Recap: Kelly arrives at Tom's house, decked out in a track suit and eager to go running. Tom, on the other hand, looks like he just rolled out of bed and complains that it's the crack of dawn (8:00am) and that he needs coffee - but Kelly barks at him to forgo his morning coffee and go get dressed so they can go for their run. The phone suddenly rings, and it's a distressed Valerie. She tells Tom she needs to see him, like pronto, 'cause her mom is on her way to L.A. Egads! Tom furrows his brows concernedly and says, "I'll be right over." Kelly rolls her eyes and snarks, "I don't like the sound of that" so Tom tells her that Valerie really really needs him. Kelly reminds him that Valerie uses people, but Tom's just like, "Whatever" and says he has to help her out with this contrived mom crisis and that she (Kelly) will just have to trust him. Kelly snarks, "It's not you I don't trust."
The Walsh house. Valerie asks Brandon and Tracy if one or both of them wouldn't mind picking up her mother from the airport. Brandon asks her why she can't do it, so she says they don't get along and she can't stand the thought of spending an hour alone with her in the car. Brandon says, "I like your mother" so Valerie's like, "Good! Go pick her up" then thanks him and quickly exits the room. Brandon tells Tracy that things in the Malone family have been rough ever since the father committed suicide, and Tracy says she already knows all about it. Brandon looks surprised, so Tracy explains that Valerie's been reaching out to her lately, since she doesn't have a lot of girlfriends...and Brandon cattily adds, "And no boyfriend." Tracy then shifts gears and reminds Brandon that today is Valentine's Day and comes right out and asks him what he's getting her. He says he's taking her to see Luther Vandross at the After Dark later, and she makes a face and goes, "Is that all?" so he tells her she also gets his love and devotion (though not really), and she decides that that's all she really wants.
Beach house. Clare urges Donna to get out of the apartment, where she's been cooped up for the last several days, but Donna insists she just wants to lay around in bed. Clare complains that she wanted to do something romantic with Steve today, but he's off playing golf with Dick. She then bugs Donna again to go out with her and do something, like maybe get their hair done, but Donna bitchily snaps, "Leave me alone!" Clare argues that she needs to snap out of her funk and points out that she hasn't left the house in days. She advises Donna to see a therapist, and Donna promises to look into it...tomorrow. David lets himself in the apartment and bellows, "Happy Valentine's Day!" and enters Donna's room with roses, chocolates, and a teddy bear. Donna gives him a thank you kiss, then asks him to put the roses in some water...so David and Clare head off to the kitchen and discuss how alarmed they are at Donna's withdrawal from the world.
Over at the golf course, Dick offers Steve a joint, but Steve says he never really got into the whole pot thing and is more of a beer guy. Dick urges Steve to take the joint and smoke it with Clare, 'cause weed can make for some awesome sex. Steve perks up at that and eagerly grabs the joint. LOL.
After Dark. Tom arrives at the club and finds a teary Valerie, who wails about how worried she is that her mom is going to ruin everything. Tom says that maybe things will be different, considering they haven't seen each other in three years, but Valerie just shakes her head despondently and says her mom blames her for her dad's death. Tom assures her it wasn't her fault, then kisses her on the forehead.
Brandon's driving Valerie's mom - hey, it's Michelle Phillips! - to Beverly Hills from LAX. She thanks him for picking her up and says she's disappointed that Valerie didn't come. Brandon fibs and says she's very busy getting ready for the Luther Vandross concert tonight, but Michelle Phillips moans about how everything's fallen apart since her husband blew his brains out...and somehow she's gotten it into her head that Valerie blames her for his death.
After Dark. Luther Vandross and some guy enter the club looking for David, and when Chloe Davis catches sight of him, she's all, "OMG! OMG! It's Luther Vandross!" and makes an ass of herself gushing over the singer while David calmly introduces himself and thanks him for coming. We learn that Mel recently did some emergency dental work for him, so he's doing this gig to repay the favor. I'm sure that paying the dental bill would have been thanks enough.
Beach house. Clare again tries to get Donna to go out and do something, but Donna says she'd rather stay home and catch up on her soaps. Suddenly, there's a knock on the door, and - wuh? - it's Cliff, the super hot fireman from the Housewarming and Fearless episodes! Donna shrieks at Clare to stall him so she can make herself quasi presentable. A few seconds later, Cliff enters the apartment clutching a bouquet of flowers...and when Donna emerges from her room after throwing on a t-shirt and pair of jeans, he tells her he came all the way to L.A. 'cause he didn't want to be with anyone but her on Valentine's Day. She smiles and chirps, "Great!" while Clare just scrunches her weird looking doll face and looks perplexed.
Donna and Cliff go for a stroll. She asks him how long he's in town for, and he says, "It depends on you" so she finally admits she now has a weeny boyfriend. Cliff nods sadly and says, "I figured you would" then asks her if she's engaged. She's like, "No!" and he smiles and says, "Good. I'm still in the game." Oh, Cliff. Why do you not realize you could do far better than Donna?? Donna tells him she has Valentine's Day plans with her boyfriend, so he urges her to have a good time - but warns her that he'll be calling her up tomorrow to ask her out.
