Well, last night, Frazier came home to find his brother Niles in a state of panic. It turns out that Niles' wife, Maris, just revealed to him that she is, in fact, a man. Niles soon goes catatonic and starts to mumble passages from "M. Butterfly" when ... ooops, sorry, wrong show -- won't happen again.
A nutty "Christmas Carol" show last night -- and thank goodness Susan is off the show. The Matt Slot (the weekly acknowledgement of the character with the fewest lines) belonged to ... Jake, who basically shows up and says, "Hey, Jo, nice baby!" Changes in Matt's storyline this week (see below) practically guarantee that he'll regain possession of the Matt Slot in future episodes.
That night, Amanda dreams (of course) and up pops Bruce in the Jacob Marley role! (I have to give the writers credit -- they planned this well.) He chastises her for lying to his sister, and tells her that she's responsible for his death and she knows it. She goes to touch the rope burn on his neck, then wakes up. (What rope burns, Bruce?!? You dropped two inches off a desk! You can't get rope burns from that!) Speaking of burns, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns shows up the next morning and finds Amanda suffering from a cold, flu, malaria, something. (Heather wore less makeup.) He says his behavior the other night was inexcusable (note that he doesn't apologize, though), and presents her with a combination Xmas gift and "peace offering." And what do we have behind Door #2? A fur coat! [Applause] How politically incorrect! That evening, the dream returns. Bruce checks out the fur coat and does the "Christmas Past" routine, where Amanda sees herself as a child surrounded by presents, yet she's miserable because all she wants is her father, who goes on another "business trip."
The next night, Bruce takes Amanda to her burial. (Hey, Bruce, wait a second! Whatsamatta, you couldn't do Christmas Present? We had to skip right to Christmas Future? What a gyp!) It's in the middle of the night, with no flowers or mourners. She asks Bruce what happened. He says her "husband" Peter claims she died in a "skiing accident." (Yeah, right, and my mother's a cosmonaut.) "What about my friends?" "What friends, Amanda?" Bruce tells her that the future is not immutable (my word for the day -- you like it?) and that it's Peter who's been making her do these evil things lately. (Really? She's been nasty for years! Wow, Bruce, even dead you're clueless!) It's still not too late to turn away from The Dark Side of The Force, Amanda. "You must destroy Peter -- before he destroys you!" (Hey, does this sound like they're setting up the season-ending cliffhanger?)
On Christmas Day, Amanda visits Bruce's sister and gives her a Christmas basket -- and an apology. Sis invites her in, and introduces her to her two college-boy sons, who probably look at her and think, "Huh huh huh! Kewl! Thanks, Santa!" Amanda tells Sis that she's arranged to have their tuition paid every semester. She then visits Alison at the center and apologizes to her, also, telling her that her job is safe. "I envy you ... I wish there was a rehab program for my personal demons." (And now, "Deep Thoughts," with Jack Handey...)
The next day at the hospital, they talk. (Matt works on Christmas Day?) Jeffrey says he can't be in a deep relationship with Matt. "The only commitment I can make right now is to myself." Matt is sad, but they'll be the best of pals.
A vengeful Kimberly calls up Reed's parents, the Carters! (The wife answers; the husband, Jimmy, is handling some dumb peace mission in Bosnia.) Kimberly just says she's a concerned citizen and she tells Mrs. Carter that her grandson is alive and well and living in Jo's apartment! Merry Christmas! (Hey, Kimberly, you didn't really think this through, did you? If the Carters investigate, fingers at going to point at you, kiddo! You forged the hospital records! Hmmm, maybe she'll frame that troublemaker, Matt...)
Next Week: No coming attractions! Instead, we got the closing credits with that damn Letters to Clio! The refrain of the song sounds like, "Hammana hammana bubba bubba hammana! Heeeere and nowwwww......" What's next? A 90210 Christmas special?!? Oh, the humanity! I'm not watching that -- I've got some scruples left!
Merry Christmas, everybody!