Recap: Clothes are sexily strewn about on the bedroom floor of a swanky hotel room, and after a few seconds the camera pans over to the bed where Brenda and Stuart are basking in an afterglow canoodle. Stuart dreamily tells Brenda that when she looks at him like that, he doesn't know how he managed to live all these years without her. He says he can't wait until they get married and spend the rest of their lives together, and assures her that they're going to have a real marriage without any "play acting". Brenda gazes over at him, and - good God - the way her head is positioned on the pillow really emphasizes those scarily manicured eyebrows. She tells him she'll always love him, and that nothing will ever come between them...and Stuart declares that he's the luckiest man alive to be engaged to her. Yeesh...you keep believing that, Mr. Delusional.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh is railing to his wife about how Brenda is irrational, stubborn, out of control, and won't listen to reason. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Now blame yourselves; you raised her. Mama Walsh urges him to calm down, but Papa Walsh is incensed that Stuart is putting her up at an expensive hotel the way Richard Gere did with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Mama Walsh points out that Brenda and Stuart are not pimp and hooker, and that they live together at the hotel...but it doesn't look as though this distinction does anything to improve Papa Walsh's mood. He's mystified that Brenda would accept a marriage proposal from someone she's only known for three weeks, which made me chortle 'cause it's exactly the sort of stupidly impulsive, irrational stunt that viewers have been conditioned to expect from this self-absorbed diva.
Mama Walsh expresses hope that Brenda and Stuart will have a long engagement, which will give them ample time to come to their senses and call off the wedding. Brandon, who's been sitting at the kitchen table listening to their bellyaching, points out that this all has a familiar ring to it. He's referring to the beginning of Season 3, when Brenda got all mad at them, ran away from home, and shacked up with Dylan for several days. Mama and Papa Walsh insist that that was totally different, since they knew that she and Dylan would be at each others' throats within a day. Plus, there had never been any talk of marriage. The phone rings, and it's Lawrence Carson, who's calling to invite himself and his wife over to the Walshes' house for lunch. Mama Walsh suddenly perks up, since she assumes that the Carsons are just as upset about the engagement as they are. Papa Walsh seems confident that between the four of them, they can restore some "vague semblance of reality".
Beach house. David tells Donna to hurry up and finish getting dressed so they can leave for campus. Donna wistfully says that if Kelly were there she'd be able to borrow her black clogs, but this only prompts David to snark, "Thank God she's not." Just as they're about to leave, Kelly enters the apartment. She ignores David, says hello to Donna, and informs her that she just stopped by to pick up a few things. She adds that she'll make it quick, and David bitchily retorts, "The quicker the better." Peacemaker Donna tries to convince them that there's no longer any reason for them to be so angry with each other, especially now that the deposition is over. David ignores that advice and asks Kelly, "the psych major", explain why Jackie is doing this to Mel. Kelly concedes that Mel has always been nice to her, but says she doesn't want to see Erin get hurt. David doesn't see how that could possibly happen, since the kid's only two years old. He accuses Jackie of taking her loneliness and misery out on his father, then tells Donna it's time for them to leave for campus. She trots behind him obediently, and on her way out she tells Kelly she'll call her later.
KEG house. Steve is shooting pool with John Sears when the phone rings. John answers it, and it's Laura Kingman calling for Steve...but Steve motions for him to tell her he's not there, so John fibs to Laura and tells her she just missed him. After he hangs up, he asks Steve what he did to the girl, and Steve just says it's no big deal...and that Laura's a nice girl, but things between them didn't work out. John tells him this is the third time she's called, and Steve stares into space looking troubled.
California University. Brandon gives Dylan an update on The Brenda Situation, and tells him that Mama and Papa Walsh and the Carsons are getting together for lunch to form an alliance - presumably to stop the wedding. Dylan shakes his head in incredulity and calls Brenda "a piece of work", and Brandon bitterly jokes that she'll probably get another free trip to Paris out of it. Haha! He asks Dylan to give him the skinny on whatever dirt he has on Stuart, but Dylan immediately clams up and says, "No comment." He tells Brandon he has no interest in getting involved in Brenda's love life, then ambles off to class.
Student Union. Laura Kingman spots Ahn-drea sitting at a table and goes over to join her. Apparently the two have a chemistry class together. Laura asks her if she knows Steve Sanders, since she knows that both of them went to West Beverly High. Ahn-drea tells her that Steve is one of her closest friends, and so Laura asks her how she can get in touch with him. Ahn-drea says that Steve spends a lot of time at the KEG house, but Laura already knows this and doesn't think he's been getting her messages...or refuses to get a clue and admit to herself that he probably has been getting her messages but chooses not to return any of them. She then pretends to need some notes from him for another class they're in together and asks Ahn-drea if she knows Steve's home number. Ahn-drea writes it down and hands it to her.
