Recap: David phones Donna as he's packing a suitcase and asks her what she's doing right now. She says she just finished an assignment for Professor Langely's fashion class and that she's scheduled to present it during class tomorrow. David's like, "That's perfect timing!" and says he'd like to take her out to a show tonight. Donna says she could really use a night out - but when David tells her the show's in New Orleans, she's all, "Wha-a?!" and says she can't possibly leave town. David explains that he has to travel to New Orleans to take care of After Dark business stuff, and that the cost of the flight, hotel, and jazz festival tickets is all being covered. Donna goes, "Mmm...sounds great" then says she really shouldn't fly off to New Orleans with her presentation looming (no duh) - but David insists that he can have her back in Los Angeles in time for her class. He tells her he's never been to New Orleans and is really looking forward to the trip, then tantalizingly asks, "One night in The Big Easy..?" and Donna throws all common sense to the wind and agrees to go. There's no way this is a good idea, considering the general unreliability of air travel. David's all, "Yay!" and as soon as he gets off the phone, he opens his underwear drawer and pulls out a box of condoms...and after the camera zooms in on it for what seems like a loooong time, he tosses it into his suitcase. We get it, show. Safe sex is very very very important. Not that David or his blue balls are going to have to worry 'bout that until the very end of the season finale. (Spoiler)
The Walsh house. Kelly is in Brandon's bed, sneezing, coughing, and looking generally disheveled. She slips into her annoying baby talk mode and tells Brandon she doesn't feel so good, then whines, "My head hurts, my body aches, and my head's all stuffed up." Brandon says she probably has the Hawaiian flu, which has been going around CU...but the good news is, it's a short-lived flu. Kelly says she wants to go home and sleep in her own bed, but Brandon insists she stay at his place so that he can pamper her and nurse her back to health.
Kitchen. Steve reminds Brandon that his mother is being honored by the Broadcasting Hall of Fame tonight for her work on the shittastic show, The Hartley House. She's even flying in from New York for the occasion. Brandon says he'll definitely be there (not sure why, exactly), but Kelly won't be able to make it 'cause she just came down with the flu. Steve's like, "Ack!" and says he should probably stay at Clare's place to avoid getting sick. And speaking of sick...Valerie stumbles into the kitchen, sneezing, coughing, and looking just as disheveled as Kelly. Steve covers his nose and mouth and beats a hasty retreat. Brandon informs Valerie that Kelly's upstairs and also sick with the flu, then urges her to go back to bed while he makes them both some tea.
Fashion class. One of the students is delivering her presentation, but Professor Langely is clearly not impressed and snarks at her for doing such a shitty job. When class is over, Donna goes up to the girl and tells her that she thinks she did a good job...and Professor Langely overhears the conversation, scowls at Donna, and admonishes the class for the generally low quality of presentations. She reminds Donna that her presentation is the next one the class will hear, and snarks, "I wouldn't waste time chattering if I were you. You'll probably be up all night, completing the assignment - that is, if you've even begun." The fuck is her problem? Donna politely tells her she's already finished the assignment, then exits the room and finds David waiting for her in the hall. She makes a face and tells him what a bitch Professor Langely is, but David doesn't give much of a rat's ass and reminds her about their fun night ahead. Donna winces and says she's having second thoughts about going to New Orleans, now that she knows for sure that Professor Langely hates her with the intensity of a thousand suns. David's all, "Wuh?" and asks her how it's possible for anyone to hate an angelic, sweet lamb such as herself. As he leans in to give her a smooch, Professor Langely steps into the hall, witnesses the PDA, and shoots Donna an unmistakable look of disgust.
Steve finds Clare in the cafeteria section of the Student Union and tells her he just picked up his mom from LAX and dropped her off at her hotel. Clare gushingly says that the award she's getting is a really big honor...and that her dad is super excited to see her, and that he gabbles about her all the time. Steve mulls that over and says his mom doesn't really talk about Chancellor Arnold very much anymore, then shrugs it off and is all, "Whatever." He asks Clare if he can stay at the beach house for the next few days, and explains that Kelly and Valerie are both sick with the flu.
