Recap: The gang is assembled at the Walsh house, about to leave for a camping trip to Yosemite National Park...and by gang I mean Brenda, Brandon, Kelly, Donna, Steve, Ahn-drea, and David. We learn from Kelly that David is tagging along with them because Jackie, who's currently hitting the sheets with David's dad, made her invite him. As for the inclusion of Ahn-drea, I have no idea why anyone would voluntarily invite her anywhere. Brenda and Brandon are upstairs finishing up their packing. Brandon wants to bring his lucky hat, which Brenda thinks is nerdy. Kelly comes upstairs to complain that Steve is being a dick to Donna because of all the luggage she wants to bring on the trip. She wants Brandon to intervene, so he heads outside to see if he can restore the peace.
The Walsh driveway. Steve is admonishing Donna for the excessive amount of luggage she's bringing, and ridicules the shoulder pads that he presumptuously fished out of one of her bags. Yeesh...were shoulder pads really still in fashion in 1991? Brandon successfully mediates the conflict by sweetly suggesting to Donna that she consider bringing only the stuff she thinks she might actually wear...and also that she doesn't need an entire suitcase full of makeup because she's pretty enough without it. Whatever, Brandon. Dylan appears out of nowhere and helps Brandon load up the van with camping gear. He wasn't planning on going on the trip because his mother has just moved back to L.A. from Hawaii, and wanted to make sure she settled in OK...but then she made weekend plans to commune with herself in the desert. Dylan is annoyed about her sudden decision to ditch him for the entire weekend, and complains to Brandon about her endless cosmic mumbo-jumboing. Brandon encourages him to come along to Yosemite, and after a tiny bit of hemming and hawing, he agrees.
Brenda is still packing her stuff when Brandon comes into her room to announce that Dylan is coming on the trip after all. He hands his sister a pile of extra clothes to pack for Dylan...and this conversation distracts him from reminding Brenda to pack his lucky hat and hiking boots. It remains unclear why he couldn't just pack these things in his own bag.
Steve is getting impatient to hit the road, so Dylan offers to light a fire under Brenda's dumpster to hurry her along. He finds her in her bedroom and helps her zip her bulging bag. She tells him she's happy he's coming, and assures him that their platonic-ness won't be too weird during the camping trip.
Finally, it's time to go! The kids all clump together, and each of them sticks one of their arms in the middle of a makeshift circle, and they give themselves a big cheer before piling into the van and heading north.
En route to the park, the gang gets detoured by a violent thunder and lightning storm. The highway patrol has closed the roads, so they're stranded at some sort of cabin rental place. Brenda and Dylan are in the rental office, trying to procure lodging for the night while the rest of the group is huddled under a shelter, bickering about whose fault this is. Dylan and Brenda emerge from the rental office with good news and not so good news: they've got the last available cabin (good news), but it has a very leaky roof (not so good news). Everyone crowds inside the little cabin, and David immediately whips out his video camera to begin documenting this disaster in the making. Kelly snaps at him to put the camera away, and he looks around the cabin once more and remarks that there aren't enough beds for everyone. This comment prompts a longing, meaningful look to pass between Brenda and Dylan. Ahn-drea checks out the bathroom and freaks out at the sight of a tiny spider, which Brenda promptly flushes down the toilet. But then Brenda has her own freakout when she notices an empty mouse trap under the bathroom sink. Brandon tries his best to lift everyone's saggy spirits, but abruptly stops when he goes through his bag and realizes that his hiking boots didn't get packed. He gets pissed off at Brenda for forgetting, and Dylan wryly asks if they're having fun yet. No one's having fun, Dylan. Not the gang from Beverly Hills, and certainly not viewers like myself who are currently suffering through a tedious episode structured around non-stop petty arguments.
The girls unpack the snacks they brought along and are unhappy to discover that they're soggy from the rain. David adds to the general mood of unhappiness by complaining that no one - including himself, I'd like to point out - thought to bring along a CD player so they could play music. Donna points out that she brought a Sony Walkman, but of course that's useless to everyone except her. Steve announces that he's going out for a beer run and wants someone to go with him. Brandon's on the straight and narrow with alcohol ever since the B.Y.O.B. episode, so he's not interested. Steve asks Dylan, which immediately causes Brenda to rebuke Steve for tempting an alcoholic...and Dylan shoots Brenda the stink-eye and coldly tells her that he can speak for himself. David solves the problem by offering to accompany Steve, as does Donna, who announces that she's suddenly found herself in need of a supply of feminine hygiene products.
