In which fucking Steve, man. Just...what a blight upon mankind and his friends and curly hair everywhere.
Fire and Ice."
Clarissa Darling or Kelly Kapowski and failing miserably on all counts.
The Next Fifty Years" where Dead Scott dead-Scotted himself into that great big dude ranch in the sky? Mr. Chapman! Or, Chappie, as I like to call him (no, I don't, but it stays for the remainder of the recap).
And this one, too. And I especially like that it's accompanied by SYNTH MADNESS.
The Next Fifty Years" where Dead Scott dead-Scotted himself into that great big dude ranch in the sky? Mr. Chapman! Or, Chappie, as I like to call him (no, I don't, but it stays for the remainder of the recap).
Run a knife across my throat.
So we're back in regular-mo and we see that Brandon's talking to Chappie, no doubt for the Blaze. What a plum assignment. Chappie talks about how this year's team has a good shot at "going all the way," (getting laid?) and Brandon's Smug As Fuck As Always and says, "Well, no offense, Coach, but, uh, you did say that about the football team and they went one and eight, remember?"
Rather than removing his sweet, silken jacket and silkenly choking Brandon to death with the sleeves, Chappie decides to praise the little dingle: "You're a great sports editor. The truth is - this is off the record - we need help in the relays. Lots of help. So if you have any suggestions..." And of course Brandon offers up himself and his stubby little legs and per past and future evidence from this show, I'm certain he will be touted as one-half of his high school track team's Dan & Dave.
Back to the 37-year-old, shot-putting some more. Steve and a bunch of Randos stand around and watch as Chappie comes up and says, "Cahill! Come on, cut it out! You're gonna demoralize the rest of the team."
Cahill's all, "Sorry, Coach," and then he bro-claps hands with this lunk, who we also unfortunately know as Brenda's Future Senior Prom Date. Because this is apparently the best she could do? And yes, the actor who plays Tony Miller (who will never not remind me of Ox from Saved by the Bell) here has done a lot of stuff since BH, 90210. Apparently he was on The Walking Dead ? I wouldn't know, seeing as I live in the past and only watch television shows that were made between the years 1989 and 2005.
Over to these two. Steve asks if Chappie said anything about him and Brandon tells him, "
Yes. That your hair is terrible and your shirt is an embarrassment and he has a hard time even looking you in the eye most days. Yeah. He said you mean well." Steve's all concerned about Chappie thinking that his relay team stinks and adds, "If I get cut from one more sport team this season, I swear..." You swear...? That you're going to throw in the towel and move back to Butt Fuck, New Mexico and punish Long-Lost Grandpa Al with your presence for a while? Yes?
They stop here so that Brandon can talk his friend in from the ledge, and so that Steve can look off into the distance and say, "What does she see in that guy?"
"That guy" being Most Likely Gay Kyle! And Kelly and Donna (whose outfit is adorable), walking in the grassy area in the center of the running track. Because apparently people who aren't on the track and field team can just wander around, distracting people who are on the track and field team? This is a strange school.
So Kyle's all flirty, asking the girls when they're going to start working out, and Donna gets in a funny line with, "I don't do that. I have a note." He turns to Kelly, "What about you? I start joggin' at 6:45." Like anyone with any sense at all, Kelly's all, "Mm, that sounds a little too serious for me." Kyle flirts again, "Oh, yeah, like you need your beauty sleep." And then they smile at each other as only a closeted man and his beard can and he trots off.
Donna: "He is so cute. You know, when you two were going out last summer, I thought for sure you'd become the new campus couple or something." Kelly smiles and says, "Well, we're still good friends."
Donna walks off as Serious Synth starts up and the camera sort of zooms in on Kelly, and then the shot starts to fuzz and we're taken a Vaseline-smeared memory of Kyle telling her that he's Most Likely Gay on the beach the previous summer.
Kyle: "There's somethin' I've never told anyone. I've never slept with a girl before."
Kelly: "So you're a virgin
who can't drive, it's no big deal."
Kyle: "No, you don't get it. Look, Kel, I...I've never slept with a girl before, and I don't know if I want to. Look, I don't want anybody to know about this, all right?" And then he tells her he trusts her (big mistake, Kyle. Big. Huge!) and the end.
Except not because we're back here with Current Day Kelly staring...
...BAH. At this.
Back to Kelly, looking all ashamed. Because of Steve looking at her while wearing what he's wearing and with his hair like that, I guess.
Shot of an intersection. A car horn is honked. A hideous station wagon whips around another car.
Inside said hideous station wagon, we find Brenda driving and Cindy in the passengers' seat. Brenda is my spirit animal (minus ALLLLLLLLLLL the swear words and flailing limbs) when she shouts, "Oh, good, mister, stop short to look at nothing!" She even used "stop short"! Aww.
So then she tells her mother that her brother's an asshole and she's sick and tired of him making fun of her driving and that she thinks that she should get to drive his car when he's not using it. Sounds reasonable to me.
Cindy, looking on the verge of car-sickness...wait. No. Hold on a second.
There. That's better. Carry on. Cindy, looking on the verge of car-sickness, tells Brenda that they'll talk to Brandon about it and then asks, "Uh, don't you wanna turn here?" Brenda asks why and Cindy explains, "Uh, we live on that street." What could've been a really lame setup was actually extremely charming because of these two.
So the Bitchin' Guitar takes us back over to West Bev.
Into the locker room. All of these guys in their 30s are hanging out in a high school locker room, which seems a little creepy and predatory to me, but whatever, this is West Beverly, where the school motto is apparently "Anything Goes." Tony honest to goodness cracks his knuckles. Who the fuck is he, Moose Mason?
So Brandon walks in and Cahill starts chanting, "Wedgie!" and then everyone else joins in and they're backing Brandon into the shower stall and it's pretty fucking spooky. Like, I'm pretty sure they have more than just a wedgie in mind.
They go on to quote Brandon's stories about them from the football season, Most Likely Gay Kyle chiming in to say, "You wrote our game against Beverly was embarrassing," when he's standing there, embarrassing himself all on his own with that hair of his. Brandon tries to shit-eating-grin his way out of all of this and asks, "Don't you guys believe in freedom of the press?" Cahill, Future Frat Bro-ing Date Rapist Of America, says, "What about our right to hang you on the wall by your underwear?" Sexual.
