Episode 20: A Swing and a Mrs.

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

I've seen better examples of fidelity on "The Jerry Springer Show." Sheesh! As for the whole Christine thing, it seems I guessed right (as did many other Melrosians who sent me wonderfully detailed e-mails with their own conjectures), although I still can't buy it.

The Matt Slot goes to … the luscious Lexi, who now knows that The Bizarre One didn't kill Daddy, but she still hates him anyway!

Megan, Michael, Coop, Peter, and Lexi:

At the offices of Burns-Cooper-[Eat at Joe's], Megan tells The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns that there'll be a delay in the delivery of his new equipment. "What's wrong with my equipment, Megan? Oh, my medical equipment! Hey, I didn't order any new equipment!" When Megan shows him the forms that "he" signed to replace the equipment he "donated" to the Mancini Clinic, Peter smells a rat, and his name is Michael Mancini! (Of course, this scene is bull because Megan, office manager of Peter's private practice, shouldn't be holding forms from the hospital, but we'll let it slide.)

Coop walks by, and we find out that he helped Lexi move out of Peter's pad that morning. Megan asks, "Oh, where to? The Nicole Kidman Home for Wayward Redheads?" Coop says sheepishly, "Uh, she kind of … moved in with me." Megan, angered, steps out of Peter's office. Peter then asks Coop to check into Daddy Sterling's medical records for any pre-existing conditions: "I pride myself on my ability to make women's hearts go aflutter, but I've never had that effect on a man before!" Coop refuses. "Don't go looking for excuses. Sterling was as healthy as Michael Crichton's checkbook."

When Coop walks over to Megan, she voices her displeasure over Lexi's new living arrangements. Coop replies, "I'm not sleeping with her. She's in the bed, I'm on the couch, sometimes we're on the floor…uh, watching Jay Leno!" Megan says, "How do you think this makes me feel? I was assaulted last night!" "Well, I told you to avoid CBS's Olympic coverage." "No, physically assaulted!" She recaps the incident at the clinic, which causes Coop to worry about her safety and to stay away from Michael. In a staggering exchange of bad dialogue, Coop says, "Damn it, Megan. I care about you." (I'm bowled over with emotion.) But he won't abandon Lexi because now "I'm the only family she has left." Family, eh? I sense a Greek tragedy approaching…

Peter visits the Mancini Clinic in Helltown and finds all of the hospital equipment! He vows to call the police on Michael, but when the arguing doctors step outside, Spider and his boys grab The Bizarre One and prepare to pummel him. Michael, shocked, intercedes. Peter yells, "Are you running a gang now, Michael?" Michael assures everyone that Peter is his buddy; he then takes Peter aside and politely suggests that by leaving Michael (and the equipment) alone, he'll guarantee his own physical well-being. Ah, call the cops, Peter! At the very least, they should arrest the casting director for discrimination! This show is so segregated and whitebread that even the L.A. gang members are white!

Megan visits the clinic again, despite Coop's complaints. She ignores the graffiti that says, "Who's out on their ass next year on Melrose?" Michael feels terrible about what happened to her the last time. "I must have tortured myself for a whole seven seconds." Megan, quoting her street smarts, strongly suggests that Michael's out of his element in this neighborhood and should close up shop. Michael can tell that something else is bugging her: "You have that 'Someone called me a hooker' look." Ah, clever dialogue, even if it is unbelievable coming from Michael! She tells him about the current Coop situation, and Michael actually decides to act like a human being for once. He tells her, "Don't let Coop or anyone make you feel like you don't measure up." They hug, and there's a brief kiss, but Megan won't let it go further.

The next morning, Coop visits Megan's pad to check on her. He's defensive about being put in the "bad guy" role with regards to the Lexi situation. He also gets upset when she tells her she went back to the clinic. Megan says she can't compete with Lexi's wealth and social status. "Maybe a greedy, self-obsessed, lying worm like Michael is more my speed." Coop says, "He's called you a whore more times than he's called you a lady." "Picky, picky, picky…" She makes it clear there's no future between her and Coop as long as Lexi stays at his pad.

