Recap: Susan has been nominated for a Collegiate Press Award for a story she wrote about abortion called "Nancy's Choice". Brandon tells her she's a shoo-in, and fuuuuuuuuuck I'm already bored by this storyline. The two arrive at the Condor newsroom and find Jonathan holding court with the newspaper staff. Jonathan tells Susan he's looking forward to attending the awards dinner, and Brandon puts on his unhappy face. Susan explains to him that Jonathan was the editor when she wrote the story, and that the committee (and not she) invited him to the event. Brandon's all, "What. Ever" and says he doesn't believe that they're truly over. Aside from my complete disinterest in this boring love triangle, I find it annoying that Jonathan keeps popping up at CU long after he graduated. Isn't it about time he focused on his own life out in the real world?
Kelly's in a meeting with one of her professors, who's concerned about all the classes she's been missing. She pretends like she arrived late a lot and/or sat near the back and somehow missed attendance...but when the professor doesn't buy that, she admits she's been having personal [drug snorting] problems that have affected her ability to make it to class. The professor tells her there's an important test coming up and that she needs to do well in order to not fail the class, and Kelly promises she'll study hard and do her best.
Clare and her dad are strolling together through the Student Union. She tells him he should get a date for the upcoming journalism awards dinner - but he doubts he can find anyone who'd go out with him 'cause it's been eons since he's been out with a woman. Elsewhere, Jonathan tells Susan if she wins the journalism award, it'll put her career "in high gear". Fantastic. She asks him why he came back to town, and he says because the committee invited him...plus, he wanted to cheer her on. He reminds her she sacrificed a lot for the story, blah blah...and Brandon sees them talking and starts bitching yet again about how he still thinks something is going on between them. Susan tries to explain that Jonathan is pro life and didn't want her to tell Nancy's story 'cause he felt that it infringed upon her privacy, and then babbles about how Jonathan is her mentor and that she still needs his approval.
Rodeo Drive. Clare is shopping for a dress to wear to the awards dinner, and for some reason she dragged Steve along. He's entertaining himself by checking out other women, 'cause that's appropriate when you're out shopping with your girlfriend. He spots a particularly hot woman from behind and looks intrigued, but when she turns around he recognizes her as the transgender broad he met during last season's finale episode: Canadian supermodel Monika Schnarre. She notices Steve staring at her with an icked out expression on his face, and comes over to say hello and introduce herself to Clare. After they exchange pleasantries, she saucily tells Steve to look her up next time he's in Palm Springs and then exits the boutique. Clare asks Steve what happened between the two of them, and he tells her they went on a date last spring and that "looks can be deceiving".
The Peach Pit. Joe and Donna are canoodling over diner junk food, discussing their upcoming getaway to Santa Barbara. Kelly suddenly appears at their table and asks them if they're going away for the weekend, and Donna gives her the stink-eye and bitchily calls her her "ex friend". When Joe wisely slips away to pay the check, Kelly sits down and admits what a colossal bitch she's been lately. Donna's like, "That's an understatement" and whines that she wasn't there when she needed to commiserate with someone about Joe's heart problems. Kelly apologizes for her negligence, and Donna explains that she's been very worried about her. Kelly snarks, "Line forms to the left" and Donna snaps back that it must be hell having so many people in her life who care about her, then storms off.
The Walsh house. Brandon, Steve, and Clare conspire on the best strategy to make Jonathan feel as unwelcome and uncomfortable as possible at their table during the awards dinner. Clare complains that she hasn't yet bought a dress for the event, and Steve abruptly gets up from the table and announces that it's his turn to do the dishes. A puzzled Brandon asks Clare whassup with Steve, who hates doing dishes, so she explains that he ran into an old flame today...and she's confused about why he's so freaked out. When Brandon learns who the "flame" is, he chuckles and assures Clare she has nothing to worry about, and describes Monika Schnarre as "very unique". He then makes a beeline over to the kitchen to get the full scoop from Steve...and Clare trails after him. Steve tells her that Monika Schnarre has a "peekie", but Clare doesn't believe it, calls him a liar, and storms out of the room.
