Thomas Calabro, alias Michael Mancini, became the first MP cast member to direct an episode. Cool! I can't wait for Andrew Shue's turn: "Ahhhh, okay, you go ovah there...now stare ahead with a blank expression..." Thomas did pretty well with this episode of Sex, Lies, and Laptops.
The Matt Slot belonged to...Matt! Oh, sure, he had a few lines and advanced the plot by pointing the Finger of Suspicion at Shelly, but when the only character you exchange dialogue with is Jake, you're in trouble!
At the Dumb & Dumber advertising agency, Alison tells Amanda that she's finished moving the last of her things out of her apartment; the movers took the last 60 bottles of vodka today. Amanda says, "OK, but I don't know how I'll find someone to take it in the middle of the month." Alison just replies, "Oh, keep the security deposit! I won't need it where I'm going!" Brooke, with her Bat-Radar, overhears and tells Billy they should take Alison's apartment -- it's bigger and they can use the second bedroom for their hellspawn. "Daah, I can't 'ford it!" Brooke suggests he push Amanda for a raise, but he says he won't put her in that kind of position. (Why not? Billy's already seen Amanda in a couple of positions!
Alison returns home to Stately Armstrong Manor, where she sees Big Daddy escorting a group of well-dressed strangers out of the house. He gives her a big hello, but she takes him aside: "Who are these people? Did you invite the Osmond Family over again?" He says they're just here to look at the house, now that he's put it up for sale! Here, sign some papers! Alison Gapes! "You put it up for sale -- without talking to me about it?!" He says he knows she hasn't been comfortable here, so now they'll go to a new house that they can make their own. Alison wants to know the truth; she says, "It's about the company, isn't it?" Big Daddy gets annoyed, and tells her, "It's my house, with MY living room, MY dining room, and MY secret chamber of horrors! And I will sell if I want to! We can leave this place behind! Sign the papers! Grrr!" She signs, but she is not happy.
Billy shows Brooke a surprise: He took Alison's apartment. She's disgustingly giddy, already planning what will go where. Billy looks morose -- well, actually it's his same face, but he's really trying to look morose. Brooke says, "You're thinking about Her, aren't you?" "Daah, no! The passionate, sweating body of Alison nevah even entered my mind!" Brooke tells him that if he's going to see Alison in every corner of the room, she couldn't bear it. "Gee, in every cornah of da room? Dat would be like 'Poltergeist'!" But he assures her that "This place is waiting to be filled with new memories -- our family memories -- you, me, and Damien: Omen III."
Alison calls Jane to discuss the Big Daddy situation, but Jane says, "I'll talk to you later. I'm deeply involved in my own subplot."
Later that night, a sleeping Alison is awakened by Big Daddy's yellling, anxious voice on the phone. She turns on the lamp, and he quickly hangs up the phone. "Hayley, what's wrong?" Hayley, with a smile on his face and a look of panic in his eyes, tells her that because he was such a meanie to her earlier, he's going to take her on a second honeymoon -- Right Now! "In fact, if we leave Right Now, we can be miles away on the yacht before sunrise! Why, No One will be able to track us down...I mean, find us! So let's get packed -- Right Now!"
It's Kimberly Shaw on the radio! Tonight's topic on her call-in show: "Knowing When It's Right Between You and Your Mate -- and When It's All Wrong." A guy calls up, telling her that he did everything Kim suggested, and his girlfriend still dumped on him! (The sulfuric acid didn't work?! What a surprise!) As she talks to the guy, she stares at her producer in the next booth and seductively pulls down the zipper of her blouse. As she signs off, the producer guy comes back and tells her what a great show she did -- but Kim's ready to party! She lunges for him, bra first! (Tonight: "Frasier: The Lost Episodes"!) "You think I'm some sort of depraved and lonely woman, don't you?...Well, you'd be half-right!" She says she's lonely -- not the half I would've guessed! Mr. Smoothie says, "Not tonight you're not." "Oooo, you care about me?" "Oh, yeahhhh, baby!" Kimberly strikes with the Ninja Crotch Grab: "Liar! But I'm all for pretending...!" They start going at it in the broadcast booth! Did the station go off the air? Where's the next host? Does Rush Limbaugh do this with his producer?
