Episode 2: Over Dick's Dead Body

Rob Estes' new character, Kyle, should win some sort of award as TV's Most Ridiculously Understanding Spouse: "Hey, honey, it's OK that you dragged us to the other side of the country on a moment's notice, sacrificing all our hard work in Boston for some vague revenge scheme that I don't understand! I love you!"

The Matt Slot goes to ... Billy, who gets to stand around looking dumbfounded in two scenes. (An easy paycheck for Shue, who probably had soccer practice.) It's tough to separate the groups this week, so hold on tight:

Amanda, Peter, Michael, Kimberly, Kyle, Taylor, Matt, Billy, Jake, and Alison:

Picking up where we left off (damn that rainstorm!), Amanda and The Bizarre Dr. Peter What's-His-Real-Name-Again are chatting in prison. Amanda assures him that he was exonerated of all wrongdoing in the death of his wife because of that improbable diary entry. Peter says it doesn't matter: The emotional scars are so deep that they force him into a 1930s-style film noir flashback! He tells Amanda that Elizabeth's cancer was killing her day by day and there was nothing anyone could do. "She said to me, 'Help me, Peter. Help me die.'" So Peter did a Kevorkian. "Truth is," he says, "it is probably the most compassionate thing I have ever or will do." Well, based on your history here, I'd say that's a big yes!

Amanda confronts Detective Wile E. Coyote ("Super Genius") in the outside corridor. "You son of a bitch! You knew Peter had been cleared of that crime all along. You just wanted to get me to testify against him!" Wile E. smugly says that he no longer needs Amanda's assistance: Peter's alibi -- in the schizo form of Kimberly -- has disappeared.

Cut to Kimberly walking in the drizzle. OK, so she was able to check herself out of the hospital, but she doesn't have money for a cab? A car pulls up behind her, and before you can say "Marathon Man," Kimmie makes a break for it. But it's Michael driving and he calls out to her. She slumps against him, exhausted. He asks, "What are you doing out here? Did you leave the cake out in the rain again?" She says, "I can't remember anything about that night with Peter. I can't help him." "Don't worry -- I won't let anything happen to you, unless we suffer another ratings drop like last week, in which case all bets are off!"

The next day, Alison calls up Jake at his apartment. "I need you, Jake," she coos. "Secret relationship or no secret relationship, I'm there!" Just as Jake tries to quietly make his way across the courtyard, Matt and Taylor come out of the upstairs apartment carrying boxes of Jo's parenting magazines and other useless stuff. Matt, being his hyperactive "I'm not on drugs" best, quickly introduces Jake to Taylor and gives him boxes to carry (!), as a sex-crazed Alison peers out the window and curses their bad timing.

Amanda walks toward them, and Matt hurriedly introduces her to her new tenant! Amanda is taken aback by Matt's presumptuousness: "What's with you, Matt? Are you on drugs?" "Me, drugs? No! Ha!" Taylor says she's ready to sign the lease and not-so-subtly adds, "I hear your husband is having some legal troubles." Amanda simmers for half a second and says, "I see Matt neglected to mention one rule we require of all our tenants." "What's that?" "They mind their own business." Well, if that's true, Alison should've been evicted years ago!

Alison then appears. "Hey, Jake, you were going to drive me into work, RIGHT?" "Oh, yeah, RIGHT." As they walk off, Billy appears, mumbles something about Keebler cookies, and Jake says he's just giving Alison a ride: "It's not like we're having a secret affair or something...D'OH!" Manic Matt then introduces Taylor to Billy and gives him boxes to carry!

A determined Amanda heads over to the beach house, where Michael tries to dissuade her from seeing Kimberly: "She's fragile right now." "Fragile My Butt! Get up, you crazy bitch! I will MAKE you remember!" But the Amanda Woodward Aggressive-Regressive Memory Technique doesn't work. Kim still sadly remembers nothing of her dinner with the Bizarre One on the night Bobby took a header from Peter's office window.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Matt rushes to join his superior, a new doctor (the quick replacement for Dr. Love). "Late again, Fielding," she scolds in front of the other doctors-in-training. Noting that he doesn't even have his stethoscope, ID pass, or the Official Doctor's Guide to Needlessly Expensive Hospital Procedures, she orders him to get them and catch up. Matt, looking rather sweaty and bloated, runs back to his cabinet and tries to get more pills. However, he drops the last of them, and a female orderly sees him crawling on the floor looking for something. "What's with you, Matt? Are you on drugs?" "Me, drugs? Ha! No!" He quickly gets his stethoscope and walks out.

