Episode 3: Dr. Jealousy

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

I actually laughed several times during this episode, which hasn't happened in a while. (Granted, some of the laughs were dirisive, but I won't be picky.) And a note to all the fans out there who are looking for jobs: Try advertising! It's obviously easy!

The Matt Slot is getting tougher to pick because of the smaller cast, but here goes: The Memorial Matt Slot goes to ... Amanda! Yes, Lexi got less screen time, but she made up for it in quality! Amanda, however, was pretty flat, and her continuing denials to Kyle about the missing page are wearing thin.

Michael, Jane, and Alex Bastard:

Michael and Jane wake up in bed at the beach house as the alarm goes off. They apparently had a wild time the previous night, having lots of sex and watching that Reba McEntire movie. Michael tells Jane how much he missed her. Jane replies, "Did you have sex with Megan?" Before Michael can even open his mouth, Jane immediately backtracks: "I'm sorry! I love you and I trust you." Jane, stop this crazy thing! They promise no more secrets. Jane then begins to tell Michael about her new job at Amanda's company. Michael is impressed: "Wow, everyone who works there immediately becomes an account executive! Who needs editors or an art department?"

Before Jane can go into details about her hot new account, the doorbell rings and Michael answers it. It's Alex Bastard! Michael decks him with a right cross! Jane runs out and says, "Michael, this is the hot new account." Wait a second, Bastard dropped by for a business meeting at the beach house before Jane is even out of bed? Bastard shrugs off the punch and leaves. Jane, worried that Michael may have just punched her out of a job, yells at him: "All he did was say hello!" "It was the way he said it! Admit it, you're still attracted to that Bastard."

Jane is relieved to find out from Amanda that Alex has not canceled the proposal. Jane is half-charmed by Michael's actions: "He's such an impulsive fool." Amanda agrees, but leaves out the "impulsive" part. She smiles at Jane and adds, "If Alex had bailed, you would have been consigned to the fire pits, wage slave! Lick my boots!"

Michael, meanwhile, goes to the office and complains to The Bizarre Dr. Peter Burns about his life. "I can tell Jane still has feelings for this Bastard -- it's tearing me apart!" Peter, who has his OWN problems (see later), exasperatedly says, "Michael, for some reason, the woman loves you. Are you willing to risk all your future happiness for a 'what if'?" A pink neon light bulb goes on above Michael's head. "That's it! I'll test her. I'll stave her for sex and see if she goes to Bastard. It's completely nonsensical but sure to provide comic relief. Thank you!" Peter sighs and thinks, "Well, it may not be a great plot, but it's better than Taylor."

Michael returns to The Bizarre One later with an update -- not that Peter asked for one, of course. "The plan is working. I'm having dinner with Jane and Bastard at Kyle's Restaurant. Kyle's been griping, saying that ever since Lip Lass and the wannabe baseball player skipped town, there haven't been enough marital fights at the place. The other customers want a show!" Michael is reading a body language book to better interpret the Bastard's intentions! Peter gives him the Death Stare and says, "Here's my body language. Get the hell out!"

At dinner, Michael is all smiles as he asks Jane and Bastard how they first met. "Well," says Bastard, "I was sitting on the beach when I saw Jane walk by in this skimpy bikini. I had never seen a more luscious piece of...ah, the menu!" When Alex says that it's all business between him and Jane now, Michael notices that he itches his nose -- the telltale sign of a liar! The conversation quickly goes downhill, and Bastard asks, "Why did you hit me?" "Because I'm a hothead. It's one of the things about me that Jane loves -- that and my compulsive lying!" Michael leaves in a huff.

