Recap: As Colin packs for his trip to New York, he tells Kelly how jealous he is that Brandon gets to spend Thanksgiving with her. At the exact same time, Susan is packing for her trip to New York and telling Brandon she wishes Kelly weren't spending the holiday with him at Casa Walsh. Kelly and Brandon assure their significant others that they have nothing to worry about (though they should probably be a little worried), and then both couples kiss.
The gang arrives at a grocery store to stock up for their Thanksgiving dinner. Sheila (David's ma) has been permitted to tag along, and she happily tells Valerie she's really looking forward to helping out with the meal. Everyone has their own shopping list, and they pair up and amble up and down the aisles to load up their carts. Clare tells Steve that she has to buy some wine for her father's faculty cocktail party and isn't sure if she should go with red or white...and Steve just grumbles about having to go to the stuffy affair. Kelly, meanwhile, picks out some flowers for a centerpiece and Brandon marvels at her knack for "making things pretty". The former lovers stare at each other coquettishly and agree that it's going to be a great Thanksgiving, even though all of Brandon's family members have permanently left the show.
In the parking lot, Joe and Donna inform Kelly and Brandon that after they unload the groceries at Casa Walsh, they have to head over to Joe's lawyer's office for a deposition. Kelly suddenly remembers that she forgot to buy chopped nuts, so Joe offers to go back and get them. As soon as he's out of earshot, Donna tells Kelly and Brandon that Joe is very stressed about being charged with battering Pumpkin Head. Donna then decides she needs to help Joe find the chopped nuts, and once she's out of earshot, Kelly tells Brandon how irked she is that Pumpkin Head is actually going through with his complaint. Brandon shrugs and says that sometimes you just can't tell what's going on inside a person's head, then confirms that he heard all about how Pumpkin Head beat up Donna in Palm Springs. I guess Valerie blabbed it to him.
The gang returns to Casa Walsh to unload the groceries...and Valerie and Steve get embroiled in an argument about whether it's acceptable to eat their turkey while watching the football game. Valerie bossily decrees that they're all going to sit in the dining room and eat the meal like civilized people, but Sheila's the only one who's on board with that. Clare comes out to announce that Nat just called to tell them that the pies they ordered are ready, so Brandon and Kelly offer to drive over there and pick them up. As they scamper toward Brandon's car, Steve raises his eyebrows at Valerie and gives her a knowing look, and Valerie remarks that it was only six months ago that those two were engaged (sort of).
In the car, Kelly asks Brandon how his life is going and if he feels weird about Dylan being gone. Brandon admits to feeling a little weird, then says maybe Slouchy will send them a postcard one day. Kelly then asks him if Susan felt uncomfortable about the two of them spending Thanksgiving together, and readily admits that Colin wasn't too thrilled about it. Brandon tells her that Susan too expressed her displeasure...and then Kelly and Brandon tell each other they assured their significant others they had nothing to worry about (even though they should probably be a little worried).
Back at the Walsh house, Sheila asks Valerie if she's planning to cook the turkey breast side up or breast side down, and Valerie scrunches her face in confusion and says she has absolutely no idea. Sheila tells her if she wants a tender bird, she should cook it breast side down...and Valerie looks unnecessarily put out and asks David if she can speak with him in private. The two step outside, where she whines to him that his ma is trying to take over what was supposed to be their first "friends only" Thanksgiving dinner. David says she's just trying to be helpful and tells Valerie to chillax, which is excellent advice. At that moment, Sheila pokes her head out the door and asks the two where they keep the mixing bowls, and Valerie just looks annoyed and rolls her eyes.
Brandon and Kelly return with the pies, and Kelly offers Valerie some unsolicited advice about roasting the turkey: cook it breast side up. Valerie tells her that Sheila just advised her to cook the turkey breast side down, which has created a really boring, contrived quandary for her. She snarks, "Can't we shove her in the oven?", which was far bitchier than necessary. Valerie then whines about how Sheila made David go back to the supermarket 'cause she didn't like the brand of margarine that she (Valerie) bought. Kelly and Brandon just shrug, since they don't give a rat's ass about her Sheila/cooking problems, and fortunately the phone rings - and it's Colin. Kelly takes the call in the living room, and Valerie saucily remarks to Brandon that it must be nice for him and Kelly to hang together without their pesky significant others lurking around. Brandon jokes that she has a dirty mind and ambles off, and Valerie contemplatively stares into space. One crisis at a time, Val. Stay focused on the turkey.
