Episode 26: Melrose Impossible


...and as the Hebrews came to rest at the base of the mountain, Edward G. Robinson looked at the chosen people and said, "Say, where'sh Moses, hah? Where'sh yer messiah NOWWW? We've got da golden calf, see? Nyeah!" Ooops, sorry, that was on TV the previous night...

The Matt Slot goes to ... yay, Matt! Once again, The Character Destined To Strike Fear In The Hearts Of Writers got his one obligatory line of dialogue. Ah, just like the good ol' days of last season!

Most Shocking Scene of the Episode: Some nameless hired help is cleaning the pool in the courtyard!

Amanda, Michael, Billy, Alison, and Brooke:

Amanda has been receiving phone calls from Michael ad nauseum. He proclaims his love for her over and over. (It's weird, and out of character for Michael.) When Amanda hangs up on Michael, Matt shows up behind him at the hospital, looking for Kimberly. (Hi, Matt!) Michael, annoyed, says he doesn't know where she is and doesn't care. (Bye, Matt!) At the Dumb & Dumber advertising agency, Amanda tells Brooke that she wants to destroy Alison now. Alison, the poster child for decaffeinated coffee, dictates a letter to Brooke regarding a new campaign for a big client, Mrs. Molley's Cookies. The CEO, Tyler Hirsch, is coming the day after tomorrow to hear proposals. Brooke immediately tells Amanda about the visit, and adds that she has some inside dirt.

Michael continues to call Amanda, but all he gets now is the answering machine. In the hospital for a checkup with Dr. Stephens (Amanda is doing quite well, by the way), she complains about Michael's behavior. Dr. Stephens suggests Amanda take the matter up with the chief resident. She says if this guy is anything like the last chief resident, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, forget it. (What's this? An actual reference to past episodes? Good Lord, could this be an attempt at ... continuity?) As soon as Dr. Stephens leaves the examining room, Michael shows up! He tries to embrace her, but she slaps him. In a truly pathetic scene, he then drops to his knees, professing his love. She says, "Michael, this is beyond embarrassing." (You're telling me!) She says she never wants to see him again. He vows he will prove to her that he is no longer the slime she thinks he is. (But wait -- that's the Michael we all like! Don't go changin' to try to please her! Ewww ... Billy Joel song .. throat burning ... losing consciousness...)

At the D&D plotting session for the cookies, Amanda enters uninvited. Alison is not thrilled, but Billy says they can use the help with this campaign. Alison discusses her dream campaign, focusing on conservative, family-oriented images with a Tom Sawyer-ish feel. (Alison moonlights as speechwriter for Newt Gingrich.) Amanda, to Alison's annoyance, suggests a different approach. Since the new CEO is the son of the company's founder and since the company has started sellling low-fat cookies, Amanda describes a commercial where a female executive, hungry for Mrs. Molley's Low-Fat Cookies, sees a Mrs. Molley's truck 15 floors below her, and leaps out and flies toward it. Alison says Bad Idea. As the meeting breaks up, Brooke tells Alison that Amanda's idea is actually good, and Alison shouldn't reject it just because it came from Amanda.

Billy, Brooke, and Alison drop by Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town) for a couple of drinks. Brooke meets Jake. Alison mentions to Brooke that Jake is single. (All the women in town know better than to get involved with that wishy-washy loser!) Billy says, "Gaaah, hey, when did you turn into da matchmaker?" Alison leaves. Brooke lets Billy know in no uncertain terms that She Be Wantin' Him Bad. Billy, in a stunning show of intelligence, thinks Brooke is kind of weird: "I'm not really sure about you." Brooke, slightly non-plussed, quietly tells him she's tired of chasing him and she won't ask again.

The next day at D&D: The Disaster! Tyler Hirsch, the cookie magnate (and close rival to Bill Gates as World's Geekiest CEO), arrives to hear the campaign proposal. Alison goes into the windup and delivers a very enthusiastic version of Amanda's idea. But the look on Tyler's face quickly becomes one of abject horror! When Alison asks what's wrong, he says, "God, what kind of woman ARE you?" It turns out his mother, the founder, killed herself by jumping out of a 15- floor window! D'OH! Alison Gapes! She tries to apologize, but he says, "You are beyond disgusting, young lady -- you are inhuman!" He storms out. Amanda, somehow managing to keep a straight face, says, "I'm sorry, Alison ... I didn't know...!" Alison doesn't buy it.

She storms back to her office. Billy follows. Alison feels surrounded by betrayers (she recruited from the Et Tu, Brutus Employment Agency) and she needs someone she can trust. Billy says, "Well, daah, I'm here." "I know THAT. What I need is someone to treat me like a human being. Take me to dinner, all right?" Billy is momentarily stunned by the way she just ordered him to take her to dinner (well, actually the script called for Billy to looked stunned, but Andrew Shue just brings his lip up in that unattractive half-sneer that's his idea of a smile). Alison apologizes.

Amanda returns home to find Michael there, putting the finishing touches on a home-cooked dinner for two! She's horrified. He says he took the liberty of copying her keys when she was staying at the beach house. She says, "Get out or I call 911." Michael calmly leaves, but he adds that she will eventually come around.

As Billy and Alison return to Melrose Place from dinner, Alison -- power-crazed desperado that she now is -- wants Billy to help her (ahem) "relieve her tension." She practically makes it a command. Billy says, "Why don't you take a hot bath or cold shower, all right? Gaah, ya want my rubber duck?" He walks out. He eventually ends up at Stately Wayne Manor, where Her Royal Brookeness escorts him up to her bedroom. (For a brief moment, I thought Billy would be tough and reject both of these wackos, but no.) They engage in passionate chin-nibbling.

