Warning: this the abortion episode. It wasn’t my idea, guys. It’s still Melrose Place though. Let’s remember it’s just a soap opera and get through this.
We open on a night time poolside dance party. I call bullshit on Matt wearing socks with sandals, even if it is 1992. He is a self-respecting gay man, please. To be fair though, I wore a Baja jacket for most of 1992 and I like to think I dress well now.
Me with my big sister. We had matching haircuts and Baja jackets, circa 1992:
Billy gets thrown in the pool and says someone better know a good dry cleaner. Billy definitely doesn’t own anything that needs to be dry cleaned.
We find out Billy just got a column in a newspaper and that’s why they are celebrating. Billy plans on writing about his own adventures and Jake looks incredulous. So this episode is going to be about Billy trying to find adventure. Spoiler: this ends up being the b plot and it is the least interesting adventure ever.
Then shit gets real. Jane is in the bathroom taking a pregnancy test while Michael blathers about going camping in Yosemite through the door. The pregnancy test is positive and look it how weird it looks: Is this really what pregnancy tests used to look like? I only knew it was positive from her reaction.
Jane says yes to Yosemite but she wasn’t really listening because she is PREGNANT. She doesn’t tell Michael. Instead she tells Allison the next day at the boutique. I can understand being freaked out but telling Allison instead of your husband is weird or at least a bad sign for your marriage. Okay, apparently he rushed off to the hospital and she will tell him tonight. We’ll see.
Hey lady, I’m pregnant! That looks cute on you, you should get it.
Billy is writing on his baby computer but he can’t think of anything to write about because his life is boring. He decides to go to the bar because all great writers drink. Ugh, there were definitely people like this in my college writing workshops and they were usually the worst.
It’s the next night. Jane and Michael are at a Mexican restaurant with a dance floor (which seems weird, right?) and she still hasn’t told him. Michael guesses something is up because she is trying to get him to drink and instead of telling him she is preggo, Jane tells him she wants to have a baby. OMG, Jane, just stop. That is so manipulative and unfair. He, of course, says they are too broke and should wait at least five years. He is very blunt and a little condescending about it and so of course Jane says nothing.
Billy and Allison are doing shots at Shooters so he can become a better writer. Billy hates drinking but he wants to be a true writer and have adventures. Ugh. Allison points out that he doesn’t have to drink or even have adventures to write. “Look at Emily Dickinson!” Fun fact: Emily Dickinson is my favorite hermit in history. I once wrote a terrible sketch that featured Emily Dickinson and Miss Havisham from Great Expectations as contestants on Rock of Love. It was so dumb, but I loved it. Allison is great sometimes. Billy responds by calling Emily Dickinson a candy ass. He’s a true wordsmith. Just at this moment, a man in a leather jacket and a neck brace walks into the bar.
Billy asks him how he got hurt and he tells them about his awesome bungee jumping trip. Allison points out that it doesn’t seem that awesome since he is wearing a neck brace. He simply responds, “whiplash!” like that is a cool thing to have. Billy of course wants to go bungee jumping now because he is a highly suggestible child and he convinces Matt and Jake to go with him.
Michael is still talking about how much he doesn’t want babies. He reminds Jane that she has dreams too. She wanted to create a line of “funky evening wear” and sell it in the boutique. PLEASE LET THAT HAPPEN IN THIS EPISODE! Again, Michael thinks they are only discussing the possibility of a kid, although Jane is pouting enough that he should be able to figure out something is up or at least realize that he already has a child, her. I like her hair and lipstick though. If you are ever forced to get a fashion bowl cut, sweep it into a side part and it will be okay.
Sandy and Rhonda are cooking dinner.. Rhonda is making fish and Sandy wants no part because it is healthy and she only eats junk food and never exercises. Rhonda points out that metabolisms don’t last forever and f is she right. I like their friendship. I wish they had made a spin off sitcom. It would be called Roommates and it’s a comedy about Sandy and Rhonda but you still see all the Melrose drama going on in the background. It would be great in the later seasons. “Someone’s dead in the pool!” “Yeah, but I have two dates scheduled for tonight, what am I gonna do?”
Jane knocks on the door. She is very manic and has dresses for them to try on. The dresses are from her funky evening wear line, but they look like Laura Ashley church dresses. They are also giant.
It looks like she didn’t measure anything and just kind of guessed some people like dimensions as she cut. Jane is rightfully super upset with how they look so Rhonda offers her some fish. Instead of using words to describe the meal, Rhonda picks up the whole fish and brings it into the living room to show Jane (just in case she hasn’t heard of cod). Jane pukes and Sandy immediately guesses she is pregnant.
She tells them she doesn’t know what she wants to do and hasn’t told Michael. STILL? How many days has it been? She had time to make two tent dresses.
We now cut to Billy having a nightmare about jumping from a high diving board as a child. Billy is afraid of heights, and he chose bungee jumping as his adventure activity! I don’t even care.
