Welcome to the eighth recap of Venice the Series: Season 3 with Kelinswriter (@jessiewolf), Jaina (@Jaina47) and myself (@Ryslerfic). Next week there will be no more OLTL spoilers and we can start linking to industry stuff again.
It’s night. Post-party night, in fact. Lara has waited up for her beloved Ani, who is really surprised to see her. Lara has been pretending to write and read. She interrogates Ani on Gina. Ani does not want to talk about it.
Jaina: Wow, so Ani held firm about Lara not going to the party. That would be why we didn’t see her there. I find that interesting. Did Ani, like draw the line or did their showerly bliss convince Lara to be gracious in defeat? I suspect we will never know. Also? Ani is a lying liar who lies. (And I don’t caaaaaaare.) That was soooooo not just work. No ma’am. That was bitch slapping the ex’s evil ex.
Kelinswriter: Awkward conversation is awkward. It feels like Lara is waiting for some sort of answer, like she doesn’t trust what Ani’s actually saying. And Ani feel so put on the spot by it and is fumbling around for the right response. They actually settle down a bit during the snark about Gina – it’s playful rather than edgy.
Jaina: Lara is so fishing to see if she was busted at the party, if Gina said something to clue Ani in about her confrontation with Lara and the results from that. Now that it’s looking like a no, she can redirect the conversation and snark a little. Fun times.
Rysler: I… did not even think about that Gina/Lara confrontation. Right. That.
So they talk about Richard. Not Logan, who matters. Richard, who doesn’t.
Kelinswriter: I think that the fact that Ani is preoccupied with Richard is VERY important.
Rysler: Remember, Lara is like co-chair of the Down with Brognos Club.
Lara, who succumbed to the pressure of being famous, of people wanting more, more, more (“it’s about the work”), who drank herself out of a job, a girlfriend, art, and humanity, is sage (heh) about Michele’s chances to survive all this. Ani thinks she’s being pessimistic. Of this show of artists, she’s the one with the least scars.
Then Ani gets pessimistic about Lara’s bar tab.
Jaina: Yeah, I don’t blame Ani for being a little concerned, taken aback and/or kicked in the teeth for suddenly finding out that her ALCOHOLIC girlfriend has been writing in a bar. Not to get all personal history in this recap, but I’ve known alcoholics. Bars are not good places for the newly-trying-to-be-sober to hang out if they want to maintain that sobriety.
Jaina: But see, Lara is still in denial that an alcoholic is what she is apparently. She doesn’t want to be reminded and she gets pissed with Ani once Ani does remind her. So she turns it all back on Ani. Lara is never the one who screws up. It’s always Ani who has to apologize. No matter that she just got freaked out because she thought her girlfriend was drinking again. Lara makes it all sound so reasonable (and maybe Ani doesn’t feel as pure as the driven snow about the situation with Gina) so she capitulates. She apologizes. And it’s bullshit.
Kelinswriter: Ani sees the napkins from the bar and everything goes to hell. I get why she’s worried – changing patterns is a big part of breaking addiction, and environment is a factor in that – but Lara has a point too (or she would if, as @aimlessny pointed out, she hadn’t spent the afternoon FUCKING DRINKING). Push comes to shove, this whole conversation is about the fact that they don’t trust each other on a fundamental level, no matter how much they try to convince themselves that they do. There are significant fractures at the core of their relationship and I’m not sure they can be overcome, even without the Gina factor. (Side note: Kyler alert.)
Jaina: Then Lara takes her toys and goes home. Metaphorically speaking. So mature.
Jane and Katie continue to de-age, to revisit their playful childhood days when they were sisters. And besties. They deconstruct the dead prostitute.
Kelinswriter: The snark sisters are at it again. “Oh the sage worked. It worked!” may be my favorite line of the episode (even over the vagina line). Also, okay, we’re having timeline issues again because even if the police were holding the body, it seems like the time for getting that poor ho in the ground has long since passed. But, whatever, I’ll go with it.
“If we just knew who her family was” – Because that works so well for the Brognos?
