Recap: Valerie is having a dream (in black and white) about being molested by her father - ewww - and then suddenly his blood is all over her hands. She wakes up in a cold sweat...and we see that Tom is lying in bed beside her. She tells him she's wigged out 'cause her mom is coming back from San Francisco today, but she's not ready to tell her about the molestation. Tom urges her to spill the beans about it to her mom and says she has to "face it all".
Kelly's at the beach, writing in the journal that Valerie gave her during the Christmas episode. She writes that she feels alone - even among friends and family - and now regrets her nonsensical I choose me decision at the end of Season 5 - when Brandon proposed and Dylan offered to take her around the world. And now...Dylan is [supposedly] shacked up with Brenda in London, and Brandon's in love with Tracy (though not really). She sighs heavily and stares unhappily out at the ocean.
CUTV. Brandon is leading a production meeting with the news station staff and tries to engage Tracy, but she just glares at him with her arms crossed in front of her. After the meeting, he admonishes her for her hostile behavior, so she snarks, "I don't know how to act when my boyfriend is keeping an engagement ring for someone else." Hmm...like a grownup, perhaps? He tells her he knew they'd have to talk about it, so she asks when he was planning to bring up the subject...but he just mutely stares into space and doesn't answer, so I'm guessing that that answer is hopefully never.
Donna tells Clare she's going out with Cliff tonight. She's still mad at David for spending so much time with Chloe lately, but wonders aloud if it was all a misunderstanding.
The Walsh house. Steve arrives home with his halfwit half-brother, Ryan, in tow. Ryan tells him he's sweet on a girl named Katie and that he finally got the courage to ask her out, but he doesn't know where to take her. Steve suggests that he and Katie double date with him and Clare at the Santa Monica Pier, and Ryan likes that idea. The doorbell rings, and it's Michelle Phillips, who has just returned from San Francisco. Valerie appears on the stairs and glares unhappily at her mother, then snarks that she's still not signing the mortgage papers. Michelle Phillips urges her to reconsider...and the two snark back and forth for a while, blah blah, until Michelle Phillips declares that since she doesn't feel welcome at Casa Walsh, she's going to stay at a hotel.
CUTV. Chancellor Arnold presents Brandon with a plaque to celebrate the campus network's 100th newscast. Brandon publicly thanks the crew, then presents the plaque to Tracy (at the news desk), and she happily accepts it, then signs off for the evening. As soon as the cameras stop rolling, she stops smiling, shoots Brandon the stink-eye, and rips off her microphone and storms off. Clare, meanwhile, invites Donna to tag along to the Santa Monica Pier with her, Steve, Ryan, and Katie - and Donna accepts. Elsewhere in the station, Tom asks Valerie if she told her mom about the molestation, and she says she didn't...and when he tells her she should, she bitchily snaps, "Give it a rest!"
Brandon ambles over to Kelly, and the two exchange pleasantries. She says she hardly sees him anymore, then invites him and Tracy to come by the beach apartment for dinner sometime...'cause, yeah, that wouldn't be awkward. Tracy suddenly appears in the hallway and looks visibly annoyed to see the former love-birds chit-chatting. Brandon tells her that Kelly has invited them to dinner, and she smiles, says thanks, but that she's not in the mood for a party. She snarkishly reminds Brandon that they were supposed to talk after the broadcast, then adds, "But obviously this conversation is more important to you" and Kelly looks sheepish and goes, "Oops. Did I get in the middle of something?" Tracy thrusts the plaque at Brandon, sarcastically bitches about his "virtue and honesty", then storms off. Kelly tells Brandon he should go to her, and he reluctantly toddles off after his pissed off girlfriend.
Santa Monica Pier. Donna and Cliff are enjoying their date, compliment each other on how awesomely perfect they are, then scamper off to ride the Ferris wheel. Steve asks Clare whassup with Donna going out with Cliff and asks, "What about David?" and Clare goes, "What about him?" and says that if David can spend so much time with Chloe, Donna should be able to hang with a hot fireman. Damn straight. Ryan, meanwhile, is enjoying his evening with Katie...and she suddenly suffers a brain fart and invites him to kiss her. Steve sees the two kids smooching and looks delighted...and after Katie and Clare head off to the ladies room (or wherever), he congratulates his halfwit half-brother on possessing "the Sanders touch". Ryan discreetly asks him if he has a condom for his date tomorrow night, and Steve guffaws and applauds him for being prepared...instead of urging him to visit a drugstore, like pronto, to stock up on Trojans so that he doesn't have to rely on his older brother to supply his birth control for him.
