Recap: A car pulls into the parking lot of West Beverly High, and David scrambles out of the driver's side. While he races toward the school, Donna is scolding him over the radio/PA system for not showing up on time to do their pretend morning show. When he finally makes it to the DJ booth, Donna asks him - while still on "the air" - if he had another late night at the recording studio again, or if he was out clubbing with music producers. David tells her (and the entire, disinterested student body) that he was up late, studying for his trigonometry midterm. Donna sarcastically retorts that she didn't think rock stars had to study...though I don't know what this has to do with David (badoom bah!). She then announces to the entire school that David has signed with Icon Records, then adds insult to injury by putting in the CD of David's hip-hop-lite song. Once they're off the mic, an embarrassed David asks Donna why she's laying on the bullcack - I mean hype - so thick. He points out that he's only recording a couple of demos for Icon Records, and he's not even sure if Curtis Bray will like his stuff. [Spoiler: Not surprisingly, Curtis ends up hating it.] Donna tells him she's proud of him, assures him his music is great, and asks him if she can come along to the recording studio during his next session. David isn't thrilled with the idea of Donna tagging along, but gives in when she agrees to keep her mouth shut and blend into the woodwork.
Brandon's at his locker, gathering his books for class when Jeff Stellar, the school's bookie, strolls over. He remarks to Brandon that he heard how well the NBA has been treating him lately, and informs him that he has his own gambling operation...though it's mostly just taking bets from from the school's football players. He tells Brandon he'd be happy to hook him up with any gambling action if he's interested. After he leaves, Brandon runs into Steve and rebukes him for giving out his name to bookies. But Steve denies saying a word about him to Jeff, and tells him that news of his gambling has gotten around, and some people are under the illusion that he's a major player.
Kelly and Dylan walk down the hall together. She asks him how he's doing, and he tells her that aside from his frequent mood swings, he's doing OK. In an effort to cheer him up, she urges him to pretend he's in Hawaii or something...but he gives her a grim look and says, "I don't think so." I assume he had that reaction because Hawaii is where Iris lives. Kelly apologizes and admits that that was a pretty stupid thing to say. Suddenly, Brenda appears in the hallway and asks Dylan how he's doing. She tells him that Mama Walsh is very worried about him and would like him to come over for dinner that evening...if he's not busy. Dylan's into the idea and replies, "We're not busy" even though it didn't seem like Brenda was inviting him and Kelly...but she covers nicely and chirps, "Great! See you tonight." Kelly just looks irked.
The Blaze newsroom. Gil and Ahn-drea are looking through past issues of The Blaze in order to find something worthy of being entered in the annual newspaper contest that Ahn-drea always gabbles about winning. Unfortunately, every article every Blaze reporter has written during Season 3 has been sub-standard dreck - and Ahn-drea whines that there's nothing in any of the year's issues that is distinctive enough to win any awards. Brandon enters the newsroom just as Gil tells Ahn-drea she's being way too hypercritical, and that the school year isn't over yet. Ahn-drea retorts in her annoyingly frenetic, angst-ridden fashion that they only have three more issues to publish before the contest deadline, and she wants the class of '93 to be remembered - then stops herself and clarifies, "I want to be remembered." What a pompous, self-serving troll she is. Brandon wryly assures her, "Don't worry Ahn-drea. We'll remember you." But it definitely won't be in a good way.
Icon Records. Serge Menkin and David are listening to "Precious", the grisliest song in David's shit-tastic repertoire:
"You're so precious to me,
Am I preeee-cious to you?"
Donna is tucked away in a corner of the studio, listening to her boyfriend's girlish, breathy voice and trying not to heave. Serge excitedly announces that he spiced up the song with a different re-mix and asks Donna what she thinks of it and she tries to look convincing when she tells him it sounds fabulous. David, however, doesn't say anything and just looks glum. I wonder if perhaps on some level he knows he has no musical talent. When Serge steps out of the room for a minute, Donna asks David why he's recording this wretched song. She thought he was going to focus on the "hot stuff" - like rap...or his hip-hop-lite song, for example. David tells her he's tried to tell Serge that, but for some reason he insists that "Precious" has commercial appeal. Donna shrugs and murmurs, "I guess he knows what's best."
