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This episode is titled “Ray of Hope” and is the 30th episode of Season 6. It originally aired on May 14th, 1996. We start off with Kelly and Donna are in Eric the manager’s office celebrating their upcoming music video deal. Donna tells Eric they didn’t actually read the contracts before they signed. Eric laughs at this and says they just signed for the food. Jeez, Donna. Eric says he wants them to check out an act at the After Dark that he thinks they would be perfect for. You knew this was coming with the episode title, it’s Ray Pruitt! Donna has a flashback to Ray throwing her down the stairs in Palm Springs and she and David look shocked.
At Casa Walsh Brandon is saying goodbye to Susan who is leaving for a journalism seminar in Washington. Steve is parked on the couch with his jaw still wired shut after his tragic sock related stairs accident. He and Brandon are excited about watching Vega$ on TV. Claire is bewildered.
Donna is freaking out about meeting with Ray about doing the video. She says Joe is going to freak out when he finds out. David tells her she shouldn’t tell Joe. Donna agrees to this. Meanwhile Joe is at Dr. Martin’s office. Doc Martin gives Joe a clean bill of health and says he is excited to see Joe on the field next season. Joe tells him he won’t be playing football next year and that he is going back to his hometown to coach high school football. Doc Martin asks Joe if Donna knows, Joe says he hasn’t told her yet.
At the Peach Pit Kelly is studying for summer school. She throws Valerie some shade. Valerie and Nat meets with Colin’s Bail Bondsman, who tells Nat that he is on the hook for the bond as well since he put up some of his equity for the club and is on the lease.
Carl shows up at Casa Walsh with flowers. Claire thinks they are for her but they are actually for Steve. Carl joins Brandon and Steve watching Matt Houston, a show I have never heard of. Claire says she is bored and Steve tells Carl to get her out of the house. Carl asks Claire out to dinner.
Colin is in a bar with his old coke dealer. He tells Colin they all got off due to tampered evidence so if Colin hadn’t gone on that police chase he would have gotten off. Sweet irony. Colin buys some coke off him and asks if he can buy a fake ID for him so he can get out of the country.
Carl and Claire are at dinner. Carl says Claire’s mom told him she hoped they would get married someday. Claire says her mom was a hopeless romantic and her romantic side died with her mom.
Donna and David meet with Ray. David gets straight to the point and says this isn’t going to work out and they should just say they had creative differences. Ray says he loved their Powerman 5000 video and that this song is about his old life and that he would like a second chance. A girl then enters the room who Ray introduces as his fiancee, Wendy. Donna then says she’d like to listen to the new material and tells Ray she is happy for him.
Brandon and Steve are watching Love Boat, another Aaron Spelling show. Valerie tells Brandon she thinks Colin’s dealer would know where Colin is. She asks Brandon to ask Kelly where the dealer lives and Brandon insists Valerie come with him.
Donna finally tells Joe that she is working with Ray’s band. He, of course, is not happy. Seeing as how Ray tried to get Joe arrested and almost ruined his life, not to mention all the abuse of Donna, Joe is definitely not wrong. Donna insists it is business.
Brandon and Valerie approach Kelly for her help. Kelly immediately shuts it down. Brandon tells Kelly that if she doesn’t help them find Colin that Nat could lose the Peach Pit. Kelly agrees to help for Nat’s sake.
Prince Carl arrives at Casa Walsh to tell Steve he’s going to the After Dark tonight to watch Ray. At the After Dark Brandon runs into Ray. Ray thanks Brandon for giving him good advice when all the bad stuff was happening and being a good friend. Joe and Donna are in the parking lot. He tells Donna his plans to go back home and coach high school football. He says he wants Donna to come with him and marry him. Donna is speechless. Joe asks her to say yes and we cut on Donna pondering a response.
I totally forgot that the drug dealer’s name was Danny Five. That’s a pretty good drug dealer name. Valerie, Kelly, and Brandon are outside Danny Five’s house. Kelly goes in to talk to Danny. She asks him if he’s seen Colin. He tells her he is gone. She tells Danny Colin is her whole life. Danny is sympathetic and gives Kelly Colin’s beeper number. He then offers to sell her some coke. He offers her a taste and Kelly says she can’t. She buys a gram off Danny to keep up appearances. When she gets back to the car Brandon makes sure Kelly dumps the coke.
Donna is back at the Beach House and tells Claire about Joe’s proposal. She tells Claire she didn’t say anything and that she’s an L.A. girl. She says she doesn’t know if she can change her whole life for Joe. Claire says she is having her own brush with destiny and is thinking about how her mom wanted her to be with Carl. She insists she doesn’t want to give Carl the wrong idea but things seem uncertain.
Brandon, Valerie, and Kelly are driving around. Kelly has paged Colin and they are trying to figure out what to do. Colin finally calls Kelly on her cell phone. Kelly says she has to see him. Colin says he will call her tomorrow. Poor Valerie has to hear Colin tell Kelly he needs her more than ever. Kelly has a bit of a smug look on her face.
Ray is packing up his stuff at the After Dark and Donna says she loves his song that was obviously cut out of the Hulu version of this episode. Wendy tells Donna that Ray wrote the song for Donna. It really seems like Ray has changed.
Colin calls Kelly and says they need to meet right now at his motel room. Kelly tries to stall but Colin insists it has to be now. Kelly, Valerie, and Brandon have called the cops and told them about the meeting. The cops bust in the room while Kelly, Valerie, and Brandon watch. The cops drag Danny Five out of the room and it turns out Colin was never in the room. We also learn Danny Five’s really name is Danny Fivinksi. Awesome.
Donna and Joe are walking on the beach. She tells Joe how much she loves him but she is not ready to get married. Joe says his mom got married when she was 19. Donna says her mom was young too and even though it worked out for her she knows her mom wants more for Donna. This has been the only time Felice Martin has been sensible. Donna says she is not ready to leave her friends. She asks Joe if he will stay here with her. Joe says no. He says he has to chase his dreams. His sad dreams of dropping out of CU, moving back to his hometown, and coaching high school football. Joe and Donna share one last kiss and thus ends the tale of Joe and Donna.