Lor: Winston’s sub-plot in this book is probably here for four reasons: 1.) to show us how much Margo hates babies b.) to show us how crazy Margo is cat.) to make sure we realize that Margo will kill babies and DD.) to makes us laugh a little, despite the fact that Margo is planning to murder Elizabeth’s face off. (Sara: I laughed!)
Winston’s parents are visiting an aunt and have left him to his own devices for a week. He celebrates by talking to himself a lot and eating peanut butter and sardine sandwiches. What in the ew? Winston is talking a walk on the wild side and decides to eat his barf-wich in the living room instead of in the kitchen – “and I’m not even taking a napkin!” He deems himself appropriately “radical.” I fight the urge to start calling him Lose-ton.
Sweeney: These notions of excitement tell me that he has clearly been air-lifted in from Stoneybrook.
Lor: As soon as Win takes a bite, someone is knocking at his door. It’s like the universe knows no one should be eating peanut butter and sardines. At the door is Winston’s new neighbor, who has a big, big favor to ask. There is a long winded story about her husband being stuck in Central America (all of it?) without a passport. It involves terrorists. I’m not joking. She needs to fly down to Central America (seriously, all of it?) and bring a copy of her husband’s birth certificate to customs. All she needs is for Winston’s mom to watch her baby overnight.
Before you can say, “hey Winston’s mom is out for the weekend but you, Awful Mother, are apparently talking so much you won’t let Winston explain that,” the neighbor is gone and Win has a baby named Daisy.
Sara: First of all, Daisy is a pet name, not a human child name. Second of all, I don’t understand how Winston won’t be all, “YO. LISTEN RIGHT NOW, FOOL.” Problem solved.
Sweeney: It’s a very Gwenyth Paltrow like name to give a child. And way to care for a child. And also possibly another lost wanderer from Stoneybrook.
Lor: I really hope none of our readers are named Daisy. GUYS, we only have like 10. We can’t alienate whole groups of people, especially since we’ve decided names that end in “i” are kind of slutty.
Things do not go well for Winston. He skips school to take care of Daisy, because her mom has not shown up again. Just as he’s struggling to change a diaper, his girlfriend shows up to find out why he skipped school. Naturally, his first instinct is to hide the baby in the closet. Then! THEN. He considers hiding it under the couch.
Sara: Quarters get stuck under there all the time and are never found. Sounds like the perfect plan to me!
Lor: Alright, MARGO, cool it.
Maria hears the baby crying from inside the closet so the jig is up. She starts coo-chi-coo-ing at the baby and Winston is aghast.
“Just one look at a baby, and you lose every shred of dignity.”
Whatever, man. Our ovaries do what they want. (Sara: Word.)
The entire cheerleading team comes to coo over the baby the next day after school. Lila wants to buy the baby new clothes and I want Lila to be my best friend because OMG have you SEEN baby clothes?
Amy Sutton shows Winston up by expertly changing Daisy’s diaper. It all leads to a bet: if Winston can learn to expertly change a diaper, Amy will have to wear whatever Win says to a costume ball Olivia is having. If not, Amy will tell Winston what to wear.
Sara: I like how the girls are just naturally good with babies, knowing how to change diapers and get her to stop crying and shit. It’s just in our DNA, obviously.
Sweeney: Just one of many awesome lessons for girls to learn about the world from a book with Jessica Wakefield as one of its role models!
Lor: Girls: taking care of babies, getting raped and having costume balls since the 80’s.
Winston finally shows up to school, with Daisy in a duffel bag. Really? Really? We talk a ton of shit about the Baby-sitters Club girls, but I’m sure those 12 year old bitches would know that there is something fundamentally wrong with putting a baby in a duffel bag. It’s a “comedy” of errors as Liz, Lila, and Penny hand off the baby from period to period.
Sara: The fact that Lila helps take care of the baby at all just shows that Miss Lila Fowler has layers of awesome that we never realized before.
Lor: Agreed. Only further proven by the fact that she uses her baby time to try and teach her to say, “put it on Daddy’s credit card” and make Bruce fall flat on his face. I approve.
The gang finally convinces Winston that he needs to tell someone about the baby, and he figures that instead of calling the authorities, he could just ask someone at a daycare for advice. …kay.
