100% brutal honesty: this post happened by accident. It happened because I got drunk with some friends and we watched The Breakfast Club. Watching The Breakfast Club (which takes place almost entirely in a school library) made me think of that One Tree Hill episode where Jimmy shot up the school and Peyton and Lucas hid in the library. Thinking of that made me think of the rest of the episode, including what went on in the tutor centre, which made me think of Danneel Harris...
The one who got beat down by pregnant Haley, yes.
...but; for the life of me, I could not remember the name of the character she played. I literally have six seasons of that damned show on DVD, but couldn't remember that stupid redheaded cheerleader's name. So I Googled it, and it turns out that Danneel Harris is now known as Danneel Ackles. And I know what you're thinking; and you're bang on the money -- Danneel Harris is legit married to Jensen Ackles. Who was recently (recently in this case meaning twenty years ago) in an episode of Sweet Valley High. That I of course recapped, because I am a person who recaps episodes of Sweet Valley High.
And so in a very meta way, I decided to acknowledge the coincidence and write a recap that has nothing to do with The Breakfast Club or Danneel Harris/Ackles simply because of that tenuous link. Because tenuous links to pop culture (and, indeed, reality) are exactly what this TV show is about. Let's move on, before we get way, waaaay too meta and our heads explode.
At the Moon Beach, Cheryl has a migraine and asks Winston for some aspirin. He can't get the cap off because it's childproof. I would have a great laugh at this, had I not suffered from an embarrassingly similar defeat at the hands of a bottle of nail polish remover about a week and a half ago. It was humiliating. I seriously cannot look that bottle of nail polish remover in the eye anymore knowing it bested me so easily.
Why is this funny? Don't laugh at this.
Lila and Jess are also at the Moon Beach. Lila has a mad case of the Why Mes, telling Jessica that nobody pays any attention to her and she sometimes feels invisible. We should definitely send her a link to this community, then. Jessica (and then Winston) both totally blow her off, and Lila goes off in a huff, saying, "If I want to be ignored, I'll go home." Jess and Winston couldn't give less fucks. On her way home, Lila is kidnapped by the ol' TV staple, the ominous Gloved Hand of Doom popping into the shot. Worse still, she's left her newly-purchased cappuccino machine on the counter of the Moon Beach, which seems like a minor detail compared to all the kidnapping and whatnot, but you totally know that if I mention it, it must be important.
The next day at school, an absurdly attractive teacher is leading drama class, which takes place in a classroom and not some sort of theatre. That's a little bit shit. My high school was a tiny, inner-city, six-hundred-student school that didn't even take up a full city block, yet we still had a specialised drama room. Jess is pissed that Lila, her acting partner, isn't there for some reason (kidnapped!) but Enid comes to her rescue and says that she'll do the scene with Jess. Jessica is disgusted. Oh, and the absurdly attractive drama teacher? His name is Mr. Fosse. That cannot be deliberate. It just can't be. Everything we already know about this show should lead you to believe that it can't be deliberate.
Your body does drive me wild with desire, Mr. Fosse. Thanks for asking.
Well this whole thing is great and all, solid surprise pop culture reference, hooray for teacher castings and et cetera...but it's time to get back to the more important plot. Lila is in some kind of basement, tied to a chair, because she's recently been kidnapped and that's what happens to people who are kidnapped. Her kidnappers are this disgustingly mushy married couple who call each other by pet names, including (but not limited to) Honey Bunny and Punkin For realz. For realz, Mr. Tarantino. Go watch it if you don't believe me. Honey Bunny and Punkin reveal that they plan to give Lila back in return for a million dollars. Lila complains that she's worth at least ten times as much, and couldn't they have used a cotton gag instead of a polyester one? Kidnapped Lila is funsies.
Cheryl comes into the Moon Beach, happy because her migraine is gone. Extremely happy, in fact. Too happy. She sees Lila's cappuccino machine, still on the counter from like two days ago, because Winston obviously doesn't do any actual cleaning here. Since lost property is apparently something that doesn't exist in Sweet Valley, Cheryl encourages Winston to steal the cappuccino machine and claim it for the Moon Beach.
She probably just really wanted a cappuccino.
Jessica and Enid are at a booth, having a civilised conversation. You heard (read?) me. I guess they're both taking this drama thing really seriously. It is rather important to impress anyone named Mr. Fosse, especially if he's absurdly attractive. Liz comes by and asks Enid to do a movie review for the Oracle (of Clueless in Seattle, in case you were wondering) but Enid says that she can't do it tonight because she and Jessica are perfecting their scene for drama class. Finally, Cheryl wonders where Lila is, and Jess snarks that she's probably off at a spa, paying people not to ignore her.
Cut to Lila, still kidnapped and unimpressed at the calibre of food her captors have brought her. She says, "Fowlers do not eat burritos," and she rolls her r's in 'burritos.' As an Italian, I love this. In fact, as a person, I love this.
"People who wear Lady Di engagement rings do not eat burritos."
After their performance in drama class (which happens off-camera but went smashingly, if you can believe our little thespians) Jessica and Enid are bonding over their shared love of 90s-era Alicia Silverstone. They agree to go see Clueless in Seattle together. So...if Alicia Silverstone is actually in this movie mash-up, does that mean Tom and Meg are too? How do you even put those two movies together? All things I'm dying to find out. After the movie, they go home to find Liz, all mopey and left out because Jessica's boyfriend-stealing Enid from her. Attempting to turn her newly acquired lemons into lemonade, Liz comments that at least Enid can now do the review for the Oracle. Enid says she'll do it later. Spoiler: she won't.
