Episode 23: Too Romantic for Words

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

Amanda's current cold attitude is wearing pretty thin. Didn't she pull this same "Forget about nice, this is the real me" attitude after she got jerked over by Brooke a couple of years back? She's just no fun when she's trying to be a martyr. C'mon, Amanda, kick some butt! Michael's "deny" advice to Taylor was pretty funny.

The Matt Slot goes to … Amanda! Although she received above-average screen time for a Matt Slot winner, her snappishness and eventual groveling before The Bizarre One deserve special attention.

Billy, Samantha, Jennifer, Jeff, and some Megan:

Billy wakes up in the hotel bed with Jennifer and thinks, "Daah, what did I do? I'm married!" In testimony to Billy's slow synapses, he only asks this question hours after the fact. Jennifer feels all warm and snuggly. "We shared something that was magical." "Gaah, I don't feel magical -- I feel more like a snake. Got any live mice?" As he hurries to leave, Jennifer asks him to be careful when discussing their night together. "I don't want to look on this as a bad thing. That's all I ask. Well, that and your eternal devotion to my needy self." Andrew Shue stares blankly ahead. [Translation: I, Billy, am confused by my lustful feelings toward this nubile thing who has quickly shifted affection from Kyle to Craig to me. Oh, cruel fates, why dost thou tempt me so?]

Jeff Baylor prepares breakfast in bed for the even more unfaithful and confused Samantha. "Doy, Jeff, you're walking around great on that leg that you severely injured several days ago." "Damn, I forgot to limp! You're so observant, Sam -- I can't wait until you're Mrs. Jeff Baylor." "Yeah, and I think … hey! I can't do that! That's bigamy." "Well, it's big of me, too, Samantha, but can't you see what I'm trying to say? I love you!" Sam gets very antsy: She says she loves him too, but "I'm worried that the grueling schedule of a minor-league baseball player (assuming you even have a future) would leave me alone too much, and in my current mindless state, I would have sex with the first guy who smiled at me. Doy."

Shortly, Megan steps out of her MP pad and sees a disheveled Billy and Jennifer enter and return to their separate apartments. She pauses, does the math, then spins around, reenters her apartment, and asks Jennifer, "All right. What's going on?" After Jen gets her to swear to secrecy, she tells her about her night with Billy. Amazingly, Jennifer adds that she's concerned about damaging her friendship with Samantha! Hello, waiter? I'd like to order a large cup of reality for Miss Mancini, hold the sweetener! Megan rightly sees nothing but bad news from this: "Trust me, the last thing you want to be is the other woman. Yeah, OK, in my case, the other woman won and the wife died, but don't go by me." Jen says, "But Megan, no one has ever drooled on me like this. I love Billy -- a hell of a lot more than my good and dearest friend Sam does." "Huh? Why do you say that?" "Uh, well .. hey, I gotta answer the phone! Hello? Oh, hi … Sam!" "Doy, Jennifer, I'm driving down from my shameless tryst and, since Billy won the award, I'd like to throw a celebratory party for him and ease my own guilt." "Good plan, Sam!"

Later, at Amanda Woodward Advertising, Jennifer leads a toast for the award-winning Billy. She asks Amanda if she wants to add anything. Amanda says, "No. You're already taking enough precious time from my own subplot with your silly affairs. Everyone, back to work!" Jennifer shows up just as Billy accepts the toast with a loving gaze at his wife. Jen gives him a dirty look. (Doesn't anyone think it's odd that non-employee Jennifer just cuts her way to the front of the group and stares at Billy without a word?)

The next day at the office, Sam gets another phone call from Jeff, who's at a nearby payphone. He's determined to see her right now, and he won't take no for an answer. "Doy, OK, Jeff, there's a really open restaurant in the area where we can easily be spotted by everyone I know." Meanwhile, Billy is foolishly looking to Amanda for sympathy over his marital problems. What an idiot! She says, "Marriage is unnatural, anyway. I find more pleasure and pain in the tantalizing life of a single woman." "But, daah, yer married now, Mistress 'Manda." "Spare me the technicalities, slave!"

