This is the episode that I have been waiting to recap ever since I started this blog last winter. It's my absolute favorite SVH episode OF ALL TIME!!!! Not only do I remember it very clearly (well, most of it, I got a little surprise while re-watching it -more about that later), AND it's about BRUCE!!! I won't spoil the episode for you by telling you what I remember, so let's just get to the recap...
Of course, this episode opens with the theme song. My wireless was going in and out, and the screen froze on Bruce for a good three minutes. It was fabulous. Then we cut to the SVH parking lot. The Principal's car alarm is going off and, when he shuts it off, a trash bag is rigged to explode above it. Gross yellow jelly-like shit gets all over it, and everyone (well, Jess and Lila, so everyone who matters!) is buzzing about this new club on campus. Sadly, it is NOT the Unicorn Club or the Boosters or even the self-righteous Angels...it's BETTER than ALL of those combined!!!! It's -wait for it- CLUB X!!!!! It's super-secret, and ultra-exclusive and it's members have been playing practical jokes on everybody all week long. Basically, Club X is THE SHIT!!!! (I doubt it...they don't wear PURPLE, real clubs wear purple!!!) Jess is desperate to join Club X because it's like 3 minutes into the episode and no hotties have appeared yet, so she has to jump into this plot somehow. Finally, a hottie does appear -BRUCE!!!!! Jess is my girl, so she totally gets that Bruce is fully OFF LIMITS until I am of legal age (this is like 1995, so I'm still just 9 years of age) and refrains from falling in love with him. She does, however, mention that she admires Club X (which SO obviously consists of mainly Bruce, Manny, and Black Carl, plus a few random extras, they might as well have matching Secret Club jackets) and is interested in joining. Bruce denies any involvement, but he does slip and inform Jess that it isn't for girls. (Because starting No Girls Allowed clubs in high school is the best way to get laid?!?! Okay, Bruce.) Jess smartly replies, "So that must be why YOU aren't in it..." and I laugh because it was a well-delivered line. I applaud her quick wit and clever thinking on that one, it would have taken me at least 5 minutes to come up with that!!! At least Bruce is still hot.
Because we are on Coolness Overload with all the Jess and Bruce action, we have to check in with the dorky cliques just to be fair. Liz, Winston, and Todd are at the Moon Beach. Liz and Win are upset because Todd has been super spacey lately. He made plans with both of them that day, but he instead ditches them to go play basketball. He's on a one-on-one winning streak these days, and he's winning lots of $$$$ off of bets. I don't blame him for blowing them off, that sounds WAY more fun!!!
Club X continues to rule SVH with their lame pranks the following day. They set all of the biology class frogs free in the school swimming pool. (Can frogs survive in swimming pools? I would think that the chlorine would kill them, and now I'm picturing a pool full of dead frogs and I feel like crying.) Jess is still bored, and she's still ready to do ANYTHING to join Club X. Lila and Liz think she's crazy for wanting to do things that could get her in trouble. (Hey Lila, remember that time you told Liz to put shaving cream on a certain poor fat girl's sundae back in the 6th grade? What happened to THAT Lila?!?!) Jess doesn't care, and she's super excited when she opens her locker and finds a secret invitation to Club X's secret warehouse. Liz tries to tell Jess not to go, but Jess will not be stopped.
Jess shows up at the warehouse and she can't hardly wait to do some bad things with the Club X gentleman, and I just re-read what I wrote, and it sounds super dirty, LOL. Either way, Jess is looking for trouble and it appears that she has found it. Bruce and Co. show up in disguise, but Jess knows who they are so she rips off Bruce's robe and reveals his striped shirt and red polo double-collared shirt combo. I swear, wardrobe on this show was an EPIC FAIL, Bruce only owns like 5 shirts, and he usually wears 2 or 3 at a time, so we see LOTS of outfit repetition. Jess will be initiated the next day at school.
Jess's initiation is to steal a car. Bruce is just trying to get her in trouble so she can't join his club, but Jess isn't stupid and she knows this. She sneaks Bruce's keys out of the pocket of his SHORT white shorts (haha, 1990's guys wore some funny stuff) and drives away in 1BRUCE1!!! I'm super jealous, I WANT TO DRIVE 1BRUCE1!!! But, since I cannot, I cheer for Jess. She just keeps being clever.
