Recap: Kelly is in a therapy session with a group of eating disordered girls. She looks icked out as she listens to a recovering anorexic describe the various ways she used to starve herself. When the girl finishes her grim story, the therapist turns to Kelly and asks her if she'd like to share her life story with the group...but before she can answer, the scene abruptly cuts away. I always hate it when shows do that.
Kelly pleads with Jackie, who's taking a shower, not to make her go back to the eating disorder group. As Jackie towels off, she suggests seeking out a more agreeable eating disorder group, but Kelly tells her she doesn't want to be in any eating disorder group. Jackie lectures her about the importance of taking better care of herself, which includes a healthy diet. Kelly assures her mom that her recent hospital experience has scared her straight...and to prove it she holds up a takeout bag that contains a megaburger. Unfortunately, Jackie fails to point out that fast food burgers from the Peach Pit don't exactly constitute a healthy diet. She asks Kelly if her friends have been giving her a hard time about being in therapy. Kelly tells her that, aside from David, no one knows she's in an eating disorder group - and she's particularly reluctant to tell Dylan about it. Jackie points out that if anyone can understand being in therapy, it's Dylan...given that he's a recovering alcoholic who attends AA meetings. Kelly acknowledges how stupid it was to simultaneously starve herself and overdose on appetite suppressants, but she doesn't think she's anywhere near as disturbed as the hardcore anorexics who are in her eating disorder group. To bring the point home, she unwraps the megaburger and takes a big bite. Jackie gives in and agrees to let her quit the eating disorder group, but only as long as she continues to eat.
West Beverly High. David and Donna are in the DJ booth, broadcasting their pretend morning radio show to the student body. David reminds everyone to vote in the senior poll and turn in their ballots before the third period. Just as he's making that all-important announcement, Brenda and Brandon walk down the hall together and discuss the senior poll. Brenda is cynical about her schoolmates' objectivity and isn't hopeful that she'll win in any of the categories. Brandon tells her she probably has a shot at “done most for the class”, and then lists her various contributions. Brenda tells him she's noticed a trend: West Beverly students tend to only vote for the friends they've known since grade school. Brandon shrugs disinterestedly and rhetorically asks her why she cares.
Steve strolls over and tells Brandon he's in a cranky mood because of his daily detention sessions, and then vows to complain to Mrs. Teasley about his fellow detentioners for vandalizing his books. On top of that, he's peeved that Celeste and her friend turned down an invitation to go to the upcoming Lakers game with him and Brandon. He doesn't think it bodes well for any kind of future hookup. Brandon isn't too enthused about going to the game because he's worried he'll be tempted to gamble, but Steve assures him that their seats are in the Forum's official "no gambling zone". Hmm...I wonder if that's a real thing. Steve tells Brandon they need to find “two live ones” and mumbles something about bringing a condom to the Lakers game because he's feeling lucky. Gross.
Steve enters Mrs. Teasley's office to complain about detention, but finds her on the phone. Based on her end of the conversation, we learn that the perpetually impoverished Alvarado Street Elementary School has had to make cutbacks, which means they no longer have the funds to run their summer day camp. When Mrs. Teasley finishes up the call, Steve remarks how unfortunate it is that the little gaffers won't have a camp to go to this summer. She agrees, then wearily asks him why he stopped by. In a rare display of empathy and self awareness, Steve decides it's probably not the best time to whine about his detention woes...and Mrs. Teasley looks grateful not to have to deal with Steve and his problems for the moment.
Kelly finds Dylan outside, reading over his manuscript. He apologizes for not calling her back last night and explains that he just got too caught up in his writing. Kelly says she's very eager to read what he's written, but he's adamant about keeping it under wraps until it's completely finished. Kelly asks him if he's going to stick around to hear the senior poll results, but he just stares at her blankly and says, "No"...and wryly tells her she'll have to attend that momentous event all by herself. She jokingly calls him a coward.
Dylan slouches over to The Blaze newsroom and gives Ahn-drea the rough draft of his manuscript. He concedes it will probably need to be edited down for the paper, but asks her to go easy on the criticism. Ahn-drea glows with delight and gushes to her new A-list friend about what an honor it is to have the privilege of editing his written word.
Kelly runs into Brandon and asks him if he knows when they're announcing the results of the senior poll...and he tells her that all will be revealed during the lunch hour. Steve joins their conversation and predicts that Brandon will win “most likely to succeed” and that Kelly will be voted “most beautiful”. Kelly pretends to modestly disagree, and tells Steve he's definitely in the running for “best flirt”. Brandon couldn't care less about any of the categories and tells them they're putting way too much importance on a dumb poll.
