This episode is Ani-less. There’s no light here. Only darkness. Owen, Gina, and Guya family time is always a harbinger.
Jamie, too, is in hiding. Though his cocktails are present. And his crimes.
And to speak to those crimes, Brandon, who’s come home to Guya, as promised. She’s waiting, as promised. She looks worse than she ever did. She’s scared. And sorry. So, so sorry, even though none of this was her fault. Even though she just found out. This is her entire life, one big accidental tragedy.
Jaina: Aw, has Guya even moved since last week? Poor Guya. It does not look like a fun place to be right now, where she is. She should have been ‘ware of the dude in the blue shirt.
Brandon forgives her, but there’s no joy there. He’s still feeling betrayed by her secrets. Not by their contents. Professionally, he’s doing the right thing. The proper thing. I’d like to think that if Guya were a stranger, he’d act similarly. It’s only personal that hurts. He’s so very weary of his life.
Guya’s relief is palpable, and with it, his relief comes too. This was my favorite scene. Like, ever. I think I could actually watch it a hundred times.
Kelinswriter: Wow she is just paralyzed by fear. And he’s not giving her an inch with how solemn he is when he comes in and how he so very deliberately places his gun atop his jacket. I was actually a little surprised when it turns out that he’s going to give them a free pass. I think he’s doing the sensible thing – God knows cops have bigger things to deal with in LA. But there’s still this air of tension between them. What was so simple and uncomplicated is now filled with secrets that neither of them want to brush up against. There’s no drama – there’s a real maturity to how they’re handling this. But it feels like something between them has fundamentally changed, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
Jaina: I’m pretty sure that it’s now official that Brandon is the sweetest sweetie ever and that Guya owes him…something major.
So there’s the resolution of Guya and Brandon’s confrontation. Now Lara and Sami.
Lara, too, does the right thing, and again, there’s no joy.
Kelinswriter: Lara’s body language in this scene is so complicated. She doesn’t want to go – she likes the fun hot girl who she can drink with and not have to worry. It takes the pressure off. But she’s still sufficiently tied to Ani that she can feel that pull almost physically. I get the feeling next time it will be a little harder to go, and the next time a little harder. Slippery slope, Lara, and you’re sliding.
Sami watches her go, plotting. Van slides into a barstool next to her. “I didn’t think this was your kind of place.”
“Go to hell,” Sami says automatically, hating guys like that. Guys like Owen. But it’s Van and when she recognizes him, she’s happy to see him. He’s always been there for her. Even when she’s drunk out of her mind.
Jaina: Hmm, it’s nice and responsible how Sami keeps pouring drinks down the alcoholic. Heh. And almost ironic that it’s Sami that has Lara turning down drinks, something she wouldn’t do for Ani. I am curious though just how drunk Sami really is. Correct me if I’m wrong but she didn’t seem to be that under the influence when it was Lara sitting there, just Van.
“Let me take you home,” he says. He’s at his most sincere. Even I believe his magnanimous tone.
Kelinswriter: Sami’s lit, and Van wants a three way. He’s so deliciously ugly – I’m so happy that they can get away with him being so depraved without having to soften him in any way.
The day ends. But the morning begins. Michele is presumably hungover, is greeted by a chipper Alan. He has demands. For WORK. Remember Gina’s warning? Michele does. She calls Gina, desperate for help.
Kelinswriter: “I love it! Now change everything.” Welcome to the wonderful world of shit rolling downhill, Michele. There’s no Gina to block the spatter any more – you’re taking a full on hit.
Jaina: I’d almost feel sorry for Michele, but she did get what she wanted. Turns out life’s a bitch once you get the brass ring. Or at least Alan is. I am, ah…curious how Gina’s gonna react to that plea for help.
(Jaina: Sidenote: 21! Perfect Brogno child re-introduction age!)
Richard’s packing his van. He has a quest. He has a place to go. He’s done with Gina. He’s remembering what it was like, all those years ago, the pain she caused him.
Kelinswriter: “Part of your charm has always been your selfish, childlike approach to life.” Well if that doesn’t just hit it right on the head. Gina’s entire handling of this was so like that of a kid who was trying to hide that she’s been in the cookie jar. She thought she made it go away, only it’s back, and there’s no explanation that’s going to work.
