Okay. This is the first book in what might just be the most awesome eight-book arc in the history of YA lit. It contains death and car accidents and underaged drinking and manslaughter trials and a wedding and attempted murder and actual murder and riots and fake attempted rape and abandoned babies and serial killers and boyfriend stealing and fashion models and kidnapping and tearful reunions with long-lost parents and house fires and TV dating shows and gang warfare and, of course, a prom. It rules. I have all the books in this arc, so I’m starting at the beginning, with A Night to Remember. It’s a Magna Edition, so it’s longer than the books usually are, meaning the recap is too. It was a little too long for one post, actually, so I've divided it in half.
In a nutshell: the Wakefield twins have an idea to hold a Jungle Prom at Sweet Valley High, with proceeds going to save the rainforest. As usual, Jess sticks Liz with all the work but wants to take the credit for herself by being elected prom queen. This time, though, Liz has had about enough of that arrangement and decides she wants to be prom queen too. The resulting rift between them peaks when Jess spikes Liz’s drink at the prom, getting Liz trashed and causing her to total the car, with Jess’s boyfriend in the passenger seat. At the end of the book, the paramedics say that it doesn’t look like anyone could ever come out of the crash alive. Also, Bruce has apparently decided that he really, really misses Heroically Deaf, Dead from Coke Regina, and he channels the resulting rage at Big Mesa High, being pathetic and doing everything he can to provoke a riot between the two schools at the prom, because rioting is balm to the soul. Also, Lila is dealing with the fallout of her rape escape (yes, a real attempted rape!) by going to therapy, and she winds up accusing her counselor of a fake attempted rape because of her poor coping skills. All that, and there are still seven books to go (two more magna editions and five that are regular length).
No B plot here. It’s all A+.
“How about a Jungle Prom?”
In the first scene, Jessica and Elizabeth are getting ready for a beach party. They banter, and it’s fun and nice. They’re friendly and happy to be going out with their friends and boyfriends, and Jess is excited because she’s finally achieved the perfect tan. Jess exposits that she convinced the Junior Class Officers to fund the party from the class treasury. I wonder how she managed that if not everyone was invited? Jess says that she and Amy Sutton had to twist Lila Fowler’s arm to make her agree to go to the party with some kid named Tony Alimenti; Lila had tried to get out of it by saying she had to stay home to watch Tarzan the Ape Man that night. Hee.
The Tarzan thing gives Liz a brainwave, and she and Jess exposit that it’s been ages since Sweet Valley High has had a really fun dance. I have a hard time believing that, unless they consider three days to be an age. Aren’t there always at least two dances per book? Jess agrees that they need to dream up something original, with a theme, and Liz says the fateful words that set all of this in motion: “How about a Jungle Prom?” Jess thinks it’s an awesome idea, and suggests tying it in to the new environmental group in town, Environmental Alert. Liz is like, “Make the prom a fundraiser!” and they’re off and running. It’s really hard to cover your costs, much less make money on an event like that, unless you charge an exorbitant amount for tickets, but maybe the Sweet Valley kids can afford it. They have their first disagreement right away, though, when Jess wants everyone to come in Tarzan and Jane outfits, and Liz thinks people should wear dresses and tuxedoes, but it’s stupid to fight over a dance that nobody but them even knows about, so they stop.
They go to the beach party and have fun. Todd and Liz slow dance even though the song is fast. They would. Anyway, it seems like all the SVH cool kids are there, and Enid too. Jess makes out with Sam Woodruff, her boyfriend, and we get some exposition that he goes to Bridgewater High. The SVH kids revel in how awesome every aspect of their school is – seriously, they have a really long conversation about it – and Jess announces that she and Liz had the prom idea, but she teases everyone by not telling any more than that. Lila stands on the outskirts of the party, arms crossed over her chest, glaring at everyone while Tony stands next to her all nervously, hands in his pockets. She’s still dealing with the fallout from John Pfeifer attempting to rape her in book 90. I feel kind of bad for Lila’s date, poor kid, but everyone at school knows what happened to her and that it messed her up, so Tony knew what he was getting into. Tony pretends to be having fun, and Jess and Amy tease them a little for just standing on the side and not having a good time. As they walk away, Amy says, “I wish she’d lighten up. When is she going to get over what happened with John?” Wow. John tried to rape Lila, you insensitive bitch.
