Irina (irinaauthor) wrote in 1bruce1,
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1bruce1

Sweet Valley High #100: The Evil Twin

When the lovely, talented daniellafromage recapped The Unicorns Go Hawaiian, she started by warning everyone that it was probably the best Sweet Valley Twins book ever, and she wasn’t wrong.

Well. Now it’s my turn, because The Evil Twin is the greatest achievement in Sweet Valley High. If Sweet Valley had its own Pulitzer category, this book not only would have won in 1993, but also every single year since then, because it’s just that awesome. I actually stopped reading the series after its sequel, Return of the Evil Twin, because I knew things would only go downhill from there. How could anyone ever hope to top Crazy Margo?

Here’s the cover. You all know it.









And the inside flap. Elizabeth looks like Jessica, and Margo looks like she’s about to correct Liz’s grammar. She has the prissy expression down cold. In the top inset, the twins look like two glum forty year olds. In the bottom inset, it looks like Todd has been clubbed to death with an Oscar.

I am quite looking forward to finding out why George Fowler keeps an Oscar in his guest room, since that’s where the Todd assault happens. I’m sure there’s an excellent explanation.



The Longest Ten Seconds in the History of the World

Chapter one is a review of everything we already know: magical vodka, blah blah blah, sociopathic Jessica who’s now eaten alive by guilt, blah blah, Ned and Alice lured to San Francisco by Crazy Margo, blah. I’ve recapped all that already, so I’m not going to waste time going over it again: this book is so awesome that there’s no room for review. I will say, though, that Ned is pretty dumb not to have at least called this law firm in SF to confirm his travel arrangements. And if he did that, he’d discover that they’d never heard of him, and he could stay home and possibly protect his teenaged daughter from being murdered by her insane doppelganger. Just saying. Besides being an embarrassingly bad lawyer and not a really great father either, Ned’s kind of dumb.

It’s the last day before Christmas vacation, and SVH is selling candy canes with messages delivered by elves. My high school did this too: you pay a dollar or something, and they’ll deliver your candy and message to whomever you want. Jess and Lila are, of course, competing over who gets the most. Margo sends a candy cane to each twin, Jess’s saying “Happy Horrordays” and Liz’s saying “Wreck the halls with bloody bodies.” Margo’s not very creative. She’ll have to do better once she’s the Oracle’s star reporter. Or maybe not; I’ve always kind of suspected Liz is a crap writer and Mr. Collins just humors her. While trying to crack Liz’s locker combination, Margo is busted by some teacher for not having a hall pass, but he buys her Elizabeth act and lets her go. She’s ecstatic.

Margo overhears Liz and Enid making plans to go Christmas shopping, so while Liz is in the Oracle office, Margo goes to intercept Enid. Except Enid doesn’t fall for it: she thinks Margo is Jessica and tells her off for impersonating Liz. Enid’s smarter than Bill Chase, that’s for sure. MargoLiz is frustrated, but figures that she’ll just kill Enid if Enid ever guesses the truth. No loss: Enid’s not Margo’s kind of best friend anyway. Oh, and Margo leers at Bruce and figures that he’d be a good hookup if things ever go wrong with Todd. All these callbacks to Dear Sister! I’m quite overwhelmed! Also, think how awesome the covers would be if Margo actually did succeed in taking Liz’s place. As dirtywingsgirl pointed out, instead of giving tertiary characters condescending looks, Liz would be about to stab them with a butcher knife.

Enid runs right to the Oracle to tattle on Jess, and Liz is both angry and weirded out: Jess’s schemes usually have a method to them, but why would Jess want to hang out with Enid? Nice way to think about your best friend, Elizabeth.

James tries to quit Margo’s payroll, and Margo tells him that’ll be fine. He’s thrilled, because that means that he and Jessica can finally be free in their love! Wait, what? Love? Well, whatever, love or hormones, take your pick. Margo’s severance plan makes James frowny, however: he can never talk to Jess again or she’ll torture and kill them both, Jessica first. He also swears he hasn’t told Jess anything about Margo, which makes perfect sense. If I were in fake love with someone and knew a crazy person who probably wanted to hurt him, I wouldn’t say anything either. It might tie the plotline up too neatly. You have to be sensitive to these things, am I wrong?

