Episode 23: Run Billy Run


This episode featured plenty of dirty, underhanded tricks, not to mention a Melrose Place rarity these days: a sex scene -- in a bed! No classes in Woodworking 101 this week!

The Matt Slot goes to ... Shooter's! The Only Bar in Town has been missing for two weeks! Now that Jake is tied up in Jane's twisted subplot, there's no place for wandering, uncommunicative Californians to sit down and hoist a few brewskis. I want my generic TV beer!

Billy and Alison:

While Alison is snoozing in Billy's bed, he turns on "romantic" music to wake her up, then he gives her a flower and starts talking to her in an Italian accent! (Shades of "Breaking Away"!) "Daaah, I am Rudolph Valentino, da greatest lover in da werld!" Alison is: 1) amazed that she spent the night there; 2) shocked to find that she's horribly late for work; 3) wishing she was in "Don Juan DeMarco." She calls Amanda, but Billy grabs the phone and bluntly tells Amanda that he and Alison are taking the day off -- and hangs up! Alison Gapes! You just don't do that to Amanda! She grabs her things and quickly leaves the apartment; Billy trails behind. As a sleepy Jake and Jo open their respective doors to watch (get the popcorn), Alison says to Billy, "I don't know who you are anymore!" "Gaaah, da guy that loves you!" He wants her to move in, but Alison says things are moving way too fast. "Oh yeah, gaah, but you moved in with da Holy Hayley in, what, 3 seconds?" Alison definitively says, "Until you get normal again, we are not a couple!" (Please define: What is "normal" for Billy?)

At night, Billy goes to Bobby's house to see Amanda. During the commercial break, Amanda had placed Billy and Alison in charge of getting the Midway Airlines Account (their slogan: "We guarantee we'll get you where you're going -- at least midway!"), which is the biggest account D&D has ever attempted to grab. Holding a folder, Billy says he's already got great ideas -- but he wants to make a deal: If D&D gets the account because of him, his salary will be doubled. Otherwise, he'll just go to the highest bidder. When Amanda asks about Alison, he mutters, "Doesn't matter. My ideas. Want more money. Mmmm. Doughnuts." A bemused Amanda agrees. Billy smirks. When he leaves, Amanda opens up the folder containing his "great ideas" -- blank sheets of paper! Yep, sounds like Billy's been thinking again!

The next day, Billy organizes his team of non-speaking D&D employees. They're all going to look over past campaigns by the chief competitor, Brookes & Enwright. (Brooke?! Where?? Oh, sorry -- I panicked.) When Alison questions the reasoning, Billy starts talking like Thor: "Know thine enemy, by Odin. Gaaah!" He says somebody at B&E is already working for D&D -- but doesn't yet know it. Alison is confused.

Billy goes to a non-Shooter's bar (The HORROR!) which is having a Mardi Gras night: Dress up in silly clothes, get stinking drunk, and beat up tourists. Huzzah! He smugly walks up to an attractive woman and says, "Daah, I knew it was you! Edie Brickell, right?" "No, she's with The New Bohemians in musical limbo. I'm Evie Wainbridge." "Oh, yeah! We met at the Clio Awards last year." She is -- you guessed it -- with Brookes & Enwright. Billy talks about the Midway account and acts like he might be interested in switching sides. She says coyly, "We're always looking for ballsy, good-looking young reps." Billy suggests he bring his resume over: "Your place or mine?"

Back at Evie's place, she and Billy finish their intense session of X-rated resume writing. ("Positions Held"?) While they relax in her bed, Billy gets her talking about the Midway account. She says they plan to use the same tactic they did on The Ewok Furs account 5 years ago. "Daaah, oh, really? Dat's interesting!" (Next Week: Secret Agent Billy Campbell goes undercover in Saddam Hussein's harem!)

Some time later, D&D makes its big campaign pitch to Midway. Billy contemptuously shows the airline execs the ad from 5 years ago and says, "You don't want old, tired ideas that smell as bad as my old gym socks. No! Daah, take it, Alison!" Alison jumps in and presents the storyboards for D&D's campaign, featuring the Wright Brothers and a 747. (Harrison Ford and Kevin Costner star as the Wrights; Roseanne Barr plays the 747.) The Midway people are impressed. As the D&D team leaves, the rivals show up for their presentation. Evie and Billy exchange cute pleasantries.

At D&D, Amanda gets everyone's attention. The Midway people are on the phone, and she's about to find out their decision. She picks up the phone, the tension builds, coffee cools -- they got it! As cheers erupt, Amanda tells a smirking Billy, "And you got your raise." Alison overhears and says, "Raise? What raise?" Billy replies, "I really don't like discussing my salary with co-workers." Evie makes her way past D&D's oh-so-stringent security and marches up to Billy -- and slaps him in front of everybody. "You slept with me just to steal our strategy!" She leaves, and Billy mutters, "Anything for the account." Alison Gapes!

