Talk about putting the “panting” in “painting,” the “MORE!” in “Benjamin Moore,” the “lime (green)” in “cliiiimax.”
Episode 2 of Mistresses‘ second season found bohemian artist Daniel dipping single mom/home-furnishings goddess April’s digits into a jelly jar of dye (not a euphemism, BTW), and creating one of the hottest carnal portraits (figurative and literal) that’s aired on primetime network television in the history of ever.
Girlfiend went from “petting the pig” in the season premiere to getting covered in pigment and writhing around with The Artist Commonly Known as “Sexy-Smoldering” just a week later. Now, that’s what I call an upgrade — even if a very expensive bra-and-panty set was most undoubtedly damaged in the making of this abstract classic.
As the great philosopher Diana Ross once said, “Don’t call the doctor, don’t call my mama, don’t call the preacher: No, I don’t need it, don’t want it.” Lord help me, I don’t even know if that “Love Hangover” lyric makes sense in the context of this recap, but multiple, wholly gratuitous shots of Ricky Whittle’s abs, back and eyes, and of Rochelle Aytes’ everything-but-the-girl, are a quick road to tongue-tied and twisted. (And to think it all started with the command, “Why don’t you put down the sponge?” Show of hands: Isn’t the kitchen sponge the No. 1 unsexiest household accessory?)
And those were just the first brush-strokes of “Boundaries.” We also had Karen having post-trauamatic-Elizabeth-Grey disorder (“Maybe you could tell him you were screwing his father!” flashbacks FTW!); Savi receiving a direct threat for Dom’s
legal briefs from “Toni Tumbling Out of Her V-Neck (™ pending); and Joss… bonding with her (soon-to-be-ex) brother-in-law in a way that made my family-scandal radar go “toot-toot, beep-beep!” like an old Donna Summer record. (Maybe it was just Joss’ thigh-high leggings/boots situation, but Harry suddenly seemed just a wee bit interested in the tall drink of water’s Moroccan poofs, if I’m not being too subtle.)
So let’s recap the action from the hour, while raising key questions about each of our titular Mistresses.
APRIL | Daniel calls to inform our single lady that she left a diamond earring at his apartment — a complete accident that she fears looks like a childish plea for a return romp. Yet while she decides that a sexy affair isn’t the right situation for “a stress-case who sells ottomans and bath salts, and single-handedly raises an 11-year-old girl,” her chaste intentions disappear as quickly as her clothes once she’s standing in front of Daniel. They get busy once, then he makes her a spicy brunch. (I know it’s unrealistic that the man is sauteeing shirtless — without a splatter guard! — but with Daniel’s particular brand of heat, we’re happy to stay in the kitchen, yes?)
Daniel then goes and takes a shower, and because he comes back out in nothing but a towel and a glistening patina of bathwater, two become one (yes, another Spice Girls lyric) again, only this time with their bodies serving as paint brushes across a very sturdy canvas. April later learns that Daniel has a cabin in Vermont which was passed down by his late mom — she inherited it from her deceased boss, though Daniel hints the employer-housekeeper relationship may have been more than professional — but the minute April mentions Lucy, he’s all, “Oh, I’m going out of town — for a week, maybe more.” Then, just when she thinks she’s lost the connection to the man who leaves her feeling “the best I ever felt about myself with another person,” a gift arrives at Maison Per La Mer — and it’s a painting, the painting. As April examines the chartreuse figure writhing in the center of the action, her eyes twinkle with lust, and her beaming smile lets us know the attached note is just like a Miley Cyrus lyric: “[I] can’t wait to see you again.”
Key questions: This dude is simply too good to be true, right? And we can’t just be talking “pretended to be dead, left his first wife and child in Vermont”-level deception… because Daniel’s next-level sexiness is gonna need a whopper of a dangerous backstory for April to second-guess a third date. And on a side note, weren’t you stoked that April at least momentarily acknowledged it was “ridiculous” to have a guy as hunkrageous as Daniel feeding her post-coital savories from a wooden spoon? I mean, somebody grab a smart phone and plug “1-800-Way-2-Much” into her “Favorites” list!
