Recap: Brandon is working what looks to be his last shift at the Peach Pit - sans air conditioning - when Steve stops by to tell him that it's time to bail, bro. He grins and announces that it's the best day of his life 'cause he found out he's finally been taken off the waiting list and has been officially admitted to California University. Brandon chides him for whining all summer about how everyone is going off to college except for him...and then congratulates him for getting in. Steve tells him that getting into CU isn't the only good news, then pulls out a key and dangles it in front of him. It's for a beach house in Malibu, where they'll be spending the last two weeks of summer. The two boneheads stare into each other's eyes, grin excitedly, and repeatedly nod simultaneously.
Steve and Brandon are on the open road in the Corvette, heading to their Malibu digs. Brandon reads him the address, which leads to a run-down, half demolished shack. Steve grabs the piece of paper to re-check the address and admonishes Brandon for not accurately deciphering his horrendous handwriting...and crisis is averted when he pulls up to an acceptably luxurious beach house. Steve explains that the place belongs to Guy Fleming, a director/producer friend of Samantha's. He's apparently trying very hard to convince the washed-up actress to star in his new sit-com...and figured that lending her irresponsible idiot son his posh beach house for two weeks might help seal the deal. I guess I can buy that for the purpose of this storyline. The two walk through the house, then onto the outdoor patio to check out the stunning ocean view. Steve immediately starts ogling two hot girls in bikinis, and Brandon cautions him about how jealous Celeste would be if she ever saw him leering at strange girls the way he often does. Steve dismissively remarks that he's not married to Celeste, then looks at his watch and says he has to go call her. As he gets ready to dial, Brandon asks him if they can have Brenda's going away party at the beach house. Steve says sure, and asks when she's leaving town. Brandon tells him the day after tomorrow, and adds that he wants to throw her a killer party.
Before the party gets underway, Celeste shows Brandon the 'Bye Bye, [Good Riddance] Brenda' poster she cobbled together, which contains sketches of the Walsh house, downtown L.A., and the beach. Brandon assures her that Brenda will love it.
Ahn-drea and Donna are the first partygoers to arrive at the beach house. Ahn-drea is as blechy as always, and Donna looks particularly skeletal in a skin tight orange dress. Apparently the two were employed as day camp counsellors at the Beverly Hills Beach Club all summer, and today was their last day. A few minutes later, David arrives and whines to everyone that he can't find himself a decent place to live...and then heads to the ocean for a swim. Donna remarks that poor David can't find any affordable housing because the apartments near campus are so expensive. [Maybe his rich, orthodontist father could send a few bucks his way.] Brenda then makes her appearance, and apparently she too finished up a summer job at the Beverly Hills Beach Club as Henry's grunt. Donna rushes over to hug Brenda and tell her she's going to miss her when she moves back to Minnesota, but Brenda declares that it's time for all of them to move on with their lives already. She looks over at Brandon for validation, but he declares that what it's really time for is...a party!
Mama and Papa Walsh are at the beach house for the early part of the party, mingling among the guests. Mama Walsh remarks to Brenda that the last time everyone was together like this was last season's graduation episode. Brenda points out that that's not completely true, since Kelly and Dylan aren't here. Mama Walsh asks when they're expected to return from their Europe vacation, and Donna interjects and tells her they're due back in two weeks. Papa Walsh chuckles about how he got a cable from Dylan requesting more money. Donna says she can't wait to tell Kelly that the two of them got into the dorm. Brandon, however, did not get into the dorm, but pontificates about how he doesn't think that living at Casa Walsh will be so bad. Not to mention a whole lot cheaper. David then strolls over to Steve and suggests that maybe the two of them could move in together, but Steve is not into that idea at all and snaps, "Perish the thought!" twice. What a rude douchetard.
Ahn-drea approaches Brenda and presents her with a going away gift. It's a muffler she no longer needs, since she's decided not to go to Yale after all. Fuuuuuuuuuck...I always knew that being "Ahn-drea free" after the high school years was too good to be true. Brenda thanks her and asks her if she has any regrets about passing on Yale, so Ahn-drea tells her that she did at first...but since Grandma Rose has conveniently fallen ill, it made more sense for her to stay in L.A. and go to California University with the rest of the Beverly Hills, 90210 cast. She tells Brenda how much she admires her for striking out on her own, which is funny and ironic considering how quickly she high-tails it back home when things don't go so well during the two days she spends in Minnesota. Suddenly, Mama and Papa Walsh walk over and tell Brenda it's time to head home and pack, but Brenda says she was planning to stay overnight at the beach house so she could avoid enduring a big sentimental goodbye. Mama and Papa Walsh give her their blessing and wish her a good night...and the second they're out of hearing range, Steve announces that it's time to break open the booze.
