Recap: Papa Walsh and Brandon are helping Nat carry a bunch of boxes inside the Peach Pit. Papa Walsh excitedly tells Nat he's got a good feeling about this, and that it's going to bring in a lot more traffic to the diner. Since it's unclear what the hell he's talking about, here's a spoiler alert: the thing in the boxes is a karaoke machine. Ugh. Papa Walsh is super enthused about it and encourages Brandon to invite "the whole crew" to rock n' roll at the Peach Pit's karaoke debut the following evening. Nat doesn't look at all convinced that this is a good idea...probably because it's not a good idea. The novelty of watching a parade of talentless pretend singers bellowing into a microphone alongside a karaoke machine tends to wear off very quickly.
Cardio-funk aerobics class. The gym is filled with exercisers, many of whom are wearing ridiculous looking workout gear. Brenda and Kelly are aerobicizing in the back row, and there's a dorky guy in front of them who is hopelessly uncoordinated. He notices Brenda and Kelly behind him and awkwardly grooves in their direction. The instructor snaps at him to focus, so he snaps back that he is focusing. He then proceeds to abandon all focus and quickly introduces himself to Brenda and Kelly...and as soon as he's out of earshot, Kelly remarks that Dork Boy is cute. Brenda gives her a judgey look and haughtily tells her that they didn't come to cardio-funk class to meet guys. Actually, I think the gym is probably one of the better places to meet guys...and Kelly must agree with my sentiment 'cause she tells Brenda to "Speak for yourself."
Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Hey, Dumb Betty from The Green Room episode is back! She's standing in front of the mic, telling the group what a hot mess her life has degenerated into. You may recall that when we last saw Dumb Betty, she was trying to surf while sloshed...and would have drowned if not for the heroic actions of Brandon and Brenda. Sometime after that, Dumb Betty hooked up with a deadbeat who became her boyfriend, moved in with him, and the two started drinking excessively together. A couple of weeks ago, the deadbeat beat her up, so she split up with him and has only managed to stay sober for one week. Yeesh. Her life really is a hot mess.
Cardio-funk aerobics class. After class, Dork Boy saunters over to where Brenda and Kelly are packing up their exercise stuff. For some inexplicable reason, he's smitten with Brenda and lays on the schmoozy bullcack when he asks her if she's an actress, dancer, or Star Search spokesmodel. Brenda is forthcoming with him, telling him she's a high school student at West Beverly. He tells her that he used to attend Beverly High, but is now a college student at UCLA, studying pre-med. Brenda introduces him to Kelly, though he barely glances her way and proceeds to invite Brenda out for a bite to eat. Kelly makes a disapproving grunt, so Brenda tells him she can't go because Kelly is her ride. Dork Boy offers to give her a ride home, but Brenda declines. When he asks if he can call her sometime, she tells him that she has a boyfriend, but this doesn't seem to faze Dork Boy, and he says he's looking forward to seeing her at cardio-funk class again on Sunday night. Brenda hesitates, since it's obvious that she hadn't planned on aerobicizing twice during the weekend. But impulsively she tells him that, yes, she'll see him on Sunday night. Dork Boy happily skips off, and Kelly reminds Brenda that they only made plans to attend cardio-funk on Friday nights - when Dylan is at his AA meetings. Brenda breezily declares that she needs more exercise, which prompts Kelly to accuse her of using exercise as an excuse to explore a possible hook-up with Dork Boy. Brenda weakly denies it.
Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Dylan approaches Dumb Betty, who remembers him from Season 1. She greets him warmly then asks about Brandon, and Dylan tells her he sees him at school all the time. Dumb Betty recalls how he and his sister saved her from drowning, and remarks how much she wants to get back into surfing again. Dylan informs her that he's planning to go surfing the next morning and invites her to come along. She's definitely into it.
The Peach Pit. Nat and Brandon are assembling the karaoke machine when they hear a knock on the front door. It's Dylan. He stopped by to tell Brandon that he ran into Dumb Betty earlier. Brandon asks how she's doing, but then gets barked at by stupid Nat to resume helping him with the karaoke machine. That scene was kind of superfluous.
The Walsh house. Dylan drops by unexpectedly, which surprises Brenda. He came to show off his ninety day sobriety chip to her, and she pretends to be impressed. Dylan then invites her to come to the next AA meeting with him, which happens to be on Sunday night. Brenda wavers, remembering that she promised Dork Boy she'd see him at cardio-funk...so she tells Dylan she has something planned. But when she sees the crestfallen look on his face, she quickly changes her mind and promises to come to the AA meeting with him instead. Dylan looks happy and thanks her for wedging him into her busy schedule. The two kiss goodnight.
