Recap: Summer's over, and it's back to school for the students of West Beverly Hills High. Brandon arrives at the campus with Brenda and Dylan and tells them he actually missed school while he was off during the summer. Dylan and Brenda stare at him like he's nuts, and Dylan encourages him to savor the fifteen minutes of freedom he has left. Brandon then makes a startling declaration: after three years of studying hard and working his butt off, he's going to lazily cruise through his senior year and focus on having fun.
Kelly and Donna arrive at school together and notice the excessive kissing and hand-holding going on between Brenda and Dylan. Donna wonders aloud how long that relationship will last. (About five more episodes, I believe.) Kelly, who looks adorable in a white short-sleeved dress, feigns a lack of interest in the relationship and tells Donna she's not an astrologer and can't make any predictions. Donna unhelpfully points out that some people end up marrying their high school sweetheart, to which Kelly mutters, "I guess so."
David is in his DJ booth, announcing that all new and transferred students are to report to the main outdoor quad so they can get teamed up with their senior buddy. Nikki Witt suddenly appears in the hallway and grins at David through the large glass window. She enters the booth, checks it out, and tells him how impressed she is with the set-up of his pretend radio station. David gets all antsy at being in her presence and asks her what she's still doing in L.A. She tells him that things in San Francisco got too "hairy", so she convinced her parents to let her live in La La Land with her aunt. She then announces she's off to meet her senior buddy, and laughingly asks him if the whole senior buddy thing is as dorky as it sounds. Yep...these things usually are.
Main quad. Brenda, Donna, and Steve are waiting to get paired up with their freshman buddies. Steve says the only reason he volunteered to do this is 'cause he thinks it might look good on his college application. Also, he's hoping to be paired up with a cute freshman girl he could possibly bone. Ew. A few seconds later, a pretty blonde approaches him and asks if he's Steve Sanders...and when he schmaltzily confirms he is, she points to a dorkish kid with a funny looking afro ponytail and tells him that that's his freshman buddy. Needless to say, Steve is less than thrilled. The dorkish kid comes over and introduces himself as Herbert Little. Steve brusquely tells him he's only doing the buddy thing so he can include it on his college application, thereby fooling the admissions people into believing he's not as big a douchebag as he is. He then warns "Hubert" not to bug or embarrass him.
Brenda strides toward a tiny blonde girl dressed in very conservative clothes. She asks her if her name is Susie, and the girl says yes. Brenda introduces herself and tells little Susie that she's there to answer any and all questions she may have about West Beverly - but for now, the only question Susie has is where the bathroom is. Cut to the ladies room, where Brenda chatters about how when she was a sophomore she wanted to join the pep squad, but didn't 'cause her A-list friends thought it was too lame. After a few minutes, Susie emerges from a bathroom stall in a completely different outfit: tight jeans, a black bra top, and an ugly vest with tassels. She's also wearing a ton of makeup and puffing on a cigarette.
Brandon lets out a heavy sigh before entering The Blaze newsroom. Ahn-drea is already there, organizing assignments for everybody like the neurotic dullard she is. She informs Brandon that they'll be getting a new faculty adviser for the paper, 'cause their regular one got knocked up out of wedlock. Brandon breaks the news that he no longer has any desire to work on the paper, but Ahn-drea doesn't like the sound of that and tells him to "forget it". He argues that he's been the sports editor for the past two years and it's gotten tiresome, so Ahn-drea counter-argues that since they're seniors now, they can really leave their mark on the stupid rag. Brandon then reveals his grand plan for his senior year, which is to cruise and not work very hard. Ahn-drea retorts that that's too damn bad 'cause she needs him on staff and isn't allowing him to quit. Gaaa...this is so exhausting. A teacher quietly enters the newsroom as Brandon sarcastically asks Ahn-drea if she's going to force him to work on The Blaze by chaining him to the newsroom's computer. The teacher looks slightly amused by the mutual dysfunction of the two idiots...and when they notice him standing there, they immediately stop sniping at each other. The teacher is Mr. Meyers, the new faculty adviser and English teacher. Ahn-drea introduces herself and Brandon, and inappropriately blurts out that Brandon has the crazy idea that he's not going to write the paper's sports page this year. Mr. Meyers replies that if Brandon is half as good as Ahn-drea thinks he is, then he may have to twist his arm to stay. Ahn-drea looks over at Brandon with her trademark smug expression, which always makes me want to smack her.
