Recap: Brandon is racing across campus, eager to get to the gym in time for Lucinda's usual 7:00am arrival. When he arrives, he's dismayed to see that she's not there...so for the next fifteen minutes, he sits on one of the weight machines with his arms folded in front of him, glumly staring at the clock. When Lucinda finally saunters in, showcasing her toned body in a sports bra and black tights, she greets him with a casual hello. Brandon chides her for being late, and she's like, "So?" and says she didn't realize she was being clocked. After some annoying flirty banter, she asks him if he's ready to start sweating. He grins and tells her she can work him as hard as she wants, and she says she was hoping he'd say that.
The Walsh house. Brenda wakes up with a dreamy, happy smile on her face. She gazes down at her diamond ring, and a few seconds later the phone rings. It's Stuart, and she tells him she was checking out her ring again...and that she loves it. He's pleased to hear that and asks her if she still likes him, and she tells him she loves him. That settled, he invites her out for lunch - but tells her they'll be eating at a construction site, so she'll need to dress for the occasion. Brenda jokes that she'll show up in a hard hat.
In the kitchen, Papa Walsh asks his wife to remind him why they ever decided to have children...and by children, I'm pretty sure he really just means Brenda. Mama Walsh wonders aloud if Brenda is pregnant, but Papa Walsh doubts that she would keep such a thing a secret from them. Mama Walsh derisively asks why anyone in this day and age would get married at eighteen just as Brenda breezes into the room. She chirps, "Good morning!" and Papa Walsh comes right out and asks her if she's got a bun in the oven. Brenda huffily retorts that she refuses to even dignify that with an answer. Mama Walsh tells her that she and Stuart haven't known each other very long, and reminds her that marriage is a very big step...and Papa Walsh asks her why she's in such a hurry to get married and is concerned that she's going to get hurt. Brenda brushes off her parents' concern and assures them that her engagement to a guy she barely knows is a fabulous idea and she won't get hurt. She quickly gathers her books and announces that she's off to have breakfast with the girls. After she leaves, Papa Walsh glumly remarks to his wife that he doesn't feel very reassured.
Student Union. After their workout, Brandon offers to buy Lucinda a cup of coffee, but she declines and tells him she needs to get to the library. She does, however, invite him over to her place that evening for dinner and conversation (aka sex). Brandon eagerly accepts.
The Peach Pit. Brenda is showing off her diamond engagement ring to the girls...and Nat, who, as usual, is sticking his big fat nose in a conversation that has absolutely nothing to do with him. Kelly jokes about how it's less a ring than it is a rock, and Brenda acts fake modest and says it's not that big. Nat tells her that if she and Stuart ever want to buy a diner, they should look him up. Go away, Nat. Ahn-drea asks Brenda if she and Stuart have set a wedding date, and Brenda says they haven't...then adds that her parents would probably be pleased if she put off marriage for the next several decades. Kelly remarks that she always thought Donna would be the first of them to get engaged...and Donna says she always thought Kelly would be the first. Kelly shakes her head and says if there's one thing that Jackie's many failed marriages has taught her, it's that marriage is something that should never be entered into lightly...and ironically, those words of wisdom seem to fly right over Brenda's head. Kelly then shifts the conversation to her slow-moving courtship with John Sears. She tells the girls that she's been taking things slow, and is under the illusion that John's fine with it and that he understands she's just coming out of a relationship. She says she likes that he isn't pressuring her to jump in the sack and is really pleased that he turned out to be a good guy. Brenda then cracks a joke about all the cold showers he's probably been taking lately. Um...not so much, as it turns out.
KEG house. A KEG brother named Keith chides Steve for missing out on a recent Gamma party. He tells Steve it was a wild night, and that a Gamma sorority sister was crawling all over John Sears. John, who's sitting in a sofa chair on the other side of the room, jokes that womanizing is a dirty job, then calls himself a dirty guy. He tells Steve that the girl was just someone to tide him over until Kelly Taylor finally gets her head together...and Steve looks startled and icked out. Keith informs Steve that he's been getting cozy with a girl who has a friend who's dying to meet a KEG man...but Steve chuckles and says that Celeste would kill him. Keith discourages him from telling Celeste, and describes this girl as ready, willing, and able. When Steve insists that Celeste would get suspicious if he went out with another girl, John interjects and reminds him of his status of a lowly pledge who is obligated to aid a fraternity brother during his hour of need. Steve irritably snaps, "She'd better not be a dog." Keith smiles creepily and assures Steve that this mandatory hookup will be the easiest pledge assignment he'll ever get.
