Episode 27: Deja Vu All Over Again


With Marcia Cross finally out of the credits after her ghostly appearance last week, David Charvet's face unfortunately jumps into the theme song. Damn! Now it'll be tougher to get rid of him. We also got a rare aerial view of the coast during the credits, and this episode was directed by James "Time Tunnel" Darren! Does this mean Jake and Billy will go back in time to save the Titanic?

The Matt Slot goes to ...Peter! The Bizarre One stares at the floor and yells at pancakes!

Sydney, Craig, Amanda, and Kyle:

In the Emergency Tumble ward of Wilshire Memorial Hospital, Our Sydney is painfully recovering from her foolishly planned fall down the D&D stairs. She moans to Sleazy the Lawyer, "I have a broken rib, a separated shoulder, and I didn't get the raise I wanted for next season." "Not enough! We need nerve damage!" "Hell, watch 'Pacific Palisades'! That'll damage the nerves!" Sleazy tells Syd she needs to play this up. He's hoping to sue D&D for $5 million! "Yow!" yells Syd. Thinking she's in pain, Kyle, Billy, Amanda, and Craig rush in, and Sydney quickly changes her tune to "Ow! Ow!" Amanda is skeptical, and her doubts are not dispelled when Sleazy hands her his business card, which she promptly rips up.

Later, however, Craig walks into Amanda's office at Dumb & Dumber to say they just received a summons from Sydney's lawyer. She's filing for damages! What a shock! Craig says, "I could not resist the power of the summons, Mistress." "Indeed, slave. But we shouldn't worry about the lawsuit. That's why we have insurance." Craig hems and haws: "Well, Mistress, about that insurance..." He admits that the insurance company had demanded a separate policy for the So-Hazardous-It-Must-Be-Radioactive Stairway, and he let it lapse during his very brief tenure as boss. Amanda fumes, "This reaches new heights of incompetence! You worthless ninny! You shall be punished!" "Ohhhh, yesss, Mistress. I've been bad...."

After Amanda has finished with the jar of honey and the red ants, Craig staggers over to her place with a Cunning Plan. "All I have to do is seduce Sydney! I'll convince her to drop the suit." Amanda scoffs, "Foolish one! This is Sydney we're talking about! Money is all she lusts after." Still, Amanda feels it's probably worth a shot. "OK, Romeo. You've got one week." After that, she says they'll have no choice but to settle with Syd out of court.

The next day, Amanda calls up her movie buddy Kyle and invites him to an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art: "They're showing the classic paintings of Leroy Niemann. Bring your anti-epilepsy medication." However, she pointedly and not-too-convincingly says, "This is not a date." Kyle plays along.

Meanwhile, a still-sore Syd returns from the hospital as Craig prances in the pool. As she and Sleazy arrive at her door, the lawyer tells her, "Tomorrow I'll buy you a cane." He thinks it's a bad idea for her to be living in the same complex as their target, but Syd shoos him away. Craig tries to strike a beefcake pose in the water and he asks Syd, "How ya doin'?" "No comment." Slam!

A formal Amanda and Kyle prepare to leave for the art shindig. The one-armed bandit, Sydney, stands at the door of her pad and pathetically says, "Can someone help me with my garbage?" Craig immediately responds to the call for garbage! Amanda and Kyle leave as Craig helps a bewildered Syd put away the trash. He then walks in and programs his number into her phone's speed dial, so she can call him whenever she needs anything. Syd, who learned manipulation from the Master, Michael Mancini, doesn't buy this for a second.