The Walsh house. Kelly bellows to Brandon from her sick bed to bring her some orange juice...and a few seconds later, Valerie bellows from her sick bed that she also wants some juice. The camera then pans over to Brandon, who's carrying a large tray filled with juice, snacks, and magazines up the stairs. Kelly tells Brandon she's probably not going to be well enough to go to Steve's mom's awards thing, but urges him to go without her. Valerie enters the room, impatiently asks Brandon if she can have her juice...then glares at Kelly and says, without a scrap of sincerity, "I hope you feel better." Kelly returns her glare and snidely replies, "You too."
Beach house. Steve and Clare are primping for their evening out, and - ack! - Clare is decked out in a really fugly, shiny grey pantsuit. Chancellor Arnold arrives and wryly tells Clare that Samantha made other arrangements to get to the venue. Apparently, the network sent a limo to collect her and a bunch of other celebrities to do some publicity stuff before the awards ceremony. He irritably adds that he didn't know anything about this until he arrived at Samantha's hotel, and Clare contorts her weird doll face and goes, "Well that's rude." Arnold tells her that there's a hot new leading man on the soap [that Samantha's currently cast in], and he's worried that it's the reason she's been so distant with him lately. He admits feeling insecure, but says he won't do anything to tarnish her special night. He heads out to the car just as Steve returns from the bathroom...and when he notices the pissed off look on Clare's face he asks her whassup. She snarks, "Your mom's being rude to my dad, and I don't like it one bit." That's a shame. Go take it up with Samantha. Or better yet, let your dad sort it out himself.
New Orleans. David and Donna check into their hotel and admire the ornate room. Donna opens the window, then lets out a contented hmm sigh and remarks, "Blue jasmine." David points at the large bed and says he tried his best (not really) to get a room with double beds, but discovered that double beds are uncommon in The Big Easy. Makes sense. Donna shrugs and goes, "OK. It's not like we haven't shared a bed before." As she heads into the bathroom, David opens his suitcase and pulls out the box of condoms, stares down at them for a looong time, then puts them in the drawer of the nightstand.
The Walsh house. Kelly is lounging on the couch watching TV when Valerie ambles into the living room. She grumbles, "Oh. You're in here" and the two start bickering about each other's sluttiness. I'd call it a draw. Brandon enters the room and tells them to knock it off, then announces that he's off to Samantha Sanders' awards dinner. They both wish him a fun evening, and as soon as he leaves, Kelly gets up from the couch and tells Valerie she can have the TV 'cause she's no longer in the mood. Valerie sarcastically replies, "Thanks. After all, it is my house" and Kelly raises her eyebrows and goes, "Really? I thought it was Brandon's" and heads upstairs. Actually, it's Mama and Papa Walsh's house...and why they abandoned their most valuable real estate asset so that Brandon and his friends could live in it, I will never understand.
New Orleans. David and Donna are at a jazz club, meeting with some music guy. They order very big, fruity drinks, and the business guy warns Donna about the drink's potency and says, "It'll blow you over."
Awards dinner. The guests are being subjected to that nauseating scene from The Hartley House where Samantha's character tells her son that she and daddy loved each other so much that they made a whole other person. Everyone applauds, and Samantha takes the stage and delivers her acceptance speech. Steve discreetly tells Brandon that Clare is giving him a hard time about the shitty way his mom is treating the chancellor, then suggests that maybe it's the chancellor's fault that there's trouble in paradise. Brandon advises him and Clare to avoid getting in the middle of that relationship, which...d'yuh. Samantha ends her speech and makes her way back to the table, and Chancellor Arnold bounds out of his chair and asks her to dance. She says she'd love to, but that there's "a major network pow wow at the bar" ... and Clare overhears the brush-off and does not look impressed. Chancellor Arnold says they can talk later, and Samantha smiles appreciatively and replies, "I knew you'd understand" and leans in to give him a phony air kiss. As she heads over to the bar, Steve stops her and suggests that she spend a little more time with her date - but Samantha sternly tells him to mind his own business. As soon as she's out of earshot, Clare grumbles to Steve about how his mom is totally ignoring her dad and treating him like dirt. Steve tells her that maybe she and her dad need to grow up a bit and realize that this is an industry function and an important networking opportunity for his mom. Clare glares at him and bitchily retorts, 'I can't believe you're talking to me about growing up!" (right?) and he says, "I can't believe you're turning this into my relationship problem." Clare asks him to clarify if he's talking about their parents or them, and he shrugs and says, "You tell me."
