Recap: Over an artery-hardening breakfast at the Peach Pit, Kelly tells Donna that since Ahn-drea is on perpetual bed rest, they'll have to conduct their pretend sorority meeting at her place. Kelly adds that she's hopeful Brenda won't flip out if she doesn't get cast as the lead in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof...which is unlikely, considering how badly she stunk it up during her audition.
Erica has to do a report for school on what her parents do for a living, so she's peppering Suzanne with questions about her waitressing job at the Peach Pit. Suzanne tells her it would be far more interesting for her to do her project on Kevin and his science lab, but Erica makes a blech face and isn't interested. Dylan overhears all this and says he'd love to take a tour of Kevin's lab to see how his sludge eating microorganism is coming along, then suggests that he and Erica go together. Erica likes the sound of that and agrees to go, and Suzanne gives Dylan a grateful smile.
Brenda bursts into the diner and giddily tells Brandon and Dylan that she got the leading role of Maggie the Cat. Instead of blurting out, "WTF?" they congratulate her...but as soon as she scampers off, Dylan tells Brandon he thought she choked during her audition and Brandon just shrugs cluelessly. Brenda rushes over to where Kelly and Donna are sitting and gabbles about her good news, including the part about how she sashayed over to Roy Randolph's house after her botched audition so that she could audition for him a second time. Neither Kelly nor Donna have the nerve to tell her how shady and creepy that sounds, or that showing up at a director's house in a cleavage bearing dress to give him a private re-do completely calls into question the integrity and fairness of the audition process for all of the other actors. In other words: I cry foul!
California University. Steve is incredulous that Laura didn't get the lead role and starts ranting and raving about how she got robbed...and while he's doing that, Laura is leaning against a tree, looking despondent. They're both puzzled and outraged by Roy's decision, and Steve wants to go ream out the pompous ass of a director, but Laura tells him not to and says she just wants to endure the horrific ordeal of having to be Brenda's understudy with as much dignity as she can muster. She then plants the seed in Steve's tiny brain that maybe Brenda got the role because she slept with Roy, but Steve looks doubtful and tells her that that really isn't Brenda's style. Yes she can be an insufferably obstinate bitch even at the best of times, but she's not generally inclined to trade sex for favors.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Ahn-drea is finishing up a phone call with a classmate when Jesse arrives home. He admonishes her for being out of bed, and she grumps about how sick she is of lying around all day, and that she only got up to answer the phone, wah wah. Jesse reminds her that her prescribed 24 hour bed rest is for a good cause, and that it'll all be over soon. After her eleventh month of pregnancy.
Chancellor's office. Brandon arrives for a meeting, and the chancellor tells him they need to discuss "a new wrinkle". He asks Brandon if he remembers writing a statement on the status of public education, and when Brandon nods the chancellor informs him that it's going to be part of a keynote speech when the national task force convenes in Washington...and he wants Brandon to attend a final strategy session in Berkeley. Brandon looks pleased and says he's honored. Out of nowhere, the chancellor makes some crack about how late he kept Clare out on her prom night, but then says he's A-OK with it since Brandon's a vast improvement over the usual losers his daughter goes out with...then looks contemplative and remarks that these young men always seem to end up in hot water. Brandon gently suggests that the hot water might actually have more to do with Clare...but while he's saying that, the chancellor is staring lovingly at a photo of his errant spawn, and says he's had to raise the little tart all by himself after her mother died. He adds that he thinks he did a pretty good job (seriously?), and Brandon is barely able to keep a straight face.
Theater. Roy is leading the first table reading for Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. He tells Eddie to warn the cast to never ever be late for rehearsal, then beats the issue over the head when he expresses his "zero tolerance" policy for lateness. Before the table reading gets underway, Roy introduces the cast - and when he gets around to introducing Brenda as Maggie, she asks him if the character can be referred to by her proper name, Margaret, and adds, "At least until I get to know her better." Roy compliments her ass-kissingly good instincts, which was nauseating, and Laura rolls her eyes derisively. A few seconds later, Roy introduces Laura as the understudy for Maggie...er Margaret, and she continues to look despondent.
