Naomi tries to save Silver from a terrible fate, Oscar gets Dixon in trouble, and Annie discovers brotherly love
Credit: Scott Humbert/The CW
S3 E2
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Last night’s 90210 was all about manipulation, and it made for one heckuva juicy follow-up to the season premiere. In West Bev, Jen is practically synonymous with scheming, so it was no surprise to see her back on the scene, and when she was done talking down to her assistant — who wisely quit — she transferred her rider list to her baby-daddy, Ryan. True to his lap-dog ways, he was there to pick up the pieces, most likely with French Vogue and sparkling lemonade in tow. I do love me some bitchy Jen, but I’m not much into seeing her softer side with the Ryan storyline. She’s a dish best served cold, usually in battle with Naomi, but the scene in the lawyer’s office — a perfect example of her strengths as a character — was way too short.

Jen’s crazy-pregnant-lady self was only aggravated by Naomi winning access to her trust fund. Would the young Clark spend it wisely, having learned what it was like to borrow money for cabs and shop off the rack? To quote my favorite high school flick, as if!

More money meant a lavish 18th birthday party with only the hottest guests (“What is that heifer doing with my invite?”) and water bottles, cookies, and tattoos all bearing Naomi’s visage. Adrian Grenier also stopped by with his Honey Brothers Band and provided the soundtrack for the party (a slightly less strange guest appearance than the Kardashians had last week, no?). The only interesting tidbit I got from Grenier’s gig — and the subsequent Google search it inspired — was that one of his band members is named Ari Gold. Entourage watchers, discuss!

Something had to be pretty major to stop Naomi from flirting with Vinny Chase, and prompt her to exit her Super Sweet 18. And boy, was it ever: The prospect of Mr. Cannon doing to Silver what he did to Naomi.

After Silver found out that Naomi had, in fact, macked on Teddy without a roofie-fueled haze, she fled the party and sought refuge in Cannon’s office. (Let me pause here to say I’m simultaneously so grossed out yet so intrigued by this rape storyline; the fact that 90210‘s writers handed it to my favorite actor on the show, AnnaLynne McCord, was like icing on the cake.)

Back to the episode, Mr. Cannon had invited Silver to help edit his documentary because the two had developed a pretty close adviser-advisee relationship. He opened up to her about his separation from his wife, she opened up to him about her failing friendship and relationship (Teddy was drinking again), he saved her scarf as a keepsake, and she praised his greatness. Her bruised heart clouded her judgment, compelled her to bat a few eyelashes at Mr. Cannon and desert Naomi after that startling rape confession.

Damn you, Cannon! Silver fell for our villain’s grotesque lie that Naomi was now obsessed with him, and that means my emotions will be screaming around the proverbial roller-coaster tracks until Silver knows the truth. But in the short term, it’s my eyes that are still feeling dizzy. Did anyone else suffer sartorial vertigo from all the prints Silver wore in the first half of the episode? Florals and polka dots and stripes, oh my! Even her notebook was polka-dotted!

Next: A bachelorette party during daylight hours…and yet nobody’s suspicious?

In other news, Naomi gave Annie the go-ahead to date Liam, but it was all for naught because Liam is a liar. (Like father, like son.) He had told Annie he was boat-sitting (lie), and the two were subsequently found and chased away by the boat’s real owner. Isn’t Liam dexterous enough to whittle a new boat, which led to my bigger question, where is Jasper?

Totally turned off by Liam’s hoodlum ways, Annie called up that nice fella, Charlie, who wears hoodies connected to blazers, writes plays when he’s not a bartender, and bears a vague resemblance to Bruno Mars or the like. He’s also in college so that is, like, 1,000 hotness points for any high school girl. And while I want to say I like him because he could lend too-quirky-for-her-own-good Annie some much-needed smoothness, I just can’t take seriously a line like, “I’ve been hanging out at the wrong theaters.”

Annie wanted to get as far away from Liam as possible, but she suffered the opposite fate because Charlie…is actually Liam’s brother! Far-fetched twist? Perhaps, but at least we might get a not-totally-stunt-y guest-star to appear as one of his parents.

Aid flexed her own brand of manipulation when she handed over Javier’s songs as if they were her own. Now she has to sing the stolen goods at Javier’s memorial and deal with a guilty conscience — and maybe the ghost of Javier. So long as she takes off that green eye shadow, she can do whatever she wants.

Elsewhere that pesky Brit Oscar began to prey on Dixon and Ivy. (Seriously, can no couple rest in peace?) We knew Oscar was no good, but this week he began planting his evil seeds, the most havoc-inducing of which was paying some actresses to play pretend bachelorette party in the bar where Dixon, Navid, Teddy and Oscar were knocking back a few. (I was wondering why these girls were having a party in daylight.) Dixon was trying to make sure Oscar made some friends not named Ivy, while Oscar was getting Dixon into trouble for providing the “body” half of a traditional ceremonial body shot.

And because technology is as hurtful as it is helpful (there’s your PSA for the day), photos of the wild night wound up on Facebook, things got all Gossip Girl on us, and Ivy was alerted. Did Dixon not question who posted the photos? His friends wouldn’t do it, so wouldn’t that make Oscar the culprit?

Ivy was none too happy, and now, much like Silver in her Mr. Cannon situation, Ivy was susceptible to Oscar’s mind games. There was talk of virginity, there was an almost-kiss, and it was just enough to make Ivy wonder: Hmm, could this be something? If Oscar’s path of destruction continues, I’m sure it will be. I mean, let’s make more use of the guy’s six-pack, in any event, no?

And two more choice lines from last night:

* “Ivy’s back home. I don’t think she’d be into me screwing her classmate.” – Laurel to Oscar

* “Authentic invites only please! Everyone else can celebrate my birthday at Arby’s.” – Naomi (who else?)

What did you guys think of the episode? Which storyline are you loving? And what do you think the story is behind Liam’s brother from another mother (or father)?

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