Episode 16: Kyle of the Desert

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

I really hate to say this, but this was possibly the worst episode of Melrose I've ever seen. Oh sure, there have been worse individual subplots, but this was one hour of relentless, snooze-inducing doo-doo of the sort that Christine Lahti was vacating at the Golden Globes! I fear for the future! If you saw the episode, keep reading -- I can safely say this recap should be more entertaining than the show!

The Matt Slot goes to ... again, Craig! (Can you say "History"?) He didn't appear at all! He's so obviously gone that I don't even feel right about awarding him the Matt Slot. I'll unofficially split it up between Billy, Samantha, and Jennifer. In fact, those three have so little going for them, let's get them out of the way:

Billy, Samantha, and Jennifer:

At home, Billy and Sam are working on designs for a new account. (Hey, kids, you're home! Rent out a movie or something!) Sam is getting stressed as she drops off some sketches next to Billy. She worries that the designs aren't what Amanda wants. "Amanda thought people in black leather would be perfect, but doesn't this company handle kids' clothes?" Billy says, "Daah, it's not what 'Manda wants, it's what looks good. Gaah, Sam, you've been in the business for, dah, two seconds. Let me do the conceptu..ah, contemptualiz...ah, thinking and you do da drawing." "Well, doy to you, Billy! Why don't you do it all yourself?!" "Daah, okay, I got my Crayolas here someplace..."

Annoyed by Billy's audacious claim to mental superiority, Sam walks outside, where Jennifer is dipping her toes in The Pool, tempting the dark beast that dwells below. Jennifer, feigning shock over Billy and Sam's fight, politely tells Sam that "Billy is a real keeper, unlike Craiggie Boy." She says that Sam should go back inside since "a guy like Billy is one in a million." (Yeah, that's about the odds for genetic mutation these days.) Sam steps back inside the apartment. Gee, thanks for the advice, Jennifer! Did you think that Sam was about to divorce Billy because of one little tiff? And why were they arguing in the first place? Amanda is lying crippled in the hospital! She won't be looking at their designs any time soon! Ah, get lost, the bunch of you!

Amanda, Kyle, Peter, Lexi, Lip Lass, and Igor:

Brace yourself for the insane flashback sequences! In Amanda's room at the hospital, Kyle sleeps in a nearby chair. Amanda's manicurist sleeps in the adjoining bed. A fitful Kyle goes into Dreamland! We see men in desert fatigues run across sand dunes as mortars explode around them. No, it's not an episode of "Soldier of Fortune" -- Kyle is flashing back to his days in the Gulf War. His buddy Nick, a.k.a. The Human Spittoon (not seen since "Screams From a Marriage" last year), is injured. He cries out, "The Republican Guard is coming!" The forces of Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh waddle over the hill. Outgunned and outweighed, Kyle and his team stagger away from the battle. A jeep driven by "Christine" approaches to assist them -- and gets blowed up real good! Kyle flashes back further and finds himself back on the set of "Silk Stalkings"! Amanda, still lying flat on her back, yells at Kyle to wake up. "Rise, slave! If I'm not going to get some sleep, then damn it, no one is!" Kyle is sweaty and shaken, but when Amanda asks who Christine is, Kyle says he doesn't know.

The next day, The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns tells Amanda that the spine hasn't responded as well as he'd hoped. "It will wiggle on command, but it still won't fetch or play dead." Amanda, sick of the "glass half full" approach, demands to hear the worst-case scenario. "Well," says Peter, "the worst-case scenario is that this show goes off the air, you lose any marketability you've had, and you develop a fondness for Budweiser and Devil Dogs." "Damn, being paralyzed for the rest of my life doesn't sound so bad!" Peter tells her she must maintain a positive attitude and keep fighting. He's then distracted by the sudden appearance of Igor in the hallway! They go into his office where the nervous Igor tells him that he knows the truth about Lexi and the car. He threatens to go to the police. Peter says cautiously, "What do you want?" "Uh, what I want is for you to break up with the luscious Lexi so that I can have her for myself." Peter somehow stops himself from laughing and says, "Are you ... blackmailing me, Igor?" "Uh, yeah. Yeah, I am!" Poor Igor! He doesn't know who he's dealing with! The Bizarre One thinks, "I'm gonna have me some fun with the dumb guy."

A sleeping Kyle has still more flashbacks to the Beach Blanket War. Nick tells him that Christine just died of her injuries. Kyle sobs like a little baby! "I loved her so much!" Nick consoles him (I bet he's lying!), and Kyle again wakes up in a sweat as the memories linger. "I forgot ... I actually hugged Nick. Yuck!" As he steps across the MP courtyard late at night, the ever-watchful Lip Lass sees him. He goes into the Kimberly Shaw Memorial Laundry Room, moves aside some barrels of explosives, and opens a locked crate. He sorts through some Marine memorabilia -- medals, pins, hazing handbooks -- and finds a picture of him, Nick, and Christine. Taylor sneaks in unseen and watches him quietly sob. It's too bad they didn't use those fluffy slippers in the war! They could have sneaked past anyone!

