Episode 20: No Lifeguard on Duty


What a ripoff! So much for the deaths of "two Melrose Place" characters! A Big Boo! to FOX and Spelling for once more teasing the viewers!

No Matt Slot this week: With a two-hour episode, I would certainly hope everybody got some screen time! Still, though, no dialogue for the pool boy and the other members of D&D. A special citation goes to the big-time gratuitous ripped-jeans butt shot during the episode credits!

Amanda, Bobby, Peter, Sydney, and Alycia:

Poppa Parezi points the gun at Bobby's head and wants an answer to the question: Who will die -- Bobby or Amanda? Bobby quietly says, to his father's surprise, "Me." Amanda tries to interrupt, but Bobby says it's between him and Poppa. He angrily tells Poppa that Jack was no "Golden Boy" -- "He was a liar, a wifebeater, and ex-football player ... oops, sorry, I got him confused with O.J." Bobby challenges his father to shoot him, but Poppa can't and despairingly disowns Bobby: "I'm not your father. I have no sons. " He says to Amanda, "You killed them both." He and the hitman leave to begin a new comedy series on another network.

Back at Bobby's place, Amanda tells him that she feels horrible about what happened. He says that this wasn't her fault; he doesn't believe that his father would disown him. "It'll blow over." A frenzied Alycia pops up at this moment. Bobby makes the necessary introductions, and Alycia gives the bad news: Poppa is selling all his shares in the cable company. If someone else gets their hands on them, Bobby will lose control of the business! Rupert Murdoch will own everything!

Later, Alycia gets a visit in her office from The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, who is in super Joe Cool mode, closing the door with a flick of his ankle. (Say, he's suave!) He asks her out for dinner that night, but the current crisis makes that impossible. He shouldn't take that as a blanket refusal, however. Making small talk, she casually mentions that before Amanda, Bobby always had a thing for redheads. Alycia gets word that Bobby is coming up to see her; since she knows there are bad vibes between him and Peter, she asks The Bizarre One to leave by the secret rear exit. Peter caresses her hand ("You're a Palmolive girl, aren't you?") and leaves, but listens in as Bobby describes his current financial situation with Alycia.

Amanda shows Bobby a portfolio of all her current holdings, assets, and bikini photos. "Hmmm, 913 ultra-short skirts ... impressive, but why tell me?" She's offering him everything to help. He deeply appreciates the gesture, but he won't accept it: It wouldn't even make a dent in the total he needs. Nice guy that he is, he reassures her this isn't her fault.

At Burns-Mancini, a smiling Peter compliments Sydney on getting rid of the Marlo Thomas hairdo. The new one isn't great, either, but it's better! He asks her to focus her "feminine charms" on Bobby so he can get Amanda back. Though she doesn't have to sleep with him, there is a financial incentive to do so. He offers $1,000 for each "base" that Syd manages to reach with Bobby; Syd, after token resistance to the idea, counters that she wants $7,500 "if he slides across my plate." Peter will take Syd to a fundraiser that Bobby and Amanda are attending. Syd wants a very expensive dress to wear -- which, of course, Peter will pay for! (Hmmm, after this is over, does Syd get Free Agent status?)

Amanda is relaxing at home when Bobby visits. He's made some deals and called in some old markers, but he's almost got what he needs to buy the shares. Hesitatingly, he says Amanda's portfolio will make up the difference. Again, Amanda insists he take it. He's reluctant, saying that it's financially risky for both of them, but Amanda repeats his words that "As long as they have each other...." blah blah blah.

While Peter is looking for an appropriate outfit for Our Sydney, he sees Amanda trying on a stunning white dress in front of the mirror. (Hey, if she just gave all her assets to Bobby, how could she afford to buy such an expensive dress?) They toss a couple of nasty zingers around about taste in clothes and taste in men, and Amanda leaves. As soon as she does so, Peter tells the store's employee that he wants to buy the identical dress, in size 2.

