Well, here’s episode 8 for all of you to enjoy. And this ep really stretches the principal of the ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ to the utmost limit. Here’s the deal: Popular, as we all know, is a show about teenagers. And one of the most important aspects of being a teenager is a sudden and intense interest in sex. So, Popular wouldn’t be Popular if there wasn’t at least one episode dedicated to this subject. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a network in America that would allow a teen show to show the basics, mechanics and consequences of sex between two girls or two guys. So now the writers ask the impossible from us. All of the sudden, out of the blue and against everything they’ve shown us so far they want us to believe that everyone on the show is actually straight. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but you’ll just have to deal with it. Fortunately for you (and, thankfully, me) I’m still here to uncover the truth. Even in a heterosexual-sex-education-episode like this. Also, I think I’m coming down with a touch of the flu, so this ‘review’ may be even less coherent than the other ones. If that’s at all possible.

So, the ep begins with Jane entering the girls’ bathroom while brushing her teeth. Why she’s in that bathroom, I don’t know. The writers try to convince us that she’s looking for toothpaste, but the fact that she’s already busy with the brushing makes this rather implausible. How Jane got there is also an enigma. Judging from the way Jane is dressed, it is somewhere early morning. The only way to enter the bathroom is through either Sam’s or Brooke’s bedroom. And I have a strong suspicion that both girls would object to Jane barging into their rooms and then into their bathroom for no good reason. The fact, however, that Jane seems to have been able to enter the bathroom unhindered can lead to only one conclusion: The girls are both in one room and Jane entered via the other room.
However, it would appear that the two girls had thought of this eventuality when they started sleeping in a single room together. They have hid a condom somewhere in the bathroom so that, in the event that Jane or Mike are to wander into the bathroom, they will find it, be shocked and not think about why the bedroom they entered through was so horribly empty.
The girls’ trick works, by the way. Jane finds the condom, is shocked and assumes that Sam and/or Brooke are engaged in all kinds of sexual acts with actual members of the other gender.

There is, however, one consequence to the ruse Sam and Brooke use to mislead there parents that they have not foreseen. They had just assumed that their parents would have just fled the scene and then started living in denial. Jane, however, is not planning to be one of those parents, despite Sam’s pleas to start denying. Although I regret that the plan has just blown up in the faces of Sam and Brooke, I must commend Jane for trying to help her kids with sex and everything that goes with it.
Sam and Brooke, by the way, do sit next to each other but are not close enough to each other to play footsie like they usually are. This is understandable since Jane is now focused on the girl’s sexual habits and might notice something if they were, you know, hugging each like they normally do.
Anyway, since Jane refuses to go live in denial the girls try to get out from under the talk by claiming that they already know everything about sex they need to know. This is rather tricky ground, but since they fear that talk about heterosexual intercourse is very much in their immediate future, they’re willing to try everything. They say that this vast knowledge about sex has been gathered from movies.
Whenever there is sex in movies it usually involves a lot blanket, artificial moaning sounds (if it’s a REALLY steamy scene) and possibly the merest hints of naked flesh that usually belongs to the arms, lower legs or feet. Oh and sometimes we see the upper part of the male body move up and down little. Afterwards, by the way, the two lovers do not end up wrapped up in each other, but are lying very much apart from each other under an L-shaped blanket so that the breasts of the woman are hidden.
So, Sam and Brooke probably didn’t learn how to have sex with each other from movies.
On the other hand, maybe they have a huge stack of lesbian porn stashed away somewhere.
Well, even so, the two of them probably have managed to figure it all out by themselves by now.
But Jane is not convinced, saying that sex is a deeply emotional issue. And here I have to agree with her on the condition that it’s not a one-night stand or something. Despite of this, however, she seems only interested in explaining the mechanical side of things.
However, it would seem that Jane is at least suspecting something because she starts the sex-education by focusing solely on the female body, without anything that has to deal with the male body.
None of this is too graphical, of course, since this is still a show for teens. And God knows that teen souls are fragile and can easily be scarred for life if they get some actual sexual education.
Anyway, the scene ends with Jane offering a small booklet to the girls entitled ‘Know Your Vagina: A Young Women’s Guide’, which, to me, sounds more like a How-To guide to masturbation. But that may just be me.

So anyway after the credits, which still contains a few of my fave Sam/Brooke shots ever, we see a music video clip. I’m just mentioning it here because it may be important later on, but since these reviews are usually a long stream of thoughts coming from me, it may not be all that important. Anyway the song is called ‘Be My Petting Zoo’ featuring a singer who wears the absolute minimal essentials to be called ‘not naked’ and who has this great big lollipop for that added ‘Lolita’ feel. She surrounded by guys in cages and singing about how much she’d like to have sex. Anyway, Sugar Daddy is watching this clip while, at the same time, he’s chatting with someone. The subject is, of course, sex. Both SD and the anonymous other chatting girl are virgins and they both feel the pressure. When the other chatter asks if they should meet SD turns away from the screen ignores her.

