Seasons of Melrose Place
Seasons of Melrose Place, an American soap opera which aired for seven seasons from 1992 to 1999. In 2004, the network SOAPnet began repeating the series. The complete series has been released on DVD.
Season One: 1992-1993
During the first season, the show was a relatively earnest serial drama with low-key storylines, and focused on how young people come to Los Angeles to realize their dreams.
The series was introduced with a cross-over story from Beverly Hills, 90210 involving Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) pursuing Melrose Place resident Jake Hanson (Grant Show), a struggling manual laborer and bad-boy biker. Jake appeared in the last two episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 of the second season, and Kelly appeared in the first three episodes of Melrose Place; Jake eventually breaks off the potential romance because of both the age disparity and his inability to commit to her. Tori Spelling also appeared in the first two episodes of Melrose Place as her Beverly Hills, 90210 character Donna Martin, and Brian Austin Green also appeared in the first three episodes as David Silver, as did Ian Ziering as Steve Sanders.
Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro) and Jane Mancini (Josie Bissett) were originally the stable couple in the apartment building, with Michael working as the building superintendent, and a sympathetic and respected doctor at Wilshire Memorial Hospital, and Jane working as a budding fashion designer. Their neighbors were roommates Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith) and Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue). Alison was a receptionist at D&D Advertising, a local advertising firm, and Billy a struggling writer who made ends meet, working as a dance teacher, taxi driver, writer for a local newspaper, and furniture salesman before landing a permanent writing post at Escapade magazine towards the end of season 1. Alison and Billy later began a love affair. Matt Fielding (Doug Savant), was a gay social worker who had no love life during the first season and his only notable storyline in the first season was a sexual discrimination lawsuit he filed against his employer at the Halfway House, where he volunteered.
Other original cast members were Rhonda Blair (Vanessa A. Williams), an aerobics instructor, and her roommate, the blonde, budding Southern belle starlet Sandy Louise Harling (Amy Locane), who moonlighted as a waitress at a bar called Shooters which served as the group's hang-out place. The latter was written out after 13 episodes when the powers-that-be decided they were not interested in having to continually address her acting pursuits. Rhonda was removed after the first season when she got engaged to a wealthy restaurant entrepreneur named Terrence Haggard (John Marshall Jones).
Early in the show's run, photographer Jo Reynolds (Daphne Zuniga) arrived from New York to escape her alcoholic ex-husband. The tough Jo was compatible with Jake, and the two would enjoy an on-again, off-again romance, remaining close throughout whether they are romantically involved at the time or not.
Producers were faced with mediocre ratings and attempted to revamp the series during the first season. This came in the form of the first-season arrival of Dynasty and T.J. Hooker alumna Heather Locklear as the opinionated, merciless and assertive Amanda Woodward, who worked as the ambitious art director at D&D Advertising and became Alison's confidante after she received a promotion. Initially intended as a high-profile guest, Locklear was retained on the series on a permanent basis but kept her "Special Guest Star" billing throughout the show's entire run. Amanda soon vied with Alison for Billy's affections and became vice-president for D&D Advertising, and had affairs with several male residents. Her catty one-liners, and sexy "power dressing" wardrobe helped to make Melrose a guilty pleasure for many millions of viewers around the world. The show became less of an episodic series, and more of a soap opera with ongoing, interwoven, dark stories, beginning with Michael Mancini's love affair with his lonely, but devious, co-worker Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross) and Alison's affair with a married man who she fell in love with but ended the relationship, who then eventually stalks her beginning in the season one finale. The first season came to a close with Alison and Billy coming together as a couple, Michael and Jane splitting up when Jane finally discovered his infidelity with Kimberly, and the discovery that Amanda miscarried Billy's baby and has purchased the apartment complex, brought on by the love triangle between her, Billy and Alison.
Season Two: 1993-1994
As the second season began, Jane divorced Michael, who would later get engaged to Kimberly, and then had a fling with Jane's immature and irresponsible younger sister Sydney (Laura Leighton). Sydney was presented as somewhat a chaotic schemer, often outwitted and double-crossed by others, forcing her into ill-advised jobs such as a prostitute, and later, a stripper. While working at Shooters as a waitress, Sydney was introduced by a co-worker to Lauren Ethridge (Kristian Alfonso), a notorious Hollywood madam who recruited Sydney into her call girl ring. Uncomfortable with the work, Sydney quit but soon got arrested for solicitation. Michael bailed her out of jail and used this damaging information to blackmail Sydney to break up Jane and her latest love interest, her divorce lawyer Robert Wilson (Steven Eckholdt).
The sordid and mean-spirited storylines began to heat up when a drunken Michael crashed his car, sending him and Kimberly tumbling down a ravine. Kimberly's angry, grieving mother sent word that her critically injured daughter died in a medical facility in Ohio. Michael eluded potential manslaughter charges when Matt faked Michael's blood alcohol test results at the hospital. Sydney used this information to blackmail Michael into marrying her, despite her sister Jane's protests, which led to a catfight in the Melrose Place pool as Jane discovers Sydney stealing the family wedding dress. Sydney's plans for blackmailing Michael were foiled when Kimberly later reappeared, alive and well, revealing that her mother lied to keep Michael away. Kimberly returned as a more ruthless, unstable individual, with her sanity negatively affected by brain surgery and her accident. She reclaimed Michael as her own, and ultimately revealed her desire to take vengeance on him by killing him. In one of the series' most famous moments, Kimberly removes her wig in front of a mirror to present a gruesome scar left from the drunken car accident.