At the fundraiser, Syd arrives with Peter and she's shocked to see Amanda wearing the same dress: "The embarrassment alone will cost you an extra grand." Amanda is furious! Peter innocently says that he had no idea Amanda was actually buying the dress. Bobby goes to the bar for drinks; Syd follows and says, "Be a love and order me a Pink Lady." Bobby does and Syd tosses out the classic "Is it me or is it getting hot in here?" Bobby politely tells her that he's not interested. Amanda walks over and privately tells Syd that Bobby is "off limits." "What's the matter, Amanda? Insecurity problem?" At that moment, someone jostles Amanda and her red wine splashes all over Syd's dress! Syd is horrified! Amanda says that no matter how Sydney tries to dress herself up, "you're still a $2 hooker. You've just got a new pimp, that's all." Alycia had seen Amanda's testy exchange with Peter, and she approaches him and asks him about it; Peter says Amanda is a "friend."

The next morning, Peter calls Syd for a status report. Not even First Base! "It'll take some more time." Peter considers getting Tommy Lasorda to coach Sydney. Alycia walks back into the bedroom. Apparently, she and The Bizarre One scored -- off-camera! Boo! She suspects that there's something more to his past with Amanda than he's admitted. She coyly says, "You better not have any ulterior motives for sleeping with me, doctor." "You want to know my motives? Lust -- pure lust!" Huzzah!

Sydney goes to Bobby's office with a non-functioning cable box. She wants it fixed! (Doesn't anybody have a receptionist on this show?) Bobby mentions that his company hasn't started yet. Syd again turns on her "charm," so she makes Mafia jokes! Bobby stoically grabs her firmly around the neck and tries to show her out, but she apologizes, saying she says dumb things when she gets nervous: "Nice guys make me nervous ... and you're a nice guy." Syd seems surprised by what a nice guy he truly is, saying "You're a freak of nature." "Enough with the compliments." He shows her out, but he can't help laughing at the uniqueness that is Sydney.

Peter tells Syd she's off the assignment. He realizes that Syd actually likes the guy! He can't understand what Bobby has. Syd says Bobby is honest: "He's the kind of man who makes a woman like me want to change her ways!" When Peter scoffs, Syd says, "Amanda was right to choose a man like Bobby over a meanie like you!" Peter, dumbfounded, can only stutter, "I am NOT a meanie!"

Amanda and Alycia bump into each other at Bobby's office, where Amanda wonders if there's anything going on between her and Bobby. Alycia says she's not interested in him, although she does add that he has a reputation for playing the field when it comes to women. On the other hand, Amanda is all he talks about now. Alycia sneaks in a question about Amanda's last boyfriend; Amanda says he was a surgeon and "I could never be sure what his motives were. He's just so ... bizarre!" This gives Alycia food for thought.

Syd tracks down a jogging Bobby and, out of desire to be "nice," spills the beans about Peter's scheme to separate him and Amanda. (Of course, she leaves out the part that she was going to be handsomely paid.) Bobby wonders if Peter has anyone else "working" for him.

Back at the office, Bobby sees Alycia in a unnaturally good mood and concludes that she's got a date. Alycia admits that, yes, she is seeing Peter. "He's a good man," says Bobby. She says she and Peter have dinner reservations that night. Oh, gee, that's too bad -- Bobby tells her she must drive to Palm Springs right away to meet with some station executives. (Don't keep UPN waiting!) He'll call Peter himself and explain the situation. (Uh huh.)

Bobby shows up at the fancy restaurant and tells Peter that Alycia won't be arriving. The unflappable Peter replies, "So you came instead? That's very flattering, Bob, but you're not my type." Bobby darkly warns him to be upfront if he wants to take on Bobby. "Don't go the back way by using other people." He tells him to leave Alycia out of it; Peter politely refuses.

Amanda gets a phone call from Alicia, who is driving back. She's looking for Bobby. Amanda says, "I don't know where he is." "Well, he's not in Palm Springs -- that where I just was." As she hangs up, Bobby appears. Amanda says she tried to reach him earlier: "Now if I were the jealous type..." she says half-jokingly. Bobby says he was in Palm Springs all day. Amanda doesn't reveal she knows he's lying. (Bad Writing Alert! Bobby could have said any other location on the planet, but NO! Because Alycia coincidentally called Amanda just seconds before, he gets nabbed in a lie. Sloppy!)

