Episode 19: The Bobby Trap


Okay, what's with The Billy Smirk? Andrew Shue does not go for 5 seconds without that damned annoying smirk! Boy, is it irritating!

The Matt Slot goes to ... no one! Yes, the writers really messed up this week: They gave lines to everybody! Is nothing sacred? Oh, the humanity!


Yes, Matt continues to star in a solo subplot. (Because they never see him, the other MP regulars need to be constantly reminded that Doug Savant has not been fired.) He visits Alan on the set of the soap opera "The Young and the Futile," and arrives just in time to see Alan (in character) lustily kiss a lovely woman as a scene ends. All the "suits" (i.e., producers) are thrilled! The top producer is a very unnerving woman who seemingly wants to devour Alan. (Imagine a man-hungry cross between the Wicked Witch and the tiny exorcist lady from "Poltergeist." Shudder.) She predicts a great future for him. Alan introduces Matt as his "friend." When they're alone, Matt lets Alan know he's not happy with that. (The cast and crew are unaware Alan's gay.) Matt says he won't play these hetero reindeer games anymore, and he doesn't want Alan to lie to anyone about their relationship.

At the hospital, Matt meets David, his replacement in Social Services. David praises Matt for sticking up to Dr. Hobbes and making things easier for a lot of other people. (David is gay.) He wants to go over some bureaucratic stuff with Matt after work one day. Matt hesitates, but David assures him that this isn't a come-on.

Michael, Sydney, Kimberly, Jane, Jake, Richard, and Jo:

Jane limps around in Jake's pad (he slept on the couch). She thanks him again for saving her life. "No big deal. Ya want something to drink?" ""How about O.J.?" "The trial's been over for months!" "No -- Orange Juice, you ninny!" The "new Jane" (carefully scripted by the writers after the "bitchy Jane" of earlier weeks failed) now realizes that it wasn't Sydney's fault; no one likes to have someone else totally dependent on them. Jane says she must become more self-sufficient. Jake is not so forgiving. Alison drops by, as does Sydney (with a flowery peace offering). Jake gets extremely sarcastic toward Syd, who says, "Oh, great. I'm being judged by Jake, The White Knight with the IQ of a rock!" Alison delicately escorts Syd outside, while Jane seems annoyed that Jake interfered.

A depressed Syd goes to see Kimberly. She's still concerned about the pills. Kim says, "Don't worry about the pills. That's a rapidly fading subplot: Jo still loves Richard, and I bet Jane will be walking by the end of the episode. Let's look at your deep-seeded hatred of Jane." Syd protests, but Kim replies, "It's all right here in 'Jane and Sydney,' the new Melrose Place paperback about your early lives, now at a bookstore near you!" Syd is upset that Kim has been taking detailed notes, and she gets really paranoid, accusing Kim of scheming to destroy all the cast members again, of stealing the strawberries in the food locker, and of writing the pilot episode of "Savannah."

The ever-compassionate Michael sees Syd break away from Kim, and he asks Kim what's up. They have a surprisingly pleasant conversation! Michael says Kim is looking very tired and suggests she get a B-12 shot. As they go for coffee and a chat, Kim says, "Even when I hated you, I still thought you were kind of ... cute."

Jo visits Jane at MP and says that Richard needs her help. John Marshall (a big buyer and fan of Jane) is dropping by Hart-Mancini to look at designs, and if Jane isn't there, the whole thing will fall through. (Richard is unaware that Jo is doing this.) Jane can't be sympathetic: "Well, you and Richard worked hard to kick me out of the business. What can I say? Payback's a bitch." Jo stoically accepts her bad karma. (This was surprising continuity: The writers actually remembered that Jo and Jane were at each other's throats for most of the season!)

Later, at Hart-Mancini, Fashion Boy knows he's screwed. Just as John Marshall wonders where Jane is and as Richard is about to fess up, Jane pops a wheelie and arrives, pretending it's business as usual. Jo and Richard gape, but are grateful.

Sydney shares her concerns about Kimberly to Michael, who shrugs her off. When he sees the evil combination of ingredients that Syd just put into her sandwich, he says in disgust, "You're the dangerous one around here!"

Back at Fashion Boy Central, the meeting has gone well. Marshall liked Jane's designs for Fruit-of-the-Loom underwear made from real fruit, and he compliments her and Richard (in an oddly backhanded way) on what a great team they make. When he leaves, Jane, Richard, and Jo agree to talk about resuming their business partnership.