Alice hangs out at home, and MargoLiz comes through and hugs her. Alice is repulsed, and then beats herself up for feeling that way, like Liz was a stranger. Alice blames herself and her nervous breakdown during the trial. Then she earns her Mother of the Year award: Alice’s breakdown caused a rift in her family, so she decides that, from now on, she’s going to make a special effort to never detach herself from their problems again. And then, not three sentences later, she thinks that it’ll be great to go to San Francisco and be away from her kids for a few days. That…makes sense? Maybe if you’re a Wakefield parent.

Margo snoops around Liz’s room, and is thrilled to find Liz’s diary. She reads all about the Jungle Prom and the trial and Todd’s letter, but is almost caught when Liz comes home. Margo tosses the diary back in a random drawer and dives into the closet. Liz finds the diary out of place and thinks Jess snooped. Margo thinks about killing Liz with one of those stupid scarves the twins always wear, but changes her mind because her impersonation isn’t perfect yet.

That night, when Jess finally goes to Liz to confess the Magical Vodka and apologize, she can’t even get a word out because Liz rips a strip off her for reading her journal and chases her out of the room. That night, Liz has a vivid dream about the Jungle Prom and wakes up convinced her subconscious is trying to tell her something. Why does she think that? Because the ghostwriter took Intro to Psych, of course, and learned that that’s how these things work: subconsciouses always kick in when it’s most convenient for the narrative. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

Josh Smith, Boy Detective, is still pretending to be a reporter. He’s positive that Margo’s the one who ran over the dead waitress with the gratuitous baby, and thinks that if he can work out Margo’s motive, he’ll be able to find her. Josh is not a particularly bright Boy Detective. Wouldn’t the most efficient plan be to hang around the Wakefields and wait for Margo to show up again? Who cares why she ran over the waitress? Anyway, the police are appallingly helpful. When Josh claims to be a reporter, the detective just hands over a folder with the contact information of all the waitress’s friends and associates. The Sweet Valley police are so professional! No wonder this crack law enforcement team needs such frequent help from the Wakefield kids to solve their cases.

Josh goes to the catering office and shows them his picture of Margo. The caterers are also quite helpful, “Oh, yes, that’s Michelle Wake whom we hired to work the Fowler Wedding. Look, here’s her paycheck with her address on it!” Then, suddenly, they get all suspicious like, “But why do you want to know? We don’t just give out information about our employees.” Except for their names, addresses, paycheck amounts, and jobs they’ve worked, apparently. Is anyone in Sweet Valley even awake today? Jeez. Josh runs away, thinking triumphantly that now he knows Margo’s street.

MargoLiz calls Todd and asks him out, then MargoJess calls Lila and asks her to go shopping. Liz’s clothes are too boring, you see, and Margo wants something sexy and Jessica-like for her date. Lila never suspects a thing.

James dumps Jess from the payphone at Kelly’s Bar (Cold!). He says she was just a way to pass the time (Super cold!). Jess thinks losing a guy who wears a Colonel Sanders costume to a formal wedding (or, y’know, at all ever) is no loss. No, wait, sorry, that’s not Jess, that’s me. Jess hangs up and cries about how unlovable she feels, and how her conscience is torturing her about the Magical Vodka. Well, Jess, maybe if you weren’t such a fucking sociopath, people might like you a little more. Or, you could stop half-assing it with the sociopathy and commit yourself to it whole-heartedly. Sociopaths have no consciences. You’d never feel guilty about anything again! Either way, sack up. She wishes she were dead instead of Sam: nobody would miss her. Whatever. Cry me a river, Jess. At Kelly’s, James whispers, “I love you, Jessica,” and cries. Hee.

