Episode 27: A Hose by Any Other Name


For the most part, this episode was a drawn-out prelude to the wacky stuff that's going to happen over the next couple of weeks, although there were some high points. Dan Cortese is not one of them. He creates more yawns than Perry Como singing "Silent Night."

No Matt Slot this week! Shocking!

Matt and the New Doctor:

Michael is showing a new resident, Paul, around the hospital. Paul is apparently a plastic surgeon, specializing in burn and trauma cases. (Hey, I know somebody who watched "Pigsty" on UPN. Does he count as a trauma case?) Matt walks up and asks Michael about some formal function they're going to. Michael says he's going stag. Matt says ditto; since he and Jeffrey broke up, there's nobody else. (Go ask the Psycho Cop if he's free.) When Matt walks off, Paul asks Michael, "Hey, is that guy gay?" (It's an old song by the Supremes.) Michael says, "Yeah, what about it?" Paul says it's just that he's never seen anyone that up-front about it before. Later, Matt is pumping iron in the hospital guy. Paul comes over; they chat; Paul says he's from Ohio. Still later, Paul sees Matt in the hallway and asks him out to dinner. Matt says yes. He then jumps up and down, screaming "I've got a subplot! I've got a subplot!"

Returning from dinner, they decide to go back to Matt's place for a nightcap. (Nudge nudge wink wink.) Paul sneaks out of Matt's bedroom without disturbing him and makes a phone call -- to his wife! He says he's working late at the hospital because of a big accident!

Jake, Jo, and Snooze Boy:

Jo goes to the Jake/Jess pad and, while Jake is in the shower, tells Jess, "I'm feeling really guilty." Jess says that she shouldn't -- she and Jake aren't an item, and he and her have the ol' Something Special. Jake walks out in a towel. (Gratuitous Beefcake Alert!) Jo says she's got a new job, then quickly and awkwardly leaves. Later, at Shooter's -- the Only Bar in Town -- Jo and Jane discuss recent events. (No, not Bosnia.) Jane gripes about Sydney. Jo says she's having "the most incredible, passionate affair of my life!" (Hey, you guys just did it once in a dirty alleyway -- let's not get carried away!) She says it's like -- snicker -- ohhh, it's tough to write this one -- she's hosting a telethon "and all the donations are coming to me!" BWAHAHAHAHA! She fesses up that it's Jess, and Jane agrees that Jake should be kept in the dark for as long as possible. Well, now that you mention it....

Sydney strolls in from her own subplot and sees Jess enter Jo's apartment that night. Inside, Narcolepsy Lad tells Jo that he feels terrible because she was so uncomfortable around Jake that morning. When Jo tells him it's okay, he says, "Do you know how crazy I am about you? I would never even cause you a minute's pain." Before you can say "Mannequins in Heat," they're at it again, pounding and thumping against the wall of Jo's apartment. (Don't these two know how to use a bed?) Sydney, in her own pad, hears the grunting and thumping against her wall -- those aren't termites! She goes to Shooter's, where Jake is still steamed that she walked out on the job he gave her. She tells him about Jess and Jo and how the Richter Scale hit 7.2. She just wants to protect him from being hurt. Well, Jake has his usual calm reaction -- not! The next morning (why did he wait?), he storms over to Jo's place and confronts her. "You hate me so much you have to sleep with my brother?!?" Jo defends herself, saying that since Jake didn't want a relationship, she can be with whoever she wants. "Yeah, but not my brother!" To close this great intellectual debate, Jake says Jess is a loser, Jo says he isn't, Jake says "Fine!" and leaves.

Jo meets Doze Boy at the beach. He says he's worried that Jake will bottle his anger, then let it explode. Jo agrees. (Jo, snap out of it! He's setting Jake up!) Jess promises, "I'm never gonna give you up." As he embraces her, Jo seems distant as though she knows something is wrong with this whole scenario. Or perhaps she was just falling asleep.

Jane, Sydney, Michael, and Kimberly:

Michael storms into the MP courtyard, furious that Amanda put a 300-foot restraining order on him. "I should've let you die!" "Better luck next time!" "Oh, I promise you, Amanda -- there will be a next time!" At the hospital, he is not exactly overjoyed when Syd shows up. She tells him that she invested the money she swindled from him into Jane's company. She wants to make him dinner at the beachhouse: "I need some help getting rid of my guilt." Michael agrees.

At the No More Victims Camp, Kimberly is not exactly being a team player. She whacks Mackenzie Phillips -- "Loser! My show is far more popular than 'One Day at a Time' ever was!" The Sarge lectures her on unity. When he wants to demonstrate how to break a chokehold, Kimberly volunteers. The Sarge, annoyed at her earlier behavior, shows just a little too much zest in knocking Kim to the ground. When it's her turn, she whacks him good and viciously breaks his arm! And that's gotta hurt!