Brandon is in Professor Randall's office, once again complaining about D'Shawn Hardell and his lousy work ethic. It seems that all he wants to do is watch TV and play basketball. Brandon suggests that maybe D'Shawn needs a tutor who can get through to him, so Randall tells him all about how D'Shawn is the first person in his family to ever go to college, and deduces that he must at least have a few smarts. Brandon agrees and says that that's what makes this so frustrating. He warns Randall that if D'Shawn bombs on his upcoming midterms, which is the likeliest outcome, he'll no longer be eligible to play on the university's basketball team...and Randall's solution to this quandary is to invite D'Shawn and Brandon over for dinner at Casa Randall. He thinks that if the two of them get together in a more relaxed atmosphere, it might somehow help with the tutoring sessions. At that moment, Lucinda enters the office and Randall calls her "sweetie" and urges her to come in. She and Brandon shake hands as though they hadn't almost doinked on her living room couch during the previous episode. Randall asks Brandon if he likes spicy food, and tells him that Lucinda has a bunch of recipes for some very tasty Guatemalan meals. Brandon shifts awkwardly as Lucinda makes a remark about how much she likes to get to know her husband's students.
The Walsh house. Papa Walsh tells Lawrence and Vivian Carson how glad he is that they could get together and discuss their children's looming marital disaster. Lawrence admits that the news of the engagement caught him by surprise, especially since they've only known each other for a couple of months. Papa Walsh corrects him and reminds him that it's only been three weeks since they started dating. And speaking of the happy couple, Brenda and Stuart suddenly arrive at the house. The Carsons rush over to greet them and make a big fuss over Brenda and how fabulous she looks in her new pants suit. Brenda tells them that Stuart just bought it for her, and that he's totes spoiling her. Stuart walks over to the dismayed Walshes, shakes their hands, and asks if he can call them mom and dad...but that kind of goes over like a lead balloon. Papa Walsh takes Lawrence aside and says he thought the meeting was just going to include the four of them - so Lawrence says that since it's their kids' wedding, they should have some say in it. The three couples take a seat in the living room, and Lawrence comes right out and offers to pay for the entire wedding. Vivian explains to the Walshes that they plan to invite around 350-400 guests, then asks Mama Walsh what their guest list might look like. Mama Walsh looks at her, bewildered, and stammers that she has absolutely no idea. Papa Walsh says he wants the kids to wait awhile before they get married, and Vivian agrees (sort of) and proposes a June wedding. Lawrence gets up, strolls over to where Stuart is sitting, and tells everyone in the room that while his son may be an irresponsible, immature, and spoiled rotten assclown...he made a great life decision when he proposed to Brenda. He then makes a joke about having to cough up enough cash to pay for the event, which prompts a pissed off look from Brenda...and she drags Stuart into another room so they can talk privately. He apologizes for the way his domineering father is turning their wedding into a three-ring circus, and Brenda tells him how annoyed she is at the way her parents are ruining everything with their negativity. Suddenly, Stuart comes up with a brilliant idea: they could elope to Vegas! Tonight! Brenda agrees that that's an awesome idea. Stuart cautions her not to tell a soul, but Brenda insists that there's one soul she needs to tell.
In the next scene, Brandon asks his sister if she's gone completely crazy, then tells her she's being impetuous and clearly hasn't thought this through...and that their parents will kill her if she elopes to Las Vegas. Brenda tells him she's tired of explaining her hasty, ill-planned decisions to everyone, and says he's the only person she can turn turn to, and that she desperately needs his blessing. He half-heartedly gives it, which pleases her enormously. She giddily tells him that the next time he sees her she'll be Mrs. Stuart Carson...then begs him not to tell their parents about the elopement.
The Peach Pit. Dylan is slouching over the counter, feeding on one of Nat's artery hardening mega-burgers when John Sears saunters over. He ridicules Dylan for continuing to frequent his high school hangout, and insinuates that he isn't able to handle change very well. Dylan explains that he enjoys the food at the Pit and doesn't feel the need to try to fix something that isn't broken. John then tells him that Kelly repeatedly insists she no longer wants to see him (Dylan) anymore, but every time he (John) turns around, she's still with him. He accuses Dylan of having some kind of hold on her, so Dylan says that Kelly is free to see whoever she wants...but adds that her interest in hanging out with a douchenozzle like him (John) is beyond him. John smirkily retorts that it is beyond him. After he leaves, Nat comes over and tries to gain Dylan's approval by grumping about how much he dislikes John Sears and always knew the guy was trouble. Dylan rhetorically asks him why the only two girls he ever loved want to run around with total dirt bags...and surprisingly, Nat has no two cents to throw in.