The Walsh house. Valerie barges into the master bedroom and snarkishly asks Kelly why she continues to pretend not to know the real reason she hates her. Kelly says she's not pretending; she really doesn't know why she hates her so much. Valerie wails, "It's insulting! We were both there!" and starts gabbling about what supposedly happened after the Season 5 finale, when they all returned from Palm Springs...or as Valerie puts it, "The night you ruined things with me and Brandon." Say what? Kelly recalls that she dropped by the Walsh house that night to talk to Brandon and found her (Valerie) all over him with her shirt unbuttoned...and Valerie says she obviously needs to refresh her memory. We then get a fake black and white flashback of Brandon and Valerie on the couch, a few seconds after they started to get it on (ew):
The doorbell rings, so Brandon goes to answer it and finds Kelly on his doorstep. As he's greeting her, Valerie makes sure she's seen by Kelly buttoning her shirt, then says something snarky before offering to give them their privacy. Brandon and Kelly go onto the porch, where Kelly suddenly leans in and kisses Brandon and wails about how she needs to fix a big mistake. She begs him to take her back - but he refuses to do that 'cause he's in love with Valerie. Kelly starts wigging out, threatening suicide if he hooks up with her archenemy, then asks him if he wants that on his conscience. Brandon mulls that over, decides he doesn't, and promises never ever to bump uglies with Valerie.
Kelly stares at Valerie incredulously and goes, "That's what you think happened?" and says her conversation with Brandon didn't go like that at all. She then tells Valerie her version of events, and once again we get another fake black and white flashback:
The doorbell rings, so Brandon goes to answer it and finds Kelly on his doorstep. As he's greeting her, Valerie makes sure she's seen by Kelly buttoning her shirt, then says something snarky before offering to give them their privacy. [I guess they're both on the same page with that first part.] Kelly and Brandon go onto the porch, where Kelly acknowledges that she hurt him when she turned down his marriage proposal. She says she still loves him and wants him to be happy, even if he's not with her...and that if he really does care about Valerie, she'll learn to live with it and won't stand in his way. Brandon winces and says he doesn't know what's going on with 'that' [ouch], and Kelly visibly perks up. He promises to call her later, and she leaves.
Kelly shakes her head in bewilderment and tells Valerie that all this time she's been blaming her for something she didn't do. Valerie glares back at her and says she simply doesn't believe her version of events...and Kelly says she really doesn't give a rat's ass what she believes. She challenges Valerie to verify her story with Brandon, and Valerie snarks, "Maybe I will."
I'd like to take a moment in this recap to point out that, according to the premiere of Season 6, both Brandon and Valerie admitted to having laughed uncontrollably at the sight of each other's naked body when they tried to get it on, then agreed that entering into a sexual relationship would be weird. The following is an excerpt from that episode's recap - so suck on this, continuity-challenged writers:
"As Brandon heads upstairs to get some shut-eye, Valerie asks him what happened between them at the end of Season 5. Brandon tells her he doesn't want to pick up where they left off, then reminds her that as soon as they took their clothes off, they started laughing uncontrollably. He quickly assures her that she's definitely gorgeous and sexy, but because she's almost like a sister to him, the idea of them having sex is just too weird. She agrees and says she just had a really sucky summer...then tells him that she dated a baseball player, but things didn't work out when he got relegated to the minor league."
