Episode 28: All Beth's Are Off


Is it just me, or is everybody else sick of seeing that old geezer on the motorcycle during the episode credits? Take him off the air or make him a guest star, but do something!

The Matt Slot goes to ... Peter, who is getting very little dialogue these days as the writers quickly make him evil again! (This was a tough call that could have easily gone to Megan, who spent most of the story being clueless!)

Sydney and Craig:

Craig, still trying to woo Sydney, knocks on her door. Syd looks frazzled. Her right arm is still sore and she can't wash her hair! This is far worse than Jane being crippled! Craig offers to wash the hair for her. A skeptical Syd says, "Bathing buddies?" "No, I was thinking of the sink." She originally says no, but eventually agrees. She does comment on his obvious act: "I'm not going to drop the lawsuit." Craig pretends to be shocked and continues being the happy neighbor. He even suggests that Syd get a rest in a spa in Palm Springs; they're a client of D&D and he can get her in for nothing.

Before you can say "mud bath," Sydney is getting the full body treatment at the spa where she relaxes with green gunk on her face and cucumbers on her eyes! She looks like one of the Vegetable People from "Lost in Space." Craig shows up. Syd, thinking this was supposed to be a solo plot for her, says, "What are you doing here?" He makes some lame excuse about a golf course being in the area, so he thought he'd drop by. Sydney is impressed by his persistence, if not by his acting. Craig asks her to dinner, and she agrees.

Later that night, Syd and Craig sit in a restaurant, where Syd quietly complains about her life. "Jane always hated me. And I always loved her." Hah! "Why did she hate you?" "Well, I did marry her husband..." She then proceeds to list everyone else who hates her, including Samantha, Tori Spelling, and Téa Leoni. When she mentions Lip Lass, Craig shockingly makes the intelligent guess that Syd has a thing for Kyle. Syd suddenly gets serious, and she sadly admits that she did have an evening with Kyle. Craig is Mr. Sensitivity during this, and he even slices Sydney's steak! Buy the Hallmark card.

Afterwards, they relax in a big Jacuzzi. Syd appreciates Craig's good intentions, "even if there is an ulterior motive." Craig then talks about his emotionally screwed-up childhood with his dad, Evil Dead CEO Arthur Fields. "He kept giving me conflicting orders. Actually, it was perfect training for my Mistress, uh, I mean Amanda." As the bonding continues amidst the bubbles, Sleazy the Lawyer shows up! "I can't believe what I'm seeing: Aaron Spelling characters in a hot tub and they're not having sex!" He yells at Sydney for being buddy-buddy with their target. Craig excuses himself, but Sydney thanks him for listening.

An evening or two later, they chat in the Melrose Place courtyard when Craig sees someone watching them from the shadows. He tells Syd to go inside, then he grabs the guy and angrily pulls him into the light. It's a private eye hired by Amanda to videotape Sydney: "It's for a new Fox special, 'The World's Wackiest Scams'!" When Amanda pops out, Craig pushes the guy into the pool. He then resists his "Baywatch" conditioning and does not jump in after him. He tells Amanda, "You'll ruin everything! Call your goons off or you'll regret it!" "You speak with fire, slave. There may be hope for you yet." He goes into Syd's apartment and promises that she won't have to worry about Amanda again. They kiss, but Craig breaks it off: "I'm sorry. I'm making this complicated. But it feels right." Sydney feels the same! (Is Sydney the only character this year to kiss someone who doesn't live at Melrose Place? Sheesh! Check the water!) He says goodnight. Is Craig actually falling for Our Sydney?

Matt and Chelsea:

Matt runs up to Chelsea as she leaves high school. "You're coming with me. So says the Law!" Chelsea yells, "Back off, Judge Dredd! I need to resume my bonding process with Mom!" Matt says, "It may sound really appealing right now -- living in France, insulting rich Canadians -- but it won't last. Your mom will be jumping from hotel to hotel, dodging Senate investigating committees. It's no life for you, Chelsea!" Her mom arrives and disagrees! Matt is playing for keeps, though. He's brought along a cop to ensure that Chelsea comes home with him, as per the will. The mother tells an upset Chelsea, "We'll have to do things his way for now, but we'll win in the end." Matt later thanks the cop: "Good going, Rico. Be sure you get to the costume back to the club before Happy Hour."

Later, as Matt is rushing to go to work, he tells Chelsea, "OK, here's the food, here are some videos: 'Ben-Hur,' 'Top Gun,' Sally Field in 'Not Without My Daughter' ... well, maybe not that one." Chelsea gives him the silent treatment. Matt insists that he loves her and wants to give her the best life possible. As soon as he leaves, she calls her mom, who gives her legal tips. "We need to document everything so we can challenge it in court. Keep a diary of everything Matt does." "But Mom, I'd feel weird. Besides, with Matt's history of substance abuse and his arrest record for solicitation and murder over the past couple of years, who needs a diary?" "Don't quote continuity to me, child!"

