Recap: It's the first day of college, and Kelly and Donna are primping in their beach apartment bathroom. Donna is exhausted from the insane schedule she's been keeping, DJing six nights a week at the radio station. Kelly hands her a mug of coffee, then rubs in the fact that she got a really good night's sleep and bounded out of bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Donna sleepily ambles over to David's room to wake him up. She sinks onto his mattress - which is what he's sleeping on in lieu of an actual bed - and mutters to him that it's time to get up. When David shows no sign of movement, Donna pulls the covers off of him. He growls that he needs two more minutes of sleep, then grabs the covers and pulls them back over himself. Donna warns him that he can't be late for his first day of classes, and he snarks back that he's a big boy and can get himself to campus on time. Donna wisely gives up the fight, and she and Kelly head off to the university.
California University. We get a few minutes of footage featuring students roaming around the campus, including an anxious looking Ahn-drea and then Steve, who starts walking in one direction and then abruptly turns around and walks in the opposite direction.
Ahn-drea and Donna are in the same English class and are surprised to see that Dan Rubin is their teacher. For some reason this displeases Ahn-drea, and she glares at him with her beady little eyes.
Brenda's in her poetry class, studying the wanted ads when Dylan slouches in and takes the seat beside her. She tells him she's looking for a job, which he finds surprising. He says he thought that Brandon was the only working twin in the family, so Brenda explains that she wants to get a head start on real life. Incidentally, her eyebrows are looking horribly over-tweezed in this episode...and from here on in, I think they only get worse. The professor, an older man in a black sweater and bow-tie, enters the classroom and immediately delves into a quirky lecture about the rhythm of poetry.
Student Union. After whatever class Steve and Brandon just had together, Steve complains that he has homework. Egads! He wonders aloud how the professor expects them to do “all that work” and reminds Brandon that the only reason he enrolled in university was to develop his social skills and flirt with any attractive females who accidentally stumble into his orbit. Brandon tells him that the reading assignment (two whole chapters) isn't that big of a deal, and announces that he's heading over to the library to get started. Steve, however, doesn't have time for that, since he's expected at the KEG house to help plan an upcoming pool party. Brandon shakes his head and rhetorically asks his boneheaded friend how he's going to keep up this pace of partying now that classes have begun. After that, the two run into Brenda, who's staring intently at the job bulletin board. She tells them that she's headed over to Maxwell's - the clothing store where Celeste works - for a job interview, and rushes off. Steve tells Brandon he doesn't like the idea of Brenda getting a job at Maxwell's, because he has imminent plans to break up with Celeste. Brandon is surprised and dismayed by this decision, since Celeste is far too pretty and nice to have ever hooked up with a thoughtless douchetard like Steve in the first place. As if to prove this point, Steve openly leers at a couple of hot girls as they walk by and tells Brandon that it's a bad time to be tied down to just one girl. Brandon urges him to go easy on Celeste when he gives her the dumperoo, and Steve assures him - without a trace of irony - that he's a sensitive guy. If by sensitive guy, Steve means that he's a shallow, self centered jackass, then yeah...he's a sensitive guy.
Maxwell's. Celeste asks Brenda how her interview went, and Brenda just kind of shrugs and says she doubts she has a shot at getting the job. She describes how the guy who interviewed her placed her application on a large pile of other applications. Celeste tells her she'll put in a good word for her, and Brenda thanks her and says they'll probably see each other at the pool party tomorrow. Celeste stares back at her blankly and is like, “What pool party?” so Brenda explains that the gang is attending a freshman pool party at CU. Celeste looks annoyed and says that Steve never mentioned anything about it.
Beach house deck. Donna is barbecuing something for supper while Kelly is reclining on a lounger, reading her psychology textbook. David is inside the apartment and has the music cranked up, and it annoys Kelly. He's working on a playlist for The David & Donna Radio Show, and when Donna goes inside to get something from the fridge, he tells her what he's come up with so far. She does a bad job of feigning interest in his playlist, and when David calls her out on it, she tells him that the 2:00-6:00am shifts are driving her nuts, and she's worried that she'll fall behind in her classes. She tells David that she's planning on going to the radio station the following day to tell Howard she's quitting. This, of course, pisses David off, and he bitchily reminds her that Howard hired them as a team. But Donna refuses to back down and tells him that she'll do the show with him that night, but it'll be the last time. David snaps at her not to do him any favors and storms out of the living room.
