Recap: It's Dylan's eighteenth birthday, and the gang is having a party for him at the Peach Pit. They all sing "Happy Birthday" as Nat carries over an elaborately decorated cake with a surfer theme. Dylan jovially begs them to stop singing, blows out the candles, then starts coughing uncontrollably. He brushes it off as nothing serious...and suddenly there's music! The party guests start grooving to the beat, and Nikki tries to get Brandon to join her on the makeshift dance floor, but he refuses and so she boogies with David instead. Ahn-drea, meanwhile, corners Gil Meyers so they can discuss her Emily Dickinson paper...but he tells her he's off-duty and to go away 'cause he doesn't want to talk business. When she presses the issue and demands to know why he only gave her a B+, Gil wearily tells her they're at a party and saunters off. Haha!
Sue Scanlon enters the diner with a bushy-haired hooligan and runs into Gil. He greets her warmly and offers her a piece of birthday cake, but she declines and asks him what she has to do to get a decent grade from him - take her clothes off? Gil looks discombobulated by the sleazy offer, flails around helplessly, then awkwardly introduces Sue to Ahn-drea, who's conveniently sitting nearby. Sue explains to Gil that her kooky mother is going to kill her if she fails freshman English, so he advises her to maybe show up for class once in awhile. She proposes doing an independent study project to improve her failing grade, and Gil looks like he's willing to consider that. Ahn-drea, who's shamelessly eavesdropping as she so often does, interrupts them in order to sarcastically inform Gil that she's excusing herself so the two of them can continue to talk business. Gil ignores Ahn-drea's passive-aggressive bitchitude and puts a hand on Sue's shoulder as he invites her to stop by his classroom so they can discuss ways in which she could improve her English grade. Across the diner, Ahn-drea witnesses the exchange and narrows her beady little eyes as she glares suspiciously at Gil.
The Scanlon house. Sue quickly wipes off her makeup and tries to make a break for her bedroom. Her mother, who's milling around in Scott's old room, sees her run past and barks, "You're late!" so Sue backs up and stands in the doorway and argues that she's only late by four minutes and however many seconds. Mrs. Scanlon is not amused and tells Sue that she won't be allowed to go out for the rest of the week...then perkily announces that Uncle Henry is coming to visit, and that he'll be staying in dead Scott's room. Sue looks dismayed by the news and snaps that he shouldn't be allowed to stay in her brother's room...but Mrs. Scanlon says it's all good 'cause he was Scott's favorite uncle. Not.
West Beverly High. Brenda and Donna enter the principal's office, where Brenda is apparently working/volunteering for the purpose of this episode's storyline. She tells Donna that her duties mostly entail delivering notes for Mrs. Teasley. Donna notices Sue loitering in the waiting area, and Brenda discreetly tells her that the girl practically lives in the office. She then announces that she has to collect attendance forms, and rushes off. Donna approaches Sue and tells her that they never got a chance to talk about what happened after she (Sue) made an ass of herself flirting with David during the previous episode. Sue sullenly tells her she doesn't have to worry since David no longer means anything to her, so then Donna says she knows that she still cares about David and that she doesn't want her to feel weird around him now. Sue reminds her that she promised to stay away from David, but Donna insists she doesn't have to do that, and says that David likes her...but only in a platonic, sisterly, non-sexual way. Sue snappishly retorts, "I know."
In the hall, Nikki announces to Steve and David that Brandon has agreed to go to Kingston 12 (an L.A. dance club) with her. They don't believe her, but she insists it's true...and that Brandon's dance moves will impress and astonish everyone. As the little group disperses, Brenda sidles up to Brandon and asks him if it's really true that he's becoming more open-minded, and he jokes that he's feeble-minded and whines about how much he hates dancing. He asks her if she and Dylan want to come along with them to Kingston 12, but Brenda tells him that Dylan is too sick to dance...and that he's being very stubborn about going to a doctor to look into his coughing fits. Further down the hall, they find Dylan hacking away as he tries to chat it up with some random guy.