Michael later follows Jane to the health club she joined. When she heads for the sauna, Michael "coincidentally" enters. "Michael, what are you doing here?" "Oh, I decided to join a gym because I want to be my hunky best for you." She tells him that he wasn't out of line the previous night. "And you're right -- your hot temper turns me on! I even loved it years ago when you yelled at me for thinking you were sleeping around with Kimberly." Jane wants to get frisky in the steam room, but Michael tries to stick to his plan. "I think it's best if we don't have any sex until after the wedding." That's a no-go for Jane, who locks the door, then de-towels for Michael. Plan? What plan?

The next day, Bastard and Jane have another business meeting over dinner. (Hey, there's this new invention called the conference room. Try it.) Jane, feeling a little awkward, calls Michael from her cel phone. Michael is hiding behind a potted plant 20 feet away! "Michael, you sound a little weird." "Oh, I'm just winded from working out. Damn, the waiter just watered me." "What did you say?" "Uh, the weightlifting just wore me out." "Oh."

As Jane ends the call, Bastard makes his pitch: "Jane, I know I'm a lowly guest star and that I won't be on for more than another couple of episodes, but I've never stopped loving you." Jane says she loves him, too, but not in that way. "So," says Bastard, "you wouldn't object if I kissed you?" Well, that's sound logic for you! Jane says it won't make a difference. He replies, "Words lie, kisses don't." He kisses her. Michael grinds his teeth behind the bush and says, "Veerrrry interesting!"

Amanda, Kyle, Ryan, Peter, Megan, and Lexi:

As Ryan prepares for a dawn game of basketball with his big brother, he sees Megan walking through the Melrose courtyard. The Pool mentally tells him, "Take her, Ryan! She's yours! Don't listen to anything she says about what an arrogant putz you are. Go for it!" As soon as he and Kyle head out, Amanda (who had pretended to be asleep) gets up, activates the Inflate-O-Manda underneath the leopard bedsheets, and grabs the mysterious page. So evil is this page that anyone who touches will immediately see black-and-white flashbacks! Does Amanda destroy it? No.

Meanwhile, on the court, Kyle is getting a little too aggressive, and Ryan's had enough. He accuses Kyle of not wanting him around. Kyle apologizes and says he's concerned about the ripped-out page. He thinks Amanda tore it out and is protecting Peter from something, "although why Peter -- or anyone else -- would have confessed some dark secret to Matt is beyond me." Ryan says, "Yeah, what a nutty idea!"

Elsewhere, Lexi is busily converting Sterling Conway Enterprises into an advertising agency. It's all so easy, isn't it? Lexi officially hires Megan, who asks, "Gee, Lexi, didn't the feds want millions of dollars from you after Coop split town? Didn't the FBI go after you for fraud?" "Yeah, darlin', but I went out drinkin' with Janet Reno the other day and slipped her a Mickey. She passed out in church, and the feds have forgotten all about me. That woman has got some wattle!" Lexi vows to take down Amanda.

Lexi continues to drive Peter batty with the phantom phone calls. He yells, "Who is this? Why is there a duck quacking?! Get out of that goddamn bubble bath and leave me alone!!"

Megan goes to Upstairs in search of Kyle, but she finds only the slobbering Ryan. After he not-so-smoothly introduces himself, Megan asks him to tell Kyle that she's taking a new job, but she can't give any notice, since she's starting her job tomorrow! It's not every day that an employee repays a nice-guy boss by telling a complete stranger that she's quitting on the spot. Ryan tries to schmooze his way toward a drink or dinner. "Hey, did you know that I'm quite the fabulous stud? A gal like you could do well with a guy like me." "Hmmm, you remind me of one of those pansies who went to college."

Amanda comes home late at night. Kyle, however, is getting ready to head out to the club. Amanda says, "Wait! I thought you took the night off so we could go out." Kyle stares two inches above her head. "I did. I spent most of it alone." He says she's avoiding the issue of whatever she found in Matt's journal. Amanda doesn't admit anything.

