Recap: It's Take Back the Night week at California University, and everyone's attending a special film screening to kick off the seven day event. The film is about the mating habits of animals in the wild, and when a couple of snakes appear on the screen, Donna looks over at Kelly and jokes, "Hey look, it's John Sears!" Heh. Kelly admonishes her and tells her that John has actually been very sweet...almost old fashioned in the way he's been courting her. After the film, Lucinda addresses the crowd and talks about the various types of animals that do it, and then relates their mating rituals to the differences between men and women that are at the heart of the current war between the sexes. Brandon enters the lecture hall and stands next to Professor Randall and razzes him about not having a better seat at his wife's lecture. Randall proudly tells him that Lucinda really knows how to play a room, and Brandon mutters that the woman is indeed a player. Randall reminds him that tonight he and D'Shawn are expected at Casa Randall for dinner, and promises he'll give D'Shawn a pep talk about studying for his midterms so he can maintain the required grade point average and not get booted off the basketball team. Randall says he can't bear the thought of CU losing another basketball season. Egads!
KEG house. John Sears hands Steve five phone messages from Laura Kingman and says they're all from the past twenty-four hours. Yeesh...this girl is fast approaching Fatal Attraction territory. Steve looks despondent and says he doesn't want to talk to her, but John says he has to throw the poor girl a bone if he wants to keep the good times rolling. Steve snarks back that he has no interest in keeping the good times rolling, so John tells him he needs to blow Laura off so they don't have to keep taking her relentless phone messages. Keith suggests that Steve could pass Laura around to another KEG brother...and John really likes that idea. Gross. The phone rings, and - surprise! - it's Laura. Steve tries to avoid taking the call, but John makes him.
California University. Brenda is whining to Dylan about how she's going to fail their romantic poetry class. Dylan cheekily tells her she has nothing to worry about, since the upcoming midterm is only worth half of her final grade. She tells him she can't seem to connect with romantic poetry, and Dylan argues that she should be able to, considering how close she came to eloping with a guy she only knew for about five minutes. Dylan takes pity on her and offers to help her study for the exam, and this seems to make her happy.
The Peach Pit. Steve enters the diner looking grim. He looks around and spots Laura chatting it up with Nat, who tells him he's been regaling Laura with the story about how Steve once worked at the Pit for three days because of a bet he made with Brandon. Nat chortles at the memory while Laura giggles...and Steve irritably snarks that he doesn't remember it being that funny. That subplot was from the Misery Loves Company episode in Season 3, and at best it was mildly amusing. Steve asks Laura if she'd like to get a booth, and she happily agrees. When they take a seat, she apologizes about the steady stream of phone calls she's been making to the KEG house, but says she couldn't stop thinking about him...and asks if he's been thinking about her too. Steve stares back at her with an unmistakably stricken look on his face and says he has something to tell her. Laura looks hopeful and squeals, "Ooh! Something goood, I hope." Yikes - there really is no chance this girl's playing with a full deck. Steve informs her that he has a girlfriend named Celeste, and that he probably should have told her 'bout that when they went out on their date and doinked. Laura immediately gets a scary, wild look in her eyes...and when Steve tells her not to take it so hard, she angrily accuses him of pressuring her to have sex before dumping her. Steve says they can still be friends, then stupidly offers to introduce her to some of the guys at the KEG house, but this only makes Laura look scarier and get an even wilder look in her eyes, and she snaps, "I don't want other guys!" When Steve tries to apologize, she tells him to go to hell and storms out of the diner.
The Walsh house. Dylan is over for dinner, and Papa Walsh remarks on how it feels like old times again. Dylan points out that it's a little different, since this time he's the one helping Brenda with her homework. Brandon passes through the kitchen on his way to the Randalls' house for dinner. Everyone tells him how impressed they are that he scored an invitation to his professor's house, but he looks less than enthused and grumps that he'd much rather be spending the evening studying for his midterms. Brenda says that everyone thinks Professor Randall's wife did an amazing job at the Take Back the Night lecture, and adds that she'd love to meet her some time. Brandon wisely refrains from mentioning how close he and Lucinda came to knockin' boots two episodes ago and leaves for his dinner.
