Recap: Steve asks Kelly who she hired to negotiate her contract with Seventeen magazine, and she tells him that since she's not a professional model and the photographer is only taking a few shots of her on campus, there is no contract. Steve thinks she's getting short-changed and teasingly says they picked her to do the layout 'cause she'll work cheap. The two arrive at the Student Union and notice Rush sitting at a table with the KEG football team (and Brandon). Kelly asks Steve what his dad is doing here, and Steve says he's probably giving the guys some tips for the last game of the tournament. Brandon rushes over to Steve to remark that Rush is "some piece of work", and then Rush notices Steve's arrival and loudly refers to him as "Stevie Wonder". Brandon announces that he and Kelly have to leave so he can briefly preside over a boycotted student senate meeting, but promises to be back in plenty of time before kick-off.
To Brandon's surprise, the entire student senate is present for the meeting, and Angry Alex Diaz is arguing with a guy he just called a racist. Janice, the head of the Black Student Union (BSU), notices Brandon's arrival and announces that the meeting can officially begin.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Ahn-drea has enlisted Grandma Rose to look after Hannah so she can spend a few hours on campus. Rose remarks that Hannah looks more like Eli every day, and when Ahn-drea goes, "Who's Eli?" Rose tells her he was the son of someone named Sadie (?) and that he died in a concentration camp.
Student senate meeting. A video tape featuring a speech made by Reverend Roland Turner is being played for the senate members...and it's a major doozy. Turner, who's African American, rants bitterly about how the Jews on Wall Street control the banks, the media, the Congress, and the State Department...and grumps that anyone who questions the status quo gets called an anti-Semite and is forced to apologize. He angrily barks, "When have they apologized?" and accuses Jews of buying up slums and charging high rents to poor African Americans, and that this has sucked the lifeblood out of entire communities. A Jewish student, Noah Levy, abruptly turns off the TV and calls the speech a sampling of "pernicious lies" - but then Janice cuts him off and points out that the speech is five years old and that Turner's comments were taken out of context. I'd be curious to know what context she thinks they would belong in..? Noah is furious that the BSU has booked Turner to speak on campus Friday night and demands that the event be canceled. Janice retorts that the Maccabee Center has no right to dictate to the BSU who they invite on campus, and the two bicker back and forth until some random guy blurts out at Noah, "Hey! Who made you the head of the thought police?!" Brandon, whose presence at the meeting has thus far been useless, pounds his gavel and demands order. Janice states that the First Amendment protects the right to free speech, which is what's at stake here. Brandon tells everyone that this is obviously an emotional issue - thanks, Captain Obvious - and proposes tabling the vote pending further study. He adjourns the meeting and announces that they'll reconvene at 2:00pm. Alex Diaz mockingly remarks, "That's our fearless leader" and accuses Brandon of being incapable of formulating an opinion without first checking with the chancellor. Brandon calls him "a funny guy", slinks out of the room with Kelly, and then high-tails it over to the chancellor's office so he can get his opinion formulated asap.
Hospital. Dylan wakes up and finds Iris sitting by his bedside. She wishes him a good afternoon and tells him they moved him to a private room, which she says is a good sign - except that she'd prefer it if he were in a room that had a "4" in the number, as that would bring his life a much healthier balance. I'm delighted to see that Iris hasn't lost any of her adorable superstitious kookiness. She mentions that Valerie has been keeping a 'round the clock vigil for him, but Dylan makes a face and says he's not interested in seeing her. Jaime (the intern) enters his room and tells him she's doing research on dreams that patients have after near death experiences, and would like to talk to him. Dylan has a sudden flashback of his tedious dream sequences from the previous episode, but tells Jaime he doesn't remember anything while he was in a coma.
Brandon wasn't able to get a meeting with the chancellor since he's off to a retreat, so he consults with the dean about what he should do...but the dean doesn't seem very helpful. Later, Brandon complains to Kelly that Alex Diaz is trying to demonstrate how little support he (Brandon) has, because it'll help his (Alex's) case when he tries to oust him as president. He suddenly remembers the KEG football game and dashes over to the field, but the game's already over. The KEGers are coming off the field, looking bummed after getting their asses whipped by the opposing team. Steve teases Brandon about flaking out on them, but seems fairly indifferent about losing.
