Episode 29: Melrose Unglued


I'm confused: Is this "Melrose Place" or "The Kindred"? The entire cast is walking around like the legions of the damned! Well, at least Loni's gone! As for the body count, that's two down - and six to go! (Yeah, yeah, wishful thinking, but a guy should be able to dream, right?) I hate to sound a downer, but I've never seen the show this lame.

The Matt Slot belonged to ... Billy! Perhaps he was in training for his primary job with the Los Angeles Black Hole soccer team. Whatever the reason, the Mumble Quotient for this episode would have been at a season low had it not been for Bobby.

During the episode credits, we were treated to an exceptionally smoggy view of L.A., along with the song "I am superman, and I can't do anything..." Especially appropriate, since this episode was written and directed by one man who, judging by the quality of this episode, truly can't do anything. Hang your head in shame, Charles Pratt, Jr.!

Matt, Jo, and Dr. Love:

Jo bumps into Sydney near her apartment door one morning. Syd mocks her for taking Tyler to be examined. Jo defends herself: "I had good reasons for my suspicions -- I'm leaving the show in a few weeks, so I hoped I'd get a storyline with some closure to it for once!"

Matt has an interview with Dr. O'Malley; apparently, he wants a position as his teaching assistant. The egomaniacal O'Malley thinks Matt has the proper butt-kissing potential, but he wants Matt to set him up with Jo. Matt thought Jo was such a whiner that she'd be a hindrance to him. On the contrary, O'Malley lusts after her: "No woman's ever called me a jerk before -- that's kind of cool!" Since O'Malley makes this a condition to getting the position, Matt agrees to give it a shot.

No sooner than you can say "brown nose" do we find Matt at Shooter's, The Only Bar in Town, where he's arranged to meet Jo. Where else would they meet? (Does Matt get an ex-employee discount for drinks? Probably not -- if Jake had that policy with all the Melrosians who have worked at the bar, he'd be broke! Actually, he is broke, isn't he?) Jo arrives, looking disheveled. She fell off a horse during a photo shoot in Madonna's bedroom. Matt gets nervous: "Well, didn't you have time to take a shower and change your clothes first?" "Matt, you said you wanted to go out for drinks! I didn't know there was a dress code!" O'Malley walks in, and Jo immediately knows she's been set up. Matt splits as O'Malley sits down next to the peeved Jo. O'Malley seems taken aback by her lack of enthusiasm: "Really, you should be flattered." A disgusted Jo says, "One drink, then I'm leaving." He smirks, "That's plenty of time. Sayyyy, have I told you how incredibly suave I am?"

Some time later, O'Malley escorts Jo back to MP. She's mellowed a bit, and seems tipsy after only two drinks. Discussing her fears that Tyler is being abused, Jo says, "I have an instinct in these matters. I can also guess tomorrow's Lottery numbers: 7, 12, 14, 21, 23, and 27." He suspects Jo has some sort of history here, and she admits that her husband used to beat her. O'Malley says he'll take another look at Tyler.

O'Malley and Jo confront Laurie the following afternoon at a park, where Tyler is playing with dirt. Laurie is not at all happy to hear Jo again insinuate that she's beating Tyler, but Dr. Love takes a different approach: He gently asks Laurie if someone else was hurting the boy. "Who's doing it? Whoever it is, you're not responsible." Somehow that does the trick, and Laurie breaks down faster than Margot Kidder. It was her former beau, Tony. "The first time I saw him hit Tyler, I left," she cries, saying she would never let Tyler be harmed. O'Malley asks permission to contact Child Services and make sure that Tony doesn't try to reenter their lives. Jo feels bad for thinking Laurie was to blame. There you go again, Jo -- sticking your nose into other people's affairs! OK, so are Laurie and Tyler off the show now, too? Hmmm, please?

Jake, Jane, Alison, and Fashion Boy:

Jake goes to Jane's pad in the morning with a cup of bad coffee and another apology. Jane says she's the one who should apologize; the trip to New York was successful, but very draining. He asks her if anything is wrong. She says, "No, nothing's wrong." "You're sure." "Yes, nothing's wrong." "You'd tell me if something was wrong, right?" "I said NOTHING'S WRONG!!" Jake wonders if something's wrong.

