Recap: Kelly is cleaning up Tara's bedding and clothes from the couch, and Clare snidely asks her if she's doing Tara's laundry now. Kelly admonishes her snarky bitchitude and insists that Tara's been a very good house guest. Clare makes a blech face, so Donna gently explains that while Tara may be a good house guest, she's been living with them for weeks...and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight. Kelly explains that Tara's on a waiting list for a rooming house, and Donna says she told them that last week. Clare announces that as long as the little creep is crashing on their couch, she'll be staying at Casa Walsh with Steve. Kelly scrunches her face and asks why, so Clare comes right out and says, "Tara gives me the creeps. I don't know why...there's just something about her." She commends Kelly for taking in the stray imp when she needed a home, but says she feels put out and displaced from her own apartment. Donna agrees and tells Kelly it would be best if Tara found her own place asap. Kelly reminds them that they both agreed to let Tara bunk with them, then says they're not being fair to her. And speaking of Tara, she suddenly bursts into the apartment carrying a bag of croissants and babbling about awesome the beach was this morning. Clare and Donna politely decline a croissant and hurry out, and then Tara turns to Kelly and says, "They don't like me, do they?" Kelly just kind of shrugs and says, "You can't please everyone." Tara correctly assumes they're miffed because she's been freeloading in their apartment for weeks on end, but Kelly assures the freeloader she's welcome to stay as long as she needs to.
California University. Steve asks Brandon if he's broken the news to Susan yet about his summer job at a Boston newspaper, since it likely means they'd have to cancel their plans to drive across the country. Brandon says that since he hasn't even met with the recruiter yet, he hasn't told Susan anything. Steve urges him to take the job, but Brandon argues that the cross country trip means a lot to Susan. Well that's just dumb. Steve reminds him that "business is business", which is sage advice...and surprising that it's coming from Steve.
Donna and David are in the Student Union with Joe, and the two are listening to a tape of an up-and-coming heavy metal band. David says the band wants him to shoot "a dope video" for the song (LOL), and adds that he has to get it done quickly before they go on tour. He asks Donna if she could help him out 'cause they work so well together, and she looks into the idea and chirps, "OK!" Joe puts on the headphones to listen to the heavy metal band, and after a few seconds he makes a face...and also pretends that the thought of Donna and David working together doesn't totally bug him.
Hospital. Tara's at her group therapy session, giving a testimonial about how she made her parents' life such a living hell that they moved and didn't bother telling her where. She says that lately, however, the world has been a friendlier place now that she has friends who care about her. Kelly's sitting in the audience listening to this bullcack and she looks very moved.
After Dark. Colin's standing in front of the mural holding a paintbrush...and I don't know if this means he's planning on painting over the ugly thing. David enters the club and asks him if Valerie's around, and Colin grumbles that she's not here and he doesn't know when she'll be back. David chuckles and asks him whassup with the attitude, and Colin comes right out and says he's well aware of how much they hate each other...and David's like, "Well, d'yuh" and snidely adds that he just implemented a no hanging out with felons rule. Haha! Ouch! Valerie arrives, and David asks her if it's OK for him to shoot a music video in the club, and she says it's fine as long as everyone's out when they open that evening. He thanks her, then smugly says goodbye to Colin. Valerie scrunches her face in confusion and asks Colin whassup with him and David, and Colin just shakes his head and says, "Who cares?" He complains that David still blames him for "bringing Kelly down" then mutters, "One of these days, man.." Valerie barks at him to lighten up 'cause she finds it annoying to be caught in the middle of a feud. She then reminds him that he has enough problems without starting a needless conflict with David, shoots him the stink-eye, and stalks upstairs to her office.
The Walsh house. Susan remarks to Brandon how fast time flies, then tells him how happy she is to put her life on hold for a couple of months to drive across the country with him. Brandon drops the bomb that he got a call from a recruiter at the Boston Globe who wants to meet with him about an internship this summer. Susan's all, "Wuh?", then looks disappointed and glumly predicts that they'll have to cancel their trip. Way to be a supportive girlfriend there, Suze.
Upstairs, Steve is making room in his drawers and closet for Clare's stuff, and she tells him he's sweet and marvels at how romantic he can be sometimes. He tells Clare he plans on waiting on her hand and foot, and she likes the sound of that...and the two flop onto the bed and start making out.
The Peach Pit. Kelly and Tara are in the bathroom, primping in front of the mirror. Tara asks Kelly if she thinks her hair is too mousy, and Kelly breezily replies, "No...not at all." LOL. Tara gives Kelly an envious once over and and tells her she has it all - style and flair - then grumps, "I'll never be anything like you." Kelly studies Tara's mousy brown hair more closely and admits that maybe the limp locks could use some pizzazz. She offers to make an appointment for her with her hair stylist - and Tara accepts, but doubts he can do much, considering what he's got to work with. Fair point. Kelly asks her if the therapist mentioned anything about a place opening up for her in a rooming house, and Tara suddenly looks panicked and exclaims, "Please don't make me go!" and pleads that she neeeeds her. Kelly explains that she has two roommates she needs to think about, but Tara just wails, "How could you do this to me? I thought you were different." Kelly's like, "Sorry", but tells her she can only stay at the beach house until a place opens up for her elsewhere. She tells her they'll still be friends, but says it would probably be best for everyone if she gets her own place. Hundreds of miles away, ideally.
