Recap: Brandon is on his bicycle, cruising through his swanky Beverly Hills 'hood. When he arrives home, he sees his parents having a serious discussion with their maidservant Anna and a strange man. Brandon immediately jumps to the conclusion that Anna is about to be fired, and rushes upstairs to ask Brenda if she knows anything about it. She doesn't, and she really couldn't care less. Her mind is on the upcoming party that their parents are throwing for Chick Schneider. Chick is a fashion designer/mogul, and also a grown man who apparently saw fit to name himself after a baby chicken. But since I find it much too weird to call an adult man "Chick", in this recap I'm going to use the more mature "Chicken". Chicken is Papa Walsh's newest client, and he's giving away fashion freebies to Brenda and all her friends, which she's super excited about.
As for the serious conversation between Anna and the Walshes, Brenda breezily assumes that her parents are talking to her about catering the party.
Brenda and Brandon are summoned downstairs. Papa Walsh introduces them to the strange man, whose name is Richard Rodriguez and is Anna's cousin. He tells them about Carla Montez - Anna's niece - who had to leave her local high school because it's riddled with drug problems and gang violence. Carla's a straight A student, but is being deprived of an excellent education so Mama and Papa Walsh have agreed to let her use their home address so that she can enroll at West Beverly and explore the full extent of her academic brilliance. Incidentally, this sounds like the very same scam that Ahn-drea Zuckerman has been perpetrating on West Beverly for the past few years. But things are never as they seem in this nonsensical episode...and that's all I can say 'bout that right now.
West Beverly High. David Silver, the irksome voice of West Beverly, is broadcasting a phone conversation of him talking to a receptionist as he's trying to get through to MC Hammer. It's awkward, unfunny, and in the end he just gets hung up on. If he's trying to emulate a "morning zoo" radio style format, then he should stop doing that and just play music.
Carla Montez makes her first appearance at West Beverly High. She's very pretty, and instantly gets leered at by Steve and then majorly checked out by Dylan...while he's standing in front of Brenda, who bitchily gives him the what for. Hee! I guess there's trouble in paradise. Carla is lost in the maze of hallways and wanders in The Blaze newsroom to ask for directions. She encounters Ahn-drea nattering at Brandon about some typos in his latest article. (No spell-check in those days, I guess.) While reading over his article, Brandon absently offers to show Carla to her next class. When he finally looks up and notices how cute she is, he's instantly struck by the thunderbolt of smitten-ness. His undisguised attraction to Carla makes Ahn-drea flush green with envy, but she remains polite enough to introduce herself to the new girl.
When Brandon realizes that she's Anna's niece, he introduces himself and the two chat amicably as they walk down the hallway together. He offers to introduce her around, and looks very happy when he finds out they're in several classes together.
French class. Carla is fluent in the language of love.
English class. Carla is articulate and extremely well read in classic literature.
Tech class. Carla is a gifted technology whiz and can build a computer out of a grain of sand.
Brandon is looking swooned by Carla's impressive performance in their various classes. In the hallway, he remarks to her that she probably won't have any problems earning a scholarship for college. She immediately gets defensive and snarky because she assumed he was implying it would have to be a minority scholarship because she's Hispanic...but then he snarks back that he was referring to an ethnicity-free financial scholarship, like the kind he's hoping to get. Gads. This is the first of several inane squabbles in which these two will engage throughout the episode. Carla's bitchitude quickly recedes when Brandon tells her about his part time job. She's all, "Wha-at? A rich white kid from Beverly Hills with a job?" He then takes her over to the Peach Pit, where he introduces her to the gang - including bloody Nat, who always manages to get wedged into every storyline however much it has absolutely nothing to do with him.
Brenda is sitting at the counter with Kelly and Donna, encouraging them to make their clothing choices from Chicken's catalog. Brandon sticks his nose in their bidness and tells his sister to also show the catalog to Carla in case she wants to pick out something as well. And then brings his new lady love a piece of pie.
Brandon drives Carla home - home being East L.A. He's visibly shocked by the sight of Hispanic day laborers climbing off of a pick-up truck, and then grimaces at the decrepitness of the house that maidservant Anna lives in...which is also where Carla is currently living. Smooth, Brandon. Carla snidely remarks that East L.A. Is "not Rodeo Drive", and then accuses him and his friends of not appreciating everything they have, particularly all the stuff at their country club high school. That's really quite presumptuous and unnecessarily bitchy of her to say. How does she know what's in these spoiled rotten kids' hearts and minds? She probably senses that her accusatory tone is starting to annoy Brandon, because she de-prickles herself in time to thank him for the ride home. But her thank you is swiftly followed up by a declaration of how complicated her life is right now. Sounds like someone's laying the groundwork for the eventual kiss-off before the end credits. Carla exits the car and goes inside the decrepit house, and we see that Cousin Richard has been standing there, waiting for her. Ominously he warns her to be careful, and then shakes his head warily. Hmm...good guy or creepy fiend? It's a tough call at this point.
