Recap: A rally is being held at West Beverly High to pep everyone up before a football game. The West Beverly team will be playing against their arch rival, Beverly High, during a week-long ordeal known as Grudge Week.
Brandon is enjoying the spectacle of the cheerleaders, eying a cute brunette who smiles back at him. He then looks elsewhere and notices that he's being stared at by a strange little mousy girl, who appears to have a crush him...or maybe a mild mental disorder. Whatever it is, Mousey's unblinking stare seems to really irritate Brandon, and he gives her a stern look of annoyance before deliberately shifting his gaze elsewhere. Ouch, Brandon.
Brenda is also observing the rally, and it looks like she's genuinely enjoying the school spirit. But then Kelly and Donna appear, and they make fun of it for being lame and uncool. They want to go to the mall. Brenda would prefer to stay on campus, but she caves in to peer pressure and obediently trots off behind her rich friends.
Brandon, Dylan, and Steve are discussing Grudge Week when they notice Mousey peeping over at Brandon. Dylan and Steve find it adorable, but Brandon just looks perturbed again. I think he's being a little dickish to this harmless doe-eyed lass, who would probably be more than satisfied if he just gave her a noncommittal smile.
The Walsh house. Brenda arrives home in a deep funk. Without a word to her mother or Brandon, she heads up to her room and slumps face-down on her bed. Brandon follows her upstairs to see what's wrong and discovers that she's having an existential crisis of sorts. She thinks it's "brain-dead" that Kelly and Donna just want to go shopping all the time, and wants to experience new and different things - like cheerleading, for example. She tells Brandon that she was interested in trying out, but the girls on the squad have formed an obnoxious clique - completely unlike the one she's forming with Kelly and Donna, I'm sure.
And so Brenda wants to do something meaningful. I have heard of teenagers who are able to find meaning in a part-time job so that they're not hitting up their parents for cash every time they accompany their self-entitled friends to the mall. Like how Brandon works at The Peach Pit, for example. But Brandon's obviously too nice to throw a dose of reality in Brenda's face, and instead tells her about an organization that Ahn-drea Zuckerman volunteers for, which is called the Rap Line. It's a hotline for teens where operators field calls about anything from masturbation to suicide. Brenda rolls her eyes and winces, and when Brandon asks her why she isn't more enthused, she scrunches up her face with a look of distaste and incredulity and says, "I don't know. Ahn-drea Zuckerman..?" Hee! Point made and fully understood, Brenda. Wanting to avoid associating regularly with Ahn-drea is as good a reason as any not to do something...even good deeds.
But Brenda must really need meaning in her frivolous life, because the next day she stops by The Blaze newsroom to talk to Ahn-drea about the Rap Line. Ahn-drea is surprised, and right away tries to convince Brenda that the Rap Line isn't the right choice for her, inferring that bratty sloths who hang around with pretty rich girls like Kelly Taylor aren't likely to make it through the rigorous three month training program. I do not understand why Ahn-drea has to act like such a horse's ass all the time, particularly to her peers. Does she not want a single friend in high school? Not to mention that whoever runs the teen hotline would be pretty cheesed if they knew that Ahn-drea was turning away potential volunteers before they even got a chance to try it out. But Brenda is unfazed about what she's about to undertake, and assures Ahn-drea that she can fully commit to being a Rap Line phone operator...for the duration of this episode.
Rap Line Headquarters. Brenda is sitting around the call center, listening to the volunteers dispense advice to misinformed and troubled teens. If this is part of the 3 month training program, then I'm not sure how helpful it is for Brenda to just sit there and listen to a cacophony of people on the phone all at the same time, and then only hear their end of the conversation.
