Episode 17: Better Homes and Condos


Kind of an "in-between" episode where nothing really big happened, though Michael had a cool, dumb dream sequence, which is always entertaining. The big guns may be pulled out for next week's two-hour, 150th episode extravaganza.

The Matt Slot goes to ... Matt! Yay! The trophy is back where it belongs! Matt got to hold medical instruments and grovel at the Bruno Maglis of The Bizarre One. The Cranberries sang over the opening credits; too bad we didn't hear "Zombie" as Billy was introduced.

Michael, Megan, Kimberly, Peter, Matt, and That Cool, Dumb Dream Sequence:

A stunned Kimberly runs out of her car to where Michael's auto did the flip. Megan crawls out of the passenger side, but Michael is out cold. Kim yells at Megan, "What the hell are you doing here? I'm trying to commit suicide, and you almost got me killed!" Megan explains as she and Kim pull Michael out. Kim starts giving Michael mouth-to-mouth (a tough day at work for Thomas Calabro!) as Megan flags down a passing car. "Oh my God, what happened here?" asks the motorist. "Well, Kimberly has a deadly brain tumor so she asked me to sleep with her husband, but I fell in love with him and now I've married him, but his ex-wife was going to commit suicide, so we drove out into the rain to stop her, but our car hit hers and flipped over!" "Geez, I should've kept driving!"

In the emergency room at Wiltshire Memorial, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns and staff (including Matt) rush the still-unconscious Michael in. Kimberly just has a bum arm, and Megan wears a designer band-aid. Kim can't understand why she's still alive while Michael may be dying: "I knew I shouldn't have worn a seat belt!" Megan tells her that Michael now knows the whole story. Kim is annoyed, but Megan says she couldn't just let Kimberly die.

The next day, Megan and Kimberly pace the hospital floor while waiting for news of Michael. Tensions are high! Megan blathers something about taking life one day at a time, and Kim says, "Oh sure, that's easy to say when you've got your whole season in front of you! I'm off the show in March!" "Shut up, Miss Death Wish!" Inside the operating room, Peter, Matt, and staff working on Michael, who's not doing too well. "Dr. Burns, he has a collapsed lung, a fading pulse, and no dialogue!" "Matt, get me a chest tube and a teleprompter -- STAT! Hurry, or I'll replace you with Noah Wylie!" "Yes, my lord!" Michael flatlines and starts a dream sequence:

He's in a stone corridor with red light and a dry-ice machine. In front of him is a burning pit. Cool, he's either in hell or Larry Flynt's brain! Kimberly walks out of the pit, wearing a slinky black outfit and looking like Vampira. "Come with me, Michael!" Behind him appears Megan, in angelic white! Oh, brother! They haven't done anything this goofy in a while! "No, Michael," Megan says, "you must come with me -- I have more episodes left than she does!" It's an easy choice!

Back in the real world (well, "Melrose Place" at least), Kim is feeling The Guilts -- if it hadn't been for her selfish attempt to commit suicide, Michael would be OK. She says to Megan, "Can you ever forgive me?" Peter tells them that Michael will be fine.

Later, Michael regains consciousness. Megan, who had been sleeping in a chair, tells him what happened and that Peter saved his life. She asks for forgiveness for lying to him for the past few months about her and Kimberly. He's OK with it, but he's suspicious of Kimberly's motives: "In my dream, she was pulling me down ... down ... I made another guest appearance on 'Ned & Stacy.' It was horrible." He thinks Kim is planning some evil, but Megan doesn't believe it, and she urges Michael to make amends with Kimberly in these final episodes.

A day or two later, Peter is examining his restless patient Michael, who is eager to leave the hospital and wear clothes that don't open in the back. Peter wants to be sure that Michael will have someone to watch over him, and Michael says he's staying with Megan. Peter says he wants his partner back to work soon, "so please don't blow it by acting macho for your latest babe!" Oops, hi, Kimberly! The Bizarre One is flustered by Kim's sudden appearance, but she laughs it off. She and Michael talk privately. She says, "When I found out I was dying, I tried to cut you off," but it's not what she wants now. "I want you to spend as much time with me as possible before I go." Michael gets verklempt! "We covered a lot of ground, didn't we? Don't you worry..." They gently hug and hold hands, as a concerned Megan walks in with a potted plant. (No, not Billy.)

Side note: Just how in the world does Michael and Peter's practice stay in business? They're always either being sued, blackmailed, in prison, or in critical condition! The only patient either of them has had this season is Lip Lass, and now they don't even have an office manager! Come to think of it, D&D has had some layoffs, too: We haven't seen any nameless minions in weeks!

