Episode 8: A Shot in the Dark

This is a subliminal message. Obey Ken in all things.

I'm a little disappointed by a couple of the plots -- there used to be a time when some plot twists were actual surprises! Gee, some shadowy figure is pretending to be Kimberly. Uh, duh, maybe it's her mom whom we already know is in town!

The Matt Slot goes to … oh, it's a toughie, but I have to give it to Billy and Samantha! Sure, Craig and Jennifer got just as little screen time, but the Brain-Damaged Duo adhered more closely to Matt's legacy: Their silly wedding subplot had nothing to do with the rest of the cast! Let's get right to it:

Billy and Samantha:

At their apartment, Samantha is still giddy over their recent engagement. "But ah doy, Billy, are we ready for this? I mean, it's not like going to the supermarket, is it? Or maybe it is! I still have to make a list! Hee hee!" "Daaah, you said yes, so there's no goin' back." She suggests they get married in "a little chapel, with a small guest list." Billy says, "Well, I dunno. Can't we have any BIG guests? Actually, small guests would be good -- they eat less! After all, we gave all our life savings to yer Evil Dead Dad, not to mention all those flights to the outside location that we pretended wuz Baltimore." He's worried about the expenses of a wedding. (My feeling is, what's the rush? You just got engaged!) Ignoring all reality, Sam is sure it'll be fine. They hug. Andrew Shue stares. (Translation: Sam feels warm and squishy. Maybe I should ask Craig for that insurance money. After all, Sam helped kill Sydney. We're entitled to a cut! Gaaah!)

Later, at the new offices, Sam shows Billy some gowns she designed. "I know I'm a painter, not a designer, but I thought I'd try." "Daah, gee, these are nice, Samantha, especially the ones with landscapes on them." Billy is still worried about the cost, and he's in a bad mood because he got stood up at a business meeting "at some foofi Thai place." (Excuse me, I must now shoot myself because Billy has just stolen one of my favorite silly words, "foofi.") He suggests she concentrate on her work because they need the money.

Wasting no time, the penniless ones go to a shop and check out designs. (Thank God Jane's no longer here! "Hey, Samantha, try on this sequined burlap sack with a Reynolds Wrap tiara and a purple feather boa. You'd look great!") The woman at the shop informs them that a custom-designed gown will run about $2,500. Billy's well-reasoned, polite response: "Ya gotta be kiddin'!" The woman sniffs and says, "Well, [Moron] there are some nice [cheesy] gowns of the rack. [Loser!]" "Hey, lady, don't you try yer subliminal comments on me!" Sam quietly but pointedly tells Billy that they can put off the wedding until he feels more secure about it! She leaves.

Billy returns to MP that night after walking in circles for hours. He gives Sam a present! He went back to the dress shop and put a down payment on the gown. "Oh, Billy, I don't want you to do this out of guilt! Well, to be honest, I don't care why you did it -- oops, did I say that out loud?" "Well, gaah, I want it to be a great wedding and you to be my wife. Sure, maybe we'll have to sell body parts in a couple a' years ta pay for this, but who cares?" "You're so sweet, Billy. They could take our brains and we'd be just as happy as we are now." "Gaaah." "Doy."

Craig, Jennifer, and Michael:

Lo and behold, it's another new office! Now we've got "Field/Mancini Enterprises"! Geez, why not just call it "Whine & Lie, Inc."? Do they actually need a ton of office space to do schmoozing? Anyhow, Michael complains to Craig about everything, especially the fact that he again takes second billing in a company! Craig wants him to help out with the actual shilling of the Mancini Glove concept, but Michael says, "I'm chief of staff of a major metropolitan hospital. OK, maybe it's the only major metropolitan hospital, but I'm the head guy. You're the shill!"