Later, at Shooter's, Jake tries venting his frustrations on Alison, but she won't let him. He says he's worried about his relationship with Jane: It had no basis in reality to begin with, and he fears it's beginning to collapse under the weight of common sense. Besides ... something's wrong. He asks Alison to talk to Jane and find out what's up. Alison is reluctant, but Jake persists. "If I refuse?" she asks. He jokingly (?) replies, "I'll fire your ass." Yes, I'm sure that Alison, former CEO of D&D, would never be able to find another job.

Alison and Jane have a chat over java at Jane's place. Alison, skilled politician that she is, deftly works the Jake question into the conversation: "So, are things OK between you and Jake?" The phone rings, but Jane -- to Alison's surprise -- doesn't pick up. The answering machine gets it. It's Fashion Boy, sounding all slimy, telling Jane "You can't hide from me forever." Jane is so obviously shaken that the deodorant she advertises throughout the show fails completely. Alison asks what's wrong. Jane says, "Richard raped me." Alison Gapes!

The next night at Shooter's, Alison and Jake see Jane and FB enter. Alison looks surprised, but Jake says it's not unusual to see the two of them come in after work. FB gets Alison's attention; he says a couple of people will be joining them to talk business and he asks for two more stools. (Wow! He and Jane are going all out to attract business! "Here, gentlemen, sit on these stools while we talk about high fashion in this flannel-encrusted bar!") Alison gives him a chilly response. He wonders if Jane has been saying Bad Things. He then walks smugly past Jake, who stares concerned at Jane.

The day after that, Jake demands to know what Alison's found out. He says he's ThisClose to breaking up with Jane. Alison says Jane isn't having an affair with Richard, but Jane has sworn her to secrecy; if Jake wants to know the truth, he'll have to ask Jane himself. (Oh, great -- Mr. Communication goes into action.) So he zips right over to Jane's and demands to know what really happened in New York. She gives up and says, "He raped me. Richard raped me." Jane stares hard for a moment, then spins on his heel and leaves, just as Alison rushes in. "What did you tell him?" she asks Jane. "I told him the truth, and now he's going to kill him." "What?! And you didn't try to stop him?" "No," Jane says, "I want him to kill Fashion Boy." Good idea! Alison tries to catch up with Jake.

Amanda, Peter, Michael, Kimberly, Alycia, Sydney, Bobby, and Billy:

We pick up the second after the last episode ended, when "Betsy" just bopped Michael on the head with the hammer. Kimberly comes "back" and is horrified! "Omigod, what have I done?" He's still alive, and Kim thinks fast for a way out of this: Ah, a burglary! She dumps jewelry and various knick-knacks on the floor, including a bowl of fruit. (Yeah, I'm sure the police will be convinced that the robbers were after your citrus.) She walks outside to dispose of a couple of candlestick holders when she sees Sydney approaching. Kim quickly acts as though she's just arrived herself. Syd needs to discuss some office matters with Michael. As the two enter the house, Kim exclaims, "Oh NO! We've been robbed!" They "find" Michael on the floor. As Syd calls for an ambulance (isn't EMS tired of visiting these people?), Kim helps Michael up, telling him he must have interrupted a burglar. "Ohh," he moans, "I could have been killed." "Yes, you very well could have been."

In the jail, Alycia talks to The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns in an interrogation room and tries to convince him to accept a deal: Door #1 has the new Chrysler, while Door #2 has a trip to Puerto Vallerta, Mexico! Should he go for Door #3? Peter won't agree to anything that forces him to say he had sex with Brandy. Amanda arrives and says she needs to speak with Peter privately. (Peter can receive guests? Nice jail! Can you get Chinese take-out there?) She tells him about Michael's meeting with Brandy. Peter is upset that Michael was going to let him take the rap for this. Amanda actually sticks up for Michael a bit, adding he has Kimberly to worry about. She says she'll follow up right away. Peter is reluctant to have her get involved in this, but he appreciates it: "Is 'thank you' good enough?" She yanks him toward her! "Not hardly." Big kiss! The Bizarre One is stunned!

