Episode 23: 101 Damnations


Direct from Los Angeles, it's the much-delayed recap! Sorry about the lateness, but L.A. has been very distracting. During my stroll along Melrose Avenue, one thing became horrifyingly clear: Jane's fashions were pretty close to the mark!

This was a fun episode, goofing on many of the Melrosian conventions, especially the Venetian blinds!

The Matt Slot goes to ... Billy, who functions only as Alison's go-fer!

Matt and Chelsea:

At Matt's mom's house, he and Mom debate the wisdom of sending Chelsea Clinton to live with Matt while her father recovers from his knee surgery. Mom says, "You're not exactly the best role model. You've been addicted, you've been arrested for solicitation, and you never appear in any mini-series. It hasn't been a good season for you." She thinks Chelsea should stay with her, despite the instructions in the will. Chelsea overhears the argument and puts in her own two cents. She says to Mom, "You're old and this place smells like a sick shrine to Grandpa." Matt says, "Mom! Did you leave the formaldehyde out again?!" Chelsea then says about Matt, "And he's got sugar in his pants! I want to find my mom Hillary out in Paris!" When Mom and Matt point out that Chelsea's mom has exactly been forthcoming with information about her whereabouts or access to the White House, Chelsea says she'll just bum around Europe. This does not go over well! Matt offers a compromise: He'll take Chelsea for the time being. If it doesn't work out, then Mom can take custody. Oh, that's great for the kid's self-esteem: Lease her out for a month!

A couple of nights later, Matt enters the courtyard to hear loud music blasting from his apartment. A visibly upset Amanda immediately confronts him: "If you're subletting your apartment to those 90210 degenerates, you're toast!" Matt quickly explains the Chelsea situation, then his Sensitivity Radar kicks in and he asks Amanda, "Even though I know you are normally this nasty, The Force tells me that something else is bothering you. What's really wrong?" "Oh, it's my subplot. It's been getting a lot more air time lately, and frankly I'm pooped."

Suddenly, she notices smoke coming from Matt's pad! They rush in to find a cigarette burning through Matt's couch and honorary George Michael leather jacket. Chelsea, smoking? Horrors! Chelsea steps in from the shower, wonders what all the commotion is about, then sees Amanda: "Hey, a babe. Way to go, Uncle Matt! I didn't know you swung both ways!" Matt says in a shocked monotone, "This. Is. Amanda. Woodward. My. Landlord." In a hilarious moment, Chelsea replies, "What am I supposed to do? Kiss her feet?" Amanda says, "And be quick about it, my new slave! What are you, some kind of demon seed?" "What are you, some kind of bitch?" Matt quickly steps in and tells Amanda he'll fix this. When she leaves, he says to an unconcerned Chelsea, "Tomorrow, you are going back to your grandmother's." "What is that, some kind of threat?" "No. It's my final word on the subject, at least for this episode since we all know you'll be around for a while."

Back at his mom's place with Chelsea pouting in a bedroom, Matt has a guilt complex about his decision because Chelsea seems so miserable. Mom says, "You're doing the right thing. Having an annoying teenager would certain crimp your active social life!" Chelsea again overhears the chat. Geez, just use the Cone of Silence when this kid is around! Matt enters the room to tell her the bad news, but sees that Chelsea has already zipped out the window, leaving behind a message on the mirror: "I hate you! I'm going to follow in Elizabeth Berkeley's footsteps and make trashy movies! Viva La France!"

