Melrose Place, The Recaps! S1, Ep 4: For Love Or Money

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Jane and Michael are out for a couple’s jog, smiling and not sweating at all. Michael’s wearing a Cat in the Hat t-shirt. They decide to “race each other back” through the a busy sidewalk, and I wish someone would trip them, or preferably just Michael.

Side note: It is weird to see Josie Bissett again, having just watched “Deady Vows” two days ago, wherein she frolics with Major Dad in the most unsettling of manners.

Onward: to Melrose Place! Where Jake has found a balance on the torso nudity/clothing scale, and wears a wife beater while working on his motorcycle. And drinks…something out of a mug.

Jane and Michael burst through the gates, laughing. But the mirth is short lived, as Michael says that Jake’s going to get oil spots all over the ground next to the pool and as much as I like Jake and his motorcycle, and even though one of Life’s Rules is that by default, Michael is the asshole, I have to side with him both on that (apparently there’s a garage Jake could be using and he is like RIGHT next to the pool), and on reminding Jake that his rent is due. Jake says that it’s dead in construction, but he’s gonna find something by the end of the day. The “Major Dad”/“Melrose Place” crossover immediately makes me think that means Jake is planning on somehow destroying a building so he can get work 😮 But that’s probably not what he meant.

D&D Advertising. Allison’s wearing really weird, shiny, baggy yet boxy, blue pants with a white t-shirt and vest. She answers the phone and says something about a “stock split,” and talks about reading The Wall Street Journal, to let us know that she may be beautiful, but she is More Than Just A Receptionist.

A guy comes over and hands Allison an envelope. She opens it, and out pops Gizmo! Not really, it’s a donut (more’s the pity), but it IS Zach Galligan, here to creep on Allison and apparently give her sugar breakfasts all week. No wonder she’s such a bitch by the time she gets home to Billy! Billy Campbell, not Billy from “Gremlins.” They flirt. Oh, that explains why Allison’s hair is so fluffy today, though I’m not sure anything can explain the shiny pants.

Background music plays that would make you think Jake’s about either do amazing work on the uneven parallel bars or fly an airplane, but instead, he walks into “CAFE AND PIZZERIA” to inquire about a Help Wanted ad. Some guy with a hoity-toity accent cops an attitude and tells Jake they don’t want someone with a second career: “actor, a writer, or a model.” Jake’s like, “I’m a hard worker.” Then there is some early ‘90s business about the big fancy coffee machine and people coming from “all over Los Angeles” to buy their coffee, and if that’s true, I’m so sure that this man would hand Jake an apron, and tell him to have at it, but that is what happens.

Allison and Zach Galligan sit together outside. He psychoanalyzes her lunch — grapes and celery, with a bit of peanut butter on the celery. She says it’s because she’s been giving him all these fattening breakfasts. I hope she has some protein bars in her desk, at least. But no time to wonder, as this episode’s breakneck speed takes us into exciting territory, as Zach actually has a really rich father! But it’s a bummer, yada yada, poor little rich boy, blah blah aren’t connections supposed to help you? At this point, I’d take a Jake/Amy Locane scene. Hell, I’d take a Dylan/Jim Walsh scene. Just end THIS scene plz. Instead, he asks her on a date and Allison says yes.

Jake can’t do his job (I’ve made some barista-y drinks in the past and worked in restaurants for 20 years and still couldn’t do his job with NO TRAINING), but luckily a chick in a leather jacket walks in, and she and Jake hug, as they haven’t seen each other since back in the day. They flirt and Jake paraphrases “Casablanca,” natch. Then there’s double entendre about Jake’s nozzle, as he leaves his job, grabbing chick (whose name I didn’t catch)’s hand, and because this is a Spelling show, she squeals in response.

They sit on his motorcycle and she reminds him of a time in the past where they “made love” and tells him she’s an art dealer. She implies she’s got a shady job he could do for her, then writes her number on his bicep. Boss comes out and makes Jake come inside, as if Jake would still have a job.

Melrose Place. Rhonda checks the mail while complaining to Matt about her bills. Matt’s got no time; he’s pissed because the Halfway House has lost so many volunteers. Rhonda offers to help and bring her chicken curry. Matt is apprehensive that Rhonda will flake, but she assures him she’ll be there.

