If last year was Annie's turn to be cast in the shadows, this time it's Naomi's turn. I thought it couldn't get any worse after her problems with Liam, Jen's return, and flubbing the SATs, but the season finale proves me wrong. The episode is filled with cliffhangers galore — from Adrianna and Javier's courtship to the Wilsons' marriage and beyond.
I can't say much more without giving away the farm, so get into it when you
- Ryan is the father of Jen's baby. Well, duh. Naomi is the first to discover the news and steals Jen's paternity test and leaves it on Ryan's desk. At first Ryan is pretty psyched: he tells Jen that he's fully prepared to change his alchy ways and be there for their kid. Of course, prissy Jen wants nothing to do with a "public school teacher" and tells Ryan that he won't have a part in the baby's life. Ryan wallows and gets drunk yet again, showing up at the kids' Pass the Torch party fully wasted (seriously, how has there not been an intervention yet?). After Laurel orders him to go home, he takes her advice — except he decides to drive the shuttle himself. He makes it back to school miraculously but is not so lucky when he gets into his own car, promptly crashing into the school sign and starting a fire. As entertaining as it is to see Mr. Matthews stumbling around, it's about time that something good happened to this guy — is that too much to ask?
- Mr. Cannon attacks Naomi: I called this one a few episodes back, but that doesn't make it any less unpleasant when the episode ends with Mr. Cannon's slimy paws all over Naomi. But let's rewind: it starts when Liam breaks up with Naomi (rightfully so, as she hasn't exactly been there for him in a long time). She's upset about it but takes a "down but not out attitude" (I kinda enjoyed her rendition of "Single Ladies" with Silver). Her good spirits are quickly dampened though, and the situation comes to a head when her car breaks down in the school parking lot. There's no one to turn to except for Mr. Cannon, who sweetly lets her cry her heart out — and then flips the switch into creepster mode. He tries to hold her hand, then tries to make out with her, and the situation gets bad really fast. Mr. Cannon has Naomi in a tight hold, telling her that nobody will ever believe her since she's the "girl who cried wolf." Are we stealing storylines right out of Lifetime original movies now? Anyway, we'll have to wait until next season to find out what happened, but I'm hoping she uses her scrappy nature to get away. Or there's some kind of miracle and Mr. Matthews rescues her.
- Navid and Adrianna reunite! Call me crazy, but Navid and Adrianna are my favorite couple on the show at this point. Navid pitches a fit when he sees his charm bracelet on Ade's wrist and loses it even more when she reveals that it's a gift from her precious Javier. They start to bicker (and profess feelings) on TV for all the school to see — but then Adrianna picks Navid! They share a very sweet kiss that leaves the whole school clapping and then skip happily off into the sunset. Just kidding, of course — there's no way Mr. Teen Heartthrob would lose his lady to a commoner so quickly. Instead, Javier tries to win Ade back by offering her a chance to tour with him for a whole year — which means dropping out of high school, and probably breaking up with Navid. Her decision is one of the episode's many cliffhangers, but considering what happens to Naomi, it's hardly the most exciting. But still, yay for the reunion of Navid and Adrianna, no matter how short-lived it may be in the end.
- Mark blackmails Harry. When everyone's least-favorite d-bag plagiarizes his English paper, Principal Wilson threatens to hold him back from graduating. Mark counters by blackmailing him with the info he learned earlier this season: that the principal covered for Dixon when the school was vandalized. Rather than saving his own butt, Harry turns himself in — and gets fired. It's all downhill from there, as he returns home to a big fight with Debbie — that's culminated when they realize that their lives are falling apart and they don't love each other anymore.
- Annie confesses her big secret to Liam. After ending things with Naomi, Liam invites Annie down to the marina for his grand unveiling of his new boat. Awed and flattered, Annie blows off the Passing of the Torch party to go for a sail. Then there's some snuggling and secret-telling. Liam confesses that he's going to tell his stepfather the truth about stealing his coins, which prompts Annie to finally spill on killing Jasper's uncle. Liam plays supportive friend and gives her a big hug (two points for not trying to make a move on her). Of course, Jasper's creeping just around the corner and you know it's on. Liam drives Annie home so she can finally come clean to her parents, and he heads to spend the night on his boat. When he gets to the dock, his beauty is ablaze and Jasper is trying to hobble away. He doesn't get very far (obviously, he's on crutches) before Liam kicks the crap out of him as the cops show up. A big fire is dramatic of course, but would it have been too much to ask for Jasper to have fallen in the water and maybe drown? A girl can dream.
So those were the big moments as far as I'm concerned: we also get some more breakup/makeup between Ivy and Dixon and Silver and Teddy, but all the couples are intact at the end of the episode so it's an all's well that ends well as far as I'm concerned. How'd you feel about the episode? Did I miss anything particularly juicy? Will Naomi be saved?
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