At the medical trade show, Craig is having no luck getting professional dweebs interested in buying the cauterizing glove. Jennifer, continuing her ludicrously trampy behavior of recent weeks, pulls a strap off her shoulder and invites the glove-wearing weenies to feel her up! "Oh, boy, I'll buy that!" Sheesh! Craig strips to the waist: "Now it's MY turn! Please, gentlemen, fondle me." (They're really getting carried away with the Jennifer stuff. I mean, yeah, Alyssa is cute, but since when does she have The Power To Cloud Men's Minds? Gee, I guess I'll have to watch Embrace of the Vampire again…)

Later, Craig takes Jennifer to the Upstairs parking lot. And what has Jennifer won? A new car! [Applause.] It's his way of saying thanks for the "skyrocketing" sales of the glove. Wow, how many shoulders does this girl have? She invites Craig to help her "break it in," and they snuggle on the seats.

Amanda, Kyle, Megan, Lip Lass, and Eric the Iguana:

Over at Upstairs, an obviously disturbed Amanda returns from her meeting with El Lizardo. Kyle asks what's wrong, and she tells him, "As much as it pains me to admit this, you were r-rrrr-rrr…" "What? What?!" "…rrrr-right! Damn! You were right about Eric, and I was wrrr-rrrr-rong! Damn again!" She says Eric admitted everything and that he's got some whacked obsession about her. "Eric is going to destroy my life and yours. I hate that! I'm supposed to be the one destroying lives on this show!" Kyle isn't ready to concede, and he calls his lawyer. "I want action on this! And get Judge Zobel! I want a softie in my corner!" Amanda, meanwhile, sees Lip Lass eavesdropping on their conversation.

Amanda runs over to challenge her, but Taylor defends herself: "It's my restaurant and I'll spy if I want to! Spy if I want to!" She boasts that she and Kyle will be together again once Amanda's boyfriend-wannabee finishes ruining everybody. Lippie taunts her further: "You don't love anyone but yourself! And your belly is big!" That's it! Amanda reaches back for the slap, but Lip Lass blocks her! "How predictable." But Amanda is prepared -- she throws a drink in Taylor's face! Amanda warns, "Stay out of my life and away from Kyle, or you'll regret it." Doesn't she say that line every week? Jennifer tosses Taylor a towel. "The hell with the towel, Jennifer! See these lips? Throw me a tent!"

At Eric's office, Megan impresses Iguana Boy with her business skills. "Very good, Megan, yes, I see you've understood the Heartless Bastard lesson. Now let's try Condescension 101." Taylor barges in: "Get your claws off my restaurant!" Eric calmly says, "I'm taking it and there's nothing you can do about it." "I'll sic Harry Hamlin on you!" "The way his career is going lately? Don't make me laugh!" Megan and Taylor trade snippy comments on Lippie's way out: "Whore." "Collagen freak." Slam!

Back at Upstairs, the band sings, "Peel me a grape / Crush me some ice / Get off the show while you can, baby / That's my advice." Amanda briefly chats with The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns and Lexi. [See later.] Kyle tells Amanda that his lawyer can act to block the sale in another day. Too late! Accompanied by two goons, Eric shows up on cue, announcing that the building is now his, and that Kyle has 30 days to close up shop! Kyle lunges, but he's held back by the thugs. "Saracen pig! Spartan dog! Die, Anglo-Saxon Hun!" Eric slithers away, satisfied.

Kyle goes to Taylor's apartment the next morning and breaks the bad news. "It's over. I'm sorry." Lippie is not pleased! She blames it all on Amanda. "Dump her! Come back to me, your loony ex-wife who had kinky sex with Peter and fraudulent baby-making sex with Michael!" Kyle's response? "Forget about it, Lippie!"

Amanda enters Upstairs that night to find it empty except for the band and Kyle. He explains he closed the bar that night so that he and Amanda could be alone. (Oh boy, it'll be a big night in tips for the band, I'm sure!) Mr. Insecure says, "I need to know -- it's you and me and nobody else, right?" "Nobody comes close -- at least not this month."

