It was only after I finished writing the recap for the 2008 edition of Secrets that I thought to myself, "Hmm, did I ever write up that recap for the TV edition?" And I answered, "No. No I didn't." (I talk to myself sometimes; it's perfectly healthy.) As you may know if you've read any of the four Secrets recaps on this site, this is the episode where Enid reveals her drug-addled past, and Jessica re-establishes herself as the supremo lunatic of Sweet Valley. There are a couple of notable changes from the book, though, so I don't mind recapping it so soon after the reissue. (It's a short one this time, I promise.)
PS: I apologise in advance for any typos. It's my birthday and I'm having a short break from uni and work and being fawned over, so I kinda didn't have time to proofread. Sorry.
PPS: I saw Brittany Daniel (Jessica) in an episode of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia last week, as Carmen the pre-op tranny who wants to bang Mac. Good stuff. Get on that bandwagon, if you're not already.
Okay people, who had money on this episode starting at the Moon Beach? Because it does. For some reason, Manny is behind the counter, DJ-ing. He's the host of KSVH, a Sweet Valley High radio show. I think the producers had been watching a little too much 90210 before writing this and thought, "What a hip idea! Manny's kinda like David Silver...in that he's, uh...human. Maybe he's more like Donna." Why the Sweet Valley High radio show is being broadcast from a public diner is beyond me, but okay. It's actually 'The Manny and Winston Show', but all Winston is doing is messing around with sound effects. Some dude (spoiler alert -- it's Ronnie!) comes up to them and hands them a flyer for an anti-drug video rave...or something. It's some MTV rip-off thing; that's all you need to know. Oh, and drugs, in case you're wondering, are bad. And they piss off music television execs something fierce. Manny announces the music rave on his radio show, and then just before he can play some Beastie Boys, Winston knocks over a whole bunch of shit and pulls out all the cables. God forbid SVH TV actually buys the rights to a popular song. They'd rather just make their own.
Karl the token black guy makes his third SVH appearance! Hooray for racial diversity! He tells Manny and Winston that the boys should think about getting a manager. Wow, the black guy actually had an idea, and he didn't use the words, 'damn', 'shit', or 'that is whack'. Sweet Valley really is ahead of its time. Manny offers Karl the job. Karl's moving up in the world. His parents will be so proud of him. Maybe they'll be able to move out of the Sweet Valley ghetto, and away from Patty.
Liz, Todd and Enid are sitting around doing pretty much nothing. The dude with the flyers comes up to them, and he's introduced to us as Ronnie, Enid's new boyfriend. (I totally already told you that, though, so you're ahead of the curve.) Apparently Ronnie's dad is the head of the aforementioned MTV-rip-off and wants Enid as the spokesmodel for his new anti-drugs campaign. Wanna know why? Ronnie says that his dad's keen on the "girl-next-door" type. What Ronnie really means? "You're butt-fugly and nerdy, Enid, but that's the demo we're going for. Plus, I'm very interested in getting into your overalls." Todd proclaims that Enid is "styling," and I proclaim that Todd is a douche. Enid gets a worried look on her face. Liz can tell that something's up (that she is, perhaps, keeping secrets?) because she pours maple syrup on her fries. Time for a condescending shoulder-pat, Liz. You know you want to.
Liz and Enid rush home, and despite the fact that Liz obviously knows something's wrong, she proceeds to tell Jessica and Lila all about Enid's new gig. That's true friendship for you right there. Oh, and for some reason, being More Music's anti-drugs spokesmodel means she gets to go on tour with Aerosmith. I don't even know. Jessica gets her scheme-face on, and decides that she's going to get the job instead. Oh, and while she's announcing her intentions to steal Enid's gig, she keeps raising her right eyebrow. Which I thought was really cool for a minute there, but after she does it seven times, I'm worried that she's actually having a stroke. Lila says that the day Jessica takes the stage with Steven Tyler is the day Lila wears a muumuu to school. (How Robin Wilson of her.) The girls decide to make a little bet out of it.
In Liz's room, Enid confesses that she and her ex-boyfriend George used to get pretty heavy into drugs, and one night, they got into a car accident. And yes, there's a flashback. It's all black-and-white and grainy, though, but I can tell that Enid's wearing a plaid shirt (like all the bad nineties teens!) and her hair is all messy. See what drugs do to you, kids? They force you into plaid! The not-so-subtle lesson here is that DRUGSAREBAD! Bad, I tells ya!
Elizabeth is shocked at Enid's drug-taking past, and, I assume, a little horrified that all this time she's been hanging out with Sweet Valley's Most Wanted. (Which makes Todd the less deviant of the two, so good on Todd.) Enid randomly pulls out a letter from George that she just happened to be carrying with her, which states that he's out of rehab and wants to catch up with her. Liz promises not to tell Ronnie, but thinks that Enid should. Enid ignores her advice, proving that it's physically possible not to take Elizabeth Wakefield's word as gospel. Personally, I think it's a shame this series didn't take place in the noughties -- rehab's cool now. Enid would have nothing to worry about. Haha. Just kidding. DRUGSAREBAD!
