Recap: During a sit-down at the Peach Pit, Kelly tells Donna and Clare that she's quitting Alpha Omega 'cause she's too busy doing cult stuff with the Finleyites. When Donna tries to talk her out of it, Kelly self-righteously retorts, "Meaningful change comes from personal sacrifice" and adds that the sooner the two of them understand this, the better off they'll all be. Clare makes a sarcastic crack about how profound her culty platitudes are, and Kelly abruptly gets up from the table and snarks that she didn't meet with them so she could be ridiculed for her new beliefs. Clare snarks back that Kelly only agreed to meet with them because Finley told her to - and that, according to him, her old friends are just a bunch of "externs" and "negators". Dylan overhears the squabble and admonishes Clare and Donna for not respecting Kelly for trying to find a little meaning in her life. Clare snidely asks him if he just joined the New Evolution or something, and he says he's just trying to keep an open mind. Kelly thanks Dylan for standing up for her, and he offers to walk her to her car. After the two exit the diner, Clare shakes her head and mutters, "Unbelievable.."
In the heavy rain outside, Dylan sees Kelly safely to her car, then rushes over to where Brandon is waiting in his Mustang to report on the day's progress. Dylan tells him that Kelly's going to introduce him to Finley tomorrow, then says he really hates deceiving her like this. Brandon insists they have to, otherwise they could lose her to the Finleyites forever. Egads!
Bellamy Hotel. Valerie orders a fancy breakfast for two, and the food arrives in her hotel suite just as Ray is getting dressed. He tells her he has to get going, but she insists there's something she wants to show him first. She steers him over to the window and tells him to look at all the people down below, rushing to get to work, trying not to get wet. She rhetorically asks him what he thinks these people would do if they were offered the chance to spend the rest of the morning in a lavish hotel suite, and he looks at her with total disdain and says, "Don't you have a class to go to or something?" LOL. Valerie tells him she's free until 3:00pm, but he retorts that he has a lot to do and can't hang around. She pouts that she just ordered a sumptuous breakfast for the two of them, but he just shrugs, says sorry, and tells her he's supposed to meet someone. Valerie sarcastically asks, "Miss Goody Two Shoes?" then bitchily wonders aloud what Donna would do if she knew they had just spent the night together. Ray glares at her, and she smugly says she thought that would get his attention. He reminds her that she promised their affair would be discreet and have no strings attached, and Valerie looks fake confused and says she doesn't remember saying anything like that. Ray asks her what she wants, and she says she wants him to stay and eat breakfast with her, so Ray grabs the food cart and knocks it over...and all the food, dishes, and cutlery crash onto the floor. He glares at her coldly and says, "Breakfast is served."
Hospital. Ahn-drea arrives at the hospital to interview for a research job and has an obligatory run-in with Peter. The two share their usual flirty banter, and he tells her he likes the idea of her applying for the research job 'cause then he'll get to see her almost every day. Oh joy. He then leans toward her, takes a big whiff, and asks her what perfume she's wearing...and she replies, "Baby vomit." Peter chuckles as he slowly backs away, jokes that she's somehow able to make the baby vomit stench work, then wishes her good luck on her interview.
California University. Brandon drops in on Chancellor Arnold, who's currently dealing with a major water leak in his office. Brandon wants to discuss the scourge that is Finley, but the chancellor says that since the man wasn't granted tenure and no longer teaches on the campus, he considers the matter closed. Brandon informs him that Finley is still proselytizing his New Evo-lunacy, which a lot of CU students are followers of, including Kelly...and the chancellor expresses dismay that Kelly has gotten herself tangled up in such a dopey cult. Brandon says he heard that several parents made complaints about Finley after a retreat and would like to learn more 'bout that, but the chancellor tells him that that kind of stuff is confidential and disclosing it might risk a lawsuit. He says that what people do off-campus is their bidness, then adds that Kelly has a good head on her shoulders (um, not) and will be fine.
Finley mansion. Kelly brings Dylan into Finley's office to introduce the two of them, and the three talk about Hawaii and Iris's fascination with new age nonsense. Finley then starts up with his own cultish nonsense, and babbles about how the people of the world should be asking the "right questions":
A flunky interrupts their chat to tell Finley it's time for him to go. Finley explains to Dylan that he has to prepare for tomorrow's milledding (the what now?), but says he's welcome to visit the cult compound anytime he wishes. He then asks to speak with Kelly in private, and tells her how impressed he is with her slouchy friend and that he's obviously very intuitive and open to new experiences. Kelly tells him that Dylan's father is Jack McKay, and for some reason this intrigues Finley. His rubber lips stretch into a creepy smile and he urges her to invite Dylan to the milledding.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Jesse calls from Boise to check in. Ahn-drea tells him she got the research job and is starting work at the hospital tomorrow, and Jesse tells her he made the shortlist for the clerkship. She starts bitching about how she has no desire to live in Boise, and he suggests they wait until he actually gets an offer before they launch into yet another tedious argument. With that settled, he suggests inviting Peter and his wife over for dinner when he gets back 'cause he really likes hanging with them. Awkward.
