There Was Actually A “Beverly Hills 90210” Episode Where A Latina Schooled Brandon About East L.A.

In the ’90s, “Beverly Hills 90210” was a cultural phenomenon. Back in those days, there was no “Gossip Girl” or “Pretty Little Liars” on TV, so “Beverly Hills 90210” was your shit if you wanted to watch the exploits of attractive, wealthy teens. As you’ve probably guessed, Latino students were few and far between at West Beverly High — until Karla Montez, a Latina from East L.A., appeared in a season-one episode titled “East Side Story.” Here’s how it all went down.

On her first day, Karla Montez was already turning heads. Just look at ‘ol Dylan breaking his neck.

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So, what’s Karla doing at West Beverly? Here’s what you missed in the opening credits:

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Brandon and Brenda Walsh have a quick meeting with their parents, who inform Brandon and Brenda that they’re going to let their housekeeper’s niece (Karla Montez) use their address so she can attend West Beverly High. The dude on the right, Richard Rodrigues, meets the family and explains that they want to give Montez, a bright student, the best possible chance at getting a good education.

The next day at school, Brandon and Karla meet and the chemistry is UNDENIABLE.

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Brandon makes a lame joke about Sacramento, Karla overhears it and mentions that’s where she was born. *Sparks* fly.

After finding out that Karla has lots of classes in common with him, Brandon gives her some advice:

One class they didn’t have in common: Mansplaining 101.

Once they’re in class, Brandon realizes he done fucked up.

Brandon is probably thinking, “Damn, this Mexican girl is killing the French game right now.” If you’re wondering what Karla said in French, it translates to: “Ande, pinche Brandon. ¿No que muy chingón?”

But Karla isn’t just good at Français, she’s good at EVERYTHING…

Differentiate between the filters? Did Karla invent Instagram in the ’90s?

Later, Brandon tells Karla she’ll be a shoe-in for lots of scholarships. But Karla gets a bit defensive:

Brandon then explains to Karla that he didn’t mean to imply she was broke. He said he was merely pointing out that despite living in Beverly Hills, he’s also looking to get financial aid for college.

They squash the beef over some pie at the Peach Pit, and Karla meets the rest of the crew.

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But she wasn’t counting on meeting these two dudes, who check her out for a little too long.

Are they related? Are they from rival gangs? Are these guys just pervs? Stay tuned to find out.

After a little pie, Brandon gives Karla a ride home to East L.A. But Karla isn’t completely down with playing tour guide:

Side note: Bonus points to whoever spotted that marquee featuring Los Caminantes and Pedrito Fernandez!

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During the ride, Brandon zeroes in on these dudes:

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Brandon’s got questions…

And Karla has answers.


After Brandon recovers from Karla’s verbal madrazos, she mentions the two Latino busboys at the Peach Pit. She reveals she’s worried they think she’s sellout. Why? Because she’s hanging out in Beverly Hills with dudes named Brandon.

Brandon makes it clear that they were *only* checking her out. Well, that’s reassuring.

When Karla gets home, Richard Rodrigues is waiting for her. And he doesn’t look happy.

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He DOES look like Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello (if he had hair).

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After the harsh regaño from Richard, Karla avoids Brandon. But dude is persistent.

After seeing that señora next to her crack a smile, Karla gives Brandon another chance. That señora is probably thinking, “Ayy, que tremendo es ese Brandon.”

Karla then takes Brandon to some dance party in her hood, where they’re listening to some weird-ass ’80s rock music.

NO ONE would listen to that in the ’90s. Or ever.

If they really wanted to go for accuracy, here’s what they should’ve been dancing to:

Psst: This is why you need Latinos in writer’s rooms.

Side note: Bonus points to whoever caught this dancer accidentally popping another dancer in the face.

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At the end of the night, Karla and Brandon do more than just dance:

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But, you guessed it, the next time they try to hang out…

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Look at that señora nodding her head. She’s definitely thinking, “Ayy, ese muchacho no respeta nada. Ni saludó.”

Richard Rodrigues is having none of it.

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It was fun while it lasted.

So, the Karla and Brandon romance culminates at a party at Brandon’s house, where Karla and her aunt are working as servers. And as usual…

Karla’s clapback game is STRONG.

Later, Brandon creepily fools Karla into going into his bedroom.

But Karla doesn’t have time for his shit, so she takes off.

During the rest of the party, Brandon pouts and creepily watches Karla work.

Credit: CBS Television Distribution

And when Brandon overhears this business bro boasting about his business in Mexico…

He decides to show everyone at the party how *woke* he is:

Nice job Brandon, but that’s not enough to win Karla back.

After the party, Brandon returns to East L.A. to apologize to Karla AND straighten out that Richard Rodrigues guy. Instead, he finds Karla’s aunt, who reveals that Karla isn’t really from East L.A.

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Dang, Karla claiming a ‘hood she isn’t from. Snapper shit. Actually, here’s the deal: Karla was just attending West Beverly because she was the star witness in a murder case against a gang member. Once the gang member confessed to the crime, Karla was safe, so she returned to her home 40 miles away in Pomona. She then reveals that she’s the daughter of a college professor and her family is doing quite well. Richard Rodrigues? He was just a watchful prosecuting attorney who was looking out for Karla’s safety.

And although Brandon wanted to pursue a relationship, Karla killed his hopes real fast:

And it appears that distance wasn’t the issue:

And with that, this is how Brandon and Karla’s fairytale ended.

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