Taylor enters her hotel room that night, and a mysterious figure in the corner surprises her. It's her hubby, Kyle, who just flew in from Boston. He often pretends to be serial killers in the bedroom -- he's weird that way. "Andre is looking over the restaurant." As glad as he is to see her, he's still puzzled by the abruptness of her desire to move to L.A. When he asks about an "ulterior motive," she says this is a great opportunity for them to expand their restaurant business, as they always planned to do. Kyle is receptive to this, but "this is so unlike you." She replies, "I wanted to do something spontaneous. This town is so romantic: the sun, the ocean, the gang riots, the mudslides..." "Okay, honey! I'll consider it." What a maroon ... I mean, what a great guy!

Matt enters the offices of Burns-Mancini, but nobody's home -- Sydney has run out on an errand. He scoots into Michael's office and grabs one of his prescription pads. He hurries out -- and smacks into Sydney, who drops her sheets of fake money! (I'll explain later.) Syd asks him what he's doing here. "Err, I was just looking for Michael, but I guess he's not here." "Are you OK, Matt? You look really godawful. Are you on drugs?" "Me, drugs? Ha! No!" Spotting the sheets, the wacky Matt comments, "I see you've taken up counterfeiting, Syd. That's really good. Well, bye!"

Back at prison, Amanda asks Peter to detail his dinner with Kimberly, in the hopes that some fact might jog Kim's memory. When The Bizarre One comments that his new wife is being very business-like, she says she needs to know if his late wife Elizabeth was the love of his life. Peter is stunned by the question! He says that he was a different man back then. (Well, yeah, you had a different name back then, pal!) He never thought he'd be able to love again, but "you taught me how to feel again, to love. Any love I felt before can't compare to the way I feel about you." Note to Fox: Tell the scriptwriters to stay away from the Michael Bolton CDs.

Taylor and Kyle eat out at a nice-looking restaurant, where chef Kyle points out all the things wrong with his dinner. "No Happy Meals, damn it! What kind of primitive society is this?" It turns out that Taylor has been scoping out the place, and she's confident they could buy the restaurant from the current partners for the proverbial song! Kyle, impressed, is still understandably uneasy about the pace of current events. (You ain't seen nuthin' yet, Kyle. Wait till you experience the full horror of Melrosian Time Compression, when explosive-wielding maniacs can go from complete mania to electroshock treatment to practicing psychiatry in the course of five months!) He wonders if Taylor's actions are motivated by.... She cuts him off, saying they agreed That Topic was forever off-limits. (I wonder if she's a close friend of the late Mrs. Bizarre?) She says they can agree to set a time limit to establish themselves in L.A. if that would make him feel better. They already make plans to buy the restaurant, and call it "Kyle's," naturally!

Matt, wielding a phony prescription, goes to an out-of-the-way pharmacy and tries to get it filled. Although the doctor seems a bit wary, Matt gets his Puppy Uppers.

Jake examines the view out of the hotel room he's just gotten with Alison -- then he examines the view of Alison, now wearing slinky black undergarments! Huzzah! As they embrace, she comments on the absurdity...that is, the unexpectedness of their relationship. "It's so weird. Living so close, for so long, searching for a soulmate ... and it's right downstairs!" Oh, so you were looking for a soulmate, Alison! No wonder you and Billy didn't click! Then she adds, "You are making me feel things I never thought I'd feel." Joy? Fulfillment? Self-loathing?

The next day, at Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Rapid-Fire Matt is taking a phone call for Alison, but obviously there's some mistake since the person is looking to move into Alison's apartment! Alison hurries over and grabs the phone: "What's with you, Matt? Are you on drugs?" "Me, drugs? Ha! No!" As Jake enters from stage left, Matt says to Alison, "You're moving out?! If Amanda's the landlord, you're the den mother!" Jake escorts her into his orgy chamber/office, where he asks what the deal is. Alison says she's found a new place about 3 blocks away. She thinks it'll be better for all concerned, including Billy, and it'll allow her and Jake to see each other as often as they like. Jake then puts another notch on his desktop.

