Recap: There's a hockey practice in progress at the Ice Dome in Beverly Hills. Papa Walsh is the coach, and his ragtag team includes Brandon, Dylan, and Steve, who's the goalie. Steve proves himself to be a really bad skater, which is probably why he got stuck goal tending. Dylan isn't much better and looks pretty wobbly on his skates. In fact, the only player who doesn't look completely out of his element on the ice is Brandon, though that's understandable given that he's a native of Canada...I mean from Minnesota.
As soon as the hockey practice ends, a group of figure skaters takes the ice. A pretty girl catches Steve's eye, and he remarks to Brandon that he thinks she's hot. Brandon acts as though he's unimpressed and calls the girl a prima donna. Suddenly this "prima donna" whizzes by and unintentionally causes Brandon and Steve to trip and land in an embarrassing, tangled heap...and she immediately turns around and profusely apologizes for causing them to topple over like a pair of Humpty Dumpties. Brandon gets all rude and bitchy toward her - which is a clear sign that he's totally into her - and soon the two are arguing about which is more strenuous: a four minute skating routine, or one period of hockey. My guess would be the period of hockey. She then challenges Brandon to a race of six laps around the rink, and he accepts...and the two race around the ice for what seems like a really looong time. Everyone in the bleachers cheers them on, and the race ends with Papa Walsh declaring a tie...even though it looked like the figure skater beat him by a few feet. Now that the ice between the two of them is broken (heh, pun intended), they act all chummy with each other, laughing about the race - but the good time abruptly ends when a stern looking man with a foreign accent appears on the scene and demands to know what's going on. He motions to the figure skater - whose name we learn is Tricia Kinney - and is clearly annoyed that the world class skater he coaches was racing around with a strange hockey player at top speed on un-zambonied ice. He admonishes her for being reckless and tells her she could have been seriously injured. When Brandon discreetly asks Tricia whassup with her grumpy ass coach, she explains that everyone in her little figure skating circle is on edge right now 'cause the U.S. finals are coming up. Some flunky then skates over to Tricia and gives her an updated training schedule for the day. Brandon soon catches on that his cute new friend is an elite athlete, and becomes intrigued. He asks Tricia when they can have a rematch, and she tells him that she's usually on the ice by 5:30am every morning. Yikes.
The Walsh house. In the kitchen, Brenda is applying a thick coat of makeup on Mama Walsh's face, and there are a variety of cosmetics strewn across the table. It sounds like she's actually trying to sell the stuff to her own mother. Brandon and Papa Walsh arrive home from the rink and announce that the hockey practice went great. When Mama Walsh asks them how she looks after her makeover, the two scrutinize her overly blushed cheeks and wisely say nothing.
The next morning, Brandon's alarm goes off at 5:00am. He gets up at the ungodly hour and arrives at the Ice Dome just as Tricia is doing her stretching exercises. She's surprised, but pleased to see that Brandon showed up to watch her early morning training session. She starts blathering to him about how the early morning is the best part of the day for her, but that the pressure and constant training can sometimes get tedious. Brandon suggests a remedy for the monotony: a date with a hockey player! Tricia hesitates, not because she doesn't totally dig Brandon, but because she's concerned that Coach Buzzkill will think it's a bad idea. By this time, the other skaters have arrived for the practice and soon they're ready to take the ice. Tricia asks Brandon to stay and watch, and he promises he will. Moments later, he's standing in the bleachers watching as she practices various flips and twists. Some rink worker comes over to Brandon and mistakes him for the vending machine guy...but when Brandon tells him he's a friend of Tricia's, Rink Guy joins him in observing the skating practice. He refers to Tricia as a cutie pie who possesses "the fire and the ice", as well as a skater who comes along once or twice in a generation. Hmm...based on the footage we see in this episode of Tricia's skating, that's a gigantic overstatement, but since she's just another meaningless, throwaway character in the Beverly Hills, 90210 universe, I'll let it go. Rink Guy asks Brandon if Coach Buzzkill knows he's watching Tricia's training session...and he's asking 'cause normally the coach doesn't like anyone to hang around and distract his athletes. Brandon defiantly tells Rink Guy that Tricia invited him to stay, and he'll hang around until Tricia tells him to leave. Rink Guy applauds his ballsy attitude...at least for now.