Ahn-drea takes a call, and immediately gets vexed when she realizes it's Kelly Taylor, who has called to chat with Brenda. Ahn-drea tattles to the hotline's director, Carol, and then chides Brenda for taking a personal call while at the Rap Line. Turns out the purpose of the call was an emergency dish session, so that Kelly could tell Brenda all about the drama that's unfolding at the Martin house. So like, Donna told her mother that she wants a nose job, and it's a crisis because Mrs. Martin is like totally flipping out! This is such a silly and implausible little tale, but we'll deal with that later. Kelly confirms that she's coming to pick up Brenda at 10:00pm.
The Peach Pit. Brandon is busy working when he and the customers hear Nat (who's in the back room), moaning as though he's getting his bob knobbed. Brandon tentatively goes back there to investigate and sees that Nat is getting an extremely pleasurable acupressure massage by a pretty young woman. Because that's an appropriate thing to do in one's place of business. The woman, Nina, offers to give acupressure to Brandon as well, but he's got customers to wait on and rushes back to work.
Rap Line Headquarters. As the volunteers finish up their calls for the evening, Carol asks Brenda if she thinks she'd like to come back again the following day. Before she can answer, Ahn-drea shoots her an evil, squinty-eyed glare, which only serves to embolden Brenda to say yes. Hee! Suck on that, Ahn-drea! A few minutes later, Ahn-drea and Brenda are waiting outside for their rides, and for the hundredth time ad nauseam, Ahn-drea snarks to Brenda about what a serious commitment the Rap Line is. Fortunately, Brenda's inner bitch kicks in and she snaps back that she can commit to this volunteer job as well as anyone else. Ahn-drea's cab arrives right then and mercifully it gets her the hell out of there, and Brenda is left waiting alone. But after awhile, she starts to worry that Kelly may have forgotten to pick her up, so she gets the janitor to let her back into the building.
Brenda calls Kelly, who is being unavoidably detained due to all of the alleged "flipping out" because Donna told her mother she wants a nose job. OK - first of all, I seriously doubt that Donna's mother, a wealthy Beverly Hills woman who's probably had work done herself, would really get this out of whack over the idea of a nose job. Second of all, Donna's schnoz looks like your average garden variety schnoz that clearly doesn't need any sort of surgical alteration. But most importantly, why would Donna's mother's reaction to anything have anything to do with Kelly being able to pick up Brenda from the Rap Line on time?
So Brenda is still hanging around the call center, waiting for Kelly to call her back about getting a ride home. When the phone suddenly rings, she answers it saying, "I don't forgive you" which seems like a really bad way to answer a teen hotline phone. And wouldn't you know it, the call is from a troubled girl who desperately needs someone to talk to. Brenda freezes for a few seconds, but assures the girl she's listening.
Troubled Girl is calling from a pay phone near her school and tells her that there's a guy in school she likes, and who says he likes her. Her question is: if she's "making it" with the guy and asks him to stop but he doesn't...is that her fault? Right away Brenda says "no", which was good, but then backtracks and says, "I mean, I don't think so", which was not so good. This is probably why the Rap Line has a three month training program. The girl says she really needs to know how to tell if she's been raped...but then the scene fades out, and we never know how much worse Brenda botched this girl's cry for help.
Kelly finally arrives at the Rap Line Headquarters, once again blaming Donna's mother's freakout as the reason she couldn't pick up Brenda on time. Give it up, Kelly...Brenda has bigger problems on her plate than this contrived drama. She's still reeling about fielding the call from Troubled Girl when she wasn't fully trained, and worries about getting into trouble with Carol. She tells Kelly that the girl's voice was familiar, though that should be totally irrelevant given that she called anonymously on a helpline.
The Walsh house. Mama Walsh has been so inspired by Brenda's volunteer work with the Rap Line that she's also decided to volunteer - at the recycling center twice a week. We see that she's been expending a lot of effort collecting cans and other recyclables from around the house. With all this time on her hands, I wonder why Mama Walsh doesn't consider getting an actual job. Her salary could help defray the cost of the housekeeper she complains about not needing, but still keeps employed.