Jo, Jake, Jane, and Fashion Boy:

(To spare you some undue pain, I'll try to be brief.) Jake shows off his garage to Jane, who says she'd like to use it as her workplace. It'll be like "Home Improvement" meets VH-1! She'll even pay rent! Well, the problem is that Jo parks her car there, and Jo and Jane haven't been best buddies. He'll tell Jo to make other arrangements. Jake asks Jane to stop pretending that their kiss at the pool didn't happen. Jane says she wasn't sure if it was just one of those "I'm happy to walk again" kisses. They solve this question by kissing again!

He goes to Jo's pad and tells her the situation. Jo is not thrilled, but Jake doesn't give her an option. Fashion Boy turns up in a towel. He and Jo get smoochy. Nuff said.

This next part was confusing, since apparently Jo is still parking in the garage. She says to Jane, "Oh, I'm sorry -- did I park in the middle of your company?" The two women get kind of nasty, and although Jo did start it, Jane gets off the really nasty shot: "The talent has left the building of Richard Hart Designs ... and let's face it, Jo: The only help you can give is between the sheets!" Jake shows up in time to hear this last zinger and isn't happy. Jo leaves. Jane asks Jake if they're still getting together tonight. Jake, the Master of Communication, says that, uh, he might be working late at Shooter's.

Fashion Boy, with his new spiky hair, visits the garage later -- apparently for no other reason than to taunt Jane. (Richard's hair has gotten darker as Jo's has gotten lighter. The show must need to maintain some tint balance.) She retaliates, "You've always ridden on other people's backs ... Mackenzie's, mine, Tori Spelling's ... you have no talent! You're not even a decent actor! Get off the show!" The battle lines have been drawn, and he tells her that she's finished in this industry.

At Hart (well, it used to be Hart-Mancini), Fashion Boy is being a real slavedriver, telling everyone that they'll have to work until 9 p.m. What?!? And miss "Friends"? He looks stressed out, and you get the feeling things have not gone well since Jane's departure. In addition, Jo tells him that he needs to make more time for their relationship. When he says the business must come first, she tells him she's quitting. "What more can I do?" he asks. "I dunno! Jump into the pool with your clothes on, sing me a love song, say 'I love you' in French, blow yourself up with a pipe bomb!"

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Jo tells Jake she may have overreacted. Jane shows up and tells Jake she knows he's been avoiding her. She follows him into his office, where Jake says he just doesn't think her lifestyle and his can mix. Jane says there's more to her than that. Jake, his resolve weakening, suggests they stay friends: "We don't need to take it further than this." "I think we need to take it all the way!" They start going at it on his desk! Jake, buy a couch, for God's sake! Or at least a couple of throw pillows!

Richard gets Jo's attention in the MP courtyard. He sings a love song, throws himself in the pool with his clothes, and says "I love you" in French. (He doesn't blow himself up with a pipe bomb, but that was wishful thinking on my part.) Jo thinks this is SO cute, so of course they make out. KILLTHEMKILLTHEMKILLTHEM

Matt and Alan:

The new guy at the hospital, David, asks Matt if he wants to go to the AIDS-benefit danceathon. Matt says he's hoping to go with Alan, but he does tell David about the problems they've been having. David tries to plant the seeds of doubt in Matt's head by suggesting that Alan may not be comfortable with his own choice of lifestyle.

Alan and Matt have dinner at a nice restaurant, but Matt is in a bad mood. Alan tries to make amends, but Matt says, "When you love someone, you don't want to have to hide it." "You said the L-word." "What? Liberal?" "No! Love." They hold hands, and Alan says that he loves Matt, too.

One afternoon, Matt returns to MP to find a camera crew inside his place. Alan is being interviewed for some TV show. He casually refers to Matt as his "roommate" and says, "I'm single and loving it!" Matt storms out.