Colin's loft. Colin and Valerie are looking over slides of his grisly art collection in preparation for their appointment with the art collector who somehow finds his work impressive. Valerie asks Colin if he has any blow, and he goes, "Why? Do you have the urge?" and she says she doesn't, but that he obviously still does. He shrugs and says, "I'm using, not abusing" and then the two start bickering just as Kelly arrives at the loft and demands to know what's going on. Colin tells her they're looking over slides to show the art collector, then shoots Valerie the stink-eye and says they're done...and Valerie beats a hasty retreat. Kelly rushes out after her and asks her why she's helping Colin, so Valerie explains that she thought perhaps a career boost will demonstrate to Colin that he doesn't need to do drugs. Kelly snidely says she's not his guardian angel, so Valerie reminds her that she had told her about Colin's drug use...but instead of helping him quit the habit, she decided to "join the party". Fair point. She tells Kelly that Colin has too much talent to throw his life away (LOL - no he doesn't) and storms off.
Colin's loft. Kelly wakes up the next morning and sleepily tells Colin she spent most of the night studying for her upcoming psych test. Colin says he has just the thing to perk her up and pulls out his vial of coke, but she makes a face and says, "I don't think so." He jokes about it being "the breakfast of champions" (he's such a fucking dumbass), so Kelly tells him she did some thinking and decided she doesn't want to do coke anymore. He's like, "Great! More for me!" and she tells him she wants him to quit too. He chuckles, calls her funny, and makes it clear that he has no intention of ever quitting the white powder. She whines, "How am I supposed to stop if you're always doing it?" and he callously replies, "It's called willpower." Actually, it's called break up with this loser immediately, Kelly.
The Condor newsroom. Brandon barges into Susan's office and demands to know why she didn't run his column. She tells him it needs more reporting (e.g. a second source) and the two boringly bicker about that for awhile. He sarcastically wishes her good luck at the awards dinner...and she tells him she hopes he comes because she needs him there. He bitchily retorts that she has Jonathan.
The art dealer has arrived at Colin's loft and is browsing through his collection of shit-tastic paintings. He seems to really like Colin's more recent stuff - as in, whatever he painted while being coked up. Colin tells Valerie he's pleased that the guy seems to like his work so much, 'cause it's been awhile since anyone's shown an interest in his stuff. I can imagine. He informs Val he threw out his stash o' coke this morning, and she smiles approvingly and says his talent is a gift and that he should take good care of it.
Awards dinner. Steve, Clare, and Chancellor Arnold arrive at the hotel, and Clare bugs her dad again about not being able to rustle up a date for himself, but he doesn't want to discuss it. Steve suddenly spots Monika Schnarre and contorts his face in a pinched expression, while Arnold looks enchanted by the young beauty. She ambles over and tells Steve it's nice to see him again, and an obviously smitten Arnold introduces himself and invites her to join them at their table. She happily accepts and links arms with the chancellor as they all make their way to the ballroom while Steve chuckles nervously.
The Peach Pit. Brandon is moping at the counter, dressed up in his suit. He whines to Nat about not wanting to go to the awards dinner 'cause Jonathan will be there...so Nat asks him if he's giving up on his and Susan's relationship. Brandon says he's not, but hates the weird bond that exists between her and Jonathan...but then announces he's off to the awards dinner anyway. No duh. Why else do you have your suit on?
Awards dinner. Everyone's seated and waiting for the ceremony to begin. Jonathan is sitting beside Susan, while Monika Schnarre chats with the chancellor...and she's startled when she learns that his name is Arnold Arnold. What in the fucking hell were his stupid parents thinking when they filled out the birth certificate?? Steve discreetly tells Clare that this flirtation isn't going to end well, and Clare brushes him off and says he's just jealous that a young, pretty woman could be so into her dad. Brandon arrives and kisses Susan hello...and of course Jonathan looks less than thrilled to see him. Brandon is jarred by the sight of Monika Schnarre getting cozy with the chancellor, and Steve discreetly explains that she's his date for the evening.
The Peach Pit. Kelly arrives at the diner to pick up some pie, and runs into David at the counter. She tells David she can't stay 'cause she's meeting Colin at his place, and he mutters that Colin's not exactly on his list of favorites at the moment. Kelly says he told her about their little confrontation and reminds him he's not his sister's keeper, and David retorts that someone has to be. She insists that she and Colin have stopped doing drugs, and describes her recent snorting as "a little binge" that was a reaction to the bad news that her deadbeat dad skipped town. David doesn't buy that and asks her when she last thought about doing a line. She admits she wanted one that morning, but was able to resist the urge. He warns her that she won't be able to sustain sobriety in the long run, and that she'll give in to the urge soon enough.