Jaina: Is this Guya’s first dead person rodeo? She seems awful authoritative. Yet very surprised the first time that she realized that Amber/Katie was actually a dead person. Or maybe that was just the Katie thing? idk.
Rysler: Let’s ask Whoopi Goldberg.
Katie is ready for some long-term library research to find some missing persons and recent deaths, but Jane has the sage, and Amber’s right there in today’s paper. Katie’s suspicious, but who argues with Guya? Katie just wants to go home.
Jaina: I like the echo back to last season and Amber/Katie’s anger and distress at still being there. It scared the ever-loving crap out of Guya then. Now mostly, it just makes her heart ache. She answers with an older sister’s vague fondness and familiar comfort. It’s a very…she does it without thought. We’ve seen them banter and snark and rant, but this almost feels more real. I’ve known they were sisters before. Now I believe it. If that makes sense. HBS…awesome as always.
Stella and the Colonel are having breakfast together. Stella, ever the voice of quiet morality, waxes on changing technology trends and our consumption of the world. Colonel’s like, “stop reading that shit and read the sports page.” It’s ADORABLE. They’re not only in their own show, they’re like in a Thorton Wilder play.
Jaina: Heee. Aw, it is nice to see Stella and the Colonel exercising their mutual understanding. She acknowledges that his views might have some merit – or at least doesn’t immediately challenge and dismiss them – and he knows he can only act like so much of a patronizing ass before she kicks HIS ass. Heh. They get along so well I wonder if the Colonel will try to set up Stella and Gina. Now that would be fun to watch.
Kelinswriter: I’m so impressed that the Colonel recycles.
Meanwhile Gina and Owen are spending their morning together, working out (they’re at least wearing work-out clothes, though it’s implied they haven’t done anything). They’re not drinking, because Owen’s happy and Gina’s found her authentic self in her existential crisis. (Jaina: Ha! If exercise came with vodka I would do that more! And more eagerly!) She was so closed in the night before that she broke, and today is the first day of the rest of her life. She has no idea what to do, but at least she’s gone back to the beginning.
Jaina: I love that Gina is trying out some maturity with the whole Michele thing, attempting to look at the positives. You can tell, under that, she still kind of hates it, but she’s trying, damn it. And yet as that horrible what the fuck ever thing Owen made is proves, there’s only so much mature a woman can take. Vodka is so far superior to whatever that shit is.
Jaina: Hemp, Owen? Isn’t that… okay.
Jaina: Anyway, Gina wants a life. She doesn’t want to grow up to be old and all alone like the Colonel. We knew that – or it makes sense anyway – but I think this might have been the first time I’ve heard her articulate it in that way. Just having fun doesn’t seem to be working out for her anymore. Meeting someone new is daunting rather than exciting, because this time she really does have to start all over and I don’t think she wants to. It’s sad. But in a good way. She’s trying so damn hard at the growing up thing.
Kelinswriter: Love the little nod to Gina watching Owen work out in s1. I have missed these two together and their playful chemistry – Owen is most comfortable and likable when he’s with Gina. I like this acknowledgement by Gina that maybe she’s ready to take a step back from being the rock star of the design world – it feels like a genuine change in her point of view. Also, this notion of going to the hooker funeral is a bad idea, Colonel. Don’t you watch TV?
Aimlessny: He doesn’t watch TV. He reads the newspaper – weren’t you listening?
She and Owen make fun of Sami. What’s the other side of Down with the Brognos?
Jaina: I forgot that Gina never really liked Sami. I’m not sure why I thought that. Now I’m curious if it was some vibe that Gina was catching. I always just assumed that it was the regular, territorial big sis thing. That’s always how it seemed. No one was good enough for Gina’s O.
The Colonel calls. Told you it was back to the beginning.
“Stella’s in the can,” he says, and suddenly he is my favorite character of all time. Hee. He fills her in on the Amber funeral that Guya and Katie are already attending.
“Who’s Amber?” Gina asks.
“I read it in the obituaries.”
“You read those?”
Gina’s having a very confusing morning.
