Sweet Valley High #097 “The Verdict” – Crazy, Crazy, Crazy

For Christmas this year, we’re blessing you all with the best thing to ever come to Sweet Valley, “The Evil Twin” mini-series. Catch up with the links below before continuing to part 3.

Magna Edition
Part 1          Part 2

The Verdict little-cap: The Ghostwriting Collective has no idea how a trial actually works. I don’t either, but at least I watch enough TV to fake it. Liz still can’t remember what happened the night of the jungle prom, but it doesn’t matter in the end, because the verdict comes to you via a deux ex machina. Jessica is crazy, and she’s spends the whole book getting crazier. Also: kissing Todd. Todd is a scumbag. See: kissing Jessica. Steve divides his time between flirting with Billie and worrying about his crazy ass family. Lila finds out why her mother left her, and wants to Parent Trap her parents back together. Bruce spends the whole book treating Pamela terribly, but then he says I’m sorry at the end. Margo arrives in Sweet Valley. Marg-YES.



Lorraine: Lila is no longer mad at her mother, Grace, for not being in her life because “the past doesn’t matter. Just the present.” Uh… kay. Over cocktails before dinner, Lila witnesses some very! awkward! moments! pass between her parents, like when the start reminiscing about their first dates, or when Grace is all, “YOU ONLY GET ONE FAMILY,” all twitchy and crazy like.

Sara: At least they weren’t talking about their sexual past? 

Lorraine: Parent sex, ew.

After Elizabeth’s trial is over, Grace sits down with Lila and tells her why she left Sweet Valley: when Grace met Papa Fowler (I guess back then he was just “George”) he had no money. (Sara: Ew.) His father was a butcher. Grace’s family was from old money and George was uncomfortable with his whole being poor thing. He vowed to get filthy rich. They got married, had Lila and then Grace’s family lost all of their money. It was old, so maybe it died. *rimshot*

Papa Fowler was working all the time (not much has changed) and Grace was sick of it. She told Papa Fowler that she was leaving and taking Lila with her. He was all, “NO” and she was all, “YES” and she took Lila anyways. In response, Papa Fowler had Grace declared an unfit parent. Grace was young and poor and stupid, apparently, and the courts gave Papa Fowler full custody with no maternal visitation rights. Papa Fowler has been ignoring his daughter ever since. Grace moved to Europe and bettered her life and got less stupid, except for the part where she never called her only daughter. Why is calling people so hard for the citizens of Sweet Valley?

Sara: Maybe those Zach Morris cell phones weren’t as awesome as they looked.

Lorraine: I refuse to believe that. If Zach Morris could order pizza in homeroom, moms can call daughters and Todds can call their girlfriends on trial.

Lila is momentarily mad at her Papa, but then vows to reunite her family and finally be happy, dammit.

Poor, poor Lila.


Bruce and Pamela

Pamela, aka Raven Blue, starts at Sweet Valley and Bruce is not happy. In fact, he’s basically a dick. Whenever Bruce is mentioned in this recap, assume he’s being a dick. At the moment, he’s decided that Blue’s whole explanation about being a virgin was a lie. He’d rather subscribe to the ho!rumors.

Raven Blue is determined to fit in at SVH, which means trips to the Dairi Burger and school games. Everyone avoids her like the plague. Jess is cheering at the soccer game Raven Blue attends, and apparently in between her busy schedule of being a bitch, stealing her sister’s boyfriend, roofie-ing innocents and cheer leading, Jess still has time to pick on random people. She calls Raven Blue a tramp and surprisingly, it’s Lila who sticks up for the girl.

Sara: I’m starting to wonder if Jessica has another twin who helps her sabotage all of the people in Sweet Valley. It sounds like a full-time job being Jessica Wakefield.

