The Moral of the Story: If your parents won’t let you do what you want, threaten to defect to another country.
The Big Deal: Ze Germans are coming.
Townsperson with a Problem: Christoph, doesn’t like gymnastics
Ten East German gymnast boys are coming to Sweet Valley for some kind of gymnastics exhibition. Caroline Pearce has been bragging that one of the boys, Christoph Beckmann, will be staying with her family. But wait! Caroline’s grandmother gets sick so Christoph will be staying with the Wakefields instead. Steven is upset because he thinks the East Germans are spies. The twins think he’s an idiot.
Sweet Valley is apparently important enough to have its very own international airport, and the mayor – along with almost everyone else in town – is there to welcome the gymnasts. There’s a stage and everything, so Jessica is feeling pretty self-important. The Wakefields take Christoph home and feed him a typical American dinner of hamburgers and French fries (the twins’ idea, natch). Liz asks Christoph about his family and he tells them his father was a gymnast who never made it to the Olympics because of an injury. He seems really down about the whole conversation, so I imagine Elizabeth will want to do something about that in the near future.
While the twins argue the next morning over who’s going to hang out with the kid, Steven steals Christoph away to play basketball. He’s gotten over his fear of spies and has decided to take Christoph to the SVH football game, ruining Jessica’s plan for Christoph to meet the Unicorns at the Dairi Burger and Liz’s hopes of an interview for the Sixers. The twins reluctantly go to the football game because at least that way they’ll get to hang out with Christoph and maybe he’ll answer some of Liz’s interview questions. After the game, they take Christoph out for his very first ever pizza, then they explore every store in the mall and have some ice cream. Christoph says this is way more fun than practicing gymnastics, which makes Liz worry about him again.
The next day, the kids are all hanging in Steve’s room listening to records. Christoph says he wants to be a drummer in a rock band but his dad won’t let him do anything besides gymnastics. Liz feels sorry for him. A couple of Christoph’s teammates, Bruno and Konrad, come over. Konrad seems okay, but Bruno disapproves of listening to records when a person could be working out and practicing gymnastics. What a downer. He’s also a jerk the next day at school. The boys put on a mock competition for all the gym classes, and Bruno shoves Christoph when Christoph scores better than he does.
After school, we meet more of Christoph’s teammates: Viktor, Dieter, Hans, Oskar, and Max. Everyone’s having a great time until Bruno comes along and yells at Christoph in German. Christoph gets pissed and storms out, so Jessica follows him to make sure he doesn’t get lost on the way home. Along the way, we learn that Bruno has threatened to tell Christoph’s parents that he hasn’t been working very hard, and that would be terrible because Christoph’s dad is a total Nazi about gymnastics. (You all knew that joke was coming.) They pass a music store and Christoph gazes wistfully at the drum set in the window and Jessica feels sorry for him.
Two days later there’s an exhibition at the high school. Bruno lies and tells Christoph the time of the exhibition has been changed to eight o’clock, so Christoph is late. His coach is a dick and won’t let Christoph perform. Because he was unable to practice, he performs very badly the next night at a big important competition. He mopes around, worrying about his father’s reaction, until the big dance the next night, when Liz arranges for him to play drums with the band.
The boys are supposed to go home the next day, but Christoph is feeling sick. His coach comes over and says Christoph will have to stay where he is for a few days. Coach will come back on Thursday to take him home. Christoph spends the next few days in bed, until the twins find out he’s been faking. They confront him and he says he doesn’t want to go back to East Germany. His mother calls and he tells her he’s defecting to America.
The twins talk to their parents, and they say they’ll have a chat with Christoph, but Jessica has a Big Plan. Christoph’s birthday is the next day, and Jessica wants to throw him a party that will make him homesick. So, at the party they serve strudel and play some German music and then Christoph’s dad calls and tells him he doesn’t have to do gymnastics anymore if he doesn’t want to. His sister tells him he’s getting a new drum set for his birthday. Crisis averted.
Setup for the next book: The twins have won tickets to the Melody Power concert next week.
“Hi, girls.” Mrs. Wakefield greeted them cheerfully when they entered the kitchen. Then she took a sizzling roast from the oven.
