Episode 1: Living with Disaster


Hey, not a bad start to the new season. Even Fashion Boy seems to have found his niche -- granted, He Still Must Die, but he does quite well when he has little dialogue. The new twist on The Increasingly Bizarre One is classic soap opera stuff. New faces and photos in the opening credits, and Daphne Zuniga is gone! The first Matt Slot of the season goes to ... Kimberly, who, unlike Amanda, doesn't wear Max Factor when she's near death.

Billy, Alison, and Jake:

Alison groggily answers her door in the morning. Billy's there, looking a bit miffed. "Daaah, I got yer message. Ya said ya weren't feelin' well?" He complains about being stood up on their supposed date the night before. Alison says, "But Billeeee, that was back in May! It's September now!" They agree to try to meet tonight at 7. Alison goes back to her bedroom, where Jake is putting on his shirt and marking off his scorecard: "Let's see ... I've gotten Amanda, Jo, Sydney, Jane, now Alison. Wow, we need more women on this show!" He doesn't like hiding like this. Alison agrees, but neither of them wants to hurt Billy. It's going to be tough for Lantern Jaw to learn the truth.

That night, Billy takes Alison to a diner -- for a change of pace, he says. (Oh yeah, that's what I tell all my dates when I'm broke.) In that endearingly goofy way of his, he makes his big pitch: "Despite everything that's evah happened, we've always been drawn together, like flies to garbage, gaaah, I mean, it's inevitable. I nevah lost faith..." Alison Gapes! "WHAT? Getting *married* is not losing faith?!?" She rightfully blasts him for acting like some white knight who's just going to carry her off. He perseveres -- and proposes! "I love you more than my own life!" Prove it, Billy! Kill yourself! "Marry me," he says. "We'll work everything out!" Alison, anguished, quickly leaves. The still-arrogant Billy does his Rod Steiger impersonation: "Don't you walk away from me! Oh, damn, I don't have enough money for the tip!"

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Alison and Jake quietly hold hands over the bar while annoyed customers demand service. She says, "I think I'm falling for you, Jake." He says he thinks he's finally found "someone who looks at life the way I do." You mean Alison views all relationships as shallow and ready to abandoned on a whim? Okay! Alison does throw a monkey wrench into this love wheel, though: "Billy asked me to marry him." She obviously is saying no, but she wants to do so face to face -- and tell Billy about her and Jake. Jake agrees, but he's not sure that Truth is the best thing right now for poor Billy. Jake, for a guy who says he hates all the head games, you're incredibly two-faced! Fortunately, Jake has yet to invite Alison to his love nest, i.e., the desk.

We return to Shooter's that night, luckily (?) in time to see a drunken Billy drool over a jeans-clad Alison. "Gaaah," he says to Jake, "Awison looks better in jeans than she did in those Amanda wannabe suits. Those skirts are too short!" (Thank you, Bill Bennett.) Alison, sensing Jake's discomfort as Billy talks fashion, tries to get Billy to shut his gob, but to no effect. Jake offers to let Billy crash in his office until closing time, making Billy the first male ever to sleep in Jake's office.

Billy is escorted back to Melrose Place by Alison and Jake, who drop their drunken cargo onto his couch. Billy moans, "I hope I get sick." Well, on that note, it's time to leave! Alison and Jake depart, then they make out in front of her door before taking it inside. Note: Another first for Melrose Place! A couple secretly kissed in the courtyard without being spied on through Venetian blinds!

During the Big Rainstorm the following night at Shooter's, Jake and Alison gush over each other. She says, "This is my first relationship with the Strong, Silent type." That's true. Alison is normally drawn to the Drunken Misogynist type, the Temperamental Big Daddy type, and -- in the case of Billy -- the Strong, Verbally Challenged type. She happily tells Jake that "sneaking around" right now is kind of fun. Yeah, I'm sure you'll still think it's fun when Jake cheats on you!

Amanda, Peter, Matt, Kimberly, Michael, Taylor, and Kyle:

Picking up right where we left off, Detective Wile E. Coyote ("Super Genius") has just told Amanda that the Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns is even more bizarre than we thought. In fact, he's not really Peter Burns. Amanda doesn't believe it. Wile E. says that our Peter stole the identity of the real Dr. Peter Burns, who died several years ago in a tragic plot device. Amanda says she has no reason to trust the detective and will not testify against her new hubby.

However, she later visits Wile E. and demands that he tell her all he knows about Peter. He tries to get her to agree to testify in exchange, but she won't commit to that -- she'll simply "consider" it. OK, take notes: Our Peter is really Dr. Peter Howell, son of Thurston and who inherited the Howell fortune when his dad was lost on a three-hour cruise 30 years ago. He married Elizabeth Davis in Kansas City -- and later murdered her! He fled before the authorities could catch him. Holy Fugitive, Batman! Amanda, though shaken, says she won't turn evidence against Peter until she finds out the facts on her own.