Billy staggers into the MP courtyard that night, totally sloshed and carrying a bottle of champagne. (Again, Shue conveys drunkenness by walking like John Wayne. There is no change in diction.) He pounds on Alison's door, but she won't answer. She's trying really hard to ignore him and finish the latest sex quiz in Cosmo. Billy says, "You snooze, you lose -- OK, you lose!" He staggers down to his apartment and starts drinking from the bottle. Then, in what may rank as The Most Pretentious and Meaningless Shot in the History of Melrose Place, Billy drops the bottle, which spills its contents onto his carpet -- in close-up and slow motion! -- while Billy receives a transmission from an old episode, where he says, "I love you, Alison." Hah? Was that supposed to be deep?

Michael, Kimberly, and Sydney:

While she and Michael sleep in their honeymoon suite, Kimberly has nightmarish, black-and-white flashbacks of earlier episodes: the car accident, her scar, the explosion, Jo and Richard in Hawaii.... "Hey, wait! That's not MY flashback!" Stunned, she wakes up. Michael holds her. Kim says she's still amazed by how quickly things have developed. (I'll say!) The phone rings. Michael grabs it -- it's Sydney! An enraged Michael wants to know why she's interrupting their honeymoon. Syd flips through the office Rolodex and grabs a name at random, saying this patient is really sick. "Nice try," says Michael, telling her that patient is already dead! He hangs up.

Later, Syd is sadly waiting for them in their driveway as they return from the honeymoon. She goes on about all the bills and other things that Michael needs to take care of. Michael and Kimberly do their best to ignore her! He carries Kim over the threshold, and they start kissing in front of the agitated Syd. Michael finally shoos Syd out, saying, "You're the office manager, right? Go manage!" As he closes the door, Kim gets woozy and almost faints. (Uh oh.)

Matt and Alan:

At the hospital, Alan walks with Matt as he looks over the list of guests for his upcoming wedding to Valerie. So far, he has the entire cast of "Central Park West" -- they'll take any job at this point. Matt is obviously not thrilled, especially when Alan mentions the honeymoon! "It's just for show!" Alan assures him. David, being a busybody, overhears and makes a comment about the wedding. Alan tells him to get lost and find his own subplot. He says to Matt, "I can't get through this without you." As he leaves, David tells Matt, "You could jump out of the cake and pretend to be Ethel Merman!"

Jake, Jane, Jo, and Fashion Boy:

In her garage office, Jane gripes to Alison about the bad position she's in: Fashion Boy has all her best designs, and she has no one to help assemble the dresses to present at the big fashion show. Alison volunteers to help out by sewing overnight if necessary. "If I stay home, Billy will just slobber all over me."

At Richard Hart Designs, Jo shows Fashion Boy the concept she's been working on for the upcoming show. It's a sketch of an erupting volcano -- with a catwalk in front of it! Krakatoa, East of Melrose! She says it'll work great with his "Animal Instincts" line. "What are you doing?" he calmly asks, since just the other day she was accusing him of stealing Jane's work. Jo seems apologetic and says she just wants to do something to help. (Well, a murder-suicide pact would be nice.) FB gives her the thumbs-up on the volcano setting.

Jake watches FB leave the building, then enters and talks to Jo. He says he doesn't really care who stole from whom, but he'd like to see that Jane has an even shot at the show. He asks for the names of cutters and sewers that Jane could use to get her clothes ready in a rush job. "Do it as a favor for me," he says. Jo sighs, "You always were a sucker for the underdog." (That certainly wasn't the case when he was Amanda's boy toy!) Jo looks up some names: "Well, there's this 'Jack the Ripper' guy..."

Jane, Jake, Alison, and the quickly hired help finish up after a long night. Alison says, "It's a good thing most models are anorexic sticks these days! It sure cuts down on the amount of fabric we have to sew." But Jane is not happy. While she appreciates all the hard work, the clothes indeed look like they were done in a rush. (Excuse me, but Jane's clothes have always looked like they were done in a rush!) She knows she won't be able to compete with Fashion Boy this time, so she's dropping out of the show. Jake consoles her, but thinks, "Geez, I got Jo to do me a favor -- for nothing!"

At the show, Jo prepares the volcano. "More smoke! Start pouring the lava!" she orders. Jane and Jake arrive and take their seats; Jane says she has to be here, even if she's not presenting anything. The announcer says, "Fashion Boy presents ... Animal Instincts!" The volcano erupts, and Californian actors dressed like Hawaiians cavort on stage as the models come out. The audience applauds, but Jane mutters as she sees each new design: "That one's mine ... and that one ... and that one ... that one, too..." She finally excuses herself to use the rest room. As she walks toward the back, though, she notices the sprinkler system throughout the floor. Apparently unnoticed, she waves a burning torch underneath the sensor. The sprinklers erupt, dousing the models, the audience, the volcano, and Fashion Boy! Jane revels, Fellini-like, in the chaos.

Returning home that night, she overhears Jo and FB arguing, with him blaming Jo for her dumb idea ("Volcano?! Bad move!"), while she again suggests he stole Jane's designs ("Using oranges as shoulder pads?! That's a Jane idea if ever I heard one!").

