Episode 22: A Christine Runs Through It

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

Again, my apologies for the delay, but it's been an exciting week. Considering how stupid Samantha and Billy are, I feel it's my obligation to prove that marriage can be a wonderful, lifelong experience!

The Matt Slot goes to … Megan, who ends up in a fabricated meeting with Michael and endures the supposedly jealous (but in reality, blasé) gaze of Coop.

Amanda, Kyle, Peter, Lip Lass, Michael, Megan, Coop, Lexi, and Nick the Human Spittoon:

Picking up right where we left off, Taylor and Nick hunch behind their car and stare at the corpse of Christine. Lippie gasps, "Oh my God, what are we gonna do? I can't go to jail! Brigitte Nielsen is the butch warden and she'll make me do icky things, like mop floors!" "Shut up!" yells Nick. "We do this my way." "Sex! Is that all you can think about?" "I said, shut up!" He tosses the body into the back of his sports utility vehicle (I knew somebody would find a use for those damn things) and drives off with Taylor. Meanwhile, Kyle and Amanda head to their hotel. Before they enter the honeymoon suite, Kyle (that sneaky dog) has arranged for a private performance in the restaurant by a jazz band, juggling clowns, and out-of-work CBS actors.

Back to the Anti-Dynamic Duo: After Nick and Taylor split up and take separate cars, Lippie gets a call on her cel phone from The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns. "I'm looking for Kyle, you psycho wench. It's important I talk to him about Christine." "Uh, sorry, Peter, your signal's breaking up. Besides which, I hate you."

Amanda and Kyle get sick of the entertainment and dinner. "Kyle, it was a good show, but the ballet piece by Gregory Hines and David Caruso was frankly a little weird." "Hey, the guys need work, Amanda." They enter the honeymoon suite. Like many others on the series, they're only interested in ripping each other's clothes off, but at least these two have a damn good reason! Along with their luggage comes a message for Amanda. She opens it; it's from "Christine." "Amanda, I do have the guts. I'm catching that train tonight. Be prepared for lots and lots of guilt that will drive Kyle away from you and into the arms of his amply endowed ex-wife. Signed, Taylor Christine." Amanda is shocked, but hides the info from Kyle. (OK, obviously Lippie sent the note, but how did she know about the "guts" line? Peter was the only witness, and Christine didn't mention it to her or Nick, did she?) She tells Kyle, "I bought some sensational lingerie for you. The kind you like." "You mean…" "Yes, my now-betrothed slave. I have the 'mood panties' that change color according to how well you please me." "Ohhh, honey, I mean Mistress." "Make me bright blue, Kyle." As Kyle hops into the shower to prepare, Amanda zips down to the lobby to contact the police. A couple of minutes later, however, the phone in the room rings and Kyle steps out to answer it. It's Peter: "Hi, Kyle. I made some use of my spy contacts from General Hospital and tracked down your location. Christine has escaped from the hospital. I can't imagine how: Security is so tight that no one person could get out, let alone one person aided by a smelly thug and a loud mutant woman."

Taylor and Nick park by the train tracks and wait for the next train to arrive. Back at the hotel, Kyle leaves the suite and sees Amanda on the phone in the lobby: "Don't you put me on hold, Desk Sargent! Don't you know who I am, you bastard? I'm Amanda Woodward, and the entire show is going to be about me next year, do you hear? ME!" Kyle walks up and says, "Why didn't you tell me about Christine?" When Amanda relates the contents of the note, he says, "We gotta go find her."

As the train approaches, Nick lays the dead body of Christine very neatly across the tracks. A stunned Taylor says, "I never meant for this to happen." "Yeah, yeah, whatever. We gotta go." They hide nearby. Seconds later, the train zooms over the body -- and Amanda and Kyle drive up. Surveying the bloody mess (which we don't get to look at, drat!), our honeymooners are horrified to see that Christine did indeed have the guts!

