Episode 9: Attack of the Scalpel Woman

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

Pretty stinky episode, by and large! Between the goofy bonding of Craig and Billy, and the Shemp-like acting of the actress playing Kimberly's mom, this was an early-season low point. And while Eric the Iguana is appropriately disgusting, I can't even hate him because he's played so badly!

The Matt Slot goes to … Taylor! Lip Lass was pretty subdued this week. Even so, she still managed to stir up some trouble. Also, now that the pregnancy plotline is kaput, she's lost the endearing goofiness she had! She's back to last year's bitchiness levels -- I hate her again!

Billy, Samantha, Craig, and Jennifer:

Sam and Jennifer are driving, and Jennifer is giddy over Sam and Billy's impending wedding. Sam says she and Billy can't agree on any of the plans, however. "Doy, Jennifer, Billy said he'd like the maid of honor to wear a soccer ball instead of a garter. He wants something to kick up into the crowd." Samantha plays a collection of wedding theme songs to help her decide. The first track: "You are the Sunshine of My Life," sung by Jim Nabors. Jennifer is eager to have some of Billy and Sam's "magic" rub off on her. (It's black magic, Jennifer! Stay away!) Sam asks, "What about you and Craig?" "Nah, it's mostly business with him. He always stops in the middle of sex to watch CNN's Business Day. He thinks the Brit guy hosting it is pretty cool." Sam says, "Well, doy then! If that's the case, maybe Craig isn't the right guy for you." Jen replies, "Oh yeah, he is. I've got too much invested in him." It's a bad year for investment, Jennifer.

At Craig's new offices (again, why? He doesn't even have a staff!), Jennifer is delighted that he and she have been invited to the forthcoming Unholy Wedding. He's not too keen on the idea: "Uh, the last wedding I attended ended kind of badly … sniff sniff … waaah, Sydney!!" Jennifer says that they are dating, after all, but Craig doesn't quite see it that way! "I enjoy spending time with you, and locking our arms, legs, and lips in the throes of passion, but I wouldn't say we're dating." She tells him about a double date of bowling she's arranged with Billy and Sam. "Ah," says Craig, "you're hoping some of their perfect relationship will rub off." Perfect relationship?! Billy and Samantha?? Bwahahahahahaha! He's got the IQ of a 9-volt battery that's been left out in the sun too long. And Sam's life is, to put it politely, messed up! She was emotionally abused by Dad and Mom, she watched Evil Dad return and steal money, she sat next to Evil Dad when he died and took poor Syd with him … oh yeah, she's fine! Billy would do better to marry Traci Lords!

At the bowling alley, Sam and Jen get beers and continue to compare notes on their he-men. Meanwhile, in the lane, Billy and Craig bond … well, maybe not! "Daah, yer a lousy businessman! Sky High was a big bust!" "Hey, moron, don't forget it was you who sold me out to Amanda behind my back." "Oh, daah yeah, I did forget. Well, yer still stupid!" "Yeah? Well, I was always a better slave to Amanda than you were, Campbell." "Gaah, really? Well…ah…yer still stupid!" "Double dumb ass on you!" They wrestle on the lane briefly as a shocked Jen and Sam rush over. Just as quickly, though, the two guys laugh it off and reach for beers! The girls are confused by the rituals of male bonding.

Only on TV and in movies do you see two guys try to pound each other, then laugh about it! The post-fight language is actually: "You wuss!" "Screw you, bastard!" "Bite me, buttlicker!" and other R-rated phrases I'm too polite to mention.

The next day at a diner, Billy asks Craig to be his best man. (Uh, hello? Billy, do you remember your good buddy, Jake? You know, Jake? He's only up the coast, for Pete's sake!) Craig agrees and automatically begins to plan the kick-ass bachelor party. Billy says, "Daah, Samantha, wouldn't you like Jennifer to be yer maid of honor?" "Doy, Billy, you are embarrassing me! You know I already have someone!" "Gaah, oh yeah. Connie What's-Her-Name, yer old school pal. Sounds like it's time for a location shot!" Cut to scenic New York City. Cut back to a studio set in Hollywood, where we see Connie (played by Megan Ward) looking through a photo album full of happy pictures of her and Samantha. She's listening to Sam's giddy message on the answering machine: "I can't wait to see you. It's going to be a great wedding! [Click.]" Connie mutters, "Over my dead body." Hmmm, somebody's got issues!

