This episode, which involves our favourite skinny white bitches (yes, Todd included) getting internships at various places around Sweet Valley, is funny. And not funny as in weird, or even funny as in it's-so-lame-you-can't-not-laugh. Some of the lines are actually pretty amusing. Most of it comes from Lila who, even though she is so not how anyone pictured Lila, is still a pretty cool character in her own right.
Our episode begins at school, where Jessica is talking to Liz and Todd about how she got the most fabulous internship at a fashion designer's office. His name is Dante -- just one name, like Madonna. Anyhoo, apparently Jessica is furiously into fashion design this week, which is new, but okay. Liz and Todd both have internships at a newspaper. Aw, man. Is everything they do have to be so dull? I dread to think what Enid got stuck doing. As usual, Jessica's gone into her big talk about how she'll become a famous fashion designer and eventually have her own clothing line and even her own perfume. Todd even shows us his comedy chops by responding with, "Yes. Delusions by Jessica Wakefield." It's funny, for Todd. Gold star, Todd. Your brain's not all mush.
Lila comes up to the three in a panic, telling them how her father is making her do her internship at the Moon Beach. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but is the local cafe really a place to be doing your internship? Isn't the idea of going to high school to avoid ending up working as a waitress for the rest of -- you know what? Never mind. Without this ridiculous plot contrivance, there'd be no episode, so I don't even know why I bother. Lila justifies her complaining, saying, "It's not like I have a bad work ethic. I just despise manual labour." This makes me chuckle, slightly less than Todd's effort, but that's mainly because I wasn't expecting Todd to ever say something remotely amusing, ever. Lila goes on to say that her father's opening up a chain of restaurants, and details the story about how he used to be a dishwasher at some cafe before becoming The George Fowler. I can't believe that The George Fowler even remembered his roots. That's not like him at all.
At Dante's fashion house, Jessica's getting a tour by Dante himself. Clearly he's not as big a name in the fashion industry as they've been alluding to, or else he'd have people to do that kind of crap for him. Jessica tells him about how excited she is to be working there, and brags about her skirt, which she designed and made herself. Because Jessica Wakefield is now a seamstress. Dante tells her to keep working at her dream or whatever. I don't know, it's boring. It needs to be said that his assistant, Mona, is a bitch. She gives Jessica a list of things to do in a, 'Make the coffee, Cinderelly, scrub the floors now, Cinderelly' kind of way. She even gives Jessica Dante's dog to de-flea. Jessica is horrified, and I'm strangely happy.
At the Moon Beach, Lila is annoying people with her less-than-impressive waitressing skillz. Bruce is complaining about how he ordered his sundae half an hour ago, and Manny wants her to clear away their dishes even though he's still got fries on his plate. Talk about rude. Why aren't they off doing their internships? Be nice to the future love of your life, Patman! Todd, Elizabeth and Jessica (who I guess are on their lunch breaks or something) are talking about their internships, although Jessica is mostly bragging. Why? I don't know. She gave a dog a flea bath. I wouldn't call those good times. Todd's excited because his first assignment is to go and review Dreamgirls, which he thinks is a bikini pageant. Ah, that's the dumb-as-a-post Todd I know and love. I knew the sharp-witted Todd wouldn't last.
Jessica brings her salad to the counter and tells Lila that she ordered chilli fries. Lila awesomely snarks back, "Honey, with those thighs, I'd say a salad's in order." A-ha, ya burned! Jessica walks out just as Heath the meat delivery man walks in, wheeling along boxes of, well, meat, I guess. Jessica tells him to "deliver those wieners to that poor excuse for a waitress." Dirrty! Heath is really angry at Jessica for this, but as soon as he sees beautiful Lila, all his rage melts away into pure fascination. He tells her, "I'm here with the meat," which I think also calls for a 'dirrty!' He talks endlessly about how stuck-up people like Jessica don't know anything about hard work, and Lila, knowing full well that she is one of said stuck-up people, decides then and there to pretend to be a struggling waitress to impress Heath. It's a shitty plan, but whatev. Lila knows what she's doing, obviously, because it works -- Heath invites her to the opera. Love is totally blossoming in the SV. And for the record, I'm putting 'harmless deception -- i.e. nothing Jessica Wakefield-esque' in my mental WWLFD (What Would Lila Fowler Do?) rule book.
