The Bubble is the fourth episode of the first season of 90210, the reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210. It aired on The CW on September 16, 2008. The episode was written by Dailyn Rodriguez and directed by Sarah Pia Anderson.
Annie, Harry and Debbie are shocked to learn that West Beverly's theater director can no longer oversee the school musical. Kelly persuades Brenda to take over as the play's director, but they end up arguing over Kelly's involvement with Ryan and her latent feelings for Dylan. Meanwhile, financial struggles lead Dixon to get a job at the Peach Pit, and Naomi confronts her father's mistress. Harry Wilson reveals that West Beverly's theater director is no longer able to direct the school musical, "Spring Awakening," prompting Tabitha to offer her services as the new director, much to Annie, Harry and Debbie's surprise. Tabitha's approach with Adrianna doesn't go over well, so Kelly convinces Brenda to take over as guest director of the play. Kelly and Brenda get into a heated conversation about Kelly's involvement with Ryan Matthews and how it may affect her son. Dixon is worried about the family's financial situation and talks with Nat Bussichio at the Peach Pit about a part-time job. Naomi confronts her father's mistress and is shocked when she learns the direction in which her parents' marriage is headed. Annie is still upset with Ty Collins and agrees to a date with Ethan, only to be disappointed by its outcome.
We open on the Wilson's enjoying an oh-so-wholesome family breakfast at their home. Harry is explaining to the family that the director of the school play suddenly had to quit and Annie doesn't look too happy. Grandma Tabitha offers to direct the play, pretending Harry asked her to do it all along. Annie looks pleased, until Tabitha mentions "breathing through her ass".
Naomi and her parents are outside their home posing for their Christmas photographs. Naomi wants to know why they're doing this without her sister, who is apparently in Paris. Tracy explains that they'll just photoshop her sister in later. This infuriates Naomi who is already sick of how false everything is at home. Her father is oblivious to her anger and her mother flat-out refuses to discuss her husband's philandering, preferring to pretend it isn't happening. Devastated, Naomi reaches out to the one person she can trust, her own philandering ex, Ethan.
And speaking of Ethan, it seems that the lacrosse team member has a thing for Annie and she's clearlu into him, too. But apparently she's never learned rule number one of the girl code, you don't date you friends' recent exes, at least not if you don't want major drama on your hands. Not a month in La and Annie is already up to her emaciated clavicle in drama, because Ty is also scamming for a date. Annie turns down Ty, who takes the hint pretty clearly.
Dixon manages to knock the side mirror of the expensive import parked next to him in the car park. The alarm goes off and here comes the owner, who's looking pretty peeved. Dixon manages to calm the kid and promises to pay for the repairs himself. He's afraid to involve the insurance company because his dad might take away his keys. The boy agrees to take cash for the repairs, but now Dixon faces a money problem.
Dixon heads to the Peach Pit and Nat checks out Dixon's resume which is full of things like "dog walker" and "snow-shoveler". Dixon admits he's never had a real job before but that doesn's mean he won't work hard. He makes an oblique reference to Brandon Walsh and hires Dixon on the spot.
Kelly and Brenda are getting breakfast in the West Beverly cafeteria and talking about the old days and even mentioning that their old pal Donna Martin has a baby.
Outside, Naomi catches up with Silver who barely spares her ex-best friend a nanosecond. Naomi swallows her pride and begs Silver not to blog about her family's personal problems. Silver looks astonished that Naomi is even speaking to her, much less asking for a favour and she tells her no.
Tabitha is watching rehearsals and the rampant evil director/spoiled actress cliches are almost unbearable to behold. Her criticism is sharp and even granddaughter Annie isn't exempt from it, in fact, Annie gets it worse than anyone. She even goes as far as to tell Annie that in the theatre she is not her grandmother, just her director.
