Recap: Brandon is walking down the hall at West Beverly High, minding his own business when Ahn-drea spots him and calls out, "Hey, yo Ace!" and then comes running over to him. Ahn-drea sounds really stupid when she says yo, and I also really hate it when she calls Brandon Ace...about as much as I hate it when he calls her Chief. Gaa - there's already so much hate and I've barely begun recapping this episode. Ahn-drea tells Brandon she has a proposition for him and in response he quips, "Your desk or mine?" Blech, Brandon. Blech. You really shouldn't be saying things that the needy, love-starved Ahn-drea could misinterpret as you having feelings for her. Ahn-drea has decided that Brandon should run for student council president because the person she was planning to vote for has chickened out and she doesn't want any "popular airheads" being elected to student government. As if any of this is Brandon's problem. But apparently it is because Ahn-drea gets all haughty and in his face, demanding to know if he's a candidate or a coward. Brandon is, in fact, a total pussy because he dutifully obeys Ahn-drea's command and immediately enters himself in the presidential race.
Not long after that conversation, David Silver is walking alongside Brandon and a small entourage, holding a microphone and interviewing him about his candidacy. Wow - that was unbelievably fast. Aren't candidates for student council required to collect a certain number of signatures, and then get them approved or something? Standing a few feet away from all the hoopla is Brenda, who's shocked to learn that her brother is running for student council president. She grumbles to Kelly about being the last to know about this, despite the fact that she's his sister...but Kelly is barely listening because she's too busy getting turned on by Brandon's future position of power.
The Walsh house. The doorbell rings and Brenda answers it, surprised to find Kelly and Donna on her doorstep. The three girls have plans to go out for the evening, but she was expecting Kelly to just honk from the driveway in her normal rude fashion. But everything has changed now that Brandon is seeking to hold the highest political office at West Beverly, and both Kelly and Donna - but especially Kelly - are suddenly very smitten. Kelly offers Brandon her personal congratulations and Donna fondles his arm and then kisses his cheek. Brenda looks completely icked out by the flirty attention her friends are paying her brother and goes upstairs to change into a more stylish jacket. She's feeling out of sorts and tries to confide this to her mother. Oddly, though, Mama Walsh isn't into having a mother-daughter bonding session at that moment, and she breezily tells Brenda that it's all part of being a teenager and then goes back downstairs.
Brenda, Kelly and Donna arrive at a "performance oriented coffee house" called The Fallout Club. Kelly says it's the newest, hottest thing. A young Carrie Hamilton is lounging on a couch onstage, regaling the audience with the sad story of her awkward teenage years. She jokes about being a social outcast because she had to change schools so often and describes her battle plan, which was to join not one clique, but every clique. This gets a hearty laugh out of Brenda, but a cold stink-eye from Kelly. Joining anything other than the right clique is no laughing matter to an A-list princess like Kelly.
Brandon's room. Steve is babbling to Brandon about his new lust interest, Sarah. She has an amazing body and for some inane reason only wears orange. Brandon is only half listening, not just because Steve is a shallow moron, but because he's busily working on his campaign speech. Steve tells him that writing the speech is a waste of time, and instead encourages Brandon to go out with a lot of girls to "nail their votes". OK, ew, but how is this going to help with the male demographic, Steve? Fortunately, Brandon doesn't think that becoming a whore-boy would be the most prudent campaign strategy...but he does admit to Steve that he doesn't think he has the killer instinct necessary to run for student office.
The Fallout Club. Carrie Hamilton is wrapping up the sad tale of her teenage years, and when she's finished everyone claps. Since she's also a waitress at the club, she promptly gets back to doing her job and stops by the girls' table to take their drink orders. Brenda compliments her performance with a fair bit of gushing, and it looks a bit like she's developing a girl crush on Carrie Hamilton. Some flunkie named Jack is the next performer, and he starts his schtick by poking fun at Kelly for being a stereotypical California bimbo who's wearing too much makeup. Kelly gets offended and wants to leave, but Brenda retorts with a cheeky wisecrack and, to the surprise of her friends, puts Jack in his place by sassing him in front of the entire audience.
The Walsh house. The Walshes are working on some sort of homespun craft project at the kitchen table. Brenda is telling her parents how much she enjoyed the performance oriented coffee house. She, Kelly and Donna have plans to go back there for a "political blabfest". Good grief. However, when Kelly and Donna arrive, they tell Brenda that they no longer want to go to the blabfest and would prefer to work on Brandon's campaign. Kelly brags that she's an asset to the campaign because she knows practically everyone in school, to which Brenda snidely retorts that up until a day ago, she's only ever demonstrated a complete disinterest in politics. Brandon ignores their squabbling and just says he is appreciative of any help he can get. A new wave of conflict arises when Ahn-drea enters the Walsh house, loaded down with posters and signs. She gets all peeved when Kelly smugly appoints herself Brandon's Campaign Manager...and pulls Brandon aside and admits to being a big fat liar when she told him that a friend had dropped out of the election - it was she who was too cowardly to run. Brandon doesn't seem to care that she's a shameless, obnoxious, cowardly liar...and half-heartedly assures her that his campaign still needs her help.
