Recap: A dork wearing wearing a '90s jean jacket peeks into a store window and sees Sandy and Rhonda giggling at each other as they try on silly hats. Rhonda tells Sandy she's being ogled, so Sandy looks over at the window, smiles politely at the dork...and this seems to embolden him enough to enter the store, introduce himself as Paul, and tell Sandy that if she's not already a model or actress she should become one asap. After a few more seconds of benign chitchat, Sandy's like, "OK then, see ya later" and exits the store with Rhonda...and Paul chases after her to invite her to dinner later. She accepts his invitation with half-hearted enthusiasm, and the two agree to meet at Angelina's at 8pm.
During dinner, Paul drones on about his small hometown and that he's still trying to navigate life in L.A. He says he's never gone out with a woman he met by leering at her through a store window, and Sandy agrees that it's a pretty dicked up way for two people to hook up.
Alison returns home after a stressful commute home due to car malfunction problems. She storms into the apartment, where Billy is busily typing whatever dreck he's now immersed in on the computer, and rails about how her stupid car Betsy stalled several times in heavy traffic, which the other motorists reacted to by honking their horns and screaming obscenities at her. Billy urges her to replace her decrepit car with something that's at least halfway functional...and when she moans, "I can't afford a new car!", he assures her she'll qualify for a loan.
Paul tells Sandy he's in the potted plant/nursery business and seems intrigued by the fact that she hails from a small town in South Carolina. After they finish dinner, he invites her to Venice Beach for some dessert, but she tells him she's had a long week and just wants to go home. Paul's like, "Kewl! Where's that?" and insists on following her home by driving behind her, and Sandy's like, "Uh, OK" ... 'cause, yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that?
Paul walks with Sandy into the Melrose Place courtyard and gushes about what a great complex it is, and that he'd really love to see the inside of her apartment, which...subtle, Paul. He leans in for a kiss and says he'd love to see her again - but she's like nope and tells him that her life [as failing Hollywood wannabe] is far too complicated right now. He cluelessly chirps, "OK, I'll call you in a few weeks", but she tells him that the timing just isn't right - as in 'please just go away quietly and don't make me tell you why I never want to date you again' - and breezily thanks him for dinner. After he ambles off, Sandy is startled when she sees that Jake has been sitting in a pool chair the whole time, eavesdropping on the awkward blow-off. When he asks her how the date went, she tells him it was terrible, and that she knew right away that there was no spark and would never be any spark...and she says this while staring longingly at his chiseled face.
Billy takes Alison to a used car lot and gives her advice on how to play hard-to-get while car shopping. Alison's eyes light up when she spots a shiny red convertible, but then gets bummed when she salesman tells her he's only willing to give her $300 for her clunker. Billy decides that's too low and dramatically declares, "We're outa here!" ... and when the salesman doesn't bother to try to stop them from leaving, Billy suggests to Alison that they sell her car privately.
Sandy arrives with groceries for an impromptu Melrose Place barbecue and is stunned to find Paul hanging with her cast mates, chugging a beer. When he presents her with a bouquet of roses, she pulls Rhonda and Jane aside and tells them she's soooo not into this dork, then walks over to Paul and firmly tells him it's time for him to go. As she walks him to his car, he remarks on how uncomplicated her life seems...so she comes right out and spells out that it's merely the sort of thing women say when they want to politely brush off a loser they have zero interest in dating. He's like, "Hmm...I can take a hint" (if only), then shakes her hand and wishes her good luck...but when she turns around and walks back to the apartment complex, he stares after her with his sad face on.
Sandy wakes up the next morning and sees that the swimming pool is filled with lilies, which Michael has just started to fish out. He tells her that the mess is courtesy of Paul, and that he left behind a note that reads A little bit of home, Love Paul. Yikes.
A no-nonsense woman responds to Alison's car ad...and after giving Betsy a careful once-over, she tells Alison that her hunk o' junk is clearly on its last legs. When Alison tries to defend Betsy's robustness, the woman snaps, "Not interested" and stalks off.