Jessica is in the bathroom, listening in to this conversation. Since Steven Tyler and muumuus are more important than her relationship with her twin sister, Jessica starts her schemin'. The next day, she breaks into Enid's locker and steals the letter from George, photocopies it, then slips it into Ronnie's locker. The lesson here, Enid? If you're worried about a letter breaking up your relationship, DON'T FUCKING TAKE IT WITH YOU EVERWHERE YOU GO! Keep it under your mattress or in your feelings journal or whatever. I hate that I have to spell this shit out to these people.
Moon Beach time. Manny and Winston are still doing their radio show. 'Cause it's not like the diner needs that counter space or anything. Bruce is there now, though, which makes everything okay. He asks Manny if he's going to that More Music rave thing, and Manny mentions that he's dying to meet some VJ called JJ Blackwood. Now that's too many j's for my liking, so I hope we never actually meet him or speak of him again.
Ronnie rushes into the Moon Beach in a Todd-like rage, yelling at Enid about her "dope-smokin' days." Because she's now tainted in his mind forever, it's pretty much Dumpsville, population Enid. Bruce and Lila think it's funny. Karl, the back guy with the suddenly large role, does not. Then Enid starts screaming at Liz in a Todd-like rage (it's contagious, I tell you!), saying she's the only one who knew about the aforementioned dope-smokin' days, and runs out of the diner. Liz is all frowntastic. Oh, and people who have been keeping track of how many times Bruce wears unforgivably fug shorts this season? Here's number four:
In class the next day (I guess sometimes they do go to class. Nice to know), some random extra passes Enid a note that says, 'Enid is a stoner.' Enid takes great offence to this and runs out of the classroom. This is all going to a very Harriet the Spy kind of place, but with less blue paint. When Liz tries to stop her, Enid screams, "Haven't you done enough?!" and makes her dramatic exit. Liz gets up and yells at the whole class, then tries to follow Enid, but Jess and Lila stop her. Um, where is their teacher while all this is going on? Why is he letting his students make dramatic outbursts like that? Mr. Collins, for the love of all that's holy, do some goddamn disciplining!
Enid storms down the hallway, and runs right into Bruce Patman. We know this is going to be good. He's like, "Hey, it's the party girl. Never knew you had it in you, Enid!" and she pushes right past him. Since Bruce has made someone feel bad, his day is complete, and he picks up the books he dropped while twirling his moustache and maniacally wringing his hands. Squee, a patented Bruce asshat moment. I'm only including it because in every other scene this episode, Bruce seems to be trying to out-lame himself . (You'll see what I mean.) It's not the Bruce I know, and it's not the Bruce I love. Plus, Enid gets no sympathy because she brought this on herself. I mean, why carry the incriminating letter around? Why, Enid, why? Are you that stupid? Wait, what am I saying -- Enid voluntarily spends time with Elizabeth Wakefield. Of course she's that stupid.
Jessica goes to the More Music offices to talk to Ronnie's dad. Even though he's apparently the head of this really famous music television corporation, he has time to talk to some teenager he's never met. Jess takes great pleasure in telling him all about how his current spokesmodel is a midnight toker. Good work, Jessica. Please never reproduce. She tells Mr. Edwards that she hopes he finds someone more suitable, and he looks her up and down and says, "I think I already have." It's kinda lecherous. Methinks Mr. Edwards and Mr. Collins spend Saturdays together bowling and talking about the underage blondes they've hit on this week.
Todd and Liz time. Liz is complaining how she can't believe that Jessica's taking advantage of Enid's situation. Because...this isn't like her at all? Todd's like, "She is Jessica. What did you expect?" See? Even Todd gets it. Really, Liz, what did you expect? I'm just going to sit here, counting the minutes until Liz realises that this 'situation' is oh-so-similar to the countless others she's found herself in this year, and oh wait -- didn't they all turn out to be masterminded by Jessica? Yes? Well, there you go. If only solving this mystery was that easy.
Todd and Liz make their way out to the Jeep to go wherever it is celibate teens go after school. (Oracle office?) Todd opens the glovebox and finds the letter from George Warren, which Jessica has conveniently kept. Goddamnit, what did I just say about taking that letter everywhere you go?! It takes Liz a good six seconds to connect the letter to the current Enid crisis, while Todd pretty much clicks instantly. Which means that Todd is smarter than Elizabeth. Todd Wilkins, who I'm pretty sure has some kind of severe learning disability, is smarter than holier-and-generally-better-at-everythin
At school, Jess and Lila are hanging out at Jess's locker when Elizabeth approaches. Lila hilariously says, "Uh-oh, Tinkerbell looks upset." Lila, please reproduce, and often. Liz goes off at Jessica with the sort of rage I'd once again describe as Todd-like. Now that I think about it, the only person who hasn't been crippled with a Todd-like bout of rage this episode is Todd himself. Interesting. Anyway, Liz says to Jess, "this time you've gone too far." Really? This time? Not the time she pretended to be Liz to steal her college man, or pretended to be Liz to steal her newsreader job? Or how about the time she pretended to be Enid to steal her Bridgewater man? Or the time she stole Enid's modelling gig, Lila's acting job, Winston's dignity and Lila's date? (And we're only eleven episodes in!) How about that stuff, Liz? I'm kind-of glad that TV!Liz never met Book!Jess, or her head would've surely exploded.
