After a three-month break from our television sets, The CW’s “Melrose Place” returns with the aftermath of last year’s cliffhangers.
To get you up to speed, last we saw of the young L.A. go-getters, Jonah and Riley were having relationship problems, Ella and Jonah got it on in the bedroom, Auggie and Riley were revisiting the past, Lauren overdosed on drugs via a high-end client and Amanda (guest star Heather Locklear), well, she’s up to no good. Got all that? Now, let’s get on with the show.
We pick up immediately after the shenanigans of the last episode, which aired in early December, and frankly, things haven’t changed: some take two steps forward while others revert to their old habits.
The Ella-Jonah-Riley Debacle: After a steamy night in the bedroom, Jonah’s phone rings and it’s Riley, who’s just made her 12th call of the night wondering where the heck he is. Ella, glowing, happy and hungry for a meaty breakfast, quickly learns that even being with the person she loves isn’t enough. Jonah rationalizes (to himself) that it’s better if he goes so he can “mend” his relationship with Riley, even if he just had a fantastic night with Ella. Way to make a girl feel special, dude. To make matters worse for Ella, Jonah’s plan doesn’t include telling Riley who and where he spent the night.
Jonah returns home and Riley is extremely happy to see him. “We need to talk,” he says. The four most hated words. Riley apologizes for the way she acted the night before and he says he’s sorry too. It hurts to see Riley trying to right the ship (after telling him she didn’t want to get married the previous night) when Jonah’s hiding a big secret. “Can we just go back the way it was?,” Riley asks. Sorry to break it to you girl, but that ain’t happenin’ anytime soon. Jonah reacts the same way any reasonable person would. “You’re asking me to commit to a future with someone who won’t commit to anything,” he says. It sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? Riley says it’s about “living in the moment.” If it is, then doesn’t Jonah’s “one-night stand” with Ella constitute as “living in the moment” too?
Jonah confides in David about his night with Ella and David doesn’t look surprised. David agrees to keep Jonah’s secret (for now) and gives him the key to his apartment, telling him he can stay as long as he wants. “Ella’s one night man. Riley’s forever,” David says. Interesting that he’s batting for Team Riley. Jonah semi-defends his act, saying that being with Riley is like playing it by ear, whereas Ella knows exactly what she wants. Will he make a choice by the end of the night? David doesn’t want Jonah to tell Riley about his ahem, run-in with Ella ever. Huh.
While Riley grabs the mail, Violet doesn’t even say hi to her good ol’ neighbor. “I saw Auggie kiss you last night,” she says sternly. Violet persuades Riley to attend Amanda’s party. Better to suffer miserably elsewhere, I suppose. They make their appearance at the bash, and Riley has a one-on-one with Ella, telling her that she had an “honest” conversation with Jonah earlier that day. Ella looks uncertain of what’s going on because when Jonah approaches them, she says, “It’s better to know where things stand, isn’t it?” Uh oh. Ella drags Jonah away, wanting to know why Jonah didn’t tell Riley the whole truth. Ella tells him that she never would have jeopardized her friendship with Riley or his relationship if she knew he would be (for lack of a better term) a jerk about this situation. Ella realizes that Jonah doesn’t actually know what he wants, which in her eyes, makes him perfect for Riley.
Riley wants to reboot her relationship and Jonah has reservations. Before they get too far, Jonah finally comes clean about his rendezvous with Ella. “I slept with Ella last night,” he admits. Look on the bright side, at least Jonah told her the truth.
Amanda Has a Boyfriend?: Hey, it’s Jordan Collier from “The 4400”! The first we see of Billy Campbell as Amanda’s jetsetting significant other, Ben. And of course, the way to a woman’s heart? A pair of expensive designer heels. And because you can’t just settle on shoes, he promises Amanda a nice sparkly surprise later that night at her party just to show everyone how much he loves her. It can’t be a ring, that’s just too easy.
It’s time for Ben’s grand gesture. His speech is sweet, funny and appropriate for a person of Amanda’s caliber. He presents her, in front of all the partygoers, a … Bentley? Yay? The guests are slightly embarrassed for Amanda and she is too, disappointed would be an understatement.
“Amanda, sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what you want,” Ben says later. “Why should you know? It’s more fun this way,” Amanda says. And here we go again.
Lauren’s “Jerk” and David’s Quest to Find Him: Lauren is recovering at the hospital and David is being surprisingly sweet. The definition of the perfect boyfriend. She tells him her version of what happened, but David knows the truth. An overdose just doesn’t match with her “I fainted” story. Lauren finally spills about who she was seeing at the hotel room and David’s not too thrilled about it. She wants David to let it go, but we know that’s the last thing he’d do. After the nurses wheel Lauren away for tests, David grabs her phone and starts on his quest to find “the jerk.”
David uses some random Internet phone search engine and finds a Rick Paxton at R Studios, and prepares for his sure-to-be-dramatic confrontation. David poses as a delivery man to gain entrance into the high-tech recording studio where Lauren’s “jerk” is busy working. When he opens the door, David wastes no time asking if he knows a Lauren Yung. David tells him that Lauren almost died and David starts punching the guy after he calls her a whore.
While Lauren’s walking down the hospital hallway that night (because “she’s fine”), her client calls out to her from his hospital bed. She pulls the curtain to give the two privacy and presses against his large bruise, telling him “you got what you deserved.” This dark side of Lauren is pretty freakin’ amazing. Lauren pays David a visit later that night and they’re OK for now. Cue the gratuitous naked-between-the-bedsheets montage. Lord knows what will happen when David finds out about her call-girl status.
Ella Screws It Up: Everything is riding on the night’s big party and Amanda pressures Ella to stay on top of it. When Amanda Woodward tells you to do something, you do it without question. A few hours before the event, Ella is running around with her clipboard, being the genius junior PR girl she is. Ben makes an appearance and the always-prepared Ella rolls off a list of facts about him without batting an eyelash. Amanda walks into the kitchen and Ben mentions that Ella was just talking about her. Ella panics, thinking all the bad things she just uttered would finally go on record, but Ben saves the day.
At the party, which has a great turnout, Amanda gives Ella her vote of confidence. Something tells me that’ll be taken back by episode’s end. Later into the night, Ben gives Ella an expensive piece of jewelry, with Amanda by the door witnessing every moment. Ella runs out after Amanda, trying to mend their working relationship. What we thought was something potentially controversial between the young PR guru and Amanda’s hubby is nothing more than an innocent scene between friends. If it takes Amanda knocking Ella down a few pegs to put a bandaid on her own insecurities, then so be it.
“You have enough flash to catch the eye of Ben or any other man for that matter, but they don’t stay long, do they?,” Amanda asks snarkily. Ouch.
Auggie and Violet Peace Out: Auggie eyes Jonah and Riley laughing at Amanda’s party and Violet sees him looking at the “happy couple.” To remedy his situation, Auggie grabs an expensive bottle of wine and downs it. Auggie’s a mess and Violet wants him to get out of L.A. because it’s not helping him. The next morning, Riley walks into Auggie’s empty apartment. We see Auggie riding off into the sunset with Violet on the back of his motorcycle. Sayonara.
What did you think about what went down? What is Amanda searching for? Does Ella deserve better, in both her personal and professional lives?