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Skin Deep is the 28th episode of Season 8 of Beverly Hills, 90210.

SynopsisEdit

Kelly protests Brandon's research on the opening of a sex shop in Beverly Hills; his participation in a bachelor party for high-school pal Muntz; and physical-image concerns of her mother and sister. Meanwhile, Donna learns a friend has a psychological problem; Steve has second thoughts about Janet after learning her attitude about sex.

RecapEdit

Steve and Brandon are at home with fraternity brother, MUNTZ. They are teasing him about getting married and decide to throw him a bachelor party. Kelly is upset that she found a “girlie” magazine and is not pacified when Brandon explains it is research for a newspaper story. He is writing about a sex-toy shop is opening in Beverly Hills to which the neighborhood is opposed. Kelly and Brandon have different opinions - she against the store, he for the freedom to operate a legal business. Donna is unnecessarily critical of her assistant MONICA at a photo shoot. Monica flees to the bathroom where she uses a small blade to cut herself on the arm; there is already a row of previously self-inflicted wounds. Monica covers with Donna saying they are scratches from her cat. As Brandon and Steve discuss live entertainment for the bachelor party, Steve is surprised and intrigued to hear Janet mention the party favors available at the sex-toy shop. Valerie suggests to David they go away together for a few days. He misunderstands her intentions when he assumes she has been reading a magazine article entitled “How To Jump Start Your Romance”.

Kelly is stunned to hear her mother is planning to have plastic surgery and her seven-year-old sister is caught up in dieting. On a date with Brandon she comments that her family is obsessed in the superficiality of fulfilling the stereotypical male-fantasy of what a woman should look like. Even though Brandon protests, Kelly cannot abandon the thought that the “girlie” magazine images are a substitute for her in his dreams. They continue to lock horns over the issue of pornography vs. freedom of choice. Brandon interviews protesters outside Guilty Pleasures sex-toy shop and the manager. The locals don’t want their kids exposed and the manager defends his Constitutional rights. David buys lots of sex toys thinking Valerie will be interested. When he arrives home with them Valerie is unreceptive. Donna mentions Monica’s cuts to Kelly and Noah. Kelly remembers an article that describes a syndrome of self-punishment for not reaching one’s high levels of expectations. Brandon asks Janet her opinion of “girlie” magazines. Janet shrugs them off as misrepresentation of the real world. She explains that she is the child of hippies and was taught that sex is a beautiful thing. She insults Steve when he jumps at her words as reason for them to get together.

Donna tries to get Monica to discuss her feelings and seek medical help. Monica admits that the self-infliction started in college and that the cuts give her a sense of relief. She later contacts a therapist. In a rare moment of friendship, Valerie and Kelly discuss their lack of understanding as to why men must fantasize when they have a woman already in their lives. A stripper entertains the guys at the bachelor party. Kelly is fuming with anger when Brandon returns from the party stating that she finds bachelor parties demeaning. She continues that she is hurt by marriage being represented as a loss of freedom, at this Brandon flares accusing her of questioning his morals and blaming him for others’ actions. Valerie and David confuse each other when both are not interested in the sextoys they each brought home. On a hike together Valerie and David discuss the misunderstanding – Valerie laughs that she was simply reading her horoscope in the magazine and doesn’t feel the need for help with romance. Donna decides not to continue promoting the unreal idea of beauty and will change her clothing line models from tall and voluptuous to “real”. Brandon goes to declare a truce with Kelly. He is shocked when she presents him with a box of “toys” to be shared with your lover, he rubs honey dust on her lips and they kiss.

StarringEdit

Jason Priestley as Brandon Walsh
Jennie Garth as Kelly Taylor
Ian Ziering as Steve Sanders
Brian Austin Green as David Silver
Tori Spelling as Donna Martin
Tiffani Thiessen as Valerie Malone
Joe E. Tata as Nat Bussichio
Vincent Young as Noah Hunter

Recurring cast

Lindsay Price as Janet Sosna
Ryan Brown as Morton Muntz

Guest starring

Ann Gillespie as Jackie Taylor
Mercedes Kastner as Erin Silver
Randy Crowder as Jerry Eckersley
Jode Leigh Edwards as Monica
Christopher Maleki as Joe
Andrea Abenoza as Ricki
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