Brenda apologizes to Brandon for forgetting to pack his lucky hat and hiking boots, but then puts her foot in her mouth when she explains that she forgot because she had to pack all those extra clothes for her Slouchy ex-boyfriend. This, of course, upsets Slouchy and he stalks out of the cabin. Brenda runs out after him and apologizes for making him feel bad, then suggests that they all need to mellow out. They walk toward the vending machine and encounter a dark haired woman wearing a white silk negligee and matching robe. She asks Brenda for a spare quarter so she can get a soda, and the two strike up a friendly conversation. It's the woman's wedding night, and about a minute later her new husband comes out and chivalrously puts his coat around her for warmth. They introduce themselves as Allison and Neil...but Neil is short on chit-chat because he's horny and wants his bride to return to their cabin.
Steve's beer run has resulted in failure. Not ready to concede defeat, he gets an idea when he spots an older couple. He approaches them, describes to them his predicament, and slips them $50 to buy some beer for him. They agree, take the cash, and disappear inside the store.
Cabin. Brenda and Kelly are playing a mean game of Go Fish. Ahn-drea, meanwhile, is directing Brandon on how best to position logs in the fireplace, which is completely pointless because the logs are soaking wet. Dylan suggests asking the lovebirds next door if they have any spare dry wood, so Ahn-drea and Brandon go to their cabin to inquire. Allison looks happy to see them and invites them in for some hot chocolate...but Neil just looks annoyed at the intrusion.
The older couple that Steve had approached to buy beer emerge from the store, rush over to their car, and abscond with Steve's $50. Haha! Allison, meanwhile, is boring the hell out of Brandon and Ahn-drea with the story of how she and Neil met...offering up excruciating details about how they always knew they were meant to be together. But even Neil doesn't want to revisit those memories and shuts up his wife by initiating some frisky kissing action on the couch. Brandon takes this as their cue to leave, but Ahn-drea just stands there like a dimwit, gawking at the amorous couple until Brandon roughly yanks her out the door.
Cabin. A nice fire is going, so we'll assume that the newlyweds gave the kids some of their dry wood. Steve is annoyed that he lost his beer money and remarks that he can't wait until he's 21. David agrees and says he hates not being able to do things he wants because he's not yet old enough, and Donna and Kelly chime in about how much it sucks to be barred from seeing restricted movies and getting into cool dance clubs. Brenda tells everyone she's not in a hurry to be on her own, and Ahn-drea's biggest problem about being a minor is that she's not old enough to vote - a sentiment that I found to be suspiciously derivative of The Breakfast Club. The gang then moves on to ponder the meaning of life. Steve doesn't have a clue what it could be, which isn't at all surprising. Kelly suggests that the meaning of life is love and Ahn-drea concurs, probably because of her futile crush on Brandon. Depressed Dylan declares that the meaning of life is survival, and blows off love as a nuisance that just confuses people. Brenda retorts to this obvious insult to their past relationship by invoking the great love that exists between their newlywed neighbors, and says they're lucky to have found each other. By carefully scripted coincidence, Allison knocks on the door at that moment, and bursts in to tell the teens that Neil is a "stupid idiot". She wants to know if they have room in their tiny cabin for one more. Instead of answering, everyone just stares stupidly at each other with wide-eyed expressions on their faces, and the scene fades out for a commercial break...but since I'm watching this on a DVD, the scene resumes about three seconds later.
Allison announces to the roomful of underage strangers that she wants an annulment. She explains that she's pregnant and was planning on telling Neil that evening, but learned a few minutes ago that he doesn't want children. That sounds like something you should have discussed with your soon-to-be ex-husband before the wedding...but now that the horse is out of that barn, it's probably something you should be discussing with him right now - not a group of self-absorbed teenagers who have little to no interest in your life.
There's another knock on the door and it's Neil. Allison immediately tears up and flees to the bathroom. Neil has no idea what's wrong, other than the sudden realization that he's just married an emotionally unstable freak show. David nearly spills the beans about the pregnancy, but Kelly and Donna shut him up before he can get the words out, and tell Neil that the news is something that Allison should really be telling him. Steve's nonsensical advice to Neil is not to beg for forgiveness, while David decides that it's an excellent time to pick up his video camera and start filming again. When Allison finally emerges from the bathroom, she tells Neil that he's like a stranger to her. A puzzled Neil asks her if it's that time of the month, a comment that makes Allison run back into the bathroom, and me want to punch him in the head.
