Recap: Brenda is ambling along the beach, trying her best to look contemplative and morose. After ambling contemplatively and morosely for awhile, she nears the beach house where Kelly lives...then stops walking and glares over at it hatefully.
Inside the apartment, Kelly is eagerly opening the present she just got from David and Donna for doing so well at her audition...and pretends not to be disappointed when it's a book on method acting. Kelly tells them she's not putting too much importance on her callback - and then suddenly there's a knock on the door. It's Brenda, surrounded by her aura of bitchy gloom, and Kelly invites her in and perkily congratulates her on making Randolph's cut. Brenda retorts that she also saw her name on the callback list and sneers, "What a surprise." She asks Kelly why she didn't try out for May - the part Brenda had given her prior approval to audition for - and Kelly tells her that Randolph convinced her to read for the lead role. Brenda's tone gets progressively more accusatory when she asks her if Randolph also asked her out for coffee afterward, and Kelly warily says he did...then adds that the invitation was extended to everyone who was stuck at the theater that night. At this point in the conversation, Brenda gives up on civility and bitchily demands to know why Kelly didn't tell her she had auditioned for the lead role, and Kelly tells her she was afraid that she'd react exactly as she's reacting right now...and Brenda glowers at her and snaps, "Stab me in the back, I bleed." Donna interjects to tell Brenda that her bitchy theatrics are scaring Rocky 2 (and David), but Brenda ignores her...and then the fur really starts to fly!
Kelly: What do you expect me to do, Brenda? Drop out? Make more room for you?
Me: Yes and yes.
Brenda: Kelly, it's not your part.
Kelly: What makes you think you own it?
Me: Arrogance, egotism, a grandiose sense of self-importance.
Brenda: Why don't you get a life of your own and stop trying to steal mine?
Me: Um, that doesn't address why you think you own the part of Maggie.
Kelly: I've got a life of my own.
Brenda: Yeah...I know all about it. [Storms out]
Me: Kind of a weak comeback. You're Brenda Walsh, for Christ's sake.
Dorm. Brandon bursts into Steve's dorm room and walks in on him and Laura kissing. Awkward. He immediately starts backing out of the doorway, but Steve invites him in and introduces him to Laura. Brandon apologizes for interrupting, but reminds Steve that they have a baseball game at 2:00pm. Laura takes this as her cue to leave, and gives Steve a goodbye kiss and thanks him for his coaching. As Steve and Brandon walk to the baseball field together, Steve explains that "stuff happens" when two attractive people rehearse for a play that's centered around a sex-starved woman, then says he thinks he may have found his calling as an acting coach. The two run into the chancellor, and when Brandon introduces him to Steve, the chancellor looks fake displeased and dramatically declares to Steve that Brandon has gone behind his back. Brandon looks confused and is all, "Wuh?!" so the chancellor explains that Clare recently informed him that Brandon is her date for her senior prom on Friday night. In fact, she's out shopping for a new dress right now! Steve looks impressed, while Brandon looks horrified...and as soon as the chancellor's out of earshot, he tells Steve that this is the first he's heard about escorting Clare to her prom.
The Peach Pit. In the back room, Kelly tells Dylan she won't be able to make it to "family day" at the beach with him, Suzanne, Kevin, and Erica. Dylan immediately gets testy about it, so she points out that when she originally committed to it, she didn't know she'd be doing callbacks at the theater. She then grumbles about Brenda being pissed off at her for auditioning for Maggie...but Dylan comes right out and tells her that his sympathies lie with Brenda. Kelly reminds him that the director asked her to try out for the lead, but Dylan tells her to look at this from Brenda's point of view...and Kelly snaps that he should try to look at this from her point of view. Dylan declares that he's done arguing about this and hurriedly slouches out of the room.
