EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'My So-Called Life' nostalgia recap: Blister in the sun

Season 1 | Episode 17 | “Betrayal” | Aired Jan 12, 1995

This episode of My So-Called Life begins with Angela waking up and having an epiphany—she is over Jordan Catalano. She dances around her room to “Blister in the Sun” to celebrate her newfound emotional freedom. “I loved Jordan Catalano so much, and talked about him so much, and thought about him so much, it was like he lived inside me. Like he had taken possession of my soul or something. And then one day … I got over him!” WHAT COULD GO WRONG.

DVD screengrab

Rayanne wants to audition for the school play, Our Town. She auditions for Emily, naming Angela as her inspiration because she’s so “sweet and innocent,” just like the character. To attempt to disprove her innocence, Angela claims she had an erotic dream about Cory, the artistic boy from “Life of Brian” whom Rickie is crushing on. To further prove her point, she attempts to flirt with Cory and volunteers to help him paint sets for the play, which Jordan witnesses.

Brian, meanwhile, is filming footage for a year-end video for the yearbook. He goes to a local hangout with his video camera and encounters Rickie and Rayanne. Rayanne is convinced she blew her audition and starts drowning her sorrows in booze. Frustrated, Rickie leaves. Rayanne soon runs into Jordan, who is obviously bothered by whatever may be going on with Angela and Cory. The two drink together. Rayanne talks about how she could never be like Angela; Jordan talks about how he can never tell if he actually knows Angela. They have a moment, start making out, and end up moving into Jordan’s car to have sex. Unbeknownst to them, Brian Krakow gets the entire thing on video. Ugh.

DVD screengrab

The next day at school, Rayanne is very hungover, and she and Jordan briefly and awkwardly discuss their guilt over what happened. She goes out of her way to avoid Angela. Brian tells Sharon about the contents of the tape. Sharon panics, wanting to tell Angela but not wanting it to seem like she’s gloating about being right about Rayanne all along. Angela overhears her talking about the “lowlife” thing Rayanne did. Sharon tells Angela the truth, but Angela doesn’t believe her—until Rickie, who also heard the truth from Brian, confirms Rayanne and Jordan indeed “did it.” Angela, understandably, is crushed.

Angela goes to Brian’s house and demands to see the tape. He tries to protect her, insisting that seeing it will only hurt her more, and she accuses him of being partly at fault. Meanwhile, Rayanne is upset that Sharon went to Angela immediately, but Sharon reminds Rayanne she brought this all upon herself.

DVD screengrab

Rayanne goes to the Chase home. Angela isn’t there, but she ends up telling Patty what happened, noting that she’s never hurt anyone this badly before. Rickie is Team Angela and is also giving Rayanne the cold shoulder. Angela is terrified about the prospect of running into Rayanne, Jordan, or worse, both of them together, but Rickie reassures her that Rayanne and Jordan are avoiding each other. Angela says they think she’s an innocent little twit and “two can play that game,” which worries Rickie.

The cast list is up—Rayanne got the part. She’s ecstatic, but quickly realizes she’s left herself with no one to share in her joy. Angela shows up at school with a new look straight out of Rayanne’s closet, right down to the braided hair and dark lipstick. It’s clear she’s devastated by the fact that Jordan somehow wanted Rayanne over her, and she attempts to throw herself at Cory, kissing him and suggesting they get drunk. “Is something really wrong with me?” she yells when he pushes her away. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

DVD screengrab

Rayanne and Angela finally talk. “You lost nothing Angela. You lost a lousy selfish friend and a guy you never really had, you lost nothing, I lost a really good friend. I lost everything,” Rayanne says with regret. Angela talks to Rickie. Rickie says Rayanne has always partly wanted to be Angela and this was her screwed up way of pretending she was. He also points out that Angela going after Cory when she knows how Rickie feels about him is really hurtful. Angela, who had assumed Rickie was over Cory, is seemingly stunned by this surprising parallel (although, to be clear, Rayanne’s actions were FAR worse).

Elsewhere in the episode, Patty’s best friend Camille expresses concern about the existence of Hallie Lowenthal in Graham’s life, but Patty continues to dismiss it as nothing. Patty tells Graham that Rayanne slept with Jordan (his appropriately scandalized reaction is one of my favorite moments of the episode) and confesses she once hooked up with a guy Camille liked in college, but somehow Camille found it in her heart to forgive her.

DVD screengrab

In the final scene, Rayanne is at play rehearsal. Another actress goes home early, so Mr. Katimsky, ever the wise one, conveniently pulls Angela from the wings where she’s painting sets to read a scene with her ex-best friend that, of course, perfectly parallels everything they are going through. The scene, which takes place after Emily has died, involves her realizing how precious life was. Rayanne obviously connects this to their squandered friendship, and she and Angela both start to cry. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” “Were you happy?” “No. I should have listened to you.” The scene ends and they both sadly walk offstage, the damage to their friendship seeming irreparable.

DVD screengrab

Best Angela-ism: “It was like Jordan Catalano had been surgically removed from my heart … and I was free.”

Claire Danes Cry-Face Count: Two, which feels low, considering.

Most Ignorant Teenage Moment: Do I even need to answer this? I think it’s obvious.

Angst-o-Meter: 10/10. This episode is high school angst at its finest. It breaks my heart every time. I was saving my 10, guys. And I hope at least some of you get that reference.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like