At the bachelor party in a nearby swanky hotel (wow, Craig works fast!), Billy, Craig, and Kyle get down and drunken with a couple of extras and a scantily clad woman. (Carmen Electra has nothing to worry about.) Geez, Craig, only one woman? Next time, don't rush so much and do a GOOD party! Monks in the 15th century had a wilder time! Billy is supposed to be drunk, but -- surprise! -- Andrew Shue looks exactly the same. In fact, you don't even realize that Billy is "drunk" until the end of the scene! Kyle, depressed over his own subplot, tells Billy, "You are our hope." God help us all. A sultry hotel employee orders Craig to keep the noise down, and he says he'll do his best -- then he offers her a drink!

The next morning, Billy and Sam are in bed and he's nibbling at her ear. Excuse me, but isn't this the morning after his bachelor party? Wouldn't a more realistic scene be: "Ah doy, Billy, where are you?" "Daaah, aaah, bleaaaargh… Ah'm in the bathroom, Sam." "What are you doing there?" "Gaaah, waddaya think I'm doin'? I'm callin' Ralph on the big white phone! Bluuarrphh!"

Anyhow, Sam realizes, "Oh! Our wedding announcement will be in today's paper! Go get it!" Billy, clad in his boxers, opens the door and sees the newspaper with the headline, "World's Stupidest Couple to Marry -- L.A. teachers worry about drop in SAT scores in next generation." Also outside the door is an attractive young woman! Billy covers his vitals! It's Connie What's-Her-Name. Sam squeals when she sees her, and Connie gives her approval of Billy: "He's a hunk. I should be able to easily manipulate him in my plan to destroy you." "Doy? What, Connie?" "I said, 'I like your hair.'" "Oh, gee, thanks, you look great, too!" Connie says she plans to stay at a hotel, but Sam poo-poohs that! "You're staying here! Right, Billy?" "Gaah, daaah…" "Great!"

Meanwhile, Jennifer walks over to Craig's apartment, where she sees him giving a smoochy farewell to the sultry hotel employee! Jennifer, near tears, yells, "There are other ways you could have told me you weren't interested in a relationship!" Craig says, "Hey, this is 'Melrose Place'! What did you expect me to do? Talk to you about it? Geez, if you want to yak, talk to those 'Party of Five' kids. Damn, are they depressing or what?"

Michael, Megan, Peter, Lexi, and Coop:

Coop leaves the jail with The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns, who has just bailed him out. Conveniently for Coop, his jail scrubs look just like his medical scrubs! Suddenly, Michael drives up and accuses Coop of shooting at him! Peter says Coop just now got out -- it couldn't have been him. Michael isn't convinced. "He hired someone!" Peter tells him, "Instead of accusing Coop, ask yourself this: Of all the people who hate you, who hates you enough to want you dead? And no help from the studio audience!"

After Coop gets dropped off at Melrose Place, he sees Kimberly's mom lurking in the bushes, wearing her ninja outfit! "Mrs. Shaw, what are you doing in those clothes? You look terrible in black!" She admits that she took the shot at Michael: "I only planned to scare him, but when he said Kimberly's name, I just wanted to kill him! I would have fired more than two bullets, but we ran out of time last week." Coop takes the gun from her and puts it in his bag. "OK, I'm going to contact some friends in Cleveland, then you're taking the next available plane back there. You'll meet with those friends and you're going to admit yourself for a long, long time." "A sanitarium, Coop?!?" "No, a nunnery! Of course, a sanitarium, you crazed…! Uh, I mean, they'll help you."

