Episode 4: Hunka Hunka Burning Love


Wow, still no scenes at D&D this season! Did Spelling run out of attractive extras in ridiculously tight business outfits? The Matt Slot goes to ... Kyle, who says "Is this some sort of test?" for the third week in a row. (And hey, did you notice that USA Network has already replaced the losers who took over for Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture halfway through last season?) Good work so far this season from co-executive producer James "Wrath of" Kahn.

Michael, Kimberly, and Matt:

At the beach house, a depressed Kimberly tells Michael, "The Medical Board is reviewing my license. Finally, they realize that there may be a problem with a bomb-making, brain-drilling, baby-stealing, Mackenzie Phillips-beating schizophrenic having a psychiatric practice!" Michael is shocked. "What's wrong with that?" She wants him to simply hold her, saying, "This kind of intimacy can be just as fulfilling as sex." A confused Michael says, "Oh yeah? I never heard that."

Later, Michael confronts Matt in the hospital, telling him of his chat with Dr. Constriction last episode. A feisty Matt proclaims his drug-free status now that the mid-terms are over. Michael, not quite convinced, tells him of his own drug use in the past. "I used speed for the exams, downers when it was over, and chocolate fudge sundaes for the really bad times! I may not be the poster boy for family values, but I was smart enough to get clean. For both our sakes, you better be, too!"

Kimberly and Michael attend her hearing before the board, where one of the board members says, "In light of the allegations brought against you by Priscilla Presley, and because we've all Elvis fans, we're suspending your license for 90 days until we investigate further." Kim gets a chance to speak and says calmly, "I'm not fit to practice medicine." Michael, surprised, tries to dissuade her, but she tells the board, "Effective immediately, I'm surrendering my medical license." To Michael (or to herself), she adds, "It's the right thing to do. There were no more plots to explore, so I need a different job."

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Matt and his fellow medical students are celebrating the end of the mid-terms with some brewskis. A tired Matt politely turns down their invitation to all-night partying, but his drug buddy privately offers him a "pep." Matt looks at the red Tic-Tac, telling the guy that he doesn't do drugs anymore, but he weakens in anticipation of the cinnamon taste!

Later that night, Mescaline Matt is driving -- and it's not a pretty sight! He's swerving all over the road, and some maniac put gauze over the camera lens! He can't see a thing! He pulls into a gas station and, breathing heavily, dials 911 and gasps, "Cuh--can't...breathe...! Tell...William Shatner...I...love...him...!"

In the morning, Michael sees Kimberly dressed in what looks to be casual office clothes, as opposed to the D&D office clothes, which are one step removed from "Barb Wire." She happily says that Peter has hired her to be the temporary receptionist at Burns-Mancini! (I'll explain later.) She thinks it'll be great: "We'll play, work, and live together 24 hours a day!" Michael whimpers.

Some time later, a recovered Matt is preparing to leave the hospital room when Michael walks in with a "See? I told ya so!" look. He's laughing over the fact that Matt told the attending doctor he thought he was having a heart problem. Michael says Matt had actually used Mentos! Yow! They're worse than PCP! When Matt still insists that there's no problem and that Michael is the last person to be judging him, Michael says he has no choice but to report this to Dr. Constriction. Threat! Matt angrily grabs Michael and says he'll claim that Michael sold him the drugs! Counterthreat! Michael, slightly ruffled, backs down, but tells Matt he's on his own from now on. "You're back to solo subplots, buddy!"

Jane is having a grand-opening party for her new boutique, but is Matt invited? No! It's not even mentioned! Instead, he's hanging out at a gay bar (not Shooter's, unless there's a secret back room). A young guy makes eye contact, sits next to him, and comments, "I noticed you have a lot of energy. What's with you? Are you on drugs?" "Me, drugs? Ha! No!" The guy continues staring at him, and Matt asks him if he's a hustler. He says no, but Matt doesn't buy it. After another few seconds, though, Matt says, "What the hell?" and he leads the guy back to his car. (Matt, you fool! Don't you realize it's been a year since you were set up? You're due, man!) They get in, and when Matt hands the guy money to do something not approved of on commercial television, the guy whips out his ... badge! He's a cop! "You're under arrest for soliciting prostitution."

