Recap: Brandon is trying to get his brain around how Valerie could have been dumb enough to get swindled by a Howdy Doody lookalike. He wants her to explain why she wanted to get into business with Bill Taylor in the first place, 'cause it's looking like she only did it to mess with Kelly...which, well d'yuh. Valerie avoids admitting that embarrassing truth and says, "I just really lost it, OK?" and tells him it's been really hard on her, watching him and Kelly reunite and canoodle all the time. She reminds him that Kelly merely got her feelings hurt, whereas she's out 100K. Brandon looks a tad sympathetic and asks her if the authorities have been able to locate Derek, but she glumly says he's probably in Europe by now...and that even if he is caught, her money's probably long gone. She says she's looking forward to Jim and Cindy's visit so she can get some desperately needed parental guidance, but Brandon tells her they're not coming. Valerie scrunches her face in disappointment, then says, "Oh well. At least my mom will be at the graduation ceremony." Brandon heads back to his bedroom, where Kelly is eagerly waiting to learn when Valerie will be moving out. She asks, "Did you tell her?" and Brandon says no, and that he believes she's very sorry and has suffered enough. Kelly snaps, "I want her gone!" ... and we see that Valerie's in the hall, eavesdropping on the conversation. She overhears Kelly bitchily give Brandon an ultimatum: if he wants her to move in, Valerie's going to have to move out.
Little Erin is graduating from kindergarten, and both she and the ceremony are adorable. Mel, Jackie, Donna, Kelly, and David are in attendance, and they each give her a hug and offer their congratulations. Donna tells David she's off to the train station to pick up her grandmother, and he gives her a goodbye kiss and remarks on how stunningly beautiful she looks today (ugh). Kelly gushes to David about how happy he and Donna look, and he blushingly says it's 'cause they're totes in loooove. Kelly changes the subject to something far less nauseating and tells him she got a mysterious invitation to a Roaring '20s graduation party in a historical theater. David says he also received one, and that all the Alphas and KEGers (plus Brandon, naturally) got one too. No one knows who's throwing the party, but David suspects it's a wealthy alumni.
Donna's in the car with her grandmother, and grandma starts wanking her about her "character", and how rare it is for someone so young to be so flawlessly principled and all-around awesome. She asks her how things are going with David, and Donna tells her they're thinking about moving in together. Grandma chuckles in amusement, knowing how ginormous a gasket Felice will blow once she hears about those living arrangements.
Valerie collects the mail and receives a Happy Graduation card from her mother...and inside is a short note, giving her regrets that she won't be able to make her graduation ceremony after all. Brandon comes downstairs and says, "Valerie, we have to talk" and Valerie puts on her extra sad face and tells him that she too is a graduation orphan. Brandon says, "That's rough. Sorry" and Valerie hopelessly whimpers, "What else could happen to me?" She gives him a kiss on the cheek, lays it on really thick about how much she appreciates him always being there for her, then beats a hasty retreat up the stairs before he can fish around for his balls and evict her. He stares after her and sighs heavily.
After Dark parking lot. Steve tells David he needs his skills/talents for the senior prank, but David's just like, "Meh" and says he's not interested. Muntz pulls up in his jeep, decked out in touristy looking Mexican clothes for some reason, and shows Steve and David the big box of confetti canons he acquired for the senior prank. This makes David reconsider wanting to be involved with the prank, and he tells Steve he'll need to think it over. He heads into the After Dark and finds Valerie in his office, despondently packing up her stuff. She moans about how much she loves the club and how much it sucks that she was dumb enough to lose her life savings. She mutters, "It's so embarrassing", and David's like, "Well, d'yuh...but I thought you didn't care what other people think." She insists she does care, feels humiliated, and then starts bellyaching about how Kelly wants her out of the Walsh house. David just shrugs and asks, "Can you blame her?" and Valerie tells him she's tried to assure Kelly that she's finally through playing childish mind games with her, but Kelly doesn't believe her. She asks David if he could put in a good word for her, but David says he doesn't want to get involved, tells her she's been a big enough burden on him and the entire 90210 gang (ouch), and that she needs to fix her problems herself. Valerie looks stricken and exits the office, leaving her box of stuff behind.