John Sears makes an unexpected appearance on the beach house deck, and he's carrying a lovely bouquet of flowers. Kelly looks slightly alarmed at his presence, and asks him how he knows where she lives. He jokes about being psychic, then admits that he followed her home so he'd know where to deliver the flowers. Kelly reminds Stalker Freak that she has a boyfriend, so he tells her he respects the fact that she's in a relationship...then immediately contradicts himself and says he doesn't give up easily, especially when “it's worth it”. By this time, Donna has returned to the deck and shamelessly eavesdrops on their conversation, which prompts John to make an abrupt exit. Donna returns to her barbecuing and compliments the lovely bouquet of flowers in Kelly's arms...and instead of looking suitably creeped out, Kelly gazes down at the flowers and appears to be flattered by John's attention.
Steve's house. Steve has mounted himself atop Celeste on his bed, and the two are making out. Gross. They reminisce about the day they met on the dating game show in the Perfectly Perfect episode, and Steve attempts to lay the foundation for a breakup. He says that when they met, he hadn't given much thought to settling down. Celeste, who's oblivious to his plans to dump her, reminds him about their plans to go to a movie later. Steve doesn't look at all into the idea, so she saucily tells him that they can spend the evening doing whatever he wants. Gross. Steve perks up at the prospect of an imminent doink, and decides to put his breakup plans on pause so he can get his rocks off. It's really too bad that Celeste refuses to get a clue and pre-emptively dump Steve the way a callous douchetard like him deserves to be pre-emptively dumped.
The Walsh house. Brandon is enthusiastically recounting to his parents the historical research he did at the university library that afternoon, and a few minutes later Brenda arrives home looking tired and frazzled. She tells her family that she had no luck in her job search. Mama Walsh assures her that she'll find something, and Brandon unhelpfully suggests that she talk to Nat about resurrecting her cringeworthy waitress alter ego, Lahw-verne. Shut up, Brandon. Brenda retorts that she has no desire to be a singing waitress this season - thank God - and is worried that she's not going to be able to find gainful employment once she graduates from college. Papa Walsh advises her to be patient, assures her that somehow things will all work out, then informs her about a job opening for a low level grunt in his accounting office. Brenda thanks him, but declines and says she wants to do it on her own.
Ahn-drea's dorm room. Donna is hanging out, complaining to Ahn-drea about the impossibleness of the assignment Dan Rubin gave them, which is to write her life story in ten sentences. Seriously? I don't think a college assignment could possibly be any more lightweight than that. Ahn-drea tries to coach her on the various things she could write about, but Donna's mind has already drifted off. She asks Ahn-drea if she thinks she's a selfish person, and Ahn-drea looks at her in surprise and tells her she's one of the most unselfish people she knows. Donna then tells her that she's decided to quit the radio show, and that David feels as though she's abandoning him. She defends her decision by explaining that she's just too damn tired to make it to class after DJing from 2:00-6:00am six days a week. Ahn-drea unhelpfully tells her that based on her brief experience at The Condor, it's clear that in order to be successful at CU, one has to be willing to commit...and apparently give up on the notion of a full night's sleep. Dan Rubin suddenly pops by and asks if either of them would like a soda. Ahn-drea requests a root beer, so he scuttles off to the vending machine. Donna gushes about how cute he is (meh) and Ahn-drea bashfully brushes off his cuteness and reminds Donna that he's their teacher. Donna, in turn, reminds her that she has a history of flirting with teachers, namely their Season 2 drama teacher, Young Elvis...even though their flirtation was illegal and repugnant - and then Gil Meyers...an attraction that was equally as repugnant, but fortunately never got to the point of becoming a felony. Donna concludes that Ahn-drea clearly has a preference for older men. Good to know...but I'm fresh out of rat's asses I could give about Ahn-drea's romantic preferences.
