Episode 31: Secrets and Lies and More Lies


It should be a busy season finale next week, with plenty of unresolved plotlines left to go. And could someone please tell Courtney Thorne-Smith that being drunk doesn't mean you have to look like you need a nap?

The Matt Slot goes to ... Jennifer! One week after a valiant effort to boost ratings in the strip joint, she gets stuck behind the bar at Kyle's new jazz club, exchanging non-witty repartee with Billy! Go back, Jennifer, before it's too late!

Matt and Chelsea:

Chelsea's War Journal, Entry #31: Matt hasn't hugged anyone in days. He just stays up all night watching Keanu Reeves films. I had another weird dream yesterday: Gina Gershon slowly walked up to me holding ice cubes, strawberries, and a can of whipped cream. Wait, Matt wants to say something...

Matt tells Chelsea he's sorry about what's happened. "But really, though, Stanford is a good school." She understands that he wants only the best for her, "but so does my mother." Still, she greatly appreciates everything he's done for her. They hug! Geez, you two are lucky Jennifer was here or you would've gotten the Matt Slot for sure. Chelsea likes Matt. Matt likes Chelsea. Uh, duuuh! The plot wasn't advanced, and this was a waste of screen time that could easily have gone to Sydney or Michael!

Michael, Megan, Lip Lass, and Peter:

The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns wakes up, mumbling, "Felicia, you insatiable Aztec princess, you...!" He snaps out of it and sees that his living room is a mess, and a bruised, disheveled Lip Lass is cowering by the window! "Peter, don't hurt me. I'll behave. I'll wear the gorilla mask and yell, 'Fight like apes!' Just don't hit me again!" He's totally confused, then he sees his own bruised fist. "I ... I don't remember ... I'm sorry ..." She tells him to stay away from her for now, and they'll wait until the morning to talk about this important, emotionally ravaging event. Peter says, "That bruise ... I should look at it. And I can't believe I punched you in the mouth, too. Those lips are so swollen! Oh wait, I forgot who I was talking to..." He walks away, devastated. Taylor smiles slightly. Michael appears at the doorway and gleefully gives her the thumbs-up! He's the Roger Ebert of Mayhem!

At the Burns-Mancini office the next morning, Megan demands to know where Michael was last night. She had tried contacting him at the hospital, but they said he wasn't there. He gets angry, saying that "just maybe" he got stuck in the E.R. and that she should trust him. They both apologize. (And wasn't it nice for this couple to wait until they got to work before they argued?) Peter walks in, looking like heck. Michael, the "concerned friend," follows him into his office: "Partner, you look a mess!" Peter cautiously asks Michael if he's ever had blackouts. Michael jokes, "No, unless you count a couple of times in college after drinking too much! And I did pass out during that 'Lord of the Dance' number at the last Oscar Awards..." Peter seizes upon the drinking comment, wondering if his blackout was due to a combination of stress, alcohol, and bad writing. Michael offers to be a "sympathetic ear," but Peter politely declines, saying, "I can handle it. Besides, I know you've directed episodes, but even you can't stop bad writing."

At Shooter's (The Only Bar in Town, For Now), Michael secretly meets with Taylor again. "We need another drug treatment," he says, adding they need to work fast "before my wife rips my throat out!" Lippie tells him it's not necessary, saying that Peter has been behaving much better lately. He's given up drinking, although he still likes the rough sex. Wow, Peter has changed a lot, considering it hasn't even been 24 hours! Melrosian Time Compression rears its ugly head! Michael says Peter is bound to return to his old habits: "He'll have you playing Beth, Judy Garland, and the Vienna Boys Choir!" Michael takes her hand and says they need to bring Peter down to the bottom! Unfortunately, Megan has chosen this particular moment to loiter at the bar, where she looks over the Smoking, Non-Smoking, and Adultery sections. She sees the hand-holding of betrayal!

The next night at the Bizarre Pad, Taylor asks a subdued Peter if he wants to go out tonight. He declines. "I think I'll stay in, read some medical papers, and check out the gossip sites on the Web. Can you believe David Duchovny married that fox Tea Leoni?" When he leaves, Michael sneaks in ahead of schedule. Just as Lip Lass says she won't go through with this, there's a sudden thud from the next room! Peter's unconscious! Taylor exclaims, "I knew he was upset about Tea Leoni, but really..." A happy Michael says, "I spiked his orange juice." Ha! He drags him away, telling a concerned Taylor, "Everything's going to be just fine."

