Recap: The students of West Beverly High are attending an outdoor assembly to celebrate the discovery of a time capsule that was created by the class of '41. David is filming the event for a documentary, and naturally he's focusing exclusively on the main Beverly Hills, 90210 cast members while completely ignoring the other 99.95% of the student body. He starts to narrate as he zooms in on Brandon and Ahn-drea, both of whom are sitting on stage along with the faculty. (I think they're sitting up there because of their work on The Blaze.) After that, David shifts his camera into the crowd where Kelly, Donna, and Steve are standing, and spends a few minutes gushing about how super cool and popular they are. That done, he zooms in on Dylan and Brenda, both of whom bitchily roll their eyes and snap at him like he's an annoying paparazzo.
On stage, Ahn-drea reminds Brandon that they have long-standing plans to go see Citizen Kane on Saturday night. For a second I got worried that this is supposed to be a real date, but fortunately Brandon is blowing her off because he made plans to go out with Emily that night. He explains to Ahn-drea that he can't be expected to honor a half-hearted commitment he made to her out of guilt more than two months ago. She immediately gets pissy and sulks in her chair, pretending that her heart hasn't just broken into a thousand tiny pieces. Gaa! I will never understand why Brandon continues to voluntarily hang out with such an obnoxious, clingy sourpuss.
David keeps his camera trained on the gang, coaxing them to give him memorable sound bytes for the documentary. Scott Scanlon, who's wearing his giant cowboy hat, wistfully observes his former fellow dork interacting with the West Beverly High glitterati. He approaches David and starts yammering about the footage they shot together earlier, but David is too busy with his new A-list pals to talk to him. He snaps impatiently at Scott to shut up and quit bugging him. Ouch. A couple of days from now he's going to feel really, really shitty that he did that.
Later that day, a high-strung, middle aged woman hiding behind a tree beckons David over. It's Mrs. Scanlon, Scott's kooky mother. She's planning a surprise birthday party for her son on Saturday night and wants David to help out with the guest list by inviting twenty-five of Scott's closest friends. David tries to beg off by telling her that he can't come because he's MC-ing a dance that night, but she gives him a haughty lecture about how he's Scott's best friend in the whole world and can't not be part of his birthday celebration. David is too nice to tell her that he can not be part of this social disaster in the making because: a) he's no longer Scott's best friend, which means that the birthday boy barely has one friend, let alone twenty-five, b) if my timeline of this episode is accurate, the party is tomorrow, and c) Mrs. Scanlon is very weird, and spending any amount of time in her orbit is bound to be uncomfortable.
For the rest of the day, David tries to scare up guests for Scott's party. He begs a girl who used to date Scott in middle school to come, but she turns him down flat and orders him to not speak of her romantic history with Scott. She tells him it's embarrassing, given how big of a loser he turned out to be. In a couple of days, she too will feel really, really shitty that she said that.
DJ booth. Scott, still wearing his giant cowboy hat, drops by to see David. In lieu of a greeting, David irritably barks at him to lose the Stetson - but Scott ignores the catty reprimand and reminds David that it's his birthday this weekend. He invites him to come over, but David declines and tells him he's busy. As a concession, he gives Scott free reign in the DJ booth to play whatever he wants. This pleases the yokel, and it's also good news for all the country western aficionados at West Beverly High.
The gang is standing around the hallway, looking at a glass display case that contains the various items that were uncovered from the 1941 time capsule. Steve thinks all the stuff in the time capsule is lame, but then he's in a cranky mood 'cause David keeps pestering him, along with the rest of the gang, to attend Scott Scanlon's birthday party. When David strolls over to join their hallway klatch, Steve gives him a preemptive no to the party invitation. Dylan informs David that he can't be there 'cause he'll be surfing in Baja, and Kelly doesn't want to go because she's never actually spoken to Scott before. David strokes their collective ego by telling them that if they made even a brief appearance at the party, it would make Scott's whole life...the day of it he has left, anyway. Donna gamely agrees to go if anyone else will go, but Steve stands firm in his douchey refusal to go, and the gang disperses. David confides to Donna that the only reason he's going to the party is 'cause he feels guilty and obligated, and Donna assures him she'll work on chipping away at their friends' resistance until they're so beaten down they have no choice but to finally give in.