While all of this is happening, Liz is sitting outside the Sweet Valley Charity Center, waiting for Todd's spacey ass to come get her. (Lazy bitch, Jess is rolling around in 1BRUCE1, so you could have driven the Jeep and NOT inconvenienced Todd!) He doesn't show up, so Liz just sits outside and waits. While she waits, the MOST EXCITING THING EVER happens! KURT RAMBIS comes out of the Charity Center!!!!
-Now, for those of you who are not familiar with professional basketball, Kurt Rambis played for the Los Angeles Lakers back in the day. He won a few championships and wore some funny-looking glasses...
[There was an image here, but I removed it. Google him, I guarantee you will laugh!!!]
He later became assistant coach for the Lakers and got a few more rings. But his story doesn't end there. Two years ago, he became head coach of MY team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. They are obviously NOT the Lakers (who have won rings TWICE after Rambis left...HA!), but I still enjoy watching them so I was quite surprised to see Kurt on SVH!!! I saw him in person just yesterday, and now I can't wait until the next game so I can get my SVH DVDs personally autographed. Sadly, he has gotten contacts since this episode was made, and he is slowly balding with age, so compared to SVH Rambis, he's looking rough!!! I bet he will get teased mercilessly by the players once I inform them of this cameo, I LOVE IT!!!!-
Anyways, back to the show. Kurt Rambis comes out of the Charity Center (and the BF does something I never though I would ever witness -he asks me to turn the volume UP on SVH so he can watch Kurt Rambis!!! This is a turning point in our relationship!!!) and some kid asks for his autograph. I witness this on the regular, and Kurt is often a dick about it, but when he signs he usually gives a good autograph and he always personalizes. (I guess so people can't re-sell it on E-Bay and make big bucks or something...) He stays true to himself and asks the TV kid what his name is as he signs, and I'm just loving it!!! Kurt talks to Liz and drives her home. He has never offered ME a ride home, just sayin', so we know Liz is super special.
Instead of going home, Rambis drives Liz to the MB (we don't get to see him driving, sadly) and she immediately bitches at Todd about not picking her up. Winston joins in the bitching, because Todd keeps blowing him...OFF, you perverts!!!. Todd must have finally realized how much they suck, because he's all like "Whatever! I do what I want!" *Cartman Voice* and he leaves to go win some more bets. (Dude, where I come from, people get SHOT over shit like that...I like where this is going!) Win says that Todd needs to stop being such a greedy dick, and Liz has a plan to make that happen...
But luckily we are spared from any more of that poor excuse for drama that I could care less about. Jess is now in Club X!!!! (Side note: In the book, they had matching black leather club jackets...where are THOSE?!?! Jess is wearing a track windbreaker that looks like it belongs to Bruce because it's HUGE on her.) Bruce introduces her to the Wheel of Misfortune. Instead of panels with dollar amounts or "BANKRUPT", it has each of their names on it (kind of defeats the purpose of secrecy...) and whoever it lands on has to execute the next stunt or be tortured. I want to join so I can NOT complete my task and be tortured by Bruce... The prank at stake involves putting soap in the new fountain that the Principal is unveiling the next afternoon. Predictably, the wheel lands on Jess's name.
Jess dresses up as a groundskeeper and pours in the soap. Bruce stops the Principal in the hallway and mentions that he saw a suspicious lady groundskeeper by the fountain. Principal runs out to check and tries to chase Jess down. Thinking quickly, she turns on the sprinklers and runs into the school. She quickly pours soap on the tile floor and quick changes clothes. She almost gets away with it, but the Principal notices that her legs and shoes are wet. (Why is he looking at her legs?!?!) Jess gets pulled into the office.
Sadly, we don't get to watch Jess getting punished, but Kurt Rambis is back!!! Liz and Winston ask him to help them with the Todd situation and Rambis is a nice guy (back then, at least) so he agrees to help. (I LOVE when real people that I know are TV characters!!!! It just furthers my theory that TV is actually REAL!!! I can't wait to ask Rambis if he got to meet BRUCE!!!!)