We next see that Alan has been sleeping on the couch. He apologizes to Matt, who doesn't accept it. He says he's fought long and hard to be accepted -- by his friends, his co-workers, even his father. "I'll be damned if I'll go back in the closet for anyone, especially my lover." He asks Alan to go with him to the danceathon; Alan is unsure.

Outside the dance club where the benefit is going on, David comes over to Matt, who is waiting patiently for Alan. David offers to be Matt's dance partner if Alan doesn't make it (nudge nudge wink wink). But Alan arrives! Matt introduces him to David, who says he was "just keeping Matt company." Alan glares: "Yes, I see!" He and Matt hug and enter the club, as photographers flash away by the entrance.

The next day at the hospital, an angry Alan shows Matt a photograph that was just faxed to him by his agent. It's of Alan with his arm around Matt, and it's supposed to appear on some tabloid's front page. He's frantic: The network wants to see him, and he's convinced he'll be fired from the soap. Matt tells him nobody will care: "You think your fans are homophobic -- try looking in the damn mirror."

Michael and Kimberly:

Kimberly, looking quite slinky, walks into her office to find Michael waiting for her. He's even got some phone message for her: "You forgot to turn on your voice mail." (How do you turn ON your electronic voice mail?) He's got messages from a patient, her gynecologist, Hair Club for Men, and "some guy named Vic." Eeeek! She tells Michael that Vic is the psycho from her radio-show days. He's been convicted and is still in jail awaiting sentencing. Michael offers to help her out by using a police contact he has and by offering to move her into the beachhouse, where "I'll be your shadow 24 hours a day." Kim looks at him and says, "I'll take my chances with a homicidal maniac." "That hurts, Kimberly." (Michael is just so earnest when he wants a relationship. He goes completely head over heels!) One day, she'll realize that he's the one who really cares. Boy, have things changed from the start of the season when he wanted her institutionalized for life!

Kim, now wearing her Secret Agent outfit, visits Vic in The Only Jail in Town. She asks him nicely to stop calling her and leave her alone. But he's completely obsessed and angry. (He's also got great teeth, as psychopaths go.) He promises to hurt her if he ever gets out. He can't get her out of his mind, although he does have thoughts about this other convict who wants to make Vic his "love puppy." This is too much for Kim, who leaves.

At the hospital, Michael gives her some good news. Vic's sentence has been handed down: 15 years with no chance for parole, plus enforced viewing of every Smurfs cartoon ever made. She's relieved, but Michael continues to push the romance/sex notion. Kimberly angrily tells him that he cannot be trusted. He says, "What will it take to prove myself to you?" "A miracle." Next Week: A special Melrose Place guest-starring Pope John Paul! Sydney joins a convent!

A couple of nights later, Michael finds out that Vic has just been released from jail "accidentally." (How does that happen? "Ooops, you're free"?) He rushes to find Kim, who has just left her office. Guess who's waiting in the back seat of her car? Vic! He puts a knife to Kim's throat as she gets in, and orders her to drive. Michael comes out just in time to see this. He commandeers the first car to come by and gives chase! He and Vic motor down the street, slamming into each other like a vehicular mosh pit! Vic drives into some factory grounds (a convenient six blocks away from the hospital). Michael follows, but spins out. Vic and Kim also lose control and hit a large gas tank, which starts leaking fumes. Michael runs over and bravely pulls a stunned Kimberly to safety -- just as the tank and the car explode!

(Time Out: So are we fans supposed to accept that the death of Vic -- a very minor character who hadn't appeared in months -- is supposed to be one of the two deaths of Melrose Place characters that were so heavily advertised?!? I guess so! Lame! Write to your congressman!)

Kim wakes up in a hospital bed. A subdued Michael tells her she has a slight concussion and should be released soon. As they think about what happened, Michael says, "It was like a sick flashback, wasn't it?" He feels that Fate gave him the chance to make amends for the first accident: "So, now maybe we're even?" They hold hands.