Amy Locane comes by with a black “come and get me dress” for Allison’s date, but Rhonda gives chase, saying “Hey, that’s MY come and get me dress.” Matt’s all, “WOMEN.”

Allison’s. She’s getting ready in her puffy bathrobe. Amy Locane and Rhonda come in and excitedly show her the dress. Allison worries, “But is it me?” and HOLY CRAP, I would be way more worried about her CREEPY AND INEXPLICABLE doll shelves coming to life in the middle of the night.

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Billy barges into Allison’s room wearing only a towel (DRINK!), and makes a crack about her dating. She asks if he doesn’t have a novel to pretend to write and seriously, Allison. Maybe some raisins, even, as a late-afternoon snack. Some sunflower seeds, perhaps.

There’s a stomach-churning exchange among everyone about warfare and the battle of the sexes. Billy and his abs tell Allison she should keep this about business, not romance. Then the weirdest thing ever happens. Rhonda makes fun of Sandy’s acting, so Sandy like, pushes Rhonda’s head forward and says “Shut up.” But then when they switch shots to Billy and Allison, you see that same push happen all over again in the mirror.

Anyway, Billy goes to answer the door in his towel, and naturally, a penis-waving contest ensues between Billy and Zach Galligan. Or rather, Billy waves his around while Zach is understandably like “?”

Allison rushes out to save Zach from Billy, and she is not wearing the “come and get me dress,” but looks very nice. Next scene, she and Zach are sitting in a candlelit restaurant listening to jazz and they bond. Allison talks about how she always dreamed of being an advertiser, and would write tag lines since she was little. She “even wrote one for Zach’s dad” (who is D&D’s big “sunscreen client,” which I guess is a thing). Her tagline: “It’s hotter than a burn.” Zach tells Allison that his dad should hear it, and she self deprecates but is excited.

Melrose Place. Zach and Allison kiss, while Billy watches through the blinds.

Morning. Rhonda choreographs a new routine next to the pool. Allison is off to work. Amy comes down in a bikini and pitches herself to Allison as the sunscreen’s new model. Rhonda fishes for details about Allison’s date.

Matt comes out to remind Rhonda about tonight at the shelter. Rhonda invites Allison, but Allison says, “I wish. Some of us don’t have flexible jobs.” Rhonda goes, “Well, some of us don’t have boyfriends on the job either.”

Wait. What?

Perry (the woman from Jake’s past) shows up, so of course Amy Locane does her best to cockblock. She leaves and Amy Locane calls her a “bitch” under her breath, then smiles at her cleverness.

D&D and oh, how times have changed from Scene One, as this time there’s a manila envelope on Allison’s desk, only it’s holding a red rose. The big boss walks in and comments on Allison’s admirer. Allison tries to talk business, but Big Boss is in a hurry, and tells Allison to take time to smell the roses, because she never did.

Matt rushes into the shelter. Rhonda comes in and he calls her “Saint Rhonda,” then says she’s a couple of hours early but he can really use the help. But she cancels, saying she forgot she’d cover a class and has cardio funk in 10 minutes. He’s like but I bought all these ingredients for chicken curry. She brought the recipe and is apologetic, but Matt is really mad and says “Say what you always say: Next time Matt, I promise.”

D&D. Allison overhears Zach pitching Big Boss the whole sunscreen tagline and advertising idea she told him about last night at dinner. She storms up and pulls Zach aside. He runs into the men’s bathroom and she follows him, pulling him back into the hallway and calling him out on stealing her pitch. He says he had the same idea last week and then utters possibly the most amazing line yet of the series:

“Don’t you know? Everyone listens to the same shock jocks. Everyone watches the same MTV spots.” While I LOL, Allison grabs him. There’s a lot of GRABBING each other in the office on this show. She says she was naive and walks away…

…into Big Boss’s office, who’s “just working on some footage for the ‘hotter than a burn’ campaign.” Allison tells her that Zach stole her idea. Long story short: He said/she said, and Big Boss advises Allison Woman to Woman that she needs to develop a tougher skin, and next time, not to blab her ideas all over town. Allison dramatically says, “I don’t think there’ll be a next time,” and walks out of the office while Big Boss sighs and leans agains the door jamb for some reason while background music plays that may have been recycled for that scene when Kelly meets Dylan at his cabana that one time.

Allison packs up her desk and leaves D&D.

