Episode 26: The Dead Wives Club


A stellar episode, full of nutty scenes and bad acting! It's for episodes like this that the Recaps exist! (Programming Note: Keep an eye out for "Pacific Palisades" debuting Wednesday night after 90210. It looks really bad and trashy!)

The Matt Slot goes to ... Craig! His mistress has abandoned him! You know things are bad when you go from dancing with Amanda in one episode to griping with Billy in the next!

Jake, Alison, Billy, Samantha, and the Evil Dad:

As a glum Billy is leaving the apartment for work, Samantha catches up to him. "Ah, Billy, can you help my dad find a job? How about Shooter's? That was in the Recaps last week and it seemed like a really good idea." "Daah, Sam, you too are outta work, ya know!" "Doy, I forgot!" Alison and Jake are leaving, and they tell Billy and Sam that they're eloping. Alison says, "We're going to keep driving until we get married or leave the show!" Sam gushes, "How romantic!" She asks Jake if her dad can work at Shooter's. Jake says, "Yeah, sure, send him over. I'll hire anybody with two arms, two legs, and a criminal record." They leave, Samantha returns to the apartment, and Andrew Shue stares into space after Alison and Jake. [Translation: Alison and Jake are making a huge mistake. Instead of traveling aimlessly across the state, they're missing a great opportunity to promote "Pacific Palisades." Where's my soccer ball?]

Jake and Alison wind up in "Children of the Corn" territory. Their car has broken down, and the mechanic says it'll take a while to get a new fuel pump. He directs them toward the local town of Inbreeding. Alison and Jake continue to wrestle with the idea that this marriage may not be meant to be -- as if any deity worth his salt would give a smeg! Smite them!

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town), Evil Dad Jim sits down with Sam and a clearly uncomfortable Billy to talk about his first day on the job. "Jake left word that all his new employees have to undergo the Desk Test. Do you know what he means by that?" He says he'll ask Jake to pay him under the table, and Sam doesn't think Jake will have any problem with that. Hey, Simple Sam, when did you become Jake's accountant? She leaves to powder her brain, and Jim asks Billy, "You don't like me, do you, son?" "Daah, I don't know you well enough not to like you, Jim." Jim makes it quite clear that he doesn't like Billy! "You never had to work a day in your life, have you?" "DAT is total crap! Gaah!" He tells Jim, "Sam and I love each other." "Then get married!" Jim says that when he saves up some money, he's going to ask Sam to move in with him. Billy, cowardly avoiding eye contact, says, "Daah, wat if I object?" Jim leans in threateningly: "Well then, that would be your tough luck." Billy stares ahead with a deer-in-the-headlights look.

Back in Inbreeding, Alison is bored. "I've walked around this town 20 times. All the mailboxes have the same name, and all the guys look like Ned Beatty!" Jake gets word that the new fuel pump won't be in till tomorrow. "But Jaaaaake! I want to emote!" She starts walking down the street. Jake follows and says, "Sorry it didn't work out." Alison whines, "Will it ever work out? The gods do toy with us!" Looking down the block, they suddenly see a church! "Where did that come from?" It's Infernal Destiny!

They enter the church to find a young man obviously in a big rush. "Are you the priest?" they ask. "No, I'm married to the pastor!" He calls out, "Sis! Oh, I mean, Honey!" A seriously pregnant woman waddles out! Jake and Alison explain they'd like to get married, but the guy says no: "The pains are 8 minutes apart." However, the pregnant pastor says, "Ah, plenty of time, Tim! And these two look desperate!"

That night, Billy and Sam are having a dinner at a nice restaurant, but the strain is obvious. Billy finally says, "Daah, yer father threatened me! He said he would squeeze me and keep squeezing me till all my man-juices run dry!" "Ewww!" He continues, "He's got some secret. And you just sit there with some guilt-trip denial." Sam says she does feel guilty for testifying against her dad and she'll never harm him again. She orders Billy to take her home. "Before dessert? Gaah!"

Also that night, Alison stares at the bedroom window of their motel room. (Amazingly, the wedding of Jake and Alison was not shown! It was treated like a passing thought, which is probably all it really deserved. Holy Unlikelihood, Batman!) She seems depressed. Jake sees this and says, "This is supposedly to be a happy day, isn't it?" "I was just thinking about our wacky fetus," she says. "I never got to see him. Even the procedure was off-camera." She had been avoiding her grief, but "I woke up feeling so terribly sad, so alone." Jake hugs her. "You'll never be alone again. On this show, somebody is always getting some action!"

