Episode 10: Nice Work If You Can Get It


The plotlines are starting to reach critical mass this season! Lots of things going on, in both the romantic and business circles. And once again we learn the valuable lesson: Never find out your blood type on a soap opera. Immediately following this episode on Fox was "Cheating Death": the true story of the UPN network!

The Matt Slot goes to ... Jake and Alison! Now that Billy and Jane are both ignoring them, they no longer have anything to do!

Jane, Jake, and Alison:

Chicago! Chicago! Jane returns to the Andrews home, where she's greeted by The White Shadow (Ken Howard) and his wife. (MP deserves credit for always trying to get the same actors back for these guest shots, even if they only pop up once every two years or so.) Mom and Dad are extremely happy to see her. Jane says, "I just want to rest. It's been a long trip from the other side of the studio lot."

She goes into her room, still filled with dolls. (Uh oh, no more Alison childhood flashbacks, please.) Mom follows her in and says that Sydney had called to tell them that Jane had been going through a rough time. As Jane says, you know things are bad when Syd is worried! "Mom, my life is so ... oh, I just want to start over!" "Your life?" "No, this scene! I blew my line!" Mom tells her, "Your dad and I are here for you always." Jane, noticing that her mother seems pale, asks how she is. Mom says, "Oh, I'm just going to have some minor surgery. I'm having my gall bladder removed." "Gee, Mom, I'm glad it's nothing serious. After all, it's only one of your internal organs." Mom says she hopes Jane can help out while she's in the hospital. "Your father's a disaster in the kitchen, but he's great on the basketball court."

The next day, Jane goes with her mom to the hospital. When Mom walks off, Jane asks the doctor how serious the operation is. He tells her, "Well, no operation should be taken lightly, especially on television." He says Mom has a rare blood type and asks Jane if she would consider donating. "Of course, Doctor. I'd be happy to donate, especially for the sake of the impending plot twist. How much would you like me to give to The Jimmy Fund?" A nurse calls up the Andrews files, and Jane admits she has no idea what her blood type is. What? With all the explosions and health hazards on this show, knowing your blood type should be mandatory! "Well, your mother is AB negative, your dad is A positive ... hmmm, your blood type is O positive. It must be a clerical error." No, it must be the mailman! Mom, hearing what Jane was planning, rushes out in a near-panic. "It was so complicated back then ... Woodstock, Vietnam, Laugh-In. We meant to tell you." "What?" says a worried Jane. "We adopted you."

Jane sits in her parents' yard, playing with the leaves. Her dad approaches. "This is still your home, Jane. And we're still your parents. And adoption was one of the few soap-opera cliches left." He explains that he and her mom didn't think they could have kids originally, so they adopted Jane. However, Sydney is their natural daughter! Oh, the humiliation! "That's why we didn't tell you," says Dad. "We didn't want you to feel different. We never treated either of you differently, even though I did commit Sydney to a sanitarium." Boy, I bet Jane ("I'm just not sure who I am anymore") is really glad she came to visit her folks! When Jane asks about her biological parents, Dad says he only knows that her mother was alone. Jane needs to think about this. (The weird Melrosian angle: We will soon discover that because of a rip in time, Jane is actually the daughter of Jo Reynolds!)

Now curious about her real mother's identity, Jane visits the Our Lady of Twisted Family Ties Orphanage. The nun finds Jane's record with her birthdate (memorize this, trivia fans!) -- March 24, 1969 -- but she never received a first name. Her mother was Sherry Larson, who was last reported to be living in Los Angeles! Jane exclaims, "What an amazing, highly unlikely coincidence! I'm from Los Angeles!" The nun gives Jane the exact address, but cautions her that Sherry is probably no longer living there. Hey, Jane, I'll tell you where your mom is living: Knots Landing!

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Jake hands Alison a document. It's a deed: "You're officially half-owner of Shooter's," says Jake. "We split the profits, but I keep my Love Desk." Alison, who seems to be taking Billy lessons lately, stares blankly. Jake figures this is the best thing for her: She'll be more than a waitress and less than a D&D drone. Alison finally says, "You don't actually think you can make this kind of decision for me, do you?" Although she does enjoy working at Shooter's, she hadn't planned on making it her life's work! Jake, obviously dejected, says he'll tell his lawyer to switch it back.

Kimberly, Michael, and Megan:

Michael goes to Megan's place and presents her with new ATM cards, a cellular phone, and a pair of 50%-off tickets to "Jingle All The Way." Wow, it's not bad being a mistress! She's concerned that he's trying to control too much of her life, but he says he simply wants to take care of her. At they kiss, Kimberly barges in! She puts on a good show, pretending to be shocked! Shocked! "I will never stop hating you, Michael!" She storms out, and Megan is also in on the act, asking Michael, "I take it that was your wife?"

