Recap: Brenda is jogging in Beverly Hills when a dog starts trotting beside her. At first she's charmed by the dog's friendliness, but when he shows no sign of going away, she starts snapping at him to get lost and go home. It stands to reason that Brenda's inner bitch wouldn't like animals any more than it likes people. The dog is adorable, and for some reason he's drawn to Brenda...or maybe he's lost, hungry, and she just happened to be the first person he encountered that day.
Baseball practice. Ugh - I'm not a big fan of sports-centric episodes on Beverly Hills, 90210, especially when it's derivative of something as cheesified as The Bad News Bears. Papa Walsh, Brandon, and Steve have arrived at a baseball field to coach the Dukes, a little league team of self-entitled rich kids. Papa Walsh introduces Brandon and Steve to Dave Franklin, the president of the West Beverly Hills Baseball League and also the father of one of the kids on the Dukes team. I think his name is Davy, but I found it too hard to keep track of the kids, so I'm not even going to try to keep their names straight in this recap.
Before the practice can even get underway, Papa Walsh makes an embarrassing spectacle of himself by throwing out his back after taking a swing with a bat...so now Mama Walsh has the displeasure of playing nursemaid to her out-of-shape husband. She admonishes him for not stretching properly before swinging the bat, and is kinda bitchy about having to wait on him hand and foot, not that I can blame her. Brenda and Brandon offer their dad some fake, sarcastic sympathy, and Papa Walsh asks Brandon if he and Steve are willing to take over coaching the Dukes while he's out of commission. Brandon gives him a resounding "Probably."
The Peach Pit. With Papa Walsh laid up, Brandon asks Dylan if he's interested in helping out with the Dukes. Dylan turns him down, using as an excuse the bad memories he had when playing baseball as a kid. Apparently, the sight of unruly parents berating their kids from the sidelines has scarred him for life. Ahn-drea chimes in that she knows the parents of a baseball player who had to take their child out of the West Beverly Hills Baseball League because it was far too competitive. Brandon thinks that playing in the little league should be about the kids' enjoyment of the game, and insists that while he and Steve are coaching the Dukes, they will instil in the kids an attitude of kindness and good sportsmanship.
Baseball practice. Steve reprimands a fat kid with curly red hair for picking his nose, and then makes the kid run a lap for grossing him out. All the other kids all laugh at him. Brandon disapproves of this punishment, but Steve points out that second base doesn't need a booger-picker. I'm sure none of the bases needs a booger-picker. Dave Franklin appears carrying a big duffel bag filled with new baseball equipment, and when Brandon asks him where it came from, Dave vaguely tells him to let him know if he needs anything more for the Dukes. Brandon's face is grim as he looks over the stuff.
The Walsh house. Dylan drops off Brenda in his Porsche. She tells him he's welcome to come inside, but since Papa Walsh's sore back has turned him into a miserable crotchety-pants, he'd be entering at his own risk. Dylan wisely passes, and two kiss goodbye before he drives off. As Brenda walks toward the front door, she hears a noise and detours over to the side of the house. She finds the dog who had trotted beside her earlier, eating from a pile of trash. He's knocked over the garbage can and is munching on whatever edibles he's able to sniff out. Brenda yells at him to go away and threatens to call the pound. This makes him whine and look very sad, which melts Brenda's black grinchy heart a tiny bit. She kneels down to pet him and discovers that he isn't wearing a collar. She promises to get him a baloney snack.
Baseball practice. Brandon is giving one of the kids some pointers, but the kid gets all rude about it and starts mouthing off. Brandon tells him it's going to cost him a lap around the field, but the kid simply blows him off and storms away. Everyone's attention is then diverted when one of the mothers calls out, "Snack time!" Brandon wants to discuss the kid's rude behavior with Steve...but Steve is too busy enjoying the dim sum that the mother brought for all the players and coaches. Yum, dim sum.
