Welcome to the fifth in my series of angst-free Venice reviews. This post contains spoilers. kelinswriter is freshly back from Days of Days and jaina47 is here for the party, too. Wednesday afternoon is destination TV.
kelinswriter: “Between Gina and the Colonel and Lara and Ani, this is better than therapy.”
The episode opens on a gorgeous scene. The rooftop bar, a great shot overlooking the beach itself, and CRYSTAL IS WEARING AN AMAZING LEATHER JACKET. The jacket of goodness. With the hair of goodness. And she’s talking, one on one, with Fun Aunt Guya. I hope you all have a Fun Aunt Guya in your life, guys.
“We need a sleepover with Owen,” says Gina, referencing one of my favorite storylines from last year, the OT3 of happy hippie failures.
kelinswriter: “Notice the sleepover does not include significant others.”
Gina says it’s finally all coming together for Owen. “The movie and the love.” That can’t be good.
They’re both using such quiet voices here. They’re just talking. This is the scene that gets better and better each time I watch it.
And it’s been said for Crystal and Nadia and poor, poor Inez Salinger Ford, but let me say it for Hillary B Smith. I wish she got to do this kind of work on One Life to Live. She never gets to do these really calm, caring scenes. She only ever really gets to be emotional with Susan Haskell, which is why I think they continue that relationship. But this, this has a place in justice too, guys.
Anyway, Gina is wistful for her mom, which gives Guya the line of the episode:
“The answer to this one is simple: Yes, she is proud of you and she sees what incredible people you and Owen have become and yes, she would kick the Colonel’s ass.”
Gina soaks up all that love, and gets to such a happy place Guya has room to make her be nice to the Colonel.
kelinswriter: “How she downshifts the conversation from Katie to the Colonel is a masterwork of naturalistic acting.”
Guya even implies one of the Colonel’s children might have taken after him (and there’s no frickin’ way it’s Owen.)
(Gina does not care about what is difficult for the Colonel.)
Guya: “Eh. I’m just talking.”
We don’t get Gina and Ani together in this episode–and you know, I didn’t even miss them, last week was so supercute–but we get their scenes side by side. Ani is in Lara’s kitchen, about to cook Lara dinner, because she takes her duties as World’s Perfect Girlfriend seriously.
Ani opens the trash to throw away a paper towel and sees an empty wine bottle (The Count: Four. Four empty bottles. Ahahaha.) She makes a sad puppy face.
kelinswriter: “Ani is shocked that Lara does not recycle.”
Ani is, in fact, too upset to throw out the crumpled paper towel in her hand. She uses it to dry her hands again and throws it on the counter. Take that, paper towel.
The praise shouldn’t get lost among all the heavy-hitters on Venice:
Meanwhile, Sami and Van are in the soup kitchen, and I have to watch it a few more times because I think there’s a lot here. I’m starting to see Van’s issues. I’m starting to think Van should see 127 Hours. When you’re telling African Safari girl she’s not spontaneous enough…
A lot of characters are by themselves this episode. Gina, Ani, Guya, Owen. Our quartet. I love these glimpses. Who they are when they just…are. After our 21 seconds of Ani, we get 18 seconds of Gina outside her door, psyching herself up. I love those roses. EVERY TIME. Then it’s Owen’s turn, calling Sami for apparently the third time in an hour. She’s late for her date.
Owen picks up his script, but puts it back down and picks up his hippo instead. I hope he is not letting his personal life affect his work! He gives a sigh…
… and shift to Gina bravely charging the Colonel’s kitchen (not a metaphor).
This scene is so great. I really can’t say much about it. It’s watchable and funny and every frame is worth my admiration.
kelinswriter: “She’s just so…managing him when she sits down.”
rysler: “And yet, still blistering disdain.”
kelinswriter: “It’s kind of lovely watching the discipline she’s forcing herself to have with him.”
kelinswriter: “And yeah when she looks at him after he eats she’s like proud and contemptuous.”
The Colonel succumbs to Gina’s personal style of obnoxious by smiling with fake, evil cheerfulness. Is mocking her meeting her halfway? Brilliant. Brilliant makes me so happy.