The Scanlon house. It's the night of Scott's birthday party, and David is in attendance, wearing a tiny green cowboy party hat and looking glum. So far this party has disaster written all over it, as David appears to be the only party guest who is over the age of twelve. There are a lot of young kids running around the Scanlon house, who I'm assuming are Scott's siblings or extended family members. Mrs. Scanlon comes over to David and irritably asks him why none of Scott's friends from school have shown up yet. David throws it right back at her that since she only gave him one day's notice to rustle up guests for a party that no one has any interest in attending, he can't guarantee that anyone will actually show up. Mrs. Scanlon ignores his subtle jab at her scatterbrained party-planning abilities and barks at him to gather everyone in the foyer. Scott is expected home any minute!
To lay the groundwork for the looming tragedy, one of the kids at the party asks Mr. Scanlon if he has any "rad new guns" in his collection 'cause he'd really enjoy doing some target practice. The hell? Mr. Scanlon sternly tells the lad that guns are weapons, not toys. That they are, Mr. Scanlon...so they probably shouldn't be kept, fully loaded, in an easily accessible drawer inside your den that anyone can enter. Mrs. Scanlon marches over to her husband and snaps at him to get his ass in the foyer so he can join the others when they yell Surprise! at Scott. She then turns her attention to David and crabbily orders him to turn off all the lights. I'm really not sure why Mrs. Scanlon can't turn off the lights in her own house...or how she's managed to maintain a marriage with such an obnoxious personality.
With the party guests all gathered in the foyer, the front door opens and everyone yells, "Surprise!" But it's not the birthday boy; it's Brenda, Donna, Kelly, and Steve. Yay! They came! Mrs. Scanlon, who clearly doesn't understand the social significance of their presence, barks at them to move away from the doorway so that everyone can be ready for a re-do when Scott enters. Steve already wants to leave, but Brenda forbids it. She reminds Steve - in front of Scott's entire family - that his presence at the party was the only reason that Brandon was willing to show up. Classy, Bren.
Just outside the Scanlon house, Brandon and Emily are strolling up the sidewalk. Brandon notices that the lights in the Scanlon house are off and correctly deduces that Scott hasn't yet arrived for his big Surprise! They quickly look for a bush to hide behind, but at that moment a car pulls up and Scott bounds out of the vehicle. He seems pleasantly surprised to see Brandon and Emily milling around his house and asks them what they're doing there. Brandon struggles to formulate a plausible lie, and the best thing he can come up with is that he and Emily are walking her non-existent dog. But it doesn't much matter, because at that moment the front door bursts open and all the young kids spill out yelling, "Surprise!" Scott hugs them and looks happy about the surprise party, but admits that he figured something was up when he saw Emily and Brandon on his street. David comes outside to tell Scott that the A-list clique is inside, and Scott is so overcome with joy to learn that Kelly, Steve, and Donna have all graced his party with their presence that he exclaims, "Far out!" As everyone heads back inside, Mrs. Scanlon lets it be known to David that she's not impressed with the deadbeats he invited to the party. She complains that they ruined the Surprise! and that none of them even thought to bring birthday presents. David doesn't bother explaining that their very presence is the present. When Donna comes outside to fetch David, he starts railing to her about how Mrs. Scanlon should be thanking him for saving the party instead of criticizing his friends, none of whom would have even shown up tonight if she (Donna) hadn't found some way to blackmail them into it. The scene takes an awkward turn when the two realize that Scott has been standing behind them, listening to David's diatribe. Ouch. He looks hurt and scuttles off.
Steve, Emily, and Brandon are wearing the green party hats, doing their best to look as bored as possible. Emily asks Brandon how long they have to stay, which leads to Donna's concern about her friends' growing boredom. She warns David that everyone's getting antsy and that the risk of them bolting at any moment is high. David tells her he needs them to stay put at least until after the birthday cake is served...but his fragile hopes are swiftly dashed when Mrs. Scanlon bustles into the room carrying a big stick and announces to everyone that it's time to limbo. This proves to be too much for Steve, who springs up from the couch and heads toward the door to make a break for it. His swift action starts a chain reaction among the rest of the gang as they all move toward the nearest exit. Scott tries to explain to his socially inept mother that this it crowd doesn't want to do the limbo, and David makes a desperate, last-ditch effort to prevent a mass exodus by ordering everyone to assemble themselves in a line...and reluctantly they do. Donna puts on a cool '90s beat, and for a precious few minutes, everyone is having fun grooving to the music. Well, almost everyone. Emily discreetly whispers in Brandon's ear, and the two of them disappear somewhere. Suddenly Mrs. Scanlon interrupts the dancing and intrusively announces that it's time for birthday cake. Scott, in his good-natured way, argues with his nutty mother that he was just getting into the dancing, but she retorts that they have to serve the cake now 'cause the younger kids have to go to bed soon and she doesn't want them to get "off schedule". Scott should look a whole lot more mortified than he does, particularly since Brenda and Kelly are openly chuckling at Mrs. Scanlon's embarrassing wackiness. A second later, Kelly wonders aloud where Brandon went.
