We're rapidly speeding toward the end of the season, as some of the plots begin to reach critical mass and others (like Billy's weird behavior) come to an end. But did we really need to see Fashion Boy's attack of Jane? Sounds like a desperate move by the writers.
The Matt Slot goes to ... Matt! He returns to third-season form as he appears briefly to support another character's plotline.
Syd arranges to meet Jimmy for lunch. He's looking for a $15,000 investment. If the project is legitimate, she says she can convince Bobby to get involved. Jimmy gives his assurances. Syd wants her and Bobby to be listed as producers in the film's credits. He agrees, and after Syd makes certain that she's not investing in a film version of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," she pulls out the checkbook. What!? Syd's not that na´ve, is she? She writes out a check for the amount -- from the Burns-Mancini account! D'OH! "What's this?" asks Jimmy. "Oh, that's my company," she says smoothly. Doesn't anybody believe in signing contracts in this show? Syd just gave this guy mucho moolah based on nothing but his verbal claims that he's a movie producer!
Some time later, Syd makes an unannounced visit to the set of the movie. Jimmy is not happy to see her, but Syd tells him she doesn't like the script she's seen: "Some of the scenes never end!" As filming begins and the actors start stripping off their clothes, Syd realizes why! "Oh my god, I'm a porno producer." She's great! Let's make the whole show about Sydney!
Jo knocks on Matt's door. Hi, Matt! She tells him about her suspicions and asks for his advice. "Well, I'm between plots right now, so I'd be happy to help. One of my professors, Dr. O'Malley, is an expert in the area of child abuse." "Great, when's your next class?" "Hey, wait a second, I saw him first! I want him in my subplot!"
Laurie and Syd chat briefly about the men in their lives. Syd is completely smitten with Bobby, and Laurie says her ex, Tony, "had great abs." She tells Syd that Jo has been a big help with Tyler. Syd then opens her big mouth: "Yeah, well, she's got a lot of guilt to work off. She had a baby of her own. But she shot her psycho drug-dealer husband, his parents tried to get custody, and she had to give the baby up for adoption. She's been a mess ever since." (The birth came after the shooting, but why quibble over facts?) Laurie is taken aback! "She seems so ... together."
Back at the hospital, Matt and Jo wait for Dr. O'Malley to show up; apparently he's often delayed by the female students in class. (He's played by Brad Johnson, last seen in the very short-lived "Courthouse" way back in the fall.) Matt quickly introduces him to Jo, who wants to talk to him. O'Malley gives her a quick, approving appraisal and arrogantly says she can talk to him while he walks to his car. After Jo's off-camera summary of the situation, O'Malley is very skeptical. Jo, annoyed, says she was hoping to get some insights from this "expert." "Insight #1," he says, "You watch too much daytime television. Prime-time TV is MUCH more realistic." He relents, though, and says he'll look at Tyler if she can bring him in. Jo agrees: "Just try to be less of a jerk with him than you were with me."
Jo makes a surprise visit to Laurie's new place, and she hears her yelling at Tyler. Laurie's not in a good mood, and the place is a mess! Jo sees that Tyler is wearing filthy clothes, which Laurie says is his punishment for making the mess. It also saves on laundry costs. Laurie, now aware of Jo's "sordid past," is less happy to see her. When Laurie says that her stripper neighbor has been babysitting lately, Jo is horrified: "Demi Moore is your babysitter?!!" She firmly says she'll make herself available at any time to babysit Tyler.
At the hospital, O'Malley finishes his examination of Tyler, but he tells Jo that he can't find definite signs of abuse. The bruise could be very easily explained away: "Perhaps it's an alien embryo." Jo doesn't care! She knows something bad in going on. O'Malley says, "Hmmm, personally, I think you should find another outlet for all this passion." "You are a sexist bastard!" Please, Jo -- don't use such language in front of the child!
Later, Laurie angrily enters Jo's apartment after learning that she took Tyler to the hospital. Jo apologizes and says she was just concerned. Laurie yells, "I happen to be a very good mother! I don't give my children away for adoption!" Whoops! Jo says she thinks Laurie has a problem, but Laurie says, "No, you're the one with the problem!" She tells Jo to stay away from Tyler.
Amanda visits Peter at the hospital to apologize for the shocking lack of loyalty she showed last week. He's not in a forgiving mood. He tells her that Alycia recommends he settle out of court. Amanda thinks that's a bad move: "Look what she did for Bobby!" (Well, Amanda, Petey kind of helped out with that, too...) Peter stares at her and says, "Do you believe I'm innocent?" "Yes." He growls and walks past her, saying he needed her to say that the other night.
At the beach house, Kimberly is reclining in bed, reading the new Danielle Steel novel, "Multiple Personality Disorders." Michael walks in with some soup to make her feel better. He sees the book, assumes that Kim is simply doing research, and tactfully dismisses the whole idea of treatment: "Nothing short of a permanent stay in the nuthouse can save them." Kim gets nervous. She asks how the "Miss Tarzana" contest went. (Gee, wasn't it "Miss Health & Fitness" last time?) Now HE gets nervous! "Honey, I gotta tell you somethin'." "Me, too." "No, me first." Oh, just fess up already! They both talk about how they can forgive the other even though they haven't heard the truth yet. They hug without telling each other anything! (That's a great way of avoiding unpleasant facts. There should be an official Melrose Place guide on the subject!)