The Walsh house. Mama and Papa Walsh are washing up the dishes, angrily recounting to each other the way the Carsons barged into their home and shoved their kids' wedding plans down their throats. Papa Walsh is conflicted 'cause Lawrence is his biggest client...so he can't very well tell the man he doesn't want him to be part of his family. Mama Walsh is suspicious about why they seem to want to marry off their son in such a hurry, and Papa Walsh jokes that the wedding is just another excuse for Vivian to throw a lavish party. Brandon, who's been eavesdropping on their conversation from the doorway, saunters into the kitchen and asks them how lunch with the Carsons went. They tell him that the Carsons want to throw Brenda and Stuart the wedding of the century, so Brandon asks them if they're OK with that...and Papa Walsh grimly retorts that they don't have a whole lot of choice. Mama Walsh looks slightly hopeful when she points out that there will be six months of preparation before the June wedding, and says they could use the time to try to convince their idiot daughter to call the whole thing off.
Steve's house. Steve is sitting on his bed, idly leafing through a magazine when the phone rings. It's Brandon, who quickly orders him to pack his bags 'cause they're jetting off to Vegas to put the kibosh on Brenda's and Stuart's elopement. Steve asks him whassup with his sister and wonders aloud if she's flipping out. Yep - that's a pretty safe bet. Brandon tells him they have to depart from Burbank, since all the departing flights to Vegas from LAX are full. Steve hangs up, and about two seconds later, the phone rings again. He assumes it's Brandon and answers it saying, "So, what's the problem?" He's surprised to hear Laura Kingman's voice on the other end, and says he's been meaning to call her...but is about to head to Vegas so he can't really talk. He abruptly hangs up on her, then calls Kelly to dish about Brenda's elopement. Word spreads like wildfire among the entire 90210 gang, and it ends with Dylan, who's on a pay phone at the Peach Pit. When he hangs up, he wryly informs Nat that Brenda is on her way to Vegas to get married.
The Walsh house. Brandon sneaks downstairs carrying his travel bag...and while he's sneaking out, he glances toward the kitchen and sees his parents sitting at the table, looking very distraught. He stops himself, puts his bag down, and goes into the kitchen so he can come clean about his trip to Vegas. When Mama and Papa Walsh ask him why he's going there, he tells them he promised Brenda he wouldn't tell. After some very minimal prodding, Brandon spills the beans and informs them that Brenda and Stuart are eloping to Vegas and have plans to get married that evening. Mama and Papa immediately flip out and want to book a flight to Vegas so they can put an end to this foolishness...but Brandon warns them that if they do that, they could lose her for good. Plus, Brenda would never trust him with any kind of secret ever again...not that she should, given how easily he just cracked under zero pressure. Papa Walsh asks him if he has some kind of plan once he gets to Vegas, and Brandon just stares at him blankly. So...no, Jim. There is no plan.
Plane. Brandon and Steve board the plane, along with a random Elvis impersonator...and a few minutes later, Kelly, Donna, and Ahn-drea also board. Brandon looks startled to see them and asks Steve who else he told about Brenda's elopement, and Steve swears he just told Kelly. David boards the plane and acts really dickish to the flight attendant. When he sees Kelly, the two start sniping at each other again, which is getting annoying fast. Donna orders them to put aside their differences for Brenda's sake - so, mercifully, the two agree on a truce. Kelly apologizes to him about the whole custody mess, and David softens and says he misses having a sister. Kelly remarks that of all her mother's failed marriages, he's the only brother she got out of any of them. David breaks into a smile and urges her to move back into the apartment, which pleases Donna enormously. Dylan is the last to board the plane, and as he slouches down the aisle toward his seat, he mumbles that he wouldn't miss this wedding for the world.
Las Vegas. Stuart wheels a food cart over to Brenda. She inspects the meal and announces that this will be her last supper as a single woman. She tells him she's thrilled that their elopement is turning out to be everything she hoped it would be...and the two toast their cleverness in successfully getting away from everyone.