The Walsh house. Brandon tells his family about the dim sum, and how the self-entitled rich kids all have a rotten attitude. Not that the atmosphere at the Walsh house isn't also pretty rotten. Papa Walsh is grouchy because of his back pain, and gets all snappish toward Brandon for being critical of the team...and explains that the kids are just testing his limits. Brenda's dog friend can be heard whining in the background, and Papa Walsh wants to hobble outside in order to investigate where it's coming from. Brenda quickly admits that the whining is coming from a stray, who now belongs to them. Papa Walsh snarks that he doesn't want a dog because he knows that he'll be the one who ends up feeding and walking it. Brenda promises to take care of the dog, but Papa Walsh reminds her of all her past pet failures, in particular one Mr. Pepper, who was left outside by accident and froze to death. Jesus. Maybe this dog is better off with the local Humane Society instead of being subjected to the potential negligence of the Walsh family.
Papa Walsh wants to get rid of the dog immediately. He's really being a prick about helping a poor stray. But since he can barely walk, Mama Walsh abruptly seizes control of the situation. She directs Brandon to post flyers about the lost dog around the neighborhood, and declares that Brenda will take full responsibility for the the dog while he's under their care. Brenda happily agrees. She's even named the dog: Wally.
The Peach Pit. Brandon asks Nat if he can change shifts to accommodate his baseball coaching schedule. Nat has no problem with it, and mentions that he too coaches a little league baseball team...but they're just a ragtag group of underprivileged kids from a community center who usually stink it up when they're on the field. But they don't care. They just like having fun whenever they get together and play, and Nat says he really loves coaching them.
Baseball practice. Steve makes fun of the fat kid with curly red hair for picking boogers out of his nose again. Maybe the kid just needs some tissues, Steve. He tells Brandon that the kid is "dead weight" and that he wants to trade him for a more useful, non nose-picker. Brandon doesn't like the idea of trading any of the kids, nor does he like Steve's coaching style.
The Walsh house. Brenda, Kelly, and Donna are trying to teach Wally some basic obedience skills, but since none of them have basic dog training abilities, the session goes nowhere. Kelly writes Wally off as dumb, and Brenda looks mystified when he starts licking Donna's leg. This is the sort of thing dogs do, Brenda. Did you never pay attention to Mr. Pepper before you killed him?
Baseball practice. Dave Franklin agrees with Steve that the nose-picker should be traded off the team, but Brandon is concerned that the kid may not want to be traded. Brandon tells Steve that he wants Fatty Nose-picker to have a good experience playing baseball, and so he intends to talk to Dave about putting a halt to the trade. Steve warns him not to offend the president of the West Beverly Hills Baseball League, and for some reason, this gives Brandon pause.
The Walsh house. Wally has been abandoned in the garage, so he starts barking to tell the stupid Walshes that he's sad, lonely, and just wants to be inside the house so he can hang out with the humans. Brenda enters the garage to reprimand him for barking, and Mama Walsh appears with a chewed up shoe that belongs to Papa Walsh. He's ticked off - again - and Mama Walsh tells Brenda that he wants to see her.
Papa Walsh is ragging on Brandon for being critical of Dave Franklin. He thinks that Dave deserves a lot of credit for spending his spare time on the baseball league. In the midst of Papa Walsh's bitching, Wally starts barking again...and Brenda promises to find a home for him the next day. Later in the garage, she urges Wally to keep a lower profile...but then covertly brings him upstairs to her bedroom. He jumps on the bed and settles down contentedly. See, dumbass? The dog just wanted some company.
Baseball practice game. Nat is coaching the Pitts, his team of uncoordinated, scruffy community center kids. They get laughed at by the kids on the Duke team because they're too poor to even have uniforms. Brandon hears their heckling and immediately gives them the first of many lectures on the importance of treating opponents with respect, however wretched they may look on the baseball field. A minute later, Steve discreetly tells Brandon that Dave Franklin doesn't want the poor kids using the new equipment he bought for the Dukes. They'll have to forage around the baseball field for a big stick if they want something to hit the ball with. What a dickwad.
