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Arts and Entertainment

Morning After Report: 90210 Episode 23 'Zero Tolerance'

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Now doesn't this image just scream SOPHOMORE PROM to you?

Now doesn't this image just scream SOPHOMORE PROM to you?
Principal Dad has a message for the Sophomore Class of West Beverly Hills High School: ZERO TOLERANCE. In a cheesy video he obviously roped his "actress" daughter into co-starring in with him, he informs the school--well, actually, just the Sophs, that if they get caught at an After Prom Party with alcohol they will be suspended, and if they're suspended, they'll have to go to summer school. Basically "One party can ruin your whole summer." They had a T-shirt made. Also, next week's Season Finale is called "One Party Can Ruin Your Whole Summer," (thanks, DVR!) which leads me to believe that this will indeed happen to one of "our" kids. Uh oh. I can't wait to see how a behavioral infarction is disciplined academically...isn't summer school, like, courses you take? WBHHS, you perplex me. Also: SOPHOMORES? WTF?

Okay, back to reality. Per Naomi's wisdom, if Mariah Carey could get over Glitter, Annie could get over being in Dad's video, and go about the business of getting herself a prom date. Because people, it is PROM time. I will stop short at nothing less than hysterics, a teenage mom giving birth, old wounds, and a very special musical guest, you hear?

In Semi Hot Teacher's room, Liam has decided to turn in a doodle instead of a test. He mouths off to Semi Hot about how he knows he can still pass the class despite taking a zero on the test, and because Semi Hot often forgets to back his balls in his satchel full of graded essays, he just sorta lets Liam mock him then leave the room. Semi Hot is happier to see Ethan arrive, because he has "great news" for him. So far, though, we just see an envelope. If this were Maury we'd know those were DNA results, but...yeah, anyhow.

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After school, Naomi and Jen are moving into the bachelorette pad Jen bought with Naomi's inheritance. Who needs escrow? La di da! Let's get this furniture in. And let's talk about how to get Liam to go to the prom. Or have sex. Or both. I'm confused.


Kelly Taylor is still a woman trying to figure it all out.
Now Liam is getting treated to Principal Dad and Kelly Taylor's "Good Cop Bad Cop" routine. Incidentally, as part of that routine Dad calls Ms. Taylor, Guidance Counselor "Kel"--perhaps a bit not-kosher, educational professionals? It seems Liam's step-dad has told this dynamic duo he's afraid Liam isn't into being at WBHHS (what gave it away?) and is considering alternatives, like military school. Kel has brochures, btw. Because schools function on blackmail, Kel and Principal Dad not so subtly hint that if Liam "showed some interest" in school (aka be a [Dr] Pepper!) they'd tell his step dad he was a team player.Silver is being bronzed (aka spray tanned) and is getting advice on prom straight out of 1992 from her spray tan technician. Can you taste the disaster brewing?

And...Liam calls Naomi to ask her to prom. Finally, after 23 episodes, the girl actually behaves like...a teenager, screaming and jumping on her bed. I still taste disaster, mind you, but I'm happy for the kid. Let's rock this tenth graders' prom!

The next day in school, Annie gets asked to "The Sophomore Prom" by a Stage Crew dork during CPR class, and she accepts, mostly to get Liam off her back. And because school days are 46 seconds long, it's now after school and Dixon is showing Ethan what tuxedo options he has using the Build a Tux website. This is when Ethan tells Dixon what was inside the envelope: He got picked for the All-American Lacrosse Camp this summer. Why the news came via Semi Hot, the English Teacher is another WBHHS mystery, but what is becoming apparently evident is that since Ethan seems to have "Big Summer Plans" he is now at the top of my list of people who will most likely inadvertently wind up having to do summer school due to some misunderstanding involving booze at the After Party. "Ethan Something, Lacrosse Camp!" of course, the 2009 equivalent of "Donna Martin Graduates!"

The more enthusiasm Dixon piles on ("Oh man YOU ARE SO SET!" and "you'll get a scholarship to any college you want if you get scouted") and then Silver, fresh from Catholic School, heaps on ("What? That is amazing!") just makes the stakes all that higher. Also, who knew Lacrosse was so popular and powerful? If someone told me they were headed to "All American Lacrosse Camp" I'd also say "What?"--but only because I'd be like "What the eff is that?" and "What does that mean?"

