Welcome to the sixth recap of Venice the Series: Season 3 with Kelinswriter (@jessiewolf), Jaina (@Jaina47) and myself (@Ryslerfic).
Jaina: …wait, 21:18? Hell yes!
Ani is at some gorgeous house I don’t remember seeing exteriors of before, but the interior is all her, bookends and all. Lara comes in from running. She feels alive. Ani wants to TALK. Lara doesn’t like it when Ani Talks, but Ani hasn’t Talked in a long time, so it goes fairly well.
Kelinswriter: Lara stopped drinking and pounded out, like, half a novel in a week? She is either doing coke or doing NaNo. Or both.
Do we all feel like douchebags for being suspicious of Lara at AA? For saying there’s more than Sprite in her glass? Do we feel like Ani? Cringing and suspicious? Poor Ani. She saw the good in Lara tonight. On Lara’s pages. In Lara’s actions. She remembered the good. She saw light in the darkness.
Kelinswriter: Ani is so honest and sweet in this lovely little speech about forgiveness, I just want to hug her. But…it’s making my skin crawl. Just…don’t do it, Ani. Don’t do it. …aw shit, she did it.
Jaina: Lara is hot; Lara is sweaty; Lara is charming. Lara is not going to win me back over here. Watching Ani’s very genuine apology is killing me. She thinks with the passive aggressive and the flashback last episode that she’s the problem here. She’s become Gina. Only she hasn’t. She’s still her, Ani, taking the crap she doesn’t deserve and not shouldering her own stuff at the same time. And that’s a problem. I’m totally watching between my fingers. Not because I think Lara’s gonna snap right this second. She’s in a happy, happy place right now. Her world is right. But because I just can’t watch. ::wibble:: Ani’s not lying when she says she wants to let it go, but I think what she actually means is that she wants to forget it ever happened, to have it be a one time thing so that she can have Lara her awesome girlfriend back again and not have to think about it ever, ever again.
Okay, so just me. Do we all know (because we watch television) that this is all going to get fucked before the episode is out?
(WTF is that painting.)
Sex is always a bad sign. Just ask her.
So, Ani forgives Lara, like in her heart and everything, and then Nadia Bjorlin does UNSPEAKABLE THINGS. Things that remind me that while Nadia’s intelligence, comedic timing, and pure acting talent are ever-increasing, she is one beautiful woman. It was a pleasure just to watch. Just to kick back. That, my friends, was a moment.
Moments are never good.
Owen is also happy. He’s an Actor. He’s renewed. See above. Adrienne expresses her willingness to do kinky shit with him, but no, he wants her to meet his sister.
Jaina: I feel like Owen told Sami that Gina would love her too. This feels like a space where I should make some comment about Owen knowing Gina’s reputation for spreading the “love” around the ladies, but…
This boy is far too happy.
Adrienne is going to buy a new dress. She’s awesome.
Kelinswriter: These two are growing on me. I mean, I know there’s lots of squick going on here on multiple levels, but they’re still growing on me. They have a nice chemistry and there is something very sweet in Adrienne’s guarded acceptance of Owen that I like. More on this in a bit…
Beach transition and for a moment I wonder if we’re going to get Sad Beach, but no, just transition. Lara’s so happy. She’s reborn. She just got some. See above. She’s meeting Sami at Nadine’s.
Kelinswriter: I approve of Sami in leather and full of ‘tude.
Sami orders a drink and gives Lara a look. Even though Lara is not a frickin’ freshman in college, she bows to imaginary peer pressure and orders vodka. Because she can have just one. (Don’t do it, Lara!)
Kelinswriter: So, instead of going to meetings, Lara has been going to “confession” with Sami at a bar? The dangers of this to a “recovering” alcoholic aside, it’s kind of sweet. What Lara needs is a friend. I suspect that she’s managed to drive them all away over the years, so to have someone who listens to and appreciates her and encourages her – it’s like a gift from God. It’s almost a bigger deal to her than getting things right with Ani because she has someone who can validate her choices – the perfect “yes” woman. (She’s too busy feeling good about herself to ask why.) And she’s feeling confident, she thinks she can handle it…one drink won’t hurt, right?
