Episode 24: Ruthless People


What's this? Billy turning evil?! Jo resorting to blackmail?! Kimberly going insane?! Whew! Thank goodness for some normalcy!

The Matt Slot belongs to ... Sydney, who has had terribly little to do lately other than pout and wear 1960's fashions that Goldie Hawn wouldn't be caught dead in.

Matt and Alan:

At Matt's apartment, Alan and Valerie go over their wedding plans with their designer. "Who's popping out of the wedding cake? Jodie Foster?" "No way -- Tom Cruise!" Matt, who's been listening to this, engages in his favorite pastime: He stalks away angrily. Alan rushes over and tells him not to get upset. He convinced the producer Gloria that he would take Matt on the honeymoon, not Val. Matt is pleasantly surprised, and he forgives Alan. Unfortunately, Alan's parents choose that moment to make a surprise visit and say hello to their lovely daughter-in-law to be! (They're completely in the dark about Alan's homosexuality.) "Roommate" Matt listens to their chatter with an increasingly tight smile -- the kind that Alex Trebek wears on "Jeopardy" whenever a contestant does not phrase his response in the form of a question. Alan's father says conspiratorially to Matt, "I sure am glad he's getting married. His mother and I have been getting worried about him!"

At the hospital, David asks Matt what's up. Matt gripes about how Alan seems to be enjoying these wedding plans just a little too much. "Good God, he was even smiling when he picked out the china pattern!" David gives Matt his address and phone number just in case Matt gets tired of rejection and wants to "talk."

Alan, Val, Matt, and Alan's parents are present during a wedding rehearsal at Our Lady of Perpetual Plotline. Matt tells Alan he's unhappy with all this, and even Val says, "I'm starting to max out on this whole heterosexual thing!" Alan's parents walk over with a surprise wedding gift: a one-year lease on a cozy California home by the shore. "This Michael Jackson guy's career is going down the tubes, so we got a really good deal on some of his property. Wait till you see the 200-foot-wide swimming pool with the giant flamingos!" Matt stalks away angrily. Alan again rushes over and tells him this changes nothing. "You and I will live in the house!" But Matt says, "Until your parents come to visit, then you'll have to kick me out!" Alan accuses him of "nit-picking" and being selfish. This does NOT go over well with Matt.

That night, Matt shows up at David's. Matt's been drinking, but was he at Shooter's? Who knows? I'm starting to think they dismantled the set! Matt says, "I need some company tonight, David -- some REAL company. Nudge nudge wink wink." "Come on in, Matt. I've got the Twister board ready."

Back at the hospital the next day, David finds an uneasy Matt, who apparently scooted out of David's place at first light. Matt says, "It was a mistake." He had too much to drink and more lines of dialogue than usual -- he got giddy. David doesn't look too thrilled when Matt says he's going back to Alan.

As this is happening, Alan is in the apartment, telling Gloria that he can't go through with the wedding. "It's putting too much of a strain on my relationship with Matt. Excuse me, that's the phone ringing -- it's probably an important plot twist." It's David calling: He just says, "Do you know where Matt was last night? He wasn't alone! He was with a scriptwriter, trying to figure out why he no longer has scenes with the other residents of Melrose Place!"

As the wedding begins, groom Alan and best man Matt are quietly bickering about Matt's infidelity. Alan feels betrayed, but Matt says Alan's actions are what drove him to it. As the bride Valerie makes her way to the altar, Matt storms off, giving the wedding ring to Gloria. Val chastises Alan: "You can't let him walk away like that." Gloria chimes in: "Don't throw your career away over a man who couldn't be faithful to you! Where would Keanu Reeves be if he let that get in the way?" Alan goes through with the marriage. Matt stalks away angrily.