The couple asks Ethan to be a part of a threesome. Just kidding! Actually, they ask Ethan to go to prom with them, so, in a way, I'm not kidding. Ethan says yes, and then gives Dixon and Silver a long look of yearning. Probably because he's single and they're all cute-couple, but let's pretend this is going somewhere naughtier for a moment. It's something funny to think about while Principal Dad grills Annie about Navid's intended After Party, and while Mom encourages Dixon to not get his hopes up that a fabulous Sophomore Prom experience will lead Silver to want to transfer back to West Bev come fall.


Will everyone point and laugh at Silver, "The BiPolar Girl who Made a Sex Tape"?
Now let's get us some prom dresses! Nothing ruins a shopping high for Naomi like being told her credit card is denied. Oh, except when Naomi goes to confront Party Girl Big Sis jen, Jen kicks things off by telling Naomi she's going to prom as Semi Hot's date. "The truth is, I lied to you," admits Jen. Only she doesn't tell the whole truth, being that she burned through all her own cash, but makes up some story about having lost it in bad market investments. Jen manages to turn this around into a warm sisterly moment. Rich people are weird.

Woohoo, it's SOPHOMORE PROM NIGHT! And it's at Paramount Studios, to boot. Snazzy. Silver is panicking, and she doesn't want to get out of the limo, but after some coaxing she's down to join in the fun. Why there are hundreds of paparazzi popping flashbulbs is beyond me, but everyone is there, all dressed up and ready to party.

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Not even ten seconds in and Navid is ready to pick a fight with Ty, Adrianna's baby-daddy, about him not being a part of the whole pregnancy experience (classy move, Navid) only he's interrupted by Adrianna, who is having some false labor pains. Actually, they are false false labor pains...she's faking just to stop him from making an ass of himself.

Prom rocks onward thanks to the special musical guest, who neither Kelly Taylor nor I can identify by sight or sound, but just that they are a "cool band." Semi Hot and Party Girl Jen are making Kelly uncomfortable, which makes sense, because Semi Hot and Kelly got down and then never discussed it in front of the cameras, so what's really going on remains as mysterious as the popularity of All American Lacrosse Camp. In a heavy-handed cross-over, one overdressed sophomore boasts about all the booze waiting in her garage to bring into her house once her parents leave so the kids can party--and Principal Dad hears this and is delighted. Looks like he gets to play Bad Cop this time.

On the dance floor, Annie's date crashes and burns when she tells him that she said yes more out of a desire to get a prom date and fulfill the dork's wish to have a hot date, and he tells her to shove it. Liam gives Annie the thumbs up, because he is a douchebag.


Is he inhuman, or is he not a dancer?
He's also evidently the kind of douchebag who will sit at a table and put headphones in and ignore his date, so when Naomi points out Liam to Jen, Jen is not impressed. The kids remain impressed with the band, but Principal Dad once again demonstrates that he has absolutely zero tolerance (and zero professionalism) by breaking into the band's song to take the mic and tell the kids how "stoked" he is about Phoebe Abrams' big after party. Phoebe, who forgot that just moments ago she was loudly listing off the contents of her liquor larder, wonders who narced on her. Because in the land of convenience she's standing next to Annie's dorky date, Annie's dorky date says "I know who it was!" and they both stare down Annie.


In front of the primping mirror, Jen confronts Miss "Call Me Kelly" Taylor. Jen first hones in on the fact that Kelly and Semi Hot have a steamy past, then mentions she was boffing someone in the registrar's office at Yale, where she got to read her file and see all the letters of recommendation written on her behalf. Turns out the one Kelly wrote wasn't very kind--"a narcissist with no moral compass" not exactly being glowing praise--but, mind you, the bitch still got in to Yale, so just why her nose is out of joint... Apparently Jen got in with her perfect transcripts, blah blah blah. Only Kelly knows that Jen stole some girl's term paper. Now, if Kelly knew this, why didn't she suspend Jen back in the day, and why did Jen still get into Yale? To make things even more uncomfortable, Jen asks Kelly what Semi Hot likes in bed. Shudder.Hey now, look who's getting crowned Prom King? It's Dixon Wilson. Who will be his Queen? Naomi? The girl throwing the party? No, sillies! We're in imaginary funland, remember? It's a WRITE IN CANDIDATE! Can you guess who? I'll give you some hints: She made a sex tape of her with the Prom King. She's got a spray tan and a giant pink cotton candy dress. And SHE DOESN'T EVEN GO TO WEST BEV ANYMORE. Ohhhhh, right! It's Erin Silver! All the sophomores voted her as Queen, even though she wasn't on the ballot! Silver takes this opportunity to make an awkward, personal speech that turns into a diss of proms in general. Too bad no one thought ahead to load the rafters with a bucket of pig's blood, because something needs to shut up Silver as she embraces her inner freak in a tiring monologue.

