Kelly’s rapist. Dylan takes Kelly to his and David’s place, asking David to keep quiet about her presence. David asks if Dylan would be okay if he went out with Gina. After, all if Kelly’s there, Dylan must be moving on. Dylan tells him to do whatever he wants, but suggests that he hold off for a little while.

Instead, David meets Vanessa Marcil’s skating double Gina at a rink and asks her to dinner, pretending he just wants her to teach him about skating. Gina wants to go, though she’s not sure where Dylan fits in. David tells her that Dylan’s totally fine with it. In that case, Gina’s definitely on board.

Donna goes to Kelly for advice, confiding that she wants to sleep with Wayne. She’s used to only having sex with guys she’s in serious relationships with. She wants to know if casual sex is “wrong.” Kelly replies that there’s no such thing as casual sex. Then she announces that she’s having the locks changed because her purse was stolen. Dylan overhears and urges Kelly to tell people what happened.

Matt meets with Joe, who claims he didn’t rob anyone. He just traded crack for the stereo he’s accused of stealing. That’s totally okay, then, right? Dylan goes with Kelly to look at mugshots of sex offenders, since the police don’t have any leads yet. Steve takes pictures in a sewer, telling Janet about Jackson Pollack and muses and stuff. Janet, you don’t have to go everywhere with him, you know.

David and Gina stop by his place after dinner, and of course Dylan’s there, and of course it’s awkward. Gina spots Kelly and tells Dylan that the two of them deserve each other. Kelly asks Dylan to take her home. There, Donna’s on the phone with Wayne; they’re playing that game where you make a list of things to take on a trip. Is this supposed to be foreplay? Noah tries to call but Donna ignores him.

Kelly’s jumpy when she hears scratching at the door, but it’s just Matt trying to fit his key in the new lock. When he kisses her, she tells him she’s not in the mood for intimacy. Matt’s mad about the various things she’s said happened the night before; he thinks she was really with Dylan and doesn’t want him to know. Kelly asks him to leave.

In the morning, Matt confronts Dylan, who won’t confirm or deny whether he and Kelly were together. All he says is that he was tempted to use, so he called a friend. Matt warns him not to take advantage of her. At the boutique, a customer makes Kelly uncomfortable, so she tells him they’re closing. Then she calls RAINN’s hotline for comfort.

Matt takes Steve to the site of Joe’s alleged burglary, because I guess a random guy’s photos of a crime scene are admissible in court. Steve doesn’t really know anything about cameras, by the way. Matt wants to prove that the police didn’t have cause to follow Joe, and that they searched his apartment without a court order. Steve is smarter about surveillance than he is about photos, as he points out that there’s a security camera on the scene.

Donna and Wayne hang out, and though she’s a little nervous about having casual sex, she’s mostly ready for it. He tells her to get ready faster, since he’ll be leaving the country next week for a tournament. Then he asks her to come along. Now Donna’s not ready for casual sex after all. At the Peach Pit, Gina snipes at Dylan about Kelly. He tells her he’s doing Gina a favor by pushing her away: “I’m poison. People around me die.” After he leaves, she goes to the bathroom to purge.

Donna finds Kelly distressed at the beach apartment, and Kelly finally tells her about her assault. Her attacker threatened to kill her, and she feels like he did, in a way. The next day, Donna asks Wayne for some time to figure out what she wants to do. The tape from the security camera proves that the police followed Joe and accused him of stealing a stereo they never even saw. Matt’s able to get Joe released.

Noah wants to talk to Donna about living arrangements, but she wants to focus on Kelly right now. Despite his success getting Joe cleared, Matt knows he’s guilty. Joe will be putting in some time at Matt’s office to pay his bill. Dylan relays a message to Kelly that the police still haven’t found her rapist; her description isn’t consistent enough for them to find a suspect. Matt apologizes to them for accusing them of keeping secrets.

Steve shows his pictures to the guy putting together the anthology, but he’s not interested anymore. Janet tries to encourage Steve to stick to his newfound hobby, since Pollock wasn’t appreciated at first either. Steve admits that the photo that got the guy’s attention in the first place was a fluke – he dropped the camera and it went off by itself. Janet admires him for working so hard. She wants to keep one of the pictures he took of her, even though she doesn’t like being photographed.

Dylan goes to Gina’s tryout, but David asks him to leave. When Gina’s name is called for her turn, she doesn’t appear. David goes looking for her, and another competitor tells him that Gina threw up and fainted in the bathroom. Noah wants to see Donna, who tells him she’s not free but won’t explain why. Kelly’s upset that the odds of her rapist being found are getting smaller and smaller. At her request, Dylan brings her a gun to help her feel safer.

Thoughts: The girl at the rink who talks to David is played by Keiko Agena (Lane from Gilmore Girls).

’90s music alert: “Save Tonight” by Eagle Eye Cherry.

Jennie Garth is good in this episode, but I wish she’d find a way to telegraph anxiety other than running her hands through her hair.

Hi, Noah. Why are you on this show?

August 15, 2015

BH90210 9.24, Dog’s Best Friend: Practically Perfect in Every Way

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:36 pm by Jenn

"I heard you haven't had enough tragedies in your life. Let me add one"

“I heard you haven’t had enough tragedies in your life. Let me add one”

Summary: Gina dances with some guy at the After Dark while Dylan tries to get David on board for a road trip. Gina ends the conversation by making David dance with her. Noah asks about all the time Donna’s been spending with Wayne. Kelly tries to get him to stop worrying by telling him that Wayne’s gay. David tells Gina that her plan to make Dylan jealous isn’t working; he’s not paying attention to her. Kelly tries to talk to her, but Gina’s not in the mood.

Matt shows Noah an environmental impact report that Hunter Oil commissioned two years earlier. He was entering into a partnership with another company, and their joint project was making people sick. Matt and Noah fight, and Noah says that as bad as his father was, he wouldn’t knowingly hurt people. Matt encourages him to read the report and see if he changes his mind.

The Beverly Beat has been using a computer program, the Love Fisher, to set people up with their perfect matches. Though it’s been successful, Janet isn’t sold on “perfect” matches. But when Steve leaves the office, she tries out the program herself. Matt’s so busy at work that Kelly pitches in to help with some administrative tasks. Gina’s having a problem with a tooth, so Kelly gives her Mel’s number. Gina’s like, “Thanks, but I still hate you.”