West Beverly High. Another rally is held to continue to build the self esteem of the school's football players. Brandon tells Steve about the amazing acupressure session he got from Nina at the Peach Pit, but Steve just thinks that Brandon blew it because he didn't get a "happy ending" type of massage. Acupressure specialists aren't hookers, Steve.
The Blaze newsroom. Brenda stops by because she wants to tell Ahn-drea about the call she fielded from Troubled Girl the previous night. Given Ahn-drea's general bitchitude about her volunteer work at the Rap Line, I don't know why Brenda feels compelled to explain anything to this pompous drip. Naturally, Ahn-drea makes the wrong assumption that Brenda came by to quit the Rap Line and gibbers condescendingly about how it takes a certain kind of personality to make it at the Rap Line, and that Brenda shouldn't feel bad for quitting. Brenda looks annoyed, but for some reason keeps her inner bitch restrained.
The Peach Pit. Nina, the acupressure specialist, comes in to order some pie. She sits at the counter in front of Brandon and shares with him her recent naked experience in a sensory deprivation tank, and how it made her think her most primal thoughts. In the next breath, she tells Brandon she wants to try out her massage techniques on him. She's so weird and spacey that it's impossible to tell if she's flirting with Brandon, or if she's on a steady diet of mood enhancement drugs and this is what normally happens when she interacts with people.
Rap Line Headquarters. Carol is happy that Brenda has returned for more hotline training, but Ahn-drea is peeved once again. At around quitting time, Ahn-drea answers a call, which turns out to be Troubled Girl, who asks to speak to Brenda. An incensed Ahn-drea then puts the desperate rape victim ON HOLD so she can gripe at Brenda for answering a hotline call when she wasn't fully trained. But you're trained, Ahn-drea, and you just put a rape victim on hold, you idiot. Brenda apologizes to Carol, explaining that she assumed the call was her ride home, and Carol actually seems pretty cool about it. She's a good egg, that Carol. Ahn-drea, on the other hand, is a very bad egg and snarks at Brenda, "I can't believe you." What I can't believe is that Carol hasn't kicked Ahn-drea's butt to the curb for creating such a hostile work environment at the Rap Line.
Carol encourages Brenda to take the call, and assures her that she'll be right beside her to guide her through it. At her prompting, Brenda assures Troubled Girl to take her time, and that she's there to listen. The girl tearfully recounts that the same guy just raped her - and that it happened after the football game. And then Brenda goes totally rogue and brusquely asks the girl where she goes to high school, which spooks her and she quickly hangs up. WTF, Brenda?! Your task was to listen and then offer her the advice that Carol - who is sitting right there! - was feeding to you. Not try to blow the cover off of this girl's anonymity.
West Beverly High. Ahn-drea runs into Brenda in the hallway. She's taking a rare break from being her regular douchetard self and asks Brenda how she's faring after the call last night. Brenda admits to being a little shaky, and Ahn-drea tells her she handled the call like a pro. Wuh? In less than a minute, Brenda frightened off a caller who is in serious need of counseling and help after being sexually assaulted, and she handled it like a pro? The Rap Line really does need a better crop of volunteers, or some decent funding so that they can hire some trained psychologists to answer these troubled calls for help.
Rap Line Headquarters. Brenda is on tenterhooks all evening, waiting for Troubled Girl to call again. But by 10:00pm she still hasn't called, so the director decides to close up shop for the night. Once Carol leaves, however, Brenda convinces Ahn-drea to slip back into the building in case she calls again. Troubled Girl does finally phone, but this time she's really hostile to Brenda. She won't allow Brenda to tell her that everything's going to be all right; the boy raped her again and this time brought along a friend. Yeesh. Brenda and Ahn-drea are so beyond their depth at the Rap Line...they should both quit and consider volunteering at an animal shelter or something.
Brenda orders Troubled Girl to stand up to these guys so they won't do it again...but then Troubled Girl hears Ahn-drea's voice in the background, gets spooked once again, and abruptly hangs up. But this time Detective Walsh is on the case, and she's pretty sure she knows who the girl is. And there's no doubt that she's going to use her hunch to bungle this delicate situation even further.