The next morning, Peter wakes up in a playground, where a couple of Little Rascals rejects watch him. His car is up on the curb, with the door wide open. Well, at least it was considerate of Michael to dump him in a nice neighborhood!

Back in the office, a clearly worried Peter confides in Michael about the blackouts and that he apparently hit Taylor. Michael is shocked! Peter says that when he returned from the playground, he found that Lippie has locked herself in the bathroom. Michael says he'll arrange to have a "whole battery of tests" run on Peter's head. Peter anxiously says, "You understand that no one can know about this." Michael acts like this is the clearest fact on the planet! "Sure, sure. We're friends and partners. It's all gonna work out." "Great. Thanks, Michael. Now if you don't mind, I've got to use the men's room. Taylor wouldn't let me in, and I'm about to burst."

Later, Michael shows Peter the "results" of his EEG test. Hey, guess what? It's temporal lobe epilepsy! "Are you sure, Michael?!" "Oh yeah. The, ah, neurologist found it! Yeah, that's it." He tells Peter, "The most important thing is, you gotta take it easy. Boy, that Chief of Staff job must be really straining." When Peter leaves the office to go home, a proud Michael says to the suspicious Megan, "You married one damn smart doctor." Megan starts talking very seriously about TRUST. Michael squirms a bit. She says, "We're married and I barely ever see you before midnight anymore." Michael apologizes, but when they mention dinner tonight, Michael says he "may" be late with rounds at the hospital again. He promises to make it up to her, and he leaves with a smile on his face. As soon as he does, Megan hurls a vase at the door! And don't these "successful" doctors ever have patients? Ah, it'll be worth it if we get a Megan-Lippie catfight!

Jake and Alison:

Over morning coffee, Jake tells Alison he's been discussing the price of the diner in Ojai with his buddy Danny. He's unaware that she overheard his discussion with Matt last week, but he does notice that she seems out of sorts. "What's the matter? You're mad that we ran out of Taster's Choice, aren't you?" Before they can really talk about this, though, they have surprise visitors: Colleen and David! The kid wastes no time in saying, "Dad left us." Jake makes the awkward introductions: "Alison, this is my son David. He's a mutant child growing at an abnormally fast rate." Colleen apologizes for the intrusion and says she's taken a job with the Don Ho Hotel chain in Hawaii. She'll be leaving with David in a couple of days and she figured Jake and he might want to spend some time together first. Jake is into it! Alison, robbed of the ability to spawn, gets dressed for work.

A day later, Jake is introducing David to the dark occult terrors of The Pool. "Son, this is where the hellish special effects take place during dream sequences." "Kewl!" Alison calls them in for food. As they climb out, David says he's having a great time but worries that it'll end in another day or two. Jake says, "Nah, Hawaii's not that far." "Come on, Dad. Uh, is it OK if I call you Dad?" Jake puffs up! "Yeah, sure, it's perfect!" Alison watches with concern: Jake never invites ME to go swimming in the pool...

Later, Jake greets Alison as she returns from buying "groceries" and asks if she wants to come with him and David to the zoo. She quietly passes on that: "I'm tired. I'll stay in and do some drinking...er, thinking!" Then she goes inside and pulls out the carton of orange juice and ... the vodka! Mix and drink!

Before long, Alison is walking down the hallway of a hotel, looking like someone is desperate need of a nap. Oh, what's that? She's drunk? Gee, sorry! She knocks on the door labeled "Melrose Guest Star," and Colleen answers. "Alison! What are you doing here?" "Ah'm shelebrating the bond between father and son." "Wow, Alison, you look really tired. Why don't you sit on the bed and take a nap?" "Damn it, ah'm not tired, I'm drunk!" Colleen apologizes, saying she worried that this would place stress on Alison and Jake. Alison wants to know if Colleen had really wanted Jake out of life when they split years ago. Colleen answers, "No, but he loves you and I know you love him." Alison hiccups, "Things change. Don't go running off to Hawaii just yet." She staggers out. The hotel maid offers her a pillow.

