Recap: It's a rainy day in Beverly Hills, and there's a hole in the roof of the Walsh house. It's causing rain to leak all over their kitchen, so Mama Walsh is busily putting pots everywhere. She expresses her concern about the leaking to Papa Walsh, but he claims there's nothing that can be done until it stops raining. I'll bet Mama Walsh wishes she were married to a handier type of man who's a lot more adept at preventive home maintenance. She jokes that if the leakage gets any worse, they'll all be eating Thanksgiving dinner in their raincoats.
West Beverly High. Brandon is ambling down with hall with Ahn-drea, who's out of her wheelchair and hobbling around on crutches. He asks her if Grandma Rose puts on a decent Thanksgiving spread, and Ahn-drea just laughs about what a shitty cook the woman is. On top of that, Grandma Rose is in Miami Beach visiting her sister, so she won't actually be around for Thanksgiving. Ahn-drea complains that she'll probably be spending Thanksgiving at her parents' friends' house, where they always serve unappetizing vegetarian slop. She wistfully predicts that the Walshes will be eating a scrumptious turkey dinner with all the trimmings...and this leaves Brandon with no choice but to invite her to join his family for the holiday. Blech.
Kelly, Donna, and David arrive at school. David is yammering excitedly about the ski trip that he, Donna, and Donna's parents are going on together...and mentions that the forecast is calling for two feet of fresh powdered snow to fall on Bear Mountain. Kelly says that Mel and Jackie are taking the baby out of town, and so she's looking forward to some alone time over Thanksgiving. At that moment, Brenda joins the group and is horrified to hear that Kelly is intentionally planning to spend the holiday alone. She invites Kelly to the Walsh house for dinner, but Kelly declines and tells her she's actually looking forward to spending some quality time by herself - but Brenda insists that she needs someone to talk to during all the football games, so Kelly relents. Brenda then prefaces her next question by saying she doesn't want to "start anything" and asks her if she knows where Dylan is spending his Thanksgiving. Kelly tells her she has no idea and that she doesn't care, and Brenda's like, "Ditto." Donna, however, isn't buying their cavalier attitude about Dylan and tells them they're both full of crap.
Prison. Dylan has agreed to allow his felonious father to be temporarily released into his custody for the Thanksgiving holiday. Jack's parole officer informs Dylan that he's going to be calling his house several times a day to make sure that Jack is actually there the whole time. Dylan wearily agrees to the various conditions required for Jack's two day visit, and a few minutes later Jack is ushered into the room. He looks very excited to embark on his forty-eight hours of freedom.
The Peach Pit. It's still raining hard when Brandon arrives at the Peach Pit. As soon as he enters the diner, Nat informs him that Steve has been moping at the counter all morning...and he wants Brandon to cheer him up so he stops depressing the other customers. Brandon agrees and approaches his despondent friend, who's been drowning his sorrows over his expulsion by downing one milkshake after another. Steve says he thought it would make him feel better, but they're really just making him feel worse...not to mention the havoc they're going to wreak on his intestines. He's very stressed out about getting expelled and tells Brandon he hasn't yet broken the news to his mother, who's currently out of town. Brandon agrees that it's going to be very tough to tell her, but sooner or later he's going to have to get it over with. Steve starts rehearsing how he might relay the bad news to her, then invites Brandon to come over that evening and share the traumatic experience with him. Brandon wisely declines and tells him to be a big boy and suck it up.
Steve's house. Steve is sitting on his bed looking very anxious. Samantha suddenly enters his room and lays on her usual cheese about how he's her gorgeous darling son. She asks him if he's all packed, and he's like, "Wuh?" so she reminds him that they have plans to travel to Santa Barbara to film a revoltingly saccharine family Thanksgiving special. She tells him to throw a few things into a bag and be ready to leave in an hour, and assures him they're going to have a fabulous time.