Samantha goes to Jennifer for yet more advice! Jen says, "You've got to make a choice." "Doy, I don't wanna hurt Billy. I don't wanna hurt Jeff. I don't wanna hurt anybody!" It's a little too late to worry about that now, don't you think? Jennifer, showing incredible impartiality (NOT!), immediately suggests that she leave Billy.

Jeff and Samantha meet at the prearranged location: a center table in the middle of an outdoor restaurant when they can be seen by the smeggin' Mir space station! Jeff says, "I'm sick of being careful. Let's just kiss in front of everybody." "Doy, okay!" "Then let's go arrow-catching!" "Gee, Jeff, that sounds wiz!" "Then we'll leave the show and star in a new drama on UPN." "Oh, boy, Jeff, that's insane!"

Back at Melrose Place, Billy goes to Jennifer's pad and apologizes for the awkward scene during his toast at the office. (Why should he apologize? She had no business being there!) "Daah, da last thing in da world I would want to do is hurt you." As he speaks, Jennifer simply presses her body against him, staring like a puppy dog on crack. Billy ignores this for about four seconds, then they kiss passionately.

Michael, Megan, Coop, and some Lip Lass:

We find that Michael has been letting Taylor recover at the beach house. But now he tells her to vamoose. Lippie worries that Nick the Human Spittoon may be lingering in the area. Michael has little sympathy: "He's your murder plot buddy." He needs to go to his clinic, but Taylor appeals to him: She's found a motel to stay at, yet she wants him to check out the neighborhood around the area first and make sure it's safe. (How is he supposed to do that? Use a "Nick Detector"?) He reluctantly agrees, then calls Megan and asks her to cover for him at the clinic until he shows up. She initially says no -- after all, she does have a job -- but succumbs to Michael's schmooze: "The people in that neighborhood, they depend on me!"

He eventually turns up at the clinic much later than planned. He says to Megan, "Hey, babe! Thanks for watching the place for me." Besides objecting to "babe," Megan points to the man Michael should really be thanking: Coop! When Michael objects to his presence, Megan tells him they were swamped with patients and Coop graciously consented to help out. "Hey, I got Robert Downey Jr.'s autograph! You want one?" Michael doesn't care! He again verbally abuses Coop, who loses his temper and slams him to the wall. "Megan, if you can't shake this piece of dirt, I don't know what's going to happen between us." He leaves, and Megan says, "You know, you are sick, Michael." In great Mancini style, he replies, "The word's 'determined.'"

Later at the office of Burns-Cooper-[Coming soon: a new Starbucks], Coop proposes a champagne toast to Megan's fabulousness. "To our six-month anniversary." Megan says, "But it's only been four months, one week, and five days -- not that I've been counting." He apologizes for blowing his carefully crafted cool earlier. Between Michael and Lexi, "we've both got too many relationship ties lying around us," and he promises to do something about it that does not involving killing anyone. Oh, come on! Where's your sense of adventure? No wonder you're getting fired!

Sometime later, Coop happily concludes a phone conversation. Megan asks him what's up. "Why do you think something's up, Megan?" "Well, you're grinning! Your face is on the verge of shattering." He tells her he's interviewing for a job at one of the nation's most prestigious research hospital. "I'd be part of the team devising a method to remove the huge stick that's up Rudy Guiliani's butt." However, the job is in Philadelphia, and a representative is flying out to L.A. to interview Coop. (Yeah, that's believable.) Of course, he hasn't discussed a single bit of this to Megan. She asks, "What if I don't want to move? Would you go without me?" "Never … well, at least it was never until I found out I won't be on the show next season." He sees this as a way to ditch their histories and start fresh, which seems to greatly appeal to Megan.

