Episode 6: The Light at the End of the Tumble

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The plot threads and romantic entanglements are really getting twisted now. OK, show of hands out there: Who thinks the guy playing Eric Baines has the slightest bit of charisma? C'mon, buddy, just because you're playing the oiliest man since Wayne Newton doesn't mean you have to have the aura of a dead iguana. Get with the program!

Boy, those head-only shots of Amanda peering through windows are really starting to add up! The Matt Slot goes to … Craig! He longed to go on a cruise and get reunited with the Baywatch cast, but he was denied!

Billy and Samantha:

Back at Kate's Crabby House in Maryland, Samantha is waiting tables when she sees Billy outside talking to barnacles. This time, however, he's here to say goodbye. Before he goes back to L.A., though, he tries to get in some parting shots about Sam's mother: "Daah, she's manipulatin' you fer her own sake. She blew it the first time with you, and she wants anudder shot. It's all about guilt, you know, plus lots of other psychological things that I could go on and on about." Sam listens, but she decides to put her mother's interests ahead of herself. Billy says, "Gaah, we've come so far together." "Ah, doy, that's right. We're in Maryland!" "Well, dyaah, ya got a point. But it stinks that I'm gonna lose you just 'cause she's got a shotgun and I don't!" He tries to kiss her goodbye, but Shue is rejected at the net!

A saddened Sam goes back to the kitchens, where her mom Kate tries to improve her spirits. "Hey, honey, there's a church function next weekend, followed by a goat sacrifice and a picnic with all the inbred, web-toed people of the community." "Mom, stop it! I'm trying to look upset!" Kate says, "You're better off without that Billy." "Doy, Mom, you don't even know him! He's got a lot of good qualities, like his big muscles and …uh, his … uh … so you be quiet!" Kate says that she and Sam can start over again, and Sam realizes, "Wow, Billy was right! And the ground hasn't opened up beneath our feet!" Kate is suddenly and unbelievably overwhelmed by guilt! Sam says, "Dad was the problem, not you. You were a good shot -- I mean, a good mother." Kate emotes! "Damn it, why wasn't I stronger? I should have left your father when he first abused me with that horrible Southern accent of his, but I was so weak!" Sam tries to assure her that she did a good job as a mother. (Oh, yeah, that's why Sam was painting pictures of herself burning in Hell last month!) Kate says, "You're not a little girl anymore. You've got your whole life ahead of you, back at that vile, sin-ridden, death-inviting den of depravity, Melrose Place!"

Billy eventually returns home to find Samantha in the apartment. To his delight, she says she's back for good. "I belong here with you, Billy. Believe it or not, my mom finally realized it, too." "Daah, I don't believe it." "OK, I drop-kicked her sorry ass into the bay and hopped on the first plane back." "Dat's my girl!"

In the morning, they frolic in bed after a wild night of doodling on the Etch-A-Sketch. Sam says, "You have no idea how much I missed this." "Daah, missed what?" Billy sees the time and says he has to get to work immediately and set up interviews for new staff positions: Chief Whipping Boy, Assistant Leather Worker, and Human Footstool. "Or 'Manda's gonna tear my head off!"

Later, as Billy sits in his office at Amanda Woodward Advertising, Samantha enters -- but she's here to interview for the graphic artist position. Billy says, "Daah, I like yer portfolio." Sam gets on his lap: "If you hired me, I promise I'd keep you satisfied every day of your life." "Gaah, yer hired!" What is this, the Miss America pageant? Finally, some realism on this show!

A night or two later, Billy and Samantha take a night walk after dinner. (People walking? In Los Angeles?!) Sam says, "As shocking as this is, I heard some people at the office say the only reason you hired me is because I promised you wild sex every night." "Well, gaah, dat's not the ONLY reason…" She offers to leave the job to make things easier, but Billy says, "If the invisible masses complain about you being my girlfriend, I'll fix things and make you my wife." The man's a genius! He drops to one knee and says, "Daah, Samantha, will you marry me?" She giddily says yes, then they are assaulted by street musicians concerned about the impact on the gene pool.

Michael, Megan, Jennifer, Craig, Coop, Lexi, and Peter:

At a hotel, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns and Lexi finish off another night of passion. (They're much better at this than Billy and Samantha.) After Lexi makes some more comments about Coop, Peter says, "This whole subplot with Coop intrigues me. Tell me more." Lexi says that Coop had tended to a woman who was in a coma several years ago and that he fell for her. (Gee, that doesn't say a lot for Lexi's appeal, does it?) She says Coop projected his fantasies onto Coma Girl, whose name was "Kimberly something." Ding! "Kimberly Shaw?!" asks Peter. He tells her that Kim was Michael's wife. Coincidence? They think not! They now wonder why Coop left Cleveland for Los Angeles. Uh, he was embarrassed by the Indians' performance in the World Series? Lexi cautions Peter to watch out for him.