At Hart & Mancini, Jane sees Jo and Fashion Boy being all coo-coo, and she immediately calls Michael, via Sydney the receptionist. (Nothing happened after the dinner last week, which actually was last week in Melrose Time! My God! They're in sync!) She asks him out to dinner at her place, but he's a little suspicious of "Janey's" mood change. When Jane coyly suggests that she wouldn't want to ruin any relationship between him and Sydney, Michael falls for it. "Nobody has me on a leash." Woof. Fido agrees to meet her. Sydney walks into his office and wants to know what Jane wanted. He says, "Ahh, she just got some old alumni mail." Syd, the Rumor Central of the show, tells him "Jane got dumped on again, by that Richard guy." She mentions the great dinner she has planned for her and Michael, but he tells her he's got surgery tonight. As the Significant Other of a doctor, she has to expect these things now and then!
At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Kimberly is having a couple of drinks at the bar (Boilermakers?) and is casually flirting with Jake. When she comments that, unlike the other MP residents, he doesn't seem to have a problem talking to her, he says, "Who am I to judge?" That's right, Jake -- you were on the other side of town, killing your brother, when the bombs went off! She comes on strong to some other beefy guy, telling him about her radio show and how she talks about people's problems and....ssssexxxxx! (Oooh, she makes it sound so dirty!) Surprisingly, the guy says he has to leave, "but maybe we'll meet again sometime." Foreshadowing Alert! Foreshadowing Alert!
Kim visits the Burns-Mancini office the next day and chats with Sydney. Informed of her new relationship with Michael, Kim says, "Look, despite everything that's happened, I want only the best for you." Syd, figuring that Kim has been a shy, retiring psycho since her release, says, "How's your sex life?" Pretty good, Kim replies, adding that she's been "dating." As she goes on, Syd cuts her off. "OK, we've done The Chat Thing." She really doesn't care about Kimberly's sex life or whether she lives or dies. Kim tries to give her a couple of pieces of advice about Michael ("Don't hit him with a car"), but then flowers arrive for Syd -- from Michael! Syd seems victorious, but Kim tosses out, "Whenever Michael sends flowers, it means he's cheating on you!" The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns arrives, but Kim tells him that he should donate her regular 45-minute session to someone who needs it...like Sydney! Syd asks Peter what does it mean when a man sends a woman flowers. The Bizarre One waxes poetic, saying it's a romantic gesture toward someone for whom the man cares very deeply. "Of course," he adds, "if those flowers are from Mancini, it probably means he's cheating on you." D'OH!
Cut to dinner at Jane's apartment, where Jane tells Michael how nice last week's dinner was. She felt this "Flashback Thing." "So did I," he replies instantly. She tells him how "lonely" she feels right now. Would he mind spending the night with her? On the couch? They'll just spend the whole time talking, like they did when they first started dating. "Well...OK," he says. (Yeah, right, like he needs his arm twisted!)
As Jane is getting things set up for the night, Alison makes the earlier-mentioned phone call. Jane tells her, "I'm still on the plan! Just three more CD's and Columbia House will leave me alone for six weeks!" Alison says she'll call back in a few days. Michael politely suggests that maybe Jane would feel better if they slept in the same bed (nudge nudge). Jane says that's not necessary, gives him a lingering kiss on the cheek (schwing!), and goes into the bedroom.