The Cover: Argh, Elizabeth does not wear purple! Also, not sure why Christoph is her new hero. I don’t recall him doing anything heroic.
And now some funny German stuff:
You guys, I’m SO SORRY I’ve been AWOL lately. I’ve been so busy with the holidays and laziness and thinking up excuses for my absence. I promise to make an effort to not stay away so long. I’m currently reading the next SVT book, which features Liz being irritating and Jessica acting superior. The recap will be up soon.
In other news, I love all your comments. I decided to install a plugin so we can thumbs-up our favorites. I’ve been wasting time today, going back through the comments and liking the ones like this.
The Big Deal: Acting workshop performance
Townsperson with a Problem: Mrs. Harrington, old and depressed
Alice is driving the twins around town one day when a dachshund runs into the road and she has to slam on the brakes, causing a fender bender. The old lady in the car behind them is moaning about how much her neck hurts, so Alice takes her to the hospital. Between Jessica’s complaints about how late she’s going to be to her Unicorn meeting, Alice mentions that she thinks Mrs. Harrington looks familiar. The old biddy doesn’t have any injuries, but she has to wear a neck brace for a week or two and stay in the hospital overnight, because that’s apparently something you do when you don’t have any injuries.
Liz and Alice go back to visit her the next day, and Liz asks intrusive questions about Mrs. Harrington’s family (no kids, dead husband). Liz frets about how lonely she must be. When they get home, Jessica tells them she was watching an old movie called Winds of Eden, and Mrs. Harrington played the lead (before she got married and changed her first name to Mrs. and her last name to Harrington). Now that she knows Mrs. Harrington is someone important, Jessica wants to go visit her. So she and Liz walk to her house and find her crying because someone robbed her house while she was in the hospital. Apparently, all they took is the scrapbook that meant everything in the world to her. She’s having a terrible couple of days.
Jessica starts going to Mrs. Harrington’s house every day after school to help clean things up, while Liz moves on to more important things, like adopting a stray kitten Amy and Belinda found. This adorable kitten is being adorable all over the Wakefield house while the twins discuss getting Mrs. Harrington a dog because she seems so lonely. One of Steven’s friends is giving away puppies, so the twins get Ken to help them pick one out and they bring it to Mrs. Harrington. The woman is not pleased. She tells them a dog is too much for her. Liz takes the dog back, and Jessica stays behind to read the paper to Mrs. Harrington. In doing so, she finds out there’s an acting workshop for aspiring young actors. She thinks it sounds like a lot of work, but Mrs. Harrington convinces her to do it.
For the next four weeks, Mrs. Harrington helps Jessica learn her lines for the workshop’s performance. Jessica is supposed to bring a kite to the dress rehearsal, so she and Liz go to the flea market to find one. Liz is going through the book stall when she finds one of Mrs. Harrington’s books. Figuring this must be the guy who robbed the old lady, Jessica buys the book while Liz gets the vendor’s license plate number. They give it to the police and then Jessica is off to dress rehearsal. After rehearsal, the twins go back to the police station. In the short time since the twins left, the police managed to track down the burglar, search his house and get him to confess. Officer Carey lets the girls take Mrs. Harrington’s precious scrapbook so they can give it to her themselves.
When Jessica gets to the auditorium that night for the big show, she’s told her partner, Martin, has let his stage fright get the best of him and Jessica’s segment has been canceled. Mrs. Harrington won’t stand for this! She knows this play like the back of her hand, so she makes a stunning transformation into Dolores Dufay and performs with Jessica. She has so much fun that she decides to come out of retirement. And she’s thrilled when the twins present her with her scrapbook, and touched when they give her the kitten.
Setup for the next book: Some boys from the East German gymnastics team are coming to Sweet Valley.
“With this brace on my neck, it will probably take me weeks just to put everything back where it belongs.”
Yeah, yeah, your neck hurts. But then a couple of chapters later…
And with that, Mrs. Harrington herself squatted in the middle of the kitchen floor with her arms tucked back along her sides like wings. Then she began to dart her heard quickly from side to side in a perfect imitation of a chicken.