Classroom. Sue is ranting to Gil about how Mrs. Teasley called her kooky mother and tattled on her for cutting class. During her rant, she slams the classroom door shut. She wails that her mother thinks she's a deadbeat, then wonders aloud if she'd be better off dead. She suddenly gets all morose and says it should have been her who died last season, not Scott. Please. Nobody wants that yokel back on the show. Almost immediately Sue apologizes to Gil for being such a downer, but he assures her it's A-OK to be raw and honest while she works through her various mental issues. Sue complains about how she doesn't have anything good in her life, so Gil points out that if she were dead, she wouldn't know him...and look what she'd be missing. She calls him conceited, then laughs and tells him she's thankful to him for cheering her up. She remarks on how different he is from all the other teachers, and then he cups her face with both hands and calls her a special girl. Oh Gil. There's no way that gesture isn't going to get badly misinterpreted. Sue then throws her arms around Gil and hugs him, and after that they gaze into each others' eyes and totally look like they're about to kiss. Suddenly, the scene cuts to the hallway and we see Sue running out of the classroom with mascara streaked across her face. Ahn-drea happens to witness this, and once again narrows her beady little eyes and glares suspiciously in the direction of Gil's classroom.
The following day, Gil is in the middle of teaching English class when Brenda barges in and hands him a note from Mrs. Teasley. He reads it and furrows his brows concernedly. The scene then cuts to Brandon remarking to Ahn-drea how weird it was that Gil left halfway through English class and then pulled a no-show for the Blaze meeting, and Ahn-drea haughtily retorts that she's not at all surprised. David suddenly appears out of nowhere and asks Brandon when he wants to get together - and Brandon cuts him off and quickly says, "For the meeting. The meeting." Apparently, David is taking a page out of the Footloose playbook and has offered to secretly teach Brandon some of his most funktastic dance moves for the gang's big night at Kingston 12.
In a different hallway, Brenda urges Kelly to feel Dylan's forehead. She does and agrees he's burning up with fever. Dylan promises to go home and eat some chicken soup, but the girls insist that what he really needs is a doctor.
Doctor's office. After examining Dylan, the doctor writes up a prescription for antibiotics. When he mentions that he does a lot of surfing in Malibu, the doctor warns him how bacteria-laden those waters are. She advises him to give surfing a rest and take up an indoor sport.
West Beverly High. Brandon moans to Dylan about how Gil has been gone for several days now, and that a sucky sub has taken over teaching his English class. He's tried to reach Gil by phone, but he keeps getting the machine. For some reason, Brandon has Gil's address in Malibu, and he tells Dylan he'd like to stop by and find out what's going on. Dylan tells him he knows the area and offers to go with him...and adds that the antibiotics he's been taking have made him feel a lot better. Suddenly, Brenda rushes up to the two of them and informs them that Gil is in a boatload of trouble. He's been accused of sexual misconduct with a female student, and has been relieved of his duties pending an investigation.
Dylan and Brandon arrive in Malibu. Dylan looks out at the ocean and wistfully tells Brandon how much he misses surfing...then walks over to a chain-link fence and leans against it as he stares longingly at the waves. Brandon, meanwhile, strolls over to Gil's very cool beach house. Gil looks happy to see him, and is flattered when Brandon fills him in on how terrible the substitute English teacher is. He asks Gil when he's coming back, and Gil grimly tells him that the mother of the girl who lodged a complaint against him agreed to drop the matter if he leaves quietly, and so he's decided to quit his job. Brandon is against this idea because he strongly believes in Gil's innocence, and urges him to stick around and clear his name...but Gil shuts down and refuses to talk about it anymore.
Classroom. Ahn-drea finds Sue in a classroom and tells her that she saw the way she ran out into the hall the other day, and that it was obvious she was really upset. Sue asks Ahn-drea if she's from the newspaper, and Ahn-drea confirms she is...but assures her she's not looking for a story. She tells Sue she assumes she wants to keep her personal business private, to which Sue snaps, "What you do care what I'd prefer? Nobody else does." She then flees the room, and Ahn-drea dashes after her. She tells Sue she's involved with something called peer counseling - I assume she's referring to that awful Rap Line - and that she's qualified to talk to Sue about all of her deep dark problems. To gain Sue's trust, Ahn-drea reveals the sordid story of how she fell in love with her drama teacher, Young Elvis, during Season 2 and got her heart broken. Hee! That that was such an awesome episode, especially at the end when he ever so casually mentioned he had a girlfriend. This revelation perks Sue's interest, and she promises not to tell anyone...and Ahn-drea promises not to tell anyone the stuff Sue tells her in confidence.
