Recap: Steve is on the road in his fancy Corvette, driving to Palm Springs for a KEG/Alpha convention. When he rolls into town, he admires all of the scantily clad women strolling around, then goes completely gaga over a sleek beauty in a gigantic pink hat. Hey - it's Canadian supermodel Monika Schnarre! A minute later, Steve pulls into the Rancho Las Palmas resort and quickly meets up with Rush...and gets annoyed when Rush tells him he fixed him up with Robin, the daughter of a business associate. Steve wistfully stares over at the dozens of bikini clad women cavorting in the pool area, and explains to his dad that he needs to be unfettered and accessible this weekend. Rush assures him he'll really like Robin, then walks him over to the luxurious hacienda that the KEGers will be staying in over the weekend. Muntz appears carrying a large tray of sodas, and both Steve and Rush cackle with delight when he reveals that they're actually beers with fake soda labels. Muntz passes along a message from Brandon, which is that he's not coming to Palm Springs for the weekend. Steve declares that to be unacceptable and immediately rushes over to the phone. Rush doesn't get why Brandon needs to be in Palm Springs, since he's not even a KEGer (right?), so Steve details Brandon's recent string of bad luck: he just lost the CU election, got dumped by Kelly (sort of), and is being abandoned by his parents (it's OK, he's a grown man). Steve concludes that Brandon needs KEG now more than ever.
The Walsh house. Mama and Papa Walsh are packing up their stuff while a real estate agent leads a caravan of brokers through the house. Brandon's on the phone with Steve, breaking the news (once again) that he's definitely not coming to Palm Springs. Outside, Kelly is giving Mama and Papa Walsh a tacky looking going-away souvenir, and when Brandon comes out to help load up the car, he and Kelly have an awkward, stilted conversation. She tells him that just 'cause she didn't want to marry him or move in with him doesn't mean she doesn't want a relationship with him, but Brandon disagrees and thinks that's exactly what it means. Valerie interjects to confirm with Brandon that they're all having dinner at the Peach Pit later, then announces that she'll be over at Dylan's house if anyone needs her. She glares at Kelly and asks her if she should give Slouchy her regards, and Kelly shoots her the stink-eye and retorts, "That won't be necessary." Brandon suddenly looks weary and says he's not into refereeing a cat fight between the two of them, so he quickly hightails it back into the house. Val smirks at Kelly and says her nickname should be "the terminator" for knocking out two guys with one blow.
Beach house. Donna's on the computer, writing a speech she's supposed to deliver during the convention...and Clare and David hover nearby and try to be helpful. Kelly arrives home and reports how delighted she is that the Walsh house will soon be sold, as it's one less place she'll run into Valerie. Clare concurs, while Donna urges them to give the girl a break. Kelly informs Donna that they'll have to take separate cars to Palm Springs, since she has plans (she refuses to reveal) and will only be attending the second day of the convention.
The Pruit house. Ray tells his ma that lately he's been thinking a lot about his dad...and LuAnn grimly recalls how Papa Pruit used to slap her around. And speaking of slapping women around, she asks him if he's having troubles with Donna, so he tells her they said stuff to each other they shouldn't have. LuAnn suggests trying to win Donna back with a romantic song - ack! - and I can only hope that the DVD version of this episode will skip over that scene as it's faithfully been doing with Ray's musical performances thus far.
Dylan's house. Valerie's watching Dylan pack for a month long trip to Hawaii, and he tells her how surprising it is that she's not angling for an invitation. Valerie says she'd rather hang around L.A. and "be there" for Brandon, and Dylan grimaces at the disturbing subtext of that remark. Charlie drops by to inform Dylan that a paragliding company wants to invest in their screenplay (apparently there's a paragliding segment in the movie), and Dylan looks intrigued and instantly cancels his Hawaii trip in order to meet with the potential investors.
The Peach Pit. Nat is touched that the Walshes opted to have their last meal at his diner. He thanks Papa Walsh for being so helpful to him over the years, and Papa Walsh thanks him for being so nice to his kids. Over dinner, Mama Walsh compliments Brandon on being "a rock" through this difficult time and urges him to try to be a good influence on Valerie - like maybe convince her not to smoke so much dope all the damn time. Brandon agrees to give it a shot.