At Wilshire Memorial, a scraggly looking Michael sits at the bedside of the comatose Kimberly. Matt enters, acting extremely hyper. (Gee, could Matt be using ... DRUGS?) He suggests Michael take a break and go back to the beach house for a few hours' rest, but Michael shoots down that idea quickly: "Damn MTV is filming down there. I won't get a wink of sleep!" Amanda enters and tells a puzzled Michael that she'll be in Kansas City for a couple of days, but asks him to call her if Kim regains consciousness. Kimberly is Peter's only alibi against the murder charge.

Wile E. visits Peter in his prison cell and lets him know that he knows the "facts." "What, like 2 + 2 = 4? The birds and the bees?" "No, you fool! I know that you murdered your wife in Kansas City." Peter, now worried, protests that the detective doesn't know everything about the situation. He then goes ballistic when Wile E. says he told Amanda the "truth." Wile E. demands that Peter confess to the murder of the late, unlamented Bobby Parezi.

Kansas City, here she comes. Amanda finds the home of Mrs. Davis, apparently Peter's ex-mother-in-law. The woman is reluctant to chat with this blonde stranger with the black roots, but she relents when Amanda says that Peter is in trouble. "Please, I just want to talk."

Meanwhile, in Boston of all places, restaurateurs Taylor and Kyle McBride (new cast members Lisa Rinna and Rob Estes) are preparing for a big event. However, Taylor sees the article about The Bizarre One and gasps, "Peter?!" (Let's momentarily ignore the gimmick that the arrest of a local doctor for murder in L.A. is going to create a four-column, Page 1 headline in a Boston newspaper. Dr. Kevorkian could wipe out a busload of kids and he still wouldn't be the top story!) Kyle, busy with staff, is unaware of Taylor's interest. She says, "Hey, you know how you always say I should get away for a little bit? Well, I want to go to Los Angeles for a couple of days!" "What, now? You can't! We have a big party to do! Ted Kennedy is having his jowls liposuctioned!" But she leaves anyway.

Back in Kansas City, Mrs. Davis gives Amanda the whole story. "Beth and Peter were inseparable. Things were so good for a while." But then Beth got cancer. Beth's physician father, Lou, couldn't face the reality, and Beth was in increasing amounts of pain. One day, Peter called to tell them that he had "done it. He had relieved Beth's suffering." The late Lou went nutzoid and got the police to slam Peter with homicide. However, Peter got away. Mrs. Davis holds no ill will toward him, and she proudly displays Jack Wagner's albums. Amanda is quite shaken by the tale, not to mention the music. Mrs. Davis goes on to say that they recently found Beth's diary, in which Beth ponders taking her own life in the days before her death.

At the hospital, the exhausted Michael lapses into flashbacks of earlier episodes and he speaks to Kimberly of all the "good times" they've had. "When you ran me over with the car, when you blew up the complex, when I stopped you from drilling Peter's skull..." In fact, Michael is so exhausted that he can only manage black-and-white flashbacks. As he pleads with her to "Come home," Kimberly's eyes begin to flutter open! Cue the music!

Wile E. wants to use FBI terror tactics on Peter, and he tells one of the prison operatives that he wants the lights in Peter's cell turned on all night long and to pipe in "The Macarena" on the speakers. At that moment, Taylor shows up, hoping to see Peter. Wile E. says that Peter's lawyer and wife are the only ones with access right now. Taylor is obviously surprised by the news that Peter is married. She quickly leaves, ignoring most of Wile E.'s questions.

Amanda gets back to L.A. that night and spots Matt in the courtyard. "You look terrible," she says. "Get some sleep. By the way, do you know where Jo is?" Matt slaps his head, "Oh, yeah, I forgot! Jo went to Europe with Dominick O'Malley." Amanda Gapes! "You forgot to tell me?! What's wrong with you lately? A little dialogue and you're completely out of control!" A hyperactive and probably cash-starved Matt offers to take care of finding a new tenant and cleaning out Jo's apartment in return for a break on his rent.

The next day, Taylor arrives at Melrose Place. She asks the industrious Matt, "Is this where Amanda Woodward lives?" Matt says yes, and Taylor adds, "I hear it's a nice place!" Matt snorts with laughter! Taylor says, "I'm thinking of relocating. Is a unit open?" Well, yes, one just opened up! Jo's two-bedroom pad. What a coincidence! As it turns out, a two-bedroom place would be great for Taylor and her husband. She's even willing to put down a deposit right now!

A now-conscious Kimberly says to Michael, "I heard you. You won't ever give up on me, will you?" Greatly relieved by her recovery, Michael gently tells her that Peter is in trouble, and that only her recollection of that night can help him. (Michael frankly admits that his interest is financial, since their practice is going to hell with Peter in prison.) All she needs to do is confirm to the police that she had dinner with Peter. Kimberly looks worried, but she says, "How can I say no to you?"

