Episode 2: The Trojan Horse


Could it be? Could Lip Lass actually become an OK character? Clearly, The Powers That Be are moving Lip Lass into the "Oh, isn't that cute? She's blackmailing!" category occupied by the late Sydney. On the flip side, they've also set her up as the show's chief troublemaker. A weird balancing act, to be sure, but if they pull it off, Taylor may actually become watchable! (I can hardly believe I said that!)

The Matt Slot goes to ... Billy, who appears briefly to kiss Amanda's butt and stare at a weeping Sam.

The Opening:

This deserves a little section of its own. New resident (and resident surgeon) Brett Cooper arrives at MP, where he introduces himself to a swimming Megan and a sweating Jennifer. He's flanked by Mancinis! Coop is moving into Matt's old pad. When he tells Megan that he's helping to treat Michael's hands, she says sadly that Michael had it coming to him. As the other MP residents emerge, Megan quickly gives him the Melrosian Primer: "OK, that's Craig, his wife just died, but don't say anything -- he's the worst crier in TV history!" "All right. Oooh, Megan, my head just got fuzzy -- like there's some interference..." "Oh, that's because Billy and Samantha just appeared. Don't get too close without protective gear! Sam's depressed because she was forced by her Evil Dad to drive the car that plowed into Craig's wife, Sydney. Of course, her boyfriend Billy is working with Craig." Coop says, "Is it too late for me to get a part in 'Roar'?" "Way too late." "Damn!"

As Lip Lass stalks down the stairs, Megan says, "That's Taylor." "The poor woman," says Coop. "You know, I could treat that allergic condition on her face..." "Shhh, quiet. We don't say much about her lips in public. It's some deal worked out between Spelling and her agent."

Taylor pounds on Amanda's door, throwing a crumpled eviction notice in her face! Amanda says she wants her out, but Lippie claims tenants' rights, citing legal precedence from every lawyer in TV history, even Petrochelli! When Taylor sees Kyle emerge from the bedroom, she taunts him. Amanda says, "If it bothers you so much, get out." "Not without a fight!" Once Lippie leaves, Kyle advises Amanda to take the high road. "On this show?! No can do, stud!" She grabs some clothes and heads over to Taylor's pad, with her videotapes of "Law & Order" to back her up. However, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns is already there, screaming at Lippie once more, just in case her complete humiliation last week wasn't enough. Amanda, outside, overhears Peter comment on Taylor's pregnancy. As he leaves, Amanda ducks into one of the convenient hiding spots she had built around the courtyard.

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

Over at the offices of Burns-Mancini, The Bizarre One is zipping through Michael's computer files when Megan appears. He says, "You don't still think that you're working here?" "Someone had to keep this place going." (It looks like she did a good job of getting all the blood stains out, too!) Megan tells him she's not taking any sides in his fight with Michael. "Then go! I've got to get these records from Michael's computer proving that he drugged me. Now what's his password... Vile? Extortion? Ruthless?" Back in the waiting area, Jennifer asks Megan to come with her to the hospital. Michael's hands are being operated on today, and it would mean so much to Michael if she were there: "Of course, it's not like Michael has an agenda or anything." Megan shrugs, then agrees.

At the hospital, Coop tells the women that he's assisting Dr. Rusty Knife with the operation: "I expect that when this is all over, Michael will be able to play the violin just like before." "But Michael doesn't play the violin. He's a surgeon!" "As I said, I expect that when this is all over, Michael will be able to play the violin just like before." Michael is wheeled out on his way to the operating room. He's delighted to see Megan, and Jennifer shoos everyone out so the two can speak privately. Once alone, Michael starts interrogating her about what Peter's doing! Again, Megan says she won't take sides, but Michael pleads with her to delete all his files before Peter figures out the password. He's screwed otherwise! Conflicted, she leaves, but not before letting Jennifer know she's pissed off about being lied to. Coop watches with interest.

At the Upstairs bar, Kyle discusses the Taylor situation with a very uncomfortable Amanda. She tells him that Taylor's pregnant. He blinks for a second, then says, "So what?" "God, you can be callous. You don't know how much that turns me on. Here's a key to my apartment. I'll get the handcuffs ready."

Later, Kyle goes downstairs to his restaurant. (Obviously, he no longer cooks his restaurant -- you know, the one that has his NAME on it! Now there's pride!) He sees Lippie drinking a glass of wine and reads her the riot act, saying he know she's pregnant. Thinking fast, Taylor says that's why Peter dumped her! "He finds out you're pregant, then kicks you out? Why, that ... I'll never play golf with him again, let me tell you!" Lippie sees Kyle's anger and seizes an opportunity! "He had every reason to kick me out, because it's not his baby -- it's yours!"