On her date with Todd, MargoLiz wears a minidress and talks about going to a heavy metal concert instead of the symphony. Then, at Miller’s Point, she “[wraps] her arms around Todd’s neck and [kisses] him passionately.” That’s when Todd clues in that he’s not with Liz: “Elizabeth was affectionate, but not this affectionate.” Ha! God forbid she ever make the first move with her own boyfriend. Todd keeps making out with her, though, in case he’s wrong, all the while thinking about how sick Jess is being. Well, Todd, you’re the one kissing her back. He’s such a stupid freak! Finally, too weirded out to continue, Todd makes a lame excuse and takes Margo back to Calico Drive. Margo thinks happily about how he’s obviously way more into her than he is into Liz, because she’s so much more fun. Also, Margo wants to be best friends with Lila instead of Enid, and wear clothes more like Jess’s. I don’t know why Margo doesn’t just kill Jess instead, then, since she seems to think Jess is a lot cooler than Liz and Jess is the twin people always think Margo is anyway. But whatever.

Oh, and Margo decides to kill Penny so she can be editor of The Oracle. There won’t be any kids left at SVH by the time she’s through. Could you imagine if Bruce tried to date rape Margo, though? They’d find him in pieces.

Margo pretends to be Liz on Christmas Eve and cleans the whole house. What is with crazy girls wanting to do chores for the Wakefields? This seems to happen to them a lot. When Alice thanks Liz for it later, though, Liz assumes Jess did the cleaning and her mom just got them confused. How likely is that, really? Why won’t anyone pay attention! Then, during dinner, Liz sees Margo looking in the window and freaks out, but when she runs to the glass she can’t see anybody out there. When Steve asks the kids what they did last night, Liz starts with, “Enid and I went caroling,” (of course they did) just as Todd starts to say, “Liz and I went to the movies.” That confirms it to Todd: he was with Jess. Jess doesn’t even look up from her plate, though; she just mumbles that she was at home the whole time. Liz worries that maybe Todd and Jess were out together, but dismisses that, since her parents said Jess hadn’t left her room the whole evening. Because she’s never sneaked out before, right? Todd is grossed out.

That night, there’s a thunderstorm and the twins can’t sleep. Jess goes to Liz’s room to try to make up again, and Liz yells at her and kicks her out. Jess cries. Liz has another dream about the prom.

Christmas morning, the Wakefields are all miserable, and Steven seems like the only one making an effort. You know, Steve is a pretty good guy. How did he wind up with such a sucky family? Margo lurks outside the window, watching them open their presents. Steve glimpses her, but she hides when he goes to look out, so he figures it was just a trick of the light or something. Margo’s so excited she wants to do a victory dance on the Wakefields’ front lawn: she’ll be Elizabeth in just one more week!

Josh calls home for Christmas and his mom sobs that she bought Georgie a toy, because she can’t stand the thought of him having nothing to play with. That’s really depressing. Josh hangs up on her.

Ned and Alice finally leave for San Francisco.

James gets home one night to find a note from Margo on his dresser: it’s the third one she’s left, accusing him of talking to Jess behind her back. He knows that one of these days she’s going to kill him; she can obviously get into his house without any trouble. He has to leave town, but first he needs to warn Jessica about her: Jess’s life could be in danger, after all. He has a lame daydream about running away with Jess and the two of them living in blissed-out love for the rest of their days, or at least until the attraction wears off and his string ties start to get on her nerves and her sociopathy starts to grate on his. He calls Jess and asks her to meet him at some abandoned pier. Little does Jess know that Margo is in the house pretending to be Liz, and overheard everything on the extension. Margo leaves to deal with James, and steals Liz’s lavaliere out of her jewelry box on the way out. Muahahahaha!