The Walsh house. It's early Saturday morning, and Brenda tells her mother she's off to a power breakfast with Deirdre, her snooty boss from the clothing boutique. Brenda thinks Deirdre is great, but that's only 'cause she's been filling Brenda's head with some nonsense about how she's got what it takes to be a star in sales. Mama Walsh proudly tells her that this is most likely because she has sales in her blood; her grandfather used to own the largest furniture store in St. Paul and devoted his life to customer service. And speaking of sales, Brenda asks her mother how much of the makeup she wants to buy. Mama Walsh kind of winces, but writes her a check for $20.
Restaurant. During the power breakfast, Deirdre expresses her disappointment that Brenda was only able to fleece her mother for a measly $20 worth of cosmetics. Brenda tries to explain that Deirdre doesn't understand the sort of thrifty, style-free mother she has, but Deirdre nails it when she describes Cindy as a wholesome bumpkin from the Midwest who probably wears very little makeup or jewelry, has traditional values, and clips coupons. Deirdre tells Brenda to always remember that she's not just selling products - she's selling a self image. It's also important to remember that this bullshitty sales approach works best on the wealthy, the insecure, and the gullible.
Ice Dome. Brandon's in the bleachers, watching Tricia practice her spins and flips when Coach Buzzkill comes over to have a chat with him. He tells him that this has been Tricia's worst practice in a long time and suggests that she's distracted by Brandon's presence in the arena. Brandon gets all pissy and reminds the coach that Tricia was the one who invited him to stay and watch...then brashly tells him that Tricia should be free to decide what she wants for herself.
Clothing boutique. Deirdre is busy selling clothes and accessories to customers while Brenda is wasting valuable time hanging with Donna and Kelly, who are just standing around sniffing perfume bottles. Deirdre glances over, which makes Brenda visibly tense, and she's clearly feeling pressure to make a sale. She urges Donna and Kelly to buy something, considering they've been in the store for more than an hour. Donna picks up another perfume bottle and sniffs it, then decides that she likes the scent. She tells Brenda that she'll take it...until she sees the $190 price tag, makes a face, and puts it back down. Brenda tries to convince her she's not just buying perfume, she's buying a self image. But at $190 for a tiny bottle of fragrance, Donna is not convinced she needs a self image. Deirdre, who has witnessed this lost sale, is not impressed.
The Walsh house. After a tough day at the boutique, Brenda is seated in the kitchen, drowning her sorrows in a bowl of ice cream. Brandon enters through the back door and looks annoyed to see her sitting there. He just got home from driving across town to pick her up at the boutique, only to discover that she had already left. She apologizes and tells him she "spaced" and decided to walk home. Her day was so lousy because she had been on her feet for eight hours and barely made a commission. She can't seem to sell anything, while Deirdre is so good at it. Brenda then blames their parents, who raised them to be much too nice to succeed in the real world. I find it hilarious that Brenda would actually characterize herself as "too nice". Has she not watched herself during the past two seasons? Brandon suspends reality for the moment and agrees with Brenda's assessment. He tells her that these thoughts also occurred to him while he was watching Tricia practice. Her dedication and drive to be a world class skater reminded him of when he played hockey as a young boy and was called a "wonder whiz" on skates. For some reason, Mama and Papa Walsh didn't push him to become a hockey player, so now he's left to wonder if he could have been one of the greats.
Ice Dome. Tricia is at practice, and this time she's decked out in a pretty red skating dress. Brandon is watching, clapping loudly whenever she successfully lands her jumps. It amuses Tricia, but irritates Coach Buzzkill...though understandably so. I can totally see how Brandon's unnecessary presence in the rink would be an annoying distraction for not only Tricia, but for the rest of the skaters too.