Bill and Joy drop by the beach house to say hey to Kelly and offer their congratulations on graduating from university. Kelly warmly greets Joy, but shoots her father the stink-eye. She explains that she doesn't have time for a visit 'cause of all the graduation stuff she's got going on, and Bill says they understand, and hands her a large bouquet of flowers. After they leave, Donna asks Kelly for her advice, then says she's thinking about possibly changing her mind about something really important. Kelly asks her if this has anything to do with David's penis, and Donna solemnly nods and says, "I think it's time." She says she's absolutely, positively, undeniably sure she's ready to no longer be an obnoxiously sanctimonious twentysomething virgin anymore, and tells Kelly she intends to offer up her maidenhead to David on graduation night. Kelly gives her her blessing to plunge ahead with the longest-awaited deflowering in prime-time television history, and the two hug.
Chancellor Arnold is hosting the Honors Graduates Luncheon, and Brandon and Clare are in attendance. Brandon presents Chancellor Arnold with a parting gift on behalf of all of them: a fancy brown leather satchel. Arnold gets teary and tells everyone how proud he is of them. A few minutes later, Steve arrives to pick up Clare. Arnold perks up and asks Steve if his mother will be attending the graduation ceremony, but Steve says no, 'cause she's busy filming in Toronto. Arnold looks disappointed and says, "I was hoping to see her" then hastily excuses himself. Clare scowls at Steve and snaps, "Why'd you have to bring up your mother?" and Steve says, "He asked." Clare lectures him about how sensitive her dad is about any mention of Samantha, then chides him for not immediately changing the subject (!). Brandon interjects and says he's siding with Steve on this one - but his opinion just kind of hangs there, since Clare clearly doesn't give a rat's ass what he thinks. She tells Steve she's going to walk her dad home, then meet Donna at the mall. Steve reminds her that she was the one who asked him to pick her up...and when it's clear that Clare doesn't care about inconveniencing him, he gets annoyed that he drove all the way to campus for no reason. You still have time for that pre-emptive break-up, Steve.
The Peach Pit. Valerie whines to Nat about how Kelly wants to kick her out of the Walsh house, but Nat has zero sympathy for her housing woes and says, "I'm gonna have to side with Kelly on this one." Valerie wails, "But I was there first!" and Nat tells her to face reality and points out that it might actually be good for her to move on with her life. True enough. Valerie spots Kelly and Joy sitting at the counter and makes a beeline over to them. She pleads her case to Kelly, telling her that Casa Walsh has become her home, and that sponging off of Brandon/the Walshes indefinitely has come to mean a lot to her. Kelly haughtily informs her that she's probably going to be moving in very soon, and the house isn't big enough for both of them. Valerie's like, "Slow down" and threatens to complain to Jim and Cindy, who probably wouldn't appreciate a family friend being thrown onto the street. Kelly smugly retorts, "And there's the veiled threat portion of the conversation" and Valerie stubbornly retorts, "I'm not moving." Kelly gives her a weary glare as she exits the diner with Joy...and Valerie stares after them worriedly.
Donna and Clare are out shopping together...and Donna drags Clare into the lingerie store. She grabs a white teddy from the nearest rack and asks Clare what she thinks of it, and Clare breezily replies, "It's beautiful, but Steve likes black better." [TMI, Clare. Also, not everything's about you.] Donna selects a black teddy from the rack and asks Clare which one's nicer, and Clare says that the objective here is to look hot...and a few seconds later it finally penetrates her tiny brain that Donna is making preparations to, at long last, lose her cherry. Donna warns Clare that David has no idea he's about to get laid and tells her not to say anything...and Clare suggests she buy both the white and the black teddy.