She later shows up at the Bizarre Pad. Peter refuses to let her in until she offers Girl Scout cookies. Lippie tells him about her chat with Kyle, saying she sees a chance to break up his relationship with Amanda. "I told him that you knew the child couldn't be yours, because you're sterile." "You told him that I'm sterile?!" Undaunted, she asks, "Who is the true love of your life?" "Uh, well..." "Not counting yourself, or anyone dead? It's Amanda, right?" He can't deny it. Lippie says that if Peter helps her, he can get Amanda back and she'll get Kyle. (Boy, she's fickle!) Just to make sure he agrees, she politely threatens to blackmail him over the details of his assault on Michael and his plans to kill her. (A little revisionist history: Apparently, Taylor knew that Peter planned to push her off the roof, so she quickly fibbed about the pregnancy to distract him. Uh huh. Yeah. Right. By the way, have I told you about my mother, who is descended from the Druidic builders of Stonehenge?)

Peter hesitantly agrees, but says, "Kyle will figure out you're pregnant." "One step at a time." Geez, not the fake pregnancy bit again! It's the revenge of Brooke!

Coop tells Jennifer that the operation on Michael went well: "He screamed a bit before we remembered the anesthesia, but it otherwise went well." In a chatty mood, Jen gives him the lowdown on her brother's less-appealing qualities. She says Michael has a knack for hurting the woman around him. Coop mutters something about "those who survive." Jennifer catches the dark tone and wonders about his ulterior motives. "Ulterior motives? Who, me? No, I'm just a guest star." "No, you're not! You're in the opening credits!" "Uh, let's go check on Michael." But his bed is empty!

Somehow, with his near-useless and Gumby-like hands, Michael has dressed himself and gotten over to his office! Peter enters just as Michael finishes deleting the last bit of detail from his hard drive. Michael snickers in triumph, but The Bizarre One has already struck! He figured out Michael's password: "C.O.S." "Either you're totally fixated on the Chief of Staff position, Michael, or you've got this weird thing for Bill Cosby. I have copies of all the files I need, not to mention your GIFs of Pamela Anderson." Peter foolishly waves a floppy disk in front of Michael! Michael bats at it, and they briefly struggle before Megan appears. Michael quickly runs into the kitchen with the disk, which he then tosses into the microwave. In less than 10 seconds, it's crumpled and useless. (That's some goddamn microwave! With that thing tossing out radiation, maybe Peter IS sterile!) Michael gloats that Peter now has no evidence. Smooth move, Bizarre One!

That night, Amanda wonders at Kyle's post-coital silence. "Were the rubber hose and the Spice Girls action figures too much for you?" Kyle tells her the "real reason" why Taylor and Peter broke up. Amanda, who's been on this show for a while, scoffs, "I can't believe you're buying into this!" It's obvious that Lippie is lying, and she marches down to her place to prove it! Kyle tags along. Amanda wants to strap Taylor down and do a home pregnancy test right now! A defiant Taylor says she'll take any test that Amanda has in mind ... if that's what Kyle wants. "However," she digs, "Kyle did promise to support me throughout this." Taylor stares through the venetian blinds as Amanda asks Kyle what she meant. Kyle says, "If it is my child, I won't abandon it." Amanda tells him to sleep in his own place for the rest of the night.

The next morning, Michael returns to the beach house, accompanied by Megan. He tries to convince her to move back, but she's not interested. She just volunteered to drive him home. She says she knows about the board meeting he called for tomorrow: He'll destroy Peter, and Peter will destroy him. "Well, I'm just planning on that first part," he says. She leaves, saying she won't be a part of it. Wow, it's a good thing that TV characters never have to use the bathroom, or Michael would be in rough shape!

Amanda goes to Peter's office and asks, "Are you ... shooting blanks?" "No, I don't use guns." "Are you ... swinging with a Wiffle bat?" "No, I'm a golf guy, Amanda. You know that." "Damn it, Peter, are you sterile?!?" "Uh, yeah, it was a ... uh ... mumps things when I was a kid. Yeah, that's it." Amanda is mad that he hadn't told her this earlier, but he says, "We never really discussed children." The Bizarre One then tries to bring up memories of the good side of their marriage, but she says, "I've forgotten." "No, you haven't. I know of a good hypno-regression therapist, she was on 'Jenny Jones' the other day and...." Amanda leaves. Peter then calls Lippie and the restaurant and informs her that he's continuing the lie, even though he hates it. Hanging up, Taylor then tells Kyle, "I wish this wasn't causing friction between you and Amanda." To his credit, even Kyle doesn't buy that line!

The next day, Michael and Peter face each other in the hallway as fake Ennio Morricone music plays in the background. They enter the conference room -- but there's no board meeting! Megan called it off! She said that for the good of the business, the board doesn't need to know that Peter and Michael have been acting like "insane, overly ambitious maniacs." Michael protests, "What if that's what we are?" (They're really pushing things with Michael's self-mocking attitude lately. He's much better when he thinks he's getting what he rightfully deserves!) Megan insists on a peace treaty. "If either one of you squeals, the other is finished." The two resist, but she says that if they don't shake on it, she'll be compelled to report them herself and "we'll all go up in flames." Michael and Peter gingerly brush palms, and Megan is satisfied.

