Recap: It's a beautiful day in the park. Brandon is rollerblading, decked out in his hockey gear. Over by a picnic area, a happy young family is preparing for a barbecue...but when they leave their picnic table for a moment, a sinister looking hooligan darts over and snatches the mother's purse. He's immediately intercepted by a young girl with brown fuzzy hair and pulls a knife on her. She's way too fearless to be believable, and dares him to stab her...but also tells him he has a lot to live for. Cut! Print! Turns out this unconvincing, stilted little drama was a scene that was shot for Keep It Together, a popular television series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 universe.
A harassed looking production assistant (PA) informs the director that the kid they hired for the next scene is being hospitalized for food poisoning. The director snaps that it really doesn't matter, since any jerk off the street could do the scene. He then looks around the park for any jerk and notices Brandon rollerblading with his hockey stick. He'll do! The PA runs over to Brandon and asks if he'd be interested in spending the next hour or so filming a scene for a lame-ass TV show. He agrees when he finds out he'll be paid for his time.
Brandon undergoes a quick wardrobe change and looks silly in a colorful hoodie and a pink kerchief tied over his head. He ambles into the makeup trailer for some airbrushing and meets a woman he assumes is the makeup artist, but is actually the female star of the show, Lydia Leeds. He puts his foot in his mouth when he starts talking trash about how moronic Keep It Together is...and mocks the squeaky cleanness of the show, and how every problem is magically resolved by the end of each episode. Very funny, show. I'll take that as your attempt to be ironic and self-deprecating. Eventually it dawns on Brandon that Lydia isn't really the makeup girl, but rather the lead actress of the show. Awkward. But she's pretty cool about him ridiculing her life's work and doesn't seem to hold it against him.
The director is giving Brandon some instruction on what he's supposed to do in the scene, which isn't a whole lot. He has to appear out of nowhere and sound like a bonehead when he tells Lydia she's "lookin' good, real good, babe." A star is born when Brandon delivers the line perfectly! The director is thrilled and remarks to the PA that Brandon is just as good looking as Shawn Judson, who's the show's leading actor...and currently embroiled in a salary dispute with the show's producers. It's possible he may never return.
The Walsh house. Brandon tells his family all about the shoot, and they're thrilled and excited for him. As Brenda gives her parents the basic premise of Keep It Together, the phone rings for Brandon. It's the production office for the show calling for their newest young star. Brandon has a role!
Brenda's good humor over Brandon's showbiz opportunity is short-lived. After dinner, she gets on the horn with Kelly and starts bellyaching about the unfairness of Brandon getting a lucky acting break instead of her. It is a particularly great injustice because Keep It Together is one of her favorite shows and she's the actress in the family. She's also the narcissist in the family since it's obvious she can't be happy for Brandon without thinking about how his good fortune negatively affects her.
In their communal bathroom, Brandon asks her if she'll do him a favor and fill in for him at the Peach Pit while he's pursuing fame and stardom. Brenda, of course, doesn't understand the concept of a favor and demands something from him in exchange. He offers up two bathroom drawers, but it's not enough. She also wants his green shirt.
West Beverly High. In the DJ booth, David Silver is eager to interview Brandon about his new acting career...but Brandon thinks it's premature, and so he leaves the booth and heads off to class. Seconds later, David announces over the speakers that Brandon has just landed a role on Keep It Together. The other students are very impressed by the news, and soon everyone is whispering and pointing excitedly at Brandon. Dylan and Steve too are impressed by Brandon's new acting gig and clearly enjoy being part of his little entourage.
Outside, Brenda tells Donna and Kelly that she's really stressed out about filling in for Brandon at the Peach Pit. Kelly doesn't think it's a big deal...but then Kelly's never had a job, so her opinion on the matter probably isn't worth much. Brenda sees Brandon a few feet away and turns a shade of green when she sees that he's surrounded by groupies. She starts bitching again about how she's the one who deserves a break in showbiz because she has all the talent - and to demonstrate her superb acting abilities, she lapses into a phony British accent, annoying Valleyspeak, and a horrible Queens NY Fran Drescher-esque dialect.
Brandon comes over to join the girls and express his amazement at all of the attention he's receiving because of his bit part on Keep It Together. And speaking of bit parts, Scott Scanlon makes a brief appearance in order to inform Brandon that his limo has arrived. Brandon walks over to the limo and finds Lydia in the back seat, waiting for him with a copy of the latest script. He climbs inside and the two ride over to the set of Keep It Together. Brandon is pleased to hear that Shawn Judson is definitely leaving the show, because it could mean that his character might evolve into something permanent. Once they reach the set, the director gives them instructions on a scene they're about to shoot. It calls for a hot, steamy kiss between the two of them, and it's inevitable they'll need to do several retakes. From what we've seen so far, Keep It Together looks to be pretty skimpy in the dialogue department.