Brandon notices Janice sitting at a table in the patio area of the Student Union and asks if he can join her. He snarks at her for taking part in the senate boycott with Alex Diaz over the last few weeks, but she insists that the Roland Turner thing has nothing to do with his faux presidency and tells him he shouldn't look for a conspiracy where there isn't one. She explains that this month marks the 25th anniversary of the BSU, and says they've planned a broad spectrum of events, including Turner's speaking engagement. She tells him she wanted to book Anita Hill, but was outvoted in favor of Mr. Hate Speech. Brandon tells her he wants both sides to come to a compromise on this issue and proposes holding the speech off campus...but Janice derisively shakes her head and retorts with a saying she picked up in law school: "You're either down with the First Amendment, or you're not."
Beach apartment. Ray emerges from the bathroom in his stinky wife beater shirt and announces that he fixed the broken faucet. Donna and Clare are giggling over their horoscopes...and when Donna offers to read him his, she realizes that his birthday is on Friday. She announces that they'll have to have a party, but Ray grumps that he doesn't want to be reminded of how old he's getting: 25. Clare jokes that he's practically robbing the cradle, and Donna reminds her that she's almost 20. As soon as Ray ambles out of the room, Donna discreetly tells Clare she's going to plan a surprise party for him on Friday at 8:00pm. Mmm...bad idea. Pumpkin Head doesn't come across as much of a 'surprise birthday party' kind of guy.
CU library. Noah finds Ahn-drea in the library, studying for a final. He tells her he's a friend of Dan Rubin's, and she immediately starts packing up her stuff and tells him she has to rush home to feed her starving baby. Subtle, Ahn-drea. He refuses to take the hint and follows her while she attempts to flee the library. He asks her if she's still friends with Brandon, and she says she is and mentions that Brandon's her daughter's godfather. Wuh? He is? I must have missed that breathtaking announcement. Noah wants her to use her influence with Brandon to keep Roland Turner from speaking on campus - and she's surprised to hear that anyone would actually spend money booking him. She promises Noah she'll give Brandon a call, but insists that right now she has to get home to relieve her grandmother from babysitting duty. Noah tells her to hang on, then fumbles around inside his knapsack and pulls out the video tape of Turner's speech. He asks her to watch it...and assures her she'll understand his urgency in coming to her.
The Walsh house. Later that evening, Ahn-drea drops by to admonish Brandon for defending Roland Turner. She waves the video tape at him and asks him if he's seen it...and he says he has. She informs him that Turner accuses Jews of faking their deaths during the Holocaust so that the UN would vote to create the state of Israel...and Brandon just stares at her blankly and goes, "He said that?" LOL. Brandon points out that Turner has since apologized for the speech, but Ahn-drea snarks back that he only did so because ABC got a hold of the tape. Brandon agrees that Turner is a racist and "probably an anti-Semite" ... but says the student senate will be voting on the issue tomorrow, and predicts that the members will side with the BSU in favor of allowing Turner to speak on campus. Ahn-drea asks him how he's going to vote, and he tells her he'll probably abstain, so she shakes her head in disgust and says, "I don't believe you." Brandon tells her it's a done deal, and that the BSU doesn't care what he thinks...so she accuses him of making a back room deal with the BSU so they'll drop their challenge to his presidency. Brandon says, "I think you know me a little better than that" and she calls him "a political animal" just like the rest of them. Brandon reminds her that she's the one who showed up at his house at 11:00pm to lobby him to vote her way, then snaps, "And I'm a political animal?" Ahn-drea gives him a cold stink-eye and says, "Shame on you."
CU gym. Brandon sees D'Shawn and the two discuss the irksome Roland Turner situation. Brandon predicts that Turner will be giving his speech on Friday night. D'Shawn says he's suspicious of the dude, who he calls "a promoter" because he gets paid $10,000 to tell poor people what he thinks they want to hear. Interesting perspective. He advises Brandon not to let himself get dragged into all this, since it'll just make him crazy (um, he kind of has to be involved since he is the student body president) and Brandon thanks him for his support and wishes him well in the upcoming basketball season.
