Recap: Steve and Brandon toast Muntz on his impending nuptials. Brandon scrunches his face concernedly and says that marriage within the 90210 crowd "is becoming an epidemic", then cites Dylan (even though his wife of one day got accidentally murdered), and Ahn-drea (even though, as Steve points out, she and Jesse are getting a divorce). Brandon asks Muntz why he wants to plunge into matrimony, and Muntz says he loves Julie and that she's a great girl. He asks Brandon and Steve which of them are going to be next, and they both laugh and change the subject to the bachelor party. Muntz says that Julie ordered him to keep things mellow, but Brandon argues that it's un-American for a man to skip his own bachelor party. Kelly enters the kitchen holding up a copy of Playpen magazine and irritably tells Brandon she found it in their bedroom. Brandon explains that it's research and that Guilty Pleasures, Beverly Hills' very first sex shop, opens tomorrow. Kelly sarcastically snaps, "That's progress", and the two bicker about whether or not a sex shop has the right to exist in their rich white neighborhood. Steve helpfully blurts out, "Muntz is getting married!" and Kelly squeals, "You are?!" and congratulates the dumb oaf for finding someone who's actually willing to have regular sex with him.
Studio. Donna and Noah are presiding over a photo shoot for a catalogue featuring Donna's craptastic fashions. When the clumsy stylist, Monica, drops several dresses onto the floor, Donna snaps at her to not get them dirty 'cause they're the only clothes she brought to the shoot. When a mortified Monica tries to squeak out an apology, Donna barks at her to get coffee and growls, "I'll handle the clothes." After Monica scurries off, Noah chides Donna for her uncharacteristic bitchitude, but Donna argues that she can't afford to get these clothes dirty. Noah says that that's no excuse to bite the poor woman's head off, so Donna looks sheepish and agrees that she should apologize. Over in the bathroom, Monica pulls out a small knife from her pocket and slices up her forearm - ack! - and as she's doing that, Donna knocks on the door and apologizes for being such a douchewad. She explains that she's under a lot of pressure and didn't mean to take it out on her...and a few seconds later, Monica emerges from the bathroom, accepts her apology, and asks how she can help.
The Beverly Beat. As Brandon and Steve struggle to handle the ringing phones, Brandon irritably asks why Janet isn't here. Steve says he sent her on several time-consuming errands, 'cause ever since he treated her like shit during the Reunion episode, it's awkward for him to be in the same room as her. Brandon sternly says they need their assistant here, not out running errands - plus, they have a bachelor party to plan. When Janet returns with a bag of groceries, Steve and Brandon discuss the party and their plans to check out Guilty Pleasures for - wink wink - "research purposes". Janet seems enthused about having a new sex shop nearby, and Steve looks intrigued by her non-judgey attitude toward penis rings and dildos.
Valerie suggests to David that they go away for a few days...maybe stay at a bed and breakfast and do some hiking. David likes the sound of that - but when Valerie heads off to the shower, he glances at the magazine she was reading and is dismayed when it appears as though she was reading an article on how to jump-start one's love life.
Kelly is over at Jackie's condo, enjoying a meagre dinner of salad. She's aghast when Jackie tells her she's getting a face lift, and even more aghast when little Erin turns down Kelly's offer of ice cream with the explanation, "I don't want to be a blob."
After seeing a movie later that night, Kelly tells Brandon she's bummed about how her mom feels the need to get a face lift, and that her seven year old sister is so concerned about her weight. She theorizes that they're trying to fulfill an unattainable male fantasy, and makes Brandon promise that he'll find her sexy and beautiful, even when they're old and grey. He's like, "Uh...sure."
Studio. Monica shyly tells Donna she's smitten with Joe - the photographer on the catalogue shoot - so Donna suggests she invite him to take her to Reggae Night at the After Dark this week. When Joe saunters over to say bye to Donna for the day, Monica starts stammering about the reggae band that's playing at the After Dark on Thursday. Joe kind of nods and says, "Sounds like a plan" and then leaves...and Monica shoots Donna a yippee! smile, even though it looked completely doubtful that Joe understood she was asking him out. Donna suddenly spots blood seeping through Monica's sleeve and yanks it up (!) and gasps in horror at the many wounds. Monica says the scratches are from her new cat and that they're in the process of healing, then changes the subject to her ideas for tomorrow's shoot. Donna says she likes all of her ideas, and Monica happily heads home. Donna stares after her concernedly, probably thinking that unless her new cat is a mountain lion, something suspicious is up with those cuts.