The Walsh house. Valerie presents Colin with a check for $10,000, which is what the art collector paid for two of his cocaine inspired paintings. Wow - that guy must have a lot of disposable cash. Valerie is dismayed when Colin informs her that he's planning to continue snorting coke, since obviously he needs it to be a successful artist.
Awards dinner. The topic of discussion at the table is choice, and Monika Schnarre says she regards pregnancy as a gift. Arnold asks her if she's ever been pregnant, and she says no, that she can't have children...and this makes Brandon and Steve smirk and exchange knowing glances. Jonathan says he doesn't think anyone should have the right to choose 'cause he doesn't believe in abortion. Brandon needlessly interjects and says that Susan's article is the reason the two of them broke up, and Jonathan makes a face and asks, "Is that what she told you?" He doesn't get a chance to explain his remark, since Susan's category is announced, and (no surprise) she wins the award for best feature article. She goes on stage to accept her award and gets all emotional and teary as she declares she's accepting it on behalf of women who've had to make this decision, and that it has lasting consequences. Ho hum.
Colin's loft. When Kelly arrives, she's pleasantly surprised at the candlelight dinner Colin prepared for the two of them. She congratulates him on the sale of his paintings and tells him she aced her psych test. He produces a bottle of champagne and the two toast each others' awesomeness.
Awards dinner. Steve sneaks into the ladies room to confront Monika Schnarre about toying with the chancellor's feelings...and we see that Clare is in one of the stalls, eavesdropping. Monika Schnarre jokes that maybe Arnold Arnold won't mind the "equipment" and Steve implores her not to pursue an embarrassing encounter with the chancellor because of how emotionally fragile he is. Steve worries the man will never recover from the embarrassment of discovering that the first woman who's been interested in him in years is really a guy. He adds that this matters a lot to him because he's in love with Arnold's daughter. Monika Schnarre pouts and calls him a spoil-sport, then exits the washroom. Clare emerges from the stall, kisses Steve, and tells him he's a good guy.
Brandon and Susan stroll outside together and have a boring talk about her boring award. Susan admits that Nancy isn't the woman's real name and - surprise! - reveals that it's actually her story. She explains that after her sister died, she went numb, drank heavily, and hit the sheets with Jonathan unprotected. When she turned up pregnant, Jonathan's reaction was to propose marriage, but she didn't want a husband or baby at such a young age. While talking, she gets all teary...and Brandon clucks sympathetically and gives her a hug. She asks him if this changes the way he feels about her, and he assures her it doesn't, and the two kiss. Jonathan suddenly interrupts, as he's often prone to do, and Brandon leaves them alone to talk. Jonathan quips about how he's doing his best to hate Brandon, but can't seem to 'cause he's such a super cool guy. He tells Susan he also can't hate her, and then the two rehash her choice to abort, blah blah.. He congratulates her on the award and says she'll be a big star just like she always wanted, and then quietly walks off (for good, I can only hope).
Arnold gushes to Monika Schnarre about what a great evening he had and asks her if she'd like to go out with him for a drink. She notices Steve's and Clare's anxious faces imploring her not to, so she tells the chancellor she has an early flight in the morning to jet off to Paris and Milan for a modelling assignment. She calls Arnold a great guy and wishes him well, and he does the same and kisses her hand. As she passes Steve, she icks him out one last time by kissing him on the cheek, then murmurs, "Things I do for love." Godspeed, Monika Schnarre! Godspeed..
The Walsh house. David massages Valerie as she laments that she may have made things worse with Colin. He assures her she did her best, then mentions that Kelly told him she's quitting snorting coke. David takes off his shirt, and Valerie admires his pectoral muscles and skips giving him his massage so they can get it on.
Brandon and Susan rehash her win again, along with her pro choice decision. He tells her he finally understands her deep connection to Jonathan, and she tells him that Jonathan has officially forgiven her for the abortion...and that she just needs to forgive herself. Brandon asks her if he can do anything to help, and she says, "Just hold me" and the two cuddle.
Colin's loft. Kelly and Colin are in bed together, getting busy. She tells him it was a perfect night: good food, great wine. She then says, "You know what would tastesooo good right now?" and Colin definitely does and pulls out his ever-present vial of coke. He empties the powder on a mirror, and we get to see Kelly's gleeful expression as the two prepare to snort lines.