Clothing boutique. It's been a slow day at the boutique and Deirdre suggests to Brenda that they knock off a little early. David then enters the store, and after studying him for a moment, Deirdre pegs him as a rich kid who has lots of money to burn. She encourages Brenda to get him to spend as much as possible on a self image. Brenda goes over to wait on David, and he starts nattering about how Donna whines that nobody remembers her birthday because it's on December 25, blah blah. Unfortunately, he too was one of the deadbeats who forgot, but he now wants to make up for it by getting her something nice. Brenda immediately starts talking up the $190 perfume Donna was sniffing the other day. David looks aghast when he sees the price, but Brenda tells him that if he wants to make a statement, then price should be no object...and adds that Donna "really flipped" over the fragrance. David is easily convinced, and agrees to buy the overpriced perfume. Deirdre looks very pleased with her pushy young protege.
Ice dome. When Tricia exits the ice after her practice session is finished, Coach Buzzkill mumbles something about her needing to get her skating dress altered by a seamstress, and then going straight home to rest up for sectionals. [Note: I Googled "figure skating sectionals" and learned that skaters are only eligible to compete in the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships if they place in the top four of a sectional competition.] Brandon offers to give Tricia a ride home, and she's so thrilled about it that Coach Buzzkill reluctantly agrees. When the two are alone together, Brandon asks Tricia about her relationship with her coach. Tricia shares with him that she's originally from Texas, but is currently training in California and lives with Coach Buzzkill and his wife. Brandon is astonished at her level of dedication for figure skating and says how he feels like he's been wasting his life. Tricia vehemently disagrees with that and points out that he is living a normal life - while she's constantly constrained by her training schedule, and her strict diet. She's never gone to a real school, or had a date. Plus, she's always under so much pressure to succeed. Brandon asks her if she has plans for when her skating career is over, and she tells him that she likes the TV show L.A. Law, so maybe she'll go to law school.
The Peach Pit. The gang is gathered together when David presents Donna with her belated birthday gift: the extravagant perfume. Donna unwraps it and is shocked that he spent so much money on her, but David tells her she's worth it. Kelly grabs Brenda and pulls her off to the side to chide her for selling David something so pricey, and Brenda retorts that she doesn't feel bad 'cause she has no soul didn't force David to buy it. And she feels totally vindicated when Donna squirts some of the perfume on her neck, and David leans in to give her a good sniff - but Kelly remains unconvinced and stalks off. Dylan appears out of nowhere and asks Brenda what's wrong with Kelly, so Brenda theorizes that Kelly resents her for getting good at her job. She also brags to him about how great it feels to be improving her skills to manipulate people into buying expensive crap they don't need.
Brandon enters the Peach Pit with Tricia and introduces her to the gang. Tricia is very happy to meet everyone and graciously invites them to be her guests at the upcoming sectional competition. They look interested in attending, but then Brandon announces that he has orders from Tricia's coach to get her home so she can rest up. As the two make their way out, Brenda rushes after Tricia to tell her that the boutique she works at sells really cute leotards. Dylan and Kelly roll their eyes as they note how annoyingly aggressive Brenda has become.
Figure skating sectionals. The gang is in the audience, watching as Tricia competes. Brenda is noticeably absent; she opted to do inventory at the boutique with Deirdre. It sort of looks like Tricia is skating well, but Brandon tells them that she missed her toe loop...and when she attempts a double axel, she falls on her ass. So much for "the fire and the ice".
When the competition concludes, Tricia has placed fifth, which means she didn't qualify to compete in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. This also means that the skating season is over for her. Coach Buzzkill, who's surprisingly blase about the whole thing considering he's supposed to be a fancy world class skating coach, tells her that these things happen...and then encourages her to take some time off to visit her family in Texas. He leaves the room just as a guilt-ridden Brandon enters. He blames himself for being a distraction for Tricia during her last few practice sessions, but Tricia insists that her dismal performance wasn't his fault. She tells him that Coach Buzzkill suggested she didn't want to do well and progress in her skating career. The upside to her failure is that she now has time to go out on dates. Brandon perks up at this news and gives her a hug.