Michael, Kimberly, and Megan:

In a shocking moment, we learn that Michael and Peter now have a mystery Office Manager! An unseen female actually takes a phone call for Michael. (It's either that or Michael's got some hidden vocal talents!) The call is from Megan. She pleads with him to believe that she was set up by Kimberly and the pimp. "I would never go back to that life. I'll do UPN sitcoms first!" He says he needs a little more time to sort things out. Megan tentatively asks, "Where are you staying? At the beach house ... with Kimberly?" "Frankly," he says, "I'd rather spend my nights with Peter that either one of you!" Yow, now there's a new plotline! When Megan gets off the phone, she answers a knock on the door. It's her landlady, who has just seen the newspaper account of Megan's arrest. She is shocked! "Who knows what kind of perversion went on here? And if you have any lurid photos and videotapes, I want them!" She tells Megan to get out! Megan refuses, threatening to take legal action, but the landlady scoffs at that idea, considering Megan's background. "You haven't been in a series that lasted more than four months! You think the L.A. cops will listen to you? Ha! If your crap isn't out of here in 24 hours, I will have it incinerated!"

So Megan, who had been earning tons of money from high-class clients, had simply been renting all this time? Sheesh! Hey, Megan, just rent a pad from Amanda. Everyone else does! (Background checks? We don't need no stinking background checks!)

At the hospital, Michael catches up to The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns and shows him a memo he wrote for Peter about waste disposal in the hospital: "Destroy all copies of my last album." Peter was supposed to have done it weeks ago, but recent plots have occupied him. He thanks Michael, who says, "We're a good team, right?" "Um, yeah." "OK, so make me co-chief of staff!" "HUH?" Michael proposes that they share all the duties. Peter politely shoots down the idea and walks away: "Oh, and thanks for saving my butt." Michael frowns! An attendant, obviously a stand-in for Mimi on "The Drew Carey Show," tells him that he's gotten many phone calls from "Mrs. Mancini." "What is that, number 4?" she says sarcastically. "Five, if you count Kimberly twice." Michael plans to ignore the messages, but the woman also says he's gotten a phone call from Megan's landlord, telling him that he must get all of his stuff out of Megan's apartment immediately -- she's moving!

He rushes over to Megan's pad to see the landlord's movers already clearing out the place. "My Penthouse collection! Where is it?" When he demands to know where Megan is, the landlady inexplicably doesn't tell him the whole truth: "All I know is your wife moved out. No forwarding address, nothing." However, Megan did leave an envelope for him, containing his credit card, wedding ring, Steven Spielberg's fax number, and a note: "Michael, guess I'm not good enough for anybody. --Love and Self-Pity, Megan"

The next morning, a haggard Megan goes to the beach house. She mutters to a surprised Kimberly, "You ever notice how many homeless people there are out there? And would you believe they're all starving actors?" Kim, although feeling guilty, amazingly tries to be buddies with her! She tries to bolster Megan's spirits, saying she has plenty of options. Megan snorts! "What? You'd think I'd go to law school or play the violin?" Kim says, "I never meant to hurt you." "Yeah, nice plan, General MacArthur!" Megan says it's been far more painful to have had a taste of the good life and then have it snatched away. Kim, again living in some dream state, says, "Will you keep in touch?" "Yeah," mocks Megan, "I'll write every day. What a ditz."

Back at the hospital, Michael finds the attractive Dr. Constriction and tells her, "I've been covering Peter's butt for a long time." What is this obsession with butt-covering this episode? When Michael says that he deserves the chief of staff slot, she scoffs. "I may not like Peter. I might even think he's a self-centered pig. But that does not mean you're chief of staff material." "Why not?" "Peter is smarter, better-looking, and not married to a prostitute!" Oh, the ultimate insult! To be told that someone on the show is better-looking than you are! Dr. Constriction says, "Just be glad you're working." Michael rushes to find a plastic surgeon!