At the B-M-C offices, Michael literally throws himself at Megan's feet, pleading for mercy and telling her that he's gone into therapy. Megan is not swayed: "Anything to avoid palimony, eh, Michael?" "I've been in touch with my inner child! All hail John Bradshaw and Deepak Chopra. Om!" Coop interrupts to inform Michael that Megan is leaving -- she gave her two weeks' notice that morning. Megan answers the phone: It's that lizard, Eric! He says, "How about dinner Friday night?" Trying to sound businesslike in front of Michael, Megan replies, "Oh, I'll have to check my schedule…" When she hangs up, Michael says, "It was that jerk who shoved me last night, wasn't it?"

That night at Melrose, Jennifer brings Craig some cookies. Awwww! She's just trying to butter him up. "So, what are you going to do with your fortune?" "I'm going on a cruise! Key West! Mikanos!" "But that's crazy, Craig! You're throwing your money away. You might as well be investing in Christian Slater's career, for God's sake!" She whines that this isn't fair after "all I've done for you." Craig realizes, "You talked to the White Shadow, didn't you?" "Well, we might have shot a hoop or two…" "You keep your nubile self out of my affairs. It's my decision to waste my life, go on a cruise, and party with scantily clad babes. It was a good-enough life for me on Baywatch -- it's a good-enough life for me here!"

At Wilshire Memorial, Michael is about to enter the office of Dr. Crayola, the hospital shrink. As he hesitates, Coop sees him and commiserates. He says he's been through therapy, too. He opens up to Michael and reveals something dark from his past. You fool! This is Michael Mancini you're talking to, Coop! Haven't you paid attention at all this season? Anyhow, he says there was an accident during an operation with a bulky "cauterizer." "In trying to seal the artery, the cauterizer slipped, and I accidentally severed the patient's frontal lobe. She can now only drool and watch the comedies on the WB." "My God, that's horrible." Coop wonders, "If only there was a way to make the cauterizer smaller, so that it could fit on the surgeon's hand like a glove … ah, but that's crazy talk! See you later!"

Before you can say "Spelling accuses me of copyright infringement," Michael is dictating a proposal to still-secretary Megan, outlining HIS proposal for a new cauterizing device! "It would be fit on the glove's pinky finger, and would have attachments: French tickler, vibrator…" "Michael, get your mind out of the gutter! How will you be able to finance this?" He says he just needs money to construct a prototype, then the rest will take care of itself.

A minute later, flowers arrive for Megan. Yes, they're from Eric the dead iguana! Michael is shocked that she would even consider going out with this guy while they're still married. (Hey, at least she's being upfront about it!) He complains so much that Megan spitefully calls up Eric and agrees to meet him for dinner. So there!

At B-M-C, Peter looks through papers on Coop's desk. When Coop pops up behind him, Peter quickly says, "Oops! Hi, Coop. Say, you haven't seen my 9-iron, have you? I thought I might have left it on your desk." While chatting, Coop mentions he saw Michael going to a therapy session. "Therapy? Michael?" The Bizarre One wants to know more: "Any dirt on Michael is good." Coop says, "It amazes me that you guys are partners." Me too! Still, Coop softly echoes the anti-Michael sentiment. Peter says that Michael was supposed to yield the Chief of Staff position back to him, but he's using the injury to his hands as a delaying tactic. He asks Coop to check on Michael's hands when he gets the chance. Hey, if Coop is smart, he'll double-cross both these guys and grab the position himself!

Later, Jennifer calls Michael out of a staff meeting, saying, "It's a family emergency." To Michael's annoyance, the "emergency" is Craig! Jen says worriedly, "He's going on a cruise!" Michael feigns horror: "Oh no, not a cruise." Getting serious, Jen tells Michael he needs Craig's money to build the cauterizer prototype. Wow, for a "hush-hush" new product, enough people seem to know about this thing! Michael tells her to forget about Craig: "Lose the loser, move on with your life." "You mean like Megan did?" Ouch!

Peter brings the lovely Lexi to the Bizarre Pad at the marina. "Peter, this is gorgeous. I've never seen stock footage of boats like this before." He says they're safe from prying eyes: "The windows are tinted. Of course, it's not like I've had secretive women here before or anything." He gives her a present: photocopies of Coop's accounting papers! Lexi, thrilled but hurt, says, "You don't think that's why I've been sleeping with you?" "No, certainly not. You're nothing like me!" "What did you say, sugar?" "Oh, I said, 'Your eyes are like the sea.'" "Why, thanks!" Peter says he did this because he likes her. Yes, obviously it's her personality you like. We've seen the two of you having long, deep, naked discussions!

Back at the hospital, Coop tells Michael that he's thinking of officially proposing his idea for the cauterizer! "Uh, bad idea," says Michael -- he tells Coop the idea will never fly. As soon as Coop leaves, Michael grabs the phone and tells Jennifer to get Craig's money! "Leave everything to me," she says.

