Episode 21: Frames 'R' Us


Half the cast was GONE from this episode! Alison, Jake, Samantha, Billy, and Sydney had little more than cameos, as the Michael/Megan and Peter/Taylor/Amanda plots heated up nicely in one of the best stories of the season. As for Matt, well...

The Matt Slot goes once again to ... Matt! Hey, at least he got mentioned this week, even if it was part of a Bizarre lie.

The cameos: Jake, Alison, Samantha, Billy, and Sydney:

Jake and Alison enter the courtyard as they discuss various birthing methods. (Good God! Quick, slap the parental warning on this episode!) She tells him about a New Age technique where the baby is born underwater. Jake jokes, "Hey, why don't we just have the kid in the pool?" "Oh, Jake! There was an icky dream sequence there last month! Forget it!" They meet with Samantha and Billy to work out their contracts for next year. As the foursome leaves, Billy sees a pizza delivery guy outside Sydney's apartment: "Daaah, hey, dere's nobody in there. Ya might as well give da pizza to me, okay?" But, to their surprise, Sydney answers the door. Sam asks, "Ah, doy, what happened to your trip with Carter?" A glum Syd simply says it didn't happen as planned. Sam tells her not to worry -- the store is in safe hands with her! Syd is less than excited. And that's it for the five of them. Really!

Michael, Megan, Kimberly, and Josh Laughlin, Super Pimp:

At Megan's place, Josh is still sucking down his beer. Megan tells him to get out, but he says, "Not until I give some exposition. I was in jail, but I just got out. There! All done!" He tells her that she owes him money for past jobs. He jokes about Michael being her latest trick, but she says, "Michael's not my john, he's my husband!" How many times have wives said that over the years? Josh tries to molest her, but they hear Michael's car pulling up outside. She again tells Josh to leave, and he does -- for now. Michael enters, informing Megan that he gave the final word to Kim: He loves Megan, and Kim won't get any more Lovin' Therapy from him. He spots a bottle of beer on the table (complete with generic "Beer" label!) and asks Megan why she's drinking that. "Oh, uh, it reminds me of you. It dulls the thought processes and leaves me with a bitter aftertaste." "Baby, you're the greatest!"

Later, at Burns-Mancini, Michael trips over the plotline of The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns. "Watch where you're going, Mancini! With only two plots in this show, we ought to be able to keep our distance!" When Michael tells Peter that his dalliance with Lip Lass could hurt their professional image, Peter scoffs! "You're a fine one to talk! Your wife has a tumor while you're playing footsie with your latest floozie. God, how I envy you." Another one of those damn charity functions for the doctors is popping up again, and Michael cautions Peter to behave. Peter says, "Just keep your schnozz out of my life."

That night, Megan is deciding what to wear to the social shindig: "What do you think, Michael? The red lace outfit with the garters or the black leather Emma Peel jumpsuit?" "Megan, ya gotta dress more conservatively! These are doctors: sedate, boring, dry individuals, just like me." She's a little on edge, but when Michael asks her why, she lies and says she has mixed emotions about Kimberly. Michael says, "Hey, Kimberly's a conniving bitch and we're glad to be rid of her." Wow, he switched opinions again pretty fast! When he steps out of the room, the phone rings and Megan answers: It's the pimp. Josh says that if she wants him to stay out of her life, she must bring $1,000 in the morning to the Hollywood Grand Hotel, "Room 1313, the Munsters Suite."

When he hangs up the phone, we see that he's at the beach house. He's working with Kimberly! He tells her, "You got me out of prison. I'll keep up my end of the deal." Kim says she wants to split up Michael and Megan, but she doesn't want Megan's life totally wrecked: "I care about her." Of course you do, Kim! That's why you sprung her pimp from prison! Josh says that once Michael is convinced Megan is still a prostitute, "he'll divorce her, then he's all yours." Boo, Kimberly! You were a much better person when your brain was swelling!