Later in the series, Sydney took over Lauren Ethridge's call girl ring when Lauren was in jail facing criminal charges. When Lauren was released, she ousted Sydney and demanded all of the profits from her escort service while she was incarcerated. Sydney was forced to take a job as a stripper to get the money, and later as a street prostitute, to pay off Lauren. Sydney was attacked and beaten up on the street by some low-life streetwalkers and ended up in the hospital, where the scheming and manipulative Kimberly recruited her in part of her scheme to kill Michael, whom she blamed for the car accident that left her physically and emotionally disfigured.
Early in the season, Matt lost his job when the halfway house he worked in closed down. Michael then arranged for Matt to work in the hospital, Wilshire Memorial, in social services. There Matt met and befriended a Russian immigrant doctor named Katya Petrova (Beata Pozniak). Katya showed a romantic interest in Matt at first, but Matt didn't reciprocate her feelings. Matt told Katya that he was gay and the two became close friends, and when Katya was in danger of being deported Matt offered to marry her. She saw better opportunity for her five-year-old daughter Nikki (Mara Wilson) in America and if Matt married Katya, she and her daughter could remain in America. Matt agreed to the deal, but found that his "marriage" to a woman hindered his love life. When Katya travelled back to Russia to visit her family, she decided to stay and had her daughter sent back to her, thus freeing an emotional Matt from their arrangement. Later in the season, Matt became romantically involved with Jeffrey Lindley (Jason Beghe), a closeted U.S. Navy officer whose choice to remain private did not suit well with Matt, who was honest about his sexuality. Matt persuaded Jeffrey to "come out" about his sexual orientation, and soon regretted it when Jeffrey was dismissed from the service and left town shortly thereafter because of it.
Jake purchased a struggling motorcycle repair shop, which soon burned down in a fire that was accidentally started by Amanda. Jake never found out that Amanda was indirectly responsible for the fire, but the outcome saw him ending his romance with Jo as the business end of their relationship soured the romantic end. Jake then became romantically involved with Amanda and she had her father, Palmer Woodward (Wayne Tippit), offer Jake a job as a mechanic. Jake soon discovered that Palmer was involved in a scam of selling reproduced cars as originals and was forced by the FBI to help in their arrest of Palmer.
Jo became romantically involved with the supposedly innocent ex-con and former high school flame Reed Carter (James Wilder), who worked on boats where he secretly smuggled drugs. Jo's discovery of his stash led Reed to kidnap and torture her on the boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Jo killed Reed for revenge and later learned that she was pregnant with his child.
As for Alison and Billy, their romance through the season had various ups and downs. Alison met and had a relationship with Steve McMillian (Parker Stevenson), a charming entrepreneur who became a new client at D&D Advertising after Amanda became the senior vice-president of the company. Alison tried to set up Jo with Steve to keep her interest in Steve suppressed, but found it hard to keep her romantic feelings for him to herself. Eventually, Steve left town for a job in Europe, and Alison and Billy reconciled. In the meantime, Billy had risen through the ranks of the Escapade magazine company he worked for and took a job in New York, which put further strain on his relationship with Alison but he returned to Los Angeles to propose to Alison.
Late in the season, while dealing with her difficult romance with Jake and struggling to run D&D Advertising under her aggressive and mean-spirited attitude, Amanda had an uncomfortable reunion with her long-estranged mother Hilary Michaels (Linda Gray), who was the CEO of a top-line modeling agency called Models Incorporated (which would lead into the spin-off series Models Inc.). Jo became acquainted with one of the models from Hilary’s company, named Sarah Owens (Cassidy Rae), whom she helped get out of an abusive relationship. Hilary asked Amanda to employ her charming (but very scheming) fiancé Chas (Jeff Kaake) at D&D. He made sexual advances against Amanda which resulted in her firing him. Making it look like Amanda had taken advantage of him, Chas used his dismissal to file a lawsuit against Amanda and her company. Hilary finally learned the truth about Chas' intentions and made the judge at the trial aware of her discovery - effectively ending the case in Amanda's favour - but the latter could not forgive her mother, and Hilary left to begin a spin-off to Melrose - Models Inc.
Alison and Billy got engaged and planned a wedding set in the building's courtyard. On the day of her wedding, however, as Alison's father was hugging her she experienced flashbacks from her childhood and realised that her nightmares of being chased were in fact memories of her father molesting her as a child. Alison fled through a window shortly before the ceremony and ran away from the wedding—and Billy—and made her way to San Francisco to see her sister, Meredith, who was also abused by their father. The season wrapped up with the psychotic Kimberly, wearing a short blonde wig, running Michael down with Jane's car and Jane getting arrested for the crime.
Season Three: 1994-1995
By the start of the high-octane third season, the series became even more dark and downbeat with more mean-spirited storylines and cynical characters. Skepticism, greed, jealousy, mistrust, extortion, infidelity, and betrayal among others became the common theme for all the stories, plus every new character that is introduced turned out to be a psychotic villain of some sort, which further increased the number of viewers as Melrose Place became a dark 'guilty pleasure' with all of its characters being either villains or victims.
In the season opener, Jane first, and then Sydney, are blamed for Michael's hit and run accident, which has left him with amnesia and Kimberly, the real culprit, completely getting away with the crime. Though Michael eventually regains his memory and realizes Kimberly was his attempted killer, the pair reconcile and soon marry in an impulsive Las Vegas wedding.
The pregnant Jo gets embroiled in a custody battle with Reed's cold and vindictive parents, who want to take their grandchild away from the woman who "murdered" their son. Kimberly appears to help Jo conspire to fake the baby's death so that Jo can escape and live in anonymity with her child; but, having recently learned that she is unable to bear children of her own, Kimberly actually steals the baby from Jo and starts to raise him herself. Once Jo reports them to Wilshire Hospital's chief of staff, the ruthless and conniving Dr. Peter Burns (Jack Wagner), Michael relents and returns the child. Enraged, Kimberly informs the Carters (Reed's parents) that Jo's baby is alive, and the Carters hire a nanny to steal the baby from Jo. After tracking them down and getting shot in the back for her troubles, Jo ultimately decides to give her son up for adoption.