SAVI | Savi returns to the firm — and her shared office with Toni — but her first big client meeting with a hotel magnate is hijacked by her hot Latina rival, who flirts her way into the conversation, then refuses to leave. (“I’m personally responsible for many of her best international love affairs,” says the enchanted fella, as Toni’s gams call to him like sirens dangling off the side of the conference room table.) Later, Savi hilariously learns her office-mate is prone to singing while she types, and then comes the whopper: Wanting to give Savi some space, Toni heads to Dom’s office to hang out. “I gotta get some of that,” she coos, not knowing Savi is carrying on a secret affair with their boss. But what starts jaunty ends deadly serious when Savi confronts Dom about her worries. He’s all, “I’m just not that into her,” but Savi responds like a Destiny’s Child lyric — she is not the one… to sit around… and be played. “The more blasé´you are, the more worried I am,” she sighs, reminding Dom their relationship was built on a foundation of infidelity. “You and I are both capable of incredible deceit,” she adds. “You’re not watching yourself, which means I have to.” Later, though, the fledgling couple talk out their differences, and Savi makes Dom feel more secure by noting that, “We chose each other even when it wasn’t the easiest thing to do.” He kisses her — without closing his office blinds beforehand. (Sheesh — didn’t Savi just say he’s not watching himself!?) And who’s spying on them with her happy, scheming eyes but Toni Taut, Toni Tan.
Key questions: Would anyone put it past Toni to blackmail Dom into a tryst — by threatening to out what his firm would have to view as an inappropriate relationship with Savi? And harsh as Savi’s honesty was, wouldn’t you agree it was also necessary for the relationship to progress in a healthy manner? Then again, maybe said honesty shoud’ve been delivered outside the workplace, yes? Either way, I give this relationship a 50-50 chance at survival.
JOSS | A Los Angeles socialite (Krista Allen) who used to dine at Savannah’s Kitchen hires Harry and Joss to host an Arabian Nights-themed party centered on lamb, “more compassionate starches” than rice and Moroccan poofs. The only catch? It needs to be mounted in 48 hours. The pressure makes Harry super-snappish — and when he turns his rage against Joss, she decides to dissolve their partnership, despite their client being delighted with the results. Later, he interrupts a Savi-Joss pow-wow to talk to his sister-in-law, and when he explains how he felt cornered by life, that he’s still reeling from the loss of his wife, his home and his business, Joss softens and decides to give him another chance at a 50-50 deal: He cooks, she party-plans. “So, like partners?” she asks. “Yeah, if you’ll have me,” he replies. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmkay?
Key questions: How much subtext did you detect in the “So, like partners?”/”If you’ll have me” exchange? My suspicion-o-meter registers a 7.7 out of 10.
KAREN | With Elizabeth up for parole from the “Central State Psychiatric Facility” (generic signage much?) after a mere 240 days — I mean, she only murdered her son in a drunken rage — Karen experiences a major mental backslide, imagining her tormentor’s voice ’til she begins weeping and shouting alone in her office. “She haunts me, Savi — and I think she always will!” Karen tells her BFF of the woman whose late hubby and late son she bedded. At Savi’s urging, Karen goes to speak against Elizabeth’s release, but winds up having a face-t0-face chat with a rival who’s suddenly softened. “Sober. Finally. Remarkably. I’m so sorry, Karen. I was hoping you’d come, so I could say that,” says Elizabeth, tearfully, not a whiff of her trademark perfume (Bitchery, by Lancome) lingring in the air. (Sigh… I no longer have a use for you, Lizzie!) Karen doesn’t, either. She leaves without testifying, freed of her guilt and bad mojo — and as a bonus prize, the board rejects Elizabeth’s release. But wait: Is Karen ready to reboard the train to CrazyTown? As her new patient (the one who had self-inflicted ligature marks) stops in for a session, Dr. Kim drops her facade of professionalism: “Why don’t you call me Karen?” (BECAUSE YOU’RE HER PSYCHIATRIST AND SHE HAS SERIOUS MENTAL ISSUES, GURRRRLLLL!) Oh, Karen, never, ever change.
Key questions: Seriously, what is wrong with this woman? And is this the last we’ll see of Elizabeth “In My Hand!” Grey?
“Toni who? Toni tan? Toni taut? Toni tumbling out of her v-neck?” –Savi, questioning Dom on the “Toni” of which he speaks
“Second-chance-at-life sex is louder than normal-people sex.” –Joss, observing Savi’s post-coma bedroom noises
“It was good. It was… damn! But it just, it wasn’t…”
“No, it wasn’t… me.”
April and Joss, discussing her issues regarding her one-night stand with Daniel
“Her cleavage is like a whole ‘nother person in the room.” –Savi, on Toni’s professional attire
“It’s Mrs. Roper off her meds.” –Janine, discussing her patry caftan
“She also said she wanted hookers when she really wanted hookahs!” –Joss, explaining the difficulty of planning Janine’s party
What did you think of the “Boundaries”? Which of our four ladies is getting the most intriguing setup? And are you going to watch the painting-sex scene again? (Or, rather, how long before you watch the painting-sex scene again?) Hit the comments with your thoughts!