My reasons for starting with the second part of this three-episode arc, in case you're wondering, are twofold. Firstly, someone's already provided 1bruce1 with a very thorough and enjoyable recap, which I've conveniently hyperlinked for you here. (You're welcome.) And secondly, no one actually gets kidnapped in Part 1, which I find a little weak. I don't reward misleading titles with my inherent wit.
In case you're either too lazy or in too much of a hurry to read the Part 1 recap, here's what you missed:
- Elizabeth works as a candy striper at the hospital, and a creepy orderly named Peter has become infatuated with her
- After they baked a cake together, Winston and Elizabeth have become good friends. He even gave her a friendship bracelet.
- Jessica is obsessed with being a co-host on some TV personality named Jeremy's chat show
- At the end of the episode, Elizabeth was sent a love letter. Todd thought it was from Winston. The viewers all know it's Peter.
We open with Lila and Jessica touching up their make-up in the SVH bathrooms again. This time Patty's with them, unfortunately. Hopefully she'll just stay silent. Jess and Lila are talking about some new rich bachelor who's just moved to Sweet Valley, and they both plan to vie for his affections at some big party he's throwing. Guess who this brand new eligible bachelor is -- go on, guess. Give up? It's Nicholas Morrow! Gasp! I'm excited just thinking about it. Maybe he'll bring his heroically deaf sister with him. Doubt it, though. In the hallway, Todd is still mad at Liz, what with her actively receiving a love letter from someone else and all. That bitch. How dare she get mail! Elizabeth is adamant that Winston didn't write the letter but Todd's not sure. Mainly because Todd is halfway to braindead, but that is merely the opinion of this writer. Todd's crazy jealous, as usual. Nobody can even talk to his Liz without getting a death threat. Winston's not been on the receiving end of one so far, but it's bound to happen.
That afternoon, Liz is getting ready to do some serious candy-striping, which does not impress Jessica -- Liz was supposed to help her make macadamia brownies to woo Nicholas with. God, what is this? Since when is Liz the Sweet Valley baker? Make your own cakes, fools! Jessica ends up making the brownies herself, and is pissed when Liz is late getting home from the hospital. She leaves her a note, and then high-tails it out of there with Patty. Apparently, getting to Nicholas before Lila does is more important to her than making sure her usually punctual sister is not kidnapped or anything. I blame Patty. (Just 'cause.) It seems Jess isn't the only one super angwy with Liz's tardiness -- she's supposed to meet her new BFF Winston for, like some studying or some shit. (I wasn't really paying attention.) He berates her on the Wakefield's answering machine in a very un-Winstonian display of rage. One might even say it's a Toddwegian display of rage. I most certainly would.
At the hospital, Elizabeth is just about to leave. Everything's dark. The nurse's station is empty. I'm sorry, but what? There are, like, sick people on the verge of death right around the corner, and there's nobody there? Hospitals don't close, you know -- it's not a post office. Especially not hospitals in what seems like the number one crime capital of America, if we're to believe the books. Anyway, Elizabeth gets that weird feeling that somebody's following her, and she walks out of the hospital and into the parking lot looking creeped-out. She gets into the open-top Jeep and breathes a sigh of relief, like she's safe now or something. In case you've never seen one of those convertible Jeeps the twins drive, it's pretty much just the frame of a car. She's not safe at all. She's not even a little bit safe. Don't just sit there, Elizabeth, start the goddamn engine! Of course, she doesn't, and someone (I wonder who) puts a chloroform-soaked rag over her mouth and knocks her out. Okay, now the 'kidnapping' part of the episode title is occurring. I don't feel so gypped anymore.
At the party, lots of the SV kids are already there -- Koichi, Todd, and Bruce, who seems to have brought a cheap forty-year-old hooker as his date. Somewhat surprisingly, Lila's not actually there, which I think is really appalling continuity. Koichi tells Todd about how Liz blew Winston off this afternoon and he's really mad, and Todd gets to try out his confused acting face, telling Koichi he hasn't seen Liz either. Todd goes over to Jessica and demands to know where Liz is. When it seems like Todd wants her to leave the party and help him look for Liz, Jess tells her that she's at home getting ready, even though it's a dirty lie and the height of selfishness. Isn't she even a little worried? God, Jessica. Nicholas Morrow arrives. (To his own party. Where has he been?) As soon as he walks through the door, all the women in the room rush on over to him stupidly, even Bruce's hooker date. Poor Bruce. Oh, and Nicholas? Not the prettiest flower in the garden. I really don't know what all the fuss is about.
