Recap: Night has fallen, and Donna and David are hard at work filming a music video on the beach. During a break in the filming, David complains about how exhausted he is...and also how irked he is that they're two hours into overtime. Donna rubs his shoulders and kisses him, and he moans and calls it ecstasy - then abruptly puts a stop to the canoodling and reminds Donna that they still have a lot of work to do. Someone radios in on his walkie-talkie thing to report that the band has announced they're done for the night. David looks exasperated, so Donna soothingly coos that they can pick things up first thing in the morning. David snaps at her for being stoopid and starts railing about how they're over-budget. Donna looks hurt and tells him not to call her stoopid, then says he should have tried talking the lead singer into staying later to finish the shoot. David explains that he doesn't want to alienate the artist (a term we soon learn is used extremely loosely here), snaps, "Focus!" - LOL - then roams around the beach to tell all the crew members that they can go home for the night.
Beach house. Clare has returned to L.A. after summering in Europe. Kelly tells her that things at the beach house have been quiet, mostly 'cause Donna's been working non-stop...and the two agree to meet up later at a hair salon to get fully caught up. Kelly tells her that she recently spoke to Brandon and Steve, and apparently they're making good time on their way to the Alamo. Steve also wanted her to pass along a message to Clare: he really really misses her. Clare looks touched and murmurs that she really really misses him too. Hey writers: these two really really need more interesting storylines.
Podunkville (somewhere in Texas). Brandon's car breaks down, so he and Steve get stuck in a backwater town somewhere near San Antonio...and we know it's a backwater town 'cause we suddenly hear hick sounding harmonica music playing in the background. The two are riding in a tow truck with a man named Lee (of Lee's Garage). When they arrive at the garage, Lee tells his employee/son Lamar to go across town and pick up a water pump so he can fix Brandon's car. Lamar grumbles that he's busy, so Lee tells him he promised the two Californians they'd be back on the road this afternoon, then barks, "Git!" LOL. Lamar and his redneck co-worker amble over to Brandon and Steve and mock them for being from "the land of the fruits and the nuts", then ask which they are. Brandon deadpans that he couldn't hear the question 'cause Steve had his tongue in his ear. Haha! Lamar makes a blech face, then beats a hasty retreat. Steve is annoyed that they're stranded in Podunkville 'cause he's super horny and really really wants to hit the sheets with Clare asap. Brandon encourages him to cut the trip short and fly back to L.A....and by scripted coincidence, a Houston bound bus suddenly pulls up at a nearby bus depot. Brandon urges Steve to board the bus and fly home early, and Steve rushes toward the bus and makes him promise not to say anything to anyone about his sudden change of plans 'cause he wants his earlier-than-expected homecoming to be a surprise.
Brandon calls Valerie to let her know that he had car trouble and might be delayed by a couple of days. He asks her if she's been taking care of the household bills, etc., and she assures him she's on top of it. She moans about how lonely it's been at Casa Walsh without him and Steve and urges them to hurry home...then moans about how shitty the After Dark has been doing. She thanks Brandon for recommending a CPA friend of Papa Walsh's to help organize her finances...then lights up a joint and moans about how she hasn't had any fun this summer.
Brandon walks over to nearby Podunkville Public Library and asks the library assistant, a pretty young African-American woman named Mariah, where he can find information on the Alamo. She rushes off in search of some books and documents...and a stern looking librarian shoots Brandon the stink-eye for no intelligible reason.
Hair salon. Clare tells Kelly that a lot of her European friends are getting married, then makes a blech face at the thought of being married in her early twenties. Kelly tells her that summer school went well, and that all she has left to do to fulfill her course requirement is an internship at a local care facility. Clare tells her to just find someplace on the beach, but Kelly says if she's going to put in the time, she wants it to be meaningful and worthwhile...and Clare's all, "Wuh?" and scrunches her doll face in confusion at the notion of doing something worthwhile. Valerie enters the salon, and she and Kelly engage in an obligatory snipefest for several minutes. Clare asks Val how her summer went, and she looks bummed as she tells them that the hot FBI agent from the Season 6 finale got assigned to Miami - so that's pretty much the end of that. Kelly can't disguise her glee and clucks, "Poor Valerie. Alone again" and Valerie cheekily retorts that she thought she'd just wait for her (Kelly) to find a new guy and go after him. Heh. Good one. Clare reminds the bickering frenemies that David and Donna are having a wrap party on the beach later, then announces that she, however, will be jetting off to San Antonio to surprise Steve.
