Recap: Donna and Ray arrive at Casa Pruit after a night at the After Dark. Ray natters to Donna about what a rush it is to perform on stage, and she says he's come a long way from when he used to get stage fright. She tells him he was good tonight, and he thanks her for the compliment and the two start making out. Donna asks about all the girls who are throwing themselves at him now that he's a hot singer - it's hard for me to envision any girl in her right mind throwing herself at Pumpkin Head - and Ray points out that she's the only girl with him now. He tells her that his ma won't be home until tomorrow, then asks her if she wants to spend the night with him. In the next scene, they're in bed together, buck nekkid, and going at it with so much intensity that I seriously wondered if Donna's sainted virginity had finally seen its last day. But after a few seconds, she starts to look tortured and tells Ray this can't happen, and he looks incredulous and asks, "How am I supposed to stop when I'm this close?" so Donna says, "You just do...for me, OK?" Ray reluctantly puts his penis in standby mode and looks as frustrated and irked as David used to throughout much of Season 4.
Finley and his disciples have taken up residence in a fancy new mansion and are in the process of setting up New Evolution Headquarters (or whatever it's supposed to be). Brandon phones the mansion in an effort to reach Kelly, and the flunky who answers the call rushes around the mansion looking for her. He finds her in the courtyard and tells her that Brandon's on the phone, and she sighs and says, "Can you take a message?" and Finley - ack! - creepishly appears from out of nowhere and barks, "Can you take the truth?" Kelly looks sheepish and tells him she's not sure, then admits to being her own "worst limiter". Finley warns her that she won't be able to evolve if she can't re-position herself (?), so she agrees to take Brandon's call. She tells Brandon she can't make it to the telethon today, and he gets annoyed and accuses her of flaking out on him. She then goes, "Don't get reflexive on me" and he ignores the nonsensical Finleyspeak and reminds her that the telethon was a Valentine's Day thing they were supposed to do as a couple, not to mention that it's an Alpha house event she committed herself to. She snarks back that he's one to talk about commitment...and when he asks her what the hell that's supposed to mean, she tells him that the fact that he doesn't know what the hell she means by that is the reason they have to talk. Brandon irritably retorts that he doesn't have time for this chat now, since he has to go on the air in two minutes...and Kelly tells him she's sorry he's so disappointed (not really) and abruptly hangs up.
Brandon saunters over to Clare and David, who are in charge of the telethon at the After Dark, and says he has to find someone who is willing to pretend to be the love of his life for the next couple of minutes. Clare volunteers her services (heh), so Brandon desperately looks around, spots Donna, and jokes about how he has a thing for blondes. He makes a beeline over to Donna and informs her that he needs her to be his Valentine for his opening schtick, then steers her toward the stage. In the next scene, Brandon and Donna are sucking face more intensely than they probably need to, and David tells Brandon he needs to stop making out 'cause he's the student body president and is supposed to be MCing the event...and after some unfunny banter, Brandon announces, "Live from the After Dark, it's CU's telethon for the pediatric heart fund!" (obligatory applause from the studio audience follows).
The Walsh house. It's moving day for Valerie, and she's transporting all of her boxes via cab. A troubled looking Mama Walsh asks her husband what kind of person moves into a luxury hotel, and Papa Walsh says, "Eccentric types with fast money and questionable values." Not to mention a total lack of financial sense. Mama Walsh asks him if he's going to try to talk Valerie out of leaving, but he just shrugs and says he doesn't see the point, since Valerie doesn't understand the value of...well, anything. Valerie enters the kitchen to announce that all of her stuff is packed and in the cab, then thanks the Walshes for taking her in when she was a wreck. She says she's settled now, has money in the bank, and is ready to be on her own. Papa Walsh suggests living off of the interest of her new-found wealth instead of stupidly blowing the principle on a luxury hotel suite. Valerie agrees that the Bellamy Hotel is a little pricey, but then says it's so practical since it's close to all the best restaurants...not that she needs to walk anywhere 'cause why else did she buy a fancy sports car? Mama Walsh stares back at her with a horrified, stricken expression, and Valerie quickly explains that she was just making a little joke. Mmm...no, I'm pretty sure she was serious about the car/restaurant thing. The cabbie honks from the driveway, so Valerie hugs the Walshes goodbye and dashes out. Mama Walsh continues to look worried, and Papa Walsh wryly predicts that she'll be back in two weeks, flat broke.
