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'90210' recap: Why we're loving it

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Three episodes in, we can call it: The new, improved new 90210 may not be Mad Men, but it is officially a fun, fizzy bitchfest of a show. Herein, five things we loved about this week’s episode:

1. The exact right amount of truth-telling. In the first scene, when Dixon was in the principal’s office — a.k.a. his dad’s office — for punching that slimy guy who took Annie’s now-infamous naked picture, and he was being all coy about why he punched the guy, I thought we were in for an episode of let’s-keep-this-from-dad subterfuge and high jinks. Instead, Dixon came out and told Dad, then asked if he could go to lunch already and stop defending himself. Dad agreed. Bravo.

Later, when Annie vowed to prove to Silver that Naomi had been the one to actually send the “sext,” as the kids (or newscasters who breathlessly cover “shocking” kid antics) call it, I again thought we were in for some Blair Waldorfian shenanigans. Not that I don’t enjoy Blair Waldorf or shenanigans in their rightful place, but I was glad Annie’s big play was to have Sext Dude tell Silver the truth in front of Naomi, so she couldn’t deny it. Perfect. And exactly the right set-up for what would come later.

2. Dixon moving on from Silver. I’ve never been a huge fan of them as a couple. (Exception: When she’s surreptitiously filming their sex and then showing it at the movie theater. But that lasted only one episode last season.) I am, admittedly, a little intrigued by what we didn’t see of their relationship, since he mentioned it involved sharing both Ramones CDs and a calligraphy set. But he claimed that stuff was all her, not him, and declared, “I’m gonna find me a female Dixon.” Navid’s answer: “I’m picturing the start to a very bad Tyler Perry flick.” See? Things get 12 percent wittier the second Dixon gets over Silver! Navid then rewarded Dixon by letting him drive “the Lambo” to pick up pizzas for the Blaze meeting, and next thing you know, Dixon’s meeting said “female Dixon” at the pizza place! Because super-hot girl sports fans just hang out at random pizza places at approximately 3:15 p.m., the time of high school extracurricular activity meetings! The two exchanged some baseball banter, only to find that, OMG, they both had that one Drake song on their ringtones! And she liked music just like he did! And … oh, oops. Turned out our girl Sasha was also, as Dixon would later describe her, a “grown woman.” Like who’d graduated college and now deejays for a job. They made a date for the weekend, but we could see where this was going, especially once she saw that he drove a Lambo … straight to a place where Dixon was not engaging in truth-telling as above.

She, of course, showed up later playing Teddy’s yacht party, where Dixon, Silver, and everyone else was … but, aww, Silver played along, which made me like Silver better, too. Everybody wins. (Also in Sasha’s favor: She played Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” at the bash! She really must be a grown woman to know that classic.)

3. Navid is now adorable. He made Adriana the cutest video apology ever, in which he interviewed himself about being a jealous jerk over Teddy. “She’s so far out of my league that I feel like I’m dreaming. … I defy you to look in those eyes and not lose your mind.” Sigh. (I defy you to not love the absurdly colorful makeup she’s been rocking this season: yellow eyeshadow, green eyeshadow, blindingly red lipstick. Only somebody as gorgeous as she is could pull that off, but I love seeing the girls on this show find some fashion edge this season.)

4. Jenny Garth could be getting a juicy storyline … Is it just me or are we inching toward a liaison between her and Principal Wilson? Nonetheless, I like that she talked some sense into him and told him Annie had “been punished enough” by being humiliated by the sext without also getting grounded on top of it. As awful as Annie can be, and as much as I like dark-place Annie, enough is enough.

5. Hats! On a yacht! The show has been taking a (good) page from the Gossip Girl playbook by sprinkling in far more fabulous events with fabulous wardrobe. This time out it was the yacht party, and hats. Lots of hats. Naomi’s straw hat! Dixon’s bowler! Annie’s white floppy hat! All the better for her final, bitch-on-bitch confrontation with Naomi: Just when we thought we’d get more truth-telling, she marched up to Naomi with Liam at her side and declared proudly that they did sleep together, just as Naomi had always suspected! And furthermore, that “afterwards we’d lie there making fun of you. … It’s kind-of funny though: Everybody who loves you just ends up loving me more.”

And I must admit: This oddly table-turning showdown, which made both Silver and me feel a tad sorry for Naomi, also made me like (“like” as in “hate”) Annie a little more. Phew. The war is far from over.

What did you think, PopWatchers? Are you happy to see Dixon moving on with Sasha? Should Adriana stick with Navid or ditch him for Teddy? How long will it be before picture-perfect Teddy turns out to be pure evil? Do you wear hats when you go to yacht parties?

Photo Credit: Michael Desmond/The CW