Episode 8: Dial "M" for Melrose


I like the goofy montages they put together whenever they do a commercial break now, like Peter being bracketed by slow-motion images of Amanda and Kimberly. Much better than last year's images of, say, Alison's swigging a bottle of Stolie's in slo-mo.

This week, the Matt Slot goes to...Jane, whose boring subplot was mercifully ignored this week, although we unfortunately were not spared Richard, a.k.a. Fashion Boy, a.k.a. The Sap. Jo didn't have much to do either, though at least she's doing a Movie of the Week for NBC next Sunday. Syd was another near-no-show, but (as usual) she made the most of her 30 seconds.

Alison, Big Daddy, Brooke, and Billy:

Hayley, Alison and the poster children for genetic planning, Brooke and Billy, are finishing dinner at Stately Armstrong Manor. Brooke, sporting an ugly new limp hairdo, is less than thrilled by the sight of Big Daddy and Alison together. Daddy has worse news: "You see, we've fallen in love." They tell the Wonder Kids that it was never their intention to hurt anyone. (But they're so good at it!) Alison particularly tells Billy that she hopes this doesn't damage their friendship. "Ahhh, no, course not." (Does Billy mean it? With Andrew Shue, how are we supposed to know?) Brooke says -- yawn -- gee, it's past my bedtime. Good night. Billy tells the improbable couple, "Daaah, I hope yull be happy together." As they leave, Alison looks a little upset. She tells Big Daddy that the last thing she wanted to do was hurt Billy. (Oh! Billy's expression was supposed to be one of HURT! Thanks for explaining!) B.D says that he'll do whatever it takes to keep Billy and Brooke in their lives. "I've never been so in love with you as I am right now." Excuse me? You've been in love with Alison HOW long -- a day and a half? It's great how Time moves at different rates in this show. Two minutes go by for Amanda; three days go by for Matt; two weeks go by for everybody else!

Back at Melrose, Billy stares in the mirror and sees his career disintegrate. He returns to bed, where he tells an unhappy Brooke, "All dat mattahs is you 'n' me." "Who made you so sweet? You're the most wonderful slack-jawed husband in the world." (Did my new VCR come with barf bags? No? Damn!) They start kissing, and Billy says in a sing-song voice, "You better put in yer diaphragm!" (The actors must have needed a few takes to get through this scene intact!) "Let me mark my spot!" Ewww! She wanders into the bathroom, does the Brooke Grimace, and coyly decides not to put in the diaphragm! (Rethink this, Brooke! Don't let Billy spawn!)

Big Daddy gives Alison breakfast in bed. "Alison, do you love me as much as I love you?" "Umm, yeah." (You know, it's during scenes like this that I miss "The A-Team.") He suggests that she move into the mansion. She needs to think about it.

Well, it doesn't take her a long time to figure out what she wants to do! Billy and Brooke sees Alison with a couple of suitcases walking out of her apartment. Alison tells the Brookster, "I'm moving in with your father." Brooke Gapes! After Alison leaves, Brooke says to the Doofus, "She's moving into my house! MY house!" "Brooke, daah, it's yer father's house." (Again, is Billy annoyed at Brooke? At Alison? Who knows? Shue, emote, damn you!)


(Boy, Matt never gets to play with any of the other kids on Melrose Place!) Matt and Mom return from paying their last respects to Dad. "What a nice funeral," says Mom. (Whatever you say, Mrs. Fielding. What's next on your entertainment schedule? "Nightmare on Elm Street"?) She says Dad wasn't one for ceremonies; the only one he ever liked was Matt's graduation. "He'd be so glad that you're going back to medical school [Plot Development!] -- it's too bad he .... BWAAA! I miss him!!" Matt tells Mom that that she can't "shut down" and -- ahem -- he won't let her get lonely! (Hey, now! That's illegal in most states, young man -- except New Hampshire, of course.) Bye, Matt! Have a nice subplot waiting next week!

Jo and Jake:

In Jo's pad, she and Fashion Boy are going over her photos of his new men's clothing line. Jake shows up just as Richard has put his hand affectionately on Jo's neck. (Don't these people ever close their doors? No wonder Central Park West is dying! It's based in New York, so none of the doors stay open!) Jake says he just came by to say hi, but Jo wants him to stay and try on some jacket that Fashion Boy designed for the Mighty Ducks hockey team. In true Jake "I hate conversation" fashion, he declines and leaves.

