Episode 25: All About Brooke


So after the forensics expert pulled out the bloody rubber chicken, Judge Ito demanded ... oops, sorry, won't happen again.

[I try to avoid making big-time judgments in the recaps, but I can't help it -- this episode was lame! (sigh) I feel better now. Gimme more coffee.]

The Matt Slot belonged to ... Matt! Sure, maybe you thought it would be a tie, since Jane was also AWOS (Absent Without Subplot), but at least Jane got mentioned! "Matt? Matt Who?"

Billy, Alison, Amanda, and Brooke:

[I hate Brooke. She can't end a scene without the camera doing a closeup of the "Why, I'm so clever -- it's too bad I can't act" smile.] Billy is hanging out at Amanda's place, where he learns the good news that she's in remission -- and doesn't she look great! (The AMA, fearing that chemotherapy will become a fad, is planning to take out an ad in The New York Times warning people that cancer treatment is not guaranteed to leave you with lustrous blonde hair.) She tells Billy she wants to work at D&D, at any position. Billy says, "Gaaah, I dunno, 'Manda. With Alison in chahge, I figgured you'd wanna go to 'nuther agency." Nope, says Amanda. D&D has been her life, and she wants to stay there. She asks Billy to put in a word for her with Alison, who has gotten so power-mad that she changed the nameplate on her office to read, "Majestrix of the Shi'ar Empire!" It just so happens that D&D needs another account exec, so Billy offers Amanda's name to Alison, who immediately thinks that Billy is playing a subtle joke, but she realizes that's impossible -- it's Billy! She says no, but changes her mind when Billy tells her that she'll have the opportunity to "exploit" Amanda. Alison likes the sound of that. (I used to think "D&D" stood for "Dungeons and Dragons," but with Alison and Billy in charge, it's more like "Dumb and Dumber." And who could have believed that Alison would become even less likable?)

Brooke apologizes to Billy for her Thighmaster routine in the last episode. She adds that she's been having some family difficulties lately, and she needs a friend: "You're a good sounding board." "Dat's because intelligent thoughts just bounce off me! Gaah!" Later, they meet at Shooter's (the only bar in town) and she says that she broke off the engagement to the Wiener, which did not thrill her daddy. She wants to get back to reality -- lead a normal life away from the rich folk: "I'd like you to show me the ropes." "I think I can manage a few pointers!" (Like the one on your head?) Alison visits Amanda and offers her the lowly position at a salary in the low 30's. (Oh, boy, it's Dog Biscuits for you!) Amanda agrees completely -- she just wants to work at the best company, and that's D&D. Alison (who was obviously hoping Amanda would turn down the job) says, "Just remember, Amanda, I'm the boss." "Of course you are..." [she politely closes the door] "...but not for long."

The next morning, Amanda cheerfully reports to work at her cubicle. (Oh, the shame!) She even volunteers to get coffee for Alison! Alison muses about getting "rat poison in my latte," but Billy (surprise!) sees absolutely nothing wrong. Later, a fuming Alison gets Billy, Amanda, and Brooke into her office. (She said over the intercom, "All speaking members of D&D, report to me NOW!") She is furious, accusing Amanda of deliberately trying to sabotage an account by failing to take action on an important memo Amanda got earlier in the day. Amanda calmly proclaims her innocence, saying she never got the memo. As Alison vents her considerable spleen, Brooke just happens to "find" the memo, buried under a pile on Alison's desk! Holy Loss of Face, Batman! Alison gets herself under control, and tells Amanda to take care of the issue. An apology? Of course not!

At another meeting, Alison is being ultra-mean to Amanda. Later, Billy tells Alison to lay off. When Alison angrily accuses him of trying to run her business, he says, "I'm not tryin' to tell you how to run it -- I'm just tellin' you not to be such a bitch!" Alison doesn't take this well, and reminds Billy that he is just a lowly subordinate. Brooke, who had been listening in, offers to help Billy relieve stress -- they'll play air hockey! They're relaxing later on that night, and Brooke starts putting major moves on him. "It feels really good to be around a man for a change." (Well, you're close, Brooke, but Billy is still two steps down on the Darwinian scale.)

At D&D, an exec from Lambert (a big client) calls up looking for Alison, who's away at an AA meeting. Brooke says to Billy, "What should I do?" Amanda volunteers to handle it, saying she's familiar with the account. Billy, the ranking superior (God help us), gives the OK. She gets on the phone and says, "Mr. Lambert? Yes, Alison couldn't make it -- she's at an AA meeting. Oh, you didn't know? Well..." When Alison returns, Brooke tells her what happened (leaving out the details of Amanda's chat) and says that Mr. Lambert wants to deal only with Amanda from now on. Brooke says Alison can count on her to be her eyes and ears. (Liar!)

