Recap: Brenda is in a Paris park, walking atop a bench and holding hands with Dean Cain. The jig surrounding her terrible fake French accent is up, and he tells her how happy he is that she turned out to be a red-blooded American girl. He lifts her off the bench, sets her on the ground, and asks her if she regrets missing her plane and staying in Europe with him. She assures him she has no regrets, and tells him that she's falling in love with him...but then accidentally calls him Dylan. Eek! Dean Cain stares back at her with a look of confusion...and suddenly Brenda wakes up on an airplane. It was all a dream! Brenda looks over at Donna, who's in the seat beside her, and tells her she already misses Paris. Donna says she too misses Paris, but is also looking forward to being reunited with her pubescent boyfriend. Brenda says she can't wait to see Dean Cain...and hastily corrects herself and says "Dylan". The Freudian slip prompts Donna to widen her eyes and purse her ample lips in disapproval.
Paradise Cove. Kelly's awake, and tucked inside her sleeping bag. She stares over at Dylan, who's asleep in his own sleeping bag. After a few seconds, he wakes up, turns toward Kelly, and the two smile at each other. She tells him she's happy she spent the night with him, but is glad they didn't “cross the line”. Dylan, however, thinks they did cross a line even though they didn't actually doink. Kelly admits to him that they share a connection, but she reminds him once more about how much he loves Brenda. Dylan doesn't want to discuss his girlfriend at the moment, but Kelly insists they should. Plus, she's worried about coming up with something halfway believable when Brenda asks her what she did during her summer vacation.
Suddenly, Ahn-drea and her gaggle of day camp kids appear nearby, and it looks like they're on a seashell collecting expedition. Kelly desperately looks around for someplace to hide, and ends up zipping herself inside her sleeping bag. Dylan runs over to Ahn-drea and tells her that his friend “Kevin” partied too hard, so unless she and her day camp kids want to watch a hungover guy vomit all over himself, they need to collect their seashells elsewhere. Once they leave, Kelly unzips herself and promptly tells Dylan that they have to stop seeing each other. She doesn't want to sneak around with him anymore, or hurt Brenda. She also predicts that once he sees Brenda again, he'll remember why he fell in love with her. Dylan looks doubtful about that, but also sad that his budding summer romance with Kelly is over.
Cabana. Steve and David are arguing about the arrangement of David's ghastly music. David also reminds his new Business Manager that he hasn't come through and booked a gig for him yet. Brandon interrupts their squabbling to invite them to Brenda's Welcome Home Party at Casa Walsh that evening...and this makes David suddenly remember that he has to head over to the airport to pick up Donna. He rushes off.
The Walsh house. In preparation for the party, Brandon and Brooke hang up a “Welcome home” banner, which looks like it was printed from an early 1990s dot matrix printer. Once they finish that task, the two ignore everyone else in the room and engage in a lot of nauseating kissing. Ahn-drea raises her eyebrows at the PDA and remarks to Steve that it's obvious how close those two are becoming. Steve asks her if their relationship bums her out, and she says no, and adds that times are changing. Finally, Brenda arrives home! She happily hugs everyone and gets introduced to Brooke. She then glances around the sparse gathering and asks Mama and Papa Walsh if she can speak with them in private. Once the three are assembled in the kitchen, Brenda asks them why Dylan isn't at the party. She says she doesn't want them to be right where they left off before her Paris trip, and calmly urges her parents to sort out the Dylan issue because she needs to know where she stands. As she strides past them to go back into the living room, Mama and Papa Walsh marvel at how Brenda refrained from raising her voice, uttering threats, or throwing a tantrum. As parents, these two sure have some low expectations. Mama Walsh thinks that maybe Brenda grew up a little while she was in Paris (not really), and points out to Papa Walsh that they should accept Dylan because at least they know he loves her...and if she's not with him, there would likely be drama with some other boy. Papa Walsh stares into space, looking thoughtful.
