Back again for a recap that will blow your mind as much as the episode did. Ebb and flow, people, ebb and flow. Myself (twitterless) and Kelinswriter (@worddancer21) are here to react, explain, commiserate, and celebrate. Mmm, episode with emotional punches. Some to the heart, some to the gut. I loved this episode.
We open with a continuance of Jake’s appraisal of Lara’s vodka trash. Because he’s at Ani’s door. Only Lara answers. How delighted is he? So fucking delighted.
Kelinswriter: I like that we got the little repeat of Jake dumpster diving for Lara’s dirty little secret, because it gave the scene with Lara more texture. He’s not just flirting with her like the lech he is. He’s sizing her up.
Despite the rule about vampires and houses, Lara lets Jake in. He does not actually smell her hair.
Gina’s on the beach. Yay! I was wondering if the beach would show up this season. She’s smelling Owen’s shirt this time, because she is super in touch with her olfactory sense. It brings up recent memories. Like Ani unable to resist her.
Kelinswriter: Pretty much figured that kiss was going to happen. There was an inevitability to it, and oh, was it sweet in the way that only a crackling angsty forbidden love soap moment can be. That being said, way to screw with the grieving chick’s head, Ani.
The kiss reminded me of another almost!kiss that would have ended in much the same way. Confusion, frustration, hidden and revealed desires. (Kelinswriter: Post almost-kiss panic is the worst, Ani. Maybe you should go to church and pray for a while.) It isn’t the kiss–it’s the slow burn, as Kelinswriter would say. The low-level, constant frustration that a soap opera brings. We had a
lively discussion about what a soap opera is the other day. I think it’s this feeling. The stomach-churning of wanting to scream at the characters and not wanting them to stop. It’s not a ‘shippy thing, Brandon’s Big Van Secret prompts it later. Raw tension. Hurts so good.
Kelinswriter:I freeze-framed on that moment just after the kiss, and the intensity between them literally gave me goosebumps. They are both such sweet, damaged, clueless messes and what they feel for each other is so close to the surface. Also, Ani’s “I’ve been on the other side of that love” feels really important because I think she’s basically admitting that no matter what she has with Lara, there will always be something lacking.
Richard comes to comfort Gina, but she’s not buying it. Nag, nag, nag.
Kelinswriter: Richard, for a good guy, you’re really starting to come across as a manipulative bastard. I’m glad that Gina calls him out for his non-apology apology.
Rysler: Isn’t that the actual technical definition for “good guy”?
Oh, but their love child? Totally gay. Richard’s only been in Venice a couple of weeks but he can push Gina’s buttons. She’s intrigued by this little gay Richard-bred version of herself. Just a little.
Kelinswriter: Um, Richard? Gaydar isn’t like a secret neon sign flashing on our foreheads. It usually requires at least a small amount of conversation – especially where lipstick girls are concerned.
Jake is interrogating Lara.
Kelinswriter: Um…did they change the name of Lara’s book series?
Watching Jake taunt and circle Lara, I actually feel sorry for her. Yikes.
Kelinswriter: Lara is intriguing me in this scene. I can’t tell if she thinks he’s full of shit or if she kind of likes him…or both.
Ani shows up, cautiously. She brought roses! Because she kissed Gina and she feels super!bad about it, even though Lara has no idea that happened.
Kelinswriter: Ani, at least go to the grocery store for those roses. You are totally busting yourself by giving Lara ones you got at the gas station on your mad dash back home after you TOTALLY MADE OUT WITH GINA IN HER DEAD BROTHER’S BED. (Goddamn, but I love soaps.)
Ani had all her ways to win Lara back planned out, but now JAKE is here. I have a feeling he is a cog in her wheel often. Anyway, they’re getting married, they don’t know when, and they have surprisingly, no questions for Jake. Too busy scrambling.
Kelinswriter: Ani lets out the Lara sobriety secret and Jake starts his blackmail plans. Also, was anyone else totally skeeved out by the way Jake said “I hope this is the first of many get togethers for the three of us”?
Poster child for happy couple.
Jake leaves. Ani probes the 411 on that little occurrence. Lara says, “He’s fine.” Let us remember that Lara is not a detective.
They kiss. Somehow not the same.