Dylan's house. Dylan tells Kelly he's pleasantly surprised at how not obsessive Finley seemed about his New Evolution during their chat. Kelly concurs and says that Finley is super awesome and really cares about people, which is why he started the New Evolution in the first place. Dylan asks her what Jackie thinks of her Finley fixation, and she says her mom doesn't exactly approve, but thinks she's just going through a [dumb] phase. She insists it's more than a phase, and Dylan quickly assures her he totally understands and is on her side. The phone rings, and it's Brandon calling for an update on Operation Rescue Kelly. Dylan pretends it's a telemarketer and snarks that he's not interested, and Brandon guesses that Kelly's over and tells him to call him back as soon as she leaves. Dylan returns to the couch to resume their conversation, and Kelly invites him to the milledding. She explains that it's a wedding between two people who are entering the new millennium together, and that it's supposed to be very deep and spiritually refreshing. Dylan nods solemnly and acts as though a "milledding" isn't some weird thing that Finley just made up for some self serving reason, and says he'd love to attend.
After Dark. Donna and Ray are making out in his red truck in the heavy rain. Donna whimpers about how paranoid she gets when he doesn't call her 'cause of all the girls at the After Dark who now throw their panties at him. Ray tells her she's the one he loves, and assures her she has nothing to worry about and won't let anyone come between them. From across the parking lot, Valerie is staring at them (looking very unhappy) from the inside of her car.
Milledding. Dylan peppers Kelly with questions throughout the bizarre ceremony:
Q: Why does the groom look old enough to be the bride's grandfather? Ew.
A: Their union is about love not age. Oh yeah, and the personal wealth of the old guy.
Q: What is that gift box for?
A: Finley is "fundraising" for his latest scam - I mean, a new learning center in Oregon.
As Finley performs the milledding ceremony, he feels the need to explain to the spectators that the New Evolution supports an antiquated ideology such as marriage because they like to preserve traditions that are at the "foundation of growth" ... or some such shit. I didn't feel like rewinding. Kelly looks serenely transfixed while Finley babbles his tired old bullcack about the need for people to evolve in their lives...then turns his attention to the couple before him and asks them if they promise to nourish and love one another. They each declare they will, and Finley pronounces them milledded. Everyone applauds, and Dylan looks pretty weirded out.
Hospital. Peter drops in on Ahn-drea in her little research office lab or whatever. After they exchange their usual annoying flirty banter, he presents her with a cup of coffee...then leans in and gives her a full on smooch. Blech.
After the milledding, Kelly and Dylan stroll around the vast estate that served as the event's venue, which Kelly explains belongs to the groom. Apparently, he's planning to sell it and then give Finley the proceeds in order to finance the new learning center in Oregon. What a dumb sap. Kelly then starts gabbling about how the New Evolution has changed her life, and that she used to be afraid of people not liking her 'cause she was so pretty and rich. She says that Finley has given her direction, taught her to shine, and that everyone has limitless possibilities. She adds that Brandon doesn't understand her new life...but doesn't care 'cause she's soo happy. She twirls around like a mental patient, then gives Dylan a big kiss.
The Pruit house. Valerie drops by unannounced and introduces herself to LuAnn as Ray's "friend". She explains that she drove all the way to their shitty 'hood to return the sheet music he left at her place yesterday...so then LuAnn calls Ray out to the living room. He looks annoyed to see Valerie, and when his ma is out of hearing range he asks her what the hell she's doing at his house. She hands him his portfolio case and apologizes for acting all possessive earlier and says she wants them to go back to the way they used to be at the start of their affair. When he starts to protest, she shuts him up with a kiss and tells him to think about it. After she leaves, LuAnn slips back into the room and warns Ray to be careful of this hussy and her motives.
The Walsh house. Dylan is giving Brandon an update on Operation Rescue Kelly and tells him about how Finley is shamelessly squeezing money out of his gullible minions to fund a new learning center in Oregon. He then has an inexplicable brain fart and remarks on how happy Kelly seems, and that Finley's not really such a bad guy...and that he has some interesting philosophies. Say what? Brandon furrows his brows in confusion, then stares wide-eyed when Dylan tells him that he and Kelly kissed after the milledding.
