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|:HOME:|:RANTS:|:FEBRUARY 9, 2000
"The Final Proof"
FEBRUARY 9, 2000

So, even before the "previously" scenes start rolling, I’m already salivating. Am I looking forward to this episode? Am I excited to see what’s going to happen with Donna, Gina, David, Kelly and the rest of the gang? No. Oh no.

I just want to see Noah die. DIE NOAH!

I’m not a violent or evil (really!) person. But I gotta admit, after the years of enduring Vincent Young playing what truly must be the one of the top two Lame-Ass "New" Characters In 90210 History (right up there with LawyerBoy Matt), I can’t wait for his demise. I mean, just the fact that he’s no longer Donna Martin’s (Tori Spelling’s...?) Boyfriend is enough to mark him for certain ruin, no? And we know Dylan isn’t going to be in that exploding car… Gidget’s Niece, or Gidget’s Niece’s Brother, maybe, but I’m banking on Noah, doing some Heroic Last Minute Rescue of one of the bad guys to redeem himself before getting blown to high heaven (because Donna Martin’s Ex-Boyfriend would have to be Redeemed). Die, Noah… please die….

And besides, the Sloppiest Kidnapping and Extortion Deal In The World has to have some dastardly repercussions, right? So… let Noah die! DIE!

So we open at the Beverly Royale With Cheese Hotel, where Dylan and Steve are ordering $39 omelets with extra testosterone for breakfast. And we know this is yet another Particularly Penis-Boy-y Caucus (cock-us…? Geddit?) because the second thing out of Skeevy Stevie "Belly Man" Sanders’ mouth is the string of penisy platitudes about "tip-off in ten minute, breakfast a phone call away and not the slightest scent of a dirty diaper." Yeah, my heart bleeds for him… his life must be so tough and stressful, what with all that hard work for the paper and all of the grueling duties of baby-care (like hiring a nanny to change those dirty diapers so you can go out to the movies), not to mention just the general oppressive condition of being married and a father, which means that, except for getting laid occasionally, he has no fun in life at all ever.

But the boy bonding is going to have to wait, because there’s a knock at the flimsy hotel prop door. And Dylan bangs the door open onto his foot first and it bounces around before he can control it, and Gidget’s Niece is there trying not to laugh, before announcing "I think my brother mighta done something crazy… I think he might’ve kidnapped Noah."

And Dylan, really wanting to get back to the couch where Steve Sanders in his DumbAssy cross-your-heart-esque skintight jeans is waiting for him, has NO reaction to this news other than "Mm hmm. Well, now’s not a real good time." I suppose Dylan’s having a chaffing effect in his own trousers and thus can’t be bothered with silly things like kidnapping and druggies and ransom money and stuff. And Gidget’s Niece makes this big long speech about her dealer and her dumb brother begging Dylan to bail her out and holding Noah for ransom to force Dylan to pay up and Dylan responds sneeringly about Shane’s inability to pull of a kidnapping heist. And this whole time, Skeevy Stevie is just staring at the TV, not reacting to any of this information. I mean, tip-off or no, if someone showed up at my friend’s house and started rambling about kidnapping and extortion, I think that might pique my attention. And then Gidget’s Niece whispers "He knows you have a goddaughter," which, despite having been uttered in a lower voice than all the kidnapping stuff, is the one thing that Skeevy Stevie manages to overhear and drags his attention away from the game to pretend like he’s all concerned about Maddy’s well-being. And he and Dylan make Wonky Eyes at each other before Dylan says "We’ve got to DO something!" and Steve says "Right on, Batman!" and Dylan says "To the Batcave, Boy Wonder!" and Steve says "Right on!" and they dash off to the secret door that takes them directly to the BatVan-

Okay, so I made that last bit up.

Anyway, in the BatVan, Steve and Dylan are using their super compact wireless communicator transmitters (i.e. cell phones) to inquire about Maddy’s well-being and Noah’s whereabouts. First off, if I was a parent… especially a new parent… and my husband called me to urgently ask about the condition of our child… well, I wouldn’t be all "Yeah, she’s fine. Is something wrong? Oh, okay, bye" about it like Janet was. I swear to God, Janet is completely unrecognizable as any kind of even-slightly-less-than-flat character at this point, much less her Former Self. And secondly, I guess Donna’s completely over wanting to take care of Noah, or even having the slightest bit of interest in his existence at all (well, either that, or being around Kelly has totally given Donna a major case of MeMeMeMarriage-itis) because Donna is too busy crawling all over LawyerBoy for the details of this stupid game show to even REACT when Kelly asks if anyone’s heard from Noah.

Oh, and, whatever on Davy all stretching out on the porch ­ with his house portable phone (NOT a cell phone) with him ­ to go for a run.

But speaking of the game show…. Dear God, are they really going to put us through this? I guess. At Dysfunction Junction, LawyerBoy announces to Kelly that he wants them to be contestants on a game show called "Lovers Lame" (I know it must’ve been "Lovers Lame" and not "Lovers Lane"…) which is "you know, two couples who’re getting married, answering questions … showing why they’re meant to be together." Which, of course, is the key phrase of the whole show: "showing why they’re meant to be together."

Oh, God, WHY?! WHY? And, I mean, gee! A love-oriented game show! Why, we haven’t seen that yet- Oh. Wait.

I’m not sure if this game show thing is supposed to be LawyerBoy’s idea of a cute/interesting Valentine’s Day gift for Kelly, or if he’s so desperate for money now that he’s grounded for two months that he’s willing to prostitute himself and his relationship to the lowest common denominator of the TV Viewing Audience. Um, if this game show is sooo kewl, how could LawyerBoy land them on it for a Valentine’s Day episode the day before VD? And Kelly giggles and expresses disdain while Donna of course thinks it’s "a great idea!" and "I can coach ya, whip ya into shape!" and is making these absolutely FRIGHTENING "excited" faces and all that, because, of course, Donna-Tori’s life revolves around watching and praising stupid TV shows that pander to stupid people.

So, has anyone heard the rumor that AS is supposedly peddling a Dynasty type of show for next season… starring Tori? If so, then I got first dibs reviewing if for Mighty Big TV! Puhleeeese?

Anyway. What was up with Donna’s hair? I seriously thought she’d chopped it all off…. It wasn’t until she got to Now Whatever This that I could see it was an upsweep. Scary.

And with the whole phone call thing… why wasn’t Kelly more, I don’t know, affected by the fact that her Long Lost Soul Mate had such a curt phone conversation with her? I mean, normally this would cause all sorts of Kelly Consternation about why Dylan won’t even be her friend, blah blah blah…. But I guess Kelly’s world is spinning so euphorically around LawyerBoy and Marriage and all that, that it’s okay if Dylan’s a butthead.

Why has there still been no mention at all of a wedding date? And why was there no mention of LawyerBoy supposedly donating sperm to his brother? Why no mention of Kelly supposedly getting certified as a counselor? Oh, wait, that was all so two weeks ago….

