“Lonely Hearts” opens with Sandy and Rhonda in a store, trying on hats and dancing around. Some dude we’ve never seen before peers at them through the window. Sandy finds this charming, not creepy, and beams at him through the window. He recommends via pantomime that she pick a different hat, then walks in and hits on her. His name is Paul, and he asks her out to dinner. They agree to meet at “Angelini’s” at eight.
Dinner. Paul’s wearing a suit and Sandy’s wearing a really cool lacy lavender dress with a green lacy cardigan over it. Sandy looks bored out of her mind and when he asks if “red’s okay,” she says she prefers white. I feel bad for this guy. Despite the weird peering through the window thing, he’s being really nice and trying his best. Sandy’s just acting like a lump.
Melrose Place. Allison comes home and hold onto your seat belts, guys: she’s pissed off. Car trouble! Billy says he’ll take her car shopping. She says she doesn’t have the money, but Billy says “Trust me,” he’ll help her get a loan. Allison gets ice eyes and hilariously responds, “Every time I trust you, something terrible happens.” Damn, that’s cold.
Weird dissolve (I think??) back to Sandy’s date. Paul’s talking about working in the nursery business and Sandy is looking really bored. It seems she only finds him interesting when he’s complimenting her beauty. He asks her about her childhood and she just gives a terse response. When he invites her to Venice Beach to get dessert, she declines. Then he insists on following her home and kisses her, saying he’d really love to go out with Sandy again. Way to read the room, Paul. She keeps turning him down and he keeps asking, then leaves all sad puppy dog. Depressing music plays as she starts to go upstairs, but lo and behold, Jake’s been sitting there the whole time, drinking a beer! They do their flirt-but-not thing. Rhonda comes out to ask for details, and Sandy laughs that she’s living in a building full of voyeurs, and her delivery’s really cute. She tells Rhonda that she’s “kissed walls with more passion.” The scene ends bizarrely, with Jake going “Ouch!” and pulling his hat over his face.
Fantastic. Billy and Allison are shopping in a used-car lot. It’s everything you could dream of and more. Allison finds her dream car, a red convertible, and Billy keeps pulling her around by the arm. She seriously seems like a kidnap victim in a Lifetime movie. Billy makes them leave, since the salesman will only offer Allison $300 for her old car. He suggests she sell it on her own, then go buy the convertible.
Melrose Place. The gang is having a pool party, and Sandy strolls home with beer, chips, and buns. And freaking PAUL is there with red roses. Stalk much, Paul? I really like Sandy’s outfits this ep! Now she’s in a denim/patchy jumper with a yellow sleeveless shirt underneath. She tells Paul she has a lot to do today, but then agrees to walk him to his car. I know it wasn’t written yet in ’92, but Sandy needs a copy of The Gift of Fear in a serious way. She finally tells him she’s just not that into him and he looks all despondent.
Morning. Sandy wakes up to a radio announcer talking about the Santa Ana winds. I feel like I’ve heard more about Santa Ana winds on Spelling shows than in the rest of my life combined. Sandy has one of those phones that I miss, and it is pink!
She gets up to find Rhonda packing for Houston, then goes outside for some air. She looks horrified to see the pool filled with water lilies from Paul, with a note saying he wanted to give her a little taste of home. Michael and Jane are cleaning the lilies out of the pool. I hope Sandy offers to help!
Absolutely riveting scene of Allison trying to sell her “Betsy” to an older lady who knows a lot about cars.
Melrose Place. Sandy complains to Jake that it was easier to date in a small town. I can’t believe that’s true. Jake says she should consider why she’s not giving this guy a chance. No she shouldn’t, Jake! Good Lord, that is terrible advice!
Shooters. Allison and Billy are playing pool and talk about Allison’s car some more. Billy psychoanalyzes Allison’s connection to Betsy and tells her to buy the convertible.
Ugh. Rhonda and Matt are telling Sandy they want to buy PAUL whatever he wants because he donated plants to the halfway house! Why are Sandy’s friends the worst? Why are they encouraging this stalker?! They leave Sandy with Paul and she tries again to get him to see she doesn’t want him, then walks away to work. Jake comes over and Paul tells him it wasn’t all him; when they first met, “she was really friendly” and flirting. He says he’s gotta keep trying and walks away. Sandy thanks Jake, who gets all judgey on Sandy about flirting. She gets understandably pissed off.
Sandy walks home in the dark by herself, while someone follows her. She’s scared, and it doesn’t help to come home to an empty apartment, as Rhonda’s left for Houston. Her answering machine blinks ominously, and of course there are messages from Paul, who creepily calls her “Babe.” The messages start at around two a.m., not helping matters, and Sandy starts to cry. The last message is him saying “Where are you baby?” They’re really disturbing.
