Coldplay's Viva La Vida greets viewers to the new 90210. We're immediately taken inside the mini van of the Wilson family: Harry is from Beverly Hills and is relocating his wife and two children to his childhood home in order to take care of their ailing/alcoholic grandmother, Tabitha; she's a former actress.
Debbie is Harry's wife, a photographer; Annie his daughter and Dixon his adopted son.
We learn that Annie kissed a fellow West Beverly student named Ethan when she was visiting her grandmother a couple summers ago. She's excited to see him again, but a bit taken aback when she actually does: he's sitting in the driver side seat of his car while students head to class - and he's getting a blow job. Seriously. This really isn't the old 90210.
Things get more interesting inside West Beverly in Dixon and Annie's first day, as Ethan greets Annie and apologizes for what she had to see. Before Annie can say much, though, Ethan is accosted by his overly friendly girlfriend, Naomi. She acts very nice toward Annie, but it's apparent that she's being defensive about her man.
After that, it's a trip down memory lane: oh yes, Kelly Taylor is on the scene! A guidance counselor, Kelly roams the hallway with Harry and is grateful someone that understands Beverly Hills is back in charge.
More characters are then introduced:
- Adriana, who we first see buying drugs in the parking lot; or at least accepting drugs, she still owes a lot of money;
- Silver, who bonds with Annie over a band they both like, says no one calls her by her first name - Erin - and looks very much like Valerine Malone; but she's actually Kelly and David's sister;
- Ryan Matthews, the young, friendly teacher that seems to have tension with Naomi right away, as he tells her a book report on A Tale of Two Cities must be turned in the following day.
Ryan's request is a problem for Naomi, though, because she's putting together her own Sweet 16 - sorry, Not So Sweet 16 - party and, come on, who has time to write a paper during party planning? When Mrs. Clark, Naomi's mom, tries to explain the situation to Harry, the principal says isn't understanding. It's also clear he has a romantic history with Mrs. Clark.
At The Peach Pit, Nat - who looks older than John McCain - mumbles over how to serve exotic coffee. A funny, worthwhile, two-second scene. Annie tells Naomi that she can use her old paper on A Tale of Two Cities for inspiration and Naomi is grateful. And we can all see where this is going.
Meanwhile, Dixon is making friends... and teammates... and enemies. The guy is dynamite at lacrosse, not only earing a spot on the team coached by Mr. Matthews, but being instantly promoted to first string. That means George Evans is demoted to second string, and it's safe to say he doesn't take it well: George starts a fight with Dixon. Later on, Ethan tells Harry that Dixon is the one who started the brawl and he's kicked off the squad.
At a club that night, Adriana steals Naomi's bag in order to swipe some cash and pay off her drug debt (stealing from friends, yet another reason not to do drugs, kids!). The next day, we see a dark side to Silver, as well: in her blog, titled The Vicious Circle, she has referred to Annie as a backstabbing bitch and mocked her Kansas roots. Navid - the dorky, Andrew Zuckerman-type in charge of the school news show, says the blog gets 500,000 hits per day. Trust us, that's very good.
Silver,site, annie. The Vicious Circle. Half million hits. backstabbing bitch.
In order to get Ethan back for lying about the fight, Dixon texts Naomi about Ethan's cheating on her (Annie had shared the driver side oral she witnessed with her step brother). While one Wilson child is seeking revenge, the other is seeing how strange Beverly Hills friendships are: Naomi, of course, steals her entire paper for class, then hands over an $800 dress to Annie as a thank you.
Soon enough, though, Mr. Matthews and Harry catch on and this friendship is dissolved. Naomi is pissed that Annie didn't stand up for her and Annie can't believe how spoiled Naomi is. Fortunately, another relationship is developing: Silver apologizes to Annie for the blog and even helps her land a part in the school play.
Also making amends? Ethan. He goes back and says that George actually started the fight with Dixon, leading to fisticuffs between Ethan and George, as well as a spot on the team again for Dixon. This is great.... except that Dixon already sent Naomi that text. D'oh!
No party for Annie. Grounded for cheating. Snuck out. Shocker!
At the Not So Sweet 16, Navid films everything, making Ray J very proud. Also: Harry is confronted by Mrs. Clark, who drops a bombshell: she didn't get an abortion 20 years ago after these two broke up; she gave up a child for adoption. Yep, Harry and Naomi's mother are parents to a kid somewhere!
Meanwhile, Naomi finally receives Dixon's text message because Adriana returns her bag, claiming people at The Peach Pit found it. When she does, she learns of Ethan's infidelity and asks him about it while dancing. He admits it. She cries. Guess even bitches can bleed emotionally.
To end hour one, Silver takes Annie to a party on the beach, where they find Ethan (who must have set record time in booking it over there from the other shindig) doing his best Dylan McKay impression. Dude is totally surfing! We also learn that Kelly has a son.
Hour two of 90210 picks up after a weekend. Harry has come clean to Debbie and his child with Mrs. Clark. Jason, Annie's long distance boyfriend, has broken up with her up. And West Beverly is trashed by its lacrosse rival. No one messed with the West dammit! Someone call Mrs. Teasley!
In other underhanded news, a Naomi seeks revenge on Ethan by hooking up with George. She later admits it to Ethan and he reacts by breaking up with her. Apparently a blow job in the high school parking lot and sex with one's lacrosse teammate out of vegeance wasn't enough to officially end this relationship until Ethan came out and said it.
We then learn cool news about Navid: his dad is a producer of adult movies! He takes Dixon on set, but just to steal some pigs. They go to the rest of the lacrosse team and set the pigs loose at their rival's school, against the wishes of Principal Wilson, who had asked that no action be taken. Eventually, Dixon owns up to the act; and he's then backed up by Ethan (this guy really needs to learn to make the right decision the first time), so that no single player is kicked off the lacrosse team. We get a nice bonding moment between Dixon and Harry over the resolution to this mess.
Annie is also a mess. A hot mess, that is! She's totally smitten with Ty Cooper, the lead in the school play. Silver says to go for it, so Annie agrees to a date - which ends up being a plane ride to San Francisco for dinner. Annie bends the truth to Debbie in order to get permission, but is then screwed when Tabitha gets into a car accident.
Don't worry, the hilarious drunk is fine. But Ethan actually showed up with his grandmother to check on her. He and Annie flirt by the Wilson swimming pool after Annie lands. Ethan obviously likes her, while Annie will obviously be found out regarding her far away dinner plans; when Debbie does discover a set of matches from a San Francisco restaurant, she grounds her daughter.
Back to classic 90210 character news: Brenda shows up!!! She's in town for a month to work on the school play, crashing at Kelly's place and informing her that Brandon says hello from Belize. When Ryan shows up to ask Kelly out on a date, Brenda encourages it and volunteers to babysit.
We close the second hour with revelations about Silver and Naomi: they have same Chinese symbol tattoo for "friendship" on their lower backs. The reason? These two were best friends in eigth grade until Naomi told the whole school about Silver's dad having an affair. That crazy Mel Silver. He never could keep it in his pants.
Finally, Annie is about to go to sleep when Ty shows up. He kisses her. Just as he does - wouldn't you know it! - Ethan walks around the corner with a present. He sees the smooch, walks away and we fade to black...