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|:HOME:|:RANTS:|:MARCH 1, 2000
"Eddie Waitkus"
March 1, 2000

Better late than never, eh? I mean, there are priorities and then there are priorities... I spent the last week in Seattle visiting my brother, and my mom and Gram flew up from San Diego, so it was a regular olí family reunion! My brother even drove us up Mt. Rainier, where there was about 8 feet of snow on the ground and more falling. Of course, if you knew my brother, youíd immediately realize that 8 feet of snow = about 8 pounds of it thrown in your face, shoved down your back, plastered in your ears... along with being pushed down in it repeatedly, having to dig huge handfuls of it out of your collar and sleeves and shoe-tops, and, as soon as youíre dry and warm again, being forced to repeat the whole process. So, by the time I arrived back in NY yesterday after an onerous flight from Seattle to LA and then an onerous red-eye from LA to NY, I had developed quite a lovely head-cold. Yuck.

So Iím getting an even later start than planned on my make-up Rant. But I hope itís worth the wait... as I mentioned before, thereíll be a little contest involved in this one, and, if it goes over okay, mebbe itíll become a regular feature in these last painful weeks of 90210ness. Details to come....

Anyway, we begin this weekís assailment of asinine antics at Casa Skeevy, where, with immediate foreshadowing of the Inevitable Donna and Davy Reunion, Donna "The Sun Always Shines On TV" Martin and Davy "Saved By Zero" Silver have been paying homage to baby Maddy. And Donna claims that Maddy "looks just like" Janet "Turning Japanese" Sosna Sanders, but both Janet and Davy protest that she "looks just like Steve," to which Davy clarifies by adding "I dunno, the way she cries when she doesnít get her way, the joys of breastfeeding...." which actually means Iíve given Skeevy Stevie "Only A Lad" Sanders more credit than even his friends do by classifying him as an adolescent boy instead of an infant. Well, then, I stand corrected. And I donít mean to be rude or anything, but, um, wouldnít it be fairly easy to tell which parent Maddy "looks just like"? Anyway, Janet prattles on that "I know this is embarrassing to admit, but if you guys werenít here, Iíd still be up there watching her sleep." And we know this isnít because sheís so attached to Maddy or anything, given that sheís dumped her for a week at a time at Mama Sosnaís, but rather because itís not like she would have any other life. I mean, work? Friends? Hobbies? No way, man, not in Hillsterland. And then, oh yes, Donna starts channeling Kelly "Everything She Wants" Taylor and blithers "Ooooh, I want one!" I mean, so soon into it, and we already have The Stupidest Thing Uttered In Tonightís Episode- No, wait, I jumped the gun, because Donna continues "Canít you just pick one up at the mall?" Uh huh, yeah, Donna. Thatís the ticket. And when you get tired of it, you can return it for a full refund... or credit toward the new improved version! And it comes with its own handy carrying case, so when youíre not playing with it, you can put it away. No muss, no fuss, no getting fat or going through labor! You dumb bint- But wait! I jumped the gun AGAIN because THEN Donna adds "Oh, wait, I have to find Mr. Right first."

...Ow... ow... ow.... Head... hurts... from... banging... it... against... wall....

And Iím also channeling Kelly because I canít help wondering... do you think the writers do this to me on purpose? As some prolonged form of torture?

Anyway, this just continues to foreshadow the Donna-Davy Reunion [unless the writers are scrambling madly to rewrite the final episode, now in which Davy discovers heís gay (without any previous foreshadowing lo these many years) and Donna meets a super-rich mogul type and elopes. Itís too much to hope that the final episode would be Donna committing to single life and her career and Davy realizing heís a total loser zero and joining the Army or something], what with Donnaís nearly pathological compulsive emphasis on finding "Mr. Right"... despite the fact that her father suddenly dropped dead only DAYS ago. I mean, why grieve and mourn when you could be, I donít know, hanging out with (Hillster Truism!) your friends and yammering like an insecure 15-year-old Mormon girl [an aside: much of my family is Mormon] about how much you want to find Mr. Right and start squeezing out chilluns.

There REALLY is more to life for women than getting married and having babies. Honest.

Anyway, Janet "Big In Japan" Sosna Sanders has just the (timely, tactful) solution! A blind date! Oh yes, as if the last three times in four episodes wasnít enough, we ONCE AGAIN are going to be party to the barrage of Insecure Tori-Donna Praise by way of a boy who will naturally fall madly in crush with Donna "Addicted to Love" Martin. So Janet mentions her "printer" to whom she owes dinner, who, of course, is the "perfect guy" for Donna. I personally would roundhouse-kick any friend of mine who gushed that they had the "perfect guy" for me... I mean, talk about unrealistic expectations. Anyway, for some reason Davy "Johnny Are You Queer?" Silver sees fit to laugh and go "A printer?" Yeah, like, you should talk, Mr. Pseudo-Wannabe-DJ. And then Donna demurs with A Required Mention of Her Fatherís Death (letís just get that bothersome necessity out of the way quickly, shall we?), claiming that she "isnít ready for another dating disaster." Oh. So maybe she WONíT be reuniting with Davy...? And then PodJanet quickly amends the date situation to a "totally casual" thing where theyíll just "have people" over for dinner. ĎCos, yeah, remember from the last Rant, thatís what Grown-Up Married Couples do... they have people over for dinner. Me and The Husband-Type Man do it at least once a week. It solidifies our bond as A Couple. *eye roll*

And then thereís a timely knock at the door, and, dear God, itís Noah "Mental Hopscotch" Hunter, drunk outa his skull, announcing to PodJanet, and I quote: "Hey. I gotta use your pinball machine, okay?" Man, this is just an embarrassment of stupidity riches, innit? And, for some reason, Janet doesnít balk, she doesnít protest, she lets this drunk, unstable weirdo in her home ≠ where her baby is! ≠ without objection. Um. Okay. So Noah makes a beeline for the pinball machine. And Janet says all feebly that "Maddyís asleep" but Noah drunkenly chortles "Awright, letís get this goiní!" and "Crank this baby up, címon!" and starts fwinging away at the machine.

This is just lame and pathetic. WHY ISNíT NOAH DEAD YET?!

And of COURSE the poor, helpless Hillster Grrls canít do anything about this troubling situation, but need a manly man like Davy to take charge. So while they look on in consternation and Donna naturally queries "You didnít drive here, did you?" Davy swaggers over and unplugs the machine. And then Donna of COURSE wants to take care of Noah and drive him home, and Davy protests that "you donít have to deal with this" but Donna KNOWs that, but is such a kind and caring and concerned and loving and sensitive and tenderhearted friend that she wants to anyway (well, at least, now she does, even though she barely noticed Noah when he was kidnapped and held for ransom, which I thought was a nice change for Donna). And although Noah at first protests that he doesnít want to go home, all it takes is a compassionate pat from Donna and theyíre on their way, leaving Davy huffing and rolling his eyes and Janet filling screen space. And, darn it all, why is Noah even alive? WHY?!

And then over at the Beverly Royale With Cheese Hotel, for some reason, Stevie "Sex Dwarf" Sanders and Dylan "Bad Boys" McKay are AGAIN watching TV together. I mean, what does this say for the quality of their lives? Their friendship? But, hey, at least they arenít watching a Love Boat re-run, but rather are glued to Rock & Roll Jeopardy... to which Dylan in true esoteric rebel-man style knows all the answers, rasping them out in offhand manner as he gets up from the sofa and heads (where else?) over to the bar area to fetch himself a beer. And then Skeevy Stevie starts playing switches, and lands on a local news station covering "Emergency Landing at LAX" of a plane from Phoenix, where he spies a passenger that looks just like Jack McKay. And Stevie says "D, check this out" and Dylan saunters over all rebel-man style, with a hand in his well-worn jeans pocket, the other hand tipping the beer nonchalantly to his lips. Sooo cool. And Stevie tells Dylie that one of the passengers looked just like his dad and Dylan rasps that his dadís been dead for seven years but Stevie uses a Mediaramaism and says "Iím just sayiní, look." And first off, like Stevie knows the news channel is going to go back and show the same passengers? And second, especially, if Jack McKay is in hiding, why wouldnít he, I donít know, AVOID NEWS CAMERAS? Especially in LA. For that matter, why would he even BE in LA? And third, if Jack is on the run or undercover or anything, why wouldnít he have grown a beard or mustache or changed his hair or some SOMETHING to make himself look different than Jack McKay? Anyway, Dylan then stares for a long time at the TV, all haunted in true rebel-man fashion. Why, heís so moved, he even stops drinking his beer.

So after the tedium of the endless intro shots, Kelly "Who Do You Want To Be Today?" Taylor comes strolling out of her Dysfunction Junction bedroom dressed to the eyeteeth in a Training Matron black suit with this floppy collared olive green blouse unbuttoned down to there and... a... red camisole/undershirt thing peaking out. (A note: someone mentioned that I donít describe the clothes like xix used to. Itís true... I usually donít notice, unless theyíre spectacularly bad or noteworthy for whatever Stereotypical Hillster reason. Plus I hate using up all my good adjectives on yet ANOTHER of Donnaís chaos-print skintight shirts... ;) )And her hairís all piled up and her make-up is done to dewy Kelly perfection and her jewelry is tasteful and naturally sheís clutching a little handbag. And in the hall she runs into Donna "Love and Pride" Martin, and Kelly, firmly stuck in Me! Mode, announces "I know, I couldnít look more corporate." Well, yeah, Kelly, you could, if youíd button up your shirt and were talking on a cell phone and carrying a laptop computer case with you. And Donna, ever the reassuring and kindhearted friend, says "You look great, youíre gonna do great." And Kelly huffs and sighs and whines "My first day of work and Iím already dreading it" and Donna says "Well, just talk to Pia." And Iím wondering why theyíre actually going on with this dumb plot? I mean, they must really want to drag out the Kelly Taylor Self Discovery thing here, because any other season, Kelly wouldíve resolved her dilemma and quit the agency off-camera and it wouldíve been over and done with in one episode. Whoever plays PR Pia must be, like, Tori Spellingís favorite bikini-line waxer or something, because why else would they keep bringing her back? And back to Kellyís work problems, why wouldnít sheíve already talked to PR Pia about this? Anyway, they wander into the kitchen where Kelly pours coffee and re-caps the problem with working on a ballot initiative about prohibiting gay students clubs at public high schools, as if we didnít get it from the ten minutes of Last Weekís scenes. And then Donna says that sheís sure there are "plenty of accounts" and that PR Pia could "just put you on one you believe in." Yeah, Ďcos first day on the job, Kellyís gonna have her pick of which account to work for, and if she doesnít like this one, then PR Pia can put her on that one, no problem. And Kelly "Opportunities" Taylor pouts her strawberry candy lips and baby-talks "I guess."