That night, after Billy has just finished prostrating himself at the altar of Amanda (see later), Kyle and Amanda get all cutesy again. Kyle says he loves her, and Amanda says it back, even though she avoids eye contact. She says, "Dance with me, okay, or I'll start to cry." "Well, better you than Craig."

Back at the beach house, Coop has just finished treating Michael's hands. "Ow! Damn, Coop, is that citric acid really necessary?" "I'm afraid so. Please don't think I'm devising dark plans against you or anything." In a "buddy-buddy" fashion, he tells Michael that Ohio's divorce laws are rough and he's looking for a place to hide his money in California. When Michael asks why the marriage failed, Coop says, "Infidelity." Michael winks, "Been there. Done that!" Having bonded, he tells Coop he'll see if he can hide his money in Burns-Mancini. As Coop leaves, Taylor appears. Michael isn't thrilled to see her, especially since Peter didn't kill her! She admits that she's not really pregnant, but she needs Michael's help. He has to get her access to the hospital's sperm bank. Michael sighs. "And now you're going to blackmail me, right?" "Well, I was thinking of going to the board of directors..." She's channeling Sydney!

Craig, Billy, Samantha, and more Jennifer:

Jennifer walks up behind Craig as he views the mail in Sydney's mailbox. She keeps trying to talk to him, but he's not interested. Finally, he says, "Why don't you just go to hell?" Putting on an angry face, she follows him to his apartment, where she yells at him for being "rude"! "You're not the only one who's ever felt pain!" she says. Uh huh. Reality Check #1, kiddo: You got dumped by a married man. But Craig only got to witness his brand-new bride doing her Keri Strug impersonation across the hood of a speeding car. Oh yeah, you understand his pain!

Still, Craig yields. He sucks on his beer and drunkenly talks about how Sydney was "saving herself" the night before the wedding because she wanted their honeymoon night to be special. Oh, God, don't start crying again! I've only just stopped laughing from last week! "Waaah! All I want to do is hold her in my arms again." Jennifer says, "You can." She then straddles him on the couch and they go at it! Hah? What?

In the morning, Craig is full of self-loathing over his moment of weakness ... OK, OK, his few hours of weakness! He hops out of bed and tells Jennifer to get out: "It didn't happen. You can never be Sydney." Jennifer acts indignant: "You just wanted a warm body." "Now you're catching on!" As she walks out, Billy is floating in the pool. "Daaah, Jennifer, wotcha doin'?" She smiles. "Step 1 in a very long and involved plan." Billy stares and mutters, "Ooo ooo." A defining moment for the series.

At Sky High, Samantha wants to talk to Craig. Of course, in her quest to be taken seriously, she wears a blouse with the bottom buttons unbuttoned. (Geez, that's all we need: Tori Spelling wannabees!) "I'm suffering, Craig, just like you." Uh huh. Reality Check #2: Craig saw his new bride do the Safety Dance of the Damned, while you bumped your head and have to live with Billy ... hey, maybe you DO share his pain! Craig yells, "Get away from me! Icky girl!" Samantha tearfully leaves the office, telling Billy, "This was a mistake." Andrew Shue stares. [Translation: Billy wonders if Craig's irrational attitude is hurting business. Will this harm his 401(k) plan? And what happened to all the nameless extras who worked at Sky High in the season finale?]

Billy then goes to Upstairs and throws himself on the mercy of Amanda. "Daaah, 'Manda, you were right and we were wrong! Craig is losin' it. Shuah, you were tough, but I know now ya gotta be tough in this biz!" Amanda shrugs, but Billy -- speaking on behalf of the voiceless minions -- suggests she begin a hostile takeover of Sky High! "Hmmm, well, I'd need Sky High's confidential documents." "Gaah, you'll have it tomorrow." "Fine. This is not a Yes, however." "'Maybe' is good enough, 'Manda." "That's Mistress Amanda to you, my new slave! Kiss my ring."

The next night, bartender Jennifer cuts off Craig -- after one drink! No tip for you, young lady! She worries he'll be totally wrecked, just as he has been the other nights. Craig says, "I'm already dead," and he leaves.

He sits in his car parked outside the MP courtyard, staring at the pocket watch from Sydney. Just then, Samantha parks her car across the street and gets out. Craig mutters, "Now you're gonna die the way Sydney did." He revs up the car and speeds toward head. Sam does a deer in the headlights thing, but Craig hits the breaks at the last second! As she stumbles back, a panicked Craig runs out: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Sam moans, "No, I deserve it." "No, no, it's my fault. If only I had been able to push her out of the way..." Yeah! Go with that thought, Craig! Commit ritual suicide! "No, no," says Sam, determined to take the blame. Oh, puh-leeze! "Waaah! Sydney!" Craig weeps, and Sam consoles him, mercifully cutting off his sobs. "We have to stop this, both of us..." Yep, it's time to leave the show. It's the only way you can help yourselves!

Next Week: Peter and Coop scheme! Amanda makes plans with that Eric guy from last week! Lip Lass wants Michael's sperm!

--Ken Hart

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