Beach house. Ray's on the deck with his guitar, and - just as I hoped - the DVD version of this episode skipped over the romantic song he just performed for Donna. Thanks for that, DVD! She tells him the song was beautiful...then says she doesn't want to fight with him anymore, and that he skeered her when he snapped at her and then squealed off in his truck. Ray promises to do whatever it takes to get her back, so she mulls that over and tells him she'd like it if he accompanied her to the convention in Palm Springs. He doesn't seem entirely thrilled by the prospect, but agrees to go.
The Walsh house. After dropping off Mama and Papa Walsh at the airport, Brandon and Valerie return home and find the real estate agent showing the home to a potential buyer. After they leave, Brandon tells Valerie he can't handle a weekend of showings, so he's decided to head up to Palm Springs after all...and Valerie invites herself along and says they can take her fancy sports car. She then announces she's going to bed, and when Brandon says, "Sleep tight", she eyes him suggestively and replies, "Who said anything about sleep?" Brandon stares after her with a goofy expression on his face.
Burn Center. Kelly arrives to pick up Alison, and the nurse mistakes her for Alison's girlfriend, so she quickly sets her straight about her non-lesbian status. Alison appears looking exactly like she did pre-fire, and Kelly is very impressed with the remarkable results of her skin grafts.
Palm Springs. Steve and Rush are playing tennis with Robin and her dad, Buddy. Robin actually seems into Steve, and coquettishly tells him she'd be interested in getting private tennis lessons from him since he's such an awesome player. Brandon and Valerie arrive in town and make an appearance on the court, and Steve rushes over to greet them. Steve updates Brandon on the Robin situation, and says how annoyed he is that Rush is trying to set him up. Brandon swiftly checks Robin out and determines that she's adequately hot, and Steve announces to his dad he's bailing on the game to help Brandon get settled in the hacienda.
As they head over to their luxury digs, Brandon fills Steve in about how Valerie made moaning noises in her bedroom last night so he'd be tempted to burst in and "handle her action". The two run into Muntz, who's loaded up with canisters of booze connected to little spray hoses, and they both open their mouths wide and take hits of liquor.
Donna and Ray arrive at the resort, and Ray gets testy with the valet who wants to park his truck, and then with the bellboy who tries to help them with their luggage. Donna tells him to chillax, and he barks back that he'd rather be at home rehearsing his shit-tastic music and then bellyaches about how he doesn't know anyone at the resort. God he's a miserable tool. Felice appears out of nowhere and expresses her surprise at Ray's presence, then snootily informs him that Donna's going to be super busy all weekend. Donna looks mortified and tries to shut her up, but Felice explains that she only said that 'cause she didn't want him to feel left out.
Pool party. Brandon is quickly getting hammered and demands more liquor squirts from Muntz, who's more than happy to oblige. Ray, meanwhile, stares sullenly at the pool, where Donna is playing water volleyball in an ill-fitting, boob-baring bikini that looks more like underwear than it does a bikini. Brandon leaps into the pool fully clothed, and he and Steve enjoy a homo-erotic aqua-romp for what seems like a really looooong time. Robin asks Valerie for the low-down on Steve, and Valerie assures her that Steve is, in fact, straight...and available! Robin reacts to this news by hoisting herself atop someone's shoulders, then stares over the volleyball net at Steve with a sassy, expectant expression on her face. Brandon is suddenly inspired to dive underwater and lift Donna atop his shoulders, then drunkenly bellows, "Chicken fight!" and Donna starts hand wrestling Robin over the volleyball net. Felice sidles up to Ray, who's still glaring in Donna's direction, and the two agree that Donna should have worn a one-piece and that in general she needs to tone down her slutty wardrobe. After Felice strolls off, Ray grabs a towel from the nearest cabana boy and brusquely orders Donna to get out of the pool.
