Episode 2: Melrose is Like a Box of Chocolates


More odd behavior this week: Amanda is nice, Jane is scheming, Alison is aggressive, Matt gets tough ... thank goodness for some consistent snarkiness from Michael! He even asks Burns the question that we've been pondering all week: "What IS your problem?"

The Matt Slot belongs to ... the unseen repairmen, engineers, superheroes, etc. who -- overnight -- turned one-half of Melrose Place from being just "structurally sound" to Absolutely Fabulous. Not a scorch mark or cracked ceiling in sight!

Everybody except the Unholy Trio of Alison, Billy, and Brooke:

As the Army Corps of Engineers fixes the stucco on Melrose Place, Amanda is angrily trying to rush Our Sydney out of the shower. Sydney spunkily says she needs a nice hot shower to start off the day, and -- since this is her apartment -- she wants dibs on everything: bathroom, shower, TV, men... Amanda says that since Syd is living rent-free right now, then she must Pay The Utilities. (Oh, the horror! Wow, Amanda's retributions have gotten mellow: What ever happened to "I'll make your life a living hell"?)

Jo lets Matt stay at her place, since his pad was disintergrated by the bomb. In the courtyard, they see a very drunken Jake, who invites them to a "We survived!" party at Shooter's, but he still tosses off a barb at Jo.

At the hospital, The (Truly) Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns chats with an exhausted Kimberly. She still swears she didn't set the explosion: "Only a crazy person would do something like that." "Yes, exactly." He gives her the straight facts: As things look now, she'll be facing Murder One for Mackenzie's death, not to mention the other charges. The death penalty is likely. "I don't want to lose you," he says. "Plead insanity." "I can't." "Then I can't help you." (What is it with this guy? He's just so ... bizarre!)

In the cafeteria, Michael and Peter tell the chief surgeon about their plans to start a joint practice (!). The chief openly wonders if Peter's treatment of Kimberly is a good career move. Michael chimes in, "Yeah, what are you gonna do? Cut out the bad part of her brain? There won't be anything left!" (He's great!) Matt enters the cafeteria and everybody gets Quiet. Peter mumbles, "What's HE doing here?" Michael comes to Matt's defense and says Matt hasn't been convicted of anything. The chief says Matt is just here to collect some items, then..."Good riddance. Ever since he got a decent subplot, he's been insufferable." Matt sees Paul sitting at a table chatting with a cute nurse. Matt swears he'll prove that Paul's a murderer. Paul grabs him, then Matt punches him and says, "I'm gonna kill you!" Michael again helps out, pulling Matt out of the cafeteria before things get worse.

Later, back at Melrose Place, Peter visits Amanda. He defends Kimberly, saying she needs help. When Amanda questions this altruistic attitude, Peter says that he now cares about people. He feels that Kim's condition is partially the fault of many people: Amanda, Michael, Sydney, even himself. He asks Amanda not to file Stalking charges against Kim, as that could eliminate any chance of leniency from the judge. (Oh yeah, like the judge would say, "Well, you really only killed one person ... oh, what the heck, six months community service! You're free to go!") Amanda refuses, of course.

Matt's lawyer, Alycia, reads him the riot act over the cafeteria fight. She tells him that Paul has been brought in for questioning several times by the police; if the police believe that Paul and Matt were working together on the plot, Paul may plea-bargain and implicate Matt as the mastermind.

At Mackenzie Hart, Jane plans some radical changes in the company's fashion line. Richard is upset; this is NOT the way they do things here. He tells her that her ego is huge and her designs inadequate! Jane is unfazed by this Insult of Insults and walks off. (But that smile says she's planning something...)

Michael and Peter look over their nice new office space. Michael makes a crack about Peter treating "nutburgers like my soon-to-be ex-wife." Peter asks him not to proceed with the divorce; it could crush Kimberly. To which Michael replies, "What IS your problem?" (Thank you!) He wonders why Peter is doing this: "Can't be love ... maybe lust! Naah..." Peter tells him to stop making wisecracks about Kimberly. (But it's what he does best!)