Remember the other scenes with Jake and his boss at the coffee shop? Well, here is the exact same scene again, some more, until Jake walks out of HIS job. I wish I could afford to storm out of jobs I didn’t like and still live in Melrose Place. Jake calls up Perry and says, “Let’s talk.”

Perry and Jake at her boss’s art studio. Basically, she wants Jake to pretend to be an artist and she’ll pimp him out. Then she pours yellow paint on him. He pours red paint on her, then says: “I always liked you in red.” Then SHE says: “You always liked me in BED.” And she and Jake start making out, sticking their tongues out like lizards, as he shoves her up against the wall.

Melrose Place. Matt is swimming when Rhonda comes home, and ignores her when she tries to talk to him. But she’s not having it, and tells him they have to deal with this. He says it’s always the same old story; she ditches him whenever something better comes along, and she’s self absorbed. I can see where Matt’s coming from in terms of this being a pattern, but I don’t think he’s being fair in this case. She came to him in person hours before she was supposed to be there to let him know, and it was an honest mistake involving her job. Not everyone in Melrose Place can just up and quit! Rhonda calls him out on never having come to one of her classes, and that he acts like he’s the only one around here who works hard, when she in fact, busts her ass. Matt and Rhonda are probably my favorite pair on the show right now, and I really like this scene!

Billy comes into Allison’s room, who has the curtains drawn and the ice cream out. Oh, and Cap’n Crunch on her bed! I like this Allison! Billy comes in and tells her that she needs to get out of bed; her room looks scary. I AGREE BILLY. But he is referring to the mess, not the dolls.

Allison mopes that she can’t play their game. Billy says it’s the same game everywhere and you just have to “Do Something!” Was this written before or after Andrew Shue started Do Something? He yells at her (in a nice way) to get up and go do her thing! And she thanks him sincerely, which is nice. In the meantime, I like how this episode, Allison is like Claudia Kishi meets Lorelai Gilmore in terms of eating habits.

D&D. Allison waltzes in with her box o’ stuff and starts unpacking as Big Boss walks in, who does not call security, and does not say, “Bitch, your ass was replaced five minutes after you stomped out of here.” Instead, Big Boss says “I wasn’t sure we’d see you here again,” like it’s a Bible study or poker night or something instead of a paying job at a high-profile LA advertising agency. I mean, it was unbelievable enough that Jake could storm out of and back into his cafe job where everyone travels to buy their freakin’ macchiatos, but this is just…

Anyway, Big Boss feels bad and doesn’t want Allison to “feel disgruntled.” Allison gives her icy eyes and says, “Don’t worry about it. I’m over it.” Big Boss says that she wants Allison to work with Zach to pitch tomorrow at some big meeting. Allison’s like, I don’t think so. Big Boss tells Allison to take it from an old warrior, and take a break when she’s given one. Allison’s she’s wearing that ‘80s Professional Barbie who’s name I never remember’s suit.

Perry’s art party for Jake, where to add to the already-existing Sean Young vibe she’s got going on, is wearing leather pants. In case we’ve forgotten since the exposition from every other Jake scene since episode one and also “90210,” we are helpfully reminded that Jake doesn’t like being told what to do and is A Rebel.

On “Melrose Place,” even art studios can’t contain men’s bare torsos, as Perry introduces a shirtless dude in a red robe and blue bandanna to Jake. She then proceeds to get everyone’s attention and unveil Jake’s “art,” which looks like this (minus the pause and volume indicators!):

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Some people ooo and ahhh. Shirtless Dude asks Jake what it’s about. Jake says, “Sex. Death. Rock and Roll.” My “Shut up, Jake” threshold is higher than for most, but that line almost reached it.

Um. Okay. So Allison is alone in Big Boss’s office, looking at footage from her stolen Hot Sunscreen ad, with her feet on the desk. You’d think Allison had compromising photos of Big Boss, not just some butthurt. Zach walks in with a huge bag of Chinese food, and it’s kind of hilarious when Allison spits out that “dumplings” aren’t going to woo her. Even with Chinese food, Allison goes straight for the pastry. She then gives this weird speech that’s like an 11th-hour bad-guy reveal in a Lifetime movie, about how Women Can Be Cutthroat Too. I do get a good chuckle out of “Three days ago, I was a dreamer. I’ve grown up.”

