Television Review: 90210, "Life's a Drag"
by R.J. Carter
Published: March 31, 2009
With a title like "Life's a Drag," I came into this episode wonder which of the male cast members was going to go the Milton Berle route and put on a skirt. But that's not the kind of drag the writers mean, which becomes obvious later in the story.
The episode has three focal points: Naomi's preoccupation with Liam (Heroes' Matt Lanter), Annie's mistakes with Ethan (Dustin Milligan), and Erin's completely "Fatal Instinct" obsession with Dixon (Tristan Wilds).
After having sent a bottle of champagne to Liam's place, Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) is embarrassed to find out that Liam isn't a living-on-his-own bartender, but a high school aged kid whose mother thought he was attending West Beverly Hills High instead of mixing martinis. Now he actually has to show up for class, which doesn't thrill him in the slightest. In fact, even though he's there in body, he's not there in spirit, refusing to participate and creating a situation where Naomi volunteers to tutor him. Surprise, he's actually smarter than she is -- he just doesn't like the structured learning process. He's an autodidact, who'd rather experience life in action rather than from a book. And when Naomi tags along with him on one of his secret nighttime excursions, she experiences just a little of what it's like to be Liam -- and she likes it!
Meanwhile, Ethan is still upset with Annie (Shenae Grimes) for repeating an overheard personal story as her own in order to score a part in the school play. And as Annie soul-searches for a way to make things right with Ethan -- embarking on a path that's ultimately filled with regret -- Ethan tries to wrap his head around his feelings for Annie, which are in direct competition with his feeling for Rhonda (Aimee Teegarden), with whom he swapped spit in the parking lot after the Valentine's Day dance. Hope may spring eternal, but this viewer thinks that Annie and Ethan are soon to become free agents in the romance department.
Of course, the real reason to watch tonight's episode is the complete and total mental meltdown embodied by the manic Erin Silver (Jessica Stroup). Allowed back into Mr. Matthews' class and forgiven by the teacher (Ryan Eggold) for a potentially libelous blog posting she made about him, Erin is inspired to turn her oral poetry reading into a film. Since we just saw her and her boyfriend Dixon making out in the media room, this just has foreshadowing written all over it! By the time things finish up tonight, there aren't many people who are going to be happy with Erin -- and obsession begins to morph into revenge! This is truly the OMG plotline to pay attention to.
Heavy petting, pocket bananas, and psychotic breakdowns: It's just another day in 90210.
90210, "Life's a Drag," airs Tuesday, March 31, at 9:00pm / 8:00pm CT on the CW.