At the marina in the morning, Lexi and Igor have coffee. She seems distracted and she tells Igor that Peter is spending too much time with his ex-wife Amanda. When Peter shows up, Lexi accuses him of being with Amanda all night, and Peter tells her she's way off base and he leaves. Lexi is upset, and Igor gives her a consoling hug. Ewww.

Taylor visits Amanda at the hospital. Amanda quickly asks why, and Taylor says, "Concern for your health, of course!" If Amanda feels poorly, then Kyle feels poorly. Lippie confesses she's worried about Kyle: She saw him outside that morning, and not once did he tell her, "It's OVER between us, Taylor!" Amanda mentions the bad dreams he's been having about the war. Taylor says, "He used to have those back in Boston, but I thought he was allergic to seafood." Amanda asks about "Christine," but Taylor replies, "No, the only name he ever said in bed was 'Taylor! Taylor!'"

Lexi and Igor go to the hospital. An "angry" Lexi confronts Peter, who is lovingly setting up Amanda's hospital room with candles and flowers. She yells, "You still love her, don't you!" Peter recites his lines, "Yes, it-is-true. I-never-stopped-loving-her." Lexi gives him a nasty slap and leaves. Peter looks at Igor and says, "You win. She's all yours."

Back at MP, Taylor opens up Kyle's crate. On the back of the photo, she reads, "The Three Musketeers: Nick, Kyle, and Christine." Hear that rotating sound? It's Alexander Dumas spinning in his grave! Later, she casually asks Kyle about his old Marine buddies, like the Human Spittoon. "Nick? He ended up in Dallas, last I heard." "But that's off the air." "Not the TV show, the city." Taylor says, "He was a louse, but loyal. Maybe we could hire him to help out." (With what? Surveillance? Eavesdropping?) Kyle says, "Over my dead body."

Peter yells at the still-paralyzed Amanda when he discovers that she's made arrangements to transfer to a Utah treatment center. "What, like we don't have spines in California?" She says she doesn't want to burden Kyle and others in case she doesn't recover. "I don't get off on pity," she adds. "No, just self-pity." Zing! Citing doctor-patient confidentiality, she orders Peter to say nothing to Kyle about the transfer. Peter says, "I figured you for many things, Amanda, but never a coward." "If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand! Unfortunately, I still can't move, so be gone out of my sight, minion!"

Lexi asks Igor to meet with her. He confesses that he's been in love with her from the first time she gave him Pop Tarts. He moves in to kiss her, but she stops him and "confesses" that she is the one who hit him with the car. "It's OK," says Igor. "It's in the past." "You're great, sugah, now please wipe up your drool." Lexi says she wants to go to the police and tell them everything, but Igor worries, "They'll toss you in prison! You'll star in 'Caged Heat 3'! Not that that would be a bad thing..." She says, "If you come with me and explain everything, including how we stopped the car and looked, but you hid, and you don't press charges, then everything's fine. Isn't it great how this just popped into my head?"

Lexi and Igor return to The Bizarre Pad. Everything went as planned at the precinct, and Igor wants to celebrate with Lexi, a box of strawberries, and some Miracle Whip. To his surprise, though, Peter greets Lexi with a bottle of champagne and a big smooch! Much too late, Igor realizes he's been had by The Master! Lexi says, "You shouldn't have blackmailed Peter," saying that Igor could have had a nice life with them, but he got greedy. Peter and Lexi faked the whole thing. Igor threatens to return to the police; Peter points out that since Igor has already sworn to the events of that night, he'd be committing perjury if he now gave a different story. Peter hands him a $2,000 check to get lost and start anew. "And get one of those George Clooney haircuts, for God's sake. You look ridiculous!" Igor leaves, hurling invectives: "You rich bourgeois swine! Up with the proletariat!" Peter congratulates Lexi on her performance, adding that the slap was a little too realistic. Lexi asks if he really IS over Amanda. Peter pauses, then says Lexi has nothing to worry about. "You're the only woman in my life." Lexi seems unconvinced!

Later, Peter visits Kyle at Melrose and, breaking confidentiality, tells him about Amanda's plan to go to Salt Lake City. "She's a Mormon?" "No, simpleton! She's going to a treatment center! She's getting ready to leave now. If you hurry..." Kyle speeds toward the hospital! He intercepts Amanda just before she's wheeled out. He says this is no different than when she planned to move to New York when D&D folded. He won't let her run out, even if she's on wheels. "If you leave my life, I'm nothing." (And what exactly are you with her, Bucko?) He asks her to marry him! "Of course I'll marry you! It's the silliest suggestion I've heard all day!"

Peter and Lexi make out in bed late at night when they hear a noise. Peter immediately suspects Igor. They go downstairs, open the door, and see -- Chad Everett! He's playing Lexi's dad, who has dropped by for a very surprise visit. "I was just getting worried about my little girl." Lexi, overjoyed, goes upstairs to change, while The Bizarre One tries to engage him in small talk. But Mr. Sterling says, "Son, if you think I'm ever gonna like you, you're sorely mistaken." Gulp! It's another Evil Dad! Why can't we have more nice ones, like the White Shadow?

