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Arts and Entertainment

Morning After Report: 90210 Episode 8 'There's No Place Like Homecoming'

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Douchebag: "Would you like to NOT go to the dance with me?" Annie: "Sure. I'd rather learn how to drive with the help of my State Farm booklet!" | Photo: Scott Humbert/The CW

Weeeeeee're baaaaaaack! After a two week hiatus the sparkly new 90210 returned to the airwaves last night with an episode centered on the time-honored American tradition known as Homecoming, which celebrates the...uh...well, you see, it pays homage to...err, well...hmmm. Okay, well, there's a big dance.

The last time we were at the corner of Wealthy and Spoiled deep in the heart of the county's infamous zip, diva-in-training Adrianna had a twofold death wish thanks to her own proclivity for snorting coke and her so-called BFF Naomi's raspy "as God as my witness!" fist-shaking pronouncement that Adrianna was "dead" to her.

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Well, Adrianna is not dead. In fact, we knew this before the show even started. Way to buzzkill a cliffhanger, DirecTV, with your episode info: "Adrianna is forced to check into rehab." Since rehab isn't for corpses, well...there you go.

Now, did someone say there was a dance going on?

Giggle, sigh, stare longingly off into nowhere...it's Homecoming! The illustrious princesses and princes get their photos headshots on the garishly re-decorated walls of West Bev (WBHH, actually) and Annie and Dixon find out their principal Dad and Mom will be the dance's chaperones. Bum-mer! Of course, who's to say those two kiddoes are even going to go?

Dixon has his 10th grader heart set on a romantic night with the school's resident internet dark mistress, Silver, while Annie has high hopes that Ethan, fresh from the clutches of Naomi and ergo sloppy seconds, will be her prince charming. But, oh noes! Silver, like, duh, doesn't believe in dances (unlike her belief in fashion shows) and Ethan has this absurd dumb guy idea that he and Annie not, like, go together but sorta bump into each other accidentally on purpose once they are there. Slick, dude. You are right on track with your douchebag dating skills that will wow the adult females of Los Angeles once you reach legal maturity. Nice.

Since Silver hates dances she opts for the lesser evil, which is oral surgery. She informs Dixon that she is getting her wisdom teeth pulled, and he offers to play nursemaid. Sounds kinky, kids.

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But we can't forget about Adrianna, right? And the nasty legal entanglement she got Naomi into when she took the fall for Adrianna's coke on campus--and we don't mean her can of CokeZero. In what has to be one of television's most awkward principal office scenes, Principal Dad lays down the law for Naomi and her creepy Barbie-doll mother Tracy (who doubles as Principal Dad's pre-Kansas Baby Mama, you follow?). For some inexplicable reason the semi-hot teacher that wanted to get with Kelly Taylor (still in Wyoming riding Dylan McKay horses) is also a part of this meeting, which makes just about zero logistical sense since, well, WTF did he have to do with this whole scenario, and who leans against walls like that (pictured at right)? As Naomi and Baby Mama "act" shocked that Adrianna almost died (O-M-G!) we find out that Naomi is off the legal hook, but will have to face perma-detention. "Take it," urges the random semi-hot teacher. I'm sorry, you're there because...?

For some reason, instead of being grateful for being out of hot water with the long arm of the law and for her BFF not being in the morgue, perma-detention turns Naomi into an even more scowling see-you-next-Tuesday who happens to be fluent in what we can only assume is naughty Spanish. She strikes up a flirtation with a "bad boy" of some implied "other" ethnicity and rolls her eyes a lot.

Meanwhile, Adrianna, who, just like our Episode Guide on the DVR told us, is being forced into rehab. Suddenly court-appointed drug treatment looks better than my last vacation, because apparently if the court is in Beverly Hills, the rehab facility is actually a really swank Mediterranean-style mansion. Oh, and it's called "Currents." What, "Pledges" or "Affirmations" was too obvious? According to Adrianna, rehab is just like prison in 1970 because you can't, like, do what you want when you want, i.e. talk on you cell phone, which, based on my best understanding, sounds a lot like prison in 2008. Because the actor's agent probably said "Can you give my client a storyline, please? He represents diversity!" Navid--who seems to get his clothes from stores that cater to German cyclists--randomly shows up and finds Adrianna sort of wandering around the completely dark and empty mansion. What the hell kind of rehab is this? Adrianna is channeling her best "Girl, Interrupted" in the next few scenes, with her tear-stained cheeks, red-rimmed eyes, and angsty self-loathing comments about how badly she feels about hurting Naomi. Too bad her agent couldn't suggest she go all Scott Scanlon and accidentally shoot herself in the face with her daddy's gun during a totally awkward birthday party.


Video interlude: Scott Scanlon is the original 90210's first death, 1991

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Because there aren't enough plot lines to work with, and because State Farm is a proud sponsor of 90210, we also learn that Annie is getting her driving permit. Oh, and they get their insurance from State Farm. Can I get a Dr. Pepper now, please?