The next day, Megan goes to the hotel and heads straight for Room 1313 with her sack of $1,000. (Josh had left the key at the front desk.) He's not in the room, but he left a note: "I'll be there around 12:30. Wait for me. Don't take the M&M's from the mini-bar." Meanwhile, Josh is actually at the hospital. He finds Michael and introduces himself: "Hi, I'm your wife's pimp!" Michael drags him into one of the many rooms at the hospital marked: "Melrose Place Plot Developments. No admittance without dialogue." Josh says Megan is turning tricks again. Michael is about to rip the guy a new orifice, but Josh tells him that Megan is with a john right now at the Hollywood Grand Hotel, Room 1313. Josh walks off, and Michael calls the hotel. When Megan picks up the phone in 1313 and says, "Josh? Is that you?" Michael hangs up without saying a word.

That night at Megan's, an angry Michael arrives. Before he can accuse her, she starts to tell him what's been going on, but then Josh arrives! Michael says, "Oh, you DO know him?!" Josh says Megan's "client" was very happy with her today, and he takes his "cut" of the $1,000 that she was carrying with her. Oh, it's a good setup! Michael is extremely upset. A pleading Megan utters the fatal line, "It's not what you think," and Michael says, "I'm sleeping at the hospital. If I want betrayal and lies, I can get them there!"

Michael is just waking up on the hospital cot the next morning when Kimberly walks in. She casually wonders why he slept here. Michael doesn't buy the innocent routine! She calmly asks, "Are you and Megan having problems already?" "See? See? You're gloating!" But Kim swears that she now accepts Michael's decision, no matter how painful it is, and that she wants the best for him and Megan. Hah! Megan then appears, and Kimberly of Arc quietly leaves. Megan asks Michael to trust her. He says, "Well, what was I supposed to think?" She says she was scared of Josh and what he might do. He replies, "Why didn't you ask me for help? Isn't that what love is supposed to be all about?" "So you're saying love is nothing more than an emotionally crippling system of codependency? That's scary, Michael." When she asks him not to turn her away, he yields and says he'll be back home tonight.

Later, Kim meets Josh in Room 1313. He tells her the parole board is asking about him: They want proof of the "job" that Kim offered him as a condition of his release. Kim reminds him that his scheme to break up Michael and Megan has been a big bust so far. He says, "Plan B." He pulls out a video of a stripping Megan in bed with Krusty the Clown. Kimberly is repulsed! "Dear God, not the joy buzzer..." This is a little too sleazy for her. When Josh suggests they use this to blackmail Megan, Kim resists. She fears Michael's career could be wrecked if news got out that his wife is a prostitute. Josh says, "Nah, she'd leave him rather than let that happen. On the other hand, maybe this won't work. After all, nobody objected to Michael being married to a psychopathic, explosives-wielding, split-personality, skull-drilling loony like you. A prostitute is pretty mild after that!" Kim says she can get him into the charity function.

At the charity dinner, Michael introduces Megan to one of the doctors, but she is horrified to see Josh hanging out by the shrimp boat! Leaving Michael alone, she tells the pimp to leave. (Of course, Megan. That worked so well before!) "Are you kidding?" he says. "This is great shrimp!" He threatens to expose her -- literally! Michael tries to find out where his wife is, but he is distracted by a thoroughly drunk Peter [see the reason why later] and various hangers-on. Josh tells Megan, "I'm doing the audio-visual for tonight's shindig." He's got two videos: One is the new hospital wing, the other is a "Golden Oldie" of her! He promises to show it tonight unless she turns a few tricks for him, beginning tomorrow night back at old reliable Room 1313. She has little choice. (Sure you do! Tell Michael the truth!)

Peter, Amanda, Craig, Lip Lass, Kyle, and Nick the Human Spittoon:

In the McBrides' apartment, Taylor is being the happy wife to Kyle, and she says that things are so much nicer now that Nick is no longer there. But of course, the Human Spittoon is their next-door neighbor, and he enters on cue! Kyle happily greets his buddy and asks him what he's been up to. "Oh, I've been exploring parts of Los Angeles," says Spitty, "like ... the golf course!" Lip Lass worries! Nick further says he's been checking out the "wildlife" with his camera, and he shows Kyle his photos of ... California babes! Oblivious to Taylor's tension, Kyle jokes, "Yep, that's wildlife, all right." Out of earshot of Kyle, Taylor tells Nick that her affair is over (yeah, right!) and asks him not to hurt Kyle by revealing the photos. Nick says that Kyle is his pal and that she's the one who's doing the hurting: "Be the perfect wife and I'll be the perfect friend."