Sandy plays the messages for Jake, Jane, and Michael. She gets upset when Michael doesn’t take it seriously, and storms out.
Cut to Sandy lying in bed, unable to sleep. The phone rings, and it’s actually pretty scary. She just looks at it, face full of fear.
Next day. Jake works on his bike next to the pool again, even though Michael’s asked him not to, while Billy waxes philosophical about cars and relationships. Billy leaves, and Sandy comes home. She tells Jake she went to the police about Paul’s stalking. Jake tells her he will protect her, and Sandy’s grateful.
Another scene of Allison trying to sell her car, this time to a girl in a fast-food uniform. Allison feels guilty about taking the girl’s money and lets her know it’s really not a reliable car.
Night time. Jake walks Sandy to her door, but does not go inside to check to make sure Paul’s not IN there. Sure ‘nuff. Sandy starts yelling that her window is open. Jake goes to look around, and Sandy finds her bed COVERED in roses and rose petals. Then the phone starts ringing. I could do without the car drama, but the A plotline is surprisingly good! She lets the machine pick up, and Paul says he’s working late and thinking of her — the rose petals sticking to her body, her scent mixing with the flowers. Super creepy! Jake picks up the phone and calls Paul a “sick son of a bitch.” Paul hangs up. Jake takes Sandy to his place and tells her to stay inside and lock the door. He’s going to the nursery.
Jake hops a fence to get to the building, which lucky for him is unlocked. He finds Paul leaving another message for Sandy, so he punches him in the face. Then he says that if Paul comes near Sandy again, Jake will kill him.
Jake returns to Sandy and says “He won’t bother you anymore.” Sandy doesn’t seem too worried about what exactly that means. He tells her to stay there tonight.
Ha, so the next scene is Sandy lying down, looking happy. I’m hearing “American Beauty”-esque music and thinking, whoa, sometimes “Melrose Place” was really ahead of its time! But it is Josh listening to Thomas Newman upstairs 😀 Anyway, Sandy reminisces over the first time she and Jake met. He looks uncomfortable and tells her to go to sleep.
Next day. Allison’s getting ready to say goodbye to her car and gives a nostalgic monologue that I’m pretty surprised to be getting choked up by. Speaking of getting choked up, Allison lost her virginity in the backseat of the car. She’s sad to say goodbye, but knows it’s time.
Morning. Sandy’s cooking breakfast for Jake and says he is out of grits. Mmm, grits. He looks pleased despite himself, as she forces him to sit down and enjoy. Meanwhile, though she said she made eggs, bacon, and corned beef, all I see on Jake’s plate is one little egg and half a cantaloupe. Here we almost made it through a whole ep without confusing food! Thank you MP, for not disappointing. They look really happy and even though I know Amy Locane’s leaving the show and I remember liking his next girlfriend Jo, I find myself really rooting for Jake and Sandy. This scene makes me legit happy for these two fictional people from 23 years ago.
But oh no! There is a knock at the door! It’s some police, there to ask Jake “a few questions” about punching Paul, who’s lodged a complaint. Jane and Michael come by, all concerned. Michael apologizes and calls Sandy “man.” Jane is wearing every shirt from Tri-County Flea Market in the early ‘90s, somehow combined into one. Sandy says that she’s got to do something about this.
Used car lot. Billy tells Allison she bottles up her feelings, and she calls him an arrogant jerk. Then she says she’s not ready to say goodbye to Betsy, and gets her old car back.
Sandy shows up at the nursery to confront Paul. She tells his boss that he’s a creepy stalker and when Paul tries to get her to pipe down, she says not until Paul drops the charges against Jake. He whines about feeling alone in a big town, and that he loves her. She tells him again, some more, that it’s never going to work between them. She says if he calls or comes near her again, she’s going to the police. He says okay, he’ll leave her alone. She stalks off (so to speak) and he says under his breath that he’s sorry.
Shooters. Jake tells Sandy that Paul dropped the charges and then he offers to walk her home. “You don’t have to,” she says. But HE says “I know. I want to.” Sandy looks super happy.
Melrose Place. Billy sits in the dark watching “Nosferatu” and eating…ice cream with peanut M&Ms on it? Allison wakes up and he explains that this is his ritual — waking up in the middle of the night when he knows there will be a scary movie on, and he’s done it since he was a kid. Aw. Billy is looking extra Tom Sandoval (“Vanderpump Rules”) in this scene. Allison snuggles up next to him and says she loves scary movies. Billy says it’s a primal thing. She retorts that it’s an immature thing, but who’s gonna know? And Courtney Thorne-Smith does some really nice, self-deprecating acting that is much better than it needs to be. She steals Billy’s ice cream, makes it clear that’s as sharey-feely as she’s getting for the night, and they watch the movie.
~ THE END ~