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Arts and Entertainment

Morning After Report: 90210 Episode 11 'That Which We Destroy'

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Ladies and gentlemen, if you need but one reason to watch the updated 90210 allow me to give one to you: No other prime time drama offers such probing insight into the world of high school lacrosse.

And if that doesn't do it, how about cat fights, new and old?

We pick up this week exactly where we stood last week, on the porch of the ballooned and be-ribboned Wilson home, where Annie's Sour Sixteen became the scene of a totally awkward family reunion for Annie, Naomi, and their bastard half-brother Sean.

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Besides having a bit of a drawl and wearing military garb, here's what you need to know about Sean, courtesy of the true Wilson matriarch, drunk and inappropriate Grandma Tabitha: "Roman coins would melt with envy" over Sean's handsome mug, he has the Wilson nose but it's somewhat less "schnauzy," he is "one of those 'patriotic Americans'" you may have "heard so much about," and in order for her to tell people she is 54 she will have to tell people she birthed Principal Dad at age 11 so that he could provide the sperm for the now 25-year-old Sean when Principal Dad was 18 (sheesh, math for the truly vain is hard!). Grandma also helps us discern that "pig in a blanket" is indeed not Kansas-speak for something unspeakable. God I love Grandma. So happy she's all over this episode like a drunk at happy hour. Literally.

Oh, but back to Sean. Bottom line, he's cute, he's young, he's an interloper, and he is getting a lot of attention.

Of course, three guesses as to whom this attention rubs the wrong way the most? Okay, you really don't need three guesses, because it's totally obvs. Dixon feels completely assed out because he is adopted. And he's black. Uh oh, now what?

To the halls of West Bev we go, where Annie and her new official BF Ethan are "that couple" who make out at their lockers (much to the chagrin of Naomi) and where Kelly Taylor (channeling something closer to her What I Like About You character, don't you think? Perky, ditzy, face-making?) gives bringing the dueling Annie and Naomi together the ol' West Bev try. This involves a plant and cut flowers analogy, and a very obvious connection to Kelly's own experience with High School cat fights, vis-a-vis Brenda Walsh. The life lesson is wasted on young Naomi and Annie (as is youth, right?) but old Kelly seems to be hatching a plan to make nice-nice with Brenda.

Because Naomi is now apparently a social outcast and the least popular-most popular sophomore in town, she has nowhere to sit at lunch in the hypercolor cafeteria. This is apparently really high-quality fodder for a "live video blog" by Silver, and a great opportunity for Annie to be really bitchy about Naomi. I mean, ew, OMG, Naomi is wearing Ugg boots! "That's so 2002!" (Or 2006, but, like, hey, whatever, Kansas.) Her BF Ethan doesn't really appreciate Annie's bitchy side, which means this new relationship could be destined for a one-episode story arc of "Ethan isn't sure he likes Annie's attitude about his ex girlfriend who is also Annie's half sister." I mean, it could be, right? Right.

So where does Naomi sit? Not with the athletes. Or the mathletes. But with "The Blendeds," a character set which makes this nighttime teen soap a bit too Saturday morning tween sticom-y, if you ask me. (For fans of the genre, Kelly Taylor will later make a Saved By the Bell joke, so sit tight.) Apparently "The Blendeds" only consume--you guessed it--blended coffee beverages, and NOT the delicious Diet Dr. Pepper that Naomi is about to tuck in to. (Oh, wow, cool, there's a Diet Dr. Pepper? That is like so totally awesome! I'm so glad 90210 is helping me to be a more savvy consumer! I also think I want to trade in my iPhone for a T-Mobile Sidekick because, wow, The Blendeds and Naomi Clark use them! They are so cool! I want to be cool, too!) Anyhow, in addition to their interest in sub-par mobile phone technology and sugary iced beverages, The Blendeds want Naomi to be their bitch. Done!

