Recap: Valerie is in her fancy hotel suite, admiring herself in what I'll assume is a new outfit as she phones Clare at the beach house. A porter interrupts her self-lovefest to drop off her dry cleaning, and she tells him to put it on her tab. He starts twitching uncomfortably and tells her that her hotel account is "topped off", and she stares at him quizzically and says she'll speak to the hotel manager about it later. Back to her phone call: she tells Clare that a film company has booked the After Dark for a premiere party, but Clare says she can't help her with any of that, since she'll be working on a special class project with David all weekend. Valerie does not look pleased.
At the beach apartment, Felice is on her way out after having lunch with Donna, Clare, and Kelly. Clare tells Donna it's nice to have her back (after she spent the last three weeks at her parents' house to recover from last episode's near rape) and that the apartment was lonely without her. Donna says she feels totes safe now that she has a new house alarm, car alarm, and a license to carry mace. David drops by to sayhello, and Felice gushingly thanks him for saving Donna from the psycho rapist - and that it almost makes her wish he was still living there. Interesting change of heart. As Felice heads over to the door, Donna rushes after her and asks her what she's up to, so Felice says that since Pumpkin Head is finally out of the picture, she should try to get with David again. Donna reminds her that Pumpkin Head isn't out of the picture, he's just out of town - plus, David is currently dating Clare. Felice is like, "Meh" and insists that she's the one David cares about, and that it's written all over his face. Donna tests that theory and glances over at David...and sure enough he's staring back at her in a nauseatingly smitten fashion.
California University. David and Clare arrive on campus and discuss the "real life" project they're working on this weekend, which seems to be a rip-off of MTV's Real World. They run into Tuck [Tuck/Puck - haha, I get it], one of the subjects, and he informs them that the project isn't going to fly 'cause his roommates are pissed at him and don't want to be filmed anymore. When David starts protesting, Tuck snarks that he didn't sign any kind of contract, then blurts out some other rude retorts before taking off on his bicycle. Clare does not react well to the news and lashes out at David for losing the location and all six of their film subjects. She wails about how she submitted a twenty page proposal (for this, seriously?) along with character sketches of all six roommates to their professor, and he's expecting a thirty minute video on Monday morning. David tells her they'll just revert to Plan B...and by Plan B he means come up with a Plan B.
Bellamy Hotel. Valerie's in a private meeting with the hotel manager, discussing the "topping off" of her tab. She stares at him coolly and says, "This is not a good day to be harassing me." LOL. The manager looks unimpressed with her haughty 'tude and says, "There never seems to be a good day to get people to take care of their bills." He informs her that her tab has become unwieldy, then hands her an invoice containing all of her restaurant, spa, and boutique expenses, along with the daily rate of her lavish suite. Valerie glances at the invoice before she tosses it aside, then accuses him of singling her out. She says she doesn't see him knocking on other guests' doors and making them pay up when they're not ready, and the manager patiently explains that they generally handle these matters in more of a discreet fashion, which is why they're meeting in his office and not having this conversation in the middle of the hallway. She reminds him that she's a hotel resident [OMG - it is so dumb for her to be living in a hotel] and as such should be entitled to a discount rate...and he wearily tells her she's already getting the discount rate. Valerie switches gears and gives him a coquettish little smile and suggests they be "creative" and think of a new rate, and he raises an eyebrow at her icky proposition and flatly tells her that the hotel accepts all major credit cards. I really enjoyed her deflated expression after that retort.
Beach house. Clare arrives home and is annoyed to see David waiting on the deck for her with a wide grin on his face. She snarks about how she now has to take an incomplete in their Communications class, since it's preferable to a bad grade - but he insists that that won't be necessary. When she enters the apartment, she's surprised to find Steve, Brandon, Kelly, and Donna all gathered in the living room. David announces that they're going to be four of the roommates for their film project - and that they (David and Clare) will be the other two. Um...wouldn't the professor realize it's them when he watches the video?? Kelly tells Clare that David gave each of them their character assignments and that they'll be ready to start filming first thing in the morning. Clare looks pleasantly surprised by David's resourcefulness in implementing Plan B and decides that this might just be crazy enough to work!