So then our hero Brooding Boy and his trusty sidekick Chia Head pull up to the PPAD in the BatVan. Honest to God, there are more gaps in this whole stupid, unpolished, lowbrow kidnapping plot than, well, than a 90210 plot…. How come Noah’s window-smashed jeep with the keys left in it and the wallet on the ground haven’t attracted the attention of any of the dozens of breakfast customers at the Pit? No one, Nat, Willie, Nadine, noticed "hey, there’s Noah’s jeep… and the window’s all smashed"? No one parked in that lot during the morning rush? C’mon…. And if that wasn’t unrealistic enough, why didn’t Dyl-head and Skeevy Stevie consider the fact that maybe this was some sort of a set up? You know, they got to look for Noah and get hurt themselves…? I mean, I know that Gidget’s Niece’s Brother is as dumb as a box of rocks, but you’d think someone as action-savy as Dylan McKay would think to cover his ass- Oh, how silly of me to forget… the New Improved Brooding Dylan doesn’t care if he lives or dies.

In the opening credits, I’m a bit surprised to see the name Ryan Seacrest. He was a DJ at Star 100.7 in San Diego when I lived in SoCal a couple years ago. Just thought I’d mention that.

And over at the Requisite Kidnap and Ransom Warehouse, which is even partially furnished like Chandler and Joey’s living room (and which is located, obligatorily, "on the other side of the tracks," as so colorfully illustrated by the train in the opening credits montage), Noah is chained like the monkey boy that he is to the requisite Big Industrial Pipes on the wall. And Gidget’s Niece’s Brother and Gidget’s Niece’s Brother’s Friend are setting up a video camera, which makes me hope they’re gonna try to recoup their drug money losses with a little underground adult guy-on-guy-on-guy action, or maybe a snuff film. As long as it causes Noah pain. And death. Die, Noah! I want you to DIE! And Noah, being all pathetically belligerent, says "Let me get this right, you idiots actually think that Dylan’s gonna fork over a million dollars for me?" And at least you’re on the right track, Noah. I wouldn’t give a counterfeit penny for your stupid ass. And GNB, even dumber than Noah, goes "Your pal’s worth 200 million" and GNBF, even dumber than GNB, goes "Yeah, you said so yourself." Folks, I’ve heard more convincing and intriguing Kidnap and Ransom Dialogue from little kids playing "bad guys and good guys." And then GNB lays out the plan to Noah, which consists of the standard "Dylan pays up and Noah goes free" or "Noah gets killed" scenario. And Noah protests "a million bucks? Man, we aren’t that close," which cracked me up. But nothing got me laughing harder than when GNB claps his hands and rubs them together and grins and chortles "All right! Let’s make a movie!" and then we get… that close up of poor, sulky, pathetic, kidnapped Noah, chained to a wall and trying to act scared yet angry.

I swear to God, I actually laughed so hard I giggle-snorted.

Unfortunately, no one brings in a couple 300lb she-males or a very horny German shepherd or nuthin’ like that to add to Noah’s cinematic experience. Bummer.

And at Donna’s Super Dooper Realistic Clothing Boutique, Donna’s hanging up VD lights, because she’s so sweet and loving and kee-yewt. And Davy comes sauntering in again with no work of any kind cluttering up his busy schedule. And Donna wants David to watch her store tomorrow so that she can… go with Kelly and LawyerBoy to the Lovers Lame taping…? Gotta admire the girl’s work ethic. And I suppose the only thing we have to be grateful for is that, in this whole bombastic Donna’nDavyReunion (it’s only a motion away!), at least Donna isn’t once again rescuing a needy Davy from the evils of drugs, the world or himself. I’ll take the crumbs, ladies and gentlemen. And then there’s the whole contrived dialogue about Davy supposedly being offended that Donna thinks he wouldn’t have anything to do on VD and Donna bemoaning the fact that she’s a third wheel (FIFTH wheel, Donna! The superfluous wheel is the FIFTH one. A THIRD wheel gets you a tricycle.) with Kelly and LawyerBoy on VD and neener neener nee. I mean, yes, YES, we GET IT ALREADY! And it turns out, Donna ended up… getting… Camille to watch the store…? I mean, this is even more pathetic than always having Davy watch the store, Donna! Does Camille have any retail experience? Does she know store procedures? How the register works? How to deal if the credit card machine doesn’t work? Why would you leave the store with a virtual stranger whom you don’t even know if she’s trustworthy or competent or not? Why wouldn’t Camille actually be, um, WORKING AT HER OWN JOB?! Anyway, then there’s the contrived hokiness of Davy asking Donna what to get for Camille for VD, like this cashmere sweater down at Fred Segal's…and not to really play the gender stereotype game, but would any guy say that? And isn’t it a little weird for Davy to be getting Camille ANY kind of gift for VD when they’ve been dating all of a week? I mean, that would REALLY freak me, if some guy I’d been seeing for less than a month was thinking he needed to get me expensive gifts… or significant/romantic gifts. That’s a little much. Anyway, Donna tells him "I prefer a card as the gift," of course the red-construction-paper-glitter-white-glue kind, because Donna’s a really "sweet and simple" girl at heart, despite her privileged upbringing. I just don’t understand the whole gift-giving mentality of "you’re a girl/boy… what would YOU like?" Like you aren’t acknowledging that the gift recipient isn’t an individual with their own personal tastes? God forbid anyone ever get me a gift based on "you’re a girl, so you’ll like this." [Dad, did you hear that?] Thank God The Husband-Type Man is more enlightened than that. In fact, since VD, holiday-wise, is right down there with St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco De Mayo for me, we’ve turned it into a rather irreverent celebration of our Luuuuuv. Our first VD together, he created "Strip Monopoly." (I won. And how!) Last year, I sent him on a scavenger hunt for items like "an aphrodisiac" (he ended up cooking me this whole aphrodisiac-tic meal, with the most incredible pesto-feta spread, pine nut soup, and grilled salmon with orange and grapes, mulled wine … wow!) and "a book about love" (I got The Rules and How to Win and Keep A Country Man) and a non-Hershey’s "kiss" (I got a Tom Jones album featuring "Kiss" with Art of Noise). The year before that, he took me to the various stores with a careful allotment of funds with which to purchase gifts… $2.00 at Toys ‘R Us, $1 at the Sweet Factory… and then we ended up at the grocery store, where he let me pick out any TV dinner I wanted which he then served to me by candlelight.

This year, we’re going to the Tenement Museum.

Anyway, in our travels we’ve occasionally come across those who express disbelief at our choice of VD gifts: "Wasn’t she mad at you?" "Didn’t you want a REAL gift?" Der. Those people’re missing all the fun. God forbid The Husband-Type Man or I asked some other person for generic gender choice gifts instead and somehow missed out on expressing out own personal wonkiness. That’s what I think, anyway.

So Davy tells Donna that it’s "weird" that LawyerBoy and Kelly are doing this Lovers Lame game show and Donna corrects him that "what’s weird is being a third wheel [FIFTH WHEEL, DAMMIT!] on Valentine’s Day… ‘specially when two people are making their network debut as America’s Cutest Couple." Well, Donna, THEN WHY DON’T YOU GO TO WORK INSTEAD? ["America’s Cutest Couple." I’m gonna lose my lunch. I loooooooove Love Stereotypes, don’t you? Could this set-up for the Tragic Demise of Matt and Kelly be ANY HOKIER?] And then… then Davy says all sternly, "Donna… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you are going to find someone." And Donna chirps "I know" and they smile and goon at each other. Uh huh.