Anyway, Liz says she'll never forgive her dastardly sister, even though I'm gonna bet that yeah, she will. Jess actually looks a little sad when Liz walks off, which is a nice touch. Liz goes on her merry way to talk to Enid, showing her the letter and explaining that Jess used it to win her More Music spokesmodel gig. Enid says, "I should've known." Yes! You absolutely should've! And you know what else you should've done, since we're suddenly so big on hindsight? You should've BURNED THAT MOTHERFUCKING LETTER! Phew, okay, deep breaths. Sometimes when I watch TV I forget that I have no control over what's going on, no matter how loudly I yell at the screen.
More Music Rave time! The whole gang's there (except for poor ostracised Enid and useless Elizabeth), dressed to impress in their awful nineties fashion. (And for some reason, Winston's wearing an oversize novelty hat.) Even Karl showed up! How multicultural! Hey guys, have we mentioned that Sweet Valley's multicultural now? 'Cause it totally is. Patty's not there, though, because we can only have one black SV resident onscreen at a time. Bruce is dancing with some random brunette, and I have to point out that this is actually continuity at work here -- every time there's a party or something on this show, Bruce always brings a different girl with him. I'd be impressed right now, except that Bruce is wearing a stupid-looking vest while attempting to dance by throwing his limbs around wildly. He looks like Aladdin having an aneurysm. Not a good look.
Oh, and -- ew, Lila's dancing with Manny. Manny! Even dancing with vest-wearing, arm-flailing Bruce Patman is less embarrassing than being anywhere near Manny for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately, the entire montage is just them dancing. Lila's wearing sunglasses inside. (While dancing with Manny -- what the hell is going on here?!) Oh, and I just caught a glimpse of Jessica's underwear. I feel so special -- I'm not even on the Sweet Valley football team!
As the montage goes on, I'm becoming increasingly worried about Bruce. He may actually be having an aneurysm. He's probably taken one look at Lila boogying on down with Manny and completely lost his shit. What annoys me most is thanks to some really God-awful continuity blunders, Bruce seems to be dancing everywhere at once, and at one point he appears to be, uh, grinding with Todd. Yes, grinding. Bruce is really going for it, too. It's...uh, well, it needs to be screencapped to be appreciated. That's them, right down the back there, gettin' down to bizzness:
Karl introduce Manny and Winston to that VJ with too many j's in his name. This whole subplot is meaningless and stupid. As in, this is where it ends. Nothing fucking happens. What...what was the point of that? Moving on quickly now.
Jessica, who I suppose is sick of dancing and Britneying the camera, is practising her anti-drugs speech -- "Dope is for dummies, and drugs are for slugs" -- only I totally thought she said 'sluts' there for a minute. I think I'm gonna pretend that she does say 'sluts', just to make things a little more interesting. Blaze up, Annie Whitman!
Enid and Liz rock up to talk to Mr. Edwards who, once again, is sitting in his office doing precious little. Even though his big huge music rave is swinging mere metres away from them, and you'd think he'd have something to do, but I guess not. Ronnie's in the office too, for plot contrivances' sake. Enid explains that she's totally reformed and a lucky survivor (DRUGSAREBAD!), and the Edwardses' cold, cold hearts melt and they can't get enough of Enid! How fabulous for Enid!
All of a sudden, Jessica's there too! Good grief! I'm half expecting Regina and Olivia and all of Jessica's dead boyfriends to walk through the door, the way this episode is going! It doesn't get much more contrived than this. Jessica suddenly decides that Enid is right -- kids need more than slogans, they need real-life anecdotes about the general badness of drugs. Look, Jessica, if you're going to be a sociopath, at least have the guts to commit. For someone who plays this whole scheming bitch-monster part every bloody episode, you'd think she'd be better at it. Alas, this is the part of the ep where everybody bands together for a common cause, and this time it's drugs. DRUGSAREBAD!
Ronnie takes Enid aside and tells her he never should've let her go. Enid tells Ronnie to fuck off and die. Sometimes I love Enid. Sometimes.
For some stupid reason, Liz isn't mad at Jess anymore. Apparently when Jess apologises for her mean behaviour, everything's hunky dory, but when Ronnie tries it ends in him being friendless and alone. Hmm. In fact, Jess didn't even apologise for ruining Enid's life for the third time in this TV series. She just kinda stood there, and yet Elizabeth tells her that "it's times like these I'm glad you're my sister." Yep, she's waaaay dumber than Todd. Anyway, Lila rushes over to Jess carrying the muumuu she has to wear to school on Monday. Jessica gets hers, as usual. The end. If only Regina had been around for all those super-subliminal DRUGSAREBAD messages...