Papa Walsh's office. Papa Walsh is going over some papers with Dylan regarding his trust. After they finish, he asks Dylan if he has any weekend plans, so Dylan tells him he'll probably head to Baja to surf. He adds that Papa Walsh doesn't need to worry, since he won't be taking along any stowaways - referring to when he and Brenda snuck off to Baja during the Mexican Standoff episode. Papa Walsh suddenly looks wistful and tells Dylan he sort of wishes he were still with Brenda - ack! - and asks him if he knows anything about Stuart Carson. Dylan admits that he knows a little, but refuses to disclose anything really juicy and merely says that Stuart isn't a choir boy. Naturally, he thinks that Brenda's off her rocker for getting engaged to him, and that getting hitched is a lousy idea for both of them. That said, he tells Papa Walsh it doesn't actually matter what he thinks, since his opinion no longer carries any weight with Brenda. Papa Walsh begs to differ and insists that he still has a significant amount of influence over Brenda. Dylan makes it clear that he doesn't want to get involved in Brenda's premarital mess, but Papa Walsh implores him to talk some sense into his stubborn, idiot daughter since she refuses to listen to him or Mama Walsh. Papa Walsh says he's the only hope they have left...and so a reluctant Dylan agrees.
Playground. Jackie and Kelly are at a local playground together, watching Erin play. Jackie laments the scene she caused at the Walshes' anniversary party during the previous episode, but says that when she found out Mel had dumped Erin off on David so he could spend the weekend in Cabo with his hot young girlfriend she lost it. She announces to Kelly that she's filing for full custody of Erin, and Kelly asks her if this isn't too rash a decision since it was just one weekend. Jackie explains that she wants Erin to grow up in a healthy, stable environment with a full time parent, and believes that Mel is really only interested in his girlfriend. She doesn't want to risk making the same parenting mistakes with Erin that she did with Kelly....then warns Kelly that a custody lawsuit will likely be very hard on David, and accurately predicts that things at the beach house could get very tense.
Beach house. Donna answers the door and finds a stranger named Jerry, who's asking to see David Silver. After some back and forth between Donna and David in the other room, David finally ambles over to the front door. When he identifies himself as David Silver, Jerry hands him a subpoena and flees. David is stunned to discover that Jackie is filing for sole custody of Erin and that he's been subpoenaed to give a deposition to her lawyer. Donna scrunches her big dumb face in confusion and asks, "What's a deposition?"
Brenda arrives at the construction site where Stuart is working for the day. She parks her car and walks toward the site, just as Stuart is having an ugly argument with Murray the foreman. At one point Murray gets really peeved and snaps, "Who do you think you are, you little piss-ant?!" Hee! He then snarks that if there's a problem with the management of this project, Stuart's father needs to come by and sort it out, 'cause he doesn't take "marching orders from an errand boy". Ouch. Stuart immediately backs off and urges Murray to cool down, then notices that Brenda is standing a few feet away and has witnessed the entire embarrassing scene. He rushes over to kiss her hello and introduces her to Murray...but Murray just gives the two of them a curt nod and stalks off.
Lawyer's office. David tells Mel that he doesn't want to lie while he's being deposed by Jackie's lawyer. Mel insists that he's not asking him to lie and tells him that Jackie's making him out to be a monster just for going out of town. The lawyer tells David that the goal of tomorrow's deposition is to frame Mel's trip to Cabo in the best possible light. For example, David should describe himself as a responsible young man who Mel knew he could entrust Erin with until the babysitter arrived. David wearily points out that the babysitter never actually showed up...and shortly after that, Erin started to run a fever. Mel doesn't really have a good response to any of this and just tells David he'll do fine at the deposition and that he should wear a suit. The lawyer warns him that Jackie's lawyer will do everything possible to get him to say something damning against his father, and that if he feels trapped by a question he should look puzzled and say, "I can't remember." Mel tells David that the only reason Jackie initiated this lawsuit is because he has a hot young girlfriend...but that's too dumb for even David to believe. Mel asks him if he can count on him, and the lawyer tries to sound optimistic when he assures him that David will come through for him with flying colors. David just looks troubled and doubtful.
