Recap: One of the Wyatt Foundation bigwigs, Audrey, informs Kelly that the board chair has lost interest in health care and wants to focus on her new pet project: illiteracy. In other words, the clinic will be losing its funding. Sounds irresponsible and dickish, if you ask me. Kelly's all, "Wha-a?" and points out that poor, sick people won't be able to get the care or treatments they need, but Audrey just shrugs disinterestedly and blithely suggests she apply for grants...but only after she fires the clinic's nursing staff.
The Walsh house. David advises Valerie to not spill the beans to her mother about murdering her father, but Valerie moans about how tired she is of lying. She wants to tell her mom that she had threatened her father with calling the police, and that when she later shot him she was only protecting herself. Michelle Phillips arrives at the house a few minutes later, and Valerie hugs her and gushes about how happy she is to see her...but is visibly dismayed when she sees that her mom has brought along her latest boy toy: a youngish looking police officer named Carl. Valerie poutishly tells her mom they need to have a heart-to-heart, but Michelle Phillips breezily says the three of them will go out to dinner, and she can talk about whatever she wants [with the exception of her dead, pro-incest husband].
Donna returns to the boat after an early hair appointment - she's now sporting bangs! - and Noah tells her he's been spending the morning brooding about being broke and wondering if his father squirrelled away any emergency funds. He's been trying to get in touch with him to find out, but he won't return his calls. Donna suggests he drop by his office and talk about it in person.
University of California. Steve keeps Sophie company while she pretends to get herself organized for a semester of studying biology. She finally tells him to get lost 'cause she needs to focus on her academics, and finds his presence to be too much of a distraction. Steve agrees to give her some space and asks her if she'd like to do something tonight, and she deftly avoids answering by chirping, "See you at home!" then makes a beeline over to the financial aid office to cash in her $5,000 student loan check.
The Beverly Beat. Kelly drops by to tell Brandon that the Wyatt Foundation has slashed its funding for the clinic, and doesn't think it can survive for more than a few weeks. She wants to call out the shitty foundation on its unwillingness to fund its own clinic, and asks Brandon if he wouldn't mind publishing a story about it in the Beat. Brandon says he's game, but makes it clear that they're going to have to work together on the story. Kelly makes a yeech face...but then decides it's reasonable, considering she came to him for help. With that settled, she, Steve, and Janet discuss the upcoming charity auction to raise funds for the clinic, which Noah has agreed to host at the After Dark. Steve suggests they ask David to be the auctioneer, since he's got nothing better to do after stupidly getting himself fired from his sweet jingle writing job.
Sophie is enjoying a leisurely day of shopping with her tuition money when she "accidentally" runs into David at a cafe. She fibs and tells him she's taking a break from classes, then flashes him a dazzling smile and says her greatest dream in life is to be famous. David asks her what kind of showbiz skill set she has - acting? singing? dancing? producing? directing? - and Sophie's like, "No, no, no, no, and no" then grins stupidly and says, "I want to be famous for being me!" and saucily tells David she wants him to show her everything.
While waiting for a table at the Bel Age Hotel restaurant, Valerie tells her mom she wants to do some more rehashing about her dad [OMFG nooooooooo], and Carl interjects and says how sad it is that he died in a car accident. After he ambles off to see about their table, Michelle Phillips explains to a bewildered Valerie that she was too embarrassed to tell Carl that her husband killed herself, 'cause she didn't want him to start asking questions about why he killed himself...and figured it would be easier all around if he believes he died in an accident. She then announces that she and Carl are engaged, and that she's thrilled to have the chance at a fresh start in life with a young hot man. Carl returns to the bar and announces that their table is ready, and Valerie glares at him and blurts out, "Have you ever killed anyone?" but doesn't give him a chance to answer as she flounces past him to the dining room. Weird.
Elsewhere at the Bel Age, Sophie steals two bathrobes from a housekeeper's cart. She and David then strip off their clothes, put the robes on, and fool the housekeeper into giving them access to the hotel pool. David takes off his robe and dives into the water naked, but Sophie refuses to do the same and creepily stares at him while he swims alone.
Noah drops by his dad's office and interrupts him while he's having a meeting. He tells his dad he just needs five minutes of his time, then asks what he can do to help out with the No 'Mo Money Situation. Papa Hunter snarks that he had urged him years ago to learn the ropes of his business, but he continually refused...then glares at Noah in annoyance.
The Beverly Beat. Kelly reads over Brandon's first draft of the 'clinic funding cuts' article, and laments how lost she'll be without the clinic if it goes belly-up. Brandon assures her she'll be fine doing whatever else comes along...and she jokingly admonishes him for always being so kind, helpful, and flattering. She leans in and gives him a smooch...then says she figured this would happen if they worked together. She suddenly looks horrified at her brashness and rushes out of the newsroom, and Brandon stares after her with the same spaced-out expression he's been regularly sporting thus far in Season 9.