Dorm. Brandon tells Tracy that they're not going to be able to get through the Engagement Ring Situation if she refuses to talk to him. He insists he wasn't keeping the ring because he's been waiting for Kelly to come back into his life (even though he kinda is), so she asks, "Why then?" and he just scrunches his face and says, "I dunno." Tracy gets irked and snaps, "You can't make someone think you love them if you don't" and accuses him of cheating on her. Brandon denies cheating and tells her she's being ridic, so then she challenges him to declare he's not in love with Kelly, and he stares down at his feet and mutters, "It's not so simple." It is, actually. A crushed looking Tracy says, "At least you had the decency not to lie to me. Goodbye, Brandon" and Brandon says goodbye and exits her room...and Tracy starts weeping.
Santa Monica Pier. Cliff asks Donna if she's having fun, and she assures him she is...and the two start smooching. A few seconds later, she pulls away and hangs her head in shame...and he asks her if she's feels guilty about David. She nods and says they have a long, tedious history and she doesn't want to hurt him. She sheepishly says she shouldn't be "playing around" with him, but Cliff insists that he's not playing games...then leans in for another kiss.
David's house. Chloe's playing on the keyboard while David tries to reach Donna at the beach house. He tells Chloe she's still not home, and correctly assumes she's still out with Fireman Cliff. Chloe says she does not get what Donna sees in Cliff, then remarks, "He certainly doesn't do it for me" which is such crazy talk, considering Cliff's inarguable hotness. David glumly says he hates that Cliff is back in L.A. and that Donna's "all over him"...then says at least he knows for sure that the two aren't hitting the sheets. Chloe chuckles and asks how he could be so sure 'bout that, so David enlightens her about Donna's virginity pledge.
Valerie has another black and white dream about being molested by her father, which...gross. After she jolts awake, she tells Tom she has to deal with this...then heads over to her mom's hotel. She tells Michelle Phillips the ugly truth about her father - but Michelle Philips just stares at her incredulously and snaps, "How dare you?!" and wails that she was married to him for twenty years and knows he was a good man. Valerie says he was a horrible man, so then Michelle Philips accuses her of being wild and always in trouble. Valerie narrows her eyes and says that as much as she hated her father, she hated her even more because she could have stopped him from coming to her bedroom at night. Michelle Phillips gets a crazed look in her eyes, slaps Valerie hard across the face, and yells, "Go to hell!" and Valerie sadly replies that she's been in hell ever since she was eleven years old. She stalks out of the room, and Michelle Phillips looks like she may need to vomit.
Beach house. Kelly's writing in her journal again, and we hear her voice-over, babbling about fate and destiny...pondering with the universe why she and Brandon aren't together - or if they're meant to be. You're not. Donna enters her room with some coffee, and Kelly asks her how her date with Cliff went. Donna says, "Terrific and awful" and explains that everything is so easy with Cliff, but difficult with David...but for some insane reason, she still loves David despite her feelings for Cliff. Kelly's like, "Well d'yuh...he's gorgeous!" but theorizes that she's prolly mad at David because he wasn't there for her while she was being held hostage by nutty Evan...similar to the way Brandon was hanging with Emily Valentine while she was being burned alive in a rave fire. Donna tells her that Brandon didn't look happy last night, and Kelly admits she's been thinking about him a lot lately. Donna advises her to tell him she loves him, and Kelly says she did do that: after she broke up with Colin, and again when Brandon dumped Susan. She says, "If he wants to do anything about it, he will."
The Walsh house. Clare snarks at Steve about Ryan's sex plans and admonishes him for just wanting to hand the kid a condom and say, "Go out and play." I'm not sure how this falls under the category of Any of Clare's Business. Steve reminds his uptight girlfriend that she was once a wild teenager who handcuffed herself to Brandon's bed, and she gets all red-faced and mumbles an unintelligible reply. Haha! When Ryan enters the kitchen, Clare asks/declares, "Tonight's the big night" and Ryan just stares back at her in complete mortification. She asks him how much he knows about sex, but before Ryan can crawl under the nearest rock, Steve interjects and assures Clare that he'll educate Ryan about the birds and the bees after breakfast.
Peach Pit. Brandon is slumped at the counter, looking miserable as he drinks his morning coffee. He moans to Nat about how he lost something important to him 'cause he couldn't let go of the past...and Nat correctly guesses that he's talking about Kelly and their complicated feelings for each other. Brandon tells Nat that Kelly knows how he feels about her, and if she wants to do something about it, she will. Oy. He then says he's off to do something he should have done a long time ago: return Kelly's ring.