Lorraine: Bruce’s cousin Roger feels guilty about everything that’s happened with Raven. He was the first to warn Bruce about her reputation, but he didn’t mean for Bruce to be a total scrotum wrinkle about it. Bruce is all, “I got what I wanted out of Pamela—the same thing every other guy’s gotten from her. I can live with that.” WHAT? YOU MEAN NOTHING? I would launch into a tirade about teenagers, sexuality and societal pressures, but fuck it. Sweet Valley don’t care.


Lorraine: It really pissed me off too. They should’ve just named this mini-series the “Hate All the Characters at Once” series.

Roger vows to befriend Blue himself. At the same time, Lila and Amy decide that Blue is alright with them, since she starts to volunteer at Project Youth after school. They think their new found appreciation for Blue would be best served by reconciling Bruce and Blue. So basically, they hate her?

Sara: As much as they’re setting Blue up for a future of regularly scheduled gynecological exams and herpes medication, it is really sweet of them to try. And it further solidifies the fact that Jessica is a sociopathic, asshole bitchface. Her best friends are willing to be nice, but she’s just waiting for her next opportunity to roofie some poor, unsuspecting kid.

Lorraine: Amy catches a ride with Bruce and says something along the lines of, “I totally misjudged Pamela. She’s actually pretty awesome. You know how sometimes people think I’m an airhead and sometimes people think you are an evil, self-centered twit?” Yes? Wait, so are you saying that Pamela IS a whore? I’m confused.

No, her point is that everyone has other sides to them. So… Pamela is a whore, but a nice one? Amy. Stop helping. Bruce buys it though, especially when Amy is all, “btdubs? Blue is still in love with you.”

The next day at school, Bruce sees a Big Mesa guy trying to force Pamela in a car. She’s crying and resisting. Bruce promptly goes over and punches him in the Big Mesa face. Bruce then apologizes to Pam and she’s happy. Bruce is still a dick.

Sara: Poor Pamela, having to choose between Big Mesarape and Bruceherpes. 

Cry Count
Pamela -3



Margo is on a bus cross country with nothing but a newspaper picture of Elizabeth in her bag and Clint Eastwood in her head. LOL. JAYKAY. She’s also got all the cash and jewellery she’s stolen. Oh, Margo. She keeps telling people lies about why she’s going to California (finding her long lost mother, her grandma dying, etc). People are stupid and give her money and food.

She gets happy(crazy) over the fact that none of the newspapers or magazines seem to have any mention of her. Plus, she’s really excited about all the fun she’ll have in Sweet Valley. I’m really excited too, Margo.

Sara: KILL JESS! KILL JESS! KILL JESS! Ahem… sorry, go on.

Lorraine: Margo gets to LA and is spotted by the brother of dead Georgie. Who is there because…?

He grabs her and threatens to turn her over to the police but she cries out and some boys think she’s getting harassed. They save her. Margo books it and gets on a bus to San Diego, in case she’s being followed. She isn’t. She laughs (crazily) about this.

Sara: It’s really too bad that Margo wasn’t in Sweet Valley when this happened. Lord knows no one would have run over to help her then. “What, you’re being attacked? Oh, girlfriend, that happens all the time around here! See you in school tomorrow!”

Lorraine: Truth.

AND HERE WE ARE. Margo gets to Sweet Valley and she (crazily) scouts out the mall. She sees Pam, Lila and Amy having ice cream and thinks that soon, she’ll be having ice cream too! Except without Amy because she’s too pretty and she has to go. Woooooow.

Sara: Aw, come on, Margo. Amy just started being nice! Maybe you could go for someone else… with blonde hair… blue-green eyes… rhymes with HOT MESS…

Lorraine: Margo sits in her room in Sweet Valley and searches the papers again, but still, no mention of her killing people all across the country with toasters and scarves. She does have a snazzy new blonde wig, however, and is super excited to learn that Perfect Liz has a twin sister named Jess! A pair of turquoise contacts and BAM:

“I am Elizabeth Wakefield, and I have a twin sister! Watch out Sweet Valley!”