Kelly grumpily tells Joy she doesn't want to go to the mysterious Roaring '20s graduation party she's been invited to, but Joy insists, "You have to go!" then spills the beans and tells her it's her graduation present from their father. Kelly is dismayed, but Joy pleads with her to attend and try to make nice with her deadbeat dad. A few seconds later, they run into Steve's halfwit half-brothers (ugh) and Ryan is immediately smitten with Joy...and somehow Joy finds him cute, and the two flirt.
The Walsh house. Valerie asks Steve if he likes having her as a roommate, and he just kind of shrugs and goes, "I don't mind having you around." She thanks him for that ringing endorsement and asks him if he'd be willing to put in a good word for her with Brandon. He says sure, and she gives him a thank you kiss on the cheek. Steve can be so delightfully uncomplicated.
Beach house. Donna's in her room, sorting through her sexy purchases of lingerie and condoms. When David drops by unexpectedly, she shoves everything under her comforter and acts all jumpy and weird in front of him. An oblivious David drones on and on about the senior prank, and realizes he's avoided being a joiner at CU for the last four years. He asks Donna what she thinks about him partaking in the senior prank with Steve and Muntz, and she gives him the thumbs-up, then quickly hustles him out of the apartment.
The Walsh house. Brandon has finally summoned the courage to evict Valerie and tells her, "We have to talk." She asks him if he talked to Steve, and he says that Steve's opinion has been duly noted (but will be promptly ignored). He tells her she's going to have to look for another place to live - mainly 'cause he doesn't think that she and Kelly can avoid wanting to kill each other if they're living under the same roof. Valerie threatens to complain to Jim and Cindy, but Brandon says he's already spoken to his parents about the situation, and they're leaving the decision entirely in his hands. Valerie pleads, "Not now" and says she doesn't have anybody except for him (and, I guess, Steve). She asks him if she can at least stay through the summer, but Brandon remains firm and says no. She gives him a long, sad stare and ambles off.
Peach Pit. Nat makes an effort to stay relevant to the show (even though his character pretty much ran its course after the high school years) by throwing the 90210kids a pre-graduation party. After he takes a group shot of the gang, Valerie morosely thanks him for dinner, then needlessly tells him she doesn't feel well and is going home. Clare, meanwhile, gets a call from her dad and rushes across the diner to take it...and elsewhere in the Pit, Rush thanks Brandon for being a positive influence on his boneheaded son for the last several years. He asks the gang if anyone's planning a senior prank, and Steve jokes that they're far too wimpy, then tells his dad to beat it so they can party like it's 1997. Kelly informs Brandon that she's going to spend one last night at the beach house with her besties, then tells him how happy she is that Valerie's moving out of Casa Walsh. Brandon furrows his brows and says he hopes she'll be all right.
The Walsh house. Valerie tiptoes into Brandon's room and leaves a faux suicide note on his pillow, then tiptoes back out.
Steve, David, and Muntz sneak onto campus dressed in black. They manage to elude security, then get to work planting their many confetti canons.
Beach house. Kelly, Clare, and Donna arrive home for a night of female bonding. Clare says this could be the last night they have together, then gets all sentimental and blurts out, "I love you guys!" Kelly concurs and says they've had lots of great times together, and the three toast their friendship. Donna blushingly asks them if she can have the apartment to herself tomorrow night, and Kelly asks her if she's really, truly, actually going to have the nerve to ride David's baloney pony. She meekly replies, "I hope so" and Kelly and Clare happily agree to vacate the apartment for the night...but the second Donna leaves the room, they laugh about how doubtful it is that she's going to seal the deal. LOL.
Valerie arrives at the Shangri-La hotel and checks in, and makes it a point of emphasizing to the hotel clerk that she's only staying one night. We get it, Val. After that one night, you'll be in a better place. Or roadkill.
