SVH #41: Outcast

14 Oct

Estimated Elapsed Time: 1 week


The kids are still reeling from Regina Morrow’s tragic death at Molly Hecht’s party.  In order to channel that sorrow into something tangible, everyone decides to hate on Molly Hecht.  She’s feeling completely isolated at home and at school.  No one will talk to her: not her friends, not her former best friend Justin Belson, not even Elizabeth Wakefield, who brushes Molly off after she pleads for help.  Even her parents are pissed at her and basically blame her for Regina’s death.

Elizabeth doesn’t feel like she can talk to Molly, but then she realizes that maybe Molly really needs help, so she tries to recruit Justin, who all but hangs up on her the first time she asks.  She corners him at school and offers to help with his essay on Hamlet if he’ll help her with Molly, but he’s still extremely reluctant.  It takes a few more tries, but she finally convinces him to help her.

Buzz the drug dealer contacts Molly and asks her to meet him at Kelly’s.  She goes and lets him get her drunk and high before making out with him.  He tells her that he’s the only one who understands her, but in order for them to be together, they’ll have to run away because the cops are looking for him.  She says she has some money in an account, and the two make plans to go to Mexico.

Elizabeth follows Molly to the bank during lunch and figures out what’s going on.  She tells Justin, and the two of them worry about Molly for a while before finally heading over to her house to confront her.  When they get there, they see her getting into her mom’s car.  They follow her to Kelly’s where she gets into Buzz’s car.  Justin has Liz get out to call the police while he chases them down.  Buzz gets out of the car and tries to attack Justin with a knife, but he beats him off with a stick and a punch in the face.  The police come, Molly cries, and everyone’s okay.  Molly decides to become a better person.

The B-Plot involves Jessica wanting to do something in memory of Regina.  She recruits the rest of the Pi Beta Alphas into helping her create a scholarship fund for SVH students who have overcome adversity of some sort.  It is a success, thanks largely to Ned Wakefield, whose law firm will handle the financial aspects of it.  Jessica feels good about herself but still mostly hates Molly Hecht.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “‘Get out of here!’ he screamed, raising a hand as if to hit her.  ‘Get out of here and leave us alone!  You killed my sister!  You killed her!'” (50)
  • “No thanks.  I’ve been your scapegoat long enough, Elizabeth, so you can take your talking and shove it.” (113)

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • This book begins right after the last one, when people are just leaving Regina’s memorial service.
  • Sweet Valley High has a language lab.  This strikes me as extravagant.
  • Mrs. Wakefield picks up Chinese food for dinner, and everyone goes crazy for it, seemingly forgetting that Ned Wakefield is allergic.
  • Molly Hecht has $2,314.83 in her savings account.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

People tend to react irrationally when something bad happens.  When tragedy strikes, a natural impulse is to look for something or someone to blame.  In this case, it’s Molly Hecht, who hosted the infamous party where Regina died.  But people’s automatic shunning of Molly seems so forced and so over-the-top that it’s difficult to believe.  Her parents, in particular, struck me as a weak plot point:

“No, Molly.  You’re staying in Sweet Valley, and you’re going to go to school every single day.  You’re going to face those kids and take it, and you’re not staying home sick or or dropping out or moving away.  You’re going to stay and take what’s coming to you,” her father says to her after she tries to explain her feelings.

This scene comes quickly after a scene at the Wakefields’ house, where Ned and Alice sit all three kids down for a family meeting and talk about drugs.  Both parents urge their children to always feel as if they can approach them about anything, and the family shares some wholesome moments.  But Molly’s family situation is much different: her parents are divorced, her dad lives in San Francisco, they don’t seem to like her, etc. etc.  Perhaps this is why she got into drugs, but that is never explained or even talked about.

I guess it doesn’t matter why the trashy girls do drugs.  It only matters when it’s someone who’s heroic and beautiful like Regina.

Lesson learned.


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