California University. Brandon is complaining to Professor Randall that D'Shawn isn't taking their tutoring sessions seriously, and they're proving to be a waste of time. Randall says he told him this would be a struggle and suggests that Brandon get more creative or maybe try a different approach. Unfortunately, he doesn't really have time to talk more about this 'cause he's off to San Diego to conduct a motivational seminar...but promises that they'll talk about it when he returns. He then offers Brandon a couple of tickets to a Mighty Ducks hockey game that evening, but Brandon declines and tells him he has a hot date. Randall looks intrigued and encourages him to "score and score often", which I thought was a really weird thing for a professor to say to one of his students.
Alumni Gymnasium. Steve is at the gym to scope out the girl who Keith wants to set him up with. He enters a mirrored studio space, where a pretty blonde girl is dancing in front of the mirror. She's oblivious to his presence, so when she finishes he starts clapping...and she looks mortified and runs toward the CD player to shut the music off. She assumes he's there to use the studio and tells him she'll be out of his way in just a minute. He tells her not to rush off and asks her if her name is Laura Kingman...and she stammers, "I think so." I think so? He tells her that her roommate told him he could find her there and introduces himself as Keith's friend from the KEG house. Laura is immediately self-conscious about what a sweaty, disheveled mess she is and gives him a chance to back out by telling him he doesn't have to go out on a blind date with her if he doesn't want to. He points out that since they've already met, it wouldn't actually be a blind date.
Student Union. Dylan runs into Kelly and asks her if she's seen Brenda, and Kelly tells him that she had breakfast with her earlier. He asks her where she thinks Brenda's head is at with her impending marriage, and Kelly snarks at him for being jealous. He tells her that that's crazy talk and insists that he's only concerned Brenda will be making a giant mistake if she marries Stuart. Kelly tells him he should just let Brenda be happy and that it really isn't any of his business. Dylan tells her that Stuart is bad news, and Kelly bitchily retorts, "You can't always choose who you fall in love with, now can you?" then says, "Adios" and flounces off. What a pointless conversation.
Construction site. Brenda and Stuart are sitting on the back of a truck, eating chicken salad. He makes a joke about it being liverwurst, but when Brenda looks mad enough to split nails, Stuart quickly assures her that it really is chicken. He apologizes about the ugly scene she witnessed earlier, and chalks it up to Murray being a little hot-headed. He then compares his life to Murray's dismal existence and says that he gets to go to his palatial home in swanky Bel Air at the end of a work day, while Murray goes home to his shitty little house in the Valley he can probably barely afford. Brenda looks impressed by this for some reason, then gives him a kiss and applauds his sensitivity of the plight of poor people. Stuart looks pleased and tells her that she can have her dessert now. She asks what it is, and he whispers something to her. She looks taken aback and exclaims, "Right here?" and he grins and tells her that he has something else in mind.
In the next scene, Brenda and Stuart are holed away in a fancy hotel room, laying atop the bed and getting into some heavy petting. Brenda laments having to go to class that afternoon, so Stuart urges her to skip it and points out that no one takes attendance in college. Brenda sighs and says she wishes she could stay in the hotel room forever, and Stuart informs her that he booked it for them for the next month. He says it can be their getaway, or just a place either of them can use whenever they wish. Suddenly, Brenda jumps up from the bed and says she wants to see what her married name looks like written down. Ha! I used to do that too - in the sixth grade. She rifles through the various desk drawers and finds paper, but not a pen. Stuart tells her there's a pen in his briefcase, so she opens it and suddenly goes silent. She pulls out a prenuptial agreement that has her name on it and asks Stuart what the hell it is and Stuart cringes and moans, "Oh God...Brenda." He throws his father under a bus and tells her it was all his idea, and that he (Stuart) wasn't even going to show it to her. She bitchily asks him why he's been carrying it around in his briefcase then, and rails about how marriage isn't a business deal. Please. Any man worth a lot of money would be a fool to marry someone as vindictive as Brenda without first asking her to sign an iron-clad prenup. As Brenda heads for the door, Stuart begs her to stay, so she whirls around and says she didn't hear him say that she doesn't have to sign it. Stuart just stands there, helplessly mute, so she bitchily snaps, "I thought so" and then storms out.