Awards dinner. Arnold stares dejectedly into space while Samantha sits at a different table, yukking it up with the network people. She finally returns to Arnold's table and calls him a dear for waiting for her...then informs him that she's off to another party with the industry folk. Arnold finally snaps and tells her he's angry with her for rudely ditching him all night, and she's all, "Wha-a?" and accuses him of blowing it out of proportion. She says they come from different worlds, and he snaps, "I understand common courtesy", and she admonishes him for embarrassing her then haughtily exclaims, "And I won't stand for it!" As she angrily storms away, Clare turns to Steve and snarls, "Your mother just dumped my dad. Do something" and he goes, "Do what?" Samantha makes a beeline over to Steve, wishes him a good night, and promises to call him tomorrow. She then tells him she's off to a party, and is flying back to New York in the morning. After she makes her exit, Clare pissily informs Steve that she's giving her dad a ride home...and clearly he's not invited to ride along with them. Even though he's staying at the beach house with her. She really is quite the bitch.
The Walsh house. Kelly comes into Valerie's room and says, "Something's still bothering me." Gaaaaaaa!! This stubborn re-writing of history makes absolutely no sense, and I really wish the writers would let it go. For some reason, Kelly is now fixated on the fact that Brandon never called her back as promised...but she has an idea of what might have happened, and - ugh - we get another fake black and white flashback:
After Kelly leaves the Walsh house, Valerie tells Brandon she's probably on her way over to Dylan's place. Brandon shrugs indifferently and says as far as he's concerned, Kelly can do whatever she wants, 'cause he wants to be with her (Valerie)...and then the two start smooching.
Valerie laughs heartily and goes, "That's exactly what happened!" and says that she and Brandon had a hot night. Kelly's like, "If that was the case, why do you continue to accuse me of ruining your chance with Brandon?" Hee! That is such a good question - within the context of a subplot that is completely nonsensical. Valerie sheepishly admits that nothing actually happened between her and Brandon, then snarks, "So stop rubbing it in." She says she tried everything she could think of to get Brandon to doink her - fortunately she does not elaborate further 'bout that - and calls him "the love of my life". Kelly reminds her that she's called a bunch of different guys the loves of her life: Colin, Tom, and now Brandon. Valerie angrily accuses her of taking away Brandon, the only family she has left - and Kelly snickers and says, "First Brandon's your lover, now your family??" Yep...that is kind of weird. Valerie glares at Kelly and barks, "Get out!" and Kelly smirks and replies, "With pleasure."
New Orleans. Donna drunkenly stumbles out of the jazz club with David, and she's wearing a teeny tiny dress that looks more like lingerie than anything that should be worn in public. Donna tells David how intoxicating the city is, and babbles something about the aesthetics of the homes in New Orleans. She then remarks on how humid the air is, and she and David start smooching on the street.
The Walsh house. Brandon arrives home and tip-toes into the master bedroom to check on Kelly. He's surprised to find her awake, and she says she was waiting up for him, and that she feels much better. She gives him a kiss and says it's for never doinking Valerie.
Clare's bedroom. Steve tells Clare he's kinda bummed that things didn't work out between their parents, but assumes that the chancellor is man enough to deal with it. (He shouldn't assume that.) Clare scornfully retorts, "Just dismiss it...just like she dismissed him" and snarks that her father is devastated. Devastated! Steve asks her why she's mad at him, so she growls, "You can sleep comfortably with the knowledge that you're blameless!" She bitchily declares that she's sleeping on the couch, then snatches two pillows off the bed and storms out of the room...and Steve just stares after her, looking mournful. Dump her, Steve.