At Dumb & Dumber, Craig walks into Amanda's new/old office and asks if he can take the vacant apartment in Melrose Place. (Here's one for the Museum of the Hard-To-Believe: Apparently, Alison's apartment has been vacant ever since she moved out months ago!) He gives her the sob story: "My father is gone, my money is gone, my acting talent is ... well, it wasn't there to start with." Amanda says, "Very well, slave. But this is strictly a 'mercy rental' until you can find a place of your own."

Taylor visits The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns at his office. "We have to do something," she says. "Spitty has the photos and he's following me everywhere." "Not to worry -- I've got a plan to get rid of the photos and Nick. I even know tonight's winning lottery numbers!" "Oooh, you turn me on so when you scheme!" "Not now, Taylor. We get to talk dirty later in the episode." They hear a bump outside the door, but they see no one. Worried that Nick followed her, Taylor takes off, and the plotting Peter grabs a bottle of morphine from a cabinet. He then has his encounter with Michael. [See above.]

Lip Lass goes into Über-Wife Mode, giving Kyle breakfast in bed, talking about pro hockey, and convincing him to leave the restaurant a little early tonight for a romantic dinner at 8 p.m. Ah, but this is all part of The Bizarre One's plan! At the hospital, Peter and Taylor meet again. She tells him that Kyle will be coming home at 8 and that Nick will be arriving a few minutes earlier. Peter says, "This should be the end of Nick." "But not the end of us," purrs Lippie. Peter makes his now-token attempt at backing out of their relationship. Taylor says, "Yeah, you love Amanda and I love Kyle. We're not supposed to be able to love two people, but I do. You're another part of my life. You're my darkness. You're the one I kiss in my dreams." She leaves. Peter thinks: Man, that is one weird chick...

As planned, Nick shows up a few minutes before 8 in response to Taylor's request. She says she wants to apologize for being a superbitch, and she offers him a drink: Morphine on the rocks! After he downs the whiskey, she calls the restaurant to make sure her hubby will be home on time. "Sure thing!" says Kyle, but as soon as he hangs up the phone, a little fire breaks out in the kitchen and he decides to give the cook a hand with the cleanup.

In record time, Nick is all doped up. He staggers onto the couch, and Lippie removes the keys from his pocket. She opens the window and tosses them to a waiting Peter below. As he enters the MP courtyard, he sees Amanda and Craig walking out. Amanda says half-expectantly, "Did you come here to see me?" "Uh, no," says Peter. "I'm here to see Matt. He hasn't been seen in two episodes and I was concerned about him." Craig impatiently says he's double-parked and he wants to finish moving in his stuff. (Amanda is helping him with physical labor? Shocking!) Amanda makes a casual comment about seeing him around. The Bizarre One coldly replies, "Talk is cheap, Amanda. But then, so are you." Oooooh! Nasty!

Peter opens up Nick's apartment and hastily rummages through his stuff. (Ewwww...I would NOT want to pick through Spitty's room.) Taylor rushes in, and Peter tells her they don't have much time. When he asks her if Nick is out of it, she says, "Oh yeah, he went out cold with the third drink." "Third drink?! You're not supposed to give him that much alcohol!" They hear the McBrides' phone ring, and Peter says, "Quick, answer that! And make sure he's got a pulse!" Showing incredible bravery, The Bizarre One opens Nick's underwear drawer and finds an envelope with the photos. Taylor grabs the phone, but too late. Kyle could arrive at any moment. Peter hurries in. "I'm injecting Spitty with a special Bat-Instant-Recovery Drug." "Holy Walking Pharmacy, Batman!" He leaves and Spitty instantly recovers. Taylor then fakes a struggle and begins screaming loudly. Kyle, outside, rushes up the stairs! Lip Lass rips her blouse and launches herself at Nick as Kyle enters! Hysterically, she says Nick tried to kiss her and wouldn't take no for an answer! Kyle is fuming! Nick says it's a lie, that Taylor is having an affair with Peter, and he's got the photos to prove it.