Jaina: As someone who just got “Friend”-ed as of yesterday, I find it amusing that, that trope kind of gets reversed for the Colonel here. I know it’s a straight person thing too but I dunno. It just amused me in this context. Like it always done when applied to a person who is clearly more than just a friend. Such a weird polite fiction.
She has to look after her dottering old crazy asshole father.
Owen’s all, “What the fuck are you talking about?”
Jaina: Gina volunteering to go with the Colonel is very cool. Yet more maturity. I’m glad that we got to see that, as was originally implied, that Amber was much more than just a prostitute the Colonel. They spent time together and were friends. ::shrug:: I just find that to be cool – and another point in the redeemable column for the Colonel. I do find it amusing that he only seems to know how to speak in ultimatums though. Something tells me Gina finds it less so though.
Jaina: Owen is right in that it would have seemed kind of weird for Gina to go with the Colonel to a funeral in the first season. This season…I’m not so sure. But since it hasn’t been that long I guess, maybe he just hasn’t noticed the way their behaviors have changed? Gina, however, has been weird about the details since everything happened with the Colonel the first time. I think this isn’t even the first time that Owen has called her on that so it’s good to see that continuity.
The cops are back! Carrying coffee and wearing black and planning to screw all the heroes of Venice.
Jaina: Brandon sounds all impressive and cop-y.
His partner, Leigh, however… “We’ll close this goddamn case tighter than a witch’s left titty.”
Brandon doesn’t even.
Jaina: She says it so cutely. The look he gives her, however, is priceless. And her shrug is all “Whaaaaaat? You don’t say that every day?”
Kelinswriter: I love her. And also, told you you should watch TV, Colonel.
“Fish tacos at Peco’s,” she suggests. But he has no cash. Because he, like Stella, lives in the modern world.
His partner’s like, “We’re cops, you fuckhead.”
Kelinswriter: The “I don’t carry cash” thing is hilarious too. What a sexy cocky jerk you are, Brandon.
Owen, who remember, has a soul, is completely disgusted by his father’s actions. And Gina’s actions.
Jaina: Ha! Owen is pissed. Of course. I just hope he doesn’t blow up everything for Gina and Jamie and I guess maybe even Guya because of the hair up his ass that he has about the Colonel.
Gina’s like, “Have you read The Stranger?”
But he’s more jealous Guya found out first.
Kelinswriter: I approve of cutting away from Gina actually telling Owen – nothing I hate more than didactic repetition. His reaction is what’s important. Also Owen, would you stop going drama queen over her telling Guya first (which she didn’t) because that is SO not the point.
Gina does herself no favors by explaining that the ghost told Guya.
Jaina: This? Also one of Owen’s less attractive moments. I get it. The Colonel is an ass, has always been an ass. And now Owen wants his own back. I get it. But. Can’t Owen pick a better time and place? For all he wants to shove it in the Colonel’s face, the man did legitimately lose someone that he cared about. Except I don’t think Owen thinks the Colonel is capable of that. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. I wonder how Gina thought this would go? Probably not like it did.
Meanwhile, Stella wars with the Colonel’s right to privacy, and her desire to comfort him in his time in need. This scene could be farcical because of the whole dead hooker aspect, but it’s all played straight and quiet and it’s just lovely.
“I’ll keep you company.”
“I’d like that.”
Jaina: And again with the F-word. Stella gets it. She’s been there. That makes her offer all the more touching I guess. ‘Cause I don’t think that would be easy to sit through again with someone else, having been there. Or maybe she’s the mentally healthiest person on this show. That is a distinct possibility.
This is the whole series. The Colonel learning that lesbians are people too (or that people are people–he might not know Stella’s orientation because it doesn’t matter). And Stella giving the Colonel more humanity than he’s had, or deserved, since Katie died. It’s not about what anyone deserves.
You know, he should be prouder of Owen, not Van.
Kelinswriter: I really like the friendships Stella is forming within the Brogno family. Underneath the bluster, she is a gentle, tempering presence. They all have manners around her.
I can’t wait for this funeral.
Kelinswriter: Okay, so far the guest list is Guya, Katie, Colonel, Stella, Owen, Gina. (And as everyone knows from a few sneak peeks, some other key players show up as well.) Anyone else think this funeral is going to be the funniest fucking thing ever?