We see Megan staying at a seedy motel. (Is there any other kind?) The guy who runs it thinks she's trying to skip out on paying, and he suggestively tells her that if she can't pay up, "I'll take it out in trade." "Yuck! You'll get your money!" Inside her room, she calls Michael, who is now eager to talk to her. He asks her to come back home. "Well, duh, what home? I moved out and Kimberly has the beach house!" She tells him that she doesn't want to hurt him anymore: "Our marriage never had a chance. It was fantasy." "No, our love is real!" Once again, a musical number breaks out, as Thomas Calabro sings, "Our Love Is Here To Stay." Megan, shocked by the gaudy production, hangs up. Michael gets his office manager on the intercom: "Hey, Mystery Lady, how do I find out where that last phone call came from?" "Just hit Star 69 on your phone. For only $1.25 a month, you too can find out the phone number of sickos who call you in the middle of the night. Good day. And thank you for using AT&T." Michael does as instructed. When the greasy proprietor answers, "Murray's Sleaze Motel," Michael hangs up and goes into action.

He goes to the motel and asks the guy about Megan. The proprietor feigns amnesia until Michael pulls out some money. He then says, "Most girls work the boulevard." Megan is on the street in her slinky street ware, looking pretty depressed: There's a computer show in town and nobody seems interested. Michael drives up and tells her to get in. Megan yells at him to go away, saying this is what she is. Michael uses weird logic: "We're BOTH prostitutes! Everybody I know is a prostitute! And on this show, that's not just a figure of speech!" She gets in and Michael puts the wedding ring back on her finger. Noticing her clothes, he awkwardly asks, "You, ah, didn't...?" "No, Michael, I couldn't." "Wow, I'm so glad you didn't have sex with anybody." "Sex?! I thought you were asking if I had used the bathroom lately! I can barely move in this dress!"

Peter, Amanda, Craig, Kyle, Lip Lass, Sydney, Alison, Jake, Billy, and Samantha:

(Yes, it's a big group, but for a good and funny reason.) At Peter's house, The Bizarre and Thoroughly Bruised One grabs some coffee in the morning while Lip Lass tries to act cute and sexy behind him. Her bubble is suddenly burst when he asks, "Where do you think you'll be living now that Kyle's kicked you out?" He thinks she should get a place of her own! Stunned, she says, "I just assumed I was leaving one relationship for another..." For some reason, Peter didn't expect this answer. Gee, I'd say she's been pretty obvious about it! Not knowing what to say, he practices the time-honored Guy Technique: evasion! "I gotta go to the hospital."

Let's check out the recently ignored couple of Jake and the pregnant Alison. She greets us with the line "How would you feel if one of your organs was considered incompetent?" It turns out that her doctor has applied that label to her cervix (since when is that an organ?) and has prescribed two weeks of bed rest. Jake reminds her to let Amanda know. "Nah, I'll let Billy do it. I can convince him to do anything. Talk about your incompetent organs!"

Meanwhile, Taylor walks into the restaurant, giving orders to the staff and acting as though nothing has happened: "You, polish those drapes! You, wax those windows! You, get me some Ambesol! My lips are moving so much I'm getting friction burns!" An angry Kyle quickly takes her aside. In the kitchen, she coos, "You don't really want me to leave, right?" "Oh yeah? What about Peter Burns?" Lip Lass then gives what is known as The Wrong Answer: "I love him. I love you. I love both of you." Kyle says, "Well, ya know somethin', Lippie? That's NOT the way it works! You disgust me. I will throw dog poopie on your shoes. If you won't leave the restaurant, at least get out of my kitchen."

At Dumb & Dumber, Billy tells Amanda about Alison's enforced absence. "Damn it, not that pregnancy excuse again! Well, she can still work. Messenger her files to her!" "Daah, okay, 'Manda. (Hmmm, I wonder if dat pregnancy excuse would work for me...)" Craig then struts over and asks how Amanda's chat with the divorce lawyer went. "Leave me alone, slave! And how did you find out confidential plot information?"

At Sydney's boutique, Sydney is looking much better this season -- but she's taken a page from Jane's book of evil store design! The new display features mannequins precariously balanced with wires on a small ladder right in the middle of the floor. Samantha says, "Ah, doy, I see a calamity in the making." Syd tells her to be quiet. Sure enough, a rather chunky woman enters the store and starts browsing. Sydney, trying to be polite, says, "We don't have a large selection of sizes. Mooooo!" The woman takes one step past the display, trips, and collapses heavily to the floor as the mannequins gang-tackle her! Sydney and Sam gasp in horror!

