Recap: Ray rushes through the Portland airport with a bouquet of flowers clutched in his hand to meet Donna's flight. As soon as Donna steps inside the terminal, they start hugging and kissing...until David's appearance kills the mood. Ray shoots him the stink-eye and asks Donna what the hell he's doing here, and David explains that he's in Portland to pay his mom a surprise visit. Ray scowls and retorts, "Well, I'm surprised" then bitchily asks if this was the only flight he could catch. Donna interjects and tries to be jokey about getting "two for the price of one" (?), but Ray, who in general acts as though he has a pole perpetually shoved up his ass, is not amused. David tells the angry Pumpkin Head he didn't come to Portland to get in his way, and says he won't even know he's in town.
Tattoo parlor. Valerie wants to get a tattoo and has dragged Dylan along, but he just grumbles about what a bad idea it is. She tells him it'll add to her "mystique", and Dylan wryly says she's got plenty o' that already. She says he's just cranky 'cause he doesn't like Charlie's screenplay...so then Dylan starts complaining about how stupid it is that the main character believes in reincarnation 'cause it makes him seem less credible. Valerie asks him why he's going to see Charlie's hypnotherapist if he feels so strongly about it, and he explains that he's just doing a little research. Back to the tattoo: Valerie suddenly worries that getting a tattoo is going to hurt (well d'yuh) and tells the tattoo artist guy she needs to sleep on it.
Portland. David arrives at his mom's workplace to let her know he's in town, but soon discovers that she got fired for chronic tardiness and pulling no-shows. He takes a cab to her apartment building and learns that her unit just got rented out to another family. He tracks down the building manager, who calls Sheila a deadbeat, and says she skipped out on him two months ago...and he's peeved because she still owes him four months of back rent. He hands David the stack of her unopened mail.
Dylan takes a cab to the ocean view house where Charlie's hypnotherapist friend lives. She gabbles about how Charlie warned her that he (Dylan) is skeptical of all things mystical, then tells him she's survived a few fires in her lifetime(s). She says the first time she was hypnotized, she was totes ready to take a journey...and will patiently wait until he's ready for his journey. Damn, this is going to be one tedious storyline.
Portland. Donna and Ray are lying in bed, getting into some heavy petting. He asks her if, by chance, she's changed her "no doinking" policy so he can rip her clothes off and make love to her all night, and she just goes, "Mmm...shut up and kiss me." Mmm...I'll take that as a definite no. He tells her he made plans for them to hit the local coffee bars and clubs, and suddenly there's a knock on the door. Ray yells back to whoever it is that they're busy...but it's David. Ray bitches at Donna for telling David where they were staying and orders her to get rid of him. Donna answers the door, and a grim looking David walks in and apologizes for interrupting their canoodling...then says he didn't know where else to go. He tells Donna that his mom is missing, and explains that she got fired from her job, abandoned her apartment, and hasn't been cashing Mel's alimony checks. Donna wonders aloud why Mel hasn't noticed that she hasn't been cashing the checks (good question) and David just says that he talked to her at Christmas and she seemed fine then. Ray stands in the bathroom doorway and sneers at David for being so estranged from his mother...and David looks disgusted and starts to head out, but Donna stops him and insists he get a room in the hotel so they can all figure this out. She looks over at Ray hopefully, but since he's a heartless douchenozzle, he just shrugs disinterestedly and announces that he has to go to the club to do a sound check. Donna runs out after him and asks him if they can borrow his truck to search for Sheila, but Ray snarks back that David can afford to rent his own vehicle. You're such an asshole, Ray.
After going through Sheila's mail, David discovers a flyer for a nearby tavern, so he and Donna stop by and ask the bartender if he recognizes her photo. A guy sitting at the bar overhears the conversation and, after being bribed with a drink, tells them he saw Sheila at the Reno Hotel "setting up shop". I have no idea what that's supposed to mean: hooking? drugging? squatting? David and Donna rush over to the Reno Hotel, and David discovers that his mom was, in fact, there until she got arrested for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. Donna tells him it's probably time to call Mel, then gives him a hug and assures him that everything will be OK.
Police station. David gets off the phone with Mel and tells Donna he'll be in Portland tomorrow. He remarks that Mel didn't sound terribly surprised to hear about his mom's disappearance. A police officer comes over with the mug shot from when Sheila got arrested at the Reno Hotel and tells David that they can't do anything to look for her until 48 hours have passed. David says that that's dumb (it is very dumb), so the cop suggests he start looking for Sheila in the city's shelters. David reminds Donna that she should get over to the club to catch Ray's performance, and she's like, "Oh my God!" and realizes she forgot all about Pumpkin Head. She says that surely Ray will understand (um, not) and in the next scene, Ray is bitching at her over the phone about how she promised she'd be at his show. She tries to explain that they still haven't found Sheila, but Ray doesn't give a shit and angrily snaps, "Just forget it!" and says he'll see her back at the hotel. It's hard to understand why Donna would continue to date this assclown for as long as she did after this episode.
Rescue mission. David shows the director a photo of his mom and asks if she's seen her. She doesn't recognize her, but says he's welcome to walk around the shelter and look for her, so David goes up and down the rows of occupied beds. He sees a woman with blonde hair and gives her a gentle tap, but it's not Sheila. After that, he and Donna go to a print shop and photocopy a stack of missing posters with Sheila's photo on them. Donna tells him she's optimistic that they'll find her soon.
