Episode 30: The Big Bang Theory


Where to begin? Not a bad wrapup, but -- gosh darn it! -- I wanted Explosions!! Jack Wagner was surprisingly good in his return as The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns; somehow, washing the gel out of his hair has improved the character tremendously. Also, this story left no doubt that the best actor on the show is Marcia Cross. Although the writers' use of Kimberly (and those around her) is largely responsible for this season's stumbles, I really hope they find some plausible way of keeping a less volatile Kim around. Hell, I'd even settle for a semi-plausible way!

The Matt Slot? Unfortunately, Matt DID have a subplot -- and it's a real stinker! The recent challenger to the Slot, Jane, returned to visibility with a vengeance.

I'll split the plots up as usual, then merge everything together for the wedding and the conclusion:

Matt and the Not-So-Gay Doctor:

Paul approaches Matt at the hospital and tells him that he and his wife, Carol, have declared a truce: "We're meeting a divorce lawyer later on." Matt believes him, but we know he's lying -- Paul later sends a bunch of flowers to his wife, declaring his undying love. Matt is obviously being set up. Carol is going on a trip for a few days. Paul calls up Matt and says that Carol has moved out, clearing the way for him and Matt. But Matt says he's not ready to rush into a relationship. Matt comes over for a dinner of Chinese take-out; Paul points out some of the expensive items that Carol "left behind" in her rush to leave, including the beautiful candlestick holder, which Matt picks up to examine. (Oooh, I'm getting a bad feeling about this...!)

On the day of Billy's wedding (Hey! Wasn't Matt invited?), Paul calls up Matt at his office and says he'll be late coming home, so why doesn't Matt go to the house first and start dinner. Why, don't worry about the alarm, Matt -- it's been switched off. (Run, Matt! Run for the hills before this subplot takes you by the throat!) Matt goes to the house and -- surprise -- sets off the alarm! After a futile attempt to call Paul, he sees Carol's dead body on the floor. She's apparently been bludgeoned -- by the candlestick holder! D'OH! Matt realizes he's in a Bad Situation and makes a beeline for the front door, but the police arrive, guns drawn! Matt in taken in for interrogation. He tells the detectives that, yes, he and Paul were involved. The police tell him that Paul and his wife filed several complaints against Matt, saying that he was making unwanted phone calls, waiting outside the house, and singing the score of "Man From La Mancha." Paul bursts in at that point, acting the part of the grief-stricken and enraged widower. He lunges at Matt, who suddenly realizes Way Too Late that he's been framed! He lunges back at Paul! It's a lunge-fest! (Gee, this stuff never happens on "N.Y.P.D. Blue.")

Jane and Some Guy Named Hart:

Officers from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department come to Mancini Designs and hand Jane a foreclosure notice! They seize all her assets (watch it, buddy!) and tell her to vacate the premises immediately. Jane protests, "I've barely had any scenes in the past few episodes! I haven't had enough dialogue to pay the rent!" Back at her apartment, Jane shares the bad news with Michael. She tells him that even after using the money that Syd invested, she was still in a financial hole. (Oh, but you could hire those two models that con Syd the other week, right?) Amanda comes by to harass Jane about the moolah she owes D&D, and is shocked to see Michael out of prison. [Bear with me -- I'm momentarily leaping plots.] Michael tells her she can thank Peter Burns. She says, "Stay away from me, Michael." "Why don't you tell me to do something hard?" He threatens her with legal action once he clears his name, then leaves. Jane tells Amanda that she's bankrupt and that D&D will just have to get in line with everyone else she owes money to. Amanda coldly says that she's about to sign a deal with the prestigious Mackenzie Hart design agency. An awestruck Jane pleads with Amanda to let her meet the CEO, Richard Hart (no relation). Amanda says no way!

Well, as fast as you can say "YES way," Jane is waiting to ambush Hart as he and Amanda enter D&D. She runs up and introduces herself in front of a stunned Brooke and angry Amanda. As Hart makes his excuses and retreats to the elevator, Jane shoves Amanda into the wall (!) and dives in after him. (Holy Working Girl, Batman!) Richard is impressed by her tenacity and tells her to come by the office in the morning. He likes Jane's, ahem, portfolio and suggests she meet with him and Mackenzie for dinner. Mackenzie (played by early '80s TV icon Morgan Brittany) flips through Jane's design and seems to dislike her intensely. Jane says as much to Richard after Mackenzie leaves. He says that's not the case -- Jane starts her new job tomorrow.