The next morning, Alison calls Brooke into her office. (Brooke is worried that Alison knows about her and Billy.) Alison says she realizes that her own relationship with Billy is over (Hallloooo! Alison Parker, this is your brain speaking! Wake uppppp!) and that she has no friends. Awwww.... She's grateful to Brooke for being someone she can trust. (Ha ha!) She then asks Brooke to spy on Amanda for her! Brooke says OK. (Why do I get the feeling that Brooke will scum out both Alison and Amanda?)

Jake, Jess, and Jo (knock it off with the J's already):

Jess and Jake talk about the previous evening's unpleasantries. Jess says he's going to leave. Jake apologizes and "talks" him into staying. (Yeah, like he really would've left. Not!) Later, when Jo drops by Shooter's, Jess asks her out. "I'm just a regular guy who happens to think you're incredible." (Hmmm, a new pick-up line. Lemme write this one down...) Eventually, Jess takes her to a miniature golf course, where he describes himself as this great, Alan Alda-type wuss who's into the idea of commitment. His big problem: "I feel too much." Oh, the humanity! Then (get this) he volunteers to show Jo how to handle her club. (I'M not saying anything!)

Nothing really happens, but Jo returns to Shooter's and tells Jess they need to talk. They go into the alley in the back (it looks like the alley where the Batgirl-cycle used to pop out), and they discuss the obvious electricity between them. (Electricity is right -- at least one of these two is fried!) But Jo says they can't act on it; it would hurt Jake. Jess says OK, but asks to give her a kiss so he can cherish the memory. She says yes -- and the next thing you know, they're ripping their clothes off and going at it like weasels!

(Unfortunately, there's a definite lack of chemistry between them. Oh, Daphne Zuniga does her part -- she has mastered the half-asleep, pouty look that men find irresistable -- but Dan Cortese is, well, plastic. The man doesn't blink! It's creepy!)

Syd and Nancy -- I mean, Sydney and Jane:

See Jane at the store. See Jane lose money. See Jane's sister come for a visit. See Jane sneer. Anyhow, Our Sydney tells Jane about the $100G's she got from Michael and Kimberly. "Blackmail is a growth industry, especially when you're dealing with snakes." (Someone gets paid to write this?) Syd offers to invest her money in the company, and tells Jane to meet with Syd's lawyer so they can do the paperwork. At said lawyer's office, however, Jane learns the catch: Syd will give the money only if she is named President of Jane Mancini Designs. Jane is furious, but she has little choice in light of her financial woes. She signs the form. Later, Syd sees Amanda in the courtyard. Amanda is amused that Syd is wearing a nice-looking power suit. Syd tells her that she is now head of Mancini Designs: "D&D is on probation -- we don't like what you've been doing." Amanda tells her to take it up with Alison, but Syd says, c'mon, I know who's running the show. She demands a meeting with Amanda next week. Amanda smiles, possibly surprised at Syd's astuteness.

Now here's a goodie -- Kimberly:

We learn that Kimberly has joined a two-week boot camp called "No More Victims," where women go through a series of physical and spiritual exercises designed to bring out the warrior in them so that they will never be victimized again. The ex-Sgt. type who runs it tells her, "It means control, it means never ever letting another human being get you down again." Meanwhile, Kim is getting abused by Mackenzie Phillips, ex-druggie star of "One Day at a Time"! During one session, the two get into a nasty wrestling match. That night, Mackenzie and the Sarge sit around the campfire with the other women and tell Kimberly about unity and "selfness." Mackenzie apologizes, saying something about being sisters. Kimberly politely says she doesn't care what Mack thinks. She then begins a speech destined for the Melrose Time Capsule: "You can lash out at me all you want, because it just makes me stronger. You see, I'm not here for sisters. I'm here for power ... and when I am filled with these qualities, I will flat-out destroy those who have hurt me, and take back what is mine. I will find selfness when I am standing on the corpses of my enemies!" YES! Mackenzie and the Sarge both share a look of "Hoooo, we've got a psycho here.....!"

The Sarge later directs the women to the most grueling part of the camp, "the Sweat Lodge": a closed tent with a fire burning in the center of the floor. He warns that they may hallucinate, but that's just the birth pains of the warrior inside them coming out. (Anybody for a nice cold beer?) "Find your mission -- be transformed! Move out! Rawhide!" Kimberly and the others sit around the fire, chanting "Inside myself is the warrior." Time passes. The others are near unconsciousness, but Kim is hanging in there. Then the women at the other side of the fire are transformed into Jo, Jane, Amanda, and Sydney! The illusions all mock her: Jane says she's "smelly" (!!), Jo calls her "a lying, betraying, baby-stealing witch," Syd says "HOW many people have you tried to kill?" and Amanda chimes in, "I stole your husband from right under your nose, and I didn't even want him!" They taunt her, saying "Die, Kim! Die, Kim!" Wacky! Kimberly charges forward, grabs poor Mackenzie, and tries to strangle her! Mack gets up and gives her a good punch in the mouth: "I always wanted to do this to Valerie Bertinelli!" Sarge arrives to break things up, but Kimberly is eerily calm: "I've found my mission...." Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Next Week: No coming attractions, but -- ahhhhh!!! It's that damn Letters To Clio song! Hammana Hammana Bubba Bubba Hammana! Make The Hurting Stop.

--Ken Hart

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