The party goes well into the night. Tony Miller makes one last ditch effort to get into Brenda's pants, but all he can score are her best wishes for Arizona (I assume that's where he's headed for university), and a warning not to hurt himself playing football. After she ambles off, Tony asks David if he has any idea what it feels like to be crazy about someone you know you're never going to doink...and David stares across the room at Donna in her skin tight orange dress and mutters, "Yeah, I've got a vague idea."
Donna answers a ringing phone and is surprised to hear Kelly's voice on the other end. Kelly tells her that she just got home from Europe and is calling from her car...and a minute later she appears at the door. She hugs everyone hello and announces that she landed at LAX around two hours ago. She gives the gang a quick synopsis of her summer travels: she and Dylan stumbled upon a picturesque little village two hundred kilometers south of Paris. They stayed in an old castle, tried to speak French, ate, danced, made love, etc. She says that after that idyllic jaunt, Dylan wanted to travel to Greece, and she headed over to Barcelona to meet up with her deadbeat father. Suddenly, there's the sound of glass breaking, and Celeste and Steve interrupt their canoodling to check on what broke. Kelly remarks that the two of them are so cute together - blech, Kelly - and then turns to Brenda and asks her when she's leaving for Minnesota. Brenda tells her she's leaving the following day, so Kelly remarks that she's glad she got home in time to say goodbye. Across the patio, Steve tells David that it was just a punch bowl that got broken...and then two seconds later there's another loud crash.
The following morning, the beach house is in shambles. Brandon, who spent the night on the couch, wakes up bleary eyed and takes a really long time to stumble to his feet. He notices that Brenda is already awake, sitting on the back patio and staring out at the ocean. He joins her and asks her if she's ready to head home and get ready for her flight. She says she is, so Brandon tells her he'll drive her - but first they have an important pit-stop to make: the Peach Pit. Ugh. Nat tells Brenda he's made a special addition to his grisly menu: "Lahw-verne's Honey Pie", which is a nauseating shout-out to her obnoxious waitress alter ego from Season 1's Fame Is Where You Find It episode. He made up a little placard for it and everything. Nat then solemnly points to the wall, where he's pressed, framed, and hung up Brandon's work shirt. That's...kind of weird and creepy. He then tells the twins to enjoy university, and lets Brandon know that if he ever needs a job, he knows where to come.
The Walsh house. Brandon jokes to Brenda about how he's going to reconfigure her bedroom, and she tells him to knock it off, since leaving home is hard enough as it is. He says he thought she was ready to get on with her life, and she tells him she is...but wishes he were coming with her. He laughs at the thought of enduring a Minnesota winter, so she tells him that she'll be returning home for Thanksgiving...then tears up and makes him promise that L.A. will be having a heatwave. Brandon says he's going to miss her, and suddenly a car honks in the background. Mama Walsh calls out that the airport van has arrived. Papa Walsh enters Brenda's room to hug her goodbye and help her take her bags downstairs...and Brenda takes one last look around her bedroom and sadly closes the door behind her.
Beach house. Brandon returns to the beach house, dismayed that it's still a total pigsty. He remarks to Steve how little progress has been made cleaning up, and Steve is just like meh and says he's hungry and wants to go get some breakfast. Kelly and Donna emerge from the second floor, and everyone agrees how weird it is that Brenda is gone. Ahn-drea then makes her morning appearance and announces that she's going to take a walk to the lagoon before it gets too hot out. Brandon teasingly asks her if this is the same lagoon where Gil Meyers lives, and she wryly orders him to go to breakfast and heads off. David, meanwhile, has also woken up, and Donna informs him that everyone is going out for breakfast. David ambles over to Kelly and asks her if she'd be willing to help him look for an apartment. He says he found one...but it's far too awful and depressing to actually live in. Kelly tells him that she just needs a day to get unpacked and un-jetlagged, but after that she'll be happy to go house-hunting with him.