Later, Michael is jokingly spoonfeeding Kim. (Awwwww...) She admits that maybe she's been a little hard on him. (No, you haven't!) Maybe they can be friends. "Friends?" thinks Michael. "What about sex?" Nnnnnnnnno. She tells him to take it or leave it. He takes it -- then starts kissing her hand. She laughingly protests. "What?" he says. "Friends kiss hands!"

Back at the beachhouse, the new "friends" play a odd game of Scrabble, full of words like LUST, LIPS, and WONDERBRA ("which I'm not convinced is one word," Michael says). Kim thinks he's reading too much into this, but he puts down his last word: L-O-V-E. "Your turn." "Okay, Michael," Kim says, "no more letters." They go at it like laughing weasels!

Billy, Alison, and Brooke:

A spandexed Brooke goes to the front desk of the expensive Hilton Hotel, saying she's been accidentally locked out of her room. It's no accident -- her credit card has been rejected! "What? That's impossible!" says Brooke. (For once, I agree with her! Your credit card is checked for validity when you first enter any expensive hotel!) Unless she can come up with the money she owes, the hotel will hold onto her belongings, including her clothes and "How to Be a Bitch" instruction guides. Brooke then does the Scrunchy Face that will be repeated throughout the two hours. It puts creases on her nose and is really unattractive!

Brooke goes to D&D and confronts the still-smirking Billy, who admits he canceled the cards that were issued as a joint account. Brooke says that leaves her with no money. "Daaaah, wat about dat 10 grand you inherited from yer muddah?" It went for the down payment on the house and is non-refundable. "Well, gaaah, mebbe you shoulda consulted me before ya did it." She runs off. Alison thinks he's being a bit cruel, but he says, "Don't worry, Alison. Brooke's a survivor. She'll find some way ta stay afloat." (Remember this line! Who says there's no foreshadowing on Melrose Place?)

In her office, Brooke gets on the phone with her bank and finds herself in similar straits. She has to go to a staff meeting, but since she is stuck with her spandex, she grabs an overcoat and puts it on. Amanda, who never lets Robert's Rules of Order get in the way of publicly embarrassing someone, tells Brooke she's violating the D&D dress code: All female employees must wear skirts that come up at least 5 inches above the knee!

Amanda goes on to chastise Brooke for dropping the ball on the Jagged Edged Toys account. Brooke tries shifting the blame to Billy, then starts to lose it in a big way, saying how cruel he's being. Billy can't restrain himself from tossing in a jibe about the fake pregnancy. YES, it's another fun D&D staff meeting! Amanda kicks everybody out except Billy, who says he can't work with Brooke anymore. Amanda is understandably annoyed: Billy was the one who insisted Brooke be hired back, now he wants to get rid of her!

The next day, Amanda tells Alison that she's going to fire Brooke and why. Alison tries to talk her out of it. Amanda can't understand why Alison is so protective: "You were her stepmother for 10 minutes!" Still, Amanda agrees to hold off -- for now.

At Shooter's, Billy is getting slowly tanked up, celebrating Brooke's departure from his life. Alison arrives and tells him otherwise. He simply says that Alison is delaying the inevitable. He asks her to dance on the hoppin' Shooter's dance floor. Brooke, displaying excellent timing, walks in just in time to see this. Jake politely suggests that she finish her drink and leave. (Is this the first time these two have exchanged dialogue?) Brooke will do no such thing! She pulls the plug on the jukebox and gives Billy a poor tongue-lashing in front of Shooter's hapless patrons. She says, "I have plenty of men interested in me!" She leaves, stiffing Jake for a drink in the process. She walks down to the corner and does The Scrunchy Face!

The next morning, she goes to Alison's, apologizes, and rants about Billy's "erratic behavior." Alison gives her a Reality Check on that one. Brooke shrugs it off and says she has a date with her ex-fiance Lowell. Alison is skeptical, but agrees to let Brooke borrow a dress. Sap!