Steve and Brandon enter the diner and find Clare reading Nat's palm. Brandon introduces Steve to Clare, and Steve looks instantly smitten and tells her that if she ever needs a date for another prom, she should consider asking him. Well that's ironic, considering that these two hook up in Season 6. Clare looks sheepish and realizes that her dad must have spilled the beans about her plot to force Brandon to take her to the prom. Brandon tells her it's customary to ask someone if they'd like to go out, especially to a prom, and she argues that if she had asked him out, he would have said no...and Brandon doesn't deny it. I really do not understand the bizarre inner workings of this girl's brain...nor do I get why Brandon feels so compelled to indulge the spoiled twit. Steve, meanwhile, goes into the back room and asks Kelly if she knows Clare...and Kelly makes a face and tells him that she and Clare were roommates during the task force retreat. She then shifts the focus of the conversation to the play and complains that Brenda is acting as if she owns the lead role. Steve remarks to Kelly and Dylan (who has re-slouched into the room) that the conflict between Brenda and Kelly is ridic, since Laura's the one with the resume. This insults Kelly, and she unhappily points out that Laura has Steve, Brenda has Dylan...then asks, "Who do I have?" Um, you have the lecherous attention of Roy Randolph...and to an actress who wants to land the lead role in one of his productions, that kind of favoritism is probably worth a hundred Dylans or Steves.
Theater. Randolph is pompously bloviating about the complexities of Maggie the Cat to the five hopefuls still in the running for the lead role. When he mentions that Maggie's husband, Brick, is an alcoholic, Kelly grimaces...and Roy notices and asks her to share her thoughts. She tells him that her boyfriend and mother are both recovering alcoholics, and Roy looks impressed with her unique insight and invites her to perform a scene. She seems to do a pretty good job, and afterward Roy comments to Eddie, "This girl's an actress." The compliment irks Brenda and she mutters to Laura, "Yeah, she pretends to be your friend" and Kelly overhears the remark and looks upset.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Ahn-drea is carrying on and on about how nervous and stressed she is about her spawn, so Jesse reminds her that the ultrasound went well, and she's probably just anxious about being a first time mother. To relax her, he gives her an exercise video geared for pregnant women...then heads off to San Francisco for his federal clerkship.
Beach. Kelly shows up at the beach for Dylan's "family day" after all, and when she tries to talk to him about how her play rehearsal went, he cuts her off, mumbles that he doesn't give a rat's ass, and ushers her toward Kevin so he can introduce her. Dylan and Kevin announce that they're taking a walk along the beach together so they can stare at the sludge that regularly rolls out of the Bay. Sounds super fun. Kelly asks Kevin why he's so interested in sludge, so he explains that he's an environmental chemist. After the two head off, Kelly looks less than thrilled to be stuck hanging with Suzanne and Erica.
California University. Brenda tells Donna she won't be able to make their pretend sorority meeting later because she's too busy preparing for her callback. Donna correctly guesses the real reason she's not coming, which is that she no longer wants to socialize with Traitor Kelly. Brenda concurs, and then bitchily recounts how Kelly pulled an "all time low" at rehearsal when she played the "lost child of an alcoholic" card, and grumps about how she's the director's favorite. She then gazes across the Student Union and notices Laura talking animatedly with Randolph. Donna sarcastically asks Brenda if she also thinks Laura's a sleaze, and Brenda says that Laura's only trying to keep up with the leader, which, incidentally, is what she should be doing right now. She abruptly gets up from the table and abandons Donna so that she too can schmooze with Randolph.
Beach. Kevin tells Dylan about a bacteria he's studying that will eat the kind of sludge that's coming out of the Bay...and Dylan looks intrigued. [Don't listen, Dylan! It's a scam! Run!] When they return to where the womenfolk are sitting, Dylan remarks to everyone how fascinating it is to listen to Kevin blather on and on about his work as a chemist. Kevin and Suzanne decide to go for a walk, and mercifully they take Erica along. Kelly complains to Dylan that Erica drove her nuts the entire time he was gone, and Dylan gets annoyed with her for ragging on his little sister. She then tells him she's annoyed about being ditched for an hour to languish with Suzanne and Erica, and reminds him that she came to the beach to spend time with him. She brings up her play rehearsal again, and he rudely interrupts and says he has no interest in hearing about it. She sarcastically retorts that it's OK for Brenda to be into acting but not her, and he's like, "D'yuh", so she gets fed up with his lack of support and storms off. Gaaaa...break up already.