Speaking of which, Kim is doin' the Rorshach Thing with another doctor. (In this blob, I see a monkey in a tree. In this blob, I see a whale. In this blob, I see Angela Lansbury cruising with the Hell's Angels at sunset.) She is uncooperative and says he'd get more results if he let her do her own drawings. He yields and gives her a sharpened pencil -- which she promptly impales his hand with! ("I wanted a Bic, damn it!") She makes a break for it, with a just-returning Peter in pursuit. She makes it to the roof. Peter tells the guards and police to let him handle it. She stands on the ledge, about to turn into her superhero form of Captain Lemming. She tearfully pleads that she needs to be loved again. Peter, after a brief pause, says that he loves her. She sinks back into his arms.

Jane shows up at Richard's place. They mutually apologize. He says, "You don't understand my relationship with Mackenzie." (Frankly, neither do I.) "She was my best friend, she was my lover..." (Uh oh, he's breaking into a James Taylor song.) But everything changed "when I fell in love with you." (For Pete's sake, you only knew her for two days before the explosion!) He seems to feel guilty, but Jane tells him that it's Kimberly's fault, not his.

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), we see that Jo's facial cut has moved to her right cheek. Matt tells her that he wants to confront Paul. Jo says, "I've been there! If I'd listened to my lawyer, I may have kept my baby!" (Hey, continuity! Don't you love it?) Jake is sitting with Amanda, sucking down generic beers like a fiend. He grabs a departing Syd: "Hey, Sydney, I'll buy you a drink." Syd declines. He threatens her job if she doesn't have a drink with him. Syd pauses, then says she won't help Jake self-destruct. (Yay, Sydney!) Jake fires her. "Too late -- I quit." Jake then grabs Jo and says, "Let's dance." Jo also declines. Jake says, "You never said no to my brother -- oops, I'm sorry!" Jo is uncomfortable. Matt steps in and punches Jake! (Do my eyes deceive?) Jake seems amused, then Matt hits him again! Once more, Michael restrains Matt. Jake shrugs it off and walks into his office in the back. Jo follows, to see him quietly hunched over in his chair. He mumbles to Jo, "I killed my brother ... I killed my brother..." Wow, Matt should become a therapist. Two punches and Jake's fine!

Michael is interviewing mega-babes for the position of receptionist, but Peter astutely points out that if they get an incredibly desirable woman, they'll both be after her and competing with each other. Peter leaves, but Sydney drops in. When she reminds Michael that she's now unemployed, Michael asks her to be the receptionist. (Boy, Syd must have an interesting resume by now!)

Peter pleads with the chief surgeon to let him have another shot at treating Kim. Over the objections of the injured psychiatrist ("Call me Lefty"), the chief agrees.

Jake shows up at Jo's door and apologizes. (A big week for apologies.) "I need you, Jo." "I need you, too." They hug. (Are they getting back together AGAIN??)

Billy, Alison, and Brooke:

Jane and Alison are being roomies at Jane's place. Billy shows up and wants to talk to Alison. (Since this may be the first time Billy has been in Jane's apartment, he anoints it by drooling on the tiles.) Alison, wearing her Ray Charles Ray-Bans, doesn't want to talk; she calmly tells him she wants him out of her life. Billy says, "Well, Alison, I'm always gonna care 'bout you whether you like it or not. Gaaah!" After he leaves, Jane says to Alison, "The way you're playing poor Billy is inspired." (Conversely, the way Andrew Shue plays poor Billy is uninspired.) Alison feigns innocence, but Jane knows she's using the "Guilt Card" to lure Billy back. (Tieing a piece of ham to a string should be enough of a lure for Billy.) Jane says she and Alison won't let people treat them like doormats anymore. "What do you want besides Billy?" "A Lamborghini, a career after this show is canceled, my old job back..." Jane tells her to go back to Amanda and demand her old job. (Excuse me, which old job do you mean: Account Manager or CEO?) Alison exclaims, "But I'm blind!" "So? Thanks to the magic of TV, you don't need to learn everything about Braille, typing, and other things that a real sightless person would require to function in a modern work environment!"

