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Melrose Place Recap: Episode 2

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This week we opened with some long, lingering shots of Auggie's (the sexy chef/possible murderer of Sydney) hot, hot body in a hot, hot shower. We also saw the deep, deep cuts on his shiny shiny muscles - ostensibly from when he maybe murdered Sydney.

Then we cut to Laura aka Dr. Dirty returning home the morning after her first go at prostitution. (She pulls a wad of cash, bound together with a rubber band, to make sure we get it.) David (who's just returned from robbing his father's house) runs into her and asks, "You on a walk of shame?" If only he knew. If only he knew.

Our Perfect Couple: Riley and Jonah
Riley skips work to stay home for a naked celebration of their engagement, but their pre-marital bliss is interrupted by Ella (the sassy blond publicist with a heart) who wants Jonah to put up a security camera, because he's a filmmaker and has cameras. Ella feels unsafe in the building, because Sydney was murdered the day before. Riley freaks out because this is such an irrational request, Ella (who does not-so-secretly love Jonah) is obviously trying to break them up by interrupting their day of playing hooky (and nooky?). Lo and behold the security camera leads to more trouble. When Jonah sees Riley talking to Auggie and hugging him Jonah gets jealous. (You see, Auggie needs a hug because for some reason he's still upset about the murder - that he may have committed - yesterday.) Jonah and Riley have a very tepid fight and realize they have to learn to trust one another. I fear every week will feature a one of their dumb fights, culminating in moral clarity and monogamous cuddling.

Sexy/ Probably Evil/ Possibly Crazy New Girl: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz

Ashlee actually had enough screen time this week for me to catch her character's name. It's Violet. So anyway, Ashlee needs a job and she applies to be a hostess at Auggie's restaurant, but the manager thinks she's too frumpy. So, obviously, sassy Ella gives her a make-over, she shows up all sexy and gets the job. She also flashes her now signature weird I'm sweet--slash secretly evil--slash strangely ambivalent--slash can't really act--smile. At least she didn't have to sing a ballad to get the hostess job.

Sassy with a Soul: Ella
Ella was busy this week. Besides giving makeovers and lobbying for security, she also shows up to work, to find out everyone is being laid off. Who's come to give the bad news? Why it's the cutthroat VP from New York who also happens to be smoking hot, of course! But if he's a tough cookie, Ella is a stale biscotti, because she won't take "you're fired" for an answer. She bets she can sign the hottest star (she's a publicist, if you haven't been taking notes) by the end of the weekend - and if she doesn't, then he can fire her. Cut-throat-washboard-abs accepts the deal and Ella leaves the office all confident. But then - what's that on Ella's face? Could it be fear? Long story short - Ella, with her sass and wit (and a snapshot of him pants-less) obviously signs the star, and gets to keep her job. And work in the same building as her sultry new boss. She even takes his cigar and smells it. Foreshadowing?

Sexy - if somewhat slow and maybe also with a sob story - Bad Boy: David
Poor David has the tough job of being the most boring resident of Melrose Place. After trying to sell the painting he stole from his rich, estranged dad, he goes to a friend's party to steal her watch. Bored yet? And of course, it just so happens that his party is the very one where Ella reels in her celebrity. While David is busy stealing the watch, Ella finds him and thinks he's stealing drugs. When he says it's not drugs, she's like: what gives David, how can we be friends if you hide things from me? And David's like: let me tell you about my childhood. He shows her a picture of himself when he was 13, poor, and living with his terminally ill mother. You see, it was only when mom was dying that David's dad finally stepped in to "throw money at him." So he's not a spoiled bad boy after all. He's a just a scared little boy who likes to steal stuff, or something.

Dr. Dirty (but only out of desperation): Laura
Laura is shocked to find out, that five thousand dollars doesn't cover her med school tuition. (How she got into medical school, I do not know.) But then, of course, that dude she slept with for money last night calls her - telling her he has a friend that also wants to sleep with her for money. How fortuitous! So Dr. Dirty goes on a date/job with that dude, to the very same party her friends are at! But Laura is all cool and covers. After they ... further the doctor's medical education, the dude asks her out - like on a real date. He wants to get all Pretty Woman with her. And in a moment that I actually give the show kudos for, Laura deconstructs that reformed-prostitute fairytale and tells him: she doesn't like him, she pretends because she's paid to, she just wants her money and wants to go home.

Auggie

Auggie was down in the dumps this week, what with Sydney dead and the police questioning him. He was also plagued with flashbacks:

Flashback 1: Sydney and Auggie at his first AA meeting. They flirt and end up getting it on, in a super aggressive way that says I just might murder you in four years.

Flashback 2: Auggie off the wagon. Sydney trying to save him. Auggie tells her he had a girlfriend who died because of him. How? "We were at a bar. Back then I was always at a bar." A brawl escalated, girlfriend got in the middle and was stabbed to death. Auggie: "She bled to death right there on Hollywood Boulevard. Because of me." Cue: shaky, shaky camera angles to heighten the drama! Sydney promises to help him stay sober - but no more sex - they're taking the program seriously.

Flashback 3: The night of Sydney's murder. Now Sydney's the one off the wagon! Auggie's pissed that she's more into getting back at Dr. Mancini (Oh boy, this one's a long story, you can read about it here) than loving the Auggster. Sydney tells him she can't stay sober, Auggie tells her she's one sick women and Sydney tries to stab him (giving him the cuts we saw at the beginning of the episode).

Conclusion or: Bikini Time!
The episode ends with the requisite gathering around the pool (where they found that dead body floating around two days earlier). David brings lobster for everyone - which means he sold the stolen watch, and I guess we're supposed to care. Ella sassily tells everyone she signed a huge client "without whoring myself out thank you very much." Close-up on: Laura, who is whoring herself out. Then Laura dives back underwater, while Ella floats happily above it - metaphor much?

Oh by the way, earlier when Jonah is studying the surveillance tapes he suddenly realizes that Ashlee looks a lot like Sydney (because they both have red hair, and because it's a plot point.) He also suddenly remembers how Ashlee moved into Melrose Place the day before Sydney died, and he gets a little suspicious. So, when Ashlee shows up in her bikini, exclaiming, "I love the water!" Jonah replies, "Yeah so did Sydney." Sneaky! And Ashlee looks ... well, I think she's supposed to be expressing fear. Gumshoe Jonah keeps plugging away and asks Ashlee if she got to know Sydney while she was still alive.

Flashback! Ashlee showing up at Melrose Place, telling Sydney she stole a strand of her hair, got a DNA test and guess what - she's her mom! Sydney tells Ashlee she must be wrong. Ashlee gets all mad and makes that weird evil/sweet/bad acting smile again. She tries to give Sydney a bracelet she made when she was 9 and is like: "You're not getting rid of me that easily, not again!" And then there's evil music, and we're back to the present, where Ashlee jumps into the water and swims around. But like - in the way potential stalker - murderers swim around. . . Dun dun dun!

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