Telethon. Brandon helps Nat pass out snacks to the volunteers manning the telethon phones. Nat remarks what a shame it is that Kelly flaked out on him, and Brandon says that things have gotten really weird now that she's signed on with Finley and his crackpot evolutionism. Nat says he hates cult stuff...and when Brandon tells him that Finley's trying to change Kelly's personality, Nat warns him not to let that happen. He tells Brandon the sad story of the sister of Susie French (a girl who used to work at the diner), who got involved with Jim Jones's cult and died when she drank the Kool-Aid...and her family never recovered from the tragedy. Brandon says that Kelly's not into anything as crazy as Jonestown, but Nat ominously tells him that's exactly what Susie thought.
The Pruit house. LuAnn has returned from her cruise, and she's gushing to Ray about how great the food on the ship was, and what an amazing time she had "thanks to that sweet girl of yours." Yes, yes...Donna Martin is and will forever be a sweetly flawless, virginal cherub who can do no wrong. We get it, writers. WE GET IT!! Ray makes a face and tells his ma how frustrated he is with Donna's "no doinking" policy, and LuAnn sternly warns him not to do anything that might risk them losing access to that gravy train just 'cause he can't control himself. She suggests he find "relief" elsewhere if he has to...but to be discreet about it. Ray quietly mulls this over and nods in agreement.
Bellamy Hotel. Valerie tells Dylan how much she loves hotels and how inspired she is by all the kinky stuff that's gone on in her room. She really is one weird broad. Dylan stares out the window and mumbles something about the great view, then tells her that Mama Walsh called him in a panic 'cause of how worried she is...and Valerie makes a face and says she was going crazy living at Casa Walsh and had to move out. Dylan says that most people would have gotten an apartment [or, better yet, invested in real estate] and Valerie retorts that most people would live like this if they could. Um, I doubt most people would truly want to live in a hotel on a long term basis. Dylan warns her that living in a hotel can get pretty lonely (not to mention stupid expensive), and Valerie cheerfully points out that she's already had her first visitor. Dylan jokes that soon the concierge will be her best friend, and she snarks at him not to ruin this for her, since she's very excited to finally be on her own. Dylan grimaces and says that hooking her up with Jonesy was, in retrospect, a bad idea...but Valerie disagrees and tells him that of all the things he's done to her, that's the one thing he he doesn't need to have regrets about.
Finley mansion. One of Finley's disciples tells Kelly that Brandon is in the building and is demanding to see her. Kelly looks irked at the intrusion, and Finley snorts and says, "What do you expect? You haven't been clear with him, have you?" Kelly explains that she still has a lot of strong feelings for Brandon, and Finley derisively rejoins, "I never would have pegged you a tease." Huh? He orders her to stop letting Brandon twist in the wind, then gives her one of his creepy intense stares and tells her she's either ready to start the next phase of her life or she isn't. A conflicted looking Kelly leaves the room to go talk to Brandon, and the two take a walk outside. Brandon tells her he wants to understand what she's going through, and she says that unless he's willing to evolve, he won't ever understand. She tells him that after the fire, Finley helped her to recognize what a gift that experience was, and that she's a very different person than she thought she was, blah blah. Brandon says he loves her and wants to help her do whatever she needs to in order to "evolve"...so Kelly tells him she wants him to join the New Evolution, and he's like, "Fuck no!" and she gets irked and snaps, "Why are you being a negator?" Brandon tells her to stop with the obnoxious Finleyspeak already, and she insists that it's not Finleyspeak - it's Kellyspeak. He asks her point blank if she's really at the point of wanting to end their relationship, and she thinks that over and says she isn't...and the two hug.
Student Union. Ahn-drea and Jesse are in line to see a movie, and they're bickering about something dumb. Ahn-drea spots Peter and his wife further up in the line and quickly suggests to Jesse they go somewhere else, but Peter sees them before they're able to make a clean getaway. He introduces them to his wife, Adrienne, who urges them to stay and promises to save a couple of seats so they can all watch the movie together. Jesse's up for it, while Ahn-drea twitches nervously and looks constipated.
After Dark. Valerie runs into Donna in the parking lot and asks her how the telethon is going, and Donna giddily tells her it's going well and that Ray is about to go on stage. After she disappears inside the club, Valerie looks like she just had a brilliant idea, then strides over to Ray's red truck (which Donna stupidly left unlocked) and turns on the lights...presumably to drain the battery for some nefarious self-serving reason.