Hmm, I guess her neck only hurts when there’s a set of twins around to do her housework for her. Seems just fine when she wants to show Jessica how to be a chicken. (Wouldn’t you feel so awkward if an old lady you hardly knew got down on the floor and imitated a chicken for you?)
The Cover: What an awkward shot. I hope that’s not her costume.
The Big Deal: Sweet Valley Days
Classmate with a Problem: Sandra Ferris, tall nerd
Kerry Glenn has a party and her mom makes her invite Sandra Ferris. Total bummer. Sandra is tall and shy so nobody likes her. Jessica wants to make everyone get Kerry ballet themed presents, but she neglects to call Sandra. So Sandra gets her gloves. Gloves. In a town where the sun never stops shining and it’s always beach weather. Naturally, everyone kind of snickers and makes Sandra feel like an idiot, so Sandra locks herself in the study to cry. Liz swoops in and tells Sandra it’s okay if she’s tall and then invites her to ride bikes the next day.
Jessica is trying to sew a lace collar onto a sweater one afternoon when Sandra appears in her doorway and starts giving her sewing tips. Jessica is annoyed, but she’s placated when Sandra says she wishes she were as pretty and popular as Jessica. Obviously, it’s time for a fakeover. Jessica and Liz braid Sandra’s hair and give her a new shirt and suddenly she’s gorgeous! They take her for a walk around the block to show off their handiwork. Ricky Capaldo, Aaron Dallas and Tom McKay ride by and tell Sandra how much better she looks than usual (Sandra giggles and thanks them, which makes me want to puke) and then brother Steven suggests Sandra play beach volleyball with him and his buddies sometime.
The next day at school, all anyone can talk about is Sandra’s new look and they don’t even notice Jessica’s new lacy sweater. And Jessica can’t believe Sandra isn’t telling everyone the makeover was her idea. Sandra sits with the Unicorns at lunch and Jessica is SO MAD when Bruce comes over and flirts with Sandra. Then the lace falls off one of Jessica’s sleeves and lands in her macaroni and everyone laughs. Jessica HATES Sandra now.
The next day, everyone is still talking about Sandra and her new look. Sandra’s feeling so good about herself now that she’s no longer embarrassed when she knocks things over in home ec. Her newfound confidence has even given her the ability to play volleyball in gym class. She’s not too shy to raise her hand in social studies, and we find out Spanish settlers arrived in the area in 1788 but Sweet Valley wasn’t established as a town until 1857, a fact that I’m sure has been contradicted in plenty of other books. That bit of history has been brought up because we’re having Sweet Valley Days to “honor the early settlers” of Sweet Valley. One lucky sixth-grader will win the honor of introducing Mayor Lodge at a special assembly the school is having to celebrate Sweet Valley Days. Now we’re celebrating our celebrations. Jessica wants Liz to nominate her. She also wants to win the citizenship thing that will get her a place on the float in the parade. She figures then everyone will stop talking about Sandra and pay attention to her instead.
Sandra has been feeling confused and she’s worried everyone only likes her now because she’s so pretty. She figures if she gets to introduce the mayor, then she’ll feel like she’s not only beautiful, but also smart and talented and stuff. She asks Liz to nominate her and Liz says she will, even though she already promised to nominate Jessica. Oh, Liz. When she breaks the news, Jessica tells Liz she’s convinced Sandra is pretending to be shy just to get more popularity or something. She can’t think about it too much though because she’s busy designing the dress she’s going to wear on the float in the parade.
Sandra wins the introducing-the-mayor thing, and then she has the CRAZY idea to try for the citizenship thing, too. Jessica is mad that she’s trying to win both (even though she wanted to do the same thing). She goes out of her way to be the best citizen in Sweet Valley, but Sandra one-ups her at every turn. If Jessica donates a dollar to the literacy fund, Sandra donates two. HOW DARE THAT BITCH TRY TO BE A GOOD PERSON. Jessica finds out the library has been trying to raise money to repair their bookmobile, and she vows to come up with a super great plan to help them out. Steven tells her about how the seniors at SVH raised money for their prom last year by publishing commemorative books and selling ads to local businesses.