Peter has taken a bound Elizabeth to some sort of cabin in the woods. He's dressed like a hunter now, which is a little odd, but maybe that's just what he's into. Elizabeth is scared and tries to scream for help, but like most TV kidnappings, the abductor has taken her into some sort of cone of silence where no one can hear her scream. Poor Liz. Instead, she somehow manages to smash Peter over the head with a lamp (using nothing but her Wakefield superpowers, I suspect) and run like the wind out the door. Which, if I were kidnapping someone, I'd have locked, but whatever. Peter tells her to stop, and then grabs a shotgun. He fires. Elizabeth falls to the floor. Okay, I'm confused. What just happened? Did he fire a warning shot or did he actually shoot her? She falls to the floor as though she's been hit by a bullet, but I can't be sure. This is getting mighty suspenseful now.
Back at the party, Jessica is cosying up to Nicholas. (I can't help but notice that Bruce is in the background, chatting up his hooker date in a nice little display of continuity.) Then they dance, and Angry Todd interrupts them, grabbing Jessica's arm and demanding to know why she lied. Nicholas ever-so-politely steps between them (sort-of) and says, "Excuse me, but take your hands off her." Jeez, Nicholas, grow a pair. Todd doesn't respond to polite threats of violence. He could probably snap Jessica's arm right off without breaking a sweat.
When Todd explains that Elizabeth's still not at the party, Jessica finally (finally!) realises that something might not be kosher and agrees to go to the Wakefield house with Todd to look for her. When they get there, they see Jessica's note to Elizabeth, exactly where she left it, and deduce that Elizabeth hasn't come home yet. They call the police, which is a nice change from most of these Sweet Valley cases -- usually they go all vigilante and try to find the kidnapper/murder/rapist/nondescript psycho of the week all by themselves. Apparently, no one told Winston of this change in procedure, because he's gone to the hospital to try and find Elizabeth. He sees her car, driver side door wide open, and decides that the best thing to do in this situation would be to get into the car and sit down. Good thinking, Winston. He sees that her bag's still in there, and still doesn't put two and two together. Instead, he decides to rifle through it and pull out her wallet. Winston, seriously, stop the madness. This is Todd behaviour. Of course, the police turn up at this moment, and arrest Winston for being a turbo dumb shit. No, actually, he gets arrested for kidnapping Elizabeth, but it could've been either.
Back in the cabin in the woods, Elizabeth is in the bathroom staring at her reflection. I guess Peter didn't shoot her after all. From outside, he tells her to hurry up, and she responds by saying, "Just a minute; I'm fixing my shoulder." Okay, so it seems she did get shot. In the shoulder. There's a circular blood stain where I suppose the bullet must've exited from, but it does beg the question -- why isn't she in any sort of pain? She just got shot. As in, shot with a bullet. Why is she still standing? Why isn't she still bleeding? This is all too much. Elizabeth looks at the half-shattered mirror in front of her, and grabs a shard of it and hides it on her person. Where exactly? Not sure. She doesn't have to worry about it digging into her, because apparently Elizabeth Wakefield is that cheerleader from Heroes.
The next day, everyone's pacing and worrying about Elizabeth at the Wakefield house. Oh, except for her parents. I have no idea where the fuck they are. It comes as no surprise to me that they're not there. They weren't there that time Liz was in the coma, either. What awful, negligent parents. No wonder their kids are so fucked up. Anyway, Jessica's all weepy, and Todd's all angry at Winston. Hold on -- does he seriously think Winston kidnapped Elizabeth? Seriously? Winston's his best friend! Why would he think that? Todd is not even on this planet. At that moment, Winston arrives, saying something about how they should be out there looking for Elizabeth, and Todd goes psycho. Really psycho. Psycho-er than we've ever seen him. (The golf club-snapping incident pales in comparison.) He lunges at Winston, spouting his obligatory death threat of the episode, pure madness in his eyes! He has to be restrained by both Bruce and Koichi, and they ain't small guys.