The next morning, Megan goes jogging, and is joined "coincidentally" by Michael. She tells him to scram, but he already knows about the Philadelphia job, thanks to blabbermouth Jennifer. He says, "Take it from me. You'll hate the East Coast." She says she hasn't made up her mind. He insists that he still loves her and that she must still love him. Michael then makes his latest bonehead move and forcibly kisses Megan. He says, "Tell me you didn't feel a thing." A coldly angry Megan says, "I didn't. But you helped me make up my mind: I need to buy you some Breath Mints."

Amanda, Kyle, Lip Lass, Peter, Lexi, and more Michael:

Kyle, tired of waiting for the sulking Amanda to come to him, visits her at the office. He says they belong together. She adopts the same boring line of "you can't see who I really am." Yawn. Kyle says, "Yes, I do. You are one fabulously attractive woman, and if I'm married to you, then I'm assured of a job next year." "Go, slave, before I summon the leather-clad Security dominatrixes after you." He asks her to come to Upstairs for just one night so he can remind of what they had. "If I say yes, will you leave me alone." Kyle agrees, and so does she. As he leaves, Amanda distractedly pulls off her wedding ring, then gets on the intercom: "Send the Security guards in anyway. Tell them their Mistress have been naughty and deserves punishment."

The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns and "Mystery Hair Color" Lexi return to Melrose Place after their reconciliatory night out. "Mmmm, Lexi, I missed you." "Ah missed you too, sugah. No one can connive and lie like you can." "Flatterer." They kiss and stumble into her apartment.

That night at Upstairs, Kyle waits anxiously for Amanda. When she doesn't show up, he calls the office again, where Amanda is working late with Samantha. Sam answers, but Amanda orders her not to reveal her presence. "Oh, doy, Kyle. Amanda says she's not here, oh, no, I mean, she was here, but she's not back, and now she's motioning to me with a slicing motion across her throat…. I gotta go, Kyle." "You're a lousy liar, Samantha." "Doy." After hanging up, Sam -- who seems to think she's an expert in solving marital problems -- offers to help. "Oh, come on, Amanda, we're friends." (If anyone needed more proof that the combining brainpower of Billy and Samantha couldn't power an ant's electric foot massager, their scenes with Amanda should put a stop to it.) Amanda threatens to expose Sam's infidelity if she doesn't butt out of her personal life!

In the morning, Peter wakes up in the luscious Lexi's bed and realizes he's late for work. He hurriedly gets dressed, telling Lexi that the sex was deep and life-affirming! As the partially dressed duo step outside, they bump into Megan and Coop, and then Amanda jogs by! She directs a nasty, unprovoked verbal barb at The Bizarre One: "We don't allow dogs on the property. Vermin, yes. Dogs, no." Lexi tugs protectively on Peter's shirt: "Rover here is on mah leash, Amanda." As Amanda approaches her place, Kyle sees her and says he's not giving up, despite her no-show last night: "You and I are married forever, and nothing you do can change that." "Don't bet on it." "I already have: The Vegas bookies say we're 2-1 favorites to be a tight couple after the hiatus." "Damn!"

Later, at Upstairs, Michael is having drinks and the chef from the restaurant tells Kyle he's worried about Taylor: He hasn't seen her in a couple of days. When Kyle wants more details, Michael mumbles, "She's fine. Don't worry." Kyle turns and says, "How do you know?" "Oh, well, she always is, isn't she? Gotta go."

Peter takes Lexi on a drive toward a "surprise." They enter a fancy-schmancy co-op building, and he shows off a huge condo: "And it's ours! The set designers were tired of the marina, and you don't want that stinky Melrose apartment. We'll have a new start!" What is it with the guys this week, making all these plans without talking to their so-called Significant Others? To Peter's shock, Lexi is pissed. "This is so typical of you! Tantalizing me with promises of love and lots of wild sex, then making decisions without consulting me and … Good God! Look at the size of these closets! No, no, I will resist!" She won't be pressured into moving in with him again so soon. She demands to be driven home.