Back at Melrose Place, Alison is alone and feeling a little antsy, then she sees Kyle and Taylor arguing on the stairs outside their apartment! Lip Lass says, "You bastard. You changed the locks on the restaurant!" He wants to buy out her share of the restaurant for $150,000 "and kiss those lips goodbye!" He finally asks, "What's so special about Peter Burns? His hair? His smile? Certainly not his golf game!" Taylor says, "You wanna know how long I've been in love with The Bizarre One? Ever since he married my sister!" From her window, Alison Gapes big time! Lip Lass proudly tells Kyle, "Every minute we were together, it was always Peter in my heart! Boy, don't you feel like a tool!" Kyle then realizes, "Damn, I just locked all the staff out of the restaurant, too! What an idiot!"

Sydney goes to the hospital to visit her clumsy customer, who is now wearing a neck brace! Syd offers some lovely flowers and parting gifts. "Thanks for playing!" The woman, although in discomfort, says, "I'm such a clumsy ox. It's all my fault." Obviously concerned about a lawsuit, Syd says, "Whew! What a relief to hear you say that!" Oops! The woman glares at Syd, who clumsily backtracks. Just wait -- Syd's mouth gets her into more trouble almost immediately!

She scoots over to Peter's chief of staff office (as opposed to his offices with Michael) and asks him for a favor. Peter's immediate response: "NO!" Undaunted, Syd explains her current dilemma and asks him to look at the lady's medical chart. Peter refuses on the simple basis that it is Wrong. Syd says testily, "Oh, someone who is cheating on his wife with his neighbor is talking to me about ethics!" Peter gets stonefaced and tells her to leave. Syd, persistent as ever, goes over the edge: "You don't feel any guilt at all, do you? I mean, I just slept with Kyle that one time and I felt terrible, and you've slept with Lip Lass probably millions of times and... D'OH!" Seeing the sudden gleam in Peter's eyes, she says, "I probably shouldn't have said what I just said." Peter smiles. "Goodbye, Sydney. Heh heh heh."

That night, Jake returns home and Alison excitedly says, "You are NOT gonna believe what I heard today! Most of the audience won't believe it, but it's true." Jake calmly listens to what she says, which makes this even funnier. Alison tells him about Kyle and Taylor's argument and how Taylor said she's been in love with Peter for years. Jake says, "How is this possible?" Alison spills the rest, then wonders, "Should I tell Amanda?" Jake flat-out says no. "It's none of our business, and you shouldn't be eavesdropping." Alison says, "I wasn't eavesdropping! You can hear everything everybody says through that window! After five seasons, you should know that by now!" Jake says the easy solution to that is to close the window, which he does. "Even if someone is being horribly butchered out there, it's none of our business. Now if you don't mind, I'll find some sand to stick my head into."

At Kyle's, Taylor tells him that she has no intention of signing his buy-out agreement or of keeping out of this restaurant. He says, "Any idiot can do your job!" "Good God, you're not thinking of hiring Billy, are you?" "Hey, let's not get carried away here!" Lip Lass declares, "I'm staying." "We'll see." The tense Kyle then accidentally slices his finger, but refuses Taylor's offer of help.

In the hospital's emergency room, a happy Peter volunteers to "help" Kyle. Kyle wants no part of him, but The Bizarre One blithely accepts Kyle's nasty comments, then zings him with the knowledge of his affair with Sydney! Kyle is stunned, and at this moment Taylor walks in. (Boy, they sure have this timing bit worked out to the nanosecond!) Amazed, she says, "You slept with Sydney?!" "Well, yeah," answers Kyle. "You sanctimonious, scruffy-looking nerfherder!" She stalks off, while Peter walks off with a smile on his face. "Love me, love my smugness."