Alycia hosts a meeting of the parties involved in the lawsuit, including Michael. (Doesn't she have a cable company to run now or something? Right?) Peter cheerily greets Terri's lawyer: "What's it like to represent Satan's Bride?" Alycia offers a settlement of $200,000. Terri says they'll take it, but only if the full amount is provided within 24 hours. Alycia says this was anticipated, and she presents a Burns-Mancini check for the amount. But before you can say, "Uh oh, I hope Syd's secret investment didn't screw this up," The Bizarre One snatches the check! "I can't do this." He dares Terri to take him to court: "My integrity is not for sale, despite my presence on this show!" As the parties leave, Alycia tells Michael that Terri will eat Peter up alive unless they find out who really had sex with Brandy. Gulp!
As Kimberly strolls through a park, she heads toward a water fountain to take her medication. Her personalities fight a brief internal conflict! Oh, the tension!
In Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Amanda has a secret meeting with -- Sydney?? In return for $200, Syd gives Amanda the name of the hotel where the "she-devil" Terri is staying. As Amanda walks off, Syd waves her arms in amazement: "Hel-lo? 'Thank you'?"
A distraught Kim is waiting for Peter as he returns to his office. He's a bit distracted, but he quickly comes to attention when she says, "I'm hearing voices again. It's not like Henry ... I think it's my agent! He's telling me to leave the show before I get sucked into the black hole of its collapse!" The police arrive! They arrest Peter for having sex with a minor character. "She's only around for another episode, Dr. Burns. That's illegal!" Peter recommends another doctor to Kim as he's led away, but she's terrified of what's happening to her.
Michael, worried about Kim's absence, gets a phone call at the beach house. He snatches it up. "Kimberly?" Syd answers: "Try Wife #2." She tells him about Peter's arrest.
Amanda goes to the She-Devil Hotel to confront Terri, but as she arrives at the appropriate floor, she sees Michael talking to Brandy! He pleads, "I want you and your mother to come clean." Getting clean is the last thing on Brandy's mind, though! Amanda quietly walks away.
That night at the beach house, we see the shadow of Kimberly walking back and forth. She's holding a hammer and saying, "I'm not going to let you win, Betsy." Michael arrives home, looking for Kimberly -- and it's Hammer Time! She whacks him from behind. He drops to the floor, unconscious. Kim says, "Guess what? Betsy won."
Later, Billy meets the top guy of Online Banks, Ronald Marx, who looks quizzically at the briefcase-less Billy. "Where's your materials?" Billy points to his head: "Daah, I have the whole dog-and-pony show right up here! Gaah!" Be afraid. Be very afraid.
After Amanda finishes her chat with Sydney at Shooter's, she sees Billy morosely sucking down a beer. "Gaaah. Go 'way." Apparently, the presentation went BADLY. Amanda gloats, "The clients are still laughing about it." The D&D partners have now taken Billy off the account and put her back in charge of it. Billy shrugs, "It's stupid. Nobody is gonna wanna do their banking on their PCs unless it spits out money." Amanda says Billy can believe that if it makes him feel better. Waitress/recovering alcoholic Alison walks over and asks if Billy wants another beer. "Naaah, I don't need a damn thing at all. Not from you -- not from anybody." So, does that mean no tip?
We next see Billy standing in front of Brooke's grave with a bouquet. He says, "Mebbe I tried to keep you alive by becoming all the things I thought you were." He leaves his wedding ring on the tombstone. "Goodbye, Brooke." I guess we've seen the last of Evil Billy. Shue no longer will be forced to stretch his awesome acting ability!
At the restored Mancin-Hart Designs, Jake visits Fashion Boy. FB is not impressed: "This is where you lay the Cro-Magnon speech on me." Jake makes it very clear that FB had better not try to get between him and Jane. FB shrugs and says Jane may one day want more "intellectual discussions -- and where is she going to find that? You?" Jake slams him against the wall. "I'm on to you, smart ass. You mess with Jane's head, and I'm gonna take that Pretty Boy head of yours and ... well, do something really prehistoric to it!"
Later, in Manhattan, Jane and FB return to her hotel room. They've been celebrating a very successful deal with Humphrey's. She's tipsy. He's horny! The phone rings. It's Jake, calling from Shooter's. He gets a little upset that she's having such a good time with Richard in New York (Jake, you bozo), and he gets MORE upset when he finds out that Richard is in her room! "So, does that mean he doesn't have any clothes on?" "Oh, Jake, go to hell!" Jake pulls out the whiskey and pours himself a shot. Alison disapproves: "Since when do you start drinking on the job?" Calm down, Alison, it's not like he's operating heavy machinery. Jake tells her about the phone call, and Alison says, "Jane loves you! She would never betray you."
Meanwhile, back in the hotel room, Jane is disappointed by Jake's jealousy. Richard tries to "console" her, then he tries to stroke her hair. She tells him no, but he forces her down on the bed. She tries to scream, but he covers her mouth and rapes her. Very unpleasant scene.
In the morning, Jane finishes her shower. She looks lost. Richard walks in (he snuck in with room service). She yells at him to get out or she'll call the cops. He dares her to do so. They went out for drinks, she invited him up to her room, she had a fight with her boyfriend -- who would believe her?
Back in L.A., Jake knocks on Jane's door. He wants to apologize for being such a doofus on the phone. Jane yells at him to go away: "I'm sick of him, sick of you, sick of all of you!" SLAM! Jake stares at the door. On the other side, Jane collapses against it and sobs.
Next Week: Terri and Amanda confront each other! Michael tells "Betsy" the truth! Jane tells Jake, "Richard raped me!" Somebody goes flying out a high-story window!