The Walsh house. Ahn-drea drops by to find out all the dish Brenda has on Sue, since the girl is her freshman buddy. Brenda wants to know why she's so interested in the little tart and asks if it's 'cause Gil is involved. Ahn-drea expresses surprise at the mention of Gil's name, so Brenda tells her that the gossip about those two is all over school. Ahn-drea asks her what Sue's story is, so Brenda tells her that Donna filled her in about how Scott's death caused the family, which was pretty weird to begin with, to completely fall apart. Mr. Scanlon has mentally checked out, and Mrs. Scanlon is a major control freak on top of being a freak in general. Brandon suddenly bursts into Brenda's room and dramatically announces that Sue Scanlon is the one who accused Gil of sexual misconduct, and Brenda and Ahn-drea look at each other in amusement. Brandon is skeptical about Sue's version of events and refers to her as "the so-called victim"...which gets Ahn-drea all riled up, and she retorts that there's never been an unfounded claim of sexual abuse at West Beverly. Brandon counter-retorts that it doesn't mean there can never be one, and adds that Sue is a nutcase and that Gil has every right to confront his accuser. Ahn-drea angrily accuses him of judging the victim, expresses doubt about Gil's innocence, and storms out.
After Ahn-drea's abrupt departure, Brenda tells Brandon she isn't sure what to believe...and Brandon says he strongly believes that Sue is screwed up enough to wrongfully accuse Gil of sexual harassment. A few seconds later, David drops by to give Brandon a private dance lesson before the Kingston 12 outing. Brandon tells him he totally forgot, and that it isn't a good night. David reminds him that they're going to the club the following evening, but Brandon says he just doesn't have time to play Chris Penn to his Kevin Bacon. David shrugs and leaves, and Brandon begs Brenda to never tell anyone that David had nearly given him a dance lesson. When he declares that he's not going to go to Kingston 12 anyway, Brenda chides him for being so stubborn about dancing. She points out that he has a nice, sexy girlfriend who really wants to dance with him...so he should get over his annoying phobia and not blow it with her.
The Blaze newsroom. It's Saturday and Gil is in the newsroom, packing up his stuff. While he's doing that, Ahn-drea enters the room, glances over at him, and gives him the stink-eye. He wryly asks her if she works weekends now, and she coldly retorts that she hates to leave loose ends. Plus she has no life and likes to feel self-important by pretending that being the co-editor of The Blaze requires her to come in on Saturdays. Gil tells her he just came by to get his stuff, which sparks a misinformed tirade from Ahn-drea about how she can't believe he took advantage of a young girl who clearly has a crush on him. She also snarls that kids don't just make things like this up. Gil denies that he did anything inappropriate and insists he was just trying to help her. He says if he leaves West Beverly on his terms, he'll still have a teaching career...and that he really likes working with young people. Ahn-drea responds in her usual haughty, judgmental fashion: "Maybe you like it. A little. Too. Much." Gil then drops the bomb that he doesn't want two suicides on his conscience, and this throws Ahn-drea off balance and she's like, "Wuh?" He explains that during his first teaching job, there was a troubled female student who was bright, beautiful, and amazing...but also mad as a hatter. She fell in love with him, but he refused to cross any lines...and so he pushed her away, and she ended up killing herself. She even left a note, citing his rejection as the reason for her suicide. Gil is still so scarred by the experience that he isn't willing to publicly call Sue a liar and risk her committing suicide. Ahn-drea looks like she believes him now and asks him who's going to help Sue, and he challenges her to be part of the solution and take a stab at helping the skanklet.
Beach. Dylan runs into Gil as he's strolling along a Malibu beach. He whines about how he can't surf there anymore, but that he'd like to do something to help clean up the polluted bay. Gil tells him that things for him at West Beverly are all fucked up, and Dylan says that if it were him, he would have slouched off into the sunset, never to be seen again. Gil tells him that some things aren't just black and white...and then wonders if he sent mixed messages to Sue. Well, d'yuh. If this man insists on taking teaching jobs that require him to be around teenage girls a lot, he's going to need to lay off the shoulder touches, face cupping, and hugging.
