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Arts and Entertainment

Morning After Report: 90210 Episode 10 'Games People Play'

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I distinctly remember the detention bad-boy turned "gourmet" chef (he made grilled cheese) tell Naomi he didn't play games in last week's episode, but she's a girl who only changes her hairstyle, not her stripes, so it's games, games, games for the kids of West Bev. And we're not talking Candyland.

The games begin when Naomi sees Annie and Ethan playing seven minutes in heaven in the complete un-privacy of a bio classroom at West Bev. At first she thinks the whole entire world saw it, too, because everyone is snickering and giggling as she makes her way through the school's preposterously yellow halls, but turns out it's just a convenient "text blast" that's going around the West Bev T-Mobile network outing the Semi-Hot teacher for getting it on in his car with Kimbercop. Phew! What a relief, right?

Now remember that the West Bev Board of Ed allotted all the school's funds to buy the hot-off-Broadway rights to do Spring Awakening as the school play, so they can't afford to hire substitute teachers (it's how Brenda Walsh got to direct said play, after all), so it shouldn't be a shocker to see Principal Dad stride into Semi-Hot teacher's class and announce he's subbing. Seriously, Governor Schwarzenegger, look at what your state budget cuts are doing to our education!

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The good news is, Kelly Taylor is back from the ranch, but alas, "Dylan is Dylan" with the same sideburns, lean face, and "commitment issues." Translation: Luke Perry is not down for a guest star gig. Luckily KT can dive right back into things at West Bev--it's going to be super easy for her to be over-involved in the school psychology of Semi-Hot teacher's suspension and his alleged penchant for sweet young sassy mouthed things. Surprisingly no one spills the beans to Kelly about Kimbercop being an undercover narc, so we get to watch her flop like a freshly caught fish through all these "what's going on?" scenes. Good times.

Naomi is all about the game playing--not poker, as Adrianna suggests--but rather playing the "poor me" card with Annie. So the girls take a shopping trip to Robertson (tres apropos for the locals, actually; nice job, writers!) and Naomi starts to harp on Annie's ex-bf, the corn-fed heartbreak case from Kansas named Jason. All of this is in the context of the big birthday Annie has coming up--the lass is going to turn sweet, sweet, sweet sixteen this week, and Naomi wants to make sure it's a special day, of course. (Remember, Annie and Ethan are playing a little mini-game, too, aka "Keeping the flames of our teenaged lust top secret from Naomi.") Naomi swipes Jason's number from Annie's phone while she's in the dressing room of a no-name boutique, and I smell a "I'm going to fly in your ex and see you guys squirm!" plot.

Meanwhile, it seems Navid would rather edit footage about the Semi-Hot teacher than bone West Bev's own bug-eyed Amy Winehouse, aka Adrianna. Hmmm, this also smells like an issue, but it's hard to say if he's holding his V card still or this is going to be an "issue" issue, i.e. my ethnic background will cause difficulties in our teen romance. It could go either way, frankly. It's going to go one of those ways, though, before Navid and Adrianna go all the way, I can assure you. I don't believe anyone has overtly "done it" thus far this season on 90210 actually. Curious.

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As expected, Kelly Taylor is in the thick of things, as she tries to corner Kimbercop into talking about her "feelings" about the Semi-Hot teacher (pictured, left). Kimbercop astutely sees through this, as Kelly is a classic case of someone who wants what she hasn't got (namely the teacher) and Kimbercop gets to sass mouth her some more, and this goes absolutely nowhere. Yawn.

Big shocker, Naomi's next big move was indeed to pay for the shipping and handling to make Jason, the Kansas ex, Annie's big 16th birthday surprise. Smutty Grandma gets to toss off a line about the Kansas ex's hottness (meh) and hello, this is AWKWARD! Naomi eats it up like a lion eats a hunk of meat. Mouth smacking good, huh, mean girl?