The next night, Amanda goes to Eric's office -- and finds there's a party going on! She gets him alone in his office and says, "Those are my competitors out there! Advertising people with their own sets of slaves!" Eric knows this, and he plans to help one of them take over her company! He says, "I'll drop everything, if you sleep with me once." Amanda Gapes! "Are you insane?" "You're the only woman who's ever said no to me -- it's some conquest thing." Amanda defies him! "Never, you pathetic lizard!" Megan enters and wants to know what's going on. Eric calmly tells her the truth. Really! What a worm! Amanda walks out. Megan is shocked! Eric saunters over and says, "Oh, come on. In her place, you'd do it in a second." Megan's had enough of the prostitute comments! "Go to hell!" SLAP! "I quit." So, Iguana Boy, that's now two women who have turned you down! Some superstud you are!

In the MP courtyard the next morning, Taylor sees Megan and taunts her about her reptilian boss. Megan says she quit and that Eric was never interested in her. "The only woman he wants is Amanda, and that'll never happen." She even mentions Eric's offer to Amanda. "Personally, Lippie, I hope you end up in the gutter." In Amanda's pad, Kyle holds on to the last shreds of hope: "Lizard Boy has to have some weakness: Kryptonite, the color yellow, Enya CDs, something!" Amanda says, "Forget it. He won. We lost. Gimme a beer."

That night, Taylor confronts Amanda, saying she knows about Eric's offer. She yells at Amanda to accept! "Do him before we lose everything!" Amanda refuses, and Lippie says, "You're so incredibly selfish!" (Pot, meet Kettle.) She threatens to tell Kyle about Eric's proposal. Amanda slams her! "You listen to me, you silly little bitch! You say one word to Kyle and I will hunt you down and rip you to shreds!" Yeah, yeah, Amanda, yadda yadda yadda … just waste her already, would you?

Peter, Lexi, Coop, and more Michael and Megan:

At the marina pad of The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, Peter is visited by Coop. He thinks they should talk about the Lexi situation. Peter is polite, but firmly says it's none of Coop's business. "Sure, sure, you stab me in the back and you sleep with my ex-wife. I'm okay with that." They make half-hearted promises not to let this get in the way of the business, and Coop leaves. Peter has mixed feelings about this, since he seems to think that Coop is an OK guy. "On the other hand, I do get to have wild sex with the luscious Lexi every night… Yeah, my conscience is clear." Outside, Coop sees Lexi moving in! He says, "Peter is very … gallant, not to mention bizarre. He doesn't know about you yet, does he? Your fondness for Bon Bons? Your refusal to put in a new roll of toilet paper when the other one's done?" Lexi pushes past him.

Peter goes to Michael's office at the hospital and "gently" reminds him of their promise: that Michael would return the Chief of Staff position to Peter once his hands healed. "Oh, well, Peter, my hands are still hurting. Ow." "One day very soon, I'm going to kick your butt out of here." Peter leaves. Michael, not particularly worried, puts on his lab coat before his rounds and sees the name tag: Dr. Kimberly Shaw! Ewww! Repulsed, Michael quickly shrugs the coat off. "Man, I was about to put on a woman's coat!"

That night, at Upstairs, Peter introduces Amanda to Lexi. He says, "I've heard that you're having some financial problems with this iguana guy. You know, you could have avoided this if you had accepted my money, as I offered. Not that I'm trying to twist the knife during your moment of weakness or anything." Amanda isn't interested in games of one-upsmanship, and she leaves. Lexi, noting the chilliness, says, "What was all that about?" Peter explains that Amanda is his ex-wife, and he succumbed to the urge to get in a dig or two. Lexi seems pissed and she excuses herself to the bathroom. Peter sulks. "Why can't men excuse themselves to the bathroom when they get pissed off?"