Jane, exposing her belly button her first day in the office (does your company have this policy?), flips through some designs she's spotted. They have Mackenzie's name on them, but they're not her creations. Richard explains to Jane that this is how the business works. Jane has the eye for youth that Mackenzie has lost, but Jane will have to remain in the background and anonymous, and she'll get a lot of money. Jane contends that she's never done fashion design solely for the money, but he says this is how it must be for now. He tells her, "I'll going to do whatever I have to to keep you happy." (I don't like typing "to to" in a sentence; it's ugly-looking.)

Returning to the MP courtyard after another dinner, Jane puts on the moves and pulls the feebly protesting Hart into her apartment for an evening of wild passion. (Story of my life.) In the office the next day, Mackenzie confronts Richard: "You slept with her, didn't you?" He reminds her that they had both agreed it was OK to see other people. Next followed a stream of laughably bad dialogue that not only stunned my brain so much I could not write it down, but I could not even bring myself to rewatch it on videotape. At the end of this, she kisses Richard, and Jane sees this. (Shades of Chaz!) Jane talks to Richard later. He explains his relationship with Mackenzie, saying that it's good business for him to be nice toward her and that he must be discreet in his extracurricular activities. Jane lays down her own ground rules, saying she won't be "the other woman."

Jo, Jake, and Jess:

Jake returns to Shooter's and tells Jess to get out. Jess says, "This is the thanks I get for keeping this place goin' ... I leave now, that's it. I don't have a brother." Jake says, "Works for me." Later, Jo makes dinner for Jess but he's in a blue mood. Jo encourages him, "Let's look through the want ads. Hey look at this -- Burger King needs a new spokesman! Must be able to pander to modern youth. No acting experience required. This is perfect!" Alison picks that moment to call Jo. She says she can't understand Billy's reaction to her letter. Jess picks up the phone and tells Alison to get off -- this is HIS time with Jo. Jo is just a bit surprised by this; she tells Alison she'll call her back and NOT to leave Hong Kong until she does.

Jo later sees Brooke and Billy in the courtyard, being all too cute. Billy tells her about the engagement. Jo Gapes! (Well, if Alison's out of the country, somebody has to gape!) She says, "I think you're making a mistake." "Daaaah, well, Jo, I guess ya shouldn't be RVPSing, ah, I mean RSVPing!"

Jess takes Jo out to the hills overlooking L.A. He tells her that he has a new job at a construction site -- he gets to hold the hot rivets. Jo is happy for him. He then says, "Will you marry me?" Her immediate reaction? "Yeah, right!" YOW! Seeing that Jess does not react well to this, Jo apologizes and says that he just took her by surprise -- she thinks it's too soon for them to consider marriage. He's not happy. The next day, she visits him at the construction site -- she missed the indentation of his body on the wall last night. He apologizes, admitting that they should have discussed the topic of marriage earlier.

Later, Jess returns "home" during his lunch break. Again he proposes to her, but this time with a big diamond ring. Jo's Spider Sense goes off, but it's a little late in the day for that, ain't it, Jo? She asks Jess where he got the ring. He says, "Oh, do you think I stole it?" She says they should slow the relationship down a bit. He reacts by punching her! She runs to the back and he follows. We hear the unpleasant sounds of him beating her, as he says, "You-belong-to-me!" He goes back to work, leaving her squirming on the floor.

Billy, Brooke, and Alison:

Brooke and Billy tell "Big Daddy" Hayley Armstrong that they're engaged. Armstrong is not overjoyed. When he asks if they've set the date, they say this Saturday! Hel-lo! He asks to speak to Brooke privately. "Are you out of your mind?" he says. "I don't want that slack-jawed drooling bad actor in my family!" Brooke protests that Billy is "an undervalued asset" and she loves him. (Buy her a puppy, for Pete's sake.)

Alison attends an AA meeting in Hong Kong. She meets a young Accent guy who volunteers to be her sponsor. She's a little rude to him, but she accepts his offer. She calls D&D again. This time, she gets Amanda, who promptly and gleefully informs her about Billy and Brooke's wedding! Alison is too stunned to even gape! Later, she's walking with her sponsor, wondering what she should do. He encourages her to go back and confront Billy face-to-face and explain how she feels. When she says there's no way Armstrong would let her split Hong Kong on a moment's notice, the guy says not to worry about it: Armstrong must like her -- after all, he created the VP position just for her! Things finally start making sense to The Clueless Wonder.

Billy goes to Shooter's and tells Jake about the wedding. Jake is surprised, but he's not going to make any judgments. Billy asks him to be his best man, and they joke about last year when Jake punched Billy in the mouth. (Oh, c'mon, Jake! Hit him again! Harder!) Jake agrees.

