Recap: David is reading his aloud his first Beverly Beat music review to a disinterested Steve, in which he gave a big fat thumbs down to a singer named Jaime. As he reads aloud his various zingers, Jaime bursts into the newsroom, stomps over to David, and identifies herself as the person whose career he just ruined. She snarkishly adds, "Those who can, do. Those who can can't, write reviews." David points out that he's entitled to his opinion, and Jaime snarks back that the owner of the club where she was performing fired her because of his careless words. David apologizes and says he didn't mean for that to happen, and she calls him heartless and storms out.
Brandon drops by Emma's apartment, holds up the audio tape she left on his windshield, and snarls, "What's this? You don't tape people's conversations." She reminds him that he treated her like dirt, and then invites him in - but he refuses to budge from the doorway. Brandon asks her if she'll be sending a copy of the tape to Kelly, and she smugly retorts, "Maybe. Maybe not." He apologizes for hurting her feelings, then says that hurting Kelly isn't going to help anything - but Emma says that hurting Kelly will hurt him...and that it has a lovely symmetry to it. Brandon shoots her the stink-eye and demands to know if this tape is the only copy, and she growls, "Go to hell!" and slams the door in his face. Haha!
The Beverly Beat. Steve wants Brandon to rehire Emma, but Brandon refuses and insists she's outta here for good. Steve waves around a large pile of mail they've gotten in response to Emma's shittastic column and wails, "People want to talk about their relationships!" He picks up the phone and threatens to rehire Emma himself, so Brandon spills the beans about his one night stand with the helmet hair sporting floozy. Steve looks intrigued and asks him if he wants to talk about it, but Brandon wryly says, "Not much to say. I'm a cad." He says he hasn't yet confessed his infidelity to Kelly...but was about to spill his guts in a letter, despite how completely cowardly and lame that is. Steve says that's a bad idea and suggests they install Kelly as the Beat's newest advice columnist, write her a letter from the perspective of a cheating boyfriend, and gauge how she reacts. If she reacts badly, then it's a sign he should never ever confess his sins. That sound like an utterly boneheaded idea, but it came out of Steve's mouth, so...makes total sense.
David asks Valerie to consider hiring Jaime to perform at the After Dark, but Valerie doesn't like the idea of hiring a singer he just gave a shitty review of, and snarks, "I'm running a business, not a charity." David tries to hand her a copy of Jaime's CD, but Valerie shakes her head and says, "Not interested" - but then softens and says that since he's willing to vouch for her, she'll agree to give the choke artist a shot.
It's "Boxing Night" at the After Dark, meaning that the clubgoers are gathered together to watch boxing on large screen TVs. Noah and Donna, meanwhile, get all kissy with each other and make plans to doink in his boat later. Ew. Noah sees Valerie conducting gambling business with Duke and watches with dismay as the two head upstairs to the office.
The Peach Pit. Donna and Hilary Swank discuss the inanity of boxing night, then make plans to take Zack shopping tomorrow. Hilary Swank tells her that Steve is currently treating Zack to dinner and a movie, and gushes about how he’s one of the few people she feels comfortable leaving Zack with. Donna coos, "Ooooh that's soooo great!" and says she’ll pick her and Zack up at 10am, then cackles about the sexcapades she and Noah are planning to indulge in aboard his boat later. Blechhhhhhhhh.
Valerie is in the process of handing over a cash filled briefcase to Duke when Noah bursts into the office and asks whassup. Valerie breezily says it's just a little wagering with customers, and Noah barks, "We're not a casino." Duke glares at Valerie and says he thought the owner was cool with their arrangement, and Noah orders him to take his sleazy business elsewhere. Duke tells Valerie she's still on the hook for all that money...and after he exits the office, Noah angrily reminds Valerie that gambling is illegal, then storms out. A few seconds later, Valerie gets a call asking her if the betting window is still open, and she defiantly chirps, "Yep. It's open."
Steve pulls up to the Peach Pit with Zack in tow, and warns the tot to not mention all the junk food he let him eat tonight...and Zack agrees to pretend he ate mostly vegetables. Hilary Swank enters the parking lot and greets Steve, but then gets mad at him when Zack nearly gets mowed down by a car 'cause Steve let go of his hand and wasn't paying attention.