The Walsh house. Brandon is in his room, primping for his date with Lucinda, when Brenda enters. She swears him to secrecy and tells him that the Carsons want her to sign a prenup. According to the agreement, if she and Stuart divorce, she wouldn't be entitled to any of the family's money. Well, d'yuh - why the hell should she be? She thinks this might be a sign that Stuart doesn't really love or trust her, then accurately predicts that their engagement will be a short one. Brandon thinks it's probably a good thing, since he barely knows the guy...and Brenda remarks that maybe she doesn't either. Brandon offers to cancel his date to stay home and keep her company, but she urges him to go out and tells him that there's a poetry reading on campus she wants to go to. She's hopeful it will take her mind off Stuart and the prenup.
Beach house. Kelly arrives home and finds David sulking on the couch. She asks him whassup and he snaps, "Why don't you ask your mother?" Kelly correctly guesses that he heard about the custody lawsuit, and David fills her in about how he's been subpoenaed to give a deposition to Jackie's lawyer the following day. Kelly tells him she tried to talk her mom out of taking the matter to court and says she's sorry. David bitterly retorts that she's not as sorry as he and Mel are, so then Kelly snaps back that Mel was the one who started this whole thing. David rails about how Jackie is the one challenging Mel's custody rights, and Kelly reminds him that Mel fooled around on Jackie with his hygienist. David asks what that has to do with anything, and I kind of agree that it's somewhat irrelevant to the custody issue...not to say that Mel isn't a crappy parent for other reasons. Donna, who's been eavesdropping on their argument, orders them to stop sniping at each other and reminds them that these problems belong to Mel and Jackie, not them.
Lucinda's house. Brandon is in the kitchen, helping Lucinda prepare an authentic Guatemalan feast. She asks him to sample something she just finished cooking/baking and asks him if it's too spicy. He tastes it, says no, and the two start sucking face in earnest. When they finally unlock their lips, she tells him she likes it hot, then steers him over to the dining room so they can start eating the main course. Brandon looks around the dining room and admires a collection of masks that are hanging on the wall. Lucinda casually tells him that she and her husband spent years collecting them - and Brandon looks startled and asks her how long she's been divorced. Lucinda tells him she's not divorced, but assures him that her husband is "far away". She asks him if her marital status is a problem for him and tells him it's definitely not a problem for her. Brandon asks if she and her husband have some sort of understanding, and she tells him that she and her husband have more of a don't-ask-don't-tell policy. He doesn't specifically ask her if she sleeps around with strange men behind his back, and she doesn't tell him that she likes to regularly do this. So...uh, no, Brandon - they don't have any kind of understanding. Lucinda moves in closer and tells Brandon that she doesn't want to talk about her husband anymore. Brandon, who is not behaving at all like the squeaky clean boyscout he usually is, says he doesn't want to talk about him either. The two sit down to start eating the authentic Guatemalan feast.
Poetry reading. Dylan is slouching atop a stool in the middle of the Student Union, reading a poem to a group of students. When he finishes, the professor thanks him and everyone applauds. Dylan ambles over to Brenda, who also attended the poetry reading, but is looking very sad. He invites her to join him for a cup of coffee and she accepts.
KEG house. Steve, Keith, and their dates return to the KEG house...and Laura is tightly clutching Steve's arm. When the girls disappear to the bathroom together, Keith tells Steve that he thinks Laura's totally doable. He also gives him a heads up that John Sears' bedroom is available, since he's "otherwise engaged" for the evening with a different girl than the one he was hooking up with the day before. Steve declines the offer and once again reminds Keith that he has a girlfriend...and Keith shrugs and says he merely wanted him to be aware of his options. Laura returns from her trip to the bathroom and giggles as she tells Steve that it was disgustingly dirty. He asks her if she'd like a beer before he takes her home, and she looks put out by that and asks him if he has an early class tomorrow. He tells her he doesn't, and she flashes him a knowing, flirty, 'come hither' smile. This is going to end badly for you, Steve.