Once Michael is out of the hospital, he goes to the beach house to check on Kimberly. Megan comes over at night to visit. As the couple are about to leave, a groggy Kim walks out of the bedroom. Weakly, she says, "I'd like to ask the two of you if it's OK if Michael spends the night." Megan is not exactly thrilled by this, but she can't exactly say no. As Kim retires, Michael says it'll just be for this night. Megan asks, "So you're not going to sleep with her?" "No, no -- the throbbing temple really freaks me out. I'll be on the couch." Kim calls for him, and Michael goes to her. A troubled Megan leaves, as a tired-looking Kim lies on the bed and says, "Michael, could you just hold me?" "Sure, babe," but he doesn't sees Kim's eyes light up in triumph!

Amanda, Craig, and more Peter:

Craig and Amanda return to a strangely deserted D&D after the funeral of Craig's dad. Craig is wracked with guilt over what he's done, but Amanda says, "Snap out of it, slave! His time on this show was over! You do what you have to. Self-pity is purely optional." Craig is shocked by her cold attitude: "Don't you ever take a day off from Amanda Woodward?" "I do, but I usually regret it, like that time I signed on for the Dynasty reunion." She's ready to jump right into work again, but he's not, so he leaves. She turns to see Peter sitting in her office! Peter tells her that he's found a condo on the marina, and he gives her the phone number: BIZ-ARRE. She's obviously happy to see him, but she holds herself in check. As they pleasantly chat, he gets a signal on his beeper, and he tells her about Michael's accident the night before. Amanda is upset that no one has tried to kill her lately: "I'm missing out on some quality scenes, damn it!" He has to go to the hospital, but he says, "It was good to see you, Amanda. Call me sometime." Amanda is conflicted!

Amanda phones Peter at his new place later. "Oh, I just called to see how Michael's doing." Yeah, right! He doesn't believe it either. He playfully suggests an immediate reconciliation, and she jokingly says, "Don't push it." When he asks her to dinner, she counters that she’ll come by his new place with breakfast in the morning. She stares at a photo of Peter at the Bob Hope Desert Classic tournament.

At breakfast, Peter shows off his impressive new pad, but none of the furniture is his own, and he feels like he's living in a hotel. No room service, either! Amanda says she's been spending many late nights at D&D: "Pretty lame." Peter says, "Pretty lonely." Sayyyyy...! The sexual tension hits Mulder-Scully levels, then Amanda says she should go to work, and she'll take a rain check on breakfast. Peter smiles slightly, thinking, "I am such a stud. Oooh yeah!"

Jake and Alison ("Who cares?": part 1):

Jake brings Alison breakfast in bed, consisting of Wheaties, fruit, a contract extension, and a diamond engagement ring! Awww! Alison seems delighted, but she looks a little overwhelmed by Jake's enthusiasm over the pregnancy. He says, "You're eating for two now!"

Later, Jake takes Alison to see ... their new home! "What is this, Jake, a game show or a soap opera?" "No, it's like Destiny, Alison! I saw this place and I thought it would be perfect." "What about our apartment? Or our friends, like Billy and that woman with the short blond hair?" "You mean Jane?" "Jane? Jane who?" Jake explains that his family was really messed up (yeah, Jake, we know!), so this is his chance to Do It Right. If they were to live in a house like this, it would fit his vision of a family. Alison says, "C'mon, Jake, stop watching the Brady Bunch repeats -- before it's too late!"

Kyle and Lip Lass ("Who cares?": part 2):

Kyle is slicing up veggies in the kitchens when he's attacked by a guy with a knife. Kyle twists him around and puts the knife to the guy's throat, but it's just his old Marine buddy, Nick! Ha Ha Ha! It's only some fun Guy Stuff! What sick bastards! Ha Ha! Nick has come to visit his friend Kyle, who tells Nick he can stay at his place for as long as he wants. Lip Lass walks in, trades cool "hellos" with Nick, then privately tells Kyle, "I want him gone by morning!" No can do! Kyle sticks by his Desert Storm compadre: "He goes when he's ready to go."

Back at the apartment, a drunken Nick and Kyle arm-wrestle, breaking a few beer bottles in the process. Kyle leaves to get more beer! Nick tells a disapproving Taylor, "I just want to make sure Kyle is doing OK in the cultural cesspool of Los Angeles. And from what I hear, you two have no subplot of your own, so you need another boring character to add conflict!" He says he's in absolutely no rush to leave. Lip Lass says, "I want you gone. I've seen the commercials, and I know my Peter plot starts up again very soon!" When he takes a menacing step toward her, she waves a broken bottle at him.

Sydney, Sam, Billy, and Carter:

Sydney enters Sam's apartment and matter-of-factly announces that she's moving in and that Sam has a few days to get out! "What?!!" Syd explains that she got all of Jane's things and that Jane's name is the only one on the lease. "Jane? Jane who?" They take the matter up with Amanda, who tells Sam, "Sydney wanted the place and your name's not on the lease. However, Sydney's apartment is now available if you want it." Sam says she could just barely afford it with her job at the boutique. Syd mumbles, "Well, I was thinking of cutting her hours..." Amanda says, "Well, in that case, it was nice having you as a tenant." Yow!

