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'Melrose Place' recap: Cops give Ella a birthday surprise

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Melrose-Place-Canon_dlAnyone else feeling that Melrose Place has a split personality? Last week it was all about Jane’s return — the episode before that zeroed in on Michael — and now the old timers are nowhere to be seen. (Ausiello warned us about Jane not lasting long, but still… is this show about the old characters or the new ones!?)

Of course, Sydney was still around in flashbacks, revealing her strange, short-lived friendship with Ella. Sydney met Ella as the latter arrived from Denver, and Sydney mentored Ella on L.A. fashion and climbing up the career ladder. Katie Cassidy didn’t look that bad in “Colorado chic” – except there is no way Ella would have worn those name-plate gold hoop earrings even if she’d spent her weekends working at Claire’s in the Denver mall.

Anyway, things went sour quickly between these BFFs, with Sydney unhappy about Ella’s lack of PR magic for her art gallery. Then Ella told David about Sydney sleeping with his father (in addition to David himself). Syd is still haunting Ella after her death — Ella’s birthday celebrations in this episode were interrupted when detectives learned that Ella had hired a private investigator, Dante Zaretti, to break into Sydney’s apartment on the night of her death to snoop for dirt. But when Dante got there (he says), Sydney was already dead – a revelation he shares with the police. One of those cheesy-yet-hot detectives told Ella: “If we can confirm his story, you can bet your Burberry you’ll be arrested for murder.”

Lauren also had some juicy scenes this week, signing on with a new madam and being endearingly awkward when a new client wanted a private dance. “I faked having mono to avoid cotillion,” she said, before erasing any thoughts of virginal white dresses with some seductive moves. (Did anyone else notice that this episode was all about showing the ladies undressed instead of Auggie’s abs – we saw Ella, Riley and Lauren in their skivvies.)

But, hello Melrose writers, it was way too obvious that Lauren’s “work” appointment at 4 was going to derail her plans to go wedding dress shopping with Riley at 5:30. What, was she going to rush to David’s Bridal without showering off the evidence? Gross. Still, Lauren has one of the show’s best storylines and I’m looking forward to her juggling doctor duties, being a working girl, and serving as Riley’s maid of honor. Some advice: Emily Post wouldn’t approve of bringing a client to the rehearsal dinner.

David was charming this week, playing “horse” with Jonah and narrowly avoiding getting caught with a stolen diamond-and-ruby necklace. He was Ella’s birthday date, so I hope that means more romance (well, hook-ups) ahead for this pair.

Among Melrose’s other tenants, Violet schemed to get Auggie’s friend fired so she could take her bartending job. A not-so-brilliant plan to seduce a recovering alcoholic by mixing martinis! I’m ready for these two to be written off the show already or start doing something scandalous.

For me, the Syd-Ella scenes had the most crackling energy this week, which makes me even more excited to see Ella facing off with Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear) in a few weeks.

Best lines of the week:

Ella to the cops: “Half of my clients are married to cheating, drug-abusing, tax-evading celebutards. I have five P.I.s on speed dial!”

Sydney to Ella: “Well, look who’s grown out of her Uggs and into her Manolos.”

What did you think of this episode? Do you think Ella could have killed Syd? Enjoying Lauren’s career moves as much as I am? Are Violet and Auggie interesting enough for you?

Photo Credit: Michael Desmond/The CW

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