As Neil takes a seat to wait for his crazy ball and chain to come out of the bathroom, the conversation turns to the subject of divorce. Kelly, David, and Steve tell Neil that divorce sucks when you're the kid caught in the middle...but Neil assures them that he and Allison don't intend to have children. Allison hears this, and comes out of the bathroom and starts wailing at him. She eventually blurts out that she's pregnant, and Neil is shocked because he apparently didn't think she could get pregnant. I'm sensing a gigantic communication breakdown between this couple, already dysfunctional after half a day of marriage. Dylan is fed up with their fighting and announces that he's going to hang out in the cabin next door since no one's making use of it at the moment. Hee! Kelly remarks that he's being very antisocial, and Brenda follows him so she can needle him some more and push him completely over the edge.
Inside the newlyweds' cabin, Dylan is brooding and slouching on the couch. He tells Brenda that he had to bail 'cause he's not into this couple's psycho drama...and that it serves Neil and Allison right for getting married. Slouchy Grumpy Pants then complains about his negligent parents again and tells Brenda that because of his lousy upbringing, she has no right to criticize him for having a negative, sucky attitude about everything every minute of every day. Brenda tries to convince him that his life isn't totally shitty because he's got such great friends, and there are many girls who'd love to be his girlfriend. Ouch. That's kind of a sore spot, considering her recent dumping of him. Neil and Allison have obviously kissed and made up because they return to the honeymoon cabin looking ready to knock boots. Neil needlessly announces to Brenda and Dylan that he's now OK with his wife's pregnancy because he's got nine months to get used to the idea of fatherhood. But Dylan's unimpressed and gets all in Neil's face, challenging him to consider the damage he'll be causing if he doesn't get used to fatherhood, and then snarks to the deflating couple that he knows what it's like to be born a mistake. Brenda snaps at him to shut it, and they leave Allison and Neil to resume celebrating what's left of their dreary wedding night.
Slouchy Grumpy Pants takes off by himself in the chilly night. He finds a giant log to sit on, and pulls from his pocket a mini-bar bottle that he swiped from the newlyweds' cabin and starts guzzling. Brenda returns alone to the leaky cabin to join the rest of the gang, who's settling in their beds/sleeping bags for the night.
The next morning, Brandon emerges from the cabin to look for Dylan. After a quick search, he finds him propped up against the big log in a nearby wooded area. He admits to Brandon that he drank last night and puked his guts out...and that there's so much going wrong in his life that he feels like a giant failure. Brandon urges his troubled friend to stop beating himself up, and suggests that a nature hike might lift him out of his depressing mood so he can stop sucking the life out of everyone around him.
Cabin. David is filming everyone as they wake up. They're mostly cranky, hungry, and pretend sleepy. Ahn-drea opens the door and exclaims how gorgeous it is outside...but everyone is quickly startled when they realize that the van is gone, and that Brandon and Dylan are nowhere to be found.
Brandon and Dylan are hiking near a pretty waterfall, then decide to climb up a steep, rocky hill. They eventually make it to the top, but disaster quickly strikes when Brandon steps forward and starts slipping down the rocky side of the hill. Dylan lays himself flat and stretches out his arm so he can grab Brandon's hand. After a few tense, nail biting minutes (not really) Dylan is miraculously able to reach him and pull him up to safety. Brandon's all dirty, scratched up, missing a shoe, and very shaky. He tells Dylan he thought for sure he was about to die. The two clasp hands in a manly sort of way, officially cementing their friendship for life.
Cabin. The rest of the gang is all packed up, but they're antsy and worried about Dylan and Brandon. They breathe a collective sigh of relief when the van finally pulls up. Dylan and Brandon step out and happily greet the gang, keeping mum about the tragedy that almost was. Dylan and Brenda make up for sniping at each other last night, and Dylan encounters Neil and apologizes to him for acting like such a douche about his impending fatherhood. Neil tells him it's OK, and that he gave him and Allison a lot to think about.
The gang is now ready to drive to Yosemite to begin their weekend of camping. Ahn-drea goes over to talk to Brandon, and in a rare, but completely nauseating display of affection, he assures her that he's fine and hugs her with so much enthusiasm that he actually lifts her feet off the ground. Brandon really needs to stop sending Ahn-drea these kinds of mixed messages.
The kids all clump together to do the cheer thing again, and then off to Yosemite they go.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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