Recap: Alison and Billy are jogging together as a means of keeping her mind off of last episode's breakup with Keith. Alison takes a break so she can catch her breath, then tells Billy she's too exhausted to continue and would much prefer to mope uselessly around their apartment.
Jane tells Michael she's less than enthused about being forcibly appointed to serve on the decorating committee for an upcoming hospital interns mixer. Michael implores her to stick with it so she can be more involved with his career, then says that this mixer will be a good opportunity for him to mingle with the hospital's higher-ups.
A bobbed brunette named Jo Reynolds arrives at Melrose Place to announce that she's interested in the apartment for rent, then cringes when she learns it's a studio. Rhonda perks up and says she's looking for a roommate - but Jo's like, "I'm not" ... and after Jane and Rhonda give her a quick walk through of Rhonda's two bedroom apartment, Jo decides she'd like Rhonda to move into the available studio apartment so she can have the two bedroom place. Today, if possible. When Jane asks her whassup with her needing two bedrooms, she explains that she's a photographer and needs one of the bedrooms to serve as her darkroom.
Michael's new BFF and mentor, Dr. Scott McBain, has just taken him sailing on his fancy boat, and magnanimously promises to personally introduce him to all of the hospital's movers and shakers at the interns' mixer.
Over at the hospital, Jane is discussing decorating ideas with Liz McBain (Scott's wife) when Scott and Michael enter the lounge. Jane gushes to Michael about how much she and Liz have in common, e.g. they're both working women who are new to Los Angeles. She then announces that the four of them are going out for dinner tonight so they can bond as couples.
Jake is perplexed by a large box that's blocking the path to his apartment - until Jo bounds over and explains that it's filled with her photography equipment. Jake says he'll assume that she's a photographer, and she snappishly calls him nosy as he proceeds to introduce himself and offer to carry the box upstairs for her. She snootily tells him that Rhonda provided her with quick synopses of each cast member, then derisively adds, "I'm the quiet type." Jake's like, "Er, OK..?" and warns her about the hot/cold water situation at Melrose Place - meaning, if she hears him showering, she should wait for him to finish before starting her shower. Sounds like an unacceptable plumbing issue that Michael should address with the landlord asap. When he offers to give her a tour of the neighborhood, she bitchily rebuffs him and says she'd prefer to take a cab. Jake's like, "OK then" and saunters off, and Jo calls her dad to report that she made it safely to L.A. and that soon she'll write him a letter that will explain everything.
The Mancinis and McBains are enjoying a lovely dinner out. Liz tells Jane and Michael a story about how she recently had to fix a burst pipe...and Scott repeatedly interrupts her, which is our first clue that something is amiss with this pompous tool.
Alison tells Billy she's going to take a break from moping about Keith to go to bed early. Billy suggests they go out for coffee 'cause he's concerned that, left to her own devices, she's going to break down and call Keith - but Alison insists that their fling is over, and retires to her bedroom.
Jane and Liz go to the restroom together...and Liz gabbles about how she and Scott are childless 'cause they don't have enough time to devote to kids right now. Jane notices a stain on Liz's jacket and eagerly chirps, "I can help you with that!" and starts taking it off of her (!) ... then gasps in horror when she sees that Liz's arms are covered with bruises. Liz breezily says it's nothing, then hurriedly puts her stained jacket back on and flees the restroom.
The next day, Jane tells Michael about the bruises on Liz's arms and says she doesn't know what to think except that Scott is a wife-beating douchebag. Michael refuses to believe this about Scott 'cause of how patient and gentle he is with the kids in his pediatrics unit. He then chides Jane for being nosy and seeing things that aren't there...and Jane mulls that over for a few seconds and decides 'yep, I probably just hallucinated seeing both of Liz's arms covered with bruises'.
Billy helps Jo carry her stuff into her new apartment...and when he learns that she's a photographer, he perks up and says that he too is an artist, aka a writer. Jo haughtily says she didn't think L.A. had any real writers, and Billy calls her out on her snootiness - just as the phone rings, to which she responds by staring at it with a fearful expression.
At the party venue, Jane hangs up a celebratory banner while Liz tinkers on the piano, then sadly remarks that she's not allowed to play at home 'cause she's always having to tiptoe around quietly so Scott can get adequate rest whenever he's home from the hospital. She adds that she sometimes feels she can never do anything right in Scott's eyes, hence the bruises. When Jane responds by staring uselessly into space, Liz shakes off her marital predicament and suggests they go to lunch.
Alison is in the laundry room, sadly sniffing one of Keith's shirts, when Jo comes in to transfer her washed clothes into the dryer. When the dryer fails to start, Alison tells her they usually have to kick it to get it working...and then the two decide to take out their frustrations on the poor machine by simultaneously kicking it. After several seconds of this, they both burst out laughing, introduce themselves to each other, and agree that kicking the poor machine felt really great. Jo confides that she just split with her husband, and Alison wryly says she just split with someone else's husband and isn't quite over the breakup.
