This was my FAVORITE SVH episode of all time! I had this one on VHS, and my most vivid memory is a promo preview where the TV versions of Jess and Liz introduce this video, which one of them (I forget who) promises is a "total 9-1-1". Oh, the '90's!!!! The VHS also had a special behind-the-scenes feature AND a music video ("Rose Colored Glasses"). I rented this tape from my local video store (Home Video, *RIP*) so many times that the owner eventually ended up giving it to me. I guess nobody else ever rented it except for me and my sister.
Anyways, this episode introduces us to Nicholas Morrow (which actually somewhat resembles what happened in the books!). This is also where I learned what Ether is. And who could forget Crazy Carl?!?!
We begin at the Moon Beach (yay, Moon Beach!), where Winston is desperately hitting up his friends for money. It's his mom's birthday and he's broke. Of course, Liz is full of helpful suggestions. She's also wearing a candy striper outfit. (Why do they call them "candy stripers"? When I was in the hospital, they were simply called "volunteers", and they didn't wear stupid outfits like that...) Apparently, Liz is now working at the hospital (which is NOT called Fowler Memorial...WTF?!?!) and some talk show host is currently recovering there. Of course, Jess is all over this. She dreams of hosting a talk show (again, those crazy '90's!!!), and she is desperate to meet Jeremy Franks (who I think was called Jeremy FRAKES in the book...) but Liz won't hear of it. Liz takes her non-paying job way too seriously, so Jess is left alone to come up with a scheme.
Liz goes to work and tends to the ailing Jeremy. He has a broken leg, and I totally forgot how that happened, if they even bothered to explain it. Anyways, it isn't serious. The studio is on Jeremy's ass about finding a new co-host for his show, "Frankly Speaking". Liz cheers him up by sneaking him a pizza because he hates hospital food. I guess some rules are made to be broken?
Liz leaves Jeremy to eat his dinner in peace. She prances around the hospital and suddenly an orderly crashes his cart into her. Sadly, he doesn't cause any major damage, and Liz apologizes for being in the way. Of course, Liz is the #1 candy striper, so the charge nurse yells at the orderly. I assume that this is supposed to be Crazy Carl, but his name has suddenly become PETER. Seriously?!?! Anyways, he's a major creeper, I can tell just by looking at him, but Liz is a Saint so she just keeps acting nice. A new group of candy stripers shows up during all of this, and Liz is shocked to see that Jess is among them.
Liz finishes her shift and goes home to do more saintly deeds. She helps Winston bake a cake for his mother (and cancels a date with Todd to do so, he's pretty pissed about it) and Todd whines the entire time. He gets even bitchier when he learns that the cake is a pineapple cake and doesn't have frosting! Me, I would also get bitchy if somebody blew me off to make a freakin' PINEAPPLE cake. I'm allergic to pineapple, you bitch!!! Todd thinks that Liz is spending way too much time with Win, and he makes that known. Seriously, Todd is a whiny little bitch in this episode. I think he needs a nap or something.
Back at the hospital, Jess works her way into Jeremy's room and introduces herself. She asks for an autograph and, when Jeremy goes to sign it, she hands him HER headshot. LOL, that girl is just too confident sometimes! He stares stupidly at her, and she decides to change the TV channel for him. Of course, Jess grabs the bed remote by accident and causes even more damage to poor Jeremy. I hope he sues for this... The head nurse comes in and catches Jess. Jess is re-assigned to bedpan duty. GROSS!!!! I went to nursing school, and I know from experience that bedpan duty is a form of punishment!!!! *Shudders at the memory*
Liz finds out about this, and she bitches at Jess for being in HER ward. She complains about how annoying Jess is as she goes to finish her end-of-shift paperwork. (Because volunteers have to do paperwork? Unlikely story. Even as a nursing assistant, we did very minimal paperwork, so I sincerely doubt a volunteer would have a pile of it like Liz seems to...) Amazingly, somebody did ALL of Liz's paperwork without her knowing. I begin to question the operations of that hospital, since they cannot even be trusted to keep simple paperwork in a secure location...add that to my list of things to include in my lawsuit. Of course, Crazy Creeper Peter did it all, but Liz doesn't have any idea.