Coop enters his office to find Peter reading through his files. Peter triumphantly produces Daddy Sterling's medical file! "He had uncontrolled high blood pressure! Fifty years ago, he was a woman named Tammy Peterson! And he had bunions! But you knew that already, didn't you? Say, Coop, did you know your face looks exactly the same whether you're pissed off or happy?" (Meanwhile, Lexi enters the waiting room and overhears the conversation.) Coop snickers at Peter's accusation that he kept this a secret so he could have Lexi all to himself. Lexi steps in and tells Peter to leave Coop alone! She says she knows about her dad's condition: "Coop told me this morning, as soon as he found out." Yeah, a likely story! I'm sure good ol' innocent Coop knew nothing about this problem until today. And Brooke Shields might be a good actress at some point! When Lexi and Peter are alone, she acknowledges that he wasn't responsible for her father's death, but his methods were all wrong, and she can't forgive him for that.

That night, Megan goes to the clinic again. She sees Michael through the window, tending to a patient, but before she can enter, Coop drives up and pleads his case for amore! "I checked with Amanda. Now that Craig's blown his brains out, there's an apartment open! I love you, Megan. Move in with me!" Michael stares horrified as Megan happily agrees and kisses Coop. He runs out to stop her, but he's only in time to watch her wave goodbye. Coop gloats!

Later, Coop and Lexi attend the reading of Daddy Sterling's will. (In Los Angeles?) Lexi says, "Oh, Coop. It's so nice that Daddy gave you his money clip. He knew how much you liked it." "Well, yeah, but I liked it a lot better when his money was in it! You did OK, though: a couple of million dollars, a lifetime supply of Wella Balsam shampoo, and a guarantee from Mr. Spelling that you won't be one of the fired actors at the end of the season." "You got that right, sugah." The lawyer privately tells Coop of a secret proviso in the will: "If you remarry Lexi within the next 12 months and live together as husband and wife, you will inherit $10 million." Yowza! Megan? Megan who?

Amanda, Kyle, Christine, Lip Lass, and Nick the Human Spittoon:

Kyle visits Christine at the hospital. She immediately adopts the suffering martyr pose: "Oh, you must hate me for ruining your wedding, Kyle." "No, I don't hate you. I'm being written like an idiot again this week, so I'm currently too stupid to hate you." "Dr. Burns says I can leave tomorrow. He mentioned something about getting out of bed before Dr. Cooper hears about my case…" She says she'll go straight back to Sante Fe, but Kyle -- idiot! -- says, "What's the rush?" He'll help her stay at a motel for a little while until she's feeling better about things. She's overwhelmed: "I don't deserve you, you big nut, you." When Kyle leaves, she looks confused. She immediately calls Nick, who tells her not to let Kyle's niceness get in the way of The Plan. "Keep it going," he says. "Keep up the good work. Just remember all those things I told you about the war." Oh, so it is a fake Christine! Well, that explains the letter she supposedly sent to Lip Lass (who's obviously involved), but how could she have learned enough about Christine to effectively fool Kyle? Oh, wait, I forgot -- he's an idiot! It sure doesn't say much for his "true love" if he can't detect a phony after a couple of conversations.

At Upstairs that night, Amanda is taunted by Taylor over the "postponed" wedding. Amanda says, "I despise you, Lip Lass, but your coldness and aptitude for torture intrigue me. Perhaps one day you may enter my harem." "Forget it, so-called 'Mistress'! I've heard all about your slaves and I'm not interested!" Amanda walks over to Kyle and tells him that she has to leave for a New York trip shortly. She's concerned about the continued presence of Christine, but Kyle says, "I've got it under control." Hah! Amanda asks, "So, she's going back to New Mexico?" "Uh, eventually." "Not good enough, slave! I don't believe her little act was suicide. She practically draws you a map of where she'd be and you arrive just in time to pull her away from a blue screen, I mean, train like some … bad ... TV show ... hey!!"