Kimberly takes Michael up on his offer and asks for a B-12 shot. As he prepares it, she coyly says she'd like the shot in the butt! =:o Michael smiles and agrees. As she seductively pulls up her skirt, the still-smiling Michael switches ampoules! "Those are new garters, aren't they?" He gives her the shot, and Kim quickly gets woozy. He steadies her and says he actually gave her truth serum! (He's the best!) He asks if she intends to harm anybody. "I don't wanna hurt anybody..." He then asks if she knows who drugged Jo. Kim dreamily says it was Syd, "but she didn't mean to do it!" Michael shakes his head, "I knew it!" He pointedly asks her if she means him any harm, "Oooo, Michael, I'm so mad at you for doing this, but no, I could never hurt you again. I love you! I love you with all my heart and soul!" This catches him by surprise!

Syd bursts into Kim's office after a commercial break. Much has happened off-camera! She tells Kim that Michael knows she drugged Jane, and he has kicked her out of the beachhouse. She plans to report Kim for this breach of doctor/patient confidentiality. Kim tells her that Michael used truth serum. When Syd scoffs, Kim replies, "Who is the one man you know who is capable of almost anything, and has already done it to both of us?" Syd can't argue with that! Kim, acknowledging that this is partially her fault, offers to let Syd stay with her temporarily at Melrose Place. Syd sighs: "Just once I would like to end up on top." Sydney, you'll never end up on top as long as you've got the evil Marlo Thomas hairdo! Stop with the '60s fashions already!

Later, Michael sees Kim in the hospital hallway and rejoices that his lifestyle is now Syd-free! He wants to get frisky with Kim, but she is quite mad at him for doping her up: "You are one sick puppy!" Arf! "So I slipped you a mickey -- so what?" Kimberly swears she'll never allow herself to trust him again. She walks away as Michael wonders what he did wrong.

That night at that chemical bath of psychological experimentation known as the Melrose Place pool, Jane is swimming around pretty well. Jake kneels down at poolside and apologizes for yelling at Syd and interfering with family stuff. Jane says it's OK: "I appreciate that you show compassion for someone other than yourself. It's a rare quality around here." She pulls him into the pool, and they start making out. Jane's full mobility has been restored! Huzzah!

The next day, Jane arrives at Hart-Mancini using only a cane. Fashion Boy and Jo are both happy for her -- then get less happy when Jane says that she's not rejoining them in the business; they can use her name to close the Marshall deal, but that's it. After a long night of swimming and sex, she now knows that the earlier mistrust between them would make a new partnership difficult. She must get back to basics. "What a load of crap!" says Richard. He stops her from removing her business files, saying she'll need a lawyer to do so. Oh, no -- don't do another legal story! Those are the worst!

Billy, Alison, Brooke, Amanda, Bobby, and Peter:

Amanda wakes up next to Bobby ("you big lunkhead," as she affectionately calls him). Bobby picks up the ringing phone -- DAD! "I thought you had returned to TV trivia limbo!" "No," says Rhoda's ex-husband, Poppa Parezi. "I'd like you to come down to Miami..." He's obviously unhappy that Amanda is still alive, and he orders him to finish her off or else move to a stinky drama on UPN. Scared, Bobby quickly hangs up. Ignoring Amanda's attempts to find out what's wrong, he gets dressed in a hurry and goes to work. Amanda calls after him, "Bobby, you big lunkhead! You're wearing my pumps!"

Brooke shows up at Dumb & Dumber looking for her Cro-Magnon Love Mate, Billy. Apparently, it's Dress Down Day at the office, as Billy has abandoned his customary white shirt and clip-on tie for a Gap pullover! Brooke, looking anxious and not even slightly pale, pleads with him for a chance to discuss their problems and try to patch things up. Billy says, "Daaah, Brooke, I can't deal wi' ya now. Go 'way." Brooke's face gets all scrunchy. She whines and walks off. Our Blessed Lady of the Sap, a.k.a. Saint Alison, sees this. Brooke escorts her into her office/decontamination chamber and begs her to talk to Billy and convince him to go see a marriage counselor. Alison isn't sure, but Brooke adds, "I only ask because I was once your stepdaughter." Fortunately, Amanda steps in and reverts to Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS: "Say, I don't think you two are talking about work! Where's my whip?!" Brooke flees. Alison berates Amanda for her lack of compassion; Amanda berates Alison for her lack of common sense.

A phone call comes through for Amanda -- it's from Bobby. She demands an apology for his cold behavior that morning. He predictably doesn't apologize, but he says they need to talk soon. She agrees to meet tomorrow night. We see that Bobby is making the phone call from his office. Alycia, his lawyer, enters with a disapproving look. The cable TV deal isn't going all that swiftly because Bobby refuses to pay "under the table" to certain groups; he won't do shady deals, especially with those thieves on the Discovery Channel.