Peach Pit. Ahn-drea and Donna are the only two who have shown up to the pretend sorority meeting, and they're enjoying chocolate milkshakes. Ahn-drea tells Donna how happy she is to be out of the house and to have someone to talk to. I take it she's not attending classes anymore. Donna tells her how uncomfortable she is with the rift between Brenda and Kelly, and laments how different everyone has become since high school, and that they're all drifting apart, blah blah. Ahn-drea assures her that she's still exactly the same, which prompts Donna to exclaim that she's changed the most out of anyone! She reminds Ahn-drea that a year ago, she was a virgin on her way to Yale...but since then she's hit the sheets with Dan Rubin (gross), then Jesse - and because of her carelessness with birth control, she got herself knocked up by a guy she barely knew and then married him! In summary, Donna pronounces that Season 3 Ahn-drea would barely recognize Season 4 Ahn-drea. Bwahahaha! Ahn-drea looks startled and upset that Donna sees her as someone who slept around and got knocked up (however accurate that depiction may be), and sarcastically apologizes that she didn't stay virgins with her forever. She caustically adds that all she wanted tonight was someone to talk to, and then gets up and storms...er, briskly waddles out of the diner.
Brandon arrives at the chancellor's house to pick up Clare for her prom. He really does like to torture himself unnecessarily. Chancellor Arnold answers the door and looks delighted to see him, and Clare makes a grand entrance down the staircase in a flirty black dress and matching gloves. When the chancellor leaves the room to bumble around for his camera, Brandon warns Clare that he's physically incapable of dancing, and predicts that they'll spend much of the evening standing around drinking punch. Clare cheekily informs him that she's not wasting the opportunity to stay out all night on a dumb high school dance, and Brandon looks confused and is all "Wuh?!" just as the chancellor returns and snaps a few photos. During the photo op, Clare whispers to Brandon that he's in for a wild ride, and he looks petrified.
The two arrive at the prom party, which is already underway in a private hotel suite. Clare introduces Brandon to her BFF, Renee, as well as Renee's boyfriend - who, for some reason, has just dunked his head in a large ice bucket. Ah...the good old days of high school. Can't say I miss them even a little bit. When Clare encourages Brandon to drink some champagne, he gets on his soapbox about the perils of drinking and driving, which he experienced first-hand after his stupid drunken joyride in the B.Y.O.B. episode.
Beach house. Donna tells Kelly about how she tormented Ahn-drea about sleeping around and getting pregnant...and instead of just leaving it at that, she adds that she has "feelings" about Ahn-drea's sexual revolution. That's...kind of disturbing. Please don't elaborate. Thankfully, Kelly once again shifts the conversation to the strife between her and Brenda, and says she thought it would be fun to try out for a play together...but now realizes she doesn't actually like acting. The whole idea of "crying on cue" holds no appeal to her, and she's really just hanging on because of how big a bitch Brenda is being about her auditioning for the lead role. Plus she hates the way Dylan always sides with Brenda. Donna shares with her how insecure Brenda actually is, and says that she's still really messed up about losing Dylan. And now that Kelly is suddenly competing with her for the same role in a play, Brenda feels like she's under attack.