Ocean. Dylan arrives at the beach in his Porsche and finds Dumb Betty already there. She tells him how great it feels to be going surfing again, and thanks him for encouraging her to come out. After a montage of surfing clips that look suspiciously like they were lifted from Season 1, the two lounge on the sand together. Dumb Betty tells Dylan that she dropped out of school and now has a job at a hair salon, and that her goal in life is to attend beauty school to become a hairdresser. Do people really still call it 'beauty school'? They joke about her cutting his hair, and the interaction turns flirty when she runs a hand through his gel-encrusted mop. Mmm hmm...this doesn't bode well for a future relationship as platonic friends.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh is very excited to showcase his horrendous singing abilities at the karaoke debut at the Peach Pit that evening. He tells his family about his clients who claim that once people discover the fun of karaoke, they immediately become hooked. No doubt these "clients" are the karaoke machine resellers responsible for saddling Nat with the dumb thing. The phone rings, and Mama Walsh answers it. It's Dork Boy, calling for Brenda. She doesn't want to take the call, but Mama Walsh ignores her protests and forcibly hands her the receiver. Brenda has a brief, awkward conversation with Dork Boy as her family stares at her curiously. Based on her end of the conversation, it sounds like she turned down an invitation to get together with him.
Ocean. Dumb Betty thanks Dylan once again for encouraging her to get out into the fresh air and go surfing. She asks him out to the movies for that evening, but he tells her he already has plans. She then whines about how it's so hard to be by herself these days, and he suggests filling the void by attending multiple AA meetings. Ouch.
The Peach Pit. It's karaoke night, and the diner is packed. Nat gives Papa Walsh the honor of singing the first song with the karaoke machine, so he proudly struts over and starts crooning Do Wah Diddy...and it's so painfully cheese-tastic that even Mama Walsh looks completely mortified. After that embarrassing display, we get a montage of the teenage cast members each taking their turns singing badly and giggling. The novelty of karaoke has officially worn off for me, and I'm ready to see this torture machine tossed into the Peach Pit's dumpster asap.
Dylan's house. After a raucous night of karaoke-ing, Dylan brings Brenda back to his place. He makes a beeline for the refrigerator and asks her if she wants something to eat. But Brenda just stands near the door, makes a face, and remarks how times have changed. She explains that normally when they step foot inside his house, they're so busy going at it that neither of them would be thinking about food. Ew. Dylan rewinds and walks toward her for a big smooch. She then notices that there's a message waiting on his answering machine...and it's from Dumb Betty, who tells him that she needs a drink really badly and that he should call her. Sounds like this girl is in dire need of her own AA sponsor. Brenda is annoyed, so Dylan explains that it's someone from AA who needs his help...so she tells him it's OK if he drops her off so he can spend the rest of the evening helping the distressed wino.
Dumb Betty's apartment. Dumb Betty is relieved to see Dylan when he arrives. Her abusive ex-boyfriend, who is never referred to by name so we'll just call him Deadbeat, is in the apartment and refuses to leave. He's passed out in a sitting position, still clutching a bottle in his hand. Definitely not a keeper. Dylan jolts Deadbeat awake and tells him it's time to hit the road. Deadbeat assumes that Dylan is sleeping with Dumb Betty and is therefore the reason she broke up with him. He calls her a slut, at which point Dylan orders him to take his bottle and go elsewhere...and surprisingly, Deadbeat leaves without further incident. Dumb Betty hugs Dylan in a really needy, clingy way and tells him how frightened she is that the douchebag will return.
The next day, Brenda and Kelly are jogging together around the Walsh's neighborhood. Brenda mentions the phone message that was left on Dylan's machine last night and tells Kelly she recognized the voice. She knows it's the girl who she and Brandon saved from drowning in Season 1, and she's really irritated at Dylan for not telling her. She's also paranoid 'cause she called Dylan late last night and he still hadn't gotten home yet. Kelly brushes off her concerns and assumes there's a simple explanation...and then cattily points out that it's not as though Brenda told Dylan about how she flirted with Dork Boy at the gym. Hee! Brenda gets all defensive again and denies engaging in any kind of flirtatious activity.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh wants to relive his fond memories of last night's karaoke debut and starts up with another round of "Do Wah Diddy". Mama Walsh orders him to shut it just as Brenda and Kelly burst in through the kitchen door after their jog. Brenda asks if Dylan called while they were out, and Brandon informs her that Dylan didn't call...but a certain Dork Boy did. Kelly is shocked to hear that Dork Boy is calling her. Brandon hands Brenda a message with Dork Boy's number on it...then asks who he is. Brenda explains that he's just some guy she met in her exercise class.
