90210 S1E19: April Is The Cruelest Month
Awww yeah! Matthew Perry! In this episode, Brandon meets a new guy, and this guy writes a short story about killing his dad. Brandon becomes convinced that he is going to do it, but the joke’s on Brandon because really the guy wants to kill himself. I have a vivid memory of Matthew Perry holding a gun to his head in a pool house. I feel like this is the first 90210 episode I ever saw, so perhaps I saw the ones I’ve remembered thus far in reruns. The other SDYW girls and I used to watch 90210 in syndication when we were in high school.
Wow. Matthew Perry is so young! Here, he plays an overachiever named Roger Azarian that Brandon wants to interview for the school paper. Everyone is waiting for their SAT scores, and Brenda gets 1190: 630 math, 560 verbal. So this is the one where they get the same score, only reversed. Brandon gets 560 math, 630 verbal. Kelly gets a 1050. And everyone acts like an 1190 is a terrific score, which I don’t remember being the case.
Donna acts really weird whenever anyone mentions the SATs, so it becomes clear that she either bombed or got a perfect score. Brandon goes to Roger’s mansion to interview him and sees all the trappings of a charmed life, including a case of antique guns. Roger’s dad is charismatic, but Roger is uncomfortable around him. None of this is said aloud, it is just made obvious in their interaction. Roger hates the way his dad is always pulling strings and charming people into doing things for him – getting him into college, getting him an agent, blah blah blah. There is mention of “Roger’s screenplay,” which Roger then allows Brandon to read.
The screenplay is about a guy, who sounds suspiciously like Roger, plotting to kill his father. The more Brandon reads, the more he becomes convinced that Roger is going to kill his father. He then proceeds to tell everyone under the sun. Andrea blows him off, saying everyone has the urge to kill their parents. Donna is still acting weird. They have a test in class, and Donna doesn’t write a single thing in her blue book. She just sits there looking like she’s going to cry and then pretends that she has to go to the nurse.
Outside, Kelly and Brenda see Donna smoking with the riff-raff in the parking lot. Brenda is indignant. We cut to Roger at his therapist’s office, and he goes on about how he wishes his dad were dead. He returns home and gets one of his father’s guns, then bursts into his father’s office and shoots him. It’s all very dramatic, but it’s not real. It’s just Brandon’s imagination running wild as he reads.
Brandon corners Roger and they go back to his place. Brenda corners Donna at Fred Segal and forces her to admit that she got a 600, and she thinks she’s an idiot. Plus, her mom has told her she better find a rich guy because she’s too stupid to take care of herself. Yikes! I suddenly remember something about Donna being dyslexic.
And there it is. A well-meaning guidance counselor actually talks to Donna and figures out that she has a learning disability. Donna is resistant at first, but once she takes her first oral test she realizes she has nothing to be ashamed of.
Back at Roger’s house, his dad is pissed because his son didn’t get into Stanford. This leads to a terrible fight, and that night Brandon confronts Roger and learns that he doesn’t want to kill his dad. He wants to kill himself. There is a very emotional scene in which Roger cries and points a gun at himself in front of Brandon, but Brandon talks him down. And of course, Roger’s dad sees the error of his ways as well. In the end, a weeklong friendship with Brandon changes Roger’s entire life. Bitch please!