Recap: Brandon drops by the beach house while Kelly and Donna are bustling about, gabbling about Matt (squeal!) and getting everything ready for the opening of their boutique. Brandon's all, "Wha-a? Matt?" when Kelly shows no interest in chit-chatting with him, then finally blurts out that he was offered a job at a major newspaper in Washington D.C. Kelly pauses what she's doing to stare at him in surprise, goes, "Wow.." as she mulls over the life-changing news, then breezily says it'll be a good thing for him. Brandon stares back at her with his furry brows furrowed, clearly put out by how indifferent she is about him moving across the country.
Valerie stops by Matt's office, hands him a small wad of cash, and says she'd like to retain his services so she can speak to him in confidence. She confesses to shooting her rapist/pedophile father while they struggled over a gun that just happened to be in the room at the time. The details of this killing continue to remain fuzzy. She tells Matt that her mother has threatened to turn her in, even though it was justifiable homicide - but Matt's all, "Whoa...a jury might not agree" and tells her that this beyond tedious, fraught-with-ick storyline could get wrapped up a lot quicker if her mother simply agrees to keep her mouth shut. As Valerie mulls that over, the opening credits roll...and for some reason Nat is still getting top billing as a series regular. Whaddup with the stubborn resistance to pulling the plug on that superfluous character?
The Beverly Beat. David tells Steve he's worried about Sophie 'cause he hasn't seen her for several days, but Steve's just like whatever and makes it clear he doesn't give a rat's ass where she is. Janet says she's been finding Where's Sophie? posters (that include a phone number) all over Beverly Hills...and when Steve continues to snark about what an opportunistic vixen Sophie is, David snaps at him for being a jerk.
Kelly, Donna, and Matt are setting up all the clothes, etc. in the boutique when Noah drops by. He snarks at Matt about something or other, then moans to Donna that he wishes it were him, not Matt, helping out with their new venture. Donna tells him how much it sucks when she reaches out to him and he responds by running away, so he agrees to get together later and promises to not flee her presence the moment things get uncomfortable.
The Peach Pit. Kelly meets with Leah, who tells her she had enough of getting smacked around by Lenny, but soon after she decided to leave him discovered she was pregnant. When she delivered her baby girl a month ago, she and Lenny got into a fight about custody...and he smacked her around some more and told her that if she tries to take his baby away from him, he'll kill her.
Brandon tells Steve that he called Jim and Cindy regarding his new job in D.C., and they told him they'd like to sell Casa Walsh so they can finally cash in on that valuable piece of real estate. Steve looks momentarily stricken, then pretends he was considering moving out anyway. He asks Brandon if Kelly knows he's leaving town forever, and Brandon sourly says, "Yeah, she was real busted up about it" then asks whassup with a guy named Matt. Steve puts his somber face on and says it appears he's not the only one moving on, and Brandon responds by staring contemplatively into space.
Bel Age Hotel. Valerie tells Michelle Phillips that she spoke to a lawyer, and Michelle Phillips says she hates the fact that she has to be the one to decide her daughter's fate. When Valerie says she's fairly certain that her decision will be to turn her in, Michelle Phillips tells her to back off, then stomps away.
Brandon drops by the new boutique and tells Kelly he's impressed, surprised, and confused by how she and Donna were able to pay for the lease, get the renovations done in under a week, and have the place fully stocked with merchandise one day after that. Lenny suddenly storms in without warning and angrily warns Kelly to stay away from Leah...and Brandon puffs up his little chest and orders him to leave, which he promptly does. Kelly glares at Brandon and says she doesn't need his help anymore, then wearily orders him to go away.
Restaurant. Sophie meets up with David, who pulls out a Where's Sophie? poster and asks her where she's been. She coyly says, "Around" and tells him she managed to score an audition for a soap commercial...then stares admiringly at her photo on the poster. She asks David to accompany her to the audition so he can say he knew her when, and he looks fake exasperated and coos, "Oh boy, you scare me!" He tells her he was doing just fine without her, and she says, "I'm not" and takes his hand and kisses it...and the two stare mutely at each other.
Beach house. Donna is laying in bed with Noah, and he indulges her by attempting to explain how he's feeling: walking on quicksand. He whines about how it's soooo hard to get anyone to understand his pain, then abruptly gets out of bed and pulls his clothes on. He promises to call her later, and Donna sadly whispers, "No you won't."
The Peach Pit. Brandon is meeting with Matt, fishing for some inside info on Leah so he can include her story in his article about dramatic custody cases. He's miffed when he learns that Kelly has never mentioned him to Matt, or the fact that she just went through a breakup. Valerie suddenly storms over to their table and asks Brandon if it's really true he's leaving, then says his departure is really sucky timing for her. She eyes Matt suspiciously and asks him what they were just talking about, and Matt's like, "Nuthin'" and beats a hasty retreat. Valerie tells Brandon she's irked that he's not making her the center of his world and self-piteously says she won't bother him with her life anymore, and flounces off.