Matt continued working at social services at Wilshire Hospital. He briefly got back together with his former lover, Jeffrey Lindley, who revealed to him that he was discharged from the U.S. Navy when he discovered that he was HIV-positive. Matt soon become uncomfortable with Jeffrey wanting to live the rest of life as fully as he could, and they broke up midway through the season. Later in the season, Matt became involved with a doctor, Paul Graham (David Beecroft), the new plastic surgeon at the hospital who is in the closet... and still married to a woman. But in the shocking season final, Paul ends up murdering his wife and meticulously set Matt up as the perpetrator.
In this season, Sydney transformed from being a seductive and crafty vixen into a victim to which one bad incident after another happened. She never was able to exonerate herself for the attempt on Michael's life at the end of Season 2, and everyone treats her with hostility and suspicion for the duration of the series. After being sent first to prison, and then to a mental hospital by Jane, who mistakenly believed that Sydney was insane, she got released by Jane in a work release program under her. But Sydney ended up gaining the unwanted attention of Chris Marchette, an Australian businessman associated with Jane. Chris was also a pervert and a sociopath who made sexual passes at Sydney, even assaulting her at Shooters one night, and always denied any of his wrongdoing to Jane and everyone else. Chris eventually embezzled most of Jane's business money and fled the country after squandering all the money by gambling in Las Vegas with Sydney as his hostage.
Sydney returned to work as a waitress at Shooters, where she grew closer to Jake. However, their relationship disintegrated when Jake discovered that Sydney had slept with Chris even though she only did so to protect him from an attack perpetrated by one of Chris' posse of thugs. Sydney's bad luck continued when she advertised for a roommate to help pay her rent, and a young woman named Rikki (Traci Lords) moved in. Rikki, however, turned out to be another conniving sociopath who manipulated the Melrose gang into thinking Sydney was destroying their belongings and possessions and encouraged Sydney to join a cult led by Martin Abbott (Remy Zada). As Sydney realized the twisted nature of the cult, she asked to leave but was kidnapped and eventually freed by Jane and Jake. Frustrated by the emerging romance between the latter two, Sydney reverted to her scheming ways by successfully breaking the two up. Shortly afterward, Sydney got back at both Michael and Kimberly by extorting money from them over their marital difficulties and used it to take control of Jane's design business. Jane played Sydney at her own game, however, successfully ousted her from the business in a crafty scam of her own. But as season three drew to a close, Jane's business went into foreclosure, leading her to her next career move - MacKenzie Hart Designs, where she quickly became involved with co-owner Richard Hart (Patrick Muldoon).
Jake bought the late Reed Carter's boat, only to have it destroyed when Amanda's fugitive father, Palmer, returned plotting to murder him for losing his business, and hiring a contract killer named Brittany (Kathy Ireland) to do the deed. However, Brittany had her own plan - to kill Palmer and escape with all of Palmer's money for herself and Jake. When the latter declined, Brittany exploded the boat, seemingly killing Jake. However, in the following episode it was revealed that Jake jumped overboard realizing the plan and was later rescued at sea. Jake's next venture was buying the local hangout, Shooters, with the $50,000 the FBI awarded him for helping them in the Palmer Woodward case which apparently led to the off-screen arrest of Brittany and recovery of Palmer's ill-gotten money.
Late in the season, Jake reconciles with Jo shortly before reuniting with his auto mechanic half-brother, Jess (Dan Cortese), when their mother died in his Washington state home town. Jess followed Jake back to Los Angeles, and immediately set out to infiltrate Jake's life, first by getting involved with Jo and setting Jake up to get shot in an armed robbery at Shooters so Jess could take over Jake's business for himself. Although Jo did not initially believe Jake's assertion that Jess arranged the shooting, when she herself questioned Jess about how he could afford to buy an engagement ring and propose to her, Jess reacted violently which led to the two brothers fighting and falling off the edge of a construction site in the season three cliffhanger.
Alison's reluctance to marry Billy after the revelation about her father led to Billy ending the relationship while Alison descended into alcoholism. Displaying his care for Alison, Billy arranged for her to go to rehab after her alcoholism descended to shocking levels. Billy also started working at D&D during the third season as a copywriter. Amanda got involved with Wilshire Memorial chief of staff Peter Burns, who helped Amanda take over D&D by buying up stock shares which resulted in the President of D&D Bruce Teller (Stanley Kamel) being ousted and committing suicide, which led to Amanda taking his place. But then, Peter secretly conspired to take down Amanda as President of D&D so his old girlfriend, Caitlin, (Jasmine Guy) could take her place. He even went as far as to attempt to kill Amanda on the operating table in a fake appendicitis attack until Michael came to her rescue and Peter got arrested.
Amanda later discovered that she was suffering from lymphoma, causing her to lose her job as president of D&D, with Alison serving as her eager replacement. But Alison, unable to cope with this sudden change of career move, couldn't cope with the workload and became a villain herself when she developed the same aggressive, take-no-prisoners, assertive attitude which she resented in Amanda. Michael began to fall for Amanda while serving as her doctor and they had a brief affair—enraging the increasingly unstable Kimberly. Amanda rejected Michael's advances once her health was restored, and she puts her energies back into reclaiming her status at D&D, teaming up with upstart and conniving intern Brooke Armstrong (Kristin Davis) to overthrow the overwhelmed Alison as president. Brooke got involved with Billy and got Alison out of the way in a ruse that sent her off to a job in Hong Kong. After helping Amanda oust Alison from D&D, Brooke (not surprisingly) began plotting to oust Amanda too so Brooke could take over D&D all for herself. Brooke marries Billy in the season finale, despite Alison's interrupting the ceremony to beg Billy for another chance.
