Episode 17: The Brooke Stops Here


Gee, Brooke's still alive, so it's hard to get too enthusiastic about this episode. Still, it's always fun to see Sydney at work. As expected, Andrew Shue unfortunately reverted to his monotone self. Oh well, his 15-second spurt of acting was good while it lasted.

The Matt Slot goes to ... Michael, who oddly offered relationship advice to Peter (!), then briefly attempted an "unorthodox procedure" to stir some neural response in Jane!

Billy, Brooke, and Alison:

An ambulance arrives at Melrose Place! The EMT's ask, "What the hell is it THIS time?" Brooke, still breathing (drat), is wheeled out before a concerned Billy. The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns pops up with Amanda (hey, isn't he supposed to be mad at her?) and says, "I'm a doctor. What's her status?" "Well, Doc, the fans really hate her, so it's a close call. The producers still think they can squeeze another subplot out of her." "The producers?! What do they know? That no-talent Patrick Muldoon is still on the show, for Pete's sake, and only because he's Tori Spelling's boyfriend!"

Alison hands Billy the note that Brooke apparently left for him. Inexplicably, we never find out what it says! Billy reaches out for Brooke who, despite having lost three-fourths of her blood, is still able to whack his hand away and yell, "Go away! Let me die!!" Sounds good to me! All in favor?

Billy appears at the hospital. In a rare move for the show, neither Michael nor Peter are assigned to treat Brooke! She doesn't want Billy around. He mumbles that he's sorry, to which she says, "Sorry doesn't cut it." "Daaah, I wuv you." "You deserted me." "Uhh, I am here for you now." (Feel the electricity! It's just like DeNiro and Pacino in "Heat"!) Brooke whimpers and says, "Promise me one thing: Promise you won't leave me!" He hugs her. Sap!

The next day finds Billy trying to get the blood stains off the bathroom floor as Alison enters. "Daah, Alison, look! The Scrubbin' Bubbles are attackin' the blood! Hoo Hoo!" She wants to talk, but Billy is being surly. She goes on about "...how close we used to be, before the show got completely over the top. My life is full of turns -- a left on Vodka Drive, a Right on Big Daddy Boulevard -- but you're my soulmate! I carry a part of you here." Ick! Geez, Alison, why don't you ask Billy to call the Psychic Friends Network while you're at it! Billy looks at her and says, "Get out." He says he's doing her a favor: "Get out -- while you can. NOW! Before I drool on you!"

Billy continues his charm streak by telling Amanda that she has to give Brooke her old job back. (You know, the one that she threw in Amanda's face when she thought she was getting Big Daddy's dowry?) Amanda, of course, doesn't like ultimatums; she tells Billy that Brooke is playing emotional blackmail. The nimrod is unmoved: He says he's bringing Brooke into the office, and if she doesn't get her job back, then he's quitting. Amanda looks surprised. Good riddance, I say! What DOES Billy do, anyway? Last year, he was a copywriter! Now he's Vice President! Is this how Dan Quayle rose through the ranks?

Back in Melrose Place, Billy brings Brooke home, and he tells her that "everybody" is on her side. (Excuse me? Reality Check for Billy?) "Here, daaah, look what Jo got you: a self-help book called Sod Off, You Wench! And see? Jake left behind a business card from Dr. Kevorkian! Gaah, wasn't dat nice? Ah, Brooke? Brooke?" Billy anxiously searches the three-room apartment and he finds her sitting on the floor of the bathroom. She says, "Don't worry. I'm not going to kill myself today." Must you always drain the joy out of my life, Brooke?

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Billy viciously attacks a pinball machine. Jake buys him a beer. Billy feels lots of guilt and worries that Brooke may try to kill herself again. Jake says, "You gotta take care of yourself, man. Ya can't be good to anybody unless you're good to yourself." Jake puts away the fortune cookie as Billy shifts gears and asks about Jo. Jake says they both have their own lives: "But I'm FINE with that, OKAY? Can't you tell how HAPPY I am? Huh? If I wanted to have my BRAIN picked by a barstool psychiatrist, I'd ask Kimberly! Tense? Me?! I'm not tense!"

At night, Billy is working on his latest coloring book when Brooke appears in a sexy, form-fitting nightgown. (Well, it would be sexy if she didn't have huge bandages around her slashed wrists!) "Make love to me, Billy." When he seems less than eager, she asks, "Don't you want me?" "Daaah, I do want you." "What's the matter, don't I excite you anymore?" "Well, now that you mention it, there's a really cute blonde on 'Murder One'..." She kisses him all over. Billy stands there, as emotional as a block of wood. What's the deal with Brooke? Is she really emotionally wrecked and dependent on the Doofus, or is she still trying to conceive a baby for the $1 million?

