Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Venice the Series: Season 4, Episode 5

Oh hai. Disappeared for three weeks, I did. Talk like Yoda for this whole recap I will not. So I could give a litany of excuses and good reasons why I’m three – almost four! – weeks behind on this whole recap shenanigan situation, but I think I’ll just skip it and not bore you guys with the details. Suffice it to say there were reasons. It wasn’t just my usual lazy procrastination. And with that on to the recap!

When last I watched Venice…Owen was dead, Gina’s daughter was crashing Venice Beach, Richard was being inappropriately pushy, The Colonel was being fucking awesome, Lara and Ani were being by turns sad, cute, manipulative and a little cheat-y. And then Gina had to go and get it into her head that what she needed to do was stop being a coward and go propose to Ani. This led to one of the most awkward scenes ever and that’s where we pick up - The Most Awkward Scene Ever.

The object of Gina’s…everything is sitting right there in front of her. She won’t be deterred by Jamie’s bizarre behavior and Jamie does try, but there’s nothing he can do about it now. He throws his hands up and gives it to god or the forces of the universe. However you want to look at it, it’s out of Jamie’s hands now.

Watching Gina do this is the worst. She’s smiling as she sees Ani but her face falls as she realizes Lara’s there. Lara sees her before Ani does and the “Oh god, does she have to interrupt every single moment of our lives” expression on her face is as plain as if she had said it out loud. Ani sees Gina next. Keeping with the theme, her face falls too, a mixture of “Oh shit” and “someone shot my puppy.” It’s not pretty.

Gina says Ani’s name and it’s full of dawning horror. Then we get interrupted by Owen, watching all this from the tv in the great beyond with Teddy. There’s beer and snacks and knitting. Owen is properly appalled on his sister’s behalf and berates Teddy, saying Gina didn’t deserve this clusterfuck. No one deserves bad things, but it’s kind of hard to debate that these actions aren’t a direct result of Gina’s choices. Teddy, on the other hand, reminds Owen that life’s a bitch…and then you die. It’s incredibly uplifting, and okay, actually kind of funny. Owen is not amused and gives Teddy the sideeye.

Van is at Guya’s doing minor chores and earning good son points. Meanwhile Guya’s still looking at pictures of Owen. Van shows some brief guilt about the way he was with Owen and then Brandon shows up and he’s right back to being pissy that he’s not the center of Guya’s world. The thing is it’s never going to be the way that Van wants it. No matter how much attention Guya gave him, it would never be enough. He’s an emotional black hole and only he can fix that. Guya can’t. She doesn’t even want to see that he’s broken. Unfortunately, Brandon is there to point that out.

Van lies badly about Sami and leaves. Brandon tells Guya he’s going to talk to Van. Guya is in denial. She knows Van has his flaws but she still believes he’s a good man. She tells Brandon to leave him alone. She can’t take having her family pulled apart any more.

Sarah’s cooking dinner for The Colonel while he reminisces about how Gina and Owen were growing up. Sarah wishes she could have met Owen. The Colonel says Gina is good at whatever she wants to be good at and that she’ll come around about getting to know Sarah because she’s “stubborn, but not stupid.”

Meanwhile “Stubborn, but not Stupid” is over at her star crossed love’s engagement party to another woman. Fun times. She sees the engagement ring on Ani’s hand and hides the one in her own. Everything comes crashing in on Gina at once and the only thing she can do is make the best out of it in front of a crowd of people and get the hell out of there. At least she realized what was going on before she started proposing herself, because holy shit, talk about even worse.

Ani’s suddenly wishing she’d told Gina about that engagement sooner. Jake takes the opportunity to rub it in just a little bit more with some welcome and good cheer. Ani stands up (metaphorically) and cuts him off. That’s Ani. Always standing up for Gina when she can’t do it for herself. Funny that, but not.

Ani tries to apologize; Gina tries to explain. Katherine – the only innocent one there – invites Gina to join them. Maybe it cuts the most because it’s not meant to harm. Alan’s whispering suggestions in the Devil’s – I mean Logan’s ear – and Lara takes the opportunity to rub in that she got the girl, just a little bit more. Not that I can really blame her here. Except for that wall slamming incident Gina’s been the source of all Lara’s problems in this relationship with Ani, the thorn in her side and the competition she can’t beat. It kicks Gina’s brain back into gear a little. She says nice things and tries to put her heart into believing them for Ani and then does her best to excuse herself. It’s excruciating just to watch.

Lara smiles because she’s finally won, but the smile drops off her face as soon as Gina leaves and Ani turns to run after her. They just keep repeating the same damn pattern. Lara is indignant that Ani wants to bail on their engagement party and go after her. Jamie tries to keep the peace by saying he’ll do it and Drew is cute – as ever – and reassuring. Jake adds his voice to the ones trying to persuade Ani to stay. Ani gives them both a look and then gets up and goes after Gina. See what I mean? Standing up for Gina again when she won’t for herself.

