Recap: Valerie's in full-on stalker mode, calling the Pruit house to get a hold of Ray...again. How could she (or anyone) possibly be this obsessed with Pumpkin Head? LuAnn tells Valerie she just missed him, then rolls her eyes and quietly admonishes Ray, who's standing a few feet away, for picking this "doozy" to doink on the side. She assures Valerie that she's been passing along her many phone messages to Ray, then promises to tell him that she called. Again.
Rush Sanders drops by Valerie's hotel room after being summoned. As she fixes him a scotch, he asks, "Why am I here?" and she bats her big blue eyes at him and says she'd like to get to know him better. He tells her to cut the shit and just spit out what she's really after, so she tells him she wants to buy his share of the After Dark. Rush chuckles and tells her the club is not for sale, and she saucily retorts that everything is for sale. Rush mulls that over for a few seconds and says he might be willing to negotiate, so Valerie gets all cocky-smirky and smilingly says, "Let's negotiate."
California University. Brandon is leading a blindfolded Kelly to where the gang is throwing her a Welcome Back From the Cult picnic, and everyone gushes about how great it is that she finally got herself de-Finleyized. Donna says they thought they had lost her, and Kelly says they almost did, then tells the gang to never underestimate the power of love. Or basic common sense. Dylan appears out of nowhere to help welcome her back, and she remarks that she should be welcoming him back, considering how long it's been since he's set foot on campus. Donna abruptly announces that she has to go meet Ray at the After Dark for a sound check, and Dylan asks her if he can a get a ride and then quietly slouches off behind her. A friend of David's (Amy) suddenly rushes over to ask him if he parked his bicycle in the rack near the dorm. David tells her he doesn't own a bicycle, and Amy grumps that neither does anyone else, since four expensive ones just got stolen. During all this, an evil presence is lurking in the nearby bushes, creepishly eavesdropping on the conversation. Brandon asks Amy if she contacted campus security, and she snorts and says they're a joke. Kelly teases Brandon that people might think he's soft on crime if he doesn't do something about the thefts...and he says the only thing he's soft on is her, and everyone aahs.
After Dark. Ray's napping in the back room of the club when Valerie barges in. She snarks at him for not returning her phone calls, and he wearily tells her not to take it personally. She gives him a cold stare and says he's lucky she's so forgiving and has a positive mental attitude...and Ray tells her she can shove her positive mental attitude. She warns him that he should start treating her with a little more respect just as Donna enters the room with a tray full of Peach Pit junk food. Valerie explains that she just popped in to say hi to "our guy", so Donna invites her to stay and eat with them, but she declines and heads out. Donna cluelessly tells Ray she really likes Valerie and thinks the gal has great style. Er...OK.
Dorm. David and a sad sack named Lenny are playing soda can bowling in the residence's hallway. Amy arrives home and bitches about how her parents refuse to buy her a new bicycle, and Lenny retorts that anyone who rides around on an expensive bicycle deserves to have it ripped off. Clare scrunches her face and says, "Gee Lenny, don't be sympathetic or anything." She announces to David that she's leaving, and when he rushes after her to find out why she's so annoyed, she tells him that Lenny is really weird. After she departs, Lenny asks David whassup with Clare's bitchitude, and David explains that she just gets moody sometimes.
Hospital. Ahn-drea's wheeling her medication cart down the hall when she runs into Peter, and the two exchange their usual flirty banter in pretty brazen fashion. Considering that they're both married, I wonder why neither of them seems worried about the other hospital employees noticing and gossiping about it. Peter tells Ahn-drea he's delirious from working such a long shift, is super horny, then pulls her into an empty on-call room. He presses her against the wall behind the door and the two start making out as Ahn-drea giddily exclaims how much she loves this job. Out in the hallway, a nurse notices Ahn-drea's abandoned cart and peeks inside the on-call room to see if she's there. Peter tells the nurse he's alone, but not dressed...so unless she wants to get an eyeful of him nekked, she'd better run along. The nurse looks icked out by the disturbing visual, quickly apologizes, and flees...and Peter and Ahn-drea chuckle about how that was too close for comfort. Jerks.
After Dark. Rush takes the stage after Ray's performance and announces that the club has a new owner, and then introduces Valerie. As she strides over to the mic to say a few words to the clubbers, Donna and Ray look stunned, Steve seems very confused, and Clare and David register total dismay. Donna asks Ray if he knew about this, then adds that she didn't think Valerie was even interested in the business. When Valerie approaches them a few minutes later, Ray asks her what she knows about running a nightclub, and she says nothing, but that she's willing to work hard and learn. Donna tells her it's terrific and gives her a congratulatory hug...and the whole time Val is hugging Donna, she's staring smugly at Ray.