Annie begs her father to fire Tabitha but he tells her he absolutely cannot do that. But fortunately for Annie, Tabitha picks that moment to approach him in the hallway complaining about everything from the poor lighting and cheap costumes to the coffee on his tie. Kelly interrupts and suggests that she has a friend who could direct the play, the actress Brenda Walsh. Harry takes Brenda to meet Tabitha and she is surprisingly gracious. Tabitha is just starting to warm to Brenda when Harry drops the bomb that Brenda will be "assisting" Tabitha with the production. Tabitha looks a bit put-out by this news; she doesn't think she needs any help.
Silver warns Annie not to get involved with Ethan as it's a surefire recipe for heartbreak. She says she's seen the "Naomi/Ethan bubble" and it doesn't pop. Of course, Annie is sure that they're done and tells Silver there is nothing she can say to change her mind. She's going on their date and that is it.
Meanwhile, Ethan is having some difficulties at home taking care of her mentally-challenged brother. Naomi arrives, hoping to lean on Ethan for support, but winds up lending him support instead. She offers to help him with his brother and she handles the situation beautifully. She is gentle and kind and manages to calm down his agitated brother. Ethan watches her at work, a soft smile on his lips. Once his brother is settled down with popcorn and a movie, Naomi and Ethan speak quietly about her father's affair. Naomi wants to go face her father's mistress, Gail and she wants Ethan to go with her. He agrees but when Naomi actually confronts the home-wrecker it doesn't go according to plan. Gail informs her that she's not only moving to Beverly Hills, but into their family beach house.
Since Ethan is busy with his brother and Naomi, Annie is left sitting alone at the Peach Pit waiting for a date that never shows up. Worse, Ty comes in, to witness her humiliation. Ty leaves with his friends, and Annie is left to drown her sorrows in a diet soda.
Meanwhile, Ryan has been trying to deepen the relationship with Kelly but she's holding him at arms length. She's not ready to reveal her secrets, nor does she want to talk about Sammy's father. He tries to get answers from Brenda but Kelly's old friend isn't quite the rumour-monger she used to be. She's not comfortable discussing Kelly's private life and tells him so. In the parking lot, Brenda forces Kelly to admit her feelings for Dylan McKay, the father of her son.
Well, not that Ethan has given Annie the shaft and is officially "on-again" with Naomi, Annie realises she screwed things up with Ty. She brings him a container of snickerdoodles which doesn't exactly impress him but Annie is determined. She presses the tin into his hand and presses her lips to his. Ty doesn't exactly resist and deepens the kiss. Ty tells her that she's lucky she's so damn cute or he wouldn't even be having this conversation. They make a date and all is forgiven.
- AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi Clark
- Shenae Grimes as Annie Wilson
- Tristan Wilds as Dixon Wilson
- Ryan Eggold as Ryan Matthews
- Jessica Stroup as Erin Silver
- Michael Steger as Navid Shirazi
- Lori Loughlin as Debbie Wilson
- Rob Estes as Harry Wilson
- Dustin Milligan as Ethan Ward
- Jessica Walter as Tabitha Wilson
- Jessica Lowndes as Adrianna Tate-Duncan
- Christina Moore as Tracy Clark
- James Patrick Stuart as Charles Clark
- Adam Gregory as Ty Collins
Special Guest Star
- Shannen Doherty as Brenda Walsh
- Jennie Garth as Kelly Taylor
- Joe E. Tata as Nat Bussichio
- Chandra West as Gail McKinney
- Ryan Doom as Steven Ward
- Drew Tyler Bell as Car Guy
- "Disturbia" by Rihanna
- "The Trance" by Headland
- "How Many Ways" by Senor Happy
- "Changes" by Lori Denae Frankfort & Evan Frankfort
- "Leaving" by Lori Denae Frankfort & Evan Frankfort
- "Day I Die" by Drug Rug
- "Mamma Who Bore Me" by Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater
- "She's New" by Senor Happy
- "Not Nineteen Forever" by The Corteeners
- "Even The Score" by Senor Happy
- "Feel Good About It" by Marching Band
- "Don't Believe In Love" by Dido
- "Adventures In Solitude" by The New Pornographers