Amanda, Peter, Sydney, Kyle, and Lip Lass:

A sleeping Amanda, wrapped in the leopard-print bedsheets, is woken by her husband, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns. To her surprise, he's off to work! "No time to waste, Amanda! It's time to embrace life!" "Wow, who gave you a rewrite since last week?" He also matter-of-factly tells her to move into his place. He's got a big house, she's got a dinky apartment -- there's no choice! He asks Amanda to meet him there tonight.

At the office of Burns-Mancini, Peter finds out that Office Manager Sydney has let things slip in his absence. After he tells her to contact the bill collectors, she informs him there's a woman waiting in his office. It's Taylor, the Lip Lass! She asks him if he recognizes her, but he stares blankly, and she mentions that she's a new tenant at his wife's oh-so-complex complex. (What is her deal with The Bizarre One?) She says she has a medical problem and that Matt recommended him. "Well, yes," says Peter, "I can see what the problem is. How long have those lips been so monstrously huge?" "No! They're not the problem -- I have a heart murmur. It's a family trait ... my father had it," she says, apparently hoping to get some reaction for him, but nothing happens. Peter the Professional tells her to make an appointment to come in for a complete physical.

He arrives at his house that night with a bottle of champagne. Amanda is parked outside, and she wants to discuss his "decision" to move. Just as he prepares to take his bride across the threshold, the Brady Bunch runs out of his house! The real-estate agent tells him it's Open House -- it was sold while he was in jail! Peter doesn't live here anymore! Amanda says, "I'm his wife! There's no way this could have been sold without my permission." It turns out that Sydney sold the house, and it's all perfectly legal! When Peter gets nasty, the real-estate agent threatens to call the cops, and Amanda drags Peter away: "You can take care of this tomorrow." "You bet I will -- when I put my hands around Sydney's neck..."

As Syd arrives at work in the morning, Mr. and Mrs. Bizarre confront her. Peter says, "Did you really think I wouldn't notice a family of 4 in my house?" Syd defiantly says that she had to pay the creditors. Amanda and Peter are curious as to how she was able to sell the place. Syd says, "Well, if he hadn't listed his house as part of the company's assets, I couldn't have!" Peter holds his head. D'OH! "Sydney -- you're fired!" "What? Hey, we had an agreement! Fire me and I'll bring sexual harassment charges against you!" "Syd," says Peter, "I've just spent time in jail for murder. Sexual harassment would be a walk in the park." Syd sighs, "You give and you give and you give -- and still no appreciation." "Get out!" Another career for Our Sydney down the tubes!

At their new restaurant, Cook Boy Kyle is telling Lip Lass about some final pre-opening details when he notices that she's crying. Now she's talking about going home! "People are so different here." (She obviously is having second thoughts about her anti-Bizarre plan.) Kyle, exasperated, says, "Is this some sort of test? I know I say this every week, but I really hate tests. I sucked in trigonometry!" "Well, if you hate tests so much, get some pills from Matt. I hear he's on drugs!" "Matt, drugs? Ha! No!" Kyle says he made a "mistake" once, and doesn't want to be continually punished for it.

In the courtyard, Taylor apologizes to Amanda about the other day. She says she had read about Peter's case in the newspaper and was simply curious. She then says that she and Kyle would like to hire Amanda to do advertising for their restaurant. Amanda sniffs haughtily and says, "D&D deals with national accounts. Not some Mom & Pop operation." Lip Lass says they plan on going national soon and asks that Amanda come by the restaurant for a free lunch, with no conditions.