Michael, Kimberly, and Sydney:

Michael comes out of the shower looking for his Spider-Man Underoos. Kimberly smilingly says that they probably haven't been through the wash yet. She goes to check and -- boinnggg -- all the clothes have already been washed. Michael's underwear has even been ironed! (This feels scarily like a Procter & Gamble commercial!) Kim obviously doesn't remember doing this. As Michael leaves to try on his undies, Syd shows up. Suddenly, Kim's fears vanish as she remembers that Syd has a key to the beachhouse! Syd, however, calmly poo-poohs the idea that she could be sneaking into the beachhouse and rearranging furniture: "This is all getting a little too nostalgic for me. I hear bombs ticking." (I love Syd!) She assures Kimberly that she's not interested in Michael anymore: "I would rather drink bleach than touch that man's briefs!" Just wait till we get our Hanes on you!

The next day, Michael and Kimberly are enjoying sex, sex, and more sex. Kimberly asks him about the other women he's been with and if there's a sexual fantasy that he's never explored. Giggling, Michael says there's one where "I'm a plumber and you're a hot-to-trot housewife married to Newt Gingrich..." Oops -- it's time to go to work. He jumps in the shower, while Kim just lies in bed. Her eyes close for half a second, then snap wide open as she mutters, "Must go to the beautician." She quickly departs, leaving a surprised Michael behind.

We next see Kimberly looking like a refugee from "The Donna Reed Show"! She's buying some disgustingly nice things for the house, and the saleswoman asks for a credit card. "Oh," says the woman, "this is for a Kimberly Shaw, not Betsy Jones." D'OH! This seems to snap Kim out of it, and she quickly leaves. She goes to her car and wonders just what the heck is going on. (It's about time Melrose Place made use of multiple personalities. Every other soap opera does!)

She goes to the offices of Burns-Mancini, pretending to look for Michael (who's not there), but she really wants to see The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns. Peter tells a protesting Sydney to get lost as he chats with his former patient. Kim says everything is just fine -- in fact, they're SO fine that she does cute little domestic things for Michael, then forgets about them! Ha Ha Ha! Isn't that funny? Peter, getting concerned, says, "I always felt that your remarrying Michael could cause the writers to develop an evil subplot ... you're not having flashbacks or anything, are you?" "Who, me? Ha! No, I'm fine -- no split personalities! Whoops, I mean, err, I gotta split! Bye, Peter!"

Michael comes home for dinner -- cooked by Kimberly in full Suzie Homemaker mode! Amusingly, Michael at first thinks she's acting out a kinky sex fantasy, so he plays along! When he makes a move on her, she gets angry and locks herself in the bathroom, mumbling "Disgusting pervert! He's worse than Bob Barker!"

Jake, Jo, Jane, and Fashion Boy:

Jo goes to Richard, wondering why he hasn't been returning her phone calls. Fashion Boy quotes from a newspaper, saying, "Richard Hart's show had volcanoes, beautiful women, pigs in a blanket ... everything except umbrellas! What a loser!" He tells her, "I sunk everything into this show, even my mediocre acting talent! I'm worthless!" Wow, we agree! Jo tries to console him, but he replies, "Every time I look at your face, I see the stupid volcano that ruined me!" He's not interested in continuing the relationship. Jo angrily says he doesn't have to worry about seeing her anymore!

Regardless, Jo later visits Fashion Boy Central to drop off photos, but Richard is being a real piece of toilet paper. He's learned that she gave the names of some of his cutters and sewers to Jane so she could use them on her line. When Jo refuses to disclose the names, Gel Head McCarthy announces to the staff that he's firing all those people who helped Jane. Of course, he doesn't know who those people are, so he fires everybody! Fire! Fire! Huh uh huh huh! As his ex-employees walk out -- without a word! -- he tells Jo that he'll have her escorted out by security since she is now trespassing! What a wiener!

As she develops the photos of the Krakatoa fiasco, Jo sees something odd on one of the prints. Can it be -- Yes! It IS! Milli Vanilli, desperate for work, portrayed the native dancers! Shocking! Then she discovers that Jane was responsible for setting off the sprinklers and ruining the show.