Billy and Brooke arrive at D&D. Amanda immediately takes Billy aside, while Brooke advances toward her minuscule office -- where Alison is sitting! Brooke goes into a screaming rage; Alison explains that she was just trying to help with Brooke's clients. (Yo! Wait a second -- "clients"? Brooke hasn't worked at D&D in months. How does she have clients?) Alison angrily stalks out between Billy and Amanda. Brooke calls lamely to Billy, "I need you." His shoulders sink and he goes to her. Weenie!

Matt, Alan, and Kimberly:

Alan has just moved into Matt's apartment -- another great example of Melrosian time compression! As Alan decides what to do with the ceramic sculpture of Milton Berle, Matt fills out Alan's personal info for the lease. Alan has no checking account, can't list his last job, doesn't remember his last address, and has never ridden a bus. Hmmm -- for Los Angeles, that's not bad!

Kimberly decides to be the "Good Neighbor" and visits Alan while Matt is conveniently absent. She welcomes him to the area and says that if he ever needs to mix highly volatile chemicals, she's the one to talk to. She tells Alan that she's happy to see that Matt has found a normal guy after that last one ... D'OH! Oops! Alan presses her for information, and she tells him how Matt was framed for murder by Paul and how it ended in gunfire. (Say, Kim, how do you know so much? When Matt's big plot was going on, you were blowing up everybody!) Alan stammers, "Gunfire? Murder?" Kimberly says, "Well, of course -- this is Melrose Place! Where did you think you were moving -- 'Full House'?" Matt reappears, and Alan makes a hastily improvised exit. Kimberly simply says, "I have two words for you, Matt: couples therapy."

Alan tries to sneak back in around dawn the next day, but he fails horribly. Matt wants to know where he was, and Alan eventually says he was just walking. He was very concerned by Matt's secret past. "I thought I was special. I thought I was the first subplot you ever had." When Matt learns that Kimberly was the one who blabbed, he says, "Kimberly happens to be the neighborhood maniac." After Alan shows some annoyance that Matt kept the whole Paul affair a secret, Matt quizzes Alan about the missing gaps in his own life. Alan confesses that he was (ahem) a kept man. Matt says, "You...you were a gigolo?!" "To everyone I know."

Jane, Sydney, Michael, Jo, and Fashion Boy:

Jane "Lefty" Mancini and Alison chat on the patio of the beachhouse while Syd plays homemaker. (Isn't it funny how Jane, who despises Michael, kept her married name, while Sydney, who loves him, hasn't?) Jane is convinced that Jo and Richard spiked the drink; Alison finds this hard to believe. With impeccable timing, Jo appears at that moment and challenges Jane to look her in the eyes and say that she actually believes Jo would try to kill her. Jane can't (one eye now droops) -- but she still thinks Richard's involved and warns Jo, who shrugs it off. Jane insists that once Richard finds a new designer to replace her, he'll dump Jo. Alison wonders, "Who hates you enough to want to kill you?" All eyes turn to Sydney, who is smashing ants on the kitchen counter! (I hope that's not dessert!)

Sydney, aware of their suspicions, immediately goes to Voodoo Doctor Kimberly. "I am really ticked off that they would suspect me of doing this." "Sydney, you DID do this." "Uh, duh!" (This show would be so lost without Syd!) Kim suggests playing "hot potato" with the evidence. So, Syd goes to Richard's office at night (security guards? What security guards?) and plants her Ziploc of pills.

Jo and Fashion Boy chat in the morning. He's not thrilled that she visited Jane. He says he feels so terrible about Jane's condition that he's switching to a new gel, but "the company has to move on." He's going to interview candidates for a designer. Jo, suspicious, suggests she be there as well, but he says that's not necessary.

Sydney, again running the risk of screwing her own plans, visits Jane during her therapy session at the hospital and tries to oversell the idea that Richard could be the guilty party. Jane gets annoyed: "Would you quit the Matlock impersonation? He's hardly a serial killer!" Syd, in the best line of the night, says, "Well, he could be a serial stroker! We should stop him before he strokes again!" Syd leaves and phones the police.

At Hart-Mancini, Jo sees Richard's "candidate": Sayyyy, not bad, Fashion Boy! Her name is Stephanie. As she leaves, Richard tells Jo that he's impressed by Stephanie's "hands-on" talent: "I can see her filling Jane's shoes." "I'm sure you can." Richard seems to miss the jibe, and Jo says she has a headache. She goes into Richard's office to get some Extra-Strength Tylenol and finds some Extra-Strength Planted Evidence! She takes the Ziploc!

Syd chats with a police detective and again does the Hard Sell about her "suspicions." She suggests the pills could be in, oh, Richard's office! "Why? Did you plant them?" Gasp! "Sorry, bad joke." As Syd's pulse resumes normal beating, the detective says there's really nothing to investigate: Many people accidentally take drug overdoses in L.A.!

