Episode 25: Last Exit to Ohio


A wacky episode full of death, laughter, threesomes, and a ripoff of "Vertigo"! Change is in the air at Melrose Place, as the first of the big cast changes goes into effect.

The Matt Slot goes to ... Matt! Everybody else got multiple scenes while he got stuck writing the grocery list!

Matt and Chelsea:

At Matt's pad, he and Chelsea are bonding as they write out the list of grocery items. "Okay, Uncle Matt, we've got bananas, orange juice, coffee, morphine ... hey, I thought you were clean!" Chelsea then answers the ringing phone and seems stunned. "Uh, OK, I guess...bye." "Who was that, Chelsea? What's wrong?" "That was my mother Hilary calling from Paris. Kenneth Starr is dropping the investigation and she's coming to take me back."

Peter and Lip Lass:

In the big bed of The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, Peter twists and turns as he sleeps next to Lip Lass. The camera gets fuzzy -- the telltale sign of a Dream Sequence! In bed, he calls out for his dead first wife (and Taylor's sister), Beth: "Why did you leave me?" Beth then appears next to him and says, "I didn't, silly. Now come on, Peter -- ravish me!" Sayyyy! We don't have enough ravishing on prime time TV anymore! Peter then dives for his dream date, but ends up nearly swallowed whole by a surprised Lip Lass! Taylor is taken aback by Peter's early-morning technique! He groggily apologizes and says he had a dream. "Awww, Taylor's here." Peter lays his head on her reinforced bosom.

Later, Lippie arrives at Sydney's shop in response to a call from Peter. He says he had Samantha do a special order of some clothes he wants to buy for Taylor. She says, "Well, this is so Bizarre of you, but sweet!" She tries on the first item Peter selected. It's a ... big ugly white robe! Ooooh! How revealing! Lippie says, "It seems...awfully conservative for me. It looks like something Beth would wear." "Oh, uh, really? I don't think so." Holy Hitchcockian Subplot, Batman! He's going to turn Lippie into Kim Novak! Without another comment from Taylor, Peter buys all the clothes. He's in luck: Sydney's store offers a 25 percent discount to adulterers! Everybody saves!

Billy, Samantha, and the Latest Evil Dad:

(Don't they ever have any Good Dads on this show? Even Sydney's father committed her to an asylum! Perhaps we'll see Billy's father, but who would confess to owning that DNA? [4/2: I've just been reminded that Billy's father is dead, and who can blame him?!])

Sam and Billy agree to let her dad, Jim Reilly, crash on the couch tonight. Jim is all smiles and Billy is polite, but Sam is obviously uneasy. Jim says he was released from prison a couple of weeks ago. His crime? "I knocked off a liquor store." To Sam's surprise, Jim says he hasn't yet told her mom that he's out, and he asks her to keep it quiet for now. Billy says, "Daah, well, g'night Mr. Convict, sir." "Call me Jim, son. And it's nice to see that my little girl has shacked up with such a total simpleton. Good night!" Sam and Jim are finally alone, and he says, "What happened in the past is our little secret. Your boyfriend doesn't have to know about it." (Before you start moaning, "Oh no, not the Alison incest plot again!" this seems to be different, fortunately.) Sam nods despairingly.

In the morning, Jim visits Sam at Sydney's store. "You sure do have some strange fashions out here! I've never seen so many anorexic women with bare midriffs and neon green blouses. And doesn't anybody eat steak?" He compliments Sydney on her appearance, but she tells him not to keep Sam from working! When Syd steps into the back room, Jim asks Sam for some spending money for "beer and stuff." Sam casually asks how much, and he says, "A hundred ought to do it." Yow! That's a lot of beer! Sam is taken aback, but she manages to scrounge up $50, which Jim says he'll pay back shortly. Yeah, right!

The next night, Billy returns home to hear the high decibel sounds of ... Waylon Jennings? AIEEEE! He sees Jim happily cooking away in the kitchen. When Jim says he's making a dinner of something called "chip beef," Billy says, "Daah, but I said I wuz bringin' some Chinese takeout home. I nevah eat anything else!" Billy then sees Samantha converting her would-be studio into a bedroom for Daddy. Billy gasps, "He's movin' in??" Sam, studiously avoiding eye contact, says Dad plans to find a job and a new life in Los Angeles. Hey, Jim, try Shooter's! Jake hires anybody! Billy is a bit miffed that Sam is keeping secrets from him. "Daah, I'm miffed!"

The following evening, Billy tells Sam about an off-camera scene. He says her dad acted "weird" when he saw a police car, almost as if he was about to flee the scene. The edgy Sam gets defensive: "Yo! You're dissing my entire Middle America hick family, Campbell!" "Daah, dat's bull!" When they calm down, she says, "There's something you should know." "Gaah, the date for the premiere episode of Spelling's new show, 'Pacific Palisades'?" "No, you idiot! It was MY testimony that got my father convicted!" She insists that Dad can stay for as long as he wants: "I'm not doing anything to hurt him again!" Jim, who has heard the whole discussion from his bedroom, smiles approvingly.