Spanish class. Kelly enters the classroom and is happy to see Dylan already seated at one of the desks. He motions for her to sit beside him, so she does. He tells her he tried calling her last night, but hung up when David answered the phone. He tells her they need to talk, but is unable to elaborate further because Brenda suddenly enters the classroom. She's excited to finally be in the same class as her boyfriend and best friend. Kelly, of course, looks irked and dismayed.
Lunch time. Mr. Meyers is carrying a tray of food toward the school building when Ahn-drea rushes over to him for some impromptu ass-kissing. She gushes about how his English class was really terrific, then starts nattering about a report she wrote on how to streamline The Blaze's editorial process. She really is in desperate need of a life. Mr. Meyers politely cuts her off and encourages her to bring her report to the organizational meeting they're having after school. He then tries to make a break for it, but Ahn-drea clutches his forearm and thanks him for his efforts to keep Brandon on the paper this year. She says she can't imagine running The Blaze without him...then tattles about his "tendency to get lazy sometimes". Mr. Meyers wryly tells her that human beings are like that sometimes and quickly flees with his food tray. Ahn-drea just stares after him and looks puzzled by the remark, which is proof that she's still as clueless and socially inept as she always was.
Donna and David are eating outside together. Donna is gushing about how well she and her "buddy", Nikki, clicked. By carefully scripted coincidence, Nikki happens to walk by at that exact moment, so Donna calls her over and introduces her to David. Fortunately for David, Nikki plays it cool and shakes his hand as though the two have never met.
Dylan is complaining to Brenda about the low grade cafeteria food and suggests they go elsewhere to eat. He wants to go to his place, but Brenda jovially points out that he doesn't have any food in his fridge. The two start making out again, and Kelly, who's strolling nearby, looks over at the nauseating PDA with a grim expression on her face. Brenda catches sight of her and calls her over, but Kelly pretends as though she didn't hear her and stalks off. Dylan tells Brenda to let her go, and fibs about how he wants to spend the lunch hour alone with her. Brenda tells him he's sweet, but then fails to notice the look of anguish on her boyfriend's wrinkly face.
The Blaze newsroom. Mr. Meyers kicks off the organizational meeting by handing out blank index cards to everyone. He's happy to see Brandon in attendance, and Brandon grumps, "Like I had a choice." Actually, you did have a choice and you clearly chose to show up. Mr. Meyers wants everyone to write down what they'd like to accomplish with the paper so he can ensure that no one gets too bored. He then tells everyone that he read a few issues of The Blaze over lunch and thought the articles were readable, but that the paper could be a lot better. Haha! This remark causes Ahn-drea to get all prickly, and she asks him what specifically he didn't like. He tells her the layout could be better, there could be more graphics, and the editorial style could be more precise. Haha! Ahn-drea gets defensive and starts rambling in her rambley way about how last fall most of the writers were new to The Blaze, but that by spring they hit their stride, and the paper went on to win some award, blah blah. Mr. Meyers gives her a withering look and says, "I'm well aware of your accomplishments" then calls her Anne-drea instead of the more uppity sounding Ahn-drea she favors...and naturally she snottily corrects his pronunciation. Mr. Meyers acknowledges that she's a first rate editor, but insists there's always room for improvement. Ahn-drea grudgingly agrees, but then continues to look pissed off and angst ridden.
After the organizational meeting, Ahn-drea complains to Brandon about the bad vibes she's getting from Mr. Meyers. She gets the distinct feeling he doesn't like her, which...d'yuh. I'm sure she's right on about that. Brandon insists that this can't possibly be true because Mr. Meyers complimented her editing skills - but Ahn-drea says she feels like she's been saying the wrong thing to Meyers all day. That's because you have, idiot. That lunch conversation, for example, was entirely cringeworthy. She tells Brandon she's very eager to show Mr. Meyers how much passion she has for the school paper, so Brandon advises her to just chillax...and eventually the guy will figure out what a great journalist she is.
The Walsh house. The Walshes, along with Dylan, are in the kitchen preparing for a barbecue dinner. Dylan makes a big show about how he's an expert barbecuer and offers to help a hapless Papa Walsh, who (for plot purposes) has suddenly become inept at grilling food. When they step outside, Brandon remarks to Brenda how well the two seem to be getting along.
David's/Kelly's house. Kelly is vigorously lifting hand weights and recounting for David how nauseating it was for her to watch Dylan and Brenda kiss every time she turned around. She doesn't think she can make it through a whole year of these vomit-inducing PDAs. David asks her if she's in love with Dylan, and she quickly says no and explains that she simply can't stand being in every class with him and Brenda. David then commiserates about how Nikki is Donna's assigned buddy, and that Nikki flirts with him whenever they're alone together. Kelly urges him to come clean with Donna about his summer dalliance, because it's far better if Donna finds out about it from him...and not Nikki.