Wayne visits Donna at the boutique, noting that they haven’t seen each other for a few days. She tells him they should probably keep that up. Noah asked her to move in, but her crush on Wayne is making her question whether that’s a good idea. At the Peach Pit, Noah meets with Adam, one of father’s former colleagues, to talk about the impact report. Adam admits that Mr. Hunter knew about the information in the report, and that his company might be making people sick.

David and Dylan take a trip to Vegas, where they catch the attention of some women in a bar. Dylan wants to spend time with them, even after David reminds him that he’s supposed to be with Gina. Janet goes out with a guy she met through the Love Fisher. It turns out they went to the same college and have a lot in common. One of those things is that they’re both in relationships already. The guy thinks he and Janet are perfect for each other.

Mel examines Gina, noting the lack of enamel on her teeth and asking how long she’s been bulimic. He wants her to see an internist to make sure she’s okay. Gina insists she’s fine, but Mel warns that her heart could give out at any moment. Dylan spent the night with Mary, one of the women from the bar, as David learns in the morning. Dylan asks David to play along with his story that he might be back in town in a few weeks.

Janet admits to Steve that she went out with a guy she met through the Love Fisher. It was “by-the-numbers perfect,” but also boring. Janet doesn’t want to be with someone who’s just like her. She’s happy with the person she’s already found. Steve decides to try the Love Fisher himself. Gina obsessively calls Dylan, who doesn’t answer. Kelly tries to patch things up with her, but when Gina makes it clear that she’s not ready to forgive her, Kelly suggests that Gina move out. Gina’s bad week is getting worse, so it’s time to binge.

Noah’s found a place for him and Donna to live, but she thinks he’s pushing things. He tells her to figure out what she wants, kind of implying that if they don’t take this next step, things will change. Dylan packs up to leave Vegas, telling David that Mary was a little too inquisitive after they slept together. David’s like, “Darn women, always wanting to get to know the men they have sex with.” Dylan lets Mary continue to think that he’ll be back to see her in a few weeks.

Noah tells Matt to go ahead and use the impact report against his father. If he was willing to let people get sick so he could make money, Mr. Hunter deserves whatever comes next. Donna’s decided to look at the house with Noah, but first she and Steve commiserate over making big steps in their relationships. Steve decides he’d rather be with Janet than find his perfect match, but when he sees a picture of Lilly, the match the Love Fisher picks for him, he calls her. Donna tells Steve she’s calling Noah, but she phones Wayne instead.

David and Dylan return to Beverly Hills, where David blasts Dylan for leading Mary on and cheating on Gina. Dylan doesn’t appreciate his input. Mary calls to give David a message for Dylan – she’s coming to L.A. to visit a friend, and she wants to get together with Dylan. David tells her that’s a great idea. Donna tells Noah that she doesn’t want to move in together. He declines to hear her explanation. Then he finds something interesting in his father’s things.

Janet surprises Steve at the After Dark, where he’s waiting for Lilly. He introduces Janet as a co-worker, so that’s a problem. Janet quickly figures out that they were matched on the Love Fisher. Noah confronts Adam with what he found in his father’s belongings – a memo from Mr. Hunter telling Adam to kill the project that was hurting people. The partners went ahead with the project and blamed Mr. Hunter when they got sued. Noah knows his father was a good guy after all.

Donna has dinner with Wayne, agreeing with him that they’re too young to settle down. They should date around until they find their perfect matches. No one should stay in a relationship just because they’re afraid of the consequences of it ending. Donna convinces herself that it’s okay to make out with Wayne because if she’s meant to be with Noah, they’ll wind up together. Gina goes to make up with Dylan, but Mary’s arrival ruins things for them yet again. At least now Dylan doesn’t have to figure out how to get rid of Mary.

Later, Dylan confronts David for letting Mary believe something could happen (though that’s what Dylan did first). Dylan thinks David wants Gina for himself. Gina hears him yelling that David’s free to take her. Steve apologizes to Janet, but she knows they tried to the Love Fisher for the same reason. They decide to get rid of it…until Steve discovers that he hit the wrong keys, and Lilly was actually his perfect opposite. His perfect match could still be out there. But he chooses Janet anyway.

Matt assures Noah that Mr. Hunter’s name will be cleared, thanks to his memo. Kelly’s happy that things worked out. They’re also working out for her and Matt. In fact, things are pretty perfect right now. (Way to jinx it, Kel.) Gina puts off a binge to fight with Dylan some more. He tells her he cares about her, but she’d be better off with someone else. Gina doesn’t like that he sleeps around instead of facing his problems. She stomps off and purges.

At the boutique, Donna tells Wayne that she wants to let Noah know that they’ve been seeing each other. She should probably do that instead of kissing Wayne out in the open where anyone can see them. Dylan calls Kelly from a coffee shop, asking her to come talk him out of getting high. Someone follows her from her car, pulls her into an alley, and rapes her at knifepoint.

Thoughts: Okay, so Kelly gets abandoned by her father, has a mother who’s an addict, develops an eating disorder, is burned in a fire, gets addicted to cocaine, gets pregnant and miscarries, is shot, gets amnesia, and now gets raped. She has to be in the top ten most tragic TV characters.

Mary is played by Bonnie Somerville.

’90s music alert: “Smile,” by Vitamin C, and “Baby One More Time” by one Miss Britney Spears.

David, jealous over Dylan’s magnetic pull with women: “I don’t know how you do it.” Step 1: Don’t wear shirts with flamingos on them. Do you hear me, Silver?

I blinked and suddenly I’m just two episodes from the end of the season.

January 14, 2014

SVU #11, Take Back the Night: Lila + Bruce 4EVA!!!!!!1!1

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:31 pm by Jenn

Doesn't Jessica look like Charisma Carpenter?

Doesn’t Jessica look like Charisma Carpenter?

Summary: It’s the morning after James attacked Jessica, and Elizabeth wants her sister to report the assault. Jess just wants to move on. James calls her and asks to meet with her, so she heads off to yell at him for his behavior. Elizabeth tells Maia about the assault, and Maia feels guilty for not turning James in when he raped her, since it might have prevented him from hurting anyone else. However, when Liz asks her to talk to Jessica, Maia refuses.