Naturally, they pick the day care where MargoCRAZY is working (more on that later.) She basically jizzes her pants because Todd and Liz are outside waiting in the car with Daisy. She also decides she hates this baby because Liz loves it and OMG her childhood was so messed up and babies don’t get to be happy and she must destroy all innocent things. Margo offers to help Winston take care of Daisy and dear sweet Lord, keep this girl away from children.
Winston wins his bet with Amy and makes her go to the party as a nun. I laugh.
The day after the costume party, Margo shows up at Winston’s house and offers to take the baby off his hands. Winston says no, partly because he’s creeped out since he never gave Margo his house address. #creeper. Margo offers to at least watch Daisy for a couple of hours while Win runs errands.
“Winston, I am a professional day care provider. I am not some psycho baby killer.”
Sara: WINSTON. COME ON, DUDE. I thought he was supposed to be the smart one?!
Lor: At least he’s still the funny one?
Margo wastes no time once Winston is gone, smothering Daisy with a pillow. JESUS. Thankfully, someone is at the door before another baby can die. It’s Liz. Margo freaks out because she hadn’t planned on this happening, and SQUEE IT’S ELIZABETH WAKEFIELD. She just runs out of the house.
Sara: That was…. smooth?
Lor: When Maria stops by, Liz begs her to tell Winston to call her as soon as he gets in. Winston never calls, though, so Liz can’t warn him about how fucking creepy Margo is. Winston takes Daisy to Margo, who promises to take her to “social services.” Riiiight.
As soon as he comes home from dropping the baby off, Awful Mother is there to pick up her baby. Whoops. They rush back to the daycare center and catch Margo just before she kills the baby. Again. Baby is reunited with parents. No death to see here, folks.
Sweeney: I have never been so happy to not have a death in one of these books.
Lor: There is disappointment, however, deep in Margo’s eyes. Winston is suspicious.
Margo, Josh and James
James checks in with Margo and his Creeper Radar keeps going off, but he keeps reminding himself about all the money she’s paying him. He tells Margo about almost pushing Jess off a cliff (more on that later,) saying he was testing how much Jess trusts him. He says she trusts him so much, it would’ve been easy to kill her. Margo says, “let’s leave that to the professionals.” Oh, Margo, you so crazy.
Sara: Oh boy! Is Margo considering offing Jessica instead of Elizabeth now?! This could be a Christmas miracle!
Sweeney: Maybe dreams do come true?
Lor: Later that night, Margo has one of her headaches- the ones she’s had “ever since she started hearing the voices that spoke only to her.” Margo forces herself to think happy thoughts to make the headache go away, except her happy thoughts are of that one time she set a kid on fire, and that other time she drowned a kid.
“A fire was the best thing that could have happened to that tacky place. Anyone who would paint a living-room wall orange deserves to have it incinerated to a nasty, smelly, black heap of charcoal.”
I COULDN’T EVEN MAKE THIS UP. Guys, she’s a psychotic Elle Woods.
The next day, Margo dons a disguise for an interview at a daycare with a Mrs Waverly.
“I just love watching small children play–” Mrs. Waverly was saying. With matches, Margo almost replied aloud.
PLEASE SOMEONE GET HER AWAY FROM CHILDREN. But, no, instead Mrs. Waverly hires her on the spot.
Sara: What in the what? How many childcare jobs does this make that have hired Margo without any references? Sweet Valley: taking care of your children by giving them directly to serial killers.
Sweeney: Terrible Kid’s Lit: Teaching children that their parents don’t give two fucks about them and will let any child murderer off the street take care of them. Sweet dreams!
Lor: Margo waits for James at Kelly’s bar and James shows up after a date with Jess. He’s really skeeved out by Margo, because she’s dressed like Jess and imitates her perfectly. James is starting to feel uneasy about lying to Jess, so he starts withholding details from his reports. Margo gets all creepy and breaks one of the glass drinking cups with her bare hands all, “I can be very dangerous.” You fucking loon.
Sara: Also, band aids are a pain in the ass to fit on your palm without coming off all day long. Fail.
Lor: Meanwhile, Josh-y Drew, is at the Sweet Valley police pretending to be a reporter, trying to gather information about any recent violent crimes. The officer asks him for his press credentials. LOL. JAYKAY. He tells Josh about the woman who got ran over by a car. Josh takes out his super awesome spy notebook and writes one word: MARGO.
Sara: Whoa, y’all. Josh is going to blow this case wide open with those incredible detecting skills.
