Kyle’s Flashbacks, Amanda’s Legs, and Lexi’s Vague Understand of the Law


In episode 6×16, “Kyle of the Desert,” Kyle has flashbacks to his time serving with ol’ war buddy Nick in Iraq (this being in Gulf War Part One: The Skirmish). Kyle was in love with a woman, Christine, who, I’m sorry to say, was afflicted with “lady stupids” (LS), a tragic ailment which is the number one reason why women shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the military– symptoms include blowing up themselves and their tanks while trying to get closer to their boyfriends! Even if said menfolk are screaming “No noooooo stay right there!!!!” LS is fatal in nearly 100% of cases, if not for the lady, then for the man.

So Nick, who was injured in the blast ends up having to inform Kyle that Christine died. (Or DID she? She did.) Kyle cries about how much he loved her, which is why we’ve heard him talk about her all this time. Oh wait no, this is the first time. In the present day, Kyle wakes up, goes to his old war memories trunk that he keeps in the laundry room (don’t know why) and looks at pictures of the three musketeers.

Meanwhile Amanda is getting it straight from Dr. Burns. No not that way…. yet (I hope).

Peter: Well the swelling hasn’t gone down as much as I’d hoped, but there’s still a good chance with time.
Amanda: Can the optimism. I’m sick of hearing it and I’m sick of forcing it. I want the worst case scenario, and I want it now.
Peter: Ok. Worst case is you’ll never walk again, which would mean a wheelchair. But given recent laws, it shouldn’t slow you down one bit.
Amanda: So forget the steps to my apartment driving my car, dancing.
Peter: This is all about attitude, there’s no reason you can’t live a normal life in every way.
Amanda: No matter how you put it, it just… really sucks.
Peter: Which is why fighting back is the only option that makes sense. If you’ll excuse my optimism.

I don’t know what these “new laws” Peter talks about entail, but I haven’t exactly heard from people with disabilities that it’s just easy peasy adjusting to life with a disability. This is a tricky conversation, because Peter is saying one thing that is really right: disability does not have to be a tragedy but he’s ignoring the fact that society is still pretty unaccommodating, and I can’t imagine it’s useful to have your doctor sugarcoat things and tell you your life will be identical to what it was. And if Amanda were, realistically, going to end up using a wheelchair long term what she’d have to fight is her fear of and prejudice against disability, not the disability itself, if in fact her situation were truly irreversible.

Bob, the guy Lexi hit with her car, informs Peter that he keyed Lexi’s car to determine its true color (because that’s a totally reasonable thing to do) and he knows it was Lexi. He demands that Peter break up with Lexi so he can “have her for myself.”

Number one rule of Melrose, Bob: don’t scheme a schemer. (Number one rule of feminism, on the other hand, don’t think of or speak of women as objects to be had.)

The next morning Lexi complains to Bob about Peter spending so much time with Amanda, and then Peter comes out and they have a fight about Amanda and jealousy. Bob’s plan is working! (Or is it? It’s not.)

Taylor comes to Amanda’s hospital room and her usual hilarious Taylor self. First she shrieks when Amanda opens her eyes and said she thought she was dead. People sleep a lot in hospitals, Taylor, your body is really good at fixing itself when you sleep. Then she demands to know if Amanda is going to die, since it affects Taylor’s plans re: Kyle. Then talk, naturally, turns to Kyle’s sudden mood swing. Because women must always be talking about men. The capper to this scene is when Amanda asks Taylor if Kyle ever called out the name Christine. Taylor obliges Amanda by imitating the way Kyle would call out “Taylor.” Never change, Taylor.

Lexi comes to the hospital and confront Peter who has set up a candlelight dinner for Amanda (who is in physical therapy so doesn’t see it). Peter “admits” that he loves Amanda and Lexi slaps him and dumps him, and Peter tells Bob that Lexi is “his.”

Coop teases Lexi about being with a new dude and comments to Michael that “people around here trade lovers like baseball cards.” That’s what I said!

Sometimes I feel like the writers room is just a deck of cards with the male characters and deck of cards with the female characters and they draw one from each and get them together.

Peter confronts Amanda about her decision to transfer to a distant rehab facility, and Amanda, who I know is supposed to seem strong and heroic actually sounds pretty self-loathing and upsetting when she says: “You said you’d know in a few days if the feeling would return in my legs well it’s been a lot longer than that and there’s no change. So I’m not going to lie here and let Kyle and everyone else turn their lives upside down. I’ll disappear, I’ll do the therapy and if I don’t get my legs back, I just won’t come back…. Kyle still has a chance with his life, it’d be a lot better life without me in it.”

Happily for me, Peter tells her that’s something she really should discuss with Kyle, but it’s all couched in the language of pity, self pity, and cowardice and blah blah blah stereotypes.

Lexi confesses to Bob, and says she’s going to turn herself in, and he agrees to go with her and tell the police to drop the charges. I’m not really sure that’s how it works, after all there’s a reason it’s generally like Such and such county vs. Lexi Lastname– it’s in more people’s interests than just Bob that Lexi doesn’t get high and run down the homeless.

Naturally, it turns out, it was Lexie and Peter’s plan all along that Bob drop the charges, and they totally make out in front of him.

The greatest dialogue of the episode?

Bob: I loved you!
Lexie: I know. Sorry I had to use that against you, but that’s what happens when you delude yourself and try to hurt people.

Such a femme fatale line! I love Lexie. Lexie, Taylor, and Amanda are the best thing about this show in season six. (Miss you much, Kimberley Shaw!)

Peter tells Kyle about Amanda and he intervenes telling Amanda she can’t go, because he made that mistake once before, in that super serious, profoundly influential relationship that he’s only ever talked about in this episode in the context of Amanda’s tragic plane crash. He asks Amanda to marry him and she agrees. Taylor tries to interfere, telling Amanda about the Vegas sexing but Kyle already told her because he trusts her.

Amanda gets the second best line of the episode: “Everyone gets one great love in their life, and I’m sorry that you’re not Kyle’s and I am. But, as they say, that’s just too damn bad.”

The concept of the great love on a soap is a strange one, since freshness seems to demand re-pairing people often, although I feel that lots of shows today are shying away from that and keeping couples together longer. It’s interesting, because I am definitely of the opinion that a person can have more than one great love in their life, but tv characters always feel the need to rank it, which just makes them seem like they have amnesia. Doesn’t Amanda remember being head over heels for Peter and saying nearly identical things?



One Response to “Kyle’s Flashbacks, Amanda’s Legs, and Lexi’s Vague Understand of the Law”

  1. Baby When We’re Grinding, I Get So Excited « Booze. TV. Food. How Do *You* Spend Friday Nights? Says:

    […] ‘Atta girl. Then Taylor and Nick inexplicably have sex, even though they hate each. Why? People around here trade lovers like baseball cards. The dialogue is so slashy it kills […]

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