Kingston 12. The gang arrives at the club for a night of dancing. David and Donna hit the dance floor, as do Steve and Kelly. Some guy comes over and asks Nikki to dance, and Brandon gives her his blessing. As the evening progresses, Nikki dances with every available guy in the club, while Brandon creepily watches her. During a break in the music, she asks the gang about Brandon's dancing issues, so Donna informs her that he's always had a major hang-up about grooving in public. Nikki exasperatedly asks if he'll ever get over it, so Steve encourages her to go the jealousy route. Nikki takes this as an invitation to grab Steve and dirty dance with him in full view of Brandon. Ew. Brandon immediately gets pissed off and storms over to break it up, a move which then makes Nikki angry. Brandon barks at Steve to take Nikki home and then storms out of the club.
West Beverly High. Sue sees Ahn-drea in the hall and invites her over for dinner that evening. Ahn-drea accepts, and this seems to make Sue very happy.
Steve finds Brandon at his locker and asks him if he's made up with Nikki yet...and tells him that if the two of them ever break up, he should let him know...and then he softly moans, "God". I'm guessing his penis is still on fire from the dirty dance he and Nikki shared. Brandon spots Nikki, who is conveniently loitering down the hall, so he walks over to apologize, and she tells him that the no-dancing thing has become a serious deal-breaker in their relationship. Brandon argues that he has no rhythm, so Nikki is willing to compromise: he must agree to one dance lesson, given by her, in the privacy of his home. Reluctantly, he agrees to these terms.
The Scanlon house. Ahn-drea arrives carrying a dessert. Sue answers the door and nervously tells Ahn-drea that she made a mistake when she invited her...and then tries to shoo her away. Seconds later, Mrs. Scanlon comes to the door and gets all animated when she sees Ahn-drea and invites her inside. She introduces Ahn-drea to her brother Henry, a dumpy, middle-aged redhead who's visiting from Oklahoma. Sue announces that she and Ahn-drea are going to hang upstairs, but Mrs. Scanlon snaps that they'll be eating soon. She then starts gushing to Henry about how Ahn-drea is the smartest girl in school, and that she's going to Yale next year. I can't imagine how she'd know about Ahn-drea's Yale plans. Ahn-drea tries to downplay her achievements, but Mrs. Scanlon cuts her off and adds that she's also the editor of the school paper. Henry tells the ladies that he used to write for his high school paper, then jokes that when he couldn't get a good story, he just made one up...then he starts laughing like a crazy person. Following that bizarre exchange, Mrs. Scanlon orders Sue to round up her brothers and sisters for dinner.
The Walsh house. Nikki is doing her best to teach Brandon how to jig, but he remains stiff and stubbornly refuses to move his limbs to any kind of beat. He tells her he prefers slower music because it only requires him to stand in one spot and sway. Nikki complies, and so the two sway to a slow song. Brandon then gets amorous, lifts her up, and transports her over to his bed where they get into some heavy petting.
The Scanlon house. At the dinner table, Mrs. Scanlon remarks that her husband, Conrad, is away on business - but thank goodness Uncle Henry is around, guarding the homestead. She wants to show Ahn-drea a video of Henry's ranch in Oklahoma, but Sue snaps that Ahn-drea wouldn't be interested in their home movies...and adds that she doesn't want to see any video that has footage of her dead brother. Mrs. Scanlon apologizes to Ahn-drea for Sue's outburst and explains that she hasn't been the same since the "nasty mess with the disgusting teacher" and Sue snaps that she doesn't want to talk about it. Henry chimes in and rebukes Sue for talking about it first...and that if she started it, she should finish it. He says he never really heard what all the "mess" was about and asks Sue what she did to make Gil think he could make advances on her. A bewildered Ahn-drea insists that Sue didn't do anything wrong...and suddenly Sue gets tearful and declares that she was the one who tried to kiss and seduce Gil, but he wouldn't let her. She then runs out of the dining room, and Uncle Henry sits back in his chair and looks smug. Mrs. Scanlon, meanwhile, continues to ignore Henry's general creepiness and all the huge red flags flapping all around her.
West Beverly High. Ahn-drea enters the newsroom as Brandon is welcoming Gil back. She tells Brandon she's glad she was wrong about Gil. Elsewhere in the newsroom, Kelly tells Dylan she was worried about his bad cough, but is glad he's getting over being sick. I am so looking forward to these kids finally hooking up.
Ahn-drea approaches Gil with her tail between her legs and apologizes for jumping to some very insulting conclusions. He tells her that an apology isn't necessary (even though it totally is), and that she gave him lots of food for thought. Whatever, Gil. He tells her that he's still very worried about Sue and encourages Ahn-drea to do anything she can to help the nutter.