Josh finally gets around to going to Margo’s place. How long has he had her address, anyway? Lazy vigilantism helps no one. He knows when he gets to her room just how evil she really is because…wait for it…there are fast food wrappers everywhere. I’m not making that up. She drowned his little brother, but he’s horrified that she hasn’t taken out the trash. She also has a Wall of Crazy. If you’ve ever seen a movie or TV show with a psycho stalker before, you know what I’m talking about. Margo’s features hundreds of pictures of the Wakefields, natch. Josh figures that the wall, plus all the knives Margo has laying around will be enough to convince anyone she’s insane. Also, she wrote on the mirror in lipstick, “I am Elizabeth.” All in a flash, Josh realizes what her plan must be, and resolves to save Elizabeth to make up for not saving Georgie.

Margo stops by her place to get into a Jessica-style outfit, and realizes from the scratches on her doorknob that someone’s picked her lock. She looks through the keyhole and sees Josh hanging out, waiting for her. She almost rushes in to kill him, but then has a better idea. She pretends she’s talking to her landlady in the hall and says loud enough for Josh to hear, “I’m meeting a friend at the marina at seven,” and then runs outside. Sure enough, she sees gullible Josh leave the house a few minutes later. Josh calls the police, and when Margo gets to the marina they’re already waiting for her, since James had also called them to report the danger Jess and Liz are in.

No, of course not. Josh heads out by himself, all alone, because that worked so well for him the last time he confronted Margo at the LA train station. James waits at the marina by himself. Stupid boys.

Jess can’t find the car keys and begs Todd and Liz to drive her to the marina. They reluctantly agree, since she seems desperate. But they’re really bitchy to her the whole way. Todd’s still furious with her because he thinks she pretended to be Liz. It didn’t stop him from making out with her, though, you’ll remember. Todd sucks. Liz is furious for the usual reasons.

At the marina, MargoJess runs up to James. He tells her everything he knows about Margo and begs her to leave town with him. When he goes to kiss her, though, he realizes his mistake. Oops. MargoJess pushes him off the pier, and his body is broken on the rocks below. Another dead boyfriend! Jess could start keeping track of them all with notches on her bedpost.

The twins and Todd arrive just in time to see James go over the side, and then, in a flash of lightning, they see Josh pop up at the end of the pier too. Jess screams that he killed James and then faints, and Liz almost does too. Fortunately, Josh can’t stand up to a Todd punch. Josh has an hysterical meltdown, begging Todd to let him go. He insists Margo, who looks just like the twins, killed James, so Todd punches him again. Hee. It’s just not a proper SVH book unless Todd hits someone, don’t you agree? Margo calls 911 from a payphone to report a murder, and then steals James’s duffel bag from his dirtbike before she leaves the scene. After all, it’s not like he needs it anymore. She’s a pragmatic psychopath.

When Ned and Alice arrive in San Francisco, there’s no limo and no hotel room. Alice’s “mother’s intuition” tells her something is wrong with her kids, but Ned is like, “Whatever, “and checks them into a different hotel. Meanwhile, Todd gives his statement to the police and admits that he didn’t see the actual push, just James going over the side. As they walk Josh through to booking, Josh spots Todd and freaks out, yelling, “She’s after Elizabeth! She looks just like Elizabeth and is still out there!” Todd thinks Josh is a psycho, but can’t help but feel creeped out. He also wonders how Josh knew Liz’s name.

At the Wakefield house, both twins are in bed. Margo hangs out in the living room so she can answer the phone when Alice calls, as Margo figured she would. MargoLiz tells Alice that everything is great at home, knowing that if they knew about Dead James, they’d rush right back. Alice tells Margo about their new hotel, and Margo thinks happily that, now, none of the kids will be able to find their parents. They’re totally cut off. Then, Todd calls to tell Liz about Josh’s warning, and Margo is like, “He’s just some psycho. Forget it.” I love how Margo can just waltz through the house at all hours of the day and night and nobody ever seems to notice.

Oh, and Margo thinks Steven is super hot. She keeps having to remind herself that she’s going to have to treat him like a brother. I’m starting to wish her plan succeeded! Margo as Elizabeth would make this series a whole lot more exciting. And by exciting, I mean trashy, incestuous, murderous, and awesome.