Allison hears him scream and comes to check on him because she is his mother figure/love interest. Instead of comforting him, she tells him that if you hit the ground when you fall in a dream, you die in real life. I stand by my theory from the last episode that Allison is a witch. THEN she tells him a story about two college kids trying to bungee jump off a building, making the rope too long and dying! Billy says he has to do it to prove he can take risks. Allison leaves, but not before creepily saying “just make sure they make the chord the right length.” They are trying to show that she cares but it just sounds like she’s trying to curse him. Witches, ugh.
Jane goes over to Allison’s to talk and confesses she wants an abortion, but this is 1992 so she will probably have a miscarriage instead. When was the first television abortion? I clearly remember Julia on Party of Five getting pregnant, deciding on an abortion but then having a convenient miscarriage instead and that was in the mid to late 90’s. I got curious and found this timeline of abortion on television. It is pretty interesting. There was an abortion on Maude in 1972? I’ve never seen that show and I had no idea. Wasn’t it a comedy? I guess I just assumed it was because of Bea Arthur. At least this episode is making me learn things.
Here is Billy looking like a puppy in the back seat of Matt’s Jeep. He’s so excited to get to go on a ride, you guys!
Jane tells the other girls about the clinic when they bump into each other in the courtyard and they offer to go with her. It’s just like in the Girls episode when they all go to the clinic together! The clinic doctor looks a little like Dr Quinn, Medicine woman which is fun.
Billy conveniently reads the liability waiver aloud so we can hear how scared he is.
. They even have him stutter a little as he reads to really drive the message home. He gets ready to jump and goes completely limp, flashing back to his pool nightmare. He bails on jumping, but Andrew Shue does some of his best acting yet trying to look scared.
Maybe Andrew is just scared all the time in real life and this was his chance to let it shine through. That would make sense. I also noticed that his flashback is super weird. He is at the top of the high diving board with his parents cheering him on below but it is night time and there are no other people in or around the pool. His parents also look kind of old and are wearing business attire.
These could all be style choices but they don’t make any sense. It was probably cheaper to rent the pool at night and not hire extras so they pretended it was a choice.
Sandy and Allison are still in the clinic waiting room and Sandy confesses to having had an abortion. She tells Allison about it while wearing a scrunchie.
She was 16 and training for the Miss America pageant. She slept with the son of a pageant judge because she thought it would help. This is the quote of the episode. Please read it in your worst Southern drawl. “You don’t sleep with a man to get something unless what you want to get is pregnant.” There is really dramatic music in the background but it’s Melrose music so it’s dramatic but still heavy on the synthesizer.
Genius Rhonda brings Jane and Michael a dish of low fat fettuccine (the 90s!) and tells Michael she figured they wouldn’t be in the mood to cook. Oh, Rhonda. Wouldn’t you check before you did something like that. “Hey, I was going to bring you a pity casserole. Did you end up telling your husband about your abortion?” Rhonda means well. I will just keep reminding myself of that.She tells him that she understands.They are so young and they can have a baby later when they’re ready. Michael freaks and Rhonda runs away. There is an amazing shot of her walking up to her apartment muttering to herself and gesturing, like “damn it, Rhonda you did it again!”
Jane comes home and Michael confronts her, thinking she has already had the abortion and not told him. Jane tells him she didn’t have an abortion. She now wants the baby. Michael storms out and they finish the fight in the courtyard in front of everyone. He leaves the complex and the men follow him. They chase Michael down the street saying stuff like “Women, you know? They’ll drive you bonkers!” Matt awesomely says, “Men aren’t any better!” I love Matt. I do want to give this show credit for having a grounded, non-stereotypical gay character in 1992. They are not trying to make him into some gimmick. Although they could give him his own plotlines. They look like a 90’s version of Entourage here.
We then cut back to the girls. They are dangling their feet in the pool while they eat the fettuccine and girl talk. Rhonda says she is sorry and that she wishes she had never learned how to boil water. Rhonda, how many marriages have you ruined with pasta?
The boys are drinking at the bar and Michael is rattling on. When he finally brings up the pregnancy all the dudes are like, “What baby?” Then they all congratulate him like everything is fine and apparently it now is. Michael just needed a beer and his bros. Now he is excited to go home and talk to Jane.
They decide they both really want the baby and hug, Jane apologizes for not thinking she could talk to him. And they start laughing and calling each other Mom and Dad. Gross.
Billy reads Allison his story. He discovers that life is the adventure, not risking death. Is this a column for Readers Digest?
I can’t see his tiny baby computer without laughing hysterically. Was this a thing? I have no recollection of these adorable machines. Billy narrates what he is typing out loud as all writers do. He talks about Michael becoming a dad and how cool life is then he says “Move over Doogie Howser!” This is confusing. I remember Doogie Howser typing diary entries but Billy is writing a column for publication. He is either comparing his professional writing to a teenager’s diary, making a meta nod to the fact that he is typing on a television show, or he thinks Michael’s baby will be a tiny doctor because Michael is a doctor.
I can’t wait for Sydney and Amanda to get here. The show needs them.