West Beverly High. It's Hammer Time in the DJ booth again. Jesus. David is broadcasting another failed attempt to speak directly to MC Hammer. A bemused Steve sees Scott in the hallway and calls him over - albeit he mistakenly calls him Sam - and wants to know what the deal is with the overplayed MC Hammer bit. Scott explains that David is trying to get through to Hammer so he can ask him to play at the prom. Yeesh. Didn't The Brady Bunch already fish this lake dry when Marsha tried to get Davy Jones to perform at a school dance?
The Blaze newsroom. As usual, Ahn-drea can't keep herself from rudely interjecting herself into Brandon's life and has the nerve to ask him, point blank, what his relationship to Carla is. She then qualifies her nosiness by admitting that she just happened to see Carla's personal file in the office, and then just happened to notice that her official address is the Walsh's address. Brandon urges her to ignore what she saw, which is impossible because Ahn-drea is very troubled by this information. And since everything is always all about her, she points out that if Carla were to get caught using a phony address to attend West Beverly, then she too might get caught, kicked out, and be forced to attend the school in her shitty district that she should have been attending all along. If. Only.
Brandon runs into Carla in the hallway, but she's really standoffish. He asks her out for various days and evenings, but she has an excuse for all of them. She even uses church as a means of avoiding doing something with him all day Sunday, which is pretty...ouch. A lesser man - or perhaps a less obsessed boy - would have given up on the chase by now, but Brandon pursues Carla to the bus stop so he can offer her another ride home. Carla must be either flattered by the attention or completely worn down by his relentless quest to date her, because she gets into his car. But she's acting a lot friendlier now too, and asks him if he likes to dance. Sweet Jesus, NOOO!!!
Community Rec Center. There's a lot of high energy dancing that's done in perfect unison by a group of very fit people. Brandon looks intimidated and warns Carla that he's the world's worst dancer, which is indeed accurate when we consider his performances in the B.Y.O.B. episode - when he got all liquored up at two house parties and tried to bust a move.
Brandon is so damn funny looking when he dances because it always looks as though he's playing hot potato with his feet. Amazingly though, his embarrassing lack of rhythm didn't completely turn Carla off, because when he pulls up in front of her house, they admire the L.A. Skyline and then start making out. However, once again Cousin Richard is lurking in the shadows, scowling at them in disapproval.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh is dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, doing sit-ups in the master bedroom while Mama Walsh is fretting about the upcoming party they're hosting for Chicken Schneider. She's also concerned about Brandon going out on dates with Carla and tells Papa Walsh that she wants to tell the kids the truth. But Papa Walsh doesn't think they can spill the beans just yet...and so the bland mystery surrounding Carla Montez drags on for another day.
The next morning, Brandon shows up at Carla's house to bring her a bag of pastries. Geez - he's really being a needy clinger with this girl. Carla looks sort of happy to see Brandon appear unannounced on her doorstep, but then tells him that it's really not a good time for a visit. And then Cousin Richard appears out of nowhere and tells Brandon that Carla doesn't have time for breakfast and that he should go. Carla agrees, and both she and Richard give off a weird, cagey vibe.
The Walsh house. It's the night of Chicken Schneider's party, and Carla has arrived to work as a server. When Brandon sees her in her uniform and realizes she's not there as a guest, he throws a major hissy fit. He complains to his mother that he's uncomfortable with his pretend girlfriend working in his home, even though he's always waiting on his friends at The Peach Pit, which his mother duly points out. He angrily declares that he's striking his name off the guest list and stomps upstairs, leaving his mother staring after him in bewilderment. He doesn't find any support upstairs, since Brenda's focused on the fashion freebies that just arrived from Chicken. And they're pretty godawful. Chicken appears to have a disturbing penchant for loud colors and unflattering patterns. No wonder he was willing to dump a load of his shit-tastic merchandise on Brenda and her pals. Papa Walsh comes upstairs to talk to Brandon and find out why his panties are suddenly all in a knot. He's clearly not satisfied by his son's pissiness over Carla working as a server, and tells him in no uncertain terms that working with a mogul like Chicken is a major coup, and he is to suck it up, be a good host, and make sure all the guests are having a delightful time.
At the party, Brenda, Donna, and Kelly are looking ghastly in their Chicken Schneider outfits, and Chicken himself turns out to be a major douchenozzle. When Carla - who is supposed to be around sixteen years old in this episode - politely asks him if he needs a drink, he makes a snide crack, which everyone around him would have had no trouble hearing, about how he wants to slurp a drink with her in the dark. Ew. Fortunately, Brandon isn't within earshot, but he's still so bugged about her working the party as a server that he devises a stoopid plan in his head. He asks Carla to help him bring down some chairs that are being stored in his parents' bedroom...but when he leads her to his bedroom, where there are clearly no chairs, Carla realizes it was a ruse and gets angry with him. But then she kisses him...and then a second later angrily asks him if he's happy. Happy? No. Confused? Probably. And once again they start sniping at each other incoherently - why I'm not exactly sure because I've already started to mentally check out of this episode, particularly during these argument scenes.