Nat's kids are pretty crap baseball players, and one of the lippy kids on the Dukes team makes fun of the littlest poor kid on the Pitts team, Manny. That pisses off Brandon, who orders him off the field so he can rotate in Fatty Nose-picker. The lippy kid cops an attitude and tells Brandon that he's only listening to Coach Sanders. Steve, of course, is reluctant to rotate in Fatty Nose-picker, who may be too busy digging for boogers to focus on the game. Brandon has reached his limit with Steve's unsupportive attitude, and snaps at him to coach the rest of the game himself. He then storms off.
The Walsh house. Brenda tells her mother that she's found a home for Wally. Their home! She's tried very hard to fob the poor dog off on various people, but has had no success. And she doesn't want to bring him to an animal shelter because they might euthanize him. Mama Walsh tells her it's OK that Wally is staying with them, but insists it can only be temporary. Brenda will have to find him a permanent home.
Papa Walsh and Brandon are once again arguing about the coaching of the baseball team...and it is mind-numbing. Dave Franklin called to tattle on Brandon for leaving in the middle of the game, and Papa Walsh is angry at him for letting the kids down. Brandon argues that he doesn't want to suck up to the rich parents and let the little buggers just do whatever they want. He then announces that he wants to quit coaching the team. Papa Walsh will allow him to quit, but only when his back is back to normal. And then he bitches about Wally's barking again. Someone needs to get Papa Walsh some extra strength Tylenol so he can better deal with his menstrual cramps.
The Peach Pit. Brandon pays Nat a visit to apologize for the behavior of the Duke kids. Nat tells him that Manny got really upset. The Pitts just usually play baseball for fun, and weren't ready to face a game with a bunch of disrespectful snot-heads who've obviously been raised to take themselves far too seriously. Brandon impulsively decides that he would prefer to coach the Pitts because they'd probably appreciate his coaching efforts more than the Dukes.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh is finally up and hobbling around. He and Steve are in the living room, working on some training strategies for the Dukes. Papa Walsh says he feels bad about their argument the previous night, and Steve tells Brandon he wants him to return to his coaching duties. He also wants to schedule another practice game with the Pitts.
Brenda's room. Brenda and Dylan take turns on the phone as they desperately try to find a home for Wally. Brandon interrupts and asks for a private moment with Dylan, who tells Brandon that Wally is a really dumb dog just because he almost got hit by a truck. Et tu, Brute-Dylan? At the moment, Brandon doesn't care about Wally's purported stupidity because he needs Dylan to help him coach baseball. Dylan isn't into it for a bunch of rich kids...but he's happy to do it for the poor, community center kids. Brandon and Dylan make a plan to train the Pitts so well that they'll be able to teach the snotty rich kids a lesson in humility. Why, that idea is just crazy enough to work!
David Silver is in the Walsh garage, looking over Wally. Brenda is talking Wally up, trying to convince David how great and sweet he is...and that David should take him home if even just for a trial period. David is hesitant, but says he'll agree to take the dog if Brenda can arrange a date for him with Kelly. Brenda is aghast, refuses to let him have Wally, and haughtily tells him she'll find the dog a different home. I don't think she's really in a position to be turning down any offers to take Wally off her hands, but since this storyline is only slightly more interesting than the baseball one, I'm not going to get overly invested in how it's resolved.
The Peach Pit. The Pitts are eating unhealthy Peach Pit junk food while Brandon, Dylan, and Nat discuss how badly these kids suck at their sport. Nat still maintains that having a positive experience is still the most important thing, and Brandon and Dylan agree, but in a halfhearted and dismayed kind of way. Brandon suddenly has a bright idea and phones Ahn-drea to ask about the kid whose parents pulled her out of little league because it was too competitive. Avery. Naturally this kid is a baseball phenomenon, and Brandon wants Avery to join the Pitts and help them win the next practice game.