Desperate, Peter goes to Dr. Puddles' house, where he's making his favorite meal: a cookie dough and roast beef sandwich. He says he's been getting strange calls, probably from someone who knows what he did, "but you're the only one I've told." Puddles tut-tuts him, "No, you told someone else." "What?" "Yes, you told Lexi." As Puddles reluctantly describes his conversation with Lexi, he realizes that he's been duped. Peter says, "We've been had, Doc, by the biggest bitch of them all." Huzzah! I love lines like that!

Amanda, apparently trying to cover up the info in the journal, makes sudden plans to go to San Francisco. She tells her assistant of the week, Julie, that if anything important pops up, "have Jane handle it." I knew she'd be vice president by now -- she's talented! "Oh, and Julie? Don't tell anyone about the trip. Mum's the word. Spill the beans and I'll spill your blood. Got that, wench? "Yes, Mistress Amanda. Could you step off of my throat now, please?"

Lexi finally talks to Peter on the phone. Peter plays coy, and they both have a quiet conversation. Lexi simply says she needs to talk to him about Amanda's kidnapping. "Ah wouldn't ask if it wasn't important." "Where?" "Kyle's club. Where else? Is there another set handy?"

Small talk ends quickly once they get to Upstairs. At the bar, Lexi delivers her ultimatum to an angry Peter: "I want you. Behind bars or in my bed. Ah haven't decided yet." Does Peter get a say in this decision? He thinks, "Hmmm, sex with Lexi or gang rape in prison. That's a toughie..."

Downstairs, Ryan continues to moon over Megan, who arrives to pick up some food. Kyle tries to tell him that he is not her type, but Ryan thinks, "I'm a hunka hunka burnin' love! How can she say no?" Kyle caves in, and he manages to steer Megan over to Ryan's table. (Kyle immediately goes up a few notches on Megan's death list.) After Ryan continues to brag about himself for several minutes, he arrives at the amazing conclusion that Megan doesn't like him! She even admits she thinks he's an arrogant putz. Ryan thinks, "Hey, the Pool was right." He says, "Why are you so down on me?" "Because of men like you -- men who just walk on the show and expect me to fall for them in the course of a week. Well, it won't happen again! As God is my witness, it'll take at least two weeks!"

Amanda arrives home at night, and Kyle is annoyed. (Didn't we just see this scene?) Amanda foolishly tries to say she had a busy day at work, but Kyle says, "I knew you were in San Francisco today. Jane told me." Amanda mumbles, "So, the traitorous Julie ratted me out. I get a receptionist for one damn week, and she betrays me!" Kyle knows that her mysterious behavior is tied into the journal. "I'm not stupid, Amanda, although I've given plenty of evidence to the contrary over the months. You're hiding something from me!"

In the morning at AWA, Amanda summons her new servant, Ryan. "The Ferret Soap Company has ditched its advertising company. It's a big account, and I want it. So I'm sending you out there to get it, slave." Ryan understandably wonders why him, since he just started two days ago! She says, "Because you're the only one with an MBA, and I've already dispatched Jane to bury the body of that wench, Julie. So I'm out of employees. The company is located on the old Briscoe County Jr. set. Now begone!"

Cut to a lonely Megan stuck on the side of a mountain road with a stuck BMW. She can't call AAA since her cellular phone doesn't work. (How an ex-waitress can afford a BMW and a cel phone is a matter best ignored for the moment.) Fortunately, another car drives up -- it's Ryan! Coincidentally, Megan is also going to pitch for the Ferret Soap account, on behalf of Lexi's company. Ryan asks, "Hey, shouldn't Lexi actually have a staff, lawyers, and office stationery before she starts grabbing accounts?" "Hey, don't look at me. I'm only now realizing that I made a lot more money when I was self-employed." Since Megan's spare tire is also flat, Ryan offers to give her a lift to the Briscoe County set. Megan reluctantly agrees.

