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|:HOME:|:RANTS:|:MARCH 15, 2000
"Did You Hear the one About the Exploding Father?"
(Um....)

March 15, 2000

The Rant was slow-going this week because I just began my job as an Editorial Assistant for the Second Largest Publishing Company In The World. Iím working on History and Western Civ. textbooks, primarily, which Iím enjoying greatly after several years of nothing-but-literature study. Frighteningly enough, this is, technically and officially, my first real Career Oriented Job... I mean, five years of working in a bookstore doesnít count as a "career in my field" now, does it? So I have to admit, despite the fact that Iím working at one of the most entry-level of positions, Iím still pretty pleased as punch with myself... commuting with the other professionals to Publisherís Row... working on the 25th floor of a huge office building... talking to professors on the phone to review books and hearing them treating me with deference because of words like "editorial" and "_____ Publishing".... It was also nice that I was encouraged to decorate my office cubicle (my OWN cube! My OWN computer! My OWN desk!), which I did. Itís (much in the style of home) now a lovely pastiche of family photos, wonky postcards, Duran pictures and 90210 stuff. Stunning, if I do say so myself.

But on to Ranting....

I have to confess, after that one scene a couple shows ago, with Dylan and the picture of his dad, I was hoping... well, not for another "Child Is The Father Of Man," but SOMETHING somewhat moving. But I would instead like to nominate this weekís episode as the Most Pointless And Useless Episode of the season... I mean, we got all of the significant stuff from the previews. I donít think there was anything that happened that wasnít recycled, re-used, or a pale imitation of some other plot at some other point. Even Donna and Kellyíve had these parallel recycled plots about rescuing-alcoholic-exes. And, in keeping with the re-run and re-used theme, letís have a welcome back to Anson "Potsie-Cam" Williams stepping into those Directorial Shoes again!

So, appropriately, we open with a shot of the 90210 Baby Maggie- um, Maddy, bawling her head off.

Me too, kid. Me too.

And (Reused Plot Count: 1) in a rip-off of that episode of Mad About You (I thought the same exact thing, bstwart, when I saw it), Pod Janet "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and Skeevy Stevie "Huckleberry Finn, Alive at 100" Sanders are doing the "you have to let her cry it out" child-rearing thing, to teach Maddy how to be self-sufficient. Because even I know that a 4-month-old baby shouldnít have to depend on her parents, especially not when theyíre two dolts like the Sonsa-Sanderses. Iím sure this is the crap Emerson was talking about in his essays. And Janet and Stevie argue about whether or not to pick Maddy up; Janet (the mother, of course) says yes and that Stevieís being "a big meanie!", but Stevie (the father, of course) says that they have to "gradually wean" her from the behavior. And they fight about it. While Maddy continues to scream. Oh, the drama. Oh, the comedy. Ha ha ha.

And then they lament about the plight of Poor Lilí Ryan "You Canít Go Home Again" Sanders, who "used to be a straight A student... now heís a college dropout" because he spent his first semester at Amherst (no, they must mean Amhurdst Community College) screwing around, partying, skipping classes... basically acting like Stevie and recycling every related-to-high-school-or-college-academia-plot Stevieís ever had. And now Ryan has to accept responsibility for his actions. Which isnít fair! And Stevie wants to know again "What happened?" and Janet says "Ask him!" which I think Stevie did last episode, which was when Ryan so poignantly lamented about how "being a brain in high school sucked" and how as a result "I went to college and I tried being you." Wah wah wah waaaaaah. So then, showing just how cute a Bossy, Jealous, Nagging Wife is, Stevie asks Janet if "I can trust you to wait here?" in the hallway while he goes to give Ryan the bizness, and Janet earnestly nods yes, and Stevie rolls his eyes and goes "Yeah, right. Címon" and drags Janet off to the Casa Skeevy Kitchen to present an Emphatically Unified Coupled Front before his brother by grabbing Janetís hand and holding her in an Emphatically Untied Couple Pose. And Ryanís made himself a sandwich in preparation for a tough night in front of the telly because heís just so heartbroken and depressed about his tough educational break, poor guy. And Stevie says all nonchalantly "So where you been, Ryan?" And Ryan, whoís dressed like Ginaís Dumb Blond Twin in a gray pullover with the cuffs pulled over his hands and an orange Marty McFly Gap-brand vest, snaps "Out" though a mouthful of sandwich. And then Janet the BJNW dives right on in, as is appropriate with the brother-in-law youíve only just met, and bosses and nags "Ryan do you KNOW what a big decision this is?" and Stevie chimes in "Do you KNOW what youíre missing out on?" And Ryan sneers "An education?" with a rilly, rilly annoying Sarcastic Face (which was even more horrifying when I accidentally hit "pause" on it. Trust me). And Steve... well, Stevie corrects Ryan on that little point. Seems itís not so much the education that matters but whatís REALLY important about college life (the gospel according to Skeevy Stevie): "Frat parties and four-day-weekends and geographically confined co-eds, huh, huh?" And heís making Skeevy Stevie Eyebrows the whole while. And for some reason, Janet doesnít slug him. First of all, Stevie, if Ryanís sitting on his lazy dropped-out duff, he has a 7-day weekend every week. And second... what, pray, is a "geographically confined co-ed," huh? And then... then Steve says that he and Ryan should "sit down and write a letter to the dean and explain the situation."

THE FUCK!?!

First of all, Reused Plot Count: 2. Didnít they already do the writing-the-letter-to-the-dean thing with Dyl-head? (Didnít someone mention "what ever happened to Dylanís college education?" Word.) Second, why doesnít Ryan start with his counselor first, instead of pestering the dean of the college, who surely must have more important things to do with his/her time than read a letter by yet another irresponsible and immature freshman who fucked up and wants a second chance? And third, WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE THINK RYAN DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE ANYWAY? HOW could he POSSIBLY "explain the situation"? I mean, he was (supposedly) accepted to a prestigious school, in the pre-med program, no less, and just blatantly and willingly screwed around instead of being the SLIGHTEST bit grateful for the educational opportunity heíd been given. It takes a lot of screwing up to get to the "academic probation" point. Doubtless heíd already been warned by professors about his lack of work/class attendance/class preparation. Doubtless heíd failed several quizzes, tests and/or papers. Itís likely his behavior had even been noticed by professors, a counselor, his resident advisor or roommate or friends or even his parents (aw, whoím I kidding?), and theyíd mentioned it to him. Yet he continued to blow off classes and party and not care about the consequences of his actions. As a Potential Future Professor, thereís no way Iíd put up with this kind of crap. I say kick his privileged little ass out of there and let someone who truly WANTS an education fill his spot. Iíve gone to classes while working a full-time job (and for an entire school year, working two jobs). Iíve gotten through an accelerated graduate program after relocating 3000 miles away from my home and family and friends and had two beloved family members die in that time, yet didnít miss a paper. <major self-righteous mode on> I had to WORK MY ASS OFF FOR TEN YEARS to put myself through school because getting an education meant that much to me... so donít expect me to feel a whole lot of sympathy for a spoiled punk-ass brat like Ryan Sanders who thought "being a brain sucked" and just wanted to have fun in college and now has to live with the results of his choices! </self-righteous mode> So then Stevie is supposedly trying to be all Protective Older Brotherly and says "so whaddaya think?" And spoiled little bratty Ryan huffs and sniffs "I think Maddyís crying" and stomps off to the living room with his sandwich and soda. Guttersnipe.

So over at the Beverly Royale With Cheese... Dylan "The Sound And The Fury" McKay faces his long-lost father!

And Iím trying very hard to feel... anything as I watch this scene, which pretty much consists of Dylan (naturally) rasping accusations at Jack in true Angry Young Rebel Man fashion... but itís all about as intense and emotional an experience as eating a lukewarm grilled American cheese sandwich. And, basically repeating what he said to Kelly last week, Dylan bates Jack about his "new life" and wife and kid and house and how it looks "a lot cozier than that urn I picked out for you" (Uh... what body?). And Jack explains about being in the Witness Protection Program blah blah blah....