Student Union. Dylan tells Brenda he's surprised to see her out alone this evening - and by alone he means not surgically attached to Stuart. Brenda dismissively says she can get along fine without him, so Dylan asks her if she really loves him and she looks mournful and says, "Tonight's not the night to ask." Dylan advises her not to get married if she has any doubts about her feelings for the guy...then tells her he's been secretly hoping that the whole thing will blow apart. Brenda instantly looks peeved and tells him that she doesn't want to hear that. Dylan then warns her that if she marries Stuart, the two of them won't ever have a chance to rekindle their toxic, volatile relationship. Brenda's like, "What the hell are you talking about?" and bitchily snaps at him for wanting to break her and Stuart up. Dylan urges her to end her stupid engagement and adds that her parents are very worried about her. Uh...oh. Brenda glares at him suspiciously and demands to know if he's been talking to her parents, so Dylan admits to speaking with Papa Walsh, but weakly denies that he put him up to anything. Brenda rages about how incensed she is that everyone is trying to tell her how to live her life, then gets up and storms off.
Lucinda's house. After dinner, Brandon and Lucinda cozy up together on the couch in the living room...and there's a fire going in the background. After making out for awhile, Lucinda suggests that they'd more comfortable upstairs. Brandon, however, tells her that he thinks beds are overrated, and she declares that she'd like to get naked right there. As Lucinda starts to mount him, Brandon uncrosses his leg, and in the process accidentally knocks over a glass of wine. He starts wiping up the mess, which includes a photo album that just happens to be sitting on the coffee table. Brandon opens it up to wipe off the wine and is startled to see photos of Lucinda and Professor Randall...and realizes that he's her husband. Lucinda is surprised and somewhat amused that Brandon and her husband know each other...and that Brandon's the one who's tutoring D'Shawn Hardell. Lucinda tells Brandon they'll just have to be extra careful whenever they rendezvous...but Brandon isn't into the idea of sleeping with a married woman now that he knows who her husband is, and announces that he's leaving. Lucinda looks puzzled, asks why, and insists that she and her husband live separate lives. Brandon says he's worried that Randall might flunk him if he discovers that he's doinking his wife...and as an afterthought, he adds that an affair between the two of them would be wrong. Lucinda chides him for acting like a silly little kid, and Brandon barks back that a silly little kid would stay. He wishes her a good night and heads out...and Lucinda rolls her eyes and slumps onto the couch.
The Walsh house. When Brenda arrives home, Mama Walsh asks her to come into the living room so they can discuss the giant mess her life is about to become if she gets married to a sketchy man she barely knows. Brenda bitchily retorts that she wants to talk to them too, and snaps that it's good they're both present, because she doesn't want to have to say this twice. Papa Walsh looks taken aback and tells her not to take that bitchy tone with them...and Brenda snaps back that she'll take any tone she damn well pleases. Tearfully she asks her father how he could humiliate her like that with Dylan, who practically threw himself at her. She asks Papa Walsh what the hell's wrong with him, and he shrinks back and looks sheepish. She berates him for claiming to love her, and asks what would have happened if she really believed Dylan were serious about wanting to hook up with her again. Ugh - God forbid the writers ever go there again. She cries that she can't even trust her own parents, then makes a remark about how when the Carsons play games, at least they're upfront about it. Papa Walsh furrows his brows and asks her what she means by that, but Brenda immediately drops the subject and says, "Nothing." As she leaves the room, Papa Walsh implores her to stay and talk it out, but she whirls around and snaps back that she's finished talking, then announces that she's going upstairs to pack her things before leaving the house. She coldly warns her parents not to try to stop her.
The following morning, Papa Walsh is on the phone with Lawrence Carson, trying to track Brenda down, but has no luck. Papa Walsh tells Brandon and Dylan, who are also in the kitchen, that he learned Stuart and Brenda had a fight yesterday...and that Stuart hasn't heard from her since. Dylan apologizes for pretending as though he'd ever entertain the idea of hooking up with Brenda again, but Papa Walsh insists that he's solely to blame. Brandon says that he knows Brenda well enough to be certain that she would never have left the house if she didn't know exactly where she was going...so he's sure she's fine. And if not...well, meh.