"Find someone"… gotta love that mentality. I mean, who cares how happy or fulfilled you can be as a single individual ­ all that matters is "finding someone"! Without "someone," you cannot be wholly lovable. Without "someone" you will be lonely, pathetic, sad. Without "someone," you are going to be a third wheel. No specifics necessary, just "someone" to fill the void in your life when you don’t have A Boyfriend! I mean, why doesn’t Donna just tell us how she really feels by using the word "spinster" f’Gawd’s sake? THE WHOLE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE TO BE COUPLED! Quick, someone send Donna a copy of "Now That I’m Married, Why Aren’t I Happy?" Actually, send SEVERAL copies; she can pass ‘em out to Kelly and Stevie and the rest of the gang. Jeepers. They're acting like my 9th grade diary.

And at the Beverly Royale, Dylan discovers Gidget’s Niece waiting for him in the hotel bar, where they play peek-a-boo around the doorway for a few moments before she blinks her wide eyes at him and wants to know if he’s heard anything. And Dylan announces to the whole place that "we’re talking kidnapping here!" and yet no one pays attention or looks the least bit curious. And Gidget’s Niece claims she doesn’t "know anything!" which Dylan must be pretty fucking stupid to believe. I mean, like we don’t know from square one that Gidget’s Niece is in on this? And then Gidget’s Niece makes some excuse about how her brother "starred in a sit-com, making ten thousand a week" when he was 15 and was supposed to be a big star blah blah blah nothing-new-in-Hillsterland-cakes, "but now he’s 28 and fixes cars for a living." Oh, my heart bleeds. MY brother is 26 and fixes cars for a living. Welcome to life. Anyway, then Gidget’s Niece says "I love my brother but I don’t try to understand him." Yeah, whatever.

And then… Dylan calls Gidget’s Niece’s Brother… on the cell phone. "Just press send," says Gidget’s Niece. This is sooooo contemporary! Anyway, I guess Dylan thinks he can talk to GNB about kidnapping and ransom on a cell phone, which can usually be picked up by the most amateur of police scanners.

And over at Donna’s Stupid Store, poor lil’ white girl Gina comes gallumphing in, all atwitter because Doc Martin wants to take her out to dinner. Isn’t it time for you to be off to some skating clinic or bulimia camp or something, Gina? Anyway, Donna plays Emotional Cheerleader, rah-rahing Gina on to victory and championing Doc Martin as "a good guy." And Donna tells Gina: "Listen, here’s how it’s gonna go. He’s gonna take you to Ty’s steak house on Beverly. He’ll order shrimp cocktail and a filet. Just talk about the Lakers and how you favor flat taxes, it’ll go great." And first of all, maybe Donna shouldn’t be blathering about steak and shrimp cocktail to her bulimic half-sister as if that’s the most important feature of the evening. And second, let’s look at the underlying message here, hm? Donna, ostensibly providing this information from her own personal experience, instructs Gina on what to talk about with their father… not at all thinking that maybe Doc Martin should be, I don’t know, TRYING TO GET TO KNOW GINA? There’s also a peculiar control-issue going on here as well. Is Donna’s relationship with Daddy Doc Martin so shallow that she has to discuss superficial things like HIS favorite basketball team and HIS political/financial viewpoints instead of having an actual NATURAL conversation? Or is Donna such a master manipulator that this is the way she remains "Daddy’s Girl," by kissing his ass and buttering him up?

And then we get Gina’s Victim Blather Du Jour about how "I’ve missed having a dad for so long" and she sighs and looks all Insecure and Vulnerable. Go away, Gina! GO FAR AWAY!

And at Dysfunction Junction, because they can’t do anything separately because they are America’s Cutest Couple, LawyerBoy and Kelly are burning microwave popcorn together in the kitchen. And to underscore the mercenary aspect of their relationship, there’s the sound of some bank commercial in the background as LawyerBoy makes plans for VD dinner for Kelly, who demands all of the Accouterments of a Relationship, especially a Relationship with a button-down-shirt-wearin’ LawyerBoy. So LB says "How does ___ sound" and Kelly approves his choice with "Cozy and romantic… perfect for Valentine’s Day" and gives him a little "good doggy" pat on the cheek. And LB says that’s where he’s taking her if they win this stupid game show. And Kelly sniffs "What if we lose?" Like, what, Kelly, can’t YOUR fiancé still afford to take you out for a nice VD dinner even if you DON’T win bigbucks on TV, huh? And, just looking at the chumley chumpy dumpy gump you’ve yoked yourself to, I’d say you’re already a loser. And LB magnanimously offers to take Kelly out to the some taco stand if they lose, and he "will spring for candles" even. Poor Kelly… this must be so hard for her.

But then Pod Janet, hanging out in the living room of Dysfunction Junction (because why should she have to work when no one else on the show does?) hollers that the show’s back on, and they all gather to watch Lovers Lame so that they can win win win tomorrow. Sheesh. And Kelly protests the whole time, because going on some stupid game show is really beneath her. We know… we’ve seen examples of her high standards before. And hey! That’s Ryan Seacrest, playing the game show host. But he looks like someone… I just can’t place it…. Anyway, there’s the total moronicacy of the Q&A bit on the telly, and Ryan asks the girl contestant "What’s the most unusual place you and your husband-to-be have ever made whoopee?" and the girl contestant says "That would be the butt, Bob." And Hijinx ensue, and of COURSE both contestant couples are black, and of COURSE the girl contestant has to pitch a fit and swat her dumb ox of a hubby-to-be and pulls the "whatchootalkin’bout, Willis?" attitude with her head weeble-wobbling around, because, yeah, that’s what black people do. And that’s what all couples do. Not only that, it’s fuh-nee. Good freakin’ God, how many stereotypes can we be subjected to in 10 seconds? And Kelly and LB and Janet all giggle disparagingly and Donna comes in from her strenuous 4 hour shift at the store (I mean, it’s still DAYLIGHT outside, so it can’t be much later than 4:30-5ish, and even if Donna’s store is just down the street, she’d’ve had to closed shop right smack at 4 to do register closing stuff and all that and get home before dark), and they discuss the fun of the Lovers Lame game, etc. And Janet mentions that yesterday that one contestant "told her fiancé that she used to be a man… she said she just ‘forgot’ to mention it," which leaves me to ponder what kind of game show question could POSSIBLY incite this kind of a response. And Kelly’s wondering "where do they FIND people like this?" Well, Kelly, how did YOUR FIANCÉ get you guys on the show, hmmm? Hey. Yeah. How DID LB get them on the show? And Kelly announces that she doesn’t "want to be part of the freak show." But if that was the case, she would’ve left BH a long, long time ago. And then she wants to talk to someone who "hasn’t completely lost her mind" and I say "like Maddy?" and Kelly says "Where’s Maddy?" And Pod Janet says [shout out count: 1] "She’s with my mom for the week, she’s babysitting… giving us a break." Ah. I guess things’re all worked out with the Sosnas then, huh? And I’m sure after a whole two months, Pod Janet and Skeevy Stevie need a week’s break from their daughter. What new parents could even be torn away from their kid for a whole week? Well, I guess Janet needed time for more important things in life… like coaching LB and Kelly on winning Lovers Lame. Yeah. And so Kelly keeps protesting about how "stupid" the game show thing is and then everyone tells her that "the couple Janet was talking about won $25,000," which naturally sets greedy, surface-oriented Kelly frothing at the mouth and makes her more than willing to act like an idjit on national TV. And I guess the extra dough musta made the guy who found out his fiancée was a man feel a little better.

