MISTRESSES episode 7: “ALL IN”

I just noticed that tonight is episode 7, and since this first season is only 13 episodes, we’re basically halfway through it already. Oh, how time flies. As I’m typing this, the new episode hasn’t begun yet, I just thought I’d start off with some of my thoughts about the show, so far, and then after watching the new episode, I’ll finish this with a review.

As I said upon viewing the Premier Episode, I pretty much only gave this show a chance because of Alyssa Milano, who stars as Savi. My initial impression was that it was a good show, not exactly what I expected, but good enough that I was interested in coming back for the next episode, to see if I would be interested in continuing. And by the third episode, I was suitably hooked. As I said before I like that this show doesn’t glamorize adultery, or shy away from showing the negative effects it can have on all of those involved. It also manages to strike a perfect balance of drama and humor. Even when dealing with tense situations, one of the characters will manage to slip in some casual one-liner, which briefly lightens the mood.

I also like the way some of the minor characters get time to shine, however briefly, and make you want to see more of them, thanks to the great casting. I’m enjoying Mike Dopud as Joss’ humorless new boss, Olivier, Kelly Smith as Joss’ perpetually anxious coworker, Mona, and I think all viewers were impressed with Ashley Newbrough as Krya (With The Funbags) last week.

The main criticism I’d say that I have, so far, is that sometimes subplots get unexpectedly delayed, just after getting good. Like Joss and Alex hooking up in the shower in one episode, which ends with Joss seemingly deciding to pursue an actual relationship with her, but then we don’t see or mention Alex in the following episode. Similar things have happened with Sam’s growing obsession with Karen, or April’s late husband’s Baby Mama, Miranda. They’ll be a major story in one episode, then be missing in the next episode, and then coming back later. It can be a bit jarring. I mean, I guess I understand, with a shortened season, and probably a smaller budget than full-season shows, they have to rotate the actors, there’s no point in bringing in someone, & paying them for a full episode if they’re only going to have a couple of lines in a throwaway scene. So, for example, you only bring in Shannyn Sossamon if the story of her and Joss is going to be a major part of the episode, but if they need to re-establish Joss’ problems at work with her Olivier, then you put the Alex storyline on hold for an episode. I understand it, but I can still be disappointed by it, sometimes.

Nevertheless, overall the show has maintained its quality in each episode, so let’s see if Episode 7 keeps it going. . .

In light of the fight between Joss and Savi that ended last week’s episode, Joss has decided to move out of Savi and Harry’s guest-house, and move in with April (I’m not sure why Joss can’t afford her own place, since she seems to be doing well enough in her Real Estate job, maybe it was mentioned in an earlier episode, but I forgot). Anyway, April tries to make Joss feel at home, and offers to listen to her talk about her problems, but Joss, of course, tries to avoid any serious conversations, and steers the subject towards sex, then skips out to go to work. At work, Alex stops by to drop off some coffee and has a brief, but pleasant, confrontation in an elevator with Olivier. And later when Olivier asks Joss who Alex is, and how she knows her, this makes Joss jealous, a jealousy which intensifies when the two ladies go to a nightclub, and Joss notices that men are checking Alex out. Joss makes a spectacle of herself in the club, with some dirty dancing, and Alex leaves in disgust. When Joss shows up at Alex’s place to apologize, Alex assures her that she is there for her, because that’s what friends do. Key word here is “friends.” Despite Joss’ obvious jealousy, there wasn’t really any flirting or anything between the two of them in this episode. It’s as if the shower scene didn’t happen. Joss does mention it to April later when she reveals that she’s going to be moving in with Alex, and April questions the wisdom of Joss moving in with someone she slept with, but Joss insists it was only once. This storyline seems as if it’s taken a step backward now. But we’ll see how this is handled, once they’re officially living together.

Karen and Savi are out hiking in the beginning of this show, as they commiserate over their problems. Karen mentions that she thinks Sam is harboring deeper feelings for her than she originally suspected, but assures Savi that she’s doing everything she can to stay away from him. Later, as she’s in a hardware store, she runs into Mr. Newsome, whom we later learn is named Anthony, and he tells her that he’s done investigating her case, he’s turned the info in to his bosses and is now working on another case. He does question her about why she originally lied about Tom being suicidal when her notes clearly say that he was, but she blows it off by saying she just wanted to protect his widow and son. He seems to buy that explanation, then gives her a recommendation about a set of floodlights that she wants to buy for security in her house. Later one night, she gets three hang-up calls from Sam and then notices that the security camera at her front door is busted. She calls Anthony, and he comes by to fix it, and then they talk over a glass of wine, as he tells her about his past as a policeman, where he feels responsible for the fact that one of his undercover informants, whom he’d become close to, got killed. That’s what made him quit and become an insurance investigator. But when he makes a move to kiss Karen, she hesitates, saying it would be wrong because the investigation against her isn’t formerly closed yet, and he was the investigating agent, so things aren’t “clean” between them, and he agrees to leave. The next morning, as she steps outside to pick up the newspaper, we see SAM, sitting in a car across the street, watching her. And it’s almost as if he has STALKER stamped on his forehead.