Michael returns to the beach house in the morning and sees a woman on the balcony. He tackles her! Obviously, it's Megan. He apologizes and tells her about his near-death experience. Megan says, "It's not Kimberly. I saw her die. You saw her body." "Yeah, yeah … hey, you know, this means you're the only woman I can trust. It's bringing us closer together." Megan is not moved! "Whatever."

Coop goes to the Bizarre Pad to pay Peter back for the bail money. Lexi answers the door and they immediately argue about the Kimberly connection. Coop denies that Michael is the reason he's in Los Angeles. "If you must know, I came here for the 'Back to the Future' ride at Universal Studios. I'm hooked!" He even accuses Lexi of driving him into Kim's comatose arms, implying that Lexi became so bitchy that she was less sexually attractive than Kim. (Ehhh, OK, folks, let's not explore the comatose-is-sexy angle too deeply…) Lexi slaps him just as Peter shows up. As Lexi goes inside, Peter says to Coop, "Don't you piss off my main squeeze!" Coop maintains his cool as always: "Hey, maybe you're the guy who can turn her around. Lord knows I couldn't." Lexi is in the bathroom popping more pills! But she runs out! And who is the prescribing physician? The guy she just slapped. D'OH!

Later, Megan returns to the Burns-Mancini-Cooper offices and hears Coop on the telephone. (Why don't these people ever remember to close their damn doors? It's like being in Seinfeld's apartment!) He's telling a friend how "she" will be arriving in Cleveland and how she needs help and care. As he hangs up, he sees Megan in the doorway! He gets dark and suspicious: "How long have you been there?" "Oh, just got here. Now that I've quit on Lizard Boy Eric, Michael gave me my old job back and I need the other partners to sign off on it. Wasn't that a smooth change of topic?" "In other words, would I mind having a spy in my midst?" He adds, "In time, he'll destroy you, too." You know, Coop really needs to lighten up! I hear more talk about destruction from him than on a typical X-Men cartoon. She replies, "That can only happen if I let him." Coop advances, then says oddly, "Don't. It would be a terrible waste." Awww, Coopie's getting sweet on Megan. Isn't that nice? Now that his revenge plot is going nowhere, he needs somebody to sleep with!

Back at Peter's pad, Lexi is on the phone, trying futilely to get her prescription refilled. As she hangs up, Peter walks in and asks if she's feeling well. She's obviously anxious and she didn't get any sleep. She says she's fine, but he's concerned. "I'm worried it could be a plot complication. I want you to see a colleague of mine at the hospital for a checkup. She's a script writer, too, so she should be able to help."

The doctor, Angela, tells Lexi that she's physically perfect (who needs a doctor to verify that?), but she did get Lexi's medical records from Cleveland, so she knows she's been on a super-high dosage of tranquilizers and M&M's for several years. "This is the early stages of withdrawal symptoms. I'll try to use my script-writing powers to help you out, but Spelling dictates that at least one cast member be an addict every season." She certainly won't mention anything to Peter, but she advises Lexi to get into a treatment program. Peter enters and everybody is Smiley Face again.

That night, Megan visits Coop's apartment to drop off the consent form for her return. He sort of apologizes for being suspicious of her earlier, then he answers the phone. He steps out of the room briefly with the cordless phone, and Megan peeks into his bag -- and sees the gun and a plane ticket! (Yep, I'm sure he walked around all day with the gun still in his bag. Holy Barry Switzer, Batman!) Megan pretends nothing is amiss when Coop returns, but she secretly follows him when he leaves Melrose Place a minute later. Foolishly, Megan does not wear a black sweater -- a necessary bit of wardrobe in all stalking scenes!

A little bit later, she uses her car phone to reach Michael at the hospital. She tells him about the gun and says she's been following Coop's car. "He went to a hotel, picked up a woman, and now they're heading toward the airport." Michael says, "So? When we were together, I often picked up women and drove to…I mean, I'm on my way!"