The next morning at school, Sandra overhears Jessica telling Liz about her idea. All she really hears is, “…the library needs money to repair their bookmobile,” and, “…sell ads to raise the money.” This makes her remember her older sister telling her about the seniors raising money for the prom last year and she comes up with the exact same idea as Jessica to publish books for Sweet Valley Days. She gets to Mrs. Arnette before Jessica does. Jessica is upset (rightly so, for once in her life) and she confronts Sandra, who insists she didn’t steal any ideas and besides, Jessica’s always been popular and now it’s someone else’s turn and she, Sandra, deserves to win. Well then. She introduces her bookmobile idea along with the mayor and then everyone votes for her to win the citizenship award.
Sandra goes to make up with the twins, but finds Steven playing basketball in the driveway. She tries to tell him that she didn’t steal the idea, and Steven says he was there when Jessica thought it up. Then Sandra remembers the things she overheard Jessica saying about raising money and LIGHTBULB! Gee, maybe she really did steal that idea! She shows up at the Wakefield house the morning of the parade and tells Jessica to take her place. Now that Jessica’s getting what she wants, she can be magnanimous. She knows Sandra has been doing a lot of work on the booklets, so she says she’ll be satisfied with riding on the float, and Sandra can take credit for the booklets.
Setup for the next book: Jessica wants to be an actress. (Again? Yawn.)
There was a picture of purple cotton pants with elastic at the ankles and one of a blue gym uniform with spangles, plus a dozen other designs.
These are Jessica’s clothing designs. She should have no trouble getting a job with American Apparel.
“Hold on,” Jessica interrupted. “There’s nothing wrong with being tall and thin. And you could wear your hair differently.” She jumped up and pushed Sandra’s hair away from her face. “Yes, that’s it.” She nodded approvingly. “That looks better.”
I hate fakeovers. I hate fakeovers so much.
Sandra walked around in a state of shock. She felt sure she must be dreaming. Any minute she would wake up and discover she was still clumsy and unpopular.
Apparently, when Jessica made her over, she somehow made Sandra less clumsy.
The Cover: That’s it? That’s the makeover? What the hell did she look like before if a tank top and mall bangs is enough to make her the most talked about kid at school?
Aaron texts the twins to tell them Robin Platt is really Mona Thomas, and that Mona got fired from Warner Gas for embezzling money to support a drug habit. Liz marches into the rehab center in Lexington and demands to know about Mona. The facility director buys her story about being Mona’s sister and proceeds to break every confidentiality law in existence. She says Mona was never good with the twelve steps and she was only a patient for eight months about two years ago. Liz manages to find out that the real Robin Platt was the only visitor Mona ever had.
Liz does a little research online and finds a Facebook page for a Robert Platt. Robert pretty much matches Robin’s description and Liz figures it all out. Robin and Mona were friends. Robin moved to New York, had a sex change operation and became Robert. Mona moved to L.A. and started working for – and sleeping with – Rick Warner. When he caught her stealing from the company, he blackmailed her into ruining Bruce’s life, but she had to change her name because he couldn’t have Mona Thomas on the books anymore or something. Liz is quite sure all of this is fact.
Jessica calls Bruce in France and tells him he needs to come home. Jess has been having a rough time lately. Nobody likes her anymore except Liam, and she can’t stand him anymore. Even Lila hasn’t answered her texts in weeks. Meanwhile, Lila is hurt because Jessica’s been sending her mean messages on Facebook about how selfish and horrible she is. This is the first we’ve heard about these messages. Hmm.
True Housewives has a live special to announce Lila’s real pregnancy. Ken happens to catch it while channel surfing and he’s super pissed that Lila would try to trick him again. He speeds over to the house and crashes the broadcast, lifting Lila’s shirt and yelling, “Fraud!” Everyone is shocked when they see she’s not wearing padding or anything and her stomach really does have a baby in it. Ken immediately forgets every terrible thing Lila has ever done.
