Melrose Place Season 1 Episode 1 (09/08/09)
Welcome back to Melrose Place!
The series returned to the CW with an exciting, suspense-filled episode. As many fans may have read about before it even aired, the most significant development from this pilot episode was the murder of Sydney: indeed, this character returned from the dead, became the complex's landlord... and then was found lying face down in the pool within the episode's first five minutes.
We'll recap the rest of the installment by descring each character and how he or she might have played a role in Sydney's demise...
Violet Foster: She's new in town. Just moved in to Melrose Place and says Sydney's body was the first dead person she ever saw in person. Not featured a lot during this hour, but a darker side seems to come out when she sort of convinces Lauren to become a prostitute at one point. Why would she kill Sydney? No motive revealed yet.
Ella Simms: A gorgeous, flirty publicist. Has lots of connections in Hollywood. Helps Jonah with his burgeoning movie career, and appears to have an inappropriate crush on him (considering he's engaged to her apartment complex mate, Riley). Ella also makes up a story about being with David at the time of Sydney's murder in order to provide him with an alibi.
In a flashback, we see Ella arguing with Sydney over David; and Sydney threatening to throw her out of the building. Suspicious.
Jonah Miller: Young, enthusiastic filmmaker. For now, works as a wedding videographer, as he tries to sell his first movie. Totally in love with Riley, as well as cartoons, which makes her think he's not mature enough. Through Ella's help, lands a gig filming the 16th birthday party of a major Hollywood producer, only to walk in on him having an affair. He offers to buy Jonah's movie on the spot, to keep him quiet, but this ethical fella says no.
Such a decision prompts Riley to realize what she has and she accepts his proposal.
Auggie Kirkpatrick: Works as a chef. Met Sydney in Alcoholics Anonymous a few years ago. Is friends with David and is seen burning his clothes to end the episode. As suspicious as it gets.
Lauren Yung: A medical school student, her father lost his job and can no longer pay tuition. Offered money to have sex with a date and is initially offended... only to agree a few hours later because she needs the money. Is good friends with Riley.
Michael Mancini: The one and only. Learned he was David's father just recently. Is not close to his son at all. Currently married with a son, we see in flashbacks that he cheated on current wife with Sydney. Will the man never learn?
Riley Richmond: Engaged to Jonah, though it took a bit of thinking on her part, as mentioned above. Works as a teacher.
David Breck: A seemingly shady individual. Was the last person seen with Sydney because she called him in the middle of the night. They fought. There's clearly a history here. Avoided arrest when Ella provided him with an alibi; has no interest in a relationship with his dad, Michael.
David also looks to have a Thomas Crown-like habit. He steals valuable artwork, supposedly just for the thrill of it.
Overall, GREAT pilot episode. Introduced a bunch of intriguing characters and set up a murder mystery right off the bat.