Episode 15: Amanda's Back

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

Can't this show ever have a guest star who's not psychotic or twisted in some way? Look at recent history: Kimberly's mom, Sam's parents, Connie, and now Igor! The only character who brought in halfway-sane guests was Matt (e.g., Chelsea and his HIV-positive military boyfriend), but even that number was dwarfed by his psychos!

The Matt Slot goes to … Craig again! Gee, it sure looks like Charvet is on the way out, doesn't it? There was a lot of intermingling this week, so I'll have to bunch most of the characters together:

Amanda, Kyle, Lip Lass, Billy, Samantha, Connie, Peter, Lexi, and Igor:

At the ranger station in the forest, nameless extras run around mumbling to each other. Into this chaos step the stabilizing intellects of Kyle and Billy. Ranger One tells them they haven't found the site of the helicopter crash yet. When the guy says an approaching storm will delay the search for the corpses, uh, I mean survivors, Kyle gets irate! He puffs up and says, "I'll search for them myself! I was a Marine in the Gulf War!" Ranger One puffs up and says, "Whoop dee do! I was in Vietnam!" Billy puffs up and says, "Daah, I was in a game of paintball. Does dat count?"

Meanwhile, Samantha's vigorous breast massage and kissing prove successful -- Amanda lives! (Duh!) But the situation is not good, for it seems that Amanda has been touched by an angel! She dreamily tells Sam, "Everything is so clear, everything is so clear … I should never have done that movie with Charlie Sheen … never … I'm ready … call my agent…" Sam, horrified, says, "No, Amanda! It'll be all right! Other actresses have had great careers after appearing with Charlie Sheen! Look at Nastassja Kinski -- uh, doy, maybe not. OK, how about Kristy Swanson? Oh, gosh, Amanda, don't die…!"

The following morning, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns gets the bad news in a phone call from Kyle. On the patio, Lexi shares French toast with the Pruitt Taylor Vince wannabe, Igor. "Wow, thank you so much, Lexi. I would like to cover you, I mean, the toast with this wonderful maple syrup. Mmmm." A moody Peter tells her what happened, but he's very snippy. Igor continues to gaze adoringly at Lexi.

Back at the ranger station, the search copter team returns and tells their boss that they found the site of the crash overnight, but there was no place to land. They didn't see any movement on the ground. (Uh, hey, guys -- there's this new invention called The Rope. Ever hear of it? If the helicopter couldn't land, couldn't one of the heroic rescue guys swing down on a rope and check to see if Amanda and Sam were alive?!? Give them food, water, medical supplies, and a makeup kit? Sheesh!) Ranger One keeps talking about this storm that never arrives, and once again says they can't help Sam and Amanda right now. Fire his cowardly ass! When the search pilot mentions there's a clear spot about 4 miles from the crash site, Kyle angrily says, "I'll hire a copter and go myself if Mr. Scaredy Cat Ranger doesn't do anything!" Billy tries to apply logic to Ranger One: "Dah, if we find them before you do, you'll look like idiots." There's a deafening silence. "Okay, maybe I'm not one to talk, but I'll tellin' ya you'll look dumb." Ranger One gives his team the go-ahead.

Billy and Kyle, followed by the cast of "When Stuntmen Attack," make it to the crash site that night. (So where's this damn storm? It's a little windy out, so what? I think Fox was just scouting outdoor locations at night for next season's X-Files in L.A.!) Sam fortunately warns them that Amanda's back may be broken. Kyle says to the woozy Amanda, "I love you. I'm never gonna lose you again." Kyle likes to use that word "never" a lot, doesn't he?

They wheel Amanda into -- where else? -- Wilshire Memorial, since there obviously wasn't a hospital closer to the crash site. Yes, let's move the patient with the broken back around a little more, why don't we? The Bizarre One -- who else? -- takes charge of her immediately, as an anxious Kyle awaits word. Taylor shows up, but Kyle has no patience for her. A short time later, Billy babbles sweet nothings to Sam, who is being kept at the hospital briefly to treat her exposure, due largely to the fact that she was too stupid to take gas from the crashed copter and make a fire! She asks about Connie, and Billy says nothing happened! "Daah, nope, in fact, if you ask Connie again, she'll tell you nothing happened." Billy, you swine! After a few beers, you forgot all about your wife and tried to wrap your tongue around Connie's molars!

Peter talks to Kyle. "The spinal fusion was successful. I don't know exactly what it means, but it sounds cool. Amanda's spinal cord wasn't severed, but it was contused." Kyle says, "Well, can't you explain it to the spine?" "No, not confused. Contused." He can't say for sure until the swelling goes down, but it's possible she may never walk again. Kyle pleads with Peter for the right to tell Amanda about this; Peter hesitates, but yields. (Why would you want that privilege?)