The wedgie chant starts again and then Steve shows up, all, "Guys! Guys, guys, guys, guys!"
And then: "Wedgie!"
And Brandon shits his pants, which will make the end result of this...interesting, to say the least. And everyone piles on and it's all very erotic. Also: nowadays, Brandon could sue them all and everyone involved here would be out on their sorry asses for hazing. But since this was the '90s, ritualistic abuse and humiliation was par for the course.
Chappie walks in, not admonishing these clods for their initiation practices or anything, but rather, tells everyone to shower up, "towel off" (which sounded...unsettling) and go home.
Brandon, meanwhile, stands back up and picks his underwear out of his crack. Kyle asks if he's all right and Brandon answers, "I'm ridin' a little high, but I think I'll live to write about it." Tony: "Write about it? Didn't you learn your lesson, Walsh?" FOR WHY does Brenda agree to go anywhere with this guy? I get that she'll be desperate and will side-step his advances anyway, but Christ. Have some pride, man.
Brandon then gives Steve a titty-twister of some kind and says, "Thanks, buddy." Steve's all, "Hey, come on, I'm a jock." It's pronounced "joke," Steve. "Joke." Anyway, then Brandon needs to feel like a man again and degrades his friend with, "Who I can out-skate, out-shoot and probably out-run."
Cahill: "I don't know, Walsh. You know what they say: those who can, do, and those who can't, write about it."
Brandon's only response is to pick his asshole some more.
Over to AHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea in the Blaze classroom-office-hybrid area. Brandon's regaling her with what a swaggy stud he is: "So I walked into Chapman's office and asked him if he was serious about lettin' me try out. He said yes, so we went out to the track and he timed me and he's got me down for the 440 relay." Okay. Is this after school right now? Before? If it's either, why is the Blaze so hoppin'? And where were Brenda and Cindy coming from? I NEED ANSWERS.
Because everything's always gotta be about the mother-fuckin' Blaze, AHHHHHHHHHNdrea's response is, "Way to go. Now you'll be writing about sports from the inside." Brandon doesn't think he should because it wouldn't be ethical and then I find my blowhorn, point it towards the television and tell him, "IT'S THE SCHOOL PAPER. NO ONE GIVES ANY FUCKS OR RIPS OR RAT'S ASSES." AHHHHHNdrea sites some Tim Green who played for the Atlanta Falcons while also commentating for NPR. And, per his Wikipedia page, also hosted the reboot of A Current Affair in 2005. Classy. Also: why is AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea so deluded that she's comparing Brandon to a professional football player/journalist?
The answer is, "Apparently as deluded as Brandon," because he tells her, "Between workin' at the Pit [ed. note: OH PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE. That's all.] and the newspaper and a full class load, somethin's gotta give." He also says that he's not cut out to be a reporter, that, "I don't like goin' up to a guy after he's just blown the big game and ask him how he feels, or coming up with a new way to say they lost again." Get over yourself, Bob Notstas (← a play on Bob Costas' name. Get it? Do you get it???).
She then calls him a "jock" or tells him that she wants to get on his jock, I don't know; either way, she says, "Maybe I'll start writing sports." Brandon's all, "You? In a locker room? I can't picture it," because she's A Girl and Girl's Can't Write About Sports. I momentarily like AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea when she shoots back with, "I can."
Inside, Brenda, looking adorable in a sweater dress and a scarf in her hair and I really want to start wearing mine that way but since I'm in the same age-range as Cahill and the rest of the West Bev men's track and field team (i.e. comfortably settled into my 30s) I don't know that it would be appropriate. ANYhow, Brenda's talking about driving Brandon's car again, asking Jim, "I think that's fair, right Dad?" he only manages to get a "Well..." out of his mouth before she plows ahead with, "Great! Then it's settled. You guys can tell Brandon as soon as he gets home."
She walks away and Cindy talks a bunch of mess about her driving capabilities and then Jim sneezes to let us know that he'll be shuffling around in his Tony Soprano robe and being a cranky asshole any moment now.
Brandon enters through the side door, apologizing for his lateness and with stupid running shoes in his hand because he's the male equivalent of Flo Jo, in the matter of one afternoon.
Brenda reenters and barrels ahead with her plans for use of the Mustang. He affably agrees and then we get...
...our Inappropriate Sibling Interaction Moment of the episode! Hurray! I guess since we didn't get one last episode, we're being
punished with treated to an especially squicky one here. Whatever, Brenda's off to call, "Kelly. No, Donna. I'll call Dylan," all giggly and happy and I love her.
Cindy asks if he's feeling okay and Brandon says, "Yep. Sho' nuff," and I'll bet Cindy's really regretting the fact that she didn't look more into that Abort Only One Of Your Fetuses If You Don't Want Twins test group when she was pregnant back in the day.
Kicky Synth Drums play us back over to West Bev, the next whatever.
"Boys'" locker room. I use the term "boys" loosely as all of these people are clearly grown-ass men with wives, kids and IRAs. Brandon's walking through, Steve coming up behind him, saying, "Coach has you runnin' the second leg of the 440. That was my position." Well, perhaps if you chopped off the 3-or-so inches of that thing atop your head you might find yourself with a better time, Steve. Wind resistance through a dense-undergrowth like that will fuck you over every time.
Kyle walks up, congratulating Brandon and earning himself a bitter, "Thanks a lot, Connor," from Steve.
And then Dylan! has arrived and Steve asks him, "Don't even tell me you're tryin' out for the track team, too?" Dylan rags on competitive sports (because apparently that was Dylan's evil twin playing hockey in the last episode) and Brandon teases, "Spoken like a true surfer boy."
These two walk through the locker room and talk shit on Brenda and how Dylan's mad that Brandon "caved" and that now that she's allowed to drive around in the Mustang she's eventually going to be asking for the keys to the Speedster. Brandon insists that she's not that bad of a driver, which was nice, but of much more importance is that Dylan's hair, while having looked pretty fucking great this entire second season, is really reaching its apex of perfection.
Street light. Red.
We see the Mustang turning a corner and coming to a stop at the light behind another car.