Jess meets with James, who of course doesn’t think he did anything wrong. I mean, she was dressed like a whore, so obviously he was going to try to nail her. If she didn’t want to sleep with him, she should have said something. When Jess and Elizabeth meet up back at their dorm room, Liz tells her that James raped Maia. Then she goes over to see Steven and Billie, planning to tell them about Jessica’s assault. Uh, mind your own business, Liz.

But no, Elizabeth’s business will not be minded! She goes to Sigma House and confronts James, because the best place to have a private conversation with a rapist is in a house full of people who hate you. Liz thinks James is sending her notes, since she stopped him from raping Jessica (and also messed up his car). She calls him out, but he just wants an apology for his wrecked car.

Jessica learns that a Theta named Mariela has a date with James, and tries to convince her to call it off. Mariela thinks she’s just jealous. While talking things over with Tom, Elizabeth comes up with the idea to organize a Take Back the Night rally to get people talking about date rape. Maia thinks it’s a good idea but doesn’t want to attend. Jessica’s leaning towards going, and makes up her mind when Isabella convinces her to use the opportunity to brand James a rapist.

So while they’re at the rally, Jessica gets herself on WSVU and says that she was assaulted. Though she doesn’t name James specifically, she gives enough details that anyone would know who she’s talking about. Maia realizes that James also attacked Jess. Back at her dorm room, Jessica gets another anonymous note (the nice one, not the weird ones Liz has been getting) and a whistle she can keep with her for protection.

Alison and Mariela aren’t as supportive of Jessica’s actions as other people are. They taunt her for being jealous, for trying to humiliate Mariela, and for putting a dent in James’ reputation. Alison also says that everyone’s seen James and Jessica being lovey-dovey together, so no one’s going to believe that he raped her. It’s going to be his word against hers, and he’s a star athlete while she’s a freshman who just got out of a marriage to a loser.

Jessica proceeds with filing charges anyway, which leads to the Sigmas harassing her. James tries to talk to her again, this time coming to her room, but fortunately, this time she won’t give in. Maia tells Elizabeth that she wants to help, but I’m not sure what she plans to do, since she doesn’t want to testify to help Jessica’s case. She also still won’t talk to Jessica about her own assault. She plans to leave SVU if James is found not guilty.

Elizabeth, Steven, and Billie help Jessica get ready for her hearing by asking questions they think she might be asked. They’re all ridiculous questions that no real lawyer would allow to be asked, but the hearing will be in front of a panel of administrators and students, not a real court. Jessica runs into Mike, who wishes her luck (because somehow everyone knows about the charges, though probably not Ned and Alice). Later, Jessica and Elizabeth find a nail in one of their Jeep tires. But then a tow truck arrives and the driver says someone called to let him know they’d broken down. The caller also paid the bill. Weird. I think Mike’s behind all of this.

Anyway, Maia comes to see Jessica just before the hearing, to wish her luck. Jessica reveals that she knows James raped Maia. At the hearing, Jessica testifies about her assault, but no one thinks there’s enough evidence that James intended to hurt her. Jessica wants to tell them that James has raped in the past, but she doesn’t want to bring Maia into it. Even with Elizabeth’s testimony, no one’s convinced that Jessica interpreted the situation correctly. The twins are even accused of creating a publicity stunt for SVU.

When James testifies, he paints himself as completely innocent (of course) and Liz is crazy. He just wanted to have sex with Jessica, but her wacky sister showed up and read the situation wrong. James is cleared, and Jessica is advised to get counseling. But then! Maia shows up, begs to be allowed to testify, and announces that James raped her. For some reason, this destroys him; he didn’t realize he’d hurt her. James isn’t really a bad guy, everyone! He just thinks “no” means “yes”! So that plot’s over.

Lila and Bruce are still stranded, and it turns out that they didn’t really have to be. You know how the first rule of being stranded somewhere is to take inventory of your belongings? (Okay, maybe it’s not the first rule, but it should be.) Yeah, Bruce didn’t do that. They’ve had a map all along and didn’t know it. So now they can get to a ranger station ten miles away. Except they get lost, probably because two rich kids from southern California probably have no idea how to read a map.

Fortunately, Jessica has finally realized that Lila never made it back to school. She calls Mrs. Fowler and reports that Lila’s MIA, so now people are actually looking for Lila and Bruce. The Thetas make arrangements to go looking for them, but they wait too long and never actually go. Instead, there’s just a deus ex machina moment involving a helicopter, and all of a sudden they’re rescued.

Once she’s back in Sweet Valley, Lila can’t stop thinking about Bruce. For various reasons, they don’t see each other while they’re hospitalized, and when Bruce is released without seeing Lila, she worries that they’re not going to pursue a relationship like she wants. But don’t worry, Lila! He just went out to get you flowers! He does want to be with you! It’s just as it always should have been.

I’m still not sure what William’s end game is, but he’s moved from stalking Liz to trying to gaslight her. He steals Elizabeth’s keys and has Celine move her car to make her think she’s crazy, and leave a sonnet behind, I guess to confuse her. Liz keeps seeing William at the library, and he even loans her a book of sonnets. Elizabeth gets a creepy feeling about him but has no concept of following her intuition and avoiding him.

Celine keeps trying to get William to spend time with her so she can make him forget about Liz, but he’s too obsessed to fall for that. Celine and William finally get sick of each other, so William decides to leave Liz notes by himself. After she wakes up from a nightmare in which William is the guy from the library, she finds his latest note, which includes his name. Finally, this is going somewhere!

Time to wrap up Alex’s attempt at having an interesting plot. She’s still talking to T Squared about all her problems while mooning over (and being a klutz around) Noah. She spills some soda around him and calls it fizz, which Noah thinks is awesome. In fact, she’s awesome enough to study with. Wow, way to go, Alex. When she talks to T Squared later, she calls soda “fizz” again, because this is what passes for plot development. Long story short, T Squared is Noah, and he suspects that Enid is Alex.

