HELLCATS 1.8: Back of a Car

Jealousy was the theme of this week’s HELLCATS, with Savannah suspicious of Marti’s deep ties to Dan, and Alice feeling like she comes second after football in the heart of quarterback boyfriend Jake.

Savannah (Ashley Tisdale) was feeling pressured to have sex with Dan (Matt Barr), but was determined not to cling to her idealization of virginity. The fact that Marti (Aly Michalka) and Lewis (Robbie Jones) seemed so free and easy with each other did not help. Also not helping? Dan’s continued closeness to childhood pal Marti. He confided in his confidante that he is frightened by the way Savannah is so defensive about her virginity. He feared she was building it up to some impossibly significant life-changing moment. He admitted that they had even discussed marriage as a result of having sex. He even said he would be okay with not having sex, if only Savannah would lighten up a bit.

Well, she certainly did that. “I’m chopping down the cherry tree,” Savannah declared by way of informing Marti of her intention to sleep with Dan. Then she laid out an extensive plan covering every little detail, and consulted Marti on Dan’s preferences. This made Marti roll her eyes, and explain how her first time was much more impromptu – in the back of a Buick parked in the middle of nowhere. “It’s okay to throw away the agenda,” Marti urged. In fact, Marti warned that Savannah’s “obsessing” will only scare Dan away. Savannah got offended, and wondered if Marti’s advice had an ulterior motive.

While accompanying Jake to a schmooze session with a reporter writing a puff piece about the football team, Alice (Heather Hemmens) spoke up to defend the Hellcats (“We’re not pom-pom girls”), but when athletic director Bill (Aaron Douglas) got bent out of shape and Jake (Ryan Kennedy) refused to support her, she backed down. She later realized that he sees her as a “football wife,” and that her “job” is to support him (and, by extension, the football team). He intimated that he doesn’t really see much value in the Hellcats program, and was furious that the reporter was abandoning her football valentine in favor of an article about the cheer squad.

There were no actual cheer routines from said squad this week, but the requisite performance clips came courtesy of a party to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Hellcats in 1985. Naturally, this called for an ‘80s-themed party complete with some great music and “wacky” period clothing: Louis of course dressed up as “Thriller” Michael Jackson; Jake donned an Indiana Jones fedora and leather jacket; and Dan got decked out in his best Gordon Gecko gear. Marti indulged her inner Madonna (Is she a closet GLEE fan?); while Vanessa sang a Go-Go’s tune some Squeeze while styled as Tina Turner.

At the Hellcats dance party that evening, Savannah was devastated to see that Dan and Marti had a choreographed secret dance routine that they had obviously been doing since they were kids. Later, Wanda (Gail O’Grady) tried to convince Dan that Marti has secretly been in love with him since high school. He was stunned and immediately confronted Marti. She took a little too long to deny it, and then qualified her denial with an eye-rolling, “maybe.” He asked her if there was any reason that he shouldn’t go down the road to a relationship with Savannah. “I have nothing to say,” Marti replied. “Got it?”

He got some kind of message, because he went with Savannah when she told him it was time. “You’re the one I’ve been waiting for,” she told him, leading him into a hotel suite filled with the kind of White Sex Candles one sees on a soap opera. He began to sense how significant this was to her, so he tried to put her at ease by mentioning that his first time was nothing special. It was in the back of Buick parked in the middle of nowhere. (Oh, come on, like no one saw that coming?) Savannah ran away, sobbing while a haunting version of ‘80s staple “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” played.

What I liked about this story was that the characters actually talked to each other when they had a problem, rather than skulking off and plotting sabotage. Marti recognized there was some kind of issue with Savannah, so she approached her and asked about it. When Dan wondered if Marti really did tell her mother that she was in love with her oldest friend, Dan confronted her. The characters had conversations. They may not have been able to actually solve everything, but they gave it a shot.

Raise your hand if you think Marti will fail to get Travis sprung from prison. Anyone? No? Smart readers. Now if only the-powers-that-be at HELLCATS would wise up and wrap up this suspense-challenged storyline.

And add more cheer routines…

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