Nina brings Brandon to her place, which is very hippy-chic and new agey with doorway beads and orange lamps. There's also a man living there with her named Richard, and Brandon quickly realizes that he won't be getting laid, but that he will be getting a full herbal wrap.
West Beverly High. In the hallway, Brenda scopes out a cheerleader named Bonnie - the same girl who Brandon flirted with at the beginning of the episode. When Brenda introduces herself, Bonnie turns white and clams up. She feels betrayed that Brenda didn't keep their conversations anonymous, and demands that she keep her secret. Brenda, however, forcibly counsels Bonnie about how these boys are just using her, and that she shouldn't let them hurt her. Bonnie lashes out at Brenda with a few insults about being "nothing" at school, and then flees. Nice going, Brenda. What do you say about giving that animal shelter a try?
That evening, Bonnie is in the hallway after a football game, waiting for a fellow cheerleader. When she does finally appear, she tells Bonnie that she has to leave with one of the guys. Bonnie is pleading with her to at least walk her to her car, but the girl ignores her and leaves. What a shitty friend. And so Bonnie is left alone to walk to her car in a dark and deserted parking lot, and just as she's getting her keys out, the football rapist and his friend appear and start to harass her. When she refuses to give in to them, one of the guys grabs her and forces himself on her.
But then...from out of nowhere an entire SWAT team appears and stops the crime in progress! The two football players are pounced upon, cuffed and then hauled off. Carol is there to hug and comfort Bonnie, Ahn-drea and Brenda are overseeing the police operation, but I'm not really sure why Brandon is there...unless he's giving Brenda a ride home afterward. She really should get her driver's license instead of relying on people to chauffeur her around all the time.
West Beverly High. Kelly, Donna, and Brenda are walking down the hallway together. Donna tells them that she isn't allowed to get her nose done, but that her parents have instead agreed to buy her a new car because she needs a replacement for the old new car she's already driving more than she needs a nose replacement. After all that meaningful 'good-deed doing' at the Rap Line, it sure feels good to be back among the vapid.
In a different hallway, Brandon tells Steve that he and Nina are just good friends, which Steve interprets as Brandon blowing it again. Whatever, Steve. I don't see you getting a whole lot of action from the ladies either. And then they notice Mousey staring over at Brandon. Feeling a surge of kindness toward his meek little admirer, Brandon strides over to her and pleasantly introduces himself. Mousey lights up like a Christmas tree, and a moment later she's paying it forward when she says hi to Scott Scanlon. He's very flattered by the girl's attention...but most of all he's grateful to Aaron Spelling that even though he's never been part of any major storyline, he's somehow still a permanent cast member.
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11/7/2017 04:40:30 pm
Your comments about Andrea are spot on! I cannot stand her self righteous attitude. She truly wants to be isolated without friends. You are hilarious!
Isabel K. French
11/7/2017 07:36:45 pm
AHNdrea was especially a giant turd in this episode. But she wasn’t yet part of the inner circle.
3/8/2019 10:27:13 am
How in the hell did Brenda (along with I assume the great crusader AHNdrea) convince the BHPD with their hearsay and cause the cops stake out the West Beverly High parking lot and ARREST the football players that to the casual eye were just standing and talking to Bonnie the cheerleader?
8/8/2020 04:50:57 pm
Haha I was looking for this comment. You're spot on. And the Rap Line is neeeeeeeeeeever mentioned again
10/23/2020 12:57:45 pm
"the Rap Line is neeeeeeeeeeever mentioned again"
10/10/2020 02:39:19 pm
The fact that Brenda breached Bonnie's anonymity aside, if the person I was trying to help (say for something way less heavy than rape) told me I was 'nothing' at school after all the help I'd tried to give them, I'd tell them to f*** right off and deal with their own problem.
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