Steve and Brandon, meanwhile, are staring over at Valerie and Robin. Steve complains that Robin is tainted because Rush is so eager for them to hook up, and Brandon has had a change of heart and is seriously considering doinking Valerie. Suddenly, Muntz rushes over and declares a state of emergency: they're running dangerously low on beer. Egads! Brandon and Steve put their lady problems on hold and scramble out of the pool to go on a beer run.
Dylan's house. Dylan and Charlie are in the living room, watching paragliding footage on the TV. The investor has invited the two of them to his place in Palm Springs to discuss financing the movie, but there's a catch: Mr. Moneybags wants his trophy girlfriend to get the lead role.
While on the beer run, Steve tells Brandon that Robin's kinda hot, but for some reason he's just not "tingling" over her. Suddenly, he spots Monika Schnarre donning a different giant hat, and the two boneheads leer at her as she sexily sashays down the street. Brandon chuckles and tells Steve he's way out of her league.
Beach house. Kelly and Alison are enjoying a cozy dinner by the fire...while Clare and David are staring at them through the patio window, trying to figure out exactly when Kelly became a lesbian. Kelly spots them and goes onto the deck, and nervously says she thought they'd be in Palm Springs. Clare tells her she got tied up doing errands and stuff, so Kelly reluctantly invites the two inside and introduces them to Alison. Clare and David stammer awkwardly, which amuses Alison...and after a few more excruciating minutes, the two hightail it out of there. Kelly apologizes for their embarrassing behavior, but explains that they got the wrong idea when they saw them cozily having dinner together. She then brings up Alison's feelings for her, and Alison comes right out and says she's in love with her...and Kelly just stares back at her mutely.
Ray is having dinner in a banquet hall with Felice, Donna, and some random extras. Felice discreetly thanks Ray in case he had anything to do with the surprisingly conservative outfit Donna chose to wear for the evening.
Elsewhere in the banquet hall, Brandon drunkenly rants about Sonny Bono, and how he'll probably pull a no-show for his scheduled speech at the convention. Rush gets fed up with his mockery and orders Steve to turf Brandon from the dining area, which he promptly does. Drunk and abandoned, Brandon stumbles over to the pool area, where Valerie is soaking in the hot tub. He wants to have a soak with her, so he tells her he's going upstairs to change into his swimming trunks.
Beach house. Kelly makes up the spare bed in the living room while Alison is in Kelly's room, trying on the new dress she bought when Kelly took her shopping earlier that day. The two stand next to each other and stare at themselves in the full length mirror...and Kelly remarks that they each see something different: Alison sees a couple, while Kelly sees two women who will never hook up in her lifetime.
Brandon's about to head back to the hot tub when he has a hallucination of his parents in the mirror. They admonish him for drinking too much and having "impure" thoughts about Valerie. Brandon argues that he deserves a good bender and a satisfying doink...and suddenly Valerie is standing in the doorway. She gives him a strange look and asks him who he's talking to, then explains that she was worried that he was taking so long, so she came upstairs to see whassup.
After dinner, Donna invites Ray to her room for some light petting, but Ray says that with Felice in the next room, it might be too "dicey". And icky for viewers to watch.
Steve tells Robin he hates it when his dad sets him up on blind dates. She chuckles and tells him she was worried he'd be a geeky loser (Newsflash: Steve is a loser), then alludes to a business deal that their fathers are putting together. Steve immediately gets irked.
Valerie and Brandon return to the hot tub, but Brandon keeps his distance. Suddenly, the pool area is overrun by KEG brothers and Alpha sorority sisters, and Valerie looks annoyed by the intrusion.
Dylan and Charlie arrive at a gated property in Palm Springs. They meet the potential investor, Tom Rose, who talks and acts like a cartoonish mob boss. He points out his bubbleheaded girlfriend, who's ellipticizing on the patio...and Dylan looks uneasy and discreetly tells Charlie he thinks Tom is "connected".