This scene is tragic because it’s 100% about being gay, it’s 100% about the Colonel and the suffocating fear of being married and trapped forever. And 0% about Richard and even less about the child. Gina at her most selfish. Gina at her most paralyzed. It’s responsibility vs environment, it’s choice vs parental rights, all at its most distilled. I have no answers.
Jaina: You know, the thing I love the most about this argument that they’re having is that neither one is like, massively out of line. I’m not saying Gina did the absolute right thing. It’s a complicated situation and honestly I’m not sure there is an absolute right thing to do there. I can see how from Richard’s point of view she screwed up massively, and from her own she did the only thing that she could have. Dealt in the only way she could manage to deal. I love that the story manages to strike that balance and takes that route – because it’s not the easy one. It is the one that makes for the best storytelling note.
Kelinswriter: Richard’s fury is palpable. The good guy who always tried to do the right thing, who you get the feeling didn’t ever really ask for much of anything (which might be why he’s divorced)…he wanted a kid. You can feel how much he wanted a kid, how much of his life he thinks might have gone differently if he’d had a relationship with or at least a chance to raise this child. It’s heartbreaking.
I see Gina, perfectly reflected by Richard’s lion-hearteness, at her worst. Her absolute worst moment as a human being (stacked up against so many–not telling Richard in the first place, abandoning Ani, abandoning Tracy, abandoning Michele–anyway). Reflected by Richard, she has no defenses. She has only the excuse that she’s Gina, and for Richard, who always believed she was more, that’s not enough.
There is no forgiveness here.
Kelinswriter: “I don’t see forgiveness in this.” That blink of Gina’s registers like she’s just been slapped.
And yet, I want there to be. I want redemption for Gina. I want her to swoop in and save Michele like I wanted her to swoop in and save Ani last year. I’m rooting for her. I want everything to be all right.
I want Richard to NEVER LOOK LIKE THAT.
Jaina: Aw, poor Michele and her thousand drafts. I may not share her exact pain, but lets just say I was having a similar deadline related meltdown yesterday. It was not pretty.
Kelinswriter: Michele, meet Karma. Have fun getting acquainted!
We’ve suffered enough, and thus we get the money shot.
Hillary, Tina, and Liz all in a scene together. I can’t even properly summarize. This is stupidly fantastic. Hilarious. Snuffing. Sniping.
Kelinswriter: I was just thinking this morning that we’d better get a Katherine/Guya scene this season. If we had gotten nothing but Katherine in a negligee doing unspeakable things to Alan, I would have been pissed. So it’s lovely to see her venturing out into the world for her annual reading.
Jaina: Guya and Katherine….one. long. heeeeeeeeee. Love it! We needed a dose of fabulous right about here. Oh man! And now Katie shows up. Hee. Watching Guya try to have a three way conversation and keep her conversations straight is hilarious. I love that Katie’s showing up to help out – such as it may be – with Guya’s readings now. The sisterly “I’m right.” “NO, I’M right.” conversation was the best. Those three are awesome together. Rock on, Ladies!
“If you want to call me Katie, you could.”
“Is your husband’s name Teddy…”
Kelinswriter: “Alan? I thought he was gay.” We did too, Guya. And Alan has the boots to prove it.
Greatest. Scene. Ever.
Kelinswriter: You know, Guya, you shouldn’t get all pissy over Katie popping up during your readings. Most psychics would be grateful for a direct pipeline. I would think it would lead to better tips.
Back to Richard and Gina, and to pain.
Jaina: You know, even though Richard is pissed with Gina, says he can’t forgive her, I love that he’s still asking for the best of her. He’s not taking pot shots. He’s asking her to step up and declaring his intentions to do the same. Damn it, guys, I’m not gonna lie. I like Richard. If Frank had been this kind of good man maybe I wouldn’t have screamed at my screen as much every time those two words got uttered.
Gina imagines her daughter, and sees horrors untold.
Richard imagines his daughter, and sees wonder. He trembles with the wonder. He smiles.
Kelinswriter: Richard’s “She’s my kid, that’s all that matters” attitude again breaks my heart. Gina’s spent so many years making up reasons why the kid was better off not knowing anything, and here she’s being smacked in the face over why that was a terrible, selfish decision. Again with the Karma bitchslaps, Venice. Is that today’s theme?
Jaina: Poor Gina is just shattered though, so broken in pieces by all this that it’s kind of all she can do to breathe.
Kelinswriter: Gina is so terrified at the notion of meeting this kid. It’s like Richard is asking her to put her hand into a fire, and she just can’t bring herself to do it. Girl needs some Ani snuggles stat.
