Friends, Lovers & Children

Remember when Erica was a sweet little goon reading Hemingway and getting her period? Well, now she's turning tricks.

The show that not only can’t get back the opening-credits cast members for very occasional cameos but can barely even remember the characters they played ever existed is, in its eighth season, reallyimposing on the viewer’s patience by bringing back Dylan…………’s sister Eric for the first time since Season 5. And she’s gone through some changes! Like, she’s changed into a completely different actor! Also she’s a streetwalker now. (Did Noley “Original Erica” Thornton quit the biz? Did her parents refuse to let her play a sex worker? Did the show just fail to meet her quote? We don’t know; if you do, please tell us.) After Brandon and Kelly have a chance encounter with her at her corner, they embark upon a mission to rescue her from the life, whether or not she’s actually ready or willing to go along with their plans. David still can’t work money: literally at the moment Donna’s opening her bank statement and discovering that her boyfriend embezzled from her, said boyfriend is at dinner with a loan shark getting five more figures into scary, illegal debt. Still wounded about Val’s having two-timed him, Noah yells at her, starts a bar fight, and drunkenly tells Brandon that, actually, he doesn’t really need to work on boats for the money because he is loaded — not rich, but wealthy. Will Brandon be able to keep this secret from Val the sudden gold-digger? Finally, just as Steve is figuring out his responsibilities as someone developing a paternal relationship with a kid, some broad from his past that we’ve never seen before shows up with some big news. Well, actually, at the moment it’s still just small news. But it’s growing into bigger news every day.