Bruce Patman is like, “Big Mesa High is going to raid our party!” He stopped by town on his way to the beach, and he “ran into a buddy of [his] who’s got some connections at Big Mesa.” Connections? It’s just the high school across town, Bruce, not the mafia. What a tool. Anyway, they heard about the beach party (How?) and that it was going to be “big and exclusive” (I don’t think it can be both, and why did the class pay for it if it’s exclusive?) so they’re going to raid it. All the girls get scared and the boys immediately start dorking out, talking about formulating a defensive strategy and protecting the girls and being ready for the attack when it comes. Why don’t they just move their party to the Dairi Burger or somebody’s backyard or something? Big Mesa would feel pretty stupid if they got all dressed up for raiding and the SVH party was gone.
Oh, then Bruce dares Jess to swim out to a buoy. Liz doesn’t want her to because it’s dark and not safe, and Jess is like, “Whatever. Lighten up.” We learn that Bruce had started a dare club called Club X a little while ago (I think in #86: Jessica Against Bruce), and Jessica had insisted on joining to prove that girls could do anything boys could do. Bruce rigged things so that Jess had to do the most dares, and gave her really dangerous things to do. Finally, she almost died on one of them and the club was disbanded. Anyway, Jess swims away, and Liz panics, begging Todd and Sam to save Jess. They’re like, “Um? No. Chill out.” Super surfer Bill Chase tells her this is the safest beach in all of California or something: no sudden dropoffs, riptides, or sharks. Even Enid is like, “Eh. She’ll be fine. Relax.” Sure enough, Jess comes back just fine and Liz looks like a moron. She resolves then and there to not be Jessica’s caretaker anymore, because it’s a waste of time and effort. She decides that, from now on, she’s going to put herself first.
Lila’s date seems like a nice boy, and desperately tries to make conversation about anything, anything at all. Lila is all, “Why are you asking me personal questions?” She shoots him down at every chance. He asks if she wants to take a walk, and she doesn’t because he might try to rape her. He asks her to dance, and she says no because then he might touch her. But, she realizes, if she’s dancing with him she won’t have to talk to him, so she finally agrees. She has some fun, actually, but then a slow song starts and she panics because she doesn’t want him to lay a finger on her. She wishes she hadn’t come, and looks around the party at all the couples holding each other, creepily imagining all her friends getting raped by their boyfriends. She can’t understand why the other girls aren’t scared of it happening. That’s pretty dark. She shivers, Tony tries to put his arm around her, and she freaks out. The poor kid feels awful for frightening her.
Andrea Slade, whose father is apparently a rock star, is at the party with Bruce. She’s lame, and keeps trying to snuggle and suck up by telling him how awesome he is. He’s bored, and can’t wait for Big Mesa to get there. Finally, to shut her up, he takes her away from the party and makes out with her, but keeps his eyes open, looking over her shoulder for Big Mesa. Bruce thinks she sucks, because she makes it all too easy, since she throws herself at him. “In his opinion, the only fun in dating was the sport of it. The more it was like a tennis match, where he had to wear down his opponent through expertise and sheer force of will, the better he liked it. Taking out Andrea was like wading in a baby pool.” I thought dating was like tennis, Bruce, not swimming. Don’t mix your metaphors. And also, what an asshole. He thinks of the girlfriends he actually cares about as his opponents whom he has to wear down and force to go out with him? That’s not pathetic or anything. Tell me something: does anyone at Sweet Valley High actually like Bruce Patman? Because it really seems to me like every single person despises him, but tolerates his presence because he has a Porsche and his cousin-brother is a pretty nice guy. Andrea asks him out for next weekend, and he’s like, “Shut up. I don’t make plans that far in advance. If you don’t like it, go away. I don’t care.” She cries and he’s disgusted, but she doesn’t go away, so I guess she hates herself or something. Big Mesa shows up, and Bruce tells Andrea she can stay where she is if she wants, “But I’m not going to sit back and let my school get dumped on!”