The Walsh house. Sophie brings Steve a breakfast tray and joins him on the couch. He tells her he's miffed that they didn't get together last night, but she points out that she didn't actually stand him up, then pretends to be all confused about whether or not they had plans to hang out. She tells him she was on campus all day, then spent the better part of the afternoon looking for a job. Steve comes right out and tells her he wants the two of them to go out on dates...and Sophie makes a blech face and says they can only ever be friends 'cause there's a [non-existent] guy in Boston she's still hung up on. Steve buys the fib and asks her how she got home last night, and she tells him that a friend gave her a ride. Steve mulls that over and remarks, "You make friends fast."
Beach house. Brandon drops by to remind Kelly that they still have work do on the article...and Kelly tells him that due to the awkwardness of yesterday's kiss, she's decided to bring the plight of the de-funded Wyatt Clinic to Los Angeles Chronicle reporter John Wakefield. She asks Brandon to please pass along his notes to John, tosses John's phone number at him, then shuts the door in his face.
After Dark. The 90210 gang is setting up for the charity auction. Sophie tells David that so far she loooves LA...then asks him if he told Steve about their date, which would be a bad idea 'cause he has a huge crush on her...and she's not quite done taking advantage of his hospitality letting her crash in his bedroom. David shrugs and says he didn't mention anything to Steve 'cause there isn't anything going on between them.
Papa Hunter shows up at the After Dark and apologizes to Noah for behaving like such a rude dickwad yesterday. He explains that his unexpected appearance in his office caught him off-guard...then suggests they go for a drive and indulge in some way overdue father-son bonding.
The Beverly Beat. Steve asks Janet what it means when a girl says she just wants to be friends, and Janet tells the clueless nitwit it pretty much means she has no desire to ever hit the sheets with him. Steve asks her if this also applies when the girl claims she just broke up with someone, and Janet wryly says, "It's a variation on the same theme." John Wakefield drops by the newsroom to discuss the 'clinic funding cuts' article with Brandon...then comments on Kelly's smokin' body and asks if she's single. Brandon irritably gathers up his notes about the clinic and tries to hand them to John, but John doesn't seem too into the idea of saving the clinic and says that those sorts of poor people places are always getting shut down.
Noah and his dad go to a nearby park and reminisce about his shitty upbringing. Papa Hunter finds a baseball laying in the grass and suggests they throw it around, the way he promised to but never did throughout his son's childhood.
Bel Age Hotel. Valerie tells her mom they need to talk in private and brusquely asks Carl to leave, which he is more than happy to do. Valerie starts gabbling about her father, and an irked Michelle Phillips snaps, "Stop this right now!" and begs her to pleeeeeease, for the love is all that is holy, put this tedious storyline behind her and never ever speak of it on camera again. Valerie ignores her plea and says she threatened her father by telling him she was going to the police...and Michelle Phillips reacts by giving her a smack across the face. She admits she knew about the abuse and shrieks, "He was getting help!"and Valerie stares at her incredulously and barks, "You knew?!" Michelle Phillips moans about how she had the sickening job of asking her own husband if he was sexually abusing their daughter, then tearfully says he was all set to get some counselling so the three of them could live happily ever after. She then scrunches her face in confusion and wonders aloud, "Why did he kill himself?" and Valerie just stares back at her mutely.
Charity auction. David is acting as auctioneer, taking bids for a trip to New York, then MCs a fashion show featuring Donna's craptastic designs. Brandon spots John Wakefield across the bar and snarks to Steve about what a jerk the guy is, then goes backstage to tell Kelly that her "Chronicle guy" is here and that he's only interested in getting a date with her. After he saunters off, Kelly stares at her wedding gown that is soon to be bid on...which is weird 'cause I thought Donna gave it to a store in an attempt to sell it. Sophie urges Kelly to put it on and show Brandon what he's missing. The camera then pans over to the makeshift runway, where Donna is modelling a tacky purple leopard skin dress and Sophie is modelling a snug fitting skirt and top. Steve motions at Sophie and remarks to David, "Pretty girl, total innocent" and David agrees she's pretty but somehow keeps from laughing out loud at Steve for using the phrase "total innocent" to describe such a brazen, self-involved hustler. Steve asks him if he's seen much of Sophie lately, and David mutters, "Regular amounts" ... and Steve gives up on being coy and asks David if he gave her a ride home a couple of nights ago. David shakes his head and fibs, "Nope. Wasn't me."
