“well then, what’s the problem? your parents are out of town. neither of us have any diseases because we haven’t done it and i have protection so you won’t get pregnant.”

dear world, heaven help us, we’ve arrived at “destiny rides again.” now, you’d think if there were gonna be an episode in season 3 wherein dylan goes to a pony farm and has hot sex with a horse breeder, that shit would be going down in an episode entitled “destiny rides again.” alas, no. much like chaste donna martin, we’re still holding out for that.

so here we are again in present-day 90210land. well, not exactly present but back in 1993, exactly 19 years and 1 day ago. (fyi- the near perfect timing of this pleases me GREATLY.)

and what problems will we be solving today? as per ushe, SO MANY.  for starters, there’s the issue of sex before marriage. don’t worry, rosie o’donnell’s gonna fix that one right up. but then there’s the problem of those love affairs from last summer. what do you do when your summer fling shows up in blockbuster? what do you do when you’re accused of cheating on your SATs? what happens when the french girl you had a fling with winds up being american? what if you’re just not happy because you can’t be with the man you love because he’s with your BFF? what if your boyfriend really really really wants to have sex with you? what if you run into your priest in the adult video department?

ALL of these problems will be solved today, my friends. ya’ll ready for this?

so the girls are hanging out at the video store. y’know, a store where people use to go to pay money to borrow movies because before the invention of the internet, for a period of months between when movies were in the theater and when movies were on cinemax, movies were either (a) available for purchase for NINETY-NINE DOLLARS or (b) available for 2-day rental for $3.99. you can see the flaws of that system, yes?

when i was a kid, we always rented our videos from the grocery store, so i vividly remember watching this episode in syndication on UPN and being struck, for the first time, by how rich these kids were. because they were shopping at a video store.

anyway, we know this is going to be awesome because… [OMINOUS DRUMS]

BOOM. superman is in the house. or should i say, in the blockbuster?

david is in the blockbuster as well.

in the XXX section.

well. maybe i’ve added in the other two Xs. maybe this is just the Xlips sextion (best.typo.ever) but you get the drift.

so this would be awkward on a good day. being 18 and finding your bf checking out the porno, but it get supes awkward for our girl donna when she pulls david away from the porn and promptly runs into someone else.

her priest.

aside from his sinful pairing of camel and black, donna’s priest is actually way hip. he’s happy to meet david, smiles at donna lots and says he misses her in church without being all “YOU ARE GOING TO HELL” about it.

which doesn’t make it any less incredibly embarrassing.

you know who else is in blockbuster???



reeeeeeeeeeek! frenchbrenda! they reunite.

he waited a long time for her in paris! he thought he would never see her again! he can’t forget her!

in case you’ve forgotten, she talks like this…

ohmygod, mine ears.

since frenchbrenda gave reeeeeeeeek a tour of “her” paris, reeeeeek, who has lived in LA for one hot minute, insists on giving frenchbrenda a tour of “his” LA.

how can you say no to those teeth?

frenchbrenda can’t. she succumbs.

that night, the walshes are chilling, having some cool family time talking about their SATs. brenda’s score only went up 300 points. bummer.

and then the phone rings… [OMINOUS DRUMS]

cindy: “a boy named rick wants to know if my niece brenda is at home?”

i apologize in advance to everyone trying to read this secretly at work as there’s gonna be a lot of videos this week. primarily because they are GEMS, and i do not want you to miss out. reeeeeeek’s phone call, for instance.

i think brenda did an excellent job of explaining this to her family. i also think things are not going to go well for her.

kelly, happy and well-adjusted teenager that she is, is painting her room black. because she saw it on a video. i should mention that, during her pining for dylan phase, kelly has gotten very heavily into self-help. not so much self-help books as self-help videos, as that’s what she was renting when the gang were at blockbuster.

jackie taylor is justifiably concerned.

jackie taylor: “honey, happy teenagers do not paint their rooms black.”

jackie taylor: “you’re young and beautiful and you have your whole life ahead of you and you’ll meet someone.”

kelly: “meeting someone isn’t the problem. i meet people every day. i just fall in love with the wrong ones.”

jackie taylor: “take it from somebody who’s been married five times, you can’t always control who you fall in love with.”

over at donna’s house, david has laid her down in a bed of roses.

he wants to have The Sex.


david says this as though it were an uncertainty. as though we might have had doubts regarding his readiness. in spite of the fact that we already know he owns a whole bag of condoms of various kinds. seriously, was anyone in the room in doubt of david’s readiness?

donna: “how do you think i feel? i can’t believe i even let you in my bedroom!”

