Recap: It's raining heavily in Minnesota, and Brenda's in her dorm room, writing a letter to her parents about how autumn has come early to Minnesota and how she's missed the change of seasons. She abruptly stops writing and sourly asks herself who she's kidding. The stark reality is that it hasn't stopped raining in a week, it's forty degrees outside, and the heat hasn't yet been turned on in the dorms. Darla and two of her friends enter the room and cackle about the chronically wet weather, and Brenda grumbles, "Yeah, well, what's new?" The blonde girl - whose name I finally learned is Katie - giddily announces that it might snow tonight [in mid September?!] and Brenda's voice is flat when she says, "Great." The other girl tells her that she'd better get used to it since bikini season is officially over. She and Katie leave the room, and Brenda sits on her bed and glumly stares at the Bye Bye Brenda poster that's hanging on the wall. Darla looks over at her concernedly and asks her if she's OK, and Brenda tells her that it's probably just the shitty weather, which she's not used to anymore. Darla theorizes that she's depressed because she keeps staring at the Bye Bye Brenda poster...and says that if she continues to do that, she's only going to make herself more homesick. Brenda tells her that she definitely got used to the good life in L.A., but Darla says she was never really "one of them". Brenda asks her what that's supposed to mean, so Darla points out that when the time came to go to college, she came back. Darla then changes the subject and informs Brenda that she has a date tonight, and that if things go well she may want some privacy in their dorm room later. She then shows Brenda a red tassel and tells her that if it's hanging on the doorknob, it's the signal not to come a-knockin' because she'll probably be knockin' boots. Darla's date suddenly drops by, and she introduces him to Brenda. By scripted coincidence the guy's name is Dylan, and this doesn't do anything to improve Brenda's foul mood.
West Beach Racquet Club. Steve, Celeste, Brandon and Jill are playing doubles tennis...but Brandon and Steve are being annoyingly competitive with each other and are completely ignoring their female partners. Steve and Celeste win the match, and Steve starts bragging about how great he is on the tennis court. Brandon retorts that if he were a spoiled rotten rich kid who spent his summers being coached by tennis pros instead of working, he'd probably be a lot better at the game. He then challenges Steve to a rematch, and this does not please Jill.
The Walsh house. Mama Walsh is in Brenda's bedroom, staring at her things nostalgically. Papa Walsh enters the room and reminds her that Brenda will be home for the holidays, but Mama Walsh laments the fact that she's "really gone". Oh...if only. They reminisce about the day they took Brenda to her first day of nursery school, and how they waited for her to cry but she never did...unlike Mama Walsh. Papa Walsh tries to cheer her up by pointing out that since Brandon's in Malibu, they have the whole house to themselves...mmm hmm. He starts kissing her, but Mama Walsh stops him and asks him if this is how things are going to be when they're old - rattling around the house by themselves. Papa Walsh is like, "Uh huh" and continues to try to get it on with his wife, and I really didn't need to see any of that.
Malibu. Steve and Brandon are playing a game of Gin, and Steve wins and rubs it in Brandon's face. The two glance out toward the beach and notice that Jill and Celeste are flying a kite together. Steve needlessly proclaims that Jill has been the object of every pre-pubescent fantasy he's ever had, and laments never having slept with her. As if it was ever an option. Brandon points out that he was only thirteen years old when he last saw Jill, but Steve doesn't think that's any excuse. He asks Brandon what she's like in bed, and Brandon tells him he hasn't slept with her yet. This appalls Steve and he orders Brandon to tap that as soon as possible since she's returning to New York in only three days. Celeste and Jill call out to the guys and invite them to go swimming, and so the two idiots immediately decide that a race is in order to determine which of them can make it into the ocean first.
Beach house. Kelly and Donna are scrubbing the grime off of the kitchen appliances in their new apartment. Kelly discreetly asks Donna if it's safe for David to be alone with Felice, and Donna assures her it's fine since she believes that David will be living at the frat house with Steve. In the living room, Felice thanks David for helping the girls move in, and says she bets that David can't wait to move into the frat house. She recalls what a great time she had living in a sorority house when she was in college, then expresses concern about the safety of the beach, then she says she's relieved that David will only be a phone call away in case the girls need anything...particularly considering that she and Dr. Martin will be living in Houston for the next year. Through the entire one-sided conversation, David simply mumbles a series of noncommittal responses.