Kelinswriter: Ani and Lara need to stop being so cute together when they’re not tearing each other apart. Also, glad Ani is wise to Jake’s game.
Gina’s on Richard’s hook. He’s reeling her in. He’s got her–Nope, she strands him when the call comes in that Brandon has news.
Kelinswriter: Gina was doing so well at resisting Richard until he played the baby dyke card. Now the guilt is eating at her right when all she wants to do is dig a hole in the sand and crawl inside it forever. (Side note: Kudos to whomever came up with the “teach her the secret handshake” line.)
These scenes between Crystal and Robert Newman were so fun. I felt like I was watching Guiding Light. I could watch them argue all day. Bring it on! Make mommy and daddy fight!
Kelinswriter: I think Richard is lucky Gina got pulled away by that phone call because she was winding up to take his head off.
Speaking of, Grandpa Colonel is showing his precious grandbaby pictures of Owen, and though he’s self-effacing when he talks about Owen the Actor, Sarah calls him on his shit. Good girl. She reveals she is a painter. Hobby, not career. Her parents are supportive. So the Colonel judges them too. Until he’s called away to Guya’s meeting.
Kelinswriter: I love Sarah isn’t scared of him and throws his bs right back at him. Grandpa, you may have met your match. Also, I think I’m catching a glimpse of the relationship that Gina and the Colonel might have had if things hadn’t gotten so toxic after Katie died…and I think the Colonel is too.
Brandon has more bad news to break to Guya. Poor guy.
Kelinswriter: I’m beginning to wonder if Brandon ever gets a word in edgewise.
But we don’t get to hear it because the remaining Brognos show up. Brandon tells them it’s conclusive that Sami stabbed the fuck out of Owen. All that remains is to catch her. Sami’s fingerprints were in the system?
Kelinswriter: Guya is a little too excited about these fingerprints. I think she really wants to be a detective. Spinoff?
Hm. Did she have to get fingerprinted for the Peace Corps? Was she a teacher?
Kelinswriter: I think the criminally insane are often fingerprinted.
And that other thing about Van…
Van is chasing a girl. Adrienne, in fact, who’s leaving town because the cops are onto her. Van protests. He’s like a child, petulant and wounded. “I’m glad you’re leaving!”
Adrienne tells him to get a life.
“Maybe now I can.” A gut punch, isn’t it? Cain and Abel.
Don’t leave, Adrienne!
Kelinswriter: Run, Adrienne. Run run run.
Back to Gina ranting about Sami. As if she’s trying to will simplicity into existence. When Brandon and the Colonel come back, she’s grateful. “It’s over.”
Kelinswriter: “It is over!” Guya has watched way too many episodes of Law and Order.
Is it, guys? Is it over?
Brandon is so defeated. Heh.
Later that night, still at Guya’s, Gina’s brooding as Gina does, and Van comes to brood with her. He’s being magnanimous, but she basically calls him a sociopath. He’s not having it.
She considers it, but he’s family. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
He starts yelling. He was a dick to Owen. But she wonders if maybe she was a dick to Owen too. That’s what she was thinking about on the beach, that’s what she’s thinking about here. How she and Van deserve each other, and their shitty lives, and Owen deserved better. But as Gina points out, it doesn’t matter, they’re stuck with what they have.
Kelinswriter: Gina is definitely considering the “hit me” option. And wait…is that guilt, Van? I think Gina is wondering the same thing. Uh oh…
Kelinswriter: How happy does it make me to see these two in a scene together? SO. HAPPY.
Van stews. Gina ponders.
Ani goes to the BEST PARTY EVER.
Kelinswriter: Could we have more of Lara in this outfit? Please?
Seriously, I would die for this. Champagne and techno and red and Jamie (and lots of coke?). Either Ani’s a moron who hasn’t figured out her brother, or she HAS figured out and she knows how to ride the highs. She’s genuinely pleased. Lara’s purposely slighted/taunted with her champagne glass (slick, Jake), and is reeking of outsider. Loosen up, Lara! You marry into a family. This family.
Would you rather have the Brognos?
Kelinswriter: You know you live in Venice Beach when your engagement party is almost entirely attended by gay men. (Also hi Patrick!!!)
Kelinswriter: Intriguing forward movement in the plot. I’m sure I’ll process that later, but if you’ll excuse me now, I have to go back and rewatch that kiss…