Meanwhile, drunk Grandma floats in on a wave of silken caftan and slurs to the mom--who has a name finally: Debbie!--that she lacks "cojones" but she also is a smart, classy broad who should verbally bitchslap Baby Mama Tracy. Sadly, drunk Grandma only gets this one scene and this one backhanded compliment and she's gone. Come back, drunk Grandma! I want to watch your show!

So, there's this dance going on. Homecoming. It's a really big deal. Although not so big that you, like, need a date to go with or even have to buy a ticket. Feel free to show up. If you're Naomi you're going to adopt two randoms for friends and play dress-up with them and Annie in your boudoir and talk about thongs and why having a big brother would be totally cool. Once they get tarted up it's off to the dance, where the randoms seem to fade into nowheresville and where Little Jackie also happens to be playing. Like Annie, I thought, and said aloud, "Gosh, WBBH sure gets cool musical acts to play their dances!" However, I call shenanigans on Naomi when she says, "Oh, yeah, they play the Viper Room like ALL THE TIME." Uh, sure.


Video interlude: Little Jackie: "The World Should Revolve Around Me" video

Like I said, you don't need a ticket to come to the dance, because suddenly Adrianna is there, proving that "Currents" is not at all like prison in any decade. Did she walk? I mean, seriously, writers...

Silver is whacked out on pain meds post-wisdom teeth removal, and while I'd hope the drugs would act as some sort of truth-telling encouragement, instead she baffles me more by what she doesn't say--who her dentist was. Why does this matter? Well, hello (writers, are you listening?) Silver's dad is DOCTOR MEL SILVER, ORAL SURGEON. Wouldn't it be her dad doing her dentistry? Apparently not. Lame. What's even lamer is that she keeps trying to kiss Dixon and then says "Ow!" Ya think? But when Annie calls from the dance floor to check in on Silver the truth comes out: Dixon wanted to go to the dance (like he's really into it, like any normal male--really into it) and is such a gem for giving up his fantasy date to watch his girlfriend bleed through the cotton wadding the dentist-who-is-not-her-father stuck in her mouth. I smell an idea hatching (it smells like Andrea Zuckerman watching horror movies at home alone on prom night, actually)... Sure enough, Silver gets dolled up and decides to haul Dixon to the homecoming. Tickets, schmickets!

At the dance, having summoned up her "cojones" Debbie (yay, I learned her name!) confronts bug-eyed Baby Mama. No one, of course, questions why Baby Mama aka Naomi's Mom aka Tracy, is at the dance in the first place.

Know who else is at the dance? Kimberly the Undercover Cop! Kimbercop, who likes to put on her sassy pants and sass the semi-hot teacher, is out back buying drugs. Of course the semi-hot teacher catches her and drags her into the darkened halls of WBHH to publicly shame her and to bring her to Principal Dad for some good old fashioned discipline. But, huh? Principal Dad seems to be a softy when it comes to Kimbercop! Why is that, wonders semi-hot teacher. So, forgetting that he is ostensibly addressing his boss, he launches into this really inappropriate tirade berating Principal Dad, which culminates in him threatening to "go to the LA Times" with the story. (Hope you don't want a job at the LA Times, semi-hot teacher! They aren't really into hiring these days as much as they are firing.) Of course Kimbercop can't take it anymore and she violates all codes of professionalism and spills the beans about who she is and why she's trolling the halls of WBHH.

Oh, but I forgot about Adrianna. Naomi basically tells her to talk to the hand and so Adrianna makes her way to the parking lot, where, conveniently her dealer is parked and is ready to supply her with mind-numbing blow. But, lo, it's Navid! The knight in shining--no, wait, the knight in a weird suit with a purple shirt--who saves the damsel in distress. Why? Because, obvs, he has the hots for her and has since 7th grade! (That's so Kelly and Dylan!)

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Naomi gives good ultimatum | Photo: Jordin Althaus/The CW

Here comes Naomi, fresh from giving Annie an ultimatum: Ethan or me, and fresh from hearing Annie pass on some of her Kansas cornfield wisdom about the value of friendship. She is ready to forgive Adrianna, and Adrianna is thrilled. (Incidentally, because many of the talented cast members of this show can't enunciate I often watch the show on closed captioning. This scene had the best caption that seemed to express how I sometimes feel when watching the show: Sobbing continues.)

And then they have a threesome and everyone else pairs up and makes out.

Okay, not everyone, but Navid-Adrianna-Naomi head back to Currents with their arms around each other, Ethan and Annie lock lips, and semi-hot teacher gives sassy pants Kimbercop what's he's wanted to for weeks now that she isn't jail bait anymore.

Cue music. Tonsil hockey--and sobbing--continues.

90210 airs Tuesdays at 8 on the CW

Get caught up: Episodes 1 & 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5; Episode 6; Episode 7; or go retro.

Photo of Semi-hot teacher doing the lean in Principal Dad's office by Scott Humbert/The CW