During the flight, Steve tries to teach Ahn-drea how to play Blackjack, but she's nonsensically babbling about the concept of human connection. Brandon tells Dylan he's obligated to disclose everything he knows about Stuart, now that his sister is about to marry the guy. Dylan insists he doesn't want to get involved, but Brandon points out that he got involved when he boarded the plane. Dylan finally gives in and reveals that Stuart used to deal drugs at a nightclub he once managed. That's the big secret?! Granted, drug dealing isn't an ideal pastime, but the dramatic way Dylan was acting so closed-mouthed about Stuart, I was expecting something way worse. Brandon's like, "That settles it!" and is adamant about finding a way to stop Brenda from marrying him. Dylan points out that Stuart may not be dealing drugs anymore, but Brandon doesn't believe it's possible he may have cleaned up his act.
Las Vegas. Ahn-drea, Kelly, and Donna are just getting settled in their hotel room when the guys pop over. When Donna opens the door to let them in, Brandon, Dylan, Steve, and David spill in and fall to the floor, laughing about how they're like the Marx Brothers. They ask the gals what's on the agenda, and Donna suggests they start looking for Brenda. Steve would rather spend the evening at the casino, but Donna reminds him that they can't spend the evening gambling after they've come all this way to insert themselves into Brenda's personal life. She remarks that Brenda needs a shower, and Kelly snarks, "A cold shower." Ahn-drea thanks her for saying that, and says she's relieved she isn't the only one who thinks that this marriage is "a little ridiculous". That's pretty funny coming from Ahn-drea, who will soon be planning her own shotgun wedding after she gets knocked up by Jesse, a guy she hardly knows. Kelly derisively says, "This has to be the most idiotic thing Brenda has ever done", which is really saying a lot. Ahn-drea says they have to find Brenda and tell her how they feel about what she's doing, but Dylan warns her that that will only make Brenda want to get married even more. They all decide that the best strategy is to make Brenda think that getting married at the age of eighteen is the coolest thing ever, while simultaneously dropping little hints that will help her come to her senses. Steve tells the gang that, thanks to one of the hotel's maids, he knows which room Brenda and Stuart are staying in. Brandon asks how they're going to handle Stuart, and Dylan assures him he'll take care of that.
Brenda is primping in front of a large mirror, dressed in a skimpy white dress with spaghetti straps. She wonders aloud what her married life will be like, and disdainfully declares that it's not going to be anything like her '50s style mother's. Stuart tells her that once they're married, she can join charities or clubs...or just laze around the pool and do fuck all. When she expresses concern about abandoning her non-existent career, he canoodles her from behind and tells her that anything is possible, as long as it doesn't take her away from him. Brenda chooses to ignore that gigantic red flag, and the two exchange another set of I love yous before smooching again. After that, there's a knock at the door, and they assume it's the maid. Brenda opens the door and is stunned to see the entire gang standing there. They yell, "Surprise!" and she actually looks glad to see them. They all file into the room...and as Dylan brings up the rear, Brenda tells him she's glad he's here, and he pretends that her marriage plans aren't a terrible idea. As everyone gathers together, the guys declare that they want to give Stuart a bachelor party, while the girls announce that they're giving Brenda a bridal shower...and Brenda beams at the prospect of being the center of attention. Steve picks up the phone and orders champagne from room service and charges it to Stuart, which I thought was cheeky and hilarious. Brenda then offers to give her girlfriends a tour of the swanky hotel suite...and as they're doing that, the guys flock around Stuart and make it clear that when he marries Brenda, he'll inherit this big group of inseparable friends. Stuart looks bewildered when Brandon remarks that Brenda tells her girlfriends everything.
The girls gush over the lavish bedroom, and then gush about how rich Stuart is. Kelly says it's a good thing she didn't have to sign a prenup...but when Brenda admits she did, Kelly's like, "Oh." Brenda tells her it's no big deal, since Stuart will be tearing it up after six months. It's so adorable that she still believes that. Brenda says she wants all three of them to be her maids of honor, and tells them she was worried that they came to Vegas to try to stop her from getting married. Ahn-drea looks wide-eyed and faux innocent when she asks her why on earth they'd try to stop her, and Brenda just goes silent. Suddenly, Steve bursts into the room and announces that they're all going downstairs to the casino to gamble.
Casino. Ahn-drea is paranoid that they're going to get caught because of being underage...which amused me, since in real life, Ahn-drea was thirty-two years old when this episode was filmed. David doubts anyone will give them a hard time about their age and urges her and Donna to play the slot machines. Ahn-drea plays one of them and, naturally, wins big on her very first try. As money pours out of the machine, she, David and Donna try their best to scoop it up...but they're noticed by a security guard, who demands to see their ID. When they sheepishly admit they're underage, he takes Ahn-drea's winnings and kicks all three of them out of the casino.
