MISTRESSES episode 9: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”

The majority of this episode revolves around Savi, Joss, and their mother Janet (played by JoBeth Williams), who surprises everyone by stopping by for a quick. Well, I shouldn’t say she surprises everyone, as Savi knew this would happen, thanks to dream she had about her mother, which always happens whenever he mother is about to stop by. So, I guess, this means Savi is psychic. Ooookaaayyy, moving along. We discover that Janet is kinda flighty, and man-crazy, basically an older version of Joss. And, oh, the big surprise is that we learn that Savi and Joss have two different fathers. It seems that Savi’s father divorced her mother when Janet had an affair with another man and got pregnant with Joss (which Janet actually seems to be a bit indignant about). Well, that’s quite the coincidence, isn’t it? Janet announces that she’s just stopping by for a couple of days, as she’s planning to move to Rio for the next two years, so Joss throws a going away party for her, and then @ the party suggested that she go with Janet, just for a few days, to help her get settled in and to spend some time with her. When Janet finds out that Savi and Harry have separated (Harry moved out), she mistakenly assumes that it must be because Harry cheated, and is shocked to find out that it was actually Savi who strayed. They have a heart to heart about how Janet wasn’t around enough while the girls were growing up, and how Savi had to take care of Joss. Then the next day Janet simply leaves for Rio without telling Joss, who tries to play it off, but is very sad, and then she and Savi have their own heart to heart talk, with Joss realizes that Savi has been more like a mother to her, and then Savi confides that she has the envelope with the paternity results, but doesn’t want to look at it yet. Something about how if it’s Dom’s she’s not going to have a relationship with him anyway (why not?) and if it’s Harry’s she doesn’t want him to come back to her just because of the baby (oh please!), so she asks Joss to keep the envelope for her until she’s ready for it. Or something.

This story didn’t really work for me, like it should have. I understand what they were going for when Savi gave Joss the envelope, it was symbolizing the renewed bond between the sisters, but it’s just hard for me to believe that Savi wouldn’t have opened it yet. It just felt like they were dragging this storyline out too long.

Speaking of dragging out storylines, Richard has returned from the trip he took in episode 7, and is happy to resume what he thinks will be his normal relationship with April, who initially doesn’t tell him about Paul’s return from the grave last episode. She tries to act like everything’s great, they both told their daughters about their relationship, and April invited Richard and his daughter to come to the party for Janet so he can formally meet all of her friends. Everything seems like it should be good for this couple (thanks in large part to the chemistry between Rochelle Aytes and Cameron Bender), but of course we see that Paul hasn’t really left, and is playing the stalker, following April around. He even stops by Karen’s house, to ask her to ask April to agree to see him again so they can talk. That felt like a pointless scene, just more filler to drag it out, until finally at the end April does agree to see Paul who says that he wants to see their daughter. Whatever.

And, as for Karen, in the beginning of the show, she’s called all the ladies to her house to tell them about how Elizabeth revealed that she’s known all along that Karen had an affair with Tom. Karen thinks this could mean that Elizabeth intentionally killed Tom because of the affair, and then hires a private investigator to look into her background, but he doesn’t find anything. Then we see Elizabeth go to Savi’s law firm, and meet with Dominic (since Savi is out that day) and react in shock that Tom’s life insurance was canceled, and when Dominic shows her the notes Karen submitted, which claim that Tom was suicidal, the notes that WE know Elizabeth begged her to forge, Elizabeth shows Dominic proof that the notes are false. And the episode ends with Karen being served a legal summons, indicating that Elizabeth is suing her. Oh snap!

Okay, that was a decent cliffhanger, that I didn’t see coming. Elizabeth set up Karen perfectly, how is Karen going to get out of this one? I guess she should have listened all the times Savi told her to stay away from that family.

Still, overall, not as good an episode as I’ve come to expect from this show. As I said, they’re dragging some of the storylines out too much. Thankfully, they have good actors. The Savi and Joss scenes worked, due to the talent of Alyssa Milano and Jes Macallan, who were very convincing in their final reconciliation scene, and JoBeth Williams was delightful as their mother, but it still felt like this whole episode was pretty much just a placeholder. Good, but not great. I’ll grade it:

And now, for some reason, the show is on hiatus for the next three weeks, so no new episodes until then. Bummer.

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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