Episode 20: You Can't Win Em All
By: Carlos Uribe
90210 is a show about wealthy kids who do business and go to college in the zip. Or something.
Things are getting more complicated with Silver. She's lost her best friend, Adrianna, by sleeping with Mark and she's slowly pushing people away as she continually demands people confirm to her desires. Her wish for a healthy baby is certainly understandable but her draconian control over every aspect of her surrogate's life is increasing the tension between the two of them. It doesn't help that Michaela doesn't believe that Dixon actually believed in her and she's hurt when she catches Adrianna sleeping with Navid. Suddenly Michaela has found herself without any friends so she decides to leave. Where has she gone? We don't know as all she left behind is a note in a very ambiguous cliff-hanger. Is she keeping the baby? Is she just leaving their lives until it's delivery date? Is she going on tour without Dixon and in opposition to Silver? I'm not entirely sure what's at stake here. This did leave the writers with a lot of room to go in the next episode but I was left more confused than excited to see where this goes. The drama built around it works well as Silver's ego-centrism puts her at odds with just about everybody who talks to her this week. Michaela is pushed away, Adrianna rebels against her, and Dixon's studio is at odds with her baby drama. There's multiple layers that are at work here and the writers manage to make them come together with a surprising amount of skill. The baby drama is a little bit old but I do find myself still liking the conflicts it's generating between the characters. Whatever the case, the show does need to move on especially as we're quickly approaching the end of the series.
A tell-all book might have allowed Annie to own her past but Mark is paying the consequences. Patrick has planted drugs in Mark's bag and it's not going to be a simple matter of making it go away. Mark might be innocent but he's on parole after not contesting a charge of trafficking narcotics. This basically means that it's likely for him to go to jail since that's basically what he was arrested for. The writers quickly have Mark point out that he was actually innocent. He took the fall for some of his former co-workers and there's sealed testimony that proves his innocence. Testimony that the defense hopes to use in an appeal case to have all charges dropped. There are a few things that don't make complete sense. He might have been on parole for an old crime but he did get arrested for trafficking drugs a second time. This would mean that while he can beat his old charge, he would still have to deal with his new one. Another problem is where the judge notes that it doesn't matter if there's an appeal but then changes when Jordan insists they'll win the appeal. That's like contradictory legal logic right there. I don't think it matters even if he didn't do the crime since he was still convicted for it and violated the terms of parole. The writers also felt the need to make the stakes higher for Mark than just going to jail. He's a father of twins and he's going to be missing their birthday because he's in jail. I love the sudden development that he's a dad simply because it was so random. They can't find out that he's in jail because if so then his ex-wife can take them to Vermont. They do find out which now serves as a way for the writers to get him out of the show. I'm not sure if this is meant to be instantly or if he'll actually leave in the finale. It was a solid plot but it had a lot of plot holes and sudden developments to completely work. It did do some good relationship work.
Annie has to live with the consequences of her actions. Mark has to miss his kid's birthdays but Liam is also angry for her for using him. She tries her best to make it better for him by getting him meetings with surfers so that they can be the face of his new company. Her attempt for a second chance doesn't happen until Liam paves his own way to hell with good intentions. He's dragged along to help Naomi with the birthday party for Mark's kids. Liam struggles with lying to the kids to present them with a fun birthday party or being honest with them and giving them what they want, their father. It's a moral question that skews him towards the latter because he was always lied to when he was a kid. He knows how it feels. He takes the kids to jail so they could spend their birthday with their dad. Only this effort backfires when he learns that there's a reason they were being kept in the dark. The ex-wife will take the kids to Vermont and Mark has to follow them to try and be a better father. Naomi will be losing her brother to a far-away location. In trying to do good, Liam accidentally messed up the lives for others. When that girl he was dating a few episodes comes back to apologize for dating him for the inheritance money, he decides he's going to start over his life over in Australia. He does find it in his heart to forgive Annie first. Overall, it's a big decision. Will the series end with Liam going to Australia? Will he read the end of Annie's book and realize she loves him? So many questions that might or might not be answered by the time the series draws to an end.
You Can't Win Em All is a good episode of 90210. The Silver baby drama skillfully encompasses a lot of elements even as it's overstayed it's welcome. Marks' prison drama was largely handled a lot better but some logic holes and sudden plot developments hurt it from completely working. The true strength in the episode is the multiple layers that were working in each plot to create a cohesive and entertaining whole. Only two episodes left in the series...and it looks like they're setting up for a pretty dramatic ending.