After Dark. Michelle Phillips arrives at the club and finds Tom cutting up fruit at the bar. She says she needs his help with Valerie, then starts to tell him about the molestation allegations - but Tom cuts her off and says he already knows about it. Valerie enters the club and overhears her mom tell Tom she finally gets why Valerie has hated her all these years...then quickly adds that she had no idea the abuse was happening. Valerie walks over and says she didn't tell her earlier 'cause she was afraid she'd react exactly the way she reacted last night. Valerie then tells her mom she threatened to go to the police if her father didn't seek help...and later that night he shot himself. She snarls, "I'm glad he's dead" and Michelle Phillips starts weeping.
Beach house. Tracy drops by the apartment to needlessly inform Kelly that she and Brandon broke up last night. Kelly's all, "Wuh?" and says she's sorry, and Tracy goes, "Are you?" then apologizes for being bitchy. Tracy tells her she found her engagement ring in Brandon's drawer, and Kelly looks surprised and says she had no idea that Brandon was still holding onto it. Tracy covers her face with her hands and moans, "This is soooo hard!" and says she came here to do the noble thing and bow out gracefully...but she can't bring herself to do it 'cause she still loves Brandon. Kelly's like, "Hey - so do I!" - LOL - and Tracy moans about how unfair this is, then snarkishly reminds her that she's the one who cut him loose. She says, "Brandon and I could be happy together, but you have to make up your mind" but Kelly just contemplatively stares into space.
The Walsh house. Steve starts telling Ryan about eggs and sperm - but Ryan cuts him off and says he already knows about the science part of sex. He says he's really nervous about doinking Katie, with whom he's only been one one date...so Steve suggests he hold off on sex [until she comes to her senses and runs away screaming]. Ryan mulls over that advice and asks if it's OK, then remarks that guys are always in such a big hurry to hit the sheets. Mercifully, the doorbell rings, and Steve flees the kitchen to answer it. It's Kelly, who's looking for Brandon. Steve says he's not allowed to tell her where Brandon went, so she tells him she knows all about the ring...and he blabs that Brandon went to a German jewelry store in Westwood to return it.
David's house. Chloe trash talks Donna in front of David, then unzips her zipper top and says she no longer wants to take things slow. He tells her to zip herself back up, and she snarks, "What's the big deal?!" and says that unlike Donna, she's happy to give him what he wants. He tells her to get dressed and go...and a second later, Donna shows up at the house. David tells Chloe to go to the bedroom, and she looks hopeful and cheekily asks, "Why? Did you change your mind?" He answers the door, and Donna greets him and says they should talk. Chloe suddenly yells out David's name and rushes over to the door in her bra and pretends to bashfully cover herself up. She says, "Hi Donna" and Donna glares at David and says, "I knew this was a mistake" and runs off.
Valerie returns to her mom's hotel room to tell her she'll sign the papers after all. Michelle Phillips says she's had a change of heart and now wants to sell the house, given the disgusting, unholy acts that were perpetrated there. She then starts weeping and says she didn't know her husband was a disgusting rapist-pedophile, and Valerie says she believes her...and the two hug it out.
Brandon enters the jewelry store, explains the ring situation with the jeweler, and the jeweler asks him if he's ready to exchange his past for his future. As he's doing that, Kelly arrives at the store and stares at him through the window. Brandon tells the jeweler he can't bring himself to return the ring until he knows it's really, definitely, truly, absolutely over with Kelly, and the jeweler looks impressed and says, "She must be some girl." (Mmm...not really.) Brandon exits the store and spots Kelly, and she tells him that Tracy told him about the ring. He looks surprised and says she shouldn't have done that. He tells her he came to the jeweler's to return the ring, and Kelly goes, "Good! If that's what you want to do, you should." They both look pained as they agree that neither should pursue a relationship with the other...even though it's secretly what they both want. Arg.
After Dark. Valerie arrives and finds Tom waiting for her. She tells him that everything turned out OK with her mom, and that she's on her way to the airport. She then tells Tom she loves him...but every time she looks at him, she just remembers being molested by her dad, and "it's all too much". Tom suggests that she probably just needs time to sort everything out, and Valerie agrees but makes it clear that she's still dumping him. Tom just shrugs and says, "I'm not used to staying in one place very long anyway." LOL.
Dorm. Brandon stops by Tracy's room to inform her that he finally returned Kelly's ring. She's all, "Wha-a?!" and looks even more surprised when he hands her a small box from the jeweler's. She unwraps it and finds a lovely gold bracelet, then gives him a happy hug...but during the hug, Brandon looks troubled and unhappy.
Kelly's ambling along the beach, voice-overing that she bought herself a gift today: something she didn't want anyone else to have. She then fingers the engagement ring Brandon just returned, which she's now wearing on her necklace.