Jaina: I feel like Sami is so playing Lara here. And I actually kind of love that.
Kelinswriter: That last look of Sami’s made me shiver. Oh, dear Lord, Lara, what have you gone and gotten yourself into.
Van! Being super gross. And super contrasty to Owen. Finally, the reason for the Safari Sex is revealed.Van rambles on about his cousin. Adrienne has doubts. Seems like Van is using Adrienne to make Owen forget about Sami so he can have Sami for himself. Which doesn’t seem vengeful necessarily. Unless he simply Must Have Her Because Owen Did.
Jaina: Is that in the literal or metaphorical sense, Van? Because while I’m pretty sure you’re out for Owen, something tells me you don’t care about the collateral damage, aka Adrienne, dude.
Kelinswriter: Van: “The guy’s pathetic. He needs a constant audience. He can never be alone.” Uh…maybe you should look in a mirror, Van. Because that sounds an awful lot like you, you cynical, slimy, really hot bully.
Jaina: Pardon my massive inappropriateness, I’m only halfway through the episode but I think Van and Owen should just do it already and get it over with. Because Kelinswriter said that thought had to be in there.
Rysler: Again, I think at least the three of us are on the same page…
Kelinswriter: I have been told “ew they’re cousins.” But a) they’re both boys b) technically scientists now say cousins are not an issue and c) I’m from Northern Wisconsin. So really, it’s not that big a deal.
Owen had never dated a girl like Sami. Adrienne’s never dated a boy like Owen. Adrienne unwisely shares her feelings with Van, who gets angry. She thinks about her dress.
Kelinswriter: The way Adrienne covers herself as she gets up to walk away is telling. She’s starting to feel ashamed.
Jaina: I’m curious about Adrienne’s radical difference with Owen and Van. I mean it makes sense. With one she can be herself, with the other she’s pretending. But is she really? Or just emphasizing another aspect that she wouldn’t usually let herself express? Because with Owen Adrienne always seems flirty and fun and knows where she’s going and what she wants. With Van she seems so vulnerable. A reflection of how she feels around him, or just a moment of uncertainty because of what she’s doing to Owen? I dunno. But now I’m curious.
Guys, this scene is so awesome. Gross and tense and so very quiet and sad and these people are so pretty and this scene is so well done. Eric Martsolf and Adrienne Wilkinson are just as captivating and badass as anyone in Venice. Such anchors.
Kelinswriter: There are so many levels going on in Adrienne’s performance (the actress, not the character), and I won’t spend an hour describing them all. I simply will say that I really like that I don’t know which way this character is going to go. She’s unpredictable, and that’s interesting.
Meanwhile on Sad Beach, where Richard lives, remember, Gina is picking him up as her date for a fancy cocktail party. Because it’s not a soap party unless everyone is attending with the wrong date. Richard’s wearing a stained (and presumably smelly) shirt. He and Gina stride off arm-in-arm together.
Kelinswriter: I’m so amused that Richard says “I have not done one of these LA shindigs in a while” while there’s a giant stain right in the middle of his shirt.
Jaina: They’re cute, good friends, acknowledging the awkward and then moving right along. She’s gonna hook him up with girls, women, finally using her powers for good. Let’s just hope she uses her gaydar too or else Richard will end up with another awkward conversation of awkwardness.
Kelinswriter: I could listen to these two banter for hours. It makes me happy. Also, Crystal Chappell + role requiring accent = hot.
Lara is drunk, late, not-writing, guilty, and angry.
Kelinswriter: You can suck down all the Altoids you want, Lara. It’s not going to kill your buzz. And THE BREATH MINTS SHOULD BE A CLUE ANI.
Jaina: Methinks Lara’s a bit toasted. Me also thinks Ani’s gonna pop out of the woodwork any second now even though Lara clearly checked to see if she was busted or not. Which…what good is that really gonna do her? She’s not playing sober particularly well.
