Recap: Donna and David are hanging with Eric at MZA...and it looks like he's officially signed them as music video producers. As fucking if. He's called away to take a phone call, so David and Donna wander around his office and peruse the large display of plaques and trophies. David is impressed and says he didn't realize that MZA managed all of these artists and remarks that their client list is like the Hall of Fame. Donna wonders which artist they'll be assigned to work with, but David's just grateful for the opportunity and doesn't care who they get. Eric gets off the phone and excitedly tells them that MZA just signed an amazing band, and that they'll be performing at the After Dark (what a coincidence!). He says the lead singer writes his own material (uh oh) and is "drop dead sexy" (say what?), and then reveals the name of this musical genius: Ray Pruit. Bwahahahaha!! I find it hi-LAR-ious that Eric thinks Pumpkin Head could be thought of by anyone as drop dead sexy. Donna's all, "Wha-a?!" and suddenly has a Season 5 flashback of when Pumpkin Head threw her stunt double down a flight of stairs in Palm Springs...and after that fun blast from the past, the opening credits roll. Da na na na...da na na na...cha cha...
The Walsh house. Susan is about to head off to a convention in D.C. (yay!), so she and Brandon are trying to meet their allotted kissing and canoodling quota during the few seconds they have together in this episode (blech). Steve is still recuperating from his broken jaw...and after Susan leaves, Brandon joins him on the couch to watch Vega$. Heh. For some reason, Clare is really annoyed by their couch surfing and storms around the house. It's unclear why she doesn't just retreat to her own home if it bugs her so much.
While driving, Donna tells David she's freaked out about having to work with Ray and doesn't think she can do it. David tells her they should at least meet with him, but Donna doesn't even want to do that much 'cause she thinks Joe will blow a gasket if he finds out. David advises her not to tell Joe, and she agrees that that would probably be best.
Joe has his last doctor's appointment with Papa Martin, who gives him a clean bill of health and tells him to go forth and have a great life playing football. Joe tells him he won't be playing for CU next season 'cause he's decided to return to his hometown to coach high school football, and Papa Martin's all, "Wha-a?!" and tells him that Donna's going to be heartbroken. Joe assures his girlfriend's pa that he cares very much for her, then asks him not to mention anything to her about his decision 'cause he plans to talk to her about all of this soon. Fantastic.
The Peach Pit. Kelly is leafing through some psychology textbooks and and tells Nat she's gearing up for summer school. Valerie pops by to inform Nat that the bondsman is waiting in the After Dark to talk to him. Nat makes a blech face and calls the guy "a snake" and Kelly bitchily remarks to Valerie that she and the snake will probably get along just fine. Valerie refrains from making an equally bitchy retort and just tells Kelly to enjoy school.
Nat and Valerie talk to the bondsman, who's puffing on a cigarette and trying really hard to look edgy and sinister. He tells Nat that they have 180 days to produce Colin, and explains to him that since he has equity tied to the After Dark, he (the bondsman) is legally allowed to attach any debt related to Colin's bond to him. Valerie whispers, "Sorry" to Nat, but he tells her not to worry about it. Nat inquires about hiring a bounty hunter, and the bondsman says it's an option, but it'll cost him an extra 25K. He then tells Nat and Val that their best hope is to put the fugitive's mug on a milk carton and hope they get lucky. Nat shoots him the stink eye, mutters, "Snake", and storms out of the club.
The Walsh house. Brandon and Steve are having a marvellous time watching more of Aaron Spelling's retro TV dreck. Carl drops by with a large bouquet of flowers for his girlfriend Steve, and Brandon invites him to join them as they settle in to watch Matt Houston. Carl's like, "Hey, that's my favorite show!" and Clare acts all prickly again and storms around. Steve asks Carl if he'd consider taking his moody girlfriend off his hands for a few hours, and naturally Carl is more than willing to oblige. When Clare storms past the living room, Carl stops her and invites her to go out and grab some dinner...and she accepts, then glares at Steve and says, "As long as he won't be there." When Carl excuses himself to get something to drink, Brandon points out to Steve how Carl practically jumped at the chance to take Clare out...but Steve just shrugs unconcernedly and doesn't really seem to give much of a rat's ass.
Pool hall. Colin's hanging with Danny Five on the down-low and drinking beer. Danny Five advises him to turn himself in already and serve the two year sentence, but Colin glares at him and goes, "Are you nuts?! It ain't happening." He wants to flee the country, but doesn't have any phony ID, so he asks Danny Five to help him out. Danny says it'll cost him, so Colin reminds the sleazoid that he got pinched 'cause of him...but Danny Five refuses to budge without some kind of payout, so Colin hands him a small wad of cash. Danny Five hands him a beeper and says he'll hit him up when he gets his fake papers.