He crawls back to the beach house, but he's surprised that Kim isn't throwing knives at him. She does act angrily and says his infidelity makes it easier for her to tell him the truth: She doesn't love him anymore. He doesn't believe her! "Look me in the eyes and say that!" She does! The brain tumor makes her a better liar! Michael stalks out, yelling, "That was the right thing I did, having an affair! The right thing!" Michael, Michael, Michael.... Kim crumbles in tears once he leaves. Hey, shouldn't her head be getting pretty lumpy soon?

Later, Kim asks Megan to come to her place and tells her that her will leaves everything to Michael, so Megan will get half of that once they're married, "except for the Partridge Family albums. I'm taking those with me to the grave!" "Wait a second!" exclaims Megan. "Who said anything about marriage?" Megan says she can't live with the lies and she worries that she'll never be certain Michael truly loves her if he doesn't know the truth about Kimberly. (Huh? What? You’re going to tell Michael that Kim is dying so that he can bare his true love for you? We got problems with this plan, girl!) She heads back to her place, with Kim in pursuit!

Megan rushes in and says to Michael, "I need to tell you something..." Then Kimberly rushes in! "I need to tell you something ... I want a divorce!" Then Jackie Joyner-Kersee rushes in! "I need to tell you something ... I gotta use your bathroom!" Kim tells Michael that she did truly love him, but it's not working. "Let's break the circle." She asks him not to contest the divorce, and he somewhat sadly agrees. Kimberly walks out, and Megan calmly tells him to chase after her. Michael says he and Kimberly just weren't meant to be, adding that Megan's sudden appearance seemed like fate. "This just leaves me free to love you. Do you have any Partridge Family albums?"

Matt and Dan:

At Dan's spacious house, he and Matt walk into the kitchen, buttoning their shirts, which is TV shorthand for "We had sex!" Dan officially says they're an item now, and he invites Matt to a black-tie affair at the hospital. When Matt comments that he'll have to get a tux, Dan pulls one out of the closet! Matt tells him, "Play your cards right, and you won't have to go anywhere stag again." Dan pulls a deer out of the closet!

At night, a tuxedo-clad Dan and Matt are driving toward this shindig, and Matt says, "I have early rounds in the morning. How about we stay at my place? " Dan, though polite, is obviously not keen on this at all: "My place may be a little further out, but it's bigger, more comfortable, and has a jungle gym!" Matt is surprised by Dan's stand (especially since Dan has never been inside Matt's place!), but decides not to make a big deal about it -- for now.

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

Taylor and Kyle are frolicking in bed -- well, he's frolicking. She's just lying there with her lips sticking out. When Cook Boy comments, she says, "It's hard to make love to somebody who doesn't respect you." Kyle says he brought her into "adulthood," to which Lip Lass says, "I'm my own person -- you didn't create me!" "Well, somebody sure did! You ain't natural!" She again gets in the obligatory dig about his past infidelity (as though the writers are afraid we'll forget!).

Amanda, wearing a very atypical black suit, greets her hubby, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, in the courtyard. He unenthusiastically tells her he's angling for the Chief Surgeon position, even though he was supposed to deliver a letter praising Michael's qualifications for the job. Amanda, the modern successor to Machiavelli, tells him, "If that is guilt I see in your face, wipe it off! Michael is hardly leadership material." She leaves for a staff meeting at D&D, and Peter sees Taylor descend the stairs. They trade a long look -- as Cook Boy peers through the all-seeing venetian blinds!

In the Dumb & Dumber conference room, Amanda sits down next to Billy and the non-speaking minions. Billy tells her that Fields Junior actually called this meeting! "What?! My slave did this?!?" Almost before she can react, Craig enters and tells the group that he now controls D&D! Furthermore, he "asks" them not to communicate with his father Arthur anymore. He wants to bring a more "youth-oriented" attitude toward the company, and he's appointing Tori Spelling as vice president of reception. When the minions leave, he turns to Amanda and Billy: "As the only staff members with any dialogue, I'm going to rely on you heavily." Billy tells Amanda, "Daaah, you realize dis guy is going to turn into a monster, don't you?" "He already is one!"

Back at Melrose Place, Billy walks into Samantha's apartment, which -- like Seinfeld's -- is conveniently open. Sam is nearly finished with her latest work: a painting of the Melrose Place courtyard. "What do you think?" she asks Billy. Brace yourselves! "Well, daah, the colors are nice..." Sam's jaw drops. Craig also enters, with flowers and a bottle of champagne, no less! He says, "Great composition, almost too bright of an image, suggesting a facade covering something darker..." Sam says, "Yes, that's what I was thinking!" Billy rolls his eyes and stares. (Subtitle: Billy is annoyed by Craig's superior knowledge of artistic technique. He feels emasculated and weak, and he attempts to hide his shame by mocking Craig's smugness.) Billy leaves, and Craig apologizes to Sam for his snake-like behavior the other night. She accepts, and he says he would love to hang the painting in his office. She gives it to him! Craig's eyes say, "Hey, I'm on a roll...!"