The next evening, Matt gets a visitor -- an old friend, Mark. "Hey, Mark. How's Jeremy?" "Uh, not too good. Pretty bad, in fact. Yep, he's been better. He died last night." Matt is shocked! Jeremy apparently died due to AIDS, and Matt tells a distraught Mark that he can crash on the couch for the night. They hug, and Chelsea walks in! Matt makes the introductions and explains why Mark is staying. Chelsea goes into her room and begins her diary of dirt: "April 22: Matt hugs guy!" Actually, Matt should luck out: Since this is a Fox show, Chelsea will never see anything more serious than a hug!

Michael, Megan, Peter, Lip Lass, Jennifer, and Kyle:

At Kyle's, Jennifer and Megan share a nice meal. Megan continues to accept everything that Jen tells her. "Do you miss college life?" she asks. "Lots of parties, little responsibility, and a university-provided Web site? Who'd miss that?" Jen says she was done with Boston College. "Being in a new city is exciting!" You bet! As soon as she says this, she hears Kyle's voice as he talks to other customers. When she spots him, she asks Megan, "Would you mind if we just left?" Megan agrees, but Jennifer first stands up and slaps Kyle in the face! "You bastard! Wow, I can handle that Amanda dialogue really well!" Kyle is understandably shocked. A stunned Megan looks at him and thinks, "Gee, the food wasn't that bad..."

Back at the beach house, Michael hears the story and wants to know the truth. He angrily asks Jennifer, "When you lived in Boston, were you doin' him?" She gets defensive. Kyle shows up at the door! (He didn't know Jen was Michael's sister -- he just planned to ask Megan where he could find her.) He asks, "Jennifer, can we talk alone?" They leave and Michael says to Megan, "She was doin' him."

On the beach, Jennifer says she regrets the slap: "It made you look more important than you are." Kyle says, "I owe you an apology for how I left things" and says he wasn't ready to end his marriage with Taylor over a "little fling." An angry Jen yells, "Five months of relentless sex, you made me love you, we picked the china patterns, and you call that a 'little fling'?" She says, "If I had any idea you were here, I never would have gotten off the plane! In fact, the fact that you are here is a coincidence of the most ridiculous order. Only a writer who is without a single creative thought could have come up with something so ludicrous! Go back to Lip Lass or whoever you're screwing!"

The next day, at the Burns-Mancini office, Megan is giving Jennifer advice on job-hunting and warns her not to lie about any more interviews like the one with Amanda. The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns shows up and Megan introduces them. Peter is all smiles -- until Taylor walks in! She sees Jennifer and immediately flies into a rage! (Why do people fly into rages, anyway? Can't they run into them?) "You little homewrecker! You come anywhere near him and I'll rip your lungs out!" Jennifer spits back, "I'll rip your lips off and I'll have a better grip!" Chaos ensues, and Michael runs out and yells at Taylor, "Who are you calling a homewrecker, Lippie?" Just as everyone is about to dredge up everyone else's sordid past, Megan orders them to silence! "This is an office!" She commands the doctors to return to their rooms and tells Jennifer to get a job!

The following afternoon, Taylor speaks with The Bizarre One on the phone. He orders, "Have dinner waiting for me, just like last night. And wear the same outfit. The Batgirl costume." "Ah, OK, Peter. And how is your day?" "I didn't call to chat. I'm simply telling you what to do." Yow! Yes, Peter is becoming dark and twisted again!

In bed, Peter and Taylor are wrestling. She escapes from the Half-Nelson, but Peter gets her with the Piledriver. He loves the resistance from her! She isn't thrilled: "It's getting a little violent. "No, it's getting a little like Nirvana." "You mean we're wearing grungy clothes and mumbling our lines?" "No, Beth." Lippie says, "Peter, you called me Beth." "Well, isn't that what this is all about? As long as you're your big sister, you get to stay." Taylor faces an existential crisis of identity!

In the morning, she resolves her crisis! She opens the closets and frantically starts to throw all the "New Beth" fashions out the front door! Who needs therapy? Michael shows up and wants to know what's going on. She hesitates, but he says, "C'mon, you can trust me..." That line should go on Michael's tombstone! She tells him about Peter's behavior, the psychological torture, and the way he drinks milk out of the carton. Michael gives her a hug. "He needs help, Taylor. You and I can fix everything. Heh heh heh!" Michael again sees the Chief of Staff position ripe for the taking!

Later, at the beach house, Michael angrily confronts Jennifer with the new knowledge that she never graduated from college! "I'm tired of the lies. Hell, I can't even find your birth certificate! Did I even have a sister before you showed up?" Jen continues to play Megan against Michael, again claiming that the whole family hates him. When Megan tries to be the peacemaker, Michael tells her to stay out of it, which Jen uses to fuel the anti-Michael fires. Jennifer quickly packs her stuff and leaves. "I hear they need a good tramp on 'Pacific Palisades'!" Megan attempts to intervene again, but Michael won't listen.