KEG house. Celeste is fitting Steve with a new cashmere blazer she bought for him from Maxwell's. He thanks her for the gift, and the two start making out just as Kelly and John enter the room. Kelly remarks how cute they are, the way they can't keep their hands off of each other, and John jokes about how she should take a lesson from Celeste. The two girls head off to the bathroom together, since it's policy on Beverly Hills, 90210 that girls pee in twos, and John tells Steve that Kelly was giving him the vibe all through dinner and he fully expects to get laid before the night is over. This annoys Steve, and he reminds John about all the other girls he's been doinking, and says to give Kelly a break. He then tells John and Keith about how he finally came clean with Laura about Celeste, and says it would have been an education for both of them to see how hurt she was. John shrugs, unmoved, and says he still really wants to bone Kelly.
Randall's house. Lucinda gets annoyed when the guys just talk about basketball during dinner. Brandon points out that as a sociologist, she should be fascinated by sports...and she retorts that she does enjoy watching guys run around in gym shorts. Randall and D'Shawn decide to find this amusing and let out little chuckles. Lucinda changes the subject and asks D'Shawn how Brandon is as a teacher, and he tells her, "Brandon is hard." She bats her doe eyes in Brandon's direction and replies, "Yeah, so I've noticed" and Randall and D'Shawn also chuckle at this remark, which was weird. Brandon abruptly gets up and offers to clear the table, and Lucinda starts helping him and tells her husband that he and D'Shawn can use the time to discuss the upcoming midterm.
In the kitchen, Brandon chastises Lucinda for flirting with him in front of her husband, but she just laughs and condescendingly tells him to grow up. She says her flirting is meaningless, which makes Brandon suddenly look self conscious and he asks her if he's acting like a hick. She says he is and that it's boring, but he can make up for it by nailing her atop the kitchen table. There is something seriously wrong with this woman...not that Brandon's much better, since he reacts to that psychotic comment by grinning and telling her she's dangerous.
KEG house. John and Kelly are in his bedroom, getting into some heavy petting. He tells her it's time they moved on to the "main event", and she jokingly (sort of) reminds him that he once said he'd wait fifty years for her. He mutters that it feels like it's already been that long. She flatly tells him she's not in the mood for a doink, and he gets visibly annoyed and asks her if she's been talking to Steve. She kind of laughs and tells him it's not a conspiracy that she doesn't want to go to bed with him. He's mystified about why she doesn't want to hit the sheets with him, especially considering how amazing he is, and that he has girls lined up around the block who would be more than happy to jump into the sack with him. She tries to explain that it just doesn't feel right, so he completely derails any hope of ever scoring by sneeringly asking her whassup with the "Snow White" act. He says he "was there" and knows what she's really about, and isn't hanging out with her for her brilliant freshman repartee. Kelly stares back at him with a look of hurt and disgust and says he hasn't changed a bit...and that he doesn't know the first thing about what it's like to care for someone. She says she regrets that she was actually falling for him, then flees the KEG house.
For some strange reason, Kelly rushes straight over to Dylan's house to tell him all about the aborted doink. He gets angry and wants to punch John...but Kelly makes him promise not to do anything violent or rash, and assures him that she's fine. She says that if this had happened three years ago, she probably would have stayed with him...but now she feels like she has a lot more inner strength. She credits Dylan for being the first guy to ever take her seriously, then tells him how much she regrets going out with John. She stares at Dylan thoughtfully and asks him what happened to their relationship. Well, let's see. You dumped his ass like yesterday's news so you could start dating John - remember?? Dylan, however, doesn't throw that in her face and just mumbles that he doesn't know why they broke up, and offers to wack John. Kelly tells him she definitely doesn't want him to do that and thinks it's punishment enough that he got sexually rebuffed by a girl.