Back at the hospital, Lip Lass offers her "congratulations" to Amanda on her upcoming nuptials with Kyle. She then (of course) tells Amanda about how she and Kyle did The Nasty in Las Vegas. To her shock, Amanda says, "I know." She and Kyle decided to put every painful thing out in the open. "I told him about 'Return of Swamp Thing,' and he told me about 'Iron Eagle III.' We both made mistakes, and we've forgiven each other those mistakes." She adds that while she's sorry Taylor isn't the love of Kyle's life, "that's just too damn bad." Slam dunk by Amanda! Lippie leaves without a word! She goes straight to the payphone and eventually gets in touch with Jolly Taint Nick at some Dallas dive. Without going into recent events, she tells him she's worried about Kyle and asks who Christine was. "What you could never be, Taylor." "What," she says sarcastically, "the love of his life?" "Trust me, you don't want to know." He hangs up and Taylor ponders.

Michael, Megan, Coop, and Amber:

Megan can't sleep. Coop gets up, and she tells him she's sad. "I've been going over my life -- the last few months, anyway. Brisco County, The Kindred, Melrose Place ... I'm on a downward spiral into obscurity! I've gone from being a super-smart exclusive call girl to an easily fooled, lovesick office worker. Is anyone else reading a mixed message here?" She says she's never really gone dating, and Coop says it's the same for him. "Of course, I've never had any problem getting women into bed..." Of course not! Your comatose lovers were already in bed to begin with! He suggests they take a step back and go through a proper courtship ritual, with dancing, love poems, and a fight over the remote. "Sounds like a great idea!"

Michael, still sneering at Coop and Megan in the office, phones Amber the stripper...excuse me, exotic dancer. He wakes her up in her psychedelic bedroom and says he'd like to see her outside of the strip club. He suggests something casual, like beer and pasta at his place. He'll cook! Hey, won't it be a school night?

Amber shows up at the beach house (in more conservative clothes, naturally) as Michael prepares dinner. Unfortunately, she says, "I don't think I can do this." While it was a lot of fun at the Soiled Sequin club, this atmosphere is completely different, and she knows Michael must feel it, too. He sulks. "So what do we do?" Amber says, "I think I'd better just go. Besides, I promised Jerry Seinfeld and Woody Allen I'd call them back."

Over at the hospital, Coop tries to be nice to Michael, who won't buy it. "I know why you're doing this. You want to find out about the woman I'm seeing now." "Oh ho, so there is someone else!" "Yeah," Michael sneers, "I'm dating Madonna." Well, that wouldn't be the craziest thing I've seen on this show! Coop decides to keep an eye on Michael. "Oh yes," he thinks, "Madonna will be mine...!"

Back at the strip club, Michael pays for a private dance with Amber and again asks her out. He insists he's not embarrassed by what she does: "You provide a fine service." She has her doubts, but he says he wants to her to meet his friends (what friends?), and it doesn't matter what others think. "Now take off your top before your boss gets suspicious!" Coop sees all! "That's not Madonna!"

Megan, with her blouse unbuttoned to her WonderBra, shows up at Coop's place first thing in the morning. She looks around as though she expected someone else to be here, and she admits she's paranoid, wondering if he had other reasons for suggesting they take a step back. She says, "I feel totally ridiculous." He replies, "I think it's cute." Aww, how nice! He finds suspicion, paranoia, and distrust to be adorable! He'll fit right in! They're looking forward to their "first date" tonight.

They dance at Upstairs that night, but Michael shows up with his date, Amber! Megan and Coop put on their "Grin and Bear It" faces, and Michael says, "Mind if we join you?" He introduces them and says, "Amber is a..." "...dental hygienist!" blurts Amber. Megan grabs Michael and yanks him onto the dance floor. Michael thinks she's being jealous, but she says, "She's 18, if that!" Jennifer suddenly cuts in and berates her brother! "A pair of perky breasts and a tight bottom drives you nuts! She looks brainless!" "Oh yeah? Well maybe brainless is what I need right now!" (Then go after Sam! At least she's legal!) Unfortunately for Michael, Amber is standing right behind him. She glares at him and walks out. Coop says to Michael, "You win some and you lose some." "Oh yeah? Well, tell me the last time I won one!" "Hmmm, I see what you mean."

The next night, however, Michael returns to the Soiled Sequin and jumps up on stage while Amber performs! The crowd boos loudly! Fighting off the attempts by the bouncer to yank him off, he apologizes to her and admits that he probably was initially attracted by her resemblance to Megan. "Move in with me," he asks. "We can work it out together!" Just as he's about to be pummeled, Amber cries out, "Don't hurt him! OK, I'll do it." Michael smiles and carries her out before the now-cheering crowd! Oy! How deeper can this show sink?

Next Week: Craig threatens to kill Jennifer! The announcer says that by the end of the episode, "One of these people will be dead." The clips show the whole cast -- and Nick the Human Spittoon! Do you detect a ringer here? (We have been lied to before when it comes to these "death" episodes.) I'm placing my bets on Charvet!

--Ken Hart

Use the arrows or return to the Melrose Place Master Menu!