At a cocktail party that night, a starving Brooke arrives in Alison's old prom dress. She scarfs down every appetizer she can get her hands on, then sees Lowell and his buddies. (With his big hair, he looks like a reject from A Flock of Seagulls.) Trying to act sexy, she brings him up to date on current events and suggests they go out for dinner. He asks, "Why would I want to do that?" Her father's dead, the estate is gone ... what's the point? He walks away, laughing! She does The Scrunchy Face!

At D&D, she asks for a truce with Billy. She mentions that she's seeing Lowell again. Billy is surprised: "He always seemed more interested in your money." (Oh, man! You know you're in bad shape when Billy mentally outmanuevers you!) Brooke pathetically tries to make Billy jealous. She hopes that she and he can be friends and that he'll be able to attend the wedding (!). Alison, wearing her cheerleader outfit, comes over to Billy and wonders if Brooke is making all this up: "How long have they been seeing each other? Days? And already they're talking marriage?" (You should talk, Alison!) She suggests that Billy show more compassion.

Later, as Alison watches, Billy talks to Brooke and says he may have overreacted a bit. Brooke gets hopeful for an instant, but he quickly says he has no intention of reconciling with her. (Scrunchy Face!) He offers to let her have his apartment. "That rat-trap? NO!" Okay. So he starts to write her a check. "WHAT? The middle-class runt is writing me a check?! Forget it!" Okay. He then tries to hand her tickets to Cirque De Soleil. "WHAT?! I don't need these! I could have any clown on that show if I put my mind to it! Bite me!" Billy tells Alison, "I tried it your way. It was a mistake!"

Still later, Brooke whines to Amanda about her late paycheck. Amanda says that between getting advances and using up vacation days, she doesn't have anything left. "You should try working for your money like everybody else! Or play the Lottery!"

As Alison leaves the office that night, she finds Brooke asleep in her car in the parking garage. Apparently, she's been living in her car ever since the hotel kicked her out! Alison insists that Brooke stay with her until she gets back on her feet. Brooke fights briefly, then tearfully gives in.

The next day, Billy drops by to collect Alison for work -- and there's Brooke! He takes Alison aside and tells her this cannot continue. "But Billeeeeeeee, she's a human being!" "Daaaah, no she's not! She's a, uh, emotional vampire --yeah!" He tells her that she's got to choose sides on this one.

That night, Alison and Billy talk in his doorway. She wants a little leeway, but he won't yield. She admits it was a bad move to let Brooke in without considering his feelings. She will tell Brooke to be out by the end of the week. Billy says he won't be able to get through all this without Alison's support. They hug, then -- as Brooke stares wide-eyed through the Venetian blinds (a classic Melrose pose) -- they kiss! Billy says, "Daaah, take this spare key. If things get ugly like Ernest Borgnine, ya can come down here!"

Brooke jumps onto the couch and pretends to be sick. (Ooooh, this is worse than Alison's blind routine!) Alison is still a sap, and decides to break the news in the morning. At the crack of dawn, Brooke and her pink fuzzy slippers take the spare key. She goes into Billy's pad, disrobes, and climbs into bed! He sleepily snorts "Uh, Alison!" then turns over -- surprise! He jumps out of bed. Brooke pleads with him to let her stay: "Just hold me!" Get out! Scrunchy Face!

Shortly thereafter, Amanda shows up to get Alison and is stunned to realize that Alison is letting Brooke stay there! Brooke is quite nasty now. She walks up to Amanda and says, "Kiss my yoga-toned ass!" "You're fired. Let's go, Alison."

Billy, Alison, Jo, and Jake are getting ready to head out to the movies, but they're intercepted in the courtyard by a drunken Brooke, who says she's doing her "Alison impersonation." Ouch! She's rude to everybody, and she yells at Billy, "You hate me, don't you?" Billy, still smirking (!), says, "I don't even care enough about you to hate you!" They leave as she continues to scream. Nobody else is home in Melrose Place -- so no one notices as she falls into the pool, whacks her head against the side, and stays afloat! She's dead! YAY!

No coming attractions, but I am majorly annoyed at the false advertising on this one!

--Ken Hart

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