After school, we see just how willing Naomi is to drop the soap and take it from The Blendeds, because she arranges for her maid to deliver the clique their favorite coffee drinks right to the front steps of West Bev. Nice! Annie, of course, thinks Naomi is a tool, and tries to start a cat fight right then and there, but Naomi is too slick and Annie is too Kansas, so it ends with Naomi expressing her pleasure that Annie is dating Ethan ("Enjoy my sloppy seconds!") and Ethan expressing displeasure that Annie is being such a bee-yotch (frowny face). Naomi doesn't have time for Annie's games, though. She has stuff to do, namely score a reservation to the hottest make-believe restaurant in Los Angeles, which happens to be owned by the father of Ozzy, the detention stud who makes a mean grilled cheese but doesn't like Parchesi. Ozzy is amenable to scoring a reservation for Naomi and The Blendeds. Didn't that seem too easy? No, not Naomi. I mean how easily Ozzy agreed to do her the favor! Keep that in mind, folks. 90210 is all about foreshadowing.


All the while Naomi is doing the bidding of some random broads, we can't forget that Dixon is seething with jealousy about the arrival of Sean, who Grandma Tabitha also calls "the prodigal son." Grandma also likes to pick at a wound if it means insulting Mrs. Principal Dad (Debbie!). Oddly enough, while she starts off with an insult, she always manages to turn it into really sweet and thoughtful wisdom that makes Debbie feel better and do something besides sit on the couch. Grandma's advice may be soaked in an amber-colored booze poured liberally into a snifter--and will involve the story of a chihuahua and a French lover--but it is well-intentioned. Aw!

Anyhow, it's great that Debbie (Downer) has Grandma Tabitha to help her deal with her anger. But it would be really great if Dixon had an outlet, like, oh, you know, that part-time job he has at the Peach Pit, but apparently Nat is so flexible with your schedule that you can work for one episode week and then never come back unless it's to drink some delicious Dr. Pepper with your friends. Instead he has Lacrosse. The sport of champions. The sport of...well, white people.

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It's not easy being what the only black cheerleader at West Bev calls the school's "very own Jackie Robinson." It's not easy being the adopted black son in a family learning to embrace an older, handsomer, whiter bastard son. It's not easy feeling this way at the Lacrosse team Spirit Dinner. It's not easy feeling this way when your Principal Dad is now the assistant Lacrosse coach. It's not easy when your Dad is kind of a tool about the whole situation (i.e. bailing early on the Spirit Dinner to take Sean to dinner. Way to go, Coach/Principal/Dad. You are an insensitive, irresponsible, unprofessional douchebag.)

Ah, yes, time to take Sean to dinner. Of course, they're joined by the other Moms, Tracy (Naomi's really, really, really scary, freaky mother) and Debbie. During dinner we learn that Tracy a) Gets her hair done in the same place that Naomi sometimes does, which is a place that specializes in making women in 2008 look like Shirley Temple in 1935 and b) Really, really, really loves sushi. She has taken Sean to (real) places all over Los Angeles: Katsuya, Nobu, and Matsuhisa and would like to have lunch at R-23 tomorrow, which means c) She is totally unconcerned about Mercury levels in her system thanks to all the fish she is eating. Honestly, besides that we don't learn anything during this meal.

At another make-believe restaurant (which looks cool, because fire seems to be part of the decor, snazzy) Ozzy is serving double-duty as host and Naomi's coolness bubble-burster. What reservation? Ohhhhh... ooops. He was just faking her out. But for some reason he still decides to give Naomi and the Blendeds "the best table in the place." He'll probably get back at her later. I hope it involves a giant cat costume.

What's more important is what's happening the next day: THE BIG LACROSSE GAME AGAINST BEL AIR! Seriously, the excitement is palpable.

Annie is having an identity crisis. First, she doesn't know what to wear. Thankfully Silver is there to save her from the condition known as "Chilly Beaver." Okay, I made that up, but there is a reference to the relationship between the cold benches, a short skirt, and the potential need for Annie to have "two hairstyles." Then she has a real identity crisis. "Who am I?" she wonders. "I am not a bitch!" Argh, teen angst!

So, know who's a bitch? Brenda Walsh, that's who! Hooray, it's old people time on the new show! Remember how Kelly got all teary eyed over a houseplant in her friendship analogy back in her office? Well, she was, indeed, hatching a plan to make nice with Brenda. So they meet up for lunch on a day when Brenda isn't doing a matinee performance of Macbeth (seriously?) and Kelly goes for the hard-sell on their "history" and how they should be better friends. Brenda, though, is just not into her. Not at all. Like blatantly so. Basically, she's like "Kelly, why bother?" She doesn't want all the fighting over guys drama that tore them apart time and time again in the 90s. This is sad news for Kelly, and when she gives Brenda the option to leave...Brenda takes it. Seriously, she gets up and walks out on Kelly. Ouch!