Student Union. Kelly is leaning against the wall, reading, when John Sears comes over and smarmily refers to her as the most beautiful girl in the freshman class. She quickly warns him that she's waiting for her boyfriend. They establish that they'll both be at the freshman pool party later. Kelly spots Dylan slouching over, so she gives John a heads up...and he tells her he's only leaving because he doesn't want to share her with anyone. Dylan ambles over, oblivious to his girlfriend's new admirer, and starts nattering to her about some lecture that the author of a Jack Kerouac biography is giving on campus that afternoon. When she reminds him about the pool party, and that she'd like them to go together, he disdainfully declines. This gets Kelly all riled up, and she tells him he's being a selfish prick, and that this is like France all over again, the way he's shutting her out of the little world he wraps himself up in. Sighing with resignation, she tells him she'll just go to the party with David and Donna and snarks that he doesn't have to worry about their relationship, or anything else for that matter. As she storms away, Dylan stares after her with an expression of complete indifference...and I notice that his forehead is looking wrinklier than ever.
Elsewhere in the Student Union, Brandon asks Steve how the dumping of Celeste went, and Steve lies and tells him that he handled the delicate matter with great finesse. The two run into Leslie Sumner, and she and Steve flirtatiously banter about seeing each other at the pool party later. Once she's out of earshot, Steve kicks himself for flirting with her, and admits to Brandon that not only did he not break up with Celeste, he invited her to come to the pool party. Brandon just shakes his head and looks mildly appalled.
Radio station. Donna arrives at the radio station to announce to Howard that she's quitting, but Howard is in the middle of a phone call, arguing with the DJ who's supposed to be on the air in about thirty seconds. After he slams the phone down, Donna starts telling him about her decision to quit the graveyard shift. While she's doing that, Howard wordlessly ushers her into the booth, sits her down, and puts a pair of headphones on her. He informs her that the afternoon DJ didn't show up, so - surprise! - she gets to fill in. Donna is startled to suddenly find herself on the air, and does the first schtick that pops into her head, which is unleashing a string of complaints to her listeners about the various ways in which she's adjusting to college life. Just put on a song, Donna.
Brenda is in the Student Union, studying the job bulletin board again. Brandon and Steve stroll over just as she spots an ad for a production assistant for a famous television producer...and in the very next scene she arrives at the studio for an interview. The man interviewing her just grins at her like an idiot, and then walks with her down a hallway that leads to a busy daycare center. He informs her that this is where she'd work, and that her position would be Babysitter/Production Assistant. I'm not sure why he wouldn't just advertise for a daycare worker if that's what he really needs. Needless to say, Brenda has zero interest in caring for a bunch of noisy little brats.
Radio station. Donna is finishing up her shift when Howard enters the booth. He thanks her for filling in on such short notice and tells her she was great - so great, in fact, that he's permanently giving her the coveted afternoon shift. Donna's thrilled by the offer and tells him how happy David is going to be...but Howard quickly informs her that the shift is just for her, since he still needs David to work nights.
Papa Walsh's office. Papa Walsh tells Brenda how much he admires her bitchy, independent spirit - like when she declined his job offer, for example. This forces Brenda to sheepishly backpedal, and she tells her father that she'd like to take him up on the job after all. He agrees to hire her and gives her her first assignment, which is to deliver some important papers to a client by 9:00pm. Brenda assures him it's no problem, and that she'll make the delivery after putting in an appearance at a campus pool party. I'm not sure why she can't just deliver the papers before going to the pool party...but since this is Brenda, we mustn't let pragmatism or logic get in the way.
Freshman pool party. Brandon is grilling burgers when Celeste arrives. She looks very excited to be at the party, and exclaims that it's "Amazing!" Her enthusiasm quickly wanes, however, when she looks over at the pool and sees Steve acting very touchy feely with some random girl. Celeste sourly remarks, “Making friends wherever he goes” to which Brandon mutters that Steve is a regular Mr. Congeniality. Celeste then grabs a beach ball, aims it at Steve's head and throws it...and when Steve looks around and realizes that it was his girlfriend who just beaned him, he swims over to the edge of the pool and meekly greets her. Celeste sarcastically snaps how lonely he looks, then storms off.