At Kennedy High Lily and Harrison are standing near Lily’s locker. After seeing April Tuna and May Tuna walking around in the outfit of the aforementioned singer, Lily expresses her revulsion of modern-day music clips which, in her eyes, promotes promiscuity so she’s planning to do something about it. Harrison doesn’t really get it. He _likes_ clips like that.
Sam shows up and she has to share her disgust about having to listen to sex talk from her mom. Because she likes to keep this thing with Brooke under wraps, she has brought the condom along to prove that Jane has started said sex education after finding it. Harrison, however, isn’t as dumb as he looks:
“Sam, I’m really feeling your pain and all, but why do you need a condom? Saving up for a rainy day?”
Of course, as we all know, the day would have to be REALLY rainy for Sam to ever even consider coming into a situation where that condom might be necessary.
Then again, Brooke acting like a total bitch might also do the trick.

Sam and Brooke are in the Novak and Brooke is acting like a total bitch. She disliked having to listen to Jane as well (which is understandable) and takes it out on Sam. It would appear that the condom trick was Sam’s idea, since Brooke tells her how much she doesn’t need it because she knows that Sam’s never going to get a boyfriend so if she would please keep that repulsive symbol of male sexuality out of her face, thank you very much. Sam gets mad at Brooke which is only to be expected. After all, even though the girls have started sleeping together Brooke still acts all superior and, what’s worse, the blonde is still trying to keep up appearances with her ‘relationship’ with Josh. So Sam attacks Brooke on the fakeness of the Brooke/Josh relationship. Brooke then starts ranting about how deep, meaningful and spiritual her relationship with Josh is, unlike her relationship with Sam which is still completely and utterly physical at the moment. Sam, understandably, doesn’t believe a word of it.
So, in the end, the two of them make a bet. Sam has to prove that she is able to attract people of the opposite gender and Brooke has to prove that her relationship with Josh is really as deep and meaningful as she claims it to be. Loser will have to join ‘Knees Together’, a group that tries to promote the whole no-sex-until-you-get-married-thing.

Meanwhile, in Nurse Jesse Glass’ office, Lily asks for permission to hand out condoms. Nurse Glass does not give this permission. Handing out condoms on school would promote sex and is therefore a definite no-no. Lily counters this by saying that teens will have sex regardless of what the school says, but Nurse Glass is still not willing to go along, advising Lily to stay home Friday night to pet the cats and watch TV.

In the boys’ locker room, Sugar Daddy expresses his anxiety about meeting his chatting partner since he lied about his appearance. Josh tells him not to freak. If they connect, they connect and that’s what matters. Josh then asks him why SD thinks that his relationship with Brooke is so fabulously great. SD responds with:
“Dude, ‘cause you both look like models.”
This is so true, but Josh doesn’t see it that way. He thinks his relationship with Brooke is a prime example of two people connecting with each other on a deep, emotional level.
Yeah. Right.

Somewhere in some random class that might be Maths, Brooke is sneaking a peek at a magazine called ‘Promiscuous Girl’. In it there is this ‘test-your-relationship’ kind of test. Brooke takes the test to see if she can back up her bold words about her relationship with Josh.
And the end result is (drumroll please):
"A Totally Superficial Relationship… Congrats!"
Brooke looks worried.

Sam is hanging up an advertisement asking for photographers for the Zapruder Reporter. However, the mean stuff Brooke’s been saying to her is still haunting her, so she’s not exactly paying attention. Then, out of the blue, comes Leo. You know, Carmen’s big hunky brother. It seems that Leo is now a tennis instructor.
Come on, tennis instructor?
How cliché can you get?
Anyway, Sam here smells and opportunity to win her side of the bet.

Harrison is sitting all alone in the cafeteria, surrounded by couples who’re in love with each other. Unfortunately, Harrison’s well-deserved solitude does not last long since Lily shows up, who’s hatching a scheme to distribute condoms in a way so that none of the school board will notice. Harrison is willing to support her in this endeavour, because, hey, condoms, sex, etc.
Sam and Carmen show up. Carmen is all in tears and Sam explains it’s because she (Carmen) has been watching ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ before coming to school. Carmen is the romantic type, so to speak.
Harrison, since we’re on the topic of romance after all, complains about the fact that he doesn’t seem to be able to get a girl. He thinks that he’s a fairly nice guy of reasonable attraction, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t get one, right? Sam responds that Harrison’s too available and trying to hard. She says that girls often fall for the types they know they can’t quite get. I think that this is a little bit of bitterness here since Sam is eager to expand her relationship with Brooke, while the blonde seems to treat it like merely midnight fun and nothing more. Harrison replies to that by saying that, if Sam knows so much about relationships, why doesn’t she have a boyfriend? Lily and Carmen both look at him with a sort of knowing look that at the same time expresses a little bit of confusion. Does Harrison know Sam’s gay or doesn’t he?
Anyway Sam, tired of bowing to every one of Brooke’s late night urges, decides to sign up for tennis lessons to take a shot at Leo.