The Walsh house. Kelly is railing about male sex fantasies and her mom's/Erin's angst about their appearance. She snarks at Brandon again for keeping a copy of Playpen in the house and accuses him of fantasizing about big-boobed women when he's in the sack with her. Brandon explains that he bought the magazine while they were broken up, admonishes her for getting so wigged out about it, then tosses it into the trash in the hopes that maybe she'll finally shut up about it. He explains that porn has nothing to do with their relationship, but Kelly irritably retorts, "I don't see it that way."
Brandon, Steve, David, and Muntz arrive at Guilty Pleasures to browse the merchandise. Brandon approaches the group of protesters opposed to the opening of the sex shop and asks one of them, a mother, to comment for the Beat...and she says she doesn't like the idea of having a sex shop anywhere near her daughter's school. Brandon goes inside the store and asks the owner what he thinks about all the protesting, and he tells Brandon he's enjoying the free publicity and that his right to own a sex shop is covered under the First Amendment. Muntz, meanwhile, looks enamored by a pair of fuzzy handcuffs, while David has filled a shopping basket with all the sexy stuff he wants to try out on Val. Steve informs Brandon that the owner has agreed to buy ad space in the Beat in exchange for a hefty discount on whatever sex toys they buy today.
Beach house. Kelly asks Donna and Noah how the catalogue is coming along, and Donna tells her that everything is going great - except for her stylist, who's kind of a weirdo. She describes the horrid scars she saw on her forearm and says she doesn't believe her story about them being cat scratches. Kelly mulls that over for a few seconds and asks her if Monica is the overly accommodating type who's always sacrificing herself for others...and when Donna says that that describes her perfectly, Kelly says she might be what's called "a cutter". She explains that she learned all about the wacky disorder while working at the clinic, and Donna gasps, "That's horrible!" and says she can't imagine someone willingly hurting themselves. Kelly urges her to keep a close eye on Monica, and be on the lookout for any new blood stains.
The Beverly Beat. Brandon asks Janet if porn magazines make her feel uncomfortable, and she shrugs and goes, "No. They're just airbrushed photos in magazines." She explains that her parents were hippies, and that they raised her to believe that sex is a good, healthy thing. As a result, she has absolutely no hangups about it. Steve perks up at this and learns that Janet also has no objection to the new sex shop opening in Beverly Hills. He remarks that maybe they have more in common than he originally thought, and she reminds him that he dumped her like yesterday's news before even having the decency to finish their first date.
David and Valerie are in his bedroom, amorously canoodling. He tells her he picked up some oyster oil from the sex shop, then starts rubbing it into her back and shoulders. When he adds a wooden back scratcher into the mix, Valerie grimaces in discomfort.
Beach house. Kelly has just read Brandon's editorial about the sex shop and is irked that he didn't take a stand against porn that aligns with her way of thinking. Brandon argues that he doesn't believe people should be told where to shop...furthermore, he's sick and tired about arguing over porn related stuff and snaps, "I don't want to think that hard about everything all the time!"
Studio. Donna rifles through Monica's tool kit and finds the offending knife - just as Monica ambles over to ask whaddup with her rifling through her stuff. Donna tells her she was looking for a tape measure, then says she knows what she's doing to herself - meaning, the cutting - and wants to help. Monica denies that anything is amiss, insists that the scratches are from her mountain lion pet, and accuses Donna of violating her privacy. She hurtfully whimpers, "I didn't think you were like that."
David shows Valerie the edible underwear he bought at the sex shop, and she eyes it with distaste and mumbles, "Interesting." She then says she's off to work, and gives him a kiss goodbye.
Studio. Joe asks out one of the models right in front of Monica - ouch - and Monica puts her sad face on and laments to Donna about how she can only wish she were beautiful, successful, and had the perfect life of a model. Donna tells her that no one's life is perfect, then assures her that she's smart, talented...and would be a lot more bearable to hang out with if she weren't such a self-pitying downer all the damn time.
The Walsh house. Steve tells David he went back to Guilty Pleasures 'cause he has nothing better to do with his time than longingly stare at sex toys he can't use 'cause he doesn't currently have a woman in his life. Thanks for sharing, Steve.
Monica is applying bandages to her grisly cuts when Donna enters the dressing room. Monica admits that cutting her forearm calms her down and makes her feel better...and that it all started in college when she got a bad grade on a design project and then was dumped by her boyfriend. To soothe her hurt feelings, she went into the bathroom, found a razor, and sliced up her arm. Yeesh. She complains again about not being a supermodel, but Donna says it's not about how she looks; it's about how she feels. And about all the nasty infections that could develop if she doesn't start seeing a therapist and get this grisly disorder under control, asap.