Beach. Donna and David are playing Frisbee with Rocky 2 when they spot Steve striding over to where Kelly's sitting. He tells her how devastated Laura is about not getting the lead role in the play, and Kelly clucks sympathetically and agrees it must have been quite a disappointment. She then tells Steve about how Brenda went over to Roy's house after her sucky audition so she could re-audition, and Steve looks appalled and comes right out and surmises that Brenda slept with Roy in exchange for the lead role in the play. Donna, who's been eavesdropping with David, suddenly interjects and tells Steve that that's ridiculous. Kelly agrees with her, but doesn't look or sound very convinced, and recalls how Roy brazenly and ickily came onto her while she was trying out for the play. Steve says Brenda would have done anything for the part, but Donna insists that she's their friend and wouldn't do something so sleazy...but Steve and Kelly don't look so sure.
Dylan's house. Kelly tells Dylan that there's a rumor going around that Brenda slept with Randolph to get the part of Maggie, and Dylan snappishly asks her if she believes that crap. Kelly snaps back that she doesn't believe it - she was just relaying it to him. Dylan insists that Brenda would never doink Roy Randolph just to get a part in his play, then clams up and refuses to talk about it anymore. The doorbell suddenly rings, and it's the Annoying Trio: Suzanne, Erica, and Kevin. Kelly looks less than thrilled that they've decided to pop in. Suzanne hands Dylan a box of pastries and announces that they're celebrating hers and Kevin's engagement. Dylan happily congratulates them, while Kelly remarks on the whirlwind nature of their courtship. Dylan looks pissed off by the comment, while Suzanne and Kevin agree that, indeed, it has been a whirlwind, but that it feels right. The Annoying Trio ambles over to the dining area, and Dylan holds Kelly back and bitches at her for not acting happy enough for Suzanne and Kevin. Kelly insists she is, but points out that the two have only known each other for a few weeks...and he bitches back that she's being a negative nancy.
Dorm. Steve drops by to visit Laura and ask her how rehearsal went. She describes it as humiliating, and that she just sat there while everyone did the read-through. Steve tells her she'll get her turn, since Roy also has to rehearse the understudies. But Laura just looks sad and says he'll never have time for her - not the way Brenda monopolizes him. Apparently she has questions about every line of every scene, and acts like she's the only person in the cast. Yeah...I could totally picture Brenda doing that. Steve then tells her all about Brenda's private audition re-do at Roy's house, and Laura gets that despondent look on her face again and mutters, "Why am I not surprised?" She says maybe she should have slept with Roy, since she can't possibly feel any worse than she does right now. Steve tells her how ew that is, and that she's not the kind of person who would shamelessly whore herself just to get a part in a play.
The Walsh house. Clare drops by uninvited to deliver Brandon's plane ticket to Berkeley, and to tell him that she too is going on the trip, in order to check out the university. Brandon stares at her in horror and exclaims, "Absolutely not!" just as Mama and Papa Walsh amble down the stairs. Mama Walsh invites Clare to stay for breakfast, but Brandon quickly interjects and says she can't stay - and Clare takes the hint and says she has to get to school. After she leaves, Papa Walsh asks Brandon what his problem with Clare is, and Brandon tells him she's even more dangerous than Lucinda, and that he's getting tired of being stalked by her. He remarks that the chancellor has no idea what she's really like, so Papa Walsh urges him to be gentle, and reminds him that every father sticks to the delusion that his daughter is a virgin. The phone rings, and Mama Walsh answers it and takes a message: the time of Brenda's play rehearsal has been changed from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. We then see that it's Laura making the call from a pay phone...and when she hangs up, she grins evilly to herself.
Kevin's lab. Kevin is showing Erica and Dylan how the microorganism he's been experimenting with is able to purify water. Dylan looks impressed and says maybe it could help the sludge filled bay, but Kevin tells him his company doesn't think it's cost effective, and they don't want to invest money in it if it's not being developed by one of their star researchers. Dylan tells him to blow them off, and that his research is too important to be at the mercy of internal company politics.