Late that night at the beachhouse, Michael sneaks into bed with a sleeping Jane. He says Jane's current physical status may actually enhance sexual pleasure! (Boy, there's a great notion -- let's all induce strokes so we can have great sex! I don't THINK so!) Jane whacks him in the head with a vase! With her good arm, she shoves the surprisingly still-conscious Michael off her. She tells him that she was never interested in him -- it was just a ruse to get Richard back. Michael is shocked! "Don't you have any feelings for me?" "Yes, I loathe you!" Sydney peers in and says to Michael with disgust, "You were going to have sex with a paralyzed woman?" As Jane and Syd both lambast him for his gullibility, Michael puts on some clothes and storms out, saying, "You two obviously fell into the same genetic pool, and you stayed under too long!"

A miserable Michael is asleep on a cot in the hospital locker room -- as Kimberly walks in! He slowly wakes up and she casually removes her blouse and reminisces about how it all began with her and him. But it's a "dark place," man! Bad things happen! "I won't go back there anymore, Michael. It would be bad for us both." As Michael groggily and hornily reaches for her, she finishes changing clothes, then slowly walks out. Weird!

Jo visits Jake at Shooter's and shows him the bag of pills. She's not sure what to do because the writers have removed all her reasoning ability over the past year, so she's come to Jake for advice. Jake says he'll support whatever decision she makes, but that's all. Jo, obviously hoping for a little more assistance, leaves; Jake sulks. (Daphne, unless Jo gets out of this boring rut soon, your nickname will be Daphne Zzzzzzuniga.)

Amanda, Peter, Bobby, and Jake:

Amanda is a little annoyed when Bobby once again avoids the oh-so-strict security of D&D and walks right into her office. He tells her that Peter has a "pretty good right cross" and assumes Peter saw their little indiscretion at Palm Springs. Amanda says that was just a goodbye kiss as far as she's concerned. Using the latent ESP that all Melrosians possess, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns chooses that moment to phone Amanda. He invites both her and Bobby to dinner. Michael overhears Peter's side of the conversation, then offers advice. (No thanks!) Peter says, "The way to Amanda's heart is littered with casualties, Michael. I don't intend to be one of them."

Monty the Loan Shark visits Jake at Shooter's and says that Jake is a little short. "No way! I'm about 5'9!" "No, you bozo! You're short on your loan payments!" Monty says that Jake can pay it off by getting $235 from a guy who owes Monty. Jake protests that he's not a strongarm; in fact, he's a wuss. Monty threatens to do some, shall we say, "remodeling" unless Jake comes through.

Peter, Amanda, and Bobby have dinner at a restaurant, and The Bizarre One wastes no time spelling out the "ground rules" for Bobby. He says he saw Bobby and Amanda kissing. Bobby says that was just a "history lesson." "Hey, chum, this is current events! Get this straight, Sailor Boy -- Amanda is mine!" Bobby silently stands up, drops some Monopoly money on the table, and leaves. Amanda reacts nastily to Peter's claim of possession! When she berates him for being too "smooth," Peter says, "I struggled for you! You think Palm Springs didn't hurt?" He reminds her of everything he's done for her lately and how she would probably be behind bars if he hadn't saved her aerobicized butt during the Jack fiasco. She storms off.

Jake goes to a small diner and tells the owner that he's here to collect the money owed Monty. The man gets pushy with Jake, who pushes back. The guy says he needs the money for his family, but he knows he can't stop Jake from taking it: Jake's a main character on the show, and he's just a lowly guest star. Jake's conscience kicks in, and he walks out without the money.

Back at Shooter's, Bobby sits down and says he's waiting for Amanda. Jake gets another visitor: Monty. Jake hands over $235 out of his own pocket, but that's not what Monty wanted: "You're startin' to piss me off." (Bobby eavesdrops on this exchange; the word "piss" excites him.) Jake says he wants no part of this: "I'm out." "You're in -- deep."

Bobby gets tired of waiting and goes to Amanda's apartment. She doesn't like that she's being asked to choose between him and Peter. Bobby says she should stay with Peter -- he's a good man, he doesn't carry old baggage, and he's a better actor! Amanda says she'll stick with "Fortress Amanda" for the time being, and stay by herself. Bobby just wants to utter some last words: "I love you. You're in my heart." They close for a "final" kiss, then Amanda leads him inside and they go at it! Hey, what happened to Fortress Amanda? The foundations must be pretty weak!

Next Week: Amanda tells Peter, "I'm in love with Bobby." Peter's response: "Go to hell." Brooke trashes Alison's apartment and throws food at Billy! Michael tells Syd that he won't come home until Jane is gone -- so Syd shoves Jane in front of a truck! Yowsa!

--Ken Hart

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