Donna and Ray are in the desert, horseback riding. Ray tells her he loves being out in nature so much more than partying...but then Donna tells him they've been out for an hour and need to head back to the resort. Ray starts bitching in his usual bitchy way about how he drove all the way to Palm Springs, has had to be nice to her uppity mother, and is living with Steve in the "village of idiots" because he still can't spend the night with his girlfriend. He snarks that he wants more than an hour of her precious time, so she explains that Felice is moderating a panel that morning and she really can't miss it. He retorts that she had all the time in the world to prance around half naked in front of the KEG house jerks, and Donna's like, "I what?!" and informs him that she bought that hideous white bikini for him, then adds that whenever she buys anything it's like, "Will Ray like this?" Well...that's disturbing. Ray just grunts, and Donna says (and I quote), "If you want me to dress differently, just tell me and I will." Um, wow. Ray snarls that if he were higher on her priority list, she wouldn't need a bunch of guys leering at her...and she stubbornly insists she doesn't. The sad dysfunction of their relationship is making my head hurt.
A hungover Brandon is listlessly floating around the pool. When David and Clare arrive at the resort, Brandon perks up slightly and asks if Kelly drove up with them. Clare says, "Nope" and quickly rushes off, so Brandon asks David whassup with her. David tries to play dumb - but after some minimal prodding he spills the beans about how he and Clare walked in on Kelly and her new lesbian girlfriend, Alison. Brandon quickly goes from being surprised to depressed...and when Steve arrives at the pool with some Tabasco sauce (a hangover remedy), Brandon sullenly requests a beer.
Felice is chairing her ladies' panel, gabbling uptightly about returning to "basic moral values". Donna and Ray slip in late, and she gives them the stink-eye and uses the phrase "Johnny- come-latelies" in the closing portion of her speech. Subtle, Felice. When the session wraps up, Donna apologizes to her mother for her no-show, and Ray makes a half-hearted effort to take the blame by telling Felice they got lost on the trail. Felice ignores Ray and tells Donna how big of an ass she felt like, talking about family and loyalty when her own daughter doesn't show up for her panel. She should also feel like an ass talking about family and loyalty after the way she carried on a sleazy affair behind her husband's back in Season 2. After she storms off in a huff, Ray announces he's outa here and snarks that he's done with Steve, Brandon, and "that whole lame-ass KEG crowd". Kelly, who's standing nearby, is stunned to hear that Brandon is in Palm Springs.
KEG hacienda. Steve and Brandon are surrounded by a group of KEG boneheads, making crank phone calls to a doctor's office. Brandon fakes a southern accent and inquires about penis reduction surgery, and Kelly is standing in the doorway, watching in dismay. When he realizes she's standing there, he makes a crack about how she doesn't like guys anymore, so she brusquely says she'd like to speak with him in private. Once they're alone, she asks him to explain the wisecrack, and Brandon says he heard from a reliable source that she dumped him for a woman. Kelly insists that Alison is just a friend - and suddenly Valerie rolls up in a golf cart. She tells Brandon she got a room if he needs to crash, then smugly clarifies to Kelly that it's a two bedroom suite. Kelly snaps back that she no longer gives a rat's ass what Brandon does with his life and tells Valerie he's all hers.
Steve and Rush are playing another tennis match with Robin and her dad. Rush is annoyed that Steve has no interest in Robin, and Steve blasts him for trying to set the two of them up because of a deal he's trying to broker with her father. Rush explains that it's not a business deal, but rather something to do with Buddy's nonprofit charity, and that he set him up with Robin 'cause he wanted his son to meet "a real dreamboat". That's...weird. Steve responds by angrily storming off.
Dylan and Charlie are leading a table read of their screenplay, and Tom's vacuous girlfriend is doing a horrible job acting/reading. Tom interrupts the session and says the plot regarding a banking scam seems way too implausible, so Dylan wryly informs him that his father pulled off this exact scam. Tom is fascinated to learn that Dylan's father is/was crooked financier Jack McKay.
Brandon tells Steve he's moving out of the KEG hacienda and into Valerie's hotel suite, and that he's planning to do the nasty with her later. May God have mercy on your soul, Brandon.