The Big Mesa kids are wearing their varsity jackets and shirts in school colors, red and black. Some of them have bull masks on – I guess that’s their mascot? A mask would make it hard to see in the dark, though – and others have red and black face paint. They knock over the food, pull the tape (!) out of the boom box (!!) and throw it in the water, and spray everyone with shaving cream. At the same time, they also perform the lamest chant ever: “It’s the running of the Bulls—we trample all before us—we conquer all our foes—so bow down and adore us.” Hee. How intimidating. One of the guys grabs Lila and she clocks him. Bruce wants everyone to run after the raiders and kick their asses, but his cousin-brother, Roger Barrett Patman, whose last name seems to have gained an extra T since the last time he showed up in one of my recaps (Nice editing, SVH!), holds him back, since there are too many people. Todd is all, “We have to gather together for strength!” so the SVH kids huddle together and, for some reason, this makes the Big Mesa raiders run away. I don’t know. Bruce is pissed, and tries to start a fight with Hugh Grayson, Enid’s boyfriend, since he goes to Big Mesa. Hugh insists that he wasn’t the one who tipped the raiders off about the party, and everyone believes him except Bruce. I would think it’s more likely that the Big Mesa kids were tipped off by a member of the junior class who too dorky to be invited to the party, and was angry that class funds paid for it. All the kids want to start planning revenge, except Liz, of course, who just wants to go home.
Everyone goes to the Dairi Burger, which is what they should’ve done in the first place when Bruce first told them about the raid, but whatever. Their stuff wouldn’t have gotten all wrecked then. We learn that there are a bunch of athletic contests against Big Mesa in the next few weeks: track, tennis, basketball, and probably some other games too. In my high school, tennis was fall, boys’ basketball was winter, and track was spring, but maybe CA is on a different schedule? Or this is really contrived? Imagine that! Also, the Big Mesa school newspaper has been trash talking the Oracle too. Liz isn’t going to swipe back, though, because it would be bad journalism. Jess is like, “You can’t let them get away with an insult like that!” but Liz is like, “Whatever.” She’s taking the high road, of course. We might as well rename it Elizabeth Wakefield Avenue. Also, Jess thinks Liz shouldn’t be friends with Enid anymore because Enid’s boyfriend goes to Big Mesa. Then the twins tell everyone about the Jungle Prom and the kids all love the idea. While everyone is inside talking about the prom, Bruce hangs out in the parking lot by the 1BRUCE1 Porsche with his thuggy friends from that dare club, and also Winston and Roger, who both think revenge on Big Mesa would be stupid. Bruce calls them girls. Um…burn? Even Winston is like, “Stop being lame, Bruce.” But whatever. The Club X guys all vow to be with Bruce in his quest for revenge. Winston and Roger recognize that Bruce is taking this way too seriously, and go inside.
Tony takes Lila home, and very nicely tells her that he had a lot of fun, and was sorry that the raid upset her so much. He reads her signals all wrong and goes to give her a goodnight kiss on the cheek, and she runs inside. He’s horrified that he’s scared her and tries to apologize, but she slams the door in his face and cries over what she thinks was almost another attack. The house is empty; her dad is out of town again. He doesn’t know about her rape escape, or that she’s in therapy for it at a place called Project Youth. What a sucky father. It’s a miracle Lila isn’t in foster care. She wishes she had a mother, and thinks about her own mom, who left when she was a baby and never tried to contact Lila at all. She cries some more and is very lonely. I feel so sorry for Lila.