Deposition. Donna and Joe arrive at a law office, and Joe's lawyer assures him that the deposition will go well. Ray and his lawyer enter, and Ray and Donna stare daggers at each other. The proceedings immediately get underway, and Ray's lawyer begins questioning Donna. Donna testifies that Joe struck Ray more than once, and when the lawyer asks her if Ray struck Joe, Donna attempts to explain what happened, but she's told to just give a yes or no answer...so no. Also, Donna is forced to testify that the next time she saw Ray, his left arm was in a brace. Joe's lawyer sits mutely and for some reason doesn't do any cross-examining (at least not on camera), and Donna looks visibly upset. Ray tries to talk to her, but she shoots him the stink-eye and snaps, "Don't talk to me!"
Faculty mixer. Clare and Steve arrive at the party, and Steve is pleasantly surprised to see that beer is being served. Chancellor Arnold greets Clare, who then introduces her father to Steve. The chancellor gives Steve a quick once-over and says he's heard a lot about him from his academic advisor, Mr. Bardwell...and after the chancellor ambles off, Steve panics and tells Clare that Bardwell probably told her father that he cheated on his math placement test. Cue Mr. Bardwell, who comes over to ask Steve what the hell he's doing at the faculty mixer. Steve explains that he's dating the chancellor's daughter, and this makes Bardwell chuckle and mutter, "Well, opposites do attract." Steve takes this as an insult (as it was, no doubt, intended) and sulkily tells Clare she should go mingle with "the eggheads" while he mopes in a corner with a beer. Why oh why is this a sub-plot?
Donna tries to get access to a television/network studio where Steve Young is scheduled to give an interview. The security guard looks over his sheet and says that no one cleared her, so he can't let her through. She asks him if he could call Steve Young's agent to see if he'll talk to her, but the guard tells her that the taping is over, and everyone's probably left. Suddenly, Donna notices a car on its way out of the parking lot with license plate SPRTAGNT. She carefully sounds out the letters - sports agent - and deduces that it must be Steve Young's sports agent! She jumps out of her car, runs across the parking lot entrance and stands in front of the agent's car. She tells him she's the daughter of John Martin, the doctor who performed his father's bypass surgery (um, OK..?), and just needs a minute of his time. She explains that her boyfriend's hero is Steve Young, and could he possibly stop by Casa Walsh on Thanksgiving to say hey to Joe and wish him a happy birthday. [What the hell world is this girl living in??] She gives him a hopeful, desperate look, and the agent smiles but doesn't give her an answer...but somehow I think Joe's birthday surprise is a go..
Faculty mixer. Clare returns to where Steve is sitting, guzzling beer. He gripes that he never should have come 'cause he has nothing to say to these people. Bardwell appears again and chides Steve for being a wallflower, then orders him to get up and mingle. Steve reluctantly gets up, and Bardwell introduces him to a couple of English lit professors. Steve is somehow able to contribute to their conversation by regurgitating something his mom used to say, and when the professors learn that his mom is the Samantha Sanders (LOL), they gush about how she's a comic genius and say they would looove to read one of her The Hartley House scripts. Good God why? That show was so hideously saccharine and awful. One of the professors invites Steve to be a guest speaker as an "insider" (?) during one of his lectures. The chancellor strolls over and asks how the party is going, and the professors tell him they're having a great time, mostly thanks to Steve. Arnold is surprised and impressed, and Bardwell tells Steve he has a way with people...and that he's a good BS-er, which is sometimes more important than anything else. That's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard on this show. A happy Clare gives Steve a kiss and calls him her favorite egghead.