I mean, this was the best the writers could do? No "Dylanís life is threatened by his fatherís enemies (or Tony Marchetteís cronies) and Jack risks his own life by coming out of hiding to protect his son" or "Jackís enemies discover heís in the WPP and kidnap him and send Dylan a ransom note for 10 million dollars" or "Dylanís depression and self-destruction and drinking and all that becomes so extreme that Jack pays him a lone midnight visit, after which Dylan is unsure whether or not it was a dream/drunken hallucination" or ANYTHING? Come ON!

Anyway, Jack tells Dylan that "I walked to the car. An FBI agent grabbed me and threw me in a van" And this supposedly happened in the, like, ten seconds that Dylan was on the phone with Kelly? And he didnít hear the sound of a van speeding through the parking lot in the rain (because it wouldíve had toíve been going pretty fast to nab Jack in those 10 seconds)? He didnít see anything out of the corner of his eye, standing there? No one else on all those boats saw anything? I mean, surely after the car blew up, the police came and everyone at the marina was questioned... no one else saw a van? And Jack says that "they gave me a chance and I took it" even though "it meant walking away from every part of my life. Including you." And youíd think this would be kinda tough for a dad to say, or that itíd be kinda... moving, profound, maybe, to see your son after seven years, but Jack mustíve met with Dr. Mel Silver before popping over to the Royale for a couple hits of special dentist soporific, because heís about as flat and apathetic as a cold flour tortilla. And if that wasnít enough, when Dylan demands "why are you here?" Jack says all accusingly "because YOU came after me!" And Dylan sneers "Christine Petit tell you that?" and Jack goes "No, Kelly called me." Of COURSE Kelly just gave Jack a call and told him to go see his son and Jack did! No worries about the phone being bugged or anyoneís safety or nuthiní... KELLY SAID. And Iím waiting for Jack to continue with the Inevitable Praise of Kelly, something along the lines of "Sheís a wonderful girl, Dylan. I donít see why the two of you arenít together" or somesuch. But instead Jack says "And Iím glad she did, because it gives me a chance to tell you how sorry... I ... am... Dylan." And Jack stares and Dylan and Dylan stares at Jack and Jack stares at Dylan and goes "Look... I only have a few days." And Dylan, Angry Rebel Man that he is, wonkies his eyebrows and rasps "You got less than that.... Get out." And Dylan stares at Jack and Jack stares at Dylan and Dylan stares at Jack and Jack stares at Dylan....

Oh yeah, weíre off to a rousing start.

And then Jack gets up to leave and, for the love of God, as he walks by Dylan, their shoulders bump all contrivedly and they turn and face each other all contrivedly and do that contrived aggro-guys-staring-at-each-other-thing for a really really long time before Jack leaves and Dylan stares contrivedly some more. Because, yeah, welcome back, Potsie.

And I think the opening credit shots are so old and reused that the clothes people are wearing in them are out of style now.

So over at Nudniks Wear This, Kelly "The House of Mirth" Taylor is wearing one of her trademark Training Matron suits and carrying a folder and chirping about how sheís sent press kits out to all of these publications on the list and there are supposedly EDITORS thatíve confirmed that theyíre coming to this shin-dig of Kellyís. Well, itís gotta be, like, the editors of the Encino Valley Community College Newspaper or something. And yes, Donna "Tender Buttons" Martin is having some big shin-dig at her store where all these famous people are supposed to come and that brings the Reused Plot Count up to 3 now. And Donnaís wearing a fluorescent pink shirt thatís vividly bringing back my own memories of 9th grade and a girl named Stacy who used to wear nothing but the trendy 80ís fluorescent garb, to the point that some of the boys nicknamed her "Rainbow Bright." And with that hair color, Donna, screaming pink is SO not your color. And Camille "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" Whoever, who worked for a fashion magazine for at LEAST a few years, judging from the fact that she met Donna Ďway back when, says she hope Kellyís "been on the phone promising favors" like "free clothes, Laker games, dinners poolside at the Mondrian." Um, Camille? One word: budget! Can Donnaís little boutique really be making enough money, after what has to be spent on rent, supplies, fixtures, the phone line, the computer to process store procedures and run the cash register, the fees on the credit card machine, the bags printed with the storeís logo, all the hangers, the expense of merchandise like non-Donna-designed clothes (because the whole store CANíT be made up solely of Donna Martin Creations, can it?) as well as the accessories, jewelry, purses, scarves, candles, trinkets and other doo-dahs we see in the store, the expense of hiring seamstresses/tailors/whoever to make the Donna Martin Creations (because other than drawing designs and MAYBE making some sample garments, thereís no way Donnaís sitting at home with her little sewing machine, whipping up a storeís worth of merchandise) as well as the cost of fabric, buttons, zippers, elastic, thread and such, the cost of delivering the finished garments, the expenses of unpleasant things like shrinkage/stolen merchandise, having the floors waxed after a customer spills a soda, having the windows washed on at LEAST a weekly basis, the storeís alarm system, and ten million other things Iíve forgotten, can they REALLY be making enough money to even afford to pay for daily coffees for the two employees/co-owners who work there, much LESS foot the bill for some swanky party, much LESS have anything left over and above THAT for writing off free clothes and buying tickets and expensive dinners? Ha. When I was Community Relations Coordinator, a PR position, with a Bland and Niggling bookstore chain that was well-established in the business world and made tens of thousands of dollars in sales a month, I had MAYBE $300-500 a month with which to plan 4-8 monthly events and publish the store newsletter, including props for the themed windows I decorated. But somehow Donnaís got enough money to have a fashion gala. Uh huh. Letís be optimistic and say 50 people show up to this thing. Okay. Break it down. A party for 50.

  • Champagne/wine Ė (at least 1 bottle per 4-5 people, probably double that) = 25 bottles of booze at (if they get the cheap stuff) $20 each: $500
  • rental of champagne/wine glasses: $100-200, not counting the deposit
  • hiring of two or three people to refill glasses at the party Ė (if they go cheap, they can hire college kids for a low price, like $100 for the night): $200-300
  • cheap cocktail napkins: a box of 100 isnít enough for 50 people, so they should get two boxes, plain, prolly about $20 each: $40
  • non-alcoholic beverages for the non-alcohol drinking guests (say six bottles each of regular cola, diet cola, ginger ale and fizzy water) at about $2-3 each: $50
  • rental of non-wine glasses: $100-200, not counting the deposit
  • Garnishes (i.e. lime slices for the fizzy water, lemon slices for the diet cola) Ė lemons and limes can prolly be bought for 4 for a dollar if the storeís having a good sale, maybe less if someone takes a run down to the farmerís market. If someone cuts them in 8ths, they can get more slices per fruit: $12-16
  • ice, and someplace to keep it Ė weíll say $50 for a cheap plastic ice chest thingie from a party supply store, and another $30 for the supply of ice: $80

And we havenít even fed the people yet.

  • hors díourves Ė well, the cheapest grocery store trays of cheese-and-crackers or cruditťs will run $30-50 each, but Iím assuming that isnít fancy enough for this party. If they go to a local culinary school, they might be able to get a couple students to work cheap (although theyíll still have to pay for the cost of the food, plus an additional fee for the chefs-in-training to make the stuff.) For a selection of 5 simple hors díourves Ė say some filo triangles, some stuffed cherry tomatoes, some sort of chicken salad on toasts, some stuffed endive, and maybe something like patť on apple slices... the price would skyrocket if they had things like jumbo shrimps or caviar, or things that are time-consuming to make, like mini-quiches Ė they couldnít possibly pay less than $1-3 per individual item, and each person needs at least two each of each of the items, so thatís 1000 hors díourves at $2 each: $2000

Iíll give them a break; they can play CDs instead of hiring a band, and prolly donít need to rent tables/chairs. But even with that savings, this little soiree for 50 is already over $3500 AT ITS CHEAPEST. And I havenít taken into consideration the money involved in making press kits, placing ads, covering clean-up costs and other incidentals... like paying Kelly for her PR services. And I understand "suspension of disbelief" and all that to a certain extent, but this showís been trying mine for years on end!

