To Thine Own Self Be True
Original Air Date: Nov 17, 2009
Meg – Reviewer
Things take a tragic turn tonight, as Jackie Taylor leaves everyone’s favorite zip code for the great hereafter.
The surprisingly heartrending story of Silver and Kelly losing their mother is in marked contrast to the rest of the episode which is cluttered with Naomi’s romantic entanglements, brainwashed Annie, and a vengeful, psychotic Jasper.
Silver, Kelly, and (R.I.P.) Jackie
Kelly takes care of Silver and comforts her in the hospital as they wait for news on Jackie’s condition. Silver is inconsolable and doesn’t understand why Kelly doesn’t want to make peace with their mother before she dies. Frankly, I can’t understand it either. Kelly, get over yourself!
Despite Silver’s pleas, Kelly claims that even when she was sober, Jackie was a terrible mother and forced her into a life of diet pills, nose jobs, and low self esteem. Later, Kelly goes to pick up Silver outside Jackie’s room and finds Jackie’s bed empty and her name being erased from the door. Kelly collapses, overcome with grief and regret. But because this is happy TV-land, this is all just a misunderstanding and Jackie hasn’t died, she’s just switched rooms! Phew…
Kelly goes to see her. Jackie is in bad shape, but smiles at the sight of her daughter. She apologizes for being a negligent mother and tells Kelly how thankful she is that Kelly turned out nothing like her and that she is so proud of her beautiful, strong daughter. Kelly cries and finally forgives her mother.
Later, Silver and Kelly sit by Jackie’s bedside, holding each other as Jackie’s heart monitor goes silent. It’s a poignant end to a well-told story that suffers from the jarring scene cuts to the other story-lines at play in this episode.
Navid confronts Adrianna about buying drugs from Jasper. While his intentions are good, Navid isn’t exactly Captain Compassion when it comes to his attempted intervention (it comes across more as “I dumped you and you were too weak to cope, so you turned to drugs!” Jerk…). Ade tells him that she’s over him, she was never really in love with him, and that she was just using him to make herself feel better. Ouch.
Navid fills Naomi in on his suspicions, which leads to a much gentler confrontation between Naomi and Ade in the courtyard. Adrianna swears she is still clean. Which is totally true…. (if by clean you mean “actively purchasing and consuming methamphetamines”). Later, Naomi catches Ade hiding a pill bottle. She yells at her, tells Ade that she’s done with her lies, and storms out. That’s supportive. Sheesh, Naomi, at least take the drugs with you.
Annie & Jasper
Now that she is in love/getting laid, Annie is starry-eyed and cheerful again. Her parents are thrilled and agree to invite her new boyfriend to dinner. Debbie and Harry are delighted that Annie is showing interest in anything again, even if it is a James Dean wannabe who overinvested in hair products.
Debbie and Harry invite Dixon to join in the dinner o’ fun. He declines and trades barbs with Annie over their geriatric fake-pregnant ex-girlfriend and deranged drug-dealing boyfriend, respectively. Mom and Dad are not thrilled to learn that Jasper is an alleged pusher of prescription pills.
Dinner is painfully awkward and Annie makes me barf by waxing poetic about Jasper’s film and how he’s a “genius” (albeit that doesn’t mean much coming from the girl who stole a car on camera to impress a boy). Annie freaks out her parents as she claims that the West Bev kids are all spoiled lemmings. Jasper realizes the Wilsons have heard the drug-dealer rumor (that is not a rumor) and confronts it head on. He spins a yarn about how being with Annie makes him feel “like he has a place in the world” and that he wants the best for her. Whatevs, I would still demand a pee test. While addressing the matter head on is a smart move for such a twerpy jerkwad, it’s ultimately not enough to convince the Wilsons that this kid is anything but bad news. Debbie claims that Annie isn’t herself when she’s around Jasper. Hmmm… annoying? Petulant? Incomprehensively vacuous? Yup, I’d say she’s still pretty much herself… The brief glimmer of hope I have in parenting is then dashed when the Wilsons do the stupidest thing possible and forbid Annie from seeing Jasper (yup, that’s the best way to deal with a rebellious teenager—convince them you’re their enemy and give them more restrictions to rebel against!).
Jasper reacts to this news by pushing Navid down a flight of stairs in retribution for narcing on him. Right, because the one thing parents love more than a drug dealer? Definitely a murderer…
Naomi is shacking up with Jamie, the hot football-playing roommate of her former conquest Richard in their dormroom at CU. Richard shows up with his mother, the Dean of Admissions of CU, who in two minutes becomes a more interesting character than several of this show’s regulars… Jamie introduces Naomi to Richard’s mom. She pulls out the claws and calls Naomi classy for jumping from Richard to Jamie so quickly.
Later, Naomi has a rare moment of honesty and actually fesses up to Jamie that she wanted to date Richard to get close to his mother and get accepted to CU (wow, either the admissions process in California works VERY differently or Naomi is grossly deluded. Both are possilibityes). Jamie is rightly horrified and dumps Naomi.
Wracked by guilt, Naomi goes to visit Richard, who still looks like a poor man’s Dean Cain auditioning for “Dazed and Confused” and apologizes. Jamie tracks her down at West Bev and tries to reconcile, but he’s too late! Naomi has just seen Liam and realized that her heart still belongs to everyone’s favorite sister-shagging delinquent.
Evil Jen and Ryan
Considering the mere sight of Evil Jen on screen makes me want to gauge my eyes out with a swizzle stick, my recollections of her scenes tonight may be unreliable. Scruffy Ryan is sick of attending fancy charity balls and auctions. He makes the beggy eyes and pleads with Jen to “spend a day in his world.” I’m not sure what he means by this—hygienically-crippled by an aversion to showers? Inappropriate flirtations with undercover cops posing as your students (oops, that was last season…).
Ryan and Evil Jen embark on a camping trip. She shows up with an entire REI warehouse (including Burberry raincoat, natch). At the campsite, Ryan starts a fire with the NYT (troglodyte!), while Jen nurses her glass of Pinot Grigio in her sleeveless parka and suede boots. Inevitably, it rains and they have an obnoxious fight. Ryan complains that he’s the only one who makes sacrifices in the relationship. And he’s right. Leading me to ask YET AGAIN – why in the world is he still with her?!
Ryan later wakes to a blasphemous cover of “Wonderwall” to find Jen setting up the tent and waiting to apologize to him. She confesses that she’s broke, living off her sister, and trying to divorce her foreign husband who cheated on her. Ryan comforts her and says he would never cheat on her (except for that one time he went to the bar with Harry with the express purpose of cheating on her….).
Next week – the gang enact their plot to destroy Evil Jen and have Naomi discover the truth about her boyfriend-stealing, god-digging, devious sister! All in all, I thought the cancer storyline was well done and should have been the emotional focal point of the episode—not the trivial bickering between Evil Jen and Ryan or Naomi experimenting with college boys. Do you agree? What did you think about this episode? Leave some comments and let me know your two cents!