Recap: Season 3, Episode 4

Hi and welcome to the fourth recap of Venice the Series: Season 3 with Kelinswriter (@jessiewolf), Jaina (@Jaina47) and myself (@Ryslerfic).

This has been a week of site troubles! I hope no one has noticed. But we’ve also taken a look at our stats, and thank you for your visits. 3,000 people visited the site last week. You know who you are.

This year we don’t get to see everyone in every episode, like last year, but I don’t notice, really. There’s a nice flow to everything. The stories move. It’s more like an actual TV show than a series of vignettes, like season two, or a movie, like season one. Cool!

Kelinswriter: I want Gina’s office location. It’s like a little slice of Europe. Of course, all hell’s breaking loose inside.

Michele and Gina pick up from last week. Same scene, same clothes, same moment. Gina has found out that Michele submitted drawings to Alan under Gina’s name, and Alan is coming to discuss them.

Jaina47: Michele looks so contrite and Gina looks so “I have a migraine make this go the fuck away please because I was having such an awesome day before MY ENTIRE LIFE WENT TO SHIT.”

Gina is wearing unfortunate camouflage of sadness, her power leather long gone into despair.

Kelinswriter: Let’s pause a moment to ponder the significance of The Colonel’s daughter wearing a dress made out of the forest fatigues from “Return of the Jedi.”

(What is this I don’t even.)

Michele is seeking guidance from Gina, but Gina is blissed out. Gina has accepted what she cannot change. In the absence of guidance, Michele tries to expedite getting the Fuck Outta There, away from Gina.

Jaina47: You know, two things here. I think Michele has thought her actions out even less than I originally thought she had and to a certain degree I see this fond, wistful nostalgia beneath Gina’s pissed off and worriedness about what was – as in her trust for Michele, the way she thought things were, and their friendship. She’s mourning in the present tense.

“Don’t go falling on your sword,” Gina says. She may not know what to do yet, but she knows she can’t do it without Michele. And she ain’t stupid.
Kelinswriter: The implication being “You can do it later but for the moment you’re useful.”

Jaina47: I love watching Crystal Chappell play a smart kick-ass business woman whose brain you can almost see jumping three moves ahead of everyone else and fully exploring all the possibilities.

Blocked from escape, Michele sits down and contemplates plan B: throwing up.

Jaina47: This scared, shaken, uncertain Michele is a far cry away from the confident bold brassy woman that we met at the start of Venice. Or is this what was underneath the whole time? I mean, isn’t that always the case?

Meanwhile, Brandon the Sexy Cop is in his unmarked police car with his Sexy Cop partner Dana (Patti Pelton), who rapid-fires new information on the Case of the Jane Doe in the Funeral Home.

Jaina47: BLUE SHIRT!

Tox screens have come back, months weeks later, because there are lots of murders and real cases and backlog in the LAPD (and plenty of room for cops in open-necked shirts. Anyone think of Psych here?). Jane Doe wasn’t drugged, but her NAILS HAD BEEN REPAINTED.

“Why touch up the ho’s nails?”
“Some motherfucking crazy shit out there.”

Who would like to hear John McBain say that? :: raises hand::

Kelinswriter: “Why touch up the ho’s nails?” might be the line of the year. Tad crass, but still.

Jaina47: Dana is getting the best lines.

While the cops philosophize, The Colonel is working out and getting lectured by Nurse Stella.

She would like him to trust her medical judgement. And I think she totally hit on him!

Kelinswriter: These scenes have become one of the highlights of this season for me. Finally, the Colonel has someone who can meet him on his own terms and call him on his bullshit. The line about him knowing what his men could take when he gave an order proves she knows how to speak his language. Could we be seeing the seeds of a possible pairing here? Hm…

Jaina47: Oooh, and I did love that this scene confirmed my theory about the way that Nurse Stella is dealing with the Colonel, drawing on his military background, a little bit of flattery, challenging him just the right amount, and then not giving him a choice, damn it.

Rysler: Or that.

Back in purgatory, Michele and Gina have changed clothes. (Kelinswriter: New day, new clothes.) Denim is a good look for Gina. And she likes Michele’s work. She’d like to discuss Michele’s work, but Alan walks in at just the wrong time!