The Walsh house. Kelly tells Brandon she likes the idea of becoming the Beat's new columnist and reads Brandon's faux letter about an apologetic man who cheated on his girlfriend. She asks Brandon how he'd respond, and he carefully says that maybe the guy learned his lesson and that the relationship doesn't have to end because of one mistake. He looks hopeful as he adds, "Maybe the admission could even build trust in the relationship." Kelly mulls that over and says she'll need to sleep on it, and Brandon stares sadly into space.
The next morning, Steve pesters Kelly about when she's going to finish her column, and she assures him it'll be finished well before the deadline. He reminds her that she needs to be objective, and that what she writes matters a lot to their readers. Brandon concurs and says that their readers might base an important life decision on her response...and Kelly mulls over their nonsense while staring contemplatively into space.
After Dark. David watches Jaime rehearse, then apologizes for the shitty review he gave her in the Beat and says that she and her band are actually really good. Jaime thanks him and kisses his cheek - just as Valerie enters the room, which...uh oh. She struts over and snarkishly warns Jaime she'd better not screw the pooch on stage like she did at the other nightclub, then stalks off. Jaime's like, "Yikes" and tells David that his girlfriend is a very intimidating biotch.
Noah bitches at Valerie for allowing David to book the club's talent. He then asks her if she returned all the cash that was in the briefcase, and Valerie chides him for not being fun anymore and asks him what the hell Donna did to ruin him. He snaps, "Nothing", and insists that Donna is the sweetest, loveliest, most sublime cherub who will ever walk the earth.
Mall. Zack sees a clown and wants to go watch him juggle or whatever, but Hilary Swank tells him they can do that later. Donna cackles to her about how she spent last night aboard the boat riding Noah's baloney pony, and I can only assume that Hilary Swank is starting to get grossed out by the disturbing visuals of their doinkfests.
After Dark. Valerie sarcastically asks David how his protégée is doing, and he explains that the cheek kiss she witnessed was merely Jaime's way of thanking her for getting her the After Dark gig. He assures Val that he's only interested in Jaime's music, that he wishes it were him on stage, and that he's over her whole bitchy jealousy schtick.
The Walsh house. Brandon and Steve are anxiously waiting for Kelly to finish writing her column...and Brandon wails, "It's killing me! I can't look her in the eye." When Kelly finally comes downstairs, Brandon discreetly asks Steve to beat it so he can confess his infidelity in private. He then urges Kelly to brace herself 'cause she's not going to like what he's about to say, then prefaces his confession by saying, "People make mistakes. People do stupid things." When the phone suddenly rings, Kelly insists on answering it...but by the time she picks up the receiver, Steve has already answered the call on the other extension. Kelly eavesdrops and hears Steve tell Emma never to call the house again and that "it's totally over". Kelly's all, "Wha-a?!" and assumes that Steve has been cheating with her on Hilary Swank. Brandon half-heartedly tries to tell her she's got it all wrong - just as Steve enters the room and announces that he's off to the grocery store. Kelly shoots him the stink-eye and snaps, "I'm not hungry!" and storms upstairs. Steve asks Brandon if he told her about doinking Emma, and Brandon shiftily replies, "Uh, not exactly."
Valerie and Duke covertly meet in her car and gleefully count their profits. She promises to better handle Noah, and he gives her a heads up that he'll be sending one of his associates to the After Dark to collect the next cash briefcase.
Mall. Donna, Hilary Swank, and Zack are watching a magic show when Zack spots the clown again and notices that he let go of a red balloon. He chases after the balloon (up the escalators)...and it's several minutes before Donna and Hilary Swank notice he's gone, and start wigging out. Zack, meanwhile, locates the red balloon, but realizes that his mother is nowhere to be found. He murmurs, "Mommee..?" and tears up.
The Beverly Beat. Brandon apologizes to Steve for letting him take the fall for his unfaithfulness, and laments that he can't even correct Kelly about Steve sleeping with Emma without implicating himself. Kelly enters the newsroom and acts all judgey toward Steve again, and he weakly explains, "It's not what you think." She tells him what a jerk he is for cheating on Hilary Swank, then realizes it must be the reason why Emma was fired so abruptly. She says she thought that some of Brandon's wholesomeness would rub off on him...and Steve implores her not to say anything to Hilary Swank. Kelly says she won't 'cause she doesn't want to hurt her, then glares daggers at him as she canoodles with Brandon.