Podunkville Public Library. Mariah supplies Brandon with a bunch of historical documents...and the two start chatting it up about the Alamo. The stern looking librarian glares over at them disapprovingly, then moves closer to their table so she can eavesdrop better. Eventually she interrupts their conversation to bitchily remind Mariah that she's supposed to be cataloguing new acquisitions, and Mariah explains that Brandon had a research question and that she's helping him out. The librarian haughtily tells her that's not what she was hired for, and Mariah argues that reference work is, in fact, part of her responsibilities. She insists that she was being helpful, and Brandon nods and earnestly concurs. The librarian tells Mariah she has an attitude problem and expects an apology, and Mariah basically tells her to go pee up a rope, then abruptly quits her job and storms out of the library. Haha! You go, girl! Brandon runs out after her and tells her he feels horrible for having anything to do with her quitting her job, but she assures tells him it had nothing to do with him and that it was a long time coming. He offers to buy her lunch, but Mariah says she doesn't accept invitations from strangers...so he formally introduces himself, shakes her hand, then goes, "See? We're not strangers anymore!" She mulls that over and concedes, then invites him to eat with her at her favorite restaurant. Across the street, Lamar notices Brandon and Mariah walking together, then makes a blech face and remarks to Redneck #2 that the sight of that makes him sick.
Valerie arrives at the CPA's office and is greeted by a boyish looking accountant. He smarmily tells her that Papa Walsh didn't mention how young and attractive she is, 'cause that's an appropriate thing for an accountant to say to a potential new client. He tells Valerie he'd like to be on a first name basis with her, then explains that he likes to be called Kenny not Ken 'cause he suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome. Valerie politely says that Papa Walsh speaks very highly of him, then explains that the After Dark has suddenly become a huge drain on her finances. Kenny says he'd like to take a look at her books and suggests maybe getting her a credit line. Val likes the sound of that and says she'd like to spend some money to "reinvent the place" [or maybe just paint over Colin's grisly wall mural]. He agrees that that's a good idea, then saucily replies, "I'm your man."
Beach house. Kelly arrives home and finds Donna taking a break from the music video shoot. She tells Kelly how weary she is from working non-stop, then says she's hopeful they can wrap up the dumb thing before nightfall. She informs Kelly that she's currently babysitting the temperamental, pain-in-the-ass lead singer, Taz. Apparently, he demanded peace and quiet, so she brought him over to the apartment to take a nap in her bed. And speaking of the pain-in-the-ass, Taz suddenly emerges from her bedroom, bitching in a stereotypical Cockney accent about how uncomfortable her mattress is. He freezes when he sees Kelly, looks instantly smitten, then says he recognizes her from her Season 5 Seventeen magazine cover. Donna reminds Taz that they have to return to the music video shoot now, but Taz says he'll only go if Kelly comes with them. Donna stares at her pleadingly, so Kelly reluctantly agrees.
Podunkville. Brandon and Mariah are eating lunch at a local diner and talking about their lives. Brandon tells her he broke up with his girlfriend just before summer, but he's over her now, and Mariah tells him that she wants to be a writer and is currently researching angels for a book. These two are almost as boring as Steve and Clare.
Beach. David and Donna are filming Taz as he performs his shit-tastic song on a set that's decorated with giant alphabet blocks. He suddenly stops singing and waves at Kelly, and David curses to himself and yells, "Cut!" and asks Taz whassup. Taz tells him he forgot to ask Kelly if she likes the song, and David is unable to hide his incredulity as he asks, "And you have to do that right now?" Taz snaps back that he does, in fact, have to do that right now, then snarks, "Do you 'ave a problem with that?!" David backs down, then watches in dismay as Taz makes a beeline over to Kelly. He bitches at Donna for bringing Kelly to the shoot and distracting Taz, and Donna explains that she thought Kelly's presence would help. Fed up, she suddenly turns around and screams at Taz to get his butt on the set right now! Taz is all, "Wha-a?!" and Kelly urges the self-centered moron to finish filming the video so that the tired crew can finally call it a day. Taz asks her if his song sucks, and Kelly resists the urge to tell him that his song, in fact, sucks giant rhinoceros dick - and instead insists that she loooves it...and for some reason this makes Taz laugh like a deranged hyena, and he finally returns to the set.
The Walsh house. Valerie returns home, hears the shower running upstairs, happily yells, "Steve!" and bursts into the bathroom. She tells him she really missed him, so he pokes his shampooed head out from behind the shower curtain and tells her he secretly flew home to surprise Clare. Valerie stares back at him, bewildered, and informs him that Clare is on her way to San Antonio to surprise him. He looks dismayed then says, in hindsight, he prolly shouldn't have come home early and abandoned Brandon in Podunkville. He suddenly gets a renewed burst of energy and asks Valerie to drive him to the airport so he can catch the next flight to Texas.
Podunkville. Brandon and Mariah head over to Lee's Garage to check on Brandon's car, but it doesn't look like there's been much in the way of progress. Lamar sneeringly tells them that Lee's busy dealing with a big accident on the interstate and won't get around to fixing his car today. Brandon reminds him that Lee promised him that the work on his car would get done, and Lamar lets loose a racist remark about where he should take his car, and then he and Redneck #2 cackle to themselves as they head off to a Klan meeting. Mariah assures Brandon that Lee's a good man and will fix his car in the morning, then suggests he wait for his car without her. He asks her if that's what she wants, and she says no...and he mulls that over and takes her hand. She asks him where they're going, and he's like, "I dunno." That last part of the scene made absolutely no sense.