Kimberly, after being served with divorce papers, plotted revenge against Michael once again first by setting him up for assaulting her. Michael is bailed out of prison by Peter Burns, (having served a short jail sentence for the attempt on Amanda's life) who needed Michael's and Kimberly's help in testifying to the medical board in the Amanda debacle in order for him to keep his medical license. Peter seduced Kimberly into a romance to get her to take his side. Once the medical board lets Peter go, his real motives become apparent to Kimberly, finally pushing her over the edge and, pushed by demonic visions in her mind, plants four fire bombs in the apartment complex in a thrilling third-season cliffhanger to destroy the whole apartment building and everyone in it. Note: due to the Oklahoma City bombing that occurred April 1995, one month before the May cliffhanger, the actual bombing did not take place onscreen (in America) until the beginning of season four.
Season Four: 1995-1996
Picking up where Season Three left off, Kimberly sets off a horrendous and spectacular series of explosions that destroy half the Melrose apartment complex. Jane's potential new boss and Richard Hart's wife is killed and Alison temporarily loses her eyesight. In this season, Peter and Michael got together to form their own private practice, called Mancini-Burns, at Wilshire Hospital Offices.
Jess died in the fall at the construction site, leaving Jake plagued with guilt. Jake later met and shacked up with Shelly Hanson (Hudson Leick), Jess' ex-wife who arrived in town for Jess' funeral, and Jake gave Shelly a job at Shooters. But as expected, Shelly (just like Jess before) had an agenda and plotted to steal all of Jake's money and ruin him financially as revenge for what she saw as Jake killing her ex-husband. Shelly's scheme almost worked until Jake wised up to her and after she attempted to murder him, he subdued her and was arrested.
Matt eventually was exonerated in Paul's wife's murder when Paul confessed to the crime before dying after being shot by the police. But Matt lost his job because of the legal incident in which Michael approached Matt and persuaded him to sue his former boss, Calvin Hobbs (Francis McCarthy), the Wilshire chief-of-staff who took over back in Season Three as Peter's replacement. With the help of a gay/lesbian defense league, Matt went through and won the lawsuit, as well as a large sum of money. Matt later used that money in his settlement to enroll in medical school and took another job back at Wilshire Hospital as an intern.
Kimberly was declared insane by the courts for the bombing and locked away in a lunatic asylum. Peter takes special care for her, revealing to Sydney that his concern stems from memories of his now-deceased sister who suffered similar mental problems. Kimberly reveals that she is being coaxed into violent and murderous actions by visions of a man named Henry, and Kimberly's mother admits that Henry was once their family's gardener whom Kimberly, then a child, stabbed to death when she walked in on him trying to rape her mother. Kimberly is released into Peter's protective custody, but becomes lonely when he starts devoting his time to rekindling his romance with Amanda.
Alison eventually regained her eyesight, got her old job back at D&D Advertising, and got involved with and married Brooke's father Hayley (Perry King), and soon both Brooke and Hayley interfered with each other's marriages. Hayley eventually discovered he is financially ruined and, during a trip with Alison, he drowns after falling from his yacht while he was drunk. Brooke and Billy's marriage is rocky from the start due to her jealousy and her cruelty over Alison, and Billy threatens to leave her when he discovers she lied about a pregnancy and miscarriage. They reconcile when Brooke attempts suicide, but Billy leaves again for good, when he cannot put up with Brooke's manic and mischievous behavior any longer. Brooke dies after accidentally falling drunken in the Melrose Place pool, her head falls on a rock and she drowns unconscious in the water. Billy is haunted by her death and tries to keep her "memory" alive by emulating her personality in his work life, becoming ruthless, malevolent and vindictive.
Amanda reveals she faked her own death years ago in Miami to escape her violent husband Jack Parezi (Antonio Sabato Jr.), a businessman with Mafia connections, who now tracks her down in L.A. and dies in an accident after trying to reclaim Amanda as his. Shortly after, Amanda is reunited with her long-lost first love, Jack's brother Bobby (John Enos III), and dumps Peter for him. Peter soon gets involved with Alycia Barnett (Anne-Marie Johnson), who had been Matt's lawyer in the Paul situation, and the two also conspired to ruin Bobby so that Alycia could take control of Bobby's TV cable company empire and, secretly, so Peter could win Amanda back. Bobby discovers the duplicity and, when attacking Alycia at Peter's office, she accidentally knocks him out of the high-rise window to his death. Peter got arrested for the crime, and the real killer, Alycia, died when her car violently collides a truck while she tried to leave town.
Kimberly and Michael reconcile and remarry, but her sanity begins to break down once again and she develops multiple personality disorder, often reverting to the persona of a 1950s-era housewife named Betsy Jones, who had a tendency to become violently angry. While driving with Peter to the police station to give her statement as his alibi for the night Bobby died, Kimberly slips back into Betsy mode and kidnaps Peter and takes him to a mental institution, where she locks him up in an act of revenge for previously declaring her insane.
After breaking up with Jake, Jo got involved with Richard Hart, creating a rift between her and Jane. Jane pretended to seduce Michael to make Richard jealous, infuriating Sydney, who tried to sabotage Jane by spiking her drink with prescription pills, accidentally causing her to suffer a stroke, leaving Jane paralyzed on one side. Jake become an ally during this time, and he and Jane started a relationship as Jane recovers. But on a business trip to New York, Jane is raped by Richard, and in her anger she unexpectedly breaks up with Jake and sets out to get revenge on Richard.
