Recap: Billy is driving around in his cab when he spots a fuzzy headed woman parked on the side of the street, peering perplexedly under the hood of her car. He pulls over and asks if he can help out...but when it's clear that he's just as inept at diagnosing anything related to engine problems, he offers to give her a ride to the nearest gas station. During the ride, she introduces herself as Dawn, tells him she's an aspiring comedian...and that since she doesn't have enough cash to pay for cab fare, she hopes he'll accept tickets to her open mic night at The Laugh Connection as payment. Billy looks intrigued by the prospect of spending a night listening to a bunch of amateur comedians performing their schticks and chirps, "Kewl!"
Michael tells Jake he's taking Jane out for a romantic dinner, and Jake laments his inability to maintain a serious relationship on account of his tendency to immediately jump into the sack with every woman he fancies. Michael urges him to stop giving in to his animal instincts and take things slow by first building a friendship with a woman, and Jake mulls over that foreign concept and promises to give it a try.
Billy and Alison invite Rhonda and Matt over to hang in their kitchen and cook a big group dinner. Billy tells everyone about his new friend Dawn, who he describes as worldly, mature, and challenging...then invites them all to come along to her open mic night.
The next night, Dawn is on stage at The Laugh Connection and delivers a mediocre at best performance with a smattering of mostly unfunny material. When she mercifully wraps up her joke-making, Billy gushes about how hi-LAR-ious she was...while Alison makes a seriously? face in the background. LOL. When Billy suggests they all go out for a bite to eat, Dawn declines and says she has to catch the last bus home...and Billy offers to drive her home after treating her to pizza.
Over pizza, Dawn tells Billy she was married for eight years, and that she left the bum when he became less than supportive of her comedic aspirations. She's somehow under the illusion that she's really good at it and, at times, is optimistic that she could earn a living from it...but then at other times, when she's a lot more rational and clear-headed, doubts her comedic abilities and thinks she should maybe pursue a more sustainable career. Billy tells her he goes through the same thing with his lofty dream of becoming a writer, but continues to tap away at his clunky '90s computer, regardless.
Jake tells Sandy that since they've always "had something going on", they should give traditional dating a try and go out to dinner and a movie without hitting the sheets afterwards. Sandy looks skeptical and reminds him that they've never been able to "do" platonic...but when Jake pleads with her to give sexless dating a shot, she agrees.
Billy walks Dawn to her apartment and hints about how much he'd love to see the inside of her place. Dawn natters about how messy it is - just as the door to her apartment opens and a young boy and his babysitter spill out. Dawn introduces Billy to her son Martin...and Martin glares at Billy and looks less than thrilled that his mom has a new beau.
Billy returns home and tells Alison about Martin...and that he's kinda bummed that his new gal is a single mother 'cause it means they'll never have privacy or the freedom to spontaneously go away for the weekend. Alison concurs and says, "It's a lot of responsibility", which prompts Billy to rethink what he just said ten seconds earlier. He now thinks he could probably relate to a kid like Martin, then decides he's going to call Dawn and invite himself over to her place for dinner.
That evening, Sandy is primping for her date with Jake, while a disapproving Rhonda reminds her that Jake dumped her like yesterday's news after gratifying himself with a one night stand. Sandy breezily explains that the dumping was just as much her fault 'cause she wasn't ready for a relationship back then...and Rhonda ignores this rewriting of history and asks her if she trusts Jake, to which Sandy nonsensically replies, "I don't know if I trust myself."
Billy, Dawn, and Martin are having a strained dinner at Dawn's apartment...and Martin comes right out and tells Billy he hates him for dating his mom and for acting as though he's the new head of the household. Dawn changes the subject to her fledgling comedy career and announces that she somehow got a paying gig in Ventura...but that it might not work out 'cause of how far away and inconvenient it is to get to by bus, which she'll have to do 'cause she can't afford the $300 it's going to cost to get her car fixed. When Billy offers to drive her to Ventura, Martin whinily orders his mom to get the car repair money from his dad, and an irritated Dawn growls that his dad is such a deadbeat he won't even pay for child support, much less give her extra cash to fix her car. Martin gets upset and flees to his room, and Billy decides that this could be the perfect opportunity for some poignant man-boy bonding with a kid he met a day ago.
After going to a movie, Jake and Sandy sit in a restaurant and marvel at their restraint in not so much as holding hands all evening. Sandy chuckles about how she always assumed that he thought of her as little more than a blonde airhead, and he chuckles about how he always assumed that she thought of him as little more than a dumb construction worker who was incapable of monogamy...and the two continue to chuckle and shake their heads as if both assumptions wouldn't have been so completely on the nose.
Billy goes into Martin's room to console the sobbing boy, sees that the kid has a bunch of Terminator gear, and waxes on about what a huge fan he too is of the movie. When Martin slightly perks up at that, Billy coos, "It'll all be OK", and a touched looking Dawn stands in the doorway and nods approvingly.
Jake and Sandy return to Melrose Place and agree that they both had a wonderful time on their chaste date. As they shake hands, they begin staring hungrily in each other's eyes...then start smooching and do the urgent, TV tropey, 'we-need-to-have-sex-right-now!' shuffle into his apartment. As soon as they start going at it on the couch, Sandy suddenly puts the brakes on and reminds him that they're supposed to be taking it slow. She blames him for initiating the amorousness, accuses him of acting like sex is all they have going for them, and storms out...leaving Jake staring after her perplexedly.
