(Meanwhile, in Venice.)
Once upon a time there was a woman named Victoria Lord… Wait. Wrong online soap.
Once upon a time, a hooker died, a cop fell for a psychic, a the Colonel made a friend, and Jamie sang about it all.
Guya is psyching herself up in her car. (Jaina: ….worst parking job ever? Lulz.) Katie is there. They’re a team. They have a plan.
Kelinswriter: Guya does know she’s blocking all these cars in, right? And is crooked?
Jaina: Amber/Katie couldn’t manifest herself in the front seat? I’m not complaining here. I’m just amused. It always feels weird to me in a non-parent/child, chauffeur/chauffer-ee situation when people just randomly sit in the back seat.
“Sunshine and unicorns,” Guya says. She has crystals. Katie recommends a drink. Guya drinks. She glances at the rear view mirror. Katie is gone. She’s getting used to that. It makes her sad.
Jaina: Hee. Sunshine and unicorns. Made me think…this. I love Guya freaking out and Katie trying to calm her down. I wonder if this has always been there vibe or as the dead one if Katie/Amber just has less to lose here.
Kelinswriter: Those deep cleansing breaths sound like the heavings of an asthmatic cat. Also when she said “Maybe some crystals” my first thought was “meth?” Though at the rate Guya’s knocking back the hard stuff, I’m not sure any other drugs are needed.
Jaina: It’s good to see this funeral is starting off right (with the flask). Here I was betting on Gina. Or Owen. The Colonel is so screwed and he doesn’t even know it yet. These reprobates are his people. He doesn’t stand a chance.
Owen and Gina walk into the funeral together. They’re ready to mock their father and make up for years of pain. One vicarious humiliation. I don’t know why everyone hates them!
Jaina: I did like Gina reminding Owen that someone had actually died and even his response to that. He was a little less of an asshole while imagining his glee at holding it over the Colonel forever.
Kelinswriter: Nice contrast between Owen’s twisted glee and Gina’s kicking and screaming reluctance. It’s a nice snapshot of where they’re both at where their father is concerned. Gina seems to have more room for compassion now.
A hooker (@DesireePernasel) comes up to the Colonel and demands he speak on Amber’s behalf.
Kelinswriter: DES!!!!!!! Good on ya, girl. You did it. Also, looking good, babe. I’m trying really hard not to remember that I’m the same age as YOUR MOTHER.
Gina doesn’t know whether to panic or laugh.
Jaina: Oh the Colonel gets to make a speech? Now I’m with Owen. Let the good times roll. Also? The Colonel as her father? Loved that wince. Poor guy. This thing is already such a fucked up family affair when you add in the family connection with Katie.
Guya and Katie sneak around. There’s a lot of wealth walking around. Clients, they assume. Then why slum with John? Guya snickers. Katie gives her a look. They’re dressed all in black, redheads, side by side. They really do look alike. Just like sisters.
Jaina: “What was she doing with the Colonel?” I get that making sense in context of the influential people observation, but I gotta admit I’m over here with Guya all “pointed stare; wink, wink; nudge, nudge.”
Kelinswriter: Seriously, Katie? You’re still not getting it? Also “Push push” is fucking hilarious. HBS’s comedic skills just shine in this episode.
Dana wins my undying love by making Brandon go into Starbucks and buy something on his own. With his credit card! He’s gracious about it. (Jaina: The nitpicker in me also appreciates the plastic reference from Brandon for continuity’s sake. :D) Dana points out that Guya is at the funeral. Talking to herself.
He knows, instantly, that this is going to suck.
Jaina: Guya talking to air? So. Much. Win. That was the first thing I wished for when they said surveillance. Yaaaay!
Kelinswriter: I love the look on Brandon’s face. He can’t figure out what’s worse – that Guya’s at the funeral or that she’s talking to herself. Also I really like Dana. Let’s find her a storyline.
“You’re the one sleeping with her.”
As if he doesn’t already know.
The Colonel is sitting as far away from his snotty children as possible. Richard shows up, happy to see them, but confused. This is Richard’s natural state. He spreads happy confusion to Gina and Owen and the Colonel too.
Jaina: Ha! And now we have Richard. Who else shall show up? Talk about a weird place for a meeting. Funeral crashers, anyone? ala Wedding Crashers.
Ms. Preston (the remarkable Susan Seaforth Hayes) has Richard right where she wants him. Her daughter’s funeral. She is a cold bitch. Richard is horrified, and happy to hear there’s a bar. Happy and confused.
Kelinswriter: Okay so Amber’s mom is the sort of person who schedules a business meeting around down time at a funeral? No wonder Amber ended up looking for love in all the wrong places. Also, I like that in this episode, Gina has become the stand-in for the audience reaction. I feel like I need to link to a Hurley clip in tribute. And, y’know, while I still can. #SOPAMUSTDIE
Jaina: Wow, Amber’s mom is one classly lady. Though this sounds more like a Brogno funeral what with that open bar and all.