Sophie and David arrive for her audition. She hands her Where's Sophie? poster to the receptionist, who haughtily tells her it's not a professional headshot. Sophie haughtily retorts that the casting director personally asked her to audition, and the receptionist does her best not to laugh and says, "So...you're doing her a favor?" Sophie pulls out a $50 bill and asks her if she wouldn't mind putting her at the top of the audition list, then does her tired old flip-the-bill-over-so-she's-only-handing-her-a-$10-bill trick. Sophie giggles to David and says she feels sorry for all the poor saps auditioning, 'cause none of them stands a chance against her awesomeness. David points out that these poor saps probably have agents and resumes and are dutifully taking acting classes as they make the rounds...but Sophie just rolls her eyes, unimpressed by the notion of making an effort.
Kelly and Donna watch as their boutique sign, Now Wear This, is officially etched onto their store window. Kelly giddily calls their implausible business idea an adventure, and says she's extremely proud that they were able to pull this off themselves...glossing over the fact that a team of ex-convict construction workers did all the hard work of renovating the space in record time. Donna sadly remarks that Noah missed the etching of their sign after promising to stop by...and Kelly says if he keeps pushing her away, she may have to let him go 'cause sometimes love just ain't enough.
After Dark. Noah is boozing it up in the office when Valerie enters with some contrived work related questions. Noah's like, "Blah, whatever" and says he wants to take her someplace...and she agrees to go with him, but insists on doing the driving.
Sophie is glumly posing for headshots, grumbling to David that she didn't get cast for the soap commercial. Apparently, the casting director didn't think she was wholesome or fresh enough. Well d'yuh. David says it's probably for the best, then tells her that he once lowered his dignity and wrote commercial jingles before fancying himself too good for that kind of work, then urges her to celebrate her escape from mediocrity. He then puts on some sexy muzak, and Sophie gets all into it and poses sexily for the photographer, who tells her and David about a party he's attending tomorrow where a bunch of Hollywood big shots will be in attendance. Sophie perks up and says that she and David would be delighted to go.
Noah directs Valerie to the Hunter estate, which is currently up for sale. As the two amble from room to room, Noah tells her how, in each of these rooms, his father told him he'd never amount to anything...and then moans about how he's struggling to erase all the bad memories. Valerie makes a weird segue way into a murder she may or may not have committed, but Noah just laughs 'cause he assumes she's kidding, even though she's staring at him with her not-fuckin'-around somber face on.
The Beverly Beat. Kelly drops by the newsroom after being summoned there by Brandon. He comments on how hot she's lookin', then tells her he's writing a story about outrageous custody battles...and panders to her hatred of abusive men by calling Lenny an animal. Kelly insists she doesn't need his help and that, in general, he needs to stop paying her compliments and constantly trying to help her out with stuff. Brandon stubbornly insists on writing the story, and Kelly's like, "Whatever" and says she has no desire to work with him on it. As she heads toward the exit, Brandon whines that this isn't easy on him, and she glares back at him and says it doesn't give him the right to make it hard on her. Stop dragging out this departure and just leave already, Brandon. Go. Pleeeeeease.
The 90210 gang has gathered for the grand opening of Now Wear This. Steve runs into Sophie and says he's glad that David was able to track her down 'cause of how worried he was...then adds that he knows she can handle herself, being the cold, cunty wretch she is. Matt tells Kelly he ordered Lenny to stay away from the boutique, but Kelly remains unimpressed and orders him to fire Lenny as his client - which he's unwilling to do, since he's a self-employed lawyer and doesn't fucking answer to Kelly. Kelly shoots him the stink-eye, then graciously thanks everyone for coming to the party...and Brandon stands outside the store, broodily staring at everyone through the window. Steve spots him and steps out to see whassup...and Brandon gets a faraway, nostalgic look on his face and recalls the first time he stepped into West Beverly High and tripped in the main hall in front of everyone, dropped all of his books, and cut his chin. Steve smiles at the faux memory, since none of that actually happened in the pilot episode, and goes along with this dumb re-writing of history and says, "I remember." Brandon recalls how Donna rushed over to him and introduced herself, and then introduced him to everyone as Greg Louganis. Nope. That didn't happen either. He grins and remarks, "She really saved my butt" and credits the 90210 gang with making him feel right at home. Steve says he has a few leads on where he might move to, but Brandon tells him it won't be necessary 'cause he's changed his mind about moving and has decided, "This is home." Say what?? Steve's like, "Er...OK" and goes back into the store to make the startling announcement. When Kelly hears about Brandon's change of plans, she looks less than thrilled...as does Brandon when he sees her reaction.