Donna, David, and Kelly arrive at the party. Kelly hangs back near the door as long as possible, but eventually she appears in the entrance of the living room and gives Brenda the requisite welcome home hug. As Donna hands out Les Wildcats sweatshirts to everyone, Brenda discreetly asks Kelly if she has any matches...and the two go to the upstairs bathroom where Brenda lights up a cigarette and takes a puff. When Kelly expresses surprise at her stinky new habit, Brenda breezily declares that everyone in Paris smokes. She then tells Kelly all about her flirtation with Dean Cain. She brags about how she fooled him with her ghastly fake French accent, then lifts her chin dramatically, exhales a mouthful of cigarette smoke, and says, “He vas completely fooled, mon cheri.” I really cannot express strongly enough how ridiculous, godawful, and phony Brenda's accent sounds. She then tells Kelly about how Dean Cain invited her to go backpacking in Europe with him...and that she considered it, but instead went to the airport and didn't even say goodbye. Eventually Brenda stops talking about herself long enough to ask Kelly about her summer, but Kelly just mumbles something about spending a lot of time with baby Erin.
The doorbell at Casa Walsh rings, and it's Dylan. He's greeted warmly by Mama and Papa Walsh, and a few seconds later Brenda and Kelly descend the staircase. Dylan grins at Brenda and says, “I remember you.” Brenda flashes him a giddy smile, excitedly runs into his arms, and the two inappropriately smooch in front of Mama and Papa Walsh and Kelly for what seems like a really long time. Needless to say, Kelly does not look thrilled to have to witness the revolting display.
Hours later, the party breaks up. Kelly and Dylan get up to leave and exchange a knowing look. Brenda asks Dylan to stay to help her clean up, and also extends the invitation to Kelly. But Kelly, who's looking for a quick getaway, tells her she's the designated chauffeur for the evening. On her way out, Dylan softly says goodbye to her, and she grunts in return.
Alone in the kitchen, Brenda and Dylan make out some more. She gives him a gift she bought in Paris: an engraved pendant for his watch chain. She then tells him she'd love nothing more than to go back to his place for a doink, but doesn't think doing so on her first night home would go over very well with Mama and Papa Walsh. After another smooch session, Dylan heads home.
Mama and Papa Walsh ask Brenda how she liked her party, and she tells them it was great. Papa Walsh says he's glad she's home, and she tells him it meant a lot to her that Dylan was invited to the party. She admits that things between them will have to change, because she's no longer willing to lose her family over her relationship with a slouchy, mumbley boyfriend. Papa Walsh gets a little verklempt and tells her how much they love her. She replies that she's very grateful to them for the opportunity to spend a summer in Paris. After that, it's goodnight kisses and heartfelt hugs all around.
Brenda is unpacking her toiletries in the upstairs bathroom when Brandon appears in the doorway wearing his new Les Wildcats sweatshirt. He furrows his brow, sniffs the bathroom air, and asks her if she smells smoke. Brenda tells him she can't smell anything because her nasal passages are all clogged up, then swiftly changes the subject and asks him how his summer with the folks went. He tells her it was fairly mellow, and that everyone just did their own thing. He then confides in her that something is "off" about Brooke, the girl he's been seeing. No doubt a breakup will be imminent there. As the twins bid each other goodnight, Brenda tells him that the next time she goes to France, he's going to have to come with her. He totally agrees, which is a little weird, because I doubt most teenage guys would want to vacation or travel to Europe with their sister. As soon as Brandon vacates the bathroom, Brenda sprays air freshener to mask the stench of her stenchy cigarette smoke.
David's/Kelly's house. David enters Kelly's room to see how she's doing. Incidentally, his shirt is completely unbuttoned, so there's no way to avoid looking at his smooth, hairless chest. Kelly tells him she's concerned that Brenda might have noticed her weird behavior during the party, but David thinks she covered it up well enough. He, of course, picked up on her weirdness, but that's only because he knows she was fooling around with Dylan all summer. Kelly is worried that Dylan will tell Brenda about all their flirty kissing, but David doesn't think that's likely. In fact, he predicts that the whole thing will simply blow over. After he bids her goodnight and leaves the room, Kelly guiltily stares at a photo of her and Brenda.