Ahn-drea approaches an unsuspecting Gil, who's sitting on his deck reading. He surprised to see her and asks her why she's not in New Haven at her freshman orientation, so Ahn-drea giddily tells him she changed her mind and decided to attend California University with the rest of the cast. Gil looks stunned then deeply morose as she natters about how the Alumni Council kept throwing more and more scholarship money at her...and finally they made her an offer she couldn't refuse. That's really not how scholarship funds work, but OK. Gil looks almost nauseated by the thought of Ahn-drea continuing to live in his midst and starts to guilt her about how he slaved away to write her a letter of recommendation so she could get into Yale...and this, of course, pisses Ahn-drea off, and she abruptly says goodbye, and goes to leave. Gil gets up and rushes after her and apologizes, and explains that he likes teasing her because she's such a turd...I mean an easy target. He then gushes about how terrific she is - blech, Gil - and says that California University will be lucky to have her on its campus.
Minneapolis. Mama Walsh's mama - Grandmama - is driving Brenda, Mama Walsh, and Lindsay (Brenda's young cousin) to the University of Minnesota campus. Lindsay asks about the weather in Beverly Hills, and Brenda tells her it's pretty nice...so then Lindsay - who repeatedly calls Brenda "Cousin Brenda" so that viewers will fully grasp that the two are cousins - continues to pepper her with questions: has she ever eaten at the Hard Rock Cafe? Planet Hollywood? Grandmama admonishes Lindsay for overwhelming Brenda with questions, and then launches into a boring story about how tense Mama Walsh was when she first attended the University of Minnesota...and how Mama Walsh's sister got hives. Brenda starts to look nauseous, and Lindsay asks "Cousin Brenda" if she's tense. Brenda rudely ignores her and snappishly asks Grandmama if they're almost there yet.
University of Minnesota. The four arrive at the university, and Lindsay continues to ask Brenda questions about Beverly Hills. Brenda tells her she really doesn't want to talk about California now that she's back in Minnesota, and her annoying questions are making it hard for her to get her bearings. Suddenly, Brenda's old BFF, Darla Hanson, appears and she and Brenda hug. Darla tells her that a couple of their mutual friends are rooming on the same floor as them...and then she grins and says that the girls want to know: "What's Tom Cruise really like?" Brenda looks dismayed by the reference to her life in California, and Lindsay's little face lights up as she asks if this means it's OK to talk about Beverly Hills again. [Darla: Tom Cruise turns out to be a real weirdo.]
Malibu. Brandon is third-wheeling it with Steve and Celeste as they all stroll along the beach. After a few minutes, Brandon tells the couple he's going to head back to the beach house to start cleaning up the mess from the party. When he arrives there, it's clear that someone is in the house, skulking around. Suddenly, a pretty young brunette jumps in front of him with a can of Mace in her hands. A startled Brandon urges her to put down the Mace, so they can sort out this misunderstanding.
Celeste and Steve are strolling along, commenting on all the celebrities they just passed on their walk. As they kiss, they suddenly hear yelling coming from the beach house. They run inside and find the angry brunette confronting Brandon with her can of Mace - but fortunately, she recognizes Steve...and calls him "Stevie". Turns out she's Jill Fleming, daughter of Guy Fleming, the owner of the house. Brandon derisively refers to her as a psycho, so Jill explains that she came to the beach house to surprise her dad, but when she noticed how messy it was and then saw Brandon milling around in the living room, she assumed she had walked in on a robbery. She adds that she's a paranoid New Yorker and probably overreacted. Steve informs her that they're housesitting at the beach house for a couple of weeks, and says that the house got so messy because they had a big going away party for Brandon's sister the night before. During this interaction, the two get a little flirty with each other, and naturally this annoys Celeste.
