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‘Hidden Palms’: Murder, Intrigue, and a MILF for Good Measure

Greta and Cliff from Hidden Palms.Photo: CW

Welcome back to Palm Springs, where we find our hero, Johnny, setting up his computer and fighting with his mom (who, incidentally, looks like she'd be better-suited to starring in a middle-age porno). We're instantly thrown back into the dark world of teenage murder-mystery, as the search for the truth about Eddie's death continues, and our fascination about how much Greta looks like Elizabeth Berkley grows.

Clues:
1. Cliff continues to be creepy. He tells Johnny that Eddie killed himself! We saw this scene in last week's previews, so it's no surprise. Also not a surprise: Though they're supposed to be 16, the actor who plays Cliff is 24, and the actor who plays Johnny is 23. They do look younger than Andrea Zuckerman, but not by much.

2. Greta and Cliff have an ominous conversation. Cliff: I don't want you to hate me. Greta: It's hard being around you, what we did … Cliff: Replacing Eddie isn't the answer. Greta: Do you like my hair today? It's blonde. (Okay, so she didn't talk about her hair, but it's different in every scene! Amazing.)

3. Johnny gets a mysterious IM from a screen name he doesn't know ("08nova") warning him to be careful in Palm Springs. We googled and found 08nova.com. Check out the character blogs. From Greta's: "Sometimes I just want to disappear." Hilarious.

3. Johnny and Greta chat about Eddie. Johnny: What was Eddie like? Greta: How much time you got? We don't have enough time to point out everything that's terrible about this line, so we'll just go with: IT WAS BETTER WHEN TOM HANKS SAID IT IN SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. Nora Ephron should get a footnote in the credits, at least!

4. Greta tells Johnny that Cliff "can be manipulative and dangerous." Johnny thinks Cliff seems harmless. Johnny thinks wrong.

5. Johnny gets a final IM from 08nova, which sends him a link to a video of a kid in a scary mask, filmed in Johnny's room (Eddie's old room). The mask comes off, and an evil-looking guy says, "I'm Eddie, didn't mean to scare you. Welcome to my world!"

Theories:
1. Cliff hired an actor to play Eddie in order to scare Johnny away from Palm Springs (and Greta).

2. Eddie is dead and this show becomes a cross between The O.C. and Ghost
Whisperer
. Eddie's ghost continues to chase Johnny and the ghost of Scott from 90210 shows up to keep him company. A PSA about the dangers of guns runs on loop during commercial breaks; luckily, we have DVR.

3. Johnny's ex-girlfriend from rehab is actually Eddie! In an Ugly Betty–like twist, Eddie always felt trapped in the body of a white male, so he pretended to kill himself, but instead had a sex (and race) change.

Scenes from next week: Johnny hits Cliff. Greta hits Cliff. We’ll probably have to hit the bottle. Just ‘cause Johnny’s sober doesn’t mean we have to be!
—Emma Rosenblum