Brooke and Josh talk. Brooke is concerned about the status of their relationship. Josh isn’t.

At the tennis lessons, we have Leo on one side of the court and Sam, May Tuna and April Tuna on the other side. No competition for Sam then.

Back at Brooke and Josh, Josh makes it obvious that he thinks that there is nothing wrong with their relationship. He says that the two of them have a deep connection and that everything is perfectly all right. But, just to humour Brooke, he agrees to go to a family dinner with her.

In the Palace we have Sam, Brooke and Jane all preparing for dinner. Not the dinner where Josh is going to show up, but the other dinner. Brooke brightly asks Jane if Josh is allowed over for dinner tomorrow in an obvious attempt to hurt Sam. Sam is indeed very much hurt. The brunette takes out her frustration by chopping up several very symbolic carrots and cucumbers. She seems ready to break up with Brooke, but she loves the girl too much to be able to do so. So, instead, she announces that, if Brooke’s going to have her boyfriend come along, she will bring along her boyfriend as well.
Brooke is shocked, terrified and horrified. Sam with a boyfriend?
Has she gone too far this time?

Sugar Daddy is once again chatting. He and the chatting girl decide to meet. He will recognise her by her lime green bag, she will recognise him by his silver tie.

Lily and Harrison are sitting in the hallways of Kennedy High, handing out condoms disguised as balloon animals. Nurse Glass shows up and isn’t fooled by the display. Nicole shows up as well, but only because she hasn’t been in the episode so far and also will not be making any further appearances. In short, Lily and Harrison get detention.

Brooke and Josh talk some more. Brooke tries to get it into Josh’ head why their relationship sucks. Josh, who shares a deep emotional bond with Brooke and is finely attuned to her very thought, doesn’t get it. He thinks their relationship is perfect and doesn’t understand why Brooke doesn’t agree with him. Then they start practising their lines for the dinner.

Lily and Harrison are in the nurse’s office. Reason for this being is that if they were in the detention room they’d still be handing out condoms anyway. So Lily and Harrison talk about sex. They sort of agree that the first time shouldn’t be with someone you barely know. The first time should be with someone you DO know. A friend, so to speak. In this case, with each other. So what I’m trying to say here is, Harrison and Lily agree to have sex.

Back at the tennis lessons, Leo is explaining the backhand to Sam. This involves a lot of touching Sam on the hands, legs and shoulders and talking about how he lost his virginity on this very tennis court. After a while Sam is no longer able to keep up the straight act and breaks free. But, still remembering the unfairness Brooke is putting her through right now, she asks Leo if he would like to come over for dinner. Leo refuses since he wants to hang out with his friends. Sam then uses the oldest trick in the book and pretends to have sprained her ankle.

Dinner has arrives. Brooke does her utmost best to show that she and Josh are a great couple while Sam isn’t even the room yet. Does she try to talk herself into believing something.
It would seem so.
Then Sam enters. Or, to be precise, Leo enters, carrying Sam in his arms. Sam smiles triumphantly, while Brooke is simply horrified. Brooke finally seems to slowly realise that her relationship with Sam could be so much more than just sex.
But now it’s too late.
Or so she thinks.
Anyway, Leo picks up and the stuff going on between Brooke and Sam, figures out a little bit of what the deal here is and decides to stay for dinner.
Brooke, who’s apparently the possessive type, doesn’t like seeing Sam with someone who’s not her so she points out that Leo is too old, so their relationship is illegal. Leo counters this by saying that his intentions are honourable and that he’s willing to wait.
Sam then confronts Brooke about the so-called depth of her relationship with Josh. Josh, who, unlike Leo, does not pick up on the vibes between Sam and Brooke, craftily avoids the subject by bringing up that crazy Kosovo situation.
Yeah Josh, that’s deep.

We’re at some hotel. Harrison checks in, renting a room for the night so that he can have sex with Lily there. Sugar Daddy also shows up.

