“MISTRESSES” EPISODE 4: A KISS IS JUST A KISS?

Picking up from where last week’s episode left off, Savi has discovered that she is pregnant. The problem is that she doesn’t know if the baby is her husband Harry’s, or her co-worker whom she had a one night stand with recently, Dominic’s. When she tells Karen and April (interestingly, Joss is left out of this scene, and still doesn’t know about Savi’s affair), they discuss the probabilities of who is the father, and whether Savi has a moral obligation to tell Harry now. I was curious to see if the show would bring up the elephant in the room, meaning that if Dominic is the father it would be impossible for Savi not to tell Harry because of…well, you know. But they didn’t bring that up, yet. Speaking of Dominic, it is still awkward for him and Savi @ work, both because of Savi’s guilt about their affair, which is doubled now because of her pregnancy, and because Savi inadvertently got Dominic kicked off of a major case last week. But when Savi’s absence @ work causes Dominic to have to take her place during the opening arguments of the trial, he gets put back on it, and he thanks Savi, believing she did it on purpose to make it up to him. But the real reason Savi was absent from work is because she went to a special clinic, to inquire about a paternity test, and is told she needs to get a DNA sample from the potential father(s) so they can be tested to see if there is a match with Savi’s baby. So she later takes the blades from Harry’s razor, to use for the test. She’s told results would be available in 2 to 3 weeks.

Shannyn Sossamon returns as Alex, the lesbian client of Joss’, that Joss appeared to be getting closer to, on a personal level, in episode 2. Alex is in a relationship with a woman named Sally (Victoria Mussett), who is the controlling one in that relationship. During a jogging session together, April reveals that she had relationships with boys in High School, until she met her first female lover in college. Joss admits to having been with women during threesomes with men, but has never had an actual relationship with a woman. Joss then gets the idea to break-up the couple, ostensibly for Alex’ own good, but we’re left to wonder if Joss has a more personal reason for this. During a party that Alex and Sally were throwing, which Sally skipped, Joss playfully kisses Alex, which greatly upsets Alex. Later, Alex shows up @ Savi & Harry’s place to see Joss, reveals that she and Sally broke up, and so she needs a place to stay that night. The next morning she tells Joss what a great “friend” she is, which Joss is happy to hear.

Karen, against her better judgment and Savi’s advice, continues to see Tom’s son, Sam, who now, thanks to Karen accidentally leaving her sunglasses behind in Tom’s old apartment, conclusively knows that his father was having an affair before he died. After finding Sam’s wallet left in her car, she goes back to the apartment to return it, and meets Sam there, who tells her the story of why he chose to drop out of college. He’s going to focus on being a photographer, a passion he has long had that his father encouraged. He invites her to stay for dinner, which he cooks for her, and we see that Sam reminds her of Tom. When Sam kisses Karen, she becomes distraught and leaves. After she’s gone, we see Sam reacting rather violently, by shoving all the dishes off of the dinner table. This young man is clearly messed up, and Karen’s mixed signals to him are just making him worse. I have feeling that things are going to get dangerous soon…

And April is again confronted by Miranda, the woman who claims that she was Paul’s (April’s late husband’s) mistresses, and is the mother of his son. Miranda has hired a lawyer, who confronts April with proof of the boy’s paternity, and announces that they will be suing April for child support, which they want from Paul’s estate. April goes to Savi about what to do, and Savi wants to go to court to fight this, but April is reluctant because she doesn’t want her young daughter, Lucy to find out the truth about her father. April and Miranda meet for coffee, where Miranda also brings along her son, Scotty, and gives April details of how she met Paul, they had an affair for a year, and then when Miranda got pregnant she claims Paul planned to leave April for Miranda. We also learn that Miranda was the last person to see Paul alive, as they were on a secret trip together, when Paul disappeared on a boating trip, which lead to him being declared dead. When Scotty falls and fractures his arm, the two women rush him to the hospital. April pays the medical bill, sticks around until Scotty is released and the two women are now friendlier. However, just when you think that maybe Miranda isn’t as bad as we thought she was, we see her secretly meeting with the man who claimed to be her lawyer, who turns out to just be an actor that Miranda paid to pretend to be. So what is this lady up to? I have a suspicion, but I don’t want to say it yet, in case I’m right, and it’s a spoiler.

Newcomer Chad Gomez Creasey is listed as the writer for this episode, and did a very fine job keeping up the momentum started by previous writers K.J. Steinberg (ep. 1 & 3) and Rina Mimoun (ep.2). Each of the lead actresses on the show were given moments to showcase their acting range, with serious and funny moments. Particular stand-outs for each women were moments where they didn’t have dialog, and just had to show what their characters were feeling through the looks on their faces. Not an easy feat to pull off, but Milano, Kim, Ayetes, and Macallan rose to the challenge. When Savi is told by her doctor that she is pregnant, she almost goes into shock. You can see all the questions racing through her mind, as she considers the implications of what this could mean for her marriage. When Karen reads a letter that Tom wrote to Sam before he died, where he cautioned Sam not to wait to follow his “passion” before it’s too late, like Tom did, Karen realizes that Tom was talking about her, and that brings all of her feelings for Tom flooding back, rendering her speechless. Under those circumstances, it’s easy to see how Karen might find herself drawn to Sam. And when April hears the story of Miranda and Paul’s affair, and Paul’s plan to leave April for Miranda, the anger is just seething underneath the surface, and April is desperately trying not to let it out. And there was Joss’ shock when Alex responds so negatively to her kiss. This normally self-assured woman was completely thrown off her game. I’m particularly happy with the Joss storyline as, initially, her character was mainly just there to react to the storylines of the other women, but in these last two episodes she’s getting more time in the spotlight, which Macallan deserves.

I also have to give kudos to the male actors on the show. Jason Winston George, who plays Dominic, didn’t get as much screen-time this episode, but makes the most of the few scenes he’s in. But we see a lot more of Brett Tucker as Harry, and you can see why Savi fell in love with him, he’s a charming rogue. Or maybe that’s just the Australian accent… And Erik Stocklin also deserves credit for his portrayal of Sam, this emotionally troubled young man.

I’m really enjoying this series, and look forward to Monday night’s now. This episode gets a grade of:

MISTRESSES airs Monday Nights @ 10pm on ABC

You can also watch episodes online via http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/mistresses

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