Winston yells back that the police have dropped him as a suspect, so why can't Todd? Short answer, Winston? Because Todd's mentally unstable. I'm actually surprised at how into the scene the actor playing Winston (Michael Perl) is -- all yelling and screaming and tortured. It's quite impressive. And naturally, after twenty episodes of practice, Ryan Bittle's got the Angry Todd acting down pat. Gold star to both. But I digress. Bruce suggests that maybe Winston ought to go home, and Winston says, "Everyone else believes me...don't you?" and is met with a whole lotta awkward. Oh my God, what?! None of them believe that Winston Egbert didn't kidnap Elizabeth? It's not just Todd being retarded? I never want to go to Sweet Valley -- your friends just turn on you at the drop of a hat! Winston stalks out, and Nicholas (who the hell invited him anyway?) gets on his high horse and says that Winston is right, that they ought to be actively trying to find Elizabeth instead of staying at home being weepy and psycho. Nicholas is so lame, and too stupid to realise that no one gives a shit what he thinks. Just don't talk, Nicholas. They take his advice though (in my opinion, to get him to shut up), and we have a music montage, involving them putting up flyers with Elizabeth's picture all over town. It's more subdued than normal, this music montage, on account of the fact that one of the twins is kind-of missing and presumed dead. Can't help but notice that they're mostly putting up flyers in the one spot. Come on, you lot! You're always splitting up at inappropriate times, and the one time a little distance is a good thing, you decide to hang up fourteen flyers in the one restaurant? It seems they don't teach common sense at Sweet Valley High.
Back at Peter's cabin in the woods. Elizabeth's been there the entire night, and she hasn't been raped or killed yet, which I think is a pretty good outcome. That pesky gunshot wound seems to have cleared up quite nicely, too. (I've heard they can sometimes be a bit persistent, so good on Elizabeth.) Peter comes out of the bedroom dressed in his orderly clothes, explaining to Elizabeth that if he doesn't go to work, people might suspect that he had some involvement in her disappearance. Elizabeth gets crafty and does some on-the-spot plan hatchin', asking Peter if she'll wear her friendship bracelet to work as a sign of goodwill. He happily agrees, taking it off her wrist and putting it on his own. The second he leaves, Elizabeth gets out the shard of broken mirror she got from the bathroom, and starts hacking into the ropes binding her wrists together. I would think moving her shoulders up and down like that would be uncomfortable, considering a bullet went through one of them mere hours ago, but whatever. And actually, from behind her uniform is unstained, which means that for some reason her shoulder has an exit wound but no entry wound, which is completely baffling. I'm not surprised they couldn't afford medical consultants on the show, but apparently their logic consultants were also AWOL during the making of this episode.
At the hospital, Todd and Jessica are putting up flyers. Oh good, it seems they've finally taken my advice on splitting up. Winston's there too, for some reason. Perhaps if you're a suspect in a person's disappearance, skulking around the scene of the crime might fall into the 'bad ideas' category, but okay. Todd's got his fight face on, which I suppose isn't exactly newsworthy. Winston walks past Peter, and notices that the friendship bracelet on his wrist looks suspiciously like the one he made for Elizabeth. Come on, Winston. Put two and two together. Before he can, Peter walks around the corner and sees Jessica tacking a missing persons flyer to the bulletin board. Thinking it's his beloved Elizabeth, he goes insane, grabbing a scalpel and charging at her, screaming, "Why did you run away, Elizabeth?!" Todd and Winston tackle him to the ground and save Jessica's life, and the Jessica-haters of the world die a little inside. So...what was the point of the whole friendship bracelet plot device? I mean, Peter kinda gave himself away in the -- you know what? It doesn't matter. It just doesn't.
Outside the hospital, Peter is taken away. Nightmare over, it seems. Another cop car pulls up out the front of the hospital, this one with Elizabeth in the back. I'm sorry, but no. The only way she should be arriving at a hospital is in the back of an ambulance, because she GOT SHOT! Am I the only one who remembers how she GOT SHOT? God, this is so ridiculous! She gets out of the car, and immediately Todd grabs her and hugs her. Jess hugs her too, as does Winston. Oh my God, they're squashing her and leaning all over her gunshot wound, and she's not even flinching! I'm just -- I'm sorry, but I can't do this anymore. This is just too absurd. Luckily for me, this episode is over...but not before it ends with a shot of Peter in the back of a police car, looking evil, with ominous music playing in the background. Now that's what I call a cliffhanger.
Stay tuned Sweet Valley High Episode 21 -- 'Kidnapped Part 3', coming soon. As soon as I can get over the sheer insanity of 'Kidnapped Part 2', that is.