Ani still thinks it’s morning and all is well, and doesn’t notice Lara avoiding her kisses.
Kelinswriter: Could Ani walk around in ripped jeans all the time, please? I’m very okay with this as her principle wardrobe.
Jaina: Hmm, they’re not talking and Ani’s still going to the party. We know Gina didn’t invite her? Michele? Or is Ani just on the Gina Brogno party yahoo! list? But, um, Ani really needs to work on her delivery. Because she might as well just tell Lara, “YO, I’M GOING TO THIS AWESOME PARTY FOR MY EX WHERE I’M GONNA CHEAT ON YOU WITH HER LOTS AND LOTS.” Because that’s the way she’s saying it. Dude. Oh, Alan hired her. Good to know. I’m a little sad she’s not on the Yahoo! list though.
Ani has to go see Gina. Lara snarks jealously and offers to go to the party. Ani shuts that noise down.
Kelinswriter: Being pouty and petulant about your girl making her living is not okay, Lara. Especially when you’re currently without a book contract and seem to have lost your awesome house as a result.
Jaina: The way Ani’s face falls when Lara says she’ll go? HAHA. Look I may not like Lara at all, but um, I can’t say as I blame the woman for her massive jealousy issues ’cause Ani does not act like a woman who’s over her ex. BECAUSE SHE ISN’T.
Throughout this entire scene, Ani is only thinking about sex. And then she gets some.
Owen, too, is happy. Instead of the party, he suggest Table Time, Part Deux. Adrienne actually laughs. Which should be a sign, Owen!
Kelinswriter: Okay, Owen’s little cat scratch move when Adrienne comes out in her very sexy dress is the most likable he’s been all season. And Adrienne really does seem to be enjoying him now – I was rewatching their earlier scenes this morning and there was a calculation about how she was with him before that is now gone. They’re comfortable. Also, Owen, thank you for confirming my theory that most of your dates only hang out with you because they’re hot for your sister.
Jaina: Owen just keeps trying to get it right – and keeps doing the same thing he did last time. Sidenote: Has Owen ever lost a girl to Gina? Also: apparently these Brognos like to keep it in the family. Dude.
Kelinswriter: Kind of weird how many of the people at this party look like people I hang out with when I’m in LA.
Michele brought Jamie as her date to the party, because it’s that kind of episode. He looks adorable. The booze is already flowing. Michele has been beckoned to Alan’s side.
Then we see them. Down with the Brognos Club? Amateurs. The true villains are standing right here, drinking champagne. Alan and Logan. Architectural Digest is a real publication. Logan works for it. She’s doing a story on Alan? On Gina? She’s doing a story, all right.
Kelinswriter: Michele shooting daggers at Logan starts things off right. Even if we didn’t know who the lovely Judi Evans was playing, we’d know something was up.
Alan is a huge asshole to “Gina’s assistant.” He berates Michele about Gina’s schedule, looks down his nose at her. He’s awesome.
Michele cowers before Alan, but for Logan she only has contempt. “Does Gina know you’re here?” The “I can’t believe you would show up” implied in her tone.
Alan becomes even more of an asshole and even awesomer. “Oh GOD. Please don’t make a SCENE.” He has choreographed a party. He wants everyone to stick to the script.
Kelinswriter: I love Alan’s mini-tantrum over the potential for lesbian cat-fighting at his little soiree. You can almost hear him thinking “I have seen how this plays out on L Word. And it’s not pretty, people!”
Jaina: Alan is fucking hilarious in his disgust for the lesbian drama. Or potential thereof. And Michele’s “Bitch, please,” eyes at Logan are the best thing ever. Heee. Jamie giving Richard the quick once over. Ha! So awesome. And Gina’s immediate need of a drink. I love that for all the shit that Gina has been giving Michele, Michele is still giving The Evil Ex the stink eye for her. That’s above and beyond employment. Maybe things will be okay with these two crazy kids after all.