As a follow-up to Silver's "Thanks But No Thanks" to Prom Queen speech, Naomi takes the crown, Dixon adopts a crestfallen look, and Ethan tells Semi Hot (you know, the ENGLISH teacher) that he's not going to go to Lacrosse Camp after all. Instead he's going to backpack in Montana with his dad and find out who he really is. Well, okey dokey, if you say so.


Naomi, you'd better be careful or your face might freeze that way.
"Why'd you tell your Dad about my party?" whines Phoebe. "You're a rat!" Annie can't figure out why people think this, but Silver's advice is to not give two hoots. Dixon, meanwhile, gives several hoots about Silver's behavior. He's crying into his punch glass because while his girlfriend was having her epiphany remembering that fitting in at prom was so not on her life goals list, she was inadvertently lumping him in the category of zombie prom-loving losers. And though she says she's ready to come back to West Bev, Dixon is miserable, because, clearly, she really doesn't love him (okay, he hasn't said that, but, come on, look at his sad Prom King face!). Dixon, my friend, always be careful what you wish for.

Ethan, on the other hand, is deeply grateful for Silver's speech, and he shows up at the table where the trouble couple is having another tense chat to thank her. It seems Ethan is more suited to Silver, no? Could this be the end of Dixon and Silver and the seedlings of a Season Two Ethan and Silver coupling?


Inside this spoiled, conniving bitch lies the heart of a...spoiled conniving bitch with a secret!
Party Girl Jen excuses herself to take a phone call, so Kelly sidles up to Semi Hot to warn him about her and her evil ways. He mistakes this for Kelly trying to get Jen out of the picture so she can have him for herself, but what Semi Hot wasn't expecting was to hear that Kelly has "moved on." Burned, Semi Hot! And what we weren't expecting to hear was Jen on the phone talking to some guy named Olivier...from whom she is getting divorced. Oh, little scandalmonger!Naomi and Liam are taking a stroll on the Paramount lot, and they bump into Kelly Taylor, stooping it on the New York street. "Glad to see you decided to come to prom, your step father will be happy to know you're involved in school," she says. Naomi suddenly realizes that Liam isn't really there because he likes her, but because he kind of has to be. Naomi finally mans up and admits she really likes him, and that he confuses her, because he's acting like a total dick, but he must have gone to some trouble to please her because her black orchid corsage isn't something he could have just gone into the store and grabbed--he'd had to have ordered it.

Liam refuses to admit that he's done anything special, and Naomi realizes that what he must have done is to go on her Facebook page and read up on her likes, and that between spicy tuna rolls and the smell of Neiman Marcus she put "black orchids." Liam, you are busted. You LIKE Naomi. Come on, dude, just cop to it. Whew. He does.

So, to keep tally, so far at prom we have one dissed date (dorky stage crew guy), one spoiled After party (Principal Dad crushing Phoebe's dreams), false false labor pains (Adrianna, obvs), one anti-prom speech (Silver) resulting in one abandonment of amazing summer plans (Ethan and Lacrosse camp) and one possible relationship fizzling out (Silver and Dixon), one killer band without a name, one conniving mysterious older sister (Jen), one possible new couple (Liam and Naomi), and one pensive guidance counselor (Kelly Taylor).


I'm pretty okay with the fact that I have no idea who this band is. The band, however, should be kind of mad that they really got no PR in this episode. I mean, in 1993 we knew Cathy Dennis was playing the West Bev Prom in a big way. They talked about it a lot, and obviously it brought her years of infamy. Oh, wait...
Let's add FIST FIGHT! to the list, shall we? Why not? Navid decides to barrel into Ty out of the blue, despite Adrianna preferring he not do so. And as soon as the two sophomores get down to the red carpet to duke it out, Adrianna puts another item on the Soph Prom check list: GOING INTO LABOR. For reals.

Next week: It's the Season Finale. And...the finale of our Morning After Report.

90210 airs Tuesdays at 9 (new time!) on the CW

Get caught up: Episodes 1 & 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5; Episode 6; Episode 7; Episode 8; Episode 9; Episode 10; Episode 11; Episode 12; Episode 13; Episode 14; Episode 15; Episode 16; Episode 17; Episode 18; Episode 19; Episode 20; Episode 21; Episode 22; or go retro.