Liz gets prom permission from the principal and Environmental Alert, which is apparently an international organization devoted to raising public awareness and money for rainforest preservation, and headquartered in Sweet Valley. EA will provide posters and t-shirts and stuff to raffle off at the prom, and the dance is green lighted. It will be in two weeks. That doesn’t seem like long enough to plan a prom/major fundraiser, but maybe it has to be that way because SVH has four more proms coming up? I mean, all the dances this school has must necessitate a really short turnaround time from concept to execution. Liz is doesn’t want to take all the credit, since it was Jess’s idea too, but her friends point out that she’s done all the work. Liz exposits that Jess is still co-chair of the prom committee. Her friends all decide it would be fun to have a Prom King and Queen, and some stupid girl named Cheryl says, “We didn’t have proms at my old school in Manhattan. How do you decide who gets to be King and Queen?” You vote, moron. They explain this to her in small words, and then everyone tells Liz she’d be a lock for it, since the thing was her idea and she’s done all the work. Liz thinks for a minute that it would be more unselfish to promote Jess for it, but then remembers her vow from the beach party: she’s putting herself first now, and she wants to be Prom Queen.
Lila goes to therapy. Her counselor is named Nathan, and she’s cold and kind of rude to him, but he’s friendly and nice. His dog is named JD, after JD Salinger. Lila loved Catcher in the Rye, apparently, and she starts to dork out about how awesome it was, but then catches herself and is cold again. See why I love Lila so much? She has layers. Then she tells Nathan that poor Tony tried to attack her at the beach party, and cries. Nathan is understanding; he tells her that talking it out will make her feel more in control, and in retelling the story, Lila acknowledges that Tony never talked to her about dating or sex, and apologized profusely anytime he did something to upset her, and that she was actually kind of unfair to him. She doesn’t want to be afraid of every boy in the world, but she doesn’t know what to do. Poor kid.
In the school parking lot, Todd and Liz make out, and she recaps the prom committee meeting for him. Todd isn’t helping because he has so much basketball practice; they’re determined to avenge themselves against Big Mesa. Todd’s idea of trash talk is, “They’re going to wish they’d taken up ballet!” Um, okay. Todd also tells Liz that she’d be a shoo-in for Prom Queen, and that makes her happy.
Jess has pizza with Lila, formerly fat Robin Wilson (Who apparently doesn’t hate Jess anymore?), and Amy. They talk a bit about Lila’s therapy (and are really concerned friends over it; it’s obvious these girls care a lot about Lila, even though they can be pretty insensitive sometimes), and then Amy takes Jess to task a little for blowing off the prom committee meeting to go to the beach, but Jess tells her it’s okay since Liz is better at organizational stuff anyway. Jess announces that she thinks no Big Mesa kids should be allowed at the prom. Amy reasonably asks about the SVH students who are dating Big Mesa kids, like Enid, and Jess is like, “Who cares? Enid sucks.” The other girls can’t argue with that. They also tell Jess that she’d be a natural at prom queen. It’s indicative of Lila’s problems that she doesn’t immediately announce that she’ll be running for it too; she couldn’t care less. The girls all share concerned looks about it, but Lila is oblivious.
Liz gets home from school and a guy from EA calls her. She’s all, “He must be checking up on me! I have to sound like I’m 100% on top of things!” She tells him they’re going to do a Prom King and Queen, and they’re looking for more ways to make money than just ticket sales and a raffle, so they’ll have more cash to save the rainforest. The guy doesn’t care. He’s like, “Well, we’re going to do more to help you out than just give away t-shirts, because your idea is so amazing!” EA has partnered with a travel agency which, as a promotion, has agreed to fund a grand prize: an all-expenses paid trip to Brazil for a student from SVH. That would get pretty expensive. And they’re planning to send a teenager to Brazil all alone? Or would this trip include a parent/chaperone too? Because I would so extremely not let my sixteen year old daughter go off to Brazil by herself. But what am I saying? This is Sweet Valley, where the parents never seem fully aware of what the kids are doing, nor do they care. If one of the twins went off to Brazil for a week, would Ned and Alice even notice? We know for sure George Fowler wouldn’t, if it were Lila. Anyway, the trip winner would also be an honorary EA staff member and spokesperson, representing the organization at “high profile events” around California, giving speeches and stuff. That seems like a lot to entrust to a kid. Even better, the way that they’re going to choose the lucky student? (Though the guy Liz is talking to wanted to just give it to her, of course.) It will be the girl who’s elected Prom Queen. Liz reassures him that, at SVH, the Prom Queen isn’t just a popularity or beauty contest, and she actually seems to believe it, which is stupid of her. I’m betting, for example, that Enid wouldn’t stand a chance.
