Episode 5: Un-Janed Melody


So there were runners on 1st and 2nd base and nobody out. The ball was bunted back to Andy Pettitte, who pounced on it and ... oh, that's right! Baseball's over! Fox even took mercy on the viewers and gave us an extra-long set of clips from the last few stories. Lots of new faces this week, so get set for what should be a busy group of episodes.

The Matt Slot goes to ... Kimberly, who had about as many lines as the D&D receptionist this week, but oh, that naked back! Huzzah! And we're thisclose to having a new Samantha Slot for the character with the most nonsensical statements. By Odin, she'll start quoting from L. Ron Hubbard next!

Matt, Michael, and Kimberly:

Michael escorts Matt from the precinct after paying bail. Michael fumes, "I should have left you to rot in jail." Matt pleads, "I've hit rock bottom. I did a guest shot on 'Baywatch Nights'! Please help me!" "OK," Michael says, "but we do this my way."

Later at the offices of Burns-Mancini, Michael is testily pointing out filing errors to new employee Kimberly. "'Needless Procedures' go under 'O' for "Overcharging'!" She's telling him that it's not a good idea for them to have sex, since "it could open up a can of worms." Yum! He's not thrilled by this, and he's further annoyed by the sudden absence of Peter. At this point, Taylor the Lip Lass shows up (I guess her Bizarre-detecting radar went off) and she overhears Kim mention that Peter and Amanda have gone to Santa Barbara to resurrect the old NBC soap opera. They're staying at the Lusty Sweat Honeymoon Resort. Taylor says hi. Michael slides over and offers his medical skills, but she declines, saying Peter has a better bedside manner. (See the followup with her later.)

At the Jane Hathaway Rehabilitation Center (oh, Mr. Drysdale!), Matt is protesting to Michael that he doesn't belong here. "I don't consider myself an addict." "Oh yeah, Matt, you've really been in control lately! " Matt is worried what will happen to his future if the hospital hears about this, but Michael reminds him that both their careers are on the line now. Matt is still annoyed. "Do I really have to fill this form out in crayon?"

At the beach house, Kimberly tells Michael that she's been talking some more with her therapist, and she thinks they should try some of "those non-sexual touching techniques." "What, you mean the G.I. Joe and Barbie action figures?" Kimberly removes her shirt revealing her bare back. Michael's reaction? Schwing! "Deep back massage," she says. "Do me first, then I'll do you." Michael gulps and straddles her back as she lays down on the floor. She purrs when he massages her back, then says, "Mmmm, isn't this better than sex?" It's too much for Michael to take! With difficulty, he stands up and says, "I gotta go for a run!"

Later, Matt is sitting in the lounge of the rehab center, looking through back issues of High Times. He's approached by a guy (Greg Evigan of "B.J. and the Bear" and "TekWar"), who asks "Hey, are you on drugs?" "Me, drugs? Ha! No! Oh, wait -- yeah, I am on drugs!" The guy kindly points out that Matt hasn't been attending his therapy sessions. He's Dr. Dan Hathaway, owner of the center. Matt boasts that he's leaving tomorrow -- his willpower will keep him drug-free! Hathaway doesn't mock him, but he does try to get through Matt's emotional walls: "Actually, Matt, you remind me of me. We've both been in TV series with lots of bad actors." Matt says, "Well, I do have one question. Who was worse: the monkey in 'B.J.' or William Shatner?"

As Michael jogs along the beach, a very attractive blonde runs alongside. (Kelly Rutherford from last spring's "Kindred" -- yes, Spelling likes to recycle his actors.) Michael eagerly keeps pace and introduces himself. She flirts back but she doesn't give her name. As she runs off, she says she jogs here every day.

Peter, Amanda, Billy, Craig, Cook Boy, and Lip Lass:

Amanda and The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns frolic on the bed in their honeymoon suite. After room service arrives, they playfully banter about what Amanda's last name should be now that they're married. She doesn't think "Mrs. Amanda The Bizarre Dr. Burns" sounds right and it would be hell to fit on a credit card.

Billy arrives at D&D (shock! It still exists!), where he gets a message from ... the receptionist (double shock!). Amanda has left a note for him: "Gone on honeymoon. Cover for me. I owe you one. Kill the receptionist. She knows too much." To his surprise, he finds visitors in Amanda's office: CEO Arthur Fields and his son Craig (David Charvet of "Baywatch"). When Arthur says he's looking for Amanda, Billy lies: "She's with a client. Gaah!" Arthur tells Billy that Craig is now working here (hello!) and asks him to find a place for him in the bullpen. "Well, daaah, okay," says Billy, "although the Atlanta Braves are the ones who need help in the bullpen!" "I don't mean baseball, you simpleton! Find him a desk! I want you to teach him everything about the business from the ground up." When Arthur leaves, the smug Craig says, "I don't expect to be treated any differently just because I'm the boss' son -- but I like cream in my coffee." What a jerk!