Dylan's house. Valerie drops by unannounced in the middle of the night to tell Dylan that she bought Rush's share of the After Dark and wants to celebrate. She pulls a baggie out of her pocket and tells him she scored some fresh, sweet smelling pot and suggests they smoke up and doink all night. Dylan passes on both offers and tells Valerie to leave, so she accuses him of being stuck on Kelly - and says she could make a great backup (albeit with serious self esteem issues). He makes it clear he's not at all into the idea of spending the night with her, so she finally gives up and looks deflated. Before she leaves, she tosses a joint on one of his end tables, and Dylan furrows his brows as he stares down and contemplates it.
The Walsh house. Mama and Papa Walsh and Brandon are having breakfast and discussing how Valerie has completely lost her mind. Mama Walsh suggests calling her mother, but Brandon doesn't think she has any real influence with her daughter anymore. Papa Walsh just shrugs and says there's not much they can do, since Valerie is an adult, living on her own. Steve phones to report to Brandon that three fraternity houses got robbed last night. Brandon's like, "Why are you telling me this?" so Steve points out that since he's the, uh, president of the CU student body, he might need to at least pretend to want to do something about the recent crime wave.
California University. Ominous music tinkles in the background as Kelly and some random girl stroll together on campus...and the unidentified creepster is watching them from behind some shrubbery.
Dorm. David and Clare discuss having to now work with Valerie to book bands for the After Dark. Clare tells him she has to go, and is startled when she opens the door and finds Lenny creepishly standing there. Clare snarks something rude at him before she heads off, and Lenny remarks to David that he's used to people in the dorm not liking him. David asks him why he's even living in the dorm since he's older than everyone else, and he says it's a long, sad story...but basically he's dirt poor and can't afford an off-campus apartment, and has to "beg, borrow and steal" to make ends meet. David makes a crack about all the bicycles that have been stolen, and Lenny gets offended at the implication that he's the bicycle thief and angrily storms out.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Jesse calls home to check in, and Ahn-drea whines about how she and Hannah have been having trouble sleeping, blah blah. Jesse tells her he just had a great interview and may land a job in Kansas City, and Ahn-drea bitchily retorts that Kansas City isn't much better than Boise. Way to be a supportive life partner, assbag. While they're talking, Peter suddenly drops by the apartment unannounced, so Ahn-drea hastily cuts the call short and admonishes him for coming to her home and tells him it makes her nervous. Peter promises to leave, then pulls her toward him and the two start making out. Ahn-drea moans that she must be crazy to do this with her daughter in the next room (uh, d'yuh), then asks Peter what they're going to do about their lust for each other. He tells her they'll figure something out.
After Dark. Valerie is hanging up a new dart board when Ray reluctantly drops by. He tells her LuAnn told him she called and asks her what she wants, and Valerie is impressed that he's actually returning one of her messages. She tells him they have unfinished bidness to discuss, then comes right out and says, "I want you back in my bed." OMFG. She makes it clear that if he refuses to doink her anymore, he won't be allowed to keep performing at the club. As a viewer who frowns upon sexual harassment but also hates Ray's music, both of those things sound like a win-win.
After Dark. Valerie is in a meeting with Clare and David, and she tells them Ray is history and that it's time to get some "new blood". Clare looks troubled about Ray being so abruptly iced out, while David's totally on board and says that there's lots of great bands out there who deserve the opportunity to perform. True enough. Valerie orders them to put together a list of bands they could potentially book for the next few months, and David assures her that that will be no problem.
Restaurant. Steve meets his father and lets him know how annoyed he is about the sale of his share of the After Dark to Valerie. He demands to know if he doinked her (gross!), but Rush just laughs and tells Steve he has a dirty mind. He says his dealings with Valerie were strictly business, then hands Steve an envelop and tells him it's his commission from the sale. Steve opens it, looks stunned at the amount of cash he just "earned", and sheepishly thanks Rush.
Dylan's strolling in a park somewhere, clutching the joint that Valerie left at his house the other night. After contemplating it for a few seconds, he decides he wants to smoke it, but can't get his lighter to stay lit 'cause of the heavy wind. After a few tries, he gives up.
Beach house. Clare has just finished telling Donna that Valerie booted Ray out of the After Dark. Donna's stunned by the news and asks her what David has to say about this, and when Clare starts stammering unintelligibly, Donna accuses David of stabbing Ray in the back. She's mad that he'd want to hurt Pumpkin Head as he struggles to make something of himself, then moans, "Poor Ray" and agonizes over how terrible he must be feeling right now.
The Pruit house. Ray packs his bags and tells his ma he's getting out of town. Apparently he hired an agent who was somehow able to book gigs for him in college towns across the northwest. These towns must be pretty desperate for entertainment. LuAnn's like, "What about Donna?" and he says he loves her and will call her from the road. LuAnn starts lecturing him about pride and honor, and urges him to perform his last scheduled show at the After Dark. She then awkwardly advises him to take Donna in his arms and give her a gigantic smooch she'll never forget.