And at La Marina ­ not, in fact, "Ty’s Steak House" ­ Doc Martin and Gina are having stilted conversation about her skating, and Gina’s picking at her salad and Doc’s got a bucket of shrimp cocktail in front of him, and with all of the stress/insecurity coupled with food, I’m fully expecting Gina to excuse herself any second now and head to the bathroom to purge. And Gina, always one to wallow in the most unpleasant of issues, brings up that her mother "said it was your idea to keep it a secret." Gina, is it really so surprising that such a thing would be kept secret anyway? And Doc Martin protests about pregnancy and secrecy and says of White Trash Bobbie that "it was HER choice" all PC. And, admittedly, I have my doubts that any 60-something white male Catholic doctor would say that. And Gina continues her Victim Blather Du Jour about the other fathers would come watch their daughters skate blah blah blah looked proud blah blah blah pick one and pretend he was mine blah blah blah, as if Poor Sad Victim Gina is THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD WHO DIDN’T HAVE A FATHER! I’ll bet half of the kids at her freakin’ skating rink didn’t have a father around, for Pete’s sake. And then she says she doesn’t even "know what to call you" and Doc Martin says "How about John? A lot of adult kids call their parents by their first name" [shout out: 2]. And Gina looks pathetic and fakes a Big Brave Smile and the waitress serves her a huge plate piled with ziti and Doc Martin a big steak and Doc says to Bulimic Gina that "the portions here are huge" which Gina is immediately able to twist back to Victim Blather Du Jour about Donna knowing just what her dad would order and "I think it’s great that you know each other so well" and shoves some pasta in her face and chews and bravely smiles some more while Doc Martin looks all guilt-ridden. Yeah, that meal’s comin’ back up within minutes.

And, oh God, make that extra cheese at the Beverly Royale, because Dylan comes in his room to a ringing phone with GNB on the line demanding "a million dollars." And you thought the cell phone ransom messages were high-tech and up-to-the-minute? Wait’ll you see… the video ransom note… that GNB EMAILED TO DYLAN! (Subj.: RE: Noah’s immediate future) I mean, could anything be more incriminating that GNB videotaping himself WITH A GUN in front of a handcuffed Noah demanding money… and sending the video clip via a public format like e-mail?! HOW STUPID IS THIS!? Not only is there a whole video clip incriminating Shane in kidnapping and extortion, he’s also abusing his e-mail privileges! What if Dylan reports him to his postmaster? Anyway, GNB blathers some nonsense about the movie "Deerhunter" and re-enacts his favorite moment, which is spinning the barrel of his gun and then aiming and shooting it in Noah’s direction a la Russian Roulette. And Noah, cowering, looks all scared and shits himself in fear as GNB laughs. But nothing can compare to the big zoom/freeze action on Noah’s pathetic face… and I nearly wet myself in hysterical laughter again as Dylan Broods.

They really couldn’t come up with anything better than this…?

And the e-mail was dated Feb 8th, but we know that it’s the day before VD, because Kelly and LB are going to go film their Lovers Lame game tomorrow, so I guess Dylan hadn’t checked his mail for over a week, even though the computer’s sitting there all booted and signed on and dialed in and everything.

Anyway, so then Skeevy Steve is watching the Noah clip and Dylan says all broodingly that he’s going to get them their money and Stevie says "they can stick in some tracking device" and Dylan broods that he doesn’t want anybody knowing about this because "he’s not a very big believer in the local constabulary." Like, lookit Dylan using those $10 words… in reference to a million dollar kidnap and ransom, no less! Anyway, like this wouldn’t be the freakin’ EASIEST CASE IN THE WORLD for the police, what with the cell phone calls and e-mails and all that? But, oh no, Dylan can handle it, as long as Skeevy Stevie "covers" for him. And Stevie snips that "this superhero complex of yours is going to get somebody killed." Whatever.

So who worked at the PPAD last night while Noah was being held captive? Hasn’t anyone missed him?

Anyway, to my great amusement, the next scene is of FOX Studios (logo carefully hidden by a strategic tree), which I’ve driven by on the 101 many a time. And inside, it’s a barrage of Yeah-Rightedness as Donna supposedly loads up on donuts and stuff from a buffet while two contestants ­ dressed in matching outfits like Mouseketeers, no less ­ are saying something that I don’t even WANT to figure out about "Jean-Claude Van Damme… and Cindy Crawford… on a washing machine… with the lights on!" while the girl is posed with a very phallic banana. And for whatever reason, not only Donna but also Janet have come along not to sit in the studio audience, but to sit in the green Green Room with them (could they?) and coach them. And Janet says "If Matt were an animal, what would he be?" And I say "A jackass? A horny toad? A scum-sucking water creature?" And Kelly is "going to be sick" (shout out: 3) because Donna made her drink egg whites and carrot juice to enhance her memory. Um. And then the super perky game show coordinator comes back to get them all rah-rahed up, and the Mouseketeers don’t need any encouragement, but Kelly groans and slumps forward and LB rubs her back and the perky lady queries "Problem?" and LB asks for "a minute" and it’s totally obvious that LB and Kelly are a couple. I’m making that clear in order to point out the Even Stupider Stupidity of, when Kelly rushes out of the room to puke, Perky Lady pointedly asks LB and Donna "Matt, Kelly, is everything all right?" and Donna, of course, Does Comedy and decides to pass herself off ask Kelly, very obviously talking out of the side of her mouth and switching a ring she has on her right hand over to her left ring finger. Well, I guess if the Perky Lady was stupid enough to not realize that LB and Kelly were, in fact, LB and Kelly, or to even confirm the identities of her guests before now, she’d prolly fall for this little trick. Why didn’t the Mouseketeer Couple say anything? Why on earth would it not’ve been possible for LB and Kelly to say "hang on a sec" without jeopardizing their slots on the show? I mean, it’s not as though it was 1 minute to showtime, since Perky Lady offered to "go over what makes good TV again." Actually, Perky Lady, ‘slong as you’re already at Fox Studios, head on over to the 90210 Offices and go over it with the head honchos there, ‘cos this shit sure ain’t it.