At the soon-to-open restaurant, Lip Lass has just returned from her visit to Peter's office. She suggests to hubby Kyle that they relax for a couple of days in -- oh, I don't know -- Santa Barbara? Kyle protests that they've about to open the restaurant! She makes a casual remark about his past marital offenses -- and he responds by kissing her passionately on the grill! Hah? Well, after that, he agrees to her request. You're weird, Kyle.

The next day, Amanda sees Peter chatting amiably with Taylor and Kyle! She is not pleased! The Bizarre One and Cook Boy compare golf tips, while Lip Lass fights to stay conscious. Peter is oblivious to any conspiracy: "Hey, Amanda! What a coincidence -- your new tenants came here, too! Why is my character suddenly being too stupid to realize the truth?" A tight-lipped Amanda gets snippy and quickly escorts Peter away from a smiling Taylor.

Back at D&D, Craig visits Billy and wants some advice on "office politics." For instance, "what happened after you slept with Amanda Woodward? You lost your Triple A rating?" Billy is offended! "Just because we work togetha, don't think we're buddies!" Craig shrugs it off. Billy says, "Now let me ask you a question. David Hasselhoff -- is that his real hair?"

Peter and Amanda chat. She's suspicious of Taylor: "I mean, just look at those lips, Peter! There's something alien about her. Can't you feel it?" She asks him to give her golf lessons, since this would enable them to do more fun things together. Billy phones her with a warning about Fields and his son.

Late that night at D&D, Craig sneaks into the unlocked office of Billy. (By the way, Billy -- the #2 person at the company -- doesn't have a window office! Quit, Billy, quit!) He sees the note that Amanda wrote for Billy regarding her honeymoon. He also finds used chewing gum wrappers and printouts of Teri Hatcher photos off the Web.

The next morning, Peter and Amanda's golf lesson is interrupted by a phone call from the evil CEO Fields. (You're trying to relax on your honeymoon, but you receive phone calls on the golf course?!) Fields is angry at the deception. "I encourage my employees to lie, but not to me." He tells her to come back immediately -- and fire Billy! After hanging up, she defiantly tells Peter they're not leaving yet: "It's my honeymoon. It's not over till I say it's over! Fore!"

While walking past Amanda's office, Billy overhears Fields and son plotting against Amanda! "Learn all you can before you kick her out," says the senior Fields. "But don't get too confident. She crushed Campbell, and he was a good man. Now he's a slack-jawed moron." "Gee, Dad, I don't know -- I get the feeling he's always been a slack-jawed moron!" Andrew Shue stares at the door. (Subtitle: Billy is concerned.)

As Amanda returns to the D&D parking garage, a limo pulls up. Arthur Fields asks her to hop in. He's mad that she didn't come back when he told her to. She says she was on her honeymoon, and she refuses to fire Billy. He snarls about her "ironclad" contract: "You think you're bulletproof, don't you?" "That's right, I'm Wonder Woman. Check out these cool bracelets!" Fields counters that insubordination is grounds for dismissal, but he's sure that Amanda will charge discrimination. She doesn't deny it. The gloves come off as Fields tosses in some smarmy sexual innuendos, but he tells her, "Demote Campbell, but don't tell him it's a compromise. Then give all his best accounts to Craig." Amanda agrees, even though she knows Billy will be crushed to lose Mayor McCheese.

Amanda sees Craig as she enters the building. He says, "I'm here to keep my eyes open and my mouth shut." "Fine, order lunch for the noontime meeting!" Billy is about to tell her the "interesting news" he heard, but Amanda first tells him that he's being demoted because of performance problems! Billy threatens to quit, but she asks him to just be patient for a while. (Don't any of these places have employee evaluations?) She says, "So what about this interesting news of yours?" An annoyed Billy says, "Daaah, nothing."

Jane, Jake, Alison, Sydney, and Sam (plus more Billy and Kyle):

Fire! Fire! Alison's place has been on fire for the past month! She and Jake try to open the windows, but there are steel gates over them, and she doesn't have the key: "Oh, woe are we to be living in such crime-ridden times!" Jake tells her, "Call 911!" Good idea, Einstein! Unfortunately, 911 automatically lists all calls as coming from Melrose Place -- they'll never make it to Alison's apartment in time! Meanwhile, Jane stares at the fire for a precious few seconds, then she grabs a fire extinguisher by the stairs. She runs up, puts out the fire by the door, then rams open the door with a ladder! You go, girl! Amazingly, Fox did not use this opportunity to plug the return of "L.A. Firefighters."

Everyone goes to the hospital for smoke inhalation and for this episode's gratuitous hallway shots. Sydney and Samantha arrive and ask Jane if she's OK, but Jane only called them to get a lift back to her car. Sam starts babbling about Jane's bad string of luck, quoting from the prophecies of Nostradamus or Steven Seagal or someone. Syd privately asks Jane if she set the fire! When Jane denies it, Syd says, "After killing your partner, then finding out he's not dead and killing him again, arson might be a cakewalk."

Billy also arrives at the hospital. Sam gives him the cold shoulder. Billy admits he acted like a jerk at Jane's store last month, i.e., earlier that day. He's had a few weeks to recover from his drunkenness.