The Walsh house. Brandon arrives home and find's Valerie's faux suicide note. In it, she wishes him a wonderful Graduation Day and says that while he and the rest of the 90210 gang are graduating, she'll be having her own private ceremony (aka jumping off a cliff). She then drops a hint so big that there's no possible way Brandon won't be able to figure out her suicidal plot and heroically thwart it in time: "I should have done this a year ago when I was with David - but better late than never." Brandon scrunches his face with concern and goes into Valerie's room, where he finds several framed photos (with the two of them) smashed and strewn across the floor. Subtle, Val. He dials David's number and leaves him a message to call him back asap.
Valerie's standing on the edge of a cliff, staring at the traffic beneath the sharp drop. She pulls out her cell phone and calls her mom, but just gets voicemail. She leaves her a message, saying she's no longer mad at her for blowing off her graduation. She tells her not to worry about her, adds, "I'm going to take care of everything tomorrow" then stares sadly at the traffic below again.
The Walsh house. The next morning, David returns Brandon's call. Brandon tells him about Valerie's note and asks him if he knows what she meant by I should have done this a year ago when I was with David, and David has a flashback of the Lover's Leap episode, when he and Valerie stood at the edge of a cliff and stared down at the freeway below. He tells Brandon that the cliff is near the Shangri-La Hotel, which is apparently where Valerie stays whenever she's feeling particularly mopey. Brandon says he's going to swing by there and will meet him at the graduation ceremony, and David's like, "OK. Good luck with that." As Brandon heads out, he tells Kelly he has to take care of something, and Kelly snarks, "It's Valerie, isn't it?" then bitches about how she'd like to have one day without that meddling strumpet driving them insane.
The guests of the CU graduates arrive at the ceremony and seat themselves...and, for some reason, Nat is in attendance. Kelly cranes her head to look around for Brandon and remarks to Clare that she thinks there's a connection between his absence and Valerie's no-show.
As Brandon races to the Shangri-La Hotel, he tries to reach Valerie via his cell phone, but doesn't have any luck.
Clare tells Steve she hopes his senior prank won't embarrass her dad, and he assures her it won't. She then tells him he's kind of a baby for always wanting to do silly pranks and asks him why he doesn't grow up already. Steve shakes his head and says, "I don't get it. It's either kisses or claws with you" and Clare just kind of shrugs and tells him to take it or leave it. Leave it, Steve! Leave it!!
Brandon arrives at the Shangri-La Hotel and learns that Valerie checked out...and the desk clerk specifically remembers that she said, "It's time for me to check out." Thanks for that crucially important clue, desk clerk.
Over at CU, the graduates are marching down the aisle in double file. Kelly looks around, annoyed that there's still no sign of Brandon.
Val is standing on the cliff above the freeway, dressed in a lovely black frock (which, incidentally, is perfect for rushing off to one's graduation ceremony after a fake suicide attempt) and standing at the edge of the cliff as though she's actually trying to summon up the courage to leap to her death. Brandon arrives on the scene and cries out, "Don't do this!" but Valerie tells him to go away, and that soon, eventually, quite possibly she's not going to be a problem for him anymore. Brandon hops the security fence and joins her on the cliff. He asks, "What are you doing out here?" and she's like, "What do you think?" Brandon reminds her that they're supposed to be graduating today, not killing themselves, and that - if they hurry - they still have time to make it to the ceremony. Valerie asks, "What about afterwards?" and he promises they'll go home...and that he'll deal with Kelly about the living arrangements. He urges her again to back away from the cliff and come to the graduation ceremony with him and...she does. Contrived crisis averted.
Chancellor Arnold is delivering a speech to the graduates about pursuing their dreams...blah blah, when Brandon and Valerie arrive, quickly get into their caps and gowns, and take their seats. A few seconds later, Chancellor Arnold calls on Brandon to accept his Awesomest Student Award, and Brandon heads onto the stage...while Kelly shoots Valerie the stink-eye. Brandon delivers a short thank you speech, then says he has only one thing left to say, "Have we graduated yet?!" The chancellor asks everyone to rise and turn the tassels on their caps from right to left...and as everyone starts applauding, Steve hits the detonate button, and suddenly the confetti canons go off, and everyone gets showered with pounds of confetti. That's going to be a big mess for someone to clean up later.