But then she spies Noah "Girlfriend In A Coma" Hunter all sacked out on their couch. And Donna "Love On Your Side" Martin says by way of explanation that Davy "says heís been drinking for the past couple of weeks... and I was... kind of the designated driver last night." And, since Noah supposedly lives with Davy "I Know What Boys Like" Silver, why didnít Donna either let Davy take Noah home last night, or take her there herself? Whatever. And, gawd, keeping with the Stupidity Riches, Donna tries to rationalize Kellyís doubts about Donnaís whole Jesus-complex: "Itís just... he offered his help when my dad died... and... Iím just offering mine back." Um, did I miss something the other week? Because I could swear that, except for making a token appearance at the funeral, Noah was pretty much completely absent from the mourning proceedings. In fact, I seem to remember him making several excuses NOT to be around. But, yeah, to someone as steeped in dysfunctional relationships as Donna, I guess that fills her requirements of "offering his help" to her.

Anyway, Kelly first has to praise Donnaís Essential Goodness and Loving Nature by saying "Iím sure youíre just being a friend..." then continues "but I just want to make sure that youíre not putting his needs in front of yours." And since when would that bother you, Kelly? I mean, I thought thatís what Hillster Grrls, yourself included, did as a general rule. Ah, well, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed are kings....

And Donna has no response but for a meekly bleated "I know."

And Kelly has no response but to sing "íKay...Bíbyeeee" and bring it right on back to the center of the universe ≠ namely, her ≠ by adding "Wish me luck!" Which Donna, of course, does.

And then, with Kelly gone, Donna turns to gaze at Noah, looking all compassionate and sympathetic and warm and pityingly ooey-gooey, because, you know, thatís what Donna is. God. Do we REALLY have to go through this AGAIN!? I guess itís so when Noah finally offs (or tries to off) himself within the next episode or so, Donna can be all Deeply Affected by the tragedy and, yet ONE MORE TIME, We the TV Audience can be beat senseless by the essential message of 90210: Donna-Tori is the Greatest Human Being On The Face Of The Earth... and all the other planets in this solar system. Lest we be tempted to forget. But maybe, on some level, Tori is aware of the high level of bullshit associated with her characterís Goodness, because sheís wearing a really huge pair of slipper-shoes suitable for wading through copious amounts of offal.

...And, for the love of God, Donnaís actually wearing an Itty Bitty t-shirt... with the letters B-A-B-Y on little building blocks on it. You know, the kind of logo usually seen on maternity t-shirts...? Is this more foreshadowing? Will Donna, not Kelly, be the one to Breed? Could the final Hillster coup de t‚t be that Donna achieves what Kelly Taylor has Wanted all these seasons (as if someone as Plasticine and malnourished as Donna-Tori could actually gestate and lactate, anyway)...? Could the shot of Donna gazing Maternally down at Poor, Pathetic Childlike Noah have dragged on any more?

So then at LAX, Dylan "Rebel Rebel" McKay and Stevie "Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage" Sanders are accosting some poor doofus at the check-in gate. And Stevie AGAIN uses the Mediaramaism "Iím just sayiní," this time speculating about the brilliant conspiracy to pull off "a stunt like that" and goes into details about Jack "blowing up right in front of" Dylan. Wotta sensitive guy, that Stevie. And Dylan rasps his insistence that it "was no stunt" and "no conspiracy" and "my fatherís dead" blah blah blah LukeSkywalkercakes. And why on earth would Stevie and Dylan have come down to the airport and be asking at the check-in gate about the passenger list, huh? I mean, why not call the airline? Why not go to customer service? That check-in dudeís just there to issue boarding passes and call for wheelchairs and stuff like that. Anyway, Dylan, for all his supposed rebel-man blasť manner, when told that the airline canít give out info about passengers (I mean, duh!), suddenly just goes off on the guy, rasping "Well if you canít help, whatíre you doiní back there? Iíll tell you whatcha do... push those buttons, look on that screen, and tell me whether that guy on that plane was my dad or not." Ooooh, Dylan. You angst-ridden, tortured soul! Thankfully, though, the check-in guy isnít impressed and tells Chump One and Chump Two to step aside.

Okay, so. Now at some Supercorp Corporate Building with all of the necessary palm trees and big reflecting windows and spraying fountains we get to see Kelly "Blind Vision" Taylor, in her Corporate Clothes, marching into an IKEA-decorated Corporate Conference Room, where everyone at the pentagonal table is provided with their own... um... telephones and... uh... bottles of chilled Perrier. Trť LA, non? And with seconds to go before some Big Corporate Conference, Kellyís accosting PR Pia (who mebbe is Toriís publicist in real life and wanted to appear on-cam for kicks). And why on earth would PR Pia notíve talked to Kelly (or, in her words, "been by to welcome you aboard") on her first day of work? I mean, wouldnít some kind of, I donít know, orientation or training or preparation of SOME kind be necessary before Kelly takes part in some Big Corporate Conference like this on her first day of work? Iím starting a (finally!) new job on Monday, as an editorial assistant (which is about as entry-level as entry-level gets in the publishing world) for a rather large textbook division of an even larger publishing house (*major jitters*), and I have to spend at LEAST the first day in an orientation-training type of environment. Even on a first day at the most banal and rudimentary of fast-food jobs, you still have to be shown how to refill the ice machine or run the register! I mean, you donít just walk into a new job, especially a Big Corporate Job like this, and take a central place on some huge, important project... well, I guess unless youíre Kelly (or Donna or Brandon or Steve or-), because of COURSE Kelly doesnít need any kind of initial training... sheís just so magically gifted and talented that she doesnít need no silly, trivial learning process or nuthiní like that....

Anyway, so PR Pia naturally is soooo super-busy she canít talk to Kelly today, and she kicks off this Big Corporate Meeting by announcing to the Corporate Men who have taken their places around the Corporate Conference Table that they are "officially screwing up." Wow. This PR firm actually has a formal office to authorize and sanction screw-ups? Kewl! I just hope the hiring of Kelly "Election Day" Taylor is next on their list.... Anyway, some guy explains that "polls show voters equally divided" and PR Pia adds that theyíve been losing ground "ever since our opponents started saying that our initiative is a violation of gay studentsí civil rights." And Iíd like to think that California is a liberal enough state that something like this would never happen, but when I was talking to The Husband-Type Man, whoís in LA on business, he told me that the proposition that would recognize gay marriages as legal in CA had not passed in the election this week, mainly due to the involvement/contributions by religious activist groups. I guess I over-estimated my home state. But anyway, maybe the ballot initiative people wouldíve been better off courting the involvement of said religious activists instead of hiring a PR firm, Ďcos I guess the Fear Factor is still the way to go when preventing Evils like Gay Marriages from happening in our One Nation Under God. Of course, it does no good to tell some of the family values-hyping religious activists that by preventing gay marriages from legally taking place, theyíre actually preventing the formation of families. Of course, weíre forgetting that marriage is a holy and sacred union between a man and a woman, and certainly those creepy, icky, sinful homos out there could never uphold the sanctity of marriage, which is the cornerstone of the foundation of our society. No, it takes a man and a woman to make a marriage, a holy union in the eyes of God in which they commit to love, honor, cherish and respect each other and live in fidelity for the rest of their lives. Thatís why FOX TV is upholding the sanctity of said institution by broadcasting a two-hour game show/beauty pageant type of contest where 50 women got to compete for being linked in holy, sacred matrimony with a multimillionaire theyíd never seen, never met, and knew nothing about. God knows, Darva and Rick should have the "right" to marry, while truly committed couples (some of whom have been together for decades) should be denied said right because ≠ *gasp!* ≠ they happen to be of the same sex. Moreover, itís heartwarming to see that Darva and Rick and FOX TV and all the other people involved upheld the sanctity of marriage by making sure that an annulment clause was included in the contract, so any time either party felt they made a mistake or anything, they could just cross out their boo-boo and be done with it. And lucky for all those fags and dykes and queers and fairies out there, not only do they have Dwanollah Ranting on their behalf, and Dylan going to bat (heh) for their cause, but theyíve got Kelly on their side too, because in response to PR Piaís comment about "a violation of gay studentsí civil rights," Kelly responds "isnít that what it is?"

And lemme just say, I actually prefer this kind of Ethical Questioning story line to a Hillster Saving a Poor Gay Other plot.

So in response to Kelly "Bigmouth Strikes Again" Taylorís question, thereís heavy silence and significant looks around the Corporate Conference Table, and finally PR Pia says "Iíd like you all to meet our new associate, Kelly Taylor. She still believes in truth in advertising." Cute, huh? And Kelly gives a meek, tight-lipped smile to the others. And why would Kelly not only be thrown in the middle of a Big Corporate Project her first day at work, but also without even being introduced to her fellow associates or them being introduced to her before a Big Corporate Meeting? I mean, really. And most of the associates are also minorities (i.e. Ethnic Others), including a black woman, an Asian man, a Hispanic man, and (?) a Jewish man ("Eli"), and I find it hard to believe that minorities would take part, even if from a business point of view, in a ballot initiative that is essentially a violation of civil rights. But thatís just me. I also thought California would be the next state to legally recognize gay marriage. So then Eli continues, mentioning some Big Speech planned for tomorrow nightís coalition event that will be attended by the press, the first draft of which is "weak" and "needs a total rewrite." And, in keeping with the High Level of Reality in this whole Kellyís New PR Job situation, despite the fact that sheís just expressed serious personal doubts about the ballot initiative, PR Pia... PR Pia gives Kelly the speech to rewrite for the head of the coalition of this ballot initiative to deliver at a press conference/rally attended by seventy-five members of the press. Yes, you heard right: Kelly "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" Taylorís first assignment on her first day at the first PR firm sheís ever worked for is not to sit in on a meeting or make contact phone calls that the other associates donít have time for or to even write a press release, but to write a speech that will be delivered by the coalition head at a televised conference. Tomorrow. The fuck? And Kelly, of course, looks all Surprised and Conflicted and puts down the water glass sheíd been holding with her atomic red fingernails and queries "[You want a new draft from] me?" And PR Pia challengingly says "Do you have a problem with that?" And Kelly sighs and huffs and pouts and looks Conflicted some more and says "No...." and smiles weakly again. And PR Pia snips "Good" and continues on with the meeting. And can someone please tell me why NONE OF THE OTHER ASSOCIATES DIDNíT OBJECT TO KELLY REWRITING THIS SPEECH?

So that night, over at Casa Skeevy, Davy "I Like Boys" Silver is cuddling Baby Maddy in the living room, adding continued credence to my persistent belief that he and Donna will ride off into the sunset together and start whelping ASAP. And Skeevy Stevie "Bedbugs and Ballyhoo" Sanders comes tromping in to pick up Maddy and coo and kiss all over her, which is the first demonstration of paternal love weíve seen since her baptism. And Stevie wants to know where everyone is, and Davy informs him that Janet "Planet Claire" Sosna Sanders and Camille "Is There Something I Should Know?" Whatever Her Last Name Is and Donna "Living in Oblivion" Martin are "upstairs" ... "talkiní Ďbout somethiní," which is supposed to prime us for the Hijinx that will soon Ensue. And so Stevie and Davy troop on upstairs to see what the girlies are up to, with Stevie informing Davy about the fact that Dylan "Love Is The Drug" McKayís dad might be alive and that he was getting news footage of the plane blah blah blah. And Davy mentions the obvious, that this is "gonna mess him up" before Stevie goes to "put Maddy down" like the good, responsible father that he is. Uh huh. And then Davy hears giggles coming from the master bedroom, and sneaks over to eavesdrop on one of the most puke-worthy double-meaning set-up conversations since Mr. Furley overheard Jack Tripper and Chrissy Snow trying to install a shower curtain in their apartment:

"Men [mumble mumble] think we actually needed one!"