Liz is thrilled at the idea of going to Brazil, because she could study the rainforest up close and learn about another culture. (All from the shelter of her beach resort, I would imagine, unless this travel agency is sending her to get down and dirty in the Cidade de Deus.) She bounces outside, where Jess and Lila are sunning themselves by the pool, and tells them about the Prom Queen’s free vacation and spokesgirl job. Lila doesn’t care. Jess is like, “I can’t wait to go to Brazil and stay at Club Med!” HEE! She figures she’ll punk out on the EA speaking engagements and things once she’s had her trip. Nice. Lila is like, “I’m so uninterested. Who wants to tramp around in a smelly rainforest?” Jess is like, “Brazil has rainforests?” and Lila says, “Duh!” HEE AGAIN! Jess is all, “Whatever. I’ll tell them I’m allergic to jungles. The beach is an ecosystem too.” I’m not making that up. Jess is like, “The Prom Queen will be the most important person in Sweet Valley!” I’m going to bet that the mayor, city planner, police chief, newspaper editor, and any various judges would disagree, but okay.
Lila fakes sleeping so she won’t have to listen to Jess babble anymore, because she finds it immature and nauseating. I love Lila so much. Mrs. Wakefield comes home and is excited because she’ll be expanding her interior design firm, and Lila congratulates her, but snobbishly thinks, Let’s face it, the expansion of a two-person interior design firm isn’t exactly going to make the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, Jess babbles at her mother about her French test and science project and cheerleading and other stupid stuff, and Mrs. Wakefield nods and acts interested. Lila is bored out of her mind, though, and thinks it’s stupid that Mrs. Wakefield and Jess wear each other’s clothes.
HOLD ON A SECOND!
I think we’ve just figured out why all of Jess’s clothes seem so weirdly middle aged! They actually belong to her mother! And Lila’s right, that is pretty stupid.
Alice invites Lila to stay for dinner, and Lila says she has other plans, but really she’s depressed about how she doesn’t have a mom, and doesn’t want to watch Jess being all cozy and loving with Alice.
Next day, Jess bails on another prom committee meeting even though Liz reminded her four times. Everyone sucks up to Liz some more, telling her she’ll definitely be Queen. They’re going to decorate the gym like a jungle for the dance. Winston is like, “Why isn’t Jess here?” Liz says he’ll have to ask Jess himself, and he goes, “I’ll do that.” Go Winston! He’s really come a long way since the beginning of the series. Anyway, they vote on the tuxedoes vs. loincloth dress code, and formal wins out over Tarzan. Liz also has an idea to make mini-yearbooks for the prom, where people could put pictures, tickets, pressed flowers, whatever. They could sell ads and have more money for EA, but what about covering her printing costs? She never mentions those.
After school, Liz catches up with Jess and is like, “We missed you at the meeting.” Jess says she forgot about it, and asks how it went, and is mean to Liz for a little while, just for fun. Then Liz tells her about the dress code vote, and Jess gets angry for real. She can’t believe Liz voted when Jess wasn’t there! She can’t believe Liz would be that sneaky! Liz pushed through the formal dress code on purpose without even speaking up for Jess’s side of it! Don’t forget, Liz, this prom was Jess’s idea too! Liz is like, “If you want to speak up for your ideas, come to the meetings.” Go Liz! The old Liz from the first few books never would’ve stood up to her sister that way. Jess figures she can live with the formal dress, as long as nobody forgets the prom was half her idea, and also that she should be more grateful to Liz, since it’s all thanks to her that Jess will be going to Brazil.