Mama Walsh calls her husband at the office to inform him that Valerie has just moved back in. Papa Walsh looks dismayed and says they're going to have to lay out some ground rules this time - and Mama Walsh tells him that he can deal with that unpleasantness. For some reason, she's highly optimistic that Valerie will suddenly behave more responsibly now that she's been living in a hotel for three weeks.
David's dorm room. Later that night, Clare tells David that their project isn't going to work. It just dawned on her that the professor may recognize them when he watches the video. David tells her that it's such a big class, it's unlikely the professor will have a clue it's them...and Clare mulls that over and agrees that the guy is clued out half the time. She then tells David about the various staged fights she's scripting for the "roommates", so then he grumps about how they never use any of his ideas, but is too tired to pursue the argument further. Clare asks him why he chose to be the character who has a crush on Donna's character, and he just sleepily mumbles, "Goodnight, Donna." Clare gets angry by the Freudian slip (or whatever that was) and storms out.
The Walsh house. Brandon is decked out in his Tuck outfit and passes through the kitchen on his way out. He encounters Papa Walsh, who's moping at the kitchen table. Brandon tries out his contrived sounding surfer dude dialect on him, but Papa Walsh just looks annoyed and asks him if he knows whassup with Valerie's sudden return to Casa Walsh. Brandon says he heard she ran out of money (well d'yuh), and Papa Walsh grumps that he smelled the familiar pot stench coming from her room last night. This I'll say about Valerie: she's nothing if not ballsy. Brandon doesn't really reply except to babble some more annoying Valley Boy-speak before he rushes off to begin filming at the beach house.
Beach house. David is giving the "roommates" direction on what they're supposed to talk and argue about. Steve looks ridic in a giant cowboy hat and also sounds ridic with his exaggerated southern twang. Donna is trying to pull off a British accent, but overdoes it in a way that's far too painful for me to adequately describe with words...and from what I can tell, the footage looks phony and contrived, like a doomed one-season reality show. A few minutes into filming, David calls, "Cut!" and admonishes Steve for his over-acting. When he resumes filming, the roommates plant a seedling of a storyline about how there's vodka mixed in with orange juice - I guess Steve's character is supposed to be a lush or something. Donna's acting is just...unspeakable, and I'm surprised that David or Clare aren't admonishing her for her on-camera terribleness. Steve takes a phone call, then rejoins the roommates to break the news that Celeste is getting married to some naval officer she just met. Clare surreptitiously films him, but as soon as he's aware that his emotional torment is being captured on camera, he pretends to get choked up and starts fake sobbing. [I'm not going to lie - that scene did make me laugh kind of hard.] David gives up on filming, announces a break, then mutters, "This is stupid." Oh David...it's so far beyond stupid, I just can't even.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Ahn-drea is washing the dishes and looking sad. When Jesse returns home, she tells him they need to talk. That's never a fun phrase to hear your spouse say. Jesse is carrying a broken chair he just found on the curb and gets all excited about restoring it for Hannah. Ahn-drea happens to glance over at one of their framed wedding photos and quickly loses her nerve about "the talk" and tells him it can wait.
Beach house. More filming...ugh. Donna is seated at the piano, pretending to play Moonlight Sonata...and the footage looks fake and awful, even before she raises both of her hands to fluff her hair while the music continues to play. A smitten looking David stares into the camera and compliments her astonishing musical talent. Steve, meanwhile, has now put on a distinctive cowboy shirt to complement his large cowboy hat. He pours an entire bottle of vodka into a watermelon, which Kelly then eagerly snacks on. Cue Brandon, who rides into the kitchen on his bicycle and acts as dopey and boorish as he imagines Tuck would act. After a contrived, phony looking exchange with Kelly about how he doesn't practice good personal hygiene, Brandon heads back to the front door and is confronted by the real Tuck, who has apparently just entered the apartment without knocking. He's shocked at the sight of his doppelganger, then snarks at David that parodying/ridiculing him is a total violation of privacy...and David reminds him that he left him and Clare hanging when he and his roommates dropped out of the project at the last minute. Brandon finds the entire exchange amusing and just stands there and laughs. After some back and forth, Tuck spews, "You're dead, Silver!" and storms out...and David rushes out after him to try to smooth things over. In the kitchen, Steve informs Kelly that the watermelon truly is spiked, and she just shrugs and tells him she's A-OK with that.
