February 16, 2014
BH90210 7.12, Judgment Day: California University vs. Brandon Walsh
Summary: Steve and Brandon meet with Chancellor Arnold to discuss the trouble Steve’s facing over stealing Brandon’s paper. They’ll next have to go before a tribunal to get Steve’s verdict and punishment, which could be expulsion. The chancellor notes that if Steve pled guilty, he would only face punishment from the chancellor, and it could be as minor as academic probation. Steve’s smart enough to opt for that. Brandon, however, wants to prove that he didn’t give Steve the paper, so he’ll have to attend a hearing with the student conduct committee.
Steve doesn’t get why Brandon doesn’t accept the same deal he did. Professor Randall is going to be gunning for him. Brandon doesn’t care to hear Steve’s opinions right now. Steve reminds him that they’re best friends, but Brandon disagrees. David and Donna go for a bike ride, since they’re all happy and back together. He wants to take her to see the Goo Goo Dolls that night. Donna’s having dinner with her parents, so she invites him to come along before they go to the concert. They give exposition that the gang is throwing a surprise birthday party for Mark.
This is too bad, because Mark is currently telling Kelly that he doesn’t want to do anything for his birthday. Brandon joins them, telling them that his hearing is the next day. Kelly wishes him luck, kissing him on the cheek, and Mark wonders what that’s all about. Steve talks things over with Clare, telling her that Brandon doesn’t want him to testify on his behalf. Unfortunately, this means that Professor Randall can call Steve to testify against Brandon.
I guess David never actually gave Valerie the money to help her keep the After Dark afloat, because she’s still having money problems. Donna intercepts a phone call from Valerie and tells David that she doesn’t think he should invest in the club. David hasn’t made up his mind yet. Brandon meets with Tracy to go over CUTV stuff, but she wants details on his hearing. She doesn’t get why Professor Randall won’t drop the charges now that Steve’s pleading guilty. Brandon declines to tell her about the whole Lucinda thing.
Professor Randall encounters Brandon at the student union and mocks him for studying since he’s just going to get expelled. Brandon doesn’t want to engage in childish banter, which disappoints Professor Randall. Brandon swears that he didn’t sleep with Lucinda while she and Randall were married. Randall advises him to mention that at the hearing. David meets the Martins for dinner; as is typical of them, Felice is critical while Dr. Martin is friendly and supportive. Also, Felice doesn’t know that Donna and David are back together. She doesn’t take the news well, so Donna storms out.
The next day, Brandon’s hearing convenes, and Steve is the first witness called to testify. He unsuccessfully tries to plead illness to be excused. Randall thinks that Brandon gave Steve his paper to bail him out of trouble, since Brandon has a history of helping Steve out. Steve says he stole the paper, and now the guys’ friendship is in trouble. He thinks that should make it clear that Brandon wasn’t involved in the plagiarism.
Donna goes to see Dr. Martin, asking for his advice about getting back together with David. He thinks that since David’s doing well, there’s no reason for them to keep their distance from each other. In fact, Donna’s relationship with him might be the reason he’s doing so well. Donna worries that they’ll stay together, get married, and have children with David’s problems. Dr. Martin tries to ease her fears, adding that she’s old enough not to worry about what Felice thinks.
Valerie visits David to see where he stands on their business deal. David hedges, and Valerie guesses that Donna’s trying to influence his decision. She tells him they’re alike (eh?), and he should go after what he wants. He replies that things have changed; he wasn’t stable when he made the offer, and now he’s thinking about it more clearly. Valerie says that if he’s going to back out of the deal, he needs to say so now. Kelly makes plans with Mark for his birthday, though of course none of that stuff is going to happen.
Randall calls Brandon to the stand, and though Chancellor Arnold says that Brandon’s allowed to decline, he wants to testify. Randall asks if this is the first time Brandon and Steve have cheated. Brandon uses the old “when did you stop beating your wife?” response, mostly to rub it in that Randall and Lucinda are divorced. Randall calls out Brandon and Steve for passing a test (dubbed the Columbus Day Massacre) that everyone else in the class failed. Steve had failed the previous few quizzes, so it looks suspicious.
Brandon sticks to his assertion that he never gave Steve permission to cheat off of him. He wonders why Randall didn’t bring this issue up years ago. Randall says that he wasn’t aware then that Brandon and Steve were close. Brandon accuses him of doctoring his ledger to make it look like he and Steve cheated in the past. This only makes him look bad to the chancellor.