Chancellor's office. Chancellor Arnold is walking around his flooded office in rubber boots when Brandon drops by to talk some more about Finley and his cultish ways. Arnold insists that the matter is still closed, then asks him how Kelly even got involved in Finley's New Evolution. Brandon explains that she glommed onto the movement after she got injured during the rave fire; she attended one of Finley's seminars and has been acting nutty ever since. Brandon asks the chancellor if he can take a look at some of the complaint files on Finley, and the chancellor tells him he can't actually hand them to him personally...however, if Brandon were to wait around his office after he heads off to lunch and open a particular cabinet behind his desk and then look in a particular file folder (that's clearly labeled), he would have no direct knowledge of it. Well, he kind of would by virtue of having had this conversation, but let's not split hairs. Arnold promptly leaves the office to get some lunch, leaving Brandon behind to raid his files and get the dirt on Finley.
Finley mansion. Dylan drops by to thank Finley for allowing him to attend the milledding the other day, then adds that he has "this feeling of renewal" bubbling inside of him. Finley proudly tells him he's experiencing this feeling because he's evolving. Or it could be gas. He then brings up the topic of the new learning center and grumps about what a chore fundraising is, and Dylan says he might be able to help him out with that. Finley perks up and says that a donation would be much appreciated...and tax deductible. Heh. Dylan asks him what his plans are regarding Kelly, and Finley says she's definitely an appealing woman, then adds that he hasn't hit the sheets with her yet. That's...a disturbing visual, though I'm slightly curious about whether Finley's even functional below the equator, considering his disability. Dylan explains to Finley that he and Kelly used to date and that he'd like to start tapping that again. He tells Finley if he can arrange it, he'd be willing to make a sizable donation to the New Evolution. Finley smiles creepily and says, "Let me see what I can do." Ew. Gross. Blech.
Beach house. Brandon's on the phone, trying to reach some guy named Greg whose parents had filed a complaint against Finley. He keeps getting a busy signal...but when someone on the other end finally picks up, he quickly hangs up on Brandon. When Donna enters the room to see how Brandon's doing, he announces that he's going to drive out to Orange County so he can talk to this Greg in person. Meanwhile, Ray arrives at the beach apartment and gets annoyed when Donna tells him that Valerie will be joining them for the evening. He rails about wanting to just have a quiet dinner alone, not hang out with "a cast of thousands", and then storms out like a little bitch.
Finley mansion. Kelly's somewhere inside the labyrinthine mansion, working on her sociology paper when Finley wheels himself in the room. She remarks that her paper seems so trivial compared to the "work" they're doing at the institute. Institute? LOL. This is now an institute?Finley mentions that Dylan came to see him, and that he senses chemistry between them and suggests he could be her soulmate. He creepily orders her, "Give him what he hungers for: spiritually, emotionally, physically...orally...anally..." Finley then looks creepier than he's ever looked before when he commands her to, "Love him in every way." OMFG.
Brandon arrives at Greg's house in Orange County - but when Brandon introduces himself as the student body president of CU, Greg panics and immediately shuts the door in his face. Brandon tells him he drove all the way from L.A. and that he could at least come out and talk to him. He tells Greg he's his last hope, and explains that his girlfriend thinks Finley is God and wants to move to Oregon with him. This gets Greg's attention and he asks, "Is she pretty?"
Hospital. Ahn-drea and Peter are sucking face inside an elevator, and Ahn-drea gets really into it and moans, "What's happening to me?" They unlock lips just as the elevator doors suddenly open...and - ack! - Jesse is standing there holding a bouquet of flowers. He tells his bewildered wife that he caught an earlier flight home 'cause he missed her so much. Peter hastily excuses himself, and Jesse kisses and hugs a freaked out Ahn-drea.