Around dawn, the police wrap up their initial investigation of the area. Hey, where are the news crews? The detective says to Kyle, "Uh, looks like a suicide." Way to go, Sherlock! Kyle walks over to a guilt-ridden Amanda. He's a bit peeved that she didn't tell him about the note, and she confesses all, specifically about the phony letter and how she dared Christine to off herself. Kyle nobly says he's just as much to blame for this as she is, but Amanda won't be comforted. "I might as well have shot her between the eyes."

Back at Christine's motel room (which for some reason hasn't been examined by the police -- isn't that procedure?), Nick rummages through her stuff, hoping to remove any indication of his and Taylor's involvement. Lip Lass watches him and reflects upon her guilt. "She was like a lamb being led to the slaughter, or some other tired cliché. The fear, the struggling, the mutton … I'm outta here!" Nick quickly grabs her, "You're in this up to your pretty little neck, or some other tired cliché. Who the hell is writing this?" When he threatens her, Taylor pretends to comply.

At Melrose Place, Kyle toasts happiness with Amanda: "Here's to a life full of joy and unblemished by further interruptions or evil plots." Amanda's obviously not in a happy bouncy mood at the moment. "What series are you on, slave? Without evil plots, this show is dead!" Lip Lass knocks on the door and says she heard about Christine's death: "It's so horrible that the woman killed herself (guilt guilt) because the two of you. I really am genuinely concerned (guilt guilt) about you guys." Amanda retreats to the bathroom. "Unblemished by further interruptions, my aerobicized ass.."

Kyle visits Peter at The Bizarre One's marina stag pad and asks him to talk to Amanda and help her resolve her guilt. Peter says, "What makes you think I can get through?" "You've got better hair than me, Peter. Amanda's always said that." "Oh! Well, then!" He tells Kyle that Christine had been getting better until Amanda's cold condemnation at the hospital. Kyle persists, "Well, at least lie to her!" Peter says he'll contact her.

Peter later intercepts Amanda at the hospital, but she's not there to see him. She wants to look at Christine's corpse. Ewww! Peter, briefly offended that Amanda would choose a dead person over his wavy studliness, calmly tells her to stop blaming herself. "Inflicting pain on yourself won't do any good." "Pain is great, fool! If you hadn't stopped being my love slave last season, you'd remember that!" Sensing that Kyle is behind this, Amanda says, "I'll be sure to tell him that you follow orders well. If only you had followed mine so closely, your life would have been full of exquisite pleasure." "Yeah, whatever, 'Mistress.'" "Damn, I love your hair."

Taylor goes to Nick's skanky apartment in a panic. "Detectives came by and asked me questions. They wanted to know if I had spoken to Christine. Then they asked me if I had a train schedule handy. And then they asked if I really expected to have a career after I leave this show. It was terrible!" Nick is already packing. "I don't want to look at your ugly face anymore." (Don't take it personally, Taylor. At least Nick thinks you have a pretty little neck.) Lippie is feeling the guilt, and she comments that she never even knew "Christine's" real name. The Human Spittoon pauses and says, "Tiffany Hart." Hey, a relative! I'm honored to be related to a Melrosian corpse! She was a chorus girl in Vegas, and the car accident that caused her facial injuries was Nick's fault. Taylor insists they go to the cops -- a suggestion that does not go over well! Nick threateningly says he plans to take care of all the "loose ends," and she takes the hint.

Over at Melrose, Amanda tells Kyle that their marriage is cursed. "Cursed? C'mon, Amanda, that only happens on daytime soaps." He says they can get through this, but Amanda shrugs off his sympathy. "I don't want to be touched. You may taunt me, yes, but touch me, no. Sleep in your own apartment tonight, slave."

In the morning, Kyle drinks alone at the Upstairs bar. Taylor comes over and actually attempts to be human, saying he did what he could to help Christine get her life back on track. (Heh heh.) He admits to being a little pissed at Amanda, "but the monkey in 'The Lion King' told me I shouldn't worry about the past." Lippie says, "Yeah, right. Well, maybe you shouldn't blame her, either." Kyle reacts with a "Huh?" and suspects Taylor of hiding something. When she says that he "didn't really know Christine" and mentions his loser-boy former friends like Nick, Kyle reacts with a double "Huh?"

