Kelinswriter (@worddancer21) and I welcome you back to Venice: The Series recaps. This episode was full on Brogno, and devoted to the pinnacle painful of our love story entanglements.
We start where we left off. Gina striding into Malbec like she belongs there, in this morass of Venice Beach irregulars and Ani/Lara.
Kelinswriter: Oh dear. Gina swaggering into the awkward party crash of awkward is still so…awkward.
Jamie tries to stop her, but who stops Gina? There’s Jaws-shark-like music playing that’s great.
“Ani?” Gina asks. As if to wake herself up.
“Are you even watching this?” Owen asks. So he’s watching his sister’s life unhappily unfold. Interesting.
Kelinswriter: Owen is getting bored with sitting around all day doing nothing but watch his soaps…uh…sister.
Joel Brooks tries to convince him it’s the natural order of things, which makes Owen sad. “Life’s a bitch.”
“Then you die.”
hell earth, Van is there. He’s fixed the fan, trying to appease his mother. His mother is trying to appease him by showing him he didn’t really hate Owen, not at six years old.
None of this is helping anyone’s self-esteem, even before Brandon shows up to be a buzzkill. Van quickly gets out of his way.
Kelinswriter: Guya needs to stop blaming herself for Van being such a little shit.
Guya tries to convince Brandon that Van is not a supervillain, even though she totally knows he is. But he’s her son.
Kelinswriter: It feels like we’re missing a scene here. I would have liked to have seen Guya find out about Brandon’s suspicions that Van might be involved in Owen’s death.
“He’s a lot of things but he’s not a killer,” she says. Spoken like a true mother. “Leave my son alone.” It’s like she’s begging. Because she’s standing on quicksand.
Meanwhile, Sarah is still stuck with the Colonel. They’re going to have dinner together.
Kelinswriter: Sarah busting the Colonel’s chops will never get old. These two have a lovely understated chemistry.
They banter about hipster Richard and make sad about Owen, but Sarah’s more interested in her mother.
The Colonel offers up, “She’s stubborn, but she’s not stupid.” (Uh huh.) (Kelinswriter: Well…)
Back at the party, it’s still awkward silence and jaws music good times. I could watch this all day.
“I’m so stupid,” Gina says.
Jake starts babbling, to fill the silence, to progress the story along a little bit. Is Jake really saving the day? Or is he driving the nails in as hard as he can? A little both, and that’s why Jake is the best cokehead in town. As we’ll learn later, we have no idea whether or not he likes his sister, or finds Lara interesting, but he fucking HATES Gina Brogno. You should have met Sami, Jake.
Kelinswriter: Jake has just proven he’s the sort of person who likes to pull the wings off of flies.
Gina wishes them well.
Lara says they’re happy. For some reason I get this vision of really awkward summer camp whenever Lara speaks. She’s won, and she’s a lousy winner, gloating and sticking pins in Gina’s flesh.
Kelinswriter: Katherine and Jamie are trying to fix the awkward, Logan is thinking about how to get in Gina’s pants, and Lara is rubbing salt in the wound. And Ani just sits there like she’s under a magic spell. She can’t even move until Gina leaves the room, and then all she wants to do is run after her. These people, I swear.
Ani is frustratingly Ani.
“She’s upset because of me.”
“Are you fucking kidding?”
Even I’m with Lara there.
Drew gets lines! He speaks! And Patrick looks fabulous. This really is the best party.
Back on the meditation porch, Guya’s still trying to save her son. Guya, you suck at saving people. The world will be a better place when you realize. She’s changed tactics, though. She tells Brandon, “I’m going to get you drunk and hot and convince you.”
Um. That would sure convince me.
Kelinswriter: Guya, you are not built for sexing the principles out of a righteous cop. And you’re also scared to death of the truth. Looks like those psychic skills might be coming back after all…
Brandon is a better man than I. He stands up for principle, for ethics, for cop code. Guya’s annoyed.
