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As Kelly and Valerie pack Brandon's belongings for shipment, Kelly discovers a letter in which Val advised Brandon not to marry her. She turns everyone against Val and gets them to boycott her Thanksgiving gathering. Hoping to help Kelly understand Valerie's behavior, David details her troubled childhood. Although Val is not interested in her pity, Kelly insists on helping with Thanksgiving dinner. Kelly and Valerie establish another truce, but Valerie suddenly announces that she is moving back to Buffalo. She apologizes for all the trouble she caused, and thanks everyone for their friendship before leaving. David has a one-night stand with an apparent groupie, unaware that she is just seventeen years old. He faces statutory rape charges after the girl confesses to her parents. Noah blacks out while driving drunk and crashes his car. He fears that he may have been involved with a hit-and-run, and turns himself in. Donna's cousin Gina comes to town with an ice show. She loses her job and agent, but tries to hide the truth from Donna, who has always had a more privileged lifestyle than Gina. Noah goes on a bender following the death of the hit-and-run victim; Gina offers to watch over him. She kisses him in a photography booth at the amusement park. Noah is relieved to learn that he did not hit anyone with his car, and vows to stop drinking. Donna asks Gina to move into the beach apartment. Janet agrees to continue sleeping with Steve, but wants to see other people. She later admits that she isn't seeing anyone; she fears that Steve would hurt her if they dated. Matt and Kelly grow closer and share a kiss. Dylan surprises everyone by showing up at the house on Thanksgiving night.
Arrivals and departures, near disasters and brewing calamities, relationships tested and re-formed...all are swirling through the Thanksgiving holiday for the gang and its members.
The "goodbye" of the episode title is applicable to Valerie Malone. Seems Val wrote Brandon a letter advising him not to marry Kelly. Unfortunately for Val, Kelly found the note when they were sorting through Brandon's remaining items (destined for his new place in D.C.) and Kelly is furious at Val over this. Donna and David are both stern with Val about how awful the letter was, but when David learns Kelly arranged to ruin Val's plans to host Thanksgiving, he clues her in about the sexual abuse and self-defense killings that left Val a ruined person. Kelly attempts to mend bridges with Val, and when everyone somehow does show up at Casa Walsh for Thanksgiving dinner, the longtime enemies declare a truce. But Val has something else to tell everyone: she's accepted her mother's offer to return to Buffalo and work through their traumas together, and she's flying out tonight. David sees her off with a bittersweet kiss and hug.
The "hello" has two people attached to it, one a newcomer and one not so much. The former is one Gina Kincaid, Donna's poor cousin who became a star ice skater. Alas, Gina has become a has-been working at an ice cabaret show where her angry attitude leads to her getting fired and having her agent axe her as a client. Gina lies about her reality to Donna and her friends, and doesn't really get to interact much with anyone. The latter is Dylan McKay, who turns up for Thanksgiving dinner and is greeted with universal happiness. Only thing is, Kelly has become romantically interested in good-guy attorney Matt Durning, and having Dylan back in town is a huge surprise to her. TBC...
Noah's near disaster involves his continued and unapologetic alcoholism, leading to him driving drunk and smashing into something with his car. He's deathly afraid he hit a kid on a bike and left him on life support, and Donna finally tells him off when she sees he's still drinking afterwards. Noah goes to the police and confesses to what he thinks he did, but later learns he only hit a dumpster (the real criminal was a woman in Pasadena who got arrested) and tells Donna she was right and he's going to combat his problem seriously going forward. David, who clearly misses Sophie, has a blonde woman appear at his show and he sleeps with her. Problem is, she's a teenager who used a fake ID and is actually just 17 years old, and she lets him know her parents want David prosecuted statutory rape. David goes to Matt for legal counsel and learns he's in a LOT of trouble.
And while Steve is eager to be Janet's boyfriend after their ghost story hook-up, Janet simply wants them to be "bed buddies". A story in their newly tabloided Beverly Beat about a long-married couple where the wife is allergic to her husband inspires Steve to tell Janet he wants a real relationship with her, period.
Luke Perry is billed as a Special Guest Star in the opening credits from here on out.