Recap: Dylan approaches Bruno, who's sitting at a table in the Student Union, and politely offers him a coffee. Bruno tells him to go pee up a rope, but Dylan ignores his hostile tone and hands him a letter that he'd like him to pass along to Toni. Bruno has no desire to play messenger, but Dylan leaves it for him anyway and then slouches away. Bruno asks him which is more important to him, love or vengeance, and Dylan stares back at him and mulls that over just before the opening credits roll. Da na na na...da na na na...cha cha.
Marketing class. Professor Haywood is lecturing to the class about sex and advertising, and then creepily singles out Valerie as a hot example of how the female form can be used to sell sex. Susan Keats, who's also in the class, points out that this icky concept is exploitative and that she finds it offensive, and Haywood smarmily retorts that this is a class on marketing, not ethics. The bell rings, and Susan remarks to Valerie that she hates this prof...and Valerie's like, "Whatever" and says she wants to catch Haywood before he leaves so she can apologize for being late to class. Susan jokes, "Show some cleavage and you might get an A" and Valerie scrunches her face in annoyance and says there's nothing wrong being nice to the teacher. She rushes into the hallway and calls after Haywood...and after some harmless chit-chat, he invites her to attend a lecture he's giving that afternoon to a group of business executives. At a nearby hotel. Mmm hmm.. Valerie perkily agrees to come, and then Haywood tells her she smells great and asks her what perfume she's wearing. She appears to be uncharacteristically oblivious to the man's creepy aura and replies, "Invitation", which makes Haywood chuckle...and as Valerie heads off to her next class (or wherever), he brazenly checks out her shapely rear end.
Clare and Donna are strolling through the Student Union together, and both look unspeakable in their belly baring crop tops. Donna's in a black halter that's tied in a knot under her fake hooters, and Clare's wearing a ghastly see-through white top with a black bra underneath. Donna's upset that she has to meet up with Ray to return one of his books, but when Clare offers to return it for her, Donna insists she owes it to him to return it in person. Not sure why. Clare then shares with Donna that she and Steve are renting a hotel room so they can privately indulge in their very first doink, but she's anxious and stressed 'cause she doesn't think Steve is ready for the kind of relationship she wants "this time around". Donna just mutters that sex is one big headache.
Toni's walking on campus with Bruno, looking glum. He shows her the letter he got from Dylan, and she tells him she doesn't want to read it - but when Bruno suggests that it might help her get him out of her system, she agrees to read it. It's a short note, in which Dylan basically tells her that whatever murderous hatred exists between him and Tony has nothing to do with how he feels about her...oh, and P.S. "I don't deserve you." No duh.
The Peach Pit. Steve tells Brandon he's in the process of booking a hotel room for his and Clare's first doink, but he's not sure which hotel to choose. A fancy place? A raunchy dive? He's also having problems imagining waking up in the morning with a skank like Clare, which is totally understandable. An icked out Brandon advises him to take it slow, and just leaves it at that. Kelly enters the diner, makes a beeline over to their table, and invites them to Colin's art opening. Yeech. She then asks them what they were just talking about, and the two boneheads repetitively reply, "Love and sex...sex and love."
Art gallery. Claudia admonishes Colin for inviting his little friends to his first art opening, but he insists that they're nice people. She's like, "Whatever" and calls Kelly "a side dish", so he makes it clear that he's developing serious feelings for her. Claudia advises him against too much emotional involvement since it's bad for his work, then gives him a big smooch. Colin coldly pulls away and tells her he just wants to concentrate on the show - and she just stares after him, looking put out. Incidentally, this actress has the weirdest looking set of lips I've ever seen in the pre-botox era.