Liam wants to have lunch with Jessica and he won’t take no for an answer. When Jessica gets to her house, she finds Liam trying to play with Jake, who seems terrified. Liam sent Liza the nanny home so he and Jessica could talk. Jessica tells Liam things aren’t working out and she wants to stop seeing him, and Liam freaks out. He says he knows about Jessica’s dates with Michael and Cal the lawyer, and the reason they – and Lila – stopped calling Jessica was because Liam created a duplicate of Jessica’s Facebook page and sent them mean messages. Jessica is horrified and she tries to get Liam to leave, but he won’t. He’s being a total psycho. He says he wants Jessica to have sex with him so she has to put Jake down for his nap. Jessica shuts Jake into his room, and as soon as the door is closed, Jake starts playing with Jessica’s phone. Todd calls and Jake answers it and says the “scary toy man” is there. Todd is pissed because he told Jessica he didn’t want Liam spending time with Jake, so he drops whatever it is he’s doing to go yell at Jessica.
Meanwhile, Liz has flown back to Sweet Valley and she goes to Mona’s house, arriving just in time to see Mona dragging a suitcase out the door. She makes Mona talk to her and finds out she was right about almost everything. The only thing she had wrong was Mona’s relationship with Warner. He was making her sleep with him, threatening to have her arrested if she refused. He also liked to record his rapes and Mona managed to get a copy of one where he was saying things like, “And you’ll tell them it was Patman who did this to you…” Ugh, I might throw up. Mona gives the video to Liz, and Liz calls Annie and tells her everything. But for some reason she makes Annie promise not to tell Bruce she was the one who figured it all out.
Back at Jessica’s, things are going horribly. Liam has Jessica pinned and is trying to make her, you know, do stuff with him. She’s gotten hold of a pair of nail scissors and she stabs them into his neck, but it doesn’t do much to deter him because he’s a fucking psychopath. Todd bursts in just in the nick of time. He can see what’s happening and immediately goes into TODD SMASH mode. He picks up Liam and throws him against the wall while Jessica calls 911. After Todd beats Liam up for a while and the cops have come and taken Liam away, Todd and Jessica declare their undying love for one another.
Annie and Mona go to the prosecutor and lay everything out for him. The charges against Bruce are dropped and he gives a press conference the next morning. Everyone shows up; Lila and Ken, Todd and Jessica, Aaron and Steve, even the perpetually vacationing Wakefield parents. Liz feels left out since she’s the only one who isn’t part of a couple, but then Bruce starts his speech and says he wants to thank someone super important and special who never stopped believing in him and blah blah blah. Liz thinks he might still love her after all, but then he says the woman he loves is Annie Whitman.
And then the book ends. Lame. Lamesauce to the max.
But at his core, Ken was not a complicated man; he just wanted to be with his pretty wife and have cute babies crawling around on the rug.
No, Ken is not a complicated man. He’s a fucking idiot.
The hairs on the back of Jessica’s neck rose a little as she realized that Liam might be capable of something seriously violent. Liam stood wearing his black T-shirt and dark-wash jeans, his muscles tensed, like a cobra ready to strike.
Psychos always wear dark clothing.
“And here’s the video.” Elizabeth handed Annie a Memory Stick.
Memory Stick is capitalized every time, I can’t figure out why.
We pick things back up in France, where Annie tells Bruce she can’t have sex with him. He loses his temper, presumably because his entire life sucks and he can’t even get Easy Annie to sleep with him, so he goes outside and knocks things over for a while. Meanwhile, Liz is hanging out at her parents’ house, getting drunk on wine and feeling sorry for herself. She suddenly decides she’s been terribly foolish and she vows to get to the bottom of things, starting with going to Robin’s hometown in Kentucky to see if she really is who she says she is.
And speaking of Jessica, she has decided to date Michael Wilson. Liam is pressuring her to be exclusive, but she’s not ready for that (and she’s really not that into him, anyway). Besides, Liam’s out of town, so she can go to dinner with Michael as much as she wants, though she’s taking things slowly and not sleeping with him. Things are going quite well until he suddenly stops answering her calls. At work the next day, he tells her she’s lost the Maybelline account because details about something or other were leaked on Facebook. Jessica knows Emily, her bratty assistant, is the one behind all this. She’s sure of it after she finds out Emily is the daughter of Tracy Courtright’s best friend. Jessica is feeling pretty down about things, so she goes out and has a fantastic date with a lawyer named Cal. Then he never calls her again. She’s worried she’s losing her touch. Liam comes back into town with flowers for Jessica and a toy for Jake. He tells Jessica he wants her to come spend the night with him and gets annoyed when she says no. So he proposes to her and gets annoyed again when she says no. What is wrong with this guy? Todd brings Jake home after they hang out one day, and Jake cries when Todd leaves. Jessica decides this whole thing is bullshit and she’s going to get Todd back (already tried that, didn’t she?). The first thing she has to do is get rid of Liam. She can hardly stand him anyway.