Alex and Noah go on a date, but she can’t stop thinking about T Squared. She calls him and tells him she wants to meet, which is against the rules of the hotline where he works. It’s also against the rules for the peer counselors to look at the caller ID and find out who they’re talking to, but T Squared/Noah can’t help himself, and he uses it to confirm that he’s been talking to Alex.

If Noah were smart, he would just tell Alex who he is, but noooooo, he has to keep acting like Noah and T Squared are two different people. Then he sees Alex talking to Todd and wonders if they’re together. Finally, Noah calls to ask her out again, and reveals that he’s T Squared. Happy endings for these two boring people.

But dull as Alex’s plot is, it’s not as dull as Isabella and Danny’s. It’s their three-month anniversary, and Danny’s determined to show his girlfriend that he’s romantic. At the same time, Isabella wants to show that she’s not just a posh princess. She decides that they’ll go camping. But that same night, Danny arranges a romantic dinner, and they don’t get each other’s messages about where to meet. Eventually Danny goes to Isabella’s room to wait for her, and he falls asleep there while she camps out alone. Ha ha! How very funny! I wish they had more to do, because I like these characters.

Thoughts: “I keep telling you – the only way to get letters is to write them.” Elizabeth, stop taling like my dad.

Liz tells Steven and Billie about Jessica’s assault without asking her first. Not cool, dude.

At the hearing, the dean asks Jessica, “Are you aware that your accusation could have a profound effect on Mr. Montgomery’s reputation?” And that’s when I threw the book across the room.

Bruce tells the Sigmas not to get revenge on Jessica, threatening anyone who does. That made me say, “Awww.” Even though it’s ironic considering his past crimes.

December 30, 2013

SVU #10, No Means No: Elizabeth is More Awesome Than We Were Led to Believe

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:27 pm by Jenn

Jessica has hot dog legs

Jessica has hot dog legs

Summary: Jessica is nothing if not persistent, as she’s still determined to pledge Theta, even though Alison almost got her arrested. She’s also still trying to get with James the football player, who is slowly becoming creepier and creepier. Now that the charges against her have been dropped and she’s dating someone respectable, Jess thinks she can get in good with Alison. She’s wrong, because Alison is a mean girl. She goes to the Theta house for a party, and when Alison announces that she’s not allowed to repledge, since she didn’t technically complete the challenge to steal the book, Jess outs her for calling the police on her. The Thetas agree to vote on whether Jess can repledge.

Alex overhears Alison and Peter congratulating themselves for calling security on Jessica, which is all the proof anyone needs that Jessica was set up. When the vote is held, half the Theta sisters want Jessica out. Alex to the rescue! She arrives just in time to reveal that Alison set Jessica up. Even though Jessica’s never done anything to help her, and even though she herself is barely still a Theta, Alex leads the charge to allow Jessica to repledge.

Since the Thetas don’t want two sisters who can’t get along, Magda (the president) announces that Jessica gets to decide whether or not Alison can stay in the sorority. Jessica is thrilled to have this kind of power, and I kind of can’t blame her. Of course she wants Alison out, but Isabella and Denise point out that it’s punishment enough just making her wait for the verdict. Eventually Jessica decides that Alison can stay in the sorority, but she has to wait tables in Jessica’s place one night. Not nearly a fair punishment, in my opinion, but whatever.

Back to James. Someone warns Jessica that he turns into a different person when he’s been drinking, but our Jess was never one for noticing red flags. James asks her to dinner at the Mountain Lodge Inn, which is a few miles from SVU, up a winding mountain road. At dinner, he drinks a lot, and Jessica gets more and more turned off.

Through the book, Elizabeth has been working on a class project with a girl named Maia, but they’re not working well together. Elizabeth thinks they should write about how SVU needs a policy on consensual sex. (I’m not sure how such a policy would work – don’t you just tell everyone, “Don’t rape people”? Or would they have to sign a pledge not to rape people?) For a writer, Elizabeth isn’t very observant, as Maia keeps making comments about how she hates athletes and is clearly uncomfortable with the topic of rape, but Liz doesn’t catch on. Not even when Maia sees James, gets spooked, and runs off.

Eventually Maia confides in Elizabeth that she was raped. Elizabeth urges her to talk to someone, but Maia’s worried that she’ll be blamed. Maia even holds off for a while on telling Elizabeth who the rapist is, but when she does, it’s at the worst possible time: It was James, and he’s out with Jessica. They’re even at the same restaurant where he ate with Maia before he raped her. He pulled off at a lookout on their way home and assaulted her.

While Elizabeth tries to get in touch with Tom to drive her to the Mountain Lodge Inn (he knows the roads better than she does, and she thinks it would be safer), Jessica keeps refusing drinks from James. By the way, William is still doing that thing where he sneaks out of the institution, stalks Elizabeth, and – remember, she’s completely unobservant – doesn’t get caught. So he knows she’s looking for Tom, but he doesn’t know why. She takes off, and someone comes to the library to ask if anyone left him a message. He gets the news that Elizabeth wants to meet him at the Mountain Lodge Inn. He says he’s Tom, but William knows he’s not.

After dinner, James and Jessica head back down the mountain. This is after Jessica realizes that he’s not doing too well, and tries to call Elizabeth to pick her up. They pull off at a lookout as Elizabeth heads up the mountain, unknowingly followed by William. At the lookout, James tries to rape Jessica, who manages to fight him off. Then things get awesome: Elizabeth spots their car, grabs a wrench from her glove compartment, and smashes James’ window. Then she grabs him by his tie and uses it to pin him to the side of the car while Jessica gets in the twins’ Jeep.

When the twins get back to campus, Elizabeth tries to convince Jessica that the assault wasn’t her fault. However, she decides not to tell her that she knows James has already raped at least one person. She sensed someone else on the mountain with them (mystery library message retriever, not William), but doesn’t know who he was. Then someone leaves Jessica’s purse (which she’d left at the restaurant) outside their door; inside it is a card for a taxi service.

Lila and Bruce? Still stranded in the mountains, with wolves gathering. Also, no food or water. And it’s cold. Basically, the opposite of the ideal situation. Lila shows some awesomeness by fighting off a wolf with a flare gun, and she and Bruce are getting closer to their inevitable future romp in the sack, so there’s that. Also, he’s turned on by looking at her legs. Who knew Bruce was a leg man? Lila claims to know survival skills because she tagged along on a trip with her father and some executives to the Bolivian jungle. (Which I call bull on – I’ve been there, and no way could she last 30 minutes.)