Donna's in the passenger seat, David in the back where he belongs, which actually isn't true because David belongs in a some kind of derelict shed somewhere, tied to a pipe in the ground and only allowed out never. He reaches up to change the station he and Donna argue about the tunes she eventually tells him, "Just put on your seat belt and shut up David," and MARRY ME, DONNA. Like, now.
So as the three kids continue to argue over the music, the Old Bag in the car in front of them looks at them in her rear view mirror and prepares herself for the long con she's about to initiate.
Shot of them in her mirror.
David: "Green light." Brenda pulls forward but immediately runs into Old Bag's car.
In her car, Old Bag kind of lunges forward.
Brenda, terrified: "Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Tell me this isn't happening." David, sort of funny:
"This isn't happening." I said "sort of." Brenda asks what she should do and Donna says, "You better go talk to her."
"This isn't happening." I said "sort of." Brenda asks what she should do and Donna says, "You better go talk to her."
They meet in the middle, Brenda apologizing and Scheme-y here saying that everything will be all right and that they don't have to call the insurance company because there's no damage to her car and only a small ding on the Mustang and that she supposes they should exchange numbers, "in case either one of us wind up in traction." Poor, Naive Brenda goes to get a pen.
Here. Cahill on some kind of weight machine and he like, SCREAMS OUT as he finishes up his set like a real small-genitaled tool. Steve's all, "Pump it up, Burke!" But...Chappie referred to him as "Cahill" before? Right? Unless...Burke is his first name? (That's what the IMDb page says for this episode.) WHAT'S GOING ON.
Whatever. Burke, as he's now known, calls himself a "power broker" and I just fucking can't even, except that I can even vomit up the entirety of my stomach after hearing that fucking self-descriptor from the Chaddiest Chad in all of Chadsville.
(Also: I JUST NOW realized that Burke was on Friends in the episode "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take A Break," where he's a diplomat named Sergei who goes out with Phoebe and aww. He was much more charming and cute in that role, by the way.)
Brandon swaps out with Burke, and I change my mind and fall madly in love with Burke, just like that, after he tells Brandon, "It's a mighty big machine for such a little tyke like you," and ruffles his hair and that was...delicious.
Brandon sits down on the machine and claps back: "Gosh, you're right, Burke. I guess I should go in the bathroom and pump myself full of steroids so I can grow up to be a big bad lug like you."
Oh, snap. Brandon's "come-back" does not go over well, as evidenced by this shot of Burke all suspicious-glower...
...and this shot of Tony all suspicious-glower.
Everyone else is silent and Steve and the mango he keeps in his crotch look around all cluelessly.
Brandon and his shitty hair realize they've made a grave mistake.
So Chap exits his office, saying, "Let's go, ladies!" Clever. Calling a bunch of guys "ladies." How evolved of you, Chappie. He finishes with, "We gotta a rendezvous with destiny," and the rest of my lower intestine makes its appearance in my mouth.
Everyone follows the coach out, including Brandon, and Steve starts to but he's held back by Tony, who asks, "We bein' set up here, Sanders? 'Cause, if we are, you better come clean right now."
Steve's all, "Heh?"
Burke: "Tony, he's not with the program. I haven't had a chance to talk to him." Is everyone sure this guy isn't doing some undercover article like the one Josie Grossie did in Never Been Kissed where she goes back to high school as a 25-year-old or whatever? Except that this dude is going back to high school as a 42-year-old (he's aged 5 years in the last 10 minutes, I decided) and tries, and fails miserably, at fitting in?
So Burke's all, "Look, Steve. In sports, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing. Right? They don't give scholarships for comin' in 4th place," and Steve's all, "Tell me something I don't know." Insert obvious comment about Steve's hair here, although, I sincerely doubt the fact that his head looks like a rotting block of Ramen is "something [he] doesn't know."
Blah blah they're all on steroids blah.
Even Kyle and the feathered trash heap from 1984 he keeps on his head.
The call their 'roids "the power pack" and take them in controlled doses "designed to peak in mid-May for the state relays in Sacramento." This all sounds like an excellent, excellent idea that is excellent. But Steve disagrees: "There's some real risk with that stuff." And then this happens:
Can you please take your garbage hair and head back to the set of Hey, Dude, Kyle?
Whatever, OF COURSE eventually (and easily) Steve caves with a, "Aw, hell, I'll try anything once," and OF COURSE Burke says something douche-laden with, "All right, the Powah Pack!" and then they talk smack about Brandon and Steve says he's cool and that he'll speak to him about potentially taking steroids which also sounds like an excellent, excellent idea and not something that totally won't get Brandon and his Blaze blood a'boilin', all suspect and whatnot.
Burke tells them not to be paranoid and, with a little head shake, that, "The candy man is here," and he starts handing out pills and I'm pretty certain that Sammy Davis Jr. did several of these spins here in his grave after hearing this middle-aged wank refer to himself as "the candy man."
(Sidebar: Brandon eventually finds out about the steroid use and there's the big "exposé" that he writes about it, etc., and Brandon's well aware of the lug-heads that are using the steroids, yet, he apparently has no problem with his sister going to a dance with one of them later in Season 3? Or are we to assume that Tony saw the error of his ways and stopped with the 'roids and went to rehab and all's well by that time? Am I a gigantic loser for even putting this much time and effort in to thinking about this? Why, yes, I am.)
In the kitchen, Donna and Brenda sit at the breakfast bar, Brenda fretting about what she's going to tell Brandon about the accident and the dent on his car. Donna, like me, thinks that Brenda should lie to her crap-weasel of a brother, because, who cares? He sucks.
Brandon arrives then, conceitedly sashaying over to the fridge, taking something out and saying, "Brenda. Just the person I've been looking for. I saw the car out there in the driveway." Brenda starts to confess but he cuts her off with a dickish, "Congratulations. You defied a basic law of nature, you got it back here in one piece. I even called Ripley's and they don't believe it either." Oh, go fuck yourself, please.
Inside, Kelly sits at the counter, blissfully unaware of what she's about to be faced with...
...yeah. While I'm not a fan of Kelly's, no one should have to be surprise-subjected to this. No one. He asks her where she's going, she says, "To bed," he of course pig-dogs, "If you insist, I'll join you," Kelly doesn't start bleeding from the ears and advises him, "I'm getting up at 6 to run with Kyle." He then reclaims the title of Lowest Common Denominator that he left behind a few episodes ago and asks, "You guys are doin' it, aren't ya?"