Dylan's house. Dylan brings Jack into his home, and Jack looks around and remarks on how much he loves bungalows built in the craftsman style. He then pours himself a drink and toasts to freedom. He tells Dylan he'd like to call his lady friend so he can get his rocks off during his temporary release from prison, but Dylan gets all uptight and bitchy about it and snarks that he's supposed to be bonding with his family, not hooking up with some bimbo. Jack sternly tells him that Christine isn't a bimbo.
Brandon exits the Peach Pit out back. Through the pouring rain, he spots a vagrant picking through the dumpster...and a faint echo of a bugle starts up in the background. Brandon calls out to the vagrant and offers him money to buy food, so the vagrant walks over to the car, takes the cash and thanks him. Brandon then realizes he knows the man, so he backs up the car, gets out, and asks him if he's Jack Canner. He reminds the poor sod that they met on the beach last summer. Jack tries to pretend as though he's never met Brandon, but Brandon reminds him about how he set up a job interview for him with his boss at the Beach Club last summer, and that he never bothered to show up. Jack grimly jokes that he can't seem to shake Brandon off his leg and apologizes for looking so grungy. Brandon tells him he can't stay outside in such heavy rain and invites him to come inside the Peach Pit for a meal...and Homeless Jack accepts. Brandon introduces him to Nat as a war veteran and asks if it's OK to feed and water him for no charge. Nat charitably tells Jack to have a seat, and Brandon discreetly explains that he met the guy last summer at the Beach Club.
After scarfing down a plate of food, Homeless Jack thanks Brandon for the great meal. Brandon tells him about a nearby shelter and offers to drive him there, but Homeless Jack is loathe to stay in shelters 'cause they make him feel more hopeless than he already does. Brandon explains that accepting a roof over his head in the rain doesn't necessarily mean he's given up on life...and that maybe it's a step in the right direction.
Homeless shelter. Brandon brings Homeless Jack inside and helps him with the initial check-in process. Homeless Jack takes a registration form from the clerk and gets a free towel and some soap. He looks over the form as Brandon looms over him, but he can't bring himself to fill it out or check in.
The Walsh house. Brandon arrives at his leaky home through the kitchen door and remarks on the yummy turkey smell. He informs his parents that he brought somebody home with him, and Papa Walsh says that's fine and urges him (and whoever) to come inside and shut the door. A few seconds later, Homeless Jack enters the kitchen looking like a drowned rat. He takes off his filthy hat and politely says, "How do you do?" while Mama and Papa Walsh just stare at him mutely.
Santa Barbara. Samantha and Steve enter the mansion where they'll be staying and filming the Thanksgiving special. Nobody appears to be on site except for a couple of indifferent young laborers working on the flooring. One of them bellows that the "talent" has arrived, so a minute later a young woman rushes down a flight of stairs to greet Samantha and Steve. The young woman introduces herself as Alyssa, the production assistant for the television special. Samantha is indignant that no one more important is on hand to kiss her ass or offer her the use of minions to help her with her bags. She haughtily tells Alyssa that she was led to believe she and her son would be staying in luxury accommodations, then demands to speak with her superior - but unfortunately for Ms Uppity, only Alyssa and the camera crew are present. Steve finally interjects and tells his mother that the situation isn't that bad, and that he'll help her with her bags.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh is discreetly whining to his wife about the stinky homeless stranger Brandon has invited into their home. Mama Walsh urges him to feel compassion for Homeless Jack; after all, he did lose his home and his family while serving in Desert Storm. Suddenly, Brandon and Brenda enter the kitchen to show off Homeless Jack, who has de-stenched himself with a shower, shaved off his scraggly beard, and is dressed in a Minnesota sweatshirt and gray sweatpants. When Homeless Jack asks if it's OK that he sleep on a cot in their garage, Papa Walsh blurts out that it's not OK...and when everyone stares at him like he's a mental patient, he mumbles that the living room sofa would be a lot more comfortable for their surprise house-guest. Mama Walsh then insists that Homeless Jack stay on at least until the following day so he can enjoy a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with them. [Cue bugle music in the background again.] Homeless Jack gives Mama Walsh a grateful smile and says he now knows where Brandon gets his good heart from, and Mama Walsh beams proudly.