david: “well, how do you feel?”

donna: “warm.”

david: “well then, what’s the problem? your parents are out of town. neither of us have any diseases because we haven’t done it and i have protection so you won’t get pregnant.”

am i the only one who’s a little skeptical over whether those condoms david bought in various kinds last season are going to protect donna?

donna: “there’s more to it than that, david. i was brought up believing i’d wait until i got married. i can’t just wipe all that out because of how my body feels.”

david: “you’re eighteen, i’m seventeen. i don’t know how you feel but chances are i’m not going to be thinking about marriage for another ten years. i just can’t wait that long… look, i gotta get out of here. all this making out is getting to me.”

oh, david.

so, in case you’ve lost track of where we are in dylan/brenda-world, they’re still together… for the moment.

something’s up with dylan’s SAT scores. he didn’t get his back like everybody else did and has to check in with the college board. [OMINOUS DRUMS]

steve got his back and he, predictably, BOMBED.

brandon has no sympathy for his plight.

neither does herbert.

then steve spies herbert in the computer lab.

and watching herbert crouched over this motherboard, steve’s diabolical plan comes together.

he has a scathingly brilliant idea.

steve tries to coerce herbert into hacking into the school’s computer to change his grades.


herbert is, understandably, deeply reluctant. (btw, i feel like steve sanders would absolutely THRIVE as a character on gossip girl. yeah? with all those schemes and interconnecting, conflicting plots.)

steve tries to look confident, like someone who could pull off a hacking, by leaning against this ginormo computer.

and then there’s this:


i mean, if that doesn’t woo you, what will?

it’s really hard to convey the abruptness of what happens next, so let’s watch.

yeah. so THAT happened. and now ahhhhhhhhndrea’s in the hospital with two broken legs.

this is a surprisingly blah subplot for now. it will become an enormo plot later on.

ahhhh, dreams coming true. their love connection is palpable.

steve is still trying to coerce herbert into helping him alter his grades in the school’s main computer.

he pitches a bit of a hissy fit.

it’s a good rule of thumb that a hissy fit will not get you want you want. unless you’re steve sanders. in which case it will get you exactly what you want.

are you dazzled by the modern technology??

the gang’s hanging out in the sun when patchworkpants (yeah, she’s still around) approaches with a proposition.

patchworkpants’s aunt gave her four tix to a live cable AIDS benefit hosted by rosie o’donnell!

brenda’s on the phone with reeeeeeeeeeeeeeek confirming her date to see “his” L.A.

guess who’s here?

the SAT people think dylan cheated.

walsh family meeting stat!

cindy walsh for the win. all advice should be dole out while wearing a visor.

the gang (well, the gang going to see the rosie o’donnell show) go to see ahhhhhhhndrea in the hospital.

this is the most attention ahhhhhhndrea’s gotten ever. in her life.

and here’s rosie.

let’s watch!

doesn’t it totally sound like brenda and dylan are going to do It?? they’re not. they’re going to fight about the SATs instead. the problem is this: dylan didn’t do well on his SATs the first time because he left halfway through to go be with brenda while she got a breast biopsy (an episode we missed in the skipping of season 1). but then dylan did so well on his SATs when he retook them at that school by his dad’s jail, that the college board is skeptical and things he had someone else retake them for him. so brenda wants dylan to just retake the test. dylan don’t wanna because it’s an INJUSTICE! he’s been wronged!

dylan: “you don’t believe me?”

brenda: “of course i do, you’ve never lied to me, dylan, and i’ve always respected and loved you for that. in fact, when i got back from france, the reason i told you i met that guy was because you’ve always been honest with me.”

so yeah, that’s a speech that’d cut to your core if you’d cheated on the person who uttered it with her best friend.

dylan then tells brenda EVERYTHING about the summer. well, almost everything. everything except who it was.

brenda is, how shall we say… not pleased.

dylan: “being called a liar made me see what a hypocrite i can be.”

everybody crosses their arms!

brenda then has to ask dylan to drive her home and he then has to drive her home. i lament the fact that we are not allowed to see that car ride because i assume it was off the charts awkward.

donna and david are, once again, in her bed of roses. (DAMN that song is in my head.)

david wants to stay. donna will only let him stay if he goes to sleep.

he goes to sleep then donna has this dream:

cindy worries brenda’s plan will go badly. she’s obviously deluded. because this plan is perfect.

reeeeeeeek comes to pick up frenchbrenda.

cindy busts out of nowhere to meet him, thus mortifying frenchbrenda.