Beach. It's the wrap party! Yay! Nat and pregnant Joan make a superfluous appearance and chat it up with Kelly. Taz is giggling with two hot blondes, then looks over at Kelly and sheepishly makes his way over to her. She needlessly introduces him to Nat, Joan...and then Valerie, who has just arrived. Valerie politely gives Taz an open invitation to perform his shit-tastic music at the After Dark, and Taz brazenly ignores the offer and tells Kelly he can't see her tonight 'cause he made plans for later. He is, however, available tomorrow night. Kelly tries to look slightly broken up when she tells him she'll be too busy tomorrow night volunteering at an AIDS hospice. Taz just stares at her wide-eyed and gets all discombobulated, then turns his attention back to the giggling blondes and blows Kelly off with a "Ciao!" LOL. Joan congratulates Kelly on embarking on such meaningful work, and Nat wonders aloud where Steve is, so Valerie wryly tells him he's on his way to Texas to surprise Clare. Kelly's all, "Wha-a?!" and says she just spoke with Clare, who told her she's on her way back to L.A.
Airport. Steve is stranded at an airport en route to San Antonio 'cause bad weather in the area has grounded a bunch of flights. Unbeknownst to him, Clare is in the same airport, waiting to board the next flight to L.A. Ho hum.
Beach. David apologizes to Donna for acting like such a douchewad the other night. He then complains that no one from MZA showed up at the party, then wonders if they should be worried. A few seconds later, Eric's secretary arrives to inform David and Donna that Eric has just been laid off, and that the company is getting downsized. She has no idea what this means for the two of them, but it can't be good.
Podunkville. Brandon is over at Mariah's house, enjoying a home cooked supper. He compliments her cooking, she tells him about her grandmother, and then he tells her what it's like to live in L.A., blah blah.. She's about to put on some coffee, then suggests they go to a local bar and listen to some blues...and the two head over to a local dive called Gabe's Bar. Brandon really gets into the music and bobs his head to the beat. During a break in the performance, Mariah's ex-boyfriend, Daniel, looms over their table and tells Mariah he needs to talk to her alone. Daniel's muscular friend then seats himself beside Brandon and menacingly asks, "What do you think you're doing with Daniel's girl?" and Brandon explains that he just came out for the music. He asks Brandon where he's from, and Brandon just chuckles, and the guy gets all hostile and threatens him. Mariah returns to the table looking visibly upset and tells Brandon that their presence in the club is offending some people. She then snarks at Daniel that their relationship is over and that she can see whoever she wants, regardless of their race. She then asks Brandon to take her home, and as the two exit the club, Daniel and his friend stare daggers at Brandon.
Airport. Steve's flight to San Antonio is finally ready for boarding. He stands up and stretches, then notices Clare waiting near another gate. He yells, "Claaare!" and the two run toward each other in slow motion, then hug and kiss. She explains that she was on her way to surprise him, and he's like, "I was on my way to surprise you!" She eyes him suggestively and vows to punish him severely, and Steve perks up at the promise of a little S&M and suggests they check into the nearest hotel.
Podunkville. Brandon wakes up the next morning on Mariah's couch. She's just returned from a muffin/coffee run and informs him that Lee is almost done repairing his car. He jokingly asks her if she's trying to get rid of him, and she tells him she's all packed and ready to leave Podunkville and really really wants to make the next bus to St. Louis, which leaves in an hour. He congratulates her on her decision and says, "Good for you!"
The Walsh house. Kenny phones Valerie to tell her that he went over her books and has determined that he's able to establish a credit line for the club. He then promises to devote some "real attention" to her, and says he needs to see her in person to go over some details. She's like, "OK" and for some reason shares with him that she's been having a rough time lately, being alone and all. He replies, "You never know when things will change." Mmm..
Beach house. David tells Donna he wants them to spend the day hanging out at the MZA offices to see if they can figure out what's going on with the downsizing. That sounds like a dumb, pointless idea. Donna wearily tells him they've been working on music videos for four weeks straight, and all she wants to do is chillax and get her laundry done. She also says she doesn't particularly care what's going on at MZA and reminds him that they'll be starting school again in three weeks. David snarks back that he has no interest in going back to school after getting "a taste" of the glamorous life of music video making - LOL - and Donna retorts that she has no desire to work for MZA full time - in fact, she wants out of their partnership altogether. David stares at her incredulously and is all, "Wha-a?!"
Podunkville. Mariah is ready to board the St. Louis bound bus and wrap up this tedious, self-contained storyline. She tells Brandon to enjoy the Alamo, and he thanks her for her hospitality. He wishes her luck writing her book on angels, and she tells him he's kinda like an angel for inspiring her to leave this pissant town and live somewhere that's not so firmly stuck in the 1950s. The two shake hands...but suddenly Brandon spots Lamar and Redneck #2 glaring over at them, so he leans in and gives Mariah a full on lip kiss. She's like, "Er...OK??" and boards the bus, and Brandon sashays over to his newly repaired car, jumps in, and speeds off before he can get lynched.
What a thoroughly pointless episode.