Recap: Valerie's dreaming that she's running down an endless hallway in her nightie, then trying to open a locked door while shrieking, "Daddy!!" She wakes up screaming, and Brandon and Steve burst into her room to see whassup. She assures them she's fine and that it was just a bad dream.
Dylan arrives at the Marchette mansion in his Porsche to pick up Toni and take her to campus. He encounters Bruno, who's decked out in an apron as he cleans his car, and hands him a bag of donuts. Toni emerges from her gigantic house and invites Dylan inside for a tour...and says that her pa is currently out of town. Dylan slouches inside the mansion and looks around, clearly impressed by its opulent luxuriousness. Toni tells him that her pa built it ten years ago - after her mother died - so then Dylan tells her that his dad died two years ago, and she puts on her sad face and expresses her condolences. She then informs him that she's having a dinner party for him and the gang tomorrow night...and, oh yeah, she's already invited everyone! Dylan's all, "Wha-a?!" so she explains that she wants to get to know his friends, and for them to get to know her [before her fatal shooting.] After that, she shows Dylan her pa's study, and for some reason Tony keeps a framed photo of himself and Jack McKay on display. Dylan picks it up and asks Toni if she knows the guy who's standing beside her pa...and Toni stares at it blankly and says she has no idea. Dylan suddenly has a superfluous Season 3 flashback of Jack hugging him while they were on the expensive yacht.
The Peach Pit. Donna, Kelly, and Clare are gabbling about Toni's dinner party. Kelly snarks that Toni's being too pushy, while Donna thinks she's just trying to be nice. Steve arrives at the table and brings Clare a plate of fried junk food...and then Kelly blabs to everyone that David is in a major funk because of his mom's suicide attempt.
Hospital. David arrives to visit his mom in the psychiatric unit. She's lying in bed - awake, but motionless and unresponsive. David tries to talk to her, but she doesn't respond...and Mel suddenly appears in the room and suggests to David that they let Sheila rest. They retire to the waiting room, where Mel advises David to get back into his regular routine and focus on his school work. The doctor comes out to give them an update and says Sheila might benefit from a more aggressive therapy: electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). When she describes the grisly sounding process, David gets wigged out and storms out of the hospital.
California University. Brandon runs into Dylan, who's slouching around the Student Union, waiting for Toni to finish her classes for the day. Brandon says he's excited about her upcoming dinner party, so then Dylan tells him about the framed photo he saw in Tony Marchette's study and calls the man sick.
Newsroom. Brandon invites Susan to Toni's dinner party, and she gives him a flat out, "No!" She doesn't think the two of them should date while they're working together at The Condor...which is strange 'cause who could possibly give a rat's ass? Brandon thinks she's being ridiculous, then gets all smug when he gets her to admit that she finds him attractive. These two actors have so little chemistry together that I just cannot buy them as a couple.
Dorm. Donna and Kelly drop in on Depressed David. He acts all mopey and bitchy, tells them to leave him alone, then curls up on his bed and emotionally shuts down. Kelly and Donna stare over at him concernedly.
Susan has just gotten out of the shower and is in her bathrobe when Brandon comes calling. After several annoying seconds of pretending to be too frazzled to answer the door, she finally opens it and invites him inside...and he announces that he's quitting The Condor 'cause he really really wants to go out with her. Susan finally gives in, accepts his invitation to Toni's dinner party, then tells him he doesn't have to quit his column after all. What a huge relief.
The Walsh house. Valerie is finishing writing an email to Jim and Cindy when Brandon and Steve arrive home with groceries. They're pumped up about something sports related, but then notice Valerie's visible depression as she sadly shuffles out of the kitchen. Brandon follows her to see whassup and finds her sacked out on the couch. She natters to him about her father, how she doesn't have any nice memories of him, and that she was the one who found him the night he killed himself. She recalls how horrible that was, and that his brains were splattered on the bathroom wall. (Thanks for that visual.) She can't talk about any of this with her mom, since her mom blames her for his death - and Brandon scrunches his face in confusion over that revelation, since it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Valerie says her parents fought a lot because of her...and then I mentally checked out of her tedious melancholy until she announces that she'll try sleeping in the living room tonight. Fantastic.
California University. Kelly, Colin, Clare, Ray, and Donna just saw a campus showing of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Subtle, show. They seat themselves at a table, and then spot David in the cafeteria area. Donna invites him to join them, but he declines...and Clare remarks that she hopes David snaps out of his depression soon, otherwise he too might turn loony.
The Walsh house. Valerie is having her running-down-the-endless-hallway nightmare again, but this time she hears a gunshot on the other side of the door - and when she bursts into the bathroom, she sees her father's bloody body. Brandon must have heard her screeches from his bedroom, 'cause he rushes down to the living room to check on the commotion...and Valerie pulls him into a tight full-body-hug as she sobs. I'm no expert on the grieving process, but is this not a ridiculously delayed reaction to her father's suicide??