reeeeeeeeeeeeek takes frenchbrenda to a very hip beverly hills place. [OMINOUS DRUMS]

how could this go badly? you’re wondering. trust me, it does.

for one thing, this is their waiter.

and then this happens:

but then this happens:

so, problem solved!

donna goes to church to talk to her priest about her problem.

donna: “i’m really attracted to him.”

father: “the love you give to another is a gift. your virginity is a gift, donna. so you’ve just got to ask yourself if david is the one you want to give it to… no matter what you do, god will always love you.”

donna is so relieved!

problem solved!

but, oh wait, brenda’s problem isn’t solved really at all.

reeeeeeeek: “don’t pretend there isn’t something powerful between us…what are the odds of two people finding each other again like we did? so, if you’re going to buck odds like that you’d better be sure this guy is worth it.”

IS dylan worth it? brenda doesn’t know.

donna tells david she went to see her priest.

david: “first rosie o’donnell, now a priest. the whole world knows about it.”

donna thinks they should wait until they’re out of high school to have sex.

david: “donna, not only do i love you, i like you a lot.”

so these are ahhhhhhhhndrea’s broken legs.

where are her feet?! is this actually how they cast broken legs? it seems very inaccurate. were her legs broken or amputated?

all ahhhhhhndrea can remember from her accident is a big, silver, loud car.

poor ahhhhhhndrea!

dylan is composing a letter to the college board. (don’t they sound like a “death panel”? seriously, whenever the “death panel” is evoked in discussions  of US healthcare, i always picture the college board.) brenda thinks he’s wasting his time.

brenda: “instead of writing angry letters, why don’t you just take the test over?”

dylan: “HEY. haven’t we been through this? why don’t you quit harping?”


i feel like we lose perspective here. dylan is an 18 year-old kid. his dad is in jail. he didn’t register in time to vote in the election. he maybe has some things to be angry about.

that said, this is what i love about dylan/brenda:

did you see that? mid-fight, she told him to sit down and he SAT DOWN. i realize there are many, many things wrong with the relationship that exists between these two people, but i feel like they’re equally strong individuals, which dylan and kelly are not. and they get each other in a way that dylan and kelly never ever do.

that said, IT’S OVER. dylan + brenda = NO MORE. sad hearts and hugs.

can we dwell for a moment on the fact that shannen doherty is so freaking gorgeous in this season?

game over.

i’ve never before contemplated how mom jeans might impact the aesthetics of Walking Away. this shot made me contemplate that.

dylan obviously did too.

so steve and herbert are hacking in.

reminds me of THIS

it is all vair vair high tech.

herbert: “these are the worst grades i’ve ever seen.”

he looks drunk with power, yeah?

but then…

herbert: “i’m locked out.”


brenda is sad because B+D=over. so she gets out her big phone and calls her BFF.

kelly: “are you sure you’re not doing this because you know rick is waiting in the wings?”

brenda: “no! if dylan and i stay together we’ll continued to hurt each other.”

kelly: “well, i hope things work out for you.”

i’mma go ahead and admit that i DETEST kelly in this season. i get that she’s in love with someone she can’t be with it. i admit that is an awful state to be and i get that she’s sad. i get that it’s totally shitty to have to watch brenda and dylan making out all over school. but what i cannot get behind is what a shitty friend she’s being here. can we agree on that? bros before hos?

meh. i’m over it. you can see for yourselves:

the end.

next week, on PS90210:

2 thoughts on ““well then, what’s the problem? your parents are out of town. neither of us have any diseases because we haven’t done it and i have protection so you won’t get pregnant.”

  1. When the DVDs came out, I hadn’t seen this episode in years and Andrea’s accident totally shocked me. I’d completely forgotten about it and I shrieked, “Did that really happen?” And then I laughed and laughed. It’s so weird and out of nowhere.

    I don’t know what Kelly is thinking in that last scene. “Brenda thinks that we should start seeing other people.” Meaning he would still be with Brenda if she hadn’t broken up with him! Why is Kelly so okay with being his second choice?

    • isn’t it completely ridic?! it’s just a lovely quiet day and then there’s ahhhhhhndrea lying on the ground like a puzzle piece. i do love how we have to get through the legacy key business and all of the holidays before this plot line pays off.

      also, i’m surprised by how much i cannot stand kelly right now. (that makes it sound like it’s 1992, when sadly it’s really me just stewing 20 years later!) and good catch on the “brenda thinks…” i hadn’t noticed that. and that makes it even more impactful when he again blames brenda for their breakup in the episode after this.

      geez, i need to stop with these recaps as i’m becoming entirely too invested in these fictional people’s lives!

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