The survivalists hear a helicopter, but when Lila tries to signal it with the flare gun, she discovers that Bruce didn’t reload it, despite having claimed to. They fight. Aww, it’s like they’re married already. Lila refuses to use her Bolivian jungle skills to snare food, claiming that she doesn’t want to kill anyone, so Bruce says he’ll use his mad fishing skills from the times he went fishing in Nova Scotia. Both of them are lying about their abilities, but Bruce’s lies almost get him killed – he tries to fish in some rapids, trips, falls in the water, and almost drowns. Lila has to save him.

Bruce and Lila would probably kill each other for food if he didn’t have a fever. Lila realizes that without medical attention, food, or water, he’s pretty much toast, so she sets aside their rivalry to take care of him. She later decides to try to go for help, but she’s not in great shape herself, and she ends up having a weird daydream about her dead husband and Bruce. Then Bruce shows up, desperate for her to stay with him, so she calls off her trip to find help.

But then things start looking up. Lila finds some stuff on the plane that she can use for a fire and to hold water. She also finds a stream with fish in it, so that takes care of their lack of food and water. The Lila/Bruce part of this book ends with Lila fishing naked, then lying down with Bruce to keep him warm with her body heat. Someday they’ll tell their children this story. No, wait – someday they’ll tell their servants to tell the children this story.

In other news, Elizabeth is still a virgin. She and Tom keep approaching the edge of having sex, but she’s spooked by the thought of getting pregnant or catching an STD, so she keeps putting the brakes on. Tom is annoyed because he claims she sends him mixed signals. They discuss this a couple different times, but Liz pretty much wins the debate with the point that the victim sometimes gets blamed, which isn’t fair.

Alex has turned into a party girl, drinking to the point of passing out all the time and sometimes waking up in bed with someone else (often Todd). She decides to try to get clean. There’s this guy she likes, Noah, and she makes a clumsy fool of herself in front of him, which embarrasses her enough to make her want to drink again.

Alex has no friends, so she calls a campus hotline to talk to a peer counselor. The guy she talks to calls himself T Squared, since he’s on line 22 (22 = twenty-two = two Ts = T Squared). She tells him her name is Enid, since she feels more like that version of herself than like super-hot, sophisticated Alex. T Squared is super-nice and helpful, and they really hit it off. Anyone who doesn’t get right away that T Squared is Noah, you are too young for this book and should stick to Dr. Seuss. Also, Alex decides to ditch Todd, since he’s still a partying mess.

After embarrassing herself in front of Noah again, Alex starts feeling really sorry for herself. She feels like she did in high school when she got rid of her pot and pills and went into withdrawal. Then she realizes that that’s exactly what’s happening now – she’s clumsy and awkward because she’s quitting alcohol cold turkey. Alex calls T Squared to share her revelation and confide that she has a crush on a guy who thinks she’s a dork. He tells her to tell the guy how she feels. But since he clearly has to be Noah, we know she’s technically already told him how she feels.

Thoughts: “I’m the last one to give out fashion advice, but you’ve been wearing a lot of this big and baggy stuff lately. Have you gained ten pounds that nobody knows about?” Wow. Screw you, Elizabeth. Especially since you recently gained at least the freshman 15.

“Sometimes you say no when you mean yes.” Screw you, too, Tom.

There’s a typo calling T Squared “T Square,” which cracks me up.

“It was one thing to get a little tipsy at a fraternity party – but getting drunk in a restaurant seemed utterly gross.” That’s like Cher saying it’s only okay to smoke pot at parties.

Maia thinks she led James on by wearing a backless dress. I don’t…I…just…no words.

Jessica gets in James’ car after he’s been drinking because she’s afraid her reputation would take a hit if she asked someone at the restaurant to arrange a ride for her. Yes, that would definitely be more horrible than you dying in a fiery car crash.

April 15, 2013

BH90210 5.22, Alone at the Top: Why Don’t You Not Come On Over, Valerie?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:57 pm by Jenn

That's not even the same shade of green shirt Lenny was wearing! Come on!

That’s not even the same shade of green as the shirt Lenny was wearing! Come on!

Summary: Valerie calls LuAnn, looking for Ray, but she lies that he just left. Rush comes by her hotel room and she tells him she wants to buy the Peach Pit After Dark from him. He’s willing to negotiate a deal. The gang throws Kelly a welcome-back-from-your-cult picnic, but Donna leaves after about 30 seconds to meet Ray. As someone lurks in the bushes, watching, a friend of David’s tells the group that someone stole a bunch of bikes from outside a dorm.

Valerie tracks Ray down at the After Dark, arriving just before Donna does. Nothing happens. David and his dorm mate Lenny bowl with soda cans in a dorm hallway; Clare’s bored and makes fun of Lenny’s music collection. Then she leaves, telling David she doesn’t like Lenny because he’s weird. Peter flirts with Andrea at the hospital, and I guess neither of them is worried about anyone seeing them and telling their spouses. Then they make out in an on-call room, because this really is Grey’s Anatomy.

Ray does a set at the After Dark while Donna shows off her poodle-like hairdo. David’s sick of hearing the same songs over and over. Steve and Rush are both around, so I guess we’re just supposed to forget that Steve isn’t allowed to be there. He gets suspicious when he sees his father talking to Valerie. After Ray’s set, Rush announces to the club that Valerie is the new owner. This is news to David, Clare, and Ray. Donna’s the only person who thinks it’s not a horrible idea.

Valerie goes to Dylan’s in the middle of the night to celebrate her new purchase. (And also to smoke some pot.) He declines, and she thinks it’s because he’d rather be with Kelly. He counters that she’d rather be with someone else, too. She goes, but leaves a joint behind. The Walshes discuss Valerie, wondering whether they should tell her mother what she’s up to. Jim says she can do whatever she wants with her money. If she gets into trouble, she’ll come to them.