The next day, Jo shows up at Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town) and wants to know why Jake is "a little...pissed." (Oh, my ears are burning!) When Jake admits he's annoyed that Jo is spending so much time with Richard, she rightly accuses him of practicing a double standard: "I saw Shelly in her butt-floss bikini go into your place for coffee." (Hmmm, a new twist on the Taster's Choice commercials.) They agree they need to work harder on their relationship. Shelly turns up for work at that moment; she says she's going to give Jake lessons on using the computer. (You know, Jake should be more picky when it comes to giving out access to his financial records. Besides, didn't Jo say a couple of weeks ago that she would do the books for a while?)

The next day, Jo again goes to Shooter's and tells Jake that he's coming with her right now to the Rose Bowl. (The Rose Bowl is in October?!?) He agrees and he goes into the back room to tell Shelly to mind the store. Shelly, who obviously had planned on some "private lessons," says, "If you want to be computer-illiterate all your life..." Jake replies, "Nothing would make me happier." Ah, ignorance is so endearing when it comes from Jake! Gee, I can't wait for the next installment of this exciting subplot. Zzzzzz.

Plot Intrusion! Jane:

Jane is such a loser lately that not only does she not have an active subplot this week, but she has to piggy-back on someone else's! Joggin' Jane and Alison are burning those calories on the street while discussing relationships. Alison tells her about Big Daddy, then asks "So, what's up with you and Richard." Jane says the engagement is off. She blames it on Jo, yet she even admits to Alison that she doesn't love Richard! She's confident that she WILL love him eventually, and she plans to win him back. She's not going to take off the engagement ring until then! Alison doesn't understand what she's talking about. OK, take off, Jane!

Peter, Amanda, Michael, Sydney, and Kimberly:

Okey-doke: Amanda, trapped in Jack Parezi's place, struggles with him and runs up the spiral staircase. (Did you at least THINK to check the front doors? Sure, they were locked, but YOU didn't know that!) Unfortunately, she ends up in the bedroom, where Jack grabs her and tells her to make love to him like she did on their wedding night. (Get the maple syrup, the pancake batter, and the Barry White collection.) She pushes, he shoves her into his golf clubs, she whacks him! Fore! She runs out of the room. He charges after her -- and goes flying over the railing! He plummets down the center of the spiral staircase, taking out the chandelier and a family of four in the process! The scores: 8.8, 9.1. 8.9, and -- oh! -- 6.5 from the Soviet judge!

Amanda grabs the phone and calls the Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns. She thinks Jack's dead. Peter rushes over and checks Jack; like the Monty Python parrot, he's NOT dead, he's just restin'. As he reaches for the phone, Amanda pleads with him not to call the police. She tells him that things will be very bad for her if the police get involved. Peter thinks for a moment, then calls for an ambulance. He tells Amanda to leave; he'll make up some story that leaves Amanda out of it.

Kimberly wakes up in the morning to find a note from Peter: "I had to go to work early today -- Amanda needs me, oh, I mean, I'm really busy! See you later. --Peter." "Henry" appears at the window again, looking really creepy this time. After he disappears, she rushes outside to where he was standing, and finds footprints in the mud! "Oh God -- he's real." Then she laughs. "Of course -- of course he's real!" Sedatives for Kimberly, please.

Amanda arrives at the hospital. Peter chastises her for not staying away. He tells her that things are touch and go with Jack, but he has bruises that are not consistent with a fall. "He's got a 9-iron-shaped crease in his forehead! Now, convince me I did the right thing." She tells him the whole sordid tale of her marriage to Jack, the beatings, the faked death, and the truth about the Kennedy assassination. Because of the large insurance payoff after her "demise," she could go to jail if the word gets out. Unfortunately, Jack's attorney, Mr. Diamond, appears. He wants to know what happened. Peter smoothly says that he just happened to show up at Jack's place to discuss a business deal when he saw Jack's body. How conveeeenient! Diamond is sharp; he's obviously skeptical. As he leaves, Amanda tells Peter that his career is now on the line if Jack regains consciousness and tells what really happened. Peter says, "With any luck, he'll never recover."

Later, Amanda stupidly walks into Jack's room. He wakes up! Groggily, he says, "Don't worry -- I won't tell ... You'll never leave me again ... or I'll have to kill you..." As he lapses into unconsciousness, Peter appears and escorts a shaken Amanda out of the room -- as Michael watches from the hallway! He finds out who's in that room, and breaks into his Evil Scheme smile.