When Michael meets Megan at the airport, she points out where Coop and his lady friend are sitting by the gate. Michael says, "I'll be damned. It is her -- Kimberly's mother!" All becomes clear! Michael confronts them as they stand up. He tells Megan to call the cops, but Coop says that Mrs. Shaw needs help. Michael replies, "She'll get plenty in prison!" Coop tells him that he's made arrangements for her in Cleveland: "Medical help, an institution, season tickets to Indians games…" Kim's mom is looking quite fragile! Coop says, "Here's a real chance to end this, Michael. I've forgiven you -- I may not like you," but he doesn't see any point in retribution over what he did to Kimberly.

Michael ponders for a second, then tells Mrs. Shaw, "OK. Go. Get the hell out of here!" He adds he's holding Coop responsible if this doesn't go as planned. "As far as I'm concerned, you're both wackos!" Notice, though, that we don't actually see Mrs. Shaw go through the gate as Michael yells at Coop…

The next day, Lexi shows up at the hospital, looking for Peter -- and looking like hell! (This, of course, is a relative term. "Looking like hell" on this show means you have runny mascara.) Coop sees her and takes her aside. He's surprised that she ran out of the pills, since the amount he gave her should have lasted for a long time. "Peter doesn't have a clue, does he?" "What, and know that his Dream Come True is a drug addict?" "No, I mean about how bad you look when your mascara runs." Coop offers to write another prescription for a little amount: "This isn't the answer, but it'll help you get through this until you sort things out. So I'll just be completely irresponsible and feed your addiction like a good little doctor." He says he hopes her Bizarre relationship works out, since it'll get him off "the alimony train." He does remind her, "You owe me." OK, who wants to bet that in two weeks, Peter will find out about the addiction, see Coop's name on the label, and beat the crap out of him?

Right after Lexi leaves, Coop gets bad news. He tells Michael that Mrs. Shaw never made it to Cleveland! The plane made a stop in Chicago, so it's possible she got off there. (Say hi to Jane!) Michael fumes, "I knew it! Enough of this humanitarian crap. I'm turning the bitch in!"

Later, Peter is about to perform surgery using that miracle device, the Mancini Glove. (I wonder who the first victim…uh, patient is?) Michael also dresses to watch. Megan waits in the hallway, and she sees a big bruiser standing outside the operating room. The guy says he's a bodyguard hired by Michael. Wow, working as a hired thug must be a leading job opportunity in L.A.! Back in the operating room, Peter is admittedly impressive by the glove! "I find it hard to believe that someone of your limited intelligence came up with this idea." Coop enters: "So do I." He also is here to watch, as Michael looks on uncomfortably.

Meanwhile -- and here's where it gets really bad -- the now-crazed Mrs. Shaw peeks out from a door in the hallway and sees the bodyguard. She opens her eyes and mouth wide -- "Oooh" -- and sneaks back to the doorway, Bugs Bunny-style! Then she uses the oldest trick in the book: She puts on medical scrubs and a mask! Oh ho! I'm laughing too much! I'm gonna hurt myself! Mur-derrrrr! She practically throws a hip check into Megan as she zooms past her toward the operating room. Does the bodyguard let her in? Of course he does! After all, she's wearing medical clothes! Yeesh!

As the three doctors hover over their patient, Kimberly's mom grabs a scalpel and gets ready to stab Michael in the back! Megan pushes the door open: "Michael, look out!" She grabs Mrs. Shaw's arm: "Hi-yaaa! Gymkata!" Mom's arm slashes down and stabs Megan in the stomach! Mrs. Shaw is tackled and dragged out as she yells at Michael, "Just as well! You took my Kimberly -- I'll take your whore!" Peter has to stay with the patient, but Coop and Michael get the bleeding Megan out of the room. Coop wheels her into surgery.

Coop gives Michael and Peter the good news: Megan's alive. The bad news: She's in a coma! "She had an allergic reaction to the coma. I've never seen anyone sneeze like that." Michael vows to investigate Coop, but the attending nurse backs him up, saying Megan went into cardiac arrest and would have died if not for Coop and a box of Kleenex. Michael apologizes. Peter asks, "Michael, do you want me to handle that staff meeting?" "Yeah…no, I'll do it." Peter thinks, "DAMN!" As the two leave, Coop says to the comatose Megan, "Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you." Wow, what is it with this guy's attraction to coma babes?