The next morning, Alison and Jake are awakened when suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at their motel door. It's the motel clerk -- only this, and nothing more! He heard that they just got married: "I never had any newlyweds here before. Just the occasional cultist!" He hands Jake a congratulatory bottle of champagne. The guy leaves and Jake, feeling uncomfortable, tells ex-alkie Alison, "I should've told him we couldn't accept this." "Oh, come on! One drink isn't going to kill me. How else are we going to toast?" "Uh, with water?" Alison persists and Jake opens the bottle. He pours the glasses, and -- with barely a pause -- Alison falls off the wagon! "There! One drink, and that's it. I love you, Jake. Now where's the vodka?"

Back at Melrose Place, Sam meets an L.A. detective who's looking for her father. When she asks what he's done, the detective says he escaped from prison last week! Sam lies and says she hasn't seen him. The detective leaves, and a stunned Sam slumps against the door. "Darn you, Dad! Darn you all to heck!"

Peter, Lip Lass, Michael, Megan, and yes, Kimberly:

At the beach house, Michael and Megan have been boxing things up, but Michael says he just got a call from Kimberly's mom regarding the will. "Kimberly left the house to us! All her wigs went to RuPaul." Megan, realizing Michael wants to stay here, says, "I don't know, Michael. I think it's kind of weird." He feels an unshakable Karmic power! "I'm on a collision course with success here! Are you with me or against me?" Ah, true love! Megan agrees and they start making out on the floor while a smiling picture of Kimberly watches. Now that's weird!

Over at the Hitchcock Condos, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns tells Lip Lass, "I left a new dress for you on the bed. It's an Yves St. Beth...I mean, Yves St. Lauren original!" She puts on the blue dress and says, "Hmmm, I don't know, Peter..." He stares and says, "It's perfect. You look exactly how I want you to look." They starts kissing, and he says, "Play hard to get...resist me!" He begins to tug on her hair and lips. "Peter, stop! This is too weird." "Bark like a dog! Woof!" They struggle and fall onto the bed. He forces himself onto her. She gasps, "No! NO! Yes! YES! Looooooove Has Found Me...!"

At the Burns-Mancini office the next day, a smiling Michael (always a bad sign) asks wife/receptionist Megan to "forget" about an important memo that Peter asked her to type. Instead, he wants her to get Peter to sign a memo that Michael wrote in his name! In the memo, "Peter" recommends that the hospital use its budget to order Gitchigoo 1000, a proctology tool that Peter himself developed. Michael gloats, "It's a memo that will make him look self-serving and greedy. He'll be kicked out of the chief of staff position quicker than you can say Whitewater!" Megan says, "But this is ... unethical." "Hey, honey, what show do you think you're on? Full House? It's not unethical. It's a case of ... acute mischief." Peter walks out and hurriedly signs a bunch of papers on Megan's desk, including Michael's memo! He tells Megan he wants full distribution of this to the board before today's meeting. Michael smiles!

That night, Megan's head gets fuzzy as she sleeps. Why? It's a Wacky Dream Sequence! She walks across the land of "Got Milk?" and sees ... Kimberly! She's sitting at a table and serves Megan tea! "Let's talk," she says happily. She says that she's crossed over, but assures Megan that she hasn't: "Oh, no. You're just dreaming!" She tells Megan it's OK to stay in the beach house because Michael feels very comfortable there. However, "you have to be careful. He can be very tough on his wives." "You mean infidelity." "No. His ruthless ambition. It's bottomless!" When Megan asks why Kim is telling her this, Kim chuckles, "Well, it's not official yet, but I may be your guardian angel!" Yow! What if "Touched By An Angel" were produced by Aaron Spelling and starred Marcia Cross? That would be a show worth watching! "You've disobeyed the laws of heaven. Now suck plasma!"

At Peter's pad, Taylor returns and Peter describes the reception he wants to have for the hospital's board. She seems quite somber: "Why not have it at the restaurant?" He prefers to have it here, so she can wear that new dress." "Impossible. I took it back." Peter is upset! "That was a gift." In response, Taylor angrily tosses a photo album at him. "Open it! Page Six! That was the dress Beth wore on your honeymoon. This is sick! It is demented! It's so ... Bizarre! Is turning me into Beth the only way you can love me? Admit it! Admit you're trying to turn me into Beth!" He doesn't respond, and she slaps him. "Go to hell." She leaves and Jack Wagner says, "Hey, why did she get all the dialogue for five minutes?"