Amanda meets Peter at the hospital. He immediately apologizes for not telling her the full story, but she cuts him off, saying she's been to Kansas City and knows the truth. In fact, he's been absolved all guilt in Beth's death. The diary confirms that she killed herself. (Wow, I'd love to read that entry: "Dear Diary, I have just shot myself ... ARRRRRGGGGHHHH....") Peter grimly says, "You don't understand -- I did do it. I killed my wife."

During the Big Storm, Michael escorts Wile E. and officers to Kim's room, but she's gone! Apparently, she told the attending orderly (or the orderly attendant) that Michael gave her permission to leave. Furious, Michael slams the attendant to the wall before rushing off to find Kim.

Jane, Sydney, and Fashion Zombie:

The sisters return to Melrose Place, shaken by the night's events. Jane starts to panic: What will happen when Richard fails to show up at the office? Sydney, ever the pragmatist in these situations, tells Jane, "You've got to act normal. Go to work, design ugly fashions, and give yourself a bad haircut." After a couple of days, Jane should file a Missing Persons report about Fashion Boy. Syd assures her that everything will be fine.

Just then, the grave in the park erupts and a drooling Fashion Boy claws his way out! But, boy, that mud did wonders for his complexion!

A nervous Jane reports to work in the morning -- and sees someone sitting in Richard's chair! Whew, it's Billy, who was there to discuss some venture. Jane pretends to be worried, and she asks Billy to come with her to Richard's so they can "look" for him. As they arrive at FB's house, Billy quizzes her about Alison, but Jane is oblivious, especially when she notices that Richard's car is nowhere to be seen. Billy says this is a good sign, as it suggests Richard is out driving, which is NOT what Jane wants to hear!

Noticing that the side door is open, Billy walks in, followed by a jittery Jane. Just as she begins to relax, Billy points out the muddy footprints (!) in the carpet, which strangely seem to stop in mid-stride. Weird. Jane says, "Well, time to go! I'm sure Richard will show up!" As soon as they leave, a cleaned-up Fashion Boy looks out from the bathroom, holding a towel to the bleeding wound on his head. "I'll show up, Jane. Don't worry about that."

Back at Melrose Place, Jane confesses her worries to Sydney, who says there are perfectly reasonable (if highly implausible) explanations for the missing car and the muddy footprints. At that moment, Jane's assistant Samantha (Brooke Langdon) begins to move in as Jane's roommate -- and trips over a shovel that was mysteriously placed by the front door! Eeek! There's a demented groundskeeper on the loose!

Later, Jane files a Missing Persons report with an officer in her spacious garage workplace. As she talks, Samantha walks in with a few clothes for hanging -- and Richard's jacket falls out of the pile! Double Eeek! Jane gasps, but she recovers well in front of the cop. When the officer leaves, she asks a clueless but concerned Sam where the jacket came from. Sam doesn't know; it was just there.

Sydney returns home -- to find Jane sitting in the darkness holding a gun! Jane accuses her of setting up these scares to drive her batty, but Syd wrestles the gun away and tells her to calm down! "Everything can be explained, OK? Uh, all right -- everything can be explained except for 'Homeboys From Outer Space.' Why is that on the air?" She says they need to remain calm. Soon things will be normal again, and "we can get on with the rest of our lives." Jane's not sure she can do that: "I killed a man, and I think I'll be off the show in a few weeks." She cries, and Syd consoles her.

During the Big Storm, Jane and Syd share celebratory drinks at Shooter's. It seems the Missing Persons department is now satisfied that Fashion Boy has simply run off. (Boy, the cops gave up on that one quickly!) Jane raises her glass and calmly says, "To justice, Syd -- and getting away with it." Strangely, now it's Sydney who looks more worried as the storm unleashes lightning bolts all over town. Shazam!

Jane returns home and thanks her new roomie Samantha for all her help with the fashions. She never could have finished the cobalt-blue sequined workout clothes without her! She goes into her bedroom and is surprised to see the windows open in the rain. She closes them, then gets under the covers. She feels something strange! She hops out of bed, turns on the light, and throws back the covers. On the bed is a mound of earth shaped like a grave, with a rough cross set on top of it! Jane begins screaming hysterically -- "Oh my God, a Catholic was in my bed!" -- as a trenchcoat-clad Fashion Boy stands just outside the apartment, smiling happily into the rain! I guess Taylor and Samantha will want their deposits back!

Next Week: Michael finds Kimberly, who says she can't remember anything about that night. Amanda lunges at her! "I will MAKE you remember!" It's the Amanda Woodward Aggressive Memory Technique! Jane and Syd return to the graveside, where a gun-toting FB is waiting for them!

--Ken Hart

Use the arrows or return to the Melrose Place Master Menu!