"Shows what they know!"

And PodJanet says "When Steve first gave me one, I couldnít believe how good it felt! Although... I have to admit, it was a little smaller than I hoped for."

And Donna says "Kelly told me that Brandon tried to give her one once and she wouldnít let him."

And Camille announces "The only ones Iíve ever had are fake."

And Donna says all disbelieving "Oh, címon, youíve never had a real one?"

And Camille sighs "Never.... Itís too politically incorrect to ask a guy to give me one!"

And Donna says "Well, you can save your breath with David because trust me, heís NEVER going to give you one!"

And, innit fuh-nee? Davy thinks theyíre talking about orgasms, but theyíre actually talking about... fur coats. And... Um, fur? Fur coats? In LA? Seriously, my first winter in NY, I was taken aback by all of the fur coats worn here. In LA, you just donít see that. Not only is it usually not cold enough to wear a big olí fur coat, but there are so many anti-fur activists and campaigns... if you wear fur out in public, youíre likely to receive a "do you know where that coat came from?" lecture at best... and a can of red paint thrown on you at worst. There are the "Iíd rather go naked than wear fur" billboards everywhere. But, okay, so, I hear that fur is the latest trend on all the runways, so weíll pretend that itís politically safe to wear in the year 2000. Now then. How could Steve afford a fur coat for Janet after paying for preemie hospital bills and alien goo for the newspaper and stuff like that? Brandon, supposedly PC Brandon "Boing Boom Tchak" Walsh, knowing Kellyís supposedly a vegetarian, tried to give her a fur coat? Back in the day when the most controversial thing to wear was not a thong, but fur? Camilleís had more than one fake fur coat? And Donnaís skeptical about the fact that sheís never owned a real fur? And Camille thinks that she has to... ask a guy to give her one instead of buying one for herself if she really wants one? All of these women in their early 20ís own fur coats and think it an integral wardrobe component that a boy has to buy for you? Really? And if a fur is such a treasured item, why was Camille sitting on it? And... why would Donna know that David would never give Camille a fur coat? Think of the potential Hijinx if Donnaíd said "Trust me, Davidís NEVER going to give you one. He doesnít believe in them" or "He thinks theyíre superficial."

Anyway, then thereís the typical interrupted-by-the-doorbell clichť, which sends Donna off into a frenzy of prattling insecurity about her upcoming blind date and as the Hillster Girlies file out of the bedroom (not really noticing Davy standing there), Donna starts babbling about wanting to "go out the back door" and "Tell Irv (Irv? Eric? Huh?) I got sick or was in a car accident or moved to Namibia!" And then she makes this weird face and goes "hn!" And so do I, except in my case, it was more of an "uch."

And then thereís the Stupidity of Davy "Hyperactive" Silver pretending he wasnít listening and Camille "Confusion" Whatever Her Last Name Is being confused and laughing and shaking her Dave Stewart haircutted head and telling him "Youíre weird... youíre cute [on what planet, Camille?] but youíre weird" and kissing him on the cheek before they head off downstairs to join the Gang.

And downstairs, Janetís opening the door for Irv/Eric/Whoever, whoís wearing this goofy grayish jacket like bus drivers wear, and, in keeping with the typical Donnaís Dates pattern, heís another nondescript, blondish, mildly good-looking in an oatmeal-for-breakfast and drawer-full-of-clean-white-undershirts sort of way, with a ultra-white smile and dimples and polite, charming manner. And he first tells Janet "I hope Iím not late" before being introduced to Donna "Look of Love" Martin. And of COURSE Irv/Eric/Whoever is immediately charmed by Donnaís beauty and sweetness, and makes a charming, polite joke about "youíre very brave to be doing this." And Donna continues to charm him by saying "Well, would you be insulted if I told you that when the bell rang, I tried to make a break for it?" And Irv/Eric/Whoeverís dimple deepens as he admits "I circled the block three times... and backed down the driveway.... Shows what a fool I am." And then he and Donna make these mutually adoring closed-lipped trying-to-be-demure-and-charming grins at each other as golden bells ring and birds break into sweet song and all the little furry creatures come hopping and creeping out of the forest and the sunlight slants warm and radiant through the trees and swans sail together on a glassy lakeís surface and Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are awakened from their enchanted sleeps with loveís first kiss, and the glass slipper slides easily onto Cinderellaís foot, and Rapunzelís tears fall into the princeís eyes so he can see again and Beauty proclaims her love for the Beast, breaking the spell and restoring him to his princely self and the Goose-Girl is revealed in all her royal glory to her betrothed and somewhere the soundtrack for "Iím Wishing" or "Once Upon a Dream" or "So This Is Love" starts playing-

And then Janet offers Irv/Eric/Whoever something to drink and off they go, leaving Donna... dear Lord... leaving Donna to turn to Camille and goon "Do you think he wants two children or three?" with a self-congratulatory grin so huge that it looks like her cheek implants are about to pop through the skin stretched over them. Ah, yes, another Stupid Thing. Didnít Donna learn her lesson about jumping to great big relationship conclusions with Jerry the Headhunter only a few weeks ago? WHY WHY WHY WHY would ANYONE be THIS STUPID?! In fact, itís kind of become a family joke that my mom is such a total and completely hopeless romantic that sheís given to these kind of way-too-unrealistically-optimistic comments.... On mine and The Husband-Type Manís second ≠ second ≠ date, she asked me "Do you think this is The One?" I mean, Mom! I barely KNOW the guy yet! I donít even know if he prefers Pepsi or Coke or what kind of books he reads or where he went to school at this point! Or after my brother had been dating his current girlfriend for a couple weeks, she wanted to know if "this is the person you could imagine spending the rest of your life with?" Considering that sheís only NINETEEN, Mom, that might be a bit premature. So now itís become a huge joke between my brother and I to do the "So, can you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person? Can you see your unborn children in his/her eyes? Is... he/she... The ONE?" routine... much to my motherís exasperation. Poor Mom. She takes so much shit from us....

Anyway, at Janet "China Girl" Sosna Sandersí Kelly Taylored Dinner Party (why arenít Kelly and LawyerBoy there? Hey, weíve been blessed with a thusfar LB-less episode! Woo hoo!), the tableís beautifully laid, complete with an arranged floral centerpiece, and everyoneís eating and drinking wine and all that dinner party stuff. And Irv/Eric/Whoever is holding his fork upside down (major pet peeve of mine) and asks Stevie "So you submitted a story on UFO sightings for a Pulitzer Prize?" but like Brandon "Der Kommisar" Walsh lo these many seasons ago, he pronounces it "pyew-litzer," not, as my Websterís cites, "pool-itzer" (or even the currently acceptable "pull-itzer"). As if the concept of Skeevy Stevie "Nowhere Girl" Sanders submitting ANYTHING for ANY kind of prize wasnít terrifying enough in itself.... And Janet, sitting correctly at the foot of the table while Skeevy Stevieís at the head, says all Janet the Bossy Jealous Nagging Wife-like, "Honey... weíre trying to impress Irv!" (Ah, so it IS "Irv....") And if Irvís their printer, doesnít he already know the sad and pathetic quality of stories that the so-called Beat prints? Why would the fact that Stupid Skeevy Stevie submitted one for the Pulitzer Prize make the quality of the tabloid any more unimpressive? I guess because it only underscores Stevieís essential Stupidity.... And Stevie says all seriously "We had very reliable sources for the story." And Camille says "Oh yeah? Do they have three or four eyes?" Geddit? The sources are aliens! Haw! Oh, the fuh-nee-ness! And Stevie... oh, gads, Stevie makes this cross-eyed "nyah!" face at her which was only slightly less horrific that his "belly man" routine with Carly: Single Momís kid. And Camille, Iím guessing that aliens have two eyes. Blue. And curly, receding blond hair cut in a Lilí Caesar Ďdo. Anyway, and then Davy snarfs in his wine glass and says "I got it" as someone starts knocking (ah, yes, again, The Knock) on the front door. Um, Davy? Wait for your cue next time, míkay? And Stevie smiles all charmingly and Donna jokes that Janetís her real friend, she just tolerates Steve, and Irv, utterly charmed by Donna, laughs and Janet laughs and Steve says "Thank you very much" and laughs and I can hardly stand the camaraderie.

And so Davy opens the front door and, what a surprise, itís Poor, Drunk Noah "Suicide Blonde" Hunter. And Poor Noah staggers drunkenly in, patting Davy on the shoulder and scratching his head drunkenly and looking at the assembled Hillsters, all of whom (especially Donna) regard him with Great Dismay. And Poor Noah laughs drunkenly and says "Thank you for the invite!" while everyone continues to regard him with Great Dismay. No one says anything. They just stare at him. No one says "Noah, chill... Kelly and LawyerBoy arenít here" or "We didnít invite Dylan, either, you idiot." And Janet the BJNW turns to Stevie and bugs her eyes out and presses her lips together in a "Youíre the man, DO something!" manner... because of COURSE itís up to the "man" of the house to handle this. And Poor Noah stumbles drunkenly down the step to lean and whisper to Janet "Heís farting" (Oh... wait... after a couple rewinds, I think heís actually mumbling "íM starving") before dropping drunkenly into Davyís empty seat and drunkenly picking up Davyís wine glass by the glass part, not the stem (with, I might add, his fingers inside the glass... nice drunken touch, huh?) and slurping. And Stevie stammers "Uh, Noah? This isnít really a good time for this.... Noah?" As if thereís ever a good time for your friend to come barging over, drunk off his ass? And Noah drunkenly slurps some more and looks around the table and mumbles drunkenly (which isnít all too different from his mumbling soberly) "Whaí we got here? Don-na... and, um, date? Awright. How you doiní Mr. Date?" And I guess Noah drunk sounds just like Joey from Friends or something. And the Assembled Hillsters CONTINUE to do nothing but regard Noah with Great Dismay and exchange looks of Great Dismay and sigh in Great Dismay and make faces of Great Dismay. I mean, why doesnít anyone say "Hey, loser, what the hell is your problem?" or "Noah, take it elsewhere!" or "You arenít welcome in our house if youíre going to act like an asshole"?