Malibu. Brandon and Jill are hanging out on the patio, enjoying the ocean view. Jill laments having to return to the city in three days, and this makes Brandon derisively ask why New Yorkers refer to New York as "the city" as though there are no other cities in the world. Jill smiles cheekily and tells him, "'Cause there isn't." Brandon says he can't understand how anyone could prefer New York to the beauty of the California coast, then tries to convince Jill to transfer to L.A...but Jill doesn't want to risk losing any credits and tells him that she only has one year left in her program. Brandon tells her he'll miss her and leans in for a kiss, but Jill quickly stops him and tells him he's moving a little fast. Brandon reminds her that she's leaving in three days, so she replies that maybe she doesn't want to start something she can't finish. Makes perfect sense. Suddenly the doorbell rings, and Brandon answers it to find Dylan, and the two greet each other with a series of strange looking, masculine handshakes.
In the kitchen, Jill and Celeste prepare some food for the Neanderthals. Dylan remarks what a great beach house it is, and when Jill momentarily steps out to the garage to get some soda, he compliments Brandon for hooking up with her. Brandon tells him she lives in New York, so Dylan's like "OK, whatever" and says in that case, there's bound to be lots of girls at California University he could hook up with. Celeste winces and whimpers, "Don't tell Steve that" and Steve comes over and gives her a little canoodle and tells her she has nothing to worry about. Except that she does have to worry, since the douchetard cheats on her in an upcoming episode. Celeste asks Dylan how Europe was, and tells him that Kelly told everyone it was great. Dylan looks surprised to hear that and says that things between him and Kelly aren't exactly copacetic. Steve mentions that Kelly arrived home in time for Brenda's goodbye party, so Dylan asks Brandon how Brenda's doing in Minnesota. Brandon shrugs and says, "So far, so good." Mmm...not.
University of Minnesota. The red tassel is on the doorknob of Brenda's dorm room, and she's sitting on the floor next to her room, looking sad and unhappy. Is there no common area lounge in the residence hall she can hang out in until Darla and Minnesota Dylan finish their doinking?
West Beach Racquet Club. Steve, Celeste, Brandon and Jill are playing another game of tennis. This time Brandon and Jill win, and naturally this irritates Steve. He wants to play another game, but Jill and Celeste are tired and have no interest in getting back on the court - but when both Steve and Brandon threaten to throw a tantrum if they don't get a re-do, the girls reluctantly allow themselves to get roped into going back onto the court.
The Peach Pit. Ahn-drea is sticking a needle in an orange, practicing for when she has to give insulin shots to Grandma Rose. Nat comes over and advises her to do it faster and more aggressively, then explains that he almost became a medic during his Navy stint. Dylan enters the diner and greets Nat and Ahn-drea with hugs. He orders coffee and a piece of peach pie, and Ahn-drea asks him how he likes Kelly's new apartment. Dylan stares at her blankly, since he clearly has no clue that Kelly got a new apartment. Ahn-drea fills him in about how Kelly, Donna, and David all moved into a beach house together. She then asks him when he's headed north to start at Berkeley, and he tells her that he didn't get in...and when he asks her when she's headed to Connecticut, she marvels at how out of the loop he is, and tells him she decided not to go to Yale after all.
Donna and Kelly are on their way to the Peach Pit in Donna's BMW. Kelly urges Donna to tell Felice the truth about David living with them, but Donna can't bring herself to do it and insists that it's easy enough to fool her mother since she'll be spending the next year in Houston. Donna adds that if Felice were to find out about her and David shacking up together, she'd force her to move out of the beach house. She pulls into the alley behind the Peach Pit, and Kelly is startled to see Dylan's green Porsche. She's miffed that he didn't call her to tell her he was back, but Donna reminds her that Dylan doesn't have her new number, or her new address for that matter. Kelly says they have nothing to say to each other anyway, and orders Donna to drive elsewhere to get something to eat. Donna asks her exactly what happened in Europe, and so Kelly swears her to secrecy - a totally pointless exercise considering Donna's complete inability to keep a secret - and we get a flashback from France. Kelly narrates that when Dylan found out he didn't get accepted to Berkeley, he just sat in a cafe all day, moping, reading, and drinking espresso. Kelly soon got bored out of her mind. In the flashback, she's sitting with him at a table, staring at him expectantly. He irritably tells her to stop staring at him, so she tells him she wants to go do something, maybe go to Paris to sightsee or do some shopping - but he prefers to mope, so he tells her to go by herself, and she angrily storms off. She ends up going to Paris for a few days...and when she returns, she finds Dylan still sitting at his usual spot in the cafe, but looking very cozy with a pretty French woman he introduces as Brigitte. She shoots him the stink-eye and accuses him of sleeping with her, and naturally he denies it and makes matters worse when he tells her that his dour mood improved immediately after she left to go to Paris. After the flashback, Kelly tells Donna that the two of them didn't speak for the next three days. Donna encourages her to talk everything out with Dylan, but Kelly has no interest in doing so.