Lara gets up ready to have an epic argument. Jake, ever the gamesman convinces her to stay and make Ani come back to her.
Across town Guya is trying to get Brandon drunk and sexed up so he’ll leave Van alone, but at least she’s being upfront about her intentions. Brandon isn’t having it. He serves and protects, stands up for truth and justice etc. Guya keeps begging – Van’s been through so much. She wants to spare him from everything since she let him down. Brandon points out that he’s not arresting Van, just talking to him and asks Guya what she’s afraid of. Guya just can’t take any more of seeing the people that she loves hurt. So she begs Brandon and he holds her. I love these two. They’re not loud and flashy, and star-crossed, but they’re more real. I think it’s why I love them so much. They help to ground the show.

Jake and Lara are left alone – a bad combination for everyone. Except Jake, but eh, he doesn’t count. Lara’s engagement party has turned into a pity party – and it’s in full swing. Jake tries to reassure her, by talking some smack about how Ani doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, to the detriment of herself and the people who love her. Lara wants to buy it, needs to believe that Ani really does love her, that she’s still lovable. Jake appeals straight to Lara’s brokenness by telling her that Ani’s a fixer and she – Lara – is just the right kind of broken unlike Gina. Have I mentioned lately that Jake is despicable? Because he is.
Sarah serves up dinner to The Colonel and Richard. Richard speaks up for Gina and said she did a lot of raising Owen. Sarah asks if that’s why Gina didn’t want her. The Colonel says he’s going to let Gina speak for herself on that one. Every time The Colonel opens his mouth this season, I love him more. He gives the understatement of the century when he says Gina’s pretty busy that night and he doubts she’ll be stopping by. Sarah looks disappointed. It’s only a matter of time before we see where her broken is hidden right?

Gina’s on the beach contemplating her mother’s engagement ring when Ani calls her name and startles the crap out of her. Ani really does need to start letting go if she’s not going to hang on to Gina. It hurts them both so much. It’s cruel. I’m glad we get this conversation though, not just more not-talking. Gina’s trying to act like her heart didn’t just get ripped out and stomped on again. It’s some beautiful acting, both on Gina and Crystal’s part. Together they start hashing out the details, the when and where’s, like that will make it hurt less. Gina has to take one more stab at it (no Owen related pun intended) when Ani says she just couldn’t tell Gina about the engagement. Gina hopes aloud that it’s because Ani loves her more and would accept if Gina proposed. Ani crushes her heart one more time by saying Gina would never do that.

This is the part where I jumped up and down and yelled at the screen for Gina to show Ani the damn ring already, but Gina just takes it. She thinks she’s lost for good this time so now she’s trying to make sense of it and accept it. It’s a bad look for her – and it’s the graveyard scene all over again, right? “Just go and be with your groom. You don’t want to be here right now.” Becomes, go with Lara and get married and have a good life. She’s breaking up with Ani all over again and Ani’s looking like a kicked puppy. Instead Ani gets mad and accuses Gina of not being able to express her feelings. Gina jumps in and starts to ask, what the hell about the damn letter? Something we would all very much like to know. But no! The word “letter” never comes out of Gina’s mouth as Ani plows on and I go back to throwing things at my laptop and muttering about “that damn letter.” Gina tells Ani that she understands and to have a great life and then leaves. It really fucking hurts.

Jake and Alan plot nefariously. Alan wonders about what we’ve all been thinking – why the hell Jake cares about destroying Gina in particular so much. Alas Jake refuses to answer, but that particular plot hole is pointed out and thus averted.

Ani walks down the beach, contemplating the ring on her finger. She asks the ether what to do and, holy shit, Guiding Light much? Then she pulls the ring off her finger and walks away with some determination.

Gina gets home, leaves her keys in the door, and tries to start drinking, but for once decides it’s a bad idea. She walks away from the kitchen and runs into…someone who will surely be revealed next episode.

It’s all about closure, right? This episode. Gina and Ani: The Final Break Up. It’s a good sell, but I’m not even sure Ani can believe that, not the way she was pulling that ring off her finger. No idea what she’ll do next. I don’t necessarily think she’ll even break up with Lara but I don’t think letting Gina go is something she can do. Going back to what Jake said about Ani and her need to make people happy, it seems that he’s a little wrong about that when it comes to Gina. She seems to be the only one Ani’s willing to fight with, to admit her disappointment to and about. It’s not a good sign, but it’s more than she’s willing to do with Lara.


  1. The look on Gina's face, 'the dawning horror' as you called it is only the second time I have been truly impressed with CC's acting. (Not that I don't adore her and easily admit to being a little in love with her! That goes without saying.) The first time was at the end of Season 2 when Ani catches her inhaling her scent from an old t-shirt. They both nailed it with just a look in that scene.
    Anyone can rant and rave in a scene but nailing an emotion with just a look is what gets me every time.
    love your recaps btw. thanks.

  2. Right? The woman's amazing. She pretty much kills me every time she dissolves into tears. Or when Brandon was almost carrying her towards Guya to tell her about Owen's death. She was just so numb and dead inside. :(