The next day, as Peter is addressing the board at the budget meeting, Michael walks in. "Well, these meetings are open to everybody." He then starts schmoozing with all the people while Peter is still talking! Obviously relishing the moment, Michael quizzes a confused Peter about some of his budget choices. "As chief of staff, aren't you obligated to disclose all past associations? What about your recommendation of the Gitchigoo 1000?" But it quickly becomes apparent that nobody know what Michael is talking about! The memo isn't in their reports! Peter says, "I developed the Gitchigoo 1000 after months of personal and very sensitive trials, and I would never recommend its use. That would be a complete violation!" Michael is humiliated!

A few minutes later, Megan arrives, apparently hoping to see Michael before the meeting, but it's too late. She says she removed the fake memo from the budget reports. Michael is angry: "What kind of wife are you?" She tells him he's good enough to get the position on his own merits. He coldly jokes about the moral lecture from the prostitute, but Megan won't be goaded: "I'm not going to be your pawn, Michael. I reinverted myself, as have most of the characters on this show, and you can do the same."

At the Burns pad, swinging single Peter is entertaining his many hospital guests. An older woman says, "You're the handsomest chief of staff we've ever had." "Well, thank you. Have you ever seen the Gitchigoo 1000 in action?" In shock, he sees one of his guests chatting with ... Taylor transformed! She's wearing the blue dress, has her hair up, and has toned down her lips. (I guess she's supposed to look like Beth, although she looks nothing like the lady in last week's dream sequence!) Peter stammers, but she says this is what he wanted, right? She proceeds to be the Über-Hostess!

Matt and Chelsea:

Matt and Chelsea anxiously await the arrival of her mother. Chelsea is upset. "I don't want to meet my mother! She's going to talk about her health care plan!" There's a knock on the door. Matt says, "Be cool. Be polite. Be honest. Tell her the health plan will only work if this country's politicians are willing to bite the bullet on Social Security!" They open the door, and it's a somber Mom! She says in a really bad monotone, "Your-poor-thing. I-am-sorry. It is sad that your mother is such a poor actress." Chelsea tells Mom, "I like it here. I want to stay with Matt and mingle with the morally bereft citizens of Melrose Place!" Mom tries to present her side of the story, but Chelsea's not in the mood. Mom says, "Give me the opportunity to explain how Medicare can be changed to..." "Just Go!" Mom leaves, and Chelsea hugs Mother Matt.

Now strap yourselves in and prepare for bad acting! As Chelsea is heading into school, Mom intercepts her. "I need to tell you how I feel before I head back to Europe. I have loved you from the moment you were conceived. Back when you were no bigger than an amoeba, I loved you like no woman has ever loved a single-celled organism ... well, not counting Larry Flynt's wife." She says leaving Chelsea was (yawn) the "biggest mistake of my life." Chelsea gets all choked up and says, "When I was little, every day I drew the pentagram in blood and prayed that you'd come home." Mom says, "I guess your soul-devouring prayers must have found their way to Europe!" "Ohhhhhh, Mommmmmm! Waaaaah!" It's a mother and child reunion. That's the last scene with Mom -- thank goodness!

Chelsea tries to pack her stuff and leave Matt's pad without his noticing, but no dice. She tells him, "I'm staying with Mom at her hotel for a few days, then we're off to Europe." Matt protests, "But I'm your legal guardian." "She's my mother." "Your point being...?" She says that Mom "isn't the woman my father said she was. She loved me as a protozoa. That's got to count for something. Thanks, Matt." She leaves. Matt is saddened as he realizes that the juicy legal battle with his mother will now never happen and that he is again reduced to supporting other people's plots. He cries!

(Speaking of which, doesn't this seem ... odd? The writers set up this conflict between Matt and his mom, then Chelsea's mother appears out of nowhere and takes her away two weeks later! Weird. I get the feeling Fox chickened out of doing the more interesting plotline.)

Sydney, Amanda, Kyle, Craig, and more Lip Lass:

Sydney does something rarely seen on this show: take money out of an ATM! The sleazy lawyer follows her and again suggests that they team up to pull off some scams. "Here's your chance to turn the tables and cash in." Syd refuses! She enters her rental car (!) and he jumps in on the other side. (Leaving the passenger side unlocked -- in Los Angeles!?) Syd drives and he keeps saying she should just "take a tumble" and rake in mucho moolah. As they talk, Sleazy sees a car behind them, then sharply hits the brakes of Syd's car! The other car crashes into her trunk! Syd screams, "This was a rental! I waived the insurance!" She starts yelling at the guy who hit her, while Sleazy pretends to have a neckache! When Sleazy mentions the police, the guy says, "No, no! Let's see ... some damage to the cars ... how about $1,000?" Syd chimes in, "How about my friend here?" They work it up to $2,000 and everybody leaves. Sleazy praises her as a natural, but Sydney says, "That's it. I won't be corrupted. I draw the line at prostitution, blackmail, and porno."