Anyway, Donnaís not too keen on the idea of doing favors, and Kelly is downright bent outa shape, snipping to Camille that "theyíll show up for the clothes, not the favors." Um, well, Kelly... no. I seriously doubt that oodles of Very Busy Editors are going to just want to come to some little party and some little clothes store just "because of the clothes." Do you know how many little clothes stores open and close in Los Angeles in any given year? Camilleís right. You gotta make it worth their while. There needs to be someone famous there, or maybe some sort of un-tacky prize give-away dealie, or a little thank-you grab bag like how they do with talk show guests or awards shows presenters OR OTHER PUBLICITY EVENTS LIKE YOURS! I mean, God forbid anyone intimate that Kelly Taylor doesnít know how to do her job! And now thereís suddenly all this Animosity between Camille and Kelly and Camille and Donna supposedly because Camille is, like, unethical in her work tactics, but really itís because sheís infringed on Hillster Territory, be it Donnaís boy or Kellyís job. Start packiní, Camille, because thereís a bus outa Hillsterland with your name on it waiting at the depot. And then Kelly and Camille give each other Mean Nasty Wasty Looks.

But speaking of suspension of disbelief... then... then Davy "Of Mice and Men" Silver comes doinging into the store to announce that he just got a call from "WTRL in New York" (so I guess Davyís going to be the new Carson Daly, LA DJ who becomes MTV Personality, huh? "TRL"?) and not only do they supposedly want to even interview his BAGgy ass in the first place, but they supposedly want to interview him sooooo bad that theyíre going to fly him out on the red-eye. Tonight. And Davy didnít even have to put forth any effort in applying for or even inquiring about job openings for a NY radio station, noooo sirree. He guesses that "a producer was in town and heard my show on the radio in the car." And Camille stammers "David, thatís amazing." Yeah, thatís just what it is, Camille. Just like Kelly got whisked off to NY to be a famous cover model and Brandon got several out-of-thin-air job offers from supposedly major newspapers, Davyís being courted by a NY radio station because they love his work soooo much. (Reused Plot Count: 4) And Iím hoping this means that I can expect a phone call any day now from FOX TV writers who love my work here on the boards sooooo much that they want to fly me out to LA for a job interview andíre gonna offer me the job of a lifetime. And Camille and Donna both look Consternated and Begooblesmacked and Appellaciouced at the horrible thought of losing Davy to the Big Apple. Donít worry, girls. According to the Laws of Hillsterland, he ainít goiní nowhere. Beverly Hills is home, and there you stay. And Davy details his flight information, you know, how the red-eye leaves LA at ten (United does at 10:04, I think), which Iíll take as a personal shout-out to my regular travel schedule. Too bad I donít have time to count how many times Iíve mentioned taking the red-eye from LA to NY here. And after Davy doings off, Kelly says "Wow, New York" and Donna says stickily "Thatís far" and Camille, who was a strong, confident career woman when we first met her, has clearly undergone the routine Spinectomy in order to go out with Davy and work with Donna, because she starts whining "Weíve been going out a month. If he gets this job, weíre finished." And honey, a month is nothing. Get over it. I guess it must be that Dave Stewart haircut of hers that has her lamenting "I Need A Man"... although that doesnít explain Donnaís patheticallness.

You thought itís been painful thus far? Nothing... I mean NOTHING... compares to the pain of the next scene, in which LawyerBoy "To Kill A Mockingbird" Matt is going to defend a comedian who got fired from "The Chuckle Factory" (The Laugh Factory: famous comedy club in LA where countless comedians got their start) because he wasnít funny. Iím guessing they hired this actor and developed this plot for the sole purpose of showing We the TV Audience that there is someone who Does Comedy worse than Donna. I mean, this so-called Comedy Guy does nothing but mug, quip, make stupid noises and respond to everything said to him with jokes of Dixie Cup quality. Iím actually squirming in acute embarrassment for everyone involved in this plot and this scene. LawyerBoy actually tells this So-Called Comedy Guy that "the point is that you are an artist. And your craft should be respected" and that "no one has the right to fire you because they say you stink"(WHAT?!) because "talent is subjective."

I mean, again, even with all that Suspension of Disbelief stuff, thereís no way I can believe that Tori is ever going to be respected anywhere as an artist, a comedian, no matter how "subjective" her talent is.

And, backing up... you mean LawyerBoy actually thinks that a venue has NO RIGHT to fire someone if they turn out to be driving their patrons away? I mean, if the comedian is not funny, then S/HEíS NOT DOING THIER JOB AND DESERVES TO BE FIRED! And to cap it all off, LawyerBoy has to go and crack an equally stupid joke himself about talent being subjective: "Ask my mother. Sheís a blind housepainter." And then he actually makes this chicken-noise and a drumroll gesture. And the So-Called Comedian goes "yeah, right" which was right along the lines of what I was thinking, but with less expletives. This show gives me diarrhea.

And over at Dysfunction Junction, Kelly gets home from "work" to discover Dylan brooding on her back patio, and chirps cheerfully as if nothingís wrong about how she left him messages and he didnít call her back, because of COURSE Dylan shouldíve been on the phone to Kelly IMMEDIATLY just FROTHING WITH GRATITUDE THAT SHE "SAVED" HIM BY BREECHING HIS TRUST AND CALLING HIS DAD FOR HIM! Someone get Brandon back from DC pronto, because if this isnít proof that he and Kelly are soulmates, then I donít know what! And Dylan broods and rasps to Kelly as if in the middle of another conversation (i.e. a device to show us that heís been brooding for a really long time) "You were there, right? I mean, I chose not to contact my father, you knew my decision." And someone get Kelly a Training Matron Jock Strap, because she actually has the balls to be pissy that Dylanís mad at her, even though she throws in a cursory "Youíre mad. I knew you would be. I donít blame you" bit before GIVING HIM THE OH-SO BRANDONESQUE MICHAEL LANDON LECTURE ABOUT HOW "DYLAN HEíS YOUR FATHER!" And she makes those Cat Butthole Lips (tm Sars) faces as she delivers the Gospel According to Kelly about "Why donít you go see him?" and how Dylan "got scared of something you want too much" and Dylan is somehow OBLIGED to see Jack because "he is risking his life to see you!" and all that, but the bottom line, Kelly, is ITíS NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS SO BUTT THE HELL OUT! Kelly hasnít been this out-of-line since she barged over to the Teen Motherís house to tell her "this is your baby! This is your son!" and how "wrong" the mother was to abandon her baby, all because KELLY THOUGHT mother and child belonged together, the fact that the mother was a flaky, irresponsible, scared teenager who ABANDONED HER NEWBORN notwithstanding! For Godís sake, Kelly! I mean, everyone knows that I have my own share of Father Animosity, but if anyone tried Ė if anyone thought they had the RIGHT TO TRY! Ė to manipulate a meeting between me and him because they thought we should "talk" because "heís your father," Iíd go ballistic. (Actually, the only one whoís likely to be as disrespectful and manipulative and agenda-prone to do something like that is, well, my father. Heís tried it before. Didnít work then. Wonít work now.) And Kellyís telling Dylan that sheís "seen what those years have done to you," and God bless our Angry Rebel Man, because he scoffs and rasps back to Kelly that "then you should know itís not going to be fixed in a week." Well, of COURSE it will be, but thatís beside the point. And the Queen of Self-Righteousness tells Dylan "Your life can change in a second!" And if THAT wasnít sanctimonious enough, KELLY CONTINUES: "Just go to him, Dylan. Tell him everything youíve ever wanted to tell him! Even if itís just goodbye!" I mean, thank you Kelly "Pa" Taylor! *smack* And Dylan has no response except to Brood. Really, really intently.

And over at the completely useless PPAD, Davyís snaking through the crowd with an armful of beer bottles and a non-Camille, non-Donna girl hanging on to him. And up at the bar, Ryanís drinking a Roy Rogers and is dressed in a green sweater with a darker green shirt underneath that makes him look like a Muppet. And some Winsome Young Thing comes up to order a drink, but Noah ignores her, until Ryan masterfully intervenes by calling "Noah!" and Noah immediately says "Ryan! Howyídoiní, man" and does the Hillster Manly Man slapping handshake, as if heíd been there behind the bar and Ryaníd been SITTING AT THE BAR WITH A DRINK AND YET SOMEOHOW NOAH HADNíT SEEN HIM BEFORE THIS MOMENT? And the Winsome Young Thing orders a Kelly Tayloresque "two red wines" and she and Ryan goon on each other before Noah serves her the drinks, HOLDING THE GLASSES BY THE RIMS WHICH IS A MAJOR NO-NO IN FOOD SERVICE/SANITATION! And the Winsome Young Thing, whose name is Sheila, invites Ryan to join her and her friend, because of COURSE Ryan is so cute and irresistible, as weíve already seen before with Kellyís Instant (and Instantly Disappearing) Sister Joy. (Reused Plot Count: 5)

And speaking of Disappearing Siblings, WHY HAS NO ONE MENTIONED RYANíS BROTHER AUSTIN?