Later that evening, Jess returns to the Club X warehouse and spins the wheel out of anger. She's pissed that Club X got her in trouble (and I have no sympathy, she knew the risks involved!) and she's even more pissed when she realizes that the wheel stops at her name EVERY TIME she spins it. She pulls off her name and discovers a magnet behind it. She quickly switches her name with Bruce's and waits for everyone else to arrive. They do a moment later, and they discuss the next stunt. Bruce has decided that the next one will involve wearing a ski mask and running across the field during a football game with a CLUB X RULES! banner. It's extremely lame, and Jess is unimpressed. She suggests that someone skydive onto the field with the banner instead. (Seems like a dead giveaway to me...How many people at SVH have private planes to jump out of? We can eliminate Lila right away because TV Lila doesn't have the balls to do anything of that caliber, so obviously Bruce is the most likely suspect...) Bruce doesn't know the wheel has been re-rigged, so he agrees to it. He is SHOCKED when the wheel lands on his name, but he can't back out of it because it's HIS club! Ha! Score two for Jess!!!
Meanwhile, Winston and Liz are putting their plan into effect. Winston challenges Todd to a game, and Todd is cocky as hell, so he agrees to bet everything. He thinks Win will be easy to beat, but he has a surprise in store! They agree to play the following day.
The next day, Bruce prepares to make his dive on to the football field. Jess stays behind and calls the skydive company. She arranges for Bruce to land in a new, undisclosed location. He makes the jump and imagines getting famous for it. He imagines it will be in the paper, on the news, and a Movie of the Week! I would totally watch that!!! Sadly, he realizes too late that he is not landing on the field. Instead, he lands in the Principal's car (luckily, it's a convertible, I think non-convertible vehicles are illegal in Sweet Valley) and is promptly busted. To make matters worse, his Club X banner is stretched out behind him and the Principal figures it all out! All of Club X gets detention!!!
While all of this is happening, Winston is preparing for battle with Todd. Todd easily gets a few shots over Win because he's a star basketball player and Win has NO game. Todd gives Win a free shot because he sucks so badly, and Win promptly sprains his ankle and cannot play. Todd shows no concern for his friend and demands that Win pay up. Liz says the game isn't over, and Win should be allowed to choose a replacement. Todd looks around and says that Liz can pick anybody she wants and he will demolish them. Naturally, Liz picks Kurt Rambis, Kurt isn't old and bald like he is now, so he and his special sport glasses and mustache (which is rumored to have super powers, BTW) easily beat Todd's arrogant ass into submission in the form of A MONTAGE!!! Hell yeah!!! It simply does NOT get any better than a Rambis montage!!! I wish they did these in real life...that would make sitting through basketball a whole lot easier. I also wonder why Rambis hasn't taught his current players any of the skills he's displaying in this montage. They would be UNSTOPPABLE!!!! (Oh wait, 2011 Rambis is too busy yelling at poor Kevin Love and trying not to get fired...) Kurt is quite tan (and he's showing it off with some short shorts, of course) and I'm surprised because I went to practice not two weeks ago and was particularly horrified by how pale his legs were. Seriously, dude was WHITE!!! Anyways, 1995 Rambis kicks T-Wilk's sorry ass (and I wish Todd would at least threaten to punch him!) and tells him that he may have lost, but he still has potential and he should never forget the important stuff. (I guess he's talking about his charity work, but I'm not really sure because I'm still not over the fact that KURT RAMBIS IS ON SWEET VALLEY HIGH!!!) Todd learns his lesson and Liz makes Win return Todd's money. Todd is inspired by Rambis, so he promises to donate it to charity (right...) and Liz is proud. He tells her that he was only playing for money so he could take her whitewater rafting. But he promises that he will get more money and take her anyways, even if he has to get a part time job. Liz is even more impressed by him, and they share a disgusting kiss on the basketball court. (DUDE, that is SACRED to me! Don't ever disrespect the court!)
The SarahLynn Summary
*Bruce started a secret club for his boys. Maybe that's why he didn't accept that marriage proposal he received from a certain 6 year-old back in 1991...
*Jessica wants to do bad things and get in trouble with the Club X boys.
*Liz knows Kurt Rambis. I also know Kurt, so I guess that means I know someone who knows the Wakefields!!!! HA, I know you're ALL super jealous of me today.
*Todd is good at basketball, and everybody else in Sweet Valley isn't.