Rysler: Have all four Brognos been together since Season 1?
Kelinswriter: This is the first time since the brunch of disaster that they’ll all be in the same place.
Alan calls Michele to freak her out. She’s very freaked out.
Jaina: Aw, Michele, from ugly step-sibling to belle of the ball. Alan nailed it when he called her Cinderella. Does this mean she gets the prince too? Cause if Michele finds one of those too, Gina might really flip.
Kelinswriter: “Tonight?” Uh, Michele…he owns your ass now, honey. Better hang on tight because the roller coaster won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Alan and Katherine are, of course, together. She’s flitting about, he’s enjoying myself, and I start to think that Katherine is a ghost, like Katie, just haunting Alan so he’ll have some company, maybe a ghost of stories past. A metaphor. I don’t know. Then they start talking about Teddy and Alan gets angry and Katherine gets tense.
Jaina: Hmm, “what if she can’t?” Now there’s some symmetry in that conversation for you. “Gina is losing her edge.” That’s what Alan says. She’s being replaced by the new. Is Katherine worried about the same thing? She’s no spring chicken herself. Is she worried about being replaced too?
“Onward and upward,” he says. But there’s no joy.
Jaina: Additionally, my brain went somewhere else entirely when Katherine mentioned that her husband, Teddy, had been so excited about hot young thing Alan. Somewhere else entirely.
Rysler: Well there’s certainly enough angst. I wish I knew what they were REALLY talking about.
Jaina: Clearly whatever they did to that dude, or behind his back, it’s still enough to give the two of them the cold shivers.
Ani and Lara have a makeup-montage which is sweet and tender and very sad. Been there, kiddos.
Jaina: Ani, slipping in to the living room, taking the pen out of Lara’s hand and looking at what she’d written…it was kind of cute. And sweet, and warm and loving. I didn’t love it. Too much water under the bridge. But…they work when they work. Only there are so many flaws under that surface that Humpty-Dumpty can’t put that shit back together again. Especially not while Lara is still deny deny denying that shit is broken in the first place. It will never work. It’s like building a house on a broken foundation.
Kelinswriter: This is sweet and lovely and unsettling. I really didn’t know how Lara was going to react to Ani reading her pages. But I love how supportive Ani is of Lara’s writing. I wonder if, to some extent, being able to read Lara’s words gives her an insight into her girl that she can’t get from their sometimes too careful conversations. As with most writers, Lara may be putting her best self down on those pages…and maybe that’s part of what keeps Ani stubbornly clinging to this relationship even when she’s being smacked upside the head (literally) by its flaws.
Michele tries to pick a dress. I do, indeed, like the white one best.
Jaina: I thought the black dress was super cute.
Kelinswriter: She definitely went with the best dress – that outfit is smokin’ hot.
Gina comes in and they try to be nice to each other and it’s awful. They’re trying so hard. But it’s defensiveness and fighting anyway.
Jaina: Michele, however, is clearly scared shitless when Gina comes in and sees her being all Cinderella. She is so defensive and doesn’t know what to do with her hands or her tongue or herself. This isn’t how she meant it to go. She just wanted to save things for Gina, only she made them a thousand times worse and ended up feeling horribly unworthy. It really sucks to be Michele right now. And that might just be the nicest thing Gina has said to Michele since this whole thing started. She’s a little sad and it’s awkward, but she does care about Michele. She wants her to be okay. She’s not trying to hurt her. It’s just weird for them because things are growing and changing.
Kelinswriter: I am amused by how Gina tosses her advice off so casually. What she’s saying is really important, and Michele doesn’t get it, and I think Gina knows that. But to some extent she’s made her decision and she just isn’t going to be bothered with trying harder to get it through. Michele’s made her choice, and now she has to find out for herself what that means.
Jaina: Gina had a rough day. Not quite as epic as Ani’s sad, sad day of sadness. It still seems like she has so much she’s struggling to figure out. I dunno. I think this time I just wanted to give Gina a hug by the end. And not in the usual way.
Kelinswriter: This is not going to be pretty.