California University. John is flirting with a blonde girl, speaking to her in French, when Dylan happens to walk by. He interrupts their conversation and asks the girl if John's gotten to the part where he'll promise to wait fifty years for her, and sarcastically calls that "the good stuff". He then stalks off, and John runs after him and asks what his problem is. Dylan says that enough is enough, so John says he'll decide when enough is enough and adds that Kelly can make her own decisions. Dylan tells him that he (John) makes Kelly want to hurl, but John is confident that she'll change her mind since "they always do." Ick. Dylan warns him to leave her alone and caps off their conversation with a stern "I mean it." After Dylan walks away, John spots Kelly walking across the lawn. She happens to bump into Steve and tells him that she's pleasantly surprised he's attending a date rape seminar. He finally gets around to warning her about John and calls him "a reptile"...and Kelly assures him that she and John never did hit the sheets, but that she's very touched he wanted to warn her. She kisses his cheek and thanks him. John, meanwhile, does not look at all pleased by the exchange he just witnessed and shoots Steve an evil stink-eye.
Date Rape Seminar. Kelly enters the lecture hall and sits with Donna, Ahn-drea, and Brenda, and gets introduced to Laura. Angela Rhodes -blech - is the featured speaker at this event and starts polling the audience about whether or not they've ever been burglarized, held up at gunpoint, or date raped. A few women raise their hands at the last thing, and Angela nods knowingly and says that sometimes it's not always clear if a date rape has occurred. This remark makes Laura look contemplative.
Gym. Brandon is bench pressing 120 lbs when Lucinda saunters into the gym. She says he's lifting more than what she weighs - oh bite me, Miss Show-off - and says he could get the same workout if he were to grab her with his hands and lift her up, put her down, lift her up, put her down, etc. Brandon ignores the brazen come-on and asks her to spot him as he finishes up his workout. He tells her how worried he is that her husband is going to find out that they nearly doinked...and then, by scripted coincidence, D'Shawn enters the gym and abruptly stops when he sees the way Lucinda is caressing Brandon's arm. He immediately turns around and leaves.
The participants of the date rape seminar have divided themselves into smaller sub-groups, and they're sitting outside in little circles. Donna tells her sub-group that her boyfriend wants to have sex, but she doesn't...however, if he begged and pleaded, she might eventually give in. I have no idea what point she was trying to make with that sad tale. When it's Kelly's turn, she tells everyone about when she got attacked during the Halloween episode in Season 2. She says she felt responsible because she showed up at the party in a really slutty costume...but fortunately her friends burst in and saved her from the date rapist. Ahn-drea interjects and says she's a tad concerned that they might be assigning women a very outdated, passive role. Dan Rubin, who's sitting next to her, dismissively retorts that it doesn't take a genius to know that men rape women - not the other way around. Ahn-drea gives him a dirty look and haughtily retorts that women should have the sense not to get drunk and blame the guy after they've drunkenly jumped into bed with him. Dan insists that men do get women drunk, so Ahn-drea snaps back that women are fully capable of deciding when and what they drink. As much as it pains me to say it, I do think Ahn-drea has a valid point...even if she doesn't understand the basic concept of a debate. After the sub-group wraps up their discussion, Ahn-drea stomps away looking very pissed off. Dan tries to explain that he was arguing the feminist point of view, but she insists that that's what she was doing...and that he was just trying to make her look stupid. Dan apologizes and promises never to contradict her again - yeah, that sounds healthy - but she tells him she has to study and runs off.
Laura asks Kelly when she was able to figure out that the guy in the Halloween episode was a rapist, and Kelly just vaguely answers, "Not soon enough." She encourages Laura to open up to her about whatever is bothering her and asks her if she'd like to go somewhere and talk, and Laura looks hesitant but agrees.
Poetry class. The professor is reading "To His Coy Mistress" to the class and refers to it as "a meditation of desire". Brenda sneers, "Hisdesire", so the professor asks her to elaborate on what exactly she meant by that bitchy comment. Brenda says she thinks that the poem is one-sided, and that since the suitor won't take no for an answer, he's no better than a date rapist. Dylan disagrees and thinks that the woman in the poem is just skittish about opening her heart to another human being...and then goes off on a self-indulgent rant about a guy [named Dylan] who got dumped by his girlfriend [who we'll call Kelly] so she could run around with "some geek from the KEG house" [we'll call John]. The professor pleasantly chides him for reading way too much into the text.