(Meanwhile, in Venice.)
Guya, meanwhile, is on a first-name-basis with the bartender and has a martini in her hand. She is four sheets to the wind. She makes friends with the hooker who asked the Colonel to speak. She wants to help.
Kelinswriter: All funerals should come with bars. And Guya wandering around drunkenly rambling at people.
“You a cop?” @DesireePernasel asks.
“lololololol” says Guya.
Guya is tender. The hooker gets weepy. It’s an oddly nice little scene.
Jaina: “It really helps with the grief.” OMG. I love the sincerity with which she manages to infuse those words.
Katie calls Guya out. “This is your plan?”
Jamie is getting ready to sing. He’s nervous. He’s focused. Drew, with fabulous new hair, brings him hot water for his vocal cords. They recreate my life on screen. They look at each other in the mirror.
Kelinswriter: This is such a sweet little scene between these two. You get the sense that Jamie has been burned way too many times, and he’s scared to buy in. I will say that with this mirror staging, I couldn’t help but have this weird feeling like Drew was a ghost and Jamie was imagining this. It kind of freaked me out. (Rysler: Me too. I thought it was just me.) But the hat is divine.
“Why don’t you go sing your big beautiful heart out. And I’ll go out and be very important with my rockets.”
It’s romantic, cute, sweet. I’m happy to see Drew.
Jaina: Aw, I liked the way Drew slipped Jamie’s hat up on his head. And the kiss. And the conversation. It was all very sweet. I wouldn’t say I’m deeply invested in these two, but they make me smile every time they’re on the screen together. Who doesn’t love that? …also why is Jamie singing at this woman’s funeral? Did he pick the funeral home he picked because he has a contract with them or something?
And Brandon Black Shirt with the most gorgeous hair I’ve ever seen on him. He confronts Guya. She tells him the dead hooker wants to make amends. This information is not helpful to Brandon’s case.
Kelinswriter: Oh man, Guya is so shitfaced. And Brandon is starting to get this look on his face like no matter how awesome the sex is or how many fun times they have, his patience is wearing thin. I keep waiting for him to say “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.”
Jaina: When Guya said open mind I thought she was going for “My brother-in-law knew her, turns out. I didn’t realize this was that hooker.” Or something along those lines. What I was not expecting was “I chat with dead people.” This whole episode is so much awesome lolwtf.
Jaina: Guya’s 1001 variations of stink eye that she’s shooting Brandon while he’s giving her shit about seeing dead people and being at the funeral and everything are all one hundred percent awesome. We need a whole gallery of those.
“You’re so handsome,” she says.
“Keep drinking. It gets better.”
Jaina: I also like that Guya doesn’t go for traditional loin girding, but goes for something a little farther north. Drink on!
Amber points out her mother. Ms. Preston. Guya primps her boobs and struts over to make amends.
Jaina: Loved Ms. Preston’s pissed offness that she got knocked off her game by Guya’s slightly sloshed interruption. I’m really starting to feel for Amber here. She looks like the kid that always irritated her mom, never did the right thing and probably embarrassed her by dying. (Maybe that’s why her mom waited so long to have the funeral?) Her irritation was perfect though.
Guya explains the dead hooker thing.
Kelinswriter: Two tanked women at a funeral talking about hookers and ghost whisperers. I got nothing, other than that I really fucking love this show.
Ms. Preston flees hilariously from the crazy woman.
Jaina: A library is not the best place to watch this perhaps, because I just about fell off my chair laughing when Guya got called a hooker…and then a hooker’s client. Win! That whole thing was awesome. The winking. The nodding. The careful enunciation. Their mutual needs for a drink (even if Cougar Lady had one in hand, she still needed one.)
Jamie comes to sing. He meets Gina’s eyes. Gina has no idea why he’s there. He has no idea why Gina’s there! Then he sees the Colonel. Full of panic, he sings.
Jaina: Something tells me that perhaps Jamie did not realize this funeral was for THAT hooker until exactly that moment. OMG. This gets better every time one of these little revelations unroll.
Last year, Ani’s party, Jamie’s flashback–that scene I watched over and over. It was one of Season Two’s top moments. I think Jamie has pulled it out AGAIN with this song. The performance, so earnest. The pacing, so right. The lyrics, so unforgettable. Move over, Fancy. Crystal Chappell mentions in her blog this week that “Paid to Get Laid” has Maria Webster at the guitar.
Kelinswriter: First of all, this makes me entirely pissed that the financing for Unchain My Heart fell through. Second, this feels like a moment that would fit in without much trouble on an episode of Modern Family. And finally, the facial expressions are priceless, especially Ms. Preston’s. Also, GAZEBO ALERT.