The next night, Lila is all dolled up for the opera. When Heath tells her what a nice dress she's wearing, she replies, "I borrowed it from a rich friend," and I laugh again. Lila, please marry me. You, me and Bruce could all live a happy, happy life together. It can work; I've seen Cabaret. Turns out Heath can't afford to take Lila to the opera, so instead he takes her to the park where he's cooked a fancy dinner which they eat while listening to opera on a (snigger) boom box. Lila is tres impressed. Heath tells her about how he takes cooking lessons because it's his true passion, and Lila perpetuates the lie about her being poor, telling Heath, "My father worked as a dishpig. He used to bring us home scraps." Hee! Heath's heartbroken, and this only makes the whole thing more hillarious. Lila almost blows her cover when she tells Heath that his Tuscan chicken tastes really authentic, but she mumbles her way out of it, and it only makes Heath fall more in love with her. He suggests that she turn the Moon Beach into some sort of fine dining institution. Big dreams for a diner with toy planes stuck on the wall. The highlight of the episode comes as they're saying their goodbyes. Heath hands Lila the last slice of cake, telling her earnestly, "I want you to take it home. For your family." Oh man, this is so entertaining! Lila's really done a number on this poor schmuck! They kiss, and it's sweet. So sweet that I almost hate to point out the fact that Lila Fowler would never ever date someone so...common. Even if he does give leftover cake to the struggling families of Sweet Valley.
Time for the music montage. Jessica is working late at the fashion house, designing clothes or something. Doing a really shit job of it, too, if her pile of scrunched-up paper is anything to go by. Seems like a real waste to me -- hasn't she ever heard of an eraser? Lila is taking Heath's advice and making the Moon Beach more classy, adding vases of flowers and folding the napkins all fancy-like. And Todd and Elizabeth are playing hockey in the halls of Sweet Valley High. Wait, what? WHY ARE THEY DOING THAT? Were they just sitting at home that night, going, "Why don't we dress up in hockey uniforms, break into the school and face off in the hallway?" That is so absurd. You know, SVH producers, we can go five minutes without seeing St. Liz. You don't need to put her in the scene just for the sake of it.
The next day, Lila's working at the Moon Beach. Evidently Lila's the only one actually doing her internship. Jessica's making coffee twenty minutes a day then meeting up with her friends, Todd and Elizabeth have enough time to go to play fucking HOCKEY at school, and the others don't even seem to be pretending like they have internships. Bruce certainly doesn't. He comes up to Lila, and we know we're about to have a conversation about wealth because Bruce is dressed like this:
Like, seriously. Dressed like that. You can't see his pants in that screencap, but they're white. Give him a sailor's hat, and he's the very model of a modern major general. Lila talks to him about, "A job well done is a job that you do...when you're doing a job." Oh, Lila, she's so cute. But this worries Bruce. (Because he wuvs her, you see.) He tells her that he's afraid that "hobnobbing with the working class" is having a negative effect on her haughtiness. After all, he's dressed up like Let's Go Boating Ken, and she's in jeans and sneakers -- it's like Commoner City, population Lila. Lila tells him to "kiss her grits." Oh yeah, she went there. That means that in the space of five seconds, the phrases 'hobnobbing' and 'kiss my grits' have both been used. Because apparently Sweet Valley is located in 1956. I think we're supposed to think less of Bruce for belittling Heath, but I personally think it's nice that he's looking out for his snobby sweetheart. Sure, he's being judgmental as fuck, but what do you expect from a high school student in a blazer? Heath comes in with the meat delivery, and Bruce walks out, because breathing Heath's air would be detrimental to his health.
Lila tells Heath that she knows someone who's opening up a chain of restaurants, and that she got him a job interview for a chef's position. She neglects to mention that the 'someone' she knows is her mega-rich papa, and I can't help but wonder if this will all come back to haunt her later on. Lila gives Heath a hundred dollars to buy himself a new suit. Heath feels bad about taking her 'hard-earned' money. I'm starting to shake my head. Oh Lila, you're weaving a tangled, tangled web. I predict it won't end well...but then you'll talk about it, and it will. Perish the thought that an episode of Sweet Valley High would end unhappily. And I have to say that by now, I'm done with Heath. He was okay at first, but now he's just unnecessary. I've read SVU, Lila, I know how this shit turns out.
Back to Jessica's storyline, which is significantly less interesting. Maybe it's just because nobody at the fashion house uses words like 'hobnobbing', or maybe -- and I hate to even put this out in the universe -- maybe Jessica's character is only interesting when she's being a cold-hearted bitch. I don't like all this Normal Person Jessica business. For the love of God, Wakefield, go steal someone's boyfriend or something! But no. She's showing Dante what took her all night to come up with -- a purple jacket. What's that? You want a screencap? Yeah, I guess I could do that. No need to beg.