Dumb Betty's apartment. Dylan ended up spending the night at Dumb Betty's apartment, and wakes up on her couch. She serves him a crappy looking breakfast, along with a soda in lieu of coffee. I guess she was all out. Dumb Betty thanks him for staying over and compliments his cuteness before leaning in for a kiss. Dylan returns her kiss, but then gently shoves her away. He tells her that making out right now would not be a good idea since she's supposed to be following a 12-step program, and therefore probably shouldn't be rubbing up against every guy who's nice to her. He then drops the bomb that he has a girlfriend, and Dumb Betty looks put out and immediately gets teary. Dylan apologizes and admits he should have told her this a lot sooner. No duh, Slouchy. Dumb Betty whines that she doubts she'll be able to get sober by herself and collapses against him in another clingy hug. Yeesh, this girl needs to be shipped off to a rehab center like yesterday.
Cardio-funk aerobics class. Dork Boy shows up to exercise class with the hope of running into Brenda again. Kelly, who came by herself, informs him that Brenda had plans with her boyfriend. Dork Boy then makes some remark about how Brenda is fair game because she and Dylan aren't exactly engaged. He is annoyingly persistent, this Dork Boy.
Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. As promised, Brenda has accompanied Dylan to his AA meeting. After it's over, she tells Dylan how surprised she is that the meeting didn't bore or depress the hell out of her. LOL. Also surprising to her was how personal people are willing to get in front of a large group...and then she remarks that Dylan has been unusually quiet this evening. Before he can respond, a gaunt looking guy named Ben (Dylan's sponsor), comes over to meet Brenda. As they exchange niceties, Dylan looks around the room for Dumb Betty, but she's a no show. But Ben is far less worried about her and advises Dylan to work his program and let Dumb Betty work hers.
The Peach Pit. A horrible singer is karaoke-ing. Steve and Ahn-drea openly laugh at the woman, while David and Donna make disparaging comments. Mama and Papa Walsh drop by the diner, and Nat thanks Papa Walsh for bringing karaoke to the Pit. Business has been good, though this only means that the horror that is karaoke hasn't turned off enough of his customers yet.
Kelly shows up at the Pit with Dork Boy. He insisted on tagging along with her so he could maximize his chances of seeing Brenda again. I'm starting to wonder how this pre-med college student has so much free time on his hands to be chasing after a teenage girl he barely knows...and, more disturbingly, why he chooses not to pursue women his own age. Kelly introduces Dork Boy to the gang...and after several minutes, Brenda and Dylan arrive. Brandon discreetly warns his sister that Dork Boy is presently in the diner, and when Dylan asks her who the hell that is, she tells him it's just a guy she met in her cardio-funk class. Dork Boy spots Brenda and rushes over to greet her, a move which does not go over well with Dylan. He mutters to Brenda that he's going to try to get a hold of Dumb Betty and slouches off in the direction of the pay phone. Mama Walsh comes over and gets an introduction to Dork Boy, then wryly points out Papa Walsh, who's once again making an ass of himself alongside the karaoke machine. Dork Boy is then somehow able to convince Brenda to join him in making an ass of himself. Brenda agrees, and the two sing Wild Thing together. Dylan, meanwhile, doesn't have any luck reaching Dumb Betty and isn't amused by the sight of his girlfriend karaoke-ing with another guy. He irritably motions for her to come over to him and informs her that he's going to swing by Dumb Betty's apartment to see if she's OK. Brenda isn't thrilled about that, but she tells him she understands. The instant Dylan leaves, Dork Boy eagerly offers to give her a ride home.
Dumb Betty's apartment. Dylan arrives at the apartment and finds a drunk Dumb Betty, along with Deadbeat, who's also drunk. Dumb Betty starts raving nonsensically, blaming Dylan for her inebriated state 'cause he turned his back on her when she needed him most. Dylan tries to convince her to leave with him, but she refuses and instead orders him to get out. Deadbeat gets in the game and tells Dylan to leave and then takes a swing at him...but since he's too drunk to aim properly, Dylan ducks and easily knocks him to the floor. Dumb Betty rushes to Deadbeat's aid and screams at Dylan to get the hell out...and since his presence there clearly isn't wanted, he leaves the two guzzlers alone to self destruct.
