Recap: Clare admonishes Donna as she tries to call Ray following his meltdown during the previous episode. Clare points out that Ray hasn't made any effort to phone her, and Donna mulls this over for a few seconds, agrees, and hangs up the phone. She then tells Clare she lied to her parents about how she found the stolen ring, in order to cover for Ray's alleged thieving. Brandon enters the beach apartment without knocking, and he's clutching a large bouquet of flowers to give to Kelly for her birthday. In an effort to keep him from bursting in on Kelly and her new fella, Clare nervously tells Brandon that Kelly was out really late last night. Brandon doesn't take the hint and says he needs to talk to Kelly about getting Valerie and Ginger invited to her birthday party (um, why?), and Clare gives him a blank stare and mutters, "You've got to be kidding." Hee! Brandon continues his march toward Kelly's bedroom with the flowers, and suddenly Colin exits her room and mutely stares at Brandon. Kelly emerges a few seconds later, says hello to Brandon, and then gushes over the flowers - and after that, the three just stare at each other awkwardly before the credits roll. Da na na na...da na na na...cha cha...
Steve is at a storage warehouse with Valerie and Ginger, and the three are waiting for Brandon to arrive so he can sign the release form and get all of the Walsh's furniture out of storage and back into the house. Ginger is puzzled about why Steve wouldn't want to continue living in the KEG frat house now that he has minions to do his bidding, but Steve says he's become too grossed out by the disgusting bathroom habits of the KEGers. Brandon finally arrives and glumly informs everyone that he just got his ego slammed after encountering Colin at the beach apartment...however, he did manage to score invitations for Valerie and Ginger to attend Kelly's birthday party. Valerie seems way too happy about this, considering her contentious relationship with Kelly. We then get a fast-forwarded montage of these four, plus a crew of KEGers, carrying the furniture into the Walsh house, and arranging and re-arranging it until everything's in its place. Once that's done, Dylan drops by looking very serious and tells Brandon he needs to speak with him in private.
Upstairs, Brandon hands Dylan a folder filled with photographs and clippings on Tony Marchette and remarks that the guy doesn't look like a killer. Dylan notices the ring box from Brandon's failed proposal to Kelly and advises him to return it...and when Brandon says he's been busy, Dylan snaps, "So has Kelly, from what I hear." Brandon tells him he met "the loser" this morning as he was coming out of Kelly's bedroom, then snarks, "So much for I choose me." Haha - right?
The Greek Theatre. David's doing a sound check at Kelly's party venue when she calls to ask him how everything's going. He tells her it's going well, and that their seats are really close to the stage. Kelly sheepishly tells him she'll need two more reservations - for Valerie and Ginger - and explains that she agreed to the extra guests in a moment of weakness when Brandon officially discovered that she and Colin are doinking.
After Kelly hangs up, Colin steps onto the deck with a plate of birthday pancakes. She takes a bite and contentedly purrs, "Perfect pancake. Perfect boyfriend. Perfect party tonight." After that, they banter about something or other for a few minutes, then make out.
The Walsh house. Steve tells Brandon he doesn't want to have to conform to a lot of house rules, so Brandon says they'll just need to agree to some basic ground rules, in order to separate themselves from the animals. The two smell the familiar scent of pot, and Brandon irritably says he's told Valerie a million times that drugs are not allowed in Casa Walsh. Steve saucily suggests punishing Valerie by making her play basketball with him naked, which is kind of a disturbing visual. Upstairs, we see that Ginger is actually the one smoking the joint, which Valerie snatches from her and hastily flushes down the toilet. Ginger complains about what a straight arrow Brandon is, and finds it annoying that he moons over Kelly all the time - I'm totally with her on that - then decides that maybe Steve is more her type. Valerie reminds her that they still have to go shopping for Kelly's birthday gift, and Ginger rolls her eyes and says that a party at the Greek Theatre is soo lame. That's a strangely uppity opinion coming from someone who lives in Buffalo. Valerie reminds her how hard she worked to get them invited - and her earnestness in the matter befuddles Ginger (and me), since it wasn't so long ago that Valerie used to derisively refer to the gang as "avocado heads". Valerie retorts, "That's my business. Just stick to the program."
Brandon announces that he's off to get groceries, then opens a cookie jar in the kitchen to retrieve his stash of grocery money. He's annoyed to find the jar empty and yells upstairs to Valerie and Ginger, asking them if they took the cash - and they tell him they haven't seen it. Steve suggests that maybe Ray stole it, but Brandon looks doubtful 'bout that. Upstairs, Ginger tells Valerie she needs to fix her hair, then locks herself in the bathroom, opens a tube disguised as a hairspray can, and pulls out a wad of twenties and transfers it to her wallet. Thief! Thief!
Greek Theatre. Kelly arrives with Jackie, and she looks happy when she sees how close her table is to the stage. David tells her that Valerie's/Ginger's table is far away from where she's sitting, and Kelly seems very pleased 'bout that.