Beach. It's the day of the “Castles in the Sand” contest. Brandon and Brooke work together on a sand sculpture, and Brandon laments how bad he is at this. He also warns Brooke that he's going to have to go back to work soon, so Brooke coquettishly suggests that maybe she should ask Steve if he wants to help her with the sculpture. She and Brandon then start making out again, and Brenda and Donna stare over at them with looks of icked-out dismay. Donna remarks that Brooke seems to really be into Brandon.
Ahn-drea is teaching one of her day camp kids the art of sandcastle building when Cameron, the little deaf kid, taps her on the shoulder. Ahn-drea looks visibly annoyed by the intrusion and tells him she has to make time to help the other kids, not spend all of her time just on him. Ouch.
Dylan comes over to where Brenda and Donna have staked out a plot of sand, and he and Brenda immediately start making out again. There really is far too much making out in this episode. Donna complains about their foreplay not being conducive for any sculpture building to get done. She then wonders aloud where Kelly and David are.
David's/Kelly's house. Kelly stubbornly declares that she doesn't want to go to the beach. Jackie tries to change her mind, and asks her if she's still upset about Jake. Kelly's like, “Mother...please.” I mean...really, Jackie. That flirtation was soo six episodes ago. David pops into the room to announce that everyone's ready to leave, and during a moment alone, David advises Kelly to come, since she's going to have to talk to Brenda sooner or later. He also points out that if she keeps moping around and acting like a recluse, people are going to start getting suspicious. Kelly reluctantly decides to put in an appearance at the beach.
As Dylan tries to construct some French landmark out of sand, Brenda chatters to Donna and, without thinking (or maybe she intended to on a subconscious level), mentions Dean Cain. Dylan inquires who Dean Cain is, so Brenda scrambles for a plausible lie and tells him that Dean Cain was their tour guide in Paris.
Ahn-drea is heading toward the water to fill some buckets. When she senses that Cameron is following her, she turns around and snarks at him to stay with the rest of the group. He insists that he's just trying to help, but she tells him to join the rest of the kids...and so he trudges away sadly. Way to break a little deaf boy's heart, you heartless bitch.
Brandon and Brooke work on their sand sculpture some more, but Brandon insists that he really does need to get back to work. Brooke starts whining about how they're not going to be able to finish their sculpture on time, so Brandon calmly explains that he has to help Henry prep for the clambake. Brooke snaps that Henry could just do that by himself, and adds, “Let Henry earn his money for a change.” Brandon asks her what the hell that's supposed to mean, so Brooke explains that Henry can't be fired because he's black. This angers Brandon, and he informs her that Henry works very hard...and that the man isn't just his boss, he's a friend. Brooke swiftly apologizes and assures him she didn't mean anything by her cunty, racist remark. She tells him she only wants to spend time with him, and then offers to help him set up for the clambake.
Jackie and Mel arrive at the beach with their brood. Brenda checks out baby Erin and gushes about how cute she is. Yeah, the little gaffer is actually pretty cute. Dylan remarks on how tiny she was a few weeks ago; in fact, tiny enough to fit in the palm of his hand. Brenda looks confused and asks him how he and Erin know each other. He tells her that he and Kelly babysat together...and fortunately for him, Brenda doesn't seem to think that that's at all weird. After everyone's had a chance to coo at baby Erin, Jackie and Mel announce that they're returning to the cabana...and invite the gang to drop by later. Kelly starts to leave with them as well, so a puzzled Brenda asks her if she's not joining them in their quest to win the "Castles in the Sand" contest. Kelly tells her that she'd better stick close to her mom, and then starts walking toward the cabana. Dylan just stands there and stares at Kelly's backside longingly, and a still clueless Brenda drags him back to their sand sculpture in progress.
David runs into Steve as he moves his music equipment out of the cabana in order to make room for Erin's baby stuff. Once again he gets bitchy at Steve for not lining up a gig for him yet.