Hotel. Clare and Renee are partying on the terrace, flirting with two guys who are milling around on the street. Brandon is aghast when Clare lifts up her skirt and flashes the guys her naughties, and the guys ask her what room they're in. Incredibly, Clare tells them the room number, dumps a drink on one of them, and shrieks when she sees the guys enter the hotel lobby. She and Renee scamper over to the door to ensure that it's locked, but a few seconds later, the guys pound on the door and demand to be let in. Brandon whispers to the high schoolers to be quiet, and maybe the guys will just leave...but when it's clear that that's not happening, Brandon opens the door a crack and tells the guys that this is a private party and they should go away. A few seconds later, they respond by crashing through the door. Clare giggles at the sight of the irritated burly guys, and when one of them accurately refers to her as a skank, she gets less giddy and orders them to leave. Burly Guy tells her he wants to see what she was trying to show him when she flashed him earlier, and this prompts Brandon to step in, protect whatever tattered scraps of Clare's honor are left, and once again ask them to leave. Burly Guy punches him in the face, and just as Brandon starts to fight back, a couple of hotel security guards finally arrive on the scene and kick out the troublemakers. After that, they order the teenagers to leave the hotel, except for Brandon and Clare, who have to stay behind and figure out a way to pay for all the damage that's been done to the room. When the room empties out, Clare chirps, "Alone at last!" and puts her arms around Brandon, but he just glares at her and stalks off.
Ahn-drea is doing the pregnancy exercise video while eating ice cream, which seems kind of counter-productive. The doorbell rings, and Ahn-drea answers the door to find a sheepish looking Donna. They simultaneously apologize for their argument at the Peach Pit, and Ahn-drea invites her in for some ice cream. Ahn-drea is about to open the refrigerator when she doubles over in pain and cries that she's going into labor. Donna rushes over to the phone to call her doctor, but when she can't get through, she tells Ahn-drea she's taking her to the hospital. Ahn-drea starts wailing that she's losing the baby, wah wah.
Theater. Steve and Laura are standing in the theater, doing some last minute prepping for her audition. He hands her a slinky white dress and tells her his mother wore it onstage when she played Maggie the Cat. Laura looks touched by the gesture and kisses Steve...then giddily tells him she feels like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Hotel. Brandon is staring at his bruised face in the mirror when Clare appears beside him and tells him she straightened the place up, then promises to pay him back for the damage. She said he should have let her call her father, but he snaps that he didn't want to have to tell the chancellor that he just stood by mutely while his idiot, errant daughter flashed her panties at two strange men and then gave these men her hotel room number. Clare rolls her eyes and says they could have made something up, and he glares at her and snaps, "Yeah, you would." This upsets her, and she flounces off to the terrace to pout...and, of course, Brandon trots behind her. Clare's in tears, saying how badly she wants to jump because she hates her life so much, then whines that all she wants is for Brandon to care about her. He unconvincingly tells her he does, but when she petulantly insists he doesn't, Brandon doesn't argue the point, and instead offers to take her home so they can both end this nightmare of an evening.
Hospital. The doctor gives Ahn-drea an injection to stop the labor, and Ahn-drea wails about how she knew everything wasn't fine. The doctor prescribes complete bed rest for the next three months, making her gestation period the longest in human history. We can plainly see that the woman is at least eight months pregnant. Ahn-drea wails that she wishes Jesse were home, so Donna promises to keep an eye on her until she gives birth.
The Walsh house. Brenda's reading in the living room when the doorbell rings. She answers it, surprised to see that it's Kelly. She bitchily snarls, "Shouldn't you be getting ready for your big callback?" so Kelly informs her that she's dropping out of the audition, wishes her luck, and turns to leave. Brenda stops her and asks her what she plans to tell Randolph, since she doesn't want him thinking she had anything to do with sabotaging his favorite actress. Kelly tells her she simply doesn't want to be an actress. Brenda looks puzzled and asks her why in the hell she put herself through all this then, so Kelly explains that every time something good happens to her (Brenda), she feels like she's getting left behind. Oy. I really don't like it when people backpedal for the purpose of validating Brenda's bitchitude. Brenda reminds her that back in high school, she (Kelly) was the one who was voted Spring Queen and Most Beautiful...and she never said anything 'cause she didn't want Kelly to know how jealous of her she was. Kelly insists that she wants her to have the role of Maggie, and offers to help her with any last minute prep...and Brenda perks up and says she'd love the extra help rehearsing.