After dinner, Michael tells Sydney that he'll have to get rid of the beachhouse: The rent is too expensive for him to pay on his own. (Correct me if I'm wrong -- but wasn't he doing exactly that after he broke up with Jane and before he married Syd?) Sydney offers to pay the rent -- if she gets what she wants, i.e., Michael in bed. (She doesn't quit, does she?) He's incredulous, but he says, "Let's get this over with." After the Wilding is over, Syd says, "Just like old times, Michael -- the good times, before that psycho with the plate in her head came back." She leaves, but pays Michael for the sex (!) and says she'll keep him on the payroll as long as he behaves.

At the camp, the Sarge and the other women tell Kimberly that she has learned everything she needs. She's graduated early -- so go away! Please!

Jane is upset when she learns that Michael is on the payroll. She asks Sydney, who runs off to a big meeting to two young business guys. (Can you say "Mob"?) She agrees to a much-too-good-to- be-true deal: Mancini Designs will distribute some "hot" pantyhose (and I don't mean they're fashionable) and will receive $100G's clean. Syd bargains up to $125G's. The next day, the Mob Boys show up at the shop. Jane is not happy, especially since Syd didn't follow through on her promise to brief Jane on the meeting. Sydney is calling the shots, though. Mob Boy #2 asks Syd out to dinner. She says yes: "I always did prefer the strong, silent type." (I wouldn't call Michael exactly "silent.") At dinner, Mob Boy #2 keeps asking Syd how she got where she is. (Watch that mouth, Syd...) Afterward, Jane confronts Sydney: The shipment of pantyhose contains cocaine! Jane plans to call the police, but the still-on-probation Syd vows to take care of things herself.

Michael sees Kim in the hospital and is less than thrilled. Kimberly happily says that she's back to work. She's moved her stuff out of the beachhouse, but she's staying in L.A. in spite of what happened before the repeats. He's determined to boot her out: "Enjoy your last days, babe." "You enjoy yours." (And she means it with a lot more finality.) Oddly, she later walks over to a naturally suspicious Matt. She says she wants to apologize! She's full of remorse over the damage she's caused. (Oh, brother...) Can Matt ever forgive her? "I'll ... work on it," he says suspiciously.

The final scene shows Kimberly cutting out the eyes from dozens of pictures of Michael! "An eye for an eye, Michael ... an eye for an eye ..." Holy Old Testament, Batman!

Billy, Alison, Brooke, and Amanda:

Things aren't going well for Alison at Dumb & Dumber. They're missing deadlines, etc., and she suspects (correctly) that Amanda is working behind the scenes to sabotage her presidency. She confides to Billy that the non-speaking Board of Directors has put her on notice -- they are not happy. She asks him not to tell Amanda; Billy thinks she's being paranoid. She counters that if the Glorious Gowns campaign isn't ready on time, they'll miss the June bride magazines -- oh, the shame! Billy tries to bolster her confidence. However.... Billy and the ever-annoying Brooke are sharing a romantic bubble bath. (Quick, get the dramamine.) Billy tells her about Alison's shaky status. Sure enough, Brooke rats directly to Amanda the following morning. Amanda then calls the company responsible for printing their campaign, says she's Alison, and tells them D&D doesn't need the material for two weeks!

Alison is panicking. When she accuses Amanda of messing with things, Amanda's reaction is "Are you drinking again?" She even gives Alison advice on how to survive the Board of Directors meeting the next day -- "Blame it all on me," etc., etc. -- and Alison listens to her! (Wow, just when you thought the character couldn't get any more stupid...) Leaving the office with Brooke, Alison says this is definitely Amanda's last week. She then says that Billy has been kind of distant: Has he been seeing anyone? Brooke says, "No, Billy doesn't talk to me about his personal life." She walks toward the waiting limo. Alison again thanks her for being someone she can trust. Brooke smiles and enters the limo -- and there's Billy! They start going at it in the back seat, spilling very good champagne in the process, while Alison waves innocently at the darkened windows.

Finally, the Board meeting: Alison tells them that the Glorious Gowns campaign will be late. She starts to blame it all on Amanda, but the Chairman cuts her off: He's angry that Alison would screw up and then blame it on subordinates. Amanda then makes her move: She had another printing company do the designs, which she then pulls out and shows the board members! Alison Gapes! "You set me up!!" Amanda then says to the board, "I either leave and take my accounts with me, or I stay as president." Even Billy is stunned by this turn of events -- well, that's not saying a lot. Alison calls her a bleached-blonde so-and-so, but Amanda has won. Amanda then demotes Alison, but since Brooke has her old job, there's no place for her. Billy says, "Daaaah, c'mon! Dere's always a place for someone with talent..." But Alison doesn't want it, and leaves. Brooke follows and says how sorry she is for her -- then the traitor gets together with Amanda for champagne and a chorus of "The Queen is Dead! Long Live the Queen!"

Next Week: Alison is offered a job in Hong Kong by Brooke's dad. Is she leaving Melrose Place? And... "They all have enemies -- but one of them will be the victim of a murder plot." (Shot of gun going off.) The credits: It's that damn Letters to Clio again! Get something new!

--Ken Hart

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