Recap: Brandon and Papa Walsh are sitting at the kitchen table, sharing an early breakfast. As Brandon heads out to catch the 6:30am bus to the Beverly Hills Beach Club, he complains to his father about how he's suffering from job burnout after only a week. He comes right out and asks Papa Walsh if he'd be willing to pay half the cost of the '65 Mustang convertible he's saving up for so he he can quit and enjoy the summer...and Papa Walsh's retort is "Have a nice day, Brandon", so we'll take that as a no. He's really quite tight-fisted with his money, that Papa Walsh.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. After the obligatory footage of curvy women tanning, buff guys playing ball, and cute kids building sandcastles, we're directed to a tennis game between two middle-aged men. One of them makes a shot and then starts bellowing that the ball was in, while his opponent insists it was out. The guy bellowing is paunchy and looks like an obnoxious blowhard. As fate would have it, Brandon witnessed the shot from the sidelines and - much to Blowhard's boorish delight - calls it in his favor. As Blowhard packs up his gear, club manager Henry Thomas makes a brief appearance to suck up to this man about what a great tennis player he is. He also gives Brandon a very big wink for calling the shot in his favor, so I guess we're supposed to deduce that he's a rich club member. A blonde waitress named Sandy enters the scene to clear a table and mumbles something I couldn't quite hear about Blowhard's tennis match, then eyes Brandon appreciatively. As names are exchanged, Brandon learns that Blowhard's name is Jerry Rattinger, and that he's a wealthy and successful sports promoter. Brandon introduces himself and tells him that he probably knows his father. Jerry does know Papa Walsh, and remarks that he heard Papa Walsh is considering becoming a member of the Beverly Hills Beach Club.
Dylan returns to shore with his surfboard and runs into Brandon, who's setting up beach loungers. Dylan remarks to Brandon that Henry is cool to allow him to "park" his surfboard on the club's property, and they both agree that Sandy is also cool. Dylan goes so far as to call her "exquisite", which I think is a bit of a stretch. Sandy is by no means an uggo - but she's no stunner. She's an average looking girl, and I'm just going to leave it at that.
Drama class at West Beverly High. The topic du jour is the "sense memory process". In preparation for the exercise, Brenda has brought to class her mother's winter coat so that she can recreate an incident that occurred in Minneapolis when she was six years old. Apparently she wandered off in a mall, played on the escalators for awhile, and then panicked when she realized she was lost. Eventually she was found and returned to Mama and Papa Walsh, so no real harm was done. Young Elvis instructs Brenda to feel the texture of wet winter wool so that she can more easily recreate the feelings of panic and abandonment that she experienced all those years ago. Brenda puts on the coat in an effort to sensify her brain cells, but thankfully the scene cuts away and we don't have to watch her performance.
Afterward, she walks down the hall with Ahn-drea, Kelly, and Donna, saying how it felt like she was forcing out emotions. Her performance lacked just the right amount of hysterical, so she declines Kelly's invitation to spend the afternoon at the beach and instead will go home and work on her sense memory process some more. David, who also happens to be in the drama class, is lurking around Kelly and her pals...as usual. He interjects himself into their conversation and points out that since Brenda's not going to the beach, there's now a space for him in Kelly's car! Kelly looks pained, and the rest of the girls chortle at his chutzpah. But the way the scene plays out, it truly looks like this kid's getting a ride with them to the beach...so kudos to your chutzpah, David! After the group leaves, Brenda shares with Ahn-drea that she's avoiding the beach because she can't handle running into Dylan now that they're broken up. Ahn-drea, likewise, is avoiding the beach because she doesn't want to have a run-in with Brandon after the embarrassing way he declined her offer to let him pop her cherry during the Home Again episode. But then she embarrasses herself all over again by asking Brenda if Brandon has asked about her. No, Ahn-drea. He doesn't ever ask about you because he's not into you.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. Brandon and Sandy are getting kind of flirty, chatting about the beach club and some of its members. She's pretty down on rich people from Beverly Hills and remarks that they're a whole different breed than poor slobs like the two of them.
The Walsh house. Brenda is on the phone with her grandmother, telling her how much she's enjoying her drama class. As they're conversing, Mama and Papa Walsh are primping themselves for an evening out at the Beverly Hills Beach Club to dine with one of Papa Walsh's new rich clients.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. A party for prospective members is in full swing that evening. Brandon is on duty, as is Sandy...and he friskily pulls her toward him and they start dancing together. She's all giggly and flirty, and Henry comes over to fake reprimand them about having fun in public. That Henry is a good egg. A few minutes later, Mama and Papa Walsh arrive at the club with their client, Jerry Rattinger, along with Rattinger's wife. Brandon politely greets everyone, and after a brief but pleasant chat, the two couples go off to find a table. During all this, Sandy looks a little stressed, which is the first hint that something disturbingly grotesque and unholy is going on between her and Jerry. Brandon benignly remarks to Sandy how it's a small world, Jerry being his father's client and all, and Sandy snarks in agreement that it is a small world and then stalks off. This girl has serious mood swing issues. Later that evening, Steve makes an appearance and tells Brandon about the grunion run that everyone's planning to be at. Since I didn't know what Steve was really talking about, I researched grunion on Wikipedia, and learned that they're fish who have the unique mating ritual of coming onto sandy beaches during high tides where they lay their eggs in the sand. Steve encourages Brandon to invite a lady friend along to the grunion run, and by lady friend, he means Sandy...who he's noticed has been checking out Brandon.