And over at the Requisite Kidnap and Ransom Warehouse, we can see that not only does it have all the amenities of Chandler and Joey’s apartment, it even has its own… gas station. Whoo boy, as Donna might say. Anyway, and we get more Contrived Kidnap Dialogue as GNB asks Noah if he’s "enjoying your stay?" and says he’s "got an errand to run, but I’m gonna bring you back something, okay?" And I wait in eager anticipation for someone to say "Bring out the Gimp." But Noah only sighs "Go to hell." Wow. This is edge-of-the-seat stuff, innit? And before he leaves, GNB tells Noah that GNBF "isn’t as stupid as he looks." Coulda fooled me. But GNBF… goes to one of the recliners… and picks up a TV remote… and switches on the telly. I’m glad they got their Requisite Kidnap and Ransom Warehouse all set up with the necessary items, including cable television. Why not just make it complete and phone out for pizza? And, boy, it just gets better because Noah, crafty devil that he is, asks GNBF to turn up the telly, which GNBF does, so then Noah can clank and rattle around on the Requisite Kidnap and Ransom Warehouse’s Requisite Industrial Pipes. And GNBF is SO REQUISITELY FUCKING STUPID that he can’t even see the reflection of Noah doing this on the TV screen.

And over at the Martin Mansion, Gina shows up, obviously inspired by the John Cusack movie Better Off Dead, because she’s got a bag full of four hundred frozen TV dinners, all beamingly announcing that "Donna said you like to eat frozen dinners when Felice is out of town." But, as she bustles in and yanks open the freezer door, of course there’re already seven thousand frozen dinners in there, because "Felice loaded up and then Donna called the market to send more over." And Gina needs no further prompting to launch into Victim Blather Du Jour about how he "must have enough women in his life." Oh, the rejection! And I guess that’s what women on 90210, or at least Martin Women, do… go over the top in loading up the Main Man in their lives with TV dinners so he doesn’t starve. Anyway, Doc announces that he "really wants this to work!" and Gina huffs and says "Yeah, right, then maybe you should try calling me more than every two months!" before stomping off while Doc just GOES CRAZY WITH THE EYE ROLLING AND SIGHING AND HUFFING!

Back at Fox Studios, Ryan Seacrest is asking Mouseketeer Judy what her future hubby’s favorite nickname for her in bed is. And Judy announces "Athena." And Ryan Seacrest says "Okay Ron you can take your headphones off now." And even though Ron is supposedly not able to hear anything, he can hear someone asking him to take his headphones off. Can I have a "whatever!" brothahs and sistahs? And then Judy clarifies that Athena is not "like the Greek goddess" but rather "is Ron’s mother’s name." And the audience cheers and laughs. Um, dudes? That isn’t the least bit funny… in fact, that’s really squicky. And speaking of squicky, Donna-as-Kelly responds that her favorite place other than the bedroom to make whoopee is "the butt, Bob-" um, LB’s office. Eyew. That place is all windows. Like, the writers couldn’t’ve said "the couch" or "the shower" or "the kitchen table" or something a little closer to home… and less squick-inducing? And Donna’s Donnanticing while in the green Green Room Kelly’s sipping seltzer and watching with Janet and making deprecating faces about the skeevy fact that she snogged her boyfriend in his office "once"… as if Janet has room to talk about snogging skeevy boyfriends in offices. And, taking the Eyew factor about ten steps further, Ryan Seacrest makes jokes about playing legal games like "holding you in contempt." Ryan, I’VE got some contempt for Hillsters, hon, right here. And then LB tries to look bashful while Donna Donnantics some more and gleefully announces that they "sometimes play this game… Attorney-Client Privilege."

And I run to the bathroom.

And over at Donna’s Stupid Store, Davy and Camille have taken Donna literally about "watching the store" because that’s what they’re doing… leaning on the counter (not even behind the register) just… watching people shop. Well, and Camille "The Lady In Red (Again)" is also drinking a tasty beverage. Oh, life is so tough. And they yammer about VD and make goo goo eyes at each other until … until "Rick," who is obviously a former boyfriend of Camille’s, shows up. So, how did he know she was watching Donna’s store, huh? Obviously Camille didn’t tell him, because Rick informs We the TV Viewers that he hasn’t talked to her. So he asks her to step outside (*yawn*) and Davy is all worried (*yawn*). And then some customer comes over and tells Davy "I’d like this wrapped." And Davy, Customer Service Pro that he is, kinda grabs the garment, which I can’t tell if it’s a tank top or garter belt or body suit or whatever, and says "So, uh, I noticed you taking a little while to figure out what to get." And as anyone who would work retail of any kind would know, not only is a statement like this off-putting in that it implies that the salesperson has been, like, spying on the customer, but it also intimates that the salesperson has not made an effort to help the customer shop. I mean, the SECOND a customer looks like he might be "trying to figure out what to get" is the time for a good salesperson to offer assistance, if they haven’t already done so. How lame is Davy? I guess Donna’s just so lucky that her overpriced clothes are just sooooo wonderful that they’re flying off the shelves without the benefit of actual sales techniques. And Davy doesn’t actually ring the garment up on a cash register to determine the price with tax, but instead takes the customer’s credit card, swipes it through the credit card machine, and then announces that the total is $378.86. I mean, puh-leeeze, on several different levels! And the customer says that, basically, he decided to blow $400 on some piece of shit flimsy top because "what am I going to do, get her a card?" Thank you Corporate America and the Mass Media! And Davy suggests "less is more" (like, way to clinch that $400 sale, dill-head), but the customer says "not on THIS planet." So I guess they’re on Venus, huh? And instead of completing his transaction, Davy instead watches Rick give Camille a box with a watch (whatever) and Camille tells Davy she’s going to need "more time" (whatever) and she and Rick wander off (whatever) and Davy looks Jilted (whatever).

And then the customer, who’s wearing more lipstick and eyeliner than I do, interrupts Davy’s reverie and says "Excuse me… you said you wrapped?" And Davy agrees "Right, I wrap. Yes I do." Wrap/rap? Geddit? It’s a Fuh-nee! But instead of wrap/rapping, Davy instead picks up the simple and sweet Valentine he’s made for Camille that for some reason was just sitting on the counter without Camille noticing, and looks at it all sadly. And the card doesn’t even fit in the envelope.

So back at the Television Center, aka FOX Studios, it all boils down to one question for the big win. Ryan Seacrest (who still reminds me of someone, and I can’t place it) asks LB: Who does Kelly consider to be her best friend. LB pompously asserts "Me!" But Donna, of course, chirps "Donna Martin!" And LB throws a fit and in the green Green Room Kelly and Janet declare it "awkward" and LB is, like, totally sulking and huffing on national TV and Kelly’s watching him on the monitor in anguish. Yeah, ‘cos this is gonna spell disaster for America’s Cutest Couple. Who cares if Kelly was raped or LB lied about being married… that can’t compare to the hideousness of this situation.

Okay. But. WHY is LB so cheesed, huh? Seriously. How can he possibly be pissed at Kelly when, ostensibly, Donna blurted out the wrong answer on the game show? I know, I know, we’ll get there. But it still is illogical at this point.

Anyway, I finally figured out who Ryan Seacrest looks like: Bart Simpson.

And in keeping with the whole total stupidity of the Kidnapping Plot, Stevie and Dylie are sitting in the hotel bar… with an open bag of money. Like no one can see it? How did Dylan manage to scare up a million dollars in cash in less than a day? I mean, even if his millions weren’t all in investments and stuff, no bank would just let someone withdraw a million dollars in stacks of bills like that. Anyway, Stevie wonders why Dylan’s doing this. And Mr. Hero says "someone’s life’s at stake." And Stevie gets right to the point by saying "Yeah, someone you don’t even like!" And then Dylan says "No I don’t like him… but people I know do, and I’m doin’ it for them"…? Ta-dah! The winner of The Stupidest Thing Uttered In Tonight’s Episode! And I just want someone to name ONE PERSON who likes Noah. Seriously.