Back at the Palace, Sam and Leo leave. Jane wants to follow them since she knows what’s going to happen, but Mike vetoes her.
Meanwhile, Josh and Brooke are doing the dishes. Brooke is totally distracted, having a rather emotionless look in her face and probably thinking about how much Sam really means to her. Now then, Brooke’s part of the bet was to prove to Sam that her relationship with Josh is more than purely physical. She now wants to attempt to prove this by getting physical with Josh. It would seem that having sex with Sam has awakened something in her and she thinks that if she has sex with Josh then the same thing would happen in relation to him.
However, one of the rules of sex is that it is pretty much a reflection of the relationship. If the relationship is passionate then the sex is passionate, if the relationship is loving then the sex is loving, if the relationship empty then the sex is empty.
Brooke, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be thinking in these terms.

In the hotel, Harrison is preparing the room with candles, rose petals, romantic music, strawberries, the works.
Meanwhile, at the bar, Sugar Daddy is still waiting for the chatter to show up.
Josh and Brooke enter the hotel to get a room.
Lily shows up.
Someone with a lime green bag shows up.

The person with the lime green bag turns out to be Carmen. She sees Sugar Daddy, figures out that he is the guy she’s supposed to meet, turns around and leaves.
Sugar Daddy didn’t notice her coming and going.

Lily shows up at Harrison’s room. There’s this great big bunch of awkwardness that isn’t all that surprising. After sitting on the bed for a while, Lily announces that she’s going to slip into something a little more comfortable. Anyway, when women say that in movies and stuff they somehow always manage to reappear in something a little less comfortable.
But then, that might just be me.

Meanwhile, Brooke and Josh are also preparing for their night of intimacy. Brooke shows up wearing pyjamas. Something she probably learned from Sam, since last week she was still shown wearing “one of those silk slinky things”, as Josh so eloquently puts it. Anyway, Brooke says that it’s time to stop pretending and be who they really are.
Uh-huh. Yeah, Brooke. Whatever you say.
Josh makes some comment about how he’s never felt closer to Brooke than he does right now and the two of them kiss. Well, they probably kiss since the scene shifts to another scene before their lips actually meet.

And that other scene would be this scene. We’re at the tennis court, bathed in the light of countless candles. Sam asks Leo to kiss her and he does.
On the forehead.
Sam is still a minor and Leo doesn’t look forward to spending the night in the county jail. Besides, he has also picked up on the fact that the real issue here is between Sam and Brooke and has nothing to do with him. Sam then tells Leo about the bet. Leo assures Sam that she’s more than able to find a boyfriend.
Yeah, Sam really wants to hear that right now.

Back at the room of Harrison and Lily, Lily shows up again but she’s still dressed exactly the same way. Harrison doesn’t get this hint very fast and is still looking forward towards sex. Lily, however, says that it’s never going to happen since she sees Harrison as just a friend and nothing more. Harrison is quite hurt by this. I almost feel sorry for him.

We’re back in the room of Brooke and Josh. Brooke has the blanket pulled up high and tight. She doesn’t want Josh to look at her breasts, after all. But Brooke need not worry. Josh has simply turned around and fallen asleep. Brooke is very much disappointed and slightly disturbed. Where’s the cuddling? The whispering of sweet words? The falling asleep in each other’s arms?
Not here, that’s for sure.

In the bar, Sugar Daddy is tired of waiting and leaves, disappointed.

The next day, Carmen walks up to Sugar Daddy and apologises. SD, at first, acts hurt and insulted. And he has every right to do so. Carmen apologises some more then says that they can still be friends on-line. SD agrees with this.

Lily walks up to Harrison. She also wants to apologise for bailing last night, but has difficulty with coming up with something nice to say to him. So she settles and says that he has nice teeth.

Brooke breaks up with Josh. Well, it’s about time. Josh is heartbroken, saying that he’s desperately in love with her. Brooke, on the other hand, is quite obviously not desperately in love with him. Brooke blames it on the falling-asleep-after-sex-thing, but that’s just part of it. Josh, still not understanding, says that falling asleep immediately after sex isn’t a bad thing. It’s not like he up and left immediately afterwards.
I suppose someone should teach Josh a thing or two about having sex with girlfriends.
But that’s not the real point.
The real point is that Brooke has at long last dumped Josh.
Thank God. Now she can dedicate herself to Sam like she should.

In the Novak Sam and Brooke talk for a bit. They tell each other that they have both lost. One can but wonder if they’re just talking about the bet.

The show ends with a gathering of ‘Knees Together’, which is presided by Popita Fresh. And who do we see in this room?

Everybody who’s had some sort of story line this episode. April Tuna is sitting next to May Tuna. Carmen is sitting next to Sugar Daddy. Harrison is sitting next to Lily. Sam, quite symbolically, is sitting between Brooke and Josh.


Tune in next week to see if Brooke finally gives Sam the attention she deserves. Unless, of course, something else happens.
Anyway, ‘till next week!

Section 9 Jos Mous Popular Main Index