And when Noah "An American Tragedy" Hunter hears that Ryan isnít going back to Amhurdst Community College and Ryan hears that the bar-back called in sick, Noah hires Ryan to handle the demanding customers. So, without actually signing any papers or anything, Ryan, a minor, hops behind the barís counter to start serving alcoholic beverages to customers.

And up at a table, Camilleís telling Kelly that she "put in a call to Jane Thayer at the LA Chronicle," which was a helpful thing for Camille to do. And Kelly snips that Janeís already RSVPed, but Camille mentions that Jane "constantly double-books. Trust me, I was her research assistant at Verve!" And instead of, I donít know, being glad for the information or that sheís got one less thing to worry about or anything, KELLY THROWS A MAJOR PISSY HISSY SNIT AND SNIPS "Yeah... I know... you said that... a few times" and makes Icky Faces at Donna and huffs and fake-smiles and rolls her eyes. And first of all, Kelly, you idiot, if youíre in PR, YOUR JOB IS TO UTILIZE ALL OF THE CONTACTS YOU POSSIBLY CAN, and whether you like it or not, CAMILLE IS AN EXCELLENT CONTACT! I mean, talk about biting the hand that feeds you, Kelly. Anyone with half a brain in their head would realize that an editor or someone in else in the fashion industry would be more likely to express interest if they were contacted by someone theyíve worked with before and knew as opposed to getting one of ten million random invites to a function. Camille isnít, like, USURPING you, Kelly; sheís actually providing you with a great deal of opportunity, and if you donít take advantage of it, itís a sign that you are a piss-poor PR girl! I can only hope this means within another episode or two, a la Donnaís Girl Friday service, Kellyís PR biz is going to go bye-bye (which would be yet another Reused Plot). And moreover, since Camille is now Donnaís partner, then technically ITíS CAMILLEíS STORE TOO, KELLY, AND IF CAMILLE WANTS TO CALL TWENTY PEOPLE TO INVITE, SHE HAS EVERY RIGHT! This isnít about YOU, Kelly, itís about DOING A JOB FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HIRED YOU! And Camille generously tells Kelly "I have contacts you can use" and then, when Kelly continues to huff and fuss, Camille asks (rightfully) "Arenít we all on the same team?" which, of course, is the core of things, if Kelly would pull her daffodil-streaky head out of her ass enough to realize. Can you image what would be happening if Kelly was organizing a party for two clothes-store-owners whom she didnít know and Owner 2 said "I have contacts you can use" and Kelly copped Kelly-tude about it?!? Exactly. But Kelly keeps snitting and rolling her eyes and glaring at Poor, Sweet Donna whoís caught in the middle and just trying to placate everyone. And Camille gets up to, I donít know, go get a drink or something, and Kelly scowls blackly and huffs to LawyerBoy and Donna "There is something soooo... know-it-all about that girl!" which Iíll take as a personal shout-out. And, I mean, as if Kelly hadnít already been crowned Queen of the Major Bitches today, then this little remark is enough to ensure that the crown has been surgically attached to her inflated hair-braided head. (What is up with the overuse of hair braids this episode? EVERYONE had little braids in their hair.) And Kelly continues to narrow her eyes at Camille and sneer as she asks Donna "Doesnít it bug you just a little?" And Donna sighs at the sight of Camille and Davy out on the dance floor and drawls (but pathetically) "No, not at all." And she and Kelly exchange anti-Camille looks and smirk and roll their eyes. Like, why not skip on the wine, girlies, and have a couple saucers of milk instead? And Donna continues to sigh and look pathetic at the sight of her Beloved Davy Silver in the clutches of that Mean, Nasty Know-It-All Camille. And then LawyerBoy non-sequiturs that Camille and Davy seem to have the attraction thing happening "but what makes or breaks a relationship is humor" and then Kelly slurs "then whyíre we still together" and everyone does "bwa ha ha ha!" Maybe Kellyís supposed to be drunk...? Anyway, LB seems to think thatís the signal to tell that lame old reused joke about the drunk who get arrested and the judge tells him "youíve been brought here for drinking" and the drunk goes "great, when do we get started?" And I think I read that on, like, a Bazooka gum wrapper back in 1976. And then Kelly and LB go off to slow-dance and Camille goes to the bathroom, and Donna keeps re-arranging her casual sitting-at-a-table pose (but I donít think itís part of the Donna character; that is, I donít think itís acting on Toriís part), shaking her hair back, lifting her chin, arching her back and shifting in her chair as Davy approaches. And Davy goes "hi" and Donna goes "Hel-lo" and Davy shakes his head and laughs and sits and Donna giggles. And this is pretty reflective of the tediousness of this episodeís "action." And Donna says that if Davy moves to New York, their phone bills are going to be "enormous" and Davy says heíll prolly be "the late, late shift" and "wonít be able to call you from the office" but (shout out!) "we can e-mail each other." Of COURSE theyíll e-mail! Just like the Walshes did, theyíll send each other e-mails! Or telegrams. And then Davy asks Donna if Camilleís "said anything" and Donna looks pathetic and sad and says "yeah" that Camille thought it was prolly "too soon for a long-distance relationship" and Davy says Camilleís "probably right" but maybe heíll "ask her to move to NY with me." So. Lemme get this straight. After a month of dating, itís too soon for an LDR, but not too soon to move in together and relocate to the other side of the country... Camille having to give up her new career as a store owner in the process...? Glad Davy respects the fact that Camille has a life other than him.

Well, how silly of me, of COURSE Camille has no life other than her Hillster Man! So she comes back to the table so she and Davy can bill and coo and Donna can CONTINUE to look sad and pathetic and abandoned as she watches first Davy and Camille and then LB and Kelly and then looks even MORE sad and pathetic because GOD KNOWS, EVERY WOMAN NEED A MAN IN HER LIFE! Why donít we ever see the single MEN on this show acting all sad and pathetic if they arenít in relationships?!

And over at Palm Wind Motel, the opening shot of the motel looks just like the Carriage Inn (which they recently changed to a Best Western or something) on Sepulveda up the street from our Valley apartment, where they did the whole Ohndreaís dirty little affair stuff. So I had to pull out my pictures that I took last time I was there of all the local 90210 Sites, and sure enough, based on the shape of the old sign behind the "Palm Wind" sign and the position of the palm trees, Iím pretty sure thatís it. And Jack McKay, fugitive in the Witness Protection Program, is answering a knock at the door without looking through a peephole, without asking "who is it?" or nuthiní. And Dylanís obeyed Kellyís Gospel, and is there, brooding and pretending to polish his motorcycle helmet. And Dylan "Tender Is The Night" rasps, one-two punch style, "I went to a church once in Rome and I prayed for you. It seemed pointless. I didnít wanna talk to God, I wanted to talk to you." Dylie? Thereíre churches in LA, too, hon. And Jack, still about as intense of a bowl of plain oatmeal, says "Iím listening." And Dylan rasps "Well you better step back, Ďcos Iím pretty pissed." Oh, Dylan! The anger! The rage! The turmoil! And Jack raises his eyebrows and tries not to laugh as he ushers Dylan inside. And Dylan wanders in and looks around and broods for a long time before he says "I dunno where to start." And Jack says all chatty "Well, I heard you went to Europe. Wheníd you get back? Whatíre you doing now?" Like a father in the Witness Protection Program wouldnít ask the FBI to be keeping close tabs on his own son and wouldnít be kept abreast of what he was doing? And Dylan broods and polishes his helmet (*snicker*) and rasps "Easiní into things. Easiní out. Itís hard." Which I guess is supposed to explain Brinda and his stint at the Center a few months ago and his godparenting duties which were supposed to be so important but which neither he nor Kelly seem to care two farts for ever since the actual ceremony. And then the phone rings, and Jack answers it, and itís his "wife" and Dylan listens to Jackís one-sided conversation, which is naturally peppered with "honey"s and "sweetheart"s and "I love you too"s and Dylan gets Broodier and Broodier as Jackís conversation makes it clear that the wifey thinks heís there on business and doesnít know about Dylanís existence. And thereís one instance where Dylan looks as sad and vulnerable as when he saw the picture in the storage unit and I wonder if maybe... maybe.... But Jack gets off the phone, and Dylan rasps "Whoís that, your wife?" And he wants to know "Whatís your sonís name?" and Jack says "Jack" (which is a pretty stupid move for anyone in the WPP, isnít it?) and Dylan nods and rasps "Your namesake." And I just want to mention a scene from an episode I wrote Ďway back when with my own Dylanís Father Angst plot and Brindaís Baby and all that:

[And Tony asks] "Have you given it any thought, Dylan? Have you thought about what you want to name the baby?"