Laura tells Kelly that her date rapist forced her to have sex with him...and she hates him so much now. Kelly tells her that what happened to her is a crime and that she should go to the police, but Laura is reluctant to do that, since it happened a week ago. Plus, she didn't go to the doctor and doesn't think anyone will believe her. Kelly assures her that she believes her, and also promises to stand by her. She then suggests that in lieu of going to the police, Laura could stand up during the Take Back the Night rally and tell every girl who she needs to watch out for. Laura doesn't think she could do that, so Kelly tells her there's some other people she can talk to who might be able to help.
Brandon is attempting to tutor D'Shawn, but it's not going so well. When D'Shawn reaches for the remote, Brandon warns him that if he turns on the TV, he's out of there. D'Shawn turns it on, and Brandon immediately shuts down the tutoring session and snarks that he has better things to do. D'Shawn then lays his cards on the table and tells him he saw him and Lucinda flirting at the gym - and Brandon reacts by laughing nervously. D'Shawn assumes that the two of them are sleeping together and threatens to tell Randall, and Brandon downplays the whole thing and just urges him to focus on his studying. D'Shawn ignores that advice and declares that Brandon will pass the exam for him, and says he'd like a B please. He's a bit of a cheeky, lazy asshole, that D'Shawn.
Kelly has dragged Laura over to the Student Union so she can talk to Leslie and Angela. They both encourage her to give up the date rapist's name and say that it would make her feel a lot better. Laura, however, is reluctant to reveal the name of the perpetrator and just says that he's from KEG house, which is where the date rape allegedly occurred. As she describes her version of events, we get a black and white re-enactment, which doesn't jibe at all with the bullshit story she's trying to pedal. She asks Angela if her fictional account sounds like date rape, and Angela confirms that it is, and that she shouldn't be afraid to call it that. Afterward, Laura and Kelly leave the Student Union together, and Kelly says she's knows the guy that Laura's been describing is John Sears. Laura furrows her brows and says she doesn't even know John, and then reveals that the rapist is a guy named Steve Sanders. Kelly's just like, "Wuh?" and says it has to be a mistake, since she knows Steve...and even though he's a shallow douchetard at the best of times, he's definitely no date rapist. Laura insists that she's being truthful, so Kelly implores her not to tell everyone at the rally that Steve Sanders raped her. Laura gets agitated and throws it back in Kelly's face that she promised to stand by her...then rebukes her for being just as bad as Steve.
The next day, Kelly finds Steve and admonishes him for his ill treatment of Laura. Steve assumes that she's referring to the cold manner in which he dumped her after their one night stand, and is stunned when he learns that Laura is claiming that he raped her. Steve laughs incredulously and says that the girl's crazy. Kelly says that Laura told her he plied her with drinks, and he vehemently denies this and says that everything that came out of Cray Cray's mouth that night was a come-on. As he's telling his side of the story, we get another black and white re-enactment, and this one seems to corroborate Steve's version of events. He says that she was "totally into it", the way she wore sexed up lingerie, then danced over to the bed with him and pulled a condom out of her purse. Kelly informs him that Laura is planning to publicly name him as a date rapist at the upcoming rally, and thinks that people might actually believe her. Steve asks Kelly if she believes him, and she says she does, but warns him that getting accused of date rape could get him kicked out of his fraternity and maybe even the university. Steve suddenly remembers he has a girlfriend, and realizes that he's going to have to come clean with Celeste about the night he doinked Laura.
Beach house. David is on the phone with Howard, trying to get out of doing the radio broadcast for the Take Back the Night rally. He asks Donna if she can do it by herself, and she says she can, but doesn't sound at all enthusiastic about the prospect. When he gets off the phone with Howard, he explains that he's sick of Take Back the Night, and of constantly hearing about how men are slobbering sex fiends. He also grumps that he can't convince his girlfriend to sleep with him. Donna just giggles and says, "Brutal" and is oblivious to the lingering look of resentment on David's face.