Kelly, in turn, gives him a look usually reserved for vermin (although it's apt here as well) and huffs, "Why is it that every time I try to give you the benefit of the doubt, you always manage to remind me why it is that I broke up with you in the first place?" and the she huffs out. Without first spitting in Dumb Steve's Dumb Steve Face or Dumb Steve's Dumb Steve Mullet. Missed opportunity, Kel.
Brandon arrives to not work some more. They talk about...you know, whatever. Brandon wonders what gets Burke so "jacked" about him, which really, sounds a little too close to "jacked off" and that is more than I can bear so on we move. Steve reminds Brandon that it's because he's a reporter and Brandon, laughably, says, "But I'm not anymore. I'm right there in the trenches with the rest of the team." Like, my eyes were just sucked up into my skull because I rolled them so hard and they're now hanging out in my parietal lobe with my sense of touch and navigation.
On and on and finally, Steve flies into a RAAAAAAAAAGE. Sort of. Brandon talks shit about steroids and Steve says they're fine if you use them in a "limited way" and I think the takeaway here is that Steve's really smart, you guys. He ends it with a, "You know all there is to know about everything, right, Brandon Walsh? It's no wonder those guys don't like you." I can't argue with him on that. And also: what an odd time to use someone's full name. Must be the gym candy.
Anyway, Steve gets SO MAD that he stands up and SPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINS his stool seat really, really hard! Steve means business, y'all!
Brandon looks after him like this and these Synth...Chimes? start up in the background, and you can tell it's about to get even more Mad Serious up in this joint.
Especially after we go back outside and see the Peach Pit signage shut off, because, ooo, intrigue...
...and then fuck AHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea shows up, looking around, all suspicious-like and knocks on the door...
...and Brandon peeks out through the blinds and WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL OF THIS, A Perry Mason Mystery??? Or something slightly more relevant to the year 2016?
He lets her inside and she asks, "Are you okay? You look like you just lost your best friend," and boo-hoo he seriously just might've! Except that there's no way he actually cares because it's Steve.
Brandon gets right down to it: "Suppose I came to you with an article documenting steroid use in the athletic department? Would you run it?"
AHHHHHHNdrea, in turn, pops several dweebish Woodrows in a row at the very thought and he resignedly tells her that he was never really off of the paper and, "So much for being one of the guys." And then she mentions, "Look, I know how you feel. I had to go undercover to break the story on the cafeteria food thing," and he does not fall off of his stool laughing, and then roll out of the door and into the street laughing and then get hit by a car laughing and then taken to the ER in an ambulance laughing. He has much more self-control than I ever would.
He does ask her, however, "So what's it like to keep secrets from your friends?" and I'm all, "Friends? What friends? Who? Where?" and she's all, "I can't think of anything else in the world that can make you feel so alone." Except that I'm pretty sure AHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea's always felt alone in the world, because of her exhaustingly repellent personality.
Pan over of a smoggy-ish yet lush West L.A.
Kyle and Kelly, running on the track. She tells him that she can't believe he runs 6 miles every morning and he's all, "Yeah, and 12 on weekends." You can run all you want, Kyle, but you're never going to outrun your sexuality. He prattles on about some book, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and says, "You know how it is, right, Kel?" and no, she doesn't, Kyle, because the fuck are you even talking about?
He runs up ahead of her and she sort of looks after him, probably wondering why she ever liked him in the first place.
So they're done with their run and she apologizes for slowing him down, even though it should be him apologizing to her for that hair he's sporting and the fact that he only talks in spookily vague riddles. He tells her, "It's just nice bein' with ya, Kel. Not having to impress anybody," and something tells me that Kyle doesn't impress anyone. Ever.
Locker room. Steve ties his shoe as Burke or Cahill or whatever the hell he is walks up and sits down. It takes INFINITY for Steve to fill this dingus in on the fact that he talked to Brandon about illicit drug use and that he's not down, but that Brandon is a supposed "great guy" who they can trust. Burke asks exactly what Steve told Brandon about The Program and Steve tells him, "Nothing. I didn't say a word. But I did spin my stool around in a really aggressive manner so he might be on to us." But not really.
And then Synth Xylophone starts up as Steve checks out Burke's fanny as he walks away.
Weight room. Brandon's spotting Kyle on the bench press as he finishes up his set.
Burke and Steve strut in and Brandon greets his friend, but Steve's too worried about his developing gynecomastia and shrinking testicles to care.
Brandon starts his set...
...and we get this shot of Tony, Burke and some Rando, clearly hoping Brandon drops the barbell on his wee chest and breaks his sternum and has to quit the team. Anyway, Brandon only manages to get up to 6 because he sucks at a lot of things.
Zoom in on him sitting up and grunting. This is exactly how I imagine he looks when attempting to deposit a big old deuce in the shitter. Because I imagine Brandon defecating, apparently.
He calls himself "weak," so I don't have to and then goes into this MEGA-OBVIOUS and stilted song-and-dance about how he wants to see results faster and asks, "Is there anything you could recommend to boost my performance? Kick me into high gear?" and he is really bad at this.
Burke goes on to tell him there aren't any shortcuts and then he turns to Tony, whose hair is so...weird, and asks, "What do I always say, Tony?" and Tony meatheads, "No pain, no gain," which is super original, I might add. And then Burke says all ominously, "If you were writin' an article for the paper, you could quote me on that."
Brandon crushes an empty soda can in one of those little contraptions, then fades over near the door, says, "From the three-point line!" and shoots the can into the paper bag his father's holding up. Oh, these zany Walshes! He says that he should've gone out for the basketball team and Brenda reminds him, "Gee, I thought you went out for that team
and acted like a real prick and Hated Black People last year." The phone rings and Brenda gives us the winner of The Most Early-90s Line Of The Episode with, "If that's Kiefer Sutherland, tell him that I'm a little busy."
Brandon, in turn, answers the phone with a, "Hello, Kiefer?" because he's just the wacky. And it turns out to be Old Bag asking to speak with "Brenda Walsh's father."