As work winds down for the evening, Brandon invites Sandy to come along to the grunion run. Unfortunately, Sandy's still on the down-slope of her mood swing and snarks about how rare a grunion sighting actually is...but if Brandon happens to see the fish, he should give them her best. When a confused Brandon explores the reason for her ill temper, he learns that she's all huffy because he didn't introduce her to his parents during the previous scene. For some reason Brandon feels the need to apologize, and explains that he didn't think stuff like that mattered to her. She retorts, "Don't flatter yourself." Good grief - I actually think this girl is even more annoyingly passive aggressive toward Brandon than Ahn-drea is, which I didn't think was possible. Sandy then starts whining again about how much she hates people from Beverly Hills, complains of a pounding headache, and warns him that nothing is likely to make her happy tonight. For some reason, Brandon is determined to hang out with this gloomy puss, and he's finally able to persuade Sandy to go to the grunion run with him and his friends.
The Walsh house. Brenda and Brandon run into Papa Walsh on their way to breakfast, and they're curious to know if he and Mama Walsh are going to become members of the Beverly Hills Beach Club. Papa's answer is a blank stare, so I'm guessing not. At the kitchen table, Brandon launches a vigorous inquisition of both his parents, demanding to know why they won't join the club. Why he cares this much about them getting a club membership, I can't imagine. Mama Walsh mumbles something about using the money for their college tuition, and Papa just looks shifty and evasive. He finally admits that he doesn't like the idea of hobnobbing with rich assholes like Jerry Rattinger, and that their professional life should remain separate from their social life. Brenda's inner bitch, which I'm beginning to think is actually a symptom of Tourett syndrome, snaps, "What social life?" She gets a WTF look from both parents, so she apologizes and explains that she can't help herself from blurting shit like that out. It's OK, Brenda - it's all part of your disorder. Brandon is taking his parents' decision not to join the beach club very hard, and derisively asks them if the club is too "Beverly Hills shi-shi" for their Midwestern taste buds...then gets up and storms away from the table. He's off to the beach club, even though it's his day off. I wonder if Sandy's nuttiness is starting to rub off.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. Brandon is playing tennis against paunchy Jerry, who's impressed with his agile young opponent and boasts about all the things he could teach a kid like him. Ugh. After the match, they take a stroll together, and Brandon tells him about his dream car, which costs $3,500. Jerry's surprised that Papa Walsh won't co-sign a loan for such a meager amount, and frankly, I'm surprised by that myself. Jerry continues to be creepy and lecherous in the way he checks out bikini clad women with his beady eyes, but then insists to Brandon that he's a very happily married father. Jerry notices Sandy serving a customer and yells in her direction that he wants to order some drinks. He turns to Brandon and asks him if he has a girlfriend, and Brandon stares over at Sandy and tells Paunchy he's working on it.
Steve pops by the club to tell Brandon that a group of them will be on the beach that night to watch for the grunions again...but Brandon doesn't really seem as into it this time. A few minutes later he sees Sandy and goes over to say hi, and she rudely answers "bye" and tells him she's going home. Brandon stops her and tells her he's rented a limo, which will take her anywhere she wants to go. This "limo" ends up being a tandem bicycle, which the two of them look sort of funny riding on. They manage to wheel themselves over to a lifeguard tower, where they hang out and enjoy the ocean view. Sandy starts lamenting about how expensive it is to live near the water, and that at the rate she's going, she'll never have a beach house or anything else she's ever dreamed of having. This girl doesn't look a day over eighteen, so I don't really get why she talks about her life like she's well into her twilight years.
Brandon and Sandy ride the tandem bicycle back to the club, and Dylan happens to see them. He looks concerned and immediately seeks out Brandon to warn him about getting involved with Sandy. He won't offer any specifics, just insists that she's not the right person for him. Brandon doesn't want to accept Dylan's warning to stay away from this nut-wrench, and lashes back by accusing him of breaking Brenda's heart. Dylan just gives him an exasperated look and then correctly points out that he has that backwards: Brenda was the dumper and he was the dumpee.