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

At Upstairs, Kyle holds a final, somber meeting with his minions. "This is our last night. By this time tomorrow, Eric Baines will own this building, and the people of Melrose Place will have no place to drink. Nothing can be done." Oh, the humanity! Shooter's, wherefore art thou? Taylor glares at Amanda, who leaves. Eric's limo pulls up and he says his offer of a ceasefire for sex is still open. Amanda says, "And it wouldn't matter if I laid there like a log, hating every minute of it?" "Naah. When you're a rich, powerful lizard like me, you get used to it." He sets the deadline for 8 p.m. tomorrow at his office. Otherwise, he takes the bar and her company.

The next night, Amanda sits silently in Eric's conference room with him and his thugs, staring at the papers of transfer. As 8 o'clock hits, she signs the papers and says, "The company's yours. I won't sleep with you." Eric is disappointed! Kyle busts in unexpectedly! He tells Eric, "You win. You ruined me. You've shown Amanda the truth that lies beneath my George Clooney haircut. But you don't need to take Amanda's company, too." Eric says, "In other words, my destruction of you should be enough, yes? And you're right -- in your Neanderthal way." Kyle says, "Mmmm, me like bananas. So let her keep it." "Ahh, no." He decideds to extend the deadline on his offer for two more days. When he leaves, Kyle asks what the offer is and why she's not taking it. Amanda refuses to tell him. "All you've bought me is two more days of hell. You luscious bastard!"

Well, two days later, Taylor pours final drinks at Kyle's restaurant. "Here's to selfishness," she says, looking at Amanda. Hey, Lippie sure seems to have gotten over the baby thing quickly! Billy shows up to take Amanda to an important meeting. Kyle asks what's up. "Oh, gaah, 'Manda may have found a new investor. It's our last chance. Do I sound convincing?" Kyle is thrilled! He wishes them good luck. Outside, Amanda thanks Billy for the fib, even though Billy doesn't know exactly what is going on. Amanda says, "Kyle must never know about this." "Gaah, must never know about what?" Taylor's collagen-filled lips act as audio enhancers, so her ears pick up the entire conversation!

Resigned, Amanda goes to Eric's pad. He wants to set the mood with music and champagne, but she wants to see the papers that guarantee Eric will back off, and he'll sign them -- after sex! (And we're supposed to believe this?) He starts to nuzzle her neck, then gets pissed off when he sees her crying. "No! No tears! Go in the bathroom and use Johnson's Baby Shampoo!" You know, if Eric were played by a better actor, I'd really despise him. But he's just a loser!

Back at the restaurant, Lip Lass says, "Kyle, I haven't been honest with you." "Which time?" She tells him about Eric's offer to Amanda, and that Amanda has accepted to save her company. "You're lying." "Call Billy if you don't believe me. 10 to 1 he's home with Samantha." Kyle does! Billy answers! Kyle simmers!

As Eric and Amanda lie in bed (we don't know what's happened yet), Kyle kicks open the door of the pad! Eric steps out in his robe, and Kyle demands to know if they had sex yet. Eric confidently asks why he should tell him. Kyle says, "I'm killing you either way, so it doesn't matter." Eric snickers, "You don't have the guts." Bad move! Kyle shoves him back toward the balcony, and Eric tumbles over the rail! He holds on with one hand. People on the street look up and say, "Look at that guy in the robe! Free show! Woo hoo!" Amanda yells, "Eric, tell him we didn't have sex! Save yourself!" As Eric's hand slips, Kyle grabs it. "Save your life, you slimeball! Tell me I'm seeing things!"

Next Week: Is Kyle myopic? Will Coop pursue the comatose Megan? Does Taylor really have a big mouth?

--Ken Hart

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