In a Word: Melrose Place blows up, but the fallout is only the beginning of another explosive season.
The Action: Half the apartment complex is destroyed by Kimberly's bombs. Poor MacKenzie, who was only there to confront Jane and Richard about their tryst, dies. Billy saves Alison, but she's blinded by the explosion. Peter pulls Kimberly out of the pool, and she's hauled off to the psych ward. When Peter and Michael start a private practice, they hire Syd as their receptionist. Michael pretends to be back with Syd in hopes of sending Kimberly permanently around the bend. Later, Peter tells Syd he feels for Kimberly because she reminds him of his dead sister, who was also insane. Eventually we find out that the guy Kimberly saw in the mirror last season is this creep Henry, who she killed when she was eight years old because he tried to rape her mother. Kimberly is released into Peter's care. Syd and Michael find a Henry look-alike, this waiter named Mark Paul, to make Kimberly lose it forever. Kimberly may be nuts, but she's not stupid: She figures out what they're up to and turns the tables on them.
Meanwhile, Matt's folks put up his bail, so he finds Paul at the hospital and gets into a fistfight with him. Later, Matt goes to Paul's house to confront him and is nearly shot by Paul. Matt's lawyer, Alycia, shows up with the cops. After a shootout, Paul dies, but at least he confesses that he's the one who killed his wife. Matt still gets fired by homophobic Dr. Hobbs. When the doc makes a slur about Matt to Michael, Michael tells Matt to sue for wrongful firing. Matt wins the case, and Matt's dad encourages him to go to med school. Matt's dad dies, so Matt takes the medical boards. He doesn't quite pass, but Michael fixes his scores. Later, Matt takes up with an actor named Alan, who gets weird about going public with Matt. His show's producers decide Alan should marry his on-screen love interest, so Alan's parents buy the fake happy couple a house. Matt walks out of the wedding, and Alan doesn't go after him. Then Alan outs himself to a tabloid, but Matt and Alan don't get back together. Instead, later on, Matt accidentally gets spinal meningitis. But he gets better. Then he falls behind in med school and gets hooked on the speed he's using to catch up on his studies.
Jess dies in that high-rise battle with Jake from last season, so Jake feels rotten and takes it out on Jo. He starts drinking a lot. After Matt uses his fist to persuade Jake that he should be nicer to Jo, Jake gets back with her. But then Jess's ex-wife, Shelly, shows up, so Jake gives her a job and lets her stay at his place. Jo has a bad feeling about this. (She's right — Shelly eventually steals money from Shooters and skips town.) Jo gets caught in the middle when she finds out that, although Jane plans to marry Richard, she doesn't love him. Jane's angry when Jo spills the beans. And Jo's insulted when Richard tries to hook up with her during a Hawaii photo shoot. Jane lies to Jake that Jo's messing around with Richard. But Jo comes home and finds Jake lip-locked with Shelly, so she says screw it and goes back to Hawaii to sleep with Richard.
Amanda invites blind Alison back to D&D. Alison gets her sight back but keeps it a secret so Brooke will still let Billy visit. Later, Hayley tries to get Alison to help him break up Billy and Brooke. She won't, but she will have dinner with him — and later on move in with him. Hayley proposes. Alison still holds out hope for her and Billy, but then Brooke says she's pregnant, so Alison marries Hayley. He and Alison decide to sail away to Mexico, but Hayley falls overboard and drowns. Alison finds out Hayley had secretly divorced her a week earlier and left most of his money to Brooke's unborn baby. So guess what Alison does? She starts drinking again. It's not good for her job (or her looks), but Billy covers for her with Brooke by saying he slept with Alison when he didn't! That's OK, because Brooke finds out she's not really pregnant, but doesn't tell Billy. She pretends she had a miscarriage and asks Billy to get her pregnant again. But the jig is up — Brooke only wants a baby so she can get Hayley's money — and Billy says it's over. So Brooke tries to kill herself. After that, it's just a downward spiral into humiliation, homelessness, and firing. Finally, she gets drunk and confronts Billy at the complex, then falls into the pool alone and drowns.