The big moment finally arrives. In the outdoor quad, David and Donna announce the poll winners. As Tony Miller is being declared “most athletic” (no doubt his 'roid use clinched it for him), Kelly rushes over to Brenda and asks her what she missed, so Brenda fills her in:
Steve is bummed when he doesn't win “best flirt”, and grumbles to Brandon that he's a hopeless loser because he also can't score a date for the Lakers game on Friday night. Brenda doesn't win “done most for the class” and looks disappointed, but not terribly surprised. Dylan is declared “most handsome”, but he's not there to accept his accolades. Kelly is voted “most beautiful”, and she blushes prettily and steps forward to take a little bow and bask in her beautifulness while David gushes, “There she is - our queen.” I had a sudden flashback to the Miss America pageants of yore, and the familiar crooning of Bert Parks...
There she is, Miss America
There she is, your ideal
The dream of a million girls
Who are more than pretty...
Dylan's house. Dylan is on the phone with Ahn-drea, and she tells him how great his manuscript is, and that she just has a few minor editing notes. She congratulates him on winning “most handsome” in the senior poll, but he's indifferent to the poll results, and has to wrap up the call when the doorbell suddenly rings. It's Kelly with a bag of takeout food. As they chit-chat, he tells her he's been reminiscing about the playground they used to frequent when they were kids, and urges her to pay it a visit and get back to her roots. [I only mention this seemingly random conversation because it becomes relevant toward the end of the episode.] Kelly reminds him that photos of the senior poll winners have been scheduled for the following day, and they're expected to dress appropriate to the categories. As "most beautiful", she's planning to wear a fancy evening gown and would like him to wear a tuxedo. Dylan jests that he'd rather wear a bag over his head, and this annoys Kelly. She tells him that since she's going to be in the photo with him, she wants him to take it seriously...and so Dylan swiftly backpedals and promises he'll wear whatever she wants him to. That settled, he takes her into his arms, and murmurs that she should have won “sexiest” or “best lover”. Kelly looks less than flattered and asks him if that's all she is to him. He doesn't really give her an answer, and just calls her a goddess and steers her toward the bedroom. Before things get too amorous, she rushes over to her purse to retrieve some birth control...and then glances toward the bedroom with an expression that makes me think she's not totally enthused about her imminent doink with Dylan.
The Walsh house. Brandon enters Brenda's room and asks her if he can borrow her copy of the school's directory. He needs it to scare up some dates for him and Steve. When he starts leafing through the directory, he comes across a completed application for the University of Minnesota. He looks puzzled and says he assumed they were both going to California University. Brenda explains that she's merely keeping her options open, but Brandon looks skeptical and asks her if she's applying because she didn't win anything in the senior poll. Brenda haughtily informs him that she filled out the application long before the poll results were announced, and reminds him about all the good friends they left behind in Minneapolis. Brandon asks her the last time she thinks her former best friend, Darla Hanson, even gave her a passing thought, so Brenda smugly tells him that she spoke to Darla a half hour ago about rooming together in the same dorm. Brandon asks her if she's told Mama or Papa Walsh about any of this, and she tells him she hasn't, but wants to be the one to do it.
Brandon's on the kitchen phone, trying to convince the girl on the other end to accompany him or Steve to the Lakers game on Friday night. He doesn't have any luck, and I'm pretty sure that the Steve part of the equation is what's holding the girls back. As soon as he hangs up, Papa Walsh arrives home looking drained and exhausted from a rough day at the salt mines. Brandon remarks to his dad how he can't seem to find dates for himself or Steve for the Lakers game Friday night...and then jokes that if he and Mama Walsh aren't busy, they should come. Papa Walsh instantly perks up and accepts his offer...and before Brandon can rescind the invitation, Mama Walsh enters the kitchen and is delighted when her husband tells her that their wonderful son has just invited them to the next Lakers game. Brandon just stares at the two of them, shell-shocked.
Kelly's house. Kelly's standing in front of her full-length mirror dressed up in Jackie's black evening gown, and she looks pretty fabulous. Jackie enters her room and tells her that David just informed her she was voted “most beautiful”. She starts fussing over Kelly's makeup, and then urges her to wear her hair up for the photograph...and Kelly looks really weirded out by her mother's excessive flattery and attention.
West Beverly High. In the outdoor quad, a photographer is busily taking shots of all the senior poll winners. It looks like everyone dressed up in special outfits/costumes for the occasion - including Brandon, who's wearing a business suit for his “most likely to succeed” photograph. He runs into Steve and regretfully informs him that he wasn't able to round up a couple of honeys for Friday night...and that he somehow, inadvertently invited his parents to go to the game with them. Steve gets pissed off, mostly because he now has no possibility of getting laid...not that it was a realistic possibility to begin with. He snarls at Brandon that he doesn't want to get stuck sitting beside his mother, and it's not clear why he suddenly developed an aversion to Mama Walsh.