Steve tries to call his parents at their hotel, and is distressed when he’s told that there’s nobody named Wakefield staying there. Then, upstairs, he hears the twins screaming and freaks out that the killer has come back for them. Hee. He runs upstairs, and it turns out they just had nightmares. Jess had Liz’s dream about Margo trying to stab her at Secca Lake, and Liz dreamed about the prom again. Margo spies on the three kids from the hallway, thinking scornfully that the twins are too jumpy and sheltered. How weird, that they’d be freaked out at witnessing a little thing like a murder! She pervs on Steve a bit more, and then slips back out of the house, pleased that Josh and James, the last two thorns in her side, have been eliminated. Just one more death to go!

Nobody at the law firm has heard of Ned or of Michelle de Voice, the name Margo used on the letter inviting him to SF, but he still doesn’t think it’s weird. Alice does: she wants to go home. Ned wants to stay another night and see if maybe the firm knows who he is tomorrow. That…does not sound like an intelligent plan. Is Ned always this stupid? Alice lets him talk her into staying.

Margo shows up at Lila’s the next morning, pretending to be Jess. Lila’s only just woken up, but MargoJess pumps her for information about her big New Years Eve ball. How many balls do these kids attend every year, do you think? Olivia had one in the last book too. Anyway, Lila wants to take a shower before she and MargoJess go shopping, so she tells Margo to make herself at home. That’s just what Margo wanted to hear: since she’s going to be killing Liz during the ball, she needs to pick a good place. She decides that the pool house will be perfect, isolated enough that nobody will hear Liz scream. Margo plans to dig a grave the next night, so it’s all ready to go for New Years. I love Margo.

Liz goes to the movies with Steve and Billie the Girl Roommate, but Jess decides to stay home. MargoLiz wanders in and, so Jess won’t be suspicious, says she had a headache and skipped the film. She thinks about killing Jess, since nobody’s home and one twin’s as good as another, but just then Todd shows up. He’s unsettled because Liz is acting just as cheerful as ever, not like someone who saw a person get murdered the night before. Margo’s all, “Whatever. Let’s get pizza.” Todd wants to ask Jess along, and Margo lies Jess said she wants to be left alone. Jess overhears, and is heartbroken that Liz doesn’t want to spend time with her. Todd is also freaked out: if he hadn’t just seen both girls together with his own eyes, he’d think he was with Jess right then. He remembers Josh’s warning about the insane doppelganger on the loose, but chalks it up once again to the ravings of a crazy person. He doesn’t kiss Margo goodnight, though. Margo thinks it’s because Todd’s worried Liz is traumatized by seeing the murder, but really it’s because he’s freaked out and knows something’s wrong, but can’t articulate what it is. Even though Josh repeatedly spelled it out for him. Why can’t Liz have a smarter boyfriend?

In SF, Ned and Alice return to the law firm the next day, and a senior partner confirms for them that, not only have they never heard of Michelle de Voice, but the letterhead Ned has is a forgery. Also, Ned and Alice can’t get home because it’s too foggy for planes to take off. They’re stuck in SF for one more night. Alice calls to let the kids know, and MargoLiz intercepts the call and insists everything’s fine. Then, MargoJess wanders into Liz’s room and stares at her. Liz confesses she doesn’t want to go to Lila’s party, and MargoJess is all, “But you have to! I’ll pick a dress for you to wear!” Liz decides Jess really does want to make up, and they hug. Margo cheerfully thinks that, though Liz’s body will die tomorrow, her soul will live on in Margo. Tomorrow will be Margo’s new birthday. Ew! And awesome!

The next day, MargoLiz extends the olive branch to Jess, borrows a sexy fuchsia strapless dress for Liz to wear to the ball, then heads off to steal a copy of it from the mall. When she gets back to her room, Margo has a moment of clarity: it’s a dump, dirty and full of garbage. She’s all, “This is symbolic of my mental state! My surroundings represent the darkness and filth of my soul!” Sweet Valley is so highbrow. Margo wrecks the room, but doesn’t care because she’s never coming back to it.

