As is increasingly the case these days with Fox, its promos for this show -- hinting at some counterstrike by Amanda -- had nothing to do with the episode itself. There is a big revelation, but we'll laugh at that one ... I mean, we'll talk about it later on.
Since Fox stitched together two episodes -- with different writers and directors -- the credits featured a rarity: the episode titles! This hour was directed by Anson Williams. He's such a Potsie! And hey, that sounded like a tune from one of my 1980's BritPop faves, Kim Wilde, over the episode credits. (Yes, I'm old. Bite me.) Late Correction: I've just been told that was Ace of Base. I feel unclean.
The Matt Slot goes to ... Billy, who complains about parking space and smirks at the camera.
Michael then heads straight to the home of Megan the jogger. In typical Michael fashion, he's already obsessed. Megan, who is in the process of leaving, reminds him, "Hey, we're not dating. It's just sex. Possibly tremendous sex, but we must deprive our viewers of the good stuff. Instead, they have to settle for Dennis Franz's butt on 'N.Y.P.D Blue.'" "Nyaaaah!"
Later, he sees Kim at the office. She says her therapist has ruled out psychological problems, suggesting her difficulties may be physical in nature. She's happy about this, since it sounds like something easier to treat and less likely to create 23 personalities. The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns arrives, suitcases in hand. He explains his current marital difficulties and says with a smile, "I'm going to stay with my two best friends!" Luke and Laura? (More on this later.)
Michael sees Megan on the beach the next morning, and he wants to know what kind of game she's playing. "Well, my last show was based on the Vampire role-playing game..." He demands that she give him more information about herself. Finally, she says, "Megan Lewis." When Michael mentions his affection for his wife, Megan says, "I'm not your shrink. If you can handle your guilt, that's fine with me. But if you really need psychiatric help right now, Lucy Van Pelt has a therapy stand on the boardwalk. I hear she charges only 10 cents!"
Back home, Michael and Kim are playing Scrabble when the phone rings. Kim picks it up -- it's her therapist, Dr. Frank N. Stein. He tells her, "I've noticed some cranial pressure above your right eye. It could be a malignant plot complication. I've scheduled an MRI in the morning." Oh, so her therapist does X-rays, too! Boy, doctors sure are versatile out in California! Kim puts on the brave face for Michael, saying, "Good news! There's nothing physically wrong with me." "That's great, honey ... hey, why is your temple pulsating? Whoops, gotta go again! I'm addicted to lust...I mean, I got patients at the hospital!" Kim looks at her Scrabble tray: C-O-N-T-R-A-C-T-X-P-I-R-E. "Hmmm, one more E and I'm off the show..."
In the middle of the night, Michael gets up from Megan's bed and begins searching. Her closets and dresser are all empty. "Who are you?" he mumbles. Megan, now awake, advances and drops her robe: "Michael, everything you need to know about me is right here." Sayyyyyy! Let the investigation commence!
Kim undergoes her MRI test. The female technician calls Dr. Stein to the display. "Oh my God!" Stein exclaims. "You're still using a Macintosh?!?"
Later, after another session, Matt says he finds it hard to believe that Dan was once an addict, too. Dan says his father pushed him a lot to drink Pepsi: "I was rebellious, so I turned to Coke." Matt asks, "Has therapy with a person ever led to a more ... personal relationship?" Dan says, "That would be an ethical violation of the doctor/patient relationship. Didn't you ever see 'The Prince of Tides'?" "Well, then, Dr. Hathaway, you're fired!" says Matt, adding that he's very attracted to him. Dan smiles.
Jane leaves her apartment and Jake tries to intercept her. "Stay away!" she yells. Oh, yeah -- there's that ridiculous restraining order that keeps Jake a certain distance away even though he lives only a dozen yards from Jane's place. When Jane rushes off, Alison vents her frustration to Jake. He says, "I can handle this. Trust me, OK?" Of course we trust you, Jake, just like you've successfully handled every other relationship in your life. Shelly Hanson, anyone?
Musical chairs continue in the courtyard. Sydney is at her door when Kyle spots her and tells her the "Samuel Kirov" paintings are a big hit at the restaurant. "Everybody loves them, except for the old lady who stared at one and had an epileptic seizure. Can we get more?" "Sure," says Syd, who then lapses into a soft-focus daydream where Kyle passionately kisses her! (Rob Estes is married to Josie Bissett, who plays Syd's sister... hmmm, this is some weird incest thing, isn't it?)