Hey look, Adrienne!
Jaina: There’s lots of coming up behind ladies on the beach and scarring them this season, isn’t there? This couldn’t be more different from Gina and Ani though. Van remains a dictatorial asshat.
I know this scene is supposed to be sinister and sad, but I’m seriously enjoying Eric. This was his best episode so far, both with Sami and Adrienne.
Kelinswriter: Does anyone do cocky macho arrogance better than Eric Martsolf? It just oozes off of him. So fucking sexy gross skeevy wonderful.
“Rampant seagulls? We have those around here? They’re dangerous.”
I. Love. Him.
Adrienne doesn’t love him. But he lays it out for her, and us. He rescued her in Cabo when she was a grifter. Just like he rescued Sami in the bar. She was a schemer. She should be into this. He doesn’t want to hurt Owen. That would be wrong. He just wants to torment Owen emotionally. It’s all justified. For his childhood? Or was he always damaged goods?
Jaina: Dear Van, when a conwoman has higher moral standards than you…maybe it’s time to reevaluate is what I’m saying. You know, just something to think about. I am curious if Van was one of the dudes she tried to con though. Van would be willing to make the best uses out of available resources.
Kelinswriter: Adrienne is so sick of his bullshit, but that damn Cabo situation is hanging around her neck. I’m really intrigued over how this is going to play out when her back gets put hard against a wall.
Adrienne is more excited about Owen taking her to dinner. Unfortunately he’s taking her to Hell Bar.
Jaina: I do admit that I kind of have to agree with Van. Owen couldn’t have picked anywhere else to take her out? Heh. I loved his immediate call to Sami though. I may not love Van’s attitude or the way that he treats Adrienne but when the shit stirring starts he is the mostest fun.
Gina has no where else to go. She has gone home. She drinks and lies to her family and they are too blitzed to see how desperate she is. Owen tries, but Gina babbles until he resorts to drinking more. Then she pretends she’s stressed about the dead hooker incident. Still Owen’s favorite thing ever.
Jaina: Dude, are they drinking some real tequila there? That seemed like some very accurate slurring to me, lol.
Kelinswriter: Hey if you gotta do a tequila product placement, might as well do it while sounding like you’ve had a few. And damn, that does sound good. Is it 5 o’clock yet?
Owen spills that Gina and Dana went on a date, presumably between her time with Ani and her time with Richard. Girl is complicated.
Jaina: Haha! Gina went out with Dana? I guess that didn’t go quite so far over her head. Awesome! I am tres amused.
Kelinswriter: Aw, I’m sad we get Dana!date as exposition, but at least Gina got one. Though why she’s hanging out with Brandon’s partner when she’s freaked out over Brandon knowing about Amber and trying to lay low is kind of beyond me.
“I don’t know if I want to date a cop.”
Kelinswriter: I’m going to take that as confirmation that Brandon and Guya do make unauthorized use of his cuffs on a regular basis.
Guya smells Owen. He’s got Sami all over him. It’s not over yet.
Kelinswriter: Guya, stop sniffing your nephew. It’s creepy. And tell Gina to go see Ani while you’re at it.
Jaina: Gina is not a straight and narrow kind of girl. Now that makes me curious. Ignoring the obvious line that Owen likewise ignored – and Dana obvious has no problem with – it makes me wonder what other recreational substancing Gina gets up to in her free time. I don’t see her screwing around with work, so it makes me wonder what else she could be into is all I’m saying.
The Colonel is at the mailbox now. He walked there like it was nothing. Katie’s there, watching him with adoration. She tells him how good he looks. She glows at him, the light in her hair.
Kelinswriter: I am so glad we’re getting this scene. Katie just shines with love for John here. He may be a pain in the ass, but he was her guy and she adores him and knows she left him too soon.
“Tubby, you old jackass,” he says affectionately.
(Kelinswriter: Okay casting request – either Robert Newman or Jerry ver Dorn. Justin Deas works too. Kthxbye.)
Katie’s pulled up short. “I think I know why I’m here.”
The episode closes as it opened. With trepidation.
Kelinswriter: Anyone else thinking what I’m thinking? Also hello season 4, you’re shaping up to be a doozy already. Can’t wait.
Jaina: Wait….what, what, what, WHAT? Tell us MOAR, Amber/Katie. I must know!