University of Minnesota. Brenda, Darla, and two other girls are in a dorm room, eating pizza and going over their class schedules. When Brenda tells them she's planning to take an acting workshop, the girls chuckle about how people who want to get into acting usually go to L.A....not leave L.A. and come to Minnesota - and Brenda grins and tells them she's starting a new trend. The girls ask her if she knows any movie stars or any kids of movie stars, but all Brenda has to offer up is Samantha Sanders' son. Darla remarks, "Gosh, I bet he's pretty screwed up, huh?" You got that right, Darla. Brenda insists that Steve Sanders is actually a really good guy and that he's Brandon's best friend. One of the girls asks her what kind of car Steve drives, so Brenda drops her head and fumes silently for a few seconds before she tells them that Steve drives a Corvette, her ex-boyfriend drives a Porsche, and most of her friends drive BMW convertibles. She adds that they shop on Rodeo Drive and are incredibly shallow, phony, and braindead. Yep - sounds about right. After that she snarls, "Are there any other stupid questions I can answer?" Darla looks taken aback by the surprise appearance of Brenda's inner bitch and exclaims, "Brenda!" Brenda whines that they're all making her feel incredibly self-conscious - like she's Brenda Beverly Hills instead of Brenda Walsh. Darla explains that Beverly Hills conjures up all kinds of fascinating stereotypes, so Brenda lectures her that Beverly Hills isn't so different from the rest of the country and says that things aren't going to work out if people in Minnesota only like her because she went to West Beverly Hills High. I highly doubt she'll have that problem if she keeps up this cunty attitude.
Beach. Kelly, Donna, and David are seated on a bench at the beach, discussing David's housing woes. He grumbles that he's not going to be able to afford anything near the beach, so Kelly reminds him that he was the one who roped her into helping him. Reluctantly, he promises to look at whatever's available, then ambles off somewhere. Donna remarks that she wishes David had also gotten into a dorm, so Kelly says that David can have her spot, and she'll move to the beach. She then makes a face and describes dorms as so institutional. Donna cheekily suggests that she move in with Dylan, but Kelly says she seriously doubts that that would work out, since they're no longer on speaking terms. Donna's like, "Wuh?" so Kelly confesses that their time in Europe wasn't quite the picturesque holiday she made it out to be. Apparently, once Dylan found out that he didn't get into Berkeley, he became more sullen and mopey than his usual sullen and mopey self...and things between the two of them deteriorated so badly that he abandoned her in France without so much as a goodbye. Kelly then swears Donna to secrecy - which I found funny since it's been proven over and over that Donna can't keep a secret to save her life - and admits that she and Dylan broke up. After that, she shares an adorable nugget of wisdom by pronouncing, "Whoever says being in a good relationship is easy has never been in a good relationship." Please. Every girl who's ever had the misfortune of hooking up with Dylan McKay always seems to end up in the same toxic, emotionally draining cesspool.
Beach house. Jill turns up her nose at a bagel and sniffs that it's not a New York bagel. This prompts more flirty banter between her and Steve, and then Steve stupidly reveals to Brandon and Celeste that Jill was the gal who taught him how to French kiss. Celeste gets pissed off again, snaps that she finds the bagels delicious, and stomps over to the kitchen. Steve trails after her and tries to convince her that he and Jill were merely reminiscing. Celeste accuses him of fawning all over the girl and then warns him to remember where his "bagel's buttered, buddy". I cannot for the life of me understand why an attractive, sweet-mannered girl like Celeste would waste five minutes dating a moronic douchenozzle like Steve, who's not even close to being in her league.
David has just looked at a two bedroom apartment in a gigantic three-story beach house. He can't afford the two bedroom unit, so he asks the landlord if there's a one bedroom apartment available. Kelly suddenly blurts out, "We'll take it!" David stares at her in confusion, so Kelly tells him that she's offering to be his roommate. This, of course, makes Donna panic, and she starts wailing that she'll never make it in the dorm for a whole year by herself. As memory serves, she was similarly clingy and annoying when she thought she was going to be traveling to Paris by herself at the beginning of Season 3. The landlord tells them that if the three of them are interested in moving in together, he has an apartment on the top floor of the building that has three bedrooms! Donna thinks it over for a few seconds and excitedly agrees to move in with Kelly and David. David questions how they're going to afford living in such a large, fancy building right on the beach (no kidding!) and Kelly vaguely replies, "We'll figure something out." David then reminds Donna that there's no way in hell her uptight, uppity mother is going to approve of their new living arrangements.