And then Gidget’s Niece shows up, obviously thinking she’s, like, got a role in the new Charlie’s Angels or something, because she’s wearing her Kidnap and Ransom outfit consisting of a leather jacket and matching handbag and cuffed denims and platform shoes. And, completely stupidly, Stevie ANNOUNCES TO GIDGET’S NIECE his modus operandi, that if Dylie’s not back by three, Stevie’s calling the cops. Just so Gidget’s Niece knows that they only have a few hours to kill Dylie and hide the evidence. And Dylan’s all bravely going alone with Gidget’s Niece, TOO STUPID TO EVEN CONSIDER THAT SHE MIGHT BE PULLING A FAST ONE ON HIM? No, Dylan’s too cool to EVEN WATCH HIS BACK as he walks out of the elevator.

And sure enough, in the parking lot, keeping with the TOTAL STUPIDITY OF THIS STUPID KIDNAP PLOT, Gidget’s Niece pulls a gun, and Gidget’s Niece’s Brother hops out of the Big Black Kidnap Van to announce that they’re taking Dylan with them. Okay. First of all, most hotel parking garages have security cameras and/or security people. Second, most hotel parking garages require that people take a ticket for validation (even if there’s no charge for parking) when they drive in and out, and those ticket booths have cameras that take pictures/footage of the vehicle and its license plate. Third, they’re driving the same incriminating Kidnap Van that they used to kidnap Noah. And they even squeal out of the parking space, which 1) leaves tire marks and 2) attracts attention. For Gawd’s sake, I never read mysteries or thrillers and never watch action movies and have never seen a single episode of Perry Mason or Murder She Wrote, and I can still figure this stuff out.

And in the car back to Dysfunction Junction, Donna and Janet are trying to be excited about the consolation bread machine prize that LB and Kelly won, and Kelly’s sulking and LB’s huffing and LB snaps "Everyone in America knows about our little sex games in the office and I get a bread machine out of the deal." What an asshole! I mean, that bread machine is half Kelly’s! Or Donna’s. However you want to look at it. Anyway, and like LB didn’t answer the question himself about doinking in his office? If it was such a problem, LB, why’d you give it as the right answer? And then he and Kelly argue about going on the stupid show, which LB says he wanted to "do with YOU, not YOUR BEST FRIEND!" And… in a spineless one-two punch, Kelly huffs "I’m sorry, I had food poisoning" and Donna APOLOGIZES TO LB "I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking. If I was thinking of COURSE I would’ve said YOUR name!" Fucking A.

Can we consider this whole spouse-as-the-best-friend thing a shout out to the many times I’ve railed about the stupidity of the spouse-as-the-best-friend thing? Okay. We’re up to 4 now.

Anyway, for the life of me, I can’t see WHY 1) LB’s pissed about this and 2) Donna ISN’T pissed about this. Grow the fuck up, LawyerBoy! And Kelly, in a small moment of spineyness, asserts that Donna "IS my best friend, what is your problem with that?!" and they quibble like grade schoolers until LB oh-so-maturely sneers "Tell me, is there any intimate detail that you HAVEN’T, uh, broadcast?" Yeah, because LB’s so into keeping intimate details intimate that he didn’t even tell Kelly he was married. But that’s different. And Kelly maturely says "Yeah, you can cancel any dinner plans we had for tonight!" And LB even MORE maturely sneers "Are you sure about that? I can get us a table for three, it’ll spare you the post-game replay!"

If I was Donna, at this point I’d either be 1) crying or 2) beating LB over his stupid, selfish, asshole head. And if I was Kelly, I’d be ripping him a new asshole for being such a stupid shit and being so rude and insensitive to my friends, which is not only disrespectful to them, but disrespectful to me. But these are Hillster Women, so all they do is huff and look put-out.

And in the Stupid Kidnapping Van, Dylan’s trying to instill fear in his stupid kidnappers about Steve siccing the cops on them. And the stupid kidnappers have actually made one semi-not-stupid move by using the 10 freeway and Vegas as a fake destination to throw Dylan and Stevie off. And Dylan…Dylan scoffs "Did it ever occur to you geniuses that when they don’t find you out there they’ll look somewhere else?" Um, yeah, Dylan, you genius, because not only is the desert really easy to look around, but so is "somewhere else." And there’s more hokey kidnapping dialogue, as Dylan wonders "don’t you think you should let me and my friend go?" "My friend?" Why not just say Noah? We all know he’s not your friend. And everyone in the van knows his name. This reminds me of Boy Wonder who, after he started dating another co-worker (at the same time he was dating me), would refer to her not by her name but as "my girlfriend" and later "my fiancée" and finally "my wife"… even though we all knew her and knew what her name was. Like, who were you trying to impress?

Okay, this is a first for 90210… Gina shows up at Donna’s store… wearing her Everybody In Vests Vest. Yes, you read it right: a character is ACTUALLY WEARING THE SAME THING (other than the terrycloth bathrobes) ON THE SHOW MORE THAN ONCE! And Davy’s there wrapping up the same tank top thingie that his customer purchased earlier. Like, wow, how personal… just buy Camille the same exact thing as some customer. Well, it’s expensive, so that should make up for everything. Anyway, for some reason, Davy feels the need to ask Gina "what if" about the whole Camille-Rick thing, because it’s been over two hours and Camille still isn’t back, blah blah blah, "would you be worried?" Davy, for the life of me, WHY would you be dumping this on GINA? I mean, Gina, his ex-girlfriend, whom his relationship with ended disastrously several times. Gina, whom he knows is screamingly insecure and not exactly the healthiest person in the world relationship-wise. Gina, who DOESN’T EVEN KNOW Camille! Why on earth would Davy even THINK of asking Gina for advice?

Anyway, Gina says "O-kay, you’re RILLY obsessing" and Davy protests because "Obsessing is a compulsive attachment to an unreasonable idea or … emotion, okay!" And, believe it or not, one of the writers has actually put their Webster’s to good use. I’m impressed.

But Davy’s on an Insecurity Roll, oblivious to Poor Gina. Finally, though, he gets a clue and asks if she wants to leave a message for Donna. And Gina launches AGAIN into her Victim Blather Du Jour about how "Tell her I tried… and I failed… as usual." Yes, Gina, we get it: you are a miserable, awful, tragical human being, poor you, and deserve pity delivered to you by the Hefty bag-full. As my mom would say, "Get off the cross, we need the wood!" Someone, make her go away!

And down at Dysfunction Junction, Kelly’s bundled up on the porch reading the bread machine manual. And when Donna comes out, Kelly announces that she "hates Valentine’s Day." Like, Kel, hon, Valentine’s Day is far from the problem here. And Donna actually says "Thanks to me, who can blame ya." And Kelly decides to pull a Mediarama and deconstruct the messages behind VD [shout out count: 5]: "It’s so possessive. ‘Be MINE’ ‘Devote yourself to ME’ It’s like that’s all that should exist." And I can’t imagine why Kelly, of all people, would have a problem with that mentality. And Donna, in the Stupidest Things Uttered Runner Up award, proves that she’s certainly in no emotional shape for "finding someone" because she insists that "Well, it kinda is." And then Kelly usurps Donna’s Award by exclaiming "Oop, I forgot, Matt doesn’t want me talking to you."