California University. Brandon invites Steve to play basketball with him and D'Shawn, but Steve is still brooding. When Brandon asks him if he's moody because of Laura not getting the lead in the play, he irritably retorts, "Beat it." Brandon is confused why he's taking this so hard, since he's been around showbiz all his life and knows how cutthroat it can be...so Steve tells him about the rumor he's been circulating around campus that Brenda got the lead role because she slept with Roy. Brandon gets upset and orders him to stop the rumor, but Steve insists that Brenda is capable of it. Brandon stops arguing and kind of looks like he thinks Steve may have a point.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. During the pretend sorority meeting, Kelly tells Ahn-drea all about the "casting couch" rumor going around about Brenda, but neither Ahn-drea nor Donna believe there's any truth to it. Brenda arrives (since she thinks rehearsal isn't until 4:00pm), and when everyone suddenly falls quiet, she asks them why they're acting so strangely. Kelly tells her that there's a rumor going around that she slept with Roy to get the role of Maggie. Brenda demands to know where she heard the rumor, so Kelly tells her she heard it from Steve (the source of rumor). Brenda isn't surprised and snarks that she'd like to know what else Steve and Laura are saying about her. Kelly insists it's just gossip, so Brenda sarcastically retorts that she did sleep with Roy and that she did it because she has no talent. No duh about that talent thing. She then storms out of the apartment.
Student Union. Dylan sees Brenda sitting alone and moping, and she tells him that the whole play/audition thing has turned into a complete nightmare. He assures her he doesn't believe the casting couch rumor because he knows her. She smiles in response and tells him he may be the only true friend she has.
Theater. Brenda arrives at the theater at 4:00pm, just as rehearsal is wrapping up, and the rest of the cast stares at her like she's an alien life form. Eddie grumps at her for flaking and tells her that Roy is too angry to see her. Brenda insists that her no-show wasn't her fault, and tells him about how she got a call from the secretary of the drama department saying that the rehearsal time had changed. Eddie informs her that he makes all the calls, and that if this were a professional gig, she'd be unemployed right now. She repeats that it wasn't her fault, then catches sight of Laura, who glances over at her and smirks...and Brenda suddenly realizes who just tried to sabotage her. Eddie softens and offers to smooth things over with Roy, but sternly warns her not to let it happen again.
After rehearsal, a happy Laura heads outside and skips over to where Steve is waiting for her. She excitedly tells him that she got to play Maggie the whole time, and a puzzled Steve asks, "What happened to Brenda?" and Brenda suddenly appears and tells Steve and Laura that she got a phone call telling her that rehearsal had been rescheduled for 4:00pm. She sarcastically asks Laura if she knows anything about it, and Laura tells her not to take her anger out on her. Brenda then accuses Laura and Steve of starting the nasty rumor about her, and she bitchily tells Steve, "I always knew you were weak" and Steve glares at her and delivers this delicious retort: "Brenda, let’s get one thing straight. I’m your brother’s friend. Not yours.” Hee! She snarks back about what a relief that is, and reminds Laura that she still owns the part of Maggie, and that she (Laura) has nothing...well, except for Steve, though that's pretty much the same thing. Meee-OW!
Dorm. When they reach Laura's room, Steve launches into another rant, and complains about how Brenda is always pointing her finger at other people...and Laura rants that she can’t believe Roy didn’t fire her for pulling a no-show. Steve is so angry he wants to break something, so Laura sits him down and starts massaging his shoulders, which looked a little weird. She tells him that Roy said her performance was perfect - something he's never said to Brenda, incidentally - and that she needs more time rehearsing with him. She suggests that perhaps Steve could kidnap Brenda and lock her in a closet... or, better yet, cause a non-fatal injury that will keep her away from the theater for the next few weeks. Steve assumes she's kidding until he sees the crazed look in her eyes as she remarks that Brenda didn't play fair and rhetorically asks, "So why should we?"