Hotel. Brenda is in the swanky hotel room that Stuart booked for the month, dressed in a bathrobe, and reading over the prenup. After a few minutes, she picks up the phone and asks the concierge if there's a notary public on the premises. Looks like she's willing to sign it after all. As well she should if she's marrying into money.
KEG house. John calls Steve a stud, and says that he heard he put his bedroom to good use last night. Gross. Steve just looks troubled and mumbles, "I guess." John wants to know how Laura Kingman was in the sack - ew - and Steve snaps, "What do you care?!" He asks Sears how many girls he can juggle at once, and says he thought he (John) was crazy about Kelly. John smugly retorts that he thought Steve was crazy about Celeste, so Steve points out that he was just doing Keith a favor by going out with Laura. John snidely says he hopes Celeste sees it that way.
Deposition. Jackie's lawyer is grilling David about how Mel dumped Erin off on him so he could go to Cabo and spend the weekend with his hot young girlfriend. David testifies that Mel left him a phone number where he could be reached in Cabo, and that neither of them knew Erin was sick. The lawyer insinuates that he doesn't have enough experience to take care of a child, but David argues that he's fully capable of taking care of his little sister. The lawyer changes tactics and asks about the reason for Mel's and Jackie's divorce and brings up Mel's multiple infidelities...and Mel angrily interjects and asks what this has to do with Erin. The lawyer says she's trying to prove his pattern of shitty, irresponsible behavior, and wants David to admit that Mel's cheating was the reason his mother filed for divorce. Mel springs up from his chair and yells that if they're going to talk about that, they should also talk about Jackie's cocaine addiction, as well as all the men she's whored around with. He angrily insists that he's a good father, then yells at David to tell the lawyer how awesome he was as a father while he was growing up. David looks stricken and, to Mel's horror, testifies that his mother had a nervous breakdown because of her husband's infidelity.
Student Union. Brandon enters the Union, notices Professor Randall across the room, winces, and swiftly heads in the opposite direction. Randall spots him and calls out to him, so Brandon reluctantly turns around and walks over. Randall tells him that he heard that he and his wife, Lucinda, met at the gym...and the two would like him to come over to their house for dinner. Brandon nervously accepts.
Construction site. Brenda stomps over to Stuart, clutching the prenup. Stuart is surprised to see her and asks her where she's been for the past twenty-four hours, so she tells him she went to the hotel to think everything through. She assures him that she didn't fall in love with him because of his money, and that's not what marriage is all about. She also says that if they were to split up, she wouldn't want anything that didn't belong to her. She says his parents weren't wrong to make her sign a prenup, and that it's probably a pretty good idea. No duh. She's claiming to be mad 'cause he blindsided her. Stuart admits to being very frightened of her inner bitch and didn't know how she'd react to a mandatory request to sign a prenup...and he didn't want to lose her over it. Brenda hands the prenup over to him and says she signed it. She then tells him she loves him, and won't let either of their fathers stand in their way. He says he loves her too, and recklessly declares that he plans to tear up the prenup in six months. Mmm...I'm pretty sure his father would have something to say 'bout that.
Beach house. David arrives home in a really bad mood. Donna asks him how the deposition went, and he mumbles, "Not so good." Kelly's in the kitchen and mentions to David that Jackie brought over a casserole for all of them to eat. David sneers that he'd rather starve to death then eat something her mother made, then starts railing about how Mel started crying when Jackie's lawyer went on the warpath. Apparently Mel looked at him tearfully and asked how he could sell him out. Well that was a pretty douchey thing for Mel to say. Kelly expresses her sympathy and tells him that Jackie warned her that something like this could happen. David bites back that he doesn't give a rat's ass what her mother says, and advises her to shut up before he says something he might just regret. Yeesh. This gets Kelly all riled up, and she snaps, "Have a nice life." As she stomps over to the door, Donna desperately tries to convince her not to leave...but Kelly insists on leaving, and announces that she'll be staying at her mom's place. After she storms out, Donna rushes back into the living room and reminds David that the custody lawsuit has nothing to do with Kelly, and that she doesn't want her to move out. David says if she's going to start taking Kelly's side, she should just leave too...then turns his back on her. Donna reaches out to touch his shoulder, and he turns toward her and falls into a hug, crying.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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