At the museum's exhibit opening, Kyle is drawn to one painting in particular and he tells Amanda that it reminds him of the Gulf War. "The violence, the gunfire, the killing -- it makes its mark on a person." "You killed Iraqis?" "No, CNN cameramen. Those bastards kept getting in the way!" (By the way, the back of Amanda's dress -- well, the non-existent back of Amanda's dress --- single-handedly makes this episode a keeper!) They then discuss ... Art! What is this, the A&E Channel? Amanda reveals that she went through a "bohemian stage" as a youth. "Like, what, you listened to Queen?" "No, dummy! I mean I was shiftless, didn't wear deodorant, and wore tie-dyed antique 1950's clothes that were sold at outrageous prices!" She says she got into painting. Kyle asks, "What happened?" "Poverty sucks!" Kyle invites her to slow-dance, and as they do so, she asks about his dreams. He wants to run a jazz club. Overcome with passion, Amanda sniffs his hair!

At Kyle's restaurant the next day, she follows up by offering to be his financial partner in launching a new jazz club. She's looking to invest some of her money (especially since Sydney is about to snatch it all away), but Kyle doesn't want another partnership like he had with Lip Lass. "Ah," says Amanda, "but you were romantically involved with the Lipped mutant. We're not." "You sure about that?" Amanda lets that one slide by and says he should consider this "a brief window of opportunity." Jump out that window, Kyle!

Craig later walks over to Sydney's with an offering of pizza and ice cream, not to mention a video of Bette Davis in "Dark Victory," the true story of Bob Dole's loan to Newt Gingrich. Syd says, "You're trying to butter me up so I'll drop the lawsuit." When she winces again in real pain, though, Craig says, "I'm sorry this has happened." Syd is amazed. "No one has said that to me." Craig insists that he does care, and she starts to get a bit misty-eyed.

Billy, Samantha, Jake, Alison, and Matt:

After her encounter with the detective, Samantha confronts her Evil Dad as he sweeps at Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town). "Doy, Dad, you lied to me!" He says he regretted not telling her that he's a convict on the run, but "I had no place left to go." She says he should turn himself in (yeah, right). Dad says, "I made enemies in prison, sugar. I'm a marked man. Cletus says he's going to treat me just like the sheep back home." He asks, "Can't you find it in your heart to help me?" Don't do it, Sam!

Back at her pad, Billy tells her about Syd's accident. "Daah, dat ridiculous spiral staircase. I almost fell down a few times myself." "Are you sure you didn't?" "Gaah, wat?" "Nothing, nothing..." He asks her about her dad, and she says he quickly moved out! "An old friend in Chicago -- a Mr. I. M. Fibbing -- has offered him a job out there." Billy obviously thinks this is great news and wants to celebrate by having immediate sex with his emotionally messed-up girlfriend.

That night, there's a big post-wedding reception for Jake and Alison at Shooter's. Billy stands up and proposes a toast: "Ta Jake and Alison! May they find as much happiness as Alison an' I had before the writers ripped us apart! Gaah!" A morose Matt drinks alone. Sam and Billy walk over to him. "Daah, whazzup Matt? I thought you had a subplot." Matt explains about his niece Chelsea deciding to go to Europe with her mom. Sam suggests, "Matt, you should really be sure you want less screen time before you give Chelsea up."

After the party is over, Alison and Jake clean up Shooter's. (Whoever heard of the couple cleaning up their own reception?) Alison shows off a champagne bottle she found. Jake says, "Ah, you found my hiding place!" What hiding place, Jake? You own a bar! You know, alcohol? He advises Alison that perhaps she should stay away from that, but she happily says, "I can handle it!" She takes a big gulp from the bottle, then she and Jake go at it on the pool table! (For the Melrose Place drinking game, everyone should take 5 extra shots if anyone on the show ever has sex in a bed!)

In the morning, Alison secretly pops a couple of aspirin in the bathroom. Jake staggers in with a hangover and reaches for the aspirin himself. Alison lies and says she didn't have a hangover. "What's that sound, Jake?" "Why, it's the Plot Complication Doorbell, Alison! Can you answer it?" It's Colleen (played by Stacy Haiduk), the mother of Jake's son David." She introduces herself, "Hi, I'm Colleen, the mother of Jake's son David." Alison knew about her, but is obviously surprised to see her here. Colleen explains to Jake and Alison that she's here on business and figured she'd stop by. "I'm impulsive." Jake counters, "I'm the king of impulsive. So there!" Colleen is visibly taken aback when she learns that they got married. Jake suggests they all go out to dinner: "It'll be fun!" Alison grumbles, "Yeah, fun. Excuse me while I get a glass of my 'special' orange juice."