Dylan's house. The next morning, Dylan is sitting at his kitchen table, drinking coffee and reading the paper. Jack enters the room and is still cranky at Dylan for cock-blocking him during his two day pass from prison. Dylan finally gets fed up with his father's complaints, and angrily orders him to call his floozy if that's what he really wants to do.
The Walsh house. Donna and David have shown up unannounced. They explain that the road leading to Bear Mountain has been closed because of a heavy snowfall, and they've shown up at the Walshes 'cause they're hungry and have nowhere else to go...even though they could just go to either of their houses and found something to eat there. Brenda happily invites them inside, and they enter the living room and wish Papa Walsh a happy Thanksgiving and also introduce themselves to Homeless Jack. Brandon, meanwhile, is planted on the couch enjoying a football game, and Kelly and Ahn-drea are sacked out on another couch. A bored Homeless Jack ambles over to a bookshelf and pulls out an atlas. Across the room, Donna remarks that Homeless Jack resembles a patient of her father's, so Kelly discreetly informs her that the guy is a homeless person who Brandon dragged in out of the rain. Donna is shocked, and looks very weirded out by the notion of a sweetly untainted cherub like herself being in the same room as a homeless person. Over on the couch, Brandon and David are really getting into the football game when the cable suddenly goes out. A distressed Brandon blurts out that the cable had better magically repair itself 'cause he has a lot of money riding on this game. Papa Walsh raises his eyebrows and asks how much money he's talking about, and Brandon swiftly backpedals and says he doesn't really have that much riding on it.
Ahn-drea sidles up to Homeless Jack and tells him that she too enjoys flipping through atlases and fantasizing about all the places she wants to visit. Homeless Jack tells her that he just wants to look over all the places in which he was stationed during the Gulf War, and so Brandon invites him to bring the atlas over so that all of his vapid friends can pretend to care about his military service. [Cue bugle music in the background again.] As he points out a bunch of places on one of the maps, Papa Walsh starts to pout and look very sulky. Homeless Jack asks him if he ever served his country, and Papa Walsh quips that the only thing he's ever served was drinks, and then slinks out of the room and into the kitchen. He whines to Mama Walsh like the giant baby he is about how Homeless Jack thinks he's such a big deal 'cause he he was a U.S. Marine. Mama Walsh points out that the mandid sacrifice a lot for his military service, and then urges her suck of a husband to chillax and try to act like an adult in front of the company.
Dylan's house. When Jack's floozy arrives at the house, Dylan refuses to answer the door. He sneers, "She's your bimbo" and heads off to his bedroom. Jack then answers the door and greets his lady friend, who is an attractive and (thankfully) age appropriate blonde. The two kiss amorously in the doorway, and Dylan can't help himself from peering around the corner and sneaking a peek. Jack orders his son to make himself useful, so Dylan slouches over and helps Christine with her various shopping bags. She mentions that she got the food at a fabulous diner called the Peach Pit, and that she knows Nat, the fabulous owner. Dylan perks up when he learns that Christine is friends with Nat, and looks like he might possibly be willing to give her a chance.
Santa Barbara mansion. While Steve chit-chats with Alyssa, she asks him which college he's planning to attend, then predicts that he wants to go to the University of Southern California. He grimly tells her that there's not much chance of that happening anymore since he just got thrown out of his high school. This seems to turn Alyssa on, who looks intrigued and asks him if he's a bad boy. Steve decides to play that angle and doesn't admit that he's not so much a bad boy than he is a stupid boy. She asks him how his mother is going to react to learning about his expulsion, and he tells her that the news will probably break her heart. Either that or she'll become enraged and kill him. He then goes on a tangent about how completely different his mother is when she's in front of the cameras...and then a moronic idea starts to take shape inside his tiny brain.