Taylor goes home to find Nick waiting for her. Moving toward her menacingly, he says he's concerned about her state of mind once he leaves town. Without too much believability, she replies that she's "rock solid." There's a knock on the door: It's Kyle. Nick says he'll hop out the back window. She lets Kyle inside, and he wants her to explain the "didn't really know Christine" comment. She waffles and looks behind her nervously when Kyle repeats her unkind comments about the hopefully departed Spittoon. "C'mon, Kyle, you know I would never keep anything from you." Kyle laughs sarcastically and leaves.

Finally, Michael and Megan appear in the episode! They're dining at Kyle's Restaurant; they went there after Megan helped Michael work on his resume. (Resume? Did I miss something? I smell a cheap plot device!) Their conversation mostly hovers around business, then Coop wanders in and wants to know why his new live-in sweetie is hanging out with his worst enemy. Megan simply says that they finished early and she didn't think Coop would be home so soon. Michael, being the wonderful opportunist that he is, gets in a couple of gentle digs at Coop, who goes Upstairs to drink.

Some time later, Peter and Coop are closing the bar as Jennifer tries to get them to leave. Fortunately, Jack Wagner and Linden Ashby are much better drunks than Andrew Shue! They slobberingly snipe at one another, but Coop says, "When the booze peels away the layers of utter contempt we have for each other, we're basically bookends." Coop praises the power of love, but when Peter scoffs at that in light of Coop's recent past, Coop says, "Do you know how much I love Megan? Ten million dollars, that's how much!" He tells Peter about the provision in the will, and says the best thing that Peter can do for him is to remove the temptation and get back together with Lexi. Peter thinks, "I've heard worse ideas."

A short time later, Taylor is closing up the restaurant -- and there's Nick at the bar! (He gets around, doesn't he?) He offers a toast to her: "The best partner in crime a guy ever had." Taylor seems relieved -- until Nick starts wiping his fingerprints off everything, puts on a pair of black gloves, and grabs cash from the register "to make it look like a burglary"! It's Loose End Time! Lippie makes a run for it. Nick chases her into the kitchen. She grabs a knife, but Nick easily avoids her and slams her hard into the wall. He's about to finish her off, but then Michael opens the front door to the restaurant! "Hello? Taylor? I left a cheap plot device on the table and I'm here to pick it up." Nick bolts, and Michael finds the stunned and bleeding Taylor. She mumbles that Nick did this. "Nick? Who's Nick? I wasn't involved in that plot last year." He wants to call for an ambulance, but Lippie says, "No! Michael, help me, Kyle can't find out."

She wakes up at the Mancini Clinic in Helltown. She has a concussion and he says she'll have to stay here for a couple of days. "That punch in the mouth has caused a lot of swelling." "I hit the back of my head, ninny!" "Then what's causing the … oh, I forgot." When he demands to know the story, she replies, "I wanted to break up Amanda and Kyle." "Again?!?" "Yes, again!" Without going into details about Christine, she admits she could be an accessory to murder. Michael sighs: He's in it up to his pretty little neck! He agrees to help her get out of town safely, but there are no freebies with good old Michael! "This'll cost you!" Michael also correctly guesses that if Nick is looking to finish her off, he'll assume she was taken to Wilshire Memorial.

Back at the offices of Burns-Cooper-[Eat at Joe's], Peter brings a cup of coffee to the luscious Lexi. "Did I get it right?" "No cream, just sugah, sugah." "You turn me on when you mention condiments." "Really? Well, when I get through with my Sweet and Low comments, I hope you'll be Equal to the task." "Damn, woman, I miss you." "I miss you, too. So how should we milk the situation?" "Oh, baby!" They kiss passionately. Gee, that reunion was easy! But what's with her hair? It's changing colors before my eyes! She's going back to the darker Savannah 'do.

Michael goes to the hospital, and sure enough there's Nick in the hallway, having been stalled by the nurse on Michael's orders. Michael says, "Mrs. McBride didn't make it. She had a cerebral hemorrhage caused by too much lying." Nick feigns sadness and thanks Michael for the news.