Jim takes the receiver, all, "Jim Walsh here," and then he gets all wide-eyed and asks, "Accident, what accident?"
Cut to Cindy and Brenda at the kitchen table, Brenda teary-eyed and trying to explain herself: "The real reason I didn't say anything is 'cause since everyone already thinks I'm such a lousy driver..." and of course Brandon cuts her off with, "Which you've just proved in spades." Then Jim gets in on it, saying that she had an obligation to tell him because of the insurance, and Brandon, because it's (undeservedly) his car and Brenda tells them, "It practically didn't even seem like a real accident." Cindy interjects with, "This poor woman is describing a very serious case of whiplash," and Dr. Jim lets Brenda and we, the viewing audience know, that, "Whiplash can take a while to show up."
So the phone rings again, Brandon makes a non-funny non-joke about it being Kiefer Sutherland, he peacocks over to the phone, yanks the receiver off the wall, all, "Hello!" Because he's The World's Worst. Anyway, it's for him, and he makes plans to meet up with a Mystery Date later in the evening...
...which takes us over here, accompanied by Serious Synth Music AND Serious Keyboards, so you KNOW Things Are Serious, where the Mustang is slowly driving down some darkened alleyway. Hopefully one that's full hungry bobcats, waiting for their next kill.
He parks, gets out of the car and I guess this is supposed to be some Major Reveal or something, because they only show whoever it is that he's meeting as a blurry figure in the foreground. Brandon's all, "Hey, man, how ya doin'?"
And then! Oh. It's only Most Likely Gay Kyle. What a letdown. Anyway, he blows into his hands and tells Brandon, "Let's walk; it's freezing."
They walk behind some chain link fence, where I'm assuming the wild, rabid, blood-thirsty bobcats are kept? No? Brandon asks, "Why we bein' so secretive?" and Kyle's all, "Believe me, I don't like keeping secrets. That's kinda why I'm here. I heard what you were asking about today in the weight room
because I was standing DIRECTLY NEXT TO YOU so why wouldn't I have heard you?, about improving your performance and stuff. I know what you were gettin' at. You wanna know where you could score some steroids, right?" Brandon confirms this and Kyle tells him he doesn't want to "get into that stuff, do you?"
Brandon lies poorly, some more, and says, "Hey, I just wanna little competitive edge." Kyle proves that nothin' gets past him and says, "No, what you're really doing is an article for the Blaze, right?" Brandon seems genuinely surprised that his terrible cover's been blown and asks, "How'd you figure that out?" and I answer for Kyle with, "Because you're the World's Worst Investigative Reporter and were SO FUCKING COMPLETELY OBVIOUS in your pathetic line of questioning."
Kyle tells him, "I'm pretty good at reading people, especially when they got a secret to hide." Because of YOUR SECRET, Most Likely Gay Kyle? YOUR SECRET, HMMMMMMM? Criminy.
Brandon asks if no one on the track team's doing 'roids, and Kyle's emotional level goes from 2 to 2 ½ and he monotones, "No, man, I'm tellin' you a lot of people are takin' 'em. Things are getting out of control. It's gotta stop before someone gets hurt." Brandon asks if he's willing to talk to him about it and Kyle agrees, but he won't name names and he doesn't want his name used, either. Brandon agrees to these terms and Kyle asks him what he wants to know and then the Synth Gong that accompanied us on our visit to The Big House to visit Jack McKay sounds off here and now we know that things are about to get rill-rill.
Kicky Drums, Sweet Ghee-tar, West Bev.
Inside. Hallway. Brenda and Donna. Donna awkwardly asks if Brenda got grounded for the not-telling-anyone-about-her-accident thing, and Brenda says, "Well, not exactly. My dad was pretty cool about the accident, although he did say it would be in the best interest if I didn't drive again until hell freezes over." Let's journey back in time to when Brandon drove, DRUNK and ALMOST KILLED A MAN, and see if Jim's reaction was as harsh. OH NO WAIT, it WASN'T - Brandon was driving the very next episode. "This isn't reality." - you. "I see." - me.
They turn a corner and head towards a staircase that Brandon's coming down. He greets Brenda with an ever-so-grating, "Hello, young sibling."
Next, Steve dorks up to Brandon, carrying his gym bag. During this entire conversation, Steve's on the verge of tears, I guess trying to show us the effect the pumpers are having on his emotional state. It mostly just comes across as uncomfortable and embarrassing, not helped in any way by his outfit or hair, the latter appearing to be going through some kind of crisis of its own.
He practically weeps to Brandon about how he's sorry for all the stool-spinning at the Peach Pit the other night, and that he "just wish[es] it could be like the way things were before we got into this competitive stuff." Brandon asks him if he's headed to the gym, Steve says yes, Brandon tells him he'll meet him down there and they shake on it. And then Steve continues to be on the brink of a total mental collapse and watches Brandon walk away and then...
...he dork-sprints down the hall like this. Which makes me laugh way too much every time I watch this episode. Why? It's still a mystery.
Blaze. Brandon walks in, pulls a stool up next to AHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea at her desk, and confesses the second thoughts he's having about running his steroid article, which is what she's reading at this very moment.
She's all, "It's a little late for that, don't you think?" Yeah, because A HIGH SCHOOL PAPER couldn't just run some bullshit story about the fucking re-soding of the football field or some shit. She harangues him about having to be in Chappie's office in 5 minutes to get a quote from him, but Brandon protests: "I know what I said, AHHHHNdrea, but...there's this guy on the team that I'm pretty sure is involved; on the fringes, if at all, and I just don't wanna see him get busted. That's all." Brandon really needs to stop making me momentarily like him, due to the fact that he's trying to do right by his friend. Even if that friend is Steve.
Then AHHHHHHHHNdrea takes advantage of my current, weak-willed state, touches Brandon's hand (but not in a typically spooky AHHHHHHHHHHNdrea sort of way) and nicely asks, "Look, would it help if I were to be the point person on this story from here on out?" Brandon agrees to this and she adds, "Whatever you want's okay with me." STOP IT THE BOTH OF YOU.
The bell rings and we head back into the weight room, where Steve is...pleasuring the machine from behind...? in another racer-back tank.
