At the beginning of Season 1, Episode 18, Brandon and Steve are frantically walking down the halls of West Bev freaking out about the upcoming SATs. Steve mentions some SAT guru, Alfred B. Cook who will help improve your score. Brandon doesn't buy it, he believes that hard work and intelligence will earn him a top score because he's a square who doesn't know how to ask for help or cheat his way to a better score.
Brandon drops by the Blaze and sees Ol' Twatty (Andrea) in a real tizzy. He uses the word "masticating" and Ol' Twatty is upset because he doesn't say the word "masturbating" followed by the words "to the thought of you." You see, Ol' Twatty ain't messin' around with these SATs. She sucks at standardized testing and is afraid that she won't make it into Princeton. She thinks it's unfair that rich kids like Steve Sanders get to use the powers of Alfred B. Cook.
After school, gal pals, Brenda, Donna & Kelly hang out at Kelly's place and feel themselves up with the backdrop of Kelly's mug in Warhol-esque pictures.
Kelly reads an article in a magazine encouraging women to give themselves at-home breast exams. Is this image engrained in anyone elses mind from when this episode first aired?
When this episode first aired, I hadn't yet developed boobs. In fact, I was horrified at the prospect of it. I had seen the puberty video with the girl who played Annie and didn't want anything to do with any of that stuff. My idea of puberty was seeing a teenage girl at a local custard stand and noticing she had womanly hips and I thought, "oh, she must have her period." To me, it had nothing to do with ovulation, shedding disgusting linings or anything like that. It had to do with hips. Womanly hips. Those hips meant you now really had to watch your underwear and it scared the crap out of me, which I guess I would also have to check my underwear for.
Anyway, I digress. The girls lay on some pillows while they check their um, dirty pillows and Donna jokes about them being glad that they all use Dial. Brenda explains that her aunt died at a pretty young age from breast cancer.
"All clear?", asks Kelly. All (hestitantly) clear. Brenda is not in the clear. She thinks she felt something, but doesn't tell Kelly or Donna.
At Casa de Walsh, Brenda feels herself up some more, but looks really, really pretty while she does it.
Brenda confides in her mom, Cindy. Her dad, Jim thinks it might only be an ingrown hair.
Cindy takes Brenda in to see the doctor. Brenda mentions that she noticed something a few weeks ago, but thought she was bruised from a volleyball. Cindy gets all mom on her for not saying anything sooner.
The doctor conducts a needle biopsy to see whether or not the cyst is solid. Brenda hates needles, but is a sport and doesn't even realize she talked through the whole test.
Bummer. The cyst is solid and they have to conduct a full biopsy. Cindy is concerned.
Brenda is more concerned because the biopsy is scheduled the same day as her SATs. The doctor tries to reassure them by saying it's probably nothing because of Brenda's young age.
Back to SAT studying, Ol' Twatty goes over to Steve's sweet pad to see if he can teach her the ways of Alfred B. Cook (or is it Alfred Be Fried, as Steve jokes).
To really soak up the knowledge (and the wet spot) on Steve's water bed, Ol' Twatty lets loose and takes off her glasses and lays down.
Ol' Twatty creams her high-waisted Bill Blass jeans when Steve says she looks cute without her glasses on. Typical, Steve. Typical. She was wretched with glasses, but beautiful without them. This is the second time this has happened to Andrea in one season. To really get his point across, he plants one on Ol' Twatty.
Flustered and creamed, Ol' Twatty quickly grabs her things and leaves.
Over at Casa de Walsh, B&B are reminiscing about their aunt. They exchange tales about how great she was and Brandon being the good brother he is, stays strong and supportive.
The next day at the Quad, Ol' Twatty wants to confess her hot, awkward makeout sesh with Steve. Before she can tell her tale, Brandon confides in Ol' Twatty about Brenda's possible breast cancer and admits how scared he truly is saying that he can't flip out at home, but inside he's flipping out. Suddenly, the SATs and water bed makeouts don't seem so important. Perspective.
Brenda tells Kelly and Donna about her upcoming biopsy. Everyone is really concerned for poor Brenda. Kelly feels guilty that she made her feel herself up. Brenda is happy she discovered something is wrong.
Brenda sees Dylan by her locker and has a minor freak out telling him the sitch.
Dylan takes Brenda home and tells her he loves her. Brenda doesn't say it back. Instead she pushes him away with fear saying, "you didn't even want to touch me after I told you."
Once she calms down a bit, she calls back her ma'an and leaves a message telling him she loves him too through tears.
Brenda rests her tired soul and has a terrible, no good dream about her funeral taking place in the classroom while everyone is taking their SATs.
This guy presents the funeral of Brenda in SAT form.
Brenda mills about the classroom going up to the ones she cares about. These SAT questions are weird. First, is Dylan's test. Brenda reads his test question aloud, "When I told Brenda I loved her, it was said out of"
d) Heart-felt Emotion
Dylan takes too long to answer and she can't believe he actually has to think about it.
Next, she reads Brandon's test question, "If Brenda's entire life can be expressed as a 24-hour day, what time will she be forgotten"
a) 1 a.m.
b) 12 noon
c) 4 p.m.
d) Brenda will never be forgotten
Brandon answers "b" and Brenda yells, "you're going to forget me by lunch time!"
On to Kelly, her question is, "What thing do you most want Brenda to leave you in her will"
a) Red Pumps
b) Porceline Doll Collection
c) Turquoise Earrings
d) Her Boyfriend
Kelly answers "d." Twat. And where is this porceline doll collection?
Finally, her mom is also taking the dream SAT and is asked, "What will you miss most about Brenda"
a) Her Stunning Personality
b) Sparkling Intelligence
c) Quick Wit
d) Her Help in the Kitchen
Cindy answers "d" leaving Brenda asking if that's all she's worth. Cindy screams, "WAKE UP!!"
At the hospital, Jim and Cindy show concern over bold colors and sassy male sweaters.
Brenda braves the biopsy like a shining star.
A shining under blaring hospital-lighting star.
While Brenda's making sure her boobs are in check, the gang is about to take their SATs. Steve is running late.
So is Ol' Twatty.
Our wet bed lovers run into each other.
Together they decide that it was just one of those things and that they should put it behind them. The teacher finds them in the hall and tells the "lovebirds" to take a seat.
Back at the hospital, Brenda got that cyst removed like a true champ.
The doctor told her that she can't shower for two days and that the cyst looked like a little piece of chewed gum.
Brenda gasps after the surgery and everyone thinks she's having an immediate relapse, but really she's just concerned that her hair is a mess.
Dylan shows up with flowers after going to five hospitals. Whatta man. Whatta man in a shirt straight off the rack of Merry-Go-Round.
Back at Casa de Walsh, the doorbell rings and Cindy answers the phone. Oh, Cindy. The rest of the gang shows up to support Brenda as she awaits her results.
The phone rings, Brenda answers and finds out this time she really is in the clear and that her hormones are raging. Out of flair hormones are so much better than breast cancer.
Brandon and Brenda hug it out and he tells her to never do that to him again. She pinky swears and says, "I won't, I promise." The end.
**Back to that whole scary puberty talk. When this show first came out, I honestly was too young to fully understand a lot of it. I pretended like I knew these things, but I didn't at all. My mom was a long-time subscriber to People magazine and I remember reading the blurb about this episode and how it actually was to bring awareness to breast cancer because Carol Potter had breast cancer. The more you know.
***And how sad is it that Shannen Doherty was diagnosed with real life breast cancer this year. You braved it as your character, you can do it again. All of us at the Beverly Beat have faith.