Amanda, Bobby, Peter, and Alycia:

In bed with The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, Alycia begins to have doubts about their plan to ruin Bobby. "We're setting him up to appear as this rotten gangster -- everything he's not. It'll be the biggest fall from grace since Macaulay Culkin!" Peter reminds her why they're doing this: "You'll get the cable company -- and oh, yes, I'll get revenge for my father! Grrr!" She's worried that once this is over, he'll leave her. "When this is over, Peter, say you'll marry me." With a straight face, The Bizarre One says, "Nothing would make me happier." Together, they lick the envelope containing the incriminating photos of Bobby with the state senator. Ewwww...

Amanda, wearing a tighter skirt than usual, descends the secret stairway at D&D (you mean there's more than one floor?!) and finds Peter waiting for her. He was "just passing by" and wanted to see how she was. A nameless courier delivers a package for Amanda; she tells Peter that she's now a full-fledged investor in Bobby's cable company, so whatever happens to him will happen to her. Peter's face sags!

The first chance he gets, he calls Don Pierce, the TV reporter to whom he sent the photos. Placing a handkerchief over the phone to disguise his voice (I haven't seen that trick in years!), he asks Pierce not to go on the air with that information: "Innocent people will be hurt." "Hey, that's their problem." "I'm begging you, and I don't beg anyone." "Beg all you want -- this is going on the 11 o'clock news, right after the Lisa Marie and Dolph Lundgren wedding announcement!"

Watching TV that night, Amanda and Bobby are stunned by the allegations. The news report states that the cable commission is launching a full investigation into how John Enos got this role.

The next morning at D&D, Amanda is mobbed by photographers and reporters wanting to know details. (Right, like a bunch of reporters are going to cover a story about a cable company that hasn't even started yet! And the Parezi crime family isn't even based in California!) Amanda does her Sgt. Schultz impersonation: "I know Nothing. I see Nothing!" The Bizarre One shows up to "help" and they escape down their stairs.

That night, Peter and Amanda are parked in a make-out corner of town. Peter makes no moves, though: He's waiting for a friend to appear. It's Lou Chandler (David Naughton, a little paunchier since "An American Werewolf in London"), whom Peter introduces as a member of the cable commission. Lou says they've been waiting to pounce on Bobby for a long time. He says he can keep Amanda's name (and D&D's reputation) out of it if she testifies to the commission about what she knows. When Lou leaves, Amanda ponders her situation: "I hate being lied to. What am I going to do?" Peter says, "Leave it to me."

Time Out: Don't the writers ever pay attention to past episodes? Just last week, Peter called Amanda and said he wanted to introduce Bobby to the senator. Now she readily believes that Bobby has a long-standing criminal arrangement with the guy? Also, wouldn't Bobby suspect Alycia if he knows that the blank checks he signed ended up in the senator's account? He's not THAT dumb! If Jake could outmaneuver Shelly a few months back, anything's possible.

There's a mob of reporters outside Bobby's house, carrying torches and yelling "Kill the monster!!" Alycia recommends that Bobby stay quiet, even though he thinks his continued silence is hurting him. "Trust me, Bobby, the more you speak, the less chance you have of getting rehired when this season is over." She tells him she's heard a "rumor" that Amanda is planning to testify. Displaying the impeccable Melrosian sense of timing, Amanda arrives. She demands to know the truth. Bobby believes his father is responsible, seeking revenge against Amanda. He protests his own innocence. "I wish I could believe that," Amanda says darkly.

At the Burns-Mancini office, The Bizarre One is engaged in a chess match against an unseen opponent. (Ahh, symbolism! Cool!) A weary Amanda enters. She tells him of her chat with Bobby: "I could tell he was lying ... I hate needing to be held, but right now I really need that." Peter, of course, agrees. As he holds her, Alycia opens the outer office door. She sees this, grimaces, and quietly walks out.

The next day, as Peter enters his office, he narrowly avoids being hit by one of Jack Wagner's golf trophies. It's Alycia! "You're a lying, stinking pig! Even your hair smells!" She's checked out his past: His father had nothing to do with the Parezis! She knows this was all a scheme to get Amanda back. Peter is silent as she states her terms: 1) She will get all of the cable company when Bobby falls. 2) He will secure investors in the new company for her. 3) "Our relationship will continue as is. You will service me -- both professionally and in the bedroom." Sayyyy.... 4) "Stay the hell away from Amanda!"

Peter says, "Hmmm, #3 has possibilities ... what if I don't agree to your terms?" Alycia says she'll tell Amanda. "All paper trails lead to you and only you. I was VERY careful!"

He is shaken, but not stirred! He goes to Amanda's place, voicing his "suspicions" that Alycia is responsible for recent events. (Oh, he's smooth!) "I think I know a way to expose her, but you and I can't be seen together." Amanda says cautiously, "I thought you were in love with her." "No -- and you know I never was." He leaves, giving Amanda plenty to think about.

Next Week: Jo has a picture of Jane setting off the sprinklers: Let's Make a Deal! Bobby won't take "No" for an answer from Amanda!

--Ken Hart

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