Alison calls Armstrong and announces her immediate resignation. She knows why he sent her away. He tries to proclaim his innocence, but she says, "Save it." He then calls Brooke at D&D and tells her. She demands that he handle damage control; if Alison ruins her wedding, she'll blame Daddy. Later, Amanda matter-of-factly says that she told Alison about the wedding. When Billy shows up, Brooke asks him to stay over at her house (so that Alison can't reach him at home). Meanwhile, Alison's plane is sitting on the tarmac, being delayed for hours. She tells her sordid story to the woman sitting next to her, who has no choice but to commit ritual suicide.

Back at Brooke's place, Billy bemoans the fact that they had to sleep in separate rooms last night. The Master of Romance says, "Gaah, I wanna grow old with you."

Michael, Sydney, Kimberly, Amanda, and The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns:

Michael gets a visitor in prison: Sydney. She claims to be "concerned" about him, but she gets in a few digs. Michael asks her to help him clear his name: "The truth is, you're the only one I could ever count on -- the only one I can trust." Yeah, right, and my name is Linda Gray.

Kimberly walks through the hallways of the hospital in a daze. In a small mirror in her locker, she again sees the Killer Bob wannabe. (Get a razor and shave, you lowlife of the imagination!) He encourages her to hurt those who have hurt her: "I'm not going anywhere until the job is finished!"

The gel-less Dr. Burns visits Michael and put up the $250G's for his bail. Later, at the beachhouse, Peter says he was in jail for only 3 days, thanks to a good lawyer who advised him to lay low for several months. Burns is willing to help Michael out; in return, he wants Michael to recant his testimony about Amanda's "emergency appendectomy" before a medical board. Peter needs to save his medical license. He tells Michael, "We're two of a kind," and they both pose for a Coors commercial.

Michael drops by Shooters (The Only Bar in Town, Unless You Count That Sleazy Pool Hall Where Steven Tyler Hangs Out) to see Syd. He asks her to keep tabs on Kimberly. Syd takes this a little too close to heart. When she knows that Kimberly is at the hospital, she sneaks into Kim's motel room. Using her ninja techniques, she finds Kimberly's bizarre montage: photos of Syd, Michael, Matt, and Amanda, all sliced up with blotches of red across their faces. "Kim, you are not a well woman." She snaps some photos of the collage, which she and Michael bring before the police. The sergeant says that if Syd got these photos the way he thinks she got these photos, then she's guilty of breaking and entering. They certainly can't be admitted as evidence of criminal wrongdoing. He probes a little deeper into Syd and Mike's recent history, and they decide it's time to leave.

Peter is working at a clinic, treating kids. (Awwwww...) Kimberly visits and asks why he let Michael out of jail. He comes on to her, saying she's been the subject of various sexual fantasies of his. She's a little surprised. He asks her out. Later, she visits his place. (Does everybody live in homes with 12-foot-high front doors?!) She shows him two tickets to the opera. He says, "I hate opera." The lust monkeys go at it, and they're soon singing arias of their own!

Peter coaches Michael on his testimony before the board: Portray Amanda as being lawsuit-happy. Michael smiles in delight. (He's great!) By the way, Peter tells Mike that he's dating his ex-wife. "Which one?" says Michael.

Peter meets Kim in the parking lot, gives her roses, and asks her to be his date for a physicians' cocktail party. She says yes, sighing, "What a bo-hunk of man!" As she's about to drive off, Killer Bob shows up in her rear view mirror, chastising her for getting distracted. She pulls out and starts driving like a crazy person ... well, Kim IS a crazy person. Never mind. She tells Bob she's willing to kill herself if it means he'll die too. Bob disappears inexplicably, and Kim thinks she's won.

Peter and Kimberly attend the party. They're feeling hot, and it hasn't nothing to do with McDonald's coffee. Says Kim, "I want you, Peter, like I've wanted no other man." He says the feeling's mutual: He wants her like he's wanted no other man. She says that with him in her life, the demons are gone. Sydney and Michael pick that moment to turn up. Michael tosses out a couple of barbs, then says, "Let's see -- who here might benefit my career? Let's start with cardiology and work our way down." Kimberly loses her cool slightly and retreats to the cavernous ladies' room. Killer Bob shows up and torments her. (Hey! Get outta the ladies room, buddy!) Kim pleads with him not to ruin things with Peter: "Let me have him, and I'll do whatever you want." As she recites her mantra of "Sydney, Michael, Amanda, Matt must die...", Syd takes a step in, listens to Kim's mutterings, and slowly backs out. (Well, I think I'll be going now...)