Public Library. Ahn-drea is seated at a table, reading. Mr. Meyers is perusing the stacks when he spots her and ambles over to where she's sitting. He starts peppering her with questions about Brandon, specifically if she thinks he's a leader. He then remarks how obvious it is that Brandon is bored senseless being the sports editor. Ahn-drea agrees and suggests he should be challenged more, so Mr. Meyers completely crushes her soul when he tells her he'd like to appoint Brandon as the new editor-in-chief. Ahn-drea is clearly devastated - bwahahahaha!! - but somehow manages to keep her bitterness in check and pretend like she thinks it's a great idea.
West Beverly High. Steve is standing outside, flirting with some random girl, when Herbert calls him over. Steve looks annoyed by the intrusion and snaps at him to make it quick. Herbert asks him where the computer lab is, so Steve rattles off some directions...but when he turns around to resume flirting, the girl has disappeared. No doubt she was looking for an opportunity to escape.
Nikki is on her way down a flight of stairs when she and Brandon collide. The two apologize to each other and then go their merry ways. Nikki heads over to the DJ booth to talk to David about the Donna Situation. She makes it clear to him that she hates lying to Donna about their summer kisses, and doesn't want things to get "sticky". David assures her that he'll tell Donna everything...and promises to do it later that day. Nikki bobs her head and looks relieved.
English class. Mr. Meyers is discussing the work of Walt Whitman, trying hard to convince his students that the writing of this tedious essayist is captivating. Mercifully the bell rings, and he asks Brandon and Ahn-drea to stick around. Once the room has emptied out, he tells Brandon that he and Ahn-drea have decided that he should be the new editor-in-chief of The Blaze. Brandon is shocked by the announcement, and a dejected Ahn-drea half-heartedly congratulates him.
Brandon walks down the hall and collides into Nikki again. As the two bend down to pick up their books, Nikki gets her first good look at his dreamy blue eyes, coiffed hair and sideburns...and smiles appreciatively. Brandon, however, is totally oblivious to her and continues down the hall where he runs into Mr. Meyers and asks him if they can speak privately. Mr. Meyers is OK with that, but tells Brandon he'd prefer it if he called him Gil. I like that name...Gil. That settled, the two go outside to have a chat. Brandon asks him if Ahn-drea is really OK with him taking over as the paper's editor-in-chief, so Gil points out that since she's been doing it for the past two years, she probably needs a break. Brandon tells him that The Blaze is Ahn-drea's entire life, and Gil's response is, "My point exactly." Hee! He then challenges Brandon to step up to the plate, but Brandon tells him about his plan to cruise during his senior year and not work very hard. I find it funny that he would come right out and tell that to one of his teachers. Brandon then tells him he really isn't up for the challenge of being editor-in-chief, but Gil encourages him to go for it.
Brenda and Dylan are walking outside together. She wants him to host a barbecue at his house, but he's unsure if that's something he wants to do. The two then encounter Susie, who's dressed in another slutty looking outfit. She's walking arm in arm with a stoned looking dude who has fabulous long curly hair. Dylan remarks that Susie looks like she belongs in reform school, and Brenda's like, "Whatever" and resumes her discussion of the barbecue. She excitedly proposes inviting the whole gang, then wonders aloud why Kelly wasn't in class that morning...
Vice Principal's office. Kelly tells Mrs. Teasley that she wants to take an art class with Donna so she can explore her creative side. Mrs. Teasley tells her that it's doable, but it means she'll have to rearrange her entire schedule. Kelly looks enormously pleased by that.
David tells Donna he wants to get together with her later...no doubt to confess his mini summer fling with Nikki. Unfortunately, though, Donna is getting together with Nikki after school, and then Nikki's coming over to Casa Martin for dinner. This news does not please David.