In the next scene, Brandon runs into Sandy, who's crying and upset. Tearfully she tells him that she can't see him tonight, but promises to make it up to him...then flees. Jerry suddenly appears from a second floor balcony and bellows to Brandon that he's been thinking about the car he wants to buy.
The Walsh house. Brandon tells his parents that Jerry wants to loan him the money to buy his dream car. He'll also be working for him, and will get paid double what he's making at the beach club. First he'll be a gopher - but when school starts, he'll be enrolled in Jerry's trainee program to become a junior blowhard. Papa Walsh is skeptical about why creepy Jerry would want to pay Brandon such an inflated salary. Brandon's theory is that Jerry feels sorry for him being a teenager in L.A without a car...or thinks maybe he's being so nice to him because he's always wanted a son. Papa Walsh makes it clear that he does not approve of this arrangement, and sadly remarks that he didn't realize Jerry would go after his son.
The next morning, Brandon tells Brenda that Jerry predicted Papa Walsh would put the kibosh on the car loan. He thinks Papa Walsh is being vindictive and doesn't want him to have any vehicle because of how he totaled Mondale. That's silly, Brandon. That accident happened in a self contained episode in Season 1 (B.Y.O.B.), and has no real bearing on the life lesson you're slated to learn in this episode. But Brenda is also skeptical about Jerry's motives and tells her brother it doesn't make sense that he'd want to pay him double for a job that is so ambiguous. During this entire conversation, Brenda has been wearing her mother's old winter coat, and Brandon gives her a strange look when he asks her why the hell she's wearing wool in July. She responds with, "You don't want to know." No, we really don't. So far this "sense memory process" subplot has been a big boring dud, and it's too bad the whole thing didn't end up on the cutting room floor when this episode was being edited.
Brandon goes downstairs looking for Papa Walsh, but it turns out he had to leave early for a business trip to San Diego. Brandon gets all bitchy, tells his mother this is "so typical", and is annoyed that he has to wait until that evening to discuss the whole car loan/job thing again.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. Jerry tells Brandon that he feels bad about getting between Brandon and his father, and that the smartest thing to do would be to forget about the loan, as well as the job as his highly paid gopher. But Brandon doesn't want to do the smart thing, and all signs point to him taking creepy Jerry up on his offer.
Brandon sees Sandy and asks how she's doing. In polite society, a normal person would respond with, "Fine. How are you?" But Sandy is in her usual spirit dampening mood and tells Brandon she's feeling a lot worse, and that he should consider himself warned. He asks if he did anything to upset her, and she replies that it's not him...it's her. Yep, it's her all right. She then goes on to complain about how there's not enough time in the day, not enough money in the bank...and her head is pounding again. I am officially tired of this girl's constant misery and riddle-talk.
The Walsh house. Brenda's wearing her mother's winter coat, roaming around the living room calling out, "Mommy? Where is Mommy?" Papa Walsh peeks into the room, and stares at her as though she's having a mental break. She explains to him that this strange little performance is for her drama class, and that she's trying to get in touch with the emotions she had when she got lost at the mall all those years ago. Papa Walsh explains to her that she can't dredge up any bad feelings about that incident because she actually had a really fun time playing on the escalators...until she realized she was lost, that is. Thanks so much for clearing that up, Jim. I'm going to ignore the obvious flaws in your version of the incident.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. As Brandon is chatting with Steve, Henry interrupts and tells Brandon that Jerry needs some help in the parking lot. Brandon quickly heads over with Steve in tow. The "help" Jerry needed was to show off his swanky BMW convertible, and he tells Brandon to get behind the wheel so he can see if it's the kind of car he'd like to drive for the rest of the summer. Since he's currently taking the bus, my guess is that Brandon will love the beamer. He then tosses Brandon the keys and encourages him to take a ride up the coast. Um, shouldn't Brandon clear this with Henry first? But just as Brandon and Steve are about to go on their joyride, Jerry receives a message. He looks at it grimly for a moment, and then asks Brandon if he wouldn't mind using the BMW to pick up his wife and give her a lift back into town. Apparently she went somewhere to tan, and then got drunk. Or something contrived like that. Since it appears to be part of Brandon's cabana boy job to ferry around the wives of rich club members, he agrees.
Brandon is driving the BMW, and the jaded Mrs. Rattinger is beside him in the passenger seat. She asks him what he thinks of her douchey husband, and Brandon says he's a great guy. She snorts in derision and tells him he doesn't have to put on an act for her. But Brandon continues to play dumb - because in this episode he is acting a lot dumber than usual - and says he doesn't understand what she's getting at. Mrs. Rattinger then spills the beans about Jerry having a mistress, which she suspects is Sandy. Ew. Brandon looks stricken and is suitably grossed out...and since he's kissed Sandy, he now has to think about all the icky places her mouth has been.