And Irv responds to Noahís drunken "How you doiní?" with a terse "Hi" and the camera cuts from Noah to Donna to Irv to Donna to Noah to Donna to Noah to Donna looking at Irv to Irv looking and Noah to Donna looking at Noah, all the time Irv and Donna are making faces of Great Dismay and Noahís leering drunkenly and drunkenly grabbing Davyís wine glass around the rim again and slurping drunkenly. And why is it now, after a couple months, that Noahís suddenly all Tragically and Drunkenly Upset that he and Donna have broken up and Donnaís on a date? I mean, itís not like she didnít take Jerry the Headhunter to the PPAD, or doesnít hangs out with Davy constantly, so why is Noah now suddenly jealous of which boys Donna spends her time with? And itís not like Donna showed one iota of concern about Noahís kidnapping and brush with death... I mean, We the TV Audience have never even seen her mention it or seen them talk about it, have we? Thereíre just big gaps in reason and continuity here.... So last week Noah was all drunkenly tragic because of the supposed "curse" on his family, and this week itís because of supposed unrequited love and need for Donna? If heís so in love with Donna, how come he didnít show her any attention when Doc croaked last week? How come he hasnít complained that Donna didnít pay attention to him when he was being held for ransom?

And then Donna kind of shifts around in her seat and leans to whisper earnestly to Irv "Did you have a good time tonight?" Huh? Mere minutes into dinner, and Donnaís using the past tense, as if itís been some great, prolonged event? And Irv of COURSE whispers earnestly back "Yeah, I did." And Donna whispers earnestly "I did too, I had a really good time-" Like yeah, Iíll bet that fifteen minutes of dinner banter was a laugh-riot. "- but.. see, Noahís an... heís a good friend and... heeza... Ďsyou can see heís going through a really hard time right now-"

And Donnaís earnest whispering is cut off when Noah drunkenly bangs his fork on his glass and chastises Donna drunkenly "Hey, hey... Ďsnot polite to whisper at the table!" And Donna makes another face of Great Dismay and Noah drunkenly picks up the wine glass by the rim again and slurps drunkenly. And Irv, of COURSE, whispers earnestly to Donna "Can I call you later?" and Donna whispers earnestly back "Iíd like that" and Irv gets up and leaves with a polite "Dinner was great" and "No, I can see myself out" and a squeezing of Donnaís shoulders. Why should Irv be the one to leave? Wouldnít it either be a mass exodus or someone escorting Poor Drunk Noah out? Why would Irv even want to see Donna again after she basically gives him the boot for a drunken asshole like Noah? I mean, shouldnít his "Issues! Baggage! Problems!" warning bell be ringing like mad by now? Oh, no, never, because of COURSE heís soooo smitten with Donna that he wants to see her despite all this. So Irv leaves and Janet the BJNW looks at Stevie in BJNWly Great Dismay, and Stevie looks at Janet in Great Dismay, and Donna looks at Noah in Great Dismay, and Davy and Camille look at each other in Great Dismay, and Noah drunkenly finishes off the wine in the glass while Donna continues to stare in Great Dismay at him. And for some reason, STILL no one tells Noah to leave or quit being a dick or nuthiní. They just keep staring. In Great Dismay. O-kay.

And over at the Royale With Cheese, Dylan "The Never Ending Story" McKay is sitting and drinking and brooding and watching the videotaped news footage of his dad getting off the plane. And Dylan drinks and pauses the tape and stares and drinks and broods and stares at the tape some more and broods some more and stares at the tape broodingly some more and broods, staring at the tape some more and finally rasps, brooding and staring at the tape, "You son of a bitch...." ["No.... Thatís not true! Thatís not true! Thatís impossible!"]

So over at a Nat-less Peach Pit, Davy "Hit That Perfect Beat, Boy" Silver comes swaggering in to meet (dammit, my luck didnít hold out) Matt "Valley Girl" LawyerBoy and Skeevy Stevie "Shake The Disease" Sanders, whoíre chowing on Megaburgers and fries and drinking nearly-iceless colas. And without a greeting, Davy grabs a chair, swings it around and straddles it (how very Brandon of him) and says "Okay, hereís the situation." And Iím waiting for him to continue with an insipid rap about how his parents went away for a weekís vacation, but instead he blathers on about some date tonight with Camille in which he hopes "one thingíll lead to another".... And all this after, what, a couple weeks? Have Camille and Davy proclaimed love for each other? Or even committed to exclusive dating? I mean, call me old-fashioned in this oh-so-modern age, but sex really isnít (or shouldnít be, IMHO) part of the getting-to-know-you process. Can ANYONE in Hillsterland manage to control their hormones for longer than a week or two? Except for Donnaís Great White Sacrifice, I donít think weíve ever seen a Hillster ≠ especially not a Hillster Male (Iím talking to you especially, Mr. Double Standard Sanders) ≠ wait for sex or choose abstinence. Well, there was when Kelly was dating Brandonís competitor Mark the TV Station Guy, but the only reason they didnít doink is because they got food poisoning and there were fires and stuff that prevented them from doing the deed. I mean, WHAT is the rush? I have yet to hear a compelling argument why a couple should become sexually active within, say, the first three months or so of dating. Or why they shouldnít wait longer, even. Well, other than the immediate sexual/physical gratification rationalization, but that doesnít really wash with me. I personally donít even want to kiss a guy on the first date, much less doink. I guess Iím lucky that my mom and my Gram always provided solid values for me, never telling me "sex before marriage is wrong and if you do it youíre a slut!" or "just do whatever feels good, honey," but rather that "your body is a treasure, so donít just share it with anyone." Itíd be nice if 90210 (or any teen-oriented drama) could provide that kind of an example to todayís teens. It scares me to see that teen magazines in which I used to read about "How to Give Yourself A Breast Examination" or "What You Need to Know About STDs" now feature articles about "hey, why not have a threesome?" or "flings can be fun!" or "sex with an ex: go for it!" This things are tricky enough for the average adult... why bamboozle insecure teens with this crap? Good grief.

And speaking of "good grief"... in reaction to Davy "One Thing Leads To Another" Silverís "one thingíll lead to another" plan for his date tonight, Stevie "Thereís A Place In Hell For Me and My Friends" Sanders... eyew... Stevie gives Davy his Megawatt Grin of Great Skeeviness and is laughing all Skeevily and raising his eyebrows up and down with overt Skeevishability and groaning ≠ yes, God help us, GROANING ≠ in Skeevscivious delight until Davy... Davy goes "Steve!" and Stevie goes "Wh?" and Davy goes (SHOUT OUT! SHOUT OUT!) "Youíve got that stupid grin on your face. What?" And Stevie... eyeeeeeew! ... Stevie goes in bitter, angry, frustrated Skeevation (STUPID SKEEVINESS ALERT!) "Sorry, Iíve had sex twice in the last five months and each time it involved lactation, so gimme a break, okay?!"

Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh Gooood! I rilly rilly RILLY did NOT in this lifetime or any other need THAT INFORMATION OR THAT VISUAL ABOUT SKEEVY STEVIE SANDERS AND HIS POD WIFE, especially after Davyís earlier "the joys of breastfeeding" comment! Pardon me while I go regurgitate everything Iíve ingested in the last two days....

Guys, there was an actual creepy-crawly sensation on my skin after that. I guess we can expect that Stevie has every right to go out and doink some other dumb chick now since heís so sexually frustrated, huh? I sense a plot twist coming up....

And for some reason, LawyerBoy can still keep eating after this outburst...? And he says something with his mouth full that, after five repeated viewings, I still canít make out, other than the name "Dylan." And if it has anything to do with sex and lactation, I honestly do not, DO NOT, want to know.

And then Davy goes on to confess his "problem"... "Apparently... and I have this on good authority... Camille... canít be satisfied." And rev up the Overt Penis Boy-o-meter, because then LawyerBoy and Skeevy Stevie "hmmmm" and raise eyebrows and contemplate the ramifications of Davyís news, about how Camille "probably fakes it really really well" and they throw around other Skeevy Penis Boyisms such as "performance issues" and Davyís "sudden quest for knowledge" which, as LB asserts, "we will happily impart." God. Talk about blind leading the blind. I just pray we donít get an American Pie instruction scene or Sam Kinison-like advice to "write the alphabet... big capital letters!" And theyíre all eating fries and talking with their mouths full to emphasize their Mighty Elephantness or something. And then Stevie starts his stupid, skeevy chortling and guffawing again and (SHOUT OUT! SHOUT OUT!) Davy demands, laughing, "WHAT, Steve? You got that stupid grin on your face again! What?" I mean, the only thing more obvious would be if someone actually used the adjective "skeevy." I can dream, canít I? And then Stevie says "Díyou want advice or not?" and Davy says "Yes!" and Stevie makes his Grinch-like Megawatt Grin of Overt Skeeviness with his Great Big Megawatt Choppers. They love me. They need me. They value me. They really do.

And over at the Supercorp Corporate Offices With The Reflecting Windows, PR Pia is accosting Kelly "Karma Chameleon" Taylor, who is dressed in what looks like the same Corporate Black pantsuit but sans green blouse and red camisole, and announcing that she "Read the speech!" and it was "flat, boring, and completely unconvincing" and Kelly shouldnítíve "framed it as a sexuality issue." And Kelly protests "Thatís what it is, isnít it?" Well, not exactly... I mean, itís more about providing support and information, about eradicating fear and ignorance, about helping young people through a difficult turning point/potential crisis in their identity. Iím not exactly sure how a gay club at a high school could be framed as a "sexuality issue" because itís not like thereíre Straight Kids Clubs in schools... unless Kelly took the (conservative, religious, screamingly unrealistic) point of view in her speech that high school isnít the place for sexuality of ANY kind (like handing out condoms or teaching sex ed.), hence there shouldnít be a club for gay students. And if that was the case, I donít think PR Pia would be criticizing the framework of the speech. So anyway, PR Pia lectures Kelly about how Kelly wasnít hired to give her opinion (which must be as difficult for Kelly as it would be for me), but rather the company was hired to sell this ballot initiative. "And the best way to do that is by convincing people that this is a... bunch of radicals, you know... a fringe group, trying to impose itself on the mainstream." And Kelly snips "Fringe group? Today a gay club, tomorrow one for Nazis, is that it?" And PR Pia reminds Kelly that she was hired "to sell something, not to judge" which, of course, is impossible for a Hillster. And then... PR Pia hands the speech back to Kelly and... gives her an hour to rewrite it... with an encouraging smile, no less! And as PR Pia walks away, Kelly huffs and sighs and flaps the papers around and huffs some more.