Steve spots Laura reading under a tree and rushes over to talk to her. When she sees him, she quickly scrambles to her feet and snarks that he's lucky she's not pressing criminal charges. He retorts that she can't 'cause there was no rape. Steve unwisely grabs her by the wrist, and she dramatically accuses him of wanting to throw her down and beat her up. Steve tells her she can't just hand him over to a lynch mob just because she got dumped, but she's already broken into a run. Steve yells after her that he couldn't have raped her, since she had agreed to meet him at the Peach Pit a few days after the attack supposedly happened. That's actually a really good point...but, unfortunately, Laura's not within earshot anymore.
Brenda runs into Dylan before their poetry midterm and asks him if he has any last minute advice, but he thinks she'll do just fine on her own. She concedes that he was right about "To His Coy Mistress", and agrees that it's not date rape, but rather romantic poetry. Dylan brings up Kelly (again), and how she and John Sears are a bad joke. Brenda looks slightly confused and tells him that Kelly called it quits with John, but Dylan doesn't believe that John will give up so easily. Brenda encourages him to get back with Kelly, if that's what he really wants, and lets him know that she's planning to be at the Take Back the Night rally that evening.
Peach Pit. Steve and Celeste are seated at a table, looking stiff and uncomfortable. Nat comes by to serve them something, but fortunately he goes away without his usual cheeseball commentary. It looks like Steve told Celeste about the rape allegation, and she says she knows that he wouldn't rape anybody, but wants to know if he slept with Laura. Steve admits that he did, and Celeste instantly gets tearful. She wonders aloud what else should she expect from some guy she met on a TV game show. Right? Steve tells her he cares about her, but when he tries to put an arm around her, she looks so revolted that he quickly withdraws it. She says she always felt like he never really wanted to be with her, and always made her feel as though she were never enough. Steve insists that he loves her, but she says that that's not possible if he slept with someone else. He quietly begs her not to leave him, and she fights back tears and a quivering lip as she says, "I have to." She then slips out of the booth and exits the diner, and Steve looks close to tears himself.
The Walsh house. Steve rails to Brandon about what an idiot he is. He says that Celeste was the first girl he ever loved, and thoughtlessly threw away their relationship. Brandon says, "You stray, you pay" but then sounds more empathetic when he assures him that telling Celeste the truth was the right thing to do. Steve says he's determined to attend the rally and face his accuser...but after that will probably have to start looking for a new college. Brandon promises to meet him at the rally - but first he has something to take care of.
Brandon pays D'Shawn another visit. He says the last time they talked, things got confusing, but he doesn't want any misunderstandings...and then wishes D'Shawn good luck on his midterms. D'Shawn tells Brandon he has to take the test for him...and if he refuses, he'll tell Randall that he's been doing the naughty with his mentally imbalanced wife. Brandon insists that there's nothing going on between him and Lucinda, but D'Shawn stubbornly says he saw what he saw. Brandon needlessly admits that he did, in fact, flirt with Lucinda...but stopped the second he found out she was married to Professor Randall. D'Shawn ignores that admission and heatedly insists that he can't do the test or he can't miss any games...and says that Brandon's foolin' with his life. Brandon suddenly finds his backbone and snaps back that he's not going to take the test for him, and points out that the academic stuff isn't going to go away - sooner or later he's going to have to deal with it. True enough. D'Shawn is on the verge of panic, but Brandon just says sorry and leaves the dorm room. D'Shawn suddenly goes postal and throws something in Brandon's direction, but it hits the wall and shatters all over the floor.
It's the Take Back the Night rally, and a large mob of students are holding signs and chanting:
No more silence!
No more lies!
We will not be vic-timized!