The Walsh house. Over dinner, Brandon talks about the day's shoot, and what it's like to work on the set of a popular show. Brenda no longer gives a shit and scowls because she has to work at the Peach Pit that evening, and stomps off to get ready for her shift. Brandon informs his parents that he'll be leaving shortly to attend a party in order to network with showbiz types. Lydia Leeds will be arriving any moment to pick him up, so he flees upstairs to primp and change into his party clothes. A starstruck Mama Walsh runs off in search of a camera...so when the doorbell rings, Papa Walsh is the only one left to answer the door for Lydia and engage in some obligatory chit-chat.
When Brandon tells Brenda that Lydia Leeds is in the house, she hustles downstairs to meet the television icon...and is promptly treated like something stuck to the bottom of Lydia's shoe. It's awesome. Brenda gabbles about being in Romeo and Juliet in the seventh grade, and Lydia snootily retorts that when she was twelve, she was on the cover of TV Guideand won her first Golden Globe award...and that Brenda can suck on that. The instant Brandon comes downstairs, Lydia shifts back into her more friendly personality and compliments him on his green shirt before heading out to the party. Hey - I think that was the green shirt Brandon was supposed to give to Brenda for filling in for him at the Peach Pit! Reneger.
The Peach Pit. Brenda's doing a horrible job waitressing and should probably be fired immediately. She mixes up food orders, spills an entire bowl of soup on a customer, and can't pour a glass of water without spilling it everywhere. She's also incapable of operating a garbage bag...when she holds one, the bottom rips open and causes trash to spill all over the floor. This must be the last straw, because she sinks to her knees and miserably contemplates the pile of stinky garbage in front of her.
Showbiz party. Brandon and Lydia arrive at a huge dance club where the party is being held. Brandon is impressed by all the famous faces he sees, and they briefly chat with Melissa Rivers. Melissa is well acquainted with Lydia and exchanges catty insults with her, addressing Brandon as her "flavor of the week". Meow. Lydia and Brandon hit the dance floor when fortunately a slow song is playing. We don't need the added spectacle of Brandon trying to groove to a fast beat. Drama heats up when Shawn Judson makes an appearance at the party. He's greeted by Melissa Rivers, who makes sure he sees Lydia and Brandon - his "competition" - slow dancing together. Lydia notices Shawn and lustfully stares at him from across the room as she French kisses Brandon. Blech.
The Walsh house. Brenda declares to Brandon that she's never going back to the Peach Pit. Brandon begs her to continue covering for him for at least a few more nights because he'd like to keep his schedule open for his "new lady". Yes, he does actually call Lydia that. Brenda snarks that Lydia is nothing more than a superficial, self-centered snob who changes boyfriends on a weekly basis...and Brandon retorts that she's slamming someone she doesn't even know because she's jealous. He adds that he knows Lydia a lot better than Brenda thinks, which is sweetly amusing because if my timeline is correct, he's known her for less than a week. Brenda then accuses Brandon of letting stardom get to his head, which is probably a valid concern since he's now starting to wear his sunglasses indoors.
West Beverly High. Brenda is bellyaching to Kelly and Donna about how people are stopping her to talk about Brandon and his new-found fame, and she's also irritated that lately Brandon only ever talks about Lydia. She then bitches about her job at the Peach Pit and thinks that the customers all hate her. Well d'yuh, she's a lousy waitress - of course they all hate her. Kelly's sage advice to Brenda is not to take the job so seriously...and this nugget of wisdom gives Brenda pause. She starts thinking very hard, and soon a smile spreads across her face. No doubt a very stupid idea has just been hatched.
Keep It Together set. Brandon is in Hollywood mode, discussing script changes with the PA while wearing his sunglasses indoors again. His big scene got cut in favor of a brand new scene, so he'll now have to learn some new lines. Lydia arrives and tells Brandon that the writers are re-working the entire script...and, oh yeah, Shawn Judson is back on the show after settling his salary dispute with the producers. I guess that explains the need for a new scene to be written. Lydia seems very happy about Shawn's return, but Brandon is uncertain about what this means for his role.