Steve and Brandon walk along the beach together. Steve complains that Celeste is way too possessive, so Brandon points out that he waslaying it on pretty thick with Jill...and that he generally acts like a childish horn-dog every time the opportunity arises. Steve moans about how he's wanted Jill Fleming his entire life, and this prompts Brandon to ask him if he really wants to jeopardize what he has with Celeste for some arrogant floozy who's only in town for two weeks. Steve thinks it over and realizes he has a good point. He then spots Ahn-drea marching in the direction of the lagoon...no doubt to go torment Gil a second time. Steve calls after her but she doesn't hear him, or maybe pretends not to hear him.
Gil's house. Gil's watering his plants when Ahn-drea comes calling. She looks vexed and haughtily informs him that they probably won't have a lot to say to each other once she's finished saying what she came to say. When he asks her what's wrong, she starts nattering about how turning down her acceptance to Yale was one of the toughest decisions she's ever had to make...and then prattles in her usual frenetic, rambley manner, huffing about how it's her life, and that she doesn't have to justify herself to him or anyone else - while she's standing there, desperately trying to justify herself to him. Gil starts laughing at the inanity that is Ahn-drea, and fortunately Ahn-drea sees the stupidity in her behavior and she starts laughing too. She leans into him, and the awkward move turns into a forcible hug. Gil assures her that California University is a great school, and she can always transfer if she doesn't like it...and reminds her that no one's keeping score of her life decisions because, frankly, no one gives a rat's ass what the hell she does with her stupid life. She tells him she's so embarrassed - as well she should be - and he graciously invites her to stick around for lunch. He remarks that Maggie can set another place, Maggie being his fiancee. Ahn-drea looks taken aback by the mention of a fiancee, makes a face and mutters, "Great." Ugh - I don't even want to pursue whatever delusional thoughts this girl might have been harboring about a possible hook-up with Gil.
Minneapolis. Grandmama, Mama Walsh, Brenda, and Cousin Lindsay are in the car again, driving to the Walsh's old neighbourhood. They pull into a driveway and stare at the house the Walsh family used to live in. Brenda goes to ring the doorbell, but it looks like no one is home. She remarks that she really wanted to see what they did to her old room, but Mama Walsh reminds her that she'll have plenty of time to come back and check it out during the school year. Brenda then tells Cousin Lindsay about how she and Brandon used to swing from an old tire that Papa Walsh had hung on the big tree in front of the house and wait for the ice cream truck. A second later she starts bitching about the mosquitoes, and discreetly pulls her mother aside, telling her that she thinks she might have made a terrible mistake returning to Minneapolis. Mama Walsh breezily assures her that she'll feel a lot better once classes start.
Malibu. Brandon and Celeste are killing time throwing stones in the ocean, and Jill is sunbathing topless on the outdoor patio. Steve enters the patio, has an awkward reaction to Jill's near nakedness, so she covers her hooters with a scarf. She then asks him about Brandon, and he tells her the two of them would be a perfect fit. Not sure why he'd think that. Jill stares over at Brandon and runs toward him to attempt a hook-up. As she's doing that, Steve swiftly grabs Celeste by the hand, calls her beautiful, and invites her to take a walk with him.
The Peach Pit. Kelly marvels to Nat about how great his diner food is, and advises him to open a Peach Pit in Paris. Perish the thought. Donna enters the diner and asks Kelly how Jackie took the news about them all living in the beach apartment, and Kelly tells her that Jackie was cool about it. A jealous Donna rolls her eyes and remarks how cool Jackie always is about everything. She then breaks the news that Felice has granted permission for her to live at the beach with Kelly...but only Kelly. David asks what about him, and Donna admits that she left out the part about how he would also be living in the apartment. This seems to greatly amuse Kelly and she starts giggling.
University of Minnesota. Darla's in the dorm room when Brenda returns from a party that her aunt hosted earlier that evening. Darla tells her about a big bash on campus, and that she waited around in case Brenda de-prickled herself enough to be suitable for public viewing. Darla says that despite the shocking tongue lashing she got by Brenda's inner bitch, she's really happy that the two of them are roommates, and she's glad she decided to return to Minnesota. Brenda says she's game to go to the campus bash, so the two girls head out. The camera, however, remains focused on the yellow telephone in the dorm room, which starts ringing a few seconds later. It's Dylan, calling from a phone booth somewhere in France. When no one picks up, he tells the operator he'll try calling another time.