The paparazzi have found Bruce, so there are pictures all over the internet. Caroline sends Liz a picture of Bruce and Annie laughing over dinner in beautiful France, and there’s a good two pages of Liz trying to convince herself that Annie wouldn’t sleep with Bruce. Caroline decides to dig deeper into this Annie-Bruce thing, so she interviews Charlie Markus, Annie’s ex-husband. He’s adamant that Annie is a sex addict and that if she’s alone with Bruce, they must be sleeping together.
Oh, Caroline’s blog is pearcingbitches.com. Can someone please make that a real thing?
Liz doesn’t have much luck in Kentucky. Robin appears to have been telling the truth about everything in her past, and the only thing Liz learns is that Robin is probably a lesbian. Aaron goes back to Warner Gas and finds out about a woman named Mona Thomas. She was an accountant’s assistant who was fired for stealing money from the company to support her drug habit. Aaron’s phone falls out of his pocket and Nola the receptionist can see the picture of Robin he’d been looking at. She asks Aaron why he has a picture of Mona on his phone.
Everyone in America hates Lila. #LiarLila is now trending on Twitter and Jimmy Fallon is doing jokes about her. Ken is hooking up with Ashley Morgan. Jessica and Enid are the only people who know that Lila is really pregnant. Jessica is worried because Lila isn’t answering her calls or returning her voicemails.
No matter how hard it was, or how much heartbreak she was suffering, she had to find a way to move on. If that meant using Liam and Michael like crutches until she could walk on her own two feet, that’s exactly what she planned to do.
At least she’s honest about her whorishness.
Lila is finally a star. Now that she’s got Ken back and everyone hates Ashley Morgan, Lila is the most popular True Housewife and #lilafowler and #lilasbaby are trending topics on Twitter. There is that pesky fake pregnancy she’s got going on, but she plans to have a miscarriage at a dinner party given by Ashley, who wants to regain some of her lost popularity. Lila freaks out when she’s served raw fish and she accuses Ashley of trying to kill her baby. She puts on the dramatics and cries to Ken about Ashley all the way home, and then she fakes some cramps and locks herself in the bathroom.
Caroline Pearce hasn’t gotten hold of any good gossip lately, so she makes an appointment with Enid Rollins. Apparently, the gynecologist’s office is the best place to get some gossip. Enid isn’t happy to see Caroline, not after Caroline blogged about Enid’s affair with married pool salesman Brad Jones a few months ago. Lila is one of Enid’s patients, so Caroline asks how Lila’s been since the miscarriage. Enid is too cool to watch True Housewives and has no idea what Caroline is talking about. She says Lila can’t possibly have had a miscarriage because Enid saw her recently and she wasn’t even pregnant. Then Enid asks Caroline not to repeat that. Yeah, right. Caroline sells her story about Lila’s fake pregnancy to TMZ and it doesn’t take long before it’s all over the television. Ken manages to string more than three words together to tell Lila he’s done, he’s filing for divorce and he never wants to see her again. After he leaves, Lila throws up a few times and then realizes she hasn’t had a period in a while. She takes a test and yep, it turns out she is actually pregnant. Oh, Lila.
After Bruce disappears, Liz tells her editor, Tim White, she can’t run her Jane Doe interview because she just can’t do that to Bruce. Tim says he doesn’t want to have to fire her, so Liz quits her job. Why in the world did he ever put her on that story to begin with? Liz is still convinced Rick Warner is behind this whole thing and she needs someone to go undercover at Warner Gas headquarters. She decides – arbitrarily, it seems – that Aaron Dallas is the perfect choice. Aaron and Steve recently went to New York to get married, so I guess now Liz feels like Aaron is family and has to help her.
