Episode 9: Amanda Unplugged


The Cryptkeeper wore an Amanda wig to start the night off -- and he looked Mightly Sexy! Why, his looks could stop traffic...dead! EEE HEE HEE HEE!

The Matt Slot belonged to ... Matt! Yay! At least he's interacting with the other characters again. (Of course, that interaction was limited to Syd and Michael, who haven't exactly been his best buddies over the past couple of years. Remember when Syd blackmailed him?)

As always, I prefer to get the really painful part out of the way:

Jo, Jake, Shelly, Jane, and Richard:

Jane tells Richard the Fashion Boy that she made arrangements for them to fly out to Hawaii to shoot the spring line. (Let's shoot the actors instead!) He says the timing is lousy; this is just an obvious attempt by Jane to fan those wacky flames of passion. When Jane says this'll just be business, he says fine, let's bring Jo along! He calls Jo in, asks he if she's busy this week, then tells her she's going with them to Hawaii. (How come my employers have never told me this?) Jo thinks this is cool; Jane thinks this is Cold!

It's another lame-o day at Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), where Shelly (soon to star in "Roots III: The Strawberry Blonde") is juggling Jake's finances. Jake, who can't count his toes without coming up with 9, half-jokingly asks if he's bankrupt yet. She says, "I prefer to think of it as 'financially challenged.'" Jo arrives and tells Jake that she has to break their date tonight; she has to pack for the trip to Hawaii. (Wait a second! We find out later that the trip isn't for another couple of days! Jo needs two or three days to pack?!) Jake isn't thrilled that their relationship is taking a back seat AGAIN, so he acts like a nimrod. Jo says, "Will you just grow up?" and leaves in a huff. Shelly is at Jake's side like a fly on...on....a popsicle. Yeah, that's it -- a popsicle! She starts dancing with him, and she comes up with the idea of having a dance night at Shooter's.

Jake visits Hart & Mancini the next day. He wants to talk to Jo, but Fashion Boy tells him that Jo is busy in the darkroom. (Translation: "Take off, you hoser, eh?") Jake sees how stubborn Richard is being. Before they can butt their gel-encrusted heads, Jane tells Richard about an important phone call: "It's your agent. He wants to know if he can resurrect your career." As Richard takes the call, Jake goes into the darkroom and tells Jo he believes Richard wants her. She doesn't agree. They try to play nice, and he asks her to come to the Halloween party tonight at Shooter's. She says she's really busy, but she will certainly drop by if she can.

At the Halloween party, things are rockin' -- not bad, considering there was less than 24 hours' notice!! How is that these morons can throw together good parties with big crowds at a moment's notice? Even Blind Alison did it! If things in California move this fast, how come the O.J. trial took 12 years? Anyhow, where did the dance floor come from? Also, look quickly before they disappear (you may have to use freeze-frame to catch this): minorities on Melrose Place! Syd has a good line at the door: She asks the bouncer, "Is there a discount for ex-employees?" Jo does NOT show up. There's stuff with the other characters, but they'll have to wait their turns.

Back at the office, Jane and Fashion Boy argue more about the Hawaii trip. Richard is very skeptical of Jane's motives in suggesting it. She probably just wants to have sex on the sand, right? Hey, wait, let me get this straight ... that's why he's turning DOWN the trip?! Jane waves her hand and says, "I'm still wearing this, in case you've forgotten!" "What, your Captain Midnight decoder ring?" "No, you no-talent boob -- the engagement ring!" "I haven't forgotten -- I'm just trying to." (Why is Jane still wearing that ring? Since they're no longer engaged, it's a really pathetic act on her part.) After she leaves, Richard calls a partner in New York and asks him to come up with an excuse to get Jane over there immediately. "What's that? Kate Moss wore the magnetic dress and is now stuck to Rudy Guiliani? Good idea!"

That night, Jake sees Jane in the courtyard and he asks about the trip. Jane petulantly says that a convenient emergency has popped up in New York, so Richard and Jo will be going by themselves. Didn't Jo tell you? "Uh, no." Jake feels betrayed! Jane says, "Welcome to the Friends of Jo Club. Any damn fool can apply. Billy's the treasurer." Does Jake (Mr. "I Hate Conversation") even consider asking Jo about this? Nope! Instead, he gives out dollar bills to a bunch of trick-or-treaters!

