Episode 14: The Accidental Doctor


Happy New Year! A couple of the plotlines are finally starting to pay off, and ... is it me, or is Chad Lowe just bad? In keeping with the new TV rating guidelines, this episode is rated "TV S-7": Skirts smaller than 7 inches, parental guidance rejected.

The Matt Slot goes to ... Alison and Jake again! I swear, if this happens next week, the Slot is being renamed!

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

Well, even though it's only the morning after the last episode (and three weeks for us), all the Christmas decorations have disappeared from Melrose Place! Amazing! What, didn't they even have a New Year's Eve party? Amanda walks across the courtyard and hands a sleepy-eyed Michael a box full of Peter's stuff (as Lip Lass watches from above). Amanda tells him she's kicked Peter out. Michael says, "I don't wanna be the go-between, but I hate to see you two break up." Amanda doesn't believe Michael's concern springs from the heart, and she's right: He needs his partner if their medical practice is to survive, and this doesn't help matters. Amanda thinks the situation with Peter is hopeless, and when Michael asks, "What do I tell him?" she replies, "Tell him to go to hell." Walking back, she calls out, "Did you get all that, Taylor? I saw your lips protruding over the balcony."

At his office, Michael sees The Bizarre Golfer Peter Burns and relays Amanda's message. Noting that Amanda only handed over a box of Peter's things, Michael says, "Hey, it's not everything! There's still a chance!" "What are you talking about, Mancini? Amanda's kept all my hair care products and golf shirts!" Michael points out that since Peter's medical "freeze," their business has gone down the tubes. "All our equipment has been repossessed, and Spelling's about to use our set for 'Sunset Beach'! Get your act together!"

Taylor and Kyle are making preparations for his birthday party at the restaurant. He points out, "Hey, everyone in the cast is invited except for Amanda and Peter. You even invited the characters I never see, like Jake and Matt! Why not them?" She pooh-poohs it, saying it would be awkward now that they've split. But he says, "We're responsible for at least half of their problems," and he wants to help them out. When she protests, he says, "I don't think your flirting with The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns is such a coincidence." Ah, so he's finally catching on! She pouts (duck!) and walks off, telling him to invite them if he wants, "but they won't come." He says to himself, "Oh, they'll come..."

At Dumb & Dumber, Craig walks into Amanda's dinky office and suggests they talk about the regrettable incident with Peter -- over dinner, naturally. She doesn't want to discuss it, but he utters a really bad line: "Underneath that iron facade, you're hurting like a little girl." Ewww! She says, "Get out, ex-slave! No D&D subplots for you this week!"

Well, before you know, it's Kyle's birthday party! Amanda nurses a drink while standing near the oh-so-cute Jake and Alison: "It must be nice to be so damned happy." Jake says, "Yep, we're so happy that we don't even get dialogue anymore!" They (but not Amanda) see Peter arrive, and they make a beeline for the food. Bye, kids! Lip Lass intercepts The Bizarre One and says, "Oh, Kyle had some silly idea about getting you two together." He dumps her and heads right for Amanda -- Taylor is not pleased! He apologizes profusely to Amanda for his silly actions, but she doesn't want to talk to him and she starts to leave. Peter says, "Okay, then. I'll wait." She pauses, and he continues, "Forever if I have to. I'll even do 'Melrose Place: The Next Generation.'" She still leaves, but there's now the slight hope of reconciliation, right? Not if Lip Lass gets involved!

The next morning, she evilly leaves a message on Peter's answering machine: "Peter, it's Taylor. Last night was special -- no one's ever applied lip gloss the way you did! I'm thinking of you."

Meanwhile, Peter is sitting in a cafe, watching a young couple get all lovey-dovey. He can't bear to watch and says on the way out, "Doesn't last, you know!" As soon as he leaves, there's a car accident right behind him. An elderly woman is unconscious behind the wheel. Her husband comes out of the passenger side and cries out to the gathering crowd, "Call an ambulance! Is there a doctor here? A doctor? How about a golfer?" Peter, freezing momentarily, goes into Rescue 911 mode! He runs over, notices the woman isn't breathing, and gets her out of the car. Her windpipe is crushed. "Does anyone have a knife? I need a knife, hot water, scissors, two nurses, and dramatic background music! NOW!" He performs an emergency tracheotomy and saves the woman's life. Huzzah!

Amanda is at home watching [prepare for shameless plug] "the NFL on Fox!" Craig shows up unexpectedly, wanting to discuss some work issues. Amanda gets distracted by the football game, and Craig admits he's surprised she likes football. "No, I just like watching grown men pound the hell out of each other." He sits down next to her and starts watching the game, too. "OK," she says, "but no eating my chips!" Wow, here was a scene that had nothing to do with any subplot at all!