The Peach Pit. Duke slithers into the diner wearing his usual brown trench-coat and ugly brown hat and sits at the counter. He unwittingly takes the seat next to Ahn-drea, and so she starts nattering at him about how they met at the racetrack in Season 2. He pretends as though he remembers her (or cares) and asks "How you doin', sweetheart?" Nat bounds over to say hello, and Duke brusquely informs him that he just stopped by to do a little business. He then gets up and strolls over to Brandon, who's waiting on a table...and Nat looks on with worry etched across his face. Duke wants Brandon to step outside with him for a minute, and Brandon nervously tells him he's going to let Nat know that he's taking a short break. The camera zooms in on Duke giving him a cartoonishly sinister sideways glance as he mutters, "Sure thing, kid." Eeeek!
Outside, Duke reminds Brandon about the conversation they had during the Dead End episode, and that he'd let Brandon slide once...but now he's in debt again. Brandon promises he'll get him the money he owes in a few days, and Duke chuckles. He tells him he's a good kid and that he likes him - and then he pauses to point at the humorless thug sitting in a nearby car, and ominously tells him that Tony, however, doesn't like anybody. Duke warns him that he has until Friday to pay up...or he can kiss his kneecaps goodbye. He then gets into the car with his pet thug, and the two drive off.
The Walsh house. Dylan and Kelly are over at the Walsh house, breaking bread with Brenda and Mama Walsh. Mama Walsh encourages them all to eat more pie, so Dylan takes another helping. He tells her this is the first meal in several days he's really tasted, and she tells him he's welcome to come over for dinner as much as he likes. Brenda smugly adds, "No matter what, this is home." Kelly looks put off by the weirdness of that remark, and dramatically sets down her fork and begs someone to stop her from eating any more fattening pie, and explains that she's supposed to be on a diet. Mama Walsh gives her a funny look and and asks her why she needs to be on a diet, so Kelly explains that they've been eating so much junk food lately that she must have gained five pounds. Brandon arrives home from work, and he's in a snarly mood after getting threatened by Duke. Mama Walsh does her usual motherly routine and insists that he sit down so she can serve him a plate, but he rudely snaps at her that he's not hungry. She stares at him in shock, and then exclaims, "Brandon!" 'cause she's used to that kind of bitchitude from Brenda, but never from Brandon. He sheepishly apologizes for his momentary lapse of politeness and sits at the table. Kelly suddenly announces that she promised her mom she'd be home early tonight, so she and Dylan get up and leave.
Dylan's Porsche. Kelly suggests to Dylan that they hang out at his house for awhile. He tells her he thought she was supposed to be home early, but she chuckles and tells him she just fibbed to Mama Walsh so they could get out of there. She leans over and gives him a seductive kiss, but he's not into it and mumbles, "Not tonight, Kel." Ouch. She sulkily points out that he hasn't wanted to be alone with her in days, and wants to know why he's been pushing her away. He explains that he's tired and hasn't been sleeping very well lately...so Kelly throws in the towel and tells him to take her home.
The Walsh house. When Papa Walsh arrives home from work, Mama Walsh alerts him that something is amiss with Brandon, who's acting uncharacteristically bitchy and distracted. Papa Walsh furrows his brows concernedly and assures his wife he'll go talk to the boy immediately. Upstairs, he finds Brandon morosely looking over his baseball card collection. Brandon tells him he's thinking about getting it appraised, so Papa Walsh orders him to 'fess up about what's going on: one week he's buying a new car stereo and skis, the next week he's talking about selling off his baseball cards. Brandon insists that nothing is wrong, and Papa Walsh says he knows he's been gambling on sports teams. Brandon heatedly denies that his gambling is a problem or that he's in any trouble, so Papa Walsh gives up and leaves the room.
West Beverly High. Donna sees Steve and rushes over to tell him she needs a favor...though it's actually a favor for David. As soon as she utters David's name, Steve shuts down and tells her he doesn't want to hear it. Donna pleads with him to listen to her, and tells him about how she was in the Icon Records studio with David last night, and it's clear that something is very wrong. Steve still doesn't care and reminds her that he's no longer David's business manager, so Donna urgently tells him that Serge Menkin is ruining everything because he made the decision to produce "Precious". Egads! This is serious. Donna says he's making the song sound worse than the original version, if that's even possible. She tells Steve he's the only one who can help, and pleads for him to at least come to the studio and see for himself what's going on.
Brandon observes Jeff Stellar doing his bookie business with the football team. When Jeff finishes, he shows Brandon the electronic device he uses to keep track of everyone's bets. He refers to himself as a "Full Service Professional" and assures Brandon that he always pays his clients on time. Brandon tells him he may have some action for him...and then places a substantial bet - $1,500 - on the next Celtics game. Jeff is surprised by the size of the bet, but agrees to take it, and punches all the info into his little device.