The Walsh house. Brandon is too hungry to wait for the big turkey dinner, so he announces to everyone that he's going to make himself a small sandwich to tide himself over. Donna strolls over to Homeless Jack in her skin-tight white ski pants and bats her big doe eyes at him as she asks him if it's true that he really has no home. Brenda rebukes her as one might rebuke a five year old who doesn't know enough not to openly stare at a disfigured person, so Donna explains that she's never seen a real live homeless person before. Kelly tries to bring levity to the awkward situation by joking that Donna thinks it's a tragedy to leave home without a gold card, but Homeless Jack has no sense of humor about the situation. He lectures them about all the people out there suffering in their lives...and how they have far more serious problems than the cable going out, or fixing themselves a sandwich before dinner. His diatribe pisses off Papa Walsh, and he snaps that these criticisms are uncalled for. Donna slips into her meekly innocent, doe-eyed lass routine, and looks downcast as she clasps her hands in front of her...and I've never wanted to smack her more. Papa Walsh snarks at Homeless Jack that it's unfair to blame these self entitled teens for his problems and then brazenly asks, "Where are your children?" which I thought was a really douchey thing to bring up. Homeless Jack looks stricken for a few seconds, then lashes back at Papa Walsh by rubbing his nose in the fact that he's never served his country. Haha! Papa Walsh glares at him hatefully and orders him to get out of his house. Homeless Jack is more than happy to oblige and heads upstairs to change back into his grungy clothes. Along the way, he passes Brandon and tells him that if he ever happens to see him on the street again, he should just ignore him.
Brandon follows Homeless Jack upstairs and apologizes for his dad's boorishness. He explains that the military is a sore spot with him because Grandpapa Walsh used to be a Marine, and of course he wanted his son to enlist and fight in Vietnam...but since Papa Walsh was against the war, he refused to go, blah blah. Homeless Jack tells Brandon that he's a good man and that he'll never forget his generosity. Suddenly, a loud crashing noise sends everyone running into the kitchen. Part of the ceiling has come crashing down, and rain is now pouring in through a gaping hole. Homeless Jack immediately takes control of the situation and asks the Walshes if they have any tarps lying around. Fortunately there just so happens to be a tarp lying around, and Homeless Jack climbs onto the roof to temporarily cover the hole with it. As soon as it's secured into place, the leaking inside the kitchen miraculously stops. Suck on that, Papa Walsh, you useless tool.
Santa Barbara mansion. Steve and his mother are filming a nauseating scene during which she gazes at him lovingly and wishes him a "Happy Thanksgiving, gorgeous." Steve decides this is the ideal time to confess that he got expelled. As he confesses to his mother, the director looks confused, but the crew keeps the cameras rolling to capture all the juicy drama. Samantha gets very angry and through gritted teeth she tells Steve she wants to speak with him in private...away from the cameras.
Dylan's house. Dylan, Jack, and Christine are sitting at the table, eating dinner together. Christine asks Dylan about school, and he tells her he dropped out. Wuh? When did that happen? I thought he told Brandon he just needed a break. Jack blurts out how stupid it is to drop out of high school, and Christine agrees. Jack then dredges up the SAT cheating allegation situation and tells Dylan to just retake the damn test. Right?? Dylan argues that his refusal to retake the test is somehow a matter of some deeply felt principle...and since Jack has no principles, it's obvious that he'll never be able to understand that. This pisses off Jack, and he storms away from the table, and Christine chastises Dylan for insulting his father. Dylan petulantly says that Jack has brought it all on himself, and so Christine snaps at him to stop blaming his father for everything, orders him to stop sulking, give Jack and himself a break, and go into the other room to straighten things out. Dylan mulls that over, then leaves the table to go talk to Jack.
