Episode 8: Mission Interpersonal


A couple of interesting plot twists tonight, especially with Kimberly, which really knocked me for a loop.

The Matt Slot for the second hour goes to ... Billy again! His brief cameos are all the more enjoyable for their complete lack of meaning. In fact, let's start there.

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

In the courtyard, Billy shrugs off Alison's plea for help with The Jane Situation. "But Billeeee, Jane's gone loopy. Ever since the bad haircut last year, she hasn't been the same." He's dropping off garbage bags at the Melrose Compost Dump (they have garbage in Melrose Place?! Wow!) where Samantha is scrounging for plastic bottles. "Daah, I'm sorry," he says. "You were right -- I needed to sort my emotions. I had ta find them first! Can we just try to be friends?" Sam agrees with a not-too-enthusiastic "Sure."

The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns is on the phone, trying to get extensions on some loans -- but he's also watching the bikini-clad Lip Lass in The Pool. "Yes, I'd like to see if we can re-negotiate that thong...interest rate! I meant interest rate!" Amanda is about to run off to Portland for another pitch, but she tells Peter they're going to get their first joint credit cards! Awwww! He's a little mopey because she's been paying most of the bills since they got married.

She goes to Dumb & Dumber to take care of some last-minute things, but Craig tells her he's already planning a little side trip for the two of them to some romantic spot in Portland. Amanda shoots him down fast! "You're not going to Portland, slave! Lick my boots! And squirm while you're doing it!" Angry, she gives him and Billy orders to translate the entire text of the Koran into an HTML document with animated beheadings. "Get Quentin Tarantino involved! Now!"

Later, Craig arrives at Melrose Place looking for Billy. Instead, he knocks on Samantha's door. She answers, and points out the door with the big dent at head level: "That's Billy's place!" Intrigued, Craig impetuously asks her to come with him to see the Gypsy Kings tomorrow night. "Ahhh, I don't know..." He gives her his card and goes to meet Billy.

Sydney drops by Kyle's restaurant again, and Kyle makes her increasingly at home in the kitchens. He says Taylor is strangely feeling under the weather. "All the smog out here makes her lips swell." "Oh my God," says Syd. "They might have a gravitational effect on the San Andreas Fault!" In a chatty mood, Kyle says he and Taylor had problems in the past, and he admits that he cheated on her with one of their waitresses a while back. Syd the Sage says, "Temptation is like dandruff. It's always there, you just don't know it." "Syd, you are California Incarnate!" "You mean, like totally hip?" "No, totally spaced out!" Well, Syd isn't from California, but let's not interrupt this scene with facts.

While Peter is at home, his newly found sister-in-law Lip Lass brings over dinner -- and his old wedding album. The Bizarre One is visibly moved. The phone rings -- it's Amanda, in a sultry mood. He hems and haws a bit, and says he's just waiting for the pizza guy to show up. She wants Peter to talk dirty to her! He says nothing of Taylor's presence and starts muttering, "Okay...I take some mud and I massage it into your hair..." "Oooooo!!" "Then...whoops...the pizza guy is here!" "All right. Call me back -- I'll start without you." Peter hangs up the phone, then becomes furious at himself! "I can't believe I lied to her! You were just here talking! There wasn't anything going on! I AM a weenie! I am!" Taylor excuses herself, but smiles evilly.

The next day, Taylor follows Peter to the mall, where he is checking out engagement rings for Amanda. She walks up to him, pretending this is another "coincidence." Taylor checks out what is obviously the most expensive ring, but it's way beyond what Peter can afford, and he walks away. She says, "It's OK. Of course, you can never buy your second wife as good a ring as your first." Ouch!

Craig and Samantha come back from their date. Sam is happy: "It was so ... normal!" They agree to meet again, and she gives him a chaste kiss goodnight. Craig then walks over to a peeved Billy, but he tells Billy, "Hey, you said you went out with her a couple of times and it was no big deal, right?" He sees the work that Billy's done: "Wow! I really like the 3-D virtual Mecca you built for this project. Amanda is going to love the work we did!" "We?" asks Billy. He warns Craig not to try to take any credit for this. Craig replies, "I think it's jealousy." He leaves, while Billy stands and smirks. (Subtitle: Billy is irked by Craig's egotistical manner, while denying that he may indeed be jealous of Craig's intentions toward Samantha.)

Syd shows up at Kyle's and tells Taylor that there'll be a delay with the next "Kirov" painting. Taylor shrugs and says that's Kyle's business. Unfortunately, Syd almost blurts out her own affection for Cook Boy, then digs herself a bigger hole by letting it slip that Kyle told her about his earlier infidelity! Shut up, Syd! Lip Lass Gapes! Syd ducks out as Peter arrives -- but she turns around in time to see Peter showing off the expensive ring to a happy Taylor. Syd's gossip antennae is alerted!

Amanda returns home that night, utterly exhausted from her trip. Before she even can hit the shower, Peter presents her with the engagement ring. Amanda is floored, but immediately she says they can't afford this. Peter says, "Ahh, what's a little more in debt?" (Yeah, I say that all the time, too.) She bluntly says it's not necessary -- she has a wedding ring! She instructs him to take it back. "Yeah, fine," says a dejected Bizarre One. "I'll do it right now. Trudge trudge trudge. Mope mope mope." Amanda realizes she may have gone a bit overboard. "Screw it! I'm taking a shower!"