Bathroom. Kelly is standing in front of the mirror, fussing with her hair when Brenda enters and tries to make pleasant small talk. Kelly bitchily asks her why she doesn't just ask Dylan to move in with her and her family, and Brenda snaps, "What's that supposed to mean?" She tells Kelly that she's just being a good friend to Dylan, who needs as much support as possible...and Kelly immediately crumbles and apologizes for her outburst, and mumbles that she's going through a lot right now. Brenda grunts something in reply and exits the bathroom. A few seconds later, a toilet flushes and Ahn-drea emerges from one of the stalls. Kelly turns around, embarrassed that her bitchy exchange with Brenda was overheard. Ahn-drea lectures her that being a good friend to Dylan isn't a competition...and that Dylan's feelings are what's most important. Kelly gets tearful and says that ever since Jack McKay got blown to smithereens, she can't seem to say anything right to Dylan...and nothing she says manages to cheer him up. Ahn-drea suggests backing off a little, which I find ironic coming from such a pushy busybody. Kelly tells her she may be right and thanks her for her wisdom.
Dylan opens his locker to get his books for the next class, but quickly changes his mind and grabs his jacket instead. Brandon happens to be walking by at that moment, so Dylan tells him he doesn't feel like being in school, and that life isn't the same now that Jack's not alive, blah blah. Brandon asks him if he'd like to go shoot some pool with him, but Dylan says he just needs to hang by himself for awhile.
The Blaze newsroom. Ahn-drea excitedly informs Gil that she has the perfect idea for an award winning story, and that it's been right under her nose the whole time. She announces that she wants to interview Dylan McKay for the next issue's Senior Profile. Brandon enters the newsroom as Ahn-drea's prattling, and he tells her that an interview with Dylan isn't a good idea - but Ahn-drea argues that it might help Dylan to talk about his father's death. Gil interjects to defend Ahn-drea's position and tells Brandon she's doing her job. I really wish Gil wouldn't indulge Ahn-drea...just in general. Brandon accuses Ahn-drea of only being interested in getting a good news story and using one of her friends to do it, but Ahn-drea refuses to give up on her idea and plans to barrel ahead and ask Dylan for the interview. Brandon dismissively tells her not to bother, since Dylan just left for the day because he can't handle being in school right now. He says that the last thing the guy needs is a nosy reporter, much less a nosy classmate who likes to regularly pretend that she's a reporter.
Dylan's house. The phone rings, but since Dylan is screening, he lets the machine pick it up. It's Ahn-drea - and as soon as she starts blathering her message, he decides to take the call. She tells him that she's a good listener in case he has any desire to talk about his feelings, then offers to come over. He kind of shrugs and says OK, so she tells him she'll be by after school.
Icon Records. David is in the booth recording "Precious" - OMFG - and his voice sounds really out of tune and more horrible than usual. Donna is there, observing again, and even she can't hide how awful she knows the song is. Serge interrupts David to tell him he's hitting the consonants too hard, and orders him to start over. After a few seconds of the retry, he stops David again so they can get him a different mic. As if that's going to make a critical difference. Steve arrives at the studio, and after a few minutes of enduring "Precious", he remarks that this isn't dance music and rhetorically asks why David isn't recording his hip-hop-lite song. Serge turns around, gives him the stink-eye, and tells him to keep it down. Steve asks Serge why he chose to produce "Precious", since it's obviously not David's best music. Serge eyes him disdainfully and asks him who the hell he is, so Steve tells him he used to be David's business manager. Serge one-ups him and tells him he's David's producer and boasts that he's been around the block. Steve sneers and asks him what his last hit was, "Disco Duck"? Hee! Donna urgently warns Steve to shut up, but it doesn't matter 'cause Serge kicks him out of the recording studio. Steve barks, "Fine!" and leaves, accomplishing absolutely nothing with his visit. Inside the recording booth, David notices Steve's departure and asks Serge where he went, so Serge just tells him that Steve had to leave, but that heloooved the song. He turns around and warns Donna against displaying any signs of negativity, then orders David to take "Precious" from the top. OMFG nooooooooooooooo.
The Peach Pit. Nat sees Brandon listening to the Celtics game on the radio and asks him how much money he has on the line...and then expresses regret for ever giving him Duke's number. As well he should. Brandon assures him that once he wins this bet, he's done with gambling for good. That's probably what all gambling addicts say, Brandon.