Then she sits down and leans forward, and now that we can no longer see her ridiculous white pants, it is much easier to take the scene (slightly more) seriously. Allison says okay, she’ll cooperate and play as a team — “What do you got? You know, ad lines?” He leans back and says “Ladies first,” and she says he’s got nothing. Then the scene spirals rapidly downhill but in a glorious way, as they have the weirdest back and forth like, “I’ll be there.” “And I’LL be there.” And a few more lines like that, which make it sound like a comedic scene, but I think it’s supposed to be suspenseful. Or sexy. It’s really hard to tell on “Melrose Place,” especially with the blaring background music that was sort of ubiquitous back during that time, with horns and synthesizers and “come hither” vibe. Like they took “You Belong to the City” and sold it for parts.

Perry/Jake’s art party. He finds Perry in some weird closet doing coke and he starts yelling at her. And it’s like okay, I don’t like to be around coke either, but this is all of a sudden what triggers your long-lost morality, Jake? The stealing from an entire building of people, not so much?

Jake storms back into the party. Then despite being the one NOT on coke, he for some reason kind of pushes this random girl in the gallery, despite its not being crowded, and tells Shirtless Dude, “Surprise! I’m a fake!” He takes his painting off the wall and gives it to him. Perry follows him, and Jake tells her he’s “going as far away from (his) life as (he) can possibly get.” Perry goes back inside the party, and hopefully that’s the last of that.

Matt’s sitting outside his apartment doing work in some binder whilst wearing a backwards cap. Allison thinks he’s driven, and that’s great. She gives a speech about how you have to take no prisoners, etc. and Matt calls her ruthless. She stops in her tracks, and for this out-of-nowhere special moment, the show has found new background music! It’s emotional piano, and it is jarring. Allison crosses her arms and asks, “Don’t you have to be (ruthless)?” She projects all over the place, and leaves with her arms swinging like a foot away from her body as the music switches back to Sexytime.

D&D. Allison walks in and is suddenly nervous for some reason, despite acting like Macauley Culkin in “Home Alone” just a day ago. She meets with Big Boss, Zach, and Zach’s dad, the Sunscreen King.

Allison pitches a new sunscreen ad that I actually kind of like. Zach gets up and “pitches” a morbid and uninspired campaign and everyone’s embarrassed. He sits down, about to come clean, but Allison saves his ass and pretends he helped with the group assignment. It’s sweet, and he looks grateful, but is totally non-stealth when he stage whispers “Thanks, Allison” when his father is sitting right next to him.

Rhonda’s aerobics class. People are working out and shouting “Whooo!” and wearing those exercise outfits that I miss. I don’t understand why that’s not a thing anymore. They don’t have to be neon if people don’t want! Though I so would. Can someone bring these back, please? Matt walks in wearing a political t-shirt and he and Rhonda make up and dance together, and it’s cute.

D&D. Big Boss says she knows what Allison did and it was very kind, but Allison said she did it for herself. There is a giant Hershey’s kiss on Allison’s desk from Zach. Big Boss and Allison use sports metaphors to let us know that Allison’s Going Places.

Shooters. A guy playing pool looks to be dressed in my green yummy sushi pajama top. And speaking of metaphors, Jake chalks up his stick as Amy Locane walks over. They do their usual dance, but Jake gets nicer more quickly than usual, and they bond over wishing they could forget their bad pasts. Amy Locane says that’s why she became an actress, so she could keep pretending to be different people. Jake tells her that he’s selling his bike to make money. She kisses his cheek; he puts his arm around her fondly, then says, “Let’s play some pool.” Those two need more scenes like that!

Jake tries to sell his bike. The guy can’t buy right now, but wants to hire whoever built the bike as a mechanic, as “He’s an artist.” Jake goes, “When do I start?” Hooray!

Halfway House. Rhonda, Amy Locane, and Allison walk in with groceries, singing “I’ll Be There.” Matt’s very happy and Rhonda’s like, “See? I told you so.” She and Amy Locane leave, while Allison lags behind and tells Matt she’s done with her 24-hour cutthroat attitude, as “Some things are more important than advertising.” Matt’s like, “Yeah, being a good person is the best,” then yells, “Chow time!” They all serve food to the kids, so I guess that the groceries the ladies brought are for tomorrow.

~ THE END ~

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