Ladies room. Kelly, Donna, and Ahn-drea are primping in front of the mirror, preparing for their photos. Kelly complains about her pale skin, invisible eyelashes, and bad nose...making everyone within earshot want to smack Miss Most Beautiful. Donna tells her to cut the crap and says that looks-wise most girls would trade places with her in a second. Kelly claims she'd happily trade places with any uggo, and then complains that no one ever takes her seriously. Ahn-drea - who looks completely ridic in a pin-striped suit and tie - interjects and tells her that from what she's read in Dylan's manuscript, it's clear that he takes her very seriously. Kelly stares at her in surprise and asks her if she's read his manuscript, and Ahn-drea confirms that she has and describes it as terrific. Kelly grimaces at Donna and promptly storms out of the bathroom to track down Dylan. He's outside, dutifully dressed in a tuxedo and chatting with Tony Miller. She pulls him away from Tony and demands to know when she gets to read his manuscript, so he tells her, "When it's ready." She asks him why it's done enough for Ahn-drea to read, so he explains that Ahn-drea is his editor, as well as the person who got him interested in writing it in the first place. Kelly blurts out, “Then why don't you go to bed with her?” Dylan gives her a strange look, since the prospect of him and Ahn-drea getting it on in the sack is so outlandish and abhorrent for too many reasons to get into in this recap. She angrily tells Dylan that she resents being good enough to sleep with, but not good enough for her opinion to be valued. Dylan quickly offers to let her read the manuscript, but she sneers that he's only saying that because he wants to shut her up. Well, d'yuh. She then turns to leave, but Dylan stops her and insists that he does value her opinion. She snaps back that the only thing he values about her is the way she looks and dresses...and that she has regular sex with him. But she doesn't feel like he listens to a thing she says. Dylan argues back that he was listening to her when he put on the stupid tuxedo...but then softens his voice and tells her that he still wants to do the photo. Kelly sarcastically reminds him to smile for the camera, and then storms off.
Kelly's house. Kelly arrives home and rushes straight to her bedroom. Jackie asks her how the photo session went, and Kelly barks back that it didn't. She starts berating her mother for fussing so much over her hair and makeup, and for making her feel as though she was never pretty or good enough while she was growing up. She sneers that all she ever learned from Jackie was how to be shallow and insincere. After some more back and forth arguing with a bewildered Jackie, Kelly flees her room and storms out of the house. She really does a lot of storming around in this episode.
The Walsh house. Brandon is getting ready to leave for the Lakers game when Brenda enters his room and asks him if he can loan her $50. He says, “Not likely”, so she explains that she needs the money for the application fee for the University of Minnesota application. Brandon asks her if they can deal with this later, but she says it's not possible, since the application has to be postmarked before midnight. Way to wait until the eleventh hour and make your bad planning your family's problem, Brenda. Steve, meanwhile, is downstairs, and he's irritated because the Walshes are running late. Papa Walsh finally arrives home from work and goes upstairs to quickly change out of his suit. While he's doing that, Brenda decides it's the perfect time to inform him that she's applying to the University of Minnesota and to hit him up for the application fee. Papa Walsh summons Mama Walsh, and she hustles upstairs for an impromptu family meeting. Steve is further irritated by the delay, but Brandon assures him they'll still be on time for the game.
Traffic. While the four are stuck in gridlock, Papa Walsh gripes to his wife about how fed up he is with Brenda, and bitches about the way she sprung this university thing on them at the last minute. Mama Walsh doesn't think it's that big of a deal, and tells him that Brenda is probably just keeping her options open. [Sounds like the show's producers were also keeping their options open regarding keeping/firing Shannen Doherty at the end of Season 3.]
The four arrive late to the game. As they take their seats, a stadium employee rushes over and informs Brandon that his seat was randomly chosen to make a half court shot during the half time break. If he gets it in the basket he'll win $10,000! But before it can be made official, Brandon needs to produce the ticket stub with the winning seat number on it. Brandon digs the stub out of his pocket, but it's for the seat next to the chosen seat. Steve scrambles to pull his stub out of his front pocket and realizes that he's the actual winner! He screeches with excitement and follows the stadium employee toward the basketball court.
As they wait for Steve's big moment, Papa Walsh asks Brandon if he knew that Brenda was planning to apply to the University of Minnesota. Brandon tells him that she didn't confide in him about it...and then, out of the blue, comes clean about the gambling debt he racked up during the Duke's Bad Boy episode. Papa Walsh looks crestfallen that he didn't come to him when he needed help, so Brandon explains that he was afraid to tell him how badly he had screwed up. Papa Walsh reminds him that he's his only son and wants him to feel comfortable coming to him if he's ever in trouble like that again.