Kelly and Tara encounter Colin and Valerie in the Peach Pit parking lot. Kelly and Valerie exchange a few snide words, and after Valerie and Colin go their separate ways, Kelly tells Tara how much she hates Val, and that she's been after Colin ever since she hired him to paint the ghastly mural inside the After Dark. Tara reminds her that it shouldn't matter, since Colin's not good for her...and Kelly agrees, but insists that she still hates Val. Tara declares, "Anyone you hate, I hate too" then pauses for a few seconds and adds, "I hope she dies." Kelly gives her a funny look and points out that she doesn't even know Valerie, so Tara explains, "It doesn't matter. That's what friends are for." Kelly continues to look suitably weirded out as ominous music tinkles in the background.
Dorm. David and Donna try to come up with ideas for the music video for the song, which is titled "Strike the Match". David says he wants a gritty concept, and the best idea Donna can come up with is filming the band members as they strike a bunch of matches. LOL. David snarks that that's stupid, and the two bicker back and forth...ho hum. Donna snaps that he's mean, rude, and the last person on earth she wants to hang out with right now, then storms out of the dorm. David suddenly looks as though he just had a brilliant idea, and runs after Donna and exclaims, "That's perfect! Last person on earth!" He tells her he loves the idea of doing a post-apocalyptic theme for the video and says that all they'd have to do for costumes is rip up a bunch of old clothes. Yes! That plan sounds crazy enough to work!
The Walsh house. Brandon, Steve, Joe, Clare, Susan, and Donna are cramming for exams and the GMAT. Susan notices the shawl Clare is wearing and remarks on how pretty it is, and Clare calls it her lucky shawl and says it's super special to her 'cause it belonged to her late mother. This random attention doesn't bode well for the shawl's wellbeing.
Beach house. Tara creeps into Kelly's room while she's asleep, takes her car keys from her purse, then quietly sneaks back out.
Dorm. Donna and David are fleshing out their plans for the music video. Donna says she'll take care of the lead girl's costume (the lead girl being the drummer's girlfriend), which will be a slutty concoction of mesh, brightly colored bras, and fishnet stockings. David reminds her to bring lots of matches (wait - didn't he just make fun of Donna for that idea?) and Donna says that everything is set. She heads for the door and blows him a kiss on his way out.
Colin's loft. Tara pulls up in Kelly's BMW. She gets out and starts carving "Die Val" on the driver's side of Valerie's fancy sports car. As she's keying it, she chants, "You have a really nice car, Val. A really nice car."
The Walsh house. The next morning, Steve asks Clare if she has any laundry she wants him to do (what in the hell has gotten into Steve this episode??) and she tells him that there's a pile of clothes in their room that could use a wash. Meanwhile, Susan tells Brandon she's super stressed about the GMAT, then invokes his summer internship at the Boston Globe. She says it's been a great year dating him and wants to know if their relationship will be part of her future. She asks him to please consider their relationship when he's meeting with the recruiter, then pretends like she didn't just give him a shitty ultimatum.
After Dark. David is filming the music video while the band performs their ghastly heavy metal song. The girlfriend, who's supposed to portray "the last woman on earth", has pulled a no show and this glitch is stressing out David. Out of desperation, he asks Donna to put on the outfit and fill in.
Valerie notices the "Die Val" message carved onto the side of her car and shows it to Colin. He shrugs disinterestedly and says it's probably just vandalism, so she points out to the dimwit that it's obviously someone who knows her name. She tells him she's totally wigged out and is calling the police.
Kelly accompanies Tara to the clothing store where she used to crash when she lived on the street. The owner, Bernie, greets her warmly and gives her her suitcase, which he's been storing for her. Tara tells Kelly how happy she is to have all her stuff back again, and Kelly's like, "Kewl!" and suggests they head over to the After Dark to see how the music video is coming along.
The Walsh house. Steve is folding laundry when he realizes he accidentally put Clare's shawl in the washing machine. It's tattered and ripped, and he looks frightened that Clare might kill him - an outcome I would welcome, since it might be the only thing that could make this sub subplot even slightly interesting.
After Dark. Kelly and Tara arrive at the club to watch the filming. Donna's decked out in her "last woman on earth" costume: a see-through top, really short shorts, and fishnet stockings. She's awkwardly gyrating to the heavy metal beat while David points and shoots with his videocamera. Colin suddenly bursts into the club and glares at David...and David glares back at him and snaps, "What?!" Colin says he (meaning David) has a problem, and David orders him to stay out of his way, so then Colin's like, "Are you going to make me?"