Matt, Dan, Jake, and Alison:

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), new haircut boy Matt gets his final check from Jake and Alison -- but it's from the account of "Mr. and Mrs. Jake Hanson"! Matt jokes, "Hey, something going on I don't know about?" They laugh it off. [But they never do explain why Jake used this name on the checking account! Weird.] When Matt leaves, Alison teases Jake that maybe he is thinking about marriage, hmmm? All right, so long, you two! Thanks for spending 30 seconds with us!

Later, at Dan's place, a slightly tipsy Matt is drinking wine and playing with a toy gun in the kitchen as Dan arrives. Dan objects to any gun, and Matt just says it's a goofy gift he got for Kyle's party. An increasingly tense Dan says, "Party? What party?" After Matt explains, Dan says, "We're not going. And I don't want you drinking wine. No party, no wine, no Fox 'When Animals Attack' specials!" Matt gets annoyed and says Dan's doing the control thing again. Dan says, "You're drunk." Matt, perhaps pushing things a bit, says, "No, I have the problem with pills. You're the one with the drinking problem." He playfully fires the toy gun and Dan erupts! He punches Matt a couple of times, but Matt jumps up with fists ready! Dan, apparently stunned by his own anger, backs away. "I'm sorry, Matt, I'm sorry..." Next week, we'll learn that he was abused by a toy gun as a child.

Billy, Samantha, and Sydney:

Samantha runs up to Sydney's apartment and demands, "Where the heck is my painting?" Syd confirms that she took it to the other buyer and that "I got exactly what I paid for it." Syd, you liar! You turned a hefty profit! A desperate Sam wants to know when is she going to see any of this money. At that point, the phone rings. It's the disgustingly rich software wizard Carter Gallivan (Chad Lowe), who invites Syd to a Software Association party at his place. (Gee, sounds exciting.) Sam says, "Is this the guy who bought my painting?" "Zip it! I saw him first!" Syd happily accepts the offer and shoos Sam out the door.

As Sam mopes on the stairs, Billy walks over. "Daaah, what's up?" She explains there's a family reunion in Maryland this weekend where she and her relatives will bore each other to death. But she's still $300 short of the airfare. Billy immediately offers to loan her the funds, but they look at each other, and he says, "Naah, dat's not a good idea. Shades of Craig." Lip Lass walks by and invites them to Kyle's birthday party. Billy says, "Well, gaah, if ya don't go to Maryland, you wanna go to the party as my date?" Sam weighs her options: Get $300 or be Billy's date. "Hmmm, I wonder if it's too late to go into prostitution on this show..."

The next day, Sam is struggling to carry paintings out of her apartment, and Billy gives her a hand. She explains these are college paintings she did of her home. As much as she likes them, though, she's going to sell them at the boutique to get the airfare. Billy looks at the pastoral setting, "Daah, it's sweet. Pretty cows. Mooo."

Syd arrives at Carter's estate in her backfiring car. Walking through the crowd of the Rich and Fatuous, she sees Carter, who quickly disentangles himself from a painful conversation. To her surprise, he steers her not toward the food tables but into the huge kitchens, where he suggests they have ... grilled cheese sandwiches! "Yeah," deadpans a disappointed Syd, "who wants caviar who you can have processed cheese?" Carter is enthusiastic, and he asks Syd to make them! Before this culinary delight can begin, however, Carter's assistant summons him back to the party. Syd can see that Carter is upset, but he shrugs it off. They go outside, where a woman announces that the Software Association is rewarding Carter's prolific talent with ... a new car! (Johnny Olsen, tell Carter what else he's won! Well, Ken, Carter's also won a $100 gift certificate at J.C. Penney's and a trip to Puerta Villarta, Mexico!) There's much applause, but Carter's smile is strained. Syd whispers, "They just bought you a new car." "Too bad I don't drive." As soon as the crowd disperses, he says to Syd, "You like it?" "Oh, yeah, it's great!" He hands her the keys: "Keep it."

A day or two later, a clearly hesitant Sydney drives to Carter's place in her new car. She tells him she can't accept it! Amazing -- scruples from Sydney! "It's too extravagant." She's obviously expecting that Carter will want something in return for this (nudge nudge wink wink), but he says he doesn't live like that. That's a change of pace for Sydney! He's trying to resume his phone conversation (probably some multi-billion dollar deal), but Syd wants him to play hooky. Just then, his assistant pops up again, reminding him of a videoconference. Carter reluctantly excuses himself, saying honestly to Sydney, "I'll call you sometime, OK?"

On the night of Kyle's party, Billy is getting ready to leave his place when Sam shows up. "Daaah, I thought you were goin' ta Baltimore." She walks in and starts looking around his pad, saying she learned that her paintings were all bought by one person. "The description of the buyer was cute, brown hair, a blank stare, and a dumb smirk." "Gaaah, really?" Sam opens Billy's closet and finds all of her paintings, plus his Pooh Bear collection. Billy admits he bought them because he knew how much they meant to her. She says, "Who knew that you were such an incredibly thoughtful, sweet, and sexy guy?" "Sexy? Daah! When DAT happen?" "Right now." "Aaah, ah'm not sexy, yer sexy!" They go at it on his bed, where Billy -- the Ambassador of Love -- says things like "You smell good!"

