Like I did with the Favorite Holiday Episodes series, during the next few days I will highlight some of my favorite Valentine’s Day storylines from each of the teen dramas show-by-show. Warning: it’ll be a bumpy ride!
TODAY: Beverly Hills 90210
1. Episode 2.22, Baby Makes Five
Despite airing an episode in season 1 on Valentine’s Day itself and an episode earlier in season 2 with the name My Desperate Valentine, this is the first actual V-Day focused episode. I like this ep for both its subtle seriousness and its significance. Brenda is eagerly awaiting Valentine’s Day with Dylan (technically their second together, but as I said, we didn’t get a storyline for it in season 1) and turns out Dylan has something a bit unconventional planned: getting blood drawn. As he explains, they’re actually donating their blood in recognition of the person who donated blood for him when he was seriously injured years ago on the 14th. Today the importance of donating blood is brought up time and again by the media but here and then the message was just as important but they don’t hit you over the head with it. Meanwhile, Kelly’s mom Jackie is stressed when she finds out she’s pregnant when she and Mel have only been dating for a few months. Kelly confides in Donna who in turn tells David and soon enough Mel finds out. Mel realizes he loves Jackie and wants not only have the baby but also marry her. And thus, all these years later, we have Silver on 90210.
2. Episode 5.20, You Gotta Have Heart
This episode aired a week before Valentine’s Day but revolved around a telethon at the After Dark for children with heart issues. While most of the Kelly-in-a-cult storyline is just bad, the impact it has on her relationship with Brandon comes to a head in this ep. And when Kelly is MIA for the telethon, Brandon is forced to make out with Donna for one of the segments, which is the only time we get to see these two go at it and, boy, do they go at it! Speaking of going at it, while Donna is somewhat innocently making out with Brandon, boyfriend Ray is being seduced by Valerie.
3. Episode 6.22, Bleeding Hearts
And while most of the Kelly-on-drugs storyline is just bad as well, the impact it has on her friendship with Brandon comes to a head in this ep. His Valentine’s Day plans with Susan are ruined when a drugged-out Kelly calls him for help. With his assistance she gets into a rehab program but when she confesses she’s still in love with him, Brandon doesn’t return the sentiment. David writes Valerie the most moving poem for Valentine’s Day–seriously, I get chills when I hear or read it–but under pressure from Ginger and her blackmail scheme, Valerie encourages him to sleep with Ginger. David is incredibly shocked and hurt that Val would ask him to do such a thing and breaks up with her. (I, unfortunately, couldn’t find YouTube clips of either the poem scene or the break-up scene.) This episode aired on Valentine’s Day in 1996.
4. Episode 7.19, My Funny Valentine
I like this episode for the storylines it sets up and for one that reaches its climax. The latter refers to one of the few heartfelt scenes Kelly and Valerie ever shared, as Val pleads with Kel to break up with her high school sweetheart. Cliff returns to town and finds Donna is now with David, leading to a short but sweet love triangle that continues into the next episode and results in one of my favorite D-D kisses. The ep ends with Brandon and Tracy’s V-Day happiness cut short when she finds an engagement ring and assumes it’s for her–except it’s the ring Brandon had for Kelly a few years back and couldn’t bring himself to return after she rejected him. This leads into a moving Brandon-Kelly storyline, one of my favorites, in the next episode and beyond. Oh, and Luther Vandross performs, which is perfect V-Day music.
5. Episode 8. 20, Cupid’s Arrow
So now it’s a year later and Brandon and Kelly have gotten back together…and broken up again. This episodes sees them reconciling once again and, well, I’m a sucker for it! Donna and David are no longer together but they end up spending most of V-Day with each other, pissing off their significant others, Noah and Valerie. Unbeknown to either of them, Noah’s brother roofies Val’s drink and she & drunk Noah end up sleeping together, setting up a storyline for the subsequent episodes. The ep also features a cameo from Ian Ziering’s then-wife. Unfortunately, again, I can’t find a clip worth using as the critical, climatic parts (with B/K and Donna/Noah/Val/David) are at the end of the episode and YouTube has all but that.
Some of these episodes will be shown Sunday, during SoapNet’s Valentine’s Day Marathon.
Tomorrow we move on to Dawson’s Creek.