Walsh house. Brenda's primping in the bathroom when Brandon comes in and offers her a ride to campus, but she declines and tells him to go ahead without her. He asks her if she's OK, and she assures him she's fine...and he tells her he heard the "casting couch" rumor, and she sighs and tells him what really hurts the most is that neither Kelly or Donna (or Ahn-drea, if she counts) has called her after she stormed out of their sorority meeting. Brandon asks if she called them, and Brenda haughtily replies that she's not the one who needs to apologize. For anything. Ever. She leans against the bathroom wall and tells him that in her whole life, there have only ever been two guys she's doinked with: Stuart and Dylan. And so she's totally mystified how everyone could so easily believe she suddenly became "the slut of CU". Brandon aptly points out that going to Randolph's house the evening after auditions might look "peculiar" to people, so Brenda asks him if he thinks she slept with Roy. Brandon says he's in no position to judge anyone after his sordid affair with Lucinda, and adds that no matter how whorish her actions, she's still his sister, and it really doesn't matter to him if she slept with Roy or not. Brenda doesn't like that answer and snarls that he's no better than Kelly. The phone rings and it's Steve, and after Brenda bitchily exclaims, "Steve?!" Brandon tells him this isn't a good time...but Steve insists it's urgent they talk, so Brandon agrees to meet him on campus.
Student Union. Steve has summoned Kelly, Donna, and Brandon for an emergency summit to discuss the Brenda/Roy/Laura situation. Kelly wearily tells him she doesn't want to hear anymore grist for the Brenda rumor mill, and Donna meekly agrees. Steve tells them he now knows that the rumor (he essentially started) isn't true, since Laura showed her true colors - meaning that she's a total nut job. He tells them that Laura crank-called Brenda's house to cause her to miss rehearsal, and then pulled a Tonya Harding by asking Steve to put Brenda out of commission. Um, OK...there's no real denying that Laura's a kooky broad with psychological issues, but I'm not sure why her craziness negates the possibility that Brenda slept with Roy to get the lead role. Both things could be true, since they're two entirely separate issues. But anyway, Steve tells the gang he promised Laura he'd do something nefarious to Brenda, but only because he was worried about what she might do to her if he refused. He adds that he now feels badly about the way he treated Brenda...and Donna meekly agrees that they all do.
The Randolph abode. Roy's in his backyard, sipping tea and trying to get a tan on a portion of his scrawny chest by unbuttoning the top few buttons on his shirt (LOL)...but when Brenda makes a sudden appearance, he quickly buttons back up. She apologizes to him for missing rehearsal, and he assures her that Eddie explained what happened. She thanks him for casting her in the lead role, and he tells her that she was simply the best actress for the role...even though he's been hearing more sordid explanations about why she was cast. Brenda lowers her head and says it's been upsetting, and Randolph says it has been for him as well. Due to his reputation as a sleazy womanizer, he practically had to promise the university administration in writing that he'd keep his slimy hands off the co-eds. He tells Brenda that the theater can be dirty and competitive and advises her to develop a thick skin. That said, he dramatically declares that he's cleaning house.
Chancellor's office. Brandon has just told the chancellor about Clare's slutty behavior on prom night...and the chancellor scrunches his face and says he can't envision his precious little angel flashing her crotch at strangers or provoking fights in hotel rooms. Brandon assures him it's all true, and that it wasn't alcohol that provoked her bad behavior, but rather her inherent craziness. He then adds that just the other day she showed up at his house with two tickets to Berkeley. As the chancellor continues to look confused and bewildered, the phone suddenly rings. He tells Brandon he has to take the call, then apologizes if Clare's been a nuisance. When Brandon leaves the building, Clare pops up out of nowhere and drapes her arm around him. He tells her that he just told her father about her antics on prom night, and she looks surprised, but then shrugs and tells him he just shot himself in the foot. He asks her what she means by that, and she just chirps, "You'll see. Good luck, Brandon!" Mmm...that can't be good.