The Walsh house. Mama Walsh is peering out the window, watching Brenda and Dork Boy as they talk near the front door. She's curious what this means for Brenda's relationship with Dylan. Papa Walsh, who obviously couldn't care less about this pointless storyline, tiredly points out that the two are merely talking.
Outside. Brenda thanks Dork Boy for giving her a ride home. He says he'll disappear from her life if she comes right out and tells him to get lost - but Brenda looks unsure and can't bring herself to completely sever ties. They kiss, but immediately afterward she tells him she shouldn't be doing this. She kisses him again, but then tells him she can't and that she's sorry for leading him on. Dork Boy takes it all in stride, but encourages her to consider dumping Dylan so she can start seeing him. She promises to mull it over.
The next morning, Brandon enters Brenda's room to ask if her if she's getting up for school. She's lounging in bed, depressed and confused about her boyfriend situation...then confesses to Brandon that she kissed Dork Boy. Brandon's a little surprised to hear that, but doesn't think it's any big deal since she and Dylan aren't married or anything. Brenda, however, considers it to be a big deal and tells her brother she feels guilty for even wanting to kiss another guy.
The Peach Pit. An old man is karaoke-ing to a Willie Nelson song, and it looks like the gang has finally had enough. Steve orders Brandon to give Nat an ultimatum: either the karaoke machine goes, or they go. They're prepared to boycott the diner if they have to endure one more horrific rendition of To All the Girls I've Loved Before. Brandon quickly relays the message to Nat, and he immediately caves in to their demands...and doesn't seem to mind being given an ultimatum by a clique of snooty, self-involved teenagers. He good-naturedly explains to Brandon that the Peach Pit is, at heart, a jukebox joint. More importantly, he knows he's not going to get any airtime if this group of teenagers suddenly decides to frequent a different restaurant. He does, however, ask a favor of Brandon, which is to break the sad news to karaoke-loving Papa Walsh.
Cardio-funk aerobics class. After the cool-down, Dork Boy comes over to Brenda and asks her what she's doing later. Now that we're finally nearing the conclusion of this completely irrelevant, self-contained episode, Brenda has made a firm choice. She tells him that they can't see each other anymore, then blathers on for a little while about how she's young and should want to see a lot of guys...but at the moment she's only interested in spending time with a certain slouchy hipster. She explains how Dylan's behavior the other night may have appeared to be rude and shitty, but he had to leave abruptly because he was helping a boozer in need. Dork Boy sheepishly admits that he jumped to conclusions because he wanted to believe that Dylan wasn't good enough for her. Now that he and Brenda have parted ways forever, Dork Boy shifts his attention to Kelly. He informs her that Brenda turned him down for good and asks Kelly if she has a boyfriend. She says no, so he introduces himself to her as though he hasn't just made a total horse's ass of himself throughout the entire episode, chasing after Brenda. Kelly smiles and gamely shakes his hand, which I found a little strange 'cause I didn't think Kelly was the type of girl to settle for sloppy seconds. But then, she does hook up with Dylan in Season 3 and then dates Matt in Season 9 after he and Donna go on a few dates...so what do I know? Maybe she really is a sloppy seconds kind of gal.
Dylan's house. Dylan and Brenda are seated together on the couch, each pondering the acts of infidelity they committed throughout the episode. Dylan apologizes for being so preoccupied with Dumb Betty, and Brenda tells him she knows it was the same girl she and Brandon had saved from drowning. I still don't see how or why that matters. Dylan tells her that Dumb Betty chose to reconnect with Deadbeat, and then spurned his efforts to help her dry out. He then asks Brenda if he needs to worry about Dork Boy, and Brenda tells him he doesn't...but admits to kissing him. This prompts Dylan to admit that he kissed someone else too. Brenda wonders aloud what's happening to them, and Dylan assures her he doesn't want anything like this to break them up...and as they cuddle, Dylan tells her their relationship is going to be A-OK. She may want to get that in writing.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh is wearing headphones and playing his little portable keyboard while singing Wild Thing...and it sounds a lot worse than when he sang along with the karaoke machine, since there's not enough background music to adequately drown out his voice. Mama Walsh and Brandon look on, realizing with dismay that this is how he has elected to cope with the sudden demise of karaoke at the Peach Pit.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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