Hilary Swank is frantically searching for Zack, beating herself up about letting go of his hand...and Donna assures her they'll find him. On the second floor, Zack is sitting by himself and crying when a man comes over and asks him if he's lost and offers him candy, which seemed creepy and is probably what a pedophile would do. The man insists he just wants to help him find his mom, and Zack trustingly takes his hand and ambles away with him.
Kelly shows up at Emma's apartment and greets her with a slap across the face. Emma wryly says, "I suppose I deserved that" and says she's surprised that Brandon told her about the infidelity. Kelly says she found out on her own and snarks, "He doesn't love you." Emma says she's not in love either, but enjoyed the great sex...and smugly recalls how she got them all to lower their guard so she could entertain her readers with her shittastic column about an unfaithful man. Kelly mentions that she overheard her phone conversation with Steve, and Emma scrunches her face in confusion and goes, "Steve..? I never slept with Steve. I slept with Brandon." Kelly says she doesn't believe her, so Emma invites her in and says, "There's a tape you need to listen to."
The Walsh house. Valerie arrives home and finds David working on song lyrics. She apologizes for her catty jealousy about Jaime earlier, and David once again insists that his interest in her is about the music and nothing more. She tells him she has a surprise for him, then takes his hand and leads him downstairs...and in the foyer is a brand new synthesizer. David's all, "Wha-a?!" and says he can't pay her back, and she grins and says they could come up with a favorable payment plan that suits both of them...and the two start smooching.
Mall. A woman tells Donna and Hilary Swank that she just saw a bowl-shaped hairdo kid walk off with a man, and Hilary Swank wigs out further and assumes that her tot has been kidnapped.
The Beverly Beat. Steve recounts all the boneheaded things he's ever done to Brandon, and Brandon assures him that if he's willing to pretend to Kelly that he doinked Emma, the score is even. The fax machine suddenly starts whirring, and it's Kelly's completed column. Her advice to the cheating man's girlfriend is to dump the loser before he cheats on her again...and Brandon's like, "Phew! I guess I dodged that bullet."
Mall. Donna and Hilary Swank are paged to the mall's security office, where Zack is comfortably napping. Turns out the man with the candy was a good guy after all. Hilary Swank tearfully hugs her son, who explains that he got lost after chasing a balloon.
After Dark. David is tooling around on his new synthesizer, and Jaime listens to him for a little while, then claps and says he's really good. She tells David she's nervous about performing tonight, and he says he totally gets how scary stage fright can be. He tells her that when he used to sing his ghastly vanilla raps, he'd overcome stage fright by focusing on one person in the audience...and she coquettishly asks him if he'd mind if she focused on him.
Beach house. Hilary Swank thanks Donna for helping her through this afternoon's crisis, and a few seconds later, Steve arrives. He apologizes for not holding Zack's hand in the Peach Pit parking lot earlier, and Hilary Swank tells him she's not one to talk 'cause she lost Zack at the mall this afternoon. Steve assures her that she's still a great mother - and that he'll always be around to remind her to hold onto Zack...until she gets axed from the show in the next episode.
After Dark. Jaime gets a standing ovation for her performance, then urges David to join her on stage. David's all, "Wuh?" and Valerie smilingly tells him that she and Jaime joined forces to make this happen. David goes on stage and plays the synthesizer while Jaime sings. A few minutes later, a man approaches Valerie - and she assumes he's Duke's associate and gabbles about handing over their gambling earnings...but as soon as she hands him the briefcase o' cash, he flashes his badge and places her under arrest. Noah rushes over, announces he's the club's owner and asks whassup, and the police also place him under arrest. Valerie tries to explain what happened, but Noah barks at her to shut her trap...and the two are led out in handcuffs while the police read them their rights.
The Walsh house. Brandon arrives home and finds Kelly sitting in the living room, despondently staring into space. He asks her whassup, so she silently walks over to the stereo and hits play...and the audio of him admitting to doinking Emma fills the room. As he stares at her sheepishly, she says at first she thought the tape was edited to make him sound like a monster, but then realized he is a monster. Brandon says he'll do whatever it takes to fix this and insists that the sex with Emma didn't mean anything and that he loves her. Kelly tearfully says that that only makes it worse, then announces she's moving back to the beach house. She tells him not to call her or try to see her, then yells, "Are we clear??!" Brandon says yes, and a few seconds later she storms upstairs to pack.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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