The Peach Pit. Dylan and Charlie are doing research for their screenplay when Nat nosily asks them what they're up to. Valerie enters the diner, which catches the attention of Charlie...and he tells Dylan she's one hot chick. After bugging Nat for a favor regarding the caterers, she strolls over and gets introduced to Charlie. She informs him and Dylan that she's throwing a sci-fi movie premiere party at the After Dark later and that they're welcome to attend. Charlie's definitely into the idea, but Dylan just looks annoyed.
Beach house. David continues to film more unusable footage as Donna babbles nonsense in her horrifying British accent. She breaks "character" to ask, "Is that OK?" and David chuckles and tells her it was perfect. I'll take that as a clear sign he's completely given up on the project. He tells her he settled things with Tuck by promising to do a documentary on mountain biking, which, of course, Tuck will star in. The two then stare at each other longingly, and she says she was thinking about how the last time they were in this room together, he was saving her from being attacked by Garrett Slan. She adds that she's not quite over the trauma of it, and he comforts her with a hug.
Out in the living room, Kelly is starting to get hammered from all the spiked watermelon she's been sucking back. Clare heads down the hallway to get some mics and happens to look over at the monitor where David and Donna are filming, and she sees them hugging...and then share a quick kiss. A few seconds later, they start full on smooching, but Donna quickly puts the brakes on and tells him they'd better stop otherwise people might get the wrong idea.
A few hours later, the apartment is a total mess, and David and Donna are dancing really badly...as in, entering Brandon Walsh territory. Everyone else is draped across the furniture, bored and/or drunk while Clare continues to film. She suddenly decides she's tired of watching David and Donna dance, so she asks David to take over filming so she can dirty dance with Steve. She pulls Steve right up against her, and he bellows, "Boy, you shooore do loosen up at parties!" LOL. She then kisses him hard, which displeases David. After that, the phone rings, and when everyone continues to lie around like useless zombies, Clare rushes over to answer it. Steve says he enjoyed the kiss...then, as an afterthought says sorry to David. Clare tells Kelly the phone is for her: it's Jackie. A few seconds into the call, Kelly calls her mom pathetic, tells her she has no dignity, then hangs up and throws the phone across the room. She announces to everyone that Jackie has just asked Mel to move back in with her again...despite the fact that he cheated, lied, and humiliated her. She then starts railing about why men always have to cheat, and points the finger at each of the men in the room: David (for cheating on Donna), Steve (for cheating on Celeste), and Brandon (for whatever unspeakable things he was doing with Emily and her Moe Howard 'do). Donna says that not all guys cheat - like Ray, for instance - but Kelly retorts that he probably has a little side-dish she doesn't yet know about. Oh the irony. Kelly tells all three guys they make her sick, then races to the bathroom to throw up.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. Ahn-drea and Jesse are working together to restore the broken chair. She chirps about how much fun it is, and Jesse calls it therapeutic and says it's been a long time since they've had fun. She agrees, and admits that their marriage has become a routine (and a hellish nightmare for him). He kisses her and says this evening has reminded him how good their marriage is. Whatever, Jesse.
After Dark. Dylan and Charlie arrive at the premiere party just as Valerie is bossily ordering around the caterers. Charlie eyes Valerie appreciatively and tells Dylan again how hot he thinks she is. Charlie is then greeted by his old hypnotherapist, who was the inspiration behind his screenplay. If memory serves, this is the genesis of another dumb storyline involving Dylan and his boring dreams.
