MISTRESSES episode 8: “Ultimatum”

Okay, going to have to try to make this a quick one, as I’m trying to get a normal sleep-schedule, sans sleeping pills. Man, I wish I could catch the East Coast feed of this show, so I didn’t have to stay up past my 10pm bedtime to watch this…not that it isn’t worth it, I’m just sayin’…

Picking up right from last episode’s AWESOME cliffhanger, April is confronted by her supposedly dead husband Paul (played by Dondre Whitfield). April, having just finally come to terms with Paul’s death the night before, in an incredibly touching scene @ his grave (kudos to Rochelle Aytes for that one), is understandably shocked by this. But before we can get into the explanation of why he’s still alive, April’s phone rings and she answers it (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?), and it’s the carpool announcing that Lucy is sick and is being sent back home, so April demands that Paul leave so that Lucy doesn’t see him yet, and they agree to meet later. Honestly, that felt like a bit of a cop-out, just so they could drag out the suspense of Paul’s reappearance a little longer.

Oh well, I guess it worked. Later, April meets him @ a hotel, where Paul reveals the details of his fake death, some excuse about how he never felt good enough for her, and then how he lost his job and then when he had the affair with Miranda and she got pregnant, everything just got out of hand. It all sounds pretty lame but, I have to give some credit to Whitfield, who manages to @ least sound sincere. So he came up with the scheme to fake his death so he could go live with Miranda and their son, while April and Lucy would get the insurance money from his death, and could be better off without him…or something. Yes, as I suspected back in episode 4, Miranda was in on the plan to fake Paul’s death. And since things apparently had gotten rough in the past year for Paul (I guess it’s hard to earn a living when you’re living under a false identity), Miranda came up with the scheme to go after some of April’s money, against Paul’s wishes, he says. After a meeting with the other 3 ladies, where Joss suggests that this could have been a plot by Paul and Miranda to get April’s money and then bump her off (which is what I assumed), April calls Miranda to come meet her, under the pretense of having another check for her, but when she gets there Paul is there too, which Miranda seems surprised by. Paul and Miranda get into an argument, where Paul actually compares the two women, wondering why Miranda can’t make her own money for their child like April does, and April just gets pissed @ both of them, tells Paul he’s “still dead”, as far as she is concerned, and tells Miranda to go to Hell, and the stomps out.

But later we see Paul @ his hotel where, instead of checking out, he extends his stay…

Joss has moved in with Alex, as “just friends,” but while out shopping they run into Alex’s ex-girlfriend Sally with her new girlfriend, a woman named Story (as in “like a bedtime story”…seriously, the woman, played by Lydia Hearst, actually says that). Alex gets jealous, especially after later checking Sally’s Facebook profile and seeing that Sally cut Alex out of all their old pictures. Joss tries to cheer her up, which leads to GIRLS MAKING OUT (I’ll never complain about that). This bliss doesn’t last long, however, as Alex knows that she cares too much for Joss, and can’t handle being Friends With Benefits, and so Joss eventually decides to try to having a real relationship with Alex, and fixes her a nice brunch to get started. As interested as I am in seeing where this story goes, it’s kind of been treading water. It seems like it ended this episode right where they were @ the end of episode 5. Time to move forward with it, already.

Karen is shocked to find out that Sam has started seeing her partner, Jacob, in therapy. Karen’s not happy about this, and tries to contact Sam, and he shows up @ her home later @ night to apologize for breaking into her office, and declares his love for her before driving off, leaving Karen there speechless. The next day, Jacob tells her that Sam quit seeing him. And then Karen goes to Tom’s widow Elizabeth (the always delightful Penelope Ann Miller), who is back from her surprise trip to Italy. She tells Elizabeth about what Sam said, and Elizabeth confronts Karen with the knowledge of her affair with Tom, only for them both to discover that Sam was standing there in the next room the whole time and heard everything. OH SNAP!

Savi has a doctor’s appointment in the beginning of the show. She’s 6 weeks pregnant (has it really been that long already on this show?), and asks Harry if he wants to come along. He tells her he’s busy @ work that day, so she goes alone, and is told by her doctor that her health and that of the baby’s is much better. The doctor asks if she’d like to hear the heartbeat of the baby, but Savi says they should wait for the next appointment, where Harry can came with her so they can experience it together. @ this point, Savi seems convinced that everything is going to work out between her and Harry now. Later, @ work, she hands Dominic a contract to have him sign away his parental rights to the child, if it is his. She tries to convince him that she and Harry are going to raise the child together, either way. Dominic is (rightfully, in my opinion) indignant about the way Savi is handling this (once again, only thinking of herself) and refuses to sign anything, telling her to let him know when the paternity results come in.

Unbeknownst to Savi, Harry didn’t really have work to do that day, he just didn’t feel ready to go to the doctor with her. Instead, he went to hang out on the beach alone, where he coincidentally runs into Karen, and confides in her that he’s not sure if he can overlook everything if the baby isn’t his. And, later, he tells Savi herself that if the baby isn’t his, she’ll have to make a choice, “me…or the baby.”

Two things struck me here, Harry didn’t actually use the “A-word”. It seems a little odd that, considering the other taboos this show has broken, that they’re sort of shying away from this one. And, speaking of breaking taboos, this show is STILL avoiding the one rather HUGE elephant in the room, regarding the paternity of Savi’s baby. Savi seems to think that Harry would have no problem raising Dominic’s child, as if they could just pretend it was Harry’s, despite that the fact that if it is Dominic’s then, well, it’s probably going to be PRETTY DARN OBVIOUS when it’s born. I mean, there’s ONE thing that you just can’t hide. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN’?

The next morning, Savi tells Harry that, whatever happens, she’s keeping the baby, and that she loves Harry and wants him to “fight for us,” but Harry just doesn’t have any fight left. This was a great scene, as you can see the pain that each of them are suffering. @ work, Savi finally gets the test results, but refuses to open the envelope. Instead, she locks it in her desk.

A decent episode. I enjoyed how, even with such a serious storyline to deal with, we got to see some humor from April. I loved her reaction when Paul and Miranda were fighting. She was like “leave me out of this!” And while the Savi/Harry/Dominic storyline is still the most interesting story of this show, I find the show’s insistence that it exists in some kind of parallel colorblind universe to be both fascinating and frustrating. And we’re really supposed to believe that Savi wouldn’t rip open that envelope immediately? Well, despite those minor flaws, I’m looking forward to next week.

GRADE:

MISTRESSES airs Monday Nights @ 10pm on ABC

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

  4 comments for “MISTRESSES episode 8: “Ultimatum”

  1. July 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I agree that it’s a little weird that they don’t mention race in regards to Savi’s baby, and that she was acting surprised that Harry wouldn’t want to stay with her if its not his. And we saw how people were looking at her at work now, imagine in 9 months when she shows up with a Black baby. Everyone is going to know its not Harry’s, and they all saw Harry punch Dom, so it won’t be hard to put 2 and 2 together. And that was a crap move, her giving Dom those custody papers, just expecting him to sign away his rights so easily. I want to like Savi, but she’s actually kind of a bitch.

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  2. July 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I like the show but I agree that sometimes these characters don’t act logically, and some of the writing is a little too coincidental. Like when Elizabeth confronted Karen I just knew Sam would be there to hear everything. And it was obvious to everyone that Alex really liked Josd, they just dragged that out. And I also thought it was crazy when April answered her phone in the beginning. Her dead husband is standing there in front of her, you’d think she’d let her phone go to voicemail when it rang.

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