Across the pool from the villains stand our heroes. Richard-the-Lionhearted, Jamie-the-Body-Snatcher, and Lady Byron herself. For fuck’s sake, people, Gina is wearing white and Alan is wearing black. Figure this out.
Kelinswriter: Gina is so relaxed with Richard. She’s free with him in a way that she isn’t with anyone but Jamie. I love this Hepburn-esque/“One of the Boys” side to her. Im really glad it’s something they carried over from Olivia into Gina.
Kelinswriter: From 11:59-12:04, Jamie damn near steals the entire freaking episode. Especially when he checks out Richard. Also, I’m beginning to think the sole purpose of men in this show is to fetch women drinks.
Alan tries to be an asshole to Gina, but she is SURROUNDED by broken dreams and burned bridges and he is the least of her worries. She sends him off to make a toast. He likes a strong woman. Remember Traci? Anyway, the toast: “Gina was stupid for dealing with her sick dad, but she’s back now making me happy, so yay, amirite? Way not to be a moron, Gina!”
Jaina: Jesus. Gina’s bleeding from too many different wounds to count. Logan was the first jolt. But then there was Alan’s kind words, the ones that slice like knives because they’re not actually about her work and then there’s Ani coming up to congratulate her, Ani who Gina can’t even meet her eyes. She’s practically bleeding out all over the place and trying to ignore it.
Van will ironically toast to that.
Richard thinks it’s sincere, because he’s a sap.
Michele is ambivalent.
Ani rushes up to Gina and Alan and it’s the Most Awkward Thing Ever. For a moment. Then all Gina can see is Ani. The Ani she loves, the Ani who rejected her letter. Gina can’t even breathe, and is so happy she’s sad.
Then Ani looks across the pool and sees Logan. “Is that–”
And then it is ON.
Just last week we discussed Michele, Best Friend of Gina Brogno, who has seen her through all her relationship woes, who has counseled her and been counseled, who has commiserated like no one else ever could. In this way she’s been a better friend than Richard, and just as close a confidant as Ani. This isn’t Michele softening, this is pure habit.
Ani rescues Michele. She thinks. She has no idea there’s bad blood. She tells Michele she’s pretty. They’re friends. They’re all friends, right?
Poor Ani. She thought LAST episode was the worst day of her life.
Gina seriously does not know what do with herself. So she does the right thing. There’s emerging theories on cognitive load, emotional load, and moral decision making, and not that I really understand them, but really, Gina does not know what to do with herself, and thus, her automatic nerve response is to do the right thing. To surrender. To go for broke. To confess.
Jaina: Yeah, Logan asking if something was going on between Gina and Ani only proves my earlier point about those two not acting like they’re over each other. Even she can see the vibes. Ani’s stink eyes toward Logan deserve an honorable mention too. And OMG Gina can’t even take it. It’s like the combination of Ani telling her she’s pretty and Michele congratulating her is just too much for her to handle anymore. So she goes right out there and pulls an Olivia Spencer, throwing Alan’s name on there so that he can’t possibly refuse or deny what she’s about to do. Because he’s endorsed it already. Woman has lost her mind. Or maybe she’s trying to regain it.
Or hell, she just wants to make herself look good for Ani. See: Going for broke. She just cannot deal. She tells everyone that Michele designed the designs.
Jaina: Aw, damn, Michele never expected that. Gina still manages to figure out how to come out smelling like roses everywhere, but I don’t think Michele ever expected it to hurt that much.
Kelinswriter: Gina’s speech about Michele…wow, that’s smart. She gets it out there in a way that can’t be taken back and that Alan can’t fight. It gets her out of her ethical dilemma and gives Michele her shot. It’s really win win – I mean, yes she’s putting her reputation on the line, but if it works (and it seems like it will) she’s got an asset. If it fails, well, she can’t be accused of being dishonest. It may be the best possible resolution she could have come to considering the egos involved. Can I be her when I grow up? Also God help you, Michele. You’re in it now.
Alan is an asshole and is AWESOME:
“I’m a tricky little devil.”
“You knew I wouldn’t even consider a design that didn’t have your name on it.”