The Peach Pit. Kelly enters the diner and orders two sodas to go. Valerie has followed her there from the club and accuses her of carving "Die Val" on the side of her car. Kelly tells her it could have been done by any number of people who can't stand the sight of her, but Valerie points out that she's been grudging on her ever since she took Colin away from her. Kelly heatedly reminds her that she was the one who dumped his ass and snarls, "You were the only thing low enough for him to crawl to." Oh, snap! Valerie glares at her and snarks, "You're a bitch, you know that?" and suggests they take it outside...but before the altercation can degenerate into a back alley kitten fight, some guy runs in and announces that there's a fight next door. Apparently Colin and David are on the verge of blows - but Nat quickly races in and breaks it up. David yells that he didn't touch Valerie's car, and Colin ignores that claim and asks him if Kelly put him up to it. He then storms out, and Valerie announces that this video shoot is officially over. Thank God. Donna, please get dressed.
Restaurant. Brandon meets with the Boston Globe recruiter, and he seems very impressed with Brandon's grades, his Condor experience, and the AP article he wrote about the fallout from the ass-kicking that Joe gave Pumpkin Head during the Halloween episode. He invites Brandon to intern for the Globe this summer, then promises that there will be a full time job (excellent salary + full benefits) waiting for him when he graduates. That seems...a tad improbable, but since it's Golden Boy Brandon, I guess I can buy it. The recruiter calls Brandon "a special candidate" and says he doesn't want to have to compete for him after he's a college graduate. Brandon looks intrigued by the offer, but also conflicted. He actually comes out and tells the recruiter he was planning on taking the summer off, and the guy says, "I don't think this is the summer to be goofing off, do you?" Brandon looks unsure 'bout that and mutely stares into space.
Beach house. Kelly and Tara return home, and Tara offers to make Kelly a cup of tea. Kelly's upset at being blamed for the keyed car and also feels bad that David got sucked into all this drama. Tara's like, "Yeah whatever" and tells her how excited she is about her hair appointment, then starts nattering about her love of photography. She says she couldn't afford to get her photos developed, so Kelly promises to talk to Brandon about using The Condor's darkroom. The two then get on the topic of Brandon, and Tara says she thinks he still likes her...but Kelly just shrugs and swiftly changes the subject by reminding her to be on time at the salon 'cause her stylist is booked solid today. She heads off to her room to take a nap, and Tara opens her suitcase and goes through some of her stuff...and we see that she has a loaded gun in there. Eeeek!!
Warehouse. David has continued the filming of the music video in a nearby warehouse, and he's recording Donna as she stands atop the hood of a car, gyrating and shaking her naughties. This time she's decked out in a black leather crop top, short shorts, and fish net stockings...and yeesh, her boobs look really fake when she semi-bares them like that. Joe enters the warehouse, catches sight of Donna's gyrating and looks dismayed and icked out by the disturbing spectacle. Meanwhile, David calls, "Cut!" so Donna takes a break to freshen up and hug Joe hello. He looks over her slutty costume and says, "Interesting outfit" and adds that he didn't know she was actually going to be in the video. She urges him to stay and watch, then scampers back to the car hood to continue filming. Joe is unable to stomach the sight of her gyrating and leaves the warehouse in disgust.
Newsroom. Brandon returns after the interview/lunch and Susan asks him how it went. He tells her about the amazing offer they made him, which is contingent on an internship over the summer, and Susan looks less than thrilled and says in a flat voice, "You deserve it. You're very talented" then dejectedly shuffles to her office with her head down. Brandon rushes after her and says she didn't let him finish...then informs her that he's blowing the whole thing off so they can go on their cross-country trip together this summer. What a dumbass decision. Susan perks up and asks him if he's sure - 'cause it's a really great opportunity he's giving up (ya think?), and he's like, "Aw, what the hell" and says they only have one more summer of freedom before they'll be expected to enter the work force. The two hug and start smooching.
The Walsh house. Clare arrives home wearing a horrible crop top and hideous striped pants and tells Steve that the GMAT went better than expected. Steve presents her with a bouquet of flowers and shows her the freshly scrubbed kitchen...then sheepishly says that he tries very hard, but sometimes things don't go as planned. He bites the bullet and admits that he accidentally laundered her mother's shawl, and that it's ruined. She moans, "Oh no.." and asks to see it, so he shows her the tattered mess. He tells her he didn't notice it in her pile of clothes, and realizes he can't undo the damage and is very sorry. She gets mad at him for a few seconds, then quickly forgives him 'cause she knows he'd never do anything to intentionally hurt her. He assures her he wouldn't, and the two hug. Someone please get these two a storyline asap.
Beach house. Donna tells Kelly she's exhausted, but that she had a great time shaking her hooters at David during the video shoot. They discuss the David/Colin near-fight earlier, but thankfully Kelly doesn't want to rehash all that. Tara arrives home, looking absolutely grisly in her Single White Female-esque short blonde 'do. She gleefully exclaims, "Is this pizzazz or what?!" then twirls around and asks them if they like the new her. Kelly and Donna just stare at her in stunned silence, and Kelly finally mutters, "How could you do this?" Tara's face falls, and she's all, "Wuh?" and says she just told the stylist to make her look as good as her (her being Kelly). Donna suggests that they probably just need a little time to get used to her new hairdo. Tara gets mad, shoots them both the stink-eye, and storms out of the room. Donna looks over at Kelly and says, "We told you she was weird. She wants to be you, Kel" and Kelly mulls over that disturbing notion as she stares contemplatively into space.