Josh almost gives up, yet again, but remembers the Wakefield twins and vows that, as long as he’s still alive, he’ll fight to keep them safe. He pretends to be sick to get a guard to open the door to his cell, and then punches out the guard and runs. That was easy! You’d think there’d be more jailbreaks in Sweet Valley, since the crack police force isn’t interested in doing their jobs with any level of competence whatsoever. Margo’s in her car, driving away after cutting the Wakefields’ phone line (just in case, you know) when she hears on the radio that Josh is on the loose. She freaks out that he’s going to come between her and Elizabeth.

All the planes are still grounded, so Ned and Alice finally take the train instead. Took them long enough. They’re stranded halfway there, though. The train can’t continue because there’s a terrible electrical storm ahead. They call home but can’t get through because of the cut phone line. Alice is like, “What if something’s going wrong with the kids?” and Ned is like, “Whatever.” What a loving dad! He wants to stay put, but Alice makes him rent a car so they can drive the rest of the way.

Liz takes a nap before the party, and has the prom dream again. This time, though, she sees Jessica getting the Magical Vodka from the Big Mesa kid. Liz wakes up absolutely beside herself with rage and heartbreak. Jessica spiked her punch, let her drive off drunk, didn’t say a word during the trial or lift a finger to keep Liz out of juvie, and let Liz live with the crushing guilt of killing Sam, all so Jess could wear a paper crown on her head as Prom Queen. I have to say, when it’s all laid out like that, Jess’s behavior is horrifying and I’m 100% on Liz’s side. No sympathy for Jess at all. Her crying and guilt are too little, too late. And you’ll notice that, even though she’s tried a couple times, she still hasn’t ever confessed or apologized for what she’s done. She’s mostly just laid in bed feeling sorry for herself, except when she was out stealing Todd or rubbing herself all over James.

Liz sobs as she gets ready for the party. She can’t understand how Jess could have done something so evil. Meanwhile, Jess gets ready too, in a dress Amy gave her. She thinks about how, if she hadn’t spiked Liz’s drink, Sam and James would both still be alive. She makes up her mind to confess the Magical Vodka to Liz before midnight.

Margo happily remembers all the foster parents and brothers who beat her and molested her. Wow. Nasty. She’s happy and triumphant: she learned to fight back with arson and murder, and now, tonight, she’s going to win.

Todd hears about Josh’s escape on the radio, and runs over to the Wakefield house. He’s not going to leave Liz’s side for one second. We’ll see how well that goes for him, especially since he won’t kiss her hello when she answers the door, since the minidress she’s wearing makes him think she’s Jessica. He stares at her for, like, ten minutes before being like, “Okay, I’m satisfied that you’re Elizabeth,” and finally hugging her. Stupid creepy Todd.

Josh finally has the idea I had five pages ago: if he just sticks close to the twins, he’ll find Margo eventually. I’d make a way better Boy Detective than this clown. He goes first to Margo’s boardinghouse, but her room is empty. Then he heads to Calico Drive just in time to see Liz leave for Lila’s with Todd. Jess leaves too, by herself, and hears on the radio that Josh is on the loose. She’s terrified that he’ll come after Liz and her: after all, he knows they witnessed his crime. No fear for Todd, though? That’s cold.

At the party, Bruce kisses Lila. I had to mention that. Lila sees Todd dancing with Liz, but the minidress makes Lila think it’s Jess. She’s like, “What psychotic thing is Jess doing now?” and goes to intervene – I love Lila. – but then realizes that it really is Elizabeth. She kicks herself for not being able to tell the twins apart, even though she’s known them forever. Their own mother wasn’t that concerned about mixing them up.

Liz goes to talk to Enid, but then sees Jess come in and makes a beeline upstairs to avoid her. Enid tells Todd Liz went to the restroom, and Todd goes upstairs and opens all the bathroom doors. None of them are occupied, but what if they had been! What a freak! With all the punching and the barging in on people in bathrooms that he does, I bet Todd will go to prison one day.