Sara: My favorite part is that she specifically requests contacts in a “blue-green, the color of the Pacific Ocean.” Damn, this girl is good, y’all.

Cry Count
Margo – fake tears are all she’s got – 1


Elizabeth, Jessica and Todd

Lorraine: Oh, what, we get a trial already? Do these things normally happen so fa… you know what? Never mind. I’m embracing the INSTATRIAL. Ned is now Liz’s lawyer and he’s trying to help her piece together what happened at the jungle prom. The night before the trial starts. Uh, Papa Wakefield? Shouldn’t you have some things figured out by now?

Liz says all she remember is dancing with Sam and I just want to yell, “ROOFIES. ROOFIES. OMG. ROOFIES,” at everyone because in three books not one person has thought that MAYBE Liz’s drink was spiked. Verdict: guilty of supreme stupidity.

Liz cries “a single tear” because Jess is still being psychotic. Then she thinks about Todd and cries “another hot tear.”

Everyone at school is talking about the INSTATRIAL and Jessicrazy is being a total shithead about it. It’s creeping all her friends out that she keeps saying things like “justice will be served” and that nothing about this trial affects her. Margo, is that you? Nope. Jessica is just crazy.

What’s worse, she’s now dating Todd, who I officially hate forever. Seriously, I don’t care how many people he throat punches. He pretends that Jess is Liz. Creeper.

Sara: I wish Dead Sam Angel would come back from the dead and start dating Elizabeth. Then they can both get really drunk and run Jessica and Todd over with their Jeep. Bastards.

Lorraine: Meanwhile, Steven is settling into his apartment with his new roommate, Billie, spelled with a vagina. She’s awesome and pretty and stuff, but Steven is finding it hard to flirt with her, on account of being distracted by his sister being on trial for manslaughter.

Sara: NBD, obviously.

Lorraine: Jessica and Todd decide to go out to the Beach Disco the night before the trial- and oh! Wow. I can hate them more than I previously did. Todd is possessed, I think, because he keeps doing things against his will. Like, whoops, suddenly he’s dancing with Jess. And whoops, suddenly he’s enjoying himself. And whoops, suddenly they are kissing and what do you know? Suddenly he likes it. (Sara: Whoops, suddenly you have Chlamydiae.) Todd is falling for Jess. Verdict: guilty of fraternizing with the enemy.

Liz is super scared of, you know, going on INSTATRIAL so she goes to talk to her mother, who essentially pats her on the shoulder, says she’ll be fine, and goes to keep dusting. We’re supposed to see that she’s losing it, but I just see that she’s the worst mother ever.

Sara: But I bet her house looks awesome!

Lorraine: The next day at the INSTATRIAL, there are lots of cameras and reporters shouting at Liz. Todd and Enid are there, but Jess decides to skip the entire thing. Then… THEN..!

The prosecution calls Elizabeth to the stand.

The prosecution calls Elizabeth to the stand, y’all. LOL FOREVER. Fifth amendment, what?

As Elizabeth is testifying against herself, we get to hear “I don’t remember” like 80 times. As Todd watches all this, he feels all guilty about abandoning his girlfriend and then dating her twin sister. I mean, even if he did see her “hugging and kissing” Sam at the jungle prom. TODD, WHAT? There was no kissing! Quit lying to yourself, you stupid, stupid boy.

Sara: Can we get A Night to Remember reprinted for every single person in this series, please? They obviously don’t know what the fuck is going on anymore. Jessicrazy probably roofied them all.

Lorraine: Todd goes out for pizza with Jess after the trial. He tries to tell Jess that being with her feels wrong but Jess’ internal monologue goes all stalker-crazy and says a lot of stuff about them being meant for each other. I suppose she means all the way back since that first time she falsely accused him of rape. Star-crossed, for sure.