West Beach Racquet Club. Steve, Celeste, Brandon and Jill are playing doubles tennis again. Steve is acting like an even bigger horse's ass than he usually does, and it's irking Brandon. For some dumb reason, Steve aims the ball right at Jill and when it hits her in the chest, she gets mad, throws down her racquet, and stomps off the court. Brandon and Steve start screaming at each other, and Jill bellows at them to stop, admonishing the two of them for turning a tennis game into "a macho fight to the death".
Back at the Malibu beach house, Jill angrily packs up her stuff. Brandon asks her what she's doing, and she haughtily informs him that she's going back to New York a day early. Brandon tries to apologize for getting out of hand during the game, but she tells him she doesn't want to put up with it...and when he tries to kiss her, she pushes him away and tells him to get lost. Ouch.
University of Minnesota. Brenda is walking back to her dorm room with Katie, complaining about how she got shut out of every class in the drama department. Katie isn't overly sympathetic and says that freshmen need to pay their dues before getting the classes they want, and then announces that there's a floor party that evening! Brenda snootily declares that if she wanted to party, she could have stayed in L.A. where they really know how it's done. Katie looks annoyed and asks her why she came back to Minnesota if she hates it here so much, and that is a totally valid point. But before Brenda can answer, she notices that the tassel is on the doorknob again. Katie finds it hilarious that Darla is indulging in a little afternoon delight and giggles as she heads off to her room. Brenda ambles over to a pay phone and calls Kelly and Donna, but gets their answering machine. She listens to their happy voices on the outgoing message and looks sad and wistful.
Malibu. Brandon's sitting by himself on the sand, staring out at the ocean. Jill joins him and tells him she's feeling better, and apologizes for overreacting after the tennis game. She tells him that she's been upset lately, and that she came to L.A. in order to get out of New York for awhile. She also promises to stay one more night, and Brandon assures her that he won't try to push her into anything. Steve and Celeste join them on the sand...and Steve asks Jill if she's OK and then apologizes for acting like such a douchetard. They decide to go to lunch and that it should be Steve's treat.
University of Minnesota. Darla is trying to squeeze herself into a pair of jeans, cursing all the macaroni and cheese they've been serving in the residence hall. She jokes about how hard it's going to be for Minnesota Dylan to get inside her tightly fitting pants. Brenda asks her if the two of them can have their doinkfest in his dorm room for a change, 'cause she desperately needs to get some sleep...and Darla seems amenable to that. Suddenly Katie bursts in to borrow a pair of Darla's shoes, but Darla says she's going to be wearing them. The two then start to tease Brenda about how she thinks they're all too preppy, and Darla reminds her that she used to be a preppy dresser herself...which Brenda denies, blah blah. Darla then invites Brenda to come to the party with them, but Brenda tells her she's not in the mood and moans that she didn't think she'd be this homesick. Darla admonishes her for feeling sorry for herself and urges her to get out of her room and try to have some fun.
Beach house. Kelly is laying on her bed, staring over at the phone. Donna comes into her room and urges her to call Dylan, but Kelly says she won't because he cheated on her. Donna then says, "And now it's time for you to go crawling back to him." Gaa! What the hell kind of advice is that from a best friend? Kelly quickly backpedals and says she doesn't know for sure if Dylan cheated on her and tells Donna that she feels guilty...and we get another flashback from France. Apparently there was a cute bartender named Gaston who worked at the hotel bar, and Kelly had her eye on him for some time. Gaston had been bugging her to go for a drive with him, so when she got fed up enough with her mopey beau, she took him up on it. Hours later, she found Dylan sitting at his usual cafe table and gloated about how she spent the last five hours with the cute bartender and cryptically says that he took her back to his apartment and she had a great time. Dylan gets up from the table and snidely asks her if it was good, and she gives him a hard smack across the face and retorts, "Very good." Yeesh. Kelly then confesses to Donna that she never actually slept with Gaston; the two of them just drove around for a few hours before he dropped her off at the hotel. However, after the fight with Dylan, she took the train back to Paris and flew home a week early. After hearing the whole story, Donna urges her to come clean with Dylan. I, on the other hand, think it would be best if they put an abrupt end to this toxic relationship and agree to never ever date each other again. Ever.
Malibu. Brandon and Jill are enjoying a romantic evening with some wine. She urges him to go slow, and he smiles and tells her he likes it slow. They start kissing, but she stops him. He asks her what's wrong, so she tells him the awful story about how she was raped six months ago in Tribeca. Brandon hugs her and says he wishes he'd known so he could have done something to help. Jill explains that she got freaked out when he and Steve starting tearing each other up on the tennis court, so Brandon assures her that neither he nor Steve are violent. She then tells him she'd like to sleep with him, and Brandon and his penis immediately perk up, but she means it literally - she just wants to sleep next to him. She tells him she wants to feel safe in a man's arms, and he assures her that she doesn't need to be afraid of him...and the two start snuggling.