Kelly arrives at the pool party and immediately runs into John Sears, who's thrilled to hear that Dylan will not be in attendance. Elsewhere, Donna introduces David to two of her new sorority sisters...and as they all chat, the sorority sisters suddenly recognize Donna's voice as the afternoon DJ on the campus radio station. David looks over at Donna in confusion, and the girls gush over how cool it is that Donna has her own radio show. Uh oh. Awkward. Donna glances over at David, and swiftly pulls him aside so they can talk in private. She explains that she did indeed go to the radio station with the intention of quitting, but before she knew what was happening, Howard was leading her into the booth and forcing her to fill in for the afternoon DJ who pulled a no show. She then breaks the news that Howard wants just her to do the afternoon show...and that he'll still be stuck with the undesirable graveyard shift. Suddenly, some guy gets up in front of the microphone and loudly announces a dance contest and orders the freshmen to couple up. Donna looks hopeful as she asks David if he'd like to enter, but he's too pissed off to dance and grumps that he's not in the mood. Hurray!
Dylan makes an unexpected appearance at the pool party and spots Kelly flirting with John over by the food table. He strides over, surprising Kelly. She introduces Dylan to John...and, naturally, Dylan acts like a total dick when John politely tries to make small talk with him. After a few awkward minutes, John wisely flees. Kelly glares at Dylan and says they could have a fight right now...but knows that's not why he came, so she turns a blind eye to his dickish behavior and gives him a big smooch. I'm starting to hate their relationship almost as much as I hated the Dylan/Brenda relationship in the early Season 3 episodes.
Ahn-drea's dorm room. Ahn-drea is working on her ten sentence English assignment when Dan Rubin stops by. I've noticed that Ahn-drea has gotten into the habit of leaving her dorm room door wide open. Is this a normal thing to do in a university residence? Dan asks her why she's not at the freshman pool party, and she tells him that she couldn't possibly enjoy herself knowing she has work to do. Dan insists that the assignment can wait, then closes her word processor, orders her to go out, loosen the fuck up, and have some fun. She fake protests when he forces her out of her room by wheeling her chair - with her still in it - into the hallway.
Celeste is sitting by herself at the party, looking sad and staring over Steve as he hangs with his new guy friends. It's too bad that even with all this time to sit and think, Celeste still fails to grasp how much better she could do than Steve. Steve notices her mopey posture and feels obliged to go over to talk to her. He apologizes for flirting with the girl in the pool earlier and assures her that he's glad she came to the party. One of the guys calls Steve over again, so he promptly ditches Celeste to resume his male bonding. She leans back and looks lonely again.
Brenda arrives at the party wearing a short black crop top and jeans. She checks out the action and looks eager to join the festivities. The dance contest is about to get underway, and Kelly tries to persuade Dylan to enter with her, but he refuses because he's a boring and stubborn ass. Brenda finds David standing by himself and asks him why he isn't dancing. He answers by asking her if she's ever been stabbed in the back by someone she trusted...and she gives him a knowing look and tells him that she's “an old hand at that”. Ah yes, the delicious Brenda/Dylan/Kelly love triangle. I so miss recapping all that catty drama. Brenda tells David they need to show these college types how real dancing is done, which was pretty hilarious. Steve, meanwhile, is about to stroll over to Celeste again, but Leslie Sumner suddenly appears, grabs him, and invites him to be her dance partner. For Celeste it's the last straw, and she snaps at Steve that he and Leslie should go ahead and dance together. She storms off, and Steve chases after her.
Leslie then invites Brandon to dance - and Ahn-drea, who happens to be standing nearby, jokes that she's definitely barking up the wrong tree. She and Leslie then go off together, in search of guys with whom they could couple. After a few minutes, most of the freshmen have partnered up, and we get a lot of painful footage of attractive young white people, stiffly grooving to the beat.
Steve is running after Celeste in the parking lot, trying to explain that he wasn't actually going to dance with Leslie. Celeste angrily reminds him that he didn't invite her to the pool party, since she was the one who brought it up. She snaps that if she hadn't, he probably wouldn't have mentioned it. Steve tells her that she's blowing this way out of proportion, but Celeste is no longer listening. She climbs into her car and squeals off.
Pool party. As the dance judges make their rounds, they eliminate various couples from the contest. Somehow Brenda and David are the last couple to remain, even though their “dancing” is just as unremarkable as everyone else's. They're declared the winners, and for some reason they, along with Donna, run straight into the pool, fully clothed. After that, everyone else jumps into the pool. David and Donna make up and play kissy face, as do Kelly and Dylan.