The Walsh house. Brenda is trying to boost her cosmetics sales by giving her mother another makeover in the kitchen, but Mama Walsh totally does not look into it. Papa Walsh kisses her blushed up cheek goodbye before heading off to work. When the twins are alone together in the kitchen, Brandon stares at Brenda with a look of utter dismay and tells her that it seems like she'll do anything to earn a commission. Brenda condescendingly tells him that Deirdre predicted this would happen...and by this, she means that all the jealous haters would eventually come out of the woodwork and resent her for being so goal oriented and super successful. LOL. She tells him that her goal is to buy a car so that she won't have to depend on Brandon for transportation anymore...and then somehow thinks it's reasonable to compare her "drive and dedication" to that of Tricia. Speaking of Tricia, Brandon informs his sister that she'll be stopping by West Beverly High later. Brenda is happy to hear that and asks Brandon if Tricia ever mentioned anything about the leotards she sent over last week. I'm guessing not, 'cause Brandon just gives her another cold look of dismay.
The Blaze newsroom. For some insane reason, Brandon brings Tricia into the newsroom to meet Ahn-drea. It seems that Ahn-drea is a figure skating fan and looks a bit star-struck when Brandon introduces the two of them. She asks Brandon if he's doing an interview with Tricia for the paper, so Brandon is forced to clarify that not everything in his life revolves around the stupid Blaze and that he and Tricia are dating. Sort of. Ahn-drea's face falls...and tiny, bitter tears start pricking her eyes. She literally turns her back on them so she can sulk in relative privacy. Brandon, who is either oblivious to her obnoxious brooding or is determined to simply ignore it, invites Ahn-drea to join them for lunch, but she sullenly declines. Brandon and Tricia then beat a hasty retreat from Ahn-drea's toxic orbit and run into the rest of the gang in the hallway. Dylan expresses his sympathies to Tricia for her poor performance at sectionals, and she tells him that she's taking some time off to think about her future as a figure skater. For the moment, though, she's loving being at West Beverly High, which she hilariously refers to as "the real world". The gang then decides it would be a great idea to ply Tricia with fattening comfort food, since up until now she's been on a very strict diet. Everyone makes suggestions about what she should gorge herself on: potato chips, pizza, and ice cream. Donna suggests gum, but that's idiotic. Brandon then concludes that there's one food that is far more gluttonously pleasurable that any other: a burrito. OK...I would have suggested something more decadent like chili cheese fries, but burrito is good too.
City park. Tricia is very excited to eat her first burrito...but as she takes her first bite, Dylan completely loses his senses and brings up the topic of the leotards that Brenda so desperately wants to sell to her. A mortified Kelly puts her hand over Dylan's mouth and forcibly leads him away. Shortly afterward, the rest of the gang also disperses, and Tricia tells Brandon that his friends are all really great. She obviously needs to get out more.
Clothing boutique. Brenda is about to ring up an order for a rich looking shopper when Deirdre enters the store. She knows the customer, whose name is Joyce and gives her a friendly hello hug. As Deirdre chats with her, she suggests adding a pair of earrings to her already big pile of stuff. This gives Deirdre an excuse to take the order book from Brenda and write it up as if the whole thing was her order. Brenda bluntly asks her what she's doing, so Deirdre slyly directs Joyce to go and pick out a free scarf for herself. Brenda points out that if Deirdre rings up the sale, she'll get the commission, which is unfair because she (Brenda) waited on the woman for over an hour. Deirdre really has no good comeback to this, since her excuse is that she has a car payment to make, and this is just the way it's going to be. She continues to write up the order while Brenda stands there fuming.
Ice Dome. It's date night for Brandon and Tricia...and they're spending the evening ice skating. Brandon thinks it's kind of weird that Tricia wanted to come to the rink on their date - it sort of is - but he gamely skates with her, hand in hand, as music plays in the background. After skating for a little while, they hear someone clapping for them. Ack! It's Coach Buzzkill, who has come by to give Tricia some good news. The skating federation has issued a waiver, which means that Tricia will be able to compete in the national championships after all. She's stunned, but thrilled at this unexpected, implausible reprieve. Unfortunately for Brandon, this means that she and Coach Buzzkill are going to have to re-choreograph her program, and they only have five days to prepare...and since there's not a moment to lose, they're going to have to start preparing tonight. Brandon says he understands, and Tricia thanks him for the fun half-date before rushing off with Coach Buzzkill to work on her new choreography.