"Yeah," says Dylan, putting his scotch down and doing his twisty-head before meeting Tonyís eyes. "I wanna call him Jack."

I just thought Iíd mention that.

Anyway, Dylan wants clarification on how much Jackís New Wife Lisa knows about his past, and finally rasps "You told her you were a crook, in bed with the feds.... But you didnít tell her about me." And Jack just stares at Dylan as Dylan laughs and rasps "Itís been a long time, Jack. Iíd forgotten what your priorities are." And he stomps really slowly out of there Ė coming close but thankfully not repeating the Aggro-Shoulder-Bumping thing Ė leaving Jack just standing there staring, because, hey, Potsie-cam.

And then over at Casa Skeevy, Stevie and Janet are arguing about child rearing tactics, with Stevie asserting "you know this is the right approach" and Janet jiggling fussy Maddy in her baby carrier and snarking BJNW-style "yeah, like your approach with Ryan? Higher education, looser women?" and Stevie responds that "four years of casual sex is a terrible thing to waste!"

This attitude wasnít funny to begin with. Itís not funny now. Can you imagine any Hillster Woman being given the same advice? "Donít drop out, Kelly, because youíre missing a chance to party and screw yourself senseless!"

And this whole time, Janet is, like, walking in circles around Stevie. Which symbolizes her entire life.

And then Ryan, all tired from working hard at the bar, comes stumbling in for a cup of coffee. And Stevie is all begoogled when he finds out that Ryanís "working at the club?!" (insert wonky-upset-disgusted Stevie eyes here) And Ryan announces that heís "crashing at Noahís" until he can "get a place of my own." Um. Isnít it DAVYíS place, not Noahís? Isnít Noah just "crashing" there until HE can find a place of his own? Isnít it pretty rude of Ryan to just move in, too? In (Iím assuming) Davyís bed while Davyís out of town, since thereíre only two bedrooms and Noahís got one of them? And second, if I was Stevie, I wouldnít look so aghast at the fact that Ryanís working at the club. I think a heavy dose of reality is just what Ryan needs! I say, cut off his trust fund, let him work at the club, and good luck finding "a place of my own" on bar-back pay. Let Ryan see what a life without a decent education is like. Spoiled little punk brat.

And over at the Royale With Cheese, Kellyís shown up to lecture Dylan some more. With hands on her hips, when he opens the door, she immediately demands "Did you see your father?" And instead of slamming the door in her face, Dylan just rasps "This is not a follow-up call you want to make, believe me." And Kelly is all stupidly going "Listen, I know it was difficult and awkward-" as if she knows anything about anything anyway. And, I mean, YOU CALL CAMILLE A KNOW-IT-ALL, KELLY? And Dylan interrupts and rasps "No, Ďawkwardí is hearing your own father deny that you exist." And Kelly implores "Why donít you tell me what happened?" And Dylan rasps "I grieved over him for years. I lost my wife... Ďcos I was filled with hatred and wanted revenge. You know, it was MY life that ended when that car blew up, not his." It really bothers me that Dylan constantly refers to Toni as "my wife" as one would "my car" or "my house" instead of by her name, which would indicate a more personal, intimate and viable relationship. And Kellyís got her rosebud lips agape as Dylan says "And you... you just keep pushing me into that." And Kelly actually thinks thereís a rationalization for this as she starts to whine "Iím just trying-" but the phone rings. And Jack announces. "Dylan. I need to talk to you. Meet me at the beach tonight." And hangs up. No mention of time. No mention of what beach. NO WORRIES THAT MAYBE SOMEONE MIGHT BE ON TO HIM AND HIS PHONE OR DYLANíS PHONE IS BUGGED OR THE FACT THAT A CONVERSATION ON A CELL PHONE IS THE EASIEST THING IN THE WORLD TO TRACE! And Dylan does twisty-head and turns back to Kelly and holds up the phone announces "My father. He wants me to meet him tonight." And he stares at Kelly, all pissed. And Kelly stares at him, all defenseless.

And over at Nauseate This, Donnaís coming in bearing a box of decorations for the party tonight. Decorations! We didnít factor that into the budget! And it looks like sheís got a box of paper lanterns and stars, which arenít flimsy enough to be the $2 ones sold at Asian markets like Pearl River Mart on Canal Street which Sars just HAD to go and tell me about so now Iíve spent way too much money on paper lanterns and fish mobiles and The Husband-Type Manís spent way too much money on stuff like shrimp chips and dried gooseberries and weíre both going to spend way too much money on dishes and stuff for the next Really Snooty Cocktail Party, which weíre hopefully having in a couple weeks when my oldest pal/best man from San Diego comes to visit us. Anyway, so, decorations: about five paper lanterns/stars, at easily $20 each (if the prices in LA are comparable to the prices at the Union Square market where we saw the exact same stuff): at least another $100. So now weíre much closer to $3500-4000 for the cost of this party, AT ITS CHEAPEST! And Camille wants to know why Donnaís doing Kellyís job, and Donna explains that Kelly had to go see Dylan and besides, the party-supply store was on Donnaís way. WHY DIDNíT KELLY JUST CALL DYLAN?! For Peteís sake, SHE HAS A JOB TO DO! SHE HAS RESPONISBILITES! DONNA AND CAMILLE ARE SUPPOSEDLY PAYING KELLY DO BE TAKING CARE OF THIS STUFF BECAUSE THEY DONíT HAVE THE TIME what with running the store. I mean, Iím sure Camille with her contacts could whip up a kick-ass party for Donna in a week, but just doesnít have the time, which is WHY THEYíRE SPENDING THE MONEY ON A PR PERSON TO DO IT! And then Camille announces that Jane Thayer canít make it to the party, but Camilleís gonna take her to lunch when she gets back from Paris. And Donna says stickily that "Or you could just set up for Kelly to, after all, she IS my publicist." And Donna, what is likely to be more effective to a busy editor like Jane Thayer, a meeting with the publicist working for some stupid clothing store OR LUNCH WITH AN OLD COLLEGUE WHO HAPPENS TO CO-OWN SAID CLOTHING STORE!?! Jeesum cow, it isnít like Camilleís suggestions are cruel and undermining ones, for Godís sake! GET A CLUE, LADIES! And Camille says "Donna, I do her [Kelly] a favor and all I get is attitude... whatís with her?" but she doesnít sound bitchy or snaky, just seriously perplexed. And Camille, I was wondering just the same thing. Except you forgot to mention that youíre also getting attitude from Donna, too. But thankfully the phone rings, and itís Davy, and Donna wants to know about the "big interview" and Davyís sitting in a hotel looking out at whatís supposed to be NY but looks to me like sunny downtown LA and laments that they "rescheduled" it, and Camilleís getting pissy listening to the conversation and finally Davy says he heís "gotta go" and Donna gushes "Well, thanks for calling and good luck with everything and... and ... if you get a chance, just call me later tonight" and Davy goes "Donna" and Donna goes "Yeah?" and Davy goes "Is... Camille there?" and Donna laughs, trying to cover up her Patheticallness, and goes "Sure, hold on" and hands the phone to Camille, saying "Sorry... itís David, for you." And a big smile breaks out on Camilleís face like the sun breaking through storm clouds, while Donna just stands there listening to Camille talking and makes Sad Pathetic Faces and does that Sad Lip-Twitch Moue Thing with her Sticky-Lips. And Davy and Camille are cooing about how much they miss each other and how much Camille is a "New York girl at heart" and "if we were together" blah blah blah while Donna stomps off to the storeís entrance and CONTINUES to make Sad, Pathetical Faces and That Sad Lip-Twitch Moue Thing... I mean, YES, WE GET IT! DONNA IS SAD AND PATHETIC AND JEALOUS! DONNA STILL LOVES DAVY! WE KNOW! WE GET IT! STEP UP THE PACE ALREADY!

