Recap: Steve drops by the Peach Pit to insist to Hilary Swank that he's not Jodi's baby daddy. She urges him to get a DNA test, but he says he doesn't want to spend $1,000 to prove what he already knows. Hilary Swank says if he doesn't get tested, it'll always be his word against Jodi's, then bitchily wonders if a guy who was careless enough to doink a woman he barely knows would have been careful enough about using birth control. Well, Pot, I'm guessing that Steve (Kettle) was about as careful as you were when you got knocked up in high school. Steve insists he was "very careful" when he doinked Jodi, but Hilary Swank urges him again to have the DNA test, 'cause otherwise he'll be guilty until proven innocent. Just take the damn test, Steve.
The Walsh house. Brandon is on the phone with police, discussing their plan to locate Erica. After the call, Kelly tells him she'll cruise around in the outreach van, then snarks, "If Valerie had just done what she was supposed to, none of this would be happening." True enough, but Valerie wasn't the one who decided it was a good idea to invite a thieving juvenile delinquent hooker to be their house guest and then expect someone else to supervise her. Brandon says that Valerie didn't mean for this to happen and assures her that Erica will turn up.
Kelly and Donna are driving around Hookertown in the outreach van, searching for any sign of Erica. They spot a young blonde hooker, and watch in dismay as she negotiates with a john and climbs into his car. As Donna gasps in horror, Kelly PSAs her about how a lot of teenage girls end up here after trying to break into show business, and will do anything to make a living: hook, sell drugs, steal. She says they have to find Erica, like pronto, and help her out of the pickle she's gotten herself into.
Mel meets with David at the After Dark and thinks he's come to hear good news (e.g. his engagement to Donna), but then is all, "Wha-a?" when David tells him he's broke...and by broke, he means that all of his credit cards are maxed out, he can't pay his vendors, and forged one of Donna's checks to pay the After Dark rent. I notice he left out the part about borrowing money from a loan-shark. He tells his dad he's most upset about stealing the $2,500 from Donna, and Mel advises him to declare bankruptcy so he can stay in business and keep the creditors away. He then offers to give David the money he owes Donna so that the poor cherub can be repaid right away, then will set up a meeting with his lawyer to get the bankruptcy ball rolling.
The Beverly Beat. Jodi arrives at the newsroom to talk to Steve about her pregnancy situation. He reminds her that they used protection when they doinked, but she insists the baby has to be his, 'cause she broke up with her boyfriend last December and hadn't been with anyone else until hitting the sack with Steve. He wails that he's not ready to be a dad, and Jodi says she's prepared to make whatever sacrifices she needs to in order to raise the kid by herself. Steve urges her to give the kid what it really needs: a mother and father who can properly take care of him/her and offer a real family. Jodi says she has no intention of giving up her child for adoption, and Steve's all, "Nooooo!" and scrunches his face in misery.
Boat. Valerie has prepared a romantic feast for Noah, and is lighting several candles when he arrives home. He asks her what she's doing here...and when he sees the dinner she prepared, he tells her she shouldn't have bothered and needs to leave. Valerie says they belong together, but he makes it clear he no longer feels the same way and offers to walk her to her car. She cries, "People make mistakes!" but he calls her mistake unforgivable, then blows out the candles she just lit and tells her to skedaddle.
Kelly arrives at the police station, where Brandon informs her that the police just picked up Erica. A cop agrees to release her to the custody of the Wyatt Foundation, which essentially means returning her to Casa Walsh with Kelly and Brandon.
Beach house. David comes over to apologize to Donna for the check forgery and to explain that he's been drowning in debt for quite some time. He asks her for another chance, but she tells him she can't trust him anymore and thinks they need to be apart for awhile. She orders him to pack up and move out, and promises to stay away tomorrow so it'll be less awkward for both of them. David looks upset, but agrees to do as she wishes.
The Walsh house. Kelly and Brandon wake up Erica the next morning and tell her they have a bunch of appointments set up for her (doctor, psychologist, etc.). They also want her to call Iris McKay in Hawaii and let her know that she's OK. Kelly asks her where all the electronic stuff she stole from them ended up, but she just stares sullenly into space and refuses to answer.
Pavilion Hotel. Erica takes Brandon and Kelly to her rundown apartment, and her hooker friend Julie is there, obviously stoned. Erica retrieves a trinket box from the closet and hands it to Kelly, and inside is the jewelry she stole from the Walsh house. Brandon glances at the contents and asks where the silver pocket watch that Dylan gave him is, and Erica rudely snaps, "I haven't seen it." Julie, meanwhile, announces that today is her eighteenth birthday, and jokes about how Riggs gave her the gift of drugs. Erica rushes over to give her a happy birthday hug, and covertly slips her Brandon's silver pocket watch while whispering, "Hold onto it for me." Julie tells them that Riggs will be back with a birthday cake, but Kelly and Brandon just stare back at her pityingly and leave. Kelly says she'd really like to help the hopeless druggie, but Brandon says there's nothing they can do for her.