En route to the interns mixer, Jane insists to Michael that all signs point toward Liz being in a domestic violence situation - but Michael dismissively says that surely she'd speak up if she were getting regularly beaten up. When Jane points out that she's probably scared and in disbelief that this is happening to her, Michael says there's no concrete proof, and that Scott's career could be irreparably destroyed if he's falsely accused of such a heinous thing. He then decides 'nope, there's nothing about this I'm willing to look into' and promptly drops the matter.
At the mixer, Jane discreetly comes right out and asks Liz if Scott is beating her...and Liz claims he's only ever hit her once, then snappishly tells Jane to leave her alone, and flees. Scott notices them talking and rushes over to Jane to ask her where Liz just ran off to...and when Jane says she has no idea, Scott applauds women's ability to talk their feelings out to each other, then says he'd loooooove to know what she and Liz have been chatting about lately. When Jane shoots him a look of disgust and tries to dodge past him, he grabs her arm and asks her if everything is OK...and she responds to the weird question by glaring at him - just as Michael comes over and seems totally oblivious that Scott is brazenly manhandling his wife. Scott tells Michael he has more high ranking doctors he'd like to introduce him to, and the two scamper off.
The next day, Scott enters the hospital's staff lounge, where Michael is catching up on some medical journal reading. Scott tells Michael that Liz told him what Jane has been insinuating, insists that he's never struck his wife, and that such scurrilous allegations could tank his career. Michael just shrugs dumbly and mumbles that his alleged wife-beating is none of his business.
Jo invites Alison to hang out in her apartment, where the two drink wine and raise toasts to "all the good men out there". Jo shares part of her back story: she got married at age twenty and lived with her husband in an Upper East Side penthouse in New York - until she woke up one morning wanting to be young, free, and irresponsible. Sounds pretty flaky for a grown woman, but OK. She then suggests they continue their boozing at the nearest hotspot...so Alison takes her to Shooters, where she (Jo) hustles a pair of stoner dudes during a game of pool. The stoner dudes get angry when they realize that Jo has fooled them into losing a $70 bet, call her and Alison bitches, and advance on them as they flee the bar.
A distressed sounding Liz calls Casa Mancini and tells Michael she really really needs to talk to Jane.
In the next scene, Jane and Michael race over to Liz's house and find her standing in her driveway looking unmistakably bruised and battered. Michael stares at her in shocked bewilderment.
Back at Casa Mancini, Michael treats Liz's cuts and bruises as Liz wryly reveals that usually it's Scott who beats her up, patches her up afterwards, then apologizes and begs her for forgiveness. She declares that she's never going back to him, not least 'cause there always seems to be something new that sets him off. Michael sheepishly admits that Jane came to him with her suspicions that she was being regularly beaten by Scott - and that he dickishly blew her off 'cause he simply couldn't bring himself to believe that Scott could be such a violent creep. Liz says that sometimes she too finds it hard to believe, then gives Michael a teary hug.
Alison and Jo drive to a hill overlooking the Los Angeles skyline. Jo looks impressed and says the feeling she has right now is why she moved out west...and that she looooves the freedom to be whoever she wants. She then acknowledges how cunty she's behaved towards everyone in the Melrose Place complex...and when Alison's like, "No duh", Jo explains that she's really bad at making friends 'cause of how scared of change she is. She pulls out a bottle mood enhancing pills she was prescribed by her husband's psychiatrist and declares that she's no longer going to take them. She tosses them over the hill while screeching, "No more safety nets!" I really hope that was a wise idea.
When Alison returns home, she tells Billy all about her fun girls' night out with Jo...and Billy shows her the ladies magazine he's currently reading, specifically an article on how to choose a boyfriend. He explains that he's trying to gauge how well he stacks up...and the two giggle heartily at that amusing notion as they head off to bed.
At the hospital, Michael confronts Scott about his now undeniable wife-beating and informs him that he's planning on ratting him out to their superiors. Scott gets enraged and slams Michael against a row of lockers and barks, "They'll throw me out!" When he looks startled at the sudden realization that he's attacking someone who could probably smack him back just as hard, he quickly lets go of Michael and says he'd really really like to talk to Liz - but Michael tells him that Liz has officially left him and is now staying in an undisclosed location. Scott holds his head in his hands and whines, "Work is sooooo hard!" and Michael's all, "Well d'yuh", but points out that it's still not a generally acceptable excuse to beat the crap out of one's wife. He urges Scott to turn himself in to the hospital's administration...and eventually Scott agrees that he'd rather the higher ups get his version of the story.
Jake is in the shower when Jo has the temerity to use the hot water in her apartment at the exact same time. He storms up to her place with nothing but a towel around his waist (yum!), and bangs on her door. When she answers and stares at him questioningly, he goes, "The water..?" and she sheepishly explains that she forgot about the hot/cold water problem when she started brushing her teeth. Jake's anger evaporates as he whirls on his heel and struts back down to his apartment, while Jo stares hungrily at his nearly naked bod. Jake runs into Billy on the way and tells him that there are "definite possibilities" with the snooty new tenant, and Billy chuckles and is all, "Mmm hmm.."
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MELROSE PLACE HOMEPAGE
Recapper: Isabel K. French
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