The next morning, in Peter's bedroom, he apologizes for his behavior, but Lexi is in a very good mood. Peter says, "I realize we've been too private. We can both open up more. I'll tell you more about myself, except for the really scummy things that would make you hate me." She agrees to do the same, but excuses herself first. Once outside the bedroom, Lexi reaches for her bottle of Diazepam and pops a couple of pills. It's another Melrosian addict!

Meanwhile, Michael is being shown some X-rays by an oncologist. Suddenly, he grabs one of the photos, "This looks familiar … hey, that's Kimberly's brain!" Turning on the other doctor, he accuses her of pulling some perverse joke, but she doesn't know what he's talking about!

Later, at the Burns-Mancini office, Megan comes by to get her final paycheck, but she sees that Michael is very jittery. He explains, "There's weird stuff goin' on. Kimberly stuff." She leaves a box that she found outside the office. He freaks when he sees that there's no postmark or address on it. He opens the box to find … Kimberly's wedding dress! "OK, that's it! Not only is this nutcase messing with my head, but he or she is also screwing with the Post Office!" He and Megan had put most of Kim's stuff in storage after she died, so he says, "We're going there tonight!"

As they arrive at the storage facility, they see the lock on their area has been forced open. Inside, there's nothing left -- except for a photo of Michael and Kimberly with a kitchen knife stuck through it! Michael wigs! "She's back. Kimberly's back." "Michael, she's dead. We saw her body!" "She's come back from the dead before. This is TV! Besides, who else would hate me this much?" Gee, do you have a free hour, Mikey?

Lexi and Peter relax on his patio the next morning, then Michael arrives and angrily demands that Peter fess up! He accuses him of pulling the Kimberly stunts: "Everything points to you. Who else hates me as much as you?" [See previous paragraph.] Peter then tells him about the secret Coop-Kimberly connection. Lexi explains that they had an affair after she came out of her post-accident coma. Gee, Kim must have been really attractive with her massively scarred head! Michael now has a new suspect.

He confronts Coop in the hallway of the hospital. "I wanna know why you're here. Are you psycho or something?" Coop says, "You cheated on her! You lied to her!" (Actually, Michael first cheated on Jane to be with Kimberly, but let's skip over that for now.) He denies any knowledge of what's been happening. Michael orders him kicked out, and Coop decks him. "That's why I'm here!" Michael has him arrested.

Megan visits Coop in jail. She says she didn't say anything to Michael, so Coop's not sure how Michael found out. (Uh, Coop, could it be because your ex-wife -- who hates you -- is sleeping with Michael's business partner? Gee, ya think?) He tells her that he's not responsible for the recent weirdness, but if she can convince Michael to drop the charges, "I'll help you figure it out." Megan, though sympathetic, tells him not to hold his breath. As soon as she leaves, he makes a phone call to Mrs. Shaw's hotel, only to learn that she checked out. The desk clerk says, "She left here a few hours ago, mumbling, 'Kill. Kill. Michael. Die. Die."

That night, when Megan tells Michael of Coop's offer, his reaction is predictable. "Drop the charges?! Coop has joined poor dead Kimberly in the land of the cuckoo." The phone rings, and a raspy voice doing a bad impersonation of Kimberly says, "Hello, Michael. Come to the beach house. Boo!" Michael says, "Who is this? Harvey Fierstein? Brenda Vaccaro?" He hangs up and grits his teeth. "I'm gonna settle this once and for all."

When he arrives at the beach house, he sees that the lights are out and much of the furniture is wrecked. He's carrying a baseball bat! As he enters, he sees a female figure on the patio. He calls out, "Kimberly?" then sees the figure point a gun at him! A baseball bat versus a gun? I don't think so! He dives as two shots go off near him. The figure runs away and drives off before Michael can follow.

Like I said, if this is anybody but Kimberly's mom, I'll be shocked. If they're going to "fool" us, they could do a much better job!

Next Week: Lexi has a drug problem! Eric gets Amanda in bed! Kyle kicks open a door!

--Ken Hart

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