Oh, you guys. You guys, you guys, you guys. Today is a very good day. Not only do we have a recap from the fabulous second season of the Sweet Valley High TV show, we also know from the title that it's a tennis-themed episode. Which means what, class? It means Bruce Patman will feature heavily. He may even be the star, but I don't want to count my chickens. Let's just get into it, shall we?
Jessica is roaming the halls of SVH in her cheerleading uniform...on a cell phone. Whoah, hold onto your hats, people, 'cause here comes the technology. She's asking Lila to help her plan the cheerleading retreat, and Lila (who's coming down the hall in the other direction) tells her that even thinking about being in a room with all that pep is making her feel sick. Ah, the Lila of old, before the Heather Malone cheerleading war got the better of her pep-hating iron will. Naturally, Jessica and Lila meet up, talking to one another on the phone while they're standing right next to each other.
It's been done.
Some random Brazilian girl called Isabel tells them that in her home country, their festivals are so outrageous, they end up collapsing on the ground and sleeping for days. Uh, that's...well, that's great, Random Brazilian Isabel, but that has absolutely nothing to do with what we're talking about. Jessica tells her as much, and then Isabel says, "Well, as you say in the Valley of Sweetness...whatever!" Actually, sunshine, that's Clueless again. I can see how you'd make that mistake.
Oh, crappity hell shit crap -- it's second-season Bruce Patman! Noooo! I totally forgot that they recast him! He says hello to Isabel, because she's hot and foreign and so, so hot. Lila's all offended because she and Bruce Patman are meant to be, and who is this Brazilian bitch anyway? Bruce invites Isabel to join him on his family's yacht this weekend. Isabel asks what a yacht is, and Bruce's explanation is: "You know. When people wait on you hand and foot and you don't even have to be nice to 'em." Hells, if Old Bruce had said that, I'd have found it utterly charming and panty-dropping, but this guy? Nyehh. He looks like the lovechild of post-80s Michael Jackson and pre-40s Mickey Mouse. Apparently, Isabel thinks like me, because she not-so-politely declines his offer. Jessica asks if she can borrow the Patman yacht for her cheerleading retreat, since he won't be using it to get any sweet young Brazilian pootang, and he not-so-politely tells her no. Dang, where have all the manners gone in the Valley of Sweetness?
Bruce is perplexed as to why his charms didn't work on Isabel, and Lila comes up with a plan to satisfy both Bruce and Jessica -- Jessica should pretend to be Bruce's girlfriend, so Isabel will like him and Jessica can have the yacht for the retreat for her efforts. Look, Lila, I've pledged my undying love for you many a time, but what the fuck kind of batshit insane plan is that? Lila claims that Isabel only goes for guys who already have boyfriends, but I think I may have to call bullshit on this one. As far as plot contrivances go, this one's pretty damn incomprehensible.
Enid, Elizabeth and Cheryl are playing pool at the Moon Beach. Wow, pool tables, that's new. Enid is all sad and stuff because she didn't make the soccer team. Um, yes, because that's not completely out of character for Enid. She's moping because can't do anything right. Cheryl tells her that she was pretty good when she was in the marching band, and Enid reminds her that she's been scared to practice ever since she swallowed her clarinet reed. Hee! Liz suggests she come and work with her at the Oracle, and Enid reluctantly agrees. Oh, Enid. You are such a sadsack. It's really no fun having you around.
At the Wakefields' decidedly not split-level ranch, Lila is negotiating the terms of Jessica's and Bruce's contract. She's all lawyerly and bespectacled, and so very very cute. Not only does Jessica get the use of the Patman yacht in exchange for whoring herself to him, she also gets unlimited use of his cell phone. Which, why? She has her own; we've all seen it. Bruce very stupidly signs his life away. (I think he's mesmerised by Lila's rampant cuteness.) Things to note in this scene, apart from the fact that Lila is cute: Bruce appears to be left-handed. So there you go. Liz walks in with the shopping, and Jess gives her the detes on her business arrangement with Bruce. One guess what Liz's reaction is.