Andrea stops by Bruce’s locker and asks if he wants to go out to dinner tomorrow night. He tells her, “Maybe I’ll call you tomorrow, if nothing better comes up.” It’s the most obnoxious thing he can think of to say, and he’s waiting for her to tell him she never wants to see him again, but instead she starts to cry and tells him, “Call me if you get a chance. I’ll probably be around.” Andrea is a waste of space. What happened to her in her childhood that she has so little self-respect? Bruce thinks she’s pathetic, but he figures he’ll probably call her. He’s interested, now, in finding out just how mean he can be before she breaks and tells him off. I have to confess, I am too. He leaves the school, and finds that the cars in the lot have all been vandalized with shaving cream. 1BRUCE1’s windshield says SVH WIMP. Lila’s says SVH BIMBO, and Todd’s says SVH LOSER. Big Mesa kids peel out of the parking lot in a pickup truck, yelling trash talk at all of the kids, and Bruce is enraged.
Someone left Liz an envelope in the Oracle office that has the latest issue of the Big Mesa school paper in it. There’s an article on the front page about how much SVH sucks, especially Todd, whose nickname should be changed from Whizzer Wilkins to Whimper Wilkins. They should be careful talking smack about Todd. He might kill them. And when the article gets to the cheerleaders, they call Jess a klutz and a cow! AWESOME! All the kids want to swipe back except Liz, who still wants to ignore them, and Mr. Collins is like, “What is wrong with their teacher?” which is exactly what I was wondering too. Mr. Collins says whether or not they retaliate is up to them, and Liz shames them all into staying quiet. Enid is worried that people will give her a hard time somehow, since her boyfriend goes to Big Mesa. Liz says that her friends will stick by her, which means that Liz totally thinks Enid is right and people are going to start TPing Enid’s house or something.
Lila goes to therapy all angry about the shaving cream on her car. Nathan offers her candy and calls her Li, which surprises her since only her friends call her that. Apparently Nathan is also a guidance counselor at SVH, because he asks Lila why she always runs away when she sees him at school. He offers to transfer her to a different therapist if she’s uncomfortable with him, and she starts to panic that he’s abandoning her. He promises to stick with her as long as she wants, and she says, “I guess you’re not so bad.” She says that she can’t talk about feelings and things with Jess, Robin, and Amy since friends don’t care about your problems; they’re just around to have fun. I think Lila is underestimating her friends; they certainly seem concerned about her a lot, and ask about her therapy and her feelings and things, and go out of their way to encourage her to come out with them and be around other people instead of staying at home by herself, brooding. But she can’t see that, I guess. Nathan thinks friends should be happy to be there for you during hard times, and he calls Lila cynical. She doesn’t deny it.
Bruce practices serves in his backyard tennis court to get ready for his match against Big Mesa. Every time he serves, he goes, “ACE!” Of course it’s an ace if there’s nobody on the other side to hit it back to you, dork. He leaves the tennis balls for some poor lackey to clean up, and sees Roger coming in all sweaty. Bruce figures Roger just ran another ten miles on top of what he did at track practice, and feels respect for his cousin-brother. Bruce jumps in the pool fully clothed and brags about how awesome he is at tennis, and then whines that he wants to send the bill for cleaning off 1BRUCE1 to Big Mesa, since he had to run it through the Imported Auto Car Wash. Hee. Roger awesomely tells Bruce flat out that he thinks Andrea is nice and wants to know why Bruce is so mean to her. That’s an easy one: BECAUSE SHE LETS HIM. Bruce has a good point: “If she doesn’t like the way I treat her, why does she keep hanging around?” That one’s a mystery to Roger too (poor Roger probably wouldn’t hang around Bruce if he didn’t have to, after all), and he observes, “She probably doesn’t know herself. Do you always know why you do what you do?” Bruce is at a loss, for once, and runs away. He acknowledges to himself that he’s been simmering at near-violent levels for a while now, and he’s probably going to explode and hurt somebody for real pretty soon. This boy needs therapy very badly.