Steve drops by Hilary Swank's place to whine some more about not wanting to be a father, and asks her if she could please give Jodi some tough lovin' straight-talk about how hard it is to be a single mother. Hilary Swank isn't enthused by the idea and points out to Steve that it's Jodi choice whether or not to have the baby, and that he doesn't have to be a full time dad if he doesn't want to be. Steve asks her about Zack's dad, so she tells him they met in high school, then dated for five months before she got knocked up. He made it clear he didn't want a baby, but she insisted on having it, regardless. Steve points out that she didn't give the guy a choice in the matter...and Hilary Swank mulls that over and agrees to talk to Jodi.
The Beverly Beat. Brandon brings Erica by the newsroom, and Terri reminds him they have a tight deadline to meet if they want to have the paper published and distributed by nightfall. Brandon tells Erica he wants to write a story about her, but she just sneers and retorts, "Like that's gonna happen." He promises not to use her name or photo and says that publishing her story might help other wayward teenagers avoid prostitution. She tells him that girls like her don't read his lame paper, so Brandon says, "Maybe one will" and insists it's a story worth telling. He asks her if she thinks it is, but she just clams up and sullenly stares off into space.
Donna arrives at the boat so she can avoid watching a sad, broke David pack up his stuff. Noah assures her she's not imposing and tells her she can stay as long as she likes. She starts nattering about how she feels like she's kicking David while he's down and worries about him losing the club, so then Noah suggests they go for a sail to clear her head, and she beams and says she'd really like that. She then notices all the food stacked up in the refrigerator and asks him whassup with all the provisions, and he makes a face and wryly says, "It was a surprise I didn't like."
Beach house. As David packs his stuff, he tells Steve he's not wild about the idea of declaring bankruptcy...but Steve says it's probably his best option 'cause it'll give him the time he needs to pay back his creditors. David confesses that he stupidly borrowed money from a loan-shark, and that his $15,000 payment was due yesterday. Is there a single viewer out there who didn't see that coming?
Jodi arrives at Hilary Swank's place for their single-parenthood-is hard chat. As Jodi sits down, she lets out a little gasp and exclaims that her baby's kicking. Since she's not even close to showing yet, I find that hard to believe. Hilary Swank tells her how hard it is to be a single parent, but then stares over at Zack's pile of toys and retracts what she just said two seconds earlier and declares that children are a blessing. She tells Jodi she's pretty sure that Steve will come around and not shirk his parental responsibilities, and Jodi looks visibly relieved.
After the sail, Donna thanks Noah for letting her hang out with him, and the two gabble about what a good time they had today. Valerie quietly enters the boat since she can't seem to take a hint and/or accept rejection, and watches Noah and Donna as they gabble, hug, then kiss. She scrunches her face in displeasure, then climbs back out of the boat before Noah or Donna realizes she was there.
The Beverly Beat. Erica reads the teenage hooker story that Brandon wrote and published in record time and wails, "You mentioned Riggs by name!" She says he's definitely not going to like that, but Brandon insists that Riggs could use some bad PR. A few minutes later, an assistant district attorney arrives at the newsroom. Apparently, she just finished reading his story and wants to put together a case against Riggs so she can prosecute him. (I find it a stretch that a busy ADA is spending her time reading The Beverly Beat.) She demands to know who his source is, but he tells her he promised anonymity. She tells him that Riggs has the right to face his accuser, which seemed like a weird pronouncement to make, and Brandon argues that that could endanger his source. She shoots him the stink-eye, warns him not to stand in her way, and storms out.
Beach house. David is sitting on the patio with his last box when Donna returns home and is all, "Ack! You're still here." He asks her where she was all day, and she just says, "Out." She tells him she still has hope for them one day, but right now she needs to not be around him...then rushes into the apartment and bursts into another ugly cry.
The Walsh house. Kelly tells Brandon she's going to spend the night with Donna in an effort to cheer her up. She urges Brandon to give the ADA Erica's name and blindly trust that the system will take care of her. Brandon refuses to do that and says he's committed to protecting Erica.
Steve asks Hilary Swank if she told Jodi how ass backwards wrong it would be for her to keep the baby, and Hilary Swank says she now agrees with what Jodi's doing. She tells him that Zack asks about his dad all the time and that kids are always trying to figure out their place in the world...and Jodi's child will be no different. Steve once again insists he's not the father, and Hilary Swank says if he is, it's not going to ruin his life. Get the &#%$ test, Steve.
Beach house. Kelly arrives bearing ice cream, popcorn, and movies. Donna thanks her and then gabbles about the great day she spent aboard her parents' boat with Noah. Kelly looks intrigued and asks for details, and Donna blushingly says he kissed her, then puts her hands on her cheeks and shrieks, "Wow!" Wow, indeed. Noah can have any woman he wants and he's smooching it up with Donna..?