Amanda does so, and while Kyle prepares the meal, Amanda and Taylor chat. "So," Amanda says, "it was your idea to move here? Problems in Boston?" "Well, yes. The 6-19 start for the Red Sox was terrible. I just knew Kevin Kennedy was going to be fired! On top of which, Kyle had an affair." But that's in the past. Amanda says, "Well, don't call me old-fashioned, but if my husband were to have an affair, I'd drop him in an instant! Now don't think I'm giving you subplot ideas or anything."

That night, Amanda is giving a topless Peter a backrub. He's still depressed over losing his house, not to mention his collection of Yanni albums. Amanda says this settles the issue of where they're going to live! She also comments that due to the Bizarre circumstances of their marriage, "we've never really discussed what marriage means to us." Abuse? Infidelity? No to both, says Peter firmly. Almost on cue, there's a knock on the door. It's Lip Lass, with a mondo-calorie dessert for Amanda. She says hi to Peter, who happily says hi back. When Taylor leaves, Amanda says, "And how did you get so chummy with the new tenant?" "Oh, she's a new patient of mine." Amanda, perhaps sensing something weird is going on, suggests they just get in a car and go on a trip -- now! "For my wife, anything."

Billy, Alison, Jane, Jake, and Samantha:

Billy stalks home after leaving Alison and Jake. He's having trouble with his apartment door. "Err, stupid lock. Hulk smash!" He kicks the door open just as Samantha walks by. "Is there a problem?" "Daaah, none of yer business." "Hmph. Jerk." Who says scriptwriting isn't what it used to be?

At Shooter's (The Only Straight Bar in Town), Alison walks into Jake's office and says, "Why did you leave last night?" He ended up spending the night at Shooter's. He says he's been doing a lot of thinking (uh oh, that's always bad news!) after their bad scene with Billy, and suggests that he and Alison might want to step back a bit. She disagrees. "No, now it's time to bring this out in the open. I want to declare my improbable love for you!" When Jake abruptly mentions Jane, she leaps on that: "Ahhh, so it's Jane you're worried about!" She adds, "This is between you and me. If anybody can't handle it, they can go to heck!"

Preparing to tell Billy to go to heck, Alison notices the locksmith finishing work at his door. (Wow, first Jane, now Billy. The locksmiths get almost as much work at Melrose as the Emergency Medical Technicians!) When she says that she and Jake had no intention of hurting Billy, he says, "Naaah, you enjoyed pullin' the wool ovah my eyes. I'm allergic to wool, didja know dat? I had no idea you were such a slut!" Alison stoically accepts the insult as Billy's clumsy way of lashing out, but he says he doesn't care. "Oh, just yell at me!" says Alison. "Don't pretend you're over it!" Billy does that smirk which was so annoying last year and says, "Best of luck ta you and yer boyfriend."

The recently unemployed Sydney comes to the boutique and asks Jane for work; indeed, she'll even be partners with Jane! To her surprise, Jane agrees. "It's a further chance to bury the past ... I mean, put it behind me!" As Sam shows up, Jane tells her the "great news" about Sydney, who says, "Yes, though of course you'll have to change your hours to accommodate me." I love this woman!

Billy arrives. "Daah, oh so this is yer place, Jane? I wuz looking for Burger King." Jane tells him that she's going to have a grand-opening party the day after tomorrow. "Gaaah, will Alison and Jake be here?" "Yeah, all my friends -- except Matt. He's going to be arrested that night for soliciting!" Billy wanders over to Samantha, saying that he wanted to find out where she worked so he could apologize for his rude behavior the other night. Then he asks her out to dinner! She says, "I go by first impressions, which are that you're a rude drooler." Go with that, Sam! "Daaah, I want to hear yer life story over hamburgers." In the face of such romance, Sam crumbles and says yes.