Meanwhile, at the crime scene, Punkin complains that he can't get ahold of George Fowler to demand the ransom. Lila is busy chanting or yoga-ing or something; basically, she really couldn't give a shit. We get to hear Fowler Crest's answering machine message, which is, "Hello, you've contacted Fowler Manor. Please leave a message or any insider trader tips at the tone." Mr. Fowler sir, I saw what happened to Gordon Gekko -- you really need to think twice before you decide to go on with this. Punkin reveals that all the ransom notes he's faxed got no answer whatsoever, and Lila's Why Mes come back as she wonders if her dad even realises she's missing. Of course he doesn't, Lila -- he's too busy flouting insider trading laws like it ain't no thang.
Oh, and you know why Mr. Fowler didn't find the ransom note Punkin left on his car windshield? Because mother-effing Winston covered it up. With a flyer. For brand new Moon Beach cappuccinos. Made with the cappuccino machine he stole from Lila. Gee willikers.
Meanwhile, at the Moon Beach, Winston is walking around in a tuxedo and admiring all the customers Lila's cappuccino machine is bringing in. Goddamn is Lila getting the short stick something fierce in this episode. Even Winston's making her look pathetic. Cheryl, Enid and Elizabeth stop by for some coffee, and Cheryl is once again is overly excited. Must be because Lila's gone. She suggests they all go bowling to, like, celebrate life or something? I don't know. Liz is disheartened when Enid rushes off to go invite her new BFF Jessica. Something to note: the girls are sharing their booth with these two beatnik types, clad all in black. They say nothing, but are weird. They might even be mimes. I don't understand their purpose.
He does this because Enid does. That's a thing mimes do, right?
At home, Liz confronts Jessica about the Enid-stealing. Jess maintains that it's not her fault that people are drawn to her, but Liz thinks she has some ulterior motive. She keeps asking what Jessica's getting out of the situation, and Jessica basically accuses her of being a jilted lover who's not thrilling enough for the likes of Enid. (Ha!) In Liz's defence, Jess never says that she actually likes Enid, so the only conclusion we can reasonably come to is that Jess is hanging out with her to spite Liz. That's just...that's just cruel. Lila has literally been kidnapped, yet this is the meanest thing I've seen this entire episode.
Enid, meanwhile, is thrilled to be Jessica's puppet.
Winston's hired a bouncer to keep those caffeine-crazed Sweet Valleyans in check. Are there no other cafes in this town, perhaps with actual barista-quality coffee machines? Lila's tiny little one-at-a-time personal cappuccino maker is supplying the entire town? If this is the first time they've ever had quality coffee, well, that explains an awful lot about why everyone in Sweet Valley is so batshit nuts. And speaking of batshit nuts, it's worth noting that the only person the bouncer actually lets in is Crazy Margo, apparently.
Why would they cast someone who looks like this?
Cheryl comes by, and Winston greets her by saying, "My dear, how are you?" and kissing both her hands. Oh, and he's getting a pedicure. In his white tux. I've never seen him be gayer, and we're talking about a guy who's famous for inappropriately touching Todd. Just then, Winston gets a call from a famous coffee house magazine (?) because they want to review his cappuccinos.
Seeing as how he's so fabulous!
Jessica invites Enid shopping, and then wonders where Lila is. Still kidnapped, in case you were concerned, Jess. Replacement Lila has a great time shopping with the Jess, which makes Liz see red. She asks Enid for the Clueless in Seattle review, and Enid says that she didn't write it after all because Jessica pointed out to her that nobody reads the stupid Oracle. Ouch, Jess. Really ouch. This is honestly the most emotionally vacant Jessica has been in this series so far. Usually when she does something sociopathic, it's benefitting her in some way, but not here. She could hang out with anyone in lieu of Lila, and she knows perfectly well that it's bothering Liz that she chose Enid.
You could've drowned Prince Albert, and Liz wouldn't have looked so sad.
Meanwhile, Lila is putting on little plays for her kidnappers. She's handling this whole kidnapping thing a lot better than most would, and hey -- absurdly attractive Mr. Fosse would be most proud of her choice of pastime. Lila even gets Punkin and Honey Bunny to repaint her basement/prison, but halfway through, they decide that a million clams is absolutely not worth putting up with Lila for one more minute, and drop her back off at the Moon Beach. Naturally, she reclaims her cappuccino machine at once, and Winston seems mad at Lila for taking back what's rightfully hers. All the cool new customers leave in a rush, because cappuccinos are the best things in the world, and nobody wants anything else, ever. Even the beatnik mime breaks character and tells Winston that he's out of there. Just then, the coffee reviewer walks in like you knew he would, and demands some delicious cappuccino. Hilariously, Winston offers him some Ovaltine instead.
Winston's not super familiar with the way buying stuff works.
Liz decides to confront Enid about her behaviour. No wait, that's apologise. Liz decides to apologise for her behaviour. Holy cappuccino-sipping doormat, Batman! Liz is such the sadsack. Enid forgives Liz, which is jolly good of her and everything.
At the counter, Lila's telling Jessica about her ordeal and that, despite the terrible food and decor, she was happy to have some attention paid to her for once. She even says, "Who knows? Maybe we'll all do it again sometime." Excellent! Lila's kidnapping can be a bi-yearly thing. Of course, now that Lila's come home, Jess reverts back to treating Enid like she's invisible, so I guess it's a good thing she made amends with sucky ol' Liz. Truly, though, Jessica is the actual worst. I think the 'crime' part of the title alludes to the fact that she's allowed to be within ten feet of people who don't wear white coats and specialise in personality disorders.
Jessica Wakefield is not what civilisation needs.