The flirtation, and possible romance, between Karen and Anthony Newsome, is something I definitely did not see coming, but could be an interesting development. However, part of me wonders if he’s really sincere? The fact that he asked her about her notes about Tom, and then later tried to compare his incident with his informant to what she must go through when she becomes close to her patients, makes me suspect something else. Could this just be a plot to find out if she lied in her notes about Tom? Yes, he said he’s off the case but could be lying? It’s an intriguing possibility.

When we first see Harry, he’s talking to his business partner Jeff (J.R. Cacia). Jeff says the restaurant needs more money to continue, and raises the possibility of Harry asking Savi for it. It’s revealed that Savi invested her “life savings” into the restaurant, so should be willing to put in more, but Harry isn’t sure about asking. Later, when Harry speaks to Savi, she suspects he’s about to ask her for a divorce, but he just tells her that she shouldn’t quit her law firm, since she’s so close to making partner, and has worked so hard for it. When he says “we’ll work something out”, she asks “does this mean we’re still a ‘We’?” And he says yes, but doesn’t look too convincing, though Savi looks relieved.

At this point we’re left to wonder about Harry’s motives (it’s like nobody is just what they seem to be on this show), is he attempting to reconcile with Savi because he wants to, or is he thinking of the possibility of asking her to invest more money in his restaurant? I hope it’s the former.

Back at work, Savi tells Dominic that she’s staying, and trying to make partner, and suggests that they steer clear of each other for awhile (didn’t they already try that?), Dominic agrees because he wants to make partner, too. And he playfully suggests to her that he’ll do it before she does. It’s a nice little glimpse into their previous friendship before they (literally) screwed that up. That night, at a company party for the retiring partner, Harry comes along, like a dutiful spouse. The tension between them is evident, as they entire the room. When Harry reaches for Savi’s hand, it looks more like he’s trying to make sure everyone knows that she belongs to him, rather than as an affectionate gesture. When he excuses himself to go to the bar to get a drink, he bumps into Dominic, who tries to congratulate Harry on Savi being pregnant (remember, Savi told Dominic and didn’t let on that it might be Dom’s), genuinely trying to be nice. Harry, however, thinks Dominic knows that the baby might be his, and therefore that Dominic must be taunting him, & punches him in the face and storms out. Later Dominic confronts Savi, figures out that her baby might be his, and then accuses her of always thinking about herself first, and not giving enough thought to how this whole situation affects others, including Dominic. It’s a great scene. I know we’re supposed to rooting for Savi on this show, but she has messed up a lot, and been rather selfish. Even when she confessed everything to Harry, it was because of her health, she needed to make herself feel better. So it was nice to see someone call her out on her crap, for once.

Speaking of Harry, he shows up back home, after getting some “air” for 12 hours, says he kinda feels better after punching Dominic and assures Savi that he is ready to do what he can to help them both get through this.

April completes the sale of a majority stake in her linen shop, in order to raise money to give to her ex-husband Paul’s Baby Mama, Miranda. Richard tries to cheer her up by asking her out to dinner, where he invites her to spend a weekend with him in Santa Barbara. She’s hesitant because she isn’t sure about telling her daughter, Lucy, that she’s dating another man. Richard has to go out of town for a few days and asks her to just think about it, but as they leave April thinks she sees Paul standing across the street, watching her. She goes home and tells Joss, who convinces her that it was just her mind playing tricks on her because she’s been dealing with Paul’s memory and is scared to move on (great insight from Joss). So April goes to Paul’s grave, thanks him for the good times they had, for fathering Lucy, and forgives him for cheating, before saying “goodbye”, and leaving her wedding ring on his tombstone. The next morning she calls Richard and tells him she is willing to go to Santa Barbara with him and tell their daughters that they are dating, and he is overjoyed. Then, right after Lucy leaves for school, April’s doorbell rings, she opens it and there is PAUL (Dondre Whitfield) standing there in the flesh!!!

I just want to say, for the record, I said something in my review of episode 4, after we saw that Miranda had hired an actor to pretend to be her lawyer, and fake the DNA results, meaning that her son may not be April’s ex-husband Paul’s after all:

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.

Well, THAT was my suspicion, that it will turn out that Paul isn’t really dead (since it had been established that his body was never found, it was just declared “lost at sea”), and that he and Miranda are working together to scam April somehow. Perhaps by getting money out of her. Now we’ll see. This show is on one heck of a roll!


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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