Sure enough, as Richard and Jo prepare to leave for the trip, Fashion Boy says that Jane won't be accompanying them. Jo quickly evaluates the situation and says that she's not going either! She knows Jake was right about Richard. He admits that he wouldn't have "objected" to some romance (Jo makes this great look of disgust!), but now it's going to be purely business; nobody knows his line like Jo. "Well," she says, "I know your line now, and I'm not going to fall for it again!" "Let me show you the Real Me." (Please don't.) "I've seen the Real You. I'm going to spend the week with the Real Jake." (Gee, where will they go on a date? The Real World?)

Back at Shooter's, Jake has been getting plastered off-camera. He starts coming on to Shelly! To her credit, she briefly tries to dissuade him because he's sloshed (!), but that lasts for all of 2 seconds before they're writhing in passion on the desk! (Have you ever noticed that Jake has this thing for desks? He must have a bad back!) Jo picks that precious moment to walk in -- and isn't it nice to know Shooter's doesn't lock its doors when it closes? -- and mutters in disgust, "The Real Jake," and walks out. The Drunken Jake calls out, "Have a nice trip!" then continues to rearrange his desktop! (Oh, the evils of demon rum! An Important Moral Lesson from Melrose Place: Too much alcohol leads to great sex!)

Billy, Brooke, Alison, and Big Daddy:

As Billy dresses for work, a reclining Brooke says she's got something in her eye. Billy says, "Daaah, you just want me ta get back in bed!" They kiss for a few seconds, then Billy remembers that he didn't take his Flintstone vitamins! We hear him knock a few things over in the bathroom, then he comes out holding Brooke's diaphragm case. He says, "And dere's a diaphragm in here! Gaaaah!" Brooke, so impressed by Billy's stunning show of logic, forgets to lie! She calmly admits that she didn't use the contraceptive device during their all-night pizza party. She wanted to get pregnant. Billy is angry -- he wants to be involved in the decision. "Billy, I don't manipulate you." "Daah, me an' everybody else. It's like breathing -- you don't think about it."

At the Dumb & Dumber advertising agency, Alison asks Billy for his opinion on a dress that she's thinking of getting. (Are you insane, Alison? Billy doesn't know the difference between Pierre Cardin and Pepe Le Pew!) Billy is obviously in a foul mood and says he had a fight with Brooke. Alison asks if he wants to talk about it, but he turns her down. That night, Alison and Big Daddy are getting ready for dinner at Stately Armstrong Manor. To Hayley's surprise, though, Alison has dismissed the staff for the night -- she's ordered pizza! Daddy says, "I love you! But anchovies -- yuck!" He asks her to go to the wine cellar for -- D'OH! "I'm sorry. I forgot you don't drink." Alison doesn't mind; she goes looking for the wine cellar. It's not Door No. 1. How about Door No. 2? It's locked! Big Daddy rushes out and yells, "Never go in that room! It's private! Do you understand?" Yowza! Make the switch to decaf, pal! Alison Gapes!

Brooke and Alison make small talk at D&D. "Do you like living in my house? (I hate you!)" "Yes, but it's very intimidating. (I hate you twice as much!)" Alison asks about THE room. Brooke, apparently caught offguard, says it was her mother's. She even gives Alison the key: "Now you'll see why you can never compete with her!" "Why, was she a drinker, too?" "That's right, honey -- she was a two-fisted alkie!"

Sure enough, she goes into THE room. The tension builds: Alison, don't open that cabinet! (Nothing happens.) Don't open that drawer! (Nothing happens.) Big Daddy, who sees Alison because nobody on this show ever closes doors, storms in. He accuses Alison of wanting to be like his wife, to get to know her, but Alison angrily says, "I'm not looking for her -- I'm looking for you!" Huh? What?

At the Halloween Party at Shooter's, Billy chews on a drink stirrer. (The feed bag was unavailable.) He and Brooke make apologies -- sort of. She promises to wear the diaphragm from now on. (Of course, it's probably because she already knows she's pregnant!)

Alison prepares to leave the manor while Big Daddy implores her to stay. He tells the truth about Brooke's mother: "I married Laurel because I got her pregnant -- and because she was rich." Why did he keep the secret room? Because it was in the script! Brooke is unaware of the truth -- she thinks Dad loved Mom! The fool! Alison says, "All my life my relationships have been ruined by secrets. Billy told me he graduated from Harvard!" Big Daddy pleads with Alison for another chance. She gives in because they love each other! Ick.