A bewildered Sandy tells Jake she thought she had made herself clear with Paul, and that L.A. is so different than her southern hometown in the sense that she's so often surrounded by strangers who haven't been vetted. Jake reminds her that they too were strangers once, then asks her to consider why she's not giving Paul a chance. Sandy just stares back at him quizzically, unsure whether she should be insulted by him encouraging her to hook up with another guy, or point out that Paul clearly has the makings of a deranged stalker.
Alison and Billy are out shooting pool, and Alison is lamenting how difficult it's proving to be to unload her shitty car on an unsuspecting buyer. Billy chides her for naming her car and suggests that she's substituting human relationships for one with an inanimate object, then urges her to buy the shiny red convertible so they can put this boring subplot to rest.
Matt and Rhonda arrive at Shooters with Paul in tow...and Matt gushes to Sandy about how Paul donated trees to the halfway house so that the residents can enjoy a little shade in the backyard. Sandy snarkishly tells Paul she hopes he didn't do this to prove to her what an awesomely dateable guy he is - but Paul pretends to have no ulterior motives and says he just decided to randomly donate trees to a charity that her friend Matt just happens to work for. Sandy firmly reminds him that there's nothing between them, and that whatever he thought this was is over. After she storms off, Jake ambles over and asks Paul whassup, and Paul says he's mystified by Sandy's standoffish behavior, especially when she was so flirty to him the day they met. He admits that, yeah, he may have come on too strong - but is deluded enough to believe that underneath her pesky resistance, she likes him a lot. Jake mutters, "Don't count on that" ... but when Paul insists on continuing to try tapping that, Jake just kind of shrugs and goes, "OK, dude. Whatever." After Paul exits the bar, Sandy thanks Jake for giving the stalker-freak the what-for, but Jake says he didn't so much give him the what-for as got an earful about all of her naughty flirting the day she and Paul met. Sandy's all, "Wha-a-a-a??" and snappishly says she expected more compassion [and basic common sense] from him than that.
Sandy walks home alone after her Shooters shift...and when she hears footsteps behind her, she breaks into a run. When she makes it safely to her apartment, she checks her phone messages and is dismayed to hear multiple Hey, babe, I love you...where are you and why the fuck haven't you been returning my calls??!! messages from Paul.
The next morning, Sandy brings her answering machine over to Michael's/Jane's apartment and plays Paul's messages for the two of them, as well as Jake. Jane empathizes and says she used to get obscene phone calls, which she quickly put an end to by blowing a whistle into the phone receiver. Michael looks weirded out by that revelation, but puts a pin in that discussion so he can shrug disinterestedly and tell Sandy he thinks that Paul just has a harmless little crush on her, and that some women would consider it flattering. Sandy refrains from smacking him hard across the face and snaps, "What if he has a screw loose and can't handle rejection?!" and Michael stares at her blankly for a few seconds, then weenie-ishly remarks that Paul seemed like a nice enough guy at the barbecue. Sandy shoots him a WTF? glare and storms out of the apartment...and when Jake chases after her to get her to chillax, she tells him to get lost.
That night, Sandy is laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, when the phone starts ringing...and she contorts her face into a troubled expression as she lets the phone ring and ring - until the scene fades to black for a commercial break.
Billy gives Jake his take on the Sandy/Paul storyline: Jake is secretly jealous of Paul's ability to express whatever feelings he might have for Sandy. Jake bursts out laughing at the half-baked theory and tells him that Sandy's pretty sure that Paul has a screw loose. Sandy breezes over and informs Jake that she went to the local police precinct to complain about The Paul Situation, but they told her that unless he tries to kill, rape, or abduct her, there's not a whole helluva lot they're willing to do. Jake clucks sympathetically and promises her that she won't have to deal with this problem herself, and that until the writers wrap up the stalker storyline in this self-contained episode, he'll escort her to and from work.
