It was no ‘Donna Martin graduates,’ but the West Bev class of 2011 (ack! 2011!) still gave us a memorable graduation…and wedding ceremony. In tonight’s 90210 season finale, the gang toasted “To the Future!” with a confession, a stripper, an elephant, a marriage, an almost-suicide, a pregnancy and a deep-sea fishing vessel. Yes, I swear all of these things existed in one episode.
- Honor Code, Baby: Naomi and Max must deal with the fall-out from Max doctoring her paper without her knowledge. Naomi selflessly (wow, did I just use that word in conjunction with Naomi?) takes the blame and gets herself expelled so that Max can graduate as valedictorian. Again—pretty selfless…and stupid. But, her grand gesture goes a long way with Max. In a graduation speech reminiscent of Saved by the Bell’s Jessie Spano learning that Screech gave up being Valedictorian because it was her dream, Max announces mid-speech that he was the one who cheated. It gets him expelled—with his college future in limbo—but he feels like a decent man worthy of Naomi’s love. Collective awwww. I did get a hearty laugh when the principal tried to say with a stern voice that the school has a strict honor code because, seriously lady? I don’t think West Bev has a strict anything! When Max’s parents forbid him from seeing “bad influence” Naomi, both are devastated. It is not until a particularly brutal cat fight over Ivy’s wedding bouquet that Naomi—supposedly getting her stiletto wound checked out at the hospital—learns some shocking news. She arrives at Max’s home late at night and throws pebbles at his window to get his attention. Hmm, I kind of thought young lovers only had to do that before cell phones were around. Anyways, Max comes downstairs and Naomi lowers the boom—she is with nerd child! Do we think she is really preggers…or is this just a ploy to allow Max to stay in town rather than get booted to a far-off summer program?
- Go Fish!: Annie and Liam are also working through their own relationship woes. At least we have seen a great build to Naomi and Max, but I think I speak for everyone on the Annie-Liam front when I say WTF?! First, I have never understood the development of this relationship, period. In fact, the two have spent so little screen time together as an actual couple it is very difficult to believe they even remember each other’s names let alone have chemistry. But, according to said couple, they are so totally in loooooove. Tonight, however, we learn that Liam is not over his boat obsession, which I guess is his first true love (I would pick a boat over Annie, too, Liam). He randomly decides—after months of college talks with Annie—that he instead wants to take a job to find himself for a while. And what would that job be? Oh, you know, nothing too crazy…just deep sea fishing with a crew. And when does this job start? Oh, just tomorrow, that’s all. Absurdity. How much did I love when Liam said he needs time to THINK and that is why he is taking this job—hmm, that’s funny because oftentimes people do a lot of thinking somewhere else: college. Annie decides she cannot handle this and ends things with Liam, giving her plenty of time to be Miss Mopey at Ivy’s wedding. However, I can’t rag on this plotline completely because it provided the most hilarious line of the night, courtesy of Laurel. Watching her daughter marry a dying man, Laurel started spewing on and on about needing to set the one you love free. She starts to get pretty philosophical, but when Annie jumps up in a moment of inspiration about her own life, Laurel exclaims, “Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to get so heavy, I got stoned with the elephant trainer.” Hahahaha. Only Laurel, and only this show. Annie feels emboldened to drive down to Long Beach last minute (yeah, good luck with traffic on the 405) and tell Liam she loves him and supports his decision. They kiss as the “all aboard” whistle blows, signaling Liam to board the vessel in his plaid flannel shirt and head off into the deep blue sea. Wow—a guy leaving his girlfriend to take a job deep sea fishing may be the one and only plot device that was never used in the original series.
- Indecent Exposure: FINALLY! Just as I was wondering if they were actually headed toward something with the stripper mix-up at the bachelor party we got a double exposure! Not only does the gang awkwardly enjoy a strange co-ed bachelor/ette party for their friends, Ivy and Raj, in which a stripper cop removes his clothes, but the real exposure we have been wanting for months finally finally finally happened! While searching for some cash to stuff down the stripper’s thong, Ade’s purse contents spill out onto the floor in front of everyone. Because Ade is not only evil but also an idiot, she still has that fake bottle of pills she swapped with Silver’s meds. Ooooooh!! Everyone is shocked and horrified that Ade could have stooped to such lows and she is immediately kicked out of the group; plus Silver and Navid reunite because they realize Ade was manufacturing their problems. Even Ade’s pathetic apologies to Silver get met with an icy put down (thankfully!). Ade may need those mental meds for herself, though, because she keeps imagining the dead Javier giving her grief about her web of lies. As you should recall, it was Ade’s lies regarding Javier’s songs after his death that led her down her current f-ed up path. Tempting Ade like the devil, “Javier” even tried to tell Ade to kill herself by jumping off a cliff because that would make things better. Oh Ade, you just never listen! She doesn’t go through with it and instead vows to herself to become a better person. Ha, we shall see.
- An elephant walks into a wedding…: So, when Naomi gleefully offers to pull together a legit Indian wedding for Ivy in one day’s notice, she means business. The girl should be a party planner. That and Forever 21 probably had a huge sale on Indian-inspired clothing. Raj’s parents are happy for the couple, because they want their son to experience this happiness while he can. However, for the first time ever Laurel acts like a total mom and tries to put the parental breaks on the union. Since Ivy and Raj are each 18, there is not much she can do other than refuse to attend, which greatly hurts Ivy. Leave it to Dixon to sweep in and offer some words of wisdom that open Laurel’s mind (well, Dixon and all the weed Laurel smokes). Mother and daughter reunite and everyone celebrates at the blessed event. The after party is jammin’ with Soul Train-meets-Bollywood dancing and a vigorous bouquet toss for all the “single ladies,” which I HOPE is all the girls in attendance since they graduated high school, like, yesterday.
And that brings us to the conclusion of a shockingly solid and highly entertaining season three of 90210. Words cannot describe how insane it is that of all spin-offs in the history of TV this show is actually headed into a season four—and that I am genuinely looking forward to it! Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that this would last on air for this long, almost 20 years after the original class graduated from high school, and that somehow it would find its own voice as a guilty-pleasure. How long can this franchise last? We can only look ahead to the future…