Sophie and David are mingling with the glitterati at the Hollywood party. The host, a film director, tells Sophie she's just what he's looking for, and she's all, "Oooh...hee hee, really..?" David, meanwhile, is mistaken for a porn actor and quickly gets a clue that everyone at the party is part of the adult film industry...and that the director Sophie is talking to directs naked flicks. David rushes over and discreetly gives Sophie a heads up, and the two make a beeline for David's car.
The Beverly Beat. Brandon meets with Kelly and Leah to discuss his article, and he promises to paint Leah as the victim. Leah seems satisfied with that and heads out...but Kelly hangs back to tell Brandon she knows full well that he wants the D.C. job, and that if he doesn't take it, he'll always regret it. Brandon refuses to discuss the issue and stonily tells her he has work to do.
Sophie and David are looking over her headshots from the photo shoot...but Sophie isn't impressed, then says she's broke enough to throw all caution to the wind and call the porn director to see if he has a role for her in his next nudie film. David urges her to be patient and assures her that her chance will come.
Beach house. Brandon comes over to whisk Kelly down to the beach. He tells her that during Seasons 1-8 he was always so frightened of night swimming, then strips off his clothes and runs into the water. Kelly's like, "Aw, what the hell" and strips off her clothes and runs after him shrieking, "Brannnnndon! Wait for me!"
After the night swim, Brandon and Kelly huddle under a blanket and warm themselves by a fire. Kelly admits to being afraid of the unknown in the water at night, while Brandon says he's most frightened of the tide, particularly how everything - including all traces of him - get washed away. Kind of like what happened to Shannen Doherty after she got fired in Season 4. He says he's reluctant to become a responsible adult, but Kelly reminds him that they all have to grow up and follow their own paths in life. Brandon apologizes for not being a good enough friend to let her move on from their relationship, then decides he wants to plunge into the ocean a second time. Kelly approves of the metaphoric swim and tells him she's very proud of him.
Sophie asks David to drive her someplace so she can show him something...and that something turns out to be a billboard version of the nonsensical Where's Sophie? poster. She plops herself onto David's lap and tells him she hopes it leads to something, then thanks him for worrying about her...but assures him she'll make it in showbiz. But if not, she can always crash at her sister's Melrose Place apartment and take up with her brother-in-law. Heh.
Steve brings Brandon to the Peach Pit for a Surprise! You're moving away! party. Brandon argues that he's not going anywhere, but Valerie firmly retorts, "Yes you are" and says he needs to get out there and live his life, however much it hurts them to watch him go. Brandon's like, "Yeah, OK" and makes a beeline to the nearest pay phone to grovel to The Chronicle for his job back. Noah, meanwhile, apologizes to Donna for being so out of touch lately. She tells him she understands his daddy death problems, but says at some point he has to give something back so he's not just a broody regurgitation of Dylan, circa Season 5. Matt tells Kelly that he read Brandon's article and found it to be very fair, but Kelly snarks that she's less interested in Lenny's rights than those of his infant daughter, and barks at him to protect that baby. What an insufferable bossy boots she is to him. Over in the After Dark, David admits to Steve that he prolly should have been more open about hitting the sheets with Sophie, but assures him that he doesn't like her enough to blow an eight year friendship. Steve concurs, and the two share a man hug.
Michelle Phillips shows up at the Peach Pit to inform Valerie that she won't be turning her in to the authorities after all. She makes it clear that she doesn't forgive her for shooting her husband, but is keeping quiet about it 'cause she doesn't want people to know about the unholy acts that were repeatedly occurring right under her nose. Valerie snarks at her for keeping the secret just to keep up appearances, and that she's tired of feeling dirty and afraid and wants closure. Yes, it would be nice to get closure from his awful, awful storyline. Across the diner, Brandon tells Kelly he got his Chronicle job back...and the two agree that neither has regrets about anything, then hug.
Donna tries to call Noah...and when she's unable to reach him, she scrunches her big face in disappointment.
Noah is at the Hunter estate, staring at a framed photo of his father. He smashes it against the wall, then bursts into tears as he tosses his father's things into the fireplace.
The Walsh house. Brandon has finally finished packing his stuff, then tells Steve that he spoke to his parents, and they decided they're A-OK with Steve living in their house indefinitely...'cause, yeah, that's plausible for homeowners who live on the other side of the world. Steve thanks him for not uprooting him, then looks anguished as he says how tough it is to say goodbye.
As Brandon packs up his car and leaves the 90210 zip code for the last time, David bids him farewell from his DJ booth at the After Dark, while Kelly sadly stares out at the ocean from her balcony, wondering how on God's green earth this show continued to hobble along for another two seasons. Sorry, that was me, projecting.