SVH TV time again! (In my mind, you're all cheering at this, and thank you.) Today's episode, my friends, is actually our favourite Sweet Valley residents acting out Elizabeth's spy novel in her mind. It's a bit of a weird one, but I'm not ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Here's a sneek peek:
Okay, let's get this recap on the road. Our gang have just been to see an action movie. (Even though none of them actually like each other, but okay.) Elizabeth is complaining about how all the women in action movies are just helpless damsel-in-distress types, and Bruce is complaining about Elizabeth complaining, telling her women can't be action heroes. Enid hits him in the shoulder, and it seems to hurt him, which I find a little improbable. Grow a pair, Brucie. Lila wants to go to a sushi bar, and Manny wants to do karaoke. Patty is talking about how much she loves eating octopus (?), Winston is playing a videogame the entire time and barely acknowledges them. If you're wondering why any of this is relevant, well, it's not. But it will be later. It's foreshadowing of the most subtle-as-a-sledgehammer kind. Oh, and Lila is wearing a neat shade of mustard for the umpteenth time this season. Costume designers, back the fuck off. Lila's good people. At least she’s not wearing matching eyeshadow anymore.
Elizabeth mentions that she's writing a story for some teen magazine competiton she needs to get a start on RIGHT NOW, even though all her friends are karaoke-bound. Um, Elizabeth? There's a wet blanket on the line for you, says it wants its personality back. So Elizabeth goes home and starts writing her all-important novel instead of hanging out with her friends, sister and trusty boyfriend. There is something severely wrong with her.
Jessica's home now, talking about some party they're due to go to. Hey now, a movie, sushi, karaoke and the party of the year in the same day? This really is Sweet Valley. Elizabeth says she can't go to the party because of her bloody time-consuming novel, and Jessica reads it over her shoulder, telling her it's full-on lame. (I believe this to be true.) She suggests her heroine be glamorous and sexy, and Liz gives us a powerful display of doormat syndrome by deleting everything she's worked oh-so-hard on all day and doing exactly what Jessica tells her. Liz uses all her friends as characters in her brand-new glam-spy novel, starring Jessica, of course. It's so pathetic that Liz can't even be the heroine in her own novel. It truly is a low point for her.
The fantasy begins. Jessica is Platinum Blonde, aka Agent Double-D-Seven. Yes, seriously. She comes out of some sort of room hidden by a revolving bookcase only to meet up with Mannypenny. (One guess which friend that dude's based on.) Mannypenny's in a delightful lilac number, and he gives Platinum her coffee. In walks E (as in, E-nid), dressed in a man’s suit. Why does Enid always get the shonky end of the deal? Can't they for once put her in a nice dress or make her slighly less nerdy? Come on! Anyway, E starts telling Platinum Blonde about their next case -- the evil Goldfowler's in town, and she's up to no good. This time, she's combined forces with Pecs Galore. (This one's Bruce, by the way.) E explains their evil plot. It's something to do with delivering arcade games to thousands of cities around the world, and not even E's sure what's going on there. She then provides Platinum Blonde with a few trusty gadgets -- a beauty spot/homing device, laser earrings and a periscope lipstick. Now it might just be me, but I kind-of want to see all that crap in action. Especially the laser earrings.
Platinum, mad devices in hand, rushes on over to a seedy gin joint, where Goldfowler and Pecs are playing cards with some guy who's in the end credits as The Patsy. Apparently Goldfowler and Pecs have a very tumultuous love/hate relationship, whereby he loves her and she sometimes loves him back. Which pretty much means Bruce and Lila are together, and this makes my soul happy.
Oh, and I forgot to mention -- Goldfowler has a minion. Yes, it's Patty. Or as E says, Octopatty. They G-rated the crap out of that one, huh? Octopatty is, and I quote, a "half-human half-mollusc" and she looks more or less like this:
So where's Todd, I hear you wondering, as if you really give a damn where Todd is or isn't. Well, Todd wants to know that, too. We cut back to the Wakefield house, where Elizabeth is writing her story, and Todd is drinking out of the milk carton. He mysoginistically tells her he should be a hero character who saves Platinum Blonde when she gets herself in trouble. Elizabeth, instead, makes him a character named Simply Luscious -- the Bond girl of the piece, I suppose. Back in the fantasy, E explains to Platinum Blonde that he's Goldfowler's man candy when she gets tired of Pecs. Ew.
Yeah, Todd doesn't get a cool costume. Simply Luscious is simply dressed, and he's also quite simple, so I suppose it's all relative. Platinum Blonde makes herself known to Goldfowler, catching her out at cheating in her card game. The Patsy isn't mighty happy, and Octopatty sucks his face off with the suckers attached to her hands. Kind-of dull, actually -- out of all the dangerous sea creatures Liz could've made her, she goes with 'deadly mollusc?' Unless it's Ursula from The Little Mermaid, I'm not exactly quaking with fear. Tame, Wakefield. Anyway, Platinum takes Luscious for a spin around the dance floor, where he falls in love with her and almost kisses her. Then Elizabeth remembers that these characters are actually Todd and Jessica, and so they shake hands instead. Disappointing. Liz can't even separate her novel from the real world? What kind of writer is she?