Marchette mansion. Toni is working with her team of servants to get everything set up for her dinner party, and snarks at Bruno for noshing on the appetizers. He scolds her for not asking her father permission to host the dinner party, so she reminds him that she's an adult and that it's her house too. Bruno tells her she's getting too involved with "this McKay boy", and then suddenly the phone rings. It's Tony Marchette, calling to check in with his daughter and exchange I love yous. After that pointless call, Bruno warns Toni that there are things about Dylan that won't make her or her father happy, so Toni just tells him to just keep quiet about it. A stiff looking butler enters the kitchen to announce to Toni that Dylan is outside by the pool...so Toni goes outside and finds him slouching on a lounger. The two banter about something I don't remember, and then start canoodling while Bruno creepily watches them from the upstairs window.
The Peach Pit. A mouse is running around the diner, and for some reason no one calls the Department of Health to blow the whistle on Nat. He complains to Willie the Cook that the clever mouse keeps outsmarting him (!) by stealing the cheese and escaping the traps. Elsewhere in the diner, Clare and Steve are in the middle of another tutoring session, and she's actually impressed with his latest work. He has his arm around her - which she totally digs - and he tells her he feels like he's getting his money's worth from her tutoring. He asks her if she has a date for Toni's dinner party, and she saucily tells him she was going to invite a fella by the name of "Tenderheart", so then he says he's planning on taking "Cuddles". Suddenly, the mouse somehow ends up on Clare's foot, and she assumes that Steve is playing footsies with her...but when he tells her he's not, she screams and the poor frightened mouse scurries away.
Dorm. Mel has dropped by David's dorm room to further discuss Sheila's mental health situation. David refuses to go along with the ECT option, but Mel thinks it could be her only hope and wants David to back him up. I agree. Just shock the woman already.
Marchette mansion. The gang has arrived for the dinner party, and everyone is impressed by the garish display of Tony Marchette's wealth. Kelly, who's wearing a short red dress, makes a grand entrance with Colin and is brazenly ogled by Dylan and Brandon. Susan immediately gets self-conscious and tells Brandon she feels under-dressed, and that she's envious that Kelly is so much hotter than she is. Donna arrives and tells everyone that Ray got held up in traffic (yay!) and that David cancelled 'cause he's still in a funk.
Dylan, meanwhile, excuses himself and pretends to go use the bathroom...and then sneaks over to Tony's study and starts snooping through his desk drawers. Bruno catches him in the act, so he shows Bruno the framed photo of Tony and Jack. Bruno nods and says he knows all about Jack, and that he (Dylan) is his son. He suggests that he return to the dinner party, then warns him not to do anything that will hurt Toni 'cause she's like a daughter to him.
Valerie drops by David's dorm room to see how he's doing, and he's still acting mopey and tells her he doesn't want any company. Valerie barges in anyway, asks him about his mom, and then tells him that her dad committed suicide. She says there's something she'd like to show him and urges him to go for a ride with her.
In the next scene, the two arrive at a rural location that overlooks the sprawl that is Los Angeles. Valerie hops over the safety fence and proceeds to the edge of a cliff. David gets antsy and warns her about possible slides, since they can occur at any time...so then she starts babbling about how things can slide away from under you - like life, for example. David climbs over the fence and stands beside her, staring down at the scary drop and busy freeway below. Valerie tells him if he wants to jump, she won't stop him...then says when her demons get too close, she comes here for a "gut check". David tells her he definitely doesn't want to die, and so the two head back toward the safety fence and hug.
The Peach Pit. For some reason, the gang decided to hang out at the Peach Pit after the dinner party...but since it's getting late, Dylan announces it's time to go. He slouches over to the cash register, where Brandon discreetly urges him to tell Toni the truth about the Tony/Jack connection. The mouse starts running around the diner again, and Donna saves the day by cooing at it, picking it up (dumb move, Donna; mice can carry diseases), and gently placing it outside. What a pointless sub-sub plot.
Beach house. Steve walks Clare to the door, and they both agree they had a good time at the dinner party then start smooching.
David and Valerie arrive at the hospital so that David can visit his mom. He thanks Valerie for her moral support, and the two kiss. When he enters his mom's room, he tells her he understands she's going through a lot, but that he wants her to live long enough to see him get married and have his own kids...and then he brings up the issue of ECT and how it might improve her health. Sheila looks thoughtful and finally turns around to look at him, takes his hand in hers and kisses it, and asks him if he'll be there when she wakes up from the procedure. He promises he will be, and she urges him to go home and get some sleep.
Colin's loft. Colin and Kelly slow dance together, and he tells her how hot she looked tonight in her skimpy red dress, and that he noticed how Brandon's and Dylan's eyes were "popping out of their heads". Kelly assures him she only cares about what he thinks, and the two exchange I love yous and make out.
The Walsh house. Valerie reads an email from Cindy, which includes some motherly words of wisdom about how hard times will make her stronger, blah blah. Brandon arrives home and tells Valerie about what a great time he had at the dinner party, and with Susan. Valerie, in turn, tells him that Cindy is a wise woman, and that she's optimistic she'll finally get some much needed sleep tonight.
In the next scene, Valerie is having her running-down-the-endless-hallway nightmare again...but this time when she reaches the bathroom door, she opens it and comes face-to-face with David. He holds out his hand and says, "You don't have to be afraid anymore" and she hugs him and looks relieved. When the camera pans back to real life Valerie, we see that she's sleeping soundly, and has a faint smile on her face.