At Melrose Place, Taylor shows off her new pad to Kyle -- she wants his approval before she signs off on the lease. He likes it! Hey, Mikey! He says it's OK "as long as we break it in properly. Nudge nudge wink wink, say no more! This is great -- I had to wait years to have sex with my co-star on 'Silk Stalkings'!" As Taylor heads into the bathroom to prepare, she stares again at the newspaper clipping of The Bizarre One. Or is she gazing longingly at the "Days of Our Lives" soap opera recaps?

Amanda calls Peter from the beach house to tell him that she and Michael are making progress with Kimberly: "She remembers waking up that day! We're close!" She asks him to "keep the faith." Peter, however, is at the end of his emotional rope, and he's starting to go stir crazy. He scowls, "Everyone tells me to keep the faith -- in Kimberly?! Kimberly!!" The guard nearby tells him to hang up the phone. Peter gets snippy -- then whacks the guy! The second guard slams Peter into the wall, and The Bizarre One drops like day-old Jello.

The next morning, Taylor drops by Amanda's apartment with the first and last months' rent, security, and Jehovah's Witness literature. She tries to engage Amanda in some small talk, but Amanda is hurrying out the door. As they go down the stairs, Taylor says, "Whoops, silly me! I left my purse inside!" Amanda then gives her the keys to her apartment (!) and says, "Make it quick." Amanda, how could you? Giving your keys to the new cast member? Bad move!

As soon as Taylor opens the door, she examines the picture of Peter on the mantle. The phone rings and Amanda's answering machine clicks on at the first ring. Just as Amanda re-enters her pad, we hear Wile E.'s voice saying that Peter has had a Bizarre "accident" and is in the infirmary. Amanda gasps, then orders Taylor out while she calls Wile E. back.

Amanda visits a pretty well banged-up Peter in bed at the prison infirmary -- but his emotional wounds run much deeper! "They've taken it all from me," he moans. "My career, the woman I love, my box of Twinkies ... If I don't get out of here soon, I swear I'll kill someone!"

That night, Billy visits Alison when he hears that she's moving out. Like Matt, he's stunned: "You ARE this place," he says. Alison assures him that this move has nothing to to do with him and his self-admitted lame attempts at proposal. (Yeah, right.) Jake shows up to give Alison a hand. After Jake says that he also tried to convince Alison not to move, Billy squints a bit and half-jokes, "Daah, why do I get the feeling ah'm in the middle of a conspiracy? Say, did you kill Kennedy?" Alison and Jake glance at each other and mumble, "Can't imagine why you'd think that!" When the Doofus leaves, Jake concurs that the complex won't be the same without her. Alison playfully invites Jake to move in with her! Jake gets a bit antsy -- this sounds a little too close to a "Serious Relationship"! Still, though, the producers do seem to be setting Jake and Alison up as the much-needed stable relationship this year.

Back at the hospital, Matt is looking over some medical charts -- but he can't read them! "Damn out-of-focus cameraman...!" His vision is now extremely blurry. The doctor walks over to him and hands back the test he just finished: "You failed, scientist." "What?! But that's impossible! I spent a whole night off-camera working on that!" Matt then into Captain Queeg, accusing her of being out to get him. "It's because I'm gay, isn't it?!" "You're gay? Like Ellen wants to be on her TV show? I never knew!" Matt's nostrils flare! "I took care of Hobbes, and I'll take care of you! Grrrr!" The stunned doctor gapes!

Sydney, Jane, Samantha, and Fashion Psycho:

Samantha walks over to Syd's pad in the morning, worrying that "Jane's gone round the bend!" Last night, she heard a blood-curdling scream from Jane's room, but when she ran over, Jane said everything was fine! This morning, Jane vacuumed her room for two hours (!) and now a locksmith is changing all the locks! Syd listens to all this with a Daffy Duck-like pensive expression, then says, "My sister gets weird sometimes. Ha! Don't we all?"