The Warner building is some big deal glass high rise, so Aaron pretends to be an architecture student doing research for his thesis. Nola the receptionist gives him a tour of the building, and when she leaves for lunch, Aaron hops on her computer and starts going through the employee records. He doesn’t find a Robin Platt, but he does find a Rose Pally who went on paid extended leave about a week before Bruce allegedly attacked Robin. Aaron emails everything to Liz, who sends it on to Annie and Jessica. But then Aaron finds out Rose Pally is not Robin Platt so we’re back to square one.
Liz tells Annie she thinks Bruce is probably at his villa in France, so Annie flies there to try to get Bruce to go home. Bruce doesn’t want to talk about the case and takes her to lunch instead. Annie is all googly-eyed by the wine and the wealth and the gorgeous Bruce Patman, and she thinks about the time they had sex in high school, back when she was Easy Annie. Meanwhile, Bruce realizes he needs to be “the old Bruce” if he’s going to win this thing and he figures the best way to get his cockiness back is to have sex with Annie. They tumble into bed and Annie keeps thinking “Should I? Shouldn’t I?” and the chapter ends and we don’t know if she did or not.
Jessica has gone back to work and she’s miserable. Tracy Courtright is in her old office and Jessica is in a cubicle. She hates her assistant, Emily, and Tracy keeps shooting down all her ideas. Jessica is too depressed to care, though. The only thing she cares about now is clearing Bruce’s name so he and Liz can get back together. She gets an email from Caroline one day with a link to another TMZ headline: “Liam’s New Flame, Jessica Wakefield, in Bitter Divorce Battle.” Jessica didn’t file for divorce, so Todd must have. Rather than call Todd to do some fact-checking, Jessica takes Michael Wilson to dinner, presumably to seduce him. And when Todd sees the news, he assumes Jessica has filed for divorce, so he goes ahead and has sex with Sarah. She’s been living with him this whole time but nothing has happened between them until now. As soon as Todd falls asleep, Sarah texts Caroline and lets her know she and Todd are officially a couple now. Sigh. Sarah’s the one who told Caroline that Todd was filing for divorce. She hates Jessica for getting her fired and so she’s going to steal Todd from her.
“Something wrong?” Robin asked, and the meanness and suspicion had disappeared from her voice. Now there was only worry.
Instantly, Elizabeth felt flooded with shame. She’d doubted Robin based on something less than a hunch.
I hate you, Elizabeth.
Liz gets a phone call in the middle of the night. It’s Robin, freaking out because Bruce was just arrested for trying to break into her house. Liz races over there, feeling guilty about all the lies she’s been telling. Did I mention she’s told Robin her name is Laura? Robin starts to say she could use a drink, but then stops herself and looks sheepishly at Liz. Hmm.
Bruce manages to send a text to Elizabeth before the cops take his phone away, but of course she ignores it because she doesn’t want Robin to see it. Bruce’s lawyer, Ben, comes to bail him out and they prepare to face the paparazzi outside the police station. Just then Bruce’s old friend Missy shows up. Missy Le Grange and her family have been rich country club friends of the Patman family for years, and Missy has never been able to figure out why Bruce isn’t in love with her. At the police station, she asks why Liz isn’t there and then insults all reporters in general. Bruce is already gone by the time Liz bothers to show up, and another reporter tells her he drove off with a woman in a white Bentley. Liz knows that’s Missy’s car and immediately feels jealous.
Bruce’s PI calls and says he found out Liz helped Robin get into her new house. He even sends Bruce a picture of Liz’s signature on the lease. Bruce sends Liz a “WE NEED TO TALK” text (everyone in Sweet Valley texts in all caps) and makes Missy take him home. When Liz shows up, Bruce tells her he knows she’s been helping Robin and he wants to know why. Liz says she was just trying to find out what really happened, and suggests that maybe Bruce had a seizure. She says something about Bruce’s mother’s “condition” and Bruce freaks out, grabbing her by the arms and yelling at her. Liz runs away to live at her parents’ house.