And wow, continuity! Dylan "When Doves Cry" McKay is at the Public Storage facility where we last saw Kelly "Tainted Love" Taylor begging him to "be careful" when dealing with finding his fatherís killer about four seasons ago. And Iíd like to think that theyíre showing it because I mentioned that scene in an Episode Ďway back when. And Stevie "Boys Say Go" Sanders has driven Dylan over in the minivan asking if the tapes were "conclusive." And Dylan broods and rasps that "Naw... conclusive would be Jack standing in front of me, telling me what the hell is going on.... But it did raise questions." And Stevie asks "What do you store here, Dylan?" and instead of responding "Guns, ammo, bootleg hootch, drugs, nubile young girls, dwarf slaves to do my evil bidding..." Dylan says heís storing Jackís papers and is going to look for the name of Jackís FBI contact "Christine... something or other." Um. So. WHY doesnít Dylan know/remember the name of THE WOMAN WHO WAS ENGAGED TO HIS FATHER? I mean, "Petit," Dylan. Like what you enjoy Stevie and Davy doing to your naked buttocks when you three are rolling around on a waterbed together. And Dylan continues "After he died, she said he was involved in one of their investigations." And Stevie adds "And to wise guys like Tony Marchette." Whatever that sentence was supposed to mean. No, wait, upon a fourth viewing, "Into wise guys like Tony Marchette." Yeah, thanks for clarifying that for us, Stevie. And Dylan broods and rasps "She also said ...she loved my dad." And Stevie babbles "Those people are unbelievable.... She claims an affair to prove her boss and they plan a huge explosion to throw off the mob. Itís so... sick, twisted, and brilliant!" God, SHUT UP already, Stevie, you numbskull! And then Dylan broods and rasps "Yeah. And it cost me my father. And my wife." Oh yeah. Look at the pain and torture and anguish. And then, as if we couldnít already guess, Dylan goes to open the lock on space number 24, discovers itís been cut, and then rolls open the door to reveal the storage space in shambles... whereupon Dylan walks in, tromping all over the papers and polluting the crime scene, while Stevie goes "Wow... Well whaddaya suppose they didnít want you to find, Dylan?" I mean, der, Stevie. And Dylan broods some more and rasps "... Her last name." Yeah, Iím sure thatís all. And then he repeats "Christine something or other... itís gotta be written down somewhere. And he and Stevie commence to digging through papers. Címon, Dylan... didnít you address something to her at the FBI when you wrote your Accusatory Letter about Tony Marchette and "if youíre reading this, itís because Iíve been killed" or whatever it was?

So over at the patio in front of Now Whack This, Janet "Kids In America" Sanders is actually watching her own baby instead of leaving her with her mom for a week here and a week there. And Donna "Shiny Shiny" Martin brings over two venti-grande-supersize cups of coffee and then announces to Janet that "we didnít get a chance to tell you last night" but that she and Camille "Letís Go To Bed" Whoever are now partners. Repeat: She and Camille, who sheís known for all of a month, are now partners in a business. Uh, what happened to Camilleís job with that magazine? And then Janet wants the dirt on Camille and Davy because "last night I actually caught them nuzzling!" Yeah, I guess affection that doesnít involve the rubbing of an erection against her leg and endearments like "hot mama!" and "you know you want it, baby!" would prolly be pretty unusual to Pod Janet. And Donna mentions that sheís working late that night "so that the lovebirds can celebrate their two week anniversary, how disgusting is that?" Two... weeks? Camille and Davy have only been an item for two weeks, and thereís already all this emphasis on sex and orgasms? I mean, again, call me un-hip or whatever, but after me and The Husband-Type Man had been together ≠ officially "together" ≠ for two weeks, I was barely at the "itís okay to sleep on his living room sofa overnight because I lived in San Diego and he lived in Los Angeles" stage. And then Pod Janet goes on to bemoan the fact that "the highlight of my evening will consist of Steve rubbing lotion on my belly in the increasingly slim hope that my stretch marks will go away." Cute. Fuh-nee. Hey, Mrs. Sanders, you made your bed. Lie in it.

And Donna must be hanging around Kelly too much because then she says "But enough about you... um, so what did Irv say?" making that awful arenít-I-modest-and-shy face as she digs for info. And Janet says that Irv was "sweet" and "much more understanding than I would be." Oh, yeah, Janet, we can see what a tough ass-kicker you really are. And Donna says "So.. you told him thereís nothing between me and Noah, weíre just friends?" And Janet... and Janet... and Janet says (SHOUT-OUT! SHOUT-OUT!) "Yeah. I really wanted to... but the word Ďco-dependantí just slipped out." Jeepers, guys! Thank you! Thank you! Not that the sentence made any sense, but, hey, I can live with that. And Donna goes "You didnít!" all aghast and Janet goes "Iím kidding" and then goes on to reassure Sweet Insecure Lonely Donna that "you and Irv will be fine, heíll call you, youíll date, youíll meet his mom, trade casserole recipes, the works." And of COURSE it all boils down to the same old stupid relationship and marriage stereotypes YET AGAIN, doesnít it? I hate to say it, but Donnaís actually gotten way worse than Kelly with this whole "I want that!" marriage and babies and picket fence and family dog and all the other stupid conventions. Blech. Anyway, Janet goes on to babble that sheís concerned about Donna and Noah, and Donna protests that "thereís no me and Noah! Iím just helping a friend whoís had a terrible trauma! Why does everybody think thatís such a crime?" and Janet goes "Because he needs professional help, Donna" and Donna goes "And thatís why heís recommitted to going to AA! [He has?] Look, Iím not going to turn my back on him now! And I... would appreciate it if everyone would stop asking me to." Heaven forbid, not when thereís a chance that a Hillster Grrl can Save a Hillster Boy! Hallelujah! And how wonderful that Donna doesnít have to worry about silly things like, I donít know, spending time with her newly-widowed mother or anything, but can devote her energy to "helping a friend whoís had a terrible trauma," which is, like, in the top three of the Hillster Rules of Order. And speaking of (SHOUT OUT!) getting professional help, can Donna and Janet and Kelly and Stevie and Dylan and Davy and LB all sign up right along with Noah? Please? Or maybe Noah could just off himself instead of getting help. Do it, Noah! "Drink me," says the label on the bottle! Do it! Die, Noah! DIE! DIE!

And Dylan "Drown In My Own Tears" McKay goes strolling into an office in the FBI building, clutching a videotape, and demands to speak to Christine Petit. I guess he found out her name or remembered it or something. And when the secretary tells him he "canít just walk in without an appointment," Dylan broods and rasps "You tell her Jack McKayís son is here." Oh yeah. Let the Games begin! And the secretary does Dylanís bidding, and, after a suspenseful wait, the door slowly opens, and Agent Petit, dressed in a form-fitting black suit jacket and skirt, strolls slowly and seductively out of her office and says in a low, husky voice, "Hello Dylan." I mean, the only thing missing from this is her shaking her hair out of a bun and removing eyeglasses or something. And Dylan, whoís been studying a picture of Bill Clinton for inspiration, turns slowly and faces his fatherís erstwhile lover. "Heís alive... isnít he?" Dylan asks, more a matter-of-fact statement than as an actual question. And Agent Petit continues to gaze at him with a faint smile hovering about her lips and husks "Why donít you come in?" and ushers him into her office. And, based on the undercurrents of this little interlude, Iím expecting the next thing to happen would be that Agent Petit, once the door is closed behind her and Dylan, will unbutton her suit jacket to reveal a lacy black demi-cup push up bra, and unzip her skirt and let it slip down, kicking it aside and leaving her clad in a matching garter belt attached to black stockings, along with her high healed pumps. And sheíll take a few swaying steps toward Dylan and husk "Iím sure we can find a way to work this out Dylan" and Dylan will grab her and plant a vicious, mauling kiss in the hollow of her neck and rasp "Oh, can we?" and will push her back onto her desk, and sheíll hang onto his shirt, tearing it aside to bare-

I really shouldnít read trashy Jackie Collins novels, should I?

And Christine, more purposeful and businesslike, takes a seat behind her desk and says "Your father died seven years ago, Dylan." And Dylan broods and rasps "And then showed up on the news a couple nights ago? That was a pretty good trick." And then he hands over the videotape for Agent Petit to watch, rasping that itís "all cued up and ready." And then he rasps "So is that how you reward the good guys? Fake their death (sic)? Take them away from their families?" And Agent Petit calmly insists "Nothing was faked." And Dylan rasps about how the storage facility was broken into, "but you probably already know all about that." And Agent Petit calmly insists "No I didnít. But Iíll look into it." And Dylan continues to brood and make wonky eyebrow movements and furrow his brows, especially when he spies a family portrait of Christine with a husband and two young children. And he rolls his eyes and huffs and rasps "You said you loved my dad." And Christine says calmly "I did. And if he were alive today, Iíd still be with him. But heís not. And life goes on." Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, can I take that as a shout-out, Agent Petit quoting my Life Motto to Dylie? And Dylan continues to gaze off into space and brood really super dooper hard. So I guess Agent Petit really got the olí wool pulled over her eyes, too, didnít she? And why does she keep smiling at Dylan all weird like that?

And eeeeyuck, over at the Homeslice Home, Davy "Master and Servant" Silver has candles lit all over the living room and he and Camille "Take On Me" Whoever are lying on a blanket making out and Davyís all trying to be sweet and sincere and sensitive, gazing up at her. And Camille goes "This is really nice." And thereís a big pause, and Davy goes "Yeah, it is." And thereís another big pause, while I think, and not for the first time, that Camille looks at least five years older than Davy. And then Camille goes "Dinner was amazing" while squeezing his arm with her much-braceleted wrist. And then Davy goes "Yeah I know as long as we donít burn the house down I guess itíll be a perfect evening, right?" Just donít let a fart, Davy, not with all those candles. Iíd hate to see the Homeslice House go up in a blue flame. And then Camille, who looks more and more like a blond Courtney Cox, albeit at a less-skeletal weight, rolls Davy over on his back and says "Can I make a confession?" And Davy laughs "Okay" and looks behind him and Camille ad libs "Burn yourself?" and Davy laughs again and then Camille says all sexpot-sultry-like "My expectations for tonight... were incredibly low." Well, know you know how we feel every Wednesday night, honeybun. And thereís this really cheesy jazz-porno music in the background. And Davy goes "They were?" And Camille goes "Mm hmm... Donna told me youíre a terrible cook." And Davy and Camille are still petting each otherís arms and wrists. And Camille laughs and Davy grins, and then Davy goes "And thatís what your expectations were all about... my... cooking?" And Camille goes "Yeah. Should they be all about something else?" And Davy goes "No... not unless thereís something else Donna said I couldnít do." Um, okay, if I overheard a conversation in which my ex was seemingly talking to my current SO about my sexual ability or inability, Iíd be kinda pissed off, and certainly wouldnít be talking about it all cutely double-entendre-like while making out. Doesnít it make Davy the LEAST bit angry or offended that Camille and Donna are, according to his perspective, comparing sexual notes? And Camille goes "No... I assume youíre great at everything." Which shows just how dumb Camille is. And Davy goes "Yeah, youíre right." And then they giggle and kiss and then Camille goes "Which is why... my expectations for the rest of the night... are incredibly high." And Davy goes "Are they?" And they start mackiní down some more while the cool jazz-porno soundtrack in the background crescendos and my libido hereinafter crashes to the ground in disgust.