As Amanda is driving to work, Peter calls her. It's a bad connection, but Peter -- ever the optimist -- is wondering if their marriage is indeed doomed to failure. He wants some time to think this over. Amanda apologizes for what she said and wants to discuss this further, but neither of them can hear each other very well over the static. Peter says, "I'm going to stay at Michael and Kimberly's." "Huh? What? You're going to hang with En Vogue and Dr. Dre?" They hang up -- then wait for the other one to call back! When nothing happens, they turn away from their respective phones in anger.
Jake arranges to meet Sydney at Kyle's, her new "favorite" place. Kyle shows up, and a swooning Syd introduces him to Jake. But Jake reminds her that he came here to talk about The Jane Situation. Syd seriously says that Jane went through a lot of Bad Stuff. She tells him to stay out of it and away from Jane: "I can handle it." Oh great, another one who can "handle" it!
That night, Peter is back at Kyle's, where Cook Boy is pouring shots for the two of them. "A toast to USA Network, the sacred home of bad actors!" Taylor the Lip Lass perks up when The Bizarre One says he just moved out. At that point, though, Amanda shows up and Lip Lass slinks away. Amanda tells a stubborn Peter, "I hate fighting on the telephone. I much prefer slicing up my enemies face to face." She says, "I love you." When this fails to move him, she asks, "What else would you have me do?" "Why don't you try begging?" Oooooo! Amanda stares for a moment, then says she must be mistaken: "The man I married wasn't a jerk." Peter says, "Well, then, who did you marry? Oh wait -- that was an insult! HEY! Damn, she's gone!"
The Pool Boy is at it again! In the morning, Alison is restless in bed: "I can't sleep." Jake says, "Gee, I slept like a log, Alison. Tell me the story of Central Park West every night -- it knocks me right out!" She's very anxious about The Jane Situation, but Jake mumbles, "It'll burn itself out." He makes plenty of excuses, but the bottom line is that he's not doing anything, which doesn't sit well with Alison.
A lonely Syd gripes about her recent lack of dating to Samantha, of all people. "All the cute ones are taken: cute and gay, cute and crazy, cute and married..." Sam tells her about a friend of a friend who is cute and rich! Syd's eyes light up. "What the heck?" and she agrees to be set up on a blind date.
Evil Boss Arthur Fields addresses the non-speaking members of D&D, informing them that "Amanda has been distracted" and he demands change for the better. As they leave, Amanda is furious that Arthur would embarrass her like that in front of her lowly underpaid minions. Craig walks over and presents her with tickets for the two of them to San Francisco -- right now! Surprise! Arthur tells her he wants her and Craig to handle an important pitch. As always, Melrosian timing is impeccable: Peter wanders in with a bouquet of roses. He wants to apologize. Under the steady gaze of Arthur, Amanda says, "I'm sorry, Peter. I have to go. I'll call you later." As she leaves, a depressed Bizarre One drops the flowers in the trash.
Back at Jake's pad, the phone rings. Alison angrily picks it up and says, "Damn it, Jane, I know it's you! Say something! It's either you or a D&D board member!" She hangs up, then turns on Jake, who again says he won't act. The phone rings once more, but this time Jake, The Master of Communication, yanks it out of the wall. As Jake leaves, Alison follow him out, pleading, "Look what this is doing to our improbable relationship!" Jake keeps walking, while Bad Jane closes her venetian blinds.
In San Francisco, Craig gives Amanda his suggestion for the pitch meeting in the morning. He wants to go for a youth-oriented approach, with lots of pretty balloons and clowns. When he tells her that he doesn't think she's listening to him, she counters, "I listen to every word you say, Craig. I know what you and your father are up to. You wanna work with me, play it straight, slave! Bring the bridle and riding crop to my room in two hours!"
Much later that night, Amanda calls the beach house. A groggy Michael answers and Amanda asks to speak to Peter. Michael staggers over toward the living room couch -- but it is Bizarrely empty! Once again showing the occasional Nice Guy flash, Michael fakes it. He tells Amanda that he gave Peter some sedatives and that he's out cold on the couch. He says, "Give him some time, Amanda. It'll work out. Look how successful me and Kimberly are!"
Meanwhile, Peter is staggering into the McBride's apartment after another late night at the restaurant, accompanied by Cook Boy and Lip Lass. He's quite sloshed. "Hey, this isn't my apartment!" As Kyle retires, Taylor gets Peter set up on the couch. As soon as he hits the cushions, he's out cold. She then caresses his face and kisses him! Watch it with those lips! You'll suck the life right out of him! Peter is still unconscious. She whispers, "Oh, Peter. I've missed you so much. So, so much." Hmmmm....