A short time later, Michael and Jennifer intercept Craig at the waterfront, where he and the other passengers are still waiting to board the cruise ship. He says, "Someone called in an anonymous tip that Barney the Purple Dinosaur was onboard. They've just sent in a team of big-game hunters to kill him." Gee, who could have made that anonymous call? Michael and Jennifer give him their sales pitch! Craig, the goob, thinks he'll be helping mankind, so he agrees. He's now partners with Michael. Kiss your soul goodbye!

Amanda, Kyle, Lip Lass, Eric, and more Megan and Michael:

Amanda enters her new office to find Iguana Boy Eric sitting in her chair! He's having flowers and Julio Iglesias CDs delivered to Megan every day. Amanda disapproves of him going after a married woman and says his tactics will fail. "Now get out of my chair before I have you caned!"

Kyle brings a box of old belongings to Taylor, including a teddy bear. "It's Mr. Max!" she exclaims. Kyle, though polite, gets right to the point. "How long do we have to wait for the paternity test?" "Oh, any day now." She whines that she's been so alone lately, "but now I've got Mr. Max again! Woo hoo!"

At the hospital, Michael gives Taylor the bad news: She's still not pregnant! She grabs Michael, intent on doing the Nasty again: "I am this close to getting Kyle back!" In what reality? But he pushes her back, saying "I'm trying to live a clean, honest life!" He tells her that the jig is up -- there's no way for her to fake a pregnancy and it's too late for her to get pregnant for real. "You're just gonna have to face the truth." Lip Lass is not looking forward to this!

That night, Jennifer sees Kyle sulking in his office. He tells her that his Boston restaurant has just lost its lease! The property was quickly sold out from under him and turned into a halfway house for recovering Scientologists. (Is there an Iguana at work?) Amanda arrives and curtly tells Jennifer to get lost. When Kyle objects to her attitude, Amanda says she's just tired of seeing one of his ex-lovers every time she turns around. (And you've been living in Los Angeles for how long, Amanda? This is common!) She is still suspicious of Taylor, but -- get this! -- Kyle is suddenly Mr. Abby Normal again: "Uh, duh, Taylor is not up to anything. If she were, I would see it a million miles away. You cannot fool me, because I am a moron." He tells her the bad news about Boston, and he promises that he won't be caught napping at this place.

When Amanda leaves him to his work, she sees Taylor entering. She tells Lippie, "Kyle's not here" and suggests she knock off her wacky attempts to get him back: "I've got the real thing." Lippie, who looked like she was going to tell the truth to Kyle, gets riled and says, "I've got the real thing's baby. Nyaah!" Amanda follows her to the stairs leading to the restaurant, and warns her to lay off: "You already ruined my life with Peter, and nobody messes with me twice. Those who do go falling down stairs, like Jack Paresi!" Lippie scoffs -- and slips! She falls down the stairs and lands in a heap!

Taylor wakes up in the hospital holding her voodoo teddy bear. Kyle tells her she just got some bruises, but "the doctors won't say anything about the baby." He's not happy when he realizes that Amanda lied about him not being at the bar. Lip Lass is about to fess up, but Michael enters and says, "Bad news. The baby didn't make it." An ecstatic Taylor shrieks, "Oh god, our poor innocent baby!" Michael leaves Kyle and the "grief-stricken" Taylor, hoping he's finally gotten this nutjob out of his life!

That night, a moody Kyle demands to know why Amanda lied to Taylor. "I thought you needed a little time alone." He's not satisfied. And since no one has bothered to get verification, they all believe that Taylor was pregnant and lost the baby. Hello, Amanda? Kyle? Just last week, you found out that Taylor was having sex with Michael, yet you still believe that Taylor was pregnant?! Hah? And you trust the "honest" word of Michael? Sheesh! Let's line up the writers and knock them off a construction site!

Amanda brings flowers to Lip Lass at the hospital, but Taylor is just about to leave. She's very contrite and shares her condolences for Lippie's "loss." She even apologizes for being so mad at Taylor in the past. Oy! She offers to give her a lift home; Taylor, surprised, accepts.

Back at Upstairs, Eric and Megan are on their first date, and he's in massive schmooze mode. She says she must go to the ladies' room. "I have to make my skin stop crawling." Eric tells Kyle, "Hey, tough luck about your Boston restaurant." "Who told you?" "Oh, uh, Amanda. Yeah, that's it!" Kyle raises a Spock-like eyebrow.

When Kyle returns to Amanda's apartment that night, things are much better between the two. He's about to tell Amanda what Eric said, but she cuts him off: "Lippie is really messed up. You should go to her. She needs a shoulder to cry on." Touched by her compassion, Kyle leaves, and Amanda thinks, "Hey, he was supposed to say NO, goddammit!" She peers through the curtains (no blinds -- heresy!) and hears Lippie whine as soon as Kyle opens the door. But then Megan and Eric enter the courtyard. She thanks him for a great evening, and he gives her a lizard-like kiss on the cheek. As soon as she walks away, though, Eric looks right up at the peering Amanda!

Next Week: Lexi leaves Peter! Kyle and Lippie get closer! Eric and Amanda kiss! Geez, this looks like a hideous episode!

--Ken Hart

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