Jaina: OMG. I know I’m over using that word but holy shit. She got paid to get laid? What? Who? Craziest. Funeral. Ever. Even Owen’s eyebrows were somewhere in the stratosphere on that one. And Guya’s just nodding along in the back. I am still rolling with laughter. God.
As Jamie’s voice crescendos, Guya gets into the song. She shimmies.
Owen is having the greatest day of his life.
Jaina: Oh. Oh. I’m an idiot. It took me that long to realize that Guya was mugging at Amber/Katie in the back row while he was singing. OMG. Now I wanna go back and rewatch. I…don’t know why that took me that long. My bad!
Rysler: I had no idea until you mentioned, but when I go back it’s completely obvious.
Everyone claps, because every great soap opera funeral has singing and clapping.
Jaina: The Colonel’s face. THE COLONEL’S FACE. I love Gina and Owen just giving up and going with it. Who even came up with that song for Jamie to sing? And I mean that in a plot way, not a writer way. Is this the hooker anthem that I’ve been previously unaware of? Will it be available on iTunes when I’m done watching?
Even the Colonel is happy. He’s so happy. This is a world he’s never known, but it’s a world he loved through Amber. He’s beginning to figure that out.
And it’s his turn to speak. He’s ready.
“Holy shit,” Guya says.
“Is that John?” Katie asks.
“It looks like him.”
The Colonel shares Amber with her people. “She got me through many hard nights. She touched me.”
Owen’s Best Day Ever Got Even Better. He begins to squeak.
Jaina: Hard Nights…we see where you went there, Owen. We see.
Gina makes him leave with her.
“They’re so beautiful,” Katie says.
Jaina: It almost gets lost but that was a really great moment where Katie gets to see her kids together. They might be slightly…well, not the most well put together so to speak, but they do have good kind hearts somewhere near the bottom and it was sweet that Katie got to see them like that together.
Kelinswriter: AWKWARD. I’m amazed Gina and Owen lasted as long as they did. Also, perfect sibling chemistry there. I liked how it was contrasted with Katie’s moment of seeing her kids for the first time as adults. There was a lot going on in that snippet of time, and Liz nailed every single emotion.
Ms. Preston has had enough to drink now. “Your friends are so odd,” she observes to Richard. She grabs his thigh.
Jaina: The Thigh Grab of Awesome. Apparently Amber came by her skilz honestly?
He gets a phone call. Ms. Preston is too drunk to have her feelings hurt.
Kelinswriter: For a longtime Days viewer, the metatext here is downright creepy. And hilarious. You’re a bad, bad cougar, Julie Williams.
Outside, Gina and Owen are cackling. Jamie joins them, accusing Gina of setting him up. She disavows. Apparently Jamie just goes around to funerals for the, shall we say, avant garde alternative culture types, and sings songs like this.
Let me repeat: THERE ARE MORE SONGS OUT THERE. THAT JAMIE SINGS.
Jamie says it’s about art. Owen tries to agree through his giggling.
Guya runs out and tells them that Brandon is here.
Gina’s like, “Why?!”
Kelinswriter: These people have no clue how to act cool in the face of authority. The next time I plan a bank heist, they are so off the list of potential accomplices.
Guya breaks it down for her. Brandon wants the killer. And everyone’s there. Jamie, the soberest of them all, figures it out first. He fans himself. With a fucking fan. Boyfriend is prepared.
We get the money shot. Our cavalcade of clowns is about to get its comeuppance.
Jaina: I love how this whole thing is building, one piece falling into place at a time until the big four in this murder mystery are out there conspiring and freaking out and there the cops come, walking right up to this whole wonderful, messed up shindig. I love the oooh, busted of it all. And Guya still can’t resist ogling her man!candy.
The cops approach.
“Isn’t he handsome?” Guya asks.
Alone, the Colonel angsts. But then Stella is there, wearing an amazing suit. Looking even more like an adult. She tells the Colonel about Pamela dying. He tells her about Katie dying. They speak as equals. They’re ashamed of their crimes. They’re doing the best they can.
Jaina: I love love love that the Colonel doesn’t even blink an eye when Stella comes out to him. He affords her the same respect and courtesy that he would anyone else and doesn’t try to diminish her loss. In fact he accepts it as deep and truly as his own when Katie died. He even acknowledges his mistakes here. Even if he can’t quite see that having Guya wasn’t enough. They needed him too.
Kelinswriter: This is such a beautiful moment of understanding between the Colonel and Stella. I like that it refocuses us back on the human element – as absurd as the circumstances have been, a person died, and that reminds everyone of their own losses. But we also, for the first time, really see the Colonel open up about how he felt when Katie died and how he walled himself off from his kids. And as several people have pointed out, he doesn’t blink an eye when Stella says she’s gay. That’s progress for him.