Dylan's house. Dylan makes Ahn-drea a cup of tea and tells her how refreshing it is to chill with a girl who's not his girlfriend...and could never hope to be his girlfriend. He enjoys the freedom of being himself with no strings attached. He talks to her about Jack, and how he (Jack) wanted him (Dylan) to be the man he never was, blah blah. Eventually the conversation leads Ahn-drea to reveal the real purpose of her visit, and she asks him if he'd consider doing an interview for The Blaze's Senior Profile feature...and Dylan sighs in his annoying world-weary,everyone-always-wants-a-piece-of-me manner and mutters, "Ahh, strings. Should have known." Ahn-drea insists that there are no strings, and that he's free to say no. He tells her he's said no to reporters from all the major newspapers, and that he's saying no to her now.
The Peach Pit. Brandon is nervously listening to the Celtics game as Steve stands beside him. He's elated and relieved when the game ends and the Celtics win. He tells Steve that he placed a huge bet of $1,500 with Jeff Stellar, and Steve laughs and assumes he's kidding. When he realizes it's not a joke, he warns Brandon that a bet like that is probably way out of Jeff's league. Brandon tells him that Jeff better have the money since he needs it to pay Duke, but Steve warns him that it's very possible Jeff won't have it.
West Beverly High. Brandon asks Jeff when he can collect his winnings, and Jeff assures him that he has his bet covered. He promises to stop by the Peach Pit that evening to pay up.
The Blaze newsroom. Dylan enters the newsroom, and Ahn-drea sheepishly apologizes about asking him to be interviewed. He tells her that he had a change of heart and now thinks that maybe telling his story could help. However, there is one stipulation: he wants to write the piece himself. Ahn-drea seems skeptical about his ability to string two sentences together, but happily gives him her consent. He then asks her if she'd help him with editing, and she gives him a wide grin and tells him she'd looooove to.
Bathroom. Kelly and Donna are primping in front of the mirror. Kelly moans about how she gained two pounds the previous day even though she didn't eat anything...so clearly something must be wrong with her. Donna chalks it up to water weight, but Kelly insists that she's turning into a porker...and to prevent any further weight gain, she went out and bought herself a box of appetite suppressants. To lay the groundwork for her pill-popping/anorexia storyline in the next episode, she takes one of the pills in front of Donna.
Dylan's house. Dylan is ready to start writing his profile piece and has invited Ahn-drea over to help get him started. The two chat about literature, and Ahn-drea realizes that all the stuff he's recently read is on the reading list of her AP English class with Gil Meyers. She encourages him to try to get into the class, since he's done "most of the work", which is probably a giant overstatement, since an advanced English class usually entails a lot more than just reading the books. Dylan thinks it over and ponders the notion of making an effort to work hard in school less than three months before graduation.
The Peach Pit. Jeff has shown up at the diner to meet with Brandon, and he looks very uneasy. After he and Brandon step outside to conduct their business, he admits that he doesn't actually have the money to cover the winnings for his $1,500 bet. Brandon immediately starts to wig out, so Jeff explains that he had the choice to either pay him or the entire football team. Brandon snaps, grabs Jeff by the collar, and threatens to pummel him as he demands the money. Steve happens to pull up in his Corvette at that moment, and he rushes over to pry Brandon off of Jeff.
Icon Records. David is listening to the final mix of "Precious" with a hopeless, dazed expression. Serge, on the other hand, is totally into the song. He's thrilled with the final mix and excitedly tells David it has platinum written all over it. He reminds David that they're meeting with Curtis Bray the following day...but David is getting very worried that Curtis will hate the song - as well he should be. Serge, however, is confident that the boss is going to love it.
The Peach Pit. Steve admonishes Brandon for not telling him how serious his gambling debts have become, and a shame-faced Brandon says he didn't want anyone to know. Steve suggests telling Papa Walsh, but Brandon refuses to break down and do that...not after lying to him for so long. Brandon admits that he was totally out of control with Jeff, and he's very glad that Steve came along when he did. He asks Steve if he could ask Samantha to shell out some extra cash to help him pay off Duke, but Steve tells him that she put the brakes on that kind of thing a long time ago. Plus, he's already spent most of his undeserved allowance this month, so there's no way she'd ever give him any more cash. Brandon is frightened what Duke and his thug Tony are going to do to him.