Hospital. Valerie arrives at the hospital and finds Iris sitting in the waiting room. She asks her how Dylan did last night, and Iris tells her he slept fitfully. Valerie tells her she's been too stressed out to get a good night's sleep, and also that she really needs to talk to Dylan. Iris tells her he's too embarrassed and ashamed to see anyone, and Valerie looks surprised and says he has nothing to be ashamed of. Well...he kind of does, actually. Iris tells her to give it time and love...and Valerie wrings her hands and says she wishes there was something she could do, so then Iris asks her to go over to Dylan's house and fetch him some toiletries and personal items.
Seventeen makeup trailer. Donna and Steve drop by as Kelly's getting all gussied up for her photo shoot. Kelly tells her friends that the photographs will be taken on the main quad, but Steve says that that's doubtful and asks, "Have you seen the main quad today?"
At the main quad.. Noah's talking through a bullhorn to protest Roland Turner and his message of anti-Semitic hate. He urges people to sign the petition that demands he be banned from speaking on campus. To that end, Ahn-drea is walking around with the petition on a clipboard. She sees David and asks him to sign it, but he looks disinterested and says he's not into politics. She argues that it's not politics, reminds him that he's Jewish, and demands to know how he can tolerate anti-Semitism. He shrugs and tells her, "'Cause being Jewish has never really been a problem for me." Ahn-drea narrows her beady eyes and snarls that his Jewishness hasn't been a problem because he grew up in Beverly Hills, and he glares back at her and wearily retorts, "No, Ahn-drea, maybe it's because I never made such a big deal about it." This displeases Ahn-drea and she snarls, "Fine. Don't sign it" and then natters at him about a man who never spoke up when his neighbors were getting arrested and then later wondered why there was no one left to stand up for him. She storms off, leaving David looking contemplative.
Dylan's house. Valerie is ransacking Dylan's house, looking for any drugs he may have hidden away for future benders. She finds a few stashes and smiles to herself as she flushes them down the toilet. Suddenly, there's a knock on the door and it's the drug dealer, claiming to be Dylan's old surfing buddy from San Diego. He asks if Dylan's around, and when Valerie tells him he isn't, he asks how he can get in touch with him. Valerie hesitates, so he musters some fake concern and asks her if Dylan's OK and she's like, "Not really." She invites him inside so she can fully explain Dylan's car crash/coma situation.
California University. At an impromptu press conference, Ahn-drea and Noah announce to the media that they've managed to collect 1,500 signatures for their petition and plan to present it at the upcoming student senate meeting. Out of nowhere, an African American student jumps in front of the camera and blurts out, "They don't want a black man to tell them like it is 'cause that scares them!" He then gets all in Ahn-drea's face (which I quite enjoyed), so then she snaps back, "It's your ignorance that scares me!" and then an African American woman standing nearby yells, "Who you calling ignorant, bitch?!" Brandon is standing at a safe distance beside the dean and calls the spectacle a three-ring circus. After the dean flees, Alex Diaz sidles up to Brandon and remarks that it's obvious he can't even control his friends anymore. Brandon wearily tells him to go away, and Alex points out that if he had just taken the vote during yesterday's meeting, none of this would be happening. Fair point, and I'm actually starting to agree with Alex about what an inept student body president Brandon is.
After Alex stomps off, Kelly and Norah (the Seventeen magazine stylist) walk over to Brandon. Kelly tells him there likely won't be a photo shoot because of the demonstration...and Norah concurs and says it's over, at least for the day. Norah then gets really emotional and tells them she's worked all over the world and is respected for her ability and experience - and that it's only in the U.S. where she's constantly reminded that everything is about the color of her skin.
Student senate meeting. Brandon has just called the meeting to order when police sirens start wailing. Someone rushes in to announce that a bomb threat has been called in and they all have to evacuate.
Dean's office. Brandon talks to the chancellor on the phone and tells him that the student senate voted in favor of allowing Roland Turner to speak on campus. The chancellor advices him to ensure that security is beefed up on Friday night, which the dean says he's already working on. Brandon jokingly says he's working on his resignation speech and thinks his chances of remaining student body president are bleak. Well d'yuh. The dean recalls his days as one of the first black students at a Georgia university and how he regularly endured harassment and blatant racism. He then reminisces about seeing Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous speech in Washington, D.C. and says that Jewish people were right there, fighting along with them. He's sad that that kind of unity is unraveling after only one generation...and Brandon furrows his brows and looks contemplative.