Dylan's house. Dylan teasingly tells Valerie she should get a tattoo with a giant snake and dragon's head across the back of her body. Hmm...it looks like these two have suddenly gotten cozy again. I wonder what brought that on. She tells him to stop making fun of her, and he tells her it's stupid to permanently scar her body. She razzes him about being willing to get hypnotized, and he argues that hypnosis doesn't leave any marks, and that it's only a one time thing. Valerie then pokes fun at him for having a lot in common with Iris and threatens to buy him a crystal to hang around his neck for his birthday. She giggles and pulls him on top of her, and the two start going at it.
Portland hotel. Ray is enraged that Donna didn't show up for his performance, especially after he told everyone she was coming. She tries to explain that she was helping one of her best friends find his mother and asks him to put himself in David's shoes, but Ray just sneers, "Life's a bitch" and throws one of his boots across the room. Donna calls him heartless and asks him how he'd feel if LuAnn had a bender and was passed out in a gutter somewhere, and Ray yells at her to leave his mother out of this. Donna says she refuses to turn her back on David, so Ray scoffs, "Go sleep with him...oh I forgot, you don't sleep with anybody." Yikes. Donna gets up to leave, but Ray shoves her back onto the bed, glares at her menacingly, and says she's not going anywhere until he tells her she can. Donna makes a break for it and runs toward the door, but Ray manages to grab her by the arm and she accidentally slams her head against the door. He suddenly snaps back to normal and apologizes, claiming it was an accident, but Donna yells, "Don't touch me!" and runs out of the room.
Ray makes the shameful walk across the hall to David's room to ask if he can speak to Donna, but David tells him she locked herself in the bathroom without telling him what happened. Ray hands him the keys to his truck and tells him he can use it in the morning, then heads back to his room. David rushes after him and insists that none of what's happening is Donna's fault, and Ray mumbles that there's a lot of history between them. By this point, Donna has emerged from the bathroom, and she and Ray just stare at each other mutely. She wishes David good night and returns to Ray's room. He apologizes again and says he'd never do anything to hurt her 'cause he loves her so much and worries about losing her. They hug and she tells him she loves him. Gaaa!
Mel arrives in Portland the next morning. David updates him on his fruitless search for Sheila and says she may not even be in Portland anymore. Mel sits him down and drops the bomb that Sheila is a manic-depressive and has been taking lithium for years to keep her disorder under control. David is stunned, then annoyed that his dad never told him about his mom's mental illness. Mel says she never wanted him to know she was sick...then tells him about a scary episode that occurred one summer while he (David) was at camp: Sheila stopped taking her pills and went on a $20,000 shopping spree, and when Mel confronted her about it, she had a meltdown and broke all the china. Mel sheepishly admits that he ignored the recent uncashed checks 'cause he was hoping Sheila had found someone new to take care of her...but assures David he now wants to find her and get her the help she needs.
The hypnotherapist is attempting to put Dylan under, but when he closes his eyes he starts dreaming about running on railway tracks like he did in the annoying Dreams of Dylan McKay episode. He opens his eyes, startled, and tells the hypnotherapist he doesn't want to continue. He tells her he recently had a near death experience and some pretty psychedelic dreams, so she suggests they do the hypnosis at his place, since he'd probably be more relaxed in his home environment.
Portland. When David, Donna, and Mel arrive at the hotel, Ray emerges from his room and tells David that someone saw his poster and claims she knows where Sheila is. David and Mel go to a seedy area of town and pay the homeless woman who tipped them off. The two find Sheila sitting on the ground under a crude, makeshift shelter, smeared with dirt and looking totally out of it. When David talks to her, she eventually recognizes his voice and murmurs his name, and the two hug as Mel also tears up.
Portland hospital. In the waiting room, David asks Mel who else in the family suffers from depression, so Mel tells him that his great aunt had the same kind of highs and lows and had to be hospitalized. He informs David that when Sheila is strong enough, he'll bring her back to L.A. and stick her in a halfway house until she can get a job and an apartment.
Hotel. Ray tells Donna he's taking her to dinner and then on a river boat ride. He then apologizes again for roughing her up last night and says, "It wasn't me." (Was. Is.) He explains how much pressure he feels to make something happen while he's on the road - plus, David's presence is a reminder that he wasn't around to save her from the psycho rapist who attacked her in the Love Hurts episode. Donna breezily says that all that matters is his love for her, and that she wants to make the rest of their week together perfect. She then lets out one of her annoying hmm giggles.
Dylan's house. Val drops by to show off her new tattoo. She orders Dylan to unbutton her top, and he's horrified to see a red heart tattoo with Dylan etched across her ample bosom. She laughs heartily as he freaks out, and assures him that it's only a temporary tattoo that will wear off in a few days. The daisy tattoo on her left shoulder, however, is the real thing. She explains her choice of a daisy by saying, "You know - he loves me, he loves me not." Dylan quickly retorts, "He loves you not" but then decides he's in the mood for another quickie, and the two start going at it.
Portland hospital. David and Mel visit Sheila, who looks like she's been hosed off and given something to eat. She tears up and tells them how ashamed she is of what's happened to her, and David tries to lift her spirits by playing a tape she recorded years ago when she was teaching him to play the piano. She looks touched and says she never wanted to be a burden to anyone, and David tells her she doesn't have to worry 'bout that anymore and gives her a hug.
Dylan's house. Dylan's sitting on his patio looking spaced out. Valerie ambles into the living room after taking a shower and asks him whassup, and he says he doesn't like the idea of being hypnotized. Valerie tells him to just blow it off, then adds that they're only on the earth for a short time, so they should make it a good time. Dylan suddenly looks tortured and wonders aloud if they're really only here for a short time...and the episode abruptly ends. Weird.