After a couple of minutes, Carla storms out of the bedroom and goes back downstairs to return to her serving duties. Anna sees her coming down the stairs, closely followed by Brandon. She assumes the worst and reprimands Carla for disrespecting the Walshes.
Papa Walsh is schmoozing with creepy Chicken, who's telling him all about his company's new factory in Mexicali. He actually brags to Jim about how the people there work very hard for the crappy pay he's giving them. There's really no getting around the fact that he's a giant asshole. This time, however, Brandon overhears him and accuses him of exploiting his workers, which I applauded, but then he goes off the rails a bit when he starts ranting about the sad plight of Hispanic day laborers. Try to keep your arguments tighter and more focused, Brandon. Papa Walsh looks as though his head's about to explode and he angrily orders Brandon to apologize. Chicken is strangely oblivious to all the tension surrounding his professional integrity, which is so weird. Carla, on the other hand, is mortified by Brandon's outburst and quickly gathers her stuff and hightails it out of the Walsh house. Brandon tries to follow her - but he's stopped by maidservant Anna, who urges him to just let her go and attempt to preserve the one small scrap of dignity he has left.
After the party, Brandon is cleaning up and sulking. He tells Brenda that he knows everyone is furious with him and he wishes he could re-do the evening. Brenda piles on to his shame by telling him that the way he's been so consumed with Carla has been totally obnoxious. Well...I'm not sure obnoxious is really the right word here...I would probably use descriptors like pathetic, needy, or insecure to describe Brandon's behavior toward Carla. Brenda also informs him that Cousin Richard was parked in front of their house during the entire party, which makes Brandon think that the guy's bad news - and now he's more determined than ever to find out what's going on.
Brandon enters his parents' bedroom to apologize for behaving so rudely toward Chicken. Papa Walsh says they're just lucky that Chicken has a good sense of humor. Who doesn't love a pedophile with nice smile and a winning personality? Brandon then bears his soul and tells his parents he's never had this hard a boner for anyone before he met Carla. But he also knows that something very secretive is going on with her, which Papa Walsh confirms when he tells Brandon that he isn't yet able to reveal what it is.
The next day, Brandon shows up at Carla's house. Again. Anna answers the door and looks happy when she tells him that Carla isn't there...and that she's not ever coming back because she's returning to her family. Brandon's all "Wha-at?" and so Anna tells him where he can find her to finally get the full scoop on all of her mysteriousness. So he drives over to a nearby park where a family barbecue is taking place and finds Carla there.
It turns out that recently she was the sole witness to a drive-by shooting that killed a little boy. When the police started investigating, the killer had let it be known that any witnesses who came forward would themselves be killed, so Carla was forced to disappear until she could testify in court.
Anna used to be her babysitter, so somehow she got involved and thought she might be able to help Carla attend a good school while she was hiding out at her decrepit house in East L.A., which is why she was having that serious conversation with the Walshes at the beginning of the show. As for Cousin Richard, he's the prosecuting attorney in the case. Now I'm no expert in criminal matters, but I'm thinking that a situation like this would probably be better handled by a...you know, law enforcement agency. Anyway, it's a moot point because the drive-by killer has confessed to the shooting, and Carla doesn't have to testify against him after all.
Carla will be returning to her home and family in Pomona, which totally bums out Brandon. She describes Pomona as being on the other side of the world, and goes on and on about the complications of dating him because she might forget who she is and where she comes from...blah blah. And since she made it sound like Pomona is a remote village in the Andes, I Google mapped it and laughed pretty hard when I found out that it's a city in Los Angeles County that's about forty miles away from Beverly Hills. Nicely done, Carla! Much fresher than "it's not you, it's me". The two part as friends, and Brandon's sad predicament of not being able to maintain a romantic relationship that can outlast the length of one episode continues.
West Beverly High. Kelly and Donna are walking down the hallway together, both wearing the same hideous outfit - no doubt designed by that Chicken shitbag.
Elsewhere in the school, Dylan is walking with Brenda when he brazenly checks out another girl. Hmm...his constant wandering eye really needs to be further examined in a future episode.
Brandon and Ahn-drea walk into The Blaze newsroom together. Ahn-drea's got an extra little spring in her step now that Carla's out of Brandon's life forever. She compliments him on his latest article, and Brandon abruptly declares how great it is that the two of them aren't attracted to each other and can always be just friends. Ahn-drea kind of rolls her head around in mute agreement, but it contrasts with the stricken, constipated look that crosses her face when he's not looking. I laughed out loud at the TV, thinking that that moment was totally worth the suffering that was incurred by watching this entire episode.
David Silver still wants MC Hammer to perform at the prom, but unfortunately he called up Debbie Gibson by mistake and is begging not to be hung up on - just before she hangs up on him during a shameless product placed cameo appearance. David finally gives up on Hammer, and goes to the second person on his wish list, which is Debbie Gibson. Poor hapless David excitedly dials the phone, and then (mercifully) the scene fades to black.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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