Jessica’s been depressed since Todd left her at the restaurant, but that doesn’t stop her from going out with Liam a couple of days later. Her old boss, Michael, calls during dinner and begs her to come back to work. Liam tells her she shouldn’t go back, and Jessica gets irritated. Whatever, she doesn’t want to go back anyway because she’s holding out hope that Todd will love her again one day. A few days later, Todd sees a tabloid with a picture of Jessica and Liam kissing. TODD SMASH. He goes home and Sarah is waiting on his doorstep. She’s been kicked out of her apartment because she has no money. Todd feels guilty because it’s all his fault (and by that he means it’s all Jessica’s fault) that Sarah lost her job, so he tells Sarah to move in with him.
After Bruce’s arrest, Jessica takes a break from worrying about her love life. Ben Bookman is useless as a defense attorney, so Jessica makes Bruce hire Annie Whitman. Meanwhile, Liz’s editor finds out she knows who “Jane Doe” is and tells her she’s in big trouble unless she can convince Robin to give an interview. Robin reacts strangely when Liz tells her the truth about who she is. She’s angry for about two seconds, and then quickly agrees to do the interview as long as her name is kept out of it. Liz thinks something is off.
Let’s take a break from all that nonsense and check in on the Land of Lila, where things are working out beautifully. Not everyone believes Lila is actually pregnant, but she’s got the Twitterverse on her side. People are sending Ken hate tweets because he’s going on dates with Ashley Morgan while his pregnant wife sits around pining for him. Ken and Ashley show up at Lila’s house during a taping (is the show always filmed at Lila’s house?), and Ashley tries to hit Lila. Ken says, “Back away from my wife!” And then Ken and Lila go upstairs and have sex.
And in other Stupid News, Aaron and Steven have hired an idiot woman named Agneta to watch Emma now that Aaron is going back to work. Agneta takes Emma to the park, where they chat with Melissa, a woman who has been hanging around the park the last few weeks. Melissa has told Agneta she gave birth to a stillborn baby recently. The women sit on a bench and talk for a bit, and then go to the other side of the park to the baby swings. Agneta can’t find her phone and realizes it must still be on the bench. Melissa says she’ll watch Emma while Agneta goes back to the bench. Agneta thinks maybe it’s not such a good idea because she doesn’t know Melissa that well, but whatevs, she needs her phone! So instead of saying, “I’d better stay with the baby, can you get it?” or just picking the baby up and taking her along, she leaves Emma with Melissa while she strolls to the other side of the park and then moseys back to the swings, answering texts from her boyfriend along the way. When she gets back to the swings, Melissa and Emma are gone.
Everyone ends up at Steve and Aaron’s that night when the news gets around. When Agneta starts describing Melissa to the police, Steve realizes she’s talking about Linda Carson, the surrogate who carried Emma. Everyone sits around worrying for a few hours, and suddenly they hear Emma crying outside. Steven and Aaron open the door and find Emma with a note pinned to her blanket. This is what the note says: “Can’t stand that wail anymore! She’s all yours! Thank God!” Steven thanks his lucky stars for the “Jessica gene” that he’s sure gave Emma her piercing cry, and then starts a daycare at the law firm for other employees with kids. Being with other kids makes her happy and Aaron stops spoiling her so much. And everyone lived happily ever after.
Well, that was a nice interlude. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jessica is sick of this Todd-being-an-absent-father business, and she gets especially upset when Jake says it’s not fair that Emma has two dads and he has none. She decides the best thing to do is just go to Todd’s and get him back. (It took her weeks to think of that.) When Jessica rings the bell, Sarah answers the door wearing nothing but a black lace teddy. Sounds legit. That’s how I always answer the door.
Bruce is sulking around his sad, empty mansion one day and thinking about his mother and her condition, which turns out to have been bipolar disease. Bruce worries that he might have the same thing, and what if the reason he can’t remember anything from that night at the bar is because he’s crazy like his mother? I don’t think being bipolar makes you forgetful, but what do I know? And hey, he might really be insane, because he decides to hop a plane and leave the country. This is the day Annie finds out he’s going to be charged with felony sexual assault. She was hopeful that things could still be okay as long as Bruce didn’t do anything crazy, but, well, bipolar!
Jessica had offered her the guest bedroom, but she had turned it down, deciding to stay at the Wakefields while they were on another one of their endless cruises.
I was wondering where they were.
Back at her stylish townhome…
Jessica’s place is always described as her stylish townhome.