As Cook Boy returns home, Sydney tells him that the latest "Kirov" paintings should soon be ready. He gives her an appreciative stare as she goes down the steps. He walks into his pad to find Taylor ignoring him, thumbing through Revlon's Almanac of Lip Gloss, Volumes 1 through 23. Again, she puts him on the defensive about his attitude -- weenie!! He recovers, though, and admits his own failings when he had an affair. He talks about how some people have chemistry, and that chemistry can create dangerous energy! "That sounds nutty, Kyle. Where did you learn that?" "Beekman's World." He suggests that she learn from his mistakes, and he politely asks her to keep her distance from The Bizarre One. "I promise," she says.

Evil former CEO Arthur Fields asks Amanda to visit him. He poo-poos Craig's power grab as a temporary thing. He says Craig is too young to handle it, and he asks Amanda to keep Craig reined in so that D&D will survive after he inevitably flops -- with a substantial cash bonus for her, of course. Amanda says, "You're suggesting that I help you after you and your son plotted to kick me out of D&D? For the record, I'm offended." However, off the record, she agrees to help -- as long as she gets Craig's position once he's out. "I miss my slave."

Amanda visits the hospital. She knows Peter was worried about his first surgery since coming back. He tells her it went off without a hitch. "It's like getting back on a bicycle." At that point, a nurse runs up: "Dr. Burns! Your patient -- she flatlined 10 minutes ago! Somehow a bicycle wheel got stuck in her intestines!" Peter and Amanda sag.

Later, Amanda and Billy walk into Amanda's office -- that is, her EX-office! Craig is taking it over, and he's had Amanda's stuff moved to another window office. He even puts up Sam's painting, which he says was painted by "my girlfriend." Billy smirks -- "Gaah, girlfriend?" Amanda is very calm, however, wisely realizing this is not the right time to strike.

Taylor carries a laundry basket into the courtyard, where she sees a depressed Peter sucking on beers. "I lost a patient today." The hospital says it wasn't his fault, but he can't help but think of his former wife, Taylor's sister. Lip Lass touches his hand and offers to make him a sandwich for dinner. "OK, but if you've been handling Cook Boy's laundry, wash your hands first." She escorts the staggering Bizarre One back to his place, as a stunned Kyle walks into the courtyard and sees this. (You know, Sydney or someone should plant a hidden camera in the courtyard. They would get so much dirt!)

Taylor returns home sometime later. Cook Boy sits there morosely, staring at the laundry basket! She says, "Oh, I forgot all about it when I went to the store..." Not so fast! He tells her what he saw. She defends herself by telling him about Peter's bad day, but that's not good enough. "If your promises don't mean anything," he says, "then why should mine?"

The next morning, Peter is on the phone in a futile attempt to find Michael. He's got another operation scheduled today, and he wants Michael to cover for him. "Only George Clooney is available -- screw him! Why is he on the cover of Vanity Fair and not me?" Amanda calmly tells him to get over it: "You'll get on a magazine cover someday, Peter." "Sure, you can say that!" Amanda warns him not to take his anger out on her.

Billy sees Samantha and tells her about the painting in Craig's office. She's surprised and delighted. When Billy mentions the "girlfriend" line, she's surprised by that, too, but adds that it's none of Billy's business. Billy feebly says, "I like yer painting."

At the hospital, The Bizarre One dons gloves, surgical mask, and garters as he prepares to operate. Matt is in the room, too, as part of his training. He tells Peter: "I'm eager to see your technique, Doctor. I've heard you're one of the best." "Matt, are you coming on to me?" The nurse holds out the scalpel for Peter to take, but he freezes! He bolts out of the room, gasping for breath.

At an empty Kyle's late at night, Sydney presents Cook Boy with the latest "Kirov" painting. (Assuming this is after closing, why is Syd delivering paintings at 1 a.m.?) He tells her he's alone and here for the night, but he doesn't want to talk about his troubles. As Syd positions the painting on the wall, he continues to stare at her. Syd murmurs about art as Kyle fondles her hair -- then he goes in for the kiss! Huzzah!

Next Week: Craig gets smooth with Amanda on the dance floor! The Bizarre One doesn't like it! Taylor chats with Peter! Cook Boy doesn't like it!

--Ken Hart

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