As for Matt, in between medical school classes and interning at Wilshire, he met and started a romance with Alan Ross (Lonnie Schuyler), a Hollywood movie actor who was closeted. Alan's choice to remain private about their romance did not suit well with the out-and-proud Matt, especially after Alan began lying to the public about his sexual orientation since he felt that revealing his homosexuality would cause him to be blacklisted in the Hollywood film industry. Frustrated, Matt began a romance with another man named David (Rob Youngblood), who had taken Matt's old job in Social Services at Wilshire Hospital, behind Alan's back. Matt eventually broke up with Alan after he refused to come out of the closet about their romance, and Matt later broke up with David over his guilt over cheating on Alan. Afterwards, Matt began taking painkiller pills when he contracted meningitis from a patient, and as the season came to an end, he quietly became a drug addict in stealing pills out of the hospital medicine locker to cope with all the setbacks he was facing in life.
Late in the season, Jo began a relationship with one of Matt's medical school professors, Dominick O'Malley (Brad Johnson), who helped her care for an ailing Matt, and also helped Jo with one of Sydney's old school friends who was in a spousal abuse case. When Dr. O'Malley told Jo that he was going to Bosnia as part of a Doctors Without Borders program, he invited her to join him, and she agreed. And, as the season wrapped up, Amanda and Michael set out to rescue Peter from "Betsy" at the mental institution; Kimberly snaps back to reality before tumbling off a scaffolding and falling into a coma, leaving Peter once again in jail and without an alibi for Bobby's murder. Billy decided to get back together with Alison and seeks Jake's help to reunite them, but Jake and Alison develop feelings for each other instead and begin a relationship of their own.
In the season's final episode, Jane discovers that Sydney was responsible for her stroke and blackmails her into helping her murder Richard. Sydney seemingly kills Richard with a shovel and the two sisters bury his body in a field. The last scene reveals that Richard is really alive as his hand shoots out of the ground as the two sisters speed away in their car....
Season Five: 1996-1997
The fifth season seemed to have been the point where the series hit its peak. A detective reveals to Amanda, now married to Peter and incarcerated for Bobby's murder, that Peter isn't really who he claims to be. Jane and Sydney try to fight back worry of the truth being revealed of what happened to Richard. Richard rises from the grave and begins to harass and threat the two sisters, without letting them know that he's still alive. Jake and Alison begin a secret love-affair behind Billy's back. Kimberly can't remember her dinner with Peter, and his trial is only a few days away. At the same time, two new characters were introduced, Taylor McBride (Lisa Rinna) the attractive and sneaky wife of Kyle McBride (Rob Estes), a restaurant owner in Boston. Taylor learned of Peter's arrest, and traveled to Los Angeles and to Melrose in search of answers where she rented Jo's vacant apartment, and persuaded Kyle to join her and move their restaurant to L.A. Unknown to Kyle, Taylor appeared to have a secret involving Peter, and it clashes with Amanda early on who immediately suspected something about Taylor.
Richard continued to stalk Jane and Sydney while Samantha Reilly (Brooke Langton), an artist and Jane's new roommate whom she hires at her new boutique store, began to suspect something is wrong. Richard is eventually killed by a police officer after trying to shoot Jane and Sydney at a rural convenience store. The police let Jane and Sydney leave with the money Richard stole from Jane.
Kimberly began to remember the dinner and the waiter is found who waited on her and Peter. Peter is released as Taylor began to grow even more closer to him. Peter begins to drink heavily and spend time at Kyle's restaurant, Kyle's. Alison rejected Billy's proposal as Jake and Alison got closer. Billy eventually hated both of them. Jane learns of Jake and Alison relationship and begins to act out her heartache by throwing a brick through Jake and Alison's bedroom window, slashing Alison's tires, and then getting a restraining order against Jake. Meanwhile, Taylor revealed to Peter that she is Taylor Davis, the younger sister of his deceased first wife, Beth. Amanda began to lose hold of Peter as his interested for Taylor intensified.
Megan Lewis (Kelly Rutherford) is another new character who meets Michael on the beach during his morning jogs and quickly begins to have an affair with him. Michael resists at first, but eventually agrees with it as Kimberly can't have sex due to orders from her psychiatrist. Michael soon discovers that Megan is a prostitute, and he demanded to let him be the only man in her life.
Amanda met a new co-worker at work, Craig Field (David Charvet) whose father (Michael Des Barres) is Amanda's ruthless boss. Craig learned he has control of the company from his mother's will and begins to make things rough for Amanda. Eventually, Craig's father dies of a heart attack after Amanda learns that his father was involved in the murder of Craig's grandfather.
Michael finds Megan and Kimberly talking with each other and we learn that Megan and Kimberly were working together the whole time. Kimberly had hired Megan to sleep with Michael. Michael makes Megan give up being a prostitute and assures her that he will pay for her living expenses. Kimberly learns she has a terminal brain tumor and she only has three months left to live.
Jane learns she was adopted after trying to find herself after everything that happened between her and Jake and Alison. Soon Jane meets her mother, Sherri (Donna Mills). After being robbed, Jane leaves her business and apartment to Sydney and then leaves Melrose Place. Jane exits the series in Episode 15, "Escape From L.A."
Alison learns she's pregnant with Jake's baby, which leads to trouble in her life. Alison isn't even sure if she wants a baby and after a brief stint of returning to D&D, Jake and Alison hit a rough patch and Alison soon miscarries and learns that she can't ever have a baby. Despite this Alison and Jake get married.
Matt's drug use finally became public knowledge which led him to entering a rehab program and he soon began a relationship with Dr. Dan Hathaway (Greg Evigan), the openly gay rehab director. Matt and Dan's out and open romance was at first pleasant, but soon turned dark when Dan was revealed to be physically abusive and domineering, which led Matt to break up with him.
Taylor and Kyle continue to have trouble in their marriage after coming to Melrose. Kyle ends up having a one-night stand with Sydney. Sydney, still running Jane's company, has a relationship with a millionaire named Carter Gallavan (Chad Lowe) which ends after he learns of her lingering love for Kyle. Shortly afterwords, a con artist fakes an accident at Sydney's store, leaving her trying to prove the truth. After the trial, Sydney is left with nothing and becomes a con artist herself.