The Fallout Club. Carrie Hamilton is happy to see Brenda when she arrives for the blabfest. She mentions an earth relief benefit that she and Jack are hosting the next morning, but Brenda moans that she can't go because she has school. D'yuh...most people with jobs would be at work, which begs the question: why would anyone schedule a benefit on a weekday morning? Carrie Hamilton is sympathetic about Brenda's predicament and tells her that when she was a teenager, high school was such a major drag that she couldn't get out of bed before noon...and remedied this problem by dropping out at the age of sixteen. Shortly after this insane decision, she had an awakening to become involved in environmental causes. Following that awakening, she left home to drive across the country with her cousin...and after that, she jetted off to Greece and experienced many fabulous adventures before ending up in this performance oriented coffee shit-house. Her glamorized biography is missing the part about how she was able to finance all of this travel, as well as her living expenses. But Brenda's too busy glowing with admiration to question whether any part of this story is bullcack; she's clearly very captivated by the thought of going out into the world and experiencing her own fabulous adventures.
West Beverly High. Brenda is talking to a guidance counselor, or someone, about getting a high school equivalency form. The form will have to be signed by her parents, which makes it highly doubtful that she'll be dropping out of school anytime soon. Even so, up until now, it's still the most moronic idea that Brenda has allowed to take root in her silly head.
The Walsh house. Naturally Mama and Papa Walsh are adamantly opposed to Brenda's plan to drop out of high school and take an equivalency test. And she doesn't help her case by offering a compelling reason to do so, other than jabbering about her new friend at The Fallout Club and all the life lessons she can learn from a waitressing, high school dropout. Papa Walsh tries to reason with her that it would be an irreversibly stupid decision to drop out of school at her age, and explains that it's very common for teenagers to have frivolous fantasies that have no basis in reality. Brenda retorts that she's been raised so well that she's ahead of herself, and this made me laugh out loud. If by "raised so well" she means "over-indulged by lax parents who are often afraid to set boundaries" then yes...she's been raised so well. But Mama and Papa Walsh still aren't convinced this is a good idea, and refuse to sign the high school equivalency form. Brenda gets all pissy, stomps upstairs to her room and slams the door like a six year old.
Brandon's room. Kelly is taking photographs of Brandon for his campaign posters, but she's not entirely happy with his look. Something's missing...so she advises him to model himself on past presidential candidates, like Gary Hart for example. Because his '88 campaign went so well. Ahn-drea is irritated by Kelly's emphasis on Brandon's looks, and tries to steer them towards focusing on issues. Brandon's vacuous platform does include one bright idea, and that is to feed homeless people with leftover cafeteria food. How appetizing for the homeless. Suddenly Brenda pops into his room and announces to the three of them that she's launching a campaign of her own...to leave school. Brandon tells her she's seriously nuts to drop out, and that is a mild understatement. Brenda really does crave attention, and seems to have no problem with the kind that makes her look very stupid.
Campaign Manager Kelly is directing Brandon to mingle around campus and press the flesh with as many potential voters as possible. She spots David nearby as he's eating lunch with Scott, and marches over to him to tell him that she wants him to create a hot campaign video for Brandon. David is torn because he's been assigned to broadcast a debate between the candidates and should probably stay neutral...but his horniness for Kelly is overpowering enough to burn a hole in the crotch of his pants. Kelly makes the decision an easy one when she sits very closely beside him and promises that she'll go out with him if he does her this favor.
Elsewhere on campus, Brenda is sitting alone, working on some drivel that she's planning to perform at The Fallout Club. A dorky looking guy approaches her, and her first instinct is to snarl at him because she's tired of people approaching her to talk about Brandon's candidacy - and she assumes that's why he's talking to her. But it turns out he's just lonely and starved for some friendly conversation...though it's beyond me why he'd want to approach a prickly bitch like Brenda. Kelly notices them talking and makes a beeline over to Brenda to express her disapproval. The dorky guy is Michael Miller, and he's Brandon's opponent in the election. But Brenda doesn't care about Kelly's displeasure and snarks that Michael came over to talk to her not because she's Brandon's sister, but because he was fake interested in her monologue.