University of Minnesota. Late that night, Brenda's in bed pretending to be asleep when Darla and a bunch of her friends come in for a couple of minutes. They don't do a very good job of being quiet, and Katie calls Brenda a stuck up bitch who thinks she's so hot because she's from Beverly Hills. I know, right? One of the guys says he doesn't think she's so hot, and he gets loudly shushed. Darla half-heartedly suggests that maybe Brenda will come around...but if she doesn't it's going to be a looong year. After they leave the room, Brenda, who's very much awake, turns over in her bed and stares at the wall looking sad and thoughtful.
Beach house. Kelly's in the bathroom unpacking her toiletries. David comes in and asks her if there's anything else she needs help with, and she tells him she's done packing. Suddenly they hear Felice's voice, and Kelly instantly panics and pulls David all the way into the bathroom. She frantically points out that it's 1:00am, and that if she sees David in the apartment, she'll have a freakout. She orders him to hide behind the shower curtain and then goes out to the main living area to scope out the situation. Felice is giving Donna a hug, lamenting about how she's about to leave her only daughter to go live in Houston for a year. She asks Donna if she's going to be all right, and Donna assures her she's going to be fine...and the two exchange I love yous. Felice remarks to Donna and Kelly that the apartment looks great, that they'll have a great time...and she'll be on her way, but first she needs to use the bathroom. Of course she does. Kelly tries to stop her, saying that it's a mess, but Felice jokes that she'll shut her eyes. Kelly discreetly tells Donna that David is hiding in the bathroom, so Donna gets into action and sprints to the bathroom and blocks the door before her mother can enter. She tells Felice that they don't have any toilet paper in there, so Felice changes her mind and decides that her bladder can wait until she gets home. As soon as she leaves, David emerges from the bathroom, and the three are relieved to have dodged that bullet. They announce they're tired and head off to bed, and David nonchalantly goes into Donna's room, expecting to get a little after being rebuffed on prom night and then all summer long. Unfortunately for him, Donna's not into it, prudishly informs David that there's not going to be any sex, and orders him to go to his own room.
Malibu. Brandon and Jill wake up, spooning. She smiles sleepily and tells him how well she slept and how much she enjoyed feeling safe in a man's arms. Brandon tells her he had a wonderful time, and they both agree it almost feels as though they spent the night doinking. He tries to convince her to stay in L.A. a little longer, but she insists she has to get back to New York...and adds that he's going to have to come to visit her in the Big Apple.
Dylan's house. Dylan is on his couch, looking over the stack of mail he got while he was in Europe. Suddenly, there's a knock on the door, and it's Kelly. She asks him if he was ever going to call her, and he points out that he doesn't have her new number. She looks very contrite and admits to acting like a total idiot while they were in France, and that she was a selfish, jealous, mean person, then assures him that she didn't sleep with Gaston. Dylan leans in and kisses her, and assures her that he didn't sleep with Brigette. That settled, the two start making out.
University of Minnesota. It's raining again when Brenda arrives at the dorm. She sees the red tassel on the doorknob, but charges inside anyway. Darla and Minnesota Dylan are in bed together, and Darla immediately exclaims, "Brenda! We had a deal!" And so Brenda snarls back, "And I just broke it." She opens the closet and starts throwing her clothes into her suitcases. Minnesota Dylan, who's still wearing his boxers, hustles out of bed and puts his clothes on before high-tailing it out of the room. Darla asks Brenda what she's doing, and Brenda tells her that she's getting the hell out of there...then says she can have the whole room to herself. Darla promises that she and Minnesota Dylan will do their doinking in his dorm room from now on, but Brenda tells her she no longer cares. She says that moving back to Minnesota was a terrible mistake, which prompts Darla to beg her not to leave. She admits that she's been acting like a jerk lately, but reminds Brenda that they've been friends forever. Brenda snaps that she heard the shit Katie and her other friends were saying about her last night, and then prattles about how she came to Minnesota to prove that she could make it on her own, and because she wanted to be different from her rich Beverly Hills friends...but what she discovered is that she's also different from her Minnesota friends. She continues packing her stuff.
Beach house. David and Donna connect their new stereo system, and a few minutes later Steve, Brandon, and Ahn-drea (blech) burst into the apartment with pizza. A few seconds later, Kelly and Dylan also enter and start pawing each other on the couch. A concerned Donna pulls David aside and points at Kelly and Dylan and tells him that when she talked to Brenda on the phone the other day, she told her that those two had broken up. She really can't keep a secret to save her life. David's like, "Who cares?" and points out that Brenda is halfway around the country. Oh the irony.
Brenda, meanwhile, climbs into a cab with her suitcases and heads to the airport.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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