He reiterates, in person, that Michele’s work is the best Gina’s ever done. Gina manages not to implode while Michele is both giddy and confessional.

Jaina47: Gina’s panic increases the more Alan talks about the designs, the more flattery he piles on. Because…could she have done this? Would she have come up with something better? She’s glad – she has to be – that Alan likes these, but it’s kind of a bitch that he does too. That and the ground underneath her feet is not solid and she knows it. From the kind of woman Gina is that has to be one of the hardest things of all.

Gina and Michele wrestle cutely. Alan scampers.

Kelinswriter: I LOVE the physical comedy when Gina shoves Michele out of the way, and Michele’s subtle guiding of the conversation.

Then Gina throws down, finally all processed. Michele, pumped up on Alan’s compliments, is ready for her. Gina does not take the news well that Michele wants to be her someday. She does not like Michele having all that power. But her options, they are few.

Kelinswriter: The knives come out, and it gets pretty clear that Gina’s been pretty clueless about who Michele is. I can’t decide if she didn’t get that Michele had goals of her own or if she just ignored them because it wasn’t convenient. I think what it comes down to is they’re both really shitty communicators, and Michele’s outgrown the job. As sad as it is, it’s something I think a lot of people go through in their careers especially with a boss who doesn’t really “see” you. I just don’t see this working out well for them as a team, though who knows. But it’d be fun to watch Gina plow through a string of clueless assistants trying to replace Michele a la the Colonel and his nurses. Oh Brognos – you’re just not good at relationship building, are you?

Rysler: At this point it’s not what Michele did, because it’s done. It’s… what is Michele going to do next? This can only get more complicated.

Jaina47: Michele was the character that ran Gina’s life for her, kept her on track. That track didn’t include little details like watching what her assistant was doing. Now Gina knows. I wonder if that’s feeding in a little too what she didn’t know about Ani either. It’s got to feel like everyone is keeping secrets from her. I do love their argument though and the way that Gina just walks away, because unless she’s straight up gonna fire Michele – and she really can’t – she can’t say anything to Michele, because Michele is kind of right. And after the day she’s having that’s just got to suck.

Gina goes for a drink!

Unfortunately her favorite bartender hid a body for her and will not stop bringing it up. “The Ho That Won’t Die.” Gina wishes everyone would just shut up. That was three plot lines ago for her.

Jaina47: Maybe the ho is an Immortal. Or a vampire. Maybe the sparkly kind? Also, Gina? Please stop bitching out your BFF. HE HID A BODY FOR YOU.

Kelinswriter: I like that even though she’s trying to be nice, Gina is still pissy over Michele and it’s making her edgy. That’s nice continuity, show.

“I’ll talk to Guya,” Gina says. Now there’s the world’s best plan.

Jamie tells her to be discreet. Then they drink Revolution Tequila.

“It makes everything taste good.”
“It helps us forget.”

Kelinswriter: Hola Tequila Revolucion! Now that’s how you do product placement, soap opera who shall not be *cough*Days*cough* named.
Jaina47: Yay, Tequila Revolucion!

Meanwhile, Lara and Ani are still dating.

Kelinswriter: What the hell is up with the headless bookend of the stacked chick behind Ani’s head?
Rysler: It has a head, but it’s still an interesting piece and worthy of screencapping.

Jaina47: Lara knows all the things to say to Ani, to make her feel…so damn special that she can’t say anything and that’s highly unfair. And it’s making Ani flinch all over. She wants so badly to be happy but she can’t quite be, just relax into it. I started to say the way she did before, but…Ani’s never been relaxed for this whole relationship has she, even from the beginning. She felt unworthy of Lara and a little blown away and overwhelmed by how awesome she thought Lara was.

Lara says she’s been writing, and she toasts Ani with sparkling cranberry juice, but she looks strung the fuck out. If I were Ani, I’d demand some pages.

Kelinswriter: I feel like I’m watching a horror movie with these two. I know that’s not fair, because Lara is trying. But I just have this horrible sinking feeling that Ani is being drawn back into a web and it’s going to come back and bite her even worse than it already has. Lara’s rambling on about her Muse and putting it all on Ani, which is freaking Ani out (and making my Muses snicker). I mean, I get it, I do, Lara needs something to hold on to. But Ani being what she holds on to is going to drown them both. Lara’s got to learn to swim (i.e. own her own shit) and so far, I’m seeing no indication that she’s actually attempting to do that.