Okay. I refuse to spend too much time on the utter stupidity of LawyerBoy and his non-comedic comedian client. Suffice it to say, So-Called Comedian is called to the witness stand. He makes inappropriate (old, reused) jokes. No one laughs. He is ordered by the lawyer and the judge to be funny, because "whether or not [he] is funny" is the point of the case. He launches into a so-called comedy routine, tells a stupid joke, and none of the jurors laugh. And he messes up the punch-line of his one joke "Two peanuts walk into a bar and one of them is accosted... um, bothered..." and he flails until the judge supplies the proper punch-line: "assaulted/a-salt-ed" And heís really sad about it, because he has stage fright or is under pressure or something. And this is supposed to make us feel sorry for Tori or Randy or whoever the "subjective comedic talent" on 90210 is supposed to be. Iíd only like to mention the prosecuting lawyerís definition of comedy: "any joke, satire or humorous performance designed to make people laugh." Because Iím assuming this is supposed to convince us that Tori/Donna "does comedy."

Reused Plot Count: 6, because over at the PPAD, Ryanís making "flaming shots" on the bar to impress the Winsome Young Thing. Sooo cool. And Stevie shows up to "talk" because (with Noah standing right there) working in a bar is "no life" and Ryan is "too good for this." And THEN somehow the issue of Ryan being "underage" is important to Stevie. I mean, how freakiní HYPOCRITICAL is he? He takes Ryan to bar after bar to party, and the issue of Ryan (who almost died of alcohol poisoning) being underage never comes up. NOW itís an issue?! And then Ryan clarifies that he can "serve drinks, I just canít pour them." Whatever. So Stevie and Ryan argue and Ryan snips and Stevie bosses and Noah starts to intervene and Stevie gets all pissed and goes "You know what, Noah, this is my brother, and I donít what him to turn out like you, okay? So if you want company, go to an AA meeting!" (Like, why not "Dylanís house" huh? How come itís okay for Dylan to drink, but not Noah?) And Noah stares at Stevie and Stevie stares at Ryan and Ryan stares back, and Iím just hoping that Stevieís nasty commentsíllíve really struck a nerve with Noah so heíll GO KILL HIMSELF!

And over at Dysfunction Junction, Kelly "The Beautiful and the Damned" Taylor and Donna "The Age Of Innocence" Martin have actually been preparing a meal together and are getting ready to sit down and eat it together, which I donít think Iíve seen since Kelly made "burned cream" for the crispy lesbian. And since theyíre having a casual evening at home, Donnaís taken the time to twist her hair up into two cute pigtail-things, all curled and pinned under, with little bits sticking out all bed-head style. Because I know when Iím just hanging out at home, I like to make sure that my hair looks appropriately cute. And Kellyís carrying in a plate of congealed lasagna that doesnít move as she flails the dish around (but the lamb potholders are a nice touch). And Donnaís got the salad bowl and theyíre talking, of course, about the "media response to your party." And Kellyís bitching about Camille, snipping "does she think I canít write my own press releases and I canít talk to editors?!" as she throws the lamb potholders from the table into the kitchen. I mean, how DARE Camille offer Kelly her contacts or make any suggestions AT ALL despite the fact that Camilleís been in the Fashion Industry from the press side of things for at least a few years AND THIS IS KELLYíS FIRST PR JOB, and the only experience sheís had was watching PR Pia do the same thing (Reused Plot) back when the store first opened. And Donnaís trying to placate Kelly by giggling and saying that Camille "has her own opinions about what works... very strong opinions... just like you." And Kelly snips wetly "Only opposite." And Iíd like to take that as a very personal shout-out. Thatís just what I think, though. And Kelly is of COURSE pouring her glasses of red wine to accompany dinner. And Donna uses the words "kinda pushy" to describe Camille and Kelly snips "Well, she certainly pushed her way into Davidís world." Let Queen Bitch reign! (Um, "Davidís WORLD"? Whatís that supposed to mean?) And Donna goes all pointedly "Hmmm, look at that I seem to have forgotten the salad dressing" with a dumb smile while Kelly makes her own Know-It-All faces at Donna while flinging garlic bread on their plates. And then Kelly says "You know, after you and Noah broke up and Gina left, you and David started hanging out a lot." Um, WHAT ABOUT AFTER DONNAíS FATHER DIED?!? And Donna, in the kitchen, goes all innocently "Your point being?" and makes a non-cute, non-comedic "Mmm!" noise. And Kelly has "just noticed heís not calling after midnight anymore" which Donna says is because Camille, that nasty bitch, asked him not to. And Donna refers to herself as Davyís "ex-girlfriend" and Kelly, all Know-It-All, goes "Ex-girlfriend, wow, I havenít heard you say that in a while. Usually guysíre just friends." And this leads into a discussion about how Camille shouldnít be "jealous" but itís because, according to Donna chirping in earnest, Camille "knows I want what she has, which is a great guy, but itís just not David." And Kelly LOOKS at Donna and Donna pretends to be coy and sips wine but doesnít actually eat anything.

And itís breakup time, because Dylan and Jack, accompanied by Jackís palooka bodyguard, are at the beach. Long story short: Jack wants he and Dylan "to be together again" because heís either leaving the Witness Protection Program or Dylanís coming in. And, since Dylan was involved at least a little bit with pursuing his dadís killers and all that Ďway back when, shouldnít heíve already BEEN in the Witness Protection Program? And they argue back and forth about how can Dylan believe him, blah blah blah, and an SUV drives in the dark parking lot and slowly circles around, and the bodyguard announces itís time to go and Jack urges Dylan to "think about it" before they bail. And if the SUV might be something dastardly, why doesnít anyone care that maybe Dylanís at risk, and when he leaves, someone might follow him? And since weíre on a Reused Plot Bonanza, Iím expecting Dylan to see Jack die again soon.

God. Over at the Homeslice House, Ryan "Tripmaster Monkey" comes out of the bedroom announcing that "Sheila wants juice" and "I want whatever Sheila wants." So now not only is Ryan "crashing" at Davyís house in Davyís bed, heís having some chick over, too? Classy. And Noahís at the table reading a book. And Ryan looks at the cover and goes "Whatís this? Organic Chemistry?" and Noah says he found it in Ryanís stuff and "guess what? I canít unnerstaní a word of Ďt." As if that should surprise us, Noah? And let me get this straight, RYAN DOESNíT EVEN RECOGNIZE HIS OWN SCHOOLBOOK?! And Ryan says "Noah... you party all night and you hang out all day. Trust me, buddy, you donít have to." Like, nice way to be condescending, Ryan. And Noah mumbles that Stevie said Ryan "wassa smrt kid" and Ryan Does Comedy and goes "Yeah, Sheila wants juice, Sheila gets juice! Hey, Iím a genius!" Well then God help Mensa. And then Noah decides to give Ryan a lecture on opportunities, and mumbles "Yer brother says you have a lotta opportunities right now. Look, I doní care if heís right or wrong but Iím here to tell you I had a lot more." Whatever thatís supposed to mean. "Believe me." And Noahís standing there with his hands in his pockets, and I guess I can at least be grateful that he isnít having this conversation through mouthfuls of cereal. And he mumbles with all these helpless hand gestures that "Aní somewhere along the line, I got... thrown off the road and never got back on track." Which is an awfully passive (i.e. deflecting responsibility) way of putting it, Noah. I donít think you so much got THROWN off the road as you actually DROVE DRUNK OFF IT! And Ryan goes "What happened?" And Noah mumbles "Thaís not important what happened." And Ryan argues that it is so important what happened. And then he says "Look, Noah, weíre friends." Because after a week, theyíre best buddies, whereas Dylan and Noah could party for months together and Dylan could still say "Iím not your friend, I barely even KNOW you!" But Noahís continuing "Look, youíre friení here gave Ďp an Ivy League education fír what? For this?" and he gestures at... the kitchen table. " ... Look, I tolí myself Iíd go back Ďfter a year. Gís what? I never did." And heís making these really sad and earnest faces. Poor Noah. And he sighs and says "Look, I wancho to realize hí importaníanípermanenísídecision can be for you, man." And Noah looks really sad and earnestly at Ryan and Ryan looks really sad and earnestly at the floor. Poor Ryan. Poor Noah. Poor, poor Ryan and Noah. And itís really cute how Noah and Ryan have identical gel-spiked bed-head.

