With school out for the summer, Brandon decides to leave the Peach Pit and go to work for as a cabana boy at the posh Beverly Hills Beach Club which is run by the tough-mined Henry Thomas. But he must sometime tell Nat that he's leaving. Meanwhile, Brenda and Dylan face breaking up after her pregnancy scare, especially when Jim and Cindy get angry at Brenda after he's forced to tell them her prom night tryst with Dylan.
While Brandon gets close to a fellow cabana girl at the beach club, named Sandy, a member takes Brandon under his wing with his hard-to-refuse offer which causes problems at home. Jim and Cindy discuss joining the beach club for the enjoyment. Meanwhile, Brenda finds an outlet to her emotions when she, Donna, Andrea and David being taking drama classes in summer school taught by Chris Sutier.
Cindy's mothering instincts upset both Jim and Brenda after she brings an injured Dylan to recuperate at their house after he has a accident while surfing in dangerous conditions, while Dylan's father is arrested for income tax evasion. Kelly gets involved with a shy volleyball player named Kyle who is reluctant to make a move on her. Meanwhile, David and Donna are reluctantly paired for a Romeo and Juliet scene as a class project.
Steve invites Brandon, David and a few of their friends over at the beach club for an after-hours poker game and they all find themselves in trouble when their game is followed by a burglary of stereo equipment and a cash-poor Dylan becomes a suspect for he has lost his hotel suite and his money as well. Meanwhile, Brenda gets burned for sun worshiping with Donna.
Acting as a "big brother" to a 10-year-old boy, Brandon is asked to keep a secret that needs telling about his single mother's physical abuse. Meanwhile, Kelly fears a familial connection to David when his father, Mel, and her mother, Jackie, begin dating. So, Kelly becomes determined to keep them apart. Also, Brenda can't keep the absent Dylan from her thoughts while he is in Hawaii visiting his mother.
With the summer drawing to a close, Andrea and Brenda compete for the attentions of their drama teacher, Chris, who chooses the former over the latter, which puts a strain on their friendship. Meanwhile, Brandon finally buys his dream car, but finds "the fruit of his summer labor" sour when the car breaks down, gets impounded, and Jim gets angry at Brandon for the careless handling of the car's purchase. Brandon also goes to visit Nat at the Peach Pit to ask for his old job back as the place is under construction for a building expansion.
Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, Steve, Donna, Andrea and David take an end-of-the-summer camping trip to Yosemite National Park. But in a comedy of errors, they end up stranded for the night in a rundown cabin during a rainstorm and exchange some facts of life with a newlywed couple from the cabin next door. The next day, disaster narrowly avoids Brandon during a hiking trip in the hills with Dylan who is revealed to have fallen off the sobriety wagon.
At the opening day of the new school year, Brenda becomes peeved when Dylan starts spending time with the new transfer student Emily Valentine, while she and Brandon also have eyes for each other. Meanwhile, David is reunited with Scott after he returns from his summer vacation in Oklahoma and finds that his friendship with David isn't as close as it used to be.
Brandon befriends a black family, the Robinsons, which stirs up Beverly Hills when they move in near the Walshes. The siblings include Ronny, a freshman photographer who volunteers to work at the Blaze, and his older sister whose ghetto boyfriend is roughed up by a racist security patrol. Meanwhile, Jim and Cindy try out a new "state of the art" house alarm system which is more of a nuisance than a help.
Dylan's long-estranged, beatnik, zen-freak mother Iris, whom he can't stand, comes for a visit from Hawaii, apparently to stay, which causes him to return to drinking which soon lands him in trouble at a local billiards club after hustling some pool sharks. Brandon tries to help Dylan deal with the situation, but Dylan is too blinded by his ego and pride to accept. Of the rest of the Walshes, only Cindy finds Iris McKay fascinating and free-spirited, while Brenda and Jim find Iris just plain weird. Meanwhile, Steve and Donna decide to play the stock market. But Kelly ...
Brandon and Brenda's handicapped cousin, Bobby, visits the Walshes and a mutual attraction between him and Kelly is complicated more by others assumptions than by Bobby's wheelchair. Meanwhile, David tries asking Donna out on a date. Brenda finally gets her driver's license on the third try, but is hesitant to drive Brandon's car. Also, Emily joins the school newspaper just to be near Brandon.
After Brandon inadvertently tips the school to Andrea's non-district residency after her success in a new article competition, she must move into her grandmother's apartment to prove she lives within district to avoid expulsion from West Beverly. But Andrea's problems only get worse when her grandmother tells her that she will not lie if questioned about Andrea's residence. Meanwhile, no one can convince Steve that his new girlfriend, Christine, is a gold-digger out to get his money.
The gang attends a Halloween costume party at an old brownstone mansion with Steve playing Zorro, Donna dressed as a mermaid in which the costume limits her mobility, and Brenda and Dylan going as Bonnie and Clyde. But the party is highlighted by Kelly's very revealing bewitching costume, but low-lighted when one student makes an unwanted advance on her. Meanwhile, David skips out on the party to meet with Scott where they reminisce about the "good old days" while waiting for an egg fight with some neighborhood kids that never materializes. Also, Brandon and Emily ...
On Scott's 16th birthday, his mother gives Donna and David the responsibility of rounding up people for his birthday party to save it from being a social disaster. But later, Scott finds a gun in his father's office and while showing it off to David, he accidentally shoots himself. David is then filled with conflicting emotions for days after and ends up telling Brandon, and the school, about regretting the way he treated Scott this year. Also, Andrea becomes openly jealous at Brandon for dating Emily who takes up Brandon's time and hers.