Rysler: Ani really has no idea how to react to Lara or what she says. She keeps freezing, then thinking, then saying something innocuous. She’s playing along. And her body language says “I’m all the way on the other couch.” One wrong move and Lara will freak out again. And yet she’s still here.

Kelinswriter: I also think Ani’s reactions here are really telling. Once again we see her not knowing what to do with someone telling her that she’s wonderful. She squirms and deflects and tries as hard as she can to get the focus off of her and back onto Lara. But their banter at the end is oh so adorable.

Rysler: Shades of the Season 2 opener.

Sami is still in her apartment, still alone, her freak-out is escalating to full on crazy. It reminds Jaina of The Yellow Wallpaper, because she reads. “How can you be stupid?” Sami asks herself. “Involved with someone so weak?”

The Colonel: “Word.”

Sami sluts herself up and heads for Nadine’s. That cannot be good.

Jaina47: I’m glad they finally let her out of her room. The transformation into alternate universe Willow seems like it could prove to be interesting in future episdoes.

Kelinswriter: Uh oh. Bad Sami alert! Bad Sami alert!

In other alcohol-related events, Guya demands martinis from her boyfriend. Martinis, Honey-o!

Jaina47: Hehe. Honey-o. I like it.

“You’re not supposed to bring your work home with you,” she complains. Then she looks at his computer, and I’m like, “Edward Hopper!” and then I’m like, “Amber!”

Guya manages to keep her cool much better than I would have expected. Brandon watches her down two martinis. He has a frowny face, but surely he’s used to this by now.

Jaina47: Also, while we know Amber’s name…why was her driver’s license on that form but no name? Just curious I guess. I’m even more curious about how that conversation between Guya and Gina is going to go now that they both know things about the lovely Amber but not the same pieces of the puzzle. Secrets upon secrets.

Kelinswriter: I love everything about this scene. From Guya being cute and flirty to her panic when she sees Amber’s picture on the computer screen to the martini guzzling (“Didn’t you want one?”), I had the biggest damn grin on my face. HBS may be hijacking the show this year, and I for one say more power to her because her performance in this arc has been nothing but brilliant.

Kelinswriter: I liked this episode. I know it was short by this season’s standards, but there was a lot of meat on that bone. Also, I kind of can’t believe we’re already 1/3 through the season. Oh Venice why must you go so fast?

Jaina47: I guess the thing that this episode reminded me most of all is that in some ways, Season 3 is really bringing us back to Season 1. Everything that was old is new again. But, with a twist, or a deeper understanding and better context for us. The question is, where do they all go from here?

The final song was Gabe Rosato’s “Beyond the Veil.” Which I can find nowhere online for purchase. We demand it, Venice!

6 comments on “Recap: Season 3, Episode 4

  1. I’m left wondering what is it about Amber and how she died (other than being with the Colonel) and how that connects to Katie. I mean, WHY does Katie hi-jack Amber’s ghost/presence/body/whatever? Why this person? Why now?
    I’m guessing there’s some sort of reason anyway, something connected to whatever secrets Guya is still hiding. Because there really seems to be a lot more she’s hiding than just the kids distracted her.

    I loved the Gina and Michelle scenes. Gina’s just trying to hang on, get through, and Alan keeps prattling on about these designs being the best! EVAR!
    Even beyond the betrayal she feels, but a blow to the ego as well.

    There’s a reality show called New York Ink (think that’s what it’s called…) that came to mind when watching these scenes.
    I’ve only seen a few episodes, but one of the stories running through them is that the receptionist wants to be a tattoo artist, [i]desperately[/i] wants to apprentice with the owner. And he is HELL NO, I hired you to be the receptionist, I TOLD you that and that there was NO apprentice future for you here. STOP PUSHING IT grrr ARRRGH!

    That’s sort of the vibe I get from Gina. Well, with a bit more just plain ignorance of what Michelle wanted or hoped for.
    Gina hired and assistant. That’s it. Not an apprentice, not an aspiring designer, an assistant. End of story.
    But the story has changed, and the one area where Gina was confident and in control and going good…
    Oh, but I’m loving this storyline. Everything is going god with The Colonel and the rest of her life has. Gone. To. HELL. hee!

