“90210” returns to the CW tonight with an action-packed episode centered around Naomi’s (AnnaLynne McCord) confrontation with her rapist, Mr. Cannon — but elsewhere, Teddy (Trevor Donovan) is experiencing a very different kind of personal nightmare.
Dixon (Tristan Wilds) stumbled across Teddy kissing another guy, Ian (Kyle Riabko) at the recent holiday party… and Teddy isn’t quite ready to be out and proud yet. Zap2it recently chatted with Trevor Donovan about Teddy’s very private struggle gone public.
“There’s the initial obvious shock, and Dixon does confront Teddy about it,” Donovan tells us. Luckily, Dixon can be trusted. “Teddy pleads with him, on a friendship level, to just not say anything and to let him kind of come out at his own pace. Dixon’s a good guy, and he does keep his mouth shut for has long as he can.”
Dixon isn’t the only one who is going to learn Teddy’s secret, though. Silver (Jessica Stroup), Teddy’s ex girlfriend, begins to put the pieces together as well. As can be expected of Silver – who was open-minded and understanding of Adrianna’s brief venture into the world of same-sex relationships – she takes it all very well.
“She’s the one who sort of eases the way for Teddy,” Donovan explains. “Jessica Stroup and I have this amazing scene in an upcoming episode where she does confront me about it. She knows about Ian and I, and it’s a really, really well-written scene where she shows all of her support and her love for him. She gives him the strength to come out of the closet — and in front of the whole gang, too. It really establishes an amazing friendship for Silver and Teddy.”
As for the rest of the gang… things get awkward. The guys try to be accepting, but the new information about Teddy does take some getting used to. Donovan tells us that initially, there’s a “transition phase” where Liam, Navid, and Dixon start to avoid Teddy a little bit. They aren’t sure how to act around him. When they realize that they’ve been acting strange, things take a hilarious turn.
“They overcompensate and really try to include him and take him to this wild gay bar,” Donovan laughs. “It’s really funny stuff – the bar is full of all these guys dancing around without their shirts on, and of course, Liam gets extremely uncomfortable and bolts.”
The incident ultimately brings Teddy and Liam closer than ever, though.
“We have a real heart-to-heart talk,” Donovan says. “I let him know that I’m just as uncomfortable with it as he is. That’s not Teddy’s scene. He’s like, ‘I don’t know what the hell’s going on either!’ All in all coming out brings Teddy even more into the group in a more genuine way.”
We love Teddy and Ian’s relationship and it’s been fun to watch it blossom, but Donovan says not to get too comfortable with the two of them together. To make room for Riabko’s exit from the show, some serious drama is going down.
“Teddy and Ian are going to have a pretty extreme falling out,” Donovan says… much to our dismay. “Ian really betrays Teddy in a way that Teddy can’t forgive. Teddy cuts him off from his life, which puts Teddy in a weird place, but luckily Silver’s there for support.”
Teddy will have a brief flirtation with Marco (Freddie Smith), a West Bev soccer player who he exchanges numbers with. Before anything can happen, though, the whole gang heads off to Cabo for Spring Break, which the cast is now filming in LA. (Lucky for them, our January temps are downright summery right now.)
On spring break, Teddy will run into his old roommate, played by one of our favorite drinking buddies, Alan Ritchson. Donovan has known Ritchson for years — “Which makes the stuff we’re filming pretty weird,” he jokes.
When they first bump into each other, Teddy tries to keep his sexuality under wraps, but after they start to reminisce about all the girls they hooked up with in boarding school, Teddy breaks. “Finally I can’t handle it anymore and I blurt out, ‘Ah, I’m gay.’ I’m expecting this big awkward thing, and it turns out that he is too, so we have a little spring break fling,” Donovan says.
As with any storyline about a gay teenager, Teddy’s coming out story has been scrutinized by the media and fans alike, but reviews have been mostly positive. We had to ask Donovan if he’d experienced any backlash now that Teddy is officially batting for the other team.
“I haven’t had a single negative response,” Donovan says. “I’m actually shocked. I go out to bars or restaurants and people will recognize me, and I’m always expecting that one ignorant jerk to say something completely rude or inappropriate or something — or via Twitter, or via Facebook — and I really have had only positive responses, which says so much for the writing and for the production. I’ve been so impressed. It’s been a really fun, challenging storyline. It’s such a learning experience for me. I’m honored to do it.”
“90210” returns to Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST on The CW, and click here to enter Zap2it’s CW giveaway by telling us your favorite CW show.