Brooke meets Big Daddy Armstrong on the golf course. Much to his chagrin, she's very happy in her marriage to the Doofus. She's looking forward to getting the trust fund that her mom established -- now that she's fulfilled the final condition by getting married! (Ah ha!) Daddy tells her not to get her hopes up too much. When she asks him for a loan, he tells her to get it from her new provider, her husband. Brooke then does That Look which everybody hates (you know, her eyes move up and to the right, her mouth turns slightly, etc. -- it's the same annoying look she does when she's trying to look intelligent).

Jane and Alison visit D&D. Brooke, though not happy, tells Alison she's glad to see her. Alison brushes her aside! (Ninjas like Alison do not need vision to strike!) They enter Amanda's office and Alison demands her old job back "...and if you don't give it to me, I'm going to sue you for discriminating against the visually challenged and idiots -- I'm covered in both areas!" Amanda politely tells her not to worry. She meant what she said at the hospital; she feels responsible for much of the bad stuff that's happened to Alison, and she'd be a fool to reject someone with Alison's talent. (Waitaminute -- Amanda is being NICE to Alison?! For real?!) Even Alison is surprised, and Amanda says she can start the next day.

When Brooke learns this, she is not a happy camper. She reminds Amanda about everything they did to get rid of her; Amanda truly regrets what she did. She says that Brooke will now be sharing all her responsibilities with Alison. Brooke says, "What is going on? Amanda, you're getting soft." "No. I'm growing up. You should try it." ZING!

The Infamous "Take Alison to the Bathroom" Scene: Billy, Brooke, Alison, and Amanda are in a late-night meeting at D&D. They all have notes in front of them, including Alison. (Go figure.) Brooke is embarrassingly nice to Alison. (Ewww!) However, that quickly fades when Alison says she needs to use the restroom, and Amanda tells Brooke to take her there! Brooke is paralyzed for a moment, then refuses to do it. Amanda follows her into the hallway and says if Brooke doesn't put personal matters aside (on "Melrose Place"?! You must be joking!) and help Alison, she's fired. Brooke says, "Fine. I quit. I'm coming into a great deal of money and I don't need to work."

The next morning, Brooke is at Stately Wayne Manor to find out how much she's getting from the trust fund. To her surprise, Billy turns up -- he was invited by Daddy! (Brooke is not thrilled.) As the lawyer reads the conditions of the trust fund (including that Brooke must be married), Billy angrily says, "Daaah, you nevah told me about this." Brooke will receive equal, annual installments of ... only $10,000! Yow! Brooke is stunned: "How am I supposed to live on this?!" Billy storms off. Brooke is mad at Daddy, but she says she can patch things up with Billy. Dad points out, though, that marriage is based on trust, and now Billy feels he can't trust her. (Oooo, good plan!)

Brooke returns to D&D and apologizes to Amanda, who says, "Lucky for you, I've grown soft. Isn't that what you said?" She hires Brooke back -- as Alison's assistant. (Ouch! Bad move, though, Amanda. Brooke already has the annoying look again.)

Billy shows up at the Jane/Alison residence with Chinese takeout. ("Daah, ya want some Moo Goo Gai Pan?") He hears a crash and runs to the bathroom to see Alison on the floor. She apparently lost her balance in the shower. He helps her up, holding her naked flesh against him. (Hmmm, time for another shower -- this time for Billy!) They hug tenderly, but Jane's entrance at the front door ruins the moment, and Billy splits. Jane says, "Can't you get anything other than Chinese -- it's so fattening!" Billy, all flustered, quickly exits. Jane sees an amused Alison in the bathroom. "What happened?" "It's been awhile since Billy's seen me naked!" "Alison, you are so bad!"

Brooke visits Daddy again. She sucks up to him like that guy in the Bud Light commercial: "I love you, man!" Daddy gives her a very warm hug. (There's something weird going on between these two.) Brooke, convinced that Daddy has been sufficiently buttered up, asks him again for a loan. He happily writes her a check ... for $100,000. BUT there's a catch: She'll get the money only when she files for divorce from the nimrod!

Wednesday Night: The One-Hundreth Episode! Billy and Alison dance while Brooke scowls; Paul and Matt confront each other -- at gunpoint; and at Kimberly's insanity hearing, Michael says, "Your honor, this woman is NOT insane!" prompting a hissing, leaping response from the Kimster!

--Ken Hart

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