‘90210’: Brenda and Kelly scuffle! Sort of

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That’s it?

After all the hype of a Brenda-Kelly showdown, I admit I felt deflated when, mere moments after the blonde drama queen picked a fight with her once and seemingly future frienemy, there was suddenly détente. One moment, juicy lines like “I guess old habits die hard” and “I thought we’d moved past this already” were being hissed. And the next, the two women were hugging -- hugging! -- and going on about how happy they wanted the other to be. Let me understand this correctly: Brenda’s going off to meet up with Ryan, the scruffy-hot English teacher Kelly’s recently been dating, on the same day that Dylan, the man they’ve both loved, chooses to call her and not the mother of his child -- and there are no prolonged fireworks? Seriously?! In the original ‘90210' days, that kind of civilized behavior never would’ve made the first rewrite.

Fortunately, that wasn’t the end of the episode. By the time the end credits rolled, both Brenda and Kelly were looking more like the characters we’d expect them to be. Despite being left to raise Sammy alone for the past several years, co-dependent Kelly is still filled with such a burning need for the perpetually unavailable Dylan that she’s ditched the ready-and-willing Ryan and packed up for a two-week trip to see Mr. Sideburns in Wyoming. Brenda deletes their mutual ex from her cell phone in the name of friendship but, thankfully, proves she’s not a saint when she flirts with a rebounding Ryan, refers to Kelly as an “epic bullet” he was lucky to dodge (snap!), and decides to accept his offer for a ride home from the Pacific Coast Fashion Show. Loved all that. Though what happened between them afterwards? Since this was likely, sadly, Shannen Doherty’s final episode, we may never know for sure.

But one thing that is certain: 90210’s original queen bees will be sorely missed. I shudder to think how empty the halls of West Beverly are going to feel next week without Brenda and Kelly. Especially because the zip code’s newbies are still, overall, lacking zip. When Naomi, for the gazillionth time in only a few weeks, decided she just had to reunite her mother with her cheating father, I barely mustered the energy to write in my notes, “Please, for the love of God, just give up already.” I think Naomi and her on/off boyfriend Ethan might’ve broken up again, but he didn’t really seem to care and neither did I. Annie -- coming off the high of stepping into the lead role of the spring musical and the low of thinking her co-star/sort-of boyfriend Ty slept with the troubled Adrianna -- tried to take the high road, per her dad’s advice, and help her rival get back on the right track. As a reward for her trouble, she was promptly accused of being a narc. But it’s kinda hard to feel sorry for a character who’s growing more annoying by the episode -- not to mention one who gets waaay too excited about landing an audition for a slasher flick about Beverly Hills cheerleaders at a cheer camp.

Even Silver, one of the new characters with more promise, got a wack storyline this week about disapproving -- then almost immediately wanting to be part -- of the modeling world. As a result, the girl who grows skinnier by the scene was given the most ridiculous line of the night: “I reject the unrealistic expectations that the modeling industry pushes on the average woman.” Um…kudos to her for keeping a straight face?


Are you warming to the new characters? Will you miss old-schoolers Brenda and Kelly? And are you as curious as I am about Brenda’s revelation that Brandon now has a “family”? Hmmm…I wonder what said family thinks of his 3 a.m. phone calls to ex Kelly.…

-- Shawna Malcom