Hotel. After Haywood's seminar, Valerie gushes about how great it was and tells him she learned so much. He offers to buy her a drink, which she accepts (bad idea), and the two head over to the hotel bar. Haywood mostly talks about himself, then takes a quick break from that to tell Val that she reminds him a lot of his dearly departed wife, who he misses every day and every night. (Red flag alert, Val!) He tells her that her midterm campaign project/thing is terrific and sensational, then suggests that they go up to his hotel room for their next round of drinks. Valerie finally gets a clue and tells him she doesn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. He promises to be discreet (gross, blech), and she looks at him in bewilderment and calls him out for coming onto her. He's like, "Well d'yuh" and starts fondling her leg, and Valerie immediately springs up from her seat and makes it clear that she's interested in his class not him, then quickly flees.
The Walsh house. Steve tells Clare he's still waiting for an answer about whether or not she wants to hit the sheets with him in a hotel room tomorrow night, so she says yes and that first times are important to her - meaning, she doesn't want a room that has mirrors on the ceiling or anything too kinky. Brandon and Susan enter the kitchen, and the four sit down to eat the burned/overcooked food that Clare and Steve just prepared. Susan starts gabbling about her marketing class and how the prof is a "first class lech" just as Valerie arrives home, looking visibly upset. She grumps that she's not hungry and storms through the kitchen, so Brandon rushes after her to see whassup. She asks him if she looks particularly trashy or if she has I'm easy written across her forehead. As Brandon stares at her with his face scrunched in confusion [no doubt trying to formulate a polite way of breaking it to his trashy housemate that I'm easy has been pretty much embossed on her forehead since the beginning of Season 5], she announces that she's going to bed and angrily stomps up the stairs.
After Dark. Ray is brewing coffee when Donna arrives. She hands him his book, and he invites her to sit down and chat over a cup of coffee...and she looks uncomfortable but agrees. She asks him how his album is going, then remarks that she heard from her mom that Mr. Corman reported that he (Ray) cancelled his last three recording sessions. Ray fibs about having a sore throat, then tells Donna he wants her to return his calls and that he writes his songs for her. Donna tells him that their relationship has been abusive, and he says he's sorry 'bout that and points out that he hasn't done anything bad in a long time. Donna calls that down time from violence "the honeymoon phase" and tells him he needs to get help...and he sarcastically snarls that he's a monster and storms out.
Dylan's house. Dylan's tinkering with his motorcycle when Bruno drops by to pass along a letter from Toni. He tells Dylan that this will be the last communication between them...and as soon as he leaves, Dylan reads the letter. It's a request from Toni to meet her in the university's library tomorrow.
California University. Toni and her giant mane of fuzzy hair arrive at the library and slip into a private study room where Dylan's waiting. She tells him she's no longer listening to her pa and that she's following her heart and wants to be with him (Dylan) forever. This is definitely one speedy romance. After the two smooch intensely, she informs him that Bruno is aware of her defiance, then says it's all good 'cause Bruno doesn't answer to her father (um, yes he does, girlie). She tells Dylan she's in love with him, but insists that he has to stop hating on her pa...and Dylan's like, "I dunno how to do that" so Toni makes it clear that she'll always love her pa 'cause he's the only family she has left. Dylan pretends to concede and says, "I surrender."
Bruno's chauffeuring Tony when Tony suddenly orders him to swing by CU so he can say goodbye to his daughter before he heads off to New York. Bruno tells him she's probably in class at the moment, but Tony says they have plenty of time and that he doesn't want to leave town without saying goodbye. Were this not a blatant plot contrivance, I'm sure that this all-important goodbye could have been arranged before Toni left for school that morning.
Beach house. Donna's primping for her final interview for the Rose Court tryouts. She tells Kelly she doubts she has a shot at winning a spot in the court, and Kelly clearly doesn't give a crap, 'cause she quickly diverts the conversation to Colin and how Claudia has been "all over him". Donna warns her not to trust the S.O.B. since all men cheat and then mutters, "Some cheat, some beat." Kelly's all, "Wha-a?!" so Donna admits that Ray yelled, shoved, and pushed her down the stairs in Palm Springs. Kelly's shocked when she hears the truth about Donna's Season 5 finale accident, and orders her to tell her stuff like this in the future. She warns Donna not to start re-dating Pumpkin Head, since it's more than likely he'll get violent again. Donna assures her that their sick relationship is over and that she feels strong...and the two friends hug.