That cut is particularly cruel, but it’s too late. Alan goes to suck up to Michele. He beckons Ani.
Gina walks away.
Michele misses her.
Gina finally confronts Logan, all haughty, all cold, powerful. What Logan made her. But Logan gets the best of her, anyway.
Van greets Gina, and is all gross about his mom and Owen.
Richard STILL THINKS EVERYTHING IS NICE AND SINCERE. Oh, Richard.
Ani, too! She wanders over. Gina’s two better halves. They are both there to protect her when Logan slinks over.
Jaina: OMG, Ani’s claws are coming out and it’s fucking awesome. I want to send JLH a fruit basket or something. This. This right here is what GL fans always wanted for Olivia, for someone, namely Natalia, to stand up and defend her to all comers – even though she could take care of herself. So thank you. Because this is fucking awesome. Ani is kicking ass and taking names and not letting Logan’s little jabs stop her in the least. Please continue. I do wonder though if Ani would have been capable of doing this if she and Gina had actually been together…
Ani goes positively feral.
Logan says, “My inner Lois Lane is telling me there’s more to this story.” Richard thinks that story is airing on Animal Planet.
Guya appears and drags Gina off.
Kelinswriter: I almost don’t know what to say about the trio of exes scene, other than it might be the most awesome event since this happened. I love how it builds in layers: Gina commiserating with Richard, then Ani checking in with Gina and meeting Richard (the meta of CC, JL, and PR in the same shot also makes this fangirl’s heart go pitter patter), and then we get the counterpoint that is Logan and the whole thing kind of explodes. Richard is just enjoying the fireworks, Ani is checking on Gina when she’s not growling, and Gina’s just…listening. Her arm automatically comes up around Ani when Ani starts to get upset – it’s reflex. And then Guya shows up spouting Shakespeare and giving me another opportunity for some gratuitous Wicked pimpage. This was dizzying and brilliant and I WANT MORE. Especially more of that shit-eating grin Ani shot Logan when Gina and Guya wandered away.
Jaina: Guya rocks my socks as ever. The house dropping line, pure gold. Even in her sunglasses wearing, clearly already a few sheets to the wind stage. I was afraid she was gonna blurt out about the dead hooker right then and there.
Van whistles at Adrienne for not doing her job or something, and it’s weird and gross but hot.
Jaina: Okay, Van, the nod and whistle? You’re an asshole. Not even the hot, scheming kind. Just the kind that treat a women like a well trained dog. Dude, not cool.
Gina’s all, “Jane! I haven’t seen you since last season!” They lie their asses off to each other.
Jaina: Mutual drunken interrogation. LULZ. I love how their mutual, I don’t want to answer that question cover is to take another drink. There is a lot of drinking.
But Guya is a MASTER DETECTIVE and gets the full Candy Cane story from Gina. She should seriously be The Closer.
“You’ve got a shitload of trouble.”
“No shit! If Brandon didn’t tell you about the hooker, how the hell do you know about that?”
“I told you. I see dead people.”
“You don’t know the half of it.”
Jaina: “I told you…I see dead people.” There were some awesome lines this episode, but I think the delivery on that one just stole the show completely. HBS’ only competition is herself.
Kelinswriter: Guya and Gina are so awkward together – they’re both so spun for their own reasons. And then when they finally start talking honestly, the words just start pouring out in true screwball comedy fashion. I love that Gina doesn’t even blink over Guya knowing about what’s going on because she sees dead people. I get the feeling she’s been through crazy Aunt Jane knowing things she shouldn’t before. She just shrugs it off and focuses on the positive (“You got your aura back?”). That seems a sound plan, Gina.
And we leave it at that. Knowing half of it.
Jaina: And that Gina, always seeing the bright side. I myself am a little sad that the part of Guya’s aura will no longer be played by a little lost puppy. But what can you do? Oh right. Take another drink. Like Gina and Guya.
Kelinswriter: Words fail in describing the inspired lunacy of this episode. Is it next Wednesday yet?