Tonight’s 90210 episode, “It’s Getting Hot in Here,” really paid homage to two different getaway episodes from the original series. First, the girls decide to head to Ojai to escape the stresses of daily life, much like when Brenda, Kelly, Donna and Andrea head with moms Cindy and Jackie for a girls’ spa weekend. Ironically, that was the episode Kelly and her mom learned that Mel cheated on Jackie and thus ended her marriage to baby Erin’s father—and of course baby Erin is our all grown-up teenage Silver in the new 90210. Once our new crop of 90210 girls arrive in Ojai, they quickly learn it is an outdoorsy Native-American style camping retreat with…a sweat lodge! This brought back fond memories (for me) of the season 5 episode from the original series in which a skeptical Dylan and Brandon also find themselves forced to participate in a traditional sweat lodge and end up healing their friendship in the process.
What I most enjoyed about this episode—and I think this is why the show has become such a great guilty pleasure after all—is that the actors really have fun playing to excessively campy dialogue and ridiculous drama. In the spirit of tonight’s “sweat it out” confessionals, I want to get something off my chest as well: I will never be able to let go of the genius that was the original series, but when I stop to appreciate the new 90210 as a separate entity that takes itself very lightly, I can fully appreciate it for its humor and fun.
So, let’s break out the dead animal skins and turn over our cell phones to get down to business on tonight’s antics:
- Hot off the presses—Adrianna is still a bitch: Ade is still having a pity party while reading all the horrible (yet true) tabloid headlines about her (I laughed—apparently she is not only a fame whore but also a vampire!). But, the really big headline news should have been…Ade has a mother! Um, hello Mama Adrianna—where the heck have you been since season one? At least now we know where Ade gets her fame whore ways, since her mom wants her to sell her story to make some money to help pay for that absurd house she rented. Ade continues to be a self-centered brat to her “friends” when they arrive at the retreat, but then the best scene ever happens at their dinner of “bugs.” Naomi, Silver and Annie basically rip her a new one over her horrible behavior these past few months. I loved when Naomi shouts out, “Tell it sister” to Silver calling Ade a self-absorbed bitch. Ade ends up having a moving experience in the sweat lodge, digging deep—real deep—into the real motivations behind her fame obsession. Turns out she was so consumed with making a name for herself because she wanted it to justify giving up her baby back in season one. I hate to break it to you, Ade, but honestly you just really love the money and the attention. And it doesn’t take long for her spiritual cleansing to go bye-bye: as soon as she gets home she calls the tabloids to sell her story…and learns her story is worth more when she wants to try to get her baby back. Oh lord.
- Annie and wannabe Annie: Annie hates that she has to bring her obnoxious cousin Emily along for the girls’ getaway, especially when Emily shows up with new hair and clothes a la Annie. The ‘single white female’ prophecy is already coming true, but only Annie sees the signs. Emily certainly knows what she is doing—first she plays the sad puppy dog “I’m an outsider” card with Annie to gain her trust and then she turns the tables on Annie by conveniently not waking her up for the sweat lodge bonding time. This allows Emily time to endear herself to Annie’s friends and ‘accidentally’ let slip insulting things Annie (didn’t) say about her friends. Annie is going to have her work cut out for her—jeesh, I hope Jasper gets out of the mental institution soon, because it seems like all of Annie’s friends will soon snub her out of the group again.
- Silver and Navid have a private pow-wow: Silver is still struggling over whether to betray her friendship with Ade to date Navid, even though she and Navid really care about each other and even though Navid wants to break up with Ade AND even though, as we all know, Ade has been nothing but a crappy friend/girlfriend/human being this year. When Navid conveniently shows up with important financial papers Ade needs to sign, just as Silver is fleeing the sweat lodge because she can’t admit the ‘truth in her soul’ that she is in love with Navid, the two get busy in an empty tent. For now, we can only assume they went all the way. And so we wait and see what the fall-out will be.
- Naomi gets spiritual: You can always count on Naomi for great one-liners and reaction shots, from the scoffs at having to live in bungalows (AHEM, tents), turn over their phones and eat foods that look like bugs to getting into wacky yoga positions that are worthless when there are no cute boys around to see. But, a sweat lodge goes a long way when you are recovering from a rape. Naomi is eventually able to let out her pain thanks to the encouragement from the annoying guide and she announces that she wants to give back and help others who are also struggling victims. She even decides to stay at the nature-loving yoga retreat, and from the looks of the upcoming preview, it seems we may have a slight déjà-vu from the original series when Kelly Taylor joined Professor Finley’s cult in the wake of her traumatic fire experience (side note: I never did see your bad fire scars Kelly!).
- Boys on the side: The boys were mainly relegated to the background this week, but that’s OK because a lot was happening at the retreat. Teddy was nonexistent, and so was Ivy (I consider her an honorary dude). Actually it was kind of weird that the girls didn’t include Ivy in their retreat—I mean, if anyone would have enjoyed the nature escape it is Ivy! So that left Navid chasing down Ade with financial papers at the retreat (and finding Silver instead) and Dixon accidentally crashing his mom’s night of passion with Mr. Matthews (BARF!). For once I was happy Dixon was a dope and didn’t pick up on any clues…I did NOT need to see Debbie and Mr. Matthews get it on again. Too bad for them that creepy cousin Emily DID see Debbie and Matthews kissing upon returning from the retreat. Meanwhile, Liam and his new bff/half-bro Charlie continued to bond (ping pong, seriously guys?) but Charlie ultimately discovered that Annie broke up with him because of her feelings for Liam. Best reaction to a break-up ever went to Charlie for simply stating in a monotone voice “this sucks.” Wanting to be a good brother and not stand in the way of their happiness, he helped Liam reconnect with Annie and then took off for a semester in Paris [and please allow me to vent for one moment: how in the heck does someone take off for a semester study abroad program on one day’s notice? I know this is TV…but I can’t help it, these things bug me so much].
I saved my favorite line of the night for last, although it was a tough call. But the winner in my books was when the yoga instructor asks were sulking Ade is and Naomi cattily exclaims, “Probably trying to tweet with a rock and a twig.” That pretty much sums up what happens when you mix the gals of 90210 with the nature of a yoga retreat! Did you enjoy “It’s Getting Hot in Here” like I did? And, any guesses as to who exactly watches Mr. Matthew’s baby Jacques when he and Debbie rendezvous for their secret dates?