He next goes searching through the guest rooms, and finds MargoLiz in one of them. They make out, but Todd suddenly freaks, knowing something’s not right. He’d think she was Jess, but he just saw Jess come in with a blue dress on. MargoLiz says, “Let’s stay up here and have our own party,” and that seals the deal for Todd. Liz would only suggest sex “if her body had been taken over by aliens. Even Jessica wouldn’t go this far!” For real, that’s a direct quote.

AT LONG LAST, Todd remembers Josh’s warning about Margo the Insane Doppelganger, and is like, “You’re not Liz!” He’s frightened because Margo’s eyes are soulless. Margo clubs him with a little statue – The Oscar from the cover, I assume. We never find out why it was sitting on one of George’s guest room tables! – and Todd goes down. Margo almost bashes him again: he knows about her now and has to be put down, but then she stops herself. After all, who would believe him? She’s pretty pissed off with Todd, though. Didn’t he know a good thing when he saw it? He’d have a lot more fun with her than with Liz. She’d let him get past second base, after all.

Liz has been hiding out in Lila’s personal bathroom. She remembers how haunted Jess has looked lately, and feels sorry for her, carrying such a burden around by herself. After all, she was just being Jessica, and couldn’t have known what the consequences of her stupid prank would be. She remembers all the times Jess has tried to tell her something important, and realizes Jess has been trying to confess about the Magical Vodka. Just then, Margo knocks on the door, pretending to be Jess, and is like, “I have to talk to you. Meet me at the pool house.” Liz opens the bathroom door all, “Can’t we just talk now?” but there’s nobody there. So, Liz heads outside.

Meanwhile, Jess’s twin intuition is going crazy. She knows Liz is in danger, and is freaking out because she can’t find Liz or Todd anywhere. Finally, she glances out the window and spots Liz heading to the pool house, so she follows.

Also meanwhile, Josh is busy lurking when he sees one blonde girl in a pink dress head to the pool house, shortly followed by another. One of them must be Margo, so he takes off after them.

At the same time, Steve and Billie see the news report about Josh’s escape and try to call Lila’s. The phone is dead, so they take off to warn them in person.

When Liz gets to the pool house, a girl steps out from the shadows. Liz is shocked: she was expecting her sister, but something is terribly wrong. Liz duhs, “You—you’re not Jessica,” and Margo pulls out her butcher knife and replies softly, “No, I’m not Jessica. I’m Elizabeth.”

BEST MOMENT EVER.

Steve and Billie are in such a hurry that they wreck their car in the rainstorm. Steve doesn’t even let Billie catch her breath: he hauls her out of the car and they run toward Fowler Crest.

Ned and Alice decide not to go right home; Alice wants to stop at Lila’s. Ned points out that the kids will die of embarrassment if their parents show up, but Alice doesn’t care, so they head to Fowler Crest as well. It’s like a Perfect Storm of contrivance.

In the poolhouse, Liz is like, “Oh, dude. I’m going to die.” Margo’s all, “Pretty much.” In this situation, facing down a murderously insane doppelganger, I would, personally, be thinking, “Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh Jesus oh shit,” while screaming my head off, but Liz’s thought process is more like, “If the eyes are the windows to the soul, this girl is evil because her eyes are cold.” Naturally. The butcher knife didn’t tip you off first, Liz?

Liz asks, “Who are you?” because everyone always says that before they get murdered, and Margo amazingly replies, “You heard me. I’m Elizabeth. I used to be Margo, but now it’s my turn to be Elizabeth. Which means it’s time for you to go. My turn to live the kind of life I deserve. My turn to have a real family, and friends, and a future.” She crazies about how unloved she is, and then sincerely, marvelously promises Liz she’ll make the most of Liz’s life, and how she’s picked out a beautiful, restful place for Liz to sleep, and already dug the grave and everything! So thoughtful!

