Season 4, Episode 18
Blood is Thicker Than Mud
Before I begin my snarky recap of tonight’s dirrrrrty new episode, “Blood is Thicker Than Mud,” I would like to point out that the first commercial break started with a message from the sponsor…and I quote the announcer: “The new film—Titanic 3D.” Ummmm they do realize that this show is the spin-off and that we are not actually watching Beverly Hills 90210 in 1997 circa the college years? I get that the “3D” part is new, but to call Titanic a “new film” is a bit of a stretch, even for The CW, no? OK, that’s enough of my rant—let’s get back to the future!
- Dirty lies: For some reason, Naomi hosts a fortune-teller gathering for her girlfriends with a tarot card reader that looks oddly like Mrs. Teasley. She is warned that her heart will be broken by someone she loves; meanwhile, conniving sis Jenn is told the truth will come out in a heated moment. The plot thickens when the competitive sisters discover that they each have their sights set on the same guy—a certain millionaire/playboy named Preston or “P.J.” [i.e. Annie’s new business partner]. The girls make it a contest to win his affections, which is always a bad (in a fun way) idea. I was actually not convinced that Preston is even into girls…until Naomi bent over in a skimpy outfit and he checked out her ass while saying, “Oh Naomi, there you are!” As you could imagine, things quickly went downhill for the resident vixens, but Jenn kept getting the upper hand: first she managed to lock Naomi in her own palatial bathroom; then she stole “THE Dress” that is the stuff of urban man-catching legends; and then she flung Naomi into a mud-pit wrestling match at the music festival. I have a few comments here. First, “the dress” was not very flattering—especially with Jenn’s awkward cleavage. Second, when would Naomi ever wear sweatpants, even if for a bus ride to a music festival? Third, I am going to assume that the music festival organizers created the mud pit for such a girl-fight occasion, since this music festival was in a place called Desert Valley. Just when Naomi thought that she and her sister had a true heart-to-heart and that Jenn gave up the guy, Naomi returned home and realized she was duped. As any viewer guessed, Jenn had split town to chase after a Napa-bound Preston. Ohhhh it’s on!
- Pot, meet Kettle: Adrianna has met her match! And I don’t mean Dixon. No, I am referring to psycho-manipulative liar and schemer Vanessa. In all fairness, Ade has spent this season atoning for her prior sins against the group by being an especially nice and helpful friend. But, karma is a bitch. And that bitch is Vanessa. Ade has completely figured out Vanessa’s lies and what a two-face she is. But just as no one believed Silver back when Ade was pulling crazy stunts, this time around folks are having a tough time believing Ade’s claims that Vanessa sabotaged the music exec meeting and has pulled strings to assure Liam’s success. Vanessa is smooth at covering up the accusations, and then she goes really crazy when attacking Ade in her trailer prior to the performance. She knows how to stage it to make it seem like the other way around—that “crazy Ade” did the attacking. The thing that is bothering me is the issue of motivation. I don’t really get why Ade is SO concerned with convincing Liam that Vanessa is pulling stunts to further his career. And I don’t really get why Vanessa is trying to be so sneaky and manipulative regarding her boyfriend’s career. It made sense when she was covering the fact that she herself was the hit-and-run driver, but why all the lies to help him get acting jobs?
- Music of the Night: The whole gang heads to the Desert Valley Music Festival because they are school drop-outs unemployed supporting their friends. Dixon met with a music exec played by LaToya Jackson, looking freaky as always. She got him and Ade a “sweet gig” at the festival where Train was performing. Ade bailed on the meeting in her quest to nail Vanessa, leaving Dixon to fly solo. LaToya wasn’t impressed, since she had heard the stories of Ade’s bad behaviors from her failed solo career. At the festival, Dixon again covers for Ade and then must go on stage as a solo act when she is detained by security over the Vanessa fight. Dixon really brings it in his performance, and by ‘brings it’ I mean he presses play on his computer and pumps his head to the rhythm. But the music exec is super impressed nonetheless and offers Dixon a record contract—minus Ade. Will Dixon take it, even though it will damage his relationship with his girlfriend? Will the gang believe that Ade is returning to her crazy days? We stay tuned!
- Watching paint dry: Perhaps the writers are trying to paint a larger picture with Ivy’s street art and new love interest in self-proclaimed bad-ass Diego, but I am not seeing it. It continues to be about as exciting as watching paint dry. She feels invigorated doing illegal street art; she wigs out when Diego won’t commit to being her boyfriend after, what, hanging out 3 or 4 times? Then, Ivy gets offered an opportunity from that gallery owner, Sonja, who won’t tell the cops about Diego’s vandalism if they showcase their “stellar” art. Wow—how do these opportunities keep getting handed on a silver platter to these idiots? Diego balks at the art gallery and Ivy’s insistence upon defining the relationship, but quickly changes his tune and decides they should be together. Sure. Meanwhile, Ivy finds that her street art already has street cred at the festival, with her designs being sold. Sure. She even gets Annie’s ridiculous designer-charitable tote bags to be a hit by imprinting her designs on it. Sure. Yup—that’s a lot of “sure.”
- A perfect set-up: Silver and Liam are both working on the big movie set, Liam as an actor and Silver as a junior P.A. But it also seems that the writers could be building up some chemistry in the Liam-Silver department. It’s not 90210 until every character has hooked up with every other character! The two friends bond—seemingly randomly—when Silver confesses to Liam that she is terrified of being tested for the BRCA Gene, since her family has a history of breast cancer. Liam is very supportive of his friend and helps convince her to get the test so that she can know, one way or another. And he will be there for her and keep this as a secret. Now, I am all for this show highlighting health-screening plotlines…but the timing of this story seems totally off. The rarely-mentioned Jackie Taylor died of breast cancer a long time ago, and this genetic testing has been around for a while. Why bring this up now, out of the blue? Probably because this will be a very convenient way to make Liam and Silver close, which will give Vanessa another girl to mess with when she sees Silver as a threat.
What did you think of this mud-slinging episode? Will Austin or Navid ever return? Are we to assume that Austin is serving time for the house fire for which he took the fall? Even more crazy: are we to actually assume that this show finally sent someone (Navid) off to college? Ha! I’ll believe it when I see it—or when he turns up in a few weeks after dropping out from missing Silver too much.