(I'm disappointed! I wanted the secret room to be The Gateway To Hell! Instead, they wrap up the plotline neatly in less than half an hour! Booooo!)

Brooke shows up late at D&D. She takes Billy aside and tells him she just came back from the doctor. She's pregnant! Billy, always the Last Stand of Reality, says, "Daah, you can't be pregnant -- the Pregancy Fairy didn't take the quarter under your pillow." She assures him that she is indeed pregnant and has been for several weeks. "I'm...really having a baby?" "No, I am! I'm doing all the hard work!" She wants to keep the news secret for now.

Michael, Sydney, Matt, Peter, Kimberly, and Amanda:

Jack Parezi is in a coma following his shocking treatment last week. As Amanda stands over him, the happy-go-lucky nurse praises her for the attention she's giving Jack. "Sometimes coma patients respond if their loved ones just talk to them, touch them [Eww!], remind them of special times." Don't you want to hurt people like that? Anyhow, once the nurse leaves, Amanda does whisper things into Jack's ear, "...like the time I forgot to fold your socks and you pounded my face into the bedpost, or the time you broke my hand when I wore the different color dress, or the time I put on 'One Day at a Time' when you wanted to watch 'Gilligan's Island'... You son of a bitch, I hope you die!!"

Matt goes to the office of Burns-Mancini, or is that Mancini-Burns? Mancini-Hart? Hart-Burns? He's decided to pursue a medical career again and he asks Michael to sign a form. Sydney thinks that's great, but Michael openly laughs! He wonders why Matt dropped the notion of becoming a doctor in the first place; Matt says he found it too dehumanizing! Thanks to Syd's prodding, Michael signs the form and Matt leaves. (Bye, Matt!) The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns appears, and asks the Dynamic Duo, "You actually hired an actor to stalk Kimberly?!" (Well, at least we had one actor on the show for a couple of weeks!) Michael says he can't take full credit. Standing next to Syd, he says, "It was one of those brilliant ideas that comes from the union of two great minds!" He adds that given recent events with Amanda's husband, Peter shouldn't be taking a moral tone with him. Kimberly then shows up -- with flowers! She thanks Michael and Syd profusely; that bad actor proved to her that she wasn't insane! As Kim and The Bizarre One exit, stage left, Syd is dying to know about Amanda's husband. Michael tells her to stay out of it.

At the hospital, Jack's lawyer, Mr. Diamond, is a little rough with Amanda. He wants her to sign some papers protecting Jack against any future financial claims Amanda may make. She says she doesn't care -- she doesn't want any of Jack's money. He raises the Obnoxious Quotient, and Amanda gets a bit physical. He threatens her politely: "You would be wise to deal with me. I'm the white sheep of the family! Baaaa!"

Later, Our Sydney shows up at the hospital, asking to see Jack! When told that only "immediate family" has access, Syd says, "How is Uncle Jack doing?" She's unstoppable! Diamond is nearby and wants to know what Syd is up to. "'Niece' is a polite term for what I was to Jack," she says. He tells her to get lost -- he won't let anyone connive their way into Jack's money. (Except him, of course.) If anything, the concept of mucho moolah makes Syd more tenacious!

While playing solitaire, Kim gets a phone call -- it's Dr. Joyce Brothers! She offers Kim the chance to fill in as host of the call-in show one night; it's something she's trying with a number of her callers. "It's too bad that Dahlmer guy is dead...." She tells Kim "you're one of our most popular callers!" Kim, well aware of the alarm bracelet, says that tomorrow should be fine. (OK, now just how the heck did Dr. Joyce track Kimberly down? Kim didn't give her last name, and I doubt she gave Peter's phone number when she called!)

At the Halloween Party (yes, we're back there again), Michael tells Syd that he didn't get the chief of staff position -- some guy's nephew got it instead. Syd says, "You're going to have to work harder marrying into the right families, Michael." UH oh -- Syd is planning something! Matt, being very fashionable wearing the AIDS Bike Ride T-shirt, is on a "study break" -- he's taking the medical entrance exams tomorrow and chugging cups of coffee. Michael doesn't think Matt has what it takes to be a doctor: "You're too damn sensitive!" As he leaves, Syd gets on Michael's case for not being more supportive. She reminds him of the time Matt saved his butt by fudging the blood alcohol report after the car accident. (WHAAAAT? Continuity?! I'm shocked!)