Kyle, his suspicions aroused, looks around Christine's apartment for clues. Meanwhile, a forlorn Amanda goes to the death site and has evil black-and-white flashbacks of recent episodes. Damn it, Amanda, if you're going to have flashbacks, at least have flashbacks of good episodes!

Samantha, Billy, Jennifer, and Jeff:

(Okay, we're once again at the painful part of the recap. The blow is cushioned this week by the knowledge that Andrew Shue and Brooke Langton will soon be gone. Of course, the bad part of this is … no more Billy jokes! Waah!)

Samantha goes to Jen's apartment and says, "I'm now a full-blown adulteress." However, she adds, "I still love Billy with all my heart!" Geez, give it a rest! Nimrod #2, Billy, then turns up at the door and, without seeing Sam, says, "Daah, hey, we gotta talk!" Sam pops up, "Doy, Billy, what do you have to talk about with Jennifer?" "Ah, gaah, I was lookin' for you and, uh, thought you might have gotten lost in da laundry room, so, dah, I wanted to get a search party together." "That's sweet, Billy. Doy."

The next time we look, Samantha is back in bed with Jeff! Sheesh! She gets up in a hurry and Jeff complains, "We didn't even get a chance to talk!" "Talk? About what? I'm a dim bulb in the chandelier of life and you're a minor league baseball player. If the writers had any sense, they'd realize we're a horribly matched couple."

Later, Billy walks over to Sam at the office with thoughts on the Dippy Dog Poop campaign. (You think I make this up, don't you?) Her phone rings: It's Jeff! Sam tries to talk to him while Billy stands in front of her. Jeff suggests that they go away to San Diego for a day and he says he doesn't want to be "the other man." He admits he's unsure of himself: "I've never been in love with a married woman." "Doy, I can't help you there. Neither have I." "Daah, who ya talkin' to, Sam?" "Umm, Mr. Dippy Dog himself. He's lost touch with Pooh Bear and the rest." "Gaaah! Dat's serious! I'd better tell da Mistress!"

Samantha once again makes an early-morning visit to Jennifer. She describes Jeff's offer and is unsure how to get away, or if she should. Jennifer, with her eyes and the rest of her body pointed toward Billy, subtly encourages her to go: "It's just one day…"

Later, at the office, Billy gives Sam a present: a new evening gown, which she can wear to the annual Awards Dinner tomorrow night. "Oh, doy, Billy, I have to go to San Diego tomorrow for sex…" "Daah, what?" "Uh, for Essex…yeah, Essex, uh, Lint Removal. They're a big would-be client." Even after Billy gives her a couple of chances to change her mind and go with him to the dinner, she puts "business" ahead of him. What a tramp! "But doy, why don't you take Jennifer?" "Daaah, why?" "Because she's my friend, and I'm simple-minded."

Samantha quickly calls Jennifer and explains the situation. Jen says, "You want me to be Billy's date?" To no one's surprise, Jennifer agrees to help her dear friend commit adultery. That night, Billy approaches Jen at Upstairs. "Daah, I got an awards dinner." "Uh huh…" "Oh, yeah, and ah, Sam can't go. Ya wanna?" "Sure." "OK, but I just found out it's black tie, so Sam couldn't have worn that dress anyway. Do ya got any black ties?"

In San Diego, Jeff and Sam frolic in the shower. Jeff professes his love and asks her to leave Billy. "Is this a multiple-choice or short-answer question?"

A happy Billy and Jennifer emerge from the dinner. He won an award! "Daah, the agency wins three awards, and no one's here to share it." Jen says, "I'm here." "Hmmm, daah, so you are. And your point is…?" She gives him a suggestive look and says, "This is a hotel. Wink wink nudge nudge." "Daah, I'm still missin' something. What are ya tryin' to say?" "Geez, why in God's name am I attracted to you? Let's go inside, stud muffin!" They check into a room and immediately hop on the bed!

Next Week: More marital problems! More bad advice from Jennifer! More suspicion from Kyle! More grumbling from the viewers!

--Ken Hart

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