California University. Toni and Dylan are strolling on campus, hand in hand. Tony spots them from the back seat of his car and leaps out to confront them and orders Toni to get into the car. Dylan tells him he loves his daughter, and Tony snaps, "You can't have her." He orders Toni to get into the car again, and when she refuses, he gives her an ultimatum: come now or don't come home at all. Toni refuses to budge, so Tony gives her a cold goodbye and returns to the car...and Toni looks tearful as he and Bruno drive off.
Marketing class. Professor Haywood hands out the midterms...and Valerie is shocked when she gets a D. She makes a beeline to Haywood to question the shitty grade, since earlier in the episode he had described her project as terrific and sensational. He tells her she can appeal her grade, then stalks off. Susan, who received an A on her midterm, snidely remarks to Valerie that being nice to the teacher didn't pay off after all...and Valerie retorts that the sleaze obviously has it in for her.
Bel Age Hotel. Steve arrives in the room Clare booked for their night of passion, and the porter informs him that the National Police Association has had the place booked for a week. This seemingly needless nugget of information flies right over Steve's head as he checks the closet for extra pillows and finds a pair of handcuffs. He looks thrilled and assumes that Clare (and not one of the many police officers who recently occupied the hotel) planted them there.
Valerie's pacing around the classroom, stewing about her grade. She tells Susan and David that she believes Haywood gave her a D 'cause she didn't hit the sheets with him. Susan apologizes for her dickish comments earlier, assures her that she didn't do anything wrong, then suggests that she file a sexual harassment complaint with the Ethics Office. Valerie is worried that her slutty past will be used against her, and tells David that he may not like her when this is all over.
Ethics Office. Val arrives to file her complaint, and the female officer exclaims, "Professor Haywood propositioned you for sex??" Val confirms that he did, and that it wasn't exactly subtle...and when she refused, he gave her a D on her midterm, which he'd earlier described as the best in the entire class (wuh? he did?). The officer tells her they'll start an investigation, then asks, "Why were you alone with him?" then inappropriately remarks "And off campus?!" Yikes. Valerie looks deflated and says she knew this would happen, and tells the officer to just drop her complaint.
Colin's loft. Kelly rings the doorbell and is greeted by Claudia. She politely tells Claudia that she came by to see if Colin needed a ride to the gallery, and Claudia smarmily says thanks, but that he already has one. She's about to close the door, but Kelly stops her and asks if Colin's home. Claudia says he's taking a shower, then calls Kelly a smart girl and asks her if she's caught on yet. When Kelly stares back at her in confusion, Claudia clarifies, "You can borrow Colin, but I own him." Kelly's all, "Wh-a-a?!!" so Claudia explains that since she's funding Colin's grisly art, he has to make his penis available to her whenever she wants. Kelly finally looks suitably stricken at the gigolo/sugar mama dynamic of their relationship, and Claudia needlessly shares that she's married to an older man who has bigger problems than her infidelity. She tells Kelly not to bother showing up at the art show, then shuts the door in her face.
Art gallery. Steve and Clare are milling around, looking at Colin's ugly art...and when Donna arrives, Colin asks her if she knows where Kelly is. Donna says she has no idea, and a few seconds later Claudia summons Colin to mingle with his important guests. Clare remarks to Steve how much she loves Colin's work, but Steve is art-ed out and wants to leave. He tells her he loves the hotel room she booked for their first doink, and adds that he's looking forward to ordering room service and maybe watching a movie. Clare happily tells him that she left him a little surprise for him in the room, and he gleefully says he found it. Meanwhile, Colin wants to call Kelly, but Claudia says she's definitely not coming and admits that she told Kelly all about their grotesque arrangement. He becomes livid and walks out on his own opening, leaving behind Claudia looking stunned and mortified.