The Fallout Club. Brenda shows her monologue to Carrie Hamilton and Jack. They both give her pointers on how to improve it, and then Jack offers some nonsensical advice that she should unlearn everything she's learned. Carrie Hamilton then mentions that she has to go out of town for a few days and is looking for a house-sitter to take care of her place while she's away. Jack's definitely not interested, but Brenda is totally up for it.
The Walsh house. Kelly shows Brandon and Ahn-drea the hot campaign video that David created. It's a silly montage that mostly just showcases Brandon's wavy hair and dreamy blue eyes...and it looks a lot like the footage shown during the show's opening credits. It gets slightly comedic when David's voice-over refers to him as "Bran...the Man." Ahn-drea looks confused and asks what this video has to do with the election...because it obviously has fuck-all to do with the election or any issues. She's getting fed up with the beefcake image that Kelly has been cultivating, snaps that she hopes he loses the election, and then hits the road. This leaves Kelly alone with Brandon, who's acting very flirty and into him. He tries to fend off her advances, pointing out that Steve would not like it if they hooked up...but she reminds him that lately Steve is busy chasing after an orange clad girl. Before they get a chance to seriously make out, Brenda arrives home and notices them looking cozy. She snootily tells them that she's evolved past any sort of trivial high school drama because she's off to experience the real thing. A few minutes later, Mama and Papa Walsh stop by her room, and they're shocked when she dramatically announces that she's moving out...even though she's not really moving out. She's house-sitting an apartment for three days. I found it funny that about two seconds after Brenda "moves out", Brandon takes over her bedroom and turns it into campaign headquarters, promptly filling it with boxes of "Bran...the Man" posters and flyers.
Carrie Hamilton's apartment. Carrie Hamilton is getting ready to leave for her parents' place in Modesto. She hands her keys over to Brenda, who is thrilled to have a place of her own. Aside from this being a contrived plot device, there really is no reason that someone would have to house-sit this little apartment for such a short period of time. I don't see any kids or pets that require daily care, and houseplants don't count.
West Beverly High. Brenda comes to school dressed in a yellow sack dress and a terrible hat - an outfit that was clearly inspired by Carrie Hamilton's schlumpy taste. Down the hall, a group of students are clustered around a television that's running Brandon's hot campaign video. Kelly brazenly hands David a list of questions she would like included in the debate, and he tells her he can't accept them because he's moderating the debate. But his conflict of interest doesn't faze Kelly, and she tells him that her phone number is on the back of the list.
Brandon is pressing the flesh again, and the spectacle of it is irritating Brenda. She complains to Ahn-drea that Brandon is being hypocritical by shaking hands with people he doesn't like, and she thinks he's allowing himself to be manipulated by Kelly. And speaking of Kelly, she walks up to Brenda with a look of disdain at the fugly yellow get-up. She sneers that it's "hippy witch", a look which is definitely not in, and claims that Brenda's bad fashion sense could have a negative effect on Brandon's campaign. I think that's a bit of a stretch, but if it gets Brenda to rethink the appeal of the shapeless sack dress, I'm all for it. Brandon saunters over to them and invites his sister to a campaign party that's being held at Donna's house that evening, but Brenda bitchily declines because she has to feed Carrie Hamilton's fish. Oops...I guess I was wrong about there being no pets to care for in the apartment.
Carrie Hamilton's apartment. Brenda returns to find the front door of the apartment wide open, and the place being emptied out. A strange man is in the process of repossessing all of the furniture. Brenda panics and tries to phone Jack, but of course the phone's been disconnected. Magically he appears in the doorway a moment later, not at all surprised by what's happening. I'm guessing this is why he didn't want to house-sit. He brought a can of spaghetti with him and suggests that the two of them share it for their dinner...and then he lights up a cigarette and sort of comes on to her, which is creepy. Fortunately this situation doesn't get a chance to degenerate further because without warning Kelly, Brandon and the rest of the campaign party show up. They had to move the party from Donna's house for some unexplained, contrived reason, and coming to this apartment was the best idea the group could come up with. Steve makes an entrance with his gal, who has poured herself into a tight orange dress, and boorishly asks Brenda where the bedroom is. It's at your house, Steve. Kelly is visibly icked out by the apartment and complains about how there's no food, furniture, gas, or running water. Oh...or electricity, since that too gets shut off shortly after people start to arrive.