The Blaze newsroom. Ahn-drea pauses in front of the newsroom door and stares at Brandon through the little window while he pores over the paper's new layout. She takes a deep breath, enters the newsroom, and announces her entrance with, "Private Zuckerman reporting for duty, sir." God she's such a tool. Brandon informs her that The Blaze has a fresh new layout - but since it's different from the layout she created, she immediately gets all pissed off. She also has an angry reaction when Brandon wants to get a look at her report about streamlining the editorial process. She asks to speak to him in the hall, then tells him that this new arrangement of him calling all the shots instead of her isn't going to work out. She rebukes him for shirking his responsibility to streamline the editorial process and then snarls that he can't just take credit for all of her hard work. Brandon is clueless about why she's so angry, and asks her why she backed him for the position of editor-in-chief if it's wigging her out this badly. She snarks that he's not experienced or committed enough to run The Blaze, and he argues that he is...and then she barks back that he should just run it by himself and storms off down the hallway. Brandon yells after her that she's too egotistical to deal with this...and so Ahn-drea turns around and gives him a death glare. But by now she's far too choked up with emotion (or maybe it's phlegm), and thankfully she's unable to retort.
The Peach Pit. Steve shows David a bunch of boxes he ordered, which are filled with 45s of his awful song. David is unimpressed and asks him if anyone even plays 45 records anymore. In 1992? Probably not a whole lot of people. Steve tells him his stupid strategy, which is to put the 45s in every available jukebox he can - but David informs him he doesn't want his song playing at the Peach Pit 'cause apparently he told both Nikki and Donna that they were the first person to have heard his song. I don't know why that matters. Steve doesn't much care, and insists that a 45 with David's latest song is going into Nat's jukebox. That settled, David tells Steve he needs to tell Donna about his flirtation with Nikki over the summer. Steve doesn't think it necessary and flippantly encourages him to make Nikki into a side dish and not tell Donna about any of it. He adds that his general policy when it comes to relationships is to deny, deny, deny. I have no idea why David bothers confiding anything of a personal nature in such a soulless douchebag.
Dylan's house. Dylan and Brenda arrive at the house with bags of groceries. Dylan tells her he's never barbecued anything...and confesses that he was just pretending to know all about grilling when he offered to help Papa Walsh at the beginning of the episode. Brenda is aghast and worried that the barbecue is going to be a complete disaster. Dylan assures her it'll be fine, but that he needs her help. She then starts tidying up the house...and when she picks up some clothes lying around, she finds a woman's earring. With a scary angry look on her face, she demands to know whose earring this is. Dylan goes pale and stammers unconvincingly that the earring belongs to his mother. Brenda glares at him as she thinks over this obvious lie and decides to believe him.
West Beverly High. Dylan runs into Kelly and asks her why she wasn't in class yesterday. She informs him that she changed around her schedule so she can take an art class with Donna. Dylan then hands her the earring that Brenda found, and Kelly nervously asks him if he told Brenda about their summer romance...but he tells her he didn't. She then tosses the earring in the bushes and snarks about how she can no longer stomach the sight of him and Brenda canoodling because it's giving her a perpetual throat lump.
Brenda and Donna are walking together, discussing the upcoming barbecue at Dylan's house. They encounter Susie, who's wearing another horrible, revealing outfit. She's walking with a group of long haired, leather clad hooligans who collectively look like they're up to no good. She says hello to Brenda and Donna, and when Brenda asks where she's going, she laughingly answers that she's going wherever this bunch of losers is taking her. Donna informs Brenda that this "Susie" is Sue Scanlon, Scott's younger sister...and Brenda is surprised, but also dismayed that she didn't make the connection. Donna tells her that the Scanlon family has pretty much fallen apart since Scott offed himself, and that it's a horrible situation, particularly since Mrs. Scanlon was always kind of a loopy broad to begin with.
English class. After the bell rings, Gil asks Ahn-drea to stay behind. Once they're alone, he asks her why she's been giving him the stink-eye for the past hour...and she retorts by asking him why he hasn't called on her for the past hour. He tells her that it's because he knows she knows all the answers. She announces that she's quitting the paper, then goes on a bitter rant about how he stripped away her job as editor-in-chief after years of hard work and sacrificing evenings and weekends. Gil acts all stunned that she's so upset - which I found a tad insincere, but since it's Ahn-drea I couldn't give a tiny rat's ass. He asks her why she didn't say anything, so she tells him she wanted him to like her. He tells her he does (liar liar, pants on fire) and she snarks that he obviously doesn't like her as much as he likes Brandon. Oh honey. That would be impossible for anyone. Gil tells her he thinks she's terrific...but also thinks she needs to learn how to be more of a team player, since she's not always going to be #1. He adds that overachievers like herself need to get past her own egos and accept disappointment. Hee! This gets Ahn-drea all riled up, and she accuses Gil of being sexist. She claims that if she were a guy, he'd be applauding her work ethic. Gil denies any sexism, but Ahn-drea doesn't buy it and storms off.