Mrs. Scanlon enters a bedroom with one of the kids and is shocked to find Brandon and Emily sitting on the bed, making out. Shock turns to fury, and she banishes the two lovebirds from the party as a punishment for setting a bad example. This gives the rest of the gang an easy out, and they all make plans to head over to the Peach Pit. David, however, decides to ride out the evening at the Scanlon house.
Time for birthday cake! Mrs. Scanlon scolds David about not having any matches on hand to light the candles. Sigh. Scott offers to get some and heads over to his father's den. As he's searching through a bunch of clutter, he comes across the key to a desk drawer...and out of curiosity he unlocks it and finds a loaded handgun. He picks it up and studies it in fascination. Meanwhile, in the living room, Mr. Scanlon has located some matches, so Mrs. Scanlon barks at David to go get Scott so they can light the candles and cut the cake. Obediently, David ambles over to the den and is shocked to find Scott with a gun in his hand. For some inane reason, Scott starts twirling it around his finger, which totally freaks David out. He yells at the yokel to stop fucking doing that, but all that does is make Scott twirl the gun in an even more maniacal fashion. The gun suddenly goes off...David dramatically covers his ears, and seconds later he's staring over at Scott's fatally wounded body in horror.
West Beverly High. The students are attending an outdoor assembly in memory of Scott. Brenda remarks to Dylan that she can't believe Scott is dead, and Dylan's like, "Who the hell was Scott?" LOL. Elsewhere on campus, Kelly tells Steve she thinks that Scott's untimely demise has somehow given her the flu...and Scott's ex-girlfriend from middle school, who now feels guilty about being such a bitch when she turned down David's invitation to the party, approaches Donna to ask where David is. Donna tells her he didn't come to school today. He's still too traumatized.
A teacher makes a funeral announcement and tells everyone that grief counselling is available for anyone who gives a rat's ass that Scott is now dead. Ahn-drea tells Brandon that they should create a special full-page memorial insert for Scott in the next issue of The Blaze.
The Blaze newsroom. When Brandon finds out that Ahn-drea intends to write an article that rails about the issue of gun control, he accuses her of using Scott's tragedy to get on her stupid soap box. She bitches back that a loaded gun should not have been accessible in a house full of children, and Brandon counter-retorts that they should focus on an article about Scott's life. Emily unhelpfully chimes in that it might be awkward if Brandon were to write it, since the two of them had gotten kicked out of the Scanlon house on Saturday night for making out in one of their bedrooms. This, of course, pisses off Ahn-drea, who snaps at Brandon that she'll cover the funeral. Brandon insists that he wants to do it, and promises not to bring Emily along. I'm really not sure why anyone needs to "cover" Scott's funeral since The Blaze isn't even a real newspaper...and Scott was an ordinary teenager, not a public figure.
Funeral. David is standing outside the church, appropriately dressed in a dark suit. Donna meets up with him and informs him that Kelly was feeling too sick to come. David tells her that he was asked to say a few words about Scott during the ceremony, but since he hadn't been close to Scott for almost a year, he has no idea what he should talk about. Suddenly, an overwrought Mrs. Scanlon barrels over and clings onto David. She introduces him to people as Scott's "bestest bestest friend in the whole world" and makes a pronouncement that his memory will be kept alive by those who loved him.
The Walsh house. Brandon is at home, studying, when Dylan comes downstairs and stops to chat before he heads out. Brandon tells him he's happy that he and Brenda are "tight" again, and that Scott's death has made him think about his own close brushes with death. He concludes that someone "up there" must like him. Dylan challenges this theory, asking him if it means that this someone "up there" didn't like Scott. If he's referring to the producers of Beverly Hills, 90210, then no, it's pretty obvious they didn't like Scott. But I also think the writers didn't really know what to do with the character of Scott Scanlon once David had permanently ditched their friendship and established himself as a member of the West Beverly A-list.