With no functioning utilities in the apartment, the group decides to head over to the Peach Pit, but not before some good old-fashioned sniping can take place. Kelly refers to Brenda's temporary home as "the apartment from hell", while Brenda accuses Brandon of being self-absorbed with his campaign and stealing all of her friends. Brandon then complains that Brenda didn't offer him the apartment as a venue for his campaign party, which is a completely unreasonable expectation. Brenda snaps that Brandon definitely has what it takes to be a slimy politician - and all this squabbling has finally turned off Jack, who says goodnight and beats a hasty retreat. Eventually Brenda is left alone in a dark, unfurnished, stank apartment.
West Beverly High. The presidential debate is five minutes away and Brandon is getting confidence pumped into him by Kelly, Donna, and Steve. Just before showtime, Brandon has an illuminating conversation with his opponent, Michael Miller. Michael may be a dork, but he's no one's fool. He knows how popular "Bran...the Man" is, and also how shallow the student body at West Beverly is, so he fully expects Brandon to win 80% of the vote. He compliments Brandon on his slick campaign...no doubt referring to his silly campaign video. It's now clear to Brandon that Michael is the more qualified, serious, and honorable candidate. In fact, he seems exactly like the kind of candidate Ahn-drea would want to throw her support behind...unless of course she thought his dorkiness made him unelectable. We'll have to assume this is the case, because if it isn't, the logic of this entire episode is at stake.
The debate. Brandon is up at the podium, making promises that will be impossible to keep. One of them is to get rock bands to perform at the school every Friday during lunch. Naturally everyone applauds. But then Michael puts Brandon on the spot and forces a reality check when asks how he plans to implement this. Brandon instantly chokes because he hasn't developed anything on his platform past the idea phase. He then publicly concedes that Michael is the better candidate and throws the full weight of his support behind him. As the crowd applauds and the two shake hands, Michael looks stunned and touched...and since it looks like he's Brandon's only competition, he's sure to be sworn in as West Beverly's new student council president.
Kelly is horrified that she compromised what little integrity she has and laments wasting two weeks of her life helping the losing team of the election. But her attitude toward Brenda has mellowed somewhat, and she pulls Brenda aside to ask her how apartment life is going. Aren't these three days up yet? She asks if Brenda wants to hang out, but Brenda declines because she's still preparing for her performance at The Fallout Club. David then bounds over to Kelly, reminding her of her pre-election results promise to go out with him. He mentions something about his dad's hot tub and Kelly's all, "Ew."
The Walsh house. Brenda stops by to pick up some clean clothes before heading back over to the barren apartment. Everyone seems happy to see her, and Mama Walsh rushes into the kitchen to make her a tuna sandwich. Brenda inquires where the high school equivalency form is, and Mama Walsh tells her again that they're not going to sign it. Brenda gets all prickly bitchy and snaps that she just asked where it was, then stomps off angrily. Her beleaguered parents debate how best to deal with her, and Mama Walsh decides that instead of a swift kick in the arse like she truly deserves, Brenda needs a care package! And so Mama Walsh packs a bag full of sustenance that Brenda can take back to the apartment with her.
Carrie Hamilton's apartment. Carrie Hamilton has returned, and she's sitting on the floor of her empty apartment looking very depressed. Brenda apologizes about everything going to shit under her watch, but Carrie Hamilton understands that it wasn't her fault. No shit, dumbass. It's your fault for not paying your bills for God knows how long...and frankly, youshould be apologizing to Brenda. Carrie Hamilton moans about how hard it is to be on her own, how shitty the pay is at The Fallout Club, and how she's not living her dream. She then admits that the purpose of her trip to Modesto was to beg her parents for money. Until now she couldn't bring herself to be honest with Brenda about the shambles her life is in, because Brenda seemed to look up to her so much. Brenda feels badly and decides to stay in the apartment to keep Carrie Hamilton company - and within minutes the two are digging into Mama Walsh's care package like a pair of rabid dogs.
The Fallout Club. Brenda is onstage, sharing her life story with the audience. She discusses her pursuit of independence and admits that this recent experience taught her that she's not ready to grow up yet. No duh. And so she'll stay in high school and cultivate her prickly personality for a few more years, and then unleash it onto the wider world when she feels more ready. During her monologue, the rest of the Walsh clan has slipped inside the club to hear Brenda's words of wisdom. Kelly's there too - in fact, she had tipped off the Walshes about Brenda's performance because she wanted lots of buffers along on her faux date with David.
Brenda's room. Mama and Papa Walsh are being all nice to Brenda, treating her with kid gloves as not to provoke her inner bitch so late in the day. But Brandon is less careful and blurts out that he enjoyed having the bathroom all to himself while she was away. A "Bran...the Man" campaign poster is still hanging on the door, and the two laugh at the cheesiness of it - at least that's why I was laughing at it. Brandon autographs it for his sister, and then defaces his face by graffiti-ing a fake moustache and beard.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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