The next evening, Samantha visits the still-resting Alison. Sam comments, "Ah, doy, Alison, why is your window shut? The air can't get in! My God, I'm suffocating! Gasp!" "You nimrod! Calm down. As for the window, Jake's got this thing about eavesdropping." Sam then sees Kyle knocking on Sydney's door. Enquiring minds want to know! Sam opens the window and listens to Kyle ask Sydney why she's been blabbing about the time they slept together. Now Samantha Gapes! Syd explains that it just sort of slipped out, and she's sorry. Kyle remains very P.O.'d. Alison, still on the couch, breathlessly asks Sam what's going on. A disgusted Sam says, "You're never going to believe this. Sydney and Kyle had an affair!" "No! In the kitchen? On the table?" "Who cares? I'm never going to eat there again! Eww! From now on, I'm only going to restaurants where total strangers have sex on the tables!"

The next morning at the boutique, Sydney wants to know why Sam is giving her the evil eye. Sam says, "You are such a two-face homewrecker!" Syd pretends to be occupied. "Uh, I don't know where this is coming from..." Just then a young woman walks in and gives Syd a document: "Consider yourself served!" Sydney moans: It's a lawsuit! Samantha sticks out her chin and says, "Yet another victim of your conceit! I, of course, am free of such problems, being a brainless dodo."

Taylor, now armed with some legal ammo, presents Kyle with a new offer. She works in the restaurant on three days, he works in the restaurant three other days! "What about the seventh day, Lippie?" "Neither of us work!" Oh yeah, there's a sound business plan: Keep the restaurant's head chef out of the kitchen half the week! I'm sure profits will soar! Kyle reluctantly accepts. "You may have won this round, Taylor, but the battle has just begun."

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Amanda is getting sloshed on vodka martinis. Jake, the kindly bartender, offers an ear to her problems. Amanda drunkenly says the breakup with Peter is all her fault. She should have paid more attention when Lip Lass started coming on to him. Jake suggests, "You ever consider that the two of them were connected before they met?" "Hah? What do you mean?" "Well..." Jake then tells her everything that Alison heard. (Yeah, thanks for lecturing us on the high moral road, Jake!) Amanda can't believe it! Craig then shows up for his business meeting with Amanda (at Shooter's?!), but Amanda grabs him and says, "You know somethin', my little slave? You're drivin' me somewhere!" Jake tells Craig to keep an eye on the drunk.

She commands a confused Craig to take her to Peter's. She pounds on the door. She storms in when Peter answers, while Craig follows behind. Pointing at Taylor, she asks Peter, "So, were you bopping this tramp the whole time we were together?" Taylor spits, "You never loved him!" "Bitch!" Fight! Fight! Fight! Unfortunately, Peter and Craig break it up before anything happens. Amanda reminds Peter of all the times that she gave him the chance to speak up about any secrets about him and Taylor: "I guess you forgot to mention she's your dead wife's sister!" Even Craig is surprised: "Really? Cool!" Booze must agree with Amanda, because she finally helps everybody put 2 and 2 together. "Do you think it was a coincidence that she took off from Boston, sat in the courtroom during your hearing, became a patient of yours, left 'Days of Our Lives,' and moved into the same address? What are the odds?"

Amazingly, Peter never considered this, even though he knew Taylor had kept her relationship to him a secret for the first few weeks! Amanda looks at The Bizarre One and says, "Hey, you two deserve each other!" She leaves with a smiling Craig in tow. Peter turns to Lippie and challenges her to deny this. "I can't," she says. "So, this whole thing was a setup, and I just walked right into it." "Peter, I love you..." "No, stay away from me. Just stay away. Wow, I should have seen this months ago. I really, really, really should have seen this months ago! You know, I can't think of a single reason why I didn't see this months ago. Get me a rewrite!"

Next Week: Kyle ... flirting with Amanda?! Dr. Ganglia gives Kimberly a dire prognosis! Kim does the Coma Tango!

--Ken Hart

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