Meanwhile, World’s Perfect Girlfriend is cooking empanadas for the hot tall lady who gropes her ass and compliments her gregariously.
Lara’s story about family traditions is hilarious. She would also like wine with dinner because she bought something that isn’t Fisheye and she’s excited to try it. Ani tempts her into having sex instead (or at least, first).
kelinswriter: “Also I am sad that Ani is already learning how to manage the drunk.”
kelinswriter: “She’s hoping it’s just a phase.”
kelinswriter: “I would bet perhaps she distracted Gina with sex a time or two.”
How wonderful is it to type, “the sex scene” and not be referring to “That time they held hands in the rain”? I mean, that’s a beautiful, wonderful scene, and yet, THE SEX SCENE.
With ACTUAL SEX.
While the girls are being girls, Guya is alone in bed, drinking a martini and cursing up a storm. She’s lost her aura, which signifies a life-altering event, but she’s not ready yet to acknowledge that it’s Liz Keifer. She reads her diary instead, reliving her sister’s 30th birthday. The implication I get is that it was her sister’s last birthday ever.
“I think we’ll skip the cheap wine this time. Last time she threw up right after we met these really cute guys.” Is this the next generation’s response to Katherine’s “My friend Betsy Meyer” line last week? Interesting parallel.
jaina47: “I’m very curious about the circumstances of Katie’s death.”
“Santa Barbara, here we come.”
A spray of water. A beautiful woman. HD video of what we’ve only seen as a shaky twitter picture thus far.
kelinswriter: “a. They are very pretty.”
kelinswriter: “b. They are very pretty.”
kelinswriter: “c. They are very pretty.”
kelinswriter: “d. I love that someone (I’m guessing Crystal) arranged it so that Nadia was the one facing forward. I’m gonna bet she made that deal with Nadia ahead of time.”
And just what is Lara doing in that shower? BEYOND THE OBVIOUS.
Then we segued into a discussion of hair-pulling during sex that I am not going to share at this point in time. I will say, we all knew this scene was coming, and as Ani and Lara’s story developed I felt this scene had to happen soon, or there were going to be too many plot implications to just have sexy-fun-scene. And so it happened fairly early in the season. Yet, there are some layers of plot implications, too. Perfectly timed, perhaps. I look forward to the fallout.
kelinswriter: “I think they are definitely establishing Lara as an alpha counterpoint to Gina. and that says a lot about Ani character-wise.”
rysler: “You know. Ani just wants a normal girlfriend. Some nice children’s book author with a lot of money and a lot of time who is hot and playful and laid back. An anti-Gina. But if that person is going to act more like Gina every day, then that’s probably fine with Ani too. She likes that to a degree.”
kelinswriter: “Right. Ani likes the control.”
kelinswriter: “To some extent.”
rysler: “And she likes pleasing people. clearly.”
kelinswriter: “She’s good with it because, let’s face it, it’s hot. But the problem is that people like that have a tendency to walk all over you sooner or later.”
kelinswriter: “Ani’s got the mama/nurture gene.”
rysler: “I mean, she wants to have sex right here, a lot. But she wants to have sex in a way that gives to Lara.”
You know how you’re doing a good job, Venice? This episode didn’t have any Gina/Ani fanservice to placate me, and I’m completely satisfied. I mean, I’ve had a lot of egg nog, but I’m happy with what I saw and where it’s going. Props. ::fist bumps Venice:: Also, it’s been over three hours since I watched, and I’m still musing. I don’t time-stamp these conversations, but it’s interesting that people are coming to me very late with, “You know what I was thinking?”
kelinswriter: “You know what I found intriguing about episode 5?”
kelinswriter: “I knew what was coming. I knew the shower scene was going to be in this episode.”
kelinswriter: “And I wasn’t impatient for it. I was just enjoying every aspect of the show.”
Venice is usually such a high. A grab-with-two-fists, squeepants on fire rush. This episode was a low.
Music: “Hurricane” by Cole Whalen