Kelly manages, though, to make it to the Lacrosse game, just like pretty much everyone who lives in the 90210 zip code. This is, mysteriously, a really big deal. Present are: Silver(with an iPod and a Rubix cube), Adrianna (without Navid but with the need to vomit), Dixon (he's on the team), Ethan (on the team, too), Principal Dad (coaching), Debbie Downer (wifely/motherly duty), Sean (bastard son duty), Naomi (so she can wear a West Bev belly shirt), The Blendeds (so they can make fun of Naomi), and Ozzy (so he can make Naomi do stupid things). Good freaking times, people.

Where's Annie, though? She's not shopping for a scarf for her naughty bits. She did have a fashion crisis, but she found something appropriate to in the WEST BEV WILDCAT MASCOT COSTUME! Yes, Annie knows who she is, and who she is happens to be A TOTAL DORK. We only care about the mascot because Ozzy makes Naomi kiss the mascot. Why? Who the eff knows. To bring cohesion to this massive tangle of weak storylines, is my best guess.


But we can't forget that we're here for a purpose: IT'S THE BIG LACROSSE GAME AGAINST BEL AIR. OMG, people, OMG. This is serious.

Dixon is out on the field working out his anger issues in the form of unruly and unsportsman like behavior. Principal Dad boots his ass out of the game, to which Dixon, now not interested in veiling his jealousy and disdain, replies "Screw you!" Whoa, that was not cool! I bet you are going to have to have a heart to heart in the locker room with your Coach/Principal/Dad. (No wonder people have an identity crisis every ten minutes around here!)


Oh, hey, look! It's Dixon, moping in the locker room! Here comes...Principal Dad. Here's how the convo goes:

Dad: WTF, kid?
Dixon: I am using lacrosse to express my anger.
Dad: I'm clueless. Why are you angry?
Dixon: Gee, I don't know, Dad. Maybe because you obviously love your bastard white Southern Army-boy son more than me. And because I'm black. And I feel left out.
Dixon: Took you long enough.
Dad: Genes don't matter.
Dixon: Bull.
Dad: I always worried there would come a day when I would have to address the pressing race-related issue: "How am I going to teach him how to shave his black hair?"*

*actual line of dialogue

I think they hugged it out or something.

Back on the field, Kelly gets a phone call. Sounds like an emergency! Turns out Brenda listed Kelly, for some incredibly ridiculous reason, as her emergency contact. And Brenda fell off the stage. She must have some amazing health insurance, because her injury seems to be related to her arm, but she is in a full hospital gown, in a private room, in a hospital bed, and needing her emergency contact to come by--and make a weird reference to Saved by the Bell about acting-related accidents or something. Will this life-threatening (giggle) injury bring these estranged friends together?


Why not? Because Brenda confesses she slept with the Semi-Hot Teacher back when Kelly was busy turning down his advances on her (so that would make him fair game, right?). So how does Kelly react? Well, she pulls a Brenda-at-lunch: She leaves. Oh noes!!!

Things are much more huggy and smiley at the Wilson home, because the whole family is there saying goodnight and "good game" (West Bev beat Bel Air in the lacrosse championship!) and Sean is spending the night. Oh boy! It's so nice to have Sean here! They are such a happy family...

...or are they? The second Sean is alone he whips out his (presumably T-Mobile) phone and makes an eerie call to an unknown recipient. "I'm making myself right," he says mysteriously. He's getting really comfy, he says. Uh oh. I think he has a trick up his sleeve!

What's the trick up Sean's sleeve? Why is Brenda still a bitch and can she and Kelly be friends? What will Ozzy and The Blendeds make Naomi do next? What will Silver talk about in her next blog? Why is Adrianna hurling at a Lacrosse game? What will Annie's nether region wear to express her identity? What's Grandma drinking? And how will Dixon learn to shave his black hair?

Sadly, we won't know the answers to these--and other--burning, itching questions until JANUARY 6, 2009.

See you then.

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; Episode 10; orgo retro.

All photos by Jaimie Trueblood/The CW except photo of Jessica Walter as Tabitha Wilson by Patrick Ecclesine/The CW