Liz is like, “You’ll never get away with this!” because that’s something else people always say before they’re murdered, and Margo’s like, “Really? Because I read your diary and watched you for weeks and I’ve already fooled your family and made out with Todd. So.” Liz knows she’s screwed. Then, for good measure, Margo confesses to killing James and framing Josh. Liz screams and runs for the door.

No, of course she doesn’t. She crumples to the floor, crying. Margo raises her knife high.

Jess runs toward the pool house as the longest New Years countdown in history starts. Ten. Nine.

Todd wakes up and, I don’t know, maybe the Oscar knocked some brains into him because he’s like, “Holy crap, that must have been the Margo girl Josh was talking about. And I bet she killed James! And I bet she’s been impersonating Liz for a while now! What if Liz is already dead!” He runs downstairs. Eight.

Liz can hear the people in the house counting down. Seven. Liz’s life flashes before her eyes.

No, it really does.

Six.

There’s one thing Liz still has the power to do before she dies, to leave the world at peace: she whispers, “I forgive you, Jess. I love you.”

Five.

Margo’s been hovering there, knife up, for quite a while. She’s in the middle of a little panic attack, you see. It was easy to kill Nina, Georgie, the train station lady, James, and the waitress with the gratuitous baby, but this one is freaking her out because Liz looks just like Margo. It’s like killing herself. But she firmly reminds herself that that’s the whole point: she’s killing the old Margo so she can be reborn.

Oh, we’re on Two already.

Margo’s finally like, “Aw, screw it. Consciences are for losers. If I hurry, I can get back to the party for a midnight kiss!”

One!

She slashes down with the knife.

Just then, Jess shows up. She takes the scene in with a glance and is like, “Holy crap, this is just like in my dream!” and throws herself in front of the knife.

Steve and Billie try to find Liz and Jess, but nobody knows where they are. Just then, Enid screams: she just saw Josh out by the pool house! Steve runs outside and tackles him.

Margo’s cut Jess’s upper arm, and Jess knocks the knife away. Margo’s like, “Go away, Jess. Do you want to make me kill you too?” Liz dives for the knife, and all three girls wrestle for it. Jess wins, but both pink-dress girls are like, “I’m Elizabeth!” Jess, being the worst twin in the world, can’t tell which is which, and she hesitates just long enough for Margo to dive at her. Margo gets the knife away, useless Liz faints, and Jess dives on top of Liz, determined to save her sister’s life at the expense of her own. It probably won’t work; Margo would just kill them both. It's a stupid (but heroic) gesture.

Outside, Josh is like, “Margo will kill your sisters if you don’t let me go!” Steve is like, “No chance, sicko.” Hee. Billie calls the police. Josh is in despair: he’s probably already too late. Just then, Todd runs out of the house all, “He’s telling the truth! It’s a girl who looks just like Liz and Jess!” Josh is like, “Back me up!” and runs for the pool house.

The three boys get there just in time to see Margo about to stab the twins. Josh throws himself at her, knocking her right through the picture window to the terrace below. So they were on the second floor? Or the first and Margo only fell about two feet? This is very confusing. I shouldn’t be thinking about it. Anyway, Josh looks out after her, and sees that her jugular was cut by a piece of glass and her blood is pulse-gushing all over the patio. She’s dead.

(She’s totally not dead.)

Liz finally wakes up. Jess starts to confess about the Magical Vodka, but Liz stops her all, “I already know, and I forgive you.” They hug and cry about how much they love each other. Liz realizes that she was just face-to-face with real evil; Jess is only human. Sure.

The police believe Josh’s story now. Ned and Alice finally show up and Alice gives the twins a hug. The sun comes up, and it’s a new year. That’s so deep.

The End!

Until Margo comes back, that is, long-lost identical twin sister Nora by her side, in Return of the Evil Twin.


Tags: alice wakefield, boyfriend stealing, crazy margo, dead boyfriend alert, doppelgangland, holidays, magna edition, murder, ned wakefield, oh hi steven, omg teh sex!, recapper: irinaauthor, saint elizabeth of sweet valley, sweet valley high, todd punch, trusty boyfriend todd, winter break
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