At the end of the last episode, Jay and Leia were pulled over by the cops, 20 minutes into their very first joyride in the Vista Cruiser. As Red begins to yell at the kids, they try to explain that the only reason they were pulled over is that the Visa Cruiser has a license plate tag from 1980.
So really, it’s Red’s fault. Red is not pleased with this logic and bans Jay from the house.
(Side note, this might be the cleverest joke in the show so far. In the original show, the year that events were taking place, was noted by a brief shot of the Vista Cruiser license plate in the theme song with a tag that updated as the series progressed.)
(While this did lead to some continuity errors, like a few years somehow having multiple Christmases, it did end the series on a sweet note with the final shot of the license plate showing a 1980 tag for the first time. This signified that the 70s and the series had come to an end.)
(Apparently that’s the last time anybody in the Forman household bothered to update the tag, and it’s just been sitting around this whole time waiting to be a part of a TV show again.)
That 90s Show season 1, episode 7 recap – Jay tries to prove he’s responsible
The next day, Kitty is at the dentist while Red has to go to the DMV to update the car. Jay comes over to see Leia, but he stays outside where it’s safe.
When next door neighbor Sherri comes over and mentions that she’s supposed to pick up Kitty from the dentist. Leia convinces her to let Jay do it, in an effort to let him show how responsible he can be to Red.
Gwen who tags along tries to get Kitty to sign her consent form to get a tattoo, while she is still high from the dentist. Jay and Leia try to stay responsible, but Gwen and Kitty escape the car at an opportune moment.
And of course, in classic sitcom shenanigans, Kitty is the one that winds up getting a tattoo.
That 90s Show season 1, episode 7 recap – How to hide a tattoo…
Back at the house, with Kitty sobered up, she is understandably stressed about the fact that she has an unplanned tattoo on her arm. Leia tells Jay to escape, but he stays so that Leia won’t have to take the blame.
Kitty says that Red will probably be fine and reasonable about the whole thing. But Red returns home, with his time at the DMV making him less friendly than usual.
Kitty tries to hide the tattoo in a chicken, but it doesn’t work, and the kids are in for their second lecture of the episode. This time Sherri gets yelled at too for pushing her task off on the kids.
Sherri however, stands up to Red and yells back, although it’s clear that she’s also working out some of her own father issues in the process. Later on, Red is bothered by the fact that Sherri is taking out her anger at her father on him.
Kitty uses this to point out that Red is letting his opinion of Michael Kelso impact his attitude toward Jay. She thinks he should give him a chance.
After all, Jay didn’t run away when given the opportunity, but stayed to stand by Leia. Red agrees and goes to tell Leia that he’s willing to give Jay a chance.
But he’s also smart enough to pull Jay out of Leia’s closet where he had been hiding moments before. Meanwhile, Nikki is studying for the SATs, and Nate is worried that she’s going to end up leaving him for her tutor, who she’s been spending a lot of time with.
Ozzie convinces Nate to check in on her, which doesn’t go well since it turns out that her tutor is a super attractive, smart, charming football player who seems to have it all. Later on, Nate confesses to Nikki that he’s worried that she’s going to leave him behind, because she is so driven.
He wants her to promise that they’re going to be together forever. Nikki says that she can’t promise that because she doesn’t know what the future holds.
All she can promise is that she loves him. The two of them hug as the episode comes to a close.
That 90s Show season 1, episode 7 recap – Building the show’s ensemble
So far, much of the series has focused on Leia, in particular her relationships with her grandparents, Gwen, and Jay. While the series is slowly building up it’s ensemble cast, the other three teenagers still feel like they’re a part of the group.
This is mostly because six is a good number to have in a main cast of sitcom friends, more than anything else. This episode kind of put that to the test with the three other characters, Ozzie, Nate, and Nikki, having to carry a story all on their own.
It’s the B plot of the episode, with far less screen time dedicated to it, but the ending is a moment of unexpected sincerity from the show. Nikki and Nate don’t break up, but the show is ok with showing the weaknesses in their relationship, and not offering an easy solution to fix the problem.
While the characters make up in the end, there is a feeling of melancholy and vulnerability to the scene. Perhaps for the first time, it’s starting to feel like there’s been real thought put into this relationship, and how it’s going to play out as the series progresses.
Even though this episode was focusing on Jay and Leia’s relationship growing for the first time, in far less screen time, Nikki and Nate’s relationship became the more interesting one to focus on.
What did you think of That ’90s Show season 1 episode 7? Leave your answers in the comments below!
You can watch That ’90s Show season 1 on Netflix.