Brandon is afraid to be near gamblers because of his previous gambling addiction, so Stuart suggests that they go to a nearby strip club. As the group heads out, he acknowledges to Dylan that he was into some bad stuff years ago, but assures him he wouldn't be marrying Brenda if he was still into drug dealing. After that, Dylan and Brandon tell each other they're dismayed that they're actually starting to like the guy.
The Walsh house. Mama and Papa Walsh try to find humor in their dire situation and laugh about how Vivian Carson's 350-400 "closest friends" are going to miss being able to attend the wedding after all. After the laughter dies, Papa Walsh convinces his wife that they should go down fighting and fly to Vegas to stop the wedding. She agrees, and the two rush around to pack and book their plane tickets.
Las Vegas. The girls have just come from the bridal shop that's conveniently located in the hotel, and Brenda isn't terribly thrilled about wearing a "wash and wear" gown with polyester blend on her wedding day. The girls insist that it's the sentiment that counts, and then go through the process of making sure she has something old, something new, blah blah. Kelly makes a remark about the last wedding she attended, which was Mel's and Jackie's...but quickly assures Brenda that her hastily planned marriage to a guy she's known less than a month is sure to work out a lot better than that disaster. Brenda suddenly looks doubtful, but remains silent.
Strip joint. A very thin woman is on stage, stiffly gyrating in a bra and panties, and naturally the guys are totally transfixed. Dylan tells Stuart he admires him for being willing to get married and stay faithful to one woman, since he doesn't think he could spend the rest of his life stuck with the same girl. Stuart says that Brenda's a great girl, and Dylan agrees and says she's probably grown up a lot since they were together...but tells him that fidelity was never her strong suit. Stuart furrows his brows and asks what he means by that, so Dylan tells him about the dork she flirted with in the Cardio-funk episode, along with her courtship with Dean Cain, who she met in Paris. The thin stripper lays her bra atop Stuart's head, and Brandon checks his watch and enthusiastically announces that it's time for him and Brenda to go get hitched. Stuart suddenly looks ill, as well he should.
Hotel. Mama Walsh repeatedly calls Stuart's and Brenda's hotel room, but has no luck reaching them. She and Papa Walsh decide that their next course of action will be to ask the concierge for a list of all the wedding chapels in the city.
Silver Bell Wedding Chapel. A tacky looking woman with gigantic earrings is going over the available music choices, and Brenda and Stuart select The Wedding March, along with rice that their guests can throw at them immediately after the ceremony. The entire thing costs $215, and a zombified looking Stuart wordlessly hands her his AMEX card. David then cuddles Donna and suggests that the two of them could get married...then have the marriage annulled the following morning. This boy really needs to get laid, like yesterday. Donna prudishly tells her horny boyfriend that he's lost his mind, and he glumly says it was worth a shot.
Mama Walsh phones the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel and learns that Brenda and Stuart are there right now! They drop everything and immediately head over.
While the gang waits for the ceremony to begin. Brenda tells Brandon she's really nervous, and he says with exaggerated indifference that there's nothing to be nervous about...or is there? She tells him she's very glad he's there to give her away, and Brandon says that he knows Papa Walsh would have loved to do it. He says he's sure that Papa Walsh will accept Stuart as his son, then emphasizes that their marriage will be 'til death do them part...which makes Brenda suddenly look doubtful and panicky. Meanwhile, their friends are laughing at the spectacle that is the officiant, who's acting like a total weirdo. When he gets to the part in the ceremony where he asks if anyone knows of a reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, Brenda blurts out, "I do." She faces Stuart and tells him that the past few weeks have been exciting...but confesses that she's more in love with love. She tells him they hardly know each other - no fucking duh - and fortunately Stuart agrees. They decide that neither of them really wants to get married, then happily embrace. At that moment, Mama and Papa Walsh burst in to stop the wedding, and Brandon quickly informs them that it's too late - the wedding has already been stopped! Womp womp!
Hotel restaurant. Papa Walsh is aghast that the gang just stood by and watched the whole thing without putting a stop to it, but they assure him that it was actually the best strategy to use with someone as stubborn as Brenda. After that, they each wonder aloud about what they should do to pass the evening: gamble? go to a show? Donna looks over at Brenda and Stuart on the dance floor and says she has to admit that they really do look great together.
On the dance floor, Stuart tells Brenda he wanted to create a life for himself by becoming part of hers...and calls that pathetic. She too comes clean and tells him she was doing the same thing...but insists that she really does love him. He tells her they'll always have Vegas, and they continue to dance pressed tightly together. And that's pretty much the beginning of the end for Brenda and Stuart.