Amanda, Kyle, Craig, Sydney, and Jennifer:

A newly divorced Amanda returns to Dumb & Dumber. As she walks onto the floor with Craig, she says, "I am impressed by your handling of the lawsuit situation, slave. Please me further and I shall see that you get an extra stick of licorice in your Christmas bonus." "Your generosity is boundless, Mistress Amanda. I am not worthy to lick your boots." "Later, my slave, later..." Then Craig says, "But first I want you to meet D&D's new Efficiency Coordinator." It's Sydney! Amanda is enraged! Sydney says that this was part of the settlement that the smiling Craig, as a full partner, agreed to! Sydney gloats, "It's a legal and binding agreement." Amanda is doubly enraged! "I thought you knew better than to tangle with me. And you, slave -- your punishment is guaranteed!" "Ohhh, Mistress...!"

Later that day, Amanda hosts a staff meeting to describe a campaign for Kyle's new jazz club, to be called Upstairs. As Kyle watches, she tells her minions that she wants Maximum Push on this. "Typically, I leave no room for discussion, especially since most of you are silent peons, with no dialogue or thoughts of your own. By the gods, you make me sick!" Sydney, as Efficiency Coordinator, chimes in, "Excuse me, but I have to see the cost-effectiveness of this project before I can give my approval. I don't see where we're going to make a profit." Amanda tries to silence her, but even Billy says, "Daah, she right!" Other people at the table nod. Amanda erupts! "How dare you nod?! Everybody out -- NOW!" Ah, the joys of upper management! Left alone, Kyle tries to talk to Amanda, but she's all business. She's obviously bent out of shape about Jennifer, but she won't admit it. Kyle offers to move Jen into one of the vacant apartments. Amanda shrugs, "Fine. As long as you give me first and last months' rent ... and her head on a pike!" "What? What was that?" "I said, 'I like your hair.'" "Oh, thanks." Kyle is undeterred by Amanda's tough routine.

In Craig's office, Sydney ponders what sort of secret deal Amanda has. "There must be a slush fund for the jazz club. It's a scam! You've got to confront her!" Craig calmly tells her, "I've learned never to go head-to-head with Amanda. She's taller than me, for one thing." He suggests that Syd not make so many waves and take a more subtle approach. She says, "Be sneaky? I can do that!" They kiss in the office. Amanda walks by, sees this, and glares. Sydney stares triumphantly back!

In the soon-to-open club, Kyle and Amanda listen to a jazz band audition for the club. The band leaves, but Kyle can tell Amanda wasn't thrilled -- just like she wasn't thrilled by any of the other bands. "What didn't you like about these guys?" "Well, they got damn rude when I asked for Duran Duran songs." "No, this is about something else." Kyle talks about how well they had connected and how she's now "shut down" on him because of Jennifer. Amanda laughs at the thought! Kyle says, "I think I know what your problem is. You're a control freak!" "Is that right, slave....I mean, Kyle!" He says she hasn't allowed him to kiss her because she fears she'd lose control. (Wow, nothing wrong with this guy's ego, is there?) "Prove it," she demands. So Kyle lays one big mamma-jamma kiss on her! Amanda smiles and says haughtily, "See? Didn't lose control at all." She steps out of the club -- and wobbles! "Gasp! What a he-man!"

The Upstairs Jazz Club officially opens! It's a cool place, Daddy-O -- brick walls, good music, and almost no lighting. Jake even wears a jacket! And Jennifer is the bartender! Billy and Samantha sit at the bar, and Billy says, "Gaah, so you are Michael's sister?" Jennifer says, "That's not the whole reason why I'm here. Kyle and I had a thing back in Boston. Hee hee hee!" When she leaves, Billy says to Sam, "Daah, did ya hear dat?" Sam says, "I'm just waiting for our own plot to start."

As the many customers mingle, Kyle asks Jake for his opinion as a fellow bar owner. "I think you got a winner here," he replies. "Just be sure you have a really wide desk in the back room." He adds that Alison wasn't feeling well and didn't come. Amanda arrives, wearing a tight-fitting white dress. Even she admits that the band does indeed sound good. Her light mood darkens as soon as she sees Jennifer tending bar! "What's SHE doing here?" Kyle says he needed a bartender and she was experienced. Amanda growls, "You didn't clear this with me!" Kyle doesn't like the sound of that! He and Amanda part coldly, while Jennifer smiles with malicious glee.