Restaurant. Clare and Carl are having dinner and reminiscing about their childhoods. He tells her about how her mom once told him she hoped the two of them would get married one day so her daughter could become a princess. Clare puts her sad face on and tells him she stopped believing in fairy tales the day her mom died.
Eric is delighted to learn that Donna and David already know Ray, 'cause then they can just fast-forward past the whole "getting to know you" routine and get down to business. Ray apparently told Eric he's looking forward to seeing Donna again, and Donna just twitches nervously. Eric ushers Donna and David into his office where Ray is waiting. He and Donna politely exchange hellos, and he goes, "Small world, huh?" David says there's probably no way this partnership could possibly work, so he suggests they tell Eric that they had creative differences and call it a day. Ray disagrees and says he loved what they did with the Donna-gyrating music video (LOL), plus they already know him and are familiar with his ghastly music. He implores Donna to give him a chance to prove he's been totally rehabilitated - but before she can respond, a young woman opens the door and peeks inside. Ray motions for her to enter the room and introduces her as Wendy Stevens, the soon-to-be Mrs. Pumpkin Head. Ack! David and Donna repress the urge to warn her about her fiance's anger problems and just congratulate the happy couple. Donna then suddenly decides she's A-OK with producing Ray's music video, and Ray looks pleased and tells her that his band is performing at the After Dark tomorrow night. Oh joy. He says it would mean a lot to him if they worked together on the video, and she tells him how happy she is that everything in his life seems to be going so swimmingly.
The Walsh house. Steve and Brandon are now watching The Love Boat. LOL. It looks like one fun Aaron Spelling marathon was on that day. Valerie snarks at Brandon to turn the TV down...and he follows her into the kitchen to determine the root cause of her cranky bitchitude. She wails about what an idiot she was for using Nat's equity to post Colin's bail - no fucking duh - then says she needs his help finding Danny Five. Brandon tells her he has no idea where the druggie could be, so she points out that Kelly probably does. Brandon agrees to approach Kelly, but insists that Valerie go with him when he makes the request. Valerie reluctantly agrees.
The Peach Pit. Donna tells Joe that the band to which she's been assigned by MZA is Ray's, and Joe looks less than thrilled. Donna tells him he's newly engaged and nice now, but Joe makes a face and snarks, "Have you ever heard of the word loyalty?" Donna insists that she has been loyal - but business is business. She wants to discuss it more, but Joe says she's clearly already made her decision, then storms out of the diner.
California University. Brandon locates Kelly in the Student Union and tells her that he and Valerie need her help, but she retorts that he can forget any request for help that has anything to do with Valerie. Valerie snarks that it's clear she doesn't care about anybody but herself, and Kelly smugly replies, "I certainly don't care about you, Valerie." Brandon explains to Kelly that if they don't find Colin, like pronto, Nat could lose the Peach Pit. Egads! Kelly mulls over that potentially tragic outcome and agrees to help out - but only for Nat's sake.
The Walsh house. Carl tells Steve he needs to get out of the house after being cooped up for so long. He tells him he knows that an old friend (Pumpkin Head) is playing at the After Dark tonight, then declares that they're all going. Steve is up for it, and is also pleased that he's about to have the wire from his jaw removed. Carl then tells him he's super excited about the birthday plans he has in store for him, and Steve blushes happily and asks him why he's doing all this for him. Carl just shrugs and says he doesn't need a reason to do nice things for his friends...except, of course, when he's trying to move in on their girlfriends.
After Dark. Ray greets Brandon warmly and introduces him to Wendy. He thanks Brandon for being so super awesome to him the last time they spoke, and credits him for his honesty at a time when he needed to hear the truth. Donna and Joe, meanwhile, exit the club and stroll around the parking lot. He tells her he's not being more of a dick about her working with Ray to produce his video, 'cause he hopes it'll be the last one. She scrunches her face in confusion and is all, "Wuh?" so he tells her about his new dream of becoming a high school football coach in Beaver Falls, PA. He wants more than anything for her to move there with him, and acknowledges that it's a long way to go from living in L.A. "to being the wife of a high school football coach." Donna's all, "Wuh?" again, and Joe professes his undying love for her and proposes...like, marriage. Donna just stares at him mutely...and after a few awkward seconds, he says it'd be cool if she returned his I love you and said yes to his proposal. She does neither, and just continues to stare at him in shocked silence. Ouch.