As if that wasnít bad enough, the next morning, at the (again Nat-less Peach Pit), Stevie "Overkill" Sanders comes cha-chaing in and shimmies up to the counter next to Davy "Whip It" Silver, all a-cream about wanting the details of Davyís sex life. And by way of greeting, he asks Davy (complete with Big Skeevy Grin), "Am I the master or am I the master?" And Stevie, you forgot the "bator" on the end of that. And if Stevie is the "master" on giving women orgasms, then I will willingly become frigid, asexual, or whatever it takes. And Davy says "Iím not telliní" like heís oh so private. And Stevie immediately yodels "Whaddaya MEAN youíre not telling! Címon, I need live vicariously through your thrills!" Stevie "I Might Like You Better If We Slept Together" (that is, "Never Say Never") Sanders needs to... live vicariously... through David "Smalltown Boy" Silver? How sick and gruesome a thing is THAT? And Davyís acting all pissy and says with his mouth full "Okay. Fine, Steve. I was great." And Skeevy Stevieís still yodeling "Great? Great? Címon, I need more than that!" Like read one of those stupid "Dear Penthouse" letters already, you puerile peckerhead. But it gets worse, as he continues to babble "You gotta give me some kind of testimonial if you used my technique!" Can I even manage to narrow it down to the Top Five Stupidest Things Uttered In Tonightís Episode at this point? And how deeply nauseating is the thought of Steve Sanders having, ahem, "love technique" when it comes to female satisfaction. Like Iíll believe that when I see- Never mind, scratch that, I donít wanna see it. I donít wanna see anything LIKE that! Iím betting that Skeevy Stevie is much like DumbAss, my h.s.b.f. who literally learned how to have sex by watching his ever-expanding collection of pornos (and as an insecure seventeen-year-old, how do you explain to your pompous ass of a boyfriend that you werenít kidding, you really really REALLY arenít into the "money shot," despite the reactions of his favorite leading ladies featured in his films of choice?), and was never shy about telling me about how much he could rock my world and Iíd never have another lover as good as he was.... Think again, chumley. And then Davy says laughing with his mouth full "Camille enjoyed herself Steve, alright?" and Stevie yodels "Enjoyed herself? ENJOYED herself?" and then starts chanting "címon, címon, címon..." which only serves to back up my hypothesis of Stevie Sanders having the same kind of "love technique" as DumbAss. And Davy adds "...several times" and Stevie yodels "SEVERAL TIMES!" and kind of makes a side-swiping high-five into the air as he bounces around on his seat and his face is, like, beet-red with excitement and exertion at this point, like when a babyís taking a shit, and then he grabs Davyís arm and wants to know if "that means three and a half, four...?" and Davy goes "I know, Steve, I know.... I know what Ďseveralí means... hand me a napkin wouldja?" which really allows Steve to relive Davyís romp with Camille last night. As if the whole talking-with-his-mouth-full bit wasnít enough.

Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Never again. No more Hillster-Cunnilingus jokes.

And Davy... wipes his finger under his nose... and then wipes it on his shirt. Grody. But Stevie holds out on the napkins because he wants clarification on something first: "You telliní me she went zero to sixty... in ONE test drive?" So, um, was this their first time together? Huh? And Davyís not laughing anymore, but is all defensive again and says "Yes. Fine, great was an understatement, címon." And then after a reflective moment, Stevie points out that Camille supposedly "faked with every other guy sheís been with but she didnít fake with you?" And Davy snips "What Iím telling you Steve... is that the earth moved." Considering that the showís set in LA, I really donít think that we can cite Davyís so-called sexual prowess as the cause for seismic activity. And Stevie goes "Oooh, I bet it did... on your side of the bed." I guess we can take Skeevy Stevieís word on this, because if thereís one thing he should be an expert on, itís gotta be male-centric sexual gratification.

And then Kelly "Jumping Someone Elseís Train" Taylor... comes in... and... (SHOUT OUT!) ONCE AGAIN orders A CUP OF COFFEE TO GO. Like, BREW A FUCKING POT AT HOME, KELLY! And Skeevy Steve comes over to talk to her, wanting to know "if itís true" that sheís working on that gay studentsí initiative and mentions that Janet saw some guy on the news last night blah blah blah giving a speech and "it changed her mind." So then Kelly has to make the painful confession that "the guy was reading a speech that I wrote."

Okay. Kelly Taylor, on her first day in her first public relations job, has not only been assigned to write an important speech, but to write one THAT WAS TELEVISED AND GIVEN BY A PERSON IN FAVOR OF THE BALLOT INICIATIVE... okay, WHY wouldnít a person in favor of the initiative have WRITTEN THEIR OWN SPEECH about something they believed strongly about? Or, at the very least, if their speech-writing skills werenít up to snuff, why wouldnít they at least have provided an outline/notes of the points they wanted to make in regards to their position on said initiative? But oh no, Kellyís already at the forefront of the PR Biz in two short days, writing powerful speeches (WITH NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE) that can change the mind of the voting public. Uh huh. Actually, I think this isnít so much a reflection of Kellyís so-called proficiency in her insta-career, but rather a reflection of Pod Janetís deficient mental capabilities and decision-making processes. And Skeevy Stevie congratulates Kelly on the fact that "you changed one vote" and leaves Kelly to sulk and pout and fret over this big, icky moral dilemma that sheís in. I mean, were the writers so desperate to reeeeeaaalllly string out Kellyís self-discovery to such a tediously slow pace that they felt it necessary devote screen time to this pointless plot? What happened to Kelly taking that certification exam, anyway?

So, back at the Federal Building, Dylan "Just Another Day" McKay has apparently been called down by Agent Petit, who is saying "Thanks for coming back down" as she sashays to her office chair. And Dylan broods and rasps all sardonically "My pleasure" and then picks his ear as asks "So whatídya find out?" And Christine tells him that she contacted the airline and got their passenger list "and his name wasnít on it." And Dylan sneers "ĎJack McKayí wouldnít be on it, whaddabout his new name?" because, yeah, Dylan, an FBI agent is that stupid. "You do give him a new name with a new life, donít you?" he continues to rasp as Agent Petit hands him a folder and informs him that his wasnít the only storage facility broken into, and a (Mexican guy, naturally) was caught and prosecuted and the police hadnít been able to contact Dylan. And Dylan rasps "íSthat it?" and Christine says "Nothing else" and continues to not-quite-smile at him really weirdly, which is of COURSE supposed to make Dylan and We the TV Viewers think sheís totally hiding something. And Dylan broods for a few moments before rasping "You know, ever since I saw that story on the news Iíve been trying to... put together the moments before the explosion.... and you know what I came up with? I never actually saw my dad get in that car. After the explosion, I never saw the body, there was no... open casket, no dental records. Nothing." And Agent Petit calmly says "And thereís nothing now." And Dylan broods at her some more. And Agent Petit says "Look, Dylan, Iíve gone the extra yard for you, out of respect for you and affection for your father" and goes on to tell him that doing so "has opened up some emotional wounds of my own." And Dylan broods at her some more and rasps "Yeah, youíre breakiní my heart." And she continues to calmly say that she "found nothing... and neither will you... so stop looking" and gives him back the videocassette, still smiling at him, all weirdly calm. And Dylan, of course, continues to brood at her. Really hard.

And at Now Whoops This, Donna "Goodbye Seventies" Martinís trying on this truly fugly little hot pink dress with a ruffly scooped neckline and printed with Marcia Brady style riki-tiki flowers, and Donnaís asking Janet "Twilight Zone" Sanders if itís "too... bubbly" and Janet says "It is bubbly... but Irv is a bubbly guy," whatever kind of endorsement THATís supposed to be.... And good Lord almighty COVER THAT THING UP, Tori! Eyeeeew! And itís Contrived Dialogue Central as Davy "Mexican Radio" Silver comes in looking for Camille "Bizarre Love Triangle" Whoever and proclaims that he likes Donnaís dress because itís "bubbly," which causes Donna to huff and stomp back into the dressing room to change. And then Janet want "details" on him and Camille and Donna burbles that Camille said she had an "incredible" night with him which segues into Davy whining about how he "couldnít give her the one thing she never had" blah blah blah when-you-assume-you-make-an-"ass"-of-"u"-and-"me" ≠cakes. And they clear up the cute lilí misunderstanding and Davy stands there with a doofusy look on his face. And speaking of doofuses, the store phone rings and... after ONE ring, the answering machine picks up WITH NO MESSAGE, leaving Noah "No One Lives Forever" Hunter mumbling "Hello...? Hello...? Look, ĎsNoah calling, if you wanna do something tonight gimme a call. Okay. Bye." And Davyís telling Donna "Donít answer that!" and Donnaís huffing and sighing and looking conflicted and goes "Okay, that was cruel." Oh, yeah, Donna, that was riiiiilly mean and nasty, making him leave a message, wasnít it? And Janet wants to know "Am I the only one who thinks heís using his trauma to keep you in his life?" which is a pretty ironic thing coming from someone who just willingly Bred with Stevie Sanders. And Davy goes "Thank you very much!" and adds to Donna "Look what you just went through, you havenít been reaching out to him!" And Donna gets all snippy and goes "Thatís because I have friends... obviously he doesnít!" and stomps off, leaving Davy and Pod Janet to roll their eyes at each other. And Donna, hon, THEREíS A VERY GOOD REASON WHY NOAH DOESNíT HAVE FRIENDS! ITíS BECAUSE HEíS A SELFISH DESTRUCTIVE ASSHOLE! But, no use saying so to Donna, because sheís not being dumb, sheís not being naive, sheís being loving and generous and sweet and good and I swear to God, if Noah tries to off himself and Donna "Wrapped Around Your Finger" Martin saves his life, I will scream myself senseless! I WANT NOAH TO DIE A LONELY AND PAINFUL DEATH! DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE! There is no more useless character on 90210. Not Austin and Ryan. Not LawyerBoy. Not even Nat. NOAH NEEDS TO DIE!

So at the stupid, superfluous PPAD, after all these many rants of complaining about why we never see Davy "Hang the DJ" Silver working, lo and behold, there he is playing his elevator rock muzak. And innit cute, even though heís supposed to be working, his new girlfriend Camille "Cool Places" Whoever is hanging out with him, in full view of all of the customers! Aw.... And Davy announces over the air that heíll "be back in a minute with tonightís topic" which is, naturally, "the dumbest assumptions youíve ever made about your Significant Other." And Camille claims she "canít WAIT to hear the INSANE stories that people come up with" which leads Davy to jokingly mention "this guy" blah blah blah "realized the only thing fake in his girlfriendís life... was... her fur coat." Like, what about her hair color, Davy?! But God bless Camille, once she realizes that Davy was babbling about their sex life to Donna and Steve, she gets pissed and makes this face of Great Disgust and says "You... talked to Steve Sanders about whether or not I faked an orgasm?!" Which was my thought exactly, hon. And Davy tries to backpedal and ask if they can talk after the next break but Camille says no and storms out of the DJ booth. Thank God a Hillster Girlfriend finally got pissed and asserted herself over a breach of personal boundaries! And if Camilleís been spending so much time with Davy lately, I wonder when she found time to take her Bedazzler to that white tank top...? And as Camilleís huffing away, Davy interrupts the music to talk all sardonically about "bonehead assumptions," and he starts with "this classic: telling the truth is a good thing. Hereís a nice little hint about being completely honest with your lover: wait until it becomes necessary. If it doesnít come up, donít bring it up" etc. Davy? SHUT UP! *pap!*