At the office of Burns-Mancini, there's a sign on the front door: "No business today. Burns in jail. Mancini in hospital." Syd and Jimmy are viewing the videotaped footage of the porno film she's invested in; she seems into the idea now. Jimmy tries to sleaze his way into her affections (among other things), but she's not interested. Bobby walks in unannounced and sees the porno tape playing on the TV. (The show missed a great opportunity for a cameo by John Enos' girlfriend, Traci Lords, ex-MP cultist.) Jimmy admits this was the investment he was talking about, and Bobby tells him to get out. Syd tries explaining that she did this for him! He valiantly tries to understand how her becoming a porno producer is supposed to bring them closer together! "Whatever it was, Sydney, it was never a relationship. It's over."

At the hospital, Matt's bedside manner gets a severe test as he attempts to check the dressing on Michael's injury. "Thousand Island or Creamy Italian?" Amanda walks in with flowers, which makes Michael immediately suspicious. She says, "Your paranoia is justified for once," and she matter-of-factly tells him she knows all about Brandy. Michael holds his hand to his forehead: "You know, Amanda, I'm suddenly feeling very dizzy..." Amanda threatens to share her knowledge with Kimberly, and Michael fesses up. He says he didn't know she was underage, and he's afraid of losing Kim. "So, what are you gonna do?" he asks. "I'm going to save your butt."

Billy approaches Amanda as she arrives at D&D. "Daah, wat's goin' on? The last time I checked, we were still partners. By the way, I turned ovah a new leaf -- ya like it? I'm branchin' out, too. Get it? Leaf? Branch?" He doesn't like being kept in the dark about things. Amanda politely tells him to deal with it. "Oh, by the way, congratulations on the 'new leaf' thing."

She meets with Teri, who -- as played by Loni Anderson -- likes to pointlessly walk around the office and stand in profile so that all can admire the work of the Army Corps of Engineers. Teri is aware of Amanda's relationship with Peter, and she's prepared to reject almost any offer Amanda may come up with to pay her off. Suddenly, without warning, Teri starts in with True Confessions! "You know how men are -- the lies, the heartache, the horrible need to wear toupees that look like dead muskrats ... oh, Burt, how could you?" She tells Amanda it all started with Brandy's father, who was abusive. "I never even knew his name." Did she meet him in Cheers? Spare me this dialogue! In the course of 10 seconds, we're supposed to start feeling sympathy for Loni's character?! Egad! Bad acting, bad writing.

Later, a suddenly freed Peter skips and jumps into Amanda's office -- to find Amanda with Teri and Brandy! Amanda tells him Teri has dropped all charges and, not so coincidentally, Brandy is now the prime model for one of D&D's accounts, a new Herpes medication. Teri simply says she was looking for lots of money, which she now has. But Peter's still steamed! He demands that Teri admit to Amanda this was all a setup. She won't, but Brandy does. On the way out, though, Teri utters some horribly delivered lines about how Peter will get into trouble again: "You doctors are always conning someone. How are you conning Ms. Woodward, hmmm?" She and Brandy leave. Thank Odin! (I shouldn't be too critical of Loni; it's about time the show had a woman who could act as poorly as the Unholy Trio of Shue, Enos, and Muldoon.) Amanda and Peter get cute afterwards: "So, how are you conning me, O Bizarre One?" "Everything I've done has been because [pause] iluvyou." "What was that, Peter? I didn't catch that."

Peter then approaches Michael, who's getting ready to leave his room. Michael tries to explain: "I was going to come forward as soon as I heard you were in jail, but then I got whacked in the head." Peter doesn't believe it, but he's acting quite cool. Michael thinks he should tell Kimberly the truth. "She'll kill you, Michael." "Nah, I'll be OK." "No, I mean she'll really kill you, Michael." I love it! Without getting into details, Peter says Kim is very fragile right now and advises Michael to keep his mouth shut.

Peter goes to Amanda's place, where they show off their mutual admiration and assets and have Wild Monkey Sex. Huzzah!

Michael, oblivious to the fact that Kimberly is now in her "Betsy" homemaker outfit, spills the beans about Brandy. (Stimpy, you EEE-diot!!) "Betsy" fingers a kitchen knife she's been cleaning and tightly says, "I think you better leave, Michael." He nods and backs out, closing the door behind him -- just as ninja/homemaker Betsy throws the knife at the spot where his head had been!

Kim (yes, it's Kim again) lets Michael back in the house in the morning. She's packed suitcases for him, and she sadly says he should stay away for a while. "It's dangerous for you to be anywhere near us..." "Us? Who's 'us'?" "Please go, before it's too late." I hear ticking...

