Episode 1: Post-Mortem Madness


Ah, another season of backstabbing, bed-hopping, and bad acting!

Everybody was acting very odd in this episode: Matt = feisty; Alison = manipulative; Amanda = sympathetic; Kimberly = subdued then psychotic (OK, maybe she's the same); Jane = cold, calculating; and so forth. The writers definitely decided to shake things up a bit.

The episode began with (finally!) The Explosion! Characters are blown six ways to Sunday, thanks to Kimberly's bombs and some rear-projection special effects. Amanda gets up first, only to be knocked down the stairs by another blast. Michael seems to be in the best shape. Billy sees Alison's apartment in flames and rushes in to save her, ignoring Brooke's pleas to come back. Avoiding the flames, he spots Alison's motionless form on the floor -- "Daah, Alison, yer place is a mess!" -- and carries her out. The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns gets even more bizarre when he sees Kimberly's body in the pool and he dives in to save her! OK, you're surrounded by injured and possibly dying people, but you ignore them all to save the life of the person you betrayed and who blew up the place, right? It must a Doctor Thing -- you know, the Hypocritical Oath. The Fire Department arrives within seconds. One fireman takes over Burns' attempt to fondle -- I mean, resuscitate Kimberly. (And, man, NOTHING can knock that wig off, can it? Kimberly's hair could fight Hurricane Luis to a standstill!)

At the construction site, we see that Grant Show did indeed sign his contract; therefore, Jake lives! (Yeah, right, hold the applause.) Jess did not survive the lethal fall. (Gee, I don't know -- I thought that since they were falling in slow motion, it would have cushioned the impact.) Dan Cortese, return to the dregs of MTV Sports!

New Opening Credits! Same music, different photos. Finally, Marcia Cross is present; unfortunately, so are the LOSERS like Kirsten What's-Her-Name (Brooke)! All the women apparently had bad hair days, but at least we don't have to see Grant Show opening that damn refrigerator again. Beware the Gratuitous Butt Shot near the end!

The season's first awarding of the Matt Slot (given to the character with next to nothing to do in the episode) goes to ... Sydney, who was presumably too busy working on her trashy movie-of-the-week airing tonight!

Everybody Except Matt:

At the hospital (of course): Alison is in bad shape; fortunately, the alcohol absorbed most of the damage. Mackenzie (Jane's new boss, the one who called her a "whore" just before the bombs went off) is in Very bad shape. As the doctors tell Jane and Richard that only family is allowed inside, Richard says, "She's my wife!" D'OH! The doctor soon tells him, "She's dead. There was nothing we could do: She didn't sign an option for the new season, but she does have a guest spot on 'Murder She Wrote.'" Richard is crushed.

Billy checks in on Jake, who is suffering from many bruises and a broken leg. He asks Jake what happened. Jake says, "Well, I was supposed to die, but my agent got back to me with this great offer, so I came back. Jess didn't." Detectives KO and Slaphappy arrive to question Jake; Billy offers to stay, but Jake says he can handle it.

Burns, now in hospital garb, is relatively unscathed. As the MP residents are wondering where they're going to stay, he offers Amanda a warm bed and big breakfast at his place. She says, "I'd rather sleep on a grate." As he leaves, Sydney calls out, "Wait! I like breakfast!" Amanda adopts a motherly tone and tells her that no offer is ever free. As if on cue, Michael turns up, pushing Jo in a wheelchair. He tells Amanda and Syd that they, like Jo, are welcome to crash at the beachhouse. Amanda and Syd look at each other, and he adds that there'll be no funny business. As they all leave, he says the last thing he wants right now is sex "especially with any of you."

The next morning, at the palatial estate of Big Daddy Armstrong, Brooke's father is annoyed that Billy placed Brooke near such danger. He wants the honeymoon to begin immediately. Billy hesitates, saying that he can't leave his friends at such a time. Brooke agrees with Daddy, though, and Billy relents -- for her sake. (Emote, damn you, emote!)

At Alison's bedside, we find that she is blind -- at least temporarily. The doctor tells her that her eyes suffered some hemataceous mahgooboo hemorrhages; in English, this means she won't regain her sight from weeks, months, perhaps longer. (Hey -- I bet Alison will soon toss out some dialogue about how she can now see things in a "new light.")

Burns is extremely concerned about Kimberly. (Go figure.) She's in a sterile-looking room, under police guard. She tells him that she's very upset that she's been accused of setting off the bombs. She's in big time denial: She remembers the explosions, but not her role in them. Burns says that he's on her side, but he tries to get her to face reality. She reacts angrily, flips out, and has to be restrained by doctors.

In the latest installment of "Characters We Don't Care About," we turn to Jane and Richard. He's still distraught over Mackenzie's death. Jane says, "I know a way to keep Mackenzie alive." Before you can say "Well, where is this doctor...Frankenstein, you say?" Jane explains that they can play down her death and apply Mackenzie's name to the latest fashions they're putting out. Richard is slightly disgusted by Jane's lack of emotion, but he agrees to consider it.