Matt and Dan:

At the hospital, Matt introduces Dan to Michael and tells him that he's passed all of his mid-terms. After Michael leaves, Dan gives Matt the name of his new doctor, Beverly Hollis. When Matt says he's hoping they can start a relationship, Dan suggests, "Let's wait a bit longer. We need to stretch this plot out -- I really want the TV exposure."

Later, Matt gets a visitor at the hospital: Dan! He says he did something he's never done before. "Climb Mount Everest?" No! He took the day off, just to see Matt. Another awwwww! He hears from Beverly that Matt's sessions are going very well. (Gee, that was fast! How long has it been? A day?) He says Matt is very special, and Matt touches his cheek. Dan is happy: "That's just how the monkey touched me years ago on TV."

Jane, Jake, and Alison:

Jake goes to Jane's boutique and says they need to resolve this. He asks her to meet him at The Shores restaurant tomorrow night at 8 p.m. They meet as planned outside the restaurant, but Jane immediately tries to get romantic. A surprised Jake says, "Did you think we were going to get back together?!" "Well, I thought you had come to your senses and realized your mistake." "I didn't make any mistake!" He says, "I don't love you anymore. I love Alison. We didn't plan for it to happen, but it did." Jane refuses to accept this! She screams, "You raped me! You raped me, Richard! You monster! You Fashion Zombie!" She slumps against the outside wall, exhausted and sobbing. Jake, caught off-guard by this outburst, tries to console her.

The next morning, the three are leaving the police station. A much calmer Jane has dropped the restraining order and admitted she was the one doing the stalking. She says she was just taking out her inner hatred toward Richard out on them. She tells Alison, "I wish the best for you and Jake. Bitch." "What?!?" "I said 'dish.' Jake's a dish, isn't he?" As they walk in separate directions, Jake says to Alison, "It's over." Alison isn't totally convinced yet.

Michael, Kimberly, and Megan:

Michael and Megan wake up in bed in the morning. A beeper goes off; he thinks it's his, but it's actually Megan's. He jumps up, eager to find out what she does for a living and why there are no furnishings or clothes in the house and why her refrigerator has less food than mine. She won't answer and asks him to just be satisfied with what they have. She gets in her car and speeds away, but Michael memorizes the license plate.

Kimberly gets the results of the MRI from Dr. Stein. Not Good. There's a large mass about 5 centimeters in width above her right eye. It's malignant and inoperable. Says Dr. Stein, "It's as bad as it gets. Don't you love my bedside manner?" He gives her 3 months to live, tops. Oh, man! She still has to spend money on Christmas gifts! He asks her if she would like him to tell Michael, but she says she'll do it. She walks into the hospital hallway, stunned, just as Michael is rounding the corner. She simply tells him that she's here to run errands for The Bizarre One.

She ends up in a church, asking "Why is this happening? Can't the writers find anything for me to do now that I'm sane?" A priest walks over, and Kimberly tells him everything. "I'm so scared," she says. "It's the unknown, I guess. I don't know for certain that I'll be able to find steady work after I leave the show." She doesn't want to tell Michael, because "he'll look at me differently." "Don't give up," the priest says. "God is a lot more powerful than any doctor." "Yes, but he's not as powerful as Aaron Spelling, and that's what counts."

Michael tracks Megan down to her real home -- big, snazzy digs, with a piano! She's not happy when she sees him. He says the smart thing would have been for him to walk away, "but I'm so incredibly attracted to you." "No, you're attracted to a great mystery. Come here, my little Hardy Boy!"

Later, since she still won't tell him what she does for a living, Michael follows her car. She walks into an expensive home, and Michael follows along outside the house. When he hears slapping, he runs in to see Megan being beaten by a Fox vice-president. Michael whacks the guy unconscious: "You can't even fight back because you got no dialogue, buddy! Ha!" Megan pulls him from the home. The truth: She's a high-class hooker! It was different with Michael: "It was for pleasure without money." She tells him to leave before the Inside Edition crew turns up.

Back at the beach house, Kim wants to talk to Michael. She says, "I'm better ... sexually, that is." Michael replies he wasn't prepared to act on such info. "I need to time to ... absorb it. But this is great news, great news!" He heads off again.

Returning to Megan's house, he tells her that he can't get her out of his head. Megan tries to convince him that he's better off without her, but he replies with a terrific line: "I've had a lot of experience with women who have ... strayed from the norm." She gives him the Cliff Notes version of how she became a call girl. "I had an abusive father, Mom was a TV ad executive..." Michael gives her a consoling hug -- just as Kimberly is peering through the window! Huh? Michael leaves, and Kimberly quickly walks in a moment later. Instead of attacking Megan (as I expected), Kimberly says, "What was he doing here? Does he know?" "No," says Megan. "He doesn't know." Huh? What? Wow, this show can still surprise! Cool!

Next Week: Megan and Kimberly discuss their "business arrangement." Amanda tells Peter that if he has any secrets, he'd better fess up now!

--Ken Hart

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