At her motel, Christine gets out of bed with Nick and immediately feels a strong need to take a shower. There's a knock on the door, and Nick hides in the closet. (Cue the laugh track. I'm still waiting for the special "John Ritter Tribute" episode of Melrose.) Kyle shows up with groceries for Christine. "Uh, hey, no offense, Christine, but somethin' smells pretty skanky in here." "Oh, that. Uh, I got Gulf War Syndrome on my feet. It makes them smell bad." "Oh, okay." She thanks him and adds that it's time for her to return home. She tells Kyle not to feel any guilt over what happened. When she says she still loves him, Kyle says he doesn't feel the same way about her anymore. They do make plans to spend one final day together. When Kyle leaves, Nick hops out of the closet and yells, "What are you doing? You can't go back! You need to break up Kyle and Amanda." He tells her to do what she's been told: "It'll be the easiest five grand you ever made."

The next day, Amanda gets a call in her New York hotel. It's Kyle, calling to say hi. "Well, Kyle, things are going very well here. The meeting was successful and I've got a nice fake backdrop of Central Park covering my 'window.' Ha ha!" He gives her the good news that Christine is leaving tomorrow. However, when Christine arrives for the day together, Kyle doesn't tell Amanda about it: He gives her some malarkey about work being busy and he gets off the phone. Amanda says she'll be back tomorrow evening. "Make sure Christine is gone by then. I've just gone on a shopping spree in the West Village and bought some new devices. I will vigorously reward success and punish failure!"

At night, Kyle and Christine walk out of yet another hot spot, and Christine says, "Oh, Kyle, this has been the best day! Waaaa haaaa! This is all gonna end!" "Well, yeah, Christine, these bars close at 2 a.m." "Not the bars, you ninny! Us!" Kyle tells her to move forward in her life. "You know, put one foot in front of the other? Ask Billy about it if you're confused." She kisses Kyle, and he responds for about two seconds, then snaps out of it and takes her home. (And you still can't figure out that she's a phony, Kyle?)

Nick, parking across from the motel, hides when he sees Kyle and Christine arrive. She says, "Stay with me tonight. Help me keep the nightmares away, at least until Conan O'Brien goes off. Nothing more, I promise." He agrees. When dawn breaks, we see that the Gentleman Idiot slept in the chair next to Christine's bed. He has to leave, and she says she'll be on a plane to New Mexico by day's end. They give each other a farewell hug, and it's obvious "Christine" is falling for the big lug.

Kyle returns to Melrose Place, enters the bathroom, and finds Amanda! "I came home early, slave. Now account for yourself or, by the gods, you'll feel my wrath of my cashmere robe belt!" He tells her he was with Christine, but that nothing happened. He pours on the lovey-dovey stuff and convinces Amanda that she is the woman for him. He adds, "We have to trust each other." Everything seems fine again, but…

Nick interrupts Christine as she's packing. When she says she won't be a part of this, he says, "You are falling for him! The plan was for him to fall in love with you. That's a fundamental part of the whole thing. Can't you get anything straight?" Then Taylor bursts in! She says to Christine, "Nick thought you were going soft on us. Well, this is my plan! Follow it or I'll threaten you with something!" C'mon, Christine (or whatever your name is), don't let her talk to you like that! Whack her in the head with a door or something!