Hours later, after they've dried off, David apologizes to Donna for acting like a little bitch about the whole radio station thing. He says he knows she'd never do anything to hurt him, and no longer begrudges her for landing her own afternoon radio show. He confesses that he's been worried about not being able to do this radio thing on his own, so Donna reminds him that he taught her everything she knows, and assures him he'll do great. The two then walk Brenda to her car, and she gabbles about what a great time she had. When she opens her car door, she sees the documents she was supposed to deliver to Papa Walsh's client before 9:00pm. She panics and immediately heads over to the woman's office, but of course it's too late.
The Walsh house. Steve is over, drowning his sorrows over his mistreatment of Celeste by eating ice cream with Brandon and Papa Walsh. He regrets the way he upset her when he ignored her at the pool party, so Brandon advises him to just beg for her forgiveness. Steve doesn't think that will be adequate and says he's falling in love with her and is afraid of losing her. Wait - wuh? A day ago he couldn't wait to break up with her. A puzzled Brandon asks him if he's in love with her, why does he act the way he does? Papa Walsh advises Steve to admit to Celeste how much like a horse's ass he's been acting, and maybe she'll accept his apology. Brenda suddenly arrives home looking guilt ridden. When Papa Walsh asks her what's wrong, she tells him that she failed to deliver the important documents to his client before 9:00pm as promised. Papa Walsh is visibly annoyed and tells her that he gave her one responsibility, which she failed to deliver on. Brenda apologizes and admits to screwing the pooch on the important task...but begs for a second chance. Papa Walsh agrees, since it's far easier to employ Brenda than risk raising the ire of her scary inner bitch.
Radio station. Donna arrives for the graveyard shift to keep David company. Howard suddenly pops in and informs her he no longer needs her to do the afternoon show. He made up with the original DJ - his ex-girlfriend - which means that Donna will continue to be stuck doing the overnight shift with David. That was pretty flaky of Howard. However, Donna's no longer interested in giving up on the idea of regular sleep, and she tells David that she's had enough of the radio station for awhile.
Maxwell's. Steve enters the store to grovel to Celeste, who's still looking sad and upset. He explains that he's just trying to adjust to college, so she brusquely accepts his apology and stalks off. Steve chases after her and says he knows what a big jerk he was, pretending to be “the big man” on campus. Celeste tells him he really hurt her...and he promises never to treat her so crappily again. She agrees to keep seeing him, and the two hug it out. Sigh. There really is no hope for this girl.
English class. Dan is reading Ahn-drea's ten sentence essay to the class. It's about how she turned down her acceptance to Yale to attend CU, and because it was written by Ahn-drea, it's dry and boring. He remarks to the class that it doesn't seem like a human being wrote it - haha! - and of course Ahn-drea gets offended and pissed off. Dan picks up another essay from the pile, which he likes far better. It was written by Donna, and he asks her to read it to the class. It's centered around the shoes she's worn during various stages of her life...though it seems way longer than ten sentences. Throughout Donna's reading, Ahn-drea sulkily gives Dan the stink-eye.
Student Union. Ahn-drea spots Dan and decides to confront him about his criticism of her essay. She walks over to where he's sitting and asks him if he thinks her writing stinks. He says he doesn't, but explains that the point of the assignment was to find out who she is...and her essay did nothing to reveal what's going on inside of her. Ahn-drea tells him she's afraid of making a fool of herself, so he tells her she has to be willing to that chance so she can grow, and be knowable to others. He then asks her about her table manners, and the two agree to go out for dinner. Ahn-drea grins like an idiot as she walks away.
Beach house. Kelly's on the back deck studying when John Stalker Sears makes another surprise appearance. She asks him what he's doing there, and he tells her she knows what he's doing there. He says she keeps telling him she has a boyfriend, but never tells him to go away or leave her alone. He urges her to give him one chance, and then leans in to kiss her. After the kiss, she tells him in a very small voice to please leave her alone...but then puckers up and initiates a second kiss.
Oh Kelly. Mixed messages are so confusing.