The next morning, Jane looks out the window to see Jo and Fashion Boy enter the courtyard. She grabs a still sleepy Michael, thanks him profusely, and shoves him out the door, half-naked! He mutters "Good morning, folks" as he walks past the stunned Jo and Richard. When Richard wonders if Jane is actually seeing Michael, Jo gives him an accusatory look: "Does that bother you?" "No." "Oh really? Not even a little bit?" "Does it bother you to see Jake with Shelly?" and so on...and so on... KILLTHEMKILLTHEMKILLTHEM
Back at the fashion offices, Jane walks over to Richard, trying on a hot new dress for a big upcoming show. He calmly says it's striking, but Jane would like him to (ahem) alter the neckline. As he's adjusting her, she reaches in and pulls out her black bra for more comfort! She mentions that she plans to bring Michael to the show. The foolish Fashion Boy, now intrigued, asks Jane if she loves Michael. Stepping very close to Richard, she says they have a lot of good history together, so.... Jo walks in on the "adjustment." Jane drops off her bra and leaves, and Richard tells Jo he was just helping Jane with her neckline. "Call me nuts," Jo says, "but that wasn't her neckline she was pushing into your hands." "You're nuts," he says, with a kiss on the cheek that Jo quickly wipes off! KILLTHEMKILLTHEMKILLTHEM
Kimberly is doing another call-in show, but she's a little distressed that she's getting so few callers. The first caller says, "Maybe it's because you give such rotten advice!" He identifies himself as Vic, and we see it's the beefy guy from Shooter's! He angrily rants for a while. "Deep down, I think all women are whores!" She hangs up on him, but the next caller is Vic again! He says some more unflattering things about the fairer sex, and Kim hangs up once more. She goes to commercial, the phone button lights up, she grabs the phone and, without giving the caller a chance to say anything, calls him a psycho and tells him she'll call the police if he keeps doing it. Fortunately for her, the caller was indeed Vic again, who laughably stares at the phone, muttering, "Duh? Hello?" He frantically redials as Kim recoils in terror from the blinking light! Oh, the horror! (In real life, someone else screens the calls before the host gets them, but do we really expect reality from Melrose Place?)
Back at Shooter's, Kim sees the guy from her last visit, little realizing that it's her phone buddy Vic. "Take me to your place," she says. They enter Vic's "home" through a back entrance. Kimberly gets into her Ultra-Sexy Mode. She comments on how quiet it is. He says, "I like it that way." "I don't!" she says, knocking him onto the bed and ripping off her clothes. "I like it Loud!"
After wild sex, Kim awakens to find her arms tied to the bed railing! Vic leans over and shoves a gag down her mouth. She must be a whore, he says, to have sex with a man and never even ask him for his name, astrological sign, or favorite rock band. "It's Victor. My friends call me -- Vic!"
Shelly makes a big breakfast for Jake, who seems less than appreciative. He asks her about the password protection on the laptop. "What's the password?" "I didn't give it to you? I thought I did," she says innocently. It's BARTAPS. When Shelly accuses him of not trusting her, he says no -- he just wants to take a more active role with the computer. He hugs him and says, "It's time to teach an old dog new tricks." ARF! ARF!
At Shooter's, Matt asks Jake for the scoop. Jake says it's all taken care of -- Matt shouldn't be so paranoid. Jake tells Matt the password; Matt ponders taking a peek at the records when Shelly's not around. Jake tells him to drop it and do his job.
Matt comes by a while later and tells Jake that he did log on anyway. "Did you know that each of our characters has goofy home pages on the Internet?" He tells him more bad news: Jake's corporate checking account is below $1,000, but Matt knows they pulled in $3,000 the other night. Jake says he'll check with the bank, but if Matt's wrong, and he mentions this again, he's fired. Matt's always the troublemaker, isn't he?
In the morning, when Jake finishes counting the profits from last night, Shelly offers to take it to the bank, but Jake says he will instead -- he's got another couple of errands to run. Shelly, suspicious, makes a beeline for the laptop. Within seconds, she dials into the bank's network and transfers $2,000 from her personal account to Jake's account. (OK, those of you familiar with computers, modems, and/or banks can stop laughing now!) Sure enough, when Jake deposits the money, he asks for this morning's balance and it's correctly over $3,000. However, in a stunning flash of insight that no character on this show has ever revealed, Jake intelligently asks if he can find out what the balance was yesterday: $893!