Alison drops by Billy's apartment that night with work, but she's obviously interested in foolin' around. Billy stands up for his honor (hah!): "You just can't come over here and expect sex on demand!" Alison Gapes. He tells her she's changed -- she is rude and egocentric. He's obviously P.O.'d over the "subordinate" comment earlier. Alison stalks away angrily.

At a rendezvous at a bar (NOT Shooter's?! What heresy is this?!?), Brooke gives Amanda all of Alison's papers and phone logs. Evil!

Jake, Jess, and Jo:

I'll make this quick: Jess takes a dip in the pool. He kind of comes on to Jo. Jake doesn't like it. Jo checks out Jess' butt. Jess and Jake discuss it later, and make nice-nice. Jake says he cares very much for Jo, but their timing always stinks. At Shooter's, Sydney sees Jess have a drink behind the bar, which is a no-no. Jake shrugs it off. While cleaning the tables, he finds an unsigned (!) credit card and he takes it. He later offers to take Jake and Jo out to a fancy dinner. When it comes time to pay the tab, Jake is suspicious of Jess' new credit card, and asks to see it. Jess feigns outrage and leaves. Jo is disappointed in Jake's bad manners, and she follow Jess to the front. Jess plays the "injured brother" act and tells Jo how wonderful she is. He gives her a lingering kiss on the cheek. See? I told you -- quick!

Michael, Kimberly, Sydney, and yes, Amanda too:

Michael is calmly having a glass of wine on the patio, listening to music and reading Kimberly's suicide note as Kimberly's life slowly fades. Syd surprisingly appears! Michael is startled into action and now HAS to try to revive Kimberly! Syd calls 911, but sees Kimberly's note and pockets it. At the hospital, doctors rush to save Kim's life. Syd says the reason she came to the beachhouse was because of Jane: The business is going under, and Jane's too proud to ask Michael for help. (Wait a second! Sydney, you HATE Jane! Why are you doing her big favors? Get me a rewrite!) Michael blows her off. He calls Amanda. He's hot to see her, but she is obviously cool. She says they need to talk, and they arrange to meet at that restaurant with the palm trees -- you know, the one where Matt always takes his dates.

Sydney, looking like a refugee from "South Pacific" with her big white sailor cap, visits the recovering Kimberly -- and doesn't she look great! (The AMA, fearing that attempted suicide will become a fad, is planning to take out an ad in The New York Times warning people that overdosing on pills is not guaranteed to leave you with great skin complexion.) Syd tells her that Michael was doing nothing to save her until she showed up. Kimberly plots to frame Michael: She tells Syd to go to the beachhouse and place heavy-duty medication in her vitamin bottle and to destroy the suicide note (she doesn't know Syd has it). Syd drives a hard bargain: She wants half of the $100G insurance settlement wired to her account the next day. Syd, wearing her stealthy crimson clothes, uses Kim's keys and enters the beachhouse. Right after she does the pill switch, Michael returns! She uses her ninja training, blending into the white kitchen floor, and escapes detection.

Michael and Amanda are at dinner, and he pulls out a diamond ring and proposes! Amanda laughs in his face! "I'm not going to marry you," she says incredulously. "Our 'relationship' was based on need, and that need is no longer there." "But I love you! Do you know what I've gone through to be with you?!" He tells her about Kimberly's attempted suicide, but Amanda doesn't want any part of it. She leaves. The next day, two detectives visit Michael at the hospital. (What? No more cop subplots for Matt?) They are investigating Kimberly's case, and she's made some serious accusations against him. They already searched the house and found the bottle of pills, but they didn't find the suicide note that Michael insists was there. (He's having a bad day.) He confronts Kimberly in her room. She vows to make his life a "living hell." (Every character says that -- it must be in the contracts.) He says, "You are really losin' it, Kimberly." He searches the beachhouse and realizes that Syd swiped the note. They meet at a diner, where Syd says she'll give him the note -- for a price. She wants half of the $100G insurance settlement! (That means Syd will get ALL the money! Oooh, sneaky!) Michael reluctantly agrees, but "You better watch your back when this is over. Neither me or the missus likes you very much!"

Michael shows up at Kimberly's room, gleefully waving the suicide note. He tells her to drop the charges against him, and to get way, way out of town. She grabs the note and victoriously rips it up. Michael calmly says, "That's a copy -- I got 200 made." He's won. That night, Kimberly confronts Syd in the Melrose courtyard, telling her that she's leaving town tonight, but she'll be back to get revenge on Sydney. (Hey, Kimberly, considering that you were responsible for putting Syd in the psycho ward earlier this year, I'd say the scales of justices are about even here!)

Next Week: Alison starts acting like Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny": Who can she trust? And Michael gets obsessive about Amanda. End credits: Wow! A new band clip! Does the wonderment never cease?

--Ken Hart

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