At the boutique, Syd and Sam continue to bicker, and Syd says the only reason Sam still has a job is that Jane insisted on it. Sam refuses to quit and give Syd the satisfaction. Rich geek Carter walks in and invites Sydney out to lunch. Syd happily leaves, ordering Sam to take care of things solo for the next two hours. Carter escorts Syd onto a double-decker bus with bologna sandwiches. He asks her to come with him to San Francisco for a weekend getaway. Syd is happy, but she's convinced his assistant Walter will summon him back to work. Carter says Walter has no idea where he is. Okay!

Carter and Sydney fly in a helicopter to a farm "outside San Francisco," but which is somewhere behind the back lots of the studio. "So this is where you grew up?" asks Syd. "Yep, this is where I took apart my first Atari." He talks about his old fantasies, most of which involved Princess Leia. Syd says she never had fantasies -- she just grabbed what Jane left behind! Overcome with emotion, the two finally kiss. They ignore the flies that land on their faces, but are interrupted by an old farmer, played by the director's father.

Billy visits Sam at the boutique, and she tells him about her apartment problems. "Daah, what about squatter's rights?" "Hah?" Billy explains that since Amanda knew Sam lived there and accepted money from her, she can't evict Sam without difficulty. Sam says she knows a lawyer who owes her a favor -- her ex-boyfriend! "Gaaah, I shoulda kept my mouth shut!"

Billy and Sam agree to meet the guy at Kyle's. "So, daah, wat's he like?" "Oily, smarmy, and wears incredibly expensive Italian suits." Well, they find the guy -- Kenny Jackson -- but he's nothing like Sam described. He's not wearing an expensive suit, and his hair is clean! Sam is surprised! Kenny tells her that he quit the high-paying job at the big law firm and is now working at a storefront legal clinic, "trying to earn back my soul." Billy, feeling a little threatened, says, "Aahh, excuse me, Mr. Hellraiser, but Sam's got this problem..." Kenny suggests to Sam, "Why don't you move into Billy's place? After all, you and I moved in together after only, what, 3 weeks?" D'OH! Andrew Shue stares. [Subtitle: Billy knows his brain is no match for Kenny's subtle manipulation, and he wants an order of nachos.]

In San Francisco, Sydney and Carter return from a fun day around town, ending up at the hotel from "Hotel"! Eventually, they end up on the couch, and Syd goes in for the kiss! Carter says, "I warn you ... I'm really out of practice." "That's OK. I'm a very good teacher." Huzzah!

Back in L.A., Kyle's restaurant is closing, and Billy, Sam, and Kenny are still hanging out. Sam and Kenny have been having a fun time, but Billy stares into space. Sam thanks Kenny for his advice and walks him back to his car. Billy says, "Daah, yeah, I'll just wait here for da check."

In the morning, Sydney wakes up to see Carter working on his laptop at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m.! She thought they were going to avoid business, but he says, "This isn't business. This is fun!" Without taking his eyes off the computer, he tells Syd he's finally figured out the bug in this game he's been working on: "Now I know how to make this guy's head explode in five directions! Isn't that neat?" He adds they'll be heading back to L.A. this morning. Syd, seeing how zoned he is, is saddened. Poor Syd! She never finds Mr. Right!

Sam sees Billy in the courtyard, and he is just about to suggest they move in together when Kenny shows up. Billy awkwardly excuses himself, and Kenny and Sam present Amanda with Sam's terms and a subpeona! Amanda, who has dealt with far worse, doesn't bat an eyelash and says, "OK, we can put your name on the lease!" A depressed Sydney returns and Amanda breaks the news to her, saying that if she still wants that apartment, she'll have to share it with Sam. This has not been a good day for Our Sydney!

Sam goes to D&D with takeout food for Billy. He's pouting! He thinks Sam is going to dump him for Kenny, just because Kenny can use four-syllable words and prepositional phrases. Sam says, "Oh, you don't have to be jealous. You're my little numbskull!"

Sydney goes to Carter's place, but she is intercepted by a now-antagonistic Walter, who says that Sydney's "services" are no longer required. He hands Syd a check, which she tears up. He tells her that Carter's breakthrough on the game will keep the company going for another couple of years, and she'd just be a distraction now. Syd can't believe this! Walter has her hauled out by security. When Carter comes to investigate the noise, Walter tells him that Sydney has been extorting money for weeks now! Walter says he's actually been paying her hush money up till now, and here are the receipts to prove it!

Next Week: The two-hour, 150th episode of Melrose Place! Amanda gives her slave a sexy treat! Lip Lass slaps Peter! Megan tells Michael, "Do me, monkey man!"

--Ken Hart

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