Alison and Jake are physically OK, but she's depressed: She lost everything in her new pad, including her Brooke dartboard. She also wonders if Jane was responsible, but Jake finds that hard to believe. As they walk down the hallway, Andrew Shue stares blankly at them. (Subtitle: Billy hurts inside.)

The next day at Melrose Place, Syd and Jane are relaxing in the courtyard. Jane's new business partner Syd is voicing concerns about Samantha's "attitude." Sam comes over and cheerily makes suggestions about pictures, mannequins, and happy thoughts in the windows of the boutique. Eww. Syd scoffs, but Jane thinks it's a good idea. Alison and Jake walk over and thank Jane for saving their lives. Of their relationship, Jane now says, "I'm okay with it. Bitch." "What??" "Fish! I'm making fish for dinner!" She even tells Alison she can borrow some of her clothes from the shop. Alison says, "Gee thanks, Jane, though I'm not sure how well the electric-blue vinyl see-through headdress will go over at Shooter's." As the couple walks away, the ever-observant Syd compliments Jane on her performance, but she doesn't buy it for a second.

At the boutique the next day, Jane tells Syd that Billy is coming over that night for a "date"! Jane asks Sam to make herself scarce when Billy shows up. Sam makes a feeble protest, but weakly agrees. Syd looks at the paintings that Sam is putting in the windows. Sam says, "This is Marilyn Monroe's place. I painted it." She then babbles about reaching out to people's emotions, touching the inner self, and contributions to the Will Rogers Institute. Syd raises her eyebrows! "Ahh, I really don't think stuffed animals and the 'inner child' is what this boutique needs." Jane says, "Oh, it's OK."

That night, Billy appears at Jane's door just as Sam is leaving. "Enjoy your date," she says. "Gaah, hey, waitasecond! Jane is just my friend. If there's anybody in this place I'd like to date, it's you!" Pleased, Sam agrees to meet him for dinner later in the week. Inside, Jane wants to talk to Billy about the Jake-Alison situation. "How do you deal with it?" "Well, dah, ya just get on with your life ... and rent lotsa Playboy videos! Have ya seen the Jenny McCarthy one? It's pretty good." Jane says, "I think we can help each other with our problems," as she lightly strokes his thigh! Billy is alert! In a shocking and highly unbelievable display of insight, he says, "Oh, you wanna make Jake jealous. Nope. Bad idea." Jane insists that Jake still cares for her. Billy excuses himself. As soon as he leaves, Jane sees a giggling Alison and Jake return to his pad, where the burnt-out Alison is staying. As the couple playfully tumble into bed, the phone rings, and Alison picks it up. It's Jane, but she says nothing and hangs up after a few tense seconds. Candice Bergen has a cameo and tells Jane she only spent a dime on that call.

The next day, Our Sydney walks into Kyle's, looking to get some takeout. Why, look! It's Cook Boy, your new neighbor. What a coincidence! Kyle says the place isn't open yet, but he'd be happy to let Syd sample a couple of items on the menu. They make lusty eye contact! Kyle spoon-feeds Syd (shades of Susan and Billy!), and some sauce drips on Sydney's cleavage...I mean, jacket. Kyle dabs at it. Ahem. When Syd mentions that she works at the boutique, Kyle says he really likes those paintings in the window! He'd like the artist to do some work for the restaurant. Syd, always a quick thinker, says, "Oh, I ... represent the artist."

In the evening, Jane walks through the bramble of Melrose Place (they have bramble in California?) to peer through the window of Jake's bedroom. Doesn't anyone own shades? Aaron Spelling must own stock in venetian blind companies! She sees Alison and Jake playing Parchesi, and she grabs the conveniently placed brick (!) and hurls it through the window! (Last time, Jane accidentally set fire to Alison's place because of the oddly placed flammable substance and wires. Now there's a brick outside Jake's window just when she needs one. Jane may possess reality-altering superpowers!) Alison and Jake leap up, but they see no one outside the window. Alison is convinced it's Jane and she runs over to Jane's place and pounds on the door. Jane answers in a bathrobe and angrily denies any involvement -- and she even throws suspicion on Billy! Jake fumes!

Billy meets Sam at dinner, where they have a really boring conversation about friendship, loss of friendship, jobs, loss of jobs, and the average air speed of a European swallow. Zzzzzzzzz.... The dinner goes well. How nice.

They return to the MP courtyard, where Jake is waiting. He shoves Billy and blames him for the brick. Sam sticks up for the brick -- Billy, that is -- by saying he was with her at dinner, but Jake is not convinced. He warns Billy and walks off. Jane watches through those damn venetian blinds, sipping a glass of wine and muttering, "Hmmm, I'm so cool and evil."

Next Week (if no World Series!): Jake catches Jane stalking! Lip Lass causes trouble with Amanda and Peter! The sex-staved Michael goes at it with the blonde jogger! See, healthy living can be fun!

--Ken Hart

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