Brandon ushers Kelly inside the After Dark, and the two share a kiss inside a big purple neon heart thing, then go over to man the phones. Dylan stares over at them and starts brooding...and Valerie notices him brooding and bitchily remarks that she's surprised Kelly showed up then adds, "I thought she'd be too busy evolving." Haha! Dylan looks annoyed and asks her if she has a "thing" for Kelly, and Valerie retorts, "No - but you do" and stalks off. Donna, meanwhile, tells Brandon she's glad he convinced Kelly to come, 'cause all the Finley evolution bullcack is really starting to give her the creeps. In another subplot, some guy named Anthony calls for Steve...and Steve is under the impression that he's Jade's manager. [Note: Jade is a little known R&B group made up of three young women whose appearance on this episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 was probably the highlight of their career.]
Dylan looks all world wearily as he pledges $100 for the sick kids that David and Clare are parading on stage. Kelly remarks to Donna that Dylan is so aimless and the New Evolution would work wonders for him...and Donna looks creeped out and doesn't respond. Valerie outdoes Dylan and pledges $300 to the sick kids - and he casts a grim look her way as he slouches out of the club.
Student Union. Adrienne is nattering about something in a very nasally sounding New York accented voice...and everyone at the table looks visibly bored. She gushes to Ahn-drea and Jesse about how happy she is to have met them, since she and Peter don't often get a chance to socialize with other married couples. Peter, who's barely listening to his wife, asks Jesse how his law career is going, and Jesse tells him he's up for a clerkship for a federal judge in Boise. He adds that the prospect of moving to Boise is kind of an issue, and Ahn-drea tightly says they're still exploring their options. Peter says he can relate, since he once considered attending med school in Nebraska...and then Adrienne interjects and declares that she's a big city girl and would never live in a pissant state like Nebraska. As she natters away, Peter and Ahn-drea both stretch their hands on the table so their fingertips can touch.
Telethon. Ray kisses Donna goodbye and tells her he's hittin' the road...and Valerie notices him leave and discreetly follows him out to the parking lot. Ray has realized that his truck won't start, and has the hood open to investigate. Valerie coquettishly asks him whassup, and he tells her his battery is dead and that he needs someone to give him a charge. Valerie says she can do that...and they won't even need any cables. Mmm hmm. Ray looks intrigued and asks, "What did you have in mind?" and Valerie opens the passenger door of her car and says, "Hopefully the same thing you do." He eagerly climbs in, and she quickly ferries him to the Bellamy Hotel so they can do the naughty behind Donna's back.
Beach house. Brandon and Kelly are in bed together...but Kelly's awake, staring unhappily at the ceiling. I think she misses the other Finleyites.
Telethon. David and Clare look exhausted and ply themselves with coffee after being up all night. Steve drops by and tells David he wants him to continually plug Jade, since for some reason he considers himself to be part of the band's posse. Donna arrives at the After Dark, refreshed and invigorated after getting a full night's sleep. She heads over to a pay phone to call Ray...and LuAnn answers and covers for Ray, who spent the night elsewhere. She tells Donna she just missed him by a hair and that she'll tell him to call her back asap.
Bellamy Hotel. Ray's getting dressed as Valerie lazes on her bed in a sexy black teddy. When she pouts about him leaving so abruptly, he irritably tells her he has a lot of stuff to do today. Valerie assures him he has no reason to feel guilty and that she won't pull any head trips on him or try to be his girlfriend. Ray just grunts that he'll call her later and high-tails it out of there.
Beach house. Brandon is wrapped up in a comforter like a mummy, sleepily ambling around the beach apartment. He runs into Clare, who informs him that Kelly and her car are gone. No doubt she rushed back to the Finley compound so she could re-evolve.
Steve arrives at a hotel to pick up Jade for their scheduled telethon performance. When a guy answers the door to their suite, Steve assumes it's Anthony and announces that he's here to pick up the girls. The guy just goes, "Goodbye" and starts to close the door on him. Steve stops him and calls him "bucko", and the guy informs him that his name is Felix and that he, not Anthony, is the manager of the band. Anthony, it turns out, is just a glorified errand boy. Steve looks suitably sheepish and whimpers that Jade is booked to perform on a telethon to raise money for the pediatric heart fund. In the next scene, Steve is outside the hotel's main entrance, asking the bellboy if he's seen Jade, and the bellboy tells him they just left in a limo. Steve perks up and starts chasing the nearest limo while screaming, "Jade!" The limo stops, and the occupants lower the back window, and...it's Aaron Spelling in a rare cameo appearance! He looks bewildered and asks, "Can I help you?" and Steve looks visibly deflated and says, "You're not Jade." The guy sitting beside Aaron Spelling says they're having a meeting, then closes the window.