Goldfowler and Pecs reconvene at the Moon Beach aka their Evil Headquarters. Platinum Blonde goes in through the basement and spies on them using (and I'm getting excited just saying it) HER LASER EARRINGS AND LIPSTICK PERISCOPE! I knew those would come in handy! For those of you wondering just how she did it, I'll give you the play-by-play. She used one of her laser earrings to burn a hole in the ceiling, then she used the lipstick periscope to spy on them. Because she's a spy. That's what she does. It's brilliant. I wonder when the beauty spot/GPS will come into play...
As all supervillains do, Goldfowler and Pecs outline their plans in great detail, thinking nobody can hear them -- they've sent bomb-laden arcade games to countless major cities in the world, then told them that they'll obliterate said cities unless they pay them a million dollars. Now I don't mean to underestimate their supervillain skills here, but that seems like kind-of a crap plan to me, though I guess technically Liz made it up. Stupid Liz. As a side note, I should mention that on the wall of the Evil Headquarters is a map with little dots on it, obviously to signify the cities where the arcade games are. Coming from Australia myself, I can't help but notice that the cities they sent them to are Darwin and somewhere near Adelaide. The arcade games for our more populated cities, it seems, are still in the mail. If it wasn't a terrible plan before...well, let's just say that Elizabeth isn't quite as smart as she thinks she is. Oh, and they put one in Sweet Valley, even though THAT'S WHERE THEY LIVE!
But where's Winston, I hear you asking, and unlike the Todd thing you probably are asking where Winston is, because Winston's kind-of awesome. Winston is a character named Freeplay, a videogame-addict who plays videogames. Not just any videogames, either. When that really famous nation of Souvlakia (and I'm sorry to say, that's not a typo) refuses to pay Goldfowler the million dollars it'll take to save one of the cities no one cares about in their country, Goldfowler tells Freeplay to, uh, play videogames. When he gets to 50 million points, the city blows up. It's dreadful. But Goldfowler and Pecs (in my mind, Bruce and Lila) are holding each other. Aww.
Platinum Blonde is about to go up there and open up a can of whoopass (which would've come in handy before they blew up an entire city, but hey, I'm not the secret agent here) when Octopatty tries to suck her face off. But fear not, reader -- "Octopatty's suckers were only on 'stun'." I'm not making that up, either, it's a direct quote. Platinum Blonde and Simply Luscious end up in a headlocking device which looks kind-of like a clock, only instead of hands there are swords about to decapitate them and turn them into sushi. On second thought, I think Goldfowler actually calls it a sushi clock. Let me just check...yep, she does. Since that pretty much snarks itself, I'll move on. By the way, I can only assume that by now, somewhere in a country called Souvlakia, there is mass death and destruction. Nobody is really paying attention to the severity of that situation. Don't they care about the people of Souvlakia at all? Jeez, Platinum Blonde really is Jessica.
Back in Sweet Valley, everyone's been reading Elizabeth's novel-in-progress. Todd's pissed that he's pretty much a neutered version of himself, Enid's pissed because she has to be the boring character (again), Manny's pissed because he's obviously not jazzed on wearing lilac, and Jessica's pissed because her character's about to die. Actually, Jessica's really pissed. She storms out of the room and everything. Overreacting, much? Elizabeth's killing off a character loosely based around you in a fiction novel, Jessica, and there's storming out done over it? You have problems; seek help immediately. Jessica's dramatic exit gives Liz an idea. Maybe she won't kill Platinum Blonde off just yet...
Cut back to the fantasy again. Goldfowler and her motley crew leave to put the last arcade game in the Sweet Valley Mall (not before Platinum puts her GPS beauty spot on Pecs), and order Freeplay to start gaming. By the way, Freeplay's not all that evil. He’s chained to the desk, and all is says is, "Freeplay, Freeplay" over and over. Love him in that chest-baring shirt, though. In the basement, Simply Luscious is about to get his head chopped off when someone breaks through the door. Who could it be?
It's Blonde. Ash Blonde. Here to save the day. Finally, Elizabeth gets to be the hero in her own story. And she's looking pretty hot doing it, too. She saves the two from the (I don't want to use those words again, but I have to) sushi clock, and Luscious falls in love with her. Platinum is not happy. They kick Octopatty's ass, and rush up to where Freeplay is gaming for his life and try to de-program it before he gets to 50 million. But alas, they cannot. They don't blow up, though. That would have been too easy. Turns out Goldfowler and Pecs have put a twenty minute delay on the Sweet Valley bomb, to allow themselves time to get out of town. That makes sense. (For once.) They free Freeplay from his videogame-playing prison, follow the tracking device on Pecs, and rush over to the Sweet Valley Mall in...the Jeep. Ugh. Real creative, Elizabeth. I can't believe you think you're a writer.