Jess tells Todd that Liz abandoned him and killed Sam and she’s guilty of everything ever, including all the missing socks in the wash, traffic in the morning, that itch in the middle of your back you can’t reach and, uh, still famine and war. Todd says he still feels guilty but then he kisses Jess, because… I don’t really know why. He sucks. A lot.

Steven confides in Billie Vagina about all the different levels of crazy his family is. She swears not to tell anyone. Later, Todd comes over to Steven’s apartment all, “I don’t know what to do! I abandoned your one sister who is on trial for manslaughter and I’m faux-dating the emotionally unstable one. Le’sigh.” Steven is awesome in that he basically is all, “what the fuck.” He makes Todd feel like shit about his entire life and I suddenly love Steven.

Sara: You can totally double date with me and Dead Sam Angel!

Lorraine: Todd decides to write Liz an apology letter. In the letter he asks her to wear the turquoise bracelet he bought for her as a sign of forgiveness. Wait, she has to wear it, look at him, touch it and blink. OH TODD. SO DUMB IS YOU. He delivers the letter to the Wakefield house but Jessicaca gets to it first. She actually laughs at Todd’s stupidity.

Sara: For once, I agree with Jess. What a jackass.

Lorraine: Jess’ internal monologue says something about Liz “not taking Todd away from me.” Seriously, her internal monologue is the most forgetful bitch in the history of ever. YOU STOLE TODD FROM HER. DAMMIT CACA. Verdict: guilty of I hate you please die now.

The second day at the INSTATRIAL doesn’t go well. Did you guys hear that Liz doesn’t remember what happened? Because she doesn’t remember. She can’t remember at all. Enid later sees a boy in a college sweatshirt talking to the bailiff.

Back at the University, Steven is approached by some idiot who says something about Mama Wakefield being off her rocker and asks if she’s in the hospital. Steven is incensed and remembers that the only person he talked to about Mama Wakefield is Billie Vagina. He confronts her, she says she didn’t tell anyone, yelling, Steven cries, Billie is moving out in the morning.

Jessicrazy watches Todd at basketball practice and basically think about how without his faux-loving, she’d just kill herself. He tries to blow her off, but Jessica lies about Liz finding his note, reading it, and tearing it up.

Sara: Seriously, Todd’s synopsis should just be: TODD IS A FUCKING IDIOT THE END.

Lorraine: Also contemplating suicide is Liz. She asks Dead Sam Angel what it’s like to be dead. Dead Sam is probably all, “I don’t have to deal with you crazies anymore, so uh, awesome.”

The third and final day at INSTATRIAL, Lila approaches Steven and asks about how Mama Wakefield is doing. She says Jess was talking about her, and she’s been worried. Steven realizes that Jess is the actual blabber mouth and not Billie the Vagina, so he’s pretty happy about that. Meanwhile, Papa Wakefield is called to the judge’s chambers.

When the proceedings start, the prosecution calls Elizabeth to the stand. Again. For the third time. Liz says she remembers it all clearly. LOL. JAYKAY. She says she doesn’t remember anything.

When Liz is finally done not remembering anything, Ned calls up a new witness. It’s the dude who Enid saw talking to the bailiff. He says that the night of the jungle prom, he’d broken up with his girlfriend. He was tipsy, not paying attention and sads. Anyways, he took the turn on the wrong side of the road and side-swiped the jeep. Saint Elizabeth was drunk, sure, but she was still perfectly obeying the rules of the road. It’s Random Contrivance Boy’s fault that Sam is dead.

Sara: What in the….? No, seriously. WHAT IN THE FUCK. Why would this kid come forward? His scapegoat was all set up and ready to take the fall for him! He just turned himself in for no reason! Well, besides morals and stuff, but fuck that noise. 

Lorraine: The judge is all, “welp. That’s that!” Seriously, he just gives his verdict right there with no closing arguments or anything. My high school debate team knows more than you, Ghostwriting Collective. Liz’s Verdict: not guilty. Real verdict: dumbest trial ever.