Rodeo Drive. Valerie and Ginger are out shopping and spot Clare and Donna a few yards away. Ginger groans as they amble over to the two to chat, then shows them the sapphire earrings she just bought for Kelly. That's...overly extravagant for someone she barely knows. Donna and Clare stammer awkwardly about how they haven't finished their shopping, and decline Valerie's invitation to shop with her and Ginger. Once they're out of earshot, Donna tells Clare that that wasn't very nice, but Clare is unapologetic and says that the two creep her out and that it's obvious they're trying to buy Kelly's friendship.
The Walsh house. Brandon is assembling his bed when Valerie enters his room and asks him what he was talking to Dylan about earlier. Brandon gives her an evasive non-answer and then explains that Dylan asked him to keep it confidential. Valerie correctly guesses that it was about his undead father, and thinks that Dylan shouldn't obsess about him so much. She says that the dead can't be brought back to life, and that it's a mistake to try to do anything about it. Especially when he's secretly living in the witness protection program (spoiler).
Dylan's sitting in his car (another Porche!) in an underground garage, staring at a photo of Tony Marchette. He pulls a gun out of his glove compartment just as a car pulls into the garage. Tony Marchette exits the car and furtively glances around for several long seconds so that viewers can get a really good look at him...then heads toward the elevator with his entourage of cartoonish looking thugs. Dylan rushes after them, enters the elevator, and stares daggers at Marchette. When Marchette and his thugs get off on the floor where Marchette Financial Services is located, Dylan continues to follow them...but when a thug bars him from entering the private offices, he looks fake confused and pretends to be looking for Kincaid Publishing, and slouches off.
Beach house. Donna and Clare arrive home, discussing the weirdness of Ginger buying Kelly expensive earrings. Donna glances over toward the deck and sees Pumpkin Head waiting for her...so she goes out and asks him where he's been, and he tells her he needed to get away and went to Nevada. He then whines that her friends all think he's a thief, so she reminds him that she covered for him with her parents and promises to stand up for him to whoever isn't being fair to him...but says she frowns on it when he just skips town. He calls himself poison and thinks he's dragging her down with him (well, d'yuh), so she reminds him about their awesome summer together. He tells her that summer's over, and she'll be going back to school soon...and he'll go back to playing his guitar, waiting for a break that's never going to come. At least he's not delusional about his musical abilities. Donna sarcastically clucks, "Poor Ray" and says he sulks and acts like a baby whenever things don't go his way, and he's like, "Whatever" and says he got her message about Kelly's birthday party at the Greek Theatre, but isn't interested. She sternly tells him he'd better get interested quick and either show up tonight or not show up ever again.
The Walsh house. As Steve primps for Kelly's party, he suddenly realizes he can't find his watch. He summons Brandon and tells him about his missing watch...and then Valerie and Ginger enter the room and suggest that maybe he misplaced it. Steve explains that it's a very special solid gold Cartier watch, which he wouldn't just leave lying around, and insists it's been stolen. Brandon says they'll have to go to Kelly's party without his treasured timepiece and assures him they'll look for it later.
Colin's apartment. Kelly comes by to pick up Colin so they can head over to the Greek Theatre together...but he's busy working on an ugly orange and red painting while music blares in the background. He tells Kelly he's frustrated with his ugly painting, then blurts out, "It sucks!" Well d'yuh. Kelly tells him he's being too hard on himself (he's not), then tells him to put the paintbrush down 'cause they have a party to get to. He sullenly declares he's not going and Kelly's all, "Wha-a?!" so he snaps at her to get off his back, and then she retorts that as her boyfriend, she expects him to be at her twenty-first birthday party. When it's clear he really has no intention of going, she calls him a selfish bastard and storms out of the apartment.