Oh, and you're not seeing things. Those are embroidered flowers on the collar. Dante seems as disinterested in Jessica's work as I am, and Bitchy Mona makes a comment about how maybe Jessica should just stick to making coffee. Jessica's all, "Damn, Dante. You crushed my lifelong dream of the week," and Dante's all, "Whatev, peasant, make me an espresso." She goes off to make the coffee, and Dante reveals his true evilness. I knew he was evil from the start because he looks and talks like an evildoer, but that's beyond the point. He picks up Jessica's design and decides to claim it as his own, hoping to impress some Japanese designer guy named Mr. Moriake at his next fashion show.
The next day, Jessica comes across her jacket, and she's super-psyched that Dante took her design and actually made it for the show. (Even though it's a world of fugly.) Dante does the traditional villainish, "Whatever do you mean? This is my design" thing, and Jessica is sad. With a hint of angry. I think. So she thinks WWLFD in this situation, and the universe (or rather, the same shitty writer who's given us the last sixteen episodes) answers -- Hatch A Plan. This is pretty exciting, actually. Jessica never gets to hatch Plans, because most of the time the Plan involves taking her down a peg. This is all very new and different for us. She does talk to Elizabeth about it, though, because it's not plan-hatchin' time without E. Wakefield supervising. Seriously, why is she even in this episode?
Despite the fact that she knows the date and time of Heath's job interview, Lila decides to come by her dad's office at that exact moment dressed in her usual un-waitressy haute couture. (I.e. awful, awful green leggings that belong in a Babysitters Club book.) At the reception area, she bumps into Heath, who is mad. Really mad. Like, Todd mad. In his interview, George Fowler talked a lot about Lila and had pictures of her in his office, and Heath assumed that Lila was exchanging her, uh, services for a bit of the ol' Fowler moolah. (I know it's all just a misunderstanding, but ew.) After all, she did give him that hundred dollar bill yesterday. Heath explains that got all defensive and told Mr. Fowler where to go, then says to Lila, "You'll never have to do anything for that guy again." It's actually kind of sweet, him using his blind rage to stand up for his girl. Todd could learn a thing or two from this guy. Lila is forced to explain everything in the 'meaningful background music' part of the episode.
After talking with her father (offscreen, of course. I scoff at the fact that they would actually show any parents in this TV series), Lila tells Heath that he got the job anyway. Mr. Fowler's reasons, it seems, are twofold -- one, because he was so impressed with how Heath stood up for his daughter's honour, and two, because he tried that chocolate cake Lila brought home from that date to feed her 'starving' family. What're they odds? So really, the lesson in all this is that lying works, everyone gets to be not poor, and we should all do it if we ever want to get our delivery-man boyfriends better jobs and live happily ever after with them. Man, I love this episode.
Back to Jessica. (Woo. Hoo.) After Dante's fashion show, Dante goes over to meet Mr. Moriake. But wait a minute, isn't that..?
Yes, it's the token Asian guy, Koichi. He's pretending to be Mr. Moriake as part of the Plan. Winston is acting as his translator, which is a nice little detail. Very thorough of the planners. It seems Jessica's plans are actually pretty good. Now granted, I know very little Japanese, but Koichi does seem to be speaking the language. Winston is speaking fluent Gibberish, and the only thing I understand is 'Obi-Wan'. Through Winston's 'translating', Koichi tells Dante that he loves the clothing line but absolutely detests the purple jacket, which of course makes Dante confess that he would never make anything like that and it was designed by his intern, Jessica. Oh, and the press happen to be capturing this conversation.
Then of course, the real Mr. Moriake reveals himself, speaking broken English in a way that makes me assume everything the producers ever learned about Asian culture comes from those Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp. Mr. Moriake says that actually, the jacket was the best piece in the entire show, and Jessica negotiates a job at Dante's fashion house. (The WWLFD at work again, I presume.) Although why she'd want to work for some scumbag who stole the design she spent the entire music montage creating is beyond me. Then again, this is Jessica Wakefield. Her mind doesn't work like other, more normal people's. Oh, and just because I can, here's a screencap of the insanity that was Elizabeth and Todd's hockey game. God, what was that?
Recap over. But I would like, if you'll let me, to end with a heartfelt letter:
Dear Heath the Delivery Man,
We regret to inform you that, despite the fact that she just declared her undying love for you (sorta), your services as Lila Fowler's love interest are no longer needed. We will always fondly remember you for paying out that skank brat Jessica Wakefield, and letting fly at George Fowler. (Even though the situation wasn't what you thought, the dude's a neglectful parent and had it coming.) The only way you could've been any cooler is if you'd fucked Todd's shit up a little, but unfortunately you'll never get that chance. Please make your way to the Realm of Lost Boyfriends, where you will be met by Ronnie, Scott, Adam, Mike, Chris and that prince Jessica fell in love with. Oh, and if you happen to find Patty, tell her to stay there.