Michael and Kimberly divorce as she pushes him and Megan together. She tells Megan she is planning on killing herself, which leads to a car accident hurting both Kimberly and Michael. Michael survives after having a dream of Megan pulling him to heaven and Kimberly pulling him into hell. Michael promises Kimberly he will spend his final days with her and he eventually ends up having sex with her.
Billy and Samantha form a relationship after Samantha has a short relationship with Craig. She and Billy eventually move in together and seem to be on the right track towards marriage until Samantha's convict father shows up, who has escaped from prison.
Jake reunites with, and begins to spend more time with his son and ex-girlfriend after her husband left them. Alison sees that what Jake really needs is a family, something that she is unable to provide. Alison fakes returning to alcohol so Jake could leave her. Jake is reunited with his son, and Alison leaves Melrose Place alone (subsequently exiting the series), heading for Atlanta, while Jake (also exiting the series) sells the bar Shooters, and moves upstate to Ojai to live with his former girlfriend and their son.
Peter eventually ends up sleeping with Taylor and they start having an affair. Kyle and Amanda learn of the affair and they both file for divorce. Peter begins to make Taylor look and act like his dead wife. Taylor starts to get upset and doesn't think she can take it anymore.
Samantha's father demands money from Billy and Sam and goes out on the run. The police tap Sam and Billy's phone to learn what happened to her father.
Michael and Megan finally got married, making this his fourth marriage of the series.
Michael and Taylor drugged Peter to convince him he has rage epilepsy. Michael cheats Peter out of Chief of Staff position by tricking Peter into signing a contract. Peter soon learns the truth and throws Michael through a window, cutting up Michael's surgeon hands, and then he attempts to push Taylor off a lighthouse until she reveals to him that she's pregnant in the literal cliff-hanging final episode.
Sydney's job as a con-artist heats up when she plots to take down Amanda. Sydney falls down the spiral staircase and fakes injuries during a party at D&D. Craig fakes concern for Sydney to save D&D from a lawsuit, but a real relationship soon develops.
Kimberly's brain tumor goes into remission and attempts a plot to break up Michael and Megan, but soon dies (exiting the series) of an aneurysm crisis in her mother's arms. Amanda loses her grip on D&D after Craig and Sydney launch a new ad business. Craig proposes to Sydney and she accepts.
Midway through the season, Michael's younger sister, Jennifer (Alyssa Milano), showed up and began to cause trouble not only between Michael and Megan, but everyone else. Jennifer was revealed to be the young woman that Kyle had an affair with in Boston a few years earlier, and she soon tried to break up Kyle's marriage to Taylor, and later, his growing romance with Amanda.
Late in the season, Matt's rebellious teenage niece, Chelsea (Katie Wright), moved in with him after the death of her father. But Chelsea's estranged mother, Denise (Nancy Lee Grahn), arrived in town wanting custody which led to another courtroom case. After a courtroom battle, Matt finally gained custody of his niece.
In the final episode of the season, Sydney and Craig got married, while Kyle left in the middle of the wedding to find Amanda who is planning on moving to New York to start over. Amanda and Kyle get together and begin to make love. While working as a grocery store cashier, Samantha is taken hostage by her father and ended up in a high speed chase with the police.
Meanwhile, Craig and Sydney's wedding ends out in front of a church, while Samantha and her father have a car accident from the police chase. They crash through a nearby bus stop and mowed Sydney down, leaving Craig crying over Sydney's bloody corpse. Sydney's exit from the show marked the third major exit in that one very episode, and fifth in the season.
Season Six: 1997-1998
By the start of the sixth season, there were signs that the series was beginning to falter as the ratings steadily dropped and long-term fans watched less and less as people felt that each season was pretty much repeating itself because all of the melodramatic and mean-spirited dark storylines were becoming increasingly absurd and tiresome with its characters getting away time and time again with lying, cheating, stealing, extortion, betrayal, infidelity, and even murder. Several of the same plotlines from previous seasons were used; friends betraying friends, spouses being unfaithful with each other, crooks stealing from other crooks, murderers killing other murderers and getting away with it, etc. New viewers quickly turned away as most felt little or no interest in watching a TV series in which all the characters are nothing but villains. During most of the first half of the season, Heather Locklear's real-life pregnancy was hidden from the viewers with most of Amanda's scenes showing her only from the chest up or hidden by set props in front of her.
Picking up the day after Sydney's death, Craig blames Samantha and holds her responsible, but later apologizes to her. After Michael's recommendation, Matt gets offered a new job working for an AIDS clinic and moves to San Francisco with his niece Chelsea. Prior to leaving, Matt remarks that he wanted to say goodbye to everyone but "nobody's home". Matt exits the series in the first episode of the season, marking the fourth major exit from the show in just two episodes.
Two new characters are introduced to revive the series: the violent-tempered and vindictive Dr. Brett 'Coop' Cooper (Linden Ashby) and his seductive ex-wife, a rich snobby heiress named Lexi Sterling (Jamie Luner). The focal point of the season is the troubled relationship between Kyle and Amanda, who returns to her nasty ways after creating her own advertising agency, Amanda Woodward Advertising. With Jake Hanson gone after selling his bar Shooters, Kyle, with Amanda's financial backing, opened up a new bar called the Upstairs Jazz Club, which quickly became the group's new hangout place. Amanda and Kyle's ex-wife, Taylor, continued to remain bitter enemies throughout the season as both of them maliciously attempted to cause serious mental and physical harm to one another over their feelings for Kyle.