Greek Theatre. Nat makes a superfluous appearance to deliver food to the party, and as he's unpacking it, Jackie and Kelly arrive. Jackie's annoyed that Mel ditched the event to tend to a weepy Sheila (his troubled ex-wife), and Kelly tells her to shut it and self-righteously points out that she's not complaining about Colin pulling a no-show. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang arrives, and Clare gleefully informs Valerie and Ginger that their table is located far away from where everyone else is sitting. Brandon asks Dylan how the "manhunt" is going, and Dylan tells him he wanted to know how close he could get to Marchette, then reports that he got close enough to shoot him at point blank range. Brandon looks troubled by this and tells him he's got waay too much time on his hands, and should maybe do something constructive with his life, like go back to school. Or get a job. Or stop moping over his dad's faux death. Jackie interrupts their conversation to inform them that Colin isn't coming to the party, then asks them if they could please sit at Kelly's table so she's not alone...and obediently they do. Brandon apologizes to Kelly for the "coitus interruptus" this morning, and she sheepishly replies that that really wasn't the way she wanted him to meet Colin. Steve comes over, pours champagne and toasts the birthday girl...and Kelly tells Brandon and Dylan how happy she is to have them both at her table, fawning over her beauty. Donna and Ray make their grand entrance, and Steve snidely warns everyone to hide their valuables. Donna announces to the gang that she's here with Ray, and if they have a problem with that, tough nuggets. Kelly says he's perfectly welcome, but Steve is like, "Not" and reminds everyone that a bunch of stuff at Casa Walsh has gone missing. Ray snarks, "You want a piece of me, frat boy?!" - LOL - and Steve, who's still mourning the loss of his solid gold Cartier watch, is more than ready to take a piece of the Pumpkin Head. After the rest of the gang squashes the near fight, Ray mutters, "Happy birthday" to Kelly and stomps off - and Donna's about to run after him, but Kelly points out to her that every time he storms off, she chases after him like a pathetic puppy. Donna thinks that over and agrees to not continue that disturbing cycle. Instead, Valerie runs after Ray and urges him to re-join the party. He's reluctant, but Valerie insists that she can clear "this whole thing" up. He scrunches his face in confusion, not understanding why she'd want to do anything to help him, but she insists she has her reasons, then clutches him by the arm and steers him back inside the theatre.
As Kelly opens her gifts, Donna is overdoing it with the champagne. The gang warns her to take it easy, as her boozing is reminiscent of when she got hammered on prom night and spent the evening retching in a toilet. Kelly opens Ginger's present, stares at the sapphire earrings, and says they're beautiful but adds, "You shouldn't have." At that moment, Valerie strides over and blurts out, "She didn't. It's not her money." Ginger weakly feigns innocence, but Valerie barks at her to cut the crap, then outs her as the thief. She tells the gang that Ginger let Ray take the fall for all the stuff that's been stolen recently, and accuses her of taking everything that wasn't "nailed down". She then grabs Ginger's purse and dramatically empties it on the table, and a bunch of stolen loot spills out, including Steve's Cartier watch and the diamond ring Brandon bought for Kelly. Ginger gets fake mad and flounces off, and Valerie apologizes to everyone for her friend's misdeeds and tells them that she discovered Ginger's thieving earlier that afternoon. She then asks Brandon if she can borrow his car to take Ginger home (um, weird) and Donna forgives Ray for acting like a sulky little bitch earlier and gives him a big hug. Kelly's surprised to learn that Brandon kept the ring all this time, and he tells her he had hopes that she'd wear it one day. Dylan chimes in and offers to return and/or pawn the ring, and then he and Brandon start fake arguing.
Dave Koz takes the stage, acknowledges Kelly's twenty-first birthday, and begins his performance of background lounge music...and all the party guests mechanically bob their heads to the limp beat.
LAX. Valerie is dropping off Ginger, who tells Valerie she has one thing left to say: "Where's my money?" The two giggle conspiratorially, and Valerie hands her a wad of cash and tells her she earned every penny. Ginger laughs at how stupid the 90210 gang was to fall for their obvious scam, and Valerie explains that they just want to believe the best of people. Ginger's like, "Whatevs" and announces that she's off to Hawaii. The two BFFs hug goodbye, and Ginger reminds Val to call her if she ever needs to talk.
Beach house. Donna is piss drunk and dancing seductively in front of Ray as she sexily removes her crop top. Ray, however, isn't into it and tells her to settle down, but she drunkenly insists that she wants him to make love to her. He grumps that it's the booze talking and he doesn't want to doink her for the first time when she's not in her right mind. Donna's like, "Fine, just hold me" and he cuddles her while she giggles like a fourteen year old.
The Walsh house. Dylan tells Brandon what a schmoe Colin is for standing up Kelly on her birthday, but Brandon didn't think she looked too upset. Dylan thanks him for compiling the dossier on Marchette, and Brandon warns him not to do anything stupid - like get himself killed. Valerie arrives home and announces that she just dropped Ginger off at the airport, and that it was hard to see her "ex"-BFF go, since for a long time she was her only friend. Brandon assures her that a lot of people care about her now, and Dylan seconds that and tells her she did good.
Beach house. Kelly's lounging on the deck when Ray steps outside and asks her if he can crash on their couch. He explains that Donna's drunk as a skunk and that she'll prolly have a hangover in the morning...and Kelly looks over at him approvingly and says, "You're a good guy, Ray Pruit." He tells her that while he ain't no saint, he's definitely no thief. After that, Colin arrives and Kelly shoots him the stink-eye and tells him to get lost. He insists that he's not leaving until she agrees to come with him to the parking lot, so she gives in. Headlights are simultaneously illuminated, and Colin points at a huge painting of a birthday cake. Apparently the ugly orange and red painting from earlier was just a decoy so he could secretly finish the real one in time for Kelly's birthday. Kelly looks very impressed and tells Colin he's incredible and that she loves him...and the two start making out.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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