Beach. Sandy is walking toward the cabanas in a snug fitting red outfit. She's on her way to Jerry Rattinger's cabana when Brandon intercepts her. With total disgust, he tells her to give Jerry back his car keys and to tell him, "Thanks but no thanks." This is also the exact same message he now has for her. Sandy gives him the tired old cliche that this isn't what he thinks it is...though I'm not sure how it's not exactly what it looks like. She then gets all hostile and defensive, telling Brandon that he has no right to judge her when Mama and Papa Walsh still pay all his bills. Well, d'yuh. Brandon's sixteen years old. Parents generally cover their children's living expenses when they're still minors. He then accuses Jerry of being her sugar daddy, and minutes later Jerry appears from the corner of his cabana, having heard their nasty exchange. Brandon gives him the stink-eye and drops the BMW keys to the ground and storms off.
The Walsh house. Brandon arrives home that evening and finds Papa Walsh asleep on a sofa chair in the living room...but he stirs when Brandon walks into the room. He tells his son that he's been thinking about car loans and work ethics all day, and sheepishly admits that he didn't join the Beverly Hills Beach Club because he doesn't have the spare cash. He's been struggling financially ever since turning down a promotion in the Home Again episode. That was a pretty dumb decision, but then we wouldn't have Season 2 set in Beverly Hills. Papa Walsh tells Brandon he wants him to have the summer of his life and not have to work like a dog at the beach club, so he gives him his blessing to instead work for Jerry.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. Jerry seeks out Brandon and is all sarcastic and bitchy to him about being called a sugar daddy. Brandon, in return, insults his BMW and implies that it's not as good as a Mustang, which is crazy talk...but I'm going to chalk it up to Brandon working through his angry feelings. Jerry laments that he can't be a mentor to Brandon anymore because of all the ugly things that were said with regard to him and Sandy. Brandon accuses him of deceiving and hurting people, and tells him that Sandy has been a nervous, complaining, whining, miserable, cranky wreck because of him. Jerry smugly retorts that as far as Sandy is concerned, his conscience is crystal clear. And then he ominously remarks that Henry is looking for him. Uh oh - it sounds like someone's cabana boy job is under threat.
Brandon finds Henry sipping a drink and watching The Young and the Restless on his balcony. He needlessly tells Brandon that he got himself a VCR so he can tape his stories and watch them at his leisure. Brandon comes right out and asks him if he's being fired, and Henry reveals that Jerry did, in fact, order him to be fired. Henry told Jerry he'd consider it, which he did...and promptly decided he wasn't going to do this rude, paunchy man's bidding. "Not everything at the club is bought and paid for", he assures Brandon. In other news, Sandy has abruptly quit her job...and for that we should all breathe one big sigh of relief.
Drama class. Brenda is regaling the class with the story her father told her about how much fun she had playing on the escalators when she got lost at the mall. Young Elvis calls this a "giant breakthrough". Brenda then notes how she wasn't afraid to be by herself at the age of six, even though she was in a department store surrounded by strangers. And by that rationale, she feels that there's no reason not to be like that today. And so the breakthrough continues.
Beverly Hills Beach Club. Paunchy Jerry is playing tennis with someone who looks like the same poor sod he was playing at the beginning of the episode. In an annoying moment of deja vu, Jerry makes a questionable shot and starts screeching that it was in. Just like before, Brandon is standing on the sidelines, watching. When's he's asked to make the call, he confirms that it was in...and tells a surprised Jerry that he calls 'em like he sees 'em.
Sandy is packing up her car, and Brandon walks over to say goodbye. She tells him she's leaving town to go stay with her mother and sister, and spread her misery through a whole new town. Yay! Apparently Jerry told her he loved her, and that he'd leave his wife and children for her...but that was two years ago, and she's no longer hopeful or as gullible. But their dialogue is almost like white noise to me because I'm so icked out by the disturbing mental image of her riding this paunchy man's baloney pony for two entire years that I just - I can't even.
Brandon runs into Dylan and offers to buy him some lemonade. Dylan agrees, but he's hungry so he wants some food as well. As the two friends lean against the railing, eating and drinking, they talk about the fucked up affair between Sandy and Jerry. A few minutes later, Ahn-drea and Brenda make their first appearance of the summer at the beach...and Kelly and Donna come by as well. They're laughing hysterically at Steve because apparently the hot young girl he's been trying to bone all week somehow has the hots for David Silver.
Later on, the gang spends the evening on the beach, once more hoping for a sighting of the grunion. Brenda and Dylan have a pleasant chat, and she tells him how happy she is that they can be in the same place even if they're no longer doinking. And then Donna, who's standing right by the edge of the water, spots the grunion! The funny looking fish wiggle around, lay their eggs, and everyone cheers.
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