Santa Barbara mansion. Samantha is railing at a very sheepish looking Steve, and her mood worsens when he informs her that she's required to come to West Beverly High with him next week to sign some papers in order to make his expulsion official. She tells him in no uncertain terms that she has no intention of signing any papers, and refuses to simply stand by and watch him get expelled from high school like some low-life juvenile delinquent. In a tortured voice, he tells her they don't have much of a choice, but she remains unfazed and makes it clear that she's handling the situation from now on. She's going to save his keister one last time. Alyssa interrupts the conversation to politely inform Samantha that she needs to return to filming, otherwise she'll lose her job as the production assistant...and Samantha sweetly complies and heads back to the set. Alyssa, who's still intrigued by her erroneous perception of Steve as a bad boy, invites him to stop by her room later so they can enjoy their own private Thanksgiving celebration. Ew.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh thanks Homeless Jack for successfully getting the tarp onto his roof, and then apologizes for losing his shit and ordering him out of his house. He explains that the issue of military service is a sore spot for him 'cause his pro-military father didn't think he was much of a son, blah blah. Homeless Jack graciously accepts his apology and asks if he can use the phone to try to reconnect with his son.
During the scrumptious turkey dinner, Donna tells everyone that ever since she learned how hungry homeless people are, she feels too guilty to eat. Ahn-drea brushes off her concerns for the plight of the less fortunate and tells her it's pointless to feel bad, so she should just shut up and enjoy her turkey. Homeless Jack slips into the dining room wearing the Minnesota sweatshirt and gray sweatpants again, and Mama Walsh invites him to sit next to her. Papa Walsh asks him if everything is all right, and Homeless Jack tells him everything is dandy. He then asks if he can say grace...and everyone solemnly bows their heads as Homeless Jack gabbles endlessly about happiness, misery, keeping the faith, and the kindness of strangers. At the mention of the last thing, he glances over at Brandon, and the two exchange a smile.
Dylan's house. Dylan, Jack, and Christine are finishing up a game of Monopoly. Dylan is finally over his bitchy moodiness and is really getting into the game...but it plays itself out when Jack admits defeat and Christine says she's tired and is ready to go to bed. Dylan is in such rare good spirits that he offers the couple his bedroom and tells them he'll bunk on the couch. As she heads to bed, Christine invites Dylan to treat her to an artery hardening meal at the Peach Pit sometime. Jack then thanks Dylan for agreeing to let him stay at his place over the Thanksgiving holiday, and the two warmly wish each other a good night. Dylan caps off their conversation with, "Night, dad" and Jack looks visibly moved.
West Beverly High. Samantha is marching purposefully down the hall while Steve trails behind her. Brandon, Brenda, and Kelly notice them, and Brandon runs up to Steve to ask him if everything's OK. Steve still looks radiant with afterglow following his sexy weekend with Alyssa, and tells Brandon about the awesome girl he hooked up with in Santa Barbara - but Samantha snaps at him to shut up, and that he'll have time to talk to his friends later. She then orders him to sit down in the waiting area of the principal's office while she strong-arms Mrs. Teasley into keeping her idiot son enrolled in school.
When Samantha and Mrs. Teasley emerge from their meeting, they inform Steve that he is no longer expelled, but that he'll be on probation with daily double detention sessions. Samantha warmly thanks Mrs. Teasley for caving in to her haughty demands, and Steve tries to thank both of them, but they cut him off and each snap, "Don't talk to me!" After Samantha storms out of the school, Brandon reappears and asks Steve whassup. Steve, who's all puffed up with his usual bullshit bravado, tells his friend how much of a piece of cake it was to get reinstated as a student of West Beverly High.
Brenda and Kelly are wandering down the hall, discussing the possibility of going shopping on Rodeo Drive...and Brenda complains that she can't afford the stuff on that street even when it's 50% off. Dylan sneaks up behind them and stuns them when he gives them each a kiss. He then mumbles something about Thanksgiving and rushes off as mysteriously as he appeared. Brenda and Kelly both stare after him in shock...then look at each other in puzzlement.