At Kyle's Restaurant, Kyle reads a note sent to him by Nick: "Kyle, I'm sorry Taylor is dead. I didn't mean for this to happen, but I hope you'll enquire further so I can get more screen time." At that moment, Lippie walks in before the shocked chef and Kyle! Kyle waves the note in front of her, but she tries to dismiss it as a matter of Nick being psychotic. Kyle asks, "So where were you for two days?" "With a friend, a very special friend." "You don't have any friends." "Well, he's very special!"

Lip Lass later finds Kyle in his office, searching through Christine's personal papers for clues. (Wow, for a traveling woman with a false identity, Christine sure had a lot of files!) Taylor, seeing the threat posed by a detailed examination, tries to dissuade Kyle from looking further, but Kyle senses something odd about all this and he thinks she's involved. Lippie protests, "Kyle, I've turned over a new leaf." Jennifer enters and surprisingly tells Kyle to "lighten up"! Oh, yeah, Jennifer, your moral compass is screwed on tight! When Lippie says she still loves him, Kyle tells her to get out. Jennifer helps Kyle sort through the records, and she reminds him that her motel bill should have a list of Christine's phone charges. Kyle calls one of the numbers on Christine's bill: It's a hotel, and Nick just left a day or two ago. Kyle is determined to find the truth.

We now get an odd horizontal split screen, with the seductively reposing Lexi lying across the bottom of the screen, while the just-waking-up Peter rolls across the top. She calls him on the phone in the middle of the night to apologize for her behavior, blaming it on stress. She wants to make it up to him by cooking dinner at her place. Peter, thinking Melrose, says, "I'm not comfortable there." "No, I mean my new place." "Sayyyy! Can I bring my Mel Torme albums?" "You bet, sugah. Even though we haven't moved in yet, the apartment will already be completely furnished."

Kyle goes to Taylor's apartment and puts her on notice that he's been snooping around Christine's history and he knows that Spitty was in contact with Christine. "Honestly, Kyle, I don't know anymore than you do." "I hope not, for your sake. I get very upset when people know more than me. Hmmm, that didn't come out quite right…"

As Peter is wrapping things up in his office and adjusting his silk skivvies for his date with Lexi, Amanda walks in and quietly says she needs to talk about what's been going on in her life. "Since we're friends…" Peter gapes a bit and that, and Amanda sort of apologizes for her earlier behavior. "It's like there's a poison in me. Would you like me to be more melodramatic?" She wants a prescription, but Peter refuses, saying bad dialogue is beyond his skills as a doctor to fix. He tells her to confront her problems with Kyle head on. Amanda says she can't, and plaintively asks for his help tonight. Peter takes a deep breath, then agrees. He calls Lexi, who is less than thrilled by the news that he's skipping their romantic, make-amends dinner to help his ex-wife.

Meanwhile, Taylor visits Michael, who's sulking at his clinic. Neither of their plots is going according to plan, and Lippie feels like chatting. Michael says, "Your problems are more interesting. Shoot." After she describes how Kyle is getting close to the truth, Michael advises her, "Deny it. If they have photos of you in the act, deny it. If the Pope swears he saw you doing it, deny it. Deny. Deny. Deny. Half-truths, partial admissions, explanations … it all blows up in your face." "Wow. You're my inspiration, Michael."

A subdued Amanda and Peter sit at a seafood restaurant, one that they frequented in happier, less stupid days. Amanda says, "I need someone I can talk to." But Peter, who is increasingly uncomfortable, makes a decision: "I'll help you anyway I can, but not at Lexi's expense." He leaves Amanda at the table! "You bastard! Are you leaving me to pick up the check?!"

A sad Lexi sits alone in the condo, but her mood brightens when Peter suddenly enters and says, "I love you. And I'm really hungry." "Dinner's gonna have to wait, sugah. Rrrowwllll!"

Next Episode: Michael plans arson! Samantha sees Billy and Jennifer! Amanda is still depressing!

--Ken Hart

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