Brandon and Brooke are doing some prep work for the clambake. Brandon tells her that Henry lost his entire life savings when his store was looted during the L.A. riots. Brooke dutifully says that that must have been hard for Henry...but then heads down a bad path when she asks Brandon why Henry didn't put up a sign in his store that indicated it was a “Black-owned business”. Brandon points out that not all of the looters were black, so Brooke gets all David Duke on him and blurts out how the Blacks are against the Koreans, the Koreans are against the Blacks, and both the Blacks and Koreans are against white people. A dismayed Brandon says, “I don't believe that.” And then Brooke snarks back that he should believe that, because one day the Blacks and the Koreans are going to want payback. Brandon asks whassup with her bizarre anger issues, and she tells him she's tired of getting into a fight every time she opens her mouth. [Insert suggestion that she could easily solve that problem by no longer opening her mouth.] Brandon agrees that he's tired of the fighting too, and so Brooke asks him if he's intimidated by her. Brandon looks amused and tells her he's a little more secure than that, but thanks. Brooke then accuses him of being embarrassed to kiss her in front of his friends, which is a totally ridic accusation because in this episode they've done nothing but shamelessly make out in front of anyone within their line of vision. Brandon tells her that as “a liberal kind of guy”, her racist rants are driving him up the wall. Brooke gets angry and vehemently denies being a bigot, which causes Brandon's nuts to suddenly shrivel because he quickly apologizes for hurting her feelings. The hell? But Brooke still looks hurt and tells him it's too late for an apology, and then stomps away angrily.
Dylan intercepts Kelly as she carries fruit plates back to her cabana. He asks her if she's OK, and she tells him that he doesn't have to keep worrying about how she's doing. She tells him that she's looking out for all of them and then walks away. Dylan stares unhappily after her.
Steve pesters Henry about letting David play his ghastly music during the evening dance at the beach club, but Henry informs him that he already has a signed contract with a real band. Steve tells him to break it, but Henry refuses because he's not a dishonest douchebag like Steve is.
Brenda and Donna are relaxing at a table while David sets up the umbrella. Dylan comes over and gives Brenda another guilt-induced over-the-top smooch. From the doorway of her cabana, Kelly is watching this nauseating display with a despondent look on her face.
Brooke is unhappily working on the sand sculpture she and Brandon started. Brandon suddenly appears with a shovel that has a “Truce?” sign pasted on it, and he's also stuck a piece of duct tape over his mouth. I'll assume he also removed his testicles. Brooke laughs at her emasculated boyfriend, and the two agree to avoid all discussion about anything remotely controversial, and instead stick to safe topics...like the weather. Sounds like a super fun relationship. They kiss and make up, and Brandon apologizes again for no reason. Brooke declares that she's never "talking politics" again...though I don't see how a nonsensical rant about Koreans and Black people hating white people falls under the category of politics. The two start kissing again when Ahn-drea interrupts them, looking frantic. She can't find Cameron. Brandon promises to help her look for him, but advises her to chillax, since this is a repeat of what happened during the previous episode, and it ended up that the kid was just using the bathroom. After a two minute search, they locate Cameron inside his mother's cabana. Ahn-drea is relieved to find him safe, and asks his mom if she can have a moment alone with him. She asks him why he ran off, so he tells her he's mad at her...and also that he loves her. She, in turn, tells him it's very brave of him to tell a girl how he feels, but since he's a 12-year old, their relationship has to remain platonic, otherwise it would be a felony. She also blathers about how theirs is a special friendship that can last a lifetime...but since we never see the deaf kid again after this episode, it's really just a cold, empty promise. The two hug, and she urges him to join her and the other kids back at the sand sculpture before the judging gets underway.
As the sandcastle judges start making their rounds, Brenda and Kelly chit-chat. Brenda asks her if she saw much of Dylan this summer, and Kelly tersely answers, “He was around.” Brenda tells her she suspects that he was two-timing her while she was gone because he's being way too nice to her...like he's trying to make up for something. Kelly pales, but manages to assure Brenda that Dylan adores her. But Brenda insists that he's giving off a funny vibe. I'm guessing it's probably really similar to the one Kelly's currently giving off.
Steve approaches the manager of the band that Henry booked to perform at the beach club that evening. Steve asks the guy if he's willing to give a new musician some much needed exposure, but he doesn't seem to give much of a crap about doing that. Steve then offers him a huge bribe to walk away from the gig.