Um. WHAT WOMAN, WHAT FRIEND, IN THIS DAY AND AGE, WOULD ACTUALLY UTTER THESE WORDS AND NOT THINK THAT THERE IS SOMETHING REALLY, REALLY WRONG WITH THE SITUATION OTHER THAN THE SURFACE-LEVEL HISSY SHE’S HAVING? AND WHAT FRIEND WOULD SIT THERE AND TAKE IT?

Well, Donna Martin would! She smilingly corrects Kelly: "No, he doesn’t want you confiding in me. And I’m not so sure you should."

And Kelly goes, all disbelieving, "I can’t believe you just said that!"

And then Donna blathers about how "Your HUSBAND should be your best friend, not me!"

Lemme just say again, that this "best friend" nonsense is SO junior high! I have several close friends, friends who I would confide in, friends who I could turn to, friends who I have fun with, friends who I can be myself with. "Number One" is my oldest friend… I’ve known him since high school, and he was my best man at our wedding. "O Nancy My Nancy" and I have been friends for over seven years, and’ve gone through a lot of Big Life Changes and stuff together. The Chixes, aka my "Psycho Duranie Friends" have formed a strong, daily-affirming friendship, an accepting environment via years of e-mail lists and phone calls and visits. To rank any one of these people as "better" than the others is just plain silly and puerile. And The Husband-Type Man transcends mere "best friend" status. I’ve said before, to call him my "best friend" can’t even begin to communicate the love, respect and trust we have for each other, the commitment to life and each other that is central to our marriage. Calling him my "best friend" makes it sound like our wedding rings are little more than those dumb broken-heart charms, and each of us can wear one and show the world that, like, we’re TOTALLY Bestest Friends 4-Evah! And we can hang out and go to movies and talk about stuff and all that. Tee hee.

And then Kelly, showing that she’s still Kelly despite her earlier protests, generously says that Donna, oh God, is her "safety net in case everything goes to hell!" [Once again, the oft-used safety net metaphor. I mean, c’mon writers, get a new one… scaffolding, maybe, or training wheels or helmet and knee pads or emergency lights. Anything but the stupid safety net!]

And Donna says "Planning on disaster probably isn’t the secret to a good marriage." Like, der.

And then Kelly whines that "I can’t do this, I don’t know how to do this!" Do WHAT, Kelly? Have a good marriage? Not plan on disaster? Communicate? And then Kelly railroads Donna’s desire to "confide in YOU" by turning the conversation immediately back to where it should be: on her. And she announces that "Getting married has some severe drawbacks."

?!?!?

Seriously, what emotionally healthy person would think THAT, much less SAY it? Like what kind of drawbacks, Kelly? Having to have your husband as your best friend? See, if you’d just drop this whole stupid "best friend" nonsense, then you wouldn’t have a problem here. And why would KELLY TAYLOR WANTS THAT think such a thing, when all she’s wanted for YEARS is to get married and have babies and all that jazz?

And Donna tells Kelly that "Learning to confide in Matt probably isn’t one of them." Like isn’t Donna all deep and insightful re: love and marriage?

And Kelly pouts and Donna moues and the seagulls utter cries of sorrow and I barf.

And at the Royale With Cheese, Doc Martin shows up to talk to Gina, who all pathetically calls him "John." And Gina declares that "some things just can’t be worked out, no matter how hard you try" which is pretty much what I said several times in relation to my own dumb dad. [Shout out: 6] And Doc Martin tells some weird story about letting lil’ Donna "sit in the amphitheater where I was operating." WHILE he was performing surgery? Isn’t that illegal? Isn’t that creepy for a child? And if he was just letting her sit in the empty operating room, isn’t that… lame and boring? Anyway, Gina’s all being pathetic and rubbing her eyes and playing with her hair and all that as she snips about how much Donna musta rilly loved that. And then Doc Martin protest in earnest. "No! No… I wanted her to UNDERSTAND what I did … what it really meant! You take a person with a bad heart and you give them another chance!" To which Gina replies about how weird it must be to "go to sleep thinking you’re going to die and then you just wake up with a whole new life." And Doc compares that, of course, to "going to sleep thinking that your father is one person and then he turns out to be someone entirely different. You see, neither one of them work unless you really try" Yeah, that’s it. This whole conversation is completely retarded. [And to show you that I’m not being un-PC, I include retarded: adj., abnormally slow in emotional or mental development.]

And then Gina states, all sad and bitter, "I hate calling you John," to which, naturally, Doc has to stress "Then you call me DAD! I’d be so honored!" and Gina sniffs pathetically and bleats "Yeah? … Dad" and chokes and sobs and giggles "I like that" and snurffles and giggles some more. And they lived happily ever after.

And back at the Requisite Kidnap and Ransom Warehouse, Dylan’s dragged into Joey and Chandler’s living room at gunpoint, and GNB announces "Noah! Look what I brought you!" and nudges Dylan and says "Tell him to join his little girlfriend over there."

Shout out count: 7

And Noah says "we’re outa here, right?" all hopefully because Dylan gave them the money, but GNB says "No" and GN says "Shane? What’re you talking about?" as if she, I don’t know, thought they were going to bring Dylan to the Requisite Kidnap and Ransom Warehouse and then… let him and Noah go running off together? Anyway, GNB announces "I’ve got kidnapping with use of a firearm. That’s life in prison. According to my research, it’s the same as if I killed you two losers." Which only shows how totally and completely STUPID he is, because a lawyer could plead down his sentence on kidnapping charges, and he’d prolly be eligible for parole in a few years, especially if he could convince the jury that it was an extreme action he took to save his sister, blah blah. But with a double murder he could get the death penalty, and certainly wouldn’t have the same chance of parole. And, of course, ethically, kidnapping isn’t "the same" as murder, just in case GNB wanted to take that perspective into consideration. And Gidget’s Niece tries to look all concerned, like, too little too late, dumb bimbo. And Noah and Dylan glare hateful shit from their Requisite Industrial Pipe while I giggle uncontrollably again.

And back at Donna’s Stupid Clothing Store, Davy’s standing in the doorway watching Camille approach, and even though she’s seen him and she knows that he knows she’s seen him, Davy darts back to the counter and pretends he’s been engrossed in the latest issue of Glamour magazine and plays it all cool. And Camille claims she "had no idea how long that would take," as if there’d be any excuse for just bailing 1) the guy you’re dating and 2) the store you’re committed to watching 3) or ANY person for over three hours to talk with your ex. That’s just rude. But Davy interrupts that he’s "got you a gift." And Camille blathers about "the kind of afternoon I’ve had" blah blah blah misunderstnadingcakes. And Camille announces that she and Rick broke up "a long time ago" but "every year" he still insists on showering her with lavish VD gifts. Um, "every" year? That means at least 2 or more. That’s kinda red light for Davy, that she hasn’t been able to shake this guy, innit? Long boring story short, Camille thinks lavish VD gifts are repulsive and she prefers simple gifts. So Davy presents her with the card, which is "perfect" and passes the wrapped box off as something for his little sister. Yucky.