Beach house. David is over, listening to music, as Clare and Donna pretend to study. Kelly arrives home and tells them about the CU bomb threat, and how she thought the Seventeen photographer was going to have a nervous breakdown. As it turns out, he no longer wants to do the photo shoot on campus...and has also decided to put Kelly on the cover. Donna's like, "That's great!" but then Kelly informs her that the shoot has been rescheduled for Friday night, which means she won't be able to make it to Pumpkin Head's surprise birthday party. Donna grumbles that Steve isn't coming either (out of loyalty to Griffin), and that Ahn-drea's busy fighting anti-Semitism, Dylan's slowly emerging from his vegetative state, and it's doubtful that Brandon will want to come without Kelly. She considers inviting Valerie, but Kelly warns her not to and says, "Unless you want her to make a move on your boyfriend." Clare suggests having a small dinner party for Ray with her and David, and Donna likes the sound of that. Donna and Kelly head out to go shopping for Ray's present, and David is staring into space with a troubled look on his face. Clare asks him what's wrong, so he asks her what she thinks of him being Jewish. She shrugs and tells him she doesn't really think of his Jewishness at all, and that to her he's just 'David'. She then asks him if his Jewishness makes a difference to him and he's like, "I dunno."
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Ahn-drea's on the phone with Grandma Rose, telling her about the bomb scare, and how super busy she is now that she's on the board of the Maccabee Center. When she hangs up, Jesse grins and tells her she obviously thrives on this stuff - and bythis stuff he means controversy, politics, conflict, and being in the limelight. She gets all haughty and tells him that this is about Roland Turner and "his warped sense of history", so Jesse goes, "OK, OK" and mutters that he's sorry he said anything out loud in her presence. She tells him she doesn't want him to feel like that, so then he lectures her about how people who aren't her are allowed to have their own opinions...and she gets all defensive and says she never claimed they weren't. He snaps, "Then tell that to Brandon" so she explains that Brandon abstained from voting because he didn't want to offend anybody, and in the process alienated everybody. Yeah, there really is no gettin' around what a crap student body president Brandon is. Ahn-drea urges Jesse to open up and express what he's thinking, so he finally lets loose and says, "You're dynamic [frenetic], you're smart [a know-it-all], you're beautiful [average at best], you're a good mom [whatever] - but you're not a very tolerant person, Ahn-drea. You're just not." Bwahahaha! It was so completely awesome watching Ahn-drea get called out on her overbearing, sanctimonious assholery...and I really loved the way her face fell in response, so much so that I hit rewind on my DVD player so I could enjoy it a second time.
The Walsh house. Mama and Papa Walsh and Brandon are watching a local news clip featuring Ahn-drea yammering about the protest against Roland Turner, and the obvious indifference of the student senate against the rise of anti-Semitism. Brandon mutters that he can't watch any more of this and stomps out of the kitchen. Papa Walsh rushes out after him, and Brandon explains/whines that he tried to come up with a compromise everyone could live with...and then stupid Ahn-drea goes on TV and makes him look like an ass-clown. Papa Walsh assures him that he's not an ass-clown, but that he is a white male who lives in a country where the power structure is rapidly changing.
Hospital. The drug dealer sneaks into Dylan's room and mockingly tells him he thought he'd be dead. He asks Dylan if he wants "a taste", and a weak Dylan starts having flashbacks of his stupid dream sequences. The drug dealer threatens to rip out his IVs and warns him not to tell the cops about him when they come to arrest him. Iris suddenly enters the room, so the drug dealer pretends to be Dylan's friend and wishes him a speedy recovery before he saunters out.