The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns arrives, claiming that he's putting their recent personal difficulties behind him. He tells Bobby and Alycia he represents a group of doctors who all have "extra capital" that they'd like to invest in a promising business venture. "What, Mentos?" "No, your cable TV operation." Bobby flatly tells Peter that he's too bizarre and can't be trusted. Peter drops off his business card and departs. As Alycia picks the card up, Bobby tells her to throw it away -- but she sees a note written on the back: "Alycia, call me. This is my first episode without Kimberly or Amanda, and I'm lonely."

Later at Melrose Place, Alison does indeed approach Billy and suggests he go with Brooke to an acting coach, then a marriage counselor. Billy scoffs, "Wha? Wha's wrong wi' my acting? A movie with a talking pig just won the Golden Globe for Best Picture! Who needs acting?" Alison, in a James Taylor moment, tells him to look at the "little girl" lost in Brooke's eyes. Billy astutely says, "Daaah, Alison, you've completely lost yer mind." He reminds her of all the things that she and he talked about in years past: their wedding plans, Alison's burnt toast, Billy's drool bucket... Alison says, "That's over with, Billy! We'll only see that again when the series gets repeated in syndication!" Billy disagrees, and he makes a move on her. She shrugs him off, comments on how disappointed she is in him, and leaves. Billy continues to smirk!

Back at D&D, we see something we haven't seen in a long time: a meeting that contains people other than Billy, Brooke, Alison, and Amanda! They sure blew the budget on this episode! (Of course, none of these people had lines. Hell, I don't even think they drew breath!) Amanda chastises Brooke for falling behind on the Jagged Edged Toys account, and Brooke and Billy immediately start sniping. Saint Alison interrupts and offers to help Brooke catch up. No sooner does Amanda remind everyone to keep their personal stuff out of the office than Bobby walks right in (again evading the intangible D&D receptionist) and quietly demands to talk to Amanda right now! Alison hangs around as Bobby tells Amanda that they should get away to the beach for a few days. Amanda doesn't like the approach: "Why don't you just beat me with a club and drag me by the hair?" But Bobby is not nothing if not stupid...I mean, persistent, and he convinces Amanda to come along once Alison offers to watch over things for a couple of days. In one funny line, Amanda tells Alison to keep an eye on the company while she's away, "but no palace coups!"

Alycia calls Peter, and they phone-flirt excessively. He feels that she, as Bobby's lawyer, will be more inclined to listen to his business proposal. They agree to meet for lunch. She's interested in finding out more about him. He says, "I'm an open book, counselor." Which book is that? One of those Fabio novels?

At D&D, whiny Brooke is talking to Alison when a delivery boy gets dialogue! He brings a package for Brooke. "Oh, boy, it could be some of Daddy's money!" (Gee, she got happy fast!) But NO! Billy is suing her for divorce! Brooke Grimaces! Alison Gapes!

Bobby and Amanda are strolling down the beach, and Amanda admits this was a good idea after all. Bobby, though, is still being uncommunicative, and he won't talk about what's really bothering him. "Duh, my family has done great harm to you." She tells him to knock off the self-guilt trip and the grunting. He shouldn't blame himself for every bad thing his family has done. He says, "Well, Amanda, my family is responsible for producing Tom Arnold's next movie." "Then rot in hell, you bastard!"

Brooke rushes back to D&D -- just as Billy has finished leaving her bags outside the door of the apartment. He's giving her the boot! "But Rhett, where will I go? What will I do?" "Daaah, frankly, Brooke -- I don't give a damn!" He slams the door on her.

After lunch, Peter and Alycia quickly dispose of business chat. He had tried to get more info about the cable TV deal (and Bobby), but she's too savvy. The Bizarre One suggests a partnership of sorts: "I think we can find a way to benefit each other -- on a number of levels." Sayyyy...! She'll think about it.

Bobby and Amanda are just completing a nice dinner at the hotel's beachfront restaurant. After they each boast of the other's sexual prowess, Bobby gets a message from the waiter. We don't see what it says, but he's obviously rattled. He tells Amanda to wait here; he promises to be back in 5 minutes. Amanda, who's never big on obeying orders, gets up a minute later and heads up to their room. Surprise! There's Poppa Parezi and a hitman, both with guns (and silencers). Pop is not happy with Bobby, but gives him one last chance to redeem himself. Bobby must decide who lives. "Is it gonna be you," demands Poppa, "or the woman who murdered your brother?"

Oh, this is a toughie: Kill the useless Bobby or kill Amanda, without whom the show itself would be dead! Hmmm, uhhhh ... gee, I dunno....

Next Week: It's not on! But in Two Weeks: Two people will die "in tragic accidents. But ARE they accidents?" They show only Alison, Billy, Brooke, Jane, Jake, Amanda, and Kimberly, but I don't know if the whole cast is at risk. (Die, Fashion Boy, Die!)

--Ken Hart

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