The Walsh house. Kelly asks Brandon where he raced off to earlier, but he tells her that Valerie made him promise not to tell. She makes a face and goes, "So?" so he caves and tells her that when he arrived at the Shangri-La, Valerie was pretending she was about to leap off a cliff and onto a freeway. Kelly chuckles and says, "No wonder she didn't tell anyone. No one would believe she'd kill herself." Brandon tells her she's being cold, but Kelly insists that Valerie's a drama queen who loves herself too much to ever commit suicide. Brandon points out that it was still a cry for help, and he's going to answer that cry by allowing her to continue to live at Casa Walsh. Kelly looks deflated and says, "She won" and tells Brandon he's being far too easy on the manipulative diva.
Steve tells Valerie he's very pleased with how his prank turned out, and he's also pleased that Brandon is allowing her to stay on at Casa Walsh. Valerie asks him if she can tag along to the Roaring '20s party with him and Clare, and he says that Clare may not attend, since she wants to spend as much time as possible with her dad before he jets off to Paris.
Beach house. Clare tells Donna she's not going to the Roaring '20s party 'cause she's too bummed about her hapless father leaving and being on his own in Paris. She says she's having a really hard time dealing with his imminent departure, but doesn't want her choice (to either stay in L.A. or move to Paris) to be a mistake. Donna tells her there's no possible way she can make a mistake, since both her dad and Steve love her. David, meanwhile, looks exhausted as he gets dressed for the party. He suggests to Donna that they blow it off and stay home, but she says she really wants them to go and "have a blast" celebrating graduation.
Steve and Valerie arrive at the beach house to pick up Clare, but Clare tells them she's not going to the party...then asks to speak to Steve alone. She stares at him sadly and says, "I'm going to Paris. I don't want my dad to be alone." Steve's all, "Wha-a?!" and accuses her of going 'cause she wants to rather than 'cause she hasto...and Clare's like, "OK, yeah, I want to." Steve abruptly leaves, and Clare bursts into tears and rushes out after him. David, meanwhile, runs into Valerie inside the beach apartment and says he's glad she's here, and that he was worried she might make good on her threat to leap off the cliff. She says, "I didn't think you cared" but he assures her he does, even though she makes it hard sometimes.
Steve is ambling along the beach in his tuxedo, looking despondent. Clare catches up to him and says her dad needs her, and Steve's like, "So do I." Clare invites him to move with them to Paris, but Steve says his home and future is in the 90210 area code, and that he won't do a long distance relationship. He's like, "So...this is it?" and Clare suggests they wait and see what happens. Steve says it's obviously not meant to be, and Clare tearfully says, "I'm sorry" and wanders off alone. Thank goodness that toxic cesspool of a relationship is finally over.
Roaring '20s party. The party is in full swing, and everyone's dressed up in fun '20s costumes. Steve's halfwit half-brothers show up and try to crash, but the bouncer tells them they're not on the list and refuses to admit them. A few seconds later, Bill Taylor and Joy arrive, and Joy's eyes light up when she sees Ryan and she asks her dad if they can join the party...and he tells the bouncer to allow the halfwits in.
Valerie asks Bill if he's heard from Derek, and he tells her he hasn't. Brandon and Kelly make their grand entrance, and Kelly immediately gets all bitchy at the sight of Bill and Valerie talking, prompting Brandon to wearily say, "Give it a rest." I second that. David and Brandon discuss Valerie's faux suicide attempt, and David credits him with doing the right thing by "saving" her.
Donna tells Kelly she's getting freaked out by the thought of bumping uglies with David. She wails, "I don't know if I want to anymore!" and Kelly tells her to chill the fuck out, seal the deal, then shut up about it afterwards 'cause we've heard enough about her chastity to last a lifetime.