Valerie's in her suite when she overhears a fight between Donna and Ray. He's bitching (as usual) about how he'd rather be in L.A. rehearsing, and she tells him to go, and then stomps up the stairs. He snaps, "Don't walk away from me until I tell you you can" - OMFG - so then she asks him why he's so mad at her all the time, and he tells her, "Because you make me mad." She says she has to go work on her speech and tries to push past him, but he grabs one of her arms, and she cries out, "Ow! You're hurting me!" He snarls, "You're going to listen to me!" and violently yanks her toward him. The movement causes Donna to lose her footing and fall backward, and her stunt double quickly rushes onto the set to tumble down the concrete stairs. Valerie rushes onto the scene and orders Pumpkin Head to get the hotel doctor...and he responds by ordering her to do it. LOL. After Valerie scampers off to get help, Ray kneels beside Donna, who's writhing and whimpering in pain, and insists that her fall was an accident.
Brandon and Steve are out running errands and stop at a gas station to gas up Valerie's car. Steve laments blowing it with Robin, and Brandon tells him to just apologize. Monika Schnarre makes another sexy appearance, this time in a skin tight red dress. Steve approaches "the goddess" and offers to gas up her car for her, and she thanks him and introduces herself as Elle. They chat for a few minutes, and when Steve natters on too long, Elle saucily asks him if he's going to stick the gas hose inside her tank or what (!) and a giddy Steve eagerly sticks it in.
Hospital. Kelly rushes into the hospital and finds a sheepish Ray in the waiting room. She asks him what happened, so he tells her that Donna "tripped" down a flight of stairs and hurt her arm. A few seconds later, Donna is brought out in a wheelchair flanked by Felice and a nurse, and she tells everyone she just has a sprain. Kelly remarks that Ray was "one worried guy", and Felice goes off in search of a phone to thank Val for helping Donna in her hour of need. Kelly's all, "Wuh?" and jokingly asks Donna if Valerie was the one who pushed her. Donna just glumly stares and refrains from ratting out Pumpkin Head.
Brandon's at a bar when he has another hallucination of his parents, and once again he justifies to them why he should be able to doink Valerie without getting a guilt trip. Steve, meanwhile, is at the bar with Elle and slyly informs Brandon that he's confident he'll get his wick dipped before the night is over.
Tom Rose's mansion. A bodyguard/thug informs Tom Rose that Dylan just made a phone call from Charlie's car. He then whispers something in his boss's ear, and whatever it is upsets Tom.
In the parking lot of the bar, Elle tells Steve she'd love to take him to her pleasure palace. He gives her an intense smooch, and the two get into some heavy petting atop the hood of a car. Suddenly, he pulls out boob stuffing and stares at it in bewilderment. Elle rolls her eyes and says, in a dubbed male voice, "Honey, like you didn't know." Steve looks down at Elle's nether regions, shrieks in horror, and flees.
Kelly admonishes Clare and David for telling Brandon that she was "with" Alison in the lesbian sense. Valerie ambles over and asks them if they've seen Brandon, and Kelly just storms off without answering.
Brandon is driving Valerie's car when he gets pulled over by a police officer. When he fumbles around the car in an attempt to find the registration card, a marijuana joint falls out of the sun visor. The officer orders him to step out of the car, and then does a full body search for more drugs.
Tom Rose's mansion. The bodyguard/thug tells Dylan they want to take him scouting for possible locations for the movie. He's steered toward a limo, and climbs inside and finds Tom already there, reading the paper. He informs Dylan that Charlie already left in another car, and Dylan starts to look queasy.
After his run-in with the law, Brandon returns to Valerie's hotel suite, sits by her bedside and barks, "Wake up, wake up, wake up." Once she's fully roused, he tells her he spent the night in a holding cell after police found a joint in her car...then suddenly grabs her pot stash and rushes over to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet. He tells her he's been doing a lot of stupid stuff ever since his parents left for Hong Kong, chastises himself for contemplating sleeping with her (instead of looking out for her as he promised), then snarks that he's finding his own way home.
Steve is rethinking his earlier rejection of Robin and agrees to give her tennis lessons. Brandon sees them together and later asks Steve what happened with Elle. Steve evasively tells him it didn't work out, then murmurs, "She's a he." When Brandon bursts out laughing, Steve begs him to never tell anyone. Brandon promises, then admits he didn't get any bedroom action with Val.