Amanda, Billy, Samantha, Alison, Jake, and more Kyle:

Billy looks at his bank statement and says, "Wow! Four hundred dollars!? Gaah! Dat's more than I paid for my monogrammed drool bucket!" Samantha says she needed to pay off some old debts and had hoped to pay him back before the bank statement arrived. "Well, dah, yeah, but the $400 withdrawal still woulda shown up." "Really? Oh, doy, you're right." She's about to leave for her new job as a grocery checker at the supermarket. "Okay, but ya don't hafta do dat. I could land you a job stabbing backs at D&D." "No, Billy. I want to stab backs on my own."

During the day, Kyle takes Amanda to the unused top floor of the restaurant. It'll be perfect for the jazz club. How convenient! Why, it even has a separate street entrance! (Help me, I'm exceeding my B.S. tolerance!) He tells Amanda that he still wants her as a partner in this venture, but only if she really believes in it. "Well, I'm offering a quarter of a million dollars, and a handshake deal. Let me click my ruby slippers together. There's no place like the jazz club ... there's no place like the jazz club... Yes, I believe!"

Billy goes to Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town) and gets a beer from Jake. Billy is shocked to see Alison chugging down a beer also! Jake says, "It's OK. She's just having a beer." "Daah, Jake, she's an alcoholic. There's no such thing as 'having a beer'!" Jake, stooge that he is, says Alison is in much better control of herself now then when she was with Billy. "Gaah, wat? Ya know, we're both ignorin' the fact dat Alison didn't become an alkie until I wuz with Brooke, but let's not let that get in the way of a good conflict!" Jake tells Billy to give it a rest and drink his beer, but Billy says, "I lost my appetite." Hey, Billy, what were you going to do? Eat your beer?

At Dumb & Dumber the next day, Amanda and Billy confronts Alison about huge discounts she just offered to one of their clients, Plot Device Airways. Amanda says, "You had no authority to offer that!" Courtney Thorne-Smith does her long-lost Bad Drunk impersonation. "Ah, are you really concerned about that or the lawsuit?" "Have you been drinking?" "Ah, just a couple of lunchtime drinks to help the schmoozing." Amanda warns, "Drinking ruined your career the last time. You're on double-secret probation!" Billy tries to caution Alison, but she shrugs off the criticism.

Samantha goes to the Withered Ferns Motel and brings groceries and beer to her Evil Dad. (Hey, you gotta make sure you have that beer!) Dad says, "Well, Sam, [guilt] I'm going to need another [guilt] $1,000 to get on the road to Mexico [guilt]." Sam, incredulous, says she can't get that kind of money. He replies, "I thought [guilt] that this might clean the slate between us [guilt]." She says she'll get the money somehow. She leaves, thinking "I don't know why, but I feel really guilty."

In the morning, Amanda pounds on Jake's door. "Where's your wife?" "Uh, sleeping. What's up?" "Tell her because of her, we lost the Plot Device Airways account. Our third biggest client!" Jake, Master of The Nile, says, "It sounds to me like you're just using Alison to blame for your own mistakes!" "How does this sound? She's fired!" Jake walks in and calmly breaks the news to Alison, but he twists it so that Alison can feel totally blameless.

Back at D&D, Craig overhears Amanda sealing the business deal with Kyle over the phone. Amanda says, "Eavesdropping is a bad habit, slave. Drop your trousers and prepare for the caning." He warns her about Kyle. "I hear he has a weakness for the ladies, Mistress. Ouch!" Amanda's deadpan response: "He's a man. Is that a big revelation? Whack!" He mentions that Kyle did Sydney. Amanda pretends to shrug it off, but it seems to bother her.

Jake and Alison later go on a picnic with a bottle of wine. He says, "Isn't this much better than D&D?" Alison sees a couple of small children in the park and gets melancholy. "Oh, Jake, I will never know the feeling of getting incredibly pissed off at my own 2-year-old." "That's not true, Alison. We could adopt and then subject someone else's baby to years of emotional trauma." "Jake, that's a wonderful idea!"

Amanda goes to Kyle's restaurant to talk to him about the club, but Lippie says he's not there. Taylor spitefully wonders what a small world this is, where Kyle's Boston fling ends up being Michael's sister. Amanda gasps, "Kyle and Jennifer Mancini?!" She tells Taylor that she'll follow up with Kyle later. "Sure thing, blondie. Truth hurts, doesn't it?"

Billy, for some reason, drives to the grocery store to meet Samantha, but he sees her already leaving in her own car. He follows her to the motel, where -- surprise -- her supposedly-in-Chicago father lets her in! Billy utters what is for him the Perfect Line: "Wat da hell...?"

Next Week: Jennifer works at a strip club, where she's bound to have more success than Demi Moore! And it's a dinner that must not be missed: Peter, Taylor, Kyle, and Amanda!

--Ken Hart

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