West Beverly High. David is walking down the hall looking very sad. He runs into Dylan and Brenda, who ask him how he's doing. He then runs into Steve, who asks him how he's doing, whether or not he saw the gun go off...and if so, was there blood? Steve is such a horse's ass. David tells him he doesn't want to talk about it, then continues down the hallway and runs into Kelly. She apologizes for not making the funeral, and asks if it was creepy. Right after that, David runs into Brandon, who informs him that he wants to conduct an interview with him and get photos for a special memorial insert in the next issue of The Blaze. David agrees to do the interview the next day and enters the DJ booth. He finally loses it when Donna stops by to check on him, and complains to her how sick he is of everyone asking him how he's doing.
Elsewhere on campus, Ahn-drea is reading her article on gun control to Brandon while Brandon is staring hungrily at Emily. Haha!
The Walsh house. Brenda is third-wheeling it on the living room couch with Brandon and Emily. When the two start getting frisky with each other, Brenda abruptly announces that she'll be at the library, and high-tails it out of there. Brandon tells Emily he thinks he might be feeling some survivor's guilt regarding Scott's death and asks her if they should be in mourning...or something. Emily answers by pointing out that they're alive, and a few seconds later they start kissing. I guess that's a no.
West Beverly High. The next day, David's dad, Mel, drives him to school. He's being a very supportive parent, encouraging David to give himself time to get over the trauma of witnessing Scott's fatal shooting of himself. I really like Mel when he's not a philandering douchebag.
Mrs. Scanlon appears on the school's campus, looking for David. She's tearful and rambley and wants him to come by the house so she can give him some of Scott's things, and he reluctantly agrees. Afterward, he heads toward the DJ booth and experiences an almost exact repeat of the previous day, when everyone asks him how he's doing. Donna raises his ire when she asks him if he's still doing his morning radio show. He snaps that he's late because he got held up getting to the DJ booth on time because everyone's been in his face, expressing their concern. It looks like he's starting to lose it a little bit.
The Blaze newsroom. Brandon and Emily are kissing and giggling, and the flirty spectacle proves to be too much for Ahn-drea to bear, so she flees. Brandon notices her hasty departure and runs out after her. He tells her that David wants to postpone the interview, but Ahn-drea is inflexible about their firm deadline and threatens to drop the memorial insert altogether. What the hell did poor dead Scott ever do to you, you catty witch? Brandon wants to know what is wrong with her and asks her if she's still mad because he didn't go to the movies with her last weekend. She admits that she feels like yesterday's news every time "she" (meaning Emily) comes around, and that it hurts. God...I have never been so tired of one girl's relentlessly lingering crush on a guy who couldn't make it more clear that he's not into her.
The Scanlon house. Mrs. Scanlon is looking through old photos with David, reminiscing about family trips. She's starting to get a little squirrelly and insists that David take Scott's toys and mementos. David gets snappy with her, and starts yelling about how Scott accidentally shot himself in the stomach because he liked playing with guns. Well that's interesting. For the past few months I've been recapping about how Scott shoots himself in the head. I guess I stand corrected. Needless to say, Mrs. Scanlon does not react well to David's outburst and rushes out of the room looking distraught.
West Beverly High. David is editing the video footage he shot at the beginning of the episode. Donna enters the room and he's bitchy to her once again. This finally ticks her off, and she sternly reminds David that if it weren't for her friendship and acceptance, he'd still be regarded by the gang as a dorky wannabe. David wisely tempers his bitchiness and graciously thanks her for her concern and tells her that he just wants to get back to working on his documentary. As he continues to edit, he comes across the footage of the mock interview he conducted with Scott the week before. It looks like they had a lot of fun clowning around that day, and David stares at the monitor, stricken.
Brandon is walking down the hall, his arm around Emily when Ahn-drea tries to avoid eye contact by rushing past them. Brandon ditches Emily for a moment and hurries to catch up with Ahn-drea to tell her that he feels bad about her feeling bad. Ahn-drea tells him that she just wants him to be her friend (if only that could be true), and reminds him that he has to finish his interview with David today so they can put this issue of The Blaze to bed.