As Chelsea waits for her passport to come through, Matt arrives and presents her mom Denise with a court order. "By the order of the County of Los Angeles, Matt Fielding deserves a longer plotline. His niece must stay." Chelsea is mad at Matt for butting in, and Denise angrily says, "If I was such a tragically unfit mother, why am I here?" "Hey, bite me, Kierkegaard! Save the existential questions for the court!" Denise won't leave without Chelsea, setting up a legal battle.

Samantha heads for the flea-trap motel where her Evil Dad has now secretly holed up. "Eww, this place is so skanky! Do minorities live here? I've never seen one." He tells her he's got a plan to get across the border. "But Dad, the Nazis will shoot you! I saw 'The Great Escape'!" "Sam, you moron, I'm going to Mexico! I just need $500." Sam gasps! Dad suggests she get it from her "yuppie boyfriend." She says she'll get the money somehow. Dad smiles. He's evil!

Back at the apartment, a stressed Sam suddenly gives Billy a hard time about buying too many groceries. "Doy, Billy, do we really need 10 boxes of Sugar Frosted Flakes?" "Yeah! They make me feel G-r-r-r-eat! Gaah, where's all this comin' from?" She says she simply hates not having money of her own. Billy tells her, "Hey, we're together now. My money is yers. Here's my ATM card." Sam is tempted! "I'm not going to mooch." Billy insists, "Take it."

Sam takes the moolah out of the ATM, as Dad stands next to her. (Hey, smooth move, chief! You're wanted by the feds, your daughter would be followed by Real police, and you're strutting around with her in broad daylight.) Dad pockets the money and says he'll leave ... as soon as he takes care of "some things." This is not what Sam wanted to hear!

At Kyle's, Colleen, Alison and Jake have a not-entirely comfortable dinner. Colleen, who doesn't know what's happened since Jake visited her a couple of months back, asks about Alison's pregnancy. Oops! They explain that they lost the baby. Colleen innocently says, "Oh, I'm sorry. Well, you can always try again!" Yeee! Double Oops! Alison thinks, "Why don't you just rip out my intestines while you're at it?" She orders a bottle of wine! Colleen mentions that she and her husband are having bad times [insert gasp of surprise here], but David is the one she's most concerned about. She touches Jake's hand and Alison's eyes bug out. "Forget the wine! Get me a mudslide!" Colleen asks Jake if it's OK for David to call him from time to time: "He needs a man to talk to." "Well, I think Matt's available for father figure duty, but sure." Alison is disturbed!

Later, Jake comes home after a shift at Shooter's. Alison tells him that Colleen called: Apparently, David had a tough time at school and she'd like Jake to talk to him. Alison admits that she's bent out of shape about this, and insists that Colleen was hoping to get Jake back. "You're wrong about her," says Jake. "No, I'm not! Every show she's been on lately -- 'Seaquest,' 'The Round Table,' 'Kindred' -- has gotten canceled. She wants my spot on Melrose Place!" She adds, "Jake, I lost your child. I can never give you another one." Jake again insists that's not the important thing. "Alison, I love you, not the guest star."

Megan, Michael, and Jennifer:

As Michael and Megan finish their morning jog on the beach, he again insists that she help him destroy Peter. She refuses, and Michael finally yields. "You hate my ambition," he states. "No, I love your ambition!" Sufficiently aroused, they starting going at it on the floor of the beach house -- when a damn cute young woman walks in wearing a bath towel! "Whoops!" she says. "What are you doin' here?" demands Michael. "Didn't you get my letter?" Just as Megan is about to blow a gasket, Michael introduces his kid sister Jennifer (played by Alyssa Milano). He then says to Jennifer, "And this is my wife." "Oh, hi, Kimberly!" D'OH! It's Verbal Faux Pas Week on Melrose Place! Corrections are made, and Megan says, "It's so nice to meet one of Michael's relatives. I was beginning to think he was raised by wolves."