Donna and Nikki are hanging out outside, talking about their art class. They giggle about how Nikki has the same off-the-shoulder black top as the one Donna's wearing...and then Nikki laughs about them also having the same taste in guys. She asks Donna if she's OK with everything regarding David, and Donna's like, "Wuh?" Nikki looks panicked and tells her that David promised he was going to tell her. Donna warns her she's about to lose it, so Nikki quickly tells her about how she and David met at the Beverly Hills Beach Club over the summer, listened to his shit-tastic music in a cabana together, then kissed a few times. Donna looks like she wants to cry and wails that kissing is all she and David do! Bwahahaha! Nikki insists that David really loves her and that he's a great guy - but Donna disagrees about him being a great guy, then spouts the tired old cliche that she's not going to get mad...she's going to get even.
Steve sees Herbert being bullied by Tony Miller and a few other guys, so he marches over and orders them not to pick on his dorky freshman buddy. Herbert then refers to Steve as "sir", which makes Tony and his friends laugh at him even harder. Steve gives his buddy a look of annoyance and snaps at him for calling him sir. Herbert then snaps at him to stop calling him Hubert. Steve chuckles at his dorkish buddy, and the two stroll toward the school together, friends at last.
Brandon and Nikki nearly bump into each other once again. Brandon tells her that since they're constantly bumping into each other, they should probably introduce themselves...which they do and then shake hands. He tells her maybe they'll run into each other again soon sometime. She glances at him, clearly smitten, and chirps, "Maybe."
Brenda enters the ladies room and finds Sue Scanlon smoking. She tells Brenda she has to change back into her "Little Susie Sunshine" outfit for her return home from school. Brenda tries to get her to open up by telling her that she knows her nutty mother, and that she was at Scott's birthday party the night he accidentally shot himself. She tells the young girl she doesn't like to see her work so hard to earn a bad reputation, and Sue sadly tells Brenda how crappy it is to have to live in "that house". Brenda tells her she wants to be there for her, and offers to give her the names of some counselors she can call in order to get her head screwed on straight. Sue says she may take her up on that.
The Blaze newsroom. Brandon is looking over a draft of the rag's next issue when Gil enters. Brandon immediately starts whining to him about how much work it is to get each issue out. Gil agrees that there's a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, then tells him about how Ahn-drea ripped him a new one for demoting her, and then later accused him of being sexist. He wonders aloud if Ahn-drea was right and asks Brandon for his opinion...but Brandon doesn't really offer one, and instead tells Gil that if he wants to give the paper back to Ahn-drea, he'd totally understand. Gil doesn't think that would be fair, and the two put their heads together to think up a workable solution.
Public Library. Ahn-drea is studying at a table when Brandon approaches her. He hands her a copy of The Blaze'snew masthead, and asks her to proof it. She's surprised to see that it names the two of them as co-editors-in-chief. What a dopey, cop-out solution. Ahn-drea dourly tells him she doesn't need his pity, but Brandon denies he's pitying her. He says he recognizes her passion for the paper, and insists they'd make a good team. Hearing this appeases her, and she agrees to co-run the paper with him.
Dylan's house. It's the night of the barbecue, but Dylan isn't doing very well cooking the burgers without charring them. Donna arrives with Nikki, and Brandon looks pleasantly surprised to see the cute girl he's been repeatedly bumping into. Kelly also arrives, and she and Dylan exchange a knowing look but don't speak. Nikki approaches David and tells him they need to talk privately. She pretends to come onto him and aggressively orders him to tell Donna about them, but David just keeps trying to push her off of him. Suddenly Donna appears in the room and barks, "Busted!" I guess this is what she meant by not getting mad, but getting even. David springs up from his chair, and Nikki declares, "I think he passed the test" and the two girls cackle while David scrunches his face in confusion. He sheepishly asks Donna if she's mad at him, and she says she was, but isn't anymore. He tells her he loves her, and she kisses him and assures him that all is forgiven. A few minutes later, Nikki checks out Brandon and asks Donna if he has a girlfriend...and Donna giggles, but doesn't actually answer.
Kelly is sitting cross-legged by herself, looking very mopey. Brenda comes over and asks her what's wrong, so Kelly tells her that she's going through a senior slump even though it's only the first week of school. Brenda's theory is that she's just lonely, and promises to help find her a guy - one who's as great as Dylan. Kelly politely thanks her, and then stares gloomily as Brenda walks back over to Dylan and makes out with him for what seems like the hundredth time this episode.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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