Jess is relieved because if Liz isn’t at fault for the accident, she never, ever has to take ownership over the fact that she roofied her sister and boyfriend. The Wakefields all hug Liz, leaving Jess and Todd out. Yeah, well, no douches allowed in family hugs. Todd gets super sad and deals with it by putting his arm around Jess. God dammit. I fucking hate him.

The family has dinner and they are all enjoying the shit out of life, and essentially leaving Jessica out of it. Mama Wakefield even mad salmon, which Liz loves and Jess hates. It’s kind of amazing. She doesn’t think so, though, because she yells about Sam still being dead. OH SHUT UP. Go cry to Todd, you twat waffle.

Sara: And the family continues being super awesome. They keep saying things like, “ISN’T IT SO AWESOME TO HAVE YOUR FAMILY BEHIND YOU ALL THE WAY? AHEM AHEM COUGH.” And Jessica feels like a jackass. #FamilyWin

Lorraine: Jessica ends up going to cry to Todd. Basically she goes crazy. I’m sorry have I said crazy a lot? Because, for real. She tells Todd that Liz has always been “cold and selfish and conniving. She uses people to get what she wants and then twists it around to make it look like she was doing them a favor.” She goes on about how Liz never loved Todd. He isn’t having it, but Jess keeps living la vida loca, (that’s Spanish for crazy) and says that the jungle prom was the best night ever because it was the night their love started. Todd is all, “dude. THE NIGHT SAM DIED WAS THE BEST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE YOU CRAZY BITCH?”

Jessica cries, tries to kiss Todd and, uh, is crazy.

When she gets back home, Liz asks if she had fun. Jess smiles and is all, “I was with Todd and we had so much fun.” Liz can tell that Jess isn’t herself anymore and feels so bad. I wonder if she’d still feel bad if she knew about the liquor/roofies.

Ah, fuck. It’s Liz. She’d still feel bad.

Cry Count
Elizabeth – 3
Jessica – 3
Todd – 1
Steven – 1
Margo – fake tears are all she’s got – 1
Pamela -3

Crazy Count – 19


Next time on Sweet Valley High: Margo! Margo! Margo! Find out what all the excitement is about in SVH #98 – The Wedding.


Sara (all posts)

I'm a married old lady of 25 who is currently pregnant and eating all the things. ALL THE THINGS. I work full time and consider myself "in between" semesters of college, because that sounds better than, "I have 8 classes left and just can't force myself to finish." There's a whole lot of Internet out there, and I plan on reading all of it before I die.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • Jesus. I'm pretty sure everyone in the legal profession just had a simultaneous *head explodes* moment. Seriously. Also? I had no idea it was possible for Jess to be more of a douche canoe than she already was. You live and learn, huh?

    (Also also? In my head, Sam is played by Chord Overstreet dressed in head to toe denim. It's a little weird…)

  • Low

    I'm so freakin' stoked for the Margo review. You bitches rock.

  • I am so glad you said that, because I was JUST telling Lorraine the exact same thing about Chord Overstreet last week! I totally picture Dead Sam Angel as a goofy, floppy haired surfer boy. Plus the idea of head to toe denim sounds dangerously sexy. 🙂

  • Every time I re-read through the recaps, I hear the Jaws music in my head as Margo gets closer and closer to Sweet Valley… God, I love her.

  • OH STOP. You rock.

    I'm reading this all for the first time so I have no idea what happens when Margo gets to Sweet Valley, but I'm excited too. So excited.

  • Serioues, Sara said that to me. And then when we got the email notification about this comment she was all, "SEEE?"

    Freaky brain share, you guys.

  • Unfortunately, Sara, this is a pretty fair portrayal of high school boys. Ask my little sister how many guys at her high school claim to have had sex with her. About 75% of them are little assholes.

    I seriously can't get over the fictional existence of Jessica Wakefield.

  • You guys. This makes me so freaking happy. 1) Because international brain sharing is cool, and 2) Because I'm not the only one.

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