  2. I found the episode to short. But i also don’t want to watch an episode with lots of meaning less fill. Once again I found that HBS stole the show. I just love her.

    Cant believe we are at the 1/3 mark as well.

    Come on next week. I hope it will bring some Ani/Lara scenes.


  3. chylybyn on said:

    I must confess, I was mildly disappointed when I first logged on and saw the episode was just over 10 min. With opening and ending credits, it was probably closer to 8 min. I admittedly have become spoiled with the longer epis and hope this is just an anomaly.

    I really, really enjoyed the opening scene in Gina’s office, with Michele all hesitant and earnest, and Olivia…I mean, Gina all concentrated on trying to keep her anger reigned in as she figured this mess out. They really play well off one another.

    Again with the SUVs! Peter should make Venice only using hybrid vehicles a part of his contract. If they even have contracts…. So, Brandon and his partner exchange mani/pedi tips and contemplate the beauty regimen of ‘hos.

    Again, my now weekly plea for spin-off: The Colonel and the Coach…Nurse. They are fast becoming my favorite pairing. STELLA!!!!!

    More Gina and Michele, yeah!!! I love how Gina dances around everything. She needs Michele’s designs, because Alan is in LAHV with them, but she HATES that they are Michele’s designs. I can see her brain whirling as she stays a step ahead of the looming disaster. Poor Olivia..I mean, Gina. I wonder if their friendship can survive? I think OldGina would have just cut ties and booted Michele out the door. NuGina is Nu and Improved! She is trying to be better. Michele is trying her last nerve! I also wonder if Alan paints his toes ‘ho red before he dons his freak boots?

    Jaime. I love him. I want to hang with him. Even if it means sneaking around in the dead of night, or full light of day, hysterically pushing a tarp covered delivery dolly hiding bad pedi ‘hos. I bet he makes a mean drink. Plus, ‘the ‘ho that won’t die!’ That’s a bumper sticker. And my poll vote.

    Poor Gina. What a day! Ani, via Lara, breaks her heart. Michele betrays her trust. Jaime dumps the ‘ho at a funeral home. Have a drink, Gina. Tequila? Don’t mind if I do. You need a revolution, baby. (Reminds self to purchase a bottle of Tequila Revolution to support your local lesbian web series during next alcohol replenishment run).

    Oh! I almost forgot!! THUD when CC sucks the orange off her thumb and finger. Flashback to Natalia and peanut butter….THUD

    I love the way Jessica says ‘fancy.’ She used that same emphasis as Natalia saying ‘fancy,’ It’s just adorable. Like her….**sigh** That Lara is a master manipulator. Sadly, Ani is her perfect, insecure, guilt-ridden victim. Oh, Ani. Why you gotta be so sweet and trusting, boo? Girlfriend is the freaky-eyed devil. Who looks really hot in that beautiful white blouse. And makes me want to kiss that lovely neck as she throws it back. Dayum. I understand the pull, Ani.

    Sami’s motel room. I…FF through this. Looked a little hysterical. And I don’t care.

    GAS GUZZLING SUV ALERT! I hope the catfight that might ensue really showcases Eve’s Livia skilz with a sword. And a chakram!

    Hillary B Smith. Comic gold. That is all.

    Well, despite the brevity, I enjoyed the 8 min. Well, probably only 7, because i bypassed Sami-hysteria. I thought this week nicely moved the stories along, which is always important. I loved their product placement. I loved the ‘ho lines. I love Jaime. I loved the pretty. That last song was killer!

  4. WoodsyLadyM on said:

    So nice to find you guys again. I just happened to stumble onto your website by accident because my desktop has failed me once again and I found the link for Jaina’s site on my laptop, which in turn led me here.

    Anyway, I don’t really have much to say because for some reason so far this season, I find it impossible to form an opinion on individual episodes. Still, I enjoy thoughtful, intelligent, and witty commentary so here I am. I would expect no less from 3 of the best Otalia fan fiction writers out there. I think what distinguishes your commentaries from the rest is that you really look at CC’s brainchild objectively, for the most part, without interjecting a lot of external and, in my opinion, superfluous and irrelevant stuff.

  5. Just wanted to say that I’m really enjoying your recaps. I can’t wait for your recap of episode 5.

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