Billy asks Alison for a $300 loan, then fibs and tells her he got into an accident with his cab and needs to get it fixed so he can continue to earn a living. Alison says she was saving up for a new transmission for Betsy, but decides it's more important to help out a friend during his hour of need. As she rushes off to get her checkbook, Billy stares sheepishly into space.
Billy presents Dawn with Alison's $300 so she can get her car fixed. She thanks him, then says that the thought of performing at the Ventura comedy club is terrifying (which is totally understandable considering the earlier clip of her open mic night schtick), but Billy assures her she'll do great, and offers to look after Martin while she's off taking the SoCal comedy world by storm.
Over in the Melrose Place laundry room, Jake rails at Michael for advising him to take a slow approach to dating...and then we get an annoying back and forth montage of their conversation blended with a conversation between Sandy and Rhonda, during which Sandy pronounces Jake to be a selfish womanizer. Jake then tells Michael that he doubts Sandy actually wants a serious commitment, and Sandy declares that she and Jake are over.
Billy brings Martin by his apartment and suggests to Alison that the three of them spend the day at Magic Mountain...and Martin gets excited and is all, "Yay!"
Billy, Alison, and Martin are aboard a Magic Mountain rollercoaster, and the rollercoaster footage seems to go on for a very loooooong time while they all shriek with terrified delight. Afterwards, Martin toddles off to a food truck to buy himself a snack, and Alison reminds Billy that taking care of a kid is a lot of responsibility, then stares contemplatively into space and says she has zero desire to ever be burdened with children of her own. Amen to that, sister.
That evening, Martin romps in the pool with the Melrose Place menfolk, while Alison tells Jane and Rhonda that she can't imagine ever being ready for kids. Jane says that no one thinks they're ever ready, but that most people are forced to change their minds once the baby pops out and expects to be fed, cooed at, and have its diaper regularly changed.
Late that night, Dawn arrives at Billy's apartment to pick up Martin. She tells Billy and Alison she got a lot of laughs during her performance, and that tonight's success has emboldened her to pursue comedy further. She thanks Billy for loaning her the $300 she needed to get her car fixed...and as soon as Dawn's out of earshot, Alison's all, "Wha-a-a-a?" and snarks at Billy for pretending to be a responsible adult at her expense. She rails at him for making his girlfriend's financial woes her problem...and when Billy insists he'll pay her back, she just sneers and says she doubts she'll ever be able to trust him again.
The next day, Billy drops by Dawn's place...and when he hears her loudly arguing with her ex-husband, he bursts in and asks Dawn if everything's OK. The ex gets annoyed by the intrusion, and soon he and Billy are barking insults and shoving each other around the living room. Dawn gets fed up and asks her ex to leave, which upsets Martin and sends him fleeing to his bedroom. Dawn admonishes Billy for bursting into her place uninvited and sassing her ex in front of his son, then asks him if he's really ready to take on the obligation of a family. When he just stares vacantly into space - LOL - she gives him his $300 back and explains that her ex had stopped by to give her a child support payment, then tells him to get the hell out of her apartment.
Sandy complains to Jane that the doorknob on her closet needs replacing, but Jane just shrugs and says she's shit outa luck 'cause Michael's at the hospital for the next several hours. She suggests asking Jake if he'd be interested in fixing it...and in the next scene, Jake is fumbling around with the faulty knob. When it slips out of his hand and rolls across the room, he and Sandy burst out laughing then sit on the floor together and agree that it'd probably be best if they just stick to being friends. Which makes sense considering the producers give Sandy the heave-ho, four episodes from now.
Billy pays back Alison the $300 he borrowed and apologizes for screwing up, and says he hopes she'll find it in her heart to trust him again. Alison concedes that while his heart was in the right place, his decision to jump head-first into a relationship with a single mother wasn't very realistic. Billy explains that after a lifetime of being coddled by his parents, Dawn came along and gave him the chance to be there for someone...then marvels about how great it felt to help her out.
Dawn is performing in the Ventura comedy club, laying it on thick with snide jokes about how all men want to be superheroes and rescue women...and the camera pans over to Billy, who stares into space with a stricken expression on his face. After her performance, Billy ambles over to where she's standing and says he really enjoys hanging with her - but she cuts him off and tells him she's not ready to jump into a relationship, relays the tired old 'its not you it's me' dating exit strategy, and says that for the foreseeable future she just wants to focus on her comedy career and her son.
Billy is laying on the couch in his apartment, pondering aloud to Alison whether or not he should use his new-found freedom to travel the world...though it's unclear how he'd finance this travel, given that he wasn't even able to scrounge up $300 to loan to Dawn. And speaking of Dawn, he says he really liked being part of a little family for the last three days, and that he now has that to look forward to when he has a wife and kids of his own...and he says all this while exchanging flirty glances with Alison.
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MELROSE PLACE HOMEPAGE
Recapper: Isabel K. French
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Television of Yore
Snide recaps of television's most entertaining classics