Later, Sydney walks over and foolishly taunts Amanda, who is now three sheets to the wind, as they say. Syd, you're playing with fire! "The Old Amanda would have done something about me being at D&D." "You really are an idiot, aren't you?" "You can't stand the fact that Craig isn't on your leather leash anymore!" The tipsy Amanda says, "Let me tell you -- anytime I want that little weasel, I can have him." Sydney doesn't know when to quit: "Craig is my weasel now! It's really sad watching the old lioness sitting here getting sloshed." Amanda rises, "Watch and learn."

She pulls Craig away from a discussion and leads him onto the dance floor. "Don't tell me you haven't had fantasies about this, my slave," she says as she places his hand on her butt! Syd watches this and simmers! As they dance, Craig says, "I've fallen for someone who really cares about me, Mistress. Of course, if you wish to punish me later on..." Sydney quickly leaves the club. Craig breaks away and says to Amanda, "I'm starting to think you really are evil." He runs after Sydney while Amanda smiles. However, she turns to see Kyle, who stares at her and walks away. Amanda's smile drops and she looks disgusted with herself. "I put Craig's hand on my butt. Ewww."

Billy, Samantha, and Evil Dad:

Billy returns to MP after sparring with Evil Dad in the laundromat. Samantha asks how it went and Billy shows off the big plum-colored bruise on his chin. Sam can't believe her father would've have done that. "He's not a violent man ... deranged, misanthropic, sure, but violent?" "Daah, will you wake up? Yer father's not like this because of bad luck, or you, or the L.A. Lakers' poor performance in da playoffs!" He warns her that Jim has vowed to take Sam with him when he goes.

Samantha confronts Evil Dad on her own. "Billy came home with a big bruise on his face and a dazed look in his eyes. I know you had nothing to do with the dazed look, but did you give him the bruise?" Jim pleads innocence, claiming Billy pushed and provoked him. Sam doesn't buy it! Dad makes no bones about his hatred of Billy. "When are you leaving town?" Sam asks. "As soon as you're all packed and leaving with me!" "Doy, hah?" He gives her more guilt about his incarceration, then adds, "You changed my life. Now I'm changin' yours!"

Billy is waiting for Sam when she returns, and he flips out when she tells him she saw her father. (Hey, it's a good thing these two are under such tight police surveillance, right?) She angrily apologizes for being "a white trash chick who's not good enough for you!" She knows she's gotten Billy in trouble and says, "Maybe I should just go away with him." "Gaah, no, yer not." Billy tells her that she now has to go to the cops and tell them everything. He says, "You are sunlight and sweetness, and the best thing that ever happened to me." "Billy, that's so sweet!" "Dah, yeah, Alison liked it when I told her dat a couple of years ago." "Billy, promise me that we'll always be mindless together." "I promise. What's yer name again?"

Samantha, accompanied by Billy, gives a complete statement at the precinct. The detective is not at all thrilled that they've been sitting on this information, but he's more concerned with grabbing Evil Dad. Sam provides the location where she's supposed to meet him with her answer. The detective says the police will take it from here. "I'll let you know how it goes." She asks, "Don't hurt him." "That's up to your father. Murray, get some units ready. And sweep the area first. I don't want some damn civilian videotaping us again!"

The police are positioned around the location. Just as they think that Sam gave them bogus information, an officer spots a guy matching Jim's description. The cops move in, but it's just some street guy wearing Evil Dad's jacket and baseball cap. Surprised, the guy says, "I'm Fred! A fella gave me some money to wear this." The detectives mutter amongst themselves, while Evil Dad listens on the other side of the alley wall! They say, "If she went through all that trouble to rat him out..." "Yeah, if he thinks she betrayed him, he'll kill her and that idiot boyfriend of hers! You think he'll wait long?" "No, he can't. It's the season finale next week!"

Next Week: The season finale, featuring: The marriage of Sydney! The anguish of Alison! The revenge of Peter! The anger of Evil Dad!

--Ken Hart

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