90210 S1E11: B.Y.O.B.

I’m thinking this is the one where Brandon drives drunk, although I thought that happened at prom. I remember some car accident with people nearby who hear or see the crash, but now that I think of it I have a distinct memory of Brandon’s shocked face as he stands in the street. So someone else must drive drunk at some point. Maybe Emily Valentine? Anyway, this is also the episode where we find out that Dylan is an alcoholic.

Donna has a party when her parents go out of town, and Brandon doesn’t want to drink. So, Steve offers to make him a virgin margarita but spikes it. Because he’s an asshole, apparently. When Brenda says she didn’t think Kelly drank, Kelly says, “My mother drinks. I sip.” Then she “sips” so much that she ends up sleeping with Steve. And just last episode the seminar speaker with AIDS told the students that they shouldn’t have sex “because you drink too much one night.” It’s all about juxtaposition.

A few drinks in, when Brandon realizes his mocktails have a little kick, he is furious. But everyone stares at him and, not wanting to cause a scene, he keeps drinking. At the end of the night, he drives home while he and Brenda giggle about trying not to hit anything. Surprisingly, there is never any discussion of this being wrong. I guess the show is trying to make a point about being lulled into a false sense of security.

When the Walsh parents go on a corporate retreat, the kids have a party of their own, making a pact that they won’t drink. Kelly uses her “I sip” line again and Brenda is super judgmental. She is then shocked to find Brandon drinking. Dylan tries to talk to Brandon, who says everything is fine. I’m kind of confused by how upset everyone is about Brandon drinking. I guess going from teetotaler to wasted is kind of weird, but it’s not like he drinks all the time. Brandon kisses Andrea, but she knows that he’s only doing it because he’s drunk so she storms out of the party. Considering that she has liked him since the start of the show, Andrea has tremendous willpower.

Kelly, trying to get away from Steve, grabs David to dance. When they run out of booze, Brandon and Steve both go to pick up more refreshments. But Brandon gets into a car accident, gets arrested, and spends the night in jail. Brandon is embarrassed and lashes out at Brenda when she tries to talk to him. Then Dylan shows up. Brandon feels like a huge disappointment, and wants to get drunk just to show his parents he can do whatever he wants. Dylan takes Brandon to a teen AA meeting, and we learn that Dylan is an alcoholic. Also, BTW, he’s finally wearing a Dylan-appropriate outfit: dark jeans, white tee, black jacket.

Meanwhile, at the corporate retreat Jim and Cindy meet a couple that wants them to swing. There’s not much plot here; the storyline just adds humor.

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