And at a table downstairs, Donna "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" Martin, who, after Noah "People Who Died" Hunterís drunken outburst about her dating, somehow thought it would be a smart thing to bring a date to Noahís place of employment, is sitting with Irv. And Irv, sensitive boy that he is, wants to know if Donnaís ever made wrong assumptions, which opens the door for Donna to give Irv this self-pitying speech about "Iíve had boyfriends lie to me, boyfriends cheat on me... I guess the better question would be if I ever make the right ones...." And Donna sighs again and makes more sad sticky-lips moues and looks downcast at the tabletop all pathetic-like. Poor, poor Donna. But, hey, Donna, you left out that youíve had boyfriends who stole money from you, boyfriends who had violent tempers and threw you down stairs or had irrational outbursts of anger, boyfriends who hooked up with your close friends after breaking up with you, boyfriends who had severe problems with drugs and alcohol and depression, boyfriends who treated you with disrespect and cruelty, boyfriends who tried to undermine your values and manipulate your emotions, boyfriends who were unsupportive, boyfriends who were assholes to your friends and family, boyfriends who encouraged you to be deceitful to your parents, boyfriends who- Say, how many of these categories does Davy "Lie To Me" Silver fall under? Anyway, Irv is so moved by Donnaís tender declaration of vulnerability that he moves his chair closer to her and asks "Are you okay? ...Itís okay if youíre not." And we know whatís coming next, donít we? You got it! Donna gives Irv the "Youíre a nice guy, but...." speech. She adds a special Donna touch to it, by including the useless info that she tried on 8 different dresses before deciding what to wear tonight, to which Irv of COURSE has to say "Iím sure you looked terrific [how very Brady of him] in every one" but that still isnít enough for Donna. "I should be happy here with you... but... I feel like I belong somewhere else." ("Reunion,/together this time/Reunion, forever be mine/Reunion-") No, wait, Donna doesnít mean Davy... she means Noah! "See, Noah, he works here... and I donít seen him and Iíve been looking for him... not because I want to be with him, but because Iím worried about him." Well ainít she sweet! Sheís dumping Irv not because sheís realized that she and Davy are MEANT to be together, but because sheís worried about Noah! And Donna has to continue in typical Insecure Donna Vein by asking Irv "And you hate me now, donít you?" And of COURSE Irv has to assert "No, not at all... I just made the wrong assumption about you... that you were available." And as Irv gazes at her, heartbroken, Donna makes her pathetic little girl apologetic smile and says "Iím sorry... I really am" all sad and wistful-like. So are we, Donna. So are we.

And over in Public Storage Space Number 24, Dylan "What Is Love?" McKay has obviously been hard at work cleaning up all the papers, despite the fact that most public storage facilities close either at sundown or around 6-7 at night, and judging from the fact that the PPAD was in full swing, itís gotta be well past nine by now. And a car pulls up outside, despite the fact that every public storage facility Iíve ever seen (and believe me, Iíve seen plenty) require rentersí passwords and codes at the gated entrance. But Dylan doesnít seem to notice. Heís too engrossed in a picture of Young Dylan and Jack, togged out in baseball gear, smiling guilelessly into the camera. And Kelly "Love Plus One" Taylor intrudes on this personal and private moment, catching a deeply emotional Dylan, who hides the picture behind his back when she says "Hi." And instead of the usual creased foreheaded brooding, Dylan... Dylan actually looks like heís experiencing real anguish. That one expression on his face was actually more moving to me than the entire Doc Martinís Funeral episode. And Kelly says with wet earnestness that "Steve said you had quite a mess... I thought you could use some help." And Dylan shrugs and says "Well," and points to a stack of papers and tells her "thatís the bad memory pile" and points again "and thatís the good memory pile." Of course, the "good memory pile" is nothing more than the empty, cold concrete floor of the storage facility. And Dylan says "íSnot too much of a pile, is it?" And Kelly squonches up her mouth and asks "Have you heard anything else?" And Dylan tells her "the guy on the news was a look-alike... some genetic freak in nature.... the break-in was unrelated... just two random acts designed to kick me in the ass...." And Kelly squonches her lips some more and sighs and rolls her eyes finally says "Some... good... could come of this." And Dylan rasps "Donít start with me about closure." And Kelly makes another pouty face and rolls her eyes some more says "All right... how about reflection? Sizing up whatís been going on in your life for the past seven years?" And Dylan sighs and rasps "Nothing." And Kelly says "I know." And Dylan sighs again and says "The older I get, the worse I feel. So when I reflect on it, when I size it up, the more... miserable and twisted it becomes." And... a muscle in his cheek twitches as he says "I miss my dad," and sets the picture up on a storage shelf, swallowing hard, his eyes glazed with tears. And Kellyís expression melts into pity as she hugs him, and Dylan buries his face in her shoulder, and, God help me, Iíve actually got tears in my eyes....

And like the Dylan look-alike on the plane from Ďway back when Kelly got the fake telegram from Val to test her love for Brandon, this had better not be some cheap plot ploy just to get Dylan back on track with his life... and with Kelly.

And I gotta add, I was pleased to see Kelly actually holding her car keys in this scene, a bit of TV Reality that they usually miss, and a great pet irritation of mine.

And speaking of continuity and accuracy and all that, Iím also pleased to see a car-less LawyerBoy "Walking In LA" Matt (although Iím not pleased to see LawyerBoy himself, per se...) and Kelly "Careless Memories" Taylor walking down a residential street. And LBís making some cursory pseudo-supportive sympathetic comment about "It sounds like Dylanís in a pretty bad place right now" and Kelly, Training Matroned to the Max and wearing seriously ugly boots for wading in all the shit that is 90210, sighs "Yeah, he is.... I hope you donít think that Iím reaching out to him at our expense." And LB says all supportively "No, I donít.... But I appreciate your saying so." And Kelly coos "How did you get to be such an understanding guy?" And LB says "Well, you said yes when I asked you to marry me" which I donít believe has anything to do with LBís capacity to be understanding, but hey. And why havenít Kelly and LB talked AT ALL about their wedding plans? I know, I know, based on just this interlude alone, LB should just, like, deliver a ringless and gift-wrapped Kelly to the Beverly Royale right this minute. And then Kelly whines about her job and the fact that she changed Janetís vote, and LB points out that this job is going to challenge her and demand her to be creative and thatís a good thing, and Kelly wants to know even if it means compromising all she believes in, and LB says "Kelly, life is about compromise... you may not like it, but thereís no sin in it." And, um, Pinhead? Thereís a big difference between being asked to compromise your self, your beliefs, who you are, and, say, being asked to compromise on something like what kind of vacation to take or what toppings to order on a pizza. And, of course, this "life is about compromise, you may not like it" stuff is just underscoring the fact that LBís going to have to compromise and "let Kelly go" because sheís "meant to be with Dylan" and he may not like it, but thatís what life is about. And then he and Kelly go vote in some garage. And I really like Kellyís hair in that bun. No, Iím serious! Yes, I know Iíve complimented Kellyís hair twice in two Rants and itís setting an unprecedented pattern, but, well... I LIKE it, okay?!

So over at Now Whine This, Donna "Private Idaho" Martin and Davy "Promises, Promises" Silver are carrying those huge, empty coffee cups and Davyís asking Donna if she talked to Camille and Donnaís explaining that she told Camille "that the assumption you made was sooo... cosmically stupid that it was... physically impossible not to talk about it." And I donít think Camille had a problem with Davy talking about it exactly, but rather had a problem with Davy talking about THEIR VERY PERSONAL SEX LIVE with his FRIENDS, including his ex-girlfriend and the most immature, half-witted male chauvinist pig since the entire cast of characters in Porkyís, instead of doing what would seem to me the obvious and most responsible thing: talking to CAMILLE about it. But then thereíd be no Hijinx, would there? And then Davy digs for more info but Donna says sheís "not helping you after the advice youíve been giving" about Poor, Poor, Sad, Pathetic Noah "White Lines" Hunter. And Donna chastises Davy for telling her to "ignore" Poor Noah and Davy asks "you didnít go over there last night, did you?" and Donna protests that Poor Noah was "sober" and Davy wants to know "what about Irv?" and Donna says Irv "was a nice guy" but she "felt an obligation" to Noah. And if this is Donnaís idea of living up to her little Declaration of Donna Independence from only a few short shows ago ("Iíve realized that every time Iím with somebody I always end up doing what they want, taking care of their needs... itís not their fault itís mine" but now sheís going to "take care of myself. . . . well, Iím starting to at least."), then, well, Iíve certainly been making the wrong assumptions about Donna, Ďcos sheís even more spineless and pathetic than I thought!

Okay, the writers HAVE to be doing this on purpose to keep me Ranting, donít they? I mean, itís like theyíre deliberately baiting me with this crap.... (I only hope that they get as much joy about Ranting about my inflated self-importance in relation to their scripts and plots.)

Anyway, Davy argues "An obligation to what, Donna? To make yourself miserable? Doncha understand whatís happening here? The more you pass up for Noah the more heís going to want, because the truth is, Donna, what he really wants is you!" And I guess this is behavior that Davyís well-rehearsed in, based even just on his actions on his little Las Vegas Vacation alone. Cute how defensive Davy is on Donnaís behalf when, the truth is, Davy, youíve really done the exact same thing to Donna, and more than once!

And Donna protests "Thatís absurd" and Davy goes "Yeah? How many times did he call you this morning?" and Donna goes "what?" and Davy goes "How many times?" and Donna makes a face and goes "Four" and Davy goes "Four?" and Donna goes "Yeah" and Davy goes "Well" and then lectures "youíve already lost one nice guy, I wonder how many more youíre going to have to lose before you realize that this is nuts." And if the writers are trying to make us think that DAVY SILVER is the "nice guy" that Donna might lose because of the supposed "obligation" she feels for Poor, Sad, Tragical Noah "Blasphemous Rumors" Hunter, well, then, Iíve certainly been making the wrong assumptions about them too, Ďcos theyíre even more pathetic than I thought! Just cut that crap out! And Davy stares and Donna and Donna stares and Davy and Davy stares at Donna and Donna rolls her eyes and stares at the floor.

And, God, over at the Big Supercorp Corporate Building, where theyíve got chairs and masks and other Mexican artifacts tacked up on the office walls, PR Pia is of COURSE congratulating Kelly "Desperate But Not Serious" Taylor because their initiativeís pulling into the lead and of COURSE PR Pia mentions "how bright your future is" and how Kellyís learned to "put your own feelings aside" which, of course, means that sheís just the brightest star in the PR universe now, isnít she? And then... then Kelly starts to preach it, sista with her anti-PR Pia PSA: "You know, Iím getting married [YES, Kelly, WE KNOW! WE KNOW!] ...Someday Iíll have a kid. And, ah... he could be gay. Like one out of every three gay teenagers, he could maybe try to commit suicide, because he feels lonely and isolated and ... Ďon the fringe.í Or... we could promote groups and clubs that would make him feel safe and secure and like heís part of something good." And then Kelly tells PR Pia that "you can do a job like this... I canít. I quit." And she hands over her big manila envelope and stomps off while PR Piaís heart shatters into a million fragments at losing her prized and long-sought-for protťgť... and the likelihood that she is really and truly all out of guest appearances. At least, I hope so.