Brandon walks in, Steve attempts to shoot the shit about Wheaties or some nonsense, but Brandon cuts right to the chase: "You didn't hear it from me, but the Blaze is publishing an article about steroid use in the athletic department." Steve RAAAAAAAAAGES again, sort of, shouting, "Oh, my God," and then Brandon, hip to the lingo now, advises, "So if you got any 'roids in your locker, I suggest you ditch 'em real quick." Steve, too juiced up to realize that his friend is saving his ASS, can only angrily say, "Man, I don't believe you."
After Brandon walks away, there's this disturbing moment where Steve stares after him, then has some sort of facial tic, then has a realization dawn on him, then feels Burke's presence, then turns toward Burke who's standing in the background - just standing, doing nothing, staring straight ahead - then Burke looks at Steve with a stern face and then Steve comes to the stark realization that he's probably going to be scalped alive and he doesn't yet understand what a favor that will be to him and everyone that has ever had to look at him.
Out to the practice field. Chappie and AHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea stand before the team, I guess because Chappie wants to ensure that AHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea is beaten to death later that night by a bunch of angry, ravenous, 'roided-up messes out for revenge? Good call, Chaps.
Whatever, here's what he has to say to his team that's full of a bunch of guys who are his age: "Believe me, gentlemen, if I had the resources at my disposal, each and every one of you would be standing in line in the bathroom with a plastic cup in your hand. But testing for steroids is not a practical option. And it's not going to solve the problem, if there is indeed a problem. Judging from what AHHHHHHNdrea has showed me, we indeed do have a problem on our hands, don't we, gentlemen? Now until the rest of you who are using it, and you know who you are, until you come forward to stop this recklessness, there will be no practice today, or tomorrow or the day after that. And if we have to forfeit the whole season, so be it." The entire time that he's talking we get a bunch of reaction shots from everyone. Like this:
1. Burke, looking smug and menacing.
2. Tony, having...odd hair.
3. Kyle, looking...boring. As always.
4. Brandon. Squinty.
5. AHHHHHHHNdrea, rightfully fearing for her safety.
6. Steve looking down.
7. Tony, being SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED.
Chappie turns on his heel and leaves, and the rest of the team heads out...to stalk Steve, I guess.
Tony puts an arm around his shoulders, saying, "You're a dead man, Sanders." Steve says that it wasn't him, Tony tells him to prove it, Steve five-year-olds back, "You prove it!" and then Burke's all, "Hey! Both of you, shut up, okay? Chapman's not gonna forfeit a whole season tryin' to prove a point he can't prove. So as long as we keep cool, we got nothin' to worry about." Sidebar: who THE FUCK are the two mute Randos walking with them? Follow-up side bar: what THE FUCK is Burke packing in his sweats there? Gross.
As the rest his gang trots off ahead, Kyle falls back with Steve, who tells him, "I didn't tell anybody, you gotta believe me."
But Burke turns around and calls for Kyle...
...who does like a good boy and hurries after them as the Serious Synth comes in.
Some house. Nighttime. Brenda and Dylan head up the sidewalk to the front door, Brenda carrying a bouquet of flowers.
God, they're SO HOT. Brenda rings the bell and then complains about the bouquet she bought...
....and then Old Bag opens the door wearing a neck brace.
She invites them into the living room and they talk about the totally fraudulent lawsuit she's going to bring against the Walshes, seeing as Jim insists on going through the insurance company, because, what an absolute monster, and she feigns a bunch of pain and Dylan looks mad uncomfortable and also like he's caught on to Old Bag and her little scam and then Brenda's all, "My dad and I are very close, and once he knows the facts, you'll see what a different person he'll become."
Which leads us to this immediate jump over to Jim, Tony Soprano-grade robe on, as the kids these days would say, fleek, ranting and raving in the L.R.O.W.: "I can't believe that you are standing up for a woman who is threatening to bring a $1 million claim against us! That's highway robbery!"
Brenda sasses, "I can't believe that you would use the insurance company to get out of paying what we owe her!" Sorry, Brenda - I'm gonna have to go with Jim on this one, you ignorant slut, you. On and on this goes with Brenda being really stupid about the whole thing, which, given that she's 17 or whatever, makes sense, I guess. I didn't have a clue about that kind of stuff when I was that age, either. Nor do I now, for that matter. Seriously, I'm surprised I'm not dead yet. I don't know jack-shit about anything. Except for this show. And margaritas. And cats.
Brandon comes downstairs at some point and listens in on the conversation like the nosy twat that he is, then heads into the kitchen.
Cindy and Dylan sit at the breakfast bar, drinking tea and being adorable together. Carol Potter is the best, I tell you. The best. Brandon asks them if they're "sittin' this one out," and Dylan concurs.
Brandon goes to leave and Dylan catches him at the door to ask about the track team, and it's really stilted and awkward and terrible and clearly just a mini-filler to take us into the next scene.
After Brandon takes his leave, Dylan turns around and gives Cindy this look, which is also the look on my face following what just happened.
Brandon arrives at the future Peach Pit After Dark entrance for his shift as Kelly's exiting the door with two pie boxes in hand. Brandon: "Uh-oh, sweet-tooth time at the Taylor house, huh?" Kelly: "Yeah, it's true. My mom's been on a rampage lately," and I wonder if this was an early hint about SPOILER ALERT TO NO ONE Jackie's pregnancy, which is revealed at the end of the next episode. Anyway.
Brandon enters through the back and Steve appears, having been lurking in the shadows, because apparently that's what people on steroids do. But seriously, he emerges from behind some racks, like, he was actually lying in wait for Brandon. He tells his friend that they need to talk and that time is running out for the both of them and that, "I don't know about you, but I don't wanna get my face kicked in."
Brandon doesn't buy it: "By who? Miller? Burke?" Steve accuses Brandon of never not being a reporter and lying about the fact that he had quit the Blaze. Brandon denies this, saying it was the truth and that he started to get scared when he witnessed his friend changing before his very eyes. Here we go again with this asshole going and making me like him for a little bit. Shut your mouth, Minnesota.