After Dark. Valerie drops by the office to tattle to David about Donna and Noah playing kissy face on her parents' boat. David's all, "Wha-a?!" so she tells him that Noah is currently sitting at the bar...and much to her delight, David rushes out of the office to go give Noah the what-for.
David approaches Noah and says they need to talk...but then a few seconds later, he spots Everett Sands enter the club. He tries to flee, but gets boxed in by Sands and his burly henchman...and Noah watches the spectacle with interest. Sands asks David where his money is, and David laughs nervously and assures him he has it and that he'll go upstairs and get it, then makes a break for the exit. Sands and the burly man chase after him, and Noah quickly buys a bottle of booze from the bartender and rushes out after them. In the parking lot, David tries to escape in his jeep - but before he can get inside, the burly man grabs him and starts punching and kicking him. Noah rushes over and breaks the bottle, then menacingly aims the jagged glass at Sands and the burly man and tells them he's someone they don't want to mess with. LOL. The two men back off, and Sands tells David that he has until tomorrow to pay his debt...but warns that next time they won't be so "gentle". After they amble off, Noah helps David to his feet and asks him if he's OK. David mumbles something unintelligible and staggers back into the club, and Noah snaps, "You're welcome."
The Walsh house. Brandon tells Steve that getting a DNA test is the right thing to do, and wishes him luck. Kelly urges Erica to call the ADA and reveal herself as Brandon's source, and promises her she'll be protected from Riggs. Erica snarks that she can't make her do this, and Brandon enters the room and irritably declares the matter closed. As he and Kelly continue to bicker about it, Erica grabs Kelly's car keys and slips out the door. A few seconds later, Brandon and Kelly realize what's happened and chase after her.
Modeling agency. David shows up while Donna is busy working on a photo shoot. She tells him this isn't a good time, but he doesn't give a rat's ass and starts bitching about her hanging with Noah and kissing him. He demands to know if she slept with him, but she just glares at him, refuses to answer, and stalks off.
Pavilion Hotel. Brandon, Kelly, and Erica arrive at the derelict building and find Julie bruised, battered, and moaning in pain. Kelly immediately pulls out her cell phone and calls 911 for an ambulance. Julie tells Erica that Riggs had a birthday present for her: a "special guy" who ended up beating the crap out of her. She tearfully whimpers about how much she misses her brother, then slips the silver pocket watch to Erica. Brandon catches the exchange and tells a sheepish looking Erica that Dylan would want her to keep it. A few seconds later, Riggs arrives and gruffly asks what the hell is going on. Kelly sassily tells him that Julie has been badly beaten, and that the police are on their way. Brandon gets all in the pimp's face and urges him to stick around, 'cause he's sure the cops would love to talk to him. Riggs orders Julie to leave with him, but she refuses - and Erica glares at him and snaps, "No. No more." As the police sirens start wailing in the distance, Riggs sneers at the girls and tells them they can't make it without him and will soon come crawling back.
Medical Center. Hilary Swank arrives as Steve is awaiting the results of the paternity test...and gives him Zack's good luck marble. A few minutes later, Steve's name is called - duhn! duhn! duhn! - and he and Hilary Swank stare at each other anxiously.
The Peach Pit. When David enters the diner, Valerie informs him that two thuggish types were asking about him and are waiting for him in the After Dark...and David takes a deep breath and heads over to the club. He tells Everett Sands and his burly sidekick that he doesn't have the money he owes them, and that they should just do whatever they're going to do to him. The two men just stare at him blankly until Sands says, "That's nice. Real macho." He tells him they don't actually have a situation anymore, and explains, "I came to get paid. I got paid. With extra interest." He tells David how lucky he is that someone just saved him from getting the beating of his life. The two then exit the club, leaving David staring after them going, "Wha-a?" As the men enter the parking lot, Noah broodily stares at them from his car. Sands walks over and tells him, "You just saved David's ass" - but Noah doesn't answer, and silently watches them get into their car and drive off.
The Walsh house. Brandon wryly remarks that he'd love to listen to some music if only he had a stereo, and Erica sheepishly tells him she'll swing by the pawn shop and try to recover all the big ticket items she stole from them - but first she needs to phone Iris and let her know she's OK. She asks Kelly if she thinks Julie might be able to get into the foundation's outreach program, and Kelly shoots her a sanctimonious smile and replies, "That could be arranged." A few minutes later, the ADA stops by the house to sternly inform Brandon that Riggs is at the center of a large prostitution ring. She orders him again to reveal his source, and threatens him with jail time if he refuses. Brandon says he absolutely will not reveal it, and defiantly stares back at her. Eeek! Impasse.