Jane goes to Shooter's and invites Jake to the party. "To be honest," he says, "I wasn't sure if we were friends anymore." "What, how could you think that?" He accepts, and as she leaves, Billy arrives and sits down at the bar. When Jake asks him how he feels, "Oh, about you doin' Alison? Doesn't bother me!" Jake sighs and asks Billy not to say anything to Jane until he and Alison have a chance to talk to her. Billy says, "Doesn't matter to me. I won't do anythin' with such important plot ammunition."

My Dinner With Billy: Samantha is indeed telling her life story about growing up in Maryland. Billy drifts into limbo, while the unfortunate couple at the next table, unable to bear Sam's talking with her mouth full, commit ritual suicide. (This may be the only time in the series when anyone was more unintelligible than Andrew Shue.) Finally, Billy says, "Daah, I can't do dis." He tells her, "The last time I was here, Alison stood me up to be with my best friend," and he was hoping to wipe that from his mind. Move out, Sam! Move far, FAR away!

Meanwhile, Jane makes an unannounced visit to Alison's to see her new pad. Saying "I really miss our friendship," Jane invites her to the party. Alison agrees. Jane says, "Thanks for being such a good friend. You're always been there for me, never lied to me or betrayed me or hid boyfriends from me -- thanks!" As she turns to leave, she sees one of Jake's shirts draped over a chair. "Oh, YES," says Alison. "Jake was helping me move, and he left it here." Jane offers to take it back to the apartments. "Sure, thanks," says Alison. But Jane suspects! Alison, you big weenie! What happened to the total truth policy?

Well, it's too late now... Welcome to the grand opening of "Jane's"! Cast members and nameless extras walk around with drinks and those mini-eggrolls that sit in your stomach for hours. Billy hoists another drink. Jake arrives, then Alison. Jane, who had been hovering around Jake, says to the two of them, "As long as you two showed, nothing else mattered." She invites them to dinner, but both beg off. Alison says, "There's a really good episode of 'Frazier' on that night, and with Kelsey Grammar in rehab, who knows when we'll see another?"

As they mingle, Jake and Alison express surprise over Sydney's presence. Syd says, "We've both been bonding in a very big way lately. I guess the same could be said of you two!" Nothing escapes Syd's notice! Billy, trying to make amends, gives Sam a ticket to see Sting at the Hollywood Bowl -- with him, of course.

After Jane gets everyone's attention to thank them for coming, a slurring Billy says, "I'd like to make a toast. Here's to Janey, for overcoming lots of obstacles last season, like a personality change, bad hair, a stroke, and rape -- geez, what a lousy year! And here's to Jake and Alison, hoping that their sex is still good after everybody knows about their secret affair!" Jane Gapes! "It's true, isn't it? Get out!" As all the extras pretend to be shocked and say, "murmur murmur murmur," Billy giggles maniacally! Sam looks at him and says, "Are you an idiot or just plain cruel?" "Daah, is that a rhetorical question or do I gotta answer it?" She gives him back the Sting ticket. "I like Ray Davies better anyway!"

Later, an angry Jane storms into Alison's apartment. "How could you? Instead of supporting me in my darkest hour, you stole the only man I love! Hiss on you!" She leaves, just as Jake emerges from the bathroom. "What's goin' on?" "Oh, Jake, I feel so terrible. And for God's sake, put the toilet seat down!" Outside the door, Jane hears Jake's voice. She looks through the window as Jake tells Alison, "We'll have to give it time." Overcome with emotion, Jane stalks away -- tripping over a frayed electrical cord, which sparks and ignites the oil-soaked rags nearby! WHA-A-A-A-T??? Holy Conveniently Placed Flammable Substance, Batman!

As the unknowing Jane returns to her car (even though Melrose Place is only three blocks away), she looks up and sees the flames licking at the walls of Alison's apartment! She hesitates! What will she do?

Next Episode (Oct. 21): Alison and Jake are hot! Red hot! Jane massages the leg of Billy! Hide the children!

--Ken Hart

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