Once again, Jess finds herself in Jeremy's room. She's pretending to be Liz and carrying a big picture of water. Uh-oh. Of course, it's time for Jeremy's sponge bath! She sees his naked ass and drops the entire pitcher of water on him. Of course, the head nurse is a witness to this and Jess's candy striper career is finished!!!
I guess the hospital closes for the night, because the next scene is Creeper Peter in a dark reception area. He creeps around and steals Liz's personnel file from the administration.
Meanwhile, at the Moon Beach, Win presents Liz with a thank you gift for the wonderful cake. He's made Liz a friendship bracelet, and Todd is none too happy about this. He thinks Win has a major crush on Liz (which he does), and he thinks Liz is flirting back. Todd leaves in a huff and Liz goes home alone. When she gets there, she sees a massive bouquet of flowers on the kitchen counter and she assumes they're from Todd. Of course, you and I both know that they aren't from Todd... Liz goes to thank Todd, and he's all like "WTF?!?!" He thinks that Win sent them, so he goes and yells at poor Win. Win denies being in love with Liz, but Todd is unconvinced.
Liz goes back to work, and Peter creeps around her all night. Liz asks the charge nurse about him, and she assures Liz that he's just shy and quiet. He's harmless... RIGHT!!!! Meanwhile, Jess and Lila have a plan to get Jess the co-host job. Jess sneaks back into his room (seriously, where is the security in this place?!?!) and threatens to unleash an army of teenage girls armed with headshots and audition tapes. Jeremy is in pain, and he begs Jess to call off her troops. She agrees, as long as he promises her the job. He gives in, an we get a (really unnecessary) MONTAGE! The girls chase Jeremy, and Jess wheels him around the hospital to escape them. It would have made more sense to leave him in his room and simply tell the girls that he'd been released, but Jess doesn't think like I do, I guess. Of course, Jeremy backs out of his promise as soon as the threat is averted. Jess is pissed and she sends him to the operating room with a confused nurse. (Again, grounds for a lawsuit...) He, naturally, wants to avoid unnecessary medical procedures, so he again agrees to let Jess be on his show.
Across town, Todd is still brooding around the Moon Beach. Liz is with him. They go to leave and SOMEONE has placed a love note on the windshield of the Jeep! Of course, Todd automatically jumps to conclusions and blames Winston. He seethes in anger as he throws the love note into the trash and Liz drives away. Crazy Peter is creeping nearby, and part one ends with him popping out of the shadows. Obviously, this was included for the benefit of viewers who were too stupid to realize that Win did NOT send the notes or flowers. STALKER!
Jess and Lila are thrilled when they receive exciting news. Young Society Magazine's Bachelor of the Year is moving to Sweet Valley! His name is Nicholas Morrow and he's 17. Pardon my ignorance, but I was not aware that teen magazines had Bachelor of the Year issues. Is this normal? I have no clue. Anyways, it seems Nicholas' arrival is the perfect excuse to throw a PARTY! Jess and Lila are already fighting over him, and both rush home to "make" him his favorite food, which is fudge. Okay then. I want to know what the hell happened to REGINA?!?! Why does she not exist? Is she already dead or what?
Checking in with Liz and Todd, Todd is still upset about the whole Winston thing. Liz further complicates things by agreeing to help Win with some video essay project. Todd is PISSED, as usual, but Liz refuses to break a promise and she agrees to meet Win as soon as she finishes her shift. Jess comes home and demands that Liz help her make fudge for Nicholas, but Liz is already running late, so she leaves Jess alone in the kitchen, promising to drive her to the welcoming party.
Flash forward to the end of Liz's shift. She walks out of the dark hospital and gets in the Jeep. Crazy Peter is hiding in the back and he quickly covers Liz's mouth with a Ether-soaked rag before she can scream. Fade to black.