And over at the Royale With Cheese, a suddenly-jovial Jack has shown up with, um, coffee and, um, apple fritters from Stanís. "Your little brother is going to love Stanís!" Jack announces. Why doesnít Dylan mention that he also has a sister? But no oneís mentioned Ericka, even though that was one of the major Post-Jack Issues that Dylan had to deal with. Anyway, Jackís apple fritter comment is his way of saying that heís going to, ah, drop out of the witness protection program because everyone he testified against is either in jail or dead. And youíd think Jack would know well that just because youíre in jail doesnít mean you still donít control things and canít have people taken care of. Ask Suge Knight. And Dylanís all freaked about Jackís safety, but Jack says theyíll hire security. Because, yeah, thatís the solution to being a fugitive criminal protected by the FBI and suddenly coming out of hiding in a town full of your enemies. And Dylan broods and rasps "Whaís your wife say Ďbout it?" and Jack says "I havenít told her about it yet, I figured maybe you, me, weíd tell her together." Yeah, thatís gonna make her feel really safe and happy, Jack. And Dylan rasps "What about... lilí Jack? What do we tell him?" Aw, look at Angry Young Rebel Man Dylan McKay... thinking of the children. Only of the children. Dylanís concerned that lilí Jack can "just forget his past, huh?" And Jack says "If we work hard enough, we can forget ours." Which makes it Reused Plot Count: 7.

I refuse to say anything about the scene at the PPAD where LawyerBoyís assembled Kelly, Ryan and Noah to listen to the So-Called Comedy Guyís stupid nervous schtick, and Ryan Does Comedy by providing the forgotten punch-line. Which is what makes everyone laugh. God.

Over at Casa Skeevy, Janet and Stevie are supposedly trying to eat dinner, with the baby monitor broadcasting Maddyís sad wails, and Stevieís bemoaning the fact that "Ryan isnít going to call" because heís gonna meet some girl at the club and "take her back to Noah (sic)...." Steve doesnít say "take her back to Noahís, he says "take her back to Noah." And Janet (the mother) of COURSE is only preoccupied with Maddyís crying while Stevie (the father) is all but oblivious. And Janet announces that Stevieís daughter "will be scarred for life!" (as if she wonít already?!) as she gets up from the table. And Stevie jumps up and blocks Janetís way, yodeling "Hey, hey, hey! Sheís just testing us!" Yeah, thatís what the four-month-old infant is doing, Stevie... sheís willfully and consciously TESTING YOU! Itís a battle of wills, and you must emerge victorious! But Stevie argues that Maddyís "got to learn to comfort herself!" Yeah, yeah, again, with dolts like you for parents, Iíll bet she does. So then she also better learn to watch out for her own safety, make big decisions, manage money, plan a career and behave responsibly before sheís 6 months, too. And Stevie thinks that they need to keep Maddy "on track" by not comforting her when sheís crying. And Janet succinctly points out (mentioning the time he dressed in drag as a KEG dare) that "you were on the idiot track" except she doesnít say "and you still are." Actually, Janet says "Look at you now. Youíre back on track... sort of." Unfortunately, she only means that Stevieís a screw-up by insisting that Maddy cry it out, not because heís Stevie Sanders. But her point was that "Ryan will be [back on track] too." And finally, Janet "canít stand" Maddy crying any more and decides to go for a walk. Because God knows, she canít break rank once Stevie Sanders, the man of the house, has laid down the law about how to parent.

And speaking of pathetic women, over at Dysfunction Junction, Donnaís actually drawing some new design when Davy calls to announce "I got it!" And after useless blather about how great the job is, Davy suddenly becomes quiet and morose because "It just hit me" that "Iím moving. And Iíll miss you." And Donnaís gloating over that, but thatís nothing compared to when she asks what Camilleís reaction was and Davy says "I havenít told her yet. I just kinda picked up the phone and dialed." And Donna completes the sentence by saying "Me." And Davy of COURSE just wants to "talk some more" to Donna, who beams and squirms in delight. Because (Reused Plot Count: 8) Davy and Donna are realizing that they REALLY LOVE EACH OTHER. And what up with Davyís curly hair?

And speaking of which, Dylan "The Awakening" McKay is banging on the patio door for Kelly, and is all happy and excited and is telling Kelly how things went "really well!" with his dad. But first he has to grovel to Queen Kelly about how wondrous she is because "Listen, uh, you did this for me. I mean, I walked away, but you made it happen." Of COURSE Kelly made it happen! Of COURSE! Sheís reunited father and son! Sheís helped Dylan get back "on track"! Sheís the wind beneath his wings! And as Dylan blathers about all the exciting plans about being with his dad and seeing his new family and all the security coverage money can buy, Kelly just beams and squirms in delight, because she is "so happy for you!" And Dylan says, of COURSE, "Yeah, and... you know what? Iím just happy, for the first time in a long time!" And Kelly wetly says "Thatís good to hear!"

And then, now that heís finally happy, Dylan tries to mack down on her, but turns it into a cheek kiss and prolonged nuzzle and a "thank you" because Kelly "did everything" and, of COURSE, "um, I donít know if Iíve mentioned it lately, but, um, Mattís a lucky guy." Actually, Dylan, I think you mentioned it just last week. But Dylan slips off into the night, leaving Kelly and her pouty lips behind to ponder the meaning of life and who her soulmate is and who she chooses and the hot desert Santa Ana winds and if she should get married or not. Reused Plot Count: 9.

And over at Homeslice House, Stevieís come over to see Ryan, whoís still sleeping. And Stevie complains that he left messages, and Noah says "I woulda called you back Steve Ďcept I didnít wanna get lecture on how pathetic my life is, Ďmember?" Which Iíll take as a personal shout-out. And (Reused Plot Count: 10) Stevie "exaggerated to make a point and I did it at your expense" and said those things because he was afraid of losing his brother. The only thing Stevie didnít say was that "the ends justify the means." And Noah laughs and says "ípology Ďcepted" which I think means that heís forgiven Stevie. And then Ryan comes out. With his Winsome Young Thing. And Stevie boots her so he can give Ryan a big rah-rah speech paralleling Maddyís sleep problems with Ryanís predicament. Yawn. Finally, "whatever you wanna do with your life is fine with me." Oh, how gracious. And it ends with Stevie going "I luv you, Ryan." And Ryan goes "I luv you too, Steve." And Noah goes "See you, buddy." And everyone looks at each other and laughs and smiles and all that (because, you know, Potsie-cam). And I just *snarf* hysterically.

And at the Royale With Cheese, Agent Williams knocks on the door and asks Dylan "Can you come with me, please?" And Iím guessing that Jackís bodyguards are actually enemies, and Dylanís about to get kidnapped (again) or see his dad die or something.

Not. Going. To. Talk. About. Stupid. Lame. Plot. About. Comedian. Suffice it to say, LawyerBoy breaks into a "comedy" routine when the So-Called Comedian refuses to take the stand, and cracks tired old lawyer jokes that weíve heard ten million times before. Which, of course, the judge doesnít stop and which causes the jury.. and the judge... and THE PROSECUTION... to crack up. And yes, you heard LB actually say "But seriously folks".... MORE THAN ONCE.

And speaking of tired old things, Agent Christine Petit has summoned Dylan ("Hello Dylan"... which reminds me of "Hello Sidney!") to warn him that Jackís in danger. Supposedly she just happened to "pick up" his name in a bugged conversation. Whatever.