Richard, however, is like, “OH MY GOD. REDACTED.” He presses the Colonel for information about Gina’s college days. The Colonel doesn’t know shit.
Kelinswriter: I think something important happened in that phone call. Richard is asking some very pointed questions. I will admit I’ve got a theory. We’ll see if I’m right. (Rysler: Does it involve carrots?)
Meanwhile in hell, Gina is introducing Dana to her family. Jamie is flattered Dana likes his song. But then he runs away.
Jaina: “Beautiful song.” Snickers. I mean, it was kinda, but uh… face/palm
Brandon confronts Guya. Guya the Ghost Whisperer, he could understand. As an isolated event, Guya is inexplicable, but acceptable. But the Brognos en masse? He doesn’t have to ask Lara and Sami to know that’s a big-ass problem.
“It’s a really funny story. Well, not so funny, ’cause somebody died,” Guya says.
Brandon is so done.
Jaina: Guya! The woman cannot keep secrets. Haven’t we covered that already?
Guya tells him EVERYTHING.
Dana totally hits on Gina. I’d watch that show. Gina takes the compliment graciously, but she has to go off to die with Jamie.
Jaina: “Could be police related…maybe not.” Ha! This is getting more like Wedding Crashers all the time.
Kelinswriter: Owen is just standing there blinking. That might be my favorite moment of him all season. Seriously, his reaction to the absurdity of this whole situation is one of my favorite things about this episode. Guya finally gets around to some exposition with Brandon (shut up Guya), but who cares, because DANA IS HITTING ON GINA. And Gina is so frazzled that she’s not even processing it.
“Why the fuck didn’t they just call the police?” Brandon asks.
Guya pleads for mercy for her beautiful children, her heartbroken brother that she owes too much, but all Brandon can see is the consequences of loving someone like Jane. Someone crazy. For the first time, pain shows on his face.
Kelinswriter: That last look on Brandon’s face is chilling. This is bad.
Gina’s getting a drink when Guya tells her that the secret’s out. Gina’s terrified. Just a child. Jane’s child.
Jaina: “Now is not the time for feelings, Aunt Jane.” The fun times are over now. Everyone is calling her Jane.
Katie’s child, too.
“Tell her it’s going to be okay,” Katie says.
So Jane does.
Jaina: Now that was very interesting. I bet Guya has said that more than once to Gina. It was very mothering of her, very protective and way more with it than we usually see with Guya. And Gina reacted that way too. Like a kid will still occasionally jump to, even though they’re an adult when their parent will tell them something. Guya says she’s got it and right at that moment, Gina really wants to believe that she does and let Guya take care of it.
(Meanwhile, in Venice.)
Jaina: Heh. And then the snark still shines.
Kelinswriter: Guya goes all parental and reassuring at Katie’s urging, which is lovely. And Gina’s response of “I’ll just go get my passport in order” while doing a shot is the only appropriate response. (One of my favorite CC comedy moments ever, by the way.) I hear Baja is lovely this time of year, Gina.
Katie is ready to say goodbye. So Guya is going to lose everything again, starting with her sister.
Guya wishes John and Gina and Owen could see Katie. Or hear her. Have her. But they only have Guya. Guya’s ashamed of the last 20 years.
Jaina: The “they know I’m with them” line makes me wonder if it’s being implied that Guya hadn’t. It would make sense with the way that she had always blamed herself for Katie’s death – or seemed to anyway.
Katie forgives her.
Jaina: Damn it, Guya and Katie are making me wanna cry. A tiny bit. These two are so good together.
The show spares us. In the fadeout, Katie is still there for her sister. One last time.
Jaina: That was sad. Poor Guya. There’s nothing like having to say goodbye to someone knowing that they’re leaving. What do you even say? It’s so hard. Is it harder than not having a chance like before? I don’t know. But still, poor Guya.
Kelinswriter: As absurd and hilarious as this episode was, the moment that brought it home for me was the ending. All this running around in circles has been about nothing but Guya realizing that she has to say goodbye to her sister. And whatever she may be, whether that is a ghost or a projection of Guya’s inebriated imagination, she’s become precious to Guya, and to us. This moment of letting go broke my heart — for the first time, we’re seeing a character we’ve grown to love presumably exit the canvas. (I said character we love, folks, so don’t bring up Tracy. Cuz…yeah.) This was moving and heartfelt and exactly what soaps are about for me — the connections we have with the people we love, even when they’re not with us. I teared up, and in writing about it I’m tearing up again. Well done, Venice, and thanks for this beautiful “passing of the torch” moment between the sisters. I miss you already too, Liz.