After Dark. Brandon brings Michelle Phillips to the club, and she glances around and looks very impressed. Valerie greets her coldly and re-introduces her to Tom, who Michelle Phillips doesn't look very thrilled to see. She tells him she's surprised he's in L.A., then makes a bitchy crack about all the various jobs he's had over the past few years. Valerie asks Tom if he could please give her mom a tour of the club so she can speak privately with Brandon...and once they're out of earshot, she snaps, "What the hell did you bring her here for?" Brandon says she just wanted to see "her little girl", but Valerie insists she must have an ulterior motive for her visit. Brandon says, "Like mother like daughter" and Valerie's all, "Huh?" so he points out that she's always talking about how manipulative and selfish her mother is - but it's also how a lot of people see her, himself included. Ouch.
Beach house. Kelly tells Clare she hates losing - especially to Valerie - but Clare points out that Tom isn't exactly a prize. Haha! Kelly admits that yeah her doltish new beau is a tad rough around the edges, but basically he's an OK guy. David suddenly saunters onto the deck, and Kelly and Clare look alarmed and ask him what he's doing here. He says he came to check on Donna, since she wasn't doing very well this morning. Clare says she's not home at the moment, then says she started to feel a lot better. David's like, "OK, cool" and starts to head out...but then runs into Donna and Cliff returning from their stroll. He's all, "Wuh?" so Donna introduces him to Cliff as her boyfriend, and David glares at Donna and bitchily says, "I'm glad you're feeling better." She says she can explain, but David says he's been trying to cheer her up for days...then in walks Cliff and suddenly she's in a great mood. Well d'yuh. Cliff insists that Donna had no idea he was coming to town and that he didn't realize she had a boyfriend...then wisely beats a hasty retreat. Donna assures David she hasn't spoken to Cliff for months, then invites him to come in, but he says he has to get back to the After Dark. He tells her just stopped by to make sure she was OK...so she tells him she's fine, and he snarks, "Obviously you're better than fine."
The Walsh house. Valerie tells her mom she has to change for tonight's show, then apologizes for being so rude earlier. Michelle Phillips tells Val she needs her to sign some papers so she can get a second mortgage on the house (apparently, Valerie owns half of it), and she immediately gets pissed off and assumes that her mom only came to L.A. for reasons of money. She bitchily declares she's not signing anything, then reminds her of the unholy acts that occurred in that house. She snarls, "I hope it burns to the ground!" then rails about how much she hated her dad and that house...and also her for standing by him instead of her own daughter. She storms upstairs, and Michelle Phillips is all, "Wha-a?!"
After Dark. Steve, Clare, Dick, and the girl Dick is currently dating are hanging at the bar. Steve tells Clare he has a surprise for her and shows her the joint he's carefully holding in the palm of his hand...and the camera zooms in on the slender doobie for what seems like a really loooong time. Clare bitchily retorts that she no interest in any smokable substance, then grabs the joint and hands it to Dick's girlfriend - who, in turn, gives Dick the stink-eye and says, "I thought you stopped! You liar!" and angrily storms off. Dick glares at Clare and goes, "Thanks, Clare. Very discreet" and runs after his girlfriend. Clare asks Steve how much pot he's been smoking, then snarks about how much she hates potheads. He meekly assures her he's not an addict, and she snaps, "Good!"
Kelly and Tom canoodle and make plans for their first doinkfest after the Luther Vandross concert. Kelly notices Valerie approaching, so she gives Tom a long, lingering smooch just to bug her. David, meanwhile, escorts Donna to their table and says that the seat across from her is reserved for him, not a certain sexy fireman. She lets out a hmm giggle (we haven't heard that sound in a long time - but then, I guess it's been awhile since Donna's had anything to hmm giggle about) and assures him she wants to have fun with only him tonight. Michelle Phillips arrives with Tracy and Brandon and apologizes for being a third wheel on their date, then natters about how worried she is that Valerie will wig out when she sees her. Steve suddenly bursts out of the back exit and mumbles to Brandon that he left something in his car. He encounters Dick in the parking lot, about to light his joint. Steve tells him how bummed out he is that Clare's so scarily uptight about a little weed, so then Dick offers him his joint back. Steve tries to decline because of how terrified he is of what Clare will do to him if she finds out...but Dick strenuously insists, so Steve gives in, and they each light up a fatty.
As Chloe Davis performs her opening act for Luther Vandross, David looks on admiringly...and Donna studies his reaction to her and looks irked. Kelly suddenly appears and sits at her table and remarks on what a good singer Chloe is, but Donna just snarks that David spends every waking moment working with the cute young girl. Kelly chuckles at her insecurity and says, "She's just a baby" then reminds her that she's hardly one to talk after she spent the afternoon hanging with Cliff. Right?
Michelle Phillips compliments Valerie on the awesomeness of the After Dark, but Valerie just assumes she's trying to squeeze money out of her. Michelle Phillips asks her whassup with her anger, and Valerie blows her off and says she doesn't want to get into it right now. Michelle Phillips tells her she's headed to San Francisco to attend a convention for a few days, but when she returns she wants them to work all this out...but Valerie isn't interested in restoring their relationship and brusquely orders her to sell the house.