Beach house. A deflated Donna arrives home and tells Kelly that her testimony at the deposition may have made things worse for Joe; however, she may have saved his birthday by getting Steve Young to pay him a visit! But even if that doesn't work out, she has another present for Joe: her sainted virginity. Kelly gives her a look of disapproval and clucks, "Donna.." but Donna rhetorically asks what she's waiting for, especially considering that her uppity mother, who spent years sanctimoniously preaching the importance of abstinence, got knocked up at the age of nineteen. Fair point. Kelly warns her not to do anything she'll regret, and Donna says, "Not doing it is what I regret" 'cause she's worried she might lose Joe if she repeatedly refuses to ride his baloney pony (the way she repeatedly refused to ride David's). Kelly mulls this over and tells her not to give in on everything she's always believed in...but then gives her an affectionate smile as if to say, "Our little girl is finally becoming a woman!"
The Walsh house. Valerie oversleeps, panics, and yells for Brandon. When he saunters toward her in the hallway, she barks at him for not waking her up and wails that the turkey will never be done in time. She runs down the stairs, then stops short when she smells something. She finds Sheila bustling around the kitchen, the turkey already roasting in the oven. Sheila tells Valerie she hopes she doesn't mind that she started cooking, and explains that Brandon let her in at 7am. Since there's nothing left in the kitchen to prepare, she tells Valerie she should go upstairs and get dressed...and assures her that the bird will be done in time for kickoff. Valerie starts beating herself up about believing she could pull this whole thing off, but couldn't 'cause she's clearly a failure. Well, d'yuh. Sheila tells her she's not, and says the most important thing is that she makes her David very happy...and this seems to perk Val up.
Beach house. Over breakfast, Donna asks Kelly if condoms really are safe, and Kelly snarks back, "Not as safe as not doing it." Donna scrunches her face in irritation and is all, "Oh...so it's OK for you to doink, but not me?" Kelly gets all judgey and asks her how well she really knows Joe, advises her to give their relationship a little time before jumping in the sack, and wonders if Donna knows for certain that he's not doinking anyone else. Clare shuffles into the living room looking sleepy, and Donna asks her to counsel her about safe sex. Clare contorts her strange looking doll face and says it's too early in the morning to talk 'bout that. Donna pretends she didn't want to talk about it anyway and asks her how the faculty mixer went. Clare tells them that, against all probability, Steve was a hit with all the guests. She dreamily adds, "My father fell in love with him...I think I did too", which makes Donna and Kelly stare at her, aghast, and then laugh. And I laughed too.
The Walsh house. Dinner is served! Everyone is very impressed with the breast side down turkey and all the trimmings. Valerie credits Sheila and tells everyone it's A-OK with her if they want to watch football in the living room while they eat. But before they get to chow down, Joe sanctimoniously reminds them that they've forgotten to say grace...so then Steve offers up a jokey prayer: "Rub a dub dub. Thanks for the grub!" Haha... Joe takes matters into his own hands and says a more somber, appropriate prayer, which seems to really impress Donna and Kelly. As everyone loads up their plates, Brandon reminds them that Nat is expecting them at the Peach Pit later for "the homeless thing". Sheila looks intrigued and tells David she'd like to help out too, since if it weren't for him, she'd still be one of those homeless people. Kelly, meanwhile, asks Donna when Steve Young is supposed to come over...and Donna grimly says 1pm (it's almost 2pm). The phone rings - and it's Susan calling for Brandon...and Valerie and Kelly exchange a knowing look. After Brandon rushes to another room to take the call, Valerie asks Kelly if she's OK, and Kelly snaps, "Why wouldn't I be?" so then Valerie says she was just trying to be nice. Kelly snarks back that she shouldn't try so hard. Meow, Kelly.