Adrianna decides to see what makes Navid tick, so she shows up uninvited to the Persian Porn Palace, and finds herself knee deep in family members and a dinner table set up like the King's at Medieval Times filled with food with names she can't pronounce. What economic crisis? Oh, the bounty! (Turns out Navid's mom is being played by the woman who played the hot Italian exchange student in the 1987 classic, Summer School. Don't act like you didn't see it--it was Mark Harmon at his best. Which isn't saying much.)

To drive her point even further, Naomi arranges for a big outing for Annie, Jason, Dixon, Silver, her, and Ethan. It seems like it's at Katsuya, but since they only flashed half the menu, probably it's meant to "evoke" Katsuya, but really isn't. If it were, much like Lucky Strike, they'd be throwing that name all over the place. Can't win them all. Speaking of winning, Naomi is determined to, so we get treated to a lot of expected chatter about the former couples, and how Jason wants to go to UCLA. (What, California University's not good enough?) Oh, this is soooooo awkward! Ethan is mad at Annie, Annie's caught in the middle, Naomi is lapping this up, and Jason is as personable as a lamppost.

Since we've hit the episode's apex, it's time for some denouement. Here we go:

  • Navid is, in fact, a virgin.
  • Kimbercop makes an arrest, but cons the kid into setting her up with his dealer so she can go in for the big kill. If she closes the case, she can ride off onto Sunset Blvd. with the Semi-Hot teacher, after all.
  • Jason kisses Annie in the bathroom, Annie balks, but still doesn't tell the truth. Tsk, tsk.
  • Naomi further delights in the game she is orchestrating, and for a split second looks like a dead ringer for one Miss Valerie Malone. No one could play a game like that bitch, I'll tell you.
  • Annie's "big party" is a pink neon sign hung over her fireplace, a group of random extras, and a karaoke machine. Smutty Grandma is the first up, warbling a rousing rendition of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Annie rudely leaves in the middle to go "get some air."
  • Ethan shows up at the party late; he and Annie talk it out on the porch, then do what kids do: Lock lips. Naomi sees this, then makes Jason look at it.
  • Kelly Taylor shows up chez Semi-Hot teacher's house. Word must have spread that Kimbercop wasn't just a sassy mouthed teen and that the gig is up. Semi-Hot is really really really overdoing the personal life-crisis dramatics, talking about just hopping a plane at LAX to anywhere in the world, who cares, blabbity blah blah blah. Who cares about a job or an income, right? We do know, though, that he can't work as a sub in West Bev...not because he was mistaken for a perv, but because West Bev doesn't hire subs.
  • Annie and Ethan decide to come clean, but Naomi is still playing dirty: She's riding Jason (fully clothed, it's the 8 o'clock time slot on the CW!) like a cowgirl. Take that, bitches! Oh, the humiliation! Jason tries to smooth things over and goes for the "good girl gone wrong," ploy with Annie (i.e. "What happened to you, you were never like this in Kansas!?") but Annie sums up life in Beverly Hills pretty clearly: "The rules are different here."

So after this, I have to hand it to the 90210-ers, because Annie and Naomi head outside for what turns out to be a pretty solid confrontation. I'm not entirely convinced Naomi can spell "duplicitous" let alone use it correctly in a sentence, but besides that, it was well-played. They call each other out and are about to end this game and the charade of their friendship once and for all when...

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A kid in uniform shows up! "Who are you?" the girls ask in unison.

"I'm Sean. I'm the son of Harry Wilson and Tracy Clark."

That's right, ladies, he's your half brother. Ooooooooh!

<90210 airs Tuesdays at 8 on the CW

Get caught up: Episodes 1 & 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5; Episode 6; Episode 7; Episode 8; Episode 9; or go retro.

Photos:
AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi | Photo: Scott Humbert/The CW
Ryan Eggold as Semi-Hot Teacher | Photo: Justin Stephens/The CW
Shenae Grimes as Annie, AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi and Josh Henderson as Sean | Photo Credit: Jaimie Trueblood / The CW