At Casa Skeevy, Janet and Stevie are standing over Maddyís crib. And Janet goes "Are you sure about this?" And Stevie grouses "Yeah, but you do it." So Janet picks Maddy up to comfort her. And then Ryan shows up to announce that heís going to go to Europe for a year before... before... BEFORE ENROLLING IN CU! Because "I put too much pressure on myself the first time around." Okay. First off, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK A UNIVERSITY WOULD WANT YOUR STUPID DROPPED OUT ASS? Second, God, it must be tough... you know, you fuck up at school and as a result you get to take a year off and travel to Europe?!? And third, Ryan "PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON HIMSELF?" Gee whillikens, then of COURSE he deserves a trip to Europe! He shouldnít be expected to work and live under PRESSURE, God forbid! WHAT A FUCKING SPOILED LITTLE ASSHOLE!

And I think the fact that Ryanís going to "enroll" at CU proves my LWOOE point about it being a school for spoiled little slackers whose parents pay their ways in.

And so, of course, Ryan and Stevie are going to go celebrate this news with flaming shots. Stevie and Ryan ARE flaming shots!

And over at the Palm Wind Motel, Jackís packing, and when Dylan knocks, Jack urges "The plane leaves in an hour!" And for answer, Dylan says "Justin Emperioli. Frank Rugarello." Like, of COURSE itís stereotypical Italian Mobsters, isnít it? But Dylanís come to warn Jack that they know heís alive and they know heís in Los Angeles "and if you stay, theyíll find you." And Dylan rasps that Christine "wants you to be safe. So do I." And Jack sighs and stares and broods and announces "Weíll never see each other again, Dylan." And Dylan decides theyíre going to film an ABBA video, because he stands at Jackís side so we see Dylanís face straight on and Jackís face turned to the side, like in "Waterloo." And Dylanís got tears in his eyes as he rasps "I hated you for a long time.... You donít know what itís like to hate your father.... It ruins everything.... I donít hate you any more." And Jack turns to Dylan and implores "Come with me!" doing a little role-reversal on the Luke/Vader thing. But Dylan says "You got a plane to catch" and starts fussing with his luggage, but Jack grabs Dylan and hugs him tight (Reused Plot Count: 11) and Dylan starts crying and Jack whispers "We gotta make this work!" and Dylan cries some more and rasps "It works.... Now, it works." And I guess Dylanís Grinchy heart just grew four times its size. So Jack grabs his stuff and bails. And thatís it.

Seriously. Thatís it. No Jack-and-Dylan catching up. No mention of Ericka, of Dylan marrying Marchetteís daughter, of Marchette at all, of Dylan spending years hunting down the people responsible, of what Jackís been doing, of how Jack met Lisa, of what he does for a living now... not even just spending time together. They just rasped warnings to each other about security for a couple scenes and that was all. Man. That sucked.

And over at Nihilist This, the Publicity Party is in full swing, and thereís another expense I didnít count on... professional models showing off Donnaís creation! And what model would work for less than $100 an hour? And there appear to be numerous models, so Iíd say thatís at LEAST another $500-1000 bucks, if Kelly booked the cheapest of the cheap models whoíre, like, still walking with books on their heads at Barbazon and need a couple hundred bucks quick! So weíre closing in on $5000 for this party AT ITS CHEAPEST! And Donnaís insisting "no more interviews, please!" and "Iíve never seen so many big-name editors in one place!" and Kelly, supposedly trying to convince Donna sheís talented and convince us of the whole thing in the first place, coos that "your designs are responsible for that, not me!" And Camille comes over to bitch about Davy not being there yet, and she "canít believe he took the job" and she hangs her head and whines, all poor Eyeore, "Iím just so sad about it" while Donna rolls her eyes and Kelly makes MAJOR squonchy lips while holding her champagne flute and huffing disdainfully before spying LawyerBoy and excusing herself. And Donna then needles Camille with what a great job Kelly did, and "maybe you should tell her" and Camille laments that "my mindís been elsewhere." And then... then Donna, with her hands behind her back like an earnest little girl, says "um, about that..." and proceeds to tell Camille whatís what about Davy! "Camille, youíve known David, what, a month? I mean... weíve all know David practically his whole life. I mean, just try to understand and keep in mind... itís gonna be really hard on all of us when he leaves." Like HOW DARE YOU TRY TO POACH ON HILLSTER TERRITORY, Camille!? And CAMILLE JUST MEAKLY NODS! O-kay.

And LB is telling Kelly that he didnít so much convince the jury that the So-Called Comedian was funny, but rather "that his material was funny, and he has a bright future in sit-coms." Oh, God. A sit-com staring Tori. God help the viewing public.

And Davy shows up to the store, and spies Dylan, sitting outside on a planter, just watching the happenings Ė watching Kelly, laughing with LB Ė from a distance and brooding really hard. And Davy, supposedly the Voice of Wisdom, comes over and says "You just canít shake some people, can ya?" and stares at Donna, talking confidently with reporters, just like how Brandon came and stared at Kelly at the last PR party before bailing for his job emptying wastebaskets and delivering mail at a newspaper office in Washington D.C. (Reused Plot Count: 12) And Davy continues "You know, itís funny, you think you can and you have... and then you travel cross-country for the job of a lifetime... just to realize thereís no way." Okay, Davy, if you say so. And Dylan stares at Kelly and Davy stares at Donna, and then Donna spies Davy spying on her, and stares at him all sad and pathetically before going back to her interview as Davy continues to stare, smiling all lovestruck at her. And Dylan rasps "You gonna take the job?" and Davy goes "uh-uh" and Dylan rasps "íCos of Donna?" and Davy just laughs and finally says "You goiní in?" like itís military maneuvers and Dylan rasps "I donít think so." And Davy stares at Dylan and Dylan stares at Davy before skulking off. And then Camille comes doinging out to hug Davy and coo about how much she missed him. And he coos back, the big hypocrite.

And inside, Kelly comes over to tell Donna sheís "dating Henny Youngman." Actually, Kelly, youíre a little more than dating him now iffen you are all engaged and stuff. And donít you mean youíre also best friends/roommates with Henny Youngman, too? But Donna... Donnaís too lovestruck to respond. No, despite all her great successes in the fashion world, despite the fact that she has the biggest-name editors at her feet, it means nothing without the one she loves. So she just stares with a Sad, Pathetic Face out at Davy and Camille hugging, and ask Kelly "Question: Can you suddenly realize that a break-up was stupid. I mean a really old break up... Ďs there some sort of statute of limitations?" Like, yeah, Kellyís not gonna see through THAT hypothetical question, Donna. But I guess she doesnít, because she goes "Whatíre you talking about?" And Donna goes "What if I looked everywhere else, only to realize that what I want is right in front of me?" And she and Kelly stare at Camille and Davy, with Kelly making pissy faces at that nasty Camille, and Donna goes "I think maybe Iím still in love with him" and sighs all Sad and Pathetically with those Sad Lip Moue Twitches. Poor, poor Donna.

Now weíve got to get rid of that awful, evil Camille, standing in Dear, Sweet Donnaís way of true happiness! Weíve got to do away with LawyerBoy, whoís preventing Dylan and Kelly from being together! And, in keeping with the Reused Plot Theme of this episode, I see by our previews for this coming Wednesday that Dylan and LB (ersatz Brandon) go on a motorcycle trip (like Dylie and Brandon, also "both in love with the same woman," did) (Reused Plot Count: 13) and LB accidentally ingests acid, like Brandon did (Reused Plot Count: 14). And of course his antics with some hippychick tart at a fake-Burning Man rally will give Kelly just cause to pitch him, despite the fact that Dylanís a total slut and Brandon cheated on her too (or else itíll make LawyerBoy realize heís not ready for marriage and has to "let Kelly go" so she and Dylan can reunite). And I almost barfed at Donna Doing Comedy when she discovers Camille and Davy have doinked (Reused Plot, like the girl from the Sporty Spice Gang) (Reused Plot Count: 15) on the floor of the store (which is a nice thing for Davy to be doing when heís confessed heís still in love with Donna). Love the one your with, guys!

And this Rantís moniker contest has only 15 items to identify, to make it a little easier and less time consuming. Tell me the theme and the source, as it were, and win a fabo prize package!

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