Season 4, Episode 9
A Thousand Words
Tonight’s 90210 really centered around friendship—being, or not being there, for each other. Each individual struggled with their own problems, but also had a moment or two to realize that they haven’t necessarily been there for their friends’ struggles this year. This is actually an area where I really struggle with this reboot of the iconic 90s show—the new 90210 has never sold me on the genuine friendships of these characters. The original gang was always there for each other in bad times…and more bad times. Heck, Kelly alone was raped, shot, drugged, burned in a fire, gassed by car fumes…you name it. But everyone always showed up to comfort the person in need or offer a good ole’ slice of Peach Pit pie.
On that note, before I dive into the awesomely absurd developments in tonight’s installment of the ‘new’ 90210, we were treated to an ah-maz-ing visitor from the original series. Diehard fans should have recognized the one and only Lucinda Nicholson (she who seduced college freshman Brandon Walsh while being married to his professor). Granted, she is currently playing Sheila, the head of Liam’s modeling agency, but it was still great to see a familiar face.
- Naomi, the Nerd Whisperer: Naomi spent most of the episode feeling lonely and sad for herself—she may as well just turn 30 (or so she says, thanks a lot). Austin is still super pissed that she meddled in his complicated relationship with his father, which means that a sans-boyfriend Naomi has no one to hang out with. Poor thing, what a tragedy to have some alone time in that killer house. After calling dying-Raj and Ivy selfish for wanting alone time, she encounters one of her lonely sorority sisters (oh yeah! I forgot about them!). Naomi basically begs her for a play date and then gets excited to help her woo a boy. This boy is a total nerd named Stanley, but nowhere as endearing as Naomi’s ex-nerd Max. But Naomi’s intrusions into nerd love—including her need to drink a double with a double chaser—only backfire when Stanley wants her instead of the sorority sister. Naomi realizes that sometimes in life she should just stay out of it and apologize for mistakes, so she calls Austin to make amends. All-in-all, this was the least important plot development of the night, but Naomi didn’t have to wear a costume for once and she got to be her usual enjoyable vain self.
- Change Silver Can’t Believe In: Silver should have gone to college, because she has a lot of learning to do. She is simply shocked and appalled to discover that the video footage of Teddy and Shane’s fake-yet-real-looking wedding in Vegas got leaked to the press by—gasp—Marissa’s campaign. It takes Silver a while to even piece it together that she was the one who accidentally emailed the video to the campaign office. But what she didn’t know was who on staff would have actually sabotaged the opponent’s campaign (wow, do you follow politics at all?). Um OK, first of all, Teddy’s uncle was all about exploiting Teddy being gay to widen his voter appeal. And even if his ultra-conservative base wouldn’t be accepting of gay marriage, would they really just turn around and vote for Marissa, who is the only candidate who vocally supports it? This whole thing makes zero sense. But whatever, Marissa wins the election and Silver learns that her newly elected official is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Welcome to the world, baby Silver. The real downside is that this causes a major rift between BFFs Teddy and Silver, which means we probably won’t be seeing Teddy again for a while.
- Model behavior: Liam is really going through a tough time, if by tough we mean living on the beach, owning a bar, being paid tons of money to model, and having girls fawn all over him (granted the last part is super irritating). Must suck to be him! Liam is even more bummed out to have to select his next modeling gig (from Dina Meyer!) but perks up when he thinks a two-year deal with Titus Cologne means he gets to drive a race car. Oh Liam, don’t you remember from your first modeling gig that you only pretended to be fixing a car—it’s called acting/modeling. Not only does he throw a hissy fit when he can’t get behind the wheel, but he grows more agitated when he learns he should have read his contract before signing it. Yeeeaaaah, Liam didn’t realize that the agency forbids him from engaging in risky behaviors that could jeopardize his ability to model, which means no surfing or “having fun.” But nobody puts Baby, err I mean Liam, in a corner! He and Teddy hop the fence to the race track where two race cars just happen to be parked! They zoom around for a bit and have the time of their lives (wow, lots of Dirty Dancing shout outs!). But then they get busted by the cops, and Liam—who managed to drive a race car at speeds upward of 100 mph with no training—has trouble walking and he injures his foot. Now he is no longer eligible for the cologne ads…but don’t worry, Sheila is more than happy to assign him to cheesy romance novel covers.
- They try to make him go to rehab: Ade and Annie still vie for who can take better care of druggie Dixon—and for who can be most obnoxious. Ade is still way over-doing it on selling her newly reformed image (I’m sorry writers, but you made her so dislikable last year that she is not redeemable). And Annie is still focusing on selling herself, literally. You see, even though Annie caught Patrick seeing another woman in Vegas, she attempts to go along with the relationship to access his deep pockets. She desperately needs money for a super pricey rehab center in Santa Barbara for her bro. Really, Annie, really? There are no other rehab options out there? Because I am pretty sure regular folks find other rehab solutions every day. My favorite moment was when Annie flat out asked Patrick for money and he said “Would $5,000 help?” Her response: “Actually, 10 would be better.” And apparently that 10K will only pay for the deposit! Good grief, does this show realize it is going to make kids want to become druggies so they can go live in a mansion like that for a few weeks and/or become prostitutes to high-end businessmen for that kind of cash? Annie tries to do the moral thing and walk away from the Patrick arrangement for a little—she even tries auctioning her pricey gifts on what I think may have been a dial-up internet connection. But when her goods don’t fetch enough money, she goes back to her sugar daddy. Ade takes Dixon to rehab and tells him that their relationship will have to wait until he cleans up his act and knows what is real. Dixon enters the palatial mansion sad about Ade and mad at his sis for trying to keep Ade away from him.
- Photo finish: Ivy and Raj are back from his experimental treatment on the East Coast, and it’s a good thing because Ivy admits she simply can’t stand being in hospitals anymore. I’m sorry Ivy—I am sure it was like a picnic for your dying husband! Raj thinks they are focusing too much on his death sentence and not living for the future. He wants to change that, so he encourages Ivy to enter a strategically timed CU Photo Contest (is Ivy even a student there?!). The grand prize happens to be a photo safari in New Guinea! Wow, if I could submit some random photos I took of my friends hanging out and win an awesome trip like that, I would too. Raj also wants to focus on his future—a future he is determined to have—so he applies to Hopkins Med School. Of course Ivy wins the contest, and of course the photographer teacher going on the trip with her is Nick, her cutie crush. To make matters more complicated, Raj gets some news at the end of the episode: he is going to live! It seems the treatment worked! Ivy is thrilled—and slightly panicky. Time for a love triangle!
Whew, lots of action tonight. And it was great that Ivy and Raj actually had something to do and say! But one character’s happy news (and screen time) means another character must lose (screen time). And that person was Navid. However, I didn’t miss the ‘Navid tries to frame his uncle’ plot one tiny bit. How did you like this episode? And how great was it to see a familiar face from the 1990s?!