Sydney and the Lawsuit:

At the store, Our Sydney appears to be in a state of denial about her legal problems. Samantha asks her if she's gotten a lawyer yet. Nope! She can't afford it! Instead, Syd vows to prove that the Neck Lady is a fraud. Yes, this means that Syd will once again go undercover!

Parked in amazingly easy view across the street from Neck Lady's home, Sydney maintains vigil as Neck Lady (complete with leg cast and neck brace) sits on her porch. Suddenly, when the woman thinks no one is watching, she sprints for her mailbox! Sydney whips out a videocam recorder ... well, she tries to whip it out, that is. It won't work! Syd whacks it and the film pops out! She yells in frustration, which of course Neck Lady hears. The woman then drops to the pavement, moaning in pain and screaming at Sydney, "You're harassing me!" Syd drives off, shouting back "You're a fake, lady!" Syd deserves her own show!

Finally, we get to court. (Court already? In California? Talk about fantasy!) The judge is hearing arguments about the validity of the lawsuit, and he strongly advises Syd to get an attorney. "Courtroom dramas are dropping like flies, Ms. Andrews. I'm sure you can find some hunky TV lawyer." But Syd is confident! "The woman is a complete fake," but of course she doesn't have any evidence. On the other hand, the sleazy lawyer has the official complaint filed by Neck Lady accusing Syd of harassment. "That is such a crock!" yells Syd. The judge tells her to control her temper and get a lawyer. The lawsuit will proceed!

Outside the courthouse, Syd watches the wheelchair-bound Neck Lady and her lawyer. He leaves her near the top of the steps while he gets the car. Syd then takes the opportunity to confront her again! "Lady, you're the biggest faker since Uri Geller! Bend spoons, damn it!" Syd grabs her to prove that she can walk, but Neck Lady stumbles and falls down the steps -- for real! Sydney watches in horror, and the judge saw it all! Now we know why "Murder One" got canceled: not enough physical comedy!

Back inside, Sydney is completely up against the wall. Neck Lady is back in the wheelchair (with a few more bruises), and the judge says, "Opposing counsel has agreed to settle." The total: one million dollars! Syd gasps, "I don't have that money! What show do you think I'm on, 'Friends'?" The judge, who understandably is not sympathetic, puts the squeeze on her and urges her to accept it. Syd meekly says, "Yes, sir."

Before you know it, the store has been seized by the City of Los Angeles! The sign says, "Soon to reopen as the Melrose Alumni Career Recovery Center. Guest speaker: Daphne Zuniga." This is truly a glorious day in Melrosian History! The store is closed! The store is closed! Sydney, now reduced to wearing sweatpants, watches morosely as Samantha says, "I can't believe you lost the store!" Syd grumbles, "And my car, my percentage of Burns-Mancini, my porno royalties ... a big fat zero!" When Sam tries to be nice, Syd angrily says, "Don't feel sorry for me!" Sam then leaves, and the lawyer shows up. He gloats a bit over his victory, but he also tells Syd he sees potential for her in the ambulance-chasing field! He offers her some work. Syd proudly tells him to get lost, but she also knows she's dead broke.

Alison, Jake, and That Wacky Fetus:

At Wilshire Memorial, Dr. Preggo tells Alison and Jake that Alison has stabilized. Alison cries out, "Says you! I haven't been the same since Big Daddy Armstrong died! I was married once, you know -- everybody seems to forget that!" The doctor says Alison's pain was caused by toxemia brought on by "extreme stress." She'll give Alison some medication to see if she improves. When she leaves, Alison is overwhelmed with guilt. "It's my fault! If I hadn't gone to the office, this wouldn't have happened!" Jake consolingly tells her the doctor didn't mention that as being the cause. Still, Alison says, "If anything happens, I'll never forgive myself. I'll leave the show, and I'll take you with me!"

The next night, Jake tries to entertain Alison, who is increasingly restless in her hospital bed. He tells her the latest Melrosian gossip! (I'm sure glad this is the guy who recently told Alison to keep her nose out of other people's business!) "Well, Sam's convict father just showed up, so unfortunately she and Billy will get more air time." They then share a good laugh at Syd's expense as Jake tells her about Syd's attempt to expose Neck Lady. In fact, it's too good of a laugh! Alison has a seizure! Sydney is just too funny!

When Alison recovers, Dr. Preggo gives her the bad news: "You're suffering from a condition that's so full of B.S. we won't even attempt to give it a name. The only way for you to survive is for us to terminate this pregnancy as soon as possible." She leaves Alison and Jake to discuss it. Jake says, "What's important is for you to get well." Alison, still wracked with guilt, says she doesn't want to give up all the dreams she and Jake have had. Now here's a loopy statement: Jake says, "This could be a sign from God!" (Geez, I think Jake flipped over to "The Ten Commandments" during the commercial break!) Perhaps it's not the right time. He says, "You'll get pregnant again. I promise." "Not now, Jake. I have a headache."