As Steve walks onto the court, the crowd cheers him on. Dyan Cannon is at the game, which is an interesting coincidence, considering that she's the real life mother of Jennifer Grant, who played Celeste Lundy in the previous episode. Anyway, it's a tense moment as Steve dribbles the ball for a few seconds. Someone tries to psych him out by yelling, “Air ball!” Haha.. Steve grimaces, then makes the shot...and through the magic of edited television, the ball sails toward the basket in slow motion and goes in! The crowd erupts in applause, and Steve dashes around the court excitedly, celebrating the moment.
Kelly's house. Dylan and David are discussing Kelly's shitty attitude of late. David says that she got pretty down on Jackie...but Dylan thinks he's the one she's really mad at. David blabs about how Kelly joined an eating disorder group, but didn't like it and abruptly quit...which he thinks was a big mistake. As for her recent disappearance, he thinks she's probably hiding out at the beach, but Dylan suddenly remembers their earlier conversation about the playground and has a hunch that she's there.
Playground. Kelly is sitting on a swing, looking dejected. Dylan approaches her, and for a few boring minutes they reminisce about the time they used to spend there when they were kids. Kelly then starts beating herself up, and refers to herself as a stupid blonde bitch who isn't worth it. She invokes all of the guys she put out for who never talked to her again, and then reminds Dylan about the devious way she went behind Brenda's back in order to date him. Bitterly, she advises him to go back to Brenda, which she thinks is inevitable anyway. Well that's just crazy talk. Dylan counters her self-pitying by telling her that no one ever tells him he's smart enough and worth knowing, but he's just happy to be alive despite his father's death. He also tells her he'd be totally fine if the two of them never doinked again, which seemed like kind of a weird non-sequitur. He reminds her that she saved his life the day his father was killed, and Kelly softly tells him she only telephoned him that morning because she wanted to hear his voice. He then asks her if she still wants him as her boyfriend, and she tells him she does.
The Walsh house. Later that evening, Mama and Papa Walsh tell Brenda all about Steve's $10,000 windfall. Mama Walsh says she knows she's had a rough time lately, but tells her that they felt left out that she didn't come to them when she decided to apply to the University of Minnesota. Brenda explains that she's suddenly remembering all of the good friends she once had in Minneapolis, who liked her for who she was...and now thinks that perhaps she's more Minnesota than Beverly Hills. Papa Walsh concedes that it's a good idea to keep her options open, and Mama Walsh gushes that either university would be lucky to have her.
Kelly's house. Kelly returns home and finds a worried Jackie waiting up for her. Kelly asks her in a small voice if she still has a mom, and Jackie rushes over to hug her and assure her that she does. She acknowledges what a crap mother she's been for most of Kelly's life, and says that throughout her drug and alcohol fueled years, Kelly has been the one good thing in her life...and it breaks her heart to see her beating herself up. Kelly accepts her mom's apology and tells her that maybe she should go back to the eating disorder group. Jackie suggests that the two of them also see a therapist together and sort through the deep-seated issues of their relationship, which have been neglected for years. The two hug.
The Peach Pit. Steve is holding court, re-telling and embellishing the story of his $10,000 half court shot. He remarks that his good luck must be some sort of sign. Ahn-drea happens to mention that she won't be working as a camp counselor over the coming summer, now that the program has been de-funded. Donna then asks Steve what he plans on doing with his pile of cash, and he replies that he's planning to spend it all in one place.
West Beverly High. The very next day, a delighted Mrs. Teasley informs Ahn-drea that an anonymous donor dropped off a $10,000 check for the Alvarado Street summer day camp. Ahn-drea is thrilled and jokes about how Santa Claus came early this year. The two then notice Steve in the hallway and recall that he played Santa Claus at the Alvarado School during the last Christmas episode. But since neither of them can envision Steve doing anything selfless or charitable, they grunt, “Naah!”
Dylan finds Kelly at her locker and tells her that their photographer awaits. She's tells him she's ready, and adds that she wants the picture to be of them wearing their regular clothes, not fancy evening wear. Dylan presents her with his manuscript and says he'd like her to read it. She looks touched, particularly when she reads on the cover page that he dedicated it to her.
Steve is once again blathering to the gang about his lucky basketball shot. Brenda is at her locker, hears his storytelling, and decides to walk over anyway. The gang is complaining that they've already heard the story ad nauseum, so Steve asks Brenda if perhaps she would like a play-by-play account of his $10,000 shot. Donna tries to shield her from the agony of listening to Steve, but Brenda freely volunteers to hear the story in all of its painful detail. And so, Steve and Brenda stroll down the hall together as he re-tells his tale of good fortune from the very beginning.
Kelly is sitting outside, reading the manuscript as Dylan stands a few feet away and watches her. She's flattered by all the complimentary things he wrote about her, and when she finishes reading, she asks him if he really meant what he said about it being OK with him if they never doinked again. Dylan grins and tries to retract that statement, joking that that doesn't sound like something he'd ever say. He then puts an arm around her shoulders, and the two smile for the camera.