Shelly returns to her place to find Jake waiting for her. "You gave me a set of keys, remember?" (Dumb move.) He found a one-way ticket to the Virgin Islands, and accuses her of planning to run off with his money. She says he thinks she must be just as crooked as Jess -- and guess what? He's right! Jake grabs the laptop from her as evidence; she grabs a steak knife! She smiles evilly and says she'll kill Jake if he doesn't give her the laptop. (It must be a ThinkPad!) He relinquishes the laptop and she starts backing away. The cliches start sliding in: "You'll never get away with this!" "Oh yes, I will!" Jake lunges at her! Slice! OUCH! Slice again! Jake wrestles the knife out of her hand. Keeping a firm grip on her, he calls the police. Shelly, still maniacal, says, "You're screwed, Jake. You are so screwed!" "Well, if I'm goin' to jail, I'm takin' you with me."
I smell a plot error: If Shelly could transfer money so easily between accounts, then why didn't she just wait until she was ready to split, then take everything? Actually, I shouldn't blame her for a bad plan; she was dealing with Jake, after all! And she would've won if it hadn't been for Matt and those blasted Scooby Doo kids!
At D&D, Amanda is on the phone with the police as the Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns walks in. It seems someone has stolen her car! What? A mundane crime on Melrose Place! Shocking! When she not so politely asks Peter what he's doing here, he says he hasn't changed his mind, but he still feels he deserves an explanation. However, she is no more forthcoming: "We broke up. Deal with it." "OK, if that's how you want it...but I'm going to miss you, Amanda."
Lawyer Diamond visits Bobby Parezi after getting the right "tools": guns to kill Amanda. Diamond says if the elder Parezi weren't so much into direct revenge, he'd pop Amanda himself! Bobby gets really angry at that. "You've haven't killed. I've killed -- for my country. The last thing I wanted to do was kill for my family." Diamond apologizes, but he needs to be sure Bobby will finish the job. "Don't worry," Bobby says softly. "I'll take care of Amanda."
Amanda is driving through the Hollywood Hills in her new car, when she (subconsciously) pauses in front of Peter's house. She sees him through a window, reading -- then her slow-moving car loudly whacks the motorcycle parked on the curb! She runs out of the car, yells at herself, and prepares for the oncoming embarrassment. (It was kind of neat seeing Amanda lose her cool this way -- it was normal!) Bobby, who had been following her, takes out his gun and lines up the sight. But then Peter rushes out of the house to see what happened. Bobby drives off.
Later, Peter and Amanda sit on his front step waiting for the tow truck to take her car, and Amanda makes lame excuses to explain why she just happened to be on this block and how she managed to hit a parked motorcycle. "It was a poodle -- a very small poodle..." They both break up laughing, and Amanda says she's not sure why she came. "I feel as though some all-powerful writer is putting me in dumb scenes for some sadistic entertainment..." She admits that she runs away whenever anyone gets too close. The tow truck comes, and things between her and Peter seem to be on the mend.
The next time we see them, they've just completing a dinner date ("That Taco Bell is great!"), and Peter pushes her to speak more openly about her feelings: "You're going to have to trust me." Reluctantly, she trusts the man who tried to dissect her last year and talks about her abandonment by her parents, but more importantly, about the guy she loved before Jack. "You must have been very young," he says. "Young -- and stupid! I starred on T.J. Hooker, remember?" She doesn't go into much more detail, but Peter is happy to have at least made a start.
Later that night, Amanda is resting at home when there's a knock on the door. Thinking it's Peter, she opens it to find -- Bobby! "What are you doing here?" "I came to see you." She yells "Bastard!" and starts pounding him with her fists, which quickly becomes sobs! She hugs him, crying "I thought I'd never see you again." "I know...I know..."
Next Week: "There are Seven Deadly Sins..." and they're all being commited on Melrose Place! Bobby's got a gun! Man overboard on Hayley's yacht! Brooke shrieking at Alison, "You killed my father!!" Shelly, still smiling evilly in prison, while Jake tells her, "Rot in hell!"