Steve looks pale and stricken when Brandon arrives. The students end the march inside the Student Union, and it looks like David is covering the event for the radio station after all. Angela goes up to the mic and declares that the night belongs to them at last...and that women have lived in fear for too long and won't stand for it anymore. Incidentally, Brenda and Dylan are attending the rally together, and they notice that John Sears is also there with his KEG buddies. Dan finds Ahn-drea in the crowd and apologizes again for the argument they had the other day...and to his great relief, she forgives him and gives him a little kiss-peck. Steve, meanwhile, is twitching nervously and wonders aloud where Kelly is, and if she'll still be willing to stand by him when Laura publicly calls him out as a date rapist. A few seconds later, Kelly arrives at the rally and weaves her way through the crowd. She stops when she's a few feet away from Laura, who's looking tense. At the mic, Angela announces to the crowd that there's a young woman who wants to speak out...but when everyone claps in anticipation, Laura freezes. Kelly suddenly shoots her a defiant glare and strides over to the mic. She starts recounting the story of her near rape during the Halloween episode, and Steve looks defeated and assumes that she's going to side with Laura. Kelly tells the crowd that during her slutty phase, she frequently ended up in random guys' beds...and points out that even though she later regretted sleeping around, it was ultimately her responsibility. She glances over in Laura's direction and adds that blaming someone else doesn't make it their fault. As Laura looks suitably chastised, Kelly tells the crowd that she doesn't know the name of the guy who attacked her, but she does know the name of the guy who saved her...and he's here tonight. She gives a shout-out to Steve Sanders, and says if there were more people like Steve in the world - ack! - they probably wouldn't need to hold rallies like this. Listening to this is too much for Laura, and she runs out...and Steve follows her. He thanks her for not throwing her to the wolves, and apologizes again. He admits that he knew he wasn't going to be there for her after they doinked, and he knew that she wanted more from him than just a one night stand. Laura bitterly retorts that she thought her life would be so great if she had a guy at KEG house, and Steve tells her, "Well, you have a friend there if you want one." Aww Steve. It's refreshing when you don't always act like a total jackass.
After the rally, the students mingle and eat pie. Dylan tells Brenda he thought Kelly did great...but Brenda's hardly listening 'cause she's so distracted by the sight of John Sears, who's attempting to flirt with Kelly. John says he had no idea what a powerful public speaker she is, and Kelly snarks back that that's yet another thing he doesn't know about her. Across the room, Dylan stares down at a cream pie and gets an idea. He quickly grabs it, strides over to John, and smashes it right in his kisser. John is enraged, and as his friends drag him off with his face covered in pie, he yells, "You're dead!" Kelly giggles and tells Dylan he's crazy...but thanks him for defending her honor and gives him a little smooch.
Gym. Lucinda is working out when Brandon enters the gym. He tells her they have a problem, and informs her that D'Shawn saw them flirting the other day. Lucinda's like, "So?", so then Brandon tells her that D'Shawn has threatened to tell Randall about them if he doesn't agree to take the midterm for him. Lucinda is unfazed and instructs him to "just take the stupid test", since it was probably the deal anyway. Brandon stares at her blankly and asks, "What deal?" and Lucinda sighs in her usual condescending way and tells him he's soo naive, and asks him why he thinks the midterm is a take home test, or why Randall is being so nice to him? Brandon looks even more shocked when she tells him that, in addition to taking the test for D'Shawn, she wants the two of them to have a steamy affair behind her cuckolded husband's back. Brandon just stares back at her with a look of disgust and stalks out of the gym.
The Walsh house. Brandon is so upset at Lucinda that he's decided to run away from home. As he packs a bag, he goes through one of his drawers for some socks and underwear and comes across a photo of Emily Valentine. Damn. I guess that means she'll be guest starring in the next episode. He stares at it for a few seconds and looks contemplative. Brenda suddenly enters his room and asks him where he's going, so he tells her to tell Mama and Papa Walsh that he went camping. He then confides in her about how he really needs some space, and Brenda offers to help him run off, since it is her area of expertise. Brandon calls her "a great chick", and the two hug goodbye. She urges him to call collect and promises to accept the charges...and he agrees to keep in touch, and heads out for what ends up being a boring-ass search for his formerly psychotic ex-girlfriend.