The Walsh house. Valerie tells Kelly that the menfolk are all at Muntz's bachelor party, then grumbles about the new sex shop. She says she told David she wanted more romance in their lives, and somehow he interpreted this as a desire for sex toys. Kelly sighs and says that men don't seem to understand how sex toys and porn make women feel.
After Dark. As the bachelor party revs up, Muntz frets about what will happen to him if Julie finds out. David grumbles to the menfolk about how impossible women are, and Brandon concurs and complains about Kelly's judgey-ness when it comes to porn. Steve says that "free spirit" Janet has a much more liberal view of that stuff than most women...and Noah reminds him that he dumped her at the reunion so he could take a shower with a hot blonde. Haha! The stripper arrives and gives Muntz a PG-rated lap dance...and as Brandon and Steve ogle the disturbing spectacle, Brandon idly wonders if he should maybe interview the stripper for the Beat. He's starting to remind me of Ahn-drea, circa Season 2, when every life experience was potential fodder for The Blaze.
Beach house. Brandon drops by to tell Kelly he had a great time at Muntz's bachelor party, then says he didn't tell her about it ahead of time 'cause he knew she wouldn't approve. Kelly's like, "Darn right" and says that hiring a hot stripper to fake fawn over a chubby groom is disrespectful. Brandon reminds her that in Season 6, she and the gals threw Dylan's wife, Toni, a bachelorette party with male strippers, but Kelly deflects any of that blame and retorts, "That wasn't my idea." The two continue to argue...blah blah, break up already...and Brandon says he hates having his morals constantly questioned, and storms out.
The Walsh house. Valerie squeezes herself into a super sexy teddy and shows David the bag o' sex toys she just bought, which include a love leash, body glitter, and tickle whip (!). David looks wigged out by the assortment of naughty toys and says he's not into it right now, then crawls under the covers and says he just wants to get a good night's sleep. Valerie stares at him with a mixture of disappointment and confusion.
Boat. Noah tells Donna that he thinks the catalogue is turning out very well...but Donna frowns and says she's concerned with the message it sends, 'cause the models she hired don't represent "the average women". Noah shrugs and goes, "Well, d'yuh. They're models" so Donna explains that women are always comparing themselves to the ideal they're always seeing in magazines, and she doesn't want to be responsible for promoting unrealistic beauty standards. Noah refrains from pointing out that she herself prances around on a prime-time show every week with her freakishly thin bod and surgically enhanced hooters.
The Beverly Beat. Steve arrives with a cup of Janet's favorite kind of coffee, and explains that he wants her to feel appreciated. He asks her out on a date, and she's like, "Nope. Not meant to be" and reminds him that she gave him plenty of chances. She says she'd prefer to keep things with him professional...and even though she's totes into sex without commitment, she has no desire to hit the sack with a fickle douchetard. Steve looks pained and later tells Brandon he blew it with an awesome chick. Duh.
Studio. Donna tells Monica she wants to do an entire reshoot of the catalogue (!) with average sized women, and invites her to be one of the models. Monica looks flattered, then says she's going to move full steam ahead in addressing her cutting problem. Donna smiles approvingly and says she won't regret getting some much needed therapy.
Valerie and David are hiking in the Hollywood Hills, discussing the awkwardness of the other night. He tells her he's been under the impression that she wants to jump-start their sex life 'cause of the magazine article she was reading at the beginning of the episode. Valerie's all, "Wha-a..?" and says she was reading her horoscope - not how to jump-start anything - and assures him she's fine with the frequency and quality of his doinking. She then looks around at the trees and shrubbery and says she's always been a nature lover, and the two eye each other and hit the ground to get it on in the dirt...'cause, yeah, that'll be fun for other hikers to accidentally stumble upon.
Beach house. Brandon wants to declare a truce, and Kelly says she likes the sound of that. She compliments his latest editorial, and refrains from making a snark face when he lets her know that the Beat is still going to have to run sex shop ads in order to stay in business. He assures her that he totally gets the difference between fantasy and reality, and Kelly's like, "Fantastic!" and brings out the large Kama Sutra kit she bought at the sex shop. She tells him she's actually into sexy stuff like this - but only if it brings them together. The two start smooching, and mercifully the scene fades to black.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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