The next morning, Donna and David are over at Ahn-drea's apartment, serving her breakfast. Jesse arrives home, and he and Ahn-drea hug and kiss. Jesse thanks Donna for calling him after Ahn-drea's "scare" and remarks that she really is everyone's guardian angel, just like Ahn-drea's been telling him. Here we go again with the barf-inducing mythology of benevolent Donna, the angelic doe-eyed lass who spreads love and kindness to everyone she meets. Donna looks troubled and tells Jesse that she thinks the argument she and Ahn-drea had at the Peach Pit is what caused her labor pains...but Ahn-drea assures her that she knew something was wrong with the baby long before that. I'm pretty sure that all this near fully developed fetus wants is to be born.
Theater. Kelly is massaging Brenda's shoulders before the big audition, which looks weird. Randolph makes an annoyingly dramatic entrance and bellows, "Hail! Hail! The gang's all here!" Goddamn, but he's an insufferable windbag. Eddie leads the auditioners down to the stage area, and Kelly hangs back to tell Roy that she's decided to drop out. He's stunned by the news and tells her he could have lifted her out of her "frivolous life of sorority parties and study dates" and made her into something, but she's still not interested...and he's not interested in hearing why she's not interested. He kisses her forehead and says, "You could have been a contender." Steve and Brandon arrive, and Kelly laughs about what a "weird guy" Randolph is. She then notices Brandon's shiner, and he tersely says it happened because of Clare...but doesn't want to elaborate. The three then enter the theater to watch the auditions.
Backstage, Brenda looks really freaked out, while Laura is poised, self-assured, and looks fantastic in Steve's mom's slinky white dress. When Randolph summons Laura to the stage, she ignores Brenda's wishes of good luck, tosses her head back and projects an air of total confidence as she strides over to the stage. Her audition goes extremely well, and her southern accent did not make me cringe even a little bit. Her impressive performance makes Brenda look even more freaked out, and she rushes over to a nearby mirror to fluff out her hair and survey herself in the impossibly short, tight white dress she chose to audition in. When Laura finishes her scene, Randolph tells her she was fantastic, then calls Brenda to the stage. Brenda performs the same scene, but after a few lines it's totally obvious that she's blowing it. Her voice is flat, she flubs her lines, then breaks character to ask Randolph if she can start over. Needless to say, he does not look impressed.
Brenda runs out of the theater, and Brandon chases after her. She moans to him that this was her one chance to turn her life around (huh?) and fully realizes how badly she just stunk it up on stage. Brandon suggests asking Roy for a second chance, but Brenda says he doesn't give second chances, and that anyone would be an idiot to give her the role after that horrible display. True enough. She flees just as Clare arrives to continue stalking Brandon. Apparently, Mama and Papa Walsh told her where she could find him...and Brandon has a meltdown and irritably orders her to stop phoning, following him, and showing up at his house. An unfazed Clare tells him she knows he didn't really mean what he just said three seconds ago, and Brandon just stares back at her with a look of incredulity.
Dylan's house. Kelly comes over and tells Dylan she dropped out of the audition because she hates acting and has no ambition to be any kind of star. She says that this is what she's been trying to tell him for the past two days, and he tells her he would have listened if he'd known. Kelly then informs him that Brenda totally choked during her audition, and Dylan remarks that deep down she's just a delicate flower...but will probably land on her feet like a cat. Though it probably won't be on a hot tin roof. Badoom, bah!
Brenda is sashaying up the sidewalk to Randolph's house wearing a short, belted trench coat. When he opens the door, she tells him, "I know you don't believe in second chances - but I want you to know that I can play Maggie the Cat." Randolph looks intrigued and invites her to come inside and show him what she's got. She takes off her coat as she enters his house, revealing a sexy black dress with serious cleavage.
There's no way that this isn't going to completely send the wrong message.
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