Steve walks around Brandon and exhales deeply. Brandon asks, "How deep are you into it?" Steve: "I just started a cycle. It's no biggie. But when I read the pamphlet the coach handed out I decided it definitely wasn't worth it." Brandon says that he tried to tell him that, and Steve thanks him and then makes it All About Steve: "What I have to do now is prove that I'm not the guy who blabbed...all we have to do is get AHHHHHHNdrea to write something that says I'm not the guy she talked to." Brandon tells him it won't work and Steve states the obvious with, "Come on, of course it's gonna work. She's in love with you, man - she'll do anything you ask her to do."
Brandon insists she won't "compromise the identity of a news source" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I forgot this was the New York Times, and Steve's mood turns on a dime and he spits, "Well, then when you get right down to it, what you're saying is that protecting a news source is more important to you than protecting your best friend?" Brandon says he can't go back on his word to the source, i.e. Kyle. Steve sarcastically thanks him and then turns on his heel to huff away. Brandon grabs for him and then!
Like, I really want to AHAHAHAHAHA this, but Brandon's actually being a pretty decent human being and looking out for his friend here, and all he gets is this lousy beatdown.
But I can AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA at this: "That's it! From here on in, for now and forever, you're on your own." Look at that HULK RAGE. Man! Also: think about how much easier Brandon's life would've been had he taken Steve up on his offer.
And then Steve's gone in a flash!, because what more can you say after flinging a friend into an industrial-grade refrigerator and talking like a character from Lord of the Rings ("for now and forever" - ???)?
Brandon, meanwhile, is out of breath and in a state of shock..
He turns to look at the back door where Kelly's standing with her sad little pie box. She is, I might add, FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. Her voice waivers as she tells him, "We ordered pecan, and they gave us boysenberry." As an aside, I've always liked this shot. Because I have nothing better going on in my life.
The next morning, I presume? Kelly finds Kyle on the track, stretching all over some hurdle. He flirts with her because maybe he's bisexual or sexually fluid and then she uses his fondness for her as a way to get intel on the 'roid use on the track team and how Steve's probably going to be assassinated soon because everyone thinks he's the rat, and could Kyle talk to his scary, pumped-with-anabolic-steroids friends and let them know Steve's not the source? 'Kay, thanks. Even though, as she says, Steve's "been cold to you in the past. It's just because he gets so jealous sometimes." Gee, what a charming and not-at-all alarming trait. To go along with all of his other charming and not-at-all alarming traits.
So Kyle agrees and then weirdly sort of touches her chin and I don't know. I never said this guy was a catch.
Inside. Kyle walks down the hall in a heinous, blue-leather letterman-type jacket that looks like it might have Looney Tunes characters on the back of it.
He winds up at his locker, which just happens to be a couple of doors down from Brandon's locker, who's there at the moment but doesn't acknowledge Kyle; he merely gives him a side-eye, slams his locker door shut and walks away. What a bitch!
Kyle looks down the hall to where Steve and AHHHHHHHHNdrea are having a somewhat heated discussion about the steroid article. Steve's pressing AHHHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea to print a blurb about how he's not the unnamed source, before they've even printed the actual article. I would say that the steroids have fried Steve's brain but he's always been this stupid, so whatever.
Back to Kyle. Burke and another dumb-looking Rando walk up behind him, Burke asking to copy Kyle's Spanish homework, which Kyle concedes to. Then they walk away and you can still hear the din of Steve and AHHHHHHHHHNdrea's conversation in the background as they pass...
...Brenda and Dylan. Brenda looks really foxy in this red getup, and I'm actually digging her plaid headband. Dylan tells her, "Your father was very explicit, no more contact with Old Bag." She's all, "Yeah, well, that's easy for him to say. He's not the one who caused her to be immobilized." He tells her that he won't be a party to it and she snots, "Fine, be absurd, don't drive me, I'll take the bus," and then flounces off as only Brenda can.
Down the hall, Dylan spies things getting even more hairy between Steve and AHHHHHHHHHHHNdrea. Steve asks, "Yes or no? Are you gonna print my statement or not?" She starts to tell him, "Not until after we print our story, which might not happen. Like I told you, I promised Mr. Chapman if somebody comes forward..."
...but Steve stomps off with a, "Yeahhhhhhh..." before she can finish whatever boring old thing she was going to say.
Dylan catches him and asks, "Hey, big guy, wanna go chew some nails?" Steve, about to throw another Big Boy Tantrum, fumes, "What I'd like to do is take AHHHHHHHHHNdrea and stuff her down Brandon's throat." I mean...I'm not against it or anything. Far be it from me to shoot down someone's goals in life. Anyhow, Steve goes on to say that AHHHHHNdrea and Brandon aren't his friends, and then provides Dylan with his 'roid-fogged, revisionist history: "They're organizing a witch hunt to find out who's doing steroids on the track team."
Dylan gives us the coveted Line Of The Episode with, "Steroids...that stuff will shrink your gonads, man." Steve weirdly replies, "Yeah, I know all about it," because...his gonads have already shrunk? I mean, that's what he's saying here, right? So Dylan's all, "Okay, so let's talk about Brandon Walsh for a second" - again with the full name? - "he's not exactly a witch hunt type of guy, and if you were in trouble, he'd be there for you. Goes for me, too." Steve's only response is a, "Thanks, man. Thanks," and he takes off...
...and then there's this shot of Dylan and there's a poster on the wall with Lincoln on it and they kind of have the same looks on their faces and I wonder if it was intentional. Nice blocking or whatever the hell you call it, anyway.
So now we're back at Old Bag's. Brenda rings the bell...
...but then hears music, so she walks over to the picture window to investigate...
...and she sees this: Old Bag following along to some kind of Jazzercise-Cardio-Jane Fonda-something or other on her TV. She eventually turns enough that she spots Brenda looking in...
...and Brenda says, "You're dead, bitch," with just the flick of her eyebrows.
Here. Jim, still schlubbing around in his disgusting, food-stained robe, is on the phone with someone, saying, "Oh, yeah, my daughter actually saw her aerobicizing in front of the T.V. Okay, thanks for everything, Ernie," while Brenda sits on the stool beside him.
Once he's off, he informs Brenda that Old Bag is actually a major scam artist who's claimed 14 accidents in the last 3 years, which is why she didn't want to go through the insurance company. Brenda then determines that she's not a bad driver and should be able to get behind the wheel again immediately.