A subdued Fashion Boy shows up at Jane's suddenly busy garage office. (How come all of his business went to her and not to one of his other competitors? She didn't even have anything to display!) He tells her she won. Jane calmly dismisses the notion, though she does say Richard deserved to take a fall after stealing her designs. A testy Jo arrives and wants to talk to FB urgently. Outside, she makes a half-dozen attempts to tell him about the incriminating photo, but he cuts her off, parroting Jane's belief that "I brought this all on myself." He apologizes for taking his anger out on her, and says he needs to "find out who I am," whatever that means. Gee, isn't that Kimberly's plot this week?

Jane and Jake return from dinner and smooch briefly in the courtyard. As soon as Jake leaves, an angry Jo comes down to Jane's and shows her the incriminating photo. Nabbed! Jane, trapped, says, "What do you want? A one-way ticket to Savannah?" Nope -- Jo wants Jane to hire Fashion Boy as her consultant and to help "resurrect his career in the fashion industry." Jane has no choice. Jo, having successfully completed her first attempt at blackmail, says "This is fun!"

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

At the Dumb & Dumber advertising agency, Amanda is still quite tense over the fallout from the cable investigation. The increasingly amoral Billy makes a couple of obligatory comments of concern, then inquires about the Three Point Shoes campaign. Apparently, it's another potentially huge account. (Boy, D&D gets one huge account a week!) Amanda tells him this is her project, and she'll be handling it solo. She assigns him and Alison the task of snaring the I.M. Blitzed Vodka account. Alison hesitates for obvious reasons, but Amanda says it's not open for discussion. Alison cautions Billy that she won't tolerate any unethical behavior. Billy replies, "Daah, I don't remember 'Manda sayin' anything about ethics!" Alison clucks her tongue!

That night, the Lucy & Ricky of the advertising world are riding in a limo with the head of the vodka company, Pepe La Flemm. Alison is clearly uncomfortable, due to her own alcoholic experiences and the fact that Pepe is drooling on her. Billy says, "So, where da ya wanna eat? Taco Bell is good. I'm turnin' evil, by the way. Do ya think it's a good career move?" Pepe says, "Evil is delicious! But I am sick of always being taken to restaurants!" Billy ponders for a long moment, then says, "Gaaah, driva, take us to the Tropicana!" Alison Gapes! "But Billeeeee, that's a strip club!" Pepe's eyes widen: "Magnifique!"

At the club, nubile young ladies are draped over Billy and Pepe, while Alison begins what she hopes will not be a futile search for the ladies room. (Watch out for that hidden camera!) Pepe, having a fine old time, tells Billy he's got the account -- if Alison will go mud-wrestling with him! "Well, daaah, shouldn't be a problem...."

Alison is highly offended when Billy finds her and tells her that he's already agreed on her behalf! "I am not getting in the mud with that skunk!" She walks across the club to tell off Pepe herself, but Pepe happily grabs her and tries to pull her into the mud pit! (Mud wrestling on Melrose! Cool! Boost those ratings!) Alison shrugs him off and shoves him into the mud! When a panic-stricken Billy runs over and says, "That's our client!" she shoves him into the mud, too! "No, that's your client!" She walks off while Billy and Pepe get into Half Nelsons with the American Gladiators.

Meanwhile, Bobby comes knocking on Amanda's door. Her response is simple: "Go away." He says he only wants a chance to explain Steve Forbes' flat-tax proposal. When she refuses to listen, he smashes the door open! Amanda threatens to call the cops. Bobby is very upset! He can't believe that she so readily distrusts him, and pounds his fist into the wall. Ow, stucco! Jake runs up the stairs: "Don't even think about hurting her." Bobby looks intensely at Amanda and says, "I'll fix things -- they'll be like they were before." He leaves. Amanda says to Jake, "He'll never let me go, will he?" She's convinced that Bobby is just as bad as Jack.