Sweeney: How is that note ever going to prove useful? Obviously he’s fucking looking for Margo — that’s why he’s trekked across the country. Shouldn’t, you know details of the case or something be in his notes? Sorry, sorry, I was trying to apply logic again. Carry on.
Lor: Margo’s decided that she wants to go visit Mama Wakefield. The voice in her head keeps repeating “risky” but Margo is all, “hush up Clint Eastwood. I wanna see my new moms.” She dresses up as Liz, with her Pacific Ocean contacts and blonde dye job. She walks into the Wakefield house and is all, “Hi Mom!” and gives her a creepy hug and creepily observes that there are no orange walls in the house. Okay, Margo. You need to get over the orange thing.
Sweeney: I was going to suggest she start with getting over the stalking thing or the child-murdering thing first, but yeah, sure, the orange thing too.
Lor: Baby steps?
Just as quickly as she came, Margo leaves. Alice is worried. A few minutes later real!Elizabeth comes downstairs in different clothes and Alice is all, “why did you change?” Liz thinks her mom is crazy because she’s been wearing the same clothes all day. DUN DUN DUN.
Margo follows Liz in a hot-wired car with a butcher knife she keeps fondling riding shot-gun. She refrains from butchering Liz, however, because she’d rather creepily watch her reunion with Todd (more on that later.)
James shares all the details of Jess’ costume with Margo. She replicates it perfectly and shows up to party. For some reason, and it’s probably because she’s crazy, even though she’s replicated Jess’ costume, she expects people to assume she’s Liz. She’s a little upset when everyone is calling her Jess.
She dances with Todd, who also assumes it’s Jess, and he’s freaked out when she gets a little handsy. Todd runs away and Margo stands around thinking about how romantic that was. She can’t wait to kill Liz and take over her perfect life.
Josh-y Drew is also at the party. Margo spots him and starts running away. He chases her, and then sees that she’s standing nearby. He attacks her, but it isn’t Margo at all. It’s Jess. He can tell, too, because the real Margo was wearing different earrings. Suddenly, from within the crowd, Liz emerges and Josh-y Drew is all WHAT IN THE HELL? PEOPLE WHO LOOK ALIKE? HOW?
Sara: Oh, good. So Josh is exactly as intelligent as the rest of Sweet Valley then?
Lor: Just about.
Josh is thrown out of the party for attacking Jess and he finally starts to see the big “Margo traveled cross-country to find these girls she mysteriously looks like” picture. He fears for the general safety of the Wakefields.
Upset that her smothering of baby Daisy was foiled and that Josh-y Drew has followed her to Sweet Valley, Margo decides it’s time to take her plan to the next level. She types up a letter and hand delivers it to Ned Wakefield.
I hope there are no orange walls in his office.
Sara: Or babies.
Elizabeth and Jessica
Lor: Things get started off on a very soft-core porn note. zzzzEnid is at the beach with Liz and she’s watching her come up from the water. All I’m saying is that I’ve been to the beach with my best friend and I’ve never described the sun sparkling on her wet shoulders as she “emerged, dripping from the surf.” That’s all I’m saying.
Enid tells Liz she looks hot and that every boy on the beach is probably scoping her out. This of course makes her think of Todd and that makes her sad. She thought that maybe things would get better, since she danced with him at the Fowler wedding, but then he didn’t say anything. This confuses Liz greatly.
“Now that I’ve got my self-respect back, I refuse to lose it over a guy– even if it is Todd. At least he isn’t going out with my sister anymore!”
I know this will probably be negated soon, but let me have this moment of liking Liz. You go girl. Enid is all, “Jess is a bitch, so that’s why she went out with Todd, but what the hell was Todd thinking?” Liz continues being awesome and happy by saying she’s just going to “wash him out of her hair” and live life without bitches and hos. AKA Jess and Todd.
Sweeney: Um, hello 1950’s musical reference. #random.
Sara: High-five to Liz, and I’ll even send one zzzEnid’s way.
Lor: As Liz and Enid keep talking about different things -Winston being a good friend and Olivia having a costume ball- zzzEnid spots Margo staring at them from down the beach. Liz remembers the dream she had a few books ago, of a dark haired version of herself murdering her face off, or whatever. She brushes Enid’s sighting off and very wisely says, “this town isn’t big enough for three Wakefield twins.” Except that three twins… would be triplets… or three sets of… oh fuck. Never mind.