Liz picks up the newest issue of The Oracle and, to her astonishment, class gossip Caroline Pierce wrote a whole gushy article about the Jungle Prom that’s an interview with Jessica, where Jess made it sound like the idea was all hers and she’s been doing all the work. Caroline finishes the article up by calling Jess the “reigning queen of extracurricular fun!” Liz is pissed. After school, Jess tells Liz that the article Caroline was going to write had been so boring, and she wanted people to get excited about the dance. She hadn’t meant to upstage Liz on purpose, it seems, but she winds up her explanation with, “I can’t wait to go to Brazil!” Liz tells Jess she wants to go herself, and Jess meanly cracks up at the idea of Liz being Prom Queen. Liz gets even more furious, and Jess is honestly taken aback. She’s like, “But you like making stuff happen backstage!” Liz blows her lid, accusing Jess of always getting what she wants, and Jess, puzzled, corrects her: “I get what I deserve.” Wow. That about sums her up, doesn’t it? Finally, Jess has enough of Liz yelling at her and tells her that Liz had better forget all about her ridiculous idea of being Prom Queen, because she’s going to win and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that. Liz isn’t backing down, and it’s war.
Jess and Sam study for tests they have coming up, but really they’re mostly making out. She tells Sam about the fight earlier that day, saying that Liz went insane screaming about the prom like a crazy person, and she can’t understand what’s gotten into her sister. Sam is like, “Well, she loves the environment, and it’s her prom too. You can’t hold it against her.” Jess figures that, once Liz has had a night to sleep on it, Liz will realize that she should be content with the “honor of being the Prom Queen’s sister.” Jess’s ego and sense of entitlement are second only to Bruce Patman’s, I think. Sam tells her how much he loves her and that he wants to be with her forever, and Jess and Sam make a bet on who will do better on their tests. Sam also has a dirt bike race coming up; apparently, he puts his prize money from the races in a bank account for college tuition. Meanwhile, Liz tells Todd all about the fight too, and Todd just unhelpfully says, “Yeah, you and Jess have different priorities.” Way to take your girlfriend’s side, Todd. He reassures Liz that it won’t hurt either twin to compete against each other over something to trivial: in other words, Todd thinks Prom Queen is boring and wishes Liz would stop talking about it. Liz frets that there isn’t room for both Wakefields on center stage. Todd makes out with her to help her feel better.
There’s a pep rally to fire all the SVH students up for the games against Big Mesa, and after everyone is done cheering on the athletes competing that weekend, Jessica goes into an impromptu solo routine. She does an aerial cartwheel, and then a huge combination of back handsprings and back tucks, finishing with a toe-touch and dropping right into a split, which is an excellent way to seriously injure yourself. Jess doesn’t get hurt, though. The crowd goes wild, and Jess grabs the microphone and yells that the crowd should save some of their energy for cheering on their teams and dancing at the jungle prom. Then she goes into this spiel about how the Prom Queen is someone who has the most school spirit and gives the school her all. Liz’s naive friends think Jess is talking about Liz, but Liz knows better. Jess did the extra gymnastics to win support for herself and campaign for Queen. Everyone goes wild, and Liz doesn’t know if people are cheering for Jess or for her. I’ll make it easy for you, Liz: they’re cheering for Jess. She’s the one who did backflips for them.
Lila and Jess shop for prom dresses. Jess reassures Lila that she doesn’t have to go to the prom with a date if she doesn’t want to (See? She’s being a sensitive friend there.) and Lila figures she’ll probably go stag rather than put poor Tony through another evening of her company. They talk about Lila’s therapy, and Jess listens sensitively and encourages Lila to come to the dance, teasing, “After all, don’t you want to be there to see me crowned Prom Queen?” Jess’s self confidence makes Lila want to vomit, and so Lila tweaks her by saying that the whole school is talking about how great Liz would be for it. She tells Jess, “All the cartwheels in the world can’t change facts, Jessica. Elizabeth doesn’t have to try to win support. Everyone loves her!” Lila is the best character in this whole series. Jess is unhappy at Lila’s insinuations, but then she sees a pretty blue dress (although Lila thinks it isn’t sexy enough) and tries it on.
Meanwhile, Liz and Enid are shopping too. Liz finds her dream dress (even though Enid thinks it’s too low cut) and she goes to try it on. When she leaves the dressing room, though, she finds herself face to face with Jess, in the exact same dress. Enid claps a hand over her mouth in shock, and Lila cracks up. End scene. Needless to say, it turns out neither twin buys the dress.
Continued in Part Two.