Steve calls Brandon to let him know that some frat houses were robbed overnight. Brandon isn’t sure what he should do, so way to take your role as president seriously, Bran. The bush lurker watches Kelly as David dreads working with Valerie. Lenny comes by and talk turns to why he lives in a dorm. David notes that he was in the Army, so he should have some sort of GI benefits. Lenny says he has to “beg, borrow, and steal” to afford things, and David makes a joke about the bike thefts. Lenny doesn’t find it funny.

Jesse’s out of town on another interview, so he’s not there when Peter pops by his and Andrea’s place. She’s mad at him for taking a risk and coming over, but not mad enough to deny him some making out. At the After Dark, Ray pretends that he’s finally gotten Valerie’s messages. She threatens to pull his performance slots if he doesn’t start sleeping with her again. He refuses, so she tells David and Clare to book some new performers. Now David’s happy.

Steve meets Rush for lunch and grills him about his arrangement with Valerie; he thinks they slept together. Rush just laughs and gives him commission from the sale. Dylan goes to the park to smoke Valerie’s joint, but he can’t get his lighter to light. Clare gives Donna the news that Valerie doesn’t want Ray at the After Dark anymore, promising that she campaigned for him to stay. Donna isn’t surprised to hear that David didn’t.

Meanwhile, Ray packs his things to go on the road and play at various colleges. LuAnn blasts him for leaving without saying goodbye to Donna. She tells him to go to the gig he has booked that night, then go see Donna. Dylan visits Charlie at the hotel his family owns and admits that he almost smoked pot. Charlie tells him to stop letting Kelly get to him. He also advises Dylan to figure out what he wants to do with his life.

Brandon complains to Kelly that everyone wants him to beef up campus security. People get robbed all the time; he can’t do anything about it. Kelly hears rustling in the bushes but doesn’t see the lurker. We do, and he has a knife and shiny black shoes. Later, David, Clare, and Lenny learn that a girl was raped and cut in the bushes in the middle of the day. Hey, guess who has shiny black shoes? If you said Lenny, you get a gold star!

Brandon, however, doesn’t get a gold star; he’s still whining about having to deal with crimes on campus. Kelly’s freaked out because she and Brandon were right in the area where the girl was attacked. Ray does go to the After Dark for his gig, warning Valerie to stay away from Donna. He hints that he’s going to tell Donna that they had an affair. Valerie calls his bluff, saying he wouldn’t risk hurting her.

Dylan stops by just long enough to return her joint, then goes to the Peach Pit to mope. Kelly finds him there and thanks him for coming to her picnic, even though he didn’t stay long. She also thinks that without him, she’d still be a Finion. She wants him to promise that he’ll always be her friend. Over at the hospital, Peter gives Andrea a motel key, telling her he’s booked a room by the week. She tells him she might meet him there some night.

Donna watches Ray’s farewell performance while Nat wonders why Valerie’s cutting him loose. She tells him to just handle refreshments while she handles running the club. David and Clare skip work to hang out at the student union, where they wind up talking to Lenny. They’re surprised when a detective arrives and asks Lenny to come to the police station for questioning. He thinks he’s being accused of stealing the bikes, but that’s not what it’s about.

After his final set, Ray tells Donna he’s leaving town and isn’t sure when he’s coming back. She thinks something’s off. He starts to tell her about Valerie, but Donna doesn’t need to hear anything other than that he loves her.

Thoughts: The casting of Jed Allan as Rush is great. He and Ian Ziering have a lot of similar mannerisms and facial expressions.

Andrea is a mega-jerk for what she’s doing to poor Jesse. He deserves so much better.

Brandon, your compassion is matched only by your lack of compassion. Can you imagine him as the president of the U.S.? “There was a school shooting? Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t know what you expect me to do about it.”

So we’re just going to completely ignore how Dylan keeps wearing suits?

Even if Lenny were the rapist (and he’s obviously not), why would I care? We were just introduced to him.

August 19, 2012

BH90210 4.11, Take Back the Night: Steve May Be Bad, But He’s Not That Bad

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:27 pm by Jenn

This is the only time you’ll see Steve surrounded by women and unhappy about it

Thoughts: David does his radio show from the student union, where CU students are being educated on animal mating rituals, which is somehow connected to the campus Take Back the Night program. Lucinda tells the students that they’ll be looking at the differences between men and women to get to the heart of the battle of the sexes. Brandon stands in the back with Professor Randall, who reminds him about dinner with him, Lucinda, and D’Shawn that night.

Sears gives Steve a bunch of phone messages from Laura, who Steve is still trying to avoid. She calls again while they’re talking about her, and Steve has to talk to her. Brenda worries about a poetry exam since she doesn’t know anything about romantic poetry. Dylan offers to help her study. Steve reluctantly meets Laura at the Peach Pit and tells her he has a girlfriend. Laura immediately gets the crazy eyes. She’s upset that he pressured her into having sex with him, then dumped her.

Dylan has dinner with the Walshes before he and Brenda get down to studying. Brandon passes through on his way to Randall’s, making it clear he doesn’t want to go. Brenda says that she heard Lucinda gave a great talk for Take Back the Night. Brandon remarks that courtship rituals are one of her specialties. (Heh.) Dylan grumbles that men weren’t allowed to take part in Take Back the Night activities until just last year. Brandon encourages him to go to the next one since there will be a lot of hot women there.

Celeste brings Steve a new jacket at the KEG house, then goes off with Kelly to talk about their men. Sears brags to Steve and some other brothers that he’s pretty sure Kelly’s going to have sex with him really soon. Steve asks if Kelly knows about Sears’ other bed buddies. Then he blasts his brothers for making him mess with Laura’s feelings. He warns that their relationships aren’t a game and people can get hurt.

At the Randalls’, Brandon and Lucinda manage to flirt without Randall catching on. D’Shawn remarks that as a tutor, “Brandon is hard.” Lucinda replies, “So I’ve noticed.” (Dirty!) She and Brandon clear the table and have a whispered conversation in the kitchen about how she totally wasn’t flirting with him. He offers to make things up to her, so she asks if he’s ever had sex on a kitchen table. (This woman needs help, fast.)