Bill takes the stage, welcomes all the partygoers to his big bash, and introduces Kelly as the guest of honor. When he hands her the mic, she unenthusiastically says, "Have fun tonight" and shoots her dad the stink-eye as he introduces the band The Cardigans.
Steve commiserates to Brandon about how Clare dumped him to move to Paris, but Brandon says it was probably time to move on from that shitty relationship anyway. Steve heads over to the bar and throws back a few shots to numb the pain...and a few seconds later, Valerie ambles over and joins him. David, meanwhile, tells Donna he's very tired and wants to go home, and Donna suddenly looks frazzled and asks him if he loves her. He says, "Yes. More than anything in the world" and Donna decides she's ready to lose her maidenhead after all...and the two leave.
Brandon finds Kelly sitting at a table by herself, moping. He urges her to try to have a good time and to spend time with her dad before he leaves. She finds her dad in the theater room, smoking a cigar. He tells her he loves her and wants to be in her life again, but Kelly just snaps, "Why?", says she distrusts him and isn't impressed with his sudden desire to be father of the year, bitches some more, blah blah...then storms out of the room. She storms back over to Brandon and tells him that some things can't be fixed, then accuses him of siding with Bill. Brandon snaps, "If I'm so horrible, don't move in with me" and quietly stalks off.
David and Donna are in a limo, heading back to the beach house. He tells her she's been acting weird all night, so she explains she has a special surprise for him at the apartment. David scrunches his face in annoyance and mutters, "I hope it's not a pet."
Austin tries to flirt with Joy, but she's not impressed. When Ryan returns from wherever he went, he tells Austin that Steve has a really great girl for him at the bar, and Austin perks up and goes, "Girl? Bar?" and races off like the half-witted imbecile he is.
Brandon's sitting on the floor by himself, guzzling alcohol and looking sad. Kelly finds him and says she really wants to leave the party - but can't go to the beach house 'cause Donna's currently being deflowered there...and she doesn't want to go to his house. She sits beside him and apologizes for her bitchitude and says she knows he's only been trying to help. Brandon accepts her apology, then tells her that her dad loves her...she just has to let him into her life.
Elsewhere at the party, Steve and Valerie are doinking on the couch in a private room. Ew.
Beach house. David and Donna arrive home, and David says he's ready for his surprise. Donna acts all jumpy and weird again and says she needs time to prepare it, and that she'll call him when it's time. David insists she give him a hint and asks, "Animal, vegetable, or mineral?" and she mulls that over for a few seconds and says, "Animal." David assumes she got herself another dog and doesn't look pleased.
Kelly sheepishly approaches her dad and apologizes to him for her bitchitude and says she's ready to start over. He tells her he's thrilled, then informs her that he's being indicted for fraud and embezzlement and, if all goes as expected, he'll be sent to prison very soon. Er...OK.
Squeal! The big moment has finally arrived! David is dozing on the couch, muttering, "What's taking her so long?" then lumbers over to Donna's bedroom. She's laying atop the bed dressed in her sexy white teddy, surrounded by an excessive number of lit candles. I'm confused. I thought she was going to call him when it was time...but it looks like she's just been laying in bed this whole time, patiently waiting for him to stumble into her room to investigate "the surprise". She stares at him expectantly and asks, "Do you like your surprise?" David's like, "Uh...yeah" and asks her if she's sure she's not going to back out at the last second and blue ball him like she did in the All That Jazz episode. She assures him that she's absolutely, positively, undeniably ready to have sex, and is eager to spend the next part of her life with him. David stares at her in disbelief and asks, "How did I get so lucky?" and she sanctimoniously replies, "You waited." Even though he didn't really wait, 'cause not only did he doink Ariel Hunter in the back of a limo in Season 4, he dated/slept with Clare throughout much of Season 5, and then Valerie in Season 6. David leans over her and kisses her, and as she unbuttons his shirt, she says, "I have another present" and hands him a condom. Subtle, show. She coos, "I love you soooo much" and he returns the I love you, and then the two get into some pretty amorous tongue action while the screen mercifully fades to black.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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