He goes back to his room, grabs the envelope, and shows Kyle. But it's the California babe photos again. Peter switched them! Kyle angrily throws Spitty across the room! Nick says, "You think I wanted to kiss her?! I hate that bitch!" Ooops! Wrong thing to say under the circumstances. Kyle says, "Get out. You don't work for me. You don't live here. I turn my back on you. Ptooey!" As Lip Lass smiles triumphantly, Nick says, "I guess I'll see you in hell." Gee, nice to see that Spitty has such a high opinion of himself. Who actually says things like this?

At D&D the next day, Nick appears in Craig's office. Craig worries that someone will see him. Nick says, "Ah, forget it. Alison and Billy are off this week, and nobody else ever has anything to say." He tells Craig that he had proof of the affair, but he lost it. He won't give up, though, saying it's now "personal." However, since his credibility is now shot, Craig must be the one to blow the whistle on Peter and Taylor's affair.

That night, the McBrides return from the restaurant, and Lippie says she must get up extra early in the morning for a session at the gym. Kyle is still troubled by the previous evening, and he asks suspiciously, "Why would Spitty say he had photos of you and El Bizarro if he didn't?" Taylor stammers that Nick is just trying to wreck their happy marriage. Uh huh. Kyle, sounding unconvinced, steps out for some "fresh air." (Kyle has gotten much smarter since the start of the season!)

She then calls Peter, who assures her he got all the photos, along with the negatives and some revealing pictures of Kathie Lee Gifford. "Nick is one sick bastard." They make plans to meet at his place 6:30 tomorrow morning. Now, in one of the All-Time Great Melrosian Scenes, comes the Dirty Phone Talk Sequence!
"Peter, do you love me?"
Pause. "I lust you."
"I want you so bad. The way you touch me ...it makes me so excited, Peter! Ooooo, the feather duster! No one's ever done that before."
"I like it when you talk this way. Tell me more. And make it good -- we're up against the two-hour season finale of 'Savannah.'"
"Oh, Peter, I can feel your lips all over me."
"The same here. I'm just lucky my spine didn't crack from the pressure. Do it again."
As they continue to moan, their entire conversation is being recorded by Nick! (Obviously, phone-tapping is one of Spitty's secret talents.) He calls Craig, lets him listen in, and tells him about the morning rendezvous. Craig says, "I'll make sure Amanda has a ringside seat."

Sure enough, Craig drives Amanda to the marina, saying they're going to meet a client. (At 6:30 in the morning?) As they arrive at Peter's place, she demands to know what's going on. Craig points out Taylor's car parked in front. (Hey, nice way to keep this affair a secret, Lippie!) Amanda stonily tells him to stay put, and she walks around to the side of the house. There, in plain view from the glass sliding door, Amanda sees Peter and Taylor going at it on the couch! Peter looks up, makes eye contact with the shocked Amanda -- then goes back to kissing Taylor! He wants to be seen!

Later that day, Amanda visits Kyle's restaurant, trades some snippy repartee with Taylor, then decks her with a right cross! Lip balm goes flying all over the place! Collagen Rupture! Children flee in panic! Oh, the humanity!

At the charity function mentioned earlier, the soused Bizarre One calls up Amanda and coldly asks, "How's it feel, Amanda?" "It feels dead, Peter, like you killed it." They hang up, she takes off her wedding ring, and she marches right over to Craig's new pad. When he answers, she throws herself at him and starts ripping off his clothes! In between kisses, he says, "You don't know how long I've been waiting for this." "Well, your wait's over. Now shut up, slave, and get to work! Satisfy your mistress!"

Next Week: Megan is arrested for prostitution! Nick plays the tape for Kyle! Kyle confronts Lip Lass!

--Ken Hart

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