Having gotten romantically together with Amanda both personally and professionally, Kyle ignores warnings from Jennifer, Michael, and even Taylor that Amanda is not trustworthy and incapable of passionate feelings. When the sixth season begins, one of Amanda's old mentors from an advertising agency in New York, named Eric Baines (Jeffrey Nordling), arrives in Los Angeles for a visit and instead of being friendly, he used bribery, intimidation and trickery (as with the case of all of the series characters) to try to shut down Amanda's new advertising agency in an effort to blackmail her into having sex with him. When Amanda refused, Eric then went after both of Kyle's businesses by purchasing the building housing both the restaurant and the jazz club to shut them down, rescinding only if Amanda will have one night of sex with him. Concerned for Kyle's well being, Amanda decided to accept Eric's proposal, but as is her wont, she kept Eric's indecent proposal a secret. When Kyle found out, he angrily attacked Eric in his hotel suite just when Amanda was planning their night, and threatened him with death unless he backed away. Eric then signed back ownership of the agency, restaurant and jazz club to them and left town shortly thereafter thus saving Kyle and Amanda's businesses. But Kyle became furious with Amanda that she not only kept Eric proposition her to herself, but she seriously considered going through with it.
Meanwhile, Jennifer tries to establish a love affair with Craig, but he doesn't seem really interested in starting a new love story after the tragic death of Sydney. Jennifer is finally resolved to give up with Craig but he reconsiders and accepts to date her but Craig make it clear that their relationship will only be focused on sex and nothing else. Later, Craig enters a business partnership with Michael over an invention involving a mechanical surgical glove... an idea which Michael steals from Cooper and claims as his own. Not surprisingly, Michael betrays Craig by using Jennifer to break up with him so Michael could cut Craig off as partner because, out of his insatiable greed, Michael wants to keep all the profits from the sale of the surgical glove, the so-called "Mancini Glove" for himself, and exclude Jennifer from it as well.
Later on, Craig attacks Jennifer after Michael ruins him, but she is aided by Billy in a fight for her life after Billy successfully destroys Craig's new advertising company. Craig escapes, steals Jennifer's car, and kills himself, unable to live with the grief of losing Sydney.
Peter ended his romance with Taylor after learning that she cooperated with Michael, in the previous season, to trick him into thinking he had a type of rare epilepsy to unseat him at chief of staff at Wilshire Hospital. Afterwards, Taylor tried to win back Kyle by playing on his insecurity and his unstable relationship with Amanda, but most of her ploys were thwarted time and time again. One of the most outlandish plots was when Taylor pretended that she was pregnant with Kyle's baby from a brief tryst during his troubled times with Amanda, and she went as far to ask Michael to impregnate her to make her story believable. Taylor eventually did get pregnant (due to Lisa Rinna's real-life pregnancy which, unlike Heather Locklear's, was not hidden from the viewers), but she then had a change of heart and instead revealed the truth about her pregnancy and tried to have a romance with Michael, the man who impregnated her.
Early in the season, Billy and Samantha got engaged, and he asks Craig to be his best man, normally because even Billy and Craig are rivals in work, they are best friends in life. As with all weddings in the series, it is not smooth sailing and the pair have a falling-out after one of Samantha's old friends, Connie (Megan Ward), arrives in town and creates friction. Fortunately, Billy and Samantha patch things up and get married, but it is not long before he starts cheating on her with Jennifer. In spite of his affair, Billy is committed to making his marriage work. But soon, Samantha meets and starts an adulterous affair of her own with Jeff Baylor (Dan Gauthier), a minor league baseball player.
Midway through the season, Kyle is confronted to the return of Christine, his former Gulf War partner who was supposed dead after being killed in action in Iraq. He begins a close friendship with her, but that pisses the jealous and possessive Amanda off, who is exasperated by this situation. That story takes its turning point when Christine attempts suicide before Kyle and Amanda's wedding. Kyle abandons Amanda and saves Christine from death. Christine, affected by that, is interned in psychiatric medical area of Wilshire Hospital, is manipulated by Nick, who also is a former war partner of Kyle and the jealous Taylor. After she sends another suicide letter to Amanda, a furious Amanda appears on Christine's room and threatens her to really kill her if she goes on this way.
Harassed by the situation, Christine decides to escape to the hospital for joining Kyle and Amanda for tell her all the truth, that Nick and Taylor manipulated her. But Nick finishes Christine off in push her head on Kyle's car. Taylor and Nick in panic decide to take Christine's inert body on a railway.
Kyle and Amanda, after their wedding ceremony, receive a letter of desperate Christine and they rushed on the railway for save her. But they come too late, Christine is finally mowed down and smashed by the speeding train.
Amanda, displaying a very rare form of guilt over Christine's "suicide", breaks up with Kyle. She finally marries an evil and vicious businessman named Rory Blake (Anthony Tyler Quinn), but Kyle appears to ruin the ceremony because he discovers that Taylor and Nick manipulated 'Christine' into working for them and that the real Christine is really dead. The woman he saw mowed down by a train was a swindler. 'Christine' was Nick's girlfriend and (like all Melrose Place plotlines), it was all yet another evil plan of the devious Taylor to ruin Kyle's marriage. Rory, after attempting to kill Amanda for her money, fights with Kyle and is ultimately killed in self-defense by Kyle. After this, Kyle and Amanda became reunited and re-marry once again.
Through most of the season, Peter meets and begins a romance with Cooper's ex-wife Lexi, who asks for his help to bring more alimony payments from her ex-husband, whom she reveals that he had a short affair with the late Kimberly Shaw when she was recovering in Ohio years earlier. Lexi also struggled with personal demons of her own which included an addiction to antidepressant pills and nearly died from an overdose, but was found and saved by Peter. Late in the series, after Lexi's father (who had disapproved of Peter dating his daughter) died from a sudden stroke during an argument with Peter, Lexi unfairly blamed Peter in which she broke up with and got back together with Cooper who tried to help Lexi run her late father's business company which was predictably involved with dirty business deals involving stock market insider trading, securities fraud, bribery, and embezzlement. Cooper then forced Lexi to re-marry him again to protect her from prosecution over her late father's business deals, while he had his own agenda as usual to kill her to not only seek revenge against her for making his life miserable, but get his hands on her father's money all for himself.