At the Oracle office, Liz hands new recruit Enid the staff camera, and tells her to practice taking photos with it. Literally the second she grabs it, it breaks. Goddamn. Enid can't even touch anything without it turning to shit. Liz tells her it's okay, but sends her home for the rest of the day, possibly because she's cartoonishly useless.
In the hallway, Bruce and Jess are hamming it up for Isabel. He gives her some long-stemmed roses, and all Isabel has to say is, "Allo Yessica, allo Billy." Heh. Billy and Yessica. Bruce lets it go, and instead compliments her on her outfit, but adds that nobody's as gorgeous as his Jessica. Isabel shoots right back with, "As they say, the love, it is blind." Dude, I'm loving this Isabel girl, whether it be the blind kind of love or not.
And we're back at the Oracle. Great. Enid is playing Donkey Kong while Liz gives her important newspapery instructions. She suggests that maybe Donkey Kong can wait until the paper is ready to print, and Enid tells her what a great idea that is. Jeez, Enid. She accidentally gets the dates for the pep rally and the chess tournament mixed up, so when Jess and the cheerleaders enter the gym, she screams, "I'm cheering for nerds? Someone will pay for this!"
Suddenly we're at the country club, where Bruce, Jess, Lila and some random dude are playing tennis. Jess is mad that Bruce keeps fucking up, and he reminds her that he's saving his A-game for when Isabel gets here. Of course, she rocks up in a bikini and heels, accompanied by some Latin background music as usual. I do like how Isabel gets her own theme music. The tennis game gets going again, and when Bruce and Jessica run to get the ball at the same time, they smack into each other and he falls on top of her. They giggle about how she broke her bracelet, and then he helps her up, and...I don't know, it's actually kinda cute. I'm so against Bruce and Jessica because he's totally Lila's man, but it really is a sweet little scene. Lila rushes over to them and says (and I quote): "Your little Brazil nut keeps peeking out from under her big hat. Which, by the way, proves that her country's a year behind in fashion headwear." Brazil, you just got schooled by Lila Fowler. I hope you're writing this down. Jess and Bruce walk past big-hatted Isabel still putting on their creepy little show, but even when Isabel's out of earshot, Bruce tells Jess that he had a lot of fun today. Especially the part where he fell on top of her, I'm assuming.
The next day, Bruce sees Jessica in the hall and gives her a present. She asks him if she should wait until Isabel's here to open it, and he tells her that he hasn't seen Isabel all morning. Get this -- Jessica's gift (out of the goodness of Bruce's heart!) is a purdy new bracelet to replace the one he broke when he fell on top of her yesterday. Aww, cuteness overload! He even remembered that she likes silver jewellery because she thinks gold clashes with her hair! While I still think this guy just isn't Bruce Patman, I'm falling a bit in love with him anyway. Bruce sees Isabel walking down the hallway, and decides to kiss Jessica to make everyone's favourite Brazilian jealous. Jessica thinks he's kissing her because they were totally having a Moment, but his eyes are well and truly on Rio Skank over there. Dammit, Bruce, did I not just stand up for you? Ass.
The next morning, Jess is in a really good mood. Liz is like, "Dude, WTF?" Jess mentions that she thinks she likes likes Bruce Patman, like the boyfriend/girlfriend sitting-in-a-tree kind of like. Liz trusts her judgement, which seems pretty irresponsible of her, but okay. Even she's shocked at her own nonchalance. My heart is breaking because I know how this is going to end. (Hint: not well.)
Oh great, we're at the Oracle office again. I really feel like crying, mostly because Enid's entire existence is so damn depressing. She hands Liz a review of some new Sweet Valley restaurant, and Liz is mucho impressed with her initiative. But if you think Enid's pathetic little life is finally taking a turn for the better, think again. Turns out she took over a hundred bucks from the Oracle's petty cash box to finance her meal. Wow, Enid can eat a lot. After she leaves, Cheryl admits that she didn't even know the Oracle had petty cash, and Liz, panicked, says, "We don't. That was the money for the new printer." Enid seriously should've given up a long time ago. Think about it. Shortbus over there swallowed her clarinet. Even Ralph Wiggum only shoved his instrment up his nose.
