Seriously, this one was frakking awesome.


Again, kidnapping warrants an exclamation point. And high wasted jeans. I am not sure what the cover is supposed to depict. Is the guy on the right supposed to be Adam Marvel? And that would make the one on the left Sam? If so, I am thoroughly disappointed.

AWESOME! Cults are like my third favorite cultural phenomenon, after serial killers and child beauty pageants. Sweet Valley is home to vampires, rapists, bombers and killers, so why not a cult?

We open with Jessica being grounded for failing math by Nalice (that’s short for Ned and Alice, I just coined it) and my god! Life isn’t fair! She has to say home and study! And her friends are out doing things without her! Of course if she is grounded then the world should stop. I’m surprised school isn’t canceled. Amy and Lila and the gang actually seem like they are having a great time. They have a super-mega weekend where they have a sleepover Friday night, a party Saturday night, and then a BBQ on Sunday afternoon. Ah, to be that social- I miss my early 20s. I am sure they are glad that Jessica is not around, for once. I’ll bet Lila is pretty fun when Jessica is not around. To top it all off, her boyf Sam is being a total jerk-off. He is riding in a huge race, which has been planned forever, and is totally his passion, but how DARE he not cancel because Jessica wants to go to the DB and show off her new outfit! What an ASSHOLE!

I am not sure if the writers want us to feel bad for Jessica or if they want the readers to see what a brat she is. I don’t think they are doing a great job of either.

Jessica is at the mall and sees two girls shopping together and breaks down because it reminds her when she used to have friends! Oh the agony! Some guy sees her crying and invites her to the Good Friends house, where people are generally characterized by their bad fashion: “The members of the good friends were, in looks at least, a pretty dowdy bunch. The boys mostly wore faded jeans and old plaid shirts. The girls wore clothes that hadn’t been in fashionable in at least a year. There was only one blonde in the room, and she didn’t even have a tan.”

Jessica decides to go and notices that the house is in a pretty bad neighbrohood, probably by Tricia Martin’s house. The house seems like every liberal-recent-college-grad group house in Mount Pleasant in Washington, DC, so if this is a cult, I am guilty. Jessica is all judgy of the people there, but of course is convinced when she meets Adam Marvel, their leader. Of course, he is the most gorgeous! guy! she’s Ever! Seen! and he totally plays into her narcissism.

Jessica gets sucked in and in typical Jessica fashion, she totally throws herself into it, dressing like, well, Liz, and spouting Good Friends rhetoric, which consists “being good” and not frivilous. It’s pretty fucking hilarious. “The Good Friends are good friends to everyone. Don’t forget that . Instead of shrinking inside of themselves, they reach out and help. Helping others is the only way we can help ourselves.” Isn’t that the girl scout mission statement? At the dinner table Ned talks about a case he is working on, involving a young teen who has been kidnapped by a local cult. Jeez, what the hell kind of superhero lawyer is Ned? He does family law, criminal law, propoerty law and now does investigative work?

Honestly, the cult doesn’t seem all that culty, most of what they do is collect money for “charity” in malls and shopping centers. Jessica gets a clue that Adam is evil when he dips into the charity money to buy groceries for the house. That makes the cult evil? Maybe if they were sacrificing children in the basement I would believe it, but dipping in to keep the cult running…that makes sense to me! You have to spend money to make money right? Wow, you’d think I have an M.B.A.

Liz infiltrates the group and pretends to be Jessica to see what the cult does and finds the cult to be…incredibly boring.

Liz confront Jess aboutn the cult, but lets Jessica continue, as long as nothing dangerous happens, but then Adam decides he wants the cult to leave SV, Jessica decides to go with them (jeez, how many times has Jessica run away? Do your homework, ghostwriters!) and Liz and Todd save the day! Turns out someone in the cult was really an undercover reporter and Adam found out so they tied her up and were going to skip town. It also turns out that Adam Marvel has been setting up Good Friends cults all over the country. Hey, he’s franchsing! Can’t blame a guy for using good business acumen.

Jessica is reprogrammed in about five minutes and the Wakefield fam all have a big laugh about it.

Someone should hook up Carl the Orderly with the Good Friends group- seems like he could use the company.

Oh and yes, the most boring subplot ever. Todd and Liz join the school’s bowling team. Except that there is not even any scenes at the bowling alley. Justin Silver (a Jew?), the coach, has the hots for Liz because obviously the twins are so gorgeous no one can resist them. Liz tries to act like she is offended but in reality she acts like a total cock tease because she loves the attention. Todd gets angry or something, and then she tells Justin to back off, and that’s it, if you could even call it a subplot.

Great quote:

“I mean, what if they have a crazy nickname for Jessica? These people do that a lot. You know, they might call her Shaheena or Bright Star or something.” Todd can be funny, on occasion.

Grade: A+

What’s your favorite cult? I am a fan of the Manson family, but am also preferable to the Blanetologists.