Dylan's house. Kelly arrives and immediately starts coming onto Dylan. She kisses him and says she wants to love him, hold and squeeze him, and let their paths evolve...and that she's wanted to do all of this ever since he stood up for her at the Peach Pit. Gaaa...her mind really has gone to shit. He goes, "What about Brandon?" and she says that while she still has strong feelings for him, he doesn't truly understand Finley's New Evolution bullshit. Dylan suddenly pulls away and tells her the only reason she's being so touchy feeling toward him is 'cause Finley ordered her to, and Kelly thinks that over and admits that Finley may have helped clarify what their future could be together. Dylan comes right out and says he told Finley he'd pay for the Oregon learning center if he could make Kelly want to go to bed with him. Kelly looks discombobulated for a few seconds, then accuses him of lying...so then Dylan says, "That's what Greg thought you'd say." Kelly asks him who the hell Greg is, so Dylan calls out to Brandon and Greg and says they can come out now. Brandon appears and introduces Greg to Kelly as a former charter member of the New Evolution...and Kelly snarks, "And now you're a negator." LOL. Dylan urges her to listen to what Greg has to say, and then he and Dylan leave the house so that Greg can attempt to de-zombify Kelly in private. Greg starts off by telling her that Finley likes to zero in on students who have the financial resources to give him contributions, then shows her a photo of himself and the old, wealthy woman he was milledded to. Greg wryly says that this woman funded the New Evolution for the first year. Holy crap! This dumb evolution has been in existence for more than a year??
Outside the house, Brandon says he could use a drink, then quickly apologizes to Dylan for mentioning alcohol. Dylan just shrugs, then tells him how he went to the Finley compound knowing the New Evolution was a scam, but ended up listening to the guy. Brandon gives him a look of incredulity and says he'll never understand how smart people like him and Kelly could give up their identity for a cult, and Dylan lamely says that people need assurances. Kelly suddenly exits the house looking tearful and asks if someone can take her home. She apologizes to Dylan and hugs him, while Brandon discreetly asks Greg what he said that so quickly convinced Kelly that permanently hooking up with the Finleyites was a bad idea. Greg holds out his scarred wrists and says he told Kelly that the New Evolution led him to a suicide attempt.
The Peach Pit. Donna's at a table, studying, when Ray comes over to apologize for being such a moody prick the other night. He says he hasn't been himself lately, and Donna chalks it up to all the pressure he's under from performing at the After Dark. She says she's worried that if he's this stressed now, what will happen once he gets more famous? LOL - I really don't think he's going to need to worry 'bout that. Ray asks her to give him another chance, and the two kiss and make up...and suddenly Valerie appears and comments on their face sucking. Donna explains that they were just making up, and Valerie says she didn't think they ever quarreled. Ray snarks back that everyone quarrels, then gets up and heads over to the After Dark next door. Donna cluelessly explains to Valerie that Ray's just nervous about breaking in some new material this weekend.
Valerie follows Ray into the After Dark and brashly says how great it would be if they "did it" right there on the stage. Ray shoves her away irritably, and Valerie assures him it's safe 'cause Donna just left the diner and all the doors to the After Dark are locked. He tells her she's really starting to bug him, and that hitting the sack with her was a mistake. He declares that "the party" is over, but Valerie cheekily says she thought the party was just getting heated up. He tells her to get lost, otherwise he'll get Nat and Willie to physically throw her out of the club. Valerie, who looks unfazed at his complete and utter revulsion for her, takes this moment to wonder aloud where Donna went, and Ray yells at her to stay the hell away from his girlfriend.
Finley mansion. Kelly accuses Finley of being a hypocrite, a con artist, and a pimp. Hee! She calls him out on how he tried to get her to sleep with Dylan just so he could get his hands on his money. Finley weakly protests that he only tried to do that 'cause she and Dylan belong together as soulmates, blah blah...and she glares at him and incredulously says he's not even bothering to deny her accusations. She tells him when she thought the New Evolution could help Dylan "open up", she didn't realize it would be his checkbook...and Finley finally takes a break from spouting his usual cultish bullshit and says, "Enlightenment doesn't come cheap." Kelly retorts, "Neither do I" and turns to leave. Finley warns her about regressing since she's come so far, but she barks back, "Don't tell me what to do!" She walks out, smiling to herself as her brain cells reassemble themselves back to their pre-cult settings. She ignores the Finleyites who try to make inane conversation with her along the way, and then walks down a few more hallways until she finally reaches the exit. Outside, Brandon and Dylan are anxiously waiting for her. They ask her if she's OK, and she smiles at them and says she's better than OK. Except for the embarrasing way she fell hook, line, and sinker for Finley's culty nonsense during the last four episodes.
And now that Operation Rescue Kelly has been successfully accomplished, Kelly instantly decides to go back to being Brandon's girlfriend, and a sad looking Dylan slouches off alone. Brandon rushes after him and suggests they all leave together in his Mustang, but Dylan mumbles that he wants to do this his own way. Brandon returns to his Mustang where Kelly is waiting, and the two climb into his car while Dylan walks in the opposite direction. It was not to be, Slouchy.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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