Later, Jane visits Alison at the hospital. Alison apologizes for calling Jane a traitor at the wedding, and she realizes that Billy is the one who saved her life. Alison also says that her blindness is helping her to see things in a new light. (Ah ha!) Billy turns up; Alison secretly asks Jane not to let Billy know the full details of her condition, i.e., she may regain her sight. (This is known as The Blake Carrington Blindness Gambit, last employed by John Forsythe on "Dynasty" years ago. He made his temporary blindness seem worse than it was, so he could find out if his wife was cheating on him. Yes, I do know too much trivia to be allowed to live.) She then tells Billy off, saying he made his choice by marrying another woman. "Oh yeah, dat's right, I did! Daaah, thanks for remindin' me, Alison!"

A limping Jake returns to the Melrose Place courtyard, where he finds Amanda assessing the damage. She tells him that his side of the courtyard is structurally sound, so if he doesn't mind intermittent electricity and water, he's welcome to return. (Oh, by the way, the cable channel is stuck on the WB network. Noooooo!) Jo appears; she was worried about Jake, and she wants to know what happened to Jess. Jake angrily tells her that they fought, Jess died, and the police have determined he was acting in self-defense. Jo blames herself. Jake yells at her to just get past it: "Stop it! It's finished!"

A "kinder, gentler" Amanda visits Alison, who milks it for all it's worth. Amanda says she'll rebuild MP bigger and better. A huge bouquet of roses comes in. Amanda says they're from Billy: "See, he cares -- and so do I." Alison tells her, "If you're done feeling better about yourself, you can leave."

Michael tells Kimberly's doctor that she's mentally unreachable. He can't pay all the expenses for her, anyway, so he wants to transfer her to an institution. Burns overhears this; he tells Michael that he won't let him send Kim to "the snake pit" and that he'll cover the expenses. Why does Burns care?

Jane and Richard are at the crematorium where Mackenzie's ashes have been interred. Jane again pushes her idea for the fashion line, and Richard is visibly repelled. He doesn't want to be involved.

Billy has a big confrontation with Big Daddy. He says he won't leave for the honeymoon yet. As Daddy pushes the issue, Billy tells him, "Gaah, you can continue yer sick relationship with your daughter! I'm outta here!" Daddy yells at Brooke, "I can't believe you let that slack-jawed, drooling, bad actor in our house!" (Billy with a backbone -- shocking!) Billy returns to his mostly ruined apartment, but Brooke follows him. She says she also told Daddy off -- she wants to be with her husband. (Sounds phony.) Then they lip-lock in a particularly ugly way. Ewww.

Jake arranges a quiet burial for Jess. Jo turns up, but Jake is very angry: He says that if she had just heeded his warnings about Jess, this wouldn't have happened. (Jake blasting Jo -- still shocking!)

As Syd returns to MP, Amanda tells her that everybody is doubling up for the moment -- they're going to be roomies in Syd's apartment for a while. However, Amanda will take the bed, while Syd sleeps on the couch! (Hey, at least Amanda is giving her free rent for the duration.)

Burns returns to Ms. Catatonia USA. He comforts Kimberly in her room, promising that he'll help her recover.

And, hey, not once did anybody ever ask, "Where's Matt?"

The Matt Story:

Matt's in jail on a charge of murder. He calls his parents and emotionally explains his situation. His father, shocked, says he'll call his lawyer. However, he is pleased that his son is finally getting some quality scenes. Matt's mom arrives to visit him, accompanied by a female lawyer (I didn't catch the name). Matt is furious, though, that Dad didn't show up. He says Mom and Dad have always disapproved of his lifestyle, and he insists he's done nothing wrong. The lawyer suggests that they work out some sort of plea, but once Matt realizes that this is just a way for his parents to avoid bad publicity, he wigs out and tells Mom to get lost. (Bad move, Matt!)

Later, Matt meets with the lawyer. He changed his mind when he found out that she is indeed a fine criminal lawyer. However, he will not plea bargain. He's innocent. She tells him some good news: Several people will attest to seeing Matt and Paul together in friendly situations, which pokes holes in Paul's "stalking" story. The flip side, though, is that detectives are beginning to wonder if Paul and Matt planned this together. Matt says if she can arrange bail, he can prove his innocence.

At the bail hearing, the lawyer portrays Matt as an ideal citizen who is not a flight risk. The judge agrees, but due to the severity of the crime, sets the bail at $1,200,000. To Matt's surprise, the lawyer says they can post the bail. She explains to him that his parents put up the mortgage on their house. Matt feels like a major stooge. That night, he goes to their home and has a tearful reunion. Awwwww....

Next Week: Alison manipulates the mindless Billy; Matt punches Paul; and Burns tries to prevent Kimberly from impersonating a lemming! And no Letters to Clio!

--Ken Hart

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