California University. The next morning, Brandon runs into Ahn-drea as he's biking on campus, and he tells her he saw her flapping her gums on TV yesterday. She looks contrite and says there are a few things she'd like to take back, and he tells her that if she really believes them in her heart, she doesn't need to apologize. She apologizes anyway, and he accepts...and the two kiss and make up. She tells him she's off to a board meeting at the Maccabbee Center and admits that she's starting to feel overwhelmed by the whole Turner controversy. She also disagrees with Noah, who wants to interrupt Turner's speech...because she's concerned that they'll lose sympathy in the court of public opinion. Brandon suggests that she and Janice get together and talk one-on-one about a security plan, and Ahn-drea says she's game. However, when they arrive at the Interfaith Center, they're shocked and appalled to see swastikas spray painted all over the exterior of the building. The two stare sadly at the vandalism as Jewish sounding music plays faintly in the background.
The Jewish students start up their protest again...and Brandon has fetched the dean, who's furious about the defacement of university property. Ahn-drea's busily handing out flyers, and David makes an appearance, takes a flyer, and looks contemplative. Janice approaches Ahn-drea to give her a copy of BSU's official statement saying they had nothing to do with the swastikas, and Ahn-drea snaps that she can't deal with her right now. She tells her she blames BSU for creating an atmosphere of hate on campus after inviting Turner to speak on campus, so then Janice tells her she's basing her whole opinion of the guy on one bootleg video, which doesn't even represent what he's all about. Ahn-drea haughtily retorts that maybe Turner would like to watch the video of her grandmother describing what it was like to be imprisoned in a Nazi death camp. She snarls, "I'm sure that would go over great!" and storms off.
Hospital. Dylan tells Iris he doesn't want to discuss his dreams with intern Jaime 'cause she'll think he's crazy. Please. They weren't that out there. He then says he's going to have to go into rehab once he's discharged and remarks that he might need something less conventional in order for sobriety to take. Iris agrees and tells him not to worry about whatever the treatment costs.
Beach house. Donna is making Ray's birthday dinner and putting the finishing touches on his cake when Clare and David arrive home. David says he feels like he needs to be at the Roland Turner demonstration on campus tonight, so he and Clare won't be able to make the dinner party after all.
Grandma Rose's apartment. Ahn-drea, Jesse, and Hannah are over for Sabbath dinner...and Ahn-drea and Grandma Rose go into another room so they can talk privately. Ahn-drea assures her grandmother that she won't break any laws during tonight's demonstration and that she'll let Noah do all the interviews. She says she's distressed that anti-Semitism is so rampant at CU, but Rose tells her she's actually more distressed that Ahn-drea has been fighting with Brandon and becoming distanced from her husband. Ahn-drea argues that they don't understand how dangerous a man like Turner is, and that they have to speak out and not allow themselves to be intimidated. Rose tells her there's also a time to listen and turn the other cheek, and says if Turner's a man who is genuinely devoted to his community, Jewish people should try to reach out to him because there's a good chance he'll see the error of his ways. Ahn-drea says she's doubtful that Turner is that type of man, so Rose advises her to go to his speaking engagement so she'll know first hand what he's really all about.
Beach apartment. Ray arrives for his birthday celebration, and Donna tells him how bummed she is that the dinner party with David and Clare didn't work out. Ray tells her he didn't come over to see Clare and David...then adds that he doesn't even like them. Haha! He tells her that maybe that will change once he gets to know them (or not), then says she's the one he cares about seeing and the person he writes songs about. Donna scurries to her bedroom to fetch his birthday gift, and it's a super expensive Gibson classic guitar. Ray is shocked that she spent so much money on him, but she tells him he's worth it (he's not) and gives him a birthday kiss.
California University. Roland Turner is expected to arrive on campus any moment, and a large group of protestors are standing behind police barricades, quietly holding lighted candles. Brandon is giving an interview to a local reporter, assuring her that the situation is under control. Ahn-drea tells Noah that she and Grandma Rose will be going inside to hear Turner speak, and then Brandon walks over to greet Rose and introduces her to Janice. Rose gives Janice a warm smile and tells her she saw her on the news the other day and thinks she's very well spoken...so then Janice invites both her and Ahn-drea to sit beside her during Turner's speech. She then tells Rose she heard about the recent interview she gave about her experience during the Holocaust and says she'd love to see it...and Brandon interjects for no reason and says he would as well. Rose and Janice head toward the auditorium, Ahn-drea goes over to David to give him a make-up hug, and Brandon awkwardly wanders around the barricaded area.