Meanwhile, Amanda has gotten quite drunk in her little witch's costume. Peter drapes her across his shoulder and says he's taking her home! Back at Melrose Place, Peter just wants to drop her home and leave (he's so bizarre!), but she won't let him! "No, you have to put me to bed first! ... I wanna be undressed for bed!" "Be my guest." "No, be MINE!" They do the Wild Thing! Huzzah! (See the Important Moral Lesson at the end of the Jake section.)

The next morning, though, Amanda groans, "You took advantage of me....It's hard work, wishing Jack dead all the time." Peter says he loves her, but she tells him to get out! Peter tries to look tough as he emerges from the evil leopard-print bedspread.

Kimberly, meanwhile, puts the GE Waffle Iron to a brand-new use! Try this recipe: 1) Take one bowl of ice, put your hand in there for several minutes. 2) While the hand freezes, drink liberal amounts of scotch. 3) Crank up waffle iron. 4) Once hand is numb, place in waffle iron. (Note: Be sure this is the hand with the alarm bracelet.) 5) Smash hand with hot iron until bracelet falls off. 6) Cover bracelet with maple syrup and serve.

Kimberly's NOT insane? Later, she meets with Dr. Joyce, who praises Kim for her "inner looking." (Don't quit the day job, Joyce.) Kim says with a straight face, yes, "I've been involved in the mental health profession." Joyce says she'll instruct Kim on how to work the boards in the studio. Oh, gimme a break! Yeah, like Joyce Brothers really sits at the boards turning up mikes and putting in commercials carts! I don't THINK so!!

Amanda, looking very fetching in pink, arrives back at Jack's room, where The Nurse Who Must Die is humming a happy tune. "What are you so damn cheerful about?" Good news -- Jack's getting better! The doctor says Jack should be waking up soon! There's a sale at Macy's! Yippee! Amanda goes straight to Peter's office. The ever-vigilant Syd listens in on the intercom and records the conversation! Amanda tells Peter that she'll lose everything if Jack regains consciousness. "If he wakes up, I'm going to kill him. I swear I will! Even if someone is recording my words at this very moment, I swear that I, Amanda Woodward, will kill him!!!"

Michael sees Matt in the corridors of the hospital; Matt's been cleaning out his old office. He took the test, but he's not sure that he did well. Michael tries to encourage him: "I'm sure you got the 500 needed to pass." Matt isn't as optimistic; he just wishes he knew for sure. As Matt leaves, Michael decides to be a Nice Guy -- as only he can! He sneaks into an administrator's office and gets on the computer. He picks up the phone: "Yes, this is Dr. Hoffman. I need to access my records, but I seem to have forgotten my password!" Get this man a job on America Online! Sure enough, Michael gets access to the test scores. Matt got 498 -- two points under. He failed! BUT Michael bumps up the score to 502! Matt passes! Did Michael count the crowds at the Farrakhan rally?

Later, Peter leaves the office and asks Michael if he can handle any emergencies that pop up. "I can if they've got insurance." Syd is all excited -- she tells Michael about the tape. Michael is annoyed: "Everything in life is not about exploitation and betrayal." "Are you nuts? Of course it is!" He tells her not to bother Amanda; there are things Syd doesn't know. Syd is miffed. "You wouldn't be acting this way if it were my ass on the line." "Aw, c'mon Syd, you know I would. Yeah, I'm a very caring person." Eek! Syd holds onto the tape.

At Jack's bedside, Amanda slowly reaches for the plug that powers Jack's respirator. Will she do a Kevorkian? Will she? Oh, she can't! Jack wakes up! Slowly, he says he's sorry for all the pain he caused. "I'll never hurt you again. I'll go home. You've got a life of your own here..." He gently reaches out for her hand -- then grabs her around the throat! "...a very short life!" But without the respirator, he stops breathing! Beeeep! Just as he collapses, Amanda punches him -- and Syd says from the doorway, "Why, Amanda, that is no way to treat your husband!" D'OH!

Next Week: Jack might not be dead yet! Michael confronts Amanda: What happened? Richard and Jo model lingerie -- in private! (Nudge nudge wink wink!) Alison tells Jake that Big Daddy has proposed! "I'll be Brooke's step-mother! (Brooke Grimaces!) "Yeah," Jake says, "and Billy's mother-in-law!" Cut to Billy and Alison kissing! "Did you say yes?" AIEEEEEEE!!!!

--Ken Hart

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