The Scanlon house. Ahn-drea stops by to see Sue, but Mrs. Scanlon informs her that Sue isn't seeing anyone but family right now. She then shuts the door in Ahn-drea's face, which is really rude but also kind of funny 'cause it's Ahn-drea.
The Walsh house. Ahn-drea persuades Brenda to go over to the Scanlon house to see whassup with Sue. Brenda points out that she was only Sue's senior buddy, not a family member, so she probably wouldn't get past the front door. Ahn-drea says it's unhealthy for Sue to be shut up in that house, and adds that the Scanlons are a really wacky bunch. She insists that someone's got to get in there, and suddenly Brenda knows exactly who would have the best chance of getting in.
The Peach Pit. Brenda and Ahn-drea are trying to convince Donna to infiltrate the Scanlon house because they're worried that Sue might be suicidal. Donna tells them she's not family and wouldn't be able to get in...but Brenda says that since the Scanlons consider David to be family, he probably could.
The Scanlon house. David arrives with Donna, and grumbles that he doesn't think this is a good idea...but then Sue answers the door and looks very happy to see the two of them. Mrs. Scanlon also appears at the door, hugs David, and marvels about how tall he's gotten and invites the two of them inside to join the family for a barbecue. When Donna expresses her concern about Sue not being in school anymore, Mrs. Scanlon blames the school for the incident with Gil and says that she pulled her daughter out. She then happily announces that they're all moving to Oklahoma! She wants to be nearer to her extended family, and for all of them to live in a community with wholesome values. She then invites Donna and David to join them in the backyard for the barbecue. Donna attempts to talk to Sue and ask if she's OK, but Sue gets all defensive and bitchily asks her why she cares. She then assures Donna she's fine, and that her family cares about her, so everyone can stop worrying. Donna tells David that the more Sue says she's fine, the more she suspects that things aren't fine at all...and at that moment, wacky Mrs. Scanlon interrupts them to ask if they want hot dogs or hamburgers.
Donna gets herself a plate of food and sits at a table with David. She asks him what the deal is with Uncle Henry, so David explains that he used to be Scott's favorite uncle, but during his last trip to Oklahoma, something happened that made Scott think he was a jerk and then he never talked about him again. Uncle Henry, meanwhile, is grilling the hotdogs and hamburgers with the help of Sue's younger sister. Sue sees this and attempts to drag the little girl away from him, but Henry rebukes her and tells her that he's in charge when her father is out of town. He then grabs the little girl back, and this upsets Sue so much that she runs inside the house. Donna follows her and finds her crying in her bedroom. Sue tearfully asks her if the kids at school are talking about her, and Donna's like "D'yuh" and tells her that everyone is very curious about what really happened between her and Gil. She tells Sue that kids don't typically make up stories about being abused...and this prompts Sue to want to tell her what really happened. She recalls that "he" was kissing and touching her, but that she doesn't remember who started it...so it could have been her. But then she didn't want to do it anymore so she pulled away, but he wouldn't let her go and then hurt her. Donna assumes they're still talking about Gil...but Sue clarifies that it wasn't Gil - it was her Uncle Henry. Ewwwwww. Donna is shocked and suitably icked out by the disturbing visual.
Donna accompanies Sue outside where the barbecue is still in full swing. Sue approaches her hapless, clueless mother and nervously says she needs to tell her something. In the background, Henry looks really antsy, as well he should - but then the scene abruptly ends. What a rip-off. I would have loved to have seen nutty Mrs. Scanlon's reaction to being told that her brother is a disgusting pedophile.
The Peach Pit. Donna is recounting for the gang the strange series of events at the Scanlon house. She says Ahn-drea was right after all: Sue didn't make up her story about being abused. David remarks it was no wonder that Scott didn't like his uncle anymore, and Brenda clucks sympathetically about how Sue was worried that her Uncle Henry would start abusing her younger sister. Ahn-drea says it's a good thing that Sue doesn't have to carry around her awful secret anymore and that she can finally get some help. And hopefully a more tasteful wardrobe.
Brandon and Nikki enter the diner, and Brandon picks up his paycheck. They declare to everyone that they're off to a new dance club. David expresses surprise that Brandon is willing to put himself through that kind of humiliation again, so Brandon discreetly tells him that dancing makes Nikki horny - I mean romantic - so now he's suddenly into it.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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