Later, Jake visits Alison in the hospital again, and she tells him, "Dr. Preggo is almost positive I can never have children." She says she'd understand if Jake wanted to split. "No way. I love you. There are lots of kids out there who need a family, even one as incredibly dysfunctional as ours!" "Well then," says Alison, "would you do me a favor? Would you marry me?" Jake puffs! "Alison Parker, I would be honored."

Amanda, Kyle, and Craig:

At Melrose Place, Craig invites Amanda to the opening of a friend's new nightclub. Amanda says, "Do not get your hopes up, slave. Nothing will happen. I am abstaining from sex with anything organic." Craig feigns surprise! "Hey, maybe I just enjoy the pleasure of your company. Lighten up!" "Do not command me, lowly one! Still, I'll go, but you know the rules." Craig obviously hopes he can penetrate his mistress' leather armor.

As they get ready to leave the next evening, Amanda spots Kyle sitting quietly by the pool. To Craig's horror, she invites him along! Craig stammers, "But my invitation is only for two." "Oh, I'm sure you're well connected enough to get in one more guest," she says. Kyle agrees to go.

At Club Pomposity in Pasadena, the joint is hoppin'! Craig is not happy with the threesome, and he starts a game of one-upsmanship with Kyle. "So you run a restaurant? Isn't that a lot like being a servant?" "Yeah, I guess it's probably not as nice as running a business given to you by your daddy!" Round One to Kyle! Amanda calls for peace, and Kyle says, "I wanna watch the two of you dance." Amanda says, "Kinky! You appeal to me, Kyle. There is room in my slave quarters for you." Craig says he doesn't need Kyle's help, so Kyle counters, "OK, I'll dance with her." "No, I will!" Craig takes Amanda out to the dance floor as the Spice Girls play on the speakers. Craig is horribly trying to get funky, while Amanda makes eye contact only with Kyle.

A night or two later, Amanda bumps into Kyle in the courtyard. When he says she seems distracted, she tells him, "Oh, Alison lost her baby and Kimberly Shaw is ... oh, wait, you haven't read that part of the recap yet! Anyhow, it's been a bad day." She sees Kyle carrying a bowling ball and mentions she enjoys bowling now and then herself. Kyle invites her along tonight, but she says, "Ahhh, no, not tonight." That was almost a yes, though!

Michael, Megan, and Kimberly:

At the beach house, Michael is dreading the imminent arrival of Kimberly's mother. Bingo, she's here! She's extremely brusque with Michael and doubly so with his new wife, Megan! She heads straight for Kim's room and is shocked by her poor appearance. "Why didn't you tell me you were getting sick?" "All I ever do is cause you pain. Actually, I've caused a lot of people pain, but at least I never blew you up, Mom."

Megan tries to be a peacemaker and she makes dinner for everybody. Kim wearily says, "My mother and I have decided that I should move to Cleveland and rest." Michael immediately says that's a bad decision. "Travel is dangerous in your condition! Your mother is only suggesting this because she hates me!" Mom refreshingly says, "Yes! Kimberly had a brilliant career ahead of her until she met you." "Oh yeah, and I gave her cancer, too! You'd blame me for global warming if you could make that fly! Kimberly's had a good run on this show, and it's all due to me!" Kim nearly faints and Megan calls a halt to the arguing. Mrs. Shaw warns, "Megan, be careful with this young man. He is strong with the Dark Side of the Force!" "Bite me, Yoda. You are one twisted old crone." He and Megan leave, while Mom tells Kim to leave everything to her: "Mommy knows best."

The next evening, Kim calls Megan at home and asks for a lift. "I need to see Michael one last time before I leave." There has to be a "real goodbye" between them. Megan agrees to bring her over to the hospital where Michael's on call. She drives over to the beach house and is escorting Kim out when Mom returns! She yells at Megan, "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" She tries to pull a protesting Kim back inside, but Kim's brain pops! She slumps to the ground. As Megan and Mom watch helplessly, Kimberly breathes her last: "Mom, I'm sorry. I should have stayed home ... I love him ...and I'm coming back as a ghost, just like Brooke ... Rosebud..." Kimberly is dead!

We jump to the hospital shortly after Megan has told Michael the news. She says Mrs. Shaw is taking the body back to Cleveland, and she suggests that Michael take the time to say goodbye to Kim's body in the mortuary. He doesn't feel the need to make his peace! "I don't feel guilty about anything that happened between me and Kimberly ... well, there was that time she caught me and Amanda in the hot tub."

Nevertheless, as Mrs. Shaw is having Kim's casket brought onboard the train, Michael rushes down the platform. She coldly says, "Did you want to finish her off?" He says that no matter what else happened, "I did love her." Mom sobs, "My little girl is dead!" She lets Michael embrace her and asks, "Do you want to see her one last time?" The casket is opened, and Michael softly kisses Kim's forehead. "Goodbye, Kimberly. I'll never forget you." The train leaves the station as Michael watches. He gulps once, then begins to cry: "There goes the best actor this show has ever had. This sucks!"

Next Week: Kyle and Amanda flirt! Sydney says, "I wait and wait for that boy, and all she has to do is wiggle her butt!"

--Ken Hart

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