Emily leads the gang to an underground nightclub where she attempts to show Brandon the ultimate pleasure with drugs after she puts a hallucinogen in his drink, with disastrous emotional and financial consequences for him when they are forced to flee from a police raid only to leave Brandon's car behind which gets stripped and ripped apart. Meanwhile, Kelly and Donna worry about David who gets drunk at the rave, while Steve and Andrea get lost in the inner city looking for the rest of the gang and driving to the wrong place each time.
Emily refuses to accept the fact that Brandon no longer wants to see her. She slashes her own tires and pretends that her parents are out of town so that Brandon will invite her to stay over. She sneaks into his bedroom and tries to seduce him. After he makes it clear that he is not interested, she begins to stalk and harass him by making crank phone calls. Andrea also discovers that Emily is the person who has been sending menacing letters to the school paper. Eventually, Emily shows up at Brandon's house and douses the gang's homecoming float with gasoline. Brenda ...
Steve is bothered by the appearance of his old nemesis Chuck Wilson, the former child actor who stared in the TV series Hartley House with his stepmother, Samantha, who is asked to appear in a reunion TV show. After Steve gets suspended from school for getting into a fistfight with the snobbish Chuck who insults Steve's mother and is revealed to know about his adoption, Steve begins to question who is his real mother. Meanwhile, Donna finally agrees to go to the annual winter dance with David, regardless of the teasing she gets of dating a sophomore.
Steve arrives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and tracks down his grandfather, Al Brown, a diner owner. Al explains that his daughter gave up Steve because she was very young and wanted him to have a good home. He sadly reveals that Karen Brown died in a car accident many years ago. Steve leaves flowers at her grave, and convinces an eccentric Santa-like charter pilot to fly him home for Christmas. Back in California, Cindy is depressed about her first Christmas in Beverly Hills. She invites the kids' friends and their families for Christmas Eve dinner, but everyone has ...
Brandon learns a lesson in dedication to a task and hard work when he falls for Tricia, a young ice skater with Olympic goals, whom he pleasantly distracts from her skating practice. Meanwhile, Brenda must deal with a back-stabbing boss at her boutique job in which Cindy offers Brenda a chance to get back at her.
Brandon goes undercover for the Blaze to try and expose steroid use within the school's track team, and finds that Steve is involved after teammate Kyle tips Brandon about it. Brandon is then caught in a dilemma of how to expose the drug use without hurting Steve along with everyone else. Meanwhile, Brenda gets into a minor car accident with a con artist woman who's out for money.
Andrea fights with the school board to lead a campaign to have condoms distributed at West Beverly. But not all of the gang and their parents are happy about it since Donna's uptight, influential, and fiercely conservative mother, Felice, is opposed to any sex education in schools and has the PTA rally around her for her own self-serving support. Meanwhile, Brenda writes a term paper about her experiences with her pregnancy scare, which upsets Dylan who feels his privacy should be kept private. Also, David wants to plan a special evening with Donna.
When Kelly's mother Jackie, divulges the secret that she's pregnant, misunderstandings and grapevine talk between Kelly, David and Donna threaten to end the relationship between her and David's father Mel. Meanwhile, Nat takes Brandon, Steve and Andrea to the racetrack to bet on some horses due to Andrea's "power" to see the winner, and Dylan plans a special Valentine's Day for Brenda, of donating blood.
Brenda is tempted to cheat on Dylan when she falls for a college guy, named Tim, in her exercise class, while a the same time, Dylan is tempted by his old friend Sarah whom he meets at an AA meeting, and whose problem is worsening for she is driven to the bottle by her abusive, equally alcoholic boyfriend. Meanwhile, Jim and Nat hope to boost business for the Peach Pit with Karaoke, which is short-lived by all but Jim.
Brandon becomes involved with an a new student, named Marcie St. Claire, whose father, Dixon St. Claire, is Jim's new client and has plans for tearing down the Peach Pit to build a new shopping mall. Brandon then begins a major battle with his father and Nat by persuading him not to sell out to the company. Of the gang, only Brenda opposes Brandon in his crusade thinking that the gang can survive without their hangout place.
Brenda becomes a victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being held at gunpoint by an armed robber during an after-hours hold up at the Peach Pit. Brenda then continues to have waking nightmares of the event and tries visiting a psychiatrist.
David leads Brenda, Kelly and Donna to the Bel Aire Hotel on a mission to meet the rock group 'Color Me Badd' when they come to town. But only Kelly gets to see the band, while David and Brenda get stuck in the hotel stairwell, and Donna sees more than she wants when she finds her mother, Felice, at the hotel with a man other than her father. Meanwhile, Brandon, Dylan and Steve, left alone at the Walsh House, hire an exotic dancer to ease their boredom. But they end up seeing very little of her when Andrea shows up for a surprise visit and won't leave.
After missing curfew a few too many times by staying over late at Dylan's house, Brenda is grounded and is forbidden to go surfing with him in Mexico for the weekend. But Brenda secretly decides to go anyway and asks Kelly and Brandon to help cover her tracks. Meanwhile, Kelly becomes acquainted with Jake Hanson, a handyman and an old friend of Dylan's, who eases her fears over her mother deciding to marry David's father and both become attracted to each other, despite their age differences.
Brenda faces the wrath of her parents after her disastrous return from Mexico. In a desperate attempt to keep Brenda and Dylan apart, Jim bans him from coming over to their house which only alienates Brenda even more, especially when Brandon and Kelly take out their troubles on Brenda over lying for her during her surfing trip. When the Taylor house suddenly floods from a ruptured water pipe, the Walshes reluctantly agree to host Mel and Jackie's wedding at theirs. Meanwhile, Kelly mourns the departure of Jake when his job at the Taylor house is done. But he returns ...