Jessica is gliding down the hall, utterly lovestruck, when Bruce comes up behind her and asks her if he can take her to her favourite restaurant. Jess tells him that she can't believe Liz nearly tried to stop her from entering that contract. Um, when, Jess? See, I'm recapping this episode, and I know for a fact that no such thing happened. She gave you a bit of the ol' stinkeye, but at this point I'm relatively sure that's just how her face is. Other than that she was uncharacteristically supportive. Anyway. Bruce says that their contract is the best thing that's ever happened to them, because it's brought him closer to...Isabel. Yeah, Isabel. Not Jess. Isabel. Jessica is so completely heartbroken, it's actually a little hard to watch. NuBruce, I knew there was a reason I hated you immediately. I miss Billy and Yessica already.
Liz calls Enid into the Oracle office to discuss what's to be done with Miss Special Ed. Enid confesses that it was her who spilled the butterscotch on the keyboard, rendering it useless, then proceeds to knock a cable out of some guy's computer, shutting the whole thing down. When crunch time comes, Liz doesn't have the cahones to fire her friend. Instead she promotes her. Liz, you are lameness. Pushover lameness.
Lila and her random tennis friend are playing mixed doubles with Bruce and stupid Isabel. Yeah, I know I said she was cool, but that was before she broke up Bruce and Jessica. She asks Bruce if he's sure "Yessica" won't mind, and he's like, "Well, we just won't tell Yessica, will we?" Fuck you, Bruce. No seriously, just fuck you. Lila's all attitudey today because she's Jess's loyal friend and the most awesome person in the world. During play, Isabel's just kinda standing there not really doing anything, and Lila comes over to her and says, "In our country, we have a little thing called running. You might've heard if it." Hahaha! Burned, you stupid Brazilian wench!
Bruce tells them to keep playing, and he basically plays by himself while Isabel just stands there with her big stupid hat, looking stupid. (Did that sound really bitter? Because I'm trying to deal with it.) Suddenly, Bruce loses his footing and barrels into Isabel, falling right on top of her. See, I told you it wasn't an accident -- falling on top of women on the court is one of his patented moves, right up there with paper cups and threatening helpless blondes with his big strong tennis hands. He laughs about their little spill, like he did with Jess, but she tells him to, "Get off me, you stupid American!" Apparently having a Bruce Patman on top of you is not as appealing to Brazilians as it is to Wakefields.
Cheryl and Liz walk into the newspaper office the next day, and everything is clean. Too clean. Eerily clean. Enid excitedly tells them that she de-cluttered the place, which in Enidspeak means she threw away everything. Literally everything. She re-formatted all the computer hard drives, she recycled every single scrap of paper in the entire office -- basically, Enid wrecked the Oracle. Liz is so horrified, she can't even speak. Horrified, I tells you! Way too proud of herself, Enid declares that her work here is done and skips off. Liz wonders aloud, "Can I kick my best friend of the Oracle?" No, Liz, but you can definitely show Failure Personified the door. She goes on with her weird little monologue by saying that it would completely shatter Enid's self esteem forever, but is then like, "Hmm, yeah, I'm okay with that." That's...actually pretty awesome, Liz. Mad kudos coming your way.
Liz stays at school all night trying to fix what Enid's done, which is truly a superhuman feat. She literally had to redo everything. Just then, Enid walks in and declares that she got a spot on the soccer team after all and must leave the Oracle. She then says to Liz, "I know you've come to depend on me, but you can do it on your own!" Oh, dude. I don't care how good a friend Enid is, she's straight asking for a throat-punch right there.
In the hallway after school (at least I'm assuming it's after school, because nobody else is there), Bruce comes up to Jess and asks her if she wants to go to dinner with him. She's like, "Screw off, Patman, our contract is finito," and he tells her that it has nothing to do with the contract or Isabel -- he just wants to go out with her. Still burned from his rejection before, she cattily tells him that this thing between them was business only, but then softens a bit and thanks him for the bracelet just in time for the freeze-frame.
Aww, what a nice ending. Billy and Yessica all the way!