“I want to protect who I have left.”
Okay, that does stab me in the heart. (Like Sami stabbed Owen, amirite?)
Jake has kind of kidnapped Lara, and is giving her a pep talk. He seems sincere. Given his later confession to Alan, he might kinda be. Need moar backstory.
He tells Lara, “She’ll come home to you. She just doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. She doesn’t want to hurt Gina’s feelings. She doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of the person who parked her car.”
Kelinswriter: Jake gives us some very cynical insight into how Ani operates, and though I want to smack him, I think he’s right on the nose. Lara really doesn’t like hearing that she’s fixable. I think it may have just occurred to her that a fixer will always need something to fix (and what better place to focus that attention than on a “lost cause” like Gina).
Richard has showed up at the Colonel’s for dinner, so that Sarah can get a glimpse of Gina’s awkward childhood.
Sarah asks if Gina hates parental responsibility because Owen and Colonel.
Kelinswriter: Even the Colonel gets that he should stay away from that question.
“She’s pretty busy tonight,” The Colonel tells Richard. I wonder what the Colonel will do when he finds out about the red wedding plans. I mean, he’s the guy that mailed the letter.
Gina’s being morose on the beach, which is one of my favorite Ginas. And remember, Venice takes place in Alaska, so it just LOOKS like daytime. Ani shows up, as she does in Gina’s morose beach scenes, which is probably why I always love them. Anyway, they argue. Gina says lots of things she wouldn’t say if she weren’t so heartbroken. What if Gina had proposed? Gina postulates.
“You would never ask me that.”
My first reaction? Jesus fuck!
Gina gets histrionic about how long it’s been since Owen died, but Kelinswriter points out that his funeral was only yesterday, according to her wardrobe. But she has a lot going on right now.
Kelinswriter: There is so much unspoken in this conversation. It’s like they’re talking to their constructs of each other rather than to each other. I think Gina realizes this after the toothbrush comment. She realizes she’s piled up too much debris for Ani to ever actually see her as she is. Maybe if she’d ASK ABOUT THE FRICKING LETTER she’d realize that Ani is missing a key piece of information, but I digress.
It’s Ani who lays it all down for Gina to pick up: “I am enough for her.”
Kelinswriter: Ani uses the phrase “And I am enough for her” and betrays that she is settling with Lara. But instead of calling her on it, Gina just blows her off and walks away. It doesn’t seem very Gina-like, but I think the combination of grief and humiliation have just gotten to be too much for her. She’s lost the will to fight.
It’s so painful and yet I want to watch it over and over. I’m thinking there’s more to come, letter-wise.
Back at the now sadder party (and oddly daylighty–maybe she waited all night?), Lara waits by the door, waiting for Ani to return to her.
Kelinswriter: This season, Ani seems to be emulating the “disappearing alcoholic” behavior that Lara had cultivated to such a fine art in seasons 2 and 3. Lara does not like how it feels to be on the other side of this one bit.
Alan praises Jake for sinisterness and inquires as to his hating Gina so frickin’ much.
“That’s a story for a later date,” Jake says. Tell me now. Tell me nooow!
Oh god Alan said “Bless her heart.” Makes my life.
Kelinswriter: Jake and Alan need mustaches to twirl.
Rysler: So much this.
Ani wanders along the beach, looking beautiful, crying out to God.
Kelinswriter: Ani may take forever to make a decision, but when she does, it’s a powerful thing. There was something formidable in her face the moment after she took that ring off.
I’m starting to think she’s the one who needs all the fixing.
Gina has stumbled home to get drunk, but she left her keys in the door. Tsk, tsk. Someone could get in.
Kelinswriter: I’ve done that “leaving the keys in the door” thing. Never actually had someone come in though.
Footsteps. “It’s you,” Gina says.
Kelinswriter: I have my suspicions who this “you” is, and I have a feeling it won’t be one of Gina’s finest life choices.
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