Upon Billy's return to MP, Connie asks him about Sam's condition. "Gaah, she'll be home in a couple of days. She also agrees with me that Amanda's lips taste really good." "What?!" Billy wants to know why Connie hasn't gone to visit her bosom buddy at the hospital. In a really weird explanation, Connie says her love for Sam is so strong that she can't see her! Sam doesn't know that she's gay, and Connie worries what will happen if she goes to the hospital and gives Sam a hug! Excuse me? What do you think will happen, Connie? You'll lose control and share a Victoria's Secrets moment with Sam in the hospital bed? Billy says Sam won't care about Connie's orientation. "If you're the good friend that I think ya are, then you'll go. I've set up the closed-circuit TV and everything."

Back at the Bizarre Pad, a fine-looking Lexi approaches a showering Peter. But he's still snippy! Are you blind, man?! He cuts her off and says he has to head right back out to the hospital to keep an eye on Amanda's condition. "Samantha's vigorous massaging may have knocked something out of alignment. Yeah, that's it." Lexi is obviously annoyed, and Peter promises to make it up to her. He'll be back late tomorrow. As Lexi leaves the bathroom, she's surprised to see Igor standing in the bedroom! He says he knocked, but no one answered. (Uh huh.) "I just wanted to say goodbye." He's found a place of his own at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. As Lexi escorts him out, he senses some friction between her and Peter and, in true TV fashion, automatically gets his hopes up. Lexi then asks him over for dinner the following night (since Peter will be late), and Igor immediately agrees. She gives him a goodbye hug -- Igor's eyes practically roll into the back of his head. Eww!

Kyle visits Amanda in bed and tells her that if she had died, he would have thrown himself off a building. (Damn! Thanks for your help, Samantha!) They patch up their differences over Eric the Iguana, and Kyle professes his love. When he breaks the news about the possibility that she may not walk, Amanda's not surprised, but she says, "If you believe that, then you don't know me as well as you think. I will walk, run, jump, fornicate, and perform all my other responsibilities as a Melrose Place resident."

Kyle returns to his office at Upstairs early the next morning, and he finds Lippie snoozing on the couch. She wakes up and immediately comes on to him. "No, Taylor! Damn it, you know I hate morning breath!" He tells her, once again, that it's OVER between them. (Why don't they simply film this scene once, then repeat it every two weeks?) Taylor says, "Amanda's paralyzed! She'll never satisfy you!" She threatens to tell Amanda about their tryst in Las Vegas. Kyle says that if she does, "We're through!" I thought they were through? He says he'll never talk to Taylor again. Oooh, tough talk! I'm scared! Lip Lass calls his bluff! "If I can't have you, the least I can do is ruin your life with her!" People are just so darn petty on this show. Kyle backtracks so fast his shoes start to smoke: "Uh, wait a second, Taylor. We had some good times together. But can't we just be, uh, friends?" Oh, that's rich! She wants him to stay within easy reach of her lips, meaning about 5 feet away. She threatens that if she notices him drifting from her, she'll blab to Amanda. Kyle, you ninny! Call her bluff! She lies like a rug all the time! Who'll believe her? You're such a weenie!

Connie finally enters Sam's hospital room and tells her that she's moving back to New York. Shocked, Sam says, "Doy, Connie! Is it because of Billy?" "No, I'm moving away from you." Connie admits that when she first came here, her master plan was to break up Sam and Billy, confess her love to Sam, have Sam reciprocate said Sapphic love, then move back to her SoHo apartment and live in lesbian lust forever after. (I'll take my bows now, thank you.) Sam's sharp response? "You're … gay!" She tells Connie it never would have affected their friendship, but Connie thinks otherwise. "You got a really good thing with Billy, even though he is a dog!" Sam says no matter what, Connie will always be her best friend. They hug, Connie briefly considers stripping naked, then she leaves with a final "Love you."

Later in the day, a bathrobe-clad Lexi answers the door. It's Igor, and he's way early for dinner! Lexi, surprised, says, "It's still in the oven, sugah!" He's wearing a brand-new suit (bought with his advance for the job he has yet to start) and carrying a bouquet, which he hands over. He decided not to wait! To his shock, though, he quickly sees that Peter came home early! Also wearing his bathrobe, The Bizarre One says suspiciously, "Well, I do live here, Igor." Flustered, Igor backs out, saying "Uh, gotta go. I, uh, just ran in to give you the flowers. Ran into a friend, got a date, forgot to tape E.R.…" As he steps out, Peter tells him, "Igor? Next time, call first. You interrupted the Doctor at work. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!"

The next night, Peter checks in on Amanda. She says the crash has put everything in perspective. "I realize how lucky I am. If my life had gone down a different path, I could easily have ended up making lousy sex-thrillers on Cinemax. I'm also fortunate to have survived long enough so that my black roots are finally back in fashion." "I think you're still delirious, Amanda." Peter seems touched by the gentleness of her tone and he holds her hand -- just as Kyle steps in the room. For once, Kyle keeps his mouth shut (even though his eyes bug out). On his way out of the room, Peter softly tells him, "You're a lucky guy, Kyle. Don't blow it." Hey, isn't that what Peter told Bobby Paresi shortly before he destroyed his life?