Syd heads down to see Jane, who tells her about the dirt on the bed. Syd says, "Well, at least it wasn't a horse's head." I love this woman! Jane insists Richard must be alive. Syd poo-poohs this idea: "I whacked him on the head, we buried him, he's dead." Syd remembers that they heard a noise in the woods while they were burying Fashion Boy; perhaps somebody saw them and is now blackmailing them. Jane wants her to prove it. Syd says, "We go back to the grave and dig up Fashion Boy, worms and all."

That night, they drive to the spot -- to find the grave empty! Where's the Cryptkeeper when you need him? "Why, it looks like ghouls' night out! AH EEE HEE HEE HEE!" There's a note at the bottom: "I got the body, girls. For fifty thousand dollars, I'll keep your secret. Signed, Geraldo Rivera."

In the morning, Syd shows Jane a new note that was left in her morning paper. (The Wall Street Journal?) The note tells them to bring the money to an address in the garment district that night. Syd gets frantic -- where will they get this money? Jane says, "We don't need money," and she grabs the gun! "I'm tired of living in fear." Syd is really nervous now! Jane tries to reassure her: "I'll be in charge of making sure no one gets hurt." Oh, I'm sure Syd feels much better now...

Wearing their ninja black leathers, Jane and Syd wait anxiously in an alleyway near a door where Syd has just dropped a bag full of fake money (see the scene with Matt earlier). A figure walks over, grabs it, and Jane jumps up with the gun: "Freeze! I've got a gun, damn it!" Why, it's Samantha! Puzzled, she says that someone called earlier looking for Jane, saying that important neon wedding-dress samples were being left here tonight. Jane and Syd realize they've been set up. Sam demands to see the episode's script, but she gets no answers. As they leave the alleyway, an evil-looking Fashion Boy stares at them from the fire escape above their heads!

Jane is being super-nice to Sam in the morning, making breakfast and telling her never to sit next to Andrew Shue at the Fox commissary. Sam doesn't buy it. "What is going on around here?" Jane says she's doing Sam a favor by not telling her. Later, Jane talks to Syd, who is increasingly agitated: "What next? Flak jackets?" Jane tells her to calm down; she won't take any arguments from Syd over their next moves. "Fine," says a resigned Sydney. "Lunatics always make the best leaders: Mussolini, Hitler, Amanda..."

As they close down the shop that night, they foolishly hope that their blackmailer has given up, since they haven't gotten further notes. But then a couple of deliverymen show up with a big crate, about 6 feet tall. (U.P.S.: The servants of Evil!) Jane opens the crate and a dummy falls out! No, not Billy -- a real dummy! To their horror, the sisters see that it's wearing Richard's blood-stained clothes! ("Mannequin III: The Revenge!") A new note tells them to bring the money to the grave tomorrow night.

During the day at the shop, Jane casually asks Sam if she could take over if, oh, hypothetically speaking, Jane had to go away for a while. Syd overhears this and says, "Uh, Jane, can we talk?" Jane shows Syd that she's typed up a complete confession of every crime they've committed, going all the way back to a couple of really bad USA Network movies. Sydney grabs it and rips it to shreds! "We are NOT going to jail!" She tells Jane that she can come up with $20,000: "I've been squirreling away my profits from Burns-Mancini, plus an investment I made in a porno film." Before Jane can open her mouth, Syd says, "Yes, I know. A stupid move, but very lucrative." Wow, continuity! Shocking! For the other $30,000, she thinks they can get a loan from the bank. "Oh, yeah," scoffs Jane, "at 18 percent." "Jane! This is not the time to be arguing interest rates!" She's great!

As they arrive at the grave site, a gun-toting Fashion Boy appears behind them! He tosses a couple of shovels their way and happily orders them, "Start diggin'. Only a lot deeper this time ... for the both of ya!" Wow, FB's near-death experience has affected his diction! Bury him again and he'll sound like Billy!

Next Week: Amanda sees Taylor sitting in court during Peter's hearing. What does she want? Billy learns about Alison and Jake -- punches are thrown! C'mon, Alison, dive in there!

--Ken Hart

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