In the morning, Alison goes to Amanda's apartment ("Kind of drafty in here...") and reports on the evening's events. She even recommends that Amanda fire Billy! Amanda says she normally might consider it, BUT she just found out that Billy landed the account! (That was fast! Alison presumably is reporting as she gets up that morning, but Billy and Pepe were still able to sign, seal, and deliver documents beforehand!) Alison warns Amanda that Billy's ruthlessness should not be encouraged: "He's a big, dumb, slobbering monster, and you created him!" "No, Darren Star created him. Don't you read the credits?"

Amanda visits Billy in his apartment to congratulate him on the account. (It must be the weekend -- no one's in the office!) However, she cautions him about his recent behavior and wonders if Billy's new attitude is some compensation for guilt over Brooke's death. (Hey, leave the psychoanalysis to Peter!) Billy explains his new attitude quite simply: "Daaah, dere are big things ahead for me. I'm better than some lousy senior-level executive position. In fact, I'm better than you, Amanda!" ZING! He closes the door.

That night, Alycia is dining with The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, surgeon and now enslaved Boy Toy. (Strike a pose.) To his surprise, Amanda also appears at the restaurant. Alycia says she arranged it. She presents Amanda with a financial deal for her shares in the cable company. Amanda says it looks to be about half of what she paid; Alycia replies, "It's the best deal I could get. Nobody wants the stocks. Now that 'Mary Reilly' is bombing at the box office, everyone is spending their money on bets over how long Julia Roberts' career will last." Amanda hesitates, but Peter reluctantly says, "Do it, Amanda -- sever all ties." Amanda signs the papers. Alycia looks victorious.

Amanda goes to Peter's house in the morning. When he opens the door, she says she just wants to thank him for "talking Alycia into put that deal together." Alycia appears behind Peter and starts caressing him. Peter invites Amanda to stay for breakfast ("Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts?"), but she uncomfortably (sadly?) excuses herself and leaves. Alycia tells The Bizarre One, "The closest you'll ever get to Amanda again is in your dreams. So start dreaming -- because I own you!"

At D&D, Alison tells Billy that the vodka account is all his; she wants no part of it. Amanda orders Alison to call the Three Point Shoes people and tell them that she needs to postpone their meeting by a couple of days. (Doesn't Amanda have a secretary?) Billy listens in with interest.

Later, Amanda confronts Billy on the office floor. She just learned that he took the Three Point Shoes files. "Daaah, dat's right. I met with them myself. I'm now their exclusive handler. Dey like me -- dey really like me!" Amanda angrily says she could easily fire him for this. "Well, yeah, but I doubt you will, since they agreed to double their investment in D&D" -- to $4 million a year! Amanda backs off, but she and Alison exchange uneasy glances.

In Bobby's office, Alycia has him sign an identical set of papers relinquishing his share in the company. She's already spoken to the District Attorney; he won't press charges now that Bobby's out of the industry. The bad news? Bobby's broke! He doesn't care. Getting himself out of the company "will prove to Amanda that I'm innocent." Dream on, champ.

He intercepts Amanda in front of her apartment that night. He tells her that it's all over. To his shock, though, she's just as cold toward him. He says, "I did it for you!" "Goodbye, Bobby." He starts getting angry: "How can you not believe me?" At this point, Peter comes charging up the stairs, telling Bobby to leave her alone. It's head-butting time! Push! Shove! Bigger Shove! Peter tumbles over the railing and lands Bizarrely in the begonias! Amanda runs down to his unmoving body and calls for help!

Will Peter be OK? Will Bobby get arrested? And when will the paramedics simply build a station at Melrose Place so they don't have to drive over there every other night?

Next Week: Bobby gets wise to Alycia! Jake does the Wild Thing with a hot nubile -- who's now working for Jane! Kim ominously tells Peter: "It's happening again...!"

--Ken Hart

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