Everyone else gathers at Mark and David’s house to wait for Mark to show up for his surprise party. Donna asks David if he talked to Valerie, and he tells her that “she was pretty understanding.” Before he can elaborate, Mark and Kelly arrive. She’s pretending she left their concert tickets there. When everyone surprises him, Mark pretends to be happy. After the hearing, Brandon fills Nat in on the details at the Peach Pit. Nat thinks he should go to Mark’s party and delay moping until he has something to mope over.
Donna sees David and Valerie talking and complains to Kelly that Val keeps bugging David. Then she overhears Valerie calling David her partner. David says that he still hasn’t made up his mind. Kelly declares it time for presents, though Mark doesn’t want any attention. Brandon shows up and Kelly hurries over to find out what happened at the hearing. Valerie comments to Mark that Kelly should be paying more attention to him.
Brandon tells his friends what happened at the hearing just as Steve and Clare arrive. Steve decides not to bother suffering through the evening with his ex-best friend. Also suffering: Mark, who just wants to watch kung-fu movies. He complains to Kelly that everyone would rather hang out with Brandon than him. He hates surprise parties, and this one is especially bad. He also thinks Brandon’s the reason he and Kelly haven’t had sex yet. Apparently Mark’s hatred of birthdays stems from his parents always throwing him huge parties, but I’m not sure what the problem is here.
Clare pulls Brandon aside to tell him to work things out with Steve. She thinks he should cut Steve some slack since he stood up for him at the hearing. Brandon points out that Steve got him into this mess in the first place. After Brandon leaves, Donna informs Clare that Randall proved that this isn’t the first time Steve has cheated off of Brandon. Clare rushes home to confront Steve, who claimed that this was the first instance of cheating. Steve tells her that Randall’s wrong – he failed all the quizzes AND the Columbus Day Massacre.
Brandon takes Tracy home, telling her about his relationship with Lucinda. He thinks the trouble he’s in will affect the fellowship he applied for. Tracy tries to cheer him up, since lots of successful people failed before they took off. Felice visits Donna at the beach apartment to sort of apologize, though really she just wants her daughter to rethink a relationship where she’s taking care of someone who’s wounded. She needs to think more about relationships that will last. Donna says that’s exactly what she’s thinking about.
Brandon addresses the tribunal, announcing that he has no defense, but he doesn’t think Randall has proven anything. He challenges Randall to admit to his personal vendetta, revealing that he did have an affair with Lucinda. He swears that he had no involvement in what Steve did, but if the tribunal thinks otherwise, he’s ready to accept his punishment. Randall decides he has everything sewn up and waives his closing statement.
Steve and Clare arrive, and Chancellor Arnold allows Steve to add on to his previous testimony. Steve announces that he failed the Columbus Day Massacre, and in fact has a copy of the test. (He got a 17%. You suck, Steve.) He also has copies of his previous failed quizzes. Chancellor Arnold immediately dismisses the charges against Brandon and warns that Randall will have to face a hearing of his own for manufacturing evidence.
The gang (plus Tracy and Mark, minus Valerie) gathers at the Peach Pit to celebrate Brandon’s awesomeness, or whatever. Brandon apologizes for making Mark’s birthday kind of crappy, then thanks Steve for helping him out. The girls laugh over the fact that the guys just hug and eat together, and everything’s okay. Brandon wonders why Randall didn’t think that Steve might come forward with his grades. Steve points out that he probably didn’t think someone with grades that low would admit to them, but “Steve Sanders has no shame.”
David disappears, and Donna finds him over at the After Dark. She knows he wants to invest in the club, and that it could lead him back to his own music career. He doesn’t want to do it if it comes with a high price, meaning losing her. Donna admits that she doesn’t like the idea of David and Valerie working together. David promises that he only wants Donna, so there’s nothing for her to worry about. She gives him her blessing to invest in the club.
Thoughts: How is Chancellor Arnold “punishing” Steve not a conflict of interest? Steve’s sleeping with his daughter!
Trivia: Muntz’s first name is Morton. No wonder he goes by his last name.
I like the way Mark thinks. What else can we blame on Brandon? Global warming? My dry skin this whole winter? The near-death of that deer a few episodes ago?