Jessica is having a picnic with her two true love, James. He’s still asking her all sorts of questions about herself, like “what was your relationship with Liz like before” and “if some crazy murderer were going to kill your sister and take over her life, what would she essentially need to know?” That last part may have only been implied. Jess is all, “oh you!” and thinks James and his hot hot hotness are so amazing. So amazing, she cries. (Not kidding.)
Jess is thinking about Elizabeth and her internal monologue bleeds out of her head. She starts shouting “it was Elizabeth’s fault! It doesn’t matter where she got the alcohol!” Uh, Jess? That’s only true if we’re talking about picking up liquor at the corner store vs. the grocery store. Doesn’t matter. Elizabeth accepting alcohol of her own volition vs you pouring it in her cup when she wasn’t looking? TOTALLY FUCKING MATTERS.
Sweeney: And not telling her about it. And letting her get in a car. And letting her go on trial for murder. And just generally being an awful cunt.
Lor: James offers to be there for her through thick and crazy. He’s also taking her hiking. Jess says “she’d follow him anywhere.” Off a cliff! Off a cliff! Chanting! Chanting! Chanting!
Sara: Into a youth-mauling bear’s mouth! Into a youth-mauling bear’s mouth! That chant is a bit wordy…
Lor: You have a whole ‘nother book left to perfect it.
Speaking of cliffs, they climb up one and James is all, “hey look at that deer!” and Jess gets closer and closer to the edge to see it. She almost falls and James pulls her up, but Jessica can’t help but realize that it felt like he pushed her at first. I SWEAR I didn’t know that was going to happen when I started chanting one paragraph ago! James is my new favorite!!
Liz is walking home from school and Jess offers to give her a ride. They smile at each other a lot, happy to be talking. Liz broaches the subject of Sam and Jess tells her she shouldn’t blame herself for the accident. She stops short of saying, “because you should totally blame me,” though, so I still hate her. She also has the gall to bring up Todd. Liz says Todd blew it. And not even in the sexy-time way.
Jess goes out on a date with James and he’s being quiet and acting suspicious. Liz stays home, wishing she could be on a hot date, but instead decides to do some laundry. She’s so happy that her relationship with Jess is on the mend that she decides to do some of her sister’s laundry too.
Liz goes into Jess’ messy room and starts picking up some items when- oh… what’s this? A letter? Liz almost throws the letter aside before she notices that the letter has her name on it. It’s the letter from Todd that Jess intercepted. Liz opens it, reads it, and cries a big Wakefield cry. She also punches a pillow when she thinks about how Jess betrayed her by keeping the letter from her. Liz? Next time aim that punch at Jess’ face. #kthxbai
Sara: Punching a pillow is pretty intense for Elizabeth Wakefield.
Lor: The next day before school, Liz suddenly has a pair of balls and tells Jess that their friendship- and their sisterhood- is over. I’m not sure that’s how it works, really, but A for effort!
Sara: DOUBLE HIGH-FIVE TO LIZ.
Lor: Liz walks over to Todd’s house and they kiss and make-up. Seriously, they don’t even exchange words like, “hey asshole, why didn’t you call me?” or “dude, why were you dancing with Sam” or “yo, what was up with dating my sister.” Nope. They just kiss. Liz’s self-respect was nice while it lasted.
The twins get ready for Olivia’s costume party and it’s super awkward. Jessica cries ’cause Liz is mostly ignoring her. And lo and behold, they both dress up as Cinderella. It’s like they’re twins or something!
Elizabeth is catching on to the strange doppelganger-y things happening around Sweet Valley. She recognized Margo as the girl from nightmares at Winston’s house before she ran out. Then, at the costume party, she realizes that Jess is wearing pearl earrings, but Margo is wearing rhinestone studs.
At dinner the next day, Papa Wakefield comes home with great news. He received a letter (from Margo) saying that some firm wanted to hire him as a consultant. They want him, and Mama Wakefield, to meet with them. They’re paying for two nights at a hotel.
Mama Wakefield asks if the girls will be okay alone and Elizabeth says yes, but both girls are apprehensive. It’s probably all that murder in the air.
Sara: Smells like murder Christmas to me!
Next time on Sweet Valley High: With the Wakefield parents out of town, Margo is finally in a position to take down some perfect size six ass. Oh my god. Could be this be the end for one of the Wakefield Twins? Find out in SVH #100 –The Evil Twin