Back home, Peter and Lexi engage in some intense lip and tongue action (what a tough job), unaware that Igor is watching them from a window. As he stares at Lexi, he recalls the night of the accident and realizes that she drove the car that struck him! If he really stared at Lexi's face that night for as long as the flashback suggests, then it's his own damn fault for not getting out of the way!

Michael, Megan, Coop, Jennifer, Craig, and some Taylor:

Megan and Coop wake up under the covers of the fold-out couch. Megan gives him that dreamy, half-asleep look which she's perfected (I need a nickname for it!) and says, "You just make me so happy. Zzzzz." She's still concerned about Michael, for some strange reason. Jen walks in (it is her living room, after all) and tries not to interrupt. As Megan's roommate, she tells Coop not to mess things up. Jen leaves, but immediately sees Michael walking up the stairs. She warns him to behave, and Michael realizes that Coop is in there. He walks in and tells the surprised Megan that he still wants her back. Megan politely tells him to forget about it. Coop walks out of the bathroom (Michael is awed by Coop's pecs!) and wonders if they can't all get along! "After all, we still have to work together." Ha! Only on Melrose! Michael tosses off another thinly veiled prostitute insult at Megan and leaves.

Later, he sits at the bar at Kyle's Restaurant. Taylor walks over and deduces that he and Megan haven't reconciled. Michael grunts, "In large part, thanks to you!" Lippie wonderfully avoids all notion of guilt. (She's so much better in her scenes with Michael. It's only in her scenes with Kyle, Amanda, and Peter that she's been completely horrible!) Jennifer walks in with Craig, Coop, and Megan, and she waves to Michael and says, "We just got a huge contract for the cauterizing glove! Dodger Stadium will now be the Mancini Glove Stadium!" Seeing his dark reaction, Jen shuts up. He's about to leap into a rage, but Taylor says, "Don't give them the satisfaction. Calm superiority works every time. Trust me." He sits back down, and she cheerfully says, "I'll help you plot your revenge another time!"

Over at Burns-Mancini-Cooper, Cooper tells The Bizarre One that they should kick Michael out. (Megan overhears.) Peter, to his credit, says, "You're the one who let Kimberly's mother go nuts in the operating room!" He thinks Coop's vendetta is getting out of hand, and adds, "Michael and I started this practice together. He's out when I say he's out. I am the only one with the right to maim, crush, and destroy my good partner." Coop says he'll just be patient and wait for Michael to screw up.

Back at MP, Coop notices that Megan is cool, and she tells him what she heard. "Am I some trophy in your war?" Coop again tells her, "My deep, ever-growing, white-hot hatred of Michael is totally separate from my feelings for you." She says, "Why can't you just ignore the poor guy?" "Mmm … okay." They snuggle.

Meanwhile, Michael's car breaks down in a rougher part of town. While he's waiting for the local garage to fix it, he stops off for something to eat at … a strip joint! (You know, I would love to see a one-week trade between the MP folks and those depressing Salinger kids on Party of Five. Put Charlie in the hospital and put Michael in charge of the house! "Hey, you little brats! Stop yer whining!")

At the Soiled Sequin Strip Club, Michael makes eye contact (after a fashion) with one of the dancers, Amber. She walks over to his table and politely flirts with him. Michael is smitten! "I'm a doctor. I'd love to be your doctor." She says it's not good policy to go out with customers and tells him she has to get up early the next day for "school." Michael, resigned, figures his bad-luck streak is continuing.

As he leaves, though, he sees Amber being mugged in the parking lot! He jumps to the rescue -- and is immediately pummeled! The guy runs off, though, and Amber gives her hero a big kiss. She tells Michael to come back tomorrow.

The next morning, Peter, Coop, and Megan see the very bruised Michael enter his office. Coop gives Peter an "I told you so" look, and Megan brings Michael some aspirin. Without telling him about Coop's conversation with Peter, she warns Michael that he'd better get his act together soon.

At Kyle's Restaurant, Jennifer gushes to Craig about how romantic Billy and Kyle's actions were in rescuing Sam and Amanda. Hostess Taylor poo-poohs the whole thing, and Jennifer says, "You would say that! You're just mad because Kyle dumped you for Amanda!" "Well, we always had the best sex!" Hookay. When Jen asks Craig if he would be just as heroic for her, he jokes about it and shrugs. That's not what Jen wanted to hear! When she pushes him about it, he says, "I never really found you very appealing. It was always just too much effort to kick you out of bed!" He's never had feelings for her. Ouch! Jennifer stands up and slaps him good! The customers at Kyle's keep eating -- they're used to this! Jen leaves. Taylor walks over to him, smiles, and says, "You pig!"

Michael returns to the Soiled Sequin and watches "Nurse" Amber perform! She slips him a card with her phone number on it, and says she wants a physical. Michael is again a happy man!

Next Week: Igor confronts Peter! Amanda doesn't want Kyle to stay with a paralyzed woman! Peter tells Lexi he still loves Amanda!

--Ken Hart

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