David goes on stage and introduces Luther Vandross, and we get to watch his performance for the next several minutes - which I couldn't keep from fast fowarding through. Kelly ambles over to Tom to publicly flirt, while David returns to Donna's table for some romantic hand holding. Steve walks over to Clare and nuzzles her neck, but she makes a blech face and storms off - which, I'm guessing, is 'cause he reeks of pot. Valerie glares unhappily at Tom and Kelly...and Kelly catches the glare and smooches Tom to irritate her even more. Valerie stomps off to the ladies room and, for some reason, Kelly follows her. She finds Valerie tearfully staring at herself in the mirror...and Valerie says she hopes she and Tom will be very happy together, even though Tom is the only guy who truly loves and understands her. She sadly adds, "If you really want him, there's nothing I can do about it. But if you don't, then let him go...'cause I really need him right now." She then moans, "Pleeease!" so Kelly stares back at her in bewilderment and says, "You're telling the truth, aren't you?" Valerie confirms she is, and the two frenemies just stare at each other mutely. OK - I'm confused. Didn't Valerie sternly rebuff Tom's advances just four episodes ago, when she made it clear that she only wanted him to infrequently serve as her boy toy? Let's examine..
[Tom] then puckers up to give Valerie a smooch, but she rebuffs him and says she's not interested in a relationship right now. Tom's all, "Wuh?" and reminds her that they've been doinking for the last few weeks, and Valerie says it's only 'cause they're old friends. Tom's all, "Wuh?" but agrees to back off...so then Valerie says it's OK to smooch her, now that she's laid out her nonsensical ground rules.
Hmm. Now that I've reread that excerpt, I'm actually more confused about their relationship that I was before, so let's move on to the tedious Steve's a pothead/Clare's an uptight, snarly bitch subplot..
Clare snaps at Steve for being stoned...and when he insists he's just fine, she tells him his eyes are completely bloodshot (they are not) and that he reeks of pot (he probably does). She bitchily informs him that she intends to go home alone after the show, so I guess there won't be any fabulous weed-induced sex that Dick had promised Steve would happen.
Valerie and David thank Luther Vandross for his superfluous cameo appearance, and then he heads off on his merry way. Donna tells David she's tired and is catching a ride home with Clare - and David looks disappointed, but wishes her a happy Valentine's Day. He tells her he's glad she's feeling better and everything, but is still mystified/irked about how Cliff was able to cheer her up so quickly...after he tried to cheer her up for three days while she refused to get out of bed. That's probably because Cliff's a hot fireman and you're not...so let it go, David. Chloe Davis ambles over to invite David out for a bite to eat with the rest of the After Dark gang, and he glares at Donna and says, "Sure!" which, of course, pisses off Donna and she storms off. Kelly finally comes clean with Tom and tells him she only asked him out to make Valerie jealous, and that she's not in love with him. She says that since she started things up with him for all the wrong reasons, she now wants to do the right thing and cut him loose so that he can be available for Valerie. Tom's like, "I feel pretty dumb" - well d'yuh - but then parts with Kelly on polite terms.
Kelly, Donna, and Clare head over to the Peach Pit and order pie with ice cream. Mmm...sounds delish. Donna suddenly spots Cliff sitting at the counter, so she goes over to flirt with him. He says, "This is a nice surprise" and tells her she looks beautiful. Retch. He asks her out for tomorrow night, and she eagerly accepts. He grins and says, "That's what I came to hear" and kisses her on the cheek...and Donna giddily rushes back to her friends' table.
After Dark. Valerie finds Tom cleaning up and asks whassup, so he tells her that Kelly just dumped him...and she looks surprised, then pleased. He says he never got a chance to dance tonight, then turns on the music and floor lights, and the two start slow dancing. He tells her that every woman he's been with the last several years have been all about trying to forget her...but it hasn't worked. He then leans in and the two start smooching.
The Walsh house. Brandon and Tracy wish each other a happy Valentine's Day as they canoodle in bed. Brandon suddenly announces he's going downstairs to get them something to drink - then complains about how cold it is, and that she should get herself a t-shirt out of his drawer if she's cold. She does, and when she rifles through the drawer, she finds a small box with a diamond ring inside. Uh oh. When Brandon returns with a bottle of champagne and two glasses, Tracy stupidly gushes, "I like champagne, and the answer's yes!!" and he's all, "Wuh?" so she explains that she found the ring in the drawer. She says, "That's why you told me to get a t-shirt...right?" [Um, wrong.] As she gabbles about how much she loves him, Brandon has a flashback of when he proposed to Kelly with that ring at the end of Season 5. Tracy notices his spaced out expression and asks him what's wrong, but he just continues to mutely stare at her until she finally gets a clue and says in a flat voice, "This isn't for me." Brandon goes, "Trace.." but then has nothing else to say...and she looks sad and dejected.
Just run, Tracy. Run far and fast.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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