Jennifer says she was a Liberal Arts major in Boston College. (Hmmm, Boston. That's where Kyle and Lip Lass are from. Could it be...?) After she graduated, she decided to explore "new horizons." She's being a little TOO cute here, but that could be intentional. Megan's happy to see her, Michael isn't. "How long do you plan on staying here?" "As long as you'll have me."

When they're alone, Jennifer tells Megan about her cool ankle tattoo and warns her about Michael's ambition and drive. "He doesn't care about anybody." She even says he's hated by nearly every member of the Mancini clan. "There are times when he's been actually nice to people, which goes against the family code of behavior." Jennifer claims she wants to get a job, but admits she hasn't put together a resume. Through careful manipulation, Jen gets Megan to volunteer to write the resume for her at the office. (The manipulation power must be in the DNA!)

In bed that night, Michael and Megan are having a tough time getting to sleep because Jennifer is blasting the TV in the living room. He is getting increasingly steamed, but Megan quietly restrains him. She admits to writing Jen's resume, but Michael quickly says, "Oh no no! She only made you think it was your idea!" When Megan mentions the comment about the family, Micheal really stews! "When my dad had a heart attack, I left med school for a semester to work in the family bakery." He almost flunked out of school, but no one in his family has ever complimented him. Megan says, "I'm sorry, Michael. I had no idea you worked in a bakery. Write down your Black Forest cake recipe in the morning."

Now here's a weird scene: Amanda agrees to interview Jennifer for a job at D&D because "I owe him one." Jen is all smiles at first, but quickly starts jabbing Amanda with sharp comments about advertising in general ... and Amanda in particular! She talks about how advertising always bends the truth, and she "innocently" mocks one campaign as an example -- a campaign that Amanda put together! (Wow, Jen sure did her homework on the cast! The question is, why?) Amanda is stunned. Jen says, "Am I getting too philosophical? I don't want to lose you." Ow! What a little brat! Amanda tells her to leave, and Jen has the nerve to ask, "So did I get the job or not?" "Not!"

Back at the beach house, she tearfully tells Michael, "Amanda says she has a new policy to never hire friends or friends of friends. And she was really mean to me! Sob! Waah!" Michael buys it! "Amanda can be really brutal. Ask Craig!" He intends to call her, but Jennifer talks him out of it.

Peter and Lip Lass:

Taylor, still in her "I Want to be Like Beth" mode, makes a special pancake breakfast for The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns. However, he just stares silently at the table. Zzzzzz. When he shows no interest in them, Lippie says, "You don't like them? But they're Beth's secret recipe!" Peter slowly says, "I was thinking about your sister Beth before she became ill. It was the last time I was truly happy. And you actually think a stack of pancakes can take the place of THAT? Not even close!" He storms out. Taylor calls out, "How about french toast?"

Later, while searching through his pad, Lip Lass finds a videotape labeled "Housewarming Party." She puts it on and starts mimicking the poses and hand motions of her sister Beth. Wow, damn good quality on that videotape considering how old it must be by now! Peter probably had a smegging Betamax when he made that!

When Peter comes home, Taylor immediately starts to Vogue with her goofy, Beth-like hand motions. "Strike a pose, Peter!" The Bizarre One understandably backs off! "You've been doing some research. I don't think I like that." He grabs the box of videos and dumps them on the table. "These are MY memories! Not yours!" As Taylor gets a little scared, he gets her and says, "I'll show you how to do this! Now stand there and don't move!" Yow! He gets behind her and starts ripping her clothes off! Creepy! Lippie is terrified and he's even more Bizarre than we thought!

Next Week: Jennifer gets Lip Lass pissed off. She's good for something after all!

--Ken Hart

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