Jess is unaware of this incident, so she goes to the party on her own, mad at Liz for blowing her off. As she leaves, Win calls and leaves a message on the machine. He too is upset that Liz blew him off. He tells the machine that he is going to the hospital to find her.
Meanwhile, Liz is waking up in some ghetto shack out in the middle of nowhere. She's bound and gagged!!! Sweet!!! Crazy Peter comes in dressed like a lumberjack and rips the duct tape off her mouth. Liz screams, but there's nobody around for miles. Peter screams with her, and it's more than a little creepy. Has anyone ever seen the movie 'Cold Storage'? It's a horrible, sucky movie that I watched on NetFlix a couple days ago, and Peter reminds me of the guy in that movie.
At Nicholas' party, everybody is wondering where Liz is. Jess is upset that nobody is hitting on her and they're all obsessive over Liz, so she lies and says that Liz had to babysit for Mr. Collins. Everybody accepts this and Nicholas finally arrives! Jess talks to him, and brags about co-hosting the talk show. Nicholas is unimpressed. He hates talk shows. (I used to LOVE talk show! Ricki Lake, Richard Bey, Jenny Jones, Montel, Maury, Springer...My guilty pleasure as a child.) Todd eventually realizes that Winston is also not present at the party, and he is worried that Win is with Liz. I guess the idea of hooking up with Jessica has yet to develop inside his feeble little mind, so Todd still cares about Liz even though Jess is obviously preoccupied with Nicholas. Todd drags Jess away and brings her home. He hears Win's answering machine message and assumes that Liz met up with him at the hospital, because she obviously hasn't been home yet. Todd calls the police. Why, I ask? There's no physical proof that Liz has been kidnapped. For all he knows Win and Liz are studying or babysitting together somewhere. I guess even simply trying to steal Liz away from Todd is illegal, because the police spring into action.
Liz is still being held against her will. Peter promises he won't hurt her because he loves her. That's what they always say! Liz tells him that the ropes around her wrists and ankles are hurting her, so Peter unties them. She promptly hits him with a lamp and makes a run for it. Since this is only like halfway through part two of a three-part story arc, he catches her. She hides in the bathroom. The mirror is broken, so Liz grabs a large piece of glass. Sweet! I really hope Peter gets it in the eye.
Meanwhile, Winston is searching for Liz at the hospital. He finds the Jeep and searches it for clues. The keys are in it, and Liz has left her purse on the seat. The police show up and arrest Winston. That doesn't make sense to me. They still have no proof of any foul play. I could see questioning Win and treating it as a missing person/runaway case, but arresting Win is ridiculous. I guess they can wait AN ENTIRE MONTH to QUESTION a Wakefield in a manslaughter case (see: A Night To Remember), but a missing Wakefield requires serious, immediate action. Curious. The police inform Jess and Todd that Winston has been arrested, and they think he's responsible.
Meanwhile, back at the Crazy Shack (aka- Peter's Pad), Peter is heading off to the hospital for his shift. See, he has to make people think everything is normal and follow his regular routine. Liz plays nice and tells him she'll miss him, and she asks him to wear the friendship bracelet that Win gave her in part one. He's obviously none-too-bright and he happily puts it on as he leaves. Sadly, Liz forgot to stab him with the broken mirror (OK, it probably didn't even cross her mind) and she goes to work on her ropes again. She easily frees herself and runs to safety.
Winston is out of police custody and everybody suspects him. Because a sixteen year-old is capable of such behaviors, even if they show no signs of being psycho. Wow, Winston's friends sure have a lot of faith in him, *sarcasm*. What a bunch of assholes! Todd threatens to kill Win, which is probably not the best route to go if you believe that somebody knows something others don't. Win swears that he didn't do it, but everyone continues to suspect him. They still allow him to help them look for Liz and pass out flyers during the MONTAGE! though. Even Bruce helps. Jess cries, and Todd comforts her...where have I seen that before?!?!