Speaking of doing it, Kelly and Sears are about to, or at least he thinks they are. She tells him she’s not ready and starts to leave. Sears blasts her for her “Snow White act,” then makes it clear that he’s only with her because of her reputation as a slut. Kelly can’t believe she was falling for him. She winds up going to Dylan’s and telling him what happened, though she doesn’t want him to do anything to Sears. She thinks she’s stronger than she was three years ago, possibly because Dylan was the first guy to ever take her seriously. She regrets that they’ve drifted apart.

On campus the next day, Dylan finds Sears speaking French to a girl and calls him out for the way he treated Kelly. Sears thinks Kelly will change her mind about him, since girls always do. Dylan warns him to leave her alone. Steve tries to tell Kelly that Sears is a “state reptile,” but she assures him she already knows. She’s pleased that Steve’s becoming a better person, or something.

The girls, plus Laura, head to a seminar on date rape (led by Leslie and Angela). Angela asks who’s been burglarized, who’s been held up at gunpoint, and who’s been date-raped. Kelly admits to the last one. Angela notes that date rape is different from the other crimes because the victim isn’t always sure that’s what happened. Elsewhere, Lucinda and Brandon flirt while he lifts weights. She still wants them to get together, but he’s worried about Randall finding out. D’Shawn spots them together and proves to be smarter than Randall.

The girls at the Take Back the Night workshop split into groups, and Donna tells hers about David pressuring her to have sex. Kelly tells her group about her near-rape on Halloween. Andrea thinks people are painting women as passive in the situation. If she gets drunk and runs someone down, it’s her fault, but if she gets drunk and has sex with a guy, then regrets it, it might be considered the guy’s fault. She and Dan argue about her position on the issue.

Laura asks Kelly some questions about Halloween, and Kelly starts to suspect that she needs to talk about her own experience. Meanwhile, Brenda and Dylan’s class discusses “To His Coy Mistress”; she thinks it could be construed as date rape but Dylan thinks it’s just indicative of women who date awesome guys, then dump them for frat guys. (Um, hypothetically speaking, of course.) Laura tells Kelly she was raped but doesn’t think anyone will believe her. Kelly urges her to name the rapist at a rally that night so she can warn everyone to stay away from him.

Brandon studies with D’Shawn, who mentions that he saw him with Lucinda at the gym. He thinks the two of them are “doing the sweet thing.” Brandon tries to deny that anything’s going on, telling D’Shawn to focus on his midterm. D’Shawn isn’t worried – Brandon will pass it for him. Kelly takes Laura to talk to Angela and Leslie, and they get her to admit that her rapist is from KEG house. He gave her some vodka, they made out, and he started undressing her, then pushed her onto the bed. The others want Laura to call him out at the rally.

Kelly and Laura leave the meeting, and Kelly says that she knows Laura was talking about Sears. Laura says she doesn’t even know Sears – Steve was the one who raped her. Kelly thinks she’s confused since there’s no way Steve would do something like that. Laura says she’s as bad as anyone else who wouldn’t believe Laura.

The next day, Kelly confronts Steve about Laura’s accusations. His story is different: Laura came on to him and provided the condom. He’s adamant that “she was into it.” Kelly warns that Laura’s going to name him at the rally, and people will believe her. Steve is relieved that Kelly believes his side of the story, but he knows it’s not enough. He’ll probably get kicked out of KEG, and Celeste is going to leave him.

David wants Donna to broadcast from the rally by herself since he’s sick of hearing about rape. He’s already dealing with enough real-life issues thanks to Jackie and Mel’s custody battle. Also, Donna won’t sleep with him, so he’s cranky enough as it is. Steve finds Laura on campus and confronts her for accusing him of rape because he dumped her. He points out that if their night together was so horrific, she wouldn’t have agreed to meet him at the Peach Pit.

Brenda and Dylan chat before their poetry midterm, and she admits that he was right about his interpretation of “To His Coy Mistress.” Brenda learns that Kelly and Sears are over; she tells Dylan to take a chance and go after her again. She admits that if he’d come back to her after he left her for Kelly, she would’ve taken him back. At the Peach Pit, Steve tells Celeste everything, including his fling with Laura. She says he’s always made her feel like she wasn’t who he wanted to be with. They’re done.

Steve goes to the Walshes’ to get some sympathy from Brandon, who says he did the right thing by coming clean to Celeste. He plans to go to the rally, then start looking for another college. Brandon goes to D’Shawn’s room to announce that he won’t be taking his midterm for him. D’Shawn says straight out that if he doesn’t, he’ll tell Randall about Brandon and Lucinda. Both guys refuse to budge, even after D’Shawn makes more threats.

Steve and Brandon join the rally, which David admits is surprisingly moving. Sears and some other KEG members are there, and Dylan says he still wants to hit the guy. Brenda tells him that by the end of the night, he might not be the only one. Andrea and Dan make up, bringing their total screen time in this episode to a full 60 seconds. Steve looks for Kelly, who he thought would stand with hi. Instead, she’s with Laura and Leslie.

Angela tries to bring Laura up to the stage. Instead, Kelly goes up and talks about her own experience. She says that she knows no matter what she did or what she was wearing, it wasn’t her fault. Steve thinks she’s siding with Laura. Kelly continues that there have also been times when she slept with a guy and regretted it later, but if she didn’t stop the guy, it wasn’t rape. She praises Steve for saving her on Halloween, saying that if more guys were like them, they wouldn’t have to have Take Back the Night rallies.

Laura gets upset and leaves before Angela can call her to the stage again. Steve follows Laura outside, thanking her for not naming him. He apologizes for leading Laura on and dropping her the day after they slept together. Laura says she didn’t have a choice about not naming him – she didn’t say yes, but she also didn’t say no. After the rally, everyone eats pie, and Brenda and Dylan watch as Sears bugs Kelly about a second chance. Dylan grabs a cream pie and decks Sears with it.

Brandon finds Lucinda in the gym the next day and tells her that D’Shawn knows about them. She tells him to take the test. Brandon says no, so she calls him naïve. He needs to stop being childish and “start playing [his] part.” Lucinda tries to offer some advice, but Brandon doesn’t want to hear it. Instead, he’s going to go camping (or at least that’s what he wants Brenda to tell their parents). But first, he’s going to find a picture of Emily Valentine in his drawer and moon over it. Oh, joy.