Alison goes to Jane's shop in a futile attempt to talk. When Alison tells her it's time to let go of Jake, Jane yells, "Get out! Get out! He's mine! MINE!! MUAHAHAHAHA!" Alison leaves and Samantha walks over to Jane: "Is everything all right, Jane?" "Yes, Sam. I'm sorry about that -- sometimes my character is written badly."
Returning to L.A., Amanda goes to Kyle's and says she wants to reserve the restaurant for a special party -- just her and Peter. Kyle thinks it's a great idea! When Amanda asks how much it would cost, he says $1,200. "Oh no," says Taylor, "more like $2,500." Amanda, without batting an eye, whips out the plastic! She sticks out her tongue victoriously at Taylor. Lip Lass is foiled!
Sydney prepares for her blind date. "Please don't let him be a jerk." She answers the doorbell to see a surprisingly good-looking guy named Ben. Billy calls from below, "Daaaah, hey, who's got da Mazaritt ... uh, Mizaratti ... uh, fancy car out front?" "Oh, that would be me," says Ben. "Well, yer blockin' me in. Gaaaah! That's it for me this hour!" Syd asks Ben, "Lemme guess. Red?" "Is there any other color?" Geez, this sounds like that Nissan ad with G.I. Joe and Barbie!
Peter enters Kyle's for his nightly binge and is surprised to see just one table with Amanda in front of the fireplace. The Bizarre One is shocked! Cook Boy quickly wheels out their food and departs. Amanda says, "I wanted to find a way to start over. I can't take another night without you next to me. Guido the Inflatable Man just doesn't cut it." Obviously touched, Peter follows the Gomez Addams Guide to Romance as he kisses her hand, then works his way up to the vitals.
Ben and Sydney return from their date. She says she had a great time and invites him in for a nightcap. "Sure," says Ben. As Syd opens a bottle of wine, Ben excuses himself for a minute -- and returns naked! Syd Gapes! "Out! Get out!" Ben doesn't think she's serious, but changes his mind when Syd lunges at him with utensils. He runs out, grabbing a throw pillow to cover his privates! "Hey!" yells Syd. "That's my pillow!!" The guy rushes away, probably to a guest appearance on 90210. Kyle sees this tableau unfold, and as Syd sighs over her spoiled date, Kyle hands her the flowers he was carrying. "I think you need these more than Taylor. Hang in there, Syd. I bet the right guy is right under your nose." Syd is thoughtful!
The next day, Sydney tells Sam, "I'm not gonna date anymore. If you can't have the man that you want, what's the point of settling for anything less?" Sam asks, "Who are you talking about?" "Oh! Ah, nobody!"
At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Jake and Alison continue to wrestle over The Jane Situation. It turns out that Alison has now gotten the cops involved to investigate. Jake is mad. Billy catches some of this conversation and walks over to where Sam is sitting. "Daah, trouble in paradise," he says with a smirk. Sam is angry that he's enjoying the situation and tells him to get his emotions settled. She walks out. Andrew Shue stares unblinking. (Subtitle: Billy thinks, "Hmmm, perhaps Samantha is right. Perhaps I have been behaving in a rude, boorish manner. Yes, I do need to reexamine my values.")
Back at Kyle's, Sydney sees Cook Boy in a frantic state. It's a busy night, and his wife is a mysterious no-show. Sydney offers to help out! "I'm great with poisons...I mean, spices!" He accepts, and Syd grabs an apron.
Meanwhile, The Bizarre One is leaving the office at night. Before he gets to his car, however, he's intercepted by Lip Lass. All pretense is dropped now, and she talks about how Destiny has brought them together. "That's not Destiny," says Peter. "That's just weird." When he shrugs her off and says, "I love my wife," she replies, "Which wife: Amanda or Beth?" Stunned, Peter turns. She says, "You still don't recognize me, do you? I'm Victoria -- Victoria Taylor Davis!" Peter gasps, "Vicky?! Beth's little sister??" Apparently, she had braces and pigtails back then, which is why Peter didn't recognize his own sister-in-law from years ago. Yeah, right! I don't think so!
She talks about how "surprised" she was to find that she and Kyle had moved next door to him! She says, "This is all just a Bizarre coincidence." [I swear I nearly died from convulsions when she said that!] When Peter asks why she hadn't said anything until now, she says, "I have a whole new life now with Cook Boy. I didn't know what to say." But she does strongly suggest they keep this a secret. She says that, when she was younger, "my brother-in-law was the first man I've ever loved" (uh oh) and Kyle can get so jealous, the big silly. "Remember our little secret," she says to the speechless Bizarre One, as she kisses him on the cheek!
Next Week: How about next hour! How about five minutes from now! Go to the recap for the second hour.