Billy, Samantha, Jennifer, and Jeff:

Samantha arrives home after yet another meeting on the Jeff Baylor deal. (Does anyone even remember what this guy is supposed to be endorsing?) A surly Billy notes, "Daah, I'm not goin' to New York after all. I'm workin' on this dead-end deal for a ballroom dancing company." "Ah, doy, 'dead end'? I worked on that." "Gaah, yeah, whatever." "Oooh! Snappish!" Jennifer arrives and asks if they want to go to the movies, but Billy says they have work to do. An angry Sam says she'll do hers back at the office and she leaves. When Jen inquires about Billy's "dead end" account, he explains about the ballroom dancing, which Jennifer thinks is highly romantic. Billy then tells her, "Well, daah, I used ta teach ballroom dancin'!" Yep, he sure has that Fred Astaire grace. Jennifer suggests they go to a class together. "It'll be fun."

Later that night (!), Billy and Jen are in a class. Sheesh, time flies when your show's falling apart! As they dance very closely, Billy says he wants to translate Jennifer's emotions into advertising concepts. "Gaah, nude pictures. Dat's it, I see it now. Nude pictures of people dancing. Naked, that is." There's a whole lot of staring going on.

In the morning, Billy and Sam continue to snipe as they get ready for work. When Billy leaves his apartment, he looks up and sees Jennifer practicing her ballroom steps with a broom. Billy thinks, "Wow, dat guy's got better moves than me!"

The next evening, Billy goes to Upstairs and wanders over to the bar. He tells Jennifer he'd like to go over "advertising concepts" for the account with her. (Not that old line again!) Jen looks at some drawings that Billy had done: "Oooh, this couple -- they seem pressed again each other so tightly. Pant." "Gaah, yeah, it's like their bodies were meant for each other. Wheeze." "Tell me more. Gasp." Suddenly, Sam appears! "Hi, Billy, I figured you'd be here. What's this? Drawing for the ballroom dancing thing? But, doy, there's no copy with the pretty pictures. Silly Billy!" She pulls him onto the dance floor, but she doesn't want that old-fogey ballroom stuff. Billy and Jennifer continue to stare at each other. Jennifer thinks: "Billy is so hot and manly. I want him all for me." Billy thinks: "Jennifer smells pretty. Me like." Samantha thinks: "____."

Later, Billy and Sam have lunch in Kyle's Restaurant, but it's clear they're no closer emotionally. "Billy, should I order the escargot? What is that, anyway?" "Daah, I think it's Spanish food dat came in on a cargo ship. If it moves, don't eat it." When Billy tells her about the ballroom dancing class, she asks, "Oh, who was your partner?" Billy is silent for a moment, then says, "Daaah, whoever's there." Liar! They both uncomfortably go into work mode.

An evening or two later, an exasperated Samantha enters Jen's pad. "Doy, I can't stop thinking about Jeff!" It turns out that the minor league baseball player is going away for Spring Training, but she doesn't know what to do. Jennifer says, "It's like buying a new car." "Doy?" Jen compares the momentary thrill of test-driving a new car to the fondness you have for your old car. She first says the older car has a lot more value, but then she switches gears (no pun intended) and suggests that Sam test-drive the new car one more time to be sure! Sam stares at her for a while, then says, "But Jennifer, my old car was the one that hit Sydney! I don't think I want that one anymore." "Sigh. Okay, let's try this again…"

A short time later, Sam goes to Jeff's door and says, "I can't get you off my mind. You're like a Sticky Pad! I mean, a new car!" He feels the same way. Sam exclaims, "I can't do this. Oh, doy!" They suddenly go at it like ferrets, kissing each other and ripping their clothes off. Adultery #1!

Meanwhile, Jennifer attends the wrap-up of Billy's photo shoot for the ballroom dancing account. He tells the crew, "Dat's a wrap!" Jen says she's proud of him, but he says, "Gaah, you were my inspiration." "Hmmm, I've never been a muse before." "Aaah, I've been amused lots of times." He has the music continue to play, then he and Jennifer begin dancing again, which leads to looking, which leads to tonsil inspection! Adultery #2!

Next Week: More of the same! Michael stumbles upon blood money! Lippie puts the screws to Christine!

--Ken Hart

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