Beach house. David laments the disaster that his video project has become. The "roommates" all laugh about it, and Donna theorizes that it's unnatural to fake who they are, since it's inevitable that their real personalities will shine through. During the frank gabfest, Clare comes right out and asks David if he still loves Donna...and he admits he does, then asks her if she still has feelings for Brandon and she's like, "Well, d'yuh." Fortunately, neither Brandon nor Kelly were in the room to hear that disturbing revelation.
Speaking of Brandon and Kelly, she's laying atop her bed, drunkenly moaning that her head is spinning and that Brandon wasn't there for her when she needed him most - on fire night - and he reminds her he's already apologized ad nauseum about that. She asks him exactly what he was doing with Emily while she was trapped in the house, and he insists that all he did was kiss her goodbye. Kelly then slips into her weird baby talk mode and says she wants to believe and trust him because she loves him oh so much, so then Brandon starts bearing his soul about how he could imagine spending the rest of his life with her...but by this time she's passed out.
Dylan's house. Valerie has given Dylan a lift home and tells him she considers him one of her best friends. Um...OK. She follows him into the house, but he insists that their relationship has to stay platonic. She says she can live with that, but would rather not and kisses him...and Dylan doesn't resist, but fortunately we don't have to watch them hit the sheets 'cause the scene ends right there.
Beach house. The "roommates" are still babbling about love, relationships, breakups, blah blah. Someone asks Brandon about Emily, and he admits there was more there than just an old flame coming to town...then adds that she got under his skin (like an awful splinter). It was then that he realized he can actually love two people at the same time. Steve pines for all the girls he's loved and lost - including Kelly, who he'd take back in a heartbeat if she was remotely interested in the idea. They move on to Donna and tell her to spill her guts, so she confesses that her biggest fear is that being a virgin will cost her every relationship she'll ever have - the way it did with David. The camera then pans over to David, and he looks shamefaced and sheepish at the memory of his limo doinkfest with Ariel.
Ahn-drea's/Jesse's apartment. The next morning, Ahn-drea and Jesse are nauseatingly lovey and kissy while they prepare breakfast. Looks like they had some marital relations the night before. Ahn-drea puts her serious face on and tells Jesse she needs to talk to him 'bout something...then tells him she's been seeing a therapist, who's helped her to see how essential honesty is in a relationship. Jesse suddenly looks guilt ridden and says, "I guess I haven't been hiding it very well, have I?" He says he wishes he could just erase the whole thing, and then confesses to doinking a law clerk he met during his recent trip to Kansas City. Ahn-drea just stares back at him, aghast. Bwahahaha! I supposed I'd maybe feel a little sorry for her if she hadn't been so sleazily carrying on an affair with Peter, the married doctor.
Beach house. Steve is making something to eat when Donna shuffles into the kitchen in her bathrobe. Steve tells her he liked how the whole experience of filming went, and Donna says she hopes no permanent damage was done after their drunken ramblings. Steve then propositions her by suggesting they "play house" all afternoon (which was weird), and she chides him for his cheekiness and tells him the party's over.
California University. Clare and David are struggling to cobble together anything usable from their shit-tastic film footage. Clare says she'd like to focus on the clips where "real life" came out. David is unhappy with the clip of her and Steve dirty dancing, so she plays back the clip of him kissing Donna...and he tells her she's out of line, and the two start bickering. She bitchily reminds him that he admitted to all of their friends that he was still in love with Donna, so he complains about how she flirts with Brandon every chance she gets. Does she? I really don't get that impression. Clare suddenly springs up from her chair, tells him he's stupid, and that she expects a lot from people. David snaps back, "Let's do something smart and end this" and she's like, "Fine by me" and storms out. David refrains from going after her, and instead glances over at the TV monitor, which is displaying a freeze-frame image of him kissing Donna. Blech.