It seems everyone needed to stalk someone tonight. A time-honored soapy tradition, to be sure, though some such creepy deceptions turned out better than others — for characters, and for us as viewers.
On the dumb side, did Sasha really have to follow Mama Wilson to the nail salon just to figure out her boyfriend, Dixon, is really a boy of the underage kind? Of all the “kids” on this show, he’s one of the few who look like they even remember being teenagers. (If it were Teddy, for instance, I’d understand her confusion.) Anyway, thank goodness, she finally found out — when Mom proudly showed off pics of her kids. (I wouldn’t buy this random move at all — who shows strangers pictures of their kids once they’re past 10 or so? — except I choose to believe she secretly wanted to show off her black son to the cool black girl striking up a conversation with her.) I was glad to move this story line along, anyway. Dixon has still yet to pop, plot-wise. He had that shining crazy moment with Silver last season, then they got lame fast; I feel like this older-lady lovefest, while commendable for breaking up the Silver cycle, is growing old, too. Sure, it looked like they had some pretty hot forbidden sex at the end of this episode, but it felt ho-hum as a viewer. Since we’re not the ones actually having the hot forbidden sex, it doesn’t mean much if we’re not emotionally invested.
Naomi had her own stalking to do, to get herself into the wonderfully fictitious California University (as brought to absurd life in the middle years of the absurdly long-running original Beverly Hills, 90210). After getting some tough love from her counselor — she didn’t have the grades to get into her beloved CU, because, you know, it’s a really good school — she went through a brief period of sweatpants-wearing (quelle horreur!) mourning before her friends gave her a pep talk. (Silver: “How many times have you done Pilates to the CU fight song?”) Then she hatched a plan: She’d hire the CU dean’s son to tutor her for her SATs! When Silver asked if that meant she was concentrating on her test scores, Naomi set her straight: “No, I’m gonna date the dean’s son. Honestly, Silver, try to keep up.” (AnnaLynne McCord’s line-reading on this was divinely beastly, incidentally. A deft balance of clueless and bitchy.) Best Naomi line of the night came as she was trying to convince the dean’s granola-crunchy son that she was an environmentalist, too, and he said he wished they’d put choking dolphins on the side of plastic water bottles to remind people of their evils: “Choking dolphins would be awesome.”
In the truly creepy stalking department, we had the Oscar Wilde-quoting Jasper still pursuing Annie for … something. I wasn’t sure where we were going with it last week, but now it’s clear it’s no place good. When he asked Annie to go see The Script (the Irish group who also originally recorded Kris Allen’s single “Live Like We’re Dying”) playing at the Beach Club (what is a teen soap without a place for album-plugging guest bands to show up?), he told her he wanted to scout them for the soundtrack to the film he’s making. (Of course he is.) Said film is apparently “half narrative, half documentary, half sick experimental stuff … think Matthew Barney meets Michael Moore.” (Of course it is.) Clearly she’s about to make some sort of set-up verité film debut against her will; if that’s how things go, this is definitely not her year.
Teddy was a little stalkery, too, inviting Navid and Adriana on a double date just to bait Adriana … and then kiss her again while out of view of their dates. It’s an interesting dilemma, forcing Adriana to choose between the ab-tastic Teddy and Navid, even if Teddy seems like he’s going to turn out evil (and is waaay too Ken Doll for my tastes, but I’m not the one in the love triangle here, alas).
And while it wasn’t stalking, it was a little bit of a surprise to see Jackie show back up as part of Adriana’s 12-step group. I love sobriety and all in real life, but sober Jackie really seems kind-of pointless. She’s not much fun unless she’s being as awful as Silver publicly eviscerated her for being during the chip-day speeches. The lady knows how to bribe an estranged daughter with a hot car, but I do not really want to see this big cancer story line they’ve now dropped on us. Let Grey’s Anatomy handle the cancer, kids.
Not sure about this “Oh Captain, my Captain” inspiring-teacher bit Mr. Matthews pulled on Liam this week, either. But at least John Schneider got to show up as Liam’s superbly jerky dad (he seems like he’s having an awful lot of fun after a few seasons of playing super-straight dad on Secret Life of the American Teenager). And Liam got to play a little bit vulnerable when Matthews unexpectedly told his parents he was doing great instead of getting him in trouble for mouthing off when Matthews took his phone from him. The phone, of course, had the all-important recording of Jen admitting she’d slept with Liam. Which Liam inexplicably erased at the end of the episode after seeing Naomi kiss Granola Boy. Why not drive off in a huff? Why permanently erase the file you worked so hard to get? Over one kiss?
Meanwhile, her disgusted look just afterwards, which Liam missed, was spectacular. AnnaLynne, you are a treasure.
What did you think, 90210ers? Are you over Sasha? What do you think Jasper’s up to? And how awesome is Naomi?
Credit: Michael Desmond/The CW