Thoughts: I don’t get why Steve slept with Laura in the first place. That whole plot made no sense. The brothers wanted him to go on a date with her; Steve chose to sleep with her. Then he was an idiot for trying to keep it from Celeste. So yeah, he’s not as bad as a rapist, but he’s not that great either.

Also, Steve, maybe the time to tell Kelly that Sears is a jerk was before you thought she might sleep with him, not after.

Hey, David, you do’t get to agree to date someone who wants to practice abstinence, then whine that you’re not getting any.

Andrea makes an important point, so of course they don’t let her elaborate on it or talk about it for more than a minute.

I appreciate Kelly crediting Steve with saving her from the cowboy rapist, but Dylan saved her, too. Just saying.

June 21, 2011

BH90210 1.9, The Gentle Art of Listening: In Which Brenda is Finally Good for Something

Posted in TV tagged , at 10:03 pm by Jenn

Remember when phones had cords?

Summary: It’s Grudge Week, which means the students of West Beverly face off against students from Beverly High. Brandon and his ridiculous hat seem to have the hots for a cheerleader, while a freshman has the hots for Brandon (and hopefully not his ridiculous hat). Kelly and Donna take Brenda shopping since they’re bored by a pep rally, but she comes home in a bad mood and complains to Brandon that all her friends do is shop. She wanted to try out for the cheerleading squad when they first moved to California, but now she wants to do something meaningful. Brandon suggests that she volunteer with Andrea at a teen hotline.

Brenda’s reluctant to spend time with Andrea, but she asks her about the “rap line” anyway. Andrea tells her she has to go through three months of training before she can answer the phones. She’ll also have to give up a lot of her social life. Brenda’s still willing to give it a try. She listens as the other volunteers take calls, then gets one from Kelly. Nat gets a massage at the Peach Pit and Brandon learns about acupressure. Brenda doesn’t seem too thrilled with the rap line, but she agrees to come back another time.

While waiting for Kelly to pick her up, Brenda takes a call from a girl who was raped. When Kelly finally arrives, Brenda tells her about the call, which she thinks she’ll get in trouble for taking. She thinks the girl’s voice was familiar, but she can’t place it. At home, Cindy tells Brenda that she and Jim are proud of her for volunteering at the rap line. At school the next day, Brandon tells Steve about Nina, the acupressurist. Steve thinks she was coming on to him. Brandon remarks that she’s in her 20s, so she’s too old for him. Steve just thinks he blew a great chance.

Brenda tries to tell Andrea about her call, but Andrea thinks she’s trying to back out of volunteering. Nina visits the Peach Pit again and tells Brandon about the exciting world of sensory deprivation. Nat tells Brandon that he’s not the only person Nina flirts with. Brenda returns to the rap line, shocking Andrea. Nina wants to give Brandon an herbal wrap at her place; this isn’t a euphemism, but Brandon sure thinks it is.

Andrea takes a call from Brenda’s caller and confronts Brenda for answering the phone. The woman who runs the rap line decides that Brenda should continue her conversation with the girl, who was assaulted again. Brenda figures out that the girl goes to either Beverly or West Beverly. At school the next day, Andrea tells Brenda she was impressed with how she handled the call. Brenda admits that she keeps trying to figure out who the caller is.

Scott tries to talk to Brandon’s freshman stalker, Lucy, but she runs off. Brandon tells Dylan that he’s close to hooking up with Nina. Since Dylan has allegedly had sex with an older woman, Brandon wants advice. He asks if Nina will expect him to spend the night, and how he’ll be able to get that past Cindy. He also wants to know what he’s supposed to say to Nina when they wake up in the morning.

Brandon tells Cindy that he’s going to be studying at the library late, then getting up early to go surfing with Dylan, so he probably won’t see her. She buys it. At the rap line, Brenda waits for the girl to call back, but she doesn’t. After all of the other volunteers leave, Brenda convinces Andrea to go back into the building with her in case the girl calls late again. Brandon goes to Nina’s place and quickly learns that she’s not single. (By the way, she’s not into younger guys; her boyfriend is clearly older than her.) All Brandon gets out of the experience is The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Andrea tries to get Brenda to go home, admitting that she’s glad they came back, even if nothing happened. The phone rings just before they leave, and it’s the girl. She was raped again, this time by the same rapist as before plus one of his friends. Brenda urges her to stand up to the guys so they won’t hurt her anymore. The girl hears Brenda talking to Andrea and gets mad. Brenda thinks she’s finally placed the girl’s voice.

At school the next day, Brenda tracks down a cheerleader named Bonnie and reveals that she knows she’s the caller. Bonnie downplays what happened to her, not wanting to talk to Brenda face-to-face. Brenda tries to empathize with her, but Bonnie says she’s jealous because she’s a nobody. Brenda tells Andrea that she talked to her caller but can’t reveal who she is.

That night West Beverly wins a tug-of-war competition against Beverly, and two of the football players who helped win head off to do something skeezy. Bonnie tries to get a friend to walk her to her car, but has to head out in the dark by herself. The skeezes find her and start to force her into her car. Before they can, the police arrive and arrest the skeezes. Andrea tells Brandon that Brenda figured out the attacks must have all happened after Grudge Week events.

At school the next day Brandon tells Steve that he and Nina are just friends. Steve thinks he’s too hung up on people’s ages. Brandon admits he might be, then introduces himself to Lucy and tells her she has a nice smile. In turn, she says hi to an ecstatic Scott.

Thoughts: What’s up with teen-hotline plots in books and TV shows? SVH had one, this show had one, and I remember Saved by the Bell had one. I guess they’re easy ways to inject some conflict.

Grudge Week seems like both a good and bad idea. On the one hand, it fosters school spirit and healthy competition. On the other hand, there’s always someone who takes that sort of competition too hard, and then it’s all fun and games until someone gets duct-taped to a flagpole. Which reminds me, I haven’t watched Veronica Mars in a really long time.

If I were Brenda, I’d be less concerned with identifying the caller and more concerned with identifying who raped her.

I have to ask, when Dylan supposedly had sex with this mythical older woman, was he wearing overalls?

Steve: “You just blew it.” Brandon: “Nothing was blown.” Me: “That joke just wrote itself.”