When they arrive, Megan immediately knows her way around the place. They step into the saloon, uh, the office building, where the head of the company is on the phone. "That's right -- Ferret Soap. We use nothing put 100% pure ferret!" The loopy guy gets off and tells the duo that he won't entertain proposals until tomorrow morning. "I'm going for my afternoon walk." Megan and Ryan have no choice but to stay on the set. Again, oddly, Megan knows exactly where to go.

That night, Peter goes to Upstairs. Fearing an initial strike by Lexi, he tells Amanda that he needs to talk to her and Kyle. Amanda says, "Kyle is busy chatting with the latest loser musical guest. As long as it's not that hideous Sean Lennon, I think he's happy." Amanda escorts Peter into Kyle's office, where The Bizarre One opens his suitcase with the "ransom" money intact. He tells her that Mr. Beck (whom Amanda remembers from Peter's office and Matt's journal) owed him a big favor, and this is his way of repaying him. He tells Amanda, "I can't bear to see you unhappy." Amanda gives him a big hug of gratitude, so naturally Kyle shows up. She quickly shows Kyle the money. Kyle is curious, but he doesn't press the issue, and he thanks Peter.

Back on the set, Ryan walks over to Megan's motel room with lust on his mind and a bag of chips in his hand. When he knocks on the door, it opens slightly and he steps in. There are scattered papers on the bed, and as soon as he steps in, Megan walks up behind him and accuses him of sneaking into her room: "You're trying to steal my ideas!" What ideas? Neither of them knows the first thing about advertising! Ryan counters, "But I was just coming by to offer you beer, hot sex, and chips...D'OH!" She kicks him out.

Upon returning to Melrose Place that night, Amanda asks Kyle not to give Peter the third degree over the ransom money. He's still upset about the torn-out page, so Amanda -- hoping to shut him up -- burns the journal in the sink. When a satisfied Kyle leaves the room, Amanda takes out the missing page and burns that, too. "I'm tired of the same damn flashbacks." As the pages burns, however, we clearly see one word -- "Prison" -- and something about Amanda's previous life in Prisoner: Cell Block H.

In the morning, Ryan and Megan are surprised to see the dismantling of the Briscoe County set. Megan complains, "But I loved this place! Where's the Ferret guy?" A stagehand says, "Oh, him? He's a little touched. His company was bought out by some big corporation days ago. Now could you get out of the way, please? We have to put up the Brimstone set by day's end." As Megan and Ryan commiserate about their wasted trip (gee, didn't the all-powerful Amanda investigate this guy first?), Ryan offers to take Megan back to Los Angeles. "I don't see that I have a choice. They're already dismantled the stagecoach."

As they drive at night, Ryan's car runs out of gas! Oh ho! Hmmm, did Megan bother to recharge her cel phone the previous night? Guess not! As the night goes on, they stare up at the stars. Ryan says, "Stars make pretty twinkles. Huh." Being the self-obsessed goober that he is, Ryan tries to kiss her, but she refuses, saying "I can't get involved with anyone right now. Let's see how things are when we get to the November sweeps."

Over at Lexi's apartment (which was Peter's), a frantic Peter demands to know what she wants. Lexi quickly steps out of her dress, leaving nothing but a black bra and panties. She says, "Ah want you to make love to me -- or else ah tell Amanda everything." Peter somehow refuses! Even after she throws herself at him, he says, "I'm calling your bluff, lady." Lexi isn't bluffing. She angrily puts on her dress and quickly leaves for Upstairs! As soon as she steps out, Peter calls the club in a panic. Kyle answers, and Peter insists on speaking to Amanda. Kyle, tied of Peter's pathetic attempts, hangs up on him!

Minutes later, Lexi arrives at the club and walks over to Amanda. Peter is only seconds behind. He runs up the stairs and looks with horror as Lexi starts blabbing! You'd better take a shower now, Peter -- it'll be the last time you dare pick up the soap!

Next Episode: Lexi yaks! Peter and Kyle have hissy fits! Michael continues his dumb plan!

--Ken Hart

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