Before she dies, Brooke unearths Amanda's past life in Miami. She makes contact with Amanda's husband, Jack, who thought Amanda was dead. Jack shows up in L.A., acting like all he wants is a divorce, so he can marry his current fiancee. But Amanda tells Billy Jack used to beat her, and she faked her own death to get away from him. Sure enough, Jack has no fiancee — it was a lie to get his hooks back into Amanda. He scuffles with her, falls down the stairs, and ends up in a coma. Peter helps Amanda out of this jam, and she gets drunk and sleeps with him. Later, at the hospital, Jack acts like he's sorry but then tries to strangle Amanda. She smacks him, and his respirator comes out. Syd sees the whole thing, so when Jack dies, she tries to blackmail Amanda and Peter. But they soon figure out that Syd wants Michael even more than she wants money. Amanda installs Syd at the beach house and rents an apartment to Kimberly, who's now a talk-show host.
Jack's brother Bobby shows up in L.A., ordered by his dad to kill Amanda. But it turns out that Bobby was Amanda's first love, and he actually wants to protect her from his horrible family. Peter is quite annoyed. A lot goes on with this Bobby-Amanda thing. Peter takes up with Bobby's lawyer (Alycia again) to work the angles against Bobby. Bobby's dad, Vince, arrives, furious that Bobby didn't kill Amanda. He gets over it and sells his shares in Bobby's cable company, causing business problems for Bobby, who gets even more tangled up in Peter's scheming. Eventually, Amanda rejects Bobby, and Alycia ends up taking over Bobby's company. Bobby doesn't want it back anyway — he gets a job as a mechanic. But when he finds out that Peter and Alycia set him up, he attacks Alycia. During the fight, Bobby falls from a high-rise and dies. Later, Alycia crashes into a semi and dies too. Peter's left holding the bag for Bobby's murder.
Jane dates Michael to make Richard jealous. Jealous Syd spikes Jane's drink with tranquilizers, and Jane has a stroke that leaves her paralyzed on one side. Syd needs to frame somebody for this crime, so she plants pills in Richard's desk. Jo finds them but can't believe Richard drugged Jane. Syd, who's caring for Jane to throw off suspicion, leaves Jane on the beach to have dinner with Michael. Jake saves Jane from drowning. Michael tosses Syd out after learning that Syd drugged her sister. Jane gets better, and a lot of stuff happens as she takes up with Jake and engages in design wars with Richard, while Richard tries to break up Jake and Jane. Then Richard rapes Jane while on a business trip, and Jake tries to kill him. But Alison stops Jake. Jane can't press charges because there's no evidence, so she pretends it's no hard feelings and keeps doing business with Richard. (She also plans to buy a boutique that this chick Samantha tells her is up for sale, giving Sam a job and an apartment for the inside scoop on the property.) Jane's really planning revenge, but Richard is way too smug to see that. Jane finds out that Syd is the one who drugged her, so she gets Syd to help her kill Richard. But the murder doesn't go as planned. They bury Richard, but he's not dead, and you just KNOW that's going to be a problem next season.
Jo meets a doctor named Dominick, who plans to go to Bosnia on a relief mission. He also proposes to her. Jo has some soul-searching to do.
Billy is haunted by Brooke, literally, and turns into a ruthless bastard at the ad agency. Then he makes a heartfelt speech about how he sold his soul for success, and he's an even bigger hit. Amanda sleeps with him, and Alison quits her job and starts working at Shooters. But Amanda's only using Billy for her career. She's really still into Peter. Billy wants to get back with Alison, and Jake even tries to talk her into getting back with Billy. But instead, Jake and Alison end up sleeping together.
Kimberly gets into trouble when a crazy guy named Vic takes her prisoner. She manages to get the drop on him and drags him to the police station. Then she decides to become a psychiatrist. Vic gets out and kidnaps her again, but Michael rescues her from a fiery death (does that make them even yet?). M&K decide to renew their wedding vows. Later, Kimberly starts getting migraines — and then she develops multiple personalities! Betsy is an uptight homemaker type, while Rita is a freewheeling biker. Neither one is sane, unfortunately for everyone. Kimberly tries to hold it together, but Betsy takes over and whacks Michael on the head. Then Kimberly/Betsy puts Peter in a mental hospital. He tries to escape, is foiled, and nearly gets a lobotomy. Michael and Amanda rescue him, but then Kimberly falls from a platform and winds up in a coma. So there goes Peter's alibi for Bobby's murder. Amanda marries Peter in jail so she won't have to testify against him. Then the cops tell her Peter's not who he says he is.
Our Take: All that stuff with Amanda's gangster husband and his brother seemed like a lot of yelling and gunplay for not much payoff. But we're loving the crazy Syd/Jane sister act. Those two sure bring out the worst in each other.
Your Take: Was Jane wrong to try to kill Richard? Or should she have done a better job?