That 90s Show season 1 episode 4 recap: Rave

That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Mace Coronel as Jay Kelso, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman in episode 103 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Mace Coronel as Jay Kelso, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman in episode 103 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

The last episode of That ’90s Show ended with Leia and Jay having a romantic moment on the hood of the car in the driveway, just like how Eric and Donna used to be back in the original show.

Now, with our main relationship for the show firmly established, episode four opens up with Leia pining after Jay. Not kissing her was the perfect, most romantic thing he could have done to her. However, Gwen and Ozzie want to make sure she’s aware of Jay’s reputation as a Kelso, and not give him all the power in their relationship.

That 90s Show episode 4, season 1 recap

Jay likes Leia…

Meanwhile, Jay is trying to explain to Nate and Nikki how he turned down a chance to kiss Leia, and they have to convince him that this must mean he really likes her. They encourage him to go after her, but Jay and Leia both decide that even though they like the other person, they have to make sure they don’t make the first move.

The plan starts off with Jay trying to play guitar shirtless and oiled up. Because these are teenagers and this is a sitcom, that ends up working for Leia, and Gwen has to pull her out of the situation before she gives up the power. Nikki however, is invested in getting Jay and Leia together. Because Jay and Nate are best best best best best friends, Jay is way too involved in Nikki and Nate’s relationship. If Nikki can get Jay to focus his attention on Leia, he might spend a little less time with Nate.

She sneaks into Leia’s bedroom to offer her and Jay tickets to go see Batman Forever, figuring two hours alone in a dark room will break down anything that could be keeping the two of them apart. Gwen and Ozzie intervene once again, and Ozzie says that Leia can’t go to a movie because they already have plans to go to a rave in Milwaukee. While this might seem out of left field, Ozzie did genuinely want to go to the rave earlier in the episode, and he’s just taking the opportunity to extort his will upon the group.

The best-laid plans…

After lying to Red and Kitty about where they’re going, the group heads off to the rave. Leia decides that she’s going to stop playing games, and approach Jay in a mature fashion to address their apparent feelings for one another. She suggests on the count of three, they both say how they feel about each other. Jay agrees, but stalls at the last second to make sure that Leia says it first. Leia is less than pleased and vows to have more fun at the rave than Jay to show off how much she doesn’t like him anymore.

As the group stands in line, Gwen tries to remember what exactly she forgot to bring to the rave, realizing far too late, the answer to that question was Ozzie.

Ozzie, the one who most wanted to go to the rave in the first place, is instead stranded back at the Foreman’s residence where he is grilled by Red and Kitty as to the whereabouts of Leia. He is resistant to Red’s harsh interrogations, but after Kitty’s kinder approach, he agrees to tell them about Leia and her friends going to the rave. Red and Kitty hurry out to collect Leia.

Meanwhile, Leia is trying to have more fun than Jay at the rave, but her frantic dancing is interrupted by running into Red and realizing how much trouble she’s in. Back at home, Kitty yells at Leia about how irresponsible it was to sneak out and lie to her grandparents. Kitty’s yelling gives Red the rare opportunity to get to play the role of Good Cop, though Kitty admits to enjoying the Bad Cop role, and says she understands why Red is the way he is.

With Leia grounded, she’s stuck at the house, but Jay stops by to apologize for how he acted. He suggests that once again, tell each other how they feel on the count of three, and this time promises to be honest. Jay tells Leia he likes her, but Leia says that she thinks they should just be friends, saying that the summer isn’t that long and she doesn’t want to mess up what they already have. However, when recounting the story to Gwen, Leia reveals that this was all a part of her plan, and now she’s in a position of power when it comes to her relationship with Jay, as the episode comes to a close.

Stepping out of the shadow of the 70s

This is really the first time That ’90s Show has had to stand on its own. Other than Red and Kitty, we didn’t get any cameos or updates from any characters from the original series. And even here, Red and Kitty ended up playing a relatively minor, supporting role in the episode, similar to what they did in the original series.

This episode really gets to highlight exactly what That ’90s Show is going for. And it’s fine. It’s a light, relatively tame sitcom that wouldn’t have felt out of place on network television twenty years ago. In that sense, it fills the shoes of That ’70s Show perfectly fine. It’s still in the third episode, so most of the actors are still finding their characters and the writers are still figuring out how best to throw the characters into various situations, but the building blocks are all there. This episode proves that while it could really use the lifeline that being linked to That ’70s Show gives it, it won’t necessarily drown on its own.

There will be more appearances from old characters in future episodes and while that’s still probably the most interesting part of the series, baby steps like this episode suggest that the series knows the direction it needs to be headed in and is making the right steps.

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