And then Shannen Doherty totally fake-sneezes and Jim hands her a fucking used Kleenex from his scummy robe and if I were her, I would've rather blown my nose in my hands than take that thing from him but whatever.
Back here. Tony comes SLAMMING into the weight room, angrily informing the others that, "Practice has been cancelled again!"...
...and then he FIRES his gym back into a weight machine and it's clear from all of this that the steroids are working out for these mutants juuuuust fine. And then someone further proves that point by shrieking, "OH, DAMN IT TO HELL!" and I couldn't tell who it was coming from - Tony? Burke/Cahill? Who cares.
So Tony's all, "This is not gonna blow over, Cahill! It just isn't! Chapman is gonna take us to the mat on this," and Burke slimes, "Any bets?" Kyle asks what he's going to do and he answers by standing there and panting, as evidenced by the closed captioning above.
Locker room. Steve places something in his locker, closes the door and stands there and touches the acne that I'm assuming is cropping up on his jawline because of the arnolds. The big stupid apes, Burke (in belly-shirt) and Tony, come around the corner.
Burke asks, "Sanders, gotta minute?" Tony insists, "He's got a minute," and then they start to leave, but not before Tony pushes Steve ahead of himself and then looks around to make certain no on saw him. Gotta love a bully. Gotta a love a bully who asks your sister to prom, Brandon.
They wind up outside under the stadium seating, I guess, and Steve tells them that he can prove that he's not the one who squealed. Burke informs him that they're past that now and that they need a favor from him.
As they walk they meet up with Kyle...and more Randos! Who just stand there and mouth-breath and are nearly as worthless as Worthless Nat...who we've "missed out on" for the last two episodes, in case you were wondering.
Whatever, here's Burke's Grand Plan: "You tell Chapman you started dipping 'cause of how much you wanted to make the team, that you only did it by yourself and you're never gonna do it again." And then Tony proves his good-for-nothingness some more by pushing Steve into the chain link fence and trying to act all menacing with his shitty hair. Nice try, Tony.
Steve is adamant about not being the fall guy, but Burke insists that Chappie won't punish him and Tony adds, "And neither will we," and then PUSHES STEVE AGAIN. NO ONE was concerned for Brenda going out with this guy, after him demonstrating this erratic and violent behavior??? Not her brother? Not her friends? Jesus.
Tony toughs, "One way or another, you're gonna take a fall, Sanders," and then he PUSHES HIM AGAIN and they start scuffling...
...and here's Brandon to say, "Hey. HEY!"...
Burke tells...Steve?...I guess?, "Get rid of him!"
Kyle's all, "Burke, man, leave him alone, all right!"
Tony blockheads, "Stay out of it, Connor!"
And then Kyle woodenly saves the day with, "No, I'm in it, man! I cracked! I'm the one who told Brandon!"
Tony, once again, is SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED at this revelation. Kyle reiterates: "It's me, guys. I'm the one you wanna kill." Mostly because of your hairstyle? Yes, it's true.
Burke: "Don't blow this, Kyle." Blow what?
Kyle, near tears: "I can't keep livin' a lie, man. And neither can you." Dear Kyle: YOU'RE SO BORING. BYE. Signed: EVERYONE ANYWHERE EVER. Confession: did I at one time or another think David Lascher was cute? You betcha. I think mostly when he was Blossom's rebel boyfriend (he was a rebel because he wore a leather biker jacket. Seriously. That was his singular "character trait") on Blossom. His hair was a pretty big trash heap on that show as well, I guess. Oh, whatever.
Kelly and Steve, All Better Now! I guess, sit at the counter. Brandon's behind it, regaling them with what happened following the under-the-bleachers, up-against-a-chain link-fence, ruff-n-tumble tomfoolery from earlier in the afternoon. Kelly asks, "So, it was heavy?" Brandon says that it was: "They went into Chapman's office and closed the door for 45 minutes." Kelly asks what happened next and Brandon tells her that he doesn't know because he left. Steve asks, "What, you're not gonna write about it?" and...wouldn't Steve be in trouble, too? West Bev is an enigma to me.
Kelly's off to visit Kyle, to make certain he hasn't been mauled by a pack of 35-year-old-men-posing-as-17-year-old-boys. Brandon thinks that Kyle will be just fine and Steve's says, "Yeah, he'll be all right.
Hopefully he recovers as quickly as I have!"
But before Kelly can leave, Brenda and Dylan enter, Brenda touting the fact that they have an announcement. Dylan: "Today was a history-making event. Brenda Walsh drove her first Porsche."
Brandon: "Look out." Steve: "Surrender Dorothy." WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN. Like, The Wizard of Oz? Because Dylan finally "surrendered" his car to Brenda? Shut your mullet, Sanders.
So then Brenda hits up her brother for the Mustang so that she can go to the movies with Donna and (unfortunately) David. There's a lame back and forth with the keys that I can't with, and then he finally relinquishes them to her,
After Brenda leaves out through the kitchen, Dylan sidles up to the counter, Brandon asking, "Did she grind the gears?" Dylan's all, "Every time," because Women Are Horrible Drivers! And Are Inferior To Men In Every Conceivable Way! Blah blah a loud crash is heard out back blah...
...and everyone comes BURSTING out the back door, where they see...
...this trash truck unloading the dumpster. Which is the source of the crash that was heard. Oh, the high jinks.
From behind the truck comes Brenda in the Mustang, parade-waving to her friends who have absolutely no faith in her driving capabilities.
Sweet Fuckin' Keyboard Music that sounds like the intro to the Doogie Howser, M.D. theme song plays as everyone stands around and shakes their heads and chuckles at the wackiness of it all.
And then Dylan does some 3 Stooges move and it's a goddamn nightmare. The End.
Next time on Let's Make Fun Of All The Clothes From Famous Original Beverly Hills, 90210, we get The Sex Episode, "Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout It." BUT, more importantly, the moment we've ALL been waiting for: Not Original But The Only One Who Will Ever Matter, FELICE MARTIN. And if you haven't been waiting for this moment, I ask you to stop reading this blog and go eat several dicks.*
(*Please don't stop reading this blog. You can eat a dick if you want, however. No judgment.)
- All images courtesy of the author's Mad Microsoft Paint Skillzzz unless otherwise indicated.