Meanwhile, Michael faces off against Cooper, who tries to ruin his career and his life because Cooper blames Michael for Kimberly's death. Megan divorced Michael over him manipulating her into helping him unseat Peter as the hospital chief-of-staff in the previous season. Megan then begins a relationship with Cooper, Michael's worst enemy. Thanks to Cooper's scheming, Michael gets fired from Wilshire Hospital and is reduced to open a little dispensary in a poor district of Los Angeles. But he takes his revenge on Megan and Cooper after ruining their plan to move to Philadelphia. Michael ultimately reconciles with Peter after they lived a difficult situation during a fishing afternoon and saves Peter's life. He finally retrieves part of the Burns/Mancini practice, and his job as doctor at Wilshire.
Later in the season, Michael goes to his high school reunion and reunites with his first ex-wife Jane, who follows him back to L.A. and to Melrose Place... with an agenda as usual.
Samantha and Jeff get together and attempt to break up Billy and Jennifer by sending a fake fax from the departed Alison in Atlanta. Jennifer is heartbroken because she is worried that he still has feelings for
The characters of Samantha, Jennifer, Billy, Taylor, and Coop depart from the series by the end of the season. Also, the pregnant Taylor gives birth to Michael's son in the season final; she names him Michael Junior McBride, and she agrees to share mothering duties with the returning Jane. But for no clear reason, Taylor reconsiders and goes back to Boston alone, keeping the baby for herself and deciding to raise him to the best than Michael and Jane could never been.
Also in the season final, after Coop's failed murder attempt on Lexi's life aboard a fishing boat so he could inherit all of her father's money, which was diverted with Megan's aid who learned about his plan as well as his sham re-marriage to Lexi, he leaves town to take up a job offer with a man who previously tried to con Megan into sex, knowing of her dark past as a prostitute. Despite the falling ratings, the show was renewed for a seventh season, which would also be its last.
Season Seven: 1998-1999
New characters were hurriedly drafted into the series for its final season, including Kyle's younger brother Ryan McBride (John Haymes Newton), who is revealed to have a young daughter living at a convent in New York following the death of her mother. Also new is Eve Cleary (Rena Sofer), an old school friend of Amanda's. Both characters had difficulty gaining a following during this period of cast instability. Overall, the series seemed unable to handle the high number of cast changes in such a short time, and its popularity never recovered. Amanda and Michael remained leading characters through to the end of the series.
As the seventh and final season began, the residents learned that Matt, who had moved away a year earlier for career advancement provided by Michael, died in a car accident on his way to a reunion dinner at Kyle's restaurant. The residents also learned that Matt had kept a journal of all the secrets they shared with him and each of them schemed to get their hands on it. This was the driving force behind the stories for this season. One of the most notable stories was that of the hidden relationship between Amanda and Eve Cleary. They were high school cheerleaders together living in Dallas, Texas until an ugly encounter ended up in the death of Eve's boyfriend which resulted in Eve spending 15 years in prison. Kyle eventually learns about their secret past and grudgingly agrees to keep the truth from Peter, Eve's new husband.
Amanda and Kyle enjoy wedded bliss and even try to get pregnant, but things come crashing down when Peter accidentally gave Kyle the wrong test results that indicate that he is sterile and cannot father a baby. Kyle decides into alcoholism and Amanda descends into depression over Kyle's moody behavior. They reunite after Kyle goes through rehab. Amanda agrees to sell the building in order to pay for their dream home, but eventually their marriage comes to an end.
Josie Bissett returned to the series as Jane in 1998 in a move to halt the series' downward spiral, and story lines centered on the rekindling of her relationship with Michael. It is revealed she slept with a current client of Amanda's the day before her wedding to Michael, leading to his distrust of her now as they decide to marry again. They exchange wedding vows again, only to end up estranged and on the road to an ugly divorce within hours. The two reunited at Christmas, but it didn't last.
Megan and Ryan begin a relationship which led to them getting married in the season final.
Also in this season, Lexi's character underwent a transformation from a rich, spoiled daddy's girl in the previous season, to a scheming super-bitch who succeeded in purchasing the Melrose Place building from Amanda and started a new advertising agency, Sterling-Conway Advertising, which successfully drove Amanda's company out of business.
Eventually, the show paired the long-suffering Jane with Kyle (the actors were real-life spouses) and returned to the coupling of Amanda and Peter, in spite of the fact that Peter was still married to Eve. Lexi also became sexually involved with Michael, but they broke up by the season's end after she rejects his marriage proposal due to the realization that neither could truly be committed and monogamous to the other.
By early 1999, FOX decided that the ratings erosion as well as the extremely high production costs meant the show had to be cancelled. In the final episode, Amanda and Peter faced mounting scrutiny as he was investigated for stealing money from the hospital and she was faced with the revelation that Eve didn't kill her boyfriend 15 years ago, Amanda actually did. They decided to flee the country and fans were shocked when their hide-out exploded, killing them both. Eve, who had been showing signs of going crazy, finally cracked at their memorial service by throwing Peter's ashes on Lexi. Eve then found herself back in jail. Michael became Wilshire Hospital's chief-of-staff. Kyle and Jane found out she was having Michael's baby, and an anonymous envelope shows up with Amanda's locket inside. Amanda and Peter are then wed on a tropical beach, and rejoice in their success at faking their own deaths and paying Michael $1 million to cover it up. In the closing shot Amanda and Peter walk together on the beach to the song, "Closing Time."