Bel Age Hotel. Clare and Steve arrive - and as Clare flops onto the bed, Steve says he wants to retrieve the little surprise she left for him. She agrees that that's a good idea and reaches toward the night table and pulls out his most recent math test, on which he got an A, at the same time Steve pulls out the handcuffs he found in the closet. Clare is horrified when she realizes that he thought the cuffs were her surprise and calls him sick. She reminds him about the police convention at the hotel (duh), then says he's clearly not ready for a mature relationship. Steve points out that two of her past relationships/attempted hook-ups (meaning David and Brandon) have involved handcuffs, which is a totally fair point. He calls her kinkified, and she angrily storms out.
Newsroom. As Susan busily digs up dirt on Professor Haywood, she remarks to Brandon that she wishes Val would go public with her sexual harassment complaints against the lecherous professor. Brandon decides to blow off Colin's art show in favor of helping Susan with her research.
Dorm. David and Valerie, who have also skipped the art show, are hanging out in David's room when Brandon calls looking for Valerie. He advises her to go on the record about Haywood, since there's "too much story" about him that he and Susan have managed to dig up...but Valerie refuses to file a complaint 'cause she doesn't want to get raked over the coals. After she hangs up, she tells David she doesn't want him to hear about what a horrible slut she is...but he assures her that he doesn't care what anyone says and that he'll stand by her. The two kiss, and she bashfully implores him not to get impatient with her if she wants to take this relationship slow.
Beach house. Colin comes over to see Kelly and tells her that he blew off his gallery opening. She tells him to get lost and makes a snide comment about his icky arrangement with Claudia, so he tries to explain that it's just business, and the price he's had to pay to be able to focus on his art. Did Kelly never wonder how he could remain unemployed while working full time on his shit-tastic paintings? Kelly snarls, "You're not an artist, you're a whore" and adds that she'd have more respect for him if he swept floors. She then goes back into the apartment and slams the door...and a few seconds later she peeks back onto the deck and spots him sweeping it. She gazes at him with charmed amusement.
Valerie confronts Professor Haywood and asks him if they could come to an understanding about what happened. She wants him to reconsider awarding her the grade she deserves, but he's really pissed off after receiving a call from Susan at The Condor regarding an article she's writing about him. He tells Valerie she's the one who's going to suffer, and she argues that she didn't do anything. He spitefully tells her he wants all the details to come out - like all the skimpy little outfits she wears to class - please...Donna's and Clare's crop tops are waay worse - and how she told him she'd do anything for a good grade (I don't remember her ever saying that). She argues that he came onto her, and he smugly retorts, "Says the little strumpet." When he assures her she'll be humiliated, she stomps off and heads straight to The Condor newsroom..
Valerie tells Susan and Brandon that she's totally willing to go on the record, and doesn't care if people believe her or not. Brandon says people will believe her, since a bunch of women have magically and instantaneously come out of the woodwork as a result of his and Susan's investigative research. He steers her toward an office where several angry women who have been violated by Professor Haywood are gathered. One of them derisively asks Valerie if Haywood ever told her that she reminds him of his late wife...and apparently it's a tired old line he's used on all the women. Brandon announces that the dean has been informed of their impromptu investigation, and that he's "had it" with Haywood and will demand his resignation. Valerie looks touched and gushingly tells Susan and Brandon that they're amazing.
Dylan's house. Dylan awakens to the sound of Toni weeping in bed beside him. He spoons her and asks her whassup, and she tells him she's scared about her future and knows that nothing will ever be the same. She then switches gears and says that as long as she has him, she doesn't care what her pa thinks. Dylan soothingly promises not to let anyone or anything hurt her (she may want to get that in writing), and the two get into some heavy petting.