While canvassing the hospital, Win runs into Peter and shows him the Missing Person flyer. He notices that Peter is wearing the bracelet that he made for Liz... At the same time, the cops find Liz and Todd STILL thinks Win is the guilty party. Winston figures out that Peter is responsible, and Peter conveniently chooses that moment to attack Jess with a scalpel. Peter thought Jess was Liz, and his outburst gets him arrested on the spot. Todd apologizes to Winston, and the police bring Liz to the hospital. Of course, they aren't bringing her to a doctor or anything, and there are no parents in sight. I guess Ned and Alice didn't take this too seriously, they were probably waiting for actual evidence of a kidnapping... Anyways, Liz and Jess hug, and Todd and Win join in as well. Everybody cries, and I begin to wonder why part three is necessary...
Liz goes on Frankly Speaking (yes, Jeremy is alive and well, and still hasn't let Jess co-host) and tells her story. Jess is jealous that Liz is on TV. Suddenly, Jeremy announces (it's a live show) that Peter has escaped police custody during the commercial break! I'm no expert, but I would think that they would tell Liz and Jess about this privately and escort them out of the studio, but Jeremy just lets Liz stand on stage and looked shocked.
Liz and Jess get 24 hour police protection. Jess has another giant zit on her face, and I'm getting bored by the lack of ACTION!!!! Jess is too, and she wants to go to this new club with Nicholas and Bruce. I also want to go!!! PLEASE!!! Unfortunately, the cops refuse her request and she is forced to sneak out. What she doesn't know is that, while she was inside the Moon Beach, Peter crept up and slashed the tires. Jess gets a flat while driving home, and Peter makes his move. Jessica is now missing. Of course, the police are clueless and so the search party re-forms. I imagine that a search party led by Liz will be much more effective than an effort led by Jess.
Peter brings Jess to a ghost town and ties her up in the old saloon. He thinks she's Liz and he professes his love for her. Jess, of course, proves that she is NOT Liz and puts on a bitch act. She tells him he's insane and orders him to release her. He realizes his mistake and Jess informs him that Liz also hates him. Probably not a good thing to tell somebody who's got total control of your fate, Jess... Peter promptly freaks out and throws Jess into a hole in the floor.
Liz goes on Jeremy's show and pleads with Peter. She starts reading from a script and then switches to her own plea. She offers Peter whatever he wants and says she'll trade places with Jess. The cops are pissed that she said that, but it's not like THEY have done ANYTHING helpful in this episode. You would think they would have stationed at least ONE officer outside of the MB on the night Jess was taken!!
Anyways, Peter has rigged up some sort of fuse and barrel combo back at the old saloon. He calls Liz and tells her to meet him in an hour. And she has to come ALONE. Of course, everybody tags along and hides in various locations and Liz wears a wire. Peter also shows up alone and tells Liz he'll take her to see Jess. Liz demands to know where she is, and Peter gives some cryptic clue about her location. The cops prove their competency yet again by rushing in and apprehending Peter, ruining everything in the process. Now Liz has ONE HOUR to find Jess! Liz remembers that Peter had a "special place" where he wanted to take her, a place where nobody's been for years. It takes her all of 2 minutes to realize he was talking about a ghost town, and the search party reforms and searches MONTAGE!-style!!!! It was absolutely necessary!!! Love it. And -the best part- BRUCE IS THERE!!!! Yay!!!
Lila and Nicholas enter the saloon and find Peter's fuse. They walk right on top of Jess (she's been covered by floorboards) and leave, thinking nothing of any of it. Suddenly, the fuse ignites and a fire breaks out!!! Everyone has a "DUH!" moment and Liz runs into the burning saloon to rescue Jess. Jess is passed out, but Todd helps pull her to safety just in time! She survives and becomes the new co-host of Jeremy's show. I guess he finally gave in when he remembered that every job in Sweet Valley is only allowed to last until the end of the episode.
****The SarahLynn Summary****
*Never be nice to anyone. Or else they might fall in love with you and kidnap your ass.
*But don't worry, they LOVE you and won't hurt you.
*Unless you tell theym that you DON'T love them.
*Oh, and, Bruce will help search for you!!!