New Orleans. David and Donna are in their hotel room, getting very amorous...and - OMG! - it looks as though Donna's about to finally - after many looong, chaste years - lose her maidenhead to David. In mid-smooch, she suddenly loses her nerve and says, "Wait.." and David stares down at her incredulously, then flatly says, "Great." On some level, he must have known that the long awaited relief of penetration would be too good to be true. She apologizes for being the ultimate cock-tease, but says she simply can't go through with it. She natters about how scared she is, how long they've waited, blah blah...and doesn't want her first doink to happen like this. David tries to repress his frustration and says he'll just have to be more patient, then sourly jokes that maybe she'll allow his penis inside after a couple of years of marriage. Hee! And ouch. Donna sheepishly apologizes again and says she thought for sure she could do it this time. David shakes his head in bewilderment and says, "I don't know what else I have to prove to you" and lays out his case: he loves her, they're in a great relationship, they're in a romantic city, and he has a box of condoms in the drawer! Donna shrugs helplessly and says she doesn't have any answers. [Poor Aaron Spelling. Apparently, he just couldn't bear the thought of David deflowering the fictional character his daughter plays and abruptly changed his mind about her cherry getting popped during the last rewrite of the script.]
The next morning, Donna wakes up, checks the clock, and yells at David that the alarm didn't go off. They overslept! Shocker! Did anyone out there not see that coming?
Beach house. Steve wakes up early and heads into the living room - where Clare is laying, wide awake, on the couch. He asks her if she was able to get any sleep, and she snaps no. He tells her they aren't responsible for what their parents do, and she says, "You're right" then bitterly says it's pretty fucking convenient for him to say that, since her dad wasn't the one who did anything wrong. Steven goes, "That's not the point!" and Clare insists it is the point. Steve admits that his mother was rude and selfish in the way she treated the chancellor - then explains that he's defending her because she's his mom. Clare puts on her sad face and whimpers, "She really hurt him" and says that her dad is all she has. Steve mulls that over, then looks troubled as he asks, "If your dad is all you have - what does that make me?" Dumped like yesterday's trash during the season finale, that's what.
The Walsh house. Valerie enters the kitchen and tells Brandon she's feeling a lot better. She tells him she 'fessed up to Kelly about how nothing sexual ever happened between them, then gleefully says, "I'm really going to miss Kelly next year." Brandon's all, "Wha-a?" so Valerie informs him that Kelly applied to graduate school at Columbia University and got accepted. Brandon's like, "Oh yeah, I knew that. I just forgot" then stares contemplatively into space.
Donna arrives at her fashion class just as it's wrapping up. She's all, "Oooh nooo!!" and Professor Langely snarks that she really outdid herself by not even having the courtesy to show up to class. Donna tries to explain that it was an accident, and babbles something about missing her flight, but Langely's like, "Blah blah blah" and clearly doesn't care, then tells her she's blown her deadline. She snaps, "In the real world, there are deadlines you can't miss." Donna wails, "I can't fail this class! I need it to graduate!" and Professor Langely coldly replies, "Then do well on your final."
After Dark. A fresh-faced lad who strongly resembles Howdy Doody - named Derek Driscoll - drops by the club to talk to Valerie. He tells her he represents Bill Taylor Investments, and explains that Bill is currently in the Far East. He tells her that Bill asked him to look her up personally, then asks her if she's the manager of the club. She tells him she owns it (along with other investors), and that she chose his firm 'cause she's best friends with Bill's daughter. (Even if that were true, it's a pretty stupid basis on which to select an investment company.) Derek tells her he handles the business end of things, and gives her a brief rundown on how they handle investments - and Valerie looks intrigued and says she can't wait to meet Bill. Derek nods and assures her he'll hook them up very soon.
The Walsh house. Kelly tells Brandon she's feeling much better, and Brandon responds by pissily snarking about her impending move to New York. She scrunches her face in confusion and asks him what he's talking about, and he asks her if she's not heading off to Columbia in the fall. She admits that, yeah, she applied to and got accepted at Columbia University - but that all happened before he and Tracy broke up. She says she has no desire to move to New York now, then asks him how he found out about all this. He rats out Valerie as his source, and Kelly grits her teeth and says she must have read about Columbia in her journal. She then gives him an ultimatum by saying there's no way she make it work with Valerie and also no way they can both live under the same roof. Brandon weakly protests, "But she's like family!" and Kelly just shoots him a wary stink-eye and stalks off.