At the mall, they spot Goldfowler and Pecs, who instead of running away from the ticking time bomb they know is in there because they set it, they decide to run back in. Like in horror movies when the victim runs up the stairs instead of out the door. It's no less stupid in TV format, in case you're wondering. But how cute, Goldfowler and Pecs are holding hands while running. It's sweet, really, although I think in real life that'd slow them down a little.
They split up, and the do-gooders run after them. On the escalator, Ash Blonde catches up to Pecs, who turns around and does something so awesome, I've screencapped it for your pleaure -- he KICKS HER IN THE HEAD!
I don't care if this is a fantasy or a novel or whatever the hell it is. To me, Bruce Patman just kicked Elizabeth Wakefield in the head. He kicked that bitch in the head! Oh my God, it's so wonderful. How long have I been waiting for someone to just lose their shit and kick Elizabeth Wakefield in the head? And it was soooo worth it! Okay, back to alternate-reality. Ash Blonde gets over all the head-kicking business quite quickly, because she chases him to the top of the escalator and starts beating the shit out of him. And now Bruce is getting it! This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen!
In the glass elevator (which unfortunately is NOT the one Willy Wonka had made specially), Platinum Blonde and Goldfowler are fighting. It's actually pretty one-sided -- Goldfowler's getting her ass handed back to her. Now in this scene, all I see is Jessica Wakefield beating up on Lila Fowler, and that I'm not so fond of. Then I think of Elizabeth getting kicked in the head, and everything's right again. Sweet, sweet memories.
Good prevails over evil, as it always does in Sweet Valley. The Blondes meet up and handcuff Pecs and Goldfowler to one another (and I slap my forehead in frustration) and go looking for the bomb-slash-arcade-game. Of course, Freeplay, being the videogame addict, has already found it. The brilliant spies leave the baddies alone to go sort out the bomb, and the baddies rush off because they're not handcuffed to anything except each other...and they were holding hands, anyway. You idiots.
Neither secret agent can deactivate the bomb. They're both really inept at being secret agents, come to think of it. Instead, they take the bomb from the arcade game (it looks suspiciously like a Lego piece) and rush out to the parking lot to catch up with the master criminals they let loose about thirty seconds ago. And I begin to ask myself why it is I actually liked this episode.
They watch as Goldfowler and Pecs escape in 1BRUCE1...only it's not really 1BRUCE1, because he's not really Bruce, but...um, yeah. Holy chocolate starfish, they're getting away! Ash Blonde will have to save the day! Ash grabs a compact mirror, and sticks the teeny-tiny Lego bomb to it using the gum she's conveniently chewing. Ew, hasn't she ever heard of cooties? She throws it into the open-top car, and here we see the downside to owning a convertible. The car explodes, killing them and demolishing non-1BRUCE1. (1PECS1?? Doesn't have quite the same ring to it.) Bits of car and Goldfowler's gold hat land near the heroes, as though to prove that they're definitely dead. It's really not very happy-endingy, is it? And to be honest with you, it was kind-of a crappy bomb. They were trying to wipe out entire cities with those? No wonder Souvlakia didn't pay up -- they know shoddy bomb-craftsmanship when they see it! The thing didn't even take out a city block! Elizabeth Wakefield, shame on your brain. I am so disillusioned.
And we're back in Sweet Valley again, this time for good. Everyone hates the story. The boys complain about how the male characters are total airheads. Kind of the point, guys, but way to prove Elizabeth right. Lila complains that Goldfowler would never have gotten herself killed like that. Winston, who really does have the right to complain since she made him borderline-retarded, stays silent. Elizabeth comes in, and Bruce pays her out about what a shitty story she's written, and I'm gonna have to agree with the Patman on this one. Elizabeth says, "Really? That's interesting, Bruce, because Teen Lit Magazine just published my story!" Yeah, Bruce. Because in that implausibly short amount of time, Elizabeth wrote a story, rewrote it like twelve times, entered it in a competition, won the competition, the magazine published the issue and it went on sale. Everyone's overjoyed, as they usually are at the end of a Sweet Valley High episode.
So what did we learn this week, I wonder? Jessica didn't do anything evil/immoral/slutty, so we didn't get our Jessica-learns-a-lession ending. Bruce kind-of did, but it wasn't particularly humiliating for him. Todd didn't punch anyone, or even utter a single death threat. (Weak, Wilkins.) I think the lesson here is that Elizabeth Wakefield is always right, and even the crappiest stories will win competitions if they have her name on it. If this thought doesn't keep you warm at night, just sit back and remember how Bruce kicked Elizabeth in the head. Ah, good times.