Meanwhile, at Dumb & Dumber, Kyle enters Amanda's office and protests the new ad he just saw. It's a picture of Taylor holding the menu with the gravitational pull of her lips. Amanda calmly says it was done while they were still together. Kyle orders, "Change it." "No problem. I shall put my slaves to work on it immediately. If they fail, their suffering will be legendary."

Sydney then goes to Kyle's restaurant and pleads for a job! Kyle says, "Yeah, sure, I'll hire anybody with two arms, two legs, and a criminal record. Oh wait, that's Jake." Lip Lass sees this and says, "Oh no! I knew as soon as the boutique closed you'd be sniffing around here." Kyle asks, "You don't like it?" Taylor says, "Hate it!" Kyle happily says, "Sydney, start tonight! Wear white blouse, black slacks." Taylor angrily follows him into the kitchen and accuses him of pettily playing tit for tat. Kyle says, "Nah. You're doin' Burns every night. I just hired someone I slept with one night." He tells her he boxed up more of her "crap," including her old secret photo album of Beth and Peter! He taunts, "It must have been tough to grow up in the shadow of Beth." "One day you're going to choke on that sarcasm." Kyle laughs it off.

The next day, Taylor and new employee Syd are arguing when Amanda pops up to talk to Kyle. As Syd and Lippie watch, Amanda explains that the original ad starring Taylor just won the Silver Design award, the highest honor on the West Coast. (Wow, that's not bad for an ad that's been out all of, what, two days?) Apparently, the award judges thought Taylor's mouth was some special effect, so the ad won for Best Visual Concept. Obviously, Amanda wants to keep the ad as is, saying it'll help both D&D and the restaurant. Kyle agrees. When she mentions a reception at the office, Kyle offers to cater it. Amanda sees the comically peering Syd and Taylor. "Does that include your mini-harem as well?" "We all have our crosses to bear."

After a hard day at work, Kyle and Syd chat in the deserted kitchen. She starts massaging his shoulders, then tells him how she dreamed he'd drop Taylor and open his eyes. Sayyyy! She even confesses that Carter broke up with her because he realized she hadn't gotten over Kyle. He says, "I thought that was because he was a complete geek." They start kissing, but Kyle breaks it off. (You fool!) "I like you, Syd, but I don't want a relationship right now." She feels unwanted and accuses him of playing cute with Amanda, but he says no. Syd leaves, rejected. When will Sydney ever find happiness? Give her a break!

Amanda and Kyle later bump into each other at the video store. Amanda is getting a Marlon Brando film and "Of Human Bondage," and Kyle is showing his sensitive side: Meryl Streep! They cozily chat for a couple of minutes, and Kyle ponders that he might like seeing the Brando film. Amanda says, "Are you inviting yourself over to my place?" "Sure. You've got the bigger TV!" "You men are so selfish!"

Later, Sleazy gives Syd a check for $2,000 for her earlier work. Syd again tells him she wants no part of this, but he persists! He wants to hit something big, like a major corporation. At that point, Syd peers out the blinds and sees Amanda and Kyle going up the steps into her place! "That bitch! I wait and I wait for that guy and all she has to do is wiggle her butt." The lawyer comments, "Nice butt." Sydney then has a revelation! "Wait, you want a corporation? Ever hear of D&D Advertising?"

Here's the reception at D&D, catered by Kyle's. Billy and Craig munch on shrimp, though Craig fumes when he sees Amanda chatting with Kyle. "My mistress does not seek my attentions. I must whip myself into submission." Billy sees Sydney: "Gaah, what are you doin' here?" "Making an honest living for once. Can you believe it?" She gets a phone call -- it's Sleazy, who tells her that he's removed the skid tape from the top of the circular staircase. Sydney moves into position! Amanda calls for a toast to Kyle: "Semper Fi, everyone!" Amanda walks over to a disgusted Craig, who tells her he saw her and Kyle go into her place last night. "We were watching movies, slave. I reject your jealousy! No Alpo for you tonight." Meanwhile, Syd stands at the top of the stairs and whispers, "Take this, Amanda." She then slips and tumbles down the stairs -- ouch! She lands in a heap at the bottom, unconscious and bleeding! Kyle yells for an ambulance and moves her head. Yeah, good move, Dr. Kildare! Why don't you sit on her ribs while you're at it?

Next Week: Alyssa Milano joins the cast as Michael's kid sister Jennifer. She's off to a great start, slapping Kyle and dissing Amanda!

--Ken Hart

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