Palm Wind Motel. Dylan drops by to visit Charlie, his pal from the rehab episode. Charlie tells him he's keeping busy at the motel (owned by his family) and staying drug free. Dylan says he's been having drug related lady problems, meaning that Valerie supplied him with a joint while Kelly supplied him with the motivation to light up the joint (which he ended up not smoking). Charlie tells him he's got to let all that shit go and figure out what he's going to do with his aimless life. No kidding.
California University. Brandon and Kelly are strolling on campus at dusk. Brandon's irked that everyone is bugging him about the recent crime wave on campus, and Kelly just chalks it up to people wanting to have somebody to blame. Brandon whines that he has nothing to do with the university's budget or hiring campus cops, and Kelly tells him he's getting too wound up and offers to draw him a bath and give him a back rub. She's suddenly startled by a rustling sound coming from the nearby bushes, and tells Brandon she just got a really creepy feeling. He suggests they head home and steers her toward the parking lot. The camera then pans over to the bushes, and an unidentified creepster is standing there watching them...and we see that he's wearing black shoes and carrying a knife. Eeek!
Dorm. David asks Clare how mad Donna is at him for not standing up for Ray more when Valerie announced she was turfing him out of the After Dark, and Clare confirms that she's pretty pissed. Lenny appears in the hallway and gives David a mixed tape he made for him, and suddenly Amy rushes past, clutching a suitcase. She looks freaked out and announces that she's staying at her parents' house, since the school isn't safe anymore. She tells them that a girl just got raped and slashed on campus in broad daylight, and adds that there are police officers everywhere. Everyone's stunned by the horrific news, and Lenny jokes about how there probably won't be anymore bicycle thefts what with the heavy police presence and all. Clare stares at him incredulously and calls him "a real charmer"...and as the camera pans down, we see that Lenny is wearing black shoes! Eeek! I take it the writers want us to falsely assume he's the rapist, despite the fact that there are probably hundreds of guys on campus who, at this moment, are also wearing black shoes.
Steve and Brandon are strolling on campus after dark, discussing the university's security issues. Kelly rushes over to them from across the lawn and tells them she's skeered, since earlier she had been just steps away from where the girl was attacked. Brandon tells her he doesn't want her walking alone on campus anymore - at least until the rapist is caught.
After Dark. Ray is tuning his guitar when Valerie flounces over and expresses her surprise that he had the nerve to show up after being let go. He reminds her that he's contracted to perform one last night, and says he intends to honor the agreement. She asks him if Donna's around, and he barks at her to stay the hell away from her, so she makes a snide crack about how he doesn't want Donna to find out that her country boyfriend is just another snake in the grass. Ray glares at her and says, "You're the snake in the grass" then gets up and stalks off. After that, Dylan enters the club, strides over to Valerie and hands her the joint she left at his place earlier. She looks put off, but then shrugs and says, "More for me." Looking hopeful, she asks him if he has plans tonight, and he says he does but that they don't include her, then saunters back toward the exit. Ouch.
The Peach Pit. Kelly strolls over to Dylan, who's slouching by the jukebox. She thanks him for showing up at her Welcome Back picnic the other day and says that it meant a lot to her...even though he only attended the picnic for about 12 seconds. She calls him a good friend and kisses his cheek, then says she'd probably still be "evolving with Finley" if he hadn't exposed him for the fraud that he is. Dylan has nothing to say 'bout that, so she asks him if he'll always be her friend, and after mulling it over for a few seconds he assures her he will.
Hospital. Peter runs up behind Ahn-drea as she busily wheels her cart down the hall. He dangles a key in front of her and tells her he booked a motel room for the two of them (gross), and Ahn-drea says that sounds "a tad sleazy". It's more than a tad. He asks her if she wants to do it tonight, but she tells him she can't 'cause Jesse's mom is babysitting...so he asks her about tomorrow night, and she excitedly shrieks, "Maybe!" Gaa - these two are such gigantic assholes; their respective spouses definitely deserve better.
Student Union. Clare and David are taking a night off from the After Dark, and Clare tells David she really doesn't want to work for Valerie. David spots Lenny across the room and invites him over, but Lenny sees that Clare is with him and declines. Clare looks like she feels bad and insists that Lenny join them, so he lumbers over and has a seat at their table. Suddenly, two police detectives approach the table and inform Lenny that he's wanted for questioning. He insists he didn't steal the bicycles, and they stonily tell him that this isn't about the bicycles. Lenny looks panic-stricken, but agrees to leave with them...and David looks alarmed and tells Clare he's worried that the cops think Lenny is the rapist.
After Dark. A sad looking Donna compliments Ray on his final After Dark performance and assures him he'll find another gig. He tells her he already has a bunch of out-of-town gigs booked...and she looks crestfallen and asks him when he's leaving, and he says, "Tonight." She asks him when he plans on returning, and he says he doesn't know, then tells her her loves her...and, oh yeah, there's one other thing she needs to know 'bout. Donna prolly senses it's not good news and tells him that nothing else matters except his love for her, so Ray promptly drops the issue, and the two indulge in one last smoochfest.
Sayonara, Pumpkin Head.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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