The Walsh house. Mama Walsh is preparing a nice dinner for Wally. I'm glad to see she's finally come around. She remarks to Brenda that he's been such a good, quiet boy all day...but unfortunately this is because he's no longer in the garage. Or anywhere else to be found. Looks like he fled the hostility of the Walshes by escaping through an open door. Brandon drives around the neighborhood in an attempt to find him, but has no luck. No one seems particularly worried about Wally, who could be on the street, hungry and alone...including Brenda, who remarks that the dog has no smarts, street or otherwise. Mama and Papa Walsh are like, "Oh well" and head off to bed, and Brenda casually changes the subject to baseball. She asks Brandon if Papa Walsh knows that he's planning to coach for the Pitts during the practice game, and Brandon says no...he's too cowardly to tell him. And speak of the devil, Papa Walsh suddenly appears in the kitchen to ask Brandon if he needs a ride to the game the next day. Brandon tells him that he was planning to ride with Dylan, but now will ride with Papa Walsh. I'm confused. Is he now coaching for the Dukes again?
Baseball practice game. Brandon shows up dressed in the yellow Dukes uniform. He runs into Nat, who's like WTF? 'cause I'm pretty sure he thought Brandon would be dressed in a Pitts t-shirt...which, incidentally, is pretty fugly. Dylan's wearing one with tight baseball pants...and man he is one skinny dude. The Dukes start making fun of the Pitts, so Brandon launches into another of his moral-building lectures, telling them that they're going to have to change their attitude or else become chumps. It's probably his least sensical, most ineffective pep talk, and afterward Steve remarks that Manny - the littlest Pitts player - invites so much criticism because he's a hopeless klutz.
Ahn-drea arrives at the practice game with the Pitts' secret weapon, Avery...and - surprise! - it's a girl! The Dukes laugh, and Steve says that Dylan is clearly scraping the barrel if he thinks a girl could help this team. Surprise turns to dull predictability when Avery goes to bat and hits the ball out of the park, opening the game with a home run for the Pitts. And in another inning when Avery is pitching, one of the lippy kids blurts out, "You suck wind, bitch." Papa Walsh admonishes him and rotates in Fatty Nose-picker, which doesn't go over well with Steve, or the douchey Dave Franklin. Dave comes over to try to persuade Papa Walsh to pull Fatty Nose-picker and rotate in the son of one of his rich friends. Papa Walsh tells Dave to chill the fuck out because this is a kids' practice game...and to get a life because this is little league baseball and not the World Series.
Avery is at bat again and hits the ball...but this time she doesn't score a home run. The tiny kid, Manny, is now at bat and Brandon immediately rallies his team for one last lecture on honor and sportsmanship. He tells the team that Manny is so useless he'll probably strike out, but that they shouldn't be rude to the little runt when it inevitably happens. And then about a minute after the lecture, some of the kids taunt Manny. The Dukes' pitcher, however, looks conflicted - a sure sign that Brandon's words have had some effect on him. And so the pitcher throws a super easy ball at Manny and the little guy hits it! Everyone's like, "Wuh?" and watches as the ball heads straight toward Fatty Nose-picker, who misses the catch because he's rotund, slow, and had his finger stuck half-way up his nose. Manny ends up scoring a home run and the Pitts win the game. Nat lifts Manny onto his shoulders and everyone is cheering. Dave Franklin stomps over to Papa Walsh to yell at him for rotating in Fatty Nose-picker after he advised him not to, but Papa Walsh just points to the kids on the Dukes team who are cheering for the Pitts...and this sort of shuts Dave up.
Brenda has been observing the game, and is chatting with Ahn-drea when she sees Wally running toward her! She's so happy to see him, but is stunned when Wally snubs her and runs over to Fatty Nose-picker. Good for you Wally! Of course, it turns out that Wally is Fatty Nose-picker's dog...and that his name isn't Wally, it's Rupert. Fatty Nose-picker hugs him, relieved to learn that his K9 friend isn't dead after all. And I'm relieved because even though this kid has a chronic nose-picking problem, he's bound to be a lot more dog friendly than the neglectful Walshes.
Brandon and Papa Walsh make up for all their annoying baseball arguments by shaking hands and heading home together, arms around shoulders.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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