West Beverly High. A grim-faced Jeff hands Brandon $200...and Brandon takes the money despite being disappointed by the paltry amount. Jeff then warns him not to assault him again, and Brandon wryly tells him that he doesn't have to worry - the heat's on him.
Ahn-drea begs Gil to consider accepting Dylan in his AP English class, now that he's suddenly committed to turning his academic life around. Gil is reluctant, but agrees to go into the hall to talk to him. He tells Dylan he'll talk to Mrs. Teasley about admitting him to his class, but first he has to agree to the conditions, which are: a) he can't cut class b) he has to do the work, and c) he'll think. Dylan confirms that he'll try his best to do all three.
The Walsh house. The phone rings and Mama Walsh calls out to Brandon to tell him Nat's on the line. Brandon stares at his pale face in the bathroom mirror before taking the call. Nat informs him that Duke is at the diner waiting for him...and he doesn't look happy. Not that Duke ever really looks all that happy. Brandon begs Nat not to tell Duke where he lives, but Nat tells him that the sleazy bookie probably already knows.
Icon Records. Curtis, David, and Serge are listening to "Precious". David lies to Curtis and tells him he loves the way the song turned out and thinks it's his best work. Curtis tells David he is blessed with the special gift of always being able to spot talent; however, sometimes his vision clouds. "Precious" is not the sound he was hoping for. Serge immediately changes gears and tells Curtis that the song wasn't what he thought he was going to have to work with, and further insults David by saying that the material just wasn't there. David tries to explain to Curtis that Serge was the one who wanted to remix "Precious" while he wanted to focus on his hip-hop-lite song. Serge pretends to look puzzled and says that David never said anything about hip-hop - but Curtis is barely listening and tells David that a partnership between him and Icon Records just isn't going to work out. David gets up and storms out of the room...and for some odd reason, Serge rushes to catch up with him. When he tries to part ways amicably, David calls him an over-the-hill hack with no taste who's trying to hold onto a lousy job.
Dylan's house. Kelly is over while Dylan is trying to work on his profile piece for The Blaze. She's bored and asks him how much longer he's going to write, and he irritably tells her he's busy and suggests that maybe she could do some homework instead of pestering him. She strolls over to him, gives him a from-behind hug and starts tonguing his ear...but he's totally not into it and mutters, "Not now." She asks him if she can read what he's written so far, but he tells her he doesn't want anyone to read it until he's finished. She looks insulted and tells him she has plans to meet Donna and David at the Peach Pit and beats a hasty retreat.
The Peach Pit. Brandon psyches himself up to go talk to Duke, who's clad in a long black coat and his usual brown hat. Brandon joins him at his table and hands him a wad of cash, but it's only $500. Duke counts it and tells Brandon he owes him three times this much. Brandon assures him that it's coming...but he needs more time. Nat, meanwhile, ambles over and hovers over their table. Duke tells Brandon it's a good thing he has such good friends, and then stands up, sticks the wad of cash in Nat's front pocket, and tells Brandon he owes the man $1,000. He also advises him to lay low for awhile. After Duke leaves, Nat explains to Brandon that he paid off his gambling debt to Duke, and that he's now going to have to have to work it off. Brandon promises he will, and admits that he let himself get out of control. Nat admonishes him for not asking for help earlier on, particularly when he kept asking him if everything was all right. He also warns Brandon that if he ever catches him gambling again, he's going directly to Papa Walsh to tattle on him.
David enters the diner and joins Steve, Kelly, and Donna. David announces that Curtis Bray dumped him 'cause he hated "Precious"...and Steve hilariously breaks the news to him that they all hate that song. Haha! David's hip-hop-lite song happens to start playing on the Peach Pit's jukebox, and Steve exclaims, "Now that's a song!" He says that maybe the next time David hooks himself up with a record company, he'll listen to his sage advice...and David looks pleased that he didn't totally burn his bridges with Steve and that there might be a next time. Nat comes over to take their order, and Steve magnanimously orders burgers and fries for everyone - to celebrate him and David being back in business together. Kelly, however, is slowly starving herself so she discreetly tells Nat she just wants a cup of coffee, then reaches for her box of diet pills. Donna looks concerned and asks her if she's not overdoing this whole diet thing, and Kelly tells her that she's already lost a pound and a half, and has only a few more to go. Kelly then excuses herself from the table and goes into the bathroom. She stares unhappily at herself in the mirror and then sucks back several more pills, washing them down with water. When she looks in the mirror a second time, she's a lot more pleased with herself.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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