DJ booth. David isn't in the mood to give Brandon an interview, and he's snide about the memorial insert. For some reason the microphone inside the booth is on, which means that everyone in the school is able to hear their conversation. When Brandon points this out, David says he doesn't care. He laments the fact that Scott shot himself, and admits he dropped the yokel as a friend 'cause he wasn't anywhere near as cool as the series regulars. He complains how everyone is acting like they're his new best friend, constantly asking him how he's doing now that Scott's dead. He then concludes his meltdown by telling Brandon it doesn't matter what he writes in the school paper, or what anyone says about someone when they're gone. What matters most is how you treat them while they're still alive. Sniff...watching that scene always makes me very verklemt.
David leaves the DJ booth, and a bunch of students are loitering nearby, staring at him curiously. Ahn-drea approaches him and tells him that what he just said was very brave. Kelly and Dylan assure him that he should feel free to be honest if he's not really OK...and that they'll still be his friends.
The Scanlon house. David drops by to give Mrs. Scanlon a videotape of the mock interview he filmed with Scott. Mrs. Scanlon, who is notably much calmer in this scene than she's appeared all episode, looks pleased to see him and invites him inside. He politely declines and tells her he has plans to do something special that night. She then hands him something which belonged to Scott. Spoiler: I correctly guessed that it's Scott's giant cowboy hat.
West Beverly High. The sun has set, and the gang is putting together their own time capsule. Ahn-drea puts in a copy of The Blaze with Scott's memorial insert. Steve puts in a Corvette keychain. Brenda puts in a Minnesota Twins t-shirt...and Dylan puts in a jar of surfboard wax. I predict that when all this shit gets dug up in fifty years, the people who find it are going to be mightily disappointed. David adds Scott's cowboy hat to the capsule, and they close the trunk to ready it for its burial. After that, they all hold up sparklers, and David toasts his soon-to-be forgotten dead friend with, "This one's for you, Scott."
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2/28/2018 12:46:14 pm
The actor who played Scott, Doug Emmerson, made a decision about half way through this season, that he no longer wanted to be in show business, so he was the one who had asked to be written out of the series. I believe he went on to a military career.
2/13/2019 05:21:38 pm
This episode always bothered me. if it was true that he wanted off the show, I would think it was because he was barely a 3rd wheel when he had a few lines. Then, when the did this episode, they went out of their way to be mean to him.
3/8/2019 10:59:29 am
In my view - the greatest single episode the show's history.
3/14/2019 10:38:38 am
I can't help myself on this one.......
6/29/2020 08:53:46 am
Doug Emerson was dropped from the show. He did later leave show business, but the producers realized what a limited actor he was and reduced him to recurring at the beginning of the second season, with the intention of writing him out permanently.
6/29/2020 10:27:44 am
Scott was never "one of their own". After he died, wasn't the A-list crew confused who they were having the funeral for? LOL..
8/17/2020 01:59:38 pm
I remember back in 1991 that ads hyping this episode appeared on the channel during the week it would air being all melodramatic about, “90210 will lose one of their own!” It did seem misleading that the character was actually Scott.
11/10/2020 01:03:18 pm
"Pippa T says, Scott was never "one of their own". After he died, wasn't the A-list crew confused who they were having the funeral for? LOL.."
11/10/2020 01:02:08 pm
"TV Guide ad for this episode that proclaimed, “Tonight, they lose one of their own”
11/10/2020 12:58:53 pm
"announces to everyone that it's time to limbo. This proves to be too much for Steve, who springs up from the couch and heads toward the door to make a break for it. His swift action starts a chain reaction among the rest of the gang as they all move toward the nearest exit."
4/12/2021 11:17:20 am
As a Gen Z viewer of 90210, this episode has always reminded of this Potter Puppet Pals sketch about Neville’s Birthday - I suspect the writers felt about as sentimental towards Scott as Neil Cicierega does towards Neville.
5/25/2021 07:37:40 pm
I watched the Pilot episode on the DVD’s with commentary by Darren Starr, he said that Scott was written off the show because his acting was mediocre, even though magazines and interviews will have you believe he left to join the Air Force.
7/21/2022 09:08:01 pm
I loved Scott he was a perfect match for the gang!! btw the reboot WAS AWSOME PLEASE PUT OUT 1OR2MORE seasons...pleeeaaaseee!!!
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