Kelly, Brandon, and Valerie drive to where Danny Five lives, and Kelly goes right up to the house and knocks on the door. Danny Five answers and looks surprised and happy to see her, then invites her in after assuring her that his former roommate-rapist no longer lives there. Kelly pretends she stopped by to stock up on her coke stash, then tells him she's totes worried about Colin and asks if he's heard from him. She fake laments, "He's my whole world. I really looove him." Danny Five buys it and tells her that Colin is still in L.A. and then writes down the beeper number at which Colin can be reached. He then asks her how much coke she wants, and she tells him she'll just take a gram to go. After the transaction, she quickly exits the house and runs straight into Brandon, who demands that she hand over any drugs Danny Five sold to her. She ignores his edict and makes a beeline to the nearest trash can and dumps the gram of coke herself.
Beach house. Clare arrives home and finds Donna sitting in the dark, looking sad and contemplative. Clare asks her whassup, so Donna tells her that Joe is moving back east and wants her to go with him. She says that Beaver Falls sounds beautiful and all, but she doesn't think she can live in a town with Beaver in the name...plus, she doesn't like the idea of changing her entire life right now. Clare tells her she's been thinking a lot about her mother lately and the kinds of dreams she had for her...and hanging with Carl has brought up a lot of old memories. Her mom always wanted her and Carl to hook up and get married, but she hasn't told Carl that her mother also shared those thoughts with her 'cause she doesn't want the prince to get the wrong idea. Not sure why not, since he's about a thousand times more appealing than Steve in every way. She and Donna agree that the wedding fantasies they used to have as children are suddenly becoming very real.
Kelly pages Colin a few times, but doesn't get an answer. She then asks Brandon and Valerie exactly what their plan is, should Colin contact her: politely ask the fugitive to please turn himself in? Brandon tells her to set up a meet, and then they'll call the police so they can arrest him. Suddenly, Kelly's car phone rings...and it's Colin! She fibs and tells him she's alone in her car, then asks him where he is...and he just tells her he's been moving around a lot. She tells him she wants to see him, so he agrees to meet up with her tomorrow. He says, "I love you - and need you more than ever" and she tells him she loves him too, then shoots a smug look in Valerie's direction.
After Dark. After the performance, which mercifully was off camera, Ray and Wendy are packing up and getting ready to hit the road. Wendy thanks Donna for being so nice to them, and Donna gives her her most sanctimonious smile and tells her she's so happy for them. During a moment alone, Donna tells Ray that Wendy seems really nice, and Ray says he owes her (Donna) a lot and hopes she's as happy as he is. He adds, "Nobody deserves it more than you do" and she suddenly looks pensive and tells him she really needed to hear that.
Beach house. Colin calls Kelly to set up a meet at a motel in Reseda, and she tells him she'll be there as soon as she can. He asks her if he can trust her, and she's like, "Um...of course."
The Peach Pit. Steve, Clare, and Carl enter the diner for lunch. They sit at the counter, and Steve orders three artery hardening mega-burgers. He and Clare start making out, and Carl averts his eyes and looks suitably icked out.
Reseda motel. Kelly, Brandon, and Valerie are in Kelly's BMW, watching the police operation unfold. The cops take Danny Five into custody, but there's no sign of Colin. Kelly bursts out of her car and runs toward him and demands to know where Colin is, but Danny Five pretends like he's never seen her before. Kelly now realizes that Colin knew she was setting him up, and Valerie snarks that they (meaning Kelly) blew it...and the three glumly climb back into the BMW.
Beach. Donna and Joe are walking along the beach. She tells him that the one thing she knows for sure is that she loves him...and he says he does too, but knows she's not accepting his proposal. She explains that she's just not ready yet and that they're both so young. Fair point. He says his mom was nineteen when she got married (well that's just crazy) and Donna tells him that her mom also got married young - albeit it it was 'cause she got prematurely knocked up. She tells Joe she wants to make something of her life, and that she's not ready to leave her friends and family and give up the years of freedom she has left before she has to grow up...and she has a lot of dreams, and doesn't want to spend the rest of her life in a crap town like Beaver Falls, wondering what might have been. He says he understands all that, but still wishes he could change her mind. She then asks him if he'd stay in L.A. for her, but he says no, and that he has to chase his dreams too. They both look teary and agree they're going to miss each other...then share one last smooch.
Godspeed, Joe! Godspeed..