Finley mansion. Brandon barges into the mansion and storms past the woman who's acting as the receptionist. He tells her he's here to see Kelly Taylor, and the receptionist insists that she hasn't seen her. Brandon then demands to know where Finley is, and she tells him, "He's processing a tutorial right now." LOL. Sure enough, Finley's wheeling himself around one of the makeshift classrooms, spouting nonsense to his minions about brainpower and souls...and some of them are actually taking notes. Brandon storms in and makes a sarcastic remark about his lecture, and Finley says what an honor it is to have him in the class and invites him to join them. Brandon demands to know where Kelly is, then threatens to call the police if they continue to stonewall him. A male flunky asks Finley for permission to escort Brandon outside, and Brandon barks at him to sit down before he hurts himself. Finley gestures toward Brandon and tells his minions, "What we have here is a classic example of the un-evolved rough beast." Mmm...Brandon, a rough beast. Me likey! Brandon asks again where Kelly is, and Finley says she's not here just as Kelly wanders into the room and says, "Yes I am." Awkward. She explains to Brandon that she went to the library to return a book, and Brandon says she could have left him a note...and then she says this isn't the place to have this discussion. Finley interjects and tells her it would actually be a helpful demonstration for the class to see how her "failure to block out the beast can distort one's focus". Brandon snarks at how "eloquent" that was, and when Kelly chides him for his sarcasm, Finley coaches her: "Don't lose your focus, stay centered, don't filter out who you are." LOL. Kelly tells Brandon to leave her alone, and that she won't be held back any longer. Brandon urges her to come outside with him to discuss this in private, and when she refuses, he says, "Goodbye" and stalks out. All the Finleyites clap in approval, and Finley shoots her an extra creepy smile.
Telethon. Ahn-drea is manning the telethon phones and answers a call from Peter. He explains that he just saw her answering phones on the local TV channel, and the two joke about how awkward the other night was. He tells her about his nauseating fantasy: that the two of them were Fred and Ginger, dancing cheek to cheek.
Steve admits to Clare that he blew it with Jade, and Clare looks confused and goes, "Wuh?" and tells him the girls are great. Steve instantly perks up, and is surprised and relieved to learn that they arrived for their telethon performance after all. A few seconds later, Jade appears on stage and performs while everyone grooves to the '90s beat. Donna and Ray get their photo taken inside the giant purple neon heart thing, and she asks him how he got home last night after his battery died. Before he can think up a believable lie, Valerie suddenly appears and fake gushes about what a cute couple they are, getting a Valentine's Day photo taken.
Brandon tells Nat how zombified Kelly has become. When he tried calling her at the Finley mansion earlier, he was told she's "focusing in the rumination room". LOL. He's now fully convinced that she's being brainwashed - well d'yuh - so Nat asks him what Clare, Donna, and Jackie have to say about all this. Brandon says they've all been frozen out just as he has. Nat insists there must be someone who can help, who can get through to her...and Brandon looks contemplative.
Jade finishes their performance, and David publicly thanks Steve for making it possible. The band members amble over toward Steve and ask what happened to him at the hotel. They're aghast when he tells them he spoke with Felix, 'cause apparently he doesn't like it when they do freebies.
Donna notices Ray and Valerie on the staircase, talking and looking flirty. She doesn't react, but looks as though she's mentally filing away the information for later.
Dylan's house. Dylan tells Brandon he's not too worried about Kelly and her involvement with the New Evolution. He says his crackpot mother used to regularly get involved with similar freaks, and it hasn't caused any lasting damage. Brandon insists that Finley World is seriously bad...and he's worried that Finley is after Kelly's mind and her money, then reminds Dylan that she recently received a sizable settlement from when she was burned in the fire. Dylan thinks this over and agrees to help Kelly - but makes it clear that he's not doing this to benefit Brandon in any way. That settled, he asks Brandon to give him the low-down on Finley.
Finley mansion. Finley tells his devotees they should all take a moment to toot their own horns. He recalls that they "survived the exodus from CU", and found a fabulous new educational facility - thanks to the generous financial support of the families of two young women in the cult. Why in the hell would these girls' parents hand over the financing for this middle-aged freak to take up permanent residence in a luxurious L.A. mansion?? Finley announces that they're ready to get down to the business of making the New Evolution accessible to those who need it the most. I'm also hoping someone at the Finley nut-house will explain what this evolution actually entails, 'cause I'm still kinda fuzzy on the whole movement. Finley then toasts the progress made this week by Kelly, in particular the courage she demonstrated when she terminated a close but destructive relationship. He declares her to be "fully unencumbered and ready to begin her own evolution". The other zombies raise their cups to Kelly, and when Finley asks her if she'd like to say something, she smiles vacantly and says, "It's just nice to be home."