The next day, Peter sees Jack being wheeled out for tests. Michael informs him that Parezi is now HIS patient. He had called Diamond and suggested that Jack may not be getting the best treatment. He tells Peter that when one partner slips up, the other has to be a "backstop." (Don't you mean "backstab"?) He believes that Peter did this to Jack, perhaps out of jealousy over Amanda. Peter grabs Michael by the collar and angrily tells him to butt out.

Here's a good campy scene that reminds me why I like this show: Kimberly again calls Dr. Joyce Brothers to discuss her "inner demons." Michael is listening to this on his car radio. Kim talks about how things in her life really went bad when she got involved with Michael Mancini. "Now, Kimberly," Dr. Joyce says, "first names only." Michael steams! Kim goes on to tell how Michael nearly got her killed in a car wreck, etc., etc. Michael retaliates! He calls up Joyce and says his name is "Fred." He tells Joyce that Kimberly must be totally insane! Kimberly immediately recognizes his voice and outs him on the air! Michael will not be silenced! "Now listen, you suture-headed mutant!" He tells the audience how Kim not only tried to run him over, but blew up an apartment complex! Joyce Brothers hangs up on him!

Michael goes to Amanda's apartment. She's expecting him -- Peter had called her earlier. Michael seems to think he's doing her a favor by putting the screws on Burns. But Amanda tells him the truth. She shows him the Polaroids of her bruises at Jack's hands. (Say, weren't they in a safe-deposit box? Oh, details, details.) Michael is appropriately stunned. Amanda says Jack fell while struggling with her; Peter is simply helping her at a bad time. "So," she continues, "how much will it cost to buy your silence?" Michael shakes his head. "I may not be the best of men, but there was a time when I loved you with everything I had." He'll tell the lawyer that Jack's wounds are consistent with the fall. Amanda says, "You'll lie?" "Yes, I'll lie -- for you." Awwwww! What a nice guy!

Kimberly visits Mancini-Burns...or is that Burns-Mancini? Syd is studiously sharpening pencils and her tongue, for when Kim asks where Peter is, Syd says, "Did you check Amanda's?" Kim doesn't get it. Syd continues, "You didn't think Peter was interested in you? ... You did? Oh you poor, deluded...psycho." She says Peter is just using Kimberly to work through some emotional baggage about his sister. "How is electroshock going? It's put a nice little curl into your hair!" Now shocked in more ways than one, Kim leaves.

That night, Peter visits Amanda, who thanks him profusely for all his help. He says, "Amanda, I have a lot to make up for..." Too right, pal! That's like Sylvester Stallone saying, "I may have made one or two bad movies..." Just as they start to get cozy on the couch, Kim calls out, "Peter! I know you're up there!" He comes down. Kim is distraught: "You lied to me!" Peter looks at Kim's electronic bracelet and sees that she's gone out of range. Kim says she doesn't care anymore. Two policemen show up and handcuff her. Peter tries to keep the situation calm; he tells the cops that Kim's in a very fragile state.

Back at his place in the morning, we learn that he was able to keep her out of jail, thanks to a sympathetic judge. ("What's this, Doctor? The woman's a killer who blows up buildings and violated parole? Yeah, sure, take her home.") Kim, though, is far from pleased: Peter was the one person she thought she could rely on. "It's all lies." She mentions Peter's sister. He says, "Where did you hear about that .... Sydney!" (Picture Jerry Seinfeld saying, "Newman!" and you get the idea.) He pleads with Kim not to let Syd wreck the progress they've made. He says that what happened to his sister (mental illness, psycho ward, Bullwinkle, etc.) is what caused him to become a doctor in the first place. He DOES care about Kim. She just wants him to leave her alone for a while.

That night, while Kim is watching TV, "Henry" shows up again. Prepared, Kim chases him with a big stick! Terrified, the actor stumbles onto the lawn where Kim jumps on top of him and rips off his mustache! He admits that he was working for Michael and Sydney: "Please don't hurt me anymore!!" "Hurt you? I could kiss you!" And she does! Panicked, he runs off, while Kimberly does a jig in the sprinklers, saying, "I'm free! I'm free! I'm WET and I'm free!"

At the hospital, Peter tells Amanda that Jack's condition is still iffy. Then -- Code Blue! Jack's heart has stopped! Peter and staff use the electro-fibrillator-thingies and get the heart going again. Jack's still alive -- for now. So far, it's the best acting Antonio Sabato has ever done.

Next Week: It's a Halloween bash! Amanda and Peter fall into bed! Brooke tells Billy she's carrying his mutant child! Jo sees Jake and Shelly on the desk! Watch out for that stapler!

--Ken Hart

Use the arrows or return to the Melrose Place Master Menu!