The sandcastle judges announce the winners. In the amateur category, the blue ribbon goes to...Ahn-drea and her day camp kids! Everyone claps, and Brandon laughingly remarks to Brooke that they got beaten by the Romper Room. A sour looking Brooke tells him she doesn't get why Ahn-drea works at the club anyway, since it's obvious she doesn't need the money. Brandon's like, “Wuh?” so she slowly enunciates, “Zuck-er-man” and dismisses Ahn-drea as a rich Jewish princess from Beverly Hills. Brandon looks visibly annoyed, so Brooke immediately backpedals and tells him her comment was actually a compliment, since Jewish people are so good with money. Brandon tells her that that's a stereotype, and informs her that Ahn-drea is poor, and lives with her loopy grandmother in a tiny stank apartment. Brooke goes ape-shit once again and snaps that she doesn't give a rat's ass where Ahn-drea lives, and snarls about how they managed to go a whole hour without getting into a fight. Brandon then gets the strength to reclaim his balls and breaks up with her on the spot. Brooke is stunned, and promises him she can change...but Brandon sternly tells her that he can't change. With that, his dumping of Brooke is official. Just in time for the back to school episode.
Clambake. A vexed Henry is on the phone with the band's manager. It looks like the band breached their contract and pulled a no-show in order to take Steve's bribe. And speaking of Steve, he's lurking nearby, eavesdropping on Henry's call. When Henry gets off the phone, he looks over at Steve and asks him if David can really sing. Steve just repeats the question for dramatic effect, but doesn't actually answer. No, Henry. No! David can't sing. And when he tries, it's awful.
Minutes later we see David on stage, singing a vomit inducing love song in his breathy, girlish voice. Donna gushes about how good he's gotten, and Kelly appears to be startled at the hidden talents she didn't realize he had...which is funny, because only one episode ago she was relentlessly mocking his music. Steve starts bragging about being David's manager and how he's bringing David along slowly. Donna and Kelly order him to shut up and stop ruining their enjoyment of David's groundbreaking performance.
Brenda and Dylan are sitting together on a blanket, staring out at the ocean. She tells him that when she was in Paris, she'd get up early and walk along the Seine and think of him, halfway around the world. She'd often wonder if he was doinking another girl...but after awhile she'd stop worrying about that. She then confesses her flirtation with Dean Cain during her last couple of days in Paris, but assures him it didn't amount to much. Dylan looks only slightly peeved and asks her if she's finished with her summer vacation. She tells him yes, and asks him if he's ready to start their senior year together at West Beverly High. He deftly evades the question and just says, “Welcome home, Brenda.”
On stage, David is grooving it while playing his keyboard. Henry looks very impressed, and nods approvingly at Steve. David finally ends his terrible set with a dorky twirl, and everyone claps effusively. He announces he's taking a break, and will be back in 15 minutes. Oh hell. Let's hope the show runs out before that.
As Brandon collects trash, Steve trails after him and tells him how surprised he is that he dumped Brooke. Brandon offers him his sloppy seconds when he says, “She’s all yours, buddy.” Ew. Fortunately, Steve thinks it's a good thing if they remain single, since they need to be available for the new crop of cuties they'll be checking out at West Beverly High during the next episode. After Steve departs, Brandon runs into Kelly. She asks him why he looks so glum, so he tells her that his summer was kind of sucky. It came and went, and he doesn't have anything to show for it. She cheekily points out that he got a nice tan, so he thanks her and gives her a playful kiss on the nose.
That evening, Brandon and Dylan join the rest of the gang (sans Kelly) at a table. They toast David's awful performance, along with Ahn-drea's day camp kids for winning the blue ribbon in the sand castle competition. In a burst of happiness, Brenda declares that they're the best bunch of friends a girl could ever have, and that she loves them all...especially Dylan. I doubt she's going to feel that way about six episodes from now.
Kelly is wrapped up in a toasty looking sweater, staring at the dark ocean in front of her. Dylan appears, and she tells him he doesn't have to keep checking on her. He says he's not, and Kelly retorts by telling him that he and Brenda belong together. But Dylan obviously does not share that sentiment, because he tells her that he doesn't think he can go back to Brenda and just forget about everything that happened between the two of them over the summer. Kelly says that nothing lasts forever...and the camera pans down so we can watch the symbolism of a sand sculpture being washed away by the ocean's waves.