Theater. Laura's on her knees, practicing lines with the guy who's playing Brick. Roy interrupts them and gets right into it with Laura...and it's awesome! He tells her that normally he'd be having this conversation with her in private, but since she clearly has no regard for his or Brenda's privacy he doesn't feel he owes her the respect. Laura looks fake confused...and meanwhile, Steve has entered the theater to watch the show. Roy brusquely informs Laura that she's no longer part of this production and orders her to gather her things and leave. As the rest of the cast stares at her mutely, a mortified Laura walks across the stage to retrieve her purse that's sitting on the chair beside Brenda. She drops her play book on the floor so that it makes a loud thud, then glares over at Brenda and growls, "You bitch." A fed up Roy angrily barks, "Get. Off. My. Stage." Laura stares back at him with a stricken look on her face, then runs out of the theater in tears. Steve rushes out after her, and when the two are standing in front of the building, she demands to know why he didn't do something to put Brenda out of commission. Steve tells her that Brenda didn't sleep with Randolph...then adds that she's losing it and could probably use some counseling. Hearing this makes Laura even more squirrelly, and she accuses him of being just like all the other snooty kids from Beverly Hills. She turns her back on Steve and stalks off with a really stiff looking gait, as though she just had a pole shoved up her behind. Steve stares after her looking very concerned.
Student Union. Brenda joins Kelly and Donna at their table and snappishly asks them what's so important. Kelly tells her that Laura asked Steve to physically harm her so she could take over the part of Maggie...but Brenda tells her that that's old news, since Brandon already informed her. Donna tells her that Steve is "dealing with Laura", and Brenda bitchily reminds her that the two are buddies. Donna insists that he feels as badly as they all do for daring to suggest that she doinked Randolph during her private audition, and Brenda snarks self-piteously about how they all talked about her behind her back, and that none of them cared enough to call her after her bitchy meltdown at Ahn-drea's apartment. Donna tells her she didn’t really know what to say, and that she was so put off that she (Brenda) acted as though they were all trying to gang up on her...and Kelly finishes the sentence by saying they were just trying to let her know what was going on. Brenda admits to overreacting and not giving them a chance to explain themselves, but says she was so "blown away" by the accusation that she slept with a man to get ahead. Kelly says she just wants to forget about the whole thing and cruise through to the season finale, after which Brenda Walsh finally leaves Beverly Hills, 90210 for good...and thank God.
Peach Pit. Kevin announces to Suzanne, Dylan, and Erica that he doesn't want to waste his life working for a company that won't support his passion for bio-remediation, so he quit his job. Suzanne is fake concerned that Kevin won't have an income, but Dylan applauds his decision and tells him his work is revolutionary and that he's going places. [Yeah...to Mexico, with your money! Haha!]
Dorm. Steve gets a phone call from Brandon when he arrives at his dorm room, and he tells him about the ugly scene he witnessed at the theater. He says he no longer wants anything to do with Laura, but Brandon chastises him for leaving the girl hanging - no pun intended. Steve looks thoughtful, and decides to drop in on Cray Cray. He knocks on her door, but when she's not home, he enters her room (do these dorm rooms not have locks?) and finds a note on her bed addressed to "To Whom It May Concern". He freaks out when he realizes it's a suicide note, and immediately heads over to the theater. On the way there, he runs into Brenda and quickly tells her that he's looking for Laura, who left a cry for help in the form of a suicide note that refers to her "final performance".
Inside the theater, Steve and Brenda look around for Laura, but don't see her right away. Steve calls out her name, and they finally spot her high up in some kind of control room. She's wearing the slinky white dress she auditioned in, and is threatening to kill herself. Steve says he's going to get help, so Brenda is left standing there, staring helplessly as Laura ties a rope around her neck. She desperately tells her that she could talk to Roy about taking her back or maybe sharing the role of Maggie, but Laura just sneers and says she knows how much Roy hates her. Brenda tries to convince her that there will be other plays she could try out for, but Laura complains that she never gets what she wants, and that when Roy sees her hanging inside the theater, he'll be sorry. Steve, meanwhile, has climbed up to the control room and grabs Laura from behind before she can successfully hang herself. She struggles with him for a few seconds, but then falls into his arms and starts weeping. Shortly afterward, an ambulance arrives and Laura is taken away by some men in white coats. Several feet away, Steve remarks to Brenda that if they hadn't shown up at the theater when they did, Laura might be hanging from the rafters right now. Brenda tells him she spent the whole day being angry with Laura, but now she just pities her. Steve pushes his luck and asks Brenda if she could maybe stop being angry with him, but she snaps at him to leave her alone...and then stomps over to her car, climbs inside, and starts to cry.