And then Donna calls over to the Martin Mansion, where Gina is "torturing" Doc Martin with a heavy workout as a form of father-daughter bonding. And Doc invites Donna along for dinner, and Donna is all touched that Gina is calling him "Dad" and she’s "really happy for you." But for the life of me, what was up with that looking-down camera angle with Donna-Tori all lying there with her legs spread, making her crotch the central focus of the shot. And I’ll bet Gina’s overworking Doc Martin on purpose. I mean, any professional athlete would know that you can’t overwork at the beginning, especially if you have a heart condition. And part of Gina’s plot must include the Chinese Water Torture, because she brings Doc several glasses of water in the course of the thirty second scene.

And, back at the Requisite Kidnap and Ransom Warehouse, while the Kidnappers are outside… filling the Kidnapping Van with gas (as if there wouldn’t be some sort of lock on the gas tank?), Dylan and Noah manage to break the pipe apart in a matter of seconds without attracting the attention of the Stupid Kidnappers right there in their direct line of vision. And this is truly the Stupidest Kidnapping on the Face of the Earth, because GNBF goes back in to check on the captives and Dylan instantly overpowers him, even wearing handcuffs, and he and Noah manage to knock him out, get the key, free themselves of their handcuffs and run to attack GNB in less time that it would take to, I don’t know, fill a gas tank. And, naturally it’s the Emotional Female who can’t handle all this Big Bad Fighting, because Gidget’s Niece freaks that they "aren’t killers" and screams for them to stop fighting and there’s more typical kidnapping dialogue and all the while… the, uh, gas tank is overflowing (as if there wouldn’t be an automatic shut-off) and the puddle of gas is creeping slowly to where she’s thrown her cigarette. Boy oh boy, it doesn’t get more exciting, more exhilarating than this, does it?

Of course it does… because surely Noah’s going to die! DIE! DIIEEEEE NOAH!

Typical struggle, typical flames, typical Dylan gets the gun and typical Noah runs to the van to save the money. Gas puddle spreading, danger eminent, Noah must die-

And, um, Noah grabs the duffel back, jumps back, and the van blows up. That’s it. Noah tosses Dylan the money bag with a cocky "This belongs to you" while Dylan easily holds the stupid kidnappers captive.

Guys, could it’ve BEEN much stupider?

What was UP with the fire tornado? Maybe instead of spending all the show’s budget on special effects like that, they should’ve HIRED BETTER WRITERS!

But let the stupidity rage on. Kelly shows up on the Casa Non-Walsh doorstep to grovel to LawyerBoy, announcing "For the record, that game show was idiotic.… But telling Donna everything was pretty idiotic too…." And while I’ll be the first to admit that some private things should be kept private, LawyerBoy’s whole pissy bullshit about being mad that Kelly considers Donna to be her best friend is just lame beyond belief. And LawyerBoy tells Kelly that he knows "how close you two are… and you should know that I respect that." Oh, yeah, sure, your actions showed NOTHING BUT RESPECT today, dude, didn’t they? And Kelly’s carrying a box with her spine in it to present to LB as a VD gift, and says "I know you do [?!] but I also know that things between her and I have to change." Like naughty naughty Kelly for having anyone other than LawyerBoy in your life! Shame on you for having other friends! Is Kelly a freakin’ candidate for wife-beating or what? And then Kelly hands LB her gift… and, um, it’s… it’s her JOURNAL.

She is GIVING LAWYERBOY HER JOURNAL! TO READ!

FOR FUCK’S SAKE!

How could ANYONE, much less a supposed Psych Major, not see the elemental SICKNESS of a gesture like this?! I mean, at least LawyerBoy never actually demanded to read her journal, unlike how my high school boyfriend DumbAss did to me when we were still in teenagers. We got into this big old fight about how he wanted to see the fiction I wrote and my journal and then got mad when I said no because he insisted it was a sign that I didn’t trust him and I was keeping things from him and what was I so ashamed of, etc. I, pathetically insecure though I was, actually didn’t back down and let him see my private and very personal writings. But after he drove screeching off in a rage, I ­ I’m so ashamed to say ­ I grabbed the box with all my writing and notes and poems and stuff in it and threw it into the fireplace so that he would never read it behind my back. And, although I didn’t burn my journal or the one novel manuscript I’d completed, I did pack them away. It was years before I wrote in a journal again. Those are my private thoughts and private works, and I need never to have to share them with anyone, especially anyone as immature and critical as DumbAss was.

And Kelly gets all sad that LawyerBoy rejects the gift of her spine, until LB clarifies that he’s not going to let her see HIS journal and they tease and tickle about that and all’s well in their stupid, shallow little relationship again.

And back at the Royale With Cheese, Dylan, Steve and Noah are there wrapping up the Dastardly Case of Kidnapping and Extortion Gone Awry. And Noah’s not speaking, but staring out the window at the LA skyline. And Steve walks over and asks if he’s okay and Dylan comes over and they all stare broodingly out the window until Dylan puts his arm around Noah and says "Don’t worry… we’ll find Han" and Stevie chortles a similar reassurance in Wookiese and they all stare out at the pretty lights some more. And Dylan, the alcoholic, chugs another beer.

And, oh, the drama, at the Martin Mansion…. The doorbell rings. WHY would Donna ring the doorbell at her parents’ house? I mean, even though I haven’t lived there in years and years, I’d always use my key at Gram’s house to open the door instead of ringing the doorbell like the pizza delivery person. And Gina’s all dressed up and cheerfully calling for "Dad" to get the door… until she sees the fallen figure of Doc Martin, belly up on the parquet floor. And she freaks and lets Donna in, who also freaks out. And, if I might query… WHY ON EARTH WOULD A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE AND THE DAUGHTER OF A HEART SURGEON NOT KNOW CPR??

But, admittedly, Tori didn’t do a bad job bawling over her dead daddy’s body. I suppose it was all too real a scenario… you know, Daddy no longer there to take care of everything for her.

And, like I said, I was pretty surprised that Doc Martin croaked. This throws a big wrench in the Barbie Dreamhouse Wedding plans. I mean, How can Donna have a true Barbie Dreamhouse Wedding without Daddy to give her away?

Anyway, of course next week Felice is going to freak and poor distraught guilty Gina is going to leave (shucks!) and we’ll never hear her name mentioned in Hillsterland again after the following week’s show (even for the Barbie Dreamhouse Wedding) and of course Davy’s going to "be there" for Donna and of course Kelly will "question" her life and all that and come to the conclusion that she wants Dylan and not LawyerBoy (which means I’ll give it two more shows before Donna and Davy are mackin’ down on each other and two more shows before Kelly calls it quits with LawyerBoy)….And, of course, there’s Donna-Tori’s life’s motto, her meta-statement, that Daddy "was and always will be the most important man in my life" to contend with next week… on a very special 90210.

Which, of course, is appropriately followed by the JonBenét movie. Party on!

Dwanollah

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