Back at the Burns-Mancini office, Syd is depressed. Even the porno industry has no interest for her now that Bobby's out of her life. When she casually mentions to Jimmy that Bobby's father ruined him, he says, "Bobby's dad never took away his business.... I heard it was his lawyer and some guy she was doin'." (Well, hey there, Jimmy, if you're Bobby's "best friend," why didn't you tell this to him?) Syd puts it all together. Now she's happy! "I may finally have what I need to get Bobby back!" Boy, with logic like that, Sydney should work for the Dole campaign!

She goes to the airport, where she tries -- in Syd-like fashion -- to explain why she acts the way she does around him. Bobby just wants her to get to the point, so Sydney tells him that Alycia and Peter teamed up to ruin him so she could steal the cable company and he would get Amanda back. Bobby stares into space and quietly seethes. Syd offers, "If it's revenge that you're contemplating, I have a lot of experience in that area..." "Get out." Syd sees he's not in a chatty mood, so she takes off.

Peter and Kimberly have dinner at a restaurant (oooo, a new place!), where she tells him how bad things have gotten, including the fact that she's the one who hammered Michael. Concerned, he says he wants to check her into a facility immediately. She agrees. As he pays the check, Kimberly (tipped by the change in background music) changes into "Betsy." She tells Peter she needs to "powder my nose," then walks out through the exit.

At about that same time, Alycia walks into the open, yet apparently empty offices of Burns-Mancini. She's looking for Peter, but Bobby appears behind her! He's been drinking and his voice is slurring, so of course he sounds like he always does. (Not only does this drunken slob get in past security, but he opens the doors to the office, too? It must be that CIA training!) He set up both Alycia and Peter with phony phone messages to meet here tonight. I'd like to hear the impersonation of Alycia he left on Peter's machine! She tries to place all the blame on Peter, but Bobby's not buying it. He lunges for her, she grabs one of Jack Wagner's golf clubs, and whacks him with it! Crash! Bobby stumbles through the full-length plate glass window and plummets to the ground! Oh, that's GOTTA hurt! He's dead. (What is it, anyway, with Parezi brothers and golf clubs? Are they reincarnated golf balls?)

Peter returns to a worried Amanda later on. He says he's been searching for Kimberly for the past few hours. She says, "Bobby's dead. His contract was up. It could be any one of us next. Well, not me, of course..." Since Bobby did happen to fall from Peter's office, the police are looking for a man matching a Bizarre description. Peter swears he wasn't involved, and Amanda believes him, conveniently forgetting that Peter attempted to murder her last year. He knows Kimberly can be his alibi -- if he can find her.

In the morning, Amanda goes to the office, where a lackey points out that she has messages in her voice mail. (Isn't it nice how D&D has voice mail only when it's convenient for the script?) It was a message from Bobby, calling from Peter's office! He tells Amanda he knows that Peter and Alycia combined to ruin him, and he's waiting for them to show up. "Ummm, I'll say more incriminating things about myself after this commercial message. Beep."

Peter goes to the hospital, but Kim hasn't turned up there, either. Police detectives walk over and question Peter about Bobby's death and about his and Alycia's scheme. Peter says the latter (true or not) has nothing to do with the former. (Who told the cops about the scheme, anyway? Syd?) As the police are about to escort a cooperative Peter away, a voice over the hospital intercom says, "Dr. Burns, you have a Deus Ex Machina on Line 2. Dr. Burns?" "Thank you, Magic Voice!" He grabs the phone, but it's not Kimberly -- it's Alycia! She's in her car, driving really fast and going far away. She's distraught, and she says that she killed Bobby. Peter strongly suggests that she turn the car around and come back. She says, "I love you so much. I still do." "Okay, fine, Alycia, but I Really Need You To Come Back Here." "OK, I will." "But first I want you to tell these nice police officers what you just said." The cellular phone slips out of hand while she's driving. She bends over to pick it up -- and smacks head-on into a semi! The car crumples like an accordian, but the cellular still works! Now if only the car had been made out of the same material as the phone....

Next Week: Amanda punches Peter! Jake clobbers Fashion Boy! Peter gets shock treatment - from Priscilla Presley!?!

--Ken Hart

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