The Peach Pit. Brenda enters the diner in a get-up that is completely ridic. She's wearing a traditional pink waitress uniform, along with an ugly pair of glasses and a hairnet. She's also calling herself Lahw-verne and talks in the same phony Queens accent she unleashed on Kelly and Donna earlier in the episode. I believe the implication of this campy waitress persona is that the customers are going to be so charmed by her costume and accent that they somehow won't notice she's still just as incapable of taking a food order and not spilling stuff everywhere. Nat just stares at her in shock and calls her "too much"...though in my opinion, Brenda is "not nearly enough" in order to function as a competent restaurant employee.
Keep It Together set. Brandon's filming a scene in which he gives Lydia another steamy kiss in what looks like her bedroom. Shawn's character then enters the room and woodenly orders Brandon to stay away from his girl, and then throws a glass of water in his face. After several retakes, Brandon is wheezing and blowing water out of nose, which is messing up the scene. To make matters worse, the director suddenly decides he wants more "splash", which means that instead of just throwing a glass of water at Brandon, Shawn will dump a pitcher of water over his head. Well that's just stupid. Who walks around someone else's house carrying a full pitcher of water? And what guy would just stand there, unmoving, while a pitcher of water is being dumped on his head? Keep It Together is a really asinine show.
The Peach Pit. Brenda is performing a one-woman play starring herself as Lahw-verne, which apparently the customers are "eating up" in lieu of being served any food they can actually eat up. This silly schtick soon degenerates into a musical when Brenda, Donna, and Kelly start lip-syncing to "It's My Party". Groan. A large crowd gathers to watch this dopey spectacle and when the song ends, the girls get a huge round of applause. During all this, Brandon enters the diner looking very bummed after spending his evening having water dumped on him. The West Beverly gang gathers around him, eager to know what it's like to work on a TV show. Ahn-drea, in her usual buzzkill manner, tells Brandon she's assigned him to write a behind-the-scenes story about the TV show for The Blaze. Christ. Ahn-drea and her stupid Blaze.
The Walsh house. Over breakfast, Brenda is regaling her family about how she became inspired to create her absurd alter ego, Lahw-verne. It's been a wild success at the Peach Pit, evidenced by the pile of tip money on the table next to her. Brandon, in contrast, looks unenthused about his acting gig and brusquely remarks that working on a set isn't as easy as it looks.
Park. Brandon is rollerblading around with his hockey gear on again. Lydia drops by, incognito in a baseball cap. Brandon acts all distant and wary, concerned that he really is just her flavor of the month. Actually, Lydia is Brandon's flavor of this episode...because like all of his other love interests in Season 1, once this episode's over, she too will disappear into the ether. Lydia compliments Brandon by telling him she doesn't feel like she has to act around him...and that she enjoys his kissing. More importantly, she tells him that the show's producers are planning to test market his character with the audience. This news puts him in a much better mood.
The Walsh house. Steve, Dylan and Ahn-drea are over to watch Brandon on Keep It Together. Brenda breezes in with Donna and Kelly, having just completed another shift at the Peach Pit. She tells everyone she entertained the crowd with a raucous rendition of "Material Girl" and earned tons of tips. Thank goodness viewers were able to dodge the bullet of having to suffer through that lip-sync performance. Anyway, enough about Brenda. Everyone is very excited about seeing Brandon on TV, but when the scene comes on where he's supposed to be kissing Lydia in her bedroom, Shawn's there instead! Brandon is shocked and embarrassed, and all of his friends look confused. It pretty much kills the mood of the party, and soon the guests file out, each offering Brandon some encouraging words. Steve tells him not to feel bad because everyone in showbiz has to pay their dues. Dylan tells Brandon he's lucky not to be associated with a show that's quite possibly the worst piece of shit on TV. Ahn-drea haughtily advises him to sue the show for misrepresentation. She would. And Kelly nonsensically suggests that the producers might decide to include his scenes in next week's episode.
Once the pitying is over and everyone has left, Brandon slices himself a piece of the celebratory cake and chats with Brenda about his bad experience on the show. Brenda thinks that Lydia is cold for not warning him that his scenes weren't going to make it in the final edit of the show, though I think it's possible she wasn't aware of it in advance. Brandon encourages his sister to keep her job entertaining customers at the Peach Pit, but it turns out she doesn't want it anymore. Performing her stupid schtick every night is far too exhausting...not to mention completely unrelated to the job she was supposed to have been doing this whole time, which was waitressing.
With all the tips Brenda has pocketed as Lahw-verne, she now can afford what she's been saving up for: acting lessons! And Brandon can now give up the dream he never had to become an actor, and resume his part-time job as Nat's Peach Pit grunt.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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