Joe tells Donna he has to get going so he can put in an appearance at his team's Thanksgiving dinner. Donna tries to get him to hang out for a little longer, and when he asks her what's going on, she looks downbeat and says, "Just a lame idea for your birthday that didn't work out." He tells her it's the thought that counts...and when the two head out, Steve Young magically pulls into the driveway! He tosses Joe an autographed football and explains that a crazy, big-headed blonde girl jumped in front of his agent's car and pleaded for him to pay a visit to her boyfriend to wish him a happy birthday. Donna bellows for the gang to come outside and meet Steve Young, and everyone rushes out. A few minutes later, they play a pick-up game on the front lawn, yadda yadda...and afterward, Steve Young takes Joe aside and advises him to find something else in his life that gives him meaning besides football, and Joe agrees that that's a sound idea.
The Peach Pit. The gang is just wrapping up helping out at "the homeless thing". Steve complains that he's very stuffed, and Donna discreetly tells Kelly she's planning on hitting the sheets with Joe later. Kelly says she now thinks Joe is a good guy, and gives Donna her blessing to lose her cherry...and Donna lets out one of her hmm giggles - but I guess it's been awhile since Donna's had anything to hmm giggle about. Brandon calls Kelly over and says they're all done cleaning up, etc., and Kelly says she doesn't feel like going home. He invites her to return to Casa Walsh to watch a horror movie marathon with him, and she smiles and says, "Perfect."
Dorm. David gives Valerie a shoulder rub and thanks her for making Thanksgiving a great holiday. She credits Sheila with saving the turkey dinner, then says she'd like to stay overnight at his dorm room. She figures that Brandon might want some alone time after having a house filled with people for the last few days. David suggests that Brandon might not actually want to be alone, then dishes about how he and Kelly have been "circling each other" since Colin and Susan left for New York. Valerie pretends she hadn't noticed and tells him she's been too distracted with the turkey. She then tells him she's totes in the mood for a doink, and David strips off his clothes and eagerly obliges.
The Walsh house. Brandon's in the kitchen making a turkey sandwich, and Kelly marvels at his ability to eat after all the food he ingested earlier. She grabs his hand and urges him to come watch the movie with her, but he pauses and somberly asks her whatever happened between them. She says, "That's a hard question" and he nods and chalks it up to bad timing. She tells him that she didn't want to choose between him and Dylan and ruin their friendship, which is why she declared her hilarious non-choice: "I choose me." Kelly remarks that Dylan, however, is gone now, and Brandon stares back at her and replies, "I noticed." But then she points out that [unfortunately] Colin and Susan have feelings, and that the two of them should do the honorable thing and not take this opportunity to secretly hook up. She then asks him if she can crash at Casa Walsh 'cause she'd rather not drive home...and clarifies that she'll sleep in Steve's room, and Brandon jokes that she'd better lock the door.
Beach house. Steve tells Clare he's had a great few days, and in response she gives him her Honor Society pin to firmly establish them as a couple. He tells her he's so happy that she believes in him, and the two start smooching. Blech. These two are almost as uncharismatic together as Brandon and Susan.
Out on the deck, Joe and Donna are making out. She tells him she wants to "be" with him tonight, and he kind of pulls away and goes, "Wait a minute." He tells her he's crazy about her and that he hasn't felt this way about someone for a long time (so nauseating)...and then blurts out, "Donna, I don't believe in premarital sex." He acknowledges what a square he is, and Donna just stares at him in disbelief and asks him to confirm that he has no sexual history. When he confirms that there has, in fact, been no penetration, she gives him a huge smile and tells him that she's never been penetrated! She agrees that premarital sex is wrong, even though she was just totally willing to suspend her strongly held beliefs to avoid getting dumped by him. Joe says it's the most wonderful thing anyone's ever said to him, and the two chastely kiss.
The Walsh house. Valerie returns home and notices that Kelly's car is still parked in front of Casa Walsh. Mmm hmm.. In the kitchen, Brandon and Kelly discuss when their significant others are returning to L.A...and speaking of significant others, Brandon remarks that he sometimes hates being such a good guy (you're not a good guy, Brandon). Kelly assures him he did the right thing by not making an attempt to get it on with her, so then he gives her a "friendly" kiss. She asks him what that was for, and he says, "For being you." She gives him a "friendly" hug in return...and during all this faux platonic touching, Valerie is watching them through the kitchen window. After getting an eyeful, she turns toward the camera and smiles smugly to herself.