Michael goes before the board and recants his earlier testimony. He testifies as Peter suggested. Sure enough, Amanda testifies next and goes lawsuit-manic, threatening the entire hospital and each and every member of the board with legal action if she doesn't get her way! They're not impressed. On the way out, she sees her "pal" Kimberly being cozy with Peter. As she leaves, though, Peter gives her this longing look.

Later, back at his place, Peter gets the news: He's keeping his license. Kimberly wants to celebrate with sex, but he insists he has Things To Do, and he shows her the door. (Super Sleuth Sydney is parked across the street, watching.) Kimberly stands stunned for a few seconds, trying to figure out what just happened. Through the window, he hears Peter calling -- Amanda! He leaves a message on Amanda's answering machine, asking to meet with her and talk things out. Kim is shocked; Killer Bob says he told her that she couldn't trust anybody.

The Wedding and the Finale:

Jake shows up with Amanda. Jane shows up with Richard Hart. Amanda sees this and is impressed. She compliments Jane on her tactics -- she knew what she wanted and she grabbed it. Jane says, "Some of your ruthlessness must have rubbed off on me. Good thing you've got so much to spare." Zing! The kick is good! It splits the uprights!

"Dad" talks to Billy. He says Brooke is used to getting what she wants. If Billy doesn't make Brooke "extra-happy," he will crush Billy -- he'll bounce him to a thankless job like answering member support calls for America Online. Billy says that if "Dad" interferes with his and Brooke's marriage, then Armstrong will have Billy to deal with -- ooooo, I'm sooo frightened!

Just as the vows are about to be exchanged, here comes Alison! She pleads with Billy not to do this. She loves him -- Brooke must have changed her note. Just as things look like they're about to fall apart, Billy says, "You have got to let go. Daaah, I'm gettin' married here! Go. Now." Alison is taken away by Armstrong's sunglassed thugs. Jane follows and offers to give Alison a life back to L.A. Alison says, "I'd rather walk home on my hands than take a ride from a traitor like you!" Well, a simple NO would have sufficed! The wedding sounds, and she turns to see Billy kiss the bride!

As Billy and Brooke drive off in the limo, Billy realizes that he left their plane tickets for Hawaii in his apartment (You EEEdiot!) so they have to go there first.

Kim enters the MP courtyard carrying a couple of Really Big black garbage bags. (I just got a bunch of recyclables, yeah, that's it!) Syd follows her into the rarely seen laundry room. Kim knocks her down, then knocks her out with a bucket! Oh, Syd looks really pail now! Meanwhile, Peter gets a delivery of a bottle of champagne from "Amanda" (to quote Jo, "Yeah, right") with instructions to come to her apartment that night. When Syd wakes up, Kim tells all about the four bombs she's going to set off that will demolish Melrose Place, with the biggest being saved for Amanda, of course. She pulls out an acetylene torch and threatens to give Syd a facial if she doesn't call Michael and lure him here. Syd, make that call!

Burns turns up in the courtyard as Amanda and Jake return from the wedding. He mentions the gift of champagne, but Amanda obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. At this point, the beaten Jo crawls out of her apartment and pleads for help. Peter leaps into Doctor Mode and starts treating her. Jo says to Jake, "I should have listened to you..." Jake runs off to get Jess, with blood in his eyes and a song in his heart. Downstairs, Alison hugs a bottle of vodka as she looks through her window to see Billy and Brooke enter his apartment. She opens the bottle and starts drinking.

Jake gets to the construction site, where he and Jess duke it out. Jess says that he almost had it all -- Jake's business, Jake's woman, and almost Jake's life -- it's too bad Steven Tyler is such a lousy assassin! Jake says, "Aerosmith is my favorite band!" and charges Jess. They both go plummeting off the edge!

Michael arrives at the laundry room. He sees Syd tied up. Kim comes up from behind and "pails" him, but he shrugs it off and slams her into a metal basin, knocking her out. Syd says the whole place is wired to blow! Michael says they've got to get everybody out! (Uh, hey, guys, the detonator is on the floor...uh, guys, you know, the detonator... fine, don't listen to me!) They start banging on everyone's door, yelling at them to get out NOW! Alison is completely plastered and doesn't budge. As Jane and Richard come out, Mackenzie turns up (oh, puh-leeze!), sees them, and says "Whore!" Michael says, "Lady, your timing really stinks here!" As everyone comes out to see what's going on, Kimberly appears and sweetly says, "It's not what you think..." She pulls out the detonator and starts flipping the switches. "...It's worse!" Freeze-frame! To be continued!

What?! I really wanted an explosion! Oh well, not a bad ending, considering how recent episodes have gone. Now I can rest for a few months.

--Ken Hart

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