Carl tells Valerie that Michelle Phillips got very upset after their last chat and assumes it's because the two of them are getting married...and Valerie rolls her eyes and sneers that he's barely a speck in her universe. An unfazed Carl says that, in answer to her earlier question, he has in fact killed someone. It happened in the line of duty, and the guy was someone he knew from the old neighborhood who went the criminal route. He jumped Carl while trying to flee the scene of a crime, so Carl shot him to death. He insists to Valerie that the whole horrible incident was all the guy's fault, and he doesn't feel a shred of guilt about it.
Charity auction. Rick Miller, of KVIB Radio, interrupts David's MCing to tell him he's doing great, and - if he's interested - they might have a slot for him at the station. He then hands him his card and tells him to give him a call. David wraps up the charity auction's fashion segment by bringing out the pièce de résistance: Kelly decked out in her wedding gown. Brandon stares at her wistfully, and she responds by sassily throwing her bouquet at John Wakefield, who bids $500 - not for the dress, but for a date with the model wearing the dress. Rick Miller gets in the game and bids $600 - which seemed kind of random, but OK - but then Brandon shuts them all down by bidding $1,000. Kelly stares over at her ex-fiance in smug satisfaction.
Noah drops by his dad's office and urges him to accept that his company is kaput and to walk away...and Papa Hunter jokes about how kids today just don't get capitalism. Noah tells him he sold his boat in order to generate some much needed dough for the family, and Papa Hunter snarls about how insignificant that is, considering the many millions he lost. Noah gets angry and swipes at the martini that was sitting on the middle of the desk, sending it crashing to the floor...and Papa Hunter sadly says that that was the only thing left he had to look forward to. Noah bellows, "You have no one to blame but yourself!" and Papa Hunter retorts, "Words to remember." Noah storms out and heads over to the elevators...and a few seconds later he hears a gunshot. He races back to his dad's office and finds him crumpled on the floor with a bullet in his head. Farewell, Papa Hunter. We hardly knew ye.
Valerie is at an outdoor cafe with David, blathering about how her mom knew about her dad's abuse...blah fucking blah. David stifles a yawn and says it stands to reason that a mother would sense something gross like that happening under her roof. Valerie needlessly reminds him that she killed her father, and David throws in the towel on feigning anymore interest in this revolting storyline and wearily says, "I don't know what to do for you." Valerie assures him it's all good 'cause she just found a fresh new person - meaning Carl - who might be willing to listen to her natter endlessly about her dead dad problems, and tells David he's off the hook. David's like, "Yippee!" and bolts out of the cafe before she can reconsider. LOL.
Audrey tells Kelly she read the article in the Chronicle, which ignited public outrage at the foundation and resulted in the board chair reversing her fickle decision to slash the clinic's funding. She wryly says that Kelly didn't leave them much choice, but insists she'll still have to reduce staffing by 20%. Kelly tells them to cut her position, since she wants to move on to a better run workplace anyway...and Audrey credits her for all the great work she did during her time at the clinic.
David arrives home and finds Sophie sitting on his doorstep. He tells her he got an audition for KVIB radio, and she's like, "Woo hoo!" but laments the fact that she's not famous yet. He tells her he lied to Steve about them seeing each other...and she teasingly says she thought that nothing was going on between them. She cocks her head to the side and coquettishly tells him that sometimes things just happen and end up turning out great, then leans in for a smooch.
Kelly and Brandon take a stroll along the beach. He suggests they grab some dessert, but she declines. He admits getting jealous during the 'wedding dress/date with Kelly' bidding war 'cause he doesn't like the thought of her going out with another guy. Kelly assures him she wouldn't move on so quickly...but he says she will eventually, and that he hates the thought that it won't be with him. (Dude...if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it...and then followed through with marrying it.) Kelly gives him a quick kiss, thanks him for [what we all hope is] their last date, and scampers in the direction of the beach house.
Bel Age Hotel. Valerie drops by her mother's room to babble for the hundredth fucking time this episode about how crappy and powerless she felt when her father was abusing her. After the two rehash the whole horrible, sordid thing, Valerie says she knows that her father was the enemy in this scenario, and urges her mom to stay in LA a few more days. Michelle Phillips mulls that over and happily agrees.
A brooding Noah is in the park, hitting balls with a baseball bat. Donna ambles over and tells him his family has been looking for him, and Noah tearfully whimpers about how much his father loved the perfect martini...and that he really loooooved the baseball he got autographed by Reggie Jackson. He then holds up the signed baseball, tells Donna he's wanted to play with it his whole life, then hits it hard with the bat and watches it sail across the park. He bitterly snarls, "Too late now."
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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