A teenage fast food worker named Debra looks over Betsy, somehow seems impressed by its grubby cuteness, and tells Alison that if she buys her shitmobile, she'll have absolutely no money left over for repairs. Alison stares sheepishly into space for a few seconds before coming clean by telling Debra that if she's interested in a functional car that isn't going to be a frustratingly endless money pit, she'd be better off looking elsewhere.
That evening, Jake walks Sandy to her apartment after her Shooters shift, and she's all, "Ack!" when she sees that someone (other than her) left the window open. As Jake searches the apartment, Sandy enters her bedroom and finds flower petals scattered over her bed. She starts weeping at the sight of it - just as Paul calls to leave a creepy message about how hard he's jerking off to the thought of her naked body atop the petals. Jake snatches the phone receiver and bellows, "You're a sick SOB!", then hangs up and asks Sandy where Paul works. She gives him the name of the nursery, and he takes her to his apartment and urges her to stay locked inside until he returns.
Jake climbs over the nursery's security fence and finds Paul inside the office, in the process of leaving Sandy another creeptastic phone message. He punches Paul in the face, then looms over him and threatens to kill him if he ever goes near Sandy again.
Jake storms back to his apartment and tells Sandy that Paul won't be bothering her anymore - assuming he's not the kind of person who would become enraged by the humiliating beating he just got on Sandy's behalf. He then invites Sandy to spend the night in his apartment...which she happily agrees to.
Late that night, Sandy and Jake are laying, fully clothed, atop his bed. Sandy dreamily reminisces about the first night they doinked, but Jake stonily tells her to shut up and get some sleep. LOL.
Alison gabbles at Billy about how much she looooves Betsy, and fondly recalls all the adventures they've shared over the years (e.g. losing her virginity in the back seat). As Billy winces at the oversharing, she laments how hard it's going to be to say goodbye to the clunker.
The next morning, Sandy is dressed in one of Jake's work shirts while she cooks him a big breakfast. As the two chow down and exchange flirty banter, the police drop by to question Jake about the face-punching he gave Paul last night. Jake explains that he was reacting to Paul's repeated harassment of a fellow Melrose Place tenant...and when they ask for proof of this, Jake says he's pretty sure that Paul broke into Sandy's apartment last night - in lieu of mentioning that Sandy had actually filed a complaint to police a couple of days ago, which they've done fuck all about. Sandy, meanwhile, moans to Michael about what a mess The Paul Situation has become and that she's going to have to take the bull by the horns and do something to fix this.
Alison returns to the used car lot to buy the red convertible, and tells Billy she's going to refrain from naming this car. The salesman comes out with all the paperwork for her to sign...and when Alison looks at the car price, somehow for the first time (?), she shrieks, "That's way too expensive!" and says she'd rather hold onto Betsy and risk getting stalled in L.A. traffic at any given time. What a lame subplot.
Sandy drops by the nursery to give Paul the what-for, and bitches at him in full earshot of his boss for obsessing about her and making repeated nuisance calls. She orders him to drop the charges against Jake, but he just scrunches his face mournfully and insists that they belong together. When she looks unmoved by that pronouncement, he cries, "What's wrong with meeeee?!" - LOL - and complains about how women don't ever seem to want to get close to him. He coos, "I love you", and Sandy says he merely loves the idea of being in love, and that if he ever does anything to creep her out again, she's going straight to the police. In the vain hope that they'll actually lift a finger to offer her some protection. Paul finally looks suitably contrite for his wacky behavior and promises to stop leaving creepy messages on her answering machine and scattering flower petals all over Melrose Place.
Jake drops by Shooters and happily reports to Sandy that the assault charges against him have been dropped, and she tells him she got the whole mess sorted out by publicly shaming Paul at his workplace. The two then stare longingly at each other, and Jake offers to walk her home after her shift...not 'cause he has to, but because he wants to. Even though it's obvious he's totally not into her and that she ends up leaving Melrose Place forever, five episodes from now.
Billy is up late watching a black and white horror movie and eating ice cream. Alison ambles into the room, sees what he's doing, and tells him to scooch over so she can get in on that action...and that's where the writers decided to end this episode.
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