And except for the stilted quality of the statistics-quoting dialogue and the fact that of COURSE it comes down to KELLYíS kid and what he (he? Not "or she"?) would need and want, I... um... actually think that the whole "you might not be gay, but your child/someone you love could be" message is, uh, a positive and strong one for the show to promote. Certainly more so than the usual "Save the Gay Others!" rescue missions. No, Iím serious! Really! Yes, Iím actually praising the show for something! (Good God, are the horsemen drawing near? Have the end times arrived?!)

And over at the Royale With Cheese, Dylan "My Best Friendís Girl" McKay is watching the videotape of his dad (or his dadís doppelganger) some more and brooding some more (but actually not drinking, so this must mean heís REALLY on the road to recovery and discovery and all that), and thereís, oh yes, a timely knock at the door! And this episode has had more "timely knocks" than the Parody Episode I wrote in which I overused and made fun of the "timely knock" device. And Iím hoping that Dylanís going to open the door to reveal Jack McKay, there in the flesh, sent to him by Agent Petit... but no, itís just good olí Kelly "Personal Jesus" Taylor. And Kelly glances at the paused tape of Jackís face, goes "wow, thatís unbelievable" in a flat voice, and then cuts to the chase: she wants Dylan to go to dinner with her. She even offers to "go to that really stinky pastrami place that you like," which Iíll also take as a personal shout-out to my passionate love of pastrami and deli food. Especially considering the fact that I just got done chowing a stinky pastrami sandwich for lunch today.

But Dylan just continues to stare and brood, brood and stare, until he goes over to the TV, pops the tape out, hands it to Kelly and says "would you get rid of that?" Um, how could he eject the tape if itís paused? And it looks like Dylanís really turning over a new leaf, because he heads for the bar... and opens a bottle of Perrier. Which, naturally, he drinks with his Patented Hard Liquor Grimace (tm me). And Kelly pouts and huffs and squonches her lips and announces that the "company I used to work for" did PR for the airline and "before I quit" she... um... got a copy of the passenger list. O-kay. First, why is Kelly providing this info, and not, say, a private investigator? I know, I know, that only continues to link Kelly and Dylan cosmically forever through time yadda yadda.... And, second, what, did Kelly go into work today just for the purpose of procuring for illegal purposes the airlineís passenger list, and then quitting? Boy, wotta work ethic, that girl! And finally, Kelly quit her job because she felt it was an ethical/moral conflict with her personal values but sees no problem with illegally procuring information before she bails?! I know, sheís "doing it for a friend" and "the end justifies the means" and all that other Hillsterism. What matters is Dylan has the list of passenger names... and Iím kinda expecting the name Tony Marchette to be on the list. You know, sorta like a Face-Off type of dealie. And then Kelly lectures him about how "we both know itís not your dad on the tape" and how he shouldnít "keep looking for something youíre never going to find" but she did it because she heard heís been getting "the runaround" with the FBI, so "I know I shouldnít be doing this... but here you go." And we all know that this just symbolizes the fact that both Kelly and Dylan think theyíre "never going to find" each other and their Cosmic Soulmate Love, just as they think Dylanís "never going to find" his father, but, of COURSE, Jackís going to be alive and that will mean that Dylan gets a new lease on life (AGAIN) and if thatís possible, why, even he and Kelly living happily ever after is possible, innit? And just to underscore all that, Dylan rasps "You say you quit?" and Kelly says that itís "for the best" and "Matt says that big decisions like that usually are" which underscores the fact that soon Kellyís going to "quit" their relationship and itís going to be "for the best" and LBís just gonna have to live with it. And Dylan of COURSE has to say that LBís "an optimist" and "itís prolly good you hang out with guys like that" because of COURSE Dylanís still this brooding, drinking, pessimistic rebel man, and thatís whatís holding him back from really being with Kelly blah blah blah contrived-plotline-cakes. And Dylan "wonít rethink dinner" but instead keeps brooding really hard all over the place. And so Kelly leaves ≠ with the tape ≠ and Dylan rasps "Kelly? ... Thanks." And Kelly pouts and says "Youíre welcome" and they stare at each other and Dylan broods and Kelly lets herself out of the flimsy prop door and Dylan sighs and broods some more and then looks at the envelope in his hand and then keeps brooding and sighing and brooding really hard.

And over at the Homeslice House, oh, yuck... Camille shows up in... you got it, a (fake) fur coat. And sheís pretending to be all cool and snotty, but of COURSE we know that sheís all decked out in a Boyz Wet Dream lingerie ensemble under the fur coat. And Davy "She-Bop" Silver of COURSE babbles all Insecure Boy-like about how "I hope you got my messages.... I think... I left you... like... somewhere around... six...?" Because thatís what Hillster Boyz do... they phone-stalk their girls, and itís cute and fuh-nee and loveable. And Camille lectures Davy about how "I know youíve got a lot of friends [whatever]... but Iím a private person. I hope you can respect that." Yeah, whatever, Camille. Just get this over with quickly. Like pulling a tooth or ripping off a stuck-on bandage or something. And Davy babbles that heís "a private person too" (whatever) but was rilly nervous about his "performance." And itís my opinion that if youíre in a full and loving relationship with a partner, itís less about "performing" than it is about intimacy and sharing and loving and all that. And then, eyew, Davy babbles some more about how he felt he "needed to be spectacular" and "now would be a good time for you to say, Ďoh, David, you were spectacular!í" And Camille, thankfully, DOESNíT SAY THAT AT ALL, but says "...Am I grading on a curve?" and Davy says "Ow!" and bites his nails. And then Camille does the usual "let me be the judge of your performance from now on" and Davy babbles all the supposedly-insecure-and-contrite Hillster Boy stuff about "well, if there is another performance" until Camille shuts him up by mackiní down on his unshaven face. And of COURSE Davy says "Can I take your coat" and.... Yuck. And Camille says that the coat "is fake... but nothing else tonight will be." And maybe that means Davy wonít be getting back together with Donna and her fake boobies after all.

And over at Dysfunction Junction, Kelly "Goodbye Is Forever" and LB "Goody Two-Shoes" Durning are asleep together, and Kelly hears a noise and LB says itís nothing and Kelly hears it again, and Donna... Donna "Church of the Poison Mind" Martin comes doinging into Kellyís bedroom... and jumps into bed with them. No knock, no whispered "Are you awake?" or "Did you hear that?" I mean, Iíd be really uncomfortable doinging into a friendís bedroom in the middle of the night if they were asleep by themselves, not to mention in bed with an SO! And LB, all manly-man, goes to check things out in his plaid pajamas and sweatshirt. And... why does Kelly have... <i>a baseball bat</i>?? I know, I know, LB couldnít do his Heroics if it wasnít there, but other than bashing the occasional intruder, why would Kelly have a baseball bat? Out? In her bedroom? And, praise the Lord, we know whatís coming next! Oh yeah! Thump.... Crash at the living room window.... Dark-clothed intruder stumbling through... LB swinging the bat and catching the intruder in the middle! Swing again, LB! Swing harder! HIT HIM! GO FOR THE HEAD! AIM TO KILL! DIE, NOAH! DIE-

Oh. Bummer. Only one swing, and Noah "We Got The Beat" Hunter is out cold on the floor and Kelly and Donna come running out and LB hollers "Get the lights! Get the lights!" and Donna covers her face and cries "Donít!" as LB raises the bat again and, oh, how sad... poor Noahís unconscious on their living room floor. Tee hee hee hee! And LB says "Oh my Ga-awd itís Noah!" and Iím just hysterical laughing and Iím praying for internal bleeding or a lung punctured by a broken rib or SOMETHING! And, of COURSE, we have to see twenty-seven shots of Donna looking heartsick and LB looking guilty and Kelly looking annoyed and upset and everyone looking at each other and Noah looking unconscious on the floor. Isnít he dead? No? Drat.

And back at the Royale With Cheese, Stevie "Come On Eileen" Sanders has... just... dropped in? In the middle of the night? Without calling? Because Maddy woke him up and he couldnít go back to sleep? Címon, Stevie, we all know you just came over to see if Dylan was in the mood for some cuddling. And, once again, HOTEL ROOM DOORS CANNOT BE LEFT UNLOCKED! And Dylan "Start Of The Breakdown" McKay is standing at the window, brooding extra super hard, unable to even eat his room service midnight snack. And Stevie throws in the cursory bit about how he was talking to Donna and "she looks up a couple times a day" expecting to see Doc and "she knows heís gone... but sheís haunted by him." Yeah, we can see how broken up she is about it, what with having to save Noah and all. It MIGHT make more sense if Donna was, like, on the verge of an emotional collapse right now and was sublimating her inability to have been able to help/save her dad into her desire to help/save Noah, instead of just the usual Donna "Suffer The Children" Martin bullshit. But thatís beside the point.

Iím also really struck by how much a lot of the furniture in Dylanís room looks like stuff from my Gramís house circa 1965-1970. And, say, is there a BEDROOM in the suite? Have we ever seen it?

And then Dylan broods and sighs and broods and says "Doncha think I know, Steve, haunted"? TRUST me, Dylan. WE KNOW YOU KNOW HAUNTED! And Stevie apologizes for his "big conspiracy theory" if it raised Dylanís hopes. And then, woo hoo continuity! Dylan tells Stevie the story about Jack singing him to sleep with "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" and how he "even got me to sing it with him for the big wow finish" before he died and how they really connected through baseball (which must be why Kelly has a baseball bat in her room... another sign that theyíre soulmates!) and theyíd play catch and go to games and read stories, "Our favorite being The Natural, which Dylan summarizes as a "story of a young man full of promise who gets shot by a woman, disappears, and then... suddenly returns" and then goes on to "mention" the passenger list that Kelly brought him and the book was based on a true story and even Stevie Sanders has seen the movie but "what about the list?" and then Dylan says that the guy who got shot "battled for his life for a long time before coming back to play the following season" and "in the book the guyís name was Roy Hobbs. But in real life... his name was Eddie Waitkus... thatís Waitkus... with a ĎWí... " and, ecce signum ("Behold, the sign!"), he hands Stevie the list where the name Eddie Waitkus is circled. And Stevie says "You think this is your father?" And Dylan asserts "I KNOW it is." Oh, the power! The symbolism! The metaphors! The mythological Odyssian Quest! Go, Dylan-Telemachus! Find your father! May the Force be with you! (Say, if this is all symbol-laden, then who is the "woman" who "shot" the "young man full of promise?" Brinda?)

And why, only one episode after she left, was there no, N-O, absolutely NO mention of Gina "Some Like It Hot" Kincaid? Not that I miss her, but Iím just sayiní....

So, the contest: Youíve prolly all figured out Iíve used song title monikers to identify the Hillsters throughout the Rant. Thereís a pretty basic theme to them, even more obvious to anyone who knows my (hint) musical preferences. So, the first person to e-mail me with the theme and (hereís the tough part) the artists of each of the song titles (or as close to all of them as you can get) is the Big Weener of a fabo-keen 90210 prize package! Thereíre a total of 90 (I know, I know) to identify, so... well... may the Force be with you! Iíll make it worth your while! Woo hoo!

Dwan"Every Day I Write The Book"ollah