In the morning, Billy is banging ... with a hammer on his apartment walls. Sam wakes up and walks out. He says, "Daah, last night was da best!" "You drool in your sleep." He's going to hang her paintings on every wall of his pad. Awwww!

Jane and her mother, Donna Mills:

At Jane's shop, Sydney is chatting on the phone with her mom back in Chicago, and it's obviously not a joyous conversation. Syd tells Jane, "Mom wants to talk to you. Mom -- our mom." Jane says, "Tell her I'll call her back!" Meanwhile, Sherry (guest star Donna Mills) watches from the office. After Syd hangs up, Sherry says she'll remind Jane to call her mother. A teary and angry Syd loses it: "I see what you're doing! First, you're staying here for the holidays. Then through the January sale. Next thing we know, you'll be staying through the February sweeps! You're just trying to recapture your long-lost Momdom with your lunatic offspring!" Jane yells at Syd to shut up. Syd cries out, "After everything I've done for you, you choose her over me?!" Gee, Syd, is that a serious question? Sherry tells Jane she's sorry she's causing so much conflict. "It's not you, Mom. We always have conflict. It's an essential part of drama."

Later at Jane's place, though, Sherry announces she's leaving. She says Jane has a fine life and doesn't need her messing things up. A distraught Jane says, "You're just looking for excuses to leave me! What do you have to go back to? That life, that crummy apartment, those dumb TV movies of the week!" Realizing that she's said too much, Jane apologizes, but Sherry leaves.

Jane goes to Mom's crummy apartment, but she's not there. Ed, the neighbor whom we met last time, tells Jane she's not at work either. He says he realizes that Jane is her daughter, and he's pretty sure he knows where Sherry is. As they walk along the street, Ed tells Jane that he's known Sherry for years -- they dated on and off -- but she rarely opens up about her past. He says, "She never got over it. She regretted it every day of her life." "What, giving me up as a baby?" "No, leaving 'Knots Landing.'" Jane notices that they've stopped in front of a bar. "She's an alcoholic?" "Sometime she tries to dull the pain." They walk in to see a hilariously boozed-up Donna Mills slumped over the bar. (Donna, babe, trust me: You can do the concerned mother and the evil vixen parts great, but forget the alcoholic stuff, OK? Letís do lunch!) She says to Jane, "I bet it's not what you expected. Hiccup." She accuses Jane of suffocating her -- "That's why there's no one else in yer life. You suffocated them all. Hiccup." Jane thinks, "Well, I did bury Richard alive..." Sherry says, "I'm a loser" and blames herself for everything. "You were scared, Mom." She and Ed escort her out of the bar.

Michael, Megan, and Kimberly:

Kimberly hands Michael the final divorce papers for his signature. As he looks it over and blabs, she turns her back to him and tries to fight back the tears. He mistakes this for her trying to rush him into signing the papers! As he faces her, he sees the tears, but Kimberly just says ironically, "Parting is such sweet sorrow. Hah." She hurries out.

At the beach house, Megan visits a drinking Kimberly. (This was a booze-filled episode!) As Kim does shots of tequila, Megan tells Michael's account of Kimberly's crying, and she worries that he might suspect Kim's divorce intentions aren't genuine. Kim has a solution: She hands Megan a wad of money and two tickets to Las Vegas. "Consider it a wedding present." She suggests Megan get Michael boozed up after a night of gambling and Wayne Newton -- she shouldn't have any problem getting him to sign the divorce papers. "By this time next week, you will be Mrs. Michael Mancini."

In his bed at Matt's place, Michael and Megan are frolicking happily, but when he says he hasn't signed the divorce papers yet, Megan pretends to be surprised and angry. He suggests they get away for the weekend, then he'll sign. (Wow! How damn convenient!) Megan happily says, "How about Las Vegas?"

The next night, Megan again goes to the beach house to tell Kim that her idea is working so far. (What, you couldn't use the phone for that?) Kim shows her the wide assortment of insurance policies spread across the kitchen. "Accidental death and dismemberment ... tornado insurance ... death by radioactive Russian space probe ... damn, Kimberly, how many policies did you get?" "Enough to ensure that you and Michael will be well provided for when I'm gone." Megan says, "I'm going to miss you. You've changed my life and are leaving me lots of money when you die! You're such a friend." Kim consoles her and says, "You're going to make Michael very happy." Just then, though, we see a silent Michael peer through the glass patio doors. He can't hear what they're saying, but they're being awfully chummy. Oops!

Next Week: "One of these people [we see most of the cast] will say goodbye to Melrose Place forever." They say, "It's not who you think," which means it's not Kimberly, which therefore means -- as has widely been reported -- it's Jane. Or is it?

--Ken Hart

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