Hotel. Donna's resting with her sprained arm in a sling as Felice reads over her speech and Ray hovers uselessly nearby. When Felice leaves the room to get some ice, Donna gives Ray the stink-eye and snarls at him to get away from her. He says he shouldn't have come to Palm Springs, and that no good comes whenever he mixes with her college friends. Or reacts to the stress of everyday life. Or opens his mouth.
Brandon's all packed up and ready to leave Palm Springs. He runs into Kelly and apologizes for acting like a horse's ass the other day, and assures her he doesn't actually believe she suddenly became a lesbian. Kelly still doesn't get why their relationship has to be over - or why he and Dylan acted like she was a trophy in some kind of weird male-on-male contest. Brandon tells her he's still very upset that she didn't accept his proposal and doesn't believe they can just go back to the way they were.
Tom Rose's limo arrives at the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. Several thugs "escort" Dylan toward the tram...and when he tries to resist, they shove him inside. Once the tram is suspended over a thousand foot drop, they put duct tape over his mouth, and the guy operating the tram opens the door so the thugs can hold Dylan halfway out and scare the bejeezus out of him. Tom explains that he knows Dylan called Christine Pettit, then demands to know why he contacted an FBI agent. Tom asks him if he believes he had anything to do with his father's death, and Dylan violently shakes his head no. Eventually the thugs pull him back inside, and Tom warns him not to do anything that stupid ever again.
Dylan, Tom, and the thugs return to Tom's mansion. Charlie asks a shaken Dylan how the location scout went, and Dylan tells him he wants to walk away from the movie deal and also get away from this place asap.
Donna's speech attracts a full house, which surprises Clare and David. Kelly tells them that since she and Brandon are talking again, she forgives them for dishing about her "lesbian" rendezvous with Alison. Val, meanwhile, tells Donna she knows it was Ray who caused her to fall down the stairs, but Donna denies it and says she knows there's something unholy going on between her and Ray. She gives Val a cold stare and says, "You're not my friend." Donna is then introduced to go on stage, and opens her speech by making a self-deprecating joke about how she sprained her arm while wrestling other shoppers.
Palm Springs bus station. Dylan slouches in and sees Brandon in the waiting room and asks him whassup...and Brandon just grins like a drunken fool. When they're on the bus together, Brandon tells Dylan about his Mama and Papa Walsh hallucinations, and says he never ended up sleeping with Val. Dylan's very impressed, since he could never resist her bosomy charms. He's also annoyed that he misread Kelly so badly...and the two lament the way she got them both so "turned around".
Donna wakes up and finds Felice starting to pack up her stuff. She tells Donna she's gotten so many compliments on her great speech and is very proud of her. She then apologizes for giving her such a hard time about Ray, and that she was touched by how concerned he was after she fell [was pushed by him] and sprained her arm. Donna starts to tell her that not all is well with her and Pumpkin Head...but a few seconds later he's knocking on the door, and Felice cheerfully invites him in.
The Walsh house. Brandon returns home in a cab and notices that the 'for sale' sign on his lawn has SOLD atop it. The real estate agent, who just happens to be inside the house, tells him that it's an all cash offer with a short escrow.
Dylan's house. Dylan is listening to his phone messages while rummaging through his house in search of his gun. On his message machine, Christine Pettit warns him not to do anything until he talks to her, and that the men he just tangled with in the desert are very dangerous. Dylan ignores her warning as he loads bullets into his gun and angrily furrows his brows.
The Walsh house. Brandon is sacked out on the couch, watching a home movie of his and Brenda's birthday party when they were little kids. Valerie arrives home and joins him, and apologizes for the pot related mishap while he was driving her car. He accepts her apology and clarifies that he only wants to be friends with her, then informs her that they have two weeks to move out of Casa Walsh. She stares at him suggestively and says, "A lot can happen in two weeks", and he gives her a suggestive return stare, then leans in to initiate a tongue probing smooch...and Season 5 ends with the disturbing image of these two making out.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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