The Walsh house. Brandon resumes his grueling schedule of getting up at 5:00am to go to the Ice Dome to watch Tricia practice. He runs into Rink Guy, who informs Brandon that the practice is now closed to all visitors. When Brandon starts to protest and yammer about what a dick Coach Buzzkill is being, Rink Guy explains that the edict came from Tricia herself. Brandon looks crushed that their three day relationship has come to such an abrupt end.
Mama Walsh wakes Brenda and reminds her that she has to go to work soon. Brenda is laying in bed, looking very unhappy. She tells Mama Walsh about how Deirdre stole her $500 commission, and that she wants to quit working at the boutique, but doesn't want to be considered a quitter. Mama Walsh advises her that walking away from a rotten situation isn't being a quitter...and in a rare moment of self awareness, Brenda admits that she knows she's been obnoxious lately. And in an uncharacteristic display of bitchy malice, Mama Walsh encourages her daughter that it's best not to get mad, but to get even. Naturally this puts a fiendish smile on Brenda's face.
Clothing boutique. Mama Walsh sweeps into the boutique decked out in a pristine white suit, dark shades, and a silk scarf tied around her head in an odd-looking turban. I think she looks ridiculous, but Deirdre immediately assumes she's in the presence of a wealthy woman who will buy clothes and accessories that will reflect her very expensive taste. She swiftly dumps the customer she's currently waiting on and rushes over to suck up to Mama Walsh.
Ice Dome. Papa Walsh is coaching another hockey practice. Brandon is clearly not in a good mood, and when Papa Walsh presses him about it, he snarks that he just wants to quit for the day. Papa Walsh correctly guesses that things didn't work out with Tricia, and that it's bothering Brandon so much 'cause she was special to him. Brandon then asks his dad why he never pushed him into hockey when he was a kid who had so much potential. Papa Walsh reveals something he's never told Brandon before: years ago, he and Mama Walsh had a meeting with the best hockey coach in the Midwest to discuss Brandon's future as a professional athlete. The coach had asked them if they wanted a superstar athlete, or a son. Needless to say, Papa Walsh chose son and tells Brandon he hopes he isn't disappointed with the choice they made. Brandon thanks his dad and heads off to work his shift at the Peach Pit.
Clothing boutique. Deirdre is gushing excitedly to Brenda about the huge commission she expects to earn from the wealthy woman with the strange silk turban. Unfortunately for her, Mama Walsh is rethinking each of the items she's picked out. Deirdre tells her that "the girl" (meaning Brenda) will put all the unwanted stuff back...but eventually Mama Walsh opts to decline everything, and then berates Deirdre for being an insincere phony and treating her employee badly. She leaves in a huff, which prompts Deirdre to call her a bitch under her breath. Brenda just smiles.
The Peach Pit. Brandon is glumly working his shift when Tricia enters the diner. She tells Brandon she's about to leave for Salt Lake City for the championships, but wanted to say goodbye first. He gives her a sullen goodbye, making it clear that he's angry and hurt about being barred from her skating practice the other day. Tricia explains that she's the one who's driving herself to be the best skater in the world, and that right now she has no time to offer him much. She will, however, fondly remember the burrito she ate in the park and the way it repeated on her.
The Walsh house. Brandon, Brenda and Dylan are sitting in the living room with a big bowl of popcorn, watching figure skating. Tricia is competing, and she does very well, which Brandon attributes to her having the "fire and the ice". LOL. Tricia obviously has the ice, since it's underneath her skates...but as far as the fire goes, well that's highly debatable. Immediately after her performance, Tricia skates off the ice and receives a bouquet of flowers and grants a quick live interview. She tells the commentator that between all of her training and sacrifice, she misses the burritos - and when she says burritos, she looks straight into the camera as if to give Brandon a shout out. And then, just like that, the competition is over. Unlike every other figure skating competition I've ever seen, there doesn't appear to be a panel of judges, or final scores. Brandon looks at the television sadly, but assures Brenda he's OK. After all, he had the time of his life while he was with Tricia, who he knew for less than a week. Or so the timeline in this episode seemed to suggest.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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